I could use some advice




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  1. #1
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    I could use some advice

    A friend of mine of several years is getting ready to start a new 3E D&D campaign. He just canned his last one because he had too many players and decided the large group was too difficult to manage.

    However, in his new campaign, he is giving his players almost no choice regarding what characters they can play. He has decided that he wants to press specific roles onto specific players. For the most part, he is choosing the race/class/level/starting stats/physical characteristics/personality/background of all the characters himself. I can't even pick my own character's name; he will be providing that too.

    I must admit, I got mad and started an argument. There are all kinds of character concepts of my own I would like to try. He basically said "These are my rules, take it or leave it" and I said "I don't like all of your rules, I want you to change some of them before I'll play."

    This is a longtime friend. Once, I enjoyed his campaigns. Lately, I have been more frustrated with his micromanagement than anything else. He is capable of running a great story, and I would love to play, but at the same time I want to scream and bang my head against the wall because of the impasse we have come to.

    I could, of course, not play. I don't know what makes me angrier: the fact that he's not willing to compromise or the fact that he's willing to play without me rather than compromise. We've played in all of each other's campaigns for years now, and he's saying he's cutting me out of this one if I don't unconditionally acquiese and let him hand me a pre-made character that I may or may not enjoy!

    Am I making too big a deal out of it? Should I just go with the flow or decline to play? I don't know. I don't want to argue, but I'm also tired of his bullheadedness. He, in turn, is tired of me questioning his decisions at every turn. We both just want to have fun. I'm also probably the only player who is making an issue of this. Most of his other friends just go with the flow no matter what he suggests.

    What's more important: being satisfied with your character or enjoying the camaraderie of the game table?

    Sigh.
    "A single PC isn't especially impressive; there's a good chance they'll lose to a single standard monster. A party is a terrifying murder machine." ---ValhallaGH, on 4E player characters

 

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    If it's a big group campaign, just go with the flow. I don't know about him or the players, but the situation could be it's hard to keep track of all the players if they're all doing their own thing. Yet it would be much easier for a big group if he knew the characters from making them himself.

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    Personally I'd say both. The Dm needs to have fun BUT so do the players. If you're not enjoying your character, it's no fun, even if you enjoy the people around you.
    Duly appointed Evangelist, Herald, and Sage of the Scarred Lands.

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    Allow me to be the first to suggest that you go ahead and take the character, then have him do crazy, suicidal things once the game starts. Obviously, this guy has a specific plot in mind. It might be interesting how far he'll go to salvage it. ("I attack the city guardsmen with my dagger." "No you don't-it's not in character!" "Oh-so what do I do?" He may get bored with playing both the PC's and the NPC's ...)

    Seriously, I know the DM has to have fun too-but this is really above and beyond the call of duty for a player. He really might have a better time just playing by himself & running both sides. :rolleyes: And you might definitely have a better time playing in a different game ...
    -Christian
    The psychic warrior's player, after watching my character disarm an opponent with a whip after blinding him with glitterdust: "That ... was the coolest thing I have ever seen a bard do."

  • #5
    I'm a big "play games to have fun" guy. If you aren't having fun, then it isn't a good game.

    Polietly state your concerns. Polietly listen to him while he states his objections. And politely say that you look forward to playing in his next game, but that you think you might be a bad fit for the current one.

    Happy gaming!
    "I asked Dave to please send me his rules additions, for I thought a whole new system should be developed. A few weeks after his visit I received 18 or so handwritten pages of rules and notes pertaining to his campaign, and I immediately began work on a brand new manuscript. "Greyhawk" campaign started the first D&D campaign! About three weeks later, I had some 100 typewritten pages, and we began serious play-testing in Lake Geneva, while copies were sent to the Twin Cities and to several other groups for comment. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS had been born."
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    That's a tough situation to work through. For me, playing characters that are handed to me is great for the short game. Like if it was a guest appearance in someone else's game, or you're playtesting a certain module which has those requirements. My guess is he's gotten burned by some crazy PC choices he's lost control over.

    But it's a game, and taking out one of the most enjoyable parts of a starting game, is the wrong approach. DMs have plenty of control over their games, but character generation is one where you should let your players be creative. If you start steamrolling players at this point, it shows that you don't trust their choices and you can't work with them. Now, I fully support DMs having the final say-so on whether characters are acceptible or not. Sometimes that 'chaotic neutral wild mage' won't work in the confines of the campaign, or it will bring too much ruin on the characters.

    Now I'm actually considering guidelines and suggestions for characters in an upcoming campaign. Why? Because I have certain plot angles that revolve around character types. I'll suggest that we have a priest of a certain faith in the party. I'll suggest that we have a character in the party that favors this style/this weapon. But my players have enough faith to know that I have intensive story arcs that would hinge on those types of characters.

    Time for a suggestion? Approach the GM with an open mind. Talk to him, say that you want to work with him on creating a character that fits into the scheme of his world. Stress to him that you need to have at least partial ownership of the character concept in order to enjoy yourself. Creating a campaign can be hard work, so if the two of you can compromise on a character, I doubt if it would wreck his campaign.

    And more importantly, a resolution like this won't wreck a longterm friendship.

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    Re: I could use some advice

    Originally posted by ForceUser
    He just canned his last one because he had too many players-

    I can't even pick my own character's name-

    I must admit, I got mad and started an argument.

    He basically said "These are my rules, take it or leave it" and I said "I don't like all of your rules, I want you to change some of them before I'll play."

    I want to scream and bang my head against the wall-

    -he's willing to play without me rather than compromise.

    -he's saying he's cutting me out of this one if I don't unconditionally acquiese and let him hand me a pre-made character that I may or may not enjoy!

    I don't want to argue, but I'm also tired of his bullheadedness. He, in turn, is tired of me questioning his decisions at every turn.

    I'm also probably the only player who is making an issue of this. Most of his other friends just go with the flow no matter what he suggests.
    Earth to ForceUser! Take the hint. Gather up the other players who got axed and start your own game.
    30 Things Can Happen! - http://www.rpgnow.com/product/100971/30-Things-Can-Happen

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    My players, who most likely think I am the most controlling DM ever, would lynch me if I ever tried to do what your DM is doing. Now that's controlling.

    That said, I can't help but feel he may have something up his sleeve. Some type of campaign/set of adventures that are FUN - despite not being able to make your own character.

    My suggestion? Talk to him some more. See if this is a limited type of campaign, one with a specific story arc. Tell him that you're willing to give him.. oh say... 5 adventures to net everyone's interest. That is MORE than fair.

    The Crimster

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    Poster Bard-

    Sorry, I wasn't clear on that. He didn't axe anyone. He split his 11-person group into two 6-person groups (with his wife playing in both campaigns).
    "A single PC isn't especially impressive; there's a good chance they'll lose to a single standard monster. A party is a terrifying murder machine." ---ValhallaGH, on 4E player characters

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    Re: I could use some advice

    Originally posted by ForceUser


    However, in his new campaign, he is giving his players almost no choice regarding what characters they can play. He has decided that he wants to press specific roles onto specific players. For the most part, he is choosing the race/class/level/starting stats/physical characteristics/personality/background of all the characters himself. I can't even pick my own character's name; he will be providing that too.

    I must admit, I got mad and started an argument. There are all kinds of character concepts of my own I would like to try. He basically said "These are my rules, take it or leave it" and I said "I don't like all of your rules, I want you to change some of them before I'll play."
    If the DM is willing to put that much time into crafting characters, that is great. But what I would recommend is talk to him and ask if you can help him create your character. Point out to him that players want to have an ownership in their characters. Let the character creation process be a partnership. A character should fit the campaign model (the domain of the DM) and a character should fit with his group [to some extent] (this is the domain of both player and DM) and the character should fit the concept of the player (the player's domain).

    I would strongly recommend that you ask him if it would be okay to help make your character. Provide him with some suggestions of what you want to play. Also see what he has in mind as well. Together you guys should be able to make an even better character than either one of you could make.

    Also, make sure you come to a consensus, meaning that both of you like the character and that the character can fit within the scope of the campaign.

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