5E Why the Druid Metal Restriction is Poorly Implemented - Page 23
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  1. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyP71 View Post
    It is not railroading to insist that a player adheres to the accepted themes of a world. It is poor form for a player to try to ride roughshod over said themes however. A DM has the right to veto anything, a good DM will use the veto sparingly, and a good player would ensure the DM never needs to use this veto.
    Yes it is. If you are forcing the players to go down the rails you provide(the game does not make it impossible for druids to put on metal armor), then you are in fact railroading that player.

    My comments about Cthulhu was pertaining to Middle Earth, not D&D, I am aware of the existence of both S3 and WG4. If a player tries to play a Cthulhu cultist in Middle Earth, then refer to my point above.
    And the point goes flying over your head. D&D has precedent for allowing things in that "break the rules," so forbidding exceptions goes against that tradition.

    I am curious, though. Are your paladins human only? Do female characters cap out at 17 strength? Can demihumans not go to max level? Those are all traditions every bit as old school and strong as the druid one.

    RAI is clear to me - a Druid will not even attempt to wear metal, it is against his or her ethos. If a player cannot accept that they they won't be playing a Druid. The player should not even try to push this.
    Your rails are squeaking. Maybe you shouldn't have made them out of metal.

  2. #222
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    RAW + sage clarification makes it the best implementation I could want. It's there for theme, not balance, meaning I can ditch it whenever I want, if it doesn't fit my homebrew game, and I can also put dragonscale mail or other similar loot in my adventures without being afraid of messing the intended power level of the druid in our party. I understand that this could be an issue for people playing in OP, though.
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  3. #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyP71 View Post
    It is not railroading to insist that a player adheres to the accepted themes of a world.
    Yes. Yes it is. That is EXACTLY what railroading is.

    It is poor form for a player to try to ride roughshod over said themes however.
    True.

    However, saying "you can't do that" is not how you deal with it. If the player is causing a real problem, then "you try to do that, angering Silvanus. You take 20d6 lightning damage. Your character is dead, bye bye don't slam the door on your way out." Is a better way to deal with it.

  4. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Farquhar View Post
    Yes. Yes it is. That is EXACTLY what railroading is.



    True.

    However, saying "you can't do that" is not how you deal with it. If the player is causing a real problem, then "you try to do that, angering Silvanus. You take 20d6 lightning damage. Your character is dead, bye bye don't slam the door on your way out." Is a better way to deal with it.
    So if I run a game of 1890s Call of Cthulhu and someone asks to play a Computer Hacker and I refuse because it doesn't fit the world - I'm now 'railroading'?

    Nope.

    'Railroading' is not limiting player choices in terms of character options to ensure they fit a game world, it is running a game in which the choices that they DO have (and the actions that they take) do not matter as events are pre-ordained.
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  5. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyP71 View Post
    So if I run a game of 1890s Call of Cthulhu and someone asks to play a Computer Hacker and I refuse because it doesn't fit the world - I'm now 'railroading'?
    They could play as Ada Lovelace*.

    But the thing is, there is a reason a player can't be a computer hacker in the 1890s - computers haven't become sophisticated enough yet. If you want a player not to be able to put their hand into a gauntlet, something almost anyone could reasonably expect to be able to do, you need to give a reason.

    No one is saying "you are wrong to enforce metal armour restrictions on druids in your game". But the way you suggest doing it is pretty much a perfect example of poor DMing.

    *She was dead by then, but if she faked her death she could still be alive in the 1890s.
    Last edited by Paul Farquhar; Sunday, 23rd June, 2019 at 03:40 PM.

  6. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    Yes it is. If you are forcing the players to go down the rails you provide(the game does not make it impossible for druids to put on metal armor), then you are in fact railroading that player.



    And the point goes flying over your head. D&D has precedent for allowing things in that "break the rules," so forbidding exceptions goes against that tradition.

    I am curious, though. Are your paladins human only? Do female characters cap out at 17 strength? Can demihumans not go to max level? Those are all traditions every bit as old school and strong as the druid one.



    Your rails are squeaking. Maybe you shouldn't have made them out of metal.
    Looks like you don't understand the concept of railroading - it's where in game choices do not matter, it has nothing *whatsoever* to do with insisting that characters fit a game world in a thematic way.

    My point about a world having pre-determined themes seems to have evaded you too. Yes D&D has always been a tweakable framework, but the clear RAI expectation for Druids has been pretty consistent. Just as there are expectations for a CofC game, or a Conan game, or Paranoia. If a 5E DM wants to ignore that then fair enough, the game won't break, but it's going against the existing ethos of the class and to claim otherwise is just plain false.

    And a DM sticking to the aforementioned ethos is not railroading anybody. A player insisting on trying to push their luck though, is being disrespectful.
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  7. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Farquhar View Post
    They could play as Ada Lovelace*.

    But the thing is, there is a reason a player can't be a computer hacker in the 1890s - computers haven't become sophisticated enough yet. If you want a player not to be able to put their hand into a gauntlet, something almost anyone could reasonably expect to be able to do, you need to give a reason.

    No one is saying "you are wrong to enforce metal armour restrictions on druids in your game". But the way you suggest doing it is pretty much a perfect example of poor DMing.

    *She was dead by then, but if she faked her death she could still be alive in the 1890s.
    Maybe a computer hacker was a poor example (though I clearly meant it in the modern sense - there was no internet in the 1890s!) - the point was about a character not fitting with the setting.

    Saying 'no' is not poor DMing, trying to force a DM to say 'no' however is poor play. I'm running a sandbox 2E game at the moment in a world which currently only has Humans and Halflings as playable races, there's a story reason for this. It's ridiculous to then expect a player to be allowed to play a Dwarf or Elf due to fear of saying 'no', or to brand the DM as 'poor' for placing the restriction. Thankfully I have good players at my table who embraced the game setting and play has been fantastic. Same goes for Druids. Respect the game lore.

  8. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyP71 View Post
    Maybe a computer hacker was a poor example (though I clearly meant it in the modern sense - there was no internet in the 1890s!) - the point was about a character not fitting with the setting.
    It doesn't matter what example you use, you still need a reason why a player can't do that thing.

    Saying 'no' is not poor DMing
    Yes it is. The player tells the DM what they are going to try and do. The DM then narrates the success or failure of that action. If a player insists on trying to fly over a chasm despite their character having nothing that gives them that ability, the DM does not say "No", they say "your character does a spectacular swan dive onto the rocks at the bottom of the chasm and takes 20d6 bludgeoning damage".

    trying to force a DM to say 'no' however is poor play.
    If a player wants to be difficult then they are going to find a way to be difficult whatever you do. The only thing to do is remove them from the game.

    But we are not talking about players who are trying to make trouble. The druid in my campaign follows the restriction and does not wear metal armour (they are currently wearing dragonscale). However, if, for whatever reason (disguise maybe?), they tried putting on metal armour, they would find that what happened would be exactly nothing.

    But if I was playing strict FR lore, I would have them loose their spells for 24 hours. Not because it is a rule of the game, but because it is a rule of the setting - in the Forgotten Realms divine magic comes directly for personal deities (or their intermediaries) and if you annoy them they will take your toys away. That would also apply if they otherwise went against their deity - disrupting the balance (Silvanus), burning forests, etc. However, in Eberron druids do not get their power from personal deities, so they are free to do pretty much what they like, including being refluffed to gain their power from a dragonmark.
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  9. #229
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    If the state of the game lore regarding Druids is clear from the beginning, and the player agrees to that lore (by choosing to play a Druid), then no, it is not poor DMing for the DM to veto the action (I would take the player to one side and reiterate the lore and the fact that they agreed to by choosing the class). If they refused to change their chosen course of action then yes, one option would be leaving the game. The other would be to start a new character, as they would not be playing a Druid any more.... but it would be a red flag hanging over their level of respect for the game.

    If that makes me a bad DM in your eyes then so be it. I make my position on the subject clear during session 0, and by choosing to play in a game with me as DM, the player is agreeing to abide by the rules I choose to apply. I firmly believe in working with the established Lore of a setting, as it gives us all more inspiration in terms of game and character depth.

    (I don't run games in either Eberron or FR for the very reason that neither setting resonates with me in the slightest)

  10. #230
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    Wanting to play a Space Marine in a standard D&D setting is not equivalent to a Druid wanting to don a breastplate for a disguise, and neither is equivalent to the players of a half orc and an elf wanting their characters to get along.

    If something doesn't exist in a setting, then it doesn't exist. It's a restriction of the meta. A DM can make allowances for a player (okay, you can be the only elf in the world but you also have complete amnesia) but is under no obligation to do so. If we agree to play 5e, that means we're not playing Warhammer 40K. A player who insisted on playing a Space Marine after agreeing to play 5e would be in the wrong, IMO. A player who politely asked the DM whether there's any way he could play a Space Marine because he's got a really cool idea for a Space Marine but accepts the DM's decision like an adult regardless of the outcome is fine.

    On the other hand, the druid limitation against metal armor is an in-game restriction deriving from the game's lore. I suppose the DM could come up with their own explanation for why druids CAN'T wear metal armor, such as a Geas woven into the fabric of their pact with the land, that literally makes them incapable of forcing themself into metal armor. It's a touch heavy handed for me, but as long as the players have some understanding of the in-game justification, I'd say it's fine. Personally, however, if I were to go this route I'd simply say that they can do so but lose their druid powers for X amount of time. I'd much rather give them the option than not, even if the option is so terrible that 99 times out of a hundred they'll choose not to do it. (As I've established however, my preference is to simply have in-game consequences for breaking the taboo.)

    Lastly, you have half orcs and elves hating each other, which is really just an in-game stereotype. (Unless, of course, you have some physiological or magical explanation for why they always hate each other without exception. Something like that might be interesting in one particular instance, but trying to justify all behavior via this route would almost certainly come across as extremely heavy handed.) Assuming that it is a stereotype, there will be individuals who do not conform to the stereotype. I see no reason why the PCs cannot be such nonconformists. I would expect adventurers not to conform to the norm more often than not.

    Humans and halflings only is a meta restriction. Druids won't wear metal armor is an in-game lore restriction. Both are fine but they are not the same type of restriction. If you want your druids to never touch metal armor, in my opinion you need a better reason than "because I said so" or even "because the book says so". It could be "because you will instantly die" or "because you will permanently lose all of your druid powers" but there needs to be something. Otherwise, IMO, the DM is overstepping their role by dictating the behavior of PCs. The DM creates the world and controls all its workings, but the players should always have final say in what their characters do (barring magical compulsion and the like). The DM can certainly advise (this is why druids don't wear metal armor and that is what you've been told will happen to a druid who does) but should never take away control of a player's character without a strong in-game justification (magical compulsion).

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