D&D General Arbitrary and Capricious: Unpacking Rules and Rulings in the Context of Fairness

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Yes, absolutely.

No, that was not what the post I quoted was referring to.
Having game rules create fairness (as in equal treatment) between both GM and the players is a meaningless concept.
Ah.

Do you think the X-Card and other such tools are applicable here? I feel like those are specifically designed to make it easier to support effective, equal treatment between them.
 

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Yora

Legend
I am not familiar with that mechanic.

But my stance is that equal treatment between GM and the players is both impossible and not desirable. Though there might be radically different conceptions of what a GM is in the first place.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I am not familiar with that mechanic.

But my stance is that equal treatment between GM and the players is both impossible and not desirable. Though there might be radically different conceptions of what a GM is in the first place.
The X-Card (and its equal and opposite, the O-Card) is a tool for supporting roleplay that involves sensitive subject matter. E.g., topics like slavery, assault, sexual themes, torture, racism, etc. At any time and for any reason, if a player is uncomfortable with what has just occurred, they are to touch the X-Card; this is a non-confrontational but essential signal. "I am not okay in this situation." The GM shows respect and care, moving past whatever scene is at issue in a low-detail/high-abstraction kind of way, so that play can proceed to things that are enjoyable for the participants. As noted, the O-Card is the reverse, something you touch to indicate you are enthusiastic about the current content and would like to see more of it gong forward or would like to engage with it more in the current scene.

This, and other concepts like "lines" and "veils" etc., are tools meant to ensure a certain kind of equality between GM and player. The GM is still responsible for framing scenes (amongst other things, depending on the game in question), but the players are active participants, not simply passive recipients who must either endure whatever they receive or break social norms etc. in order to address concerns they have or unpleasant responses they're experiencing.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
I've played with any number of people who would object to something that seems too easy. Of course they don't play 5e. But then, this thread is not only about 5e.
I have too but there is a very different level of resistance to the gm using fiat backed "rulings" for something like players:"hey guys let's rest up after that rotten luck we had... yea we are pretty beat up.. well actually we can't because we need to do x first">gm:"you guys are pretty beat up, I'll allow it to get things rolling after that bad luck you had" vrs using fiat the other way around for the gm to insert the "no you'd need to do x first". In 5e there is a tendency for the rules to lean towards only one of those directions do you have rulings not rules with the rules leaning towards the PC painful x is unnecessary so often that rulings are the harder to sell bad cop gm type.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
No, I think it's a meaningless concept.
But I am wondering if that is what people are trying to talk about here.
(I still don't understand what this discussion is about.)
Why is it meaningless? It seems pretty universally agreed that players are assumed deserving of fairness, why is the GM not also afforded fairness?
 

Yora

Legend
I think it's impossible for rules to be unfair to the GM.
I also don't know what it would even look like for a rule to be unfair against the players relative to the GM.
 

Yora

Legend
The X-Card (and its equal and opposite, the O-Card) is a tool for supporting roleplay that involves sensitive subject matter. E.g., topics like slavery, assault, sexual themes, torture, racism, etc. At any time and for any reason, if a player is uncomfortable with what has just occurred, they are to touch the X-Card; this is a non-confrontational but essential signal. "I am not okay in this situation." The GM shows respect and care, moving past whatever scene is at issue in a low-detail/high-abstraction kind of way, so that play can proceed to things that are enjoyable for the participants. As noted, the O-Card is the reverse, something you touch to indicate you are enthusiastic about the current content and would like to see more of it gong forward or would like to engage with it more in the current scene.

This, and other concepts like "lines" and "veils" etc., are tools meant to ensure a certain kind of equality between GM and player. The GM is still responsible for framing scenes (amongst other things, depending on the game in question), but the players are active participants, not simply passive recipients who must either endure whatever they receive or break social norms etc. in order to address concerns they have or unpleasant responses they're experiencing.
Huh. It did not occur to me to frame such a thing in the context of being fair or unfair. Okay.
 

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