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D&D General Creativity?

The whole it takes a perfect group to have any sort of collaborative play experience work take is just not true. What it takes is just a group of broadly compatible people who are willing to sometimes have tough conversations, but like not like much tougher than deciding between burgers or Chinese food.
Well, you need to have a "perfectly'' compatible group. Even the food thing is horrible. Sure the standard is wasting huge amounts of time "deciding what they want" or other wise being annoying about getting food. For many people this is a way of life that they do everyday.

My typical weekend game is 5 hours with a food break in the middle. Now, I wish to spend that time playing the game...NOT watching some slow idiot try to decide what type of food they might kinda want to order in the next half hour. You take more then five minutes to think about food, you will ejected from the game. I do not waste game time, and only want players that agree with this way of gaming. Once the food is ready, we break for 30 minutes to eat: if your a slow casual eater that likes to waste all night eating...you will be ejected from the game.
There are plenty of reasons why a more callaborative approach to setting design might not work for your needs, but the idea that our games are so fragile or that players will take advantage by default is silly. To suggest otherwise requires flat out denying the experience of people who have been doing this stuff successfully for decades. Decades.
It's not "fragile".... Like I said, as long as the DM and players all agree it all goes smooth. The player character has 10 hp, and takes 12 damage. The player looks at the DM and they say "oh, make that damage 9". Then the player and DM high five and the game goes on.....

Even broadly compatible people aren't always going to get along. Just try getting agreement on pizza toppings and you'll quickly see what I mean.

Further, and perhaps more importantly, being to some degree stubborn is simply in some (or a lot of?) people's nature. And yes, it can go too far sometimes; but standing one's ground is IMO far preferable to letting oneself get pushed around.
I'm already the DM with a LOt of House rules, written in perfect legalese. But I don't really want rules for every action, and a lot of the home brew rules are not shared with the players as they don't have pages of legalese protections: players just get the vague overview.

Does Earthen Grasp any way ever even slightly effect the Grasping Hand: Never. I'm not going to ever agree, in general, that a weak effect can do anything vs a powerful effect. And I don't agree with giving spells 'wish' functions to falsely make the players creative. The player sits there helpless and is like "oh the only spell I got is earthen grasp...can we say this spell can auto do whatever I want on a whim?" An Agreeable DM will be like "sure cast your reality altering spell to do whatever as you are so creative" They high five and the game goes on.

This is why I often get requests for such house rules: because players want to bend and break them.
 

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Does Earthen Grasp any way ever even slightly effect the Grasping Hand: Never. I'm not going to ever agree, in general, that a weak effect can do anything vs a powerful effect.
That’s house rule. Which a DM can play with, and should definitely disclose before the start of the campaign, but it is still s house rule.

If I cast a 9th level Magic Missile, a 1st level Shield spell still blocks it.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
My typical weekend game is 5 hours with a food break in the middle. Now, I wish to spend that time playing the game...NOT watching some slow idiot try to decide what type of food they might kinda want to order in the next half hour. You take more then five minutes to think about food, you will ejected from the game. I do not waste game time, and only want players that agree with this way of gaming. Once the food is ready, we break for 30 minutes to eat: if your a slow casual eater that likes to waste all night eating...you will be ejected from the game.
Hey, some of us can eat and play at the same time... :)
I'm already the DM with a LOt of House rules, written in perfect legalese. But I don't really want rules for every action, and a lot of the home brew rules are not shared with the players as they don't have pages of legalese protections: players just get the vague overview.
As a player I'd find that somewhat annoying, I think. I mean sure, there's a lot of mechanical stuff that can go DM-side and nobody will care too much, but if you've pre-closed some rules loopholes and tightened up some wordings around things like character creation or spell interactions or other player-facing stuff it's only fair the players know up front what you've done.
Does Earthen Grasp any way ever even slightly effect the Grasping Hand: Never. I'm not going to ever agree, in general, that a weak effect can do anything vs a powerful effect.
Personally I'd give something like that a (maybe not high) chance of working, both to reward the creative thinking and because I'm not as hung up on the relative power level between spells; but by no means would it be guaranteed to work.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
Even broadly compatible people aren't always going to get along. Just try getting agreement on pizza toppings and you'll quickly see what I mean. :)

Further, and perhaps more importantly, being to some degree stubborn is simply in some (or a lot of?) people's nature. And yes, it can go too far sometimes; but standing one's ground is IMO far preferable to letting oneself get pushed around.

It’s actually really easy to come to a group consensus. And it doesn't require anyone being pushed around. All it takes is discussion and compromise.

Yes, people can be stubborn. I think we’re seeing a good example right now. But they can also be reasonable.

People who have played the games and used the methods that you’re criticizing are telling you that your criticisms are not accurate. Reason would tell us that we should listen to people with actual experience instead of your imagined concerns.

Stubbornness would be continuing on as if you lack if experience gives your opinion more weight than those with actual experience.

Which do you want to be? Reasonable or stubborn?
 

Thing is, the way I do it (and the way I prefer it done) the DM's call in the moment sets a binding precedent for the remainder of the campaign; thus it's sometimes worth taking a little longer to hash it out in order to get it right.
Ah. We want it right for next time - but no one wants to hold up the game.
Indeed, badly written rules (or worse, well-written rules that are either unclear or written with the wrong purpose in mind) are a source of arguments and have been since RPGs were invented.

Could that be due to 4e's general eschewment of granularity in play in comparison to other D&D editions? For example, when what would be half a session of exploration to get through a maze in 1e can be bundled into a single skill challenge in 4e, there's far less granularity...but also far fewer rules to have to remember and-or get into discussions over. Double-edged sword, I think.
Not really. It's more the lack of random subsystems, the way the rules are written in functional rather than natural language removing both waffle and ambiguity, and the way literally everything you need is on the character sheet rather than needing to look up spells in the PHB - and is again concise rather than written in natural language.
 

Oofta

Legend
It’s actually really easy to come to a group consensus. And it doesn't require anyone being pushed around. All it takes is discussion and compromise.

Yes, people can be stubborn. I think we’re seeing a good example right now. But they can also be reasonable.

People who have played the games and used the methods that you’re criticizing are telling you that your criticisms are not accurate. Reason would tell us that we should listen to people with actual experience instead of your imagined concerns.

Stubbornness would be continuing on as if you lack if experience gives your opinion more weight than those with actual experience.

Which do you want to be? Reasonable or stubborn?

At a certain point, people are going to disagree. At that point, the person with the strongest personality may push others who don't want to make waves. Perhaps you take a vote to decide. But if there are multiple options, one person will likely suggest something that is not accepted, that's just kind of how it works. As a software developer I've always said that if you put 2 developers in a room they will likely come to 3 different conclusions on how to approach a problem. In a lot of cases, all 3 will be viable.

It's fine if you make it work for you. But don't pretend there will never be conflict or a difference of opinion. Heck, in our D&D game today we couldn't even decide what direction to go and ended up going 3 ways.

But I also don't really see what all of this has to do with creativity. D&D sets out different parameters, different ways of resolving conflicting ideas than some other games. By default the DM makes the final call. I prefer that, even when I'm playing and the DM makes a decision I don't care for because when I'm playing I just want to inhabit my character. I don't want to think about world building, I just want to focus on what my character would think, feel or do in the moment given what their options are. There's still plenty of creativity in what my character does, even if we stick pretty close to RAW.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
At a certain point, people are going to disagree. At that point, the person with the strongest personality may push others who don't want to make waves. Perhaps you take a vote to decide. But if there are multiple options, one person will likely suggest something that is not accepted, that's just kind of how it works. As a software developer I've always said that if you put 2 developers in a room they will likely come to 3 different conclusions on how to approach a problem. In a lot of cases, all 3 will be viable.

It's fine if you make it work for you. But don't pretend there will never be conflict or a difference of opinion. Heck, in our D&D game today we couldn't even decide what direction to go and ended up going 3 ways.

But I also don't really see what all of this has to do with creativity. D&D sets out different parameters, different ways of resolving conflicting ideas than some other games. By default the DM makes the final call. I prefer that, even when I'm playing and the DM makes a decision I don't care for because when I'm playing I just want to inhabit my character. I don't want to think about world building, I just want to focus on what my character would think, feel or do in the moment given what their options are. There's still plenty of creativity in what my character does, even if we stick pretty close to RAW.

Well, collaborative play was mentioned and was challenged on the ground that some people are stubborn and getting people to agree on things is impossible.

So I was simply pointing out that’s not remotely true. At least, not as anything other than an anecdote about a specific group of people.
 

Personally I'd give something like that a (maybe not high) chance of working, both to reward the creative thinking and because I'm not as hung up on the relative power level between spells; but by no means would it be guaranteed to work.
I see it a lot where the players are often very un- creative, so he DM will let anything work in an effort to get the players to be more creative. Though really this often just leads to more random stuff that is not all that creative. I want intelligent thinking players, not just ones that have a character "toss a rock".

That’s house rule. Which a DM can play with, and should definitely disclose before the start of the campaign, but it is still s house rule.

If I cast a 9th level Magic Missile, a 1st level Shield spell still blocks it.
It's not on the open house rules.

Yes, Shield is a good example: it's a spell made with the intention of blocking a specific spell: Magic Missie. Does Shield block any other spell in the book like that?

It’s actually really easy to come to a group consensus. And it doesn't require anyone being pushed around. All it takes is discussion and compromise.
How is it so easy? I don't find it that way at all. What good does a discussion do? And how can there be a compromise?

Maybe you could answer using this common one I run into often: The Game Rating. My game is "Unrated", NSFW, or otherwise "rated" beyond your worst nightmare. To play in the game you need to be able to accept this level of imaginative fantasy. A number of players have a problem with this rule, as they want a Disney Safe type game. There is no middle ground here.

Just a couple of weeks ago had this happen: the characters had got into an orc warlords dungeons up from the underdark. They come to a wide room, with prisoners chained to the walls every couple of feet. I give only the lite description of each prisoner and how they are dressed in torn clothing an they are all wounded and blood covered. Kelly had to run from the table to cry in the restroom, and then had to go home. She could never play in my game again because she would think of prisoners in chains around the world...or something like that.

No easy out here
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
How is it so easy? I don't find it that way at all. What good does a discussion do? And how can there be a compromise?

A discussion would allow for input from all people involved. I would expect both situations you go on to describe as likely to have benefitted from (or perhaps even been avoided by) discussion.

It’s easy because it’s already something that you’re doing. The game itself is a conversation. There’s nothing stopping you from having a conversation about the game.

Maybe you could answer using this common one I run into often: The Game Rating. My game is "Unrated", NSFW, or otherwise "rated" beyond your worst nightmare. To play in the game you need to be able to accept this level of imaginative fantasy. A number of players have a problem with this rule, as they want a Disney Safe type game. There is no middle ground here.

Of course there’s middle ground. A whole great big swath of it, I’d say. You’ve basically described two polar opposites. Do you really not see any options between a Disney cartoon and Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

Just a couple of weeks ago had this happen: the characters had got into an orc warlords dungeons up from the underdark. They come to a wide room, with prisoners chained to the walls every couple of feet. I give only the lite description of each prisoner and how they are dressed in torn clothing an they are all wounded and blood covered. Kelly had to run from the table to cry in the restroom, and then had to go home. She could never play in my game again because she would think of prisoners in chains around the world...or something like that.

I only have the minimal information you’ve shared to go on, which is far from complete, but all I can say is that if I was involved in a group activity of any kind, and something I did or said made someone run from the table and cry… I’m sure I’d feel at least partially responsible.

Again, discussion. Make it super clear ahead of time that your game contains troublesome elements. Offer examples of movies or other media that have similar elements. Leave as little room for doubt as possible.

Then during play, if someone shows discomfort, call a timeout and discuss it. If something does happen that makes someone flee from your table, maybe do more than shrug. Maybe have a discussion once they've calmed down and try and understand their point of view. Ask other players if they can offer any insight. Maybe consider these things going forward.

Maybe your game doesn’t need to be super ultra-NSFW. Maybe it’s not adding as much to the game as you think. Maybe it’s even something people don’t like.

But how would you know any of this if you don’t discuss it with your players?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Of course there’s middle ground. A whole great big swath of it, I’d say. You’ve basically described two polar opposites. Do you really not see any options between a Disney cartoon and Texas Chainsaw Massacre?
Can't speak for anyone else but "Disney Chainsaw Massacre" sounds pretty good from here. :)
 

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