D&D General D&D, magic, and the mundane medieval

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I want to run a campaign set during the Pilgrimage of Mansa Musa.

I have done an adventure where the PCs were an escort for a group of specially selected young students being sent along the new Royal Road to be enrolled at the University in a neighbouring nation (modelled on Sankore University in Timbuktu)
Hell yeah! That sounds awesome.
 

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Man I’d have to completely change how I run a game for a group like that. I think I’ve got one player who doesn’t initiate worldbuilding wrt his PC’s background during chargen, and even he gets into it when a storyline involves his history.
There is probably an element of self-selection with regards to who we play with. I'm not into world building, and am only DM because no one else wants to do it.

I'm more of the brainless action movie type.
 



Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
yes everything... but not all at once. If you have a reason to say no that's fine, but you have 3-6 players on average, even if everyone of them wants something you said no to (a sign you really need to go back to drawing board) that is 6ish races.
Or a bunch of bad players. If you've created a setting where 6 out of the 42 are gone and after you tell the players in advance that they can't choose those races, they try to choose them anyway, they're being pretty self-centered. They have 36 races left to choose from. None of them need to try and play a race that they know isn't in the setting and will cause problems.
 

pemerton

Legend
It's not. It can be a burden on some playstyles, but it's not inherently a burden on gameplay.
Or a bunch of bad players. If you've created a setting where 6 out of the 42 are gone and after you tell the players in advance that they can't choose those races, they try to choose them anyway, they're being pretty self-centered. They have 36 races left to choose from. None of them need to try and play a race that they know isn't in the setting and will cause problems.
My view is that these two posts are in tension. The fact that worldbuilding helps give rise to this category of "bad" and "self-centred" - whose only "problem" is that their conception of the fiction doesn't fully align with the GM's worldbuilding - seems to me an illustration of the sort of burden that I was referring to.
 

My view is that these two posts are in tension. The fact that worldbuilding helps give rise to this category of "bad" and "self-centred" - whose only "problem" is that their conception of the fiction doesn't fully align with the GM's worldbuilding - seems to me an illustration of the sort of burden that I was referring to.
It's a "tension" that's easily released by matching like-minded players and DMs, and avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach to D&D.
 

My view is that these two posts are in tension. The fact that worldbuilding helps give rise to this category of "bad" and "self-centred" - whose only "problem" is that their conception of the fiction doesn't fully align with the GM's worldbuilding - seems to me an illustration of the sort of burden that I was referring to.
So, playing a griff in your Torchbearer game would be acceptable? Or would that player choice be in conflict with your setting design?

I still don't have a grasp on what the difference in "worldbuilding" and "setting design" is except perhaps in scale.
 


Why can't it just be that they never traveled to this world?
it can, but again there is (IMO) a hard no of "here is why" and a soft no of "just cause" and in this case, the orc it is at best a soft no...
Or a bunch of bad players. If you've created a setting where 6 out of the 42 are gone and after you tell the players in advance that they can't choose those races, they try to choose them anyway, they're being pretty self-centered. They have 36 races left to choose from. None of them need to try and play a race that they know isn't in the setting and will cause problems.
see I don't see that as bad players, I see that as you made a world they aren't happy with. IN my experience that shows the DM made the issue not the players.

Imagine I sat down in 2e and said "here is my world but no clerics, no psionics, and no elves/half elves" (and this is a made up example but totally something me or one of the guys from 2e COULD have said at some point). if the 5 players all complain "I wanted to be an elf" "I wanted to be an elf too" "I wanted to use the psionics handbook for the first time I never get to use it" "I had an idea for a cleric" and "I actually told you guys months ago I wanted to do the three way multi class half elf fighter/mage/cleric" then the DM is being unreasonable here... the players have handed you what they want and you just poo poo all of them.

now I have meet (and in this or the DL thread even gave an example from recent 5e) seen players just choose to be contrary... and it is annoying, but again, if it really matters the DM can explain WHY it matters, and no one has any idea other then 'it says so' why orcs can't be in DL
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
My view is that these two posts are in tension. The fact that worldbuilding helps give rise to this category of "bad" and "self-centred" - whose only "problem" is that their conception of the fiction doesn't fully align with the GM's worldbuilding - seems to me an illustration of the sort of burden that I was referring to.
Worldbuilding had nothing to do with the second post. A player who isn't a self-centered SOB isn't going to try to get a PC he knows is off the table into play. Such a player will be a problem regardless of the game or style of play. It's a person problem, not a game problem.
 

I play with a group of mostly DMs, and we take the exact opposite approach.
so DM has full control and players have none?
Each guy runs something different. Some more different than others, obviously. It keeps things feeling fresh, and helps us scratch different itches, so to speak.
I mean just me (not counting other DMs) is always trying diffrent things to keep things fresh... my last few campaigns

a martial only game with heavy Asofai and lord of the rings but with some mortal kombat and yugioh world building thrown in (we used the middle earth 5e book for classes and hmbrew martial manuivers from 3e and 4e)
a wizard school game that was a short run that I pitched as (More xaiver institue that you are returning to as adults and less harry potter)
a very short 6 session murder mystery in a dessert setting 1 part Egypt 1 part middle east
a year long hunters game where the main PCs were 1 of a handful of traveling 'hunters of things in the night' where most commonors were afraid to leave a 3 mile radius of there house... where it looked like it was a ravenloft/castlevania thing with the lord of the empire being a vampire (he was that wasn't wrong) but turned out to be a DUne god emperor "He wants you to not only rebel but kill him becuse he has been the bad guy to help prep the world for worse" right down to presciences playing a big role
a curse of strahd right from the books
and a game of city mayhem where the party meets as a secret cabal 1/2 thieves guild 1/2 cult (pitched as 'what if vecna started the harpers and everyone had secrets)

the curse of strahd game ended so badly that I put the city game on hiatus and am not running agame at all right now while I play for a bit.
Nobody trys to run an Orc in my Dark Sun, and I don't take Thri-kreen into Dragonlance.
then who cares... if no one is asking I don't see the problem, my understanding (and I may have missed something) this wasn't "there have to be X in Y" it was "How do you react if someone asks to play X in Y"
if nobody asks how does that relate at all?
Nobody gets stuck as the forever-DM and we get to play different settings, styles, and character concepts without having to shoehorn a character into something where they don't fit. Works rather well for us.
it's funny in theory our way no one is supposed to be forever DM... the only issue is since 2006 every time we have pitched and voted I have gotten my setting picked.... so where I do get to play over the 3 games running at any 1 time (1 tuesday night and 2 alternating saterday night) this month or so is the first time in almost 20 years I don't have a game... and some of those times I had 2 or 3 games running (especially since besides my home games I used to run at stores to teach new players)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
it can, but again there is (IMO) a hard no of "here is why" and a soft no of "just cause" and in this case, the orc it is at best a soft no...
I get that they don't give the reason, but if orcs are outright stated as not being there, a reason does exist, even if that reason is a simple, "They never arrived on this world."
see I don't see that as bad players, I see that as you made a world they aren't happy with. IN my experience that shows the DM made the issue not the players.
My players in that situation would sit down with me while we are playing board games and say something like, "So we were talking the other day and we don't think we would have much fun in that world." They wouldn't wait until I have things prepared and then at session 0 arrive with ideas for characters of the banned races. That's being an asshat.

HOW the players did it is why they were bad players, not that they wouldn't be happy with that particular setting.
now I have meet (and in this or the DL thread even gave an example from recent 5e) seen players just choose to be contrary... and it is annoying, but again, if it really matters the DM can explain WHY it matters, and no one has any idea other then 'it says so' why orcs can't be in DL
Yeah. In the above situation if I had a really cool reason, and there would be a reason(I don't ban races for no reason), I might explain it to the players. I say might, because if the reveal would spoil the campaign, then rather than reveal it I'd just scrap the campaign and we would come up with something else. That idea might be modifiable for a different campaign later on.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
it can, but again there is (IMO) a hard no of "here is why" and a soft no of "just cause" and in this case, the orc it is at best a soft no...

see I don't see that as bad players, I see that as you made a world they aren't happy with. IN my experience that shows the DM made the issue not the players.

Imagine I sat down in 2e and said "here is my world but no clerics, no psionics, and no elves/half elves" (and this is a made up example but totally something me or one of the guys from 2e COULD have said at some point). if the 5 players all complain "I wanted to be an elf" "I wanted to be an elf too" "I wanted to use the psionics handbook for the first time I never get to use it" "I had an idea for a cleric" and "I actually told you guys months ago I wanted to do the three way multi class half elf fighter/mage/cleric" then the DM is being unreasonable here... the players have handed you what they want and you just poo poo all of them.

now I have meet (and in this or the DL thread even gave an example from recent 5e) seen players just choose to be contrary... and it is annoying, but again, if it really matters the DM can explain WHY it matters, and no one has any idea other then 'it says so' why orcs can't be in DL
But the DM is under no obligation to run the game the players want to force on them if they don't want to.
 

But the DM is under no obligation to run the game the players want to force on them if they don't want to.
I don't see the DM being special though (again maybe because we can all take a DM chair if needed) if ANYONE at the table doesn't like the pitch we just go with a different pitch (most times a different DM).

If DM A) says I want to run dragon lance and DM/player B says "I want to be a half orc" and the DM A says no we have more DMs that can say "I can run a dragon lance with a half orc no issue"
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
I don't see the DM being special though (again maybe because we can all take a DM chair if needed) if ANYONE at the table doesn't like the pitch we just go with a different pitch (most times a different DM).

If DM A) says I want to run dragon lance and DM/player B says "I want to be a half orc" and the DM A says no we have more DMs that can say "I can run a dragon lance with a half orc no issue"
Thus guaranteeing that the person who doesn't want DL with orcs has to suck it up.
 



Anyone at the table, where you'd have at least one orc every session.
now I REALLY don't get this... you care that someone else is allowed to play what they want.
I mean I guess you could just veto the whole of DL then and we would have to switch to a homebrew. I don't know all the reasons why people veto what they do so I guess that's that. End result someone will run a game with a half orc, and you not only wouldn't get to run the DL game you wanted but you wouldn't be able to play in one... seems a lose lose to me
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
now I REALLY don't get this... you care that someone else is allowed to play what they want.
I mean I guess you could just veto the whole of DL then and we would have to switch to a homebrew. I don't know all the reasons why people veto what they do so I guess that's that. End result someone will run a game with a half orc, and you not only wouldn't get to run the DL game you wanted but you wouldn't be able to play in one... seems a lose lose to me
If I didn't want orcs in my game as a DM, why would I want them as a player?
 

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