Dealing with a DM who takes things too literally

OchreJelly

First Post
As a DM I wouldn't penalize character abilities, especially when it comes to at will powers. Particularly I wouldn't nerf their power against a situation that comes up with a good amount of frequency. I mean how often do fighters go toe-to-toe with something bigger than them? It's not like you need to see the power as flinging the creature (I reserve that for Thunderwave :)). Causing a big creature to lose a bit of it's footing a shift its balance back a square isn't breaking the verisimilitude for me.

There is a place for rule-zero rulings against the RAW, but those should be the weird corner-case scenarios, like if someone becomes restrained while swimming I might say the drowning rules kick in. Such rulings would be the exception, not the norm. Just my two cents.
 
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Ktulu

First Post
I'd suggest y'all play something else while he's DM. I wouldn't play in a game where I picked a power because I thought it had a cool effect; only to have the DM say, "No, I don't think that's realistic..." Too bad. Go play Realism & Redundancy if that's what you want; I'm here to play D&D.
 

malkav666

First Post
Your DM is malfunctioning. Return it to where you purchased it and ask for a replacement, or a refund.

While I do not particularly care for all the sliding, pushing, and pulling involved in 4e, I have played it enough to understand that it is very key to several builds.

If you take away a 4e fighters ability to prevent unchallenged movement with marks, and the ability to push monsters away from the shorties and/or softies, then you are taking away the one of the core concepts of the 4e fighter IMO.

If your DM does not appreciate the gamey aspects of 4e and wants to houserule them out, I think you will find that the game will quickly become unwound and unbalanced. I think a lot of the appeal that 4e has to many folks is this balance. Its kind of like a set of scales with balance and fairness on one side, and simulation, and real world physics on the other. the more you lean towards one type of game the less you can have of the other (in most cases. but either shortcoming can be ovecome by increasing the complexity of the ruleset to handle exc exceptions. but I do not feel that increasing the complexity is in the spirit of 4e).

It seems that he is tryijng to veer towards simulation in a very gamey system. It would kind of be like me saying that my opponents Sorry (as in the board game) pawn certainly could not squish mine and send it back to home because the pawns are both roughly the same size and made of the same material, and plastic just would not squish that easily. Simulation and board games don't go well together (in most cases).

Tell your DM to quit hatin on your pawn, or switch to a system that will allow him his size differences, because they are not present in 4e. By not letting your fighter move things around the board, he is really taking away a lot of your toys. 4e thrives on these gamist concepts IMO. If you try and sim a boardgame, you usually don't make it better, you just end up with a board game that sucks.

And 4e, whether you love it or hate it, plays like a board game. And if you make a house rule about movement ina board game it needs to apply to all pawns/game peices not just the blue ones. But those are just my own thoughts.


love,

malkav
 

wayne62682

First Post
I don't think he's doing it deliberately to "nerf" my character, I just think he's used to the older edition mentality where things weren't as vague with "status effects" so he's taking them at face value (e.g. it says push, so you must have shoved him) instead of looking at "push" as a metagame term (e.g. in game terms he got knocked back a square, but maybe he's readjusting himself)

I notice he does the same thing with narration of hitting and missing; he describes all hits as being actual contact, and all misses as "it narrowly dodges" when IMO hit points are 100% abstract; a "miss" in the metagame doesn't equate to a miss in the gameworld, just not significant damage, and a "hit" in the metagame doesn't necessarily mean you struck your opponent.
 

Doug McCrae

Legend
Your DM is confused about language. He doesn't realise that rules terms can have a technical meaning somewhat different to their common English meaning, immobilized being one example.

With the push issue, just tell him fighters are magic.
 

First of all, find out if your DM enjoys playing/running 4E. Just ask for an honest answer. If he says yes, then ask him why he likes it. If he says no then ask him why he is running it. If you can get to a good answer for this question then you may find out what the real problem is.
 

coyote6

Adventurer
That sounds like he doesn't really understand the rules.

OTOH, maybe he's just a bit lazy as GM. If he thought big creatures shouldn't be pushed around, he should give big creatures an ability that makes them harder to push around (say, reduce the amount they're pushed/pulled/slid/whatevered by a square or two). Ta-da, he gets the result he wanted without saying "your power doesn't work the way it says it does"; instead, it's just "some bad guys can resist/ignore powers like that". Seems more in keeping with the spirit of the game than the application of the arbitrary nerf-bat directly to the PCs.

Now, the immobilized thing -- that sounds like not understanding. But hey, if he's consistent, at least it's something the PCs can use, too. Aren't there PC powers that immobilize foes? Those just got boosted!
 
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LostSoul

Adventurer
OTOH, maybe he's just a bit lazy as GM. If he thought big creatures shouldn't be pushed around, he should give big creatures an ability that makes them harder to push around (say, reduce the amount they're pushed/pulled/slid/whatevered by a square or two). Ta-da, he gets the result he wanted without saying "your power doesn't work the way it says it does"; instead, it's just "some bad guys can resist/ignore powers like that". Seems more in keeping with the spirit of the game than the application of the arbitrary nerf-bat directly to the PCs.

I personally wouldn't do that because...

We're in a room fighting giants. The room is full of shallow puddles of water. The Wizard shoots a Ray of Frost at a giant but misses, and the DM describes the miss hitting the puddle and freezing it.

The giant is standing on a sheet of ice. Does he still have his resistance to being pushed?


You could say that the rules stand firm all the time and the DM shouldn't make rulings, but that means there's no reason to interact with the gameworld at all.
 

Mallus

Legend
Personally, I'd follow LostSoul's advice, which, while similar to Mallus's, is simply more likely to work in your favour. Also, it includes drinks. :lol:
Oh, I'd follow LostSoul's advice too, it's more nuanced than mine, and it included drinks!

(BTW, I deliberately overstated the point because it sounds like the DM in question needed to understand that 4e powers represent a paradigm shift. A 4e DM should use common sense when they need to adjudicate specific power uses. But the need to do so should occur rarely, as a last resort against wholly ludicrous results :). No good can come of a 4e DM approaching every combat action with the mindset of "prove to me how this would work in the real world". If that's what you're looking for out of a system --and it's a legitimate want-- then 4e really isn't for you).
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
BTW, I deliberately overstated the point because it sounds like the DM in question needed to understand that 4e powers represent a paradigm shift.


I was given to understand that some folks thought that any game could be played in an "old school" way. Part of running a game in an "old school" way is interpreting powers and abilities in ways that seem plausable. It seems to me that, following LostSoul's advice, this is possible.

It also seems to me that a few folks are saying that it is wrongbadfun for the DM to run 4e in an "old school" way.


RC
 

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