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D&D General DM Authority

Campbell

Legend
Right. But demanding a particular game include those preferences is. Calling it bad DMing if a game doesn't match your preferences is also just as bad IMO.
Definitely. We all have the right to set our own boundaries and should not be upset with other people for doing the same.

I'm actually super happy that Pathfinder Second Edition has implemented a rarity system because it make it much easier to have these discussions. I am a big fan of groups having the ability to customize games to their own tastes. I'm also a big proponent of GM judgement.

I just want everyone to advocate for what they are looking for so we have less poor matches in gaming.
 

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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
If the DM claims to want to run a game of 5E and then does not not allow the PC races that are in the PH...
That speaks to a big misconception about what 5E is.

I don't think it's "Entitlement" to expect to be able to play something in the book that you bought as an eager board game enthusiast?
It isn't. If you want to do that then find a DM that's running a campaign that allows those options.


It's a board game. I have never seen someone throw away the boot in Monopoly for "reasons". Yet this is what I see in most discord servers in the LFG section.
1. RPG's aren't board games.
2. Generally restrictions aren't for arbitrary reasons.
 

Blandco

Villager
But your conclusions seem really dubious to me
I am but a blind man attempting to describe the elephant in front of me!

Perhaps I am hoping my small proddings will eventually get the elephant to move a bit.

It certainly is easier to pretend the elephant does not exist.

But I will continue prodding and see where things go.
 

zarionofarabel

Adventurer
If the DM claims to want to run a game of 5E and then does not not allow the PC races that are in the PH...

I don't think it's "Entitlement" to expect to be able to play something in the book that you bought as an eager board game enthusiast?

It's a board game. I have never seen someone throw away the boot in Monopoly for "reasons". Yet this is what I see in most discord servers in the LFG section.
RPGs aren't boardgames, if they were, they would be called boardgames not RPGs.

What if the GM wants to run a game where all the PCs are humans as all other races (as far as the PCs know) went extinct eons ago?
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
And don't even get me started on the whole - "Start the game at level 3" for ALL games including games that include new players that was all the rage about 5 years ago. (Oh God 6 years ago now.)

Literally the only place I saw online that had a majority of DM understanding why lower level sessions were needed were on the D&D Beyond forums. Every other place I checked online just blindly wanted to start games at level 3 because "It was too easy for PCs to die at level 1" "lower levels are boring" "PCs don't have enough to do at levels 1 and 2" "You can't run an eldritch Knight at level 1".
These are all good reasons to start games at level 3.
When I asked how a person who was new to D&D would understand what an eldritch knight was I got no response.
I have two answers for you.
1. Someone who fights with weapons and armor and casts spells.
2. What is a person who’s so brand new to D&D that they struggle to grasp the concept of an Eldritch Knight doing joining a random pickup group online?

Yes, 1st level is the best place for brand new players to start out. There are also good reasons to start at other levels, if you are not running a game for new players. Different audiences demand different approaches. What new players need and what experienced players need will not always precisely line up.
This was clearly caused by pretty much all streamed games starting at level 3 at that time.
More conjecture, I take it? Or did someone actually tell you they were doing it because that’s how their favorite streamers did it?
In many ways the discussions around level 0 games have helped out a lot but in some cases are getting close to an over correcting response.
Level 0 can be interesting. Ironically, I don’t think it’s the best option for new players either though.
So in final I say that the DM is always right. Unless they are planning their games based on what someone else is doing online. Then they are generally always wrong.
I’m not convinced this is a widespread issue.
 


FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Then that DM should probably advertise a game as being for experienced players and not new ones. In my opinion.
There's a difference between saying I don't mind allowing both new and experienced players and I'm running this game explicitly for new players or explicitly for experienced players.

And besides - what the heck does an all human campaign have to do with being new or experienced. I mean I could make a good argument that being human only for everyone is alot better for a new player due to it being easier.
 



Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
It's a board game. I have never seen someone throw away the boot in Monopoly for "reasons". Yet this is what I see in most discord servers in the LFG section.
But point out that Free Parking doesn’t do anything special or that you can’t buy houses or hotels if there aren’t any of those pieces left, and people give you funny looks, or else protest, “yeah, sure, but nobody plays that way.”

Dubious board game analogies aside, excluding PHB options is perfectly normal and even explicitly encouraged within the rules themselves. There’s a reason races are separated between “Common” and “Uncommon,” and that several rules are clearly marked as “Variant” and/or “Optional.” The baseline expectation in 5e is that the DM will pick and choose which options are available and which are not, possibly with the players’ input.
 


If the DM claims to want to run a game of 5E and then does not not allow the PC races that are in the PH...

I don't think it's "Entitlement" to expect to be able to play something in the book that you bought as an eager board game enthusiast?

It's a board game. I have never seen someone throw away the boot in Monopoly for "reasons". Yet this is what I see in most discord servers in the LFG section.

Few things here. First of all, I have seen plenty of boardgames where certain options were excluded for one reason or another. Boardgames have come a long way since Monopoly, and a lot of boardgames are around these days that play like a dungeoncrawl or RPG. Many of them have optional content.

I wouldn't call 5E a boardgame, although it can certainly be played a bit like one. Especially when you use miniatures, it can easily resemble some of the dungeoncrawl boardgames that are popular today.

But unlike a boardgame, 5E (and D&D as a whole) is mostly just a system of rules for a roleplaying game. These rules are designed so that they can be tailored for any flavor D&D game you want, including one without any of the default races or classes.
 



FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
None. My answer comes from the perspective of a new D&D player who might have their interest piqued by something in the PH or free rules.
So what used to happen was we would get our friends together and get everyone on board and then we'd play the way we wanted to. Looking for a random group of players via online is a much different thing. If you want a more structured environment of random people playing together, I think they still do LFR play? Or maybe will start doing it again after covid?
 

The game is designed so that level 1 characters require less cognitive load to play as there are less things to learn and then you add complexity slowly. Mearls specifically called that out as a reason why Druids don't get wildshape until level 2.

This means that starting at level 1 may be better for introducing new players - not that it necessarily will be.
 


Blandco

Villager
Dang you! I regret not immediately focusing on that part.
Again no system mastery is considered. An experienced player will be less disappointed by restrictions than a brand new player who just read the PH and was looking forward to playing a dwarf. That's all. Just considering the perspective of the player.
 

I picked Monopoly specifically because rules variation ruined most games played in 90s.
No. That's too simple. In many ways Monopoly is a better game when played by the rules.

But if you think about the common house rules they all served a purpose.
  • Leaving out the obligatory auction made the game more child friendly and just generally more random and less competitive.
  • Free parking gave a player a chance to get back in the game if they were struggling.

Basically Monopoly drifted as a way to basically make it a more family friendly activity. The changes were purposeful.

Edit: even the game dragging on and on in some ways makes it more suitable for wiling away a rainy Sunday afternoon.
 

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