D&D General DM Authority

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Being angry at someone for pulling the rug out from under you is perfectly natural.

Getting that angry is a problem, yes, if you are getting to that point there is more going on.

Getting angry at all is not a problem, and would still qualify as taking a hostile stance.
I don't agree. Being upset is perfectly natural. Getting angry is a problem. It's a matter of degree.
 

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prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
I don't agree. Being upset is perfectly natural. Getting angry is a problem. It's a matter of degree.
Do you think it's possible that what you're describing as "upset," someone else might describe as "angry?" I don't think anyone is saying that rage is acceptable in this situation (to pick a more extreme emotion).
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Do you think it's possible that what you're describing as "upset," someone else might describe as "angry?" I don't think anyone is saying that rage is acceptable in this situation (to pick a more extreme emotion).
Maybe. I look at upset as the first tier. Anger as second. Rage as third. If you're more than upset at something so minor as an unexpected game change, I think something is wrong.
 




FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
The problem is this objection assumes there's never a clear-cut consensuses; we aren't usually talking here about questions with five different answers for five different people; we're often talking about two, and its not exactly hard for five people to decide between two options (assuming neither no one wants to decide, or its not so self-evident no one needs to decide)

Now, you can have a situation potentially where five different people strongly want different things in terms of basic campaign issues--but there's good reason to question whether they should be playing together in the first place.

(This is why I keep repeating that discussing how easy it is to make rules decisions collectively and campaign decisions collectively is not as useful as it could be because they're not really the same question.)
That kind of assumes everyone is informed enough to have an opinion on the rules in question, or that the most informed persons opinion only counts as much as the least informed. Or that player Bob has a strong personality and voting against his opinion will make him aggravated at you - especially if it's a 3/2 split decision.
 


Again, the whole point is that "hostile" doesn't necessarily mean all of that.

It can just be strong words and anger, no need to assume any violence or screaming.
Strong words can hurt as much as physical violence depending on cirucumstances and the person receiving them. Verbal and physical violence are not acceptable means of conveying your frustrations. Even more unsettling is the calm voice menacing you. Then you know that the person means serious business.

Except for the one that was in a divorce, the worst I got was about 50 dice thrown at me for rolling three 20s in a row in a critical fight. One of these dice was a d30... Got a lump, but I was laughing a lot as I understood their frustrations. At least I got a few beers for my troubles ;).
 

SirGrotius

Explorer
This may sound pompous, but I walk in and out with a quiet authority. I suppose the word of the DM, mine, is never questioned and there is an unspoken agreement that it shall not be questioned for the sake of the game. There's an alignment with Stephen King's mantra in On Writing regarding the suspension of disbelief. It's an idea that should be light and and omnipresent at the same time.
 


Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Maybe. I look at upset as the first tier. Anger as second. Rage as third. If you're more than upset at something so minor as an unexpected game change, I think something is wrong.

I do not like judging what people's emotional responses should be. That's involuntary. What people are responsible for is what they decide to do with it.

I am also not a fan of deciding what any else's boundaries should be. I'm not sure this would be something minor to me personally. Context obviously matters here. If there is a willful choice to deceive your fellow players or even just blatant disregard for their time involved that's about the relationship to me - not the game,
 

The problem is this objection assumes there's never a clear-cut consensuses; we aren't usually talking here about questions with five different answers for five different people; we're often talking about two, and its not exactly hard for five people to decide between two options (assuming neither no one wants to decide, or its not so self-evident no one needs to decide)

Now, you can have a situation potentially where five different people strongly want different things in terms of basic campaign issues--but there's good reason to question whether they should be playing together in the first place.

(This is why I keep repeating that discussing how easy it is to make rules decisions collectively and campaign decisions collectively is not as useful as it could be because they're not really the same question.)
I agree with this. I also would say it is even easier to ask the DM.

Player: "Hey, are we using the variant human?"
DM: "Yes."

So while I agree there are generally only two or three options, it doesn't mean it's not easier to have one person designated as the decision maker. If a group wants a round table, that's cool. But, it doesn't mean their game runs more smoothly than a rectangular table with someone at the head.

It's why ships have captains. It's why kitchens have head chefs. It's why businesses have CEOs. And why schools have principals.
 

I agree with this. I also would say it is even easier to ask the DM.

Player: "Hey, are we using the variant human?"
DM: "Yes."

So while I agree there are generally only two or three options, it doesn't mean it's not easier to have one person designated as the decision maker. If a group wants a round table, that's cool. But, it doesn't mean their game runs more smoothly than a rectangular table with someone at the head.

It's why ships have captains. It's why kitchens have head chefs. It's why businesses have CEOs. And why schools have principals.

"Easier" and "better" are, however, not synonyms.
 

Oofta

Legend
"Easier" and "better" are, however, not synonyms.

What's better for you and better for other groups is rather subjective. I'd rather have a DM as the final rules arbiter whether I'm DMing or playing as long as the DM is reasonable and listens. Then again if they aren't reasonable, if they don't listen they probably wouldn't be a good DM no matter what style of play you prefer.
 

That kind of assumes everyone is informed enough to have an opinion on the rules in question, or that the most informed persons opinion only counts as much as the least informed. Or that player Bob has a strong personality and voting against his opinion will make him aggravated at you - especially if it's a 3/2 split decision.

Absolutely. But then, there's nothing saying the GM is going to be the most informed or has the best judgment on it, just because he's the GM. That's the whole gig; there are a number of skills that are useful in a GM, and the assumption that they'll all be in one person is not well-supported.
 

Clearly you don't think so, because you added a bit, a "not always" to the equation.
Having no leader can create issues. (It doesn't always create issues, it can create issues.)
And that, and that alone, has been what I keep trying to tell people. Yes, it can cause issues, yes it can be more difficult, but it is also possible that a group of people can decide something without needing to call on a third party to make the decision for them.

It happens all the time. Especially since, in a lot of those types of scenarios people keep bringing up outside of the game, they need to decide on someone to take that "leadership" role in the first place.
I agree with this. 99% of the rules are agreed upon while playing. The initial set of which rules is usually agreed upon naturally too. Most of the time people just agree. But that 1% when there is a judgement call, you want to be able to look at someone and say: "What's the answer?" The primary reason the DM is chosen for this is he is the storyteller. They know the behind the scenes info.
But that also leads to judgement calls, (Can the PC hear this? What DC would this be? Does this thing fall down the cliff when it dies?) which happen twenty times a game at least. You need a person to direct that.
 


FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Absolutely. But then, there's nothing saying the GM is going to be the most informed or has the best judgment on it, just because he's the GM. That's the whole gig; there are a number of skills that are useful in a GM, and the assumption that they'll all be in one person is not well-supported.
Sure. I think it was brought up pages ago about how it works when a player has more rules knowledge/experience than the DM and the rules questions get delegated to that player. Often with a DM veto option.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I do not like judging what people's emotional responses should be. That's involuntary. What people are responsible for is what they decide to do with it.

I am also not a fan of deciding what any else's boundaries should be. I'm not sure this would be something minor to me personally. Context obviously matters here. If there is a willful choice to deceive your fellow players or even just blatant disregard for their time involved that's about the relationship to me - not the game,
If someone gets upset at my game, that's fine. If I see anger, they aren't coming back. I don't want someone that unstable in my game. It's that simple. Someone who can become genuinely angry over a game is a risk I don't want to take.
 

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