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D&D General DM Authority

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
But if there are rules--optional rules, yes, but rules, nonetheless--in the books for playing without a DM, then it's not so impossible as you seem to be claiming.
I went to look for the rules because even though I read the DMG (I'm weird, I also at least skim the manual for new cars too) didn't see any. I saw the rules for random dungeons in Appendix A, but nothing about using them to play a game without a DM.

So I was curious. Are you talking 5E? Am I just missing it?
 

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prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
I went to look for the rules because even though I read the DMG (I'm weird, I also at least skim the manual for new cars too) didn't see any. I saw the rules for random dungeons in Appendix A, but nothing about using them to play a game without a DM.

So I was curious. Are you talking 5E? Am I just missing it?
I don't see rules to that effect in the 5E DMG, either--it's possible both of us missed them--but the 1E DMG has a few paragraphs on using the random generation stuff for solo play, which isn't a big leap. It doesn't look as though it would be all that difficult, from a putting it together perspective. I wouldn't call it not-D&D if someone did that. I'd say it'd almost certainly be limited to a single type of adventure that is not one I particularly enjoy, so I'm not inclined to do it, but that's all about my tastes and preferences.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I went to look for the rules because even though I read the DMG (I'm weird, I also at least skim the manual for new cars too) didn't see any. I saw the rules for random dungeons in Appendix A, but nothing about using them to play a game without a DM.

So I was curious. Are you talking 5E? Am I just missing it?
I don't remember those rules, either, but then I also file rules that have a snowball's chance in hell of ever making it into my game in the dump and forgetting about them, so I just assumed that since more than one person was saying it, that it was correct.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I don't see rules to that effect in the 5E DMG, either--it's possible both of us missed them--but the 1E DMG has a few paragraphs on using the random generation stuff for solo play, which isn't a big leap. It doesn't look as though it would be all that difficult, from a putting it together perspective. I wouldn't call it not-D&D if someone did that. I'd say it'd almost certainly be limited to a single type of adventure that is not one I particularly enjoy, so I'm not inclined to do it, but that's all about my tastes and preferences.
When I was in junior high I played 1e that way...................once. I was so bored since my friends were all busy, that I mapped out a dungeon, filled it with monsters and treasures, made a part, then played it in the dungeon. I rolled randomly for what the monsters would do and I made it less than halfway through the dungeon before I became even more bored with playing that way than not playing at all. I still felt like I was playing D&D when I did it.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Either there's one line and one clear cut definition of what D&D is or there's not. Since there is no clear cut definition, the line is kind of like Schroedinger's cat, where it falls depends on the observer. But I'm also not being exclusive. I freely admit other people will draw the line elsewhere because it really doesn't matter.
I accept that it isn’t your intent to communicate exclusivity, but you should know that your langue is coming across as very exclusive. It would be a simple matter for you to use the much more inclusive phrasing, “Isn’t what I want from D&D” over the implicitly exclusive phrasing “isn’t D&D.” I can’t imagine why someone who didn’t want to be perceived as being exclusive would refuse to make such a simple change.
 

I went to look for the rules because even though I read the DMG (I'm weird, I also at least skim the manual for new cars too) didn't see any. I saw the rules for random dungeons in Appendix A, but nothing about using them to play a game without a DM.

So I was curious. Are you talking 5E? Am I just missing it?
These were in the 1ed DMG. All that is left now are the rules (and even these have been cut down by a lot) for the randomized dungeon lay out. Previously, the rules had encounters included in the roll, in addition of random encounters every 10 minutes or so. Room content was randomized and monsters could appear on randomized content. Even treasure was random and not necessarily linked to monster's presence.

I used to use the random dungeons back in the days to test adventures encounters and difficulties. It was useful the time I took to be a better judge of what encounters would be too hard or too easy. I have not used these rules for an eternity now.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I accept that it isn’t your intent to communicate exclusivity, but you should know that your langue is coming across as very exclusive. It would be a simple matter for you to use the much more inclusive phrasing, “Isn’t what I want from D&D” over the implicitly exclusive phrasing “isn’t D&D.” I can’t imagine why someone who didn’t want to be perceived as being exclusive would refuse to make such a simple change.
In part I'm probably being stubborn because chaos keeps saying I've said things I have not. In part because I think people should be free to express their opinion however they want on this forum as long as they aren't rude, telling others what to do, or that what they're wrong.

I'm not telling anyone they're doing it wrong. I haven't put words in their mouth. Time and time again I've told them that their opinion, even though it's different than mine is perfectly okay. But I also don't appreciate being told that I'm not allowed to express my thoughts on a subject because I don't phrase it in the correct fashion.

A pie without a bottom layer becomes a cobbler, a D&D game without a DM becomes something other than D&D. In my opinion. 🤷‍♂️
 

A pie without a bottom layer becomes a cobbler, a D&D game without a DM becomes something other than D&D. In my opinion. 🤷‍♂️
And official rules say otherwise.

Heck, how do you treat the actual D&D games that can be used for D&D-esque activities? I'm moreso thinking of the NWN modules that recreate some of the PNP modules as faithfully as possible. You don't need a DM for those and can otherwise interact with them exactly as with the modules, does that make them no longer D&D? Despite being in a 3E based system and based on D&D things?

I think someone should just whip up one of those memes people use for the definition of sandwiches and re-do it for D&D
 


Those optional (but official) rules previously mentioned. We wouldn't discard them much the same way we wouldn't say anyone's no longer adhering to D&D rules by using any of the other optional rules, so, they're officially printed rules, just an option most people don't use.

Frankly I think the Neverwinter Nights example's a bit better at it because that's designed whole longstanding worlds around the idea of occaisonally just having a DM hop in and spice stuff up a bit for the players
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
And official rules say otherwise.

Heck, how do you treat the actual D&D games that can be used for D&D-esque activities? I'm moreso thinking of the NWN modules that recreate some of the PNP modules as faithfully as possible. You don't need a DM for those and can otherwise interact with them exactly as with the modules, does that make them no longer D&D? Despite being in a 3E based system and based on D&D things?

I think someone should just whip up one of those memes people use for the definition of sandwiches and re-do it for D&D

The rules state "One player, however, takes on the role of the Dungeon Master (DM), the game’s lead storyteller and referee. "

I'm not saying you can't play a game based on D&D without a DM. You can. Castle Ravenloft is one such game. EDIT: the last time solo play was mentioned was in 1E. The game has changed a lot since then.

In any case, this is one of the sillier arguments. Nobody is wrong if they want to play a game without a DM. Wouldn't work for me, but if it works for them, great.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
In part I'm probably being stubborn because chaos keeps saying I've said things I have not. In part because I think people should be free to express their opinion however they want on this forum as long as they aren't rude, telling others what to do, or that what they're wrong.

I'm not telling anyone they're doing it wrong. I haven't put words in their mouth. Time and time again I've told them that their opinion, even though it's different than mine is perfectly okay. But I also don't appreciate being told that I'm not allowed to express my thoughts on a subject because I don't phrase it in the correct fashion.
You’re allowed to express your opinion any way you want. I’m just telling you that saying “in my opinion, X isn’t D&D” doesn’t come across any less exclusive than “X is objectively not D&D.” Do with that information what you will, I guess.
 

Should I remind you that ages ago, TSR had gotten out solo adventures where a DM was optional? So in a sense, a DMless game could be possible with the old rules of random dungeons of the 1st edition. I wonder what would be the result... It might be an interesting thing to try out.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Those optional (but official) rules previously mentioned. We wouldn't discard them much the same way we wouldn't say anyone's no longer adhering to D&D rules by using any of the other optional rules, so, they're officially printed rules, just an option most people don't use.

Frankly I think the Neverwinter Nights example's a bit better at it because that's designed whole longstanding worlds around the idea of occaisonally just having a DM hop in and spice stuff up a bit for the players
I missed it. I've heard about 1e rules, but I've not seen 5e rules on it. Where are the optional 5e rules for it?
 



loverdrive

Makin' cool stuff
Publisher
That's in the same vicinity as the "shared campaign world" stuff, innit?
Maybe, depends on what you mean here.

I don't know the exact page number, but it's under the Plot Points optional rule and goes like "any player can spend a plot point to become the DM, so everyone should come at least somewhat prepared"
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Maybe, depends on what you mean here.

I don't know the exact page number, but it's under the Plot Points optional rule and goes like "any player can spend a plot point to become the DM, so everyone should come at least somewhat prepared"
Yeah. In the alternate rules section, near where things like Healing Surges and suchlike are. I remember seeing it, now that you mention it, but I'm too lazy to walk to the next room and find it. :lol:
 

Maybe, depends on what you mean here.

I don't know the exact page number, but it's under the Plot Points optional rule and goes like "any player can spend a plot point to become the DM, so everyone should come at least somewhat prepared"
I would never play with such rule. If I take time to build a campaign or an adventure; it is not to see it derailed foe some sudden flash of inspiration (good or bad) from a player to take control and move the campaign in an other direction... no way. If a player does not want me as DM, he can leave.

And rotating DM (if within the same campaign) is just a sure way to see things derailed. Everytime I saw it and tried it, it ended up with one DM finally taking full control; usually the one that was always (and better) prepared. Improvisation is pretty much a required skill, but you still need some prep and improvisation means that a DM mist take a lots of notes.

Nope, D&D is better played with players and one DM.
 

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