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D&D General DM Authority


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There are ways to handle those judgment calls, either by making them collectively, by setting up a system whereby responsibility for making those calls falls on different people at different times (perhaps taking turns doing so), or by relegating those judgement calls to random number generation.

For instance, the Mythic system can be grafted on to any RPG to make it GM-less. It works by the players asking yes/no questions and having the answer determined by the roll of a die, with four possible outcomes: yes, no, dramatically yes, or dramatically no. It requires a little interpretation on the part of the players, but it works well enough. I wouldn’t really be the biggest fan of D&D using the Mythic system, but I would still call it D&D. Maybe “Mythic D&D” in contexts where that degree of specificity is warranted.
Thanks for the reply.
I am going based off this reply, that your answer to my previous questions is: Playing D&D without a DM is still playing D&D. I am trying my best to not assume anything here. Is that correct?
 

As has been discussed practically ad nauseum upthread, there are ways to devolve the DM's authority to the table. Maybe one player is more of a rules-lawyer than the rest, and fair: That's the one making most of the rules decisions. Maybe other decisions are by concensus, or at least vote, around the table. It's really not difficult to conceive of ways to handle these things, as a practical matter. Whether they'd feel like D&D--or whether the game you played that way would do what one prefers a game of D&D do--is a matter of taste and preference.
As I just posted to Charlaquin, thanks for answering the question. I am trying to understand. And, full disclosure, I started reading this thread around page 40. So I may have missed some things. I also don't want to assume answers from you, so I would ask the same as I did Charlaquin, is playing D&D without a DM still playing D&D? Thanks again.
 

TheSword

Legend
As I just posted to Charlaquin, thanks for answering the question. I am trying to understand. And, full disclosure, I started reading this thread around page 40. So I may have missed some things. I also don't want to assume answers from you, so I would ask the same as I did Charlaquin, is playing D&D without a DM still playing D&D? Thanks again.
Yes, if it uses the rules and systems of D&D.

But it doesn’t mean it is a particularly fun, engaging or entertaining way of playing for most people. Not for anything long term.
 


Campbell

Legend
My personal position would be that playing Ironsworn in co-op mode is no farther removed from the roots of the game than a game like Fifth Edition that calls the DM a lead storyteller. Especially if play involves being led through that DM's linear plots. I would call both worthy descendants and part of the greater D&D tradition. Some of the people I play OSR games would call neither worthy of that mantle,
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
They aren't though. This is your misperception of the situation.

Dude, you are wrong. There is literally no other way to put this. If you tell someone who is standing a stove preparing food "You are not cooking" that means you are telling them they are doing something wrong. There is no other way to take this, except by twisting the words into such a contorted shape that somehow you say the exact same thing, but you aren't saying it.

Er, no. It just means that playing it that way makes them consider it not to be D&D, not that you are playing D&D wrong. In fact, it's impossible for them to be saying that you're playing D&D wrong, since to them you aren't playing D&D. In order for someone to be telling you that you are playing D&D wrong, they have to think you are playing D&D in the first place.

Literally, how is this so difficult. Are you seriously trying to defend the idea that by declaring something not even DnD anymore, we are suddenly no longer offering judgement about playing DnD wrong?

That is definitionally telling someone they are playing DnD wrong.

False Dichotomies are false.

3) They just view it as not D&D in their opinion, which means that they literally cannot be telling you that you are playing D&D wrong. They have to view what you are doing as D&D in order for them to be saying that you are playing it wrong.

MAx, you realize where this slope leads right? You realize that this argument then absolves anyone of judging another way of playing the game as long as they first say that the other person is no longer playing the game. This is gatekeeping at its worst. This is deriding someone for reading comics, but it is okay, because they aren't really reading comics in your opinion, so you aren't judging them.

It's impossible to play D&D without a DM and have no rules changed. The DM is part of the rules. There are dozens, if not hundreds of rules that you have to alter to be randomized or decided as a group, rather than the DM.

You know, if I was making a claim like that, you might maybe have a point.

Except, you know, I keep repeating for this EXACT issue that the point Oofta was responding to was playing a Hack and Slash Megadungeon, with few to no NPCs, where you kick down the door, kill the monster, take their stuff, and repeat.

No mention of whether or not there is a DM. Now, after establishing that is a style of DnD, we can back up and I can show how you can play that version of DnD without a DM. But since people were challenging the very idea that Hack and Slash Megadungeons are even DnD, and I have stated repeatedly that was what I was talking about, I am left with two possibilities.

1) No one is actually reading my posts, you and Oofta especially.

2) People are trying to hide judging a style of play behind the more acceptable judging the lack of DMs.

Both are problems. So which one is it?
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I don't hold that opinion. Even if there had been no optional rules, it would still be D&D to me. I'm just saying that if you use rules to change other rules, you have still changed those other rules. :)

I also find it interesting that some of those who argued that if I am using D&D rules for Centaurs for my game that differ from the Ravnica Centaurs, I am changing rules, but are now arguing that using D&D rules to alter far more rules is not changing rules. It's highly amusing.

Wrong argument.

If you are using DnD rules to change DnD rules, then you are still playing DnD.

And again, the point was not "without a DM" the point was "HAck and Slash Megadungeon" and that changes no rules. Despite people who keep claiming it does.

I mean, I made an entire list of the rules not changed. Did you read it? Did you see ANY mention of DMs in that post?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Dude, you are wrong. There is literally no other way to put this. If you tell someone who is standing a stove preparing food "You are not cooking" that means you are telling them they are doing something wrong. There is no other way to take this, except by twisting the words into such a contorted shape that somehow you say the exact same thing, but you aren't saying it.
I'm not wrong, nor is there any contortion being done. If you are telling someone that is preparing food that they are not cooking, the only thing going on is that the person making the statement is oblivious to reality. For him to be saying that person is cooking wrong, he has to be saying that the person is cooking. You can't be cooking wrong if you aren't cooking. That's just a fact of life.
Literally, how is this so difficult. Are you seriously trying to defend the idea that by declaring something not even DnD anymore, we are suddenly no longer offering judgement about playing DnD wrong?

That is definitionally telling someone they are playing DnD wrong.
No, it isn't. To be telling someone that they are playing D&D wrong, you MUST be telling them that they are playing D&D. You can't play something wrong if you aren't playing it. That's common sense 101.
MAx, you realize where this slope leads right? You realize that this argument then absolves anyone of judging another way of playing the game as long as they first say that the other person is no longer playing the game. This is gatekeeping at its worst. This is deriding someone for reading comics, but it is okay, because they aren't really reading comics in your opinion, so you aren't judging them.
I utterly reject your ridiculous "slope." What I'm saying doesn't even begin to lead there. That statement would be humorous, but I think you are genuinely serious about it.
Except, you know, I keep repeating for this EXACT issue that the point Oofta was responding to was playing a Hack and Slash Megadungeon, with few to no NPCs, where you kick down the door, kill the monster, take their stuff, and repeat.

No mention of whether or not there is a DM. Now, after establishing that is a style of DnD, we can back up and I can show how you can play that version of DnD without a DM. But since people were challenging the very idea that Hack and Slash Megadungeons are even DnD, and I have stated repeatedly that was what I was talking about, I am left with two possibilities.

1) No one is actually reading my posts, you and Oofta especially.

2) People are trying to hide judging a style of play behind the more acceptable judging the lack of DMs.

Both are problems. So which one is it?
I've already said that I view it as D&D, so...
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I never said hack and slash was not D&D. I don't care for games that are only dungeon crawls, but that's it.

Wrong, you did. Right here:


If it's still D&D to you, fine. It's not the game as described by the rulebooks. I would not personally consider what you've described as D&D. In my opinion it's a glorified ad-hoc board game using D&D stats. The game is flexible, but at a certain point it stops being D&D. I have a D&D based board game on my shelf, I don't call it D&D. If you have fun with what you're playing go for it.

But I'm done talking about this, I don't see what it has to do with the thread.


And if you are confused by how I can claim that, you can re-read the post where I broke it all down right here:

I see you didn't highlight him calling that style of DnD a "D&D based board game", because we were talking about hack and slash megadungeons. Not even necessarily ones with no DM, but he found the very concept of a hack and slash megadungeon with few or no NPCs where you simply fight monsters and take their stuff "not the game described in the rulebooks"


I think that is false. I think that is so provably false that the very idea of it being true is ludicrous. Is it my preferred style of play? No. But that doesn't make it not DnD.


But hey, it is okay to judge other people's way of playing the game as long as you say "in my opnion" first right? That isn't saying that there is only one true way to play the game, just that in your opinion any way that doesn't fit your vision of how the game shouldn't work isn't actually playing the game.


Of course, since I'll be accused of twisting words and lying and all that, let me just go ahead and quote myself here so I can point out how, no, I'm not lying. Yes, I did say these things, and if Oofta misunderstood, well, I believe the recently shut down thread everyone was saying that misunderstanding would be entirely on him.

My Post



Note I start out with agreeing with his point before this post, that DnD is more than Dungeon Crawling for a lot of people.

I reiterate the original point of contention (that DnD cannot be played with a DM) and then follow up with the current point of contention (that a hack and slash, megadungeon with few or no NPCs is still DnD). I want to highlight this, because there were two different points. There was the point that Hack and slash games can be played with No DM, but that point was challenged, quite a few times, by claims that Hack and Slash games are not DnD. This post was about that second point.

I then offer a concession, that if Oofta's point is not to say that it is impossible to play DnD, but merely it is impossible to play DnD in the style he prefers, that of course he is right, because his style relies on the existence of a DM.

And I finish with reiterating the major point, that I figured no one could contest. That DnD is larger than one single style of play.

Oofta's response? Well, I'll do some highlighting this time




His first sentence acknowledges my point about styles. "If that is still DnD to you". So he has accepted that fact that we are discussing the hack and slash style of game.

I would again contend that "hack and slash, kick down the door, kill the monster, take their stuff, repeat" is actually DnD, as described by the books. Sure, it removes some other things described by the books, but kicking down doors, killing monsters, taking their stuff, that is classic DnD.

Oofta then calls this style, because he did accept that I was talking about a style,

1) Not DnD as described by the rules
2) Not DnD
3) a "Glorified Ad-Hoc Boardgame" (which is derogatory, in case you can't tell)
4) Not DnD
5) A DnD Board game, and not DnD

I know that gets repetitive, but I wanted to highly that he said four times it wasn't DnD (oh sorry, in his opinion, can't forget that since it forgives his one-true-wayism) and a Board game twice.


So, since this was a rather blatant example of claiming that a way to play DnD was wrong, and Oofta has often voraciously defended himself with claims of "but that is just my opionion, everyone can enjoy the game the way they want" and "there is no one true way, everyones preferences are equal" and ect ect ect. I took a rather harsh stance against that.


I very specifically laid all of this out when Scott brought this subject back up, because I knew people would try to accuse me of lying and twisting words (again). The fact that you even responded to this post tells me you read it. But, you wanted to focus on trying to say that "in my opinion" was the only thing that mattered.

So. We come back to the post I made over 200 posts ago. Let's see how it goes this time.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Wrong, you did. Right here
And you're wondering how people got the idea that you are talking about playing without a DM. In the post @Oofta was responding to there, you said this gem.

Of course DnD is more than that. I actually don't personally like mega-dungeon hack and slash games.

But the point I was originally countering was "It is impossible to play DnD without a DM"

Well, a hack and slash, kick down the door, kill the monster, take their stuff, repeat style game is still DnD. Might not be our favorite, but DnD it still is.

If you're countering the point about it being impossible to play D&D without a DM, you are talking about playing D&D without a DM. And when you mix that point in with Hack N Slash, you are saying/implying that the Hack N Slash being mentioned has no DM.
 
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Chaosmancer

Legend
Up to a certain point I agree with you. But the random dungeon rules are there, but they were cut down as to no longer incorporate traps, random treasures and monsters. So a variant od the rule is there, right in the 5ed DMG. All that is needed is to get the rest of the rules from the earlier edition. At that point, it is not in so much a house rule as it is getting the full rule that has been cut down for some obscure reasons.

And who knows... a DMG2 5ed might come up some day with the full rule...

Skimming through the book, you have random tables for dungeons, npcs, treasure, hazards, monsters, monster motivations...

The only thing I can't find is a spot that says "you don't need a DM to randomly generate everything"
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Wrong, you did. Right here:





And if you are confused by how I can claim that, you can re-read the post where I broke it all down right here:




I very specifically laid all of this out when Scott brought this subject back up, because I knew people would try to accuse me of lying and twisting words (again). The fact that you even responded to this post tells me you read it. But, you wanted to focus on trying to say that "in my opinion" was the only thing that mattered.

So. We come back to the post I made over 200 posts ago. Let's see how it goes this time.

Did I miss a change in direction in the text? Did you make a statement that I misunderstood? My bad.

But in every single post I've been clear that I was talking about a game without a DM. Want to correct me on that? Cool. But instead of correcting me or admitting that maybe, just maybe what you wrote wasn't clear you make the claim that I said hack-and-slash is not D&D no matter how many times I correct you.

You basically took something out of context and no matter how often I try to clarify you try to use it as a lame-ass cudgel.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I'm not wrong, nor is there any contortion being done. If you are telling someone that is preparing food that they are not cooking, the only thing going on is that the person making the statement is oblivious to reality. For him to be saying that person is cooking wrong, he has to be saying that the person is cooking. You can't be cooking wrong if you aren't cooking. That's just a fact of life.

Or language is not a strait-jacket of explicit magical words.

But whatever man, you feel free to tell people that they are ignoring reality and oblvivious to what things are, then try and mollify them byt saying "well, I didnt' say you were doing it wrong. I just said that in my opinion you are not doing the thing you say you are doing, because if you were doing it, I would agree that you are doing it, but that isn't a judgement that you are doing it wrong."

No, it isn't. To be telling someone that they are playing D&D wrong, you MUST be telling them that they are playing D&D. You can't play something wrong if you aren't playing it. That's common sense 101.

So, you can criticize anyone for how they play as long as you first make it clear that they aren't playing the game in the first place.

Sort of like how you can treat a person however you want, all you have to do first is dehumanize them so they are no longer a person.

I utterly reject your ridiculous "slope." What I'm saying doesn't even begin to lead there. That statement would be humorous, but I think you are genuinely serious about it.

It does Max. Oofta claimed a style of DnD is not DnD. And you are defending that he didn't judge a style of DnD to be playing the game wrong, because he instead said that it wasn't DnD at all.

So, as long as you tightly define what the game is, you can then reject anything without fear of pushback, because you aren't telling them they are playing the game wrong, you are jsut defining what the game is so that it excludes what they are doing that you don't like.

I've already said that I view it as D&D, so...

So what?

According to your own argument, you are wrong. Oofta says it isn't DnD. Unless your actual point is that you believe Oofta doesn't know what he is talking about and is denying reality. And if that is what you believe, then why are you arguing against me?

What, you don't like me arguing against someone who has denied reality and telling them they are wrong, because they didn't use the word "wrong" in their post?
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
And you're wondering how people got the idea that you are talking about playing without a DM. In the post @Oofta was responding to there, you said this gem.


If you're countering the point about it being impossible to play D&D without a DM, you are talking about playing D&D without a DM. And when you mix that point in with Hack N Slash, you are saying/implying that the Hack N Slash being mentioned has no DM.

You know, if you actually read the entire post, you can see that while yes, I was originally arguing that point, I was chalenged on whether a hack and slash megadungeon was even DnD.

I then was responding to that.

And that is what Oofta called "not DnD" and "an ad-hoc board game"

I literally have broken this down and repeated myself a dozen times by now, here, let me highlight:

I see you didn't highlight him calling that style of DnD a "D&D based board game", because we were talking about hack and slash megadungeons. Not even necessarily ones with no DM, but he found the very concept of a hack and slash megadungeon with few or no NPCs where you simply fight monsters and take their stuff "not the game described in the rulebooks"


I think that is false. I think that is so provably false that the very idea of it being true is ludicrous. Is it my preferred style of play? No. But that doesn't make it not DnD.


But hey, it is okay to judge other people's way of playing the game as long as you say "in my opnion" first right? That isn't saying that there is only one true way to play the game, just that in your opinion any way that doesn't fit your vision of how the game shouldn't work isn't actually playing the game.


Of course, since I'll be accused of twisting words and lying and all that, let me just go ahead and quote myself here so I can point out how, no, I'm not lying. Yes, I did say these things, and if Oofta misunderstood, well, I believe the recently shut down thread everyone was saying that misunderstanding would be entirely on him.

My Post



Note I start out with agreeing with his point before this post, that DnD is more than Dungeon Crawling for a lot of people.

I reiterate the original point of contention (that DnD cannot be played with a DM) and then follow up with the current point of contention (that a hack and slash, megadungeon with few or no NPCs is still DnD). I want to highlight this, because there were two different points. There was the point that Hack and slash games can be played with No DM, but that point was challenged, quite a few times, by claims that Hack and Slash games are not DnD. This post was about that second point.

I then offer a concession, that if Oofta's point is not to say that it is impossible to play DnD, but merely it is impossible to play DnD in the style he prefers, that of course he is right, because his style relies on the existence of a DM.

And I finish with reiterating the major point, that I figured no one could contest. That DnD is larger than one single style of play.

Oofta's response? Well, I'll do some highlighting this time




His first sentence acknowledges my point about styles. "If that is still DnD to you". So he has accepted that fact that we are discussing the hack and slash style of game.

I would again contend that "hack and slash, kick down the door, kill the monster, take their stuff, repeat" is actually DnD, as described by the books. Sure, it removes some other things described by the books, but kicking down doors, killing monsters, taking their stuff, that is classic DnD.

Oofta then calls this style, because he did accept that I was talking about a style,

1) Not DnD as described by the rules
2) Not DnD
3) a "Glorified Ad-Hoc Boardgame" (which is derogatory, in case you can't tell)
4) Not DnD
5) A DnD Board game, and not DnD

I know that gets repetitive, but I wanted to highly that he said four times it wasn't DnD (oh sorry, in his opinion, can't forget that since it forgives his one-true-wayism) and a Board game twice.


So, since this was a rather blatant example of claiming that a way to play DnD was wrong, and Oofta has often voraciously defended himself with claims of "but that is just my opionion, everyone can enjoy the game the way they want" and "there is no one true way, everyones preferences are equal" and ect ect ect. I took a rather harsh stance against that.


So, you are going to simply ignore how I broke it down. How I showed that while there was one point where the conversation was no DM, the second point was "is this DnD".

That was the main point of the post he quoted, the main point he was responding to. I broke it all down, I demonstrated this. If you want to ignore that, then I don't know what to do here. You want to accuse me of something, then ignore the events that transpired.


You realize that in this case comparing Oofta to a Flat Earther is far from complimentary, and that people tell Flat Earthers they are wrong constantly.




Okay, let me play this out just for laughs and giggles.

Hack and Slash, Megadungeon play, with few or no NPCs. Let us set the DM issue aside, as I did in the post where Oofta declared this style of play "Not DnD" (because yes, I did set it aside. I had already shown this style could work without a DM, and was told this style was not DnD and that was what I was defending in that post)

What rules are we changing?

Still rolling the same dice.
Still making characters using race, Class, Background.
Health, Class abilities and AC are unchanged.
Skill Check rules are unchanged.
Monster statblocks from the Monster Manual, as they generally are
Still using the DMG to adjudicate stone, wood, ect.
Still using all the spells in the PHB, though some are obviously less useful without NPCs.


Sure, there are plenty of rules we aren't using.... but no rules were changed. So if we are playing DnD, using DnD rules, why isn't it DnD?

As I stated, repeatedly, I was talking about the style of gameplay being DnD. I made that very clear in the post. I made it even more clear when I stated it outright in my response to Scott who brought this discussion back up again.

But, again, let us go through this.

What is truly different about what you are describing?

PLaying with Dungeon Tiles. I've done that in a DnD game.

All the rules for health, damage, AC, abilities, monsters, ect seem to be the same. In fact, group initiative (all the monsters then all the players) is something I've done in a DnD game before (we had armies, it made it a lot easier to handle)

But, from what you described (as I don't own it and have never played it) I don't see any reason to say that Castle Ravenloft is different that DnD. Seems like it is just a pre-made module with pre-gen characters. No different than taking Exedition to the Barrier Peaks and playing it with a pre-generated cast at a con game.

Again, repeating myself, I had already established that the game could be run without the DM.

I was then told "that isn't the style of DnD" so I put forth the style. I was very specific. Hack and Slash, Megadungeon, few to no NPCs, kick down the door, kill the monsters, take their stuff, repeat. I was very clear.

Oofta said that style was not DnD. Not that playing it without a DM was not DnD. That the style of Hack and slash megadungeons, where all you did is kick in the door, kill the monsters, and take their stuff, is not DnD. And I clarified that in my response to Scott, which Oofta responded to, and I would hope had read, to see that that was what they were talking about.

Well, I get that. Honestly, playing without a DM not feeling like DnD is understandable.

However, as this conversation keeps going I need to keep making sure that the facts of the conversation aren't getting overwritten.

The post Oofta was responding to was one level removed from the "no DM" discussion. I was defending that a hack and slash megadungeons are DnD. Because it was stated that that style of play is not DnD.


I need this to stay clear, because as more and more people make this about both points, it becomes that I'm being intractable about No DM games, and that makes defending the points I was actually making harder.


A couple of these were even responses to you Max. Some were to Oofta.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
You know, if you actually read the entire post, you can see that while yes, I was originally arguing that point, I was chalenged on whether a hack and slash megadungeon was even DnD.

I then was responding to that.

And that is what Oofta called "not DnD" and "an ad-hoc board game"

I literally have broken this down and repeated myself a dozen times by now, here, let me highlight:
















A couple of these were even responses to you Max. Some were to Oofta.

So you're just going to ignore my post? Keep making the same accusation?
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Did I miss a change in direction in the text? Did you make a statement that I misunderstood? My bad.

But in every single post I've been clear that I was talking about a game without a DM. Want to correct me on that? Cool. But instead of correcting me or admitting that maybe, just maybe what you wrote wasn't clear you make the claim that I said hack-and-slash is not D&D no matter how many times I correct you.

You basically took something out of context and no matter how often I try to clarify you try to use it as a lame-ass cudgel.

I just posted... six times over the last couple posts where I clarified what was going on. The response from Scott Christian, which you have now responded to twice, made it very clear.

So, how is it my fault that you responded to posts, and that I responded to you, repeatedly making the point very clear, and that it took that repetition and me using a "cudgel", oh, sorry, "a lame-ass cudgel" to get you to actually read what I was posting? Because, you want to make this my fault.

I stated it, ad nasuem, what the issue being discussed was, and why I took your response the way I did. You wanted to reply and defend yourself by saying "well, it was only my opinion". You didn't want to address the fact that you responded to the wrong point. You wanted to defend yourself by saying "of course it was a board game, and calling it a board game isn't bad". You didn't want to address the fact that you responded to the wrong point.

Now though, now that I've hammered the point repeatedly. Now you want to address the fact that you responded to the wrong point.

Forgive me for not being gracious, but if you understand now, then let us drop it.
 


Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
It's implicit in their argument that the players give the DM his authority and kick him out of the game. That cannot be true if the DM can just play the game solo. If they do not grant him his authority and can only leave his game, then the game remains his to play solo if he wants to.
In a solo game a single person is both the DM and a player, therefore its still a shared authority between the players and the GMs.
 

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