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D&D General DM's: How transparent are you with game mechanics "in world?"

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Tangentially...

I'm reading the "Songs of Valor" anthology (fantasy stories) that just came out, and one of the stories is the most D&D thing I've read in a short story, in spite of using slightly different names for some things. Having the character sense the equivalent of spell slots and be told they leveled up when they felt more of them... seemed really odd. I wonder if it only felt that way because it seemed D&D and I'd have been fine with it if I never played. I'm now trying to imagine a story where the people in world know they have hit points, and I can't see it pulled off well.
 

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bloodtide

Explorer
I disagree that the design of the game must include the potential for the DM to abuse ultimate power. Again, I don't see what we need all this power for anyways. Lyxen has gone forward saying that the DM can make a rule that allows them to use weighted dice. Why is that a thing we are going to say the rules allow them to do?

In no other game, in no other context, do we give people this much unbridled authority. There are RPGs I've planned, and forums I've visited where these sort of claims would get you laughed out of the conversation, yet I have two people making them here.

There is always a potential for abuse of power. A "rule to use loaded dice" is a bit silly, but sure a DM can do it....but even more so a DM can "make a rule" or "do an action in the game" with NO dice roll. The DM has complete control over the game reality: what they say happens. And without "loaded dice" a DM can still make any roll they want to on a whim simply by adding or subtracting to make or fail any roll. A foe might "suddenly" have a bonus from abilities, skills, powers, spells, magic items and more to get a +10 to a roll and make it "sure to happen".

It is true RPG's are unique.

Changing our perspective on what it means to be a DM. Stop calling them "Masters", stop treating them like they are smarter, wiser, more creative and all the rest than the players. Acknowledge that the game involves multiple parties, and multiple voices, and all of them should be heard and considered.

Consider that instead of the rules being seen as a limit on the creativity of the DM, to be discarded at a whim, if we instead viewed them as very solid guidelines for how to approach situations, and that you shouldn't discard them without a very good reason and careful consideration. Perhaps even a discussion with your players.

No rules are changed, and yet, making this a standard approach in the community may do a lot. Along with us stopping treating any player with an opinion as a problem.

In order to have even an average game you must have a DM that is smart, wise and creative. And yes, 99% of the time they are smarter, wiser, more creative and all the rest than the players. That IS why they ARE the DM in the first place.

Most of the DMs power comes from "beyond" the rules. If the DM has an NPC dwarf that needs to cut down a tree, that dwarf can "suddenly" have an Mighty Axe of Tree Falling. A DM can do that. A player can not do that.




How will he improve? No one can tell him what he is doing is wrong, the rules support what he is doing. Players who complain are just, to borrow a phrase from Lyxen "entitled little ****." or if they are asking questions then they are distrusting their DM, and that's bad, or hounding them to death, or just a powergamer seeking any advantage, or or or or.

We have dozens of ways to label bad players, that excuse a DM from all wrong doing, so how is a DM supposed to learn and improve? If they come to these forums and ask why their players are unhappy, while explaining their intentions (not necessarily their results) they are likely to be told that their players are ungrateful for all the hard work, and that they've done nothing wrong. That the players are wrong for questioning them.

And, since I believe that a Bad DM can improve, I have no problem saying that in a specific game, a DM was a Bad DM. It could also be that you are using the term more narrowly, since you seem to think that intentional vindictiveness is needed to be a Bad DM.

Why can't a player tell a DM when they are bad? Trust me that they do.

 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
@Lanefan , wow. That is a long campaign and congratulations for that.
Thanks! :)

Current campaign/setting began in March 2008. Still going and just crossed 900 sessions overall, though covid's knocked it for a loop this last year-and-a-half.
Personnaly I prefer shorter campaigns along the year or year and a half. This allows us to try new rules and new options. Our goal is the same though. We do not want people to create new characters with options that were not available to the original characters.
I'd probably do shorter campaigns if creating the (homebrew, and somewhat detailed) setting wasn't so much bloody work. :)

I generally don't like re-using settings unless I'm starting with a group of players who've never seen that setting before, as I want the players to be able to explore it as something new.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
New names for Dungeon Master
Dungeon Guru
Rules Guru
Game producer
Game director
The B**** who we led play the monsters
Dungeon Dude
Dude
The wimp we bully when the game does not go our way.
Person to be Wedgie
They who should not be obeyed.
The Person we really need.
Or, as once self-described by a DM who I still know: "The Jackass Who Runs These Dungeons".
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
No it's not. Those kinds of DMs will break the rules and change things anyway. The abuses will be about the same with the same result. Lost players.

Except that it doesn't. The number of abusers doesn't change, because the vast majority of us aren't douches and aren't going to abuse the game regardless, and the few that are will do it regardless of any limitations.

You can't redesign RPGs for that, either.

Bad DMs will still use weighted dice(modifying that saw so it cuts flesh anyway). Non-bad DMs would never have used weighted dice in the first place, so you're attempting to fix a problem that isn't fixable, nor even really much of a problem. Just leave the game and have fun with someone else.

Nope. It's impossible to redesign the game in that manner. Even if you put into the rules that the players can outvote the DM, a bad DM will just ignore that rule and push on. The only real recourse for a bad DM is leaving the game and getting another DM.

You just keep repeating yourself, with no explanation of why I am wrong except that the worst of the worst will never change. I'm not talking about the worst of the worst. I'm not talking about the guy who gleefully giggles as he shreds your character sheet in front of you. You're right, that guy will never change. But how did he get that way and can we do anything to change that path and stop him from getting to that point?

You seem to take the approach that that individual is just fundamentally broken and nothing caused it. I disagree. And I think your response to the idea of setting up a vote for a homebrew rule really highlights the issue that you are ignoring. You see, if the DM ignores the vote and does it anyways... the game doesn't continue. It is the same effect practically, the game ends and the players move on, but there is a difference. Because it is more likely that ALL the players leave, at once. Because the players have exercised their right to have their voices heard, and the DM ignored them. It became very stark. Whereas in the current set-up, many people would argue that the player's don't have the right to question the DM, to question their rulings. So each individual player has to decide when the flags have been raised and it is time to bail, which potentially they won't, because they may have another player they don't want to abandon to a bad DM.

Group dynamics are important, and there is an issue in setting up a group where one person is an unquestioned leader, and leaving it to individuals to decide when they don't like the leader and leave, without giving the group a space to make decisions.

Again, just like I have a dozen times. I'm not naive enough to think that changes will remove all abuses from all games for all time. But they can put us in a place that is better than we are, and maybe prevent future abuses by not setting up a power dynamic that is fundamentally untenable. No one actually exercises the full authority of the DM, because we don't need it. We don't need unlimited power to run the game. So why do we have it? You have never once made an argument that the ultimate power of the DM is a good thing, you have only claimed it is a thing. And I think it is because you realize that all of the good a DM can do is in a very small portion of that power.

I've had bad GM experiences with both Vampire the Masquerade and Exalted. This is not a D&D specific thing and I sincerely doubt it happens in any lower percentage of games with other game systems. You just hear less about it, because far fewer people play those systems.

Possibly, but I also have never once heard people in those systems praise the Storyteller or the GM position as one of unfettered power with the ability to do anything. That seems uniquely DnD. And I question why, because it doesn't actually serve a purpose.

I have actually played and own games where the idea of changing the characters mid-scene is seen as horrible. Where the role is "Chief Editor" (it is a comic book conceit) and the expectation is very much that by the time the players are in the scene, it is relatively locked. You shouldn't rewrite the abilities of the boss on the fly. You can't really alter much else than the boss, or fudge anything, simply because of how the various pieces work.

The game runs great. It is immensely fun, immensely creative, and easily 75% of the power is vested in the players. IT even recommends that when a narrative consequence happens in the story, that the player of that character is the one who offers what that consequence is. And the creators of the game, who have run it at cons for hundreds of players for years now (I think 4 years, multiple cons worldwide, running demos every day) have reported that often the players give themselves more debilitating consequences than the Editor would have.

So, it can be done. Without ruining the game. So why not?

Utterly wrong, but understanding me(and others from what I can see) isn't your strong suit.

Maybe you're new here, but I've been present on this site for years and you will be told(in some manner) that you did something wrong with just about any position you take.

And praised by people for the same position. And who do you listen to more closely, the people who tell you you are wrong and terrible, or the people who tell you that you are completely right and those other people are just trouble makers?

Wrong again! I never said that you implied that he was a liar. I said straight out that you did what I did, which was accuse him of being mistaken. That's it.


He has accused you of saying he was a liar. I don't agree with that. You just called him mistaken about things he experienced with his life and you did not.

And you were wrong. I accused MYSELF of POTENTIALLY being mistaken. Because I didn't experience his life.

I've said it three times now, but I'm sure you don't believe me, because I obviously have no idea what I said or what I intended. You clearly understand my intents better than I do, which is hilariously the same faux pas you keep accusing me of
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Not here to discuss what someone might have said somewhere sometime. That said, perhaps I should have expressed my point as: "Virtually no one is treating...". Never say never (or always) and all that.

Which is a better way of going about it, but we all slip up. I know for ease of typing quickly I've often overstated a point.

You mean like the spirit of the text on page 4 of the DMG?

The D&D rules help you and the other players have a good time, but the rules aren't in charge. You're the DM, and you are in charge of the game. That said, your goal isn't to slaughter the adventurers but to create a campaign world that revolves around their actions and decisions, and to keep your players coming back for more! If you're lucky, the events of your campaign will echo in the memories of your players long after the final game session is concluded.

In the spirit of? Maybe. But I think that language ends up flowery and vague, which makes it harder for people to turn that into something to empower the player's voices. I know a lot of people are worried about tyrannical players bullying their DMs, but I think people like Max and Lyxen have swung too far the other way. I think we need more balance instead of a an all-powerful DM.

Apparently that paragraph in the DMG wasn't enough for the abusive DMs you've encountered. How much more do you believe would suffice to curb the abuses that you seem to believe are inevitable? Do some of the rules need caveats to help prevent bad-faith gaming? Do most of them? Do they all?

I think trying to alter the culture of the game community (which is a nigh impossible task) would go a long way.

I think the major problem with that paragraph is that the players are passive. The DM decides is the game world is slaughtering the adventures or revolving around their decisions. And I go back the DM who cursed my character. I flat out told the guy that, as a player, I felt that I had no options. That this was a massive escalation from what I expected, and that I was not enjoying the situation. He was adamant that this was the consequences of my own decisions and that he was being merciful in not having my character killed.

The decision that ended up with me being turned into an undead with a soul destroying curse? Putting out a book burning fire, as a scholar born with fire powers and with a history involving book burning.


And I think this highlights another facet. The DMs I've seen who are the worst give false choices. "You can do what I want, or walk. That is your decision." "you can follow the path, or your character can die. You have a choice, so it isn't railroading". But all the power to decide this is vested in the DM. Read that paragraph again, can you find anything in it that credits the players for the memorable campaign? Anything that gives them any say over what happens? I can't. The part you highlighted is about the DM choosing to make the world react to their choices. Meaning the DM could just as easily choose not to do it, and the players have no recourse.

The game seems to promote this idea that various posters have espoused, albiet subtly, that the good comes from the DM, and the bad from the players. And changing that isn't about putting in a caveat on a specific rule, but from out-right saying "DMs if you are changing things, we recommend an open discourse with your players. Get them involved in making the game better, it is their story as much as it is yours."
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Fwiw, Tasha's has a whole section about this, both house-rules and social contract. That's not technically "core", to be sure, but those ideas made it into Tasha's precisely because they're mainstream and in demand. And it's not uncommon for tables (including all of AL, if I understand correctly) to incorporate all WotC pubs by default. Heck, it's even codified in a popular meme, Wheaton's Law:

So yeah... All this stuff that addresses your concerns is already out there. "Officially" even! If a DM (or player) is being a jerk, they're doing it contrary to widely regarded RAW, as well as social convention.


* Quack!

I wasn't aware of this. I own Tasha's but at most I have skimmed it.

I will say though, putting it in a book released 6 years after the DMG isn't exactly great. It hasn't even been out a year yet, and if the advice in it is as good as you say, then it should be moved the DMG and released in the core, not in a book many DMs ban because the only thing in it anyone talks about are the options that increase player power and the DMs don't want that power creep.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Tangentially...

I'm reading the "Songs of Valor" anthology (fantasy stories) that just came out, and one of the stories is the most D&D thing I've read in a short story, in spite of using slightly different names for some things. Having the character sense the equivalent of spell slots and be told they leveled up when they felt more of them... seemed really odd. I wonder if it only felt that way because it seemed D&D and I'd have been fine with it if I never played. I'm now trying to imagine a story where the people in world know they have hit points, and I can't see it pulled off well.

There is an entire genre referred to as LitRPG that does exactly that. Many of the stories in it are pulled off incredibly well IMO. I can give you a rather extensive bit of recommended reading if you are interested. Many of them pull from MMOs more than DnD, but quite a few do the same things.

Actually, one author I just finished with, Andrew Sieple, has had characters actually use the refreshing of energy bars from leveling up (but specifically not hit points) as a tactic in the world, and the reason some of his characters have been able to pull off stunts, because they keep using high cost abilities, leveling up because the situation is incredibly dangerous, and then refreshing the cost to use the ability again.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
There is always a potential for abuse of power. A "rule to use loaded dice" is a bit silly, but sure a DM can do it....but even more so a DM can "make a rule" or "do an action in the game" with NO dice roll. The DM has complete control over the game reality: what they say happens. And without "loaded dice" a DM can still make any roll they want to on a whim simply by adding or subtracting to make or fail any roll. A foe might "suddenly" have a bonus from abilities, skills, powers, spells, magic items and more to get a +10 to a roll and make it "sure to happen".

It is true RPG's are unique.

I know there is always a potential. But can we not reframe things to reduce the potential for abuse? I think we can.

In order to have even an average game you must have a DM that is smart, wise and creative. And yes, 99% of the time they are smarter, wiser, more creative and all the rest than the players. That IS why they ARE the DM in the first place.

Most of the DMs power comes from "beyond" the rules. If the DM has an NPC dwarf that needs to cut down a tree, that dwarf can "suddenly" have an Mighty Axe of Tree Falling. A DM can do that. A player can not do that.

They are the DM in the first place because they want to run a game. I fully, 100%, and utterly reject the idea that they are even 50% of the time smarter or wiser or more creative than their players. This sort of attitude is exactly why people with low self-esteem constantly tell me that they can't run a game as a DM, even though they want to, because they aren't smart enough or creative enough. Utter BS.

Anyone can run a game. Anyone can do it well. It doesn't take anything special to be a DM. Just the courage to sit down behind the screen. The hard part is dealing with the group, and I think it is a mistake that DnD has set it up where the DM is not only running the game, but has also become the leader of the group, dealing with issues and scheduling and all of that. None of that is actually part of being a DM, but it gets put upon them, because we have crafted this idea that players just show up, play, then leave, with no responsibilities to the group itself.

Why can't a player tell a DM when they are bad? Trust me that they do.

They might, they might not. Social dynamics aren't so simple.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You just keep repeating yourself, with no explanation of why I am wrong except that the worst of the worst will never change. I'm not talking about the worst of the worst. I'm not talking about the guy who gleefully giggles as he shreds your character sheet in front of you. You're right, that guy will never change. But how did he get that way and can we do anything to change that path and stop him from getting to that point?
Abused as a kid, he's a sociopath, and other similar things. There's nothing you can do with D&D rules.
You seem to take the approach that that individual is just fundamentally broken and nothing caused it. I disagree.
Wow. You just took a very large leap with no information again. We've not discussed how society and family fail these people. We've only been discussing D&D rules, which aren't going to stop them.
And I think your response to the idea of setting up a vote for a homebrew rule really highlights the issue that you are ignoring. You see, if the DM ignores the vote and does it anyways... the game doesn't continue. It is the same effect practically, the game ends and the players move on, but there is a difference. Because it is more likely that ALL the players leave, at once. Because the players have exercised their right to have their voices heard, and the DM ignored them. It became very stark. Whereas in the current set-up, many people would argue that the player's don't have the right to question the DM, to question their rulings. So each individual player has to decide when the flags have been raised and it is time to bail, which potentially they won't, because they may have another player they don't want to abandon to a bad DM.
This is the best argument you've put forward so far. However, I'm not yet convinced by it. I agree that it is more likely that they would all leave at once, but I'm not sure how much more likely it would be and if that increase is worth the damage to the tool for the vast majority of DMs who do not abuse their authority.
Again, just like I have a dozen times. I'm not naive enough to think that changes will remove all abuses from all games for all time. But they can put us in a place that is better than we are, and maybe prevent future abuses by not setting up a power dynamic that is fundamentally untenable. No one actually exercises the full authority of the DM, because we don't need it. We don't need unlimited power to run the game. So why do we have it? You have never once made an argument that the ultimate power of the DM is a good thing, you have only claimed it is a thing. And I think it is because you realize that all of the good a DM can do is in a very small portion of that power.
It's not that simple, though. You(general you) have to weigh whether the damage you are doing to the tool is outweighed by the few(relatively) groups that would have increased benefit from the change.
Possibly, but I also have never once heard people in those systems praise the Storyteller or the GM position as one of unfettered power with the ability to do anything. That seems uniquely DnD. And I question why, because it doesn't actually serve a purpose.
Not possibly. It happened.

You are also wrong with the declaration that it doesn't serve a purpose. The unfettered fiat ability has the purpose of allowing the DM the freedom to really make the game better for his group. To tailor it to their needs and to ditch portions of the game rules that interfere with the group's enjoyment of the game.

Many are the times where a game rule that was usually a good one, suddenly didn't make sense in an unusual situation and I had to toss it on the fly and come up with something of my own. To have to stop the action in order to discuss the situation, proposed a new rule, receive counter proposals, and then vote on a replacement would destroy the session. It's much better for the DM to just have the authority to just make a ruling and quickly move on with the fun.
I have actually played and own games where the idea of changing the characters mid-scene is seen as horrible. Where the role is "Chief Editor" (it is a comic book conceit) and the expectation is very much that by the time the players are in the scene, it is relatively locked. You shouldn't rewrite the abilities of the boss on the fly. You can't really alter much else than the boss, or fudge anything, simply because of how the various pieces work.

The game runs great. It is immensely fun, immensely creative, and easily 75% of the power is vested in the players. IT even recommends that when a narrative consequence happens in the story, that the player of that character is the one who offers what that consequence is. And the creators of the game, who have run it at cons for hundreds of players for years now (I think 4 years, multiple cons worldwide, running demos every day) have reported that often the players give themselves more debilitating consequences than the Editor would have.
Sure. I've never disputed that there aren't other ways to game, or that those games don't work for certain people. I don't think I'd enjoy that kind of game as a player, though, at least not for longer than a one shot to try it out.
So, it can be done. Without ruining the game. So why not?
The same reason you don't force trucks on every car owner. Sure trucks are fun and enjoyable for those that like them, but there are a lot of us who don't like trucks and don't want to drive one.

Forcing those rules you just described above on everyone is going to have a negative effect on a whole lot of us. We aren't playing those sorts of games right now for reasons, including we don't like them.
And you were wrong. I accused MYSELF of POTENTIALLY being mistaken. Because I didn't experience his life.
Here is what you said.
In fact, I think @Lyxen is about the only person I've seen on these forums who has seemed to not have had expeirenced a truly bad DM. And that is probably wrong, they probably have. So it is clearly common enough that people are aware of the issue.

There is no self accusation that you are potentially mistaken because of not experiencing his life. You tossed doubt on what he said from the get go with "who has seemed not to have expeirenced(sic) a truly bad DM." and then went into telling us that he was probably wrong about his own experiences, indicating that you felt you know his experiences better than he does.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
In order to have even an average game you must have a DM that is smart, wise and creative. And yes, 99% of the time they are smarter, wiser, more creative and all the rest than the players. That IS why they ARE the DM in the first place.
This is wrong. They are the DM in the first place, because they wanted the responsibility and no one else did. It doesn't take smarts, wisdom or creativity for that. I've been in many games where the DM was not smarter or wiser than the players, or even some of the players.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I wasn't aware of this. I own Tasha's but at most I have skimmed it.

I will say though, putting it in a book released 6 years after the DMG isn't exactly great. It hasn't even been out a year yet, and if the advice in it is as good as you say, then it should be moved the DMG and released in the core, not in a book many DMs ban because the only thing in it anyone talks about are the options that increase player power and the DMs don't want that power creep.
Read the Session 0 portion of the Dungeon Master's Tools section. It starts on page 139.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
I wasn't aware of this. I own Tasha's but at most I have skimmed it.

I will say though, putting it in a book released 6 years after the DMG isn't exactly great. It hasn't even been out a year yet, and if the advice in it is as good as you say, then it should be moved the DMG and released in the core, not in a book many DMs ban because the only thing in it anyone talks about are the options that increase player power and the DMs don't want that power creep.
Criminy. But of course that's not good enough for you. (I mean nothing is, apparently, lol!)

You realize that not everything happens all at once, right? Things change over time as society, tastes, and audience change. And companies like WotC are inherently conservative and often tone-deaf; and have business considerations to account for. So the fact that this stuff appears in official pubs at all is a good sign, a sign that the company is catching up. Maybe it's not moving fast enough for you personally, but it is moving. That's not a bad thing. And meanwhile, that information is now officially out there, in a very popular publican discussed far and wide on the internet, acknowledged by tons of gamers, 3pps, streamers, and the like.

And in fact, as has already been said many times in many ways, those ideals have always been out there in some form or another, even if you personally have had a few bad experiences These notions have been happily evolving upward along with the rest of society, practiced unofficially by thousands of gamers over decades. Which is great! Because it shows us what we've always known: that the game follows the gamers, not the other way round.
 

It is tagged D&D, and the OP used 5e as their example. It’s a thread about D&D.
He objected to my post on the basis of an argument which only works if you want to talk about nothing but 5e. If he wants to complain because I use a 4e example or comparison then that's fine, in a thread tagged for '5e', but it is a general thread, so it seems my post was perfectly in line with that. You may disagree with it, but you cannot imply it was somehow improper.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
He objected to my post on the basis of an argument which only works if you want to talk about nothing but 5e. If he wants to complain because I use a 4e example or comparison then that's fine, in a thread tagged for '5e', but it is a general thread, so it seems my post was perfectly in line with that. You may disagree with it, but you cannot imply it was somehow improper.
I didn’t imply any such thing. You may have forgot what I even replied to. It was the post wherein you quoted me in order to talk down to me about how D&D focused you think my perspective is.
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
Abused as a kid, he's a sociopath, and other similar things. There's nothing you can do with D&D rules.

Wow. So, you think people are only Bad DMs if they have suffered abuse and are neurally divergent. That is really telling. I don't think someone needs therapy and a diagnosis to just be an naughty word who got the wrong paradigm in his head. It can be way simpler than that.

Wow. You just took a very large leap with no information again. We've not discussed how society and family fail these people. We've only been discussing D&D rules, which aren't going to stop them.

No, you are supporting my main thrust here. You only think a Bad DM can come from someone who has been failed by society, abused, needing mental health assitance and therapy. This is an extreme step. Not everyone who lords over small bits of power is a sociopath who was abused as a child.

No wonder you think nothing can change, you view any issue with the DM as a mental health issue.

This is the best argument you've put forward so far. However, I'm not yet convinced by it. I agree that it is more likely that they would all leave at once, but I'm not sure how much more likely it would be and if that increase is worth the damage to the tool for the vast majority of DMs who do not abuse their authority.


It's not that simple, though. You(general you) have to weigh whether the damage you are doing to the tool is outweighed by the few(relatively) groups that would have increased benefit from the change.

What damage? I've asked this a few times and yet you've never explained what harm I am doing to your ability to run the game if you are no longer the sole lord and master, unquestioned and unchallenged.

So again, setting it up so that the DM should discuss with their players before making changes that directly affect the characters and their abilities. That is a proposed change. How is this doing damage to your ability to run the game?

Not possibly. It happened.

UGH

Possibly [it is because you hear less about it, because far fewer people play those systems.]

So, no, it didn't happen. Because you can't have "this result may be because of fewer people playing the system so news about it is less frequent" happen. Obviously I didn't mean that "possibly Maxperson is telling the truth"

You are also wrong with the declaration that it doesn't serve a purpose. The unfettered fiat ability has the purpose of allowing the DM the freedom to really make the game better for his group. To tailor it to their needs and to ditch portions of the game rules that interfere with the group's enjoyment of the game.

Many are the times where a game rule that was usually a good one, suddenly didn't make sense in an unusual situation and I had to toss it on the fly and come up with something of my own. To have to stop the action in order to discuss the situation, proposed a new rule, receive counter proposals, and then vote on a replacement would destroy the session. It's much better for the DM to just have the authority to just make a ruling and quickly move on with the fun.

I disagree. First of all, you can still tailor the game and ditch portions of the rules that interfere with the group's enjoyment without unfettered fiat.

And, if you just do a thing without explanation, that breaks a well-established rule, then the players could easily get confused. And it doesn't "destroy the session" to step back, and propose a solution to an obvious problem. Because the players are going to know the rule isn't making sense, so you don't need to explain it. and if you do... then maybe it is best to explain it, because the players aren't on the same page. Or maybe they are expecting the thing that doesn't make sense to you, and you are harming their plans by just changing it with no warning or discussion.

Sure. I've never disputed that there aren't other ways to game, or that those games don't work for certain people. I don't think I'd enjoy that kind of game as a player, though, at least not for longer than a one shot to try it out.

And this isn't about your personal enjoyment, is it? It is about the role of the DM. And if you, as a DM, require unfettered authority as part of your enjoyment of the game...

The same reason you don't force trucks on every car owner. Sure trucks are fun and enjoyable for those that like them, but there are a lot of us who don't like trucks and don't want to drive one.

Forcing those rules you just described above on everyone is going to have a negative effect on a whole lot of us. We aren't playing those sorts of games right now for reasons, including we don't like them.

And how dare the designers stop producing 4e and force 5e upon people. Plenty of people liked 5e, and they weren't playing a game like 5e for many reasons.

Games evolve. And your personal preferences to have unfettered authority isn't what we are disucssing.

Here is what you said.


There is no self accusation that you are potentially mistaken because of not experiencing his life. You tossed doubt on what he said from the get go with "who has seemed not to have expeirenced(sic) a truly bad DM." and then went into telling us that he was probably wrong about his own experiences, indicating that you felt you know his experiences better than he does.

So, let me get this straight. I have twice now clarified myself, recognizing that my phrasing was not perfect. You are telling me I am wrong about my own intentions, and that you are correct in accusing me of accusing someone of being wrong about their own experiences, and that I felt I knew them better than he did himself.

Well, I couldn't write a more ridiculously ironic situation if I tried. Truly, life is stranger than fiction. You are convinced that you know my intentions better than me, and that I was acting inappropriately in acting like I knew Lyxen's intentions better than him.

Read the Session 0 portion of the Dungeon Master's Tools section. It starts on page 139.

Does it do anything other than give unfettered power to the DM? If it does, then it is relevant. If not, then I don't see your point.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Criminy. But of course that's not good enough for you. (I mean nothing is, apparently, lol!)

You realize that not everything happens all at once, right? Things change over time as society, tastes, and audience change. And companies like WotC are inherently conservative and often tone-deaf; and have business considerations to account for. So the fact that this stuff appears in official pubs at all is a good sign, a sign that the company is catching up. Maybe it's not moving fast enough for you personally, but it is moving. That's not a bad thing. And meanwhile, that information is now officially out there, in a very popular publican discussed far and wide on the internet, acknowledged by tons of gamers, 3pps, streamers, and the like.

And in fact, as has already been said many times in many ways, those ideals have always been out there in some form or another, even if you personally have had a few bad experiences These notions have been happily evolving upward along with the rest of society, practiced unofficially by thousands of gamers over decades. Which is great! Because it shows us what we've always known: that the game follows the gamers, not the other way round.

I never said it wasn't a step in the right direction, only that it isn't the last step in the right direction. I mean criminy, you yourself are acknowledging that this is a process. Advocating for the next step of the process, and saying "while this is better than nothing, we could maybe get this official information in a place where more people will access it" isn't some revolutionary cry to tear it all down.

I haven't even had a chance to read the material, and only saying "maybe it should be in the core so all DMs can see it" suddenly makes it not good enough for me?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Wow. So, you think people are only Bad DMs if they have suffered abuse and are neurally divergent. That is really telling. I don't think someone needs therapy and a diagnosis to just be an naughty word who got the wrong paradigm in his head. It can be way simpler than that.
It takes a special kind of person to deliberately screw over his players.
No wonder you think nothing can change, you view any issue with the DM as a mental health issue.
I don't view DMs who make mistakes or misunderstand rules as bad the way you do.
What damage? I've asked this a few times and yet you've never explained what harm I am doing to your ability to run the game if you are no longer the sole lord and master, unquestioned and unchallenged.
If you alter the tool, you are harming that tool as I use it. My game uses the tool as it currently is.

I disagree. First of all, you can still tailor the game and ditch portions of the rules that interfere with the group's enjoyment without unfettered fiat.
You can disagree all you want. My game doesn't run the same without it. End of story.
And, if you just do a thing without explanation, that breaks a well-established rule, then the players could easily get confused. And it doesn't "destroy the session" to step back, and propose a solution to an obvious problem. Because the players are going to know the rule isn't making sense, so you don't need to explain it. and if you do... then maybe it is best to explain it, because the players aren't on the same page. Or maybe they are expecting the thing that doesn't make sense to you, and you are harming their plans by just changing it with no warning or discussion.
Why are you inventing "without explanation?" Everything that follows that invention is wrong as a response to what I said, because I never said or implied that I wouldn't give a quick explanation of my reasoning to the players. I said that stopping for a whole discussion and voting session ruins the game.
And this isn't about your personal enjoyment, is it?
Of course it is. Everyone including the DM has to get personal enjoyment out of the game or it isn't worth playing.
Does it do anything other than give unfettered power to the DM? If it does, then it is relevant. If not, then I don't see your point.
Read it.
 

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