D&D General How has D&D changed over the decades?

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I disagree. You can mix and match stuff, do things that various players care about, pretty freely. If there's a legit difference in agenda that cannot be accommodated, then sure, we have a issue that isn't going to resolve. But, here's the thing, the GM can be that player that has the difference of agenda and "Trust the GM" provides cover for that so that it doesn't come up. Maybe I, as a player, speak up about a mismatch, and everyone at the table would agree with me, but immediately get to see me get shut down by the GM for being wrong, so they start to think maybe they're wrong, and then I leave the table and the GM says "good riddance." So, since I as another player might prefer that what the leaving player wanted but can deal with what the GM is handing out as acceptable, I don't open my mouth because I'm not suppose to question the GM.
Huh? Differing expectations is not simply a matter of "should we play defense or offense" in a team game, it's a disconnect on what the goals for game itself actually are & even what rules to follow. It is simply not possible to throw everything on the gm to simply "mix and match stuff" when a player has different expectations of the game. There is no way to include a catchers mitt in golf or bowling and an ambulance needs to be on the scene real fast if a baseball bat is ever used in a game of hockey or football. If one player has a different set of "expectations" than the GM & the other players at the table it's somehow the job of everyone else to accommodate ThatGuy's desire to play baseball even though everyone else is playing a game other than baseball rather than having ThatGuy adjust his expectations?

Instead of "Trust the GM" why isn't the predominate culture "engage honestly and openly and have difficult discussions with respect for all and a healthy dose of self reflection?" That's out there, and we're seeing more of it, but there's the old guard "Trust the GM and Never Trust Players" that's still here and fighting.

No matter how (un)common problem players & players with different expectations are in the wild, the number is never going to be zero. The GM is afforded trust & authority to keep things running at the table when that number is one or more at the table. Your posts read like the number is always going to be zero or it's the GM's fault for poor communication.
 

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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
The GM is afforded trust & authority to keep things running at the table when that number is one or more at the table. Your posts read like the number is always going to be zero or it's the GM's fault for poor communication.

They are afforded the authority. I'm not sure why they are afforded any more or less trust than anyone else has displayed they deserve.

(This might have answered one of my questions above @Ovinomancer ).
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
Something doesn't quite parse here - are you suggesting that being entertaining is good, or is bad, or is irrelevant?

I'm saying it's a good thing, and that it's beyond your primary goal of playing characters to the best of your/their abilities. It's a consideration that this is a group activity.

My hope is that play is more than the individual turns of the players. That they influence each other as a group, and that they're interested in what the others are doing, and that if the opportunity comes, they'll use what the others have done to help shape their own actions.


The collective activity of the game is the sum of the sub-activities of the participants; and those sub-activities are not the same between one participant (the DM) and the rest (the players). Therefore, talking about the collective activity as it impacts any one participant without splitting it out into which part(s) of that activity are within that participant's purview isn't of much use.

Yes, it is. As with any group activity, different participants may have different roles. A forward and a goalie, let's say... very different roles, and yet both need to perform in order for the team to work.

Is the goalie more vital? Perhaps. Does that really change the fact that everyone on the team needs to contribute? No.


Having seen a whole bunch of different players come and go over the years I can only assume the average there gleaned reflects in some ways the average overall.

But what about all the people in these threads who have told you otherwise? Are they liars?

I don't think so. They've simply found a way to make something work that you either cannot make work, or don't care to make work. Which is certainly fine, but it doesn't mean it can't work.

I've got the sense in this thread that a few posters are taking exactly this position; that the DM should in fact give away veto power resulting in there being no veto power held by anyone.

I'll respond to that in reply to @Cadence

And what happens when - inevitably! - that shared authority leads to table-level conflict?

It doesn't?

Seriously, it really doesn't. It's something D&D already does to some extent. It's already happening. Expanding it a bit doesn't cause the whole thing to come crashing down.

A classic example, and one I've seen myself, is when people try to overtly or covertly impose their own real-world religious ideas and ideals into and onto the divine aspects of the game. Having just one person - the DM - do it isn't so bad, as the players can always individually choose to accept it or leave. But more than one person trying to do this in the same game/campaign is nothing but a powderkeg with a lit fuse. Believe me. :)

I see pantheons, religion, and its requirements as part of the setting, and therefore under the DM's purview to assign. For example, as Arevane* is a water goddess Her temples will always be near (or on) water, there will always be a holy pool within any temple, and Her Clerics and Paladins will be expected to either be in water or somehow involve water in any religious affairs. This is in the deity's write-up, and if a player doesn't like this there's loads of other deities to choose from.

What this means is that if, knowing the above, you-as-player decide to play an Arevane Cleric and they say your PC going to eschew water in his devotions then something's gone wrong.

I feel like all of this would be easily resolved by letting players define and describe their deities. If you let them do that, then there's no conflict with the material you've already written because you've not written it.

That said, in the post you quoted I'm talking more at the setting-design level - say where one player wants the setting to be on a Neo-Pagan chassis, for example, while another wants it to more reflect Christianity and the surrounding mythos; and neither really wants the other aspect in the setting. Allowing both those players any sort of authority over setting is a recipe for complete disaster.

I don't see why it has to be a disaster. You just talk it out and figure a compromise. If you can't come to a compromise, then you scrap those ideas and come up with something else. It's pretty simple.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I find it odd that you wouldn't have more faith/hope/expectation in a GM that you heard good things about than one you hadn't heard anything. But YMMV.
Goal post move. This cannot be considered a general state, so you've elected to look only at a specific example.
Were the areas of mismatch not gone over in session 0? What questions/information could be put in a session to avoid these mismatch problems.
And now you're borrowing parts of my argument to shore up the other one. Session 0 is a tool that specifically rejects "Trust the GM" by putting the campaign expectations up for discussion and consensus. This is one of the developments in the community moving away from "Trust the GM" stuff.
"Why is the arrow only one direction?" It doesn't seem to be, but I can't think of any other ways to convey that it isn't.

Who says GMs are inviolate? In what sense? No one has said all GMs are good. Lots of people say D&D is set up by default where the GM has the final say in play. Because it is set up that way in the rules, isn't it?
The baseline is that I am to "Trust the GM." This means that, in any questionable event, I am to extend the courtesy of the doubt to the GM and go with it, trusting they have a good reason. It isn't at all about final say in a rules adjudication.

I'm beginning to think you've been arguing from a muddled position, here.
I never said it was a great model, and gave a second (not-great one) with a higher percent of badness for the DM. The idea was just how there are more non-DM players than DM players, and so the P[at least one bad player] can be a lot larger than P[player j is bad]. Which seems relevant to a game continuing if one wanted to work out the odds. Obviously it wasn't helpful to you, so I'm fine with dropping it.
Okay. Part of the issue there is the P[player is bad] bit. Some players are 100% good at one table, and "bad" at a different one. The assumption on players that doesn't include the table is simplistic and will provide nice, pat, easy and wrong answers.
I don't think it's controversial for anyone I've ever played with to say that it's more work to GM D&D by the default rules than it is to be a player by that default.
No, I don't, either. There's a lot of work being done by "default" there. Most of that is an entirely different discussion.
That doesn't make the GM special in so far as the dignity and trust they should be awarded by being a participant.
Yes, that's what I'm saying, and what is explicitly countered in "TtGMNTP."
Putting unneeded pressure on the GM does certainly seem bad, and so a thread on how D&D can still be D&D but put less pressure on the DMs seems great. Merely repeating that everyone always blames the players and not GM and that other games do it better seems much less so.
This really feels like you assigning homework for me to be able to make this point. I don't accept homework assignments.
Completely agree with the part I bolded.

Yes, play can be suspended if a single player can't make it, and we will do that for particularly pivotal scenes. (Three weeks working up to something makes it sad to have someone not there). If we needed all of the players to be at every session for the last few games I've been in we would have cancelled around 1/4 of them (with 4 players and allowing play in most cases if only one was missing). We discussed that as a group before deciding it was ok.

The alternate activity seems to work a lot better in person with my group than on-line, but even those who can make it have other things to do and might catch up on that instead of playing a board game. (At one point I was missing Thursday night MtG for a D&D game, so if D&D wasn't happening I'd go do that. I liked the D&D group, I also liked the other one.) My son's group is just fine playing Roblox online or whatnot.
Then I'm confused by your earlier argument that games can't happen if the GM reschedules, but can easily happen if the player does. You seem to be wanting it both ways -- GMs are critical and therefore have special consideration AND play should only happen with an absent player if the player agrees. Seems some special, and mutual, consideration is shared around there.
I'm not sure how this is relevant to my post. If I was addressing "Trust the GM" it was to say "Being trustworthy is a necessary but not sufficient quality to be a good GM. Being a GM doesn't make one trustworthy."
And we're back to you arguing the bailey position in these arguments (unintentionally). This statement is trivial. As in it's trivially necessary. There's no need to say this as a phrase because of course some amount of trust, respect, and dignity should be afforded to anyone you're willingly engaging in a social leisure activity with. And this should 100% go both ways, so making it specific to one participant is pointless.

So, then, when it is made specific, it's not saying this trivial thing, it's saying something more. And when paired with a "Never Trust Players" which explicitly strips the normal understanding from other participants, it's very, very clearly saying something other than this. TtGMNTP is not about the common trust and respect of a social engagement. It's about how the GM should not be questioned and players are on notice that they will be questioned (and found wanting). Especially when exactly this is openly stated by a proponent. The very statement I responded to that prompted you to respond to me!
In many other threads it was brought up that one common thing is for a prospective GM to pitch an idea, and if it's bought into - possibly with suggestions of the potential players being offered and accounted for, and session 0 goes well, then you have a game with a general outline based on the modified pitch. If you a player doesn't like the pitch or session 0, then they should have voiced that well before play started.

Has a single person on here said GMs shouldn't look at their own play?
Effectively, yes. The statement has been in the form of "if the players can't get onboard they can go somewhere else."
As for adapting to the table, it feels like some folks on here have games that have been going on for 20 years (or what not) with a lot of potential players who want to join. A player who joins such a game where the others are happy and thinks a major change should happen... seems odd.
Again, the odd idea that players need to suck it up and go along with this game rather than discuss it. I've already allowed that if agendas just don't match they just don't match. But that's not at all what "Trust the GM Never Trust Players" is about. I'm staying within the context of the discussion.
Who has said GMs shouldn't be questioned?
"Trust the GM Never Trust Players" does. The fundamental tenet here is that you need to not question GM's choices because they're doing the Right Thing(tm). This is paired with always keep an eye on the players because they're trying to get away with stuff.
I'm not sure why everything in the thread somehow has to be about "Trust the GM" and "Never Trust the Players". Insisting others are trying to rationalize or approve that doesn't seem helpful.
Um, I responded to @overgeeked on the topic, and you quoted me on that, and here we are?
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Huh? Differing expectations is not simply a matter of "should we play defense or offense" in a team game, it's a disconnect on what the goals for game itself actually are & even what rules to follow. It is simply not possible to throw everything on the gm to simply "mix and match stuff" when a player has different expectations of the game. There is no way to include a catchers mitt in golf or bowling and an ambulance needs to be on the scene real fast if a baseball bat is ever used in a game of hockey or football. If one player has a different set of "expectations" than the GM & the other players at the table it's somehow the job of everyone else to accommodate ThatGuy's desire to play baseball even though everyone else is playing a game other than baseball rather than having ThatGuy adjust his expectations?



No matter how (un)common problem players & players with different expectations are in the wild, the number is never going to be zero. The GM is afforded trust & authority to keep things running at the table when that number is one or more at the table. Your posts read like the number is always going to be zero or it's the GM's fault for poor communication.
I disagree the GM is afforded the authority, here. The game forms from outside the framework of the game -- it's a mutual agreement by the social group to engage with the game. This is the space where this discussion exists and where the particulars about the game are formalized. The role of GM exists only after that agreement.

What you're talking about is that the role of GM is being thrust forward outside the actual game to include "leader of the social group" and then assumes authority in this space based on the game role and operates as the de facto final arbiter in the social space. I don't agree with that extension of the role -- GM is something you do within the game, it's not a social position that allows your opinion to override others in the social group. As GM you have authority over the play, but nothing else. I don't think it's healthy to mix the two positions. It is quite common in the hobby, though, to it's detriment in my opinion.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
This seems to totally ignore that people can talk to each other.
Not at all. We’re talking to each other right now. After a fashion. So, since all that’s required for people to agree on things is to talk to each other…and since we’re talking to each other right now…clearly we must agree on things.

Not so much, right?

Maybe we can finally recognize that simply having the ability to communicate doesn’t magically solve problems. Especially when there are deep philosophical and stylistic differences in play.

The longer I’m in the hobby the more I think of gaming as a sense of humor or a kind of fetish. If you like crude humor and someone else doesn’t, no amount of explanation or talking is going to make them get it. Not matter how much someone into feet tells me feet are the best…I’m simply not going to be into that.

If a player is adversarial, the best I can do is ask them to stop. I cannot make them stop. I can make them leave my table. But I cannot talk them into no longer viewing the game as adversarial. Talking solves the problem in the sense that they either stop (problem solved), or they leave (problem solved). It’s not going to make a tactical minis wargamer suddenly see the light and love pulling voices and the drama. You don’t change someone’s preferences by talking them out of it.

At best you can talk to each other and learn that your styles and preferences simply don't align, so you go your separate ways.
 
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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
They are afforded the authority. I'm not sure why they are afforded any more or less trust than anyone else has displayed they deserve.

(This might have answered one of my questions above @Ovinomancer ).
being chosen as the GM or having players join a game with the GM entails each player placing some measure of trust in that GM to use that authority responsibly. It's no different than a sports Ref/Coach etc stepping in to tell ThatGuy that baseball is not being played & correcting them when poor play behavior impacts other members of the team.

If as player in a group of gm+2 or more players does not trust their GM that indicates there is a problem with either that player or the GM. If the other players do trust the GM but one player does not there is ample & growing reason to attribute the problem to the player in question as group size increases.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
Is this accurate?

@hawkeyefan said "Well, I don't think anyone is arguing for removing the GM as having final say."

You (@Hussar ) said "In a shared authority set up, no, the DM wouldn't have final oversight of pre-agreed upon areas where the player has authorial powers." where the inthread context was putting things on scrolls or having a convenient sister be in the fiction, and not just saying what the PC actions were.

So the distinction on this is that there are a few things we're kind of talking about, and they're getting mixed up.

1) is the role of the GM as final arbiter. When there's conflict of some sort, or if the rules or procedures produce a result that isn't satisfactory to the group in some way, the GM can override the rules. When the rules don't account for a specific given situation, the GM is to make a ruling.

2) is the GM granting permission. The player makes a suggestion of some sort, and the GM says yes. "Is there a tree nearby I can climb?" and so on.

3) is when the rules give the player the ability to establish something, either through an action and associated ability check, or else through the use of magic or a class or background ability.

Let's look at the very common action of making an attack. There are very specific rules about this. I make a roll, if I equal or exceed the target's AC, I hit the target and roll for damage. This is an example of 3 above, right? I think it's clearly not 2. An interesting question is: is it subject to 1?

Having examples of my number 3 does not take away my number 1.

Can a GM use their authority to block examples of number 3? Sure they can. But unless such a decision is justified and explainable, I imagine it's gonna cause some issues. Most of the time from what I've seen and what I expect in most games, when a player declares that they take an action that the rules state they can make, the GM follows those rules as described and doesn't override them.

So if the game (or agreed upon process or house rule) allows the player to establish that their character's sister works in the mayor's office as a type of action.. an example of 3 rather than of 2.... then I don't see that as a challenge to 1.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Not at all. We’re talking to each other right now. After a fashion. So, since all that’s required for people to agree on things is to talk to each other…and since we’re talking to each other right now…clearly we must agree on things.

Not so much, right?

Maybe we can recognize that simply having the ability to communicate doesn’t magically solve problems. Especially when there are deep philosophical and stylistic differences in play.

The longer I’m in the hobby the more I think of gaming as a sense of humor or a kind of fetish. If you like crude humor and someone else doesn’t, no amount of explanation or talking is going to make them get it. Not matter how much someone into feet tells me feet are the best…I’m simply not going to be into that.

If a player is adversarial, the best I can do is ask them to stop. I cannot make them stop. I can make them leave my table. But I cannot talk them into no longer viewing the game as adversarial. Talking solves the problem in the sense that they either stop (problem solved), or they leave (problem solved). It’s not going to make a tactical minis wargamer suddenly see the light and love pulling voices and the drama. You don’t change someone’s preferences by talking them out of it.
If that's the best you can do, okay. Personally, I also have the tools in my toolbox to look at the behavior, identify what triggers it, discuss those triggers and behavior, and find out if there's a way I can reduce those while running that's within my window of acceptability. I've had problem players, and I've also manage to get quite a number of them to incorporate because I recognized their issues and could accommodate them and thereby avoid the behaviors I didn't like. Granted, this requires everyone to talk to each other in a mature and respectful way about things that might be quite sensitive, but, hey, if you don't even try it will never work out. I've said goodbye to problem players about four times in my GM's career. One was someone I could accommodate as a GM, but that conflicted with the other players, so as a group we discussed and decided to part ways. Another was a cold mismatch in expectations of play that I tried to engage but would not (I didn't get kicks from using magic to override other PC's consent), so that was a failure and a goodbye. The other two were back when I did believe in "Trust the GM" and "It's the GM's game" and so I just booted people because I could and they weren't onboard with what I wanted. In hindsight, that was all me, in one case, and could have been trivially solved. I've gamed with that person since. Another could have gone either way. Dunno, won't ever be able to tell.

I will say that a cold statement of "Trust the GM" as a prerequisite to join a game tells me that discussion is not available and I'll nope out just to avoid the whole thing. Game might be amazing, but that's enough of a red flag that I'm not going to feel like I missed much even so. I find amazing games without it with regularity.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
So the distinction on this is that there are a few things we're kind of talking about, and they're getting mixed up.

1) is the role of the GM as final arbiter. When there's conflict of some sort, or if the rules or procedures produce a result that isn't satisfactory to the group in some way, the GM can override the rules. When the rules don't account for a specific given situation, the GM is to make a ruling.

2) is the GM granting permission. The player makes a suggestion of some sort, and the GM says yes. "Is there a tree nearby I can climb?" and so on.

3) is when the rules give the player the ability to establish something, either through an action and associated ability check, or else through the use of magic or a class or background ability.

Let's look at the very common action of making an attack. There are very specific rules about this. I make a roll, if I equal or exceed the target's AC, I hit the target and roll for damage. This is an example of 3 above, right? I think it's clearly not 2. An interesting question is: is it subject to 1?

Having examples of my number 3 does not take away my number 1.

Can a GM use their authority to block examples of number 3? Sure they can. But unless such a decision is justified and explainable, I imagine it's gonna cause some issues. Most of the time from what I've seen and what I expect in most games, when a player declares that they take an action that the rules state they can make, the GM follows those rules as described and doesn't override them.

So if the game (or agreed upon process or house rule) allows the player to establish that their character's sister works in the mayor's office as a type of action.. an example of 3 rather than of 2.... then I don't see that as a challenge to 1.
"Pursuant to my role as final arbiter, and in light of evidence provided, I rule that use of rule X is not currently justified because it is precluded by the use of rule Y. So sayeth I."

So long as 1 is bound by clear distinctions for when overrides of 3 are allowable (and aren't just a mush of arbitrary justification) then 100%. My reading of the "rule zero" section of 5e actually supports this, in that the GM is only expected to override rules in corner cases and not as a general authority to do so. Others seem to take it more liberally, and effectly widen 1 so that it enables 2 against 3.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
while running that's within my window of acceptability.
Hey, look. A preference. I wonder how much talking it would take to get you to run a game outside your "window of acceptability." At a guess there's no amount of talking that would get you to run a game you find abhorrent. Thanks for proving my point.
hey, if you don't even try it will never work out.
Me doing things differently than you or having a different skill set than you isn't "don't even try." It's telling that you think it is.
Another was a cold mismatch in expectations of play that I tried to engage but would not (I didn't get kicks from using magic to override other PC's consent), so that was a failure and a goodbye.
Hey, look. Another preference. Funny how you have a preference so solid that you punted a player. Let me guess, no amount of talking would get you to shift on that preference. Again, that's my point.
I will say that a cold statement of "Trust the GM" as a prerequisite to join a game tells me that discussion is not available...
That's a terrible assumption to make, but you do you.
and I'll nope out just to avoid the whole thing. Game might be amazing, but that's enough of a red flag that I'm not going to feel like I missed much even so. I find amazing games without it with regularity.
Hey, look. Another preference. I wonder how much talking will get you to change your mind. At a guess, no amount will be sufficient. My point, you're proving it. Thanks, tschüss.
 

being chosen as the GM or having players join a game with the GM entails each player placing some measure of trust in that GM to use that authority responsibly. It's no different than a sports Ref/Coach etc stepping in to tell ThatGuy that baseball is not being played & correcting them when poor play behavior impacts other members of the team.

The key part of this is "some measure". As I've noted, while I don't play with a GM who's intentions I don't trust, I don't automatically extend trust for their judgment unless they earn it, and earning it unlimitedly is not a low bar.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
"Pursuant to my role as final arbiter, and in light of evidence provided, I rule that use of rule X is not currently justified because it is precluded by the use of rule Y. So sayeth I."

So long as 1 is bound by clear distinctions for when overrides of 3 are allowable (and aren't just a mush of arbitrary justification) then 100%. My reading of the "rule zero" section of 5e actually supports this, in that the GM is only expected to override rules in corner cases and not as a general authority to do so. Others seem to take it more liberally, and effectly widen 1 so that it enables 2 against 3.

Yeah, I think the GM has to have some clear justification to just overrule what would otherwise be a clear process in the game. That's why I suggested an attack.... it's a thing that's clearly allowed and I don't imagine most GM's overriding it without very good reason.

The problem with 5e specifically in this regard is that other areas where this may apply, things are so fuzzily worded as to be very open to interpretation.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Goal post move. This cannot be considered a general state, so you've elected to look only at a specific example.
It was a reply about vouching. You brought up lots of issues with vouching that make it not anywhere near 100% trustworthy. To me it still felt like playing with a GM others vouched for gives me more more trust/expectation/hope going in that with a GM I don't know anything about. I'm not sure how that is a goal post move from your remarks about vouching.

And now you're borrowing parts of my argument to shore up the other one. Session 0 is a tool that specifically rejects "Trust the GM" by putting the campaign expectations up for discussion and consensus. This is one of the developments in the community moving away from "Trust the GM" stuff.

You seem to keep wanting me to be focused on trust the GM. It wasn't something I was arguing.

The baseline is that I am to "Trust the GM." This means that, in any questionable event, I am to extend the courtesy of the doubt to the GM and go with it, trusting they have a good reason. It isn't at all about final say in a rules adjudication.

You say it is.

I'm beginning to think you've been arguing from a muddled position, here.
See apology below.

This really feels like you assigning homework for me to be able to make this point. I don't accept homework assignments.

Starting a thread on advice certainly would be unsolicited homework. I thought ot viewing everything as GSABTPSNBT just seemed like it might [edit: not] be helpful, but see apology below.

Then I'm confused by your earlier argument that games can't happen if the GM reschedules, but can easily happen if the player does. You seem to be wanting it both ways -- GMs are critical and therefore have special consideration AND play should only happen with an absent player if the player agrees. Seems some special, and mutual, consideration is shared around there.

Play of a particular D&D campaign feels like it literally cannot happen if the GM can't be there. It feels fairly trivial to run a game with several players when one is missing. You'd probably check with that player to see how they feel about it. Whether an absent player cancels the game probably depends on a combination of their feelings about it, how often they miss games, how many other players they are, and what looks to be on tap for the session.

And we're back to you arguing the bailey position in these arguments (unintentionally). This statement is trivial. As in it's trivially necessary. There's no need to say this as a phrase because of course some amount of trust, respect, and dignity should be afforded to anyone you're willingly engaging in a social leisure activity with. And this should 100% go both ways, so making it specific to one participant is pointless.

As the topic directly included the GM seemingly being given unearned trust, it felt relevant...

Again, the odd idea that players need to suck it up and go along with this game rather than discuss it. I've already allowed that if agendas just don't match they just don't match. But that's not at all what "Trust the GM Never Trust Players" is about. I'm staying within the context of the discussion.

If the only thing you wanted to discuss was "Trust the GM Never Trust the Players", and not the other issues raised along the way or related to it, then I apologize for what has apparently been inadvertent derailing on my part!

Um, I responded to @overgeeked on the topic, and you quoted me on that, and here we are?
Yup. And I'm flabbergasted. Point to your side (if we're keeping score). :)

Thank you for the detailed reply.
 
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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
being chosen as the GM or having players join a game with the GM entails each player placing some measure of trust in that GM to use that authority responsibly. It's no different than a sports Ref/Coach etc stepping in to tell ThatGuy that baseball is not being played & correcting them when poor play behavior impacts other members of the team.

Only thing I'd add is that there's some causality there that feels important. They were hopefully chosen to GM in part because they had demonstrated enough trustworthiness to be asked to GM. They aren't trustworthy because they are a GM. A GM picked in part because they were trustworthy in the past could prove unworthy of that.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Hey, look. A preference. I wonder how much talking it would take to get you to run a game outside your "window of acceptability." At a guess there's no amount of talking that would get you to run a game you find abhorrent. Thanks for proving my point.
Except that there's a wide range before you get to abhorrent, so you're excluding the middle.
Me doing things differently than you or having a different skill set than you isn't "don't even try." It's telling that you think it is.
Um, that wasn't about you, it was following me saying that I might not be able to find a good outcome, but trying is important to me. If you think it's about you, maybe that's telling?
Hey, look. Another preference. Funny how you have a preference so solid that you punted a player. Let me guess, no amount of talking would get you to shift on that preference. Again, that's my point.
Again the excluded middle. You're trying to conflate any preference for all preference. Me mediating a dispute between players (as a friend, not as GM) about mind controlling other PCs so that they did what the player in question wanted isn't really expandable into your general preference claim. And I tried -- tried to find out if this person was really adamant about this or if it was a mistake that they expected play should be like this because of prior experiences. Turns out this person started with 1) it's not a big deal and when told it was a big deal for some people became angry at them and then 2) ended with it being my fault for not stopping them before they did it anyway -- that I should just say it doesn't work when they do it and it might be a problem. Some people you can't work with, I tried, we parted ways. The key here is that I actually tried to find the compromise positions -- to see if there was something I was doing that was creating this behavior or if there was a middle ground. There wasn't, the player just didn't want anyone to disagree with them on anything and felt using the game mechanics to enforce this and make them agree was justifiable and wanted to continue doing it (while saying that they would probably try to kill the PC of anyone that did it to them, but if other players aren't willing to stand up for themselves they deserve it). The other difference here is that the issue wasn't with me, particularly, although I dislike that kind of play, but really that it caused problems at the table. If it was just about me, I wouldn't have done anything. Further, I did something not because I was GM has had the say or authority but because I was well positioned to mediate. One other player could have done it as well, and I asked them if they wanted to, but they deferred due to other potential social conflicts. So, as the person that knew them both the best, I mediated because it had to be resolved or it would get worse.

This event led to the one standing house rule in my usual crew -- if you engage in PvP, the target has the say on what happens. Not rules, not the GM, the target. So, if you cast Charm Person on another PC, that PC's player says what happens, no saving throw needed. This solves ahead of time any need to mediate a similar dispute in the future.
That's a terrible assumption to make, but you do you.
Is it a terrible assumption? What, in your game, are you open to being questioned on? If you make a call, can that be questioned? If you say something happens, and I don't like it, can I question it? You argued for not trusting players, and you've tried to make any preference the same as all preferences about play above, so that a preference to not have rulings questioned would have the same weight as not wanting to run sexual encounters in detail, so, yeah, I'm not real clear on what line you're drawing here except to try to get in a rhetorical point.
Hey, look. Another preference. I wonder how much talking will get you to change your mind. At a guess, no amount will be sufficient. My point, you're proving it. Thanks, tschüss.
Again with the excluded middle. Interestingly, this is me saying that I don't really want to participate in a game where I'm told up front that I shouldn't expect any voice in how the game runs, and you're using it as defense for telling people that they shouldn't expect to have a say in how a game runs. I mean, irony, yeah?
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
It was a reply about vouching. You brought up lots of issues with vouching that make it not anywhere near 100% trustworthy. To me it still felt like playing with a GM others vouched for gives me more more trust/expectation/hope going in that with a GM I don't know anything about. I'm not sure how that is a goal post move from your remarks about vouching.

You seem to keep wanting me to be focused on trust the GM. It wasn't something I was arguing.

You say it is.

See apology below.


Starting a thread on advice certainly would be unsolicited homework. I thought ot viewing everything as GSABTPSNBT just seemed like it might be helpful, but see apology below.

Play of a particular D&D campaign feels like it literally cannot happen if the GM can't be there. It feels fairly trivial to run a game with several players when one is missing. You'd probably check with that player to see how they feel about it. Whether an absent player cancels the game probably depends on a combination of their feelings about it, how often they miss games, how many other players they are, and what looks to be on tap for the session.

As the topic directly included the GM seemingly being given unearned trust, it felt relevant...

If the only thing you wanted to discuss was "Trust the GM Never Trust the Players", and not the other issues raised along the way or related to it, then I apologize for what has apparently been inadvertent derailing on my part!

Yup. And I'm flabbergasted. Point to your side (if we're keeping score). :)

Thank you for the detailed reply.
No score. All good.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
So the distinction on this is that there are a few things we're kind of talking about, and they're getting mixed up.

1) is the role of the GM as final arbiter. When there's conflict of some sort, or if the rules or procedures produce a result that isn't satisfactory to the group in some way, the GM can override the rules. When the rules don't account for a specific given situation, the GM is to make a ruling.

2) is the GM granting permission. The player makes a suggestion of some sort, and the GM says yes. "Is there a tree nearby I can climb?" and so on.

3) is when the rules give the player the ability to establish something, either through an action and associated ability check, or else through the use of magic or a class or background ability.

Let's look at the very common action of making an attack. There are very specific rules about this. I make a roll, if I equal or exceed the target's AC, I hit the target and roll for damage. This is an example of 3 above, right? I think it's clearly not 2. An interesting question is: is it subject to 1?

Having examples of my number 3 does not take away my number 1.

Can a GM use their authority to block examples of number 3? Sure they can. But unless such a decision is justified and explainable, I imagine it's gonna cause some issues. Most of the time from what I've seen and what I expect in most games, when a player declares that they take an action that the rules state they can make, the GM follows those rules as described and doesn't override them.
Lots of agreement to that.

So if the game (or agreed upon process or house rule) allows the player to establish that their character's sister works in the mayor's office as a type of action.. an example of 3 rather than of 2.... then I don't see that as a challenge to 1.
Right. In default D&D there is no rule about players establishing NPCs during play or deciding what's on the scrolls they find in treasure. If the table made a rule letting the players do such things then it would seem just like combat.

The follow up seemed to be the necessity of such table rules for some players to be able to become invested in a game world.
 
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Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
I want to clarify that I do not view the sort of techniques under question is being about investment in the setting. Rather they focus on deep investment in their characters, the characters of other players, and how they relate to the setting. The setting is secondary to the characters.

I am not saying such techniques are necessary, but I believe they definitely do a better job of leading to that deep investment. The more focus you put on one area the less your overall energy gets dedicated to another.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
Lots of agreement to that.


Right. In default D&D there is nor rule about players establishing NPCs during play or deciding what's on the scrolls they find in treasure. If the table made a rule letting the players do such things then it would seem just like combat.

The follow up seemed to be the necessity of such table rules for some players to be able to become invested in a game world.

Yes, I think as written, most of this stuff falls into the permission category, my number 2.

There are elements of it in the game, but as I said in my last post, some of those are still often subject to GM approval, or are a bit unclear from a process standpoint and so they still wind up needing approval or a ruling of some sort.

But I don't think that folks suggesting the game could do with some more examples of abilities that don't require approval being provided to the players, especially ones for non-combat related actions/elements, are arguing for removal of the GM having final say.
 

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