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D&D General I need a D&D counseling session! Help! (Re: Update ("Argument-Stopping Protocols" -- please advise!))

Maybe you can't be forced to be excited, but you still read like you're being kind of a dick about it. Maybe he's overreacting a bit too, but "jarring and abstract in a bad way"? Really?!? The art your friend picked may not fit your conception of your character, but then find some that does. Find the time to find something that will suffice even if it's not perfect - it will help you communicate if nothing else.
You can say that, but it isn't helpful to me. Nothing will fit my characters, that is the point. It can't be forced. Pictures are his interest, not mine. Sorry the way I express my experience puts you off. I expected a lot of understanding on this one. But you're entitled to your take. Perhaps you are right, in that I expressed myself poorly. I'll accept that. If he's upset with me, clearly I didn't meet his emotional needs. He also didn't consider mine.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Make it myself?

If I did that I'd have run a collection of nigh-identical stick figures over the past almost-40-years. :)

Commission the art? I'm not sure any artist would want me as a customer. I know in my head what I want the character to look like but I'd be crap at describing it as I only know what's right when I see it, meaning the artist would probably end up doing gobs of pictures before finally getting it right when expecting to only do one. That, and there's the question of affordability...
One could make similar arguments about being a poor cook and too demanding as a customer at a restaurant, but it wouldn’t justify dining and dashing. And food is a necessity, while character art is a luxury.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Well, i'll say it...

You (guys?) say that you are grown adults leading grown adult lifestyles but you have middle school amounts of drama. Most of the issues you are airing to the general public are...at least in my opinion...due to a fundamental inability by both of you to deal with problems and emotions in a healthy adult way.

Maybe if you can't play RPGs without having individual near-meltdowns you should take a break from them and switch your gaming group to playing some board/card games until such time as you can either get on the same page OR realize you aren't in the same book anymore.

Every table has some drama and occasional tantrums (I know i've been there myself) but those should be a rarity, not an overwhelming stormcloud holding court at your table. You both have come here asking for a crowdsourced "fix" to your drama but I suspect that even if you ironed out all the issues you (guys?) have, you would just open up space for more to build since the "Not important, let it slide" tool seems to be missing from your kits.
 

I'm going to echo and comment on some of these responses to Droop-in-soup since Jasper summarizes them so well.



Agreeing to play a game by the rules as they're written for six months (or even longer) isn't really a bad agreement. You have to start somewhere and it often works better to learn a game as it was written and become familiar with it before going off the rails with modifications. Turns out the game works pretty well if you sit back and let it be what it is.



Yeah, this can be a tricky thing. Does she not like it because of its affect on your emotional state? Because people are tramping through the house? Because it takes up time? Because it takes you (but not her) away from the 50/50 parenting? There are remedies to each of these things but that's something between you and her.



The important thing here is it's a game. It's not out to get you. Weird things happen because dice are random number generators. That's part of the challenge - playing to defeat the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as well as have fun interactions with the other characters. And yes, luck can turn on you. The full consequences of a game can be determined but it has to be with the agreement of the full table. If the other players are OK with their PCs dying and you're the only one opposed, you either need to accept their decision or find a new group to play with. Complaining and griping won't get you there. You need to model good and gracious behavior for your 5 year old. And then maybe your DM friend doesn't have to ask for stifling group guidelines.

Part of the issue here is it sounds like you think creating a new character requires a ton of investment - it doesn't have to. You can invest a lot if you want, but if you don't have the time, then don't. Find some creative shortcuts, model characters on ones that you've encountered in other media like books and movies, throw a few ideas in a hat or roll for them and see what you get - then run with them. This doesn't have to be deadly serious, carefully crafted as a tome-like novel like War and Peace. Bubblegum pop and pulp can be just as fun.



I kind of understand the whole traps thing. Stylistically, they work for some people (and are genre appropriate) but they can also really irritate because they really slow things down, particularly for paranoid players. Like character death consequences, this is a style thing. If the other players are OK with them, you should align to their preferences. But if you find they agree with you, then Dungeonosophy should relent on them recognizing that his players just find them boring.

Thanks billd91. This is much more helpful. The tone of your last post was one where I had to overcome feelings that got stirred up, just to get to what you were sharing. This post doesn't do that. And that is a help to me.

I have been wanting to ask you this, and ask people on the forum in general, and so I will post it here:
Reading how my friend depicted me in his few 'laying it all out' took a lot of self control for me to get through. I felt that the person he depicted (me, as he experienced it) would be perceived in so many ways as a terrible player and out of control, nonsensical person. I find myself wondering to what degree people like yourself reading that also got that impression? And I wonder how it was for you, reading what I posted, in relation to the experiences coming from his side? My post is not my best, because I chose to post it after a full finished draft, but did not go over it again as I would prefer to, because I didn't have another entire day to improve it, so I know it is not my best, and it will perhaps contribute, as you pointed out in my pictures post, to less than a clear and supportable expression of my experience. We are all a work in progress, so I don't expect to achieve perfection. I would, though, be very interested to hear people's experiences in the forum about what effect it has had to incorporate my posts with my friend's posts? Has it been a help to people that I chose to bring my side as well? I'd love to hear from people about this.

Back to your fine post:

You asked about my wife. It is not so bad with her. She is a professional artist, and she has a very active inner life, and when people are in the house she can't fully relax, and then they also have to cross the room that she spends her evening alone time in, when they go to the bathroom, which I cannot practically prevent from happening. It means that I want to be careful not to overdo what she has to be put through. She doesn't resents me, and I don't think the time is too big a rub. She just makes sure I know that she has to give up something for me to do it, and she would prefer I didn't do it in the house. But the room above the 2 stall garage is mine, and it is great, and there is no better option. I try to pay attention to her to make sure it doesn't become a problem.

Your paragraph on the game not out to get me, and modeling for my 5 year old, graciously and wisely said. I appreciate reading that.

I appreciate you get the traps thing. What you said is just right, from my perspective.

So many of you are so articulate. Thanks for taking your time to participate. I'm very grateful. I am taking this stuff in, and trying to let it change anything in me that is holding on to a falsehood. I'm the kind of person that can be convinced by a clearly articulated fact. Sometimes it takes a while for just the right formulation for it to click. But I aim for that kind of open-mindedness.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I have been wanting to ask you this, and ask people on the forum in general, and so I will post it here:
Reading how my friend depicted me in his few 'laying it all out' took a lot of self control for me to get through. I felt that the person he depicted (me, as he experienced it) would be perceived in so many ways as a terrible player and out of control, nonsensical person. I find myself wondering to what degree people like yourself reading that also got that impression? And I wonder how it was for you, reading what I posted, in relation to the experiences coming from his side? My post is not my best, because I chose to post it after a full finished draft, but did not go over it again as I would prefer to, because I didn't have another entire day to improve it, so I know it is not my best, and it will perhaps contribute, as you pointed out in my pictures post, to less than a clear and supportable expression of my experience. We are all a work in progress, so I don't expect to achieve perfection. I would, though, be very interested to hear people's experiences in the forum about what effect it has had to incorporate my posts with my friend's posts? Has it been a help to people that I chose to bring my side as well? I'd love to hear from people about this.
For me, reading @Dungeonosophy’s account of your conflict certainly did give me the impression of a “problem player,” but since I was only seeing one side of the story, I assumed that you would seem far more reasonable from your own perspective (in general, I always assume that people seem reasonable from their own perspectives, and if someone seems irrational from my perspective, I probably don’t fully understand theirs.) Reading your account of the conflict basically confirmed my suspicion, that it was not a case of one unreasonable player, but of two reasonable people whose play goals were misaligned, and whose communication styles clashed.

You asked about my wife. It is not so bad with her. She is a professional artist, and she has a very active inner life, and when people are in the house she can't fully relax, and then they also have to cross the room that she spends her evening alone time in, when they go to the bathroom, which I cannot practically prevent from happening. It means that I want to be careful not to overdo what she has to be put through. She doesn't resents me, and I don't think the time is too big a rub. She just makes sure I know that she has to give up something for me to do it, and she would prefer I didn't do it in the house. But the room above the 2 stall garage is mine, and it is great, and there is no better option. I try to pay attention to her to make sure it doesn't become a problem.
Ahh, that makes a lot of sense. I understand this well, as my partner is also an artist (hence my insight into the fact that artists generally don’t take kindly to their art being repurposed for D&D characters they weren’t commissioned for), and I also host my group’s D&D game at our house. Fortunately for me, they also like D&D and are part of our regular group, but it’s something I’ve had to contend with when I have other fiends over to play board games or cards. That’s at least a more manageable problem though. You say there aren’t any better options, but have you considered playing online with a virtual tabletop such as Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds? Especially with the current pandemic, online gaming does have its disadvantages, but is still an excellent alternative when in-person isn’t a viable option. My parter’s and my other housemate does this with their separate D&D group and it causes us no trouble at all.

I appreciate you get the traps thing. What you said is just right, from my perspective.
My opinion on traps is that they are at their best when properly telegraphed. A trap that the players have no way of anticipating that just does some damage or otherwise messes with them isn’t fun for anyone. It’s just a random setback that basically can’t be avoided except by either systematically searching every square inch of the dungeon, or by coincidentally choosing to search at the right time. In either case, it’s not really a choice on the part of the player, it’s a standard operating procedure or a random guess. But what is interesting is when the DM seeds their description of the environment with clues that indicate the presence of a trap. Don’t just have a pressure plate that springs a trap and does some damage if any player happens to step in the wrong spot, describe how the floor is oddly raised in this particular section of the floor. That rewards players who pay close attention to your description, and it gives the players the opportunity to interact with the environment and make meaningful decisions rather than just springing some unavoidable damage on them. Similarly, when players do blunder into a trap, I think it’s best to give them an opportunity to react to it. When they step on that pressure plate, describe the feeling of the floor sinking under their foot and the click sound as the tile settles into place, then ask them what they do. Based on the way the trap works and what the character does, you might grant advantage or impose disadvantage on the saving throw, or even automatic success or failure.

For example, maybe you’ve described a series of holes in the wall, precisely one inch apart. The players suspect a trap and search for pressure plates or trip wires, but fail their Perception check, or maybe the mechanism is something else that their approach wouldn’t be able to detect. Either way, they spring the trap. You describe the sound of ancient machinery grinding into action and ask the players what they do. The Fighter raises her shield, hoping to block anything that might come out of the holes. The rogue rolls away from the wall hoping to dodge out of the way. The wizard holds his breath, anticipating poison gas to pour out. The cleric drops Prone, expecting projectiles. Then the DM describes jets of fire shooting out from the holes. The Fighter can make a Dexterity save with half cover (+2 AC) for her raised shield. The rogue doesn’t have to save at all because he rolled away and the flame jets don’t reach that far. The wizard doesn’t get a save and takes full damage because holding his breath does nothing to protect them from the flames. The cleric makes their save with advantage - dropping prone gets them out of the way for the most part, but could still plausibly be singed. In this way, the players get to make decisions and have those decisions rewarded or punished in a way that they can see how their actions directly impact the narrative, rather than simply taking damage for stepping somewhere they had no way of knowing not to step.

So many of you are so articulate. Thanks for taking your time to participate. I'm very grateful. I am taking this stuff in, and trying to let it change anything in me that is holding on to a falsehood. I'm the kind of person that can be convinced by a clearly articulated fact. Sometimes it takes a while for just the right formulation for it to click. But I aim for that kind of open-mindedness.
You’re very welcome 😊 Thank you (both of you) for sharing your experiences and seeking advice from other players and DMs!
 
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Well, i'll say it...

You (guys?) say that you are grown adults leading grown adult lifestyles but you have middle school amounts of drama. Most of the issues you are airing to the general public are...at least in my opinion...due to a fundamental inability by both of you to deal with problems and emotions in a healthy adult way.

Maybe if you can't play RPGs without having individual near-meltdowns you should take a break from them and switch your gaming group to playing some board/card games until such time as you can either get on the same page OR realize you aren't in the same book anymore.

Every table has some drama and occasional tantrums (I know i've been there myself) but those should be a rarity, not an overwhelming stormcloud holding court at your table. You both have come here asking for a crowdsourced "fix" to your drama but I suspect that even if you ironed out all the issues you (guys?) have, you would just open up space for more to build since the "Not important, let it slide" tool seems to be missing from your kits.
I hear your perspective. But I don't experience specific things you say as a particularly accurate conclusions, for us specifically.

How are your comments a help?
I'm finding myself wanting to ask you also, in retrospect of working this post through: How is what you are saying to us supposed to be helpful? As I have taken it in deeply, it seems your prognosis is we won't succeed to play, or prevent relapses even if we resolve this bit, and we don't have an adult healthy way to do anything. Where do you see something helpful for us here? It's a pretty grim picture you are offering. Where do you see an opportunity for progress? Just giving up?

I think it is worth expressing what thinking this post sets in motion, because it helps to point out certain ideals that can be striven for, and clarifies things that others might also misunderstand. This exercise should bring some new ideas out, and that is valuable.

Adult skills:
It isn't that we didn't have practices to deal with emotions and problems in an adult way, we do. The problem is that problems and emotions don't get resolved until the situation is understood and comes clear. That process cannot be forced. It has its own rules. You are getting a view of what it looks like when an attempt is made to gather all unresolved experiences and try to organize them and make progress with it. The drama gets bigger when the little moments remain unresolved, and get gathered in a crisis. Crisis with us was pretty rare. The small pinching difficulties showed up more often. That is how I depict it.

An appropriate use of this forum?
Do you fault my friend for turning this post into an invitation for constructive feedback? I don't think it started with that intention, but circumstances opened that door, and so he chose to go with it. I doubt at all he would characterize it as seeking a crowdsourcing "fix" in a public forum. We both know that only he and I could fix anything in our situation. I didn't know about the forum until it was well underway, and I felt my participation would bring more context and make it possible to be more productive. Widened perspective is something he and I are both inviting, and receiving, not a fix. And we are not looking for a fix for our drama. We are looking for clarity and understanding. If you look at the drama here you will see that it comes from lack of understanding, not drama for drama's sake.

Our behavior on the thread:
You suggest we don't have adult skills in managing our relationship. Do you mean to say you find our postings on this thread as not appropriate? Do you see a lack of adult tools and adult behavior being used at this thread? Are we causing middle school drama on this forum? Why assume we act differently at our table or otherwise? In reading some of these posts I have dealt with plenty of inner turmoil. Do you really see no adult tools guiding this process? I wonder what others have to say?

Letting things slide:
I appreciate that you value an ability to drop unimportant things, and let things slide. I'd like to point out a nuance: The practice of "it's not important, let it slide" is not actually a tool for long-term resolution, it is a tool to reduce conflict in the moment. It is something we actually very regular practice. In fact, this crisis came because letting it slide can't go on indefinitely. For real resolution, something has to happen for us to learn to see the dynamics we had not yet pinned down. As it turns out, this forum process has already been hugely effective to bringing clarity and understanding. But regardless of how I would depict things here, your message is that you don't think we would do anything but build up more problems even if we resolve these. That is pretty bleak. I hope you are wrong on this. We'll see.

A stormy table? Not particularly.
Lastly, you assume that there were stormclouds at our table. Not so, really. The same with near-meltdowns. I wouldn't even characterize my harrowing TPK night as a near meltdown. That is not how table time went. The most difficult moments I expect were when a repeated problem showed up, and a person would get very upset inwardly, usually around conversations where our clash of what we were trying to get from the game manifested, around rules wrangling, for example, when I asked things that didn't fit in with the agreements he thought we had, and he said no, etc. Those seemed to be the ones that pushed us the hardest. But these moments never stormed outwardly.

Any real storms raged only inside either of us, in short bursts, followed by calm email exchanges, with occasions where one of us might characterize the distress we experienced with a certain amount of drama, but always contained in an email, wrapped in clear, adult behavior.

Striving for openness to learn:
I'm trying to make sure that I don't dismiss any of your points out of hand. I feel that you don't depict us correctly in the ways above, but I am trying to be open to criticism that is true or could lead to insight. Are we particularly emotional? Perhaps we are. Not being emotional might not be such a desirable thing, if it means dull to one's inner life. An ideal to be stable and unperturbed in the best sense, well that is a fine goal, to be sure. You think that we don't have the capacity to make a long-term resolution? Well, we haven't made a very good impression on you, I see that. I'm striving to be brutally honest in this forum. Honesty provides the only real context. I am a person who has moments of extreme anger, and I struggle with getting upset in games at times. So I am on that side of the ledger as a struggle. I don't lose friends over it. It is more on the level of a personal struggle, not a social one. My friend takes things personally more than he should and he is sensitive. I would say that both of us are particularly sensitive, to lots of things. That has its pluses and minuses. It brings potential capacities in observation, art, in thinking and such. And it brings difficulties socially. No doubt. It is not easy for me, I'm not afraid to say. Middle school? For some reason you want to call us out on that. I will think about it. Perhaps something will come from what you are trying to bring.

I hope I have dealt with this fairly and in a productive way. I wonder if your position is still the same, or different? New thoughts, clarifications?
 
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Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
@Droop-in-soup

I am sending this via my phone so ease do not attribute terseness to rudeness.

I am going to be honest here...I am 90% certain that this whole thread is a troll because that's the most obvious reason to explain what is being said here on both OP and your end.

I will, however, discuss in good faith as if you are being honest and truthful in what you both are saying. You claim to want to reach some sort of personal enlightenment as a result of this thread, so I am going to break down EXACTLY why I pass the judgement I do on you both.

First, you need to zoom your perspective out from yourself. Float on up to where you can see the entire Earth in one view. Take a look down on the planet as a whole. Is there something going on right now that's a global concern? Climate change? Covid-19? Starvation? Yes, all those things are happening and will keep happening in perpetuity. THESE are the things you could be getting emotional about. These are the things that really matter.

Now zoom in on your neighborhood. You have family, friends, neighbors, colleagues. These are also the things you should get emotional about. Not just bad, but good, concerned, proud. All of the emotions. Friends and family are your legacy. They are how you will be remembered after you are gone.

Now zoom in on your daily life. You maybe have a job, a spouse, kids, bills, chores. You have a ton of things that are going to sap your energy because that is the sacrifice one should make to take care of both them and yourself. In return you should draw some energy from your relationships you are building.

Now zoom in some more. You have a bit of free time in your day to pursue the things you want to, because they make you happy. They energize and entertain you. They are add to the bright spots of your life that keeps you happy, healthy, and grounded.

Except, no. Not for you and OP. Instead of spending this time enjoying the ride and gaining positive energies from the memories you are both in a downward spiral of making your "fun" time something that causes conflict, sorrow, despair, anger, and any other number of bad emotions.

Why on Earth would you want to tack bad energy into yourself as "fun"? This is why I say you need to let stuff fracking slide.

If OP wants to run straight vanilla 5e for 6 months and they are the only person willing to put in the work to GM..then either have fun exploring that scenario or bow out and do something you would rather do. Its not fracking rocket science, it's simple. You don't need an epiphany to figure this out. You don't need to crowdsource random internet strangers to give you this knowledge, because you already know it.

So, why do I think OP and yourself lack basic adult skills? Because you both can't see that anguishing over the fracking Shield Master feat verbiage, how someone chooses a picture for your character, and how writing up a 20 point binding agreement is SO inconsequential in the scheme of the world that it shouldn't take more that 3 minutes (and definitely shouldn't take an outing into a public forum) to get past it and move on with having the fun you should be having playing a game with your friends.
 

@Droop-in-soup

I am sending this via my phone so ease do not attribute terseness to rudeness.

I am going to be honest here...I am 90% certain that this whole thread is a troll because that's the most obvious reason to explain what is being said here on both OP and your end.

I will, however, discuss in good faith as if you are being honest and truthful in what you both are saying. You claim to want to reach some sort of personal enlightenment as a result of this thread, so I am going to break down EXACTLY why I pass the judgement I do on you both.

First, you need to zoom your perspective out from yourself. Float on up to where you can see the entire Earth in one view. Take a look down on the planet as a whole. Is there something going on right now that's a global concern? Climate change? Covid-19? Starvation? Yes, all those things are happening and will keep happening in perpetuity. THESE are the things you could be getting emotional about. These are the things that really matter.

Now zoom in on your neighborhood. You have family, friends, neighbors, colleagues. These are also the things you should get emotional about. Not just bad, but good, concerned, proud. All of the emotions. Friends and family are your legacy. They are how you will be remembered after you are gone.

Now zoom in on your daily life. You maybe have a job, a spouse, kids, bills, chores. You have a ton of things that are going to sap your energy because that is the sacrifice one should make to take care of both them and yourself. In return you should draw some energy from your relationships you are building.

Now zoom in some more. You have a bit of free time in your day to pursue the things you want to, because they make you happy. They energize and entertain you. They are add to the bright spots of your life that keeps you happy, healthy, and grounded.

Except, no. Not for you and OP. Instead of spending this time enjoying the ride and gaining positive energies from the memories you are both in a downward spiral of making your "fun" time something that causes conflict, sorrow, despair, anger, and any other number of bad emotions.

Why on Earth would you want to tack bad energy into yourself as "fun"? This is why I say you need to let stuff fracking slide.

If OP wants to run straight vanilla 5e for 6 months and they are the only person willing to put in the work to GM..then either have fun exploring that scenario or bow out and do something you would rather do. Its not fracking rocket science, it's simple. You don't need an epiphany to figure this out. You don't need to crowdsource random internet strangers to give you this knowledge, because you already know it.

So, why do I think OP and yourself lack basic adult skills? Because you both can't see that anguishing over the fracking Shield Master feat verbiage, how someone chooses a picture for your character, and how writing up a 20 point binding agreement is SO inconsequential in the scheme of the world that it shouldn't take more that 3 minutes (and definitely shouldn't take an outing into a public forum) to get past it and move on with having the fun you should be having playing a game with your friends.

@Sabathius42

I don't yet know what OP means. Could you clarify that?

I want to say at the beginning, so it is not missed, that everyone that I've seen speak on this forum has made significant progress in developing real awareness and social skills. There is a lot of self-development going on. I appreciate that, and I am working to change my perspectives to make the as accurate and healthy as I can. You are showing a lot of capacity to me in the way you express yourself here. It is clear that many people here are further along than I am with the things that I am struggling with. I want this mood to start this post.

Your response is quite unexpected, in the positive, and you really point to the most important thing there is.

(Some things I originally shared here, I found in reflection to be personal in a way that I feel I should have said it in a personal message, and as no one responded to it anyway, I will remove those parts, and that feels better to me. I'm still learning about public forums.)

I will add a spoiler button to shorten the post. It is not too long, but still, it is good for the forum.

First though, being 90% sure that this threat is a troll from us, wow. That never crossed my mind. Not only do you have a bleak picture of us, you have a bleak picture of what people will do out of bizarre motivations. This would be a modern crank call of epic proportions. Do you think people could make all this stuff up? Do writers troll threads to take on a character to build a book? These are new ideas for me. I don't frequent forums, so I haven't experienced trolls.

In this case, no, this is 2 real people. But you will have to sort your feelings out yourself I guess.

(Further reflection on this has given me the thought that it may well be that my friend and I are unusually interested in looking closely at how we are feeling when it comes to a situation that needs that kind of sorting, and we gather a lot of details. And so since it doesn't make sense for what most people would do, you come to a conclusion that maybe this isn't real? I think you're quite astute somehow. It would not be the first time people would prefer I didn't dig into a situation the way I do. I expect we are similar in our interest in that.)

So you do something with your thinking that I don't expect most people to do. You move your perspective of observation way out to high perspectives, and back down to minute personal life. This is very significant in my estimation. It is a spiritual activity that people can do. I spend a lot of time doing that very activity.

... personal stuff. It was not necessary, in retrospect.

Once it got started, both of us made the choice to share the experience that we are creating together, and the emotions and confusion are the elements of it we do not have a handle on yet. So it turns out we are bringing it to a group. For those with experience in 12 steps or similar methods of individual self development, then a process like this can be viewed as a similar request for peer review and receiving perceptions of people with valuable experience and wisdom in the realm we are struggling in who are not hooked-in like we are. Since the trouble was in D&D, the opportunity presented itself here. Our struggles are not unique to us. People here relate well to it, I think. But it is a surprise to you and others how much turmoil we are able to show. It is because we actively look for it and work with it. And since we are a work in progress, it is still messy where it is messy. I can assure you, it is not so messy as it would be if we didn't have practice taking ourselves in hand.

So to the picture you share. Regarding one part: If I was in this just for fun, I would probably not play with this person. I would do like you suggest, take the 3 minutes and look to maximize the fun my soul can have if I leave someone who pushes me into messy, unconscious and not-fun emotions . For me, life is not about being happy as an individual. I hope to make a real difference in this world, with all the problems you point to, and I find that I won't be able to do that in the way that is needed if I don't take in hand what is unconscious in me. Anyone who wants to go that path, will find inside themselves something much messier than just your adult self who has it all together.
One other comment I want to edit in after some more thinking. One thing you demonstrate that I admire and praise so highly is that you take yourself from the near problem out into the widest perspective, and gather the essentials from there, and then come back to the point of trouble and judge it from that higher vantage. That is an activity that has the potential to systematically overcome abstractions in thinking. By abstract, I mean looking at a perspective that is cut out of a greater whole, and does not take the greater whole in account. Today's common thinking makes the mistake of functioning in narrow perspectives to our serious detriment. You demonstrate a method that is one I have the highest praise for. I expect you would be a very interesting person to get to know.


I hope that this speaks to you. It is my best attempt today.

Time doesn't allow more than one run through. But it felt clear enough to go without major revising.

- - -

I keep finding new thoughts by reviewing the things you said.

I think on some level you're also pointing to a question that might be expressed like this: What is wrong with these people, why do they just keep doing this? Are they that stupid?

When I look at the situation with that question, on one level yeah, you will see in my others posts that I call myself obtuse. Meaning that in reflection some things become obvious, but I didn't see it before. Sometimes I think you want to say to us that we shouldn't be making these mistakes, as if it should be obvious already. But everyone is where they are at, and it's a process. In other areas, perhaps we are further along.

Lastly, my reflection shows me this as essential, that my friend and I trip each other up by bringing our enthusiasm very strongly, and the other person doesn't meet it right the first time. It takes us reflection to meet it correctly. If our goal is to learn as much as possible, then our opposite natures are the best possible way to accelerate that process, because we do not automatically come to harmony. We have to do it consciously. So every step is a learning. I find that I bring my enthusiasm each time without really expecting that he could have a hard time with it. I'm kind of surprised each time, and that is why I get sour. So I noticed that I bring a kind of fresh ignorance forward. In life it is often that we quickly learn to shut down in a certain direction. And that hasn't happened for us. That's essentially this new thought.

I find it incredibly hard to look at the fact that I can see something in life and say: it's the most important thing; but then see how insufficient attention I am able to give to working towards solving the most important thing. So you'll find in this email the thought that, bringing consciousness to my unconsciousness is the most important thing that I can do, if I want to be able to make a contribution to the world that doesn't arise out of my unconscious errors. Since I see that inner work is needing to be done first, I am trying to focus on that. Getting up the strength to do this with my current commitment, this has taken 50 years.

In a way, I experienced that your advice to us is this: Why don't you play another game, or with someone else, where you won't have to change so much in order to have fun, or get along, etc. I raise this question: if everyone steps away when things get difficult, when will people learn how to stop fighting?

Your posts have been very interesting for me. I may not be doing with it what you expect, but thanks. Really. You've given the most unique contribution yet. And in reality it's the closest one so far to my way of working.
 
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Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
OP is short for Original Poster. In this case, your friend.

"Trolling" is an activity in which a person or persons deliberately stirs up drama instead of genuinely engaging in whatever activity the medium is there for.

A "Sock Puppet" is a separate account a troll might use to help create drama. A lot of times you can identify a sock puppet by comparing the style, vocabulary, and format of one accounts posts versus another.

April 1st (aka April Fools Day) is a day where many on websites and forums takes the opportunity to "trick" people into believing and engaging in a story that is fiction.

***********

If you are exactly who you say and represent yourself to be then great! Welcome to ENWorld!

If you are interested in this community then it really is a great source for discussing D&D and other RPG topics.
 

I'm feeling grateful to the people who have taken the time to engage and give me excellent food for thought.

This forus is full of amazing people posting, from what I have experienced.
 
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the Jester

Legend
I have been wanting to ask you this, and ask people on the forum in general, and so I will post it here:
Reading how my friend depicted me in his few 'laying it all out' took a lot of self control for me to get through. I felt that the person he depicted (me, as he experienced it) would be perceived in so many ways as a terrible player and out of control, nonsensical person. I find myself wondering to what degree people like yourself reading that also got that impression?

I get the impression that you're a nightmare to DM for, but that says basically nothing about you as a person.

I agree with the emerging consensus- you need to try DMing, or if you want to remain a player, you need to stop with all the pushing. You don't get to set the table rules, you don't get to rewrite cantrips or feats, you don't get to decide what treasure you find. That's not your role. Know your role- it's to play your character and engage with the DM's world and challenges.

It sounds like you have a great deal of potential as a DM. You sound interested in all the right things, but that interest is dragging down your 'score' as a player. There's a reason that the two roles are separate.
 

I've come to agree with you. That is my take away.

I still have the problem that I want to experience those things as a player. But I now know how I need to behave differently in this situation. It's clear to me.
 

I get the impression that you're a nightmare to DM for, but that says basically nothing about you as a person.

I agree with the emerging consensus- you need to try DMing, or if you want to remain a player, you need to stop with all the pushing. You don't get to set the table rules, you don't get to rewrite cantrips or feats, you don't get to decide what treasure you find. That's not your role. Know your role- it's to play your character and engage with the DM's world and challenges.

It sounds like you have a great deal of potential as a DM. You sound interested in all the right things, but that interest is dragging down your 'score' as a player. There's a reason that the two roles are separate.
I realize I have a question to add to your post. And I would love to hear some people at least verify the validity of the point I would like to add.

I have to agree with your assessment of my situation - with this specific DM.
I would add this too, that also no DM wants me to act out about dice rolls, etc. Any bad behavior I have to own and deal with. That is universal.

But I am not yet convinced in overly fixing the separate rolls between player and DM . If I have potential as a DM, then it is clear that a DM (me) would be very happy to have a player engage on the level of correcting facets of things that might offer rich experiences and learning. Feats, spells, whatever. Isn't this the basis of friends who like to home brew? Sure, I'd have limits, but I expect I can't be the only one who imagines a friendly partnership between players and DM in this way.

I would expect the hear things like this on this forum like: You are a home brew type, there are lots of DMs who would be glad to explore things with you. But not your current DM, so you have to stop asking him. But if you find the right DM, you might find yourself a welcome player. (aside from bad behavior)

I don't see myself as pure DMs nightmare. I do see myself as a nightmare for my friend DM. Are people going to insist that my asks are in the majority a problem, or ok in themselves and just need the right DM. My asks are one thing. Bad behavior is another thing. I am separating the two things and looking for whether another culture exists here than those who relate to my friend as DM.

Thoughts, feedback from anyone?
 

jgsugden

Legend
You've effectively ignored the majority of the effective feedback: Go your separate ways and do not share.

You run a game. Your 'friend' runs their game. You set your rules. Your friend sets their rules. Your group can choose which games they want to enjoy.

Any other answer ... ANY other answer ... in the face of these challenges is either trolling or just seeking validation. As in any relationship between people - sometimes it is better to just walk away than try to make it work.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
I realize I have a question to add to your post. And I would love to hear some people at least verify the validity of the point I would like to add.

I have to agree with your assessment of my situation - with this specific DM.
I would add this too, that also no DM wants me to act out about dice rolls, etc. Any bad behavior I have to own and deal with. That is universal.

But I am not yet convinced in overly fixing the separate rolls between player and DM . If I have potential as a DM, then it is clear that a DM (me) would be very happy to have a player engage on the level of correcting facets of things that might offer rich experiences and learning. Feats, spells, whatever. Isn't this the basis of friends who like to home brew? Sure, I'd have limits, but I expect I can't be the only one who imagines a friendly partnership between players and DM in this way.

I would expect the hear things like this on this forum like: You are a home brew type, there are lots of DMs who would be glad to explore things with you. But not your current DM, so you have to stop asking him. But if you find the right DM, you might find yourself a welcome player. (aside from bad behavior)

I don't see myself as pure DMs nightmare. I do see myself as a nightmare for my friend DM. Are people going to insist that my asks are in the majority a problem, or ok in themselves and just need the right DM. My asks are one thing. Bad behavior is another thing. I am separating the two things and looking for whether another culture exists here than those who relate to my friend as DM.

Thoughts, feedback from anyone?
Based on my experience, it is perfectly fine to share ideas and offer suggestions. I welcome it from my players.

It is extremely bad form to be pushy about it, or to become offended if they don't use what you offer. No means no, ESPECIALLY coming the DM.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
I would expect the hear things like this on this forum like: You are a home brew type, there are lots of DMs who would be glad to explore things with you. But not your current DM, so you have to stop asking him. But if you find the right DM, you might find yourself a welcome player. (aside from bad behavior)

Absolutely no GM I have ever played with has wanted a player to consistently push against well established boundaries. A person doing this isn't a good player. A person doing this is a BAD player. A person doing this is annoying. A person doing this is disruptive to a good game experience. This player is NOT an asset, but instead a liability.

In your specific game your friend, the GM, explicitly said "I am going to run a vanilla 5e game for 6 months, then we can look at adding in things." This is a very well established boundary. If you cannot stop yourself from constantly pushing up against the boundary you are being disruptive, a bad player, and to be honest a bad friend to the GM.
 

You've effectively ignored the majority of the effective feedback: Go your separate ways and do not share.

You run a game. Your 'friend' runs their game. You set your rules. Your friend sets their rules. Your group can choose which games they want to enjoy.

Any other answer ... ANY other answer ... in the face of these challenges is either trolling or just seeking validation. As in any relationship between people - sometimes it is better to just walk away than try to make it work.
If you are saying we need to keep our roles separate, that advice has already found assent in me. If you mean not playing together anymore as a conclusion is the only option, that seems to go too far. That is something we would have to decide.

To say it in a way I expect you would agree with: If things stay as they are, we should not continue to play together. I would agree with that. I find that change is the variable that has not been exhausted. We have not had the opportunity to see what would happen after we got clear on what our problems are. I find that a weakness in your argument. Your advice would stop the problem, but it wouldn't solve what underlies it. Learning might solve it.

I haven't had a conversation or exchange with my friend who started the post, so the time for conclusions has not come. I think you may be responding to the fact that I am in a process and not inclined to close doors until the process includes an exchange with my friend.

I want to add this: I can't agree with your assessment that any other answer is just trolling and validation. I would recognize a wish to learn in a more comprehensive way as another. And as I said above, the possibility of change you seem to ignore.

Even if I 100% expected us to stop playing together, I would still engage for a time with the forum as certain questions get unpacked and related topics get me clear for a next step. If people are right and I started this process as a nightmare to DM for, I can't call it a success if I just walk away. And, I'm not sure seeking validation is purely inappropriate. Validation helps one see a landscape of who does what. On the other side, for learning, it isn't just the validation that is interesting, but the reason why validation isn't coming.

When learning and progress have exhausted themselves in a situation is a time to move on, so long as no real harm is done to either party in the process. On my side, I make no claims to harm having been done to me.
 
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Absolutely no GM I have ever played with has wanted a player to consistently push against well established boundaries. A person doing this isn't a good player. A person doing this is a BAD player. A person doing this is annoying. A person doing this is disruptive to a good game experience. This player is NOT an asset, but instead a liability.

In your specific game your friend, the GM, explicitly said "I am going to run a vanilla 5e game for 6 months, then we can look at adding in things." This is a very well established boundary. If you cannot stop yourself from constantly pushing up against the boundary you are being disruptive, a bad player, and to be honest a bad friend to the GM.
I can only agree with what you're saying from that perspective. My question was specifically not from that perspective. Unfortunately your post treats me as if I said the opposite of what I said.

You're describing my unfortunate behavior of the past, and I acknowledge that problem. I asked the question of GMs that can actually enjoy joining players who want to be creative at the table.

I thought I was pretty clear about that. I wasn't asking who would enjoy me being pushy. I said I could imagine people enjoying participating with the kinds of asks I have had.

Are we on the same page now? I'm confused by your response.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I realize I have a question to add to your post. And I would love to hear some people at least verify the validity of the point I would like to add.

I have to agree with your assessment of my situation - with this specific DM.
I would add this too, that also no DM wants me to act out about dice rolls, etc. Any bad behavior I have to own and deal with. That is universal.

But I am not yet convinced in overly fixing the separate rolls between player and DM . If I have potential as a DM, then it is clear that a DM (me) would be very happy to have a player engage on the level of correcting facets of things that might offer rich experiences and learning. Feats, spells, whatever. Isn't this the basis of friends who like to home brew? Sure, I'd have limits, but I expect I can't be the only one who imagines a friendly partnership between players and DM in this way.

I would expect the hear things like this on this forum like: You are a home brew type, there are lots of DMs who would be glad to explore things with you. But not your current DM, so you have to stop asking him. But if you find the right DM, you might find yourself a welcome player. (aside from bad behavior)

I don't see myself as pure DMs nightmare. I do see myself as a nightmare for my friend DM. Are people going to insist that my asks are in the majority a problem, or ok in themselves and just need the right DM. My asks are one thing. Bad behavior is another thing. I am separating the two things and looking for whether another culture exists here than those who relate to my friend as DM.

Thoughts, feedback from anyone?
It’s a big world out there full of lots of people, obviously there must be some DMs who would welcome this kind of collaborative home brewing with their players, but in my experience it is extremely atypical. I think most DMs would be willing to hear out a player with a proposal for a house rule, but I don’t think most would be likely to adopt such a suggestion unsolicited, unless it just happened to be a perfect fit for their tastes.

It’d be like an actor coming to the director with ideas about how they think the movie should go (Mark Hamill is actually a real life example of an actor with this habit). Many directors will listen to the suggestion out of politeness, but few will end up adopting the suggestion, because at the end of the day it’s the director’s vision that guides the making of the film, not the actors’.

Now, it is generally good DM practice to discuss potential house rules with their players. If the DM recognizes that there’s something they would like to change, they might solicit their players for suggestions, and/or run their own ideas for changes by the players for feedback. But that’s a key difference, it’s the DM asking the players for input, rather than the players offering input that wasn’t asked for and may not be wanted.

My advice, if you wish to remain a player, is to discuss with any DM who’s group you might join this interest you have in participating in the development of homebrew, before your first session with them. See how they feel about receiving that kind of player input. I expect you will find that most DMs are not too keen on the idea, but might be willing to entertain suggestions, with the corollary that if they say no, that’s the end of the discussion. But you might find some who like the idea. Either way, it’s important to set those expectations first, before they have the chance to become a problem like they have here.

As for the advice to no longer play with this friend of yours: I’m going to echo it as well: your tastes are too dissimilar, continuing to try to play together is not going to be fun for either of you and will only continue to result in strife. Maybe after some time enjoying gaming apart from each other, you might try again, but at least for now, going your separate ways in terms of gaming is the only path forward that doesn’t just result in more hurt feelings and strain on the friendship. I know it sucks, but good friends don’t always make good RPG group mates.
 

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