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D&D General No two people ever seem to play D&D the same way, but we can usually find people to play with anyway.

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I also tell players what there characters experience through non traditional senses... “you get a bad feeling” but someone on here told me they would never play with my group because that takes away control of there characters.
This is the kind of thing I’ll ague about animatedly on forums - I strongly believe in keeping the PCs’ feelings exclusively under control of the players. But in an actual game, I might grumble internally if told my character “got a bad feeling”, but it wouldn’t actually be a deal-breaker. Maybe if the DM was constantly narrating what my character felt I would eventually quit the game, but most likely it would just be a minor annoyance that was vastly outweighed by how fun the rest of the game is.
 

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DEFCON 1

Legend
One other aspect I think is in play about this is that many of us use posting on the board as a way to entertain ourselves and spend our time doing something D&D-related when not actually playing D&D. And thus we can just type and type and type, analyzing and over-analyzing what it is we are talking about and what it is we are responding to... editing and re-editing to make points that we think are important.

But doing all of that will occasionally take us more overboard with our comments than we ever would have been had we been having the conversation face-to-face. And that's mainly because we can get all our points out on the table without being interrupted or pausing because we know the person we are speaking to has something to say. ;)

I suspect that any of these threads... had they been done in person with folks sitting around a table having the discussion... it would never be as intense as it sometimes might seem here. So I think the best way to look at any of this is assume that anyone who is talking is probably 50% more over-the-top with their comments than they probably actually believe. LOL.
 


aco175

Legend
Part of the problem is that there are soo many rules and editions. Over the years, everyone has adopted rules that they liked or kept over the editions and other rules are homemade where the books encourage it. It is marginally like Monopoly where I may play with putting money on Free Parking and start with passing out 3 properties to everyone and you do not. It might be more like it poker was 1e with 5-card stud and 2e was 7-card. 3e might be 5-card draw and 4e more like Texas Hold-em. When we discuss the rules, someone will be all, "7-card stud is the best and everyone else is wrong".
 

payn

Hero
Part of the problem is that there are soo many rules and editions. Over the years, everyone has adopted rules that they liked or kept over the editions and other rules are homemade where the books encourage it. It is marginally like Monopoly where I may play with putting money on Free Parking and start with passing out 3 properties to everyone and you do not. It might be more like it poker was 1e with 5-card stud and 2e was 7-card. 3e might be 5-card draw and 4e more like Texas Hold-em. When we discuss the rules, someone will be all, "7-card stud is the best and everyone else is wrong".
Its fine to prefer 7 card stud and talk about why you think its better than 5 card draw. The problem is folks often say, "7 card is superior and 5 card is inferior." That's a clean version often there are more put downs both direct and indirect like back handed compliments. When folks engage in these types of discussions I do my best to ask them to do so in a less dismissive and more constructive way. Folks who care about honest discussion usually adapt, folks who don't, just want to be dinks. Which is fine, because then you find out who is who.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Its fine to prefer 7 card stud and talk about why you think its better than 5 card draw. The problem is folks often say, "7 card is superior and 5 card is inferior." That's a clean version often there are more put downs both direct and indirect like back handed compliments. When folks engage in these types of discussions I do my best to ask them to do so in a less dismissive and more constructive way. Folks who care about honest discussion usually adapt, folks who don't, just want to be dinks. Which is fine, because then you find out who is who.
Further complicating this is the fact that people often bring over assumptions and habits from one edition to another. It’s one thing to say you like 7 card stud more than 5 card draw. It’s another when you prefer 7 card stud, but 5 card draw is what everyone’s playing these days, so you switch over to 5 card draw but add a bunch of house rules to make it play more like 7 card stud.

(For the record, my knowledge of Poker is extremely limited, so I don’t know if that metaphor actually works or not. But I think it at least gets the idea across.)
 

payn

Hero
Further complicating this is the fact that people often bring over assumptions and habits from one edition to another. It’s one thing to say you like 7 card stud more than 5 card draw. It’s another when you prefer 7 card stud, but 5 card draw is what everyone’s playing these days, so you switch over to 5 card draw but add a bunch of house rules to make it play more like 7 card stud.

(For the record, my knowledge of Poker is extremely limited, so I don’t know if that metaphor actually works or not. But I think it at least gets the idea across.)
Thats true, and a pretty good use of the poker analogy. I know the E-war was hard on a lot of folks, but I learned a ton about what I like and dont like in gaming. I also got a good understanding of what others like and why they do. There were a few miss fires on my part, and folks had to use my method on me at times, but in the end I came away with a better general understanding. So the internet effect isn't always negative, IME.
 

I come to ENWorld to continue to learn and improve the gameplay at our tables (where we play 5e). I hope to also pay it forward here by sharing in my own words what I've learned from other posters as well as outside resources that have benefited our groups. By sharing, it becomes a positive feedback loop for me as I'm better able to engrain a concept into how I run and play 5e.

I'm glad for the varied viewpoints brought to bear in these discussions as they help me discover new ideas and new ways of looking at how I run a game - and also help challenge, and often strengthen, how I already approach the game.

Of course, sometimes it's a matter of separating the wheat from the chaff in discussions. Sometimes posters are arguing for the sake of arguing and under no circumstance will back down to admit there is another way to look at things or that they might outright be wrong. That is of course magnified by the anonymous nature of the forum (as others have mentioned upthread).
Also, sometimes posters are arguing under false pretenses - and, likely most often, not doing so deliberately. They may be indicating that a rule or ruling is wrong when they a. haven't really read the DMG/PHB fully to hold a deep understanding of the rule (raises hand sheepishly as something I've done in the past), and/or b. are misunderstanding the assumptions behind the debate (yep, been here too), and/or c. don't actually play the edition being discussed or are bringing in assumptions from other editions/games. Any of these can lead to obfuscation and frustration and make it appear that our games are more disparate than the same.

At the end of the day, if we actually played in the game of another forum poster with whom we seem to disagree, I think such a game more often than not may actually run IRL much the same as our own with perhaps some minor adjustments (which may or may not be annoyances) - and fun would be had.
 

MGibster

Legend
Come to think of it, there have been an awful lot of new gamers, new in the sense that we had no history gaming together, who quickly bugged out of games after only a few sessions. I always chalked it up to a combination of compatibility issues and general gamer flakiness but maybe it's more about compatibility issues. I know there have been groups I've gamed with where I just absolutely disliked how they went about doing things in game. The players themself were just fine but the way they ran the game just wasn't enjoyable to me. Maybe that's part of what makes it hard to find a group?
 

MGibster

Legend
I come to ENWorld to continue to learn and improve the gameplay at our tables (where we play 5e). I hope to also pay it forward here by sharing in my own words what I've learned from other posters as well as outside resources that have benefited our groups. By sharing, it becomes a positive feedback loop for me as I'm better able to engrain a concept into how I run and play 5e.
I'm mostly here to argue with @Charlaquin and give @Umbran a hard time. I kid. I kid. I'm here because it's fun to talk about the silly games I love and I get a lot of good ideas from all the participants here.
 

bloodtide

Explorer
Well, I'd point out that any bad feelings or whatever go all the way back to Day One of D&D. You know like how D&D was made by two guys....and one of them just up and vanished. Humm..ever wonder why and what the story was there?

Of course, most people today are not just thin skinned...but skinless. If you even suggest saying anything even slightly negative to them they will take it as the most vile personal assault and go cry in their safe space.

As a frequient poster on "The Other Side" I also see this A LOT: Someone takes the D&D rules and makes a ton of changes to them and makes a very spcific set playstlye. Then they log into a forum and complain that the game is SO broken. And plenty of people will chime in and say "yup I agree 100%".

Then there is the poster like me. I will immediately point out the obvious problem: it's not the game, it's the persons chosen rules changes and play style.

This often will end the conversation as the person will feel personalty attacked as I posted "It's not the rules, it's you".

Not that even if they can accept the problem might be them it helps much any. Just take the classic

Poster: "monks suck(in my game with my changed rules and play style)!

Me: no they don't, just don't make your game all about endless mindless combat and monk characters are fine

Poster:No way, my game is so awesome and is about so many awesome things..but, um, monks still suck!

Me: well, ok then, give me a non combat example of your problem?

Poster: LOGS OFF
 

Asisreo

Fiendish Attorney
Since this is the internet, we're all subject to many different experiences not just in D&D but even in real life.

Some of us have significant others, some don't. Some of us have jobs, some don't. Some of us are more cognitively divergent than others. That in-and-of itself will seriously change the way the game will be played. And that's okay.

We're a collection of strangers that happens to have a medium in which we can talk yet remain strangers. This forum lets us express some of our thoughts as loud as possible without causing tangible hostility. Some are more willing than others to use that.

But this also gives us a power to truly learn the perspective of others in areas we would never even touch in our lives.

As for why we can't agree on everything, well, that's how life happens. One person's experiences will vary from another and both their attitude towards that experience as well as the way its projected will always be something different.

As long as people remain respectful and rule-bound according to the hosts, then I don't have a problem even with opposing opinions. Nobody changes their mind from one extreme to another over the course of a thread, but sometimes when you give them the time to experience similar things, they may come around to re-evaluate.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I think most of our differences are blown way out of proportion. I know some people are "if the DM does X I'll walk away". For that matter, I have a few lines myself. I wouldn't have fun in a murder-hobo game for example. Fortunately there are a lot of people out there and a wide variety of play styles and if you're willing to be a bit flexible you can find a match.

It's kind of like the 80/20 rule: when looking at a solution to a business problem if you can address 80% of the issues it's a good start. I could probably have fun gaming with 80% of the people on this forum. We'd probably run slightly different games but from the outside most people couldn't tell. I might rule on [insert spell or feat here] slightly different but the DM would make the ruling and we'd move on.
 

Lycurgon

Explorer
Rest assured that Internet forums are not representative of the D&D community at large. When WotC were creating 5e and doing all of their surveys on all the D&D Next playtest material, they were surprised to learn that Internet forums were not representative of the D&D player base. Prior to that they had mostly got their feedback from forums but once they realised they weren't a representative source of feed back they stopped relying on them and continued to rely on surveys, which have a much bigger, wider source of feed back.

So keep that in mind when reading them. These forums are not representative and only have a small portion of views. Probably these groups are of people that are more interested in rules and theories (and probably arguing too) than your average player.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
Anyway, I guess the topic I am bringing up for discussion is if the boards and the people who tend to frequent them have a warping effect on viewing the game and game style/approach and its players.
Sometimes I feel like all the people who like D&D are off actually playing it, and the only people who still hang around here having discussions are those who don't like it and want to complain.

(I freely admit that's an exaggeration.)
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Sometimes I feel like all the people who like D&D are off actually playing it, and the only people who still hang around here having discussions are those who don't like it and want to complain.

(I freely admit that's an exaggeration.)

I am a huge Prince fan and way back in the day I was part of Usenet Prince Fan group, which I finally left when I realized it was better called "The Formerly Known as Prince Fans Usenet Group" because so many people who claimed to love his work seemed to do nothing but complain about it.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
This is the kind of thing I’ll ague about animatedly on forums - I strongly believe in keeping the PCs’ feelings exclusively under control of the players. But in an actual game, I might grumble internally if told my character “got a bad feeling”, but it wouldn’t actually be a deal-breaker. Maybe if the DM was constantly narrating what my character felt I would eventually quit the game, but most likely it would just be a minor annoyance that was vastly outweighed by how fun the rest of the game is.

This is a place where it is helpful to remember language. "Feeling" can speak of the character's emotional state, or it can indicate a sensation or impression - as in, "You get a feeling you are being watched." "You get a bad feeling," can be the shiver up the spine, or the momentary dropping in the pit of the stomach that is commonly used to indicate wrongness, but not the character's actual emotional state. It would be better if the GM used more descriptive language for the sensation, but them not doing so doesn't mean they are intending to dictate the character's emotional state.


When WotC were creating 5e and doing all of their surveys on all the D&D Next playtest material, they were surprised to learn that Internet forums were not representative of the D&D player base.

Do you have a quote of "Hey, we were surprised to find out..." from someone at WotC? Because otherwise... I doubt they were actually surprised. I mean, we have been noting since back in the 3e era, when occasionally WotC folks where known to read the place, that the boards do not constitute a representative sample of players overall. Anyone who has even a basic understanding of statistics could tell you that.
 

I'd also like to think that a lot of us, while we're willing to workshop and jaw about rulings and interpretations here, in actual play are more easy-going. Maybe not always by much, but I think when we need to move the game forward rather than debating things out, it's a different situation.

We will always have common ground with other players, shared experiences, and be more alike than not. At con and public games, I've only gamed with a few people that had such a radically different takes on gaming that it was like playing with an alien.

All that being said, my twin brother and I have been playing D&D since the same age, frequently in the same campaigns. We were informed by the same books and movies growing up. If any two people were going to have the exact same playing styles, it would be us. But while our playstyles are mostly in sync, we still differ in our approaches as players and DMs.
 

TheSword

Legend
Woody Guthrie’s Mean Talkin Blues sums me up pretty well...

I'm the meanest man that ever had a brain,
All I scatter is aches and pains.
I'm carbolic acid, and a poison face,
And I stand flat-footed in favor of crime and disgrace.
If I ever done a good deed, I'm sorry of it.

I'm mean in the East, mean in the West,
Mean to the people that I like the best.
I go around a-causin' lot of accidents,
And I push folks down, and I cause train wrecks.
I'm a big disaster, just goin' somewhere's to happen.
I'm an organized famine, studyin' now I can be a little bit meaner.
I'm still a whole lot too good to suit myself, just mean

I ride around on the subway trains,
Laughin' at the tight shoes dealin' you pain.
And I laugh when the car shakes from side to side,
I laugh my loudest when other people cry.
Can't help it, I was born good, I guess,
Just like you or anybody else,
But then I, just turned off mean..

I hate everybody don't think like me,
And I'd rather see you dead than I'd ever see you free.
Rather see you starved to death
Than see you at work,
And I'm readin' all the books I can
To learn how to hurt,
Daily Misery, spread diseases,
Keep you without no vote,
Keep you without no union.

Well, I hurt when I see you gettin' 'long so well,
I'd ten times rather see you in the fires of hell.
I can't stand to fixed, see you there all fixed up in that house so nice,
I'd rather keep you in that rotten hole, with the bugs and the lice,
And the roaches, and the termites,
And the sand fleas, and the tater bugs,
And the grub worms, and the stingarees,
And the tarantulas, and the spiders, childs of the earth,
The ticks and the blow-flies,
These is all of my little angels
That go 'round helpin' me do the best parts of my meanness.

And mosquiters,

Well, I used to be a pretty fair organized feller,
Till I turned a scab and then I turned off yeller,
Fought ev'ry union with teeth and toenail,
And I sprouted a six-inch stinger right in the middle of the tail,
And I growed horns,
And then I cut 'em off, I wanted to fool you.

I hated union every where,
Cause God likes unions
And I hate God!

Well, if I can get the fat to hatin' the lean
That'd tickle me more than anything I've seen,
Then get the colors to fightin' one another,
And friend against friend, and brother, and sister against brother,

That'll be just it.
Everybody's brains a-boilin' in turpentine,
And their teeth fallin' out all up and down the streets,
That'll just suit me fine.
Cause I hate everything that's union,
And I hate everything that's organized,

And I hate everything that's planned,
And I love to hate and I hate to love!

I'm mean,

I'm just mean.

 
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