D&D 5E Restrictive DMs and player enjoyment

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Group think squashing creativity?

The characters whole thing was that he fired upon anything he saw before the other characters got a chance to interact with it.

He was squashing everyone else's creativity by not allowing them to play their characters.

In the narrative of the game those characters would all boot him from the party because he will get them killed. They only don't do it because it is a game so he must be included.
That's their mistake, then. They should boot the character, all in good fun at the table but deadly serious in character. Or - and I've seen this done - next time he starts a fight expecting backup, hang him out to dry and don't give him any.
Reigning in a problem player is not squashing creativity.
Thing is, it's usually the players of individualist and do-your-own-thing characters that are labelled as problem players, and I'll fight that all day long.

I want players who think for themselves, and who have characters that can think for themselves, and who are willing to have their characters act on those thoughts with or without regard for what the other characters might think; and if that ends up as a DM-side exercise in cat-herding I'll take that every time over a group who all think alike or who just passively follow the lead of one dominant player.

Your shoot-first guy is just the sort of character that makes the game fun and, all too often, is what gets the game moving. More, please.
 

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Oofta

Legend
It is a response to the part where the players are only there for their own enjoyment.
I didn't say that, but some are. Obviously if you're gaming with friends you want them to have fun as well. You want to succeed as a team. But you are still primarily concerned about and focused on your character and what they can accomplish. It's a different perspective, you're a member of the orchestra not the conductor who also wrote the music you're playing.
 

ad_hoc

(they/them)
That's their mistake, then. They should boot the character, all in good fun at the table but deadly serious in character. Or - and I've seen this done - next time he starts a fight expecting backup, hang him out to dry and don't give him any.

Thing is, it's usually the players of individualist and do-your-own-thing characters that are labelled as problem players, and I'll fight that all day long.

I want players who think for themselves, and who have characters that can think for themselves, and who are willing to have their characters act on those thoughts with or without regard for what the other characters might think; and if that ends up as a DM-side exercise in cat-herding I'll take that every time over a group who all think alike or who just passively follow the lead of one dominant player.

Your shoot-first guy is just the sort of character that makes the game fun and, all too often, is what gets the game moving. More, please.

So then we have non-stop combat soon followed by a TPK and none of the other players get to do anything with their characters other than fight.

And that is a good thing for you?

This is just the entire group following the leader.

Or like you said they boot him as they should but then that is the same thing as saying to the player that they can't play that character. It is the same result just one is passive aggressive and leads to hurt feelings.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
So then we have non-stop combat soon followed by a TPK and none of the other players get to do anything with their characters other than fight.
Why is it a TPK? Can't the other characters run away once it becomes clear things aren't going well?
This is just the entire group following the leader.
Only if they choose to follow when-where he leads. Nothing says they have to.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Or like you said they boot him as they should but then that is the same thing as saying to the player that they can't play that character. It is the same result just one is passive aggressive and leads to hurt feelings.
Don’t be thinking that way. Disruptive players who won’t change when confronted aren’t worth the sympathy. Disruptive players deserve to be policed, including being booted. Not all character concepts are appropriate for all groups and that‘s OK.
 

ad_hoc

(they/them)
Don’t be thinking that way. Disruptive players who won’t change when confronted aren’t worth the sympathy. Disruptive players deserve to be policed, including being booted. Not all character concepts are appropriate for all groups and that‘s OK.

I agree. Just pointing out the issues with it.

When we talked to the player they agreed to change and all had a good time.

The alternative of the rest of the party abandoning them is just a bad time.
 



Clint_L

Hero
I feel like we are talking about two distinct types of DM prescriptiveness here.

1. DMs prescribing what content, house rules, etc. will be part of their campaign. I think most of us probably agree that DM's should have wide latitude here, and it is then up to players to decide if this seems like an appealing campaign to join.

2. DMs prescribing player choice within the campaign, i.e. by heavily railroading the narrative or refusing to accept player choices that diverge from the DM's preferred outcome. I think most of us would have a problem with the latter. Though the reality is that the DM still retains quite a bit of control by being able to determine what plot elements are available, obvious, etc.

I personally prefer to run a fairly "sandbox" style campaign where I present a variety of plot hooks, as well as using some randomly generated encounters and characters, and am entertained by seeing what the players choose to pursue. So I can never really plan that far ahead, and have to be willing to drop plots entirely if the players just aren't interested. I don't mind - whatever they come up with instead is always fun, and those plot points and encounters can always be recycled elsewhere.

On the other hand, I am about to run the new Lost Mine of Phandelver campaign for some beginners - I don't normally run entire campaigns out of the box, so I hope they are okay with sticking to that general story arc! Though at least the first part is still fairly sandbox-y.
 


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