D&D 5E Restrictive DMs and player enjoyment


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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
It sometimes feels like restrictions are speed limits, they're made to be broken.

If you have a world without gnomes, someone will want a gnome. If you have a world with all the PHB races, someone will want one from another book. If you have all the offical races someone will want a 3PP one. If you have a bunch of 3PP ones someone will want a custom one....

I had a game where the set-up was that everyone was supposed to be a non-demi-human and they would have a ring that let them appear as a demi-human for several hours a day. One wanted to be a human who was cursed to be a humanoid and the ring made them look like their real self... (I mean it was fine and worked well, but it feels like folks will always push beyond whatever limit was set).
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
It sometimes feels like restrictions are speed limits, they're made to be broken.
i'm not quite sure that is the point of speed limits?
If you have a world without gnomes, someone will want a gnome. If you have a world with all the PHB races, someone will want one from another book. If you have all the offical races someone will want a 3PP one. If you have a bunch of 3PP ones someone will want a custom one....

I had a game where the set-up was that everyone was supposed to be a non-demi-human and they would have a ring that let them appear as a demi-human for several hours a day. One wanted to be a human who was cursed to be a humanoid and the ring made them look like their real self... (I mean it was fine and worked well, but it feels like folks will always push beyond whatever limit was set).
it really says alot about people that whenever you say 'can you be one of these specific things' there's always someone who'll attempt to be anything but.
 

ad_hoc

(they/them)
One person's permissive is another's restrictive.

Without any restrictions then we just have a boundless void.

I like having the restrictions agreed upon by the table not just up to the DM. That as well as the goals of the game spelled out so everyone knows what sorts of things are going to be restricted.

Ideally the DM won't have to say 'no' because the player is already aware of what the expectations are.

If the DM does need to say no then I expect a 'no, but' to realize the idea in a different way.
 

prabe

Tension, apprension, and dissension have begun
Supporter
It sometimes feels like restrictions are speed limits, they're made to be broken.

If you have a world without gnomes, someone will want a gnome. If you have a world with all the PHB races, someone will want one from another book. If you have all the offical races someone will want a 3PP one. If you have a bunch of 3PP ones someone will want a custom one....

I had a game where the set-up was that everyone was supposed to be a non-demi-human and they would have a ring that let them appear as a demi-human for several hours a day. One wanted to be a human who was cursed to be a humanoid and the ring made them look like their real self... (I mean it was fine and worked well, but it feels like folks will always push beyond whatever limit was set).
I've never--not once--had (or seen) a player do that. I don't doubt that it happens, but I don't think it's anything like so universal as implied, here.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
It sometimes feels like restrictions are speed limits, they're made to be broken.

If you have a world without gnomes, someone will want a gnome. If you have a world with all the PHB races, someone will want one from another book. If you have all the offical races someone will want a 3PP one. If you have a bunch of 3PP ones someone will want a custom one....

I had a game where the set-up was that everyone was supposed to be a non-demi-human and they would have a ring that let them appear as a demi-human for several hours a day. One wanted to be a human who was cursed to be a humanoid and the ring made them look like their real self... (I mean it was fine and worked well, but it feels like folks will always push beyond whatever limit was set).
Yeah, there is a strong thread of contraryness present in many gamers (at least one per table IME).
 


prabe

Tension, apprension, and dissension have begun
Supporter
One person's permissive is another's restrictive.

Without any restrictions then we just have a boundless void.

I like having the restrictions agreed upon by the table not just up to the DM. That as well as the goals of the game spelled out so everyone knows what sorts of things are going to be restricted.

Ideally the DM won't have to say 'no' because the player is already aware of what the expectations are.

If the DM does need to say no then I expect a 'no, but' to realize the idea in a different way.
I think that ideally the "no" would come at the end of some discussion, so the player understood the why of it--and whether there was some other way to get there, given whatever constraints are leading to that "no."
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
I'm going to be probably super-unhelpful and say "It depends."

Some types of campaigns look pretty open-ended in basic structure. In one of those I'm liable to start giving a GM a side-eye the more often they tell me a character is inappropriate (unless its in the context of "won't fit with the other characters"). Some are much more specific and demand a much narrower range of concepts.
 

R_J_K75

Legend
I just “clocked out” and started designing a character. And then started thinking that my idea would not fly at all tables. Some DMs would say “no.”

That would be a drag and made me question: do players prefer a restrictive or permissive DM?

Curious if any players prefer a tight fisted DM vs a more open one.

Feel free to explain your definition of restrictive vs. permissive DM.
I'd say it depends on the edition being played. Pre-3E era I think it was assumed that DMs word was law. Post 2E, things swung the other way based soley on how the PHB/DMG were written. Rules were well quantified. In theory, a player could challenge a DMs judgement by turning to pg "x" in the PHB and quote rule "y". Which is fair enough. Now as this is 5E thread and more power has been restored to the DM in this edition more than the previous 2 editions, I think there is a good median now. As a DM now in 5E I'd be willing to compromise with a player on their character if it didn't quite fit with my vision of the campaign I was running and as a player I'd accept this as long as the DM didn't flat out say NO!, THIS WILL NOT DO! I believe there should be respect on both sides to compromise and have a give and take to reach a common ground to where both the DM and player is happy when it comes to PC creation; rules be damned. If a DM was heavy-handedly playing god, I'd jump ship before the game even started unless there was a really good reason for it.
 

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