sigh And here I thought this thread would reveal FINALLY how to make the Creation College Bard actually good
What I mean is that we all play in a shared world. Some DM's like to have complete control of that world, but that is not how we play. We make up house rules together, and we literally build elements of the world together. There is no need for me to make up everything, 6 minds are better than 1. During play I am the master of adjudication, but how the characters act and what they do is up to the creativity and description of the players. In that process, the can and do invent aspects of the game world I didn't think of.This just slips into meaningless jargon to me. Ok, it's "everybodies" world...so the players are happy. But it means nothing. So what does it mean to you? As DM I'm still creating anything I want at any time on a whim....and ok, the players sit there and say 'it's the groups world". So what changes?
I think there needs to be a healthy balance. As DM I occasionally have to say "no" even if I try to include "but here's what you can do" or "what are you trying to accomplish?" On the other hand I'll never have a giant hand come out of a wall that kills a random PC just because I can.This is a very weird thread. But, I'm feeling weird this morning, so:
The GM has absolute power. Sure. But if they abuse that power, they are going to weild it over an empty table. So they should probably dial it back a smidge.
I have noticed a return of an antagonistic relationship between players and GMs lately, but only online. So I can't be sure if it actually exists or it's just memery.
I am talking about antagonism between the GM and the players. I see it a lot in reddit threads (which I read mostly to stay current with the younger folks [insert "How do you do fellow kids" meme], so, again, I don't know if it is something real people are worried about at the table or something folks like to post about online.Whether there is a change in antagonistic DM behavior I couldn't say. I think it's always varied from DM to DM.
While this is possible, it is hardly a truism. I run full improv games on occasion and when I do they are driven as much by random die rolls and player input as they are my whim. Unless you define "GM's fictional creation" so broadly as to include giving players input and allowing dice to dictate results, in which case it has lost all meaning.Likewise, the reason I say that while it's not possible to run a game without some improv, it's not possible to run a lengthy improv game in that all improv games are pure railroads of this sort. You the player only think you are driving the tractor. Your actually only making inconsequential micro decisions. All the real controls are kept away from you by the infinite and regularly exercised power of the GM's fictional creation.
While this is possible, it is hardly a truism. I run full improv games on occasion and when I do they are driven as much by random die rolls and player input as they are my whim. Unless you define "GM's fictional creation" so broadly as to include giving players input and allowing dice to dictate results, in which case it has lost all meaning.
As an amusing side note, the notorious RPG The World of Synnibarr actually had this as a mechanic. Players were entitled to challenge the GM (Fate) if they thought he was fudging/changing stuff, and he had to show them his written notes. As I recall, if they caught him in such changes, they got double xp for the adventure.I have already say for joking that Wotc should provide a secure site where the DM can post his prep notes in case of contest by the players!
That is completely counter to both my experience and my intuition, but it's probably not worth debating since you've established your philosophy on the subject.But, the very fact that you think taking player input and rolling the dice and letting dice dictate results means the players have any real narrative control makes me highly suspicious. The thing about high illusionism is quite often the GM is also allowing themselves to be deceived. Because in my essay on How to Railroad, I covered techniques that let you take player input, roll the dice, and let the dice dictate results while still fully railroading the players. It's not enough to do those things if you don't have something in your mind other than how you want the game to go or what you think would be good for the game limiting what you rule and create and improvise.
The DM can do whatever he wants, as long as its in good faith.
There's only 1 thing that is a big no for me: Fudging. You do it, you a bad DM. Respect the dice, if you dont want a probability of success, don't ask for a roll.
With 5e, there's a lot of talk about "DM empowerment", as if somehow, the DM never had the power to dictate the rules of the game, or manifest circumstances of their choosing. What people fail to realize isn't that the game changed, to take power away from the DM- it's that the players grew weary of DM's who abused their their power over the game and it's narrative. As a result, players lost faith in the Dungeon Master, and demanded fair play.
Don't think it won't happen again.
Fudging is not railroading. Railroading is making decisions for the players what their characters do, though typically by just saying that nothing happens to everything they try until they do what the GM wants them to.
If I were playing or running a game where fudging happened frequently, I would start to ask whether we were even using the right system. If it’s not generating results we want, then that suggests not (or at least some changes should be in order).