D&D General The Tyranny of Rarity

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That's the problem I have. That player usually justifies this because they're the DM.
And this particular DM has the backing votes of his current 12 players. Both groups votes on what will be accepted for the current campaign.

What would you, as a DM, do if one player wanted to impose a tolkienesque restricted racial on you and the other players happen agree with him?
I am very curious.
 

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There's a chicken-and-egg problem here.

If I'm DMing, not only am I curating the list of available species but I'm also a) tweaking the rules (e.g. ASI bonus/penalty, species abilities, etc.) for each one and b) designing the setting to suit those species and their histories etc. The players need to see those tweaked rules in order to have enough info to roll up their characters, meaning that by the time the players get access to it the list of available species is already locked and loaded and the setting has been designed.

The other option is to have the players in effect roll up their characters blind as regards just what their non-Human PCs will have going for them. Somehow doing it that way doesn't seem so appealing.

None of what you say here does anything to counter the idea of DM as control freak. It seems to double down on it.

There aren’t only two options as you describe. A GM could let the players make their PCs and then use what the players have come up with to craft the lore of their world. The GM doesn’t have to decide all that stuff ahead of character creation. Or even ahead of actual play, for that matter.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
And this particular DM has the backing votes of his current 12 players. Both groups votes on what will be accepted for the current campaign.

What would you, as a DM, do if one player wanted to impose a tolkienesque restricted racial on you and the other players happen agree with him?
I am very curious.
I don't think that theoretical is asking what you think. They can play whatever races they want anyway.

If they don't want to play in my setting, we don't have to do that either. I've run D&D games in everything from Middle Earth and Mistborn to Dresden Files Chicago and the DC Universe.
 

It is clear that the cantina aspect is not for every table, at least not mine and certainly not for long that is for sure.

I don’t think the issue is “the cantina aspect”. The issue is “DM Preference > Player Preference”.

Now this opens up a question. In the end, which one has the most to loose by adopting a stern stance? The answer is easy, the player. A DM can always find more players but the reverse is not true. I have been forming DM for 30 years now and the shortage of DMs has always been a thing.

For every story like this, there’s a story about the DM who demanded his players play his way or else there’d be no game…and so they left and started another game where they were able to have more choice.

And these days, with online gaming as an option, there’s really no shortage of players or GMs.

And I the same. What I have trouble though, is when one player tries to impose his/her views on the other players or DMs. That is simply a big NO! For me.

Change “player” and “players or DMs” to the more general “participants” and then see if that changes your feeling.

“…when one participant tries to impose his/her views on the other participants.”

This is the issue. Does the DM enjoy special privilege or not?
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
For every story like this, there’s a story about the DM who demanded his players play his way or else there’d be no game…and so they left and started another game where they were able to have more choice.
Our group is mostly DMs who play in each other's games with a few forever players due to their first few games resulting in us saying 'never again'. Mostly because of being too domineering.
 


Oofta

Legend
Whoever taught this forum 'one true way' and 'badwrongfun' needs to be found and punished for the crime of murdering honest discussion.
When people state that anyone who limts races is a control freak it sure does sound like badwrongfun to me. You have stated multiple times that a DM making this decision is "a problem".

What problem does it cause, other than you just saying that it is?
 

I don't think that theoretical is asking what you think. They can play whatever races they want anyway.

If they don't want to play in my setting, we don't have to do that either. I've run D&D games in everything from Middle Earth and Mistborn to Dresden Files Chicago and the DC Universe.
That did not answer my question.
I don’t think the issue is “the cantina aspect”. The issue is “DM Preference > Player Preference”.



For every story like this, there’s a story about the DM who demanded his players play his way or else there’d be no game…and so they left and started another game where they were able to have more choice.

And these days, with online gaming as an option, there’s really no shortage of players or GMs.



Change “player” and “players or DMs” to the more general “participants” and then see if that changes your feeling.

“…when one participant tries to impose his/her views on the other participants.”

This is the issue. Does the DM enjoy special privilege or not?
And change the DM with football referee and make it like a player is asking for the right to punt at the goal from the 10 yard mark every time the game is stopped for any reason. How is that?

D&D is a game where the referee does a lot more than the players. A whole lot more. A DM must care for each players, he must make sure his world building has a minimum of cohesion, he must adapt and tailor the adventures to his players (or creat ones, or minimally read what he bought), the DM is usually the one buying the MM, DMG and often more than one copy of the PHB. The DM buys books such as adventures, extensions such as MToF. And a single whinning player should always have his ways over the DM? No thx. In this era of digital media, people still prefer to play at a table. And it happens that this table belongs to the DM. All this work and money's gives the DM some rights to have the kind of game he/she wants. Players and DM shares a symbiotic relationship in the game. When one player wants to impose his views, this player simply becomes a parasite on the the group.

And this comes from a DM that has a very democratic approach to the game.
 

Greg K

Hero
I've run D&D games in everything from Middle Earth and Mistborn to Dresden Files Chicago and the DC Universe.
Maybe, this is the difference. If I see players wanting to play or model characters based on Dresden Files, DC Universe (or other properties (e.g. Star Wars)), I am not using D&D. I am pulling out an entirely different game system (or possibly a choice between multiple systems depending on the genre).
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
DMs who play in each other's games with a few forever players due to their first few games resulting in us saying 'never again'. Mostly because of being too domineering.

Do any of the folks who still get to DM ever put restrictions on race, class, pantheon, or alignment in their campaigns? (Where restriction means they will listen to suggestions of players, but not necessarily take them?)
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Do any of the folks who still get to DM ever put restrictions on race, class, pantheon, or alignment in their campaigns? (Where restriction means they will listen to suggestions of players, but not necessarily take them?)
Outside of focused playtests, themed oneshots and newbie DMs? Not really.

There's like two people who still use alignment and the ask is 'remember evil doesn't mean psychopath', which isn't at odds with the general agreement we have to play character that would actually be part of the group.
 

Because it's done in the context of the DM being some kind of authority

Then I don't know what you were asking.
I asked you
What would you, as a DM, do if one player wanted to impose a tolkienesque restricted racial on you and the other players happen agree with him?
I am very curious.
This assume that you would nit impose anything and that also means the world you build with hundreds of races is restricted to Tolkienesque races.

So what would you do?
 

Do any of the folks who still get to DM ever put restrictions on race, class, pantheon, or alignment in their campaigns? (Where restriction means they will listen to suggestions of players, but not necessarily take them?)
I raise my hand very high and scream:" Present! And guilty as charged!"

Now it happens that my players voted for that aspect in our campaign, yes. But I do impose these restrictions with utter ruhtlessness.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I asked you

This assume that you would nit impose anything and that also means the world you build with hundreds of races is restricted to Tolkienesque races.

So what would you do?
Didn't I say I'd jump to another setting because I'm not married to my setting for every game I play?

Ah yes:

If they don't want to play in my setting, we don't have to do that either.
It's right there in your quote. Answer. Bam.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Question for people who don't want a "cantina effect": do you also limit the number of intelligent monster species?

I have a world that has a PHB-only races (plus orcs, minus dragonborn) limitation, because when I made the world, we were teaching a newbie how to play and I didn't want to overwhelm him with choices. But I also made the choice of saying that there were only two other intelligent humanoids in the area (kobolds and bullywugs), and except for dragons, other intelligent beings are very much supernatural in origin (fey, elementals, undead, etc.). When we move into a different area of the world, the players will learn that there are different races there.

So I was just wondering what other DMs are doing. Do you have tons of intelligent beings but only a few are playable?
 

Didn't I say I'd jump to another setting because I'm not married to my setting for every game I play?

Ah yes:


It's right there in your quote. Answer. Bam.
Ok...
Then you would cave in no matter what and you really expect others to do the same?

Do you really DM? As DMing takes a lot of work, preparation and a lot of personal time. No one that I know of that DM more than just a bit, would be ready to throw that kind of investment to the garbage.
 

Question for people who don't want a "cantina effect": do you also limit the number of intelligent monster species?

I have a world that has a PHB-only races (plus orcs, minus dragonborn) limitation, because when I made the world, we were teaching a newbie how to play and I didn't want to overwhelm him with choices. But I also made the choice of saying that there were only two other intelligent humanoids in the area (kobolds and bullywugs), and except for dragons, other intelligent beings are very much supernatural in origin (fey, elementals, undead, etc.). When we move into a different area of the world, the players will learn that there are different races there.

So I was just wondering what other DMs are doing. Do you have tons of intelligent beings but only a few are playable?
The established races are listed in the MM. Everything else is either a planar lost example or simply do not exist.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
The PhB has rules for characters of all levels and offers that a character can start above 1st if the DM agrees, and the DMG has rules for starting at higher levels. Many posters on this board might have joined an ongoing game at 1st level where there were others at higher levels. (I remember one with a bunch of 1st levels and a pair in the double digits. And the higher level ones were good at not stealing the spotlight, but rather stopping TPKs). The DMG even has a suggestion of having lower level followers in case someone dies so a player can just grab one of them as the new character, so clearly parties of mixed levels can be a thing.

So, @hawkeyefan, @Vaalingrade, or anyone else who doesn't particularly like DMs to restrict things when they don't need to, if my character idea for your new game is an experienced 3rd level war-wizard, a 5th level former mercenary captain, or an exiled 9th level monk... are those all good to go in whatever game you're running? If not, why not?
 

Question for people who don't want a "cantina effect": do you also limit the number of intelligent monster species?
Yes, definitely. And unintelligent ones too. D&D has a totally crazy number of creatures and putting them all into one setting easily just leads into incoherent mess. I also change and reskin creatures to make them better fit the feel of the setting.
 

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