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D&D General The Tyranny of Rarity

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
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?
Well, Warwizards use subtractive magic and Richard Rahl is the only person to have been born with subtractive magic in thousands of years. Might be an issue.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
And yet… same as last time, the two entrenched positions on this thread can be summarized as, "I curate, but if you don't, that's totally cool," and "Your curating offends me, on behalf of your oppressed players."
I do seem to notice a pattern with this and other semi-related threads. I tend to be on the side of "This is what I do and why, if you do something different, that's cool." Then there's the other side "If you don't allow any race, it's just a selfish and lazy cop-out". Because I obviously can create an entire campaign world but the thought of adding another race terrifies poor lazy, selfish, control freak me. :mad:
 



Jack Daniel

OD&D Referee
Hmmm...I wonder what side you consider yourself on???

Well it's not a secret or anything. The point is, my own bias aside, one side in this argument is open-minded about a variety of campaign styles being valid, and the other side is attacking one specific style. (Even if the OP tried to frame it as an anodyne, "Consider the following…")

I am curious, though, to see how the side I'm not on thinks the two positions ought to be summarized. It would be a source of actual insight, I think, into what the "FREEDOM FROM ELFGAME TYRRANY!" folks think they're saying when we're very definitely hearing/seeing/reading, "Your way of doing things is bad and wrong and oppressive and also probably outdated."
 
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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Well it's not a secret or anything.

I am curious, though, to see how the side I'm not on thinks the two positions ought to be summarized. It would be a source of actual insight, I think, into what the "FREEDOM FROM ELFGAME TYRRANY!" folks think they're saying when we're very definitely hearing/seeing/reading, "Your way of doing things is bad and wrong and oppressive and also probably outdated."

I think it's happened several times. And the next post says that something sounds awful domineering or tyranical or the like, and it's back off the rails.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
The one that doesn't say that other people are playing wrong if they don't do it the way they do it?
Oh, you mean the side that says being open is "caving in" or "cantina-style" or "rubber masking" or implying that one can't have internal consistency or logical setting if one allows their players to use all the WotC content instead of just a subset of it?
 

Csn I interest you in a Jedi Gundam Klingon?
I mean you say that, but lately in FF14 due to the addition of Sage I've just been making all of the Gundam jokes because I'm now the Nu Gundam and also I'm a backup healer (ohgod don't make me main heal as sage please)

Anywho, my position has always been more open. Heck knows I want to help my friend get into the D&D side, and first thing she wanted to play? Tabaxi. Because... Well, because Khajiit. From Elder Scrolls. Because we're in an age where more people are going to have Oblivion, Warcraft and Skyrim as a fantasy baseline than other things. So as such, with that fantasy baseline, there's less of a demand for "The stuff from Tolkein" and moreso "The stuff from (Other series)". Heck knows original D&D was inspired by pop culture of the time
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Well it's not a secret or anything. The point is, my own bias aside, one side in this argument is open-minded about a variety of campaign styles being valid, and the other side is attacking one specific style. (Even if the OP tried to frame it as an anodyne, "Consider the following…")

I am curious, though, to see how the side I'm not on thinks the two positions ought to be summarized. It would be a source of actual insight, I think, into what the "FREEDOM FROM ELFGAME TYRRANY!" folks think they're saying when we're very definitely hearing/seeing/reading, "Your way of doing things is bad and wrong and oppressive and also probably outdated."
I don't use the words bad, wrong, or outdated to describe someone's game I'm only familiar with in buts and snippets.

When someone tells me their ten yearlong campaign has never infused any new content (besides non-sapient monsters) it strikes me that they are leaving so much off the table and I can't help but wonder if in some world where they were less tied to a singular vision they might end up with a superior experience.

A frequent response to this is that they aren't getting any complaints....but how many complaints/requests are you going to get in a system where one party had openly stated "Its my game, you play it my way or I walk" in return for bearing the onus of GMing?

So, to try to rephrase both sides in a neutral way...

Side A: I'm going to run the game I want because that will result in the best game I can provide.

Side B: I'm going to run the game my players want because that will result in the best game I can provide.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
I mean you say that, but lately in FF14 due to the addition of Sage I've just been making all of the Gundam jokes because I'm now the Nu Gundam and also I'm a backup healer (ohgod don't make me main heal as sage please)

Anywho, my position has always been more open. Heck knows I want to help my friend get into the D&D side, and first thing she wanted to play? Tabaxi. Because... Well, because Khajiit. From Elder Scrolls. Because we're in an age where more people are going to have Oblivion, Warcraft and Skyrim as a fantasy baseline than other things. So as such, with that fantasy baseline, there's less of a demand for "The stuff from Tolkein" and moreso "The stuff from (Other series)". Heck knows original D&D was inspired by pop culture of the time
It's just a joke. Throughout the many pages on this thread Jedis, Klingons, and Gundams were all brought up by slippery slope arguers as things their players would ask to play if they loosened up their curated lists.
 

Jack Daniel

OD&D Referee
When someone tells me their ten yearlong campaign has never infused any new content (besides non-sapient monsters) it strikes me that they are leaving so much off the table and I can't help but wonder if in some world where they were less tied to a singular vision they might end up with a superior experience.

A frequent response to this is that they aren't getting any complaints....but how many complaints/requests are you going to get in a system where one party had openly stated "Its my game, you play it my way or I walk" in return for bearing the onus of GMing?

So, to try to rephrase both sides in a neutral way...

Side A: I'm going to run the game I want because that will result in the best game I can provide.

Side B: I'm going to run the game my players want because that will result in the best game I can provide.

To which I can only respond: what evidence do you have that "more content" or "new content" (in terms of races/species/monsters in the game-world) makes for a better game/experience? What evidence do you have that Side B makes for a better game/experience than Side A? To me, it all seems too subjective to be worth getting tied into argumentative knots over. There are just too many variables at play to ever draw a conclusion beyond, "I'll do what works best for me, you do what works best for you."

For my part, I can see how Side A can work and be good, and I can see how Side B can work and be good. What I can't countenance is any argument that Side B can't make good games because it's (ooOOOoooOOoo) authoritarian, and authoritarian elfgames are inherently problematic — or, for that matter, that good isn't good enough, and we "authoritarian" worldbuilders are "missing out" on "could be better." The first statement is pure tripe, and the latter is (as I've said before) trying to be a legitimate argument, when all it's really doing is grasping at fomenting FOMO that simply doesn't exist.
 

I am curious, though, to see how the side I'm not on thinks the two positions ought to be summarized. It would be a source of actual insight, I think, into what the "FREEDOM FROM ELFGAME TYRRANY!" folks think they're saying when we're very definitely hearing/seeing/reading, "Your way of doing things is bad and wrong and oppressive and also probably outdated."

I don’t want to speak for anyone but myself.

I’ve very clearly been stating that my concern is about “DM gets to decide” as the default for all things in D&D. I prefer involving my players, and to be involved as a player, and I suggest others who are wondering how to approach this should lean that way.

I don’t think that the justifications that have been put forth most often in this thread for the “DM Decides” approach are all that relevant.

The “slippery slope” of having to allow smurfs and laser guns and so on is hyperbole. Suggesting a DM listen to what their players want or make an exception does not mean they have to suddenly abandon any say they have. It’s more about treating the players as equals than about letting them walk all over the DM.

The amount of work that the DM puts in grants him the privilege of making all creative decisions. This one has a few holes in it. Many people have said that they enjoy their solo prep in between actual play sessions as being fun and a creative outlet they enjoy. I absolutely question if placing equal or more importance on this solo prep as actual play is good for the game. But no one is saying that…no one has come right out and said “my setting solitaire is important enough to me that it takes precedence over actual play with the group.”

Also, suggestions to share some of that effort with the players have also been met with resistance. It would seem that this dynamic is what many want.

Coherency. Allowing more than one source of creative input will render a setting incoherent or a convoluted mess. While this is certainly possible, it’s certainly not a given. With any fiction there’s a risk things won’t all gel together perfectly. Is that risk higher when you have more people contributing? Possibly, yes. However, my counter to that is that you will hopefully have players who are now more invested in the setting, so you have multiple people
paying closer attention to it all.

So ultimately, I’m not telling anyone they’re doing anything wrong. I’ve even said many times, if your players aren’t concerned about this stuff, then you probably have no problems. Even then, I’d suggest actually making an effort to involve them more as I think it really is only likely to have positive results. But everyone should play how they’d like and how their players would like. Maybe they’ll find that their players really respond to this, and their game improves. If not, there’s nothing stopping anyone from going right back to doing things the way they always have.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I don't use the words bad, wrong, or outdated to describe someone's game I'm only familiar with in buts and snippets.

When someone tells me their ten yearlong campaign has never infused any new content (besides non-sapient monsters) it strikes me that they are leaving so much off the table and I can't help but wonder if in some world where they were less tied to a singular vision they might end up with a superior experience.

So it's not bad, it's just probably inferior. :unsure:
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Oh, you mean the side that says being open is "caving in" or "cantina-style"
Cave in has to be taken in context. Cantina style is just one descriptor, if you consider it derogatory I suggest you take it up with the poster. We have to have some description of allow any race.
or "rubber masking"

If I ever say that I make it very clear that it's a personal bias. In my experience, about the only real difference in how the vast majority of people play different races is visual. If other people like playing tortles, go for it. Not sure how many times or ways it can be said.

or implying that one can't have internal consistency or logical setting if one allows their players to use all the WotC content instead of just a subset of it?

I have internal consistency in my world building. If I wanted a world with 30+ races, I could come up with an internally consistent reason. I've chosen not to do so. When it comes to people adding details to the world, yes I want that lore to be consistent.

All of these things are always followed up with "for me" or "for my group." It's a far cry from people telling me that I'm a control freak that just too lazy and selfish to come up with a reason to add the race of the week. It's a preference. One of countless decisions I've made about how my world works. Why is it so hard to accept that not everyone wants what you want? That many of my players when they join my game tell me that one of the reasons they joined was because I limit races.
 

Jack Daniel

OD&D Referee
I’ve very clearly been stating that my concern is about “DM gets to decide” as the default for all things in D&D. I prefer involving my players, and to be involved as a player, and I suggest others who are wondering how to approach this should lean that way.

So you have a preference. Cool, me too.

What evidence do you have that the default "the DM gets to decide" is something to be concerned about? (And, heck, just for the sake of good-faith argument, let's go ahead and assume competent, non-Viking-Hat, non-antagonistic DMs all around, regardless of whether players have some creative control over the setting or not.)
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
And yet… same as last time, the two entrenched positions on this thread can be summarized as, "I curate, but if you don't, that's totally cool," and "Your curating offends me, on behalf of your oppressed players."
I haven't argued against curating, I've argued about the DM is the final authority attitude and culture and using curation as an excuse to flex it.
 

Jack Daniel

OD&D Referee
I haven't argued against curating, I've argued about the DM is the final authority attitude and culture and using curation as an excuse to flex it.

Okay, this is good, I'm hearing you more clearly now.

Side 1: I'm the Authority over my game-world when I'm the DM, but if you like to distribute authority among all players present, that's cool too.
Side 2: DMs being the sole Authority over their game/setting is a problem.

Fair? And if yes, why?
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Cave in has to be taken in context. Cantina style is just one descriptor, if you consider it derogatory I suggest you take it up with the poster. We have to have some description of allow any race.


If I ever say that I make it very clear that it's a personal bias. In my experience, about the only real difference in how the vast majority of people play different races is visual. If other people like playing tortles, go for it. Not sure how many times or ways it can be said.



I have internal consistency in my world building. If I wanted a world with 30+ races, I could come up with an internally consistent reason. I've chosen not to do so. When it comes to people adding details to the world, yes I want that lore to be consistent.

All of these things are always followed up with "for me" or "for my group." It's a far cry from people telling me that I'm a control freak that just too lazy and selfish to come up with a reason to add the race of the week. It's a preference. One of countless decisions I've made about how my world works. Why is it so hard to accept that not everyone wants what you want? That many of my players when they join my game tell me that one of the reasons they joined was because I limit races.
YOU were the one that decided to post the sweeping allegation that everyone on one side is just chatting and everyone on the other is attacking. I never said any such thing....because that's factually untrue and irritatingly simplistic.

You just posted a bunch of defenses for yourself as if my attacks were a condemnation on YOU, but in reality they are a condemnation on the statement that one side is somehow morally superior to the other. Your personal statements are not the sum total of "your side" and my statements are not the sum total of "my side".

If you can't spot the bad apples in your bucket then it's probably because you aren't seeing your bucket, not that it's free of bad apples.
 

I haven't argued against curating, I've argued about the DM is the final authority attitude and culture and using curation as an excuse to flex it.
Your position is getting more refined with that post.
So having restrictions on races and classes do not bug you.
It is the DM attitude of absolute power that bugs you.
You know that it is very very very rare to see a DM going against the wish of his group (not one player, but a whole group).

I have a very long list of people waiting to join my group. About a year ago, such an opening occurred. That person wanted to play a Tiefling but in my campaign world, these are view as Devils. I told him that he would suffer a bit if not a lot from the people and that he would have to work ten times as hard to be accepted. He agreed and he played his Tiefling Bard. The group found that with the monster races he was quite an asset, but in "civilized" territory, it was quite the contrary. Merchants would close shop or raise significantly their prices to the group because of the "devil" with them. It took them many years (game time) to get the bard accepted but in the end, he was accepted as the "Good bardic devil". A half orc would have had an easier time than he did. Had he asked for a race outside the PHB, it would have been a stern no as the whole groups are averse to these.

All this to say, usually, a DM is in "relative" harmony with his/her players. It is not often that a concept might be rejected and when such a concept is rejected it is often for one or many reasons, be they story, consistency, plot, cohesion and so many others. Rarely will you hear a "no" without at least a "partial" explanation.
 

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