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D&D General What are Players?

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
Reading other responses.

I view the heroes (players) as cowriters of an adventure narrative.

The DM can set up an elaborate adventure, but if the players choose to not go there, that story never happens.

Together, the setting (DM) and the heroes (players) are equal partners in the telling of a story.

Easily half of a story can be a DM making up on the fly what happens when players choose to do something surprising.
 

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payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
I see heroes tossed around like its an expectation of players and their characters, thats not always the case.
 

MarkB

Legend
Inherently Evil

Oh whoops, wrong thread! 😁
They did coincidentally line up very neatly when I opened the forum.

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Shiroiken

Legend
Okay I have a theory about gameing styles... most (not all) of your style comes down to what you think the players are, but there are multi questions to this.
Well, what kind of DM/player am I?
1) Is the DM a player?
No, they are the Dungeon Master, controlling most of the game world. Players only control their characters.
2) Are the players writers creating a narative?
No, they are playing their characters. They react to the events of the world, while the world reacts to their actions (all determined by the DM). They can try to influence the narrative, but they are not directly creating it.
3) Are the PCs able to have any narrative control of the world (before/after/or during game play)?
Somewhat. As a DM I have large concepts pre-determined for the setting, but I will work with players to fill in details. As a player, I work the with DM to build a character appropriate to the setting and fill in my role within it.
4) Are the players the audience watching 'the show' of the game?
No. The players are the show, determining the actions of the protagonists (the PCs). However, the backdrop and antagonists are written by the DM.
5) Are players trying to 'win' by beating everything as best they can, or are they trying to make the most intresting story, or are they (oh god I hate this one) doing just what there characters would do?
Players can do whatever they want. Some view it as a game to be won by overcoming challenges. Some are proactive, wanting to impact the world around them. Some just want to act out their ideas, which is to say the PC. There are no wrong answers. As a DM, I try to provide a bit of everything; as a player I'm a mix between overcoming challenges and acting out the character (which doesn't have to be a bad thing, btw).
 

There also was this (almost said "not too long ago" but closer to "a year ago"):

 

HammerMan

Legend
and with the answers we have so far I can see there is no consensus on any of this...witch I suspected. Now I can argue I am right and you are wrong until I am blue in the face, but really we are all right...for our own games.

The fact that in my games DMs are players too, and all players have (some) narrative control, and that my players are the writers/actors (someone said improv actors so that fits the mix) and audience all in one. That doesn't mean that if your game you see the DM as not playing, give 0 narrative control out side of the character to the PCS and see them as players moving pawns more then writer or audience that you are wrong...

but unlike almost any other game (Zelda, Monopoly, Poker, Basketball ect ect) we sre all pretty much playing different games
 

Players definitely write the story. I couldn't put more emphasis on that. Players are absolutely not the "audience". DMs that want that should write a book.

Only last night the players lied to the lords of Neverwinter, starting a war with the Moonshae Isles. That was not in any of my preparations (I'm the DM), but it's much too cool to pass on, so war it is! Looks like we're going boating.
Players are the audience of the other players - which means as a player, the audience of the story your writing is the other people at the table, not just yourself. (or the Twitch following you'll have someday)
 

1) Is the DM a player?
Yes, the DM is playing D&D. But they have different roles and responsibilities than the Players

2) Are the players writers creating a narrative?
Through their choice of actions, yes.

3) Are the PCs able to have any narrative control of the world (before/after/or during game play)?
Yes, to some extent. Their backstories should matter, for instance. The DM can certainly offer up some narrative control from time to time as well such as the classic Player trope question: "Is there a chandelier in this chamber?" with the classic DM trope response: "why, yes, there is!" Or even pointedly ask a Player: "what is a distinguishing characteristic of this goblin/barkeep/door?"

4) Are the players the audience watching 'the show' of the game?
When not their turn, yes, I suppose one could say that. But it's more like being involved in an interactive show than being a passive "watcher".

5) Are players trying to 'win' by beating everything as best they can,
Yes, to an extent.

or are they trying to make the most interesting story,
Yes, if that organically flows from their actions.

or are they (oh god I hate this one) doing just what there characters would do?
As long as that does not become an excuse for doing something that is un-fun for others at the table then sure, although I don't really care for that phrasing either.
 

1) Is the DM a player?
AS other have said, yes and no. They are playing DnD, but they're not in the role of a Player. Analogy: the director isn't an actor, but they are putting on a play.
2) Are the players writers creating a narative?
If you mean "narrative" as synonymous with "story", then the answer is "maybe, but only in collaboration with the dm." If you mean narrative as in "a series of events told in a narrative form," then the answer is "yes, but only in collaboration with the dm."
3) Are the PCs able to have any narrative control of the world (before/after/or during game play)?
Some, but almost always subject to dm veto.
4) Are the players the audience watching 'the show' of the game?
The audience is everyone else at the table. The audience for my character's story/narrative/antics is the dm and the other players (so it behooves me not bore them).
5) Are players trying to 'win' by beating everything as best they can, or are they trying to make the most intresting story, or are they (oh god I hate this one) doing just what there characters would do?
As they decide. So long as no one sacrifices one objective for another too often, even players with different goals can play together well. (IE you can be a story-driven player and work with a success-driven player if your story is about someone who can contribute to the success of the party. If you play a flashlight-dropper, you'll annoy the rest of the table.
 
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HammerMan

Legend
Players are the audience of the other players - which means as a player, the audience of the story your writing is the other people at the table, not just yourself. (or the Twitch following you'll have someday)
yes, and again this is why I don't do passing notes or in other room meetings... when player A is off at thieves guild the others are the audience... even if the thief is plotting to betray the party (although we don't do that any more either)

At the end of the day the players have to be pumped at there success (they are the characters), they have to find things entertaining and fun (bit of both) and they have to enjoy overall story (audience)
 

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