D&D General When do you overrule RAW?

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
And also:

"Interestingly, most of the variant systems which purport to “improve” the game are presented under the banner of realism. I have personally come to suspect that this banner is the refuge of scoundrels; whether the last or first refuge is immaterial. “Realism” has become a bugaboo in the hobby, and all too many of the publishers — TSR included — make offerings to this god too frequently."

"D&D is a make-believe game. It is designed, however, to facilitate close personal involvement in all aspects of play; this makes suspension of disbelief easier for those who can initially accept a game form which does not relate to any reality except a few tenuous areas... It is a game for the imaginative and fanciful, and perhaps for those who dream of adventure and derring-do in a world all too mundane. As a game must first and foremost be fun, it needs no claim to “realism” to justify its existence." -E.G.Gygax
I don't always agree with Gygax, this being one such place. If realism is the refuge of the scoundrel then a scoundrel I will be. :)
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
If the PCs can't interact with Godzilla, Godzilla doesn't need to appear in-game.
Depends what you mean by "interact".

Fleeing is a form of (indirect) interaction, as is helping others flee. Hiding is another. These are things the PCs would not have done had Godzilla not appeared, therefore Godzilla's appearance has had a material effect on the played fiction even if that effect doesn't involve the PCs trying to kill him or drive him away.
 

MGibster

Legend
I'll make the ruling that makes sense both now and in the long run, whether it favours the players or hoses them, because whatever ruling I make now I'm stuck with for the rest of the campaign.
I don't mind changing directions if I've made a bad call. I'll just tell the players I made a bad call, but in the future this is how we'll handle the situation if it arises again.
 


Reynard

Legend
It would be nice if D&D actually had some resonable rules for how both weapons and magic were limited against ultra-large enemies, and what tactics were effective instead, if any.

But for the DM to try to come up with such rules on the fly during such an encounter is a Bad Idea.
I'm guessing we'll see some of those rules in a recent million dollar Kickstarter. I doubt we'll see such rules from WotC. And I think those two things are for the best. Specifically, WotC isn't particularly good at creating new systems, certainly no better than other professional designers and probably no better that a reasonably experienced GM.

As to the GM ruling on the fly there: I pretty much agree. If the GM built a giant monster encounter, they should have put some thought into the physics of the thing.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
As to the GM ruling on the fly there: I pretty much agree. If the GM built a giant monster encounter, they should have put some thought into the physics of the thing.
Has it been clarified yet whether the original encounter was of the GM's invention or part of a canned module?

I ask because if it was from a canned module, it's the module author(s) who should have done that thinking rather than leave the GM hanging out to dry.
 

Oofta

Legend
Has it been clarified yet whether the original encounter was of the GM's invention or part of a canned module?

I ask because if it was from a canned module, it's the module author(s) who should have done that thinking rather than leave the GM hanging out to dry.
Matt does all of his own stuff, including creating custom monster on a regular basis.
 

Jahydin

Hero
I have a theory...

When 5E was being developed, it was pretty clear the vision was as little crunch as possible and relying on the "DM CPU" to quickly compute reasonable outcomes for just about everything. For the times the DM was unsure (around the 50/50% mark), Ability Checks could be used. Combat was never intended to be the entire point of playing like past editions either; progressing the story and the "adventuring" were how to challenge players.

Then playtesting happened and they realized they had a whole army of 3E/PF/4E players that absolutely wanted to roll that d20 as much as possible and wanted combat to be run as strictly as a boardgame. So as not to lose them, they presented the game as being able to cater to both crowds. Since Ability Checks were never meant to be used all the time and combats were never meant to be tactically precise, the game for those players kind of falls apart... unless you play with whimsey! Then it's okay for the silly Ability Check outcomes and combat to be random and light hearted. Thus why it still worked for groups like Penny Arcade/Critical Role and why that style is so popular.

Anyway, just thoughts...
 
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Oofta

Legend
I have a theory...

When 5E was being developed, it was pretty clear the vision was as little crunch as possible and relying on the "DM CPU" to quickly compute reasonable outcomes for just about everything. For the times the DM was unsure (around the 50/50% mark), Ability Checks could be used. Combat was never intended to be the entire point of playing like past editions either; progressing the story and the "adventuring" were how to challenge players.

Then playtesting happened and they realized they had a whole army of 3E/PF/4E players that absolutely wanted to roll that d20 as much as possible and wanted combat to be run as strictly as a boardgame. So as not to lose them, they presented the game as being able to cater to both crowds. Since Ability Checks were never meant to be used all the time and combats were never meant to be tactically precise, the game for those players kind of falls apart... unless you play with whimsey! Then it's okay for the silly Ability Check outcomes and combat to be random and light hearted. Thus why it still worked for groups like Penny Arcade/Critical Roll and why that style is so popular.

Anyway, just thoughts...

Penny Arcade (and a couple others) are played for whimsey. Critical Role? Well, they have fun, like most games I've played, but I wouldn't put it down as exactly lighthearted. At least not all the time.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Penny Arcade (and a couple others) are played for whimsey. Critical Role? Well, they have fun, like most games I've played, but I wouldn't put it down as exactly lighthearted. At least not all the time.

While much of the banter/interaction is lighthearted, Mercer seems to take the mechanics quite seriously. He's pretty old school that way and does not go rules light at all.
 

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