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D&D 5E When lore and PC options collide…

Which is more important?

  • Lore

  • PC options


Results are only viewable after voting.
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overgeeked

B/X Known World
So they were excluded for arbitrary metagame reasons rather than something to do with the setting. And because the designers excluded halflings they inflicted Kender on the world; I think it's screamingly obvious that the designers made a huge mistake.
The creators of the setting made a decision. They're the ones who created it. They get to do that. Just like they decided no guns. You not liking their decision in no way makes it a bad one. Though I agree about kender. They are a blot on D&D.
This is something that should be applied first and foremost to the DM. If you get to set the constraints and the players followed the constraints then you do not have a leg to stand on when they subvert them...
It's either, or. Either they followed the constraints or they try to subvert them. Trying to subvert them means they're not following the constraints.
you can't handle creative players.
LOL. I have to beg my 5E players to do anything more than smash the buttons on their character sheets. I'd literally pay real money to find a few creative players. No one seems interested. It's all cookie-cutter builds and button smashing. That's about as far from of creativity as you can get.
Alternatively you can stop treating the players like children and make setting the constraints a collaborative process.
DM by committee doesn't work. I've tried it many times.
I've said in the past and I'll say again I've seen more entitled DMs than I have entitled players in terms of absolute numbers.
I think the person who does 99% of the work should get a bit more leeway. Weird that you think that makes them entitled.
 

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hawkeyefan

Legend
Mu.

There are fundamentals of the setting and there are accidents of the setting. The fundamentals need to be kept, the accidents don't.

For example in Krynn (as you mention between the Cataclysm and the first novel) it is a huge plot and worldbuilding point that there are no true clerics. No clerics is right there in the elevator pitch.

Meanwhile, with the arguable exception of dragonborn it is an accident of the setting that there isn't a weird tribe of orcs somewhere in the mountains, or a couple of halflings somewhere or granddaddy sold their soul and so we have a tiefling.

Yeah, this is what I think gets lost in all this. How many of these constraints actually matter beyond "I read it when I was 12 so now it must be so"?

Like the no clerics thing? Important to the setting of Krynn before the start of the war. No orcs? Never really matters in a world with goblins and hobgoblins and such.

I tend to think that many folks focus way too much on the unimportant elements, and they do so out of some kind of nostalgic attempt to maintain lore.

In my experience the main creativity fostered by constraints is the creativity in subverting the constraint. And the more constraints you put out there the more peoples' inspiration and attention is going to be grabbed by seeing how they can subvert those constraints.

If you want people inspired by your setting point to that which is inspiring and treat them like adults. If you bang on about how "we shall have no wizards and arcane magic is feared, and no clerics because the gods are dead" then you'll get the situation I saw at one Dark Sun table where there were no wizards ... instead there was a bard, a pact of the tome warlock, a druid, and a paladin. Because every player had their inspiration grabbed by the restrictions.

It does tend to be an immediate response. Can't do this? Well what if...?

It's that creativity everyone's happy to mention but not exercise.

Yeah, people spend a lot of time trying to get out of constraints rather than accepting them. I'm not sure how creative it is to be told "no" then knee-jerk fight against that. It's a common reaction, yes, but it's not particularly creative.

I think the point was to focus on what's interesting about the setting... what cool things the players can be, rather than to start off by telling them what they can't be.


Also, maybe I'm weird but "treating people like adults" includes expecting them to follow the rules they agreed to and not whine about it. Setting up a game with constraints then having players rail against those constraints is functionally identical to a player complaining that they're out of spell slots and should get more. Sorry, you agreed to play this game and here are the rules you agreed to. You agreed to limited spell slots when you created your caster character just like you agreed to no orcs or clerics when you agreed to play this Dragonlance game set between the Cataclysm and the novels.

Labeling one side in a disagreement as "whining" doesn't really do anything. We can just as easily say that the DM can stop whining about their precious setting.

As has been repeatedly said, the best solution isn't to accuse either side of whining. it's to talk things out and find a reasonable solution.

It's also why, given the limited nature of the poll where there is an actual conflict between lore and player options, I go with players... because lore is make believe and players are real.

Who gets to decide what's "dull and basic"? You?

Yes.

I like how they act like they don't have halflings because these halflings have topknots.

Ooo what if the halflings were annoying rather than rustic?!?! Genius!!!!
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Why are you lumping them together based entirely on appearance. That's problematic on many levels.
Their appearance is totally different. Again, the topknots. Also short thieves that are treated like children by everyone else despite not being so and whose lost innocence is the 'real' tragedy of their species arc.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
I think the point was to focus on what's interesting about the setting... what cool things the players can be, rather than to start off by telling them what they can't be.
They're not mutually exclusive. In a game where the default is "anything goes" what's interesting about a setting is also what's left out. Dragonlance as presented in the lore is interesting. Dragonlance as just another kitchen sink is not interesting.
Labeling one side in a disagreement as "whining" doesn't really do anything.
In my experience that is exactly what happens, so it makes the conversation more honest.
We can just as easily say that the DM can stop whining about their precious setting.
You could, but generally speaking the DM puts in 99% of the work building that setting or learning about the established setting to run the game. The players going out of their way to waste the DM's time is problematic. The DM offering a game and the players opting out because they don't like the presented restrictions is not. The players opting in knowing they're going to torpedo the game because they don't like those presented restrictions is problematic.
As has been repeatedly said, the best solution isn't to accuse either side of whining. it's to talk things out and find a reasonable solution.
Yes. The conversation starts with: I'm offering a game with these restrictions, do you want to play? If the response is: yes, but, I want you to change those restrictions...then the conversation is over, because the real answer is no.
It's also why, given the limited nature of the poll where there is an actual conflict between lore and player options, I go with players... because lore is make believe and players are real.
The characters the players create are make believe. The players can make other make believe characters.
For yourself and no one else. If you don't find the game I'm offering to run interesting, you don't have to play. It's really that simple.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
The creators of the setting made a decision. They're the ones who created it. They get to do that. Just like they decided no guns. You not liking their decision in no way makes it a bad one. Though I agree about kender. They are a blot on D&D.
When the DM decides to run Dragonlance, it is no longer the creator's setting - It is the DMs setting, and that of his players.

It's either, or. Either they followed the constraints or they try to subvert them. Trying to subvert them means they're not following the constraints.
Possibly, or they followed the letter but not the spirit of the constraints.

Lots of ways to do that.
LOL. I have to beg my 5E players to do anything more than smash the buttons on their character sheets. I'd literally pay real money to find a few creative players. No one seems interested. It's all cookie-cutter builds and button smashing. That's about as far from of creativity as you can get.

That's unfortunate. I see LOTS of creativity from my players, and the more enthused they are about the particular game, the more creative they get. If I see a lack of creativity from them, I tend to assume that something is off with ME and/or the particular game. More often than not, when I change things up - problem fixed.

DM by committee doesn't work. I've tried it many times.
Taking input from players is not DM by committee. It's recognizing what the players like and what they want out of the game and making sure that what you are providing can/will match that.

A disconnect in what the DM is providing and what the players want has been the downfall of just about every failed campaign I've been in/seen/run.

I think the person who does 99% of the work should get a bit more leeway. Weird that you think that makes them entitled.

1. the DM should have fun doing the "work," if it's not fun for the DM he shouldn't be doing it;

2. If the players don't like the work the DM is doing, the amount of that work doesn't matter.
 

Oofta

Legend
Yeah, this is what I think gets lost in all this. How many of these constraints actually matter beyond "I read it when I was 12 so now it must be so"?

Like the no clerics thing? Important to the setting of Krynn before the start of the war. No orcs? Never really matters in a world with goblins and hobgoblins and such.

I tend to think that many folks focus way too much on the unimportant elements, and they do so out of some kind of nostalgic attempt to maintain lore.



It does tend to be an immediate response. Can't do this? Well what if...?

It's that creativity everyone's happy to mention but not exercise.



I think the point was to focus on what's interesting about the setting... what cool things the players can be, rather than to start off by telling them what they can't be.




Labeling one side in a disagreement as "whining" doesn't really do anything. We can just as easily say that the DM can stop whining about their precious setting.

As has been repeatedly said, the best solution isn't to accuse either side of whining. it's to talk things out and find a reasonable solution.

It's also why, given the limited nature of the poll where there is an actual conflict between lore and player options, I go with players... because lore is make believe and players are real.



Yes.



Ooo what if the halflings were annoying rather than rustic?!?! Genius!!!!


Funny. You get to decide that anything other than a kitchen sink campaign is dull and boring, but if a poster uses the word "whine" to describe a player complaining about some aspect of the game "doesn't really do anything" while also denigrating every DM that gives a **** about their setting by calling it "precious". :rolleyes:

If you want to have a conversation without putting down people who disagree with you, perhaps you should take a gander at your own wording and phrasing.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Funny. You get to decide that anything other than a kitchen sink campaign is dull and boring, but if a poster uses the word "whine" to describe a player complaining about some aspect of the game "doesn't really do anything" while also denigrating every DM that gives a **** about their setting by calling it "precious". :rolleyes:

If you want to have a conversation without putting down people who disagree with you, perhaps you should take a gander at your own wording and phrasing.
Weird how that works, innit?
 

Interestingly that character's race is called out as one of three continuity errors in the book. Two of which involve the author (who isn't Weis or Hickman) including things in Dragonlance that were explicitly not in Dragonlance the other is getting the race of one of the main characters wrong. Technically two of them include getting the race of one of the main characters wrong.
Some posters have compared allowing a player to play a half-orc in Krynn to allowing a player to play a Wookie in a Star Trek game.

There have been zero published Star Trek novels where the main antagonist is a Wookie. The fact that a published DL novel has a half-orc antagonist strongly suggests that allowing half-orcs in Krynn is not a big deal.
 

I didn't read it. Is there anything in it that says that he's the assassin class, rather than just some guy who assassinates people? And does it go into his origin establishing that he's from Krynn?
I read it decades ago, and it was a novel, so they didn’t call out his class in D&D terms.

On the other hand, they definitely didn’t call out his race/origin as something unusual.
 

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