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Why is "I don't like it" not good enough?

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The Shaman

First Post
I believe that it is most beneficial to most GM-Player relationships for the GM to be willing to answer a few (Yes, somewhere between 1 and 20) questions about why something is banned from the game. I believe that consideration and communication are of benefit to most relationships, even those of gamers with one another.
Accepting this as a given, is, "I dunno, I just don't like 'em so there're none in this game," a reasonable answer?

Frex, I never, ever played 'kitchen sink' D&D; from the first time I read the Monster Manual, there was stuff I liked and stuff I didn't, and when I began dungeon mastering I excluded the stuff I didn't. Sometimes my reasons could be readily articulated, and sometimes they were, "I dunno, I think it's just kinda dumb."

I haven't used kobolds in most o the games I've run - the only humanoids the last couple of times I ran some form of D&D were goblinoids (gobbos, hobbos, and buggos) and gnolls. Why not use kobolds? I don't have a particularly good reason - I just don't like them, so I don't use them.

Playing (up to) twenty questions about why I don't put kobolds in my fantasy settings isn't going to make for much of a discussion.

I don't think every decision made by the referee about what's in or out of a setting needs much more in the way of explanation. However, I get the strong feeling that there are some players out there for whom this is just unacceptable, that if the referee doesn't have either some mechanical reason for excluding something - 'goliaths r teh brwkn!' - or a specific in-game setting explanation for the absence, then the default position should be, 'Anything Goes!'

In my opinion, at the end of the day, "I don't like fantasy robots" is a perfectly reasonable answer to the question, "So why don't you allow warforged?"
 

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Cyronax

Explorer
I blame those no-good booze-leeching "friends" you invite over to your house!

I must agree. Alcohol takes away from the pure pleasures of gaming. Much like other self-segregating behaviors, drinking only makes you a "friend" to one person: alcohol. It is a common gaming social fallacy that one must enjoy the campaign you play in. Its more important to soldier on for the pure purpose of the art.
 

Zhaleskra

Adventurer
I'm sure what I'm about to say will be unpopular with many people here. Before I get to the point, I have not moved to D&D 4E and have only one product for it, which is not a PHB.

For the most part, I carpet ban splat books, unless I own them. Why? Because I don't want to have to spend time learning a subset of rules to make your character work. I don't have the sort of "ooo shiny" I did in my early years in college. Additionally, small apartment, so I have to have less "stuff". And you know what? I like it that way. Feels more like I own my stuff than my stuff owning me.

As for why I don't like Warforged, I picked the Eberron setting up once, then put it back on the shelf after reading the brief. Plus, Diomin has a similar race, that does have actual genders, that I think is cooler, and because Diomin was published in 2000 they're an older race.
 
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Crazy Jerome

First Post
I don't think every decision made by the referee about what's in or out of a setting needs much more in the way of explanation. However, I get the strong feeling that there are some players out there for whom this is just unacceptable, that if the referee doesn't have either some mechanical reason for excluding something - 'goliaths r teh brwkn!' - or a specific in-game setting explanation for the absence, then the default position should be, 'Anything Goes!'

Yeah, this is the heart of the problem. There is a huge difference between:

1. "Why did you take out X. I'm really curious, because this affects my understanding of the campaign world, how I make my character, etc," versus ...

2. "Why did you take out X. Explain yourself!"

Communication is nearly always useful in the first case, if even of the "I don't really know, but something rubs me wrong about them."

In the second case, we already have too much communication, and the topic is no longer why X is not in the campaign. The topic is whether or not the questioner is going to let us suspect he is a socially inept jackass, or keep talking and remove all doubt. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but some won't let me. :p

Now, every now and then you get the socially inept non-jackass who is really trying to ask an honest question, but hasn't learned how yet. That's why if the GM can be a saint and endure it, it might help someone out some day. Personally, being far from a saint, I only give this leeway to people with a good excuse for being somewhat socially inept--e.g. teenagers, chronic wall flower, etc. If your 35, been out in society some, and you haven't figured this stuff out, chance are you won't. And if you do, it won't be because I listened to your blathering.
 

mudbunny

Community Supporter
BTW, [MENTION=56746]mudbunny[/MENTION], does your User Name come from Fraggle Rock? Enquiring minds want to know!

I was reading this thread trying to figure out how my name got mentioned...

Nope. My name comes from a nickname I got due to a combination of the following:

- Dragonboat race with bunny ears (just because)
- Raining for 2 days straight
- Large (as in 10s of metres in diameter) mud puddles on what was smooth grass
- A desire to get the hot girls on our team/other teams sliding in the mud.
 

The Human Target

Adventurer
I'm sure what I'm about to say will be unpopular with many people here. Before I get to the point, I have not moved to D&D 4E and have only one product for it, which is not a PHB.

For the most part, I carpet ban splat books, unless I own them. Why? Because I don't want to have to spend time learning a subset of rules to make your character work. I don't have the sort of "ooo shiny" I did in my early years in college. Additionally, small apartment, so I have to have less "stuff". And you know what? I like it that way. Feels more like I own my stuff than my stuff owning me.

As for why I don't like Warforged, I picked the Eberron setting up once, then put it back on the shelf after reading the brief. Plus, Diomin has a similar race, that does have actual genders, that I think is cooler, and because Diomin was published in 2000 they're an older race.

Now you just seem to be randomly justifying your lifestyles choices to strangers on the internet.
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
Accepting this as a given, is, "I dunno, I just don't like 'em so there're none in this game," a reasonable answer?

Frex, I never, ever played 'kitchen sink' D&D; from the first time I read the Monster Manual, there was stuff I liked and stuff I didn't, and when I began dungeon mastering I excluded the stuff I didn't. Sometimes my reasons could be readily articulated, and sometimes they were, "I dunno, I think it's just kinda dumb."

I haven't used kobolds in most o the games I've run - the only humanoids the last couple of times I ran some form of D&D were goblinoids (gobbos, hobbos, and buggos) and gnolls. Why not use kobolds? I don't have a particularly good reason - I just don't like them, so I don't use them.

This is a great example that I think can be used to show what reasonable, effective communication is like.

I tend to view the monsters and foes in the game as more squarely in the province of the GM. It's hard for me to envision a player caring very much about whether the game includes Kobolds or not. I do think it would be reasonable for them to ask on the basis of something like a Ranger's Preferred Enemy and stuff like that. Obviously they don't want to pick Kobolds if there are no Kobolds in the world.

It would be reasonable for the Player and GM to have some conversation about what monsters are likely to be common in the game world. If the player wants to ask "Why?" and the GM says, "I just don't like them, so I don't use them." then that's a reasonable answer. I think that a reasonable player could also follow up with another question like, "Do you just not like the aesthetic or that they are cliche or that they're wimpy or what?" That might prompt consideration of one of those options by the GM and maybe adds clarity to his own thoughts. Or not. Either way these are all reasonable questions and answers.

If the player on the other hand wants to play a Kobold character then he's got a more vested interest in that particular monster race. If the GM says, "No Kobolds in my world." then I don't think it is unreasonable for the player to ask why. At that point, "I just don't like them, so I don't use them." is probably not a very satisfying answer for the player. It might still be the truth. If I were the GM in that circumstance and those were my feelings about Kobolds then my reply to the player in addition to stating my dislike of Kobolds would be, "What about this character concept requires you to be a Kobold? Perhaps we can work out a reasonable substitute." Or I might simply ask, "What is it about Kobolds that you like? Maybe I'm missing part of the charm?"

Again, even if this conversation doesn't lead to the inclusion of Kobolds in the campaign (which I think is entirely up to the GM), you've shown the player some consideration AND you've each gained a greater understanding of the other's thought process. I believe that can only be to the benefit of the game going forward.
 

Zhaleskra

Adventurer
Now you just seem to be randomly justifying your lifestyles choices to strangers on the internet.

Up to now, I was willing to read your responses even if I do find your comment that a GM restricting things without explaining why to be "a bit childish" to be even more childish.
 

El Mahdi

Muad'Dib of the Anauroch
DMing is a position of Authority.

If I asked my boss something and he said "No" and I asked for a more elobarate explanation and was denied I'd be a little miffed.

Same thing IMO.

I agree and disagree. A DM does not have absolute executive authority, only responsibility for certain aspects of the game, and only as allowed by the group. The DM is a part of the game and the group, just the same as players are...just with different roles. A DM is not as much an authority figure, as they are a member of a collaborative team... although usually the sole member with the responsibility and challenge of adjudicating the rules and presenting/shepherding the story (unless running a sandbox game, in which case the players are responsible for the story also).

Which is why I don't agree with the Boss/Employee analogy.

A DM only has authority over that which the group allows them to, and is subject to accountability to the group. A gaming group is an almost purely democratic entity where division of responsibilities are agreed upon by the entire group (even if by assumed conceits). These roles are not absolute and can be changed at any time by group fiat.

A Boss/Employee relationship is quite different.

A Boss, for the most part, only has responsibility to those above them in position, and not to those below them. A Boss does have a responsibility to deal with those under them fairly (or at least a good Boss does), but still is not "beholden" to the desires or authority of those underlings. Employees do not have authority over their boss, playes in a game do have authority over the DM. DM's run games only because the group allows them to.

A DM who felt they were entitled to positional respect or felt they had absolute authority over the game, is someone I would not participate in a game with. A DM who continually acted as if they had the "authority" to do things contrary to the will of the group, is a DM who will most likely end up running out of people willing to participate in their games.

:)
 
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