Rust Monsters and MYREs

227 posts / 0 new
Last post
It's funny. I joined the local LFR because I wanted my son and I to play characters together at cons and while I like the local LFR people and have a surprisingly good time with them, my desire to play a LFR game at a national convention is pretty much non-existant at this point. I simply don't want to sit at the same table with someone who wants to rust monster their way past having modules be challenging. Neither me nor that player is going to have a good time playing with the other. I'll keep going to the local group because I like them, but I think we'll find something else to do at larger conventions.


I wouldn't worry too much about this.  I played a LOT of games at DDXP, and had a really good time.  If anyone had artificially twinked up their characters, I really couldn't tell.  I think what you are seeing here is a small but very vocal minority trying to get people to admit that they are oh-so-clever.

This year was my first time going to a convention, and my only regret about going to DDXP this time is that I didn't bring my son.  I'm going to start putting money aside now so that I can afford two plane tickets next year, the actual people playing there were all great, even though some cleric builds make fights a bit too easy. ;)
What makes me sad - no more compiled magazines: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/27580349/Dungeon_and_Dragon_Magazine_PDFs&post_num=24#495423645
Hi Bons,
I think LFR and Pathfinder are actually significant draws for the conventions so I don't think they will be abandoned (did you mean you personally will abandon them?).

I think convention play is very rewarding and fun. I look forward to it and always have a good time. Also, on Saturdays, you tend to get many more casual players that are new to LFR and just looking to get in on a casual game in between the dealers room, lunch, and an authors presentation. This is a chance to explain lots of good things about LFR and how it can be integrated into a home campaign in all kinds of neat ways. Or what local FLGS is having events, what group meets at the StuckeyBowl for a game day once a month etc.

Lots of these people come back to play again and I always found this one of the most rewarding things about convention DMing.

Also your post reminded me of another post regarding the Living Greyhawk finale and some problems people had with it. I think you would find it interesting. Its rather long, but still interesting I feel.
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

Make sure not to post in the thread, prevent thread necromancy! Cry
 




 
It's funny. I joined the local LFR because I wanted my son and I to play characters together at cons and while I like the local LFR people and have a surprisingly good time with them, my desire to play a LFR game at a national convention is pretty much non-existant at this point. I simply don't want to sit at the same table with someone who wants to rust monster their way past having modules be challenging. Neither me nor that player is going to have a good time playing with the other. I'll keep going to the local group because I like them, but I think we'll find something else to do at larger conventions.



I wouldn't worry too much about this.  I played a LOT of games at DDXP, and had a really good time.  If anyone had artificially twinked up their characters, I really couldn't tell.  I think what you are seeing here is a small but very vocal minority trying to get people to admit that they are oh-so-clever.



This is my experience as well, and what I used too many words to try to say earlier.  I go to local public game days, and I see people having fun and handling rules questions gracefully.  I go to large conventions, and I see people having fun and handling rules questions gracefully.  I get invited to some local private events to run games, and I see people having fun and handling  rules questions gracefully.  In these places, there are never any "calls for help" that need to be answered to make LFR run smoothly.  They were able to handle the original incarnation of "DM Empowerment" without any clarifications.  They can write and run and play MYRE adventures without needing to try to give the concept a bad name.

The campaign staff is forced to deal with the problem children, because no good deed goes unpunished.  I do feel bad for the members of the LFR community who are forced to deal with these people on a regular basis, and in my experience it does help to tell them that their style of play might be better suited at a table with people like themselves.  That way, as was mentioned already, they can hopefully all end up at the same table to twist the rules and argue about how things should be done (and then meeting on the forums to discuss it further), and letting the people who just want to have fun playing the game have fun playing the game.
Well I am a frontliner in this LFR organization and I am not posting anything because I am trying to feel clever or can't figure something out.  I deal with "troublesome players" here and there I try to make everything work for everyone.  I could just walk away and play with a group of players I like, it happens all the time ask Grandpoohbah.

I have far more to lose than smerwin by hanging my neck out here in public as a nobody. 

This is a problem thats come up so I feel its worth posting about. The problem can be solved by writing up some clearer documentation.

 


It's only a minority of players and players who regularly playtest for LFR -- you know; some people that I know in the community -- that actually see this whole rust monster thing as a big problem.

(Look, I can mention people that I know, also)

In my case a +4 Harsh Song Blade and +4 Summoned Armor became +4 Jagged and +4 Dwarven -- a down grade and upgrade (18 to 17, 16 to 17 level). This is hardly what I call "Perfect Items" for my character build.


The problem can be solved by writing up some clearer documentation.



Amen to that.

Seriously, instead of having a lot of silly arguments about RAI vs RAW (rules as intended vs rules as written), how about we just take it that the rules as written ARE the rules as intended?

Because you know, it's like - when someone tells you something, rather than trying to twist whatever they say around and put some weird spin on it, sometimes you should just take what was said at face value.  This is what I consider "normal" for regular discussions, but especially so for manuals and rulebooks!

At DDXP, I brought this up, but I kept running into what I and some others refer to as the kool-aid mentality - which is "hey, it's not a problem, because we say it is not a problem, just have fun!"

I think, though, that as easy of a solution that is, that there is a problem in that rules as INTENDED are really NOT what is actually WRITTEN.  Heck, game designers walking around at DDXP kept saying "that's not what I meant."  and heads of various departments kept saying "Oh, but that's just not cool, people shouldn't do that." (in spite of what they are explicitly allowed to do in terms of what was written).

In the end, I think we can't really have a productive discussion based on what was INTENDED, because there will be god-awful number of interpretations of intent!  Only when the rules are tightened up and run based on what was WRITTEN can we have relatively argument-free games - in a context in which you are getting players that approach the game from different mentalities.

I know clarifying rules won't end argument, but I think it's a step in the right direction.  A big, good step.

Now - I know that Shawn Merwin commented recently on this thread - I will say that he did mention earlier that the stuff he WANTED to put in for rust monsters got edited out.  And as he mentioned, editors have to deal with page limits, etc. etc.  So I think that really, people ARE aware of the problem.

The question is, what can be done to fix it?  I'd say - email Customer Service!  I think that's the correct and appropriate response.  Discussion on forums is well and good, but forum discussion hasn't changed things so far.

--

In response to those that say "oh, rust monsters ruin my realms" - look.  As a power gaming optimizer myself, I can tell you that rust monsters really are not going to break My Realms open.  Oh, there's a fair advantage in gold, but all in all - it doesn't break characters as ridiculously as you might think.  At low level, you don't want to change your items to residuum (sp?) anyways.  At medium to high level, your low level items still maintain their utility - and by the point you really get high enough to cash in your low level magical item that you didn't want, the 80% gold difference is - well, not inconsequential, but it isn't anything to compare with your current magical item value.

Frankly, it's the *system itself* that is open to exploitation - consider that you can have MYRE adventures written so players are awarded full treasure but half XP, effectively breaking the XP-gold ratio anyways!  As I think Shawn Merwin, or perhaps that mind flaying monk pointed out.

At any rate - I think we all understand that the system is open to abuse.  Can we really shame the players for taking advantage of the system?  I say - no.  As long as it is allowed by the rules, the players aren't doing anything wrong.  Change the rules, change the game.

Personally, I think WotC made a step in the *right* direction with the new retraining rules.  Oh, it allows for some cheese, but nothing's worse than realizing your build sucks after you poured 200 hours into a character, and realizing it's basically unsalvageable.  I know some players that are going to be able to use their 14-in-main-stat characters now - and it's NOT just one or two I know that are like that.

So in sum -

1.  Rust monsters are OK, I say.

2.  If people want to change the rules, they should try to agree on what strictures they want to put on the players, then try to gather some support, then email Customer Service.  I think there *may* be a gap between RAI and RAW, but that's not so much a "Rust Monster" problem as it is a *Rule* problem.

3.  Shawn Merwin did teh My Realms.  I would send a cake, because I think My Realms is Teh Greatest Idea Evar.  (But seriously.  Cake.  Also, serious about great idea.)  Don't have an address though . . . or know Shawn's preferences in cake . . .



In the end, I think we can't really have a productive discussion based on what was INTENDED, because there will be god-awful number of interpretations of intent!  Only when the rules are tightened up and run based on what was WRITTEN can we have relatively argument-free games - in a context in which you are getting players that approach the game from different mentalities.

Or people can go all the way back to the first rule: The DM is the arbiter of the game.  If the DM and the player view an unclearly written rule differently, the DM should make the decision on how it will work, and the player should move on.

What makes me sad - no more compiled magazines: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/27580349/Dungeon_and_Dragon_Magazine_PDFs&post_num=24#495423645
"Cheese"-cake.

Well, I am going to jump on this early and reply to smerwin29.

I disagree with you. I don't think 1000 players will be scared away by a larger campaign document. I think most people are going to use the document as a reference.  I am not attacking you here, but only your logic.



Did you play LG?  It had pages of "this is not allowed", "you can't do that" or "you can do this only if you have access".  All in an attempt to better balance the game.  It didn't work.  People still managed to find highly effective builds and combinations.  Meanwhile we had to read through pages of documents when building characters and had to haul around boxes of documents with random signatures to "prove" our characters were legal.  The "living paperwork" syndrome of LG drove a lot of people away.

Getting 100% agreement amongst gamers is virtually impossible.  More documentation just leads to more arguement about correct interpretation of the documentation.

Allen.


More documentation just leads to more arguement about correct interpretation of the documentation.

Allen.



Allen, I think you're arguing a different point.  Who said we need to lug around crates, or write reams of documentation? All I think is being asked for is some carefully edited, concise documentation so these problems of ambiguity can be resolved.  Which is something I very much agree with, and that I think, on reflection, you'll agree with too. 

For Atras - yes.  But as correct as you are, I for one, would prefer that the rules be clarified.  Rules errata are getting rather long, but I think it's *far* better that we *have* them than *not*.

At any rate - I think we all understand that the system is open to abuse.  Can we really shame the players for taking advantage of the system?  I say - no.  As long as it is allowed by the rules, the players aren't doing anything wrong.  Change the rules, change the game.


People keep saying this -- but it doesn't get any more true by repetition.


Let's look at MMOs; those are fun. MMOs have perfectly defined rules which apply to every player in the game in the exact same way. There are no questions of interpretation, because the rules are code. You can't say "oh, that weapon was supposed to do frost damage." It either does frost damage or it doesn't.


Sometimes the engineers who code MMOs make mistakes. Every MMO ever released has bugs. Everyone knows this, everyone accepts it. Sometimes those bugs allow players to do things that weren't intended.


Blizzard is the biggest MMO company in the world. They have 11 million players; in comparison, LFR is a tiny teeny little group of people.


When you take advantage of a bug in the game, Blizzard doesn't say "oh, it was allowed by the rules we put into the game, so you aren't doing anything wrong." Blizzard bans you. Blizzard believes that its players are capable of distinguishing between intended behavior and unintended behavior, and it expects its players to make that distinction and act appropriately. If you are playing at a high level, and you fail to make that distinction, you get banned. You probably complain about it, and sometimes you have a valid point, but you're still banned.


WoW also has Terms of Service. Those terms say, among other things:


Certain acts go beyond what is "fair" and are considered serious violations of these Terms of Use. Those acts include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following... anything that Blizzard considers contrary to the "essence" of the Game.


Now, that's language which is open to interpretation. But you know whose interpretation counts? Blizzard's. 


A few posts ago, Sean Molley told us that rust monster abuse was "a cheap metagame excuse to justify doing something that people intuitively realize is against the spirit of the rules." WotC is not going to ban anyone for rust monster abuse; I'm not sure there's any practical way to do that. But it's ridiculous to pretend that people who know what he said and who continue to abuse rust monsters shouldn't be ashamed of themselves. It's also ridiculous to claim that you have to outline every single possible rules violation. The biggest MMO company in the world doesn't do that, and life proceeds just fine.

Mr. Merwin,

Even though I understand your opinion, I do disagree with the notion of pages and reams of rules that need to be added to LFR.  As Newpaintbrush points out, I think myself and others are looking for some concise documentation to address this thread's issue as well as others that may appear in the future.


Thanlis,


Your point is well taken but let me direct you to another point from your Blizzard example.  Blizzard also FIXES the bug which we are discussing here with MYRE/Rustmonster issue... a fix for that.


Just for the record, I do acknowledge this issue as something to discuss but it is my opinion that it is not really a big deal, because I take the attitude that if a player needs to go that length of action to keep up with me at the table, let them.  I will get mine eventually... usually through superior play.

Your point is well taken but let me direct you to another point from your Blizzard example.  Blizzard also FIXES the bug which we are discussing here with MYRE/Rustmonster issue... a fix for that.



Sure, but Blizzard is never going to define "anything that Blizzard considers contrary to the essence of the game." The catch-all will always be present.

Also, I pay Blizzard fifteen bucks a month, as a result of which Blizzard can employ a staff of hundreds if not thousands of people. WotC is currently giving me hundreds of thousands of words of content for free, which is quite a different state of affairs. 
When you take advantage of a bug in the game, Blizzard doesn't say "oh, it was allowed by the rules we put into the game, so you aren't doing anything wrong." Blizzard bans you. Blizzard believes that its players are capable of distinguishing between intended behavior and unintended behavior, and it expects its players to make that distinction and act appropriately. If you are playing at a high level, and you fail to make that distinction, you get banned. You probably complain about it, and sometimes you have a valid point, but you're still banned.

Actually, they started out that way years ago, but they really don't do that anymore. They realized the same thing I did when I was campaign rules-guy for Procampur and Shining Jewel.

They have, as have most other MMO companies, switched largely to a "fix the problem and ignore the few players that abused the problem before we fixed it" attitude. At most they've been removing rewards from folks that didn't earn them properly. Actual punishments, banning and the like, are being reserved for actual rules infractions.

Not too long ago there was a bug that mistakenly made some high end gear available for free or very cheaply. There was of course a huge run on said items. The servers went down a few hours later to 'hotfix' the problem.

The offending gear simply vanishd from player inventories. No bans were handed out. The most you saw was some folks on the forums there complaining "Aww, my stuff is gone."

The Terms of Service are still the same because they want to be ABLE to ban when they feel like it. In practice, they hardly ever do so for bug exploiting these days unless it's MASSIVELY egrarious.



-karma

LFR Characters: Lady Tiana Elinden Kobori Silverwane - Drow Control Wizard | Kro'tak Warscream - Orc Bard | Fulcrum of Gond - Warforged Laser Cleric

AL Character: Talia Ko'bori Silverwane - Tiefling Tome Fiend Warlock

Actually, they started out that way years ago, but they really don't do that anymore. They realized the same thing I did when I was campaign rules-guy for Procampur and Shining Jewel.

They have, as have most other MMO companies, switched largely to a "fix the problem and ignore the few players that abused the problem before we fixed it" attitude. At most they've been removing rewards from folks that didn't earn them properly. Actual punishments, banning and the like, are being reserved for actual rules infractions.



You're somewhat misinformed. On Feb. 4th, 25 members of Ensidia (arguably one of the top five guilds world-wide) were banned for 72 hours for exploiting during a world-first kill. This is a particularly interesting case insofar as the specific exploit was quite possibly accidental; one of their rogues was tossing crafted consumable explosives non-stop during the fight, which is currently a normal way to raise one's DPS. However, this interacted with the specific encounter in an unexpected way which trivialized the fight. 

Blizzard doesn't ban en masse, but they do ban when they think it's necessary, and they do not accept "we didn't know" as a justification. This does not appear to harm the popularity of their game in any significant way.  
Yeah, that one was interesting, but it also serves to reinforce one of my other notions about what it takes to get Blizz motivated to react - public spectacle.

Blizz has a history of smacking down folks that publically admit or expose a bug. It seems strange, but I've seen a lot of cases where the public whistleblower got banned, but folks that were quietly exploiting bugs simply saw the bug go away with no punitive effects. Which leads me to the suspicion that Blizz hits the public examples because they are, in fact, public, and can be used as a example to keep the other players in line.

Their consistency of punitive action seems schizophrenic at a lot of times.

Now that I think about it, this really does reinforce my comment about punishing only for actual rules infractions. Over in WoW, bug exploiting IS specifically against the rules.



-karma

LFR Characters: Lady Tiana Elinden Kobori Silverwane - Drow Control Wizard | Kro'tak Warscream - Orc Bard | Fulcrum of Gond - Warforged Laser Cleric

AL Character: Talia Ko'bori Silverwane - Tiefling Tome Fiend Warlock

This thread got me thinking to back when I was an aforementioned Rules Guy.

I used to have these group of players in the campaigns I helped out in I privately nicknamed "woodpeckers".

Woodpeckers are annoying little birds, especially for homeowners. They make a huge banging racket hammering their heads on my house and making holes in the wood siding.

Like the woodpeckers, the players in question were annoying. They were the most hardcore optimizers. They'd push the rules to extreme limits.

Woodpeckers, however, don't bang on houses for no reason. They're after insects and grubs in the wood. You can't blame them for banging away, it's in their nature.

Similarly, those players push the rules to optimize, because that is part of their preferred style of play is. It's in their nature. The actual people in this group changes all the time, but such groups are in every large scale game.

I ended up keeping an eye on these players, like I ended up actually watching out for woodpeckers, not because I wanted to punish them, but because they'd invariably lead me to the locations of probems. Rules problems in the case of the players, insect problems for the woodpeckers.

I don't mind either of 'em much anymore. Since I know they're both inevitable, and I know their natures, I can plan for them, even use them.



-karma

LFR Characters: Lady Tiana Elinden Kobori Silverwane - Drow Control Wizard | Kro'tak Warscream - Orc Bard | Fulcrum of Gond - Warforged Laser Cleric

AL Character: Talia Ko'bori Silverwane - Tiefling Tome Fiend Warlock

Now that I think about it, this really does reinforce my comment about punishing only for actual rules infractions. Over in WoW, bug exploiting IS specifically against the rules.



Yah. I don't think anyone should be banned for rust monster abuse, and I don't think WotC does either. I'm just saying you don't have to outline every rules infraction specifically in order to hold people responsible for abusing the spirit of the campaign. 

More documentation just leads to more arguement about correct interpretation of the documentation.

Allen.



Allen, I think you're arguing a different point.  Who said we need to lug around crates, or write reams of documentation? All I think is being asked for is some carefully edited, concise documentation so these problems of ambiguity can be resolved.  Which is something I very much agree with, and that I think, on reflection, you'll agree with too. 

For Atras - yes.  But as correct as you are, I for one, would prefer that the rules be clarified.  Rules errata are getting rather long, but I think it's *far* better that we *have* them than *not*.


The problem is that one person's "clear and concise" is another person's "vague and full of loopholes".  The admins could spend weeks rewriting the LFR guidelines and someone would complain they weren't clear.  They can't win.  

Take the rule on not hitting fellow pc with AOE attacks.  I think it's pretty clear ... but some people insist that you only have to ask, you don't have to get permission.  

As far as comparing D&D to WOW.  It's like comparing apples and oranges.  They're fruit and someone may have painted my D&D orange red when I wasn't looking but that's about it.  I like playing D&D *because* the DM has some flexibility to apply common sense.  When WOTC charges $15/month and has millions of subscribers, they can afford to have a staff of people to answer all of the questions and hold our hands, but until then I'm thankful I get a ton of free mods to play.

Allen.

Did you play LG?  It had pages of "this is not allowed", "you can't do that" or "you can do this only if you have access".  All in an attempt to better balance the game.  It didn't work.  People still managed to find highly effective builds and combinations.  Meanwhile we had to read through pages of documents when building characters and had to haul around boxes of documents with random signatures to "prove" our characters were legal.  The "living paperwork" syndrome of LG drove a lot of people away.

Getting 100% agreement amongst gamers is virtually impossible.  More documentation just leads to more arguement about correct interpretation of the documentation.

Allen.





Hi Allen,
You have some good points. I did play LG and it did have several large documents you in general had to know what was going on in. It had pages full of ARs and it was the most popular of all the campaigns that required you to level up.  

Other RPGA events that were designed to be easier access such as the Dungeon Delves, Game Day events, and the Eberron campaigns had very little documentation and were much easier to jump into. These brought in a different kind of player. Maybe its some guy trying to use up a generic ticket at Gencon. If your this kind of player, you don't want any documentation at all. You just want to be able to pay your dollar for a pregen character and sit down and play the module and leave at 6pm to have dinner and the house pale ale at the RAM with your friends.

I don't think putting this kind of player and players of the campaigns with stricter rules works.

Edit: I retract what I said. If your goal is to convert as many group B players into group A players as possible, then you should give group B players what they want. If using a 50 page campaign document keeps them away, dont write a 50 page campaign document.

Take the rule on not hitting fellow pc with AOE attacks.  I think it's pretty clear ... but some people insist that you only have to ask, you don't have to get permission.  . . . Allen.



It is pretty clear.  You do only need to ask permission.  It isn't just that people insist on having their own personal interpretation of the rule; that's just what's written.

If the rule had been written "Player characters cannot target other PCs with attacks unless the player of the PC being attacked gives the player making the attack permission", then the rule would require consent.  With some well-considered phrasing (better than just what I would write off the top of my head), it would hardly take up more room than it does now.

It's simply a question of what's there in black and white.

I know, though, that a lot of die hards insist on intent, though, so I'll give another example -

If you bought a toy for your kid for Christmas, assembled it strictly according to instructions, then found that you had an irreparable heap of junk - then went online, posted on the toymaker's forums, and had the writers of the manual tell you "clearly no one would EVER want to put sprocket A into doohickey B; that's just crazy talk!  The INTENT is clear; people that don't follow the INTENT are the ones that are wrong!"  would you feel more or less than sympathetic to the makers of that toy?

Oh, I know it's not a parallel situation.  But it has certain similarities.

My proposed fix?  Rather than having rules book writers that rely on the *intent* of their message getting across - have writers, or at least editors, that hack things apart and make sure the *intent* comes across in what's *written*.  I know this would require having someone with knowledge of game design, able to communicate effectively with others, that knew how to mince words, assemble them into coherent sentences, and serve them up piping hot.  But that's what's really required to have a high-quality product.  WotC does have a pretty good-sized staff.  Surely they could get one or two people on QC!

That said - since I run things By The Book,  here's how I handle the question of PC vs PC attacks.

If the player says "Oh, I only need to ask; you don't want me to do it; I'm doing it anyways!" (and it has happened),  and say a player really really doesn't want his or her PC attacked - then I say "That's absolutely correct, by the book.  Now, by the book, I am telling you as your judge that that's unsportsmanlike conduct."  Then I whip out the 9 year old (or however old it is) RPGA guideline, and point to "Unsportsmanlike Conduct".  This has always settled the matter so far.

(edit) - hey, I know we're getting off the topic of Rust Monsters . . . it's more just "monsters" we're talking about now.  Ah, my bad.  Anyways.  I think the rust monster is fine, and I think most other players do too.  It's the *guidelines* that need to be clarified, I'd say, to keep the *intent* in line with what's *written.

WotC does have a pretty good-sized staff.  Surely they could get one or two people on QC!



Except that they don't. No one from WOTC works on the LFR campaign anymore. It's all volunteers. Chris Tulach is the sole WOTC employee in the D&D OP (and truthfully he did write those rules), and he was fairly overworked doing 100% of everything for LFR as far as oversight went. That role, as of DDXP, has been passed onto the LFR admins (so there will now be more eyes on the rules document), but I don't think we should expect 100% perfection out of volunteers who have real jobs and try to help us put out fun gaming content in their spare time.

As for other player's PCs attacking someone without their consent and arguing its what the rules say, I've made that joke at my tables too. Hopefully the unsportsmanlike conduct comment, or simply the fact that there under that rule interpretation there is no reason you can't murder another PC in their sleep as long as you ask first (even if they don't consent); is reason enough to get the offending player to behave in a reasonable manner. That said I will add fixing the wording of that rule to my list for CCG 2.0.
 That said I will add fixing the wording of that rule to my list for CCG 2.0.



Might I suggest this as a wording fix...

If you are in control of your character and have an attack that includes PCs in its effect, always ask the players controlling the affected characters if it’s OK to damage or otherwise hinder their character before you make the attack. And yes, this means you actually have to get their permission first as well. Duh! 
Blah blah blah
 That said I will add fixing the wording of that rule to my list for CCG 2.0.



Might I suggest this as a wording fix...

If you are in control of your character and have an attack that includes PCs in its effect, always ask the players controlling the affected characters if it’s OK to damage or otherwise hinder their character before you make the attack. And yes, this means you actually have to get their permission first as well. Duh! 

If you are in control of your character and wish to make an attack that includes other PCs in its effect, you must obtain the permission of the players whose PCs are in the attack's effect - otherwise, you cannot make the attack.  Violation of this rule is grounds for "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" penalty to be applied to the offending player by the judge or head judge of the event.
Chris Tulach is the sole WOTC employee in the D&D OP (and truthfully he did write those rules), and he was fairly overworked doing 100% of everything for LFR as far as oversight went.

True, but I think it's a fair complaint that he did not need to shoulder the burden on his own.

There are a lot of player who would be willing and able to help tear down rules and help rebuild them to the betterment of the campaign.  Leaving them with no option but to tear down the rules after the fact doesn't really help anyone.

For the next CCG, I would suggest a lengthy process (heck, no reason not to start now), with a draft by the global admins, revisions based on comments from the regional admins, and then a public posting of the draft doc with a RFC period.  For that matter, you could simply put the draft document up on a wiki and get comments that way.

My suggestion would also be that 'fixing wording' is the wrong way to go.  The current CCG is a Frankenstein-like creation that reeks of orphaned language and concepts.  Optimally, CCG v 2.0 would be written anew, starting from scratch and writing it from the bottom up.

As far as the particular issue at hand, personally, I think the entire discussion of whether you have to listen or just ask misses the point.  The point of that whole paragraph is that it's a cooperative game and you shouldn't be a jerk.  The point is not that the hand of god comes down and stops you from being a jerk in one very limited instance of directly damaging another PC, the point is not to be a jerk in general.

If I'm running, and someone uses an area effect spell, it gets resolved however the standard D&D rules say it gets resolved.  If there's a dispute between players, we handle that outside the game, either afterwards or (if serious enough) right then and there.

I read that sentence as saying "Being a good gamer means you talk to your teammates before doing something that harms or hinders their character."  I think that's a true statement whether we're talking about dropping a fireball on the party, dropping a cloud that puts the enemy in obscured terrain or charging into the midst of the enemy and screwing up the rest of the party's tactics.

From my POV, reading this as "You are not physically able to cast a fireball spell that includes a member of your party in its area of effect unless that member has verbally consented to being included" misses the point as much as reading it as "Before casting a spell that could harm another PC, you must ritually say the words 'May I?' before casting the spell, but need not pay any attention to any response."
Now on the point of "friendly fire", my sorerer bard hybrid tossed an area effect right on top of a rash companion who had charged forward and gotten in the center of 7-8 enemies.  In another case where I was just one of the players, another player got a third player in the area of effect, critted, and killed him, in a case where the party was about to be swept off the board.  In neither case was the opinion of the victim allowed to rule, tho I am not sure that either objected too hard.  The potential benefit for the party was simply very large, if the dice behaved.  [Of course, in neither of these cases did the dice bounce in favor of the party, so there is always a serious risk to consider.  I soothed my victim with a cure.]  There simply are plenty of cases out there where taking the risk can turn a potential TPK into a cakewalk and we do not want the player to have an absolute ability to outirght ban a highly party-useful action.  We want his opinion considered, and a careful look to make sure this is not a trigger-happy caster who wants to wrack up some kills to his personal total, but in the end, if the odds look good and the benefits great enough, our back row caster should have the right to shoot and yell "Duck!"

    Now back to the Rust Monster.  This is a creature that has always terrified the high level PC with lots of expensive goodies.  An extended battle with one could leave your character as pretty much unplayable, much worse off than dead.  4.0 might have been wiser just to forget it, but it's so much fun to have the entire party running in terror from this critter that sometimes could not cause a hp of damage.  So they tried to make a little less distrous to meet one, and overdid it. 
    But they didn't overdo it that much.  You still only get items of your level or lower as a result, and by the original plans, you were supposed to be walking around with several items above your level.  But with the growth in classes/races/weapons/armor/etc, the chance of getting something you really want has gone way down.  So this fiddle does not make the PC way more powerful than was intended.  You still have to respect the monsters, unlike several spells and combos that pretty much break an encounter.    
Sign In to post comments