On Player Entitlement

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I've been hearing a lot recently about "player entitlement," and I want to understand what the forum goers here actually think of when they hear the term.

What is player entitlement? What does it entail, exactly?

When do player requests for a game stop being reasonable and turn into an entitlement complex?

When does a DM's ideas on the type of campaign they run stop being "interesting" and start becoming "oppressive?"

Where is the line drawn on what is reasonable to include and what to exclude in a campaign?

I know this is a huge can of worms to be opening. My hope is that it fosters honest debate.

So where do you stand?


Edit: Revised unclear statement
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray

The players are entitled to end the session with a feeling of having had fun of the course of X hours.
Whatever that may be for each player will be different but the GM should make sure that there is something to meet this desire for fun for their players.

Talk about loaded.

In general, I feel participants are entitled to whatever they want so long as it doesn't take away from the quality of play of others at the table.  That being the other participants ability to meaningfully contribute to all aspects of play.

This applies to everyone.  A DM isn't entitled to trivialize the contribution of players through a grandstanding DMPC for example.  A player isn't entitled to shank the other characters in their bedrolls as another.

What to include and exclude in a campaign should be a joint effort.  DMs should make efforts to include the things the players want.  Players should make efforts to not do things the other players and the DM don't want.  The middle ground being adjusting the things they each want until it works as a compromise.

The difference between "interesting" DM'ing and "oppressive" DM'ing is that the interesting one takes player feedback.  The oppressive one ignores feedback.  When the attempt to make something interesting ignores the interests of others.  Players can be a worldbuilding tool, after all.

The Bruce Campbell of D&D.
Complaining about other people's "sense of entitlement" is just the internet insult of the last few years.  Apparently when someone is mad at someone else, everyone they're mad at is part of "the me generation", which inexplicably seems to include everyone born in the last 100 years except for whoever is writing the angry post.


But yes, D&D is supposed to be a grueling punishment for players.  If you are DMing, you should make that clear.  You will grind their faces into the dirt and they will like it.  The only reason they're playing is because you are their master and they have to do everything you say.  If any of them makes any suggestions or has any complaints, you should probably set them on fire.

What is player entitlement? What does it entail, exactly?



Players are entitled to be treated as equal collaborators on the campaign, and to have their ideas listened to, considered honestly, and critiqued fairly, provided they do the same for everybody else at the table.


When does accepting reasonable player requests for a game stop being reasonable and turn into an entitlement complex?



When the player refuses to compromise or see how their request will harm the other players' sense of fun.

When does a DM's ideas on the type of campaign they run stop being "interesting" and start becoming "oppressive?"



Nobody can determine this but the players in the DM's game.

Where is the line drawn on what is reasonable to include and what to exclude in a campaign?



It's reasonable to include or exclude anything – classes, races, mechanics, mounts, creatures, specific or general flavor, certain character background, whatever – provided either everybody is in agreement or you can show why a particular idea is impossible with/without said feature.  In the latter case it comes down to whether or not everybody can be swayed that the inclusion/exclusion of said feature will add enough to the experience that they are willing to include/exclude it despite their reservations.  If there is disagreement on whether it will add anything then there is no one-size-fits-all way to resolve the situation.  Some groups will vote, some will discard the idea if even one person objects, sometimes a player will take a break for a little while and come back when they are more interested.  That's really a personal issue – how do you deal with conflict with your collaborators? – more than an issue specific to the game.

I know this is a huge can of worms to be opening. My hope is that it fosters honest debate.

So where do you stand?



As far as I am concerned, running a game of DnD is like a collaborative creative writing project.  If I invite somebody to come help me write a story, and they say "How about a story about fairy princesses and teddy bears," then I do not necessarily have to say yes, but if I say no I should follow it up with a constructive suggestion.  If possible I should accept the suggestion and propose a modification that will make the topic more interesting to me.  Perhaps, "OK, but the teddy bears eat babies and the fairy princesses are really succubi who have perverted sex with people in their dreams and suck out their life force."  You never know.  Your new collaborator may well say, "Oh, yeah, that is totally sweet."
What is player entitlement? What does it entail, exactly?

Players (and DMs) are entitled to an enjoyable gaming experience. It's the very reason they're playing. D&D is supposed to be a game, not a chore.

When does accepting reasonable player requests for a game stop being reasonable and turn into an entitlement complex?

When a player's (or a DM's) enjoyment of their gaming experience gets in the way of their friends' enjoyments of their gaming experiences and this clash cannot be resolved through civilized conversation.

When does a DM's ideas on the type of campaign they run stop being "interesting" and start becoming "oppressive?"

When the DM does not care to consider whether the type of campaign they would like to run would be an enjoyable gaming experience for their friends.

Where is the line drawn on what is reasonable to include and what to exclude in a campaign?

Whatever everybody agrees upon as a group.

I like lofgren's post.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
As far as I'm concerned, "Player Entitlement" means two different things.

1. The player who wants to be a Githyanki Dhampyr Spellscarred Swordmage in the DM's low-magic Conan-esque setting, is told no, and throws a fit.

2. The player who gives a wishlist to the DM of items he wants, doesn't get them, and throws a fit.

The common thread is throwing a fit. An entitled player is one who can't stand the word "no" when it comes to character options or what he can and can't do.
Too many people use the entitlement argument to insult and detract anything someone else says. At this point, it's like a litmus test: somebody who tosses around "entitlement" on these forums can be safely ignored. It's true that there are bratty players who throw fits, but the entitlement argument is used against people who too often aren't feeling a sense of entitlement, but just looking for some equal treatment. Even though the DM does contribute more, what right does that give him to tell another person what to enjoy? I say this from the viewpoint of a DM, not as a player. If a player came to me asking for a certain class and/or race, and it's not something obnoxious like a one-winged angel with a seven-foot katana, or a githyanki half-devil from Avernus, then I'll probably work on altering the flavor of the class/race idea. Perhaps a drow in a non-drow game is descended from a dishonored eladrin race, cursed with different powers.

If both sides are willing to compromise, they can make practically any idea work.

The original core books said that this was our game too. It doesn't feel like that anymore.

To make it a bit more simple, and slightly expound upon what Windfury said.  There is a saying in the retail business.

The customer is always right.

And any customer who truely believes in that phrase is entitled.


Entitelment is when a person tries to get their way, no matter how reasonable or irreasonable their request, then acts like they must have things done that way, no matter what, and that is just how the world should be.  And the person in question will throw a fit over it, argue and scheme, hold up time, and other people..not caring how it affects anyone else around them..as long as they get their way.

Basically they feel like the world...or in this case..the DM owes it to them.  That is, in essence, entitlement.  Now there are varying degrees...but that would be at its worse.
I've been hearing a lot recently about "player entitlement," and I want to understand what the forum goers here actually think of when they hear the term.

What is player entitlement? What does it entail, exactly?

Players are entitled to have fun and feel like they are useful in the game. The Dm should work
to make each player feel useful and ensure everyone is having fun.

When does accepting reasonable player requests for a game stop being reasonable and turn into an entitlement complex?

Due to the wording, I'm not exactly sure what you mean.

When does a DM's ideas on the type of campaign they run stop being "interesting" and start becoming "oppressive?"

A game can be interesting and oppressive at the same time. But, restrictions and bans on certain material isn't always bad. A truely oppressive game is when the DM crushes the majority of the players ideas, even when those ideas would work.

Where is the line drawn on what is reasonable to include and what to exclude in a campaign?

This is completely up to the group as a whole. I wouldn't remove things without a reason and I'd make sure the group understood the reason. If there was a way to work a restricted feature back into the game, I'd consider it. DM's always have to consider what makes sense in their campaign and players need to respect that. But DM's need to "earn" that respect by avoiding abuse.
Clerics of Bahamant make no sense in Darksun, Mul Psions make no sense in Dragonlance. As a DM, I exclude things in campaigns that have no place. As an alternative, when I run core PoL, I include everything, to allow the Players to go crazy.

I know this is a huge can of worms to be opening. My hope is that it fosters honest debate.

I don't see much of a debate. This is not a universal concept, more of personal opinions found in different games.

So where do you stand?



I bolded my replies.
Long Live Dragonlance and the Nexus! I still want an athasian nightmare beast and a warforged dragon mini! "Look, Meat, I'll tear your face off, rip your throat out and eat what's left-because that's what I do to food like you." ~Thrikreen Intimidation Tactic.
My Custom 4th edition Content (New Content:2)
* My Personal 4e Darksun Material found below: Updated Weapon Options. (critical impact, repair, salvage) http://www.4shared.com/document/bMZK2PNy/Updated_Optional_Darksun_Weapo.html 4th edition Athasian Sloth v1.2 (includes three monster write ups and a new disease) http://www.4shared.com/document/lj561SRh/4th_edition_Athasian_Sloth_v10.html 4th edition Athasian Flailer v1.0 http://www.4shared.com/document/JGi9PqSe/4th_edition__Athasian_Flailer_.html

So I'll hop in with my opinion. First, a definition of entitlement and player entitlemenet as as put together by me:

Entitlement - the idea that a person is owed or deserves something.

Player Entitlement seems to come from a very basic idea - I as a player deserve to have fun.

Now some players think they'll enjoy the game more if they get to play something incredibly poweful, get to play the unique slowflake (aka the only eladrin in your world of all humans and dwarves), or something else that might make you flinch as a DM. That however doesn't mean that that player has any/more less entitlement than a player who feels like they should be an integral part of the story, or who wants to play the linchpin that keeps the party together/on track. It just means their entitlement manifests in a different way.

I feel that every player (including the DM) at a game of D&D or other RPG should feel entitled to have fun, and should work together to make sure that this goal can be met. The impetus for this goal is generally handled by the DM, which is why we see/have these discussions about dealing with player entitlement. However, having a discussion with all the players and giving them a chance to talk to each other about what they expect from a campaign, the DM, and each other can be incredibly helpful to get everyone on the same page and make sure the group/campaign is a good fit. In the end, not all of us have great communication or negotiation skills, so it can sometimes be hard to find that balance that makes the game fun for everyone at the table.

So to answer the question of "when does this entitlement become a problem?" - When a player at the table is no longer having fun playing the game because of the entitlement issue. The DMG tries to give a basic run down of player types and how to please those types at a game table (DMG p8), and there is plenty of advice out there in the ether, but sometimes a player just isn't going to be happy in a certain kind of game. It's a good idea for the DM to be clear on what kind of game he's planning on running early on, or work with the other players to determine what style of play they can all be happy with. Is this going to be an adventure on rails? A campaign full of mystery and exploration? A co-operative story-telling event? In my experience, if you can get this stuff determined early on and stick to it, you have a much better chance of keeping the party happy and together.

The above answer kind of touches on the "interesting vs oppressive" point as well. Try to stick to what you "promised" the other players, and adapt as necessary to keep the game fresh. If you feel like you're pushing yourself too far outside of what you planned for the campaign, explain this to the players, and find a way to get things back in line with your vision (or the group vision if it's more co-operative story telling). If a DM isn't planning on changing things much based on player feedback, that's fine too - it just needs to be made clear from the beginning so a player can determine if he/she wants to be involved in that kind of game.

There is no one line of what is/should be included in a campaign and what is/should be excluded. Again, the DM (or group if it's a more co-op story telling game) sets some basic ideas/boundaries at the beggining and adjusts as necessary as things develop. I personally like to keep options open for other players when I DM, and find ways to make things work within the world that we've established. For example if there's a hard rule that there aren't kalashtar in my world but a player wants to make one, I'd probably allow it and just reskin it so he's a human with the kalasthar rules. If he's going for the unique snow-flake, he still gets it as he has these weird mental abilities and if he's going for the stat combination for a more power-gamery aspect he still gets that too. There are generally many steps in a compromise and often you can find something you're both happy with.

Anyway, my two coppers turned into a full silver I suppose. Just ideas and opinions though - I'm still interested to see what everyone else has to say!

Trevor Kidd Community Manager
When does accepting reasonable player requests for a game stop being reasonable and turn into an entitlement complex?

Due to the wording, I'm not exactly sure what you mean.



Sorry, I'll rephrase (and edit the main post to reflect this change):

When do player requests for a game stop being reasonable and turn into an entitlement complex?
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
The snarky jerk in me wants to ask about DM entitlement in this thread too. You know, the whole "This is MY game and thus you're all going to play my way or leave. The game exists for me to have fun, etc."
When do player requests for a game stop being reasonable and turn into an entitlement complex?


When their happiness stops increasing everyone else's happiness and instead drops everyone else's happiness and they insist on keeping and possibly expanding that behavior.

There are balances. For example, if you want to play at the same table as me, my son is going to be at the table. I know he's a biscuithead. He's 10. He's working on not being 10. It's my job to be good enough that we're both welcome back and to help him improve his behavior so that it doesn't impact everyone's enjoyment.

In the above case, it clearly becomes an entitlement complex when we think we have the right to demand to sit at that table and play. It's not an entitlement complex when we're asked to come back.
As I see it, the question of "player entitlement" as a problem is this:

  • Player feels the need to determine the options used to play.


This is exemplified most strongly in 3/3.5 where a player might walk into a game with a giant pile of grossly ill-fitting splatbooks saying "Hey, I'm going to play a character that has X from A, Y from B, Z from C..."

Now, there are all sorts of ways in which a game is run, but ultimately, the GM's role is to serve as an arbiter of the setting; it is the GM's burden to keep track of and resolve conflicting rules and options, the GM's responsibility to make sure that the current players don't feel left out or cheated when the new player enters the game, and ultimately the GM who will make the world come alive. In D&D, the GM is responsible both for the rules and the story.

Generally, it's the GM's decision what gaming system s/he will use - and within a given system, which supplements to use. S/he is not obliged to take on additional reams of rules, and unless s/he has the time and inclination to become expert with the new material, the quality of mechanical play offered the group will generally suffer. When the "entitled" player insists on something that does not fit the setting, such as playing a Clonetrooper in a campaign set in, around, and underneath Waterdeep, it can often seriously impact the quality of the storytelling aspect of the game.

Now, there's a complete and total difference between a GM deciding, dictatorially, what rules and options are in play for a game (harsh, but quite fair, especially when a wide range of players are involved), and actual oppressive GMing. I see the whining is already in place.

Actual oppressive GMing almost always comes in the actual running of the game. Player entitlement issues generally come up in the behind-the-scenes setting up of the game - "I want to start with all 18s! I want a +4 vorpal sword! I want to be a dhampyr tiefling dragonmarked paladin-bard-monk-cheese-goat!" Bad GMing usually involves constantly taking control of the characters away from the players. "You, thief. You were kidnapped in the middle of the night, and now you've been turned into a wererat who's going to try to kill the rest of the party. You, cleric, you can't ride horses anymore. They just don't like you anymore. No, fighter, you have to save the princess."

Changing the rules dramatically mid-game is usually a sign of bad GMing - that's the main "behind-the-scenes" form of bad GMing. Strangely, it often comes about as a result of a GM knuckling to a new player with a sense of entitlement who winds up taking away from the game experience of other players. As a GM, my job is to have everybody walk away from the table with the best I can give them - not just the squeakiest wheel rolling off with the most grease.
The notorious tjhairball of legend and lore.

Generally, it's the GM's decision what gaming system s/he will use - and within a given system, which supplements to use. S/he is not obliged to take on additional reams of rules, and unless s/he has the time and inclination to become expert with the new material, the quality of mechanical play offered the group will generally suffer.



This is sort of a tangent from the main post, but I don't think this is much of an issue anymore in 4th edition.  In 3e, there were a ton of weird subsystems for each different class or every new spell.  In 4th, every class (with a few minor exceptions) works off the same basic idea of having a few class features and a bunch of standardized powers.  As long as you trust your players somewhat, you don't need to become an expert on anything but the core rules.  I don't bother reading every player's powers and feats and the game runs fine.  If a player wants to play a Sorcerer, for instance, and you say no because you don't want to read "reams of rules" to figure out how it works, I'd say that's sort of petty.  You don't really need to read any of it, but if you want to, you probably just need to read the base class features (a paragraph or two) and glance through a few powers to get a feel for what they're like.  You're not expected to read through every power for every class when you get a new book.

I ban classes and races from campaigns based on fluff and power source, not necessarily their powers.  For example, I ban psionics.  I don't like it and thus, I never design my campaign settings to include psionics in different cultures.  Despite making this abundantly clear before putting a signup sheet on the recruitment board, I still have the occasional **** that wants to play a psionic character.

Usually, they want to play a banned race or class because they just bought a book that had all these new rules in it for them to dink around with.  I hate that kind of entitlement and have seen the "I paid for it, I should be able to use it" excuse on these forums.  I honestly don't care how much you spend on your books.  If it's not in my campaign setting, tough.

I ban psionics.  I don't like it and thus, I never design my campaign settings to include psionics in different cultures.  Despite making this abundantly clear before putting a signup sheet on the recruitment board, I still have the occasional **** that wants to play a psionic character.

Usually, they want to play a banned race or class because they just bought a book that had all these new rules in it for them to dink around with.  I hate that kind of entitlement and have seen the "I paid for it, I should be able to use it" excuse on these forums.  I honestly don't care how much you spend on your books.  If it's not in my campaign setting, tough.


. . . You don't think it's a tad bit hypocritical to complain about perceived player entitlement when the only reason you banned something in the first place was because you don't like it, without regard or consideration to what your friends like? Because that, to me, totally sounds like DM entitlement gone wrong.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
> This is sort of a tangent from the main post, but I don't think this is much of an
> issue anymore in 4th edition. In 3e, there were a ton of weird subsystems for
> each different class or every new spell. In 4th, every class (with a few minor
> exceptions) works off the same basic idea of having a few class features and a
> bunch of standardized powers.

This is essentially my take on it too - I was admittedly wary of the balance of psionics and a number of other alternate power systems in 3E, but the biggest factor in my not wanting to use them was that incorporating them would take a lot of time on my part (especially since something like psionics also required adventure design changes), time that I just didn't have.

I don't have that issue in 4E, and I've already got one person trying out the preview version of the psion - it didn't take any extra time or effort on my part (no more so than when any character involves powers I haven't yet read up on, at least).
  . . . You don't think it's a tad bit hypocritical to complain about perceived player entitlement when the only reason you banned something in the first place was because you don't like it, without regard or consideration to what your friends like? Because that, to me, totally sounds like DM entitlement gone wrong.


Ah but he said it first and it's a simple enough request and if he doesn't want to play in a game with Psionics why should he?  Why should anyone have to play a game they don't want?
I ban psionics.  I don't like it and thus, I never design my campaign settings to include psionics in different cultures.  Despite making this abundantly clear before putting a signup sheet on the recruitment board, I still have the occasional **** that wants to play a psionic character.

Usually, they want to play a banned race or class because they just bought a book that had all these new rules in it for them to dink around with.  I hate that kind of entitlement and have seen the "I paid for it, I should be able to use it" excuse on these forums.  I honestly don't care how much you spend on your books.  If it's not in my campaign setting, tough.


. . . You don't think it's a tad bit hypocritical to complain about perceived player entitlement when the only reason you banned something in the first place was because you don't like it, without regard or consideration to what your friends like? Because that, to me, totally sounds like DM entitlement gone wrong.

Not at all. He states clearly for all to see that he does not allow Psionics. If someone wants to sign up it means they have read and understand that. It does not matter the reasons. He most likely does not include the whys of the guidlines, just the guidlines. To come in after reading it demanding to play the banned class/race/option is rude. That preson may have taken a spot form someone that actually wants to play an open option w/o drama. The players are well within their rights to ignore his call for players. Their perogative. If the banned option was such a big deal why want to play. Becasue they feel entitled. Not the DM, the player.

I ban psionics.  I don't like it and thus, I never design my campaign settings to include psionics in different cultures.  Despite making this abundantly clear before putting a signup sheet on the recruitment board, I still have the occasional **** that wants to play a psionic character.

Usually, they want to play a banned race or class because they just bought a book that had all these new rules in it for them to dink around with.  I hate that kind of entitlement and have seen the "I paid for it, I should be able to use it" excuse on these forums.  I honestly don't care how much you spend on your books.  If it's not in my campaign setting, tough.


. . . You don't think it's a tad bit hypocritical to complain about perceived player entitlement when the only reason you banned something in the first place was because you don't like it, without regard or consideration to what your friends like? Because that, to me, totally sounds like DM entitlement gone wrong.



Should a DM be forced to use rules and options they have not looked over or do not care for, though? The DM, like it or not, has a much larger burden on them than a typical player does. A player only has to deal with running his own character, while the DM has to consider the game world as a whole. That includes a certain amount of the suspension of disbelief in the setting he has chosen.

Let me give you an example. In a 3.5 game I was running, one of the players purchased Magic of Incarnum, and asked me to include incarnum elements in the game for a character idea he had. While I ultimately ended up allowing incarnum classes into the game, it put a strain on me, because I suddenly had to figure out how to integrate this totally new system of magic not only into one character, but the whole structure of the game world. It's not as easy to include something like a whole new power source in an ongoing game as it looks from the player's side. Not only do I have to consider the player, I have to consider the impact of incarnum on the world itself, and on how many incarnum-related elements I would have to include in future adventures to give his character a sense of belonging. Since I had previously passed over this supplement in my own purchases, I felt that it was slightly unfair to me as a fellow player in the game to have to bend over to include this whole new system of magic just to support one player's whims, despite me liking Incarnum just fine once I read about it.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
. . . You don't think it's a tad bit hypocritical to complain about perceived player entitlement when the only reason you banned something in the first place was because you don't like it, without regard or consideration to what your friends like? Because that, to me, totally sounds like DM entitlement gone wrong.



Nope.  I'm the DM.  It's not being hypocritical at all.  Most of the time, I'm the one putting in several hours of work over weeks and months before the campaign starts to create the setting.  I create settings that feature strong themes that pervade every aspect of the story.  For example, the setting I'm working on now doesn't have any divine or psionics power sources at all.  No gods, no deities... and angels are just another race in the world.  Part of a celestial (as in celestial bodies type not Astral) vs elemental war between Angels and Archons.

That's the setting and having a cleric or paladin in the group would just be effin' stupid.  Yet I guarantee you, that when I open up applications to play in the game, there will be at least one **** that wants to play a divine or psionic character.

Someone else said there had to be a reason.  Well me not liking something is reason enough.  I realize that players are supposed to enjoy the game, but so is the DM.  And that includes world build and campaign creation as well.  I don't like psionics and don't like building worlds that include it.  Thus I don't have fun.  That's all the reason I need to ban something, regardless of how entitled some money-banks player with all the books think they deserve to play anything they want.
. . . You don't think it's a tad bit hypocritical to complain about perceived player entitlement when the only reason you banned something in the first place was because you don't like it, without regard or consideration to what your friends like? Because that, to me, totally sounds like DM entitlement gone wrong.



Nope.  I'm the DM.  It's not being hypocritical at all.  Most of the time, I'm the one putting in several hours of work over weeks and months before the campaign starts to create the setting.  I create settings that feature strong themes that pervade every aspect of the story.  For example, the setting I'm working on now doesn't have any divine or psionics power sources at all.  No gods, no deities... and angels are just another race in the world.  Part of a celestial (as in celestial bodies type not Astral) vs elemental war between Angels and Archons.

That's the setting and having a cleric or paladin in the group would just be effin' stupid.  Yet I guarantee you, that when I open up applications to play in the game, there will be at least one **** that wants to play a divine or psionic character.

Someone else said there had to be a reason.  Well me not liking something is reason enough.  I realize that players are supposed to enjoy the game, but so is the DM.  And that includes world build and campaign creation as well.  I don't like psionics and don't like building worlds that include it.  Thus I don't have fun.  That's all the reason I need to ban something, regardless of how entitled some money-banks player with all the books think they deserve to play anything they want.


 
Justified as everyone may think the position is, this post is absolutely riddled with a sense of entitlement.  "It's MY world, what I say goes, and if you don't like it, leave."  Epitome of the phrase.  Even so, I think that DM entitlement is simply more socially acceptable in the D&D community.   We tend to feel that because the DM does more (though certainly not all) of the work to create the setting and establish a solid foundation, his or her preferences take priority.

The real issue here is the negative connotation associated with the phrase "sense of entitlement".  Now, as I think someone mentioned, we tend to associate it with the ME generation idea that everyone is entitled to everything.  Generally, entitlement isn't a bad thing, though.  I want my players to have some sense of entitlement, because otherwise, they really have no stake in the game.  They should feel entitled to be an active participant who's ideas are always respected, if not always honored.   To add my voice to the others, the middle ground between player and DM is where this gets settled.

DM
Justified as everyone may think the position is, this post is absolutely riddled with a sense of entitlement.  "It's MY world, what I say goes, and if you don't like it, leave."  Epitome of the phrase. 


Never claimed otherwise.  I am entitled to say that it is MY world and that what I say goes.  I'm the one spending hours of my time every week to provide entertainment for the players who typically just show up and roll dice.  If I'm not having fun, no one is going to have fun.  That's just how it works.  I can always find new players and I always use a sign-up sheet for my games that clearly shows what's allowed and what the campaign is going to be about.

Players should never feel like they're entitled to play in every game that's running and they should never feel like they're entitled to play whatever race/class combo they want to, just because it's part of this "everything is core" bullshit that WotC spews like projectile vomit every chance they get.

Feyberry, I'm guessing you collect your players from a gameshop or club and switch them out with each campaign?

Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
Yup.  That's the way I've played D&D for over fifteen years.  It's the way all the groups I've been in run.
It explains a lot about the difference in our way of approaching the game, then.

I've always played with my friends, which makes for a whole different kind of game. 
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
I've gamed with groups of friends, but not always the same friends.  Different editions, different games, different folks, though some played in all or most.  Sometimes it's more trouble than it's worth.  Had a few groups go belly up because of "drama".  I was never the source of it though.  Any disagreements I had were always based on the game itself, rather than some out of game crap.
Yup.  That's the way I've played D&D for over fifteen years.  It's the way all the groups I've been in run.



What's your player turnover rate like?

This sort of attitude, justified as it may be, doesn't work when the people across your table are an permenant, established group of friends, not just gameshop acquaintances who come and go every week.

I've been on both sides of this as a DM. I've had games crash and burn that I thought were going well because I made the mistake of assuming that "my world, my rules" gave me leeway to act as I please, and I've had the fun leeched out of a game by onerous player demands.

So let me ask you, Feyberry--what are the boundaries of your entitlement as a DM? How much are you willing to bend on your vision of a campaign world for the sake of an interesting concept from a player, even a concept that might not suit your personal tastes? And where do you draw the line and say "not at this table, period"?

As an example of boundaries: I don't care for halflings, but if a player were to present me a halfing character concept I wouldn't veto it. i heavily restrict Monster Manual races, with a default answer of "no" unless they give me a really compelling story to go with the character. Bladelings and Gith, on the other hand, are right out in any game I run, because I have no interest in catering to extraplanar characters in a World-centric game.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
Jeez I'm jealous, which I had a hole bunch o' gamers. Sigh
The essential theme song- Get a little bit a fluff da' fluff, get a little bit a fluff da' fluff! (ooh yeah) Repeat Unless noted otherwise every thing I post is my opinion, and probably should be taken as tongue in cheek any way.
Not much of a turnover rate, because I screen players for my campaigns which are usually scheduled to last between 12 and 15 sessions.  I create a flyer that contains character creation rules and a synopsis of the campaign setting.  I also include the rules I use at the table, which covers actions in combat and delaying the game with overly long turns trying to make a decision.  I also make it very clear whether a game is focused more on character interaction with the story or hack and slash.  It limits the players that show up, which is fine with me.  I hate games the grow and grow or lose players and replaces players on a daily basis.

I draw the line at the rules I posted before the players signed up to play.  If they can't read and follow those rules, they don't sit at my table.  It's as simple as that.
I simply don't see that position as "entitlement" because at no point does he think he's entitled to sit with his choice of other gamers. Since he's the one putting up the ads and looking for compatible players and since he's the one without a game if he can't find them, I see no sense of entitlement there.

Now if a bunch of players were looking for a GM, he sat down and expressed the same rules, and they said no, and he had a negative reaction to that, that would, to me, express a sense of entitlement.

In everything he's doing, everyone has the right to say no.
Ah but he said it first and it's a simple enough request and if he doesn't want to play in a game with Psionics why should he?

For the exact same reason that any player who doesn't want to play in a game with Arcane should. It's not just about what one person wants, and it's certainly no single player's place to tell another player how to play his character unless there are legitimate story or balance concerns that should be dealt with as a group. This is a cooperative game, so stop telling your friends what to do just because you have an inflated sense of DM entitlement.

Why should anyone have to play a game they don't want?

They shouldn't, but this goes for players just as much as it goes for DMs. This is a fine stance to take if you live somewhere there are a lot of available players or you have no problem playing with almost complete strangers, but that doesn't work for everybody. Quite a lot of people only play with their close friends, usually the same, consistent group of close friend. Acting like the DM is any more entitled than the other players in that scenario is completely selfish.

If someone wants to sign up it means they have read and understand that.

You have your friends sign up to play with you?

Should a DM be forced to use rules and options they have not looked over or do not care for, though?

No more than a player should be forced not to play a character that he greatly cares for. It's not a one-person issue. It's not even just an issue between that player and that DM. It is a group issue.

The DM, like it or not, has a much larger burden on them than a typical player does.

But he shouldn't act like it.

I suddenly had to figure out how to integrate this totally new system of magic not only into one character, but the whole structure of the game world. It's not as easy to include something like a whole new power source in an ongoing game as it looks from the player's side.

As a DM, I can testify that, yes, it's ridiculously easy to integrate quite a number of power sources into existing games. What is Incarnum anyways? Soul magic? Sounds just like another form of magic or necromancy to me. Bam, just put them in the exact same place that the other wizards are. It takes next to zero effort.

I have to consider the impact of incarnum on the world itself..

No, you don't. Incarnum has the exact same impact on the world that every other form of magic has. You don't need to come up with anything new unless you want to.

Most of the time, I'm the one putting in several hours of work over weeks and months before the campaign starts to create the setting.  I create settings that feature strong themes that pervade every aspect of the story.

I'm going to say this once again for emphasis because it's so important.
But you shouldn't act like it.

That's the setting and having a cleric or paladin in the group would just be effin' stupid.

Not with a tad bit of reflavoring. Off the top of my head, you could do what the Blood Elves in World of Warcraft do. I'm sure that there are also less evil options.

Someone else said there had to be a reason.  Well me not liking something is reason enough.

That's completely ridiculous, and you should feel ashamed for being so selfish.

I realize that players are supposed to enjoy the game, but so is the DM.

Apparently, you don't realize this nearly enough.

I don't like psionics and don't like building worlds that include it.  Thus I don't have fun.

You're really that petty?

Yup.  That's the way I've played D&D for over fifteen years.  It's the way all the groups I've been in run.

That's fine, but you forget that not everybody plays like that. You have the luxury of getting away with being so controlling of your players because you don't play with friends or other people whose feelings are really important to you. Basically, you're spoiled. While that might work for you in your position, that doesn't mean that it's the one true way that the DM-player relationship must follow. Some of us like to play with our friends, and in such a setting, to suggest that the DM is any more entitled to fun than the players is a great way to lose friends.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
You have your friends sign up to play with you?


Yup.  It ensure the games are fair and seating isn't being taken up for people that don't always show up, just because they're a friend.

No more than a player should be forced not to play a character that he greatly cares for. It's not a one-person issue. It's not even just an issue between that player and that DM. It is a group issue.


No, it's a player issue.  If a player can only have fun playing one specific race/class... then they need to go find another game to play and stop wasting my time.  Sometimes, I've been tempted to force everyone to use entirely random character creation for EVERYTHING.  Just to piss off those self-entitled stuck up whiners.

As a DM, I can testify that, yes, it's ridiculously easy to integrate quite a number of power sources into existing games. What is Incarnum anyways? Soul magic? Sounds just like another form of magic or necromancy to me. Bam, just put them in the exact same place that the other wizards are. It takes next to zero effort.


Of course it's easy if you don't want to put any real effort into it and do it the right way.

No, you don't. Incarnum has the exact same impact on the world that every other form of magic has. You don't need to come up with anything new unless you want to.


Laziness.  Right there.

I'm going to say this once again for emphasis because it's so important. But you shouldn't act like it.


Considering the amount of time I put into it, I have the right to act however I want.

That's the setting and having a cleric or paladin in the group would just be effin' stupid.

Not with a tad bit of reflavoring. Off the top of my head, you could do what the Blood Elves in World of Warcraft do. I'm sure that there are also less evil options.


Way to ignore the points I made.  Re-flavoring doesn't change the fact that they're playing a cleric or paladin and using cleric/paladin rules.  The classes and power sources are an entire package and just changing the name isn't enough.

That's completely ridiculous, and you should feel ashamed for being so selfish.


Nope, not ashamed.  Not in the least bit.  It's my campaign setting that I spent tens of hours or even hundreds of hours working on.  If I don't like psionics and I don't want to use psionics.  I'm not going to use psionics and I'm not going to feel the least bit ashamed for not doing so just because I don't like the power source.  If you're a player and you just can't play anything but psionics... go find another game.  I'm not going to accomdate you.


That's fine, but you forget that not everybody plays like that. You have the luxury of getting away with being so controlling of your players because you don't play with friends or other people whose feelings are really important to you. Basically, you're spoiled. While that might work for you in your position, that doesn't mean that it's the one true way that the DM-player relationship must follow. Some of us like to play with our friends, and in such a setting, to suggest that the DM is any more entitled to fun than the players is a great way to lose friends.


Being spoiled is great. =)
selfish
...selfish
...petty
...spoiled


You may have missed this in your efforts to be rude, but he is taking responsibility for his own happiness and giving other people a choice to be part of that happiness or not. That's not selfish, petty, or spoiled. He's not making his friends play a game they don't want to. His friends aren't making him play a game he doesn't want to.
 

I simply don't see that position as "entitlement" because at no point does he think he's entitled to sit with his choice of other gamers. Since he's the one putting up the ads and looking for compatible players and since he's the one without a game if he can't find them, I see no sense of entitlement there.

Now if a bunch of players were looking for a GM, he sat down and expressed the same rules, and they said no, and he had a negative reaction to that, that would, to me, express a sense of entitlement.

In everything he's doing, everyone has the right to say no.




Agree wholeheartedly, there is no sense of entitlement when you can simply leave if you don't like how its done.  The DM runs the game, and therefore determines what goes in the game.  Otherwise the counter argument suggests that the DM must run a game as dictated to him by players whether he likes it or not, which sounds like player entitlement.  You want to run the game then DM, if not, then play. The DM runs the game world, the players run in it.  Its not about entitlement, its definition of role. 
Thing is, Feyberry opens a game world and accepts players into it. Which is a fair way to look at it. Nobody is entitled to anything, because the game is more important then the players; if you enjoy the premise, play, if you don't, find another game. It's the way of playing in large gatherings (I've actually played in one, a few years ago) and a fair way to go about it.

Most people who oppose his ideas, gather (or have) a group of friends, and then decide to play together. This makes the players more important than the game, which means it would be a **** move to try and enforce your view of the game on them... after all; they've agreed to play beforehand, and thus should receive an equal amount of input.
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
For me player entitlement means that a Player feels his or her happiness should come at the expense of the group's happiness.

That's also my definition of Dm entitlement. Just change player for Dm.

Usually they spawn from one of the following, in the case of Player Entitlement it tends to come from a shortage of players so, the Player is going to feel more important etc.

Dm Entitlement comes from an utter shortage of Dms.

Feyberry suffers from DM Entitlement.

He just has a "screening process" which may or may not make a lick of sense depending on how you view it.

You can fit almost anything into a campaign world and I've found very few if any Dms that have truly created a world so thoroughly that there's nothing new to discover. (Ie having room to put in classes or races that weren't there before) I've also never seen a group that has literally been on every square mile of a given campaign world before either. So you as the Dm made X location that you have never used. The Players still don't know X frankly exists so if you introduce something new, big freakin deal it comes from X location. "but it tampers with my creation!" not really, because your creation is only real to the players after they've seen, touched and interacted with it.

Just to put it into perspective, there are places in this country (US) where frankly no human has recorded having been in. That's with all of our modern technology, population and conveniences. Now scale back the tech, and population. Yeah that's alot of unexplored ground for new things to be discovered. Hell just look at the Greeks, and the Mediterranean. Look how much of that was unknown to them. Look how many civilizations there were. Hell look how many "lost" civilizations we've rediscovered in the last 200years.  Even on our planet there's plenty of grey zones.

If you can't find a place for it, you aren't trying, not hard enough. But you aren't trying at all.

Incarnum even gave plot hooks, for worlds where frankly it never existed before. So really feyberry's "justification" is just his own bias against anything but his way to play. I suspect the same applies to pretty much any class and powersource he's banned.

The Dm doesn't really have to work too hard to introduce new material to the game, I'm a Dm which has a pretty much anything goes attitude. Psionics and Incarnum in 3e? with some alterations here and there I let em in. (I had to tweak them because really we weren't playing 3e anymore) If someone were to be running a bone stock 3e though, I couldn't imagine a justification revolving around "balance" for not allowing something. Because 3e itself was a trainwreck of balance anyway.

There are some things that may or may not fit in campaign world, in which case I might ask the player to make something else, and save the character for a campaign which his concept will fit in. I've never had to do this however as most players contrary to some people's beliefs, are capable generally of making something appropriate to the game on their own. If I tell someone it's going to be a Dark Fantasy game, they'll probably be able to make something that fits without me handholding them and saying No every five seconds.

Rather than just say "No never. You'll never play this ever!". With the Universe I've created for my groups, it's entirely possible that we'll get to it eventually. My campaigns tend to be more episodic as well ( I like to keep them shorter rather than longer. We have 4 Dms in my group, so we rotate fairly often, between Dms/Gm/St and systems).

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Where is William when we need him? He is the champion of player entitlement.
I'm going to have to disagree Mitcha.  Yes everything can fit into every world... but should it?  I say no.  There are limits that can and do make sense.  

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