Weak Rules and Troublesome Players

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This is sort of a branch off of the rust monster thread. Many people in that thread mentioned simply not playing with people that like to exploit weak areas in the rules regardless of how clearly it is not intended to work that way. What should we as players and judges do when those types of players are the majority? How populous do those players have to be before it's easier to fix the rules than it is to fix the players.

A guy who I play with regularly and I were talking on the way home from a game. He mentions that the Ring of Personal Gravity is completely broken. I ask him for an explanation. After he does so I am confused. The item is good but certainly not broken. He explains his interpretation of the rules (I'll leave looking up the item to you guys).

He believes that the immobilize is essentially permanent once it is applied since the only listed duration is one the player using the ring controls. I understand where he could get this idea but that is clearly not how the item is intended to function. I tell him that our disagreement fortunately doesn't matter because no one in our area has the ring. He clarifies that he just bought it. I tell him how I intend to rule on the subject, that I believe the immobilize ends when the afflicted creatures are no longer adjacent. He insists it does not. He is technically right.

I go on to repeat how I will be ruling on the subject (this is important as I judge about three times as often as he does). He gets indignant and begins quoting the CCG on how judges are to handle the rules. Again, he is technically right.

I tell him he is welcome to not play, that no other player will have a problem with my ruling. He gets more indignant insisting that I cannot make such a ruling.

This brings me to a crossroads. This person is not someone I can simply not play with. He is someone who is, and will be, involved in many of the games in my area. Judging games for him will become a constant battle.

Social pressure to not use the ring will not work. He admits it is broken and looks forward to doing so. I cannot trust this player to 'police' himself. This is also not an isolated incident. Before this ring there were at least half a dozen other clearly broken things that he has insisted on abusing before they were fixed.

How should I deal with this person and the dozen others like him in my regular gaming circle?

If you are going to find DMing a chore and a potential source of argument and division, the easiest and most obvious answer is NOT to do it. Stop being  a DM. If a player sits at your table and you don't want to DM for them, just walk away.

You volunteer your services as a DM. There are many reasons you might do that but to expect a long rules argument is not one of them. 

Only DM for the people you want to DM for. 

If every time he sits down at your table, you walk away i expect the message will come over load and clear.
Well if an animal bites you its not the animals fault. Its the trainers fault.

Your going to just say you are ruling it that way at your table. When he gives you whatever argument he gives you, your just going to have to listen and say "I hear you, but this is the decision I have made for how things are going to run. It may change in the future, but for now that is how its going to work."
 
The inability of a player to hear the word "No" should not stop you from saying that word or enforcing that word.

If these players are the majority in an area, it may well be because they've driven everyone else out, leaving the organization that's supposed to be an ambassador and an introduction to the game filled with people who don't leave the best impressions at the table.

If it's become a majority problem as you say, you may want to talk with your heralds and DMs and make sure you are all on the same page. This isn't going to work if you don't share the same goals and ideals. One thing to keep in mind is that your members aren't going to be happy when they go to a convention or any other larger RPGA gathering and suddenly all they're hearing is "No".

I really strongly sympathize with this, having had my own issues with intolerable players and having been unsure how to handle it.

Talking with the rest of your DM pool and your organizer is certainly indicated. It sounds a bit like you're not sure you'll get much support, but it's worth trying -- you might not be the only frustrated person. If it's a problem for everyone, you can collectively fix it. 

Saying "no" once is likely to have a pretty impressive effect, if it's coming from the organizer of the event. If the organizer is part of the problem, a number of his DMs saying "sorry, don't want to run any more" is also likely to have a noticeable effect. As a small-scale organizer, I promise it would get my attention. You, as DMs, are invaluable. 

I'd also recommend, well, starting this thread. I am pretty firmly of the opinion that the biggest issue facing the campaign is the lack of social ties. The regions are too big for the triads to really know what's going on in any individual play group, and there's not as much crossover between groups as it seems there used to be. That means that divergent social norms such as accepting abusive play can develop locally with little to no inhibition from outside. This is definitely something that the globals need to be thinking about. (And I expect they probably are.) Threads like this help them understand the scope of the problem.  

Personally, I would be even more blatant.  I would explain to him that he is trying to abuse the rules based on his interpretation and that this isn't the first time he has done so.  I would explain to him that I have no interest in DMing for a player like that and if he is going to continue to argue my rulings or try to abuse every possible rules loophole that I am no longer willing to run games for him.  From what you have said, there are other DMs in the area, but you are one of more active ones.  This will not prevent him from playing LFR, but it will restrict his options.  If other DMs are equally willing to make a stand, it will severely hinder his options.

Certainly, he can enjoy the game any way he wants and abusing rules loopholes (within reason) is a way that some people enjoy the game.  I can think of someone in my area with a Dhampyr Warforged of broken.  But, from experience, despite a little bit of rules abuse, he plays responsibly with other players and he is respectful of the DM.  As soon as a player chooses to fight tooth and nail to be abusive, even when the DM has ruled to the contrary, the player no longer is holding to the social compact.  Expel him, without thinking twice.

-SYB


While I would not use the word "permanent,"  I think I agree with the other gamer that the intent of the rule is for the enemies (not marked) AND yourself to stay slowed or immobilized the same length of time.  So long as you are willing to stay personally slowed or immobilized, you could keep those enemies also.  When you feel the pressing need to move, you free yourself and them of the condition at the same time.

Is that broken?  How tolerant are you to having your character slowed or immobilized?

To your greater question, if the players won't accept as DM you must interpret and apply the rules for the game to work, then you should not DM for them.

Keith
Keith Hoffman LFR Writing Director for Waterdeep
Here is what I like to do for any similar situation:

  • State my interpretation of the rules.

  • Listen to any other opposing interpretation.

  • Make a decision, and clearly state it, explaining my reasoning.

  • If this is the first time the player has brought this situation up, or if it makes a major difference to their character, then, for this adventure only, allow some sort of halfway position.

  • Tell them that if they get other information -- like an official ruling -- that supports their position, I will allow it, but based on current info, I will not.

  • Allow no discussion while gaming

  • Afterwards, discuss if I feel I need to

So for this case I would say "It appears that the immobilize is meant to work only while the target is adjacent to you. I cannot think of another item that puts a permanent condition on another character, and if there were one, it would definitely cost more than 45,000. I understand you bought this thinking it was more powerful, so for this mod, I'll make it a 'save ends' effect for both marked and adjacent characters. Afterwards, feel free to decide whether or not you want to keep it, but I'm going to run it in future as only working on adjacent characters while they remain adjacent to you."

Then I would listen to the explosion, and reply "I hear what you are saying. If you find some other official source with more info -- say an email from a wizards expert -- please let me know. Until then, I'm going to rut as I said. Now, let's not delay the game with rules questions any more -- the dragon is immobilized, save ends and decides to waste his breath only on you as he cannot move away. Then he'll attempt to make his save"

To recap: First make it clear you have listened to the person; second, make a decision and make it clear there will be no more discussion; third, re-direct them to an expert whose decision both sides will accept. Fourth, be friendly -- find a way to soften the decision until the injured party has a chance to fix it.

Good luck ! 

I'm curious as to what your interpetation of the Ring's power is?  Because when I read it it appears thad adjacent enemies are immolibized (or slowed) no save.  Of course, as Keith mentioned, so is the player.  However, if the PC and effected enemies were no longer adjacent (due to teleport powers or forced movement) I think the enemy would still be immobilized.  It doesn't say must remain adjacent.

More generally, I think in LFR 4.0 a DM should try and rule "questionable" rules interpretations in favor of the players.  The game is about them (and you) having fun -- let them have fun with their toys.  It is not the LFR DM's job to correct cheesy rules or interpretations. 

Now, if something was clearly WRONG - i.e. the power says I attack Fort, but I'm going to use Reflex, well that is different.  But that is not the case here -- unless you tell us something different.  Let the guy have his fun and move on.

Daren


[snip]A guy who I play with regularly and I were talking on the way home from a game. He mentions that the Ring of Personal Gravity is completely broken. I ask him for an explanation. After he does so I am confused. The item is good but certainly not broken. He explains his interpretation of the rules (I'll leave looking up the item to you guys).

He believes that the immobilize is essentially permanent once it is applied since the only listed duration is one the player using the ring controls. I understand where he could get this idea but that is clearly not how the item is intended to function.[snip]
How should I deal with this person and the dozen others like him in my regular gaming circle?



If you chose to slow an enemy, and the slow went away as soon as they were not adjacent, then that slow would be almost meaningless as their speed would restore as soon as they took the first step away. A ruling that it stops when not adjacent feels like one made not because the rule is weak, but because the rule as written is _abhorrent_. The item being broken in the hands of a swordmage or other character who can teleport all about is a bad thing, certainly, and a good reason to submit it for errata.

*goes to check if that's been done yet* Nope.

Okay, now it is.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
I recommend e-mailing Customer Service for the correct interpretation. They're pretty quick responding. Once you have it gives your argument more validity. Simply saying "I read it differently" makes it a matter of interpretation as well as seeming like you're breaking Wheaton's rule. If he still whines, suggest he contact customer service as well. If he does, and the responses conflict, contact CS and tell them their responses conflict. I've done this with mine and a players' interpretation of Shaman healing, and it worked well.


Basically, instead of creating a conflict, make him your ally by setting it up as you two working together trying to figure out how the item really works.


Here is what I like to do for any similar situation:
  • State my interpretation of the rules.

  • Listen to any other opposing interpretation.

  • Make a decision, and clearly state it, explaining my reasoning.

  • If this is the first time the player has brought this situation up, or if it makes a major difference to their character, then, for this adventure only, allow some sort of halfway position.

  • Tell them that if they get other information -- like an official ruling -- that supports their position, I will allow it, but based on current info, I will not.

  • Allow no discussion while gaming

  • Afterwards, discuss if I feel I need to

So for this case I would say "It appears that the immobilize is meant to work only while the target is adjacent to you. I cannot think of another item that puts a permanent condition on another character, and if there were one, it would definitely cost more than 45,000. I understand you bought this thinking it was more powerful, so for this mod, I'll make it a 'save ends' effect for both marked and adjacent characters. Afterwards, feel free to decide whether or not you want to keep it, but I'm going to run it in future as only working on adjacent characters while they remain adjacent to you."



(Strike through is mine)

With one exception, I agree with this. I had this happen with my Fighter that used (pre-errata) Deft Hurler as a major component in her build. The DM argued that, despite the rules text the feat was two powerful and, at his table, it would work similar to its post-errata function. The half-way tactic isn't allowed by RPGA rules, and creates extra variation. It teaches new players to ask, "can this power work this way? The DM at my last table said it could." As such, I think it ingrains bad habits and goes against the spirit of LFR. Stick to your guns.

More generally, I think in LFR 4.0 a DM should try and rule "questionable" rules interpretations in favor of the players.  The game is about them (and you) having fun -- let them have fun with their toys.  It is not the LFR DM's job to correct cheesy rules or interpretations.  



Unfortunately, this policy breaks down when the other players at the table are not having fun as the result of the questionable rules interpretation.
I reckon the issue is more about interpersonal skills and less about the game. 

The answer to "what would you do" is really going to be more related to how you'd answer the same question about a jerk at the supermarket, or at work, or sitting behind you in the stands at a football game, than it is related to anything specific the RPGA/WPN or D&D.
I'm pretty much just echoing what other people have said, but when you judge you make the decision on rules.  Listen to the person, explain your position and move on.  If the person argues, explain that they are being disruptive.  If they continue to argue ask them to leave.  If they don't leave talk the the organizer or just completely ignore them.

Be polite but hold your ground.  If they want to discuss a rule after the mod, that's fine but you have a game to run ... it's not fair to you or the rest of the table to have one person bring the game to a halt.

Allen.

More generally, I think in LFR 4.0 a DM should try and rule "questionable" rules interpretations in favor of the players.  The game is about them (and you) having fun -- let them have fun with their toys.  It is not the LFR DM's job to correct cheesy rules or interpretations.

I disagree.  The DM's job is to adjudicate the game in a fair way, not to kowtow to every player in the game.

If the player is holding up the game or acting in a disruptive way, then he's in the wrong, and he should leave the game.  It doesn't matter if his rules interpretation is right or wrong.  In a time-sensitive environment, if the debate can't be settled in a minute or two, the correct response is for the player to tell the DM "I disagree, but let's move on."
Adjudicating the game in fair way should not include applying nerfs to things you find overpowered.  If the rule is unclear, you should side with the player.  Again, the game is about having fun and using powerful items is fun for many players.  If you think saying "no" is fun, then you proabably shouldn't be DMing.

The only exception to this is if a particular power is so powerful that it results in other players not having fun.  But for a DM to say no just because he doesn't like something is lame.

Daren

More generally, I think in LFR 4.0 a DM should try and rule "questionable" rules interpretations in favor of the players.  The game is about them (and you) having fun -- let them have fun with their toys.  It is not the LFR DM's job to correct cheesy rules or interpretations.

I disagree.  The DM's job is to adjudicate the game in a fair way, not to kowtow to every player in the game.

If the player is holding up the game or acting in a disruptive way, then he's in the wrong, and he should leave the game.  It doesn't matter if his rules interpretation is right or wrong.  In a time-sensitive environment, if the debate can't be settled in a minute or two, the correct response is for the player to tell the DM "I disagree, but let's move on."



For the Ring of Personal Gravity, the property gives you the Stand Your Ground Dwarf racial feature.

The Daily Power as written states that you and enemies adjacent or marked by you are either Slowed or immobilized. For marked enemies, this is save ends. For adjacent enemies, no saving throw is allowed. As a free action, you can end this power for all effected creatures. If you have reached a milestone, while you are under the effect of this power's condition, any newly marked enemies or enemies adjacent to you are also affected by the chosen condition.



Basically, while this effect is in place, you are also under the effect. If you don't want to be effected by it anymore as a free action you can drop it removing the condition from yourself and effected creatures.

It's common sense, just like MYREs and rust monsters.

MYRE + Rust Monster + Master Crafter Artificer = Everyone wins!
Adjudicating the game in fair way should not include applying nerfs to things you find overpowered.  If the rule is unclear, you should side with the player.  Again, the game is about having fun and using powerful items is fun for many players.  If you think saying "no" is fun, then you proabably shouldn't be DMing.

I'm not talking about the ring of personal gravity, but about player behaviour in general.

Please don't misunderstand.  I'm not suggesting that the default position should be to rule against the player -- I'm saying that the DM should use his best judgment to come up with a fair decision.

If the DM agrees with the player's points, great.  If not, then the player should accept it and move on, and maybe discuss the issue after the game if he feels really strongly about it.  But saying "no" is not automatically unfair or unfun.
Adjudicating the game in fair way should not include applying nerfs to things you find overpowered.


If the item is overpowered, the only ways I can think of to run a challenging game (and it's my impression that running a challenging game is something the GM is supposed to be doing) is to either:
1) Nerf the item so that the players are on an more equal footing.
2) Increase the strenth of the monsters to return the game to a challenge.

It's my experienced that one person at the table has less fun when #1 is used and 4 people at the table have less fun when #2 is used. And where that one person is concerned, I have to wonder, did they really need to find a way to break the game just to play the hero? The other four people did nothing to deserve getting pushed to the side other than sitting at the table with the player in question and the DM. If they get pushed aside because of a player who wants to break the game, eventually they won't come back.
As a LFR DM its not your role -- nor do you have the power -- to nerf powerful items because you don't like them.  The 4.0 rules developers have that job.  So, Bloodclaw pre-errata -- you might have thought it was broken (it was), but you couldn't make it an encounter power or lowered the damage it did.  Thankfully, the 4.0 developers took care of it.  Same thing with the Dice of Auspicious Fortune.  You might not like them, but you can't tell a LFR player he can't use them.

As far as increasing the strength of the monsters, I think DM empowerment is fairly limited, but if the table as a whole wants you to do it, then go ahead.

Running a challenging game is secondary to trying to make sure everyone has fun.  Plus, some power-gamed parties are almost impossible to challenge with most mods and many of them like cakewalking mods.

Daren


[snipped my original quote]
If the item is overpowered, the only ways I can think of to run a challenging game (and it's my impression that running a challenging game is something the GM is supposed to be doing) is to either:
1) Nerf the item so that the players are on an more equal footing.
2) Increase the strenth of the monsters to return the game to a challenge.
[snip]



What I want to know is what's up with all the crying?

First the obvious rust monster/MYRE debacle, now throwing your partners under the bus?

I don't want to read 19 pages of crying, again.
As a LFR DM its not your role -- nor do you have the power -- to nerf powerful items because you don't like them.  The 4.0 rules developers have that job.  So, Bloodclaw pre-errata -- you might have thought it was broken (it was), but you couldn't make it an encounter power or lowered the damage it did.  Thankfully, the 4.0 developers took care of it.  Same thing with the Dice of Auspicious Fortune.  You might not like them, but you can't tell a LFR player he can't use them.



Actually, that's not always true. There are often multiple interpretations of the rules and while the player may have picked the most favorable ruling, that doesn't mean the DM has to pick the same one or not enforce limits.

As an example, Bloodclaw might have been broken, but it required a free action to use. A DM would be well within their limits to say, "You can't use more than one free action per power." or "You can't do a particular free action more than once a round." You might hear screams from the pre-errata Bloodclaw users if you did that, but that was perfectly RAW for a DM to do.

With Dice of Auspicious Fortune, there is a RAW case to be made that you can't use more than one of the same item per day(because they follow the rules of how character powers work unless otherwise stated, you can't use the same daily power twice per character powers, and the general magic item rules at no point state you can use a daily magic item power more than once a day - obviously, there are items or powers that create specific exceptions to this, but there is no such exception made by the general rules)

Ring of Personal Gravity affects marked or adjacent opponents. If the user is no longer marking or adjacent to an opponent, then those opponents could be ruled to be free of the effect. Seems straightforward enough and within the rules as written. There are multiple ways to have RAW results with the power as listed and the DM can rule which one makes sense to him. And as I noted, as it is a daily magic item use, a DM is well within their rights to say you can't use 3 of the same magic item in a day...


Ring of Personal Gravity affects marked or adjacent opponents. If the user is no longer marking or adjacent to an opponent, then those opponents could be ruled to be free of the effect. Seems straightforward enough and within the rules as written. There are multiple ways to have RAW results with the power as listed and the DM can rule which one makes sense to him. And as I noted, as it is a daily magic item use, a DM is well within their rights to say you can't use 3 of the same magic item in a day...



You are correct on the subject of the ring. And CS has already ruled that if a non-marked adjacent enemy is not adjacent to you then the effect of the ring is gone.

However, a DM cannot limit the usage of Daily magic item usage. There is already rules for that.

If I have two Salves of Power in Paragon Tier and use two dailies in the first encounter, by rule I can use both, spend my surges to regain my dailies, but I cannot use any more Daily Magic Items until I hit a milestone.

Another example would be an Artificer recharging a Daily Magic Item and using it again. By imposing a limit the DM is in the wrong because they are nerfing a character's primary class feature and changing a core rule, something they do not have the authority to do.

If I have two Salves of Power in Paragon Tier and use two dailies in the first encounter, by rule I can use both, spend my surges to regain my dailies, but I cannot use any more Daily Magic Items until I hit a milestone.



If that's how you want to interpret the rules, fine. That's a reasonable thing to assume. But that's not what the PHB actually says. And if players are going to demand that DMs play by the RAW, especially literal RAW, especially if ignoring intent, then they have to live with the results as well.

PHB Page 226
"In general, magic item powers follow the same rules as other powers...see page 54"
"Each use of a magic item daily power must come from a different magic item."
"This benefit can be used to activate any magic item daily power that you have not already used this day." 

PHB Page 54
"A daily power can be used once a day."
"Once you use a daily power, you need to take an extended rest before you can use it again."

At no point in time, do the magic item rules actually contradict the rules on page 54. Page 54 explicitly calls out that once you use a daily power, you need to take an extended rest before you can use it again.

i.e once you use a Salve of Power's daily magic item power once, you've used that specific power once and you need to wait a day before you can use it again. A different Salve of Power still uses that same power, so you need to take an extended rest before you use it again. We could interpret that a different Salve of Power is using a different power from the 1st, but that's intent and we don't believe that anyone can rationally judge what designer intent might have been.

Artificer is a specific exception to the rule. Those don't count.
Wow Andy (Mommy was an Orc) this argument goes very far afield even for you. 

Obviously, different Salves of Power use different Daily Item Powers.  Salve A uses its power and Salve B uses its power, the fact that the powers are the same don't make them the same item power (since each is from a separate item).  It's not a matter of judging intent either.  The rules are written that way.  The fact that you can try and twist them to mean something else signifies nothing (except that you can come up with creative rules (mis) interpretations.)

Now, I do try to stay away from buying multiple copies of the same item.  So while most of my characters of the proper level do have a Salve of Power or Diamond Cincture, none of them have more than one.  But if someone wanted to be cheesy and buy multiple copies, they are free to do so.

Daren
If I have two Salves of Power in Paragon Tier and use two dailies in the first encounter, by rule I can use both, spend my surges to regain my dailies, but I cannot use any more Daily Magic Items until I hit a milestone.



If that's how you want to interpret the rules, fine. That's a reasonable thing to assume. But that's not what the PHB actually says. And if players are going to demand that DMs play by the RAW, especially literal RAW, especially if ignoring intent, then they have to live with the results as well.

PHB Page 226
"In general, magic item powers follow the same rules as other powers...see page 54"
"Each use of a magic item daily power must come from a different magic item."
"This benefit can be used to activate any magic item daily power that you have not already used this day." 

PHB Page 54
"A daily power can be used once a day."
"Once you use a daily power, you need to take an extended rest before you can use it again."

At no point in time, do the magic item rules actually contradict the rules on page 54. Page 54 explicitly calls out that once you use a daily power, you need to take an extended rest before you can use it again.

i.e once you use a Salve of Power's daily magic item power once, you've used that specific power once and you need to wait a day before you can use it again. A different Salve of Power still uses that same power, so you need to take an extended rest before you use it again. We could interpret that a different Salve of Power is using a different power from the 1st, but that's intent and we don't believe that anyone can rationally judge what designer intent might have been.

Artificer is a specific exception to the rule. Those don't count.



[snipped]

A3: Please.
Q3: Should I avoid top posting?

A2: Because, by reversing the order of a conversation, it leaves the reader without much context, and makes them read a message in an unnatural order.
Q2: Why is top posting irritating?

A1: It is the practice of putting your reply to a message before the quoted message, instead of after the (trimmed) message.
Q1: What is top posting?

Just to give everyone a little more perspective this is the same type of player that will (and has) rebuild his stats at 4, 8, 11, etc to maximize his stats bonuses. This is within the rules but clearly not what they were intended for.
Obviously, different Salves of Power use different Daily Item Powers.  Salve A uses its power and Salve B uses its power, the fact that the powers are the same don't make them the same item power (since each is from a separate item).  It's not a matter of judging intent either.  The rules are written that way.  The fact that you can try and twist them to mean something else signifies nothing (except that you can come up with creative rules (mis) interpretations.)



While you're doing a fine job of trying to make an interpretation look like it is RAW, being a separate item is not mentioned as being important in the rules. Using the same power(as you just admitted to them being) is mentioned as being important - "Once you use a daily power, you need to take an extended rest before you can use it again." 

And while it might sound crazy to be arguing that, two things:
That's what the rules actually say.

The writers specifically stated that the rules for character powers and magic item powers follow the same basic guidelines. This makes for some obvious RAW - character powers and magic item powers work the same way unless a specific exception is mentioned. Daily character powers that don't have an exception can only be used once a day. What's the specific callout for magic item powers that says they work differently? That it worked that way in 3.5?

-------

I realize almost no one plays this way(edit: in part because many players won't take the same item twice, so it never even has a chance to be relevant), but just because everyone plays the RAW incorrectly does not make the RAW cease to exist.
I realize almost no one plays this way(edit: in part because many players won't take the same item twice, so it never even has a chance to be relevant), but just because everyone plays the RAW incorrectly does not make the RAW cease to exist.



Seems to me that we had a fair number of people taking the same item multiple times, when we were talking about pre-errata Veteran's Armor.
"Of course [Richard] has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It's 1183, and we're barbarians!" - Eleanor of Aquitaine, "The Lion in Winter"

While you're doing a fine job of trying to make an interpretation look like it is RAW, being a separate item is not mentioned as being important in the rules. Using the same power(as you just admitted to them being) is mentioned as being important - "Once you use a daily power, you need to take an extended rest before you can use it again." 

And while it might sound crazy to be arguing that, two things:
That's what the rules actually say.

The writers specifically stated that the rules for character powers and magic item powers follow the same basic guidelines. This makes for some obvious RAW - character powers and magic item powers work the same way unless a specific exception is mentioned. Daily character powers that don't have an exception can only be used once a day. What's the specific callout for magic item powers that says they work differently? That it worked that way in 3.5?[snip]


[bgibbons - this bottom post is for you ]

The sentence you are referring to is much narrower that you are making out to be.  It says:  "In general, magic item powers follow the same rules as other powers (in that they have ranges, shapes, and so forth)." (emphasis added).  So the only area where they refer back to character powers is in regard to how the powers work -- i.e. with ranges, shapes, etc.  Not to the limitation on taking the same power more than once.

Further, later on page 226 when describing multiple uses of Daily Magic Item powers, it says:  "Each use of a magic item daily power must come from a different magic item."  RAW Salve A is a different magic item than Salve B.  It is not a honest reading of the sentence to say Salve A and B are the same item so you can't use them both.  Moreover, if that was the meaning of the sentence there would certaintly be language stating this.


Let me ask you this, can you think of some cheesy way to prevent someone from using multiple Diamond Cinctures?  There are no daily item powers on that item (yes, it is an amazing item that gets cheap real quick).  Does burning out the Diamond on one somehow invalidate the Diamond on built #2?


Daren

Specific overrules general.
This is sort of a branch off of the rust monster thread. Many people in that thread mentioned simply not playing with people that like to exploit weak areas in the rules regardless of how clearly it is not intended to work that way. What should we as players and judges do when those types of players are the majority?

...

How should I deal with this person and the dozen others like him in my regular gaming circle?



If these players are truly the majority in your regular gaming circle,  you may need to find a new gaming circle.  You're not going to be able to enforce a morality that the majority of your current group disagrees with, even if it's a morality that is widely held by the larger gaming community. 

It sounds like you've extensively presented the case for why rust-monsters-in-MYREs and rules-lawyer-interpretations-of-arguably-broken-items are a less fun way of playing, to no avail.  It would be nice if several of them could suddenly have an epiphany, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it.

D&D is supposed to be fun.  If it's not fun with your current group, find a new group that more closely shares your views.  I'm sure other like-minded gamers are out there.
Despite the argument some people try to make for the DM being an empty vessel for players to channel their rules interpretations through, you as a DM are one of the people on the table with a right to "have fun". So if you have the choice, go with what makes you share in the fun.  If that means refusing a player, then that is what you do. Why should you have to give up your fun so they can have their ego stroked? Its a cooperative game and the cooperation extends to the entire table, DM and players working together to have a good time. Sure, there is some give and take in there, but if its one problem player vs 5 others and a DM.. easy choice. If its 6 problem players and one troubled DM, well, honestly, why are you doing it? 

As the ongoing debate between Drezden and Mommy_was_an_Orc clearly shows, the rules are seldom clear cut. Interpretation is needed all over the place. This is your "job" as a DM.
Interpret, listen, weigh, consider and then rule. Fair, reasonable, fun, those terms all have their place in that process, but the bottom line is the DM making a ruling and the players living with it, or not playing. 
Now of course we all hope to never get to that harsh bottom line, and in my experience we seldom do. Because for the most part we (be it in a player or DM role) as a whole are generally fairly social and can find a fair, reasonable and fun medium that works for all at any given table. 

But when it happens and the only choice left to a DM is to either be that empty vessel to be used as the players see fit, or invoke that bottom line. I would hope most would choose to to their job. 


To DME, or not to DME: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous powergaming, Or to take arms against a sea of Munchkins, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;No more;
Everyone has their cheese.

It's only the matter of their cheese being within the rules or not. If it's borderline, ask CS for their ruling on the matter and go from their. If it's wrong, then it's wrong.

In the end if the player has all their numbers right and it's within the rules, suck it up.
This is sort of a branch off of the rust monster thread. Many people in that thread mentioned simply not playing with people that like to exploit weak areas in the rules regardless of how clearly it is not intended to work that way. What should we as players and judges do when those types of players are the majority?

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How should I deal with this person and the dozen others like him in my regular gaming circle?



If these players are truly the majority in your regular gaming circle,  you may need to find a new gaming circle.  You're not going to be able to enforce a morality that the majority of your current group disagrees with, even if it's a morality that is widely held by the larger gaming community. 



Be careful Sir Petronus.... you may be one of the dozen ROFLMAO
Further, later on page 226 when describing multiple uses of Daily Magic Item powers, it says:  "Each use of a magic item daily power must come from a different magic item."  RAW Salve A is a different magic item than Salve B.  It is not a honest reading of the sentence to say Salve A and B are the same item so you can't use them both.



"Each family must bring two different items to a potluck."

Same basic sentence. Do you think it will go over well if you claim that your set A of white napkins is different than your set B of white napkins simply because they're not the exact same napkins? It is a very honest reading of the sentence to say Salve A and B are the same item as that's exactly how we read similar sentences in English all the time.

Let me ask you this, can you think of some cheesy way to prevent someone from using multiple Diamond Cinctures?  There are no daily item powers on that item (yes, it is an amazing item that gets cheap real quick).  Does burning out the Diamond on one somehow invalidate the Diamond on built #2?



Nope. I'll note I posted something on the errata board 4 months ago.
Here
Everyone has their cheese.

It's only the matter of their cheese being within the rules or not. If it's borderline, ask CS for their ruling on the matter and go from their. If it's wrong, then it's wrong.

In the end if the player has all their numbers right and it's within the rules, suck it up.



I think you are missing Ferol_Debtor's point.  He doesn't appear to be enjoying a game where his players cite the authority of the CCG to tell him as DM to "suck it up" and accept their abuse of his understanding of RAI.

Given that he doesn't enjoy this, what do you suggest that he do?

"Each family must bring two different items to a potluck."

Same basic sentence. Do you think it will go over well if you claim that your set A of white napkins is different than your set B of white napkins simply because they're not the exact same napkins? It is a very honest reading of the sentence to say Salve A and B are the same item as that's exactly how we read similar sentences in English all the time.


Nice try.  The better analogy would be a car dealership with a multitude of 3 different cars: Honda Civics, Toyota Camrys and Ford Focuses.  The manager asks his deliveryman to drive parts to 2 different stores and says:  "You can't use the same car to do both deliveries - you need to pick 2 different cars."  The deliveryman loves Civics and uses Civic A for 1 job and Civic B (which is same color, year, etc.) for the 2nd job.

Does the manager get mad at the delivery man for disobeying his instructions?  No, because it was obvious he meant 2 different cars, not 2 different models of cars.  Just as it is obvious the PHB means 2 different magic items (i.e. Salve A and Salve B), not 2 different types of magic items. 

Of course, you know this already.  I think you are merely arguing what would be reasonable for a DM to rule, not how you actually would rule.

Daren
Everyone has their cheese.

It's only the matter of their cheese being within the rules or not. If it's borderline, ask CS for their ruling on the matter and go from their. If it's wrong, then it's wrong.

In the end if the player has all their numbers right and it's within the rules, suck it up.



Honestly, you aren't really helping the conversation and to be brutally honest, you seem to be a perfect example of the kind of player that spurred this thread.  Please stop throwing gas on the fire.

The social contract exists for a reason.  If you refuse to accept it, then don't be surprised if you are eventually penalized for that.  Based on what I have seen of your comments here and on other threads, I would never willingly DM for you in a private game and in a public game, I would push you to the end of the queue, assuming it was in my power.  Only at a convention could I ever imagine DMing for you and if your power gaming approach seemed to be making the game less enjoyable for other players, I wouldn't think twice about invoking the "don't be a jerk" clause of the CCG.

-SYB
In a lot of ways, as much as I am interested in this thread, it has little application to me.  I have, so far, only run private games.  And, whether public or private, I have strict table policies prohibiting electronic devices at my tables.  Also, I require full documentation for any rule being used (exceptions for PHB and PHB II rules) and will not accept illegal PDFs as documentation.

Given that the majority of "problem players" grab things from sources without actually making sure they have official documentation with them, I rarely have to deal with the really cheesy stuff.

I would recommend at least some portion of my policy (the electronic device policy is a little too Luddite for some) in order to cut back on annoying power gaming.

-SYB

Show

Honestly, you aren't really helping the conversation and to be brutally honest, you seem to be a perfect example of the kind of player that spurred this thread.  Please stop throwing gas on the fire.

The social contract exists for a reason.  If you refuse to accept it, then don't be surprised if you are eventually penalized for that.  Based on what I have seen of your comments here and on other threads, I would never willingly DM for you in a private game and in a public game, I would push you to the end of the queue, assuming it was in my power.  Only at a convention could I ever imagine DMing for you and if your power gaming approach seemed to be making the game less enjoyable for other players, I wouldn't think twice about invoking the "don't be a jerk" clause of the CCG.


-SYB



Dude, chill out. Don't take most of my post seriously. I know some of the posters IRL and I'm just having fun antagonizing them.


On topic:

If this happened in game, then I would agree that his ruling on the subject is fine.

This actually occured outside of a game where both parties, after seeking confirmation on their points in the matter, could be correct or incorrect in their interpretation of the item in question. In the case of the player and his item being incorrectly interpreted, the player has to suck it up and find better cheese (lol). If the DM was incorrect in the matter, then suck it up.

In the case of Ferol_Debtor's point, the player was wrong and his ruling was correct.


Referring to his lack of enjoyment when DMing with munchkins, that's what you get when you're playing with munchkins. If ALL of your players are munchkins, you have a problem and a big decision you have to make if you still wish to participate with them. If it's only 1 or 2 players, then the problem is still not easily solved. You can ask them not to play, but then you also subject another DM to the same problem when both of you are players.

In my local circle of players, almost all but a select few are power games. One could be considered a munchkin but that's really pushing it. Everyone has their cheese. Most of us usually see someone else play a character or use an item and think, "Hey, that's a pretty cool item. I want it!" We all police each other and if something sounds fishy, we get some words in, get a DM ruling and be on our merry way with bashing monsters. We all respect each other as players and DMs in our community.

What I think Ferol_Debtor's group of players lack is that same sense of community and respect toward each other as players/DMs. That is the basis for D&D in essence. To remedy this, maybe one day he should sit down with his regular gamers and have a pow-wow about the subject. He could just say, "Look, you can bring your gouda, but don't be a munchkin." or something along those lines. Or he could get a ruling from a group of DMs, even better if his circle of players are also DMs, to get their opinions and get a better ruling on something. That way everyone has a say and not be it a conversation between one player and a DM in a car heading home.
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