I'd like your opinion about an incident that occurred during my game yesterday. I've tried to remember what was said as well as possible, but whilst I'm confident that I can convey the gist of each person's view, exactly wording is likely to be wrong.
The party: Warden, Shaman (bear), wizard, sorceror(me) playing an LFR module at APL6. This is a regular group that plays with eachother every week, although this is the first time this particular combination of characters have adventured together. I'll use class names rather than player names in order to protect the identity of those concerned.
The situation: The enemy has just received reinforcements. The PCs, despite having downed several foes, are struggling. The party is heavily split, partly to avoid a damage aura, but also because no one except the Warden is comforable in melee. Last round I moved to finish off a bloodied creature that was chasing our wizard. Some hard hitting minions down our shaman - our only healer! It's my turn.
Wizard: You should help the Shaman.
I count the squares to the Shaman. He's 10 squares away, and my action point is already spent, so there's no way I can first aid him this turn. I come up with a new plan on the spur of the moment.
Me: I spend a standard to cast Blazing starfall over there (makes rolls). I then run 8 squares towards our Shaman so I'm only a shift away from him next turn.
Shaman: You can't do that - you didn't take -5 to your attack roll.
Me: I don't have to. The -5 only applies from the point when you take the run action.
DM: Well you should take the -5 next turn then.
Me: No - the penalty lasts until the start of your next turn.
Shaman: That's broken
Wizard: I agree
Me: I still grant combat advantage, since I took the run action.
DM: You should be taking the -5. I'll let you get away with it this one time, but from now on, I'll give you a choice. If you take a run action like that you'll either face a -5 penalty the following turn, or I'll start making you have to announce all your actions at the start of a turn and then you'll take a -5 to the attack before you run.
Me: So that's a house rule then?
Shaman: Everyone else thinks you're in the wrong. Why are you still fighting this?
At that point, even though the Shaman player's statement wasn't strictly accurate, I stopped making a big deal of it - it simply wasn't that important. But I still fealt uneasy about the situation. What I did wasn't remotely powerful - it's something I've been aware was possible for some time, but I simply never wanted to run after making an attack until now.
I prefer to avoid house rules, since I'd prefer to play with my regular group according to the same rules I'd use at a convention. The actual rules issue really wasn't that big a deal to me,
But more to the point - I can't really understand the psychology of what was going on, and that's what I'd like to get an opinion on. Why did the other players act like that?
Why did two players agree that what I did was "broken" when it's effect on game balance was microscopic?
Why did the DM feel it necessary to make such an ultimatum (which amounted to - my way or the highway, since obviously no-one wants to go back to the days of pre-announcing).
Of course the DMs word is final - but should it be used like that to shut down discussion quite so quickly?
I've thought about this. What was really going on in the game?
Have the other players started to confuse game rules with ethics? Did they view what I did as being somehow morally wrong, and worthy of punishment (even though no-one around the table produced the slightest evidence that what I did was against the rules)?
My action may, at a stretch, be considered a "creative use of game mechanics". Although the amount of creativity required wasn't particular high. But was I in some sense being punished for being creative? My group can be quite conservative about some issues. Did they come to the game with some sort of pre-conceived notion of "this is how people ought to play", and react badly to anyone stepping outside of those boundaries?
Were they trying to bully me into shutting down discussion?