Rule Lawyers vs Freedom of Play

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Hey people. Last sessions a ''Rulelawyer'' joined my group, he started playing Pelor worshiping cleric. They were in a cursed house, feeling uneasy presence around them, and anoter PC told him to give them all a Pelor's blessing. He refused and started a long discution about it, can he or cant do it. I usually give my PC's certain bonuses if they are RP-ing their characters by aligments and deity's, but he refused to do what wasnt inside the book. Any toughts what to do with that kind of player and any ideas about it in general?

thx  
Thats not exactly what I would call a rules lawyer, more like a rules slave.

Find the part in your books that say it is ok to bend the rules a little in the interest of making a good game, and get him to read it, reminding him that you as Dm become the arbitrator of how far you will let things be bent.
Well before we started I told him that I do bend rules often, coz I want to give my players freedom over their characters and their beliefs (especially deity's) and he wasnt happy about it and refused to do it, even if everyone else were improvising on those kinda things. Anyway thx, ill try to dig that out of book.
A Cleric can certainly bless a cursed house if he want to. What effect it will have in game will be determine by the DM. 

I'd tell him that restricting yourself to what's in the books may limit RP opportunities, such as this was the case. 

Yan
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@Plaguescarred on twitter

yeah, he restricted himself from doing cool RP.  His actions though are not what I would call rules lawyery.  Best not to throw terms around like that.
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

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They were in a cursed house, feeling uneasy presence around them, and anoter PC told him to give them all a Pelor's blessing. He refused and started a long discution about it, can he or cant do it. I usually give my PC's certain bonuses if they are RP-ing their characters by aligments and deity's, but he refused to do what wasnt inside the book.

- Don't be so hard on your 'rules lawyer'. The rules provide a sense of consistency (and fair play), which is comforting to many players. The rules represent "how the world works". Throw them out, and you have anarchy... and some uncomfortable players (who now feel they are being controlled only at the DM's whim).

- Your player had a point: he didn't have any buffs to give. However, DM's can (within the rules as written) allow a +2 circumstance bonus for things like prayers (even as a placebo effect).

- Still, maybe the PC viewed such a non-magical prayer as a 'lie', and didn't want to lie to his allies on principle.

- Maybe if you are more accepting of his play style (and preferences), he will become more accepting of yours.

I'm gonna echo a little bit. Your player had a pretty good point.


Cleric Powers are Prayers, and the class as a whole is dissociated from an active connection with a God in Fourth Edition. Ordainment grants the Cleric his Prayers, making his worship of a God little more than lip service given to his chosen philosophy. If your player stuck with the description of the class, then he most likely views the most applicable 'blessing' as being his buff powers, none of which would be particularly useful until a combat started, particularly given their limited durations and the fact that he can hand them out fairly easily during combat.

If you would like your player to take a different interpretation of the Cleric, you need to express how you and your other players view the class and its abilities, and then (if he adheres to printed material because of its solidity and isn't a fan of vagueness) outline the basic functions that he should be able to take in your opinion and explain how you might help him accomplish them by DM fiat. 
Well I could agree but I like when my PC's do the RP not just say ''I pray'' for a minute, coz they are a good group and I prefer when they prey to acctually hear that pray. and since I do combrat rarely say every 3rd-4th session 1 combat it feels stupid to give them bonus +2 to attack rolls or something like that, coz we prefer doing story related things and for good RP i give them Favor points in which their deity's provide them with insights and bonuses. And I prefer PC's that have open mind and not just restrict themselves with book, coz book is set of rules to me, something to lean on to, not to guide your PC.
Well I could agree but I like when my PC's do the RP not just say ''I pray'' for a minute, coz they are a good group and I prefer when they prey to acctually hear that pray. and since I do combrat rarely say every 3rd-4th session 1 combat it feels stupid to give them bonus +2 to attack rolls or something like that, coz we prefer doing story related things and for good RP i give them Favor points in which their deity's provide them with insights and bonuses. And I prefer PC's that have open mind and not just restrict themselves with book, coz book is set of rules to me, something to lean on to, not to guide your PC.



Okay, for starters: not all players are comfortable with heavy RP elements, particularly if you mean "acting" by RP. Dunno what you do for "the RP" but you should probably clarify your Favor system and your RP preferences with the player in question. And do not handle this by saying "we role-play, not roll-play" because that starts more fights than it'll solve misunderstandings. Be clear about how you expect your players to role play and clear about what guidelines you use in your games that differ from the book, because remember: he has no idea what the hell the inside of your mind looks like, so you can't expect him to gel to your philosophy the way he can gel to the rules without you actively helping.
 
It really doesn't matter how much RP you do or do not like to get from your players.  Bottom line, you have a player who's being told by other players how they should play his own PC; very few players react well to this kind of treatment.  Back off if you want a less combative (IRL) player.

More expansively, you've established a house rule mechanic that he hasn't embraced, and you and the other players are trying to force him to embrace it and capitalize on it in very specific ways.  You say that the mechanic is there to award creative play, but it's not this player's creativity when someone else says "do this to get the award; do it now!"  Creativity under this kind of pressure is difficult for many.

Your player may never reach a level of RP that makes you give him a bonus.  But if he's still having fun, then that's what is important.  He's not there to entertain you, he's there to have fun with you.

-Dan'L
You can't force it. You and the other players should lead by example to earn his trust. If he offers anything along the lines of what you want, embrace and reward it.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Ive had similar issues, but almost in reverse. I had a player who wanted to ignore the rules to give him an advantage over the other players. He didn't want to shine, he wanted the instant win in every scenario. He wanted everyone else to tell him how brilliantly clever he was, and he didn't really care if that meant no one else really got a chance to play. It was his show, and you were there to applaud. 

We butted heads a lot while playing 4E and eventually I asked him not to play. I felt at the time the rules balance was very important, and I wanted the players to find the cool within those rules, especially since several people at the table were just starting to learn the system.

I am all for setting aside rules and letting the players stretch their imaginations and creativity, but I also feel its important for everyone to be on more or less equal footing. Sometimes "creative" players dominate the game and make it less fun for those who feel its important to play by the rules.
I am all for setting aside rules and letting the players stretch their imaginations and creativity, but I also feel its important for everyone to be on more or less equal footing. Sometimes "creative" players dominate the game and make it less fun for those who feel its important to play by the rules.

I can sort of understand this. My general preference is to do what I can within the rules and make my fun out of that, generally because I don't feel that I can rely on a DM to make allow any non-rules-based ideas I might have, no matter how cool the idea might be. In addition, I don't tend to appreciate it when a DM seems to be forcing me to be creative in a particular situation, especially if he or she wants me to be creative in a single specific way.

But, after I've played with a DM for a while and come to understand his or her style, I'll open up a little more and take the narrative reins they want to hand me. As long as they don't then slap them out of my hands, we're generally good after that.

I used to object to players getting advantages for being "clever." I realized that's not a very useful approach, and that I should either be "clever" myself, ignore it, or leave the group.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

@ Merb101 - sounds like that PC needs a little ground up glass dust in the eyes!  Bam!  problem solved.  LOL
Well its not like I'm forcing him to do what I want, I was just asking for some tips and ideas how to deal with that kind of player, because I have a constant group of Pc's for 2 years now, and then we added one more to the group, so far every1 was please to do improvisation and think and do stuff which came to their mind regardless if they can or cant do it, coz at the end I would be the one saying ''ohhh, u cant do that''. So was just wondering how to approach that kind of player who isnt like the one's Im playing with. Been helpfull
As a reformed rules lawyer, I know what that player may be going through.

Obviously that player is uncomfortable going outside the rules as laid out in the books.  It will take time, but through your encouragement and you and your players showing him how they enjoy the game because you and they "bend the rules," your new player may change.  No guarantees though.

You cannot force that player to change, all you can do is hope that through example he learns that it is OK, to think beyond the rules.

 

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Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
Let me just add something: I LIKE the rules. It's part of why I play 4E as opposed to some other game or just sitting around and telling stories with friends. I get excited when the players and I can do cool things WITHIN the rules. There is a feeling of mastery and accomplishment working within the system to do cool things.

So I can sympathize with someone wanting to play by the rules. I'm by no means a hardass or rules lawyer, far from it, but I often say if you aren't playing by the rules why are you playing that game? If you want to do things on a consistant basis that breaks the rules, I would argue you are actually wanting a different system than the one you are playing.

? If you want to do things on a consistant basis that breaks the rules, I would argue you are actually wanting a different system than the one you are playing.




Maybe im getting you wrong. But im not breaking the rules. I play by the rules. Im just saying that thats not all character can do. with the rules add your roleplay onto them and dont restrict your character by the rules. Play your PC by the rules, but if someone has an idea I dont want them to not try it becuase its not stated in book.

? If you want to do things on a consistant basis that breaks the rules, I would argue you are actually wanting a different system than the one you are playing.




Maybe im getting you wrong. But im not breaking the rules. I play by the rules. Im just saying that thats not all character can do. with the rules add your roleplay onto them and dont restrict your character by the rules. Play your PC by the rules, but if someone has an idea I dont want them to not try it becuase its not stated in book.



You're getting me wrong ;)

That wasn't directed at you or anyone in particular, just a discussion I've had with others who think you should throw out the rules every chance they get, because that is "roleplaying." I wasn't accusing anyone of breaking the rules, just saying sometimes the call to think outside the box is actually a call to play a different game. Not in this case, but sometimes.

Maybe in your particular situation, the key is showing how something can be improvised within the rules? In 4E that's a bit easier because the skills are so broad, you could use Religion to sanctify a temple.
Maybe in your particular situation, the key is showing how something can be improvised within the rules? In 4E that's a bit easier because the skills are so broad, you could use Religion to sanctify a temple.



Yes, this. The 4e rules are elegant enough to come up with a working mechanic to resolve any outside-the-box plan that needs to be tested with dice to determine an outcome. The key is knowing when to test such plans and when they simply succeed without testing them (with or without cost). The question to ask yourself is, "Would success and failure both be interesting?" If so, then adjudicate a fair mechanic based on level (with player buy-in), then roll the dice to see what happens.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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You can't force it. You and the other players should lead by example to earn his trust. If he offers anything along the lines of what you want, embrace and reward it.



+1



When I DMed I had a player just like this (annoyingly he was even worse) who would “bash” on me for letting the rules bend.


At the end of the day I just straight up told him that I bend the rules here and there, and as DM it’s my Right to do so. I never forced him to do things, our issue was him getting mad when I’d let other players get away with things (even though the option was open to him at anytime).


In the long run though he came around, I guess he got tired with everyone else using my laxity to their advantage and he wanted a slice of the pie & he started doing to so (Abit begrudgingly at first but then he got into it).


Some players just like Rules, and as stated my multi-posters, it comforts them and makes their achievements more viable (knowing they pulled it off by going by the book) & it irks them when they see the rules they hold so dear be bent.


But final word is you’re the DM, you make the rules at your table; Don’t force him to do things, but show him the rewards of “playing ball” and never let his mindset keep you from doing what you want with the other players ((one bad apple doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bend rules for the rest of the party))


I am not big on rules and I do believe they are meant to be broken from time to time. (but I’m a huge TotM fan where rules become murky anyways)


Hope this helps, and keep up the good DM work!

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Maybe in your particular situation, the key is showing how something can be improvised within the rules? In 4E that's a bit easier because the skills are so broad, you could use Religion to sanctify a temple.





Well, I am using the skills for such things, ofc he rolled religion when he gave the blessing, the issue was the blessing itself in this situation. 
 

Maybe in your particular situation, the key is showing how something can be improvised within the rules? In 4E that's a bit easier because the skills are so broad, you could use Religion to sanctify a temple.





Well, I am using the skills for such things, ofc he rolled religion when he gave the blessing, the issue was the blessing itself in this situation. 




Kay, I'm going to stop posting because you asked for our advice, and it is feeling like whatever advice we are giving isn't going to work. You are looking for something and honestly I don't know what it is.

So good luck, hope you work it out.
You can't force it. You and the other players should lead by example to earn his trust. If he offers anything along the lines of what you want, embrace and reward it.



+1



When I DMed I had a player just like this (annoyingly he was even worse) who would “bash” on me for letting the rules bend.


At the end of the day I just straight up told him that I bend the rules here and there, and as DM it’s my Right to do so. I never forced him to do things, our issue was him getting mad when I’d let other players get away with things (even though the option was open to him at anytime).


In the long run though he came around, I guess he got tired with everyone else using my laxity to their advantage and he wanted a slice of the pie & he started doing to so (Abit begrudgingly at first but then he got into it).


Some players just like Rules, and as stated my multi-posters, it comforts them and makes their achievements more viable (knowing they pulled it off by going by the book) & it irks them when they see the rules they hold so dear be bent.


But final word is you’re the DM, you make the rules at your table; Don’t force him to do things, but show him the rewards of “playing ball” and never let his mindset keep you from doing what you want with the other players ((one bad apple doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bend rules for the rest of the party))


I am not big on rules and I do believe they are meant to be broken from time to time. (but I’m a huge TotM fan where rules become murky anyways)


Hope this helps, and keep up the good DM work!





I agree on everything u stated, except he isnt bad apple... everyone are red apples, he's just green one... takes time to mature ))


Kay, I'm going to stop posting because you asked for our advice, and it is feeling like whatever advice we are giving isn't going to work. You are looking for something and honestly I don't know what it is.

So good luck, hope you work it out.




Well you've definetly been helpfull, thx