Where is the enjoyment for the DM?

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..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Are they really fine with whatever the DM does? They'd better not make a fuss when the monsters hit the table. This is really just the default assumption of D&D: DM picks the challenges and players gamely take them on. That assumption breaks down easily, though.



Strawman

No one has argued that is the base assumption...nor has anyone put it forth in this thread.

I never plop down a challenge and assume my players gamely take it on. Ever.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Are they really fine with whatever the DM does? They'd better not make a fuss when the monsters hit the table. This is really just the default assumption of D&D: DM picks the challenges and players gamely take them on. That assumption breaks down easily, though.



Strawman

No one has argued that is the base assumption...nor has anyone put it forth in this thread.

I never plop down a challenge and assume my players gamely take it on. Ever.



I can argue for this assumption, as I've seen it in play many times, especially in recent games. It doesn't seem to matter what challenge I throw down, the players are ready for it. Even if they're completely unprepared for what drops.

That said, I'd not make the assumption here in this thread. To do so is a bit ludicrous when talking about the overall gaming population. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
I could happily defend that presumption as is as well.

Slightly more easily you could say "DM picks the challenges [within the reasonable framework of the game] and players gamely take them on." E.g. the DMG advises what level of encounters a party of level x ought to face.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />I can argue for this assumption, as I've seen it in play many times, especially in recent games. It doesn't seem to matter what challenge I throw down, the players are ready for it. Even if they're completely unprepared for what drops.

That said, I'd not make the assumption here in this thread. To do so is a bit ludicrous when talking about the overall gaming population. 



Haha I think we've already established you've got a weird group, Lunar! And that you yourself are insane.

Haven't we?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

I could happily defend that presumption as is as well.

Slightly more easily you could say "DM picks the challenges [within the reasonable framework of the game] and players gamely take them on." E.g. the DMG advises what level of encounters a party of level x ought to face.



The dangers of that presumption is that the challenges are being presented as a "take it or leave it" situation which is the implication...and the result of poor game design/approach when encounters/situations require ludicrous levels of work to make...well...work.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />I can argue for this assumption, as I've seen it in play many times, especially in recent games. It doesn't seem to matter what challenge I throw down, the players are ready for it. Even if they're completely unprepared for what drops.

That said, I'd not make the assumption here in this thread. To do so is a bit ludicrous when talking about the overall gaming population. 



Haha I think we've already established you've got a weird group, Lunar! And that you yourself are insane.

Haven't we?



Clearly! That said, this group is a new one. Been gaming with them for almost 3 months now. Been running the game for about 5 sessions now (weekly).

My old group is actually still struggling to meet up and actually game because all our schedules suck. But the new group has schedules like mine (co-workers ftw!) 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
I could happily defend that presumption as is as well.

Slightly more easily you could say "DM picks the challenges [within the reasonable framework of the game] and players gamely take them on." E.g. the DMG advises what level of encounters a party of level x ought to face.



The dangers of that presumption is that the challenges are being presented as a "take it or leave it" situation which is the implication...and the result of poor game design/approach when encounters/situations require ludicrous levels of work to make...well...work.



I hereby grant this post a +5 enhancement bonus.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />I can argue for this assumption, as I've seen it in play many times, especially in recent games. It doesn't seem to matter what challenge I throw down, the players are ready for it. Even if they're completely unprepared for what drops.

That said, I'd not make the assumption here in this thread. To do so is a bit ludicrous when talking about the overall gaming population. 



Haha I think we've already established you've got a weird group, Lunar! And that you yourself are insane.

Haven't we?



Clearly! That said, this group is a new one. Been gaming with them for almost 3 months now. Been running the game for about 5 sessions now (weekly).

My old group is actually still struggling to meet up and actually game because all our schedules suck. But the new group has schedules like mine (co-workers ftw!) 



Haha! Half my current group is current or ex-co-workers! In retail that can be difficult though!

Oh and I still want to see a prep-video from you like the one I posted from Alexis! I am giving great thought to doing one of my own!

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />I can argue for this assumption, as I've seen it in play many times, especially in recent games. It doesn't seem to matter what challenge I throw down, the players are ready for it. Even if they're completely unprepared for what drops.

That said, I'd not make the assumption here in this thread. To do so is a bit ludicrous when talking about the overall gaming population. 



Haha I think we've already established you've got a weird group, Lunar! And that you yourself are insane.

Haven't we?



Clearly! That said, this group is a new one. Been gaming with them for almost 3 months now. Been running the game for about 5 sessions now (weekly).

My old group is actually still struggling to meet up and actually game because all our schedules suck. But the new group has schedules like mine (co-workers ftw!) 



Haha! Half my current group is current or ex-co-workers! In retail that can be difficult though!

Oh and I still want to see a prep-video from you like the one I posted from Alexis! I am giving great thought to doing one of my own!



I want to make one soooo bad. I just...no camera. :/ Maybe I could save up for one.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Seriously though, why would a collaborative methodology require a DM? I can see no need for it at all. A totally superfluous role at the table

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

I wouldn't care about little details about how the player wants to get up the wall, I would try to find a way to make it interesting.

"Yes, and...  The ladder is rickety and the archers are taking aim at you."

Just be aware that "interesting" doesn't necessarily need to mean "more challenging." I think a character would expect to be shot at while climbing a ladder, and might even want to show how foolhardy or impervious they are, but I think it's unlikely that a player would find it interesting to have their idea turned into them dangling up in the air when a rung breaks. But maybe. Ask them.

If the DM is absolute the player "can't get up there" then no underhanded methods of sabotage are required. Just tell the player there is no such way up the wall at this point.

The point is that a DM shouldn't do that.

If a player establishes that there's a ladder, there's not really any grounds for the DM to say there's no way up the wall. It was just established that there is. That doesn't mean the DM can't challenge the player, but challenging them with an unclimable wall is somewhat out of the question.

Nothing stops the DM from saying "The ladder's too short," "You're too heavy," or whatever, but those are the "underhanded methods" you mention. They're CYA moves by the DM who didn't prepare for this eventuality.

If a player asks if there's a way up the wall, I think most DMs these days would say "Yes. Too many of them would then follow it with a "but." But it's a DC (21+your Athletics skill) check. But the archers will pick you off the wall. But [rolls an "intelligence check"] it occurs to you that it's a bad idea to get separated from the party.

The player clearly wants to get up the wall, and thinks its plausible to be able to get up the wall, or they wouldn't have asked. To say it's not, invites debate from the player. Ever notice how there seems to be a rules lawyer in every group? This is why. At "best," the player says okay, and then develops more of a tendency to assume that their ideas aren't going to work, and the DM comes here complaining that players never try anything that the rules don't explicitly say they can do.



I'm going to flat out say this post is just wrong. It is perfectly acceptable for the DM to just say "No". The player will just have to figure out another way to deal with the archers or climb the wall.


This part is my main disagreement with the post.... where he says

"Too many of them would then follow it with a 'but'".
My opinion is different from this opinion (surprise). I'd say too FEW of them these days would follow it with a 'but'.  Which doesn't challenge the type of players who enjoy a connection between risk and reward and are willing to accept that a guard tower has a guard in it or that an archer guarding a wall might kill the character climbing it, leaving only such players that are 'risk-averse' and 'less curious', leaving the DM complaining that his players never try anything but straight-forward, by the book stuff.


This situation is so similar to my session this weekend, it's eery. In my case the ladder was goblin-made and described as decrepit. The player decided it was worth the risk to climb the rickety ladder so he could get a bird's eye view of the enemy encampment. The rest of the party were not so sure it was the best approach, but were prepared to act should things go wrong.

Half-way up a rung fails to hold his weight, leaving him momentarily dangling by one arm with hardly a foothold, 60 feet off the ground, just as the goblin guard looks over. He pulls the goblin down, pulling himself up and the archer in the party puts one through each of the goblin's eyes before he has enough breath in his lungs to scream.

He then began sneaking forward, warning the party via message spell of various traps along the way and managed to single-handedly defeat 20 hobgoblins by cutting rope bridges, leaving himself stranded in a make-shift bell-tower 80 feet above the rest of the battle. Knowledge Architecture and a grease spell made for a wrecking ball that took out a worg and his rider and at the same time gave the character a nice rope to hang onto so he could swing down in the midst of the party and land on his horse for the final battle. Not bad for a level 2 sorcerer, I thought.

Would it have been as cool if I didn't ask him to make the climb checks, strength checks to hang on, attack rolls on the goblin, climb checks to get up, and so on? I don't think so. Not 80 feet off the ground in the middle of a heated battle.

A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
This part is my main disagreement with the post.... where he says

"Too many of them would then follow it with a 'but'".
My opinion is different from this opinion (surprise). I'd say too FEW of them these days would follow it with a 'but'.  Which doesn't challenge the type of players who enjoy a connection between risk and reward and are willing to accept that a guard tower has a guard in it or that an archer guarding a wall might kill the character climbing it, leaving only such players that are 'risk-averse' and 'less curious', leaving the DM complaining that his players never try anything but straight-forward, by the book stuff.



Here's the thing with how we play: "Yes and..." comes after a declaration. "Yes, but..." comes after a middling roll. "Yes, and..." doesn't mean you get to ignore the rules of the game. If a given action would call for an Athletics check to climb, then you must make that check. Your buy-in on "Yes, and..." requires this of you because the rules are an agreed-upon part of the game (or world, if you will).

If you are required to roll an Athletics check per the rules and that Athletics check is middling, you use a "Yes, but..." to describe the result of that action. If it was a high roll, then yes, you just climb the ladder. "Yes, but..." never comes after a player makes a declaration to establish fiction. That's a no-no. It's only used to describe the result of an action determined by a roll - yes, you succeeded in what you were trying to do, but there's a complication or setback of some kind. This can be stated by the DM or by the player, e.g. "I get up there, but I take an arrow in the process."

Establishing that there is a ladder doesn't mean you've climbed that ladder while under fire from arrows or that you've even gone and picked it up. Those are all actions and actions have rules in the game. Still think collaborative play is without challenge?

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
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This part is my main disagreement with the post.... where he says

"Too many of them would then follow it with a 'but'".
My opinion is different from this opinion (surprise). I'd say too FEW of them these days would follow it with a 'but'.  Which doesn't challenge the type of players who enjoy a connection between risk and reward and are willing to accept that a guard tower has a guard in it or that an archer guarding a wall might kill the character climbing it, leaving only such players that are 'risk-averse' and 'less curious', leaving the DM complaining that his players never try anything but straight-forward, by the book stuff.


This situation is so similar to my session this weekend, it's eery. In my case the ladder was goblin-made and described as decrepit. The player decided it was worth the risk to climb the rickety ladder so he could get a bird's eye view of the enemy encampment. The rest of the party were not so sure it was the best approach, but were prepared to act should things go wrong.

Half-way up a rung fails to hold his weight, leaving him momentarily dangling by one arm with hardly a foothold, 60 feet off the ground, just as the goblin guard looks over. He pulls the goblin down, pulling himself up and the archer in the party puts one through each of the goblin's eyes before he has enough breath in his lungs to scream.

He then began sneaking forward, warning the party via message spell of various traps along the way and managed to single-handedly defeat 20 hobgoblins by cutting rope bridges, leaving himself stranded in a make-shift bell-tower 80 feet above the rest of the battle. Knowledge Architecture and a grease spell made for a wrecking ball that took out a worg and his rider and at the same time gave the character a nice rope to hang onto so he could swing down in the midst of the party and land on his horse for the final battle. Not bad for a level 2 sorcerer, I thought.

Would it have been as cool if I didn't ask him to make the climb checks, strength checks to hang on, attack rolls on the goblin, climb checks to get up, and so on? I don't think so. Not 80 feet off the ground in the middle of a heated battle.




Excellent post.

I'll also point out how much less satisfying this would be for the player if there WERE no actual risk to their character by virtue of basically deciding all this stuff themselves to create faux-tension.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

This part is my main disagreement with the post.... where he says

"Too many of them would then follow it with a 'but'".
My opinion is different from this opinion (surprise). I'd say too FEW of them these days would follow it with a 'but'.  Which doesn't challenge the type of players who enjoy a connection between risk and reward and are willing to accept that a guard tower has a guard in it or that an archer guarding a wall might kill the character climbing it, leaving only such players that are 'risk-averse' and 'less curious', leaving the DM complaining that his players never try anything but straight-forward, by the book stuff.



Here's the thing with how we play: "Yes and..." comes after a declaration. "Yes, but..." comes after a middling roll. "Yes, and..." doesn't mean you get to ignore the rules of the game. If a given action would call for an Athletics check to climb, then you must make that check. Your buy-in on "Yes, and..." requires this of you because the rules are an agreed-upon part of the game (or world, if you will).

If you are required to roll an Athletics check per the rules and that Athletics check is middling, you use a "Yes, but..." to describe the result of that action. If it was a high roll, then yes, you just climb the ladder. "Yes, but..." never comes after a player makes a declaration to establish fiction. That's a no-no. It's only used to describe the result of an action determined by a roll - yes, you succeeded in what you were trying to do, but there's a complication or setback of some kind. This can be stated by the DM or by the player, e.g. "I get up there, but I take an arrow in the process."

Establishing that there is a ladder doesn't mean you've climbed that ladder while under fire from arrows or that you've even gone and picked it up. Those are all actions and actions have rules in the game. Still think collaborative play is without challenge?

If the player wanted to be challenged by the archers, they wouldn't have declared that there was a ladder. That player wanted a different challenge.

Challenging or not challenging players has nothing to do with them being risk averse. Players are risk averse because asking the DM if they can try something puts the character at risk of any failure the DM wants to administer, edit: and DMs can have a hard time deciding what's a proper risk and failure, especially if they're against the player's idea. If they go by the book, then they know exactly what the risk is and can weigh it, and can argue agains the DM making it worse.

People still don't seem to get that "collaboration" doesn't mean "no risk."

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Let me ask straight up: Do you think that saying "Yes, and..." to the players removes all challenge? Why? What are you assuming will happen? Why do you assume that?

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

This part is my main disagreement with the post.... where he says

"Too many of them would then follow it with a 'but'".
My opinion is different from this opinion (surprise). I'd say too FEW of them these days would follow it with a 'but'.  Which doesn't challenge the type of players who enjoy a connection between risk and reward and are willing to accept that a guard tower has a guard in it or that an archer guarding a wall might kill the character climbing it, leaving only such players that are 'risk-averse' and 'less curious', leaving the DM complaining that his players never try anything but straight-forward, by the book stuff.



Here's the thing with how we play: "Yes and..." comes after a declaration. "Yes, but..." comes after a middling roll. "Yes, and..." doesn't mean you get to ignore the rules of the game. If a given action would call for an Athletics check to climb, then you must make that check. Your buy-in on "Yes, and..." requires this of you because the rules are an agreed-upon part of the game (or world, if you will).

If you are required to roll an Athletics check per the rules and that Athletics check is middling, you use a "Yes, but..." to describe the result of that action. If it was a high roll, then yes, you just climb the ladder. "Yes, but..." never comes after a player makes a declaration to establish fiction. That's a no-no. It's only used to describe the result of an action determined by a roll - yes, you succeeded in what you were trying to do, but there's a complication or setback of some kind. This can be stated by the DM or by the player, e.g. "I get up there, but I take an arrow in the process."

Establishing that there is a ladder doesn't mean you've climbed that ladder while under fire from arrows or that you've even gone and picked it up. Those are all actions and actions have rules in the game. Still think collaborative play is without challenge?

Yes... because if I can establish a ladder up, I can also establish soft ground below, etc.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
This part is my main disagreement with the post.... where he says

"Too many of them would then follow it with a 'but'".
My opinion is different from this opinion (surprise). I'd say too FEW of them these days would follow it with a 'but'.  Which doesn't challenge the type of players who enjoy a connection between risk and reward and are willing to accept that a guard tower has a guard in it or that an archer guarding a wall might kill the character climbing it, leaving only such players that are 'risk-averse' and 'less curious', leaving the DM complaining that his players never try anything but straight-forward, by the book stuff.



Here's the thing with how we play: "Yes and..." comes after a declaration. "Yes, but..." comes after a middling roll. "Yes, and..." doesn't mean you get to ignore the rules of the game. If a given action would call for an Athletics check to climb, then you must make that check. Your buy-in on "Yes, and..." requires this of you because the rules are an agreed-upon part of the game (or world, if you will).

If you are required to roll an Athletics check per the rules and that Athletics check is middling, you use a "Yes, but..." to describe the result of that action. If it was a high roll, then yes, you just climb the ladder. "Yes, but..." never comes after a player makes a declaration to establish fiction. That's a no-no. It's only used to describe the result of an action determined by a roll - yes, you succeeded in what you were trying to do, but there's a complication or setback of some kind. This can be stated by the DM or by the player, e.g. "I get up there, but I take an arrow in the process."

Establishing that there is a ladder doesn't mean you've climbed that ladder while under fire from arrows or that you've even gone and picked it up. Those are all actions and actions have rules in the game. Still think collaborative play is without challenge?

Yes... because if I can establish a ladder up, I can also establish soft ground below, etc.



That's pretty much how I view it. The DM can counter anything the player establishes, but the player will just establish something else to counter that. You're setting yourself up to go in circles that risk becoming dissatisfying on all sides. Instead of just challenging the player to do something with his character, you're instead challenging the player to come up with clever ways to sidestep any obstacle. Which is not the point of the game. If there ever was one.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
I'd also like to point out that my post about the DM setting up the scene beforehand and thereby nullifying the need to ask questions about what is available has been largely ignored.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Yes... because if I can establish a ladder up, I can also establish soft ground below, etc.



There are still archers on the wall. The challenge is them and the other defenders of the outpost, not the firmness of the ground. Establish whatever you want about how soft the soil is before you fall off the ladder. I'm still shooting arrows at you.

As well, the rules also make it clear what the consequences are for falling: 1d10 damage per 10 feet fallen. If the result of the roll is that you fell, damage follows. 

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

I'd also like to point out that my post about the DM setting up the scene beforehand and thereby nullifying the need to ask questions about what is available has been largely ignored.



As is S.O.P. when it comes to actually dissecting the "collaborative style"

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Let me ask straight up: Do you think that saying "Yes, and..." to the players removes all challenge? Why? What are you assuming will happen? Why do you assume that?

I don't think saying 'yes, and' removes all challenge, necessarily, if this question open for discussion. I think it definitely can if it's over-used. Why? Because creative players are given an easy button to solve any challenges, by changing the perameters of the challenge.

Unless there are outside factors to prevent taking the easy way out (pride, tone of the game, etc.), the easy way out will be chosen. If the challenge is immovable object and players are given an unstoppable force card to pull... they'll pull it.

I assume that because I have seen that they are capable of simple cognitive abilities. I hide the soft drinks in the back of the fridge and they find them. Using this I determine they are capable of basic function.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
I don't think saying 'yes, and' removes all challenge, necessarily, if this question open for discussion. I think it definitely can if it's over-used. Why? Because creative players are given an easy button to solve any challenges, by changing the perameters of the challenge.



You're assuming what they say makes anything easier. Or that the actions taken with the fiction they've established don't have die rolls attached to them. Die rolls that carry interesting consequences if they throw a middling roll or outright fail.

As well, you can't change the parameters of a challenge if the DM has established those parameters (or another player for that matter). You might be able to add things that don't contradict existing fiction e.g. a ladder if nobody said there were no ladders present. But as I demonstrated above, there's more to defeating a challenge than simply establishing elements in the scene. There are rules and there are dice.

Unless there are outside factors to prevent taking the easy way out (pride, tone of the game, etc.), the easy way out will be chosen. If the challenge is immovable object and players are given an unstoppable force card to pull... they'll pull it.



I don't find this to be true in my experience. I find that, given the opportunity, players put their characters in much hotter water than I might feel I can get away with. That's anecdotal, of course, but so is every other post in this thread.

I'd add that if the players want to take the easy way out of the challenges you present, then your challenge wasn't likely of interest to the players. If they seemingly want to take the challenge out of every situation you present to them, talk to them out-of-game to determine what situations they'd like to be challenged by and then do that.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Yes... because if I can establish a ladder up, I can also establish soft ground below, etc.



There are still archers on the wall. The challenge is them and the other defenders of the outpost, not the firmness of the ground. Establish whatever you want about how soft the soil is before you fall off the ladder. I'm still shooting arrows at you.

As well, the rules also make it clear what the consequences are for falling: 1d10 damage per 10 feet fallen. If the result of the roll is that you fell, damage follows. 

Ok. Got it... you are correct.. the rules don't have anything for landing on a net vs. landing on a spear. I concede your point. However, it depends on the edition you are playing as to what the rules say. D6 damage was the standard forever. Of course, If I'm establishing fiction, it's only a 10 foot wall to begin with. Just enough to give me cover so I can establish an easier way in.

Besides, if I got into trouble, I'm sure I could justify one of those archers is a spy for my team... if not actually one of our team.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
Ok. Got it... you are correct.. the rules don't have anything for landing on a net vs. landing on a spear. I concede your point. However, it depends on the edition you are playing as to what the rules say. D6 damage was the standard forever. Of course, If I'm establishing fiction, it's only a 10 foot wall to begin with. Just enough to give me cover so I can establish an easier way in.



Play within the rules of whatever edition you're playing or whatever other rules you've agreed upon. If your game is blown up by someone saying there's soft ground beneath the ladder, I really don't have any additional advice for you.

It's likely that a DM who's made a challenge of archers on a wall has established the height of said wall. But let's say he didn't. Who cares? I'm still firing archers at you from a 10-foot wall. Line of sight and cover have rules governing them, so take cover if you can.

Besides, if I got into trouble, I'm sure I could justify one of those archers is a spy for my team... if not actually one of our team.



Awesome! Yes, and he's the guy that left that ladder out in the open for you to use! It looks like he's firing pretty wide and his commander is berating him. It can only be a matter of time before he's found out. What's his name by the way? How do you know him? How do you make it look like he's your enemy but not kill him? How will you get him out of here if you're successful at your mission?

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

huh... so for the people that are stating that the ability to establish elements of fiction as a player would eliminate challenge: why are you assuming anyone would actually let it get that far? i mean, the entire point is a collaboration between the members of the group and the DM and setting the course of the story- if something like that is going to make the game boring, than every player would probably be like "what no that's ridiculous" and the group as a whole could reject the event (as opposed to just the DM) this guarantees the buy-in of a majority of players at the table and keeps things moving along without authoritarian DMing.

even if you feel like the group as a whole would abuse it for their own benefit, it doesn't really hold water- i mean sure, especially the ones used to video gaming, will try to leverage it into god mode- but if you let it happen, the game will get boring... and everyone will know why, they will then proceed to contribute to / participate willingly in challenging situations- now with buy-in because they realize they want those risky/dangerous/challenging moments.

In play by post roleplaying (where i learned roleplaying, initially) we did this constantly, if something seemed gamebreaking, we all (and usually the player in question) toned it down because *it made the game boring for us*

at this point you get the best of both worlds, your DND group gets all the benefits of "yes, and" including more player engagement, player buy-in, and a richer, more complex game world (as the result of the collaboration) with all of the benefits of it's challenge-inclined counterpart- with the difference being, the players have more power to help build challenges that are  fun and exciting for themselves. It's a roleplaying game, you set up a situation, then play a role- it's why the idea of *winning* DND is silly, its not a game where your objective is to beat it, it's a game where your objective is to have fun- sweeping away the adventure with no risk would be counterproductive to the objective of having fun for players, so to complete their objective the players will challenge themselves.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/8.jpg)

Is: "I don't find this to be true in my experience. I find that, given the opportunity, players put their characters in much hotter water than I might feel I can get away with.
 - I'd add that this is a clue as to what your players really want... a challenge. If your players are mountain climbers, for instance... you can give them the collaborative building blocks and they'll eventually make Mt. Everest. Why? Because it's not there.

IS: "I'd add that if the players want to take the easy way out of the challenges you present, then your challenge wasn't likely of interest to the players.
 - It's more likely you are missing the point of a challenge. The challenge isn't there so the players can punish themselves with it, as you often imply.



If they seemingly want to take the challenge out of every situation you present to them, talk to them out-of-game to determine what situations they'd like to be challenged by and then do that.
 - Unneccessary. What you describe isn't a problem. It's a good thing that they want to take the challenge out of situations. That means there's a challenge. What do I care if they bypass the dragon and silently dig a cave up into his lair? That's what I get for giving them the Stone of Stony Silence.
Dragon treasure in D&D? Cheaper than monopoly money. Once you buy the books... don't cost me a dime.

Of course I still can't comprehend why... of all the ways to kill a vampire, the ninja chose death by figurine of wondrous power, marble elephant. But we'll be laughing about it for years.



A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
 - I'd add that this is a clue as to what your players really want... a challenge. If your players are mountain climbers, for instance... you can give them the collaborative building blocks and they'll eventually make Mt. Everest. Why? Because it's not there.



But it is there. In exactly the way it'll be best received - because I have buy-in on those challenges. I'm sure to deliver content that will be challenging and in a format that is welcomed rather than avoided.

 - It's more likely you are missing the point of a challenge. The challenge isn't there so the players can punish themselves with it, as you often imply.



The challenge is there to be overcome in whatever way the players find interesting with the dice determining the outcome.

 - Unneccessary. What you describe isn't a problem. It's a good thing that they want to take the challenge out of situations. That means there's a challenge. What do I care if they bypass the dragon and silently dig a cave up into his lair? That's what I get for giving them the Stone of Stony Silence.



What's the difference between you throwing the challenge of a sleeping dragon on a pile of treasure in an adventure and the players asking for such a challenge? Does it matter who is the originator of that content if the PCs' plans and outcome will be tested with dice?

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Let me ask straight up: Do you think that saying "Yes, and..." to the players removes all challenge? Why? What are you assuming will happen? Why do you assume that?

I don't think saying 'yes, and' removes all challenge, necessarily, if this question open for discussion. I think it definitely can if it's over-used. Why? Because creative players are given an easy button to solve any challenges, by changing the perameters of the challenge.

This question is definitely open for discussion, and thank you for your honest answer.

I agree that players are given the option to solve any challenges, and that if they do this for every challenge they will remove all challenge.

Unless there are outside factors to prevent taking the easy way out (pride, tone of the game, etc.), the easy way out will be chosen. If the challenge is immovable object and players are given an unstoppable force card to pull... they'll pull it.

There are outside factors. The main factor is that the players want to be challenged. They could declare that a passing god smiles on them and their enemies turn to dust. They don't do that, because there's no particular challenge to it. It's not even very clever.

Mind you, at the extreme end, I could easily imagine someone struck by divine inspiration who says "Hold up, I know what happens," and drops a bomb on us that none of us expected. In fact, I would hope that this would happen, that we all would have laid so much ground work prior to that, that the final, massive, desperate confrontation is wrapped up by a sudden realization of how the puzzle pieces can all fit together. I would close my book, put away my dice, and lead everyone in a slow clap.

There's also the factor that the players are given copious opportunity to help come up with the challenge they're going to face. If they make it all disappear with the push of a button they've negated much of the creativity they and the others just put in. That's a strong incentive to play the scene out instead of playing the "I Win" card.

A ladder up to the battlements is not an "I Win" card. It changes the challenge but does not negate it. It might make it easier, but it might previously have been harder in such a way that the player wasn't enjoying it. A player who wants to hit stuff, but is held back from the choice targets is going to be frustrated. I used to think that this kind of frustration was proper to inflict, as a way to teach players to be more prepared, and to give the spotlight to others. I don't believe that anymore. The players are using their entertainment time, and deserve to be entertained, as long as they're not ruining anyone else's entertainment. And no one else's entertainment should be predicated on someone else not being entertained.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

huh... so for the people that are stating that the ability to establish elements of fiction as a player would eliminate challenge: why are you assuming anyone would actually let it get that far? i mean, the entire point is a collaboration between the members of the group and the DM and setting the course of the story- if something like that is going to make the game boring, than every player would probably be like "what no that's ridiculous" and the group as a whole could reject the event (as opposed to just the DM) this guarantees the buy-in of a majority of players at the table and keeps things moving along without authoritarian DMing.

even if you feel like the group as a whole would abuse it for their own benefit, it doesn't really hold water- i mean sure, especially the ones used to video gaming, will try to leverage it into god mode- but if you let it happen, the game will get boring... and everyone will know why, they will then proceed to contribute to / participate willingly in challenging situations- now with buy-in because they realize they want those risky/dangerous/challenging moments.

In play by post roleplaying (where i learned roleplaying, initially) we did this constantly, if something seemed gamebreaking, we all (and usually the player in question) toned it down because *it made the game boring for us*

at this point you get the best of both worlds, your DND group gets all the benefits of "yes, and" including more player engagement, player buy-in, and a richer, more complex game world (as the result of the collaboration) with all of the benefits of it's challenge-inclined counterpart- with the difference being, the players have more power to help build challenges that are  fun and exciting for themselves. It's a roleplaying game, you set up a situation, then play a role- it's why the idea of *winning* DND is silly, its not a game where your objective is to beat it, it's a game where your objective is to have fun- sweeping away the adventure with no risk would be counterproductive to the objective of having fun for players, so to complete their objective the players will challenge themselves.



The problem is that it actually jettisons important concepts of the game including discovering the unknown and having a risk of tangible, in-game failure. To have actual highs in a game there must be lows...this is necessary. A challenge that is self-imposed is not really a challenge because there is nothing to overcome...there are no actual stakes.

You see, when a writer is writing a book they are not dreading what will happen. They may be excited or pleased with their output but they are not experiencing a challenge vicariously through the characters because their authorship allows them to circumvent that danger if they so wished. Danger that can be circumvented at will is, by definition, not danger.

Additionally, by constantly asking players to take the part of creators in the game (as collaborative style does) you reduce the time they spend playing and you make them step away from actually playing a ROLE. See, the problem becomes that when you are a player you have to react AS that character and you become immersed in the role. By stepping outside that role and creating things in the game structure you are necessarily not roleplaying...instead you are world-building...you are DMing. To roleplay one must act within the role of a character...a character does not populate the world around them, they experience the mileu as their reality. We none of us have the ability to shape our reality. There are themes similar to this in various fictional sources where beings DO have the ability to warp reality and you know what happens? They often fail to be able to seperate fantasy from reality because the overlap is 100% because of their power. This is identical to what happens to the player...they cannot act SOLELY as their character because they simultaneously have so much narrative control. They cannot experience events because they are authoring them.

This is literally the opposite of roleplaying. Instead of playing a role in a narrative you are crafting the narrative. These two things are at a cross-roads. It is the great seperation between DM and player. A DM narrates events/circumstances/reality to the players and they play their role within it according to their whims...when you blur that for the players it reduces their roleplaying as a by-product.

The challenge stuff is also well represented in fiction like in the Twilight Zone casino episode. A casino is fun because of the winning, right?! No, the fun of a casino is in not knowing. Ergo, a casino where you win a lot is heaven...a casino where you ALWAYS win is hell. A casino where you decide if you win or lose is some sort of bland, boring purgatory. It is a masturbatory experience where one avoids the risk of love with another and everything that goes along with it...the fear of rejection...the potential pain of heartbreak...the ache of loss...and instead it is a Stepford Wife that does as you please, when you please and you will only experience the lows you inflict on yourself if you so choose. Those are not lows...and the highs then are not highs...it is all illusory because, with a snap of the fingers, the narrator/controller/author can sweep it away or change it. It is one, unchanging, static line involving a single man fooling himself because the threat of something real is too great a risk. It is not something they can deal with, apparently...and so it is avoided. The line remains straight.

That is not a game. That is not roleplaying. That is not life.

It just isn't.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Ok. Got it... you are correct.. the rules don't have anything for landing on a net vs. landing on a spear. I concede your point. However, it depends on the edition you are playing as to what the rules say. D6 damage was the standard forever. Of course, If I'm establishing fiction, it's only a 10 foot wall to begin with. Just enough to give me cover so I can establish an easier way in.



Play within the rules of whatever edition you're playing or whatever other rules you've agreed upon. If your game is blown up by someone saying there's soft ground beneath the ladder, I really don't have any additional advice for you.

It's likely that a DM who's made a challenge of archers on a wall has established the height of said wall. But let's say he didn't. Who cares? I'm still firing archers at you from a 10-foot wall. Line of sight and cover have rules governing them, so take cover if you can.

Besides, if I got into trouble, I'm sure I could justify one of those archers is a spy for my team... if not actually one of our team.



Awesome! Yes, and he's the guy that left that ladder out in the open for you to use! It looks like he's firing pretty wide and his commander is berating him. It can only be a matter of time before he's found out. What's his name by the way? How do you know him? How do you make it look like he's your enemy but not kill him? How will you get him out of here if you're successful at your mission?

The last paragraph did a lot more for your case for collaboration than anything you've ever written about it. Much more than the ungenerous statements preceding it.

However, I'm not sure collaboration is necessary to answer all those questions. In traditional play style, you know his name because you've planted the spy yourself, or offered the spy money to go turncoat, or one of the players is the spy, or the spy was put there by the DM several adventures ago as a plot device. I'd assume he's a decent archer. He can fire some close shots without looking too obvious. He's a spy, right? He may even decide to kill the enemy commander before escaping through a sally port (and showing his allies where the sally port is, so they can avoid all the archery fire and open the gate.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
Additionally, by constantly asking players to take the part of creators in the game (as collaborative style does) you reduce the time they spend playing and you make them step away from actually playing a ROLE. See, the problem becomes that when you are a player you have to react AS that character and you become immersed in the role. By stepping outside that role and creating things in the game structure you are necessarily not roleplaying...instead you are world-building...you are DMing. To roleplay one must act within the role of a character...a character does not populate the world around them, they experience the mileu as their reality. We none of us have the ability to shape our reality. There are themes similar to this in various fictional sources where beings DO have the ability to warp reality and you know what happens? They often fail to be able to seperate fantasy from reality because the overlap is 100% because of their power. This is identical to what happens to the player...they cannot act SOLELY as their character because they simultaneously have so much narrative control. They cannot experience events because they are authoring them.

This is literally the opposite of roleplaying. Instead of playing a role in a narrative you are crafting the narrative. These two things are at a cross-roads. It is the great seperation between DM and player. A DM narrates events/circumstances/reality to the players and they play their role within it according to their whims...when you blur that for the players it reduces their roleplaying as a by-product.

The challenge stuff is also well represented in fiction like in the Twilight Zone casino episode. A casino is fun because of the winning, right?! No, the fun of a casino is in not knowing. Ergo, a casino where you win a lot is heaven...a casino where you ALWAYS win is hell. A casino where you decide if you win or lose is some sort of bland, boring purgatory. It is a masturbatory experience where one avoids the risk of love with another and everything that goes along with it...the fear of rejection...the potential pain of heartbreak...the ache of loss...and instead it is a Stepford Wife that does as you please, when you please and you will only experience the lows you inflict on yourself if you so choose. Those are not lows...and the highs then are not highs...it is all illusory because, with a snap of the fingers, the narrator/controller/author can sweep it away or change it. It is one, unchanging, static line involving a single man fooling himself because the threat of something real is too great a risk. It is not something they can deal with, apparently...and so it is avoided. The line remains straight.

And since there are players who feel this way in addition to players who don't, it's good that people like you, me, joseph, iserith, centauri, and lunar start by finding out how involved the players want to be in coming up with those parts.

Founder - but not owner - of Just Say Yes!

Member of LGBT Gamers

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Why there should be the option to use alignment systems:
Show
If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

huh... so for the people that are stating that the ability to establish elements of fiction as a player would eliminate challenge: why are you assuming anyone would actually let it get that far? i mean, the entire point is a collaboration between the members of the group and the DM and setting the course of the story- if something like that is going to make the game boring, than every player would probably be like "what no that's ridiculous" and the group as a whole could reject the event (as opposed to just the DM) this guarantees the buy-in of a majority of players at the table and keeps things moving along without authoritarian DMing.

even if you feel like the group as a whole would abuse it for their own benefit, it doesn't really hold water- i mean sure, especially the ones used to video gaming, will try to leverage it into god mode- but if you let it happen, the game will get boring... and everyone will know why, they will then proceed to contribute to / participate willingly in challenging situations- now with buy-in because they realize they want those risky/dangerous/challenging moments.

In play by post roleplaying (where i learned roleplaying, initially) we did this constantly, if something seemed gamebreaking, we all (and usually the player in question) toned it down because *it made the game boring for us*

at this point you get the best of both worlds, your DND group gets all the benefits of "yes, and" including more player engagement, player buy-in, and a richer, more complex game world (as the result of the collaboration) with all of the benefits of it's challenge-inclined counterpart- with the difference being, the players have more power to help build challenges that are  fun and exciting for themselves. It's a roleplaying game, you set up a situation, then play a role- it's why the idea of *winning* DND is silly, its not a game where your objective is to beat it, it's a game where your objective is to have fun- sweeping away the adventure with no risk would be counterproductive to the objective of having fun for players, so to complete their objective the players will challenge themselves.



The problem is that it actually jettisons important concepts of the game including discovering the unknown and having a risk of tangible, in-game failure. To have actual highs in a game there must be lows...this is necessary. A challenge that is self-imposed is not really a challenge because there is nothing to overcome...there are no actual stakes.

You see, when a writer is writing a book they are not dreading what will happen. They may be excited or pleased with their output but they are not experiencing a challenge vicariously through the characters because their authorship allows them to circumvent that danger if they so wished. Danger that can be circumvented at will is, by definition, not danger.

Additionally, by constantly asking players to take the part of creators in the game (as collaborative style does) you reduce the time they spend playing and you make them step away from actually playing a ROLE. See, the problem becomes that when you are a player you have to react AS that character and you become immersed in the role. By stepping outside that role and creating things in the game structure you are necessarily not roleplaying...instead you are world-building...you are DMing. To roleplay one must act within the role of a character...a character does not populate the world around them, they experience the mileu as their reality. We none of us have the ability to shape our reality. There are themes similar to this in various fictional sources where beings DO have the ability to warp reality and you know what happens? They often fail to be able to seperate fantasy from reality because the overlap is 100% because of their power. This is identical to what happens to the player...they cannot act SOLELY as their character because they simultaneously have so much narrative control. They cannot experience events because they are authoring them.

This is literally the opposite of roleplaying. Instead of playing a role in a narrative you are crafting the narrative. These two things are at a cross-roads. It is the great seperation between DM and player. A DM narrates events/circumstances/reality to the players and they play their role within it according to their whims...when you blur that for the players it reduces their roleplaying as a by-product.

The challenge stuff is also well represented in fiction like in the Twilight Zone casino episode. A casino is fun because of the winning, right?! No, the fun of a casino is in not knowing. Ergo, a casino where you win a lot is heaven...a casino where you ALWAYS win is hell. A casino where you decide if you win or lose is some sort of bland, boring purgatory. It is a masturbatory experience where one avoids the risk of love with another and everything that goes along with it...the fear of rejection...the potential pain of heartbreak...the ache of loss...and instead it is a Stepford Wife that does as you please, when you please and you will only experience the lows you inflict on yourself if you so choose. Those are not lows...and the highs then are not highs...it is all illusory because, with a snap of the fingers, the narrator/controller/author can sweep it away or change it. It is one, unchanging, static line involving a single man fooling himself because the threat of something real is too great a risk. It is not something they can deal with, apparently...and so it is avoided. The line remains straight.

That is not a game. That is not roleplaying. That is not life.

It just isn't.

This. Is. Awesome.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
However, I'm not sure collaboration is necessary to answer all those questions. In traditional play style, you know his name because you've planted the spy yourself, or offered the spy money to go turncoat, or one of the players is the spy, or the spy was put there by the DM several adventures ago as a plot device. I'd assume he's a decent archer. He can fire some close shots without looking too obvious. He's a spy, right? He may even decide to kill the enemy commander before escaping through a sally port (and showing his allies where the sally port is, so they can avoid all the archery fire and open the gate.



Whoa whoa whoa whoa WHOA, Joseph!

All that stuff sounds like it requires crazy planning and thought as if the player were actually playing a role within the game world.

Far out notion.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

However, I'm not sure collaboration is necessary to answer all those questions. In traditional play style, you know his name because you've planted the spy yourself, or offered the spy money to go turncoat, or one of the players is the spy, or the spy was put there by the DM several adventures ago as a plot device. I'd assume he's a decent archer. He can fire some close shots without looking too obvious. He's a spy, right? He may even decide to kill the enemy commander before escaping through a sally port (and showing his allies where the sally port is, so they can avoid all the archery fire and open the gate.

That's certainly one way to do it, but there's room and precedence in the game for things to be created out of whole cloth, complete with histories, without playing through every or even any event leading up to it. The PCs themselves start the game fully-formed with histories, and skills. When they "know" things, that knowledge is often not due to them having actually read it, but because it's plausible that they know it (either because it just is, or because they rolled high enough). Normally, it's the purview of the DM to mete out these sorts of details, but when the players are trustworthy, this ability can be allowed to them to use as they see fit. If a DM realizes that a player is itching to get up to the battlements to fight the archers, I don't think too many people would fault him or her for telling the player that the character notices an easy way up. Collaborative play just skips that step, and lets the player take advantage of the trust that's already there to set the challenge where he or she most enjoys it.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

And since there are players who feel this way in addition to players who don't, it's good that people like you, me, iserith, centauri, and lunar start by finding out how involved the players want to be in coming up with those parts.



And the difference is that YOUR style does not benefit from having a DM in any way. In fact, it would benefit from not having one as that would be true, full collaboration and would create equity across the table.

Where-as my approach is a refinement of the game as intended and as-written that requires better play but offers greater reward for that effort. It is not completely re-writing roles at the table, it is a methodology for fulfilling the existing roles to the best of their ability. It is a method to excel rather than to substitute something entirely different.

When your advice can be boiled down to "Change the entire dynamic of how you play" that is a really less-than-helpful notion. It is destructive instead of constructive even though it seems to be the latter instead of the former. It is a masquerade.

The ugly truth is that you have not found a better way to DM...you just don't DM but apply the same title. That is why so many people are against the constant invocation of a methodology completely out of sync with the reality of the game.

Sucks but it's true.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

huh... so for the people that are stating that the ability to establish elements of fiction as a player would eliminate challenge: why are you assuming anyone would actually let it get that far?



I'm not one of those people, but I will say it seems certain posters enjoy attacking things they don't appear to understand for reasons I don't understand. We were asked (some) honest questions. We gave honest answers. Those answers seem to threaten certain posters' worldviews and so they lash out. It's all really very strange and their vitriol over these many months has led me to block many of them. My guess is that the posts I can't see contain the usual rhetoric: "That's not a game." "That's not roleplaying." "There's no challenge in your game." All unfounded. All mind-boggling as to their motive for attacking when nobody is attacking them.

I really enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing your experience with this approach.

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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Thank you. I try.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

huh... so for the people that are stating that the ability to establish elements of fiction as a player would eliminate challenge: why are you assuming anyone would actually let it get that far?



I'm not one of those people, but I will say it seems certain posters enjoy attacking things they don't appears to understand for reasons I don't understand. We were asked (some) honest questions. We gave honest answers. Those answers seem to threaten certain posters' worldviews and so they lash out. It's all really very strange and their vitriol over these many months has led me to block many of them. My guess is that the posts I can't see contain the usual rhetoric: "That's not a game." "That's not roleplaying." "There's no challenge in your game." All unfounded. All mind-boggling as to their motive for attacking when nobody is attacking them.

I really enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing your experience with this approach.



Ever get REALLY into a movie when things are really tense and REALLY scary...and then some d-bag says "Meh. He's the hero. He'll be fine" which just totally ruins the moment?

...

The collaborative style is basically predicated on everyone constantly knowing "Meh, my characters the hero. He'll be fine".

There is a reason the person that says that is a d-bag...and even more so in D&D because, when the game is played as intended, there is no guarantee that you'll be fine. That is what makes an actual challenge challenging.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

So, is anyone still assuming that just because players can remove all challenge, that they absolutely will?

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

So, is anyone still assuming that just because players can remove all challenge, that they absolutely will?



No, some are just realizing that under that style there actually is no challenge so the entire point is moot.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.