What does DM empowerment and Player entitlement mean to you?

Please answer the question in the title in as detailed a manner as possible.   Also if possible answer it as cleanly technical as you can.   Meaning avoid snarky attacks and gushing support.  

Then once you've answered the two questions feel free to comment further on how much of an element you like in YOUR games.   

Thanks.  I think to some degree this bears on the 5e design and will be useful raw data for the devs.  I am not saying they aren't already considering these things.  But a breakdown of varying ideas would I think be nice. 

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Especially when you take terms from known sources of e-warring used specifically to promote an agenda of one-true-wayism.

To be honest these terms where not loaded as far as I was concerned.  I thought they were misunderstood but not loaded.  I consider neither one pejorative in anyway.  They are descriptive of a play style in the same way simulationist or narrativist describes other aspects of play.  While I might prefer one or the other the terms are description not pejorative.

When I read blogs by professional designers I don't interpret they use them terms to mean something pejorative.  

I can't read your minds.  And honestly as far as Tony is concerned I am convinced he will misinterpret whatever I say so that he can twist it into his farcical view of the universe at least as far as I am concerned.   It's why the 4e people are in danger of losing out in 5e.  They don't realize who their allies are and who they aren't.   I don't have to like your playstyle to support the right for it to exist.

I don't like the free speech of a lot of people but that doesn't mean I don't support the concept of free speech.




I'll say it again: you titled the thread "what does X mean to you" (emphasis added), where "X" is not even a formally defined term, then 38 minutes later you expressed shock at everybody's "ignorance."  People are ignorant of what something means to themselves?  Really?

If you want to go on a rant about one of your pet peeves, go for it.  But don't pretend to ask a question when your only reason is tell anybody who disagrees with you that they are wrong.



Word.

Anyway, to answer the OP (because I think he truly thought he was asking the question in good faith, even if he wasn't in reality):

DM Empowerment means a system where the main focus of DM-related rules is on providing DM's the tools to adjudicate actions and results for themselves, and not from any sort of codified structure provided by the game rules.

The ability to allow or disallow any rule or game element ("I'm ignoring the overland travel rules", "I'm banning elves as a player race" and the like) are to me elements of DMing, period, and thus not examples of "DM Empowerment".  Even the least "DM Empowering" systems allow for this.  It is Rule 0.  Also, being "Empowered" is not an Off/On thing; it's more of a scale.  

So, in practice, an "Empowered" DM is required to make judgment calls more often than not, and the strength or quality of such a system would be measured in part by how much guidance or support is given to the DMs to make "acceptable" judgments (the kind of rulings that keep his players playing with him, and this keep the game going).

DM Entitlement is the feeling that a DM may have that, by virtue of being a DM and by bearing the "burden" of DMing, his desires or feelings are more important than the players feelings, needs, or wants.  This specifically comes out when a DM has "vision" for not only the type of game he wants to run, but how his players "should" play in said game.

Player Empowerment means a system where the main focus of player-related rules is on providing defined actions, with accepted and reliable results, oftentimes coupled with a clear understanding of the risks and mitigating circumstances (which often have accepted and reliable degrees of mitigation).

The ability to choose what actions a PC takes ("I'm going to attack the guard" or "Drognar attempts to climb the ledge, to get to some sort of high ground") is something I consider fundamental to playing a TTRPG, and what seperates a TTRPG from both video and board games, and thus not an example of "Player Empowerment".  And like with DM Empowerment, Player Empowerment exists on a scale.

So in practice, an "Empowered" player is provided with a selection of actions or contexts for actions he can take, in the form of abilities, features, and/or other game elements (in whatever form) that also have clearly dilineated conditions for success and failure, and the strength or quality of such a system would be measured in part by how clear the conditions for success and failure are defined by the system and/or DM mitigation.

Player Entitlement is much like the DM Entitlement, in that it is the feeling that a player's personal desires should be elevated above the needs and wants of those of other players and the DM.  This specifically comes out when a player thinks his personal vision of his character should be catered to, even when contrary to the setting, tone, and thrust of the game.

***********

To be clear, the feelings or entitlement, on both sides of the screen, are a natural result of some honest-to-goodness good things about the game.  The DM should have a vision for the type of game he wants to run.  It is, in essence, "his world" afterall.  And at the same time, the player should feel his character is important to the game, at least as important as the other PCs.  He is, in essence, part of "the main cast".

Just something to keep in mind when you encounter entitlement in the wild.  And like most problems, solving it is usually just a matter of talking it out while keeping your mind open to compromise. 
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So, my long winded post got eaten.  Here's the short version

Player Entitlement

A condition in which they players feel they deserve something.

Good in moderation.  Players certainly deserve some degree of agency.  But like any philosophy, can be taken too far.

The following are conditions under which there has been too much player entitlement.

The Santa Claus Effect: I'll get presents just for being a good boy.  External factors placed fully within expected player control (magic items as part of protression, good example).  "Where's my jetpack?" mentality.

"Camera's On me": When you can't die because your 'the main character' -- James Bond, Indiana Jones, et cetera: You can't lose because the script says you can't lose.  But D&D has dice. not a script.  It's at least in part a game of chance.  Some days you're Ellen Ripley.  Some days you're Vasquez.  Some days it's Alien III.  And you don't know which is which until you sit down to play.

But, this is a playstyle issue as much as it is a System one: 4th often accused of excessive player entitlement, but monty haul could create Santa Claus Effect in player minds long before, and death still very possible in 4th depending on how it is run.

Still, matter remains that some systems support playstyle X better than they support playstyle Y... and not all Playstyles should be fully supported.  Railroading, for instance: playstyle, but degenerate.  Doubt anyone wants "The Railroad Conductor's Guidebook: How to keep players on the tracks" to support it.

Debate lies here: What is degenerate?  And what support would make the degenerate style the natural one to fall into?


DM Empowerment

Granting the DM greater authority over players.

Good in moderation -- with Power comes Responsibility; With Responsibility should come Power.  The DM's role is as creator and arbiter.  If no expectation of authority exists. then writing "Missile Pony and Masamune" on character sheet as valid as anything else.

But, like any philosophy, can be taken too far.

These conditions represent excessive DM 'Empowerment'

All aboard the plot train:  Railroading as the natural expectation; players stripped of reasonable agency.

Free to Fail: In order to permit DM to take an yaction, guidelines not given.  Strands new DMs and leads to accidental abuses as much as to freedom and power.  Ultimatley empowered is untimatley without assistance from core material.  Situation: not sustainable.

Again, is as much a problem of expectations as one of system.  Always possible to railroad, and easy enough to ignore given guidelines.

Still, matter remains that some systems support playstyle X better than they support playstyle Y... and not all Playstyles should be fully supported.  Some playstyles are degenerate: example in previous sblock of railroading still holds.

The question, again: What is degenerate?  And what would cause a degenerate state to be the natural state for one to fall into?

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DM empowerment is really a matter of how much do you call upon the DM to make a judgment versus how often is he just administering rules.


Every time this comes up (and it's fairly often, with this topic), it makes me go:

I think there's a fairly major difference between "calling upon" or requiring the DM to "make a judgment", and allowing - and encouraging - him to do so (edit: and making it easier to do so).

I see a lot of posters act as though requiring the DM to adjudicate is "empowering" - and I starkly disagree.  I don't think putting a greater burden on the DM is "empowerment" - it actually feels like quite the opposite..



I didn't see this before, but I wanted to call it out as being especially true.  That's kinda what I was getting at when I spoke of how the quality of a "DM Empowering" system can be measured by ho much support it gives DMs to make the judgment calls that keeps his game going.

I could be "fully empowered" and expected to rule on everything, and not be happy.  I could feel empowered and burdened at the same time.  I'm not saying that empowerment leads to enburdenment.  I'm saying good systems, regardless of whether they are "empowering" beyond Rule 0, reduce the burden of playing, and let you have fun. 
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I know, I know the answer. DM empowerment is in the choice of how hand which rules do use in your campaign. It's even rules are guidelines hand there are "sliders" for hoe ruleslight/heavy or narrative/simulative you want your camapaign tot be.

Player entitlement is an opposite, not so much as play style but in the way rules are incorporated in choices offered and made in character creation. It's the way rules in-game are cemented/anchored in place because they are part of the characters chosen rest, power, skill, spell or ability. stuff like free 5 foot steps, initiative bonuses, abilities to slide, do sneak attack damage regardless of creature type. Because the player chose that ability or made that build entitles the player that the rules in game are used in the way they are described on the character sheet.

It can be a play style issue but is doesn't have to be.
I know, I know the answer. DM empowerment is in the choice of how hand which rules do use in your campaign. It's even rules are guidelines hand there are "sliders" for hoe ruleslight/heavy or narrative/simulative you want your camapaign tot be.

Player entitlement is an opposite, not so much as play style but in the way rules are incorporated in choices offered and made in character creation. It's the way rules in-game are cemented/anchored in place because they are part of the characters chosen rest, power, skill, spell or ability. stuff like free 5 foot steps, initiative bonuses, abilities to slide, do sneak attack damage regardless of creature type. Because the player chose that ability or made that build entitles the player that the rules in game are used in the way they are described on the character sheet.

It can be a play style issue but is doesn't have to be.
Still, matter remains that some systems support playstyle X better than they support playstyle Y... and not all Playstyles should be fully supported.  Railroading, for instance: playstyle, but degenerate.  Doubt anyone wants "The Railroad Conductor's Guidebook: How to keep players on the tracks" to support it.

Debate lies here: What is degenerate?  And what support would make the degenerate style the natural one to fall into?

I've tried to ferret out, on a number of occassions, what is meant by 'support for a play style.'   AFAICT, it can mean several different things to different people:  that the playstyle is possible under the system without house-ruling, that the playstyle isn't penalized, that it's actively rewarded and encouraged, that other playstyles are 'punished,' or even that no other playstyle is possible.

Given 5e's professed goals, it only has a hope of success if the mildest of those definitions holds.  That is, if it can get away with merely being a system under which many playstyles are possible, and none are unduly 'rewarded' or 'punished.' 

Then there's the factor that a lot of 'playstyles,' aren't that at all - just trumped-up reasons to favor one edition over another.  

And, yeah, there are pathological playstyles that simply can't be enjoyed by everyone at the table.  Trying to "win D&D" is a classic example.


I don't think "railroading," in any but the most extreme sense, is one of those, though.  As long as the DM leaves the players choice or the vivid illusion thereof, it's workable enough, and can be the better approach with more reticent players.  The same goes for its opposite number:  'sandboxing.'  It can be taken too far, leaving players with no idea what they should do or why they would even want to interact with a world they are so disconnected from.  

 

 

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What does DM empowerment and Player entitlement...


DM empowerment: I think the DM is literally the world developer. The adjudicator, and the game challenger.

As the world developer its more that the DM "can" kill off major NPC's, change nations, modify storylines/manipulate outcomes. The DM should never have to stick with "whats written" if he needs to change it, in regards to the world "story".
As the Adjudicator, the DM needs to be capable of solving "issues", such a resolution of disputes, dealing with missing "rules", missing processes, or even "interpretation" of an uncommon situation.
As the game challenger, this is the trickier one. The DM is not just there to throw monster after monster at the group....as many different forms of challenges can throw a character into a 'situation'. The DM should be capable of testing the players in all forms of the game through precision testing or general testing.
Precision testing would be things like a challenge to your; alignment, race, gender, class, 'character background story', worldview, ethics (partly to do with alignment), and especially the player (some players don't like being the 'leader', some players can't handle taking the back seat), and a good DM will place those players in that situation "a few times".

General testing would be things where the group works together to overcome a problem. This is often what many newer DMs believe the game is ultimately about (and not to say that the vast majority isn't just about this), but if you continue to throw the same old routines at the characters, the gaming can get a little dry. Things such as combat with monsters, puzzles, negotiations, clue gathering etc.

Player Entitlement: This essentially would constitute a set of guidlines or ideals that the players would get whether the DM gets a say in it or not.
[ This can often enter a grey zone, but the "ideal" "intent" would be that the DM steers towards what the authors of the game desire to happen, hence upholding intent rather than a rigid sense of structure all of the time. This isn't to say that the DM should lightly dismiss rulesets in favor of story leveraging, but in fact, he should examine things on a case by case scenario to ascertain what the best couse of action should be, to provide not only a challenge, but a good night of entertainment for all participants.]

The players are essentially entitled to partake in the basic set of rules as outlined by the books. The players should not be privy to DM-confidential information. The largest of all players' entitlements are to be given a 'chance', no matter how remote, if the reasoning is even an inkling of a possibility.

The players by extension of their characters are entitled to; hardship, challenges, deaths, betrayal, punishment, pain, suffering, death by disintegration (i had to throw that one in there).....OTOH
 * The players are never entitled to the entire plethora of races, classes, hybrid classes (even if they qualify), weapons, spells, abilities, magic items, languages, obscure training, hybrid weapon styles, henchmen, followers, bonuses, automatic hits, perfect ambushes, nor happy endings. Welcome to adventuring buddy, strap in and hold on....its gonna be rough ride. Wink

I don't think "railroading," in any but the most extreme sense, is one of those, though.  As long as the DM leaves the players choice or the vivid illusion thereof, it's workable enough, and can be the better approach with more reticent players.  The same goes for its opposite number:  'sandboxing.'  It can be taken too far, leaving players with no idea what they should do or why they would even want to interact with a world they are so disconnected from.  


Indeed.  My most recent group before I moved to Hong Kong was rather reticent.  I wouldn't say I needed to hold their hand and manually guide them through the campaign, but I certainly provided more guidance and often took a position that would (rightly!) be considered dictatorial, if not tyrannical, by groups of a more "normal" disposition.
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1.  If you think DM empowerment and Player entitlement as terms began on these boards you are just wrong.

2.  Yes.  I have noticed a lot of people who don't know how the terms were originally used going in all directions with these terms.   I wanted to see how bad it was by asking the question.  It's bad.


So I know that I can't just use these terms in discussions on these boards because honestly we have vastly different definitions.  I believe I'm using the age old definition of these terms and didn't realize how many different views there are on the game.

I like the slider idea that someone above proposed.  It is a degree.  How much structure rules wise a game has and how often the DM has to make a judgment call versus use a rule can vary greatly.  Its not an on/off switch.  Perhaps a 1 to 10 scale would be better for DM empowerment.

The same holds true for player entitlement.  I doubt any D&D group is ran entirely by the players without DM input.  I think there are other games that try for that perhaps.  

Again I didn't intend on setting off a firestorm over the definitions of things I thought settled.  Now it is debatable which approach is better and to what degree.  But I was asking about the definitions not a value judgment on whether they represent good qualities in games or not.

 

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1.  If you think DM empowerment and Player entitlement as terms began on these boards you are just wrong.
 



Emirikol, while I somewhat agree with your statement here (that the terms did not originate on these boards), I hope you can source your claim to special understanding of its original intent.
 I have noticed a lot of people who don't know how the terms were originally used going in all directions with these terms.

When and where were they originally used?  


So I know that I can't just use these terms in discussions on these boards because honestly we have vastly different definitions.  

It wouldn't hurt to avoid using them because they're loaded, too.


I believe I'm using the age old definition of these terms and didn't realize how many different views there are on the game.

A few quick google searches lead me to suspect that the Player Entitlement was coined maybe around 2009 (earlier results apear to be sites that display old content in a frame with recent message board posts when last crawled, and the phrase appearing in message board signatures (specifically someone with the handle JadedDM on giant in the playground), which also propegate to older posts when crawled).  DM Empowerment, OTOH, seems to go back to 2010 and originate in the context of LFR.

But that was just a few quick searches playing with the date range.  

I'm sure you've got a solid, unimpeachable source with a formal definition for us... 

 

 

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I always viewed DM/Player Empowerment as the one who controls how the actions are created and resolved. 

A simple example of DM Empowerment is when a player describes what he wants to do and the DM is given the power to decide how that action is modified, carried out, and resolved. This will change across tables, across games, and sometimes within the same group. The problem is when inconsistancy happens and removes expectations on certain types of actions. If a Player knows that the DM hasn't adjudicated "Charging" the same way twice in half a dozen attempts, he might not try it because the randomness it just too great. What this also does it put the DM's perspective on how hard something might be to accomplish. For example, the DM might think two-weapon fighting is really hard compared to using a sword and shield or two-handed weapon, thus placing strong limitations to facilitate "reality" while another DM might assume that, as a fighter, you're trained in multiple style and won't make it specifically hard than using a sword and shield or two-handed weapon. Basically the player is at the DM's "mercy" when they want to try something.

Player Empowerment is when a player describes what he wants to do and the DM looks up said rule to decide how that action is modified, carried out, and resolved. A Player can expect Charging to be a consistant +2 to Attack roll, -2 to AC each and every time (using v3.5 rules) or +1 to attack roll (using 4E). And that expectation is carried out no matter where they go, what table they play at, and with each DM. Further, with codified rules the player can expect what sort of actions a Monster or DM-driven NPC can do (closly, anyways) based on the rules. Most monsters and NPCs can move and attack and that's the expectation. If a Monster moves twice, attacks 5 times, then casts a spell then a Player is instantly going to call that out as breaking the rules.

At least, that's how I've always seen it.  
These terms, they are match words, they lead to flames.
However, I think the concept behind them is valid.

Dm Empowerment:
This is where the rules are flexible in favour of DM improvisation. At it's best, it allows for custom tailoured games where the DM set tone not just through narration, but also mechanical considerations. At it's worst, it leaves the DM writing a story, witht the PCs existant to give background characters depth and personality.

Player Entitlement:
This is when the rules are clear so that the player has a solid idea of the chances their character has to succeed at a given task. At it's best, this allows playes to make the characters they want to play, understand the situations they are in, and cuts back on quiblling by providing internal consistency. At it's worst, it leads to an almost machine like approach to the game, where every situation is a set of rulings with minutely tuned % probibilities.

The two, in small and moderate quantities, are not mutually exclusive. However, there is generally room for only one to reach extreme levels. Finding a good blend between flexibility and internal consistency is not likely to be easy.
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
1.  If you think DM empowerment and Player entitlement as terms began on these boards you are just wrong.

2.  Yes.  I have noticed a lot of people who don't know how the terms were originally used going in all directions with these terms.   I wanted to see how bad it was by asking the question.  It's bad.


So I know that I can't just use these terms in discussions on these boards because honestly we have vastly different definitions.  I believe I'm using the age old definition of these terms and didn't realize how many different views there are on the game. 

Additionally, it's not like the 'original definition', even if it can be ascertained, is somehow more correct then the common definitions people are actually using. If you were to insist on using out-of-vogue meanings for reasonably common terminology that most other people at least vaguely agree on, then you're just the guy in the "What should Gish classes look like?" thread who's repeatedly feigning surprise that people are talking about things that aren't Githyanki Fighter 4/Wizard 4s or whatever.

Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
I don't see any reason for anger to arise when discussing these things.  These are nothing but marketing adjectives, aren't they?  DM's being empowered, let's say as the designers for 5E claim they will be, are just suggesting something we'll all like, and the same for players being "entitled".  For DM's, it will be easier for them to do certain things, and some things will be possible for the first time.  For players, it's the same, only for them it will be more like options expand, both for what kinds of character you can play and what you can do in the game, in and out of combat.  WotC empowers the DM even just with online tools.


What would you want to be able to do as a DM that you couldn't before, and what as a player you couldn't?  These are the questions, and what I suspect the original poster is asking suggestions for.     
DM Empowerment: "Pass me another Red Bull and I'll try to stay awake long enough to run one more encounter."

Player Entitlement: "No way!  Last one is mine."



Anyway, I looked up the two phrases on Google ngrams and they do not exist.

Seriously, this is devolving into one of the dumbest arguments I've ever seen.  And, yes, I'm counting the scene in Stand by Me where they argue if Superman or Mighty Mouse would win a fight.
"Therefore, you are the crapper, I'm merely the vessel through which you crap." -- akaddk
Anyway, I looked up the two phrases on Google ngrams and they do not exist.

You would expect niche TTRPG design philosophy terminology to appear in the set of published books covered by that corpus? "lolcat" doesn't appear in the corpus, but it's certainly a real term. Same with "human paladin" and "DMPC".

Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Anyway, I looked up the two phrases on Google ngrams and they do not exist.

You would expect niche TTRPG design philosophy terminology to appear in the set of published books covered by that corpus? "lolcat" doesn't appear in the corpus, but it's certainly a real term. Same with "human paladin" and "DMNPC".




Oh noes!  You're right...human paladins don't exist either.

Time to re-roll..... 
"Therefore, you are the crapper, I'm merely the vessel through which you crap." -- akaddk
I actually think WotC has been doing pretty well with their "advice" since around the  time of the "core book sequals" in 3.5 (DMG2, PH2).



The best advice I have seen from WotC usually comes in their DM articles (like from Chris Perkins or Ed Greenwood).  Some of the stuff in their DMGs was pretty terribad.

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No, because it's not "you can do whatever you want as long as it doesn't conflict with an existing rule." It's "you can do whatever you want as long as the DM allows it."  



Now that's your experience.  Never at my table or any I've ever observed has a DM disallowed an action unless it directly conflicted with an existing rule.



In a recent game I ran, the players were in a carriage being chased at high speed by a gang of villains in another carriage. The monk player had his character jump off, roll to a stop using his Acrobatics skill, launch himself at the driver of the villains' carriage with his Flying Tiger Assault power, knock him flying, and then land on the seat (I did call for another Acrobatics roll for that). 

He didn't even need to roll great dice to accomplish all this -- he actually missed the first Acrobatics roll by a point, landed on his face, and had to use an action point to stand up again and make his attack. He knew his character's abilities and used them to put together an awesome stunt. 

Would that happen in a lighter version of D&D where it was up to the DM's judgment whether the monk landed safely or just said "Roll a d6 to see how many extremities you break?" If I had been playing the monk in a game like that, I know I darn well wouldn't have risked it.



The question is, if the player did not have the "Flying Tiger Assault" power would he have even have tried?

What if it was just a Strength or Dexterity check to do the same manuever?

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No, because it's not "you can do whatever you want as long as it doesn't conflict with an existing rule." It's "you can do whatever you want as long as the DM allows it."  



Now that's your experience.  Never at my table or any I've ever observed has a DM disallowed an action unless it directly conflicted with an existing rule.



In a recent game I ran, the players were in a carriage being chased at high speed by a gang of villains in another carriage. The monk player had his character jump off, roll to a stop using his Acrobatics skill, launch himself at the driver of the villains' carriage with his Flying Tiger Assault power, knock him flying, and then land on the seat (I did call for another Acrobatics roll for that). 

He didn't even need to roll great dice to accomplish all this -- he actually missed the first Acrobatics roll by a point, landed on his face, and had to use an action point to stand up again and make his attack. He knew his character's abilities and used them to put together an awesome stunt. 

Would that happen in a lighter version of D&D where it was up to the DM's judgment whether the monk landed safely or just said "Roll a d6 to see how many extremities you break?" If I had been playing the monk in a game like that, I know I darn well wouldn't have risked it.



The question is, if the player did not have the "Flying Tiger Assault" power would he have even have tried?

What if it was just a Strength or Dexterity check to do the same manuever?


Depends if the penalty is worth doing it over just punching it in the face.
Without any snarkiness, they both mean the ability to tell a story WITHOUT having to suspend disbeleief to an extraneous amount.  Meaning both sides can accomplish their goals (make no mistake the GM has a goal to tell a story) without having a severe interruption.
Depends if the penalty is worth doing it over just punching it in the face.



Is making a Strength check worth it?  As opposed to an Attack?

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Without any snarkiness, they both mean the ability to tell a story WITHOUT having to suspend disbeleief to an extraneous amount.  Meaning both sides can accomplish their goals (make no mistake the GM has a goal to tell a story) without having a severe interruption.


This is one thing I liked about martial "powers". I didn't have to keep breaking character to ask the DM what the penalty for trying to do ability check or penalty I'd take for trying to do x. I just said "I'm going to do this." and roll whatever I had to.
I can't necessarily give a definition, but I will say different people view things different ways (yes I know thats vague).


For example, some people in this thread thinks rules light is DM empowering, while others find it consumes time and takes time away due to having to adjudicate things (and can lead to arguments), and prefer a more hardcoded system, which the first group finds restrictive (and can lead to arguments).

Same can generally be said about powers vs skill checks for martial characters 'trying to do cool things'.     
Without any snarkiness, they both mean the ability to tell a story WITHOUT having to suspend disbeleief to an extraneous amount.  Meaning both sides can accomplish their goals (make no mistake the GM has a goal to tell a story) without having a severe interruption.


This is one thing I liked about martial "powers". I didn't have to keep breaking character to ask the DM what the penalty for trying to do ability check or penalty I'd take for trying to do x. I just said "I'm going to do this." and roll whatever I had to.



While I don't often agree with you English, that was certainly one of the strengths for many players in 4e.  It made it fun for that particular sytem.  Very good point.
Actually, what hinders communication is the unwillingness to use context and other indicators to interpret how people are using words, and isntead insisting on definition pedantry.



Well my solution before using the words and being misinterpreted, was to ask the community.  If everyone had given the same answer then I'd consider it pretty safe to use the words instead of a paragraph to explain.  The result though is as I feared and the paragraph may be necessary.



But you used the words in a manner that's contrary to the known commun usage of the group to which you were speaking.

In a linguistic sense, that means you objectively used those words incorrectly, if we're being sticklers. I'm not, so instead I'll say that you were misguided in your use of the words.

It's in the past now, though. I wonder if anything useful can be salvaged from this thread.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
The terms are inherently imbalanced and terrible. To me they make more sense reversed. We should talk about DM entitlement and player empowerment. But they're loaded terms regardless. The words exist to belittle certain styles of play.

That said, I think there is a legitimate design issue to talk about. Breaking out of the terms can help us get to a better understanding.

For any situation in a game, there are three ways it can be resolved. It can either be resolved neutrally through rules adjudication, it can be resolved through DM fiat, or it can be resolved through player fiat. In practice, DM fiat is assumed unless otherwise stated. Sometimes a game will give a specific rule for resolving a situation, this removing the decision from the dm's hands. Players are traditionally supposed to have final, fiat level say on how ther character acts. No rules exists to say what a PC should do, except for special occasions when a spell might let the DM take over a character in some way.

Adding extra rules empowers players in the sense that it makes results less dependent on DM fiat. It doesn't empower players in the stronger sense of giving them ability to alter the narrative by pure fiat.
"So shall it be! Dear-bought those songs shall be be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could be no other. Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Eä, and evil yet be good to have been." - Manwë, High King of the Valar
Whereas adding rules which give players some narrative control does empower them.

It doesn't undermine the DM, however, which is an important point that many seem to ignore.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
DM empowerment and player entitlement are two terms that come up when the text does not make clear who is in charge of what happens next - then people have an epiphany that THEY just happen to be in charge and it's a wonderful empowerment or entitlement.

And they wont let go of that, even for a corrected text which does say who's in charge of what happens next. Power is narcotic.

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

 

Philosopher Gamer

For instance if you tried to trip a snake in AD&D, the DM would simply veto it, regardless of whaever the trip rules said. In 4E, the DM is specifically told to allow it anyway even if it makes no logical sense.



One of the things I can say I truly hate about 4e, and in general I really liked it.

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

Depends if the penalty is worth doing it over just punching it in the face.



What penalty?  What does a character know about penalties?

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

As I see it, if the players don't think it makes sense to trip a snake, nobody is making them do it. Maintaining the narrative is something everyone should be a part of, not just the DM. So the rules shouldn't have to babysit you. If the player feels like there's no good way to justify tripping a snake, then the player is free to do something else. If the player feels like tripping the snake is something he can justify, then I see no need to not let him. Maybe it doesn't actually make any sense, but it is the players prerogative, not anybody else's.
"So shall it be! Dear-bought those songs shall be be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could be no other. Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Eä, and evil yet be good to have been." - Manwë, High King of the Valar
Depends if the penalty is worth doing it over just punching it in the face.



What penalty?  What does a character know about penalties?


If the player tries to do something and has to make a bunch of skill checks with penalties to do it, it doesn't matter what the character knows about penalties, the player is just going to have his character keep just attacking.
lots of good new posts.  I think DM empowerment is better understood than Player entitlement.  I agree with the person that said these game design terms may have been hijacked during the wars.  

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For instance if you tried to trip a snake in AD&D, the DM would simply veto it, regardless of whaever the trip rules said. In 4E, the DM is specifically told to allow it anyway even if it makes no logical sense.



One of the things I can say I truly hate about 4e, and in general I really liked it.

Nah, you can't trip a snake in 4e, you just impose the prone condition on it.  Totally different.  ;)  

 

 

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One of the things I can say I truly hate about 4e, and in general I really liked it.

Nah, you can't trip a snake in 4e, you just impose the prone condition on it.  Totally different.  ;)  




Dont snakes come with the prone condition already imposed?

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One of the things I can say I truly hate about 4e, and in general I really liked it.

Nah, you can't trip a snake in 4e, you just impose the prone condition on it.  Totally different.  ;)  




Dont snakes come with the prone condition already imposed?

Well, knocking it on it's back would probably make ti stop for a bit.
 

The best advice I have seen from WotC usually comes in their DM articles (like from Chris Perkins or Ed Greenwood).  Some of the stuff in their DMGs was pretty terribad.



Lets go back to deciding whether players are "superior" or not based on Gygaxian adversarial... player's ought to be paranoid... now that was terrible.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

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