Players Rights Do they even exist

I have often wonder why players have never been given any offical rights other then simply leave and start up your own game, you would think a players fantasy roleplaying game they would have offical rights, But it seems that the only person who has any rights and power what so ever is the Dm...

Official Warning From this point in time I will no longer deal with people who want to turn my post into flame war's, if you cannot respond in a civilized matter Then simply do not respond, all troll  implications or just plain rudeness will  no longer be tolerated and will reported to the mod as soon as I see the reply...

D&D involves an unspoken social contract.
The players surrender some freedom to the DM in the understanding that they provide a good story and not abuse the power given. Similarly, the DM can concede some freedom of options with the understanding that players do not abuse the freedom to break the game or negatively impact the fun of others. Either party abusing their power is bad, be it a DM overly limiting a player's actions or options or a player bending the power curve. 

Yes, the DM always has a little more power. But that's both the negative aspect of the game and the best thing about the game. The freedom of expression allows limitless possibilities. There is nothing stoping a DM from unleashing Orcus on a first level party. Or even just having rocks fall or lightning strike at the exact spot the PC is standing. And even mandating that in the rules ("PCs must be this high of level to ride Orcus") won't stop the DM from bending the restrictions. (If the bad DMs even bother to read the full rules.)

The game  has spent the last two editions doing its best to shield players from the dreaded spectre of Bad DMs the whole time shackling and hindering and inconveniencing the majority of DMs that are not bad. And doing very little to prevent bad DMs from wrecking games. 
I think the game might be bett if more energy was spent into lifting up DMs, making all DMs bettr DMs, and encouraging people to be DMs to reduce the proportion of bad DMs.  



Great post!  I am in complete agreement.

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

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Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

I would hope you can at least admit that the berserker type of barbarian concept is better when it has a berserk mechanic of some kind to back up the concept?

I actually think the opposite - "berserker" doesn't necessitate being strong, tougher, or otherwise a better warrior... just that the warrior fling himself into battle, typically screaming, and fight like he has no fear of death and no mercy for his enemies, which is a role-play thing.

The only mechanic that I ever thought actually made sense for the berserker type is for them to not be subject to standard morale failure - which PCs have all always maintained as an unstated ability.




Huh. To me, a berserker must be impervious to all but the most deadly pain, so full of rage (adrenaline) that they are stronger ( a real life thing) and can keep going well past what would otherwise make them too exhausted to keep going.

Of course, I also look to the mythical origin of the berserker, and think of those Norse warriors filled with Odin's terrible wrath and the spirit of great bears (and the similar warriors whose name escapes me, who were associated with wolves) and I at least want options for berserkers for whom the Rage is partly supernatural, and/or tied to scary animals.

And i just have more fun with stuff like that if it functions differently than the military trained soldier Fighter next to me. If they play the same, description falls somewhat flat, IME. Possibly because I also do freeform roleplaying, so when there are rules and mechanical constructs, I want them to actually add to the narrative and support distinctions. I want a rapier and a greatsword to be different, because I know they are different, and if they do the same exact things in the same exact ways, I'm not willing to do the doublethink required to think of them as different.

If that makes sense.

I'd also rather have more classes with greater distinction than each class having a bunch of options that don't actually make different characters all that distinct, otherwise I'd be all for a Fighter build and some manuevers to make Berserkers.




For me the pefect berserk move is like an attack that damages both enemies and allies its indiscriminant...   There might be feats that allow them to operate better without armor, like woad or face paints to supresses pain, sky clad resilience (being much like a manifestation of armor of faith).
At some level I am just seeing little reason for distinct classes... 

  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."

 

And if I knew that a DM hated gnomes and I wanted to play a gnome would I really try and force my way into his campaign.  Even if ultimately I get into the game,  that DM is likely sore about it.   If I really had to play a gnome I'd look for a DM more amenable to it.   I've just never felt like I had one idea that I just had to play this time.

Except when you are the DM.  That, in a nutshell, is the source of the conflict here.  Some DMs are saying, "Why do you HAVE to play this one idea?" while, at the same time, saying, "We are playing this one idea."
You can always question the DM. That said, you can't expect to get your way 100% of the time. If gnomes don't exist in my campaign world, then they don't exist. It doesn't matter my reasons. I would totally work with a player to help them play something they like, but if you're going to insist on something just to spite me (which your example player did, IMO), then screw you.

See?  Yes, you can't expect to get your way 100% of the time.  Unless, it seems, you are the DM.  Also, it seems you can expect to get your way 0% of the time.

Now, perhaps I am being too harsh here.  Perhaps both of you would work with that gnome loving player to come up with a compromise (and no, compromise doesn't mean "pick another race").  There are always ways to compromise.  Perhaps he is the last of the gnomes, and he hopes to find a way to bring them back.  Does he just like the mechanics of the gnome?  Then make him a halfling with gnome stats.  Does he just like the flavor of the gnome?  Then make a halfling town with gnome flavor. 
But that isn't what it sounds like, especially the second post.  That sounds a lot more like "My way or the highway!"
Can't remember offhand, are you a 4e fan? If so, you should check out 4enclave.roleplaylife.net/c2-dungeons-dr...

I'm gonna start a discussion on there about world/campaign building as a group activity soon. I'd start it here, but...there's just too many people on these forums, in all camps, who seem to look for any opportunity to flame whatever arbitrary handful of other posters they don't like.

If not, perhaps a group here would be cool. :D

I am indeed a 4E fan, and I will definitely check that out.  Thanks!
woot! My muscle relaxers seem to have been replaced with energy pills, because I'm up still at 6:27am, and I made like ten threads. Enjoy! :D
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
And I thank you for perfectly demonstrating the problem. The DMs-are-God crowd are always all about saying that the players are perfectly free to not play a game if it's not a game that they're into, but no matter what the action of the players, they're automatically "whiny". Want to play the game but have some criticisms? Whiny. Don't want to play the game? Whiny. It sounds like any player that ever has anything negative to say about what any DM does is whiny. No, I'm sorry, but I don't buy that. That's complete bull.

 If you think that's what happened, then you completely failed to understand what was going on. The player didn't walk because they were told they couldn't play a specific race. Thinking that just demonstrates an extraordinarily shallow understanding of the problem. It, in fact, had very little to do with the race and had much more to do with the DM's attitude.



You presented a presumably completely made up set of dialogue with very little background information.  There are numerous ways to interpret that dialogue.  You presumably had a particular angle and point to make with the dialogue which is but ONE possible outcome. 

Other than knowing your intention to writing the passage, there is literally not enough information to make any sort of judgement call on it which is more valid than the next.  You think the passage conveys one particular message because you constructed it.  People will read very different things from it.

One interpretation is that the Player failed to get his way.  One interpretation is the DM was a jerk.  You as the author had a different intention for the passage then what was actually conveyed.

Bottom line, every time I had a player want to play a race I was not allowing, we were able to come to a compromise between the races allowed, and the character concept.  EVERY time.

If I had a player like that walk away without seeking compromise, it would simply be a good riddance whether I was a player in another DM's group or if I was the DM.



CAMRA preserves and protects real ale from the homogenization of modern beer production. D&D Grognards are the CAMRA of D&D!
And if I knew that a DM hated gnomes and I wanted to play a gnome would I really try and force my way into his campaign.  Even if ultimately I get into the game,  that DM is likely sore about it.   If I really had to play a gnome I'd look for a DM more amenable to it.   I've just never felt like I had one idea that I just had to play this time.

Except when you are the DM.  That, in a nutshell, is the source of the conflict here.  Some DMs are saying, "Why do you HAVE to play this one idea?" while, at the same time, saying, "We are playing this one idea."



The difference is that I spend months of work preparing a world that has no players yet.   I put in as much work on the world as some people put in writing a book.   In fact based on some books I've read, I'd say more.   And I have written a book so I know of what I speak.   

So it is a matter of committment.   Now if I was having coffee with someone and they mentioned "boy I'd love to have a world where gnomes are the abandoned cousines of the elves."   If I hadn't even started designing the campaign and I thought the idea had interest for me (and this ones a joke just to illustrate) then I might put that into my next campaign.   I'm not saying I don't collect ideas.   But when I start designing the campaign world, I don't know who is going to play yet.

I am a top down designer.  I don't fill every nook and cranny.  Yes I can accomodate almost any idea that is just a player background issue if it's not an over arching world issue.   If someone wants to be a blacksmith from a nearby town, I can do that.   If someone wants to play a race that exists no where in the world, sometimes I can do that.   It just seems to me that at that point the player is more about their character than they are about playing in the world which is a tell tale sign of someone thats not a good fit for my campaign.   That doesn't make them a bad person.  But I want good fits because that makes not only me happier but it makes the players happier too.

On thing I've learned about playstyle.   Find people of like mind if possible.  The game is richer and a lot less about interplayer/DM conflict.


My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.

And if I knew that a DM hated gnomes and I wanted to play a gnome would I really try and force my way into his campaign.  Even if ultimately I get into the game,  that DM is likely sore about it.   If I really had to play a gnome I'd look for a DM more amenable to it.   I've just never felt like I had one idea that I just had to play this time.

Except when you are the DM.  That, in a nutshell, is the source of the conflict here.  Some DMs are saying, "Why do you HAVE to play this one idea?" while, at the same time, saying, "We are playing this one idea."

The difference is that I spend months of work preparing a world that has no players yet. 

when I start designing the campaign world, I don't know who is going to play yet.

It just seems to me that at that point the player is more about their character than they are about playing in the world which is a tell tale sign of someone thats not a good fit for my campaign.

This fits perfectly with my earlier hypothesis regarding the effect of group makeup on DM viewpoint.  It sounds like you design the world, then put the word out.  So it is important to have as detailed a world as possible, in order to attract the right sort of players.  As you said, you have found that if someone answers your ad and asks to play something that goes against your planned world, it is a good sign that they aren't going to be a good fit with your style of DMing.  We are all looking for players that match our own views on the game.  And part of that for you is that the world is more important than the characters.  You want to find players who are excited to play in the specific world you made, not players who are excited to play a specific character they have in mind.

This fits perfectly with my earlier hypothesis regarding the effect of group makeup on DM viewpoint.  It sounds like you design the world, then put the word out.  So it is important to have as detailed a world as possible, in order to attract the right sort of players.  As you said, you have found that if someone answers your ad and asks to play something that goes against your planned world, it is a good sign that they aren't going to be a good fit with your style of DMing.  We are all looking for players that match our own views on the game.  And part of that for you is that the world is more important than the characters.  You want to find players who are excited to play in the specific world you made, not players who are excited to play a specific character they have in mind.



I won't say I never play with friends of course.  But I usually present the idea to them formed.  And I am all for character development.  I just want to start in my world as opposed to pre-my world.   Thats all.  I am open though.  Friends of friends and acquaintances are welcome.  Sometimes that develops friendships.  

One of my friends is playing a one armed wizard right now in another campaign.  He just wanted to do something different.   Obviously this doesn't run counter to my world concept so if he'd introduced that character I'd have ran with it.   It's not that 95% of character ideas won't fit my world.  I just want the 5% that don't fit to be passed on THIS time.

So I'm agreeing with your assessment.  I do want settng to drive character but I think character is not that hindered by that one concession.   

My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.

Neither the DM nor the player is wrong for wanting what they want.

However, the world as a whole is the DMs character. Insisting on inserting an element into it that they don't like (as in "I want to play a gnome, even though you hate gnomes and there are none in your campaign") is no different than the DM telling a player "Oh, play whatever race or class you want but you have to wear a holy symbol and a red hat. I like holy symbols and red hats."

You liking something is no excuse for inserting it into the experience of someone who doesn't like it. That's discourteous. D&D is a communal experience; our choices affect other peoples enjoyment.

In the case of a DM and a player with absolutely irreconcilable differences, the options I see are:

1) The player finds a different character they can enjoy out of the dozens of different possibilities.
2) The player plays another character but doesn't enjoy the game as much.
3) The player gets to play what they want and the DM doesn't enjoy the game as much; the campaign suffers.
5) The player says "No, you're a jerk, I'm not playing." and doesn't play.
6) The DM says "If I cant run the game my way I'm not putting in the effort." and nobody plays. 
7) The DM says "If I cant run the game my way I'm not putting in the effort." and somebody else DMs.

 #1 seems to be the best solution to me.  #7 is the second best, but a group in which more than one person is willing and prepared to DM at the same time is uncommon.
"We are all looking for players that match our own views on the game.  And part of that for you is that the world is more important than the characters.  You want to find players who are excited to play in the specific world you made, not players who are excited to play a specific character they have in mind."

That's an interesting perspective Arithezoo. I think it's true in a lot of cases.

For my part, I want players whose primary interest is not specific characters or even a particular interest in my oh-so-clever world design,  but just an over-riding desire to play D&D. Neither the world nor the character is the draw; they just want to gather together, eat pizza and play some version of Dungeons and Dragons involving rolling dice and cheering at natural 20s.
And if I knew that a DM hated gnomes and I wanted to play a gnome would I really try and force my way into his campaign.  Even if ultimately I get into the game,  that DM is likely sore about it.   If I really had to play a gnome I'd look for a DM more amenable to it.   I've just never felt like I had one idea that I just had to play this time.

Except when you are the DM.  That, in a nutshell, is the source of the conflict here.  Some DMs are saying, "Why do you HAVE to play this one idea?" while, at the same time, saying, "We are playing this one idea."

The difference is that I spend months of work preparing a world that has no players yet. 

when I start designing the campaign world, I don't know who is going to play yet.

It just seems to me that at that point the player is more about their character than they are about playing in the world which is a tell tale sign of someone thats not a good fit for my campaign.

This fits perfectly with my earlier hypothesis regarding the effect of group makeup on DM viewpoint.  It sounds like you design the world, then put the word out.  So it is important to have as detailed a world as possible, in order to attract the right sort of players.  As you said, you have found that if someone answers your ad and asks to play something that goes against your planned world, it is a good sign that they aren't going to be a good fit with your style of DMing.  We are all looking for players that match our own views on the game.  And part of that for you is that the world is more important than the characters.  You want to find players who are excited to play in the specific world you made, not players who are excited to play a specific character they have in mind.



The world is the DM's job.  Character immersion is the DM's job.  Character development is the Player's job. 

Playing a race contrary to the DM's campaign world actually goes contrary to immersion.  It makes the world less immersive for others.  If someone comes to the game trying to play a Wookiee in the Forgotten Realms, the realms immersion suffers.

There is one player in my extended group who always wants to play Wookiees.  NO matter what the game is.  IT is one of those intangible feel elements that is often eluded to.  Standard response from most of the DM's is you can play the wookiee when one of us runs Star Wars.

One DM does allow him to play Wookiees.  The campaign world he runs is one of one shots, and not much development, pn character or the world side.  We still love john though. (in case your reading)





CAMRA preserves and protects real ale from the homogenization of modern beer production. D&D Grognards are the CAMRA of D&D!

Also, it's interesting that you said "usually the game is advertised. . ."  I've never played an RPG with anyone who wasn't already a friend of mine, or a friend of a good friend.  I find myself wondering if some of the jerkiness people have encountered isn't at least partly due to the fact that the player may be an outsider.



I wonder how many actually fit your experience? I've often been "the new guy" and am more than willing to accept new people at my table. In once game I run for my son and his friends (college and just post-aged), periodically a new person shows up, character in hand, taking the place of another character who has a scheduling conflict (say he now has class that night and can't play for a semester/quarter). A few minutes of "Who are you, who's your character, okay, I can squeeze you in at this point" and away we go. One guy is home for the summer while another went home for the summer and it's transition time. As long as some of the party core remains the story keeps rolling along.

I suppose it also comes down to personality type, to a large extent. I'm very social and an includer. I HATE cliques and would go nuts only ever associating with a small group of people.


Don't be a dick.

The problem is that, for some people, it's always the player that's the dick and never the DM. The DM can't be a dick because the DM is infallable.


That is your perception of the so called "DM-are-gods" crowd. You would consider me part of that crowd, and I have know quite a few DMs that were dicks. However, you appear to feel that a DM that doesn't give you what they want is a dick. I could easily be wrong, but that is how your posts appear.



If I might clarify my comment - which I didn't think I would need to do, but whatever - when I say "don't be a dick," I'm referring to everyone at the table. So that would include all of the players, and the guy running the game. (I'm not using the term "DM" here expressly because my point is not limited to D&D alone, but rather any RPG at all.)

With that out of the way, yes, I absolutely agree that in the example given, that's how the player came across. Although, the example was woefully short of how things actually happen, in my experience. What would really happen would be a discussion of what races are available, examination of the player's character concept, and further discussion on how that concept might fit in with the campaign world as a whole.

If the player decides that he doesn't want to play in that game, then so be it - so long as the conversation was mature and straightforward, no big deal. As has been said, it's just a game. If the player cuts off communication prior to negotiation or the DM attempting to help him realize his character concept, then yes, the player is very obviously being a dick at that point.

Conversely, if the DM just says "no" with no qualifiers and doesn't even attempt to help the player realize their character concept within the campaign world, then the DM is being a dick. 

Player: I think I wanna play a Gnome.
DM: Gnomes don't exist in this world.
Player: Really? Why not?
[...]

 What totally misses the point
[...]

Fixed.


Why does it miss the point? It's a far more realistic example than the one you made, at least with friends who game.



Exactly. Or, actually, I have one group I play in with rotating games and people running those games. Typically whoever is running the game will make all of the characters. I'm up next, and will be running a "paranormal investigators" game set in Los Angeles using the God-Machine Chronicle rules for World of Darkness - and one of the things I have to do is make everyone's characters. I expect very little (if any) disagreement, because the group is usually fine playing just about anything, and in fact likes playing something outside of their usual comfort zone at times. So it'll be an interesting game, I think.

But different groups do things differently. So long as one follows the Wheaton Law, there's really never anything to worry about, in my experience.

For those confused on how DDN's modular rules might work, this may provide some insight: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/11/the-world-of-darkness-shines-when-it-abandons-canon

@mikemearls: Uhhh... do you really not see all the 3e/4e that's basically the entire core system?

 

It is entirely unnecessary to denigrate someone else's approach to gaming in order to validate your own.

You liking something is no excuse for inserting it into the experience of someone who doesn't like it. That's discourteous. D&D is a communal experience; our choices affect other peoples enjoyment.

Of course, on the flip side is, "You DISliking something is no excuse for denying someone else from experiencing it."
But ultimately both come down to compromise, and I think we all agree on that part.
In the case of a DM and a player with absolutely irreconcilable differences, the options I see are:

Honestly, I think the best outcome is for them to part ways.  If they really have irreconcilable differences, then the choice of character is just the tip of the iceberg.  They aren't going to play well together, regardless of which side of the DMs screen they are on.  Even if both are players, there will be conflict.

D&D is a game, and like all games it works best when played by people who get along, like, and respect one another.

D&D is a game, and like all games it works best when played by people who get along, like, and respect one another.



This can't be emphasized enough.

My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.

I am currently working on a campaign setting based on the harry dresden files. Because of that specific setting some races and classes will have to be restricted. such as any of the fairy races from that book and the paladin as that class will be one of the three knights of the cross. Also because the setting is a midevil version of that type of setting having a death-to-steel-alergy makes playing a fairy impossible.

If a player insists on playing an elf in that setting should I let them?

Per player rights crowd, yes. And then the player will be mad the first time he touches steel and dies.

Per the DM is the world arbiter crowd, No. That concept does not fit in this game world. The player should create a character that fits in the given setting.

If I allow for players to dilute my world the world has no flavor and is not the world I create. So if that is the case as a DM I have the same two choices every player has just suck it up and let the players dictate my game to me or refuse to play.

As DM I have the same rights to have fun as every player, even more so in some ways since all the labor is on me to create the entire world populate it and roll play every creature, npc, or god in it, that is all on my shoulders. If a player refuses to allow me to have my world and create a character that fits in it because they must "win" and have their way, that is just as wrong as a DM abusing the roll he has in the game.

Notice I did not say I hate any of the given races or I dont like the class only that it has a different place in my world and as such is not playable by a PC. There is a reason why those races do not fit which is that the world is designed so that they do not fit. Why is not important. Asking why is trying to dictate how my world is built to me.

It does not matter why I say a player can not play a given character concept. And I should not have to explain why. If players are not supposed to know about the fairy courts why should I explain myself to the players about how my world works or why it does? Players should make a character that fits the world and their only job is to try to bring those simple numbers to life as a real person. My job is to create the world and bring it to life. I can not do my job as long a players are more concerned with a specific character concept than they are with playing in my world.
DMG pg 263 "No matter what a rule's source, a rule serves you, not the other way around."
I am currently working on a campaign setting based on the harry dresden files. Because of that specific setting some races and classes will have to be restricted. such as any of the fairy races from that book and the paladin as that class will be one of the three knights of the cross. Also because the setting is a midevil version of that type of setting having a death-to-steel-alergy makes playing a fairy impossible.

If a player insists on playing an elf in that setting should I let them?

As I said before, you find out WHY they want to play an elf.

Do the mechanics of the elf just fit their concept perfectly?  Then just reflavor, and make him a non-fey with elf stats.

Does the flavor of elves fit his concept perfectly?  Then take another race and tack on elf flavor.  I'm guessing that the flavor for the fairy races from Harry Dresden Files doesn't match the flavor of elves from the PHB.  So this shouldn't present an issue.
Why is not important. Asking why is trying to dictate how my world is built to me.

It does not matter why I say a player can not play a given character concept. And I should not have to explain why.
If players are not supposed to know about the fairy courts why should I explain myself to the players about how my world works or why it does?

"Why" does matter, at least to me.  It isn't trying to dictate anything to you; it is a way to find a deeper answer than "no".  It puts a framework around the simple answer of "no" that is grounded in the world.  Even if you can't reveal the exact reason (for example, if you wanted the weakness to iron to be a secret the heroes discover during the game), you can still explain why, "In this world, elves and other fey races have features that make them unsuitable for PCs."
This makes it clear that you have modified those races, making them different from what is presented in the PHB.  The benefit to this is that it leads the player to ask, "Well, can I just use the mechanics of the PHB elf?" or "Well, can I just use the flavor of the PHB elf?"

Anytime I see things like this, countless compromises occur to me with very little thought.  As mentioned already, you always have the easy options of "Use the mechanics and change the flavor" or "Use the flavor and change the mechanics".  For your specific setting you could differentiate between True Elves (fairies) and Half-Elfs (statistically the same as PHB elves).  Half-Elves have lost the full connection to the fairy realm (I don't know anything about the Dresden Files, so I'm just spitballing here), including the vulnerability to iron.

There are always ways to compromise, you just have to be willing to try.  And that is why I only play with people that I respect and like, and that respect and like me.  Any DM who clearly cares more about the world they created than my opinions as a person isn't for me.
And if I knew that a DM hated gnomes and I wanted to play a gnome would I really try and force my way into his campaign.  Even if ultimately I get into the game,  that DM is likely sore about it.   If I really had to play a gnome I'd look for a DM more amenable to it.   I've just never felt like I had one idea that I just had to play this time.

Except when you are the DM.  That, in a nutshell, is the source of the conflict here.  Some DMs are saying, "Why do you HAVE to play this one idea?" while, at the same time, saying, "We are playing this one idea."


This is where your setup for a campaign matters. I generally don't run homebrew worlds because of the work, but when I do, I am creating a world around a particular story I want to tell. So yes, "we" are playing this one idea (my campaign story) if enough player interest exists. If you as a player are the odd man out, then you have the hard choices to make. You can play by the rules that everyone else agreed to, you can get others to your side (usually the most effective), or you can not play. As the DM, I don't have the make the hard choices, because if there's not enough interest, then we never get to this stage anyway (i.e. I lost before the argument even began).

You can always question the DM. That said, you can't expect to get your way 100% of the time. If gnomes don't exist in my campaign world, then they don't exist. It doesn't matter my reasons. I would totally work with a player to help them play something they like, but if you're going to insist on something just to spite me (which your example player did, IMO), then screw you.

See?  Yes, you can't expect to get your way 100% of the time.  Unless, it seems, you are the DM.  Also, it seems you can expect to get your way 0% of the time.


I generally do work with my players, but there are limits. I ran a low magic 3E campaign in Greyhawk where the players were very mobile and politics was the focus. One of the players decided to take the Prestige Class that turns the PC into a Treant. The Class is designed to guard a specific holy site. This didn't work within my campaign, as the player would basically destroy the entire story. I told him that was not an available option, unless he was doing it to retire the character (which would have made for an awesome NPC and home base). He threw a fit about it, and only relented when the rest of the group turned against him (they liked the story I was telling very much, and didn't want it radically altered to suit 1 player who wanted to do his own thing).

Now, perhaps I am being too harsh here.  Perhaps both of you would work with that gnome loving player to come up with a compromise (and no, compromise doesn't mean "pick another race").  There are always ways to compromise.  Perhaps he is the last of the gnomes, and he hopes to find a way to bring them back.  Does he just like the mechanics of the gnome?  Then make him a halfling with gnome stats.  Does he just like the flavor of the gnome?  Then make a halfling town with gnome flavor. 
But that isn't what it sounds like, especially the second post.  That sounds a lot more like "My way or the highway!"


I detest re-flavoring. It really defeats the point of fluff to begin with. It may work well form some groups, but I don't even like playing in a game that uses it.

The lost race idea wouldn't work for me either. If I don't have a race in my game, there's a story reason for it. I may not tell you why, and it may not even come up, but there would be a reason. I may have a race in my game, but not available for PCs. Drow is quite common. I generally don't allow it because it normally causes too many distractions (NPCs reacting to the PCs race) that slow the game down. The fact that I hate them is bonus Tongue Out

I just don't get why anyone would object so strenuously to choosing another race. I love Elves, but I've played in games where everyone was a Dwarf and we were at war with the Elves. I know a guy who loves the Halflings, but that doesn't mean he'd insist on playing one in said Dwarf game. If you are so obsessed with playing a particular class and/or race, then I see it as 1 of 2 problems: you refuse to broaden you're horizons to play something else, or you are trying to powergame something (this only seems to happen with the odd races, like the Half-Ogre and such).

Also, it's interesting that you said "usually the game is advertised. . ."  I've never played an RPG with anyone who wasn't already a friend of mine, or a friend of a good friend.  I find myself wondering if some of the jerkiness people have encountered isn't at least partly due to the fact that the player may be an outsider.



I wonder how many actually fit your experience? I've often been "the new guy" and am more than willing to accept new people at my table. In once game I run for my son and his friends (college and just post-aged), periodically a new person shows up, character in hand, taking the place of another character who has a scheduling conflict (say he now has class that night and can't play for a semester/quarter). A few minutes of "Who are you, who's your character, okay, I can squeeze you in at this point" and away we go. One guy is home for the summer while another went home for the summer and it's transition time.


I'm not sure.  I'd imagine that it's not an insignificant amount.  After-all, gamers aren't exactly world reknown for being gregarious and sociable (not that there aren't a lot of gamers who don't fit the gamer stereotype either).

As long as some of the party core remains the story keeps rolling along.


I've been in groups where people have come and gone as well, it's just all been friends, and friends of friends, who were playing.  It can be fun.  It's also an interesting challenge when DM'ing to come up with ways to handle this in-game.

I suppose it also comes down to personality type, to a large extent. I'm very social and an includer. I HATE cliques and would go nuts only ever associating with a small group of people.


I share your distaste for cliques, and I agree that personality type is a big factor.  I know that mine holds me back a lot.  Here's a few examples.

1) I don't make friends easily.  I suppose it might be fair to say that my threshold for "friend" might be too high.  When I have a friend, I think of them like a sibling (with all the attached loyalty that sibling implies).  As a result, I have a handful of aquantainces, most of whom I only see at work (and one while playing WoW), and no actual friends.

2) I'm currently between gaming groups, so I decided to get back into MtG.  I also figured it would help me get out and actually make some friends.  So, I bought a bunch of cards (2 boxes, plus), spent hours re-familiarizing myself with the game, and I haven't been to a single event (despite spending the last six months telling myself each Friday that "tonight's the night I'm really going to do it").

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

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I just don't get why anyone would object so strenuously to choosing another race. I love Elves, but I've played in games where everyone was a Dwarf and we were at war with the Elves. I know a guy who loves the Halflings, but that doesn't mean he'd insist on playing one in said Dwarf game. If you are so obsessed with playing a particular class and/or race, then I see it as 1 of 2 problems: you refuse to broaden you're horizons to play something else, or you are trying to powergame something (this only seems to happen with the odd races, like the Half-Ogre and such).

I just don't get why anyone can talk about how important the world is to them and not understand how a player might find their own character to be important too.

The point I keep trying to make is that you can flip all the comments about players right around at the DM.  "If you are so obsessed with playing a particular world, then I see it as 1 of 2 problems: you refuse to broaden your horizons to play something else, or you are trying to abuse your power."

Please note that I am not at all saying players are always right, and that DMs should let players do anything they want.  That isn't what compromise means either.  Problem players do exist (like the example of a player throwing a fit when he was told that a certain prestige class would cause a problem for the campaign), just as problem DMs exist.

All I am saying is that if you want players to understand how important your world is to you, try to first put yourself in their shoes and see how important their character is to them.  A little empathy goes a long way.
I am currently working on a campaign setting based on the harry dresden files. Because of that specific setting some races and classes will have to be restricted. such as any of the fairy races from that book and the paladin as that class will be one of the three knights of the cross. Also because the setting is a midevil version of that type of setting having a death-to-steel-alergy makes playing a fairy impossible.

If a player insists on playing an elf in that setting should I let them?


It all depends on whether your initial take on the setting is more important to you than honoring the players' characters' stories.  Do elves have to be fey, and fey enough to provoke the allergy, or can they be a different species or affiliation?  Is the steel allergy as deadly in your realm as in a modern world that has choked fey out largely?

You have room in a 'based on' version of a setting to make whatever changes you choose. 

Per player rights crowd, yes. And then the player will be mad the first time he touches steel and dies.


Or you can decide that the allergy is less promonent and devloped due to the more recent introduction of steel.  Perhaps limiting the 'allergy' effect to certain high quality items from certain innovative smiths . . .  and create non-magical properties anti fey that mirror some of the bane effects of the 3.5 system for example.


Per the DM is the world arbiter crowd, No. That concept does not fit in this game world. The player should create a character that fits in the given setting.



The DM is the arbiter.   But if it is a new campaign, he also has the ability to arbitrate towards his players instead of his original intent.  He isn't always obligated to do so . . . but sometimes it is WISE to.


If I allow for players to dilute my world the world has no flavor and is not the world I create. So if that is the case as a DM I have the same two choices every player has just suck it up and let the players dictate my game to me or refuse to play.


Choosing different flavor doesn't mean abandoning flavor entirely.



As DM I have the same rights to have fun as every player, even more so in some ways since all the labor is on me to create the entire world populate it and roll play every creature, npc, or god in it, that is all on my shoulders. If a player refuses to allow me to have my world and create a character that fits in it because they must "win" and have their way, that is just as wrong as a DM abusing the roll he has in the game.


I find as a DM I have more fun ensuring my players have fun and enage the setting than I do when I decide my initial vision is more important than the people I'm playing the game with.

Notice I did not say I hate any of the given races or I dont like the class only that it has a different place in my world and as such is not playable by a PC. There is a reason why those races do not fit which is that the world is designed so that they do not fit. Why is not important. Asking why is trying to dictate how my world is built to me.


It's not a matter of hate or love.  Its a matter of engaging your players.   If a player is attached to a concept, and i can turn that concept into something that increases engagement in my setting (but I have to adjust my setting to do so) it might be a good ideal.



It does not matter why I say a player can not play a given character concept. And I should not have to explain why. If players are not supposed to know about the fairy courts why should I explain myself to the players about how my world works or why it does? Players should make a character that fits the world and their only job is to try to bring those simple numbers to life as a real person. My job is to create the world and bring it to life. I can not do my job as long a players are more concerned with a specific character concept than they are with playing in my world.



I think the DM has as much a responsiblity to engage the players as the players do to engage the DM.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />All I am saying is that if you want players to understand how important your world is to you, try to first put yourself in their shoes and see how important their character is to them.  A little empathy goes a long way.



True, but likely at this point a player does not actually have a character yet.  The concept is there, which a DM can easily fit into the world.  It just might not be the race the exact race the player wants.  Very few concepts can only be accomplished with one race.



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I just don't get why anyone would object so strenuously to choosing another race. I love Elves, but I've played in games where everyone was a Dwarf and we were at war with the Elves. I know a guy who loves the Halflings, but that doesn't mean he'd insist on playing one in said Dwarf game. If you are so obsessed with playing a particular class and/or race, then I see it as 1 of 2 problems: you refuse to broaden you're horizons to play something else, or you are trying to powergame something (this only seems to happen with the odd races, like the Half-Ogre and such).

I just don't get why anyone can talk about how important the world is to them and not understand how a player might find their own character to be important too.

The point I keep trying to make is that you can flip all the comments about players right around at the DM.  "If you are so obsessed with playing a particular world, then I see it as 1 of 2 problems: you refuse to broaden your horizons to play something else, or you are trying to abuse your power."

Please note that I am not at all saying players are always right, and that DMs should let players do anything they want.  That isn't what compromise means either.  Problem players do exist (like the example of a player throwing a fit when he was told that a certain prestige class would cause a problem for the campaign), just as problem DMs exist.

All I am saying is that if you want players to understand how important your world is to you, try to first put yourself in their shoes and see how important their character is to them.  A little empathy goes a long way.



I've said it before but it's worth saying again.  DM commitment is an order of magnitude higher than player commitment.  As a player, I seriously doubt there is a campaign world that I can't find an idea for a character.   As a DM I'm not going to throw away months of work because a player had something that is jarringly inappropriate for my world.   If it's not I'll probably find a way to fit it in.


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I've said it before but it's worth saying again.  DM commitment is an order of magnitude higher than player commitment.  As a player, I seriously doubt there is a campaign world that I can't find an idea for a character.   As a DM I'm not going to throw away months of work because a player had something that is jarringly inappropriate for my world.   If it's not I'll probably find a way to fit it in.



If you are doing months of work without knowing what your players want in and out of a campaign, it might be a good idea to focus on them a little more.

I am currently working on a campaign setting based on the harry dresden files. Because of that specific setting some races and classes will have to be restricted. such as any of the fairy races from that book and the paladin as that class will be one of the three knights of the cross. Also because the setting is a midevil version of that type of setting having a death-to-steel-alergy makes playing a fairy impossible.

If a player insists on playing an elf in that setting should I let them?


It all depends on whether your initial take on the setting is more important to you than honoring the players' characters' stories.  Do elves have to be fey, and fey enough to provoke the allergy, or can they be a different species or affiliation?  Is the steel allergy as deadly in your realm as in a modern world that has choked fey out largely?

You have room in a 'based on' version of a setting to make whatever changes you choose. 

Per player rights crowd, yes. And then the player will be mad the first time he touches steel and dies.


Or you can decide that the allergy is less promonent and devloped due to the more recent introduction of steel.  Perhaps limiting the 'allergy' effect to certain high quality items from certain innovative smiths . . .  and create non-magical properties anti fey that mirror some of the bane effects of the 3.5 system for example.


Per the DM is the world arbiter crowd, No. That concept does not fit in this game world. The player should create a character that fits in the given setting.



The DM is the arbiter.   But if it is a new campaign, he also has the ability to arbitrate towards his players instead of his original intent.  He isn't always obligated to do so . . . but sometimes it is WISE to.


If I allow for players to dilute my world the world has no flavor and is not the world I create. So if that is the case as a DM I have the same two choices every player has just suck it up and let the players dictate my game to me or refuse to play.


Choosing different flavor doesn't mean abandoning flavor entirely.



As DM I have the same rights to have fun as every player, even more so in some ways since all the labor is on me to create the entire world populate it and roll play every creature, npc, or god in it, that is all on my shoulders. If a player refuses to allow me to have my world and create a character that fits in it because they must "win" and have their way, that is just as wrong as a DM abusing the roll he has in the game.


I find as a DM I have more fun ensuring my players have fun and enage the setting than I do when I decide my initial vision is more important than the people I'm playing the game with.

Notice I did not say I hate any of the given races or I dont like the class only that it has a different place in my world and as such is not playable by a PC. There is a reason why those races do not fit which is that the world is designed so that they do not fit. Why is not important. Asking why is trying to dictate how my world is built to me.


It's not a matter of hate or love.  Its a matter of engaging your players.   If a player is attached to a concept, and i can turn that concept into something that increases engagement in my setting (but I have to adjust my setting to do so) it might be a good ideal.



It does not matter why I say a player can not play a given character concept. And I should not have to explain why. If players are not supposed to know about the fairy courts why should I explain myself to the players about how my world works or why it does? Players should make a character that fits the world and their only job is to try to bring those simple numbers to life as a real person. My job is to create the world and bring it to life. I can not do my job as long a players are more concerned with a specific character concept than they are with playing in my world.



I think the DM has as much a responsiblity to engage the players as the players do to engage the DM.



So your suggestion is that I ignore the rules of the world I create in order to allow a player to "WIN" and have his way. In the world ALL elves are fey. it is a basic tennant of the world. ALL fey are deathly alergic to iron and steel. It is a basic tennant of the world. The player has no right to my world. I make it I create it I populate it. They can choose to make a character and experiance it or not. I do not have to make my world fit their random wants for character concept.

If I make a wold and allow players to help create parts of it then they have the ability to help shape the world and a given character concept would help make the world. That is when you colabratively make a world, which is not the same as a DM making the world from scratch. 

It depends on which method of world building is being used. If it is a DM made world with a specific theme and design than it can and should be restricted to what fits that world. If it is a collabrative wold then players should be able to help populate the world and make the almost any character concept. 
DMG pg 263 "No matter what a rule's source, a rule serves you, not the other way around."
You can always question the DM.... If gnomes don't exist in my campaign world, then they don't exist. It doesn't matter my reasons.

Yes, it does matter. That is exactly the thing being questioned. Or do you not see how that contradicts the first part of what you said.

if you're going to insist on something just to spite me (which your example player did, IMO)

That's not what happened in the example at all. That that's where everybody's assumptions go whenever a player disagrees, that the player must just be doing it to spite the DM,  just further illustrates the extend of the problem. There was nothing to suggest that the player was doing it to spite the DM, but that's still where everybody turned as a defense tactic, assuming the worst rather than seeing what was really there.

I didn't find your example player to be whiny. I did find him to be a jerk, however, for insisting that the DM change his world to accommodate him.

Yes, how dare anyone expect DMs do anything with their players in mind.

Why should the DM give over to the player in your example?

Because no good reason was presented for them not to. If the only reason that you're going to stand in somebody's way is because you can, that doesn't say much positive about you as a person, must less about your ability to be a good leader or a good DM.

That is your perception of the so called "DM-are-gods" crowd.

Because that's where everybody always turns. Everybody's willing to say that DMs can be jerks sometimes too, but whenever an actual example of it is demonstrated, it's always "Oh, no, that was the player's fault for not realizing that the DM is infallable." They're like politicisns that say "Oh, yes, we definitely want to work toward X!" but then turn around and find some reason to strike down every piece of legislation actually doing that.

You appear to feel that a DM that doesn't give you what they want is a dick.

And even though I've explaned numerous times that's that's not that case and how that's not the case, everybody still ignores all of that and goes right back to that crap about players feeling entitled to get whatever they want even though that has little to nothing to do with it.

Why does it miss the point?

Because it fails to meaningfully address at all what was demonstrated. It just goes off into its own random, unrelated tangent.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
You presented a presumably completely made up set of dialogue with very little background information.

If there was more relevant information, then I would have given it. Instead, people want to ignore it and make up new scenarios with new background information that assumes the player is actually just being a jerk than look at what actually happened.

You think the passage conveys one particular message because you constructed it. People will read very different things from it.

Yes, that's my point. That people are defensively injecting their own things into it rather than just taking it as it is just further demonstrates that problem.

One interpretation is that the Player failed to get his way.

Even though the player themselves in the example says that that wasn't the actual problem, which everybody seems so happy to ignore.

If I had a player like that walk away without seeking compromise...

Compromise is a two-way street. It doesn't matter how willing to compromise a player is if the DM isn't.

Conversely, if the DM just says "no" with no qualifiers and doesn't even attempt to help the player realize their character concept within the campaign world, then the DM is being a dick.

Which is what happened, and people still try to twist it to make it seem like it was the player being the dick.

If you are doing months of work without knowing what your players want in and out of a campaign, it might be a good idea to focus on them a little more.

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Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I've said it before but it's worth saying again.  DM commitment is an order of magnitude higher than player commitment.  As a player, I seriously doubt there is a campaign world that I can't find an idea for a character.   As a DM I'm not going to throw away months of work because a player had something that is jarringly inappropriate for my world.   If it's not I'll probably find a way to fit it in.



If you are doing months of work without knowing what your players want in and out of a campaign, it might be a good idea to focus on them a little more.




Not necessarily true at all.  A well-built world must be able to withstand odd desires and characters of all stripes long -after- this current crop is dead and gone.  The world itself, when built correctly, can withstand -almost- anything odd thrown at it.  The concern is in a player being -so- disruptive to that world after the fact with something that is glaringly contradictive.  It's an admittedly rare occurence, but it -can- happen.  Take for instance a player in one of my games, many many moons ago.  His 'character concept' (remember this is in the early 90's) was a human in Gargoyle Power Armor.  As in the cartoon, 'Gargoyles'.  So he could fly and shoot laser beams from his eyes and have super strength.  I -wish- I was kidding.  If you expect me to go out of my way to accommodate that...you have another thing coming.

Edit: Sensing some predictable individual firing up the keyboard for some spiel about wizards, it should be noted wizards can't fly and cast anything in my games, let alone do so with super strength, an AC of -2, and full fighter hp/Thac0.  Put the keyboard away.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

"All I am saying is that if you want players to understand how important your world is to you, try to first put yourself in their shoes and see how important their character is to them.  A little empathy goes a long way."

This is an interesting statement Arithezoo and I think really goes to the heart of the disagreement.

In my D&D life I cannot even COUNT the number of different (very different!)  characters I have played. It's in the  high dozens, if not triple digits.

I have had three - three - campaign worlds.

None of my characters, as a player, not even my all time favourites, have been more than a fraction as important to me as the game worlds I created.

So having been on both sides of the screen for decades, having been an avid player AND a dedicated DM, I  genuinely do not think that the degree a player values ONE character is a mirror image of how much a world creator values their campaign world. I would never THINK of putting what I personally wanted to play before a DMs vison of their world. My instant visceral reaction is that that would be extremely discourteous, like going to a dinner party and insisting on ordering pizza because you don't like what the host is serving.

I understand that you do not look at it the same way, and I respect the calm and lucid way you have made your point, but we aren't going to see eye to eye because we proceed from fundamentally different value assumptions.
I am currently working on a campaign setting based on the harry dresden files. Because of that specific setting some races and classes will have to be restricted. such as any of the fairy races from that book and the paladin as that class will be one of the three knights of the cross. Also because the setting is a midevil version of that type of setting having a death-to-steel-alergy makes playing a fairy impossible.

If a player insists on playing an elf in that setting should I let them?


It all depends on whether your initial take on the setting is more important to you than honoring the players' characters' stories.  Do elves have to be fey, and fey enough to provoke the allergy, or can they be a different species or affiliation?  Is the steel allergy as deadly in your realm as in a modern world that has choked fey out largely?

You have room in a 'based on' version of a setting to make whatever changes you choose. 

Per player rights crowd, yes. And then the player will be mad the first time he touches steel and dies.


Or you can decide that the allergy is less promonent and devloped due to the more recent introduction of steel.  Perhaps limiting the 'allergy' effect to certain high quality items from certain innovative smiths . . .  and create non-magical properties anti fey that mirror some of the bane effects of the 3.5 system for example.


Per the DM is the world arbiter crowd, No. That concept does not fit in this game world. The player should create a character that fits in the given setting.



The DM is the arbiter.   But if it is a new campaign, he also has the ability to arbitrate towards his players instead of his original intent.  He isn't always obligated to do so . . . but sometimes it is WISE to.


If I allow for players to dilute my world the world has no flavor and is not the world I create. So if that is the case as a DM I have the same two choices every player has just suck it up and let the players dictate my game to me or refuse to play.


Choosing different flavor doesn't mean abandoning flavor entirely.



As DM I have the same rights to have fun as every player, even more so in some ways since all the labor is on me to create the entire world populate it and roll play every creature, npc, or god in it, that is all on my shoulders. If a player refuses to allow me to have my world and create a character that fits in it because they must "win" and have their way, that is just as wrong as a DM abusing the roll he has in the game.


I find as a DM I have more fun ensuring my players have fun and enage the setting than I do when I decide my initial vision is more important than the people I'm playing the game with.

Notice I did not say I hate any of the given races or I dont like the class only that it has a different place in my world and as such is not playable by a PC. There is a reason why those races do not fit which is that the world is designed so that they do not fit. Why is not important. Asking why is trying to dictate how my world is built to me.


It's not a matter of hate or love.  Its a matter of engaging your players.   If a player is attached to a concept, and i can turn that concept into something that increases engagement in my setting (but I have to adjust my setting to do so) it might be a good ideal.



It does not matter why I say a player can not play a given character concept. And I should not have to explain why. If players are not supposed to know about the fairy courts why should I explain myself to the players about how my world works or why it does? Players should make a character that fits the world and their only job is to try to bring those simple numbers to life as a real person. My job is to create the world and bring it to life. I can not do my job as long a players are more concerned with a specific character concept than they are with playing in my world.



I think the DM has as much a responsiblity to engage the players as the players do to engage the DM.



So your suggestion is that I ignore the rules of the world I create in order to allow a player to "WIN" and have his way. In the world ALL elves are fey. it is a basic tennant of the world. ALL fey are deathly alergic to iron and steel. It is a basic tennant of the world. The player has no right to my world. I make it I create it I populate it. They can choose to make a character and experiance it or not. I do not have to make my world fit their random wants for character concept.


If your take on your world is always more important than your players, maybe you should be writing instead of gaming with players.  Anything that "is a basic tennat of the world" is only so because you decided it.  You can change your mind and be accomodating if you want.  There can be an elf race that isn't fully fey enough to have the death allergy (but that died off by the time of the DF novels).  There can be an allergy that isn't deadly.  You CAN choose these thigns and explain them and draw the player into your world.  OR you can insist that your original concept is more important than the people you are playing the game with.


If I make a wold and allow players to help create parts of it then they have the ability to help shape the world and a given character concept would help make the world. That is when you colabratively make a world, which is not the same as a DM making the world from scratch. 


Nothing you create in a self made world exists until it comes into the story.  Anything you have as back story or history is mutable up until the point that it happens on screen.  If your production notes are more important than the players at your table and it's causing issues . . .  it might not be the players that are the problem.


It depends on which method of world building is being used. If it is a DM made world with a specific theme and design than it can and should be restricted to what fits that world. If it is a collabrative wold then players should be able to help populate the world and make the almost any character concept. 


You can choose to be as flexible or as inflexible as you like.  You can always choose to adapt your preparation and theme to the people playing your game.   It is often a good idea to do so.
A well-built world must be able to withstand odd desires and characters of all stripes long -after- this current crop is dead and gone.

Why? It's not like you can't change or alter a world when you take it to different players. I do that all of the the time. It's not like it's hard. One of the settings that I originally created now has three different versions that are pretty much incompatable just because I changed them to suit whatever group I was playing with. It's it's not like I'm not attached to that setting. I'm very attached to it. I'm attached to each and every version of it, and I'll be attached to the next version of it too if there is another. And the players that have played in it are pretty attached to it too, and part of the reason is because they got to have meaningful input.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I've said it before but it's worth saying again.  DM commitment is an order of magnitude higher than player commitment.  As a player, I seriously doubt there is a campaign world that I can't find an idea for a character.   As a DM I'm not going to throw away months of work because a player had something that is jarringly inappropriate for my world.   If it's not I'll probably find a way to fit it in.



If you are doing months of work without knowing what your players want in and out of a campaign, it might be a good idea to focus on them a little more.




Not necessarily true at all.  A well-built world must be able to withstand odd desires and characters of all stripes long -after- this current crop is dead and gone.  The world itself, when built correctly, can withstand -almost- anything odd thrown at it.  The concern is in a player being -so- disruptive to that world after the fact with something that is glaringly contradictive.  It's an admittedly rare occurence, but it -can- happen.  Take for instance a player in one of my games, many many moons ago.  His 'character concept' (remember this is in the early 90's) was a human in Gargoyle Power Armor.  As in the cartoon, 'Gargoyles'.  So he could fly and shoot laser beams from his eyes and have super strength.  I -wish- I was kidding.  If you expect me to go out of my way to accommodate that...you have another thing coming.


I don't know the power level of your campaign.  Would flying have caused a character to outshine the rest of the party?  Maybe gliding makes more sense or lessened targeted falling.  Would a dragon breath work better than eye lasers.  What kind of strength is "super".  You don't have to literally interpret his source material to honor his request in a way that works in your campaign and give him some traction and buy in.  If he requires a level of power that is disruptive and won't be disuaded, then he is a problem.  If he wants a concept that is fun and is willing to work with you to place it in your world, he will be a better player if you do so.




Edit: Sensing some predictable individual firing up the keyboard for some spiel about wizards, it should be noted wizards can't fly and cast anything in my games, let alone do so with super strength, an AC of -2, and full fighter hp/Thac0.  Put the keyboard away.



As the DM you control the mechanical expression of his "gargoyleness".  In an existing campaign where current players already have investment, you may have less room to adapt without impacting them.  I just think that a DM's first impulse out to be "how can I accomodate" rather than "that doesn't fit my vision."
 
A well-built world must be able to withstand odd desires and characters of all stripes long -after- this current crop is dead and gone.

Why? It's not like you can't change or alter a world when you take it to different players. I do that all of the the time. It's not like it's hard. One of the settings that I originally created now has three different versions that are pretty much incompatable just because I changed them to suit whatever group I was playing with. It's it's not like I'm not attached to that setting. I'm very attached to it. I'm attached to each and every version of it, and I'll be attached to the next version of it too if there is another. And the players that have played in it are pretty attached to it too, and part of the reason is because they got to have meaningful input.



Exactly.  There isn't one contiuous world.   There is a different version that is limited to each groups interaction with it.  You're free to change up anything in between groups of player and even groups of characters.
A well-built world must be able to withstand odd desires and characters of all stripes long -after- this current crop is dead and gone.

Why? It's not like you can't change or alter a world when you take it to different players. I do that all of the the time. It's not like it's hard. One of the settings that I originally created now has three different versions that are pretty much incompatable just because I changed them to suit whatever group I was playing with. It's it's not like I'm not attached to that setting. I'm very attached to it. I'm attached to each and every version of it, and I'll be attached to the next version of it too if there is another. And the players that have played in it are pretty attached to it too, and part of the reason is because they got to have meaningful input.



Why?  Because if you have to keep resetting the world to take into account new ideas (as opposed to ideas that can be organically inserted and maintain continuity), then you don't have a world -- you have a snapshot of a world.  No matter how much your players like your world, it won't be one they're talking about twenty years later.  It won't have stories organically created by the exact same characters in the exact same circumstances leading to continuous NPC presence and a rich history.  It'll be a bunch of pictures of a world stacked atop one another, each slightly different.  More like a flipbook than History of the World, the Annotated Collection.

I don't run snapshots.  I run sagas that, collectively, form a world every bit as rich in history as our own.  If you want to run snapshots so some player doesn't have to deal with the horror of picking his -second- choice instead of first, that's fine -- but don't pretend its objectively better, either.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

A well-built world must be able to withstand odd desires and characters of all stripes long -after- this current crop is dead and gone.

Why? It's not like you can't change or alter a world when you take it to different players. I do that all of the the time. It's not like it's hard. One of the settings that I originally created now has three different versions that are pretty much incompatable just because I changed them to suit whatever group I was playing with. It's it's not like I'm not attached to that setting. I'm very attached to it. I'm attached to each and every version of it, and I'll be attached to the next version of it too if there is another. And the players that have played in it are pretty attached to it too, and part of the reason is because they got to have meaningful input.



Why?  Because if you have to keep resetting the world to take into account new ideas (as opposed to ideas that can be organically inserted and maintain continuity), then you don't have a world -- you have a snapshot of a world.  No matter how much your players like your world, it won't be one they're talking about twenty years later.  It won't have stories organically created by the exact same characters in the exact same circumstances leading to continuous NPC presence and a rich history.  It'll be a bunch of pictures of a world stacked atop one another, each slightly different.  More like a flipbook than History of the World, the Annotated Collection.

I don't run snapshots.  I run sagas that, collectively, form a world every bit as rich in history as our own.  If you want to run snapshots so some player doesn't have to deal with the horror of picking his -second- choice instead of first, that's fine -- but don't pretend its objectively better, either.



If it isn't the same players, then its snapshots as well.  And it is often more difficult for new players to immerse themselves because they don't have any of the underlying assumptions you bring to the table from the last set of stories.  My players tend to talk about and remember worlds that engaged them, not ones that had a history outside of their play.  If your attachement to the status quo of your world is more important than your players and their story, your game may suffer for it without you ever realizing it.


 

How this is still an argument continues to puzzles me.

Why are the players playing in your game, if they don't want to play in your game?

DM: "I'm running a game with no magic, just psionics."

Player: "I'm going to play a wizard!"

*facepalm*

Yes yes, you can accomodate them by letting them play a psionic character and writing the name "Weezarrd" at the top of the character sheet. But the players very first action EVEN BEFORE THE GAME STARTS is to monkey-wrench the DMs plans and spoil the genre he's going for. That does not bode well for the rest of the game.
How this is still an argument continues to puzzles me.

Why are the players playing in your game, if they don't want to play in your game?

DM: "I'm running a game with no magic, just psionics."

Player: "I'm going to play a wizard!"

*facepalm*

Yes yes, you can accomodate them by letting them play a psionic character and writing the name "Weezarrd" at the top of the character sheet. But the players very first action EVEN BEFORE THE GAME STARTS is to monkey-wrench the DMs plans and spoil the genre he's going for. That does not bode well for the rest of the game.



Why is the player the one throwing the monkey wrench when the DM is the one who arbitrarily limited concepts in the name of "his world".

Because if you have to keep resetting the world to take into account new ideas (as opposed to ideas that can be organically inserted and maintain continuity), then you don't have a world.

Sure you do. You don't have a world that every single player experiences the exact same way, but so what?

No matter how much your players like your world, it won't be one they're talking about twenty years later.

I think you're confused. I don't change it for different campaigns with the same players. I change it for different campaigns with different players. Each group of players has their own continuity. It's actually not that hard to keep track of.

It won't have stories organically created by the exact same characters in the exact same circumstances leading to continuous NPC presence and a rich history.

It most certainly will as far as each individual group is concerned.

I don't run snapshots. I run sagas...

What's the point of running sagas only for yourself, across groups of players that will never interact with one another? No, I run sagas too. They're just group-specific.

If you want to run snapshots so some player doesn't have to deal with the horror of picking his -second- choice instead of first...

See, this is the kind of condescending, dismissive bull that I was talking about. Players not getting to play their first choice is not why I run my games the way that I do. It has little to nothing to do with the player not getting to play what they want to play. That is entirely missing the point. I repeat that over and over but some people just can't get it through their heads.

Why are the players playing in your game, if they don't want to play in your game?

Some people are friends. My friend may be running a really crappy game that I don't actually want to play in all that much, but I still do and figure out how to enjoy it because I'd like to spend time and have fun with my friend. 

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
"If your attachement to the status quo of your world is more important than your players and their story, your game may suffer for it without you ever realizing it."

This is another interesting point and worth addressing.

If I can be excused for the presumption of speaking for an entire category of players, I think I can say without too much fear of contradiction that 100% of the people in this discussion on the "The DM should enforce their vision" genuinely believe that doing so results in a better, more enjoyable play experience for the players as a whole.

You may argue that we are wrong, but at least extend us the courtesy of believing our motivations are good. 
If there was more relevant information, then I would have given it. Instead, people want to ignore it and make up new scenarios with new background information that assumes the player is actually just being a jerk than look at what actually happened.



It may simply be a poor illustration.

 Yes, that's my point. That people are defensively injecting their own things into it rather than just taking it as it is just further demonstrates that problem.


No they are reading the passage for what it is.  There is nothing defensive about it. 

 Even though the player themselves in the example says that that wasn't the actual problem, which everybody seems so happy to ignore.



Yes as the scenario is constructed, the player is making a poor decision based on assumptions garnered from one decision point. 

 Compromise is a two-way street. It doesn't matter how willing to compromise a player is if the DM isn't.


So the player made another assumption then?  That the DM is not willing to compromise.  The DM only said he didn't allow gnomes.  He didn't say he is not open to compromises.  Since though, the player jumped to conclusions based on the DM banning a race because he didn't like it, an oppurtunity for compromise was not sought.  Really I see very little for which the player should be commended. 

Which is what happened, and people still try to twist it to make it seem like it was the player being the dick.



No.  The player found out the only reason the race was banned was because the DM didn't like it.  Since the player has judged that reason insufficient, he was ignoring the DM's feelings on the matter.  It is an unrealistic portrayal that really does not serve to prove the point.

If we were talking about the gaming life of two cardboard cutouts, maybe it would work.



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