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...

If a setting (Created by a DM, interpreted by a DM or adopted from other sources) does not include a 'common' D&D race, asking to play it (at least without a very very good in game reason that makes it much more fun for everyone) is just as unreasonable as asking to be allowed to play something else off-setting (like a cyborg-mutant-ninja from Denmark).

The DM is not a jerk for blocking such requests, on the contrary it is not just his right, its his responsiblity to do so.

Jut because some race or class appears in some sourcebook somewhere does not mean anything, not even if its PHB1

The same goes for other setting/game disruption...  
DM: I would like to play a game where everyone starts out as extremely poor street urchins and fights to survive and escape their situation in a dark fantasy-metropolis.

PC: I want to play either a paladin hailing from a famous, ancient and rich noble family, or a shardmind psion!

DM: No, go away....  

Players who dont even try to grasp the setting and find something within it just makes the game less fun for everyone (not just the DM).

Asking to be an exception to your 'not allowed' list does not automaticaly equate to asking to exist abouve the power curve for your campaign.



I never said it did; just, in most of my experience, it has been that way. Also, as was said earlier, if I trust someone because I've played with them for a while, I'm more likely to believe that they aren't looking for a mechanical advantage, and are after something else from the role. If they're new, I'm less likely to believe that.

To be clear - I'm not saying that new players are all automatically cheaters, or dirty powergamers, or anything of the sort. I'm just saying that in my experience, I've found it better for the game as a whole (regardless of game) to err on the side of caution and relax boundaries later than the other way around. 

I think its distasteful and selfish to reject something out of hand rather than to try and work to create a memorable campaign.



That assumes two things. Notably:

1. That I just reject things out of hand as a matter of course (I don't; remember the questions I ask myself that I mentioned earlier?)

2. That my players and I can't create a memorable campaign with standard fare. I assure you, we can. (Remember the part I said where my group is mostly full of actors? Yeah, I have no fear that we can each bring something to each role/character that others hadn't thought of, and would make each character - and by extension the campaign - truly memorable.)


Are you incapable as a DM of counter proposing something that satisfies the disires of the player requesting X but doesn't provide a mechanical benefit over and above everyone else? 



I am entirely capable of it, and nothing I've said suggests not providing a counter proposal. In fact, I'm fairly certain I specifically said at some point in this thread that one should do that. If not, I'm saying it now. Are you capable of defending your point without resorting to personal attacks?


If you had a special attachement to that Lodge, and it was generally banned, I would hope that a GM would encourage request it and find a way to work it into the game if doing so would make you more involved in the game.



Okay, slight tangent time, because to understand this portion of the discussion, you need to understand that particular club and game, at least to some degree (actually explaining all of it in detail would just take up far too much time).

First off, there are "levels" of officers in the club, from the local to the Global level, in two chains. One of those chains consists of Storytellers, and they are in charge of all things game-related (much like a DM), but with areas of jurisdiction equal to their position. For instance, in the United States, there is enough room to have eight Regional Storytellers, each with ST jurisdiction over several states. They then have assistants, which handle certain things within their purview to assist the Primary Officer (Regional Storyteller, or RST).

The Global level officers decide what things from which books the club is using, and adapt or change any rules from those books to fit the paradigm of the global game (as the books aren't - and shouldn't be - written to tailor to a game style only a small portion of the fanbase actually plays). I know firsthand how that job works, as I've been a Global-level officer in that club three times (twice in one position, once as an assistant to that position). I've also spent time as a Storyteller in the club at every level - Venue, Domain, Regional, National, and Global. I say this so you can get an idea that I actually know what I'm talking about, as I have experience at various levels, often putting in enough time answering emails, player requests, interacting with players, crafting story/plot, working on rules, conferring with Storytellers at all levels, etc - enough time that it's almost a second full-time job.

When the book containing the Lodge in question came out, I immediately fell in love with the Lodge. I didn't have a character at that point that was a fit for the Lodge, but I loved the flavor and the story behind it. I was an Assistant Regional Storyteller at the time, specifically for the Werewolf: the Forsaken game (actually, probably 90% of my ST duties in the club were Forsaken-based, I'd say, although I did spend some time as a Domain Storyteller, which is a primary officer not bound to any given game line). Global actually requested input as far down as Regional (normally they only confer with the various National-level officers).

My recommendation for the Lodge? It should be made NPC only.

Despite how much I loved the Lodge, I felt that with a strict reading of it, it was inherently antagonistic in some ways, and would not be a good fit for the game at that time, at least in PC hands.

Ultimately, Global ruled differently (I suppose not everyone felt the same as me), and allowed it for PC's, albeit at a higher approval level. (There are levels of approval; the more rare/powerful/whatever a thing is, the higher the approval level, meaning the more Storytellers you need to convince that the thing fits for your character and you'll be responsible with it, etc etc., in a nutshell.)

Fast forward two years, and I was still an ARST, but my previous character had died, so I made a new one expressly for that Lodge. I wrote up an extensive backstory, justified why he'd be a worthwhile and beneficial addition to the game, answered all questions posed to me, and ultimately got to play the character. Things turned out fairly well with him. But even for all that, the character was ultimately something allowed in the game; it was just restricted. Had I wanted something not allowed (and I have, on a Changeling: the Lost character), it's simply not allowed. In that case, I emailed the Global ST, asked questions as to why, got an answer, asked if I could have the thing for cosmetic purposes only (with zero mechanics behind it, as they were the reason it was disallowed), and never got a response.

So I shrugged and went back to playing my character like I had been. I didn't throw a fit, or quit the game over it (I did that later, and for very different reasons). Likewise, I didn't insist that the game change to fit my desires. All of those things I find immature, selfish, and unwanted in my games. YMMV.


I once played an Archivist who was agnostic approaching athiestic.  She was however a collector of lore and had a quiet contemplative nature that allowed her to understand the 'technology' of the magic inside the religious ritual.   The general rules for the setting required a divine patron for all divine spell casting.  The DM waved that requirement for my character, and the campaign was better for it.



Good for you. I'm glad it worked out - but that sounds, honestly, like a rather minor deviation. Not all such deviations are as minor, nor as gentle on the conceits of the game world.


Not every special request is game breaking.  Many that seem imbalanced at first have a compromise that validates the player's desires while not disturbing the setting or game balance . . . if you bother to look for it.



I'm well aware, and there you go sneaking in a personal attack again. Poor form. I had hoped for a better level of discourse. Ah well.

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.

Players who dont even try to grasp the setting...

So much complaining about this and not nearly enough about DMs who don't even try to grasp what players want from a setting.

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'm well aware, and there you go sneaking in a personal attack again. Poor form. I had hoped for a better level of discourse. Ah well.




Nothing was intended as a personal attack.  What was intended was an emphasis on engaging the player as a first line response and enforcing limitations only when a worthwhile compromise isn't available. 

DM's have included reasons such as I don't like X or 'my world doesn't include Y".   I'm suggetint that such a DM ask the questions, are therer qualities of X that will engage may player and things I can change that will make it palatable to me?   If my wolrd hasn't included Y, can it now?  Is my history of and view of internal consistance of the game world more important than this iteration of the world with these particular players and their characters?

Yes the DM will get to make the final ruling.  And yes the player can accept the ruling or walk.  I just think the DM should be guided towards trying to engage wherever possible.
People generally do have the right to be a jerk. What they don't have is the right not to get called out on it.




The DM stating that Elves do not exist in X campaign setting is not a jerk, that campaign setting simply does not have elves, the next one might be only elves.

A jerk is the chick/guy who stamps her/his feet and demands to play an elf, after accepting to play in a campaign world with no elves. 

Nothing was intended as a personal attack.  What was intended was an emphasis on engaging the player as a first line response and enforcing limitations only when a worthwhile compromise isn't available. 

DM's have included reasons such as I don't like X or 'my world doesn't include Y".   I'm suggetint that such a DM ask the questions, are therer qualities of X that will engage may player and things I can change that will make it palatable to me?   If my wolrd hasn't included Y, can it now?  Is my history of and view of internal consistance of the game world more important than this iteration of the world with these particular players and their characters?

Yes the DM will get to make the final ruling.  And yes the player can accept the ruling or walk.  I just think the DM should be guided towards trying to engage wherever possible.



Well, as I've said at least once (given that I said so in my previous post), and perhaps twice now, yes, obviously the person in charge of the game (DM/ST/GM/Judge/Referee/Director/what-have-you) should engage with the player.

However, there are times where there really isn't anything other to say than "no," and learning when that is only comes with experience. And that usually by screwing up or getting burned by someone wanting to "get one over" on you.

There's a reason I ask myself my three questions (which your middle paragraph is a lengthier way of saying the same thing as the first two of them); it's all come from 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.

Players who dont even try to grasp the setting...

So much complaining about this and not nearly enough about DMs who don't even try to grasp what players want from a setting.



Players simply does not know as much about the setting and coming adventure/campaign as the DM does, neither do they have the same responsibility to make things fun. If the thing the player wants woud actually fit perfectly into the setting if seen in the right perspective.. then its easy, just make the DM see this and it will be allowed.

But most of the time, this kind of thing occurs with players who have not in the slightest paid attention to the setting or any directions the DM gives.

Even worse is the player type that creates their 'awesome character concept' eintirely by themselves before even hearing about the setting...  it is annoying, disruptive and ruins the game for everyone.

DM: This world is going to be all about...
Player X: I have already created this ubercool half-drow paladin! I also have this huge backstory! Its awesome...

DM: Yea...  this really looks awesome...  quite a lot of work too..     it does not fit the adventure in the slightest.. but I can't really destroy all that work or your entusiasm...     so that now leaves me three choices...

A - Let you play your dissonant character in my planned adventure and setting... maybe it can be accomodated with a lot of brute force...  and that will make the game and setting 45% as fun to all but you.
B - Scrap the setting and plans alltogether and either let everyone create whatever char they want and try to puzzle something togrther from the mismatched pieces... (25% as fun) or let everything revolve around that characters backstory (15% as fun)...
C - Let that guy DM instead with that char as some NPC...

Players who dont even try to grasp the setting...

So much complaining about this and not nearly enough about DMs who don't even try to grasp what players want from a setting.



Players simply does not know as much about the setting and coming adventure/campaign as the DM does, neither do they have the same responsibility to make things fun. If the thing the player wants woud actually fit perfectly into the setting if seen in the right perspective.. then its easy, just make the DM see this and it will be allowed.

But most of the time, this kind of thing occurs with players who have not in the slightest paid attention to the setting or any directions the DM gives.

Even worse is the player type that creates their 'awesome character concept' eintirely by themselves before even hearing about the setting...  it is annoying, disruptive and ruins the game for everyone.

DM: This world is going to be all about...
Player X: I have already created this ubercool half-drow paladin! I also have this huge backstory! Its awesome...

DM: Yea...  this really looks awesome...  quite a lot of work too..     it does not fit the adventure in the slightest.. but I can't really destroy all that work or your entusiasm...     so that now leaves me three choices...

A - Let you play your dissonant character in my planned adventure and setting... maybe it can be accomodated with a lot of brute force...  and that will make the game and setting 45% as fun to all but you.
B - Scrap the setting and plans alltogether and either let everyone create whatever char they want and try to puzzle something togrther from the mismatched pieces... (25% as fun) or let everything revolve around that characters backstory (15% as fun)...
C - Let that guy DM instead with that char as some NPC...




what about

D - Make concessions and adaptations for that character so that his charcter isn't disruptive but he is more engaged that he might have otherwise been  110% as fun

E - Build from the ground up to engage all of the players and use their input to make sure everyone feels passionate about the game and the  campaign 150% as fun.

I've never run a truly all anthro campaign before (though it sounds like fun).  The closest I ever came to that was running an all werewolf campaign in Ravenloft.



That sounds fun, but then, if I'm going to run a werewolf game, I'm going to run Werewolf: the Forsaken. Maybe that's just me, though. ;)


I've never played it.  I played vampire a few times, but I just don't care for dice pools.  I kept trying to homebrew a pools => bonus conversion that kept the number of successes.  I might try again now that I have a better model to compare that to in the cinematic unisystem games (BtVS, Army of Darkness, etc.)

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.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I completely disagree.  In fact, I did exactly that in my last campaign.  Not only did it NOT ruin the game, it actually made for a really cool plot line, one that I would never have thought about.

And yes, they were the only divine character in the entire world.

If you want to run a DS game with a PC cleric who is the only divine character in the world, awesome.  Go nuts.  But that is not a standard DS game, and if I tell you I'm running a standard DS game, you should not expect me to drastically alter the world just so you can be special.

I wouldn't expect YOU to, because you have made it very clear that you wouldn't.

But even if I was running a "standard" DS game, I would still allow a single player to make a cleric, and I would not think of that as drastically altering the game world.


Actually, if you think about it, the occasional cleric actually reinforces Dark Sun.  Because, even when legitimate divine power manages to leak in, the people are so disillusioned by their faith in godlessness and the crapsack world they live in that real divine power can't gain any footholds or lay down any roots.  It's like dangling hope in front of someone who's so jaded they only see it as a trick.  It's practically definitive of the bleak nature of DS.

I agree.  Nothing is quite so horrible as knowing the truth and at the same time knowing that no one will believe you.  I think it is very fitting for a Dark Sun game, but not everyone sees it that way.  No worries though, to each his own!


Agreed.  That's part of what makes D&D so rich is that we each find our own themes in the settings and our own ways of expressing them.

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.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I completely disagree.  In fact, I did exactly that in my last campaign.  Not only did it NOT ruin the game, it actually made for a really cool plot line, one that I would never have thought about.

And yes, they were the only divine character in the entire world.

If you want to run a DS game with a PC cleric who is the only divine character in the world, awesome.  Go nuts.  But that is not a standard DS game, and if I tell you I'm running a standard DS game, you should not expect me to drastically alter the world just so you can be special.

I wouldn't expect YOU to, because you have made it very clear that you wouldn't.

But even if I was running a "standard" DS game, I would still allow a single player to make a cleric, and I would not think of that as drastically altering the game world.


Actually, if you think about it, the occasional cleric actually reinforces Dark Sun.  Because, even when legitimate divine power manages to leak in, the people are so disillusioned by their faith in godlessness and the crapsack world they live in that real divine power can't gain any footholds or lay down any roots.  It's like dangling hope in front of someone who's so jaded they only see it as a trick.  It's practically definitive of the bleak nature of DS.

I agree.  Nothing is quite so horrible as knowing the truth and at the same time knowing that no one will believe you.  I think it is very fitting for a Dark Sun game, but not everyone sees it that way.  No worries though, to each his own!


Agreed.  That's part of what makes D&D so rich is that we each find our own themes in the settings and our own ways of expressing them.




Bingo, it is up to you, how to embrace someone else's original campaign setting.

I think as long as the DM is upfront and clear on what is allowed or not allowed in his campaign, he is not being a jerk.   I think it is being a jerk to say he is a jerk.   No one is every forced to play in his game.   He has an idea and he wants to play that idea.   Someone else can find something fun to do in that universe or they cannot.   If they cannot then moving along is best.

A D&D campaign is a serious time commitment.  So it's perfectly reasonable to seek people of like mind.  

I also think that those most committed to their worlds are often the very best DM's.  They are passionate about it and often deliver the best play experience for those seeking that type of game.  

 
I think as long as the DM is upfront and clear on what is allowed or not allowed in his campaign, he is not being a jerk.   I think it is being a jerk to say he is a jerk.   No one is every forced to play in his game.   He has an idea and he wants to play that idea.   Someone else can find something fun to do in that universe or they cannot.   If they cannot then moving along is best.

A D&D campaign is a serious time commitment.  So it's perfectly reasonable to seek people of like mind.  

I also think that those most committed to their worlds are often the very best DM's.  They are passionate about it and often deliver the best play experience for those seeking that type of game.  

 




Yep, one word: Integrity.

I've never played it.  I played vampire a few times, but I just don't care for dice pools.  I kept trying to homebrew a pools => bonus conversion that kept the number of successes.  I might try again now that I have a better model to compare that to in the cinematic unisystem games (BtVS, Army of Darkness, etc.)



Don't care for dice pools? Blasphemy!

I kid, I kid.

Seriously, there is a book called Monte Cook's World of Darkness, which basically shifts the World of Darkness dice pool mechanics to d20 rules. It has a lot of setting material that isn't strictly "base WoD," but I doubt it would be difficult to just tear the rules out and use them with the existing setting from Werewolf: the Forsaken (or any WoD game, really). I'm not 100% sure on that as, while I own the book (bought it because I got into a collector mindset where I wasn't going to be happy until I had every nWoD book they'd printed), I've never actually used it. I like the dice pool mechanic more than I like the d20 mechanics, so it's not appealed to me on that level. But it may make a useful tool for someone like you, since you're the opposite (and that's totally fine, of course!).

The downside is that it would be an extra book to buy, plus the extra work to convert stuff to d20. So, up to you really.

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.


I've never run a truly all anthro campaign before (though it sounds like fun).  The closest I ever came to that was running an all werewolf campaign in Ravenloft.



That sounds fun, but then, if I'm going to run a werewolf game, I'm going to run Werewolf: the Forsaken. Maybe that's just me, though. ;)


I've never played it.  I played vampire a few times, but I just don't care for dice pools.  I kept trying to homebrew a pools => bonus conversion that kept the number of successes.  I might try again now that I have a better model to compare that to in the cinematic unisystem games (BtVS, Army of Darkness, etc.)



You could try the D:tD raise mechanic.  (D:tD gets there via a summed dice pool, but in the end, the difference between summed dice pool and die + modifier is probability, not mechanics).

Basically, checks have a DC, and for every full 5 points by which you beat the DC you get a raise.  Raises are good.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
I think as long as the DM is upfront and clear on what is allowed or not allowed in his campaign, he is not being a jerk.   I think it is being a jerk to say he is a jerk.   No one is every forced to play in his game.   He has an idea and he wants to play that idea.   Someone else can find something fun to do in that universe or they cannot.   If they cannot then moving along is best.

A D&D campaign is a serious time commitment.  So it's perfectly reasonable to seek people of like mind.  

I also think that those most committed to their worlds are often the very best DM's.  They are passionate about it and often deliver the best play experience for those seeking that type of game.  

 



Exactly. I'm working on a new campaign world right now (literally; I have my Scrivener project open in another window - working on pantheons today), and I'm sure that when I'm done with it, I'll be excited to run it. I also expect little-to-no argument from my players, because not only are they fairly open-minded about new things, I intentionally made the world a bit broad so as to fit a wide range of concepts. I even have orcs and minotaurs as races in the one nation (haven't decided if they'll be available as PC races yet, though).

I've been using the 2nd Edition World Builder's Guidebook in the creation, in the idea that DDN will be something fully workable for us in the end, and the book still shows me why I think it's the best supplement ever created for this game. Regardless of edition, it's still a very useful supplement, and one that I'm getting plenty of mileage out of, even 18 years or so after buying it.

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.

I think the conflict here is being caused be a misunderstanding.  Some DMs are saying that they impose restrictions and don't appreciate players who don't respect those restrictions.  Other people read this as:

DM (Bob): I am going to start a new campaign.
Player (Frank, loves Elves, as everyone knows): Awesome.  I've been wanting to make an Elf Druid.
DM: Oh, sorry Frank.  In this campaign all the elves are dead.
Player: Wait, what?  Why?  You know I like them the best, Bob!
DM: I can't tell you why.  Just trust me, and make something else.
Player: But I have been really looking forward to this character!  Can't you make an exception?
DM: You are such an entitled brat!  Why do you always have to get 100% of what you want?
etc.

When in reality I think it is more like this:

DM: Guys, I am going to start a new campaign.  The setting is a Dark Ages world, low magic.   Here is a list of the approved Classes and Races.
Players: Awesome!  We will email you our PCs once we pick them.
...Later...
DM (reading email): Hey...what the?  I thought I told you guys no elves OR wizards!
Player: But I want to make one!
DM: So why didn't you say anything when I introduced the campaign?

I haven't seen ANYONE say that they would ban something that one of their players liked and then say, "Sorry, too bad!"  I think we can all agree that would be a bit of a &%$# move.  What people have been saying is they will design a world, possibly with banned races and classes, and then say, "Hey, guys, who wants to play in this world?"  After you sign on, complaining about the restrictions is a bit rude.  It is like agreeing to go to a Dim Sum restaurant and then spending the whole meal complaining about how much you hate Dim Sum.

Seriously, there is a book called Monte Cook's World of Darkness, which basically shifts the World of Darkness dice pool mechanics to d20 rules. It




Emmmmmmm... yeah, I tried that one and... nah...

D&D is by far my favorite RPG system, the one I play most above all others, but when it comes to Vampire the Masquerade, Werewolf the Apocalypse and other such WoD games, I think the original system they developed for them is just perfect for the game's proposal. It just seems to capture the feel of that particular type of game much better than any conversion to D&D. There is a "deadliness" and "powerlessness" in that system (even though your character there is supposedly a powerful unnatural being) that just perfectly captures the feel of horror the game is supposed to have.

Now if we're going for Horror campaigns using D&D rules, Monte Cook's book still wouldn't be my first choice for recomendation. There is one old boxed setting for that which is just absolutely brilliant! I mean, sensational, for this kind of game. And it's called Masque of the Red Death.

I just can't express how great and well-made this campaign setting is. If you haven't ever checked it out, do it! It'll be worth it. And if you're into 2e AD&D games give it a try! ;)
I think the conflict here is being caused be a misunderstanding.  Some DMs are saying that they impose restrictions and don't appreciate players who don't respect those restrictions.  Other people read this as:

DM (Bob): I am going to start a new campaign.
Player (Frank, loves Elves, as everyone knows): Awesome.  I've been wanting to make an Elf Druid.
DM: Oh, sorry Frank.  In this campaign all the elves are dead.
Player: Wait, what?  Why?  You know I like them the best, Bob!
DM: I can't tell you why.  Just trust me, and make something else.
Player: But I have been really looking forward to this character!  Can't you make an exception?
DM: You are such an entitled brat!  Why do you always have to get 100% of what you want?
etc.

When in reality I think it is more like this:

DM: Guys, I am going to start a new campaign.  The setting is a Dark Ages world, low magic.   Here is a list of the approved Classes and Races.
Players: Awesome!  We will email you our PCs once we pick them.
...Later...
DM (reading email): Hey...what the?  I thought I told you guys no elves OR wizards!
Player: But I want to make one!
DM: So why didn't you say anything when I introduced the campaign?

I haven't seen ANYONE say that they would ban something that one of their players liked and then say, "Sorry, too bad!"  I think we can all agree that would be a bit of a &%$# move.  What people have been saying is they will design a world, possibly with banned races and classes, and then say, "Hey, guys, who wants to play in this world?"  After you sign on, complaining about the restrictions is a bit rude.  It is like agreeing to go to a Dim Sum restaurant and then spending the whole meal complaining about how much you hate Dim Sum.




And that there, is how it is, nice.


Do DMs and players not talk anymore...?

> DM: Guys, I am going to start a new campaign.
> The setting is a Dark Ages world, low magic.
> Here is a list of the approved Classes and Races.

Honestly, I feel that this actually IS where the problem often lies. The opening line should really look more like:

DM: I'm going to start a new campaign. What sort of characters do you all want to play and what sort of things would you like to see included?

And then the DM builds the setting around the answers.


This also guards against what is, in my experience, the biggest cause of conflict: would-be novelists getting hung up about the pure artistic genius that is "their world", and that they've invariably spent years if not decades working on (uphill, both ways!), and how dare the plebs (aka players) think the game is supposed to be about them, etc, etc.
The DMs in my group generally run with a mindset of "The setting doesn't normally support x, y, or z. But if you can explain how it's possible/would work, I'll allow it."

For example, we ran a horror campaign based kinda based off Resident Evil and as a result we were all "humans" fluff-wise. mechanics-wise, we could be anything as long as it could be reasonably justified(I played a Minotaur Warden. Minotaur was me being a sterotypical club bouncer-type person with a thick skull. Warden was me being one of NotUmbrella's test subjects, explaining the mild shapeshifting abilities.)
> DM: Guys, I am going to start a new campaign. > The setting is a Dark Ages world, low magic. > Here is a list of the approved Classes and Races. Honestly, I feel that this actually IS where the problem often lies. The opening line should really look more like: DM: I'm going to start a new campaign. What sort of characters do you all want to play and what sort of things would you like to see included? And then the DM builds the setting around the answers./quote]




Please; for one pitch, fine.
> DM: Guys, I am going to start a new campaign. > The setting is a Dark Ages world, low magic. > Here is a list of the approved Classes and Races.

Honestly, I feel that this actually IS where the problem often lies.

The opening line should really look more like: DM: I'm going to start a new campaign. What sort of characters do you all want to play and what sort of things would you like to see included? And then the DM builds the setting around the answers.



That's just not how most DMs operate and in my experience leads to crappy campaigns the DM really isn't enthusiastic to run. While it's perfectly fine for the PCs to suggest things, I wouldn't want to DM a setting that I'm not excited about.

The DM is the one who has to come up with ideas every session, so he's the one that should have a setting that he really likes.

As a player even if I'd rather play a pirate game, I'd rather have an interesting and exciting game of knights rather than a lackluster and boring pirate game.
The way a few have portrayed it (such as Emerikol) is:

DM: "Hey guys, here's the campaign idea!" *list of details and concepts* "Put your character ideas together, roll 'em up and lets go to it."
-after a bit of time-
Player1: "You talked about __________ being an important part of the campaign. I've been working on an idea I think is really cool involving _________. The gist of it is my character is the result of ______ and ______ interacting, which forms ________, fitting in with ___________ because __________________ and ________________. So how this is represented is by playing a (race)(class) using these *feats/profociencies/themes/backgrounds* and his personality is basically ________________."
DM: "Hmm, what? A (race)(class), isn't on the list. Pick something else."
Player1: "Ummm, okay, may I ask why?" (may not have even been specifically banned, just not on preferred list)
DM: "Because I didn't put them on the world and it's my world. Either play something I want you to or leave."

Part of it could just well be the vagueries of text.
The DMs in my group generally run with a mindset of "The setting doesn't normally support x, y, or z. But if you can explain how it's possible/would work, I'll allow it."

For example, we ran a horror campaign based kinda based off Resident Evil and as a result we were all "humans" fluff-wise. mechanics-wise, we could be anything as long as it could be reasonably justified(I played a Minotaur Warden. Minotaur was me being a sterotypical club bouncer-type person with a thick skull. Warden was me being one of NotUmbrella's test subjects, explaining the mild shapeshifting abilities.)




Which can also translate into: if your whining and contrivance, and dashing all hopes of campaign setting integrity get you what you want, we will allow your little wank-off character.


The DMs are the one who outright told us "If you can justify it, it's in."

That said, I fail to see how a Minotaur Warden is any kind of wank-off character.




In my Charlemagne era campaign it is, and you would be mocked and ridiculed for suggesting such juvenility. 

Emmmmmmm... yeah, I tried that one and... nah...



Well, like I said, I have it, but I haven't really read it. I have every nWoD book at this point (save the entirety of the God-Machine Chronicle book; I only have the free rules update part currently), so I have quite a few that I've not read - most of the Mage and Promethean lines, several Vampire and "blue line" books....although I've read all of the Changeling: the Lost and Werewolf: the Forsaken books (actually at least twice in the latter case, I'd say).

D&D is by far my favorite RPG system, the one I play most above all others, but when it comes to Vampire the Masquerade, Werewolf the Apocalypse and other such WoD games, I think the original system they developed for them is just perfect for the game's proposal. It just seems to capture the feel of that particular type of game much better than any conversion to D&D. There is a "deadliness" and "powerlessness" in that system (even though your character there is supposedly a powerful unnatural being) that just perfectly captures the feel of horror the game is supposed to have.



In regards to D&D, I'm the opposite. It's actually probably one of my least favorite systems in many ways. Not enough that I hate it or won't play it of course (or else I wouldn't be here), but I just have so many problems with it. I don't care for classes, or levels, or alignment really. I'll put up with them because I know D&D and have plenty of materials from 2nd edition through 3.5. I just don't have time to learn an entirely new large system for sword-and-sorcery style gaming. I just prefer classless, dice pool systems these days (can you tell why I'm a World of Darkness fan?).

As far as capturing a game's feel, I think White Wolf (and now Onyx Path Publishing) has historically been very good at that. I mean, it's a big focus for those guys, and I think it shows in the final products. Each one has its own brand of horror, too - the "powerlessness" from Vampire: the Masquerade, the "fighting a war you can't hope to win" from Werewolf: the Apocalypse, the "did you escape, or were you set free? Who are you really?" from Changeling: the Lost, the "performing duties to protect others because nobody else will pick them up" from Werewolf: the Forsaken, or even the "hiding from and foiling a presumably all-knowing entity in charge of the world" from the new Demon game coming out this year.

So I absolutely agree with you - just, for folks who don't like dice pool mechanics for whatever reason, the system prevents them from getting involved in what I feel are otherwise stellar games (well, "otherwise" for those who dislike dice pools; I find I enjoy the games just fine partly because of the system - for nWoD, that is. I'm less of a fan of the oWoD system at this point).

Now if we're going for Horror campaigns using D&D rules, Monte Cook's book still wouldn't be my first choice for recomendation. There is one old boxed setting for that which is just absolutely brilliant! I mean, sensational, for this kind of game. And it's called Masque of the Red Death.

I just can't express how great and well-made this campaign setting is. If you haven't ever checked it out, do it! It'll be worth it. And if you're into 2e AD&D games give it a try! ;)



One of the box sets I never ended up getting, sadly, and boy do I regret it. I did get the Forgotten Realms setting (the grey box), Ravenloft, and Council of Wyrms, but I never did get Masque. I've read through it, but I've never played it. Maybe I can find it somewhere - I have a game store near me that specializes in old, out-of-print stuff. Perhaps I'll look there.

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.

> DM: Guys, I am going to start a new campaign. > The setting is a Dark Ages world, low magic. > Here is a list of the approved Classes and Races.

Honestly, I feel that this actually IS where the problem often lies.

The opening line should really look more like: DM: I'm going to start a new campaign. What sort of characters do you all want to play and what sort of things would you like to see included? And then the DM builds the setting around the answers.



That's just not how most DMs operate and in my experience leads to crappy campaigns the DM really isn't enthusiastic to run. While it's perfectly fine for the PCs to suggest things, I wouldn't want to DM a setting that I'm not excited about.

The DM is the one who has to come up with ideas every session, so he's the one that should have a setting that he really likes.

As a player even if I'd rather play a pirate game, I'd rather have an interesting and exciting game of knights rather than a lackluster and boring pirate game.




Conversely in my experience your way leads to uninterested players and DM burnout. Energy is a group thing. The more the DM involves the players, the more players are excited and energize the DM. It's a positive cycle where everyone is consistently active.

Emmmmmmm... yeah, I tried that one and... nah...



Well, like I said, I have it, but I haven't really read it. I have every nWoD book at this point (save the entirety of the God-Machine Chronicle book; I only have the free rules update part currently), so I have quite a few that I've not read - most of the Mage and Promethean lines, several Vampire and "blue line" books....although I've read all of the Changeling: the Lost and Werewolf: the Forsaken books (actually at least twice in the latter case, I'd say).

D&D is by far my favorite RPG system, the one I play most above all others, but when it comes to Vampire the Masquerade, Werewolf the Apocalypse and other such WoD games, I think the original system they developed for them is just perfect for the game's proposal. It just seems to capture the feel of that particular type of game much better than any conversion to D&D. There is a "deadliness" and "powerlessness" in that system (even though your character there is supposedly a powerful unnatural being) that just perfectly captures the feel of horror the game is supposed to have.



In regards to D&D, I'm the opposite. It's actually probably one of my least favorite systems in many ways. Not enough that I hate it or won't play it of course (or else I wouldn't be here), but I just have so many problems with it. I don't care for classes, or levels, or alignment really. I'll put up with them because I know D&D and have plenty of materials from 2nd edition through 3.5. I just don't have time to learn an entirely new large system for sword-and-sorcery style gaming. I just prefer classless, dice pool systems these days (can you tell why I'm a World of Darkness fan?).

As far as capturing a game's feel, I think White Wolf (and now Onyx Path Publishing) has historically been very good at that. I mean, it's a big focus for those guys, and I think it shows in the final products. Each one has its own brand of horror, too - the "powerlessness" from Vampire: the Masquerade, the "fighting a war you can't hope to win" from Werewolf: the Apocalypse, the "did you escape, or were you set free? Who are you really?" from Changeling: the Lost, the "performing duties to protect others because nobody else will pick them up" from Werewolf: the Forsaken, or even the "hiding from and foiling a presumably all-knowing entity in charge of the world" from the new Demon game coming out this year.

So I absolutely agree with you - just, for folks who don't like dice pool mechanics for whatever reason, the system prevents them from getting involved in what I feel are otherwise stellar games (well, "otherwise" for those who dislike dice pools; I find I enjoy the games just fine partly because of the system - for nWoD, that is. I'm less of a fan of the oWoD system at this point).

Now if we're going for Horror campaigns using D&D rules, Monte Cook's book still wouldn't be my first choice for recomendation. There is one old boxed setting for that which is just absolutely brilliant! I mean, sensational, for this kind of game. And it's called Masque of the Red Death.

I just can't express how great and well-made this campaign setting is. If you haven't ever checked it out, do it! It'll be worth it. And if you're into 2e AD&D games give it a try! ;)



One of the box sets I never ended up getting, sadly, and boy do I regret it. I did get the Forgotten Realms setting (the grey box), Ravenloft, and Council of Wyrms, but I never did get Masque. I've read through it, but I've never played it. Maybe I can find it somewhere - I have a game store near me that specializes in old, out-of-print stuff. Perhaps I'll look there.




Very cool., the only problem, for me, is that they advertised with more Cthulhu action, but did not deliver with the product (like a whole treatment, too much repetition of what we got in regular Ravenloft). 
> Honestly, I feel that this actually IS where the problem often lies. The opening line should really look more like: DM: I'm going to start a new campaign. What sort of characters do you all want to play and what sort of things would you like to see included? And then the DM builds the setting around the answers.



Which means every game would turn into a hodgepodge and the DM either get to spend most of the time connecting the pieces. Sure, those games are ok on occasion, especially if the players are actually into worldbuilding (I have yet to encounter a gaming group that with enthusiasm shares the worldbuilding task...).

Unless players out there are in general very different than in my experience, 90% of the worldbuilding lies on the DM. And if the DM is going to do all that hard work, it is better if he get to at least spend his effort where it counts and do something he believes in.

the biggest cause of conflict: would-be novelists getting hung up about the pure artistic genius that is "their world"



A player of mine voicing sentiments like this about DMing would be thrown out of the game, seriously.
That or do it themselves. I am not going to waste free time on such people.

how dare the plebs (aka players) think the game is supposed to be about them, etc, etc.



Thats the thing some players do not understand. A really good campaign is mostly about the players and the DM knows this.
If the DM suggests a starting place, classes or races to play, suggests backgrounds, describes a setting etc...  
then that's likely because he has thought up some really cool plot hooks and ways to involve the player characters in interesting ways.

Players that goes contrary to that in order to 'make it more about them' misses the entire point and forces the DM to either reject them or create a campaign that will be less interesting for said player (and in worst case everyone).

If only these players would understand that if they would have cool ideas WITHIN the DMs planned setting, the DM will be overjoyed and the adventure will be awesome and ABOUT those PCs.

I have just this kind of guy that sometimes is in my group... he always creates characters entirely disconnected from the world, plays them for a while, then invariably claims that the game is so much more fun for the others because they get all the cool NPC interactions and sideplots...  so then he dumps the char and creates a new even more disconnected char...  rinse and repeat..  hopeless..



That's just not how most DMs operate and in my experience leads to crappy campaigns the DM really isn't enthusiastic to run. While it's perfectly fine for the PCs to suggest things, I wouldn't want to DM a setting that I'm not excited about.

The DM is the one who has to come up with ideas every session, so he's the one that should have a setting that he really likes.

As a player even if I'd rather play a pirate game, I'd rather have an interesting and exciting game of knights rather than a lackluster and boring pirate game.



I think it depends on the game and group demographics, really.

Some folks like having the DM present them with something and then they play in it. My group is often like this. Someone will say "Hey guys, I want to run X! Who's in?" If that person gets enough players, we run it. If not, we don't.

Other folks want the DM and players to collaboratively create the world. That's also fine.

Sometimes there's a middle ground. My group has done that with the past two WoD games we've run (admittedly, one has only been character creation so far).

In the first - the aforementioned character creation - we made characters for a Vampire: the Requiem game set in New Orleans. I'm using City of the Damned: New Orleans as a basis, but the characters will be able to affect things. We made a relationship map as part of character creation, and that was all 100% player-driven, with me guiding things.

In the second, it was our Demon playtest group, and I just made a very generic starting point prior to characters being made because I didn't know what folks would make. After that, I've pretty much been writing plot a section at a time, realistically reacting to not only what the PC's are doing, but what goals, plans, and resources the NPC's have at their disposal. In some manner, it's less writing plot and more deciding "what is this NPC doing as a reaction to event X, and how does that interact with this NPC here, and that one over there, and how does all this fit together - and more to the point, how can I make it so the PC's care?" And the story builds from there.

There are many different ways to go about world-building that differ between groups or even between game sessions. There is no "right way" to go about it - if there was, this discussion wouldn't even be happening.

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.

I have removed content from this thread because Trolling is a violation of the Code of Conduct.

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It isn't how the majority operate, but I've seen that sort of situation enough times to realize that it can and does happen - and it isn't always as overt as that.

The underlying problem is that there's a tendency by DMs to value their ideas over anyone else's, or to get hung up on their personal likes or dislikes about this and that. But any thematic element of the game - world composition, playable races, campaign style, etc - is supposed to serve the interests of the group, and while a reasonable gathering of adults SHOULD be able to reach a composite that's agreeable to everyone, the aforementioned tendency often gets in the way.

And frankly, no matter how much of an creative genius any DM thinks they are, or how much it may offend their delicate artistic sensibilities to contemplate changes to the masterpiece that is their decades-of-labor world, the players are going to come up with far more interesting and original ideas to work with than the DM ever will.

And I'm saying this as someone who spends at least as much time DMing as playing, so I'm as likely to be on the receiving end of this as much as I am dishing it out. ;)

Edit: Nor is this nearly as imposing as it might sound up front. It generally amounts to "make sure you don't have anyone who wants to play an elf before you start declaring elves nonexistent" as a minimum. A fair bit of it comes down to the "Yes, and..." principle. IE: if someone wants to play a Carolingian minotaur, figure out how to make it work rather than pitching a fit about how it's out of theme.
The DMs in my group generally run with a mindset of "The setting doesn't normally support x, y, or z. But if you can explain how it's possible/would work, I'll allow it."

For example, we ran a horror campaign based kinda based off Resident Evil and as a result we were all "humans" fluff-wise. mechanics-wise, we could be anything as long as it could be reasonably justified(I played a Minotaur Warden. Minotaur was me being a sterotypical club bouncer-type person with a thick skull. Warden was me being one of NotUmbrella's test subjects, explaining the mild shapeshifting abilities.)




Which can also translate into: if your whining and contrivance, and dashing all hopes of campaign setting integrity get you what you want, we will allow your little wank-off character.


The DMs are the one who outright told us "If you can justify it, it's in."

That said, I fail to see how a Minotaur Warden is any kind of wank-off character.




In my Charlemagne era campaign it is, and you would be mocked and ridiculed for suggesting such juvenility. 


I'm not in your Charlemagne era campaign though, so I fail to see how it's relevant to a Resident Evil-based campaign I was in.
The DMs in my group generally run with a mindset of "The setting doesn't normally support x, y, or z. But if you can explain how it's possible/would work, I'll allow it."

For example, we ran a horror campaign based kinda based off Resident Evil and as a result we were all "humans" fluff-wise. mechanics-wise, we could be anything as long as it could be reasonably justified(I played a Minotaur Warden. Minotaur was me being a sterotypical club bouncer-type person with a thick skull. Warden was me being one of NotUmbrella's test subjects, explaining the mild shapeshifting abilities.)




Which can also translate into: if your whining and contrivance, and dashing all hopes of campaign setting integrity get you what you want, we will allow your little wank-off character.


The DMs are the one who outright told us "If you can justify it, it's in."

That said, I fail to see how a Minotaur Warden is any kind of wank-off character.




In my Charlemagne era campaign it is, and you would be mocked and ridiculed for suggesting such juvenility. 


I'm not in your Charlemagne era campaign though, so I fail to see how it's relevant to a Resident Evil-based campaign I was in.




What...are you okay?

Did anyone else find that peculiar?


"the biggest cause of conflict: would-be novelists getting hung up about the pure artistic genius that is "their world"

A player of mine voicing sentiments like this about DMing would be thrown out of the game, seriously.
That or do it themselves. I am not going to waste free time on such people.



Isn't it our free time, so allowing the players input makes sense. They're not there to be the DM's puppets to simply play out teh story the way the DM sees fit.

"how dare the plebs (aka players) think the game is supposed to be about them, etc, etc."

Thats the thing some players do not understand. A really good campaign is mostly about the players and the DM knows this.
If the DM suggests a starting place, classes or races to play, suggests backgrounds, describes a setting etc...  
then that's likely because he has thought up some really cool plot hooks and ways to involve the player characters in interesting ways.



Again, as written it looks like a wannabe novelist who thinks his story and world are infallible. They need to play as he sees them playing, not as they see their characters.

Players that goes contrary to that in order to 'make it more about them' misses the entire point and forces the DM to either reject them or create a campaign that will be less interesting for said player (and in worst case everyone).


A complete fallacy in that it's binary and not the "only" options.

A lot of DMs simply don't seem to be nearly as creative as they think they are. Either side saying 'this is my idea and I'm sticking exactly to it' doesn't help the game nor create a particularly enjoyable one for everyone unless everyone happens to have the same ideas and tastes. Just because one thinks the game as he laid it out is going great doesn't mean the players do, and vice verse.

Communicate and work together.

The DMs in my group generally run with a mindset of "The setting doesn't normally support x, y, or z. But if you can explain how it's possible/would work, I'll allow it."

For example, we ran a horror campaign based kinda based off Resident Evil and as a result we were all "humans" fluff-wise. mechanics-wise, we could be anything as long as it could be reasonably justified(I played a Minotaur Warden. Minotaur was me being a sterotypical club bouncer-type person with a thick skull. Warden was me being one of NotUmbrella's test subjects, explaining the mild shapeshifting abilities.)




Which can also translate into: if your whining and contrivance, and dashing all hopes of campaign setting integrity get you what you want, we will allow your little wank-off character.


The DMs are the one who outright told us "If you can justify it, it's in."

That said, I fail to see how a Minotaur Warden is any kind of wank-off character.




In my Charlemagne era campaign it is, and you would be mocked and ridiculed for suggesting such juvenility. 


I'm not in your Charlemagne era campaign though, so I fail to see how it's relevant to a Resident Evil-based campaign I was in.




What...are you okay?

Did anyone else find that peculiar?



I'm assuming it's just you, since you're the one throwing a fit over me getting to play something I want with the DM's approval in a campaign completely unrelated to one you were in.

Conversely in my experience your way leads to uninterested players and DM burnout. Energy is a group thing. The more the DM involves the players, the more players are excited and energize the DM. It's a positive cycle where everyone is consistently active.



The players can help, but ultimately the campaign makes or breaks on the DM. If the DM has good story ideas, then ultimately he should win over reluctant PCs.

On the other side, PCs will totally lose interest if the DMs story and NPCs are godawful, which is highly likely. Would Game of Thrones have been half as good if someone told George RR Martin "Hey, look George, I know you got this great idea for a medieval setting, but we were looking for something more sci-fi... maybe like Mos Eisley but with sentient dinosaurs walking around talking to people. So go write that instead."

Really I don't see the big deal with just playing the DM's world. If a PC was totally opposed to the DM's idea, then why did he join in the first place? If it's a good DM he'll get you involved in the world, even if you can't play your favorite powergamed race/class combo.

Design by committe has a notoriously bad rate of success. Throwing everyone's ideas into a big bucket will likely not yield anything remotely good. Your ideas will probably look like this:

DM: "I want to run a game about knights and lordly politics like Game of Thrones.
PC1: "I want to play in a low magic horror-themed Ravenloft game."
PC2: "I want to play a high-powered Forgotten Realms game where we take on dragons and archmagi."
PC3: "I want to be a dragonborn warlock who worships Cthulhu."
PC4: "I want to give Eberron a try."

I agree that someone is being a jerk to not allow a common race and/or class just because they don't like them

Then I don't know why you're arguing with me.


Because you refuse to accept the idea that the player could be a jerk. Or I should say, your posts indicate that you see the DM as the jerk... always.

but I also feel the DM has the right to do so.

People generally do have the right to be a jerk. What they don't have is the right not to get called out on it.


And that's how I feel about those players. You appear to leap to defend the player in every theoretical case of Player vs. DM. I'm not sure why you feel that way, but I am the opposite. I'm far more likely to see the DMs side first, probably because I've been a DM for so long. I know what it's like, and I can sympathize more readily. That doesn't mean I won't change my mind if I get more details.

What some players don't seem to understand (and I consider you part of this group), is how selfless most DMs are. Good DMs work several hours each week to prepare to entertain a group of people for 4-6 hours. They do it all without pay, and often without thanks. If everything goes well, DM is the most rewarding experience you can have at a TTRPG, but often when things go wrong, the DM takes the lion's share of the blame (whether they deserved it or not). Good Players understand and respect their DM, because they know how hard they work for the group.

Yes, there are jerk DMs. They are the MINORITY! There are jerk Players too. They are also the MINORITY! It's been my experience that there are more jerk Players than DMs, but that doesn't really mean anything. There are far more Players than DMs. While a jerk Player can ruin 1 nights entertainment, a DM can ruin far more. I would say the level of jerk-ness between Players and DMs is pretty equal.

Very cool., the only problem, for me, is that they advertised with more Cthulhu action, but did not deliver with the product (like a whole treatment, too much repetition of what we got in regular Ravenloft). 



Who advertised that? I'm not following.

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.


Conversely in my experience your way leads to uninterested players and DM burnout. Energy is a group thing. The more the DM involves the players, the more players are excited and energize the DM. It's a positive cycle where everyone is consistently active.



The players can help, but ultimately the campaign makes or breaks on the DM. If the DM has good story ideas, then ultimately he should win over reluctant PCs.

On the other side, PCs will totally lose interest if the DMs story and NPCs are godawful, which is highly likely. Would Game of Thrones have been half as good if someone told George RR Martin "Hey, look George, I know you got this great idea for a medieval setting, but we were looking for something more sci-fi... maybe like Mos Eisley but with sentient dinosaurs walking around talking to people. So go write that instead."

Really I don't see the big deal with just playing the DM's world. If a PC was totally opposed to the DM's idea, then why did he join in the first place? If it's a good DM he'll get you involved in the world, even if you can't play your favorite powergamed race/class combo.

Design by committe has a notoriously bad rate of success. Throwing everyone's ideas into a big bucket will likely not yield anything remotely good.



Again, wannabe novelists. When writing a novel, there is a single writer for the whole story. In order to replicate that process using D&D, there would be no DM and players, there would be one guy sitting in his den with a stack of character sheets playing everything himself. That's not how D&D works. It's a group social situation.

Think of it like being in a band. Guy A might be the main songwriter, but without input/buy-in from the other band members, it's just lifeless notes.

Though again, personality types may also play a big role. I'm an extreme extrovert and I gain energy by being with a group and amongst people. That's often where the creative juices flow. Everything goes better when I'm on my toes because the ideas are flying. I don't feel the energy nearly as much when I'm alone. Introverts are the opposite. All the outside ideas and influence throws them off their game and dealing with outside influence is uncomfortable. They want to contemplate their ideas as fully as possible before anyone every sees them.