DM perspectives I don't get

632 posts / 0 new
Last post
1) "X race doesn't fit my campaign world."

Huh? Exactly how are there illithids that suck your brains and Medusae that turn you into stone but no Tieflings?

This is similar to the "no, you can't have a dinosaur companion because they don't exist" mystery. Real creatures don't exist but griffons, demons, and trolls do

2) "You can't use X book, class, or feat because it's too gamey/anime/unrealistic/whatever"

I thought this ended in first grade when I couldn't bring my matchbox cars to your sandbox. We are ostensibly adults (and thus capable of appreciating different perspectives) and ostensibly sharing a game experience. When I was 7, I really hated it when you changed the rules to kickball because we played in your backyard. I still hate it now.

3) Magic item haters

You really aren't cooler/better/more sophisticated because you deem reliance on magic as amateurish. I like having toys, I like magic shops, and since I can't spend my money on hookers and beer, I like spending my loot on things that enhance my power not imaginary titles that have zero impact on gameplay. Don't give me this "I want my character to shine, not my gear" crap. Did you take toughness as a feat seven times? How the hell is that +2 flaming longsword trumping 7th level maneuvers or the shocktrooper feat?

4) Fudging dice rolls in favor of the BBEG

Cheating. I don't as a player to take over the plot and have it conform to my whims - you shouldn't either. I don't care if you are the DM. Your perspective of drama isn't any more valid than mine. Have you ever considered the reason I choose to memorize "You die immediately" spell is because I want to cast the thing and, get this, have it succeed? Did you note, I did not wait until the 13th round to cast it to make the fight against the BBEG some contrived Hollywood nonsense? No, I casted it in round #1 and trust me, I'd be real happy if the BBEG drop dead right then. Otherwise I would have took out my trusty x-bow and fired a bolt.

5) Fudging dice rolls in favor for the PCs

Cheating. Why bother having opponents if their very success in killing a character would be deemed an "accident"? Please do not waste my time. Just say we kill the [whatever] and move on to a situation where I must actually, you know, think and worry about the fate of my character/mission/world/etc.

6) "[Insert melee class] is too powerful"

Either the result of "only wizards can do X" (explain to me why fighters, paladins, rogues, etc are in your game again?) DMs or overreacting to a barbarian crit (while not even raising an eyebrow to a cleric's destruction spell). You can't see how the warrior jumps over the monster and then stabs it in the head but you have no problem with the wizard turning bat guano into an explosive weapon against the flying demon on the earth elemental plane At 17th level, wish, miracle, and shapechange are available to spellcasters. Fighters get skill focus (jealousy). The mighty warblade gets to do an attack that does less damage than a full attack. Relax.

7) Pages of house-rules

Why play D&D? Yes things like polymorph and the unintended combination of things like divine metagmagic and nightsticks (both fine on their own) break the campaign. But 99% of the time the people who designed the rules, who 99% of the time have inordinately more experience than the house-ruler, have actually thought about and experienced scenarios to come up with rules that actually facilitate play. Your snap judgment that Ray of Enfeeblement is too strong and thus needs a saving throw sucks and turns what was a decent spell into something completely worthless. I'll live without your 1% small improvement of the rules rather than the 99% when your house-rules effect the game negatively.

8) Stinginess

"My players won't be getting x, y, z!" Please, leave your haughtiness at home, this perspective isn't anything to be proud of. Undoubtedly you tip 5% at restaurants and aggravate your friends every weekend. If you can't stomach/deal with/adjust to the mere thought of the PCs having the recommended wealth as set in the DMG, you probably shouldn't be DMing. Oh, we're supposed to be having fun and screwing me over while compelling me to accept your interpretation of what fantasy role-playing is not a pleasant experience.

9) Imposing your anachronistic and biased 21st century Enlightenment morality on the D&D world.

The paladin is a holy warrior, not a pacifist who extols the virtues of poverty and non-violence. The orcs raid the human village not because they are oppressed or some unfortunate social influence but because they'd rather kill them and take their stuff than debate the finer points of postmodern philosophy. There were no jails or prisons in Medieval times (incarceration is a luxury of surplus resources). The world is a dangerous place. I'm not saying there isn't a time and place to try a non-violent approach but mimicking the Hollywood practice of having bad guys act stupidly and giving the protagonists the opportunity for a happy ending is lame as well as unbelievable.

10) "No munchkins, only role-players"
It's been rehashed before. Just because you bring a knife to a gun fight that doesn't automatically make you a good role-player. Just because my character is a Rogue 1/Fighter 2/Warblade 3/ Chameleon 7/Barbarian 1/ Rogue 2/ Dervish 4 doesn't automatically make me a bad role-player.

edited #10: original did not express my sentiments and was wrong.
1) "X race doesn't fit my campaign world."

Huh? Exactly how are there illithids that suck your brains and Medusae that turn you into stone but no Tieflings?

This is similar to the "no, you can't have a dinosaur companion because they don't exist" mystery. Real creatures don't exist but griffons, demons, and trolls do

I have a homebrew world where the only core race allowed is human. There are no dwarves, elves, gnomes, etc. The world has a certain feel because of this. There is no "racial unity" issue. I liked it that way, and the players never had a problem with it.

2) "You can't use X book, class, or feat because it's too gamey/anime/unrealistic/whatever"

I thought this ended in first grade when I couldn't bring my matchbox cars to your sandbox. We are ostensibly adults (and thus capable of appreciating different perspectives) and ostensibly sharing a game experience. When I was 7, I really hated it when you changed the rules to kickball because we played in your backyard. I still hate it now.

It is also the DMs responsibility to maintain the game. If the DM decides that certain material won't fit the game being run it is his job to ban it. This actually goes somewhat hand in hand with item #1. There are too many people that think being creative means being a whack-job, and that any restrictions straight jacket their creativity. Yet it is commonly accepted amongst those in creative fields that restrictions force one to be more creative, not less.

The DM mindset I really don't get is:

11)You must be a mind reader.

The DM uses challenges and scenarios that are impossible to defeat unless the players take a very specific course of action. This course of action is never something the DM has given real hints towards. It relies upon the players having knowledge about the scenario that only the DM has. If the players fail it is their own fault for not being able to guess what the DM is up to.

Scope my YouTube channel!

Here's a shout out for Scholars' Books & Games in Bridgewater, MA, and for Paladin's Place in Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany where I was stationed for two years. Support your FLGS!

Attacking the darkness since 1987, turning creatures sideways since 1994.

1) "X race doesn't fit my campaign world."

Huh? Exactly how are there illithids that suck your brains and Medusae that turn you into stone but no Tieflings?

This is similar to the "no, you can't have a dinosaur companion because they don't exist" mystery. Real creatures don't exist but griffons, demons, and trolls do

Weird. Every D&D campaign is a fantasy story. Are you going to insist that Gandalf show up on Midkemia because Pug doesn't exist in the real world?

2) "You can't use X book, class, or feat because it's too gamey/anime/unrealistic/whatever"

I thought this ended in first grade when I couldn't bring my matchbox cars to your sandbox. We are ostensibly adults (and thus capable of appreciating different perspectives) and ostensibly sharing a game experience. When I was 7, I really hated it when you changed the rules to kickball because we played in your backyard. I still hate it now.

So let's compromise and do it your way, right?
4) Fudging dice rolls in favor of the BBEG
Cheating.
5) Fudging dice rolls in favor for the PCs
Cheating.

Ah - now I see why you compared houseruling to a game of kickball. You have failed to understand that DnD is not a competitive game pitting the players against the DM.
7) Pages of house-rules
Why play D&D?

Agreed on that, at least.
i have never understood:

12) "Help me kill my players!" W. T. F. are you not playing a game? with your friends? or people you can at least stomach being around? truly the greatest expression of power tripping available imo.

Ah - now I see why you compared houseruling to a game of kickball. You have failed to understand that DnD is not a competitive game pitting the players against the DM.

exactly my sentiment
If you can't convince them, confuse them. -Harry S Truman
1. Banning core races is rarely a good idea (though it can be, particularly if players don't like to use them it saves the DM work on making the setting). Banning other races should be no problem, the only thing the player has any entitlement to without DM permission is what is in the Player's Handbook. If you expect no more you will find the game more pleasant from the prospect of gaining stuff to use rather than restricting it.

2. Have you seen how many books there are! And some of the stuff is not very balanced towards the other players. If the DM has to allow the use of everything then he has to either be obsessive or have little clue over what the PCs can do. Plus there is that whole how many books can you afford thing.

3. I know of very few DMs who prevent the buying of magic items completely, and they shouldn't try and play a low-magic game without the player's consent. What most DMs do is restrict the magic items currently available. This is perfectly reasonable as this maintains balance and you can't expect the DM to modify an adventure to take into account an item he didn't want anyone to have. To ask for anymore than this is not appreciating the time and effort that has gone into DMing.

4. & 5. Sometimes the DM gets it wrong and needs to tone up or down the fight to keep it challenging. If you don't like this maybe you should just write a book or play a wargame. Some DMs do play it straight but few would force this on others.

6. Some of the ones from non-core are, and you can build a core one to be scary (monk with 11 attacks a turn). Same goes for spellcasters.

7. I agree you shouldn't have too many but what is interesting is that few players complain about beneficial rules (training costs were promptly scrapped but the paladin still rolls for both his and his mount's initiative and takes the highest).

8. What exactly do you think you're entitled to? The DM puts in lots of work and if he isn't prepared to let something in the game he normally has a reason and you should appreciate that it is his game too.

9. First it can't be anachronistic and 21st century, secondly most players have warped views on morality that benefit them. But the Paladin is not a pacifist, likewise he can't kill a helpless foe.

10. It is called a role-playing game for a reason. Many people find it more fun if they focus on this aspect rather than the statistics aspect.

Ultimately if you don't like the DM don't play in his game or else stop moaning.
Xanadu
1) "X race doesn't fit my campaign world."

Huh? Exactly how are there illithids that suck your brains and Medusae that turn you into stone but no Tieflings?

This is similar to the "no, you can't have a dinosaur companion because they don't exist" mystery. Real creatures don't exist but griffons, demons, and trolls do


Well, I go back to any campaign that doesn't have the Splat book new races (see Aventi, Hadozee, Illumian, etc)...why should they suddenly be incorporated? Because they suddenly came into existence in your grubby little hands because you bought X splatbook?

I don't play FR. Tieflings were first introduced in FR. Therefore not incorporating them is hardly a concern of mine in the same way that not incorporating Warforged from Eberron is hardly a concern. If you don't like it, feel free to play an FR or Eberron game. And if I choose not to incorporate real world creatures (like dinosaurs) it might have something to do with the evolution of my world - sure, there are stats for many creatures, but do you use EVERY SINGLE ONE? Not likely. Some fit, some don't. After all, dinosaurs are dead here...why can't they be dead and non-existent in a medieval fantasy world that usually mirrors our own middle ages (which were notably dinosaur-free) to some extent?

Xanadu
2) "You can't use X book, class, or feat because it's too gamey/anime/unrealistic/whatever"

I thought this ended in first grade when I couldn't bring my matchbox cars to your sandbox. We are ostensibly adults (and thus capable of appreciating different perspectives) and ostensibly sharing a game experience. When I was 7, I really hated it when you changed the rules to kickball because we played in your backyard. I still hate it now.


Explain to me how having to have a world tailored specifically to your needs because you don't like to have limits imposed on you makes you any more adult than the person who decided that the world they created eliminates specific things. If I don't have drow and you're in the mood for a Drizz't clone, should I suddenly create a world of drow just for you?

If gaming is about give and take, explain to me how you (or any Player sharing this mindset) are/is giving as opposed to simply taking.

Xanadu
3) Magic item haters

You really aren't cooler/better/more sophisticated because you deem reliance on magic as amateurish. I like having toys, I like magic shops, and since I can't spend my money on hookers and beer, I like spending my loot on things that enhance my power not imaginary titles that have zero impact on gameplay. Don't give me this "I want my character to shine, not my gear" crap. Did you take toughness as a feat seven times? How the hell is that +2 flaming longsword trumping 7th level maneuvers or the shocktrooper feat?


And I like limited magic in my world. Different opinions here...who is right?

Again, you're demanding that the DM cater exclusively to you - see previous comments on give and take.

Xanadu
4) Fudging dice rolls in favor of the BBEG

Cheating. I don't as a player to take over the plot and have it conform to my whims - you shouldn't either. I don't care if you are the DM. Your perspective of drama isn't any more valid than mine. Have you ever considered the reason I choose to memorize "You die immediately" spell is because I want to cast the thing and, get this, have it succeed? Did you note, I did not wait until the 13th round to cast it to make the fight against the BBEG some contrived Hollywood nonsense? No, I casted it in round #1 and trust me, I'd be real happy if the BBEG drop dead right then. Otherwise I would have took out my trusty x-bow and fired a bolt.


I agree with you here. What amazes me is that a lot of DMs fail to consider resurrection magic in terms of their BBEGs. I have no idea why...but since it's there, and you don't have to justify it the way PCs do (by spending copious amounts of hard earned money), just let them die and then have them brought back. Yay, you got your victory...for now...and that smile on your face will be wiped out when the BBEG shows up on your doorstep and you don't have Xanadu's Instant Deathspell memorized...or he's ready for it.

Xanadu
5) Fudging dice rolls in favor for the PCs

Cheating. Why bother having opponents if their very success in killing a character would be deemed an "accident"? Please do not waste my time. Just say we kill the [whatever] and move on to a situation where I must actually, you know, think and worry about the fate of my character/mission/world/etc.


I don't do this either, but I can see why sometimes DMs do it. Because sometimes PCs die because of stupid unlucky rolls. An encounter can turn lethal if no one in the party is rolling that high, and a unplanned TPK is going to happen because of dumb luck. I can see it, and I can accept it, and it has nothing to do with wasting your time. It has to do with sympathizing (and yeah, I know, if you want sympathy it's in the dictionary between sh** and syphilis).

Xanadu
6) "[Insert melee class] is too powerful"


Whoa, there's a powerful melee class? Where?

Xanadu
7) Pages of house-rules

Why play D&D? Yes things like polymorph and the unintended combination of things like divine metagmagic and nightsticks (both fine on their own) break the campaign. But 99% of the time the people who designed the rules, who 99% of the time have inordinately more experience than the house-ruler, have actually thought about and experienced scenarios to come up with rules that actually facilitate play. Your snap judgment that Ray of Enfeeblement is too strong and thus needs a saving throw sucks and turns what was a decent spell into something completely worthless. I'll live without your 1% small improvement of the rules rather than the 99% when your house-rules effect the game negatively.


My players and I have several house rules. Usually these are alternative versions to the Core rules (such as the UA Death and Dying variant), but in other cases, we have house rules that we have implemented to make our game faster, smoother, or to deal with things that come up.

Of course, you haven't really defined "negatively," and considering the way this post is presented, anything that is against your wishes seems to be negative. See previous comments on give and take.

Xanadu
8) Stinginess

"My players won't be getting x, y, z!" Please, leave your haughtiness at home, this perspective isn't anything to be proud of. Undoubtedly you tip 5% at restaurants and aggravate your friends every weekend. If you can't stomach/deal with/adjust to the mere thought of the PCs having the recommended wealth as set in the DMG, you probably shouldn't be DMing. Oh, we're supposed to be having fun and screwing me over while compelling me to accept your interpretation of what fantasy role-playing is not a pleasant experience.


I probably shouldn't be DMing eh?

Now once again, I have to ask "Why should I be the one adjusting here...why can't YOU adjust?" Adjust to the idea of a world with a low economy, or a world of poverty, or a world that barters items for items?

Btw, you mention how we're screwing you over while compelling you to accept our interpretation of what a fantasy role-playing game should be, but tell me something...aren't you doing the exact same thing here (minus the screwing me over part) - compelling me to accept YOUR interpretation of what a fantasy RPG should be? Tell me Xanadu - in a battle of opinions, who is right?

Xanadu
9) Imposing your anachronistic and biased 21st century Enlightenment morality on the D&D world.

The paladin is a holy warrior, not a pacifist who extols the virtues of poverty and non-violence. The orcs raid the human village not because they are oppressed or some unfortunate social influence but because they'd rather kill them and take their stuff than debate the finer points of postmodern philosophy. There were no jails or prisons in Medieval times (incarceration is a luxury of surplus resources). The world is a dangerous place. I'm not saying there isn't a time and place to try a non-violent approach but mimicking the Hollywood practice of having bad guys act stupidly and giving the protagonists the opportunity for a happy ending is lame as well as unbelievable.


Not sure what your point is here. But I think I agree. One of the things in 3.x that bothered me was the elimination of racial class restrictions and level limits (especially with the ability to increase your stats and thus go higher) as well as the racial animosity tables. This seems to be an advent of what you call the anachronistic 21st century enlightment morality - aka Political Correctness (the other other PC). I think racism should exist in the game, I think races should have limits in certain things (and this goes all the way around - ie. humans have limits in Wizard because of the amount of time it takes to achieve power...they usually die before they reach the pinnacle idea).

Xanadu
10) "No munchkins, only role-players"
It's been rehashed before. If your idea of bringing a knife to a gun fight is good role-playing, I posit you aren't a good role-player.


Depends on what you do with the knife.

Overall Xanadu, I find this post to be rather interesting simply because you are doing exactly what you accuse the DMs of doing - you're post is inflexible and yet whining about inflexible DMs, it is unreasonable and yet it is demanding that DMs be reasonable. It is, ultimately, your opinion versus the opinions of others, but you are claiming the moral superiority here for some reason that I cannot fathom.

You don't understand the attitudes because, I think, you don't WANT to understand them because they are in direct contrast to the style of game you play. But ultimately, DMs do things for a reason - sometimes it is out of pettiness, certainly, but sometimes it is the way their world works, or they want to try something different to challenge their players, or they want to put the edge back into a game where the world is well known. Sometimes.

Just because you don't agree with it or don't understand it doesn't make it bad. It doesn't make the DM petty or childish, or immature, anymore than a player demanding the right to play this race/class combo with X amount of moolah to spend while being draped in shinies or he won't play is mature or adult.

In the end, yeah, the game is about give and take...but where in any of these are you giving at all?
Here we have a picture perfect reason why the PHB is granting players too many options and forcing DM's to create pages of house rules to limit players into characters that fit the campaign setting instead of having to re-write the setting to fit the players stupid characters.
1) "X race doesn't fit my campaign world."

Huh? Exactly how are there illithids that suck your brains and Medusae that turn you into stone but no Tieflings?

This is similar to the "no, you can't have a dinosaur companion because they don't exist" mystery. Real creatures don't exist but griffons, demons, and trolls do

1) Illithids and Medusae arn't extraplanar.
2) "Geese exist but dinosaurs don't, that's silly!"

7) Pages of house-rules

Why play D&D? Yes things like polymorph and the unintended combination of things like divine metagmagic and nightsticks (both fine on their own) break the campaign. But 99% of the time the people who designed the rules, who 99% of the time have inordinately more experience than the house-ruler, have actually thought about and experienced scenarios to come up with rules that actually facilitate play.

Are you kidding? They can barely edit their books before putting them out to press, I put little faith in the idea that in whatever minimal play-testing they did that they came up with every possible scenario. Also, this is 3.5. They removed alot of the specific situation rules from 3.0 because (a) it was too specific and (b) you are supposed to make that up yourself.

9) Imposing your anachronistic and biased 21st century Enlightenment morality on the D&D world.

The paladin is a holy warrior, not a pacifist who extols the virtues of poverty and non-violence. The orcs raid the human village not because they are oppressed or some unfortunate social influence but because they'd rather kill them and take their stuff than debate the finer points of postmodern philosophy. There were no jails or prisons in Medieval times (incarceration is a luxury of surplus resources). The world is a dangerous place. I'm not saying there isn't a time and place to try a non-violent approach but mimicking the Hollywood practice of having bad guys act stupidly and giving the protagonists the opportunity for a happy ending is lame as well as unbelievable.

1) Lol at anachronistic.
2) DMs can make up whatever ridiculous explanation for things they want. Orcs and humans used to live together until they were enslaved and revolted now hate each other? Sure, why not.
3) There were no jails in Medieval times? Are you kidding? Those people loved their jails. The Tower of London? The Bastille? With your statement of Medieval prisons, you are ironically violating your own complaint - applying current beliefs to the past. Incarceration isn't expensive when you don't give a rat's ass about your prisoners.

Tieflings were first introduced in FR. Therefore not incorporating them is hardly a concern of mine in the same way that not incorporating Warforged from Eberron is hardly a concern.

Tieflings are in the Monster Manual. As are Aasimer, Drow, Duergar and various Gnome, Elves, and Dwarves.
Tieflings are in the Monster Manual. As are Aasimer, Drow, Duergar and various Gnome, Elves, and Dwarves.

Is that the 3.5 or the 3.0 version? I know it is in the 3.5 MM, but I don't recall the Tiefling being in the 3.0 books until the FRCS came out - hence why it was included specifically as a new race in the FRCS. It seems redundant for the FRCS to publish races already present in the MM. I could be wrong, but since I don't have my 3.0 books, I'll have to rely on someone else double checking me there...
Is that the 3.5 or the 3.0 version? I know it is in the 3.5 MM, but I don't recall the Tiefling being in the 3.0 books until the FRCS came out

Irrelevant

- hence why it was included specifically as a new race in the FRCS. It seems redundant for the FRCS to publish races already present in the MM.

Because they have never been known to do anything redundant like that before. Like the "Races of" books. They definitely didn't republish a number of races in those books.

EDIT: According to Wikipedia, Tieflings were in the 3.0 MM.
Tieflings were first introduced in Planescape for 2nd Ed AD&D, a gameworld I never got into (my 2nd Ed days, thankfully coming back, were focused on Ravenloft, Dragonlance, and homebrew lowmagic/lowpower (as a player... woah, I know, your brain just burned out)).

The OP of this... interesting discussion is a great example of why I no longer play 3.x and will not be playing 4.x. The vast player base expects the DM to be a somewhat competent AI with access to a D&D database in order to create a situation in which they are ammazing and get to say:

OMGWTFBBQPEWPEWPEWLAZERBEAMS!!!!!!!!oneoneoneelevenityoneone!!!

I look at the complaints about DMs and I just roll my eyes, a DM puts in a lot of work to create a campaign world. A Lot. If they want to do all the work to build a world which incorporates everything, I will support them, but if they are going to complain as a player and whine and moan about the DM not doing that (which I think, at this point for 3.0, would take about 6 to 7 years of work, assuming you work each night and all weekend), then screw em. I won't even bother commenting on specifics, because that has been handled before. This is about the over arching theme of the post:

Go play a video game.

Rosisha
Go play a video game.

Shouldn't it be
"Go be a DM and show them how's it supposed to be played"

:D
Irrelevant

Hardly. As I noted, tossing in every new race that is pumped out by every splat book or alterna-CS is a ridiculous expectation from the players.

Because they have never been known to do anything redundant like that before. Like the "Races of" books. They definitely didn't republish a number of races in those books.

I'm not saying they don't do redundant things - trust me, been playing for decades now, am quite aware of it. But every now and again, they actually DON'T do redundant things. :D

EDIT: According to Wikipedia, Tieflings were in the 3.0 MM.

Fair enough - I hate Wikipedia, but, as Rosisha points out, it was there before in 2ed as a Planescape creation so...see my comments above on adding every race.
I think I'd just like to say, if I am at home, working on setting a game up for other people to play...I'm gonna do it my way. I could be out drinking and partying instead of crunching numbers and coming up with creative ideas to wow players who tend not to even go out of their way to encounter these extra things I put into my games. I'm reasonable, and I allow a lot in my games.

When I get someone whining about what I don't allow however, I tell them if they don't like it, they can take off. Better yet, I can take off, and then there wouldn't be a game for them to throw a fit over. I tend not to care how they feel regarding my input, as they don't have much choice, and every week I've still got to do work to set up their gaming experience. Until players put cash in my hand to cater to their whims every week, its up to me to do what I happen to be comfortable with in running that game. If they want something that I know will create too much work for me, I will ban it, without hesitation.
Fair enough - I hate Wikipedia, but, as Rosisha points out, it was there before in 2ed as a Planescape creation so...see my comments above on adding every race.

While I don't trust Wikipedia as far as I can throw it (and I don't mean my computer), they are in the 3.0 under the Planetouched Entry (which is why you may have missed it).

As for the rest of the OPs issues, I quote the DMG p4, "The DM Defines the game."

I go on to read the DMG p14, "Every rule in the Players Handbook was written for a reason. That doesn't mean you can't change some rules for your own game. Rules that you change for your own game are called House Rules. Given the creativity of gamers, almost every campaign will, in time, develop its own house rules."

Since most of you issues are based on those 2 quotes in the DMG, I think you have problems with DMs who follow the DMG :D

If you don't like how a DM DMs, don't play his game, or try your own hand at it.
I am firmly of the mindset that if you would like me to DM a game, I'm gonna be in charge. I'm not a stingy DM, but I consider myself a creative one. When we had no one DMing, and everyone wanted to play, I said, "I've wanted to try an all arcane class party; everyone roll up an arcane user. No melee only." Everyone wants to play, nobody complains.

If anyone doesn't like what I decide, I invite them to DM instead. I'd be more than happy to let them be in control, and let me be a player. But if I'm DMing, my players know that Psionics and Magic Incarnum, for example, are completely discluded. If they don't like it, they can run their own game. As a DM, you should never ever have to run anything you don't enjoy.
Oh yes, if you want to give me actual cash, sure anything is negotiable. If I will get paid to spend the extra time (not doing other things) then it is far easier for this conversation to take place:

Me: "Dear, I am going to go up to the office and work on my campaign setting. I will be down in time for dinner, but then I might have to go back up."
Wife: "What? Again? We have chores to get done today."
Me: "Yes, but one of my players gave me $200 to incorporate a concept."
Wife: "Sweet! What else do they want and how much can we charge?"

Cause seriously, I have things to do, such as house work, a job, and being a husband. Those are way more important to me then the following scenario.

Me: "Honey, I'm home from work! Let's make dinner together! (yes we do this!)"
Wife: "Hey, you got an angry phone call from one of the guys who comes over, something about 'Give me tieflings, or give me death.'"
Me: "Really? I thought I had handled this at the game, and now it is taking away time with my family." *picks up phone, dials.* "Hi! Bob? It's me, Rosisha. Please don't come to my house for the game next week. I think you're style of play does not match my own or the groups. Plus I find your disrepectful attitude disturbing." *hangs up phone.* "Now, should we make lemon-pepper chicken with rice noodles, or should I break out the grill and make us some iced tea chicken?" *domestic tranquility proceeds uninterupted*

Cause, though I love the game, I love my wife a heck of a lot more, and spending hours and hours and hours and tons of cash buying each splat book, reading it through cover to cover, then incorporating it into my campaign world is just not worth it.

Make it worthwhile and we'll talk!

Rosisha
It sounds like what the OP wants to play is Milton Bradley's Hero Quest. Where the game is a competition between the 'DM' and the players, and all of the rules about what each can do are clear, and well defined.

You might be able to find a copy on eBay or something.
Hardly. As I noted, tossing in every new race that is pumped out by every splat book or alterna-CS is a ridiculous expectation from the players.

Yes, it is irrelevant. Just because it wasn't previously in the core books does not discount the fact that it is now in the core books.
While I don't trust Wikipedia as far as I can throw it

A ridiculous holdover opinion from the early days of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is now no longer less trustworthy than any print media - including encyclopedias.
:D :D

I see what the common link is to all these issues are.

I believe game as is should be the default and thus "wins" whenever any conflict of fantasy exists between me and the DM.

To me, the burden of proof lies on the one who wants to do the changing and I think that will resolve all these disagreements.

Escef

How exactly does improved toughness or gnomes "not fit" one of the non-human exclusive worlds. There may not have been any "monks" in Medieval Europe, but there wasn't a soul skilled in unarmed combat that lived an aesthetic lifestyle? If the DM removes part of the game, I think more is in order than "it doesn't fit."

pmurray@bigpond.com
I want to play by the rules, you don't. How does doing it "my way" a huge concession on your part?

I fail to see how DM cheating w/ dice rolls relates to any PC competitive problems with the DM. I'm following the rules and not doing it, remember?

Jawrion
The DM needs to relax and have faith that that magic item, class, or spell in the rule books won't make his campaign crumble to the ground. Really. Let's look at the complete series of classes and see if any will smash a campaign.

Hexblade - weak
Swashbuckler - worthless past level 3
Smurai - worse than a fighter.
Favored Soul - MAD and not as good as cleric
Spirit Shamen - play a druid instead.
Shugenja - never seen it once on the Char opt boards
Scout - decent, on par with the rogue
Ninja - less *pop* than other versions and not as good as rogue
Spellthief - quirky and lacking
Warmage - weak and limited wizard
Warlock - decent before level 7, quite ordinary past that.
Wu Jen - in no way better than core spellcasters

That's 12/12, 100%. And these are from infamous splatbooks. The far majority of things in and out of core books really shouldn't raise the DM's blood pressure.

Ultimately if you don't like the DM don't play in his game or else stop moaning.

"his" game? How old is the DM?

Dash Branaghan

Overall Xanadu, I find this post to be rather interesting simply because you are doing exactly what you accuse the DMs of doing.
In the end, yeah, the game is about give and take...but where in any of these are you giving at all?

I believe you have it backwards. The DM is the one who is "taking" by changing what is in the rule books and has "given" nothing. What exactly am I "taking."

You ask
Explain to me how having to have a world tailored specifically to your needs because you don't like to have limits imposed on you makes you any more adult than the person who decided that the world they created eliminates specific things.

And I answer once again you see it backwards. The rule books are not "tailored specifically to me" and I am not the bad guy if I want to open the PHB to the monk. The DM is changing rules for her perspective, not the player, and that strikes me as being less adult. Pointing to rule 0 doesn;t make it any more mature.

aren't you doing the exact same thing here (minus the screwing me over part) - compelling me to accept YOUR interpretation of what a fantasy RPG should be? Tell me Xanadu - in a battle of opinions, who is right?

Not really. My "interpretation" of fantasy is what's printed in the rule books. In a battle of opinions, what's written in the DMG should settle the issue


You don't understand the attitudes because, I think, you don't WANT to understand them because they are in direct contrast to the style of game you play.

I understand them. But really, do you even know "my style"? Aside from believing that "splatbooks" add intriguing elements to the game (not really a "style") I challenge you to tell me what "my style" is (outside of "following the rules").

Do I like long fights? Do I ignore role-playing at the expense of roll-playing? Do I min-max my characters? Do I prefer non Medieval Europe campaigns? Do I prefer magic or melee? Do I like hack and slash or cerebral campaigns? Do I like dwarves? Do I like drow? Do I dislike evil and prefer playing heroes?

You don't know from the rant I've typed. How am I imposing "my style" again?

AriaSilverhands
:P No doubt how you feel about your "stupid characters" is how they feel about your "stupid campaign"

Cartigan
Drow aren't extraplanar either. Can I play one?

I'm not kidding. 95% of the stuff in splatbooks aren't out of line with the material in the Core books. 4% are either misunderstood or have been deemed broken by people who judge books by their covers (e.g. TOB, psionics). 1% is potentially problematic.

Correct, there were no "jails" as we know them. There were places to hold important and troublesome nobles or important prisoners for ransom. For 99% of the population, you either were literally branded, exiled, or simply killed.

Incarceration isn't expensive when you don't give a rat's ass about your prisoners.

Yes it is. You have to feed the prisoner. You have to guard the prisoner. You need to feed the guard. You need to build the prison. You need to maintain the prison. You need someone to administrate the prison. Where are you getting all these resources without a strong, centralized, bureaucratic modern state?

Rosisha

I DM. It really isn't the burden you paint it to be unless the DM *must* have the campaign run a certain way. The DM need not hyperventilate at the thought of having an tiefling PC.

Manic Man

I do DM :P

Zuggster

Well, if you are going to impose a DM fiat and ignore whatever rule you choose because a rule said you can do that, why are we playing D&D and using these rules again? It's the DMs who selectively follow the DMG I have issues with.

Oh, I do DM. Imagine that
D&D has no hard and fast set rules, guys; they're all guidelines. A good DM balances her campaign's needs with her players' needs. With no players, there's no game; conversely, with no DM, there's no game, so a happy medium must be found.

In my experience DMs who are overly restrictive without good storyline reasons are generally powertrippers of the worst sort. By this, I don't mean people who prohibit rogue 1/barbarian 1/wizard 1/monk 1/bard 1/ etc builds; I mean the guys that ban splatbooks and allow core CoDZilla/Candle of Invocation BS. I mean the guys that make the low magic campaign that really means "low magic for the players, here's your next BBEG, the 18th level wizard". I mean the guys who constantly have their epic level DMPC come in and save the say for their level 2 party.
Ill admit I do a few of these. 1, 2, 5, and 7.

My reasoning why.
1- I spend literally hours and hours building an in depth setting for my games to take place in. I comb through my collection of 30 or so (non setting specific) DND books looking for races that do and do not fit. Then I note which races are most populus in each city on a ratio. Human/elf/dwarf/goliath 60/20/10/10. I then tell my players any race that does not have a listed population in any city, you need to run past me before choosing it. It might end up that you are one of a hundred or so of race X and people will be reacting approperiatly. Or it could turn out you are like the Drow in my current setting. Entirly diffrent than standard drow, so if you want to play one, I need to run you through the specifics of the changes. It could be that race Y does not exist for a reason. When I limit races I don't do so because I don't like them (except for three specific races I do not allow) I do it because I couldn't find a way to work all 8 billion races wizards put out into my 8 city continent.

2- Again, I go through some effort to make sure I know what is in my setting before I open it up to be played in by the players. I design X city, Y country, I decide where specific groups of power come from and I decide which sort of enemy exists for the PCs. In my opinion only, psionics, dragon magic, incarnum, ect, are all balanced assuming that the PCs will also be fighting someone who has access to these sources including monsters. If there are no monsters who use these power sources, then I believe the users of these powers are at a slight advantage. In addition, it really breaks continuity when the PCs ask "why haven't we seen another psion, is Bill the only one? oh bill died, look a second psion". To me continuity is one of the key parts in having fun with a setting. I enjoy when all aspects of something mesh well. Bear in mind I do attempt to work as many of these alternate power sources in as I logically can. The ones I do not are for a reason.

5- I have fudged rolls in favor of PCs before. Never anything drastic, but I have a player my die hate. Whenever I roll for duration on an effect againt her, or to attack her it is always max duration, or a crit. It visably brings her down, knowing that yet again she is going to sit this fight out. On occasion I will shorten the duration, or not confirm the crit. No one complains.

7-I have pages of houserules. Most of these house rules are simply a list of "classes X,Y, and Z are all preapproved" or "D prestige class is not allowed." or "Races that are ok to play 1, 2, 3". In addition, I combed through dragon magazine, eberon and forgotten realms for feats that I thought were ok enough to port to my setting. So a good portion off my house rules are totally optional. You don't need to take feat G, so dont look at the rules for it if you dont like house rules. I also incorperated the erratta for the PHB and spell compendium spells into the back of it, so that it can be easily accessed during the session. i do have about 4 pages of class changes/new classes for people to use if they want, and the only one that is a "nerf" is for clerics. and even that not really.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"

Zuggster

Well, if you are going to impose a DM fiat and ignore whatever rule you choose because a rule said you can do that, why are we playing D&D and using these rules again? It's the DMs who selectively follow the DMG I have issues with.

Oh, I do DM. Imagine that

So which rule do you want me to ignore, the rule that says I can ignore a rule or the rule I don't like? Either way, I have to ignore one of them.

If we are playing a Greyhawk Baseworld and you want to follow a Forgotten Realms Diety, should that be allowed? Or as the DM, am I allowed to say, No?

If I don't like 2% of the Rules, but like the 98% of the rest of the rules as written, why shouldn't I play D&D? Why should I not be allowed to adjust those rules. I am not going to play a game where I agree with 2% of the rules and not 98%.

The DMG has (for several editions) allowed the DM to tailor things to how they want to have things run. If something in the DM's World won't work with the rules as written, should the DM scrap hundreds of hours of work, or spend 2 minutes to change/ban/add a few rules to make it work?

My baseworld I've been using since 1st ed, making ammendments through the editions (2nd, 3rd and soon to be 4th), so if I don't want to add Tiefling as a PC (or NPC) race to my world, should I be held to a mandate to add it? Adding a Race that hasn't been in it is more work than I want to do with it. I don't mind making alterations, but completely destroying 20+ years of storyline to add them isn't worth it in my opinion.
Drow aren't extraplanar either. Can I play one?

You obviously managed to miss my point. I'm sure you would be an annoying player.

In hopes of having you not harping on it in the future, I will explain it.

Maybe the DM's game doesn't have planes. That automatically excludes races with any planar ties - like Tieflings. Illithids and Medusas are native to the same "normal" plane. Your example wasn't the Drow, thus my reply had nothing to do with them. Regardless, it is the DMs decision what races you can and can't play.
...Most, if not all of the problems listed here go away completely given a little variety on potential selections.

Consider:

DM wants x game. He has 4 players to chose from. Half are interested. Not so good right?

Now same deal, but he has 8. He can pick those 4, and have his game. The other 4 can go play something else more to their liking.

No need for 'catering to the players' or 'tolerating a bunch of crap to play a game'. With a wider selection, you don't have to breed resentment as much. You can just present your campaign and await interest.
1) "X race doesn't fit my campaign world."

Huh? Exactly how are there illithids that suck your brains and Medusae that turn you into stone but no Tieflings?

So every species must be cross-fertile with every other species? Half-grey oozes allowed? Must any dalliance between two different species (species, not race is the correct word here) always result in a new sub-species? I guess that view kinda makes sense in a game system where elves are so genetically unstable that they beget new sub-races every time they enter a new terrain type.

This is similar to the "no, you can't have a dinosaur companion because they don't exist" mystery. Real creatures don't exist but griffons, demons, and trolls do

DM: "No, your druid can't have a badger companion because the game is set under the sea and you are all aquatic races. Pick something that is available."

2) "You can't use X book, class, or feat because it's too gamey/anime/unrealistic/whatever"

Your confusion arises from the fact that you can't distinguish between playing Dungeons & Dragons, and playing a specific game of Dungeons & Dragons in a specific setting. A game set in Athas is still D&D, even though it does not contain everything ever published for the game system as a whole. Just cause WotC published it, does not mean you have to include it in your Rokugan game. The whiney player can just wait for your next campaign. My experience has been that the player who insists that he be allowed to play a Warforged agent of House Cannith in your Rokugan game (does House Cannith automatically exist in Rokugan because it was published for D&D?), will want to play a spirit folk ninja in your next Eberron game.
"his" game? How old is the DM?

How many times do we have to explain this? How can you still not get it? It is his game because he is the one who is putting in all the work. All the player does is show up. He hasn't got homework. He doesn't draw up maps and prepare for all sorts of contingencies.

Let me put it into simpler terms. A little kid finds a puppy on his way home from school one day and takes it home. He begs his parents to keep it and they finally cave and let him have it. The boy names the dog and plays with it for a bit but then quickly loses interest. His older brother ends up taking care of it. He feeds it, walks it, trains it and brings it to the vet when it's sick. The younger brother still plays with it but never cleans up after it.

When those kids grow up and move out, who gets to take the dog with them?
1) "X race doesn't fit my campaign world."

Huh? Exactly how are there illithids that suck your brains and Medusae that turn you into stone but no Tieflings?

This is similar to the "no, you can't have a dinosaur companion because they don't exist" mystery. Real creatures don't exist but griffons, demons, and trolls do

2) "You can't use X book, class, or feat because it's too gamey/anime/unrealistic/whatever"

I thought this ended in first grade when I couldn't bring my matchbox cars to your sandbox. We are ostensibly adults (and thus capable of appreciating different perspectives) and ostensibly sharing a game experience. When I was 7, I really hated it when you changed the rules to kickball because we played in your backyard. I still hate it now.

3) Magic item haters

You really aren't cooler/better/more sophisticated because you deem reliance on magic as amateurish. I like having toys, I like magic shops, and since I can't spend my money on hookers and beer, I like spending my loot on things that enhance my power not imaginary titles that have zero impact on gameplay. Don't give me this "I want my character to shine, not my gear" crap. Did you take toughness as a feat seven times? How the hell is that +2 flaming longsword trumping 7th level maneuvers or the shocktrooper feat?

4) Fudging dice rolls in favor of the BBEG

Cheating. I don't as a player to take over the plot and have it conform to my whims - you shouldn't either. I don't care if you are the DM. Your perspective of drama isn't any more valid than mine. Have you ever considered the reason I choose to memorize "You die immediately" spell is because I want to cast the thing and, get this, have it succeed? Did you note, I did not wait until the 13th round to cast it to make the fight against the BBEG some contrived Hollywood nonsense? No, I casted it in round #1 and trust me, I'd be real happy if the BBEG drop dead right then. Otherwise I would have took out my trusty x-bow and fired a bolt.

5) Fudging dice rolls in favor for the PCs

Cheating. Why bother having opponents if their very success in killing a character would be deemed an "accident"? Please do not waste my time. Just say we kill the [whatever] and move on to a situation where I must actually, you know, think and worry about the fate of my character/mission/world/etc.

6) "[Insert melee class] is too powerful"

Either the result of "only wizards can do X" (explain to me why fighters, paladins, rogues, etc are in your game again?) DMs or overreacting to a barbarian crit (while not even raising an eyebrow to a cleric's destruction spell). You can't see how the warrior jumps over the monster and then stabs it in the head but you have no problem with the wizard turning bat guano into an explosive weapon against the flying demon on the earth elemental plane At 17th level, wish, miracle, and shapechange are available to spellcasters. Fighters get skill focus (jealousy). The mighty warblade gets to do an attack that does less damage than a full attack. Relax.

7) Pages of house-rules

Why play D&D? Yes things like polymorph and the unintended combination of things like divine metagmagic and nightsticks (both fine on their own) break the campaign. But 99% of the time the people who designed the rules, who 99% of the time have inordinately more experience than the house-ruler, have actually thought about and experienced scenarios to come up with rules that actually facilitate play. Your snap judgment that Ray of Enfeeblement is too strong and thus needs a saving throw sucks and turns what was a decent spell into something completely worthless. I'll live without your 1% small improvement of the rules rather than the 99% when your house-rules effect the game negatively.

8) Stinginess

"My players won't be getting x, y, z!" Please, leave your haughtiness at home, this perspective isn't anything to be proud of. Undoubtedly you tip 5% at restaurants and aggravate your friends every weekend. If you can't stomach/deal with/adjust to the mere thought of the PCs having the recommended wealth as set in the DMG, you probably shouldn't be DMing. Oh, we're supposed to be having fun and screwing me over while compelling me to accept your interpretation of what fantasy role-playing is not a pleasant experience.

9) Imposing your anachronistic and biased 21st century Enlightenment morality on the D&D world.

The paladin is a holy warrior, not a pacifist who extols the virtues of poverty and non-violence. The orcs raid the human village not because they are oppressed or some unfortunate social influence but because they'd rather kill them and take their stuff than debate the finer points of postmodern philosophy. There were no jails or prisons in Medieval times (incarceration is a luxury of surplus resources). The world is a dangerous place. I'm not saying there isn't a time and place to try a non-violent approach but mimicking the Hollywood practice of having bad guys act stupidly and giving the protagonists the opportunity for a happy ending is lame as well as unbelievable.

10) "No munchkins, only role-players"
It's been rehashed before. If your idea of bringing a knife to a gun fight is good role-playing, I posit you aren't a good role-player.

1) Some things don't fit. For your tiefling example, if I don't have 2-way passage to the lower planes, there will be no half- or quarter- fiends, since none of them can come over. Or crossbreeding doesn't work. Now, generally I'll say in my campaign notes if there isn't anything of something, so the players can prepare properly. (no use focusing in killing undead if there arn't any)

2) Same thing. It doesn't fit. Now my default rule is you can use 1 non-core, non-setting (if I'm using a published setting) book published by WotC, because I have found that if you tack more then one enhancement onto a game it is pretty easy to break it. I again also say in my notes what books and rules I'll use and what downright arn't allowed. (so noone makes a dragon shaman and finds out I don't allow themin thast game)

3) I do use magic items but I can see the point of the DM here. If I was making a medieval-sim game I wouldn't use magic, because again it doesn't fit.

4 and 5) I'll use this to legnthen the combat into what I'd origonally planned. Now, if someone goes and prepares a super-duper death spell just to one-hit the BBEG, I will let it happen, because it is a pretty good tactic. But if the fighter hits high 4 rounds in a row I will boost the BBEG's hp so he lasts longer. For the players, if a skill check turns out that is isn't suceedable for some reason, I'll reduce the DC in game so it is.

6) I don't do this. As I said before, I only generally allow WotC stuff, so I know that almost all classes are roughly as powerful as each other at any given point, so there is little descripincy between melee and magic classes.

7) Too many houserules are just a pain to know and usually do mess up something. Most of mine are along the lines of "This game is using the [Rule] rule on page [pg] of [book]" or "This game is not using the [rule] rule," not "[spell] deals 1d4 extra damage per level but requires a save"

8) Again, this can be because of fit in the game. And with everything else, if I remove an item or spell, I'll say so in my notes. Now, just saying no because you can is mean.

9) Again it is fit into the game. It is ultimatly my game, so if the orcs are raiding because they have no food, that is why. And that reason is a whole lot better and more interesting then 'because they want to.'

10) Just because someone is playing a munchin doesn't mean they have no story and just because someone roleplays doesn't mean thier character is a wuss.
Actual post count: +900ish Has opinions, will share indiscriminately.
I am firmly of the mindset that if you would like me to DM a game, I'm gonna be in charge. I'm not a stingy DM, but I consider myself a creative one. When we had no one DMing, and everyone wanted to play, I said, "I've wanted to try an all arcane class party; everyone roll up an arcane user. No melee only." Everyone wants to play, nobody complains.

If anyone doesn't like what I decide, I invite them to DM instead. I'd be more than happy to let them be in control, and let me be a player. But if I'm DMing, my players know that Psionics and Magic Incarnum, for example, are completely discluded. If they don't like it, they can run their own game. As a DM, you should never ever have to run anything you don't enjoy.

What does no melee mean?
Can I play a Wizard who fights decently in melee? What about Bards they have melee weapona?

Really, this seems undefined. Plus, the best melee warriors are gishes since 2nd edition (1st edition if count elf as a class).
"If you can't believe in yourself, believe in me who believes in you." and "Go beyond the impossible, and kick reason to the curb" Kamina, from Gurren Lagann
So... xanadu, as DM,
  • you completely allow everything from every book that has been published for the edition. Every race, class, item. A Hulking Hurler that can throw a planet is okay for you.
  • You will, for personal integrity over fun, keep true to the die. Therefore do not expect any fudge roll if a level 1 commoner is lucky enough to roll three twenties in a row against a level 20; that's the way things are.
  • Your campaign setting follows what you know about the European Middle Ages to the full extent of your knowledge. You feel inclined to include walking over peasants, women are worthless, believing in another deity is death, magic = pyre, etc.
  • You would force a Batman or Spiderman inspired character to use guns (or bows) against armed robbers. Therefore the Monk concept does not function in your world but Monks are allowed.

If it works for you, then so be it. You are rich enough (or dishonest enough) to possess at least all the supplements your players do. You have done medieval studies. You let TPK and easy XP happen if the die say so. If that's the way you go, then so be it.

How can you expect everyone to be like you? Not everyone can be as rich or dishonest as you. Not everyone has the leisure or the will to read up on medieval history. Heck, how medieval is Eberron, Faerun and Krynn anyways? I never saw any Drow nor Tieflings on Krynn either. Dark elves yes, but not drows. And WotC did post supplements about Dragonlance. Is it wrong for a DM with a Krynn setting to ban Tieflings? Or is it just simply wrong for the DM to actually want to play with a Krynn setting?

AriaSilverhands
No doubt how you feel about your "stupid characters" is how they feel about your "stupid campaign"

The character is part of the world and saying they hate it is stupid and pointless. "I hate it the world because there are no dragons and no magic!!" Is that what you say everyday? because you are a character in the campaign setting we call real world.

Now the players on the other hand... do not have a call to demand that the DM changes his or her campaign setting just because they don't like certain aspects. They can negotiate or discuss though. Note the nuance. Else the DM could just demand that you comply too. If nothing can be reached, then you always have the choice of not coming back to the table.



The real question is this though: What is it that you hope to accomplish by posting here? Also, would it be possible for us to have your DM's side on this. Her words would help us understand better.
Manic Man
I do DM :P

Good then feel free to follow the golden rule -> If you're not happy, run your own game.

Same as going to any business. If you're not happy with the service, feel free to leave.
Amen. I would never play in his campaign world. It sounds like it is poorly thought out with no unifying theme. I would rather play in a low power/low magic campaign which is very well thought out so that I can build a fully functional character that matches the world, then play in a world which allows for anything I want but is so boring because all it is a chance for the players to show off their awesome sauce builds.

Put limitations on the world any day of the week. The less class/race options there are, the happier I am as a player. If my DM can't deliver that.. I will gladly find another, or... wooah... DM myself. Oh wait! I do that too!

Rosisha
What does no melee mean?
Can I play a Wizard who fights decently in melee? What about Bards they have melee weapona?

Really, this seems undefined. Plus, the best melee warriors are gishes since 2nd edition (1st edition if count elf as a class).

It clearly says in the passage you quoted that his rule was no 'melee only' classes. Bards are fine. Wizards with a level of fighter are fine.

He just wants everybody to have access to arcane spells. Might be a debate over spellthief, but whatever. His rules seemed easily defined to me.

That actually sounds kind of fun. Would mess with the traditional roles. Even your frontliners would have fewer hitpoints and would need more support.
1) "X race doesn't fit my campaign world."

Huh? Exactly how are there illithids that suck your brains and Medusae that turn you into stone but no Tieflings?

This is similar to the "no, you can't have a dinosaur companion because they don't exist" mystery. Real creatures don't exist but griffons, demons, and trolls do

Because they don't. Just like gryphons, trolls, and demons don't really exist in the real world but dogs and cats do, it's just as plausible that a world could exist in the reverse.

2) "You can't use X book, class, or feat because it's too gamey/anime/unrealistic/whatever"

I thought this ended in first grade when I couldn't bring my matchbox cars to your sandbox. We are ostensibly adults (and thus capable of appreciating different perspectives) and ostensibly sharing a game experience. When I was 7, I really hated it when you changed the rules to kickball because we played in your backyard. I still hate it now.

Sorry that there are DMs trying to set a certain theme/feel to their game. This is not playing kickball, and optional material is just that. If you want to use a book so badly, run your own damn game.

3) Magic item haters

You really aren't cooler/better/more sophisticated because you deem reliance on magic as amateurish. I like having toys, I like magic shops, and since I can't spend my money on hookers and beer, I like spending my loot on things that enhance my power not imaginary titles that have zero impact on gameplay. Don't give me this "I want my character to shine, not my gear" crap. Did you take toughness as a feat seven times? How the hell is that +2 flaming longsword trumping 7th level maneuvers or the shocktrooper feat?

Again, some DMs like a certain feel, or theme. Don't like it? Don't play with them. That's what I do, and my blood pressure is lower because of it.

4) Fudging dice rolls in favor of the BBEG

Cheating. I don't as a player to take over the plot and have it conform to my whims - you shouldn't either. I don't care if you are the DM. Your perspective of drama isn't any more valid than mine. Have you ever considered the reason I choose to memorize "You die immediately" spell is because I want to cast the thing and, get this, have it succeed? Did you note, I did not wait until the 13th round to cast it to make the fight against the BBEG some contrived Hollywood nonsense? No, I casted it in round #1 and trust me, I'd be real happy if the BBEG drop dead right then. Otherwise I would have took out my trusty x-bow and fired a bolt.

Maybe the DM isn't fudging and you should have spent a couple rounds firing off enervation/bestow curse/something else to drop their fort save? Now, if your DM is telling you "no, that doesn't fit with my story" or something, then you have a crappy DM and need to follow my advice in #2 and #3.

5) Fudging dice rolls in favor for the PCs

Cheating. Why bother having opponents if their very success in killing a character would be deemed an "accident"? Please do not waste my time. Just say we kill the [whatever] and move on to a situation where I must actually, you know, think and worry about the fate of my character/mission/world/etc.

Maybe I'm soft, but I don't like killing my players' characters, because I know they put in a lot of time and effort to come up with what they have. If they screwed up, that's their problem. If I cut off all escape routes and then drop something that is way over their heads, then I'd be a dick to not give them another way out.

6) "[Insert melee class] is too powerful"

Either the result of "only wizards can do X" (explain to me why fighters, paladins, rogues, etc are in your game again?) DMs or overreacting to a barbarian crit (while not even raising an eyebrow to a cleric's destruction spell). You can't see how the warrior jumps over the monster and then stabs it in the head but you have no problem with the wizard turning bat guano into an explosive weapon against the flying demon on the earth elemental plane At 17th level, wish, miracle, and shapechange are available to spellcasters. Fighters get skill focus (jealousy). The mighty warblade gets to do an attack that does less damage than a full attack. Relax.

I request that you once again find a DM that doesn't do this or become one yourself. You really need to follow your own advice from this one.

7) Pages of house-rules

Why play D&D? Yes things like polymorph and the unintended combination of things like divine metagmagic and nightsticks (both fine on their own) break the campaign. But 99% of the time the people who designed the rules, who 99% of the time have inordinately more experience than the house-ruler, have actually thought about and experienced scenarios to come up with rules that actually facilitate play. Your snap judgment that Ray of Enfeeblement is too strong and thus needs a saving throw sucks and turns what was a decent spell into something completely worthless. I'll live without your 1% small improvement of the rules rather than the 99% when your house-rules effect the game negatively.

Some DMs are micro-managers. These people are usually easy to spot and only have masochists for players.

8) Stinginess

"My players won't be getting x, y, z!" Please, leave your haughtiness at home, this perspective isn't anything to be proud of. Undoubtedly you tip 5% at restaurants and aggravate your friends every weekend. If you can't stomach/deal with/adjust to the mere thought of the PCs having the recommended wealth as set in the DMG, you probably shouldn't be DMing. Oh, we're supposed to be having fun and screwing me over while compelling me to accept your interpretation of what fantasy role-playing is not a pleasant experience.

I bolded the irony. You can't cry about being unable to handle xyz for 8 "points" and then make a snap decision about DMs who don't total up the PCs' wealth after every encounter. Expecting me to accept your interpretation of fantasy RP when I'm the one spending my free time to run a game is what I'd expect from a 10 year old, not a "mature adult".

9) Imposing your anachronistic and biased 21st century Enlightenment morality on the D&D world.

The paladin is a holy warrior, not a pacifist who extols the virtues of poverty and non-violence. The orcs raid the human village not because they are oppressed or some unfortunate social influence but because they'd rather kill them and take their stuff than debate the finer points of postmodern philosophy. There were no jails or prisons in Medieval times (incarceration is a luxury of surplus resources). The world is a dangerous place. I'm not saying there isn't a time and place to try a non-violent approach but mimicking the Hollywood practice of having bad guys act stupidly and giving the protagonists the opportunity for a happy ending is lame as well as unbelievable.

I play Eberron. I shall apply my shades-of-grey morality all over the place. :P

10) "No munchkins, only role-players"
It's been rehashed before. If your idea of bringing a knife to a gun fight is good role-playing, I posit you aren't a good role-player.

Again, if you have a DM that says this, you're lucky; you know to run away at the beginning, rather than a slow and painful death.

You sound like an enraged 30 year old that never matured past 13. You want it your way and everything that goes against your preconceived notions of what everything should be like is obviously wrong, because it's not agreeing with you, and anything that isn't with you has to be against you. If you were a player in my game (and it's mine because I'm the one running it, I'm the one playing all the NPCs, and I'm the one doing everything the PCs aren't), you would get get maybe one session to prove yourself. You'd probably get voted out of the game before then when you get told that no, you can't make a cleric that worships nerull, no, you can't take this build from the CO boards, and no, you can't have a sword of true striking just because that's what the guidelines say.

Your type is the reason so many of the new books have to waste space on saying "the DM is free to come up with his own ideas" on every other page.
Wow xanadu, you sure seem angry at your DM, or DMs in general!

The solution to these problems is pretty simple - (as some others in this thread have mentioned) - if you don't like the way the DM runs the game, then find a different DM.

As we all know, D&D can be played in an almost infinite number of ways. Every DM has their own style, and every gaming group has its own likes and dislikes. There is no right or wrong way to play the game. Thats one of the great things about D&D.

At the end of the day, the DM is the DM. He creates the game for the players. And as the DM he/she can run the game any way he/she wants. The DM explains the campaign to the players, and how he intends to run the game. The players can choose whether or not to participate. Nobody is forcing them to play with the DM. If they're not into it they should go and find another DM. And likewise the DM in question should find players that do like his campaign and his style of play.

Really its as simple as that...

To some extent the DM has an obligation to keep his players happy during the game. But the players themselves have an equally important obligation to keep the DM and the other players happy, and not jepodize the campaign or the gaming group. With that kind of mutual cooperation and respect the game will run smoothly, and everyone will have a great time!

For me D&D isn't a 'DM vs Players' kind of game. It is not a competition. Everyone is working towards the same goal. To have fun using their imagination, and the D&D gaming system.
:D :D

All you "consistency" driven DMs, have you ever encountered this?

DM: A manticore flies overhead and...
PC: Wait. We've never come across any manticores or anything that resembles a manticore before. This is too implausible or inconsistent for me to believe.

My guess is no. Are you trying to tell me that the PCs have encountered elves, dwarves, halflings, humans, goblins, kobolds, orcs, ghosts, zombies, wererats, and all the other assorted denizens in your world before you start adventuring? No. At sometime you run into something new - lots of times things that are quite common and ubiquitous, say gnolls - *after* your consistent world is established. Where'd they come from?

They were always there. It's cool, I don't go home and analyze all the inconsistencies in your campaign. The same way tieflings, psions, or whatever suddenly comes into play. It's not a big deal.

Zuggster

You know the DMG says you 'can' make a houserule, yet you frame your question as if you don't your somehow not following the rules. Not compelling.

"Completely ruin" a campaign? How ossified is it after 30 years

AntiDjinn

Hyperbole much?

Exposed_Wires

Your analogy does not hold. D&D is a cooperative venture, raising a puppy isn't. I find your attitude selfish. It's "our" game. Without your PCs you are writing novels.


All you "It's MY game" advocates


No it's not. This person, who incidentally has the highest viewed thread on this board, says it best:

Because DMing is like refereeing a game. It is fun, but you are not part of the game. Too many DMs want to think of themselves like the coach, tellling others what to do by dictating a world to them, or heaven-forbid, like a player, by inserting their own uber character into the world to play along (the dreaded DMPC or uber NPC). The game world should reflect what your players want to play in, NOT the super detailed world you drew out in algebra class you want to show off.

DM RULE: There is no room for pride in DMing. The game is about the players, not the campaign world

Resist the urge to wield power and relax.

UndeadMouse

"It doesn't fit" really does suck as an answer. Regardless of motivation/reason behind it, which may be perfectly reasonable, it does not change that fact. One wonders exactly how tielfings, dragon shamens, monks, the elusive target feat, psionics, dinosaurs, etc. "dont fit" and would make an absolute mockery of the campaign. I don't get to play D&D much; it be really cool to actually be excited playing something I wanted...you know. It should be the exception something "doesn't fit" not the rule. But that's just IMHO.

hollow_ghost
* you completely allow everything from every book that has been published for the edition. Every race, class, item.

Yep, pretty much. I can't keep track of the 1000s of things the PCs will encounter at once so I don't fret over consistency. They want to make a shocktrooper power attacking barbarian. Cool, let me see it. Just beware the bad guys can also select these feats. The burden is on me to say no. Pun Pun meets the criteria so, yeah, I;ll draw the line there.

You will, for personal integrity over fun, keep true to the die. Therefore do not expect any fudge roll if a level 1 commoner is lucky enough to roll three twenties in a row against a level 20; that's the way things are.

False dichotomy. One does not have less fun by having more personal integrity.

Your campaign setting follows what you know about the European Middle Ages to the full extent of your knowledge. You feel inclined to include walking over peasants, women are worthless, believing in another deity is death, magic = pyre

No, but I do try to follow logic/intelligence over artificial constraints to make for a 21st century influenced happy ending. If the PCs try to do something silly like arrest and detain a high level psion into the custody of a village the size of say 500 NPCs, that psion will not play with training wheels and will seek to exploit the PC's actions.

*
You would force a Batman or Spiderman inspired character to use guns (or bows) against armed robbers. Therefore the Monk concept does not function in your world but Monks are allowed.

Nope. Your paladin/monk/whoever can try to approach the bad guys under a flag of truce, just don't be surprised/mad if they ambush you. Some creatures are amendable to diplomacy. Most things are *not* human and thus have entirely different psychologies than my PCs may erroneously assume.

How can you expect everyone to be like you?

I don't
Not everyone can be as dishonest as you.

I'm not dishonest. (i don't cheat remember?)

Not everyone has the leisure or the will to read up on medieval history

I think you are hanging too much on the Medieval thing. My point was that many 21st century norms society are biased, narrowminded, and particular and thus not the default for whatever setting. I do think it is capricious for the DM to simply ban tieflings.

The real question is this though: What is it that you hope to accomplish by posting here? Also, would it be possible for us to have your DM's side on this. Her words would help us understand better.

Oh, I didn't post this because I am having problems with my DM. In fact, in the current campaign I am involved in, I am DM. If it makes you feel better, here are Players' perspectives I don't get

1. Making Bob II or Bob's twin brother as a replacement for the dead Bob. Lame.
2. "The grappling rules make no sense. How can he do that if I have him in a bear hug." The rules are not perfect but simulate this scenario better than I can make up on the spot. I don;t care if you started the grapple, that does not place you at an automatic advantage. Also you aren;t bear-hugging him, since you didn't pin him or have improved grab.
3. "I hit. 8 damage" At least try to role-play.
4. Not realizing actions have consequences. If you attempt to loot the magic shop or spit in the face of the constable, your adventuring careers are probably going to be over.
5. "How can you put us up against that?" The encounter was fair. You chose to have your 3rd level barbarian charge the ancient red dragon or your rogue had every opportunity to tumble away and avoid the full attack from the Hydra.

How's that :P

Rosisha
It sounds like it is poorly thought out with no unifying theme. I would rather play in a low power/low magic campaign which is very well thought.

Example A of low magic arrogance. You aren't explicitly stating low restrictions=sucks, low magic= r0xx0rs but the implication reeks like a troglodyte.

My campaign doesn't sound like it is poorly thought out with no unifying theme because you know nothing of it.
1) "X race doesn't fit my campaign world."

I am always hesitant to introduce races out of core, monster races, or races with LA+. I did find some race restrictive campaigns irritating (like halflings being a slave race or banning gnomes) but I have found I end up playing human most of the time anyway. As a DM, I did allow a player a monster race and it just didn't workout--I had to constantly accommodate this races weaknesses and absurdity in game. I didn't want to punish the player for his character's race.

2) "You can't use X book, class, or feat because it's too gamey/anime/unrealistic/whatever"

I prefer to use books that I own so I can look up the information on class/feats/spells/items. Never encounter someone who disliked a book because of the above reasons. But I would be very hesitant to introduce Book of Nine swords, Dragon magic or psionics without really looking them over and see if I want to add these new rules/concepts. After all, I would want to use them for encounters rather than giving the player(s) the monopoly.

3) Magic item haters

I resolve the whole issue by having players buy magic items rather than finding. That way I boost foes with one time use items without worrying about monty haul of magic items. Maybe not fair but allows PC's to design their characters better in the end.

In some DM worlds, magic items are simply rare. And that is a okay.

4) Fudging dice rolls in favor of the BBEG

5) Fudging dice rolls in favor for the PCs

Depends how often this occurs is when it becomes an issue.


6) "[Insert melee class] is too powerful"

See above on introducing new rules.
In all fairness, why would want to play a fighter if you could play a warblade? And as a DM, why would any of my foes be fighters when they could be warblades? In fairness, what I hear is that the Nine swords does a good job on making melee class up to par to the wizard somewhat. That might be justification to introduce them as along they embraced as a balance.

7) Pages of house-rules

Sometimes House rules are also part of the campaign concept and in that case, can be quite long (and boring or stupid). It doesn't help when you have 4 edition of the game. Somethings are just hard to part with.

8) Stinginess

It's legal for a DM to control XP and wealth of his players.

9) Imposing your anachronistic and biased 21st century Enlightenment morality on the D&D world.]

That is assuming D&D is a "medieval" world. You could be running the campaign during a more "enlighten-time". Like previous posters pointed out, unless your a historian of the medieval era your going to have to have many misconceptions of the life of this "time". This is a fantasy world crafted from literature and entertainment--not fact and history. It is also very black and white when it comes to morality issues because of the fantasy elements.

10) "No munchkins, only role-players"

Don't want to get in a argument, but I have found those who fall in the "munchkin" category seem to get bored with the game quicker unless they have some sort of outlet that entertains their drive. Min/Max characters, rules lawyering, and optimization tend to be quite selfish activities while roleplaying adds more of a group dynamic that all can participate in. Doesn't mean that a "munchkin" cannot be a good role player, but they will be dissatisfied if they can't dabble in the elements of their interest.

A "generic D&D" campaign is hard to come by now-a-days. If you want consistency, try "Living Greyhawk" but a DM can do anything (no matter how irrating) for his game. You, however, will always have the choice whether to play in it.;)
I believe game as is should be the default and thus "wins" whenever any conflict of fantasy exists between me and the DM.

To me, the burden of proof lies on the one who wants to do the changing and I think that will resolve all these disagreements.

....responder snips....

Oh, I do DM. Imagine that

If you want to understand the replies that have been made here in any sort of meaningful way, I highly advise that you reread Chapter One of the DMG.

I would describe your position as akin to "The default game, and the very best game, is one in which the players may use any and all rules options and the DM should never restrict the use or availability of those rules items. The rules are perfect and require no modification or interpretation. It is the responsibility of anyone who wants to change anything or place restrictions on rules resources to demonstrate the value of that description." I would also describe it as advocation of a complete abandonment of the role of the DM, both traditionally and as described in the DMG of the current edition.

While this edition has been interpretted as many as having "empowered the player and taken away the absolute rule of the DM," I don't find my role as a DM having changed much from when I started playing 30 years ago. I never appealed to absolute rule then, and I don't now. I was reflective about balance, storytelling, and creating a consistent world then, and I am now.

Many of the perspectives you don't get are tied to a premise on your part that players are entitled to use all available rules options and have an equal role in determining the composition of the gameworld. You've compared a DM taking the role of making decisions about balance (excluding rules options) to bullying and aggressive behavior from children. There are many different ways to play, and if you are finding value in your position as a DM and player, more power to you.

Play the way you want, but to suggest that a permissive style of character development (any race, any class, any magic item, any where, any time) is the default flies in the face of Chapter One of 3.5 DMG at the very least.

David
1) "X race doesn't fit my campaign world."

Huh? Exactly how are there illithids that suck your brains and Medusae that turn you into stone but no Tieflings?

This is similar to the "no, you can't have a dinosaur companion because they don't exist" mystery. Real creatures don't exist but griffons, demons, and trolls do

2) "You can't use X book, class, or feat because it's too gamey/anime/unrealistic/whatever"

I thought this ended in first grade when I couldn't bring my matchbox cars to your sandbox. We are ostensibly adults (and thus capable of appreciating different perspectives) and ostensibly sharing a game experience. When I was 7, I really hated it when you changed the rules to kickball because we played in your backyard. I still hate it now.

3) Magic item haters

You really aren't cooler/better/more sophisticated because you deem reliance on magic as amateurish. I like having toys, I like magic shops, and since I can't spend my money on hookers and beer, I like spending my loot on things that enhance my power not imaginary titles that have zero impact on gameplay. Don't give me this "I want my character to shine, not my gear" crap. Did you take toughness as a feat seven times? How the hell is that +2 flaming longsword trumping 7th level maneuvers or the shocktrooper feat?

4) Fudging dice rolls in favor of the BBEG

Cheating. I don't as a player to take over the plot and have it conform to my whims - you shouldn't either. I don't care if you are the DM. Your perspective of drama isn't any more valid than mine. Have you ever considered the reason I choose to memorize "You die immediately" spell is because I want to cast the thing and, get this, have it succeed? Did you note, I did not wait until the 13th round to cast it to make the fight against the BBEG some contrived Hollywood nonsense? No, I casted it in round #1 and trust me, I'd be real happy if the BBEG drop dead right then. Otherwise I would have took out my trusty x-bow and fired a bolt.

5) Fudging dice rolls in favor for the PCs

Cheating. Why bother having opponents if their very success in killing a character would be deemed an "accident"? Please do not waste my time. Just say we kill the [whatever] and move on to a situation where I must actually, you know, think and worry about the fate of my character/mission/world/etc.

6) "[Insert melee class] is too powerful"

Either the result of "only wizards can do X" (explain to me why fighters, paladins, rogues, etc are in your game again?) DMs or overreacting to a barbarian crit (while not even raising an eyebrow to a cleric's destruction spell). You can't see how the warrior jumps over the monster and then stabs it in the head but you have no problem with the wizard turning bat guano into an explosive weapon against the flying demon on the earth elemental plane At 17th level, wish, miracle, and shapechange are available to spellcasters. Fighters get skill focus (jealousy). The mighty warblade gets to do an attack that does less damage than a full attack. Relax.

7) Pages of house-rules

Why play D&D? Yes things like polymorph and the unintended combination of things like divine metagmagic and nightsticks (both fine on their own) break the campaign. But 99% of the time the people who designed the rules, who 99% of the time have inordinately more experience than the house-ruler, have actually thought about and experienced scenarios to come up with rules that actually facilitate play. Your snap judgment that Ray of Enfeeblement is too strong and thus needs a saving throw sucks and turns what was a decent spell into something completely worthless. I'll live without your 1% small improvement of the rules rather than the 99% when your house-rules effect the game negatively.

8) Stinginess

"My players won't be getting x, y, z!" Please, leave your haughtiness at home, this perspective isn't anything to be proud of. Undoubtedly you tip 5% at restaurants and aggravate your friends every weekend. If you can't stomach/deal with/adjust to the mere thought of the PCs having the recommended wealth as set in the DMG, you probably shouldn't be DMing. Oh, we're supposed to be having fun and screwing me over while compelling me to accept your interpretation of what fantasy role-playing is not a pleasant experience.

9) Imposing your anachronistic and biased 21st century Enlightenment morality on the D&D world.

The paladin is a holy warrior, not a pacifist who extols the virtues of poverty and non-violence. The orcs raid the human village not because they are oppressed or some unfortunate social influence but because they'd rather kill them and take their stuff than debate the finer points of postmodern philosophy. There were no jails or prisons in Medieval times (incarceration is a luxury of surplus resources). The world is a dangerous place. I'm not saying there isn't a time and place to try a non-violent approach but mimicking the Hollywood practice of having bad guys act stupidly and giving the protagonists the opportunity for a happy ending is lame as well as unbelievable.

10) "No munchkins, only role-players"
It's been rehashed before. If your idea of bringing a knife to a gun fight is good role-playing, I posit you aren't a good role-player.

You're the one! You are my long lost twin!
Support Cedric Diggory, the real Hogwarts Champion!
I'll go into a little more detail.

1) "X race doesn't fit my campaign world."

Huh? Exactly how are there illithids that suck your brains and Medusae that turn you into stone but no Tieflings?

This is similar to the "no, you can't have a dinosaur companion because they don't exist" mystery. Real creatures don't exist but griffons, demons, and trolls do

It really depends upon the race. I'm biased in that I only ever play humans so I don't really care unless you can't play a human or the world hates them so much don't bother. I can understand no tieflings, half-dragons, or any LA>0 race.

2) "You can't use X book, class, or feat because it's too gamey/anime/unrealistic/whatever"

I thought this ended in first grade when I couldn't bring my matchbox cars to your sandbox. We are ostensibly adults (and thus capable of appreciating different perspectives) and ostensibly sharing a game experience. When I was 7, I really hated it when you changed the rules to kickball because we played in your backyard. I still hate it now.

Right. The problem is why you can't use it, not the mere fact of the DM limiting stuff. A DM should stop combinations of stuff that break the game down to unplayability. If the only reason a DM is not allowing a particular sourcebook is because he doesn't own it yet a player does and is willing to allow the DM look it over, the DM should look it over. It is not the DM's game. It is his campaign, but the game belongs to everyone. If it's a Greyhawk game, no that doesn't mean a player should be allowed to have his cleric worship Lathander or use Forgotten Realms regional feats. It does mean if the DM doesn't own Complete Divine but the player does and is interested in Divine Oracle prestige class, the DM shouldn't knee-jerk a response of no and actually take a look at it. Discuss with the player how he envisages his character and using the prestige class, both in game mechanics and roleplay.

3) Magic item haters

You really aren't cooler/better/more sophisticated because you deem reliance on magic as amateurish. I like having toys, I like magic shops, and since I can't spend my money on hookers and beer, I like spending my loot on things that enhance my power not imaginary titles that have zero impact on gameplay. Don't give me this "I want my character to shine, not my gear" crap. Did you take toughness as a feat seven times? How the hell is that +2 flaming longsword trumping 7th level maneuvers or the shocktrooper feat?

Not so much as magic shops per se, but player characters should have magic items they like having and are actually useful. A Quaal's Feather Token - Tree has its uses, but 7th level characters or so should have something more significant.

4) Fudging dice rolls in favor of the BBEG

Cheating. I don't as a player to take over the plot and have it conform to my whims - you shouldn't either. I don't care if you are the DM. Your perspective of drama isn't any more valid than mine. Have you ever considered the reason I choose to memorize "You die immediately" spell is because I want to cast the thing and, get this, have it succeed? Did you note, I did not wait until the 13th round to cast it to make the fight against the BBEG some contrived Hollywood nonsense? No, I casted it in round #1 and trust me, I'd be real happy if the BBEG drop dead right then. Otherwise I would have took out my trusty x-bow and fired a bolt.

5) Fudging dice rolls in favor for the PCs

Cheating. Why bother having opponents if their very success in killing a character would be deemed an "accident"? Please do not waste my time. Just say we kill the [whatever] and move on to a situation where I must actually, you know, think and worry about the fate of my character/mission/world/etc.

You do have to allow that a DM can make mistakes. If a DM truly underestimated the bad guys' strength, rolling back that power is fine. But yes, if the party kills the BBEG in round 1, they kill the BBEG in round 1. The party outranks the BBEG in metagame hierachy. It is fine that the next BBEG won't be so killable in round 1.

6) "[Insert melee class] is too powerful"

Either the result of "only wizards can do X" (explain to me why fighters, paladins, rogues, etc are in your game again?) DMs or overreacting to a barbarian crit (while not even raising an eyebrow to a cleric's destruction spell). You can't see how the warrior jumps over the monster and then stabs it in the head but you have no problem with the wizard turning bat guano into an explosive weapon against the flying demon on the earth elemental plane At 17th level, wish, miracle, and shapechange are available to spellcasters. Fighters get skill focus (jealousy). The mighty warblade gets to do an attack that does less damage than a full attack. Relax.

Amen. Nonspellcasters are entitled to nice things.

7) Pages of house-rules

Why play D&D? Yes things like polymorph and the unintended combination of things like divine metagmagic and nightsticks (both fine on their own) break the campaign. But 99% of the time the people who designed the rules, who 99% of the time have inordinately more experience than the house-ruler, have actually thought about and experienced scenarios to come up with rules that actually facilitate play. Your snap judgment that Ray of Enfeeblement is too strong and thus needs a saving throw sucks and turns what was a decent spell into something completely worthless. I'll live without your 1% small improvement of the rules rather than the 99% when your house-rules effect the game negatively.

Amen. A little house rules are fine. They exist in Monopoly; they exist in D&D. However, if you are writing your own book, hyperbolicly speaking, perhaps another gaming system is to your likeing. Still, I'm more concerned with the tone of the house rules. If the house rules are mostly about what players can't do, then I know the DM is on a power trip.


8) Stinginess

"My players won't be getting x, y, z!" Please, leave your haughtiness at home, this perspective isn't anything to be proud of. Undoubtedly you tip 5% at restaurants and aggravate your friends every weekend. If you can't stomach/deal with/adjust to the mere thought of the PCs having the recommended wealth as set in the DMG, you probably shouldn't be DMing. Oh, we're supposed to be having fun and screwing me over while compelling me to accept your interpretation of what fantasy role-playing is not a pleasant experience.

Amen. I come to play to have fun and relax, not angst. In real life I have to worry about bills to pay, the cost of groceries, the rising gas prices. I don't need that for my character.

9) Imposing your anachronistic and biased 21st century Enlightenment morality on the D&D world.

The paladin is a holy warrior, not a pacifist who extols the virtues of poverty and non-violence. The orcs raid the human village not because they are oppressed or some unfortunate social influence but because they'd rather kill them and take their stuff than debate the finer points of postmodern philosophy. There were no jails or prisons in Medieval times (incarceration is a luxury of surplus resources). The world is a dangerous place. I'm not saying there isn't a time and place to try a non-violent approach but mimicking the Hollywood practice of having bad guys act stupidly and giving the protagonists the opportunity for a happy ending is lame as well as unbelievable.

Exactly. The "prisoner dilemma" is a false dilemma. Players should be prudent. The fanatical mooks shouldn't be let go, but the hired hand mooks are fine. All it takes is for the DM to have one hired hand mook prisoner whom the party let go cause the party to regret it for every prisoner to be killed from then on.

10) "No munchkins, only role-players"
It's been rehashed before. If your idea of bringing a knife to a gun fight is good role-playing, I posit you aren't a good role-player.

Amen. Don't force me to play with an 8, and I won't demand to play with an 18. Game mechanics mean something. Even 1st level characters are entitled to be able to do nifty things. It's not a sin for player characters to be "powerful". You get no brownie points for playing a deaf bard. If you can pull it off, great, wonderful, hooray for you.
Support Cedric Diggory, the real Hogwarts Champion!
Sign In to post comments