|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
As I talked about before, it's as simple as this: whatever the group agreed (explicitly or not) was going to be happening is "fair", while any deviation from that is "cheating".
So, for example, suppose the players build their characters under the impression that encounters will be CR-appropriate, or X level of challenge, or whatever. Maybe they lowball their optimization because they want a gritty meatgrinder that forces them to think tactically, or maybe they optimize highly because they want a fun roflstomp of carnage-joy, or maybe they go somewhere in between with an understanding of a sandbox world where they'll be constantly gauging their own power against that of potential obstacles.
If the GM then goes outside that group agreement by providing encounters that are different enough as to provide a different play experience (such as turning the meatgrinder into something easier, or the roflstomp into something harder, or the open sandbox into "everything is a level-appropriate encounter no matter where you are"), then the GM has betrayed the other people at the table. Maybe you use the word "cheating" or maybe not, but either way, the GM's being a selfish jerk.
I can agree with the entirety of the above post.
DonKeebals wrote:A terrible GM is one that allows the players to run the table.
That's not mutually exclusive with what I said, you know. There's a whole lot of fun to be had in the ENORMOUS space in between "GM is god" and "players run the table". That's where the good GMs are. The terrible ones populate the two situations you and I have now identified (and probably some other spaces as well).Quote:And yes, GM's are the gods at their tables. What they say goes, period.Unless of course the GM is a healthy, high-functioning adult. In that case, the GM makes adjudications where needed but listens to complaints/rebuttals and is willing to accommodate reasonable requests.
That one, not so much agreement from me. Just because a GM's word is final doesn't mean the GM has to be deaf to players' concerns.
Yes, it's possible to be a tyrant jerk with that attitude. But it's not integral/inevitable. As I said before, a happy medium where wants/desires from both sides of the screen are communicated and respected is best.
But humans will be humans, and despite the best of intentions it periodically breaks down. In those cases where you can't maintain communication and respect, there are two options. Players laying down the law, or the GM. I think the GM avenue is better for the same reasons that chains of command in emergency response/military organizations aren't committees.