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A GM directly controlling what a character may or may not do is wrong, I think we can all agree:
"No, you can't take that side-strret", "No, you cannot visit the witch first and the dungeon second", etc. Many also feel that "excessive restrictions" on character options also makes a bad GM, i.e. "You cannot play a dwarf wizard because I decided dwarves can't be wizards", and the countless myriad of variations.
OK, none of these examples look bad, per se. Situational, probably. But not inherently wrong.
My question, though, is: Is it acceptable for a GM to veto a decision based on the in-character reasons the player has come up with?
Only if what the player has come up with is blatantly against the world, campaign, play style, agreed rules, or else the GM and the other players have previously agreed upon.Aka: a player has no right to wreck a game, because "that's his thing".
-Is it unfair to restrict player options if the story does not warrant them? (i.e. does Story trump Rules?)-Is PC backstory sacred and purely the domain of the player? Does the GM have a right to decide what may or may not be in the PCs backstory?
-Should the fluff not matter as long as the rules are followed?
Not unfair as long as it's common knowledge at the table.Mostly yes. Usually a few blank spots are left floating about for the GM and the player to expand and work on as needed. If the new stuff doesn't contradict previously agreed material, no problem (Aka: a GM has no right to wreck a character because "that's his campaign").