When is it okay to rules lawyer?


Gamer Life General Discussion


I recently started playing in a game with a just-moved-back-to-town-after-several-years old/new GM (does that make sense?). Since the last time I’d played with him, I have gotten much more familiar with the rules. This was apparent to him during character creation and he expressed his concern. The way it was expressed though raised a huge red flag for me. I’ll admit I can get somewhat rules-lawyerly (sometimes in a bad way) at times, but who is going to be excited by (I’m paraphrasing), “This is my world, my game and I don’t want you questioning or correcting me on rules.”

I explained that while I respect that he is the GM and puts exponentially more work into the game than I do, I am going to chafe under tyranny. We talked about and worked out that I would only rules-lawyer in two circumstances.

#1 My character’s abilities are nurfed during play. He is the type that would not nurf without proper compensation, but the middle of a fight is not a good time for the ‘what about if this is how it works’ or ‘pick another feat instead’ discussion to take place. Not only for the disruption, but also because it’s very difficult to pull a balanced alternative out of your ass on the spot for many abilities/effects. I said something to the effect of, “You’re the world creator and I’m fine with you just not liking how ‘X’ works and throwing it out, but to expect me to not even say ‘What the hell?!’ is asking too much.”

#2 The rules are different for each player. This is the one I anticipate being the more common scenario of the two. The last time I played under him he had a significant favoritism problem and his ‘golden-boy’ is also in this new group. My statement went something like, “I’m not going to let it turn into Golden Boy* and his gang of ineffectual sidekicks again without speaking out against it. Just because you’re the GM doesn’t mean how things work should be based solely on what you and Golden Boy think is fun. The rest of us want to have fun too, and we shouldn’t have to be your best friend or have the exact same idea of what’s fun as you for that to happen.” *Pseudonym used to protect the guilty.

We've only played one session so far and there were no issues, but there was also no combat and all the characters haven’t even met yet… we’ll see how it goes. Overall, he is an entertaining GM – creates interesting settings, NPCs, plots and combats and roleplays well – and I enjoyed playing in his past games for the most part. I’m willing to give the game a go and want to make it work for everyone.

I am a bit concerned though that my strategy of ‘rules lawyering to fix his GM shortcomings’ is not the best way to go about it. He does agree that he has had problems in past games with the two issues I’ve described above, but that took a lot of convincing. Only after I, backed up by another player from those past games and even Golden Boy, gave him multiple specific examples of him houseruling arbitrarily in the middle of an encounter and playing favorites did he ‘see the light’. Though, I have to admit I’m a little worried that without Golden Boy backing me up, it would never have happened. Putting that aside, I truly don’t trust his ability to self regulate these behaviors based on how hard it was to convince him that he actually does those things – if he can’t see the problem as it’s happening, why would he stop himself?

So, my questions for you good people are thus.

When is it okay or even good to rules lawyer?

Do you think I’m doing the right thing by insisting I be ‘permitted’ to rules lawyer in the two situations described above?

Is there a better way to help him recognize and fix these issues without resorting to rules lawyering considering he is willing to try to change his ways, but is unable to recognize the mistakes while he is making them?


GoldenOpal wrote:
When is it okay or even good to rules lawyer?

1. When it is requested.

2. When it doesn't drag the action of the game to a screeching halt.

Sovereign Court

My rules are thumb are when it really matters, if it does not really matter in the combat let it go and if worried about a precedent being set talk about it after the game. If it is going to be a significant factor in a combat and risk characters getting killed bring it up.

Most of my groups played with a no retcon unless a character dies rule, though it generally got stretched to anything significantly bad such a weapons getting sundered or getting tuirned to stone, etc.


My answers:

1. After the game over a beer one on one.
2. In order to address an obvious and important error (some character will die because of the error, for example), if it can be done quickly and without undermining the authority of the DM.
3. Whenever the DM asks for opinions.
4. During character creation or leveling up is the time to ask how a certain feat, ability or skill will work, not the first time you try to use it.
5. When discussing what houserules will be used in an upcoming campaign (a conversation every GM should have with his players).
6. All of the above with the understanding that in the case of a difference of opinion, GM always wins and the player has to be prepared to accept his rulings.

As you can see these are pretty limited. One of the best ways to kill a campaign is excessive rules lawyering. First, because it wastes everybody's precious gaming time. Second, because if the DM's authority is undermined, the campaign is probably doomed. Someone has to be in charge, and if you find that you can't abide the DM's rulings, it's probably time to step behind the screen yourself.


I think the DM playing favorites and not following the rules are two separate issue that sometimes combine to form a larger issue. The favortism issue is more of a concern to me as a player. I think it is easier to learn the rules than it is to stop being biased.

Scarab Sages

Before or after the game, but not during.

If a GM ruling prevents your character from doing something you think he should be able to do, then ask your GM how to make it work. Find out what needs to be done to make what you want happen on the table.

If the GM says flatly "No, you can never do that, ever" then consider finding another game.


To clarify... what I mean by rules-lawyering (maybe I’m using the term wrong?) is calling the GM out on the rules, not being a dick about it and turning it into a battle of wills or munchkinry.

Ever since I’ve had regular access to the books I like playing by published RAW for the most part, but am open to transparent house rules. My ‘rules lawyering’ is usually welcome as the other players and GMs are like-minded. When I’ve slipped-up in the past and been a bad rules lawyer is with new players – I should have cut them more slack, even if they were wanting to make 3 standard actions in a round.

This guy said he didn’t want to be questioned, but based on past performance I can’t trust his gut-instinct rulings to be fair. That’s what made me to balk when he started telling me he didn’t want to be schooled on the rules. That and the fact that I hadn’t so far, I was just discussing my character with another player while we were building them. He didn’t have any specific issues with my character at the time, but just felt the need to tell me he shouldn’t be questioned if he suddenly does, because I ‘seem to be used to playing a more rules heavy game’.


wraithstrike wrote:
I think the DM playing favorites and not following the rules are two separate issue that sometimes combine to form a larger issue. The favortism issue is more of a concern to me as a player. I think it is easier to learn the rules than it is to stop being biased.

This.

I didn’t realize it at first, but it’s becoming pretty clear that the favoritism is my real problem. The thing that got my back up initially was his ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’ attitude out of nowhere, so I drew my line in the sand on having ‘the right’ to state my case for the rules when my fun is being killed by them not being followed out of ignorance or a suddenly realized personal preference.

One way to curtail the problem is following most of the rules and having houserules explicitly stated beforehand. But since that is not going to happen, I’ll just wait to see hoping he can reform his old habbits.


Brian Bachman wrote:

My answers:

1. After the game over a beer one on one.
2. In order to address an obvious and important error (some character will die because of the error, for example), if it can be done quickly and without undermining the authority of the DM.
3. Whenever the DM asks for opinions.
4. During character creation or leveling up is the time to ask how a certain feat, ability or skill will work, not the first time you try to use it.
5. When discussing what houserules will be used in an upcoming campaign (a conversation every GM should have with his players).
6. All of the above with the understanding that in the case of a difference of opinion, GM always wins and the player has to be prepared to accept his rulings.

As you can see these are pretty limited. One of the best ways to kill a campaign is excessive rules lawyering. First, because it wastes everybody's precious gaming time. Second, because if the DM's authority is undermined, the campaign is probably doomed. Someone has to be in charge, and if you find that you can't abide the DM's rulings, it's probably time to step behind the screen yourself.

+1

Though I'll add...proper phasing works well to.

"But the rules on page x say this!!!"
is wrong...

"Excuse me for a monet...I thought the rules for x situration was on page y...now since this is not covered in your houserules are you going against the by the book ruling? I am asking so I know for future reference."

Will get you a better response. I am a rules lawyer...there is nothing wrong with it...but just like everything else if you are a douch about it will be bad.

As to your two siturations you outlined...I don't think I would be willing to play in a game where the DM played favorites...and had different set of rules for each player. But yes those are two situration I would rules lawyer in.

Though if you have Golden Boy backing you up...maybe he should play rules lawyer in those cases. Sometime when favorites are in play it is the favorite who hates it the most.


1. If you think the GM or a player got something wrong you should mention it.
- If the GM overrules, or says it went like X, then it went like X but if it's a big issue ask to speak after the session about it.

2. Try to be impartial

3. Be accepting of quirks in the rules to make things more realistic, or fun. (Examples: I told the GM recently I was fine when he called for a concentration check to not "accidently hit" a friend in close encounters. Also... I misplaced my character when casting a spell, and due to the range falling short I told the GM I "missed")

By correcting the players, and GM when they get something wrong, and allowing my character to do "sub-optimal" things when it seems right, I don't have the GM question my good tactics when I nail a small group, or encounter cold.


John Kretzer wrote:
As to your two situations you outlined...I don't think I would be willing to play in a game where the DM played favorites...and had different set of rules for each player.

+1

GoldenOpal wrote:
Overall, he is an entertaining GM – creates interesting settings, NPCs, plots and combats and roleplays well – and I enjoyed playing in his past games for the most part. I’m willing to give the game a go and want to make it work for everyone.

If this is truly the case, I would say that you need to adhere to the agreement that you and your GM arrived at. You have two clear situations in which the GM has provided you the opportunity to correct him during play. If you are dealing with deviations from RAW on other occasions then I'd follow Brian's advice.

Brian Bachman wrote:

1. After the game, over a beer one on one.

2. In order to address an obvious and important error (some character will die because of the error, for example), if it can be done quickly and without undermining the authority of the DM.
3. Whenever the DM asks for opinions.
4. During character creation or leveling up is the time to ask how a certain feat, ability or skill will work, not the first time you try to use it.
5. When discussing what houserules will be used in an upcoming campaign (a conversation every GM should have with his players).
6. All of the above with the understanding that in the case of a difference of opinion, GM always wins and the player has to be prepared to accept his rulings.

As you can see these are pretty limited. One of the best ways to kill a campaign is excessive rules lawyering. First, because it wastes everybody's precious gaming time. Second, because if the DM's authority is undermined, the campaign is probably doomed. Someone has to be in charge, and if you find that you can't abide the DM's rulings, it's probably time to step behind the screen yourself.

Especially +1 to the bolded part. Excessive rules debates in game is the easiest way to kill the active suspension of disbelief, and the immersion into story.

Overall, as you've said, you know what you're getting into. If you didn't want to be in this "kind" of game, you should have backed out right away. Sometimes our desire to game outweighs our logical mind, I've found that in almost all those cases things go bad. If there's a personality conflict at the table, for whatever reason, it will rear it's ugly head before too long. If you can approach the game with a sense of, "it will more than likely not always be RAW, but it will still be great fun," then I think you'll do okay.


When the GM is forcing events on the pcs, without any consent from the players, against or without consultation of the rules.

For example, there is an ambush of the party, there's a rule that could allow the pcs to avoid/spot the ambush and thereby take steps to avoid it, but the GM tries to claim the rule doesn't apply - because he wants the ambushers to capture the party and force them to do something for them. I hate this kind of plotline - it's lazy on the GM's part and almost always deeply unenjoyable for the players. If there's a rule (no matter how obscure) that can be called upon to avoid it - as a player in that instance, I'd use it.

Pc capture storylines are the lowest form of rpg plot imo, any rule that can get a group of pcs out of that gulag plotwagon is fair to use.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

I DM far more than I play, so when I do play I tend to internally rules-lawyer all the time. Internally is the key here. Being a much more avid DM than a player I'm aware of how often I bend or ignore certain rules to keep things moving along, or the make an encounter the challenge i intended rather than the challenge it's turning out to be.
If you haven't DM'd before, you really should, anyone who thinks they have the right to rules-lawyer should. I can't say specifically how or when you should be lawyering because I don't know the specifics of your situation, but in my experience veteran DMs can play pretty fast and loose with the rules because its the intent of the encounter, the DM has certain things he wants to accomplish with it, certain thoughts or feelings he wants to instill in his players. If the PC's come along with scene breaking spells and abilities he wasn't prepared for, sometimes he has to change the lighting a little and make the scene come together the way he intended, even though the players are equipped beyond his expectations. A canny DM can accomplish this by quietly hacking a monsters feats/spells/hp to keep them competitive within the confines of the encounter. A clumsier DM may show his hand a little and sometimes you just have to swallow it because the scene is more important than any one of the players. This is not to excuse DM favouritism or repeated mid-session rules hacking, and if these things are becoming an issue you need to discuss them after the session is over. The best way to get through to a stubborn DM is to address the subject as passively as possible. "How can I get you to stop nerfing me?" will likely see less change than "I would like to look over my character with you and discuss how we can avoid mid-session interruptions and keep the action moving, how can I make character choices that will work with your story?". I'm sure your DM likes stopping play to rule-hack just as little as you do. Discuss your plans with him, make his input part of your future plans. As a DM I love having players whose wants I can anticipate, it makes writing my story much easier because I know they're going to want to be involved and I don't have to worry about railroading them into something. Sometime I have to say things like "that's not really going to work with what I have planned", "you're probably not going to have much opportunity to use that ability" or "it would make more sense and fit the story better if you made a choice like this."
You may have awesome character ideas, and he may have awesome story ideas, so there no reason you can't collaborate on an awesome character that fits into an awesome story.
Sometimes the draw to rules-lawyer is strong, so give yourself an outlet. If there is a rookie player in to group, become his rules-lawyer. Help him out finding things on his sheet, making informed decisions about his advancement when he levels, provide input for his tactical movement. Many small things, like when you can 5-foot step or what type of things provoke AoO sometimes slip between the cracks, and this is where you can bring some consistency and informed tactical decisions to your group. Your DM is much less likely to come down on you for lawyering if you are helping others with little things than if you appear to be attacking him for your benefit. If you can be a beneficial rules-lawyer he may even come to rely on you, but if you are in constant opposition to him you'll never get anywhere.


First of all, I want to answer the question above:
The answer is "never", as long you're a player.
Rules-lawyering is bad style in general.
However, "golden boy petting", is bad style as well.
But you cannot counter bad style, with bad style, right ?

Now, some thoughts regarding my immediate foreposter(Nick Bolhuis), which do not necessarily have to do with this thread:

First, I want to state, I am a seasoned DM, running games for well over 25 years now, with great success.
One thing I have figured out for myself is: LET THE DICE FALL, WHERE THEY MAY.
Such a kind of "fudgy" DM-style, as outlined in your post, does in my opinion incredibly suck. Even if it is so subtle and "elegant", that no player might notice it. Even if it is solely with the intent, to enhance fun and challenge for everyone.

There seems to be a certain number of DMs who have kinda "control issues". They feel the need for perfect control over what happens in the world - this may be very good intentions: To ensure fun and challenge is had, to ensure, there is a "thrill".
But there are other sources of "thrill"...especially (!) when the DM lets loose his grip, and lets the dice fall, where they may.
The thrill may well derive from the unpredictability, from encounters with large level-variance (not scaled to group level), and several other methods. This is then genuine, and it is even a thrill for the DM, not only for the players.

When players have an easy time via luck or something, that this kind of DM has just overseen, he will most likely either bend rules, or change the enemy resources or dice rolls.
Again: It is all well meant, but still, this is imo the fun-killer number one.
Players with a streak of luck, will eventually run into a deadly situation, which is more than challenging, so no need for lame railroading or rules bending here. It always happens like this, trust an experienced sandbox-DM ;-)

Especially when specific decisions made by players, are rendered worthless (e.g. the group cleric casts Resist Fire on the group. the evil enemy wizard should have memorized fireball. But then, to "increase fun and challenge" this is changed to lightning bolt. The consequence may be an entertaining fight, this is fine. But on the long run, even the slowest player will realize, that somehow fights always end up "entertaining" and challenging, indepentant of the groups strategy or tactics.

Or - as an allegory for all CRPG Fans out there - this is why "MORROWIND" is 1000times better than "OBLIVION"

Another aspect, which is closely connected: there are no "scene breaking" abilities (either, they are "game breaking" in general, then they have to dealt with OoC and in a reasonable fashion... OR they should work as intended). Scenes should be the result of interaction, not interaction the result of pre-planned scenes (which may not be "broken") In-world logic/consistency should the one and only reason to change rules. This of course may include balance, but only in cases, where the balance would affect the campaign globally (i.e. not only in very specific cases or encounters)


I've been a both a DM and a player, and when I see a houserule that is really really bad, IT MUST BE ADRESSED.

I had a DM that ROLLED RANDOMLY for my new wizard spells known! wtf!

If I'm a player and the DM doesn't know the rule, or interprets it differently, I point him out to the page and tell him, "that's how it works in RAW, you are the DM, so please tell me if you are gonna use this or adjucate another rule".


Brian Bachman wrote:

My answers:

5. When discussing what houserules will be used in an upcoming campaign (a conversation every GM should have with his players).

Now on the flip side if a GM says lets do this game "strictly by the rules/ erratta" and then starts adding Houserules mid combat then yea it might be time to have "the talk." To be clear, I am not speaking about rules ajudications but to introduce a "nat 1 on an attack roll is a fumble and prohibits any further actions this turn." Sorry I may not hold my tounge until after the game. I will also admit to having poor impulse control at times.

If you present a rules as guidelines/suggestions and story may produce odd decisions then I am far more likely to wait until after the session to ask was this a one time thing or are you adopting a new method of handling situation X.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

I don't think that a DM should ever become upset with a player for pointing out a rule. I also don't think a player has any right to demand that a given rule be used, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with pointing it out.

I do think it's mostly the DM's job to avoid clashes of expectations, though. Start the game by disclosing your major houserules, and if your major houserules are too numerous (or you plan on making them up as you go), then start the game by saying so. It's okay to run a game where wizards roll randomly to determine spells known (some player will love that. No, really!), but you can't just spring that on a player after his first adventure. It's not a matter of whether or not you have a "right" to, it's just very bad GMing.

Of course, sometimes you still wont' agree on what makes a good game.. which is just the nature of the beast, really.


Hydro wrote:

I don't think that a DM should ever become upset with a player for pointing out a rule. I also don't think a player has any right to demand that a given rule be used, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with pointing it out.

I do think it's mostly the DM's job to avoid clashes of expectations, though. Start the game by disclosing your major house rules, and if your major house rules are too numerous (or you plan on making them up as you go), then start the game by saying so. It's okay to run a game where wizards roll randomly to determine spells known (some player will love that. No, really!), but you can't just spring that on a player after his first adventure. It's not a matter of whether or not you have a "right" to, it's just very bad GMing.

Of course, sometimes you still won't agree on what makes a good game... which is just the nature of the beast, really.

This pretty well sums up my feelings on the issue.

What I would add to this is, be flexible about rules consistency. One thing I hate when I'm running a game is making a ruling on the fly to streamline play and keep the action moving, and then - after we've looked up the mechanic and better understand how it applies to a given situation - having a player demand that I use the on-the-fly ruling because "it should be done the same way every time".

In some cases, yes, the on-the-fly method we devise IS superior to the printed rule for our purposes (one excellent example is using Spellcraft in place of concentration, which we've adopted at our table because it's just plain simpler - the number's already on your sheet and there's no flipping through books for a clarification, and it gives non-wizard players more of a reason to consider dropping points into the skill). But in other situations, the printed rules are better - we just didn't know them at the time.

The main thing to remember about rules disagreements is to be respectful when addressing them. If that doesn't happen, then the player(s) AND the GM alike need to reconsider whether they are a good fit for each other.


Thanks for all the feedback! The second session was cancelled... if it ever does happen, I’ll let y’all know how it went.


Rules-lawyering is always bad, but I don't consider using the rules and expecting they'll work as stated to be rules-lawyering. The definition of actual rules-lawyering is vague, but has something to do with trying to win the game through the rules or incessant nagging over trivialities.

It's alright to point out that the rules are different. Especially if your character uses those rules a lot. That's not "rules-lawyering".

I expect the rules to be consistent. I have no problem with house rules, but I want to know them before I start playing in that campaign.

I hate GMs who "forget" to tell you about some rules change, especially if it means your character doesn't do what he's supposed to do any more.

I also hate when GMs change rules on a whim because they haven't thought things through and some development doesn't fit what they want for their story ("Oh no! They get a critical hit! That villain is supposed to escape, but this will kill him! Fast, I rule that you can only crit your own race!").

This gets double hate (and double harshness in the Code Red that is to follow) when the rules aren't the same for everyone. ("Oh yes, the villain can crit you even though he's a different race!")

If you really don't like a rule or what a combination of rules can do (sometimes, you don't spot all the implications of certain combos, and things can get out of hand), you can change it, maybe even on the spot, but realise what that means. It should stay that way now, and the players should be allowed to change their characters to fit the new reality they have to exist in.

So, if the GM doesn't want anyone to correct him on the rules, he should read the rules. GMs should know the rules well, especially those he knows will come up in his session. Players make assumptions based on these rules, and and how their character's concept is realised will depend on these rules. (Want to be a legendary master of jumping? In 3.5, that means getting a high strength. In Pathfinder, you'll need dexterity instead.)


Quote:
I also hate when GMs change rules on a whim because they haven't thought things through and some development doesn't fit what they want for their story ("Oh no! They get a critical hit! That villain is supposed to escape, but this will kill him! Fast, I rule that you can only crit your own race!").

Same here, along with this whole story thing.

However, it is well within the rights of a DM to change rules, even without notifying players. But that is not necessarily what makes *good* DM. The latter, will only change rules in order to maintain a consistent and fun game-world for the players to explore.
And Mary Sues/invincible "story npcs", are probably the opposite of "consistency"


DunjnHakkr wrote:


However, it is well within the rights of a DM to change rules, even without notifying players. But that is not necessarily what makes *good* DM.

Who says the GM has the "right" to do this?


All D&D rulebooks from the beginning until now ? ;-)

The thing is: The DM is the one with most work. A good DM will create an interesting and consistent gameworld to explore (yes, modern gamers will insist, that he will rather create a "story"...)
And thus, he needs the flexibility to adjust rules on the fly, when he feels, that they will somehow disturb the logic or balance of said world.

However, I am a strong opponent of "rule of cool", or "change rules for the story", as well as fudging dice and similiar cheating or meta-gaming.

There's a good saying:
The DM is always right.
What the DM says, goes. However, when he says enough stupid sh*t,
his players go as well.

(or at least the should do so)


DunjnHakkr wrote:

All D&D rulebooks from the beginning until now ? ;-)

The thing is: The DM is the one with most work. A good DM will create an interesting and consistent gameworld to explore (yes, modern gamers will insist, that he will rather create a "story"...)
And thus, he needs the flexibility to adjust rules on the fly, when he feels, that they will somehow disturb the logic or balance of said world.

However, I am a strong opponent of "rule of cool", or "change rules for the story", as well as fudging dice and similiar cheating or meta-gaming.

There's a good saying:
The DM is always right.
What the DM says, goes. However, when he says enough stupid sh*t,
his players go as well.

(or at least the should do so)

I think a good DM can run the story without cheating. In short I agree with Kaeyoss. It kills immersion and internal consistency for me when the rules of how the world works changes.


Imo, a good DM doesn't run a "story". He runs and maintains a world. The players create their story, through their deeds and exploration.

However, sometimes rule changes MUST be done, to maintain said consistency, not to kill it. For example, in the vast amount of 3.5 rules, a loophole has been discovered, which would enable a Lvl 3 Wizard to destroy the planet in a few seconds or so. (Yes, I remember there was something like this, not sure however, if it was wis 3.5 or 2nd)

Liberty's Edge

If rules-lawyering is so bad, why are so many people (and even some nice people at that) doing it ?


The black raven wrote:
If rules-lawyering is so bad, why are so many people (and even some nice people at that) doing it ?

I don't think everyone has the same definition of rules lawyering.

Some DM's also believe "I put in the most work" = "I can do whatever I want without question".


DunjnHakkr wrote:

All D&D rulebooks from the beginning until now ? ;-)

They're not codes of law.

DunjnHakkr wrote:


The thing is: The DM is the one with most work.

The thing is: That doesn't matter one bit. Nobody forces them to do it, and doing work doesn't give you the right to treat others as subjects.

DunjnHakkr wrote:


And thus, he needs the flexibility to adjust rules on the fly, when he feels, that they will somehow disturb the logic or balance of said world.

A GM who needs to mess with the rules on the fly is not a good GM. Good GMs prepare. That's part of all that work they're supposed to have. You familiarise yourself with the rules and change those you think don't fit for your campaign (after thinking about the changes and their consequences)

DunjnHakkr wrote:


However, I am a strong opponent of "rule of cool", or "change rules for the story", as well as fudging dice and similiar cheating or meta-gaming.

I'm all for fudging dice. If done for the right reasons, and done correctly, it will enhance the game experience.

DunjnHakkr wrote:


There's a good saying:
The DM is always right.

That's axiomatically wrong.

Plus, that saying blows big baby chunks. He might be able to impose his will on others, but that doesn't make him right.


Quote:
They're not codes of law.

Circular logic. They're not codes of law BECAUSE they allow the DM (not the players!) to change rules, when required.

You propose blatant CHEATING of the DM, in order to save silly players butts (you think this won't be evident...but it is..players realize theire PCs can't die and will be bored to death) and/or to punish them (for whatever reasons) but however you are against a dynamic approach to a given ruleset ?!
Where's the point in randomizing events, when you de-randomize them anyway, whenever they don't "fit" ?

Regarding your opinion on preparation: Well... I am the kind of DM who runs open world sandboxes, which are probably 1000x more complex than the regular "PC-at-center-of-the-universe-campaign", so I simply CANNOT account for all possible situations that might arise during campaigning. Thus is happesn, that a change in the ruleset or on-the-fly-adjustment is necessary to conserve both in-world logic and/or game balance.

Plus, I am used to ruleset, that allow for much more freedom (and power to the judge (which term I prefer over "game master") than modern D&D.
A good judge will know how to use this power in a responsible manner

Oh, and please don't quote out of context. The second sentence, was the more important part, regarding DM's being always right.

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