When discussing player entitlement why do players get the short end of the stick?


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I guess I am a little curious here. There are somethings that I don't like and would rather not have in a campaign I run, but I would be flexible with in the context of a given conversation.

There is something that I do not see myself bending on. I will never DM an evil aligned PC. I do understand that there could be a richness of themes and whatnot to explore; all of that, but it is just not something I wish to really get into. I am a mental health social worker and I get to experience alot of these themes and whatever everyday at work. I game to escape and maybe just restore a little faith in the universe. I encorage heroic games of good people triumphing over bad things. I have tried it, I burn out quickly. I get disgusted and I do not have any fun. I am not sure what "camp" this places me in.

Now, as a semi aside, I think that this discussion has really gotten off track in a sense. The issue surrounds with boundaries and expectations that people have when they game. These boundaries and expectations can come into conflict at times. This requires communication as sometimes one can scale one's expectations as one understands another's boundarise; or the reverse can be true one can be more flexible with one's boundaries when they understand the reasons for another's expectations.

At the end of the day there is a possibility of intractability between these two stances, when that occurs then the proposed social interaction is not possible. It happens all the time between friends and is not something that ends friendships, makes on a tyrant, or anything of that nature. You just move on until you have another opportunity to engage in that activity.

I the case of the Evil aligned PC, if I had someone wanting to play it. I would ask what they wanted to get out of their character, what was their goal. I have had it come up twice. One person wanted to make someone who was out to get slavers in any means possible. We were able to make this work. I made some pretty nefarious slavers, he was able to play a more good aligned PC while keeping his concept pretty intact. We were both happy. (I was able to flex my boundary and he was able to scale his expectation.) The other one wanted to do some evil things to what I would consider "goodly" people in my world and we were unable to reconcile my boundary with his expectation. He decided to attempt to find another group. (I helped him do this, I have a friend who DMs only evil PCs, he and I could never play together, but we do compare notes. I sent him that way, they are still playing. That worked out well.)

Silver Crusade

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

Maybe I'm not understanding the probelm here.

If I'm offering to run for my group, I will present my idea for the premise of the game, the system, and the characters that would or would not fit, and why. It will be discussed, and either approved, or we'll do something else. Doesn't everyone do this?
One would hope! And it's not tyranny if everyone agrees, is it?

It's nothing if nobody agrees. Both parties have equal right to say they don't want to play or run.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

Maybe I'm not understanding the probelm here.

If I'm offering to run for my group, I will present my idea for the premise of the game, the system, and the characters that would or would not fit, and why. It will be discussed, and either approved, or we'll do something else. Doesn't everyone do this?
One would hope! And it's not tyranny if everyone agrees, is it?

That's always been the way I've seen it work.

What often gets lost in the squabbling here is that we're talking about the edge cases.
Most of the time someone will suggest running something, everyone else will go "Yeah, cool. Let's go."
Sometimes one of the players will be unhappy with something about the proposal and suggest a change:
Then either it'll get shot down and he'll shrug and go "Ok, I'll do this instead"
Or the GM will go "Sure, I can make that work", maybe after some discussion on how to make it fit or avoid the problem he sees.
Or, rarely, the two won't be able to agree. Maybe the GM is being an over controlling tyrant. Maybe the player is being an entitled idiot. Maybe the player just isn't interested in the game the GM wants to run.
In that case, that player doesn't play the game the GM proposed.
Maybe he sits this one out. Maybe the GM doesn't run that game.
Which actually happens probably depends on which of them, if either, is being a jerk in the eyes of the other players. And on whether anyone else is willing to run.

We're blowing this all up much bigger than it needs to be, because we're focusing on the one rare case where things can't be worked out and arguing about whose fault it is, as if it's always going to be the same one.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

OK, one last post.

Aranna, I have multiple times CLEARLY stated, once in a direct one-on-one exchange with Magnuskn that as a player I would quietly accept the dictates of a rigid GM and just play on.

In the context of what I personally think a GM should do, however, which is what this is really about, I find that sort of approach rigid and not empathetic to players needs/desires.

Your post is just another excellent example of how whenever anyone says "maybe the GM can be a bit more flexible" your response is that merely expressing a desire to play a "banned" class is somehow "jerkish" behavior and that by doing so we are attempting to FORCE (that word gets used a lot by your side) the GM to do "bend over and take one".

Fine, it's clear that this is an impossible debate because you are smashed hard up against one pole and yet you look around and somehow conclude that you are in the middle.

It's like politics. Or religion.

One last post? ;p

You seem pretty noisy about quietly accepting rigid GMs. That and your outspoken contempt for the fact that you have to be the bigger man make it hard to believe you when you say that.

Also WHEN have I said merely asking to play a banned class was jerkish?! There are jerk ways to do that and I think I did a pretty good job showcasing those jerkish ways. NOT accepting that you should play any one of dozens of other classes even after the GM has said no to that ONE special snowflake. THAT is jerkish. HOW is it you can't see the difference when nearly everyone else can... I am beginning to suspect you are trolling as part of your responses.

I also love the fact that someone who is perfectly happy accommodating a players concept if they are friendly or helpful about it IS in your words "smashed up against a pole and unable to see that". You really make it hard to believe you when you claim any sort of neutrality.


shallowsoul wrote:
Hey, don't blame your crap on me.

But we all know it's your fault, shallowsoul.

All your fault.

Quote:
You're just mad because I've got the balls the enforce what's already there.

I'm not sure why you think this makes me angry.

Quote:
You are basically saying that a DM needs to give up his fun and continue to spend hours working on something that he doesn't want to run in order for you to have your fun.

Despite the fact that I've literally said that's not what I think, of course.

Now I understand why the whole death panels thing refuses to die.

Quote:

Well I've got news for you, a DM has just as much right to decline running a game as you do playing in one.

You are the cause of the problem to be honest.

Suddenly it all makes sense!


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shallowsoul wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

Maybe I'm not understanding the probelm here.

If I'm offering to run for my group, I will present my idea for the premise of the game, the system, and the characters that would or would not fit, and why. It will be discussed, and either approved, or we'll do something else. Doesn't everyone do this?
One would hope! And it's not tyranny if everyone agrees, is it?
It's nothing if nobody agrees. Both parties have equal right to say they don't want to play or run.

And our point is that the decision to opt-out is far more disadvantageous to players than to GMs, leading to a fundamental power imbalance that - rather than being a hardass about it - a good GM ought to be sensitive to.

I'll break it down for you:

A bad GM sees this fundamental power imbalance and thinks, "Hey, this means that I can impose all kinds of rules on my players, and they'll put up with a lot before they leave because they know it'll be tough to find another GM!"

A good GM sees this fundamental power imbalance and thinks, "Hey, it would really suck for my players to have to find a new GM, and they'll probably put up with a lot of things they'd rather not before leaving, so I should probably do my best to make sure I'm giving them the sort of game experience they really want to have, rather than one they'll simply tolerate. You know, because they're my friends and all."


thejeff wrote:
Or the GM will go "Sure, I can make that work", maybe after some discussion on how to make it fit or avoid the problem he sees.

That's pretty much always how I've handled it.

I remember when Silverhair wanted to play a Runecaster from some Monte Cook supplement

Spoiler:
I said, "Tell you what, let me borrow the source for a week, and I'll take a look." Next week's session I said, "OK, looks like that class is actually rather weak. You can play it as-is if you want, but I'd recommend these modifications (hands player a sheet). I understand you want to be a half-orc, too... I don't want to ban anything outright, but I'd recommend that you take the Veiled Vileness trait -- I'll give it to you as a bonus if needed -- so that the townsfolk don't think you're a monster and try to kill you! Oh, and there's probably a story behind the scimitar, since people where your character is from don't generally use them, but we can come up with something later on."

Silverhair: "OK! I'll look at the changes to the runecaster. And I'm glad I'll get to play my half-orc! I would have changed him to a half-elf or something if I needed to, but I like your idea better."


Scott Betts wrote:

I'll break it down for you:

A bad GM sees this fundamental power imbalance and thinks, "Hey, this means that I can impose all kinds of rules on my players, and they'll put up with a lot before they leave because they know it'll be tough to find another GM!"

A good GM sees this fundamental power imbalance and thinks, "Hey, it would really suck for my players to have to find a new GM, and they'll probably put up with a lot of things they'd rather not before leaving, so I should probably do my best to make sure I'm giving them the sort of game experience they really want to have, rather than one they'll simply tolerate. You know, because they're my friends and all."

Well said.

Shadow Lodge

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Of course, the players should also think "Hey, it would really suck for GM not to have a good time running this campaign for us. He'll probably put up with a lot of things he'd rather not before simply quiting on us though, so we should do our best to make sure we're giving him the sort of game experience he really wants to have, rather than one he'll simply tolerate. Because, you know, he's my friend and all."

Shadow Lodge

tl;dr version: Compromise isn't a one way street.


Scott Betts wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

The only time I've seen this problem was an existing character's death mid campaign. After everyone had agreed on the terms for what character classes were allowed, the person who's character died complained when I would not allow a class that up-front had been accepted as non-playable at the onset of the campaign. I did not bend.

he played something else.

Was this GM tyranny?

I don't know; why didn't you bend?

We were playing in a setting (Midnight) where magic and SU abilities were not readily available from the classes, and he wanted to play CRB monk.

Most of the classes were re-worked for the setting for a reason, and there already was the defender (an unarmed fighter). Another player wanted to play a ninja. We talked, and removed all of the SU tricks from his list of options. He was happy with this decision. The player playing a barbarian was unable to choose SU rage powers as well, he was ok with this.
The player who wanted to play a monk decided that without those specific mechanics, he could not play the concept he wanted (he could not explain why his concept was so tied to those specific mechanics, either). I did not bend. He ended up playing a channeler out of the book instead.

Liberty's Edge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Once again, it is a stated fact that the DM is the final arbiter and once again it has already been explain why.
Like all 'facts' about the game, it can be used or ignored as needed. I know. I've done it.

Of course. People with power -- such as that held by GMs -- can choose to cede it to others. The ability to cede or delegate is one of the very elements of authority, so of course it's okay.

It's also a far cry from someone else demanding or even just expecting you cede your authority as GM.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:


And our point is that the decision to opt-out is far more disadvantageous to players than to GMs, leading to a fundamental power imbalance that - rather than being a hardass about it - a good GM ought to be sensitive to.

I'll break it down for you:

A bad GM sees this fundamental power imbalance and thinks, "Hey, this means that I can impose all kinds of rules on my players, and they'll put up with a lot before they leave because they know it'll be tough to find another GM!"

A good GM sees this fundamental power imbalance and thinks, "Hey, it would really suck for my players to have to find a new GM, and they'll probably put up with a lot of things they'd rather not before leaving, so I should probably do my best to make sure I'm giving them the sort of game experience they really want to have, rather than one they'll simply tolerate. You know, because they're my friends and all."

Don't forget to break it down the other way:

A bad player will see this fundamental power imbalance and thinks "Hey, he wants to run as much as I want to play or he wouldn't have suggested t his idea. He won't ditch on all of us because one of us won't agree to his stipulations, so I can call his bluff and dig in my heels."

A good player will see this fundamental power imbalance and thinks "Hey, it would really suck for us all to have to find a new GM because I'm too rigid in the concepts I want to play. So I can compromise for the good of us all and we can all play."


Kthulhu wrote:
tl;dr version: Compromise isn't a one way street.

Sure.

But I think you'll agree with me that your typical GM compromises his setting concept for the sake of a player's request much more infrequently than a player compromises his character concept for the sake of a GM's request.

Compromise is a two-way street, but a lot of GMs treat it as one-way and are genuinely unable to understand why it shouldn't be that way.


At this point,

  • I don't see any problem with a GM who doesn't want to allow something "just because," but who is willing to work with the player on modifying/adjusting the player's desired class/race/concept in order to make it happen in a non-disruptive manner.

  • I don't see any problem with a player who says, "I want to play X, and I know it might not fit exactly, but can we discuss ways in which it might be made to work?"

  • I still have a big problem with a GM who says, "No! It doesn't fit -- end of discussion!"

  • I would have a big problem with a player who said, "I'm going to play this precisely because I know it doesn't fit and I just want to be a dick."

    Thankfully, I've never encountered the latter type of player, but I'm sure they exist. I've played with a number of the latter type of GMs, and quickly found that I needed to find a different game.


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    Bill Dunn wrote:
    Scott Betts wrote:


    And our point is that the decision to opt-out is far more disadvantageous to players than to GMs, leading to a fundamental power imbalance that - rather than being a hardass about it - a good GM ought to be sensitive to.

    I'll break it down for you:

    A bad GM sees this fundamental power imbalance and thinks, "Hey, this means that I can impose all kinds of rules on my players, and they'll put up with a lot before they leave because they know it'll be tough to find another GM!"

    A good GM sees this fundamental power imbalance and thinks, "Hey, it would really suck for my players to have to find a new GM, and they'll probably put up with a lot of things they'd rather not before leaving, so I should probably do my best to make sure I'm giving them the sort of game experience they really want to have, rather than one they'll simply tolerate. You know, because they're my friends and all."

    Don't forget to break it down the other way:

    A bad player will see this fundamental power imbalance and thinks "Hey, he wants to run as much as I want to play or he wouldn't have suggested t his idea. He won't ditch on all of us because one of us won't agree to his stipulations, so I can call his bluff and dig in my heels."

    A good player will see this fundamental power imbalance and thinks "Hey, it would really suck for us all to have to find a new GM because I'm too rigid in the concepts I want to play. So I can compromise for the good of us all and we can all play."

    That's more or less correct, but that's also more or less how things are already done. Players already compromise their concepts for the DM's sake all the time. So I don't see an issue there. On the other hand, the first attitude appears to be held be a significant number of GMs (not necessarily a majority, but certainly enough to constitute an issue for the hobby).


    Kirth Gersen wrote:

    At this point,

  • I don't see any problem with a GM who doesn't want to allow something "just because," but who is willing to work with the player on modifying/adjusting the player's desired class/race/concept in order to make it happen in a non-disruptive manner.

  • I don't see any problem with a player who says, "I want to play X, and I know it might not fit exactly, but can we discuss ways in which it might be made to work?"

  • I still have a big problem with a GM who says, "No! It doesn't fit -- end of discussion!"

  • I would have a big problem with a player who said, "I'm going to play this precisely because I know it doesn't fit and I just want to be a dick."

    Thankfully, I've never encountered the latter type of player, but I'm sure they exist. I've played with a number of the latter type of GMs, and quickly found that I needed to find a different game.

  • This is nearly exactly my own take, with the caveat that I would give more reasoning than "just because" - providing concrete reasons not only lets the player know that I'm not being totally arbitrary, it also gives him guidelines for what sorts of adjustments might make for a better fit, and it forces me to question my own reasoning, just in case my own reasons weren't very good ones to begin with!

    Liberty's Edge

    Guy Kilmore wrote:
    There is something that I do not see myself bending on. I will never DM an evil aligned PC. I do understand that there could be a richness of themes and whatnot to explore; all of that, but it is just not something I wish to really get into.

    Me, either. You could even argue that I don't have particularly strong reasons: my players are mature and would submit and play Evil PCs who can cooperate and not be gross (while still being Evil).

    But just as I'll never write fiction about a rapist -- even though of course it's possible to have excellent fiction about any sort of character -- I'll never GM for Evil PCs. I just won't.

    I GM for PCs who are heroes ... however reluctantly. That's a large part of what I enjoy about GMing. My players have always been aware of this.

    I'm an inflexible tyrant.


    Kirth Gersen wrote:

    At this point,

  • I don't see any problem with a GM who doesn't want to allow something "just because," but who is willing to work with the player on modifying/adjusting the player's desired class/race/concept in order to make it happen in a non-disruptive manner.

  • I don't see any problem with a player who says, "I want to play X, and I know it might not fit exactly, but can we discuss ways in which it might be made to work?"

  • I still have a big problem with a GM who says, "No! It doesn't fit -- end of discussion!"

  • I would have a big problem with a player who said, "I'm going to play this precisely because I know it doesn't fit and I just want to be a dick."

    Thankfully, I've never encountered the latter type of player, but I'm sure they exist. I've played with a number of the latter type of GMs, and quickly found that I needed to find a different game.

  • How are you with me Kirth?

    I am that first GM as long as the player is friendly and works with me.

    I am the third GM when the player is being a jerk.
    I treat you as you treat me.


    Jeff Wilder wrote:
    Guy Kilmore wrote:
    There is something that I do not see myself bending on. I will never DM an evil aligned PC. I do understand that there could be a richness of themes and whatnot to explore; all of that, but it is just not something I wish to really get into.

    Me, either. You could even argue that I don't have particularly strong reasons: my players are mature and would submit and play Evil PCs who can cooperate and not be gross (while still being Evil).

    But just as I'll never write fiction about a rapist -- even though of course it's possible to have excellent fiction about any sort of character -- I'll never GM for Evil PCs. I just won't.

    I GM for PCs who are heroes ... however reluctantly. That's a large part of what I enjoy about GMing. My players have always been aware of this.

    I'm an inflexible tyrant.

    In this case I think your reasoning is excellent! You would be made really uncomfortable by having to deal with evil PCs, it sounds like. This isn't something that would make your experience slightly less ideal, it's something that would make it truly unenjoyable, and I don't think anyone could fault you for wanting to avoid that as much as possible.

    I used to have a no-evil-PCs policy (because too often they worked at cross-purposes with the party and I ended up effectively running two separate games with no significant progress being made in either - a rookie GM mistake) which has since evolved into allowing PCs to be evil only if they can give me their solemn promise to be the sort of evil who will figure out a way to make their goals align with the rest of the party's goals.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
    Kthulhu wrote:
    tl;dr version: Compromise isn't a one way street.

    Amazing how we can both be arguing the same thing, isn't it?


    Again, everything is by degrees.

    I would not allow PC rape in my campaigns.

    If that makes me inflexible, then on that point I'm inflexible. I can live with that.


    Aranna wrote:
    How are you with me Kirth? I am that first GM as long as the player is friendly and works with me. I am the third GM when the player is being a jerk. I treat you as you treat me.

    That used to be my take as well, but as I get older, I believe more and more that one's own decisions and good behavior should reside in oneself, and not be dependent on others (if you see what I mean). So I try to not react like I used to.

    That said, I'm careful not to put myself in that situation, by screening out the jerk players in advance and just not inviting them in the first place.

    Liberty's Edge

    Scott Betts wrote:
    You would be made really uncomfortable by having to deal with evil PCs, it sounds like. This isn't something that would make your experience slightly less ideal, it's something that would make it truly unenjoyable, and I don't think anyone could fault you for wanting to avoid that as much as possible.

    Okay, good, so we have a starting point. We know that it's okay for a GM to forbid something that makes him or her "really uncomfortable" or makes running the game "truly unenjoyable."

    Let's first narrow it down:

    (1) What about just "really uncomfortable"? (No italics.) Still okay?

    (2) What about "somewhat unenjoyable"? Still okay?

    We'll probably have to go back and forth a couple of times until we get it calibrated, I suppose. But, jumping ahead:

    Who gets to decide when the degree of "uncomfortable" or "unenjoyable" isn't enough to keep the GM from being an "inflexible tyrant"?

    You may think I'm being sarcastic and snipey, but I'm really not. I'm genuinely interested in your answers. I'm being an "S-word," but the word is "Socratic."


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    Bad Post - Please ignore me.


    Kirth Gersen wrote:
    Aranna wrote:
    How are you with me Kirth? I am that first GM as long as the player is friendly and works with me. I am the third GM when the player is being a jerk. I treat you as you treat me.

    That used to be my take as well, but as I get older, I believe more and more that one's own decisions and good behavior should reside in oneself, and not be dependent on others (if you see what I mean). So I try to not react like I used to.

    That said, I'm careful not to put myself in that situation, by screening out the jerk players in advance and just not inviting them in the first place.

    I wish I knew whether your stance was wise or unwise.

    On one hand letting a jerk player be a jerk seems to be a path to undermine everyone's fun. On the other hand being mean back seems petty? But isn't it better to shut down a jerk as quickly as you can to preserve everyone's fun? Maybe there is no right answer... Maybe you are doomed as long as the jerk is sitting at your table.


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    I think the accepting the jerkiness depends on the person.
    If I'm friends with someone, and I know they are a jerk, you accept it, it doesn't shock you.
    When you're playing a pick up game with strangers at your FLGS and a dude is a jerk, you want to shut it down, fast.


    Scott Betts wrote:
    into allowing PCs to be evil only if they can give me their solemn promise to be the sort of evil who will figure out a way to make their goals align with the rest of the party's goals.

    Quit being a tyrant and telling the Players how to make and run their characters.

    btw this thread is getting posted on way too rapidly to keep up with all the replies.


    Jeff Wilder wrote:

    Okay, good, so we have a starting point. We know that it's okay for a GM to forbid something that makes him or her "really uncomfortable" or makes running the game "truly unenjoyable."

    Let's first narrow it down:

    (1) What about just "really uncomfortable"? (No italics.) Still okay?

    (2) What about "somewhat unenjoyable"? Still okay?

    We'll probably have to go back and forth a couple of times until we get it calibrated, I suppose. But, jumping ahead:

    Who gets to decide when the degree of "uncomfortable" or "unenjoyable" isn't enough to keep the GM from being an "inflexible tyrant"?

    The GM, of course.

    I just think that a lot of GMs aren't actually making these decisions based on what would or wouldn't make the game actually unenjoyable or uncomfortable for them, but rather based on a desire to continue to assert total control of their setting, and to avoid having to experience a game which is slightly out-of-step with their ideal.


    Scott Betts wrote:
    Jeff Wilder wrote:

    Okay, good, so we have a starting point. We know that it's okay for a GM to forbid something that makes him or her "really uncomfortable" or makes running the game "truly unenjoyable."

    Let's first narrow it down:

    (1) What about just "really uncomfortable"? (No italics.) Still okay?

    (2) What about "somewhat unenjoyable"? Still okay?

    We'll probably have to go back and forth a couple of times until we get it calibrated, I suppose. But, jumping ahead:

    Who gets to decide when the degree of "uncomfortable" or "unenjoyable" isn't enough to keep the GM from being an "inflexible tyrant"?

    The GM, of course.

    I just think that a lot of GMs aren't actually making these decisions based on what would or wouldn't make the game actually unenjoyable or uncomfortable for them, but rather based on a desire to continue to assert total control of their setting, and to avoid having to experience a game which is slightly out-of-step with their ideal.

    Reverse all the nouns, apply to players. The setting is the gms character.

    Liberty's Edge

    Scott Betts wrote:
    Jeff Wilder wrote:
    Who gets to decide when the degree of "uncomfortable" or "unenjoyable" isn't enough to keep the GM from being an "inflexible tyrant"?

    The GM, of course.

    I just think that a lot of GMs aren't actually making these decisions based on what would or wouldn't make the game actually unenjoyable or uncomfortable for them, but rather based on a desire to continue to assert total control of their setting, and to avoid having to experience a game which is slightly out-of-step with their ideal.

    I don't have a lot to say to that. I think it's possible you'll re-read it -- or someone else will read it -- and realize the big, big hole in it. I'm an optimist.


    RDM42 wrote:
    Scott Betts wrote:
    Jeff Wilder wrote:

    Okay, good, so we have a starting point. We know that it's okay for a GM to forbid something that makes him or her "really uncomfortable" or makes running the game "truly unenjoyable."

    Let's first narrow it down:

    (1) What about just "really uncomfortable"? (No italics.) Still okay?

    (2) What about "somewhat unenjoyable"? Still okay?

    We'll probably have to go back and forth a couple of times until we get it calibrated, I suppose. But, jumping ahead:

    Who gets to decide when the degree of "uncomfortable" or "unenjoyable" isn't enough to keep the GM from being an "inflexible tyrant"?

    The GM, of course.

    I just think that a lot of GMs aren't actually making these decisions based on what would or wouldn't make the game actually unenjoyable or uncomfortable for them, but rather based on a desire to continue to assert total control of their setting, and to avoid having to experience a game which is slightly out-of-step with their ideal.

    Reverse all the nouns, apply to players. The setting is the gms character.

    Absolutely. We've spent pages acknowledging that the GMs have just as much right to enjoy the game the way they want as the players do!

    The problem is that, in practice, the players tend to be forced to compromise their character concepts for the sake of the GM's request far more often than GMs are forced to compromise their setting concepts for the sake of a player's request.

    It's important that you understand this, and that you understand that we're not arguing over what you think we're arguing over.

    The same goes for Jeff Wilder.

    Assistant Software Developer

    I removed an offensive post, a popcorn post, and the replies to both.

    Shadow Lodge

    Man, I totally thought were we getting locked down when Ross found this again.


    Scott Betts wrote:
    RDM42 wrote:
    Scott Betts wrote:
    Jeff Wilder wrote:

    Okay, good, so we have a starting point. We know that it's okay for a GM to forbid something that makes him or her "really uncomfortable" or makes running the game "truly unenjoyable."

    Let's first narrow it down:

    (1) What about just "really uncomfortable"? (No italics.) Still okay?

    (2) What about "somewhat unenjoyable"? Still okay?

    We'll probably have to go back and forth a couple of times until we get it calibrated, I suppose. But, jumping ahead:

    Who gets to decide when the degree of "uncomfortable" or "unenjoyable" isn't enough to keep the GM from being an "inflexible tyrant"?

    The GM, of course.

    I just think that a lot of GMs aren't actually making these decisions based on what would or wouldn't make the game actually unenjoyable or uncomfortable for them, but rather based on a desire to continue to assert total control of their setting, and to avoid having to experience a game which is slightly out-of-step with their ideal.

    Reverse all the nouns, apply to players. The setting is the gms character.

    Absolutely. We've spent pages acknowledging that the GMs have just as much right to enjoy the game the way they want as the players do!

    The problem is that, in practice, the players tend to be forced to compromise their character concepts for the sake of the GM's request far more often than GMs are forced to compromise their setting concepts for the sake of a player's request.

    It's important that you understand this, and that you understand that we're not arguing over what you think we're arguing over.

    The same goes for Jeff Wilder.

    Careful Scott, I've said the same thing so many times that I was actually called out and criticized for saying it too much.

    So it's not lack of pointing this out that is leading to one side constantly ignoring the point. At this point I have concluded ignoring the point IS the point of their argument.


    Here's the thing. Allot of you seem to act like the compromising starts at the presentation of the campaign idea, by the time I present an idea, I've usually rejected two or three that I know I would enjoy the heck out of but that I know my players wouldn't enjoy as much. Should the players suck it up and play one of those campaigns? By the time I've started to play I've already sliced, changed and morphed the campaign to better fit the players in many ways, and at that point, its just too much to ask for them to pick something other than than ONE specific class?

    Grand Lodge

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    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
    Arssanguinus wrote:
    ...by the time I present an idea, I've usually rejected two or three that I know I would enjoy the heck out of but that I know my players wouldn't enjoy as much.

    That's not an assumption I've seen bandied about in the discussion much. One would think you would ask your players if they would enjoy those two or three ideas instead of not even giving them the chance to say yes.


    For example, if I enjoy political intruige and I know that they don't, I'm not going to pitch a political intruige game to them, however much that might be what I want to run. I've got stacks of ideas that I personally love that I know aren't my players flavor. Call it my "don't get to play the gunslinger" folder.

    And yes, pretty much that exct.assumption is bandied around with the snarky statements like "unwilling to change his 'precious world' - no disrespectful dripping snark there, let me tell you. By the time a campaign reaches characters, a whole lot has been left on the cutting room floor. Its kind of like a movie. You've sliced, diced and rejected quite a bit of stuff you personally like in favor of better playability. By the time you get to the point whee you are saying "ok, here are the available classes for this world, he are the house rules" you have already made changes altered things, distilled. This whole thing seems to boil down to, the player - singular, because in the circumstance we are talking about its not the whole table rebelling against a lone stubborn dm, its one player deciding that the only thing that can make him happy is playing the class you specifically left out - is allowed to have bright hard lines of "I MUST play exactly this and nothing else". While a dm is not allowed to have a line of "you can play ANYTHING else except this."

    Liberty's Edge

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    Scott Betts wrote:
    Absolutely. We've spent pages acknowledging that the GMs have just as much right to enjoy the game the way they want as the players do!

    Except you've also decided that you get to be the one that decides how much enjoyment the GM has to give up. You are the one who gets to pass judgment, apparently. "I've decided that this GM is making this decision unreasonably, instead of being properly flexible." Or, if the GM in question is lucky, like me, you get to be the one to pronounce a game decision "reasonable."

    Why do you get to decide that?

    In the response to my earlier post asking who gets to decide, you said:

    Quote:

    The GM, of course.

    I just think that a lot of GMs aren't actually making these decisions based on what would or wouldn't make the game actually unenjoyable or uncomfortable for them, but rather based on a desire to continue to assert total control of their setting, and to avoid having to experience a game which is slightly out-of-step with their ideal.

    Which is exactly the same as:

    Quote:

    The GM, of course.

    [Unless I think it's unreasonable.]

    You really don't see the problem with that?

    If a player isn't going to enjoy a game, the player has the right to decide not to play. It does not matter how unreasonable Scott Betts thinks his decision is. The player does not have to justify his decision; the player only has to balance his enjoyment of a game he thinks is flawed against not playing in that particular game, and whatever decision that player reaches is right for that player.

    If a GM isn't going to enjoy a game, the GM has the right to decide not to run that game. It does not matter how unreasonable Scott Betts thinks his decision is. The GM does not have to justify his decision; the GM only has to balance his enjoyment of a game he thinks is flawed against not running that particular game, and whatever decision that GM reaches is right for that GM. (And yes ... the work the GM puts into a game does factor into the "Enjoyment Equation.")

    You are insisting not only that the GM's enjoyment-impairment reach a certain threshold (one that is still kinda hazy), but that you get to decide what that threshold is. You don't, Scott. Nor does Adamantine Dragon. Nor does anyone else ... except that GM.

    Look, it's great that you think my dislike of Evil PCs is "reasonable," but you don't get to decide that for me. That decision is mine. It is not "entitlement" (in the bizarrely derogatory way it's being used here) to make a decision one has the right to make. It's only acting "entitled" when one insists on trying to force a decision someone else has the right to make.

    I simply don't understand why you think you get to be the arbiter. It's completely baffling.


    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    Arssanguinus wrote:
    ...by the time I present an idea, I've usually rejected two or three that I know I would enjoy the heck out of but that I know my players wouldn't enjoy as much.
    That's not an assumption I've seen bandied about in the discussion much. One would think you would ask your players if they would enjoy those two or three ideas instead of not even giving them the chance to say yes.

    To boot, one would similarly be able to assume that, if you rejected a couple of your own ideas because you thought the players might not like them, the players have probably rejected a couple of their ideas because they thought you wouldn't approve.


    Jeff Wilder wrote:
    Except you've also decided that you get to be the one that decides how much enjoyment the GM has to give up. You are the one who gets to pass judgment, apparently.

    Look, Jeff, I'm not going to screw around with trying to appease your sensibilities. If you've read our arguments (and I mean our actual arguments, not what you've gotten into your head that you think our arguments are) then you know whether you need to re-examine how you deal with players, or not.

    But this repeated (and, at this point, unquestionably deliberate) maiming of our position is starting to look less and less like honest discussion, and more and more like defensive attempts to flip the lens in a way that's going to drag the thread off-topic if you keep it up.

    The only thing that's baffling is that you think my sharing my opinion of how you run your game - which you opened up to others' opinions when you shared it on the internet - is anything more than just that. Now shape up, or there isn't going to be much of a discussion at all.


    Indeed. So why not just move to the 95% character, still enjoy things, and move on, rather than insisting in that one particular slice of character option that was excluded instead of the 99% allowed.


    Edited because it might be viewed as person, not the intent.


    Arssanguinus wrote:
    Scott Betts wrote:
    Jeff Wilder wrote:
    Except you've also decided that you get to be the one that decides how much enjoyment the GM has to give up. You are the one who gets to pass judgment, apparently.

    Look, Jeff, I'm not going to screw around with trying to appease your sensibilities. If you've read our arguments (and I mean our actual arguments, not what you've gotten into your head that you think our arguments are) then you know whether you need to re-examine how you deal with players, or not.

    But this repeated (and, at this point, unquestionably deliberate) maiming of our position is starting to look less and less like honest discussion, and more and more like defensive attempts to flip the lens in a way that's going to drag the thread off-topic if you keep it up.

    Given your repeated maiming of the other sides position it seems reasonable, right?

    I'll contest that later, but at least you're acknowledging that that's what you guys are up to.


    Scott Betts wrote:
    Arssanguinus wrote:
    Scott Betts wrote:
    Jeff Wilder wrote:
    Except you've also decided that you get to be the one that decides how much enjoyment the GM has to give up. You are the one who gets to pass judgment, apparently.

    Look, Jeff, I'm not going to screw around with trying to appease your sensibilities. If you've read our arguments (and I mean our actual arguments, not what you've gotten into your head that you think our arguments are) then you know whether you need to re-examine how you deal with players, or not.

    But this repeated (and, at this point, unquestionably deliberate) maiming of our position is starting to look less and less like honest discussion, and more and more like defensive attempts to flip the lens in a way that's going to drag the thread off-topic if you keep it up.

    Given your repeated maiming of the other sides position it seems reasonable, right?

    I'll contest that later, but at least you're acknowledging that that's what you guys are up to.

    No. It seems pretty clear that your position is that when push comes to shove, the player should always get his way, end of story.


    Arssanguinus wrote:
    No. It seems pretty clear that your position is that when push comes to shove, the player should always get his way, end of story.

    I just want to be clear, here:

    Despite me literally having said, repeatedly, that I don't think players should always get their way - including having provided examples where I wouldn't let the player have his or her way - you're trying to tell me that I think players should always get their way?

    I just want to make sure we're on the same page.


    Arssanguinus wrote:


    No. It seems pretty clear that your position is that when push comes to shove, the player should always get his way, end of story.

    And thus you maim our argument again. Deliberately.

    Our side has not been saying this at all. But since that's the only way you can defend your side, you will continue to claim that it is our side.

    Which is why this debate has become pointless.

    Liberty's Edge

    Scott Betts wrote:
    But this repeated (and, at this point, unquestionably deliberate) maiming of our position

    Of course I'm maiming your position. Your position is illogical and ridiculous. In legal terms, it would be shot down by demurrer.

    Quote:
    is starting to look less and less like honest discussion

    Oh, just think of it instead as, I dunno, a "power imbalance."


    Scott Betts wrote:
    Arssanguinus wrote:
    No. It seems pretty clear that your position is that when push comes to shove, the player should always get his way, end of story.

    I just want to be clear, here:

    Despite me literally having said, repeatedly, that I don't think players should always get their way - including having provided examples where I wouldn't let the player have his or her way - you're trying to tell me that I think players should always get their way?

    I just want to make sure we're on the same page.

    If you don't think a gm should be able to ban certain things,from a campaign and make that ban stick? Besides I do see repeated characterization son the various people in this thread as being "unwilling to be flexible". Even in the face of direct statements to the contrary with the only caveat being that if in the end, there is a failure to make the class fit in, it doesn't get in. That pretty much does imply that even if there was a good faith effort to make things fit and it didnt, tough noogie, they STILL should allow it.


    Adamantine Dragon wrote:
    Arssanguinus wrote:


    No. It seems pretty clear that your position is that when push comes to shove, the player should always get his way, end of story.

    And thus you maim our argument again. Deliberately.

    Our side has not been saying this at all. But since that's the only way you can defend your side, you will continue to claim that it is our side.

    Which is why this debate has become pointless.

    Then you DO think a GM should be able to ban classes from a campaign for flavor or style reasons right?

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