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


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Kthulhu wrote:
Duskrunner1 wrote:
Is it reasonable then for a GM to disallow that concept for the current gaming setting, but create a different setting that does allow for it at and latter date and time?
I can't think of a more fitting example of player entitlement than a player expecting a GM to create an entire campaign world around a character that player wants to play.

And these are in fact the only kind of games I ever run. As long as all the other players at the table are on board.


Coriat wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
If you are saying the final say doesn't go with the gm you are sort of by default putting it in the other place it can go.

What about a system that (as John Kretzer describes above) puts the final say to a group vote? This would seem to provide a direct example of a system where just because the GM isn't the final arbiter doesn't mean that the player is. And I feel compelled to mention this since he has been discussing his group's other way for, like, a lot of posts, including on this very same page as yours saying that there is no other way, and yet I have actually seen directreplies to his posts state that the way his group plays does not exist.

(not that my group uses such a system - the GM has the final say in my game, but if I ask for a seat at the table when he's working through something and deciding what the final say will be, he'll give it to me. Which is the actual position I - and as near as I can tell, a lot of other people who have been arguing on "my side" of the debate - are advancing).

Sigh...me and my friend don't exist...I hate it when that happens.

Actualy I have played with a large variety of GMs...and players. The group that is pretty much a demorarcy has been together a long time. So that is a factor.

A game that I run with two new spanking players I have to be a little more 'Final Say' as they are learning the system. Though I do ask their opinions on things.

And with yet another group there are a couple of us that have the ability to have rational discussions about these things and that is the group the decides things. The other players while are gretat guys...can't handle it.

I am not saying the GM can't have the Final Say. I have seen another RPG do know that can't worrk with certain players...

But when GMs come here and rant about 'Entitled Players' all I am saying is step back and walk a mile in their shoes. If this a completely new player to you...maybe he is a former player of mine where I encouirage my players creativity and ability to control the game.

In other words I think there is too much assuming going around here...and we all know what assume really means, right?


Sorry, the choice of if that hitching is going to happen in my campaign world, regardless of every vote you can possibly imagine is still mine. Might it mean a game doesn't happen? If the player is that ridiculously set on having the one class that is banned, I suppose.

But again, if after campaign proposals are set out with bans and details, one is selected .. And then a player immediately shows up with something banned ...

Shadow Lodge

Well, that statement was based on the assumption that the GM is not just abandoning the original campaign setting simply because one special snowflake can only function in a world that's built entirely around him.

What do you do if the special snowflake dies in the first session? Is the GM then obligated to create yet a third campaign world around said player's NEXT concept? Or is the GM expected to bend the rules at all costs to keep the special snowflake character alive no matter what?


Um...no one on that the players should have some power have ever say that the GM should creat a entire campaign setting to accomandate that one guy.

It was straw man arguement put up by your side.

Hey if you guys want to argue about it...I guess we could start a new thread title..."Hey guys let argue against each other by setting up easy straw man so we can smash them".

But to point out that can ever happen in my democracey group...as all the players and I vote...so that player will be disappointed if expects a game where he is the superstar.

See...personaly such players are jerks...I kinmda like my way of dealing with them. What is worst for a jerk being told my one guy No!"...or being told by the entire group?

Shadow Lodge

One thing is that there are (at a minimum) two different approaches towards world building and the PC relation to that world. In PC-centric world, the world itself revolves around the PCs. Not just the game, but the entire setting. The other approach is that, while the game revolves around the PCs, the setting itself does not. I prefer the later, both as a GM and even (gasp) as a player. Vincent, it would seem, prefers the former. Neither is badwrongfun, but it does to a certain degree affect the style of GMing.

Shadow Lodge

John - Er, did you not see the bit from Duskrunner I quoted? He was asking exactly that - if the GM banned a class for flavor reasons in his campaign world, couldn't he just whip up a new campaign world in which it woul be allowed?

Er, no.

Sovereign Court

John Kretzer wrote:

Um...no one on that the players should have some power have ever say that the GM should creat a entire campaign setting to accomandate that one guy.

It was straw man arguement put up by your side.

Hey if you guys want to argue about it...I guess we could start a new thread title..."Hey guys let argue against each other by setting up easy straw man so we can smash them".

But to point out that can ever happen in my democracey group...as all the players and I vote...so that player will be disappointed if expects a game where he is the superstar.

See...personaly such players are jerks...I kinmda like my way of dealing with them. What is worst for a jerk being told my one guy No!"...or being told by the entire group?

First off I am on no one's side but my own.

It was a genuine question. It wasn't meant to bait or anything like that. If a GM running a world that bans humans and warriors, and the group itself as no issue with it other than one person, who has this concept around a human/warrior would it be to much for that player to wait for the GM to think up something without destroying the original concept that they had in mind? While letting the original campaign play itself out?


Duskrunner1 wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

Um...no one on that the players should have some power have ever say that the GM should creat a entire campaign setting to accomandate that one guy.

It was straw man arguement put up by your side.

Hey if you guys want to argue about it...I guess we could start a new thread title..."Hey guys let argue against each other by setting up easy straw man so we can smash them".

But to point out that can ever happen in my democracey group...as all the players and I vote...so that player will be disappointed if expects a game where he is the superstar.

See...personaly such players are jerks...I kinmda like my way of dealing with them. What is worst for a jerk being told my one guy No!"...or being told by the entire group?

First off I am on no one's side but my own.

It was a genuine question. It wasn't meant to bait or anything like that. If a GM running a world that bans humans and warriors, and the group itself as no issue with it other than one person, who has this concept around a human/warrior would it be to much for that player to wait for the GM to think up something without destroying the original concept that they had in mind? While letting the original campaign play itself out?

The question you pose is an interesting one and it falls into what i've recently coined as the takeda style threefold model. Its a question of priorities. Kthulhu prefers to build the setting on his own and let the players populate it. What under original GNS theory would be categorized as 'simulationist' (recreating a world or a theme) is what takeda style threefold model refers to as 'narrativist'. (The setting takes precedence over conflicting player builds.)

I refer to my 'preferred' style of the three as as a 'takeda style simulationist' in that I prefer the player builds to dictate the plot and the story instead, because my 'fun' is derived not from telling 'my story' in 'my world' but telling 'a fun story' about 'a fun world' to 'some fun guys' and... the story and setting happen to also be something I come up with because i'm the gm. So I still get to say its mine and I came up with it and i'm an imaginative and awesome gm... Because i'm vain like that.

I have a preference for my style of 'player centric simulationist sandboxing' only because I place a higher premium on the players playing what they want to play so that they can experience the game on their own terms, and do very specifically put my interest in 'pushing a setting or story on them' on the back burner, because if the players dont like it, they'll either quit, or possibly keep playing but stomp all over your precious flower garden in ways you couldnt possibly anticipate, and having ruined their fun they may ruin yours just to prove a point. Is this an ideal way to go about things? No. But over time it'll happen more than you'd like it to. Getting total player buy in is a huge part of successful campaigns that are remembered fondly and that last.

If you pride yourself on making a world up on your own that the players will enjoy, but before the first attribute score hits the character sheet you're already laying down the walls and the rails, then I feel like you're gming more for you than you are for them.

Not that it cant work out. If everyone at the table buys in then it totally works out. This thread on the other hand isn't about total player buy in. And the second someone at the table isnt having fun is the first second your campaign starts to fall apart and you've pretty much established 'that second' as being the one before the characters are even built...

That seems silly to me but as always, YMMV...

GNS theory simulationist or 'Takeda style narrativist' gaming totally works when 'every' player is on board. The second that's not true then things start breaking down.

If you're not familiar with what i'm talking about I recommend a post I made in a different thread


For all of those who complain about being belittled, or condescended to ... What. Exactly do you think this insipid little passive aggressive "stepping in your 'precious flower box' comment is?

Talk about condescending, that takes the cake.


And yet again we have someone postulate "the players(plural) against the gm(singular)" when what is being discussed and the scenarios proposed are A player(singular) vs the dm(singular). Its a cute way to try to give your argument extra weight but,its kinda disingenuous.


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If I want to get controversial and match your level of antagonism there arss... about it I'd simply say to the folks that think their 'flowerbox' is more important than player enjoyment is this:

If you're such an imaginitive and creative and wonderfully brilliant gm, then you should have no trouble coming up with a world that every player can have fun with in their own fashion, instead of 'every player but one'. And lacking such skill is more a reflection on your shortcomings than on the quality of your flowerbox.

I try not to go there though. 'Don't be a jerk' forum rules and all that. Its not appropriate for the forums and its why I slapped a big old YMMV on my post, but hey. If the glass slipper seems to fit then you might just be my little disney princess.

Sovereign Court

Very interesting Vincent and a good read on campaign theory. I would have to say that what I am currently running is a mix between Simulationist/Narrativist. I wouldn't say in the example posed that Simulationst has to be the exact opposite of Narrativist. Case in point. I am currently running the Kingmaker AP. Each player has selected two traits to assist in fleshing out their backstory. As such each player has given me a story thread for me to work with, so that as the world and events transpire around them (i.e. Kingmaker). They do have "spotlight" situations however that come into play, revolving around that player (and their choices).Hope this makes sense.

Overall the funniest thing that I find is Paizo itself is a culprit of creating their precious little flower box as you coined, as well as, Wizards of the Coast, and even TSR. Each has created world(s), and have modified rules from the previous incarnation (some good, some not so good; anyone remember when an elf could only be a wizard?). The only thing is we the consumer never see the ideas they originally have, and decided not to release, as those never get published.

Anyway the only thing that matters is how the individual gaming groups that we each belong to view this, and how they react accordingly.


That was sort of my point in my description of simulationist. It's not that a simulationist sandbox 'has no narrative'. Its not even that a simulationist loses narrative control. Its that being able to run a simulationist campaign requires both an ability to adapt to unusual player builds, and the ability to develop the narrative on the fly, while a narrativist gm who finds himself in a situation where everyone isnt on board

  • should be imaginitive enough to change the narrative
  • should be willing to change the narrative to ensure 'everyone' is on board
  • creates this 'entitlement drama' by not being up to the task or by 'choosing not to bother.'

    Its not saying that gravitating to a narrativist style of play is bad, with the caveat being that EVERY player should be on board for the narrative, which is 'the lacking factor' that this thread attempts to address. There's nothing wrong with running an 'adventure path' in 'golarion' as long as everyone at the table is good for it. Theres nothing even wrong with running an adventure path in golarion with no gunslingers or synthesist summoners' as long as everyone at the table is good for it.

    This thread is specifically about what you do when thats not the case. I say having the imaginative and adaptive skill to roll with such characters may be

  • something certain gms aren't good at
  • such skills may be like building muscle. you get better at it by doing it
  • something the gm is perfectly good at but inexplicably has chosen not to bother with

    And people who get snippy about their flowerbox are usually people who have experienced first hand having their world messed up by unhappy players, so now that that reality is carved in stone, if you want to avoid it in the future, try to use the amazing gm chops and the gms 'paintbrush of infinite possibilities' to make the changes necessary that give you 100% player buy in instead of 83% player buy in, not just for the sake of the players, but for the sake of the amazing world that you clearly already value.

    Some gms either cant or wont use the paintbrush of infinite possibilities and self professed gm 'authority and power' to make sure everyone is on board. To those that can't I say the only way you get better at being outside of your comfort zone is spending time there, and to those that wont I think at least half the posters here can tell you where they think you should stick it. I try to get through the point without being insulting but if you single out players out of personal desire instead of lack of skill then I don't have kind things to say about that. If you lack the skill I say loosen up the old shoulders and throw off that pretense and try your best to do what gaming is all about: making sure 'everyone has fun' and if you're capable of it but can't talk yourself into actually doing it? Its cool. Get back to being a player or stick with only folks that are happy rolling in your comfort zone.

    Its not a bad thing. If, however, the only thing it takes to tear your ability to create an amazing world with an amazing plot is to say 'samurai in sandpoint' and immediately your ears are ringing, your eyes are watering, your bowels start to empty of their own accord, and your internal monologue becomes 'OH NOEZZ ME BRAINZZ IZ MELTING!' Then I'm not going to be too sad about saying I'd rather have a different gm than you. I'm not trying to be insulting. I'm trying to say its a skill that isnt going to develop without practice. And its the skill that resolves the issues that the OP is trying to address. And its a skill that I would think imaginitive diehard narrativist gms would want to develop if for no other reason than to keep disruptive players from ruining the beautiful things they create and hold dear.

  • Sovereign Court

    Thank you Vincent. I hope that what you just wrote is agreeable to all.

    I do believe that the main focus of this conversation evolved into what is now pg 16, and devolved into GM vs one player. I do believe that restrictions can make a campaign world a richer place. If not the Dragonlance and Dark Sun settings wouldn't be popular (each does not have paladins when originally created). My hang up is with some races or third party source material that is brought in by a player that allows that player to powergame. I personally like to keep things simple and manageable, thus originally why I wanted to have the CRB only allowed. No one in my group asked if they could be something else from either the APG or UM. I decided to bring those in because there was certain aspect I enjoy out of each book. However if a new player came at me with a book that I wasn't using and demanded that I allowed him to powergame that is when I would tell him to hit the road (I get enough demanding at work, I dont need it in a leisure activity). Granted that has not happened, but I think that is the type of situation that a good many think would/can occur.


    I agree. I'm not saying that there arent a few things I'd like to avoid in my campaigns... I've never been a fan of 'psionics' in any version of D&D. (I'm fine with them in palladium...) And my lack of skill working with psionics never gets better because I never try. I'm only lucky that nobody in my D&D/pathfinder games ever wants to be psionic, but if it happens then it'll be time for me to imbrace the insanity and get familiar with it.

    Its also not to say that if you're running a campaign full of thieves and some clown shows up wanting to play a paladin that you have to work it in. You say 'thats not going to work out well and your whole table will back you up, and then its not an issue.

    But if its one guy, and his build isn't 'antithematic to the rest of the table'. And the rest of the table says 'give it a go'... I do expect the gm to actually give it a go. Or at least pass the paintbrush.

    IMHO/YMMV.


    Duskrunner1 wrote:

    First off I am on no one's side but my own.

    It was a genuine question. It wasn't meant to bait or anything like that. If a GM running a world that bans humans and warriors, and the group itself as no issue with it other than one person, who has this concept around a human/warrior would it be to much for that player to wait for the GM to think up something without destroying the original concept that they had in mind? While letting the original campaign play itself out?

    Sorry I misread your intent.

    To look at the question henestly...sure if he he/she can get the others players(including the GM) to sign up as well.

    Though having most of my campaign world being flexable and open I don't really need to create a whole new campaign setting.

    I run...and the person I GM most with run something call living campaigns. In our games what has happened in past games have happened. They could be multiple campaigns going in the same time. It is possible to run into a old PC or currently active groups to meet up. Campaigns often start with a retired PC hiring a group of new PCs to do something.

    So I often don't have to create a whole lot of new stuff each time I start a new game.


    Vincent Takeda wrote:

    If I want to get controversial and match your level of antagonism there arss... about it I'd simply say to the folks that think their 'flowerbox' is more important than player enjoyment is this:

    If you're such an imaginitive and creative and wonderfully brilliant gm, then you should have no trouble coming up with a world that every player can have fun with in their own fashion, instead of 'every player but one'. And lacking such skill is more a reflection on your shortcomings than on the quality of your flowerbox.

    I try not to go there though. 'Don't be a jerk' forum rules and all that. Its not appropriate for the forums and its why I slapped a big old YMMV on my post, but hey. If the glass slipper seems to fit then you might just be my little disney princess.

    And to reverse it again ,.. If the player is such an imaginative and creative player, they should have no trouble coming up with a character they can have fun with in any world with any restrictions. And lacking such a skill is more a reflection of their shortcomings than on the quality of their character.


    Vincent Takeda wrote:

    I agree. I'm not saying that there arent a few things I'd like to avoid in my campaigns... I've never been a fan of 'psionics' in any version of D&D. (I'm fine with them in palladium...) And my lack of skill working with psionics never gets better because I never try. I'm only lucky that nobody in my D&D/pathfinder games ever wants to be psionic, but if it happens then it'll be time for me to imbrace the insanity and get familiar with it.

    Its also not to say that if you're running a campaign full of thieves and some clown shows up wanting to play a paladin that you have to work it in. You say 'thats not going to work out well and your whole table will back you up, and then its not an issue.

    But if its one guy, and his build isn't 'antithematic to the rest of the table'. And the rest of the table says 'give it a go'... I do expect the gm to actually give it a go. Or at least pass the paintbrush.

    IMHO/YMMV.

    And there again "the rest of the table" is not the discussion. If the whole table doesn't get enjoyment then of course there is a no go. But that isn't the discussion.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Adamantine Dragon wrote:
    OK, you have a point here. I won't even defend it. I was out of line. I hope it didn't cause too much grief for you. Enjoy your gaming.

    Works for me. Sorry for the harsh tone from myself, too.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    John Kretzer wrote:

    I was not actualy trying to convince you of anything. I was just showing you my approach. I don't have enough info about your world to see if I could see a way to make it fit with your world's lore. As to your mechanical concern...which if I gather correctly is what you don't like the whole vs touch AC thing...two things I would say to that

    1) You do realize it is only touch to the first range increment? So we are talking about 50' for a vehicle mounted weapon...and 40' for the musket. While spellcaster get a tone of touch spells at greater range that either do greater damage or even worse debiltrating effects. So do you ban all touch attacks from the game? If you do...awesome. I can understand that.

    2) Why not just houserule guns are vs regular AC? I mean it is very simple.

    1.) Casters have limited spells per day, get to cast once per round and their most effective spells seldomly even use touch attacks. The touch attacks being restricted to only the first range increment is seldomly an issue with the dungeon-happy APs from Paizo.

    2.) Because then guns become hilariously ineffective and worse than bows. It still wouldn't solve the other mechanical concerns I have about the class, like auto-tripping colossal opponents by just hittimg them twice in a round. And I don't feel like completely rewriting a class I already despise for fluff reasons alone.

    John Kretzer wrote:
    Anyway sorry for the sidetrack...the point is does this make me one of those 'entitled players' for bringing up these points? Would I be veiwed as a jerk? By anyone here. With the caveat I am not doing it during a game of course.

    I don't make my decisions in a vacuum. They get discussed with my players and sometimes rejected by them outright. In my first group, I have extensively houseruled the magic item creation process. When I posited those rule changes for my second group, they said that they would rather keep with the original rules and that my powergaming concerns were not appropiate for their playstyle ( which is correct, to a certain degree ). As such, those houserules were not implemented for group two, although they also accepted the ban on gunslingers, summoners and evil characters.

    Grand Lodge

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Adamantine Dragon wrote:
    Anyway, it is clear that this discussion is impossible to move from the polarized extremes and into a reasonable middle ground. The GM-is-god contingent simply will not accept the premise that a GM should try to accommodate player requests even if that means the GM might have to expand the rigid boundaries of their game playing.

    Actually it's completely possible to move it to a reasonable middle ground.... at the individual table level. Assuming that most GM's and most Players have a presumed adult level of maturity, they'll gemerally work it out, even if this thread never comes to a resolution. I've never seen a major shoutfest over a banned class or mechanic in any of the home games I've been a part of in this region over the last 30 years or so.


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    LazarX wrote:
    Adamantine Dragon wrote:
    Anyway, it is clear that this discussion is impossible to move from the polarized extremes and into a reasonable middle ground. The GM-is-god contingent simply will not accept the premise that a GM should try to accommodate player requests even if that means the GM might have to expand the rigid boundaries of their game playing.
    Actually it's completely possible to move it to a reasonable middle ground.... at the individual table level. Assuming that most GM's and most Players have a presumed adult level of maturity, they'll gemerally work it out, even if this thread never comes to a resolution. I've never seen a major shoutfest over a banned class or mechanic in any of the home games I've been a part of in this region over the last 30 years or so.

    This is largely the fault of the internet. People ignore anything you say that is moderate or reasonable and look only for the most extreme version of one thing you might have said. The truth is there really IS no GM is god contingent and there really is no player is god contingent. Just people reacting online in extreme ways.


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    If we're going to call a DM an "artist" then clearly he should bend his creative will to popular opinion. That's how innovation obviously happens.

    But really. Is this an argument of player creativity and concept or of GAME MECHANICS?

    I don't see anything from stopping you from doing most roleplaying concepts with the CRB builds. You want to be a "summoner"? Focus on conjuraton spells. You want to be a witch? Have your character use strange somatic and material components etc.

    Even paladins can be Fighters but with a chivalrous background and maybe the DM throws in some CLW type powers.

    So really. Is this an issue of not being allowed to express yourself or you just want the cool mechanical aspects of certain classes? I await some pretty sophist and silly answers in response to this...


    Aranna wrote:
    LazarX wrote:
    Adamantine Dragon wrote:
    Anyway, it is clear that this discussion is impossible to move from the polarized extremes and into a reasonable middle ground. The GM-is-god contingent simply will not accept the premise that a GM should try to accommodate player requests even if that means the GM might have to expand the rigid boundaries of their game playing.
    Actually it's completely possible to move it to a reasonable middle ground.... at the individual table level. Assuming that most GM's and most Players have a presumed adult level of maturity, they'll gemerally work it out, even if this thread never comes to a resolution. I've never seen a major shoutfest over a banned class or mechanic in any of the home games I've been a part of in this region over the last 30 years or so.
    This is largely the fault of the internet. People ignore anything you say that is moderate or reasonable and look only for the most extreme version of one thing you might have said. The truth is there really IS no GM is god contingent and there really is no player is god contingent. Just people reacting online in extreme ways.

    It's not even the fault of the internet. It's that we're not trying to solve a particular situation, where almost all of the people in this thread would be reasonable and find a compromise.

    We're talking about what happens when no one is willing too compromise. Or trying to decide who should compromise in general.

    Which is probably a bad idea come to think of it. Once you decide that one side is the one that has the responsibility to compromise, you remove a lot of incentive from the other side to be reasonable.


    kmal2t wrote:
    If we're going to call a DM an "artist" then clearly he should bend his creative will to popular opinion. That's how innovation obviously happens.

    Um...no one I believed said this.

    kmal2t wrote:
    But really. Is this an argument of player creativity and concept or of GAME MECHANICS?

    It is of both. One of the reasons I don't like 4th ed is because is because they separated the mechanics from the fluff. I really like systems where the mechanics and the fluff go hand in hand.

    kmal2t wrote:

    I don't see anything from stopping you from doing most roleplaying concepts with the CRB builds. You want to be a "summoner"? Focus on conjuraton spells. You want to be a witch? Have your character use strange somatic and material components etc.

    Even paladins can be Fighters but with a chivalrous background and maybe the DM throws in some CLW type powers.

    Of serveral reasons...and this of course my personal veiw.

    1) I could play a wizard and call(RP) it I am witch....but with the witch class now I can also show that I am witch. Being able to show something is very important to me in story telling. It is one of the arguements I have with 4th ed people.

    2) Playing a Summoner feels very different from playing say a Conjurer. As well as a wizard and a witch...or a noble fighter vs a cavalier...etc. That actualy help with the RP of your concept. Again fluff and mechanics going hand in hand.

    3) If you want to run your game that way...that is cool. But I have been playing D&D/Pathfinder for 28 years now. I have played all the classes and races from core. Haveing new option as new races and classes keeps the game fresh for me.

    kmal2t wrote:
    So really. Is this an issue of not being allowed to express yourself or you just want the cool mechanical aspects of certain classes?

    It is about both. But again expressing yourself with new mechanic is not a bad thing and goes hand in hand with your concepts. Even I who does not like the Summoner class that much have a great idea for a concept of somebody's imaginary friends becoming real. You really can't do that with a druid(who is stuck with animals) or a conjurer(Who is limited to a select list and there is time limition factor).

    kmal2t wrote:
    I await some pretty sophist and silly answers in response to this...

    Um...I suggust looking up sophist in the dictionary...I don't think it mean what you think it means.

    And I am still awaiting your silly response to a previous post.

    Liberty's Edge

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    My position is simple:

    "A player/GM should never have to play/run a game in which his or her enjoyment is outweighed by non-enjoyment. The player/GM does not need to justify his or her decision to anyone else."

    Does anybody disagree with that?

    If a player and a GM don't agree on an issue that would cause each one's non-enjoyment to rise to the level of "not playing," what happens?

    One group here argues that the GM should sometimes concede and run the game, despite the GM's non-enjoyment.

    Another group here argues that the player should sometimes concede and play in the game, despite the player's non-enjoyment.

    My argument is that "A player/GM should never have to play/run a game in which his or her enjoyment is outweighed by non-enjoyment. The player/GM does not need to justify his or her decision to anyone else."

    In the real world, because GMing takes more commitment and more effort than playing, GMs are scarcer. In the real world, in most games, the player:GM ratio approximates 4:1. In the real world, if the player elects not to play, the game can go on. In the real world, if the GM elects not to play, that game isn't happening.

    This is a power imbalance. Folks here have argued that it's an "unfair" power imbalance, or that the GM should be "sensitive to it," or whatever, but what those arguments logically boil down to is that they believe a GM should be forced to GM a game ... or at least to justify his or her reasons for non-enjoyment to someone else to be vetted for reasonableness.

    The power imbalance is real. It is part of the real-world dynamics of most RPGs, and it is baked into, and codified by, most RPGs.

    Ultimately, however, what it comes down to is this: "A player/GM should never have to play/run a game in which his or her enjoyment is outweighed by non-enjoyment. The player/GM does not need to justify his or her decision to anyone else."

    You either agree with that statement -- in which case the logical real-world result is that the GM has more power than any individual player -- or you don't agree with that statement, in which case you must believe either that (a) a GM can be forced to run a game he or she doesn't enjoy, or (b) a GM can be forced to justify his or her non-enjoyment to a "reasonableness standard" to someone else.


    magnuskn wrote:
    I don't make my decisions in a vacuum. They get discussed with my players and sometimes rejected by them outright. In my first group, I have extensively houseruled the magic item creation process. When I posited those rule changes for my second group, they said that they would rather keep with the original rules and that my powergaming concerns were not appropiate for their playstyle ( which is correct, to a certain degree ). As such, those houserules were not implemented for group two, although they also accepted the ban on gunslingers, summoners and evil characters

    I think that is more of my point. It should not be the GM or a player the dicates how the games is played(houserules, banning of races and classes, etc.) but it should be the group(players and GMs included).

    Now the issue of GM Final say or not...there is no hard rule here. This dcepend all on the group dynamic. But because the GM has the final say does not mean he should have to beat it over his players heads...but on the other side the players should not beat the GM over the head either.

    Re: Gunslingers and their banning...you don't like the mechanics...and you know them. I really don't have a problem with GM banning for that reason. But I have ran into GMs who ban things or really dumb houserules because they are 'broken' because they don't know the rules(but does own the books). Those are usualy the bans I reverse.


    I think the issue of ruining a GM's fun is being taken to extremes so I ask this. How much accommodation on your part does it take for you(any of the more rigid) GM's to ruin your fun?

    Does something that kills immersion ruin your fun?

    Does it have to be something that causes you to do more work mechanically?

    What if you just don't like option X, but can't put a finger on the reason.
    Example: The option in question makes sense, and it is not a mechanically debilitating to the game in question, but for some reason you just don't like it.

    -----------

    Another way to way to ask the question is, what are you willing to do to help a player have fun?

    Will you try to help him create flavor so option X does fit? If the player can come with a "Good" reason as to how X can fit into the game would you modify your position. For the sake of this question we will assume that you agree that the reason is "good".

    Will you make mechanical changes to a class, assuming it does not require an entire rewrite?

    Can you run the game and allow option that makes sense, and is not broken even though it just feels wrong?


    John Kretzer wrote:

    I really like systems where the mechanics and the fluff go hand in hand.

    (very off-topic) ...then join us in the RMU playtest.


    @Jeff Wilder:

    1) Do you have statistical evidence to support the ratio to play vs GMs? Or the level of commitment from players to GMs? Or is that all based on your experiences?

    While yes there are probably more GM than Players out there...I think the actual ratio is closer to 3:1 or even 2:1.

    And while the GM I would say is required to commitment more that a player...there are players who have a equal or in some cases a greater commitment to the the game as a GM. I know I have been in games where I have been more commited to than the GM atleast. Fun games too.

    2) There is degree of enjoyments. It is not absolute as you paint it. I don't like conjurere's in my game...that does not mean a player will blow up my game by playing one. Standing on the line such as a absolute I don't find lgical.

    3)

    Jeff Wilder wrote:
    You either agree with that statement -- in which case the logical real-world result is that the GM has more power than any individual player -- or you don't agree with that statement, in which case you must believe either that (a) a GM can be forced to run a game he or she doesn't enjoy, or (b) a GM can be forced to justify his or her non-enjoyment to a "reasonableness standard" to someone else.

    Mmm...I think no one is saying forced to do anything here. We think it is more (c) create a whole lot better situration if the GM does explain why he does that...and that the GM can accept discussion on his rulings.

    Also again a absolute staement. TThere is no such thing as a absolute.

    4) So we all agree that the GM has more power. Well than would not the stories on these threads about GM being jerks be more likely...as well power does have a tendency to corrupt.


    RadiantSophia wrote:
    John Kretzer wrote:

    I really like systems where the mechanics and the fluff go hand in hand.

    (very off-topic) ...then join us in the RMU playtest.

    Send me a PM with details.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    John Kretzer wrote:

    4) So we all agree that the GM has more power. Well than would not the stories on these threads about GM being jerks be more likely...as well power does have a tendency to corrupt.

    To be honest and fair, more than a few of these "GMs being Jerks" stories are from players with exaggerated senses of self-entitlement and self worth. For every "Jerk GM", we've got a Diva Player or three.

    Silver Crusade

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    If neither side can agree on a compromise then the best thing is to drop that campaign and someone else step up and run something that everyone wants to play in.


    This is a true story that happened to my group. It also really changed my prospective on the level of enjoyment of the game.

    I was playing with a guy for many years. He would talk about a Conjurer wizard he had great fun playing all the time. It was a very memorable PC. I don't make it a secret that I don't like conjurere wizards as they can bog down the game and make the game less fun for everybody. So while it is not banned in my games...my players are considerate about my feelings on this subject and don't play one.

    Now my friend is older than the rest of us. He got a case of terminal cancer. While he still healthy enough to play he asked me if he could recreate his old character. I of course being a feeling human being told sure and helped him recreate him in PF. He never did get a chance to play him though.

    In hindsight I remebtered a conversation with him about recreating that character again...I told him I don't like conjuration magic...but sure you can make it. He being considerate said he shelf the idea for now...being the character would not the same. I told him maybe the next campaign.

    Well he never got to that next campaign. I have always regretted that conversation. Not as much as I regretted not seeing the early signs of cancer...but that is another issue.

    Anyway...that is why I try to work with players, keep a open mind, and even willing to sacrfice my enjoyment a game to a small degree for my players. You never know what will happen next.


    LazarX wrote:
    John Kretzer wrote:

    4) So we all agree that the GM has more power. Well than would not the stories on these threads about GM being jerks be more likely...as well power does have a tendency to corrupt.

    To be honest and fair, more than a few of these "GMs being Jerks" stories are from players with exaggerated senses of self-entitlement and self worth. For every "Jerk GM", we've got a Diva Player or three.

    Sure...heck I pretty much take it granted that every such thread is not telling the whole story...even when we get both sides of the story.

    Personally I respond pretty much the same way to all of them. Which is...

    'Sit down and talk with the GM(or players). Asking us what you should do in the situration is very meaningless as we are not there."

    I mean I might give the person another perspective on what might be happening. But really I look at such thread as somebody needing to rant and collect their thought...maybe getting affirmination.

    Yet there are certain posters who automaticaly leap to the defense of the GM..or player. And they get some bad advice that probably will lead to a worsting of the situration.


    shallowsoul wrote:
    If neither side can agree on a compromise then the best thing is to drop that campaign and someone else step up and run something that everyone wants to play in.

    Agreed.

    Hey as a GM sometimes I give my player a list of ideas for a game. For instance...

    1) A miltary type war game where the PCs are kinda like special forces.

    2) A pirate game.

    3) A game where you all recieve a mysterious inheritence from someone you don't know.

    etc.

    Considering that we as group that plays more than just PF...that list can get pretty strange.

    Liberty's Edge

    John Kretzer wrote:
    Mmm...I think no one is saying forced to do anything here. We think it is more (c) create a whole lot better situration if the GM does explain why he does that...and that the GM can accept discussion on his rulings.

    So in your view the GM's decision that his enjoyment is being outweighed by his non-enjoyment is a decision that he doesn't get to make alone: it should be vetted for reasonableness by the table.

    Which is exactly what I said is the logical result of taking away a player/GM's power to make his own decision.

    Look, I'm not saying that discussion and compromise isn't the ideal. It is the ideal, and as far as I can tell, everyone agrees on that. So, since everyone agrees, we can stop wasting time talking about it, and we can move on to what happens when compromise and discussion fail.

    And my position is that, in that case, a player/GM cannot be forced to play, and cannot be forced to justify just exactly why and how his or her non-enjoyment has outweighed his or her enjoyment.

    And when that happens, the GM's power to run the GM's game trumps the player's power to play in the GM's game. Period.


    Jeff Wilder wrote:

    Look, I'm not saying that discussion and compromise isn't the ideal. It is the ideal, and as far as I can tell, everyone agrees on that. So, since everyone agrees, we can stop wasting time talking about it, and we can move on to what happens when compromise and discussion fail.

    And my position is that, in that case, a player/GM cannot be forced to play, and cannot be forced to justify just exactly why and how his or her non-enjoyment has outweighed his or her enjoyment.

    And when that happens, the GM's power to run the GM's game trumps the player's power to play in the GM's game. Period.

    I don't get your point. If the GM/player does not justfied( I think explain is much better of a word) why it will make them unhappy...does that not mean discussion and compromise with auto fail? I mean to compromise you kinda need to have understanding of what the issue is. To get that you need to have a discussion.

    I think you got the steps of conflict resolution wrong.

    Anyway if a compromise can't be reached...than no the power of the GM to not run the game is about equal to the player(s) power not to play. Sure the GM may have enough players left to run a game...but likely the players will find another group to play or form one themselves.

    Liberty's Edge

    John Kretzer wrote:
    If the GM/player does not justfied( I think explain is much better of a word) why it will make them unhappy...does that not mean discussion and compromise with auto fail?

    First, what I'm primarily talking about is when the GM's reason for non-enjoyment doesn't satisfy a player: "I don't enjoy guns in fantasy." "I don't like GMing evil characters." "I don't believe I can handle 7 players."

    If the player (who wants to be a gunslinger, or wants to play evil, or wants to join a game with six current players) accepts that, then all is well. If the player does not, in the real world the GM's power to run the game always trumps the player's power to play in it.

    Second, yes, I am saying that, although it is not ideal, a GM does not have to offer a justification for denying something at all. Such a GM may very well soon find that the dissatisfaction of the one player is spilling out over to the other players, and the GM may well have to accept the fallout of triggering the collective players' power.

    But neither a GM nor a player ever must explain why they would rather not play/run a game if it pushes their non-enjoyment high enough.

    For example, I had a very long-time friend ask if his friend could join the game. I disliked the friend of a friend quite a bit, to the point that I do not enjoy gaming with the FoaF. I said that I'd sit out the next campaign. I did not justify it, even though my friend asked me, because my friend truly liked the FoaF, and I wasn't interested in the hurt feelings and drama that might have resulted in saying so and saying why.

    My point is that, ultimately, the reasons don't matter: all that matters is how a GM or player's enjoyment versus non-enjoyment balance out. It's absolutely true that in most cases, discussion and compromise lead to a better result ... but ultimately the only person entitled to make the judgment is the player or GM in question.

    And because a GM's decision not to run a game always has heavier consequences than an individual player's decision not to play in a game, a GM holds ultimate power over the parameters of his or her game.

    Quote:
    Anyway if a compromise can't be reached...than no the power of the GM to not run the game is about equal to the player(s) power not to play. Sure the GM may have enough players left to run a game...but likely the players will find another group to play or form one themselves.

    Note that I was talking about "GM power" versus "player power."

    To make your point, you had to switch to "GM power" versus "players' power."

    Yes, the players collectively have power to match the GM's power to "not GM": they have the power to not play in the GM's game.

    And that's exactly how it's supposed to be.

    Shadow Lodge

    Jeff Wilder wrote:
    A player/GM should never have to play/run a game in which his or her enjoyment is outweighed by non-enjoyment. The player/GM does not need to justify his or her decision to anyone else.

    Sir, you win this thread.


    That little addition of the plural makes this into a completely different argument.


    John Kretzer wrote:
    While yes there are probably more GM than Players out there...I think the actual ratio is closer to 3:1 or even 2:1

    In my home game, it was more like, well, 8:6. Almost all of the players were also accomplished DMs in their own right; I've personally played in games run by Silverhair, Houstonderek, Mundane, and Psychicmachinery, and can comment positively on their skill and ability; and I have it on good report that the games Jess Door and TOZ run are also very excellent.

    Maybe that has a lot to do with my attitude about sharing power, when I'm the referee -- all the players know how it all works, and without me as DM, there was still ALWAYS a game in town.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Jeff Wilder wrote:
    So, since everyone agrees, we can stop wasting time talking about it, and we can move on to what happens when compromise and discussion fail.

    Then I have only one question: Why in God's name are you playing with people with whom you cannot have a discussion?!?! Maybe I'm a lunatic, but I'd much rather not play at all than play with people I don't like.

    In Houston, at overlapping times I had at least a dozen people sit at my table, in my home, to play in my game. I liked all of them. I had a several "possibles" as well, whom I screened out in advance, knew I wouldn't particularly get along with, and didn't invite. One guy I said, "Okay, here's a CD with our home rules, and I'll pick up the tab for lunch, but I'm not sure we have an opening for you. Thanks very much for agreeing to meet with me." No harm, no foul.

    So whoever sits down and plays is already someone I'm willing to discuss things and compromise with. Which I have absolutely no problem doing. And, shoot, if I've already invited them to the game, I'm not going to turn around and tell them point-blank they can't play X, Y, or Z, because "that's not appropriate for the game." The game is about all of us.

    I absolutely love my campaign setting, but that said, I've rebooted it any number of times, because I value my players more.


    Kirth Gersen wrote:
    Jeff Wilder wrote:
    So, since everyone agrees, we can stop wasting time talking about it, and we can move on to what happens when compromise and discussion fail.

    Then I have only one question: Why in God's name are you playing with people with whom you cannot have a discussion?!?! Maybe I'm a lunatic, but I'd much rather not play at all than play with people I don't like.

    In Houston, at overlapping times I had at least a dozen people sit at my table, in my home, to play in my game. I liked all of them. I had a several "possibles" as well, whom I screened out in advance, knew I wouldn't particularly get along with, and didn't invite. One guy I said, "Okay, here's a CD with our home rules, and I'll pick up the tab for lunch, but I'm not sure we have an opening for you. Thanks very much for agreeing to meet with me." No harm, no foul.

    So whoever sits down and plays is already someone I'm willing to discuss things and compromise with. Which I have absolutely no problem doing. And, shoot, if I've already invited them to the game, I'm not going to turn around and tell them point-blank they can't play X, Y, or Z, because "that's not appropriate for the game." The game is about all of us.

    I absolutely love my campaign setting, but that said, I've rebooted it any number of times, because I value my players more.

    As a player I'm not going to insist on playing something not appropriate to the setting.


    Arssanguinus wrote:
    As a player I'm not going to insist on playing something not appropriate to the setting.

    As a DM and setting designer, I feel that if my setting isn't big enough for the player, then maybe I didn't make it big enough. I mean, why can't he be from some alternate plane or universe, and happened to wake up one morning in your setting? Half of Michael Moorcock's fantasy series start in exactly that manner. Maybe the PC was cursed, or wandered into a long-forgotten gate, or whatever. The multiverse is a big place!


    And some settings don't have a connection to the multiverse. Again, why does the player have to have one of the few banned things if not to just be perverse?


    No connection to the multiverse means no clerics and no conjuration magic, and as DM you can't use elementals or outsiders... that's not "a few banned things," that's like half the game being off-limits from the get go. If you're banning 1/2 of the core rules as "not appropriate," OK -- but something like that should be made abundantly clear to all participants in advance, and they should unanimously agree before even thinking about a character.

    So, if there's stuff your banning, why not tell them up front what it is?

    Prospective players: "So, we hear you're running a game. Do you have room for a couple more players?"

    You: "Maybe, but the setting is cut off from the multiverse, so no summoners or conjurers or any of that. And I hate gunslingers, so none of those, either. And no gnomes or halflings, because I dislike short people."

    Player 1: "OK, I was thinking maybe gunslinger, but a tall human fighter would be cool, too. I'm in!"

    Player 2: "I kind of had my heart set on a halfling summoner... or a gnome wizard... tell ya what, I'll sit this one out. You guys have fun."

    Problem solved.


    Well, it is. The campaign pitch comes in a setting package. The setting package includes flavor bits, crunchy bits, and anything that is going to change your standard game assumptions. That's a given before any campaign starts. Once you agree to play, however, I sorta expect you to not just say, ok I'll play but I want to play x which you said there we none of."


    And clerical powers don't have to require the multiverse. They just have to require gods. Technically, gods could even live on the same plane was those they grant powers. And a summoner may very well draw the things he summons from elsewhere in the plane, which has interesting implications of its own.

    I don't think there is anyone here who argues you should just up and not tell someone what isn't allowed until right when they sit down to make a character.

    So that's a bit of a paper mâché argument. No one is making it.

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