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


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Arssanguinus wrote:


Can, yes. So could an arrow, that didn't mean a person was better off in a cloth shirt than a breastplate when an archer was shooting at him.

hahaha. ok yeah I'll give you that one. I still think high mobility works a lot better against firearms than slowing yourself down with heavy armor, but I guess it shouldn't be absolutely nothing.

One of the problems with pathfinder and d&d in general is that it tends to deal in all or nothing scenarios alot. I'd much prefer it got a bonus to bypass armor or some such nonsense, but that would generally be missed a lot and harder to adjudicate.


Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:


Can, yes. So could an arrow, that didn't mean a person was better off in a cloth shirt than a breastplate when an archer was shooting at him.

hahaha. ok yeah I'll give you that one. I still think high mobility works a lot better against firearms than slowing yourself down with heavy armor, but I guess it shouldn't be absolutely nothing.

One of the problems with pathfinder and d&d in general is that it tends to deal in all or nothing scenarios alot. I'd much prefer it got a bonus to bypass armor or some such nonsense, but that would generally be missed a lot and harder to adjudicate.

A straight shot might punch through, but glancing blows that would go into flesh would be deflected by steel.


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thejeff wrote:

In reply to Vincent Takeda:

Spoilered, since we're way off topic here and I'm going farther
** spoiler omitted **

...

Ah. There we go. The trouble ends up being that I dont use the definitions of the threefold model that were developed in GNS theory in 2002. From what I understand the original author has declared those to be defunct and meaningless (even the wiki mentions he's moved on to what... The Big Picture model?)

The threefold model I speak of must be the vincent takeda version of the threefold model.
Gamist: Crunching numbers, fight fight fight, min maxing, optimizing, murderhoboing, most interested in 'the perfect build' than the perfect actual game.
Narrativist: the story is king. The whole thing should play out as a plot with a beginning, middle and end. There are things that need to be done and the characters fail if they don't do those exact things. Characters, actions, weapons and abilities that break the 'feeling or aesthetic of the world' ruin the world. Not in asia? No katanas for you!
Simulationist: If it doesnt have to be all about the killin and it doesnt have to be all about the story what's left? The CHARACTERS! The rulebooks tell you the limits of your character choices and how to handle as many types of situations as it can. Pick what you want. Pick your own goals. Between the rulebooks and the gm's improvisational skills we try to make an interesting cohesive plot! The players goals *are* the story/campaign so they rarely rally against where the campaign is going because they *chose* where they're going.

So yeah. My threefold model is a far stretch from the GNS model.


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Bad Dms aside, if a DM pitches a concept for a campaign to a group (and assuming the group is interested) they should build characters that are geared towards that overarching concept (e.g. if the campaign is Greek myth then really don't suggest playing a samurai). As a DM I'm fairly open to suggestions even strange ones and yes there are ways to shoehorn character ideas into the most unlikely of settings but truthfully it won't be as fun for the player if they had said yes to the idea and built upon it. Its a collaborative game.

An example comes to mind from when I ran Crimson Throne. I gave the group the overall pitch of what the campaign was about and info regarding the city's background and Varisia. I lucked out and nearly all the players built interesting characters with an investment in the setting. And I'm not talking about extensive backgrounds in most cases just enough to gradually build and develop. Throughout the campaign I built on those backgrounds and wove them into a fairly well-tailored campaign. However, there was one player who wanted to play an elven ninja. I didn't say no though I did suggest playing a rogue instead even supplying some juicy hooks to do with the thieve's guild in the city. He wanted to play the ninja and because the concept really had no good way of linking to the city his character throughout the campaign sort of stuck out like a sore thumb (the other players certainly noticed) We made some attempts but they were I think obvious to everyone pretty shoehorned. Truthfully I don't think he had as much fun as if he had instead embraced the setting/campaign.

I think a good DM should present a sense of the world and an overall concept. Good players will pick up on those cues and make them their own. Then the DM follows suit and adapts/tailors the adventure and campaign to include those. No one is getting the short end of the stick but a DM usually has to make the first suggestion to get the ball rolling.


a PF Samurai could work into a greek mythology campaign with a little tweaking.

think of the honor bound champion who fights for their lord and serves a philosophy of honor, compassion, and honesty. whether you call it samurai or knight. it could fit into any setting.

the Samurai is like a noncasting paladin.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
NobodysHome wrote:
He sent me multiple e-mails (hundreds of lines) explaining how I was stifling his roleplaying. When I tried to explain balance, he accused me of being obsessed with "roll playing". He refuses to provide any character background at all if I won't let him be River Kingdom nobility. And I can't boot him from the group because he'll take his wife with him, and it's her only game.

Does he have a slave chain in her? Have you considered talking to her about her husband's immaturity?


My current character is actually a perfect example of how a 'not right theme' doesnt necessarily have to stand out, and that if it does, it can in a cool way.

I started my current character concept off of Mads Mikkelsen's Tristan from King Arthur (the one with Clive Owen)

Here he is. A knight of the round table. Wearing Padded/Studded mail, using Japanese swordfighting techniques with a chinese dao. His attitude towards whatever the current 'peril' was pretty much amounted to 'yeah, whatever'...

And even though an english *rus* using japanese swordwork with a chinese dao was anachronistically as far from reality as you can get, I still found his character pretty effin cool. As a gm, my attitude towards 'ninjas in varisia' is about the same...

It didnt even end there. If you were trying to make mads mikkelsen's tristan in your pathfinder campaign you could make him a ranger... he's kind of a scout. Or a fighter. or with a stretch you could even go with wizard ("bird familiar") except you'd lose out a bit staying consistant on the dao and the armor...

By the time I was done with the concept I ended up with gestalt first world summoner/summoner wizard, who's arcane focus is a bokken. (say whaaaaaa?)

Handed it to our gm, who's always fallen starkly into 'gm is god, takeda style narrativist 'its my world, my say, my rules, my atmosphere... yarg blarg blarg" and you know what he says? "Yeah. That'll work" And i've been rolling with it ever since and have been having a blast.


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Arssanguinus wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:


lead balls propelled by powder. the powder doesn't provide enough propulsion on it's own whether triggered by flint or match. at least, not enough to invalidate plate.

as has been said, the real reason plate armor went obsolete, is because guns were easier to train, and more people could afford the time to train, plus it was cheaper to equip a small platoon of soldiers with a musket each than it was to forge one suit of full plate. including ammunition, powder, and a bayonet.

If you want I've got experience with energetic materials and launching mechanisms. I can go through and mathematically show that a ball of lead could go through a thin piece of steel.
Can, yes. So could an arrow, that didn't mean a person was better off in a cloth shirt than a breastplate when an archer was shooting at him.

Oh sweet beautiful angled gothic plate.


Vincent Takeda wrote:

My current character is actually a perfect example of how a 'not right theme' doesnt necessarily have to stand out, and that if it does, it can in a cool way.

I started my current character concept off of Mads Mikkelsen's Tristan from King Arthur (the one with Clive Owen)

Here he is. A knight of the round table. Wearing Padded/Studded mail, using Japanese swordfighting techniques with a chinese dao. His attitude towards whatever the current 'peril' was pretty much amounted to 'yeah, whatever'...

And even though an english *rus* using japanese swordwork with a chinese dao was anachronistically as far from reality as you can get, I still found his character pretty effin cool. As a gm, my attitude towards 'ninjas in varisia' is about the same...

It didnt even end there. If you were trying to make mads mikkelsen's tristan in your pathfinder campaign you could make him a ranger... he's kind of a scout. Or a fighter. or with a stretch you could even go with wizard ("bird familiar") except you'd lose out a bit staying consistant on the dao and the armor...

By the time I was done with the concept I ended up with gestalt first world summoner/summoner wizard, who's arcane focus is a bokken. (say whaaaaaa?)

Handed it to our gm, who's always fallen starkly into 'gm is god, takeda style narrativist 'its my world, my say, my rules, my atmosphere... yarg blarg blarg" and you know what he says? "Yeah. That'll work" And i've been rolling with it ever since and have been having a blast.

Well, have sword will travel. A swordsman out for adventure/pay could rock up anywhere.

A friend is playing the worldly merc. His ethnicity is uncertain and ever-changing (think we have nailed it down that he is some mix of Italian and Irish) his background is added on to each game as he makes mention this was just like that campaign in Genoa, France, Germany, Russia or their equivalents. His character is clearly a liar and not truly that old, but it sure is funny. When the char said he had nearly died, as the dm I had to joke this was like the second time you died at Lyon (since he seems to be the timeless mercenary that has been every merc through history, done everything, been in every war). Much hilarity.

This type of char (habitual liar swordsman) could emerge in almost any setting.


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You have to do exactly what the rulebook says.

In fact, lets throw out the DM. They're overrated.

Someone should just invent a program that reads off whats in the AP and then the rules when there's a question. Everything else is up to the players because to do otherwise would be enslaving them to a ruthless tyrant.


Deep doop bop bop beep.


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ah my good friend Kmal2t with his hyperbole of hyperbolic hyperbole +5.

No my point isnt what role the character would fill, but that there's plenty of gms out there that when you say 'we're going to be playing rise of the runelords' and you hand them a bokken wielding summoner/wizard the answer is usually 'say whaaaa...' followed by 'uh. no'

But even trapped in an adventure path it's been going swimmingly. Just as much as saying 'just because my campaign has a restrictive theme doesnt mean it can't be fun' is on the same level as saying 'my game cant be fun unless it's thematically correct in my brain'. Clearly neither are true.


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

a PF Samurai could work into a greek mythology campaign with a little tweaking.

think of the honor bound champion who fights for their lord and serves a philosophy of honor, compassion, and honesty. whether you call it samurai or knight. it could fit into any setting.

the Samurai is like a noncasting paladin.

No disagreement there. The player thats doing that is collaborating with the premise by using the class but re-skinning it. I meant the example more in the sense of an actual japanese influenced samurai.

To elaborate from my earlier post, its about the buy-in from the player. Whether your playing an oriental campaign. greek or in Korvosa if the player wants to play that type of campaign they're better off creating a character that actively plays to the premise. In some campaigns that can be pretty open (RoTR, Shattered Star is a great example of a just about everything goes). You can be that guy that plays something totally against the grain and it can even work sometimes just less likely and to be honest its often needlessly contrarian. That said the GM needs to give the players creative space but there's nothing wrong with giving some parameters (if anything it should help)

Shadow Lodge

This Louisville Slugger can only be used for baseball.

It can't be a sword, or a rifle, or a king's banner.

It can only be a baseball bat.


My comment wasn't directed at you and wasn't hyperbole as much as dripping sarcasm.

The DM doesn't tell you what you have to do with your character. He creates boundaries and limitations as he sees fit. He doesn't tell you that you have to have a 14 in strength but may say you can't start with a 28 strength with some ridiculous alternate rules that allow you to play a Wyrm Dragon Summoner-Barbarian Tornado Dancer that gives you +5 +5 +5 to strength

Are people SERIOUSLY arguing that its not within the DM's jurisdiction to decide what alternate books and rules he allows to his table and what he doesn't?


I guess I am arguing that its not the dms discretion. At least not at my table. It's an agreement between all the players because the gm's fun is no more important than the players' fun, and if 5 players tell the gm they dont like his concept, then he's got no place running his concept with those players, or he'll try running it and they'll ruin his precious concept, which he also likely will not enjoy.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
kmal2t wrote:
Again, Adamantine Dragon has no clue what a fallacy is. If I had a GP for every time you failed at that I'd have enough to be entitled to a Holy Avenger +10.

You mean you'd be able to purchase one. You're not entitled to an imaginary sword.


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Obviously I cant promise my experience gaming is statistically significant (and often has been shown to be an exception to most common gaming styles) so you know. IMHO and YMMV:

I will say that my gaming experience has given me the impression that there are far less players saying things like:

"You know that highly restrictive but thematically appropriate railroad campaign of yours has to be one of the funnest things I've ever played!"

than there are players saying 'We just ran a campain that was crazy. and it was crazy fun!"


kmal2t wrote:
AD go away. You're entirely pointless.

LOL, depends on what the point is kmal. ;-)

kmal2t wrote:
Vincent: I've never seen a situation where players mutiny and all together refuse to play a game that doesn't allow them to use whatever expanded books and rules they please. If that did actually happen then obviously that DM wouldn't try to force his game on 5 other people and would let someone else run as the DM. I personally haven't seen a game where the players don't accept the DM's personal style of game management unless its extreme in being very restrictive or gratuitously epic.

And I've never seen a player "demand" to play a character the GM doesn't want to accept for the express purpose of ruining the campaign or stealing the spotlight from every other player.

As I said pages and pages ago this entire discussion is about a situation that many, many posters, including me, have never encountered in decades of playing the game with dozens and dozens of players.

Sure the "entitled player" might exist, but if they do, they are rare. At least as rare as the arbitrarily restrictive GM. Which is what this thread is trying to demonstrate. The multitude of comments made over a wide range of threads about the dastardly "entitled player" are exaggerating a rare situation that I would guess the majority of players never encounter, or if they do encounter it, they do so maybe once in their careers. The vast majority of gamer groups probably just quickly and quietly dis-invite the jerk and get back to cooperating and having fun again.


Vincent Takeda wrote:

Obviously I cant promise my experience gaming is statistically significant (and often has been shown to be an exception to most common gaming styles) so you know. IMHO and YMMV:

I will say that my gaming experience has given me the impression that there are far less players saying things like:

"You know that highly restrictive but thematically appropriate railroad campaign of yours has to be one of the funnest things I've ever played!"

than there are players saying 'We just ran a campain that was crazy. and it was crazy fun!"

I hear what you're saying, but to be fair there's a bit of difference between a) a campaign setting that doesn't allow this class, that race, or Splatbook X and has a theme or style, and b) a "highly restrictive but thematically appropriate railroad campaign ".

Or at least, a) doesn't have to equal b). Dragonlance doesn't have gunslingers or summoners, but I've played fun campaigns in that setting with 2nd Ed, and I could envisage having fun on Krynn with PF as well.

Yes, sometimes GMs can be too restrictively precious about a setting. But to paraphrase Wolfgang Baur, what defines a setting and makes it unique is mostly about what you leave out.


Actually the best way I can think to say it is to quote my good friend kmal2t...

kmal2t wrote:
The group should decide on[sic] a whole what the game is like


That brings up a good point (summoners I mean)

Summoner is a class I have NEVER seen played. (seriously)

I think the way i run combats, they would be fine, im pretty good at having lots of combatants.

But I would rule out allowing a synthethist (tongue twister) in the same way we rule out gunslingers. (although I would love to steal grit and some deeds)

I dont think there is anything wrong with 'no you cant play a synthethist'. (why cant i spell this word?) IS it IN the rule book? yes. Should have to go into debate about why i wont allow one? No.

Is my word "LAW" on that point, yea why not? We can roll up some characters and play or debate why synthethist should be allowed.

I guess Im missing where an Entitled GM comes in?

In other games systems this 'job' is called referee, (white wolf I think), if you are playing soccer do you argue with the ref? maybe, But I have never seen anyone win.

IF the Gm says rocks fall everyone dies, there pretty much arent any more games to referee, are there? GMs like that take care of themselves.

I look at it from this perspective, 99.99% of the time, Id rather be PLAYING,
I GM because 99.99% of the time Id rather play the game, than not play because no one wants to or can GM.

So from my point of view, the person GMing is making a sacrifice, because he gets killed over and over again, for the advancement of his players. (although I do love me a good villain occasionally)
So if the guy/gal is going through the trouble of Gming, dont give him guff, because maybe he wont GM at all, and now none of us get to play!


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I am the DM. I create a world that I have no control over.


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iLaifire wrote:
I'm not saying a DM isn't allowed to say "No", I'm just against that being a DM's first reaction instead of "Alright, I would rather you not, but please explain why you want to play/do that and I will either consider it or we can try and think of a compromise that works for both of us." And it seems very few of the DMs who post about "player entitlement" are willing to do that. (emphasis added)

First, I think you're getting a lot of sampling bias by reading a forum. By the time any GM logs on and asks a group of nearly anonymous strangers for advice on how to handle a situation, most of them have tried discussion, negotiation, compromise, and whatever other means they have. I've played with dozens of groups over more than 20 years, and I've never seen a GM turn down a character without a reason - usually a very good reason.

Second, the GM will usually receive the benefit of the doubt in these scenarios for three reasons:

  • The GM is working with far more information than the player.
    A GM may say "no guns" because she's planning to use the development of gunpowder by the enemy state as a major plot device, or "no evil" because evil characters would be unmotivated to follow the do-gooder plot hood that drives the campaign, or "no elves" because the planned campaign focuses on discovering what happened to the lost ancient race of elves that went extinct before the age of men. (Each of those examples is based on a real campaign I have played.)

    But, the player doesn't know the plan, and for their own enjoyment probably shouldn't. For the game to work, the players simply have to trust the GM to guide them toward the infinite number of characters that actually fit into a game.

  • The GM has additional responsibilities to the entire group.
    While great players will contribute to everyone's fun, a player can simply play their own character and stay out of the other players' way. The GM, on the other hand, takes on a great deal of responsibility for making a game fun for everyone. In this capacity, GMs sometimes have to deny one player something they want (not everything they want, of course) because they believe it's better for the whole. In this capacity of spokesperson, a GM is frequently saying what everyone in the room would say if it were there role to do so.

    For this reason we see more discussion of GM vs. Player and fewer discussion of Player vs. Player. But from my own experience, many times when a GM says "no" their speaking as a representative of the group. Reasons I've denied characters in the past include:
    - Ben may not play a rogue. Every time Ben plays a rogue, he steals from the other PCs, hides during combat instead of helping, sneaks off from the group and causes trouble, and generally pisses off all of the other players. If I let Ben play a rogue, nobody else will want to play.
    - Steve may not play a Wizard. We have 4 new-ish players who made fairly weak characters, and one very experienced player (Steve) who has a tendency to make very powerful characters. If we let Steve play a "God Wizard" the other players will all feel weak and useless in comparison.

  • The GM is stuck with whatever she allows into her game.
    If a player hates pirates, he shouldn't join a pirate game - it doesn't matter to him if someone else plays a pirate game. If a player hates druids, he shouldn't play a druid - it doesn't really matter to him if someone else plays a druid.

    If a GM hates druids, what is she to do? If she allows a druid into her game, she's committed to months or years of interacting with and actively supporting her pet peeve. That could be some serious anti-fun (and very demotivating) for the GM. The only way for the GM to avoid the (probably narrow) set of things the really detest is to ban those things from the game. And, with 21 other classes available, she is likely saying, "No to one thing, yes to 21".

    Granted, there are a tiny minority of GMs who want to ban most character concepts and allow only a few. But, generally speaking, those people simply shouldn't be GMing. Likely they should write novels instead.

A personal note:
My pet peeve in RPGs is japanophiles.

I've studied Eastern philosophies and religion, tutored Japanese students, had Japanese roommates, and dated Japanese women - I don't harbor any ill will toward Japanese people. Also, in general, I'm extremely flexible about what I will play and GM. (I've accepted roles in LARPs that are so extreme that no one else would take them, and controversial enough that I won't post them here for fear of starting arguments.)

However, I have no interest in introducing Japanese themes and culture into a euro-centric fantasy game. I don't want a samurai or ninja sharing the battlefield with knights. I don't want people bowing, reciting koans, or speaking in fake Japanese accents. I simply find Japanese characters to be annoying and disruptive, and I don't have any fun GMing for them.

When I run Pathfinder, I tell players they can't play ninja or samurai characters. (They may use the rules for either and re-skinning them to fit the setting. I don't have anything against the game mechanics Paizo wrote for either class.) Does that make me a tyrant? I don't think so, but you may disagree.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
kmal2t wrote:
AD go away. You're entirely pointless.

LOL, depends on what the point is kmal. ;-)

kmal2t wrote:
Vincent: I've never seen a situation where players mutiny and all together refuse to play a game that doesn't allow them to use whatever expanded books and rules they please. If that did actually happen then obviously that DM wouldn't try to force his game on 5 other people and would let someone else run as the DM. I personally haven't seen a game where the players don't accept the DM's personal style of game management unless its extreme in being very restrictive or gratuitously epic.

And I've never seen a player "demand" to play a character the GM doesn't want to accept for the express purpose of ruining the campaign or stealing the spotlight from every other player.

As I said pages and pages ago this entire discussion is about a situation that many, many posters, including me, have never encountered in decades of playing the game with dozens and dozens of players.

Sure the "entitled player" might exist, but if they do, they are rare. At least as rare as the arbitrarily restrictive GM. Which is what this thread is trying to demonstrate. The multitude of comments made over a wide range of threads about the dastardly "entitled player" are exaggerating a rare situation that I would guess the majority of players never encounter, or if they do encounter it, they do so maybe once in their careers. The vast majority of gamer groups probably just quickly and quietly dis-invite the jerk and get back to cooperating and having fun again.

I have to agree here, Ive never seen anyone argue with the GM about a character at development, no one you cant play a summoner.... ok, Ill play a wizard, who summons! (usually the way it goes) I have seen this argument on alot of things here on the boards, but never in real life. (if it can be called that)

I have seen people come to the table with some wild concoction of something or else that isn't in any rule book that they are trying to get the GM to buy into....never seen it actually work tho...answer is no.(usually because the only way to know what it does is the players word that thats how it works...)

I have seen the break down of I want my toy now let me buy it...TWICE, I wasn't DMing either time, I was just unfortunate enough to sit there and watch it. But this kind of 'demand' comes up in argument like once a week on the boards.

Way way back a long long time ago, I used to never play a character that didnt have ATLEAST an 18/45 str.
I dunno what the obsesssion was about really, I just HAD to have it. If it didnt roll it, I wouldnt play it. (seriously dont ask me why, I cant remember) I know I just wanted to be strong.
So I would just reroll the character until I got an 18 and put it in strength, and Id be moody if it was an 18/20 or something. I wasn't truly happy until I got my 18/00 from gauntlets of Ogre power, which was a set of must haves!

I think D20 changed that... a 12 is a +1 bonus str now. I cant be sure, TBH. I know I always felt 'entitled' to a strong character.
I recall a single character I had back then that had only a 14 str and it was a paladin and I had to put the highest stat into CHR just be be a paladin....
By the time dark sun came out I was into Clerics and Rogues and so was no longer focused on super str ( I was also in my 20s...maybe some maturity?)
anyway, I recall doing, just have no idea WHY.
I also remember being disinvited to a few games for a while because of it, or something closely related to it. maybe i should look up those guys and ask why, some of them are facebooks friends still.... this has got me curious... Im gonna go ask them now.


Anywho, I don't get players getting so upset over a DM restricting things in game. Do you have to have access to a multitude of accessory options and obscure classes and magic items in order to have fun? Because to me that's not what its about. Its whether the game is boring or not. I've known some DMs that could take away all magic and limit it to 3 classes and the game is still fun because the DM makes it exciting.

DM's generally don't create limitations to be a "meany". It's because there's something they don't feel comfortable running or don't want to search and buy every obscure book to keep up on what you're doing. Maybe they want to try something different. As was said, they take the time to run the game, and without them you may not have a game. It may also create an imbalance that's hard for them to counter with the general arch they have planned. Maybe they don't want you buying anything your heart desires because then it makes the items more valuable and so you aren't accelerating so fast that the game is over before you know it.

Either way I usually at least try a DMs style and its when he allows way too much that it becomes too easy and I get bored. If you have to have access to everything written go ahead and I encourage you to DM for that style and find out whether its enjoyable to DM that or not.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I think the GM has the right and duty to put up restrictions to the players and nagging over them really is a feeling if entitlement. Bot because the GM is made of special awesomeness, but because (s)he is the only one on the table without strong self- interest. Some other games put it more explicitly as "judge". It's the GM's duty to make sure all have.a good time, and that requires saying no occasionally. A player who doesn't accept that but still wants to play is acting out of a feeling of entitlement or arrogance.


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I should add that the player entitlement expression thing really started rolling after people started posting that they should be allowed to buy whatever magic item they can afford via whats written in the CRB or other supplemental source.


Indeed it did. I am level __ I should have this this and this and if I don't I should be able to get it.

I remember when players earned their magic items, not crafted or bought them. Ha!


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

I have been a GM forever. I was running my first campaign within a week of picking up my first d20. I love being a GM. I have probably put more time and effort into creating, updating, fixing, populating, mapping, creating terrain for, creating miniatures for, hauling stuff for and buying equipment for my campaigns than many people have put into their educational background. I've probably invested upwards of $3,000 or so over the years specifically into equipment and materials for running campaigns. And that may be a highly conservative estimate. My wife would probably say it's double that.

And yet when I see this constant refrain that the "GM rules because the GM creates the world and the players have to accept his dictates" it makes me squirm in embarrassment.

Listen fellow GMs, if you don't GM because you love the challenge, love the creative process, love the collaborative process and just flat out enjoy being able to guide a cooperative activity that gives all players (including you) a chance to exercise their imagination and escape their worldly cares for a few hours....

Well, if you're doing it for any other reason, you probably shouldn't be doing it.

And if you are doing it for those reasons, then "RESPECT mah AUTHORITAY!!!" should embarrass you too.

It's not one or the other. I enjoy GMing for many reasons, some that you've listed and some that you haven't. But if I say at the start of a campaign there are no Gunslingers, then respect my authority as GM and don't ask to play a Gunslinger.


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3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Indeed it did. I am level __ I should have this this and this and if I don't I should be able to get it.

I remember when players earned their magic items, not crafted or bought them. Ha!

Sometimes they could craft them - but the result of weeks of research could easily be the DM saying, "You have figured out how to make that item, but you will require the sinew of a dragon and the tear of a cloud giant..." :)


Well as my good friend ciretose says, authority is an illusion so you get no respect there.

I do respect your ability to choose what kind of game you run so if you say its a no gunslinger game and I want to run a gunslinger I at least respectfully dont pull up a chair.


Vincent Takeda wrote:

Well as my good friend ciretose says, authority is an illusion so you get no respect there.

I do respect your ability to choose what kind of game you run so if you say its a no gunslinger game and I want to run a gunslinger I at least respectfully dont pull up a chair.

You'd rather not play than play something other than gunslinger?

I'm not trying to be adversarial here, but that seriously blows my mind. I guess because I always have to GM, so I have a million PC ideas I'd like to try out :)

Man I love not being the GM sometimes. Thank Desna for PbP...


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Let's face facts. All of us as Players try to pull stuff over on the DM. When we make our case and argue and when he throws down that final no you get a little butthurt for a second, but then you get over it and move on with the game. I can't imagine leaving a game because the DM put a restriction on the game. I leave when there's problems with the group like the DM creates boring uninspired games or there's issues within the group.

For me its how the players interact and how skilled the GM is. Not the rules themselves that make the game worth playing.


kmal2t wrote:

Let's face facts. All of us as Players try to pull stuff over on the DM. When we make our case and argue and when he throws down that final no you get a little butthurt for a second, but then you get over it and move on with the game. I can't imagine leaving a game because the DM put a restriction on the game. I leave when there's problems with the group like the DM creates boring uninspired games or there's issues within the group.

For me its how the players interact and how skilled the GM is. Not the rules themselves that make the game worth playing.

I'm certainly not averse to trying to convince a GM that the little innocent 3pp feat won't break the game :) But if s/he don't like it, I'm cool with that. At least I get to play a PC!

I do enjoy GMing, I really do, but I'd love to be able to play more on the other side of the screen with my regular group.


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I'll addmit I have not read this entire thread...I usualy do but it is late at night and I need to go to work tomorrow. But I wanted to comment on this subject. I am sorry if I am repeating somebody...or I am completely off topic to what this thread is now...

Anyway the problem with GM and 'player entitlement' or the other side of the coin 'Dictator GMship' is something I see all the time. It is usualy due to prior abuse. A player that is told 'No' to something probably had a GM who in the past was very abitary in these descsion. Likewise when some GMs say 'No' to something...it was probably because a past player has done something that broke their game.

My current GM has this problem. When I first joined his game I said to him I would like to try x. He said 'No'. Now being new to gaming outside of a bunch of solo games my brother ran for me I never dealt with this before....so I asked him 'Why?'. Politely. Than he went into a long speech about how a past player used x, and a whole list of other things to break his game. It was not a hostile conversation... mostly because I am polite.

But as time passed and I have played under him and read threads on gaming message boards and such I came to realize that both GMs and players always assume the worst especialy in a new player or GM. Which continues to perpetuate this conflict.

So I have come up with these rules in dealing with players and GMs.

As a player..

1) When denied something ask politely 'Why?' Don't assume anything about the GM's motive about the denial. And explain that you just want to know the reason...not to neccessary to argue it.

2) When you get your answear as to why....tell the GM your concept and ask "How can I get to x in ways you would be comfortable with?". It is always better to ask for help than go on attack mode.

3) If it turns out your GM was abused by a past player gently keep pointing out that you(and if you know) the other players are NOT that player.

As a GM...

1) Never just say 'No'. Explain why it is no. Treat the player as a adult not a child...even if they are children. When they come back with a arguement...listen to them...you might think of something you never have before.

2) If the players concept will not just work with his/her feats, race etc. Work with that player to realize their concept in a way that you can accept. Sure if the answear there are no guns, or race x in your world...stick by your guns.

As a general rule...

1) Never assume that any given player or GM is just like 'That Guy' you played with before or read about on a thread.

2) Treat everybody with a level of respect till they prove they don't seserve it.

Anyway hope this advice helps somebody...have a goodnight.

Silver Crusade

John Kretzer wrote:

I'll addmit I have not read this entire thread...I usualy do but it is late at night and I need to go to work tomorrow. But I wanted to comment on this subject. I am sorry if I am repeating somebody...or I am completely off topic to what this thread is now...

Anyway the problem with GM and 'player entitlement' or the other side of the coin 'Dictator GMship' is something I see all the time. It is usualy due to prior abuse. A player that is told 'No' to something probably had a GM who in the past was very abitary in these descsion. Likewise when some GMs say 'No' to something...it was probably because a past player has done something that broke their game.

My current GM has this problem. When I first joined his game I said to him I would like to try x. He said 'No'. Now being new to gaming outside of a bunch of solo games my brother ran for me I never dealt with this before....so I asked him 'Why?'. Politely. Than he went into a long speech about how a past player used x, and a whole list of other things to break his game. It was not a hostile conversation... mostly because I am polite.

But as time passed and I have played under him and read threads on gaming message boards and such I came to realize that both GMs and players always assume the worst especialy in a new player or GM. Which continues to perpetuate this conflict.

So I have come up with these rules in dealing with players and GMs.

As a player..

1) When denied something ask politely 'Why?' Don't assume anything about the GM's motive about the denial. And explain that you just want to know the reason...not to neccessary to argue it.

2) When you get your answear as to why....tell the GM your concept and ask "How can I get to x in ways you would be comfortable with?". It is always better to ask for help than go on attack mode.

3) If it turns out your GM was abused by a past player gently keep pointing out that you(and if you know) the other players are NOT that player.

As a GM...

1) Never just say 'No'....

But you don't always have to ask why either. Always asking why can be just as rude as sayingno all the time. If a DM has made his decision then aasking why is pointless but I know why you are asking because you want the DM to you an answer that you can argue and hopefully get him to change is mind.

This doesn't work in my games because my reasons, no matter what they are, are always justified in my eyes, seeing as I'm the one building the world anyway.

Now you are always more than welcome to politely decline my game and play another.


Vincent Takeda wrote:

ah my good friend Kmal2t with his hyperbole of hyperbolic hyperbole +5.

No my point isnt what role the character would fill, but that there's plenty of gms out there that when you say 'we're going to be playing rise of the runelords' and you hand them a bokken wielding summoner/wizard the answer is usually 'say whaaaa...' followed by 'uh. no'

But even trapped in an adventure path it's been going swimmingly. Just as much as saying 'just because my campaign has a restrictive theme doesnt mean it can't be fun' is on the same level as saying 'my game cant be fun unless it's thematically correct in my brain'. Clearly neither are true.

One or two classes not allowed in a specific game is not equal to a "restrictive" theme, just like "no shirt, no shoes, no service is not an onerous and unreasonable demand.

And they aren't even remotely equivalent. The gm in question is restricting a couple choices out of near infinite possibilities the player could chose. The player is demanding only ONE choice as acceptable out of the nearly infinite possibilities that player could chose. A very significant difference.


Vincent Takeda wrote:
I guess I am arguing that its not the dms discretion. At least not at my table. It's an agreement between all the players because the gm's fun is no more important than the players' fun, and if 5 players tell the gm they dont like his concept, then he's got no place running his concept with those players, or he'll try running it and they'll ruin his precious concept, which he also likely will not enjoy.

Well, since we haven't been discussing five players wanting to play something else but instead ONE player insisting on getting his way against the campaign restrictions ... Moving goalposts aren't good for an argument. Obviously if none of the players want to play in a setting that particular game doesn't go, and I don't think there is a single person here that would argue against that.


Vincent Takeda wrote:

Actually the best way I can think to say it is to quote my good friend kmal2t...

kmal2t wrote:
The group should decide on[sic] a whole what the game is like

Except for the gm, the world IS his character, so FORCING him to allow whatever you want in it regardless of its flavor is YOU dictating HIS character.


To your point though I'm also not arguing that its the gms discretion on a one-on-one either. Quite the opposite. I think if you have a character concept everyone's jazzed about and the table likes it but your gm gets all futzy about it then sorry. In my book gm dont win just because he's got the paintbrush, and like every table if the gm cant find the fun in doing what the players want to play, he don't need the paintbrush this time around. If he says here's how I want to run it, and you say well here's what I had in mind, and the rest of the table says it sounds like a good idea, and the gm says 'well I wont want to run that' then he shouldn't. And its ok. You just say 'any body else want to run it? Want me to run it?

If the table says go, and only the gm says no. Its done.
If the table says no, and says the gm's game is go, change or go. Simple as that.

Its a sad state of affairs if you're the only one at your table willing to run a game, but none of the players want to tell you off because without you there isnt a game. I'm at least old enough to know i'd rather have no game than a bad one. The fact that there are so many 'entitlement' posts on both sides of the fence says there's probably a lot more of this going on than I feel is appropriate.

I never force a gm to do what he doesnt want to do. I just let him step off or step off myself.


See, I have a problem with a person saying something is a bad game because they can't play one out of 22 classes, instead of the really big possibilities from all the other concepts around.


The argument isn't "the rest of the table" - that isn't what people are discussing. They aren't discussing a total player revolt, but ONE player demanding that the campaign restrictions not apply to him. If "everyone else is jazzed about playing a concept that was restricted from the beginning, then I have to wonder why they agreed to play that particular setting in the first place.

How often do you have everyone agree to a campaign, with its strictures, then one guys HAS to have what is restricted and the entire rest of the table wants it?


Keep in mind, though, that willful iconoclasm is built into a lot of players. Give them a game setup that says "These are the six deities worshipped in that society, pick one" and you're almost guaranteed to see these responses:

"I worship a seventh diety."
"I worship all of them depending on which circumstances are most convenient."
"I'm an atheist."
"No, they all worship ME."

Never underestimate sheer, pointless perversity.

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