Custom World Building, Player Entitlement and the issue of GM / Player trust


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I sort of hesitate to start yet ANOTHER thread on the subject of what incredible jerks we have to deal with as gamers, but due to lots of comments about what sort of GM or Player is a "jerk" compels me to describe more or less how I think things OUGHT TO work in the real world, and which, for me anyway, has worked fine. Perhaps this will provide some guidance for other GMs who have an internally consistent ideal for their campaigns to avoid player/GM conflict, perhaps not. As they say, it if saves only one PC from banishment, it's probably worth it, right?

And I'm sure it will provide plenty of ammunition for people to disagree, snark or generally just try to show how amazingly clever and amazing they are. But that just goes with the territory.

OK, here we go.

Hi, I'm Adamantine Dragon and I'm a custom world building GM. I run almost every campaign out of my campaign world. The single exception in the last 20 years was a 4e module I ran for our group when we were testing 4e out and I didn't want to modify my world for 4e rules unless we decided as a group to move to 4e. We didn't, but we did move to Pathfinder. All of my pathfinder campaigns have been in my world, and a couple of other GMs have liked my world enough to set their own custom campaigns in my world as well.

Why is that relevant? Well, because my world has some eccentricities. For example, it's chock full of custom monsters. It has a few custom races. It began as an AD&D world and even though it has been updated through the years, I have not yet incorporated every aspect of the latest game revisions. For example, my world currently has no catfolk, not even any Tengu. It has no gunslingers, no existing NPC summoners and no magi. It's not I that "ban" any of these, they just have never been added.

Also, way back in my early days as a fledgling GM I rather arbitrarily decided that the world had no dwarves. The lack of dwarves was a key backstory element of the world. Dwarves had once existed, but had been the target of genocide and had been completely wiped out. I had "good reasons" for this as a morality tale, and the first epic campaign in the world was designed to allow the PCs to instigate the restoration of the dwarven race, which they did, but until that occurred, dwarven PCs were not allowed.

Now, I have since "matured" or "grown" as a GM and I realize now that a custom world decision on the scale of "no dwarf PCs" is one that I probably should not have made without first consulting my player group. Not that I think it shouldn't be done, but the whole point of this game is to be a collaborative story creating environment and while I am the GM and drive the game world creation process, creating a game world that players might not want to play in is just an exercise in futility. So I don't make that sort of campaign world decision arbitrarily anymore.

But, I do have some things in my world that are "baked in" to the background so intricately that to change them would pretty much mean ripping out huge chunks of work and redoing them. Here are a few of those customizations that players may or may not like, but I don't really consider to be "negotiable". Some of them have mitigating factors that come into play to avoid GM/Player conflict. Anyway, here's the list:

1. Wild magic. I'm the sort of person who really needs verisimilitude. So when I set out to create a magical world, the very first question I felt needed to be addressed was "where does magic come from and how does it work?" This is something that is more or less ignored in the rules themselves, magic just "is." But that really isn't enough for me. I just have a need to know and so magic in my universe is a fundamental force of nature, similar in some respects to the existing natural forces, but different as well. The consequence of that design decision is that the magical fields which permeate the universe can be affected by local phenomena. Large deposits of magical material, for example, will have an impact on the local magical fields. In some cases magic fields can be suppressed to the point that spells hardly work at all. In other places magical fields are so concentrated that magic spells are more potent than they normally are. And in some places the magical fields fluctuate rapidly so that from round to round it is literally impossible to predict the nature of the field when a spell is cast, and so the results can vary significantly from expectations. This is something that the most knowledgeable and clever magical user can and do exploit. Most major magical enclaves, for instance, are located in or near intense local magical fields. Some groups, organizations or political entities find magic to be a threat, and so locate themselves in or near fields of low intensity magical fields.

Wild magic is fairly easy to mitigate for campaigns. If there is any reason the players don't want to deal with it, I can fairly easily concentrate the activities, goals and quests of that campaign in areas of "normal magic." But I do let my players know that the world has these abnormal magical field areas. Some players like it, some don't.

2. Unique theology. In my world the gods are not the same as in the Pathfinder pantheon. I've revised my theology and cosmology a bit each time I've converted the world to a new game rule system, but the fundamental theology has really not changed. Basically my world has a few "elder gods" who run the entire universe. Those "elder gods" are hidden from all but the wisest creatures in the universe. For reasons of their own they interact with the universe through sub-personas that they "birthed" to represent aspects of their overall godhood. These sub-gods are the "gods" that most people worship or fear. However, there is also a level of "demigods" which are not true gods nor personas of the elder gods, but are actually mortal beings which have been promoted to "godhood" by the elder gods, usually through legendary acts of valor or sacrifice. These demigods are generally viewed as the equal of the sub-personas of the elder gods. Once you ascend to the pantheon of gods, you're a god for all intents and purposes. That means PCs can worship these demigods. Some PCs can even worship an elder god, but the backstory for that would have to be extremely well thought out and written up.

3. Alignment modifications. My world doesn't exactly follow the alignment system described in the book. This can create some issues for classes that are highly dependent on alignment. Alignment auras in my world are more granular than in the rules. So a character can ping as "tainted with evil but mostly good" for example. If a level 1 character is evil enough, their aura will have some level of evil taint. There really isn't a race or creature alignment with evil either. Any sentient race will have a range of alignments, although some races will trend more towards one sort of alignment than others. Orcs trend more towards evil than elves, but individual elves and orcs have their own alignments. The most important implication of this is that killing the children of any race is highly discouraged since even a young kobold has a chance of growing up to be good. So indiscriminate destruction of orc villages will have alignment consequences.

4. Magic item creation/destruction. Magic items are created by infusing things with magical fields. Those magical fields can be repurposed. I've sort of adopted the 4e concept of residuum, although I don't call it residuum and it's more of a concentration of magical energy than any sort of magical material. The in-game consequence of this is that magic itself is fungible in many ways. +1 magical swords can be "sacrificed" to concentrate magical energy for the creation of more powerful magical items. However, this repurposing is only as efficient as the magical crafter is, and so it might take several +1 swords to concentrate and repurpose enough magical energy to make a single +2 sword. This is why the world is not overrun with magical items. There are also monsters who consume magic as food. Dragons, for example.

There are more examples of unique rules but these are probably the most player character impacting ones. I have yet to have a single player express anything but interest in these things. Some have even expressed a desire to exploit some of them.

Perhaps the more common issue that comes up are races or classes that I don't currently have represented in my world. When I get a new player I direct them to my blog which has in depth descriptions of my world. Among those descriptions are the basic demographic layout of the main areas of game play. Those areas pretty much only describe populations of humans, elves, half-elves, orcs, goblins, halflings and gnomes. There is no current "Tengu nation" for example. Now, that doesn't mean that I don't allow Tengu PCs, it just means that to introduce a Tengu PC would mean I have some work to do. Most likely what I would do is find one of my lesser traveled areas of the world and create a Tengu nation there so that the PC could have traveled from that remote region to the more commonly active campaign areas. Or perhaps I could even have a campaign that is set in the newly created area and have the PC party be a sort of "Lewis and Clark" expedition with a local guide. Regardless of the approach, I can only fit it into my world if I can take the time and effort to make it work. I'm not going to just randomly drop a Tengu into my world with no explanation. That means a lot of work for me. Work I'm willing to do if I have the time. If I don't have the time I might tell the player that I would greatly prefer that they wait until I get a chance to update my world before they play a Tengu. If the player really, really, really wanted to play one, I might relent and just make the effort.

Then there are gunslingers...

Sigh. I really, really don't like gunslingers. I mean this is as close to an arbitrary GM bias or prejudice as I can think of for my world. I just really feel like gunslingers have no place in my world. And I don't have any desire at all to try to force them in.

So if someone asks to play a gunslinger, this is going to be an issue for me. Does that mean I would simply say "no" and tell them not to let the door hit them on the way out?

Well, I've never worked that way. Well, not since my first early days as a dwarf-denying GM anyway.

What this would do if a player wanted to play a gunslinger is it would create a significant internal conflict for me personally. I would find myself pitting my intellectual desire to be flexible and accommodating against my emotional desire to keep my fantasy world free of guns. I honestly don't know which would win. That's in large part because I have verisimilitude problems with cultures pursuing technology when there is no economic, military or academic reason to do so. Guns exist in our world because they are demonstrably superior to previous types of weapons. In a world of death-raining magical compound bows and pointed fingers delivering rays of instant death, I just don't see the rationale behind the pursuit of gun technology. It just doesn't "make sense."

But if someone really wants to play one, would I revisit that bias and prejudice? Would I make the effort to make it work?

I could you know. Some large island nation could well exist in an area where local magic is suppressed to the point that guns are a better option. Guns created in that region would work fine elsewhere. But would they be adopted? Probably not.

I suppose the day will inevitably come when I have to make a decision. The only thing I want the player who is asking to play a gunslinger to understand is that I am not being arbitrary and that I want to work with them. So far that has always been the case, and I hope I am lucky enough that it always is the case in the future.


AD, maybe I missed it in all that, but how often do you see player turnover? Is this a regular home game or something you do an LGS, or something for Conventions? How often do you get a new player? Roughly how often do you have players wanting/needing to roll up new characters?

How many individual games have you run in your campaign world? Is it a long persistent game, or many one-offs? Are they frequently with the same pool of players, or a large amount of different folks?

It's hard to have a discussion about player entitlement or GM / Player Trust when I don't know anything about your situation, in how many players you have, how often they change, or how well they know you, your game and your world.


AD, I agree with you.

The real issue in my opinion though is "player budget."

For example, I'm about to run a RAW pathfinder game. I hate RAW PF but I love running games, and sense the only people I have to play with (because my new job is opposite of my real gaming group) I have no choice but to attract and entertain strangers.

Normally though, I have too many gamers to run for and I could give a rats behind about pleasing everyone, so I just tell people what I'm going to do and if they don't like it, I show them the door.

The fewer players you have available to you, the more power they have to tell you what to do unless you don't care that they walk and the game falls apart.


Lamontius wrote:


AD, maybe I missed it in all that, but how often do you see player turnover?

Well, I don't keep actual records, but my recollection is that we lose and/or gain about one to two players per year, pretty consistently. This is usually due to moving for job purposes, but we have also had military people sent on assignment and one player whose wife came to observe a game and then put the hammer down on her husband and made him quit.

Lamontius wrote:
Is this a regular home game or something you do an LGS, or something for Conventions?

It's a series of regular home games. One of our group is another GM who has liked my world enough to set his own games in it.

Lamontius wrote:
How often do you get a new player?

See above.

Lamontius wrote:
Roughly how often do you have players wanting/needing to roll up new characters?

We tend to adventure most between levels 1 and 10 or so. I'd say that each player creates a new character three to four times a year. Some of that is due to character death, some due to new campaigns.

Lamontius wrote:
How many individual games have you run in your campaign world? Is it a long persistent game, or many one-offs? Are they frequently with the same pool of players, or a large amount of different folks?

Wow, that's a tough one. Dozens, but probably not hundreds. I started it when I was 18 or 19 as I recall, and I'm "old" now... So a long time. It's not a long persistent game. I generally have what I consider to be epic story arcs which can take characters up to pretty high level, but those are rare and mostly are restricted to the core group. Many are shorter term campaigns that might just take a party from level 6 - 10. The stories are all considered to become part of the overall history of the world though, and current campaigns will frequently learn the history or legends of previous campaigns. Because it's been such a long campaign, carried on across different states as I've moved myself, the players have not been the same for the entire history of the campaign. In fact none of the original players are still engaged, but that's mostly because I live 2,000 miles from where this all started now.

Lamontius wrote:


It's hard to have a discussion about player entitlement or GM / Player Trust when I don't know anything about your situation, in how many players you have, how often they change, or how well they know you, your game and your world.

Here is a short history of the world creation and modifiction.

I started this within a week of my first exposure to D&D back in 1978. I was in college then so had more energy and more free time. I used to run game sessions probably two or three times a week, with weekend games sometimes being epic sessions where players would crash in my living room instead of going home. Ah, youth.

After college when I was working full time the pace slowed down and became more of a once a week for half a day sort of situation. But we also played lots of other games too, so really gaming in my world may have even dropped to a once a month deal. Hard to remember. For most of this period I had two core players plus myself and a series of other players who played when they could. This went on for about a decade, so probably until the early 90s.

Then I moved across the country myself, had kids and lost focus on gaming for pretty much a decade. Sometime in the early 2000s I decided to resurrect the world, find local gamers and get back into the gaming scene. I invited several co-workers and started the game, and my gaming group has grown and shrunk as players have come and gone since then.

Right now my extended gaming group is about a dozen players with two other GMs. The main group I play with most is currently me and six players, three of whom have been in my group since I restarted gaming back a decade or so ago. Of our current group, other than the three who have been with me for that long, we have a new player we just picked up about six months ago and a player who has been part of the group a few times before but who lives far enough away that it eventually becomes a burden to game with us, and so he is a sort of part-time gamer. He used to be a regular but moved to his current home maybe eight years or so ago.

Our general process for keeping the gaming going is to advertise for a new player when we drop below five players. We typically post gamer requests on the internet and post notices on the bulletin boards of local gaming shops. We have one of our group meet with the prospective gamer for lunch (whoever is closest usually) and give them a rundown on our gaming style, background and expectations. Then that person brings a recommendation back to the group and if we decide to invite them, we do.

I suspect this is pretty common in the community.


I really think of myself as an uncompromising GM, and then I remember that I've worked with players to do weird concepts before. Running an AP with two characters that were two levels higher than expected; mixing-and-matching a halfling tiefling; allowing a cleric who drew his power from his love for another character rather than a deity; small, reasonable changes to bloodlines.

My House-rules and Clarifications document grows larger and larger with time too.

Still, I also remembered the first campaign I tried to run, yeeeeears ago. I invited a player to my cool medieval fantasy game; he demanded that he be able to use shotguns. I said "no", and I probably said "that's stupid" and uninvited him.

Shrug. Guns aren't as ludicrous to me now, although I can't decide if I like them or not.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

AD, I'd game with you any day.

Just had to say it.

Carry on!


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Thanks Tri, I'd game with you too.

In fact I doubt there are more than a tiny handful of members of these boards that would not be welcome at my table.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Hi, I'm Adamantine Dragon and I'm a custom world building GM.

(whole group answers) Hi, Adamantine Dragon.

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Awesmome stuff and personal revelations.

Wow; me too!

I made a world w/my friends years ago that came up from the red box through 3e. Then I moved a couple states and got a new gaming group, starting over again with RAW PF. A couple years ago I set out to start a new world: Karnoss. It's essentially RAW PF but there's started to be a few quirks, some unique environments and effects - there's a lot of Fey and Witches in Karnoss, so centuries of the First World and the Shadow have wreaked havok on the land.

I have only a handful of players, and those few have only enjoyed these lands for a year and a half. However they seem to like it. In the past though I've done the same thing - if I didn't have something the new edition did, I'd add it somewhere obscure (in my old world: the Lands of Impasse). This is how that old world ended up having a main continent as well as a seried of islands connected to another mainland representing AD&D OA and that mainland containing a great volcanic basin with scattered deserts, jungles and badlands representing AD&D Al Qadim.

If my players had a real hankering for something I'd probably add it. Your PC is shooting for a PrC that seems kind of obscure? I'll throw it in as a religious order or something. The key here is collaboration.

My current players are all super new to me. As such they don't know me very well and thus are still learning how to collaborate with me. As we go on though I've let them know time and again: this is as much their world as it is mine. The basic concept might've been mine, but their input, requests and needs are as valid as my imagination. Think about it: if I take all this time to cook up some unique and fantastic environment that no one ever plays, why bother?

Bottom line every game of tabletop RPGs, if they have any roleplay element at all, is a collaborative effort. GMs would do well to remember that when saying their players are entitled; but players would also do well to remember it when they say their GMs are tyrnnical. Both facets of the game need each other, feed off one another and ultimately create something bigger than themselves because of it.

I request feedback after each session via email. We play once a month, so my hope is that between sessions if there's some change or tweak that is needed we can work it out over these messages and then when we meet back up we can get right to it. I want to be accessible to my players and I ask the same in return; I really hope that all gamers are the same.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Thanks Tri, I'd game with you too.

In fact I doubt there are more than a tiny handful of members of these boards that would not be welcome at my table.

Oh, and I mirror what TOZ said and hope that one day I might make the AD VIP list. I imagine your game room has a velvet rope, bouncers and Crystall.


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Mark Hoover wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Thanks Tri, I'd game with you too.

In fact I doubt there are more than a tiny handful of members of these boards that would not be welcome at my table.

Oh, and I mirror what TOZ said and hope that one day I might make the AD VIP list. I imagine your game room has a velvet rope, bouncers and Crystall.

SORRY BRO YOU AREN'T ON THE LIST


Mark Hoover wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Thanks Tri, I'd game with you too.

In fact I doubt there are more than a tiny handful of members of these boards that would not be welcome at my table.

Oh, and I mirror what TOZ said and hope that one day I might make the AD VIP list. I imagine your game room has a velvet rope, bouncers and Crystall.

Mark, the sad reality is that I don't have a gaming room. Thirteen years ago I was advised by our doctors to move my asthmatic son out of the city and suburbs, so we moved to a small mountain community located about 40 miles deep in the mountains. Other than my fifty mile daily (one way) commute, the major impact on my life has been that it is virtually impossible to arrange social gatherings with our friends or acquaintances who live in the metropolitan area. Although I am willing to drive an hour to game, it appears there are not many people who feel the same way.

So our games are held at the home of one of my long-time gamers, or if his space is not available, at a suburban gaming store near his house.

However, we are in the process now of moving back into town now that our son is an adult and his asthma has mostly been overcome. So I am in fact laying out the requirements for my gaming room. Here is what I expect to create:

1. I already have a digital gaming table that I keep at my friend's house. That allows me to display computer generated maps and update them in real time. I've used things like Maptools to manage my digital maps, and I use it to throw up photos or drawings to show the players what an area or monster looks like.

2. The game room will have a small refrigerator and "snack bar" to keep people from needing to head to and from the kitchen to grab stuff. I will likely also have a microwave oven. And a TV/radio/stereo...

3. I want it to be adjacent to a bathroom so my gamers don't have to wander through my house when nature calls.

4. Sound dampening and climate control. I want my gamers to be comfortable and want my family to be able to watch a movie without the laughter and (occasional) in character shouting bothering them.

5. A shared printer so that I and any gamers can print out updates to any documents needed for gaming.

6. Display shelves/cases for my terrain and miniatures so that all my hard work can be properly admired and complimented. :)


I once built a living breathing game world... make that twice. I keep forgetting about my RoleMaster setting that didn't go well. But the AD&D setting I made I did out of a love of amazing settings I would see in books and shows. It was over the top with every area filled in with truly breath taking marvels, from the legendary Crystal Mist Mountains, across the Sea of Ash, to the Valinwood Forests on the shores of the Emerald Sea. It even had floating cities. Very over the top but my players loved it. The NPCs were pretty over the top too. Filled with memorable characters from the fiction I loved. I haven't played in it in quite a while... I miss those early days of youth when imagery was what I craved in a game. Sort of a total fanfic world. And in that spirit it shall live on forever as one of my great gaming memories.


Umm... I have a used plastic folding table in my girls' playroom.

Seriously man, that is epic. I don't think I know anyone that dedicated to gaming, and I know a guy who is into boardgaming so hard he has like 100 games stored in a special closet in his house only HE has access to.

If, when all this is complete, there ISN'T a bouncer with a headset, muscle shirt and a clipboard, I'll be gravely disappointed.

All joking aside what I meant was it would be an honor to play at your table A-bomb. I've kept up on a lot of your threads, taken and used your advice, and have heard others' admiration of your skills on these boards. Glad to hear your boy's outgrown the worst of his asthma over the years; my girls have some other issues they'll be coping with pretty much indefinitely but fortunately knock on wood their health is tip-top! In fact the younger one nearly killed me - "dad, let's RACE up the snow-hill"... I nearly passed a lung when I got to the top.

Anyway, as T-top puts it, Carry On.


I don't think it's unreasonable to say "there are no firearms in my world". Why would it be?

On the other hand, I find that as I get older I have less time and/or inclination to absorb myself in the nuances and lore of a GM's custom world, so most custom world-building is lost on me at this point. If that means I'm "entitled", so be it.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Moved thread.


hogarth wrote:

I don't think it's unreasonable to say "there are no firearms in my world". Why would it be?

On the other hand, I find that as I get older I have less time and/or inclination to absorb myself in the nuances and lore of a GM's custom world, so most custom world-building is lost on me at this point. If that means I'm "entitled", so be it.

Hogarth, this is a very relevant comment actually. This ties in some ways to the whole argument about how the players should appreciate all the hard work and effort that GMs put into their exquisitely created worlds.

Here is how I imagine a civil conversation between a highly invested custom-world building GM and a highly invested Rules-lawyer player might go:

GM: "I don't allow gunslingers in my world."
Player: "Hmm... I like gunslingers, in fact I spent three days working on this awesome gunslinger concept that I was planning on playing in your upcoming campaign."
GM: "Well, you'll have to play something else because gunslingers just don't exist in my world."
Player: "Why not?"
GM: "I don't really have any compelling reason to explain it to you. I can just say it is so and since I'm the GM, you pretty much have to accept it."
Player: "Well, humor me."
GM: "OK, since I like you... Look, I've dedicated hundreds of hours of my time and effort into creating this exquisite game world and gunslingers just don't fit. The world is magical and in a world of magic weapons and magical spells there's just no incentive to research and develop gunpowder since it offers no significant advantage to existing magical solutions to the same problem. So guns just have never been invented in my world."
Player: "OK, so let's not play in your world."
GM: "Um.. what?"
Player: "Well, I never asked you to go to all that trouble. You did that on your own. I don't even want to read through your fifty page game world history, annotated with a dozen pages of cultural, economic, religious and geopolitical exposition. I just don't have the time."
GM: "Um... what?"
Player: "So let's just not use your world."
GM: "Look, I've invested thousands of...."
Player: "We've covered this. I didn't ask you to do that. I didn't WANT you to do that. And now that you HAVE done that, the result to ME is not that your world is BETTER than another world, the result is that it's MORE RESTRICTIVE than another world. So let's just not use it, OK?"
GM: "But, but..... it's so coool!"
Player: "It would be cooler with gunslingers."


Liz Courts wrote:
Moved thread.

... and off to Siberia we go...

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.


I've never once ran something in a premade campaign world. The first time I decided to Gm I sat down a few days and started my world and over the years it has evolved. When I started GMing for a friend he started talking about his world and merged the two cosmos' together and have our shared game world. If either of us GM then it takes place in our world

There have been some people that complained and as long as it didn't screw anything up we adjusted our world to suit, though between the two of us we pretty much allow everything.

And to clarify our "world" is actually more of a system of worlds, planes, and dimensions. We tend to involve plane hopping early on in games.


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I am a big believer in pregame player primers and questionnaires for the PCs to answer loooooooong before play begins. In my experience, these go a long way to eliminating the problems you mentioned, ad.


Freehold DM wrote:
I am a big believer in pregame player primers and questionnaires for the PCs to answer loooooooong before play begins. In my experience, these go a long way to eliminating the problems you mentioned, ad.

I absolutely concur Freehold. But I would add that in my experience even this approach is usually more welcome by the group if they feel they have the ability to contribute to it themselves instead of simply being the recipient of the GM's decisions.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Moved thread.

... and off to Siberia we go...

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

If you want threads to stay where you post them, make them relevant to the forum they're in. Otherwise, they're getting moved.

Sovereign Court

AD,

Here are my two cents to throw into the mix. It is your world. It sounds like you inform others prior to the first die roll of things that are allowed and things that are not. Right there should be the end of the story.

The books are simply guidelines. The campaign that I am currently running I only allowed the Core Book at first. What experience has taught me that the more choices you offer people the less they want to stay with basics. Looks at 4e for example. When I hear about pixie paladins or some weird ass race/class combo I cringe. Isn't there like 4 books now on various races/classes for that world? The other reason is it is rare that modules include stuff from other "main" source material. Even though I have come across classes that are in the Aps I really have not seen the newer spells/feats/magic items go into those. That now means more work on my part to re-flesh everything, and if I am doing that I am then back at square one. I did decide later to add the APG and Ultimate Magic, after looking at them, but I agree with you about the gun thing. I am also against ninjas and samurai as I feel that those classes are better suited for an orient style environment (starting to think about that with monks as well). I also only allow the races from the Core, unless there is a damn good reason to be something else (just opened kobold as a race due to the party's actions).

The point is that not all worlds are exactly the same. Thus not everything is available (i.e. paladins in Dragonlance). As a DM you get to choose the ruleset, world, and the stories that take place in it. As a player they get to choose if they want to experience it.


Total aside and not really in the spirit of this, but have you ever thought of reskinning the Gunslinger, so that it used crossbows instead of gunpowder weapons? I have toyed with that thought to make it available for some of my players who like the idea of the Gunslinger, but don't want to monkey around with Gunpowder. I would give them profficiency in all "cross bow" weapons. They still have grit. They would target AC. I would allow them to craft ammunition, arrows, much like making bullets. I might allow them to have the effects of Master Craftsman, so that they could upgrade their arrows and such. I would have to look at the crafting rules better. Might be fun to be this dueling wielding crazy crossbow guy.

Anywho.

I have a problem with Summoners. The class is really nit picky and their are alot of unique rules to them. They are not "really" banned, but I have no interest in GMing. I could be talked into it, but it would be a really long conversation.

I do have stylistic things. I try to stay away from Sundering and Mage's Disjunction and that stuff. It is an option, but I tend not to go that way first unless the PCs go that way. If that happens, good times.

I would say that I have one real hard rule, one I would not even be willing to negotiate on. I refuse to DM evil aligned PCs. In real life, I am a social worker and I have to deal with a plethora of issues that I would rather take a break from during gaming. I want to see heros rise against the challenge (heck it helps me restore my faith in the world). I am pretty honest and upfront about this. I know people can make compelling evil aligned PCs, but I have no interest in DMing that character or exploring that that option.


Liz Courts wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Moved thread.

... and off to Siberia we go...

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

If you want threads to stay where you post them, make them relevant to the forum they're in. Otherwise, they're getting moved.

I put it there to provide balance against the other four or five multi-page threads on the same subject Liz.

I see you FINALLY moved ONE of the other ones.

I fail to see how I am the inconsistent one here.


In 1979 one of my players was a huge fan of the comic book, "Travis Morgan the Warlord", by Mike Grell. And, since we had already established that two of the Player Characters were people who were transported to the game world from Earth

Spoiler:
one of them was an Olympic level Target Bow Shooter, who was working at a vendor booth at a outdoor venue promoting hunting, after he had failed to make the 1976 US Olympic team, and ended up getting sucked into the World Of Hamth in possession of a very hi-tech bow and eleven aluminum arrows with broad head hunting tips
this player asked if his character could have a semiautomatic pistol and several hundred rounds of ammunition.

I had to make a decision there and then, and the decision I made was this story.

Over a thousand years ago, on another continent of this world, in an advanced civilization, a terrible plan was unleashed by a horrible individual that involved blowing up, with a newly discovered compound, a very large dam that held back an enormous reservoir. The plan was a success, and over thirty thousand people were killed.

The woman who discovered the compound survived, and dedicated her life to trying to find a way to make up for the terror she had unleashed on the world.

She searched for years and finally found a very powerful artifact that contained one remaining wish.

Her wish was, “I wish that gun powder was never discovered.”
And that wish was slightly perverted, time was re ordered, the dam was saved, the people did not drowned, and gun powder was, and never, ever, will be, discovered.


You know, I'm kind of with Ms Courts on this one. Discussions about the interactions between Dungeon Masters and Players over how we decide what our games will be like, sort of, I suppose, is "Gamer Life" after all.


Terquem wrote:
You know, I'm kind of with Ms Courts on this one. Discussions about the interactions between Dungeon Masters and Players over how we decide what our games will be like, sort of, I suppose, is "Gamer Life" after all.

So am I. So don't wait a week and dozens of pages of postings on multiple other threads to move them where they belong.


To be fair though, I'll have to give Liz some credit here. I fully expected to see this moved to "House Rules" because the first three words in the title were "Custom World Building". At least moving it here shows she read enough of it to know what it was talking about.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
hogarth wrote:

I don't think it's unreasonable to say "there are no firearms in my world". Why would it be?

On the other hand, I find that as I get older I have less time and/or inclination to absorb myself in the nuances and lore of a GM's custom world, so most custom world-building is lost on me at this point. If that means I'm "entitled", so be it.

Hogarth, this is a very relevant comment actually. This ties in some ways to the whole argument about how the players should appreciate all the hard work and effort that GMs put into their exquisitely created worlds.

Here is how I imagine a civil conversation between a highly invested custom-world building GM and a highly invested Rules-lawyer player might go:

GM: "I don't allow gunslingers in my world."
Player: "Hmm... I like gunslingers, in fact I spent three days working on this awesome gunslinger concept that I was planning on playing in your upcoming campaign."
[example trimmed]

In your example, it's perfectly okay for the GM to say "gunslingers just don't exist in my world" and it's perfectly okay for the player to say "let's just not use your world". No one should have hard feelings about that, IMO.

The civilized end to that conversation is probably something like:

  • Sorry, if I'm GMing, I'm going to use my own game world.
  • Okay, it sounds like this isn't the game for me, then. Good luck with the campaign!


  • hogarth wrote:
    Adamantine Dragon wrote:
    hogarth wrote:

    I don't think it's unreasonable to say "there are no firearms in my world". Why would it be?

    On the other hand, I find that as I get older I have less time and/or inclination to absorb myself in the nuances and lore of a GM's custom world, so most custom world-building is lost on me at this point. If that means I'm "entitled", so be it.

    Hogarth, this is a very relevant comment actually. This ties in some ways to the whole argument about how the players should appreciate all the hard work and effort that GMs put into their exquisitely created worlds.

    Here is how I imagine a civil conversation between a highly invested custom-world building GM and a highly invested Rules-lawyer player might go:

    GM: "I don't allow gunslingers in my world."
    Player: "Hmm... I like gunslingers, in fact I spent three days working on this awesome gunslinger concept that I was planning on playing in your upcoming campaign."
    [example trimmed]

    In your example, it's perfectly okay for the GM to say "gunslingers just don't exist in my world" and it's perfectly okay for the player to say "let's just not use your world". No one should have hard feelings about that, IMO.

    The civilized end to that conversation is probably something like:

  • Sorry, if I'm GMing, I'm going to use my own game world.
  • Okay, it sounds like this isn't the game for me, then. Good luck with the campaign!
  • Certainly that's a reasonable conclusion.

    This was a rebuttal to the argument that GMs should get their way because they put so much work into the game compared to the other players.

    I'm a fairly involved and dedicated GM. I work pretty hard at it. But there are times that I know certain players who are putting more effort into a campaign than even I am doing as GM. So how much effort is being put into the endeavor is not a compelling argument for whom gets to have their dictates followed.

    I was also pointing out that the "I worked my butt off on this campaign!" is not much of an argument if the player views most of that work as counterproductive to the game's actual purpose and fun.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Liz knows what she's doing.

    I say this because she and the million other liz' I know don't gear this enough.


    Freehold DM wrote:

    Liz knows what she's doing.

    I say this because she and the million other liz' I know don't gear this enough.

    Not to bag on Liz, I'm sure she's a wonderful person and a brilliant web moderator....

    But my thread was the last of at least three threads that rampaged on this specific subject for day after day after day with no banishment to Siberia.

    My thread gets banished within a couple hours while the other threads just go one and on and on.

    Not the first time either. I'm pretty good at spotting patterns Freehold.

    Silver Crusade

    Adamantine Dragon wrote:
    3. Alignment modifications. My world doesn't exactly follow the alignment system described in the book. This can create some issues for classes that are highly dependent on alignment. Alignment auras in my world are more granular than in the rules. So a character can ping as "tainted with evil but mostly good" for example. If a level 1 character is evil enough, their aura will have some level of evil taint. There really isn't a race or creature alignment with evil either. Any sentient race will have a range of alignments, although some races will trend more towards one sort of alignment than others. Orcs trend more towards evil than elves, but individual elves and orcs have their own alignments. The most important implication of this is that killing the children of any race is highly discouraged since even a young kobold has a chance of growing up to be good. So indiscriminate destruction of orc villages will have alignment consequences.

    I'd play it. :)

    Grand Lodge

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    Flag the other threads as being in the wrong forum. She can only be consistent to threads she is aware of.


    I'm still here El Guapo!

    Anyway it always ends up on threads such as these that you have the rational "oh then this isn't the game for me" people, then you have the slightly less-rational "the GM is a GOD - it says so by RAW" / "As the player I should have whatever the CRB and subsequent books allow, period... jerkface GM control freak" folks.

    I'd love to say there's only one or the other in life, but honestly most people fall annoyingly in-between these 2 extremes.

    I just keep repeating that its your game; make it what YOU want.


    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    Flag the other threads as being in the wrong forum. She can only be consistent to threads she is aware of.

    Fair point Tri. I have no doubt that my threads get flagged fairly often. I don't tread lightly on the internet I'm afraid.

    I tend to avoid flagging because I think it's a feature that gets abused. But your point is taken.


    Adamantine Dragon wrote:
    hogarth wrote:

    I don't think it's unreasonable to say "there are no firearms in my world". Why would it be?

    On the other hand, I find that as I get older I have less time and/or inclination to absorb myself in the nuances and lore of a GM's custom world, so most custom world-building is lost on me at this point. If that means I'm "entitled", so be it.

    Hogarth, this is a very relevant comment actually. This ties in some ways to the whole argument about how the players should appreciate all the hard work and effort that GMs put into their exquisitely created worlds.

    Here is how I imagine a civil conversation between a highly invested custom-world building GM and a highly invested Rules-lawyer player might go:

    GM: "I don't allow gunslingers in my world."
    Player: "Hmm... I like gunslingers, in fact I spent three days working on this awesome gunslinger concept that I was planning on playing in your upcoming campaign."
    GM: "Well, you'll have to play something else because gunslingers just don't exist in my world."
    Player: "Why not?"
    GM: "I don't really have any compelling reason to explain it to you. I can just say it is so and since I'm the GM, you pretty much have to accept it."
    Player: "Well, humor me."
    GM: "OK, since I like you... Look, I've dedicated hundreds of hours of my time and effort into creating this exquisite game world and gunslingers just don't fit. The world is magical and in a world of magic weapons and magical spells there's just no incentive to research and develop gunpowder since it offers no significant advantage to existing magical solutions to the same problem. So guns just have never been invented in my world."
    Player: "OK, so let's not play in your world."
    GM: "Um.. what?"
    Player: "Well, I never asked you to go to all that trouble. You did that on your own. I don't even want to read through your fifty page game world history, annotated with a dozen pages of cultural, economic, religious and geopolitical exposition. I just don't have the time."
    GM: "Um......

    Or perhaps that player could just maybe try stretching his wings and playing something new.


    Arssanguinus wrote:
    Or perhaps that player could just maybe try stretching his wings and playing something new.

    Nobody is saying that isn't a potential solution Arssanguinus. The question I have for you is what makes it more reasonable to have the PLAYER "stretch his wings" instead of the GM "stretching his wings" to modify his restrictions?

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
    Arssanguinus wrote:
    Or perhaps that player could just maybe try stretching his wings and playing something new.

    How many times must the player do that before he can assert himself? Can he never do so?


    Because the world has already been made, the character has not yet, quite simply.


    So, tri, he can ONLY have fun playing a gunslinger out of all of the nearly infinite options in the game?


    Arssanguinus wrote:
    Because the world has already been made, the character has not yet, quite simply.

    I would call this a pretty large assumption. I know I have a file folder at home full of already made characters I want to play. I'm sure a lot of players do.

    And as a world-building GM I can tell you that at least in my case, my world is always under construction. I assume I'm going to be adding, changing and sometimes deleting from it.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
    Arssanguinus wrote:
    So, tri, he can ONLY have fun playing a gunslinger out of all of the nearly infinite options in the game?

    I ask again, can he NEVER play a gunslinger then?


    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    Arssanguinus wrote:
    So, tri, he can ONLY have fun playing a gunslinger out of all of the nearly infinite options in the game?
    I ask again, can he NEVER play a gunslinger then?

    While I'm running the game? No, pick a different option you will also enjoy. Next time around, someone else can run a game in which everyone plays gunslingers.


    Arssanguinus wrote:
    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    Arssanguinus wrote:
    So, tri, he can ONLY have fun playing a gunslinger out of all of the nearly infinite options in the game?
    I ask again, can he NEVER play a gunslinger then?
    While I'm running the game? No, pick a different option you will also enjoy. Next time around, someone else can run a game in which everyone plays gunslingers.

    OK, and why do you feel entitled to dictate the terms of another person's fun?


    Adamantine Dragon wrote:
    Arssanguinus wrote:
    Because the world has already been made, the character has not yet, quite simply.

    I would call this a pretty large assumption. I know I have a file folder at home full of already made characters I want to play. I'm sure a lot of players do.

    And as a world-building GM I can tell you that at least in my case, my world is always under construction. I assume I'm going to be adding, changing and sometimes deleting from it.

    Indeed. But there a still certain building materials that, by code, will never be used in the construction. Such as the gunslinger, which just does. Not. Fit.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    So if there are no DMs willing to run for his gunslinger, he's SOL?


    Adamantine Dragon wrote:
    Arssanguinus wrote:
    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    Arssanguinus wrote:
    So, tri, he can ONLY have fun playing a gunslinger out of all of the nearly infinite options in the game?
    I ask again, can he NEVER play a gunslinger then?
    While I'm running the game? No, pick a different option you will also enjoy. Next time around, someone else can run a game in which everyone plays gunslingers.
    OK, and why do you feel entitled to dictate the terms of another person's fun?

    Why do they feel entitled to dictate mine?


    Arssanguinus wrote:
    Adamantine Dragon wrote:
    Arssanguinus wrote:
    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    Arssanguinus wrote:
    So, tri, he can ONLY have fun playing a gunslinger out of all of the nearly infinite options in the game?
    I ask again, can he NEVER play a gunslinger then?
    While I'm running the game? No, pick a different option you will also enjoy. Next time around, someone else can run a game in which everyone plays gunslingers.
    OK, and why do you feel entitled to dictate the terms of another person's fun?

    Why do they feel entitled to dictate mine?

    So you're both dictating to each other then. Why do you get to win?


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    So if there are no DMs willing to run for his gunslinger, he's SOL?

    Unfortunately, yes. Because I wouldn't ENJOY running that game, and if I don't enjoy it, I won't do that good a job at it, and it won't be enjoyable.

    So, sorry, sometimes things just don't work out..

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