As a DM: Why I hold my ground?


Gamer Life General Discussion

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Grand Lodge

Icyshadow wrote:
Not banned, but probably giving you both faves and insults. XD

I'm used to all three!


On re-skinning:

Shallowsoul wrote:
If I plan on running a specific style of game and I let one person reflavour a class or race that I have banned then I have to let everyone else do it and by then everyone still gets to play what I banned which in turn makes my planned game pointless. If I state that elves do not exist in my world and no reflavouring then do not proceed to ask me if you can anyway, unless I open the floor for discussion.

So, what is the reason to ban elves?

Examples:
Is it because leafy, hippy tree-warriors are not appropriate for the campaign, or people with long ears were systematically destroyed, or is it that a race with [race's] weapon proficiency, a perception bonus, some magic immunity etc. cannot exist?

Either it is the mechanics of the class that is a problem, or it is the fluff of the class that is a problem.

If it is the mechanics, than certainly reskinning the class to seem different but play the same is pointless, since the mechanics will not change. But if you simply do not want people getting access to certain weapon proficiencies, that can be solved by reworking the class a little bit

If it is the fluff though that causes problems: elves were wiped out in this world, or having a race that gets all mopey hanging out with humans etc., the fluff can be reflavored. Elves are now psychopaths that have no concern that their allies die a lot slower. Elves do not exist, but this local group of humans, lets call them Hyruleans, has the option of getting a +2 perception bonus and all that stuff.

If anyone that says "I do not like them because they are dumb/silly/make no sense/because" it is a sign that the speaker is not really thinking about the issue. It is fine that people do not have to explain the reasons for not liking things, but it is at least fair to acknowledge that your players might get upset that you are shutting down something that could be easily resolved because your freedom to not consider your opinions is more important to you than your players ability to do what they like.

On Hyperbole:"makes the game I planned pointless".
For this to be true, the point of your game would have to be the race not existing. This is possible, and could lead to some really cool ideas.

Ideas:
1) Race died out, PCs trying to discover why before a new race dies out.
2) Have not been discovered yet, but might be during the campaign.
3) The banned race is going to be a main evil faction, and the PCs cannot be part of it.

Regardless, the game would have a point to everyone else who is playing it. Even if using some major race-based plot point, how would a reskinned version ruin the game?
1) If the point of the game is about discovering what happened to the elves, then how does having a Hyrulean who has some of the elf racial traits kill the excitement of the game?
2) If the idea is that upon discovering the elves it is now unlocked as a playable race, then it might be redundant to have Hyruleans.
3) If the banned race turns out to be the big bad evil faction, then that goes back to flavor. Elves are bad, and evil and look like this, but Hyruleans are good and peaceful, and look like that. While the mechanics overlap, the whole flavor is different, and it does not wreck your premise.

NB: I ask a lot of rhetorical questions, but it would be awesome if they could be turned into real questions with real answers by the original poster, since the elf-banning seemed to have particular relevance.


John Kerpan wrote:


If it is the fluff though that causes problems: elves were wiped out in this world, or having a race that gets all mopey hanging out with humans etc., the fluff can be reflavored. Elves are now psychopaths that have no concern that their allies die a lot slower. Elves do not exist, but this local group of humans, lets call them Hyruleans, has the option of getting a +2 perception bonus and all that stuff.

In a practical sense, I've never seen "refluffing" work at the table. At least in my groups, people find it too difficult to get over their associations with the "real" race underlying the re-skin. If I tell people that they're not allowed to play elves, and they ask if they can play "Hyruleans" who have the elf crunch, they will always drag in the elf fluff as well, because, well, what they really want to play is an elf.

And if I want to run a themed game, I want to stick within the theme. Three of the examples I like to use are Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Howard's Conan the Cimmerian, and Monmouth's Arthurian tales (History of the Kings of Britain). One key characteristic these all share, aside from being beautiful classic tales of high fantasy, is that they are all extremely low-magic world where strange races are strange and mostly legendary, and all the heroes are human or nearly so in the case of halflings.

Samwise spent the first thirty years of his life hoping even to see an elf; I'm not really looking to destroy the mystery of the elves by allowing it as a PC race. And Arthur certainly isn't going to have a tengu with daisho sitting at his round table.

Liberty's Edge

I was going to run a WWII Setting and the players complained he couldn't reskin an elf...(S)

Grand Lodge

What's wrong with a bright, dexterous human with a weak constitution?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
What's wrong with a bright, dexterous human with a weak constitution?

Absolutely nothing. And the rules permit you to build one.

So why ask if you can reskin an elf instead?

Grand Lodge

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
So why ask if you can reskin an elf instead?

Because the GM can't say no if you don't ask.

Lantern Lodge Customer Service Manager

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I removed some unnecessary posts. The reason we are all here is because we love the game. We want to have a fun experience and we want our players to have a fun experience, there is no one right way to play roleplaying games. These forums are for discussing various aspects of the game and community and the multitude of ways to have a good time playing. There is no reason to make personal attacks.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
So why ask if you can reskin an elf instead?
Because the GM can't say no if you don't ask.

More practically, there is a difference in point buy between using a +2 and two +2 and a -2.

If you imagine you wanted a horribly unbalanced
STR 10
DEX 18
CON 8
INT 18
WIS 10
CHA 10

It would be a 25 point buy for a human and a 20 point buy for an elf. Not necessary the best reason to bother a GM, but there is a mathematical difference between the elf and the human.

Silver Crusade

ciretose wrote:

My implication is that it doesn't matter what I specifically want to run if no one else is interested in playing it. So if I have a group of players who aren't interested in something I am really excited about running, I run something else.

And vice versa, if as a player I come into a group with an idea I really like, but others aren't into, I play something else.

Welk in all fairness if the group didn't want to play in the campaign we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Orfamay Quest wrote:


In a practical sense, I've never seen "refluffing" work at the table. At least in my groups, people find it too difficult to get over their associations with the "real" race underlying the re-skin. If I tell people that they're not allowed to play elves, and they ask if they can play "Hyruleans" who have the elf crunch, they will always drag in the elf fluff as well, because, well, what they really want to play is an elf.

Unless of coursem they just want the crunch, those are the players who play elves as long-eared humans. That said, I'm no fan of re-skinning, re-fluffing, or whatever the term is this week.

Silver Crusade

John Kerpan wrote:
On re-skinning:
Shallowsoul wrote:
If I plan on running a specific style of game and I let one person reflavour a class or race that I have banned then I have to let everyone else do it and by then everyone still gets to play what I banned which in turn makes my planned game pointless. If I state that elves do not exist in my world and no reflavouring then do not proceed to ask me if you can anyway, unless I open the floor for discussion.

So, what is the reason to ban elves?** spoiler omitted **

Either it is the mechanics of the class that is a problem, or it is the fluff of the class that is a problem.

If it is the mechanics, than certainly reskinning the class to seem different but play the same is pointless, since the mechanics will not change. But if you simply do not want people getting access to certain weapon proficiencies, that can be solved by reworking the class a little bit

If it is the fluff though that causes problems: elves were wiped out in this world, or having a race that gets all mopey hanging out with humans etc., the fluff can be reflavored. Elves are now psychopaths that have no concern that their allies die a lot slower. Elves do not exist, but this local group of humans, lets call them Hyruleans, has the option of getting a +2 perception bonus and all that stuff.

If anyone that says "I do not like them because they are dumb/silly/make no sense/because" it is a sign that the speaker is not really thinking about the issue. It is fine that people do not have to explain the reasons for not liking things, but it is at least fair to acknowledge that your players might get upset that you are shutting down something that could be easily resolved because your freedom to not consider your opinions...

Here's an even better question.

Why "can't" I ban them?

Lantern Lodge Customer Service Manager

I've removed a post and reply to it. Do not use "rape" in a casual or dismissive manner.


And at what point is something reskinning to the point its not even the original thing anymore?

Like the idea of wanting to "reskin" an elf in a WWII game. Wut?

Does the character have pointy ears?
Did they grow up in the woods or a woodsy culture?
Do they live for hundreds of years and mature at the age of 100?
Do they slip into reverie instead of sleep?

When the answer to all these questions is no then obviously its so far from an elf its just a human. You might as well go to the DM and say "I want to play a human with an exchange of a +2 Dex for a -2 Con".

Digital Products Assistant

Removed some posts. If you'd like to provide feedback about moderation, please do so in the appropriate forum.


ciretose wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
I'll say this about that: If your game falls apart
You do realize there is a whole world between "Fall apart" and "Really great"

I do, but if you'd bothered to read the OP, he literally said "fall apart" not "become less great".

ciretose wrote:

If something lessens the groups enjoyment, the game doesn't "fall apart" but it is less enjoyable.

The goal is maximum fun for the group, not meeting every whim of a single player who never learned to play well with others.

Here, let me rephrase. If allowing something a little bit different lessens the fun of your group, your group is full of whiny little b!+$~es. I'm tired of sugar coating my responses in that respect as well.

kmal2t wrote:

And at what point is something reskinning to the point its not even the original thing anymore?

Like the idea of wanting to "reskin" an elf in a WWII game. Wut?

Does the character have pointy ears?
Did they grow up in the woods or a woodsy culture?
Do they live for hundreds of years and mature at the age of 100?
Do they slip into reverie instead of sleep?

When the answer to all these questions is no then obviously its so far from an elf its just a human. You might as well go to the DM and say "I want to play a human with an exchange of a +2 Dex for a -2 Con".

That's exactly what it is. That's what a reskin is. Something that is one thing mechanically, but another thing flavor-wise.


shallowsoul wrote:
I know some of you think I am a stubborn DM but I have my own reasons for why I like to finalize my decisions. I have learned through the years to keep the decisions simple and to keep my judgements final. What this does is it keeps everyone at the table on the same page and it makes everything fair.

I generally agree as long you can admit to being wrong. Holding your ground when you are wrong is not a virture.

shallowsoul wrote:
If I plan on running a specific style of game and I let one person reflavour a class or race that Ihave banned then I have to let everyone else do it and by then everyone still gets to play whatI banned which in turn makes my planned game pointless. If I state that elves do not exist in my world and no reflavouring then do not proceed to ask me if you can anyway, unless I open the floor for discussion. I have also found that this alleviates a lot of arguing and that time could be better spent playing the game. I have seen too many games fall apart because that special snowflake class, race, and even item was allowed.

When I or other GMs run strongly theme games I have no problem running it with somebody who at a causuel glance does not fit in...or is the fish out of water character. Sure I can understand that it can water down your game to have a entire party of outlanders...my groups tend to solves this simply...if two or more players(which is actualy rare that more than one person does want to play a out of theme character) wants to be the stranger in a strange land they roll off. Next game that player can't make somebody out of theme...

shallowsoul wrote:
I don't mind if my style is criticised but don't act like your method is somehow superior or that mine is somehow wrong because no style is superior and no style is wrong.

Agreed...though to understand that people take critism as people saying your style is wrong.

shallowsoul wrote:
I know my DMing style doesn't suit some people but that's okay because the game would get pretty boring if every DM was exactly the same.

Agreed.


Its so far away from the original then lets not call it a reskin just what it is with a mechanic you want.

If I said I wanted to play a reskinned horse but with a orange beak and webed feat and 1/10th the size and feathers etc. etc. just say you want to play a duck. Don't call it something that its far enough away from now that it doesn't even resemble it.

Silver Crusade

John Kretzer wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
I know some of you think I am a stubborn DM but I have my own reasons for why I like to finalize my decisions. I have learned through the years to keep the decisions simple and to keep my judgements final. What this does is it keeps everyone at the table on the same page and it makes everything fair.

I generally agree as long you can admit to being wrong. Holding your ground when you are wrong is not a virture.

shallowsoul wrote:
If I plan on running a specific style of game and I let one person reflavour a class or race that Ihave banned then I have to let everyone else do it and by then everyone still gets to play whatI banned which in turn makes my planned game pointless. If I state that elves do not exist in my world and no reflavouring then do not proceed to ask me if you can anyway, unless I open the floor for discussion. I have also found that this alleviates a lot of arguing and that time could be better spent playing the game. I have seen too many games fall apart because that special snowflake class, race, and even item was allowed.

When I or other GMs run strongly theme games I have no problem running it with somebody who at a causuel glance does not fit in...or is the fish out of water character. Sure I can understand that it can water down your game to have a entire party of outlanders...my groups tend to solves this simply...if two or more players(which is actualy rare that more than one person does want to play a out of theme character) wants to be the stranger in a strange land they roll off. Next game that player can't make somebody out of theme...

shallowsoul wrote:
I don't mind if my style is criticised but don't act like your method is somehow superior or that mine is somehow wrong because no style is superior and no style is wrong.

Agreed...though to understand that people take critism as people saying your style is wrong.

shallowsoul wrote:
I know my DMing style doesn't suit some people but that's okay
...

Now I'm not talking about rules decision but pure opinion. Now if I am ever wrong on a rule then by all means correct me.


shallowsoul wrote:
It's also not just races or classes but custom magic items. I had a DM once who allowed one PC to have a custom item which in turn became everyone having a custom item, to keep everyrhing fair, and the game took a dramatic turn for the worst and eventually fell apart.

On custom magic items.

Do you mean you ban all custom magical items?

If so that seems very extreme to me. I mean I have said no to some ideas my players have had...as they were broken...but some are fine and interesting also.

Also...do you still play with the people from that campaign?

If not...why don't you trust your current players not make game breaking items or to accept your final say on it?

If so...would they not all see what happens when you allow broken items in the game...and try to aviod it also?

Silver Crusade

John Kretzer wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
It's also not just races or classes but custom magic items. I had a DM once who allowed one PC to have a custom item which in turn became everyone having a custom item, to keep everyrhing fair, and the game took a dramatic turn for the worst and eventually fell apart.

On custom magic items.

Do you mean you ban all custom magical items?

If so that seems very extreme to me. I mean I have said no to some ideas my players have had...as they were broken...but some are fine and interesting also.

Also...do you still play with the people from that campaign?

If not...why don't you trust your current players not make game breaking items or to accept your final say on it?

If so...would they not all see what happens when you allow broken items in the game...and try to aviod it also?

If I allow custom magic items then I monitor them very carefully and the moment I see anything dodgy then I ban the item and not allow the player to have another one.

I don't play with that group anymore as we have all gone our separate ways, life reason, but I play with a lot of new and different groups so I tread carefully with everyone.


I would tread pretty carefully with created spells, items, and classes. You have to remember that people who work for Paizo have spent a great deal of time with charts and other stuff to make sure something isn't a duplication or isn't OP. If they add a +2 sword for 300 marklars they're going to try to double check carefully that they don't have a +2 sword listed already for 500 marklars. Now we're getting into powercreep.

edit: I'd argue they already do powercreep but not as drastically as a player is liable to do.

Liberty's Edge

I find that identifying a problem with a custom race/ability/item is best followed with an open discussion with the player about the problem I see there, rather than simply using the banhammer.

Because I may be wrong, even if I am the GM.

Because the banhammer is a power issue and confrontational by its very nature : an act of will against the wishes of another person. As such it is a very fertile ground for seeds of ill will and player-GM conflict. Something that gets in the way of enjoying the game.

Also, I now take for gospel something I read on these boards : "Fun > Balance".

Scarab Sages

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John Kerpan wrote:
Elves do not exist, but this local group of humans, lets call them Hyruleans, has the option of getting a +2 perception bonus and all that stuff.

Could these be the fabled Missing Link?


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Listen to ideas if they sound reasonable, but I see no reason why a DM can't instantly banned some things with little to no discussion if they're extreme and inane.

"I want to run a realistic WWII campaign."
"Can I play an Elf with platearmor that came from a spaceship and also invents the internet?"

Wtf is there possibly to discuss about the above? That's an insta no..It doesn't fit into the setting remotely regardless of how you want to "make it fit" ..thats not the GM being infexible in his setting its the player being stupid.

Scarab Sages

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I think reskinning has a place, and in many campaigns, it's the reskinning that gives the tired old cliches a new lease of life.

I remember when Dark Sun came out; there had been talk of a new official game setting, and letters in the gaming press did try to second-guess what the angle might be, with people calling for certain races to be culled from the game.

Many gamers were bored of the traditional mock-Renaissance Faire D&D, with every elf dressed in Lincoln Green, wielding a longbow, every dwarf being an alcoholic Scotsman, every halfling being a pothead yokel with a Zummerrrrrzettt accent ("Ooh Arrrrrr, oi be a Haaaaarfling oi be. Wewd yew loooooike zum pooooiiiipeweeeed?").

Now, some of the worst offenders were the result of us being young and less than serious players, and certainly it wasn't helped by Games Workshop in the early 80s cranking those stereotypes up to 11. When the only figures you could get for halflings were all wider than they were tall, and most had a pipe in their mouth, it's not hard to see why every group had a horror story about THAT GUY, who only ever played the one race, and always as stoners with the munchies.

So given that (and the perennial IP conflicts with the Tolkien estate), it wasn't hard to see why the general prediction was that halflings would not be in the new setting, or why that was seen as a Very Good Thing by some players.
Get rid of them! They're anachronistic!
Well, yes, they will be, if they're only ever presented as peasant farmers from rural southern England.

But when they actually revealed the setting, some could not believe what had been done with them. They'd done the seemingly impossible, and actually made halflings cool and dangerous. And something that might present a serious encounter, rather than the previous "Let's not go to Hobbiton. It is a very silly place.".

There's a lot of folk out there, who would say "I used to hate halflings...until DARK SUN!".

So, tl:dr. Reskinning. It's not the enemy.

Liberty's Edge

kmal2t wrote:

Listen to ideas if they sound reasonable, but I see no reason why a DM can't instantly banned some things with little to no discussion if they're extreme and inane.

"I want to run a realistic WWII campaign."
"Can I play an Elf with platearmor that came from a spaceship and also invents the internet?"

Wtf is there possibly to discuss about the above? That's an insta no..It doesn't fit into the setting remotely regardless of how you want to "make it fit" ..thats not the GM being infexible in his setting its the player being stupid.

At the very least, I would ask Why.

What is there in this concept that has the player so enthusiastic about it that he cannot find in the setting I propose ? How can I work with the player in finding a mutually acceptable compromise ?

Or maybe it just means that my wish for the campaign is just plain stupid or inappropriate and none of my players dare tell me directly.

Then I should inquire about it and check with all my potential players how they really feel about it. Basically, I should give them the right to "say NO to the GM".

This way :

If only one player is not happy with my campaign, then we can agree even before game starts that it is probably better for him and everyone else that he does not participate in it.

If most of my players are not happy with my campaign, I can stop putting effort and enthusiasm in it that just would be wasted.

If we go on playing my campaign, I will have a much better grasp on what my players expect from it.


Shallowsoul, why do you feel the need to "refute" anything? Haters gonna hate.


On Elves & Settings: I wouldn't go over a friend's house and demand we play Megaman X when the only game he's got is Super Mario Cart :)

Possible Response: Well, what if I own Megaman X and bring it over? Shouldn't we consider playing it then? Why is my friend's desire to play Super Mario Cart more important than my desire to play another game?

Answer: It isn't, but you should consider playing Super Mario Cart instead. Your friend spent a lot of time saving up the money to purchase Super Mario Cart and hasn't had an opportunity to play it yet. He's excited to play it (with you, no less). After a couple rounds of Super Mario Cart, you can introduce him to Megaman X. He'll probably like that game, too. Everyone wins out in the end!


kmal2t wrote:

I would tread pretty carefully with created spells, items, and classes. You have to remember that people who work for Paizo have spent a great deal of time with charts and other stuff to make sure something isn't a duplication or isn't OP. If they add a +2 sword for 300 marklars they're going to try to double check carefully that they don't have a +2 sword listed already for 500 marklars. Now we're getting into powercreep.

edit: I'd argue they already do powercreep but not as drastically as a player is liable to do.

While I respect the hard work of Paizo's folks, they don't always do this kind of background research. I think they try, but schedules don't always allow.

In any case, I don't think individual GMs and groups should be discouraged from creating their own material. Honestly, if more people created and used their own material, there would be more thoughtful, competent designers available for discussion.

Liberty's Edge

shallowsoul wrote:
ciretose wrote:

My implication is that it doesn't matter what I specifically want to run if no one else is interested in playing it. So if I have a group of players who aren't interested in something I am really excited about running, I run something else.

And vice versa, if as a player I come into a group with an idea I really like, but others aren't into, I play something else.

Welk in all fairness if the group didn't want to play in the campaign we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Oh I agree, which is why I am more associated with the other side of the argument.

I view it like this.

At first, there is no game.

Then a GM appears and says "Would people like to play X game?"

And players either say "Yes", "No" or "What about this variation of X game"

And this is the time when things are worked out, and a game either happens or doesn't.

But once the players agree to let the GM run a game (because the GM can't run a game without players wanting to show up to play the game) the players need to either let the GM be a GM and run the game they agreed to play, or stop playing.

GM is just a title if you aren't given the authority to actually be the GM.

Liberty's Edge

I won! :)

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

A new challenger has arrived!

:)

Liberty's Edge

Whatever, this isn't even my final form :)

Shadow Lodge

Warning! A huge battleship is fast approaching!


Hey, who was the one saying something about multiple forms?!

Dark Archive

shallowsoul wrote:

I know some of you think I am a stubborn DM but I have my own reasons for why I like to finalize my decisions. I have learned through the years to keep the decisions simple and to keep my judgements final. What this does is it keeps everyone at the table on the same page and it makes everything fair.

If I plan on running a specific style of game and I let one person reflavour a class or race that Ihave banned then I have to let everyone else do it and by then everyone still gets to play whatI banned which in turn makes my planned game pointless. If I state that elves do not exist in my world and no reflavouring then do not proceed to ask me if you can anyway, unless I open the floor for discussion. I have also found that this alleviates a lot of arguing and that time could be better spent playing the game. I have seen too many games fall apart because that special snowflake class, race, and even item was allowed.

I don't mind if my style is criticised but don't act like your method is somehow superior or that mine is somehow wrong because no style is superior and no style is wrong.

I know my DMing style doesn't suit some people but that's okay because the game would get pretty boring if every DM was exactly the same.

Well, saying that all decisions are final is a bit short-sighted. Many times as DM I have a made a quick decision on a rule or class to keep the game moving and later on decided I made a mistake or was incorrect and changed my decision. You should say "All decisions are final, but the DM reserves the right to change his mind if new info comes to light", because that makes it sound like you are open to new ideas or perspectives and can admit when you are wrong. The DM has the final say on all rulings, but if you come off as a tyrant then you will alienate players. Just try to be as consistent as possible with your rulings and the players will respect you.

As for banning certain classes, I don't think that's a good idea unless that class does not fit into the setting, such as a ninja in a traditional fantasy game. However, I do support banning perhaps a poorly conceived or clearly broken spell.

You start banning too much stuff and you just end up looking like a short sighted, domineering, control freak who always has to have it his way.


shallowsoul wrote:

I know some of you think I am a stubborn DM but I have my own reasons for why I like to finalize my decisions. I have learned through the years to keep the decisions simple and to keep my judgements final. What this does is it keeps everyone at the table on the same page and it makes everything fair.

If I plan on running a specific style of game and I let one person reflavour a class or race that Ihave banned then I have to let everyone else do it and by then everyone still gets to play whatI banned which in turn makes my planned game pointless. If I state that elves do not exist in my world and no reflavouring then do not proceed to ask me if you can anyway, unless I open the floor for discussion. I have also found that this alleviates a lot of arguing and that time could be better spent playing the game. I have seen too many games fall apart because that special snowflake class, race, and even item was allowed.

I don't mind if my style is criticised but don't act like your method is somehow superior or that mine is somehow wrong because no style is superior and no style is wrong.

I know my DMing style doesn't suit some people but that's okay because the game would get pretty boring if every DM was exactly the same.

I have often disagreed with how you do things, but I will also say that if its working keep doing what you do until it becomes an issue. I am not at your table, so I can't really say much about what really goes on. I do think a style can be better than another style. Some GM's can run for almost anyone so I can say their method is better than mine.


I play a point buy system also. When I run a campaign, I give guidelines for character creation, and I always look over characters - as something that is book legal can be completely unbalancing. I disallow things dependant on that, or the tone of the campaign (if I am running an aquatic super team on the coast, I might insist everyone breathe water as much of the game will be underwater). It really is a pertty standard approach to GMing in those circumstances.

Moving to Pathfinder, I do the same thing. Maybe I'm running a mystic earth history game, and limit races to elf, dwarf and human - because that is part of the definition of the game I run this time. No I'm not going to allow a dragonborn (Insert odd race of choice) there.

Maybe I am running a low power game where all arcane magic is against the law, and the PCs are looking for a Conan kind of feel. I'll disallow arcane full casters.

Or I to run anything goes games where a pub in a large city looks like the cantina at star wars.

No reason not to limit things to fit the game at hand.

The big thing is to find a group that is cool with that kind of thing, and make sure there is complete communication before hand to makes sure everyone is in agreement and buys in to the concept.

For me the way it works -
I pitch a concept.
Players are interested.
I set up those limitations and rules
Players build character within those limitations
I adjust world to fit thier characters.

Now if a player joins later, yes they will be expected to abide by those rules as that is part of the social contract for that game.

We never play "Champions" or "Pathfinder" we play "Heath's Game" or Lord Mhoram's Game"


There is very little to talk about if you've set up a WWII game that everyone has already agreed on. I'm sorry but if I set up a realistic WWII game and you say you want to play an internet-hacking elf in plate armor then the only question I have is not why, but are you sure you're not functionally retarded?

If the player wants a compromise in this situation they deserve a spartan kick in the chest right out the window because they just made it clear that they're an idiot that I'm incapable of having a reasonable conversation with.

Sovereign Court

kmal2t wrote:

There is very little to talk about if you've set up a WWII game that everyone has already agreed on. I'm sorry but if I set up a realistic WWII game and you say you want to play an internet-hacking elf in plate armor then the only question I have is not why, but are you sure you're not functionally retarded?

If the player wants a compromise in this situation they deserve a spartan kick in the chest right out the window because they just made it clear that they're an idiot that I'm incapable of having a reasonable conversation with.

I wholeheartedly agree.


I'll admit this thread seems kinda hypothetical to me... I couldn't imagine this stuff actually happening in a gaming group.

I Love playing Elves... I have never asked to play one in the Marvel heroes game... or the Star Wars game... or even the Wheel of time game.

If they don't exist in the setting... why would a player get insistent about BEING one there?? Does this actually HAPPEN??

Classes are bit different. If the DM says 'no monks' in his world... because he hates monks... I would like to know WHY. If it's mechanical (really the BEST reason to Ban something...) then that's cool... but I would still like to find some way to tweak my character with mechanics you DO find acceptable.

I did that with a monk in a 2E game. DM hated the kit from years prior.... but I really wanted to play a martial artist. I ended up writing up my own kit that focused entirely on different things then what he hated, and we ended up with an awesome character.

Do you hate unarmed fighting? or is it mystical 'Ki' that you hate? Can I work out a fighter who can do everything that I want to do without using the monk class?

If it's fluff that the DM hates, that's also rarely a problem. Personally, I hate the wuxia eastern monk in robes concept. I hate mystical concentration magic abilities...

However, I love some martial arts. Bring on the Chuck Norris, VanDamme, Jackie Chan, type characters. I can promise to cut out the magic fists, and healing myself... and stick just with the flurry of blows and bonuses to AC if that would get my character in a game...

I'm all for a compromise. If you don't have gunpowder in your world??? there is no gunfighters. end of story.


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phantom1592 wrote:

I'll admit this thread seems kinda hypothetical to me... I couldn't imagine this stuff actually happening in a gaming group.

I Love playing Elves... I have never asked to play one in the Marvel heroes game... or the Star Wars game... or even the Wheel of time game.

If they don't exist in the setting... why would a player get insistent about BEING one there?? Does this actually HAPPEN??

Unfortunately, both sides tend to address the hypothetical extreme of the opposing side. The DMisGod crowd tend to cite players insisting on platemail wearing elves in a WW2 historical setting whereas the PlayersRightsAreSacrosanct crowd like to point out the failings of a DM who sits his players down and then reads them a story.

Neither is very common, I suspect (and I doubt either side is advocating for what the other is lambasting). Nonetheless, hyperbole is a seductive arguing tool.


You talk about hyperbole and yet talk about your silly categories of DmisGod crowd which you lumped me in for some rash reason and then an equally silly playersrightsaresancrosanctcrowd.

If you read my post carefully you'd see that I didn't make that example to create hyperbole to paint players in an extreme...I used an extreme example to show that the DM should not ALWAYS listen to a player's idea if its really out there and totally incompatible with the setting being used.

Just the same as a DM shouldn't always shut down players ideas he shouldn't ALWAYS listen to ideas either.

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