"Saying No" (KQ article relevant to locked snowflake thread)


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Dark Archive

Lamontius wrote:
CHANGE PLACES

NO! I Don't need to I'm right and I will play my special snowflake no matter what and how many threads they lock.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

There was a skein of threads on these boards several years ago, debating this very issue. I generally took the same view as the article, but there was an articulate counter-argument, to which I can't give justice here. The essence was that world-building belongs to both the GM and the players, through the agency of their characters.

--

Here's my anecdote: I designed a campaign world where, for long-winded reasons, most of the True Gods had left, and clerics derived powers from the gods' powerful servants. Well, a friend joined the group and really wanted to play a cleric of the true gods. Okay, I was able to bring her PC in as a time-trapped character from long before. The PC was unique in her knowledge of the gods.

And then she quit the campaign. But it was too late. One of the underpinnings of the campaign had come loose, and the background proceeded to fall apart.

Silver Crusade

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pres man wrote:

I particularly liked:

KQ wrote:

... There’s a lot to be said in favor of “yes, but.” As GM philosophies go, it’s better than most.

It can, however, become a trap for the unwary or overly generous GM who’s trying to build a world with a strong theme.
Seems to me the article is about a word of caution to some GMs, if you can't handle "yes, but" GMing philosophy, you better stick with "No" GMing philosophy.

Why can't people like you understand that some DM's say "no" by choice and not because they are lacking in a particular area.


shallowsoul wrote:
pres man wrote:

I particularly liked:

KQ wrote:

... There’s a lot to be said in favor of “yes, but.” As GM philosophies go, it’s better than most.

It can, however, become a trap for the unwary or overly generous GM who’s trying to build a world with a strong theme.
Seems to me the article is about a word of caution to some GMs, if you can't handle "yes, but" GMing philosophy, you better stick with "No" GMing philosophy.
Why can't people like you understand that some DM's say "no" by choice and not because they are lacking in a particular area.

By "people like you" I assume you mean the writer of the article. Hey, I'm not the one gushing all on the article. I would suggest your wrath should be better focused on the writer of the article and/or the person that posted it. Don't hate the messenger.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
pres man wrote:

I particularly liked:

KQ wrote:

... There’s a lot to be said in favor of “yes, but.” As GM philosophies go, it’s better than most.

It can, however, become a trap for the unwary or overly generous GM who’s trying to build a world with a strong theme.
Seems to me the article is about a word of caution to some GMs, if you can't handle "yes, but" GMing philosophy, you better stick with "No" GMing philosophy.

Seems to me the article reminds people that being reasonable works when dealing with people who will do the same in return.


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I see none of you can let go, as usual.


Why does it have to be "Let it die on page 1" or "In before the lock!"?

This is a topic I have actually had to contend with in my home-group.


Grimmy wrote:

Why does it have to be "Let it die on page 1" or "In before the lock!"?

This is a topic I have actually had to contend with in my home-group.

There's some bad feelings from the several other threads on this topic, one of which has been locked. Basically people disagree, but there are parties on several sides that are unwilling to say "This is what I do in my game, and you do whatever you want in yours, and both can be right."


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Considering all I added to the snowflake thread was a bad joke, I'll chime in here after reading Steve's article.

Rather than "Yes, but..." I think, where specific campaigns are concerned, a GM is fine with going with "No, because... ." If a GM's campaign world has no elves in it, then the players are not playing elves. Why? Because they don't exist. If that's not a particular player's cup of tea, then they should probably find another game. Rather than taking it as a personal affront to elf-lovers everywhere, perhaps accept that the GM wants to do something different and would like players willing to support the concept.

I have to admit though, that a minotaur artificer riding a mechanical elephant sounds truly epic. (Yes, but...not at first level.)


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Sometimes I see a snowflake
that particularly raises my ire
I always prefer to examine it
Others choose to examine it with fire.

Sometimes that snowflake is ugly
or annoying or brash or unfit
I love to examine it anyway
as I enjoy unconventional wit

I hear of wonderful snowscapes
All snowflakes of a less varied kind
I'm told those snowscapes are quite beautiful
In advance knowing what flakes you'll find.

I find that those snowscapes for me
Rumored to be unique fun to explore
When examined up close over time do turnout
to be places I've been to before.

A castle of ice may be wonderful
To the fresh eyes of someone it's just met
But I've been in enough ice castles to know
each one is just cold and wet.

You can change the angle of lighting
And the colors will change and will bend
At the end of the day though that castle
is the same one all over again

After years of examining its halls
Through every concievable lens
They're all the same crystalline mazes
with all the same crystalline bends

When standing in these fabled castles
Fine hard won works of crystalline art
The only thing left that I fancy of them
is chipping those castle apart

If you're ready to make a world
Where my choices of me are quite slim
The world had better be one
Unlike any in which I've already been

I'd rather be back in a snowscape
Where even if I happen to get bored
I can spin in one place and scoop up a handful
of snowflakes i've never seen before

After 30 years in the trenches
I've seen every twist every turn every week
What makes each trench though exciting
are the snowflakes whose company I keep

The things that make campaigns exciting
that keep me from falling asleep
are not the populations and places i've been to
but the teams I'm on that are unique

Through every core only mine of the dwarves
And every forest of core book only elves
The trenches I find the most enjoyable
Are the trenches the players dig for themselves.

I'm free to believe what I want to believe
Whether you agree or not
If you wish to convince me otherwise
You're welcome to give it a shot.


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I think your rhyme gets a bit unclear as to your actual opinion, and I'm pretty sure I disagree with it, but nicely done.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I think your rhyme gets a bit unclear as to your actual opinion, and I'm pretty sure I disagree with it, but nicely done.

Yeah, it's a nice poem. That said, I disagree with a good portion of it. I'd love to see a unique snowflake as well; most are less snowflakes and more replications of things I've seen in the past. But many of them are special, I'll give them that!


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
MYTHIC TOZ wrote:
I see none of you can let go, as usual.
With such a mythic demonstration from you of how to let go, I'm sure we'll all do better in the future TOZ.

I thought I did particularly well towards the end of the snowflake thread.


I would be surprised if this thread follows the same trajectory. People are still recharging their batteries and reloading their guns.


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Me, I think snowscapes are subject to no more pitfalls (avalanches? Snowdrifts?) than snowflakes. A character or setting most invested in its "differentness" suffers when people ask, "Okay, so aside from being a pink batwinged shapeshifting half-demon hippoman, what's your chaarcter like?"

That's not just because you don't know. It's because people don't ask. Your character's alcoholism and aspirations of marrying royalty are forgotten because all other PCs and NPCs can focus on is, "Holy crap tehfudge is that!"

The same is true of settings. If your main gimmick is, "Okay, all hobbits are extinct and orcs are actually beautiful minstrels with three eyes!"...well, it's a gimmick. That's the whole problem with bad snowflakes.

Now, I believe that all characters and settings are special snowflakes in the good way, so keep that in mind. Specialness is fine. Just keep in mind you're not the only storyteller present, and do your best not to step on people's toes. Don't try to run Terah if your players love medieval fantasy, but don't try to play that minotaur if everyone else is getting ready to play a Middle Earth campaign.

What I'm getting at here is I'm tired of people defending kitchen sink play by targeting closed setting play. Both are valid forms of play, and both should be kept separate. You want to play the hippoman (they's called giffs!)? Find a different GM or wait until I'm through running my serious closed setting game.


@shallowsoul and ciretose: I understand why you are getting defensive, but let me show you why there is no reason to. I'll use an analogy.

If I say, "All squares are rectangles."

And you respond, "I have a rectangle and it is not a square."

Then you are not understanding the statement I made.

I didn't say, "All rectangle are squares." Nor logically can such a conclusion be drawn from my statement. Thus, even if you showed a rectangle that wasn't a square, it would not prove my statement was in error. What you would have to show a square that isn't a rectangle.

Now what does it have to do with the comment I made earlier? I said it looked like the writer was saying that if someone who was (as described by the writer) "unwary or overly generous", then they shouldn't be afraid to say "no" instead of "yes, but". Now one can not logically conclude from that statement that just because someone uses "no" instead of "yes, but" they must be "unwary or overly generous". Neither I nor the writer said any such thing.

Just because a technique is suggested to inexperienced GMs, doesn't mean that GMs that use it are necessarily inexperienced.


While the writer of the article did suggest that the "yes, but" approach might be a potential trap for "unwary or overly generous GMs" I think that should not imply that those are the ONLY reasons a GM might not say "yes, but". It is certainly my position that a suitably wary and appropriately stingy GM could also say "no, because". The article just didn't cover those cases.

Dark Archive

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I lost track of the last thread.

Did anybody note that the worst 'special snowflakes' of all seem to be the GMs who meticulously plot out their setting and then prevent anyone from playing anything that doesn't fit their vision, or attempts an action that might mess up their pretty 'you can look, but don't touch' showroom? (Published adventures, such as the Time of Troubles and Dragonlance conversions, can also fall into this trap.)

I'm not a disruptive player by nature, but I've been in a game or two that seemed like a narrative which I was, begrudgingly, at best, allowed to observe, but not interact with, and I felt an urge to stab the very special NPC just to see what happened. (Unfortunately, being one of the not-disruptive players, that just meant I got caught in the GM freakout that happened when one of the *actual* disruptive players got bored with being read a story and did in fact do something that violated the propriety of the setting.)

I have no idea where the concept of 'the GM is god' and sense of over-entitlement came from, but it's, IMO, more of an issue than Jane, who always wants to play a cat-girl, even if we wanted to play gritty gothic horror or wild western adventures, and not something like high fantasy, superhero or space marines, in which an anthropomorphic tigress wouldn't be terribly out of place.

Ideally, the game chosen, and the setting of that game, should be flexible enough to accommodate the wishes of those who are playing that game, and not just be a frustrated writer saying that he'll 'run a game' just to get to read his story to a captive audience, who will be forbidden to play anything (or make any choices once the game starts) that will mess with the integrity of his artistic vision.

So, if I'm GMing, and (not a real person) Jane is one of those players, it will be set in my version of (world X) in which there happens to be cat people, for whatever reason. Since I prefer fantasy (with tons of anthros and lycanthropes), science fiction (with diverse aliens) and superhero (Tigra!) games, it's all good.

If the urge takes me to run a game set in the roaring '20s, and the only character choices are 'made man,' 'backwoods bootlegger,' 'corrupt G-man,' and 'gangster's moll,' then A) I won't invite Jane (or any woman, ever, given what most 'setting-appropriate' choices for women would be, in a historical game) and B) I'll lie down until that urge goes away, because *none* of my friends would want to play that anyway, and since I like my friends, I wouldn't inflict that upon them...

Instead I'll just write a short story set in the roaring '20's, and be done with it.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
While the writer of the article did suggest that the "yes, but" approach might be a potential trap for "unwary or overly generous GMs" I think that should not imply that those are the ONLY reasons a GM might not say "yes, but". It is certainly my position that a suitably wary and appropriately stingy GM could also say "no, because". The article just didn't cover those cases.

Exactly. ;)

(as well as other cases)


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Well, I was wrong. We are right back on the polarized extremes where there are only GMs who want to tell their frustrated writer story to a captive audience or else a player who can only play a wizard-pony with rainbow eyes.

I am so glad I game in the real world instead of the world described on these boards.


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Set wrote:
Did anybody note that the worst 'special snowflakes' of all seem to be the GMs who meticulously plot out their setting and then prevent anyone from playing anything that doesn't fit their vision, or attempts an action that might mess up their pretty 'you can look, but don't touch' showroom? (Published adventures, such as the Time of Troubles and Dragonlance conversions, can also fall into this trap.)

Yes. People took to calling them 'special snowscapes' and telling the GM to go write a story.

Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Well, I was wrong. We are right back on the polarized extremes where there are only GMs who want to tell their frustrated writer story to a captive audience or else a player who can only play a wizard-pony with rainbow eyes.

I am so glad I game in the real world instead of the world described on these boards.

The extremes seem to be where all the commentary is. It's harder to make disparaging comments about people in the middle, those filthy fence sitting boring @%@#$^@$.


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This keeps coming around, and people seem to dislike hearing it for some reason. It's pretty simple:

Do not play in games that make you unhappy, whether as a player or GM. Find other games. If there are no other games in your area and you cannot move to where happy gaming exists, then you have the choices of not gaming, gaming over the net or by mail, or sucking it up and trying to make a go of it with the game group that you do not like.

This may mean that your setting has to change, that you have to use another setting, or that you have to use a pre-made setting to keep the peace.

This may mean that your long-awaited giff half-dragon loli nymph gunfighter build will have to wait. This may mean that you have to play in a world inhabited by only core races. This may mean that you have to give some ground.

Compromise is a valuable life skill. So is knowing when you are fighting a losing battle.

Bottom line: only you can change any unhappiness in your gaming. You cannot rely on others to be flexible or willing to make the first efforts.

Liberty's Edge

Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Well, I was wrong. We are right back on the polarized extremes where there are only GMs who want to tell their frustrated writer story to a captive audience or else a player who can only play a wizard-pony with rainbow eyes.

I am so glad I game in the real world instead of the world described on these boards.

You and me both. I wont pretend that I have neverr come across some of the things i see on these forums. Yet its few and far between. Usually unless both sides are unreasonable and stubborn we end up solving the issue at the gamign table or out of it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
knightnday wrote:
This keeps coming around, and people seem to dislike hearing it for some reason.

I think they just object to hearing it from certain people.

Liberty's Edge

TriOmegaZero wrote:


I think they just object to hearing it from certain people.

Or cant let it go for some reason. I may disagree with certain ppostions that some posters on this forum take. Yet for some odd reason some feel the need to go into every thread and just play the same broken record. We get it at your gamign table you like to play a certain way. We dont need to hear about it over and over again.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
knightnday wrote:
This keeps coming around, and people seem to dislike hearing it for some reason.
I think they just object to hearing it from certain people.

Oh great, now my paranoia has kicked in. It's me, isn't it??!

Shadow Lodge

knightnday wrote:
Oh great, now my paranoia has kicked in. It's me, isn't it??!

...who are you again?


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Minimum three character ideas from me from now on. Can't promise one or more of them won't be an awakened pony wizard, but all three of them won't.


TOZ wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Oh great, now my paranoia has kicked in. It's me, isn't it??!
...who are you again?

Ow. That hurt. :/

Shadow Lodge

knightnday wrote:
Ow. That hurt. :/

I keed, I keed!


TOZ wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Ow. That hurt. :/
I keed, I keed!

Why I oughta..

But seriously, a lot of the "stories" of these bad GMs and players remind me of listening to stories of the bad guys and girls that people have dated over the years. And it comes across the same way. Someone hurt you in some way and you are bitter. But it'll be ok! There's a group out there for you!

Project Manager

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Removed some personal sniping and a bunch of back-and-forth off-topic-ness. Please revisit the messageboard rules.


CPT. ARGUEMENTAL wrote:
Lamontius wrote:
CHANGE PLACES

NO! I Don't need to I'm right and I will play my special snowflake no matter what and how many threads they lock.

this stays...and my paraphrased quote from Blazzing Saddles is removed?

Now I am depressed.

Dark Archive

Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Vincent, I saw a lot of negative stuff on the locked thread, but I never saw "you're wrong for not liking my restrictive/unrestrictive playstyle."

What I did see was something along the lines of "you're wrong for not sufficiently accommodating my personal playstyle" and "you're wrong for demanding I be more accommodating of your personal playstyle." That seemed, to me, to be the core of the debate.

To me there isn't any difference between the two. Its just a variation of the your wrong in the later case.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Saying No article wrote:
It boils down to this: I value a setting’s unique atmosphere much more highly than unlimited race and class options. If excising a few races and classes makes the world a more interesting place, then cut away.

I do too... I wonder why?

I think when I GM it is a LOT like watching a TV show where I have control of the setting but not the characters. It is a HUGE part of my enjoyment to see the theme of the show carried forward and watch to see what the characters will do next. So if I am in the mood to watch a horror show and someone shows up with Bugs Bunny it would literally ruin the show for me. And since it is a lot of work to keep the setting straight I feel the players should bring characters appropriate for a horror show.


I will disagree with the article's 3 categories. I experiment within the classics a lot, but a new class that fills a classic concept will draw me in quite often. I will occasionally try out a new race, but the class is non-core much more often than the race. Normally when the race is non-standard, I try to fit it into the game world whenever possible, and preferably the campaign. The dhampir sorcerer was an idea for the Carrion Crown game, where I thought it was a fitting addition. Other times I'll take something right out of the Core Rules down to the feats. Several people in my gaming group are this way as well. Although I must admit I have seen several people who fit categories 1 and 3.


Grimmy wrote:

Why does it have to be "Let it die on page 1" or "In before the lock!"?

This is a topic I have actually had to contend with in my home-group.

Same here.


Immortal Greed wrote:
Grimmy wrote:

Why does it have to be "Let it die on page 1" or "In before the lock!"?

This is a topic I have actually had to contend with in my home-group.

Same here.

Exactly and I don't have a big pool of people to game with, it's just something I do with my little brother and his friends. It wold be nice to be able to hear from the community at large about how to wok through these differences, without everyone getting so wound up about it.


Shadowborn wrote:

Considering all I added to the snowflake thread was a bad joke, I'll chime in here after reading Steve's article.

Rather than "Yes, but..." I think, where specific campaigns are concerned, a GM is fine with going with "No, because... ." If a GM's campaign world has no elves in it, then the players are not playing elves. Why? Because they don't exist. If that's not a particular player's cup of tea, then they should probably find another game. Rather than taking it as a personal affront to elf-lovers everywhere, perhaps accept that the GM wants to do something different and would like players willing to support the concept.

I have to admit though, that a minotaur artificer riding a mechanical elephant sounds truly epic. (Yes, but...not at first level.)

Yeah, I don't quite get wanting to play something when the dm/world builder has just told you, there are none of them, they don't exist, this isn't like all that has come before it, here we have a different focus to Tolkien.

If the world builder has done their job, there will be a lot of new stuff on the table, or a gripping setting where you play "plain" races in a very contained seting. Or, it is a failure as a setting and you move on.


I appreciated the poem, it gave me some insight into how a player might have felt when I didn't allow a race or class.


Grimmy wrote:
Immortal Greed wrote:
Grimmy wrote:

Why does it have to be "Let it die on page 1" or "In before the lock!"?

This is a topic I have actually had to contend with in my home-group.

Same here.
Exactly and I don't have a big pool of people to game with, it's just something I do with my little brother and his friends. It wold be nice to be able to hear from the community at large about how to wok through these differences, without everyone getting so wound up about it.

People get wound up about it, they actually lose hp over it.

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