So why can't you help make a restricted campaign world your own?


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shallowsoul wrote:
It's not the job of the players to tell me there should be a tribe there. If they want one then they need to form one 'in-game'.

See, this is exactly what I'm talking about. I think it can be the player's job, if me and the other players also agree. And that's a bright, clear line that divides people on these issues, despite AD claiming it's a gray area.

Silver Crusade

Kirth Gersen wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
It's not the job of the players to tell me there should be a tribe there. If they want one then they need to form one 'in-game'.
See, this is exactly what I'm talking about. I think it can be the player's job, if me and the other players also agree. And that's a bright, clear line that divides people on these issues, despite AD claiming it's a gray area.

In my games you can build with in the game I have already built. I don't the layout of my worlds with the help of the players before the game starts. I want them to use their in game tools to explore the world, I don't want them knowing about it ahead of time.


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Yes, I'm aware of all that. You've made it quite clear. And it works for you, so more power to you. My method works for me.

And the two are, in fact, mutually-contradictory. Either players can have input into the setting beyond their characters' actions (mine do), or they can't (yours don't).

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
This is exactly how I propose my games.
Which is different from Kirth's second example, the one that he says has been called out as never being encountered outside his games.
Must not get out much then.

You realize that it wasn't Kirth that said it, but Kirth that was told it, right? By many many other people in these many many discussions.

So if you were meaning to suggest Kirth doesn't get out much, your aim was off.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

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I've actually done something rather like what the OP suggests. I created a setting with some pretty severe restrictions in place, then told my players, "break this world."

The basic premises of the setting were:

human-centric with human sub-races, no standard non-human races; githzerai were allowed as PC races
no PC spellcasters, no exceptions, but psionics-heavy (effectively psionics replaced magic)

One of my players wanted to play a monk. I told him that I wanted to model monk-like supernaturally-enabled warrior-types with psychic warriors or perhaps multiclass fighter-psions. After some negotiating, we wound up collaborating on developing a really cool, really flavorful monk order, the Order of St. Oriel of the River. He didn't get exactly what he wanted, but he got pretty close while staying consistent with the setting parameters.

Another player, hearing that paladins in the setting were super-rare (like Moses rare), wanted to play a paladin. She was a Joan of Arc-like figure in the setting and wound up starting a crusade against the yuan-ti, founding a knightly order, starting her own fiefdom by wresting an island colony from githyanki invaders, and being revered as a saint.

I think it's OK to establish some setting parameters about which you're not willing to be flexible, if you are willing to be flexible and accommodating about other things.


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I so want to play in a shallowsoul game now.

"Okay guys, next campaign we are going to make a village of orcs here. Since the GM said we can only do it in game."

"But there are no orcs in the setting and no village in that location."

"Don't worry. We are going to have a male or two character and the rest be female. We will then have at least half the party be sorcerers or wizards. We'll make our way up to 15th-16th level, then settle down and polymorph any object ourselves into orcs and then start reproducing at that location. Orc tribe created. So, that should only take like what? Two or three years out of game to make it happen. Oh, GM, can we use the Book of Erotic Fantasy?"


shallowsoul wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Which is different from Kirth's second example, the one that he says has been called out as never being encountered outside his games.
Right. It's in fact a textbook example of the first scenario: "Here's the campaign, take it or leave it." The setting is totally fleshed out before the players ever get to look at it, so there's no opportunity for them to say, "let's put a tribe of elves over here!" or "can we make some giant waterfalls over there?"
It's not the job of the players to tell me there should be a tribe. If they want one then theyneed to form one 'in-game'.

How does that work? How do you form an elven tribe in game so that you can make a character from it to play in the game?

I mean, fine. If you want no elves in this campaign, that's fine. That particular response just seems weird.
More seriously, how much information do you give your players about the world before they start coming up with concepts?
Is "Hey, could there be an isolated tribe of elves over in this part of the continent?" really such a stretch? It's one thing if part of the basis for the world involves no elves at all, but if they exist, do you really have all the settlements mapped out?


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I really do fall somewhere in Kirth's excluded middle.

There are usually certain key features of the setting/campaign that are pretty set in stone. Those aren't going to change. If everyone is dead set on breaking them, we won't play that game.
But everything else is negotiable.

Example: I've got a setting in mind to make use of the psionics rules and guns, neither of which I'm generally fond of in more generic setting - personal preference there.
It's a no-magic world, with psionics essentially filling that role. Most of the core races are around, if a little tweaked. No elves, for long term plot reasons. The non-core races are mostly in a Schrodinger's state. They probably won't exist unless someone looks for them and then I'll see if I fit them in.
If someone wants to play an elf wizard, I'm going to flatly say No. That's a change to the core assumption of the setting.
If they want to play a catfolk or something, it can probably be worked in and they can help flesh out where the catfolk fit in. Likewise, I'd try to come up with psionic archetypes for most of the partial casters, as needed.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
It's not the job of the players to tell me there should be a tribe there. If they want one then they need to form one 'in-game'.
See, this is exactly what I'm talking about. I think it can be the player's job, if me and the other players also agree. And that's a bright, clear line that divides people on these issues, despite AD claiming it's a gray area.

I agree it's something that can work. I've been in games which were run like that. I've been in others that were far stricter "GM=God, Player=PC".

I can't really say I have a preference for either as a player. As a GM I prefer the latter due to being able to spend months doing the pre-game prep and have it ready to go, although I've still made tweaks from player suggestions (adding in a home village for one of the characters, along with some of their ideas of things that should be in it, for example).

I'd probably avoid a fully collaboratively design game world ("want to add a country? Feel free, just plop it in and tell me about it") because of the additional time requirements once the game has begun (Figuring out the political relationships with all the others, for example, which may then impact other parts of the world's socioeconomic structure and throw all kinds of plans I've made out of the window) - I'm already busy designing things on the fly due to the party doing unexpected things by that time :)

However, like I said, a few changes here and there to help accommodate a character's back story, for example, that's no real problem to me - or making changes to a country before the game begins to accommodate a new race that we've agreed can be used.


thejeff wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:


It's not the job of the players to tell me there should be a tribe. If they want one then theyneed to form one 'in-game'.
How does that work? How do you form an elven tribe in game so that you can make a character from it to play in the game?

I believe he means "If you want an Orc tribe to exist in that spot, it's up to you to go convince a bunch of Orcs to travel there and build homes." as opposed to being a tribe they can come from, they'd have to select a pre-existing tribe to be a part of.


Matt Thomason wrote:
thejeff wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:


It's not the job of the players to tell me there should be a tribe. If they want one then theyneed to form one 'in-game'.
How does that work? How do you form an elven tribe in game so that you can make a character from it to play in the game?
I believe he means "If you want an Orc tribe to exist in that spot, it's up to you to go convince a bunch of Orcs to travel there and build homes." as opposed to being a tribe they can come from, they'd have to select a pre-existing tribe to be a part of.

But the only reason I want a tribe there is to come from it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly willing to take No for an answer. Or better yet, No, but: "There are no orcs in that area. How about over here?"

Is the setting really laid out to the level of detail that every area's population is known and every small tribe that could exist is already known? Published worlds certainly aren't known in that kind of detail.

A new country, sure. A new race, definitely.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
knightnday wrote:
There are some few of us who exist there in the middle.
In your case, KND, your posts have consistently shown this to be true. And I salute you for it. However, you're in a minority, because most of the people claiming to be "in the middle" then turn around and go on and on about not being willing to "ruin" their "setting purity," as shallowsoul and Arss and Sissyl and I don't know how many others always do.

I am glad you have completely failed to read my posts, as multiple times I've given examples of exactly the opposite.


Arssanguinus" wrote:
I am glad you have completely failed to read my posts, as multiple times I've given examples of exactly the opposite.

Show me where you've given me one. Because I thought you were the guy who said,

Arssanguinus" wrote:
But by agreeing to the campaign you sort of implicitly agree to its strictures. If you feel "well, I'll agree but I shouldn't be held to it, because' I'm not all that sorry for your disappointment.

That's pretty clear, I think.


Such as the example of adding an entire city state, paladins, and a new deity - none of which were previously thee, which I have brought up multiple times? You mean like that?

And yes, everything in that statement is true. If, after the options that person is willing to gm are put forth, you chose one of them, with its strictures written out right there on the label, and then after that you decide you don't want to actually go by what you agreed to, you are being a bit ... Well ...


Arssanguinus wrote:
Such as the example of adding an entire city state, paladins, and a new deity - none of which were previously thee, which I have brought up multiple times? You mean like that?

I don't recall you ever offering that, or I'd have been a lot more charitable -- was it recent (read: after I stopped posting in all the cloned threads)?


shallowsoul wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
It's not the job of the players to tell me there should be a tribe there. If they want one then they need to form one 'in-game'.
See, this is exactly what I'm talking about. I think it can be the player's job, if me and the other players also agree. And that's a bright, clear line that divides people on these issues, despite AD claiming it's a gray area.
In my games you can build with in the game I have already built. I don't the layout of my worlds with the help of the players before the game starts. I want them to use their in game tools to explore the world, I don't want them knowing about it ahead of time.

So what do you let the players contribute then? It sounds like contribution to world-building is off limits. So how do players make the campaign world there own? Is it limited solely to their characters actions?


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thejeff wrote:
Matt Thomason wrote:
thejeff wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:


It's not the job of the players to tell me there should be a tribe. If they want one then theyneed to form one 'in-game'.
How does that work? How do you form an elven tribe in game so that you can make a character from it to play in the game?
I believe he means "If you want an Orc tribe to exist in that spot, it's up to you to go convince a bunch of Orcs to travel there and build homes." as opposed to being a tribe they can come from, they'd have to select a pre-existing tribe to be a part of.

But the only reason I want a tribe there is to come from it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly willing to take No for an answer. Or better yet, No, but: "There are no orcs in that area. How about over here?"

Is the setting really laid out to the level of detail that every area's population is known and every small tribe that could exist is already known? Published worlds certainly aren't known in that kind of detail.

A new country, sure. A new race, definitely.

For most of my homebrews, there are areas that are developed in almost silly levels of detail. Of course, most of those are some of the more civilized areas and the detail fades as you get closer to the borders of those respective areas. But yeah, in those areas it would be a bear to add something new, although it could be done. I'd want some time to puzzle out some of the changes and make some necessary shifts, but it could be done.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
Such as the example of adding an entire city state, paladins, and a new deity - none of which were previously thee, which I have brought up multiple times? You mean like that?
I don't recall you ever offering that, or I'd have been a lot more charitable -- was it recent (read: after I stopped posting in all the cloned threads)?

Multiple times, in multiple threads, but with the length of these threads it would take me forever to find it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Arssanguinus wrote:
Multiple times, in multiple threads, but with the length of these threads it would take me forever to find it.

Forever ain't what it used to be. :)

Edit: And seriously, how did that thread not get locked?


Um ... Yes? Not in this thread, but the prime example was a setting that had only deities with a neutral component to their alignment by nature, and no paladins - however, one player described and pitched to me a specific city state, looking through the campaign background, tied it into the history of the place, pitched a deity which fit very well into the background and history as presented ... And the campaign went from no paladins to three paladins, a sorcerer and a ranger. And the focus ended up shifting to that city state after some jerry rigging and alterations to make it fit a few things they didn't know about yet. The player put in work to make it fit in and fit in well, and it got included.

Ps: the god was, indeed, lawful good. And its hard to use Um ... Yes? Not in this thread, but the prime example was a setting that had only deities with a neutral component to their alignment by nature, and no paladins - however, one player described and pitched to me a specific city state, looking through the campaign background, tied it into the history of the place, pitched a deity which fit very well into the background and history as presented ... And the campaign went from no paladins to three paladins, a sorcerer and a ranger. And the focus ended up shifting to that city state after some jerry rigging and alterations to make it fit a few things they didn't know about yet. The player put in work to make it fit in and fit in well, and it got included.

This one directly above is the longer version.


Grimmy wrote:
Ellis Mirari wrote:
I find I'm more restrictive when it comes to player backstory. You tell me what race and class you are and I'll tell you where you're from and what your life may have been like, and you can run with it or pick another thing. It works because only a few of my players are familiar enough with my setting through playing in a lot of games that they know any of that information to choose for themselves.
An angry mob is probably headed your way by now.

My players have never complained. Character creation usually goes like this:

Player: I've decided I want to play a hobgoblin wizard.
Ellis: Interesting. In this setting, goblinoids come from [exposition], so you will have had to have left there either willingly or been exiled, most likely because they found out you were a spellcaster.
Player: Yeah, that could work.

It may just be the people near me, but my players are all more attached to their class and race choices then they are to their character's history as a small town girl living in a lonely world. The former comes first, the latter comes... later.

Silver Crusade

Kirth Gersen wrote:

Yes, I'm aware of all that. You've made it quite clear. And it works for you, so more power to you. My method works for me.

And the two are, in fact, mutually-contradictory. Either players can have input into the setting beyond their characters' actions (mine do), or they can't (yours don't).

I've greatly benefited from the player-input approach in our current Jade Regent campaign, in that it actually allowed me to play the character I actually wanted to play(and have wanted to play for years). The only real side effect was that the campaign setting grew. (having to add an entire culture'll do that!)

Silver Crusade

thejeff wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Which is different from Kirth's second example, the one that he says has been called out as never being encountered outside his games.
Right. It's in fact a textbook example of the first scenario: "Here's the campaign, take it or leave it." The setting is totally fleshed out before the players ever get to look at it, so there's no opportunity for them to say, "let's put a tribe of elves over here!" or "can we make some giant waterfalls over there?"
It's not the job of the players to tell me there should be a tribe. If they want one then theyneed to form one 'in-game'.

How does that work? How do you form an elven tribe in game so that you can make a character from it to play in the game?

I mean, fine. If you want no elves in this campaign, that's fine. That particular response just seems weird.
More seriously, how much information do you give your players about the world before they start coming up with concepts?
Is "Hey, could there be an isolated tribe of elves over in this part of the continent?" really such a stretch? It's one thing if part of the basis for the world involves no elves at all, but if they exist, do you really have all the settlements mapped out?

I never said you could.

Somone mentioned starting their own tribe. While in game, try and convince some elves to go off with you and start your own tribe. If your character dies then you can say your new character was one of the new tribe members.

Silver Crusade

thejeff wrote:
Matt Thomason wrote:
thejeff wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:


It's not the job of the players to tell me there should be a tribe. If they want one then theyneed to form one 'in-game'.
How does that work? How do you form an elven tribe in game so that you can make a character from it to play in the game?
I believe he means "If you want an Orc tribe to exist in that spot, it's up to you to go convince a bunch of Orcs to travel there and build homes." as opposed to being a tribe they can come from, they'd have to select a pre-existing tribe to be a part of.

But the only reason I want a tribe there is to come from it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly willing to take No for an answer. Or better yet, No, but: "There are no orcs in that area. How about over here?"

Is the setting really laid out to the level of detail that every area's population is known and every small tribe that could exist is already known? Published worlds certainly aren't known in that kind of detail.

A new country, sure. A new race, definitely.

The problem here is you assume too much.

You don't know what I have plans for and I'm not obligated to give you that information because it could be important to the campaign. I have already laid out the terms for playing in my game, so either vote yes or no based on what is before you.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
knightnday wrote:
There are some few of us who exist there in the middle.
In your case, KND, your posts have consistently shown this to be true. And I salute you for it. However, you're in a minority, because most of the people claiming to be "in the middle" then turn around and go on and on about not being willing to "ruin" their "setting purity," as shallowsoul and Arss and Sissyl and I don't know how many others always do.

I never claimed to be in the middle of anything, Kirth. I explained to you that I play lots of different campaigns, sometimes free, sometimes restricted. If we are starting a restricted campaign, it is because people have agreed to play it. I am always explicitly clear about the restrictions, in fact I typically make white-lists instead of black-lists, so I don't end up with "but you didn't say anything about celestial driders!!!" Given this, I have no pity for someone who then wants to break the restrictions.

I haven't been involved in this discussion, or the related spastic threadcrap, for thousands of posts, because I found it too inane. And now you still misrepresent my position? Seriously? Please don't do it again.


shallowsoul wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Matt Thomason wrote:
thejeff wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:


It's not the job of the players to tell me there should be a tribe. If they want one then theyneed to form one 'in-game'.
How does that work? How do you form an elven tribe in game so that you can make a character from it to play in the game?
I believe he means "If you want an Orc tribe to exist in that spot, it's up to you to go convince a bunch of Orcs to travel there and build homes." as opposed to being a tribe they can come from, they'd have to select a pre-existing tribe to be a part of.

But the only reason I want a tribe there is to come from it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly willing to take No for an answer. Or better yet, No, but: "There are no orcs in that area. How about over here?"

Is the setting really laid out to the level of detail that every area's population is known and every small tribe that could exist is already known? Published worlds certainly aren't known in that kind of detail.

A new country, sure. A new race, definitely.

The problem here is you assume too much.

You don't know what I have plans for and I'm not obligated to give you that information because it could be important to the campaign. I have already laid out the terms for playing in my game, so either vote yes or no based on what is before you.

I assume nothing. I'm asking.

Do the "terms for playing in your game", that you've already laid out, include such details as the location of every small tribe of elves?
If not, why is it such an intrusion to suggest that one might be in a specific place? Obviously there might be reasons that it couldn't be: You might have plans for that area, for example. I'm not suggesting that the GM can't rule out a player's suggestion, I'm just having trouble seeing why a minor world detail like this is completely out of bounds.

A more concrete example, for PFS I have a halfling character from "an isolated halfling village in the River Kingdoms". ASFAIK, there are no published isolated halfling villages in the River Kingdoms, but I wanted a character who grew up without Big people around and that seemed like a reasonable location for it. Is adding something like that too much player contribution to the world? Would I have to found an isolated halfling village in game if I wanted to play a character from one?


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Arssanguinus" wrote:
I am glad you have completely failed to read my posts, as multiple times I've given examples of exactly the opposite.

Show me where you've given me one. Because I thought you were the guy who said,

Arssanguinus" wrote:
But by agreeing to the campaign you sort of implicitly agree to its strictures. If you feel "well, I'll agree but I shouldn't be held to it, because' I'm not all that sorry for your disappointment.
That's pretty clear, I think.

Kirth, to restate my position bluntly its, in its most basic essence, yes, you might ask, there might be discussions, but in the end I will reserve, at my campaign at my table the final yes or no answer. In the end it will end up being my deciding vote on adding something. Now if its something minor that doesn't have vet many implications outside of its own existence then it's probably falling into the category I've mentioned previously of 'hadn't thought about it, hadn't added it but hadn't excluded it either" or "don't particularly prefer it, didn't include it, but, meh." Either of those can be included with some work from you telling me how they fit in, etcetera. I'll do some work on that, but I expect you to put in work of your own as well. It's not just my job.

Thirdly, thee are the things that were specifically excluded in the campaign blurb that was presented when we decided what to play. If you want to play one of THOSE - well, then, you work had best be truly extraordinary.

"Here are my submissions of which campaigns I am willing to run. You guys want any of them?"

"Yeah. Campaign c. The one with no elves."

(Everyone else votes yes, a few weeks work comes in prepping up things and getting ready. Players come In for the character creation session)

One player says. "Hey, I've been thinking. Can I play an Elvish sorcerer for the game?"

It's generally kinda rude. Yes.


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I'm not sure if I've said this before, but I think this conversation would benefit (across its myriad threads; I had no idea Exotic Race Antipathy was still open!) if we stopped using CRB material for examples. The one that always seems to come up is no elves, and the thing is that wanting to play an elf doesn't make you a special snowflake, or mean you're out to ruin the GM's setting. It just means you read the racial options in the CRB.


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Hitdice wrote:
I'm not sure if I've said this before, but I think this conversation would benefit (across its myriad threads; I had no idea Exotic Race Antipathy was still open!) if we stopped using CRB material for examples. The one that always seems to come up is no elves, and the thing is that wanting to play an elf doesn't make you a special snowflake, or mean you're out to ruin the GM's setting. It just means you read the racial options in the CRB.

If you also read the campaign blurb before coming to play, you would onow that particular CRB option is not in that particular campaign. Wanting an elf doesn't make you a 'special snowflake' or a 'problem player'. Demanding one in a campaign where a point has specifically been made about their absence does. Especially if, as is always the case in ky campaigns, you selected that one from the available blurbs. My players don't go into a game blindfolded, making haracters without knowing anything. Just because its in the CRB doesn't mean it must exist in every campaign world.


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Arssanguinus wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
I'm not sure if I've said this before, but I think this conversation would benefit (across its myriad threads; I had no idea Exotic Race Antipathy was still open!) if we stopped using CRB material for examples. The one that always seems to come up is no elves, and the thing is that wanting to play an elf doesn't make you a special snowflake, or mean you're out to ruin the GM's setting. It just means you read the racial options in the CRB.
If you also read the campaign blurb before coming to play, you would onow that particular CRB option is not in that particular campaign. Wanting an elf doesn't make you a 'special snowflake' or a 'problem player'. Demanding one in a campaign where a point has specifically been made about their absence does. Especially if, as is always the case in ky campaigns, you selected that one from the available blurbs. My players don't go into a game blindfolded, making haracters without knowing anything. Just because its in the CRB doesn't mean it must exist in every campaign world.

Must? No, of course not. But it does mean that a player isn't being unreasonable to expect to find it, as it's the standard baseline version of Pathfinder.

If a GM is restricting CRB material, then you probably can't help to make it your own because your own because it is, in fact, restricted. If you can help to make your own, it's probably not restricted in a very meaningful way. Up next, how come there's no such thing as dehydrated water?

Silver Crusade

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Hitdice wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
I'm not sure if I've said this before, but I think this conversation would benefit (across its myriad threads; I had no idea Exotic Race Antipathy was still open!) if we stopped using CRB material for examples. The one that always seems to come up is no elves, and the thing is that wanting to play an elf doesn't make you a special snowflake, or mean you're out to ruin the GM's setting. It just means you read the racial options in the CRB.
If you also read the campaign blurb before coming to play, you would onow that particular CRB option is not in that particular campaign. Wanting an elf doesn't make you a 'special snowflake' or a 'problem player'. Demanding one in a campaign where a point has specifically been made about their absence does. Especially if, as is always the case in ky campaigns, you selected that one from the available blurbs. My players don't go into a game blindfolded, making haracters without knowing anything. Just because its in the CRB doesn't mean it must exist in every campaign world.

Must? No, of course not. But it does mean that a player isn't being unreasonable to expect to find it, as it's the standard baseline version of Pathfinder.

If a GM is restricting CRB material, then you probably can't help to make it your own because your own because it is, in fact, restricted. If you can help to make your own, it's probably not restricted in a very meaningful way. Up next, how come there's no such thing as dehydrated water?

Actually it is unreasonable. Expecting other races after I just told you what is allowed is being unreasonable. Seriously, that sounds like when you tell someone not to touch something that is hot and they touch it anyway.

If I tell you elves only, you shouldn't be expecting any other race.

If I wanted non-elves then I wouldn't be running an all elven campaign in the first place.


What is "unreasonable" depends on the circumstances, manner of doing so, and is highly subjective. What one man thinks is insane another may think is normal. The guy who ask to play a Halfling could be insisting on it and being a jerk ignoring the people around him, or he could just be asking nicely at the start of the game because the races given are suggestions or he's just trying to bring his concept to life and explore how to do it.

Doesn't have to be unreasonable or touching a hot stove.


Arssanguinus wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
I'm not sure if I've said this before, but I think this conversation would benefit (across its myriad threads; I had no idea Exotic Race Antipathy was still open!) if we stopped using CRB material for examples. The one that always seems to come up is no elves, and the thing is that wanting to play an elf doesn't make you a special snowflake, or mean you're out to ruin the GM's setting. It just means you read the racial options in the CRB.
If you also read the campaign blurb before coming to play, you would onow that particular CRB option is not in that particular campaign. Wanting an elf doesn't make you a 'special snowflake' or a 'problem player'. Demanding one in a campaign where a point has specifically been made about their absence does. Especially if, as is always the case in ky campaigns, you selected that one from the available blurbs. My players don't go into a game blindfolded, making haracters without knowing anything. Just because its in the CRB doesn't mean it must exist in every campaign world.

I think the point being is that if I was a new player and not told in advance there were any unusual racial restrictions, than I would assume core material including elves would be fair game.

Something that has happened in every one of these threads is that people largely agree with each other, but misread (intentionally or not) the other persons views. I think everyone is on the same page about:

If the group decides to run a specific campaign with restrictions, and come play time a person shows up with something that is restricted, that person is at fault, not the GM. Similarly, if a GM sets up a campaign that is no elves (for a specific reason), the player agree with that restriction, but than shows up with elf characters, the GM is being mistreated. I suspect most groups are better at communicating than what goes on with these examples.


Hitdice wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
I'm not sure if I've said this before, but I think this conversation would benefit (across its myriad threads; I had no idea Exotic Race Antipathy was still open!) if we stopped using CRB material for examples. The one that always seems to come up is no elves, and the thing is that wanting to play an elf doesn't make you a special snowflake, or mean you're out to ruin the GM's setting. It just means you read the racial options in the CRB.
If you also read the campaign blurb before coming to play, you would onow that particular CRB option is not in that particular campaign. Wanting an elf doesn't make you a 'special snowflake' or a 'problem player'. Demanding one in a campaign where a point has specifically been made about their absence does. Especially if, as is always the case in ky campaigns, you selected that one from the available blurbs. My players don't go into a game blindfolded, making haracters without knowing anything. Just because its in the CRB doesn't mean it must exist in every campaign world.

Must? No, of course not. But it does mean that a player isn't being unreasonable to expect to find it, as it's the standard baseline version of Pathfinder.

If a GM is restricting CRB material, then you probably can't help to make it your own because your own because it is, in fact, restricted. If you can help to make your own, it's probably not restricted in a very meaningful way. Up next, how come there's no such thing as dehydrated water?

So you are seriously saying that if ANYTHING is limited or restricted, then its just impossible to 'make the world your own'? Seriously? Because that is what your post sounds like.


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shallowsoul wrote:


The problem here is you assume too much.

You don't know what I have plans for and I'm not obligated to give you that information because it could be important to the campaign. I have already laid out the terms for playing in my game, so either vote yes or no based on what is before you.

Do you have though every square mile of your world described in detail?

I mean even if you do have concrete plans for that specific area, there must be someplace on the continent where a player can put his home village/tribe/whatever.

Obviously some ideas may be go against the setting grain (if a major backstory plotline involves genocide of a race, or if styles of god are excluded due to cosmology).

But I mean, most published campaign settings don't even have that level of detail. So when I see GM's discuss the sanctity of their setting in such terms, I always get a feeling they should be using their setting for a novel, not a game.


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I do think the examples are usually edge cases... Very specific and infrequent examples.

On the one hand I suppose I won't say that I never play restricted campaigns.. Our table wanted to play a palladium zombies campaign... The setting is contemporary earth zombie apocalypse... It's pretty much assumed in that system/setting that everyone is a human. And nobody ever pushed to be anything different... Saying 'I want to play a dog or an elf' in that campaign would be seen as absurd so it never comes up. If I was running that campaign and someone said they did want to play a dog I'd probably allow it... If they said they wanted to play an elf it would be a longer trip justifying it contextually but I'd probably allow that as well.. I love anachronistic cameos aind wierdness in my campaigns though....

On the other hand there is the possibility in that system of playing someone who 'came back from the edge' and now has traits that allow zombies to ignore them for the most part. It's a huge difference in power and playstyle to be the one guy in the party that the zombies don't come running for *every single time*... But it's an option. And when someone at our table chooses that option nobody bats an eyelash.

So restriction to me is a matter of context. As I've said before... If the context is 'I'm using pathfinder rules but my world has no elves or no magic or just any other 'thematic restriction' that I'm not feeling like playing... I'm gonna say no.

The context is that someone out there is insisting on playing a race you don't allow... drawing a hard line. And you're free to draw a hard line as well. Life is not without its ultimatums. He won't play anything but an elf in a no elf campaign and you won't budge either... That's an impasse... Either the campaign happens without him or the table picks another campaign. Nobody should be expected to budge any more than the other. And most of the time they don't... Or if they do they get resentful.

What seems to happen in these threads is each side tries to paint a target on the other side as being the 'worse or more ludicrous or selfish side'.... I can firmly say that I side on the side of sandboxers 10 times out of 10 at the moment of impasse. I expect my gms to use their infinite imagination to create a setting that's good for all of the players and I run from tables where that capability is frowned upon or not exercised. Justified or not, I just don't trust that I'm going to enjoy being a player in that world, being ran by a person who strongly believes differently than I do about what constitutes/should consititute enjoyable for me. And thats ok.

A gm with a beuatifully specific tapestry of options is sometimes just the way a campaign is... Modern earth zombiie apocalypse? Yeah. We're all human. It's a non issue. But a pathfinder campaign with no magic? Another example is I respect Kirth and the effort he put into kirthfinder but I'd never play in that system myself if I don't agree with those specific houserules. And that's ok.

When I say I won't sit down at a table because hearing 'no magic and no elves in my pathfinder campaign' because my impression is 'oh. You're that kinda guy.' It's not me insulting you... You are that kinda guy. The kinda guy who isn't flexible in areas that I prefer gms to be. And you're gonna hate me at your table so I avoid it to save us both the trouble. And that's ok.

And you're totally free to say I'm that kinda guy (who expects gms to shape the world to fit the players and not the other way around) because I totally am that kinda guy. I build worlds that every player has a place in. That's how I've always ran things and thats how I always will... I'm not saying its wrong to do it any other way. I just never heard someone say 'this campaign isn't restricted enough' or 'this campaign is a little too 'all over the place for me'... Your experience may be different from mine.... And that's ok too.

It really just doesn't seem like it's possible that any side is going to convince the other side to change their ways. And that's ok. I am getting weary of all these threads on this particular subject.

Don't let anyone tell you you're not an awesome GM no matter which side of this fence you happen to land on. And try not to be resentful that there's a good chunk of the gaming community who thinks your playstyle isn't one they'll enjoy. Even if you feel that opinion is unjustified.

Silver Crusade

MMCJawa wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:


The problem here is you assume too much.

You don't know what I have plans for and I'm not obligated to give you that information because it could be important to the campaign. I have already laid out the terms for playing in my game, so either vote yes or no based on what is before you.

Do you have though every square mile of your world described in detail?

I mean even if you do have concrete plans for that specific area, there must be someplace on the continent where a player can put his home village/tribe/whatever.

Obviously some ideas may be go against the setting grain (if a major backstory plotline involves genocide of a race, or if styles of god are excluded due to cosmology).

But I mean, most published campaign settings don't even have that level of detail. So when I see GM's discuss the sanctity of their setting in such terms, I always get a feeling they should be using their setting for a novel, not a game.

It's not about square miles. In my world, elven clans may be a tight organization where each one has a deep history that I give tight structure to on purpose. There may be certain requirements, in game, that I have with regards to starting your own clan.

This is about making the world your own. Seems like if you really wanted to do that instead of just getting your way then you would take my own advice and come up with your own clan and meet those in game requirements instead of just having one handed to you at the start of the game.

It's not up to you, as a player, what I have plans for for every square inch of planet surface. If you want to know about it then explore it in game.


Vincent Takeda wrote:

Another example is I respect Kirth and the effort he put into kirthfinder but I'd never play in that system myself if I don't agree with those specific houserules. And that's ok.

It is. But, on the off chance you're ever in Western PA and change your mind, feel free to give me a call.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Vincent Takeda wrote:

Another example is I respect Kirth and the effort he put into kirthfinder but I'd never play in that system myself if I don't agree with those specific houserules. And that's ok.

It is. But, on the off chance you're ever in Western PA and change your mind, feel free to give me a call.

I've got friends in Pennsylvania so if I'm out visiting them I'll make sure to let you know... I wouldn't mind talking shop with you for sure! Even if I wasn't in a playing mood most games I don't mind being a spectator on.


I'll buy the beer!


Kirth Gersen wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
It's not the job of the players to tell me there should be a tribe there. If they want one then they need to form one 'in-game'.
See, this is exactly what I'm talking about. I think it can be the player's job, if me and the other players also agree. And that's a bright, clear line that divides people on these issues, despite AD claiming it's a gray area.

Lots of people have lots of very strong opinions about things that are "gray areas" Kirth. That's actually what MAKES them gray areas. There is no general agreement in spite of the strong opinions on both sides.

And I will continue to maintain that in my years and years of gaming, the extremes presented in these threads are almost never encountered, just some mild discussion very much closer to the middle.


Arssanguinus wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
I'm not sure if I've said this before, but I think this conversation would benefit (across its myriad threads; I had no idea Exotic Race Antipathy was still open!) if we stopped using CRB material for examples. The one that always seems to come up is no elves, and the thing is that wanting to play an elf doesn't make you a special snowflake, or mean you're out to ruin the GM's setting. It just means you read the racial options in the CRB.
If you also read the campaign blurb before coming to play, you would onow that particular CRB option is not in that particular campaign. Wanting an elf doesn't make you a 'special snowflake' or a 'problem player'. Demanding one in a campaign where a point has specifically been made about their absence does. Especially if, as is always the case in ky campaigns, you selected that one from the available blurbs. My players don't go into a game blindfolded, making haracters without knowing anything. Just because its in the CRB doesn't mean it must exist in every campaign world.

Must? No, of course not. But it does mean that a player isn't being unreasonable to expect to find it, as it's the standard baseline version of Pathfinder.

If a GM is restricting CRB material, then you probably can't help to make it your own because your own because it is, in fact, restricted. If you can help to make your own, it's probably not restricted in a very meaningful way. Up next, how come there's no such thing as dehydrated water?

So you are seriously saying that if ANYTHING is limited or restricted, then its just impossible to 'make the world your own'? Seriously? Because that is what your post sounds like.

You said "if ANYTHING is limited or restricted," not me. I was the one who said the conversation might benefit if we stopped using CRB material for examples, but I think you know that, because you quoted me.

As re the thread topic, if the GM is unwilling to compromise on the restrictions of a campaign world that the players have a problem with, then they don't have the ability to make the world their own. Like, definitionally, they don't have that ability.


You can still mAke it your own. Just not with that one specific option. Its not the only one out there you might enjoy you know.


Sissyl wrote:
I am always explicitly clear about the restrictions, in fact I typically make white-lists instead of black-lists, so I don't end up with "but you didn't say anything about celestial driders!!!"

So, to make sure I understand you, you provide a finite "white list" of things that are permitted. Everything else imaginable -- no matter how well it fits in, or what explanation is given -- presumably is "black list" material and hence 100% off-limits no matter what? Or am I misunderstanding your statement?

Also, are the players consulted when you're compliling the "white list" choices, or do you just hand them the list? I'm not at all clear on this point.

Silver Crusade

Hitdice wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
I'm not sure if I've said this before, but I think this conversation would benefit (across its myriad threads; I had no idea Exotic Race Antipathy was still open!) if we stopped using CRB material for examples. The one that always seems to come up is no elves, and the thing is that wanting to play an elf doesn't make you a special snowflake, or mean you're out to ruin the GM's setting. It just means you read the racial options in the CRB.
If you also read the campaign blurb before coming to play, you would onow that particular CRB option is not in that particular campaign. Wanting an elf doesn't make you a 'special snowflake' or a 'problem player'. Demanding one in a campaign where a point has specifically been made about their absence does. Especially if, as is always the case in ky campaigns, you selected that one from the available blurbs. My players don't go into a game blindfolded, making haracters without knowing anything. Just because its in the CRB doesn't mean it must exist in every campaign world.

Must? No, of course not. But it does mean that a player isn't being unreasonable to expect to find it, as it's the standard baseline version of Pathfinder.

If a GM is restricting CRB material, then you probably can't help to make it your own because your own because it is, in fact, restricted. If you can help to make your own, it's probably not restricted in a very meaningful way. Up next, how come there's no such thing as dehydrated water?

So you are seriously saying that if ANYTHING is limited or restricted, then its just impossible to 'make the world your own'? Seriously? Because that is what your post sounds like.

You said "if ANYTHING is limited or restricted," not me. I was the one who said the conversation might benefit if we stopped using CRB material for examples, but I think you know that, because you quoted me.

As re the thread topic, if the GM is unwilling...

You do realize that if the players had a problem with the campaign then they wouldn't have agreed to play it to start with.

Silver Crusade

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
I am always explicitly clear about the restrictions, in fact I typically make white-lists instead of black-lists, so I don't end up with "but you didn't say anything about celestial driders!!!"

So, to make sure I understand you, you provide a finite "white list" of things that are permitted. Everything else imaginable -- no matter how well it fits in, or what explanation is given -- presumably is "black list" material and hence 100% off-limits no matter what? Or am I misunderstanding your statement?

Also, are the players consulted when you're compliling the "white list" choices, or do you just hand them the list? I'm not at all clear on this point.

So what if that is what Sissyl is saying?

A white list sounds exactly like a list of what you can play. If you have a white list then you don't need a black one. Not hard to understand.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:
You do realize that if the players had a problem with the campaign then they wouldn't have agreed to play it to start with.

Likely, but not guaranteed.

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