Running new game, players rebelled because no other books.


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I was recently asked to run a Pathfinder game. I acquiesced, but since I only have access to the Core Rulebook, I decided that I was only going to allow races, classes, feats, gear, spells and such, from that book. I also had two players who were supposedly "new" to Pathfinder, so I felt keeping the rules limited to the Core Rulebook was a good idea.

My players have rioted. They want to play using weird races. Weird classes. Weird stuff from books I do not have. Using rules I do not have access to.

Well, I put my foot down. I said either they can play with the Core Rulebook only, or they could find themselves another GM. And sure enough, they found themselves another GM.

Now, as I've said on this forum, I'm poor. I'm sorry, but I just cannot afford $60 game books for a game I only play once in a blue moon. I have enough problems budgeting for books for games I run regularly, like Shadowrun and now 5th Edition D&D. I know the PDFs are cheaper, but I have to go to other peoples' houses and apartments to run, and I can't take my computer with me when I go. So I can't rely on the SRD either.

I did tell these players that if they were willing to buy me the books, I'd allow them to use rules from those books. But until I had the books in my possession, I could not allow use of those books in the game. (Okay, it was kind of a jerk thing to ask, but insisting that I let players use rules I'm not familiar with is also kind of a jerk thing to ask, in my opinion.)

Was I right? Is it ethical to only allow the players to use rules the GM has access to? Or should I just decline all further requests to run Pathfinder because I can't buy the hardcopy books?


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What you did is totally fine as long as it was done with the right attitude (non whining and non jerkosh).

My only question is whether they invited you to join the other game as a player.


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You don't actually have to buy the books: all the main rulebooks are on paizo's PRD, which is linked on the paizosite under the 'pathfinder roleplaying game', and the contents of other books are on both the 'archives of nethys' and 'pathfinde srd'. Just google those two, and you can look up everything.

If you want the books themselves, they can be bought as cheap pdf's.


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You were right, but so were your players. With your circumstances you're not the right GM for that group, and that's okay.


Arcturus24 wrote:

You don't actually have to buy the books: all the main rulebooks are on paizo's PRD, which is linked on the paizosite under the 'pathfinder roleplaying game', and the contents of other books are on both the 'archives of nethys' and 'pathfinde srd'. Just google those two, and you can look up everything.

If you want the books themselves, they can be bought as cheap pdf's.

You might want to go back and read the post, especially the part where it says that I have to run games at other peoples' apartments, and I can't take my computer with me.

Yes, I have an iPad. It's a first-generation iPad 1. I open one page in a PDF, it's done. Next page, it crashes. I can't fix this problem because the only way to fix it is an OS upgrade, and iOS 5.1 is as high as the iPad 1 goes.

I want books because when a rule comes up, it's easier and faster to look up rules in a properly indexed book than it is to open a PDF, go to the table of contents to find out what page the index is on, go to the index to find out what page the rule is on, and then look up the rule. By the time I've done all this, I could have looked it up in a book and been done with it.

Would be nice if the Paizo PDFs were searchable and hyperlinked, but they're not, last I knew. (And searching on a tablet is horrid.)

And no, Oath, they neglected to invite me to their game.

Sovereign Court

If you are bound to the books than you are bound to the books. There is no harm in putting limits on games you plan to run. Keep in mind those limits are your limits, and people are likely to move on because they dont have such limits.


Which is fine. As I said, I run other games more regularly than Pathfinder. There are always other games to play.


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As Oath said, what you did is perfectly understandable, as long as it was done with the right attitude. If there are other players with the books, you could borrow them when you go over, or see if they can all chip in. My group did that where we collectively bought the books with the understanding that, I was running the games and putting in large amounts of time for them that the books would default to my possession if we were to split or anything.

If PDF's aren't going to work, and you can't get books, you can use the online resource. If you have access to the internet, you have access to pretty much everything. D20 Pathfinder SRD and Paizo's PRD are reference documents with everything, quick indexing and a search function. I prefer d20pfsrd because it provides a lot more information generally. If you don't want to use these resources, that's fine, that's your choice. But you should also be understanding if the players do not want to limit themselves. I have run games without books or pdf's due to borrowed technology and did everything from those sites. There were no hold ups or unanswered questions.


I think telling the players to buy you the books or they cant use them was pretty lame as you stated. I think the players were acting very reasonably to want to use other books. If you want to run core only thats fine and the players can choose to play or not. If the reason for core only is that you can't figure out a way to have access to the very easy to obtain for free via the PRD or PFSRD, I think you are being unreasonable.

I dont think it is a coincidence you were not invited to play as a player. You DO have access to the rules, you are being obstinate about it.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What you did was a perfectly valid request, especially as a starting GM with a new system. I had a similar situation happen when I first started running Pathfinder, though the group was a bit more understanding about me wanting to stick to Core Resources for a while. There's an overwhelming amount of content available on the pfsrd site, especially when you're just trying to figure out the intricacies of the system.

Hopefully you can find a group that is willing to have some restrictions, or will let you in as player.


On the one hand I find the attitude of "I won't play unless I've 16 different books to build my character with" to be pretty silly. Comes of playing older versions and different games for years with only a couple of books. Good attitude for the business, I suppose.

On the other hand, it does seem like there could be an easier compromise. Use the pfsrd/pdfs at home to familiarize yourself with the rules and borrow a computer or their books at that table as needed?

On the gripping hand, it kind of sounds like you weren't really that interested in running PF anyway, but prefer other systems.


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You could always insist that they print off or photocopy the stuff they want to use for your perusal, but yeah, Core only is a good idea for people new to the game. And I say this as someone who finds 90% of the stuff in the core book dull at best.


John-Andre wrote:

I was recently asked to run a Pathfinder game. I acquiesced, but since I only have access to the Core Rulebook, I decided that I was only going to allow races, classes, feats, gear, spells and such, from that book. I also had two players who were supposedly "new" to Pathfinder, so I felt keeping the rules limited to the Core Rulebook was a good idea.

My players have rioted. They want to play using weird races. Weird classes. Weird stuff from books I do not have. Using rules I do not have access to.

Well, I put my foot down. I said either they can play with the Core Rulebook only, or they could find themselves another GM. And sure enough, they found themselves another GM.

Now, as I've said on this forum, I'm poor. I'm sorry, but I just cannot afford $60 game books for a game I only play once in a blue moon. I have enough problems budgeting for books for games I run regularly, like Shadowrun and now 5th Edition D&D. I know the PDFs are cheaper, but I have to go to other peoples' houses and apartments to run, and I can't take my computer with me when I go. So I can't rely on the SRD either.

I did tell these players that if they were willing to buy me the books, I'd allow them to use rules from those books. But until I had the books in my possession, I could not allow use of those books in the game. (Okay, it was kind of a jerk thing to ask, but insisting that I let players use rules I'm not familiar with is also kind of a jerk thing to ask, in my opinion.)

Was I right? Is it ethical to only allow the players to use rules the GM has access to? Or should I just decline all further requests to run Pathfinder because I can't buy the hardcopy books?

The PRD and D20PFSRD.com have the rules from other books. So if lack of access was your real reason you could have used those, and I am surprised your players did not bring this to your attention.

You don't need a hardcopy, and the sites are updated while if you buy a book you are stuck with it. I would not buy a GM a hardcover book either. They are expensive. I might buy him a pdf. Those are cheaper, and get updated.

Edit: I guess I should have read your post more slowly. Did none of your other players have a printer? I used to print of copies of the needed pages to avoid taking 50 books where ever I went. Why can't they buy you the pdf, and just print off the material you need? You can use the pdf to learn the material, and tell the players if they don't bring a hardcover book or the printed pages you get to decide how it works. Alternately you can say they lose access to it for that game if they don't bring you something physical to read, even if you have the pdf.

Dark Archive

Well, like the others have said, you could have easily gotten access to all the rules the players think they need to have a good game. You could just ask your players to send a copy of any race, class spell or feat they want to use that isn't in the CRB.
There's also something else you haven't considered. The players have actually invested in this game. They want to try out something new, just because they can. Like me, they've walked around with more ideas for characters that they can play, and they really need that cool feat to play that one character.

Ofcourse, then there is the fact that you'd actually have to read all that stuff. Being a DM is already a lot of work, and all those supplements don't make it any easier. It would also make it easier for the inexperienced players.

But to me, making up something new with CRB only is a challenge I'm willing to accept. I once had an opportunity like that, but the other players freaked out so we never did. Sad, because that DM was one of the best DMs I've met in my life.

So you weren't wrong to offer GMing a CRB only game, just as they weren't wrong to decline you offer.


The problem was that I didn't want to have to rely on the other players' books; besides which, the other players weren't the lending type, from what I could tell. When I said that I only had the Core Rulebook, not one of them said "Well, you can borrow the books when you're over here." Or words to that effect.

Yes, I have access to the SRD. But the SRD is not portable. And as far as learning the rules, then using them -- okay, I have three other games I run or am learning to run. 5th edition Shadowrun, 5th edition D&D, and 4th edition D&D. Oh, and Witch Hunter, and Arcanis. Learning new rules from Pathfinder is a little much on top of all that. I prefer to have the rules at my fingertips.

Was I wrong to ask for the other players to buy me the books? Yes, I admitted it was a dick move. I did apologize, but these guys didn't want me to buy one book at a time -- they wanted me to buy all of the books at once.

The individual who asked me to GM for these guys apologized for the situation, and he excused himself from the group when they decided to form their own game.


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I don't think you are out of line. The GM needs to know the ins and outs of everything that's going on in his game. Just borrowing the books doesn't give you enough information on things to plan ahead for your campaign.


I dont know how the conversation went but I would have explained that you don't have time to learn all of the rules, and money to buy all the books.
Trying to learn 3 systems alone should have been enough.

Your last post set a completely different tone than your first post,so I dont know how they took it.

I think there are two problems here. You have a fixation on the hard books, which are more expensive, and the players wanted to use what they had. You dont have to learn the entire book, just the class and feat that is being used. That is why I suggested printing off pages or using the SRD earlier. You could actually have used the SRD to print, but I guess it is too late now.

PS: I would also tell the players everything is on a case by case basis since you don't own certain material.

Ps2: I am not buying a GM books(hard cover) either if he can access the information. I will print the pages off for him. He can take time to read it at his leisure and get back to me. I would even play another class until he got back to me.


John-Andre wrote:
I know the PDFs are cheaper, but I have to go to other peoples' houses and apartments to run, and I can't take my computer with me when I go.

In this case you can make it required that they print out or have on hand everything that they are using in their build. If they want to use a spell that isn't in the CORE and they didn't print it out then it is impossible to do so.

Either way, looks like everything worked out for everyone.


Not the lending type? What does that mean? The reason no one outright offered to lend you the books is because most likely they were working under the assumption that every book present was for everyone to use during the session, just like everyone I have ever gamed with.

Rather than work on a compromise that everyone could work with you put your foot down on core only, ignoring countless ways you could have made it work. I think the players are better off in a different game.

Dark Archive

At one point I owned most of the Pazio material, I sold most of it and keep to the Core. The power creep with all of this extra material can be overwhelming even for an experienced GM. I think you did the right thing, let them run their cheese game with the other guy.

I like my games to be challenging, and if you can not control the material, you essentially can not control the game. I guess in the end though it depends on the type of game you want to have, Do you want to run something that is as easy as an MMO, or are you more like me and want them to be in fear for their lives like Dark Souls?


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You're not out of line, but you aren't really being cooperative. You're in a difficult position, resources-wise, and so adopted a "my way or the highway attitude" which is acceptable, sure. I mean, if they wanna be ifrit psions,they can run a game.


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If you're the one running the game, it's completely ethical to set the ground rules. *Any* ground rules, as long as you state them up front. It's equally ethical for the group to decide they can't agree to those rules, of course, and that's the point where it's either negotiation or finding a new GM - either is valid.

Sometimes compromise ends up with a situation where nobody is happy, and sometimes it's just a matter of agreeing that it isn't going to work out. Nobody should have to play in a game they're uncomfortable with, for whatever reason, and you know better than anyone else what your comfort limits are.


I don't understand, back in the day we used to introduce new players with a cut-down version of the rules.

Like the beginner box or.CRB. (red box & basic)

I find your approach to be fine. Though maybe more upfront on your end. It sounds like they wanted to play some very specific character ideas......that didn't match what you had in mind.


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The players sound like spoiled children. Instead of working within your limits (all of which are good reasons to stick to the core book), they wanted their way regardless of the extra burden it put on you. I feel bad about for the player that asked you to GM, they probably feel like crud for inadvertently setting you up for that fall.

The fact that they didn't invite you to the other game is pretty low. If that's the level of maturity these "adults" possess, then good riddance. What kind of computer do you have? RPG Geek has a lot of folk up for VoIP games that are plenty chill and act like adults.


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ArgentumLupus wrote:

The players sound like spoiled children. Instead of working within your limits (all of which are good reasons to stick to the core book), they wanted their way regardless of the extra burden it put on you. I feel bad about for the player that asked you to GM, they probably feel like crud for inadvertently setting you up for that fall.

The fact that they didn't invite you to the other game is pretty low. If that's the level of maturity these "adults" possess, then good riddance. What kind of computer do you have? RPG Geek has a lot of folk up for VoIP games that are plenty chill and act like adults.

He gave them an ultimatum. Two options: Core Only ("My way") or Find a New GM ("The Highway").

There is nothing spoiled or immature about taking 1 of 2 options presented.

If anything, presenting an ultimatum and then being surprised when people take one of the options you've provided (the one you didn't want, but provided anyway because you were SO SURE people would never leave you) is the immature one.

Note, I'm not saying the OP here was immature. Just saying that trying to assign blame in this scenario can go either way (but likely should go neither). The group wanted one thing. He wanted another. The groups went their separate ways, with little fuss that I can see.

Best case scenario this side of a compromise as near as I can tell.

Dark Archive

I second the thought of put the burden on the players. I do nit think that burden should have been as costly as buying you an extra full priced book. Let them print/photocopy the relevant pages for your inspection.

I have been pretty sick and tired of core rulebook, both PF and 3.5 for about 7 or 8 years. I do not bemoan them for looking elsewhere. I hope they did not stand you up game night though. No way that could be excused.

Do you know what the number of player limits were at that other table were? It us fair for that GM to pick both how many and who exactly sits at that table. Maybe that GM did nit want as many as 6/7 players or had other friends he choose over somene they did nit know like you.

If you give PF players another try, consider telling them that if they do not present a single one non Core class you are ok with, they don't get to bombard you with another 10 designs. This cuts down On how much you have to analize.If they miss thY one chance, they might then have to pick core.

Really though, while I understand wanting to read the expanded material because so many players get it wrong, misinterpretation, failure to read errata or F.A.Q. again, I understand you want to read their material and it is the right thing to do but don't think that a core only game will nit result in broken games. You can still make monstrous PC that will wipe the floor with everything you throw at them with just core.


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The three most powerful classes in the game are in core. The idea that core is somehow more balanced than core+supplements is downright silly.


The thing that bothers me is that you didn't bother to ask them to borrow your books. Instead you assumed they wouldn't because they didn't offer it. I've been too broke to buy books before, so I understand how that feels. But, I've never been too proud to ask to borrow books. Instead of assuming, you should have tried to work with your players to solve this issue. If you can't compromise and simply assume the worst from your players this early on, then perhaps it is best that you don't run for them.

So, instead of working things out with your players to create a mutually beneficial experience for everyone, you told them they should buy you your books (which would put anyone off) and then gave them a "your way or the highway" pep talk. So they chose the highway. Them's the breaks.

Also, you should probably chill on all the different rulesets. Spending money on Shadowrun, 5e, Pathfinder, etc etc is only going to make you more broke. Especially if you don't even have the time to read and run all of them. Personally, I saved money for a Kindle Fire so I could have the pdfs on the go and not run into this problem. Best money I spent and at this point, it's even cheap now than it was two years ago.


Zhayne wrote:
The three most powerful classes in the game are in core. The idea that core is somehow more balanced than core+supplements is downright silly.

And those three classes get more powerful with supplements.


You were absolutely correct to do as you did. It seems like that group likes a particular way of doing things (which most would consider total and complete jerks to tell the truth) and to demand someone let them use things the other person doesn't have is not only being kind of a jerk, it is down and out rude.

Another example of people who would do things like this...

1. Ask for a ride in someone else's car, ask that person to drive them in that car, and then complain to the driver that they don't have A/C, don't have a slot for their IPOD, and that the person driving isn't wearing sunglasses.

They are already driving the person in their car...and yet the person who is being served decides to degrade and complain?

That's being a jerk.

2. Ask someone to let you crash at their house. You go to their house to live for a bit, and then complain because they don't have cable TV, don't have internet access, and don't have a hardline telephone.

They are already letting you be there for free, and yet you are complaining about what you expect them to provide you at even greater cost to themselves?

That's being a jerk.

3. Ask someone who doesn't really play that much to play World of Warcraft. They get the basic intro version, as they really don't have much money. You then rail on them for being a newb, not having all the expansions, and not being able to do all the stuff the expansions have.

They already tried it out just because you asked them to. Expecting them to pay for your fun at their expense, even more without them even knowing if they even enjoy the stuff...

That's being a jerk.

4. Asking an occasional player to be GM, then complaining because they don't have every book out there and hence won't let anything and everything be allowed because they only have the core book?

Yep....you probably already know the answer.

My solution, don't play with jerks.

I normally make it clear what I will or won't allow at the table. IF a player wants to be jerk about it, they can find another group to play with. I even have more books than many players, it doesn't matter, I allow and disallow things in the books and make it CLEAR to them what is or isn't allowed.

Now if they are dead set on something, I MAY BEND on the rule, but it depends on their reasoning. So, it's not hard and fast, but if they are jerks about THAT, they will most likely be jerks about everything else. Better to get them gone before they ruin the entire game for me and everyone else.

ON the otherhand, if they want to use a book I don't have (normally a Third party book if it's PF)...it doesn't matter. It's too easy to cheat or catch me offguard if they are using rules I don't know and don't have. I MIGHT allow something if they GIVE me the book (and the time to peruse it...but there's an equal chance I might not as well, that's their risk if they REALLY want to go that route), but to expect me to allow something sight unseen.

One answer to them...

Don't be a jerk....

Liberty's Edge

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Jeff: As the prospective DM, you have every right to set the ground rules for the campaign. If the players cant abide by this, they didn't have to play. Find another group to play with or recruit another group to DM for.


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thejeff wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
The three most powerful classes in the game are in core. The idea that core is somehow more balanced than core+supplements is downright silly.
And those three classes get more powerful with supplements.

Way to miss the point.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:

You were absolutely correct to do as you did. It seems like that group likes a particular way of doing things (which most would consider total and complete jerks to tell the truth) and to demand someone let them use things the other person doesn't have is not only being kind of a jerk, it is down and out rude.

Another example of people who would do things like this...

1. Ask for a ride in someone else's car, ask that person to drive them in that car, and then complain to the driver that they don't have A/C, don't have a slot for their IPOD, and that the person driving isn't wearing sunglasses.

They are already driving the person in their car...and yet the person who is being served decides to degrade and complain?

That's being a jerk.

2. Ask someone to let you crash at their house. You go to their house to live for a bit, and then complain because they don't have cable TV, don't have internet access, and don't have a hardline telephone.

They are already letting you be there for free, and yet you are complaining about what you expect them to provide you at even greater cost to themselves?

That's being a jerk.

3. Ask someone who doesn't really play that much to play World of Warcraft. They get the basic intro version, as they really don't have much money. You then rail on them for being a newb, not having all the expansions, and not being able to do all the stuff the expansions have.

They already tried it out just because you asked them to. Expecting them to pay for your fun at their expense, even more without them even knowing if they even enjoy the stuff...

That's being a jerk.

4. Asking an occasional player to be GM, then complaining because they don't have every book out there and hence won't let anything and everything be allowed because they only have the core book?

Yep....you probably already know the answer.

My solution, don't play with jerks.

I normally make it clear what I will or won't allow at the table. IF a player wants to be jerk about...

You seem to be under the impression that when you're GMing for someone, you're doing some kind of huge favor for them and they should instantly acquiesce to your demands.

GMing a game for someone is not like giving them a ride or letting them crash at your house.

It's like being asked (or offering) to host some sort of event. Almost identical, in fact.

Sometimes the host places restrictions/conditions on the participants if the event is to be held there.

Sometimes the participants are fine with the restrictions, and go with that host.

Sometimes the participants are not. They are not "jerks" for not deciding to go with that host.

Which is exactly what happened.

GM is asked to run a game. GM says "Okay, but Core only".

Group says "We don't want Core only."

GM says "Sorry, not negotiable."

Group walks, finds another venue and host for their event.

Nobody was in the wrong here. Stop trying to start "Player vs GM Privilege" fight #919871.


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People are making the assumptions that he banned these books for balance reasons. He ultimately banned them due to money reason. Which is rough. But he could have asked to borrow the books (assuming the players had them) or asked them to print/photocopy their sections. Now, I don't know how nice or caring the players are. I'd have to actually meet with them. But I have to wonder.... did they know he was having money problems? Did they know WHY he only allowed the core?

I'm not saying it's wrong to only allow the core. But in this situation, it seems like both players and DM could have come to a mutual understanding and probably helped out the DM with the game. You'd be surprised how helpful players can be, especially when it comes to money problems.

Instead, he told them to buy the books if they want to use it (something he admitted to being a dick move), then gave them an ultimatum without any form of compromise or asking for help. So they left. That's what happens if you force people into an impasse after leading with an unreasonable request. Bad communication led to this. From the information we've been given, I feel this meltdown could have been avoided. Oh well. Better luck next time.


Rynjin wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:

You were absolutely correct to do as you did. It seems like that group likes a particular way of doing things (which most would consider total and complete jerks to tell the truth) and to demand someone let them use things the other person doesn't have is not only being kind of a jerk, it is down and out rude.

Another example of people who would do things like this...

1. Ask for a ride in someone else's car, ask that person to drive them in that car, and then complain to the driver that they don't have A/C, don't have a slot for their IPOD, and that the person driving isn't wearing sunglasses.

They are already driving the person in their car...and yet the person who is being served decides to degrade and complain?

That's being a jerk.

2. Ask someone to let you crash at their house. You go to their house to live for a bit, and then complain because they don't have cable TV, don't have internet access, and don't have a hardline telephone.

They are already letting you be there for free, and yet you are complaining about what you expect them to provide you at even greater cost to themselves?

That's being a jerk.

3. Ask someone who doesn't really play that much to play World of Warcraft. They get the basic intro version, as they really don't have much money. You then rail on them for being a newb, not having all the expansions, and not being able to do all the stuff the expansions have.

They already tried it out just because you asked them to. Expecting them to pay for your fun at their expense, even more without them even knowing if they even enjoy the stuff...

That's being a jerk.

4. Asking an occasional player to be GM, then complaining because they don't have every book out there and hence won't let anything and everything be allowed because they only have the core book?

Yep....you probably already know the answer.

My solution, don't play with jerks.

I normally make it clear what I will or won't allow at the table. IF a

...

I agree with you, but don't forget the part where he demanded the players buy the full books for the DM if they wanted to use it. I've never met any DM that ever told the players to buy them all the books. Usually it's "photocopy it" or "print it". Hell, I had one guy write the rules for playing a wilder in freaking crayon! Which was quite amusing for me to read. But I've never had a DM demand that the players buy the hard copies of books to use something.

Dark Archive

Odraude wrote:
Bad communication led to this. From the information we've been given, I feel this meltdown could have been avoided. Oh well. Better luck next time.

This is what it all comes back to typically. As long as you are upfront and honest that is all anyone can expect. If anything I think this is the lesson to take away from this experience OP, the only thing you can control is your own actions. Maybe consider how you said things or how you responded and consider ways you could have maybe been more clear and consider ways maybe you could have compromised. That way if this happens next time, at least it won't leave that bad taste in your mouth you seem to have.


Odraude wrote:
I've never had a DM demand that the players buy the hard copies of books to use something.

This is actually a rule that exists in PFS, which is why I don't play PFS.


Taku Ooka Nin wrote:
Odraude wrote:
I've never had a DM demand that the players buy the hard copies of books to use something.
This is actually a rule that exists in PFS, which is why I don't play PFS.

Well, ain't that some s$!$. Good thing I don't play PFS :D


Odraude wrote:
Taku Ooka Nin wrote:
Odraude wrote:
I've never had a DM demand that the players buy the hard copies of books to use something.
This is actually a rule that exists in PFS, which is why I don't play PFS.
Well, ain't that some s#@$. Good thing I don't play PFS :D

:D :D

Liberty's Edge

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In fairness, PFS also accepts watermarked PDFs. The point is not using content you haven't paid for, not lugging large weights around.


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Odraude wrote:
I agree with you, but don't forget the part where he demanded the players buy the full books for the DM if they wanted to use it. I've never met any DM that ever told the players to buy them all the books. Usually it's "photocopy it" or "print it". Hell, I had one guy write the rules for playing a wilder in freaking crayon! Which was quite amusing for me to read. But I've never had a DM demand that the players buy the hard copies of books to use something.

Truthfully I've never had players that DEMANDED that they had to use books I didn't have to tell the truth. (This may be due to the fact that I normally have more books than any of them). I'd be quite taken aback if they did so.I'd be willing to work with them, but expecting me to use rules that I didn't have access to, well...that's rude.

AS for books, if they want me to use their books either they have to let me use the book on a semi-permanent basis while the game goes on, OR they have to buy me the book themselves. AFTER I peruse the book (rules many times are not independent of themselves, and are at times dependent on other rules introduced in that book), I may or may not allow them to use it.

I find it perfectly acceptable to demand that they buy the GM the book if they want to it to be used in the campaign. I haven't seen it in real life, but from what I've seen people proposing on these boards, I'd be afraid I'd be dealing with someone like those on these boards that think they have a right to abuse so many rules...it's better not said.

For those, they would like to use something I didn't have access to from what I can see, and then abuse it and twist it to their own ends. That's something I absolutely wouldn't allow. Hence, I better have access to the book so that I can constantly look things up in it if I need to.

I wouldn't demand them to buy me the book, but I better have permanent access to it (including bringing it home to research whatever rule they are abusing, if they are abusing it) while we are playing.

Expecting someone to GM a game that they don't have the rules to is really a pretty low move in my opinion.

OF course, if they decided to game with someone else, that's ALSO perfectly their right. Just as it's the GM's right to put down what they can and cannot use, it's also the players right to go play in any game that they want to.

I wouldn't begrudge a single player who opted to go play with another GM because of playstyle or rules decisions, or any other item. That's perfectly their right.

They only become a jerk when they expect their fun to come at the expense of someone else's fun, or their fun to come at someone else's cost (for example, expecting the GM to either cater to their whims by playing blind without knowing the rules...OR expecting the GM to have to buy everything they have and spend money the GM doesn't have).


GreyWolfLord wrote:
Odraude wrote:
I agree with you, but don't forget the part where he demanded the players buy the full books for the DM if they wanted to use it. I've never met any DM that ever told the players to buy them all the books. Usually it's "photocopy it" or "print it". Hell, I had one guy write the rules for playing a wilder in freaking crayon! Which was quite amusing for me to read. But I've never had a DM demand that the players buy the hard copies of books to use something.

Truthfully I've never had players that DEMANDED that they had to use books I didn't have to tell the truth. (This may be due to the fact that I normally have more books than any of them). I'd be quite taken aback if they did so.I'd be willing to work with them, but expecting me to use rules that I didn't have access to, well...that's rude.

AS for books, if they want me to use their books either they have to let me use the book on a semi-permanent basis while the game goes on, OR they have to buy me the book themselves. AFTER I peruse the book (rules many times are not independent of themselves, and are at times dependent on other rules introduced in that book), I may or may not allow them to use it.

I find it perfectly acceptable to demand that they buy the GM the book if they want to it to be used in the campaign. I haven't seen it in real life, but from what I've seen people proposing on these boards, I'd be afraid I'd be dealing with someone like those on these boards that think they have a right to abuse so many rules...it's better not said.

For those, they would like to use something I didn't have access to from what I can see, and then abuse it and twist it to their own ends. That's something I absolutely wouldn't allow. Hence, I better have access to the book so that I can constantly look things up in it if I need to.

I wouldn't demand them to buy me the book, but I better have permanent access to it (including bringing it home to research whatever rule they are abusing, if they are abusing it) while we are playing.

Expecting someone to GM a game that they don't have the rules to is really a pretty low move in my opinion.

OF course, if they decided to game with someone else, that's ALSO perfectly their right. Just as it's the GM's right to put down what they can and cannot use, it's also the players right to go play in any game that they want to.

I wouldn't begrudge a single player who opted to go play with another GM because of playstyle or rules decisions, or any other item. That's perfectly their right.

They only become a jerk when they expect their fun to come at the expense of someone else's fun, or their fun to come at someone else's cost (for example, expecting the GM to either cater to their whims by playing blind without knowing the rules...OR expecting the GM to have to buy everything they have and spend money the GM doesn't have).

Bolded for emphasis. That is very reasonable. But the issue is that they were not given that option. There was no communication nor compromise in gaining access to the rules. Instead it there was an unreasonable demand, then ultimatum. He really should have swallowed his pride and ask to borrow their books. Or make photocopies/print off the proper rules. There were a lot of options to alleviate the monetary burden that the TC did not take. I don't know his players, so I don't know why he assumed that they wouldn't lend him anything. Without knowing more about them, it's hard to say. But damn, I'd at least ask.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
John-Andre wrote:
Yes, I have an iPad. It's a first-generation iPad 1. I open one page in a PDF, it's done. Next page, it crashes. I can't fix this problem because the only way to fix it is an OS upgrade, and iOS 5.1 is as high as the iPad 1 goes.

I also game with a 1st gen iPad and I don't have any problems with PDFs. It could be your reader. Try GoodReader, because it works fine under iOS5. I can even run the full version of Hero Lab using Splashtop to access my PC at home, even when I'm gaming at a friend's house.

-Skeld


I'd also see if there's an iOS equivalent of the free Android app Masterwork Tools. It's much more searchable than a pdf and doesn't have megabytes of space wasted on non-content like pictures and the big ornate page borders Paizo pdfs have.


Rynjin wrote:
ArgentumLupus wrote:

The players sound like spoiled children. Instead of working within your limits (all of which are good reasons to stick to the core book), they wanted their way regardless of the extra burden it put on you. I feel bad about for the player that asked you to GM, they probably feel like crud for inadvertently setting you up for that fall.

The fact that they didn't invite you to the other game is pretty low. If that's the level of maturity these "adults" possess, then good riddance. What kind of computer do you have? RPG Geek has a lot of folk up for VoIP games that are plenty chill and act like adults.

He gave them an ultimatum. Two options: Core Only ("My way") or Find a New GM ("The Highway").

There is nothing spoiled or immature about taking 1 of 2 options presented.

If anything, presenting an ultimatum and then being surprised when people take one of the options you've provided (the one you didn't want, but provided anyway because you were SO SURE people would never leave you) is the immature one.

Note, I'm not saying the OP here was immature. Just saying that trying to assign blame in this scenario can go either way (but likely should go neither). The group wanted one thing. He wanted another. The groups went their separate ways, with little fuss that I can see.

Best case scenario this side of a compromise as near as I can tell.

Ok, calling them spoiled was a bit too strong, but you can't say they were mature about it. He was asked to run the game, he gave conditions for his game, they decline, but instead of just moving with a different GM, they "fail" to invite the OP to the new game because he didn't give them everything they wanted.

"You didn't give me what I want so I want play with you anymore" is the reaction of 1st graders, not adults.


Nimon wrote:


At one point I owned most of the Pazio material, I sold most of it and keep to the Core. The power creep with all of this extra material can be overwhelming even for an experienced GM. I think you did the right thing, let them run their cheese game with the other guy.

Cheese is subjective.


GreyWolfLord wrote:
Odraude wrote:
I agree with you, but don't forget the part where he demanded the players buy the full books for the DM if they wanted to use it. I've never met any DM that ever told the players to buy them all the books. Usually it's "photocopy it" or "print it". Hell, I had one guy write the rules for playing a wilder in freaking crayon! Which was quite amusing for me to read. But I've never had a DM demand that the players buy the hard copies of books to use something.
Truthfully I've never had players that DEMANDED that they had to use books I didn't have to tell the truth.

From the way I understood it the GM demanded that he have the books, and the players would not buy them so that put the GM in a position to buy them himself. I don't think the players were like "you will buy the books so you I can play my class". I am sure they could not care one way or the other if he had the book or not as long as he let them use the class or other options.


ArgentumLupus wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
ArgentumLupus wrote:

The players sound like spoiled children. Instead of working within your limits (all of which are good reasons to stick to the core book), they wanted their way regardless of the extra burden it put on you. I feel bad about for the player that asked you to GM, they probably feel like crud for inadvertently setting you up for that fall.

The fact that they didn't invite you to the other game is pretty low. If that's the level of maturity these "adults" possess, then good riddance. What kind of computer do you have? RPG Geek has a lot of folk up for VoIP games that are plenty chill and act like adults.

He gave them an ultimatum. Two options: Core Only ("My way") or Find a New GM ("The Highway").

There is nothing spoiled or immature about taking 1 of 2 options presented.

If anything, presenting an ultimatum and then being surprised when people take one of the options you've provided (the one you didn't want, but provided anyway because you were SO SURE people would never leave you) is the immature one.

Note, I'm not saying the OP here was immature. Just saying that trying to assign blame in this scenario can go either way (but likely should go neither). The group wanted one thing. He wanted another. The groups went their separate ways, with little fuss that I can see.

Best case scenario this side of a compromise as near as I can tell.

Ok, calling them spoiled was a bit too strong, but you can't say they were mature about it. He was asked to run the game, he gave conditions for his game, they decline, but instead of just moving with a different GM, they "fail" to invite the OP to the new game because he didn't give them everything they wanted.

"You didn't give me what I want so I want play with you anymore" is the reaction of 1st graders, not adults.

If he was their friend I would understand, but from what I hear he was asked to fun via a 3rd party as a favor, and we don't know how that conversation went. They could have seen him as being someone who does not compromise, even if he just did not express himself well. Going by his first post I would not have invited him either, but his second post was more friendly so I would have been more likely to invite him.

Sovereign Court

wraithstrike wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Odraude wrote:
I agree with you, but don't forget the part where he demanded the players buy the full books for the DM if they wanted to use it. I've never met any DM that ever told the players to buy them all the books. Usually it's "photocopy it" or "print it". Hell, I had one guy write the rules for playing a wilder in freaking crayon! Which was quite amusing for me to read. But I've never had a DM demand that the players buy the hard copies of books to use something.
Truthfully I've never had players that DEMANDED that they had to use books I didn't have to tell the truth.
From the way I understood it the GM demanded that he have the books, and the players would not buy them so that put the GM in a position to buy them himself. I don't think the players were like "you will buy the books so you I can play my class". I am sure they could not care one way or the other if he had the book or not as long as he let them use the class or other options.

Eh ,I dunno:

"I did tell these players that if they were willing to buy me the books, I'd allow them to use rules from those books. But until I had the books in my possession, I could not allow use of those books in the game. (Okay, it was kind of a jerk thing to ask, but insisting that I let players use rules I'm not familiar with is also kind of a jerk thing to ask, in my opinion)"

Sounds like he wanted the players to actually buy the books for him. That is more than a bit extreme and the OP is in the wrong to make those type of demands.

In the end they went to someone else to get the game they wanted, just as he told them to do. I am not sure he was very diplomatic about his demands, but that is only how it comes off to me.


As others have said, GMs have a right to lay down ground rules. Players have a right to not play in the game. Maybe one party was unreasonable, maybe the other was. It sounds like it was a bad fit.

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