Player entitlement ... but not what you think


Gamer Life General Discussion


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This is not a rant about self-entitled players ruining/having ruined the game. Instead, I'm curious as to what participants here think players are entitled.

Are players entitled to:


  • A game world specifically designed to their specifications, or at least modified to suit their interests and goals?
  • Play whatever character race or class suits their fancy, even it if doesn't fit thematically, so long as those options are available to all the players?
  • Realization of their original and/or evolved vision for said character?
  • Chronic and customary victory, in the sense that the GM tailors encounters so that they will very likely be victorious after what he/she perceives as a hard-fought battle?
  • Survival (and even prosperity out) of even the most dangerous scenarios?
  • Rapidity of advancement to more efficacious and (to them, likely) more entertaining levels of power?
  • Flexibility from the GM to the point of impromptu rules emendations to serve any of the above purposes?
  • Override the GM via, say, majority vote, and thus to an extent dictate campaign parameters and strictures?

I honestly don't think players are entitled to any of these. I do think a number of them are elements a good GM should be providing as a matter of course.

I'm curious to hear your opinions.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jaelithe wrote:

This is not a rant about self-entitled players ruining/having ruined the game. Instead, I'm curious as to what participants here think players are entitled.

Are players entitled to:


  • 1 A game world specifically designed to their specifications, or at least modified to suit their interests and goals?
  • 2 Play whatever character race or class suits their fancy, even it if doesn't fit thematically, so long as those options are available to all the players?
  • 3 Realization of their original and/or evolved vision for said character?
  • 4 Chronic and customary victory, in the sense that the GM tailors encounters so that they will very likely be victorious after what he/she perceives as a hard-fought battle?
  • 5 Survival (and even prosperity out) of even the most dangerous scenarios?
  • 6 Rapidity of advancement to more efficacious and (to them, likely) more entertaining levels of power?
  • 7 Flexibility from the GM to the point of impromptu rules emendations to serve any of the above purposes?
  • 8 Override the GM via, say, majority vote, and thus to an extent dictate campaign parameters and strictures?

I would have to agree that the players are entitled to NONE of these, though I do have a few notes:

1 & 2: This will NEVER be the case with me. I tend to make very "thematic" games (my first campaign was a military all-dwarf campaign) and thus are moderately restrictive on choice. It makes the game interesting (to me) to see what creative ways the players will go within the constraints.

3: If there is the time, maybe? I do tend to like throwing in a little twist for them, and I generally consider this something important for them to tell me beforehand (if only to tell them the campaign is unlikely to permit it; for example, a crafter in a game with little to no downtime).
4: Eh, I tend to do this already. I tend to occasionally throw a super-hard battle, but my players have recognised it pretty fast and fled up until now, so all's good?
5: That's up to them. Then again, I generally set it up so that there are at least a few solutions.
6: To a point. I tend to make early leveling (1 to 5) very rapid, so that they are tough enough to take some serious challenges. Then it slows down quickly.
7: No.
8: No. Honestly, if I has players this demanding, I would probably tell them "find another GM".

Anyway, while nobody is entitled to these, I would say 1 to 6 are appreciated (but not expected), and 7 & 8 are unexpected.


Jaelithe wrote:

This is not a rant about self-entitled players ruining/having ruined the game. Instead, I'm curious as to what participants here think players are entitled.

Are players entitled to:


  • A game world specifically designed to their specifications, or at least modified to suit their interests and goals?

No...but IMO neither is the GM. A game setting should be somewhat of a collaboration with the GM setting the basic theme and general idea, but being accommodating to player wishes as well. Generally a setting isn't going to break by a few more additions, especially if they're tweaked to fit flavor-wise.

Jaelithe wrote:
  • Play whatever character race or class suits their fancy, even it if doesn't fit thematically, so long as those options are available to all the players?
  • Yes and no. I think the GM should try to make options fit (you can generally do some simple refluffng to make most things fit unless it's something like a magic class not existing because magic deoesn't exist). But in general, I think a player should be able to play whatever they want.

    Jaelithe wrote:
  • Realization of their original and/or evolved vision for said character?
  • Absolutely. A player should control most, if not all, aspects of his character's goals and progression.

    Jaelithe wrote:
  • Chronic and customary victory, in the sense that the GM tailors encounters so that they will very likely be victorious after what he/she perceives as a hard-fought battle?
  • Assurance of victory? No. POSSIBILITY of victory? Absolutely.

    Repeated player death is bad for everybody. The player, the GM, game cohesion, it all falls apart when players are dying and bring in Bob the Fighter 5.0 every other session.

    Jaelithe wrote:
  • Survival (and even prosperity out) of even the most dangerous scenarios?
  • As above. Death should be on the table, certainly, but rigging things so PCs are likely to get killed isn't kosher IMO.

    Jaelithe wrote:
  • Rapidity of advancement to more efficacious and (to them, likely) more entertaining levels of power?
  • Depends what you mean by rapid, by which I mean what the group has decided on. This is something all players and teh GM should reach an agreement on and stick with it. Once the agreement is made, yes players are entitled to that agreed upon progression.

    Jaelithe wrote:
  • Flexibility from the GM to the point of impromptu rules emendations to serve any of the above purposes?
  • Assuming you mean actual rules, no. The GM should ultimately be in control of all houserules, because that directly affects his ability to run the game properly. If he's implementing houserules he doesn't agree with or is at least neutral towards, it's going to be harder for him to keep track of them and disinclined to follow them.

    Jaelithe wrote:
  • Override the GM via, say, majority vote, and thus to an extent dictate campaign parameters and strictures?
  • Yes, for the simple fact that if the majority wants one thing and you want another, you no longer have a game.


    Jaelithe wrote:


    I honestly don't think players are entitled to any of these. I do think a number of them are elements a good GM should be providing as a matter of course.

    I think that's a good way to put it. Players who expect a lot of specific things from any game are likely to be disappointed; but a little compromise on the DM's part goes a long way.

    For example, should a player expect to be able to play a specific race in any given campaign? No, and a good player can come up with characters of a variety of races. However, a good DM knows how to fit unexpected races into his campaign, and is willing to consider doing so upon player request. Because he knows that most players don't find his special snowflake homebrew setting nearly as interesting as he does, and would be just as happy playing in a kitchen sink setting.

    Grand Lodge

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Jaelithe wrote:

    This is not a rant about self-entitled players ruining/having ruined the game. Instead, I'm curious as to what participants here think players are entitled.

    Are players entitled to:


    • A game world specifically designed to their specifications, or at least modified to suit their interests and goals?
    • Play whatever character race or class suits their fancy, even it if doesn't fit thematically, so long as those options are available to all the players?
    • Realization of their original and/or evolved vision for said character?
    • Chronic and customary victory, in the sense that the GM tailors encounters so that they will very likely be victorious after what he/she perceives as a hard-fought battle?
    • Survival (and even prosperity out) of even the most dangerous scenarios?
    • Rapidity of advancement to more efficacious and (to them, likely) more entertaining levels of power?
    • Flexibility from the GM to the point of impromptu rules emendations to serve any of the above purposes?
    • Override the GM via, say, majority vote, and thus to an extent dictate campaign parameters and strictures?

    I honestly don't think players are entitled to any of these. I do think a number of them are elements a good GM should be providing as a matter of course.

    I'm curious to hear your opinions.

    My opinion is that if the players and GM are above the mental age of five, they should be able to work their own answers out as a group. I don't see the point of trying to make a universal declaration unless the goal is to engender needless argument. I also don't think that every group needs the same set of answers.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    All of my answers stem from the point of view that the GM is a player too.

    Jaelithe wrote:

    Are players entitled to:

    A game world specifically designed to their specifications, or at least modified to suit their interests and goals?

    No.

    Jaelithe wrote:
    Play whatever character race or class suits their fancy, even it if doesn't fit thematically, so long as those options are available to all the players?

    No.

    Jaelithe wrote:
    Realization of their original and/or evolved vision for said character?

    Yes? Kind of muddy concept.

    Jaelithe wrote:
    Chronic and customary victory, in the sense that the GM tailors encounters so that they will very likely be victorious after what he/she perceives as a hard-fought battle?

    The GM lets them win anyway, so this is irrelevant.

    Jaelithe wrote:
    Survival (and even prosperity out) of even the most dangerous scenarios?

    No.

    Jaelithe wrote:
    Rapidity of advancement to more efficacious and (to them, likely) more entertaining levels of power?

    No.

    Jaelithe wrote:
    Flexibility from the GM to the point of impromptu rules emendations to serve any of the above purposes?

    No.

    Jaelithe wrote:
    Override the GM via, say, majority vote, and thus to an extent dictate campaign parameters and strictures?

    Yes.


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    1. Players are entitled to know the rules going in. If the campaign or world doesn't allow for something they deserve to know upfront before the start of the game.

    2. Players deserve to fully control their character. This doesn't mean they get to break the rules, but unless there is a specific explicit reason for the GM to take control (such as a magic jar spell) control of the character should remain with the player.

    3. Players should be given information on how the GM expects the general arch of the game to go. This is simply to help prevent misconceptions on everyone's part down the road, and to help the Players not make poor choices they can't change (such as choosing demons as a favored enemy in a campaign against giants and dragons).

    4. Players deserve a chance to argue for exceptions. Everyone should get a chance to be heard -- again this doesn't mean they'll get what they want, but they should get a chance to make their case.

    5. Players deserve to know if 'fair encounters' are not the norm. The game tends to assume that you will overcome your violent encounters. If there is a regular chance that the encounters will not be fair the players should know this going in. It ties into number 1 as this is a deviation from the norms -- but not the rules.

    6. The players deserve to have fun. Just like the GM does.

    7. Players deserve to have the GM follow the rules too. It's no good if the drow gets to have a surprise round, charge me and then full attack after shooting a crossbow the same round unless he has a means of doing so.


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    Abraham spalding wrote:
    5. Players deserve to know if 'fair encounters' are not the norm. The game tends to assume that you will overcome your violent encounters. If there is a regular chance that the encounters will not be fair the players should know this going in. It ties into number 1 as this is a deviation from the norms -- but not the rules.

    Even more, though it might be an unstated assumption - If there's a regular chance that the encounters will not be fair, the players/characters need to be able to fairly reliably gauge the level of risk, at least in time to escape if not to avoid entirely.


    I was going to break down the post line by line... then I changed my mind. Being an entitlement player is all about that "me first" attitude. However your own group decides to handle that list of reasonable, semi reasonable, or unreasonable expectations is literally not my business unless I join your group, and even then just as one voice among many. In my opinion gaming is as much about learning to play well with others as it is about having a fun time. After all it IS one of the few truly cooperative group games out there, and so amazingly open to new ideas.


    In my opinion, of the listed things players are entitled to the GM's flexibility. Inflexible GM is GM that fails at basic duty of adapting to the development of the story and the in-game choices made by the players, i.e. decisions the players take about their characters actions - within their capabilities as described by the system, convention and style selected for the game and (un)common sense.

    Quote:
    1. A game world specifically designed to their specifications, or at least modified to suit their interests and goals?

    This should be negotiated between GM and players about what interests them - no one can force GM to properly GM setting he doesn't want to, but no one forces the players to play in campaign that they don't want to. There should be communication about interests of all people involved and finding the compromise suiting all. If you can't, drop the idea and look for a new one. If you can't find any idea that would be suitable for the group just go to pub or something and if you aren't friends just split without hard feelings.

    Quote:
    2. Play whatever character race or class suits their fancy, even it if doesn't fit thematically, so long as those options are available to all the players?

    Nope. If player agreed to play in the specific setting trying to force option that isn't fitting that setting is a show of bad faith. of course there might be an issue of different opinion what actually fits the setting which might warrant a discussion before the game. It might be also the case of GM inflexibility: GM shouldn't start approach with "it doesn't fit! next!" but instead he should try to think "what can we make with the idea to make it work" and reject it only after reaching conclusion that it cannot be fit to the setting.

    Quote:
    3. Realization of their original and/or evolved vision for said character?

    Player is not entitled to this in the sense that 'GM is obligated to make it happen'. The player has to work to realize his vision by taking in-game decisions and pursuits to fulfill it and the vision is restricted by the setting constraints. GM should not deliberately and maliciously try to prevent that from happening by twisting the plot or setting against the player. GM can still challenge the player on the road to fulfilling this vision and can use technique of failing forward to use failures on realization of PC's vision to develop the story and provide more fun for all the involved players.

    EDIT: This assume the vision for said character fits the setting, the convention and the style of play. If the player insist on completely unreasonable vision GM is free to crush the players dreams and drink his tears as he pleases. Again, positive approach from the GM (see point 2) should be exhausted before doing this.

    Quote:
    Chronic and customary victory, in the sense that the GM tailors encounters so that they will very likely be victorious after what he/she perceives as a hard-fought battle?

    Nope, unless the chronic victory is the convention agreed by the group in point 1. Dramatic failure and failing forward builds and deepens the story.

    Quote:
    Survival (and even prosperity out) of even the most dangerous scenarios?

    Nope. Use your skills, your choices, your resources to survive and prosper. However, the GM is obligated to not build inescapable death-traps with the sole purpose of killing character(s) unless that's the part of the story and the convention agreed upon (e.g. Call Of Cthulhu, horror one-shots).

    Quote:
    Rapidity of advancement to more efficacious and (to them, likely) more entertaining levels of power?

    Levels of power comfortable to the players and GM should be a subject of negotiation as a part of point 1 as it is part of game style and convention picked.

    Quote:
    Override the GM via, say, majority vote, and thus to an extent dictate campaign parameters and strictures?

    There is space for negotiation of parameters of setting and discussion, including discussion after the campaign started. Are the players entitled to override GM? Nope. If you can't convince the GM to changes proposed and you can't accept the GM's rulings change GM and campaign. GM yourself.


    Jaelithe wrote:

    This is not a rant about self-entitled players ruining/having ruined the game. Instead, I'm curious as to what participants here think players are entitled.

    Are players entitled to:


    • 1 A game world specifically designed to their specifications, or at least modified to suit their interests and goals?
    • 2 Play whatever character race or class suits their fancy, even it if doesn't fit thematically, so long as those options are available to all the players?
    • 3 Realization of their original and/or evolved vision for said character?
    • 4 Chronic and customary victory, in the sense that the GM tailors encounters so that they will very likely be victorious after what he/she perceives as a hard-fought battle?
    • 5 Survival (and even prosperity out) of even the most dangerous scenarios?
    • 6 Rapidity of advancement to more efficacious and (to them, likely) more entertaining levels of power?
    • 7 Flexibility from the GM to the point of impromptu rules emendations to serve any of the above purposes?
    • 8 Override the GM via, say, majority vote, and thus to an extent dictate campaign parameters and strictures?

    I honestly don't think players are entitled to any of these. I do think a number of them are elements a good GM should be providing as a matter of course.

    I'm curious to hear your opinions.

    1 and 2, i beleive a campaign world as well as the theme should be left up to the players and that the DM should be open to player input, as long as the group is willing to deal with nonthematic races or classes, i'm fine with it as long as the caricature isn't something out of Looney Toons or a similar highly uncoordinated work. not that i won't accept anime elements or loli PCs of questionable morality. as long as you don't play your gnome or halfling like a wannabe kender, i am fine. play whatever as long as you don't act like children over it, for example, don't roll up a morally restrictive good aligned character just to grief the necromancer the group had since day one.

    3 and 4. i improvise challenges and pull stats out of my hat, but i keep them within the party's realm of accomplishment, and i allow characters to pick the items they want when they raid an armory or something, and most humanoid foes have an armory. because i improvise things, i care less about the balance of what a monster can do, more power attracts stronger foes.

    5 and 6. Advancement rate varies on how quickly the party achieves milestones as well as the strengths of those milestones, sure, you can choose to slaughter an orcish warband to get from level 3 to level 4. but that warband is just a loot piniata by levels 5 and up and you won't get much advancement, just a bunch of cheap equipment. survival and prosperity is proportionate to what you face, so while you have a mountain of shoddy weapons off of the orcs, you would need to raid richer foes if you wanted the good stuff. but i don't track wealth by level except for gearing new charas and don't really attack gear that a class needs to function unless i am starting out with a prison scenario, where i will give all prepared casters the boon of a mental spellbook equivalent to a single normal spellbook.

    7 and 8, i improvish things and create impromptu rules for the encounter, and even give impromptu character specific rewards, like a feat or low level spell equivalent ability gained as a reward for an appropriate action. i also allow majority vote for whether or not a player should be entitled to their free in game weekly retrain.


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    Quote:
    Are players entitled to:

    Gamers aren't entitled to anything.

    Quote:
    A game world specifically designed to their specifications, or at least modified to suit their interests and goals?

    If the world doesn't suit the players' interests and goals, and the GM isn't interested in a world that does, that group shouldn't play together. It's just not going to work out.

    Quote:
    Play whatever character race or class suits their fancy, even it if doesn't fit thematically, so long as those options are available to all the players?

    I'm a pretty big believer in each game world having a specific theme, and the players creating characters that fit that theme. A player who cannot create a character that fits the theme is not playing the right game, and if the GM can't recruit enough players that theme just doesn't work for her situation.

    Quote:
    Realization of their original and/or evolved vision for said character?

    Neither the GM nor the players should expect everything to progress via their visions.

    Quote:

    Chronic and customary victory, in the sense that the GM tailors encounters so that they will very likely be victorious after what he/she perceives as a hard-fought battle?

    Survival (and even prosperity out) of even the most dangerous scenarios?

    Some groups like easy battles and little or no player death, other groups prefer a hard and gritty game, and most groups are somewhere in between. The GM should recruit players and tailor the game accordingly.

    Quote:
    Rapidity of advancement to more efficacious and (to them, likely) more entertaining levels of power?

    Another situation where every group has a different ideal that needs to be figured out.

    Quote:
    Flexibility from the GM to the point of impromptu rules emendations to serve any of the above purposes?

    Depends on how rules oriented the GM and players are. A rules oriented GM and rules flexible players generally don't work together well, and vice versa. It's best the group has similar preferences as to how strictly to follow the rules.

    Quote:

    Override the GM via, say, majority vote, and thus to an extent dictate campaign parameters and strictures?

    If the GM and the players disagree about what the game should be like to the point that the players can get a majority vote to overthrow the GM, that group should probably break up. It is obvious that there is a pretty big gap in what everybody wants to play, so everybody should seek a group more suitable to their interests.


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    Players are entitled to their characters getting:

    1. Pain
    2. More Pain.
    3. Lashings of Agony.

    And they seem to enjoy it. Don't know about that other stuff, they just want you to bring the pain.

    RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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    Quote:
    A game world specifically designed to their specifications, or at least modified to suit their interests and goals?

    No, but players are entitled to a consistent approach by the GM to whatever world the players and GM agrees to play in together.

    Usually the way our groups play it, player agree to whatever world is determined by the GM, and agree to abide by the standards and restrictions of that world. But of course if the parameters of a campaign have not yet been established, a GM can of course take requests (and many do). Once the setting is established and AGREED UPON, then changes and allowances should not be expected (within reason), and what changes and allowances do occur should be discussed and agreed with by everyone.

    Once a player AGREES to join a campaign set in a certain world, he is not entitled nor should expect the GM to change it to suit his or her whims. A player who does so is not welcome at the table (but that issue has not happened with us).

    Once players AGREE to join a campaign, they are entitled to the GM being open, honest, and consistent about its application.

    Quote:
    Play whatever character race or class suits their fancy, even it if doesn't fit thematically, so long as those options are available to all the players?

    No, but again players are entitled to open communication and consistency regarding what is and isn't allowable. Players should also feel able to ASK for anything they want, but the GM is entitled to say no and have that be respected.

    Again, usually the way our games are set up, players can request whatever they want before the campaign is declared, but once a GM invites players to a campaign that s/he has decided to run, they are agreeing with the parameters a GM sets, with the GM communicating clearly up front what those parameters are. Those disinterested in the parameters simply do not ask to join the game (there are enough people in my gaming circle that people who are disinterested in the parameters can excuse themselves and those who are interested can apply to play). In my group, there have never been hard feelings if a GM runs a game they personally don't like the restrictions on--they just find another game.

    For me personally, I try to approach player requests with advice I was once given: "Don't immediately jump to explaining why you must say no, think about why you can't say yes. If you come up with a legitimate reason for the latter, explain it, and if you can't, allow it."

    Quote:
    Realization of their original and/or evolved vision for said character?

    This is a bit vague. Players are entitled to declaring definitively who their character is and what they want for their characters--within the parameters of the game they have presumably have not agreed to. Players should have total control over their characters' backstories (with specific exceptions like people agreeing to random generation or playing pre-gens). Players should set goals and dreams for their characters to fulfill and share them with their GM, and I think a good GM sets out opportunities based on these goals and dreams (which s/he can of course also use for plot fodder). The realization of such goals should not be guaranteed (where the lack of guarantee comes from the player opting not to take such an opportunity), but they should be borne in mind by the GM. I wouldn't call this an "entitlement" but I'd call it good gaming.

    What players are entitled to, really, is AGENCY over their character's actions, personality, and background.

    Quote:

    Chronic and customary victory, in the sense that the GM tailors encounters so that they will very likely be victorious after what he/she perceives as a hard-fought battle?

    Survival (and even prosperity out) of even the most dangerous scenarios?

    "A good GM lets the players win without the players realizing it."

    Let's see... in terms of entitlement, let's put it like this: players should always be entitled to the OPPORTUNITY of victory. If they blow it with poor decision making and bad tactics, that's their own doing. A GM however should never go out of their way to DEFEAT the PCs.

    Players are also entitled to hearing and agreeing to the difficulty level of the campaign. I've had GMs say, "Look, whatever I roll on the random encounter list, that's what shows up, even if it's well beyond your ability to handle it. You always have the option of running." He said it up front, we understood that, and we went forward accepting this possibility of danger.

    Players are also entitled to being made to feel they are in a dangerous situation with real risks and real consequences. (And I call that an entitlement because I think that's what makes good gaming.)

    Players are NOT entitled to reward that does not match the risk taken. (I had players who constantly avoided everything that looked vaguely dangerous and then had the audacity to complain they didn't have enough treasure. The hilarious part of it is most encounters I design are cakewalks, and the party was massively high level to boot.)

    Quote:
    Rapidity of advancement to more efficacious and (to them, likely) more entertaining levels of power?

    Nope, but again, usually how fast a game advances is something players and GM agrees upon before the game starts, and players are entitled to the GM remaining consistent upon what was agreed (presuming the players are doing their "share" by taking reasonable risks and being properly adventurous, not just hiding at home and hoping XP and treasure are delivered to the doorstep).

    I have played with players who were "entertained" by extremely low levels of power. And I have played with players who were more frustrated or intimidated by high levels of power, so presuming that players would think the higher the level, the more entertaining, is erroneous.

    Quote:
    Flexibility from the GM to the point of impromptu rules emendations to serve any of the above purposes?

    Players are entitled to the GM reasonably adjusting rules, with open communication with the group, if the existing rules are leading to the group having less fun than would otherwise be possible.

    GMs should be flexible, but they should not be expected to bend at every whim of the player---players are in fact entitled to a GM who is consistent and fair with rulings, and a GM who just changes things for someone at the drop of a hat is being neither.

    Quote:
    Override the GM via, say, majority vote, and thus to an extent dictate campaign parameters and strictures?

    Players are entitled to a GM who suits their play style best. If they find themselves in the majority that the GM they are playing with does not suit their playstyles, they should find a new GM, and likewise, the GM is entitled to find new players that better match his or her playstyle.

    Because most of all, players and GMs alike are entitled to having fun and being happy. To do this, sometimes requires recognition that members of a gaming group are not right for each other.

    TL;DR: Players are entitled to clear communication, consistency, fairness, personal agency over their own character, honesty, respect, and fun.

    The GM is entitled to people not whining about stuff that's already been mutually agreed to, reasonable and truthful feedback, clear communication, honesty, respect, and fun.


    Jaelithe wrote:
  • A game world specifically designed to their specifications, or at least modified to suit their interests and goals?
  • No. The only time I have given the players a hand in world building, is with my homebrew world which has not been played in yet. Otherwise, we have run in Forgotten Realms, Eberron, and Golarion. I have worked with players to modify The Realms, as we pretty much just used the map. I suppose you could say we modified Golarion by establishing relationships with NPCs pre-game, but I don't see it that way.

    Quote:
  • Play whatever character race or class suits their fancy, even it if doesn't fit thematically, so long as those options are available to all the players?
  • No. So far I haven't placed restrictions on race/class, but I'm not against doing so if I feel the campaign calls for it.

    Quote:
  • Realization of their original and/or evolved vision for said character?
  • Isn't this pretty much the same thing as the race/class question?

    Quote:
  • Chronic and customary victory, in the sense that the GM tailors encounters so that they will very likely be victorious after what he/she perceives as a hard-fought battle?
  • No. Failures happen.

    Quote:
  • Survival (and even prosperity out) of even the most dangerous scenarios?
  • So far yes, but my views on this are shifting lately.

    Quote:
  • Rapidity of advancement to more efficacious and (to them, likely) more entertaining levels of power?
  • Yes, but it is not due to the players wanting it, it is due to me wanting it. Too long at the same level bores me.

    Quote:
  • Flexibility from the GM to the point of impromptu rules emendations to serve any of the above purposes?
  • No. I try to run RAW as much as possible.

    Quote:
  • Override the GM via, say, majority vote, and thus to an extent dictate campaign parameters and strictures?
  • Don't know. Have never had this happen.

    Sovereign Court

    Nobody is entitled to anything.


    Hama wrote:
    Nobody is entitled to anything.

    You have no right to say that!

    Grand Lodge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    I'm entitled to a lot. Veteran's benefits, for one.

    The Exchange

    Assuming a DM lays out what they want before putting time into a game, then Players are entitled to join the game or not. That's pretty much it.

    Everything that comes after is not entitled at all. However, good people make efforts to ensure that others are having a good time, and not at some one else's expense. This will most often lead to softening of the original game restrictions through negotiation and agreement.

    Again, that's not a guarantee though. If you know what is expected before signing up, don't complain afterwords.

    Sovereign Court

    Entitled or have a right to?

    Entitlement always seemed like a kind of a bad word.

    Grand Lodge

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
    Hama wrote:
    Entitled or have a right to?

    I don't find there to be a distinction.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
    Hama wrote:

    Entitled or have a right to?

    Entitlement always seemed like a kind of a bad word.

    Ultimately, they mean the exact same thing. It's just one has been spun into negative connotations.


    Players aren't entitled to anything, but neither is the DM entitled to players.

    You can either run a game your players enjoy, or have noone to run for.

    Entitlement isn't part of the equation.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    thejeff wrote:
    Abraham spalding wrote:
    5. Players deserve to know if 'fair encounters' are not the norm. The game tends to assume that you will overcome your violent encounters. If there is a regular chance that the encounters will not be fair the players should know this going in. It ties into number 1 as this is a deviation from the norms -- but not the rules.
    Even more, though it might be an unstated assumption - If there's a regular chance that the encounters will not be fair, the players/characters need to be able to fairly reliably gauge the level of risk, at least in time to escape if not to avoid entirely.

    Well put. In general, I think that players are entitled to one important thing -- they're entitled to be on the same page in terms of the GM's vision of the campaign so that they can intelligently choose whether to join the game or not.

    I don't believe a GM should have the right to waste some of my limited free time by misleading me into starting a campaign I should have known in advance that I wouldn't enjoy.

    Shadow Lodge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    This idea of entitlement is bizarre. Players deserve to be treated with respect and given as much leeway as is reasonable by the GM within the scope of the game he is running. They deserve a chance to work with the GM to see to it that their character ideas are useful, functional, and appropriate for the game being run. They deserve to have a chance to have fun, to have the spotlight from time to time, and to be an important part of the narrative.

    Other than that, nobody is entitled to anything. GMs deserve much of the same.


    Jaelithe wrote:

    This is not a rant about self-entitled players ruining/having ruined the game. Instead, I'm curious as to what participants here think players are entitled.

    Are players entitled to:


    • A game world specifically designed to their specifications, or at least modified to suit their interests and goals?
    • Play whatever character race or class suits their fancy, even it if doesn't fit thematically, so long as those options are available to all the players?
    • Realization of their original and/or evolved vision for said character?
    • Chronic and customary victory, in the sense that the GM tailors encounters so that they will very likely be victorious after what he/she perceives as a hard-fought battle?
    • Survival (and even prosperity out) of even the most dangerous scenarios?
    • Rapidity of advancement to more efficacious and (to them, likely) more entertaining levels of power?
    • Flexibility from the GM to the point of impromptu rules emendations to serve any of the above purposes?
    • Override the GM via, say, majority vote, and thus to an extent dictate campaign parameters and strictures?

    I honestly don't think players are entitled to any of these. I do think a number of them are elements a good GM should be providing as a matter of course.

    I'm curious to hear your opinions.

    Players and GM should engage in constructive feedback. The GM can say, "I'm interested in running [AP name]" or "I want to run a self-written campaign set in [setting] that focuses on [themes]." Or, the players can say, "We want to play a game in which we can do [X, Y, and Z]". These can be anything from "be a samurai" to "become king" to "loot and murder our way across the world".

    In each case, the other party should respond and make suggestions or requests. The GM running an AP has an advantage in that he can give the players the player guide and link them to pathfinderwiki.com and say "Make sure your character fits in this setting and makes sense with these themes." The GM doing a homebrew will need to provide world information to his players. The players will need to provide their GM with a full accounting of their character, their character's background and goals, and the wise GM will mine these for plot hooks.

    Race and class restrictions are subject to negotiation, generally. If a GM says "These races and classes, no others, no argument" the players always have the option of finding a different GM.

    Realization of a vision for a character should be possible but not guaranteed. Similarly, victory and survival should be possible but not guaranteed.

    There should be a sense of accomplishment with every session of play -- people should get cool items (not everyone, every time, but ideally someone should get something cool every time), find spells, conquer difficult foes, or reach milestones in achieving certain goals in the game world. Leveling up, in a game that uses levels, or gaining or improving abilities, in a game that is more free-form, should be predictable, either by the GM using XP and thereby allowing the players to get an idea of how long it is, or using story-based advancement so that the players can understand, "once we've accomplished a certain amount of stuff, we will level up".

    The GM should be flexible enough to keep the fun going. If a rule is causing loss of fun, he should at least consider amending it. Bending over backwards is just asking for trouble, though. A majority vote is not the way to go. At the very least, the players should reach consensus if there's something they've decided is just intolerable. The GM who is routinely overridden by the players will probably not keep on GMing for long.


    Usual Suspect wrote:

    This idea of entitlement is bizarre. Players deserve to be treated with respect and given as much leeway as is reasonable by the GM within the scope of the game he is running. They deserve a chance to work with the GM to see to it that their character ideas are useful, functional, and appropriate for the game being run. They deserve to have a chance to have fun, to have the spotlight from time to time, and to be an important part of the narrative.

    Other than that, nobody is entitled to anything. GMs deserve much of the same.

    You do realize that is exactly what the word entitled means right? And your list matches plenty of what other people have already said?

    I mean it's like you came in here without reading the thread, and then thought, "I don't like the word entitled."

    The didn't bother to realize what you were saying was actually an exact match for what the word means and what most people here have said.

    It's just really bizarre to me that you would do that.

    Sovereign Court

    Bill Dunn wrote:
    Hama wrote:

    Entitled or have a right to?

    Entitlement always seemed like a kind of a bad word.

    Ultimately, they mean the exact same thing. It's just one has been spun into negative connotations.

    I see. Thank you and TOZ for clearing that up.


    I wonder what Tidal Mints taste like?


    Terquem wrote:
    I wonder what Tidal Mints taste like?

    Something something ocean breeze I'd guess.


    Jaelithe wrote:

    This is not a rant about self-entitled players ruining/having ruined the game. Instead, I'm curious as to what participants here think players are entitled.

    Are players entitled to:


    • A game world specifically designed to their specifications, or at least modified to suit their interests and goals?
    • Play whatever character race or class suits their fancy, even it if doesn't fit thematically, so long as those options are available to all the players?
    • Realization of their original and/or evolved vision for said character?
    • Chronic and customary victory, in the sense that the GM tailors encounters so that they will very likely be victorious after what he/she perceives as a hard-fought battle?
    • Survival (and even prosperity out) of even the most dangerous scenarios?
    • Rapidity of advancement to more efficacious and (to them, likely) more entertaining levels of power?
    • Flexibility from the GM to the point of impromptu rules emendations to serve any of the above purposes?
    • Override the GM via, say, majority vote, and thus to an extent dictate campaign parameters and strictures?

    I honestly don't think players are entitled to any of these. I do think a number of them are elements a good GM should be providing as a matter of course.

    I'm curious to hear your opinions.

    • I cant say I think they're entitled to a world that works the way they want it to. They are entitled to having a clear vision of how the world works and they can decide if they want to be part of it or not. I do think they are entitled to a world that suits their goals though. You're supposed to run the game your players want to play or you dont have players.
    • Most game systems clearly deliniate what races or classes they think should be available to a player and which ones shouldnt. I don't tend to have a problem working with wacky though so if someone wanted to color outside the lines I'd just want to make sure it was fluff that inspired the decision more than the crunch. Generally I hate it when 'theme' takes precedence over player or gm agency. This is a game of imagination. We bend reality and we choose the size of the box that surrounds it. Theme is the wall in the campaign I enjoy hitting the least. Again your 'theme' should be whatever the players want the theme to be, or you don't have players.
    • I'm a simulationist sandboxer, so for me not only are players entitled to play out their vision of their character, the realization of those goals is the whole point of the adventure itself. Nobody said their goals were easy to achieve, but its inherent to the existance of the game that the players are deciding and doing what they want to do. I am starting to see a 'theme' here... pun entirely intended.
    • ah, finally a change of pace. I definitely dont think the players should feel entitled to victory, easy victory, or a palette of baddies that they can be assured of victory against. There are darker and more powerful things in the world than the party. I'm a firm believer that an immersive experience should include the message 'there's always a bigger fish'.
    • Definitely not entitled to survival. I will say that if they don't want to die then it should definitely feel like it was the dice that killed them more than the gm that killed them. The thing I like to point out is that the game should be 'fun and interesting' above all else, but that means different things to different people. In a shadowrun game, avoiding conflict is a winning condition and 'overspending to achieve your goal' is a failure condition. So a guy who likes avoiding conflict is great for shadowrun. A whole pathfinder campaign ran with the mindset of 'never running into conflict' would be a tougher nut to crack. But if its what your players *want*... If its what they think makes the game fun and interesting... Thats the goal. Hardest part is when you have an 'avoidance tactician' and a 'wade into battle' type in the same party. Then the campain needs to have a little bit of both. Some stuff to avoid and some stuff to wade through... Everybody's happy.
    • Rapidity of advancement... Entitled to it? I don't know... Sort of. I do think if a player is playing a wizard with the intent to cast ninth level spells and the campaign never gets to ninth level then you've failed as a gm. Again, your goal with a campaign is to make the players journey to their chosen destination as interesting as possible... Its not fun to never reach your chosen destination. I can't say i'm on board with players deciding to fiat how fast they should get there... yes the game is the journey, and yes the game is about the destination. and more importantly the game is about what happens after you've reached that destination... I kinda hate capstone abilities because you get the power, now the game is over. I wanted the power so that I could *use* it. That *is* fun for me. I *am* entitled to that. I did *struggle* and *earn the right* to apply the power I've earned to the world. Never getting to use it seems amazingly annoying to me. Again if the pacing of the campaign to get where you want to go is so slow that its no longer fun playing... Thats a problem. Maybe you're not entitled to set the pace so much as you're entitled to enjoy the pace thats being set.
    • I'm not sure the players should be 'entitled to winning an argument about rules' or 'entitled to set rules'... they are entitled to sorting out a rules dilemma in a way that everyone at the table agrees is 'fair'. If you cant come to an agreement I like to take the stance of 'here's the version of how it should work that sounds best and we'll give it a try. If it doesnt work out we'll change it...' Thats my definition of flexibility.
    • Entirely entitled to override the gm. If you dont like it and he wont bend, you quit. A gm without players is not a gm. You're totally entitled to not play what you dont want to play or to not run what you dont want to run...

    At some point someone decided to make entitlement a bad word but it isn't. As gamers we have some entitlements. We're all entitled to have fun, and we're all entitled for that fun to be 'our own kind of fun'... By the same token if 'your own kind of fun' leaves you at a gaming table of 1... Sometimes thats how life works.

    I do in fact sit at a table where one player loves 'avoiding conflict' and another loves 'wading into conflict'... so a truly good campaign has to have a little of both. While on the face of it these 'definitions of fun' are mutually exclusive, it doesn't have to be. Its not easy but we've done alright so far. What you're not entitled to is 'only my kind of fun for me all the time and none for you'. A good campaign will have a little bit of everything for everyone, because once you know you're not having fun... Game is done no matter which side of the screen you're sitting on.

    As a gm and as a player my number one question is always 'how can I make that fun or how can I make that interesting'... I can't say I've been unilaterally successful at meeting the expectations of my players about 'pacing' or 'challenge' or 'versimilitude' or 'theme' or 'realism' or 'interesting' because the 'fun' you derive from each of these concepts is subjective. But thats what the game is about. Getting together with friends and trying to 'find the fun for everyone'. The only time you fail is when you stop *trying* *listening* *caring about* or *attempting in some way to* ensure everyone at the table is having 'their kind of fun'.


    Jaelithe wrote:

    This is not a rant about self-entitled players ruining/having ruined the game. Instead, I'm curious as to what participants here think players are entitled.

    Are players entitled to:


    • A game world specifically designed to their specifications, or at least modified to suit their interests and goals?
    • Play whatever character race or class suits their fancy, even it if doesn't fit thematically, so long as those options are available to all the players?
    • Realization of their original and/or evolved vision for said character?
    • Chronic and customary victory, in the sense that the GM tailors encounters so that they will very likely be victorious after what he/she perceives as a hard-fought battle?
    • Survival (and even prosperity out) of even the most dangerous scenarios?
    • Rapidity of advancement to more efficacious and (to them, likely) more entertaining levels of power?
    • Flexibility from the GM to the point of impromptu rules emendations to serve any of the above purposes?
    • Override the GM via, say, majority vote, and thus to an extent dictate campaign parameters and strictures?

    I honestly don't think players are entitled to any of these. I do think a number of them are elements a good GM should be providing as a matter of course.

    No they are not entitled to any of these things, but many of them are good to give within varying degrees. If a player does not enjoy a game then he is free to leave, and if a GM does not enjoy GM'ing he is always free to stop, but beyond real life concessions nobody is really entitled to much.


    Quote:
    Play whatever character race or class suits their fancy, even it if doesn't fit thematically, so long as those options are available to all the players?

    As for this, I prefer to tell the players what I am going to run well before I run it to avoid something that does not fit thematically. If they don't like it then I can run something else or try to alter something before running it. If a player just wants to be different, then his race/class/etc will not be used unless one of us can justify in-game why it would make sense, and if it does not make sense it will likely not be available to anyone. If I(or any GM) does allow it for one player then it should be allowed for everyone to avoid favortism.

    Shadow Lodge

    Abraham spalding wrote:
    Usual Suspect wrote:

    This idea of entitlement is bizarre. Players deserve to be treated with respect and given as much leeway as is reasonable by the GM within the scope of the game he is running. They deserve a chance to work with the GM to see to it that their character ideas are useful, functional, and appropriate for the game being run. They deserve to have a chance to have fun, to have the spotlight from time to time, and to be an important part of the narrative.

    Other than that, nobody is entitled to anything. GMs deserve much of the same.

    You do realize that is exactly what the word entitled means right? And your list matches plenty of what other people have already said?

    I mean it's like you came in here without reading the thread, and then thought, "I don't like the word entitled."

    The didn't bother to realize what you were saying was actually an exact match for what the word means and what most people here have said.

    It's just really bizarre to me that you would do that.

    You are not entitled to respect or to be treated with respect. Just because people should show respect to each other does not entitle them to to have respect shown to them. The fact that we should in a polite society be respectful does not in fact obligate us to do so either.

    en·ti·tle·ment
    inˈtīdlmənt,enˈtīdlmənt/
    noun
    - the fact of having a right to something.
    - the amount to which a person has a right.
    - the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.

    I read the thread. I get it. I'm not sure you do.


    deserve wrote:

    verb (used with object), deserved, deserving.

    1.
    to merit, be qualified for, or have a claim to (reward, assistance, punishment, etc.) because of actions, qualities, or situation:
    to deserve exile; to deserve charity; a theory that deserves consideration.
    verb (used without object), deserved, deserving.
    2.
    to be worthy of, qualified for, or have a claim to reward, punishment, recompense, etc.:
    to reward him as he deserves; an idea deserving of study.

    Why it's like the words are synonymous!

    You are entitled to respect because you deserve it as a human.

    Unfortunately we don't always get what we deserve or are entitled to.

    In fact if you look up synonyms of deserve it literally states to be entitled to.

    Shadow Lodge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    There is the disconnect. You do not deserve respect, you earn it. You are not entitled to respect in any way. Nobody is obligated to be respectful too, or to respect, anybody. You should be respectful because that is one of the ways to earn respect. There is still no obligation for people to not be a jerk. In fact, people have the right to be a jerk. There is no right to not be offended.

    We just need to remember that when we are a jerk or behave in an offensive way; people have the right to be offended and to react with disrespect if that is their choice.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
    Usual Suspect wrote:
    There is the disconnect. You do not deserve respect, you earn it.
    Usual Suspect wrote:
    This idea of entitlement is bizarre. Players deserve to be treated with respect

    Shadow Lodge

    Point. But while you deserve to be treated with respect, that is not the same as being respected. And it does not obligate the other person to actually be respectful. While you may deserve to be treated respectfully as a default neutral position, you are not actually entitled to somebody's respect.

    Edit: Nor is somebody obligated to be respectful.


    Yeah, he be rolling.

    You don't have a right to be disrespectful, you have the ability.

    Entitle == deserve == right

    You can disagree with someone and react to their poor choices without being disrespectful.

    This is why we have a court system for example.

    and again like I said earlier, unfortunately just because you are deserving (entitled, or have the right to something) doesn't mean you will get it.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    There are no real answers because any answer would be a specific opinion. There are lots of different types of GMs and players.

    Most of the original post's questions revolve around how much control should be in the GMs hands, and how much is player control?

    Everyone is different and RPG games require players and GM to work together in consensus. If both the GM and one or more players are control freaks, things might explode quickly. If the GM and all the players give up too much control the game sessions become an ever changing storytelling game of pass the stick, where everyone has their turn to completely change a story in turn - making a very chaotic session.

    It's like directors, writers, and actors. Some directors must have complete control, while others are very open to suggestions from writers and actors. Some actors do as they are told at all times, whatever it takes. Other actors are prima donnas that require a high level of maintenance and revision for their sake.

    Shadow Lodge

    Abraham spalding wrote:


    You can disagree with someone and react to their poor choices without being disrespectful.

    Very well said. The shame is that more people out in the world (digital or analog) do not act in this manner. It makes me very glad that everybody I have interacted with here does in fact do so.

    RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

    It should be a contract between each player and the GM


    Cyrad wrote:
    It should be a contract between each player and the GM

    Does that imply that the DM may treat the players with differing levels of respect, dependent on their individual contract/relationship?


    Jaelithe wrote:
    Cyrad wrote:
    It should be a contract between each player and the GM
    Does that imply that the DM may treat the players with differing levels of respect, dependent on their individual contract/relationship?

    Seems reasonable. Don't you treat various people you know with different levels of respect?

    More practically, different players will have different interests, different levels of skill, different desires for the game and different roles in the group. Treating them all the same would be be a problem.

    Shadow Lodge

    Jaelithe wrote:
    Cyrad wrote:
    It should be a contract between each player and the GM
    Does that imply that the DM may treat the players with differing levels of respect, dependent on their individual contract/relationship?

    I think that is going to depend on the group. In an all new group where everybody is just meeting and joining a game certainly everybody should be on the same standard. After that it is going to depend on how everybody plays and behaves. This might be a bad thing and it might now.

    The player that just shows up and plays but causes no problems and works well in the game is the default respected player. The player that jumps in and is supper helpful might garner more respect. The player that is always doing his own thing which causes some disruption probably garners less respect. The player that is a jerk probably becomes very disrespected over time and may push things to the point of being asked to leave.

    The same with the GM. If the GM is always unprepared and distracted the players will lose respect. If the GM is usually prepared and only caught off guard if players take the game in an unusual direction, but smiles and adapts to get things back on track is probably well respected. The GM that is always prepared and handles an unexpected change in player direction with actual glee and whole heartily incorporates as much as is reasonably possible into the campaign without tossing the game is probably highly respected.

    A lot of this will depend on how cohesive a group you have; how close they are as friends.

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