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paddyfool
2009-10-25, 06:57 AM
So... if the DM seems plainly to be doing something wrong, when is it OK to correct him, when should you wait until later, and when should you never, ever, say anything? In my opinion:

- If he's got some setting fluff a bit wrong, and it doesn't seem to be deliberate (say he sends a mob of Daask thugs at you in Sharn, and for some reason they're orcs, and he seems blatantly unaware that this is unusual), keep schtum and maybe tell him later in a friendly way if he's the type to take this well. Don't make a major issue out of it - ultimately, his version of setting X can perfectly well be a tad different to the sourcebook(s) - and certainly don't interrupt play for it.

- If what he's doing wrong is crunch-based, and is giving you, and you specifically, an unfair advantage, tell him. To do otherwise is blatantly cheating. (Ditto for a disadvantage, naturally). Also, if he's disadvantaging another player, or the party as a whole, tell him too. However, multiple exceptions may be advisable: if play's already been derailed too much recently; if the advantage/disadvantage is really minor; if you're really not sure if he's wrong; and/or if you think he's deliberately fudging).

- If what he's doing is crunch-based, and is giving another player, or the party as a whole, an unfair advantage... you've got a real dilemma on your hands. You don't want to shaft your fellow party members. If you can tell them discreetly, so they can discuss it with him, that might be best.

- If he's doing the metagame wrong, and managing the players poorly... this is probably the worst dilemma of all. We've seen it already in plenty of discussion threads here, and all you can do is think very carefully about what's right for the given problem. One thing you really shouldn't do is interrupt a session to talk about it, but beyond that, there's really no hard and fast rule, beyond the necessity to be very, very diplomatic.

Would you agree with this?

Temet Nosce
2009-10-25, 07:04 AM
Eh, if it's fluff based well... He's the DM. I might ask him if it was intentional later on, but I'm certainly not going to interrupt a session for it. As far as rules go though - if the DM is clearly wrong about something (not something that he mentioned as a houserule) regardless of what I'm going to tell him. Whether it's something that grants an advantage or disadvantage is irrelevant, better to get it out of the way and make sure everyone understands the rules immediately. As far as problems with his actual ability to DM, then yes I'd probably either talk to him privately or quit.

Katana_Geldar
2009-10-25, 07:09 AM
Sometimes you need to frame the objection as a question. Not correcting him, but asking "Hey, are you sure that's right? I got here x and y does z, how did you get it?" The DM should realise that you're trying to do, and either change their ruling or give you a reason why they are ruling that way.

As for more serious questions, you need to pick your time, the DM has his mind in about five different places and interrupting him can put him off his stride. I always tell my players that I don't mind answering questions, but when I am talking I would prefer a note that I can attend to when I have a spare part of my brain ready rather than a question that makes me forget where I was.

Sometimes rules questions involve looking stuff up in the books, and this can be a personal preference whether the DM is willing to look it up or not as it halts the game. I do not like looking up the rules mid-game, so I'll usually wing it and tell players I'l go with what the real rules say next time or when I can get a break.

If it's potentially game breaking, wait until either before, after or during a break in the session. Perhaps suggest you have a talk as a group to see how the game is going for everyone. Managing the players is the DM's baby, and it does get to you when you realise you're doing something wrong.

If the DM is still rather new at it, you not only need to cut him some slack but he needs to cut himself some too. Maybe put up some boundaries and focus on more fundamental aspects of the game as well as group managment.

Mark Hall
2009-10-25, 11:01 AM
I'll bring up rules issues... once. Fluff stuff, I'm perfectly willing to say "Ok, so his dwarven females have beards" and move on, but for rules, I'll ask, then let it go. If it's really important, I'll ask again later.

Zincorium
2009-10-25, 11:45 AM
As a player:

I generally use the phrase "Okay so you said X is +2, but it's only +1 in the PHB, are we gonna stick with the +2?". That way I can at least know in the future what the rule is, which I personally find important. It takes about 3 seconds total if it's deliberate, as the DM just goes 'yeah' or 'oh, my bad, +1'. Either you know the rules, or you make the rules.

As a DM:

I'm open to criticism on both fluff and rules, I'm not perfect. But I do expect players to roll with any rulings or house rules I make unless I am truly being a nazi about it.

Kaldrin
2009-10-25, 11:58 AM
Fluff: don't care. It's his game and even if he's running an existing setting it's up to the DM to choose what to keep or use or change to make his story make more sense... or less sense, depending on the DM.

Rules: I just ask if it's a houserule and they usually ask why. After that you explain the RAW and 99% of the time the DM accepts it as a mistake and everyone moves on. If it makes more sense than the existing rule I don't even say anything.

Cyanic
2009-10-25, 12:20 PM
As DM

Fluff: I only run fully custom worlds, so my fluff is errr alway properly fluffy. Yes, the dwarven women have beards, and they are smexy.


Rules: If brought up to me and I am wrong I change on the spot without rewriting history, if its anything grey, we go with how I first did it and the player is free to agrue the case for a change at the next break (smoke/food/bathroom) but until that time the first way done stands unless its absolutely relevant (tpk/vs W).

Meta: I hope that my players will alert me descreetly asap. Often this isnt the case though lol.


As player

Fluff does not concern me.

Rules are how the DM wants them, I will only normally point out something if it is being handled inconsistantly between same-case situations.

Meta: Pass DM a note, go get a smoke, drink more beer. After enough beer, it hardly matters.

Ecalsneerg
2009-10-25, 12:59 PM
I admit to being a rules lawyer. I admit to getting annoyed to things being house-ruled midway through combat.

Although if rules get altered pre-game, or mid-game with everyone's agreement, I'm perfectly happy.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-25, 01:24 PM
I admit to being a rules lawyer. I admit to getting annoyed to things being house-ruled midway through combat.

Although if rules get altered pre-game, or mid-game with everyone's agreement, I'm perfectly happy.

This. Rules need to remain constant. They can be whatever works for you, but when stuff is clearly just being made up randomly, it gets very hard to play any game other than "guess what the DM is trying to make you do". That game sucks.

Last encounter that annoyed me:

Door opens to obvious puzzle room. Nothingness in every direction save for where the door was, a very large metal ring, and inside the metal ring, four floating chairs. Given that there are four party members, it's obvious that we're supposed to do a ridiculous amount of balance, climb, use rope, etc checks to get us to each of the chairs. Im a wizard, I've got a -4 strength modifier, and all these are class skills. Obviously, I'm going to get creative.

So, I cast Detect Magic. He confirms it's magic, but despite me waiting three rounds, he says I can't determine anything other than "It's all magic". Fine, I fly across the center to the far chair. I'm told a gargoyle swoops in(beats us all on init) and grapples me. I get flown through something that dispels all my buffs, he drops me, and Im at 1hp. I wand myself back to full, and navigate through the prior level, finding my way back to the puzzle. I pull a piece of paper out of my pack with a Snake Sigil on it, and hold it up. Then, I cast fly again, and head across the center. Apparently, the gargoyle is immune because he's a construct. Rinse, repeat.

Other party members have repeatedly fallen, and each time, the 1hp thing happens. Since damage periodically happens navigating back, ridiculous amounts of healing are used. I mage hand out a handful of cards, each with explosive runes on them. Apparently the mage hand somehow gets auto dispelled in the center. I cast fly on myself and a rogue with my last scrolls of it. I have the rogue go first, figuring there is only one gargoyle. Rogue gets completely ignored. I attempt to sneak to the closest chair once he's out in the middle. Yay, gargoyle again.

Eventually, we somehow rope our way around after a ridiculous amount of checks, and things light up, and we get the mcguffin. The door closes behind us. Somehow, one of the other players managed to guess what the DM wanted us to do, and leapt off the edge. I followed, with a readied action to feather fall once I saw his light hit bottom. By this time, our healerless party has used two healing belts, a wand and a half of CLW, and about 20 assorted healing potions, and have no healing remaining. There's a glyph at the bottom. First person touches it, and gets teleported outside, where he gets hit with a lightening bolt, and bites the dirt. Second and third person do the same. Each time, the lightening bolt also hits the previous people. So, by the time I go through, we've got two dead party members and one bleeding out. If I didn't happen to have a readied action and lightening bolt prepared still, it woulda been a TPK.

Wow...much lengthier than I thought it would be. Short version: Making **** up annoys the crap outta players, who feel cheated when things that should work, don't.

KitsuneKionchi
2009-10-25, 01:42 PM
I save it for our e-mails/forums later...at least ideally. In reallity I'm not sure what I say in the heat of the moment, if anything.

Ideally it would also depend on the mood of the room. If everyone is in meta-RP mode and playing the game like most play chess, it's fine. If the DM screwed up on the wording of a spell upon which his entire plot rests, don't say a word.

holywhippet
2009-10-25, 05:40 PM
I calmly try to explain where I think he's gone wrong. If he's a good DM he will either change to the correct ruling or come up with a good reason why he should stick with his former ruling. My current DM is one of these. For example during a 4E game our fighter had dropped to negative HP. My warlord stepped into range and used inspiring word. The DM didn't want to allow that because he didn't see how an unconcious character could be affected by inspiring word. I showed him that inspiring word was a healing power and didn't say anything about being stopped by a character being out cold. The DM then said that being unconcious he couldn't spend a healing surge. I found the section of the PHB talking about how to deal with healing on a negative HP character. The DM relented and our fighter was back in the fight.

If he is a bad DM he will decide that his rulings are more important that any rule and refuse to back down. One of my former DMs was like this, and it's that attitude that made him a former DM. For example, he decided a wolf (actually man in wolf form via a magical item) could ignore an entangle spell (this was a 2E game) and keep moving at full speed. His reasoning was that the monster was strong enough to ignore the spells effect. I'd accept that reasoning if it was something massive like a tarrasque, but for a large wolf it seemed like too much DM fiat.

taltamir
2009-10-25, 05:45 PM
its really important to phrase it properly... You don't want to sound as if you are rule lawyering or contesting rule 0.


"Okay so you said X is +2, but it's only +1 in the PHB, are we gonna stick with the +2?"

Very good way to phrase it.

The point where it gets the most dicey is when he is giving an advantage to another player...

Kurald Galain
2009-10-25, 05:55 PM
- If he's got some setting fluff a bit wrong,
Well, it's his campaign world. As you said, "his version of setting X can perfectly well be a tad different to the sourcebook(s)"


- If what he's doing wrong is crunch-based,
Then in any game except for D&D, I would expect people to simply abide by Rule Zero. Frankly, I find the concept that the DM might be "playing it wrong" to be annoying.



- If he's doing the metagame wrong, and managing the players poorly...
I'm not sure what you mean with "managing the players poorly". The relevant question is, is everybody's having fun. Is that what you mean?

arguskos
2009-10-25, 05:56 PM
Then in any game except for D&D, I would expect people to simply abide by Rule Zero. Frankly, I find the concept that the DM might be "playing it wrong" to be annoying.
Myself as well. My preferred way of doing things is as Mark Hall does it: bring it up once, then accept the ruling as final on the point. Seems fair. Gives everyone a chance to speak their piece, then we move on to the fun.

Kurald Galain
2009-10-25, 06:08 PM
Wow...much lengthier than I thought it would be. Short version: Making **** up annoys the crap outta players, who feel cheated when things that should work, don't.
Ah but what you're explaining is a whole different ballpark from whether the DM should be allowed to use Rule Zero.

What you're describing appears to be (1) heavy railroading, (2) people not having fun, and (3) the DM being a jerk. As a result, the players run in circles until they find the arbitrary One True Gimmick that the DM thought of, because the DM is unwilling or incapable of dealing with other ways of passing his puzzle. Such things are considered bad design even for computer adventure games, and simply don't belong in pen-and-paper roleplaying.

taltamir
2009-10-25, 06:15 PM
Then in any game except for D&D, I would expect people to simply abide by Rule Zero. Frankly, I find the concept that the DM might be "playing it wrong" to be annoying.

If the DM says:
we don't use books X,Y, and Z. We use book T as written, and we use those specific houserules... and then he does something that explicitly contradicts either his own houserules or a book he said to use unmodified, then he is making a mistake (he is only human and CAN forget his own previous ruling) and it needs to be pointed out. Should he decide to, he can and should make a new houserule on the spot, which should be written down and abided by. This can even be an exception to the rule "eg: this creature has a unique ability that noone else can replicate that allows it to break rule X".
Players should respect such a house rule. If they think that is potentially a bad idea they can make a case against it but accept the DMs ruling (as long as they wish to play with said DM).

Hand waving works about the rules of physics, it doesn't work about internal contradiction.

Kurald Galain
2009-10-25, 06:31 PM
If the DM says:
we don't use books X,Y, and Z. We use book T as written, and we use those specific houserules...

I'm talking more about on-the-fly rules. In my opinion, no formal house rule is needed to account for situations where the DM is aware that RAW leads to something silly happening. Although yes, I would expect the DM to be consistent in this.

For instance, this came up in a 4E game a few months ago. A character was literally on fire (i.e. taking ongoing fire damage) so he responded by jumping into a lake. According to RAW, that doesn't actually help, but the DM ruled that it does. I see no problem with that, as long as it applies to both PCs and enemies.

taltamir
2009-10-25, 06:42 PM
I'm talking more about on-the-fly rules. In my opinion, no formal house rule is needed to account for situations where the DM is aware that RAW leads to something silly happening. Although yes, I would expect the DM to be consistent in this.

For instance, this came up in a 4E game a few months ago. A character was literally on fire (i.e. taking ongoing fire damage) so he responded by jumping into a lake. According to RAW, that doesn't actually help, but the DM ruled that it does. I see no problem with that, as long as it applies to both PCs and enemies.

I completely agree with that. If that is the case, and not one of the situations that I said before, then the DM is not doing it "wrong". If a DM says "my house rule is X" don't say "but this is wrong according to the rules"

At most if you think that the on the fly rule he made is ill thought out and has a huge potential to abuse point that out to him and ask if it still stands as is or if he wants to plug such abuse holes.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-25, 06:46 PM
Then in any game except for D&D, I would expect people to simply abide by Rule Zero. Frankly, I find the concept that the DM might be "playing it wrong" to be annoying.

Why is that? Players built their characters and came to the table with the assumption that they would be playing D&D. There is bound to be some level of use of rule zero that results in them feeling cheated. Where this point is will no doubt vary from group to group, but the DM is human too, and certainly can be playing it wrong.

Kurald Galain
2009-10-25, 06:52 PM
Why is that? Players built their characters and came to the table with the assumption that they would be playing D&D. There is bound to be some level of use of rule zero that results in them feeling cheated. Where this point is will no doubt vary from group to group, but the DM is human too, and certainly can be playing it wrong.

...so the relevant question is not "is the DM allowed to use Rule Zero", but "is everybody having fun".

Every so often, people come up with rules to limit what boils down to jerkish behavior. These people are missing the point that this is treating symptoms only. The way to deal with jerk players and jerk DMs is not to create rules, policies, or guidelines to hem them in, but to not play with jerks.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-25, 07:11 PM
Look, you can always houserule something, and that's fine. IMO, it's actually rare for games to take place without house rules. The thing with custom rules though, is that they need to be applied consistently.

Rule Zero is about the DM having arbitrary power. The more this is used, and the less consistently it is used, the less fun people will have. It's a bit ridiculous to try to simply classify people as jerks or not, and I feel it's a good idea to try to advise people not to behave like a jerk. In other words, discuss the problem with your DM first, don't just leave.

Merk
2009-10-25, 07:21 PM
In the group I'm DMing for right now, my policy is basically this: If a player has a rules dispute, he can state his case once. Since players are more invested and knowledgeable about their own characters, I assume they know things like their feats and class features better than I do, so 99% of the time I will rule in their favor unless I'm extremely certain I'm right. I keep a record of disputes and look up the rules in between sessions, and inform players of the "correct" ruling. One thing I am strict about though is that I absolutely prohibit people looking up rules during a combat situation -- I expect that they'll accept my ad-hoc ruling once they've brought it up. I can't think of a single instance of a combat where I would rather take the time to look up the finer mechanics of Hide or Point Blank Shot instead of preserving the flow. For the same reason, I don't let players keep open books, handheld games, or laptops once we've started the session.

DragonLogic
2009-10-25, 07:53 PM
As a DM:

Fluff: I don't want to hear it. If it's unusual then it's that way for a reason. The world is mine and the NPCs are mine they can be unusual if they want to.

Rules: I'd like to be told if I'm doing things differently from what the books say. Because chances are if not told I will have looked up the rule before the next session and then things wont be consistent and player will be confused. However I'd like the player to wait till the break before telling me about it. Unless it is something short like this:

"Okay so you said X is +2, but it's only +1 in the PHB, are we gonna stick with the +2?"
I should also mention that this is a very good way of bringing up a problem. The other exception is if it's game breaking, then I want to know right away.

Meta: I want to be told! then I want to think about whether it is a problem, if I think it is then I'll discuss it. The player should wait till after a session to tell me about this kind of thing unless it's game breaking.

Kylarra
2009-10-25, 07:56 PM
I just like knowing how things work. I don't particularly care how the houserules change for balance as long as they're consistent, internally and in practice.

taltamir
2009-10-25, 08:23 PM
In the group I'm DMing for right now, my policy is basically this: If a player has a rules dispute, he can state his case once. Since players are more invested and knowledgeable about their own characters, I assume they know things like their feats and class features better than I do, so 99% of the time I will rule in their favor unless I'm extremely certain I'm right. I keep a record of disputes and look up the rules in between sessions, and inform players of the "correct" ruling. One thing I am strict about though is that I absolutely prohibit people looking up rules during a combat situation -- I expect that they'll accept my ad-hoc ruling once they've brought it up. I can't think of a single instance of a combat where I would rather take the time to look up the finer mechanics of Hide or Point Blank Shot instead of preserving the flow. For the same reason, I don't let players keep open books, handheld games, or laptops once we've started the session.

Very sensible all around... a few things caught my eye though:
open books, handheld games: are there players really playing a gameboy during session? if the game bores them what are they doing there?

laptops: You mean you actually use pen and paper? my entire gaming groupd and DM right have electronic character sheets, use various doc files to store data, etc etc. When the DM announces a new ruling or the content of a chest, we type it not write it. :)

Tyndmyr
2009-10-25, 08:26 PM
I've seen players playing while gaming. In general, it's discouraged, but if they keep it up, the general attitude is that if they miss things due to their lack of focus, sucks to be them. Typically, this includes other party members splitting up loot, them not being aware of important combat details, etc.

If you die because the gameboy was more important than listening to combat, it's your own fault.

Kylarra
2009-10-25, 08:27 PM
laptops: You mean you actually use pen and paper? my entire gaming groupd and DM right have electronic character sheets, use various doc files to store data, etc etc. When the DM announces a new ruling or the content of a chest, we type it not write it. :)Same. Since I've got a laptop, I've become de facto scribe for anything that might be important and tallying up loot.

Gralamin
2009-10-25, 08:30 PM
Same. Since I've got a laptop, I've become de facto scribe for anything that might be important and tallying up loot.

I've even gone so far as to design specialized programs for loot. In 3.5, this is just a case of accepting item prices, gold amounts, calculating shares, and allocating loot with subtracting from shares. In 4e, its the same thing, but I just need item levels instead :smallcool:

Tyndmyr
2009-10-25, 08:32 PM
That sounds like a rather useful app, have a link to it, or alternatively, to the source?

I'd love something like that.

sambo.
2009-10-25, 08:35 PM
my $0.02.....

Rule 1: The DM is always right.

Rule 2: If the DM is wrong, please refer to Rule 1.


now, with that said, it's fine to ask why a certain ruling has been made. it's also fine to insist on consistency. in general, house rules and rulings that go against the books should be detailed before they become an issue.

however, in all other cases, Rule 1 applies.

always.

taltamir
2009-10-25, 08:38 PM
Same. Since I've got a laptop, I've become de facto scribe for anything that might be important and tallying up loot.

And then you share them online, say, via google docs :) Right?
My DM has access to my character's journal. My party has access to the doc where I describe the exact effects as the DM dictated for unique items we came across
And I have also shared documents with info about house rules that the DM made.

taltamir
2009-10-25, 08:40 PM
my $0.02.....

Rule 1: The DM is always right.

Rule 2: If the DM is wrong, please refer to Rule 1.


now, with that said, it's fine to ask why a certain ruling has been made. it's also fine to insist on consistency. in general, house rules and rulings that go against the books should be detailed before they become an issue.

however, in all other cases, Rule 1 applies.

always.

I hesitate to give examples where this is really really wrong. suffice it to say that sometimes a person joins a party ran by depraved DM with depraved player and you should get the hell out.
The internet can be a very nasty place... but everything nasty on the internet came from nasty people who live IRL.

Kylarra
2009-10-25, 08:41 PM
That sounds like a rather useful app, have a link to it, or alternatively, to the source?

I'd love something like that.Same.


@taltamir -- I would if requested, but no one has asked for them. :smalltongue: Usually they just ask me OOC if they forget what something does. They trust me for some odd reason.

AtwasAwamps
2009-10-25, 08:44 PM
As a DM:

Fluff: I don't want to hear it. If it's unusual then it's that way for a reason. The world is mine and the NPCs are mine they can be unusual if they want to.



My only issue with this is the following: If you are in an established world that you did NOT create, you really should let players know ahead of time what's different and what's the same, if you can, or at the very least that you will be taking departures from the standard interpretations. Flat out saying "I am always right" when you're working in a world that has written material for it without warning can be frustrating to players, especially if they enjoy the world/setting a lot in its own right. I don't mind when a DM does this, but I do mind if they do it without warning.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-25, 09:03 PM
That's fair. If you say it's an Eberron campaign, but artificers are non existent, and burned as witches...your artificer player is gonna be annoyed.

Simply talking about major changes in advance is always a good idea. Solves so many problems.

Gralamin
2009-10-25, 09:09 PM
That sounds like a rather useful app, have a link to it, or alternatively, to the source?

I'd love something like that.

Well, I haven't really made a version that I'd call end-user ready (It works well enough since I know exactly what it can and cannot do), and I do almost all my programming on Linux first, but if enough people wanted it, I could definitely write up something. Probably after my Project for this week.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-25, 09:16 PM
Well, if you do, let me know. Im a coder myself, and I always love to see shiny new D&D resouces!

Merk
2009-10-25, 09:23 PM
Very sensible all around... a few things caught my eye though:
open books, handheld games: are there players really playing a gameboy during session? if the game bores them what are they doing there?

laptops: You mean you actually use pen and paper? my entire gaming groupd and DM right have electronic character sheets, use various doc files to store data, etc etc. When the DM announces a new ruling or the content of a chest, we type it not write it. :)

The group I game with is the kind that always has something out, no matter what they're doing -- most of them have told me that they're really having fun with the campaign, so thankfully that doesn't worry me so much. As far as laptops/tech goes, we do actually keep a wiki for things like permanent character sheets, house rules, etc. but it ends up that the only things a player really keeps track of is HP and loot and I keep track of the rest.

sambo.
2009-10-25, 09:33 PM
I hesitate to give examples where this is really really wrong.

those have been the Two Golden Rules of RPG's i have followed ever since i first opened up a 1ed book (over 20 years ago, dear lord).


suffice it to say that sometimes a person joins a party ran by depraved DM with depraved player and you should get the hell out.
so get the hell out.

if you dislike the DM and the other players, go find a different group to game with. if you think the DM is a depraved individual, don't play in his campaigns.

but i would ask you to remember: it aint easy being a DM. it's very, very easy to be a PC, criticise the DM and play rules lawyer at every opportunity, but doing so is, imho, being exceedingly rude towards someone who has to do a whole crapwadload of work in order to allow you to play.

any round-table RPG has got to be fun for everyone involved. this includes being fun for the DM.

i say again:
Rule 1: The DM is always right.
Rule 2: if the DM is wrong, please refer to Rule 1.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-25, 09:40 PM
I dislike the attitude of "play by their rules or get the hell out". Seems to be there should be a wee bit of middle ground in there.

AtwasAwamps
2009-10-25, 09:42 PM
Rule 1: The DM is always right.
Rule 2: if the DM is wrong, please refer to Rule 1.

I've never liked the idea of a dictatorship DM. Players should NOT have to refer to these rules at all. They should be able to trust their DM enough that neither of these come into play.

Kylarra
2009-10-25, 09:47 PM
On the other hand, there should be the fundamental understanding that the DM is the ultimate arbiter as pertains to the game, so in a pinch, accept their ruling for the sake of the game and discuss it after the session is over.

AtwasAwamps
2009-10-25, 09:53 PM
On the other hand, there should be the fundamental understanding that the DM is the ultimate arbiter as pertains to the game, so in a pinch, accept their ruling for the sake of the game and discuss it after the session is over.

Agreed. My point was that the player and DM relationship should be as such that departures from the norm are acceptable and don't have to be enforced with an Iron Fist.

huttj509
2009-10-25, 10:11 PM
Rule 1: If the DM says "this is how it works this [session/campaign/in my house]", he is right.

Rule 2: If he is still wrong, see rule 1.

This knocks out honest errors (oh, you can't PA for more than your BAB? Ok, forgot that.), and "we'll do it this way this session, then go puzzle through the grappling rules later" issues, leaving purposeful changes, either purposeful before, or after the fact.

That's what I follow :-P

Tiktakkat
2009-10-25, 10:51 PM
If I make a mistake with the rules and you can point it out politely, I do not mind, though I typically ask that the reference be found and demonstrated.
If I make a mistake with the rules and you cannot point it out politely, I will still correct things, but I will be rude to you in return. (And I sneer quite well.)
If it is a result of a different interpretation, it depends on the particular rule in question, but I will usually allow a reasonable presentation, after which I expect acceptance of my final decision. It is not impossible to convince me, just difficult.

If I make a mistake in fluff, I will make allowances for divergent player expectation, typically backing up a scene.
If I do not make a mistake in fluff but rather make a deliberate change, I will suggest such a possibility to the players ("Yes, that is peculiar, isn't it?"), and allow a reasonable skill check to recognize such a thing is out of the ordinary.
If I simply know the particular bit of fluff better than the player suggesting an error, I will make allowance for a divergent expectation based on previous campaign experience, but I do not tolerate argument based on such.

taltamir
2009-10-25, 10:58 PM
those have been the Two Golden Rules of RPG's i have followed ever since i first opened up a 1ed book (over 20 years ago, dear lord).


so get the hell out.

if you dislike the DM and the other players, go find a different group to game with. if you think the DM is a depraved individual, don't play in his campaigns.

but i would ask you to remember: it aint easy being a DM. it's very, very easy to be a PC, criticise the DM and play rules lawyer at every opportunity, but doing so is, imho, being exceedingly rude towards someone who has to do a whole crapwadload of work in order to allow you to play.

any round-table RPG has got to be fun for everyone involved. this includes being fun for the DM.

i say again:
Rule 1: The DM is always right.
Rule 2: if the DM is wrong, please refer to Rule 1.

What if the DM rules that a player gets to abuse another player? Ill start off a mild example of a player mind controlling another player and the DM allows it.

sambo.
2009-10-25, 11:09 PM
What if the DM rules that a player gets to abuse another player? Ill start off a mild example of a player mind controlling another player and the DM allows it.

if a PC spellcaster in a game throws a mind-control spell at another PC and said PC fails his save, well, that PC is now under the influence of said spellcaster, same as if an NPC spellcaster had done it.

of course, i might allow the now spellbound PC an extra save each round he's under said influence, or i might grant them a bonus to the save if they've seen said spellcaster pull the same stunt on an NPC. in general, it's not something i'd encourage players to do. the game tends to degenerate into a PvP free-for-all.

now, one thing i absolutely and totally forbid in ANY game i DM is the use of Bluff type skills on other PCs.

if you want to bluff a PC into doing something, then bluff the damn player, dont' resort to the throw of a dice.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-25, 11:21 PM
Ive played games that way...it's dangerous, even with GMs providing hefty circumstance bonuses. Ends up being an arms race between Sense Motive/Bluff on both sides, and much paranoia. Entire party ends up worse off as a whole.

Heliomance
2009-10-26, 04:28 AM
now, one thing i absolutely and totally forbid in ANY game i DM is the use of Bluff type skills on other PCs.

if you want to bluff a PC into doing something, then bluff the damn player, dont' resort to the throw of a dice.

Why? Why should the socially inept geek playing an 18-CHA con-artist have to successfully lie to his fellow players in order to deceive them? The scrawny fellow playing the 18 strength barbarian wouldn't have to act out beating them into unconciousness. You wouldn't require the asthmatic playing the acrobatic rogue to actually jump that gap in real life, or climb up that building. I'm willing to bet that the guy playing an elven archer could barely hit the broadside of a barn in real life. Why should social skills be different?

Or are you going to say only charismatic players can play charismatic characters? I which case, you should probably say only strong players can play strong characters, and only people that can really do magic can play wizards and sorcerors. Oops! Suddenly you have a party of level 1 commoners!

Katana_Geldar
2009-10-26, 04:38 AM
What if the DM rules that a player gets to abuse another player? Ill start off a mild example of a player mind controlling another player and the DM allows it.

That's just example of a bad DM with a grudge and an idiotic player.

Say that happened in my campaign. I'd allow it, but excuse my while I load Schrodinger's Gun.

Mystic Muse
2009-10-26, 05:24 AM
what's schrodingers gun? I know what Chekhov's gun is but not Schrodinger's.

Katana_Geldar
2009-10-26, 05:28 AM
Schrodinger's Gun is the DM's saving throw (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ptitleocg6iflv079q). It's how you change things on the fly to get the players back on the straight and narrow without railroading them.

So, two PCs want to tear strips off each other Hmmm....Schrodinger's Gun says a random NPC or monster comes up to distract the PCs and get them to work together.

This is a little off topic.

arguskos
2009-10-26, 05:41 AM
Uh... I didn't know that tactic had a NAME. I just assumed it was how things worked. I always run that way. >_>

Thanks for sharing. :smallsmile:

SensFan
2009-10-26, 06:43 AM
Why? Why should the socially inept geek playing an 18-CHA con-artist have to successfully lie to his fellow players in order to deceive them? The scrawny fellow playing the 18 strength barbarian wouldn't have to act out beating them into unconciousness. You wouldn't require the asthmatic playing the acrobatic rogue to actually jump that gap in real life, or climb up that building. I'm willing to bet that the guy playing an elven archer could barely hit the broadside of a barn in real life. Why should social skills be different?

Or are you going to say only charismatic players can play charismatic characters? I which case, you should probably say only strong players can play strong characters, and only people that can really do magic can play wizards and sorcerors. Oops! Suddenly you have a party of level 1 commoners!
I agree with this a million times over.

I never liked DMs that made me tell them what I said to the guard to bluff him, where exactly I searched (I had a DM tell me in hindsight that my "Search the bed" check rolled a 20, but failed because I didn't specify to look under the sheets), or anything else that I may not be able to do, but my character can.

Killer Angel
2009-10-26, 07:05 AM
As a DM:

Fluff: I don't want to hear it. If it's unusual then it's that way for a reason. The world is mine and the NPCs are mine they can be unusual if they want to.


If any pc (example: a ranger with "favoured enemy", or appropriate knowledge skills) is an expert of the sector in which you're changin' fluff (or introducing it, if it's an home-made world), the player had the right to ask and to know the answer.
At that point, you can say "no, in this world it's normal", or "yes, it's unusual" (in this case, the player will investigate on it, and is better to have an explanation to show later).

Golden-Esque
2009-10-26, 07:16 AM
If he's got some setting fluff a bit wrong, and it doesn't seem to be deliberate (say he sends a mob of Daask thugs at you in Sharn, and for some reason they're orcs, and he seems blatantly unaware that this is unusual), keep schtum and maybe tell him later in a friendly way if he's the type to take this well. Don't make a major issue out of it - ultimately, his version of setting X can perfectly well be a tad different to the sourcebook(s) - and certainly don't interrupt play for it.

Rule of Cool. Leave the DM alone, or Meteors fall and you die :).


If what he's doing wrong is crunch-based, and is giving you, and you specifically, an unfair advantage, tell him. To do otherwise is blatantly cheating. (Ditto for a disadvantage, naturally). Also, if he's disadvantaging another player, or the party as a whole, tell him too. However, multiple exceptions may be advisable: if play's already been derailed too much recently; if the advantage/disadvantage is really minor; if you're really not sure if he's wrong; and/or if you think he's deliberately fudging).

If what he's doing is crunch-based, and is giving another player, or the party as a whole, an unfair advantage... you've got a real dilemma on your hands. You don't want to shaft your fellow party members. If you can tell them discreetly, so they can discuss it with him, that might be best.

Sometimes on a fight-basis it's necessary to cripple players (usually spellcasters) in order to make the fight less easy. The DM's job is to provide their players with a fun and memorable experience. I wouldn't call him or her out on this, personally, unless they don't have a good game play reason for why something is happening (say, "The Gods did it" instead of "There's an antimagic field surrounding the area").

Also, if you're like me and get attached to your character; you might over react on this one, so think about it before you call shenanigans. Lest meteors fall and you die.




If he's doing the metagame wrong, and managing the players poorly... this is probably the worst dilemma of all. We've seen it already in plenty of discussion threads here, and all you can do is think very carefully about what's right for the given problem. One thing you really shouldn't do is interrupt a session to talk about it, but beyond that, there's really no hard and fast rule, beyond the necessity to be very, very diplomatic.

To be honest, I'm not really sure how you can handle the metagame wrong.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-26, 07:18 AM
I agree with this a million times over.

I never liked DMs that made me tell them what I said to the guard to bluff him, where exactly I searched (I had a DM tell me in hindsight that my "Search the bed" check rolled a 20, but failed because I didn't specify to look under the sheets), or anything else that I may not be able to do, but my character can.

Subtle difference, he said using bluff on a player. Diplomancy is powerful...if used on players, it allows your party face to run the entire party. This isn't terribly fun for everyone else.

This isn't the same thing at all as a DM being ridiculous, and not knowing the difference between search and spot(or how to use search...Im not sure which, but he's still wrong).

Dexam
2009-10-26, 07:32 AM
those have been the Two Golden Rules of RPG's i have followed ever since i first opened up a 1ed book (over 20 years ago, dear lord).

I've been playing for only about 12 years, but I disagree with these two "Golden Rules". As both player and DM, if I screw up, I want people to tell me - DM's are mortals, they make mistakes. If they can't accept helpful criticism without resorting to "I'm always right", then in my opinion they shouldn't be in a position where they can be criticised.



but i would ask you to remember: it aint easy being a DM. it's very, very easy to be a PC, criticise the DM and play rules lawyer at every opportunity, but doing so is, imho, being exceedingly rude towards someone who has to do a whole crapwadload of work in order to allow you to play.

any round-table RPG has got to be fun for everyone involved. this includes being fun for the DM.

And when the DM is repeatedly house-ruling on the fly in ways which a) break the game mechanic; b) refuses to be corrected when having the source books open and reading out aloud what the correct ruling is; and c) it's just not fun any more because a "simple house rule" flies utterly in the face of all logic? Should the players still sit mute in those circumstances?



so get the hell out.

if you dislike the DM and the other players, go find a different group to game with. if you think the DM is a depraved individual, don't play in his campaigns.

Believe me, I've done this, and so did several other players.

BobVosh
2009-10-26, 07:45 AM
I've been playing for only about 12 years, but I disagree with these two "Golden Rules". As both player and DM, if I screw up, I want people to tell me - DM's are mortals, they make mistakes. If they can't accept helpful criticism without resorting to "I'm always right", then in my opinion they shouldn't be in a position where they can be criticised.
Exactly.


And when the DM is repeatedly house-ruling on the fly in ways which a) break the game mechanic; b) refuses to be corrected when having the source books open and reading out aloud what the correct ruling is; and c) it's just not fun any more because a "simple house rule" flies utterly in the face of all logic? Should the players still sit mute in those circumstances?
A) My pet peeve on DMs
B) Never really have it happen, thank Asmodeus.
C) So long as it is introduced ahead of time I usually don't care. Never had an extreme example though.


Believe me, I've done this, and so did several other players.
I have, but thankfully I have known my group for >2 years for most of em. >1 year for the rest.

bosssmiley
2009-10-26, 07:46 AM
Fluff: who says it actually an error? Play through and see where the incongruity takes you.

Crunch: if it's a rules thing, and there aren't established house rules in place IYG, then hand the DM the relevant page reference/SRD link, and let him/her make the call. Then you abide by it. Some DMs play strictly by the book, others...not so much. Knowing roughly where your DM falls on this scale is part of your responsibility as a player.

Arguing with the referee during a game though, that's always bad manners. The polite form of protest is:
discuss contested rulings after the game
negotiate a consistent rule (by-the-book, or house-ruled) for these situations in future. Failing that you can either:
withdraw from the campaign, or
'stage a coup' by starting a new game yourself.

Meta-game: this is a social negotiation thing. One man's metagaming is another's tactical planning. Simply establish where the comfort zone for the other players in your group is, and try to remain within it. Most decent players should be able to do this: any who are simply too "my way, or the highway" bull-headed to compromise can go and find a group they can play nice with.

@v: Heh, I know Fletton. Small world.

Totally Guy
2009-10-26, 10:09 AM
I remember this type of thing happening.

I changed the name of a town I know "Fletton" to "Fel-town" for an ad-hoc fantasy place name and it made the players jump to all kinds of conclusions.

"He must be evil, he comes from FEL-town!"

I had to explain that there was no intended implication that someone would be evil based on the quite ordinary name of his home town.

Zincorium
2009-10-26, 12:50 PM
Rule zero is a crutch.

If you think you have the DMing skill of a twelve year old, cast it aside. As a player in the game, DM or not, you are contributing to a game. If you make good contributions, the game becomes better, bad contributions the opposite occurs.

A DM who is usually good but makes a bad contribution has done something wrong. Whether it's violating continuity in a game that takes the setting seriously ('Seriously, did you just say we overhear Montolio and Drizzt talking? You're wrong') or violating the fairness of the rules in a game where the careful balance of power is vital to the progression in the game, there is no real defense.

Own up to your mistakes, keep your ego in check, and have a good argument handy for *why* you house ruled something. Don't enforce privilege.

Superglucose
2009-10-26, 01:25 PM
Generally, correcting the DM on fluff is a BAAAAD idea, unless you know he's saying something contradictory. Like,

"So the greatest enemy of the kingdom are the orc tribes in the south."

*a little while later*

"The king says: "You must face our greatest enemy, the orc tribes of the north!""

That would be a point where you ask the GM, "Wait, north or south?" Half the time the GM will say "I meant north." and the other half he'll say "Oh, right, my bad, south."

For the record though, all GMs should change setting fluff (even if just slightly) from campaign to campaign to limit metagame knowledge.

As for rules, the GM is wrong as often as anyone else is at the table. Show him the book, and unless he says "I want to houserule it this way" he'll probably say "Oh, my bad. Sorry."

Heliomance
2009-10-26, 01:38 PM
Subtle difference, he said using bluff on a player. Diplomancy is powerful...if used on players, it allows your party face to run the entire party. This isn't terribly fun for everyone else.

This isn't the same thing at all as a DM being ridiculous, and not knowing the difference between search and spot(or how to use search...Im not sure which, but he's still wrong).

No, diplomacy as written is not powerful, it's broken. Houserule it to be more sensible, and there's no reason why it shouldn't be used on players. Unless you want to rule that no-one is allowed to play a character more persuasive than they are IRL.

Totally Guy
2009-10-26, 01:38 PM
"The king says: "You must face our greatest enemy, the orc tribes of the north!"

We Orcs of the South will ravage their kingdom! We'll prove once and for all that we have more enmity with the humans than the wretched North Orcs!

BRC
2009-10-26, 01:42 PM
That said, it's okay to ask the DM to clarify the fluff. For example, if you're playing a Dwarf and you run into a goblin merchant, it's okay to ask the DM about dwarven-goblin relations. For example
"So, he's a goblin, can I still buy stuff from him?"
"Yes, you probably distrust and dislike him, but you can still deal with him".
That's fine. It's annoying to say "Not true, we're mortal enemies, I have to attack". You can still attack of course, but don't say that you're forced to.

Here's a better example, you encounter a group of Dwarves and Goblins trading with each other.
The following exchange is okay
"I thought dwarves and goblins hated each other."
"They do, but they're not always at war. Trading like this is rare, and neither side really trusts the other, but it does occur"
The following is NOT okay
"No, they can't be trading. They hate each other, they should be fighting"
"No, while dwarves and goblins don't like each other, they're not always at war"
"I rush in to help the embattled dwarves"
"THEY ARN'T FIGHTING!"
"Yes they are. Dwarves+Goblins=Fight, duh."

As for Rules corrections, it's okay to offer corrections IMO, usually in the form of a question (Don't I get an AoO here?). Usually the DM will either agree (Yes, sorry about that, make your roll), or explain the rule (No, you're flat footed), or explain a houserule (In order to make combat less complicated, I'm not using AoO's). The important thing is not to push after that. If need be, you can look up the rule in the book, but that slows up the game and makes things less fun.

Mystic Muse
2009-10-26, 03:39 PM
for rules I'm more than willing to hear corrections unless it's a houserule I established at the start. After the game though.

for fluff. I don't want to hear it. You didn't ask what kind of favored enemy would be most useful early on? tough luck.

FYI all games I make are homebrewed so the above is not unreasonable.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-26, 03:49 PM
No, diplomacy as written is not powerful, it's broken. Houserule it to be more sensible, and there's no reason why it shouldn't be used on players. Unless you want to rule that no-one is allowed to play a character more persuasive than they are IRL.

Well, consider this. It's highly unlikely that all characters are equally skilled torward being party face. In other words, some people will quickly have diplomacy modifiers vastly higher than the others. Even if you limit synergy bonuses to not stacking, just the difference in ranks and stats will result in your meatshield becoming a pawn of your party face.

If you allow interparty relations to be governed by skill checks, you have essentially given the party face leadership with multiple overpowered cohorts.

Kylarra
2009-10-26, 03:52 PM
Essentially most problems can be avoided by people not being jerks. In a pinch though, you do need an arbiter to make a final call, and the person appointed to that position is the DM. Yes, the DM shouldn't abuse their power, but this goes for all players, not just the DM.

Heliomance
2009-10-26, 05:22 PM
Well, consider this. It's highly unlikely that all characters are equally skilled torward being party face. In other words, some people will quickly have diplomacy modifiers vastly higher than the others. Even if you limit synergy bonuses to not stacking, just the difference in ranks and stats will result in your meatshield becoming a pawn of your party face.

If you allow interparty relations to be governed by skill checks, you have essentially given the party face leadership with multiple overpowered cohorts.

By "Houserule it to be more sensible", I didn't mean stop synergy bonuses from stacking. I meant change it from the utterly retarded "hit a fixed DC to make someone your mindslave" system that it is by RAW. With a more sensible and realistic Diplomacy mechanic, there's nothing wrong with using it on other PCs. If you don't do that, then you really do need to address the question of how it's possible for a low-CHA player to play a high-CHA character. If the answer is that it isn't, you're doing something wrong. RL stats should not dictate the characters you can play.

Riffington
2009-10-26, 05:28 PM
then you really do need to address the question of how it's possible for a low-CHA player to play a high-CHA character. If the answer is that it isn't, you're doing something wrong. RL stats should not dictate the characters you can play.

To be fair, it isn't possible to do it in a realistic way. When you allow dumb players to play brilliant characters, dull ones to play fascinating characters, or me to play wise characters, everyone does notice that something isn't right. Players just have to pretend it works better than it does. Good players try (being more swayed by the high-cha character with low-cha player than they really are) but never quite succeed.

KitsuneKionchi
2009-10-26, 05:29 PM
Generally, correcting the DM on fluff is a BAAAAD idea, unless you know he's saying something contradictory. Like,

"So the greatest enemy of the kingdom are the orc tribes in the south."

*a little while later*

"The king says: "You must face our greatest enemy, the orc tribes of the north!""

That would be a point where you ask the GM, "Wait, north or south?" Half the time the GM will say "I meant north." and the other half he'll say "Oh, right, my bad, south."

For the record though, all GMs should change setting fluff (even if just slightly) from campaign to campaign to limit metagame knowledge.

As for rules, the GM is wrong as often as anyone else is at the table. Show him the book, and unless he says "I want to houserule it this way" he'll probably say "Oh, my bad. Sorry."

A versatile enough GM will make it a plot point; the orcs have captured bases to the north and are threatening to flank or the king is corrupt and/or masquerading and/or unfit for his position o.ob

deuxhero
2009-10-26, 05:48 PM
You could note fluff mistakes in character "Orcs serving Daask? In Sharn? That's weird." (don't even know the campign setting Sharn and Daask are from, just an example).

Riffington
2009-10-26, 05:48 PM
Rule zero is a crutch.

If you think you have the DMing skill of a twelve year old, cast it aside. As a player in the game, DM or not, you are contributing to a game. If you make good contributions, the game becomes better, bad contributions the opposite occurs.

A DM who is usually good but makes a bad contribution has done something wrong. Whether it's violating continuity in a game that takes the setting seriously ('Seriously, did you just say we overhear Montolio and Drizzt talking? You're wrong') or violating the fairness of the rules in a game where the careful balance of power is vital to the progression in the game, there is no real defense.

Own up to your mistakes, keep your ego in check, and have a good argument handy for *why* you house ruled something. Don't enforce privilege.

I agree with half of this. Rule 0 is a vital tool, though it's true you shouldn't let it be a crutch. D&D is not purely a game, it's also a collaborative story. There are times when the needs of the story outweigh rules consistency. Sometimes you need the characters to overhear something, and letting the players fail the Listen check "fair and square" would ruin the game. Other times a player has an awesome idea involving a ranged disarm but lacks the feat; you owe it to them to houserule it.
You should certainly be fair, and you should certainly keep your ego in check. But D&D is much better if you let story trump rules when appropriate.

Katana_Geldar
2009-10-26, 05:56 PM
I have found in Star Wars, where fluff means that game mechanics are secondary, it's possible to have such an argument with the GM at the table and be right. Though this is due to poor planning on their part, I think, as the GM needs to make a space in the game for him to be creative if we wants to keep within canon or reject canon alrogether. Kinda like what Zincorium said, but much more hyped up.

I still remember refusing the kill Quinlan Vos (because he's so cool) and being backed up by most of the players.

sambo.
2009-10-26, 06:43 PM
I never liked DMs that made me tell them what I said to the guard to bluff him,
i wouldn't demand a PC tell me exactly what he's saying to a guard to bluff said guard.

however, a player who comes up with a couple of good lines is far more likely to succeed than a player who simply says "i bluff the guard" <clatter of d20>.


where exactly I searched (I had a DM tell me in hindsight that my "Search the bed" check rolled a 20, but failed because I didn't specify to look under the sheets)
now that's just silly.


Why? Why should the socially inept geek playing an 18-CHA con-artist have to successfully lie to his fellow players in order to deceive them? The scrawny fellow playing the 18 strength barbarian wouldn't have to act out beating them into unconciousness. You wouldn't require the asthmatic playing the acrobatic rogue to actually jump that gap in real life, or climb up that building. I'm willing to bet that the guy playing an elven archer could barely hit the broadside of a barn in real life. Why should social skills be different?

Or are you going to say only charismatic players can play charismatic characters? I which case, you should probably say only strong players can play strong characters, and only people that can really do magic can play wizards and sorcerors. Oops! Suddenly you have a party of level 1 commoners!
i think you're being a little silly.

i'm saying: why should the high charisma/bluff/diplomacy type be able to essentially have a permanent Dominate spell over all or part of his own party?

it's one thing for the party face or some quick-thinking PC to try and encourage the int 6, wis 8 Barbarian to try and do something, it's quite another thing to be able to roll a d20 and demand that the barbarian does XXX actions "coz i succeeded on my check roll".

if you allow these sort of things between PCs to be arbitrated by skill rolls, you wind up with everyone trying to max out Sense Motive simply to protect themselves from the high-bluff types. ultimatly: not good for the party as a whole.


If you allow interparty relations to be governed by skill checks, you have essentially given the party face leadership with multiple overpowered cohorts.

exactly.

about the only time i would allow bluff type checks between party members is in the (hopefully very, very rare) event of two PC's squaring up to each other.

for example, let's say the party Swashbuckler and the party Cleric start fighting each other. i would the swashbuckler would still be able to use his Feint type abilities (although, depending on who was being the bigger dip****, i might stack the rolls one way or t'other. the cleric might get a huge bonus to spot the feints because he's seen the swashbuckler do that kind of thing numerous times before for example).

i will agree that Rule 1 and Rule 2 shouldn't be coming up on a regular basis. houserules should be detailed out before they come up in gameplay.

taltamir
2009-10-26, 07:45 PM
Why? Why should the socially inept geek playing an 18-CHA con-artist have to successfully lie to his fellow players in order to deceive them? The scrawny fellow playing the 18 strength barbarian wouldn't have to act out beating them into unconciousness. You wouldn't require the asthmatic playing the acrobatic rogue to actually jump that gap in real life, or climb up that building. I'm willing to bet that the guy playing an elven archer could barely hit the broadside of a barn in real life. Why should social skills be different?

Or are you going to say only charismatic players can play charismatic characters? I which case, you should probably say only strong players can play strong characters, and only people that can really do magic can play wizards and sorcerors. Oops! Suddenly you have a party of level 1 commoners!

because he is doing it to another PLAYER and not an NPC... if he wants to bluff the NPC king? go for it, if he wants to roll some dice and as a result turn another player into an NPC and ruin his fun he should be kicked out of the group. Of course the exact details of this matter

Evil the Cat
2009-10-26, 11:19 PM
Actually, Bluff is a bad example. I will always have my players at least describe what they are saying, since the Bluff skill specifically has modifiers based on the lie you tell. You can't set the difficulty if they don't say anything.

As far as other things go, as a player, (since I'm the most rules-savvy in the group) I'll usually point out if something is different in the book. If they decide to go by anything else after that, they're the GM and that's that.

One game, the GM decided that we couldn't take 10 on spot or listen checks unless we were actively on alert or looking around. His interpretation was that if you are not actively trying to spot or listen, then you are distracted from spotting or listening, and that taking 10 isn't an option. Conversely, I somewhat do the opposite, assuming that in general life they're always taking 10, and that only if something significant pops up should they actually need to roll it.

As for houserules, I get really annoyed if I wasn't warned in advance, since I build my characters assuming that everything will function as written in the books.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-27, 12:10 AM
Against NPCs, I always give them the option to just roll. However, if they do so, Im going to assume that they didn't put a lot of effort into it. If you want circumstantial bonuses and such, roleplaying it out is the way to go.

I don't have a problem with diplomacy used against NPCs, just against players. Bluff in a combat situation...sure, that's fine. Its much less game breaking.

Kylarra
2009-10-27, 12:32 AM
Well as far as bluff goes, they have to say what they're trying to bluff, but they don't have to act out the whole speech.

Heliomance
2009-10-27, 03:15 AM
i think you're being a little silly.

i'm saying: why should the high charisma/bluff/diplomacy type be able to essentially have a permanent Dominate spell over all or part of his own party?

it's one thing for the party face or some quick-thinking PC to try and encourage the int 6, wis 8 Barbarian to try and do something, it's quite another thing to be able to roll a d20 and demand that the barbarian does XXX actions "coz i succeeded on my check roll".

if you allow these sort of things between PCs to be arbitrated by skill rolls, you wind up with everyone trying to max out Sense Motive simply to protect themselves from the high-bluff types. ultimatly: not good for the party as a whole.

This is why I have repeatedly said that you need to houserule Diplomacy first. The party face should not have a permanent Dominate spell over his own party, because Diplomacy should not be able to replicate the effects of a Dominate spell. Why should the fact that the bard is talking to his friend the wizard make him any less persuasive than when he's talking to the NPC king?

Incidentally, you keep on refering to Bluff, not Diplomacy. I'm not sure why, as Bluff isn't any sort of problem at all. Until you get to the epic skill checks - which are broken anyway - Bluff can't be used to make people do what you want in the same way Diplomacy can. All it does is convince someone else that you're telling the truth - why should that not work on PCs? How else are you supposed to play the morally dubious rogue who's skimming a considerable portion off the top of the treasure haul?[/QUOTE]

Killer Angel
2009-10-27, 03:47 AM
Incidentally, you keep on refering to Bluff, not Diplomacy. I'm not sure why, as Bluff isn't any sort of problem at all. Until you get to the epic skill checks - which are broken anyway - Bluff can't be used to make people do what you want in the same way Diplomacy can. All it does is convince someone else that you're telling the truth - why should that not work on PCs? How else are you supposed to play the morally dubious rogue who's skimming a considerable portion off the top of the treasure haul?

Exactly! here's a relevant link (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0029.html).
If my pc A feels that the pc B has done something unclear, i ask explanations. If he rolls a good bluff, I (as a player) know that he has effectively done something, but now my pc A stops bothering about it.

But it's not the same as diplomacy...

sambo.
2009-10-27, 04:06 AM
This is why I have repeatedly said that you need to houserule Diplomacy first. The party face should not have a permanent Dominate spell over his own party, because Diplomacy should not be able to replicate the effects of a Dominate spell. Why should the fact that the bard is talking to his friend the wizard make him any less persuasive than when he's talking to the NPC king?

at my table, while i'm behind the screens, i simply won't allow one party member to influence other party members actions based on a dice roll (the exception is if a party spellcaster actually did whack a Domination type spell on a party member and said party member failed his save.)

allowing Diplomacy/Bluff type skills to let one PC "take control" of another player characters actions or reactions just isn't on.

it's wide open to amazing amounts of abuse. straight up, imagine the situation where we have an experienced player completely taking advantage of an inexperienced player based on the clatter of a d20. even more so if the experienced player has a maxed out diplomacy/bluff/<insert skill of choice here> in the full knowledge that the inexperienced player doesn't have ranks in Sense Motive.

said inexperienced player is having his enjoyment of the game severly diminished.

ultimatly, playing dnd, or any other game, is all about having FUN. i simply won't allow players to detract from the fun in this way.

if said experienced player can actually coax the inexperienced player into doing what they want without resorting to skill checks, all fine and dandy.

it has always been a case of: if you want to con the dumb party barb into walking through the trapped door, well, he's sitting right next to you. off you go, convince him. if they put up a good enough argument, the barb might decide that, on the basis he has 6int, 6wis, yeah, his character might just do that. that's all fine and dandy. but ultimatly the choice to take action X is always in the hands of that player.

and to be honest, in the almost quarter century i've been playing RPG's, i have never had any DM allow such things. not in DnD, not in Paranoia, not in Shadowrun, not in any of the numerous Palladium games, GURPS, Harnmaster or even (and i kid you not) Bunnys and Burrows.

actually, i lie. i had it once in a Paranoia game. after half an hour (half an hour where some of us more experienced gamers rode totally roughshod over a couple of inexperienced ones. mostly to prove the point), the (n00b) GM saw why it wasn't allowed by anyone else and scrapped it.


Incidentally, you keep on refering to Bluff, not Diplomacy. I'm not sure why, as Bluff isn't any sort of problem at all. Until you get to the epic skill checks - which are broken anyway - Bluff can't be used to make people do what you want in the same way Diplomacy can. All it does is convince someone else that you're telling the truth - why should that not work on PCs? How else are you supposed to play the morally dubious rogue who's skimming a considerable portion off the top of the treasure haul?

bluff, dimplomacy whatever. any of the attitude influencing skills (usually Charisma based).

if you're the morally dubious rogue skimming from the haul, it's simple: you slip me a note asking me to privatly detail any treasure they find out of view of the party (or make a Sleight of Hand check if appropriate. i just ask everyone at the table to give me a Spot check, then secretly change the rogues to a SoH check), it's then up to the rogue to tell the party what they found. if they want to hold something back, that's their look out.

besides, such skills do work on players. when they are used by an NPC.

not between players. never between players.

if you allow it at your table, more power to you. i simply won't allow it at mine.

Killer Angel
2009-10-27, 05:37 AM
bluff, dimplomacy whatever. any of the attitude influencing skills (usually Charisma based).

if you're the morally dubious rogue skimming from the haul, it's simple: you slip me a note asking me to privatly detail any treasure they find out of view of the party (or make a Sleight of Hand check if appropriate. i just ask everyone at the table to give me a Spot check, then secretly change the rogues to a SoH check), it's then up to the rogue to tell the party what they found. if they want to hold something back, that's their look out.

besides, such skills do work on players. when they are used by an NPC.


Really? do you use diplomacy by RAW against players? :smallconfused:

Not all the "influencing skills" are the same. Diplomacy is broken, bluff not at all. And your example about Spot Vs SoH is very reductive...
For example: we don't trust our bard, his behaviour is suspect and we decide to control him. He goes to speak to a mercenary commander for a small service and stay with him too much for what he should have said.
We ask him about it and he said "oh, nothing... we spoke about a siege he partecipated, interesting story but nothing more". If he rolls a good bluff Vs our Sense motive, we don't insist on it.
He's not influencing us at all... we role-play the reaction of our PCs, accordingly to his abilities.

taltamir
2009-10-27, 05:46 AM
Exactly! here's a relevant link (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0029.html).
If my pc A feels that the pc B has done something unclear, i ask explanations. If he rolls a good bluff, I (as a player) know that he has effectively done something, but now my pc A stops bothering about it.

But it's not the same as diplomacy...

you as a player volunteering to let it happen is different than a DM arbitrating something like that to force your character to be dominated by another player.

Killer Angel
2009-10-27, 06:03 AM
you as a player volunteering to let it happen is different than a DM arbitrating something like that to force your character to be dominated by another player.

leaving diplomacy aside, I don't see a big difference, if a PC can hide his actions via Sleight of hands or Bluff: if my character cannot knows a thing, I cannot use my own knowledge, otherwise it would be metagame.
I'm not tallking about "dominating" other PCs or forcing them to do things they don't want, which is BAD and not allowable.

sambo.
2009-10-27, 07:58 AM
Really? do you use diplomacy by RAW against players? :smallconfused:
in a roundabout sort of way, yes.

Killer Angel
2009-10-27, 08:11 AM
in a roundabout sort of way, yes.

Now, you'd really awake my curiousity... :smallcool:

Xenogears
2009-10-27, 08:40 AM
it's wide open to amazing amounts of abuse. straight up, imagine the situation where we have an experienced player completely taking advantage of an inexperienced player based on the clatter of a d20. even more so if the experienced player has a maxed out diplomacy/bluff/<insert skill of choice here> in the full knowledge that the inexperienced player doesn't have ranks in Sense Motive.

said inexperienced player is having his enjoyment of the game severly diminished.

So you want us to imagine a scenario where someone is manipulating the system solely to be a jerk to someone who doesn't know it as well...

How is this relavent? A jerk is gonna be a jerk no matter what so saying that bluff should not work on the party because jerks might abuse it is just silly. If the person was gonna be a jerk about it they are gonna just find a new way to annoy everyone and if they weren't then it wasn't gonna be a problem so either way the ruling changed nothing.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-27, 08:47 AM
It doesn't even matter if they "know it well" or not. On the right side, we have the party meatshield. He probably doesn't have diplomacy as a class skill, and has poor charisma and paltry amounts of skill points. I wouldn't be surprised if he has a negative modifier.

The face is generally a cha-based char who has diplomacy as a class skill. It's pretty easy to get one or two synergy bonuses without trying. Thus, at level, oooh, 8, there's likely to be a 20pt gap between the two.

So, if you do an opposed roll, it's pretty much an auto-win for the party face. The only real solution is to not allow them to resolve interparty disagreement by a diplomacy check.

Raewyn
2009-10-27, 09:17 AM
Just thought I'd point this out....


You can change the attitudes of others (nonplayer characters) with a successful Diplomacy check; see the Influencing NPC Attitudes sidebar, below, for basic DCs. In negotiations, participants roll opposed Diplomacy checks, and the winner gains the advantage. Opposed checks also resolve situations when two advocates or diplomats plead opposite cases in a hearing before a third party.

By RAW, you can't change a fellow PC's position with just a roll of the dice. :smallwink:

As for the primary question, my DM's overworked (10 players ftfl), so he actually kinda appreciates it when I look stuff up/remind him of rules and what have you.

sambo.
2009-10-27, 09:22 AM
Now, you'd really awake my curiousity... :smallcool:

ok, the flesh it out some.... it's mostly done via how i roleplay the NPC.

if i make a top-end roll for the NPC's diplomacy/bluff/etc, i'll work it in to how i play out the NPC, along with some choice phrases like "his impassioned speech on the troubles facing his homeland strikes a chord" etc.

if he blows the roll (or if a player does a successful sense motive etc), then the NPC might be less personable or even downright irritating.

it's not that hard to do and it's a very, very rare occurence that i'll flat out tell the PC's that they have been swayed one way or the other by said NPC's charm. 99% of the time, it's not neccessary for me to do so.


So you want us to imagine a scenario where someone is manipulating the system solely to be a jerk to someone who doesn't know it as well...

How is this relavent? A jerk is gonna be a jerk no matter what so saying that bluff should not work on the party because jerks might abuse it is just silly. If the person was gonna be a jerk about it they are gonna just find a new way to annoy everyone and if they weren't then it wasn't gonna be a problem so either way the ruling changed nothing.

it's one thing for a jerk to be a jerk, and yes a jerk will be a jerk regardless.

it's something quite different for a jerk to start jerking around with other player's characters simply by tossing the die on the table and say "i diplomatically get you to do XYZ"

side note: complete jerks rarely get invited back to my table. being a complete jerk and spoiling the fun for the rest of the group is one surefire way to get thy character killed. as a DM, i've rarely found it difficult to get players. as a player, i've often found it much more difficult to find a DM.


It doesn't even matter if they "know it well" or not. On the right side, we have the party meatshield. He probably doesn't have diplomacy as a class skill, and has poor charisma and paltry amounts of skill points. I wouldn't be surprised if he has a negative modifier.

The face is generally a cha-based char who has diplomacy as a class skill. It's pretty easy to get one or two synergy bonuses without trying. Thus, at level, oooh, 8, there's likely to be a 20pt gap between the two.

So, if you do an opposed roll, it's pretty much an auto-win for the party face. The only real solution is to not allow them to resolve interparty disagreement by a diplomacy check.

bingo, that's exactly why i don't allow it.

interparty stuff is resolved by ROLEPLAYING, not opposed skill checks.

if the int6/wis6 barb constantly roleplays himself as a genius sage, i'll pull them up on it. one very effective method i've found is via ever increasing XP penalties for "failing to play your character".

edit:


Just thought I'd point this out....



By RAW, you can't change a fellow PC's position with just a roll of the dice. :smallwink:

As for the primary question, my DM's overworked (10 players ftfl), so he actually kinda appreciates it when I look stuff up/remind him of rules and what have you.

10 players? sheesh, been there, done that, never going there again. Six'ish max for me.

it's one thing to be helping the DM out, it's something quite different to be a persnickity anal retentive rules lawyer who just loves to interrupt the flow of things.

Evil the Cat
2009-10-27, 09:45 AM
Well, diplomacy as RAW has no effect on players, so it is easy to use as written.
The diplomacy skill specifically states that it is used to influence NPCs. since players aren't npcs, the diplomacy skill has no effect on them.

Additionally, "NPCs can never influence PC attitudes. The players always make their charactersí decisions." -DMG pg 128

Which is a good thing, if you get to tell the PCs whether or not they like someone, that's just lame. "You have to be nice to the evil undead king who wants to eat your families, he rolled well."

Heliomance
2009-10-27, 11:08 AM
It doesn't even matter if they "know it well" or not. On the right side, we have the party meatshield. He probably doesn't have diplomacy as a class skill, and has poor charisma and paltry amounts of skill points. I wouldn't be surprised if he has a negative modifier.

The face is generally a cha-based char who has diplomacy as a class skill. It's pretty easy to get one or two synergy bonuses without trying. Thus, at level, oooh, 8, there's likely to be a 20pt gap between the two.

So, if you do an opposed roll, it's pretty much an auto-win for the party face. The only real solution is to not allow them to resolve interparty disagreement by a diplomacy check.

Right. Which is why you don't run it that a successful Diplomay check means the subect of the check follows your every whim. How many times must I say this? As the DM, you simply point out that the diplomatic character's argument is very persuasive, and the subject had better have a damn good reason for disagreeing. "I don't want to die" is a damn good reason, as are "that's a really really dumb thing for me to do" and "that's really out of character for me." It's also entirely acceptable for them to negotiate terms, though with a good diplomacy check, the face will probably already have explained exactly what's in it for the character he's trying to persuade.

In all honesty, an adventuring group needs a command structure to a certain point, it needs someone to whom the others look for the final word. It's actually somewhat realistic for the charismatic character to be running the party, though obviously not at the level of a dominate spell. After all, "the last five times we took your advice it turned out really badly" is another good reason not to go along with what they want.

As for the evil undead king example above, if he does indeed roll really really well on the diplomacy check, obviously he convinces you that it's all been a misunderstanding, he doesn't really want to eat your families, that's just propaganda that his enemies have been spreading, etc etc. I agree, the roll should never dictate what a player does absolutely, but it should influence it heavily.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-27, 11:16 AM
So what is the diplomacy check for then, and why are you doing it at all?

Drogorn
2009-10-27, 11:18 AM
I generally give my players a small amount of XP when I make an error that would be in their favor and they correct me.

Shadwen
2009-10-27, 12:29 PM
If he is a nice guy...well maybe after the game. But never ever confront him mid campaign.


Or you will have a meteor cave your skull in...trust me.

Heliomance
2009-10-27, 01:24 PM
So what is the diplomacy check for then, and why are you doing it at all?

To give the players an idea of how persuasive the guy is, and how much weight they should give to the argument. Just because it's not entirely binding doesn't mean it shouldn't carry a lot of weight. As I said, getting 30-od on your diplomacy check means you have a really convincing argument. If a player wants to not go along with it, they should have a very good reason why they wouldn't be persuaded, not just "I don't want to".

Tyndmyr
2009-10-27, 01:29 PM
Looks like you failed your opposed diplomacy check to not take point again by about 30. Sucks to be you unless you have a really good excuse.

Who determines "really good excuse"? How is this not still removing control of the character from the player.

taltamir
2009-10-27, 01:32 PM
It doesn't even matter if they "know it well" or not. On the right side, we have the party meatshield. He probably doesn't have diplomacy as a class skill, and has poor charisma and paltry amounts of skill points. I wouldn't be surprised if he has a negative modifier.

The face is generally a cha-based char who has diplomacy as a class skill. It's pretty easy to get one or two synergy bonuses without trying. Thus, at level, oooh, 8, there's likely to be a 20pt gap between the two.

So, if you do an opposed roll, it's pretty much an auto-win for the party face. The only real solution is to not allow them to resolve interparty disagreement by a diplomacy check.

correct, and if the DM says otherwise then the DM is wrong.


Well, diplomacy as RAW has no effect on players, so it is easy to use as written.
The diplomacy skill specifically states that it is used to influence NPCs. since players aren't npcs, the diplomacy skill has no effect on them.

Additionally, "NPCs can never influence PC attitudes. The players always make their charactersí decisions." -DMG pg 128

Which is a good thing, if you get to tell the PCs whether or not they like someone, that's just lame. "You have to be nice to the evil undead king who wants to eat your families, he rolled well."

And if the DM chooses to ignore this RAW rule he is playing the game wrong... remember the premise of this thread was whether or not a DM can be wrong or not.

Sleepingbear
2009-10-27, 01:33 PM
As a DM, this is how I do business and run my table.

0. Everyone at the table follows the same rules. That includes me. Plot and story have NEVER suffered for this rule 0.

1. I run a homebrewed world so it's very unlikely that I'll get my own fluff wrong. At the start of a game I hand out information that the PC's would know about their corner of the world and what they think they know about the rest of the world. I am clear about which is which. When it comes to knowledge skills, I keep track of where each player has in each skill. I assume they are always taking ten and automatically give them information that they would have access to as the event or encounter occurs. They may then make a roll for an attempt at additional information.

2. I have another hand out that details what house rules I am running and what they mean, with examples. I use a lot of stuff from Unearthed Arcana (Spell points, Wounds and Vitality, Bloodlines and so on).

3. Our table is small and there's just enough room for my DM area, the battle map and the four players with thier characters. No laptops or other devices permitted. Books that aren't in use are not allowed on the table.

4. During combat, players may only ask questions on their initiative order.

5. Players who dither too long in making decisions (aren't asking anymore questions, are looking up more than one thing on their turn or just sitting there saying, "Ummm...") face the six second count down. If they can't decide what to do in the time they have (plus the time of everyone else at the table), then their characters can't either.

6. Any player at any time may make a rules challenge. They had best have the book open or be prepared to find the relevant rule in either a book or my house rule hand out. If they're just stalling for time or arguing by trying to be louder, they get shut down. This is a game and the game has rules. We all play by those rules, including me. Being human and fallible, I have no objection to pausing to clarify a rule or listen to a challenge.

7. Diplomacy can only be used against NPC's. It clearly written in the description of the skill and I reinforce this in my house rules just to be doubly sure. This means I can not use it against them either.

8. Bluff can be used on PC's. They always get a sense motive check. I always assign modifiers (usually heavily in favor of the PC being bluffed). It is not something that can be used to dictate the actions of another PC.

9. Rogues who are dumb enough to attempt theft in the presence of the PC's face spot and listen checks. If they do it when not in the presence of the PC's and then lie about it, see #8. I do not protect Rogues from their players stupidity. One of my house rules is that if the other PC's collectively kill your character or oust you from the group, it's good bye, don't let the door hit you on the way out, you don't play here no more (note that is plural PC's, by consensus).

10. Players who insist on trying to control other peoples characters by any means are likely to see NPC after NPC optimized to do the same to them. If they don't clue in, than the latter part of #9 usually occurs.

As a player, I don't see any harm asking for clarification of a rule or bringing up a relevant rule. Or reminding the DM of some facet of my character that may affect the current situation.

I may ask for clarification about fluff and what my character knows about it just so I'm sure I know how my character would react. Other than that, I assume that the DM knows what they are doing. I may make an in character comment about the strangeness of the situation.

Heliomance
2009-10-27, 06:29 PM
Looks like you failed your opposed diplomacy check to not take point again by about 30. Sucks to be you unless you have a really good excuse.

Who determines "really good excuse"? How is this not still removing control of the character from the player.

Obviously, the DM is the final arbiter. And as for your taking point example, I would say "Dude, I'm a wizard. If something gribbly comes at us I'll be dead before I can cast a spell" is a fairly good counter. If the one being convinced to take point is the meatshield fighter not the squishy wizard, then yeah, he probably should be taking point anyway. Of course, if the player can actually come up with a good reason why the wizard should take point and gets that score as well, then it makes it harder.

You say "How is this not still removing control of the character from the player". I say "How does playing it any other way make sense". Why should the character be really persuasive and popular with everyone he meets, except his teammates - the group of people who would in fact be more likely to help him out than anyone else?

sambo.
2009-10-27, 07:50 PM
correct, and if the DM says otherwise then the DM is wrong.



And if the DM chooses to ignore this RAW rule he is playing the game wrong... remember the premise of this thread was whether or not a DM can be wrong or not.

the DM is never "wrong".

taltamir
2009-10-27, 09:04 PM
the DM is never "wrong".

Are you aware of the context of what I said?
he is when he allows players to abuse each other and ruin the game. or worse, then he house rules in FAVOR of allowing players to abuse each other. (aka, by RAW diplomacy does not work on PCs, only on NPCs... a DM may house rule that it does work on PCs and PCs)

Katana_Geldar
2009-10-27, 09:07 PM
Perhaps we should amend that to "a good DM who is being fair is never wrong".

Tyndmyr
2009-10-27, 09:12 PM
Obviously, the DM is the final arbiter. And as for your taking point example, I would say "Dude, I'm a wizard. If something gribbly comes at us I'll be dead before I can cast a spell" is a fairly good counter. If the one being convinced to take point is the meatshield fighter not the squishy wizard, then yeah, he probably should be taking point anyway. Of course, if the player can actually come up with a good reason why the wizard should take point and gets that score as well, then it makes it harder.

If they have good reasons, sufficient to convince the other, then the die roll is unnecessary. Dice are for adding a random element, and I fail to see why this is needed in intraparty discussion.


You say "How is this not still removing control of the character from the player". I say "How does playing it any other way make sense". Why should the character be really persuasive and popular with everyone he meets, except his teammates - the group of people who would in fact be more likely to help him out than anyone else?

Perhaps because they know you best, and are less subject to being "convinced" of something?

Cmon, it's not like the diplomacy rules model real life terribly well in the first place. The only thing they are even marginally good at is for player use on NPCs, and even there, balance is sketchy at best. The fact that a player that specializes in talking can turn a murderous enemy into an ally in a single standard action does not "make sense".

sambo.
2009-10-27, 10:25 PM
Are you aware of the context of what I said?
he is when he allows players to abuse each other and ruin the game. or worse, then he house rules in FAVOR of allowing players to abuse each other. (aka, by RAW diplomacy does not work on PCs, only on NPCs... a DM may house rule that it does work on PCs and PCs)

i am well aware of the context. i actually read the post.

my point being, the DM isn't "wrong". They are making use of the undeniable DM Perogative to change, alter, modify or flat out ignore any rule as, when and how they see fit.

depending on the situation, this might make them an "Appalling DM" or an "Inconsistent DM", but it certainly doesn't, ever, make them "wrong".

as a player, you have the undeniable right to not play with a given DM if you feel the DM is crap.

Rule 1: The DM Is Always Right.
Rule 2: If The DM Is Wrong, Refer To Rule 1.

taltamir
2009-10-27, 10:28 PM
i am well aware of the context. i actually read the post.

my point being, the DM isn't "wrong". They are making use of the undeniable DM Perogative to change, alter, modify or flat out ignore any rule as, when and how they see fit.

depending on the situation, this might make them an "Appalling DM" or an "Inconsistent DM", but it certainly doesn't, ever, make them "wrong".

as a player, you have the undeniable right to not play with a given DM if you feel the DM is crap.

Rule 1: The DM Is Always Right.
Rule 2: If The DM Is Wrong, Refer To Rule 1.

so they are not wrong, they are just a terrible DM and/or terrible person and you shouldn't play with them? I think we disagree on the definition of the word wrong.

sambo.
2009-10-27, 10:37 PM
so they are not wrong, they are just a terrible DM and/or terrible person and you shouldn't play with them? I think we disagree on the definition of the word wrong.
{scrubbed}

any DM worth their salt will be prepared to discuss a given ruling. or will, at the very least, make sure players are aware of any relevant house rules before they become an issue.

but once a DM has made a ruling, that's it. end of story. move on. if you dislike their ruling(s) that much, find a different DM.

in a fantasy RPG someone has to be Mr Final Word. that someone is the DM.

i don't understand why this argument is stretching out like this.


edit: one tactic i have used in the past when one player in the group has been constantly criticising/rules lawyering the DM (be it me or some other poor sucker behind the screen) is to suggest that next week, they be the DM for a one-shot adventure. either (de)generate new characters or just morph the current crop into their world for a session.

funnily enough, those who've taken up the offer have universally become much less quick to criticise the regular DM.

Heliomance
2009-10-28, 02:50 AM
If they have good reasons, sufficient to convince the other, then the die roll is unnecessary. Dice are for adding a random element, and I fail to see why this is needed in intraparty discussion.
Because that reason is going to be a hell of a lot more convincing coming from the charismatic party face who knows exactly how to phrase things for best effect than it is coming from the illiterate Barbarian who can barely pronounce "illiterate". It's also probably going to be a hell of a lot more convincing coming from the party face than it is from the guy playing the party face. If the person playing the charming, manipulative fast-talker is a shy, quiet person who can't think on their feet fast enough to come up with argument after argument as to why they're right, without the use of skills the party will ignore everything they say. Which is taking away their freedom to play the character as it was intended. Are you really trying to pretend this is desirable?




Perhaps because they know you best, and are less subject to being "convinced" of something? On the other hand, you know them best and thus know exactly which buttons to push to get them to do what you want.


Cmon, it's not like the diplomacy rules model real life terribly well in the first place. The only thing they are even marginally good at is for player use on NPCs, and even there, balance is sketchy at best. The fact that a player that specializes in talking can turn a murderous enemy into an ally in a single standard action does not "make sense".

{Scrubbed}

EDIT: Apologies for the rant. I have, however, repeatedly pointed out that Diplomacy as written is broken and needs houseruling before my recommendations are followed.

Gerrtt
2009-10-28, 09:47 AM
My first response is that the DM is right, and if they alter something for crunch or fluff there must be a reason for it.

However, I was once in a game where the DM made all kinds of changes to things that didn't seem to make sense. Elves were suddenly not immune to ghoul paralysis, golems were subject to sneak attack but not critical hits, falling branches cut down by piercing damage were enough to kill a troll with full health in one hit...his changes not only made little sense but it was enough to make me question what was and wasn't going to work in his game. So in that game, when something really strange happened, I would ask him about it. In the beginning it turned out he just didn't read rules very well. But eventually it started to get on his nerves and I started taking a d6 worth of damage when I made a remark. So I stopped; both asking and playing in the game. Apparently there was a limit to what he was willing to put up with my asking questions, and because in my opinion he was a poor DM he started punishing me rather than talk about with me.

So I think it's the kind of thing you really have to handle on a case by case basis. Some DM's are just more open to criticism than others. However, some advice I will offer if you are going to start questioning a DM is to use the sandwich method. Let me give an example.

Bread (positive): Hey [DM name here], thanks for running the game tonight, I had a lot of fun when [my character] [violent action done by character]ed the [source of xp] and then looted that awesome [weapon upgrade].
Meat (negative): I was just wondering though, when [strange event] happened, did you know that that was a little different than what was written in [random book containing a rule]?
Bread (positive) Oh OK, I was just curious. Thanks for putting the effort into running the game for us, we're having a lot of fun.

It's a good method.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-28, 09:56 AM
Because that reason is going to be a hell of a lot more convincing coming from the charismatic party face who knows exactly how to phrase things for best effect than it is coming from the illiterate Barbarian who can barely pronounce "illiterate". It's also probably going to be a hell of a lot more convincing coming from the party face than it is from the guy playing the party face. If the person playing the charming, manipulative fast-talker is a shy, quiet person who can't think on their feet fast enough to come up with argument after argument as to why they're right, without the use of skills the party will ignore everything they say. Which is taking away their freedom to play the character as it was intended. Are you really trying to pretend this is desirable?

If you don't bother to come up with a reason or argument as to why I should do something, and just roll a die, and suddenly the burden of proof is on me to find an escape hatch or do what they want, you are taking away my freedom to play the character as intended.



{Scrubbed}

Relax. It's obvious you're houseruling. However, I disagree that all of your houseruling is making it "better".

More to the point, you're dodging the actual issue. You say you're doing this because it "makes sense". Presumably, you mean this is realistic, because it doesn't make sense from a mechanical or gameplay standpoint. Im pointing out that the system is inherently not realistic, nor can it be made so if it's at all recognisably like RAW.

Kylarra
2009-10-28, 10:02 AM
Well he's houseruling by RAW in order to have it work on players. My question is, what does his houserule look like? It isn't beyond the stretch of the imagination to have something that might be reasonable, but the burden of proof is on him to provide that reference point, else he's arguing schrodinger's houserules which go nowhere, since yes, the DM can always houserule anything.

Telonius
2009-10-28, 10:02 AM
Fluff: entirely DM's call. There are some things that a player might legitimately find odd. For instance, if you're in a world where orcs are supposed to be Always Evil, and you see some orcs being employed by the Church of High Goodness, then that's a totally appropriate chance for the player to say something like the following.

Player: "Would my character think this is odd?"

To which the DM ought to reply:

DM: "Make a Knowledge (x) check," or "Make a Wisdom/Intelligence check."

Basically, if it doesn't make meta-sense, ask in-game and let the DM rule. He might be throwing you some odd item to increase the sense of mystery, or offering you a plot hook. Or, he might have forgotten about that. Either way, letting the dice decide is often an easy way out.

For the crunch, do ask the DM to make sure if something is seriously out of whack, but don't come off as accusatory. Even the DM does not have the entire rulebook memorized. (The forum hive-mind can lead you to suspect otherwise, but really, it's a rare DM that actually memorizes the whole DMG). If it's an inter-personal issue (i.e. you think somebody else is getting special treatment, good or bad), do it after the session's done.

Dimers
2009-10-28, 10:16 AM
... you really do need to address the question of how it's possible for a low-CHA player to play a high-CHA character. If the answer is that it isn't, you're doing something wrong. RL stats should not dictate the characters you can play.

To be fair, it isn't possible to do it in a realistic way. When you allow dumb players to play brilliant characters, dull ones to play fascinating characters, or me to play wise characters, everyone does notice that something isn't right. Players just have to pretend it works better than it does. Good players try (being more swayed by the high-cha character with low-cha player than they really are) but never quite succeed.
I have a concept that I haven't yet tried DMing that would solve this array of problems IF it actually works in play. It would require buy-in from all players before play begins. For smart ideas or insightful thought processes generated by players of idiotic characters, the PCs would agree to give the idea to the player of a smart character. And for excellent social skill rolls, the more charismatic and apt players can put words in the mouth of the 'face' character (with that player's permission, naturally). If other people are like me, that could even help teach the less socially-skilled players some techniques and patterns to use in real life. If the whole group agrees that one particular phrasing is the most inspiring, intimidating, convincing or what-have-you, that's a fair indicator that it actually is.

And of course you can turn that around for comedy relief, having everybody suggest exactly what the speaking character says when the player rolls a '1' ... e.g. Elan's comment on dietary choices while playing envoy to the troglodytes in On The Origin Of PCs.

The whole gaming group would have to be comfortable with plenty of talk during the available play time. If they're more concerned about the characters' social actions than about proceeding on to the next scene, try this out. Not so valuable for tactics-oriented groups. :smallsmile:


you as a player volunteering to let it happen is different than a DM arbitrating something like that to force your character to be dominated by another player.
... or by an NPC ...

"You have to be nice to the evil undead king who wants to eat your families, he rolled well."
Yah, so what about when social efforts are aimed at the PCs? It's fair to say that PCs, being mere mortals, are in fact swayed by social influences, but as taltamir implies, being forced to act a certain way is dull or frustrating unless you're in the game for improvisational theatre practice. Getting the players' buy-in is even more important here. If the players agree to play realistic people, then Sambo's methodology --

if i make a top-end roll for the NPC's diplomacy/bluff/etc, i'll work it in to how i play out the NPC ... if he blows the roll (or if a player does a successful sense motive etc), then the NPC might be less personable or even downright irritating.
-- can work outstandingly well. Ask the player what would motivate the character, and have the NPC (or the fellow PC) say that thing on a good roll. It leaves control in the hands of the player, using "playing in character" to help enforce the game system in allowing uncharismatic players to have social grace. Heck, it can even flesh out characters more, because you have to think about why your character would or would not respond well. Again, though, this will take some extra time during play, and it requires the DM and all the players to get along fairly well.

Dimers
2009-10-28, 10:27 AM
I'd like to say that as a DM I loooove being corrected on crunchy topics, immediately or between sessions. It shows that the players are interested enough in the game to put the time into getting the details right, and it gives me a chance to stop being incorrect myself. Accordingly, I point out crunchy errors whenever I see them as a player. That hasn't worked out well for me -- it tends to annoy many people. More likely that's due to my abrupt and undiplomatic delivery than due to the correction itself (I write better than I talk :smallfrown:).

Roland St. Jude
2009-10-28, 12:35 PM
Sheriff of Moddingham: I'm a little confused why, other than "it's the internet," people are getting feisty about this topic. But please be careful not to tell others they are playing "wrong" or insulting them because of a playstyle preference. Likewise, don't tell people they didn't read your post or only disagree with you because they fail to comprehend what you wrote. These things are all spelled out in the rules as flaming.

Aside: There must be lots of ways to say: "I don't think you've addressed my point X" or "I didn't actually say X, I said Y" or "I'm not sure how you got X from my comment Y" -- ways that don't assume a lack of reading, reading comprehension, or good faith on the part of others.

Lost Demiurge
2009-10-28, 01:06 PM
Hm... Well, with anything, there are no hard rules. In this case, presentation is everything. Take the examples below as guidelines, rather than laws set in stone.

FLUFF: It's better to react in character. "Hobgoblins ambushing us in orc territory in broad daylight? Take one alive, I want to know how they dodged the worg patrols!" It's also okay to ask a polite question, like "Excuse me? I thought the door was on the north wall. Did I miss something?" Even GM's are human, they make mistakes.

Absolutely don't do this.
Me: Okay, here's a description of the reactor room... blah, blah, Amazing Lass, what do you-"
She: "That's not how a nuclear reactor works! That's not how one's set up!"
Me: *Picks up the published adventure, and points to the paragraphs and map.*
She: "Well they're wrong! You see, fission piles blahblahblah..."

That player, and another one or two in the group were horrible at that. Sucked all the fun out of running for me. If they knew even the slightest bit about how something worked, they'd lecture you on it or argue if you got it wrong. Or if they thought you got it wrong. Or if they wanted to show off their intellect. Wasted playtime, boring as hell, and it was insulting to boot. Don't be that person. Your wizard can throw fireballs. That guy's monk can punch things so hard that they explode. Why do you obsess about realism? Don't be a freak about details.

CRUNCH: I don't mind being called on rules. Other GM's may not be so lenient. I tend to experiment and try new systems, so I expect that I'm wrong from time to time.

Nonetheless, check out the gaming group before you do this. If the rest of them are having an awesome time, and the GM's not bothering to throw in every situational modifier or doing the cover rules a little wrong, what does it matter?

And for god's sakes, don't be a know-it-all. If you're calling the GM on rules fouls every session or even multiple times a session, you'll kill his fun. If you know the rules that well, and care so much about their implementation, why aren't you running?

META-GAME: DEFINITELY don't interrupt a game for this. Either ask to speak with them in private, or wait until after a game. And be very, very careful about how you bring it up. Player management is the principle skill of GMing, and god help you and the game if you get up in a smart GM's face and yell about how he's doing it wrong in public. You run the risk of killing his fun, and once that's done, the game either sucks or gets canceled.