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Isamu Dyson
2014-02-01, 06:14 PM
How have you dealt with GMs that love to feature thinly veiled political lessons/lectures in their games?

Rhynn
2014-02-01, 06:19 PM
I haven't, but here's the obvious options:

Talk to them about it, ask them to stop.
Have someone else GM.
Walk away.


Why put up with that?

Broken Twin
2014-02-01, 06:22 PM
Can't say I've ever had to deal with that myself, but I'm really curious as to what happened in your situation. I'd probably just tell them to get off the soapbox.

I mean, how would that come up? Monologuing villian, railroad plot?

Mr Beer
2014-02-01, 07:01 PM
Never happened to me, but I wouldn't be best pleased with GMs using the game as a heavy handed delivery mechanism for any personal hobbyhorse and most especially if I didn't agree with their particular beef.

I guess I could handle one session of encountering some utopian Rand-based civilisation or something but if it came up a lot I would ask them to knock it off.

Kelb_Panthera
2014-02-01, 07:23 PM
Fortunately none of my friends that I used to play with were particularly politically minded, so it never came up.

If someone I knew were to do that, they'd get at least one swift smack upside the back of their head along with a "get off your high-horse jackass." I hang out with a rough-around-the-edges kinda crowd though.

Craft (Cheese)
2014-02-01, 07:54 PM
I'm guilty of this to an extent: It's unavoidable, really. If you believe the world works a certain way, then by default worlds you create and run will also work that way.

I play authority figures in one of two ways: Hypercompetent villains who are actively out to cause harm for self-serving reasons, or completely incompetent morons who mean well but whose "solutions" are worse than the problems they're meant to solve (and leave the original problem intact and as bad as ever besides). Town guardsmen are playground bullies who will arrest, "fine", or even just straight-up try to murder you in the street for any reasons they can think of: They are *not* your friends, even if you're the victim and you need their help.

However it doesn't sound like you're talking about that: There's a big difference between "Allowing your worldview to influence how you run the game" and "Turning your RPG session into a really bad episode of Captain Planet." I don't think I've seen any genuine examples of the latter, and I certainly hope I've never done an example of the latter (and if I have, the players were too nice to complain about it).

Fortuna
2014-02-01, 08:19 PM
I'm watching this thread with interest, and really hoping it doesn't run afoul of the rules.

Mr. Mask
2014-02-01, 08:47 PM
Makes me think a setting/game based off some extremely political material could be interesting. Question is, which material to pick?

JadedDM
2014-02-01, 09:00 PM
The closest I've come to that is a DM who was very cynical (and frankly, kind of a jerk) who felt that 'good is dumb' and so constantly tried to punish my character for being good.

Like, everyone who asked for help was secretly manipulating me into doing something evil, for instance. That young woman locked up in a dungeon who pleaded with me to rescue her? Actually a werewolf who went on a killing spree as soon as she free. The village being razed by goblins? They actually started it by killing and enslaving the goblins first.

Even when the 'victim' wasn't secretly evil, it was basically set up as a no-win scenario. If I see an ogre attacking a villager, it doesn't matter what I do. The ogre will kill the villager before I can do anything (the DM wouldn't even bother rolling). If I try to help, the villager dies before I can make my turn and then the ogre turns on me. The DM would later criticize me for 'acting stupidly' by rushing into a dangerous situation. But if I decided to remain hidden or just ignore it, the DM would then penalize me for 'not following my alignment.'

He only did this for me, because I played Good characters. The rest of the party were all Neutral, and so were never put into these situations.

But like I said, he was a jerk. And I don't play with him anymore.

giggyex
2014-02-01, 09:12 PM
The closest I've come to that is a DM who was very cynical (and frankly, kind of a jerk) who felt that 'good is dumb' and so constantly tried to punish my character for being good.

Like, everyone who asked for help was secretly manipulating me into doing something evil, for instance. That young woman locked up in a dungeon who pleaded with me to rescue her? Actually a werewolf who went on a killing spree as soon as she free. The village being razed by goblins? They actually started it by killing and enslaving the goblins first.

Even when the 'victim' wasn't secretly evil, it was basically set up as a no-win scenario. If I see an ogre attacking a villager, it doesn't matter what I do. The ogre will kill the villager before I can do anything (the DM wouldn't even bother rolling). If I try to help, the villager dies before I can make my turn and then the ogre turns on me. The DM would later criticize me for 'acting stupidly' by rushing into a dangerous situation. But if I decided to remain hidden or just ignore it, the DM would then penalize me for 'not following my alignment.'

He only did this for me, because I played Good characters. The rest of the party were all Neutral, and so were never put into these situations.

But like I said, he was a jerk. And I don't play with him anymore.

Your DM sounds like a person I'd be friends with. I hate stupid good.

Mr. Mask
2014-02-01, 09:16 PM
That isn't a matter of good and evil, that's a matter of the universe(GM) conspiring against you...

Trinoya
2014-02-01, 09:21 PM
{scrubbed}

LordChaos13
2014-02-01, 09:23 PM
Your DM sounds like a person I'd be friends with. I hate stupid good.

Except it doesnt sound like stupid!good
Adventurer sees Ogre hitting Peasant = Combat! Save TEH VILLAGER simply because it is a Good thing to do.
If you had combat training and saw some random guy attacking by a Large beast the kind you can face down normally it is not unreasonable to defend them
If you are asked for help sure you find out about it before jumping to save the maiden. Its fine if it happens sometimes if you arent careful but having it happen every gorram time? Regardless of trying to see if it IS the right thing or not?

Hiro Protagonest
2014-02-01, 09:24 PM
{{scrubbed}}

Coidzor
2014-02-01, 09:31 PM
The closest I've come to that is a DM who was very cynical (and frankly, kind of a jerk) who felt that 'good is dumb' and so constantly tried to punish my character for being good.

Like, everyone who asked for help was secretly manipulating me into doing something evil, for instance. That young woman locked up in a dungeon who pleaded with me to rescue her? Actually a werewolf who went on a killing spree as soon as she free. The village being razed by goblins? They actually started it by killing and enslaving the goblins first.

Even when the 'victim' wasn't secretly evil, it was basically set up as a no-win scenario. If I see an ogre attacking a villager, it doesn't matter what I do. The ogre will kill the villager before I can do anything (the DM wouldn't even bother rolling). If I try to help, the villager dies before I can make my turn and then the ogre turns on me. The DM would later criticize me for 'acting stupidly' by rushing into a dangerous situation. But if I decided to remain hidden or just ignore it, the DM would then penalize me for 'not following my alignment.'

He only did this for me, because I played Good characters. The rest of the party were all Neutral, and so were never put into these situations.

But like I said, he was a jerk. And I don't play with him anymore.

Were you secretly playing in Ravenloft but unable to see the mists? :smallconfused:

Kish
2014-02-01, 09:38 PM
Were you secretly playing in Ravenloft but unable to see the mists? :smallconfused:
Where does the meme that Ravenloft punishes people for playing good characters come from?

137ben
2014-02-01, 09:39 PM
I haven't seen it...
I'd be interested to hear from the OP, although I'm not sure if it would be possible to explain without breaking the rules.


Where does the meme that Ravenloft punishes people for playing good characters come from?
Clearly, it's a big political conspiracy by <not me>:smalltongue:

Hiro Protagonest
2014-02-01, 09:40 PM
{{scrubbed}}

Mr Beer
2014-02-01, 09:41 PM
Your DM sounds like a person I'd be friends with. I hate stupid good.

But his problem wasn't "stupid good is stupid" it was "good is stupid by definition and so I will punish players for being good". Which is both lame and poor GM-ing.

Mr Beer
2014-02-01, 09:42 PM
{scrub the post, scrub the quote}

Funny but also sad.

Boci
2014-02-01, 09:43 PM
Where does the meme that Ravenloft punishes people for playing good characters come from?

I think its more the idea that Ravenloft was meant to be your personal hell, and so its easy to imagine a good man's personal hell being where they cannot act like a good person.

Rhynn
2014-02-01, 09:54 PM
Where does the meme that Ravenloft punishes people for playing good characters come from?


I think its more the idea that Ravenloft was meant to be your personal hell, and so its easy to imagine a good man's personal hell being where they cannot act like a good person.

Like most of these RPG memes (e.g. everything most people "know" about Call of Cthulhu) it's dumb and inaccurate. Each domain is the personal hell of the Darklord and no one else, and everyone else is the victims of, ultimately, the Dark Powers (Ravenloft itself, as it were). In fact, Ravenloft explicitly and mechanically punishes being evil (Power Checks and corruption). Being good may be more difficult, but it's certainly not punished.

giggyex
2014-02-01, 09:55 PM
It matters on the situation. If the guy is low level and sees an ogre, the screw that villager. If he's like, level 20 then sure by all means help.

Boci
2014-02-01, 09:59 PM
Like most of these RPG memes (e.g. everything most people "know" about Call of Cthulhu) it's dumb and inaccurate. Each domain is the personal hell of the Darklord and no one else, and everyone else is the victims of, ultimately, the Dark Powers (Ravenloft itself, as it were). In fact, Ravenloft explicitly and mechanically punishes being evil (Power Checks and corruption). Being good may be more difficult, but it's certainly not punished.

I get that. I assumed the joke included him being a darklord.

Coidzor
2014-02-01, 10:01 PM
Where does the meme that Ravenloft punishes people for playing good characters come from?

Well, the Dark Powers love ****ing with good characters and all according to the meme(or maybe it was just specifically Paladins that offend their sensibilities and make Dark Lords start being actively aware of them somehow?), but more I was talking about how Ravenloft is (apparently) synonymous with everyone and everything actually being monsters either literally or metaphorically and all terrible people who will somehow try to kill the party or get the party to go somewhere and die.

Rhynn
2014-02-01, 10:13 PM
Well, the Dark Powers love ****ing with good characters and all according to the meme(or maybe it was just specifically Paladins that offend their sensibilities and make Dark Lords start being actively aware of them somehow?)

It's paladins - they have a bad time of it, and the Darklords (the ones who are actually in control of their Domain, anyway) are always aware of them.

The Dark Powers torment evil, and specifically fallen characters. You don't get a Domain because the Dark Powers decided to make your life awful for being good, you get a Domain (become a Darklord) because you literally were so horribly evil* that you drew the attention of the ultimate extraplanar forces of evil, terror, and horror (the Dark Powers) who decided to play their twisted game on you by creating an unescapable hellscape to ironically torment you in. (Strahd can never get his love, Azalin can never learn or discover new magic, etc. - specific ironic curses from the Dark Powers.)

* Just evil doesn't cut it, though; you need to go above and beyond with betrayal, fratricide, and other "cosmic crimes" ...


but more I was talking about how Ravenloft is (apparently) synonymous with everyone and everything actually being monsters either literally or metaphorically and all terrible people who will somehow try to kill the party or get the party to go somewhere and die.

That would be a horrible and bad way to run Ravenloft, really. It's gothic horror - usually, it's painfully obvious who the villain is. You can certainly put in other types of horror, and it can work out, but what you describe would still be frustrating and awful.

Boci
2014-02-01, 10:17 PM
That would be a horrible and bad way to run Ravenloft, really. It's gothic horror - usually, it's painfully obvious who the villain is. You can certainly put in other types of horror, and it can work out, but what you describe would still be frustrating and awful.

The one Ravenloft book I read seemed to imply by empirical evidence that everyone was, if not a monster, then an a**hole.

Trinoya
2014-02-01, 10:38 PM
Funny but also sad.

Indeed it was. That said while I didn't think my post was particularly politically oriented the mods have disagreed and warned me on that... best to not quote it or similar posts and for people to watch what they say... thread is a potential landmine. 0_0

mikeejimbo
2014-02-01, 10:42 PM
I'm OK with being punished for acting good (which I think could tie into some GMs' political beliefs). I think the lesson there is "Yes, being good IS actually hard. You're not just a murderhobo with a different-colored lightsaber. Yes, the struggle against evil is hard. That doesn't mean you should stop trying."

That said, if there was no possibility of succeeding, it'd get kind of annoying.

Trinoya
2014-02-01, 10:46 PM
I'm OK with being punished for acting good (which I think could tie into some GMs' political beliefs). I think the lesson there is "Yes, being good IS actually hard. You're not just a murderhobo with a different-colored lightsaber. Yes, the struggle against evil is hard. That doesn't mean you should stop trying."

That said, if there was no possibility of succeeding, it'd get kind of annoying.

I suspect it would grow from mere irritation to making the group toxic.. possibly creating an 'us vs the DM' mentality. That's never good.:smallfrown:

MonochromeTiger
2014-02-01, 11:12 PM
The closest I've come to that is a DM who was very cynical (and frankly, kind of a jerk) who felt that 'good is dumb' and so constantly tried to punish my character for being good.

Like, everyone who asked for help was secretly manipulating me into doing something evil, for instance. That young woman locked up in a dungeon who pleaded with me to rescue her? Actually a werewolf who went on a killing spree as soon as she free. The village being razed by goblins? They actually started it by killing and enslaving the goblins first.

Even when the 'victim' wasn't secretly evil, it was basically set up as a no-win scenario. If I see an ogre attacking a villager, it doesn't matter what I do. The ogre will kill the villager before I can do anything (the DM wouldn't even bother rolling). If I try to help, the villager dies before I can make my turn and then the ogre turns on me. The DM would later criticize me for 'acting stupidly' by rushing into a dangerous situation. But if I decided to remain hidden or just ignore it, the DM would then penalize me for 'not following my alignment.'

He only did this for me, because I played Good characters. The rest of the party were all Neutral, and so were never put into these situations.

But like I said, he was a jerk. And I don't play with him anymore.

...actually I can kind of see some parts where the DM is punishing stupid good and not simply saying good is stupid. definitely not the ogre part that one is very clearly your ex-dm being a jerk.

young woman in the dungeon: you just rescued someone because they pleaded for rescue without learning about what they did to get put in there first? someone can look harmless and ask to be let out and still be EXTREMELY dangerous in D&D, casters kept in a prison that prevents magic use for instance or, as you found, natural lycanthropes outside of hybrid form.

village vs goblins: that's extremely old alignment debate territory, depending on the setting and the DM not all "monsters" are the source of all evil and in those situations the "I am the hero I will kill all the evil monsters" mentality winds up making your character a mass murderer.

the ogre thing however I agree your DM was being a jerk on, no win situations are petty and don't serve much purpose beyond a childish "got you" moment towards your players. this last example aside however are you really sure they were after you specifically for playing good alignment and not just using a less traditional world?

Coidzor
2014-02-01, 11:22 PM
Beware the Woman, For They Come From Hell. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNAk39Jm88Q) :smalltongue:

mikeejimbo
2014-02-01, 11:32 PM
I suspect it would grow from mere irritation to making the group toxic.. possibly creating an 'us vs the DM' mentality. That's never good.:smallfrown:

Probably. I think it depends on the setting, though, and of course the player social contract. If the very setting is build in a way that makes it hard to be good (and the players all agree to it) then it can be a righteous struggle.

I don't actually have this happen in my group, though. We're not using alignments right now so we aren't really bound to anything. Our current characters aren't exactly what we'd call good in a modern sense, but passed for a time, for a particular culture.

Beleriphon
2014-02-02, 12:00 AM
I guess I could handle one session of encountering some utopian Rand-based civilisation or something but if it came up a lot I would ask them to knock it off.

Or a really good deconstruction a la Bioshock.

Kish
2014-02-02, 06:50 AM
The one Ravenloft book I read seemed to imply by empirical evidence that everyone was, if not a monster, then an a**hole.
That book being?

Boci
2014-02-02, 07:43 AM
That book being?

Knight of the Black Rose I think.

AgentofHellfire
2014-02-02, 08:15 AM
...actually I can kind of see some parts where the DM is punishing stupid good and not simply saying good is stupid. definitely not the ogre part that one is very clearly your ex-dm being a jerk.

young woman in the dungeon: you just rescued someone because they pleaded for rescue without learning about what they did to get put in there first? someone can look harmless and ask to be let out and still be EXTREMELY dangerous in D&D, casters kept in a prison that prevents magic use for instance or, as you found, natural lycanthropes outside of hybrid form.

This only works under the assumption that the dungeon is a prison. If it's more like a fortress, or a residence for some monster with some humans scattered about who got trapped by something...well, there are other reasons they could be there.

And asides from that, even if they might be dangerous, that doesn't mean you just leave them by the wayside--that means you check later on, after they're saved from whatever certain danger they've got going.




village vs goblins: that's extremely old alignment debate territory, depending on the setting and the DM not all "monsters" are the source of all evil and in those situations the "I am the hero I will kill all the evil monsters" mentality winds up making your character a mass murderer.

The "I am the hero and I will kill all the evil monsters" mentality, and the traditional attitude towards goblins, doesn't really have to do with this. They were in the process of razing a village, which is, barring some really heinous deeds on the village's part, an evil act. Those goblins were evil. And even if they were somewhat justified, defending the non-evil villagers would still be Good.

ReaderAt2046
2014-02-02, 08:32 AM
As usual, this (http://irolledazero.blogspot.com/2013/09/suethulu-jin-down.html) is basically the worst example of that ever.

BWR
2014-02-02, 11:46 AM
Nothing really bad, but my main DM tends to go for the 'LG is stupid good' idea and doesn't like people being lawful. He doesn't exactly punish them or anythingm but he tends to make scenarios where being Lawful, especially LG, gets the party in trouble. Running the ood game or scenario where that is the case isn't the problem. The problem is when all his games are like this. He doesn't have any problem playing up the 'lawful is dickish, often evil' aspect to screw us over now and then. It's a bit annoying, but since it's not shoved in our faces at every turn we tend to ignore it.

Hyena
2014-02-02, 12:56 PM
One my DM had a very strong views about organized crime. Those being, if crimelords are the goverment, the path of the true jedi is to work with the crimelords and respect their authority.

Malimar
2014-02-02, 01:10 PM
I, for one, try to not let my personal politics get into my worldbuilding, but I do try to establish a theme for any given world. The two of which, uh, might be indistinguishable from one another sometimes?

Example: in my main setting, no political system works. Not my favored political system, not opposing political systems, not any medium in between. Every country, regardless of political habits, is a horrible dystopia. Most of them allied with, or subject to, malevolent forces running things from behind the scenes. I don't actually believe that there's no such thing as a functional political system here on Earth; I just happen to have built a world where there isn't.

I don't know how well that relates to the topic at hand. I just like talking about myself.

Craft (Cheese)
2014-02-02, 02:05 PM
*opens mouth*

*closes mouth because of politics rule*

It's just how I naturally do these things unless I actively try to avoid or subvert it. Running settings or characters any other way feels like trying to communicate in a language I'm not fluent in: I can mostly do it, but it's uncomfortable and unnatural for both parties, and occasionally I run into a place where I don't know what to do and am forced to switch back to English and hope for the best.

Alejandro
2014-02-02, 02:14 PM
If your GM actively punishes you or makes your gameplay unusually difficult because of your personal political belief, or the alignment you chose for your character, assuming there were no explicit warnings that certain alignments are not allowed or desired, then your GM is a jerk. Find a better one.

AMFV
2014-02-02, 05:19 PM
If your GM actively punishes you or makes your gameplay unusually difficult because of your personal political belief, or the alignment you chose for your character, assuming there were no explicit warnings that certain alignments are not allowed or desired, then your GM is a jerk. Find a better one.

I disagree with this, certain alignments (or political stances or philosophies if we're playing RoS, or Instincts if we're playing TBW) are going to make certain things more difficult, it shouldn't be a constant problem and other characters should also have problems because of their beliefs, but if your beliefs are going to have no effect on your play, why have them at all?

JadedDM
2014-02-02, 05:22 PM
I think there maybe have been some misunderstandings with my original post.

The DM's problem wasn't that I was acting 'stupid good.' It was that I was good at all. And the situation was always rigged. When presented with one of his moral dilemmas, if I did the 'Good' thing, I got punished for 'acting stupid' and if I did the 'pragmatic' thing, I got punished for 'breaking alignment.'

If I helped the villager fight the ogre, the villager would be instantly killed before I could do anything (no rolls), and then the ogre would attack me. After, the DM would criticize me for 'acting stupid.' If I ignored the ogre, then the DM penalized me for 'breaking alignment.'

If I helped the young woman locked in the dungeon, I got punished by having her turn out to be a werewolf and go on a killing spree. If I left her there to rot, or took the time to learn more about the situation before acting, I was penalized for breaking alignment.

If I aided the villagers, I would be penalized for 'not taking the time' to find out who was at fault (because there's plenty of time for that when a village is being RAZED). If I aided the goblins, I would be penalized for breaking alignment by killing misguided villagers.

The point is, he wasn't punishing me for playing stupid good. In his mind, 'good' by default was 'stupid' and so he would punish me for NOT playing stupid good, too. If I was playing my character as Good AND Smart, clearly I was doing it wrong. Because Good was Dumb.

Coidzor
2014-02-02, 05:24 PM
It's just how I naturally do these things unless I actively try to avoid or subvert it. Running settings or characters any other way feels like trying to communicate in a language I'm not fluent in: I can mostly do it, but it's uncomfortable and unnatural for both parties, and occasionally I run into a place where I don't know what to do and am forced to switch back to English and hope for the best.

It's that hard to have a questgiver who isn't mind-numbingly stupid or cacklingly evil? :smallconfused: I mean, sure, if you never *use* questgivers in your games, I guess that'd be one thing, though it'd seem a really curious thing to never end up rubbing elbows with the powers that be unless the games are entirely about scrabbling around in the dirt and undercities or wilderness.

And I can't even try to parse how this works if the party ends up in a position of authority. :smallconfused:

AMFV
2014-02-02, 05:27 PM
I think there maybe have been some misunderstandings with my original post.

The DM's problem wasn't that I was acting 'stupid good.' It was that I was good at all. And the situation was always rigged. When presented with one of his moral dilemmas, if I did the 'Good' thing, I got punished for 'acting stupid' and if I did the 'pragmatic' thing, I got punished for 'breaking alignment.'

If I helped the villager fight the ogre, the villager would be instantly killed before I could do anything (no rolls), and then the ogre would attack me. After, the DM would criticize me for 'acting stupid.' If I ignored the ogre, then the DM penalized me for 'breaking alignment.'

If I helped the young woman locked in the dungeon, I got punished by having her turn out to be a werewolf and go on a killing spree. If I left her there to rot, or took the time to learn more about the situation before acting, I was penalized for breaking alignment.

If I aided the villagers, I would be penalized for 'not taking the time' to find out who was at fault (because there's plenty of time for that when a village is being RAZED). If I aided the goblins, I would be penalized for breaking alignment by killing misguided villagers.

The point is, he wasn't punishing me for playing stupid good. In his mind, 'good' by default was 'stupid' and so he would punish me for NOT playing stupid good, too. If I was playing my character as Good AND Smart, clearly I was doing it wrong. Because Good was Dumb.

That sort of thing is a problem, if one character's beliefs are in a position to make him suffer more than anybody else. Although it's possible that the DM believes that good = suffering (which is many many real world philosophies), or he's just not a great DM. Either way it is difficult to figure out what the actual stance of the DM, I will take your word for him being a bad DM.

I just disagree with the idea that your character's beliefs should have no impact on the game, I love systems like WoD or TRoS, or TBW where your belief structure has a fundamental impact on the game.

Kish
2014-02-02, 05:29 PM
Knight of the Black Rose I think.
Most of the appear-onstage characters in a novel about the interactions between three darklords and their immediate minions, are evil. But that doesn't really change between Dragonlance and Ravenloft in Knight of the Black Rose; everyone who appeared onstage on Krynn was evil too.

Coidzor
2014-02-02, 05:31 PM
I disagree with this, certain alignments (or political stances or philosophies if we're playing RoS, or Instincts if we're playing TBW) are going to make certain things more difficult, it shouldn't be a constant problem and other characters should also have problems because of their beliefs, but if your beliefs are going to have no effect on your play, why have them at all?

Um... You seem like you're kinda missing the point there. :smallconfused: One's character's beliefs are automatically going to have an effect on their play because that's what motivates them and directs them towards what they're actually doing in game and trying to accomplish, save for situations where they've been shang-haied(and even then...) or have a bomb in their head set to go off if they deviate even slightly from the spirit and letter of the instructions of their captor.

AMFV
2014-02-02, 05:35 PM
Um... You seem like you're kinda missing the point there. :smallconfused: One's character's beliefs are automatically going to have an effect on their play because that's what motivates them and directs them towards what they're actually doing in game and trying to accomplish, save for situations where they've been shang-haied(and even then...) or have a bomb in their head set to go off if they deviate even slightly from the spirit and letter of the instructions of their captor.

I don't think I am. Beliefs should have an effect beyond simply motivating your character, it will some things a greater struggle and others easier, beliefs are fundamentally important in characterization. It's why I like systems that involve your beliefs in actual gameplay, I gave three good examples of that, I'm not sure if there are other good examples (I'd love to hear them).

I like having my character have a philosophy that affects his development and his characterization, beyond a simple motivational sense, but in a metaphysical one. It's just the sort of game I enjoy.

Tengu_temp
2014-02-02, 05:35 PM
There ws that one guy who created a story about bug-like creatures that kidnapped children to turn them into more of their kin, giving them the option to either join them or die, and secretly controlled many organizations all over the world. The government created a group specifically to fight those bugs, who hired the players to help them out.

He expected the players to join with the bugs once they learn the truth, because The Man is always evil and killing non-human creatures, for any reason, is always wrong and means you're a close-minded fantastic racist.

AMFV
2014-02-02, 05:39 PM
There ws that one guy who created a story about bug-like creatures that kidnapped children to turn them into more of their kin, giving them the option to either join them or die, and secretly controlled many organizations all over the world. The government created a group specifically to fight those bugs, who hired the players to help them out.

He expected the players to join with the bugs once they learn the truth, because The Man is always evil and killing non-human creatures, for any reason, is always wrong and means you're a close-minded fantastic racist.

That'd be a specisist :-P.

At least one wasn't an analog for a certain form of leftist government, while the other was an analog for how good a particular form of right wing government was, which made for an entertaining read but I'd imagine a slightly terrible game.

Mr Beer
2014-02-02, 05:41 PM
OP, can you now elaborate on your DM's issues? It sounds entertaining.

Alejandro
2014-02-02, 05:53 PM
I think there maybe have been some misunderstandings with my original post.

The DM's problem wasn't that I was acting 'stupid good.' It was that I was good at all. And the situation was always rigged. When presented with one of his moral dilemmas, if I did the 'Good' thing, I got punished for 'acting stupid' and if I did the 'pragmatic' thing, I got punished for 'breaking alignment.'

If I helped the villager fight the ogre, the villager would be instantly killed before I could do anything (no rolls), and then the ogre would attack me. After, the DM would criticize me for 'acting stupid.' If I ignored the ogre, then the DM penalized me for 'breaking alignment.'

If I helped the young woman locked in the dungeon, I got punished by having her turn out to be a werewolf and go on a killing spree. If I left her there to rot, or took the time to learn more about the situation before acting, I was penalized for breaking alignment.

If I aided the villagers, I would be penalized for 'not taking the time' to find out who was at fault (because there's plenty of time for that when a village is being RAZED). If I aided the goblins, I would be penalized for breaking alignment by killing misguided villagers.

The point is, he wasn't punishing me for playing stupid good. In his mind, 'good' by default was 'stupid' and so he would punish me for NOT playing stupid good, too. If I was playing my character as Good AND Smart, clearly I was doing it wrong. Because Good was Dumb.

LOL. Your GM is likely rather insecure in real life, or thinks that being 'bad' makes them cool, or (less likely) they are some kind of sociopath.

It's pretty simple. If the GM is explicitly tormenting you and not the other players, and the only reason they are doing so is your PC is Good aligned and theirs are not, and the game was not marketed up front as 'do not play Good PCs' then there are several options:

- stop gaming with the jerk
- make an evil PC and start being as evil as possible, especially if it screws up their story (I am betting this GM railroads a little much)
- get all the players to play Good PCs and make the GM's head burst.

Angel Bob
2014-02-02, 06:12 PM
Well, I'm a Lawful DM with Chaotic players, but that's basically a summary of every D&D group ever. :smalltongue: I've learned to work with them and let them have plenty of freedom to ignore quest hooks and go prancing off in search of magic items, as long as everyone's having fun.

Boci
2014-02-02, 06:19 PM
Most of the appear-onstage characters in a novel about the interactions between three darklords and their immediate minions, are evil. But that doesn't really change between Dragonlance and Ravenloft in Knight of the Black Rose; everyone who appeared onstage on Krynn was evil too.

I think it was only 2 darklords. The main character isn't one until the very end, or at least he doesn't get his domain until then. So for most of the book we had the villagers and the gypsies, and the were badger who all seemed pretty a**holish, despite not being aligned to a darklord.

Regardless it just shows, you can have that idea about Ravenloft despite actually experiencing the setting.

Coidzor
2014-02-02, 07:12 PM
I don't think I am. Beliefs should have an effect beyond simply motivating your character, it will some things a greater struggle and others easier, beliefs are fundamentally important in characterization. It's why I like systems that involve your beliefs in actual gameplay, I gave three good examples of that, I'm not sure if there are other good examples (I'd love to hear them).

I like having my character have a philosophy that affects his development and his characterization, beyond a simple motivational sense, but in a metaphysical one. It's just the sort of game I enjoy.

There's not much difference between not wanting to torch the orphanage because I'm not interested in doing so and being mechanically unable to do so(or taking a stiff penalty to any checks/abilities to do so or having to make additional checks to keep my character from chickening out) because I'm not interested in doing so. Either way, I'm not going to torch the bloody orphanage.

What do you even mean by that? The entire arc of the character isn't metaphysical now?

AMFV
2014-02-02, 07:36 PM
There's not much difference between not wanting to torch the orphanage because I'm not interested in doing so and being mechanically unable to do so(or taking a stiff penalty to any checks/abilities to do so or having to make additional checks to keep my character from chickening out) because I'm not interested in doing so. Either way, I'm not going to torch the bloody orphanage.

What do you even mean by that? The entire arc of the character isn't metaphysical now?

Well in-game rewards for alignment related actions or beliefs. For example in the burning wheel you get points that reflect your character's beliefs and that can be used to help your character in situations. In the Riddle of Steel, your belief structure as a character helps your spiritual advancement. There are systems where this is the case, in the world of darkness your beliefs (Vice and Virtue especially) can result in extra experience.

I'm less interested in having a character that can't torch the orphanage, than in having a character be rewarded in game for an action that may not be beneficial.

Libertad
2014-02-03, 01:11 AM
To the OP:

Depends upon the political beliefs in question. Certain political views and aesops are fine, but things can get real wrong real fast when someone in the group feels strongly about it or said view is just plain bigoted and hateful.

Additionally, political views even I agree with can grate on my nerves if they're presented in an overly-simplified and poor manner. Like an Author Tract trying to hit you over the head again and again with no subtlety.

jedipotter
2014-02-03, 01:40 AM
How have you dealt with GMs that love to feature thinly veiled political lessons/lectures in their games?

I'm the DM that does this all the time. I do love taking the players beliefs, and showing them another side to them. It can be great fun.

Coidzor
2014-02-03, 02:07 AM
As usual, this (http://irolledazero.blogspot.com/2013/09/suethulu-jin-down.html) is basically the worst example of that ever.

I want to stop reading but I can't look away. :smalleek:

Boci
2014-02-03, 05:32 AM
I'm the DM that does this all the time. I do love taking the players beliefs, and showing them another side to them. It can be great fun.

That's not what she said. Deliberately challenging your player's beliefs, whatever they may be, is very different to using your campaign as a mouthpiece for your specific political beliefs.

valadil
2014-02-03, 08:26 AM
How have you dealt with GMs that love to feature thinly veiled political lessons/lectures in their games?

We all have our personal biases. How you can run a game untouched by these biases is beyond me.

However, the whole point of roleplaying is to put yourself in someone else's shoes. If a GM is giving you political lectures that mirror his own views, that tells me he's not very good at roleplaying.

To play devil's advocate, I really like challenging the PCs' morals. This is where most of the roleplay in my games comes from. I like to set a moral limbo bar and keep lowering it until some characters want to go for it while others draw the line right there. Then I sit back and watch them roleplay.

At a really high level, I think political philosophies could be used here. Whether it's better to tax high and provide lots of benefits or tax low and let people buy their own benefits seems like an interesting question for characters in some games. (I'd try to use something a little less contrived and a little more personal to the PCs in an actual game, but we don't have the game as context and I'm trying to avoid breaking forum rules with this example.)

I have no problem with a GM asking these questions, especially in a politically themed game. I do have a problem with a GM providing answers. Even if the GM is absolutely certain his beliefs are true, he's overstepping his bounds. It's up to the characters to explore these things, not the GM.

GungHo
2014-02-03, 10:35 AM
It happens occasionally. Players sometimes do this too. As long as it's just "occasionally". When it becomes "obnoxiously", as the OP claims, I'd say, "hey, this is becoming a distraction, can we do something different?" Sometimes folks really don't know when they've managed to irritate the room and it is possible to pull the car out of the ditch. Then again, some people just like to watch the world burn, and in those cases, you just hit the eject button and go about your life.

jedipotter
2014-02-03, 12:20 PM
That's not what she said. Deliberately challenging your player's beliefs, whatever they may be, is very different to using your campaign as a mouthpiece for your specific political beliefs.

Oh, well I do that too. My game has a right way to do things, and a wrong way to do things. A happy powerful kingdom has low taxes, a run down slum of a kingdom has taxes for everything(''five gold street tax for walking down the street, one gold sight seeing tax, 25 gold visitor tax and the multiple tax tax for having more then three taxes at a time'') The good and right kingdom keeps the races apart, so the orcs are kept in ''orc town'' by the swamp. The bad and wrong kingdom has the orcs all over the place just getting in the way and doing crimes.

Hyena
2014-02-03, 12:23 PM
The good and right kingdom keeps the races apart, so the orcs are kept in ''orc town'' by the swamp. The bad and wrong kingdom has the orcs all over the place just getting in the way and doing crimes.
*opens his mouth, then closes it again. And opens it again.* You do realize what it is similiar to, don't you?

Boci
2014-02-03, 12:24 PM
Oh, well I do that too. My game has a right way to do things, and a wrong way to do things. A happy powerful kingdom has low taxes, a run down slum of a kingdom has taxes for everything(''five gold street tax for walking down the street, one gold sight seeing tax, 25 gold visitor tax and the multiple tax tax for having more then three taxes at a time'') The good and right kingdom keeps the races apart, so the orcs are kept in ''orc town'' by the swamp. The bad and wrong kingdom has the orcs all over the place just getting in the way and doing crimes.

I said the setting becomes a "mouthpiece for your specific political beliefs" and you said "Oh, well I do that too.", and proceeded to list some examples which included "racial segregation". You sure that's how you intended to come off?

Edit: Just to be clear, there is nothing wrong with a setting that portrays it as a good idea to separate orcs and humans. What is important is the motivation. If you do it because you want a Tolkieneque fantasy aesthetic with simplified black and white morality, then that's fine (although I'm not sure how that would mesh with always showing the otherwise to the character's beliefs). However, this thread is about GMs using a setting to trumpet how great their political beliefs are. So in order to qualify, you would need to portray a racial segregated fantasy world with the intention of demonstrating how the real world should be run. Understand why me and Hyena are staring at your post so?

AMFV
2014-02-03, 12:42 PM
Oh, well I do that too. My game has a right way to do things, and a wrong way to do things. A happy powerful kingdom has low taxes, a run down slum of a kingdom has taxes for everything(''five gold street tax for walking down the street, one gold sight seeing tax, 25 gold visitor tax and the multiple tax tax for having more then three taxes at a time'') The good and right kingdom keeps the races apart, so the orcs are kept in ''orc town'' by the swamp. The bad and wrong kingdom has the orcs all over the place just getting in the way and doing crimes.

Well to a certain extent that sort of thing is unavoidable. I think it's very difficult to separate out what we would consider "good" from an actual good result, particularly in the creation of a fantasy world. Have you had any cases where players objected to or found your portrayals particularly unrealistic or unpleasant though?

Edit: That would be the measure of obnoxiousness. For example if you had a player who was fond of high tax societies and you depicted them as always being bad, then it is on some level being obnoxious to that player.

Rhynn
2014-02-03, 12:47 PM
Oh, well I do that too. My game has a right way to do things, and a wrong way to do things. A happy powerful kingdom has low taxes, a run down slum of a kingdom has taxes for everything(''five gold street tax for walking down the street, one gold sight seeing tax, 25 gold visitor tax and the multiple tax tax for having more then three taxes at a time'') The good and right kingdom keeps the races apart, so the orcs are kept in ''orc town'' by the swamp. The bad and wrong kingdom has the orcs all over the place just getting in the way and doing crimes.

LOL :smallbiggrin:

You're just spoiling for a fight, aren't you?

The Glyphstone
2014-02-03, 01:10 PM
*Looms ominously*

Tengu_temp
2014-02-03, 01:36 PM
Oh, well I do that too. My game has a right way to do things, and a wrong way to do things. A happy powerful kingdom has low taxes, a run down slum of a kingdom has taxes for everything(''five gold street tax for walking down the street, one gold sight seeing tax, 25 gold visitor tax and the multiple tax tax for having more then three taxes at a time'') The good and right kingdom keeps the races apart, so the orcs are kept in ''orc town'' by the swamp. The bad and wrong kingdom has the orcs all over the place just getting in the way and doing crimes.

Oh hey. It's been a while since I saw someone so cheerfully and carefreely admitting to being a bad DM.

Threadnaught
2014-02-03, 01:56 PM
There ws that one guy who created a story about bug-like creatures that kidnapped children to turn them into more of their kin, giving them the option to either join them or die, and secretly controlled many organizations all over the world. The government created a group specifically to fight those bugs, who hired the players to help them out.

He expected the players to join with the bugs once they learn the truth, because The Man is always evil and killing non-human creatures, for any reason, is always wrong and means you're a close-minded fantastic racist.

So these Insectoids are committing a world wide genocide and to stop them from wiping out the race that isn't actually doing anything to justify it, is Evil?

Was that DM Onision? Or a member of an animal wrongs group?

You DM seriously sounds like someone from a South Park episode, either he's one of the Crab People (taste like crab, walk like people) or, Eric Cartman.


It's Evil to stop a worldwide genocide? Why couldn't he just let his players play as non-humans and go on unstoppable killing sprees? After all, if it's Evil to stop them and there are Good humans... :smallamused:


Would it be possible for you to introduce me to this DM for a Skype game in that setting, where I'll play as a "Good" aligned Gray Elf Wizard, who's favourite hobby includes inflicting eternal torture on each and every single human I encounter. Because it's obviously the "Good" thing to do.


*Looms ominously*

Umm... I'm not in violation of anything am I?

Tengu_temp
2014-02-03, 02:10 PM
Was that DM Onision? Or a member of an animal wrongs group?


I think he wanted to be "clever" and subvert the "if it's a monster, kill it" mentality. In a group where most people were extremely open-minded towards non-humans already. Also, the bugs were fighting against The Man, so they were automatically good in that guy's head. I get the feeling he'd like the Goblins comic. That's not a compliment.

That guy tended to be overly in-your-face with his political beliefs in general, ranting about them at the drop of a hat. It annoyed everyone, even people with similar views to him. Or especially them, to be precise. We don't play with him anymore.

Boci
2014-02-03, 02:15 PM
Umm... I'm not in violation of anything am I?

You posted after The Glyphstone, and unless I am mistaken that was your only post in this thread. Are you proposing The Glyphstone can time travel? Cue obvious "Are you proposing The Glyphstone can't time travel?"

Roland St. Jude
2014-02-03, 02:17 PM
Sheriff: Locked for review.