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D&D 3E
Gaming introlerance 
25th-Jul-2005 12:44 pm
Okay...so I've been reading the DMG II and a few other places, and most published authors agree that the DM should more or less bend over backwards to accomodate the interests of the players, even when he feels the manner in which the player plays detracts from the fun of the game. Thus, you should have some story for the RPers, hand out lots of magic items for the powergamers, set up plenty of fights for the tactical folks, etc. Basically, the DM should ignore any personal feelings about what makes for a fun game and make the game as vanilla as physically possible.

That doesn't sit well with me. I've been gaming for a few years now and I feel like I've got a decent handle on what's fun for me. And on what's fun for the sort of players I enjoy playing with. Now I'm not about to say anyone's playing style is wrong, but if you want hack'n'slash or powergaming, well, find a DM who's into that. And if you can't, well, maybe its time to re-evaluate your playing style a bit. That seems a more likely solution than trying to force GMs to run games they don't enjoy.

But doesn't this philosophy put too much emphasis on the DM, when this should be a more collective sort of effort?

Well, I feel it doesn't really emphasize the DM, but instead encourages DMs to have fun in their games too. If you're a wargamer, find wargamers to play with. If you're a powergamer, seek out those powergamers. If you're a roleplaying, find a game with some story.

My games tend to be heavy on the RP, medium to light on the combat and almost non-existant when it comes to powergaming. Because I feel RPGs are most fun when the focus is, well, on the RPing. And I'm lucky enough to have a gang that more or less agrees with me. If I were to have a powergamer come into my game and I started handing out magic items so that they could twink their character as much as possible, well, I wouldn't be having fun. I'd just as soon _NOT_ run a game at all than have to cater to that sort of play.

Am I just being intolerant? Thoughts?

Lucifer >:}

(cross-posted to DND3E and my personal LJ)
25th-Jul-2005 04:47 pm (UTC)
If the DM doesnt have fun running the game, then he shouldnt be running it. EVERYONE has to have fun. Not just the players.
25th-Jul-2005 04:59 pm (UTC)
I don't think you're being intolerant, just realistic.

A lot of those "rules for GMs" seem to assume that you won't be able to find many players and that players won't find many GMs, so you're stuck with what you've got.

If you have a choice, it's better by far to get a group of like minded individuals together so you truly can have a game that's a collective effort.
25th-Jul-2005 05:04 pm (UTC)
Well.. I think your'e misreading it a bit, but you could always ask the author of those sections. He's on LJ, and his name is robin_d_laws. He just happens to have just written a tangential post about this exact topic.

The point is not for just the players or just the GM to have all of the say, but to achieve a synthesis. If you already have all of your players on board, you've already achieved that synthesis. If you have a 'problem player' or players find you to be problematic, achieving this kind of synthesis will be immensely helpful to everyone's good time.

In a way I agree with you- and I have dropped out of games (as a GM!) where certain players were demanding something that I really couldn't provide (in the one game I'm thinking of, a player had his PC become a vampire- I wanted to make that an NPC, and have him make a new character, but he wanted to use his vampire PC to go after his old party- the other players. I ended up pulling the plug after trying to get some compromise. The game restarted a few weeks later with everyone back except that one guy, who was still unhappy he didn't get to be a vampire).

I think now, that maybe I would have handled it a different way, but the guy was definitely being a jerk about it.

GMing is a service industry, but the point isn't just to serve the players...you get served too. Everyone (including the GM) can usually get what they want, but the only person with the power (and the book argues- the responsibility) to make this happen is the GM.
25th-Jul-2005 05:10 pm (UTC)
I saw Law's post (got him friended), which is partially what prompted me to make this post here. I didn't realize he'd also penned that section of the DMG II, but it certainly makes sense.
25th-Jul-2005 05:12 pm (UTC)
Sorry to reply twice here...but something else. I don't really agree that the GM is the only person to have the power or responsibility to make this happen. I've been in powergame-oriented games where I started affecting a voice and made up a backstory and some of the other players started playing along with that. It seems its more the responsibility of everyone in the game to find the group's niche, not just that niches of players as individuals.
25th-Jul-2005 06:47 pm (UTC)
Well, your'e right that the GM isn't the only person, but the GM has definitely got way more of that kind of influence over the gaming group.

I also agree that players have responsibilities too.
25th-Jul-2005 05:30 pm (UTC)
What that seems to forget, which is easily done, is that the GM is a player too, just a different one. So yes the players should be having fun; including the GM:>
26th-Jul-2005 06:39 pm (UTC)
Hazzah. Just what I wanted to say.
25th-Jul-2005 05:36 pm (UTC) - Balance is good
For the most part, I agree with you 100%. Gaming should be enjoyable for everyone involved.

One thing to consider is who is being targetted for those kinds of articles. They're not for the GMs who know what they're doing, but the bad GMs that are control freaks and/or don't have a clue how to please their players.
25th-Jul-2005 06:48 pm (UTC) - Re: Balance is good
With DMG II It isn't so much bad GM's as the newer GMs and younger ones. I mean- I read it and thought that about half of it would have been gold if I had encountered it 10 years ago. In the case of my Vampire PC trouble, that was only 2 years ago.
25th-Jul-2005 08:00 pm (UTC)
I know I haven't been able to pick and choose my players for a long time now. I'm stuck playing with the same guys I played with in high school, and only now online due to the fact that we all moved away from each other. Sometimes you play the cards you're dealt or you just don't play. As for mixed groups, the point is for everyone to have fun but not to let any of that fun come at the cost of someone else's fun. If the Players enjoy playing a powergaming game, then that's ok DMG2 says, as long as they have fun. If it's just one guy who wants to powergame, compromises must be met either in game, or with violence in the street.
25th-Jul-2005 08:12 pm (UTC)
That is exactly why you find more people wanting to run characters than the game.

You can try running your own character however you want, but if the DM isn't running it in a way you enjoy, you leave and, if everyone leaves, you have no group at all.

Personally, I tend to try to run a balanced campaign, but that's also because I enjoy all aspects of the game (you need powergamers to take on truly terrifying villains, RPers for intrigue adventures, lot's of battles for war-adventures, et cetera), so it works out conviniently that everyone can play and get what they want out of the game, maybe just not all the time.

Just my solution, though.
26th-Jul-2005 02:59 am (UTC)
its all about fun,i dont dm anymore because well,its usually more fun for me than the players,i fudge all the rules to keep the game moving and a good story going wityh all the charictors,so power gamers hate me and rules lawyers hate me,i think a dm is responsable to make room for everyone playing in the game,,,but they also have the responsabilaty to not be a dick about it,and actually roleplay a bit and help keep everything running smoothly,and back off a bit when the dm is fudging some things to keep it moving and fun for everyone else..it shouldnt be all on the dm
26th-Jul-2005 01:28 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's all on the DM, either - but I do think you may be taking the advice in the DMG II a bit more literally than it's intended. The game should be fun for all the players, including the DM. However, because the DM is the DM, he or she does have more responsibility than the players do. Each player controls one "element" of the game - his or her PC. The DM controls the world, the monsters, the NPCs, and is the one to determine what situations the PCs encounter, when, how, and so on. The players' styles and preferences are, I think, just one more thing that the DM should probably consider when planning adventures. I think the material in the DMG II is more intended to give DMs some insight ("Oh, so that's where this person is coming from - he likes hack & slash, so he was really bored with all the intrigue" or "You know, maybe Jane is one of those quirky types and that's why it seems like the other PCs are constantly pissed at her." Like everything else in either DMG (or both), it's there for a DM to use, or not use, or modify, or ignore, as he or she sees fit. I don't think they're saying that you have to completely change your style - and if your game is running smoothly and working great, why worry about it? But some of that material could be really helpful to an inexperienced DM, or one whose game isn't running smoothly - whose players seem constantly at odds. It could help a DM understand where a player with a different style is coming from, and give him or her some ideas on how to engage that player, IF he or she is willing to do so.
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