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Thread: Am I being unreasonable?

  1. #1
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    Am I being unreasonable?

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    Question for you guys. Getting back into regular playing after a to-long hiatus. Trying to put a campaign together, wanted to just play, but nobody seemed to want to volunteer, so I did. Anyway, a couple of friends are going to play, and one of them has a couple of friends who will play too. I put some restrictions on what could be used for races. I kept them to just what's in the PHB (3.5 rules), but omitted Gnomes. Personally can't stand them, and there is a major campaign setting hook preventing a gnome character. I said no psionics, like I have for 28 years of DMing, and no evil alignments. I am a firm believer in keeping it simple, as I just don;t have a huge amount of time to dedicate to figuring out wierd race and class erratta

    One person wanted to play 2 oddball characters, which I said no to. One was a 2 headed character, which a husband and wife PC duo would "share". They'd roll a d12 for control round to round, 1-4 she got it, 5-8 he got it, and 9-12 they shared it. Sounds interesting, but also a royal PITA to DM. The second choice was a Tauren, the bull guys from World of Warcraft. She got very upset with me, saying I was squashing flexibility, that I should simply write a short story. I said no to the Tauren because I really just want the core races, for campaign story line reasons, and also the setting is rebuilding after decades of humanoid and giant-kin wars that left the country side devastated. Doubt if a big minotaur lookin' dude would receive anything short of a hail of arrows when they approached a town. Frankly, I'm ready to tell her to find another campaign, but I know I can be difficult at times, and figured I'd seek the opinions of my fellow DM's. I do have an overall plan for the campaign, and do want to keep it headed in a certain direction, but aside from that it's open.

    My question is:

    Am I being unreasonable in imposing a few restrictions on my campaign?
    Last edited by upidstay; 03-07-2008 at 08:33 PM.

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    You told the group Core Races with exception to Gnomes. That is what they should pick from then. If she has a problem with it and wants to play other races-then tell her DM their own game or find someplace else. Stick to your guns and don't let her sway you one way or the other.

    I have would have a problem having a 2-person PC. One person to a PC, please!

    For the other character, the Minotaur, I would have explained to her that they would not make sutiable PCs as almost every other person (including other members of the group) would most likely maim, kill her or try to on sight.They are simply (from what I understand from your post) not welcomed anywhere except Minotaur villages, etc. I would be really evil, have a side adventure with her, let her roll up a minotaur then let her face off with a Ranger who's favored enemy happens to be Minotaurs (or be in cahoots with another player to give her Minotaur a really hard time and attempt to fight her).

    One DM I knew, if someone was giving him a particularly hard time about something (mostly for "repeat offenders" complaining they didn't like the character they made the week before), he'd tell that person to roll a d100 or a d% and then make up a race and class for them to play. From there they had the choice of rolling up that character with said race and class or be a party pooper and not play at all.
    Last edited by Anaesthesia; 03-07-2008 at 10:03 PM.
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    Not at all. The two-headed thing sounds really gimmicky to me anyway. It's either going to be boring (because they both want to head in the same direction) or annoying (because they don't.)

    As for the other person, tell her that playing a tauren would have been udderly ridiculous. The campaign world isn't Azeroth, it's the one you've probably worked on for a while, have some stuff set up, and introducing a minotaur/tauren race into the story adds a lot more work on your part.

    Bottom line: you're the DM. It's your game. If they don't like it, they can run their own or find another.

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    I've just been listening to the archives of the fear the boot podcast and it's discussed in episode 13 you can find on this page. The name they gave it is the freak show syndrome. The problem is not that the players who do that are choosing weird races and features for their PCs. It's more about implicit powergaming, or not wanting to write down a real character and a decent background story, or sometimes just a symbolic way to express they don't care.

    Do you feel like those player are testing your authority as GM ? To me they're plain weird to come to you with such lame PC concepts... Unless it's just that they played too many MMORPGs
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    Not unreasonable at all. You outlined what was acceptable and what wasn't. The fact that they wanted to choose something outside those guidelines is their own issue.

    I would absolutely not allow the two-headed creature.

    If you have no real carved-in-stone idea for the campaign, then I might toss around the idea of the Taurens from WoW. Of course, as you have already stated, the character may have to deal with some serious in-game issues due to the negative feelings resulting from the Giant Wars. Just make it clear that the player and character would be facing some serious discrimination, but if the player was willing to deal with and the consequences, then go for it.

    I absolutely hate it when this happens: you spend some time and engery to outline in black-and-white what is acceptable and what isn't and then they go and try to get something approved that's not on the list. It's like they didn't listen or just don't care.

    Good luck and I hope it goes well.

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    I would just explain to them that it has been a while since you have DM'd and you would like to run a standard campaign -- no special races, etc. You may want to leave the possibility open that once this campaign is finished, you might swing back around and try something different with these other ideas they have.

    As far as the Tauren, I don't know much about WoW, however you might want to look at the Minotaur race presented in the Dragonlance campaign setting. I think it is ECL +0 even, so it might be easier to balance in.
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    Let me agree that no you are not being unreasonable. I also am of the school that only one person has control of a PC, so the two headed thing would definately be out. As for the minotaur type, I would just say that in this particular campaign, that is not an option, but in a future one there would be the posibility. Just remember to include that race in the next adventure. If she has the ability to eventually use that type of character, she will most likely not give that much of a fight.

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    Just pertend the bull chick is chewie, and it'll go fine.

    When you try to analyse every little detail, you end up having a harder time keeping it simple. If you want to keep it simple, let her play it. It doesn't really mess with your job as a DM. If it does, then you're taking things too seriously and shouldn't say you want to keep things simple.

    As for the two headed thing, yeah, that's not keeping things simple. That does sound like a pain in the ass. It would be hard to come up with a world where that couple would be thought of as common place.

    And I like keeping to core races and classes too. Just think you can let the girl be a turan in her imagination while just having her us the stats of a barbarian and half orc.

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    You should punch her in the mouth... LOL

    Just my opinion. They can either play by your restrictions or play thier own game. Whatever.

    I have restrictions my players sometimes don't like, but our rule is GM has final say. If you don't like it, deal with it and we'll try something different next go-around.

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    Thanks guys. I knew I was right, but just wanted to hear from my fellow DM's. I always played (almost 30 years) that the DM was effecively god. Not on a power trip or anything, but my rule is that if you can show me the rule, and prove me wrong, fine. Otherwise be quiet. I do seek my players input, but I do not, have never, never will, DM by committee. It doesn't work that way. I very clearly stated in my campaign outline I sent to all players what races would be allowed. I might have allowed a different race if it had at least been a D+D race, not a friggin' World of Warcraft race.

    She decided that the campaign was not for them, saving me the trouble of saying it. Hadn't even rolled one die yet, and already had a PITA player. Not a good sign. So, now we are back down to 3 or 4 players, so it looks like we're playing Gestalt for a while. No big deal, Gestalt characters are new to me, and sound very interesting. Players seem happy about it too.

    thanks again for the input

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    And I thought players were a rare commodity.

    Anyhow, there's never been that much of a dichotomy between players and I as a GM, so I guess I can't relate.

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    to be honest, i would object to anything ripped from a videogame on principal. (even if they did publish an rpg book for it.) although, i would point them in the direction of an in-campaign option that is close to what they want. and if they wanted to have a certain style of campaign, then they should have volunteered to dm.

    i personally have no trouble with the options. i'm familiar with most of them, anyhow. i like psionics-now that it's fixed-even better than before. and i may put a level cap on a campaign which has the effect of limiting certain races and classes... and prestige too, if i need it.

    but in the end, you were the only one who volunteered to dm, so it's your campaign world, your rules, and you're not being unreasonable. =D

    i realize i'm postng after the fact, but just tossing in my two cents.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko View Post
    to be honest, i would object to anything ripped from a videogame on principal. (even if they did publish an rpg book for it.) although, i would point them in the direction of an in-campaign option that is close to what they want. and if they wanted to have a certain style of campaign, then they should have volunteered to dm.

    i personally have no trouble with the options. i'm familiar with most of them, anyhow. i like psionics-now that it's fixed-even better than before. and i may put a level cap on a campaign which has the effect of limiting certain races and classes... and prestige too, if i need it.

    but in the end, you were the only one who volunteered to dm, so it's your campaign world, your rules, and you're not being unreasonable. =D

    i realize i'm postng after the fact, but just tossing in my two cents.
    I agree with that; it's strange how few people want to GM. I too am GMing out of defult, and it can get annoying when players want everything their way without stepping up to the plate. Good point with the 'if you wanted it tailored to your every whim, you should've stepped up and GMed'

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    The "step up and GM" rule is pretty much what my group has going. If you don't like a restricition, DM your own damned game....

    Saying that, I still end up GMing about 90% of the time. The group I play with is full of GREAT players who realize that when I set a restriction, even if it sounds dumb or unreasonable, I am doing to enhance the story in some way.

    Now days when I restrict something they start to get excited because they've figured out that it probably has something to do with a plot twist later.

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    Just to reiterate, no, you are not being unreasonable. It's what a friend of mine calls the "purple shirt problem". If you tell the Volleyball team to show up for the game, and wear anything they want but purple. Two will be in purple shirts. Some will object to any restriction because it is a restriction. You are not unreasonable.

    In fact be wary of the purple shirt types. They can be, not have to be, but can be passive aggressive types. So look to the purple shirt as your possible problem players.

    I have a world with vast racial types, some times I restrict what you can be because of the area and not everything is everywhere. I haven't heard complaints from my group.

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