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9:00 PM
sounds like someone who would be happier playing computer games or board games
@Zachiel Good luck with that. That would be an example of emotional bias - and probably linked to a bad experience with a game that kept changing on somebody else whim.
@ObliviousSage sounds like someone who wants to play a game that's better than D&D but at its core is D&D with a different name
@Zachiel World of Synnibar!
@SimonGill my point is that it's a unnecessary evil
0_o i wouldnt have called it an evil
9:05 PM
I was kidding :P
I've never tried it but if the guy himself says it has a rule 0
I believe him whether he's bluffing or not XD
@ObliviousSage it's a bad thing, I have the proofs.
@Zachiel I think there might be a misunderstanding. It's possible that his argument is that stating Rule 0 is a necessary evil, because there are people who would demand that the book be followed at all times otherwise.
no he says that Trollbabe has the rule 0, just cleverly hidden
first of all let's be on the same page. I'm going to explain why I think it's evil.
It's evil because whatever I have my PC do, the DM is the only one that can decide where the story goes
@Zachiel That's an issue of player agency - changing Rule 0 won't affect that.
BUt just to be sure we are on the same page -what is Rule 0 in your words?
when a single person can change the rules on the run
9:14 PM
Can any person change the rules on the run?
it seems unappealing, but it's vastly better than the alternatives
@ObliviousSage At least, when it's more effectively stated and includes the reason for it's existence.
in a D&D game the alternative is "game doesn't work"
it's much easier to find one person you trust not to screw you and make them the GM than it is to find a group that can agree on how to resolve rules disputes without bogging things down
I trust my D&D DM
but every time I win a combat I don't know if it's because I made the right choices or because he fumbled a dice
I suspect he fumbles a lot to keep us alive
But was I telling him to stop I'd need a new character every two or three sessions
and fumbling rolls is using rule 0 for the sake of the story
9:19 PM
i'm not seeing the problem
I'm never risking the life of my character and this makes combat less interesting to me
if you're having fun, why does it matter how things work behind the scenes?
I'm not having fun
every single time we fight
then tell the DM the combat needs to be harder
problem solved
@Zachiel Are other people feeling a sense of risk?
9:20 PM
because I know it's not me winning a fight
it's him winning it for me
@simongill I suppose so
@Zachiel That means you're going to have to up your character creation minigame skills to their level - or get some help from them in achieving your mechanical aims.
I guess they just don't know what illusionism is
but it's the feeling you get when you know that your choices don't matter. You're going to meet the NPC wizard no matter the village you head to
I'm playing a game to influence the story, right?
@Zachiel: it sounds like your problem is less with combat than with lack of sandbox-style play
@Zachiel Do any of your choices matter in this game?
@SimonGill I don't know
sandbox is even less defined than rule 0
might mean everything
9:24 PM
sandbox (at least, as i conceive it) means that there is no pre-planned story, and when thats the case how can your choices NOT matter? they're the only thing the DM has to go on
In my environment, most choices are probably meaningful since they're about interactions with other PCs
@ObliviousSage unless he doesn't like the story you are coming up with and interferes. You need a good GM to avoid this
@Zachiel OK, so you're feeling railroaded? How about the others, have they expressed any concern about being shuttled between combats and cutscenes.
@simongill I don't know. Not with me at least. We play over the internet so much player-to-DM communication is done privately
@Zachiel You need a GM that is aware of the players that want agency - he doesn't have to be good.
@Zachiel This is the game that rewards you for psychically knowing what the GMs want in advance and then doing it, right?
what the gm wants?
however it's a problem even in P&P groups
whenever a DM happens to recognize he has put an encounter that's too hard for the group to overcome he needs to use r0 or make a TPK
this can also happen if the players roll badly at any point during a fight
I make TPKs
@SimonGill by the way that's the description of every D&D game I know
9:39 PM
@Zachiel The forum game you were talking about the first time you came in,
yes in this case it's that one but it does not matter for this discussion
@Zachiel You might want to check out some different groups... I've never played in that style.
@Zachiel: it sounds like you need a different group playing a different style, something very gritty, where player death is expected
I don't want player death to be expected
I want hard but winnable fights
either deaths are expected, or the DM fudges things when you're in trouble; those are the only possible styles of play
9:41 PM
in D&D
you can't be challenged without risk
That means more risk. You get more satisfaction out of a risky battle, but due to the nature of randomized rolls, you aren't guaranteed to win them all. Then the DM determines the results, whether to fudge it or dice as rolled.
and that's why I can't get what I want from D&D
I've never had a group TPK. Usually because after the fighter goes down, they're usually running like crazy.
this specific thing I want
9:43 PM
@MadMAxJr Or the enemy has a goal that isn't "Kill the PCs" and get on with that, giving the players time to retreat.
a) There are plenty of ways for a GM to fudge an accidentally overpowered fight without actually fudging rules or mechanics; I once recovered just by provoking extra opportunity attacks.
b) @ObliviousSage is right; in most D&D-type games, PC death is a risk that *must* exist in order for a challenge to be felt. The only way around this is to provide non-death risks. D&D doesn't support this innately, and it takes a creative GM to make it work.
No they go on fighting. If they make it they beat the uber monster who killed the fighter, if they don't well, let's just make new charcaters
@BESW the thing about non-death risks. THIS.
c) In any game, the GM's role is not to enforce what he wants over the desires of the group, but to enable what the group (including himself) wants.
ah, it sounds like what you want then are lose conditions other than "we all died"
but a GM does not know what the players want
9:45 PM
If your experience has been exclusively that a GM expects a group to cater to his whims, you have a GM who doesn't "get" that RPGs are collaborative.
that's why you TELL the GM what you want
I am the GM and I cater to the whims of everyone
@Zachiel I ask my players. They feel free to tell me if they think I'm missing it.
And... I watch what my players do and I listen to their conversations.
@ObliviousSage Absolutely. @Zachiel Do you remember the Social Contract we mentioned the other day?
ever had the players ask you to apply rule 0 because "it totally makes more sense than the rules"?
9:45 PM
@Zachiel That is equally unhealthy.
that's why a game without that possibility is more healthy
and the main reason of why rule 0 is bad
@Zachiel Without what possibility?
@Zachiel: that's a sign that the players are looking for a more simulationist system
Depends on if you're out to play a mechanical system and win or if you're out to play a good story.
as long as your system tries to emulate "the physics of the world" it's doomed to have something where it doens't work as intended
9:47 PM
That's a problem in any simulation.
@Zachiel My last game of WFRP had a player ask for the ability to take spells without the wizard career. He gave a good reason and an interesting background that made for interesting stories - so he got some new rules just for him. That's a plus for Rule 0.
@MadMAxJr Good point. This is part of understanding what the group (and I include the GM as part of the group in this) wants to experience.
@madmaxjr do you think it's possible to do both at the same time? (trap question)
@simongill did that happen during the game or before the game?
@SimonGill: it sounds like Zachiel would consider that a minus; I think he would prefer a more rigid following of the rules
@ObliviousSage not at all, let him answer me
9:49 PM
Based on what little I've been reading so far, I'm not sure you can get the experience you want out of any role playing group/game that I am familiar with.
@Zachiel Before the game, during character creation.
that's not using rule 0. It's making an house rule.
The problem is when the rules changes between expectations and resolution
I missed your definition of rule 0. Is that 'Story always beats rules' ?
it's "a single persone can change the rules during the game"
"Rule 0" is usually "The GM is always right."
9:52 PM
Zachiel, that's mandatory in any role-playing game. Rules can't cover infinite possibilities, so the rules have to be able to change during play. You need one person in charge of those rules changes so that the game doesn't turn into "argue about the rules for the next 3 hours".
When you sit down to play most RPGs, you surrender some degree of control to the person running the game. They are your (semi-random) event generator. And nine times out of ten, they have a particular story they want to tell or at least a particular challenge they want you to solve.
@Zachiel That's not quite right, though is it. What you seem to mean is "The GM can change the rules during the game."
which is "anyone is able to get what they want from the GM without using the rules of the game as long as he manages keeping the social pressure on him high enough but without him exploding"
I think "Rule 0" is a ridiculous holdover that unintentionally enforces one of the most toxic elements of the old-school RPGs: the "us vs them" attitude that puts a social split between the GM and the players. It does this by placing the GM in a position to arbitrarily destroy the rules that the RPG social contract is based on, shattering trust.
if you want the GM to be less of a pushover, ask him to change how he's doing things or find a different GM
9:53 PM
There is something like Rule 0 that is necessary in just about any RPG group, but it is not Rule 0.
@oblivionsage unless you design rules that cover the entire gamma of possibilities (example: if none of the previous apply, chose randomly between the players, the winner decides)
It's the idea that the group, through consultation and consensus, is always right.
@BESW I think I need to change from using Rule 0 to refer to "The rules can change to make the game fun for the table." then.
@BESW and the social pressure is not anymore on a single person
@SimonGill Yeah, Rule 0 has inevitable "GM Powers" implications.
9:54 PM
@Zachiel: except then you have to trust everyone at the table to act in the interest of the group having fun, rather than just the GM; it makes social contract issues worse
@Zachiel Many groups decide, as mine has, that the GM can be the final arbiter of a decision during a session in order move things along, and a more permanent ruling will be arrived at out of session.
@BESW Do you remember your tirade about convincing people? I'm in for some lessons.
@BESW I'm firmly of the opinion that those decisions should be recorded and kept as evidence of house rules so that new players can be brought up to speed on your changes.
@SimonGill I fully agree.
@ObliviousSage Is it really better that having only one person decide?
9:56 PM
@Zachiel The group can decide for one person to decide.
[confused face] didn't i just say that, no, i think it's worse than having only one person decide?
@simongill this is why almost no group plays D&D by the book. Every group has different house rules which make different groups incompatible
That's usually how it goes. It ends up looking like Rule 0, but it's a democratically-appointed Rule 0.
And now I'm off to supervise my father's morning swim. Ta!
Democracy can be evil too if you're in the minority
@Zachiel Again, anecdotally, I'd have to disagree.
9:58 PM
and that's why I'd like to play games that have rules not for deciding what a character can do but on how a player can influence the story
@SimonGill 4e D&D is almost rule-0 less
The only thing I've been able to conclude from this, is that your current game isn't fun.
but noone else wants to DM
so I guess my players are ok with it being just an excuse for being there
or maybe they just like hearing me telling them a story
the D&D manual somewhere says "the DM's job is to entertain the other players"
@Zachiel It's still there - it's just much less necessary (one of the big reasons I prefer it over 3.x).
@Zachiel Old, bad and outdated advice. GMing is not a job.
You are all supposed to be having fun. You shouldn't be marking time doing the same old things again and again like you were playing World of Warcraft.
@SimonGill it wasn't there at the beginning. It got reintroduced on popular demand. You know, people who think it's not a RPG if no rule 0 is there
The idea is to work together to create fun for everyone participating.
10:03 PM
the idea is that the DM gets all the work
or the vast majority of it
writing the plot
preparing the monster sheets
Heh. Not at my table. I make my players bring something for me to work with. Background snippets and such.
@Zachiel Still old, bad and outdated advice.
I'm talking about 3.x
My group keeps track of initiative
Players who put in effort have more agency and feel more invested. More agency is good for the game.
I always have to call out for the player keeping it
in D&D 3.x's case it's the impression of having more agency. They can do whatever they want, if I wanted to it would be absolutely futile
(IF I wanted to)
10:05 PM
Popping in to say: When I'm back, I will have a dismantling of Rule 0 and why it means well but conflates too many different goals to effectively achieve any of them.
@Zachiel 3.x doesn't support or encourage it well, but it is 10 years old, so we can forgive it a stumble.
I'm not sure what else I can say. Sounds like you're unhappy with the game and your group dynamics. I had this problem a few years ago and I simply quit DMing for the following year.
RPGs only work when the whole group wants compatible things
it sounds like you're in a group with people who want the game to play in a way that's incompatible with how you want it to play
You can dissect the rules and examine group politics all day, but the bottom line here is it does not sound like you are having fun equal to the amount of work you put in.
@simongill people still tries to create games using that 10 years old model
10:09 PM
@Zachiel: that's because there are plenty of people who enjoy that model, that think anything else is heresy
@Zachiel If they're having fun, they've found the group dynamics that work. Either through study or by accident.
I'm not saying it's not enjoyable. People can have fun with it. But they should stop looking at whoever's not having fun telling them it's their or their DM's fault
games witout rule 0 are easier to have fun with
not to be harsh, but if you're staying in a group whose style makes you unhappy, it is your fault you're not having fun
@madmaxjr keep in mind I'm making almost no work for I use published adventures, by the book.
Have you ever considered other systems that have rulesets that are more to your liking?
10:12 PM
@oblivious sage it's the only group I have
@Zachiel For you. You might like the rules to be exactly like they are in the book - but not everyone does. I mostly do, but I don't mind houserules if they are clear and upfront.
if you don't like how a group does things, and the group doesn't want to change, there's no shame in leaving the group; it doesn't say anything bad about you or the group (in most cases; some people are genuinely disfunctional)
@simongill making house rules might be fun and interesting but it's not exactly easy
and that's precisely my point. You can have fun if you put your efforts in making HRs that work
I'm not a game designer, so I try to avoid creating house rules when I can avoid it.
@ObliviousSage An here's the problem. I'm the one that wants to play more. And being the GM at D&D 3.0 is better than being alone at home which is in turn better of losing every single game at DotA2
which is what my group would like me to do when I don't DM
10:16 PM
@MadMAxJr If you're making the same kind of judgment calls repeatedly - then that's a house rule. It doesn't have to be on the scale of replacing the grappling rules!
so, look for another group?
@Zachiel You're presenting a false dichotomy here.
@SimonGill Expand please
@MadMAxJr what does an explosion do to cavern walls? Not in the manual---> you decide. You just made an home rule. Hope your players don't exploit that in a situation where it makes no sense but could win them a battle
You are saying that your only options are "Run D&D 3.0", "Stay at home alone", "Lose at DotA 2". Those are not your only options (but they may well be the only ones you are willing to consider).
For instance, Carolina is planning to run a L5R campaign, right? Is she local to you? That's another option.
She was, now she's in California while I'm in Italy
10:21 PM
@Zachiel Fair enough.
But there are still other hobbies that you could take up to expand your horizons (instrument lessons, cooking classes, dancing, running clubs). It's worth trying many different things to see what pings.
If I stop being the DM, nobody wants to be. At least one of the player doesn't want to play any other RPG. The rest of the group don't want to do anything that's not ok to everyone. We, as a group, don't do anything togheter. I'm not considering driving after a certain time. So I can go at some pub (I don't drink or smoke) or stay at home
I already sing
are these people you genuinely want to be spending time with?
Let's say that if I want to play RPGs I need to DM 3.x
@Zachiel Cool. There's something you could do to meet more people.
@oblivioussage I'm sincerely unable to evaluate such a thing. My fault
10:24 PM
@Zachiel "Let's say that if I want to play RPGs with this group, I need to DM 3.x"
@Zachiel: what simon gill just said
I've tried to gather another group, every attempt has failed to now
I'm sorry to hear you're in such a situation. Don't force yourself to keep running a game that only makes you miserable.
you might also try online; playing via skype+maptools and other stuff along those lines isn't as good as playing in person, but if you find a good group it may end up being a lot more fun than what you're doing now
@MadMAxJr everything in my life makes me miserable, from talking to women to finding a job so it's not a real proble,
10:26 PM
Then the problem is outside the scope of this channel. I hope you find help for your situation.
this is starting to drift from RPG discussion into psychotherapy; i recommend you talk to a specialist for that
yeah I know
@Zachiel As somebody who's been there - I can sympathise. It does get better though. And as the guys say, this is the point we can't really help further.
I'm not looking for help here, I'm just explaining you the situation
@Zachiel Well, this chat has come a long way from discussing characters telling the truth and what happens on a rules level.
10:30 PM
As for your gaming issues, I would advise discussing the gameplay issues with your group and ask for suggestions on how you can have fun as a group. Maybe they need to try a different game, even if some are reluctant to leave 3.X
some are... let's say... fanatic about D&D
they want to go back to AD&D now
@Zachiel Including the guy who hates anything but 3.x?
they started playing AD&D by getting the rules from Baldur's Gate II
He's the main agent of change in the wrong direction
Well, dndclassics.com has plenty of old pdfs for sale.
I'm not telling him
10:37 PM
Maybe it'll be more to your liking anyway - old school d&d is more about what the players think to do than what the characters skill says he can do.
I don't think I'm able to DM that
but I know what they're gonna do in that game. Play Baldur's Gate.
Which really means "playing Diablo 2"
sounds horrid :)
just with nerdier rules
@Zachiel So they'll want to play children of Bhaal?
No, they'll want to solve every problem with brute force
10:43 PM
@Zachiel Then give them choices where brute force works either way, but what they decide is the important thing.
they usually kill both parties. Have you ever played fallout and became uable to end it because you killed all the quest giver NPCs?
I was playing an Agon game once
Du you know Agon?
@Zachiel No to both those questions.
It's basically "we're ancient greece heroes and we want to showoff to each other while doing things"
Sounds like an evil sandbox game would work out well then. Give them locations to conquer and NPCs to kill whose deaths have interesting consequences.
the more we talk the more I realyze how half the things won't be doable because of the same problematic person
he plays other games when we organize convetions
10:47 PM
so just stop telling him when you're gonna play
he's the only one who always comes
Hmm. 2nd Edition AD&D. I recall that one doesn't even have rules in the book for delaying your action in combat.
Weapon speed rules..... Augh!
however this guy can't really understand all those games where his character has to decide what he wants to do. He wants missions.
in agon we had this mission
two rival houses had their sons escape for a forbidden love
Ah yes. That kind of gamer. Here's a new town. "Who has quest indicators over their heads? Lets just touch those and go already."
the orders were to bring them back and convince them not to marry. Well, the group killed them.
that solved the problem, right?
10:50 PM
@Zachiel I'm trying to find the question about dealing with problem individuals at the moment.
@Zachiel and created a new one.
the GM cried in pain
@Zachiel Was it the group, or was it 1 person that started it?
we'll never know
the group
two guys from my group
I simply couldn't play in a group like that
and a guy from a different group here in the zone (but they have a WoD campaign with 8 players and no space for a 9th)
I think I already told you that other anecdote about the drow city and his approach
"let's see if we can solve this with diplomacy"
"not to say that we're gonna let them live after they surrend"
10:53 PM
This could be really useful to you:
A: Can rules changes fix interpersonal problems at the table?

aramisIn some rare cases, rules tweaks can bring borderline cases back to participation. For example, streamlining combat or task systems can take a game that has an issue and make it more playable. But in general, problems with individuals tend to be deeper than rules; setting is often far more impor...

Q: What To Do When You Just Seem To Not Belong With a Group?

Deidre IannelliI'm looking for some advice and input on a situation I've found myself in as a player. To give a little background, my gaming group (4 men, 2 women, between the ages of 25 and 32) is about to end a Werewolf: The Apocalypse game that has been going on for 5 years now. There have been in-game and o...

55 mins ago, by Zachiel
the D&D manual somewhere says "the DM's job is to entertain the other players"
The DMG also tells the GM, and I quote, "You're the boss."
So don't take anything it says about the social contract very seriously.
I would also add - the DM has to entertain themselves as well
@Phil This.
I'm trying to put together that Rule 0 deconstruction, but it's getting very wordy.
A good game is enjoyable for everyone.
@BESW I can't imagine deconstructing something like that in less than a college essay.
Unfortunately, Zachiel's group has noticed that he's the only one who's actually invested in having an RPG group in the first place. So they have him in a headlock.
If he doesn't do things their way, the RPG falls apart. (When he stopped GMing, there was no game until he agreed to GM again.)
11:00 PM
But from the sounds of it there isn't really a game when he is running it either
Not that he enjoys
@Phil Because he's the only one with that investment, they can make him dance to their tune. They don't realize that having a game in which the GM caters to their every whim (as he said he does, earlier today) isn't a game at all.
But they've having fun with their wish-fulfillment at the expense of Zachiel's social anxiety.
And they're making me eager to have some wish-fulfillment at the expense of someone else more than getting in a healty game
@Zachiel That's very self-aware of you.
@SimonGill I'm hoping to do a "high points" brief.
Now I absolutely want to play D&D too, with a character, from scratch to 20 at least and I expect the DM to do it in a way that pleases me. Unfortunately that's gonna turn into a delusion.
@Zachiel It's fine to have that as a goal. It's probably going to be very difficult where you are right now, but it's possible in the future.
11:08 PM
@Zachiel So long as you're in a poisonous environment like that one, certainly. In a less toxic group you might stand a chance, but running 20 levels is always subject to the intervention of Real Life.
my main group has never even made it 10 levels with one story/setting/party
@ObliviousSage I've made it 9 before... I was about to say that my GM moved to Scotland... but my PC volunteered to leave the game when he met his mother and her new partner - the big bad.
@SimonGill [snerk]
@ObliviousSage I've been talking about this some time ago. This problematic player told me he has met a guy at his university that plays the same game since 10 years ago, they're lvl 70 now
what is there to DO at level 70?
11:12 PM
@BESW I don't think the GM was expecting me to agree to leave when the bad guy was right there. But it made sense.
even the most powerful gods are level 40-50
@ObliviousSage That was my question too.
don't ask me
and a friend of mine once did 18 levels in 8 months with her collegues/roommates
@ObliviousSage Ascend to other RPG systems and wreak havoc? That's what I'd do.
they played 3/24 5/7
11:14 PM
that only works with people who have exactly the same real-life schedule that you do, zachiel
Level 70 3.5 Batman Wizard dimension shifts into Vampire: The Masquerade. Spam-casts a dozen maximized empowered expanded extended daylight spells each round, to cover the earth with light for a few months. Moves on.
@BESW Antedeluvians wake up, world ends. You know what happened when Ravnos got nudged awake, right?
note to self: next time i'm DMing a vampire game and am tempted to do a "rocks fall, everyone dies" ...
Shows up in d20 Modern Stargate SG-1. Dominates the Asgard, gets a nifty starship.
11:17 PM
@ObliviousSage Great idea.
Turns up in Exalted. Challenges the Unconquered Sun. Gets bitchslapped back to level 1.
Pops up in Doctor Who RPG, laughs at the TARDIS, spell reflects the Master's spell-like charm ability, leaves with a handful of Vervoid seeds.
In Batman, hands Poison Ivy the Vervoid seeds, scries the Batman's secret identity, gives the Scarecrow a wand of fear.
Now I want to run this game.
11:21 PM
@Zachiel But this is fun :P
I'm in this hylarious state where I can't say anything without shouting
@SimonGill I'm just envious of being unable to come up with such great things
@Zachiel It's just practice.
@SimonGill Practice in a supportive environment. If you get slapped down every time you try, it's easy to stop trying.
@BESW That too. Good feedback is vital.
ok go on then
11:27 PM
So then, pick a setting, pick the most powerful beings/things in that universe and figure out how high level powers can help the Batman take over and move on.
Shows up in R'lyeh with underwater breathing. Casts banishment on Cthulhu, loots R'lyeh.
Wait, was there a Batman wizard scrying over Batman there?
Batman uses his detective powers to figure out what's going on, realizes he's been outdone & retires
Shows up in don't rest your head Needs to memorize.
11:29 PM
@Zachiel Bweheheheheh.
I think I got the gist of it
The presumption here is that 3.5 has so many spells that are broken within its own context, placing them in a different context makes them able to handily defeat even the most powerful beings of other systems.
And that a level 70 wizard in 3.5 is simultaneously so powerful and so bored he'd do it for kicks.
Arrives in My Life With Master with a satchelful of cure scrolls. Fixes everyone's physical and mental problems.
Arrives in Fiasco. Turns all the dice white.
@SimonGill Best use of prestidigitation ever?
I'd rather have my dice turned to black
I like inglorious basterds going away unscathed
11:36 PM
@Zachiel Since you assign dice colors to good and bad with each game, it doesn't really matter. :P
I've seen it played once at a CON
they ended much later than their time slot
they played it before lunch, after lunch
and a little bit after the afternoon slot
One game of Fiasco? I think we didn't quite expand on stuff as much as we could do and only spent a couple of hours per game.
explanation plus game.
4 hours
maybe they started it late for some unknown reason
I think I was having a don't rest your head game meanwhile
with pre-made characters, ugh
@Zachiel Never seen it.
cool mechanics
you roll dice of several colors. 3 white, as many reds and blacks as you want and need to beat the GM's violet dice (you count successes)
then according to which color has more successes different thing happens
11:45 PM
The interesting bit of the mechanic is that while you can roll increasing amounts of reds and blacks, the more you roll the more likely to you are to incur penalties... which make your character closer to 'death,' but also give you more dice available to roll.
sounds like a good risk/reward idea
Yeah. The more you try to succeed immediately, the more you're able to achieve immediate success later... but the closer you get to losing your character.
Okay, I'd like to solicit ideas for my Rule 0 notions.
> Rule 0 is not a single codified rule. It’s an attitude that’s been given a fancy name to provide it rhetorical weight, and no two groups are going to define it the exact same way.
> I’ve most often seen it boiled down to “The GM is always right.” It usually either carries connotations of “The GM can change the rules whenever he wants” or “The GM can say ‘no’ whenever he wants.” Neither of these is true, nor do they address the heart of why Rule 0 contains value.
> First, it’s important to remember that Rule 0 is primarily a social construct, not an ACTUAL rule. It arose spontaneously out of an environment I am far too young to have experienced myself, but I can do some informed speculation on the issues it was trying to address. In no particular order:
> a) Game Rules Can’t Handle the Extent of Player Creativity. No game can cover every possible permutation that will show up at the table, and the group needs a method to deal with this when it comes up. Since the GM is usually the one with the fullest picture of the situation and the most experience in the rules, it makes sense for the GM to be the arbiter.
> b) The GM Has Better Ideas. Sometimes in order for something cool to happen, the GM has to bend or break the rules. Most groups want to allow cool stuff.
> c) The GM Does All the Work, and thus should be given power and prestige in accordance with his effort. This is blatantly silly, but appealing to a GM’s ego. In groups where being GM is an onerous task no one really wants, this kind of power bribe might be seen as necessary to get anyone to take up the mantle.
> d) Somebody Should Be In Charge. This is simple social psychology; because the GM runs most of the game world, he should ‘logically’ also be in control of the rules and the group.
Please suggest more?
a) is not true since games without it exist. At least specify this is a perceived issue
good point on the power bribe
Someone needs to be the impartial arbirtrator when rules queries come up. Players cannot generally do this as they have an inherent interest in the survival of their characters and are therefore biased. The GM's role is to be impartial and therefore they are in the best position to resolve rules queries fairly
May I copy it in a forum with competent people and try to get their ideas?
11:54 PM
@Zachiel Not yet, please. It's very rough.
@Zachiel a) is true. The solutions to it vary, but generally the person who has been delegated to as the arbitrator gets to make the decisions.
@BESW When you've finished, I'd appreciate it if you could take a quick look at my answer to rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/21463/…
@SimonGill I skipped that because I know nothing about L5R.
@BESW It's not the specifics, but the structure of my answer that I'm worried about. It doesn't seem to be all that clear.
Doesn't help that it's being talked about in l5r and D&D terms at the same time.
@besw I can wait a better version or we could move the discussion there. It's an italian forum but we can have the discussion in english without anyone complaining
@SimonGill Except when a system can handle it without human intervention
every time I try to make an easy example trollbabe comes to my mind but trollbabe has other problems and I usually can't get much out of it
@Zachiel I pasted a very rough early and incomplete draft of a controversial topic here because it grows out of an existing conversation so the people here already know where I'm coming from and we are familiar with each others' ideas and rhetoric. I'm not interested in blind workshopping.
11:58 PM
@BESW fine with me
@Zachiel I'd argue that every game requires arbitration, regardless of whether it's acknowledged.
apart from GMless games like Fiasco
@Zachiel Can you give an example of a system that manages it? FATE comes closest, but even so, there's a lot of judgement calls about how something can be done mechanically.
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