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Rules Attorneys at Law


pcktlnt
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I like to houserule things myself, but I always try to warn players ahead of time so they don't get surprised. My most painful other-person-as-GM interactions have been the surprise houserules that happen to rule out that cool and totally legal-by-the-official-rules thing I was trying to do.

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Even with the rule lawyers I game with if you are creative we houserule. Creativity always gets you bonuses.

Unless you're REALLY creative and break the DM's brain, which I did to my college DM several times.  Poor guy.

 

My wife did that to me once in a game I was running. She still likes to remind me of it from time to time.

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I'm fine with house rules, but I'll always note the event, day, time and by whom. That way I can use it as well. Pissed of a DM that way when I kept using his "cool" events against him. Then if they give me beef, and not the good kind, I pull out my little notebook and read from it.

 

If you don't want it across the board, don't create broken rules.

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TBH, and sorry if it offends any fellow GM out there, that is lousy directing. As a GM you need to earn the respect of your players, fudging rules every turn of the road is in my book a fast way to lose it.

 

I hate rules above story. As my personal way of having fun, because that is what this is all about, I prefer it the other way around, that is why I am gravitating more towards *World engine games, FATE and the like.

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TBH, and sorry if it offends any fellow GM out there, that is lousy directing. As a GM you need to earn the respect of your players, fudging rules every turn of the road is in my book a fast way to lose it.

 

I hate rules above story. As my personal way of having fun, because that is what this is all about, I prefer it the other way around, that is why I am gravitating more towards *World engine games, FATE and the like.

Yup, as a GM I often allowed some rules twisting it meant a more memorable event for the players. Both in their favor or against them (though against them was more discrete) if mechanically or thematically it makes sense at that very moment.

 

Real game examples:

- In a Pathfinder martial arts tournament, for an event one PC had to break stuff bare handed by bypassing material hardness (or item damage reduction DR). His character had nothing against bypassing DR, nor massive strength, but he was a martial artist monk with a "exploit weakness" class feature. So for that event I allowed that class feature to work against materials and gave him a fighting chance.

- PCs found a room with a trapped chessboard in the center, touching it activated a teleportation trap within the room into a life size chess battle. But some PCs were just outside the room and would have split the group. The ones staying outside would've missed a battle and wait. So I decided the trap would teleport them too. Group stay together, everyone gets to participate.

- PCs had to impress a prince by cooking an exotic meal for hundreds of people. By pooling all the skills, tricks and magic of the group, and some creative rules bending, the group managed to create giant masterwork haggis (we had a bagpiping bard who knew the recipe).

Edited by Cranky Dog
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When I DM, we usually have this main rule about rule discussions: right there and then we don't spend alot of time hunting down rules, we play it by ear. Intricate rules discussions are something we do outside the play time. The big exception is if I may risk killing of a PC by mistake ;).

 

We are pretty good at checking out rules between sessions and encounters, tho. And pay it right the next time :)

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Sometimes "Rule of Cool" trumps what's in the book.

 

Rule of Cool always trumps what's in the book in my case, but because we find entertainment in being heroic and memorable, not in getting rules exactly right  :blush:

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I'm in three campaigns at current, my longest running is really strict with the rules, and, sadly, the ruleset is D&D4E, which I really dislike.  My second longest running game (though I've been through several campaigns with this group) is pretty rules heavy, but it's Pathfinder, which I know inside and out, and I love (it's my favorite D20 system).  My most recent campaign is D&D5E, and we're pretty fast and loose with the rules, which is sort of a requirement of 5E, and so far, I'm really digging 5E, though, I'm not sure how much of that is because it's so completely not 4E.

 

Personally, I'm not a rules-lawyer, though I may join the chorus of "WTF" if someone blatantly is messing with stuff.  My one buddy, Mike, though, he's not so much a rules-lawyer, as a min-max master...he finds esoteric rules and bends them to his will, if anyone calls him on something, he can quote chapter and verse of where the ridiculous bonuses he's got came from.  I recall one encounter, where we walked into a massive fortress, and the first encounter in there were two dire giants, combined over 1000 HP, and nasty.  He rolled super high initiative, and then became a PC-Chainsaw (he was running a crazy multi-class which included the 'Dervish' prestige class, and he had an intelligent, spell-storing glaive - he actually won a contest from Reaper and the character was sculpted for him: http://www.reapermini.com/OnlineStore/dervish/latest/03372 ). He killed one of them outright, and brought the other one down to nearly dead (he did roll a couple crits on the first guy that he didn't on the second), but the other 4 of us at the table managed to bring down the other guy before the end of the first round.  Our DM was dumbstruck.  He expected that to be a primary combat for the evening, and it was over in 15 minutes.

Edited by LordJosh
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I have that mini! Nice to know the story behind it.

 

You know, if anybody want a taste of narrative game (Dungeon World) I can probably set that up via Hangout instead of painting time. Would love to, actually. I can't guarantee you will like it if you are coming from a traditional mindframe, but it will for sure open your mind to a different way to play.

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I had a similar experience for the climactic battle of my two year old campaign.

 

Heroes finally arrive in the throne room with the usurper waiting for them with his own group, and I even added a Hellknight that got convinced to join them.

 

Heroes manage to drop the 400hp giant threat in one round, the evil ruler rolled badly with his attacks, and our bard cast a spell to force the ruler's allies to worsen their view of him. The Hellknight failed his saving throw, and realizing the heroes had the legitimate heir with them, switched sides. Then the ruler got disarmed of his kickass sword.

 

The evil ruler got overwhelmingly neutered so quickly that he surrendered right there on the spot. Totally NOT what I had planned, but I rolled with it.

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