5E Storm Kings Thunder Playlist
Page 2 of 3 First 123 Last

Thread: Rules Lawyers

  1. #11
    I generally make a determination and then say we can deep dive the rules after the session for future games but my determination will stand until then.

    I also provide my methodology at the start of campaigns so everyone knows.

    I've not had a problem with this solution and I am always careful to log my decisions so everyone is aware in the future and the rule always applies to myself as well as players, advantageous or disadvantageous. People seem generally okay with it.

  2. #12
    I've noticed too that, occasionally, people just have bad days and are in an argumentative mood. If you've never dealt with the problem in the group before, perhaps this time was just a "mood" that went over the table. I too think mentioning it to the group afterward is important, especially if it was bad enough to impact you. In-game, if I notice one player being short or "rules-lawyery" I'll often whisper them to make sure they're all right. Sometimes a simple "Hey, noticed you were tense, everything good?" can correct it quickly.
    Games Running:
    Skull & Shackles Wednesdays (Pathfinder)
    Skull & Shackles Saturdays (Pathfinder)
    Star Wars Sundays (SW RPG FFG)

  3. #13
    Thanks guys, there are a lot of great suggestions and ideas here. I'm feeling much better about things now that some time has passed. We had a good session on Sunday.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by malvok View Post
    Thanks guys, there are a lot of great suggestions and ideas here. I'm feeling much better about things now that some time has passed. We had a good session on Sunday.
    Sometimes that is all that is needed, of course make sure to bring it up some time even if the issue seems to be passed.
    Lots of people have been bitten in the *** by unsolved problems that were "no longer problems"

  5. #15
    I'm monitoring this thread too since I'm going to run 5e D&D, and recall some horror stories back in the 80's - back then, it was kind of fun to argue but I don't have the time or patience for that now.

    There's great advice so far (which I'll also be using) but wanted to add a technique I've used in past games. This dealt with situations where there isn't a clear ruling.

    Before I make a ruling, I do consider the consequences of a ruling going forward. For example, if I rule that a particular spell works this way now (and I'm fine with ruling favorably for a player), will the player then expect the spell to work that way all the time?
    Also, how important is this ruling to the PC? Meaning, is it likely to come up again? Is it central to a character concept (not something I would know - I ask the player instead)?

    One way to deal with that is to think it is a fluke, a one-off. Don't expect this to work this way going forward.

    Another way is to distinguish this situation from future ones i.e., this is why the spell worked this way in this particular circumstance. But what if it is the "same" situation? What if the player wants to do something to make sure it is?

    A third way is what I call "power stunting". I learned this from years of running superhero games, and I brought that play style when I ran 4e, which was cinematic, fast and loose. In this case, I might give some quick explanation of why it possibly could work this way now, and ask for a roll of some sort. For 4e, I might use a Skill Challenge. I found this to be an engaging way for players to think creatively but not necessarily do that special use "all the time".

    My GM style tends to use the second and third way above. I do encourage players to think creatively (again, par for the course in superhero games).

  6. #16
    If I feel that things are getting a bit tense during a discussion, then I tried hard to never use the word "you". Instead, I tried how to explain what I think, what I want to happen, what I am trying to accomplish, etc. As soon as I use "you", I tend to get emotional and accuse the players of things, and then resolution is really difficult. So I avoid the y word.

  7. #17
    ddavison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    5,025
    Blog Entries
    21
    I sometimes will ask for a rules discussion if I'm playing a new system so that I can fully understand the rule and how it is applied in a game. If it's the first time a specific type of rule has come up (i.e. how do you grapple) then getting everyone on the same page at the first occurrence seems helpful to me as a player or DM. I've been a DM and a player and I've been in games where a DM specifically chose to run a specific rule in a way that was not how it was written up. That is normally okay with me as long as it is applied consistently. I'm not sure if that counts as rules-lawyering or not.

    Other times, if I'm running a new system, I will ask the most rules-lawyer-ish player to look things up for us while we continue playing. Assigning them a research role helps me keep the game running smoothly and we can make a quick DM call at the moment and still find the correct ruling for future cases. When I reach a break, I'll ask them what they found on the ruling. It keeps them busy instead of argumentative and they seem happy that the rule is found and applied properly.

  8. #18
    In the end, every session we'd have players either uninformed of how their character's abilities worked arguing their incorrect beliefs or we'd have some being actively deceptive to abuse the system. Additionally, people were not keeping track of their resources or cast spells and they wouldn't put forth any effort to set up their character effects etc. I could no longer stomach the arguments, the ignorance, the laziness, or the cheating so I just killed the whole campaign.

  9. #19
    LordEntrails's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    -7 UTC
    Posts
    12,071
    Blog Entries
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by malvok View Post
    In the end, every session we'd have players either uninformed of how their character's abilities worked arguing their incorrect beliefs or we'd have some being actively deceptive to abuse the system. Additionally, people were not keeping track of their resources or cast spells and they wouldn't put forth any effort to set up their character effects etc. I could no longer stomach the arguments, the ignorance, the laziness, or the cheating so I just killed the whole campaign.
    That's unfortunate, but understandable.

    Don't let it discourage you from starting a new campaign. My strong suggestion is to not to just start a new campaign with random people (or the same people!). Rather, run a half doze or so one shots. You can do this through a few of the discord communities, online cons, and the forums here. Take notes on the players themselves. Then, when you have about 10 that you think would make a good campaign and fit your style, reach out to them about starting a long term campaign. Have a few set game times and see what fits in their schedules, also layout a little bit of the campaign concept and the type of party you are expecting (good heroes, self-interested survivors, murder hobos, etc) and see who's interested.

    I did that with my current group and we've been running almost every week now for a few years.

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    USA west coast, PDT/UTC-8
    Posts
    26
    Just my 2 cents on rules lawyers.

    My style works for me because i can act. To the player I am allowing a roll they asked for, they do not understand that there is honestly no point in rolling the die, if i find that their desired outcome is beyond their character to achieve.

    So all players that plead any case to make any roll of any kind, are almost never denied at my table.
    When someone puts themselves into the position of, "hold my beer and watch this." That is their freedom of choice to do. Just because a player feels or even finds a printed rule that says they get a roll. That is 100% unrelated to if they have a chance to succeed or not.

    If i perceive it is, by the narrative, irrational for a character to have a reasonable chance of success then they do not have that chance. Whihc is not the same as, their own understanding of their limitations.
    Plenty of people, IRL, try, with confidence, things they are the hell not going to succeed at, all the time. I find no reason the characters in the party are any different.
    When a player asks to make a seemingly unreasonable roll, i obligingly hold their beer for them, and tell them the results of their roll.

    As the target number is, at least at my table always secret from the players. Then as long as i do not make it obvious to the players that number is in fact relative to the checker's skill set, and not a single fixed DC that many might arbitrarily luck into.
    Then, they are always glad they got to claim a roll without argument, even if it fails every time they get it.

    The only down sides this has ever produced is at the table where all the players were the, i get roll too players. And now among such a group it will tend to be that every single skill check is either passed by who probably ought to be doing it, or we will have to take the time for all the players to get to roll dice on everything.
    But when that happens, and it's just what the players seem to be into. Well they look to who will rightly skill check roll, and then just all get their dice in hand and wait their turn. No one has to keep making the rules argument about why they get a roll, if they want they get it, and that happens way faster than debate and justification.

    The key is the players can't be let to know when there is no point in them rolling. If they felt they won the "i get a roll" argument, when they did anticipated a debate over it, they are happy and done debating and take their roll.
    But if you don't play it well, to be consulting the DC and letting them know they didn't meet it. If they imagine you are just not giving them any sucess odds in the first place on purpose, then the debate will not be about if they get a roll or not, but what their odds ought to be and that you are not "fair" with them.



    In more of a nut shell:
    real world is people acting irrationally all the time, so to me that just makes the RP world have that much more plausibility, when some of the characters make some less than rational choices.

    So if what a player just asked to try with their character, sounds more reasonable when we put,
    Hold my beer and watch this,
    in front of it.

    Then this is a perfectly reasonable unreasonable thing to see go on sometimes. It's normal IRL so it's normal in the RP lore too i feel.
    As GM I deliver the expected "hold my beer and watch this" outcomes. And the verisimilitude is maintained, by not arguing with the players that they should not do something that sounds irrational.
    But by letting them and delivering the most rationally plausible outcomes from their course of action. ; )
    Last edited by A Social Yeti; September 14th, 2020 at 22:46.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
SWADE Playlist

Log in

Log in