Draegnoth
 member, 42 posts
 Been playing for 25 years
 Can fill any role
Tue 19 Jan 2021
at 19:00
So close
If I had a nickel for every game I've looked at on here that looked promising and was in a setting I enjoy only to read the allowed options and been totally put off I'd be a wealthy man. No one wants to be pigeon holed into playing the ship mechanic or a trap monkey from a race that is very not suited to the role.

If I'm playing Star Wars I want to be a Jedi. If I'm playing a rogue in D&D I want to be a halfling. If I'm playing 40k I want to be a Space Marine. The number of games requiring you to join as some very uninteresting ancillary character on here is astounding.

It would feel like trying to run a race with a ship anchor tied to my waist.
MrKinister
 member, 103 posts
Tue 19 Jan 2021
at 19:07
So close
Are you talking about games that are looking to replace an existing player who just left? Or are these games that are starting and are looking for a full complement of roles to fill out  a party?
Draegnoth
 member, 43 posts
 Been playing for 25 years
 Can fill any role
Tue 19 Jan 2021
at 19:15
So close
Both. Its a little more understandable for already established games. They may need a specific role, but thats a big ask and a much smaller number of players are going to be willing to have their options picked for them.

For new games it's unforgivable. I will never join a game under such limited and draconian rules. Not that anyone is saying I have to, I just don't get how people expect that to fly.
Sir Swindle
 member, 282 posts
Tue 19 Jan 2021
at 19:23
So close
It's a GM's market. If I want a party of all drow clerics I could get 25 RTJ's with different cleric builds. I literally joined an all Bard game once.

PbP is pretty much where GM's take all their game ideas that they would never get their real friends to play. My buddies wouldn't put up with an all Droid freedom fighter game. But I can find at least 5 schmucks to humor me on the internet.
tmagann
 member, 693 posts
Tue 19 Jan 2021
at 19:29
So close
In reply to Draegnoth (msg # 3):

They expect folks willing to abide by the campaign guidelines to apply, not folks who won't.

And, speaking as one who has strong guidelines, usually, you'd be surprised how often folks ignore the posted limits and get angry when you won't make an exception for them.

Some games aren't meant to be as cosmopolitan as others. If everyone is a Jedi, it gets a bit boring. And not all thieves are or should be halflings. Nor should all halflings be thieves.

Everyone wants to be the prime character. That's hard in a party of 4. And not fair to 3 of them. It's worse in a group of 6 or 8.

The options are narrow for what you want: Search Players wanted over and over until you find one, Advertise on GM Wanted (stating your requirements up front), or run a game yourself and maybe get the other viewpoint about why GMs advertise as they do. If you really want to understand WHY we do it that way.

But mostly I'd recommend a GM Wanted ad, maybe for a solo game. One where you are expected to be the center of attention.
Dirigible
 member, 232 posts
Tue 19 Jan 2021
at 19:32
Re: So close
Draegnoth:
For new games it's unforgivable. I will never join a game under such limited and draconian rules. Not that anyone is saying I have to, I just don't get how people expect that to fly.

You might want to amend your profile's bio lines, in that case.
MrKinister
 member, 104 posts
Tue 19 Jan 2021
at 19:56
Re: So close
Yeah, the only thing I can recommend is to keep on looking for other games. For reasons that seem to baffle me in their inexplicability there is a dearth of Game Masters out there right now. Everyone wants to play, and so very few people want to run.

So you will have to keep your options open.

But I am sure you will find the niche you are looking for in due time, just have to be patient.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 360 posts
Tue 19 Jan 2021
at 20:54
Re: So close
From the GM side, too, bear in mind that some GMs just may have had one too many bad experiences with certain class/race combinations. For me, it's bards - I don't care what race, what kind, every game I've ever been in with a bard that wasn't gestalted with something reasonable, the bard has (often literally) been the death of the party. Ditto for Malkavians.

That doesn't mean I'd never, ever, allow one - but it's a hard sell, and one that I wouldn't really want someone to pitch me. If a game ad says 'No Bards' and you really, really want to play a Bard, I'd suggest starting by asking 'Might I ask why no bards?' so that the GM can explain their reasoning, and you can (if applicable) counter-pitch why *YOUR* bard won't be a problem. It definitely works better than ignoring the requirements and pitching a bard anyway (because nothing says 'This player won't pay attention' like someone that pitches something that's blatantly against the Ad in the first place), and you never know, you might find a good fit in the end.
evileeyore
 member, 437 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined August 2015
Tue 19 Jan 2021
at 21:04
Re: So close
SunRuanEr:
That doesn't mean I'd never, ever, allow one - but it's a hard sell...

Inversely, if my RTJ has a hard rule, it won't be allowed.  If I say "no Kender", that means no Kender at chargen.  Later?  Sure, if you've proven to be a responsible Player, chargen rules change for Players I have experience with.  In some cases they get firmer and more restrictive, but in most they loosen up.
Draegnoth
 member, 44 posts
 Been playing for 25 years
 Can fill any role
Tue 19 Jan 2021
at 23:17
Re: So close
It just seems so counterintuitive. We're adults playing make believe in games that strongly encourage everyone to be diverse and accepting, yet so very many games on here are highly restricted.

I've found several games that suit my preferences to one degree or another. Its just that so many others look very appealing when reading the setting and story background..... until I get to the player restrictions. Then I just head back to the home page with imagination blue balls.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 361 posts
Tue 19 Jan 2021
at 23:23
Re: So close
That's totally fair. You're not the only one that's been put off by restrictions, trust me. Sometimes they're there for Good Reasons, though.

In any case, like I tell my kids, you should always ask if you encounter something like that. The worst thing you can hear is 'No', and that's what you've already told yourself mentally anyway. Some GMs will make concessions, some will have Also Cool Things to offer you as a counter that you might not have thought of, sometimes GMs forget to update Wanted Ads/Character Creation when they bump and might not even realize they forgot to remove Restriction X (particularly likely if they have a very long Character Creation section, sometimes things get overlooked, I know!) - so it never hurts to open a dialogue with the GM if it feels like a perfect fit except for one particular thing.

Happy game hunting. =)

This message was last edited by the user at 23:24, Tue 19 Jan.

DaCuseFrog
 member, 116 posts
 SW Florida
Wed 20 Jan 2021
at 04:18
Re: So close
I've run into this problem in a couple of different ways.  One is "PHB only."  In cases like that, I shake my head and move on to the next one.  The other one is not necessarily a problem per se, but more like a "can I do this?" and if not, submit my RTJ anyway.  There are a lot of GMs who will say "no homebrew."  When I run my 5e games, I have a few house rules that I go by, some of which are more like errors of omission by WotC, due to new books adding things which could change things from older books.  And so if I want to play a specific character, I will ask about using my modification.  If I can't, I will either submit the character anyway, or switch to a different character to submit.

Just as examples, Clerics have the option for Heavy Armor in their starting equipment if proficient, but Warlocks don't have the option for Medium Armor/Shield because the subclass that can use it (Hexblade) was not printed until Xanathar's.

The Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide offered variant skills/abilities for half-elves of specific types.  Half Aquatic Elves were just thrown in as an aside, and gain only a swimming speed as an option.  When Mordenkainen's added Sea Elves, the ability Child of the Sea adds swimming speed AND water breathing.

So if I want to play one of those characters, I ask if my Hexblade can get medium armor/shield in starting equipment (without having to buy it), or if my Half Sea Elf can use Child of the Sea as a variant.  It only makes sense to me that it should have been an addition/correction in those books anyway, and was omitted.

But that "small" tangent aside, yes I agree that there are a lot of games out there with restrictions that turn me off to a game that otherwise excites me.
Greymist
 member, 11 posts
Wed 20 Jan 2021
at 04:50
Re: So close
I like to see the DM list all of their restriction, house rules, books allowed, etc. up front. It's much easier to decide if I want to spend the time to go through the RTJ process or not.

I can understand your frustration, Draegnoth, when you see a game that is the system you want, the setting you want, and then you feel the restrictions are too tight - but at least all you have wasted is a few minutes of reading.

I will add my experience has been fairly opposite to yours. It could be because I only look at D&D games (old school and 5E; no 3E or 4E) so my population of potential games is already quite small. Nonetheless, I rarely find games where the restrictions are onerous. I play in two games, same GM, who limits classes and races - but even then - there are still ample choices. Every other game, 11 others, were all more or less completely open, as far as classes/races and only a couple of them limited books, but that was mentioned up front.
Heath
 member, 2977 posts
 If my opinion changes,
 The answer is still 42.
Wed 20 Jan 2021
at 05:42
Re: So close
tmagann:
Nor should all halflings be thieves.

Very true. Some can be burglars. :)

But seriously, I agree with the sentiment. Being pigeonholed just creates stereotypes and caricatures. The reason for joining the game is because you want a character who stands out from the rest or went against the mold.
evileeyore
 member, 438 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined August 2015
Wed 20 Jan 2021
at 05:57
Re: So close
Draegnoth:
It just seems so counterintuitive. We're adults playing make believe in games that strongly encourage everyone to be diverse and accepting...

"Diverse and accepting"?  Depends on the setting I'm running.  It may very well not be "diverse" or "accepting".

Regardless, what is counterintuitive about "every one who has every submitted a Kender, Tinker Gnome, or Malk as the 'only Character they're willing to play' in one of my games has been a problem Player*, so I don't allow those races/classes/clans/etc† in my game"?


* Admittedly SunRuanEr seems to come from the "character ends up being the problem" more than my "it's the Player"‡.

† There are more than Kender, Tinker Gnome, Malk, but those are the top three that I say "NO!" to immediately.  Like, if those are in setting, they will be on my "These Character Are Not Allowed At Campaign Start" list.  Others... it depends on the type of game I'm running.  In GURPS DFRPG Bards are on that list because they are either "I WIN" or "I LOSE" with no real middle ground, either they immediately shut down the encounter or they are useless, in which case it's not the Player I'm worried about being a problem, but the Character mot being fun to play or have in the game.

‡ I find saying hard NO right off to those Characters turns those Players away.  Sometimes a "Malk Player" slips and is a mild nuisance until they can "Malkify" the character, or it dies and they take advantage of the looser chargen rules and make a "Malk" and suddenly become a problem.

And like it's not "just Malks".  It can be the Player who upon seeing everyone has to start at PFC at most wants to be the Lieutenant or Sergeant so 'they can be in charge'.  basically if someone wants to buck the set rules before we even get to the gate, they will be bucking rules all over the place once the game is in play.

So if I set rules in the RTJ, there are reasons and they aren't going to be flexible.  But as SunRuanEr said, it's still worth asking.  Not everyone is as inflexible as I am about that stuff.
facemaker329
 member, 7304 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Wed 20 Jan 2021
at 06:02
Re: So close
I hope my response doesn't come across as confrontational, because I'm intending it to be more 'look at the other side of this for a minute'.  I'm also speaking as someone who actively seeks to avoid being a GM...I just don't enjoy that aspect of RPGs.  I've tried it a few times, and I'm currently shouldering the task for a game where the original GM disappeared after some health issues, so I do know what I'm missing out on, as it were...

But this sounds to me like a lot of, "I want to play the game that I will have fun in, and I don't care if the GM likes that game or not."  I hope that's just my kneejerk interpretation of it, and not the real sentiment behind it...but that's how it's coming across to me.

Without question, in every game, the GM has the most difficult task.  If that game starts to feel like a chore, odds are really good the GM is not going to ride it out...the game's going to die.  So GMs will often limit things..."Trying to keep up with all the shenanigans a bard throws into the game is just exhausting for me...so, NO BARDS," or "I am SICK TO DEATH of this particular archetype...I want people to try some other kinds of stuff...", that kind of thing.  If that's a deal-breaker for you...don't join the game.  The GM is creating a game they will enjoy running...if, for whatever reason, it's a game you won't enjoy playing, you probably shouldn't join it.  But you should certainly not expect the GM to compromise their enjoyment of running the game just to accommodate your desire to play a character type that they don't like.

Someone (I read it earlier today and am too rushed to go hunting back through the thread to find who said it) mentioned something about characters being limited, initially, and if a player proved to be enjoyable enough to game with, letting them push the boundaries with a second or third character.  Maybe try negotiating with these GMs..."I like your setting, I would LOVE to play this kind of character...but you don't allow them.  If I show you I can play without being a PITA, can we look at me adding that kind of character to the game at some later point?"  Consider it paying your dues/earning the GMs trust.  And, of course, it all depends on why, exactly, the GM doesn't want that character type in the game...if, for instance, a Star Wars GM is looking at running a game that revolves around crime syndicates and bounty hunters, a Jedi is just plain old going to be a bad fit.  But it might be accommodated, with the right concept.  If the GM is just sick and tired of dealing with people playing Force-sensitive characters, they've got every right to say, "No Force-Users, this is a normal-people scenario."

And there's nothing wrong with respectfully asking.  I've been in a Star Wars game for several years now...when I first joined it, the RTJ said the GM wanted new characters.  Well, I wanted to, effectively, reboot a character that I'd played in a table-top game that started thirty years ago.  So I pitched the idea to the GM...I didn't want to bring in any of the baggage that had accumulated with that character...no nifty weapons or armor or contacts...just use the character type and personality and starting-out stats.  I could have gone that route and said nothing about it being a rebooted character, but I felt like I should be honest.  And I also said if it wasn't okay, I was willing to come up with a different character, I'd just been missing that particular character a lot and loved the idea of revisiting him in some way.  The GM said okay...but I'm sure my willingness to compromise influenced that choice.
Draegnoth
 member, 45 posts
 Been playing for 25 years
 Can fill any role
Wed 20 Jan 2021
at 08:24
Re: So close
Of course I want to play a game I can have fun in. Why bother otherwise? The GM is supposed to adapt to the players. I've done both sides and as a GM I rarely enjoy the process. Players do illogical, violent, stupid things. They're called murder hobos for a reason.

I've always liked being a GM to being a zookeeper at a zoo, except every animal is a rabid honey badger and all the cages are unlocked. If you're willing to GM just accept that "your vision" of how things are supposed to be is doomed before the first die rolls.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15989 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Wed 20 Jan 2021
at 11:36
Re: So close
quote:
If you're willing to GM just accept that "your vision" of how things are supposed to be is doomed before the first die rolls.

Or you could do whatever you can to minimise that risk.  Seriously, why GM a game that you don't enjoy?

This message was last edited by the user at 16:49, Wed 20 Jan.

jkeogh
 member, 91 posts
Wed 20 Jan 2021
at 12:12
Re: So close
Draegnoth:
Of course I want to play a game I can have fun in. Why bother otherwise? The GM is supposed to adapt to the players. I've done both sides and as a GM I rarely enjoy the process. Players do illogical, violent, stupid things. They're called murder hobos for a reason.

I've always liked being a GM to being a zookeeper at a zoo, except every animal is a rabid honey badger and all the cages are unlocked. If you're willing to GM just accept that "your vision" of how things are supposed to be is doomed before the first die rolls.



It seems like you have answered your own question with this post. If I were to GM a game, the first restriction would be No Murder Hobos. The GM isn’t your slave. They are there for their own enjoyment. Not just yours. PbP at its best is cooperative storytelling. Or at least that’s my favorite kind. To each their own. Good luck finding a GM to boss around :)