Thursday, 11 November 2010

DM's Respect , Balance, and Moving Forward

One of the things I have encountered over the years is lack of respect, on behalf of the DM/GM with regards to his players.

I've run games in co-operation with and under many GMs over the years and though they are rare there are those that are totally reprehensible in their attitudes to their players.

From the guy who made Scenario's/Dungeons so impossibly difficult you were always (and I mean ALWAYS) guaranteed at least a couple of dead party members (and often total wipeouts) - and this guys doesn't even DM anymore, no one with even allow him in their group as a player.

To the DM who treats his players quite literally as play-things for his own amusement, don't get me wrong this guy had some great (if sometimes derivative from Movies and Comics) ideas - but everything was for HIS amusement, and he was totally regardless of his players feelings or needs.

Now, I have only encountered a few such "rogue" GM's/DM's - but thinking about it has led me to wonder if such arrant GM/DM behaviour is the reason for the total OBSESSION with RPG balance?!!?

Apart from the "everyone is equal" (and totally unrealistic) approach, the core systems of 4th Edition DnD ISN'T that bad, I kinda resent the oversimplification of potions and suchlike - and don't like the fact that almost all (if not all) of the powers/abilities/feats are so combat orientated (I have a batch of the newer books coming soon, so I shall be able to clarify that more in my own mind) - there need to be more "passive" powers/abilities/feats I reckon, that could be used outside of combat.

4th Ed is shiney and very pretty, and could benefit and be really strengthened by the addition of  more flavoursome "non-combat" elements IMHO. It would certainly redeem the ruleset in my (and a lot of others) eyes.


  1. I have to say that obsessing over balance is definitely more of an issue if one or more particular members of your group is an idiot. Sometimes there is one guy who just has to have the greatest weapon and best armor right way, or whatever.

    Luckily, the groups that I am a part of right now lack such a person. In two of the groups we don't even keep track of experience. The GM just lets us know when it's about time to level our characters. Suffice it to say, we don't worry about balance, only that each player is involved in the events that unfold.

  2. I think one way of moving the focus away from combat as a focus is to make rituals important to the plot.