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Congzilla
I saw this in another thread and felt the need to comment but I didn't want to derail that thread.

QUOTE
Lol, what's the point of knowing the rules if you're not going to correct mistakes. No offense, but GMs who won't swallow their pride are IMO one of the biggest sources of arguments at the table. There's no shame in taking the 30 seconds to check a rule critical to the situation, especially in an era of searchable .pdfs. Obviously for something unimportant people should just make a note of it and point it out later to not disturb the flow of the game, but if it's going to make a difference in how the scenario plays out then you owe it to your players to not fuck it up.


This part in bold bothers me as a GM and a player. As a player I dislike anything at the table more than the player that feels the need to correct the GM. And I certainly do not feel that the point of knowing the rules is to correct people's mistakes. Sometimes GMs make mistakes and a quick reminder isn't a bad thing but if the GM explains why they are ruling it that way, that is it, accept the ruling and move on. If you don't like the ruling you politely speak to them about it AFTER the session. Players not letting go of rulings that they don't agree with at the table has lead to more arguments than anything else I can think of from all the games I have played.

There are also times when a GM needs to rule against RAW for different reasons, usually to keep the game balanced and paced. If a GM is constantly doing unfair things the situation will resolve itself as all the players leave to find a different GM. As a player I typically enjoyed games more when I didn't know all the rules. Not thinking in terms of mechanics and just thinking in character to me is kinda the point in playing, the escapism. These days it is hard to find any games not filled with rules lawyers, I'm half tempted to start running all the games I play using Paranoia's golden rules (the GM is ALWAYS right and demonstrating knowledge of the rules is treason punishable by death).

I am interested to hear what others think about these types of situations and how you handle them.
Yerameyahu
There's a big difference between a GM mistake and a GM decision. Players should always correct mistakes. It sounds like your problem is not that, but arguing against intentional GM decisions.

If you prefer not to take responsibility for knowing the rules, that's fine, but it's not necessarily the norm. Ideally, everyone follows all agreed-upon rules (ideally, without having to think about it). Mistakes are never a good thing.
Johnny B. Good
In ghost cartels some things specifically break the SR4 rules. And I'm okay with this. It's all for the sake of a good story. And if I get shafted a little bit, no biggie.

Not all rules need to be followed explicitly. Strictly speaking, if you shoot somebody who's sleeping in the head with a pistol with regular ammo, and you're defaulting, you'll probably do about 6 damage. They have body 5 and get two hits, take four damage. They then wake up and beat the snot out of you.

Sometimes you have to disregard the rules and insert common sense.

Also, the best thing about tabletops is the abstract nature of rules. Not everything has to be strictly RAW, because RAW isn't perfect.
BobChuck
It depends.

For instance, a Rules Lawyer pointing out that the visibility modifier for smoke grenades (and other similar effects) can be found on such and such a page (or handing over a reference sheet with the data on it) is good and helpful.

This sort of thing speeds up gameplay and prevents arguments, which is really handy.

On the other hand, when the GM starts calling for body rolls for breathing in the smoke, having the same Rules Lawyer pointing out that nowhere in the book does it say that smoke grenades cause people to cough and choke is disruptive and unhelpful.

This sort of thing is no fun. Just because it's not in the book doesn't mean it doesn't make sense, and grinding the action to a halt to argue over something that the NPCs have to deal with as well is pointless. Mentioning it briefly and dropping the issue if the GM insists is the way to go.
Yerameyahu
I'm not sure that's what we're talking about, but that's not an example of a mistake anyway. smile.gif 'Agreed-upon rules' means RAW with any and all houserule modifications. But the point is that everyone runs smoothly and fairly when the mechanics are consistent, not subject to random error. When the GM makes deliberate decisions (dramatic non-combat headshot, for example), that's fine, as long as he does so consistently.
Congzilla
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 14 2010, 11:47 AM) *
There's a big difference between a GM mistake and a GM decision. Players should always correct mistakes. It sounds like your problem is not that, but arguing against intentional GM decisions.

If you prefer not to take responsibility for knowing the rules, that's fine, but it's not necessarily the norm. Ideally, everyone follows all agreed-upon rules (ideally, without having to think about it). Mistakes are never a good thing.


When I am GMing I take responsibility for knowing the rules, my comment about not knowing the rules is more what I prefer when I am playing. As long as the story is flowing and everyone is having fun it doesn't bother me if the GM makes mistakes. Games have gotten so complex that mistakes are inevitable. Just reading "Tactical Operations" for BT almost gave me an aneurysm. Add in all the supplement rulebooks and SR is a pretty complex game.

I am not disagreeing that flagrant mistakes should be pointed out. But as I am sure everyone heard as a kid, no one likes a know-it-all.
Lanlaorn
If you create a houserule then you're not making a mistake, you're just playing with a houserule.

Sometimes a player is more familiar with a particularly obscure rule than the GM, even if the GM is more experienced with that game, etc. This usually happens because the player specifically read up on the rules his character will be applying all the time. There's no shame in not knowing something and you shouldn't make a big deal out of it, literally the only reason to not admit you're wrong is your ego (and obviously this also applies when the GM corrects a player's misconceptions).

If something RAW is ridiculous or whatever, then yea talk it out some other time and make a houserule or whatever. But I think it's pretty important to mention that you as GM shouldn't just be unilaterally making up houserules whenever you feel like it, that's just "moving the goalposts" and all kinds of annoying.

Edit:

QUOTE
I am not disagreeing that flagrant mistakes should be pointed out. But as I am sure everyone heard as a kid, no one likes a know-it-all.


Yea I heard that in school. It was code for "no one likes smart people". I think what you're actually trying to say is "no one likes an asshole" because the problem isn't pointing out mistakes, it's having no tact when doing so. If everyone is graceful about the thing you get no hurt feelings.
Congzilla
QUOTE (BobChuck @ Jul 14 2010, 11:51 AM) *
For instance, a Rules Lawyer pointing out that the visibility modifier for smoke grenades (and other similar effects) can be found on such and such a page (or handing over a reference sheet with the data on it) is good and helpful.


This kinda goes to the mistake vs decision. If the GM says the modifier is X maybe they are deciding for the given situation it is X. No one needs to point out that the book says it is Y. How do you know if the GM is making a mistake or a decision? To find out either way you would have to point it out to the GM and slow down the game by doing so instead of just keeping your mouth shut and letting Y be X.
Yerameyahu
That's the GM's fault again. They could simply say, 'I'm deciding the modifier here is X'. 'No one likes a know-it-all' is, as you say, incredibly childish. More (accurate) information is always better, and bringing emotions into it is what slows down the game, not the fleeting reminder that is easily acknowledged with a smile.
LurkerOutThere
The OP's experience mirrors mine, I am very very blessed to have a group of players that is more interested in the group storytelling aspect then the combat simulation. They understand that ultimately I want and fully intend for them to win. I am not going to make the victory easy for them but ultimately I'm not the opposition, I'm their biggest fan.

I'm not going to lie, some GM's do get caught up in the power trip of it all and get into abrasive conflicts with players. Some players also get their nose out of joint when their expectations arn't met. Sometimes their expectations are invalid because their wrong, sometimes because their not aware of all the circumstances, sometimes it's just because no matter how good you are with a pistol your not going to use one to take out an APC! rotfl.gif Now ultimately I feel that the GM is the final arbitrator and run things that way at my table, consistency and fairness is key. If players don't like it they are ultimately welcome to find another group but thus far in my life I havn't had issues finding players. In fact right now I'm approaching the opposite problem.
Rand
First, I have to say that I am pretty-heartened by the majority of the responses here, it is good to hear that not everyone thinks that the Almighty Rulebook is LAW. I like to use the 2 rules in the 7th Sea RPG Gamemaster Book: 1. There are no rules, 2. Cheat anyway. What those tell me, is that the story and fun are the most important parts of the game.

The idea that people get that everything must be codified and analyzed and equalized is done through the same reasoning the insurance companies try to sell you on the biggest, most expensive packages: The worst is right around the corner, be prepared. You are unlikely to run into a GM that changes rules minute-by-minute or second-by-second, so stop being so afraid of that. When you sit down to a game, and the GM runs a game you don't like: leave. You don't have to play in a game you don't like. If you are not having fun because the GM rules one way against you, but rules in the same situation for his good buddy or girlfirend ro whomever, then get up and leave.

Congzilla: Is there anyway you could move to Knoxville, Tennessee? I have been hankering to run a game where the players don't know the rules system, at all. (Except they will know what dice to roll and if they want high or low.) The idea that the players would be making their decisions on in-game stuff and not game number crunching just wets my appetite!!
Yerameyahu
It mostly depends on context. If a player sneerily corrects things all the time, they're not doing it to help. If a player nicely corrects things all the time, they are (or, they just have better social skills). Games *are* complex, and that's why it's a group effort to know and use the rules. If the real problem here is 'some people are jerks', then address *that*. biggrin.gif

Bleh. We're not talking about good GMs running things to keep the story moving. We're talking about mistakes. Mistakes are always bad; even Marie Curie died of radiation poisoning.
Rand
Oh, and on the idea of: Rules Lawyer VS. GM: GM everytime! (Especially if the game is Hero 5th edition. Have you seen the size of that book?!? It could kill a troll with a single hit!)

You know what they say about a good revolution, right? It starts by throwing all the rules-lawyers in the ocean.
Lanlaorn
QUOTE
This kinda goes to the mistake vs decision. If the GM says the modifier is X maybe they are deciding for the given situation it is X. No one needs to point out that the book says it is Y. How do you know if the GM is making a mistake or a decision? To find out either way you would have to point it out to the GM and slow down the game by doing so instead of just keeping your mouth shut and letting Y be X.


The question is, will it always be Y instead of X? Or is it sometimes Z? Or just Arbitrary A-Z based on GM mood?

I like my roleplaying on a framework of tactical combat games, which is why I play tabletop RPGs instead of going to Improv Drama workshops. If you make a houserule to make it Y then sure, you're playing by the rules. And everyone knows that now popping smoke is more/less effective than RAW and can choose to use or not use it based on that.

Edit: Furthermore how would someone even know you're changing it one-time for some important reason as opposed to not actually knowing the proper value?
Yerameyahu
Ditto. If you want to play a freeform drama, why did you read 600 pages of Shadowrun? smile.gif
Nifft
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 14 2010, 12:47 PM) *
There's a big difference between a GM mistake and a GM decision. Players should always correct mistakes. It sounds like your problem is not that, but arguing against intentional GM decisions.

If you prefer not to take responsibility for knowing the rules, that's fine, but it's not necessarily the norm. Ideally, everyone follows all agreed-upon rules (ideally, without having to think about it). Mistakes are never a good thing.

This. I'm human, and so is everyone in my group. We make mistakes.

If we got all prickly about them instead of learning from them, we'd end up stabbing each other to death, and that's not fun at all. Only NPCs deserve stabbing.
Inpu
As a constant GM and occasional player, I would prefer if my players point out whenever I make a mistake about the rules. A game has rules for a reason; else, it is freeform 'I hit you!' 'No you didn't!'

I love games that focus on heavy role-playing with smatterings of combat to keep things spicy. But, as Lanlaorn said, when a GM makes a decision you must clarify whether it is one time or constant. You have to know what you are playing. If you cannot say "wait a second" in a game, you may not feel you have any real control over your character or a grasp of how things will work from one moment to the next. Your character might even die when he could have lived. If you end up spending the rest of the session building your backup and then remind your GM of a rule that would change how things went, then it just falls apart.

There are two major rules to RPing, in my opinion: The first is the Golden Rule, which states that if you do not like it it can be changed. That sometimes you do need to bow to interpretation or pure fun. Basically, the Golden Rule is 'whatever is fun'. The second is: Don't be afraid to speak up when there is a problem.

Of course, common courtesy teaches us that it should be done with tact, as other posters have noted. Mistakes happen. Rule lawyers are, like every other player in a party, a valuable resource in the end. If someone knows what page a rule is on, use it.
Doc Chase
QUOTE (LurkerOutThere @ Jul 14 2010, 06:11 PM) *
no matter how good you are with a pistol your not going to use one to take out an APC! rotfl.gif


Clearly you have never had a player run a character with a Logic of 9 and a Knowledge Skill in Rube Goldberg Machines. wink.gif

I'm the rules-lawyer of the group because I've got the most firsthand experience with the system. When our GM needed a refresher, he'd ask, I'd respond with the page it was on or suggest a houserule to best speed things along, an accord was reached, and we'd keep on keepin' on. The group's been blessed with a bounty of in-game humor and storytelling, and a decided lack of nitpickery over the rules. We accept we all have things to learn, we all accept what the GM says, and we all have fun as a result of it. Hooray!
EuroShadow
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 14 2010, 06:47 PM) *
There's a big difference between a GM mistake and a GM decision. Players should always correct mistakes. It sounds like your problem is not that, but arguing against intentional GM decisions.


Seconded.

Basically, I believe rules lawyers are a good thing, they help everybody to learn rules better and in longer term it leads to smoother gameplayer and fairer game for players (as they know all game mechanic assumptions related to gameplay).

Then there are times, when rules lawyer may correct GM, but GM may state that he knows that rules say differently but there are reasons for GMs different ruling for reasons unknown to player. And these cases of course rules lawyers should accept.
Congzilla
In my 4e group we had our designated rules lawyer, I guess the main difference with that was we were all learning the system together so it was very helpful. And I am just kind of playing devils advocate because I didn't like the way that post was written, it just rubbed me wrong.

I guess my style of play is why I like the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3e dice system so much, complete situational flexibility. Sometimes X = y, but on your next turn maybe the wind is picking up and now x = z. When I change modifiers arbitrarily I am always making sure that I am being descriptive enough with the narrative to ensure that the players understand the situation is now different somehow.
LurkerOutThere
I welcome people correcting my mistakes but sometimes there's a lot to be said for making a call and moving on.

I'll give you my nightmare scenario because it's fresh in my mind. Last Sunday I was running a pre-printed adventure. Players being players some things didn't go according to plan, the person who would normally be shot in a sniper ambush and killed via boxed text was not present, but the sniper is still in play and now the PC's are in the danger zone. Now i looked at the snipers stats and they are very scary and given their level of outfitting entirely believable that they would kill two PC's right off the bat if they caught them by suprise. Not wanting to be an unkind GM I decided to give the players a contest perception roll and some modifiers(bad lighting, chamelon suit etc) one wisely edged and managed to just beat the NPC on the roll. The team has a tacnet up and he's DNI'd into it so I allowed him to immediately throw out a warning and negating suprise going to normal initiative. I set the scene, their proceeding down the darkened city streets when just barely they notice a strange shimmer atop one of the cars up ahead. They deduce it's someone laying prone under chamelon suit. The guy who first made the notice spent edge to go first and pulled himself and the jacked in rigger down below the dash board. Faster members of the team shoot at the cloaked sniper and they reactively dodged. Successfully
GM: Sniper takes shot at gunbunny returning fire first, go ahead and give me your defense roll, remember you have a cover bonus from the vehicle
Rules Lawyer Player: He should get the armor rating of the vehicle.
Me: Eh, i don't actually have stats for that and I don't think the glass on this is balistic spec on this vehicle.
Dice are rolled, sniper clips one person but in shadowrun terms it's barely a graze.
Me: Ok second shot, time to die rigger boy. (Switching targets accounting for dicepool)
Fast Thinking and Spotting Player: Blind fire bonus right?
Me: You betcha, i'm accounting for it already and the cover bonus, trust me this snipers a lot more scary otherwise.
Rigger: Meep! I can't dodge can I.
Me: Eh, go ahead and roll the cover dice for the dash perhaps the dice gods favor you.
RL Player: (increasingly exasperated) He should be rolling the armor of the whole vehicle!
Dice roll, the gods favor the rigger and the shot lodges in the radiator but doesn't do anything other then be cinematic.
More shots taken at the sniper.
RL Player: How the heck is she dodging if she's prone?!
Me: *sighing and finally starting to be annoyed* Their rolling and such, plus to be quite honest I gave your guys dodge rolls even though their strapped in on seatbelts so it cuts both ways, further if you guys like we can rewind to the box text where I get to kill one of you by fiat.

Did I mention that I never mentioned the snipers gender but the lawyer knew they were female?? Meaning that I know the rules lawyer was not only being a Jerk but had gone out and read the adventure ahead of time. Really classy.

Ok there i've cleansed a bit, the healing can begin.
darthmord
Just like in court, the rules lawyer can make their case but once the judge has decided, the ruling is final. If the rules lawyer doesn't like it and make a spectacle of it, he or she can find themselves in contempt of court. Kind judges will merely give a talking to. Unkind ones will give the boot.

That said, I've had times where I've stopped the game session for 5 minutes so those in favor or against a ruling can state their case and why. Sometimes it leads to a house rule. Other times it leads to a correction. Sometimes it stands.

Depends on the details.

In the end though, all GM decisions are final. Then it's up to the players to accept it or move on. Neither side has absolute control or authority.
Yerameyahu
So, you had a jerk. smile.gif Like I said, the problem isn't accurate rules knowledge, it's a bad player. The GM explicitly wasn't making "mistakes".
Piersdrach
From my experiences the rules lawyer(a Randy) is trying to run the game without having to actually 'run' the game. He is the who wants to be in charge but wants none of the headaches.

I'll mess up, it's part of being human and all, but I do not tolerate a Randy. Typically around the third or fourth time a Randy lawyers up, I pass him the screen and the notes and go smoke.

I guess it depends on why you are gaming on how you react to a Randy
Congzilla
QUOTE (LurkerOutThere @ Jul 14 2010, 01:27 PM) *
Did I mention that I never mentioned the snipers gender but the lawyer knew they were female?? Meaning that I know the rules lawyer was not only being a Jerk but had gone out and read the adventure ahead of time. Really classy.

Ok there i've cleansed a bit, the healing can begin.


I have had a player do that, nothing is more frustrating. If your going to read the adventure and then be the annoying rules lawyer why don't you go ahead and just GM and save me the hours of prep time and frustration.
Piersdrach
QUOTE (Congzilla @ Jul 14 2010, 02:53 PM) *
I have had a player do that, nothing is more frustrating. If your going to read the adventure and then be the annoying rules lawyer why don't you go ahead and just GM and save me the hours of prep time and frustration.

Because they don't want to GM. They want to play and be superawesomeguy, but want to tell you how to do it.
Lanlaorn
If you guys don't want to GM then don't. From the two posters above me I see "headaches" and "frustration" describing their role and a martyr complex isn't helpful at all.
Yerameyahu
Well, if you're doing it *wrong*… wink.gif The problem here is still the question of mistakes against intentional decisions. In that transcript, it was clear that it was intentional decisions, and that's just called 'being a bad player'.

Ditto, Lanlaorn. As if running a pre-made is really GMing anyway. wink.gif
Congzilla
QUOTE (Lanlaorn @ Jul 14 2010, 02:58 PM) *
If you guys don't want to GM then don't. From the two posters above me I see "headaches" and "frustration" describing their role and a martyr complex isn't helpful at all.


How do you get that at all from what I posted. I didn't say GMing is frustrating. Players who read the adventure your going to run before hand are frustrating. But whatever I guess it is fitting seeing as your post prompted me to start this thread.
KnightRunner
In another game system, that I play a lot, I am very rules knowledgeable. I am often called upon to rattle off a rule in game by various players and GM's. I try to never be a rules lawyer, but instead a rules encyclopedian. I am always careful to never question a DM decision, just simply to give facts. If I feel I can do so without offending or disrupting the game, I will point out a mistake. The trick is to be able to give the GM information so they can make an informed decision, while being perfectly accepting if they choose to bend or break said rule.


Rules Encyclopedian = Someone who knows what the book says.

Rules Lawyer = Someone who knows what the book says and demands that the GM follows the rules inflexibly.
Congzilla
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 14 2010, 02:58 PM) *
As if running a pre-made is really GMing anyway. wink.gif


Sorry some of us have careers, wives, children, and random house choirs and don't have time to write everything from scratch. It doesn't make us less of a GM it makes us thrifty with our time.
Yerameyahu
Just teasing, guys. That's a wink emoticon, the universal symbol of 'just teasing'.

Besides, you're on Dumpshock. That's the definition of 'not thrifty with time'. biggrin.gif
Doc Chase
QUOTE (Congzilla @ Jul 14 2010, 09:03 PM) *
How do you get that at all from what I posted. I didn't say GMing is frustrating. Players who read the adventure your going to run before hand are frustrating. But whatever I guess it is fitting seeing as your post prompted me to start this thread.


Unfortunately, that's the risk of running a premade.
Lanlaorn
Where did I get frustration from? Your words:

QUOTE (Congzilla @ Jul 14 2010, 03:53 PM) *
I have had a player do that, nothing is more frustrating. If your going to read the adventure and then be the annoying rules lawyer why don't you go ahead and just GM and save me the hours of prep time and frustration.


And yes, my post that you apparently agree with but felt the need to start a new thread to be Devil's Advocate against started this thread. What of it? You know we even discussed and agreed on the difference between mistakes and decisions like 4 posts later in that other thread, so I'm not sure what your goal is at all.
Congzilla
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 14 2010, 03:08 PM) *
Just teasing, guys. That's a wink emoticon, the universal symbol of 'just teasing'.

Besides, you're on Dumpshock. That's the definition of 'not thrifty with time'. biggrin.gif

I'm at work rotfl.gif so it is being thrifty with my time.
Yerameyahu
Hahaha, fair enough!
Congzilla
QUOTE (Lanlaorn @ Jul 14 2010, 03:09 PM) *
Where did I get frustration from? Your words:



And yes, my post that you apparently agree with but felt the need to start a new thread to be Devil's Advocate against started this thread. What of it? You know we even discussed and agreed on the difference between mistakes and decisions like 4 posts later in that other thread, so I'm not sure what your goal is at all.


You got frustration from my words in speaking about a player reading the adventure before hand. I didn't agree with your post at all, and I have no goal beyond just seeing what peoples opinions on this are.
Lanlaorn
You admit it yourself here, describing rules lawyering as "very helpful", so how exactly do we disagree?

QUOTE (Congzilla @ Jul 14 2010, 01:59 PM) *
In my 4e group we had our designated rules lawyer, I guess the main difference with that was we were all learning the system together so it was very helpful. And I am just kind of playing devils advocate because I didn't like the way that post was written, it just rubbed me wrong.


Also I meant your second use of the word "frustration" where you're describing being the GM. This part here:

QUOTE
why don't you go ahead and just GM and save me the hours of prep time and frustration


So, yea.
Piersdrach
QUOTE (Lanlaorn @ Jul 14 2010, 02:58 PM) *
If you guys don't want to GM then don't. From the two posters above me I see "headaches" and "frustration" describing their role and a martyr complex isn't helpful at all.

I like GMing. I have no love for the Randy who doesn't want to GM but wants to run the game. I am not a Randy's mouthpiece.
I found it odd that a Randy never GMed until I played under a Randy(new to the area and didn't realize that he was a Randy). Fast forward 20 years and all the Randys I have met fall under that same type. a self-absorbed jackass. ymmv
Yerameyahu
I think the distinction between 'rules encyclopedian' (AWFUL name, though) and 'rules lawyer' is helpful, because most people exclusively use 'lawyer' as a synonym for 'jerk player'. As soon as you even *say* 'rules lawyer', you're begging the question, and there's nothing useful that can possibly be said. smile.gif

Also, 'Randy'? EW. biggrin.gif
Ramorta
You know, I read the first post and I canít help but be extremely furious. The GM is a player too. Iím reading all sorts of posts saying the GM makes the house rules, which is complete bulldrek. The group makes the decision, because everyone is involved. If the group decides that they want to have additional effects from smoke grenades more power too them. However, if the GM decides alone, that he wants more realism in the game and the rest of the players donít, thatís punishing the players. It could be killing their fun. While I hate stalling the game, it only takes a couple of seconds to take a group vote as to what the current course of action is, find the rule or agree on one to wing it. If you decided to wing it, after the session you can look back and see how it worked out, discuss it, decide if everyone liked how it worked, and then make it a new house rule.

Also, for all those people out there who keep saying ďIf you donít like it, you can leaveĒ That is childish. It might take 5-10 minutes as a group to determine what the correct rule is, or what the new rule will be. I donít know about yíall but I sure donít have a whole lot of Shadowrun groups around here that I can just throw them away and pick up another no problem.
The Grue Master
I agree that the GM is a player in a group; but he's not just a player, he's the captain. He invests more time and effort than the rest and often receives the least reward. Rules Lawyers, in their native habitat are not actually interested in the rules, they are far more interested in power and control. A player providing useful clarification would never be considered a bad influence, except when it is to the obvious disadvantage of the group. But most rules lawyers are using rules only when it favours them. The most common examples are demanding to know where all the negative modifiers in a combat scenario come from, then arguing over each one (see the 'prone people can't dodge' style of argument from a previous post) which takes time and causes extreme frustration. The other really common problem is the carefully worded innocent question (particularly while you're distracted) which, after your mumbled "Yeah sure, whatever." response, results in the equivalent of a GM ambush, which always starts off surreal ("I pull out my grapple gun.") and ends with bloody noses ("MONOWIRE AND MICROWIRE ARE NOT THE SAME!!" /fisticuffs). I know that some people, when encountering problematic players, just have them move on to a new group. And other people when encountering GMs they don't agree with do the same. The rest of us don't or can not find new groups, merely because we've known our group since childhood and we'd no sooner throw them out of our Shadowrun games than tell them we can never go out to dinner with them again because the way they eat does not agree with us. Sometimes you just have to take the good with the bad.
Ravennus
My personal pet-peeve as a player...


When someone runs a game but has obviously not even read the rulebook (or just skimmed it). It's even worse when they decide to make-up 'house' rules to cover situations that are explicitly outlined in the rulebooks.
I'm not a rules lawyer, but I know most of the rules most of the time and if I wanted to play freeform 'lets pretend' I wouldn't have even bothered showing up. Instead I'd attend the local improv group or audtion for a play... which I actually do as well, and even then... both those other 'pretend' creative outlets have rules too.

It's easy enough to say, "Well then just leave the game and find a better GM" when you live in an area overflowing with RPG Geeks. Unfortunately the ratio of roleplayers and mundane mortals is quite low in my neck of the woods in the northern Canadian tundra. That, and anyone I play with is usually a long time real friend, so it's kind of hard to just say' you suxor I'm leaving!'

All this means I don't get to play as much as I would like. It's unfortunate.
I've tried running a few games, but even though I own most of the books for any given system, I'm not a Storyteller-type person. I don't really enjoy running a game world and its many NPCs... I like focusing on one character at a time.
As a player, I just expect..... I don't know..... a game? With rules? As an adult, is that so much to ask? Apparently not so much when playing Monopoly, cards, or Halo... but heaven FORBID we play a roleplaying GAME where everyone is on common ground. Don't get me wrong, I realize that GM fiat is sometimes necessary to help with grey areas in the rules or to keep the story moving (or stupid dice from killing players needlessly)... but is it unreasonable to expect a GM/DM/Storyteller to know what dice to roll just to hit something?

Sorry if I sound a bit bitter. I've just been burned badly a couple times.
Badmoodguy88
One problem with inconsistant rules or mistakes is the player does not know if there is an in game reason, it is the gm's mistake, or if it is the GM's whim.

In the case of the smoke grenades if it was an in game reason the player might think the Fixer that hooked him up whith the grenades cheated him by selling inferior smoke grenades whith acrid smoke.

It might also be the case of being something the player does not know. Like the lone star walking across the roof did not fall through the sky light he is on because he is an illusion, not because of a GM mistake. Some might incorectly chalk up the clue to a GM oversight.

Conversly a player might asume the real lone star officer was able to ignore gravities call because he is an illusion.

I remember a humorus account from some player in a survival horror game. He said it was the scariest game he had ever played but it was because the GM kept making a lot of mistakes and so every thing did add up. The whole party ended up coming up with paranoid theorys for what was going on.

I think asking for clarification is resonable.
SkepticInc
[Edit]: Removed TL:DR rant, sorry about that.
Lanlaorn
I don't really understand the "I don't have the time to learn the rules and I hate when someone corrects my mistakes". First, it's really not that big of a time investment and there are lots of 'cheat sheets' and helpful summary resources for any popular rpg. Secondly, everytime someone points out an error, you're learning the rules, by it's nature it's a temporary phenomenon where eventually no one will be noticing your errors because you won't be making them wink.gif

QUOTE
Rules Lawyers, in their native habitat are not actually interested in the rules, they are far more interested in power and control.


This is a ridiculous generalization and I would like to point out how you can replace "Rules Lawyers" with "Bad GMs" and have an equally valid statement.
Dumori
I'm a rules lawyer in the sense with pre-set rule I have the right to expect certain outcomes. I don't expect for example in a DnD to when I get a rediculausly lucky roll one between life and death that would fuck up my GMs plan/plot if I succeed for me to roll a 20 witch by the RAW is a success no matter what for the GM the then go you still die and be a jerk if he let me roll he should also expect to live with the result. Again in SR a GM randomly and with our prior warning swapping modifiers around is annoying as fuck. I'm expecting say -4 to my roll for what the GM has said. The he sticks a -8 on me with no justification am I goign to raise a point there yes. It will be of the line why -8 from x+y it should be a -4 and that's all you've told me. IF he then gose well theses also z sorry I must of forgotten to tell you and z is reasonable(as in the suns to their backs not well that smoke 'nade was extra smoky) its over if its trying to be a jerk/railroad should I not say well that's no how it should happen?

When I GM; I GM assuming the same of my player I expect them to want me to follow the rules they have to plan there actions around. Also if I generally misremember a modifier and think it to high or low or a misrule something I would love for some one to point it out and not assume there more to the scene or its a house rule I forgot to mention even if it is. Some times we let it slip that once some times we re-do the effect portion of the game depending. If my mistake killed a PC I will go back and let them do it again fixed.

I also have no problem with a player arguing an interpretation of a rule as log as its quick in game. I'm also happy to argue more out of the game but lets not hold it up for every one else.
tagz
First off, I love GMing. I miss playing, but I love storytelling.

Second, I have a great group. I've never seen any of them so much as "Rules Lawyers" but more like "Rule Councilors". I think this goes back to the whole thing about proper communication. Early on in our SR4 adventures there were many instances of searching the rule books for the right way to handle things, and I leaned heavily on their input and knowledge.

In regards to that communication, I think it's important to let the players know when something is done outside the scope of the rules for adventure purposes. Sometimes you can't tell them the whole story, or even a part of it, but you can still let them know it wasn't done in error.

That said, sometimes we GMs forget things. spin.gif Like a recent run when I forgot to give a physical description change to a person that got possessed by a high force plant spirit. I told the astral side of it, the spirit going into the body, but forgot the physical plane. So my players that only see physical roleplayed as though they were fighting someone who just suddenly got wicked strong for no apparent reason, not knowing if I didn't provide the description due to fait or what (running GC so that's a reasonable question). When they asked I pulled a "Oh, my bad", and props to them for calling me on it.
Johnny Hammersticks
1-I GM and take a very cooperative approach to it. I want my players to get involved in tough rule call moments and help me work through it. We're all there to have a good time. Ultimately, I'm in charge I guess, but my player's opinions mean a lot to me.

2-I think we're getting a little sensitive about a rules lawyer definition. These are people who ruin the game for others with incessant rules quoting and RAW talk. It is important to note that they are rules lawyers not because they love RAW and know the rules well, but because they ruin other player's experiences with their knowledge. Knowledge is good, misuse of it is bad. A rotten apple spoils the bunch and not everyone is made to play table top RPGs. if you have an annoying player get rid of him. Everyone at your table will be happier for it in the long run.
3-Its great when you're GMing and you can write your own stuff, but to belittle GMs who run the pre written stuff is really weak. It is also bunk if you read the adventure beforehand and your actions take away from others' enjoyment of the game by giving away secrets and plot points.







Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Rand @ Jul 14 2010, 11:17 AM) *
Oh, and on the idea of: Rules Lawyer VS. GM: GM everytime! (Especially if the game is Hero 5th edition. Have you seen the size of that book?!? It could kill a troll with a single hit!)

You know what they say about a good revolution, right? It starts by throwing all the rules-lawyers in the ocean.


For that very reason, I still prefer the 4th Edition Blue Book to the 5th Edition... and Lord help anyone who gets hit with the 6th Edition Monstrosity...

Keep the Faith
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