• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

Saying "No" to player character concepts.

Knight of Ravens

Registered User
Validated User
The more forthright GMs are about the parameters of a campaign, the more latitude they deserve when objecting to character concepts that don't fit.
I like this summary, and a parallel discussion about Custom Settings: How much reading is too much? has got me thinking about the balance of forthrightness and conciseness, and I feel it's probably the case that a player who prefers very concise and condensed information outside-of-play ought to be more willing to accept objections and restrictions at the table during character creation.
 

Dweller in Darkness

Excelsior
Validated User
Oh dear god why?!! Seriously, how fucking hard is it to build a character that are fitting to the tone and spirit of a campaign??
I've run games where a vampire pixie paladin would be the sensible, level-headed character concept, but, yeah, that's an odd concept in 90% of games.
 

bentleyml

Strange Apparition
Validated User
I think what happens sometimes is a player gets an idea for a character in their mind and then jump through hoops to justify the idea.
 

Default 108

Registered User
Validated User
Yeah it's always okay to say no but you should keep an open mind about concept given in good faith. I had a GM ban a character once in a Pathfinder game. He was running a samurai themed game where everyone had to be human nobles. I asked to play a Dwarven Gunslinger who was a servant to one of the other players. He vetoed it because we all had to be human (This never came to any point in the story he was just closed minded to anything not human) But on the other hand the same GM allowed a Half-elf Samurai who was the bastard child of one of the noble families. Inconsistent in all honesty but he was at least willing to bend a bit.
 

macd21

Registered User
Validated User
It's always ok to say no. I've been running games for almost 30 years and have never had to say no, but I've played in games where the GM should have.

Also, if you feel compelled to say no to a character concept, take a moment to consider whether the player in question will be a good fit for your game. It may be that they just need some clarity as to what kind of game you're planning, but if they're just going to be a disruptive presence that drags the game down...
 

Delgarde

Registered User
Validated User
The second time was during a 4E Eberron game when a player presented a backup character (in case death came for his current character which seemed likely for a reason I don't remember): a vampire pixie paladin.
For someone suggesting such a character in a serious game, I think death would be coming more quickly for the player than their character... ;)
 

Marc G.

Registered User
Validated User
What can sometimes help is to ask the player "What about this concept appeals to you?" and/or "What do you see this character doing during play?", and then seeing if it's possible to meet those wants with a concept that's more in-line with the game.
 

JediSoth

Semi-Professional Author/Publisher
Validated User
Oh dear god why?!! Seriously, how fucking hard is it to build a character that are fitting to the tone and spirit of a campaign??
He really enjoyed min-maxing his characters to squeeze as much power out of a concept as possible. I'm know he excels in OP games, but that sort of play just isn't appropriate for one of my home games (don't get me started on his Doctor Who character who is a COMBAT machine capable of beating a Dalek to death with its own eyestalk).
 

Reynard

Registered User
Validated User
In this particular case I thought it was a miscommunication about the genre and the tone, but upon attempting to clarify for the player I got some pushback. It's too bad because another player also came up with a concept that initially balked at but we were able to talk it through and find a place where the character concept fit and added something I had not considered for the game. The first player tends to come at things from a mechanical perspective (he find mechanics in the system he wants to engage) while the second starts with some gonzo idea. Both are long time players of mine.
 
Top Bottom