[Runequest] Runequest Digest, Vol 30, Issue 23

Tom Cantine tcantine at incentre.net
Thu Nov 18 03:17:42 EST 2010

Yes, but that's a species of the more general problem, where the GM is 
ignorant of any particular area in which a player is expert. Military 
tactics tend to come up more often in RPGs than other areas of 
expertise, but all sorts of areas can lead to this kind of frustration.

For example, I have a law degree. I've been at quite a few LARP events 
where some sort of trial or tribunal or other legal proceeding took 
place. (They come up in tabletop RPGs too, fairly often). The game 
organizers and fellow players often tend to rely on what bits and 
pieces of courtroom procedure they (mis)remember from My Cousin Vinnie 
or episodes of Law and Order. Most of the time I'm not playing a lawyer 
at these events, but I have inwardly cringed at many of the things I've 
seen done. (Of course, to be fair, I've also cringed at some of the 
actual rulings made by real judges in real courts, so take that for 
what it's worth.)

On the other hand, there's also a danger if the GM defers too readily 
to the expertise of the players. That can drain all the challenge from 
the game, if players can always just tell the GM that their plan will 
work and that's that. I guess the lesson here is that it takes brains 
to be a good GM. Not necessarily to be an expert in everything, but to 
be able to understand the arguments of her players and not be bluffed 
into acquiescence.

On 17-Nov-10, at 4:57 AM, Phil Hibbs wrote:

> The real problem comes when someone who *does* know military tactics,
> playing a character who *does* know military tactics, is in a game
> where the GM does *not* know military tactics. Player makes a smart
> decision, GM rules that it doesn't work because of his ignorance, and
> he may not even know that the player is military-smart.
> Phil.
> -- 
> Don't you just hate self-referential sigs?
> _______________________________________________
> Runequest mailing list
> Runequest at rpgreview.net
> http://rpgreview.net/mailman/listinfo/runequest_rpgreview.net

More information about the Runequest mailing list