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Minneapolis/St. Paul Pathfinder Society Message Board Minneapolis/St. Paul Pathfinder Society Discussion Forum › Managing Disagreements with GMs.

Managing Disagreements with GMs.

Ryan
TheBoldr
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 70
I would like to feel that everybody in PFS should be able to feel comfortable speaking to their GMs when they feel a ruling is unfair. We do realize though that sometimes situations occur where perhaps there is a significant age difference between the player and GM, or perhaps the player does not want to interrupt play and does not have the opportunity to talk to the GM. Regardless for the reasons to want to come to us, players should feel comfortable coming to Andy or I as potential neutral ground.

This being said, we want everybody to know that our default mode of operation will not be to assume that something needs to be changed. We will listen to both sides, and offer up a chance for the player and GM to work together through us to mediate the decision, or at least come to an understanding of why things are the way they are. There are many cases where rules are unclear, or multiple interpretations are entirely possible. It just so happens that some recent PC deaths resulted in some significant debate over on the Paizo forms where even James Jacobs (the Creative Director) and Mark Moreland (the Guru of all things Pathfinder and PFS developer) disagreed on whether death was warranted. It's because of situations like these that we need to have an open discussion rather than an outright forced change. Rule conflicts will always arise, and each table GM needs to feel as if they have control over their games as long as the rule interpretations are reasonable.

I want to be very clear though. In situations where the GM is outright, actively, and deliberately cheating with malice of forethought, or is acting in an unprofessional or inappropriate manner, I will directly intervene should a player talk to me. GMs should not be:

  • Making derogatory or harassing comments to players
  • Making any overt racist, sexist, homophobic, or other disparaging remarks
  • Modifying scenarios (e.g. adding creatures, increasing creature hit points, or any other modifications that made modules easier or harder)
  • Violating core rules of PFS (e.g. running tables of more than 7 players, running modules out-of-tier)

In these kinds of situations, direct action may be warranted and every one of you should feel comfortable coming to one of us. Making PFS locally all it can be is our main goal, and we want to make sure that we run in a fair, friendly environment.
Ryan
TheBoldr
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 71
I want to add.

Players should also feel comfortable approaching any of the coordinators (Venture Officers or Store Coordinators) if they are having issues with being harassed or bullied by other players. We are getting large enough in size now (141 registered members) that we need to be aware of how we present ourselves to others. We would hope that minor personal disagreements can be managed by adults, but we absolutely understand that there will be situations where having another person intervening (again via mediation) can be beneficial.

Again that being said, we do take reports of harassment and bullying very seriously.
Andy C.
user 16372461
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 45
I just wanted to re-iterate what Ryan has said.

We both want anyone (GM or Player) to feel comfortable coming and talking to us or emailing us if there is an unresolved conflict or if you see any improprieties.

However, we also want GM's to feel comfortable within themselves while trying to run a scenario or module. If we create an environment where GM's feel that their every interpretation of ambiguous rules, stat blocks, encounters, or scenarios could come under a microscope, we would find many not willing to GM. I know I wouldn't be willing to GM under those types of conditions.
A former member
Post #: 1
As a recent member, I'm concerned that other potential new members might browse the forums, see this thread, and be put off. So let me just throw in that during my first 5 weeks of play I've observed nothing but friendly cooperation and fun. Player ages have ranged from around 10 to around 50, and everybody has been helpful and good natured.

All the GM's I've played with have been superb, and Jon Lamkin (the coordinator at the Source) has a superhuman ability to juggle newcomers, late arrivals, overfull tables, under-full tables, and esoteric rule questions.

Any group of 141+ people will inevitably have conflict, and it's good to have some guidelines in place, so props to Ryan for making these policies clear. But don't *expect* to need them!!
Andy C.
user 16372461
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 50
Thanks for the comments Eric.

In over a year, this is the first instance I think that came to Ryan and my attention. And it ended up resolving itself with minimal mediation from Ryan.

So I don't think anything like this will be prevalent or the norm. It shouldn't happen hardly ever at all actually.
Jon L.
user 13290382
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 12
As a recent member, I'm concerned that other potential new members might browse the forums, see this thread, and be put off. So let me just throw in that during my first 5 weeks of play I've observed nothing but friendly cooperation and fun. Player ages have ranged from around 10 to around 50, and everybody has been helpful and good natured.

All the GM's I've played with have been superb, and Jon Lamkin (the coordinator at the Source) has a superhuman ability to juggle newcomers, late arrivals, overfull tables, under-full tables, and esoteric rule questions.

Any group of 141+ people will inevitably have conflict, and it's good to have some guidelines in place, so props to Ryan for making these policies clear. But don't *expect* to need them!!
Thanks for the compliment Eric! :)

Yea, I have to agree with all the above statements. If there is a problem with a player or GM please feel free to come to one of us. I have not had had any problem that could not be handled with a kind word or gesture :) Newcomers and veterans of PFS alike generally handle themselves with great decorum and generosity that I am proud to be a coordinator for it at the Source! :)

Douglas V
user 5279120
Stillwater, MN
Post #: 98
Hopefully some folks will realize that two GMs can interpret a rule two different ways, but not to halt the game too long to argue a point. Someday the same GM who runs one rule against you will also be letting you get away with some other rule interpretation.

As folks play more, you'll realize it's not worth hotly debating any rule...it only takes away from the fun of getting together to game. Every disagreement I've seen so far has remained small and moved on quickly. Hopefully we can keep things that way. I've certainly had moments where, "but the last GM did things this way". This isn't the last GM, and sometimes a later rule interpretation can make you feel thankful for that. Also realize certain scenarios/modules may have special rules written, and the GM is bound to play by those rules.

And if a neutral-aligned character in your party commits an evil act for his faction while your lawful good character can see and would likely thrash him? Well, it's up to you to figure out how you can roleplay and NOT instigate player vs player combat, (which is disallowed). In my case, we were eventually going back to town anyways...my character was happily prepared to be a witness when the other party member's trial would happen.

(Disclaimer: This in no way excuses a certain Living City scenario from years back that was balanced poorly for a low-level group, and threw vampirelings at us. But that wasn't the GMs fault!)
Sven
Barrel_Rider
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 85
Bump. Please read this thread if you have a problem with a GM.
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