Admitting when you are wrong

Rule 0 grants a great deal of power to DMs allowing them to alter or ignore any rule of a game in order to facilitate the style of game play that fits what their group finds fun.  This rule allows for added enjoyment as the rules can be cut, pasted, and rearranged in any configuration imaginable.  Rules and mechanics from other systems can be grafted into your favorite RPG and bring about new possibilities for role play.  A rule that is changed now may, down the road, create a situation that was not intended and bring the game to a screeching halt.  The DM may at this point attempt to change another rule and hope that the problem goes away rather than snowballing, the DM may elect to end the game there on a sour note, or the DM can swallow his pride and admit to his players that he was wrong.  The purpose of this post will discuss the third choice, admitting you were wrong.

In my current D&D campaign I had the bright idea of switching the skills system to something more like Star Wars SAGA or 4e rather than the ranks used in 3.5.  Throughout the character creation process I encountered resistance from a couple of players who wanted to keep the familiar ranks and long list of skills, but I kept explaining the “benefits” of the simpler mechanic and consolidated list.  The game began and the modified skill system worked quite well, but after a few sessions everyone felt that the skills system did not offer enough differentiation between characters and that it just could not offer the same level of character depth as the 3.5 skills system.  As much as I thought I was right by making the change, in play it simply wasn’t fun to use and made the game less fun rather than more fun.  In order to save the game, I admitted my mistake and asked the players what they thought should happen and we elected to go back to the 3.5 skills.


~ by katallos on September 20, 2009.

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