It’s over! 

Now that I have finally graduated and start the new job on Monday, I can some much needed time to rest and take care of other things.

But Rusty…

No! Stop it! I need to be productive today. There is coding to be done!

But Rusty! 

WHAT?!

A preachy meme you posted the other day got a lot of attention, but a lot of people missed the point.

Damn it. Fine.

How DM vs. Player Mentality is Toxic

What is it? What does it look like?

The DM vs. Player mentality I am referring to is not a style of play.

Not Players taking on the challenges put forth by their DM.

Not DMs making challenging content to test the character’s will.

This mentality is best described as an idea that the DM and Players are two separate, almost exclusive groups. 

What makes it a bad thing? 

It’s how those that follow this mentality treat one another.

In several communities, I have been a part of or seen, this mentality creates quite a divide that directly impacts gameplay and people’s fun at the table. 

Let’s delve into it some more.

How it Impacts the RPG:

When you create a divide in the game, it has a direct impact on the fiction, group, and community as a whole.

It makes people’s approach to storytelling and worldbuilding more about their selfish ideas rather than what’s good for the table or story.

It severely limits character-world interaction and denies many fun collaborative RP opportunities between the DM and Players.

And worse of all, it puts out the image that its a competition and that one group is better than another, rather than a group trying to have fun at a table. This puts off the idea that it’s more exclusive rather than an inclusive hobby.

If you want to have a game where the Players overcome challenges put forth by the DM, go nuts! I love playing in games that are challenging. 

But if the group didn’t work together to have fun or acted like they were trying to prove that one or the other is better and can outwit each other, that is a toxic approach to playing an RPG.

It’s not hard to spot this divide at your friendly local game store. Just walk in during peak RPG hours and you can tell the difference between those trying to tell an awesome tale with their friends, and those trying to prove that they are better than one another.

What’s the giveaway?

One group laughs all at the same time, and the other always has either one person that looks serious/puzzled/disappointed while the others laugh or vise versa. 

What’s the Solution?

Be open and encouraging to others input into the story and spread the word about how you tell tales together, rather than “how your players did *INSERT_BULLSHIT_HERE*” or “how you totally outwitted or foiled your Player’s plans with *INSERT_DM_FIAT_HERE*”.

Don’t talk about how they are your Players.

Don’t talk about your DM.

Talk about how you as a table told an amazing story, not what each group did individually. 

After all, we are all just players in the end trying to have fun with our friends.

I would love to delve more into the topic in the future, but that’s enough bitching for one day. I’ll try to write something less heated and more thorough and informative next time I approach the topic.

Sorry for the rant, but I appreciate you reading it anyway!

– Rusty