Friday, December 26, 2014

Sourcebook Control Freaking

One of my hangups as a GM is that I don't like allowing material (spells, equipment, etc) from books that I don't own. I have players who occasionally want to bring in things from Sourcebook X, and if I don't own it, my inclination is to say no.

Some RPGs just spit out book after book of gear and guns. (Shadowrun being a particular offender) As a GM, I am just not interested in piles of equipment. By the end of 3.5's run, and by the end of my patience with 3.5, I felt awash in an endless sea of extraneous bullshit.'s the other thing. I've had players offer to pirate, buy, or loan me the sourcebooks that contain whatever feat or toy they want to use. I already have enough shit I need to read without extra stuff being stacked on it. I also don't like the feeling of obligation this creates in me, as some stuff just isn't suitable for my game.

So I ask you this, fellow GMs: am I overly controlling with regards to allowing supplemental material in my games? I do admit that I have a desire to keep a tight control on the gear, spells, classes, races, skills, or whatever else goes into my game, even if that material is "official" and offered by the original party that published the game.

Disclaimer: You guys telling me that I'm a control freak probably won't change anything. I just want to see if I'm alone in my control freakishness, or if I have control freak brothers-in-restricted-arms out there in Blogaria.


  1. It's Your game. If a variant of any kind is allowed at a player's request he/she needs to allow you time to investigate and consider on your timetable. Go as far back as you can in the canon of this game; these decisions have always been the DM's to make, period. If anything, that IS the canon of the game.
    Totally agree, I choose what's in my game by what I own, have gleaned around or just think is a cool idea. Players need to try and DM once in a while. That shit's intense, that way we can make their shit intense.

  2. Back in the old days, many DM's had a DM's notebook s document that laid out whatever rules were allowed and whatever the rulings of that campaign were.

    Anything that wasn't in the book, usually junk from Dragon magazine or whatever he or she hadn't vetted or had banned after trying it wasn't allowed.

    Of course its harder to keep up these days these days as the low cost of entry means a lot more material is out there and instead of say a magazine and a bit of this and that, its a veritable flood.

    This can mean its very hard to get a GM to take a look at new material and ironically it can be slower to add new stuff.

    Still its the DM's game so live with it