Some time ago I stopped running/playing modern RPGs like Pathfinder and 4e in favor of White Box S&W. I like S&W because of the bare-bones nature that leaves many things up to my discretion as a DM, but the thing that gets on my nerves is something I have had problems with since I ran modern. Players stopping me during combat when I have made a ruling asking to "see the book". I expect this in modern because there is a rule for "everything" and most of the time at the table is spent whining and rules lawyer-ing (at least in my experience). I don't feel like players have a right to look at the book just like the DM has no right to control the actions of a PC against the players will.

I guess my question is, how do I tell players they can't "see the book" in the most effective and nicest way possible.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you might want to rephrase this. The problem doesn't seem to be keeping them physically out of the rule book, the problem seems to be about how to change their expectations regarding written rules versus on-the-fly rulings, and how to communicate that this game doesn't work the way they assume. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 18, 2014 at 7:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: How do you help players not focus on the rules? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 18, 2014 at 7:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I be damned. Didn't see that there. Guess I just asked a duplicate question. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 18, 2014 at 7:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Please avoid profanity. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 18, 2014 at 13:02


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