It’s been a long time since I’ve been accused of rules-lawyering, though in the last several years, it feels as though it were on the tips of more than a few tongues. I don’t know that I’ve ever actually been a rules-lawyer, in the common interpretation. Usually, rules-lawyering seems to come with an attitude and an intent: to feel better about one’s self by proving other gamers wrong.

Here’s my view: if everyone is playing the same game at the same time, the rules don’t even matter. I’m not the type of person who hunts down every last rule in every last supplement because I want to show anyone up. I just want to play the game, like everyone else. (In theory.) That said, I have a stipulation.

I have a problem when someone exploits the rules (or tries to), whether for their benefit or the benefit of their character. At that point, it doesn’t matter if we’re in the same group, and we’re supposed to be working together. If you’re caught trying to cheat the system, the only way you’re allowed to play is by the rules, until you’ve earned back the trust you’ve violated. (Wipe that smirk off your face.)

It’s one thing to honestly misinterpret something. Bugs, loopholes, sloppy rules text, and Mountain Dew can all affect play at one time or another. Once a solution has been found, though, stop trying to push the old way. You benefited from an exploit before, and now you’re wasting everyone’s time by trying to benefit from it once it’s been solved. Behavior like that will get you banned from online games, and there’s a reason. It’s called poor sportsmanship.