Miscellany: The Rule Dispute
The game master in a role-playing game also wears the hat of referee. And like all refs, sometimes the calls are disputed or complained about.
For example, we recently had a fairly lengthy discussion about whether a swimming hydra, when affected by a "Deep Slumber" spell, should receive a second saving throw when its head(s) slip into the water (it had failed its first). We argued that this went against the description in the PHB, which requires a slap or physical wound, not merely a normal noise. Is being re-immersed in water like being slapped? Who knows?
Another close call happened in a "Star Wars" Saga Edition session. A Cerean Jedi ran past a room with a thug in it, and it was a major point of contention whether the thug could take a free attack on the Jedi (that is, whether the thug "surprised" the Jedi). The Jedi player contended that he should at least get a Perception roll against the thug's stealth roll.
I'm not sure what the correct answers are in these cases. But I do know this - the best policy for a disagreement is to resolve it as quickly as possible. Nothing saps the life out of a role-playing session than bickering about concepts that doesn't even exist in the real world. As a DM, I enjoy making a rule that seems fair, and running with it.