My problem with "profession: murder hobo" is more about "hobo" than "murder." I know that there are people who make a profession out of begging or otherwise doing "hobo"" activities, but I struggle with the entire concept of a profession that is essentially the condition of not pursuing a profession....
I dunno if I'd allow it in PFS play or not. I'd probably bounce it off other PFS GMs for advice.
Lazar, you are describing a society that is drastically different than my own campaign world, and different from any campaign I've played in. Your description seems to be an attempt to match the worst periods of dark ages European earth history.
I deliberately, long ago, chose not to have my world operate that way. My world is deliberately more enlightened. Most farmers own their own land. The merchant class is very large and there is quite a bit more social mobility than it seems you would expect. The average hard-working humanoid in my world has a decent chance to have a comfortable, if not extravagant,life.
I just like it better that way. I prefer to tell my stories in that sort of world. I don't really care if it matches European history, because historical accuracy is not any sort of goal for my games. I figure that my world evolved its own way, and the presence of magic alone generally provides a significant productivity boost to the world, meaning there is more wealth to go around.
Call it the RPG trickle-down economy if you like. But as it turns out, my world's approach is much closer to the economics described in the Pathfinder profession rules than what you describe.
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
I don't think I do "magic as a tech thing." I think I use magic as a "problem solving thing" and sometimes it can be used to solve the same problems that technology does. Sometimes better, sometimes not as good. Again, scalability is a huge difference between magic and technology.
Mass transit is done differently in different cities. The main capital city uses what are essentially magical platforms which people can walk onto and will whisk them to a pre-determined destination, sort of like glorified airport moving sidewalks, but not constrained to land. The elven city uses a wide variety of magical chariots that respond to requests from passengers and are generally in the shape of animals the elves love. The main wizard/sorcerer city mostly operates with a series of linked portals. Although that system is actually worldwide if you have the right command words and the wealth to use them. Most require sacrificing a gem or some other valuable item to trigger.
If by "how" you mean "what spells did you use to create them" I just flat out made them up and the explanation is that most of them are custom magical creations, sometimes requiring the cooperation of multiple powerful wizards.
Not at liberty to discuss.
Well this sounds suitably draconian anyway. Ciretose and I did not always see eye to eye but I appreciated that Ciretose generally seemed more interested in a discussion than a competition. It's the endless rhetorical and semantic lawyering and gamesmanship that drive me crazy, and I would understand if someone else finally just decided they'd had enough of it.
Hopefully he will return, but if not, I wish him well.
I forget what spells were used, but we essential created large public TVs that we could instantly address the entire city. It was used to update the public with important information, most importantly when the city walls were breached during a siege and we had to evacuate them.
Claxon, in my world there isn't a "receiving device" for these sorts of public announcements, there are large holographic illusions projected above the city. There are more private means that the powerful city leaders use to communicate that do have "receivers', mostly in the form off crystal balls.
Abraham, that thread is one that actually led me to make some modifications to my world's economic assumptions. I didn't follow it exactly, I made some assumptions about economies of scale (a farmer, wife and kids would live quite a bit cheaper than four farmers, for example).
In the end it was clear to me that a suitably industrious and perhaps fortunate farmer could become reasonably comfortable.
My own campaign world is not modeled after the earth's dark ages. It's more enlightened and less stratified into economic classes. "Farmer" is a description that could describe a single family tending a few acres mostly for their own use, to a "Farmer Maggot" type of farm with lots of extended family members contributing to farming a very large farm, providing a significant income from the process.
I'd say he's confusing at least history and fantasy. Not to mention the difference between people who own farms and people who are hired or indentured to perform menial tasks for those who own farms.
It depends on the city. A "typical city" will usually have magically operating water systems, mass transit, street lights, public address, mostly stuff to make living in a city more comfortable and less likely to suffer plagues or rampant crime.
The richest and most powerful cities will have much more ostentatious magical items, such as magical fountains, entertainment illusions, magically enhanced architecture (there is a floating palace in the capital city of the richest nation), portals to distant locations, temperature control of major public buildings, etc.
Public display of magical artistry and skill is a means of demonstrating international prestige.
Actually LazarX, magic items that can be purchased by the average FARMER is, and has been demonstrated to be, completely consistent with the rules.
Nobody mentioned "the average serf" until you did just now in a transparent attempt at exaggeration to try to make your point, which just demonstrates that exaggeration is required to do so.
If i had to rely on "wondrous magic' to make my stories interesting.... well, I wouldn't. I'd hang up my GM hat since I clearly was no longer worthy of it.
No Drachasor, I started this thread for exactly the reason stated. Which was to see if, and how many, people would argue that an individual player should put their own fun above the fun of the group.
I expected to see a lot of rationalization of this sort of behavior, and i did.
I expected to see a lot of ad hominen attacks, and I did.
I expected to see a lot of reductio ad absurdum, and I did.
I really did just want to see if my understanding of the dynamics I've seen on other threads was accurate.
And I see that it was.
Drachasor, I think the debate on this thread has been pretty even so far, certainly there is no 4:1 advantage for the player fun = sacred quest group. And this is a forum, which has debate as a fundamental purpose, it's not a game table where we are expected to cooperate. So your attempted analogy fails on every level.
But don't let that stop you from continuing to assert that people should put their fun above the fun of the people they play with.
Not that it would anyway.
Frozen deliberately turned several Disney tropes on their heads,
not just Prince Charming
My daughter loves Disney and so we see pretty much every Disney movie made. I tend to view the movies much more critically than she does.
I liked "Frozen" more than any DIsney movie in a long time. I even liked the songs.
Far superior to "Tangled". At least as good, and I think slightly better than, "Brave."
I especially think "Frozen" is one of the best movies Disney has made for young girls.
Indeed Tri. Whether the player fun = sacred quest contingent is a majority on these boards or not, they are unquestionably vocal and committed to their premise.
OK, one last, last time... :)
In a situation where the basic "problem" is defined as "everyone at my table doesn't like the way I play" I assert one final time that it is almost ALWAYS going to be the case that the one person whose playstyle doesn't match the other four is the one that is causing the problem.
EVEN IF SOME OTHER GROUP BELIEVES THEY ARE ACTUALLY 'RIGHT' on the issue. That doesn't matter. What matters is that they are trying to exert their personal preferences in opposition to four people who disagree.
To continue to argue that the one person should just keep on doing what is pissing off four people just because some OTHER group of people agree he/she is "right" is a counter-productive activity if the GOAL is to game in harmony with the original group.
There usually is no absolute "RIGHT" way to game anyway. What is right varies from group to group. This is a statement that should be axiomatic on these boards the number of times it is asserted in thread after thread. The "wrong" person in a group is not the one who is violating some sort of hypothetical over-arching absolute set of gaming "rules," it is the one who can''t get along with the people at their table.
Which ought to be so damned obvious that it should not need to be said. Much less repeated over and over.
My final comment here, just because it's come up twice.
This "the complainer is always wrong" trope reference is a sort of appeal to authority fallacy, where wikitropes is presumed to be some sort of authority.
But beyond that, I have not even asserted that the complainer is always wrong. I just said that the complainer is USUALLY wrong, in the situation I described, which is ONE PLAYER is complaining about the reaction of THEIR GROUP.
So even to appeal to the trope indicates that the point is being missed.
Anyway, as I've said twice now, it is very, very clear to me that this messageboard has a very active and vocal contingent of commenters who insist upon asserting the obviously illogical proposition that EVERY PLAYER should be able to PURSUE THEIR PERSONAL IDEA OF FUN, no matter what else is going on AT A TABLE WITH OTHER PEOPLE.
So I guess if people read that crap and can't immediately recognize that such a position is nothing but a guarantee of colliding versions of fun-seeking, then they probably aren't the sort of people who react to reason anyway and so it is pointless to try to reach them that way.
For the rest of the readers out there, I'll just remind you of what you were taught in pre-school, which is that in order to have fun in groups, you have to compromise your own personal desires from time to time.
Yeah, I probably was too harsh there Sin, but I do get tired of all the "this is the XXX trope" commentary and when I go read the trope I'm all "what th' heck? This isn't ANYTHING like that..."
Anyway,I think I'm done with this. I do appreciate that there has been some reasonable conversation on this thread, but the constant assertion that one player's search for fun is some sort of sacred quest continues in complete obliviousness of the fact that the table is full of players who can't all pursue their quest without some collision with other quests.
The point is that we can't all do what we want all the time when engaged in group activities.
Seriously people, this is the first lesson that children are taught in kindergarten. It really, really is.
There needs to be a trope about trying to prove one's point by contriving a "there's a trope about it" argument.
MMCJawa, I already stated that this thread was about the continued assertion that a player has a right to pursue their version of fun regardless of the desires of their gaming partners. I believe that's more than clear enough to discuss. I'm sure those reading this can recognize the sorts of threads I'm talking about.
mpl, I suppose I'm not much in the business of providing "validation" or "sympathy" to people just because they posted their frustrations on a website. As I said, I believe the majority of those sorts of things are posted by the person who is most likely causing the problem so why would I want to do anything to give them validation of their non-productive behaviors?
Anyway, as I said, it's clear that there is a very large contingent of posters on this particular game message board who believe that players have the right and obligation to shove their version of fun down the throats of their playing partners. The irony of that position seems to utterly escape them.
mpl, and how is that approach different than my default "get together and talk this out, find a compromise or look for a different group" advice?
Sometimes I think the threads go on and on with thousands of words deconstructing the personal motivations and life histories of people nobody ever met and never will meet just because it gives people a chance to vent their own private frustrations and project them on a group of strangers.
... and I'll add to that the observation that in my experience, the people who start throwing around words like "douche" or "jerk" on the slightest hint of pretext are the ones doing the most obvious projection.
mpl, the simple realities of probability and group dynamics would indicate to me that at least 75-80% of the time, the person coming here to complain is likely the problem person.
That's why my advice is almost always in the "get together and talk this out" vein, instead of "yeah, you're group sucks. Buncha pansies probably" vein.
Every now and then I'll see a thread where I will conclude that there really is a problem with the group, not the individual, but that's rare.
And you know what mpl? It generally has exactly the same solution. Talk it out and work out a compromise, or find a different group.
Bringing back some sort of "Neener, neener, I talked to all the 'experts' and they told me you guys all suck" response is pretty much never going to help.
@Mark, once again I find our playstyles to be similar in the fundamentals.
As the GM I consider it a fairly major part of "my job" to make the game as fun as possible for everyone at the table.
That means I have had quite a few conversations with the odd person out at the table to let them know that they aren't really playing the same game the rest of us are playing. I pretty much let them know that there are two probable outcomes from the situation:
1. The rest of the group eventually votes the odd one out of the game.
My understanding is that people game together to have fun together. If someone gains the majority of their fun that is in some way dependent on other people at the table having less fun, I'll eventually ask them to find another game, or not invite them back after a chapter closes.
It's not really a "needs of the many" thing for me, it's a "We're here to relax and recharge after dealing with the daily crap of our lives" thing. Any player that is adding, instead of reducing, stress at the table simply does not belong.
I see this sort of thing a lot on these boards when a player comes here and posts something along the lines of "My group is mad at me because I'm so awesome":
"Heck, don't let those babies tell you how to play! As long as you are within the rules, you have a right to play whatever you want!"
I think I've seen four or five such threads in the past week. And they all seem to more or less follow the same basic plot.
When people (like me) try to say things like "Hey, if there are five people at a game table and four of them are telling the fifth 'you need to change your play style', then it seems a little odd to me that we here on the boards immediately leap to the conclusion that the one player who came to these boards is the one being mistreated." that seems to be completely overlooked as a legitimate approach.
So I wanted to ask the folks here on these boards a fundamental question about gaming. That question is:
"Does an individual player (or GM) have any obligation or responsibility to recognize the preferences of the majority of players when they game?"
Because the impression I get on reading thread after thread is that a very vocal contingent of participants here think that the individual player's pursuit of "fun" is some sort of sacred mission that must be accommodated at all costs.
The problem I have with that position is that it makes no sense. If one person is ruining the fun of four people, what about the other four people's pursuit of fun? Doesn't that matter at all?
LOL, this sort of thing cracks me up. I am pretty sure I know exactly what happened and it's simply a case of whoever wrote the spell's description over-thought the thing.
I will continue to run it as "one round to cast the spell, use a standard action, if desired, to pull down a bolt any subsequent round until it expires".
It cracks me up when this sort of thing happens. And it happens more than you might think.
And this is why it happens. The devs know that every rule is going to eventually be put under the sort of rigorous rhetorical and semantic scrutiny that normally is reserved for reviewing Higgs Boson experimental results. So they go crazy trying to out-think the rules lawyers and tie themselves up in rhetorical knots.
LOL, RD is far more likely to be the originator of a build that someone ELSE comes to the boards and finds and copies for their use...
@Vincent - "Making character decisions with out of game knowledge" is only ONE definition of meta-gaming. The more general definition of "meta-gaming" is to make game decisions based on anything that transcends the rules or the "world" of the game.
As I've said many, many times, not all metagaming is bad metagaming. Using the word pejoratively without a qualifier leads people to believe that metagaming itself is "badwrongfun" and some people will start to act on that prejudice.
@RD, that's what I would say is happening here. I would call what you are doing metagaming, but I consider virtually all initial character creation activity to be either actual metagaming or very close to the line of metagaming.
Whether what you do is metagaming or not is not the issue. The issue is whether you are acting in a way that reduces the fun of the other people at the table. You say that you do what you do because it maximizes your fun.
Maybe some of your painful self-examination in things like this would be reduced somewhat if you made some of your metagame decisions based on what would make the overall group's experience more fun.
I frequently pick characters that are way, way down my list of preferred characters because I want other players to play something they want to play and my preferred choice would conflict with their choice.
I do that for two reasons.
1. I've played this game a long time and have an encyclopedia of great experiences with characters I have played that were my absolute most favorite characters to play at that time. Enough really for a lifetime, although I still intend to create more.
2. I can have a boatload of fun even with less than optimal characters through the creation and role playing of interesting personalities.
I am currently playing a halfling detective bard in a Carrion Crown campaign. Today he did the most damage in a single attack that he has done so far. He critted an enemy with his bow. He did 8 damage. He was psyched. The half-orc barbarian then stepped up and did 18 damage with his greataxe on a mediocre damage roll.
If all that mattered to me was the numbers in the game, I'd be disappointed in my bard. But I am having an absolute blast with him.
Here are some things he's done:
1. In one scene a group of street musicians started playing an impromptu song in the park. He started dancing in front of the musicians, did a "perform" check, rolled high, and the musicians were impressed, so then he stepped up and started singing a made up song, did another perform check, almost maxed, and pretty soon half the town was dancing in the park. This was key to getting the town to accept the party and provide help for the campaign.
2. spoilered for module content:
When the town was getting attacked by flying flaming skulls, one of the skulls was flying past him to attack the town's leaders. No other PC was nearby who could stop it, and there was no way he could take it down on his own. So he leaped on it and grappled it as it went by, stopping it from killing any of the town leaders.
3. At one point the party had to climb down into a pit with water at the bottom. As the first two party members reached the bottom, they were attacked and called for help. He leaped into the pit and used acrobatics to reduce the damage, falling 30 feet into shallow water, and rolling to his feet with his bow ready. Yeah, he took a lot of damage, but he was determined to come to the aid of his friends.
I could describe more of his exploits. Because he is fragile and lacks massive damage capability I have to work harder to make sure he's carrying his weight, and then some.
But I like a challenge.
Well what class are you going to use? sorcerer? other?
I personally feel no compulsion whatsoever for my NPCs to follow Pathfinder class rules. Especially my bosses. I usually do because it's just easier, but I've got tons of custom monsters and NPCs with unique abilities in my world.
If I decide to follow those rules, which I probably wouldn't for this character, I'd probably look at sorcerer elemental archetypes for a foundation, and then modify it to suit me.
I too have created countless games, wargames, board games, RPGs, etc. For a while I considered pursuing a career as a professional game designer but my other career as a software programmer took off and soon I was writing video games along with productivity software and then writing about it. I did that for a decade before moving into corporate software design, architecture, and eventually management. I have kept messing around with games since then, but not professionally. A good friend of mine writes old style computer games as a hobby but is hoping his current effort ends up making him some income.
I think a good fraction of gamers spend some part of their careers or personal time writing, testing and, in some cases, attempting to market their games.
Drachasor, you are misunderstanding me. We did not "house rule it" at all, and most certainly did not make a specific decision to "make it weaker."
We all read it the same way, which I still think is the most logical way. You cast it in round 1 and every round thereafter you can essentially use your standard action to call a bolt down until the spell expires.
Perhaps the fact that my group is composed almost entirely of programmers, engineers and scientists plays into that reading, but that is how all of us have read the spell from day one. There was no attempt to "change" the spell because that's just how we all thought it worked.
And frankly I see no reason to change that now. The spell is mostly just a nice hedge for the caster to be able to have an option that does damage over multiple rounds from one spell.
Drachasor, I am not suggesting in any fashion that the potential for having two bolts in round two is overpowered.
It's just inconsistent and strikes me as a spell effect a game designer is highly unlikely to have intended.
Just as I consider it just as unlikely that the spell was designed with the idea that in round 2 you get a bolt AND a standard action but in all subsequent rounds you only get one or the other. It's just a weird concept for how the spell would work.
I have designed games and have designed custom spells and consider myself to have a bit of experience in game design. I would never design a spell to work either way described here. Both of them have a spell mechanic that is just weird to me.
The way we've always done it just seems the logical way. You spend a round casting, and then in every round until it runs out, you can either call a bolt or take a standard action. Simple, obvious, consistent. That's what I think was intended.
Heh, reading the spell more closely now I don't now if we've been doing it right, but we have always done it like this.
Round 1 - you cast the spell as a full round action. (No lightning bolt comes)
Now that "immediately on completion of the spell" verbage is making me wonder.
But I seriously doubt it was the intention to to have two lightning bolts in round 2, or to have a lightning bolt hit in round 2 and still have a standard action left. I will be interested if the devs clarify.
Um, wouldn't he notice where the scattershot hit? I know they are tiny, but if flour makes invisible things visible, then he should get a check to notice the bullets floating in midair.
If I were the GM I'd rule that bullets embedded in the body of an invisible creature were also invisible.
I would probably make it more likely that the PC noticed some blood appearing on the floor, but by then the stalker may have moved.
Morph, for whatever it's worth, from your description I would say that you ran the encounter absolutely according to the rules. I can't find anything about your execution that I would fault, in fact I'd say you probably ran it better than I would have.
The question I would be asking myself in your shoes would be whether I was aware of and sensitive to my players' body language and reaction to the encounter.
For example, when you say that the gunslinger hit the target more than once but that you only said "you may have hit him" did the gunslinger react negatively?
I might well have added "on that last shot you heard a satisfying grunt indicating you hit something, but you couldn't identify the exact location."
Something as simple as that can completely turn a player's attitude from "this sucks" to "Alright!"
I tell my players that I use the stats in the bestiary as a guide, not a bible. I modify stats at will. I also reskin regularly and give monsters and NPCs class levels and create my own monsters out of whole cloth.
My players don't even bother to look up monsters in the bestiary. They use knowledge checks and go with what I give them.
Again, this sounds like a group dynamics problem.
You need to sit down with this player and essentially create a social contract that describes how the game will be run. If he won't agree to one that is agreeable to you, then you are incompatible at the game table.
This is not a game problem. This is a social dynamics problem. You have to deal with it that way.
So many times I see a post that is presented as a game problem and when I read it, I see a group dynamics problem.
Your gunslinger player has some expectations about game play that he feels were not met. Have you sat down with him and asked him to explain in detail why he feels the game did not meet his expectations?
From what you've posted we can only make assumptions. If the gunslinger player felt that his abilities were completely negated and all he could do in the fight was run and hide, then he is probably reacting to feeling like the encounter did not give him a chance to contribute. I don't know what level of experience (or maturity for that matter) your gunslinger player has, so have no idea what sort of expectations he might have about how the game works.
As a ranged combat specialist he may have felt especially exposed in an encounter where an invisible opponent was utilizing hit and run tactics which probably made him feel pretty useless and vulnerable.
I'd talk with him and allow him to express his concerns so that he gets it off his chest. I'd let him know that there might have been other options he could have utilized in the combat, and that over the course of the campaign he is likely to find his options limited in the future. Those might be times for another character in the party to shine. I would make sure he got a chance to shine in an upcoming encounter.
It sounds like you just need to sit down and have a conversation with him that shows him you are listening, you understand and you want the game to be fun for him.
Just to address the whole idea of playing monsters or enemy NPCs as being tactically aware and capable...
Consider that the audience for this discussion is primarily composed of long-time, in some cases hard-core gamers. The knowledge and interest in combat tactics among this audience is light-years beyond the "average human". Not because gamers are smarter, but because we have dealt with tactical simulations for years, and many of us, if not most of us, actually play these games at least in part because we have an interest in combat tactics.
Add to that the understanding that we gamers, here in 2013, in a technologically advanced society, have opportunities to learn the history of tactics both in an organized environment and on our own. Concepts like attacking the enemy's flank, or battlefield control or utilizing terrain are deeply ingrained in our thought processes.
The average human being is not like that. This can be demonstrated through a study of the history of combat. There is a reason that raw recruits are considered to be at high risk of being defeated by battle-hardened soldiers. Soldiers learn about tactics by watching their buddies die beside them. That's a hard lesson that sticks.
I could provide so many examples of major battles involving battle-hardened troops who have received extensive training doing the least tactically advantageous things imaginable. If anyone has studied major battles, like Gettysburg for example, you will find an amazing assortment of battlefield ineptitude, even from armies that are acknowledged to be among the most accomplished and celebrated in history.
The question of what sort of tactics a typical goblin war party would employ is one that should be addressed primarily from the perspective of what the history of those goblins are. Is this some random raiding party that is just out to do a little pillaging and terrorizing? Or is it a war party that has been involved in a ten year frontier war with the local non-goblins? If it's just a random war party, they should not employ tactics at all, really. They should probably be played as over-confident, relying on brute force and terror and probably significantly disorganized and undisciplined.
Add to that the racial tendencies of goblins and there should be a fairly high probability that some of the goblins might be more interested in looting the spoils than in continuing the fight.
The idea that random goblins would use the sort of tactics that a modern day RPG gamer would employ is not very realistic. It is far more likely that they would just rush in, try to overpower the enemy and do so with little coordination or consideration of their own tactical weaknesses.
Weird question: male gamers role-playing female characters...how do you handle speaking "in character?"