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Ameiko

Aranna's page

2,766 posts. Alias of Min2007.


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Ok I am giving up on the poll... not only are my sides turning out to ALL be fairly inaccurate BUT there are just too many people who don't clarify their stance enough to have such a specific side. As it stands though the numbers were approximately Anti-GMPC 60%, Neutral 20%, Pro-GMPC 20%... While this probably would have changed in exact percentages if I had finished it is pretty clear that for whatever reason (GM skill or GMPCs themselves being the problem) using GMPCs has been a negative experience for most people. Even the pro and neutral camps acknowledge bad GMPCs they just attribute the occurrence to specific instances and NOT a general trend like the Anti GMPC crowd seems to advocate. I guess this just boils down to whether you see bad GMPCs as a GM specific bad thing or a general fact that takes a specific good GM to overcome if they can be overcome at all. Or that surprisingly large third group that refuses to take a pro or con position and just chalks it up to specific groups good or bad.


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Tacticslion wrote:
Aranna wrote:

Actually there are more than two sides arguing here.

Side 1: "GMPCs can never work!"
Side 2: "GMPCs can work, but almost never do so it is best to avoid them."
Side 3: "GMPCs work wonderfully, If they don't you're a bad GM."
Side 4: "GMPCs are the best, everyone should use them."

True, but...

Also edits totally mine because I'm a neeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrd and like reading it better that way. :)
Aranna wrote:
Did I miss any?

Yes! (Understandable, as it's wordy, on my part:)

Side 5: "GMPCs can work quite well, but it entirely depends on the nature, skill, and style of a GM and players at the table. Even good GMs can be bad at specific skill-sets; there is nothing inherent to a GMPC as a concept that ruins games, but it has the same potential pitfalls as many other facets of GMing, whether NPC, villain, or favored player's character."

This should be somewhere between 2 and 3 and is substantially more nuanced than any of those presented above. It does not say that GMs are bad because they fail at a specific facet of GMing. It does say that they are bad at a specific facet of GMing (which is true of practically every GM I've ever known - this is why GMs vary in styles that cater to their good skills).

This is where I am.

(Also, I've not actually seen anyone say number four or anything resembling it?)

~hangs my head in embarrassment~

Sorry about the need to edit my grammar, I usually am better at checking that.

While your position is layered in nuance it still meets the norms for Side 3... You believe they are good, and that when they turn out bad it is the fault of the GM's skill. Call it a different side if you wish, but it seems like you are just nuancing yourself onto a side by yourself.

I highly suspect side 2 and side 3 are the biggest sides here. And I am sure I saw a post or two similar to side 4... but I may have taken a joke post as serious or be misremembering details, it is a big thread and I don't want to search it for the one or two that might be on that side. I did start combing it to see what sides had the most people and so far the biggest side is 2 followed by 3 and then 1... I haven't found those side 4 posts yet and I am in no hurry to finish my poll. It is tedious work.


Snowblind wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:

Is there a word for a synonym of entire paragraphs? You know how a synonym is essentially the same meaning, but a different word? Seeing a lot of those, but with paragraphs, back and forth. A lot of lengthy, well articulated reiterations of:

"It can't be done right. I've seen it failed many times."

"It can be done right, either I or a GM I was a player under has."

"Nah uh! See what I just said? About how it can't? Let me just say that again in a considerably more complicated manner to essentially emphasize exactly what I've already said!"

"Ya huh! See what I just said? About how it can? Let me just say that again in a considerably more complicated manner to essentially emphasize exactly what I've already said!"

Well yeah, this thread has been going on for exactly 600 posts as of when I hit the submit button. The topic also doesn't allow for much of a breadth in opinions - It really seems to come down to a)yes, GMPCs can work, or b)no, GMPCs cant. Naturally there is going to be a lot of repetition.

On that note...*insert long lengthy paragraph about cautiously agreeing with a) here*

Actually there are more than two sides arguing here.

Side 1: "GMPC can never work"
Side 2: "GMPC can work, but almost never do so it is best to avoid them"
Side 3: "GMPC work wonderfully, If they don't your a bad GM."
Side 4: "GMPC are the best, everyone should use them."
Did I miss any?

Count me in Side 2.


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Jiggy wrote:
Pan wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

/snip

Was I roleplaying?

Who cares, did you have fun?

As it happens, how much fun I had would sometimes depend in part on whether or not tablemates within a certain demographic thought I (or my other tablemates, for that matter) was roleplaying. Thus, the two notions are not as entirely independent as you make them out to be.

Part of the reason I'm not playing PFS anymore is that the folks who believe in how the game was meant to be played were gaining both presence and influence in the campaign, both globally and in my local area.

"Who cares?" and "Did you have fun?" ended up being kinda connected. :/

Wait a minute! Didn't you just post the exact opposite stance?

Jiggy wrote:
Since when is roleplaying something that the GM needs to "rule" on?

Yup you posted that supporting thejeff's argument that it didn't matter whether others thought people were role playing or not.


Oh no it's definitely Canada, did you see the I'm sorry wall after the riot?


Jaelithe wrote:
Aranna wrote:
I didn't intend to imply we were locked down by our biases. Only that they exist and should be noted. Only when we are aware of them can we overcome them.
Or, alternately, decide they're entirely appropriate.

~laughs~

Yes that as well.


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DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Aranna wrote:
I don't think people are understanding personal bias. Personal bias doesn't necessarily mean favoring a GMPC over the players, although that is a form of it. Every decision is colored by your own take on things and that is what personal bias is. Good personal bias might be favoring the PCs over any monsters or NPCs, saying yes instead of no by default when a player suggests something, or even favoring heroically themed adventures over villainous ones. Everyone has some form of personal bias by being human.

There is a problem with this stance as humans have agency and can be quite reflective/reflexive.

For example, a dm can identify their own biases and go directly against them to ensure all their games aren't the same, go the same way, have the same villains and heroes. It is defying established conventions, and one's own biases. We can identify our biases and counter them (e.g. I like to have betrayals, plots, scheming and death traps, but I also ensure these aren't spammed all the time and while sometimes there are betrayals, plots etc, sometimes there is loyalty, characters acting without plotting and scheming and quite safe areas - some would-be dungeons actually turn out as safe havens or potential bases. This is certainly a relief for pcs on the run). We can fight our biases after we recognise what they are, we are not destined to repeat them unthinkingly.

Think of it this way and ask has this ever happened for you. There are types of characters you like and those you do not like. Have you ever put in those you don't like but given them attention and a place ensuring they were well-rounded and not just caricatures? If you are biased against certain types of people, certain characters you could present them in a wholly negative light or they never even exist, or you could defy your own biases and push yourself as a storyteller.

If you have done that, you have escaped your bias. There are other ways as well, this is simply illustrative.

Excellent point. I didn't intend to imply we were locked down by our biases. Only that they exist and should be noted. Only when we are aware of them can we overcome them.


I don't think people are understanding personal bias. Personal bias doesn't necessarily mean favoring a GMPC over the players, although that is a form of it. Every decision is colored by your own take on things and that is what personal bias is. Good personal bias might be favoring the PCs over any monsters or NPCs, saying yes instead of no by default when a player suggests something, or even favoring heroically themed adventures over villainous ones. Everyone has some form of personal bias by being human.


Ok then I will try my best;
~dusts off my rusty skills~

As I recall WFRP has a skill sytem in place to handle things like picking pockets or handling traps which default to the DEX stat if you don't have those skills. So there really is already a Stat to handle these, moving them to your weapon skills would unbalance the game as Hama, Bjorn, and Tinkergoth have suggested.


I am confused... are you on a Pathfinder board trying to discuss Warhammer Fantasy Role Play's skill system? You would probably get a better response and a better informed group of people if you asked this on a WFRP board.


There are the Chickens of DOOM!!! That I have used when I have been GMing for 12 hours straight and I am burned out. These creatures are a tough fight and sometimes I wonder if lovable munchkin doesn't deliberately encourage me to run long just to get this fight.

Also when I was playing my half drow wizard I ended up creating a fearsome frog BBEG. It was a quiet night and the feast the Baron had served us was over. The party had split up to do each our own thing. That's when the assassin struck a Drow assassin killed the Baron and fled out the window dropping invisibly to the garden courtyard... Fatefully the very courtyard I was visiting for an evening stroll. I had only one magical effect going my rain of flower petals spell. I saw the petals vanish 10 feet from me and knew an invisible person was there. Considering the cries of alarm from the keep I knew I was facing the assassin alone. I had one action before he finished me or got away, I cast baleful polymorph and made the miss chance roll, made the roll to beat his spell resistance, and he failed his save with a one. An elite Drow assassin was now my pet frog.

He did get away after a mishandled ambush by some rebels. And ever since then the creepy little bastard would taunt me by killing an NPC and then leaving little frog footprints all over me to find when I woke.


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If you altered the stone to flesh spell such that the target remain conscious and aware during his incarceration then it becomes a particularly cruel and stressful punishment


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RoboPorthos wrote:

3) Lacking in social skills

As well as often having pretty powerful (or at least loud) personalities.

This isn't universally true of the rpg gamer crowd and rather insulting. In fact none of the items on the list are universal of rpg gamers. In fact there really seems to be only one trait in common between us all; we are all intuitive personality types. Intuitive types being the kind of person who can easily suspend disbelief and imagine worlds where Elves, Klingons, or Cyborgs are real; where spells can work and Dragons can fly or breath fire; where weird exotic elements can exist that can propel a ship past the light barrier or power a laser sword.

I have met Intelligent gamers and not so bright ones... I once had to mediate a fight at the table between these two types after the one accused the other of deliberately using big words to confuse him. To be honest I suspect the accusation was true, but I got that fire put out.

Creative types seem to flock to gaming BUT there are a ton of uncreative types who couldn't think up a background to save their lives or are unable to creatively think up an adventure and rely purely on published materials.

The lacking in social skills is obviously not universally true look at how many successfully find romance, marry, and start families. The difference between a Geek and a Nerd for example is a Geek has social skills.

And of the sometimes up to eight people at my gaming table only three of us have strong personalities.


Tacticslion wrote:
...wall of rant...

Um... I know that started out aimed at me... but the later stuff, some of it I never did. So I am hoping this wasn't completely aimed at me or you are lying.

The first part however... we aren't talking about SOs, BFFs, or railroads, ect. Those are completely separate issues. We are talking about GMPCs. I have clearly stated the following

1- They CAN be done right. It is just rarer than them being done wrong.
2- Posted a list of helpful restrictions to avoid some of the biggest pitfalls of using a GMPC. no one has to use them all or even any of them they are just an example used by my group.
3- Continued to warn people to be careful about using them. Since the trap (you obviously missed the point in the part you quoted) IS that you can be completely blind to how unfair they might seem to players. You do something through the GMPC to help the group and it looks like you just gave the GMPC something they didn't have, it doesn't have to be a physical boon (perhaps that word was poorly chosen) it could be something like helpful knowledge for the PCs to use to complete the mission or an item they will need later. But then it's just a warning... I am certainly not saying ALL players see stuff this way, just that it CAN happen and to be careful.


Exactly KenderKin the OP said nothing about violent behavior, just conflicts. I find it hard to imagine not one argument over anything across hundreds of tables that LazarX claims. And while rule arguments are far more common online, they still happen at least once at every regular group I have ever seen. They may be far less likely to happen in a convention setting but then these people are only spending 4 hours together and they don't want to waste it arguing.


thejeff wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Aranna wrote:
a GM for example can rule it not to be role play
I think you and I are playing very different games. Since when is roleplaying something that the GM needs to "rule" on?

Experience for roleplay maybe?

Though generally it's still only given for good roleplay, not just a binary yes or no. And Good is still subjective.

No it's perks for role play that Mr Perfect came up with. But same concept tangible benefits for role playing. The thing is the only two people benefiting from this are lovable munchkin and myself... week after week I watch the less outgoing people get passed over for rewards.


Jacob Saltband wrote:
But you could be sitting around as a group discussing plans and everyone saying something like 'my character would suggest this course to take' and it would be roleplaying, right? or am I wrong in this?

Yes that is indeed role play. No prequalifiers. The only true judge of your character's internal motivation IS you. By suggesting this would only be role play if "they were basing the suggestions on their character's persona" creates a scenario where a GM for example can rule it not to be role play regardless of your own input. It makes others into authorities over not just how you play your character but whether you are playing him at all. And personally I feel that authority belongs only to the player. Others should only react to your persona not dictate it.


thejeff wrote:
If the player makes the character's motivation known, it doesn't have to be repeated with every action for it to be roleplaying.

So you at least agree with me on this. The player HAS to make the motivation known or it really isn't role play. It still doesn't make the actual combat rolls into role play BUT at least the character IS role playing.

thejeff wrote:
Similarly, for me, even if the player provides a detailed description for every attack, if that's not sourced in the character, it's not roleplaying. If the player just likes graphic descriptions of combat, then it may have nothing to do with the character at all. I get that it's not immediately apparent what's character driven and what isn't, but that doesn't mean it should be dismissed.

I guess I can at least partially concede this point. We both agree already that simply having flowery combat descriptions is not role play... But you claim it can be if done right... if I am correct about your point. I guess if someone combined the role play banter into their combat description then there would indeed be role play there. BUT it still feels like you just end up with something part role play and part not. Oh well I can concede you this simply to avoid over complicating things.

I still won't go as far as Jaelith with his claim that all flowery combat descriptions are role play.

Am I correct in assuming our main disagreement is with my assertion that the internal does not count?


LazarX wrote:
Aranna wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Aranna wrote:
Anytime a group of people get together for long stretches of time their personalities will grate on each other. Why do you think selecting a crew for the Mars mission is such a huge undertaking.
There's a big difference between sharing a parlor for a few hours once every week or two weeks, and being locked in a tin can for years with no reprieve. Getting together for a night of gaming isn't really that different than gathering together for a night of football or poker.

Have you seen how violent football fans can get over a silly disagreement and they spend less time together than most gamers?! I mean there were riots in Canada (one of the most laid back nations in the world) over a sports disagreement.

In the case of gamers (well table top gamers not online ones) you all feel bound together in this game and you tend to think about it long after the session ends. But I am not even talking about violence, the people who react violently to this are rare, but I can't think of one group that doesn't have even a little dysfunction caused by it.

The violence of sports gamers that you mention, is almost exclusively a stadium mob effect, not something generally seen in home settings.

~sigh~

At home I have seen brothers fight over sillier things than sports disagreements. But if you wish we can both drop the sports angle. Although I could see boys being all "in people's face" over their own team's superiority. And if someone with a differing opinion came to such a football party? It would cause some friction wouldn't it?


LazarX wrote:
Aranna wrote:
Anytime a group of people get together for long stretches of time their personalities will grate on each other. Why do you think selecting a crew for the Mars mission is such a huge undertaking.
There's a big difference between sharing a parlor for a few hours once every week or two weeks, and being locked in a tin can for years with no reprieve. Getting together for a night of gaming isn't really that different than gathering together for a night of football or poker.

Have you seen how violent football fans can get over a silly disagreement and they spend less time together than most gamers?! I mean there were riots in Canada (one of the most laid back nations in the world) over a sports disagreement.

In the case of gamers (well table top gamers not online ones) you all feel bound together in this game and you tend to think about it long after the session ends. But I am not even talking about violence, the people who react violently to this are rare, but I can't think of one group that doesn't have even a little dysfunction caused by it.


~hugs Sissyl~
I don't think the um... cartoony derail was aimed at you but rather an expression of people getting tired of the argument from both sides.


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Anytime a group of people get together for long stretches of time their personalities will grate on each other. Why do you think selecting a crew for the Mars mission is such a huge undertaking. This isn't just gamers that have these issues it's every group. HOW we handle such issues varies wildly from person to person.


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Kryzbyn wrote:
How could he? Being immature and emotionally attached as he is.

Awww... see he IS emotionally attached to Smurfs! I mean they ARE adorable right?


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Kryzbyn wrote:
I don't think it's an insurmountable thing that drives folks to fits of irrational behavior while DMing.

This IS the insidious nature of the GMPC trap, every boon you grant your GMPC is perfectly rational, perfectly meant to help the party, and makes perfect sense in your eyes. What you don't see is the resentment each GMPC boon places in the eyes of your PCs, they see a story about the GMPC with them as sidekicks where you see a helpful GMPC moving the story along and keeping them alive.


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Jiggy wrote:

Here's a random anecdote to consider:

My favorite Pathfinder character that I ever played was Thomas the Tiefling Hero, my battle cleric of Iomedae who saved the world. He has a well-defined backstory, a clear personality, and so forth. He's rescued innocents, negotiated treaties, slain demon lords, and saved his comrades' lives countless times.

Now, here's something interesting about combat: I never spoke in-character during combat with Thomas. So whenever I was swinging a sword at a cultist or whatever, I just announced my actions and rolled the associated dice.

Why?

Because Thomas has strong moral views about violence. He doesn't enjoy it, so you'll never hear him yelling "WOO LET'S GET 'EM!" or whatever. He also doesn't believe that just because it's become necessary to use violence, that it somehow absolves him of the moral duty to be a decent person, so you'll never see him shouting the insults that others cry out in battle (like "DIE, SCUM!").

No, he sees violence as a grim necessity for protecting the innocent when all else has failed. He would always try to resolve things peacefully, but if violence became necessary, he would end threats swiftly, decisively, and seriously: just silently doing what needed to be done.

So when I was rolling Thomas' combat dice and not speaking any lines, it was on purpose, to represent my character's manner of silent, efficient duty.

Was I roleplaying?

Ohhh I love this question. I had a character just like this many years back.

The short answer is no. And let me explain: all the rest of the players are unaware of the grim view of violence your character has. If all you do is simply roll dice quietly then you are not "playing" the role. You may be very solidly "in character" but if no one knows this but you it really is a non entity. As I said before to thejeff the internal doesn't count and can't be argued. If you want to "play" your role you are going to have to expose his raging thoughts on violence in as clear a way as you can to those around the table... 1st or 3rd person doesn't matter, description or in character speech doesn't matter, getting those elements of interaction communicated to the players and GM really does matter.

"Thomas quietly glares at the Orc with an expression of disgust after the Orc draws his blade and attacks" This is role playing.

"Thomas rolls initiative and readies his attack on the Orc" Not role play.


Hama wrote:
Um sorry, but not staying in character is a lack of role-play.

Unless of course it IS role play.

Hama wrote:
Yeah, but "I ask the inkeep about horse racing" is not.

Actually any interaction as your character outside of the mechanical side of the game is role play... Just because someone is worse at it then someone else it doesn't stop it from being role play.

Hama wrote:
Just describing your action isn't.

Only if you are merely expressing a mechanical roll in flowery language... only... if however you are describing an interaction then yes it is role playing.

Example: <rolls dice> "I swing wildly at the Orc and connect leaving a bloody gash across his arm." Not role play.

"After wounding the Orc I warn him to stay away from this village... or else." IS role play.


captain yesterday wrote:
Well *yay* It wasn't a man that did and secondly it's from The Office, so lighten up :-)

I was being light even if I had no idea where you were going with the joke... I have never seen The Office.


Role play isn't the opposite of roll play... it is a totally different skill.

I specifically don't include internal things in my definition for a reason; they can't be argued. Anything internal is pure opinion.

Char: "I go chat with the guards"
Jiggy: "You just lost your RP bonus!"
Char: "What?! Why?"
Jiggy: "Your character is the quiet type."
Char: "Not all the time! She needs information..."
Jiggy: "Sorry, that isn't role playing!"
Char: ...


I would never wink at a man who forgot the safe word.


Terquem wrote:
I thought Bad Role Playing was when you forget the safe word...

Naughty naughty Terquem.


The difference here for those who might be confused is jiggy thinks if you don't act true to your character you aren't role playing... I don't agree at all. Bad role playing IS still role playing... it just is being done poorly.


thejeff wrote:

Those are the other definitions of roleplay. The ones Jiggy was objecting to. Role play, in this usage, is being in character - decisions made in character.

That can take place talking to NPCs or in combat. Or anywhere else really. Not just comments in combat either - actual meaningful choices - the impulsive character dashing in, attacking a personal rival instead of the best tactical choice, etc.

But it's not just talking vs not-talking.

Let me correct you thejeff Role play is "interactions made as your character"

And you are right choices made while in combat (outside of the gears of the crunch machine) are indeed also a form of role play. It isn't just the comments but also certain choices you make. Going after a rival IS role play... rolling the dice to hit him isn't. Making a witty comment to your rival between blows IS role play... the impressive roll you made that inspired that comment isn't.


Roleplaying can be, as some seem to think, a synonym for "talking to NPCs". Although that is just one small subset of role play.
Roleplaying often is the other side of the RPG coin from combat, or the part of the game that doesn't involve dice. Although it isn't the only side that can not involve dice. And indeed dice can sometimes even invade the role play side through skill use.
Roleplaying does not require acting anything out (though that can be fun in itself).

Fixed that for you Jiggy.


I think Jiggy is mixing up the broad category of "role playing" with the subset of role play: "staying in character". Any sort of "interaction" with NPCs done right or wrong, as your character is role playing. And by interaction I mean outside of tossing dice. Can role play invade the mechanical heavy combat side? Yes it can, but it is never the mechanical side... it is the one liners and in character comments tossed around between the gears of the combat machine.

Let me emphasize this You DON'T have to be doing role play "right"/"staying in character" to be role playing. It is just more immersive an experience if you DO stay in character.


Ashiel wrote:
Aranna wrote:
One thing I have learned is that there is no such thing as impartial; it is an ideal that can never truly be attained. Some people can come closer than others but no GM is impartial. The trick is to find a GM who's partiality is one you like. I find GMPCs if done poorly are just another trap to fail as a GM, if done well they either stay out of the way or cater to some want of the players. The trap is insidious of course nearly every GM who is doing it poorly think they are doing it well. And, depending on the players, often they are never called on it as long as the players can get some enjoyment from the game.

Back when I first started with 3E (way, way, waaaaay back), I practiced GMing the system without any players first to get a grasp on how things worked. I rolled a party for four adventurers and took them through a dungeon I made and also experimented with random traps, treasures, encounters, etc. This might be a good practice for training yourself for impartiality.

Because, yes, impartiality is a thing. You can be completely impartial. It's just a matter of simply being impartial. It's not really complicated. I root for the PCs all the time but I never fudge or stack the deck in their favor. If I can be impartial between NPCs and PCs, why not GMPCs?

Not really possible, sorry.

The ONLY way to have impartiality is to "not care" about the outcome of the game and act solely as mechanics referee. If you as a GM have ANY say over creative content you will have partiality to some degree or another. If you place a magic sword into the game for the fighter to find or craft an NPC for the bard to charm... all forms of partiality. And lets face it most GMs (even the best ones) favor interacting with some players or characters over others, and that increased attention is yet another form of partiality. Even your choice of play style is a form of partiality favoring combat encounters over role play interactions as an example. I have yet to actually encounter a real life impartial GM... like I said ideals are meant to be striven for and never attained.


Sissyl wrote:
Exactly, Aranna.

Thank you, Sissyl.


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One thing I have learned is that there is no such thing as impartial; it is an ideal that can never truly be attained. Some people can come closer than others but no GM is impartial. The trick is to find a GM who's partiality is one you like. I find GMPCs if done poorly are just another trap to fail as a GM, if done well they either stay out of the way or cater to some want of the players. The trap is insidious of course nearly every GM who is doing it poorly think they are doing it well. And, depending on the players, often they are never called on it as long as the players can get some enjoyment from the game.


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DrDeth wrote:
pres man wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
2. No Cleric*? Let them play without one and LEARN. You gotta take the training wheels off the bike someday.
And the lesson they will learn is bend the arm of the most passive player until they give in and play a character they don't want to. I don't value lessons like that.

Ok, but he has to learn to stand up for himself someday.

You can also have them roll a die, low roll has to play the healer.

This is STILL forcing someone to play a character they don't want to play it doesn't matter if it's the players forcing you or a die you will still have no fun and the game should remain fun for everyone. They can be big boys and buy a silly wand if they NEED healing...


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Ashiel wrote:
pres man wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
2. No Cleric*? Let them play without one and LEARN. You gotta take the training wheels off the bike someday.
And the lesson they will learn is bend the arm of the most passive player until they give in and play a character they don't want to. I don't value lessons like that.

I personally agree with DrDeth on this one. It's not about forcing players to have certain classes but forcing them to learn. They will typically learn to be less reckless or how to adapt and do without. The campaign I'm currently running has a very martial and/or gish-centric group. There are no dedicated full casters in the party (healers or otherwise) so the party has had to learn to make do with what they have, even in situations where a sweeper would be really useful.

It helps to learn more about the game. Some classes bring new options to the table and learning how to use those options or make do without them is part of the experience.

I also agree. You have to learn to do two things, first you have to learn to build your group strategy around what people are playing... yes that can mean adapting to a different game style without a cleric. Secondly you should learn to appreciate people willing to play support roles. Support roles are BIG game changers who can make everyone else shine like gold. But if you don't have the kind of player who enjoys doing that then it's definitely time to learn how to manage without.

It is NEVER good to force someone to play a character they don't want.

Team building is a solid skill but it only works if people are ALL having fun in their roles.


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Gundam: 0083: Stardust Memory; 0080: War in the Pocket; Char's Counterattack; MS IGLOO (All UC)
Moribito
Miyazaki: Spirited Away; Princess Mononoke
Ghost in the Shell... ALL of it.
Naruto; and Shippuden
Rideback

This is more than ten... but he did say we could go over.


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That reminds me of Soldier A. Yaaay!


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Spook205 I tried to define it; they ignore me... I tried to show how you could "do GMPCs right"; they attack... Suggesting this is just a small group of very in your face GMs who want to do them wrong, they want to make their GMPC the powerful central focus of their game and they refuse to see how this could irritate players.

Sure when you're the GM players are often willing to overlook and stay quiet about irritating things just to keep having a game to play. It's why it's good to get outside advice from time to time. It's what forums are for. But there will always be the ones who are belligerent in the face of any advice. They can't be helped. I have no idea why they show up on forums since they already know everything but they do show up...

If this is simply a case of "my players really love my strong central to the plot GMPC" then there really is no need to keep attacking others posts is there? No this is either a case of "he doth protest too much" meaning they know it's irritating the hell out of their players and just sit there defending bad GMing or a case of internet trolling. If their players really do love it then all they need to do is state that and move on. This advice in this case would not be for them, it would not help in their current game, and arguing endlessly about "their own group" is pointless.


Talk about paranoia:

I was once executed by the Captain and Security Chief after an argument about naming a new star... for trying to go to engineering to sulk... I was the Engineering Chief. For some strange reason they must have thought I wanted to commit suicide and decided to beat me to the goal?! It was a silly name... I was role playing, I certainly wasn't going to blow anyone up least of all myself ... over a name ... and where else would the engineer go to sulk but engineering?!


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The Alkenstarian wrote:
Sit down with a group of friends and start "cleaning your weapon" ... very thoroughly. >.<

I have actually done this a few times in real life...


TriOmegaZero wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
I do think it's more often abused than done well. At least that's my experience.
I don't disagree. GMing is an art, and I prefer the adage 'practice makes permanent' over the more common term. Bad habits are never easily broken.

I agree.


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The difference between an actual DMPC and an NPC is DMPCs are full permanent party members with all the rights of a PC. An NPC that travels with the group is a temporary or junior member of the party and doesn't share in the rights of a PC.

Players want to control their character's path and have the freedom to do so under an impartial GM. BUT when the GM has a PC in the group you have a MASSIVE temptation to alter things in that characters favor. Sometimes it's just little things sometimes big, but the players feel sidelined when they figure out your treating the DMPC as the star of the show.

My restrictions were from a shared GM campaign where we three GMs took turns running the same players while our PC became the DMPC... this didn't work out well. Mr Perfect's DMPC became the inexplicable insider man who had way more knowledge than the other PCs, while lovable munchkin's DMPC was offered great power in the game, and I embarrassingly caught myself dropping treasure items into the game I knew my DMPC wanted. Some innocuous like a dress making book... some not so innocuous like that artifact bow perfect for her archery skills. So we got together and made these rules to remind ourselves that the players should always remain the center of attention... NOT DMPCs or NPCs of any kind.


~sigh~ GMPCs...

First lets ask why people hate GMPCs; they are often more powerful than the group, they get the best often tailor made treasures, they are the center of the GMs plot and story, and they always seem to know more than the PCs do about what is going on.

Some of these are easy to fix; ALWAYS give them last pick of any treasures, NEVER use them as part of the plot or story, NEVER give them ANY insider information on the game. To avoid the first issue though since the GM is biased toward his GMPC he may not be able to help himself when crafting his GMPC, have the players act as GM when he makes the character with FULL veto rights on any element in the build or background. One other thing we do when employing GMPCs is the GMPC never starts ANY interaction... They are there if the players want them to interact but if they don't then he doesn't. Also and perhaps very important: the GMPC ALWAYS follows the PCs orders.

NOTE: These are quite different from NPC rules, but then the GMPC is a permanent party member and special focus MUST be taken away.


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captain yesterday wrote:
I like to try to mix gaming in with dinner, tragically we always get kicked out of Denny's right before the BBEG:-(

Isn't your Denny's open 24 hours? Just order more food. I suggest a nice dessert to share.


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Acting isn't required for role play as others have noted. It is however a nice skill to use while role playing your character or NPCs. It breathes extra life into encounters.

I also reward role-play and creativity, and go sessions without dice being rolled... but this is good. If people are so into their characters that they can't stop role playing to even have a combat then the session is going amazingly well. Fun is being had. And isn't that the point?

Is RP required? No... but as pointed out without it your just playing a board game.

Is the game unavailable to some people? Yes. Many people simply have little to no imagination and think such things are silly... these people wouldn't enjoy RPGs. But then this has always been true. Things are actually getting better for RPG acceptance thanks to video games so the unavailability was worse in the past as opposed to the future.


Arturius I am guessing that the OP ran away from this a long time ago.

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