|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
I don't think of brutal as equal to the "GM vs player" mentality. My first thought of a brutal game is lovable munchkin's games. He pulls no punches and his encounters might leave you in tears. But that just makes victory SO much sweeter when we win. And that is just a play style not him versus us. He wants us not only to win but to earn our victory with blood, sweat, and tears.
Please at least give them the chance to prove you wrong. ^_^
But... isn't that just a little insensitive?
They have been burned over and over again. Just let them heal on their own time. Trying to force someone to have fun your way never really works. I have an observation that people can't change unless they really really want to first. So forcing them to thrust their hand into the flame again will only end once again in them getting burned. Let them sit the game out or better yet don't use one in the game you play with them until they ask for it.
We are?Even when some helpful advice or enlightenment is shared it is quickly drowned out by the endless back and forth of the pro or anti GMPC bickering.
I have begun to suspect people like... no they love arguing with each other.
Lynn had a complicated childhood...
Born Lynn Waymeet to a barmaid and an adventuring ranger after a romantic fling. She was raised mostly by her mother Kara with some help from others in the village. Probably destined to become a barmaid herself when tragedy struck while she was still very young. The war with the elves had taken a turn for the worst and the cruel elves captured her small trading village. Her mother and numerous other villagers were taken away as slaves. A heroic band of adventurers drove the elves out and one of their number Griff Bandos the ranger learned he had a daughter when he came checking on Kara. Not one to abandon kin Griff took to raising young Lynn himself. And for a few years he juggled being a father with adventuring. He taught her some wilderness survival skills and showed her how to use a bow. But after a bad turn of luck Griff's adventuring group was being sent into enemy territory on some foolhardy mission certain to end in horror or fabulous wealth. Griff left the now adolescent child Lynn in the care of the Church of the Lightbringer until his return...
Her life as a ward of the Church was a good one and she learned the ways of the Lightbringer later becoming a young Acolyte herself. She is a helpful and adventurous young woman with a passion for helping others. Her talents not just as a healer but also as a skilled cook, mender of clothing and gear, and skill at keeping things clean and organized landed her a spot on a team of adventurers formed by the brash young militia boy after his time of service had ended... her story continues but the back story has ended. :)
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.
~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.
Actually there are more than two sides arguing here.
Side 1: "GMPC can never work"
Count me in Side 2.
Wait a minute! Didn't you just post the exact opposite stance?
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.
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
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;
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.
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.
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.
...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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
~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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Um sorry, but not staying in character is a lack of role-play.
Unless of course it IS role play.
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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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?!