I touched upon this in an earlier comment but I'll say it again:
I contest the idea that getting up from a gaming table and getting up from a date are the same.
Steve Geddes wrote:
In a world where the physics can be affected by one's belief it does - who says belief isnt another factor of energy manipulation? I understand it doesnt fit your idea of magic, but wiggling one's fingers and making blocks of stone appear is already not making sense. If such mystical blocks of stone dont hurt disbelievers that's just another feature of this silly world's physics.
It makes perfect sense in the context of the world it exists in, just as the weird evolution presented in X-men makes sense in the context of that universe.
Operating under the premise that "It's not our world, so anything I feel like goes" makes for bad writing and bad gaming.
Yeah, there you go saying "flip the table and walk out" again.
Very few of the people who posted here mentioned anything violent or remotely this rude in their posts, and the ones that did that I remember were responding to someone punching them in the face.
You keep assuming everyone does this in the worst possible way when many people just say "This isn't for me" and walk out. At worst they have an argument that ends with "Well I guess I'm not playing, then".
I think you're interpreting my naming conventions statement in a more absolute-end-of-story way than I intended.
While the exact degree to which all of those things may occur over a certain area or stretch of time and how applicable it is to my specific cultures... that's still in line with how I feel about naming conventions.
Elves living in human societies will have romanized versions of their names, yes. A dwarf couple might name their son after a human warrior who saved their lives, yes. An human that leaves the city to go live with the elves might take an elf name, yes. All of these are things justified by backstory and the cultures of the setting.
I would take issue with players naming their characters things that are not justified this way:
Any name that can be reasonably justified by backstory and isn't a lame joke can be fine.
Therein lies the important difference.
Most of my players are very into roleplaying (there have been a few exceptions here and there, but my regulars get very into it), and I'm trying to develop a cohesive, living world to run games in. As much time, if not more, is spend out of combat as in it. Any in-character discourse is done with character names, not player names, so what the player writes down on their sheet matters very much.
It's not my intent to sound like I'm arguing everyone should have enforced naming conventions. That's not what I'm trying to say at all. But it I think it appears arrogant to you because chosen character names have nothing to do with and do not affect other players or NPCs in any way. At my table, and others I'd imagine, it very well does. In a way, because the player himself doesn't have to say it, it affects everyone else more.
That said, as I've touched upon earlier, a name like "LazorChicken" or "Pooface" would break immersion and be bothersome after awhile (I have to continually roleplay NPCs reacting to the name Pooface, inquiring about it, and getting no serious response at best, a repeated tiresome joke at worst).
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
To elaborate, I'm just just telling my players "Your name needs to sounds like it's from X culture, good luck doing research".
My player says he's thinking of playing a male elf "something". I let him know the key details of elves in my setting; what they look like, how an elf of a certain class might be, and that their names are Gaelic-like, some examples of which being Breanan (Brenden), Cedric, etc., and I'll direct them to an online source to help them choose or come up with a name that fits.
There more of a dialogue then me (or most other GMs that feel this way, I'd wager) between just saying "Names should be like X" or "No that doesn't fit, try again".
I'm just... not seeing the rudeness of deciding to leave. Maybe we're all reading "walk out" in different ways?
If the player just stood up and said "This sucks, forget you" and leaves, yeah that's really rude. If the player, after trying to accomodate but being shut down and literally unable to do anything by the GM, just says "This isn't working for me, I may as well go." and leaves, is it the same thing? I don't think so. It's not like the game will just fall apart if one player has to suddenly leave (this has happened at my table for work-related reasons), especially since most of these cases seem like the PC couldn't contribute anyway.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Is it really that inappropriate to walk out on a game, though? It can potentially be an overreaction if the player decides to leave just because something didn't go his way one time, but a lot of these stories, the GM is not allowing the player(s) to have fun, or in some instances even play, for vague, unsupported reasons. In that situation I would figure the GM doesn't want me playing, and I'd leave.
Bill Dunn wrote:
I've been summoning them in a campaign when attacked at night. They may not pack the punch of the earth elementals, but they're obviously a source of light.
Using them against creatures with light blindness... not something I've thought of, but would totally work!
We have more of a challenge with spelling than pronunciation t my table, so it's only ever a problem for me.
for instance one player is very into the Gaellic names for elves (always plays a half elf, elf, or a race that can be believably adopted by elves, such as an elf aasimar) and they are all spelled very outlandishly by english standards, but don't sound very far from their Americanized version (such as Sullivan).
They're by no means restricted by me to actual, historical names from these languages, but they need to sound right.
@DrDrew and Zenlike, at tables where it's more about the game and less about the roleplaying, sounds like it would be fine. Most of the people at my table are the opposite, though, including myself.
I think I'm going to hide the thread, too. The past few days have basically been:
1. New Poster says they don't think about homosexuality when making games/they dont include sex/etc.
What I'm taking away from this: we should all (myself included) at least acknowledge the number of times we've included hetero couples in our games and only introduced homo characters as single/available to PCs, if at all.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
I do agree a church should not be forced to perform a marriage it doesn't not believe in, but this is by no means something that will be forced on Churches everywhere. This is the only case I have ever heard of, and if other cases even came up in other states, they were rejected by the state courts and didn't make any headlines. Al a slight tangent, as someone who lives in New Jersey I also don't think the seaside pavilions/boardwalks should be privately owned anyway since they're trafficed by hundreds of people a day (and thus they shouldn't be able to restrict who can and cannot do what there), but that is another matter.
Since civil unions were brought up,
The list of legal benefits includes a lot of things you would not consider such, including:
Joint parental rights of children
There are total of 1,400 benefits that do not apply to civil unions or domestic partnerships (the latter being different from state to state).
Aside from it being much more complicated to get all of these benefits legally granted to civil unions on an individual basis than it would be to simply expand the state's definition of marriage, even if it did, we would have two legal statuses that would be effectively the same, only differentiated because of one religion's definition of what marriage should be, which feels like more of a combined Church and State to me.
Counter-offer: Because we have a legal form of marriage that does not include the Church, why doesn't the church simply refer to their sacrament as Matrimony 100% of the time instead of only sometimes, and let marriage be the generic term, instead of creating a separate but equal institution.
I feel the need to chime in and say Tolkien dislike his worked being referred to as allegory. In his words, it' more "applicable", in that its themes can be applied to anyone in any walk of life, not just his own (which saw/included things like atomic power, the industrialization, and Catholicism). The Lord of the Rings originally contained lots of references to the polytheistic religion he created for Middle Earth (The Silmarillion) but he cut it during his revisions because he felt the spiritual themes of the story "spoke for themselves". An argument could be made that one simply interprets the themes of sacrifice and mercy as being Christian simply because that's where we see the most exalting of those virtues in our own experience.
The whole of Western literature is saturated with Christian ideology and themes. It is inescapable. It's a part of the way Western society collectively thinks.
One of my most memorable gaming moments this past year (playtesting a Pokemon RPG, not Pathfinder) involved this short woman who ran a store that each of the player's stopped at, and each one of them tried to sweet-talk her and failed except the final character, a woman, who met her at the local diner.
We had a Spy On the Date episode where the other characters bought disguises, convinced the waitress to play along, and proceeded to mess with the two of them.
Now, having things like racism, caste systems, and other forms of discrimination adds a sense of realism and can make the stories more compelling. However, discrimination of this specific kind would be hitting it a little too close to home for several of my friends, so I would never make it an obstacle for them in game, even if I did make it a part of a particular religion or culture (which I haven't felt it necessary to do).
Half-Orcs being feared by the general populace that doesn't understand what they are? Sure. I don't have any half-orc friends (I'm a bad white person).
This is the reason I don't do rolled stats anymore.
Even with added rules to help minimize negatives, most parties end up with at least one vastly superior or vastly inferior character, which is a lot harder for me to work around as a GM when trying to plan encounters that challenge everyone appropriately.
I want to discuss this but this conversation is moving way to fast for me....
I think everyone can agree:
My Thoughts on the rest:
If the GM responds to the question "Why can't I play an orc?" with "Because I said so", while that is all he HAS to say because he's the GM, he is refusing to answer the player's question, which is antagonistic. Like an authoritarian parent who refuses to discuss or back up his decisions, it breeds resentment and isn't healthy for a gaming group.
If the GM responds with an actual reason, such as "Orcs went extinct in this world because they couldn't adapt to expanding civilization and died off in wars they started" (something that happened at my table), and the player replies with "Well, I was thinking ________ as a backstory might make him fit" (he's the result of some mad wizard's genetic experiment, he's from a foreign land, etc.), the player is not being entitled or stubborn. He is seeing if he can accomodate the GM's decision and reach a compromise.The GM is not require to aquiesce, but listening to the player is at least being reasonable, even if he already knows he is not going to change his mind, and he can respond with the reasons why he is not going to.
If the GM responds in either way and the player responds with "No, I am GOING to play an orc and do it the way I want to! (as if orcs existed in this world)", that is being an entitled player, at which point I would say "Work with me on it, play a different character, or play a different game."
When my players are... I no longer feel bad for DMs who hate on whiny players, also i have results about the entire party of wizards thing
If they decide to leave him in the dust, then let them do it.
Players need to be held accountable for their actions in-character, and as a GM you should never force a character to act the way you think they should. That goes for killing bugbears and for abandoning unruly characters.
The dwarf can either control himself while in the presence of his comrades or leave the group (and his player makes a new character).
The future of arcane studies is written in iron, at least that's what a metallurgist would say. Let the chemists pander with unstable compounds and the wizards play with momentary displays of power. The metallurgist works his magic through unbreakable iron and wields it with deadly efficiency.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A metallurgist gains proficiency with medium armor in addition to his normal proficiencies. This replaces Throw Anything.
Metallurgy: Metallurgists are masters of all forms of metalworking and can use this knowledge in concert with his arcane talents to imbue his or his allies' weapons and armor with magical properties.
When using a Craft check to create an item made of metal, a metallurgist gains a competence bonus equal to his class level on the Craft check. In addition, a metallurgist can use Craft (weapon) or Craft (armor) to to identify the magical properties of those items as if using detect magic. He must hold the item for 1 round to make such a check. This replaces the skill-related aspect of the Alchemy ability.
Inscriptions Rather than preparing formulae in the form of extracts as other alchemists, a metallurgist prepares inscriptions on objects made of metal or stone, most often weapons and armor. As with extracts, preparing an inscription on an object takes 1 minute of work. After this is done, the metallurgist may trigger the inscription at any time that day as a standard action by touching the object, which has the effect of casting the related spell. This modifies and otherwise functions as the extracts class feature.
Energy Sheath: When wielding a weapon bearing one of his inscriptions, a metallurgist can expend some of his arcane power to sheath his weapon in elemental energy as a swift action for 1 round. While under this effect, attacks made with the weapon resolve against touch AC and deal an additional 1d6 fire damage. At 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter, the metallurgist adds an additional 1d6 to the additional damage (to a total of 10d6 at 19th level). A metallurgist can use this ability a number of times per day equal to his class level + his Intelligence modifier. This replaces bombs.
Metal Graft: Once per day, a metallurgist can use his mastery of metal to meld completely with his metal weapon or armor (weapons and armor must be made entirely of metal), sacrificing some abilities for powerful benefits. This effect lasts 1 hour per metallurgist level or until cancelled.
If the metallurgist chooses to graft to his armor, his armor becomes a thick extension of his skin. The metallurgist is considered to be an object with the hardness and hit points of the material his armor consists of (the armor skin is 1-inch thick) for the purses of attacks made against him and all spells and effects, except spells or weapons that bypass non-living matter, which damage the metallurgist normally. While under these effects, the metallurgist is slowed (as per the slow spell) and the metallurgist cannot be healed using Cure spells (though mend and make whole will restore hit points to the armor). If the armor-skin's hit points reach 0, it gains the broken condition and the ability ends.
If the metallurgist chooses to graft to his wielded weapons, the weapon hilts become meld with his arms and the damaging ends grow. The damage die for the weapons increases by one step and ignore DR equal to the metallurgists Intelligence modifier. While under these effects, the metallurgist cannot be disarmed, but he cannot use his hand for any purpose, including activating inscriptions.
Metal Magic: At 2nd level, the metallurgist receives a +2 bonus on UMD checks to use spell-trigger and spell-completion items that are made of metal. This bonus increases to +4 at 5th level, an then again to +6 at 8th level. At 10th level, a metallurgist can craft spell trigger and spell completion items as if he were a spell caster equal to her level, even if he does not know the require spell (in which case the craft DC increases by +5, as if other magic items). This replaces poison resistance and poison use.
Swift Metallurgy: At 3rd level, a metallurgist can craft metalworks at astonishing speed. It takes a metallurgist half the normal amount of time to create mundane metal items. At 18th level, he can enchant magical items in half the normal time. This replaces swift alchemy and instant alchemy.
Discoveries: Because of the vastly different nature of the metallurgist's work, he chooses from a different list of discoveries than a normal alchemist.
Acid Sheath: When using energy sheath, he can choose to have it inflict acid damage. Creatures hit by the sheathed take an additional 1d6 points of acid damage 1 round later.
Canny Offense: The metallurgist adds their Intelligence modifier on attack rolls with all metal weapons and on damage rolls while using Energy Sheath instead of Strength.
Dispelling sheath: When using energy sheath, he can choose to have it dispel magic effects instead of deal damage. Creatures hit by the sheathed weapon are subject to a targeted dispel magic spell, using the metallurgist's level as the caster level. This cannot be used to target a specific spell effect. The metallurgist must be at least 6th level before selecting this discovery.
Force Sheath: When using energy sheath, he can choose to have it inflict force damage. Force-sheathed weapons deal 1d4 points of force damage, plus 1d4 points of force damage for every odd-numbered level, instead of 1d6. Creatures hit by the sheathed weapon are knocked prone unless they succeed on a Reflex save. An metallurgist must be at least 8th level before selecting this discovery.
Madness Sheath The metallurgist's skeet does more than sear flesh—it sears the mind. A creature hit by the sheathed weapon takes damage from the weapon plus 1d4 points of Wisdom damage. Reduce the amount of normal damage dealt by the weapon by 2d6 (so a weapon that would normally deal 6d6+4 points of damage deals 4d6+4 points of damage instead). The amount of Wisdom damage dealt by a madness sheath is reduced by 1 for each time that hit the target in the past 24 hours, to a minimum of 1 point of Wisdom damage. A metallurgist must be at least 12th level before selecting this discovery.
Lesser Armor Sheath: The metallurgist can use energy sheath to cloak his armor in elemental energy instead of his weapon. By expending 1 round of energy sheath, the metallurgist can grant himself 2 points of energy resistance of any type he is capable of choosing for his energy sheath ability.
Armor Sheath: While using energy sheath on his armor, if the metallurgist is struck in melee combat, he deals half energy sheath damage to the opponent that struck him. Opponents using reach weapons are not affected by this damage. This ability can only trigger one per round. The metallurgist must have the Armor Sheath discovery and be at least 4th level before selecting this discovery.
Greater Armor Sheath: When using armor sheath and being struck by multiple opponents in the same round, each opponent is dealt half of the metallurgist's energy sheath damage. The metallurgist must have the armor sheath discovery and be at least 8th level before selecting this discovery.
Shock Sheath: When using energy sheath, he can choose to have it inflict electricity damage. Creatures hit by a shock sheath are dazzled for 1d4 rounds.
Analyze Dweomer: Once per day, the metallurgist may focus instantly upon the aura of a magical item made of metal in order to glean as much information from it as possible, as per the analyze dweomer spell. Using this ability does not consume any costly material components. The metallurgist must be at least 10th level before selecting this discovery.
The other day I came up with this ability. It could be added as a global rule for any character to perform, but it might be too strong, and should require a feat investment. My explaination is also a little clunky, I will admit. Any help streamlining it would be appreciated:
Knockout Strike: A character may perform a knockout strike as a full-round action on an adjacent enemy that is unaware of them (failed to beat your Stealth check) and is not moving vigorously*. To perform a knockout strike, a character must make a Stealth check, opposed by the target's Perception (positioning your weapon close to them without them noticing). If successful, you perform a knockout strike, which is an automatic critical hit. The target must then make a Fortitude saving throw with a DC equal to the amount of damage taken, If they succeed, they simply take the damage and are aware that they were attacked, and may call for help, initiate combat, etc. If they fail, they either fall unconscious (if non-lethal damage was dealt) or are immediately reduced to -1 and begin dying (if lethal damage was dealt).
Knockout strikes may be perform with light weapon at no penalties. If a one-handed weapon is used, the character takes a -2 penalty on the Stealth check to perform the knockout strike. If they used a two-handed weapon, they take a -4 penalty on the Stealth check,
*Not engaged in combat, running, or performing any task that requires more than minor, relaxed movements.
My goal with this is to give rogues something they are automatically better at than most other classes (a fighter with weapon specialization/training that focuses on stealth could get in the same ballpark) as well as give casters that want to be assassins an option for taking out targets without using a spell (which can't be used to deal non-lethal damage typically).
Things that I currently do:
Fire: catches fire
I like how this is starting out, but I feel they should gain some weaknesses and have all of their abilities slightly more powerful. It's something to set them apart from the other base classes and would explain why people don't decide to do this lightly.
On that note, the Shadowless gift seems odd. I don't see the connection of losing the shadow to gain that bonus. Also, it describes that they "piece of their essence" but they really aren't giving up anything; how often do groups mention, keep track of, and/or rely on the positioning or existence of their shadows/reflections?
I suggest turning that save bonus into another gift and making Shadowless have an effect that more directly relates to not having a shadow.
I never even considered that possibility. A Gorilla-riding paladin would be the best thing ever.
Marshall Jansen wrote:
I actually just recently had a long discussion with a friend that touched upon this topic. We were discussing the idea of the "Black Box/Glass Box" of game programming philosophy and how introducing unexpected rules changes subverted the goal (the Box) of the game. He came at it from a programmer's perspective, I came at it from a writer's perspective.
Long story short, the conclusion we came to was that TTRPGs, like Pathfinder, are actually two games, one inside the other:
* The "inner-box" is the glass box (goal with all rules visible) with the goal of winning combat (or other challenges) by having a mastery of the rules. The players win by conventional means, playing against the GM's world made within the Pathfinder system.
It's kind of vague and not something can can be strictly defined in programming terms, but that was the conclusion we came to. Doesn't really settle any argument but I felt it was relevant.
Metallic dragons are still typically good and chromatic ones are still typically evil, as it was in DnD.
He should probably be a sorcerer, Draconic bloodline, as having dragon blood is a part of the class. If he wants to be a half dragon, though... Well thats up to you. Monster PCs are hard to balance, but you can do it by having him start off at a lower class leel than everyone else.
The only thing on this list I do really dislike is the trait system, but not for the same reason the OP does, I think.
It turns roleplaying elements into gameplay and statistic ones. Not EVERY SINGLE aspect of a character has to be expressed in a game mechanic. If a player wants to say his character was bullied as a kid, is fervently religious (without being a cleric),or is insatiably greedy, just make that backstory decision. We don't have to have quasi-feats on our character sheets to express every aspect of our backstories in gameplay terms that affect die rolls.
The only instance where I would allow something like this would be if a player wanted to have a character with a serious defect, like being a compulsive liar or a bibliophile, in which case I'd let them have a small bonus to one thing to offset the weakness they'd be taking on.
Just tell them that your campaign world is mostly humans and non humans have to deal with stereotyping and discrimination.
If you really dont want them to be playing non humans at all, tell them they have to be human. This experience track thing makes no logical sense (humans learn better than races with higher int?) and is in no way renotely balanced. You may as well forbid other races outright, because it will have the same effect.
Things that have been said already:
Things That Have Been Implied But Not Said:
Things I Feel Should Be Said:
I haven't been GMing very long compared to a lot of folks on this forum, but in what experience I've had, tailoring treasure hoards is a much more effective way of balancing game play when you notice one character soaring above the rest or one character falling behind. Specifically:
Say you notice the Summoner in your group is very powerful compared to everyone else. He had great stats to begin with, and his character build is needle-focused for effectiveness while the rest of the group is either less familiar with the rules or is focusing on making unique characters instead of optimized ones. Rather than make all the encounters harder for the Summoner (which he will notice), you can make specific choices about loot that will allow the others to catch up:
1. Have the players find several items with the same slot as one that the OPC favors. He'll either keep his item or trade for it with someone else in the party.
The best part about this is that players rarely notice. They'll look at your tailored treasure hoard the same way they'd look at any other one: cool stuff they didn't have before. It's not like they expect to find the same number of items for each party member every time they stumble upon a chest. As long as you aren't really obvious about it and don't go overboard, it's an easy way to balance the party and have everyone have more fun without needed to bend rules, retcon feat choices, alter classes, or say a single word to the players.
It's even better for the opposite scenario, when one player is playing an "underpowered" character and starts to lag behind. A boss carrying his favorite weapon type and a magic ring to help with his favorite tactic can go a long way.
Wind Chime wrote:
That would just nerf spellcasters needlessly, especially at low levels, and banning pounce entirely... how does that solve anything? There aren't very many player builds that get it to begin with.
I hold that being lawful simply means an adherence to some form discipline and personal code, not necessarily a lawful one. In their training, these martial arts masters all adhere to some form of discipline that allows them reach super-human levels, whether it's tremendous patience, work ethic, temperance, repeated self-harm, or some other discipline.
Non-lawful practioners of similar arts would by Pathfinder rules probably either Ninjas, Martial Artists, or simply monks that "fell" and can no longer continue down the Monk path (and as such can't get more powerful than the hero).
Ultimately though, this is why I think alignment restrictions on classes are bad: they are too vague. A Monk should be given a specific discipline he needs to follow, based on the school he attends or his archetype, and breaking that discipline causes him to "fall", however one wants to define said "fall".
What Frank and I decided was that, as the players were set to arrive at at a group of islands the following day (their last stop before a long stretch of open ocean) Frank's character managed to grab a large piece of flostam on the surface and paddle after them, and he's going to arrive at the island all ragged and half dead and there will be a heartwarming scene.