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I agree with almost everything that you wrote, except that I would include plot elements as a subset of the setting. In literature plot is the plan for the action of the novel, it lays out how the story goes from one place to the next. In an RPG plot has a different meaning, it is that in the setting there are some interesting places or people that the characters could act upon and make into a great story. Plot hooks are just pieces of the setting that you have designed to be enticing to characters seeking to have adventure. They are places the characters will want to go and people that they will want to meet and interact with, but the require the characters to interact with them to become part of the story.
The necromancer who is secretly gathering an army of undead by robbing the graves of the three towns and trying to get the towns to think each other is doing it is a part of the setting. It is a plot hook, but without the characters acting upon it and creating a story from it, it remains part of the setting. Even if you have a timetable and events to keep advancing the plans of the necromancer, if the characters never interact with it then it remains a setting detail that you are changing over time. Which is not a bad thing, having a world where things happen away from the characters is good, it helps to add depth to the setting but it is not part of the story until the characters interact with it.
The setting is a vital part of the formula, and including great plot hooks is an important part of making a great setting. The examples that you gave from movies like the Avengers or Captain America are great ideas for setting elements to include in a game. Adding flavor and depth like that will engage your players and get them to want to have their characters interact with those setting elements which will make for some great stories.
Nothing I said puts the setting as less important. The setting is a vital part of the formula. The formula I presented is characters + setting = story. At no point do I put the characters above the setting, they just have different roles to play. The quote you linked about all action is only meaningful as it relates to the characters does not make the setting less important, because the characters must have something to act in and on. The setting itself does not take action as it relates to the story, only the characters can take action because they are the only actors in the game. Everything outside of that is part of the setting and if the setting changes away from the characters without their interaction or knowledge then it is just a change in the setting not a story. Things may happen in the setting, but if they are not in response to the characters taking action or involving them in some way then that is just the GM deciding to change something in the setting, it is not the story. The fact that these things are part of the setting does not make them bad or lesser, it is just about realizing the role they fill.
The GM cannot control the story and all attempts to do so will decrease the quality of the gaming experience. The GM should focus on the setting and make it the best and most interesting place it can be. Then let the characters use their agency to act within the setting. This will create the best experiences and the most enjoyment for all. No one wants to sit around and listen to what the GM thinks should happen, and I know I as the GM don't want to tell the characters what to think and do. I want to create an interesting place for the characters to make interesting choices that will create a memorable experience. If the GM wants to tell a story they are better off trying to write a novel than trying to force people to play it. This is a game about telling an interactive story, and everyone has their part in telling it. No one person is responsible for the story, it is told through the collective actions of the GM and the players.
If making a magical trap is abusing the magic item creation rules then how are there any magical traps at all? By your logic the magic traps listed in the Core Rulebook are violations, except they cant be because they are canon traps created by the developers. The truth is traps have entirely different creation guidelines and unfortunately when applied logically they utterly destroy any notion of the typical fantasy setting.
You are missing the point. The characters and the setting work together to create the story, one is not more important than the other. Within the setting sure there are things that are more important or have a larger impact on the setting, but if those things never interact with the characters they never become part of the story. Lets say you have a far off kingdom where something is happening, its really important and could effect the campaign setting. If the characters never learn of it, it is not part of the story it is just you behind the scenes changing the setting. Take Cerilia for example, the fact that the Magian is far off in the east doing whatever is not part of the story until the characters hear about it or become aware of it in game. Before that it is a setting detail, even if as the GM you have plans for it to become important later until the characters interact with it it is part of the setting.
You seem to be getting the impression that I am saying the setting is subordinate to the characters, I did not say that at all. The setting and the characters work together to tell the story. Your reference to hack n slash is a style of gaming and doesn't have anything to do with the elements being discussed, that is simply a preference some groups have. The issues we are talking about are much more general, they are above the point at which play style preference comes into play. These elements we are discussing are present in all games from the most hack n slash to games with lots of roleplay. The formula leads to much more investment by the players into their characters which in turn leads them to more interaction with the setting, this is immersion.
Immersion is when the players feel that their characters are part of a world and that their choices matter. Don't misconstrue the last sentence to mean the characters are in charge of the setting. Having their choices matter doesn't mean they dictate the setting, that is the GM's role, it means that when they choose to do something it affects the setting around them in some way. That is agency, the ability to make change, this can be as simple as a character ordering a beer at a bar and it being refreshing to as amazing as swinging their sword to end the reign of the dark lord.
You are using story in the literary sense, but this is not literature. The story is the action that happens at the table, the GM cannot tell it. The story can only be experienced and then those experiences can be recounted. That is the difference between literature and roleplaying games. In literature you have one voice, the author, who is telling you the reader everything. With roleplaying games everyone is the author and everyone is the reader, and the game rules dictate that the setting be assigned to the GM and the characters to the players. This is important because it forces everyone to be involved and engaged to tell the story together. It makes creative tension as the decisions the GM makes about the setting interact with the decisions the players make with their characters.
Style preferences vary from table to table and are all valid. The elements we are discussing affect all styles of games. Even if the players and the GM enjoy linear adventures that doesn't change the fact that the characters have agency which transforms the setting into story.
Take an adventure path for example they are pretty linear, but still fun. The book the adventure path is in is all setting details, there is no story in the book. The story comes about when the players using their characters interact with the setting details of the book. If there is something in the adventure path that the characters do not interact with it remains a setting detail and is not part of the story, even if it is a major setting detail. With linear adventures it is less likely that this will happen as their are very obvious paths the characters will want to take so its harder for them to miss important setting details, but it can still happen.
With a sandbox style of game it is more likely that setting details can be missed by the characters. If you design a dungeon with tons of history and maps, but the characters never go there it remains a setting detail. Regardless of the importance you as the GM place on a piece of the setting it has no meaning to the story until the characters interact with it. This does not mean it has no meaning or is worthless, it can still have meaning and worth to the setting it just isn't in respect to the story.
Remember the formula I have presented is based on the definitions I provided. The setting and the characters work together, neither is more important than the other, they each play their role in creating the story. Just as the characters interact and change the setting the setting also informs and shapes the characters. It is through this interaction that the story comes about and the story is the most important thing because it is the reason everyone is at the table. Being excited about your setting details is a good thing as a GM, I know I love to create settings and get very involved with them. But that setting does not become a story until I allow players to take their characters into it and affect it in some way. Without character agency to catalyze the setting I am left with just some words on a page, but with it my friends and I have something that will entertain us and give us a lifetime of memories.
I would classify these things as setting elements. They are people, places, things or events that the characters will interact with. By themselves they are not a story, they must have interaction with the characters before the story can be created.
Once the characters have interacted with them they become part of the story. However those encounters turned out once played out at the table they become part of the story. Another way to look at it is take any Adventure Path book. Every single word of those books are setting, they are not story.
As the GM you do not tell the story you control the setting and as it interacts with the characters who use their agency to make meaningful decisions within that setting you cooperatively create the story. Everything you do as the GM is setting material, your role does not allow you to tell the story. Some GMs lose sight of this and try to rig the setting and limit the players agency to tell the story, this is what railroading is.
Railroading is when the GM over steps his role and tries to force the story to fit his vision, instead of allowing it to develop naturally by letting the players fulfill their role. The story is an ephemeral thing, and trying to force it always diminishes it. It is never as satisfying or successful as when the GM focuses on his role of controlling the setting and lets the players focus on their role as characters who interact with the setting.
When I say player agency what I am referring to is the characters ability to make meaningful choices which interact with the setting and create the story. I mention that the creation of characters is limited by the setting but within that limitation the power of the characters choice needs to be preserved. This does not mean the player gets to play whatever character he wants, it means that within the setting parameters the player needs to be able to choose the character he wants to play. The character is the only thing the player gets to control and preserving that control, that agency, is vital if you want that character to interact meaningfully with the setting.
It is important to realize that without the characters there is no story, only setting. This may seem like a minor point, but it has massive implications. What good is a setting with no characters in it, no one to experience it? Anything that is not interacting with the characters is just setting material. I am not saying that is a bad thing either, I love creating setting material, but it's true value and worth is only achieved when the characters interact with it. Crafting an interesting setting is a lot of fun, but it is nothing compared to experiencing the story created when character interact with that setting. The former is a fun creative exercise the later is a thing of legends.
What makes a successful gaming experience?
I have been pondering how to talk about this subject for a while now and I finally just decided to blurt my thesis out. Part of the difficulty with role playing games is that they use terminology from literature, but use them in slightly different ways, changing their true meaning. The reason for the variation is that they are games with several people involved, not a single person writing. This division of power and responsibility leads to the need to change the definition of the literary elements. There are three main elements to a game experience; the characters, the setting and the story.
The characters are created and controlled by the players. The creation of the characters is limited by the setting, but within the parameters of that setting the choices are entirely up to the players. The most important part of characters is their agency. The characters are the only part of the game that has agency, meaning they are the only ones that can take meaningful action. All action is only meaningful as it relates to or includes the characters. Anything outside of this is part of the setting.
The setting is everything else in the game that is not the characters. This includes rules, people, places, and things. From NPCs, to monsters, to the Gods, to different cultures, to locations on a map, to nuances of the monetary system everything outside of the characters is part of the setting. This includes the GM being the neutral arbiter of the game rules as the rules are the foundation and give rise to the setting. Events or things the GM plans to have happen are also part of the setting, they are not story elements.
The story is what happens when the agency of the characters interacts with the setting. The story is what happens when you and your friends sit down at a table and make interesting choices and roll some dice. The story is not told by any one person sitting at the table, it can only be told in retrospect when you and your friends reminisce about the time the Monk used stunning fist on the Spider lord and it rolled a 2 on its Fort save when it needed a 3. Or the time when the Barbarian told the assembled council of nobles "I'll marry the whore" when they tried to decide which character should marry one of their daughters to forge a new kingdom. The story is experienced, not told. It is in the memories of the shared experience that the story lives. It is the responsibility of all people involved to help create the best story they can by playing their role.
It is by these definitions that I present the formula Characters + Setting = Story. This formula has served me well in my 30 years of being a GM, and it has lead to a lifetime of great memories that my friends and I still share. Hopefully sharing this concept will give a new GM a good foundation so that they and their friends can create memories of their own to last their lifetime.
No. A friend of mine wanted to take a 5' steep and then use his standard action to move. So I just wanted to know if he could. Then it struck me that its sort of the same as just doing a withdraw anyway.
Taking a 5' step is not a move action, it is a separate free action that can be taken if you make no other movement during the round. If you 5' step you still have your move action and your standard action, you just can't use either of them for movement. Note that a move action is not necessarily movement, there are many actions that require a move action that are not movement.
It is on the Summoner spell list, so it is also Arcane.
Re-read pattern, it also affects the minds of those caught in it.
If seeing the cone of colors is what triggers the effect and the spell creates a 15ft cone that all creatures can see then wouldn't all creatures that can see it be affected whether they are inside or outside of the 15ft cone? So anyone then who has line of sight to the 15 ft cone is affected?
This paradox is why I posit that the creatures in the 15ft cone are the only ones that actually see anything and what they see is actually in their minds. This is why darkness and blindness have no affect and sightless creatures are immune because they don't have the part of the brain that interprets visual info (there is a creature with the quality sightless it is a sea anemone so the term is not an abstract word but a game mechanic)
This is only my ruling and I recognize there is plenty of ambiguity in the rules for other rulings. This just makes the most sense to me and makes the spell function like I believe it is intended to, everyone in the cone is affected except those with the sightless quality or immune to mind affecting effects.
I would agree if the creature lacked a visual motor cortex, but just being blind wouldn't be sufficient in my mind as their brain can still interpret visual signals they just have defective eyes which don't send any.
The way I have interpreted this spell for my games is that color spray does not create any light because it does not have the appropriate spell tags. However the spell does not require anyone to see it with their eyes as it creates the effect in their minds.
If seeing the colors visually was the trigger then there would not be an area of effect as it would affect anyone seeing it. Anyone caught in the 15ft cone is affected by the spell unless they have the sightless tag. Sightless meaning lacking the capability to see, not just a temporary absence.
If the designers meant blinded why not just use the word blinded? The only reason is to convey a different meaning. It makes sense that a creature that has no visual motor cortex would be unaffected by something that created clashing vivid colors that screws with the function of that area of the brain.
So basically anyone within the 15ft cone area of effect is affected by the spell unless they have the sightless tag regardless of lighting conditions or being blinded. This is how I rule it in my games and it keeps it simple and straight forward. I understand and respect that others may rule it differently as there is ambiguity in the rules around this spell.
The Cavalier and the Mount share the same space and are considered one creature when mounted so I don't think that would apply.
I wanted to try my hand at improving the rogue class please see my attempt below. The focus was to bring some of the Rogues skill primacy back from previous editions and to help give them a bump in combat so they can keep up at later levels. I wanted to do this using existing rules as much as possible without reinventing the wheel for the class or the skill system. Below is a synopsis of the changes followed by the actual rules.
* I granted them a number of automatic specific rogue talents in the vein of the 1st and 2nd edition rogue skills.
* I gave them an ability that grants them a scaling bonus on attack rolls when flanking to help combat their struggles with hitting
* I gave them an ability to add their trap sense bonus to initiative checks to help them take advantage of sneak attack at the start of combat.
* I gave them good Will saves so they are tougher to control with magic.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions, comments, or insults. All feedback is welcome, especially snarky quips.
(Below are the changes to the rogue table found in the CRB)
1st: Will Save +2; trap spotter.
* Trap spotter, fast fingers, canny observer, fast stealth, wall scramble, hide in plain sight, improved evasion, and skill mastery are all gained as bonus feats at the listed level. If the rogue uses a rogue talent to select them prior to the level they gain them as a bonus feat when the rogue reaches the appropriate level they gain a free retraining of that rogue talent choice (if they wish) and can select a new rogue talent as appropriate.
* Reactive allows the rogue to add their trap sense bonus to initiative checks.
* Flanking mastery grants the rogue a +1 bonus on attack rolls when flanking, the bonus on attack rolls increases by 1 for every three levels after 5th to a maximum of +6 bonus at 20th level (this bonus is in addition to the normal +2 bonus to hit when flanking).
No offense, but maybe you should read your own post since you violated your own parameters right off the bat.
I would recommend forgetting about it until the whole series is completed. Fire Mountain Games makes some great products, but they have terrible service because they are a small two man operation with horrendous communication skills. If you forget about trying to get information one day you will have some great adventures to play and won't have the resentment of banging your head against the wall of silence for months on end.
I have been running two mythic games. The first they started mythic at first level and the other they turned mythic at 8th level. So far I like the mythic rules and the players love them (dubbing it the new normal). The only two areas that have concerned me are mythic haste and mythic arcane strike. Mythic haste is just too good, haste did not need a buff normal haste is already mythic power level. Mythic arcane strike only concerns me because of the ability to get bane for the current battle, it is a very strong ability (it's the inquisitors class defining ability). Other than that I really enjoy it and it is fun to see the characters use mythic abilities to turn the tide of battle and feel like big damn heroes.
You need two weapons one with the 1st hand checked and the other with the 2nd hand checked. If you only have one weapon entry then by checking both boxes under that weapon you are using it two handed. So make sure you have two weapon entries and that each one has only one hand equipping (1h and 2h). Hope this helps.
I think the new classes are a great start and I love the direction they are going in. Multiclassing is a legacy weight on the system, it just doesn't work as we'll in the current pathfinder paradigm. Merging multicast concepts into single classes is brilliant. This allows the flavor of the multicast combo to have solid mechanical support. I like that they use components of the parent classes because they are familiar and understood abilities which lessens the learning curve, but they each get new mechanics to help bring them up in power with single class characters and express the unique combo of two classes.
Sure the classes need some work, but this is a play test for a reason. I love the direction and the reasoning behind it, very savvy Paizo. This new multi class single class paradigm will allow Paizo to pump out more classes without increasing unique mechanics by a metric ton. This will combat the rules bloat issue that comes along with expansion.
pres man wrote:
Yes if the GM takes that approach then I agree they are a poor GM. However having a specific idea for a setting and wanting to explore that with your players is not the same thing as believing your players are pawns.
Of course the DM should work with the players to incorporate their ideas, but the players also need to work with the GM. If the GM comes to his players with a specific idea and pitches it to them they should endeavor to work with that idea so that everyone can have fun. Not every idea will work and as the GM is the editor of the setting in the end the GM will have the final say.
This doesn't make the players the GMs slaves, it makes them contributors. Once the game starts the players get to control how they interact with the setting. Prior to the start of the game the GM controls the design of the setting. Since everyone is there to have fun the GM needs to design something the players will have fun interacting with and the players need to interact with the setting in a way that is fun for the GM. It is a symbiotic relationship and both sides benefit from cooperation in the form of having fun.
It is important to define what a special snowflake character is. To me it is someone that goes outside of the games normal character creation rules in order to support their concept. Now this can be good or bad depending on the creation. I have seen munchkin special snowflakes and I have seen cool snowflakes (and allowed them). Usually the less mechanically rigorous the snowflake the better.
As long as the concept fits within the theme of the campaign and the other players are okay with the concept I allow the snowflake, but if they happen to die I generally don't allow a replacement snowflake. I also try to have only one snowflake at a time so they can actually be sort of special. Though with my groups these types are pretty rare anyways since we all prefer standard fantasy tropes.
What is appropriate criteria for a snowflake character will vary from group to group as it really is all about that groups preferences. Allowing all snowflakes or disallowing all snowflakes doesn't make anyone a better gamer or a better group they just have different preferences. Each group must decide how their preferences align and how best to have fun playing the game. Fun isn't the most important thing, it is the only thing.
Considering that the fight for the rights of LGBT people is one that is actually going on right now today I think the inclusion of LGBT people in adventure paths is a great thing.
Is Paizo forcing them in to promote an agenda?
God I hope so. I hope the good people at Paizo are in support of basic human rights and support basic human decency and would seek to promote that in their products (from everything I have seen they do support that). I applaud their inclusion and the brave step of supporting our LGBT brothers and sisters in their products.
Though I can understand peoples concern with any forced elements into a narrative, I think the importance of the topic out weighs any story concerns (especially in this day and age). Paizo is very good about how they include the subject and the presence of LGBT characters enhances the complexity of their world and stories.
For those that are concerned with having anything forced into their narrative they can just remove the LGBT characters that they don't want present. So it can have zero impact on your game play while still having the very important role of making LGBT gamers feel included. I think it is a win win.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I agree that everyone involved in the game should have input into the game. When I ask who should win out when it comes down to the player and the GM disagreeing I agree that what the other people involved think is probably what is going to decide it, but sometimes the other players don't have a strong feeling either way. In that circumstance I think the person with the like should give in to the other persons dislike because a like can be replaced with another like where you can't just change something you dislike.
If all the other players love the character and want to play with that character then the GM should include it, and either change their setting or use a different one. Or if the other players don't like the character concept and want to play in the GMs setting as envisioned maybe that player shouldn't play in that game.
My players are all my friends and we play 2 or 3 times a week in different games so a person opting out isn't that bad. I realize others don't have this option and in the circumstance that an excluded player wouldn't get to play at all then it should be given extra consideration (by the player as well).
The process is a give and take, sometimes the player should cave to the GM, they may find that they have a great time if they roll with it, and other times the GM should cave to the player, they may find a great new piece of their setting which makes it better. In the end everyone is on the same team with a unified goal of everyone having fun. As long as everyone involved is dedicated to that goal (Player and GM) then everything else will work itself out.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
As someone who was confused as to the position you were arguing from and reacted strongly to it, I apologize for misunderstanding your position and the vitriol that misunderstanding generated. I understand now that you are not advocating for the position that allowing any player concept makes a person a better GM. This was the point of contention for me and realizing that this is not what you are arguing for changes my point of view regarding your posts. I apologize for reacting strongly to something that was not your position.
I agree that your players deserve every opportunity to express and explore the character concepts that they come up with and the GM should give due concern in evaluating their place within the game. The players are the lifeblood of the game and the entire point of getting together is to entertain each other with our imagination and some dice. While I think the players deserve consideration I also believe that the GM deserves consideration as well. In many ways the setting itself is the GM's character and some GM's put a lot of work into developing an interesting and fun setting.
Dismissing this work and not giving it consideration is what irks some GM's when a player creates a character outside the bounds of the setting. In the example you gave Kirth your player put in work and helped develop a new area of your game world. This is a great example of how it should work in that you are both collaborating on the setting and developed something you both like. The key being that you were both satisfied with the result, which may not always happen. When the two sides disagree whose like wins out, the player or the GMs?
In my opinion the dislike should generally win out, not because the GM is an authoritarian, but because the player could come up with something else they like where as the GM would have to swallow something he dislikes. While not being able to play a character you developed sucks, you can come up with another character and get to play that one where the GM would have to put up with something they do not like for the entire campaign. That is an extra burden on the GM, who already have all the pressure of leading the show so to speak (not that it isn't fun or exciting to GM, but you are the ringmaster) and having to deal with something you dislike week after week can cause negative thoughts and actions to creep into the game as GMs are only human after all.
I agree that the GM needs to realize that their setting isn't a special snowflake either and that it as an imaginary construct ultimately not as important as the person across the table from them, but because the setting is sort of the GMs character the player should extend the same consideration back. The setting purity argument is bunk in the sense that believing a player could never contribute positively to your setting is ridiculous because the whole point of making a setting is so players can play in it. However this doesn't mean that every idea a player comes up with is good and the GM isn't obligated to include every idea into their setting. In this sense the purity argument is a good one, the GM should endeavor to imagine the best setting for his players to play in that they can within the context that the setting is sort of the GMs character and they need to find enjoyment in the process to. This means saying no when the GM believes they should say no to preserve the purity of their idea for the setting which is kind of like a character for them.
The GM should do this understanding that once the game starts they need to now step back and let the players run wild so to speak and kick over their beautifully built sand castle because that is the point of the game. In my experience the more I enjoy creating a setting the more my players enjoy the process of playing in that setting. They know that if I exclude elves from being a player race for a campaign that the reason for doing it is not that I am reveling in my authoritarian power fantasy but because it will be entertaining for everyone. It will be a chance to have elves be enemies or to explore a fantasy scenario where there are no elves and to see what comes out of that. If a player and I disagree that exploring this imaginary space is going to be interesting then maybe we play another game or maybe that player doesn't play in that campaign if enough other people are interested in it. I am lucky in that my players trust me, one of the best campaigns we ever had I made the characters for them and they chose one and customized it a bit and off we went. That campaign went for two years and everyone loved it. In the end the details of how everyone ended up having fun is irrelevant as long as everyone had fun.
Having fun isn't the most important thing, it is the only thing.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
So let me get this straight. You are saying that if you are going to play Pathfinder then you should play Pathfinder as it is found within the rulebooks otherwise you are doing it wrong?
Aren't you the guy that basically rewrote the Pathfinder book for your own house rule system?
How is that any different then a GM altering the rules some to fit their setting?
So if I wanted to play a core rulebook game but you want to pile on the house rules are you still the bad guy?
Is your massive house rule system playing the wrong way because you are forcing others to accept the rules that you like?
By your logic you are the most authoritarian, my way or the highway, my interest trumps your interest, you should go find another game that suits your wants better hypocritical person on the boards.
Because he and the other players dislike the concept and its presence in the game would be an impediment to their fun.
No we do not agree on this because it is BS. Having likes and dislikes is not immature, not accepting that others likes and dislikes may differ from yours and then "looking down on them" for that difference is immature.
Yes the problem is that you aren't mature enough to accept that other people may have different preferences then you and may not find fun what you find fun.
I get it, you really like your character but your like doesn't necessarily trump the dislikes of the other people present. Everyone eats everything at the table because everyone has to imagine and interact with everything in the game, therefore everyone consumes all parts of the meal. The character you play does impact the experience of the other players as their characters have to interact with your character in a shared experience.
Is it really so hard to understand why someone would not want to spend their free time imagining something they dislike? That isn't petty, it's just common sense. You don't have the right to force other people to endure something they dislike just because it is something you really like.
No one is making anyone else eat (play) the Surf and Turf (mix and match character concept), they just have to watch you eat (play) it and getting offended over that is the definition of petty (to say the least), since they knew it was a menu item at Pathfinders before they agreed to go there.
Playing is a collaborative process and everyone at the table is playing with and interacting with all the other players. The final result is a collective experience that everyone in the group shares together. How and what character you play does impact my character and experience. Your analogy that the character is an individual entree that no one else has to experience is false because everyone at the table has to experience that character. This is why the analogy of the shared meal that everyone partakes in is better.
Likes and dislikes are not petty, they are the reason we are all at a table together looking to play a game. If those likes and dislikes don't align to everyone's satisfaction then maybe we shouldn't play a game together. It has nothing to do with ability or skill, it is all a matter of preference.
Because not everyone likes Surf and Turf and this isn't individual entrees it is gumbo that everyone has to eat. That is why when going out to eat gumbo you need to make sure everyone likes the same things in the gumbo.
It may only be a game but my time is not a joke.
I like to spend my free time doing something I enjoy. My likes and dislikes are foundational to what I enjoy. Therefore what I like and dislike is important to the game because I spend my time on it. This is not being petty, our likes and dislikes are an important part of who we are.
Since this is a group endeavor we need to try to align our likes and dislikes so that everyone can have fun. Usually this works as we all agree on playing a game using the Pathfinder rules in an agreed upon setting. Everyone has the option to opt in or out of this social contract and to request certain aspects. The group agrees upon whatever arrangement of likes and dislikes works best for them and if a compatible arrangement can be agreed upon then the game proceeds. You have to accept that the group may impose restrictions on you so that the likes and dislikes of everyone can be made compatible. This is true for players and GMs.
Imagination and experience are not necessarily involved because this is not a question of how but why. Because we are all seeking to have fun peoples dislikes are generally going to hold more weight as a single dislike, if it is strong enough, can ruin that persons fun. Where a persons likes are a bit more flexible as people generally have multiple things they like so if they have to exclude something they like as long as there is something else they like they can still have fun.
The group should endeavor to include as many likes of its members while mitigating the presence of dislikes. Again this has nothing to do with immagination, it is arranging preferences so that everyone can enjoy themselves. This is done in order to create an environment where everyone present will find value or fun in spending their time in the group activity. This process will be different for every group as each group will have their own unique combination of likes and dislikes and no one arrangement will work for everyone. Sometimes this means that certain people have incompatible likes and dislikes and they may not be able to play together. Usually a middle ground can be reached but not always, and that is okay and it is not petty.
Not everyone has fun imagining the same things.
Allowing everything is the least imaginative way to approach something. It would be more imaginative on the players part to find a character that fit into the setting. Restrictions actually enhance creativity as it challenges you to incorporate others ideas and preferences. Now this is a two way street and the GM should try to incorporate players ideas and preferences into the setting, but there is no obligation on the GMs part to sacrifice their own preferences and possibly the other players as we'll just to accommodate a single players preference. The GM makes the setting, the players make a character in that setting, and the game is the story of what happens to those characters in that setting. It isn't a matter of could, it is a matter of like. If everyone likes awakened pony wizards then it's a go, if only one does it is back to the drawing board. Personal preference is a perfectly valid reason and it is not petty. Otherwise why are you even role playing if the reason can't be because I like it.
Anyone can toss a ball up in the air and catch it, it is much harder to toss several balls in the air and keep them from hitting the ground.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Where are the robots in your setting?
Yeah I read those though there is still nothing in there about awakened pony wizards (nor are they in the bestiary). The section you refer to lists a number of possible races and warnings about using these or any other monster as a PC, still no mention of awakened pony wizards or awakened velociraptor barbarians. If the concept was core you would think it would be mentioned at least once explicitly like the racist dwarves you refer to. Maybe you just imagined it?
Except Pathfinder has those rules, you clearly don't like them BiggDawg, but they are there and high fantasy is exactly the sort of place an Awakened Pony Wizard belongs. Now if I wanted to create an awakened pony wizard from scratch rather using the conviently provided rules of Pathfinder, I would probably use HERO (5th Edition), since it has handled my Drum Island ex-patriate doctor (A REAL DOCTOR!) who has the Tick-Tock Fruit in my friends One piece campaign and allowed me run to pretty fantastic Full Metal Alchemist one shot.
I never stated that I don't like awakened pony wizards, I asked where in the character creation section the rules for making one is (since you stated it was core and since you are so experienced and imaginative I figured you knew what you were talking about).
When I realized there were no such rules I came to the conclusion that you were going outside the rules using advanced imagination and experience. Since with your advanced imagination and experience you also recommended that anyone doing anything outside the rules (such as a low magic game) should find a more appropriate game system I applied that to your situation in order to help you achieve even greater imagination and experience!
GURPS is the perfect system to utilize imagination as it can be whatever you want it to be. No need to cobble together and stretch the rules for Pathfinder, it has everything needed to harness your advanced imagination and experience.
OR I could play a game that has rules for running Awakened Pony Wizards along side Paladins and Alchemists already written up for me with no need to change anything. A game like say... Pathfinder.
That is GURPS except you could also use it to play other genres and you don't need to go outside the rules like you are forced to with Pathfinder to get your awakened pony wizard! It really is the perfect system for someone with advanced imagination and experience. No need to change anything like you have to with Pathfinder, just unlimited freedom to use anything you can think of. Just imagine it!
I never claimed Stever could play an Awakened Pony Wizard at level 1. And I would absolutely make him subtract the cost of an Awaken off his WBL.
Really sounds like you are looking for a different system. GURPS seems perfect for you, it can simulate any kind of setting with anything your advanced imagination and experience can come up with!
Hmm where does it say that you can have the awakened spell cast on you and then have it subtracted from your future WBL? Wouldn't that come out of your starting cash which would be insufficient? Can I start with level 20 WBL at 1st level cause its creative? It sounds like you are the one who doesn't like the rule that there is no option to make an awakened pony wizard in the character creation section. You are the one going outside the rules. Maybe you should try a different game like the HERO system or GURPS which is more modular and you can come up with your own rules.
Torger Miltenberger wrote:
Hmm yeah don't see that in the character creation section of the rules. Sounds like it would be playing a different game. Maybe they should look into another game that has character creation options for the awakened pony wizard since they are going outside the rules. After all if its sound advice for people that want to play low magic Pathfinder then it must be sound advice for people that want to play with awakened pony wizards.
Sounds like you don't put much work into your campaigns or settings and just like to run things off the cuff. Nothing wrong with that. When you get some more imagination and experience I am sure you will be able to put work into your campaigns and settings. Keep practicing I am sure you will get there!