In my games, we confirm fumbles. A 1 merely threatens. If you then roll a success, you recover.
My players WANT fumbles. They like the random element and the challenge.
I simply accommodate them.
Much of the time, this results in something comedic. For instance, a player might roll a 1, followed by a 17 or so, and I might describe the incident as their axe flying out of their grip, hitting their opponent on the helmet (which rings like a bell), then bouncing off, back into their hand with no damage dealt.
We get a good laugh out of that sort of thing.
Black Moria wrote:
Times about ninety-million.
What the Republicans "need" is an ounce of integrity between the whole of them. They care about nothing but power and they accomplish exactly nothing because of it. You fool yourself if you vote for them. They don't give a crap about religion, gun rights, individual freedom, or any of their talking points. They tell you they do, you vote for them, and what do they do about any of it? Zilch. And those amongst them who DO care somewhat about those things? Are out of their minds nuts and could not be trusted with those things if you held a gun on their dog and pumped them full of nice juice.
The fact that there is a thread suggesting, whether in jest or not, that in order to win or accomplish something, they need the other guys to screw up, pretty much says it all. You're supposed to be able to point to the GOOD things your party does as the things that define them. Not the screw-ups of others.
For me, what I tell the player he is sensing depends on the level of his success or failure.
Firstly, I make those rolls. I do not let the player. Letting him roll immediately tips him off as to where the whole situation is headed. Some players cannot help but metagame. It's just their nature. Most of my players are glad to let me roll, because they want the mystery and the challenge. For the one or two who had a hard time giving up the roll, I made compromises to let them get involved in other areas to make up for it.
If the result is a major failure or a major success, I tell the player what his character is sensing and that he is as close to positive he is right as is possible. (Because, remember, even if he is totally off base, a major failure means he THINKS he is totally right.)
If the result is a minor failure or minor success, I tell the player what his character is sensing, and that he is either pretty sure, or somewhat unsure about what he is hearing.
If the result is right at the target number, I just play it casual in the positive.
I never tell a player that his character is 100% certain about anything.
I try not to let trivial things lead me into generating or forcing negativity into the lives of other people, just to try to make myself feel better.
Just something I'm trying to cut down on.
Even if I didn't like the APG, I wouldn't be freaked out about it. As it is, I'm not really into a couple of the classes, but I don't think they are there to trick people into buying books or flood the game unnecessarily. Some appeal to me naturally, some just don't get notice from me.
Do I understand that some people might like them or find new opportunities for roleplay with them? Absolutely.
Not to mention that the book is what... two years old now? Little late to get freaked out about it.
This is an OOC issue, not an IC issue.
Exactly. You've got jerk players and you need to warn them to be welcoming to the new player and remind them that they were also new to the/a group once.
These problems are with the attitudes of actual human beings. Giving them treasure and trying to balance/play the issue in-game is sort of a way of rewarding their bad behavior.
The rule on page 184 of the Core Rulebook very clearly states that the penalty for defensive fighting applies to all attacks for the round until the start of your next turn.
It couldn't possibly spell it out more clearly.
This keeps happening. We keep seeing clarification questions where the rulebook is extremely clear in the first place. I can only think that people are getting to the game by downloading cheap copies of the SRD and not studying them closely.
Airheads. Brendon Fraser admits to being a geek and playing DnD in the climax of the movie. decidedly not a positive presentation.
I dunno. I always thought that it meant well. After all, practically the whole crowd eventually admits to playing, and it ends up uniting a lot of them.
Back to the OP, Big Bang Theory has had D&D fairly prominently featured in a handful of episodes. One of my favorites was the one where Sheldon decided to make ALL decisions in his life by rolling dice and consulting a table.
Firstly, I don't think that's strictly a house rule he made up arbitrarily. If I'm not mistaken, the 3.5 rules either stated that was the case, or some other consensus was made on the old 3.5 boards, because I remember EVERYBODY playing take 10 as 10 minutes, or take 20 as 20 minutes.
Secondly, consider yourselves getting off easy. You didn't say that he rules that taking 10 or 20 versus traps automatically incurs any penalties that would ordinarily go along with failure, but the Core Rulebook does. On page 86.
It assumes that if the result of a take 10 would be a failure, you get the pain. It also assumes that ANY attempt to take 20 results in failure where penalty would otherwise be incurred. So rolling each minute is actually a benefit to you.
I'd be happy to remind your GM of this, if that's somehow preferable to pretending to wait 10 or 20 mins in a game where 10 or 20 mins translates to 10 seconds of real world time.
Smug Narcissist wrote:
Your reply betrays a lack of thought and foresight. In other words, you sound really immature yourself.
Sex and violence by themselves are not mature nor immature. They are just facts of biology and society. Good writers, however, can craft them into something that goes beyond disturbing, and enters the realm of scarring. Because of that, we relegate them to an audience better equipped to deal with what they are seeing and experiencing: the mature.
Yes, we understand your game of semantics and how clever you are. Congratulations, you bothered the folks at the grown up table and got a bit of attention. Now sit down before you hurt yourself.
I like psychological horror in general. That means blood, yes, but I don't like slasher stuff. I do like weird - as weird as possible, and I do like making my players feel ill-at-ease when dealing with particular horrors such as major boss fights. I do not shy away from so-called "Body Horror." I like creatures composed of limbs and organs and what-not.
I am a big Silent Hill fan. I love David Cronenberg and David Lynch.
This is not to say that I don't run "normal" fantasy adventures - I do. But in terms of the level of maturity in the themes and images at the table, we get thematically mature. We definitely wander into R-rated material in terms of the visual and visceral.
On the other hand, though my whole group are kings and queens of dirty jokes, sexuality, character-wise is as rare a theme as you can imagine. As for myself, I think implied sexuality, including some level of possible abuse, is much more effective than anything you can do on-screen. Psychological horror often relies on terrible secrets for a lot of its power, and so sexual themes, though subtle and downplayed, do haunt my games around the periphery and in the background.
Lego can only own copyright in their specific expression. If you don't duplicate their pictures and designs exactly, they have nothing to say about it. For example, a specific face on a round head designed by somebody at Lego and copyrighted by Lego is Lego's property. A face on the same dimension head that YOU designed from scratch from your own imagination is YOUR property.
There are many companies out there that make lego-compatible products. They likely feel they do not need Lego's permission to do so, due to various legal precedents set by Lego's various failed lawsuits. I am not an expert in this particular case, but from what I understand, though Lego did patent its first bricks in 1958, they have only successfully sued another company in one or two cases. This is because both Canadian and European courts have ruled that the Lego "design" merely serves a function for holding one brick to another and so its Trademark in unenforceable. Similarly, companied like Megablocks have been given legal standing to go ahead with their businesses. Now, Trademark and Patent are two different things, but maybe Lego does not think it is worth it to keep throwing money at the problem, because they seem to be tolerating several companies' competing products.
Some of those competing companies are even selling Lego-compatible toys with licensing from organizations like Major League Baseball, no less (see here).
Now that the legalese is put away, I have to say I love these warrior bits! Very cool stuff!
I was lucky enough to have several copies of the beta test that I gave out to friends so we could give FF feedback. Almost to a man, they reported their dislike of special dice as a major turnoff to really digging through the thing. I was the only one who really liked the Force dice mechanic.
I still do. I like how it encourages, and even guides roleplay.
Like some here, I also am not impressed with the packaging for the beginner box set. Somehow it makes you feel like you paid too much for the thing. I also am split on how different it supposedly be from the final advanced ruleset. My understanding from some on the inside is that unlike a D&D or Pathfinder beginner box, where the game is presented as a "lite" version of the advanced game, the beginner game in this case is really an introduction to RPGs in general, and the final game will bear such major differences as to be like a completely different game.
As to the final game, I think FF does great stuff, but I am a little worried. The release date has been pushed back twice now. It would be easy to think this is because of some internal dilemma in balancing. I hope it's just a scheduling conflict.
Here are the dice, by the way. The Force die is at the top.
I can see how crap this MIGHT be since Courtney Solomon does SEEM to be a filmmaker who does not learn from his mistakes.
But generalizing that no filmmaker learns from his mistakes is outrageously counterintuitive, as it would nullify the career of every filmmaker ever who made a better movie after a not-so-great movie. Which is most of them.
Mistakes are how people learn. Even filmmakers.
Since probably none of us is going to be found any time soon charging on horseback into a tide of slavering orcs clad in a pair of steel-plated 48DDs welded onto the front of a suit of armor, I suppose historical and physical accuracy are BOTH secondary.
Look, if somebody derives some measure of happiness from occasionally looking at boobplate, let 'im.
This is not the 1950s. We do not need to police everybody's horny. (And even if it WAS the 1950s, the only difference would be that everybody would have to covet boobs in secret - and that really doesn't change the fact that they are being coveted, does it?)
I think this is a matter of whether the undead in question has "eyes" you can get to.
A zombie likely has eyes. You can gouge them out. So I suspect you can blind them through other means, as well.
A ghost doesn't have physical eyes. It shares the same darkvision as a zombie, but there is nothing to gouge out.
So if it were up to me, I would draw the line as to whether an undead could be affected by blinding effects at whether its eyes can be physically attacked.
That said, if an effect is magical who's to say it can't affect supernatural eyes?
In any case, it's a yes at least much of the time.
I assume that last part was aimed at me? You don't understand because by your own admission you haven't paid attention to most of the thread. Despite having paid little attention, you seem to feel free to call people drama queens and judge everybody by your own obviously low appreciation of your own free time. I'm glad you have the time to waste on people who obviously disdain you, in games where you are either having no fun or doing nothing productive. But you can't expect other people to treat what little free time they might have with such little value.
Some people here (including myself) have contributed stories where we were actually being abused (in one case punched in the face) by bad GMs. Surely you don't consider all of us to be drama queens?
And if we cannot relate the times we almost walked out in relation to relative stories where somebody did walk out, or otherwise contribute without your kind permission (which it is slowly become obvious you are not ready to give), then why does the thread exist?
Since we are all otherwise getting along and having an interesting time reading about the weird situations we all found ourselves in, and you are the lone protestor, that would make you the odd man out. And in that case, it might make more sense for you to simply ignore the thread. You've gone from not having anything to contribute, to just telling people how stupid they are for having experienced their lives without your permission or presence, and that just is counterproductive and frankly, unreasonable.
Velcro Zipper wrote:
I ended up at two of these myself, back in high school (1st Edition days).
I had a girlfriend who claimed to "play" with her buddies. Because the GM was the fairly sober kid across the street, I took an opportunity to sit in with them, only to find out that the "game" consisted of about fifteen of us sitting around in a smoky kitchen, with about two-thirds of the players stoned out of their minds, eating Cheetos and talking about the wild times they had getting high and skipping school. The DM only paid attention to two of his favorite players, who seemed to be re-enacting the final rounds of some epic battle they had played a year or so before. We were supposed to be playing AD&D, but whatever those guys were doing seemed to be an almost different system to me (+15 everything and weird rolls I could not account-for). Every-so-often the DM would involve us by asking us what our characters were doing, but I had no idea where we were or if we were even in the same room as the epic battle going on. I think I got to say what my character was doing twice in about three hours. I didn't include this as one I walked out on, because it just sort of suddenly ended with everybody laughing and going off to do their own thing.
The second time it happened, they promised me it would not go down like that again. In this case, there were about ten of us with half of the people stoned, but the presence of an old buddy (a hardcore gamer) of mine was enough to finally chase the stoners off. It ended up being just five of us, and I took over and ran the guys through a homemade system of my own, set in a modern day sort of mutant/cyber/apocalyptic setting (think Shadowrun before Shadowrun existed). We had a great time, and some fat dude with a Firebird ended up with my girlfriend, who was in love with his car. In hindsight, it was well worth it. Great game.
No, thrown weapons are considered ranged. So, yes, you can use Rapid Shot with a thrown weapon (provided you have more than one of the weapon at hand).
Check out page 182 of the Core RB for definition of ranged attacks and page 140 for definition of ranged weapons.
Yeah, I just can't reconcile that hit point total with a CR 10, or even against a party of 6 or 7 level 10 PCs.
My thought is that what you need is some kind of giant with class levels. But you aren't going to get that hit point total no matter what. You might instead think of placing the encounter some place that is advantageous to the creature. Perhaps some effect in place in its lair is regenerating it?
If it were me, I would not expect to have this thing survive a single stand-up fight intact, but might provide some kind of contingency, so that once felled, it comes back. If you want your caster "figuring out" what is going one, it's probably better to make the puzzle environmental, than inherent to the creature. That way, a PC will have a possibility of getting-to the item or area causing the effect, and neutralizing it, rather than having to continue targeting a moving, fighting, threatening opponent.
I think of the whole fornicating part as just a guideline, really. I can think of a number of other means for getting power down the line right off the top of my head.
How about an ancestor who chugged an experimental potion?
Well, I used earplugs or other protection at every practice we had when I was in a band. And I think many of us here have been to the range and understand you need protection.
But the question was how do you handle this in-game? Is the gunslinger walking around with cotton and wax? Do the other PCs drop their weapons every time the wizard casts lightning bolt, so they can stick their fingers in their ears?
It all depends on to what level you wish to jack up the realism, and how far you are willing to go to complicate the game.
Well, some people just lack the maturity to GM, you know? It requires a level of impartiality, and an ability to let go of one's ego, that some people just do not possess.
If it were me, I'd be glad to know the paladin had some means of evening things out. I hate no-win scenarios. Like Jim Kirk, I do not believe in them, so as a GM of 32 years, I never purposefully stack the deck to dominate my players so completely. Where would the fun be in that? But again, for some people, their egos are reliant upon such tactics.
I did quit on a DM mid-combat, once. Though it's hard to say now whether I really walked out, or if he was giving the game up anyway. But if he hadn't stopped, I would have. It went like this:
There was this problem player we played with, who was a good roleplayer, but not the most wise individual and not the most even-tempered person in the world. He begged and begged to be allowed to DM, and finally against our better judgment, two of us sat down to play under him.
I was playing a CG dual class human fighter/thief Sinbad-type dude (2nd Edition), whom I described as very superstitious and edgy. I was playing him that way, and I thought, doing a good job of it. We were in a dungeon supposedly belonging to some necromancer, and we had run into his servant, who appeared as an old man in tattered robes.
Understand that the DM had described this guy as appearing as an old man (emphasis HIS, not mine), and he had made a big deal about how we got the feeling this servant was not what he appeared to be. We managed to tie the old guy up to try to question him. Suddenly, without warning, he began screaming for his master. I wanted to knock the guy out, but this player was a totally inexperienced DM and he had no idea how to play that. He began screaming out loud in character (I'm not joking, the DM began to scream in real life) for his master. So in a moment of panic, not knowing if this guy was a demon in disguise and not knowing if the necromancer was about to show up, I did the only thing I thought I had left available to me - I took a swipe at him with my scimitar.
Evidently, the old guy only had one hit point, because the DM never even let me roll damage. He stopped screaming, and stared at me silently for like half a minute, then very seriously asked me how I could do such a thing to a harmless old man. For the next ten or fifteen minutes, he lectured with me and argued with me about everything from my character's alignment, to what a bad person I must be in real life, if all I thought about was slashing old men tied to chairs. He really, really lost his mind and tried to make me into a horrible person. It was one of the most surreal experiences I've ever had playing. Finally, I just left.
Over the following years, every-so-often this player would again propose that we take turns DMing, so that he could have a turn. The other DM (who was the other player that day) and I would just look at each other dubiously and shake our heads. There was no way we'd let him be in charge again after that.
The problem with a lot of these stats, I think, comes from how we perceive ourselves. The minute you start telling other people how to roleplay their mental stats, you've unwittingly revealed your own desire to view yourself as the ultimate authority on knowledge, wisdom, and charm.
Really? It wouldn't just be somebody giving their opinion? Or maybe sharing their experience? It HAS to be that they believe themselves to be "the ultimate authority?"
The problem with this thread, as far as I can see, is not that OTHER people have revealed their hands through their behaviors or opinions. And it isn't that OTHER people are being arrogant. It is that YOU clearly are angry about something and that anger has caused you to create a thread that reads as arrogant, obnoxious, and frankly as if you believe that YOU are an authority, not only on how to play these things, but also an authority on what everybody else is thinking, believes, wants, and even perceives themselves.
Physician, heal thyself.
When we first got round to introducing guns into our 3.5 game, many years back, this was the very first question that came up.
Because the campaign had already gone on for awhile without them, they seemed alien and strange, and so various questions were asked:
"Does the sound of the gun frighten my animal companion?" "Does firing it in an enclosed space temporarily deafen us?" That sort of thing.
Though I (as GM) thought it would be interesting to entertain those ideas, I realized it would also introduce a lot of additional rules that might slow the game down. So my answer was, "let's not worry about those things," and my explanation for why was simply that there already exist in the game a number of effects, mostly magical, that also make loud sounds and cause explosions. Fireballs, lightning bolts, and all manner of other effects would have to also be treated the same way.
So we decided it wasn't worth it to worry about it. The only creatures or people who are scared off or harmed by the sound of, or otherwise affected by firearms in a non-RAW way in my game, are those who would be likewise affected by any of those magical effects.
EDIT: However, I would not rule out the possibility of a chamber specially-designed so that spells and firearms accompanied by loud sounds or explosions might temporarily deafen their users, as a means of vexing and challenging an invading party.
I don't get it. Why is this a question or a poll? You heal up when necessary. Sometimes you can wait, other times somebody is down for the count and the healer needs to break away to tend to him.
Must everything be so compartmentalized and categorized and regimented? Can't people just make decisions as the need arises?
In our two most current campaigns we have six players. Two of them are combat maneuver junkies. One of the two loves to come up with ridiculous combinations of moves that blend Acrobatics checks and oftentimes ad hoc CM rulings, pushing the envelope. The other plays a brawler in one of our games, and basically bull rushes, charges and tackles everything and everybody he sees.
The others tend to stick to standard stand-up fighting.
In the case of the two junkies, they actually do not understand the rules too thoroughly or with much detail. But I am glad for that. See, because they are not bound by the parameters of an artificial game mechanic, they feel free to try weird stuff. They just describe what they are attempting and leave it to me to determine how long it will take, which actions it will involve, and what they need to roll.
Makes for quite an exciting experience.
Four short phrases that end any doubt that there are people out there who, when they can't get the answer they want to fit their ridiculous uber-kill interpretations of the rules, will actually twist and torture the English language into a pretzel to get their way. In this case, by refusing to recognize that "a" and "an" are synonymous with "one," despite repeatedly being linked to the Merriam-Webster site, then later by refusing to understand what the word "one" meant in context to the rules.
Cheaters prospered. Prospered real nice. Happens when they can gang up and cheat as a community. When everybody feels like they have something to gain from the cheat.
Too bad most of the people I see misusing the word rape are females. My Facebook circle is crawling with women of college age (no, I'm not a pervert, my wife and I do cosplay and it attracts a lot of people from all ages), and girls ages 18 - 23 seem to be fascinated with yelling about how so-and-so "raped" so-and-so in some online game, or by beating the other person to a sale at Hot Topic, or whatever.
Yes, as a fan of Silent Hill, I also see males misusing the term as regards to our hobby's mascot, Pyramid Head. But by far, in my world at least, females are the culprits of this rather distasteful meme. Perhaps they feel they now "own" the term, maybe due to the proliferation of rape stories in social media under the phony title "Rape Culture" (a term I find as reprehensible and about as sensible as "Abortion Industry" - both having about the same basis in the reality of the multitudes of individual, unique cases concerning both subjects - meaning none, beyond getting a rise out of a base).
But thank you for again pointing the finger at an allegedly all-male club of badness, and in particular, of accusing gamers of being any more at large in what is clearly a society-wide epidemic of idiocy that affects both sexes - female Hot Topic customers of age 18 not often being tabletop gamers. Once again, by association, all gamers are bad - particularly if they are male - and all girls get the pass that being treated equally (read: SPECIAL) garners them by virtue of being female.
Makes sense. Then again, you may want to factor in the long history of alleged lesser female participation in this sort of gaming, and that it precedes the recent distasteful rise of the word rape in common conversation. It's like asking if cell phones are responsible for the loss of the telegraph. No, Virginia, the telegraph went the way of the dinosaur long before cell towers came into being. Blaming the newest technology just makes you a little late to the party.
Agreed with 'Strike and 'Soul. To pull this off, you have to prepare to do little else, especially at lower levels. Now, the OP mentions that PCs are less likely to do this because they have full parties to worry about, but an NPC prepared to do this would have to be pretty damn paranoid, and how many of such an identical villain would a party be willing to put up with before they called their GM out on it, and how much could that NPC accomplish as a villain when all he is concerned about is playing a vanishing game?
As has been mentioned, virtually any scenario can be described, and then a contingency worked out for it, but that is simply not a reflection on how spells and encounters are planned out.
My only real problem is that we call it the Stormwind (whom I believe I remember from the WoTC boards) Fallacy. Well, you call it that. I don't.
This fallacy already HAS a name. It's a simple correlation fallacy.
"Stormwind Fallacy" has always sounded pretentious to me. Sounds like gamers trying to sound important over a silly argument whose conclusion is just a matter of common sense. (No offense, Stormwind, wherever you are.)
Okay, so give me some practical examples where one could be used where the other couldn't be, and vice versa, or where either could be used for the same thing.
Some people here are over complicating this, when it could be broken down best by giving the two most common uses of the skills.
When your character is NOT adventuring, and he needs to make money for the two months he and the party had off, you roll a Profession (Engineer) check to see how much money he made from various odd jobs given to him by people in town. No details about what he has done are necessary. It is a blind roll to see if he made money.
When your character IS adventuring, and he and his party come to a wide chasm underground, and he needs to build or repair an old bridge that is spanning a chasm, or needs to determine if the bridge is still safe, he rolls his Knowledge (Engineering) skill to see if he can make good with his skill. He very much is concerned with a specific object or area in this case.
You CAN'T use them for the same thing, per se. But your GM might allow a synergy bonus between them, or he may rule that you could retry one or the other, if he is a generous and nice guy. Like me!
The trick with Lovecraftian stuff - and anything in a similar vein - is that it really confiscates game mechanic and renders it often unnecessary. I don't think you are ever meant to worry overmuch about "where" or "when" things are, since their nature is antithetic to our reality in the first place. That's why Call of Cthulhu has existed so long and done so well with a very light mechanic - because it's not about cold hard numbers, hard facts, or whether a submerged multi-dimensional island is anchored to any one place.
You just go with the flow.
Leliel the 12th wrote:
I just want to understand what I'm reading here. Orcs have been a staple of fantasy fiction for more than half a century, they have had countless iterations in endless tabletop games in all that time, have found themselves in the hands of literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of GMs and players, and have been developed and re-developed by writers, both good and bad, of movies, games, and novels for decades. And your point of pride here is that you think that adherents of a relatively new and terribly limited video game are somehow the first to want to press culture onto the species?
Use of nuclear weapons is now authorized against the Blizzard servers. I will write your name on the side of each missile so they will know whose fault it is.
"Evil lives long" is the term I always liked best.
What bothers me most is that there are actually people - I assume gamers? - in this thread, trying to qualify what this man has said by bringing up fringe elements that may or may not even exist.
Don't defend anything Pat Robertson says. Don't ever try to qualify him or lend any credence at all to what comes dribbling out of his mouth. Pat Robertson is a mean old lying charlatan who bilks money from scared old ladies by putting the fear of an invisible sky man into them. He is wicked incarnate. We do not pretend what he says is true.
You might want to sound intelligent and wise by playing on the fence with this and saying offhand things like, "yeah, but what about people who play video games and ignore their kids?" Well, firstly I'd like to see some evidence of that, but even if it were true, how rare is it in comparison to any blanket statement Robertson might make to vilify EVERY PLAYER of EVERY GAME HE DOESN'T LIKE, anywhere, everywhere, all the time?
You can't qualify him and you cant make a comparison. He is a liar, a greedy, delusional man, and an all-around snake oil charmer.
I've had a couple of alchemists in my games now, and I have to say I really like them. Now, they have been played by very smart players, and I think that is essential to the class. You have to be able to think on your toes with the alchemist, but if you can, it seems a very rewarding alternative.
Turin the Mad wrote:
We use 3D terrain features on our table, so perhaps it is easier for us, but one must resist the notion that retreat is a simple, linear exiting of a battlefield. When you think of it only in those terms, you can fool yourself into believing that ANY scenario is a retreat-and-die scenario.
But when you are very aware of your character's surroundings, you find you have a more cinematic mind for retreat. And that is what you need to do: you need to treat retreating cinematically, as you would see it in a movie.
The most recent retreat in our game was two or three sessions ago. The party, consisting of three of the PCs (two others were separated from the group for roleplaying reasons), and a handful of NPCs, were back-tracking some weird aberrations through the woods to their point of origin. On the way, they suffered some damage. Finally, they came upon the skeleton of an old cabin. Suddenly, up through the floor came a Huge aberration flesh-thingy. It immediately got hold of an NPC, which it killed in one amazing critical hit-fueled moment. This creature also had a fear effect of a sort on it. When the other NPCs subsequently began to flee, two of the players decided this was not something they wanted to face without greater numbers, and they also fled. One PC tried to act brave for a moment, but he also decided to flee on the next round.
Now, you have to imagine the setting. This creature is coming up through floorboards from a cellar area. It has many running targets to choose from. It is currently occupied with eating one of them. There are trees everywhere. Some of the characters are running down a path, some through the trees. Animals are running willy-nilly. It's total chaos. The creature has to choose a target. It has to have the ability to sense targets around trees, in the bushes, etc. It is likely being attacked at intervals. Most of the characters know their way back to the road, where there are other soldiers milling about (and another PC with two henchmen waiting to join in the fray).
In our case, the PCs made it back to the road, and ran into a house, where they were able to hold up and fight from a more fortified position. Three henchmen were lost, one PC was reduced to zero hit points, and one was temporarily rendered insane. But because they made the right decision to retreat to a fortified area, they were able to out-strategize the thing, and eventually defeated it (it involved burning the house down, but you gotta do what you gotta do). Overall, a GREAT session, highly cinematic, and only survivable through the very wise decision to cut out to a better location.
I like myself. That's not conceit, mind you. It's just that I fought and studied and worked and meditated and struggled very long and hard to get to where I like myself.
I think everybody could stand to be smarter, but I would want to weigh heavily what side-effects such an increase in intelligence would come with. Would it change my personality for the worse? Would I become one of those professors I worked with at Stanford? Those guys who specialized so heavily in certain fields that their ability to deal with life suffered so that they literally could not speak to other human beings without getting a black eye for the effort?
I am a fairly wise person, who loves other people deeply. And I care about people. Even strangers in Internet forums - I actually care about you people. Those things are things I am happy about. And I won them; I worked hard for them.
Those things have to come first. So, guarantee me the shot will not change me on any elemental level, and yes, I'd probably take it. But I suspect there are no guarantees.
When I do specialized campaigns (and I do - I love stuff like this) I most definitely DO inform my players of at least the most pertinent aspects of the setting. That doesn't mean I let them in on every development or secret. But general info is very important. For instance, my wife would not be happy with a zombie-only campaign, so why would I rope her into one without giving her the option to opt-out?
On the other hand, you have every right to limit resources and builds to reflect the grim scenario. GMs do this all the time. You just explain to them the nature of the campaign, what you are trying to achieve, how limited magic will be, and what limits there will be on point-buy, etc., when generating characters.
Some might opt-out. That's fine. Those who stay will likely enjoy the campaign even more without the distraction of those who do not like to have such parameters set upon them.
Generally speaking, decades of GMing has taught me that eventually a group composed of two or three players who do not power game/uber build/rules lawyer, and whatever else you want to throw in there, and a GM of like mind, will eventually grow tired of the one player in the group who does. It is just human nature. Even if he is the nicest guy on earth, eventually the perception that he is a glory hog, or just having to put up with him arguing rules and decisions to his own benefit, will wear the others out. Likewise, a player like this will usually come to realize he is playing with people who do not operate at his speed, and if he is grown up about it, he will move on. (If he doesn't, that's when I would worry - he might be enjoying having others under his thumb.)
In the meantime, let's give everybody the benefit of the doubt. The best, most productive way to approach the situation is not to nerf the player or his character, nor to over-compensate to challenge him in combat (that might get everybody else killed). It is instead to create as many scenarios/situations as possible to highlight the skill sets and abilities of the others. You throw him his bones, let him kill things like he likes to, and you make sure the others also have a stake in things by playing to their strengths, not just to his.
Understand that, as a powergamer, he likely knows what the other classes should be good at, and will not be surprised when you spend time challenging those skill sets.
See, my players tend to want to manipulate what they know about electricity to their advantage.
"Does it do more damage because he's standing in water? Does it make his Reflex save harder because he's wearing metal armor?"
Blah, blah, blah, meow, meow, meow.
My response is, okay, I'll allow that because I like that you are using your brains. But remember that when it's your turn to get hit by lightning, I'm going to take the same conditions into consideration.
Okay, that's the houserule part of it. But the real answer to the question was given on the first page, back when this thread first showed up. Lightning bolt affects "each creature within its area," period. At best, cover only provides a bonus to the Reflex save versus such a magical effect, but remember that, being grappled, the swallowed character suffers -4 to his Dexterity.
I would argue that the swallowed character doesn't get his own Reflex save, anyway, but is reliant upon the T-Rex, since he is being carried by it. Think of how your sword gets your Ref save to avoid an effect so long as you are carrying it.