|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
I know I am going to be shunned when I say this, but I was so scarred by the Munchkin horror that was AD&D Psionics, I still cant get myself to want to play it. I know recent versions are much better balanced, but it's like a snake phobia, I have a terrible and unfair knee jerk reaction.
Please try to forgive an Old Grognard for this and don't shun me too much. ;-)
But if you played that version you'd understand.
Simon Legrande wrote:
Matrix I was a great special effects action film, as long as you didnt stop to think about the silly concept.
Foghorn Leghorn: "It was a joke, son, a joke."
Not really. People take that entirely out of context. Nor does Monte design for Paizo.
"It raises some very important points, but over the years I’m afraid I’ve come to find it deeply annoying because whenever somebody links to it or quotes from it, I can almost guarantee you that they’re about to completely misrepresent the essay’s entire point.
What Cook basically says in the essay is, “Instead of just giving people a big toolbox full of useful tools, we probably should have included more instructions on when those tools are useful and how they can be used to best effect.”
But the vast majority of people quoting the essay instead snip some variant of “we wanted to reward mastery of the game” out of context and then go ape-s%+# because D&D3 deliberately included “traps” for new players.
The methods of selective quoting vary, but they all basically look something like this:
“Toughness [is] not the best choice of feat.”
OMG! WHY WOULD THEY INCLUDE A SUCKY FEAT LIKE THAT?
There are two problems with this.
First, the full quote is actually, “Toughness, for example, has its uses, but in most cases it’s not the best choice of feat.” And then the essay goes on to further clarify its meaning: “To continue to use the simplistic example above, the Toughness feat could have been written to make it clear that it was for 1st-level elf wizards (where it is likely to give them a 100 percent increase in hit points). It’s also handy when you know you’re playing a one-shot session with 1st-level characters, like at a convention (you sure don’t want to take item creation feats in such an instance, for example).”
In other words, Toughness is a special purpose tool. When used properly, it’s a useful tool. When used improperly, it’s a wasted feat slot. The designers felt like people should be smart enough to figure that out for themselves, but the point of Cook’s essay is that it probably would have been better to include more usage guidelines."
Oddly I used to scoff at this, as my experience has shown the more optimized the less roleplaying. But then I remember a few noteworthy exceptions.
However, what I have noticed is that in games where there is more NEED to optimize, where combat is emphasized and tactics are critical- Roleplaying TENDS to fall by the wayside. Note this is a tendency only not a hard and fast rule.
I think this is because us mere mortals can only concentrate on a few things at once. And when you must move precisely there, and remember all your bonuses, and think of what you and or your foe is going to do next - it's hard to also act out in character.
This is why sometimes I remember my AD&D games fondly. Not that there weren't groups who said "the hell with RP, I wanna kill something", but that combat movement was rarely important, bonuses might be one or two and thinking like a chess master was largely irrelevant.
So yeah, you certainly can do both- many people dont do both.
As I have posted before:Players: “Hey Bob, we have to go on a quest for about 4 nites of gaming in order to raise you, so I guess you can just stay home or you can play my Mount.”
Bob: “yeah, sounds like real fun. Look, instead- here’s Knuckles the 87th , go ahead and loot Knuckles the 86th body. He's got some cool stuff."
The whole idea of “death should mean something” becomes meaningless when we all realize that D&D is a Game, Games should be Fun, and in order to have Fun you have to Play. Thereby, when a Player’s PC dies either you Raise him or he brings in another. Raising is preferable story-wise, and costs resources. Bringing in another costs continuity and actually increases party wealth. Not to mention, instead of an organic played-from-1st-PC we have a PC generated at that level, which can lead to some odd min/maxing.
The third alternative is “Sorry Bob, Knuckles is dead. You’re out of the campaign, we’ll let you know when the next one is starting, should be in about a year or so.’ Really?
Nope. But I do know older systems, having been around when they were played and even helped write them. You likely know PF better than I do.
However, since I do know the older systems I can tell you that Pathfinder is in no way unique or unusual in players finding ways to circumvent encounters in a ridiculously easy fashion, they always have, ever since OD&D. This is nothing new just to Pathfinder.
There's a story about and experiment with a chimp put into a room with a nice bunch of bananas out of reach. The scientist placed two boxes and a stick in the room.
He made the experiment so that the chimps could either stack the boxes and get the fruit, os stand on one bow with the stick. He'd then let in 1 or 2 chimps and recorded on his checklist whether the chimps did:
A. Two boxes
In every case the chimps got the reward, but in no case did they go for A or B. Sometimes they jumped with the stick. Once they threw the box at the bananas. With two chimps they often got on each others back.
Adventurers are like those chimps. And, since I have been DMing since 1974 i can tell you this has nothing at all to do with Pathfinder, the chimps have been outsmarting the DM and doing the unexpected for 40 years.
Expect the unexpected. Go with it.
The Food babe uses totally wrong science. Try reading the Science babe, who has thrashed the Food babes ridiculous wrongheaded pseudo-science ideas .
Hari's rule? "If a third grader can't pronounce it, don't eat it."
My rule? Don't base your diet on the pronunciation skills of an eight-year-old."
I want to eat at that sub shop. Add in balsamic or good red wine vinegar and olive oil, and you have made me a very happy Evil Overlord.
Actually that's not at all how I Define the term. It means you MAXimize your Strengths while MINimizing everything else not critical to those Strengths.
I have seen no one defining the term how you do the first line:
Min-maxing has a history of controversy among players and game designers. Game designers may dislike min-maxing because it discourages variety in play through extreme specialization. It can also 'break' the difficulty balance of a game--making parts of a game too easy or too hard--since games are usually tuned with the goal of providing a reasonable (and thus enjoyable) level of challenge throughout for all normal character builds. A min-maxed character build can often puncture the intended equilibrium of difficulty by being unreasonably good at one thing and unreasonable bad at many others.
Furthermore, if the one thing that a min-maxed character is good at is overall more useful (e.g. combat) than other character abilities (e.g. talking or environmental exploration), the player is likely to rely heavily on that one thing they're good at to solve all situations in the game (e.g. killing everyone instead of talking to them). Game designers often attempt to limit the success of min-maxing by including challenges in their games that cannot all be met by any one specialized character build or by incorporating limits into the rules of character building to prevent overspecialization (e.g. point costs to raise an attribute increase the higher the attribute is, or a character's highest level skill cannot be increased more than 5 levels above their lowest, etc.).
Game designers may also dislike min-maxing by players if it means the player sees their character in starkly mechanical terms rather than as a fictional person. As a result, a min-maxing player may be less likely to roleplay their character or to engage with the game's story or other characters in a way reasonable for an imagined inhabitant of the game world."
In fact, note that I dont even say Min/maxing is bad. Certainly some degree of it is normal, and even to be desired.
But like anything else it can be taken to extremes.
Here's the real problem- the Min-Maxer often punishes his fellow players, and that's where the real issue lies. You love doing damage so you dump wis to 7, which mean you fail your will save, are dominated and have to/ get to kill the party. For some players, that's actually fun- they love showing that their PC is so powerful he can take out the rest of the party. It is NOT fun for the rest of the players, some of whom may be rather attached to their character and have put days of work into them, backstory, etc. Of course the Min/max tank is one of those like Soilentc mention- not even bothering with a name. Being killed by a fellow party member who wanted to do a little more DPR is annoying.
Most often it's some guy who wants to do combat and only combat. His PC has no social skills- heck, with a 7 INT no skills at all... forcing the other players to design PC's to make up for his deficiencies.
And maybe he is a decent roleplayer- who then RP's his 7 CHA to get the party INTO as many fights as possible- since that's all he wants to do anyway.
In reality, such a PC would simply be kicked out of a group. But since D&D is a game, we let him play.
So it's not Mix/maxing that's the problem- it's that a lot of jerk players use min/maxing to be bigger jerks.
Why is requiring training such a horribly bad sign? I don't like it myself but I don't see the horror here...
It's another way for the control-phreak DM to control the PC's in every little way.
For example- let's say you level during a quest. Well, you know the quest is super difficult, and the fate of the world hangs on it- so getting better will help you succeed. But then the DM has a time requirement on the quest so that you cant take the time to level.
Or the training costs so much you are stuck at one level for much longer than you should be.
Adventuring *IS* training.
The rules say the DM can allow or disallow any classes or tech level for his campaigns.
The rules say the DM gets to set the point buy.
In both cases you will have limitations on a character concept. And that's perfectly Ok- every game has limitations on character creation.
But the issue is when people say "Well, *MY* limitations on character creation are perfectly OK and reasonable, but others are stifling to the Player's creative concept."
Algren's "three rules of life": "Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom's. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own."
The rules allow you to set any number you like for character point buy, too. I want 102 points. Why cant I have 102 points? You are harshing my concept, dude! ;-)
There is really no difference between :
No guns are made in this world, due to the tech being middle medieval. There may be a chance to find one later, a relic of a different civilization.
You can only start with a 20 point build.
Each is a game set up the DM has decided. Each will reduce some choices a player has to start.
Quiche Lisp wrote:
It's Marvel dude. Somewhere in some alternate universe, everyone is a Avenger. (and has changed gender)
The Alkenstarian wrote:
I can shun you for two things here (in an otherwise excellent post): I am sooooo darn tired of dark and gritty. It's been overdone.
Next- a GOOD musical is a thing of wonder. They are rare, and you have to go back a bit: The Music Man. Hello Dolly. Wizard of Oz- 1939. Guys & Dolls.
Yep. We went HWAAAAY outside the box then. But two things- the figurative* box was very small with flimsy sides in the OD&D boxed set, and we still had some parameters. I am a big believer of letting the players play what they want- including a flying housecat and a Hoka. But if I have 4d6 drop one, I am not gonna let someone have straight 18's that he didnt roll. Someone wants to play a dragon in a low level game? Sure, but you're gonna be a very small and young one, not a elder wyrm.
But your snark here is not out of line in any way. You are absolutely correct, we certainly were out of the box guys back in the Manual of Aurania days- the very first 3PP supplement ever.
So yeah- a DM should try and work with the players to fit in any concept- but it's a two way street- the players need to work with the DM to fit their concepts in, also.
* so was the literal one, come to think of it.
I kinda want to see a concrete answer on "Does having more Acrobatics ranks make me worse at Acrobatics?" just so we can hopefuly cease all these arguments with people who are like "Lol if you roll a 25 on your Acrobatics check to jump over a 10 foot pit you have to go the WHOLE WAY".
There's no use arguing with that sort, they keep on even after the FAQ! ;-)
As far as I'm concerned, if the players (whom I prefer to create their characters without consulting each other at all, the better to actually play what they wish to play) create five paladins and a ninja, then it's my job as a DM to create adventures that would appeal to five paladins and a ninja. That doesn't mean there won't be challenges that require a hired gun, whether literal or metaphorical, but ... I can't stand the artificiality of crafting a balanced party. It just sets off my bullsh!t detector, since I abhor most meta-gaming with the fury of a thousand suns.
Yesbut when they all do interlocking backgrounds, so that they have a good reason to be together, it is a joy to behold. I'll happily let them consult on balancing the party if they do that.
We had one where everyone was either related to, worked with, or was sleeping with someone else, sometimes interlocking.
In general, I don't like splitting the party. Emphasis on the "in general". Twice the work for the DM, half the fun for the players.
So if one guy is doing it for no reason, I run the main group for a bit, turn to the solo guy and say "You encounter nothing". Repeat until he gives up. Remember, the DM sets encounters, not the players.
Also, more groups of players need to occasionally say OOC "Naw, sorry, we dont want that character as part of the party." IC: "Hey Bo'b the Backstabber, thanks but not thanks, we can get along without you."
Field Marshall Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke: "The tactical result of an engagement forms the base for new strategic decisions because victory or defeat in a battle changes the situation to such a degree that no human acumen is able to see beyond the first battle.Therefore no plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force."
The Alkenstarian wrote:
A person who cannot feel fear has very little reason to understand some very basic moral concepts such as "thou shalt not force people to walk slowly into machine-gun fire from prepared, enfilading positions" (I'm looking at you, Field Marshall Haig and General Rawlinson), and at least in some cases (or should it be Somme cases, considering the example above) it would make such a person incapable of understanding the concept of fear in others, which could lead to downright psychopathic behaviour, which is a personality disorder where the subject is incapable of understanding the validity of other people's emotions.
Why should Haig have felt fear? After all, *HE* wasnt the one that was gonna be machinegunned down. He could sit there, fat and safe and senile in his cozy office miles from the front lines, and play tinsoldiers with other men's lives.
One of the bravest things I ever saw portrayed was Black Adder's "over the top" finale.
It's still a argument from authority. So, not all arguments from authority are wrong. Generally, just saying "your argument is invalid as it's a fallacy' is bad arguing. Show why it's a bad argument. If it's bad, then no need to appeal to a "fallacy". This is why most of the posts which say "STORMWIND FALLACY!" are incorrect- in that not only is it not a "fallacy' but generally it's being mis-applied.
For example- using a post by James Jacobs as your cite. Well, he's said over and over he's not 'the rules guy" so if it's about hard RAW, then it's not as good as if it's about the world of Golarion in general, and if it about how he personally plays, then it's solid. So, if I cite JJ about the rules, your response could be "well, he has said he's not the rules guy, so it's not official", and that would be a great counter argument*. But saying "Ha ha, I caught you in a LOGICAL FALLACY, your argument is thus invalid" is both wrong and being a jerk.
* altho I could then argue back it at least shows either RAI or how he plays it, which does give some weight, even if not "official".
So true, look most "logical fallacies' are not. They are not fallacies in logic at all. They are informal fallacies. Mostly, using a informal fallacy is perfectly OK outside your high school debating team.
For example, take the ad hominem 'fallacy". Not acceptable in a formal debate, but sometimes/often OK IRL, as wiki sez:"When used inappropriately, it is a fallacy in which a claim or argument is dismissed on the basis of some irrelevant fact or supposition about the author or the person being criticized. Ad hominem reasoning is not always fallacious, for example, when it relates to the credibility of statements of fact or when used in certain kinds of moral and practical reasoning."
Similar things can be said about "Argument from authority" which can not be used in formal debates but is a normal thing to use IRL. Once, for example the Design team makes a ruling on rules, it's pretty much over, and citing them is technically a "Argument from authority" , but that's by no means a 'fallacy".
Generally, when on a message board, in this informal setting, the poster who attempts to rebut another poster by pointing out the "logical fallacy" is just being a jerk.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Time for Simulacrum!
Or Scry & Fry.
Well, here's what I think we're talking about. Most DMPC's are a full fledged party member, who gets a share of the loot, acts like a party member and what not.
Now once in a while, you get a 'richard" player who runs a PC who betrays the party. This is rather unfair since the genre has the "Unspoken rule" :
"D&D is a Game, and the object is to have fun.
But once in a while the new guy turns out to be a traitor (and I am not talking the "change of pace" all-evil campaign, where such is expected). If a player pulls this more than once, he will be shunned.
We had this happen to a friend of the DM who used to summer with him, so intro-ed a new PC just for a few summer games. He betrayed us in the first summer. So, the next year, we did do some vetting, but still were betrayed. the next time we simply refused to play with him. There was some mighty sulking and the DM tried for hours to cajole us into letting him play, but we pointed out the last two times. "Well, just because I was a traitor twice doesnt mean I'll be one this time!". Yeah, and if you werent the DM's buddy you wouldnt have gotten that second chance, either bub.
Now, let us say the DM shows up with a GMPC. *NOT* a NPC, but a full fledged party member, who gets a share of the loot, acts like a party member and what not. One who is expected to join the group without any vetting.
Then that GMPC betrays the group.
See, that's unfair, just like the "guest player" who does the same thing. When the PC is introduced to the rest of the group as a fellow PC, the rule is to just let him join. There's no clues, no chance to vet him, no hint he may not be as it seems. That's simply taking advantage of the "Unspoken rule".
"Straws lodged in your upper lip "? Oh, if only my DM placed the pencils only in his upper lip....