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Fake Healer's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 7,093 posts (9,621 including aliases). 7 reviews. No lists. 2 wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 15 aliases.


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I use 2 Stanley organizers that I bolted back to back to house my minis, although I use a small satchel to carry some of my large and huge minis since the huge ones don't fit.
I have around 250-300 minis in it and I use sharpie markers to label the bins for separating the minis into types.


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So your question is "Do goblin girls have boobies?" phrased to not look creepy.....
The answer is they do if your GM wants them to.




You could also ask the GM to provide back-up. Working for the town could get you a couple of deputies to help in your investigations.


Summoner. You could solo with a well-built get a meat shield (Eidolon), summons to help back it up, a decent spell list, your eidolon can have whatever skills you want it to, you can eventually summon in creatures with spell-like abilities that can heal or other such stuff. If you don't want to do a Paladin I would definitely say to go summoner. You even do a synthesist summoner and just wear your Eidolon/Mecha-armor to be a decent warrior.
The biggest problem with soloing an AP is action economy. If you are one dude, you get only moves for one dude. If you are a dude with eidolons/animal companions/summoned critters, you get moves for all of them which really can help out.


Undead Lord is a good flavor/bad execution class. Almost a trap.
To try to scale the undead look towards templating them....burning skeletons, bloody skeletons, fast zombies....
bloody is nice because they heal themselves, and can reform after being chopped down so they stick around better than most undead.
BTW, wizards have some nice options for undead controlling and creation also...some say they could be better than clerics for having undead minions but I am not terribly familiar with the subject.


Cool. I usually hear about people claiming that suddenly they are getting targeted by the GM and I may have tossed a bit of that preconception into my post....apologies.
You could probably get him to easily allow a switch to Skinwalker then. I think that just limiting yourself with your summons should take care of the rest....perhaps summon sub-optimal creatures and only 1-2 at a time. If you keep dropping pouncing, holy death upon his minions and they are making short work of encounters then you may have issues later with him specifically targeting you (which could easily turn into havok for the less powerful in the group that can't take it.).
Maybe keep an Eidolon (as a mount or help if foes close in) around so you can only have one active Summons at a time?


Davor wrote:
Why not just remove the stat bonuses for being a lycanthrope? You can keep the flavor, maybe gain a bonus to carrying capacity, combat maneuvers, and the natural weapons, without the insane stat growth. Much easier fix, and you get to keep your flavor.

Exactly, maybe become a skinwalker instead....

My real question is framed around this idea: You didn't become a Monster overnight. You were building this PC over the course of his career and had to see earlier on that your dude was outclassing the rest of the group and start seeing how the GM was struggling with it. Why didn't you dial it back BEFORE it became a real issue?


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How about "Convince me that Magic Missile IS useless".


Claxon wrote:
Interestingly, the solid barrier bit pretty much only applies if someone readies an action to cast a wall spell that would completely block off access. Creatures do not count as solid barrier. There is no attack roll.

Or if there happens to be an invisible wall or creature in the way and in the case of an invisible creature you have to roll to see if you hit the invisible dude. I have had GMs do this in the past. "Why am I rolling an attack and/or a miss chance...Oh...crap. He's only 10' in front of me? Oh....crap...*Boom!" Sizzle, scorch....


Only if the spell description said "in a straight path to a location you can see". You can target a fireball without seeing the square you want it to detonate in. You need line of effect and that doesn't need to be a perfectly straight path.


He can target any square for the fireball to center from. Even though that square is occupied by a creature it doesn't mean the the creature FILLS that square. Combat is fluid with beings moving around and such ...
For #2 there is no attack roll. He just decides where it is gonna be centered and it does it. The only touch attack roll would be if you were going through a small opening or something like and arrow slit. You aren't.
The description says a pea-sized ball streaks towards the target but it doesn't neccessarily go in a straight line. A GM could rule that the inner square of a creature is not accessible but that isn't a hard rule. You could always just aim it higher or to one side and still hit the is a 20'radius ball, so you could detonate it 25' above the ground centered over the huge dude and still hit him with it.


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Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Umbranus wrote:
Lakesidefantasy wrote:
Umbranus wrote:

Sure there can be rude ways to do this. But imagine the following and tell me if it is rude and what about it is.

GM: I'm going to make a game of pathfinder, care to join in?
Me: Pathfinder sounds nice, how are you going to generate stats?
GM: We will be rolling them standard.
Me: Hmm.. you're sat on this? I really don't like rolling. Couldn't you just give us stat arrays? Like you roll some stats and we use them, allocating them as we see fit? Or perhaps point buy?
GM: No, I'm really set on having them rolled individually.
Me: Sorry, but then I'll have to pass. Happy gaming to you. *sadface*

Happy gaming?

It's easy to vilify the Dungeon Master, but what if the other players want to use the Standard method for rolling stats too? And, they really need you to play or else nobody can play. Should they all just acquiesce and play your way?

I guess so, if they want to play at all.

If you have a problem with the wording: I'm not a native speaker in English, nor are the people I game with. I just guessed that happy gaming comes close to what I'd tell them. What I meant was to sincerely wish them fun with their game even if I do not take part in it.
'Happy gaming' is indeed a completely polite expression, and your dialogue reads as totally sincere. Lakesidefantasy is interpreting it in the worst possible way, because doing so supports his claim that turning games down is childish. /serious

Not to mention that in a situation like that it is likely the GM would offer some compromise like "if your stats equal less than a 15, 18, 20, whatever point buy(whatever power-level the GM is trying to accomplish) then you can add to scores until they meet the target, or roll again, or something"....

People aren't usually rigid, unfeeling, a$$hats to their friends that they are trying to get to game with them. Part of being part of a group is compromising as a group. If I don't like rolling but there are accommodations in place to minimize negative effects then I can compromise on that.


SlimGauge wrote:
Eridan wrote:

1. Open your rule book

2. Go to the weapon tables
3. Search for the weapon you want
Range Weapon: Go to 6
Melee weapon: Go to 5
5. You can throw your melee weapon (without 'Throw anything') if there is a 'Range' entry
6. Go to the weapon description and look for special rules that allow melee/range attacks under some circumstances or with penalties

7. ???????


Did I miss 4? Maybe 4 is "go into stealth mode" and I just didn't see it? Maybe 4 was a punk and is hiding?


Kudaku wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
Those weird firearms with melee weapons attached to them?

Pistol Cane Dagger?

What they need to stat, is the Duckfoot Pistol.

For the gentleman who has absolutely no g*$!&+n clue what he's doing.

exactly what I thought when I saw it....although I would love to have one just to hang it on the wall and say "WTF were they thinking!"


loaba wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
loaba wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
My problems with point buy [] that it's a lie and players still can't make the characters they want
I'm gonna need more data.

This thread exists.

Pretty much all the data you should need.

To humor you, I will recant the fact that paizo is continuously putting out products that are being warped by point buy.

Dervish Dance wouldn't be as popular as it is if it didn't mean all of a sudden a magus no longer has to buy in a good STR and DEX to be competent in battle.

Gonna stop you right there. I play a 25 PB Magus and he's a machine... with a 12 DEX. Yup. Twelve. I spent my points on STR and INT and I've maxed my Arcane Pool points. He's a regular Angel of Death, a paragon among Murder Hobo's everywhere! And I digress...

Considering that he is epic-level point buy I don't understand how he wouldn't be a "machine" or an "angel of death paragon among murder hobos"....


loaba wrote:
I want to know who's got the fruit for 3d6-in-order. 'Cause really, this 4d6-DTL AND arrange to taste is just a bunch of Unearthed Arcana bull-pucky.

I used to play 3d6 in order back in the day but haven't lately. Back then you didn't pick a class, you rolled and hoped to qualify for certain ones. Of course having a 14 was a great stat.....and stats didn't mean as much, although apparently everyone back then was rocking 18/00 fighters somehow even though the chance of rolling that was ridiculously rare.


Maybe in a future edition of the game we could have the spells divided into schools and each school's DCs are tied to a certain ability school. Like say that all Divination spells DCs are tied to wisdom, all Enchantment spells DCs are anchored to Charisma, Transmutation DC base on Intelligence...something like that would reduce the whole "wizards need one stat only" mentality and help keep them from maximizing their spell DCs as easily.


Tell the players to figure out how they meet, why they are wherever they are and why they are motivated to do whatever your story is calling for.
As a player I would rather collaborate with my other players to figure out how we interlock our stories.
"I am a rogue street waif, wronged by X cultists, beaten and left for dead months ago. I have been harboring a hatred for them since and found a chance for revenge while listening in on a conversation between PC2 and PC3 about the group. I snuck up on them and offered to join them for a cut of treasure and a chance to eliminate these sickos. When they saw my skills at stealth and saw the sincerity in my eyes, how could they refuse me...besides if they did I would just tail them until they led me to my vengeance."
Sounds much cooler than some slapped together "you got a commission from Duke Nuke M to deal with these cultists", doesn't it?
Also you may draw PCs into having a deeper background with each other such as the possibility of them being childhood friends, related, lovers, classmates at Inquisitor High, etc...


My last job was general maintenance in a catholic cemetery. I helped dig up Joe Biden's deceased wife so she could be reburied in a Catholic cemetery closer to where his new home was gonna be....just after he and Obama got elected to run the country.
It's a mad mad mad mad world.


"Spell Perfection

You are unequaled at the casting of one particular spell.

Prerequisites: Spellcraft 15 ranks, at least three metamagic feats.

Benefit: Pick one spell which you have the ability to cast. Whenever you cast that spell you may apply any one metamagic feat you have to that spell without affecting its level or casting time, as long as the total modified level of the spell does not use a spell slot above 9th level. In addition, if you have other feats which allow you to apply a set numerical bonus to any aspect of this spell (such as Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, Weapon Focus [ray], and so on), double the bonus granted by that feat when applied to this spell."

It doesn't say you can't take it again....although I don't think it would do much good on the same spell twice. Usually feats like this state that it can be taken again but must be applied to different spells. I assume they forgot to add that part, as i see no reason to limit this to only once per PC.


christos gurd wrote:
My new thing im on, rolling 1d8+10 or using the following array 16,15,14,13,12,11. Yep

That's 28 point buy. I would use that as a baseline and adjust it to the powerlevel I want from the I would probably replace the 14 with an 8. Brings it down to a 21 point buy, still gives a good array and is more interesting to me. I may also allow the Player to reduce any stat except the lowest by 2 to raise any stat except the highest by 1.


RainyDayNinja wrote:

My cleric started at a 17, and at level 11 I just picked up my +6 headband for a 25 Wis. He's had a long and glorious career of casting save-or-suck spells (dismissal on the scary boss, chains of light to paralyze a hezrou and set it up for CdG from the rogue, plane shift away that big dumb monster, etc.).

Of course, he could be squeezing out another +1 or 2 on that DC, but not going that high means I had the Str for decent armor, the Con to stay alive, the Cha to channel well, and the Int to invest in the skills I want.

And that is how most people used to used to be considered ok to have a 15 or 16 in a primary stat but now min-maxing and powergaming is making it seem unacceptable to have anything less than the highest possible main stat. If your whole character suffers just so that you can have a 5%-10% better chance to have a spell effect the creature then there is issues.

One PC in a game I was in had min-maxed his wizard so much that he had the highest possible casting stat he could. Then at 5th or so level when he took a bad hit for 25-30 damage he looked up and said "I'm dead". I said "you weren't even hit before, how can you be dead?". His response was "I have a 10 constitution, and I am a wizard with d4 HD" (3.5 edition). Hmmmm...guess a couple points of dex to avoid the hit or a couple points of con to take the hit are looking better than that +1-2 to your spell DCs now....


Fake Healer wrote:

Most of the Pathfinder APs are designed to take you up to around level 15. That said how long it takes to complete an AP depends on how often and for how long you game and if you nose-to-grindstone the sessions or are more casual.

My old group took 2 years+ to finish Rise of the Runelords gaming once a week(mostly) for a 4 hour session. Savage Tide (dungeon mag, 3.5) took roughly the same.

EDIT- the character timeframe in RotRL was probably 1.5-2 years of in-game time, Savage Tide was around 2 years of in-game.

I have been in other games where level 1-15 took just a few months of in-game time to achieve. In general the paths seem to run around a year or two, with exceptions running longer or shorter but the bulk lasting a year or so.


Most of the Pathfinder APs are designed to take you up to around level 15. That said how long it takes to complete an AP depends on how often and for how long you game and if you nose-to-grindstone the sessions or are more casual.
My old group took 2 years+ to finish Rise of the Runelords gaming once a week(mostly) for a 4 hour session. Savage Tide (dungeon mag, 3.5) took roughly the same.


Devilkiller wrote:
@Fake Healer - Wow, that's a lot! You won't have me there breaking stuff though, so maybe it will turn out fine even if somebody does take a level of Monk. I just figured that lower point buy might help with the OP's goal.

The GM keeps rolls hidden and so far it looks like drama regulates how much people are getting hit and when the baddies start critting more. blech.

I agree that a lower Point buy is what the OP needs.


@Devilkiller -my new group usually uses 32 point buy. They decided to tone it down a bit for this new campaign with 25pt buy supplemented by a custom background that gives a +2 to one stat(max of 20 after racials) and 2 custom paths that each give a +1 to a stat. Each path gives access to 5 or so traits that we get to choose 2 traits from.....So a 25 pt buy with a total of +4 extra ability points and 2 free traits. I don't even know how this is gonna work.


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Raise wages, people are happy for a few years until the cost of living creeps up at a slightly higher rate to make up for how much money the people are making, people suddenly need minimum wage to rise to help feed their families.


Muad'Dib wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:

Roll combat rolls in the open. If you want to nerf rolls give hero points out, allow a set number of rerolls per session for GM and players, use some sort of system where players and the GM can have a set number of fudges.... Rolling combat rolls in the open is something that breeds trust and helps keep the feeling of fairness going among the group. Rolling perceptions, bluff/sense motive, etc that should be secretive can remain so, but there is really no point to concealing combat rolls unless there is a plan to "theatrically" add in a monster crit or miss whenever the GM wants to. If you want to tell the story, tell it...but the PCs should be driving it, not nerfed rolls for drama.

I too like to roll in the open and I wish more DM's would give it a try. You recommend hero points, below is how I handle hero points and how players can earn them.

I give players the game mastery tokens as rewards for good role playing, good ideas, heroic moves and after big battles I let the players choose one MVP and they get a coin. The coin can be used to roll two dice and choose the more desired roll (for there rolls only, not the GM's dice). Players can have no more than 3 at a time.

The coin is nice to have when the poop hits the fan.

I have told players that if they each chip in a coin I will re-roll one of my rolls. It has never been invoked but it could potentially save a PC from a death blow that happens quite often in PF.

Just another fun way to encourage good role playing, creative thinking, and heroic moves.


Consider that stolen. I like the "players vote for an MVP to award a coin to" part. Lets them know what everyone thought of them on occasions.


A reverse permanent Aqueous Orb? Otherwise you could just have the cavern/tunnel that they enter through arch up to the lair, providing a natural formation that allows for air to remain in the leading into a diving bell. The bell part wouldn't fill but the tube(tunnel) still provides access. Replenishing the air supply would be more of the issue unless you make up some lichens and plants that grow in the area and help replenish the supply, or use magic, or pump in fresh air somehow.


Yes. It still works.


Nostrum wrote:

If you have a problem player, address their behaviour early and do it Out Of Character.

In an early campaign I ran (Skull+Shackles), I had a player reacted to being kidnapped and stripped of all his weapons by initiating combat straight away. When he had his ass handed to him, he then tried to cast doom on a pirate in front of a lvl 17 captain. He didn't respond to the real threat of having his ears cut off. He then planned to burn the rum on the ship, without considering the like response from a bunch of alcoholic pirates. This all occurred literally in the space of the opening set up for the campaign (pages 1-3 of the outline).

My mistake was thinking that his character would react to negative incentives in the game (the rest of the party got it very quickly). Instead I should have had some quite words with the player and nipped it in the bud.

Some players make up characters that were once slaves or prisoners and they have a "I will never let that happen again" attitude.

I haven't run Skull and Shackles but if the opening has the players playing through a capture scenario with a level 17 captain NPC then that is a horribly designed encounter. It is effectively "you have no options, you will do what I want, and if you don't I will ruin the PC" and that is just bad encounter design that creates GM Fiat and removes player/GM trust. I would have read that and just done a narrative instead of playing it out, and let the players know that it was needed by the adventure path to drive the game forward. Sometimes to keep the game rolling in an adventure path you have to stay on the rails is how I would have talked to them and let them know that you plan to allow as much latitude and lee-way in their story as possible.


Gregory Connolly wrote:
Muad'Dib wrote:
Do not tell Players what their characters feel. Drives me batty when GM's do this. Describe the scene and allow them to react.
So much this!

Another agreement for that....

Don't fiat to ensure that the PCs fail because it is part of the story. Whether this means they are supposed to be enslaved, taken prisoner, GM wants them to fail saves to drive the story, etc. If you want them to be captured or to fail some save vs. be someone's puppet, use narrative to do it instead of playing it out. It breaks the Player/GM trust and is a crutch that makes the game into a GM's story instead of a PC's story.

Don't use high level NPCs to swoop in and "save the party" at the last second with their awesomeness. Giving the party help from some reinforcements is way different from "Elminster suddenly pops in, blows up all your foes and saves you from the overwhelming you owe him."

Roll combat rolls in the open. If you want to nerf rolls give hero points out, allow a set number of rerolls per session for GM and players, use some sort of system where players and the GM can have a set number of fudges.... Rolling combat rolls in the open is something that breeds trust and helps keep the feeling of fairness going among the group. Rolling perceptions, bluff/sense motive, etc that should be secretive can remain so, but there is really no point to concealing combat rolls unless there is a plan to "theatrically" add in a monster crit or miss whenever the GM wants to. If you want to tell the story, tell it...but the PCs should be driving it, not nerfed rolls for drama.

If you are gonna use a standard, done a thousand times scenario, like meeting in a tavern or something, try your best to add some element that is original and adds to the scene. Barroom brawl that ends with the PCs either getting arrested or wanted by the law is somewhat standard but if while imprisoned the spoiled prince comes down and tortures one of the PCs or a cellmate of the PCs, you help the PCs have a scene where they can develop a feeling towards an NPC that may bear fruit later in the campaign.

Don't have players make PCs with starting equipment and gear only to have their first scene be a GM fiat of them losing all their gear and having to scrounge for stuff. Tell the players to make PCs without gear, narrate the scene instead of having them play out the unwinnable scene, and start with them trying to escape if that's where the story starts.

And for Gods sake, let the players actions always mean something, even if it messes up the story...a good GM adjusts the story to the PCs but never adjusts the PCs for the story.


So I see a situation that I've seen in the past that went well sometimes and didn't go well sometimes and I am seeing it go well....I enjoy the game. If something pops up later that was either really well-done and deserves merit, or I feel was a bad call and I feel it needs mentioning, I talk to the GM about it.
I would treat it like I treat evil campaigns, monstrous PCs, gunslingers, zen archers, synthesist summoners, etc....I've had good and bad experiences with all of them and if I see the experience going good...I enjoy the game. Otherwise I talk to the GM about it.


Is this out? If so where?


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Tacticslion wrote:

For the record, if anyone is down near the Ocala area, doesn't believe GMPCs are good things in general, but is interested in GMing, I'd be extremely interested in playing in a small group with you as GM... with a GMPC. I'll be more than happy to give you feedback.

Similarly, if you're interested, let me know. Then give me feedback. Because that's how I learn and grow.

* Note, I'm saying this as a player. I'm not commenting on my own ability - I'll leave that to my players, when I ask them for feedback.

You are a bit out of range for a get-together...I recently moved to Celebration, but I feel that we would game well together. I am currently about an hour and a half from you...if anything changes and you get closer to the Orlando/Kissimmee area we could get a group together.

We seem to be on the same page in our thinking on the subject though.


Ivan Rûski wrote:
So my question is, is GM impartiality really that important? I'm not necessarily saying this in reference to GMPCs. For example, what if the GM is rooting for the PCs, fudging things to give them the upper hand, and refuses to kill off characters? Is this a bad thing? If yes, why? Does it change things if the players are unaware of this?

Basically whatever is fun for the players and the GM is fine. If everyone enjoys it then it's all good. Now me personally, as a GM, I am rooting for the PCs but I don't fudge to give them the upper hand or refuse to kill off characters. I make sure that my players know this going into the game and if they don't like it then they have to decide if they want to game with me or not. I know that my style is not everyone's style but it is the one I like and I tend to find that the majority of players I have gamed with agree. Springing stuff on people or keeping play stuff "secret" just isn't how I roll.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Those who do not like DMPCs use the definition (more or less) "a character who the DM sees as their PC, which means the DM is actively rooting for that character"
I was with you until the bolded portion. As a player, I don't root for my own character, I share their experiences good or bad. (Naturally I'd prefer good things happen, but I'm not so far removed from a character as to cheer for them.) As a GM, I'm rooting for all the pcs.

Exactly. It seems like too many people see the game GM vs. PCs...I as a GM try to give the encounters and scenarios to the PCs so they can create a cool story. Sometimes I sandbox it an let the story evolve on it's own and sometimes I toss in a framework with an adventure path but that is neither here nor there. As a PC I try to work with my group and help us all survive the encounters and scenes presented to us. When I am a GM running a GMPC I do both, removing out-of-character logic and knowledge and playing an impartial role in implementing the rules to the game. I cheer when the PCs win a hard-fought battle and I feel the pain when a comrade is lost. It isn't, and should never be, GM vs Players. If anyone is playing in that type of game then they have a Bad GM.


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Jaelithe wrote:
So would everyone agree that a character run by the DM who does not annoy the players with its portrayal, and instead is viewed as an asset, is an NPC, while one that interferes with the players' enjoyment is a DMPC?

No, I don't. I have found that PCs tend to be wary of NPCs and distrustful of them on a certain level due to some being used for plot devices that either put the PCs into a pinch or outright betray them. A well-played GMPC is simply another PC and should be subject to all the rules that PCs are.

You could argue that a badly-played GMPC can interfere with the player's enjoyment but a blanket statement saying all GMPCs are bad-wrong or that all GMPCs are great would be wrong.
Everything is subject to whether the GM is mature and able to act in both roles well. If they can't then THEIR gmpc is bad. If they can then THEIR gmpc is great.

Statements like "I've never seen it so it isn't possible" are just stupid and serve no purpose in the discussion.




Jack Assery wrote:
My point is consistent: players can rely on each other but not on the GM; though they should be survivable. The GM giving out lots of fiat and helping them out here and there, fixing up party holes and then killing off lots of PC's is making the players live and die entirely on the whim of the GM. It reduces player agency to a mere illusion.

And you are assuming that the GM cannot pull off the role of being a GM in the game and play a character as a player. My players do rely on each other, including the GMPC who is a full part of the party. Essentially there if there are 2 players then there is actually 3. I separate GM role and Player role. Some GMs do use GMPCs badly and inconsistently. Some can separate the 2 roles. My GMPC does everything he can to save the party. As GM, sometimes the challenges the party face, bad dice rolls, bad player decisions, end up in a PC(or GMPC) getting killed. It certainly doesn't happen because there is a GMPC and I don't fiat. The encounter is what it is and the rolls are there to see. The GMPC is part of the group and acts as such. There is no fiat. There is no helping them. There is only players and GM. I sometimes have the role of both and it works out well because I keep them separate. You seem unable to come to grips with that actually happening because I assume you never had someone able to do it.


DrDeth wrote:

Sure- and why can't you set up that healer with a background & stats & stuff- then hand him over to the players to run?

But in My opinion and experience is that GMPCs are tolerable if the GM is good. A bad GM makes them horrible.

Sure, you can make an NPC and hand it to the players completed for them to can work. More often I see "why would he take that feat, can we switch it out for this", "NPC X is going to open the we didn't search it for traps but it's just X", " when we level can we level him up?", "I want Y item even though it helps out NPC X more".

My groups(the small ones that need an extra PC) have always liked having another party member to assist them, but handing them one to play always turns out with either someone they play as needing to be escorted around or more expendable than themselves...there is rarely the equality of a real group member there. GMPC works out better for them and allows me to not put kid-gloves on.


Jack Assery wrote:

// They play as a team instead of a bunch of soloists.//

Was that a misplaced shot at me? My team has more reason than your team to not plat that way; they would die. In your game, they could play whatev's and the GM will take care of the rest. In my game, if they don't have the ability to neutralize poison and gets poisoned, they have little chance of survival and no chance of intervention. If far from town, they might arrive back in town with a corpse in need of raising as opposed to just status removal; probably why I usually have someone in my game who can do that stuff.

A quote from you: " If a party feels they need a healer when I play cleric, they'll be sorely disappointed. Healers are underpowered, have to expend more resources than other players, and less fun to play. Players should be responsible to keep themselves from dropping, and have some healing themselves, a player should not burden a cleric with keeping them alive, that's not fun for the cleric."

Then you proceed to make a ton of "we are a team" comments afterward. So basically you are either a team-player who does help out the team or you are not depending on where you want to fall in the discussion. You can't be a cleric who won't provide healing in one sentence and then say "that's why we have someone who heals people" in another. Citing that clerics and healers have to expend resources is another whole thread. One entitled "my party takes up a fund to pay for wands and scrolls that the cleric uses".
My campaigns are fairly deadly. In a 15 level campaign we usually have 8-10 deaths or more if there are more players. I only toss in a GMPC if I have 2-3 players and those campaigns are still equally deadly. The GM doesn't take care of them. They could hire an NPC to come along or look for someone to join their group or die and come back as what is more needed for the group, or have a GMPC join in to cover a role that none of them really wants to cover. A d**k GM could decide that they are playing wrong and punish them or a GM could pull GM fiat and massage the adventure to help them OR a GM could hand them another player to help round out the 2-3 person team. Sure you could make an NPC and hand it to one of the players but why? If the GM is playing the GMPC right it isn't needed and allows everyone to be the character they want to be and have fun the way they want to.


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Jack Assery wrote:
The healer isn't a needed role, they only need access to HEALING; also I play clerics frequently yet I never played a healer. If a party feels they need a healer when I play cleric, they'll be sorely disappointed. Healers are underpowered, have to expend more resources than other players, and less fun to play. Players should be responsible to keep themselves from dropping, and have some healing themselves, a player should not burden a cleric with keeping them alive, that's not fun for the cleric. Also, it sounds as if some parties rely too much on the GM to give them stuff like buffs, healing, and de-buffs; that's playing on easy-mode. If my players don't have a guy for front-line, they don't have a front-line, same for the rest. A party should be self sufficient enough to survive without relying on GM fiat or learn to do without. If nothing else, it'll encourage a party to play to a dynamic.

I see. You believe that everyone in the group should be totally self-sufficient. A cleric who doesn't heal (and by heal I mean more of the removal of conditions like blindness, disease, restorations, etc...healing is easy) or buff in our game is only a cleric in name. A shell of a cleric used to create whatever else the actual role is that the player is playing. Our groups tend to rely on each other for buffs, healing and such. They play as a team instead of a bunch of soloists. Also I don't know how you have decided that a GMPC is somehow GM fiat. I could let them do without but when you only have 2-3 players to try to cover all the bases then the GM fiat would be either changing the adventure to have more healing in the treasure, or making traps easier to spot or removing some, making doors easier to break down...

2-3 dudes going through a stock adventure/adventure path will either require some GM fiat by adjusting the adventure to something they can handle OR you remove the Fiat and just add in a GMPC to help cover the bases and run the adventure normally. I wouldn't want to be part of a group that expects everyone to handle all their own issues. My fighter will have a hard time healing himself with items and would feel pretty put-out if he stands in front of wizzo and cleric taking damage and keeping monsters off of them without getting some healing or help with a couple buffs here and there. My group plays as a collective, not a bunch of soloists banded together.


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Sissyl wrote:


So, the people who see DMPCs as a good thing (tm) use the definition "any NPC that travels with the party", and lo and behold, they don't see a problem. The others will in most cases agree, as long as that's the definition given. Any criticism about using DMPCs will be considered unreasonable, because this is the only definition the pro-DMPC group uses.

Those who do not like DMPCs use the definition (more or less) "a character who the DM sees as their PC, which means the DM is actively rooting for that character", and they don't like it because they see a very large risk that it ends up with plot immunity, Mary-Sue-ishness, and tons of other different bad things or pitfalls. Most of the anti-DMPC crowd see nothing wrong with having NPCs follow the party around.

As long as this discussion doesn't even try to discuss the SAME definition of the term, it's never going to be productive, in this or any other thread.

I see where people are making the distinctions but my thoughts are that a GMPC differs from an NPC/hireling traveling in the group in that:

1. The GMPC is treated as an equal within the group, equal share of the loot, equal share of the danger, no special/preferential GM treatment.
2. GMPCs are meant to be longterm or career-length companions where NPCs tend to be limited to an adventure or so and not meant to be part of the group for long.
3. NPCs are usually part of a quest whether they play a role or just give the quest. A GMPC is an adventurer, just like the other party members.

To me the GM is taking on an additional role besides being a GM when he is playing a GMPC. He is putting on the hat of a player from time to time instead of just running an NPC or Hireling. There is more investment in the role and more lines not to cross with a GMPC than with an NPC or Hireling. An NPC or Hireling may betray the group or do something against them in some way, where a GMPC is a trusted part of the group and should follow the same rules as the PCs with regards to PVP and such.


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I usually find that the least covered position in a smaller group is the healer role. Everyone wants to be the Beefy frontliner, the Magical Master, or the Sneaky Stabber. If I have 2-3 players and no one wants to cover The Supportive Healer or Sneaky Stabber role (usually the second least covered position IMexperience) I go with a GMPC. When I do one I focus on the reason they are needed and the role they are gonna cover.
A Support Healer will focus on healing, buffs, and de-buffs to help the other party members shine. His combat abilities will be minor, mostly defensive to keep him out of the spotlight. He may have a couple of spells ready for if the dice go tragically wrong for the group (like a flame strike or something) but he is there to make them better and make sure that the healing role is covered.
As a Sneaky Stabber GMPC I usually focus on boosting his sneakiness and ability to find and remove traps and pick locks. Combat is secondary, mostly built to be tough and hard to hit so he can provide flank at opportune times. He is there to help scout out a situation so the group can make a plan of attack, and to help with getting through locks and traps so the party can explore and advance into the dungeon.

I generally ask what the group would like them to be doing and go with that, outlining a basic standard of actions that the GMPC operates from. I sometimes have someone in the group roll for the GMPC or at minimum I as GM roll in the open (I do this for all combat rolls anyway, and most other except some perception rolls or secretive stuff).
I like to give the GMPCs a personality that is somewhat vanilla but recognizable (daft farmhand, sniveling lackey, devout priest to whatever God is most inline with the group, quiet loner, etc...)

I believe that I do a good (if not great) job of keeping the GMPC in the background without being a drain on the group and have had some compliments from players on how they are played. I have played with GMs who played GMPCs that were badly played. GMPCs that were a drain on the group, taking no actions for several rounds and then swooping in to save the group at the last moment. GMPCs who hogged spotlight time with too much personality or insisting on stuff because the GM has A Purpose For The Group and the GMPC is the way to force that upon them.

My belief is that if a GMPC is played well he assists the group in general, he takes little to no spotlight time, he makes the group work better in a very understated manner, and on occasion he can be a sacrificial lamb for plot. I have killed of a GMPC or had them leave the party for story reasons from time to time...usually replaced with someone more fitting for the region or adventures coming up.

My opinion and experience is that GMPCs are good if the GM is good. A bad GM makes them bad.


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Ninja in the Rye wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:

You know, if we take Noah as real...I've pondered something.

It should be accepted that there is NO WAY on earth or space that he could fit two of each animal, seven of some, and then with them and enough food to keep them all them onto that boat. could it have ever been done...IF we simply accept that it actually happened and is fact (not saying you have to...just that in this exercise...pretend that it's factual).

If we're to take the story as fact then I'd probably chalk things up to the presence of an omnipotent creator.

My thoughts too. We play RPGs and make blanket statements like "because of Magic" to explain stuff and yet a religious story with an All-Powerful and All-Knowing God has to have complete and total basis in scientific facts or else it is proof that the Bible and religion is bogus.

Everyone gets it. People with an agenda to discredit religions need facts that exist without the existence of a God. People who believe in God don't want facts because they already believe that "because God" is what happened.
How about instead of belittling anyone's belief, whether pro or anti, we all just respect that people have varying opinions and move on.
How was the movie, were the effects good, was the story cool, how was the acting....that's the questions.
I don't see people bashing the scifi crowd with "there is no way that an Iron Man suit could ever work" or "there is no way that a small lizard could ever expand in size to be bigger than a 40 story building".
I guess it's just more fun to bash certain people....


Damian Magecraft wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:

Any character who relies on stacking the dice and taking luck out of the equation (read: every witch ever) is going to be invalidated by fudging rolls.

You're not going to have a BBEG who wipes out the whole party with a string of natural 20's. Hitting a 5% chance five times isn't something one can really rely on, and if it does, well, that's what you get for playing a game where dice rolls are a primary mechanic. Have the characters fight their way out of hell to get back and try again.

However, when a Witch is built in a way where that enemy /needs/ a natural 20 in order to survive her save-or-suck effects... Well, if you decide that that 12 you just rolled was actually a 20 in order to make the game more "interesting" you just invalidated her entire strategy because you decided it made the game less fun. If it really makes the game less fun, tell her and let her make something you don't feel the need to cheat to beat.

If you want to rain on her parade throw enemies at her that'll do it legally. Throw a pack of suspicious barbarians at her or something.

That argument still assumes that every roll every time is "fudged."

Once in a while is one thing.
Every single time is another.

No one here is arguing (at least I do not believe they are) that a GM "fudge" every roll. That indeed would invalidate the character.

But using the tool (and that is what it is) to enhance the experience every once in a while (Gee my spamming attack didnt work this ONE time... guess that means I will have to think of something else to try) does not in anyway invalidate the character.

The OP was guesstimating that the GM was fudging roughly 1/3 of the rolls against his hex in the Baddies' favor. I don't know when the sticks got moved but your idea of 1 in 10 encounters having a fudge in it is based on nothing said by anyone here but yourself.

Just roll in the open and let the dice fall where they may is how I run games. Never once had a problem with players trusting me GMing....


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You could look at world building as a game....or just play a game of world building: Dawn of Worlds game.
It's a 12 page PDF that breaks world building down into a game you can do alone or with some friends to achieve a unique world. I believe that there is a good thread going where some posters are going through it and using the thread to document their progress at building the's pretty interesting and gives a good basic framework of many millenia-long history.


I just love that James Jacob's quote basically boils down to "technically you can per RAW but the haft of polearm is not really a good weapon and I would allow someone to trip someone with it but not do damage". So a long pole isn't a good weapon for doing damage. Guess we should houserule staffs and long staffs to be unusable....
That statement, meant only to nerf a RAW rule, is really pretty stupid.

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