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Kobold

Jiggy's page

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32. RPG Superstar 6 Season Marathon Voter, 7 Season Dedicated Voter, 8 Season Dedicated Voter. FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 20,456 posts (24,602 including aliases). 17 reviews. 4 lists. 1 wishlist. 13 Pathfinder Society characters. 37 aliases.


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Jiggy wrote:

Ground turkey (with salt and coriander), a small boiled potato, and some chopped broccoli.

Again.

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Ground turkey (with salt and coriander), a small boiled potato, and some chopped broccoli.

Again.

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thejeff wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Would you please pay attention to what I actually write? It was like this the first time around with this thread as well; I'd assert N, then had to go through multiple iterations of "No, I don't mean X, I said N; no, I don't mean Y, I said N; no, I don't mean Z, I said N" before one or two people finally recognized that I was saying something different than all the XYZs that they're used to hearing. You're starting that process all over again, and it's getting old.
It's usually a pretty good rule that when multiple people are misunderstanding you, the failure in the conversation might not be completely on their side.

You're absolutely right. That's why I go back and re-read my posts after someone misunderstands me (and why I often quote myself verbatim in subsequent posts). And sometimes my next post explains how I communicated poorly. Or sometimes the other person explains how something I said could be taken a different way, and I acknowledge that.

But other times, I read what I wrote and what they say I wrote, and there's no reconciling the two. Like the time I said "Roleplaying is when your stats and your portrayal match" and the person I accused of not listening said "Of course I'm listening; you said you need to have high stats in order to roleplay!" Or when I've said "The best way to be a team player is to do something other than healing in combat" and they say "Stop making it all about yourself and think of the team!"

I fully agree that the first place to look after multiple misunderstandings is at one's own words. Sometimes the investigation finds that not to be the source. :/


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Tammy the Lich wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Hmm, maybe the FaQ means we make an Intimidate check to satisfy the "threatening" part, which actually makes a lot of sense for a bodyguard!

"Touch her and I'll play hopscotch in your ribcage!" :3

Tammy wants to play Ribcage Hopscotch.

I'll help.

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PK the Dragon wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Okay, so in your campaigns, one third of dwarves have bugs crawling out of their hair, or some other flaw of the same caliber. Got it.
Given that I was referring to lice, bedbugs and the like, Yes. I don't think the Dwarves that dumped CHA to 5-7 levels really care about that. Considering most peasants and an awful lot of travelers on the road have the same problems, this isn't crazy, and most people in a fantasy world wouldn't care THAT much unless they were nobility. That also means, yes, bugs in the hair = offputting. It's just a slightly more extreme level of offputting than the "mostly harmless" 8 CHA variety.

If the bugs in the hair are the same lice everyone else has, then why is it affecting anything?

...And how does having a higher CHA keep them away, for that matter?

You're starting to implode a bit, I'm afraid.

Quote:
Jiggy wrote:

*tries to remember a story/setting that included both dwarves and showers*

*fails*
So... they smell like everyone else?
You got me, I meant bathe, and there are quite a few settings/environments where baths are totally a thing. (PS: Didn't Shadowrun have Dwarves?)

I was under the impression that fantasy baths were kind of a rich-people thing, not an everybody-but-the-low-CHA-folks thing.

Quote:
Finally, -2 CHA for 8 CHA is a bit gruff. A dwarf that does the full dive is going to be more than "a bit gruff"

No, the description the CRB gives for the racial penalty does not only apply to a single score.

Remember which game we're talking about: the random commoners don't have 11/11/11/10/10/10, they have 13/12/11/10/9/8. So where a non-dwarf's CHA will be somewhere in the 8-13 range, dwarves' CHA will be 6-11. The difference of that whole range is what's called "a bit gruff".

The difference between a human and a dwarf with the same pre-racial CHA is that the dwarf is like the human except "a bit gruff". That's the caliber of impact that Pathfinder ascribes to a score two points lower.

Quote:
Jiggy wrote:
Social dealings are covered by skills. Trying to alter someone's attitude toward you? Explicitly Diplomacy. Same with making a request. It's Diplomacy, regardless of which stat you managed to use.
Have you never used Circumstantial mods to modify the DCs of skills? Honest question.

Yes, to reflect circumstances. Circumstance modifiers come from circumstances, not ability scores. Those have their own modifiers. Does a 7 STR attacker get a -2 "circumstance" penalty on their attack roll? Does the 14 INT researcher get a +2 "circumstance" bonus on his Knowledge check?

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PK the Dragon wrote:
And once you get into the 5-7 CHA range I'd argue you are , uh, "peasant level", meaning more than just greasy hair and pimples.

Remember that you're referencing a full one-third of the entire population of dwarves in all of Golarion with that description.

I suspect you might need to recalibrate your understanding of what those numbers mean.

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Atarlost wrote:
bugleyman wrote:

I personally dislike the term "adventurer," because I don't like the idea of so many people running around doing this that they need a name.

Imagine if the Rebel Alliance had just hired "a party of adventurers" to blow up the death start, or if Gandalf had simply posted a want-ad for "some adventurers" in order to take the ring to Mordor.

No, but that's pretty much how Gandalf sold Bilbo to Thorin's company. It's also pretty much Han and Chewie's gig between episodes IV and V.

The crew of Serenity in the Firefly series isn't too far off from "adventurers", and the show heavily implies that they're far from uncommon.

The so-called "pirates" in One Piece are a fixture of both daily life and world news, yet many (most?) of them are less like "pirates" and more like "adventurers". (In fact, the only reason I became aware of the show was because a friend was telling me about how it feels like it's basically somebody's D&D campaign. My wife once pondered this very issue of why it seems like so many random civilians are combat-capable, and resolved the dilemma by saying "Well, I guess if I just assume Pathfinder is like One Piece where you never know when someone will pop out and try to beat you up...")

The fellowship of the Ring is basically a band of adventurers, just not serially/professionally.

The protagonists in The Mummy are basically an adventuring group: first they're planning to delve a ruin for treasure, then they end up facing off against an undead BBEG for the fate of the world. Because THAT's never happened in D&D, amirite?

The concept of adventurers has quite a pedigree.

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thejeff wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Neal Litherland wrote:
You can say, "adventurer," or "troubleshooter," but those words don't mean anything.

Sounds to me like a function of your setting, not of the term.

If your setting is well-civilized and has countries, jurisdictions, regulated law enforcement, and sufficiently-developed populations such that you can hire whichever set of specialists (explorers, bounty hunters, artifact analysts, etc) you need for this particular job and still have some selection available among the candidates; then sure, "adventurers" might not be a common thing.

If your setting is more wilderness-dominated with smaller population centers that don't have formalized defense organizations or specialized career training, where someone who wants to make a living exploring, fighting, investigating or relic-hunting is going to need to be capable of all of those things instead of just their preferred specialty (or at least be on a team that can handle them all), and where folks who need such jobs done likewise don't have a pool of specialized experts to choose from for just the type of job they need done and instead have to hire one of these "generalist" teams; then "adventurers" might well be the best term for the teams in question.

The hobby is bigger than your own narrow set of habits.

But in that first case, your group of PCs would have to specialize to get work. Which generally isn't what you want to do in the game. You don't want to only have bounty hunter jobs, because doing a variety of things is fun.

Hence why so many adventures have some kind of non-professional plot hook, such as being thrust randomly into a dangerous situation or being called in for a favor by an old acquaintance.

Seems a lot of folks want well-developed settings (like Golarion), which isn't always very conducive to stories based on being an "adventurer", so there's always some other way to get the PCs involved in the plot.

All I'm saying is that doesn't mean there's something inherently meaningless about "adventurer" as a term; the lack of such a profession is a product of the setting.

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Neal Litherland wrote:
You can say, "adventurer," or "troubleshooter," but those words don't mean anything.

Sounds to me like a function of your setting, not of the term.

If your setting is well-civilized and has countries, jurisdictions, regulated law enforcement, and sufficiently-developed populations such that you can hire whichever set of specialists (explorers, bounty hunters, artifact analysts, etc) you need for this particular job and still have some selection available among the candidates; then sure, "adventurers" might not be a common thing.

If your setting is more wilderness-dominated with smaller population centers that don't have formalized defense organizations or specialized career training, where someone who wants to make a living exploring, fighting, investigating or relic-hunting is going to need to be capable of all of those things instead of just their preferred specialty (or at least be on a team that can handle them all), and where folks who need such jobs done likewise don't have a pool of specialized experts to choose from for just the type of job they need done and instead have to hire one of these "generalist" teams; then "adventurers" might well be the best term for the teams in question.

The hobby is bigger than your own narrow set of habits.

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I've said it before, and I'll say it again: a caster's cure spells are like a barbarian's longbow. There will be times when it's the strongest thing to use, but the more often that happens, the worse of a character you probably built.

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Lemmy Z wrote:
Maybe you misread some part of my post, Jiggy. I specifically said having all 18s wouldn't harm anyone's roleplay.

I don't recall suggesting otherwise. Perhaps you misread some part of my post?

Quote:
I mean, if I can play the same character with "All 18s" or with lower attribute scores... Why not go for the "All 18s"? It doesn't stop me from building or roleplaying the character I want, so why the hell not?

[Answered a couple segments down.]

Quote:
My only point is that it removes a important piece of decision-making from the game.

No, it doesn't. I explained how the process you described (letting the character's stats naturally "lead" them to a career) works just as well for all 18s as it does for a more typical array (I even included an example). Somehow this gave you the impression that I thought you said all 18s hindered roleplay...?

Consolidated from the other posts wrote:
After all, there's nothing saying how your Int score affects your character personality and decisions. That's up to the player.

Yes, the player gets to decide how a different INT score affects their personality and decisions. But that's very different from deciding whether a different INT score affects their personality and decisions. The way you were talking about your "I can still roleplay the same concept so why not take the 18" dilemma, your post reads like there would be no difference at all. At that point, you can't really call it "roleplaying" anymore. Not everybody has to portray high or low INT scores in the same way, but anybody who doesn't portray any difference at all is not roleplaying.

Which is probably why I've never seen anybody pick excessive stat arrays even when they could.

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Lemmy Z wrote:
...they are smart enough to know they can still roleplay Conan, no matter if the sheet says "Int 10" or "Int 18",

I would assert that if your sheet lists one score and your at-the-table portrayal indicates a wildly different score, then you're not actually "roleplaying".

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Lemmy Z wrote:
I just think it takes away from character building to simply have all 18 in all attributes, no matter what class you have.

How do you know anyone would even want an all-18s character? In every campaign I've run with free-form stat selection, not a single person has ever picked all 18s, or even remotely close to it. In fact, the only time I ever asked anyone to alter their stat selections was because I wasn't willing to bend over backwards to keep their commoner-esque stat array alive. :/

Or if someone does pick 18 for every stat...

Quote:
I really like the idea that characters' attributes naturally lead them into certain "careers" where said attributes would be more useful.

...so what? A character with all 18s doesn't conflict with this idea at all. Being marvelously talented will have just as much influence on the direction of your life as being talented in one or two areas. I once rolled a very impressive stat array (not quite all 18s, but still above the curve). And I developed the character in exactly the way you describe: the character's attributes naturally led him into his career. (Specifically, he was a strong, nimble, hardy, smart, charming young noble for whom everything from swordplay to sorcery came as easily as walking. In his backstory, this led to overconfidence, which (since he was still only 1st level, stats be damned) resulted in an early "off-screen" adventure failing miserably and getting some people killed. Now his confidence is badly shaken, and he seeks to prove (mostly to himself) that he can master adventuring as well.)

Nothing about having lots of high stats limits narrative-oriented, personality-driven character development. The only thing that does is lack of player imagination.

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Lemmy Z wrote:
137ben wrote:

I prefer to keep it simple:

1. Write down any six positive integers in any order. Those are your ability scores.

So everyone starts with all 18s?

I mean... I'm all for point-buy, as it's a far better system, IMO... But there has to be a limitation.

I've run campaigns where people could literally just pick whatever stats they wanted. Nothing broke.

Despite what certain GMing subcultures I could point to around here would have you believe, players are not a bunch of errant children who can't understand why eating everything in the cookie jar would be bad for them and need their hand slapped away after you turn your back for even a minute. Players who actually want to make a good-at-everything character are extremely rare; as a population, they just want to be good at their thing and are fine with being bad at other things.

The idea that a natural part of a GM's job is to rein in the players is a self-perpetuating myth, as the GM (expecting shenanigans) gets too conservative and overreacts to their own fears, which pushes the players to chafe at the restrictions, which convinces the GM they need to squeeze even tighter.

GMing gets a lot more fun if you (generic "you") unclench a bit and learn to enjoy watching the players running around having fun. That's why you're there, after all.

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Despite occasionally producing a humorous anecdote, "teaching lessons" is what people do when they lack the basic maturity, communication skills, and/or goodwill necessary to just have the productive discussion of an adult instead.

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I think the handling of replacement PCs is one of those things that's best dealt with not by a codified procedure but on a case-by-case basis. (Well, unless your campaigns are such meatgrinders that deaths are happening all the time.) You've got to take into account how gear-reliant (or not) the new PC's class is, the circumstances of the death (was he swallowed whole along with his gear?), the circumstances of the new PC's introduction to the campaign (seeking employment with an established adventuring group is different from being found as a prisoner somewhere, for instance), and the current phase of the story (out in the wilds, mid-dungeon, downtime in a city, etc). These and other factors should shape the method of PC replacement, and the best solution might be different every time. A quick "level X, gear Y" rule isn't likely to cut the mustard in all (or even most) situations.


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HP 51/51 | AC 15 | S+1/D+5/C+3/I+0/W-1/C+7 | Perc +2 | Insight -1 | Darkvision | B.I. (d6) 4/4 | BRD 2/2 | WLK 2/2 | HD (d8) 6/6 | Inspiration: [ ]

Mine was a gift from the great and noble Mordoloth, probably to keep me from dying the first time I fail to notice impending danger. I figure I'm basically like hell's version of "The Truman Show" so Mordoloth wants to keep me alive. ;)

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Today's lunch was chicken skillet-fried in olive oil and oregano (and I think another seasoning or two) with cabbage. Except I didn't eat the cabbage, as I was already hurting and lost my nerve.

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jeremiah dodson 812 wrote:

Just looks for builds you see a lot (to often) that your kinda bored with and tired of seeing.

Mine:
1. Small race mounted combat characters, the rules on this are so broken it's practically cheating.

Halfling dual welding rogues. So tired of seeing this character.

Honestly, I could name more concepts I'm tired of than "builds".

• The grumpy, Klingon-minded, beer-swilling dwarf who is either a fighter or cleric, generally dislikes elves, and has a last name which references some mix of hammers, shields, and/or stone.

• The greasy-palmed thief who sits in the darkest corner of the tavern with his cloak and hood pulled up at lunchtime expecting nobody to think that's suspicious and call the guards. Typically has a name like "Vic" or "Lefty" and probably a surname/nickname involving fingers or hands.

• Brooding loners or anyone else with a mysterious past.

The list goes on. Interestingly, I've never encountered any Drizz't clones.

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Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
Schrodinger's "God" wizards. Admittedly more of a problem here on the boards than irl. I've never seen a campaign with enough downtime or at high enough levels to abuse things like gate, simulacrum, wish, or the various iterations of create demiplane.

That's actually not what the term "Schrodinger's Wizard" refers to, nor what the term "God Wizard" refers to.

The term "God Wizard" comes from a building guide in which it was the title of particular style of wizard. The name "God Wizard" is a reference to the God of Biblical stories, in which God would very rarely intervene directly into affairs, and instead lead and empower his followers. The "God Wizard" is one who operates in a similar style, focusing most of his spells and abilities on enabling his partymates rather than attacking the opposition directly. In short, "God Wizard" refers to a wizard who focuses on party buffs and other indirect contributions to success.

The term "Shrodinger's Wizard" refers to a hypothetical or theoretical wizard being used to demonstrate the ability to overcome various obstacles. To call this wizard a "Schrodinger's Wizard" is to claim that the only reason the wizard is able to overcome so many different obstacles is because his author is always assuming he has just the right spell prepared rather than accounting for the possibility of having allocated his spell slots elsewhere. The use of the term "Schrodinger's Wizard" typically indicates a certain level of system ignorance on the part of the accuser, including (but not limited to) a failure to realize how many obstacles can be overcome by the same handful of spells (which the wizard would simply prepare every day) and how many of the truly "too situational to prepare all of them" spells can be put in scrolls via class feature at trivial cost and still remain effective.

So, you'll need a new term for the "wizard who relies on abusing the highest-level spells". Sorry.

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In that case, I could recommend a couple I've already finished.

Yona of the Dawn is a refreshingly original fantasy story about a princess who is chased from her castle when she sees the man she loved murder her father for the throne. It's very character-growth-oriented, especially with the title character learning what the real world is like and having to reexamine her understanding of reality. Sadly, it was inexplicably cancelled after only one season, kind of leaving you hanging (much like Firefly).

Erased is about a boringly ordinary guy who, for unexplained reasons, occasionally flashes back a few minutes in time to right before something bad happens (such as a truck hitting a pedestrian) and feels compelled to help. But then one day his mother is murdered and he flashes back 18 years, to his own childhood. Caution: This one's high on suspense and deals heavily with child abuse and child murder. That might be a deal-breaker for some folks, so be aware.

One-Week Friends is about a schoolboy trying to befriend a girl he likes, who seems determined to not have any friends. For reasons explained later in the series, every Monday morning this girl loses all memory relating anyone she considers a friend, so she's decided to just not make friends. The show is mostly about them trying to find ways to be friends anyway. Very sweet and occasionally heart-wrenching.

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I also get so so so very tired of the "this class" and "that class" sucks threads. If you don't like them, don't play them and shut up about it.

Actually, people are usually saying "this class sucks" because they do like them and want to play them.

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@Orfamay Quest — When you brought up the example of cussing out a clerk without provocation, you didn't say that's what happens when you fail a Diplomacy check, you said that's what it means to have a low CHA. You said that having a low CHA means that's how you behave, not that that's how you behave if you fail a Diplomacy check regardless of your CHA.

That's the assertion you made.

Then, (using the simple law of "if A=B and B=C then A=C") I showed that if (as you asserted) low CHA means a baseline of cussing out the clerk without provocation, and if (as the Pathfinder system lays out) one third of humans have low CHA, then you're saying that the baseline behavior for one third of humans is to cuss out the clerk without provocation.

Obviously, that's absurd. One third of people do not act that way as a matter of course. As you said yourself (alongside an ageist pot-shot), such encounters are about 20 times less frequent than the one-in-three that you originally asserted. So how did you respond? Did you accept that your original assertion of what the functional definition of low CHA is must be flawed? No. You doubled back and—without directly admitting any revision—started talking about likelihood of failing checks.

This, of course, flies in the face of your previous assertion (both in letter and in spirit). Most notably, focusing on the checks means that it's not just the low-CHA folks who will fail; even a 14 CHA person can frequently fail those Diplomacy checks. And yet, your original definition of clerk-abuse was limited to the low-CHA people, which demonstrates you were not at all talking in the context of checks when you gave your example; you were talking about what it means to have certain scores.

So the long and short of your last few posts is this: you made an assertion, the assertion was shown to be absurd, and you then defended a different assertion instead of addressing the issues in your original assertion. That's really dishonest of you.

Now, I'm not going to extrapolate from your behavior any generalities about you. After all, maybe you had a bad day or have some topic-specific baggage or something; I won't just assume this is the result of you being a "bad person" or whatever. However, I am going to accept that a legitimate discussion of this topic isn't going to happen with you right now, for whatever reason. Therefore, I'm done trying.

Best wishes in future dialogues.

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I made a tiefling cleric in PFS with starting (post-racial) stats of 16/14/13/12/15/10 and did very well. Bumped CON at 4th and WIS at 8th. Saved the world.

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It's good to remember that, in Pathfinder, the average set of stats for the general populace includes both a 9 and an 8 (the full set is 13/12/11/10/9/8). That means that for the human/half-human races, about a third of any random schmuck's stats are sub-10, yet those races have functional societies.

Similarly, for the races which have a stat penalty, the majority of the members of that race have less than 10 in that stat. For example, the range of possible CHA scores for dwarves is 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, and 6. And again, they have a functional society and are described in the CRB as "a bit gruff".

This also means that if a human dumps (for example) CHA down to 7, then they're still at least as charismatic as a third of the dwarven population.

The only time a "dump stat" in Pathfinder gets below the range of normalcy for Golarion is why you buy a 7 and racially adjust it down to 5 from there. But even then, you're only 1 point down from what's considered normal. Such a character is literally the smallest noticeable increment down from "just another ordinary person" with a 5.

A person's description of what a dump stat means can tell you a lot about how well they understand which game they're playing. :/

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You were saying?

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At their current age? Sure.

And I'd love to meet their child. :D

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Kirth Gersen wrote:

Thanks for the breakdown!

I do have to quibble with this, though:
Jiggy wrote:
nearly as old as D&D

Google says 1986, vs. D&D's 1974. So 11 years younger, or < 75% as old.

I'm senstive because I'm only very slightly older than D&D, but apparently a lot older than the 30-year-olds I work with.

If they were both still young enough to be measured in years rather than decades (like if LoZ was only 5 to D&D's 16) then I'd agree. But now that it's 30 versus 40, I assert that "nearly as old" counts.

Sort of like how the older you get, the less creepy it is that one's significant other is 10 years younger than oneself. 26 vs 16? Super creepy. 45 vs 35? Lucky you, but whatever. 90 vs 80? Nobody cares.

;)

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Oh, and one more thing: if you lived through a Legend of Zelda (as one of the Links); which would it be, and why?
I don't know what that is.

The Legend of Zelda is a series of action-adventure video games nearly as old as D&D and with similar themes and structures (sword and sorcery, dungeon delving, finding magic items, exploring the wilderness, slaying the BBEG to return peace to the land, etc; really the main two differences are a lack of an XP-based leveling system and the use of a single character instead of a party). The protagonist/PC's name in each game is Link, so Tacticslion was asking which game in the series you would most want to be the protagonist for, and why.

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Today was ground turkey (seasoned with salt, coriander, thyme, and ground mustard seed) on top of potatoes (mashed with salt and olive oil).

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Somewhere around 10-ish years old, invented my own by backwards-engineering from the observable mechanics from old SNES RPGs, before I even knew that tabletop RPGs were a thing.

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Quote:

In reality "scry and fry" is simply more complicated to set it up and a bit less efficient than what a good number of people assumed.

You can do it, but it isn't a guaranteed thing.

Yeah, from the cited passage, it seems like it's still very doable, it just has two steps instead of one prior to actually teleporting in. Instead of just scrying to see where they are, you have to also know the location of what you're seeing.

Which is why evil overlords should decorate portions of their lairs to look like well-known locations. ;)

EDIT: @Amrel - The teleport spell has not been altered, to my knowledge.

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Daw wrote:

Jiggy,

OP stated he wanted advice on roleplaying in a non-video game approach, hence the title of the thread.

Your response was that he is just playing the wrong video game.

Here you go again with the misrepresenting.

My response to the OP was that a particular game could be a good bridge from his existing familiarity with video games to his goal of comfort with roleplaying. I said nothing that could even be remotely construed as saying the OP is just playing the wrong video game.

The only place in this entire thread where I posted anything even vaguely similar to what you're accusing me of was when I suggested that someone else entirely, not the OP, had an outdated understanding of what exists among video games.

So what are you doing? Are you looking at my reply to the OP and claiming I said something I didn't? Or are you looking at my reply to someone else and claiming it was aimed at the OP (and also twisting my words merely a little bit)?

Quote:
Your attack on my knowledge and experience in roleplay is irrelevant

Pointing out that you're incorrect about what a word means is not an "attack". (It also doesn't threaten your experience in any way, so there's no need to defend yourself there.)

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I accept that we are not likely to come to a meeting of the minds on this.

We could if you'd approach the discussion in good faith. If you made even one post in which you explained your ideas without misrepresenting any of mine, progress would be made. If you kept it up and kept on posting dialogue free from misrepresentations, consistently, we could really get somewhere.

I'm here and open. It's up to you and what you'll choose to do.

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I believe a popular one is called Perram's Spellbook. That's all I know.

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Daw wrote:
OK, video games, to include undertales, have limitations to interactions, they are more impressive than they were, but they are limited by the interaction algorithms.

Nobody's said otherwise, that I'm aware of.

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Saying that hiding the mechanics in a black box is superior to FtF roleplay

This is a pretty gross misrepresentation of what was said. PossibleCabbage brought up the gap in mechanics awareness, and all I did was point out that he had it backwards: you'll know the mechanics better in Pathfinder than in most (all?) video games. Don't put words in my mouth.

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Roleplay is going beyond the rules.

Roleplay is making decisions from the character's perspective rather than the player's. That's literally what it means to play a role. Sometimes this will happen outside the rules, sometimes it's supported by the rules, and sometimes it clashes with the rules (which typically means the rules are poorly-made). But roleplay doesn't mean "going beyond the rules". The amount of rule involvement and the question of whether you're roleplaying or not are pretty much independent of each other.

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I understand that this is anathema to PFS play, and wargaming approches, and irrelevant to video gaming because it takes control away from a strict set of predictable rules, and could very easily be construed as unfair at best.

This statement is kind of nullified by the fact that it's based on your misunderstanding of what "roleplay" is. (Unless this wasn't supposed to be connected to your previous paragraph; your flow is a bit unclear.)

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I think the OP gets that. His is likely a decision of preference, to assume he is merely ignorant is impolite.

Speaking of a lack of clarity, what's this about? Who are you even talking to? Your post started out pretty clearly addressing me, but this seems like it's just coming out of the blue. Did you switch audiences or something?

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Paradozen wrote:
Now lets add to the situation. What if I successfully dirty trick (entangle) to pants, then trip (giving easy access to ankles), then steal (now that I can access ankles) and DDoor out? Only problem I see is the steal part (and keeping the enemy down). Yeah, thats a lot of feats, a 4th level spell, and about 3 turns of actions which culminates in nothing but humiliation and pocket change, but the result is me needing to make a court bard now.

First: change the order, because having them prone will make it easier to pants them, interestingly enough.

More importantly, a party working together can do this in a single round.

First, the trip: the arcane caster likely has grease prepared anyway. If not, the melee guy can use a reach weapon to trip an ordinary foe without needing feat investments to avoid an AoO. But if you have neither of those, you'll need someone to invest in Improved Trip. Choose whichever method you like.

Then, dirty trick and steal: since they're not weapon-based maneuvers, you need to either invest in not provoking (and having two separate characters invested in these, one each, could hurt), or have some other means of increasing your reach. Perhaps there's a Growth-domain druid who can swift-enlarge and then pants (this adds benefits of a size bonus to CMB and STR) and maybe a brawler who can suddenly learn Improved Steal? Yeah, this will take more planning than the trip.

Then you just need one caster left for the DDoor. Make sure the other participants are sufficiently close together that you can make your escape in one round.

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The most basic way is just a list: write out a list of what spells you know or are preparing. When you expend a prepared slot, put a checkmark or something by that spell. When you expend a spontaneous slot, put a tally mark by that spell level. Simple and easy, except that if you're a prepared caster you have to write a new list a lot.

An interesting option for prepared casters would be to make a bunch of "spell cards" (many applications exist for doing this easily) and put them all in some kind of sorted box. When you prepare your spells, simply pull out the spells you're preparing and keep them stacked in front of you. Whenever you cast one, it goes back in the box.

What I did (back when I still played Pathfinder) was to make my own custom Excel-based character sheet. One tab was spells, and listed (among other things) my spells known/prepared for each spell level. If I was a spontaneous caster, I just left the list alone and marked my usage of slots in designated cells. For prepared casters, I had all my prepared spells in bold, then when I cast one, I un-bolded it and italicized it (better than deleting it, since pearls of power are a thing). Worked pretty well.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think what I meant to say is that video games are designed with the idea in mind that only a small percentage of players are going to actually participate in roleplaying (even in "RPGs") and that a lot of the time players are going to do the thing they're supposed to do next because "it's the thing that you're supposed to do next", without any sort of internal justification.

I'm going to once again assert that you should really go play Undertale, though I recommend it now for a subtly different reason than I did a minute ago. :D

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These things are naturally designed to guide non-self-directed players to map waypoints and villagers with exclamation points over their head, and just going from one to the other is designed to give a satisfying experience that way, so playing this way is neither wrong nor bad. Some people might find a richer and more rewarding experience if they were to consider the context of the world rather than the context of the game, but that's not required to have a good time. So you can plow through most video games (even RPGs) without ever thinking about the context of the world, just completing a sequence of tasks.

You're pretty much just describing MMOs. Those do not constitute "most" RPGs. In fact, probably the biggest subgroup of video game RPGs would be JRPGs, which (by definition of the genre) are very plot- and narrative-focused. Your descriptions don't apply. Even out of the RPGs that aren't JRPGs (which may well be less than half of the RPG genre), a good portion of what's left still aren't what you're talking about.

Seems to me that there's a great big world of narrative-oriented gaming experiences out there that you're missing out on because of outdated and underinformed ideas of what video games are like.

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This is not something you can really do in tabletop games, and a lot of people have a "connect the dots" instinct developed by video games that is the opposite of helpful in this sort of thing.

Most tabletop RPGs have clear goals set forth, with longer campaigns having a series of them. Having clear "dots" to "connect" is not "the opposite of helpful", it's necessary. A tabletop RPG that's longer than a single dungeon/goal is either going to have dots to connect (such as following up one goal with another, or scattered across the region for a "sandbox") or it's going to implode because nobody knows what to do. That's not an unhelpful video game instinct, it's good adventure design and predates most video games.

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You could explain the difference, for instance, by saying that "the rules of the game determine the extent of what you can do" in a computer adjudicated game whereas "the rules of the game determine merely the extent of what you can't do, and that anything not explicitly prohibited by the rules is theoretically available" in a human adjudicated game. After all, computers are incapable of ad lib.

Strictly speaking, I agree with this. But you seem to have extrapolated it into a whole lot of wrong impressions about video games and tabletop games.

EDIT:

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(as an aside, certainly the mechanics of the game determine the laws of the universe within the game, but while the player might well understand these laws entirely, the character probably should not understand things like "what level of skill I would need to complete this task", merely something like "I can do this easily" or "this will be hard" or "this is beyond me".)

It's funny that you make that distinction, considering it's actually in tabletop RPGs that you can have the fullest understanding of mechanics, while in video game RPGs the exact functions of your stats are typically "under the hood" and unobservable, leaving players to figure out their limits just like a real person would.

For example, in Pathfinder I can look up exactly what the DC is to soften a fall with Acrobatics, and I can control my bonus completely, so that I know exactly when I have a big enough bonus to auto-succeed even if I've never jumped off a ledge in that whole campaign. I can similarly look up the exact effect of my STR modifier on damage, and what a given magic item does. Meanwhile, even in a game as simple as Pixel Dungeon, I'm told that my excess STR increases my damage, but not by how much; I don't know how long a potion of invisibility lasts; and I don't even get to know how certain armor enchantments work. I have to figure it all out experientially. And that's faaaaar from the only example of unknown mechanisms in video games. In fact, I can't even think of a video game where the mechanics are as knowable as they are in Pathfinder.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

The biggest trap I find that makes people play "like a video game" is when they think about characters, actions, and the world in terms of their mechanics and not their context. There's no reason not to do this in a video game, since exactly how everything works can be fully understood by the player who can then manipulate these mechanics to the desired effect. The thing is, if you put yourself in the shoes of your character, you don't know how the rules of the game work, you're just a person with a certain set of experiences that shape a certain set of opinions and values. So focus on that, consider how your character got where they are and how that has influenced how they view the world.

A character who has escaped from slavery by pirates and a character who grew up in luxury only to have their family's riches taken away by malefactors are going to have a very different view of things even if they have the same gender, race, class, and specializations. You'll find a lot of old hands at this sort of thing write really long and detailed backstories, and that's not entirely because it's a creative outlet, it's because it helps us ground and comprehend who this person is, what they think, and what they want. If you have trouble coming up with a backstory, a lot of RPG books have a set of questions to answer to guide this sort of thing.

This is a big difference between video and tabletop games: in the former your backstory is generally set by the developers, so your ability to control the identity of the player character is reigned in by those bounds; in tabletop though your backstory is reigned in solely by "whatever the GM will approve" (and "canon" but that's fairly flexible in practice), so have fun with it.

Ehh... There's some holes in your ideas.

For one thing, a lot of video games don't force a pre-made backstory on you (beyond the recent events that started your adventure), instead leaving a blank slate for you to imagine whatever you want. You could get into designing your game character's look, be reminded of some trope you like, and decide now you know who this person is and start roleplaying them appropriately. Alternatively, you could approach the game with a character idea in mind (just like you would a tabletop RPG), come up with a backstory, and play out believable actions just like you would with pen and paper.

On the other hand, even for games whose player characters do have a defined backstory, what's that got to do with your ability to roleplay them? If your player character is a gifted farmboy who traveled the world and turned adversity into opportunity until he was a full-blown pirate captain before embarking on his real adventure to rescue his lost love*, what does it matter whether you invented that yourself or had it written for you? The ease (or difficulty) of getting into that character's head and behaving accordingly (which is what roleplay is) is going to be the same regardless of who wrote that backstory.

Because of both of the above points, there are plenty of video games where your original assertion (of seeing the character/world in terms of mechanics rather than context) is completely wrong. In fact, I'd venture a speculation that, within the genre of RPGs, most video games fail to fit your mold, and have plenty of opportunity for seeing the characters in the contexts of their worlds.

(And then there's the whole topic of how many of the "mechanics" that you set up as being the opposite of the setting are, in fact, the Laws of Physics of the setting itself, making the distinction between "mechanics" and "context"/"setting" a lot messier than you suggest.)

All in all, you sound like someone who really needs to go play Undertale. ;)

*Bonus question: Know who that is?

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mechaPoet wrote:
First of all, I don't think that godfang seemed particularly upset? They just said they strongly disagree.

I didn't intend to make any assertion as to the degree of the offense. If I did, I apologize for the confusion.

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Secondly: "Getting upset isn't really a valid response to someone merely describing the reality of what types of endeavors Pathfinder does and does not have robust support for." Why? It seems to me that if someone says that a system I like isn't good at supporting the things that I thought it was good at (or - and here's the tricky thing - that I do find it robust enough to support), it's fine to be upset about that.

We're not talking about someone saying "it can't support X" (which of course would elicit a response when the listener finds it sufficiently supportive). We're talking about someone saying "it supports X less than it supports Y".

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And if I were someone who found Pathfinder to be exactly the right kind of game system for me, then pointing out that it's not good enough at certain things is actually an untrue statement.

It's also not the statement being made. Again, not "can't do X" or "isn't good enough at X", just "less X than Y".

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So, to answer your question more directly: I don't think there is a good way to say "don't be upset when I tell you you're wrong about your own experiences with an RPG system."

And again, that's not what was said. Nobody said anyone was wrong what their experiences playing Pathfinder had been. The upsetting comment was a mere statement of relativity: Pathfinder contains more rules for X than Y.

Interestingly, your repeated misidentification of the triggering stimulus is part of why it's important to recognize the potential invalidity of feelings: if someone's feeling in response to a given stimulus is inappropriate/unhealthy, that can be a clue that something's out of whack. Perhaps there was a miscommunication (such as seeing "less X than Y" and instead internalizing "not enough X"), or perhaps the listener puts too much of their identity into their idea of what Pathfinder is like, or any number of other things. If nobody can point out when a feeling is invalid, those things are a lot harder to find and remedy.

Does that make sense?

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mechaPoet wrote:
I read your critique as "I think it's admirable that you find a flexibility and a variety of ways to play Pathfinder, but I think that's a product of your own play style rather than the game system."

Well, that's part of it. The other part was "Getting upset isn't really a valid response to someone merely describing the reality of what types of endeavors Pathfinder does and does not have robust support for." Clearly I was careless in my delivery and instead produced something rude. What's a means of expressing the above point that you think wouldn't be rude or otherwise objectionable? Would more detail (such as examples of the internal mechanisms that could be busted in order to produce the inappropriate feelings) have been helpful?

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Why are you socializing with the kind of people who treat your space (and by extension, you) with such disregard? Why are people like that allowed in your home?

As for the more general issue of finding a gaming space (since there are plenty of potential complications besides "my guests wreck my home"), you might be able to find a game store or coffee shop or restaurant where you could game.

For example, I was in a Mummy's Mask campaign that met in one of the "party rooms" at a local restaurant. It had space, tables/chairs, power outlets, etc; and was free to reserve as long as everybody was eating there. (Noise could be an issue, depending on the venue; where I was playing, the rooms were downstairs from the main part of the restaurant, and therefore blissfully quiet.) Coffee shops often have conference/meeting rooms you can reserve as well, and tend not to be super noisy. (I have no direct experience with this option, though.) Game store options vary wildly, from "no space, only retail" to "a bit of space but crowded and noisy" to "plenty of space with comfortable gaps between tables". There's a local game store that my wife and I frequent, and don't find the noise too disruptive. And it's completely free.

Not every "home game" has to be a game in someone's home. ;)

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I agree that the way I presented my own ideas was carelessly disrespectful. (godfang, if you're reading, I'm sorry.)

As for your suggestions, mechaPoet, some of your advice reads as though you have an underlying belief that all feelings, categorically, are valid and immune to critique. It's as though your complaint with my post is not only with how I talked about his feeling of offense not being valid, but the very fact that I did so at all. Am I understanding you correctly?

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mechaPoet wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
It's pretty silly to get offended at the observation of this fact, especially when you consider the implications about your ability to have fun with various gameplay elements in spite of the lack of support from the system. You should be flattered at the observation that your fun is mostly of your own making (since Pathfinder's not helping much), not getting all huffy about it.
Ah, yes, there's nothing people like more than being told that something is a compliment while simultaneously dismissing their feelings!

Yeah, perhaps "it's silly to get offended at X" was an insensitive way to express myself. I'm open to suggestions on better ways to communicate the same content, though the one-hour edit window has closed, so all I can do is take advice for the future.

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jefffuller wrote:
I want to use shocking grasp. It says instantaneous. So i cant cast it and next round hit. I thought i would be able to hold the charge.

Shocking grasp is a spell with a range of "touch", which means it follows the normal rules for touch spells, which are spelled out in the Combat chapter of the CRB under "Touch Spells in Combat". The duration of "instantaneous" means that, once discharged, it doesn't have any kind of ongoing effect on the target (compare to, say, bestow curse, whose duration also has nothing to do with how long you can hold the charge).

Hope that helps!

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godfang wrote:

I think pathfinder is a very flexible and diverse system meant for many different settings.

that's why you have classes like the investigator or archetypes focused on social situations. There really is no wrong way to play pathfinder...

Pointing out that a given ruleset doesn't give much support for activity X is not the same as saying that using that ruleset for activity X is a "wrong way to play". Similarly, the fact that you can have fun doing activity X with a given game does not mean that the game itself really supports activity X.

It is a verifiable fact that Pathfinder contains a lot more support for combat-oriented gameplay than for just about any other endeavor. It's pretty silly to get offended at the observation of this fact, especially when you consider the implications about your ability to have fun with various gameplay elements in spite of the lack of support from the system. You should be flattered at the observation that your fun is mostly of your own making (since Pathfinder's not helping much), not getting all huffy about it.

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Buri Reborn wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

If you're familiar/comfortable with video games and want to get more exposure/experience with roleplay and character motivations, go play Undertale. It's a mere $10 on Steam, will only take you a casual weekend to finish, and it has a more immersive world and more memorable cast of characters than any D&D/Pathfinder game I've ever so much as heard of, let alone played in. It will really get you thinking about character motivations and personality (especially if you don't skimp on exploring the world, so you get the proper context for understanding characters' actions).

In fact, I'd not only recommend Undertale to the OP, but to anyone who envisions "video game style" and "roleplaying" as different ends of a spectrum.

I find Telltale games do this for me as well. It's interesting when a video game sparks genuine emotional response and anxiety.

I've watched several different "Let's Play"-style videos of Undertale, and it's always fun to see when people suddenly stop silent in the middle of their reading aloud of the dialogue, or start screaming at certain characters, or start crying when [REDACTED]. But what was really interesting was when I was watching such a video on YouTube and one of the characters in Undertale said something to the player about me, the viewer. *shudder*

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Third Mind wrote:
Maybe you're a bit busy taking in the rp of the other characters and forget to join in.

I do this sometimes when I'm playing in person: when the RP starts flowin', I often end up just happily watching the scene instead of directly participating.

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