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Kobold

Jiggy's page

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32. RPG Superstar 2013 Marathon Voter, 2014 Dedicated Voter, 2015 Dedicated Voter. FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 18,817 posts (21,183 including aliases). 17 reviews. 4 lists. 1 wishlist. 13 Pathfinder Society characters. 22 aliases.


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Bluenose wrote:
Euryale wrote:
I'd like to see weapons have a bit more variability, enough so there aren't any weapons that are clearly inferior to all of the others; I just see, or in least the games I play, that everyone chooses the same weapon and it comes to a point where you forget about the weapon (as well as its design) and just think about the number of dice you'll roll. It's only a small change, but I would enjoy more creative uses of certain weapons.
I'm exactly the opposite. "There are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous people." Minimise the differences between the weapons to something really simple. Increase the differences between the users, with fighting styles and stances and other reasonably unique tricks that attach to the character and not the weapon. So Trogdor is famous for being Trogdor, not for being That Guy Who Carries Excalibat.

Even better, add to that the ability to learn certain combat skills that apply to different types of weapons or fighting styles. Make there be a real difference between the Swordsman, the Pikeman, the Archer, the Axeman, the Spearman, the Dual-Wielder, the Duelist, the Hammerman.

Let the weapons themselves differ only in how many hands they need, whether they're melee or ranged, and what type of damage they deal. Then let the character learn what a master can do with a given type of weapon or style.

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Arbalester wrote:
The best summary I've heard of the problem comes from Jiggy. It was originally posted in this other thread.

Aw, you're gonna make me blush. :)

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Man, you can tell who's not used to juggling in-laws, amirite? :)

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According to Ultimate Equipment, a backpack holds 2 cubic feet of stuff. The masterwork backpack also includes hooks for hanging things like lanterns and canteens.

I'm also a fan of the bandolier (from the same book), which holds 8 items (flask or smaller), and you can wear two. That's where I like to keep my combat potions and such.

Oh, and the explorer's outfit (CRB) says it has plenty of pockets.

Hope that helps!

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...What is "focused trance"? Is that a spell? Revelation? Something else? I searched the phrase in the PRD and didn't come up with anything.

EDIT: Wait, found it. Something's funky in the search results, but I got there. So it's a thing where you have to meditate for 1d6 rounds, then when you come out of it you can immediately make an INT-based skill check with a +20 bonus.

Okay, so I see how you got the number. You've got some other complications to deal with, though:

First, there's the rule (from the Diplomacy skill description) that Diplomacy auto-fails against anyone who intends to do you harm. Do you have a special ability that overrides that rule?

Second, Focused Trance requires that you make the INT-based check immediately upon coming out of your 1d6-rounds-long trance. It takes 1+ rounds to use the "make a request" function of Diplomacy, it takes 1+ minutes for an attitude shift, and 1d4 hours to gather information. Do you have an ability that reduces one or more of these functions to something you could do in a single turn, or are you confident your GMs will agree that these spans of time can still count as happening when you come out of your trance as long as it's the first thing you do? Assuming an affirmative answer to that, you still have to initiate these actions as soon as your trance is done. That means you have to encounter somebody, decide Diplomacy would be useful, then say "Hang on a sec" and expect them to wait 1d6 rounds while you meditate before you start talking to them. That seems like an obstacle to your plans; do you have some way around that?

Your numbers may be legit, but I have doubts about your ability to use them in the manner you suggest.

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@OP: Kind of depends on if factors like you describe are a theme of the whole campaign, or just an element of that part. For instance, if the entire theme of the campaign is "War against the fire dudes", then I'd say a GM is being a dick if you talk about building a pyromancer and he says nothing. But if it's a campaign with varied settings and encounter types, where maybe there's like this one subplot where you attack the base camp of a cult of "fire dudes" but there's another area where you have to save a town from the Dried Grass Elemental, then I would see no problem.

In short, I think the GM should warn players of large, campaign-spanning themes that invalidate certain character types, but not necessarily of more short-lived themes where you're down for a while but then you get to shine some other time.

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Dude, numbers. We're trying to hit a milestone here! ;)

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LazarX wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
73. Demanding different levels of first-person acting for different kinds of d20 rolls, and penalizing the results of those who fail to sufficiently comply.
I take it you're one of those folks who prefer that social encounters be handled in the form of "I roll a 32 diplomacy..."

Not in the least, and we learn a lot about you from your assumption that I am.

84. When someone questions one of your double-standards, you assume they must be "one of them" and ascribe extreme behaviors/thoughts to them that do not in any way follow logically from what they said.

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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
If you start serious powergaming, you make GM's life significantly more difficult (experienced that myself). If you want him to cut the metagaming, give him some alternative (see above) or cut your powergaming (so he feels less need).
So - if you pass some undefined power-gaming threshold, you deserve to have your GM cheat to beat you? Gotcha.

But remember, as we learned from deusvult upthread: if you're powergaming, then you're clearly part of the small demographic of players who wants mutual metagaming for a tactics-only combat experience. The metagaming-is-fun crowd are the only people who powergame, make strong characters, use good tactics, etc. It's all one single population.

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deusvult wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
So what are you really trying to say here?

You actually got what I was saying. I can only assume your difficulty is in assuming I didn't mean what I said when I said:

Deusvult wrote:
I was saying that I agree that for the most part it's shoddy GMing to fail to separate OOC and IC knowledge.
Once you accept that I agree that most of the time GMs should seperate OOC and IC knowledge, it shouldn't be that hard to wrap your head around my saying that there are additionally (and less common) instances where the GM's using OOC knowledge ICly may be actually appropriate.

Yeah, I got that part. I got that you agree it's usually a bad idea, and I got that you're saying there are some cases where it's okay, such as to imitate superhuman intellect and whatnot. I got all that.

What I was asking about was specifically in one of the cases where you say it's okay for the GM to metagame; I was asking whether this one particular case was "when the players are already metagaming" or "when the players build strong characters".

That was all I was asking about. I got the rest.

Quote:

To restate and clarify:

One example is a game where roleplaying takes a back seat to tactical wargaming. If the players don't separate OOC and IC knowledge, then it may be acceptable if the GM doesn't either.

You say this like these are the same thing, like there's no such thing as preferring the combat aspect of the game while still not wanting to metagame. Like, "Oh, you're not much into roleplay but like combat? That must mean you're totally fine with metagaming, because that logically follows somehow."

Quote:
Another is the phenomenon that optimized/munchkin PCs are more capable than those that are not.. and resultingly have punching strength above their APL. Maybe the group doesn't like the GM fudging dice. Maybe the group wants to run a published adventure without changing the encounters. Having the GM make optimized/munchkin tactical decisions is one tool that still remains if the group wants all that but to still be challenged.

Make optimized tactical decisions? I thought we were talking about metagaming here. Making good tactical decisions and having psychic knowledge of your enemies' defenses are not the same thing. Why are you talking about them like they are?

That's why I'm scratching my head a little at (parts of) your post. What your words actually talk about is people building strong characters and preferring combat over roleplay and making good tactical decisions, but then you treat those three things as though they're all fundamentally linked to wanting the metagaming playstyle.

It sounds more like you're saying that if someone is making strong characters, prefers combat over RP, and is good with tactics then that means they clearly must also be riding the metagame bus. If that's what you meant, then I have to disagree (and also think you owe an apology to the untold thousands of players who like combat and are good at it but don't like to metagame). If that's not what you meant, then why did you say it?

EDIT for your edit:

Quote:

edit: I think this line might have given you trouble:

"When players game the system they are literally asking to be challenged to the utmost."

That doesn't mean players gaming the system deserve to be punished. It actually means what I said. I wasn't disparaging taking "roleplaying" out of the roleplaying game; it's well acknowledged that's how some people like to play. When they do, they're playing something akin to Warhammer: Not quite perfect knowledge of every capability of the opponent, but certainly a game where you don't deliberately make suboptimal tactical choices for roleplaying reasons. If one side is playing to win and the other side is "roleplaying", it's a fairly foregone conclusion what's going to happen. Yes, even in a tactical wargame version of a RPG the players are generally presumed to win, but if they have fun being challenged despite having made optimized/munchkin PCs then the GM should also dial up some "playing to win", even if he doesn't intend to actually defeat the PCs.

See, there again you're doing it: you treat "gaming the system", "taking roleplay out of the system", and "made strong characters" both as all being same thing and as assuming a high level of metagame acceptance. Neither of those is true. That would be like me saying something like, "I'm not disparaging turning Pathfinder into a sacred LotR reenactment; it's a well acknowledged way to play the game. But when the GM is older than 40, you have to remember not to expect them to know the rules very well; there's a reason they made such bad characters." It makes no sense and is a horrible stereotype.

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Once you realize (and accept) that in Pathfinder wealth is a second XP track and that gear is as much a part of character progression as feats and levels, everything else falls into place.

In Pathfinder, saying that you'll need to find someone to commission the weapon you want to spend your gold on is like saying that you'll need to find someone to commission the spell you wanted to spend your XP on learn when you leveled up. In Pathfinder, saying that you can't shop for that magic item because you've never heard of it is like saying you can't take that feat because you've never heard of it.

That's why so many people (including Paizo) have come up with houserules and variants to eliminate this aspect of play so that treasure can be treasure again.

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deusvult wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
deusvult wrote:
...I generally agree with the sentiments above about "bad GMing" when the monsters/NPCs use the GM's OOC knowledge ICly....
If not for the first sentence of your second paragraph, I seriously would have thought you had gotten your browser tabs mixed up and replied to the wrong thread, because replying to "GM is dodging class features via metagaming" with a list of a bunch of unrelated things you don't like is just totally coming out of nowhere. What was the connection there?

I was saying that I agree that for the most part it's shoddy GMing to fail to seperate OOC and IC knowledge. However, there are certainly times it's appropriate to, as the OP put it, "ignore the immunities".

If the PCs are optimized/munchkins, it may not be inappropriate for the GM to use optimized/munchkin tactics. Some people like games where players try their hardest to see how badly they can "break" the game. If the group's idea of fun is to beat encounters as quickly as possible and with as little risk as possible, then they shouldn't mind the GM using that same mindset to challenge the players at their own game. When players game the system they are literally asking to be challenged to the utmost.

Having the monsters act on OOC knowledge is just another option for challenging over-the-top PCs if dice fudging or throwing encounters far beyond APL aren't the group's idea of fun.

I think it's actually a swell idea in another case: when the monster has superhuman or godlike smarts. As the GM I'm only a human. How do I do justice to determining the life or death decisions for something smarter than I will ever be? Sometimes a great way to approximate superhuman intuition/mentalism/deduction/smarts is using OOC knowledge ICly.

This whole post reads like you're saying that if players build characters whose power crosses some undefined threshold, then for the GM to cheat by metagaming the PCs' immunities is like some kind of well-earned retribution.

If I dig really deep and pick apart your post and do some mental gymnastics, I can reinterpret your post such that the subset of players of whom you're making this claim is only those who see what mini is on the map and flip open the Bestiary, such that the GM is just matching metagaming to metagaming. If that's the case, then I agree: some players want a game where there's no secret knowledge, it's just enemies facing each other in open contest with full (inexplicable) knowledge of each other's abilities.

But I had to really stretch to think your post was talking about them. What it really reads more like is that the more powerful the PCs are (by who-knows-what standard), the more deserving they are of the GM metagaming against them. You used terms that normally applies to massive populations of players who are not okay with metagaming at all and don't do it themselves, then said that they not only "should" be okay with the GM retaliating with metagaming, but that by building powerful PCs the players downright asked for some metagaming. The whole tone sounds punitive.

So what are you really trying to say here?

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deusvult wrote:

The problem the OP has may have something to do with playstyle. If you want the GM to fight with kid gloves on, have you considered whether or not you're wearing them yet? It's not cool for the players to use and abuse the game mechanics to their advantage while expecting the GM not to.

I generally agree with the sentiments above about "bad GMing" when the monsters/NPCs use the GM's OOC knowledge ICly. That does not extend, however, to groups where roleplaying is subservient to the rules/mechanics. You don't get it both ways... if you want to use and abuse the rules to your greatest advantage, you don't get to demand fluffball treatment from the GM.

If not for the first sentence of your second paragraph, I seriously would have thought you had gotten your browser tabs mixed up and replied to the wrong thread, because replying to "GM is dodging class features via metagaming" with a list of a bunch of unrelated things you don't like is just totally coming out of nowhere. What was the connection there?

------------------------------------

Anyway, back on topic: yes, this practice of metagaming GMs is unsettlingly common (especially considering how many of the same GMs will quickly pounce on a player who dodges a monster's immunity/DR/whatever without a Knowledge check). Never seems to get called "metagaming", though.

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8. At a public event, the GM announces that he's fairly new to Pathfinder and this is his first time GMing. When he makes his first mistake (drawing the map with the mostly-irrelevant door on the wrong wall), a local regular is immediately on his feet, rolling his eyes, making exaggerated hand gestures, and telling him how he remembers the room looking from when he ran it.

9. When #8's new GM makes his second mistake (accidentally skipping someone's turn in combat), a local regular is immediately on his feet, rolling his eyes, audibly scoffing, and reaching over in front of the GM and rearranging the GM's Combat Pad to remedy the error.

10. When a brand-new player displays a misunderstanding of sneak attack (thinking the 1d6 goes on the attack roll), a local regular not only corrects him, but begins babysitting everything else the newbie does, up to and including picking up the newbie's character sheet to show him things on it and look for errors—all without permission, let alone request.

Numbers 8, 9 and 10 were all the same game, and the same "local regular", who is also an experienced GM and a local organizer. Didn't get booted from the table, but should have been.

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Soilent wrote:
Vanykrye wrote:

6. Masturbate at the table and then defend it as "simply being in character".

Because that actually happened.

Edit: Put the number in front.

Wow...Is there a story here?

If there is, do you really want to hear it? :/


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Human/Alodoan Bard 1 | HP 9/10 | AC 14 | Vision: Normal | PP 10 | S+4/D+4/C+2/I+1/W+0/C+5 | B.I. (1d6) 3/3 | Spell Slots: 1st (2/2) | Insp: [X]

If there are any goblins left by the time Perry's turn comes up:

Perry gasps hard for breath as he's suddenly awoken, then gives a nod of thanks to Klodd before charging into the fray. Posting for longsword, but if I can't get in range then I'll use FireBolt, which has 1 point less on the attack roll, and the same damage die, just without the +4 on it.
Longsword (2h): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26, Damage: 1d10 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
Crit damage: 1d10 ⇒ 8
Great googly moogly. O_O

If the fight's already over by then:

Perry's eyes fly open, then dart back and forth as he assesses his rather ignoble posture. Standing and brushing himself off, he puts his hands on his hips and surveys the scene before giving an affirming nod and saying, "Um, right; good work, everyone. Glad we've, uh, got that handled... and thanks for the backup there, Klodd old buddy."

Perry clears his throat awkwardly, then asks, "So, where to next?"

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Otherwhere wrote:

Ah! It's the munchkin experience that gives min-maxing such a bad name, and why many GM's shudder when they come across someone who approaches their character from a more "roll-play" imperative.

I tend to equate the two, but they are not synonymous.

A hypothetical person wrote:

Ah! It's the tyrannical experience that gives grognardism such a bad name, and why many players shudder when they come across someone who approaches their campaign from a more "old-school" imperative.

I tend to equate the two, but they are not synonymous.

I submit that the above two quote-boxes are comparable in most respects.

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DrDeth wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

Jiggy- D&D is a team game. Everyone is a sidekick. No one is supposed to be the star.

You dont need to optimize to have fun or contribute. The only issue is when the party has such widely disparate degrees of optimization that someone doesnt have fun.

I'm trying to reconcile how the two statements above can come from a single person in a single reply to me. I am failing.

When I describe vast disparities in character power being the source of someone feeling like a sidekick, you admonish me as though I was showing a lack of team spirit. Yet, you then go on to describe the same disparity phenomenon that I talked about, cautioning against its un-fun-ness, just like I did.

I'm trying to figure out the difference between our two statements, such that my caution of the impact of disparities between characters indicates trying to "be the star" instead of part of a team, while your caution of the impact of disparities between characters carries no such implications about you.

Can you elaborate on what the difference is between when I say that gaps between PCs aren't fun and when you say that gaps between PCs aren't fun?

The difference is that the disparity could be huge, but still not decrease fun.

It's only when it does decrease fun that it is bad.

Your post indicates to me that if there is a disparity there is automatically less fun. Not so.

I just had a PFS game, where I played the only 1st level PC (optimized somewhat for skills) vs a 5th, a 4th, and two 3rds. The 5th was optimized- and a full spellcaster. The power level disparity could hardly have been higher- and in fact in most games there is little actual level difference.

I still had huge fun and contributed.

Power level discrepancies do not always cause a reduction in fun. Only IF & WHEN they do is there a problem.

This contradicts what you said in your previous post. It's up there in the quote chain, but let me pull it out for you again:

Earlier, DrDeth wrote:
The only issue is when the party has such widely disparate degrees of optimization that someone doesnt have fun.

You said that. That sentence you said means that a disparity between PCs, when big enough, will cause someone to not have fun. That is what you said.

Now you've said the opposite, that disparity between PCs might or might not reduce fun - that it doesn't necessarily cause it. Which is it? I want to know what your actual thoughts are before I try to reply.

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DrDeth wrote:

Jiggy- D&D is a team game. Everyone is a sidekick. No one is supposed to be the star.

You dont need to optimize to have fun or contribute. The only issue is when the party has such widely disparate degrees of optimization that someone doesnt have fun.

I'm trying to reconcile how the two statements above can come from a single person in a single reply to me. I am failing.

When I describe vast disparities in character power being the source of someone feeling like a sidekick, you admonish me as though I was showing a lack of team spirit. Yet, you then go on to describe the same disparity phenomenon that I talked about, cautioning against its un-fun-ness, just like I did.

I'm trying to figure out the difference between our two statements, such that my caution of the impact of disparities between characters indicates trying to "be the star" instead of part of a team, while your caution of the impact of disparities between characters carries no such implications about you.

Can you elaborate on what the difference is between when I say that gaps between PCs aren't fun and when you say that gaps between PCs aren't fun?

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This whole issue all but disappears if you abandon Pathfinder's built-in use of wealth as a second XP track (whether through houserules, Unchained variants, or simply playing a different system).

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Tormsskull wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
In my opinion, when this creates a "cookie cutter" situation, it's a flaw of the system: it proves that there are only a couple of strongest characters, instead of letting all kinds of different characters be viable.

Perhaps, but this also assumes that the goal of creating characters is to create the strongest ones. I think if you enter with that mindset, all systems produce "cookie-cuter" characters because either through fact or perception, certain choices will be identified as superior to others.

Jiggy wrote:
It should be an aspiration of a well-designed RPG that you can make cool and effective characters in many, many varieties. Unfortunately, Pathfinder does poorly in this regard. :/
I definitely agree on the first part, and while not making a judgment on Pathfinder's ability to do so, I wonder if it is really possible to achieve character power parity while retaining uniqueness.

I guess I should have said "strong enough" rather than "strongest". Pathfinder has such huge power disparities that if you just happen to pick the wrong fantasy trope to model your character off of, you're a sidekick. Meanwhile, if you happen to pick the "right" one, you can break campaigns in half without even meaning to. It takes only a bit of familiarity with the system to start seeing the gaps, and unless you use a LOT of splat books, the number of (genuinely distinct) character types that can face level-appropriate challenges without being a sidekick will be small enough to start to look pretty "cookie-cutter".

A system which need not be twisted in order to produce a cookie-cutter phenomenon is a flawed system.

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Tormsskull wrote:
In my experience, dislike of min/maxing is often due to the cookie-cutter characters it produces. Any character that's not a charisma-based spellcaster or a "face" character will dump charisma, virtually all wizards will dump strength, etc.

In my opinion, when this creates a "cookie cutter" situation, it's a flaw of the system: it proves that there are only a couple of strongest characters, instead of letting all kinds of different characters be viable.

It should be an aspiration of a well-designed RPG that you can make cool and effective characters in many, many varieties. Unfortunately, Pathfinder does poorly in this regard. :/

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Tormsskull wrote:
How do you suppose that a player would fail to assume the attitude, action, or discourse of an individual that they created?

By making a character with a -2 Diplomacy and giving an eloquent and enchanting speech in first-person.

By making a wise old sensei and then repeatedly demonstrating impulse control issues.

By making a druid (allegedly reveres nature) and constantly abusing animals and plants for convenience (like summoning animals onto suspected trap locations).

By making a paladin and acting like something other than a decent person.

By making a chaotic barbarian and constantly trying to get other people to follow the rules.

By playing a Sarenite and having no issue with creating undead.

Etc, etc, etc. How many examples do you need? I can keep going.

Quote:
Do you truly believe that the term "role playing" means something other than playing a role?

I never said nor even implied any such thing. Roleplaying does not mean something other than playing a role, but roleplaying can mean something other than speaking in first-person.

Quote:
And when a person plays a role, don't they typically speak?

Sometimes. But (as one could also infer from the failed-roleplay examples I listed above) not every act of roleplaying involves speech, and not all first-person speech is roleplaying. Ergo, they are not one and the same. They can easily overlap, but are not one and the same.

When a character whose goal is to become the world's greatest swordsman bends over backwards to have ways to reach distant opponents with his sword instead of having to use ranged weapons, that's roleplaying ("assuming the attitudes, actions or discourse of another person"), even though it won't always involve speaking in the character's voice.

When the player of an all-mentals-at-7 brute stands up at the table and delivers an inspiring and eloquent speech, he has absolutely failed to roleplay (failed to "assume the attitudes, actions or discourse of another person") in spite of the fact that he spoke in his character's voice.

I think those last two paragraphs prove that it's possible to roleplay without speech and to speak without roleplaying. (If you would dispute that point, I'd be happy to listen, just as long as you actually refute it, rather than just repeating your assertion of its falsehood, like many forumites tend to do.)

So if you can be so convinced of a definition of roleplaying that turns out to be provably wrong, then maybe that's a term that's worth defining at the start of a discussion, yes?

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Tormsskull wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Good for you, but that's irrelevant to my point. It doesn't matter how convinced you are of your definition, or even how right you might be. If a significant portion of your audience thinks the word means something else, then you communicate a very different message than you think you communicate, and they'll reply to the message that came across, possibly without either of you realizing it was a different message than intended.
Right, so we should keep changing the definition so that it loses any meaning?

How in the world does that follow from what I said? Are you suggesting that when someone has a different understanding of a word than you, the only two options are to conform to yours or to "keep changing the definition"? Do you see no other options?

Quote:
Role playing means something specific. If we stop using the term in these discussions, as you suggest, then we'll need a different word or term to communicate the same idea. Without a doubt, there will be some that don't have the same definition of the new word or term either.

Who said anything about using a different word in its place? I was picturing people having to describe what they're actually talking about so that others could understand them better.

Quote:
The term role playing has existed for some time, is used in the hobby, in team building techniques, in psychology, etc. If someone is unclear on what the term means, I suggest looking it up rather than making up their own definition and expecting other people to accept it.

Well, okay:

A dictionary wrote:

1.

to assume the attitudes, actions, and discourse of (another), especially in a make-believe situation in an effort to understand a differing point of view or social interaction:

2.
to experiment with or experience (a situation or viewpoint) by playing a role

Now, for comparison, here's yours:

Earlier, you wrote:
...someone says they're roleplaying, but there actually not engaging in any dialogue at all in-character...

That looks pretty different to me. After all, someone can engage in dialogue in-character while utterly failing to assume the attitudes, actions or discourse of another person, and someone can assume the attitudes, actions, and discourse of another person by means other than first-person speech.

So, what was that you were saying about how people shouldn't make up their own definition and expect other people to accept it?

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DM Under The Bridge wrote:

"how do you handle players who aren't able/willing to role play the skill check?"

Not wanting to be immensely confrontational, but if players aren't willing to roleplay, what are they doing in a roleplaying game?

This is why I wish we could have these discussions with a ban on the word "roleplay".

Suppose that Alice thinks of "roleplay" as meaning "speaking in character during social interactions with NPCs", while Bob thinks of "roleplay" as meaning "make the decisions my character would make instead of the decisions I would make, even if not everything is acted out in first-person".

Now suppose that Alice tells Bob, "Roleplaying is the least interesting part of the game to me."

What does she actually mean? She means she doesn't like acting out social scenes with NPCs in the first person.

But what does Bob hear? He thinks she's not interested in making character-based decisions, that her character is merely an avatar of the player, that she's turning the RPG into a board game, and maybe even that she's a shameless metagamer.

So then Bob says, "If you don't want to roleplay, what are you doing in a roleplaying game?"

What does Bob actually mean? He means "If you're not going to make decisions based on what the character would do, why are you playing an RPG?"

But Alice hears, "If you don't want to talk in first person with NPCs, why are you playing an RPG?"

Naturally, this puzzles Alice; partly because there's a lot more to an RPG than social scenes with NPCs, and partly because she's both seen and experienced lots of fun/successful social scenes with NPCs without first-person speech.

Thus, Alice contests the (as she heard it) assertion that the game is all about talking in first person with NPCs...

...You get the idea. People's wildly varying ideas of what "roleplaying" is (most of which are pretty far from the actual word) really do no favors to peripheral discussions (such as of the relationship between roleplaying and Diplomacy checks).

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Tormsskull wrote:

Now relating this back to skill checks - My players that enjoy role playing may give a good delivery before rolling their diplomacy check, and the person that does not may want to just say "I use diplomacy."

If there is no mechanical difference between those two, I would think the players that work on a good delivery may feel like there is no reason to do so. That could potentially lead to all players simply declaring skills rather than role playing.

Only if mechanical advantage was the only reason they were "roleplaying" in the first place. But if you surveyed them and that was something they enjoyed, then either they lied on your survey or they're not going to stop "roleplaying" just because it doesn't give them a leg up on the other guy.

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Remove wealth/gear as an element of character progression. Turning gold into a second XP pool is the root of a lot of Pathfinder's issues, both in the system itself and in the community at large.

Establish a paradigm of nonmagical fantasy; that is, set an expectation that "fantasy" means exceeding reality, and magic is not the only way to get there. Or, if not that, then make sure every class has equal access to magic, rather than having some ooze with it while others have none. Either way, the point is that every character should be capable of being a "fantasy" hero who has gone beyond reality, rising to meet fantastic threats. Whatever the prerequisite to fantasy is, every class needs to have it. Either give everyone magic, or allow nonmagical fantasy.

Just those two things are the bulk of my issues with Pathfinder.

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The most important piece of advice I can think of that's easy to miss when switching from tabletop to PbP is this:

Avoid things that require a full round of posts before you can continue.

Perfect example: initiative. Do NOT make a GM post that announces the beginning of combat and ends with "Everyone roll initiative!" Why? Because now, just when things were about to get exciting, everyone has to make a post that's nothing but a roll, waith for everyone else to do the same, then finally find out whose turn it is. Instead, roll all the initiatives yourself and jump right into the action.

Similarly, Perception or Knowledge checks. If you're going to have everyone make a reactive Perception check, don't say "Everyone make a Perception check" and wait. Instead, roll it for everyone and then deliver the results. Or if it's something like ID-ing a monster where it's okay for the action to move forward prior to resolving a potential check, you can include a spoiler tag in your post that's labeled "Kn(Nature) DC 17" or whatever, with the relevant information inside. Whoever makes the check can read the spoiler and react accordingly, and in the meantime the game hasn't ground to a halt.

But there don't have to be dice involved for this potential pitfall to come into play; sometimes the PCs encounter something, and it's obvious what they'll do next, with no decisions to be made. Don't wait for a round of posts saying that yes, they do the obvious thing. Keep the narrative going until there's a decision to be made.

Hope that helps!

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Jaelithe wrote:
It's a role-playing game. Saying "I use Diplomacy on him. I roll a 17," is merely gaming. It's not role-playing. So it's insufficient to the required task, fulfilling as it does only one of the two components.

An intriguing analysis; I suppose the other side of the coin is that talking through the situation in-character without making use of any relevant mechanics is merely roleplaying. It's not gaming. So it's insufficient to the required task, fulfilling as it does only one of the two components.

I suspect that the vast majority of players do their thing in happy place where both elements are present. However, most of us have at some point encountered someone from a tiny minority; either the "I diplomacize him" player or the "But what EXACTLY do you SAAAYYYY" GM, or perhaps both.

Then, when one of these threads gets going, one of those ridiculous people shows up (I've not yet noticed a trend of which is more likely to make the first entrance, so for the sake of example we'll say that the "I diplomacize him" player appears first).

The person states their extreme-minority stance (such as "I should be allowed to just say 'I roll Diplomacy' and that's that").

Someone responds to that by saying they'd like to know a few details, such as whether you drop any names or what angle you work.

Then, someone sees the second poster's comment and absorbs nothing more than "I REQUIRE MORE", which they then assume means this person is one of those minority extremists who thinks talk is holy and dice are dirty. So they reply to that by saying that no, it should be sufficient to merely describe what angle you're working or what names you're dropping, etc. The same as the person they're arguing with.

Then, the person being argued with (or someone who agreed with them) sees this reply and just sees "LET ME DO LESS" and thinks that means "less than identifying what angle you're working and what names you're dropping", which of course can only mean this is another one of those "I diplomacize him" players. So they reply back and say—harsher this time—that no, you need to at least identify what angle you're working and what names you're dropping.

Then, someone sees that comment and absorbs nothing more than "I REQUIRE MORE", which they then assume means this person is one of those minority extremists who thinks talk is holy and dice are dirty. So they reply to that by saying—more harshly this time—that no, it should be sufficient to merely describe what angle you're working or what names you're dropping.

Then, the person being argued with (or someone who agreed with them) sees this reply and just sees "LET ME DO LESS" and thinks that means "less than identifying what angle you're working and what names you're dropping", which of course can only mean this is another one of those "I diplomacize him" players. So they reply back and say—harsher this time—that no, you need to at least identify what angle you're working and what names you're dropping.

Then, someone sees that comment and absorbs nothing more than "I REQUIRE MORE", which they then assume means this person is one of those minority extremists who thinks talk is holy and dice are dirty. So they reply to that by saying—more harshly this time—that no, it should be sufficient to merely describe what angle you're working or what names you're dropping.

And so on and so forth, until the aggression has escalated to the point of removing any hope of someone realizing that all but one or two people actually completely agree that identifying the angle you're working and the names you're dropping is an acceptable means of handling Diplomacy.

:/

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Jacob Saltband wrote:

BillyJoeJimBob the player is a gregarious out-going person who is confident in social situations.

Heff is the character BillyJoeJimBob is playing. Heff comes from a rural back woods area and is more comfortable with animals then the ‘civilized’ races, especially females of the ‘civilized’ races. No skill points, traits or feats were spent on social skills and Heff has a negative CHA mod.

The party enters a fairly big sized upper scale tavern. They are trying to find Jillian a female of the ‘civilized’ races who is might have some important info. The party except for Heff heads to the bar to talk with the bartender. Heff, being a highly perceptive person, saw someone at a far table who fits Jillian’s description. BillyJoeJimBob tells the GM that Heff walks over to Jillian and starts a conversation.
The rest of the party , after receiving directions from the bartender, head towards the far table where Heff talking to Jillian. The GM and BillyJoeJimBob have a witty back and forth dialogue between Heff and Jillian. As the rest of the party arrive at the table Jillian hands Heff 2 pieces of paper. The first paper has the need info and the second is the equivalent of Jillians’ phone number.

No dice were rolled. Was an example of ‘good character interaction’?

I know this isn’t a very good post but I’d like to see what people have to say.

If the player's representation of Heff was reasonable (i.e., he implemented his shortcomings, rather than ignoring them), and Jillian's personality/circumstances/setup/etc were such that it was appropriate for her to give those things to a character of that type under those circumstances, then everything's fine.

However, if it's the more typical scenario of the city-girl Jillian having a distaste for country boys, and also requiring some persuasion to get her to give the information at all; and if it's the scenario I think you were implying where the player was not at all speaking like the nervous, uncomfortable hick that he claimed his character to be and got results anyway; if all of that was the case, then we're looking at a failure to roleplay, and the mechanics would have produced the better story.

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Jaelithe wrote:
I just don't cleave to that slavish devotion to the dice. I never have. I'm not attacking it, or even saying I don't understand it. I just don't buy into it, and never will. Won't do it to my players. Won't play in a game with a DM who's tyrannically devoted to the dice and the rules. Just how I feel about it.

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Cort Odekirk wrote:
I tend to throw away the dice for RP interaction unless a point comes up where there are elements of doubt or suspense over a response would add to the interaction. The mechanics in that case become added spice to the interaction, not the goal of the interaction.
Earlier, I wrote:
Should that happen, I submit that de-emphasizing the mechanics is not the solution (except perhaps temporarily, in the moment). The better solution is to fix the mechanics so that in the future they support the story in the manner described above.

So, you changed the parameters of how the mechanics worked, so that they would better support the story? Sounds like the kind of fixing I was talking about. :)

Also:

Cort Odekirk wrote:
I think this comes up most often in mechanics heavier games like Pathfinder .... You can have wonderful, witty banter where the player comes up with something quite clever that gets negated by a bad die roll.
Earlier, I wrote:
Or if fixing is too big of a job, then it might be time to reevaluate whether the game you're playing really suits your roleplaying needs at all.

:/

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Irontruth wrote:
Stay in the fiction and when the fiction calls for a roll, or triggers some mechanic, then we go to the mechanic. Once the mechanic resolves, we then go back to the fiction using this resolution to tell us which direction it goes.

That's a very articulate summary of a gaming philosophy. I think I'm gonna be chewing on that one for a good while...

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Cort Odekirk wrote:
...willing to de-emphasize the mechanics for story...

This is a little bit of a derail, but...

Any game* in which a de-emphasizing of mechanics is capable of (or even is necessary for) elevating the story, is a severely flawed roleplaying game, if it can even be called a roleplaying game at all.

Ideally, a "roleplaying game" is a system in which the "game" and the "roleplaying" go hand in hand. At the most basic level, this is when Bob the Clumsy Brute and Dexter the Dextrous Thief need to get past a locked door and the rules tell you which character has better odds at picking the lock. By having mechanics that differentiate the characters' capabilities, the mechanics help to produce the story: there's a reason why Dexter would stop Bob and say "Let me handle this," and there's a reason why a situation where Bob is in a pinch and has to try anyway produces a tension which can result in a compelling story (perhaps by succeeding against all odds, or perhaps by having to work around his failure).

If the mechanics fill (one of) their proper roles of differentiating characters' capabilities, then de-emphasizing the mechanics will not enhance the story, but rather detract from the story. In the above example, de-emphasizing the mechanics means reducing (or even eliminating) the difference between Bob's and Dexter's lock-picking skills. If there's no mechanical reason why Bob should step aside and let Dexter handle the lock, then you get one of two results: one, you no longer have a clumsy brute and a dextrous thief, instead replacing them with two characters of identical skillsets, who are in turn that much weaker as characters because they have less identity; or two, you pretend in your storytelling that there's a skill difference that isn't really there, in which case the whole experience is a dishonest farce. In either case, the "story" has gotten worse, not better, by "de-emphasizing the mechanics".

Now, that's the ideal. In practice, you may indeed encounter situations where a good story could be happening but the mechanics are in the way. Should that happen, I submit that de-emphasizing the mechanics is not the solution (except perhaps temporarily, in the moment). The better solution is to fix the mechanics so that in the future they support the story in the manner described above. Or if fixing is too big of a job, then it might be time to reevaluate whether the game you're playing really suits your roleplaying needs at all.

Or at least, that's how I see things. :)

*I'm starting with the assumption that you're using a ruleset for its intended genre/story-type (such as fantasy for fantasy, gritty for gritty, etc), so please take my statement in that context. Similarly, I'm also starting with the assumption of healthy, well-adjusted storytellers; when I describe what it means when you see the mechanics conflict with the story, I'm not talking about when the "conflict" is that you rolled a success when the GM wanted you to fail so he could preserve his vision of what type of scene was about to play out.

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Bandw2 wrote:

title.

If I cast with the hand that has a buckler equiped does it lose it's bonus?

The rules for the buckler in the CRB wrote:
You can cast a spell with somatic components using your shield arm, but you lose the buckler's AC bonus until your next turn

Was there a reason you thought that the basic buckler rules wouldn't apply normally during Spell Combat?

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Don't worry Katina, I'd have turned down the ribs too. Be who you are; no need to let our rib-normative culture get you down. :)

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DM Under The Bridge, do you honestly not understand why people reacted negatively to your post? Here, take another look at what you said (I'll add some bolding to help):

DM Under The Bridge wrote:
For the shy, I put them on the spot and ensure they can't remain invisible. They must contribute!

You said that.

So, are you not aware that "put them on the spot" is a decidedly negative term? It very specifically refers to putting someone under pressure; generally enough pressure that even someone who might otherwise have been perfectly comfortable might end up faltering.

Since you later said "it's not a pressure cooker", then either you're changing your story or you used the term "put them on the spot" to mean something entirely different than what it actually does mean.

Furthermore, when you say that at your tables "they must contribute", the word "must" means you're placing a requirement on them. It implies demands or social coercion. Perhaps this was another poor word choice? In any case, what you actually said communicated a level of demand and force that of course people would react negatively to.

Go back and re-read what you originally wrote, one last time. Surely you can see how negative it sounded, yes? The responses you got are very far from "nonsense".

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...until you call it "pizza".

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Jacob Saltband wrote:

This is probably just me but…

When I started playing RPGs way back yesteryear, the game was about a group of characters trying to accomplish goals as a ‘group’. The ‘in-character acting’ (‘roleplay’ ) was fun and sometimes funny little snippets that enhanced the overall fun. Exploration, Interaction, and Combat played a more or less equal part in the story that was being told.

Now the ‘group’ is a bunch of individuals who only reason for being a group was that the players were sitting at the same table (and not just at PFS tables). ‘In-character acting’ (‘roleplay’) has become the emphasis over all other aspects of the game. Group goals are secondary to individual’s time in the limelight.

At least this is the feel I get from current play and talk on these threads.

If you'll permit me, I'm curious to see what you think of this hypothetical revision of your statement. Please note that this isn't supposed to be any kind of challenge or anything, just scratching a curiosity-itch that I've had for a while

Bizzarro-World hypothetical Jacob Saltband wrote:

When I started playing RPGs way back yesteryear, the only group whose dynamics I was aware of was my own and maybe one or two others I knew personally, and the way we played was that the game was about a group of characters trying to accomplish goals as a ‘group’. The ‘in-character acting’ (‘roleplay’ ) was fun and sometimes funny little snippets that enhanced the overall fun. Exploration, Interaction, and Combat played a more or less equal part in the story that was being told. I kind of assumed everyone else saw the game the same way, even if I never really thought about it.

Now that the hobby is bigger and I'm out on the great big internet, I've been exposed to way more fellow players than I ever used to know. Among them, some of them seem to view the game as one where the ‘group’ is a bunch of individuals who only reason for being a group was that the players were sitting at the same table (and not just at PFS tables). ‘In-character acting’ (‘roleplay’) has become the emphasis over all other aspects of the game. Group goals are secondary to individual’s time in the limelight. I find myself assuming that this is a new trend, but upon further reflection, I have no data to suggest that it's not something that's been a part of the hobby from the beginning and I'm just now seeing a large enough sample size to become aware of it.

What do you think? Could that be a better fit?

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Meat wrote:
BBQ Chicken Pizza with Lemonade.
Meat wrote:
BBQ Chicken Pizza
Meat wrote:
BBQ Pizza
Meat wrote:
BBQ Pizza
Meat wrote:
BBQ Pizza

BLASPHEMY!!!

*throatpunch*

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Aranna wrote:
Most people seem to want to build on their own and take their chances with group dynamics or group role play. This is a solid indicator of competitive play.

Really? Simply wanting to build your own character as you please indicates competitive play?

So, it can't indicate that with previous groups they've gotten burned with the "someone has to play a cleric" dynamic?

It can't indicate that they want the first session to be diving into actually playing the game so they want to have their character already built on their own time?

It can't indicate that they think party coordination is metagamey and they just want everyone to pick something and see how the story unfolds?

It can't indicate that they just want everyone to be able to play whatever each person would most enjoy?

It can't indicate any of those things? It's just an indicator of competitive play?


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CONGRATS ON YOUR FIRST COHORT

MAKE SURE YOU PUMP YOUR CHA FOR A GOOD LEADERSHIP SCORE

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bookrat wrote:
Remember that thread where we all rolled 3d6 in order to see what we'd get?

Hey! I remember that!

Quote:
Remember how many people got straight 12s or 13s and declared those characters to be unplayable commoners?

No, I remember no such thing. I remember the "unplayable commoners" topping out at 12-13, with multiple single-digit stats and a negative total modifier for the set. I remember anything with a double-digit CON score and at least one mental stat of 13 or higher getting a response of "Hey, I could totally play a [insertcasterhere]". Those are the kinds of things I remember from that thread.

I think your "12 CHA is so low" player is an anomaly, not a member of a larger trend.

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MrConradTheDuck wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
What's the fascination with painting other people's preferences on how to play the game as BADWRONGFUN?
Except I didn't.
In your very first post, you wrote:
It's not fun or interesting.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
...wanting to play a martial (read: MAD) class.

Depends on what system you're playing, my friend. ;)

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I saw somebody else with this avatar. It was someone with the same real-life first name as me, and who had just gotten Top 32 in RPG Superstar the same year as me. Then we noticed that ANOTHER person with the same first name as us was ALSO in the Top 32 that year, so we coerced him into also changing to this avatar.

And those are the only people I've seen use this avatar.

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My current opinion on rolled stats versus point buy is that they serve different gameplay methods.

With point buy, you're guaranteed to get the stats you want, so you have the freedom to pick a character concept first, then arrange the stats as needed to support that concept. Whatever type of character you envision, you can establish the necessary stats. In this way, point buy enables a "concept first" method of character creation.

With rolled stats, you don't have that level of control. You might come up with a concept of a jack-of-all-trades wanderer, then roll one amazing stat, one moderate stat, and some bad stats. Now you can't really play that character (at least, not without dishonest roleplaying). Conversely, you might have a concept that's charming but dim-witted and physically weak who relies on smiles and magic to compensate... and then roll every stat between 12 and 14 so that you can't really represent your intended strengths OR weaknesses. So if you approach character creation with the same "concept first" mindset that point buy enables, rolled stats can shoot down your concept, which isn't fun.

However, if you approach character creation with a fundamentally different mindset, rolled stats can be quite fun. Specifically, if you think of character creation as another aspect of gameplay: "What character can I make with these stats?" can be fun in and of itself. It's sort of a "pre-game game", so to speak.

So if you want to create a concept from scratch and then build the character to support it, you want point buy. If you want to play the "What can I make?" game before the campaign starts, rolled stats can be a lot of fun.

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Steve Geddes wrote:
perhaps one new proficiency each time your proficiency bonus goes up, as that's easy to remember.

Mind = blown.

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Terquem wrote:
Castle Caldwell was started specifically to see if a straight no house rule game would generate enough interest

That's a very valid reason to not have any houserules. :)

So, doesn't that just go to show that someone talking like there aren't any houserules might very well have a valid reason to do so, just like you do? Doesn't your own example prove that people talking about what the system allows are not necessarily speaking out of an adversarial mindset, and in fact might have very good reasons for their comments/decisions?

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Terquem wrote:
But that's just it, isn't it? It always seems to become an adversarial discussion, breaking it down to what the SYSTEM does or does not allow, as if to say, well sorry mister DM/Player (whoever you are trying to argue with) the system doesn't allow that so haha I win and you don't get your way.

It perplexes me that you would say that, given your own denial of houserules in your Castle Caldwell game. What you're saying now would seem to suggest that your own post where you veto'd a houserule I suggested should have been interpreted as "the system doesn't allow that so haha I win and you don't get your way". I know I certainly did NOT interpret that veto in such a negative way, and I'd wager a guess nobody else did either. You just had a preference to run things "by the book", and that was that. No biggie.

So why not assume the best of those discussing differences of rulesets, just as I assumed the best of my DM shooting down a request? Doesn't have to "become an adversarial discussion," as you put it. Folks can just talk. :)

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