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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. 19,051 posts (21,596 including aliases). 17 reviews. 4 lists. 1 wishlist. 13 Pathfinder Society characters. 23 aliases.


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At my job, I (and my team) often have to write letters. Since they're the same handful of letters over and over again, we use "templates" (meaning Word docs with fillable fields for name, address, relevant customer info, etc).

Now, since it would be chaos if everyone could edit these templates, only a certain person can edit them. Thus, if a letter needs to be changed (maybe updated wording for legal reasons, or to reflect a change in procedure, whatever), you have to go through this person.

As it happens, there is a certain letter template which I personally am the only person in the whole company who uses it. Then one day, I discover that it has been changed.

I was not asked whether it needed to be changed.

I was not asked whether the proposed changes would be helpful or not. (There wasn't even a "proposed changes" phase.)

I was not so much as informed of the change.

I just ran into it when preparing to write a letter. And the actual changes? They ranged from completely unnecessary to actively detrimental.

Completely unnecessary: Changed the wording on a couple of things, still communicating the same message with no meaningful change.

Worse than unnecessary: Added additional fields of information to be filled in (extra steps for me to do), despite not being relevant to the topic or function of the letter.

Dubya tee eff: Removed the phone number the customer can call with questions and replaced it with a drop-down menu where I have to select a phone number. However, (1) that letter always has the exact same number so selecting one is pointless, and (2) the correct phone number isn't even in the list! So I have to delete that field entirely and then type in the number manually.

GWAAAARRRGGGH!!!!

I didn't request that the letter be revised, and nobody else uses it, so why did this person even decide to spend time on this in the first place? And how were these decisions made of what changes to actually make? URGH!

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Knitifine wrote:

Is it the power gamer attitude?

Is it bad DMing?
Or is it simply player inattentiveness?

First of all, I think you would gain some benefit from comparing this list of ideas you came up with to some of the ideas that myself and others will offer, and seeing if you can discern some trends in your own ways of thinking that might help explain why you've encountered so much friction with other gamers lately. You might end up happier in the end. :)

Now then, I have indeed had a couple of instances of getting tired of a character. I'll try to articulate my experiences:

I had a fighter that I played up to 9th level. I thought maybe I could buck stereotypes and have a "smart fighter" who was able to defeat foes as much with superior cunning as with brute force. So I made a fighter with some INT, and picked up things like Improved Trip and Improved Disarm. Up through about level 3-4 or so, it was pretty cool: tripping and disarming was something that other PCs couldn't do, so the character actually felt different instead of being just another brute. Sure, I did a little less damage than others, but it didn't seem to be making much difference. So it was cool and fun.

But Pathfinder changes as you level up. I started facing foes who couldn't be tripped (no legs, flying, too many legs) or didn't care much about being tripped (spellcasters) and who couldn't be disarmed (monsters, spellcasters). Against those foes, my fighter played exactly like all the carbon-copy brutes (except weaker, though that was a smaller issue than the loss of identity). Also, I eventually realized that even when I was at my best using trip/disarm/AoO tactics against humanoid weapon-users, the net result on any given round was that I'd taken this long, roundabout path to eventually just dealing damage, but did it during AoOs instead of on my turn. So I was still just hitting things like everyone else, except I used up more table time doing it because of how many extra dice it took to get the same final result.

So to sum up, I got tired of a character because Pathfinder doesn't support the concept I wanted to roleplay. (Pathfinder's so bad at it, in fact, that years later I even published some 3PP "smart fighting" material to try and help fill the gap, with mixed success.)

I've had other characters with similar stories: I would get a cool concept in my mind, make the character, then discover over the course of a few levels that it did not at all offer the play experience I was after. There was a rogue, a druid, a cleric, one or two others... (Eventually I did manage a "perfect storm" of a concept that I liked and which was also supportable in the system, and he was my favorite character ever—and well-liked by my tablemates too!)

I would make a guess that this is one of the more common reasons people get tired of their characters: they don't support the intended concept as well as expected, leaving them playing a character other than the one they were in love with.

Hope that helps. :)

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I think I'll just stick with "Pathfinder's Knowledge skill system is borked". ;)

But just for fun:

Aniuś the Talewise wrote:
getting the core idea across that Jesus had to feed hundreds of people with only 5 loaves of bread and two fish, and by blessing the food he was able to not only feed the entire crowd but had several baskets of waste left over.

Well, you're close: it was thousands, not hundreds, and in fact the source material includes more than one instance of him using one lunch to feed thousands of people and get a few baskets of leftovers. So what DC do you suppose you hit? Maybe 13? ;)

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Aniuś the Talewise wrote:
Well that's part of what makes the knowledge local skill kind of odd in my opinion. I can be from Hartford and particularly well studied in the gossips, rumors and local legends (nor do I even have to be to know common rumors in my community), but none of that experience tells me anything about the talk of the town in Seoul.

Maybe Kn(local) is like Reddit or something? Yeah, you're not the only one who finds it odd. :/

Quote:
On the other hand, I am not trained at all in Christian theology, but I can remember some Christian myths and some of the commandments. If I saw iconography of Jesus holding bread and fish I would undoubtedly recognize the story it's based on. In that case maybe we have a different definition of the word 'common'.

It's DC 10 to be able to recognize holy symbols and clergy (which, remember, requires that you have some concept of that religion's nature/existence in the first place).

As for knowing some of the myths, you say you "remember" some of them; buuuuut can you actually recite those stories, accurate to the source material (in this example, the Bible)? Or do you just kinda remember "there was this one story where he fed a lot of people with bread and fish"? I'm of the opinion that a successful Knowledge check means actual, accurate, real, solid knowledge of the thing in question, not just kinda recognizing it. If you do really know the stories, then I bet you at least went to Sunday School as a kid or something, in which case you totally have at least one rank.

Or maybe Pathfinder's Knowledge skills are just borked beyond hope. ;)

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
In PbP you lack the magic of rolling dice at a table with friends, it's just a digital random number generator.

I'm a little confused. Are you saying that the only reason you include randomized resolution mechanics in an RPG is because you like throwing pieces of plastic on a table? I'm very curious about that notion, as to me the primary role of dice in an RPG is literally just to serve as a random number generator for resolving actions when success/failure is unclear. I'd love to hear more.

Quote:
Besides that, with a dice-based game like Pathfinder you have to wait until dice are rolled to know how you should RP your turn.

That's a simple matter of hitting "Preview" then typing up your post. Honestly, given that the roller can do the math for you, I find that "waiting until the dice are rolled" is often shorter in PbP than how long I usually wait for someone to resolve an action in face-to-face. I honestly have no idea what significant delay you're seeing here. Could you elaborate?

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thejeff wrote:

True, but those examples seem to line up pretty closely with good/bad (or mature/immature?). Nobody is actually aiming to be the guy who gets upset when the game doesn't go his way.

The GNS paradigm (and I think nosig's two schools) are actually different good & valid approaches to the game. Different things to strive for. And potential causes of conflict when that isn't acknowledged and different people in a group are pulling for different things, assuming the others also want what they do.

Although some of the specific behaviors I described aren't great, the core divide I described is not one of good/bad or mature/immature.

For instance, maybe a group of friends decides they'd have a blast playing out a hyper-cliche'd "horror" narrative for laughs. To that end, they might all be interested in things going as one might expect in pulp horror (like investigating strange noises alone in your most revealing underwear while there's a killer on the loose). Curveballs (in this example, things like having your character behave with a sense of self-preservation) would ruin the fun of such an endeavor. There's nothing wrong with a game like that.

Just like with the GNS paradigm, it's a good and valid way to play, and the issues arise when not everyone's on the same page (i.e., some players want to play up the unrealistic pulp horror tropes while others want to start with that premise but then act like real people and see what happens as a result).

EDIT: And I'll go ahead and add that in my experience, 99% of the instances of people NOT being on the same page mostly has to do with one or more persons not realizing that there are different pages to be on, and/or which one describes themselves.

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nosig wrote:
For years I have noticed two general kinds of Players (and we are players on both sides of the DM Screen) – which I refer to as falling into the “Two Schools of RPG Gaming.”
Flite wrote:
I prefer the gamist-narativist-simulationist trichotomy.

Interestingly, I think there's an even more fundamental divide than either of these breakdowns.

I think the most basic, root-level way to classify players/GMs is whether or not they're open to seeing things go differently than they expected. I think there are some gamers who, if thrown a curveball, will get upset or argumentative and try to force things back toward their own vision (and shame those who get in their way), while there are others who will encounter such twists and simply adapt (possibly even loving the fact that such adaptation was warranted).

The reason I think this is a more fundamental categorization than the others presented is because you could take any of the categories listed above and find that it contains this division.

For example, take nosig's #1 (the "Us vs Them" gamer): If it's the GM, then he probably has an idea of how deadly a given encounter will be. If the players then do something which bypasses, shortens, or otherwise overcomes the obstacle with less time/resource loss than anticipated, then the GM will react in one of two ways: either they'll accept it and think "Okay, next time I've got to be ready for that possibility," or they'll fudge HP, mysteriously always make the save (at least until a PC is unconscious), or start arguing about how absurd it is to think that the players' ideas/capabilities would actually work. Or on the player side, you can see this divide when he encounters a peculiar situation where his normal specialty doesn't work: does he think "Ouch, I didn't realize this gap in my capabilities would be this harsh; I need to find countermeasures"? Or does he (much like the GM, above) start arguing about the difficult circumstance being unreasonable?

For another example, take Flite's "narrativist". They're playing to tell a story, but have they already created that story (whether through worldbuilding on the GM side or elaborate backstory on the player side) and they'll get upset when the game goes in a direction that doesn't spotlight their masterpiece (foil the BBEG the wrong way, use an unanticipated solution to an obstacle, fail to include the network of NPC contacts from the backstory, etc)? Or are they coming to the table with only a starting point, intending to discover what story gets created as it happens?

Regardless of whether someone likes winning encounters, telling a story, defeating the other side of the screen, or whatever else; to me, the big thing is whether or not there's a certain thing they need the experience to end up aligning with.

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When assessing how many "options" 5E has compared to PF, you have to remember a couple of things:

First, it's easy to overlook a lot of the options 5E has because they don't require feat chains or specialized abilities to perform; you can just DO them. For instance, literally anyone can use TWFing with no investment in 5E, but I bet a lot of people see fighter's (and a couple of pseudo-fighters') TWF style boost, and think they're the only classes that can TWF, and chalk it up to 5E having fewer options than PF, when really it's an example of the opposite. There are lots of examples of that: PF trains you to expect an "Ability to do X" feat, you see no such feature in 5E, and think (incorrectly) that you don't have that option in 5E.

Second, what counts as an "option"? Is it literally anything you could theoretically choose for your character? Or does it only count as an "option" if it's something you might actually use? I lean toward the latter, which causes PF to have far fewer "options" than its accumulated pagecount would suggest. 5E, on the other hand, has a lot fewer "selectables" that you'll never take than PF does.

The option gap is far smaller than it seems at first glance.

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DM_Blake wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
If a player came to me saying there was something about their character they didn't like (maybe a choice didn't pan out as they expected), I'd work out a solution and not even bother with "retraining"; I'd just wave my GM wand and say "Poof! The game is fun for you again!"
But I have to ask Jiggy, and a few others who replied in similar fashion, is the "fun" of this game so fragile that a single feat is hte difference between fun and not fun?

Equating "something" with "exactly one feat" is quite an assumption on your part. It could be one feat, it could be a feat tree (which could in turn include stat prereqs and so forth), it could be which of a group of similar classes they thought would enable their concept the best, it could be a fighting style and the various choices made to support it; the list goes on and on. I'd call any of those "something".

Quote:
Is there anybody that looks at a character they built over a period of months or maybe years, with which they've had fun adventures, fun role-play, and generally enjoyed gaming, but yet they say "Well, that one feat here is making this game no fun for me"?

Your statement is literally self-contradictory: a character that they've been having fun with and is simultaneously "no fun".

If someone made a character choice that's draining the fun from the game, then that character is not "a character they built over a period of months or maybe years, with which they've had fun adventures, fun role-play, and generally enjoyed gaming". That's kind of the point.

Then there's also the situation of a character that was fun at first, but didn't stay that way. For instance, I had a fighter that I played from 1st to about 9th over the course of many months. I gave him a 13 INT so I could go for Combat Expertise and Improved Trip/Disarm with a flail.

At 1st-3rd levels, he was pretty fun: he could do things that others couldn't. Others focused on damage, but 2HPA is kind of overkill against things with 10HP, so my slightly lesser damage wasn't an issue.

But then the game changed. Math scaled. Enemies changed. My own understanding of the game improved. Started fighting monsters who didn't use weapons and which flew or had lots of legs (or no legs), leaving me to do nothing but attack for damage, which I wasn't as good at. Against armed humanoids, I started to realize that tripping and disarming didn't actually move the fight toward resolution. I tried to remedy this with Combat Reflexes and Greater Trip, so that with a single expenditure of an attack I could trip and disarm the guy, whack him with my iterative, then whack him with AoOs.

Then I figured out that the net result was the same as if I just 2HPA'd him on my own turn, except it's slower to resolve (more rolls) and is costing me a whole host of extra feats instead of just Power Attack.

And it still didn't feel like I was playing the "smart fighter" that I thought I had created.

So I went into it making a smarter-than-average fighter who could do stuff others couldn't and was generally pretty useful. But then his abilities gradually became irrelevant, and his identity disappeared as his differences from other fighters failed to set him apart.

That (along with some other things) drained the fun out of the experience. Had that been the PC of a player in a campaign I was running, I'd have let them change things up for free, because the game tends not to be fun when your character isn't matching your concept anymore.

Quote:
Is our enjoyment of this game teetering on such a razor's edge?

If by "razor's edge" you mean the ridiculous "single feat means the whole game is simultaneously fun and not fun" oxymoron that you contrived in order to make your point sound better, then the answer to your question is "no". If by "razor's edge" you mean "choices that fail to produce the desired result can make the game less fun", then the answer to your question is yes.

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Aniuś the Talewise wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

When people use a common phrase/expression, but get the words wrong in such a way as to demonstrate that they have no idea what they're actually saying, and are instead mindlessly parroting something they don't even understand, just because they think other people say it.

Good example:
"For all intensive purposes," when what they really meant was "for all intents and purposes".

fwgafvegag

I like to mix up the phrase "sharpest knife in the drawer" and its variants

Sharpest brick in the fire, and so forth.

Now, see, that's deliberately making a joke. Totally different thing.

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When people use a common phrase/expression, but get the words wrong in such a way as to demonstrate that they have no idea what they're actually saying, and are instead mindlessly parroting something they don't even understand, just because they think other people say it.

Good example:
"For all intensive purposes," when what they really meant was "for all intents and purposes".

fwgafvegag

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Personally, my ideal would be a system where raising the dead is difficult/impossible/complicated/etc, but where death never comes from a single d20 roll (no save-or-die, no low-level insta-gib crits, etc; death would have to require either astounding stupidity, heroic sacrifice, or a dramatic escalation of negative events).

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If a player came to me saying there was something about their character they didn't like (maybe a choice didn't pan out as they expected), I'd work out a solution and not even bother with "retraining"; I'd just wave my GM wand and say "Poof! The game is fun for you again!"

As for retraining HP, well, there's a reason I never have my players roll HP in the first place. :/

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There's a difference between healthy and unhealthy ways for a community to operate, and right and wrong ways for a game to be played.

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tony gent wrote:
it should be

Herein lies the root of some of the darkest parts of this community's history. It's not the theorycrafting or the FAQratta or the rules lawyering or the poor editing or the optimization; the nastiness produced by all of those put together pales in comparison to the simple application of "should".

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This is an area where I don't like how Pathfinder handles things.

For one thing, everything is so binary: most of the skills' DCs are "if you roll below this, TOTAL FAILURE". It's a harsh yes/no.

In Pathfinder, if you try to sneak up and spy on a bandit camp but roll low on your Stealth, then every single bandit who beat your Stealth check is immediately staring right at you. Game over. Failed.

What I would personally prefer is that if you rolled low on that check, then maybe you stepped on a twig and a guard or two went "What was that?" and one of them comes over to investigate. Things still got worse, but there's at least a chance that you could still evade detection (maybe he fails to find you and figures the noise was a rabbit or something). A consequence for failure without the whole operation falling apart at the first low roll.

A corollary to this is how thoroughly codified Pathfinder's skills are: right down to individual action expenditures. If you had more generally-worded skills, like "when you're doing X type of thing and need to resolve the results, use Y skill", that's one thing. But in Pathfinder, you go to do X thing, determine that it takes about a minute to do, then reference the skill and see that you need to make a check for every move action, so that's 20 checks. And remembering what I said above about how binary Pathfinder's skills are, only ONE of those 20 checks have to roll low to make it all fall apart.

Additionally, Pathfinder assigns a DC to even the most trivial of things, such as literally noticing somebody just standing right there. Pathfinder sets up the precedent that it's not entirely uncommon for a commoner to be able to be walking down a deserted street and fail to notice someone across the street aiming a bow at him (not kidding; do the math). This sets up an expectation that even the most basic of things require checks, which leads to the (IMO, silly) trend of adventure authors writing things like that a PC who opens a drawer and looks in won't discover the macguffin that's sitting right there in the drawer unless they succeed at a Perception check. It's silly, and it's not explicitly required by the system rules, but it's the expectation that the system sets up by having rules for noticing that somebody's standing right there saying "Stop or I'll shoot".

I prefer a skill system where the only thing the rules tell you is which skill to use to resolve a given type of activity and how to determine the math. Let the narrative and the people at the table determine when it's time to actually make a check, and what the high and low rolls mean.

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Zilvar2k11 wrote:
The idea that damage has a static value or representation is pretty thinly supported by any form of rules. For that to work, any damage value of..what, 14 or more (8 CON, d6 hd, level 1) has to automatically describe a wound that is instantly fatal. Not potentially fatal. Not 'might die in a few seconds to bleed out', but instantly fatal to any PC.

No, instantly fatal to that PC. "Fatal" is just a description of whether or not the damage killed the creature, because that's what "fatal" means. An attack that deals 20 damage might be fatal to one character but not another, all while being an identical amount of damage.

Quote:
And now you've got to make up stories about how your uber hero shrugged off having a sword stuck through his heart or had his head removed, because that's what the same means, isn't it?

If you can explain why taking a lethal amount of damage automatically means decapitation, then yeah, I'll have to defend why decapitation doesn't kill someone with more HP. Until then, though, all I have to defend is the notion that the same quantity of flesh-harming can be lethal for one person but not for another.

Quote:
I don't think that the game works in the fashion in which you are describing, but Pathfinder itself is pretty vague on the subject, isn't it?
Quote:

The proportional damage model is lifted pretty much straight out of the 3.0 (3.5?) players handbook which included a paragraph describing how a wizard who had lost half his hit points was about as hurt as a fighter who had lost half of his. 'Damage', for 3.x-based games, has pretty much always been defined as proportional to

the overall health of the target.

Until Pathfinder was published with no such description. I mean, you're welcome to do it that way, if that's what works for you. Just please don't claim some kind of universal, system-transcendant definition of HP that even applies to games which don't mention it.

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Aaron Whitley wrote:
Jiggy wrote:


I realize I'm adding to a bit of a derail here, but maybe I can be helpful.
Isn't asking "why is 4 points of healing less effective on a 14HP creature than on an 8HP creature" kind of like asking "why is raise dead less effective on a 10-man party than on a 4-man party"?
Maybe I'm an idiot but I'm not seeing the comparison.

The raise dead only heals 10% of a 10-man party, but it heals 25% of a 4-man party. Just like how you've been describing a CLW spell healing ~30% of a fighter but healing ~80% of a wizard.

Quote:
Jiggy wrote:


If the 6HP wizard and the 12HP fighter each take a 5-damage longsword stab, they both have the same injury. It's just that the fighter could take it again and still be fighting, while the wizard couldn't. Then, when someone comes along and heals them for 5HP each, the healing was equally effective: they both had their identical stab-wounds removed. The only difference is that the fighter might have a second stab-wound that also needs healing.

The healing was not more effective on one than the other: the same amount of injury got healed. There is no inconsistency.

Are we assuming they are receiving the exact same physical injury? If so why?

We're not "assuming" anything; rather, the two injuries are equal by definition. A greater or lesser amount of injury is represented by a higher or lower damage value. Five points of damage is the same as five points of damage because that's what "the same" means.

Quote:
That 5 HP hit on a wizard is 5/6 of his HP while on the fighter it is 5/12. I don't think I would consider them the exact same injury.

Why not? It sounds like your issue is not with the actual HP and damage rules Pathfinder uses, but rather with the "injury based on percentage of HP remaining" houserule that you forced upon yourself. You've decided that every character has exactly 100 points of actual health/injury, and you're doing math to convert damage/HP back and forth from the given values to the ratios that you've decided yourself are the true descriptions of injury levels.

Which, I mean, is fine if you want to do that, but it sounds like you're not fine with it; so I'm offering you the alternative of abandoning the paradigms you've set up for yourself and simply taking the HP/damage system at face value.


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Lore Warden 7 | Init +5 | HP 73/73 22/87 | AC 26, T 15, FF 23 | Fort +8 +10, Ref +6, Will +6 | CMB +16 (+21 Trip), CMD 31 (33 Trip) | Perc +11, SensMtv +6 | -1 CHA

Reflex: 1d20 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 6 + 2 = 9

I don't suppose the dragon happens to be positioned conveniently within reach of the cliff, like they always are in all the promotional art that tries to make it look like fighters can engage dragons?

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Aaron Whitley wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

...

Aaron Whitley wrote:
I think the bigger issue is with healing in general. Magical healing makes no sense in context of the rest of the HP and healing rules. It is odd that a healing spell becomes less effective on someone as that person levels.

This is an example of what I was talking about. People seeing levels as something less than 'becoming more powerful,' wherein of course a more powerful being who can endure more damage is going to require greater magic to heal that damage.

In a game without levels you scrap the whole cure line and are left with 'Cure', 'Cure Mass' and 'Cure Fatal/Breath of Life'

I think it's more than that though. Why is CLW (1d8+1 at first level) more effective when cast on a wizard than a barbarian? Assuming it heals 4 points on average that's half a first level wizard's hit points (assuming 6 to start plus 2 from Con) but less than a third of a barbarian's hit points (assuming 12 to start plus at least 2 from Con). That seems strange to me.

I realize I'm adding to a bit of a derail here, but maybe I can be helpful.

Isn't asking "why is 4 points of healing less effective on a 14HP creature than on an 8HP creature" kind of like asking "why is raise dead less effective on a 10-man party than on a 4-man party"?

If the 6HP wizard and the 12HP fighter each take a 5-damage longsword stab, they both have the same injury. It's just that the fighter could take it again and still be fighting, while the wizard couldn't. Then, when someone comes along and heals them for 5HP each, the healing was equally effective: they both had their identical stab-wounds removed. The only difference is that the fighter might have a second stab-wound that also needs healing.

The healing was not more effective on one than the other: the same amount of injury got healed. There is no inconsistency.

Quote:
Now compare that 4 hit points of healing to natural healing. At first level it is 4 days worth of natural healing or 2 days of full bed rest. At 4th level it is 1 day of healing or 1/2 day of full bed rest. Why the change?

Because a higher-level character is so tough they can heal from the same stab-wound faster than a lower-level character? I honestly don't see the issue here.

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I could easily leave behind any of the listed things, and in fact some of them are parts of larger mechanics that I'd be fine with scrapping altogether as part of a much larger system overhaul.

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In the Mummy's Mask group I was in, we sometimes had the soundtrack of The Mummy playing in the background (not so loud as to drown out anyone's voices), which I found added to the atmosphere a bit. Haven't tried it anywhere else.

I've sometimes considered including YouTube links to appropriate music in some of my GM posts in my PbP, but haven't actually done it yet.

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Customer sends in a form requesting to be billed electronically every month. My team sets this up.

The following month, the customer sends in a check for their quarterly amount that they used to be paying. We refund it, with a letter explaining that since they're set up for EFT now, they don't need to send in money.

Same thing happens the next month.

And the next.

And the next.

We look for a phone number, but can't find one. So every month, we refund his overpaid premium with a letter asking him to stop sending in checks.

This continues EVERY MONTH for three years. He never writes back, never calls, never in any way tries to contact us to ask why the hell he keeps getting checks in the mail for the past 36 months in a row.

#tableflip

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Nathanael Love wrote:
But if you'e come to the point that only going to a different game system will satisfy you, I sure wish that you wouldn't repeatedly start and derail threads

I didn't start this thread. Also, this thread's purpose is to talk about what you do and don't like about Pathfinder. Thus, doing so is not a derail. Tick one tally.

Quote:
telling everyone else how its impossible to have fun with Pathfinder because of Caster/Martial disparity.

I repeatedly specified "for me personally" over and over and over again. I never told ANYONE that it's "impossible to have fun" for anyone but myself. Tick one tally.

Quote:
When you aren't looking for a solution, you are just looking to frustrate others.

I already told you why I stay involved with these discussions: trying to get people to be more civil, and seeing how people articulate their thoughts on mechanical issues so I can feed my own game design skills. It's not to try and frustrate others. Tick one tally. Also, you should already know the above, since you replied directly to the post it was in. Tick one tally.

Quote:
I don't go into the forums of games I've quit playing and post endlessly about how the reason I quit playing them is so awful and ruined the game.

Neither do I. But I do go into a thread specifically designed to talk about likes and dislikes of Pathfinder, and do exactly that. Tick one tally.

Quote:
I quit playing Shadowrun because I feel that the core mechanic in the current game is set up to make actions on average far too difficult to perform. But I have started or redirected dozens upon dozens of threads in the Shadowrun forums to that topic--

Again, this thread is a perfectly appropriate one for the topic. I've neither started nor redirected "dozens upon dozens" of threads. Tick one tally.

Quote:
because if the game just isn't for me, why should I beat my chest so loudly trying to get others to also stop enjoying it?

Again, my discussion of Pathfinder's mechanical issues has been about my own preferences, with no intent to change other people's preferences or try to block anyone's fun. Tick one tally.

Look, if Pathfinder gives you what you want, I'm happy for you. I'd be even happier to read detailed thoughts on the how and why, so that I can keep your preferences in mind in my own design work.

I don't ever want you to stop having fun with a game you enjoy.

The only thing I want you to stop doing is managing to cram 7 instances of lying, belligerence, and condescension into a single post just because I don't like the same things as you.

You are the one being toxic, not me.

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What could have happened from the beginning:

Bob: The caster/martial disparity really makes it hard for me to enjoy this game.
Mary: Really? I never noticed it in my own games; sorry, wish I could help!
Fred: I see what you mean, but I actually prefer it that way. To each his own, I guess.
Betty: Oh, Bob, I had the same issues, but I've found that using X workaround alleviates it a bit. Hope that helps!

What's historically happened instead:

Bob: The caster/martial disparity really makes it hard for me to enjoy this game.
Mary: Really? I never noticed it in my own games; it's probably just dirty theorycraft. Do you even actually PLAY this game? Does anyone actually have any real-life stories of this coming out in actual gameplay?
Fred: That's how the game was MEANT to be played. Maybe if you weren't an MMO-generation powergamer obsessed with trying to 'win' a cooperative game, then you could just focus on having fun instead.
Betty: Well Bob, I've implemented X houserules that alleviate that disparity, therefore I'm pretty sure the disparity never existed, and you're creating it yourself through your GM's ineptitude.

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

Now, some people seem to think that the only reason anyone would ever mention an issue they have with the game more than once is to try to use repetition as a means of lobbying for the game to be changed to match their vision. Maybe some people are doing that. But for myself, I keep getting in these discussions in the hopes of guiding one more player back toward the first type of discussion in place of the second. (Also I'm interested in game design and seeing people articulate and re-articulate their ideas on the topic is helpful for me, but the above is still true.)

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Wow, commute + dinner = 55 new posts. Let's see...

knightnday wrote:
Does your wife repeat herself incessantly about the mess and talk about you, your parents, and in general run you down about it? If not, then it isn't a good comparison.

If I kept leaving the mess there in spite of her requests, for years on end? Yeah, she just might get to that point. (Isn't that where certain stereotypes come from?) Were you under the impression that the consistent re-dredging of old topics was the initial response the first time the issue popped up, equivalent to the first time I made a mess at home?

Wrath wrote:
we play as the game was intended

*takes a shot*

Wrath wrote:

Perhaps the disparity you see is from this house rule of non co operation.

A group of individuals does not a team make.

*takes a shot*

Gonna need more booze at this rate.

Wrath wrote:
But when I'm told playing by design intent makes a problem non existent is called a "house rule or gentle mans agreement"', that is not condescending or rude.

No, it's not. Houserules and gentleman's agreements are good things. Why the hell would correctly identifying them be offensive?

...And then a bunch of stuff about scry and fry. Meh.

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Yeah, this whole paradigm of responding to complaints with "Since you obviously dislike it so much, why are you here talking about it?" is really weird and nonsensical, yet it keeps coming up.

I bet my wife is glad that when she points out the mess I've left in the other room I don't respond with "Well if you don't like me anyway, wouldn't there be better ways to spend your time than here with me?"

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knightnday wrote:
rather than trying to discourage others from liking it

I'm curious what constitutes "discourage others from liking it" for you, because I don't think I've ever seen such a post. I've seen posts harshly discouraging others from disliking certain elements (recent-ish example: "Maybe the reason you have these issues is just because you don't treat your tablemates like actual friends, you forget that it's a team game, and you're not really there to have fun?"). But I can't think of an example of a post that really seemed like the poster wanted the reader to end up liking Pathfinder less.

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I would amend #3 to "People who acknowledge it exists, but either don't care or actually like it".

Rare, but real.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Darklord Morius wrote:
Today i discovered why my boss keep saying my e-mails are "subpar". They want me to write on it to whom the e-mail is for.

Workplace emails differ from texts to your friends. In general, you are expected to start the email with a salutation to the recipient, and to sign your name beyond just replying on the signature block.

Example:

Your Email wrote:

Mark,

The results of the recent sampling have been tabulated; please see attached. If you need anything else, don't hesitate to let me know.

Regards,
--Morius

Yes, it's quite true that the sender, recipient, and paperclip icon indicating an attachment are all right there to see. But that's not the point. The point is that, within the body of the email, you're taking the time and effort to interact with the recipient almost as you would as a person, rather than as if you are simply an auto-send function on a machine.

I think you misread his post. He said his boss wants his emails to say "Dear So-and-so" like you're talking about, but then also lead off with an additional "To So-and-so" before that salutation.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it seems your preachy lecture to kids these days about how to remember that people aren't computers is a bit misplaced this time. :/

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cmastah wrote:
Minimum speed limit: It's not dangerous to drive slow, just annoying.

No, it can be dangerous. Driving slow doesn't trip brake lights. When you're doing 70mph down the interstate and the guy ahead of you changes lanes, revealing someone you don't already know is only going 35mph, it's a very real possibility that you couldn't stop in time.

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Freehold DM wrote:

Right turns on red lights.

They make no sense to me.

There are times and places where it's fine, it's just that some motorists seem to extrapolate that they're as entitled to proceed as at a green light no matter what the traffic situation. I've had times where I was in a right turn lane waiting for a break in traffic and had the person behind me (in some cases, unable to see anything but what's directly in front of them) repeatedly honk at me for being stopped.

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Pre-coffee is alarming.

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Me: "Across a dozen levels and something like 30-40 sessions, my overall experience with this character has been X."
[REDACTED]: "No it hasn't, it's been Y; I know because I saw six of your sessions."
Me: "Wow, are you seriously telling me I'm wrong about my experiences, based on having seen a tiny fraction of the data second-hand?"
[REDACTED]: "No, of course I wouldn't try to say that you're wrong about what your experiences have been! I'm just saying that it's been Y, not X."

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A while back, my apartment complex installed new front doors. This included adding a big green button that says "Push to Exit". Taped to the new button was a piece of paper saying "You Do Not Need to Push to Exit".

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Samy wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Samy wrote:
Even if such a "martial magic" class were built from the ground up, it would surely have the equivalents of caster level, spell slots, probably bonus spells, perhaps some of those others too.
No.
Then you'd have them use 9th-level epic abilities unlimited times per day? I'm not sure what you're saying here. You want them to have powerful abilities, but you don't want them to have to count how many per day?

How does "they wouldn't work like spells" mean "they'll be as powerful as the strongest spells with no limits whatsoever"?

Maybe some of them are at-will and properly balanced to be at-will.

Maybe some cost you HP to use.

Maybe others are sort of at-will, except whenever you use it you have to make a Fort save against a set DC or become fatigued for X amount of time and you can't use it while you're already fatigued. (This has the elegance of letting your older, less-proportionally-powerful abilities gradually become less likely to fatigue you as your Fort save goes up; it also encourages teamwork because a caster can use lesser restoration to get your abilities back online for you.)

Really, the possibilities are endless, if we're just willing to look.

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Samy wrote:
I still haven't heard what's wrong with just calling spells 'epic abilities'. Solves all problems. (Well, with a few small tweaks.)

To speak only for myself, I find that two game elements which are different only in name do not satisfy my sense of flavor. Only when two things are experientially different does the term "roleplaying game" really start to mean something (again, for me).

For example, compare sorcerers and wizards. Wizards are supposed to be casters who study, plan, and prepare to cast spells that they've come to understand intellectually. Sorcerers are supposed to be casters who have innate powers and bend magic to their whims through force of will.

This is reflected in the difference of their spellcasting mechanics: the studious caster selects and prepares spells one by one, and it is through intellect that he learns to get the most out of them (INT as the casting stat), which in turn means wizards tend to have more skill points and are more adept at Knowledge skills (reinforcing the "study" vibe). Meanwhile, the charisma caster casts spontaneously, can't alter his spells for different circumstances, and uses a casting stat that leaves him well-suited to social skills and little else (reinforcing the "use charisma to influence the world" vibe).

The different mechanics create different play experiences (even while using the exact same spells!), helping to materially differentiate the concepts, thereby reinforcing actual roleplay. If instead they had the same mechanics (the same casting system, same casting stat, etc), then they would be the same experience, and the alleged differences in their descriptions (study vs innate) become shallow nonsense rather than genuine roleplay.

It's the same with fantastic martial abilities. If you just change the label on spells, you're not playing a martial; you're playing a caster and then lying to yourself about it. There has to be a real, tangible, experiential difference to playing a martial instead of a caster.

That, for me at least, is "what's wrong with just calling spells 'epic abilities'".

Dark Archive

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Insain Dragoon wrote:
If we have Wizards so mighty they can create whole dimensions, why don't we have Fighters so skilled they can slice a hole into a new dimension with nothing but a sword and some elbow greese?

Because there's no such thing as 'greese'.

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Samy wrote:
Obviously they had some kind of innate magic. It's impossible to be "so amazing at lassoing". The laws of physics are the laws of physics and you can't break them without magic.

Like I said:

Jiggy wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Actually, I should probably ask this:

Who would you consider to be an example of a high fantasy martial character?

And how many of those high fantasy martial characters aren't using ki or artifacts or divine heritage or some other thing that's just magic under a different name as their power source?

Before I answer this, I'd like to point out that often, when a subtopic like this comes up, examples tend to go like this:

Person A: "So-and-so can do X without magic."
Person B: "Well, X is unrealistic, therefore really it's just reskinned magic/ki/etc, therefore so-and-so isn't really an example of a nonmagical high fantasy character."
[repeat until Person A is out of examples]
Person B: "So since you can't actually come up with any examples of this type of character, why should fantasy games try to enable that concept?"

So let's be clear:
Is the question "Who would you consider to be an example of a high fantasy martial character whose exploits are entirely realistic and therefore nonmagical?"
Or is the question "Who would you consider to be an example of a high fantasy martial character who is identified in their setting's canon as not using whatever counts as 'magic' in that setting?"

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Zhangar wrote:

Actually, I should probably ask this:

Who would you consider to be an example of a high fantasy martial character?

And how many of those high fantasy martial characters aren't using ki or artifacts or divine heritage or some other thing that's just magic under a different name as their power source?

Before I answer this, I'd like to point out that often, when a subtopic like this comes up, examples tend to go like this:

Person A: "So-and-so can do X without magic."
Person B: "Well, X is unrealistic, therefore really it's just reskinned magic/ki/etc, therefore so-and-so isn't really an example of a nonmagical high fantasy character."
[repeat until Person A is out of examples]
Person B: "So since you can't actually come up with any examples of this type of character, why should fantasy games try to enable that concept?"

So let's be clear:
Is the question "Who would you consider to be an example of a high fantasy martial character whose exploits are entirely realistic and therefore nonmagical?"
Or is the question "Who would you consider to be an example of a high fantasy martial character who is identified in their setting's canon as not using whatever counts as 'magic' in that setting?"

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Zhangar wrote:
(And probably discounting the martial having anything that might let him ignore or reroll a natural 1.)

What, like being a samurai with his Resolve ability? Get that wuxia crap outta mah Toll-keen! ;)

Quote:
Heh. Though their efforts are pointless if the high level guy bothered with any counter measures at all, like an unfettered shirt.

Which feeds into the separate issue of asking for "Oh crap, it's the guy who's so badass he can take on the fleet despite us having him outnumbered and outmagic'd!" but instead getting "Oh crap, it's the guy who's wearing more magic than we have among the spellcasters in our crew, so we might actually have to engage him!"

Now, that does enable another fun type of story: the rich noble who oppresses people via power that he bought in the form of magic items can be a fun villain. (Though Pathfinder has issues with that as well, now that I think about it...)

But I'm still not seeing "badassery as a function of level" instead of "badassery as a function of how much magic you have access to, whether in-class or in a bottle".

Quote:
Though frankly, if the martial isn't actually stupid then he should be going for the boat itself with a maul of a titans -- sinking the boat itself is way, way faster than killing 160+ crewmen =P

Now, see, what would be cool is if there were feats or martial class features that could give you a swim speed, vastly increase how long you could hold your breath, and take away the penalties for underwater combat. Then you could have a high level martial who dives into the water before getting into the fleet's spell ranges, then suddenly the ships start sinking.

*scribbles notes*

Quote:

Edit: While I might be getting something mixed up, a barbarian that bothered to pop haste and fly potions (assuming he's not getting those items or other sources) should be pouncing the side of a ship for a few hundred damage (though that's low balling it, I'd expect closer to a 1,000 if the guy's optimized) from about 180 ft off?

I've always run haste as helping fly speeds in my games.

See what I mean? Badassery in Pathfinder isn't about how high your level is, it's about how much wizard you can get into your character. Whether in actual wizardry or bottled wizardry, there's a sign at the entrance that says "You must be at least this tall wizardy to be a fantasy hero".

Not that there's anything wrong with that type of story; I like Harry Potter as much as the next guy. But I don't want all my stories in that setting.

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Zhangar wrote:

Wait, you haven't even looked at Unchained yet?

Hmmm.

Okay.

Are you offering to buy me a copy? Are you suggesting I steal/pirate? Are you thinking that when I'm getting tired of a system I should immediately buy the next book that comes out without knowing whether it'll help?

Which of these things is so natural to do that my failure to do so has garnered this "Hmmm, okay" of suspiscion from you?

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knightnday wrote:
If the game doesn't do what you want, don't play it!

This is what I said my solution was, and people wanted to challenge me on it. I've just been dialoging since then to elaborate on the "why"s because people asked. :)

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knightnday wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Write in the margins. Adapt the game for your own needs and those of your players. Customize it to fit you.

And then pay someone else for the opportunity to use the stuff you had to do the work to come up with yourself.

;)

I'm paying them for the engine, the fluff, the other material I didn't have to alter.

Exactly! But what if the engine is part of what you had to alter, and the list of "other material I didn't have to alter" is too small to justify the price? After all, you don't get a discount just for promising to only use half the book.

(Oh, and "the fluff" as you call it has pretty little to do with whether you're actually running Pathfinder or not; the books containing the most Pathfinder rules—the stuff we're talking about altering—also contain the least setting/world material, and the books containing the most setting/world material can be purchased by themselves and then used alongside damn near any fantasy roleplaying system imaginable. Including "the fluff" in your above list is basically saying "since the setting is worth money, it therefore makes sense for me to ALSO spend ADDITIONAL money on things that are not the setting". That's pretty ridiculous.)

Quote:
I just don't come into it expecting a bespoke game book, otherwise it would have my name across the top. :)

Same here. But just like any other game I buy, I expect it to have already done more work toward enabling a fun experience than what I'll have to put in. A few years of experience showed me that Pathfinder doesn't meet that criteria for me. I don't buy other games when I expect to have to rewrite a bunch of it to keep having fun, and being an RPG doesn't give Pathfinder a free pass on that point.

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knightnday wrote:
Write in the margins. Adapt the game for your own needs and those of your players. Customize it to fit you.

And then pay someone else for the opportunity to use the stuff you had to do the work to come up with yourself.

;)

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From among the readily-available "common" soft drinks, my standard go-to is Dr. Pepper. I enjoy occasionally trying something more obscure from time to time (especially cream soda and strawberry flavored soda), and some have been exceptional, but I can't remember names. :/

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Nathanael Love wrote:

I've told basically every type of story you've just described using pathfinder and or 3.5 in the days before pathfinder.

There are options for reduced magic in Unchained, and for getting rid of wealth by level and compensating for it.

Or my preferred tactic- start players at low level and then just don't hand out treasure like candy. Wealth by level is a suggestion, not a requirement.

You've explained how you managed to overcome the wealth-related issues that I said Pathfinder didn't give me the tools for. Groovy! Would you be willing to explain how you managed the others, the ones that aren't directly related to WBL? (If you overlooked them or forgot, here's the list again: LINK. Key summary would be: nonmagical martial who is feared internationally to the point that a whole fleet would flee across the world to escape him in a campaign materially higher than 5th level; and obstacles, especially those encountered beyond very low levels, which are best overcome through some method other than casting overcome X obstacle.)

If you can show me ways to tell those kinds of stories with Pathfinder, you just might convince me to give it another shot. :)

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