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I've seen this sort of "reverse metagaming" before, and it makes me sad. Some people are so quick to pull the "MG" card and gleefully point fingers, and some DMs are so eager to punish players, that it's easy to end up in a situation in which you have to pretend your PC has an Int of 1 (regardless of his/her actual score), and cannot grasp the most basic cause-and-effect relationships in-game, no matter how obvious.
I'm not even talking Knowledge checks. I'm talking stuff that you can see right in front of you after 1 round of combat. Say you see that Bilbo's short sword and your bow are useless against the skeletons attacking you, but Father Bob's normal mace destroys them left and right. It doesn't take a genius to maybe swap out your bow for a sling and try that, for example. But some DMs won't allow it, and force people to stick with the bow. This sort of absurd bullying can cripple a player, in the long run.
An example I've posted before:
Me: "Father Bob's mace hits the tall, clawed green monster, which seems to heal instantly. The creature promptly rends Father Bob in retaliation."
This made me very, very sad.
I'd go a step further and say it helps new players as well. When they read something in the Core rules that clearly says they can do "X," and the DM turns around and says, "No; that's cheesy!", but at the same time lets them do "Y," it sends a mixed message, suggesting that the hobby consists of an arbitrary "mother-may-I" game with the DM, rather than an adventure game with clear-cut guidelines.
Clarifying rules issues like these helps new players and new DMs, and can only help encourage new people to stick with the hobby. Refusing to do so makes new players confused, leads new DMs to think they don't have the tools they need to do their job, and can discourage these new groups from playing.
"Reprogram the brain" is an entirely hypothetical statement at this point. That's why I think you're over reacting in the first place.
I'll be the first to say that actually doing it isn't something that's even remotely close, but I think the writing's on the wall that it could be done, given sufficient chemical and biological knowledge. I just think it will take a couple centuries more research before we get even a basic, crude handle on it.
Look at how lithium drugs revolutionized the treatment of bipolar disorder -- we stopped pretending it was some sort of spiritual mind thing with no physical basis, and instead starting treating it as a chemical imbalance that was physically making the brain produce oscillating output.
Two hundred years ago we rode around in wooden wagons, but had a pretty good idea that mechanical flight was possible. Now flying to the Moon is old hat.
High level and you're depending on leather armor and a rapier, rather than a simple spell? Hat of disguise. Glamored armor. Alert self.
Remember, this is a high-level game. Intelligent enemies often had stuff like true seeing and/or arcane sight active. A mundane "disguise" requiring no magic and no effort on my part was about the best I could come up with to fool that kind of stuff.
Larry Niven, in 'What Good is a Glass Dagger?', wrote:
The best part about being a magician is that everyone thinks you have to use magic for everything.
Abyssal Lord wrote:
It seems that Paizo here do have a anti-male bias of sorts.
A lot of the moderation proceeds from the assumption that hard-line post-modern feminism is the gold standard of social justice. Better to just expect that and accept it; complaining is pointless at best and actively counterproductive at worst, IMHO. The staff are under no obligation to accept your ideas of equality over their own.
On a side note, as a person who thinks spellcasters are too powerful compared to everything else, this is an extremely over-used example to me too. Why push for something like this as being "what makes casters broken" when there are other, much more insidious and simple spells that prove the point better? More people need to be b~~~%ing about the real problem spells, like Spider Climb.
Spells that obsolete skills are an issue, and again one that I think a general rule could go a long way towards fixing. There are several possibilities; arguably, the simplest would be if spells could provide an enhancement bonus to skill checks, but never replace the use of the skill. The bonus would also have to be lower than the base skill check, possibly by limiting it to something like "+1 per 3 caster levels," or by making it a flat bonus (say +5), or by pegging it to the number of ranks in the skill already possessed by the recipient. Ideally we'd make magic items and masterwork kits and so on all provide enhancement bonuses to skills as well, to limit the kind of insane bonus-stacking that magic can do so easily.
YES! This exactly. DrDeth alone has decades of common-sense experience to share, and I've got any number of houserules (too many, for sure!), and most of the other people on the boards have a lot to offer as well. I think it can only help the hobby if the rules reflect that aggregate wisdom -- instead of us expecting inexperienced players to sort through dozens of threads like this one looking for it, or having to learn it through experience the way we did.
So your response is an insulting attack instead of trying to be constructive. Why not try & learn to rise above such petty replies & address the others there, or better yet, let it go?
I'd mention that "Just use common sense! You don't need better rules; you need a better DM!" is already both insulting and unconstructive, so I'm not clear on how I'm lowering the level of discourse.
As far as constructive, I've identified two minor rules errata that would eliminate the problems many people have with not only this spell, but with an number of others.
And the question STILL stands, if a rules fix doesn't affect your game at all, why are you so opposed to it?
I think that's easier said than done. However, when certain loopholes have been pointed out repeatedly since about the year 2000, at some point it might make sense to address them in the rules.
This is another area where a simple general rule or two might clear up more abuse than an overly-specific one, and without "ruining the game!1!" or "turning it into 4e!"
In the case of simulacrum, I dislike the spell for two reasons:
1. No rules for reducing SLAs like "wish."
The way I see it, two guidelines could clear up this and a lot of other potential spells abuse.
1. Peg SLAs to CR. A monster of less than CR 17 can't use wish, a 9th level SLA. That would mean that the efreeti in the core rules is either underpowered, and/or the ability needs to be downgraded to limited wish. We could even allow specific exceptions for some monsters, but we'd need to spell out how and when they apply on a case-by-case basis, so that wouldn't be something to do lightly. If we wanted to be really slick, we could make a simulacrum template that reduces CR by "-X" amount, so it would be immediately clear which abilities go away, for every possible example.
2. Assign overall # and CR (not HD) limits to any one person's control of planar bindings, magic minions, and created undead. Maybe a table along the lines of the one for the Leadership feat, and base it off CR. "At level X, you can have no more than Z number of minions of the following CRs..." This would correct simulacra armies, summoning battlefield spamming, most of the planar binding abuse -- all with a single table.
Again, yes, we could rely on "common sense" and/or gentleman's agreement, but these are easy enough things to fix in the RAW -- and without a separate edition or a whole new game. Some errata listings, is all it would take.
I am obese. I weigh around 220 pounds and am 5'7" tall. Because I eat a lot of candy and drink a lot of soda. And other stuff. Whose fault is that I am that fat? My own fault. Noone elses.
So, either your argument is that (a) heroin, meth, etc. should be legal, and we should just say "too bad, sucker!" to the addicts; or else (b) candy and soda should be Class A controlled substances, and entail hard time for possession?
If neither of those, why the difference? Bear in mind that the monetary costs to society from obesity are vastly higher than the costs of treating drug addiction.
And Kirth since you have made dozens of posts on this subject and why Pathfinder is broken since it allows it, why not give us some of your wisdom on the subject?
To clarify, I didn't say "Pathfinder is broken since it allows it." I noted that Pathfinder does allow it, and that it is potentially game-altering, and that that needs to be addressed: either (a) in the RAW, or (b) in the form of houserules, or (c) in the form of a gentleman's agreement not to abuse it. (One day you'll realize that "Pathfinder has the following issues in the RAW" is not synonymous with "Pathfinder sucks in its entirety!")
With that out of the way:
What I do at home is to rule that "X" thickness of stone or "Y" thickness of earth or "Z" thickness of metal (vary X, Y, and Z based on the needs of your campaign) blocks teleportation and scrying effects. A castle with walls and leaded glass windows (or metal shutters over the windows) becomes a scry- and teleport-proof haven, without having to have a 9th level wizard around every day to cast spells on it for that purpose. Likewise for a dungeon underground. Once IN the dungeon, you can still dimension door within the area -- you just can't blip in and out of the complex at will. This explains why otherwise intelligent villains hole up in a location with limited physical egress, and that should realistically be subject to collapse due to earthquakes and the like.
Simply houseruling on scrying limitations, as JJ evidently does, is a different type of fix. It works to prevent "scry-and-fry" tactics, so from that point of view it's a success. My solution is more roundabout, but also provides an in-game reason for the prevailence of castles and dungeons in the setting, which might otherwise seem anachronistic.
My understanding is that a lot of experienced gamers rely on the third solution: gentleman's agreement. "Don't use scry-and-fry as players, and in exchange, I won't let the villains use it. Also, let's all agree to ignore questions about why there are so many dungeons in the world." That works, too, but I personally find it slightly unsatisfactory in terms of immersion. YMMV.
DM Barcas wrote:
I don't care if someone tapes me, so long as they keep enough distance as to not interfere with an investigation. Most officers I know feel the same way.
DM Barcas wrote:
Especially do not say anything along the lines of, "If you are going to shoot me, shoot me." Those words are common last words.
While I agree that's a spectacularly unhelpful thing to say, I wonder at the source of the rest of the claim.
The victim isn't reporting that those were his last words, because he's dead.
So how exactly do we know that "those words are common last words"?
So, for martial characters to get nice things, first we'd need an agreement how the game should be structured.
Option 1: Low-level characters are all fairly mundane, and high-level characters can all do game-breaking crazy s%!+.
Option 2: Fairly mundane stuff is spread across 20 levels, and mythic tiers are used to allow game-breaking crazytime.
The way the game is written now, the casters fit Option 1, and the martials fit Option 2. That's pretty schizophrenic.
If we go with Option 1, we leave the casters alone and go nuts with the martials at higher levels. That's what they did with the Tomes stuff, and also the direction I took with "Kirthfinder," but it's not the only possibility.
If we go with Option 2, then things like teleport and planar binding become tiered Mythic powers instead of spells that you just get.
It would be possible to blend the two -- scaling back non-mythic casters a little bit, expanding high-level non-mythic martials a little bit, and so on, but that would be twice the effort.
But in any case, before anything else, someone would have to make a decision which direction to go in.
Andrew R wrote:
every person i have ever met with the "the man is out to get me"mentality are law breakers. They do drugs, ignore traffic laws, etc.
Background: I'm a short-haired, middle-aged, law-abiding white professional. No drugs; I get tested regularly (standard practice in my industry, not targeted at me, btw). I'm clean-shaven (can't wear a respirator, if needed, if scruffy). I very carefully obey the speed limits (company policy is probation up to instant termination for a motor vehicle citation).
A few years back, I was driving back through rural TX from a job, saw a sign ahead: "Entering [REDACTED] Town Limits; Speed Limit 55." I slowed to 55. My partner said, "good thing you slowed down -- they're pulling someone over." Turns out it was me they were pulling over.
Me: "Good day, officer. May I ask why you're pulling me over? Is the vehicle damaged?"
Good thing, as a law-abiding citizen, I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Although it was easily cleared up -- it just cost me about $500 and a plea of 'no contest.' The town was so far from work I'd have had to take several days off to contest it in court -- which the cop knew, as he could clearly see the rental sticker on the vehicle.
In Kirthistan, I'm going to allow my police to shoot people at will. I'll redefine "murder" to not include police, and then make a new legal term, "Lawful Termination," that covers police shootings. Because, in a legal sense, Lawful Termination is not Murder, I can't imagine anyone will have a problem with this policy. Especially if I make sure the non-goblin Lawful Terminations are kept under 10%.
Had an incident yesterday that reminded me of Citizen R, and wanted to share it.
So, we got like 4 feet of snow Friday night, dug ourselves out on Saturday afternoon (had to cancel the Valentine's lunch reservations with Mrs Gersen, because we were snowed in), and got another foot or two yesterday.
Yesterday afternoon, an African-American youth -- obvious thug in dreadlocks and a hoodie -- comes skulking up my front walk through the new snow and does this sinister little tap on the door. I thought about grabbing a shotgun, but decided to risk opening the door without it.
The thug asks, politely, "Can I shovel the walk for you, sir?" When he's finished he asks if he's done an acceptable job. I tip him for the effort and he wishes me a good day.
I probably should have played it safe and blown him away on sight in defense of my home, but I was really tired of shoveling snow, so I'm sort of glad I didn't.
Raith Shadar wrote:
They want the DM to tell them where to go, what to do next
Do you really think this is true of all players? I almost can't express how sad that is.
"People need to just be told what to do. They should not be free to determine their own actions. It's for their own good. It's what they want, really."
If people do not wish to take that point seriously Kirth, I find it to be an error on their part and one they would likely commit anyway, given the lack of seriousness with which many treat the gap.
Yeah, and it may just be hopeless, given the headdesk-worthy "responses" that get trotted out over and over, regardless of how often we rebut them, whack-a-mole style.
Overall, I'm reaching the conclusion that substantive rules discussion on these boards is completely and utterly pointless, given the ostrich-like approach the vast majority of people take to imbalances.
a number of artificial limiters that can't be even defined in houserule, because they are "just the way the play".
I think they CAN be defined, though -- they just haven't been.
(1.) My impression is that they don't use any of the obviously game-altering spells. Easy fix: remove and/or limit/nerf those spells accordingly.
(2.) My impression is that the casters buff the martials rather than themselves. Easy fix: peg spell effects to the recipient's skill ranks or BAB, so that rogues and fighters (respectively) get more use from them, and casters less.
(3.) My impression is that the fighters get the lion's share of the gear. Easy fix: change WBL to a non-transferrable medium of exchange, and have variable amounts by class in the rules.
All of these things could be done to make it clear to everyone reading the rules that "this is the way you're supposed to play, so that the game works." Omitting them is like omitting the Mr. Sick labels from toxic household products.
The thing is, Anzyr, wizards are Tier 1 even in the absence of stoopidly broken splatbook spells like blood money. Hinging arguments on that spell just leads the ignorant masses to think that the game is perfectly balanced in all other respects, when in fact it's anything but.
Likewise, simulacrum is so geared towards abuse that it derves to be its own topic, not part of the caster-vs.-martials one.
And, pretty please, take the Yahweh stuff into that thread. Cluttering up the "what should martials have" thread with it just encourages people to not take anything in this one seriously.
That's just the way experienced mature players work as a team.
No, there are very clear specifics, which could very easily be shared.
For example, "If my sorc notes that the foes can't see invis, then heck yeah I cast Greater Invis on the rogue."
For every example you give of what's "obvious" to "experienced mature players," the rules could be amended so that these things are obvious to all players. You'd be sharing your experience in correcting the imbalances, instead of telling everyone else that they don't exist.
OK, so by gentleman's agreement and some houserules. But the question remains: since they're all working off the same memo, why not distribute it by way of rules amendments, instead of pretending like the RAW are fine and then sneaking around behind them to make them work?
How is the Tier system used? To argue that martials are underpowered and spellcasters are overpowered.
Actually, you use it yourself by your own description -- you just don't call it that. When you recognize that the rules explicitly provide casters with a lot more game-altering options, and adhere to a gentleman's agreement to limit those options so as not to upstage the martials, what you're doing is reducing the casters to a lower tier so that the whole party is on more of an even footing.
That's exactly what the Tier system is supposed to do: make it more obvious to people with a lower degree of system mastery how to make sure no one in the party gets upstaged.
Well, thats basically the problem of induction. How do you answer it?
I look at it this way: maybe Last Thursdayism is actually true. But believing that does absolutely nothing in terms of making accurate predictions or negotiating life. Likewise, I might be in a tank with all my "experiences" being implanted, but it serves no point in assuming that to be the case.
Barring those cases, we have enough amassed data indicating the cause and effect relationships exist to provisionally accept that they probably do, in fact, exist.
Claiming that they radically and unpredictably alter -- that tomorrow, punching someone in the face might heal a nosebleed instead of causing it -- is a pretty damn outrageous claim. It needs to be backed with at least a bit of evidence for me to take it seriously. The claim that this has in fact already happened in the past, and that we were somehow unable to observe or remember it? That's Ham's claim, and it's even more outrageous.
Which is what we're saying. "Outcompete" doesn't necessarily mean directly kill. But the end result is the same: the species that got outcompeted is either domesticated or goes extinct.
Say we have a 25-Int character ("Ace the Archimage") played by Allen, and a 5-Int character ("Bubba the Barbarian") played by Brian.
If Allen doesn't think of something, and Brian does, then Brian tells Allen, and you all pretend Ace thought of it. That way, in-game, Ace consistently comes up with better plans than Allen alone can, and Bubba (the dumb character) doesn't come up with any plans at all, and we're all happy, right?
But that's not what people are arguing; they're saying Brian, the player, has to shut up and not talk. In other words, the mechanical penalty for playing a low-Int character is that you can only roll dice and throw Cheetos; you're not really allowed to participate in the game in real life outside of those things.
Somehow, enforcing "proper" roleplaying, to me, isn't worth pointedly telling people that I invited to the table that they're not really allowed to participate.
Peter Stewart wrote:
First, lets stop calling everything a GM does fiat, shall we?
When the DM just declares stuff, and ignores the rules, that's fiat, and I'll call it that.
Peter Stewart wrote:
1. The game world is not strictly defined. This is not a server with everything preset, it is an ever expanding and evolving world governed by another person across the table who can make changes in real time to literally any aspect of it. For the most part plots and adventures are created by another person for the purpose of being explored, and that person can and should provide the tools necessary for the party to accomplish any goal they wish to accomplish within those plots.
You're talking Magical Story Hour again, and you're right, as far as that goes. But the actual game rules are strictly defined, and they provide the tools to accomplish any goal they wish to some classes, and withold those tools from other classes.
Peter Stewart wrote:
2. The game is not built around the idea of characters as individual movers and shakers, but instead around the idea of an adventuring party that supports one another to accomplish tasks. It is inherently a team exercise, so practical narrative power (even if the world were a locked in server type reality) only matters as a function of what a party is capable of.
This argument again?! Look, it's not a "team" if one person does all the real work, and the others are standing around riding on his coat-tails. When Tiger Woods wins a golf tournament, we don't say "The awesome team comprised of a golf cart, a caddie, and a golfer won the torunament together!" Because that's not what happened. Tiger Woods won the tournament, and the caddie carried his clubs for him, and all the golf cart did was spare him having to walk around a little bit. Without the cart and the caddie, he could STILL win the tournament. That's not much of a "team."
EDIT: Please read This list before we go any further; you're repeating myths 4 and 5.
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
Claims of precision strike at the heart of my problem. You can opine that a class is Tier 3 or Tier 4, but can you prove it?
You don't need to, because Tier 3/4 guys can adventure together and still be OK. Likewise Tier 2/3. Shoot, a better build might straddle the boundary in some cases. But when you have Tier 2 and Tier 5 guys in the same party -- things tend to get a little wanky.
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
In my opinion, the Synthesist is an overrated gimmick that is easily balanced by any GM
Ninja'd by PoK, but this is the big source of disconnect. For people who play Story Hour, GM fiat-driven balance is the only kind there is, so a tiers concept is meaningless. It's only the people who actually follow the RAW, using the DM as a referee, that run into issues -- and only then when the Tier 1-2 classes don't massively self-gimp due to a gentleman's agreement (i.e., the people Dr Deth says aren't "playing correctly" or aren't playing "way you're intended to play").
It's hard for me to imagine a "center" position. Who is on the fence to a point that either Bill Nye will could convince them to be an athiest, or that Ham will convert into a fundementalist?
That's the great thing about it -- Nye doesn't have to "convince you to be an atheist," he just needs to convince you that the scientific method that brought us antibiotics, heart surgery, the automobile, and electric lights hasn't somehow become irrelevant or incapable of making any further advances -- and that the stuff we learn using it can't just be thrown out if it happens to disagree with a 2,000-year-old book written by Bronze Age herdsmen.
Ham, on the other hand, has to convince you that science somehow only works if you abandon the scientific method and just make stuff up, that cause and effect are almost never valid, and that the universe and all its laws magically and dramatically change on an unpredictable basis.
Personally, if I were a Christian, I'd find Nye a LOT more convincing, because I'd want to believe that God in His wisdom made a universe with consistent laws, not an arbitrary madhouse.
The pattern that Tacticslion alluded to is due to physical constraints: space, food, clean water, raw materials -- none of these things are in infinite supply in the real world (your fantasy world may differ, but that brings in a whole new set of constraints). As one population grows, it outgrows its supply of any or all of those things and looks to the next area -- where it either takes over the supply there, too (due to its superior numbers/abilities/supplies) or is defeated.
Now, your Perfect Elfs can refuse to participate. But then when the orcs come looking for more resources, in a semi-realistic world it means they've reached the point where they're more numerous, better fed, better trained, better organized, and better equipped. (Read Guns, Germs, and Steel sometime, if you don't quite follow why any or all of these things follow, but they do.)
If the Perfect Elfs are somehow never overrun, and help the humans while singing Kumbayah, that's fine and dandy, but it lacks a convincing explanation as to how that's possible, unless you introduce all kinds of very direct divine intervention.
Which you can do in D&D Land, but that doesn't mean analogies to real life are at all "absurd."
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
While it's possible that elves could enslave and genocide humans because they are "better at competing for resources", it's by no means necessary. Claiming it's "logical" that elves better than humans means humans would be enslaved and genocided is absurd.
(shrug) History disagrees with you.
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Again, "better" in the sense of "better at competing for resources, etc.," (more intelligent, longer-lived, etc.) not in the sense of "morally better." I keep repeating this, and people keep not reading it.
And there's nothing absurd about it -- look at all the Neanderthals running around today.