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Lizardfolk

Kydeem de'Morcaine's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 3,708 posts (8,112 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 7 Pathfinder Society characters. 12 aliases.


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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

...

Oh and remember a hungry GM is quite dangerous, it is wiser to pacify the wild creature with snacks^^

ding, Ding, DING, WOOT, We Have a Winner!!!

I don't always remember first, but I always try to offer to get the GM a drink and/or snack. It's just polite, since he is there making it possible for us to play. The game needs him much more than it needs me.


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Artemis_Dreamer wrote:

5) Not Good at Anything: Not sure why, but lately I've been seeing a lot of characters that try to do a little bit of everything so they really end up not contributing much of anything. Have a bow, but rarely hit or do much damage. Have a melee weapon, but can't really do much in melee combat. Have a few attack spells, but the DC's are so low they usually fail. Have a single die of sneak attack damage, but not enough to really bother working to set them up for it. Have a single channel or low level heal spell, but not enough to make a difference. Not as problematic as 4), but it still really doesn't help much.

---

Sorry, I couldn't get the above to quote properly.

I just wanted to comment on this: it's bad form, yes, but it can also mean that the person who made the character is a newer player / a player with low rules mastery. Maybe it could be helpful to players of these kind of characters if you were to give them advice? They're not actively trying to ruin your PFS experience and are playing as best they can.

I personally built a terrible first character, but with the helpful advice of local players, I now have two reasonably effective ones (the first has since been retired from play on account of being unviable).

It's bad form to have a useless character, but may I politely suggest helping those kind of people rather than complaining about them online?

Sorry.

I apologize if it came across as being upset by new players. That is certainly not the case.

I make lots of characters for new players. And am more than happy to help them build their own as their skill increases and they want to give it a shot. I enjoy that.
I have no problems with a new player at the table. We nearly all enjoy showing off our cool hobby to someone new. Not a problem at all.

I'm talking about guys that intentionally/knowingly build PC's that just aren't very useful.
Some examples I've seen:
Rogue 2/paladin 2/oracle 2/alchemist 1. Highest ability is a 14. No 2 feats support any particular combat or non-combat actions. Has spells, bombs, archery, melee, and skills. But none of them effective enough to be other than 3rd tertiary support. The guy has been playing PFS longer than me.
Lore warden 1/cleric 3/bard 2. Says it is an archer build. But rarely shoots. Mostly just 1st level buff spells. Not completely useless. But not even as effective as the 4th level pregens. He stopped planning his characters to take whatever seemed like it would have been most useful in the previous scenario.
Unarmored THW melee that dumped con "for the challenge" of the concept. Has to be rescued almost every single combat. Once my sorc stood over his unconscious body absorbing hits, because I was more durable.


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Hmm... I don't know that I can answer what your are asking and yet still give you what you are looking for. That probably doesn't make any sense. But I think it is more of a broad attitude of "Try to work as part of a team, be considerate of the other players, don't make it 4 hours of look at me."
.
Are builds that summon bad? No.
Is a player that floods the field with creatures, doesn't have the stats written down, and doesn't have his turn ready bad? Hella Yeah!
.
Is a mounted charger build bad? No.
Is a player that won't do anything until the rest of the group sets him up for a mondo charge bad? Quite possibly.
.
Is a battlefield control caster bad? Of course not.
I s a player that fills the area with volcanic storm, wall of thorns, stone spikes, etc... so that even his own allies can't function bad? Maybe.

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

Having said all that, there are some types of builds to be careful with. I still wouldn't say don't do it, just be carful with it.
.
1) Slumber Hex witch: Perfectly viable and reasonable. But have something else to do. If the only action you ever take is 'Slumber Hex' you will get bored and the others will get annoyed. I saw one a few months ago that when the encounter was a bunch of undead, he literally did absolutely nothing for the entire combat. He was practically pouting because there was an opponent against which he couldn't use slumber hex.
.
2) Summoning builds: Summoner, dino druid, summoning sorc, etc... They can be played quite reasonably.

Example 1:
I have a sorcerer that kinda specializes in summon monster. But I don't use it more than once in a combat (often not at all). I have a print off of everything I might summon. I don't use any creatures that I don't understand well. I have the actions planned well in advance of my turn. I also have a bunch of group buff spells to protect and augment the rest of the team. Twice in 10 levels I have flooded the field. But only after everyone at the table specifically requested me to do so and the GM said he was ok with it.

3) Paladins: This is kind of an area and how you play thing. There are a lot of PFS scenarios that if you get real rigid about the code, it is almost impossible to succeed. So some people will hear that Jimmy-Joe-Bob has a paladin and assume he is just going to make things more difficult for them.
But if you have another character to use when the scenario makes it difficult (or others aren't thrilled) and demonstrate that you will contribute toward rather than detract from the odds of success, I think it can be fine.
.
4) Ultimately Specialized Anything: If you can only do one thing, it can cause problems. You will tend to force that solution onto any situation even if it is a poor choice. You will tend to get bored (and possibly disruptive) when your one thing isn't applicable. If your one thing doesn't come up, you may not contribute for the entire scenario. And you will often make the others work harder picking up the slack.

Example2:
A couple years ago there was a fighter at our local that focused absolutely everything on max damage sword strikes. He dumped at 2 mental stats. Owned a normal breastplate, dagger, potion of Cure Serious Wounds, dagger, and a +2 Adamantine Elvin Curved Blade. That is practically it. Any left over cash was being saved up for the improvement to +3. Every feat was to hit more often and do more damage.
He charged no matter the threat level or whether he had a chance. He nearly always got hit. He failed nearly every saving throw. Had no skill ranks in any thing except perception. Tried to push every encounter into a fight even if not necessary because then he could do something.
In one scenario my PC used up on him a Breath of Life scroll, 2 potions of lesser restoration, a scroll of restoration, oil of daylight, Remove Blindness scroll, and almost a full wand of CLW. Just to try and keep him functional and contributing in the fights. I added it up and iirc, my PC profited <100 gps on that scenario. Almost all spent on the fighter.
Did he do more damage in a fight? Yes, but really not all that much more. Certainly not enough to justify 2 other PC's spending almost all their actions keeping him alive and functioning. And he had nothing to contribute in the social encounter or against the flying opponent (since he didn't buy a normal bow or even get a free sling).

5) Not Good at Anything: Not sure why, but lately I've been seeing a lot of characters that try to do a little bit of everything so they really end up not contributing much of anything. Have a bow, but rarely hit or do much damage. Have a melee weapon, but can't really do much in melee combat. Have a few attack spells, but the DC's are so low they usually fail. Have a single die of sneak attack damage, but not enough to really bother working to set them up for it. Have a single channel or low level heal spell, but not enough to make a difference. Not as problematic as 4), but it still really doesn't help much.
.
It is very easy to build a character somewhere between the extremes of 4) and 5) that is helpful and contributes in a wide variety of situations. If you have trouble with that, ask for some help.
.

Recommended Questions to ask yourself about your PC:

A) What is the primary thing you are going to be built to do in combat? Disarm opponents
B) What is the secondary thing you are going to be able to do in combat when A) doesn't work or isn't a good choice? Hit things with a great club.
Maybe even, C) What is the tertiary thing you are going to be able to do in combat when both A) nor B) don't work or aren't good choices? Shoot things with a strength bow.
D) What is the primary thing you are going to be able to do in NON-combat situations? Use sense motive to tell if someone is lying to the face PC.
E) What is the secondary thing you are going to be able to do in NON-combat situations when D) doesn't work or isn't a good choice? Perception to keep an eye out for danger or unusual situations.
Possibly even, F) What is the tertiary thing you are going to be able to do in NON-combat situations when both D) and E) don't work or aren't good choices? Use survival to track down and find the target.
.
It is not at all hard to come up with a build that can do more than one thing.


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Party had 3 mostly melee characters, an archer ranger flying around on a giant bat, and a mostly buffing oracle (me).

The enemy caster promptly casts dominate on the archer then Dimension Doored back into his tower. All 3 melee guys freak out. They have bows but nothing other than standard martial proficiency. Since the archer planned on always flying on the bat, he really concentrated on the archery stuff and did pretty respectable damage for a kobold. They were sure they were going to get pincushioned. They were actually trying to figure out if they scattered could the ranger hunt down each of them before they could get away.

I cast a single spell Reach metamagiced Pilfering Hand. Used a single hero point before the role for an additional +8 on the CMB check. Stole the bow from the archer who is now only armed with a dagger and quiver of arrows.

I just looked at the other players and said "Do you think you guys can handle it now without soiling your pants?"


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StabbittyDoom wrote:

...

That said, I still want to do a high-level boss encounter with a party of bards at some point, each using a different perform to boost the whole group. Probably need a couple to be at APL-1 to avoid horrifying pain.

I actually tried that recently. it wasn't as effective as I thought it would be. If it had been a bunch of bards all boosting a fighter it might have done more. But all the boosting still didn't bring them up to the level of a martial character.

The bards were still dangerous but it was actually because of all the spell casting. Cast 5 confusion spells on the opening round. Even with an emphasis on save modifiers, some one will fail on 1 of them. Cast 5 sonic screams (no one typically has resistance to sonic) that adds up to a LOT of area damage. Etc...

A group that was more effective than expected was a group of cavaliers. All of them bestowed different teamwork feats on all the others (and their mounts). So they all had 10 teamwork feats active in addition to all the rest of their mounted combat charging danger.


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Digitalelf wrote:

...

As you can probably guess, I am not a fan of player's running their character's followers, cohorts, and familiars either for the same reasons...

I don't have a problem with the GM running almost all that (but most don't want the hassle). Again as long as every single person I hire isn't going to be murdered or betray me, I'm ok with it.

I disagree on the familiar. The way PF does it (as opposed to some legends or novels) a familiar is very much closely tied to the PC, is loyal, and is obedient. It is very much an integral part of my character. If I can't decide what my familiar is doing and when, I won't have a familiar.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
... anybody pointed out that his so-called "master tactician" was constantly thinking of terrible plans. That could have made for a much more interesting character—a self-professed "genius" who couldn't strategize his way out of an unlocked cell ...

I actually made a character like that once for a PbP game.

It was a halfling that would constantly make plans and give people directions. Everyone quickly learned to ignore Grimple.

Then every once in a while someone would say, holy crap Grimple's plan would have worked perfectly. Then of course I would constantly remind them of all the pain and damage they suffered not listening to me before, so you should do what I suggest now.
Eventually they decided to try one of my plans and it went horribly. So then they didn't implement my brilliance correctly besides which you haven't listened to anything I've said in weeks why did you have to pick the worst plan I've ever proposed to believe in?

It was all in good fun. I wouldn't have done it if the others weren't also having a good time making fun of the halfling. And I never messed things up enough to get anyone killed.
But I think it was quite a while before many of them realized that I as the player was intentionally making stupidly complex detailed plans that could never really work.


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One of the things I really like to do is demonstrate the usefulness of things that most people don’t think are too worth while.

Examples
A few of us are going to make a PFS group that really makes use (hopefully effective use) of the teamwork feats.
Friend has a ‘batman equipment belt’ type of guy that makes a tremendous difference with consumables. His effectiveness continues to be way ahead of guys that only purchase permanent magic items.
I saw a reach fighter that UMD’s a wand of Enlarge Person and Long Arm to protect the party.

So I’m looking to do more of the same. I want to make a primary caster (haven’t decided class, but I tend to prefer spontaneous casters over prepared casters) that demonstrates and makes effective use of uncommon spells or combinations thereof.
Yep, everyone knows that Grease, Create Pit, Haste, and Glitterdust are amazingly useful spells. I’m certainly not denying that. But I think there are other spells that are better than many people realize.

I had an oracle that trivialized quite a lot of encounters with Pilfering Hand or Chain of Perdition. Those are 2nd or 3rd level spells making a huge difference clear up through level 15.
When the enemy caster started to read a scroll of Teleport to get a way. A readied action to cast Pilfering Hand put the scroll in my hand leaving the caster trapped. The undead headless horseman-ish nightmare cavalier was much less dangerous after a Chain of Perdition took down his horse. The flying mondo archer wasn’t much of a thing after losing his bow to Pilfering Hand. Etc…
Everyone in our group had read those spells and thought nothing of them. Never even seriously considered learning or preparing them because they didn’t damage or incapacitate the target. I looked at it and said, “Holy crap! Here’s a couple of spells that don’t have a save and can take away whatever the bad guy is best at! Weapon, movement, divine focus, or spell component pouch.”

I have a magus that uses Wand Wielder, a wand of True Strike, and a whip to trip or disarm nearly any opponent. That is a first level spell that a lot of people consider useless that I am still making great use of most every combat at level 7. I expect it to be useful clear through retirement.

That’s the kind of thing I’m looking for. Spells you don’t see people use very often that you have found to be incredibly useful. Combinations of spells. Spell in conjunction with a certain item or action. Spell and a class ability. Things like that.


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Hama wrote:
Supperman wrote:
151. Psychologically incapable of treating kings and other authority figures with respect.
Was there ever an authority figure that deserved respect?

At least respect in the sense that if I piss him off he'll have my throat cut.

The Exchange

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Yet another vote for Night March of Kalkamedes. I thought it was pretty amusing as we stumbled along.

Weapon in the Rift was the one that felt like I was most actively contributing to the war on the World Wound.

I know a lot of people didn't, but I liked both of the Lantern Lodge and Shadow lodge ending scenarios.


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[rant]
What they want in a game is not my preferred style of play. But I can deal with it and give what they ask for. But they still don't seem to like it. What they say they want is apparently not what they really want.

Everyone seems to be enjoying the game, but one person tells me that everyone is grumbling when I’m not around. But no one will tell me what the problem is.
One guy insists on building non-functional PC’s, but it’s my fault when they don’t work out.
Another insists on super optimizing PC’s until they make everyone else look like sidekicks.

I’ve just had it. I’m going to drop my home game and just concentrate on PFS for a while. Maybe after I cool off I will try to find another group.
[/rant]

No response really needed from anyone, I just had to get that off my chest.


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Mark Hoover wrote:

A pet peeve of mine are folks who say they enjoy immersive RP but don't.

...
Right off the bat interact. "You're at the tavern and there's a board posting different adventures" the GM says. Don't just say "what are they" but declare "Gronk throws an elbow between 2 smaller blokes, grunting that they should make way!" or "Primwise the Halfling sorceress asks demurely if one of the nice, big, strong fools crowding the board will tell her what they say, feigning ignorance; all the while she'll be casing potential marks."
...

I have seen people/GM's not play along with this.

The player says something like your quotes above. Then the GM says, "I didn't say there was a crowd there. What are you talking about?" Immersion broken, embarrassment started.
Some people are then half expecting every GM to shut them down like that. Or at least worried that it might.
If some one else in the group will play along and start those kind of things, often they will eventually come out of their shell. IF they see that it works out well and is entertaining when that person does it, well then maybe they can.

Mark Hoover wrote:

...

If you've stated your PC inquisitor is a stoic badass that doesn't say much then talking in character will be rare; find some OTHER way to communicate your role. When the GM says "you enter the shop; inquisitor, what are you doing?" perhaps just mime you're holding your loaded crossbow, stare stoically off into the distance and set your jaw into your best Judge Dredd grimace.
...

That is actually a pretty good suggestion.

Often a lot of people will want to play the strong silent type. Either because they found it entertaining in a book OR because they think it will be less likely to get them embarrassed since they don't need to put themselves forward as much. But unlike a novel, a TTRPG doesn't have internal monologue or an author to describe stance, behavior, or expression.
So they don't really know how to do it.

Last year a guy tried to bring in a silent type. The GM introduced it as us rescuing the PC from the bad guys.
But we couldn't get the player to respond to anything except maybe a shrug of the shoulders. We eventually had to stop and say, "Look, I get that you want to play a silent type. I have no problem with that. But you have to figure out some way to communicate with us at least a little. Right now we have no in-character reason to do anything other than set you free. If you want to be a part of the group, you have to give us some reason to think you might be interested if we ask."


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Wait are you saying that PFO is available now.

For a long time I kept checking but it was always in closed alpha/beta. I eventually stopped bothering to look. I will have to go check some stuff out.

Hmm...
But the PvP comments make me less enthusiastic. For me about 90% of the draw of an RPG is playing a cooperative game with other people. I really don't have nearly as much interest in yet another antagonistic game against other people.


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As far as the actual type of campaign that does well in PbP?

Well from my admittedly small slice of experience, I think a bit more RP heavy does better in PbP than might be the case for many F2F games.

There are at least some people that do not have the talent (or interest) to speak in a accent or use broken English. Will get too embarrassed to try hitting on the duchess. Don't want to seem like a jerk to not care about the slaves. Doesn't really know how to portray a stuck-up snob. Etc...

But with PbP you have the time to think about how to do what you want. And You don't have to worry about being embarrassed behind the anonymity of the internet. My nagaji can speak with a lisp and my half-ogre will have very broken English. My wanna-be taldan noble can be a snobbish prig.


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I think PbP tends to work better if the GM posts (or at least checks to see if he needs to post) more than once a day. Sometimes the actions of character B depend upon the results of character A's actions. Sometimes that makes it so only 1 character does anything at all each given day.

I have seen GM's ignore or at least miss the questions asked of them. Or sometimes not actually answer the question when they respond. Then it needs to be asked again. Often that means there won't be any chance of a response before another day has passed. GM's please carefully read and respond to all of the players questions. Even if the response is just "You don't know."

When the general drift of a conversation is obvious. Just cut-out some of the intervening steps. I was in one where the bargaining question and answer conversation for the very first job took over 3 weeks.
It was similar to:
I have a job for you.
What do you have in mind?
{next day}
Your talents could help one of my business ventures.
I have many talents. To which do you refer and is the business one of which I would approve?
{next day}
Specifically you magical talents are needed. I reward my friends handsomely.
I still need to know what the business is.
{next day}
etc...

Yes, the GM was trying to set up a dodgy situation where the principal didn't want to give out any extra information and seemed very reticent. Yes, if you looked at the resulting conversation it did actually read like something you might find in a mystery/adventure novel.
But it was ponderous to experience. Even more so if you weren't the face character doing the talking. Most of the group dropped out sometime during the weeks long conversation without even being noticed because only the GM and 2 PC's were involved for all that time.

I think in a PbP, it is a very poor choice for any PC to totally skip social and non-combat skills and only be a combatant. I don't really like it in F2F games, but it is even worse in PbP. Sometimes there can fairly long periods of time with questioning, investigating, searching, tracking, etc... in between combats.
The player of the 5 charisma and 7 wisdom barbarian who has no skills and doesn't want to mess anything up, may not have anything to contribute for a long time.
Don't dump a bunch of stats. Take a few ranks in sense motive to try and gauge when people are lying to the face character. Take a few ranks in a knowledge skill. Try to think of a question you can ask even if you have to pass it off as a note to the face character.

As a player, try to post something every day (or whatever the group posting frequency is) so people know you are present and don't feel like they have to wait on you. I saw one guy used to post things like, Agvarb prowls around the office while the word guys talk. He pokes and smells the strange stone images of strange people trying to figure out what purpose they serve in the room.

As a player, try to find some way to involve yourself and contribute to every situation. That will help to keep yourself involved with the story and show participation.

Both GM's and players, when possible and appropriate, use an if then else approach to speed things up.
... and that is my final offer.

accept offer:
something happens

refuse offer:
something different happens

These next few are much more subjective personal taste kind of things. Some people like them, but not all of us.

I’ve seen a few where the GM’s and/or players really push love/hate relationships within the party. If I hate someone, I will probably not be willing to travel with them for years risking my life to save and count on for support. Also, I have no desire to have a pretend romance with some stranger over the internet. Please don’t push it on me.

Some players will fill pages with their own internal monologue filled with teenage angst. Sorry, I’m just not interested in reading all that. I will end up skipping most of your posts and miss the tiny items of useful info or questions imbedded in it.


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Not to long ago I was at a PFS table with an inquisitor, cavalier, and hunter (all have some special abilities with regards to teamwork feats). Those three guys have similar schedules and often end up playing together. The cumulative effects of all those teamwork feats was pretty amazing.

My home group is starting to give them some serious consideration. Or if not the teamwork feats, at least planning things like not blocking charge lanes or waiting until after the AoE spells land.

It kinda amazes me how most/many groups seem to do almost no planning of any kind. We're supposed to be these amazing warriors and mages from the time of adolescence until we are almost gods. And in all that time, we never take a few minutes to talk about / coordinate the things we learn or make plans on how to approach certain kinds of situations.


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Just to let everybody know, it went just about perfectly!

The action opened with the cavlry team invisible and a major image of them charging around to the players flank.

Tank moved to block the illusion. Party wasted some AoE spells on the illusion.

Then the invisible cavalry charged into the new group flank. Luckily some terrain features still protected the really squishy casters. But the tank and the psychic warrior did each eat a surprise group charge.

Escape Route meant they were never taking any of the AoO the party was expecting to dish out.
Shake It Off meant they were very likely to make their saves.
The cavalier plus Pack Flanking plus Outflank meant they were often hitting even the ultra high AC tank and psi warrior.

All of them having 9 teamwork feats really opened the eyes of the players.

The tank and the psi-warrior were actually getting close to dead and I was starting to get a bit worried that I made the encounter too tough. Then their druid enveloped the whole area in wall of thorns.

Very clever use of the spell. Usually the party would be upset at losing their mobility like that. But in this case the other side had the mobility advantage and it completely stopped all the charges. So to hit rolls lost much of their big bonuses and damage/hit went way down. It also broke up the formation since they had different rolls on the strength checks to move through the wall.

The tank finally got close enough to get a solid hit on the sorc. He had to behave a lot more defensively. And the archer started taking down the cavaliers.

After all the party kept saving vs the enchantment and illusion spells and 3 of the cavaliers were down, the sorc surrendered for the unit.

Two party members got mauled. They got a good demonstration on how effective a group working together (both tactics and build wise) can be very effective. At the end of the night they were actually talking about building the next PC's to mesh together, taking some teamwork feats, and planning how their spells could assist each other rather than just themselves. Put a good scare into them. But they still won and fell pretty special. Just about perfect.

Thanks for the assist folks!

Liberty's Edge

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True, but so is every single decision on which table to sit down to play. There is really not any VC that is saying "I need you to go here."

Deciding based on the scenario description is meta.
Deciding on the particular player that like (or don't) at a given table is meta.
Deciding based on who is the GM is meta.
Deciding which PC in your multitude of PC's will be played tonight is meta.
Etc...

These guys play enough that they figure they will end up playing every scenario and GM'ing most of them eventually. So I don't see how it hurts anything to use this particular method to decide rather than some other method to decide.


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A couple of those guys might be just trying to disrupt the game. Not sure. But I don’t think most of them are. I’m pretty sure they would be shocked if you said you thought that was what they are doing.
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I have asked them several times. I get a response like several have posted above. I want something special. It’s fun to be different. I need something new.
I don’t say it, but when I watch them play all I can think of is Failure isn’t special, different, or new. It is as common as dirt.
.
.
I’m probably not explaining myself very well. I will give it another try.

Dak:
One of my personal favorite PC’s of all time was DakTakLakPak a thri-kreen druid back in 3.x times. I had a blast with it. Looked like a monster and terrified people. (Think how many of the old horror movies were giant bugs.) Though he could understand them, his mouth could not make the sounds to speak other languages. So until he got the magic items to handle it, he couldn’t talk to most people. Once he could shape change, he spent a lot of time pretending to be one of the other PC’s pet/familiar. Until then, he got run out of town several times. So he had to carefully sneak into town and watch things from the shadows.
Not a part of the culture where we were adventuring. Gave him lots of troubles. But I found ways to make it work for me or ease around the problems. When I couldn’t I had fun dealing with it. There were at least 2 missions where I didn’t get paid because I was a monster. Once the authorities decided I was the criminal since people were being poisoned by a giant insect.
But I could jump over city walls and was a buzz saw of multiple attacks in a fight. Had some weird abilities that were sometimes useful. It was a lot of fun.

counter 1):
I could understand how it might be fun if number 1) had some weird back story of why he was in the area then tried to figure out ways to make use of the rhino or at least magic to be able to take it along to use later. He didn’t. His entire build including purchased items was centered around a trampling charge. Then he would be upset when he couldn’t take the rhino inside building or narrow caverns. Yes, it might have been useful in the Drow city if he could have gotten it there. He made no effort to try and figure out a way to do that. Just complained when we got there and he didn’t have it. He wasn’t a totally useless character. Full BaB and reasonable weapon damage. But he wasn’t quite as good a combatant as another character’s cohort bodyguard since most of his special abilities were centered around mounted combat.

counter 2):
I can see role playing a not formally trained instinctive angry fighter like number 2) and I have done so. But it would be perfectly in character to assume that a person that continually gets into unarmed combat situations will get better at it through trial and error. Even without any formal training you would get better at it. So after a couple of levels take one of the rage powers that would help in a grapple or the improved grapple feat. But he didn’t do that because his build was about the two-handed weapon damage and those abilities would detract from that. I could still sorta see it if he only did it occasionally and was willing to take the consequences. But he did it really often (even when we didn’t need/want a live captive) and always seemed very upset that it wasn’t working well.

counter 4):
I could see a lot of potential - though it would be exceedingly difficult - with number 4) if the player had some kind of arcane caster that hid his abilities so he could infiltrate and change the organization or status quo. He didn’t. The character had zero capability to disguise or hide what it was. He had prepared/considered nothing to say how he could possibly be a part of the organization that was trying to kill him. The GM eventually said he could be a slave of the church that was being forced to hunt for them. Neither the player nor the GM was really happy with it, but no one could think of anything better.

counter 5):
Number 5) could have had some back story about how she was forced to be trained as a covert agent. But never wanted that and was rebelling against that earlier training that didn’t fit her personality. As she gained levels she could multiclass into a martial class and learn to fight aggressively. Again learning by trial and error or getting combat training. There is a whole series of novels about a character like that. She would still have some decent sneak capabilities if ever needed, but she could have learned to do well what she was always trying to do anyway. But she didn’t do that. She was a member of the Grey Cloaks (or something like that) and they were sneaky blades. So that was all her build was about even though she almost never actually did that.
Group didn’t have a healer so she spent a lot of recovery money at the church. Also complained about that when buying gear.

There are probably many ways that any of the examples could be made to work in the campaign, be interesting, be successful, and still make sense in-character. But these players weren’t doing that. They were intentionally picking something that didn’t work in the campaign or at least didn’t succeed the way they were playing it. And as far as I could tell they were making little-to-no effort to figure out a way to make up for or enjoy those disadvantages.

I don’t understand how they thought that would be fun.
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phantom1592 wrote:
ElterAgo wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
... The GM should know what people are playing before the character is even made, and let them know why it will be a bad idea. Sometimes he may just need to say "no".
Many/most players I've met in recent years are extremely resistant to this. What they are considering is a big secret and they get very upset if you try to tell them it isn't allowed or doesn't fit.

I'll admit, that idea confuses me greatly. Why would someone NOT want the DM to know what they are playing? What fun is it to play 'Gotcha' with a character that may or may not even be playable?!

EVERY character I play I am certain to talk it over with the DM first. USUALLY I write up a backstory and give out some story hooks for him to mess with me.

That's FUN! :D

Rhino rider? Swamp Druid? both of those could be awesome in an urban game just BECAUSE of how hard they are going to be to play... but you got to give the DM a few weeks to think about it and plan for it..

When I first started playing, we never checked anything with the GM. Back in 1st Ed. There really wasn't that much difference/choice in the characters. GM's rarely modified the world they had created for the PC's. The crime lord did what seemed logical to him within his resources. The PC's had to figure out how to deal with it or die trying. (Usually die trying.)

With the Skills & Powers in 2nd Ed, we started working with the GM and rest of the group a lot more. There were suddenly so many possibilities that things could get weird without some coordination.

Some time in the last 5 to 10 years things seemed to change. Most groups I've seen do not do any coordination during creation. GM says what he is running (usually with a fair amount of group discussion). Then the players show up with PC's at the first game session.

I have been trying to get my current groups to spend a bit of time coordinating to create a team so they have the main abilities covered and the GM has some idea what to expect. But there is a lot of resistance to that whole concept.

The first time we had a character generation session, everyone had a complete character (with full level progression and item purchase plan) when they walked in the door and almost zero intention of change or compromise. It was very nearly a complete waste of time.

The second time worked a little bit better. But there is still resistance to any hint of you should/shouldn't do X.


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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
Why is the GM even bothering to pick a setting before finding out what his players want to play?

You are not catching it. In all but one of those examples; the players were part of the discussion, had input on, and agreed to the campaign concept. Number 3) was a person that joined the group in process. But knew all about what had happened before making his character.

They did not want to play a different type of game, they intentionally and specifically picked something that did not match with the game. They would have done so no matter what the game was like. It is what some of those players often do.

It is an underground campaign? Ok then I am going to play a strix. what you changed it to an rural forest campaign? Well then I will change to Druegar.


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Not quite. Or at least not always.

The guys I'm talking about only wanted those characters because they don't fit.

If we had been in a campaign on the savannah, he would not have wanted a rhino cavalier.

The other guy only picked the swamp druid because we were going to be interacting with nobles.

The gal specifically built here own character as a sneaky mc-stabbert, then intentionally tried to play it as an in-your-face front line combatant.
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wraithstrike wrote:
... The GM should know what people are playing before the character is even made, and let them know why it will be a bad idea. Sometimes he may just need to say "no".

Many/most players I've met in recent years are extremely resistant to this. What they are considering is a big secret and they get very upset if you try to tell them it isn't allowed or doesn't fit.


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Why do some people always want to play a PC that just doesn't match the campaign or world? Or PC's that don't behave the way they are built.

Ok, there are certain special cases. I get that. One time I was in a group with a bunch of very noob players. Yes, I brought a specialized character that didn't really fit in because I didn't want to show up everyone else.

For Example (changed slightly to protect the idjits):

1) GM says the campaign will start in a small town on the coast in a well developed country (think farm town near Absalom) but will culminate in an adventure in the Drow under cities.
Player brings a rhino cavalier / true primitive barbarian.
Uhmm what...

2) Player builds a two-handed weapon max dpr barbarian. But in most fights he drops his weapon to grapple and capture alive. Then gets upset because he keeps getting clobbered for grappling without the correct capabilities.
Uhmm why...

3) GM says the campaign is urban courtly intrigue and mystery.
Player brings a lizardfolk swamp druid with an ooze companion.
Yeah right, that will work well...

4) GM says the world/country has outlawed arcane magic and exterminates magical races. The party is starting as one of the religious zealot mage hunter teams.
Player brings a brownie wizard.
WTF...

5) Player builds a sneaky, backstabber, fragile, hit-n-run character. Then plays it like a invulnerable rager. Constantly charging straight at the biggest threat by himself. Then of course getting upset that he always get knocked unconscious.
Surely not...

6) GM says the campaign is largely undead and constructs (at least as concentrated as Carrion Crown).
Player 1 brings a telepathy psion.
Player 2 brings an illusion/enchantment wizard.
Seriously...

These are not all the same player or even the same group. Just things I've observed over the years that I just don't understand.

I just don't get it. What is this weird attraction/obsession some people have with playing a character that just can't hardly function in the campaign? Or why a character that you build to be bad at what you actually do with it?


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146. Will focus attacks to neutralize a spell caster ASAP. However, they are truly shocked and dismayed if anyone else does the same.


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memorax wrote:

Another pet peeve. What is it about Wealth By level that annoys so many dms. It makes sense that by a certain level a player should have a certain amount of treasure and gold. Unless the character is roleplaying a Vow of Poverty.

If I'm starting at level 10. I sure as hell wan more than a rusty dagger and a codpiece. At the very least a good in game reason. And no because as a dm he or she does not like it is not good enough. I'm willing to play the poor adventurer between levels 1-5. After that I want more than just starting money. I try to talk it out with the DM. If that fails I leave. I don't play in games designed for characters to commit siucide when confronting the enemy.

For various groups there can be various reasons.

1) Some GM's try to keep the wealth closer to the NPC levels.
2) Some GM's are stuck in old editions of the game. They expect your gear to be pretty randomly what was found instead of what is idea for your build. Or even expecting you to start at first level with nothing.
3) Some are assuming the new PC is taking the gear of the PC being replaced so they don't want you to have double WBL.
4) Of course, it is always possible that particular GM is just a jerk. Unfortunately that happens too often.


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Spook205 wrote:

I don't know if its this thread or one of the ones on traps but..

Its a jerk move to have a door that opens to a flat wall.

Its a really jerk move to have a door that opens to a flat wall with a symbol of death painted on the bare stone wall (and is thus undetectable until the door opens).

Its a spectacularly jerky move to have a secret door that opens to a flat wall with a symbol of death painted on the bare stone wall.

But if I was setting up traps to guard the secret entrance to my tower, that is exactly the kind of thing I would do. Wouldn't you? Why should the brilliant wizard be incredibly less clever than me (or you)?


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Muddling some ideas around in my head. (My wife says it is bad when I have too much free time. This could be an example.)

What if your wizard rolls a natural 20 on a Knowledge Arcana when trying to remember the weaknesses of stone golems. Critical threat. Roll again and if you still succeed, you remember the time you assisted your mentor in weeks of detailed analysis of stone golems. Basically you know everything in the Bestiary about them.

Your weaponsmith rolls a natural 20 while crafting a masterwork earthbreaker. Critical threat. Roll again to confirm and if you still succeed this earthbreaker has a non-magical +10 hitpoints incase anyone ever tries to sunder it.

You roll a natural 20 on your save vs Bestow Curse. Critical threat. Roll again and if you still succeed, the caster gets a small amount of feedback and takes a point of damage per spell level.

Or something like that. I don't know, nothing too powerful or game breaking. Just seemed like a decent thought for some occasionally special results. The time where you happen to remember something in great detail, did an amazing job building a model plane, or made the 3-point swish in the last second of the game.

What do you think?


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Mulet wrote:
DO NOT ALOW MONSTER RACES. ...

Uhmm... Yeah... No... In fact... HELL NO!

One of my favorite characters of all time was Thrikreen druid that couldn't talk to hardly anyone. Anytime he was found in true form he was almost always attacked or run out of town. Or the group had to bring me into town in chains and pretend I was a captive. I had a blast with it.

I would never deny that kind of fun to my group.

I would try to figure out a way to allow almost anything the players want.

I just need to figure out how to judge the nasty side effects of whatever they pick and make sure they are not going to overshadow everyone else at the table.


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MeanMutton wrote:
mardaddy wrote:


This is the first time the DM has run this world ala-Pathfinder. The first few times he had us doing skill checks he was incredulous at some of the bonuses I had at that level, and arbitrarily adjusted the DC numbers up just to compensate for my bonuses.

I absolutely HATE when GMs do this. Why bother being good at anything?

The issue is that GM's are also supposed to make things a challenge. How do I (as GM) challenge the guy who jacked up his diplomacy to the point where he breezes through all the social encounters? Even when he rolls a one and casually insults the king?

I will admit, I'm not always sure how to handle things like that. What I have tried to do is find a medium ground. Increase the DC's somewhat to the point where success is not a forgone conclusion but he will still be doing much better than average.

I also try to make sure I am following the rules. I don't just give Matteson a +20 to sense motive. I say well to myself, if Mattson is going to be the kings agent; he should have skill focus in diplomacy and sense motive, decent stats, maybe a couple of traits toward those skills, and the king might even find it worth while to give him a minor magic item that grants a +x to the ability.

That will still be worse total than a focused PC, but it will probably be in the same ballpark.


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I don't think a class composition is really all that meaningful anymore. you can build the 4 classic PC's and still have terrible party balance. you can build 4 bards and have great party balance.

What is more important is do you have the basic capabilities covered or a plan to get around needing them? If the answer is yes, you have a capable group. If the answer is no, you will probably have a difficulties coping.


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wraithstrike wrote:
Avatar-1 wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
The PFS forums seem to disagree at least the last time I asked about it. How long have these new changes been in?

You're right - it's a very common misconception.

I only know of this because I asked about it in this thread and I've been following the rules for running as written closely when I used to enforce them heavily and then realised many of the guys running PFS advocate "follow the rules, but keep it fun", vs the common mentality of "100% run as written or else you're doing it wrong".

I'd have to look up when the chapters changed that section. I think it was in between seasons 3 and 4.

I will check the thread. I don't want to add any houserules to PFS because I think its not fair and not what PFS is for. However, if the bad guy knows that the PC's will invalidate his written tactic such them all being able to see invisible creatures then it would make no sense to cast invisibility. Things like that are the types of things that have stopped me from GM'ing a PFS game. Thanks for the link.

Well you really can’t use any house rules*, can’t add/subtract/modify opponents, and change rewards in PFS.

But one of the biggest beefs I’ve heard from people is running the tactics as written unless the PC’s actions invalidate them.

As an example: Not too long after I started playing PFS, there was a scenario that said the bad guys would use an area of effect spell on the doorway as soon as he hears or sees the PC’s.
Except what happened is the PC’s were all invisible and under a silence spell. So the first he saw/heard them was when they had surrounded him and were beating the crap out of him.
The GM said well it doesn’t make sense, but the AoE spell on the doorway is still possible therefore it is valid. So he had the caster send an AoE on the doorway. It didn’t touch a single PC. "I have to run the tactics as given."

There have been a few less extreme, but similar examples of the opposition doing something really stupid because it was written and still possible.

The problem is, that is not what ‘invalidate’ means. If a tactic is weak or not optimal, that fits within the definition of invalidate. many people do not seem to know that. So while it was certainly possible to center the spell on the door, it was a very weak tactic. Thus invalidated and the GM would have been right to have the caster do something smarter.

* Note: No house rules are allowed. But if you don’t know what the particular rule actually means (and no one you trust to ask) then take your best guess. But if I’m really not sure, I almost always side with the player. Then I go online and ask in the rules forum for the next time it comes up.


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Petty Alchemy wrote:

...

I see it a different way. The player has selected their weapon, it's Diplomacy. They've selected their goal, to get help (as opposed to getting improving their attitude, so it's a basic attack rather than a trip). Asking how they attempt to get help is more like asking if they swing the weapon overhand or from the side. The character, with a high diplomacy check, should realize what the best approach is (or at least identify several of the best ones, which you could inform the player of).
If the player is being general in the type of help he wants, he's probably unsure of what the best way the NPC can aid them is.
Usually NPCs that do agree to help will volunteer the options themselves. They're not going to be cryptic about it (unless the check isn't good enough for their aid, or their best aid).
"I could tell my people you're on the way, they'll make sure no one bothers you." or "I want to see your mission succeed, I can spare these holy waters for you."

I can see your point, but I disagree. Diplomacy is too huge. It covers way to many possibilities.

Using a diplomacy check to cover everything is (to me) closer to saying. I'm going to get in a fight and I roll a single BaB check to decide the result.

Also, I would say things like knowledge nobility, knowledge local, or sense motive would be better for letting you know which type of approach to take. Diplomacy would let you do a good job of flirting with the countess. It is not going to tell you that she is a fundamentalist and absolutely committed to her spouse and will be highly offended.
People are usually cryptic about what is needed to get them to agree with what you want them to do.

But if the only skill the PC had was diplomacy, I would probably give it a chance to work. Especially if used as a separate gather information check about the intended target.

Also, it can easily have much longer term results.
Example: You use diplomacy to convince the merchant prince to stand up to the blackmailers.

1) If you convince him that you can make sure the secrets are kept, but then the whole kingdom knows about the affair... Well, you have probably made a powerful enemy.

2) If you convince him that it is his duty no matter the results. He won't be too surprised when the affair becomes public knowledge. He will probably just have to be stoic and ride out the scandal.

3) If you bribe him with enough money to leave and set himself up all over again in a new country. He may not care about the scandal and you might have a powerful ally in a new land.

Also, depending upon the NPC, one of those approaches might not work.

If the guy is a venal money grubber that has been having a rough time financially the last couple years, option 3) might be very easy to convince him to agree. But he wouldn't care about his duty to the city for option 2) to succeed no matter how eloquent your argument.


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Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:

...

I'll venture a guess that you've never even seen a game with a good non-combat interaction system. Not a system, a GOOD system, one that players enjoyed using.

I've never seen one. I won't say it isn't possible to have a good one, just that I haven't seen it. And most of the ones I've seen proposed have not looked like much of an improvement.

Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:

...

I can play the part of someone stronger, or faster than myself.

Wouldn't it be nice if I could also pretend to be someone more charismatic than myself?

Or, what if a player who wasn't good at roleplaying wanted to learn? Can't we have something better than "figure it out, buddy?"
...

Absolutely agree!

But I actually get a lot of details when someone is fighting someone else. Full attack, charge attack, earth breaker, crossbow, trip, disarm, vital strike, sneak attack, mounted charge, spellcombat with shocking grasp, etc…

But on social interactions (from some players) I get nothing except:

I got 29 on diplomacy.
What are you trying to do?
Use diplomacy for help.
Are you flirting, bribing with 1000 pps, convincing of the logic in helping you, appeal to sense of duty, or asking for a favor?
I’m using diplomacy for help.

Does the player need to know the proper grip on a scorpion whip? No. But he should be able to tell me what weapon he is using and if it is full attack for damage or a trip attempt.

Does the player need to be the consummate politician? No. But he should be able to tell me the general type of approach he is taking.

Now I don’t require it, but I will say that the more detail a player can provide helps everyone’s enjoyment and immersion. So if you can actually handle the conversation of an appeal to the baron’s sense of duty, please do so. It makes everything better for everyone.


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Haladir wrote:

I've played PFS exactly three times (all with pregens) and really had a lousy time each time. And in the third game, I decided to walk away from the table after two hours.

It wasn't so much the PFS system, it was the PFS players/GMs that I've played with that really soured me on organized play. I just did not have any fun playing with them. If those are the kinds of gamers who go to PFS (at least in my area), then I'll stick with home games.

I've been playing in / running home games exclusively ever since.

I can understand that and I'm sorry to hear you had such a bad time of it. I will just say I've experienced more lousy home games than lousy PFS games. When I moved and was trying to find a new group... {{shudder}} There are some real wacko's out there.

I have met a very small number of unpleasant people in PFS (only 2), but I just don't sit at the table with them anymore. So far they have never sat at the table when I was a PFS GM. I don't think they like me either. I don't consider it a loss.

If you are willing to give it another try, you might consider a different location or PFS PbP online.


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I can agree with a lot of what Jiggy said. I will add a bit more.

For me one of the primary purposes of gaming is social. I am a bit of an introvert. If I didn't have F2F gaming it could easily become much worse. I mostly don't mind sitting at home reading a book, watching some TV, and playing on the computer. But it isn't really healthy for mind or body.
F2F RPG's are a way to force myself out into the world. Home group does that some. PFS does that even more. It gets me out talking to and interacting with complete strangers.

Every so often someone in the home group changes job schedule or moves. About half of the new additions to our group have been people I play PFS with. Someone that I have realized over the last several months that I get along with how they behave and play the game. So I invite them to the home game.

PFS lets me experience how others play the game. Quite a few of my ideas for PC's, NPC's, tactics, and situations have come from things I saw while at PFS. (Also some things I clearly want to avoid.) For example: At a con I saw three guys that had invested in a few teamwork feats, absolutely kicking the crap out of some of the difficult scenarios. Now my home group is willing to give them a bit more serious consideration.

Also PFS is more casual and relaxing. As a PFS GM I don't have to modify a bunch of things to specifically fit the particular PC's. I prep what is written and that is it. Takes much less of my limited personal hobby time.
As a player, I have some half dozen PC's at various levels ready. I show up at an open table and we go. Very little work involved. they are generally less difficult so I don't usually get all that worked up over if I'm going to die or at least fail the mission. And even if I do, it doesn't bother me as much as it does at the home game.
There I have been working with the same PC for over a year toward a long term goal. That bothers me (probably more than it should sometimes) when I fail.

Also the portability aspect that Jiggy mentioned is one of the really best things about it. I'm stuck on a business trip in Detroit for a week, guess what I have something to do in the evenings.


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Murdock Mudeater wrote:

...

-Considers role playing characters to be derailing the group sessions. This isn't just the DM, many of the players have this attitude.
...

This could be very dependent on your definition of role playing the characters.

I have been with some groups that tried to role play everything to ridiculous extremes. One group spent 45 minutes to go through paying the bridge toll. There was nothing special about it. It was just a few copper pieces per person on foot. They were not trying to get away with not paying.
But they went through the conversations they had while standing in line, introducing themselves to the officer, flirting with the person behind them in line, arguing with each other over who's turn to pay the toll, detailed motions they were using to hide where their money was kept, etc... It was ponderous.
In another group a person decided his bard would always speak in rhyme. So we had to keep waiting on him while he would try to think of a way to rhyme what he wanted to say.
Another guy wanted to make up, on the spot, a Tolken-esque ode to each and every fallen comrade.
Trying to speak with bad accents, yoda-like syntax, or other forms of method acting is not fun for me. I do consider it to get in the way.

On the other hand, I do enjoy what I personally consider to be the essentials of role play. My characters have attitudes and personalities. They some times do things differently because of that.

The rest of the group had to ditch my undead hunter so they could make a truce with some vampires that I wanted to blast. Then they paid some very high level clerics to all geas me at the same time (to make sure I'd fail the save vs one of them) to abide by the terms of the truce. I eventually found a way around the geas and started a new undead re-killing jihad. We're winning by the way.
But most of the time he is a treasured member of the team and puts his fellows welfare above his own. He only gets difficult when someone tries to stop him from destroying undead.

I have a Nagaji that complains about the smelly mammals surrounding him. He also points out their mistakes and the reasons why a clever reptile would not have done that.
But a little of that stuff goes a long way. It usually happens while the GM is otherwise occupied. Like updating the map or checking on a spell he doesn't remember.


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People being inconsiderate of others time and effort.

"Per your request, I've made that rumor into a serious quest."
"Oh, we decided a while ago not to bother with it."

People that show up 15-30 minutes late then spend the next 30-45 minutes getting their character ready. Keep interrupting your intro for questions about leveling up, how much exp they got last time, and what magic items were found last time.
"That's ok, we don't mind, you can just run over to make up the time we've lost."
"Uhmm... No. My wife and I have to get up for work at 5am tomorrow. Time for you guys to leave."
"Well that sucks. We didn't get very much done!"

People that don't bother calling when they aren't going to make it.
Yes, emergencies happen, but usually you know at least a little bit ahead that you won't be there. Please leave a message or send a text.


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Dire Elf wrote:

...

Having to cancel a game because one player out of a group of six won't be able to make it. ...

If we do play with someone missing: Pretending that the absent player's PC has just conveniently gone to look after the horses. Why can't we let him have some actions, at least during combat? ...

Some players really hate to let anyone else run their character. I personally don't care.

When I'm GM I usually give the player the option.

If you leave me your character sheet, we'll have it follow along and take part. It won't have any game changing genius inspirations, but can take normal actions. Which also means it has some risk of being attacked.

Otherwise, because of your dysentery you were left back at camp to care for the horses.


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Te'Shen wrote:
** spoiler omitted **...

Never said it was a good build. It wasn't too horrible compared with some of the others, but no powerhouse.

However he always hammered on everyone else for anything not simple, unless they had a really amazing backstory to logically and sensibly cover it. It couldn't just be some wierd set of facts. You pretty had to right a fairly legit story. And clear it all with him ahead of time. Which you would almost never get the all clear form him before game times, so no. Something normal.

Then he went about 12 miles on beyond what he would have thrown a fit about anyone else doing to him.
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Aranna wrote:
ElterAgo wrote:

I once had a GM who never liked non-standard races and classes. He often banned them. Or modified them until no one wanted to play them.

Then when he was player, he showed up with a half-drow, half-construct, samuri, psion kineticist. {Zero warning or discussion with the new GM.)

Then got mad at all of us when we couldn't stop laughing at him.

It is frequently true that the things we hate the most in others are the things we would do ourselves if given the chance. I mean there are notable exceptions but nine times out of ten if someone is hating on whatever, "power gamers" to pull a random example, then that is probably what they are when they are sitting in the other seat.

Probably true. But that is the kind of hypocrisy that really tends to tick me off. Even if I had wanted to do something like that I would not of because it would have looked so bad. I would have at least run a short any wierd builds mini-campaign first, just so it wouldn't be so hypocritical.

He really didn't see anything wrong with it. He actually said something close to "I'm almost always the DM so it's ok if I do it."


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I once had a GM who never liked non-standard races and classes. He often banned them. Or modified them until no one wanted to play them.

Then when he was player, he showed up with a half-drow, half-construct, samuri, psion kineticist. {Zero warning or discussion with the new GM.)

Then got mad at all of us when we couldn't stop laughing at him.


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Professional Calvinball wrote:

I get kind of annoyed when everyone plays "rare" races, unless the game calls for it in some way. Like, the party that is supposed to try to fit in consists of a sylph, ifrit, tengu, and strix that just happened to all meet up. I guess this is more for APs and modules, as it's always odd that the small town of Sandpoint suddenly has a bunch of native outsiders and mistrusted humanoids just kinda...wandering around.

I don't want to sound like I'm saying it's badwrongfun, but I see it too often used as a roleplaying crutch. "My character has the personality of bland cardboard, but he's half-vampire! That makes him interesting!" It can make him interesting, but it doesn't automatically make him so.

That used to bother me more than it does now. I have to admit, that over the years I have grown tired of and rarely choose human, half-elf, or half-orc as the race for my PC. I’ve just done it so many times that I am usually not captured by the possibilities.

However, I will still always try to have an interesting personality, unusual style of play, and weird goals. And I fully expect that Joe-Normal will not instantly like and trust me. In fact I would expect most of them to run screaming from my nagaji or immediately assume my wayang is the criminal. Not a problem. I am well aware that is part of playing the race.

I know a guy that always wants to play a drow. But then gets upset with the GM whenever anyone doesn’t trust him, has any kind of negative reaction to him, or is suspicious of him because he is drow. “Dude, you’re a Drow. The race that only gets its powers from worshiping foul demons.”
“Yeah, but Drizz’t…”
That bugs me.


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thegreenteagamer wrote:

Players with B.O.

...

I've really only encountered this a couple of times in the last decade. Back in the 80's when I started gaming, it seemed like more people had the problem then not. I couldn't even stand to go into the game store in the summer.

Luckily this situation seems to be improving. Maybe in a few more decades the kids will think it is an urban myth.


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shekaka wrote:
Dr. Deth, quick question, what do you mean each paladin should have a Phylactery? Not sure how that would be useful/reasonable/logical…probably being dense here ,but please enlighten me…sorry to derail ya'll

I believe he means this:

Phylactery of Faithfulness:

Aura faint divination; CL 1st

Slot headband; Price 1,000 gp; Weight —

Description

This item is a tiny box containing religious scripture. The box is affixed to a leather cord and tied around the forehead, worn so that the box sits upon the wearer's brow. There is no mundane way to determine what function this religious item performs until it is worn. The wearer of a phylactery of faithfulness is aware of any action or item that could adversely affect his alignment and his standing with his deity, including magical effects. He acquires this information prior to performing such an action or becoming associated with such an item if he takes a moment to contemplate the act.

Construction

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, detect chaos, detect evil, detect good, detect law; Cost 500 gp

It gives the GM the opportunity to say, "Hey jerk-face the button on your shirt is pulsing red hot. Almost like it is trying to tell you something."


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Vincent Takeda wrote:
There's more square footage of gaming table than I have square footage of bed to sleep on. Could your dice maybe land on the table? I feel like I should install rails like in bumper bowling.

I know a guy that absolutely has to shake his dice for a good 10-15 seconds. Then he always throws them up so at least 1/3 of the time the bounce off the table.

The more important the action the longer he shakes them and the higher he throws them.


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I think it is great that you are doing this with your family.

Lune wrote:

...

I can't speak for everyone but I can tell you that Hmm, myself and several others are parents of children that we game with. Sometimes I know it is helpful to get advice from people who have been where you are at now.

It has been a long time. But about 15 years ago I got all 3 of my kids interested in 3.0 DnD. It helped their basic match and reading ability tremendously. They were slightly older than your kids, but not much.

our family's RPG story:

Well, I’m not real good at the esoteric things. But I do have examples of learning concrete real world skills.

Some years back, both of my boys were having trouble in school. Though they are both reasonably intelligent, they were at the bottom of their respective classes in reading, spelling, and mathematics. One has an actual learning disability that makes reading very difficult and slow. The other just really didn’t try. I think because he was reading as well as his older brother who obviously wasn’t getting in trouble for it.
I got them interested in Magic The Gathering card game (including a computer version that let them play against the AI all they wanted). Well, to play that game you have to read and understand the card then add and subtract all those numbers. Then decide what will well work together in a deck.
In one game there is more reading and basic math than in any 2 school lessons that we would have to fight all night to get them to complete. Yes, eventually they would get the cards memorized. But that is also a good skill. Didn’t bother me at all. Every so often I’d get them a new booster back that they would have to understand then figure out how to incorporate in their decks.
After a couple months when they had that well in hand. I introduced them to DnD 3.0 books I still had lying around (I wasn’t in a gaming group at that time). They loved it. There’s tons more crap to read, understand, consider, add, subtract, multiply, divide, etc… than in any card game.
“Dad, my ranger’s got a bunch of gold but not enough for a better bow. What can he buy to be better at shooting and stuff? Well, maybe look at a wand of a ranger spell that will help like Cat’s Grace. They can really use that? What’s that do? How much does it cost? I don’t remember exactly off the top of my head, go look it up in the players handbook.”
(Of course I did remember, but I wanted him to check it.) Sure I had to help him with a bunch of words and some math, but for the next couple of hours he worked over the ranger spell list, what the spells did, how it might help him, and how much it cost. Found he couldn’t afford what he wanted. I suggested a partially charged wand might be found and more affordable. Then more time was spent figuring how much he could afford and if he wanted to spend all that.
It was quite literally almost an entire evening of general studying for his 3 most difficult classes. He didn’t realize it and loved every minute of it.
A couple months later their teachers asked us what we had done with the boys. In less than a semester they had gone from the very bottom of the class (with my wife and I pulling out our hair in frustration) to the top fourth of the class. I said “I got them interested in a fun game that has a heavy dictionary’s worth of rules.” They were shocked. They were afraid my wife and I had them in some sort of facist style boot camp studying all night every night. I answered, “Nope they got themselves studying all night every night and they don’t even know it.”

Their vocabulary is a bit skewed shall we say. But all through college they had instructors that would be surprised at some of the words they knew and used correctly in normal conversation. Adults don't expect a 4th grader to use words and phrase like pantheon, exclusion, area of affect, rebuke, dimension, non-combatant, ragnarok, etc... Especially not to use them correctly.
They were quicker and more accurate on their basic math than a math major. You know the same math you use to figure out whether this can of peanut butter on sale is a better buy than the two-pack.
At an age were most of their class mates were reading comic books they started reading the hobbit. Because I said it was written kinda like a long DnD adventure. Then we got in a big hours long discussion of how it wasn't really like a DnD adventure because X. Sounds to me like a comparative literary evaluation of a several hundred page novel when their class mates were doing 1/2 page book reports on a 50 page kids book.

It is one of my parenting decision that I am most proud of. And I almost didn’t do it because I was initially afraid if they really liked MtG, they would do that instead of studying. I finally agreed to it as a reward for something I don't now remember. Probably for passing a spelling test or something like that.


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Players the argue and fight about some other player's character.

Example: I was GM and we had a paladin in the party. The paladin had to make a hard decision about who to support and protect.* The player and I had worked out a pretty detailed interpretation of the code for that PC. The decision he made was well within that. It wasn't what I would have done. But hey, not my PC. there was no perfect decision.

* No I was not being a jerk and intentionally putting the paladin in a bad spot. He managed to shoehorn himself into that bad spot with a little help from the rest of the party.

The other 4 players then got into an ongoing heated argument about how a paladin must/can't/should/never/etc... I repeatedly said that I was ok with the decision let's move on. They completely ignored us. After a while, the player of the paladin and I went into the other room and watched most of an episode of Big Bang Theory before they even realized we had left. Then they got mad at us for leaving and disrupting the game.

Days like that are why I am ever so close to banning paladins from my games.

But there have been other less extreme examples of players telling other players how to play. "You're a necromancer, you have to be creepy and sickening to others."


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First things first. Welcome to the hobby! I hope you have fun.

Personally, I would go for something in between what you started with and what Blakmane suggested. I think you should have (and it is perfectly possible with a fighter) some out of combat utility.

But before I even start on builds I ask 4 questions. You can't be good at everything, so...
1) What primary thing do you mainly want to be best at in combat? (Examples might be: Hitting things really hard with an earthbreaker. Or Being a wall of steel that my allies can hide behind.)
2) What secondary thing do you want to be pretty good at in combat when the primary thing doesn't work or isn't needed? (Examples: Shooting things with a bow. Or Grappling opponents.)
3) What primary thing do you mainly want to be good at out of combat? (Ex: Using sense motive to tell when someone is lying. Or tracking our enemies.)
4) What secondary thing do you want to be decent at out of combat when the primary thing doesn't work or isn't needed? (Examples: Knowing all the weakness of monsters. Or being lookout to keep us from being surprised.)

Fighter can easily have 2 things they are good at in combat and at least 1 thing they are decent at out of combat. Possible, but more difficult to have 2nd thing they are good at out of combat.

They don't have a lot of skill points, but most players do not like to be totally helpless out of combat. There are a few scenarios where combat can be entirely avoided. There are quite a few that don't necessarily have lots of combat.

A few general pointers. Do not neglect defenses especially will and fortitude saves. It isn't bad the first couple levels. But later on poisons and charm or suggestion type spells become much more common. As a fighter, you should be fine vs. poison. But it really sucks if the super optimized death machine fails a save vs confusion and starts taking out his allies before they can help him.
So I don't recommend new players ever dump constitution or wisdom. And if will saves are poor for your class (as they are for fighter) seriously consider Iron Will and maybe even Improved Iron Will. Fighters especially have so many feats they can usually work it in.

The most important skill in the game is perception. Both for not being surprised and finding things. Most PC's keep max ranks in perception. Even if it is not a class skill and you have a low wisdom, this one is worthwhile.

The second most important skill is diplomacy. You usually only really need one character in a group to have it. But the random nature of the tables means you may not have a sorc or bard with a high charisma and diplomacy ranks.

Next is the knowledge skills that can give you information about an opponent. You usually only really need one character in a group to have them. But the random nature of the tables means you may not have a wiz or inquisitor with a high intelligence and knowledge ranks.

If I assume your answers to the questions were something like:
1) Hitting with falchion (more critical hits).
2) Bashing through the line to get at the casters in back.
3) Lookout.
4) Catching lies.

Race: Half-Elf
Str 18 (16+2)
Dex 12
Con 14
Int 12
Wis 14
Cha 7
Traits: Suspicious (+1 to and class skill for sense motive) and Eyes of the City (+1 to and class skill for perception)
Half Elf free feat: Skill Focus Perception or Sense Motive

Skills:
Keep perception and sense motive at maximum ranks then spread the rest among your other class skills.

Feats:
1: power attack
2: weapon focus (falchion)
3: improved overrun (or improved bull rush)
4: furious focus
5: iron will

* Improved initiative and toughness are also good choices.
* Don't worry too much about your equipment right at first. The low level missions are usually easy and your strength and hitpoints are good enough to carry you through. I've seen fighters start with leather armor, a great club, and a sling. That way they have cash for vials of holy water, alchemist fire, potion of enlarge person, etc... Plus you are likely to quickly get usable gear after the first or second encounter.
* Try to keep some ready cash on hand so that if the mission briefing mentions undead or catacombs you can purchase a few vials of holy water (or whatever seems appropriate for that mission).
* Always keep a potion of Cure X wounds on your person. That way if you go unconscious someone can pour it down your throat to save you.
* With your first 2 prestige points buy a wand of cure light wounds. No you can't activate it yourself right now, but you can hand it to someone else at the table who can. "Please use this on me when I get hurt." It is both smart and polite to provide for your own healing.
* With your second 2 prestige points buy masterwork composite long bow at your strength rating. No you are not an archer, but you have a high BaB and sometimes the badguys are not within arms reach. So you can still give a meaningful contribution to a ranged fight.
* Multi-classing with cleric actually works pretty well with this build. A 1 single level of cleric will give you a few spells for buffing yourself, a bit of healing, some domain powers, and the ability to activate cleric list wands or scrolls.

You might want to look at THIS old thread on some simple CRB only builds for beginners to PFS.

Note: If you have different answers to the 4 questions, let us know and we can give you help in that direction.

Liberty's Edge

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I'm not an organizer for our area, but I have noticed a few things.

The time of year is just busy for a lot of people. But I think this year is a bit lower game count than the 2 preceding years.

Some bad miscommunications about the season 6 tech. But I haven't seen as much as I would have expected based on what I read on the boards.

A few people have complained about having nothing left to play. But most seem willing to sit at a table for no credit just to take part in a game and have fun. (I know I am.)

But the biggest problem I see in our area is few people willing to GM. I know I get quite irritated at some of the guys complaining about the lack of tables or the quality of the GM's, when they have never taken a turn on the other side of the screen.

No, I don't enjoy GM'ing quite as much as being a player. But it isn't that bad. I try to take my turn when my schedule allows me to have something prep'd and know I will have time to get on the schedule. Yes, that also means I've run most of the ones I have prep'd multiple times without getting GM credit. So what?
I know of at least a couple people that have quit because they felt like they could never be a player since they were the only ones willing to GM.

We do have a couple of GM's in our area that are frankly not very good. But if you don't like it, try doing something about it and run some yourself rather than just b*+*@ing behind their backs.
I am well aware I'm not the perfect GM. I don't know every rule and spell in all bajillion books. The comments I overhear from some of these guys has nearly got me to quit PFS a couple of times. So far the compliments and appreciation from others have managed to counteract the insults. But at least I'm trying (and I like to think slowly improving).

I would really like to see more people willing to take a turn in our area.


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thejeff wrote:
Talk to the players. Find out why they're doing this. Trying to deal with it in game without understanding what the players are thinking isn't going to work.

Agreed. However, there can still be an issue. My group continually says they want a sandbox campaign since that is what 'everyone' wants. But they are horrible at it and have no fun when they are in one. They dither around, make no progress at anything, get bored, start bickering, then PvP usually ensues. They actually enjoy a fairly railroad-ish plot that has quite a few options.

First, drop the terms sandbox and railroad. Don't let them use the terms either. Everyone seems to have a different idea of what the terms mean. Plus the community has established a false positive feeling for sandbox and a false negative feeling for railroad that really have no correlation with whichever definition is being used.

Second, ask them, "What do you want to do? No don't use an ill defined generic term. What specifically do you want the campaign to provide?"

Many players I know merely want choices. Not complete openness.


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One of my biggest peeves is players that do something extreme with their build then get upset at the consequences for the build they choose.

I have no problem if you want a sorc with a con of 8. It is a challenge I have considered trying myself. But don't complain at the rest of us when you keep getting knocked unconscious if you get in risky situations.

I have no problem if you devote all resources to hitting as hard as possible with lucern hammer. But why are you surprised when you continually fail and get beat up trying to grapple?

Ok, so you made a drow noble yaun-ti initiate. Yes, you have all these amazing spooky powers. No, you will probably not be able to convince the church of Sarenrae to trust your promises. Again. After you failed to keep you word the first 2 times. Sheesh!


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Well, I’m not real good at the esoteric things. But I do have examples of learning concrete real world skills.

Some years back, both of my boys were having trouble in school. Though they are both reasonably intelligent, they were at the bottom of their respective classes in reading, spelling, and mathematics. One has an actual learning disability that makes reading very difficult and slow. The other just really didn’t try. I think because he was reading as well as his older brother who obviously wasn’t getting in trouble for it.
I got them interested in Magic The Gathering card game (including a computer version that let them play against the AI all they wanted). Well, to play that game you have to read and understand the card then add and subtract all those numbers. Then decide what will well work together in a deck.
In one game there is more reading and basic math than in any 2 school lessons that we would have to fight all night to get them to complete. Yes, eventually they would get the cards memorized. But that is also a good skill. Didn’t bother me at all. Every so often I’d get them a new booster back that they would have to understand then figure out how to incorporate in their decks.
After a couple months when they had that well in hand. I introduced them to DnD 3.0 books I still had lying around (I wasn’t in a gaming group at that time). They loved it. There’s tons more crap to read, understand, consider, add, subtract, multiply, divide, etc… than in any card game.
“Dad, my ranger’s got a bunch of gold but not enough for a better bow. What can he buy to be better at shooting and stuff? Well, maybe look at a wand of a ranger spell that will help like Cat’s Grace. They can really use that? What’s that do? How much does it cost? I don’t remember exactly off the top of my head, go look it up in the players handbook.”
(Of course I did remember, but I wanted him to check it.) Sure I had to help him with a bunch of words and some math, but for the next couple of hours he worked over the ranger spell list, what the spells did, how it might help him, and how much it cost. Found he couldn’t afford what he wanted. I suggested a partially charged wand might be found and more affordable. Then more time was spent figuring how much he could afford and if he wanted to spend all that.
It was quite literally almost an entire evening of general studying for his 3 most difficult classes. He didn’t realize it and loved every minute of it.
A couple months later their teachers asked us what we had done with the boys. In less than a semester they had gone from the very bottom of the class (with my wife and I pulling out our hair in frustration) to the top fourth of the class. I said “I got them interested in a fun game that has a heavy dictionary’s worth of rules.” They were shocked. They were afraid my wife and I had them in some sort of facist style boot camp studying all night every night. I answered, “Nope they got themselves studying all night every night and they don’t even know it.”

Their vocabulary is a bit skewed shall we say. But all through college they had instructors that would be surprised at some of the words they knew and used correctly in normal conversation. Adults don't expect a 4th grader to use words and phrase like pantheon, exclusion, area of affect, rebuke, dimension, non-combatant, ragnarok, etc... Especially not to use them correctly.
They were quicker and more accurate on their basic math than a math major. You know the same math you use to figure out whether this can of peanut butter on sale is a better buy than the two-pack.
At an age were most of their class mates were reading comic books they started reading the hobbit. Because I said it was written kinda like a long DnD adventure. Then we got in a big hours long discussion of how it wasn't really like a DnD adventure because X. Sounds to me like a comparative literary evaluation of a several hundred page novel when their class mates were doing 1/2 page book reports on a 50 page kids book.

It is one of my parenting decision that I am most proud of. And I almost didn’t do it because I was initially afraid if they really liked MtG, they would do that instead of studying. I finally agreed to it as a reward for something I don't now remember. Probably for passing a spelling test or something like that.

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