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Odraude's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 7,001 posts. No reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters.

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Cydeth wrote:
Hill Giant wrote:

Who needs granularity?

My thermostat.

Also, as a chef, I prefer the granularity of Fahrenheit when we bake, fry, and sous vide our food. Though for weights, we always use grams.

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So kind of on topic, I actually found this while randomly searching. An interesting way to convert km to miles and back. I kinda of dig it.

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If you're looking for ancient indoor plumbing like the Romans/Indra/Inca, I'd add a Sewage Connection and you're good to go!.

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If it's just low income housing, I'd suggest taking the House and removing most of the rooms to cheapen the cost. Most people lived in one-two room huts, so all you need is a kitchen and maybe storage. Kitchen is essentially the bedroom. With 1 Kitchen and 1 Storage, you have a total cost of 280 gp. It's cheap and has up to 14 squares of room for the family(ies). For bathroom, you can go outside or use chamberpots. Luckily, the rules just give you the cost of everything so you can simply ignore the Capital. Nothing really complicated about it.

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smaller clanholds and isolated villages probably would venerate them. Especially in areas that aren't socially stable. Say a village is going through a famine. They might be more willing to sell their souls to be able to feed themselves.

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Victor Ravenport wrote:

I will not pretend that I am worried about the consequences of a Trump presidency, primarily because I suspect that most of the man's initial rhetoric was done to win the nomination within the party and as far as I have seen, he is already commiting a lurch to the left in the few policy announcements that has been released since he became the President-elect.

That being said, he announced that homosexual civil unions is a "settled law" yesterday.

A lot of the worry is less about Trump and more about everything else. The Republicans own the entire government, from the Senate to the House and once the spot is filled, probably the Supreme Court. That level of control means that things like the Religious Freedom act and things similar to it can be passed much easier. For securing trans rights, it is going to be a steep uphill battle.

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There's always been something that bothered me about FTL ships but no FTL communication. If you had sensors that can scan parsecs of areas, then those sensors would have to be using energy waves that are FTL to cross those gulfs of space and return quickly for use. So with that technology in existence, why couldn't there be FTL communication?

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Checking in to see how everyone is holding up. My parents are a bit worried because they've had a small amount of people talk about how they can't wait to get rid of Puerto Rico and deport the Puerto Ricans to make room for more jobs. My girlfriend and her trans friends are also very worried. I'm admittedly anxious, but I'm very much a wait and see kind of person.

I know things look grim right now everyone, but I know that we can come together as an American community and make it through. We are in an uncertain time right now. Now more than ever, we have to stay united, look back and change how we approach things for the next four to eight years. What we are doing now isn't working anymore. But I do earnestly believe we can still make things work for our community, not just the LGBT or minority community, but as Americans.

Don't give up hope. Please, if you do feel the pangs of hopelessness, find someone you trust and talk with them. Hell, keep posting in this thread. There are good people here that want to help you. Message me if you need to and I can at least promise to try and talk to you.

We can do this.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Its english. You can verb anything.

Doesn't mean I have to like it :p

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The only term I'm not a fan of is people using the word 'stealth' as a verb. Like instead of saying "We are sneaking" they say, "We are stealthing." I hate it.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

What if the PCs in the OP's example simply failed to notice a bunch of indications and failed to take adequate precautions and simply walked right into a competently executed trap from the villain. At the point where they're all at the bottom of a 100' shaft with smooth and greased walls with a metal grate on which the villain is standing with an anti-magic field spell active while pouring knockout gas into the hole, then I think it's appropriate to just handwave "you all pass out", provided that there were numerous actions they could have taken up to that point to avoid ending up in that unfortunate situation.

Like at the point where the PCs say "this is an interesting hole, let's see what's at the bottom of it; everybody in!" they've basically already committed to their fate. You could sit there rolling fort saves until everyone fails, or you could just realize they're not getting out of this one and move on to the next scenario.

We don't know for sure the players didn't get knocked out and deprived of their gear because they did something that brought it upon themselves. If the players do something really foolhardy, end up in a bad situation from which they cannot plausibly extract themselves, and you don't want to kill their characters then "dumping them on a deserted island without their stuff" is a reasonable thing to do.

Since the players had every opportunity laid out in front of them to avoid their fate and due to luck or bad choices, they ended up here, and they legitimately have no way to escape the hole, then for expediency of play, you could have them fail their saves. In that context it isn't rail roading. They had all their options and they failed. Now they are stuck in a hole and can't get out and it's clear that magic doesn't work and nothing they have works. So you can definitely say that "you guys are really truly trapped and instead of rolling for five minutes, we're going to move on. That alright?" Again, they made their choice to jump in. You didn't force them into that hole.

And that is the point I'm trying to make. Having that happen organically as above works. Just saying "you guys are now trapped in this hole and lose your gear no matter what because I said so" really is forced and railroading. Failure isn't railroading. Removing all opportunity and forcing the players into an outcome of failure despite their actions is.

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Shifty wrote:

Following that logic:

"You are in Golarion" is also railroading.

"We are playing Pathfinder" = railroading.

The only way not to railroad is for things to be totally open sandbox play, and then you are still railroading, and railroading the GM as well.

Not at all.

D&D is fundamentally different than other storytelling mediums in that the characters are played and controlled by thinking, acting people. That is the core of its appeal compared to movies, books, and even something as interactive as video games. Video games still have limiting factors in them that D&D doesn't have. So ultimately, to facilitate a story, you have to play to the strengths of the medium. The medium in the case of D&D is simple.

In a role playing game, the players are people in the world that do things and have consequences befall them for their actions. They have the ability to attempt anything they can feasibly do. Notice I said attempt. From that, as GMs, we take their actions or series of actions and weave it into a story by having consequences for their actions. This doesn't mean that they always succeed, or that we coddle our players. Far from it. We place obstacles in their path, struggles to overcome. And if they overcome, then that's great. If not, that's fine too. But from their success or failure, every setback and great job, we extrapolate from that and describe what happens next.

Railroading is essentially removing the ability to attempt things in the game world. It's essentially saying that their choices and actions simply don't matter against the fiction of the game. Which to me is squandering the biggest strength of D&D or RPGs in general. That freedom to attempt anything. To play out your character's story, or your team's story. Let's say, in the example of ambushing, our characters do not trust our ambusher. Maybe it's a gut feeling, or we decided to roll and passed our Sense Motive check and decide that we should lay low and tread safely. What does the GM do then? It's why I prefer to prep scenes and not scripts. Being flexible and adaptable is a good trait to have for GM, rather than having a rigid story. Especially with how unpredictable the PCs are.

Now whenever I bring this up, people will always bring up how to have a villain do their plot without railroading. You can still have a villain do their plot without forcing the characters into any kind of scene. Just imagine the villain is a thinking agent against the party. What would they do if the players threw a monkey wrench into their plans? Or, what would they do if the players failed but got away? Villains can still do their plans behind the scenes so to speak while taking to account the players now hampering their plans. Look at, say, the show Luke Cage for great examples of a villain whose plans get wrecked, but then adapts. Or you can have the players stumble into your villain's plan when it's almost complete. They follow clues and investigate, interrogating people, and make it to the grand set piece encounter you really want to run. But again, it's the players making the attempts at, in this case, investigating and letting their actions spur you on. If they fail, then the villain's plan goes like normal and now people have to deal with the aftermath of it. And now you have a new, cool adventure to run.

It's not really about playing fair either. You can definitely have the odds stacked against the players in a scenario. The idea is more to organically weave a believable tale of your players' success or defeat without the usual literary contrivances and plot holes. Their success and failure and adventuring through the consequences helps the players feel much more immersed and involved in your game world when their choices have real weight. Real consequences, positive or negative.

I'm not saying let them succeed. Far from it. I'm saying, let them attempt and see where it takes the story. Their actions and their consequences will help build a story that they will be invested in and enjoy. And as a GM of this, there is something exciting about seeing what your players do and thinking up the results of their actions. It's like reading a book you've never read before, but you're writing it too.

That's the strength of D&D over other storytelling methods. The ability to surprise your players and conversely, the ability for them to surprise you. And I wouldn't trade that for the world.

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dwayne germaine wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

I believe the issue is the "GM handwave you autofail this" thing.
If a GM mechanically pulls of a surprise attack or ambush then cool. If we get jumped at night and had no watch we probably die.
But to have a GM say that the guy with 100 perception at lv5 auto-fails his spot check because the GM wanted to have an ambush, that is the issue the OP has. The GM breaking rules of the game because "it makes his story better".

I have no problem with a GM autofailing the entire party on something (though probably not something that ta player is specialized against) if it will advance the plot in a fun and interesting way.

I'm curious what this contrived situation of the theoretical 100 perception character getting auto-failed on seeing something comes in to the discussion. No one has mentioned anything like that happening. Even if it did happen, it might be a bit lazy at worst. Sure, the GM should probably have come up with something like a high DC sleep poison, or a Will save, or other plot device that gets the party in the situation that the GM is building things around. That would probably be better, but the results will be the same. The GM should just have picked another way that makes more sense to facilitate his plot.

But YOU just made up that contrivance to make this theoretical GM look bad. The OP didn't even play in the campaign in question, so I'm not sure how you can be so certain that the GM did anything like that. I certainly never said that the GM should feel free to take liberty in negating something that a player heavily invested in. If I'm the GM I'm just going to find another way of making this happen, and I'm not convinced that the GM in the OP's story did anything like what you are suggesting.

See, I'm not a fan of the GM shoehorning the players into a scenario to advance a plot. Rather, I'd have the plot come from what happens when the players are presented with a scenario that could land them into something and seeing what they do.

Let's say we wanted someone to ambush the players and capture them. I'd have them try and trick the players, with having a decent sized force for just in case someone makes the save. And from there, I let the scenario play out.

If the players all fail their saves to drink the poison in their cups, then viola! You have your escape from the jail adventure ready to go.

If only some fail, then you have the rest having to make a choice: fight, surrender, or flee. Then play it out. If a player escapes, then suddenly, you have an interesting scenario where the single player (or two) come back later to free their friends. I'd probably have the caught players play as some back up, or have a side by side rping of the fleeing players breaking in while the caught players breaking out.

If all of them survive, then things get interesting. They can surrender, fight, or flee, but at least now, they have some numbers. If they surrender, get dropped, or get caught, then you have your escape the jail sequence. If they make it out alive, now you have a chase sequence. They have a very angry pursuer trying to get them, and now they have to try and lose him/her and escape. Or, imagine that they are able to hide, if only briefly, in the mansion/keep/castle of their ambusher. Now the scenario becomes an escape from the mansion before their would be captor gets them.

Either way, you have a good story in your hands. Limiting to just the escape just boxes you away from the myriad of interesting possibilities that can play out if one just lets the players do their thing. The following scenarios just feel less forced and become more organic events that are real consequences to what the players do.

A while back, a buddy planned a similar ambush. We all escaped but one guy. So what he did was have us roleplay as the guards while our captured PC tried to escape. He almost made it too. It was extremely fun and a completely different perspective from the game that is memorable even to this day. Nobody got forced into it. it was just a natural result of the events from before. It was much more rewarding as a plot point and as a game than just being handwaved into a prison cell, even with the odds stacked against us.

I guess my point is, getting the story out of the players and their actions is ultimately more rewarding than forcing a story out of them and pushing their actions to that.

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I just realized I fat fingered the o and i and called him PissableCabbage.

I am so sorry.

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Honestly, I don't really require this book because I don't mind just having my players find a drake/wyvern/dragon, befriend it, and have a mount.

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Can't say I'm a fan of the GM Handwave Autofail. Now, if the GM sat down, levelled with us and say "Hey, I'm kind of interested in running a scenario where you survive without gear. Is this cool?", then I think I'd be more for it. I probably wouldn't do it myself as a DM, but as a player, I give a lot of trust to my GM for this.

If it was the starting conceit of the campaign, like Serpent Skull or a DCC styled Funnel, I'd definitely be down. As PissableCabbage said, it can be fun starting a campaign like this. I have done this and the previous example and it turned out great.

But if it's just rocks fall, you lose your stuff, no save, without any form of retaliation or fighting back... I'd have some terse words for the GM. Not a fan of being railroaded into a scenario.

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It's not about them being combat monsters. Werewolves are more than just combat monsters. They are a descent of a person into madness and savagery. There's a good chance that you can have a werewolf encounter without combat. A good example of this rears its head in The Witcher 3.

The thing is that squirrels are culturally cute and a joke. Weresquirrels just can't really be taken seriously as a threat. Squirrels are harmless and believe me, they will be the butt of your PCs jokes, no matter how vicious you try and make them. Even in your example, the noble would be ashamed of the curse, not really out of fear of them being a danger, but of sheer embarrassment because he's a man squirrel now. It's the baggage squirrels have. I'm not really trying to stomp all over your idea, but it just is going to fall flat when you run it. Unless you are playing a more gonzo, absurd game. Then go right ahead. If I were running Into the Odd or Yoon Suin or Gamma World, I'd use them. They could even shoot acorns at people.

That's why for squirrel monsters, I think it's better to play to their strengths. Squirrels stand and chitter. Their chitter almost sounds like whispering, or chatting on about gossip. That's probably where the Ratatoskr and Meeko get their folklore from. Rodents that also chitter and chatter. And while squirrels aren't scary, you can definitely make them creepy. Since they are rodents, that's not too hard. They also twitch a lot. That's great to make them come off unsettling. Constantly moving in jerky motions. And keep the pitch black eyes.

We're not going for 'horror' here. Just 'unsettling'. That works.

I like the Ratatoskr from Norse mythology. It's a squirrel that lives on the World Tree and collects gossip and information. How can that be interesting? Well you can basically make it the information broker of the fey world. Most creatures don't mess with it because it knows things. It can get the dirt on anyone for the right price. You can even make it creepy. Imagine a man-sized, emaciated squirrel-like creature with a distended stomach that is cruel but craven. Smells horrid (have you smelled a sugar glider?) and is littered with ticks. Keeps to itself and just blends in and listens to the rougher creatures of the forest. He's nature's snitch. And knows that it is untouchable. Why? Because other, stronger creatures value its information. Do you want to know the king's dark secret about his bastard son? The Ratatoskr knows. How about the hidden entrance to the king's castle. You bet the Ratatoskr knows. True name for a high ranking devil? Damn straight it knows. And it can help... for a price. Information for information. Secret for secret. You have to give it a secret to get one. That's how the Ratatoskr stays in business. And if you try combat, it'll run away. Live to fight another day. Only instead of fighting, it gets guys to do that for it. A snitch like that is valuable to other fey and kings alike.

To me, that's more interesting than weresquirrels. No battle simulation or combat. No absurdity or silliness. Just pure roleplay. And the idea that a player could pay the ultimate price for information. That, I feel would be a great monster.

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Truthfully, I don't make werebears good. I keep them savage and scary like werewolves. But for the most part, lycanthropy is a fear of nature and of man descending into savagery. Only the wererat is a creature that isn't a carnivore that preys on man, but rats represent the fear of pestilence and plague in cities. The fear of rabid animals scurrying and swarming over you, suffocating you under their sheer numbers. I don't really get that same fear from the idea of being swarmed by squirrels. It'd be like being attacked by a swarm of corgis. Squirrels just aren't dangerous to us. Not like rats are.

Besides, there aren't going to be many people that are going to take a human transforming into a squirrel seriously. No matter how dangerous you make them, there is an element of humor because of how we view squirrels culturally. They are cute at best, and prey or pests at worse. The monster would be laughed at by PCs and the novelty of cute but deadly would lose its charm eventually.

I think going at it through the venue of fear is the wrong way to go about a squirrel creature, especially given how cute they look. Still, there are other avenues and perspectives we can come from with a squirrel monster. One of annoyance and trickery, rather than fear and viciousness. I think it would be best to look towards the Norse and their Ratatoskr folklore for inspiration. Or the Meeko. Both seem to be spiteful little tricksters and gossips, very fey like. I think that's a better direction to go.

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I don't know. When I think of Guns Everywhere, I really think of the late 1800's, early 1900's. And it was not difficult to get a gun, especially if you're out in the frontier. Hell, that's why the Winchester repeater and the Peacemaker are so iconic to use for western genre. They were common and used a lot by people out in the frontier.

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Well, yes and no.

One of the issues with the continuation of adding feats and spells is that it adds more complexity without depth. There are a lot of moving parts that come together with a character, and when you add more feats, it can have unintended consequences with previous ones. And with more and more feats, it's harder to look back at previous work to make sure that there aren't weird or overpowered feat combinations. And really, as great as the option are (I love options), I feel they haven't added depth to the game. The feats and such are still mostly centered around combat or skills.

That's why I liked Ultimate Campaign. It wasn't just feats for combat or skills. It added support to run different styles of games that went beyond "stop the bad guy, save the world". You had kingdom building and exploration, which was a HUGE hit with many of my players. There was base building and running your own business. There were child characters and infamy and just lots of rules that added depth to one's campaign with less of the complexity. I had a crew of friends that always wanted to do "get rich quick" schemes, and were surprised when I was the first GM to not only say yes, but actually have the support to do it. There were great adventures with the players fighting guild monopolies and thugs and thieves, while rubbing shoulders with nobles. One player even became a drug kingpin under the guise of a detective. And that's awesome.

That's what I want. I like options. Hell, I love them. But I really want to see more options that add depth to the game. Occult Adventures did that with their rituals and such. I haven't read Horror Adventures, but the Corruption rules sound interesting. And I prefer all of this to the reverse, which is stagnation. That's kind of where I feel the OSR community is suffering. You have people just making the next retroclone instead of new, cool things. There are some exceptions, but for the most part, I prefer Pathfinder's publishing to another retroclone heartbreaker riding the coattails of The Black Hack.

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Yeah, according to the devs, Rasputin Must Die did really well and because of that we got stuff like Iron Gods and, well, Strange Aeons.

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Honestly, I just want rulebooks that don't add more feats and spells, but just new ways to approach the game. Like I said many times, Ultimate Campaign is my all time favorite book. There are no feats or spells or anything that directly adds power and complicated the game. It just adds new avenues for the game to go to and the players can do. I want more of Ultiamte Campaign.

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caltrops and oil

Caltrops to hurt the person and make them yelp

Oil so you can light it on fire when they do.

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I kind of prefer the apatheist. They don't know much about the gods nor really care about them :)

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Cellion wrote:
Odraude wrote:

I think the biggest problem in TTRPGs in general is a lack of unification between the players and the GM. Every single RPG I've played, from D&D to Apocalypse World, seems to favor one over the other. I'd like to see advice that instead unified the GM and the players as one group that is looking to make a good game and have run. Rather than empowering one side over the other with advice that equates to social enginneering and manipulation. I feel like some of the indy games come close, but veer too far into players empowered over the GM.

We're in this hobby together. There shouldn't be social stratification enforced within our groups. We need advice on better communication and transparency for both sides.

From what I've seen so far from FATE core (and I assume regular FATE rules too), it makes for a fairly abstracted, narrative driven gaming experience that grants both players and GM a lot of say on how the narrative goes.

One of the basic mechanics of the game is that the players get presented with various narrative situations (both good and bad) and in addition to solving them with their characters capabilities, they can expend a limited narrative resource to effectively suggest some kind of narrative twist. After some discussion in the group to get players and GM all on board with whatever twist it is, it goes into effect. It works in reverse too: A DM can suggest some kind of unexpected twist, and if the player agrees to accept the consequences, they can gain back the narrative resource. It gives the players quite a bit of power in dictating the flow of the narrative, beyond what is explicitly provided as part of the game's normal systems.

I haven't had a chance to play a game with it yet, but in an easygoing group it looks like a fun way to do some structured collaborative storytelling. It definitely also seems to narrow the gap between Player and GM.

I've played some FATE and while I feel it comes close to bridging the gap, there are still aspects of it that seem to favor the players over the GM in decision making. Also, I'm not a fan of the elevation of the story over the group. In games of FATE and books under the Apocalypse World engine, I've seen games grind to a halt because a situation that happened to their character didn't fit their perception of their character's story.

I think I'd like less mechanics empowering one side or the other, and would rather have advice on how to come together as a group and make the game fun for everyone involved. Often, you see tons of DM advice. Rarely, you see player advice. And even more rare you see group advice. I'd like to see more of the last one. It'd be hard, especially with different groups having different group dynamics. I'd also like to see more advice that treats RPGs as a social activity and not as a game, story, conversation, or simulation. I feel it would fix a lot of issues

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A part of me thinks that this would be the perfect time to add more Aztec themed races instead of using the same races in the core. Lizardfolk is a good start, as are cat folk (jaguar people/tabaxi). Grippli would fit really well in a tropical setting like this.

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Just a word of warning, most GMs don't really appreciate it when a player tries to bring in a Dev to go over their head to override their ruling. While I think he could be more lenient, trying to overrule him isn't going to get him to change his mind any quicker. If anything, he'll probably stand his ground and the problem will get even worse.

Instead, try working with him and reaching some compromise. And if that doesn't work, honestly, I'd drop the issue.

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Gamer Talk doesn't really get a great deal of traffic. Probably would ask at the Homebrew section of the forums.

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Honestly, there are rare times where I feel roleplaying gets in the way of the game. Purple prose, arguing over their character's story, poor attempts at complex characters, players fighting over spotlight. It can get tiring after awhile as a GM and a player. It's why whenever I feel a bit winded from GMing, I just run a murderhobo one shot. No story, no arguing, no whining. Just a bunch of us gathered together to kill orcs and take their pie. It's simple, but fun and gets to the game quicker. And eventually we all feel refreshed and get back to more roleplayng in our games.

That's one good thing about the munchkin (in small doses at least). Reminds us it's a game and not to take it so seriously sometimes. Sit back, grab a beer, and have some fun while we can.

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I don't see why not. Half the time when I play Pathfinder, my monsters are dice and bottlecaps.

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Everywhere my friend. Everywhere.

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HWalsh wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

So hypothetically, if you have a demon trying to bluff the PCs into doing something and a PC asks "I want to try to figure out if the demon is lying." What would be the "no fudging" way to get around this?

Do you tell them to roll sense motive, and you roll a die privately and don't even look at it? Do you tell them to roll sense motive, and just not roll at all for the demon? Do you tell them they can't roll? Do you abide by whatever the dice say and try to come up with another plot hook on the fly?

If you are not going to abide by the dice roll, you don't roll it. You let them roll and say "You don't think he is lying." You can even justify it on the backend by saying the demon has glibness and other bonuses that make it mathematically impossible for the PC to beat the demon's Bluff.

Or you roll the dice, accept that the PC beat the Bluff check, and tell them so. And then you run with that change to your campaign. It's a lot easier if you don't prep a screenplay and instead prepare scenes. Listen to your players arguing about what is really going on and use the theory you like best out of the lot of them.

See, no. That is silly.

There is no difference between:

Player A: "I want to use sense motive on the Princess."
GM: "Go ahead." (Rolls dice, pretends to look at die and nods head.)
Player A: (Rolls dice) "17."
GM: "You don't think she's lying."


Player A: "I want to use sense motive on the Princess."
GM: "You don't think she's lying."

By, "If you are not going to abide by the dice roll, you don't roll it. You let them roll and say "You don't think he is lying." you ARE fudging the dice.

You roll the dice, specifically, to keep the players on their toes.

Like, literally, the PLAYERS shouldn't suspect anything is different between when you fudge, or plot armor, a thing and when you don't. You roll the dice so that the situation, to the player's perspective, is the exact same as when you *aren't*...

Illusion of choice really is just not great advice honestly. There has never been a moment in my time GMing where giving the players false choice was more engrossing and rewarding than giving the players a real choice and having them deal with the consequences.

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Honestly, these three posts from The Alexandrian really changed the way I GM for the better. GMing became less stressful and my players have had a lot more fun overall. I think people should read them and give them an honest try. You'd be surprised.

Don't Prep Plots

DPP: Villains

DPP: Contingencies

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

There's one thing I keep coming back to when reading the thread. There are apparently people who expect the GM to obey the dice and the printed rules slavishly, to simply simulate the world without narrative contrivances or plot devices that push the story in the direction the GM wants, but to also have an encyclopedic knowledge of the rules and the setting.

My question is, faced with a group of players like that, what would I actually get out of GMing? Like what's my incentive to put in all the time it takes to develop plots, design scenarios and antagonists, and populate a game world if I'm discouraged from telling my own story.

Like do people who expect their GMs to be like that run exclusively canned adventures?

Since I GM a lot, this is what I get from it.

If I want to share my story as I see it, I wouldn't be a GM. I'd write a novel.

I am not an author. I do not plan out the story because players are their own people that will make their own plans. And I don't push the story where I want. D&D isn't a book or a movie. It's not a video game either. I tell a story, but I tell it with the simple fact in mind that the players will do crazy, unforeseen, and creative things to further their goals. I don't write the plot with a prepared end, only a villain with a goal and a method. And I understand two things.

It's not my story.

The players aren't my characters.

This is everyone's story, whether the GM likes it or not. The players are a big part of it and will play in it and do what they can. Prepping plots and planning out scenarios dependent on a certain action will only lead to frustration, trust me. Your story will never survive first contact with the players. Looking at the Adventure Path forums, you see countless people approaching the same adventure in different ways. And forcing your players to slavishly follow your story and putting the story over their actions and choices is really just not great. It's not fun.

Now, you can still prep scenarios. Like I mentioned before, I generally prep scenarios based on how the villain would react to the group's actions. I'd suggest reading The Alexandrian's article on prepping scenarios, not plots. You can have your villain get away too. No one is denying that. You can still tell a story with the narrative contrivances, but again, you have to remember that this is an interactive hobby with a bunch of players including yourself. So you can't force your players to follow your story. You can have events happen to them, and you can have story elements happen behind the scenes, but they should take into account what the players are going to do. It doesn't requires "slavishly" following the rules or the dice, though I personally prefer keeping things as fair as I can. All you have to do is just watch what the players do and react accordingly. It's much easier than it sounds honestly.

And what incentive do I get from GMing?

I love to see how players handle my scenario. I love to see them succeed despite the odds using a crazy and creative way that I didn't even think of. I love to see their reactions, and then the consequences of their actions and plotting what happens next because of it. That's because despite me challenging them through difficult obstacles, I'm still my players' biggest fan. I'm their biggest cheerleader. And seeing them overcome adversity is the biggest reward for me as a GM. Seriously, I think that people should try sandbox gaming more often. It is a bit difficult, but it is honestly very rewarding, for both the players and the GM. There are many blogs about it, from The Alexandrian to Trollsmyth and such. I can bring together some links, or certainly message people about it.

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Steve Geddes wrote:

I don't fudge rolls at the moment. I have in the past though, depending on what the players wanted at the time.

However, my fudging has pretty much always been in the players' flavor. The "fudging is anti-player" perspective is strange to me (especially since the DM can do that anyway by just putting in a tougher monster from the get go). I think a DM who fudges to screw you over isn't going to run a great game even if you stopped that behaviour. The mindset is the issue - the fudging is just an enabler, IMO.

I think I can at least explain this.

For me, as a player and DM, I'm not a fan of fudging dice positive or negative. I prefer to follow the result of the dice and my actions and react with it. I don't run a story or plot per se, but rather situations and scenarios that organically rise from players' actions. So when a GM fudges my dice roll, whether it is to my benefit or not, I feel it somewhat cheapens the danger and consequences of my choices in order to protect the story. If my fighter dies to goblin arrow fire, I'm okay with that. That failure is part of the story and while losing a character can suck, at least he did the best he could and paid the price for living a life of danger. But if a GM fudged the dice to protect me from the consequences of my choice, I wouldn't be a fan of it. I don't want my characters protected so the story can flow, or to protect me as the player. It makes the victory that I achieve in the game hollow, because it was simply handed to me.

That is why I do not fudge dice, and I'd prefer it if GMs don't fudge my dice results. I feel my choices don't matter as much if victory or defeat is at the whim of GM fiat.

Now as a GM, if a player is having bad luck with rolls, I do offer my "Everyone Gets One" card where you get a quick success on something. It's still the player's choice if they want to use it, and no one really abuses it. Sometimes, getting five ones in a row can suck, so I do offer it. But my players rarely ever take it and I'm okay with it.

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Not really though. He's still incredibly powerful, took down the titans, and really can't be killed. The druid class isn't enough to really showcase Zeus or Odin or the other gods, both in the real world and literature. The rules don't really cover having your own afterlife to syphon souls to, or beings that can create a planet from nothing, or the capability of shattering stars and such. And that's why I at least like rules for this. But my personal preference is to keep things abstract. If we have CR40 creatures with a million HP and +50 saving throws, that gets super unwieldy.

Personally, I don't get the push back of keeping gods untouchable. Especially with so many games out there that do it, it really isn't that bad to have players ascending to godhood on their own, or going all Elric of Melnibone and cleaning house. And with Godbound, it's a lot easier to convert that style to d20. At this point, it just seems like a personal preference people trying to shove at those that want stats for gods. Which is silly.

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Because most gods in mythology were approachable and heavily flawed. Most people are looking at this through a Judeo-Christian monotheistic lens. But if you look at the Olympians or Norse, they were super flawed and could be killed. Read the Ramayana or the tales of Sun Wukong or any Greek mythos or Native American legend and you'll see tales of mortals tricking and defeating the gods. Most cultural heroes are essentially paragons of mortals duping the creators and stealing something from them (secret of fire, riddle of steel, agriculture).

That said, I don't really want a god with 4 million HP and complicated stats like that.

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Firewarrior44 wrote:
You also might be able to stat them up using Godbound (there's a free version). It would defiantly be a lot more abstract than using PF / 3.5 rules but it would also give a decent framework for defining what / how they can influence things.

Having played SWN, Sine Nomine makes some great products. And since a lot of it is based off of Basic D&D, it just takes a little finagling to convert and run a game.

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I imagine that if the players are simply going to interact with gods on a roleplaying basis, then there really isn't much of a need for stats.

If the players will be completing with the gods over dominion, or just straight up killing them a la Elric, then you'd want stats. Though I feel that with gods, you'd want to keep things abstract and loose. I imaging a very simplified, almost FATE-esque Pathfinder mechanic to keep it convertible would be best.

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Pretty much all mythological gods save for Yahweh are not infallible and are not omniscient or omnipotent. Many also have weaknesses that can be played into by mortals and demigods. So I imagine, keep a lot of the god's abilities and stats abstract and give them weaknesses and flaws that the players can exploit to defeat the gods.

I mean hell, we had Sisyphus bind Thanatos with his own chains and Heracles tricked Atlas to take back the Earth. So it's definitely feasable. With stats for Gods, you just have to be more abstract with stats. Less is more as they say.

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Magic crafters HATE Kobold Cleaver.

See which items are the Big 6. #4 will shock you!

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Wasn't this thread about space ships?

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I don't control the players' actions and generally trust them to make the correct decisions when under mental duress, like panic or mind control or confusion. It's a game where we play characters that get attacked, both physically and mentally. I think if we as players can accept getting stabbed and taking 1d8 damage, then we can accept and rp being panicked or mind control. I just let them keep control over the character. It's generally not an issue at my table.

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Kalindlara wrote:

Now would probably be a good time to cool down and not start a flamewar. ^_^

(Also, please avoid "transgendered". Transgender - or preferably just trans - is more ideal.)

That's fair and I apologize for that. I ran it by my gf who is trans and she thought it was okay. But I will refrain from using the term in the future. Again, I am sorry for that.

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CBDunkerson wrote:
Odraude wrote:
See, everyone makes that excuse. "There's no Spain expy in Golarion"


Maybe get over yourself for a moment and read what I actually wrote instead of your fictional recasting of it above?

I did not say, "There's no Spain expy in Golarion". Rather the opposite.
Taldor clearly has heavy spanish influences. Rondolero, Falcatas, Spanish Armada, et cetera. Cheliax has the Spanish Inquisition. The Shackles and Spain's Caribbean colonies. Et cetera.

Every bog standard Arthurian setting survives without the Norse invading, despite that being a HUGE influence on England's history.

The Norse are invading... they're called Ulfen.

We can have Spanish knights like Don Quixote and El Cid without the Moor takeover.

Or... we could continue to have knights like Don Quixote and El Cid in Taldor WITH the Qadiran incursions.

And yet, when my niece wanted to play essentially herself in a PF game, she was told no because Puerto Rican's don't exist in Golarion and to play a normal character.

There are plenty of Andoran / Taldan border regions which could serve as analogs for Puerto Rico in Golarion.

why is it so outlandish to have a Mexican knight in shining armor adventuring with a Haitian wizard in flowing robes in Golarion.

It's not.

So why are you removing such characters from the setting?

The first quote isn't an example from you, but one I've heard often enough. Much of my complaints are for most settings out there (Forgotten Realms, Ebberron, Harn, etc). But let's go down your list.

Ulfen aren't exactly doing civilization changing invasions. And they are pretty far away from Taldor, which has (aside from Spanish influences) a great deal of English inspired stuff in there.

For Taldo, yeah, you have the right analogue there, but most settings really don't do that. And it has a lot of Spain, but not a lot of what makes Latinos, well, Latino. Most of the Inner Sea is Mediterranean.

Have you been to Puerto Rico? You know it's a tropical island right? I don't see anywhere on the border that seems remotely close to that. Verduran Forest doesn't exactly scream El Yunque Rainforest to me.

And up there, when did I say I removed such characters? I specifically even said I ran a game with those characters. Maybe you should work on your reading comprehension a bit, yeah?

My whole point is that I find the argument that you NEED slavery and colonization to have Latinos in Golarion or Forgotten Realms or Harn or whatever setting to be a lame excuse. And this comes from three years of running a game where I had Latinos and Creole and really everyone. And where I was at in South Florida, there is a huge population of Cuban gamers that play D&D and Pathfinder. And these people, both new gamers and old, were surprised and happy that I let them play themselves. One grognard even was surprised and told me how years ago, his character was denied from Living in Forgotten Realms by the GM because there are no Hispanic countries in Faerun and you can't play one. That's kind of f$~#ed up. The cooks I invited to my game didn't even think you could play Latin and Creole characters. Hell, the whole reason our gaming group started was because my saute cook Condo and his son saw the picture of the fighter in the D&D 5e PHB and they were inspired by it. Which is pretty incredible.

You can have Latino countries and kingdoms in a setting without the slavery and genocide and colonization and all the things in the real world that made us who we are. I've done it. I'll continue to do it honestly. I started the Arcadia thread three+ years ago on Paizo to get all this information and excitement for it and it feels like a waste. I just don't see how we can make room for all this diversity for gamers everywhere in Golarion and Faerun and whatnot, and say "it's cool, it's just a fantasy game! Everyone belongs!", but then try and use the real world and verisimilitude as a reason why we cannot have Latino people in Golarion. It feels wrong.

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See, everyone makes that excuse. "There's no Spain expy in Golarion" "There's no European colonization in Golarion". And that's exactly what it is. An excuse.

I was able to run a game with my fellow chefs where everyone played Cubans, Haitians, and Mexicans. All ethnicities that were enslaved by European powers. And we pulled it off pretty easily without needing the Atlantic Slave trade or Columbian exchange. We just did it. And everyone had fun for five months of gaming (until I moved this past week). And that was with just a quick hour of world building. I'm sure people with more time and better abilities can do it even better than I.

We are willing to make exceptions for other kingdoms that were literally shaped by invasion. Every bog standard Arthurian setting survives without the Norse invading, despite that being a HUGE influence on England's history. We can have Spanish knights like Don Quixote and El Cid without the Moor takeover. Hell, we have fantasy America without Britain or Native Americans. And yet, when my niece wanted to play essentially herself in a PF game, she was told no because Puerto Rican's don't exist in Golarion and to play a normal character.

In a setting where we can have a transgendered orc paladin fighting demons in the Worldwound, or a middle eastern cleric iconic in a committed relationship with her female elf companion, or a powerful African wizard that is the Mordenkanen of the setting, why is it so outlandish to have a Mexican knight in shining armor adventuring with a Haitian wizard in flowing robes in Golarion.

That's silly.

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Truthfully, I've given up on Paizo expanding on Arcadia and seeing us Latinos in Golarion. It's just not a money making venture. Bog standard Tolkein settings sell more than the exotic ones because of familiarity and ease of play for new players and players that want to play but don't have the time or inclination to learn an alien setting. It's all about money in the end and Paizo has to make that bottom line to stay afloat. I don't begrudge them or hate them. If they go out of business, well, there's no more Pathfinder. And that would suck more. It just is what it is. Most gaming companies don't really acknowledge our existence anyways, so it's really just something we as a culture are just used to.

And that's fine. I've gone ahead and done it myself, inch by inch. I have an American setting that I like, with my research, and my own twist on things. And I run it with friends that enjoy it. So really, I don't need Arcadia fleshed out. I've done it already. And anyone can play whatever race you want. Before I moved, I actually got a lot of my kitchen staff in on playing D&D for the first time ever and they all played themselves pretty much (Cuban, Haitian, and one Mexican). And they were all surprised but happy that you could play Caribbean characters in D&D, or that I allowed it in the first place. So I'm at least content with this, and as players, we should just go out and do it ourselves instead of waiting for WotC or Paizo to do it. Because let me tell you, you'll be waiting awhile.

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Sub-Creator wrote:
Juda de Kerioth wrote:

oh with the new comic series comming up with Red Sonja, i would love to see a propper adventure (at least a module) in the hyborean setting, or a new barbarian unchained (more like conan, you know, con bonus to AC when unarmored and those kind of things), also, a new fighter class aproach to fit Sonja and such.

Also, with the new suplement coming from Message from Mars a Vampire hunter AP entirely, in that world (vampire hunter D´s)

I'd really hate to break the news to you, friend, but I'd wager that your chances of seeing an AP outside the Golarion setting is zero. I'd keep expectations firmly rooted to the Paizo home world. You'll find the possibilities of something you'd like to see exponentially increase. ;)

Well, with Strange Aeons, they are going to Carcosa, which is pretty far off from Golarion.

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I've kind grown to dislike giving out XP for playing a certain way. People will RP if and when they want. Can't really force them or social engineer them otherwise. And maybe it's just me, but I'd rather have players genuinely be interested in roleplaying rather than doing it for the xps.

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