|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
Language is really important for less developed societies because for many of them, they may not have writing. Without writing or an alphabet, a people have to look to oral history and story tellers to keep their history and such alive.
I'm unsure the validity of this, but I remember reading that the Inca empire did not have a written alphabet. Instead, they had designated memorizers that would remember laws and legal issues for use. Now, while I don't know if this is true or not, this would make an interesting culture.
The only time I'd really use broken English is if a person was trying to speak another's language that they don't understand.
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.
Goth Guru wrote:
Not really a good thing to infect people I think. Sounds more neutral to me. Especially with the vague description of what is a threat to nature.
And at least for lycanthropes, it's hard for me to imagine a creature that we essentially hunt for food and pelts to really be scary. It doesn't help much that in Western culture, rabbits and squirrels are seen more as jokes and comedy than as a danger. And this is coming from a bunny bite victim. Even the name is pretty silly. Weresquirrel doesn't strike fear into the hears of men.
But I'm intrigued. How would you make a squirrel therianthrope more dangerous, or taken a bit more seriously?
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Arrogance would definitely fit them. Altruistic dragons with a messiah complex that don't take into account the avarice and mercenary ambitions of man.
I like it a lot.
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.
Yeah f&~# that. That honestly sounds like someone forced into GMing so now they feel entitled as s~!! for running. No thanks.
Don't get me wrong, I respect my GMs and the work they put in. I consistently thank my GMs. But as a GM, I don't find that my hard work entitles me to control my players. I'm not a control freak.
Players can survive without a douche GM like that. We'll just play Wizwar or Boss Monster. A douche GM really isn't anything without players to lord over. Just a guy with notes.
Steve Geddes wrote:
I don't know if I'd call it 'sacrosanct', but I agree in disliking Hero Points. I get it puts that power of option in the player's hands, but I still honestly don't like it.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Yeah, that's probably why I really don't like Hero Points
And honestly, from my admittedly anecdotal experience, I've seen DMs fudge dice more often to prevent their precious encounter from being one shot. Or to protect their plot from any bad rolls. Or punish a build that is seen as disruptive. That last one I've sadly seen DMs do more often than not.
The only time I ever fudge the dice is if the player has had some really bad luck with die rolls. And even then, I ask the player "Hey, you've had some s&+&ty die rolls. You want a freebie?".
I've played FATE and Savage Worlds and I just can't get behind the reroll aspect of Hero Points and their ilk. I don't know why. I think if hero points let you do cool stuff beyond just a simple re-roll or fixing your roll, maybe I'd like them better.
Steve Geddes wrote:
For Hero Points/Fate Points/Bennies/whatever, it's the idea that they are still the player's choice for the re-roll. Though it is still elevating the story over the players, but through the guise of the player's choice.
I'll be honest though, I don't like hero points as a player. At least, as a re-roll I don't like it. Again, I'd rather keep the result and play on through.
Yeah, once your players realize that their choices don't matter and that the GM is just socially engineering them into the plot result he wants, to me, it cheapens the experience.
I've caught a GM in the middle of pulling a Quantum Ogre on us and it was pretty bs. It taught me early on that it was something I didn't want to repeat.
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.
Honestly I wouldn't really do either because there is no choice to make for the player. But if I didn't want the players to know something, then I simply just wouldn't have that scenario or opportunity for them to learn it.
Of course, in truth, I'd give them the chance to learn from the demon
I would let them roll. If they succeed, that's fine. If they fail, that's fine. It was a success/failure that was the player's choice to make. And I would react accordingly.
I like that. Prep scenes, not screenplays. Catchy :)
Sorry, let me rephrase. I think I may have misread your post.
I let my players come up with their own goals. I still come up with the antagonists and their goals and methods and such. I just don't hard code the whole entire plot from start to finish. I don't have plot threads that completely depend on a certain outcome. I am pretty flexible with my "plots" and can still keep them coherent.
Yeah I'm generally more often than not the GM for the better part of a decade, and yeah, everything in that quote is pretty bull s&$$ and textbook bad GMing period. I respect my GM, but if they come in acting like that, you can bet your ass I'd be out, GM a game myself, and bring the players with me to play in a good game.
I do that. Literally all the time. My players have their own goals and drive, though it take a player some getting used to
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.
That is true. I suppose I'd prefer something more gradual than save or die.
Truthfully, I see that as a problem with save or suck spells. I've never been a fan of them.
I think a part of fudging comes from whether you have the players fit the story (like adventure paths) or if you have your story fit the players (like sandbox gaming). Personally, I prefer the latter. I find that the story shouldn't be more important than the players and their actions.
In addition, I think that trying to protect the integrity of the story is kind of doomed to fail for a couple of reasons. First off, everyone has different ideas of what is cool for a story. For example, you could have players encounter a sleeping dragon. Some people would think it is cool story telling to fight the dragon in an epic battle. And that would be fun, no doubt. Others would want to perhaps sneak by and take their treasure, or maybe cause a rock slide to bury and kill the dragon. If the GM or some players decide that those last two wouldn't make a good story, it kind of kills the creativity and ingenuity players have for overcoming obstacles in clever ways. So you end up limiting viable ideas and options in favor of protecting the story, and only choices that make the story "cool" are viable.
Now, people say that RPGs are collaborative storytelling, and this is partially true. But RPGs aren't script writing or novel writing. Look at movies that go through several rewrites with multiple writers and try and find a good one. D&D has 5-6 authors, each with their own ideas on what is a good story. To some, a good story is epic fights and high adventure. To others, it's cleverness and subterfuge. And to others, it's more social stuff. And so on and so forth. So everyone is going to have their version of the good story. And if you're trying to go for the best story by changing results here and there, or stopping certain player options because they don't fit the story, then you are really hindering the players' creativity. And in a RPG, that is a medium where you really have complete freedom to attempt to do anything.
This is ultimately why I do not fudge, or I don't like things like the Quantum Ogre or the Crafted Set-Piece Encounter. Because I do not try and fit the players into the metaplot. Rather, I have the story come from their actions (or inaction as the case may be) and fit the story to the results and consequences of those actions, good or bad. I keep things loose and flexible, preping scenarios and reactions over plots and encounters. When the story is flexible like a palmetto tree, then it is robust enough to handle the hurricane of craziness that is your players. But when you try and be stiff and unyielding, the story is going to break. And if a story can't handle the players doing some crazy stuff, then it's a problem with the story, not the players.
And to me, RPGs aren't stories, nor are they conversations or simulations or games. Sure, D&D shares qualities with all of these, but ultimately, it's a social activity, It's a club and a hobby, shared by like minded people that may have different ideas on RPGs, but come together to have fun. So the players (including the GM) come before the story or the mechanics or the setting (within reason. there are always exceptions). So ultimately, we have to run the games so everyone has the freedom to have fun, however they do wish to do it. It'll be different for every group, and there isn't a right way, but there are definitely wrong ways to do it. But I feel as long as you encourage that player creativity, supported by positive results and negative consequences, and everyone is having a good time, then you are good to go.
Truthfully, I wouldn't have fudged that. But I generally don't plan for big epic boss fights. I prep the scenario and allow the players to tackle it how they want. If a big epic fight happens, then cool. If they kill the bbeg instantly with something, that's alright too. I feel that not every boss fight has to be a "boss fight". I probably wouldn't have enjoyed the enemy ignoring a natural 1 on an ability I just got.
Steve Geddes wrote:
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.
Honestly, that's why I ditched the screen. I roll everything front and center in clear view to everyone. That way, everyone can see and live with the result of the die cast, good or bad. Funnily enough, I started doing that because some Game Science dice I had bought were rolling high consistently. I was accused of fudging, so I rolled it in front of everyone for the rest of the night. Kept rolling 19s and 20s. But it stuck and I honestly prefer the transparency. Every player I've encountered has too.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Heck, even YHWH isn't omniscient, there are several proofs of that in OT, and its Supreme status so far above all other gods may be an artefact of the Jewish cult... El was initially a Semitic god among others, even if its status as Ssky god made it really powerful.
While certainly true, I mostly wanted to keep god with a "G" (or Y or A as the case may be) out of it, since I don't really want to s+*& all over someone's religion ;)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.