|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
I can tell by Anzyr's usual righteous sarcastic tone that I must be saying the right things, but I think I'm not saying it right.
I suggest playing the game from the GM's side of the screen. Do plenty of social interaction (as well as battles), and learn to see the world (and the PCs) from the perspective of the NPCs and you'll see what I'm getting at, and obviously failing to relate to you all... But it has something to do with purpose and bearing, and that has nothing at all to do with your Charisma score. Not a bit.
Good luck to OP and his group. Have fun.
Another problem with just allowing a person to roleplay no matter the ski1l points is that it kind of screws other players who do invest in social skills. I am playing a Bard at the moment. I sure as hell don't want the fighter being as good as my bard in diplomacy without having the skill points. What's the point of investing major points in social skills if just everyone is equal at the table...
There are roles that people play in the world by virtue of their character's appearance and participation, AND by people's perception of them, not just their character class.
A narrow example: A fighter and a sorcerer walk into a town that is beset with monster problems. Which PC are the simple townsfolk likely to approach? The townspeople are looking for a hero. They don't even know what a "sorcerer" IS. If they realized it was someone with magic in their blood, they might be afraid of him/her and would be indifferent at best, suspicious and fearful at worst.
In such a situation as GM, I'd make the fighter the go-to guy for the townspeople, and the sorcerer would take a secondary role.
Another narrow example: A monk and a bard return to the monk's home town, which is beset by a tyrant who has taken over the monastery. Sure, the bard is terrific at diplomacy and bluff, but who are the townspeople going to trust to deal with this very localized problem?
An extreme example: A group of adventurers (cleric, fighter and bard) is seated at an important dinner with the king and his general. The king wants to discuss a problem with bandits. He sees the fighter as the group's warrior leader, and the cleric as the group's spiritual heart. The bard? Well, to a king a bard is entertainment. The player playing the bard attempts diplomacy roll after diplomacy roll until the king announces "If this one opens his mouth again, take him to the dungeon."
Roleplaying is an answer if the players seize the opportunity to play ...roles...and not just feel entitled to results based on their character stats.
In one of my games, I have a player playing a rogue kitsune with high charisma skills. It took him a while to get used to the idea that he can't talk everyone out of their purse, and eventually learned he could be a local contact for the thieves guild. The player lets me know how he wants to play his character, and I let him know what is possible within the confines of whatever society he's IN.
Right now I have a player playing a half-orc oracle with high charisma. He's not doing too well because he's dark and mysterious and a half-orc wandering around a human settlement.
No, not everything I listed is a charisma check.
This is what we call a "false dichotomy"; the idea that it's one or the other, and nothing else is possible.
Believe it or not, you can play and have a good time without having every related stat maxed in an optimum "build". I have players make rolls on their non-optimized stats all the time. I have had them make untrained skill checks. I have had entire hours of play time go by with everyone enjoying themselves, and no dice are rolled. It's called "roleplaying" , give it a try sometime.
This idea that everyone has to wrap themselves up in "RAW" to prevent abuse by some evil, evil, Dungeonmaster and his capricious and unfair whims has to go.
- Fighters are men-at-arms, and thus display all those traits that common people really admire. The common man doesn't really know all of the PC classes, he just knows there are those who wear common garb, those who wear robes and don't HAVE to work and those who wear armor and carry weapons and slay monsters. That fighter is likely to be noticed as a man of power and accomplishment.
- Locals ask him to tell the stories of his adventures. They completely ignore the rest of the group, who appear as weirdos, and robe-wearing snobs.
- Merchants want to hire him for protection of their caravan. Even if he's not available, they tell him about local dangers (because he's a warrior, and knows how to handle such things).
- The local mob wants to hire him to "do jobs". It doesn't matter that he's not a rogue, it matters that he's big and tough.
- The local ruler wants to invite him for dinner, because it's politically advantageous to be seen with powerful adventuring warriors. (Especially those who may do favors for your enemies if you don't make friends first)
- Local men-at-arms and soldiers want him to join them, or small groups want to join with HIM. (Forget the leadership trait and treat them as loose followers, or "fans").
- A local ruler wants to hire him to train his men/guard his stuff/deal with a problem/return something somewhere risky/get a message to someone/take some troops and get something done.
Fighters...tend to become kings. Think about it. This is how a warrior grows and is seen by others. They become barons and lords and landholders. Leaders of thousands of men.
Monks? They are warrior-poets. Aesthetes. Watch Kung-Fu the series with David Carradine for some ideas.
I don't mean to be rude, but this is how back-and-forth hurt feelings and misunderstandings lead to flame wars. I'm going to sidestep that minefield. I make posts to help people who come to these forums seeking help. Here is help, echoing what I posted earlier:
From the SRD: wrote:
Let's consider that the XP Leveling system goes way back to before video games. It's antiquated. Gamers have matured. Expectations have matured. We now demand a little more verisimilitude in our gaming worlds, and many of us would like tabletop rpgs to have a bit of realism that video MMO's lack.
Yep. I've pondered and read people's ideas on training. I don't think it works mechanically. Still, it's strange that level 1 characters can blow into a town, and within a few weeks, they're more powerful than the captain of the guard. What gives?
Scheduled leveling is the answer, I believe. Level the characters at certain points in the story.
- Level them every two or three adventures.
The GM can then work downtime into the storyline that reflects meeting one's peers for counsel and training.
Damian Magecraft wrote:
1: Any class ability that is governed by GM whim is not a good draw point for a class.
To whit: No class, or "every class" is "governed by GM whim". My advice is relax, or find another GM. I've never lost a spellbook, but if I did, I would consider it a setback for my character and carry on. Did Conan cry when Thulsa Doom took his stuff?
He did not.
My name is Owly, and I play a Universalist.
I'm having a great time. I kick ass and my party loves me. My Arcane Bond has saved party bacon a half-dozen times, at we all just hit level 11. Heck, my character has even had a girlfriend. Can all of you say the same? I thought not.
Being versatile is a difficult path in life, but it is a potent one. I've got something for every situation, and I've made my GM throw food across the table at me in frustration.
Sure others can cast more powerful spells, but I've got metamagic feats too, and you have to roll twice to save your can from some of my magic. I can penetrate SR, and I've got an Amulet of Magecraft that allows me to substitute spells when needed. Half Elves with Paragon Surge? Pfft. *pats them on the head*. Good job, son. Now stand back.
Some excellent points have been raised in this thread. I'm not convinced that Sorcerers are better. Maybe if we were screwdrivers, a sorcerer would be a custom ratcheting phillips 14" screwdriver. Excellent. My wizard is a whole set of standard and phillips with custom grips. Magnetized. Maybe I can't do what he does, but it doesn't mean I'm turning up my nose at him. We NEED 14" ratcheting screwdrivers. Come along for the ride, Sorcerer.
As for "Guidelines" versus "Rules", that 75% chance is the "Magic Mart" that has been discussed in so many threads. Let players buy what they will on that table. Use the rules. It works. Use Nethys's Random Treasure Generator. It's fun. Miss that 75% chance for a scroll of Lightning Bolt? Damn. Go to another town. Buy your secrets there. Carry on. Stay alive. Win or die. Keep adventuring.
Do it like triangulation. She can detect the direction of the scent as a move action. She takes a second move action. Her turn ends. You place a marker on the board WAY AHEAD of OR BEHIND her opponent, and tell her "You detect scent in this direction."
On her next turn, she scents again. Again you place a marker WAY AHEAD or BEHIND the opponent. Tell her "You detect scent in this direction".
From that, the player should be able to triangulate the location of the opponent, if that opponent hasn't moved. If they have, one or two more scentings should allow them to triangulate the opponent's movement path. I did this with two morlocks against a player who was invisible and in a small basement. The two worked together to find him almost instantly.
Some good answers here, I'll just add my two copper pieces:
I call it "The Rule of Your Peers", and it means that you tend to attract the people who are most like YOU. If you're Chaotic Neutral and you "don't give a ph***!" then you are going to find yourself in the company of the kind of people who also "don't give a ph***!". Selfish people tend to attract more selfish people. That CN bard or sorcerer is going to have a hard time finding places to buy and sell high-end items because everyone is going to think he's a brigand. He's going to find it impossible to get a Resurrection or Raise Dead because no one in the holy orders will trust him.
And remember, there is always someone more powerful than you, and some other organization that is better informed/better equipped than you. You're CN? CE? The thieves guild in town heard you were around, and they don't like you. In-fact, the guildmaster wants you run out of town. How did they know? They got connections, now get yer hands up!
In other words, those who make the effort to be lawful and/or good, get to enjoy the benefits of a lawful and good society, i.e. trust and mutual respect.
As for shenanigans and murderhobo-ing, this is a necessary evil. Sometimes players WANT to play with that kind of freedom. Do your best to keep your world real, but don't get in the way of their fun, unless it's egregious and tedious (and bad for paladins). Then when they want a better game, tell them you're ready.
None of the things you mentioned are "balancing" enough to justify the additional actions per round.
As far as I'm concerned, using weapons cords for anything but preventing the loss of a disarmed weapon is the equivalent of dealing off the bottom of the deck.
But I'm happy so many players want to master the rules so thoroughly that they've found a way, Magic the Gathering style, to get themselves extra actions. Most impressive.
Thanks for giving me yet another reason not to allow weapon's cords in my game.
No, there are not "plenty of ways to do it". You can hold something in your left hand, and you can hold something in your right hand. If you're a freak alchemist, you can hold something in your...extra hand. If you're casting a spell that has a somatic component, you need one hand free.
If you're holding a staff, you can hold it in one hand while you cast with the other.
If you're holding a metamagic rod, you can hold it in one hand while you cast with the other.
It's a full-round action, and it's cruel (sometimes a necessity of war, but nonetheless cruel). Let players use up their actions if that's what they want. I don't think I've ever played in a game where an enemy NPC runs over to help another enemy NPC with a potion or a Healing check.
Still, this is a good reason to fudge letting players survive: the enemy is more concerned with dropping the PC's than "finishing them off" (usually). It doesn't stop some ghouls in the back of the room from helping themselves to a fresh meal if their cohorts are busy with the rest of the PC's.
CRB of Jest wrote:
Physical Description: A wand is 6 to 12 inches long, 1/4 inch thick, and weighs no more than 1 ounce. Most wands are wood, but some are bone, metal, or even salted, cured meat. A typical wand has AC 7, 5 hit points, hardness 5, and a break DC of 16 and may be delicious with mustard.
Skull, there is a certain give-and-take to the action of Pathfinder, and it's been played and played and played. Yes, it seems like there's little risk sometimes, but don't let it fool you. Players will get knocked unconscious, but will get up again. Sometimes players die. Critical Hits and Rending (monster ability) are well-known for accomplishing this. Stay on your toes and be ready with an occasional potion or healing kit to help out players who go into negative HP. Stay loose and enjoy the game.
Let your GM know it's on your "wish list" and maybe he can incorporate it into the game. Otherwise, let him know "I'm shopping in this large town for prayer beads" and he may let you roll a 75% chance to find them if they're within the town's Base Price.
If he really wants to avoid the metagaming, let him know you'd like to either ask a holy man for advice, or roll Knowledge: Religion for some knowledge of the existence of an item like prayer beads that would aid you, THEN you can seek them out. But a good GM will often seize on opportunities like this to help build the story.
Only you can understand your relationship with your players, but in general, death reinforces the danger that is adventuring. Let players fall when they may and they'll return the wiser for it.
That being said, there's nothing wrong with fudging a roll here or there when it fits with the scene cinematically. That's what the screen is for.
Artifacts can make great macguffins if your story needs one. I introduced a series of ancient singing bowls in a dwarven ruin that together had incredible power. I just made that power weird, unreliable, vast and strange. I also made it so that that artifact was sought-after by the dwarven people.
So in other words, I made a powerful magic device that everyone who was not the players was interested-in, and that the players would not want to keep, yet needed to finish the adventure.
Think of the Maltese Falcon, or the Pelican Brief; something that's really important yet anyone who gets their hands on it winds up dead.
From a game theory perspective, it's an absolute game changer. It's necessary for us all to do away with the archaic description "...such as scrying." and let the world remain a much larger place for the time being.
Imagine if we all woke up tomorrow, and there was an app on our smartphones that allowed us to find anyone, anywhere, no matter what. It would change everything, and there would be no putting that genie back in the bottle. That's what we're dealing with here; an instant app for finding anyone, and teleporting into their bedchambers. It's worse than Star Trek, where at least ...actually I don't know why people in ST aren't just teleported all over the place all the time...oh, there's no ransom money, right.
I say being able to see 10' around a specific person you're scrying doesn't count as "having seen once" for the purposes of teleportation. Now, adventurers will need to research, travel and (gasp!) hire high-level rogues to do some scouting and trap-disabling in order to get them into the bad guy's lair.
- from http://paizo.com/prd/skills/fishcraft.html
I'd like to add that steps 1 and 2 of Detect Magic only identify the PRESENCE or ABSENCE and then the NUMBER and POWER of magic auras. It doesn't "glow" and it doesn't tell you where they are. All he can see within the first 12 seconds is whether or not there is magic present within the cone of perception. He still can't see where they are or what they are.
Replace "percieve" with "smell", and "magic" with "fish"...
Player: "I have detect fish going all the time."
Consider all of the Jedi in Star Wars. You could roleplay just about any one of them as a paladin of one sort or another.
The key is, a paladin lives by a CREED. How he feels, expresses or lives up to it is entirely up to the player, so long as he lives by the code of his deity.
Heck, a lot of old cowboy movies and even modern action-hero movies can be interpreted as paladin stories.
I would like to point out that no one in the world would know what a "touch attack" is, so inventing a specific counter for it would ungenuine. I do like your hide-armor idea though, and I think it would be interesting to see armor evolve to meet the new need for heavy, thick armors.
I'd like to also point out that bullet fragments are a real danger. If you've got metal armor enchanted against lead bullets coming at you, those bullets are going to shatter on impact. You may see mass combat evolve into a situation where the warrior-lords, fighting-clerics and paladins will have to fight without men beside them because those foot soldiers are staying away from the armored warriors drawing all the fire from the enemy. Who wants bullet fragments in the face?
Fair? There is no "fair". The world is unfair.
Sages may argue that this is the price a wizard pays for meddling with magical forces from beyond the mortal world. His hubris and lack of strength will cost him as the world takes its toll. This is the stuff that great villains and great heroes are born from.
However...if the gods smile on him, there may be a prize for his endurance.
If it would seem "life is unfair" to an adventurer, then it must STILL seem fair to the player, otherwise, you're being mean, and it shows.
DM: "A thunderstorm blows through in the night, remember the rain clouds I mentioned? It's a terrible night for you all."
Anzyr, your argument is a semantic one, and one you make too often. You also use False Dichotomy and No True Scotsman.
What I'm talking about is making the game better by getting everyone to think outside-of-the-box of the usual game parameters. How do adventurers solve problems? What sort of conflicts make up an adventure? How do wizards compare to warriors in the arena of conflict? My argument is that casters can solve many immediate problems by being able to bend reality (as you are so fond of reminding us), while warriors rule the land and move the hearts and minds of the people. An expanded role-playing-game would allow for "big picture" thinking, with martial rulers acting as monarchs and heroes, while casters are the powers behind the thrones.
Enough with the "five martials facing five wizards will lose" nonsense. This isn't WoW PvP.
Part of the problem is scale: RPG's have evolved into single-group problem-solvers, which is fine, since this is an adventure game after all. In a more realistic sense, that warrior would be attracting other fighting men to him. He would become a leader. He would become a lord and perhaps a king. He would begin affecting the world around not because he's got a magic sword and magic armor and is "Xth level" but because he's demonstrated great courage and strength and endurance.
The common people tend to respect that sort of thing. And once the common people look up to MARTIAL CHARACTERS AS HEROES they begin to elevate that person and that hero has a power that casters can't duplicate. Leadership feat be damned: commoners and nobles and rulers aren't going to see casters in the same light. It's human nature.
But getting back to my original point; if we can change rpg's to reflect not just a tavern--->overland trip--->30x30room with monster--->BBEG--->magic mart--->tavern, but instead see the martial character as a man-at-arms, leader and great hero then we can start playing rpg's on a larger scale (like Kingmaker).
On a larger scale, casters can start using spells like Dream, and Geas (and all those others you just save a scroll for) to solve large-scale and expanded time-scale problems, while martials, as lords of the land, rule over their domains, whatever that may be.
There is a tremendous number of monsters and villains and other assorted maladroits available to a GM to provide an engaging story for the players. Get away from the "30x30 room with monster and treasure" paradigm. Start mixing it up.
Your group's spellcaster can throw around a 5d6+90 fireball? Impressive! Reward him by letting him think he's a game-killer. Then,
Black Tentacles? Great spell! Too bad not everyone is out in the open and trying to move through that mess. They're up on the ledges! They're shooting down at us!
In other words, use their strengths as occasional weaknesses. Make sure there are consequences for their actions too. Use the terrain. check where you want the players to end up, and make sure it's not just a turkey shoot.
Look at the way encounters are structured in Pathfinder Adventure Paths. The straightforward "Monsters standing in the room" encounter is rare. There are almost always extenuating circumstances and tactical considerations.
And beware of the cherry-picking arguments: Just because someone on the forum can THINK of an exception to a situation, doesn't mean that every spellcaster in every circumstance has that particular thing or combination of things ready to handle a situation.
Stick to the CR level for each encounter. CR's are set up to drain the players' resources and then challenge them epic-ally. (so to speak). Make your world fun but challenging. Challenging, but fun.
Agreed. And it goes back to my post of "what does the trap bring to the fun of the adventure?" If traps become trivial thanks to the player's building skills, then it's time to think outside the box, and make the traps challenging in a fun way so that you're not penalizing the player for his choices, yet you're rewarding him for being an expert.
Traps typically represent:
So...with those three things in mind, what can you throw at your adept player that will be fun and enjoyable in the narrative of the adventure?
I have to agree with RJGrady. This goes beyond whether or not he was in control of himself at the time (we know he wasn't), but to the world-at-large, he slew an innocent.
In a fantasy world, if the paladin had a great reputation, and he could call on the counsel of wizards to explain to kings/magistrates/priests and constabulary that "yes, this warrior was affected by a powerful enchantment at the time. He had no idea what he was doing" then he could possibly be forgiven by the powers-that-be. Magic is eerie and dangerous stuff.
And he would STILL have his reputation to consider. He would STILL be a man who slew an innocent. He is tainted. Plain and simple.
Does he lose his paladinhood? (I've come to detest the term "fall" as it's been abused and overused). Nah. Well, how about he "feels his relationship with his deity slip away" until he atones and rediscovers his grace? Use it as a plot hook, not a penalty for something that sort of happened upon him in spell combat and a failed saving throw.
Orelius Lionpaw wrote:
413. The Summoner's Guide to Summoning: This book is a thousand-page guidebook to all things summoning, from tips to drawing a summoning circle, to tips on haggling with outsiders on contracts, and even how to bind your dead friend to an outsider so you can bring him back to life without paying a cleric. Reading it gives a +2 insight bonus on caster level and charisma checks relating to summoning.
As it so happens, my love of books in rpg's stems from The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth and Iggwilv's stash of spellbooks, particularly her Demonomicon. The idea of finding some tome of terrible, terrible knowledge that somehow explained EVERYTHING that went on in the dungeon and local history really sparked my imagination at a young age.
Edit: Aaaaand...I just learned that our own James Jacobs had a hand in writing the expanded Demonomicon for Dragon Magazine. Small world sometimes, this gaming.
Is complimenting the enemy an attack?
Yes, but only if your enemy has self-esteem so low, they regard your compliment as patronizing or manipulative, in which case they will become enraged, which according to Antagonize, is an attack. Your Sanctuary spell would immediately end as soon as you complimented your opponent.
Okay, I'm flummoxed. Is waving your sword and growling menacingly at an opponent an "attack" since it could give your opponent the Shaken condition?
Intimidate:Demoralize isn't a spell (second part of that definition) but it could be considered an "offensive combat action" perhaps.
I think we're back in "Antagonize" territory here, albeit ever-so-slightly.