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Back to the original topic...
Don't forget Hunter's Surprise.
I just wanted to add to this in a somewhat tangential way. Kirk Hamilton recently reviewed Kotaku's own policies and approach, as well as reviewing a related Wired article on the topic (handling internet trolling).
Quote from Wired Article wrote:
...there's more there, including how the focus on and treatment of an online space as a "community, so act like it" is one of the more effective measures you can have against negative behavior, combined with "those solutions which defuse the Internet’s power to amplify abuse but also encourage crucial shifts in social norms."
Nice! I must have missed them. I know one of the frequent grumps I'd run into regarding Plant Shape was the perceived lack of regeneration effects, and looking through I hadn't noticed any. I did see more fast healing, though. Perhaps this will help.
When I was looking through the Plant Shape spell, I started wondering if while it was being written, the author might've put down "Regeneration" when they'd meant "Fast Healing."
Since some plants have fast healing, and none (to my knowledge, though this might have changed) have regeneration, this seems like a reasonable conclusion.
So, is Regeneration really meant to have been Fast Healing in the Plant Shape series of spells?
I'm not proposing a debate or argument about the effectiveness of the spell. This is just me wondering if A had been meant to be B.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
It's really mostly a control issue. Read any of the angryposts from a gamer feeling their choices/rights were taken away regarding Y, and then compare that to the up/down way SA works.
It's also that skills need to be more useful in specific ways.
The first is an issue with the SA mechanic itself (and a trust issue), and the second a more overall design issue that is outside the scope of an errata.
Loup Blanc wrote:
Echoing this...my first gaming group was composed of family and family friends. It was safe and fun. There's nothing wrong with this...and a rl group helps her develop offline social skills, too. It has the bonus of you dropping in to see how things go, and being able to speak with the parents.
In my own experience and reading of these threads, many players and DMs hate loss of control over their PCs.
Absolutely HATE it.
Want to stab it to DEATH.
The rogue sneak attack represents 'loss of control.' Limited per-day abilities do not have this issue.
Therefore, you'll never have a good discussion on SA, because half of it is actually from frustration of not having control over a character.
It doesn't matter if it's effective, or somewhat effective, or highly effective, etc. Not at all. It matters if the player feels in control of their abilities.
I once made a summation of what I'd considered to be general recommendations based on forum posts and various 'guides. It read something like this:
- All full BAB classes receive pounce beginning at L11+
I've also seen:
- Bad saves are unfun, so give everyone good saves.
So to add to this:
- Rogues should attack at touch AC.
It makes the game quite different. Perhaps if you are considering the touch AC, you should consider adding the rest as well.
Note: Don't take the above list as agreement or support. It's merely note-taking on my end of things.
Fairly well this, yeah...for example, I've run into the folks who tried PvPing everyone around them, or a wizard who claimed omnipotent knowledge and...the ability to PvP everyone.
I've found there are also fewer issues with "rules conundrums" so long as expectations are stated. Certainly none of the drama you'd expect from reading these boards. More, just the occasional attitude quirkle.
For example, the fellow who demanded a CE assassin with expanded gun rules. ...while giving what felt like an hours-long pro-NRA speech while arguing for additional gun options while attempting to out-stare the DM and and that all women should love him now, but damn them all for jilting him so far...and hey dude, what's the policy on PvP? ...you may not want that guy at the table.
Or the guy who pretended to be a female sorceress and would sit there drawing her boobs all the time, mostly to the tune of, "Lawl! I drew them too big that time!"
...are much more frequent than rules-drama.
Hey, there. I'm going to ramble on for a little bit, and then present a specific approach based on that ramble, so please forgive me. This is a pretty cool topic.
When dealing with a large amount of data, the human mind tends to create categories. So if it sees a series of different objects, it will attempt to classify them.
What I'm going to propose is that instead of presenting these books and options to a DM all at once or even a few at a time, you help him or her create these classifications and then use this as a selling point. In this way, the amount of data (which is what many have suggested is a barrier, here), seems less overwhelming and more familiar. Therefore, it appears less burdensome.
This is what I would do:
1. Promote one book...just one. It's much easier to build your case for The Idyll Treetops Supplement than Kobold #235, Kobold #651, Idyll, and then Thorinbreak Mountain Underdark all at once.
2. Through conversation, and without being pushy, talk with the DM about different 3pps or product groups (whichever you feel works). Be honest and thoughtful, but not pushy. Explain that players have tended to find Treant Slayers productions (making up a name, here) to tend to produce OP material. OTOH, Lantern Sea Gods has been in 3.x since before Paizo, and has won a lot of respect for producing balanced material. Or, perhaps cover where Lantern Sea Gods tends to get their ideas, "they always go back to CRB material during development, and balance around the ranger, barbarian, etc."
The purpose of this is to help your DM feel as though s/he "knows" the products, at least in general. This way, if you present five Lantern Sea Gods books at once, he or she has a means of approaching them and comparing them to, say, Treant Slayers.
It also helps illustrate the thought you've given towards these products.
Plus, understanding builds trust.
Remember, you'd selected each of these items individually, and your collection grew with you. Therefore, it feels familiar. However, when presenting a flood of data to someone else, we need to "pre-sort" as it were.
And, sometimes "pre-sorting" can help us make our argument in the long run, and can even be turned into a selling point.
In his A Brief History of Fashion in RPG Design, John Kim suggests that game design is less modeled after evolution in some ways than it is a series of related artistic movements. That is, one often develops in response to another. Or, in his own words: "where there are trends which may die out, or classic fashions which may revive."
In his essay, he outlined nine major movements within RPG design:
1975-1980: Explorational Wargames
1978-1988: Literary Simplicity
1980-1988: Rules-Heavy Worlds
1984-1993: Comical Rules-Lite
1986-Present: Universal Problem-Solving
1987-Present: Fast Cinematic Action
1991-Present: Dark Storytelling
1991-Present: Diceless Fantasy
2000-Present: Crunchy Challenge
...however, the article stops at 2000 (or 2004, when it was published). It's now 2014.
In your own thoughts, where are we today, and where are we headed?
Sometimes being concerned with how everything hangs together at the table is the biggest, most important thing...
...and that's a purely OOC issue.
I've met some fairly quirky characters...if there were issues though, it was rarely with the piece of paper, but the person who had written on it. A good person you can work with, generally.
And generally...you try to fit everyone in and to make it work. That isn't always possible though, despite every attempt otherwise. Usually, it comes down to OOC issues, as to whether whatever is going on can be resolved.
Sometimes, it also comes down to management of the table. A good DM or group can help mitigate some issues or help someone incorporate, but there's a reasonable limit here as well and a table is no place for a therapy session.
So in the end...yeah, I've run into some quirky PCs. I remember the person behind the paper more, though.
There is absolutely a middle row between the playstyles, here.
1. Treat some of them as a hazard, not a trap. Or/and,
A: Roll is successful: Disable a trap, or obtain detailed knowledge about the trap and potential disarmament
Benefits of a multi-part trap: A trap becomes a process which can involve coordinating several party members and a sequences of challenges as opposed to a single roll. For example, when allowing the rogue to use DD on a trap to analyze it, a DM might say: you recognize you can disable this device, but it would involve... (outline a loose process that includes some challenges).
Done well, the latter method can help the rogue feel like McGuyver, as well as involving the other party members in the challenge.
How often in a story have we seen the scout come back and say: there's this trap, guys. ...but I'm going to need your /help/.
And then it becomes a more interactive challenge and larger part of the adventure.
You don't want to do this every time, but it could offer you a middle ground.
I've also pretty much reiterated what other posters have said. Best of luck to you, and don't worry overmuch about the roll versus role arguments. Those things are bound to come up and the only really solution there is to work things out OOCly with your player(s). That said, a solution like the above can help both styles play nicely.
Some of you may know already, but I wanted to let y'all know that I was speaking with Richard the other day, and the Braille dice are moving forward. There is still some work to be done, but he's posted some mockups on 64's Twitter.
There are a number of specific issues with online gaming, as well as a number of strengths. Since you asked about the weaknesses and issues, I'll focus on those.
The type of issue depends on the online medium, and whether it involves a specific group of friends or a broader audience. Is it a persistent world, or by-campaign? I'll cover 10 general issues in this post. If anyone is interested in something more specific, please feel free to ping me.
1. Timezones are a big one...both in understanding them, and because you're also dealing with the separate scheduling of people across the globe. There are two "solutions" to this.
The first is to be somewhat flexible on your starting time...say give it, unofficially, a half hour. Be forgiving if someone shows up a little later than that. Just work them in as best you can. Importantly, remind your players to keep you updated...give them a way to contact or message you if they'll be late. If someone is consistently an hour late, speak with them about it, but if it's an occasional happenstance, just let it go. This is especially true with adult players; it isn't like when we were kids, or in college, anymore.
The second is that for one-off scenes, keep a waitlist. If someone is a half hour late, then they lose their spot. This lets you keep the scene full and keep moving, while being fair to everyone involved.
The third is accepting that scheduling conflicts, especially online, happen. Work with it as you can. Be upset at the constantly-late player if you need to, but by using the tactics above then chances are you're more able to work around it.
2. A second perhaps less obvious issue with online gaming is writing style. Players and DMs are so particular about style in TT and this does not go away when you are online. For example, sometimes players or DMs might insist that character responses are typed with a specific form of indentation. Other players may write short responses or none at all.
What can work here is either being accepting of a variety of styles (you may need to remind your playing group(s) of this from time to time. Another is to set an example of a preferred format and to work from there.
This is of course moot if you're playing over mic.
3. Mixed play styles and managing arguments. Somewhat different than #2, this refers more to play style...the old rollplayer versus roleplayer debate. Chaotic versus law. Some of these debates can become more intense online, where the screen hides us, or hides the very real impact of the other people at the table around us. Don't be afraid to enforce some time away from the table, or ask for a topic change. Don't be afraid either, to speak with players if you need to about the type of environment that's appropriate for the game. Sometimes, we all need a reminder to step back somewhat.
Managing online arguments could be its own point...and will be in just a moment.
4. Managing online arguments, the expectation of privacy, free speech, etc. Sometimes arguments become worse online. Also there are areas that people will explore online that they may not in life. For example, someone may come into your forums and begin arguing about gun control. They might, for example, joke about assaulting a public figure. Aside from being potentially jarring to the game environment, some of these statements can place you in an odd legal position (especially as online tends to = easily logged).
In the end, and this is important...think of the online space where you run your games as a home. You have the authority to set rules for it. This is not any different than Paizo having rules for its forums. If you run an online game, your policy for handling these behavorial situations is going to be important.
Also important: the policy does not need to be long. Some of the most successful games I have seen possessed very simple policies that amounted to: don't be a jerk.
5. Easy start/well-organized documentation becomes important. This is more true with a persistent online world, but also with a smaller one. Make the documentation easy to understand. Provide a "jumping in" document to help your players get on their feet and playing. That's what they're there for, after all.
6. The underbelly. Gaming can be an empowerment fantasy. Online gaming can also be a means to explore concepts and ideas you may be uncomfortable doing so in life. However, there are some fantasies that may not fit your style of game you're hosting, running, playing in and so on. Be aware of this and be upfront about it. If you've never heard or had someone ask to play a half drow hybrid catperson dominatrix elf half vamypre half sorceress...bless you.
7. Burst abilities and powers can become all-day powers. At tabletop, we become used to being able to do so many encounters in a session. Online, encounters simply take longer. This causes a few issues. The first is that it can make the adventuring day shorter. This greatly enhances the value of burst abilities, limited abilities, and so forth. The second is that it will or can skew balance. Classes that were balanced around a limited use of their abilities suddenly aren't.
8. Combat takes longer. This is important enough that it's worth repeating a second time.
9. Communication is the source of most conflicts; online, this can be magnified (unintentionally). For this reason, never be afraid to ask for clarification. If your players are new to online play, or even if they aren't, encourage this practice. It can save you some headache in the long run and encouraging a better gaming experience in the longer term.
10. Remember you have DM fiat (except in the case of PFS). There are many differences in online and offline gaming, and not all of them are evident at first glance. Some are more subtle than others. Don't be afraid to make some adjustments to enhance the experience if something doesn't quite work as well...or just needs a minor tweak.
Relevant Experience: About a decade's worth of assisting in running online d20 massive worlds/games, with as many as 4 scenes/day. You are all good people. :)
More than rules advice, what may be needed (as a more general statement) are seminars and workshops about handling player issues.
...and turning that into a regular workshop at events and conventions.
This isn't saying you aren't skilled; it's more that, I suspect, many of these rules questions are at heart, really OOC issues at the gaming table.
Lincoln Hills wrote:
Ha ha. May not be a bad idea, there.
I definitely have to give points to 'hatescreech.' That is an awesome word and it is descriptive sometimes.
Just wool-gathering at this point. What do you consider some of PF's "Popcorn Topics" to be? Some I can think off off-hand are:
- Wizard versus fighter
* This is my word. It is a very precious word. You cannot steals it.
But have I left any out?
Popcorn topics are sort of cyclic topics. Topics that come up from time to time and repeat, repeat, repeat...because they've effectively become part of the culture. It's akin to asking, "What is art?" in Design 101. Everyone does, and they can't stop talking about it, all the way through 401. Or, you know, they're the gamer equivalent of that chat by the watercooler. You know the type. It starts with: "Hey...so. How are the Wildcats this season, Bob?"
There are always those who step outside of it, to be sure. Tribalism evolved because it was rewarded--back when travel was more difficult, someone who was not familiar was likely there to steal, raid, or both. The upside of this is that there's a natural counter--increasing familiarity.
Interestingly, there was also a study that suggested groups of people had an inbuilt tendency towards a more conservative viewpoint, verses one that was less so. Potentially, these tendencies could be traced back to an evolutionary need for them. That is, a society benefits when there are those who preserve tradition and those who challenge it.
I'm FAQing because this has caused confusion for some time. I sat down with a few DMs a month or so back to talk about shields and realized -everyone interpreted it differently-. There was not one agreement.
There's also a lot of confusion over how enchantments to shields and spikes are handled. The simplest seems to be to treat them as separate, enchantable objects.
So yes, FAQ, for my own sanity.
We really need a popcorn thread section, or at least stickied threads. Something for wizard versus fighter, noncasters versus casters, rogues smell, full BAB, alignment, and so on. I'm not saying your thread is a negative, Inda. It's more that these are traditional topics that deserve their own "gather around the fire" salute.
They're part of the genre, now. Sort of a natural point of playing the game as much as passing the Doritos is.
Those are awesome ideas. Unfortunately, the way this will be set up, I need the WBL approximation...see. Okay, the why of it goes into house rules. The players enjoy the house rules, but...without going into that six-inch binder, part of how it works hinges on WBL approximate values.
Think of these as slotless, at-will magic items--I mean, innate abilities. Overall the goal is it feels like an extension of the PC.
You like hard cider? It's a favorite, and I figure we should have a good time. :)
It's the sorts of posts you're referring to that make me think we need an Everything Wrong with RPGs community. I've seen communities like these start up for other mediums...and they usually turn into horrible, awful cesspits that turn on themselves. The real benefit though, is it becomes sort of a sloshbucket that you can ignore.
On the other hand, it also helps the trolls find eachother.
On the other hand, it can make the trolls more easily dismissable for everyone else.
Tribalism is a story as old as time. I worry we're returning to it in a way with targeted advertising--that is, we only see around us what is familiar.
It's one of the reasons that, as we gradually meet others who are different than we are and come to see them -as people-, then the hatred and fear decreases. I may have posted this earlier; I forget. :)
This American Life recently did a podcast which touched on tribalism and some of its modernday well, silliness.
Hard cider? Vodka?
...oh, you're the martini type?
Okay, have a seat. You see, I could use your help.
I'm considering some sfx-heavy abilities for players to earn once they reach level 14+. I've tried pricing these according to MI creation rules, but as you know, pricing is as much science as it is an art (here, have a little more vodka). For these abilities, I would like to do something awesome for my players. I'm not wanting something like "hits an extra time really hard," but something theatrical and amazing along the lines of paragon, an "epic reveal," and so on. I have some rough ideas, and could use help pricing them...as well as developing them, if you'd like to share some ideas, too. Feel free to speak up with, "it would be great if my character..."
My concern is, -what are they worth-? The abilities:
My brain tells me this is too much, but my heart tells me it is awesome if it can be made to work. I need your help making it work.
...oh, hey! I found the Kahlua. Top you off?
- DR 5/Adamantine
Herald of the Deity
Yes, this is very sfx-ish. It's flashy. Some of it may be too much (here, have yet MORE vodka). But, it's what I'm going for, but I could use your help. Again, don't be afraid to begin a reply with: "it would be great if my character..."
...annnd, we're all out of vodka. Don't worry, there's more in the cabinet.
Mark Hoover wrote:
Players are all about independence. The game reinforces this giving most builds some way to both attack and defend. This mentality translates to making purchases as well. Who wants to seek out a magic source for hire every time they need spells cast on them? Better to get wands, potions, and other magic items to do the work for you. Better still to have 2 of the 4 people in the party be spell-slingers and the other 2 to have UMD pumped up.
I think you're on to something here. I start to wonder if this doesn't tie into the new design direction as well. That is, the more hybridized/do everything etc.
There's 4 hours left to get a Braille gamerdie.
This is a follow-up to a previous post about accessible board games. 64oz Games' KS hit its mark and there are 4 hours left. This means that they'll be shipping Braille dice to backers.
I love dice, I love accessibility. Thought I'd let y'all know. Obviously, check the site and read the KS before making a decision.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Many RAW arguments come up because "I want to." Some are legitimate questions, though the majority are the former.
Many of them can be solved by looking at the intent of the person bringing the argument.
This does not mean that some of them do not need addressed.
Unfortunately and unintendedly, PFS' emphasis on RAW has pushed the "because I want to" RAW-fights to the forefront, since DMs are unable to disagree with it. Therefore, instead of working things out at the table, there is a benefit (and almost requirement?) to running to the developers and starting a very long forum thread over even the smallest aspects of the game.
SA in use can be a thing of bloody beauty. At 3.5 additional damage per two hit dice, per weapon, it provides a hefty bonus damage...though as a trade-off, it does not provide a bonus to-hit (which in turn lowers it back down).
In play, SA is similar to other, limited bonus types. They rock when they're in use, but they are not in use all of the time. When they aren't in use, the rogue still contributes some to combat, and has a sizable out of combat role.
Much of the grump occurs from wanting SA to be active all of the time, or possible I imagine, frustration at not possessing control of a character's aspect.
I think really, if you changed it to a mechanic similar to say, Challenge or Uses Per Day But Always Succeeds, there would be less grumbling because the player would feel in control, and have better acceptance that it is a more limited, though bloodily effective when active, resource.
My main gripe with SA, as always though, is the misleading image it presents to newer players. "This is a lot of damage, so this class is obviously meant to be a leaner, sexier fighter. I can be awesome and on the front lines, kicking butt!" ...when in fact the rogue is squishy, much as design-wise, the monk suggests a wisdom and dexterity focus, when what you really need is strength. The impression of A does not match B.
Paizo has done a great job in ironing the perception = reality out with new classes, though which makes them easier to bring to the table (*with the exception of summoner, which was all about trying so many new things).
Stephen Ede wrote:
They called on it to parlay in Draconic....it agreed to parlay landing on a solid part of the forest canopy. The 2 PC casters had started negotiating for 2 rounds...The Paladin...could see that the PC's and Wyvern were communicating and not fighting.
I wanted to re-paste this point from the OP. The neutral wyvern and the party were currently engaged in parlay, not combat.
Therefore, interpretation must include how a CG paladin respects, or does not, the right of parlay, both in general and with a non-evil entity.
Understanding needs to happen with the DM and player as part of an ongoing conversation, and hopefully in such a way as deepens the story itself.
Aaron Whitley wrote:
I also enjoyed this. I suspect ideas of what constitutes "high level uses" would differ, though.
A change such as this would mean re-addressing the magic system, however. Particularly, as one poster noted, spells such as Fabricate and Mend.
Aaron Whitley wrote:
I think this first paragraph touches on something important. The PF skill system was inherited, and at a closer reflection, it does seem to suffer from a lack of cohesive purpose. Clarifying that would be a big step forward.
Many in this thread seem to have different ideas on how to do so, but could we say that perhaps the system feels too streamlined in some ways, in general?
What I mean by this is, for example, craft and profession skills could be unified, but other skills could use greater definition, or usage.
Hey, there. The creature had surrendered, which I think is the crux of it. What I might do is turn this into a roleplaying opportunity that also serves as an opportunity to work with your player to develop and further the story.
1. Speak with the player aside from the table and work with them as regards what it means for them to be a chaotic paladin. Don't focus on this event specifically, but on more general aspects of their character: behavior, ideals, goals. This may be something you've discussed, but you should also examine what his interpretation of chaotic and yours is, and then relate it to his stated ideals and goals for that paladin type. For example: chaotic to some means a non-extensive but existent personal code is okay. To others, that the "code" is mutable and changable, that "end goals" are more important and "however you get there" is flexible. A number of posters seem to fall into this latter category.
2. Take some time later and contemplate the above. Treat yourself to a pizza while doing so.
3. Decide then not to revoke the paladin's powers, but to exert some divine consequences to encourage the paladin to consider what you'd worked through, above.* For example, he might feel his god's disapproval. This signals to him to pay closer attention to the tenants you'd worked through, together. If he wants a tougher game, I would impose a penalty of some kind on his actions until he has time to contemplate, and act on this ingame (-1 or -2...talk with him). To some players, consequences do not exist without the mechanical component.
4. If you ended up needing to express the deific disapproval and the Freedom Warrior continues his actions, then remove powers.
...I suggest this sequence of actions as it will develop and build a greater depth of story and character, within your campaign. Also, it works on and maintains your relationship with the player. Finally, it encourages the player to give the action a deeper level of thought--along /with/ you, and that is pretty cool.**
* If appropriate. I have a difficult time imagining that "does not accept an honorable surrender" fits within a good alignment, but it might fit within interpretations of -chaotic-, if the end goal was more important (wyvern was still a potential threat, skip the inbetween and eliminate threat). This is one of the reasons why the indepth discussion is so important.
** Sometimes, I have found that the "Freedom Paladin" can turn into a "Freedom, 'Murica!" type. I don't claim this is the case, but if it is it might encourage him to develop and deepen the concept.
One of my grumps with skills such as Diplomacy is that they're one-shot. That is, a PC typically rolls, and then...that's it. Without adapting the rules for Performance Combat into Influence Combat, there's little dynamism to be had.
When the original playtest came about, the subject of skills came up, and the boards were mostly silent...at least compared to other playtest areas.
So this is my challenge to you: If you had the opportunity, how would you address skills in a PF 2.0? What's your ideas for them?
I imagine "minimum 4 skill points, with the exception of int-based casters" is a given, so what else? Would you address the greater system? If so, how?
As a former teacher, I'd rather someone like that kid dressing outlandishly, but not in a racist/harmful versus others way (no neo-Nazis and other goofiness), than a kid bullying others.
Now that said...
As a social construct of a society, a school is always going to have standards. That is, it cannot exist in an ideal vacuum: such a thing does not exist.
Some of these standards are pretty important. Say, a kid mouthing off during class is also distracting to the other students, and to the lesson, so there are reasons for good behavior standards.
In others, these existing standards, such as expressed by this school, reflect ongoing social changes we see in society. Remember, schools are not vacuums.
Perhaps then, it is our perception of what society should allow that needs adjusted. If society changes, then schools (as part of that society) would largely follow.
Also, on a broader topic...an education is a grand thing. Individualism must have its expression, but there is a price to pay when you have the high school-only kid who never learned the full consequences of slavery in the US, but who was "smart in other ways." True story, there.
Luckily, there are many ways to get an education, and different types of school systems. An education, the fact of an education, opens our minds in ways a lack of one cannot, even with as much "free spirit" added onto it.
To put it another way: We humans live buy 60, 70 years. If knowledge is accumulated, but not passed on in that fragile number of years, it is lost. Imagine more like the kid I mentioned above, and realize just how fragile knowledge in general, is.
Therefore, if we are upset at how this kid was treated, or if we think of our education system as "slavery," work to improve it, instead.