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Ruggs's page

656 posts (700 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:

Those are some really good points. Now that you mention it, I have that feeling of going in and pointing out the flaws of their logic. But I really should just leave them in ignorance,they'll have more fun that way. I guess I also feel like trying to prevent them from thinking that I'm leaving because I can't power game in 5e (as if), even though I wasn't power gaming to begin with (at least not in that group).

Only two of them (out of 6) I'm friends with outside of DnD. So maybe a message is the best way to go.

I would send a polite thank you, and move on.

Doing the above will convince them that you're the antisocial powergamer they seem to think you are. It's a bad move. Also, it's going to come across as rude and condescending.

This is true even if you do not mean to be. I'm not pointing this out to be mean at all, by the way.

A polite note with a thank-you attached is the way to go.

Yeah. I'd start reporting the guy to the authorities, and follow up with the potions.

You could sell him to a wizard as a skillmonkey familiar. Just attach a tail.

What you might also do is work with the other members of the group, and deny him healing so long as he does this. It's amazing how effective that is.

If you're not allowed to kill him, you can still knock him out, repeatedly, and leave him behind on adventures. Did he spend points in tracking?

I'd also point out that things like diplomacy and so on working on other PCs is a house rule. I forget the source, but it's in there somewhere.

If the group is otherwise good, and they just aren't dealing with this guy...I don't know, man.

Otherwhere wrote:

re: banning the MS completely: I am really trying to make this work, and it does mean upping my game as GM - which is why I am seeking advice on countering summoned creatures.

Yes on: environment making summons difficult "low ceilings" etc. Yes on "Prot vs" for some NPCs. Yes on adding more HP and a few more minions to balance out the additional player-side team members.

Yeah - the small elementals add a whole new level of "yikes" to this. But that would be true of just about any character able to summon them. (And they only get a single attack/rnd, unlike the eagle.)

I also plan to try and keep more pressure on the Summoner directly: ranged attacks and multiple round conditions (deafness; grapple) requiring concentration checks, etc.

I'm going to give it one more session, with him flexing his lvl 3 muscles, before I decide on whether to ban the MS or not. I was thinking of just allowing a standard Summoner. The eidolon alone is not quite as bad, and not too much more powerful than a druid's animal companion - both can have creatures that get multiple attacks at low level.

I'm less concerned with him hogging "table time" as we have agreed that other players at the table will roll for his summoned creatures, just to keep them involved.

I just wanted to chime in here. Summoner was an ambitious attempt to create something new. They did a great job...but it needs revised, because it was so ambitious and different. There are a few dev comments on these boards to that effect, and even an outright "It's broken" quoted I believe, at a convention.

Pathfinder Unchained will address the Summoner (May 5th) for that reason., if this continues to eat up more of your time, require additional adaptions, actions or house rules--you might issue a stay until the revised class comes out, or at least state your intent to swap once it does.

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65. Find a new gaming group. (Seriously, the goblin baby thing is just ugh...and perhaps half the reason you find a lot of CN/CE's a way of stating: "I don't want to deal with this s&&@.")

4. You could also institute "bennies" for positive behavior. Being a good team member* during a session is worth one bennie, for example. Getting into a shouting match with the DM/other players isn't.

Bennies could be used for adding a 1d6 to a roll at opportune times.

This is another play on--being a good player makes your character better.

* There's some good guidelines for play posted here and there on these boards. I'd gather some of those up perhaps, and base such a system on them.

Just wanted to echo a few others--trying to beat a minmaxer at their game will just grant them justification for what it is they're doing: See, see?? This is the type of things we face! and so on.

There are a few approaches. Here's some of my favorites:
1. Talk with them, and explain the style of game you're running. Ask them to remake the character.
2. Shift the spotlight. Highlight and reward the type of play you'd like to see. If someone's roleplaying or contributing as a team member, reward this by having NPCs respond, or giving them facetime at the table. Declare roleplay/team/etc. XP rewards and then institute them.
3. If you need to, follow up number 2 by making negative behavior less rewarding. While this can be through numbers, the social aspect works just as well. That is, give it less attention. For example:

Tim the Sluggy wants to go beat up some guards just to show he can, and no one else in the party is in on it...Well, let a few rolls decide the outcome, then move on. Don't dwell on it and give the guy the spotlight.

(I realize some might disagree with my example, and there may be some times to beat up guards, but we're assuming the instance is an overall part of a greater behaviour problem.)

Minmaxers like to "win." Turn "winning" into the behavior you want to see makes them want it, too.

There are players who will decide descriptive doesn't matter if it isn't backed up by rules.

There are players who disregard descriptive altogether and say that descriptive and rules are completely separate.

It depends on who you're playing with.

I would tend to have descriptive and rules match, but do so in an overall way with broad strokes. Not everything needs rules added to it, because that gets insane.

Sounds like a party mismatch issue. I'd let them go, and look for different people. It's the sort of thing that happens.

So the consequence of "you can remove it" would be that a ring of invisibility works for an entire party, and so on?

wraithstrike wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Change the Rogue's role in combat from DPR to debuffing.
The rogue is really not a designed to be the DPR guy. He is more like a secondary combatant with non-magical utility. Thematically the rogue is the "fixer", but without magic and no EX that looks magical, and no boost to his combat abilities he just falls behind the other classes.

He has utility abilities out of combat, sure, but in-combat? All he does is damage. The only combat related boosts he gets involve sneak attack die; whether this was intended or not, when initiative is rolled the rogue's role is to hit stuff right now. He's terrible at it, of course, and it's frankly not very thematic for a Rogue to be competing with a Barbarian.

Which is why I reworked the Rogue to revolve around the dirty trick maneuver...

Debuffing as an option is not a bad idea. In 3.X Oriental adventures you could trade in some of your sneak attack dice to do other things. The skill tricks from one of the later books would also be nice for a rogue to have.


I'd mostly remove sneak attack, and then rework the class to focus on debuffs.

The skill system needs reworked also.

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Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:

So, it seems like your real problem is that the tacit agreement you all had has stopped working.

Step one: figure out what they were, and write down all of the ways in which your groups house rules differ from the written rules.

Step two: announce the problem. Let everyone know that having everyone use slightly different rule sets is causing friction. Let everyone know that consensus is best, and this would really help, even if not everyone gets their way on everything.

Step three: talk it out. Discuss each change as a group, and make some decisions.

You'll invest a whole session on this, but it's worth it.

Hey there. While this is good and well-intended, I wanted to add that following the "write down everything" guidelines too far can cause a worse issue when in this case what is important is the spirit of the game. Your "spirit of the game" isn't to pin down everything and interpret it to the nth degree no matter what.

Discuss as the poster said, yet focus more on outlining your house rules in general, then follow with a conversation about how to interpret rules in the future (RAI versus RAW, etc.). It will likely require more than one conversation before he "gets" it. However, and this is important: ensure that the player knows he will not be screwed over. ...and that you encourage discussion, but that railroading the game into a rules argument that takes over an entire session is not just bad behavior, it's unwelcome at the table.

How you respond should be within the spirit and intent of how you intend to play.

Just be sure he isn't punished for not knowing...and that he understands your group's expectation of behaviour at the table.

I would probably also set a limit to how objections are handled, as well as lawyering. That is, it may be brought up once in session and must be brought up politely. Details are reviewed after session whenever possible, and if the DM says no, accept it and move on, or find another table.

Pretty much what it says. Has there been any discussion or commentary by any past or present developers on increasing (or not) the skill points per level for the 2/level classes?

I understand that the skill points per level will not change in this edition.

I'm looking for if there had been commentary, or if this might be addressed in Unchained.

I found reference to some commentary but have had no luck tracking it down thus far.

Any help would be appreciated.

I have always been the fan of this mod:

At chargen, select either Dex or Str to handle:

* AC bonus
* Ref bonus
* Init bonus

The other then handles:

* To-hit bonus
* Damage bonus

...and so on. Once assigned, this may not be changed. If they chose Str for their Ref bonus, etc. package, it could be explained as being strong enough to move more quickly (70 and 20 year olds will move their legs about the same rate and pattern; it's the force with which they strike the ground and then lift off that has the greater impact on their speed).

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DnD encouraged me to learn math as a kid.

I can see a use for this feat. Most of them involve sneaky ways to encourage a kid (or yourself) to get better at math.

- A kid might try it because you told them "man, no one can do this!" just to prove you wrong
- A kid might try it because "it was the most powerful of powerful wizards ever"
- A kid might try it, because if they could you would buy them pizza afterwards, and they get a super-powerful wizard on top of it


Result: Kid learns better math concepts, and gets immediate benefit

With respect to others, extreme Individualism vs Collectivism reminds me too much of today's political debates.

Here are some additionals:

The Value of Karma: Due to a bad agreement, all souls are doomed for hell, or heaven is just picky. In this system, there really is a weights and measures system. Heroism is one method.

Mixed Mythology: Heaven and Hell are a mythology crafted by the human dreamstate. Therefore, you have multiple Heavens and multiple Hells. The power of the mortal is really the power of its dreaming state and imagination, which causes such things to be real and is one of the reasons that all forms of Hell quest for the mortal soul. This does not mean that good or evil do not exist; only that while the core of them may be similar, the particulars vary from place to place, and the actual, living mythologies enforce it.

Right to Destiny: A different take on the above could be that Hell was the original creators, but the mortals, once slaves, were able to dream themselves free. This is the true value of the soul: to give dreams energy and power, over time. (Because this happens over time, how or if you have this mechanic fit into the game world is up to the DM).

It was then that mortals created Heaven. Heaven was the wish of all their dreams and wants. It is perhaps: A pure realm that Hell fights against their achieving by draining their souls and in the meantime, they're stuck in this middle, or only partly-achieved state. Alternately, perhaps heaven is too pure of a realm, and mortals find themselves doubly trapped. Even more alternately, heaven-as-made-by-mortals is really mixed up (some people are just twisted, and this was created by the shared dreams of -everyone-). It can save them from Hell, but is it worth it?

Heaven as Pure Ideas, Hell as Impure Fragments: In this, Heaven represents the purest form of creation, the purest forms of philosophy, of ideals, concepts, and ideas. The plane of fire might as well be one of Heaven's many parts. Most of Heaven is unviewable by mortal eyes, and is incomprehensible to the uncleansed body. Hell becomes the unworkable, castoff fragments of these ideals, who over time, go mad on their own. It is merely a consequence of creation and nothing is to be done for it. Think of it as the leftover parts of a sculpture, as broken clocks, untruths, as a shattered landscape and the fallen buildings of an architectual failure.

The war of mortals then is to protect their own plane of existence. While imperfect, the Mortal Realm is comprehensible to them, it is livable and new creations (from Heaven, this place of pure concept, etc.) filter downwards and generally do not harm them.

However, the leftovers do, these bits of bitter, useless leftover creation who did not "make the cut." Mortals train themselves to combat these fragments. The nature of the Mortal Realm, with its position between the Pure and the Impure, makes it the perfect battleground.

Faithwise, this world could be very practical with "what is good" being focused on local customs or survival...or it could worship ideals, which Heaven embodies. Good would be honoring what is Ideal and rebuking what is Corrupt of that Ideal. For example, an engineer would strive to embody and honor true design and strong safety measures, while rebuking what caused buildings to crumble. An engineer warped by Hell would infuse buildings with flaws, or build bridges to fall.

An artist could be both a savior and a sinner. On the one hand, an artist might use art as war, reclaiming fallen structures and giving them purpose. On the other, a deconstructivist would stand for exactly the opposite: tearing down what was once Ideal and rending it to rubble.

Back to the original topic...

Don't forget Hunter's Surprise.

PRD wrote:

Hunter's Surprise (Ex): Once per day, a rogue with this talent can designate a single enemy she is adjacent to as her prey. Until the end of her next turn, she can add her sneak attack damage to all attacks made against her prey, even if she is not flanking it or it is not flat-footed.

seebs wrote:

polymorph spells

I collated all the data together from the various polymorph spells once. There's some issues.

I think I <3 you. Do you mind if I port a copy of it, with credits? I will PM details.

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Caedwyr wrote:
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

I didn't take from Caedwyr's posts that it promoted mod-access to non-employees.

Now I haven't reads the linked posts, but I thought Caedwyr was talking more to the lack of "community manager-focus" in the moderation by Paizo staff.

If there are steps in community building and community building that can be implemented, then there will be less moderation needed, or the nature of moderation will change as the community moderates itself - not through hard-code and ban-hammering (regardless of who does it), but through etiquette, mindful behaviour and subscription to social tenets more conducive to positive and creative discussion.

Pretty much this. From what I've seen and what I've read by some of the community managers/moderators for some of the more successful communities, there's a lot of thought that goes into things such as atmosphere and the nature of the community. As Pathfinder grows and becomes more successful, if Paizo is going to continue to have forums, they will need to decide what direction they wish to take or their community will develop in a direction they don't want and their ability to influence the community will be lessened.

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:

This process led them to a surprising insight—one that "shaped our entire approach to this problem," says Jeffrey Lin, Riot's lead designer of social systems, who spoke about the process at last year's Game Developers Conference. "If we remove all toxic players from the game, do we solve the player behavior problem? We don't." That is, if you think most online abuse is hurled by a small group of maladapted trolls, you're wrong. Riot found that persistently negative players were only responsible for roughly 13 percent of the game's bad behavior. The other 87 percent was coming from players whose presence, most of the time, seemed to be generally inoffensive or even positive. These gamers were lashing out only occasionally, in isolated incidents—but their outbursts often snowballed through the community. Banning the worst trolls wouldn't be enough to clean up League of Legends, Riot's player behavior team realized. Nothing less than community-wide reforms could succeed.

Some of the reforms Riot came up with were small but remarkably effective. Originally, for example, it was a default in the game that opposing teams could chat with each other during play, but this often spiraled into abusive taunting. So in one of its earliest experiments, Riot turned off that chat function but allowed players to turn it on if they wanted. The impact was immediate. A week before the change, players reported that more than 80 percent of chat between opponents was negative. But a week after switching the default, negative chat had decreased by more than 30 percent while positive chat increased nearly 35 percent. The takeaway? Creating a simple hurdle to abusive behavior makes it much less prevalent.

...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."

* Wired Article
* Kirk's Article

Taenia wrote:

Actually at least two plants have regeneration the Tendriculous and the Saguaroi.

This is a great document for some questions regarding polymorphing.

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.

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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:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

The simplest fix we should take comes from an example from the Warpriest. Whenever the Warpriest is using a weapon from their deity or a weapon that they have Weapon Focus in, they use their class level as their BAB when making melee attacks.

The same fix can be applied here, letting the Rogue use their class level as their BAB when they are able to sneak attack or attacking an enemy who is denied (or loses) their Dexterity modifier. Now Rogues are relevant as 'support-martials' again.

Again with the 'giving Rogues more bennies when they can sneak attack' bit.

Granted, Flanking type Sneak Attacks do struggle to hit. But what the Rogue needs even more than increased to-hit is improved viability when not sneak attacking.

(Also, good Rogue Talents.)

To be honest, I'm not sure why it's an issue. Rogues are defined as being able to use Sneak Attack when 1. Flanking, and 2. Target is denied their Dexterity Modifier to AC. With that being said, they should do their damnedest to try and set it up, the same way any other Martial should do their damnedest to try and set up full attacks.

Feats like Outflank and Gang Up are perfect for a rogue, since it allows them to flank as long as 2 other allies threaten the target, and Outflank increases their flanking bonuses by 2 with those who also have this feat; tack on being able to make AoOs when your allies critically hit the target, and it becomes a great feat for all martials to take, especially with 15-20 critical multipliers. With Combat Expertise and Int 13 as pre-reqs, it's not too difficult for a rogue to snatch up, especially since those same pre-reqs are for Dirty Tricks, something which every rogue who calls himself a rogue should take, given the innumerable assortment of potential debuffs and ability to do so while being able to make attacks.

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:

I'd agree with Digitalelf and say that quite possibly the best way for her to try the game out is with a trusted family member. You can control how deep things get, and since you know her well, you'll be able to decide what she can and can't handle. Some kids can deal well with themes like moral questions and trying to do the right thing, and some do best when it's a more black-and-white, Saturday morning cartoons format.

Of course, I'm not a parent, but I got into the hobby at about the same age--I think I was 10 the first time I played, and I got the 3.5 Starter Set when I was 11 or 12. I was introduced by my older half-brother--he's 5 years older than me--and my mother had played when she was young. The first few games were definitely more free-form and rough around the edges, but it was a lot of fun and it was definitely an outlet for me. I did a lot of the things you referenced in your post, actually. It's not for every creative kid out there, certainly, but it definitely interested me and it's become a very great part of my life, probably my favorite hobby besides writing (barely a hobby anymore, seeing as I'm a Creative Writing major now... feels like just yesterday I was the kid on the playground making believe).

Anyway, I'd say that starting small is probably good; make sure she enjoys the idea before having her go online with it. If she has some friends who are in the same boat, maybe invite them all to get together and try out a game. Have them do it through email, maybe. Set up a game right here on the forums, even--I don't think anybody would bust in and ruin it, and as long as they don't go wandering it shouldn't be risky.

Good luck!

Echoing 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.

There are some PbP groups that are fairly good and moderated. I know Lackadaisy Cats was one a while back.

You might start there.

gnomersy wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

Allowing the rogue to target touch AC would actually free them up to focus more on defense.

Not really. The reason Rogues don't focus on defense isn't because they need to focus on offense but because they need to focus on just getting sneak attacks this doesn't alleviate that issue which means all it does is make the Rogue more inconsistent between when he's sneak attacking and when he's not.

In general I find inconsistency in my character to be annoying at best and intolerable at worst but not everyone agrees with me.

To cap it all off the ability doesn't really make sense in context either since thick hide and being literally made of steel apparently make it no more difficult for the Rogue to find a good place to stick you but only when he sneaks.

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+
- Make specific archetypes default for certain classes. Barbarian defaults to Invulnerable Rager, and Monk to Quiggong...
- Vital Strike becomes a scaling feat (You take it once, and it advances, granting additional die as you gain BAB)
- Monk and rogue become full BAB classes
- Monk receives all style feats as bonus feat options
- Ninja talents are rolled into the rogue class (treat them as normal talents and give rogues a ki pool by default--in this way, they become a default option)
- Any class with 2 skill points per level becomes 4 per level, except Wizard
- Fighter receives a good will save
- Barbarian rage cycling becomes default (it still costs 2 rage points per round, instead of 1 as per RAW)
- Fey Foundling default for paladins.
- Remove Combat Expertise as a pre-req, and make it and Power Attack innate abilities.
- Dex to damage is default.
- Rogue begins play with weapon finesse.

I've also seen:

- Bad saves are unfun, so give everyone good saves.
- Minimum d10 for everyone, except barbarian who gets d12.
- Full BAB for everyone except casters. Casters get 3/4.
- Feats every level.
- Craft feats double your WBL.

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.

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I also vote for sending Isaiah Mustafa a letter, asking him to donate his likeness to future PF deities or demigods.

It's for a good cause.

Haladir wrote:

YMMV, I guess.

Speaking from personal experience, in 30+ years of gaming, with at least a score of paladins I can think of, I can count on one hand the number of times I encountered the typical "paladin problem" people tend to gripe about on the boards. All were directly the result of players known to be disruptive or GMs known to be, um,...

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? 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!"

...yeah. Quirkles.

...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.

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I would love to see a male god of beauty modeled after a young George Takei.

thejeff wrote:

2005(ish)-Present: Narrative mechanics

Dogs in the Vineyard and some of the other Forge games.

I think you have a point, here. Also, I believe he addresses DnD more indepth in the article, itself.

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
D&D, Melee, et al.

1978-1988: Literary Simplicity
Call of Cthulhu, Pendragon, et al.

1980-1988: Rules-Heavy Worlds
RoleMaster, HârnMaster, et al.

1984-1993: Comical Rules-Lite
Toon, Marvel Superheroes, et al.

1986-Present: Universal Problem-Solving
GURPS and its imitators.

1987-Present: Fast Cinematic Action
Star Wars, Feng Shui, et al.

1991-Present: Dark Storytelling
Vampire: The Masquerade, et al.

1991-Present: Diceless Fantasy
Amber Diceless, Everway, et al.

2000-Present: Crunchy Challenge
D&D3 / D20, Rune, et al.

...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?

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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 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.

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There is absolutely a middle row between the playstyles, here.

1. Treat some of them as a hazard, not a trap. Or/and,
2. Allow DD to function as a knowledge roll in some instances, such as complex or multi-part traps. For example, let the player roll...then based on the roll and type of trap:

A: Roll is successful: Disable a trap, or obtain detailed knowledge about the trap and potential disarmament
B: Roll is unsuccessful: Well, it is not.

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.

Ruggs wrote:

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.

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.

I fibbed. There needs to be 11:

11. Different comfort levels, and levels of privacy. Privacy is more of a thing to some players than others. This is less so in the d20 medium, but something to be aware of regardless. If you can, provide players options for how much they disclose, and when.

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. :)

Question: As a storyteller or player, are you more interested in:

A. Triumphing over the gods
B. The aftermath; the chaos of falling temples, crumbling civilisation, etc.
C. Both


Blackfoot wrote:

Actually, the player in question just wants a hand on the end of it's 'arm-like' tail without taking any evolutions for it.

My issue is he's trying to skirt the rules by taking advantage of some vague wording. In the process he's adding a bunch of other vaguely legal things in as well. (lots of MW tools).. the combination .. well.. makes me thing that there are going to be lots of rules discussions and worse.. interpretations.. at my table.

More than rules advice, what may be needed (as a more general statement) are seminars and workshops about handling player issues.

Say, for example: ult-player-the-kind-of

...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:

I don't mind seeing any of these topics come up - I just regret the fact that sooner or later a few of the contributors lose interest in the actual topic and concentrate on chewing holes in each other. And the rest of us have to slide through screens of hatescreech* just to try to follow the actual topic... We need a Dueling Arena forum for these people. First guy to lose six points (in the eyes of the judges) loses forum access for a month. ;)

*That is my word. But you can steal it if you want.

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
- Alignment
- Dang-fartin'* DMs|Players|etc.
- Caster versus noncaster (slightly separate from wizard v fighter)
- The fighter is boring
- The rogue is AUUUUUUGGH!
- The monk is AUUUUUGGHHH!
- Rollplayer versus roleplayer
- RAW versus RAI
- ______ is broken
- Kobold tail feats
- It isn't realistic/well it's a fantasy game
- High-level play versus mid and low

* 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: " 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.

The same way you justify "always good" races. It just depends on the setting and 'brew. What works for some doesn't work for others.

Kolokotroni has a great suggestion.

Bardarok wrote:

I've been considering introducing some unrealistically awesome feats for the martial classes to take to compete with high level wizard and these look like the right sort of thing.

I'd say just base the requirement off of class abilities that only high level low tier classes have and let them go wild.

Here are some more ideas:

Fast healing
Prerequisite: ten hit die of d10 or d12 value
Gain fast healing equal to your constitution modifier

Jump Attack
prerequisite: acrobatics 10 ranks, BAB +10
As long as you are wearing light armor or no armor you can make a charge action where instead of normal movement you jump a distance up to your movement speed vertically or twice your movement speed horizontally.
Yah thats a 30ft vertical leap but all the wizards get fly so bah. Also it enables fighters to jump up onto that flying dragon (er... if it's flying low) grab it's leg then start hacking it to pieces which is cool.

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.

<passes vodka>

You like hard cider? It's a favorite, and I figure we should have a good time. :)

Hey, there. I just wanted to pop in and say--wow, 5 weeks of prep, and two DMs? That is an awesome amount of story in there. :)

DeathQuaker wrote:

Although not in as a socially damaging way... usually... we gamers do it to each other all the time. "You LIKE 4th Edition? You are a scourge that needs to be wiped from the Earth!" "How DARE you enjoy playing a rogue and claim you did well in your party, you are clearly playing the game wrong and are an idiot and we must spam this thread with how wrong you are to mock you until you cower in shame." It really gets first-world-problems levels of ridiculous especially when you find the level of utter rage surrounding some mere differences of opinion or preference.

The "we must all be the same" attitude amongst geeks CAN be socially damaging when you get stuff like, for one example, a certain kind of male alpha geek doing the fake geek girl shaming thing. "You look different from us and focus in a different way on the hobby we share, therefore you are clearly interlopers and must be shamed, threatened, stalked, and silenced by any means necessary." That s@$& gets mind-bogglingly scary.

Think how much nice most gamer conversations would be if we all just went, "Hey, we have the same hobby, but we experience and enjoy it differently. Isn't that neat?"


Oh, and Matt Thomason -- while I try not to glue myself to the computer screen constantly, I HAVE taken to quick accessing THIS on my phone and cue it up whenever someone either tries to pressure me into doing something social when I am social-ed out, or ask me if "I'm okay" because I'm being quiet (which drives me crazy). (I also want to carry flashing neon sign in airports/airplanes/train stations/trains that says "I am not reading this book as a conversation starter.")

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.

I think most of this falls under the "don't be a jerk" rule...for both GMs AND players.

It also comes down to trust across the table.

If there isn't trust at a table, if one side or the other is being a jerk, then it ceases to be a game and a fun experience.

Everything else is moot.

DeathQuaker wrote:

I am trying not to be distracted by the word "douchecanoe..."

But anyway.

Yes. Some people are frightened that people different from them exist, because it challenges their own tiny, fragile, barely formed sense of identity because they've lived their lives learning to try to be what other people expect instead of serve their true selves. And it makes them jerks. And it's stupid.

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.

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