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Sheriff Belor Hemolock

Scott Betts's page

Goblin Squad Member. 7,001 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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I very much doubt Paizo would ever put themselves in a position where they would be left open to that kind of threat. This isn't the sort of product they would host on their site to begin with.


Brian E. Harris wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
WotC literally released 3.5 reprints last year, and multiple adventures published leading up to 5e's release included 3.5 rules.

For my own education, when you say "multiple adventures", are there more than just the "Murder at Baldur's Gate" and "Legacy of the Crystal Shard" ?

If so, I'd like to track those down for my collection, and download the 3.5 rules for them before they become unavailable...

As far as I know, it's just those two.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Valandil Ancalime wrote:
Sure, it's infringement on IP/closed content on a game they no longer support and haven't supported for years. They aren't losing sales because of it.

WotC literally released 3.5 reprints last year, and multiple adventures published leading up to 5e's release included 3.5 rules.

Quote:
I suppose what they did was legal, but it still rubs me the wrong way and is just one more reason WOTC has lost me as a customer. I doubt if I will ever buy anything from them again.

Ah, yes. It rubs you the wrong way because WotC doesn't support 3.5 (even though they sell a ton of 3.5 material in both print and digital form), they haven't supported it for years (even though they have), and they aren't losing sales because of it (even though they probably are).

Does this still seem like a reasonable stance for you to take? If so, why? All of your stated reasons are based on falsehoods. If not, why did it take my pointing it out for you to change your mind? If this is actually something you care about enough to boycott an entire company, shouldn't you have bothered to check whether your reasons for boycotting were grounded in reality?


I think it's a liiiiittle silly for anyone to be upset about a half-second clip of a fantasy weapon that they otherwise know nothing about.

Silly. But not unexpected.


Rynjin wrote:

When I step on any patch of normal ground I simply fall through it. Rocks, when I can land on one, are apparently still solid. Which doesn't help when 90% of all the game's terrain is dirt.

I've seen more of under the map than what's above the surface.

Every other character reacts to it the same way. I watch it happen once scripted scenes or spawn-ins finish.

"We're here!"

*Falls through ground*

Hahaha I went hunting through Bioware's tech support forums for clues as to what might be causing your problems, and the only post on it I found was yours...with no replies. Sorry, man. It sounds like you're one of maybe a handful of people experiencing the falling-through-world bug on a consistent basis. Have you ruled out issues with your hardware? Did uninstalling and reinstalling the game change anything?


Rynjin wrote:
Well, I at least got to the part where you first get control of your character but everyone looked like they had hair made of some strange colorful metallic substance

In your Graphics settings menu, turn your Meshes setting up to High. The Frostbite engine does weird things with shiny surfaces at low-ish poly levels.


Freehold DM wrote:
Werthead wrote:
* Although it is possible for software to affect hardware: STARCRAFT 2 infamously caused certain graphics cards to overheat on release until Blizzard rushed out an emergency fix.
A-yup.

What's more likely - you were the one guy out of the millions who played it who managed to encounter the bug that causes your 360's hard drive to self-destruct (something that is, itself, essentially impossible), or that you experienced a relatively normal hardware failure incident and ended up blaming it on the software instead?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Freehold DM wrote:
Whatever. Hama asked what happened and I told him. Your opinion is just that.

His opinion is much, much more likely to be correct than yours. You can continue to avoid Dragon Age games for no good reason, but you're hurting no one but yourself.


I may or may not have shuffled commitments around to ensure a wide open Tuesday.


Simon Legrande wrote:
The fact that I agree with some Libertarian positions does not make me a Libertarian. Same is true for Democrats and Republicans. What's really funny is that, like every other Democrat here so far, you believe that you are a moderate while everyone else are extremists. The Republicans all believe the same thing.

No, not all of them. The base believes that, because most of them exist in information vacuums where it's easy to come to believe counterfactual things. But the people running the show? They don't believe they're running a moderate party.

Quote:
I don't for a second think the majority of Americans agree with me. I believe in true individual freedom, something that scares many people. Freedom means being responsible for your actions, and who wants that? How about running your own life before trying to run mine? If top down government is ideal, why does it always fail?

First, no government is "ideal". That word implies that there exists a system of government under which all people will be happy, and that is simply not true. We have governments which are stable, healthy, and generally have a positive impact on their citizens' lives, and we improve those governments in increments.

Second, "top-down government" (wow) doesn't always fail. In fact, in the modern developed world, large governments almost never fail!


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Simon Legrande wrote:
I believe low voter turnout for elections just goes to show that the majority of people think the whole thing is a waste of time. I believe the majority of people aren't extremists and are more turned off than turned on by the extremists screaming at each other. I believe the majority of people are losing faith in the system as it is now, that's why so many politicians try to show how outside the system they are.

Politicians have been trading on their "Washington outsider" status for generations now. It's nothing new.

What's most interesting about this post is that you attempt to paint this as a fight between two "extreme" factions, when the reality is that this is a battle between a faction too terrified to be anything but moderate, and a truly extreme faction. More to the point, you try to paint yourself (or, rather, your libertarian political beliefs) as the moderate, populist voice - which raises an interesting problem for you: Libertarian governance is a dead dream. If it were going to get off the ground, it would have already happened. So you need to start addressing the problem of why your political beliefs are so unpopular, despite your fervent belief that the majority of Americans agree with you. Are you, and all those aligned with you, simply abysmal at political messaging? Is your messaging sabotaged by corporate interests (corporate interests which, mind you, would fall over themselves to support a true libertarian state)? Or is it possible that you have misjudged the American voters, and that your positions are not seen as moderate at all (but rather as radical fringe beliefs)?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
People have spent a lot of time and money putting those memes out there because they benefit greatly from getting rid of said regulations. They've been tricked.

That's a more charitable framing than I would have given it. They've been manipulated, certainly, but they also took no pains to avoid being manipulated. They bear as much responsibility for their positions as those who manipulated them do.


lorenlord wrote:
Simon, don't forget, you can't say anything opposite to the POTUS's agenda, or you're racist, from what i've seen/heard on CNN, MSNBC, and other media outlets. And nothing opposit Hillary's agenda either, or you're sexist.

Yes, this is absolutely a supportable claim and not at all a transparent, pitiful tactic to dismiss criticism - if you can paint everyone who ignores your points as ignoring you for racism rather than for the lack of merit in your arguments, you no longer have to defend those arguments at all!

Quote:
I remember hearing Obama say that he wasn't on the ballot, but his policies definitely are(as his constituates were running from him like rats off of a sinking ship). Well with the Dems taking that bad of a beating, what should that tell a rational person about how America feels about his policies?

That this is a mid-term election for a lame-duck Presidency, which nearly always result in significant losses for the President's party. This isn't anything unique to Obama's Presidency, as much as you might want to paint it that way.


captain yesterday wrote:

do you guys even have jobs? or are endless debates on politics and policy your jobs?

i truly want to know, every time theres a thread where people are calmly having a light conversation, all of a sudden you guys jump on and within a few hours its pages and pages of back and forth and hyperbole!

i would appreciate it if the following Paizo People go a month without so much as interjecting a single political point into any conversation on these boards, i will send them Cookies of their choice (i'm a 3rd generation baker, so yeah pretty f%&@ing good!)
anyway the people: TheJeff, Simon Legrande, Yellowing, BignorseWolf, Scott betts, Lazarx, Comrade ankle biter (and the rest of his communist aliases).

listen you guys are great, but its been years and you're all going around the same circle and its really annoying to have these same conversations pop up over and over and over and over again! as my son likes to tell me "you people need a time out!"

It must be such a burden to you to have to skip past political threads on an internet discussion forum!


Simon Legrande wrote:
If by changing your views you mean becoming even more rabidly Democrat,

Are you just talking for the sake of talking, here? You clearly don't know the context behind what Anklebiter was talking about (he's referencing my mentioning in a thread many months - or longer - ago that I began my adult life as a registered Republican before switching parties). So, no, I didn't become "more rabidly Democrat", I switched parties.

Quote:
I can see your point. As much as you so clearly hate it, some people are actually happy that the government is bound up in gridlock. That's the way it's supposed to work.

Ah, yes! That's why the founding fathers established a system of governance! So that nothing would get done!

You titan of intellect, you.

Quote:
And the poor put upon President just can't get anything meaningful done because of all those nasty people who just won't roll over and agree. Why, it's like people have differing views on how the country should run.

What you miss, here, is that democracy runs on compromise. See, normal people, when given the choice between a) having to deal with a less-than-ideal solution, and b) doing nothing about a problem the country faces, would choose to solve the problem even if it's not their preferred way of going about it. Not so for Republicans. Their policy is overt obstructionism. That's not governance. That's an extended temper tantrum.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Well, it's certainly better than "I voted for Bush II and have been overcompensating for it ever since by telling everybody that doesn't agree with me that they don't understand how the political process works!"
Shall we trot out your political decisions at age 19 as an example of why you overcompensate, Anklebiter? Or have you always been the firebrand that you are?

I joined the International Socialist Organization when I was 15 or 16.

Then credit to you for sticking to your guns. Meanwhile, the rest of us are allowed to change our views as we're exposed to more of the world.


LazarX wrote:
Yes... if the Republicans get that majority in the Senate and House to block an Obama veto, than AFCA is dead.

First, vetos aren't blocked; they're overridden. By supermajorities. In both houses.

Republicans don't have that, in either house. They would have to poach fully a quarter of all Democratic senators to make that happen in the Senate alone, which is another way of saying that it's functionally impossible.

Now, you could be arguing that their victories put them closer to a supermajority in both houses, but that argument doesn't hold up on more than a superficial level - it's like trying to argue that turning the heat up on an oven whose dial only goes to 550 degrees makes it more likely to reach 670. There were no game-changing demographic shifts in long-held strongholds. What we saw in this election was simply the typical sway of voter attitude over the course of a Presidency. The Republican Party remains just as mathematically incapable of reaching a supermajority in both houses today as they were a year ago.


lorenlord wrote:

The Independant party did that? Hm.

You're obviously drinking the Liberal kool-aid, great for you.

For those watching at home, when someone insists they're politically independent and yet manages to squeeze a right-wing epithet into every one of their posts, they're either fooling themselves or trying to fool you.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Like facts have ever changed the mind of a republican.
Lets try to keep this away from the actions of groups.

We're talking about national elections. I think discussing group action when the focus is clearly on party politics is totally valid. It would be silly to pretend that group affiliation plays no role.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Well, it's certainly better than "I voted for Bush II and have been overcompensating for it ever since by telling everybody that doesn't agree with me that they don't understand how the political process works!"

Shall we trot out your political decisions at age 19 as an example of why you overcompensate, Anklebiter? Or have you always been the firebrand that you are?


LazarX wrote:
Scott the perception is not entirely unwarranted. Obama was a great candidate, but he was certainly far less willing or able to play the game compared to say, a Bill Clinton.

Let's not pretend that the political climate Obama faces is the same sort that Clinton faces. Hell, Clinton's even outright said as much.

He's the President, not a miracle worker. His powers are constrained by the rest of the federal government, and Republicans have many, many tools at their disposal to curtail that power further. Where previously they would have employed those tools judiciously, they have spent the past six years using everything they can possibly muster to ensure that he accomplishes nothing meaningful, because their goal isn't to govern effectively - it's to annihilate a sitting President's legacy before it's written.

Quote:
For all intents and purposes, the Obama Presidency ended last night. The only real question is how long the Affordable Healthcare Act will survive it.

I don't see any credible threat to the ACA on the horizon. Do you?


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NobodysHome wrote:

You can list platform and policy differences.

Then you can actually look at proposed laws, voting records, and what the candidates actually do when in office.

Yes, the stated platforms are VERY different.

The in-office behavior is depressingly the same.

Perhaps more similar than you would like, but still vastly different.

You cannot pretend that both parties in California are functionally the same. They are not. I should know - I've lived in California my entire life and spent years studying and working in politics.

Quote:
I'm a "individual libertarian, corporate socialist". I believe in strong personal freedoms and strong corporate limitations. Both parties have shown a remarkable taste for limiting individual freedoms and increasing corporate power. You can claim that Democrats aren't like that, but Obamacare ("You MUST purchase insurance from the insurance megacorporations that have been rendering health care unavailable to many and unaffordable to many more,") is a great example of the similarities.

Which is why one party is frothing at the mouth and generally making clowns of themselves spending years trying to repeal it, right?

Quote:
The eternal "War on Terror" is another bandwagon both parties have tied themselves to with iron cables.

Which is why one party has committed to reducing our military involvement in the Middle East - and has actually done so! - while the other has all but called the President a traitor for even thinking of reducing troop levels, right?

Quote:
Nationalized health care is a fantastic Democratic idea. Yet as soon as they met any resistance, they rolled over and passed a strongly pro-corporate "solution".

They didn't "roll over". They compromised, because they had no choice. Look, I get that you're disappointed that we don't have single payer. We all are. But them's the breaks. Democracy is about compromise, and you don't get to tar and feather a political party because they were forced to make some concessions in order to improve things. It was either pass the system that we now have, or go back to what we used to have - insurance companies rejecting applicants for pre-existing conditions; children kicked off their parents' plans before they've found a career; etc.

Quote:
I understand the party platforms. I see Republicans adhering more closely to their platform than Democrats.

Because the Republican platform is cynical base-pandering. It isn't hard to look like you're adhering to your platform when your strategy is to ensure that nothing gets accomplished by the other side. The Democrats, on the other hand, actually have to get things passed in order to accomplish their goals.

You're skipping straight past all the rational, evidence-based reasons for the lack of progress you're observing, because what you're looking for is cynicism.

Quote:
In 2008 I actually voted *for* Obama

"I voted for Obama in 2008!" is rapidly becoming the "Some of my best friends are gay!" of party identity politics.

Quote:
I thought he'd fight for his beliefs, and be a great president. Instead I got, "Well, the Republicans don't want me to do this, so I guess I'll stop trying, or pass a gross miscarriage of what I originally proposed."

Holy balls.

Your perception is that Obama just gave up?

Quote:
Watching my democrats (yes, I'm in California. Every Democrat won in my district, so my vote was indeed meaningless) continually back down and accept any pro-corporate law that comes along is just depressing. Platform is one thing. Action is another entirely.

Especially when you're not paying attention!


NobodysHome wrote:
I just voted Democrat-Republican-Democrat-Republican down the ticket, figuring neither party is essentially different from the other (any more) in any way I can ascertain.

Would you like me to start listing substantive platform and policy differences? Or were you just being fashionably cynical for its own sake?

"Take that, political-process-I-don't-understand!"


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think probably we should can the talk about the other site. It was a brief spat that only two people were involved in, and the offender was quickly put in his place by the site's moderation. There's nothing to discuss. People are sometimes jerks. No, that doesn't mean you need to rethink your hobby.


RDM42 wrote:
Nine times out of ten the player can either get their concept or something so close as to make little difference, so long as they aren't for some reason specifically seeking to break through the limits that were already in place for the campaign when it was selected. And the number of character concepts that are absolutely desperately reliant upon being a specific race and only a specific race are vanishingly small. Most of them can be fulfilled thematically in other ways. Usually, nine out of ten, race isn't so crucial to the concept that if you don't get that race you have to start over.

Similarly, nine of of ten times (actually, probably far more often than that) adding a race to a campaign setting isn't so massive a change that the whole setting has to be thrown out for being overly generic.

But none of this is the point.

We're not talking about the nine times out of ten where the character's concept works just fine and there is no conflict. We're talking about the one time out of ten where the character's concept and the DM's setting are not in harmonious agreement, and what happens next.


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RDM42 wrote:
If it's just a twist it's not a problem. Adding in cat people, lizard folk, Tieflings, etcetera, isn't "adding a couple new twists"

Sure it is. In fact, adding a new fantasy race to an existing fantasy game world is one of the easiest changes to make!

Quote:

On the other hand, why couldn't those players try "a couple new twists" on the type of character they like to run and play something which can conceivably exist with the colors already on the pallete, even if combined in new ways?

Have you read this thread?

Players do this. All the time. In fact, it's becoming so standard for players to do this that it's seen as imposing on the DM when someone suggests it go the other way.

This is what the conversation we're having looks like:

A: "9 times out of 10, when a player's character concept bumps up against a DM's setting concept, the player is the one forced to change his concept. We think that should probably be evened out so that both parties are accustomed to compromising."
B: "But changing a game world is hard!"
A: "No, it's not. Especially when the change is largely additive. You probably only have to make a minor change. It's certainly easier than coming up with an entirely new character concept."
B: "Why can't the players just fit themselves into the campaign world?"
A: "They can. And do. 9 times out of 10."

Hopefully you can see why this is becoming frustrating.


RDM42 wrote:
Save in a persistent campaign world ... It doesn't work that way. Four to six, then four to six more, then ...

Yeah what a chore that would be to come up with a couple of new twists on your setting a couple times a year!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:
He's also arguably the most despised D&D character of all time for all the clones that people kept wanting to play.

Oh no. He became too popular.

Quote:
I played in a game with no spell casters. Part of the plot was to free the goddess of magic and return magic to the world. I suppose if someone had wanted to play a wizard, we could have just handwaved that somehow.

You're looking at this like it's a chore and that the only solution doesn't add anything to the game's story. That's the wrong way of looking at it.

What you had before your player came along was a world where the goddess of magic was trapped and magic along with her.

Now you have a world where the goddess of magic is trapped, and almost all magic gone. But now you have a lone individual capable of using magic, on a quest to free the goddess of magic. This raises all kinds of cool questions! Why does he have access to magic? What is his connection to the trapped goddess? What is his motivation for freeing magic when keeping it to himself makes him uniquely powerful? Is there another, heretofore unknown source of magic in the world? Is it a competing source of magic?

I mean come on! That's plot hooks for miles!

Quote:
It's always possible to come up with some lousy excuse to have any character concept anyone wants in the game. If nothing else you can fall back on the old "I fell through a portal". It doesn't mean it's a good idea in any particular game. There may be a reason I wanted wizards as bad guys and not as PCs. The other players may be completely on board with the idea and breaking it may hurt their fun too, not just my perfect little world.

Don't come up with lousy excuses. Come up with interesting explanations!

Did the goddess of magic secret away a bit of her power before she was imprisoned, that the party wizard stumbled upon? Is there a shadow war between two sources of magic, and one of them has imprisoned the other (and is secretly manipulating the party wizard into thinking he is the goddess' chosen champion)? Has the universe itself seen fit to correct the cosmic imbalance created by magic's absence by instilling a spark of arcane energy in a hapless human?

There is material here, man.

Is literally any character concept going to be workable in a given setting? No, of course not. Some are so far beyond the pale as to be unmanageable. But your scenario here is a prime example of a concept that is totally workable (not to mention loads more interesting than your typical character concept) but that a DM wasn't willing to work with at all.

When I say "Make it work," I'm not saying that you have to either make it work or give up on the game entirely. I'm saying that you ought to make a genuine, concerted effort to carve out a place for that concept in your world, and that a lot of what I'm seeing here is DMs making excuses for why they shouldn't have to even do that.

One of the measures of a DM's strength (in my eyes) is how often he can take a situation where other DMs might say, "No," and turn it into a situation where he can instead say, "Yes, but..."


thejeff wrote:
But just go on assuming it all always the GM's fault and it's probably some deep ugly motivation behind him not letting you play whatever your latest brilliant concept is.

I don't assume that it is always the GM's fault. Did I say that I did, somewhere?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
DrDeth wrote:
I did a game where the Wizards are the Bad Guys. Hard to play a wizard then, eh?

Make.

It.

Work.

You are perfectly capable of this. No, it won't ruin your campaign. It will take probably five minutes for you to come up with a short, plausible, plot-hook-laden explanation for why the PC is who he is.

Yes, even if he's playing a wizard in a world where wizards are all bad guys.

Arguably the most famous, well-loved D&D character of all time is a drow in a setting where I can totally picture someone sitting behind the DM screen with a scowl saying, "No, you can't play a drow. All of the drow are Bad Guys."


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Sissyl wrote:

If someone suggested a generic, kitchen sink campaign where they did not intend to make a coherent plotline, deal with NPCs, keep track of combat, etc, I would be solidly uninterested in playing in that game. I would quite honestly get so much more out of playing WOW, Diablo 3, Guild Wars 2, or any computer "rpg". Sure, I would get the chance to play a psionic elf cyberninja catgirl if that was what I wanted... but what for? Rolling the dice to kill one level-appropriate encounter after the other? Watching my PECC increase in levels, so she can take on slightly tougher (but still level-appropriate) encounters? Sorry. No harsh words if anyone gets their jollies from that, but it isn't for me anymore. I want a chance to play a character who learns, interacts, has emotions and relationships to people, and so on. Stats are necessary, but need to be held from consuming all the play time.

It is not a crime to make your character fit the campaign. If you don't want to do that, well, maybe you are more comfortable settling the campaign viewpoints of a group wanting to play a human tourist, a space marine, a my little pony, a xenophobic fremen, and a flumph.

I think we need to kill this myth. Right now.

Accommodating player character concepts that you haven't previously made room for in your campaign does not require that you turn your campaign setting into a "generic, kitchen sink campaign." You do not face the daunting task of making your campaign setting so all-encompassing that any concept has a place.

I will repeat, again, because this has been said before but there are still people repeating nonsense about how boring a world that accommodates PC concepts would be.

You do not have to carve out millions of pieces of your campaign setting to accommodate the entire gamut of hypothetical PC concepts.

You have to carve out four to six. (And, in practice, maybe one or two; most of your players will probably come without particularly strong or unique concepts, and will be happy to find an existing place for the.)

If altering four to six pieces of your incredibly interesting campaign setting threatens to turn it into something so generic you would literally rather be playing Diablo, maybe your incredibly interesting campaign setting wasn't as interesting as you thought.


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Aranna wrote:
But I disagree about one line "Other DMs are missing that intent entirely" There is NO OTHER REASON to GM a game than to create a fun experience for your group.

No other valid reason.

That doesn't mean there is no other reason.

Quote:
The only real danger here lay with GMs who don't consider ALL the players as part of his group, relegating them to temps or extras who exist simply to fill in the roster. But this seems to be common ONLY online. But even then these GMs have a core set of players they DO try to make a fun game for.

I think you're glossing over a couple of motivations for DMing - not particularly attractive motivations, but ones that rear their ugly heads once in a while all the same. If you've never had to deal with those situations, that's great. You're fortunate.


By the way, it might appear to those reading that deinol is agreeing with some of what I (and a few others) are saying.

That isn't quite correct.

deinol is responsible for running a number of long-lived games that I played in for years, and his DMing style certainly rubbed off on me more than a little.

It would be much more accurate to say that, where we agree, it's simply me nodding my head at what he's been practicing ably for ages now.


Aranna wrote:

You know this whole player vs GM thing is silly right?

The GM sets the house rules and setting... true but remember he is doing so with the intent to make a fun experience for the players.

That's merely an ideal.

Some DMs have that intent, but make poor choices in practice.

Other DMs are missing that intent entirely.


thejeff wrote:
1) Isn't that essentially what 15 years of 3.x/PF taking power from the GM and pushing it towards the player have already done?

Not quite. 3.5 et al were big on creating well-defined rules for a wide range of conceivable situations, which meant that the rules for resolving specific types of conflict were suddenly known to both players and DMs (where, previously, the DM would be expected to adjudicate on the fly, making it impossible for the players to be aware of the underlying logic unless the DM chose to explain it).

That's not really what we're talking about here. We're talking about agency - how much say the players have versus how much say the DM has when it comes to the game world. Should players have the ability to (with the DM's guidance) carve out tiny pieces of the game world to accommodate their character concepts? Should DMs have total control over the game world, and require that players find a concept that already exists in that setting?

Quote:
2) Do people really get excited about new character concepts and then go to the table to find out what the setting/campaign is going to be?

Yes.

Quote:
This is completely foreign to me.

Does this have something to do with the play format you are accustomed to? There are many different types of player. One of those types is the sort that falls in lust with a character concept, and seeks opportunities to play that concept in a fantasy game.

If you need some perspective on this, I'd say it's about as frequent a desire as the DM who is enchanted with the idea of seeing his personal setting concept used in a game, and is less concerned about what players are at the table.

Quote:
You really come up with characters completely without GM input or any idea where the campaign's going to be set or what it's going to be like?

Me, personally? Yes. Not all the time, but it happens - if I read a sourcebook and something strikes my fancy, for instance. Or if I read or watch some piece of fiction and think it would be interesting to play that out.

Quote:
Edit: And I fully agree btw that anything that's easily changed or accommodated should be. I suspect though that we have differences in how we define easily, which may partly be due to differences in GM style. From other posts, I suspect you consider "easily" to cover pretty much anything.

I do. Experience has taught me that an honest attempt to pinpoint an interesting way of enabling a character concept in a given setting is nearly always successful - oftentimes the first "niche" I come across requires some superficial reskinning of the character concept, but I've never had a player so "No" to those kinds of minor changes.


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thejeff wrote:
So, despite a bunch of people posting here about there accommodating GMs. Despite some players, like me, saying they're fine with restrictions. Despite many talking about how they would usually compromise, but on somethings it just won't work. Despite me personally having seen more games collapse due to the GM not enforcing his initial strictures than the reverse.

Yes, despite all those things.

Quote:
You think the solution is 10 years of players getting whatever they want and GM's changing whatever they had in mind to the player's slightest whim?

Not whatever they want. I just want 10 years of the DM bending first. Bending; not breaking. I won't get that, of course, but I think it would be good for the hobby.

Quote:
I don't know. Maybe I'm weird. I never come to a table wedded to a particular character concept, much less a particular build. I'm usually looking to the GMs description of the setting and campaign for clues as to what will fit into the game.

That's not weird, just like coming to the table excited to play a new character concept and then being disappointed when the DM shoots it down over an easily changed setting concern isn't weird.

I think that part of the reason that portions of the gaming community see DMs banning easily-accommodated character concepts as normal is that we've been acclimated over decades to the idea that the DM "deserves" to have his way and that player concerns come second.


knightnday wrote:
Yes, I keep seeing that in these threads. And I keep saying "Both of you should be bending." No one has to give up 100 percent of their ground, but should be meeting in the middle. Or maybe just find better/other people to play with. I've run across maybe a handful of people over the years that just wouldn't alter the game or their character -- a far smaller number than the boards seem to indicate are roaming the lands. Maybe I am special or just darn lucky.

We'll go with that explanation.

The problem with the "everyone should compromise" is that it gives DMs an excuse to say, "You first." We should be past that. DMs bear a responsibility to move this hobby forward. So let's have the DMs start bending first. Think we can do that for the next ten years? Then we can consider revisiting the possibility of both sides bending in unison.


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knightnday wrote:
To address the above from Mr. Betts: Everything you said could be reversed to address the player rather than the GM.

My point exactly!

See, usually this is leveled at the player. Almost invariably, in fact! The DM controls the setting and the players must work to accommodate that in their character design. Rarely, if ever, does the DM humble himself to accommodate the player characters in his setting design.

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Adapt. Compromise.

I often push that everyone should talk things out before characters are created to try to make the game a happy place. The GM can work with the player to try to incorporate their ideas and dreams, if you will, into the game.

The player should do the same, however. If your concept is so fragile that you cannot play without it, what happens when something in game damages or changes it?

Wouldn't it be cool if DMs did this sometimes? I think it would be really cool.

You know what else I think would be cool? If DMs would lose the knee-jerk reactions they have to players "demanding" that their character design being accommodated, as though the DM's setting is worth a truckload of invalidated character concepts. That would just be swell.

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If there is only way that you can have fun and things must bend to accommodate you or else you are basically going to not play and possibly make it so the others cannot play, why is letting you have your way a fair trade?

Are you just as willing to apply this criticism to DMs?

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Compromise isn't a one way street. Adapting isn't just for GMs.

Just for DMs? In my experience, compromise (when it involves changing the setting, even in minor ways) is almost never for DMs.

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This? This is an irritating statement. There are realities in a fantasy game -- The ones you create. Novels and material for fantasy usually have in universe rules and realities that the characters abide by.

If you can change it at a whim - like you can do in any roleplaying game - it isn't a reality. You need to understand that. This should be a trivial statement to accept - there are no realities in a fantasy game. If you are having trouble accepting that, there can be no communication between us. As a DM, if I say something is true for my world, it is true for my world - right up until the moment I say that it is no longer true for my world.

The conversation goes something like:

Player: "I want to play a Gworf."
DM: "You can't play a Gworf. Gworfs don't go adventuring. That's just a reality of the setting."
Player: "Why is it a reality of the setting?"
DM: "Because I said so."
Player: "But can't you just say otherwise, right now? Maybe this Gworf is different."
DM: "No. Stop acting so entitled. Am I going to need to remove you from this game?"

Note that last line isn't an exaggeration - there have been posts in this thread suggesting that an acceptable solution to this issue is to remove the player from the game, before the DM altering his setting in any significant way is even considered.

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If you and yours enjoy free form chaos, that's great.

Is this what you believe? That either the game world must contain immutable realities or the game world is "free form chaos"? I certainly hope that this was just hyperbole on your part.


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Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
I tend to agree. If the GM spent the time making a campaign, which will take months or even years to do, and is going to take the time prepping every week, spending probably double the time than a player does at least, the player can make something that fits the setting.

Or the DM can make some changes.

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As others have pointed out, if your more off the cuff that's one thing. But when I spend a year creating a homebrew, none of my players say "why can't I be a tiefling, who cares if the world has been cut off from the planes for 1000 years". They know there are the 16 races which already are reflected in the campaign world. Having to reconstruct 200 pages of lore to accommodate one player is asinine, and that player is being a serious jerk IMO.

Nah, you won't have to reconstruct 200 pages of lore. Don't be so ridiculously dramatic. You'll have to make an exception for the player. Yay, it's a mystery! You should be so lucky as to have all your players throw your such convenient and interesting hooks.

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I have dozens of pc ideas i can try, if ones not going to fly at one table just pick another one.

Lucky you. That doesn't mean your players should have to do the same.


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thejeff wrote:
There's a difference between sacrificing the purity of your headcanon and sacrificing the main plot of the campaign. If the plot of the campaign is about finding out what happened to the catpeople, then depending on what the answer to that is, having a player be the last remaining cat person might or might not work. You might have to throw away the entire backplot of your campaign to make it work.

Nah.

I have literally never seen that be the case. Most DMs don't have anywhere near that level of organization at play. Most who think they do will end up revising the plot in significant ways a hundred times before the big reveal.

What I'm seeing here is a whole lot of people saying, "Why even try? It's not the DM's job to facilitate the wants of a given player." And I'll be frank: that's as badwrongfun an attitude as it gets.

If it's literally impossible to find a creative way to accommodate your player, fine. I'd be skeptical, but whatever. You gave it your best shot.

But I don't want to hear that excuse until you've tried every creative trick in the book. The preservation of your personal vision is not worth so much more than theirs that you get to laugh this off as player entitlement.

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More importantly, it's a bad sign. It's one player saying "I don't care what you've proposed for the campaign." To which the simple response would be "Why do you want to play in it then?" Maybe the answer is kick that player out. Maybe it's ditch the campaign idea and run something more generic. Maybe it's time for someone else to run something. Maybe the campaign idea can be stretched to accommodate.

Your last answer should have been your first.

That player isn't saying, "I don't care what you've proposed for the campaign." What a narrow-minded way of looking at the situation! Do you really think that a player who wants to see his own character concept come to life really doesn't care about the campaign you've proposed?

I could just as easily flip it around - how would you like it if I played this off as the DM saying, "I don't care what you want your character to be like."

Rein it in.

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Even when the only problem is "sacrificing the holy inviolate purity of your personal fantasy world headcanon, which no one except you really cared about anyway", if the GM stops caring about the game, the game dies.

The DM has utter control over the game world. If his setting is so fragile that stretching it to accommodate a single player's character concept would destroy his enjoyment, that campaign is doomed. Because that character concept is nothing compared to what happens when players start interacting with the campaign concept directly.

Mind you, I don't think anyone's campaign concept is that fragile. I think that most DMs (who run their own, custom setting) vastly over-imagine how critical every aspect of their setting is to the overall value of the campaign.

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So that's kind of important. Obviously it can be taken too far, but so can the idea that all campaigns must be generic kitchen sink games with every possible option available for players.

It doesn't need to be a kitchen sink. It doesn't need to accommodate every possible character concept. It needs to accommodate four to six.


Usual Suspect wrote:
TheMonocleRogue wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
Occasionally fudging die rolls, and reserving the right to roll behind a screen while requiring players to roll openly

This is the pinnacle of DM douchebaggery, when you care more about your campaign than that of the PCs success.

Impressive. You do realize that you just called about 80% of the people posting in this thread douchebags; right? Good job.

Consider that there is a difference between seeing an action as "douchebaggy" and considering a person to be a douchebag.

Is that your defense, though?


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Hama wrote:
No, if the cat people are all gone, they are all freaking gone.

Sure they are - right up until the moment the DM realizes that his player's enjoyment of the game would increase measurably if he would merely adjust his game's setting ever-so-slightly to accommodate it.

"If they're gone, they're gone!" is a statement that reflects a reality. There are no realities in a fantasy roleplaying game. The DM is utterly free to change the setting at a whim.

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So when I wanted to play a gnome summoner in my friend's game, he told me that the gnomes were extinct. So I changed it to an elf. I don't get players who get butthurt over something being banned and taking it personally. Adapt for Pete's sake.

Here's a radical notion for you: The DM should adapt.

Why?

Because once the game starts, the DM controls 99% of the game world - everything beyond the fingertips of the player characters. The DM already has an incredible agency advantage over any given player. It's trivial for him to accommodate a request like that.

You should consider re-examining why your reaction was, "Adapt for Pete's sake." It reflects what is, in my opinion, a really unhealthy perspective on the relationship between a DM and players - people who are, ostensibly, friends trying to enjoy a collaborative game experience.


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Terquem wrote:

The one I have the biggest problem understanding is why it would be "bad" to restrict some player options because of the setting

DM Bob: Okay, guys and gals, this adventure centers around the party searching out the clues to the mystery of why the world no longer has "Cat-People," okay, so what are you thinking?

Player Steve: I am going to create a Cat-person

DM Bob: Steve I just said the world has no cat-people, it's the whole theme of this adventure

Player Steve: Flips table and kicks chair - damn self righteous old school bastard doesn't understand how the game is supposed to be played

Not to encourage the I'm-The-Uniquest-And-Most-Special mentality of PC creation, but I think you could probably figure out a way to make your game more interesting by having the last remaining cat-person be part of the party searching for the reason the rest disappeared. Don't you think so?

A lot of DMs get it in their heads that their game is going to have a certain few immutable characteristics. That's silly. Each of your players is roughly 20% of the reason you all are gathering to play the game. You can accommodate them - and, at worst, you're merely sacrificing the holy inviolate purity of your personal fantasy world headcanon, which no one except you really cared about anyway.

The exception, of course, is game balance - if one player's choices are going to dramatically upstage everyone else at the table to such an extent that the "spotlight" time is skewed overmuch in their direction, you should consider having them tone it back.


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Jaelithe wrote:
Occasionally fudging die rolls, and reserving the right to roll behind a screen while requiring players to roll openly

I don't ever do this. First, from personal experience, it can lead to players questioning the legitimacy of the DM, which can cheapen the experience (in either direction, depending on the level of "PC-friendliness" of your DM). It also heightens the tension - the players know that I don't know the outcome either. All die rolls are made out in the open, unless what's happening is actually secret (Stealth checks for unseen creatures, for instance).

This is a trick. It makes the players believe that the game's outcome is truly in the hands of their decisions and the outcome of die rolls. That's an illusion. I still retain control of the game, and have a chest of tools I can use to alter the game's outcome without needing the dice to turn out in my favor (or against my favor).

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Employing prominent NPCs/GMPCs

GMPCs? No, not unless I have no other option. I'm not there to get my jollies off in my own world. I'm there to see how players react to it and to make their experience a good one.

The players and their characters are the most important thing in the game world.

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Disallowing (or even placing restrictions of any kind on) full casters

Never. This is the sort of thing I can only see being conscionable if the DM is truly a novice, and doesn't feel comfortable dealing with the mild curveballs that full casters sometimes throw.

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Enforcing alignment in clear and definitive fashion

Alignment is descriptive. Not prescriptive. Always. There is nothing to "enforce".

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Imposing an objective morality on paladins, such as disallowing prevarication for selfish gain, torture, baby- (including baby monster) killing and casual sex as inherently evil and/or chaotic

Objective morality is uninteresting, and leads to intra-party conflict. Intra-party conflict is the game-killer.

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Not providing the "required"/desired magical paraphernalia on schedule

If the game's mechanics are predicated on a loose adherence to a set of progression guidelines, I will follow those guidelines. Your DM freedom is not being constrained by this. If you feel it is, you need to find a different way to flex your creativity. Hint: It probably shouldn't involve you making your players feel like they're being deprived, or being punished.

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Believing the DM's role is benevolent autocrat rather than either gleeful tyrant or impotent fantasy tour guide

This I absolutely agree with, though my experience is that this is more a "new school" trait than just about anything on this list.

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Refusal to permit evil (or even chaotic neutral) PCs

I discourage evil PCs, and any players who do run evil PCs need to agree (out of game) to make a special effort to find a way to align their goals with the party's goals.

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Disallowing classes that violate the campaign's established and specific tone

There is no such thing. You can figure out a way to find a place for that class or race in your campaign. I have faith in you.

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Laying the smack down, hard, on abusive meta-gaming

I'm not sure what "hard" means here, but in my experience the idea of "abusive" metagaming is much overplayed.

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Requiring immersive role-play rather than simple recitation of mechanics

It isn't my job as DM to dictate to my players how they enjoy their character and their place in the game. If they don't want to participate heavily in character-based social interaction, that's fine.

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Taking control of PCs who refuse to role-play honestly when charmed, dominated, etc.

This doesn't seem like something anyone would object to, or that anyone would term particularly "old school". I mean, what's the alternative? Let the player act like their character is unaffected? Does anyone allow that? Ever?

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Retaining control over magical weapons, cohorts, mounts, animal companions, eidolons, etc.

Yeah, because that's what DMs need. More control over the game world. Unrestrained power to shape the world and story, but you'll be damned if you let one of your players control his own pony's action! Heck, I take it a step further - I retain control of all PCs' right arms; you know, just in case.


Kthulhu wrote:
Why are you arbitrarily limiting your picks to American software companies. There's plenty of software companies in other countries that could make great Golarion's games (a more accurate description, given that they can't really make games using the Pathfinder system).

I was naming companies that I felt could do a proper Pathfinder traditional-ish CRPG treatment. If we're discussing a different sort of game entirely, the picture changes.

Here's another way of looking at this: Paizo has a licensing arrangement with Obsidian. The question to ask is "Why Obsidian?" If you (general "you", not you specifically, Kthulhu) think the answer is, "Because they wanted to make a tablet CCG with existing art assets and mechanics that have already been built and balanced," you probably need to reexamine things.


Aranna wrote:
First off Scott, Rynjin, and Kthulhu they are probably going to be busy doing their MMO, this card game, and that kickstarter game for a few years and then it will take time after that to make a CRPG... a lot can change in that amount of time.

Their MMO is quite far along, and Pillars of Eternity ("that kicktarter game") is slated for release in a few months. Their team is more than capable of handling more than one project at a time.

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Secondly Scott I hope you are right and that they have left behind the business model where they failed to give support for games (whoever is at fault); but they haven't yet been able to demonstrate that.

Woah, hold on. You can level plenty of criticism at Obsidian, but failing to give support? NWN2 and FO:NV both received huge amounts of post-release support, and those are probably their most significant titles to date.

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Remember this isn't a huge software house and they are now working on at least three games, will they be willing to support titles after release even with limited manpower?

Obsidian is big enough to have multiple teams, I believe. Yes, they are working on three games. That's very manageable. Games require different levels of attention from different groups at different stages of the development process.

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As for a CRPG:

So far Obsidian is known best for doing installments of other peoples games; it remains to be seen if they can handle one as complicated as a CRPG all on their own from scratch. I will give them credit for having some solid experience in the field but I still worry about support.

I'm not sure what you mean by "other peoples games". Obsidian is responsible for KotOR 2, NWN 2, FO:NV, South Park: Stick of Truth, and Alpha Protocol. This is a spectrum of RPGs with different levels of creative input (NWN 2 was an existing franchise with a new engine, FO:NV was an existing franchise with an existing engine, South Park was the first translation of the franchise into RPG form, and Alpha Protocol was an entirely original game).

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Bioware would have been the best choice for a Pathfinder CRPG, they are proven leaders in CRPGs.

InXile I am unfamiliar with their work. And they seem rather busy with Kickstarter stuff themselves.

CD Projekt basically did Witcher... You are right they could probably handle a Pathfinder CRPG well.

You don't sound very sure of Larian yourself. They did Divinity which I haven't played.

I haven't played Divinity either, but I've heard very positive things about it from people who are picky about their CRPGs.

Bioware is obviously the strongest choice, but it simply isn't a good deal from Bioware's end - they own multiple juggernaut RPG franchises, and have no real reason to shackle themselves to someone else's world (Pathfinder) when they could simply be trading on the wild popularity of their own settings (the exception, of course, being when the other guys' world is even more wildly popular, like Star Wars).

I also should have noted originally that CD Projekt doesn't really qualify as one of my five, since they're not based in the States.


Aranna wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Aranna wrote:

Obsidian? That's too bad.

I haven't been very impressed with their support for their games.

There are perhaps five houses in the country capable of doing a Pathfinder CRPG justice.

Obsidian is one of them.

Oh? What five are those?

And you seem confused, this is a tablet card game not a CRPG.

I'm not confused. A tablet CCG is their first Pathfinder project, but not their only Pathfinder project. Given Obsidian's history, it would be silly to think they're not giving serious treatment to a Pathfinder CRPG title. In fact, I'm kind of counting on it.

Other houses that I wager could produce a respectable Pathfinder CRPG: Bioware, inXile, CD Projekt, maaaaaybe Larian. I may be forgetting one or two.


JoelF847 wrote:
Also, if a game is put out for a publisher, rather than directly by the developers, then the support for the game is often determined by the publisher - if they won't pay for it, they don't get it. Often the developer wants to support a game and their publisher won't let them.

This is why Obsidian has recently been going the Kickstarter route - they've been burned (rather infamously) by publisher demands and support in the past few years. I don't blame them for wanting to kick that model to the curb.


Aranna wrote:

Obsidian? That's too bad.

I haven't been very impressed with their support for their games.

There are perhaps five houses in the country capable of doing a Pathfinder CRPG justice.

Obsidian is one of them.


Hama wrote:
Being good at another game helping you be good at this one should be criticised?

Only in the sense that if you enjoy the process of learning a new mechanical system (like the game's combat system) that learning process won't really be there. There's a sort of satisfaction that comes with taking on that kind of challenge and coming out on top, but a small portion of the game's player base is coming into the game with that mastery already in place.

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