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Sheriff Belor Hemolock

Scott Betts's page

Goblin Squad Member. 7,017 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Enpeze wrote:
again one of these realtime games? No thank you, I am not interested. When do they bring out a turnbased rpg like pool of radiance?

Like PoR? Never, I'd wager. The game is nearly 30 years old, and there are precious few people willing to go back to that kind of pointless frustration. It was wonderful for its time, but that's about it.

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THAT was a good game, not this realtime crap.

The Baldur's Gate series and Planescape: Torment were crap? Come on, man.


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"This is a roleplaying game, not a rollplaying game."

I mean, wow, what an observation.

I think this thread would have been off to a better start if you hadn't come out the gates talking about how "munchkins and minmaxers" poison the game.


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Ganryu wrote:
But pausing the action still makes you lose control. Another player having the ability to pause the game will by definition cause you to lose control.

Of what, exactly? What did you have control of before the pause that you no longer have control of after the pause?

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The game will get stuck in one state thanks to the input of one singular player.

Sort of a silly way of looking at things, isn't it? It's not "stuck" in one state. It's paused. It's no more "stuck" than if someone else was taking their turn in a turn-based game (and substantially less so, since typically people only pause if they have something they actually need to do during pause-time).

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Yes you can still issue commands but that doesn't mean you don't lose control. You lose control of the flow of time.

You didn't have control of the flow of time before (except for the ability to pause). Outside of pause-time, time moves at a constant speed in the game. You could anticipate its movement, but that doesn't give you control over it any more than my knowing it's going to rain tomorrow gives me control over the weather. And there are only two things that can happen to affect that anticipation: 1) the game is paused without warning, which doesn't harm you in any way; and 2) the game is unpaused without warning, which is confusing and sometimes bad, but parties very quickly learn to warn the group when the game is going to unpause. And it leads to some pretty cool looking coordinated moments when you unpause and every party members carries out their assigned actions in concert.

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It's very possible that the impact of this is massively lessened by voice chat, though.

It is. And voice chat is pretty ubiquitous nowadays.

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It's possible it works better in practice than in theory. In theory it is absolutely idiotic.

I think you're being overly harsh, especially if you haven't ever tried it. It really does work pretty well, and actually keeps the game moving at a good clip. Most of the time, the game being paused is a relief, giving you a moment to breathe during hectic real-time action.


Quote:
Will the camera be able to rotate, move and zoom in and out? Absolutely, and in single player you’ll be able to pause with the spacebar and issue tactics old school!

This line makes it sound like single player mode will feature real-time-with-pause, while multiplayer will simply be real-time (though I think it's probably likely that the "DM" will retain the ability to pause the action in multiplayer, too).


Ganryu wrote:
This is not the case in a realtime scenario with pausing. In such a scenario, as the other players control your flow, you have no sense of control. Whenever any other player pauses, it will stop the gameplay for EVERYONE. And then when they unpause you need some system to indicate that the system is actually unpausing,

You mean kind of like the same voice chat that turn-based requires?

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In a turn based system EVERYTHING is under your control. You do not have to fear losing control because some other player pauses the game.

You don't lose "control" because a player pauses. You still retain the ability to assign commands to your character during pause-time. It just pauses the action, that's all.

Out of curiosity, how many of the people criticizing real-time-with-pause gameplay have actually put significant time into Infinity Engine multiplayer games? Or Neverwinter Nights on a small server with pausing allowed?


thejeff wrote:
Doesn't the pause part introduce exactly the same problems as the turn based? Waiting for the other players to unpause and do their thing? Perhaps less often, but also less predictably.

In practice, no. One of the key factors here is that during pause-time all players are allowed to manage their characters. Every so often you have to wait a few seconds for the spellcasters to finish assigning their actions, but it's often a welcome break from the chaos of real-time combat, even when playing a melee character.


Ganryu wrote:
Actually no. Turn based works perfectly for online multiplayer games.

No, it really doesn't - at least, not for a party-based adventuring game like this. It creates creates spaces of non-action for most of the players, constantly. And not the good kind, either, where you're in suspense about what move your opponent will make. Instead, it's the kind where you just wish the party sorcerer would pick a buff to cast already, or the rogue would decide exactly what route to take to backstab the target. It takes one of the worst aspects of actual tabletop roleplaying games - waiting for the rest of your party to take a turn - and needlessly preserves and transfers it into the digital space.

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Each player acts on their turn. Very easy to program. Very easy to design.

The issue has nothing to do with complexity of development, and everything to do with playability.

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During non-combat situations, movement could still be realtime, though.

So you've hit problem number 1 (of many): you now force a demarcation between combat and non-combat actions.

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The REAL problem is when the game is realtime with pausing during combat.

Your turn to explain why this is problematic.


Jester David wrote:
Funny thing... the first video game (a chess game done by Turring) predates pong by a good 25 years.

It wasn't much of a game - it couldn't play a full game of chess - and didn't involve any video at all.

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Video games are nearing their 70th anniversary.

I'm of the school of thought that we can't really start calling them "video games" until we start seeing self-updating graphical displays. The first example of note is probably Spacewar! but I've heard that there may have been a handful of game-like programs using vector displays that people were tinkering with even prior to 1962. I think we're much closer to being able to say that we'll be coming up on video gaming's 55th anniversary in a couple of years.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
It's disappointing how ubiquitous multiplayer computer games have become. Aren't there any antisocial teenagers left in the world? :(

Between Shadowrun Returns, Torment: Tides of Numenera, Pillars of Eternity, and the Mass Raise Dead some secret cabal of clerics performed on the entire 2.5D single player RPG genre two years ago, you're actually in incredibly good shape. There hasn't been this much industry attention paid to creating rich non-first-person, single-player-only RPG experiences in a decade.


The Rot Grub wrote:
I'm not sure how real-time with pause would work in multiplayer. Maybe if everyone declares their action at the beginning of a round, and then each round plays out after exiting pause?

It would work the same way it works in any of the Infinity Engine games' multiplayer modes. Each player is assigned a set of permissions (can they initiate conversations with NPCs? can they manipulate other people's inventory? can they pause the game?) and whenever someone with permission to pause the game hits the pause button, the game pauses for everyone, and the same player has to unpause the game to continue. Typically you will want to give the party leader the ability to pause the game, and oftentimes spellcasters should have the ability to pause as well. Now, Sword Coast Legends might simply give all players the ability to pause, but my point is that this is a problem that the industry solved nearly two decades ago.


"Turn-based" creates some real issues with multiplayer video games. Not insurmountable issues, but issues that can be easily avoided by making it real-time with pausing. The idea of "turns" in board games exists to make adjudication of the game simpler. This isn't necessary in a video game - the details are handled behind the scenes, by the game itself. There are some advantages in using it in single-player tactical games (it slows the pace of the game down and gives the player time to think), but those advantages become headaches in a multiplayer environment, where some players are made to wait while others make decisions.


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SmiloDan wrote:
Someone I game with. I don't know where he heard it.

Sorry, then. It sounds like you and your gaming buddy are the victims of rumor mill churn. A quick Google search shows nothing regarding plans for a brand new setting.


Did you hear about this happening? What's your source?


Samy wrote:
Got the game working...feels like an MMO without other players around...tons of empty fedex and kill x quests with little cinematic or characterization content. Dead tired of hunting down fade rifts, astrariums, landmarks, ingredients, shards, just friggin' number counters at the side of the screen ticking upwards and I don't learn anything new about my character or their companions, never get any cool cinematics. Another damn hiking simulator like Skyrim.

You should spend some time in Skyhold.


Samy wrote:
Got it for Christmas but turns out I can't run it because it requires quad core. Oh well.

Read the description of this video. It contains a link and instructions for using a utility called Extreme Injector that appears to be allowing many people with dual core machines to run Dragon Age: Inquisition. You might consider giving that a try. Regardless, you should probably slate a CPU upgrade for sometime in the not-too-distant future.


To be frank, you're going to be very limited in what you can accomplish with any tool set that does not require you to write code of any kind. Even things that may sound superficially trivial to you (causing a "charmed" condition a certain percent of the time when hit by a specific attack) is very likely something that would need new code to be written to make it functional.

I have good news for you, though: Learning to write code is something that you can do.

Note that I didn't say it was easy to learn to write code, and that's because it isn't easy. It requires you to learn a new way of thinking about things. But that's really cool! Learning to approach problems from a different perspective is the sort of skill that makes you a more effective person at just about everything, so even if you don't expect to be writing code professionally, you will see it pay off in other ways.

http://www.codecademy.com/ is a good place to start. Don't be daunted by the wide array of programming languages out there. Pick one and learn it (JavaScript or Python are good choices). Once you've become fluent in one language, picking up a new language is actually pretty easy! (most use the same underlying set of object-oriented programming principles)

Coding is a very unique skill set in that it is a) in incredibly high demand, b) can be learned on one's own time, for free, c) lets you do some pretty awesome things, and d) proficiency can land you a job that pays very well (though if you're pursuing the latter I'd suggest enrolling in a bachelor program at a university).


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.


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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.

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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?


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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!"


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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!


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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?


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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.

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