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Yeah, keep ignoring what I say, put words in my mouth, make s***f posts, and ridicule me. After all, I must be a bad GM, oversensitive and probably retarded if I think GMPCs are a problem, right?
To sum up, GMPCs are never a problem, unless used by a bad GM, indeed every campaign should have them. Anyone who doesn't agree should just show where the bad GM touched their character sheet. Enjoy your thread.
Morzadian: Not condemning anyone, as you can see. Merely stating the obvious, that all the people involved in churches that (say) condemn homosexuals have choices to make. Demand and effect change, or leave, or carry their part of responsibility for what the church does. Huge organizations are rarely a good thing. This is one of the reasons.
I believe the Bible is clear about it: (sorry about translation here) By their fruit you shall know them. Or otherwise put: What someone does is what tells you who they are.
The Green Tea Gamer wrote:
And going by their internal merits, all the Abrahamitic religions are a) in favour of slavery, b) in favour of cruel and excessive punishments even for things that should in no way be punished, c) in favour of detailed and extensive moralistic rules for every aspect of life. This is simply by the texts. If you instead go by what their respective power structures (churches) have done, the situation doesn't get much better. In some cases, unbelievably worse.
Some Abrahamitic followers are good examples of what humanity should be like. When they are, they are so DESPITE what the books say and what the power structures say. Faith yes, religion no.
When you play as a player, you invest emotionally in the character. You want things to go well for the character. You want to stop things from going bad for him/her. This emotional investment is a major part of the reason for the emotional payoff for playing the game. It works a lot like when you cheer for a sports team, I believe. This also makes you see the character in a brighter light than others do, and anyone working against your character will become more sinister than others would see them as. This is why conflicts between characters so often ramp up into the real world also, and why they become so difficult to solve. In short, the emotional investment in a character is both the thrill and many of the problems with playing the game. A big part of playing a PC is that you are allowed to be in the spotlight of the campaign, to change things in the world, to unapologetically fight toward your goals, and to live larger than life.
GMs are by no means immune to this. The GM's job is to provide a setting for the game, and various schools of thought put various focus on different parts (setting, plot, intrigue, whatever) of the gaming experience. As part of this job, they provide other characters the PCs can interact with. These characters are parts of the setting, nota bene, meaning they have a specific purpose for being there. This can be as people driving some plotline, people to act as obstacles, people who add local colour to a place, people who aid the PCs, and so on. Generally, conventional wisdom is taken to say that all these people should be played by the GM in accordance with their goals, their personalities, their capabilities, and their situation. None of this makes one of them a GMPC. A GMPC is CERTAINLY not just a character traveling with the PCs.
But when a GM wants the thrill of playing his/her own PC... a lot of this breaks down. The GM becomes invested in the specific character. It takes part of the spotlight, yes, but that is a minor problem, compared to the rest of it: The GMPC, with the emotional investment of the omnipotent GM, will invariably (in my experience, this is an absolute) become the real focus of the game. The temptation IS too strong. A mature GM will realize the problems with it, and refrain from using GMPCs. There is, of course, nothing wrong with providing allied NPCs for the party, but what truly sets these apart from GMPCs IS the lack of emotional investment of the GM. Ways to make sure they don't end up as GMPCs are: Giving them a rather short-term goal ending in departure, a new short-term goal or death, keeping them in the shadow of the PCs, and all the other suggestions that have been provided. An allied NPC is supposed to be as personally important to the GM as the bugbear chieftain in the bandit camp over there, at least if the chieftain is played decently.
When people see it done well, they see an allied NPC. When not done well, they see a GMPC.
Manliness is about attitude, words you choose, and style, not just actions. That said, delivering massive falling damage to someone by hitting them from orbit is pretty manly too.
So is beating the enemy to death with your own severed arm, before dying of blood loss.
So is drowning the enemy in your blood after he chopped off all your extremities.
So is launching yourself as a catapult stone at an enemy.
So is wrestling a gargantuan monstrosity to a mutual spiky death.
And so on...
The argument "players will not give you feedback about stuff they don't like unless it really stinks" is a good answer to the most frequent pro argument, "I have done it for ages and never gotten any complaints about it". Again, some people REALLY want to use GMPCs, and will grab onto any excuse to do so. Too few players (restructure encounters), nobody wants to play a cleric (make it more attractive to do so or add in systems for managing without one), the PCs need background or plot information (find other ways to do it and make the players enjoy those parts of your campaign), etc etc etc etc etc etc etc... All of these explanations are excuses for people who want to use GMPCs. The truth is, so long as the GM is impartial toward the NPC and ready to throw it under the bus, there are no problem with GMPCs... Because then there ARE no GMPCs. Forget that and there will be trouble.
We wouldn't have police forces, not really. We would have people that could harass the small-time crooks a bit, but if there is a heavy hitter causing trouble? The powers that be would immediately start looking for a wandering, heavily armed, psychopathic team of mass murderers that could "deal with" the criminal. They would reimburse said team handsomely, giving them several lifetimes' worth of money for a normal worker for the deed. However, if the psychopaths would even hint at trying to avoid paying their taxes, there are no lengths the ruler would not go to to bring that money in. Supposedly, there needs to be a cash inflow to be able to afford the next murderhobo team strike.
A good way to fight the Spanish slug, an invasive species in large parts of Europe and sporadically spotted in the US, is to take a regular plastic bottle, cut off the top and tape it inside the bottom upside-down, pour some beer into it, and wait for the garden-destroying mollusks to drown themselves.
Indeed. But what I find fascinating is how quickly the invading spanish slugs have adapted to the Swedish climate. When they first came here in the late 90s, it was massively everywhere. Since then, it has become far more of a modest threat. Turns out enormous fertility and aggressiveness is hard to sustain in the face of real winters...
Less than 1/million... Take a look at the disease statistics. Less than 1/100000 is usually the cutoff for the truly rare genetic disorders. SMA, if you want to look up something truly heartbreaking, is not nearly that rare. The issue is simply this: Nobody can always know everything they need to at every moment. Even if you know their whereabouts, you won't know all they are doing. Electric outlets, dangerous substances, open windows, sharp objects, matches... How many kids die from cot death each year? Far, far more. Don't pat yourself on the back. It CAN happen to you. Punishing people for this is inane and cruel.
I REALLY like how people consider Abjurant Champion OP. Or, I mean, it might be, but seriously, getting an extra bonus to AC for abjuration spells is hilarious! There were no abjuration spells that granted you an AC bonus. :-)
The feat that lets you colourize spells was Spell Thematics, from Magic of Faerun, probably reprinted a few times since.
Book of Nine Swords was an awesome attemp at doing something new, but it was too much at once, I think. Some of the class mechanics were quite boring, too. It absolutely did not make martials into casters, much less fighters into casters. The book didn't even touch on fighters.
Shyness means you tend to agree with what others think when asked for your opinion, because otherwise you would draw attention. You never interrupt, and fall silent if interrupted yourself. You don't make jokes, argue or try to take the lead. It is more difficult with people you just know a little, those you know well and those you don't know at all are relatively safe. If asked about something, you give a short, noncommittal answer. If criticized, you doubt your value as a human being. If praised, you nod give a stiff smile and try to flee. You say sorry a lot, and you go out of your way to avoid making people feel you're tryingto pressure them, leading to many, many unneeded words. Above all, if there is someone you are interested in around, you are supremely uncertain and uncomfortable. All these things get easier as you get to know people well. Now, I know much of this is exaggerated, but still.
If the task is manage a few days... My go to method has always been to do things that distract me sharply. Now, it is important to do things that really work efficiently. For that, it needs to demand concentration. So, playing action games, seeing movies that I am not really used to, chatting with more than two people simultaneously, cook difficult things... I am sure you have other examples. Getting absorbed is key. Books, even if good, are usually things you do with pauses, so no good. Blast your brain for a good number of hours, then sleep without an alarm.
Kaer Maga. Absolutely. Sure, it's a dangerous place, but compared to the alternatives, it's a summer breeze. Plus, it's not all that far to Korvosa, or, preferably, Magnimar.
Have a Kaiju transported from Golarion to Earth, or have a pretty gorram big nuke transported from Earth to Golarion, and either way, you end up in the world that was the recipient (with the stuff you need for basic survival in Golarion, such as language)?
Well, what can I say... He sure hates capitalism. I wouldn't say that the link he tries to paint between modern day porn and exploitation of Philippino women in 1898 is as clear as he thinks it is. It sounds more like "porn is bad so let's call it capitalist and imperialist. Many, many, many times."
A) If he heard a sex worker claim that she liked doing what she did, would he listen to her, or is she then a brainwashed tool of the capitalist, evil, imperialist, capitalist and capitalist world capitalism?
B) How does he reconcile recent decades' reduction in poverty with capitalism being so, so... Capitalist?
Everything bad has a higher probability of hitting poor people, simply because there are more of those. And the discussion was about whether Gark motivated his argument about porn being harmful to poor people by equating porn with trafficking and the like. We never got an answer, only Gark's statement. Sorry, Quark, as I read it, you don't have anything to base that "chalk one up for destructive" on.
I had a situation where one of my players could not and would not stop questioning EVERY SINGLE RULES APPLICATION we used. This got into thirty to forty times PER SESSION. He would not stop until I had proven him wrong (which happened more than ninety-five percents of the time, the rest he had some kind of point to it). I told him to stop in private, then I told him to stop in front of the others, to no avail. Then I told him that if he did question anything at all, he would have a -5 penalty to the next action his character did, cumulative number of times of course. This got him to stop.
Studies come in all qualities. Paywalls to studies are actively harmful, and this is why. Without seeing all of the study, we have no way of knowing why the study draws those conclusions, and so it remains useless to us. An abstract is not something that says much, certainly not enough to base arguments on.
Rape fantasies are a decidedly odd phenomenon. Both male AND female such. From Bollywood movies marketed to women that sell firmly on "the first underwater rape" - usually thought to be an expression of dealing with guilt and responsibility - to scenes where a man rapes a woman - but she then enjoys it. Odd stuff. I mean, if a man wants to imagine raping a woman, wouldn't it go against the idea if she enjoyed it? Even so, rape fantasies are extremely common. What is quite clear, though, is that there is no obvious increase in sexual crimes with increased access to porn of various stripes. This would be clear independent of uncertain numbers, varying definitions of rape, and so on. If it has an effect, it is apparently not enough to push people past the boundary of sexual crimes in any appreciable numbers.