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Imron Gauthfallow

Tequila Sunrise's page

2,903 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

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master_marshmallow wrote:
K177Y C47 wrote:
Honestly I feel like Marshmellow is grasping at straws....
Care to elaborate?

I'm not K177Y, but when someone starts claiming that 15 = 25 = 40...well, let's just say that it's really hard to take that person seriously.

Oh, and FYI, 'sacred cow' is a term that refers to a game quirk that exists largely because of tradition. Hence, point buy doesn't qualify, as it's a relatively recent invention with some clear advantages. If you're going to call anything a sacred cow, call rolling for stats a sacred cow.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Would you care to elaborate?

I could be wrong, but I think Freehold means "The greater variance of those d6s is why I like rolling stats!"

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master_marshmallow wrote:
My experience is that 2d6+6 should be the standard for rolling, it sets the minimum stat at 8, which is about as low as non minmaxers are willing to go anyway.

Er, not that I have issue with all of the insightful and convincing arguments you've made, but...

I don't think that means what you think it means.

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master_marshmallow wrote:
My problems with point buy are less about the game style choice and about giving players a way to make the characters they want, and more about the fact that it's a lie and players still can't make the characters they want, but the ones who claim they can get to have a huge chip on their shoulder about it.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I was just responding to the canard that "point-buy is always more fair!" -- it's not. That's not to say it's an inferior method or that rolling is awesome; it just means that one (1) of the cited advantages doesn't often hold up.

You're both 1000000% right. Point buy doesn't create more choice or fairness. Random predefined choices create choice, and the capriciousness of luck creates fairness.

Look, think of this way, people: Where do you have more choice, in a casino, or on Pluto? And what's more fair, a feudal monarchy, or a bologna sandwich?


Okay, okay, if that's too confusing for you point buyers, just think of chargen as a temporary opposite-zone: What's fair is unfair, and what's deterministic is actually freedom!

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CKorfmann wrote:
I prefer rolling for stats simply because all PCs are not, or should not be created equally. People aren't, so why should PCs? I believe the stats should be rolled in front on the GM. If you want big gosh-darn heroes, than use the 7 sets of 4d6 drop one and reroll 1s. If you are more inclined toward 15-20 point buy stats, than you can skip the rerolls and extra set.

Bah, you're talking pansy anime storygaming nonsense. Roll 3d6 in front of your DM, right down the line, no rerolls, no rearrangements, and no complaints. Because life isn't fair! You want to play a Big Damn Hero? Kamikaze your PCs until you roll good scores.

This isn't a game we're playing, people, this is serious stuff.

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tony gent wrote:

Its odd that in all the years I've been gaming (which is 30+ ) I've only ever seen two characters with mega stats as we've always insisted that they are rolled in front of the DM .

Strange that

I know, right?

All these whiny point buy lovers remind me of all those one-time house guests who complain about my homemade candies. So what if I don't watch how much sugar I toss into the pot? It's all about the thrill of the first taste: will this toffee be like eating mildly sweet lard, or will it be like eating a chunk of dehydrated non-diet soda?

And hey, in 30+ years, I've only sent one dinner guest into a diabetic coma. :)

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master_marshmallow wrote:
K177Y C47 wrote:

Dice Roll is jsut bad...

It create rediculous levels of disparity and can make a lot of people feel sort of cheated (guy wanted to make a Gish type character (who are prone to being MAD) but ended up with 12s across the board or the guy who is dominating because he defied stats and got all 18s). Additionally, you get awkward problems like "hey! We don't have BSF... we need a BSF. Hey! Since you haven't made a character yet you get to be BSF *rolls stats* 12...14...12...8..10...9... well then... "

Additionally, Dice Roll just makes the GM's job even harder. With PB you know roughly how powerful (attribute wise) everyone is. With dice rolls you know have to find a way to challenge the guy who got really good rolls while not just straight out slaughtering the guy who can't roll for the life of him...

Disparity is abundant regardless of the stat generation method.

Yeah, everyone knows that PF is crazy broken. And if it can't be perfectly balanced, why strive for balance at all?

It's like I keep telling my senator, my reps, my police department, and my neighborhood watch: Look guys, utopia's never going to happen. It's an impossible ideal. So why strive for it? Why waste time on laws that can't guarantee freedom everywhere all the time? Why waste money on police departments that can't protect everyone everywhere all the time? So screw law and order! Let's have some fun, cause some mayhem, and live in blissful anarchy!

If you can't have utopia, go for chaos; and if you can't have perfect balance, throw all equity to the wind!

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MattR1986 wrote:
I'm glad I wasn't the only one thazt thought he was new. I don't know what you mean by single player.

I think Hama means "He plays as if it's just him and the DM."

Oh, and I assumed that he was a new DM too. I think the uncontrollable giggling really gives that impression.

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Arachnofiend wrote:
At that point you might as well just roll everything. Stats, class, armor type, weapon. Maybe even your level one feat.

Real role players roll to determine whether they get a feat every level.


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Jack Assery wrote:
My question though is: can we have high fantasy games where wizards aren't relegating the rest of the party to useless because he can do everything? I would love each class to have unique abilities, and mages aren't the only offender here either.

I think it would be possible if the Paizo team took a good careful look at each spell, and weren't afraid bash things into shape with the nerf bat. 95% of the problem with casters is the spells, not the classes themselves.

Ideally, they also wouldn't be afraid to buff the weaker spells either!

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Nathanael Love wrote:
You liked Breaking Bad? How would you like them to start it over with a new cast, new writers, but "fixing" all the problems that there were in it? You going to be in on watching "New Breaking Bad?"

I tried watching Breaking Bad, but just couldn't enjoy it. Who knows, a remake might make it watchable!

Like how New BSG is x10 better than the original, IMO.

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Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

6. Magic items as optional, rather than required.

8. Class-based defense bonus. Sort of ties in with 6...

Oh god, yes! There's nothing that kills my suspension of disbelief in the overall game and screams I'M PLAYING A GAMEY GAME more than "As I've gained experience and world-spanning notoriety, I've gotten better at stabbing things, and I've gotten better at dodging fireballs...but I'm no better at dodging swords than a 0th level dirt farmer."

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Jack Assery wrote:

Here's an example from the 4e DMG:

Blood Rock
The site of ceremonial sacrifices, a great slaughter, or
some other calamity, the spirit of death hovers over
blood rock. A creature standing in a square of blood
rock can score a critical hit on a natural die roll of 19
or 20.

Oh, fantastic terrain! Yeah, that's fantastic stuff. ;)

Ellis Mirari wrote:
I feel like—no offense guys—most of the "Pathfinder 2.0" wishlist are things that either take 5 seconds to houserule and don't warrant a new book, or are asking Paizo to make a very different game for no real, objective reason.

I see what you're saying, but on the other hand, there are guys still playing OD&D who don't think that there was a "real objective reason" for 1e D&D, or anything that came after. Everyone draws their own line in the sand, and most of those lines are a lot less extreme. Heck, we even got Nathanael Love to go from "Never ever ever ever gonna buy PF 2e hate Paizo forever!" to "Okay, maybe in 15 years."

The freedom to house rule is a great thing if you happen to be the DM of a home game, but players have limited influence over house rules at best, and PFS gamers have none.

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ABCoLD wrote:
Oh and I vote for it to be called "Pathfinder: Revised and Expanded" not 2e. ;)

So what is the edition after that to be called? Advanced Pathfinder: Revised and Expanded Again? ;)

Jack Assery wrote:
Easier Monster building, Terrain enhancements, interactive traps instead of the "hp tax for walking down said hallway", easy-mode rules like the beginners boxset in this edition, online stat adjustments for NPC's in the adventure paths, where you could adjust them easily without having to remake them in a 3rd party generator.

What's a terrain enhancement?

Simon Legrande wrote:
This is something that I would rather see go than stay. I don't know of any fantasy tropes that include a barbarian/paladin/wizard/rogue (maybe that should read barbarianpaladinwizardrogue), but maybe I just haven't read enough. Capstone abilities are one way to encourage staying one class, but it obviously isn't enough if people are willing to dip one level into a different class and lose the capstone just for some other gain.

You've never read Conan (fighter/rogue), Lord of the Rings (wizard/fighter), The Wheel of Time (many multi-talented characters), or...well, lots of other fantasy books? Oh well, anyway, there's nothing wrong with strict class boundaries, but MCing definitely has appeal for many gamers. What's your ideal MC system, if not the a la carte style?

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Threeshades wrote:
Carl Hanson wrote:

I replaced the square grid with hexes. It makes movement easier and more organic and elimnates the screwy rules about reach weapons.

I am considering several systems to replace most magic items that grant static bonuses (i.e. the Big 6), but haven't settled on the system yet.

Using hexes has been something ive been considering for a while. But there have been some questions i couldnt figure out. How do you handle larger creatures and the space they occupy as well as areas of effect?

My approach as DM is "The first hex doesn't count." So a Large creature, for example, occupies seven hexes -- one central 'free' hex, and six adjacent hexes. Each size category adds an additional 'layer' of adjacent hexes.

And it works the same way with AoEs. A fireball, for example, has one central free hex and then four layers of concentrically adjacent hexes. (One layer per 5 ft. of radius.)

Cone AoEs are a bit quirky, but really shine on the hex map. A cone of cold, for example, is simply a triangle of hexes, with 12 hexes on each side. (One hex per 5 ft. of range.) Here's the quirk: Because of the geometry of hexagons and how combat positioning operates, I allow the caster to place the cone's origin corner in an adjacent hex or inside of his own hex. (Obviously, the caster is undamaged by a cone corner placed in his own hex.) This allows cones to retain the flexibility they have in the square-world, while benefitting from the simplicity of the hex-world.

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DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Tolkien is an amateur compared to Iain Banks world building. :P

Not sure I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment, but Banks certainly is a brilliant world-builder and novelist! (I think his Culture is rather idealistic, even for a far-future utopia.) I'm just sad that I discovered him only a year before he died. :(

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Read Guns, Germs, and Steel sometime, if you don't quite follow why any or all of these things follow, but they do.

Emphatically seconded! I seriously think that this documentary should be required school material. So interesting!

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I have a double-sided mat too, and vastly prefer the hex side. No 1-2-1 movement or OoA oddities, and everything feels a bit more organic!

Drawing square shapes on a hex grid is disorienting at first, because the square-drawing technique we learned for traditional D&D maps doesn't really work with hexes: When drawing on a square grid, you draw walls atop the border between squares. But on a hex map, you want to avoid those borders. In this way, you can draw even square rooms and such on a hex map and completely avoid ambiguity: each hex is 90% on one side of a wall, or 90% on the other. If a character has access to 90% of a hex, it's usable; if not, it's not.

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Sissyl wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:

Now that I have corrected your heresy, go forth and make this world a little more like the First World, as Azha wishes.

... ;)

If I am a heretic, then I pronounce you doubly so! I, the First Speaker of the True Faith of Azhaism, denounce you and your lies in the name of Great Azha! Repent, before Azha tosses you into the Pit of Eternal Mold!

Every breath you take is a sin!

So saith Azha, who demands holy war to cleanse the Second World of you and your heretical ilk!

...So that's how sectarian violence begins. Hm.

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Wrong John Silver wrote:
That's what it seems like I'm doing, apparently. I certainly feel alone.

I admit I lost interest in the whole "Let's prove Wrong John Silver wrong" back-and-forth almost as soon as it began, so you may have mentioned a personal belief that puts you way out in left field, but I don't think you're alone at all. Lots of people abstain from personal belief in the supernatural, while admitting the possibility that any given religion might be true.

As I mentioned a few dozen posts ago, this is called agnosticism, and it's about as [un]common as strict atheism.

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Tholomyes wrote:
LazarX wrote:
JiCi wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Could they have done it? Sure? But they didn't for a very good reason. Pathfinder was being promoted as the 3.5 replacement when WOTC went to 4.0. It's major selling point is that it's very much the same game as D+D 3.5. Plus, James Jacobs had actually written a Dragon article about 7 additional Paladins besides LG, and CE, and even as the author, he had problems with it. (Understandable, a couple of them are virtually unplayable as party members.)
Hold on, James Jacobs himself said that he didn't like how the variants that he wrote come out? Yikes...
A couple of them seemed more suitable as encounters as a couple like the Pyrmandyr "you too lawful/chaotic/good/evil I kill you." really isn't much of a play nicely with other folks kind of guy. Presumably he wrote the article to fulfill an assignment for the themed issue.
Yeah, but I feel that the problem there wasn't in concept, but in the way some of the alternatives (like the Pyrmandyr, as you said) were presented. Which is bound to happen, if the article was solely written because he was assigned to, not because he chose to.

Yeah, all the paladin article demonstrates is that JJ had an off day. Which is no wonder, if he was writing eight additional special-snowflake paladin archetypes, complete with CoCs. One or two were bound to end up forced and I-don't-play-well-with-others-ish. The solution is simple, of course: drop the special snowflake CoCs!

Funny how nobody ever complains that clerics of whatever persuasion don't play well with others. Well, except when it's an evil-cleric-in-a-good-party situation, in which case his class is tangential. But of course "Just drop the paladin's alignment restriction, the CoC, and make these minor rule tweaks" doesn't take up much word count, or sound very writer-y.

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Calybos1 wrote:

If the problem is with the Lawful side of paladinhood, why aren't there more complaints about monks? Or is everyone playing a "Martial Artist" instead of a lawful monk these days?

The paladin gets all the press because it's the poster-boy of unnecessary restrictions. But yes, the monk's restriction is equally unnecessary.

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Athaleon wrote:
But the Paladin isn't more powerful than many, many classes with no code of conduct and no alignment restriction.

Logic? In a paladin debate? You fool! All traditionalists understand is "This is the way it's always been!" Personally, I could suggest pointing out how 4e and soon 5e have created a new generation of D&Ders for whom rp freedom is "How it's always been," and alignment restrictions are alien and un-D&D.

But the traditionalists would argue that, for some nonsensical reason, 4e and 5e don't count. The No True Scottsman Fallacy would probably be used. So I simply write off the traditionalist opinions. I just can't respect an opinion in which one's fun requires that others not have fun, due to petty intolerance over semantics.

Maybe PF 2.0 will have a better paladin class; until then, I have other games.

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williamoak wrote:

Spell: Teleport

Problem: Considered to make movement issues negligible, especially into semi-unknown areas.
Adaptation: I plan to modify the familiarity method, and create the following item:

Coordinate scroll: This scroll can be prepared by any spellcaster that has teleport in it's know spells or on it's spell list. For the cost of a 3rd level scroll, you can prepare a coordinate scroll that allows you to teleport to the location the scroll represents in 1 hour, as if it had been "studied carefully".

Very familiar: Does not change; requires a minimum of 1 week spent in the specific area.

Studied carefully: only applies when using coordinate scrolls.

All other types of familiarity do not exist anymore.

I can't put my finger on why, but I don't think I'd care for this one as a DM. Maybe because things requiring money aren't much of a deterrent to high level characters...I dunno. Still, if it works for you I say use it!

A couple of other teleport ideas:

1) Teleportation is blocked by thick wood, metal, and stone. Prevents PCs from teleporting directly into the BBEG's lair to buff-gank him, from using teleportation as a panic button, and explains why castles are still relevant in a world with teleportation.

2) Casting times of long range teleportations are 5 minutes, or however long the longest-lasting buff spell is. Prevents characters from scry-buff-teleport, and from using teleportation as a panic button.

williamoak wrote:

Spell: Blood money

Problem: makes material components too easy to obtain, since strength is too easy to obtain.
Adaptation: The strength damage is obtained from your "base" strength score, not including enhancement, inherent, size, profane or sacred bonuses to strength. If you take more than you base strength score in strength damage, you die. For example, a wizard with a base strength score of 10 cannot produce more than 4499 GP of material component.

(thinking of aditional penalties, like being unable to move when under the effect of the spell)

In my ideal game, costly components would never be used to balance spells...but I think this is a reasonable fix for the game we do have.

I wouldn't have a problem with simply banning this one either, but hey, it's all good. :)

williamoak wrote:

Spell: Paragon surge:
Problem: turns spontaneous spellcasters into prepared spellcasters

Adaptation: you are allowed any feat you qualify for EXCEPT expanded arcana & extra magus arcana (spell blending).

Not really familiar with this one, but I think it's another case of "Spells that allow players to comb thru the srd are bound to be broken sooner or later." Ideally, spells should never ever do this, but I think simply banning access to the problem feats is a reasonable solution.

williamoak wrote:

Spell: Dominate person/monster/animal;
Problem: Pretty harsh if used on players, too powerful when used to create an army of slaves.
Adaptation: As the original spell, but every dominated creature gets a save 1/round (in combat) and 1/hour (outside of combat). If forced to do an act against it's nature still gets the +2 bonus to the save.

I'd nerf it even harder, but I love it!

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williamoak wrote:
Another note: a lot of similar proposals for "fixing" casters often focus too strongly (in my impression) on the effect on high tier casters (wizard, sorcerer, cleric, etc.) while forgetting the lower-tier guys (inquisitor, magus, bard).

Yup. A lot of these quick n dirty 'fixes' often assume that all caster players choose only the most crazy OP broken spells, and that some of those crazy OP broken spells aren't combat spells at all. In reality, most spells range from mediocre to noob-trap. So forcing casters to spend full-round actions for every spell doesn't really make casters any less broken -- it just makes some combat spells broken less often. And other combat spells not worth casting.

It's tempting to say "Let's go back to Ye Good Olde Days, when casters had to walk uphill both ways to cast spells," but I'm of the opinion that the only real way to fix casters is to fix what makes them broken: The spells themselves. Because quick n dirty fixes aren't any more effective than pouring Robitussin on a broken leg.

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LazarX wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:

Whatever Dexter was, he certainly wasn't evil.

That's debatable. But the show itself is intended to stand coventional notions of ethics and morality on it's head. If anything it shows that some things simply don't lend themselves to the simplistic system of D20 alignment.

The only thing that makes Dexter acceptable are his choice of targets. All of his other qualities are those that exhibited in anyone would make that person be labeled a sociopathic monster. The other thing that makes him sympathetic is that Dexter's sociopathy seems to be a genetic inheritance.

I suspect that this is a more accurate statement of the author's intention... deliberate ambiguity of the question.

Well said! The only thing I might object to is Dexter's psychopathy being genetic; I myself thought that the writers were pretty clearly tying it to his childhood trauma. And not only in Dexter's case; many of the show's killers, both minor and major, are discovered to have suffered some significant trauma. Although as you say, the show is not only deliberately ambiguous, it's also not very scientific or particularly applicable to D&D's alignment milieu. I took Doomed Hero's original reference to Dexter as at least somewhat tongue-in-cheek, and I'm surprised that it's being so rigorously debated.

FYI, Dexter is specifically a psychopath, which is a subset of the sociopath group. (Socios are merely lacking in empathy, and often skilled at manipulating people, while psychos are the extreme ones who do things like kill people.)

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Ravingdork wrote:

It doesn't matter how different the FLAVOR is. The flavor can be changed to fit. That's the WHOLE POINT of flavor, meatrace. That's also the point I'm trying to make.

If a play group can get past their own inability to imagine differently, then the sorcerer (or similar class) can make for a perfectly adequate psion.

For someone who puts so much emphasis on imagining things differently, you seem to have a surprising inability to imagine yourself in others' shoes.

Ravingdork wrote:
Mechanics are a bit trickier, as has been observed with spell components.

Indeed. Most of the time, a player could imagine that the sorcerer he's playing is 'manifesting powers' by pretending that he doesn't need his spells' verbal, somatic, and/or material components. But there are plenty of corner cases where the mechanics do get in the way. And I've yet to meet the DM who would allow a sorcerer to cast stilled silenced material-eschewed spells while grappled or within a silence spell or whatever, just because the player refluffed his character as a psion.

And no, the fact that a sorcerer can eventually cast most of his spells in stilled silenced material-eschewed form by taking the right feats isn't at all satisfying to a psi fan.

So there's your answer! I'm not even a psi fan myself, but I can imagine why I'd want actual psi classes if I were. You should try it sometime.

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Wrong John Silver wrote:
Wow, I've only encountered heavily houseruled psionics, then. Thanks for showing me.

Your DMs were probably using the psi rule from 2e and earlier, when psi powers did ignore magic resistance and so forth. And it was pretty asinine, which is why magic-psi transparency became default starting with 3e. (Although IIRC, the 3e psi rulebooks present the old rule as an official alternative, at the DM's option.)

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Pan wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Cronatos wrote:
I'll throw my chip in with not liking alcohol.

Ditto. I've tried all the major drink groups, and they're all gross.

This mad me laugh. Although I think you are more likely to be shunned for liking alcohol.
Detect Magic wrote:
A guy named Tequila doesn't like alcohol?

I know, weird, right? For a long time, I thought that Tequila Sunrise was just an Eagles song. Hence my internet handle. ;)

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"I've never understood these elaborate tortures; it's the simplest thing to inflict more pain than a man can endure."

Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
It's true: Bill Murray is the funniest man on the planet.

"What would be the scientific purpose of killing it?"


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Personally I'm not a fan of E6, or any of the quick n dirty caster fixes. Why? Because it's not the casters that are broken, it's the spells themselves.

So what's the solution? I recommend telling your caster players that any spell is up for grabs, but they're all subject to retro-nerfs if they become problematic. ("Oh, this first time was a magical fluke. It won't work so spectacularly next time.") In fact, I recently wrote a blog post with some guidelines on the topic. My experience is mostly with 3.0 and 3.5, so PF may have already addressed some problem spells. But like you say, PF is essentially the same game, so hopefully you'll find it handy!

Other fixes might be easier in the short run, but they're like trying to fix a broken leg with Robitussin. And E6 is outright amputation. Ugh!

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DM Under The Bridge wrote:
There have been plenty of threads on paladins, good and lawful good, well here I want to ask you fellow players how you play neutral, and what were some highly neutral acts/statements that you made through your character in game?

You know how like 90% of people are? They want to do selfless things like give to charity, stand up for those who can't speak for themselves, and generally make the world a better place. But for many practical and psychological reasons, most of their benevolence gets reserved for their close family and friends. They may be friendly to others, but they'll rarely stick their neck out for anyone outside of their immediate circle. They may be generally dickish to others, but they have a conscience and won't commit regular or serious evils.

Yeah, that's neutral.

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Stephen Ede wrote:
Right, so the "objective" part just keeps getting smaller. :-)

Nope, the objective part remains a part of the game world, while the subjective part remains a part of the real world.

Stephen Ede wrote:
Got news for you even within those games it's subjective. Because as a GM myself I know that session to session I can view the same issues differently depending on what sort of day I've had. Hell, even within a session it can change if I feel guilty about been overly harsh earlier or just that the session has been going well or badly and thus influenced my feelings. But let me guess, that's still Objective in your book?

This is you creating subjective morality within your own game world. Essentially, you've instituted an unspoken house rule and are now projecting it onto every D&D/PF game everywhere.

As a side note, you'd be in the right if this were a 4e game forum. Which I've been enjoying since 2008, subjective morality and all! But as this is a PF forum, you're wrong.

But you're right that we've reached the point of pointless debate. You're not going to change your mind, and neither are we. So happy gaming, dude!

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Stephen Ede wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:

I'm getting the feeling that a number of people in this thread don't actually understand what the term "Objective" means within the context of ethical theory.

Let's clear it up. It doesn't matter if the objective judge is really just the GM acting as the face behind the various gods who weigh and judge an act.

All that matters is that there is an absolute authority, and that everyone in the entire freaking world knows it.

But if their is an absolute authority then that would be the same authority in all games. It isn't, so it isn't objective by your argument. Also as I've commented even within a game the GM isn't absolute authority on alignment. If the players disagree strongly with the GM their is a compromise or the game ends. So no absolute authority.

You're metagaming, here. Players can negotiate definitions with DMs, and every DM has a different take on alignment, but within a given group's campaign world, morality is absolutely objective. (Barring house rules, of course.)

Objective morality within game A, B, and C doesn't require that every other game share the same objective moral values. Or even that game A, B, and C share the same objective moral values. Within each of those games, morality is absolutely objective.

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DrDeth wrote:
Honestly they need to ban alignment threads.

Violation of Freedom of Speech! Censorship! The man's tryin' ta keep us down! ;)

...But seriously, these threads can get crazy, but I can always just stop reading.

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Doomed Hero wrote:

I'd say no. In fact, in a high-magic lawful good society, it would probably be a better alternative to execution or incarceration.

It concentrates on rehabilitation rather than punishment. Suddenly, the evil person knows exactly why what they did was wrong, and can start making amends immediately. It completely does away with the problem of sociopaths and repeat offenders.

The big problem would be potential suicides after the alignment shift.

Yeah, this.

I'm honestly amazed how many replies to the effect of "It's evil!" there seem to be. (To be fair, I've only read the first page.)

I mean, you can call it brainwashing or whatever, but turning evil people good is pretty much the Holy Grail of enlightened societies, and the goal of our modern penal system. (Not to say that our penal system has spectacular results.) Really, this is why we don't just cut the right hands off of petty thieves or indiscriminately execute murderers anymore. (Mostly.)

I can see an argument that using the Helm to turn someone Good is a lawful act, but then again, so what? The end result is less evil and more good, so I call it a win!

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Pan wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Pan wrote:
Just because his alignment gets changed doesn't mean he cant start killing people again and have it change back.
I think the point of the helm is that the creature would want act as it's new alignment.
So no one ever makes decisions that changes their alignment?

I think you're making a good argument that the Helm of Opposite Alignment is a very gamey and rather slapstick item. But I think the intent of its effects, and more importantly how the OP assumes it affects the evildoer, is very clear: The Helm makes the evildoer want to do good things instead of evil things, in addition to swapping his black hat out for a white hat.

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Greil9 wrote:
I get it, I have to ignore it, how many more are going to post saying the same thing?

Don't ignore it; that'd send him the message that you're okay with what happened. But getting revenge will just create an escalating spiral of one-upsmanship that'll likely end with crashed campaigns and lost friends. (Assuming you're playing with a group of friends.)

So yeah, talk to him about it like others have suggested. And if he sticks to his guns, leave his campaign. Look for a new group, or start your own. And if this means you don't game for a while, remember: no gaming is better than bad gaming!

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ciretose wrote:
Every GM will rule how they rule, but as a player I think you should be asking "What does my character know" when you are playing if you are roleplaying rather than tactical combat simulating.

Exactly. Your character shouldn't be just stats on a sheet.

Anyone with even an inkling of combat knows that bludgeons are better for smashing bones than blades are. Exhibit A: me! Again, I'm barely combat-aware, and even I know what's better for breaking bones. If you don't believe me, ask your grandfather if his cleaver was good at cutting bone, or if it would've been easier to smash the bones with a specially-made bludgeoning tool. (Butchers don't bludgeon meat simply because customers won't buy meat with bone shards embedded in it.)

Ask Freehold DM. He's never fought real skeletons; I don't think he has any particular knowledge of religious mythologies which include undead skeletons. But I bet he can tell you whether it's easier to smash bone with a blade or crowbar. This isn't a metagaming issue. It's got nothing to do with anything that Knowledge (religion) covers, and everything to do with basic combat training. I.e., maybe a 1st level wizard (or ironically, a 1st level cleric) wouldn't think to bludgeon a skeleton, but any PC with a +1 BAB would know these kind of combat basics. Maybe there should be a Knowledge (strategy) to cover this type of thing, but there isn't, so I think BAB is a good stand-in.

I also noticed you haven't answered oceanshieldwolf's question about how long it took your party to try bludgeoning weapons. After the first combat with them? After another level was reached, and another knowledge check could be rolled? After an NPC mentioned his handy trick for smashing skeletons? I'm curious just how far you take your character stats.

Similarly, if you have no foreknowledge of golems, and you see a fireball do nothing against one, you wouldn't necessarily assume magic immunity. It might be immune or highly resistant to fire, or maybe just fireball itself. So summoning a flying critter to attack from a safe distance is a perfectly reasonable tactic. You don't know that the flying critter counters the golem's magic immunity, but you also don't know the golem is immune to magic to begin with. No metagaming necessary. It's just good strategy.

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I suspect that if BloodyViking had been a more savvy player on his own, and had simply known to summon the archon to beat the golem in the first place, nobody would have blinked. As others have pointed out, summoning a flying ally to beat down a mindless land-bound foe from safety doesn't require any special insight into the archon's abilities. Just good strategy.

(Chaotic clerics illegally summoning lawful outsiders, aside.)

I further suspect that his DM's response was really a knee-jerk reaction to BloodyViking's mention of google, and his DM's disappointment that what he thought would be a tough encounter (for the second time) turned into a cakewalk. I've seen this kind of thing happen before, when a PC manages to trivialize an encounter; "Your ranger used animal empathy to avoid combat with my dire tiger! Too easy, half xp for you!"

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rgrove0172 wrote:
The whole notion of WBL and CR and the like seem to be in an attempt to conventionalize play across the entire player base.

Perhaps it is, but more importantly, WBL and CR are attempts to make the DM's job easier and the game run smoother. On the DM side, the CR system is an attempt to create predictable and fun encounters. (Assuming the DM generally follows the game's other rules and guidelines, including WBL.)

On the player side, WBL gives the PCs -- at least nominally -- the bonuses appropriate to their level. Think of WBL as a second layer of base attack bonus, base save bonus, ability boosts, and the base AC bonuses that classes don't grant. Is this a weird way to give PCs what the game assumes they have? Yes, but it's very much how the game currently works.

rgrove0172 wrote:
Unless your playing semi-competitively with other gaming groups its all really mute. All the talk about players feeling constrained or even cheated by the GM doesnt apply if your game is the only one they are playing or familiar with. Each game is different, each GM lending a different feel to his campaign. There is no such thing as a typical handling of a game or even a normal one.

There are standardized guidelines and rules which help new DMs and players enjoy the game until they learn enough of its ins and outs to deviate from them. As you say, they provide structure for the story while everyone -- especially the DM -- is feeling out the game.

And as I've said before, saying things like "there is no such thing as a typical game" may be true, but you're also giving any new DMs who may be reading this thread the wrong impression. It's like leaving someone at the edge of a rapid river, and telling him "There's a bridge to get to the other side, but there's no typical way to cross so it's your call." Sure, you may be right, but he's not going to thank you when he finds himself caught on hidden stones halfway across and drowning.

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SeeleyOne wrote:
Here is a dumb question: can you tell me where it says in the rulebook that the magical bonuses are included in the calculation of CR?

The books don't outright say it, and that's the problem. It presents WBL as a guideline, but doesn't say which items PCs are supposed to have, or what happens when a DM radically deviates from the guideline.

The answer is there if you put 2 and 2 together, either via experience (how I figured it out) or via algebra.

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LazarX wrote:
Fact of the matter is ... there is no inherent need for magic items.. save that set up by the GameMaster in setting up challenges. It is incumbent on that gamemaster to provide his players the options of getting ready for those challenges. And there are a lot of ways to make that provision. Mass magic item purchase by order isn't the only tool in that particular box.

The fact of the matter is that there are ways around the game's reliance upon magical items, but to say that "there's no need of magical items" in a place where inexperienced DMs may be reading is very misleading, at best. At worst, it's downright disingenuous.

Very experienced DMs can be stingy with magical items by relying on their own assessment of PC vs. monster capabilities rather than on CR, but the result is glass cannon combat. Which may be what you're looking for, but it's very different from standard combat. WARNING: Attempting this without enough DM experience is likely to result in frequent TPKs.

Or a DM can institute some kind of inherent bonus house rule to take the place of the Big Six items; there are a few of these floating around the forums, so this is viable for inexperienced DMs. Regardless of a DM's experience, this is the solution I personally advocate, because it doesn't change combat dynamics or much of anything else.

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Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Picking on "magic marts" as the problem with the game strikes me as outright silliness. If you really want to play a game where magic items are rare and precious, you shouldn't be playing this one.
Or using some sort of inherent bonus system, as BigDTBone mentioned.

I probably should have said "probably shouldn't be playing".

I stand by it anyway. Making adjustments to "fix" something as fundamental as the magical item issue is a poor bandaid on the problem.

Oh, I agree; I just wanted to add a proviso.

There are ways to make magic rare and precious in games of the D&D family, but the hard truth is that you have to fight the system to do so, no matter how you do it -- and the results are often unsatisfying in one way or another.

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W E Ray wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Sir Urza, it's a matter of taste.

While it's technically true that the ALL CONSUMING GREATNESS that is the Planescape development of The Great Wheel is a matter of taste, it's the only taste that counts. It's the only taste that's really good. All other flavors for cosmology suck in comparison.

Use the planescape to get started.

Planescape is probably the best starting point for someone who wants a ready-to-use cosmology, but a lot of the details feel like round pegs forced into square holes. And no wonder -- PS is an effort to cram the creative work of, as Todd mentioned, many different authors and several decades of haphazard creativity into a single coherent setting. It works for the most part, but I'm sure you'll agree that it could be better.

W E Ray wrote:
Todd Stewart wrote:
We need Tony DiTerlizzi to illustrate....


"We need Tony DiTerlizzi to illustrate nothing whatsoever in gaming ever, ever again."

We've had enough string-bean bodied & armed creatures.

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm with Sissyl on this. Tony is without a doubt the best artist D&D has ever had.

And if you disagree, you're just wrongity-wronger-wrongest.

...Wrong. ;)

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shallowsoul wrote:
Some people here feel that of your scenes are setup for you to succeed then you are not a hero.

And lots more people in the real world would find it hilarious that we're here debating the best way to play make-believe heroes in the land of improbable dungeons and harmless-to-real-people dragons. Let it go, dude. Not everyone wants to play your particular brand of magical elf tea party, and that's okay.

Assuming your OP question was in good faith, you've had eleven pages of responses to help you wrap your head around the answer. And if you haven't by now, you never will. And that's okay, because you don't have to understand; you just have to play and let play.

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Mythic +10 Artifact Toaster wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
LowRoller wrote:
I love rolling for stats, i just don't like playing them if i roll low

I suspect this feeling is secretly shared by many of us, and how D&D went from 3d6 down-the-line to 4d6 arrange-as-you-wish. :)

See also: How to Deal with Low Stat Rolls

lol makes think of the time I played a one shot with an "old school" dm (he was younger than me by almost year, and i'm 23). he had us roll in order(3d6, and no we didn't reroll 1's)...AFTER we picked our race and class. I ended up with the following Str 6, dex 11, con 14, wis 3, int 10, and chr 18. the race i picked before i rolled, human, the class...monk. it didn't go well, I was killed in melee combat by a level 1 elf expert. The dm said that I had to roll up the same character with a new name. I used excesssive profanity and left. That was the only game I ever walked out on, and it was only last week.

Epic fail on his part. Smart move on your part; no gaming is better than bad gaming.

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