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Taergan Flinn

knightnday's page

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,027 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Jaelithe wrote:

Kobold Cleaver raises an interesting point: What do you do if a DMPC is otherwise well-portrayed, but said portrayal crosses a line of tolerance for you based on what you want in an NPC? Do you keep your feelings to yourself, because it's not anything the DM is actually doing wrong, per se? Do you speak up and say, "Look, I'm sorry ... I just find it irritating"? Does it depend on the reaction from other players to said character? Do you graciously disengage and find another game (assuming that's an option)?

As the DM, would you set aside your DMPC for the good of the player who gave it a go and still can't stand it? Would you weigh the overall reception the DMPC receives and tell him, "Sorry, but ... needs of the many"? Certainly a DM has a responsibility to the game, to the players' enjoyment and to his own. Is it wholly situational?

I think, for me, that's where I'd draw the line. If I genuinely couldn't handle a DMPC, and my players disliked the portrayal because of that, I'd ditch him or her. But if someone just said, "You know ... I can't help it. The very idea of it just grates on me, even though you're really not doing anything WRONG wrong." I'd likely say, "You know ... deep down, that's your problem."

Opinions?

I tend to agree. There are certain things that are just your (the universal your) problem. I dislike punny names and am not overly fond of dinosaurs. While neither hurt anyone if the GM or players do it, I find the former grinds on my nerves and dinos are just meh to me.

Those are my problems, however, and I shouldn't push that on the GM or players and try to make them change for my benefit. Sometimes, if you want to play bad enough, you swallow your dislikes for the good of the game.


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I'd like to see less taken from Earth mythology and more "original" monsters that owe their origins to Golarion and the associated planets in their system. While it can be entertaining to see how close/far that a mythological critter is translated over, there are some weird-@$% things that end up getting into the books that, while from Earth cultures, are weird for weird's sake and don't work (for me) with the world around it.

Yes, I'm aware of the connection between the worlds. No, I don't care. More new, interesting fey and things I haven't seen before rather than a retread of a (for instance) Japanese monster that I may have seen in another gaming publication over the years.


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DrDeth wrote:

So, those DM's here who say they run DMPCs (not counting solo and rotating games)- have you asked your players about your DMPCs?

If not- why?

That's all that I am asking.

knightnday wrote:

As far as feedback goes: ask. Speak with the players after each session or set of sessions. I've gone as far as passing around questionnaires or holding informal rap sessions at the end of the game, taking a few minutes out of the end of the game to say "Hey, what did you like? What did you not like? What could we do differently?"

If you don't come across defensively or aggressively people are willing, usually, to talk to you about the game. This has worked with relative strangers as well as people as close as my wife. If you don't ask, you may never find out. Keep in mind that if you do ask, however, that you may get feedback that you may not like or face problems you were previously unaware existed.

Then you have to decide how to act on them, whether the players are tired of the same old same old game, GMPCs, not enough or too much of an element and so on.


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Jiggy wrote:
DonKeebals wrote:
I saw someone mention GM's and cheating, so I figured I'd add my $0.02. A GM can not cheat. GM's are the god at your table and they can do what they want. I almost always roll behind the screen and if I think a miss would have been a hit, it will be. Especially if I need to knock a player off of their high horse. To me this is no different that adding the advanced template to creatures.
This whole quote is a perfect example of terrible GMing, and the part I bolded is a good illustration of the level of blindness required to not see it.

Yeah. I'm not a fan of calling people terrible GMs, but this is really just being a poor game player in general. Using In Character means to punish people for Out of Character behavior is just wrong. Talk to the other person or part ways. The days that "bolts from the blue" were even considered vaguely a good idea passed years ago.

I don't "cheat" as a GM. I make a challenge or bad guys or whatever and if you beat it, hurrah! If you don't, then you hopefully learn and do better next time. Changing the bad guys, dropping in more mysteriously or adjusting hit points just sort of smacks of a "I'll never let you win!" mentality that I don't think a Game Master should have. It isn't me against the table, it's the adversary against the players, and I am supposed to be impartial.


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Greg the Ghoul wrote:
Morzadian wrote:
No offence intended: even though you are a ghoul, you surprisingly have some really interesting stories to tell people about.
It is only surprising to people who are unaware of the great stories which came about because of failures. The Lord of The Rings trilogy can be traced to a halfling missing his survival check during a fight with some orcs and getting lost - Bilbo gets acclaim for starting a major war by not being able to tell his left from his right. A party of uber-competent heroes going down a railroad track and saving the world can make a decent story, a party of heroes-in-name-only getting side-tracked and overcoming their weaknesses to save (or fail to save) the world can make a great story.

Very much so. The stories of failure or mistake can be great role playing experiences or even give a player a way to broaden and think differently about their character, to grow in a direction they never even dreamed about, to step out of the pre-planned buy-this-at-that-level and let the character breathe.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Aranna wrote:
Or that surprisingly large third group that refuses to take a pro or con position and just chalks it up to specifics groups good or bad.
Group composition has a far greater effect on social interactions than specific rules or interactions do, at least in such a highly social activity.

Yup.

Whether you've had a good or bad experience with GMPCs or dragons or Cheliax or gnomes or magic items or house rules or whatever comes down to specific instances and interactions.

I mentioned this earlier and it bears repeating: just because a relationship failed does not mean ALL relationships or ALL of a gender* are horrible and they should never be trusted. It isn't and hasn't been bad for everyone, your experiences are clouding your perception.

*Forgive me for not knowing how to say gender identification(?) better in this situation, so using gender as an all inclusive here.


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captain yesterday wrote:

Yay!

Now we don't even care if our labels are consistent through single posts :-)

Yeah yeah, I was in a hurry and frankly labeling these things is not consistent from person to person. What people call a DMPC/GMPC I call "an NPC."

This troubling need to label things so we can say "This bad! This not so bad!" is more effort than it is worth. :)


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Irontruth wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
I've dealt with enough bad DMPC's that several friends and I have a code word for when we're planning on turning on them and killing them.
Please tell me the use of this 'backstab the character of your fellow player who happens to be running the game' code is preceded by an actual conversation with the GM in question, explaining why you're unhappy with the GMPC and asking if he can either change his methods or remove the GMPC from the game?
That aspect of the story is not relevant to what is currently being discussed. The point is that bad DMPC's DO exist. They have occurred often enough for me that we have a code word for it. That is the relevant piece of information you should latch on to. I have no interest in you dissecting my groups interactions or passing judgement on me and my friends.

Bad DMPCs do exist. Bad GMs exist as well, and bad players, and bad gaming experiences in general. But so do well-played GMPCs, good players, good GMs and good gaming experiences in general.

People on both/all sides of this can drop their length of time playing on the table and protest that they saw it done well or done poorly and that still only means that in their own experience it is good or bad.

I am not up to DrDeth's 40 years -- mine's only around 38 -- and I've seen good and bad GMPCs. Some were straight up railroading manipulative stealing the limelight characters, and others were intricately complex characters that the players loved.

There is no one right answer. There is no One True Way. Do what you want, what your table can agree with, and don't sweat what Random Individual on the message boards tells you is the way it should be.


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Black Moria wrote:

When I first heard about this AP, my reaction was largely negative.

My group doesn't do evil in the usual sense - raping, murdering, burning orphanages to the ground, selling one's mother into servitude, kicking puppies. Absolutely will not fly with them doing evil against good.

Then I thought more on it - what if this AP has a Cheliax civil war for the backdrop? More of a evil fighting evil theme than evil fighting good. That is something I think my players could go for.

And I think that may be where this AP is heading. Hell's Rebels and this AP happening at the same time and Erik Mona's statement that House Thrune may be on the outs with Asmodeus definitely sounds like a setup for a Cheliax civil war breaking out.

I can only hope you are right. A purely evil AP doesn't interest me in the slightest other than mining the AP for things to use another time.

The problem with evil adventures is many players have no idea how to be evil that isn't "kill maim rape destroy!" to a level that Freddy Krueger, Jason and Michael Myers would be like "Tone it down, dude."


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Not what I was hoping for, but we'll see how it plays out.


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You can attribute all sorts of readings .. especially "read between the lines" readings .. to many books and songs and art and .. well, you get the point.

There are entire sites on the 'net where people debate these sorts of things, and while they make for a fun read they are on the level of conspiracy theories for the most part. If it is what you took from the piece of work, then that is your (or their) interpretation. That doesn't mean that the books are more inclusive because Bilbo was seen as a metaphor by someone of working through our racial problems, or whatever.


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"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
knightnday wrote:

They also aren't done yet. There are portions of the world, and the gods and people therein, that haven't been touched on.

Not everything is going to be there for everyone right off the bat; that doesn't mean that they are never going to follow up.

Which is all fine and dandy, but you may want to actually look up "inclusiveness", and reconsider just how long Pathfinder/Golarion has ostensibly be in existence. It' either a "pick and choose" setting or a "a little bit for everyone" setting. Can't be both, and by it's very nature, Golarion is not a "a little bit for everyone" setting.

Are they supposed to be? Is that the mission goal of the company, or are they trying to put out the product on their terms instead of that set by others?

There is a good deal for everyone on Golarion. People seem upset that their current wants aren't being met on the schedule that they want, which seems to be the sub-heading under inclusiveness as far as the Internet is concerned.

As stated above and in other threads, if something you (the universal you) want isn't being made by the various companies, perhaps you should work towards making it because you've found something that you, and presumably others, want. Your schedule of need isn't always the company you are dealing with's schedule, despite the Internet's need and desire to rally against perceived injustices.


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"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
Morzadian wrote:
Earlier versions of D&D like Greyhawk has black gods (Touv pantheon) but has far less inclusion than Pathfinder, as Pathfinder has positive black characters, like Quinn the Investigator iconic.

Huh???

Pathfinder is very far from inclusive. They might be more inclusive in some specific cases, namely gender and orientation, that's also about it in. But even for just those two, they are pretty far behind the curve, (considering thing like the WoD, oddly Greyhawk, Dragonlance, and many other similar settings). Don't get me wrong, they do a pretty good job in that sense, but there are a lot of groups out there that Pathfinder/Paizo have not touched or outright decided they will not.

They also aren't done yet. There are portions of the world, and the gods and people therein, that haven't been touched on.

Not everything is going to be there for everyone right off the bat; that doesn't mean that they are never going to follow up.


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Jacob Saltband wrote:
Morzadian wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:

So according to some of us, you have to roleplay in order to roleplay, but according to the dictionary, you just have to play a role-playing game in order to roleplay. And the original poster wanted to know why so many people insisted on RP in their RPGs.

You know what a recursive definitions is? It's a definition that's recursive...

The creator of the first commercially available role-playing game didn't use mathematical logic to define role-playing games.

AD&D 1e:

As a role player, you become Falstaff the fighter. You know how strong, intelligent, wise, healthy, dexterous and, relatively speaking, how commanding a personality you have.

Details as to your appearance your body proportions, and your history can be produced by you or the Dungeon Master. You act out the game as this character, staying within your "god given abilities", and as molded by your philosophical and moral ethics (called alignment).

You interact with your fellow role players, not as Jim and Bob and Mary who work at the office together, but as Falstaff the fighter, Angore the cleric, and Filmar, the mistress of magic!

The Dungeon Master will act the parts of "everyone else", and will present to you a variety of new characters to talk with, drink with, gamble with, adventure with, and often fight with! Each of you will become an artful thespian as time goes by - and you will acquire gold, magic items, and great renown as you become Falstaff the Invincible!

So have you become an 'artful thespian' yet?

Edit: I know after 30yrs I havent yet.

I did, but it may have had to do with way too many high school and college theater classes. ;)


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I try and give the benefit of the doubt when I can, but I don't care for people who cheat at the game. I'll give a warning, in private, about what behavior is causing a problem and let them know that I'm not interested in excuses or what ifs, just please don't do it again. If it is a mistake, let's not do it again. If it's on purpose, don't do it again.

We had some bad cheating back in the old, old days when you colored in your own dice (remember that?) For people who missed those halcyon days, you'd have a d20 with 0-9 repeated twice, and you'd color them two different colors to indicate 1-10 and 11-20.

One player, who was problematic to begin with, tended to color all his dice in shades that you couldn't tell apart on a bet. He always seemed to manage to get an inordinate amount of high numbers and 20s. Or even better, his dice hit the floor and wouldn't you know it, high number.

We bought him some dice, colored them ourselves and told him he could roll in this box on the table and no where else. He stopped playing soon thereafter.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Sissyl wrote:

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.

Sissyl... I don't think anybody intended it to come out that way.

GMPC's being used poorly is bad GMing. Knowing whether or not you can pull it off is a sign of being a good GM.

I can't do it, but I still consider myself a good GM because I refrain. I'd say that - assuming you do well in the standard GM fields - you're a good GM as well despite the inability to GMPC.

And there's the rub: what makes a "good" GM and a "bad" GM seems to differ from person to person, based on experience and personality (and sometimes the day of the week.)

My comment regarding the bad touch may have come across as snarky; however, some of the conversation has gotten to the point where, if this were a TV show or movie, I would expect a flashback to whatever traumatic event has colored some of the poster's opinions to the point that we are questioning maturity or using absolutes that things are ALWAYS bad (or always good for that matter.)

Anything can be abused, GMPCs included. I've seen miniatures abused for goodness sake. People change whiteboards. Favoritism that is utterly blatant. If there is a GM that wants to hog the spotlight or otherwise mess with the party, there will be signs all over the place.

A GMPC isn't a bellweather of anything more than there is an NPC there. Emotional attachment [i]could[/] mean something, or it could mean that the GM gets emotionally attached to everything they touch, from giving waaaay too much detail to the local village tavern owner to developing a fondness for the Big Bad at the dungeon and finding a way to save them from you.

tl;dr: It's a tool.


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Haladir wrote:
Kildaere wrote:

1) Do you use magic item shops? If so do you roll for item availability?

2) Do you use the settlement purchase limits?
3) Do you use random magic items in shops for the specific reason of providing items that exceed the limit?
4) Do you allow unrestricted crafting? If there are restrictions what are they?
5) If an item is in a Paizo book. Does your GM always allow it? Are there ever discussions over overpowered items? Does your GM ban certain items?
6) Does your GM allow custom items? (for example: Custom slot less (+ 4 STR scabbard) or out of standard slot items (a +4 INT BELT) or downgraded items (the above mentioned +1 Celestial Armor.)

1) Sort of. When PCs are adventuring primarily in a single location, I usually design a bunch of specialty shops that may have magic items of one sort or another. (e.g. an alchemist who sells potions; a sage who sells scrolls; a curiosity shop that may have some oddball wondrous items; a leatherworker who stocks magic items made of leather; etc.) I pretty much never have a "one-stop-shop Magic Mart" because I think they're boring and too easy.

2) I do use the settlement purchase limits. Again, if the PCs are in a location for a while, I'll have a full Settlement write-up, and will know the marketplace information.

3) Yes, I tend to roll randomly. I also pretty much limit magic shops to having items from the Core Rulebook. That said, if I know the PCs are looking for a specific item (and I think it's OK for them to have it), I'll either just make it available for purchase, have them encounter an enemy who will be using one (that the PCs can claim as loot), or write a short quest adventure for the PCs to obtain it.

4) I allow unrestricted crafting by the PCs for standard items. They can also hire a crafter to make things on commission (50% down, 50% on delivery). The only limitation might be time if the adventure is on a clock. That said, I may object to a specific item for specific reasons; I'll have an OOC discussion with the player in that case.

5) I don't necessarily allow every item in every book. For that matter, anything non-Core in my games usually requires GM permission. (I usually say 'yes' unless I have a reason to say 'no.')

6) I will allow custom items on a case-by-case basis. They are never available for simple purchase, though. They must be either found as loot or crafted. And for truly non-standard items, those are things the PCs will have to craft themselves.

Haladir has been in my notes it seems. This is pretty much how I deal with things, unless we are playing in a specific limited magic setting/world, in which case item buying and creation are covered in the players documentation at the beginning of the game.


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Zhangar wrote:
KenderKin wrote:

Rules for making an effective DMPC

1. The DMPC should be un-optimized, and possibly multi-classed, one of those classes should be support focused.

2. THE DMPC should not be allowed to take any loot/glory from any of the players

3. The DMPC should solve/plan 0% of anything happening in the game
....I further have a rule that a GMPC's initiative is always 10 I don't even roll it!

4. The DMPC is there to keep things moving forward, such as asking another player, what should we do about this?

5. The DMPC is not protected from being targeted by or potentially killed by enemies. I use a random attack roller including the DMPC for who gets attacked....Druid/Wizard DMPC nearly died from a grim-lock greataxe to the chest!

Re # 1 - Though with the caveat that a GMPC that's dead weight is nearly as bad as a GMPC that's a glory hog. If your GMPC is an outright burden to the PCs, you're doing it wrong.

Re # 2 - In my group's games, the GMPC gets a share of treasure, but only after the other PCs make first picks. (Rule of thumb - any items obviously good for the GMPC should also be an upgrade/good for at least one other PC.)

@ Sissyl - in my group's case, it's more "we're all GMS that have taken turns having GMPCs, we find them useful (because having another party member is useful), we leave it up to whoever's currently GMing to decide decide if he wants one or not (because having one DOES add to the GM's workload), and we'll cheerfully call the current GM out on it if he's somehow Mary Sueing it up. But that hasn't been an issue for the 15+ years I've been part of my group."

You seem to be presuming a situation where it's always a tyrant GM shoving an unwanted NPC down the throats of his captive players. Maybe that's how a past group of yours worked, but that's certainly not how mine works.

Or in other words, please show us on the doll where the bad GM touched your character sheet.

Not everyone plays the same way or experiences the same problems. It isn't a definite that X style of GMing is bad or good; it was good or bad for you on a certain day at a certain time, that's all.


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Turin the Mad wrote:
It's amusing how many posters have completely missed that one of the OP's players posted in this thread explaining things a bit from his perspective. ;)

I don't think people missed it, but rather that it didn't change people's minds and in many cases only made things worse. The commentary about the party being Chaotic Neutral (as if that is an excuse) comes to mind as an example.

Their perspective seems to be "Well, it's a LE character watching us for the Hellknights. Kill it!!!" From there we get to trying to take the town, which is boggling but whatever.

It seems that they had decided their path and went with it. I'd not bother to roll out fighting them -- what happens if/when you botch that and they squirrel out a win? Now they have more experience and gear, and you have to do it all over again, giving them the attention that they want and justifying their decision.

Just end the game, talk to them out of game and see if they want to play the game as heroes, if that is the game you want to run, or bad guys, if that is the game you want to run. If you guys cannot come to a consensus, maybe playing together isn't a good idea.


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Fourleaf wrote:


I'm CN as is most the party with a few N and one NG and one NE. The GM has said that I'm playing a paladin if i die or have to run because I get caught. This is so I don't play the same alignment and to add RP because people are killing each other.

Ah, Chaotic Neutral. I had a feeling you'd be showing up here.

To echo most everyone, it isn't really a great thing to do. Given, however, that the party seems intent on killing each other and generally being uncooperative or horrible, I think the stealing is pretty much a drop in the bucket at this point.

Have a back up plan in case they see you. Plan a new character. Or a new group.


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Change to Paranoia or Shadowrun or a game where they can get their jollies killing folks. It doesn't seem that they are interested in being heroes or adventurers.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
Just curious: Has anyone changed his or her opinion as a result of reading this thread? Or are we just barking at each other to no effect?
Fairly sure it's the second.

Mostly talking past each other, I think. Though this thread and some like it often brings to mind conversations I've had with friends about some man or woman that has done them wrong and how ALL men or women are evil from the black pit and should never be trusted.

Sometimes the bad experience that one has had isn't the same across the board, much like dating. Sometimes it is bad choices and so on. Just because redheads didn't work for you doesn't mean ALL redheads are bad, you know?


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dot


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Kildaere wrote:

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Bigger club.

How about a classic case of you not having all the information.

(GM in question here).

We run a lot of games. As a GM I try to make them feel unique and different. CommandoDude just came off of a Kingmaker Campaign with unlimited crafting and absolutely no purchase restrictions. The next campaign will likely still have limited crafting, but purchase restrictions will be relaxed or open.

In this campaign crafting feats ARE NOT banned. I encourage crafting. The only feats that off the table are Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wonderous Item, Craft staff and Forge Ring. The rest are open and available for use.

All of this was very openly explained BEFORE the campaign ever started.

I wanted a specific feel for Rise of the Runelords. I wanted more consumable use. I wanted a lower top end on purchased power items (+4's being the likely purchase top). I wanted more use of found items. And I wanted character creation choices to matter. All of this was explained to the players at the beginning, and most of this has actually worked out.

I removed some of the above quote for brevity.

In my opinion, you worked in good faith with the players and let them know from the very beginning what to expect. With that in mind, it seems poor form, given that you've allowed special dispensation to get around requirements and the like to have you be called a poor GM or that you aren't being fair.

While I agree with some of what GM Blake said, I do not totally agree about the "No matter what reasons a GM has for making a player unhappy, it is his job to fix that problem and make the player happy. PERIOD."

Some people are not happy unless they get everything they want, when they want it, how they want it, with a bow and whipped cream on top. Some people, and not just gamers, aren't ever happy with with choices, no matter how much you bend.

Your job as the GM is to make the table as a whole happy in general. That doesn't mean that you have to go out of your way to make sure that they are 100% deliriously happy 100% of the time; if you are doing that, why bother setting any restrictions?

If you know from the outset that you are working with limited magic, or that there aren't Magic Walmarts around every corner, or that spells have been altered or whatever the house rules are and then you choose to play, it becomes the player's responsibility to uphold their part of the agreement.


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Morzadian wrote:

I don't disagree, I have used the identical concept as GM, creating unique magical items that had some kind of historical or philosophical significance as well as some unique mechanical difference. It's a good template, very effective.

However, I have seen players make the most mundane things interesting, be it a feat, magic item or spell. They really made good gaming sessions into great ones.

I find that it often depends on your group. I have and have had groups that would marvel over the smallest magical item and treat it with wonder and respect, while others were more, shall we say, mechanically minded and just wanted the next plus, the next seemingly better thing.

To the first set, something with a back story should be passed on to others, or investigated to find out more about it. To the second group, it goes in the "sell" pile along with whatever else they get because it isn't better than the +X they already have.

I've found that altering the ability to just buy magic items at every Wal-Magic store in every town helps foster a sense that anything you find may be something of wonder. Adding in something like scaling items can also help tamp down on players discarding items in the hunt for the next plus -- you never know if Bloodreaver might manifest more abilities down the line.


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Word games. Flag it and move on instead of continuing to feed him.


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So let's get back to shutting down spell casters. My memory fails me, but isn't there some sort of poison or gas that lowers/damages Intelligence or Wisdom or Charisma (depending on whom you face)? I know that sort of thing has existed in other games (used to great effect in Shadowrun, for example) but I don't recall offhand the names of something quick and potent for Pathfinder.


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To tug this towards shutting down other spell casters that are not casting Limited Wish into Geas, another option that is a bit harder to implement is option paralysis. Give them too much going on to think about, too many variables to calculate easily and keep an eye on the clock. Don't give players half a hour to dig through their sheet, count squares and otherwise dither about until they find just the right thing to do.

Sometimes these mistakes make great adventuring stories as well.


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If we were diagramming a sentence you might even be correct. We are not. We are discussing rules and not playing word games. Seriously, let it go. I have explained above, you don't agree, and now you are trying to badger me into another explanation that you can try to pick apart.

I do not agree with your interpretation. You will have to live with that.


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Anzyr wrote:
knightnday wrote:

No, you are trying to manipulate the conversation to your liking.

You are welcome not to like my interpretation on how the spell works. We do not play at the same table, so that means roughly .. nothing.

I've said it before a number of times and I'll say it again: if you can find a GM that you can sell your interpretation to -- and that is all this is, this isn't a problem with English (or any other language) or with the rules, it is an interpretation -- then you are golden. Not everyone will buy it, and you will have to come to grips with that.

I am trying to understand how you are achieving your interpretation. But you are giving me nothing to explain it. I shouldn't have to get someone to "buy" that "Obey me for X days." is a single command, any more I should have to get someone to buy that the subject of that sentence is "you understood". It's plain English. Which is why I can't fathom your argument.

From my point of view your argument looks like "That is only one command and there is no way to twist the English language to make it two, but I don't like that result and so will act as though the straightforward English interpretation is just word games."

I don't think that's what you are trying to say, but that's how it comes across to me. Please try to explain your argument as I would like to understand, but I am having a hard time doing so.

Asked and answered. I've explained as much as I care to on the subject. We disagree on interpretations as much as we would disagree that using Limited Wish to duplicate Geas would or would not include the 10 minute casting time.


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No, you are trying to manipulate the conversation to your liking.

You are welcome not to like my interpretation on how the spell works. We do not play at the same table, so that means roughly .. nothing.

I've said it before a number of times and I'll say it again: if you can find a GM that you can sell your interpretation to -- and that is all this is, this isn't a problem with English (or any other language) or with the rules, it is an interpretation -- then you are golden. Not everyone will buy it, and you will have to come to grips with that.


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Word games. Move on, Anzyr. Some people do not agree with you.


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I've answered that, but I'll answer it again so that you can better understand my argument.

No. That is not a valid single command. I am not going to play word games and say "Well gosh it is a single command, but not one that I believe is valid because blah blah blah."

Then you can come back with "But you DID say it was a single command, therefore blah blah blah."

Word games.

I am sorry if you aren't able to understand what I've clearly spelled out in my previous posts. There comes a point where we are talking about different things and aren't going to agree. I do not see this as a lack of understanding how this could be misconstrued in any language, but more that we do not agree with each other's basic argument.

And that is fine. I don't have to agree, or be right for your table. Just for mine.


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Snowblind wrote:

Many things, but most importantly:

Lets take the command "Act as my utterly loyal and obedient servant who will carry out any task I ask of them other than kill themselves or perform acts that would result in certain death for X days".

Specifics. In your post you give a specific and/or more detailed command. As far as I can remember from every article and discussion on wishes and geas-like commands, specifics are an important detail. This is why the spell documentation mentions "A clever recipient can subvert some instructions."

I put it this way to my players: be specific in your instructions, because the bad guys get the same spells to use." In other words, if you don't want spells cast on you with vague, hard to define parameters that aren't giving you the ability to be clever to subvert the commands, don't do it in return.

"Obey me" isn't a detailed command. It is at best half a command waiting for more details. Again, this is why it is important as a GM to have this sort of thing worked out, and as a player to check with the GM on how this spell and ones like it work before you drop it and then spend the rest of the night arguing over the definition of the word "service".


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Anzyr wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Anzyr wrote:

I need more differentiation. In the same way "Kill everyone who walks through this door" is a single command requiring the person to attack whatever comes through the door, "Obey me for X days" is a single command requiring the person to obey the caster for X days. How are these in the English language different?

And honestly, no "Kill everyone who walks through this door" could not be completely with one attack. I would be *very* curious as to how one could interpret it that way....

The difference is a one stage command versus a two (or multiple) stage command. "Kill everyone who walks through this door" is a one stage command with no further intervention by the caster needed.

"Obey me for X days" is a two or more stage command requiring the caster to continue to input commands.

This is as simple, in the English language, as I can make it. You are trying to get multiple commands out of one. It's clever, and as I said if you can sell that to a GM then more power to you. Not everyone is going to buy it, however.

No, you are still only giving one command. In plain English, the only command is "Obey Me for X days." There is no "multiple stages" to that command. It stands by itself as a singular command. Please explain where you get second command from that. To me it seems you are confusing the commands you issue later that the target will then obey as part of the initial singular command. Which is not how English works.

I'll be honest here: you do not seem as confused as you would like us to believe. It's a very nice try, and again, if you can get someone to allow you to get away with this sort of thing then more power to you.

This, incidentally, fits in with how to shut down spell casters: don't play word games with them. Don't allow them to convince you that what you believe to be a skewed view is correct. I suggest going through the spells one by one and making notes on what you might see as broken, might see as something someone will try to manipulate or "creatively word" and set ideas for rulings in your house rules documents. That way Bob the Caster knows where you stand right away.

Use these boards and others as a resource to see what people like to attempt as well. No sense reinventing the wheel when so many thoughtful people are willing to hash these spells out.


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Anzyr wrote:

I need more differentiation. In the same way "Kill everyone who walks through this door" is a single command requiring the person to attack whatever comes through the door, "Obey me for X days" is a single command requiring the person to obey the caster for X days. How are these in the English language different?

And honestly, no "Kill everyone who walks through this door" could not be completely with one attack. I would be *very* curious as to how one could interpret it that way....

The difference is a one stage command versus a two (or multiple) stage command. "Kill everyone who walks through this door" is a one stage command with no further intervention by the caster needed.

"Obey me for X days" is a two or more stage command requiring the caster to continue to input commands.

This is as simple, in the English language, as I can make it. You are trying to get multiple commands out of one. It's clever, and as I said if you can sell that to a GM then more power to you. Not everyone is going to buy it, however.


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Anzyr wrote:
knightnday wrote:
"Obey me for X days" is not one thing. It is a way to get multiple services out of one command. A slick way to get around it, mind, but one that you'll have to sell each time to different GMs who may or may not agree with your interpretation of what one and many are.
Explain how you interpret it to be more commands then "Kill everyone who walks through this door." Certainly it will lead to more tasks being imposed under one command and why yes that is terribly clever, but that is ultimately the point. It's only asking one thing. All you are asking for with the geas is obedience. It's like in Code Geass when Lelouch finally stops playing softball and starts issuing universal "Obey me" commands.

"Kill everyone who walks through this door" is a single command requiring the person to attack whatever comes through the door. It's actually a bit broad for my tastes, but it could be considered one service. If you wanted to be really strict as a GM you could say that the service is over after one attack; you didn't say for how long, how many targets and so forth.

You do not seem confused if you got the point that you are being clever and trying to get around a restriction. You are trying for multiple services -- my suggestion is to get a GM that buys what you are selling.

Your example from whatever anime (I assume?) is lost on me. All I can say is that much like trying for multiple wishes, I'd advise you, in my game, to narrow your command.


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"Obey me for X days" is not one thing. It is a way to get multiple services out of one command. A slick way to get around it, mind, but one that you'll have to sell each time to different GMs who may or may not agree with your interpretation of what one and many are.


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There are mechanics out there, at least in a 3.5 D&D third party supplement called The Book of Erotic Fantasy.

From what they had, you had no modifiers the first trimester, movement reduced by one quarter and -2 to Dexterity for the second trimester and finally, for the third trimester, half movement and -4 to Dexterity, -2 to Strength.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend using these, or indeed running a pregnant character persay. While not a female, my wife tells me that in her opinion (having gone through it a few times) that adventuring doesn't sound like a lot of fun once you start waddling, your back hurts, your sense of smell goes wonky, your balance goes out and so on. Nesting instincts tend to want to make you hunker down and have the child rather than wander the countryside attacking monsters.

This isn't to say that you couldn't or wouldn't adventure, but that it might not be a big priority to a pregnant individual except under duress.


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andreww wrote:
knightnday wrote:
You keep saying that but that doesn't make it true. I've found that not playing with people who want to wander in grey areas or break the game corrects many of these "problems." The rest can be fixed with "No, that's stupid/broken/not cool. Move on."

Really because I have found that just using the spells in the CRB without applying any sort of grey areas demonstrates an enormous gulf between what martial characters can achieve and what casters can do.

It doesn't take much looking to see that someone who can communicate with the dead, raise skeletal armies, learn the secrets of the ancients or teleport across the world in the blink of an eye might possibly be a bit more versatile or effective than someone who has nothing much more than a pointy stick and some skill points.

There is a reason Pathfinder is often renamed Casterfinder.

Renamed where?

And yes, magic is more versatile, and has been for a while. I'm often confused why this is brought up, like it is some great revelation that a character that can have a god grant their wishes or alter reality and/or harness the powers of the universe are more powerful than a guy with a sword. Holy $#@^. What's next, water is wet?

There have been a lot of games with magic users over the years and in the vast majority, spell casters usually have an edge over martials. This isn't a new thing that Pathfinder dreamed up just to mess with people.

Lastly, if you have problems with the system or what magic can do, you can alter it for your game. Again, use that experience to make the game that you want instead of waiting to see if Whichever Game Company is going to do it for you. Paizo or WOTC or whomever isn't coming to your house to tell you that you are doing it wrong.


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Anzyr wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Pathfinder 2.0 wrote:
knightnday wrote:

The wonderful thing about threads like this and others is when people point out all these grey area and/or broken spell combinations I can add to my list of "things to edit or remove in our game."

And you told me that I'd never be able to get through all the spells! :)

Not before you switch over to me, you won't. It's half the reason I'm inevitable.

Maybe, maybe not. Mostly I keep the list updated and the links active so when people ask "Why can't I use X?" I can point to the threads and they'll understand completely.

Just because something is broken or wonky doesn't mean you have to use it.

There's literally to much stuff that is baked into the game that makes spells to powerful and martials to weak. As this very thread shows, the means of shutting down a caster amounts to "try something and hope the caster didn't make themselves immune to that".

You keep saying that but that doesn't make it true. I've found that not playing with people who want to wander in grey areas or break the game corrects many of these "problems." The rest can be fixed with "No, that's stupid/broken/not cool. Move on."

Despite posts to the contrary, you can really say no. It works!


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Pathfinder 2.0 wrote:
knightnday wrote:

The wonderful thing about threads like this and others is when people point out all these grey area and/or broken spell combinations I can add to my list of "things to edit or remove in our game."

And you told me that I'd never be able to get through all the spells! :)

Not before you switch over to me, you won't. It's half the reason I'm inevitable.

Maybe, maybe not. Mostly I keep the list updated and the links active so when people ask "Why can't I use X?" I can point to the threads and they'll understand completely.

Just because something is broken or wonky doesn't mean you have to use it.


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The wonderful thing about threads like this and others is when people point out all these grey area and/or broken spell combinations I can add to my list of "things to edit or remove in our game."

And you told me that I'd never be able to get through all the spells! :)


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Jaelithe wrote:
Anyone had a DMPC develop through play, as the players grew more and more attached to a particular NPC?

A large number of times. Husbands, wives, trusted advisers and so on.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:
There's a lot of difference between Spear-holder #3 with a simple stat block and a fully fledged background character.
Huh. I don't see them as different.

I agree. Truth be told, I have had three ring binders full of NPC character sheets and many have traveled with parties for a time or two.


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Anarchy_Kanya wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
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".

Yes, because that "fact" of yours totally and completely invalidates that pro argument. /sarcasm

Don't know who you play with to state such opinions as facts, but everyone I know gives feedback, good or bad. Maybe that's because we encourage criticism in our gaming community because we strive to better ourselves.

As far as feedback goes: ask. Speak with the players after each session or set of sessions. I've gone as far as passing around questionnaires or holding informal rap sessions at the end of the game, taking a few minutes out of the end of the game to say "Hey, what did you like? What did you not like? What could we do differently?"

If you don't come across defensively or aggressively people are willing, usually, to talk to you about the game. This has worked with relative strangers as well as people as close as my wife. If you don't ask, you may never find out. Keep in mind that if you do ask, however, that you may get feedback that you may not like or face problems you were previously unaware existed.

Then you have to decide how to act on them, whether the players are tired of the same old same old game, GMPCs, not enough or too much of an element and so on.


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I tend to agree with your suggestion if your friend is interested in that role.

As to whether it should bother people, that is hard to say. There are all sorts of little things that people dislike, from the way someone chews to telling others how to play (no matter how polite the suggestion.)

I wouldn't quit if I were him unless he is really unhappy. Either change the character or perhaps try to talk to some of the players away from the others, slowly working with them individually to help them with their tactics and strategies.


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Berselius wrote:
Quote:
1) I really dislike Humans.
Quote:
I don't care for Elves, Orcs, Dwarves and which other overused, D&D-taken core races I forget?
Quote:
I really dislike half-things like Tieflings, Half-Elves, Half-Ogres and Half-Orcs more than humans, those are for me the most annoying creatures in existence, I'd rather see 50 robots in bestiary 5 than one more half-race, for me those are just cheap, like creating a half-minotaur, half-medusa while you have more than 1000 mythological/cryptid/fantasy story/fairytale/folklore/horror movie and what not to choose from, why on earth would you waste time on cheapness.
Wow, kinda limiting yourself in options aren't ya dude?

I feel just the opposite -- I'd be glad for anything but another Bestiary as the hard cover. I do not need another book of questionable monsters like "Oh My God It's Big!", "More Lovecraft Stuff" and "Things With Long Names And One Leg/Body Part." Another Monster Codex? A hard cover book on NPCs or even Longswords Unchained would be better for me than a book half or more full of monsters that I might use once, if that often. :)


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Pretty much what Mark Hoover and thegreenteagamer just said: I expect the player to give me at least an inkling of what they are doing and how they are going about it. I want more than "I intimidate them" or "I diplomacy the king."

I don't expect acting; I was a Drama major and don't act at people. Don't act at me, just play your character and interact with the world. I want more than grunts and dice throwing, otherwise I could roll this all out myself and write a nice little story (as GMs are often told they should go do.)

Be part of the story, and active part, and everything is golden.


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DrDeth wrote:
Joynt Jezebel wrote:

It always surprises me just how bad GMPCs, by which I mean characters the GM plays as if they were their PC, are for a campaign.

I can well see it is bad, but its much worse than you would expect.

Maybe it is that GMs who don't know that GMPCs are a very bad idea tend not to know what they are doing.

And what's worse, we have DM's that think they are so very great as they "know how to play DMPC's right, and they add a lot to a game if so..."

Eh, every time I see something like this, I feel like we are on the cusp of a story about how a bad GM did a bad thing and to this day it still haunts the poster.

Maybe it isn't that they/we think that we are so great and wonderful, but that we don't cram the GMNPC, or any NPC, down the players throats or make them feel like they are observers in the game.

If the GM is going to glory hog on the players or steal the spotlight or otherwise marginalize them they can do that with any NPC. The party doesn't have to have Elminster traveling with them, the GM could use a familiar or henchman or wandering shepherd to save the day or make them feel like second-class adventurers.

It is a tool and if used correctly it can benefit the game, just like anything else the GM does.

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