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Darius Finch

knightnday's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 607 posts. 1 review. No lists. No wishlists.


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DM Under The Bridge wrote:
The last point is a bit pithy but also relevant. If your players are checking for evil and killing npcs, maybe they are really calling for a nice simple bash evil and have fun type of game. You have give them what they want or they will certainly act up. Good luck.

Pretty much this in a nutshell. Bob detected as evil -- so what? That doesn't give you the right to run up and kill them, be you a paladin or policeman or cleric or whatever. If that is the main issue you are running into, it isn't the alignment system that is a problem.

A shades of grey world won't change player behavior. Removing alignment doesn't make people role play in a less disruptive way if that is their thing. Much like everything in the rules, alignment is part of the tool box, and like everything there, if it doesn't work for your game you can remove it. But I don't see them removing it from the game as a whole, anymore than removing guns, ninjas, puppies, or whatever it is that bugs certain groups would solve anything.

Make the game your own by customizing.


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I've played Shadowrun since the game came out, and people act chaotic stupid or Who Me evil or whatever other alignment issues that might crop up.

People misinterpret less often than you might think. More often, they want to do what they want to do and will find a way to make that happen with or without alignment systems.


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Mikaze wrote:

I can't recall one NPC from a Pathfinder adventure I would call a Mary Sue.

And characters with rich backgrounds don't work as allies?! I know that having background material to draw upon when conversing with those allies has only helped immersion and further illustrating the world. As a player, I greatly appreciate it because it helps a LOT with investment.

Right. Those NPCs in many games (not all, there are people who do not use them like this) become lovers, business partners, allies, life long foes, foils and so on. The information can be moved to another adventure, can be used as inspiration for new PCs and NPCs alike, and can help grow a world.

That's what I and my players are looking for in a role-playing game. Otherwise, you can carve the names and background information off and leave the stats and sell a cut-down version of the AP for those interested in less romance, RP or whatever the bone of contention is and more adventuring. And I bet it would sell too. There is no One Way to play.


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Removing alignment, as MechE_ mentions, won't change player behaviour, but will just remove the words from the sheet. Someone who wants to murder peasants and kick puppies will still do it. Someone who wants to be utterly chaotic will. The alignment code gives you an idea of a way to interact with others, it doesn't cause or prevent anything a player wants to do. In some cases, it gives the GM a measuring stick -- one they will still need if there are God-given powers and codes and the like.

Removing alignments will do precisely nothing to control players anymore than suggesting a FAQ or internet Q&A will control someone who wants to find loopholes in the rules.

Communication and sometimes a good strong "No" can go a long way to getting everyone on the same page.


So it sounds more like you need a GM with the same beliefs and likes/dislikes as you rather than the rules to change. Finding that person would likely be quicker and easier than waiting for the Paladin to change.

There are a number of 3PP and 3.5 products to suit your needs. Given that you have (in previous posts) mentioned your hatred of the core races and desire for fey/etc types, and seem to manage to get to play those, I'd think that introducing a variant paladin into your games should be easy as pie.


If I remember correctly, there were a number of alignment variable paladins done in the Dragon, perhaps several times. 3.5 may contain some 3PP for them as well, and there might even be some for Pathfinder although the small child gnawing on my leg is making me forget. Any or all of those might be what you are looking for and can be easily modified for Pathfinder.

I mention them because I'd wager that the needs of a different alignment -- or even a different god or outlook -- might change the power set and general idea of the class.


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First off, I have to second everything BillGoat said. Some nights people's brains are just not in the right headspace for gaming. Find something else to do until people get it together and are ready to play.

As for "right" to have fun, I'm not much for that term. I believe you have the capacity to have fun, you have the ability to have fun, and I hope you have fun, but I am not going to cram fun down your throat nor am I going to spoon feed the game to you.

I make this clear from the onset in my games: This is the world. The world reacts to what you do and what you do not do. If you want to spend six months on a farm planting fields and tending to chickens, well, that's up to you. That princess taken by the dragon is probably going to get eaten and the random bad guys doing bad guy things are going to continue to do them. The world doesn't stop. I expect a certain amount of cooperation and involvement in what we are doing; otherwise, this isn't a collaborative game, it's me telling you a story while your eyes glaze over.


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Manimal wrote:

One thing I don't get is the fear that one word (usually one disliked) will replace any other word.

For example, let's take a rather common word: dog. There are a variety of different words one could use in place of the word "dog," including, but not limited to: pooch, hound, mutt, mongrel, puppy, pup, canine, etc. And yet, not one of these words has replaced any of the other words; rather, as some words fall out of popularity, they simply are used less. Correlated to, but not caused by the introduction of new words.

So to fear that some MMO players—as they seem to hold the most blame for the introduction of the word "toon" as a synonym for "character"—are inadvertently or purposefully trying to replace an already existing (and well-used) vocabulary seems imperceptive: such an event simply won't take place.

I don't see it as a fear but more of a dislike. But then, I also dislike dude-bro, brah, bro, or any other variation on that theme. And for me, it's the same sort of thing: I know mostly what you are talking about, but you are doing it in a way that sets my teeth on edge and definitely paints a picture of someone I am not interested in spending copious amounts of time around.


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Hrm. After the number of times it comes up on the boards, I now dislike "Stormwind Fallacy" more than "toon".


We ran across this many a year ago, before Pathfinder even. That game was house ruled to make teleportation over long distances unreliable at best. Then again, there were also magical storms that disrupted magic as well, with periods of time that made being outdoors unpleasant at best.

Then again, it also fixed a lot of other problems that I see on the boards, like magical folk running the table over mundanes.

Probably not the fix for everyone, but it worked for that game fairly well and dealt with the whole teleporting cargo bit. Lost a few shipments and people are eager to use boats and horses.


I dunno. The way I look at this thread and many others like it is more like a Travelocity or Yelp review of a place I want to go. Some people rave about it, some loathe it, some are in the middle. Which is right and which is wrong?

Much like every single thread about play styles, I imagine the truth is in the middle. And yes, it is a bit frustrating to hear, I imagine, that everyone's play style is valid. It comes across like not making a stand.

Thing is, what stand is it? Your style is not better than their style. It works for you and your table, and might work for the next table or they may hate it. Just like playing a different game than PF is not wrong or right. Some are a good fit, some are not.

I think people just feel a need to take a side and defend it come Hell or high water instead of letting their opinion stand. If Bob the poster tells you that you are wrong, who cares? If Sally the poster says that they like cute things and wants PF to support dollies being PCs, well, that's their proclivity. Telling them that they are a #%@#^#$^$ piece of #$%#$ doesn't really make a valid argument and isn't going to change their minds.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
MattR1986 wrote:

That's another aspect of it is the flavor.

Call it medieval, call it pre-industrial or call it what you will. When settings are merely a reflection of our modern society with generic brand +1 swords at Sir Walgreen's Ye Olde Generale Store, it loses it for me quickly.

Wraithstrike and Mark Hoover have already addressed this, but I thought I'd give it one last shot since I'll be at the top of a page and guaranteed to be noticed.

Many people who go with the default item availability are not using 'Magemart' in a Walmart sense, but rather each town of sufficient size happens to have the item being searched for.

It's not that there is a store selling thousands of 'products' but rather that all these items have been commissioned (produced for use as you put it upthread) and have since fallen out of use for some reason or other.

The user found/commissioned something better, or retired and is looking for a ton of quick cash, or died and left it as an heirloom and the descendant needs money, or a thousand other possibilities.

The fact that the right item happens to be the one the players find is an abstraction, not a statement that every item withiprice limit is there at the same time.

Which is a good deal of how we deal with it at our table: depending on city size and the item, it might be there. It might not be there *today*, but if you are interacting with a big trade hub or an area that deals with a lot of adventurers, magic, wars, or whatever, there is a good chance that something similar to what you want will eventually come through town.

There's always a chance that some of the commissioned items for dead adventurers might be around as well, but you never know what you'll find or if they'll have any perks/defects that they may have.


Erik Mona wrote:
I've got a couple of solutions for the PC issue that I hope to be able to announce in a couple of months.

Colour me very interested to hear that!


Cpt_kirstov wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
The problem with the Builder Series is that not enough people bought them.

Which seems hilarious to me - in CT that's all that we can sell. The store I work for has gone through 10 goblin builder set boxes and 8 undead, but still hasn't sold through a brick of and of the regular sets unopened (If I open them we can sell 95% of the singles in two weeks though)

If anything this should make buying by the case more friendly - you will have more doubles to sell off to FLGS to recoup some of your money back. If you make a deal with them when you preorder (I'll give you anything I get more than X of back) they may even give you more of a discount on the case

I agree. I've bought tons of the goblins and undead and was hoping for more along those lines: hobgoblins or gnolls or orcs or random adventurers or whatever other theme came out. While the AP sets are interesting, I get much more use out of the Builders and some of the commons from the big sets rather than Random Guy from the adventure path that may never be used again.


Marthkus wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
A long, drawn-out explanation of the finer points of Mathfinder's accounting system and a run-down on why you did it wrong. Then a "proof or it didn't happen" statement which will provide argument fodder for another three pages.

Weee. I wonder how many more people will show up with the actuarial tables and DPR listings before this thread finally dies.

Any fool can look at numbers and say "guys, I think this is a bad idea." Only a real adventurer will say "so what, let's go for it!"

And then die pointlessly, like all "real adventurers do".

Running into an unwinnable battle is not what real adventurers do. It's what turns your party into the pile of bones with loot on them that the actual adventuring party finds later.

What I don't understand is the comparison to a character without gear.

I thought the argument was that they wouldn't have the exact gear?

Which that campaign can work; rolled stats, random gear, rolled health. You'll probably have to fight APL-2 encounters though if you want the party to live. Unless you don't. Unless ever sessions is like Attack-on-Titan scouting missions beyond the wall where you can expect at-least 30% casualties. Which even that has its own appeal.

The above bolded is at least my take on things; I've played low-to-no-magic games before and they have a certain appeal. My take is rather that you are not guaranteed at level X to get widget Y on your list. You might get it sooner. You might get it later. You might not get the plusses you'd like or the form you believe you should have.

I believe that not everything that might be out there will be straight out of the book -- some might be in a new form, or with hidden benefits or drawbacks.

That said, not having everything fall neatly into place does cause you to have to evaluate your plans and strategies, much like not having someone to deal with traps or someone who wants to cast buffs means you have to change and adapt.


I'm male, straight, and 45. For the most part I play male characters (when I get to play which isn't all that often) but I've played a few female characters over the years and a number of entities that had no gender as well.

I'll have to dig out some of my notes to go into detail. I do know that they've varied from insanely good-looking sexually dynamic characters like Aerryeon to horribly disfigured dwarven fighters and the gamut in between.


DrDeth wrote:
Aranna wrote:

I suppose I should be amused by all this nerd rage over what some people call characters. I mean really does it matter? As long as you understand their meaning and you obviously do or you would be confused rather than enraged.

Toon: as I said already, it doesn't bother me anymore. To my ear it sounds extra cute and slangy. I don't use it but that is just because it still seems a bit strange to me. I suppose if I was in a group that used it regularly I might start using it without even realizing it myself.

Murderhobo: The first and to date only place I have seen this is right here on these very forums. It also caused me a moment of confusion when first reading it; and it strikes me as rather derogatory in nature despite the frequent use here. I might have even used it myself in an effort to be extra snarky.

Tank, Healer, Controller, DeePS, Buffer, pull, aggro, DOT, HOT, ect.: MMO terms. I use them and I think everyone does now.

"Toon" and "Murderhobo" are derogatory terms for a certain immature style of playing. Just like you don't call every lawyer a "shyster" or "ambulance chaser" nor every Doctor a "quack". In fact, darn few of either. (You might call your corporate lawyer buddy a "ambulance chaser" in jest over a few rounds of drinks while "on the 19th hole", but even there it must be with a smile and among friends)

Tank, Healer, Buffer, were all used in the old days of D&D, in fact one of my friend's OD&D Fighters was named "Sherman". Thus, MMO took those terms from Tabletop not the other way around. "Controller" was a style of wizard from the early days of 3rd ed.

I have never used nor even heard: DeePS, pull, aggro, DOT, HOT, used in table-top games.

I don't use most of these terms; the vast majority I've heard people use in online games and I've had to go educate myself via Google on what they are babbling on about.

As Kryzbyn mentioned above, language is used to express an idea. Thing is, unless someone is trying to save time in typing, I don't quite get the acronym/abbreviation/whatever appeal of these terms. If I have to say "What?" every time a player says something, it is adding instead of subtracting time.

Thankfully, I haven't run into this much in tabletop. It doesn't bother me that people use the terms -- other than murderhobo, which I dislike -- but they are not terms I choose to use and require me to switch gears to understand what someone is saying because I don't MMO and/or use the vast majority of the terms.

For me, Brick (from Hero Games) predated Tank so I'd get that reference, and we usually said cleric instead of healer.


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Or maybe we can back down from trying to be insulting by using entitled as an insult or slur before the thread gets closed, again,

Say it again, say it loud: There is no One True Way. Your Way is not the only Way.


That is certainly one opinion, although I'd say that the GM is a little more than the quarterback. He's also the coaches, the opposing team, the fans in the stand, the weather going on in the stadium, the colour commentator and more.

It isn't a matter of power or control. The GM is not a player. The GM is everything that isn't a player. This is why people tend to get hostile about GMPCs.


Anzyr wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
If you ever think it is GM vs player(s), you are doing it wrong (doesn't matter if you are a GM or a player).
I can agree with this. Though keep in mind the GM is just another player as well. The problem really is that many GM's feel being the GM makes them in some way better or more important then the other players (which I think it the literal definition of entitlement) and that attitude is one that needs to die in a fire for the good of the hobby as a whole.

Yes and no. The GM is a bit more than the other players, unless one of them would like to pick up the screen and do the job as well. Which, to be fair, few really want to do. So yes, the GM has a level of importance in the game -- without them, you are writing a novel alone.


Congratulations and great news indeed!


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Shisumo wrote:
Werecorpse wrote:
The AP's started off as being fairly standard fantasy exploration discovery stories but it seems like for some time this has been the exception rather than the norm.

Even if you just limit yourself to the ones published for the Pathfinder RPG specifically, you can get the "fairly standard fantasy exploration discovery" experience in Rise of the Runelords, Kingmaker, Serpent's Skull, Carrion Crown, and Shattered Star. If you're willing to toss in urban-based adventures, you can add Council of Thieves (and Curse of the Crimson Throne, if you're willing to include the 3.5 ones). And that's not even talking about things like Emerald Spire, when that finally comes around.

Altogether, about half of the adventure paths that have been published since Paizo went solo fall into the broad category of "fairly standard fantasy exploration discovery story." Yes, to a certain extent, this has been slanted somewhat away from that experience in the last few years - but that's because it's already been done. Several times. Paizo needs to keep breaking new ground so it doesn't stagnate. I suspect you will get your wish for the next AP after Iron Gods, and that's cool too! I love that kind of stuff! But I strongly suggest you prepare yourself for the reality that Paizo, and to all appearances the large majority of Paizo's fanbase, are looking to keep pushing those boundaries going forward.

Exactly. There are all sorts of ways to look at fantasy and all sorts of tools people are interested in seeing. The APs give Paizo a chance to put them out on the stage in a big way.

The standard exploration and discovery stories are out there in many of the APs and modules both from Paizo, 3PP, and older materials that fans are converting to Pathfinder. They get a lot of love already, and I imagine that many GMs (and players) could write their own with little problem. But the newer ideas don't get that sort of support yet, be they new races, technology, ideas like Mythic and so on. So every other AP isn't too much I don't think.


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Jaelithe wrote:

The derision in names like Buildfinder and Begfinder is beneath people of your intelligence and insight.

Frankly, the argument can be made that any significantly planned build is meta-gaming.

I don't quite understand, myself, why it's so appealing. Controlling precisely and meticulously what your character will be capable of throughout his or her life really does eliminate innumerable opportunities to let the evolving narrative influence development in unforeseen and delightful ways.

It's a role-playing game about fantasy, adventure and wonder. Let yourself wonder what's going to happen next ... what your character can be if he's not on a schedule from which you refuse to deviate.

Plan a build, if you must. But don't be a slave to it. Talk to your DM; don't beg. If's he or she is any good in the role, it's not necessary, because he or she wants you to be as cool and bad-ass as you do. It makes the world created for you all the richer and more colorful.

This oh so much. I feel like sometimes the mystery and wonder gets lost with a checklist of must have items. It is a race to get the items on the build list rather than finding something that goes outside of what you expect, of determining that it wasn't what you had in mind but it is just plain cool.

I'd love to see less emphasis on DPR and more on rediscovering the wonder of playing the game. And you are never too far into the game or too experienced to do so.


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Anarchy_Kanya wrote:
No, you guys are contradicting yourself. If I have to ask then the houserules are "secret". If they weren't then I wouldn't have to ask, now would I?

Communication is a two way street. Just because you didn't ask doesn't mean something doesn't exist. If you are curious, and given that you want to know something you must be, it would be in your benefit to ask the question for verification.

Some GMs like myself give out information sheets or break things down verbally with people. You might be shocked at how many questions I get that are asking the exact same thing I wrote/said. And, shockingly, sometimes I've left something out and need to clarify.

Communication. Really, seriously, this is the number one thing that you need to be a gamer. More than bathing at cons, more than having dice, if you are incapable of communicating back and forth you are going to have issues. Don't expect to be spoon fed. Take the initiative and responsibility to find things out.

If your build requires you to have items at X, Y and Z levels or else it is ruined, then it is your responsibility to explain that to the GM and see if that is going to be a reality in this campaign.

As a final note, I see a lot about needs for this or that build. To paraphrase the late George Carlin, you might want to drop some of your needs in some games or else make sure that your play style matches the game you're in.


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To a certain extent, it is about trust. If you do not trust the GM, it begs the question of why you'd play with them. I've seen that from time to time, where people talk after the game about how bad the GM was and how they hate playing .. and I always ask, "Why are you still playing with them? No one else can possibly GM?"

If you don't trust the person to play fair (for a given value of fair; for me the GM should be neutral-impartial for the most part) then someone else should bone up on the rules and step up. Let the GM know why you are unhappy, communicate and all that jazz. Being unhappy while you play is just a waste of time.


I have to agree with the others here. Punishing his character for Out of Character actions doesn't usually work and just makes things worse. Before you know it, people are getting docked XP for being late to the game or not bringing snacks or taking a personal call .. not to say that you personally would do so, but there are folks that would take it that far.

Deal with the issue with the person and try to find out the issue. If it is just a matter that they don't want to play nice with the group, see what the others think. The guy doesn't want to be able to communicate with the other players, that is their downfall if things go bad. If they are throwing tantrums because they want more treasure or Bob's stuff, then they may want to find a better fit of a group or discuss the treasure disparity.


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I don't care for the term, myself. I've heard it used outside of these boards, primarily on text based games from players of MMOs. I haven't run across it in table top, and like some others I'd be annoyed but move on. My character is not a toon, it is a character.


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Mark Moreland wrote:
Just because we're publishing a 64-page rulebook full of technological items doesn't mean everything in this book is anywhere close to common in the Inner Sea (and even within Numeria). What makes these items special in the world is that they're super rare and mysterious. In the same way you need to build roads to be able to drive a fancy new sports car, we have to publish this to give ourselves the tools we need to tell the Iron Gods story. Just because the roads are there doesn't mean you have to drive on them, nor will anyone force you to. To those concerned about this gear flooding Pathfinder Society play, please be patient and have faith in Mike and John's ability to determine what's best for the campaign.

Too true. As far as I know, there are still several books that haven't fully migrated into PFS. Heck, the various threads regarding races not being allowed shows that not everything is accepted wholecloth.


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Jaelithe wrote:
Anarchy_Kanya wrote:
So I'll have it if it's important. Maybe even invest in feats and make it myself.

I guess you'll have it if you're determined enough to get it. Sounds like it could be a good plot hook.

Quote:
No, it's houseruled Pathfinder, which might or might not be very different from Pathfinder, that's why it's an important distinction.

Didn't I previously say that a DM who didn't tell his players about changes would be more than a bit of a tool?

But house-ruled Pathfinder is a variant of ...

... wait for it ...

... Pathfinder. You said it yourself.

Quote:
While assuming you're using the rules in the books, becasue why else would you bother buying it? Just to ignore it all?
No, to use that which you enjoy and find useful, and alter and ignore the rest.

Pathfinder is a tool kit with a wide assortment of stuff in it. Some people don't need or want eleven hammers and six metric screwdrivers with sonic capacity and equipment to lay pipe or resurface a highway. So they remove them.

There is no One Way to play this game. I buy every single book that Paizo puts out. I do not use every single item from every single book in every single campaign; not every game benefits from every single choice.


Kieviel wrote:
Michael Dorn wrote:
If its not an April Fools, I think Pathfinder just jumped the shark and will lose me.
It's cool, I'll take up the slack :-)

Me too. I think this will be very interesting.


I use them constantly in this and other games. I've found that that as Bob_Loblaw remarked it can change the fight or encounter a great deal. It also allows players who actually pack for such events to feel somewhat justified in their purchases rather than just hauling stuff around for no reason.

Several of our campaigns have been set in world that are quite inhospitable for portions of the year as well, which alters how the players travel and how much downtime and uptime they have.


Oh nice. I'm looking forward to this!


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Lamontius wrote:
wait what is a regular game

Exactly! What is a regular game? Does it mean anything goes or does it mean core only or does it mean that we throw a dart at a board to determine this week's rules?

Eirikrautha wrote:
Ok, this thread has me really confused. I was under the impression that metagaming was a big no-no for most folks. Yet I've read circa-500 posts on a thread totally dedicated to players choosing specific magic items for their characters to use half-a-dozen levels in the future. Wha?

The biggest takeaway on the thread should be "don't assume, ask." Pay attention to the campaign conversation or hand outs or pizza meet and greet. If none of those things occur and this is going to be more than a one off game, ask openly or to the side to the GM about their rules on crafting, magical item drops and so on. It's the only real way to know -- presuming will just cause problems and hard feelings.

Quote:
Anything can be made to work in a Pathfinder setting. Anything. Your setting is no exception.

Emphasis mine. No one is denying that anything CAN be done with the setting and rules. The question is should it be? Does it have to be? And no, it doesn't have to be. There are no mandatory requirements for using this rule system. I don't have to allow Cavaliers or tengu or guns or kaiju or Cheliax if I don't want to.

The GM is allowed to lay out a setting for the players. The players are allowed to not buy in or to try to persuade the GM. But nothing is a given, not even from table to table or in some groups, from campaign to campaign.


I imagine it depends on your campaign. Maybe they don't have dinos in some games, or that magic is rarer so there are less wizards willing to dedicate themselves to playing transporter.

Alternately, it could be an interesting way to build your world. I wouldn't want it as the default for the setting, but it can make for a different approach for the players to deal with.


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Mark Hoover wrote:

Um, Malwing? I still think it takes different strokes to change the world.

I was that GM; the one who said "I have restrictions in my world" and the player said "but...creativity" and I relented. I paid for that decision with my campaign and ended up flaming out for like 4 months.

The reality ended up that the player pushed so hard to get the "unique character" he wanted in the game basically because this player wanted to be center stage. I didn't recognize that at the beginning, felt guilty, and worked his PC into the cannon of the setting. This involved a bit of shoehorning right up front.

As the campaign went on each session devolved into the 3 other players and this other one fighting for stage time. When the one player with the unique character wasn't center of attention they'd sulk.

First I dismissed it, then when my other players complained I talked to the offender. We talked privately, then I tried some solo email gameplay but nothing would assuage. Finally the whole group chatted and vented to one another; both the offender and the other players got their chance to explain. Even after that the problem persisted. I got so fed up with trying to work in places for this player to shine that I just burned out right at the table. My campaign of over a year ended at level 6 and I didn't RPG for 4 months.

I don't game w/that player any more. I have nothing against them personally and they've continued playing with other, like-minded gamers. But at the end of the day I should've recognized the mindset BEHIND the unique character request. That mindset, put bluntly was "I want to be unique and special."

Even after all that though, I'm willing to say to each their own. If this is the way you want to game, bless you and great gaming! Its just now how I want to play.

I very much resent anyone telling me I'm not a creative GM for running my games this way. It disgusts me that in THIS hobby of all places someone could be that rude. The folks who play these games are drawn from...

Exactly!

In the end, to circle back to the magic item business, it's a choice of how you want to run your game. The same goes for limiting or changing expectations of anything -- as an example, I removed various methods for Raise and Reincarnation and Resurrection in one game. I told the players beforehand what to expect and people were fine with it.

And that may be the biggest deal there -- talking to people and letting them know the hows and whys of what is being changed. Maybe you think a spell is broken or don't care for the Magic Shop idea or really dislike tengu or drow or halflings. So tell people up front "I hate bird people, so no offense, but we aren't having those in this game. Maybe next time or when Biff GMs."

There may be a person to whom tengu are the bestest thing ever and they will be sad. Hopefully there is enough other good stuff going on that they'll still have fun regardless and maybe they'll find a new favorite thing. And maybe the GM will learn to love bird people after watching Rio and decide to open them up at a later date.

No doesn't always mean forever, but just not right now.

Anyway, changing the way players get magical items or asking them to alter their expectations isn't a big deal. It just requires communication. Heck, they may not even care one way or the other after you talk to them about it and there won't be the drama you see on the boards!


Thomas Long 175 wrote:

Wow, I must really be the exception here. I do gamesystem design, encounters, npc builds, and story line ideas for every game i play in and several I don't for the GM's around here. I look at the pregens built for their conventions and such things.

Just right now my gm is running traveller and has had me designing
1. All of the ships, ours or not, including floor plans.
2. Reworking the fuel system.
3. Evaluating the ship building system and reworking it.
4. Going through the core and 2-3 splat books and redoing all of the armor values.
5. All of the original PC's other than mine were pregens, and everyone has been less than pleased with their performance so the GM is having me rework everyone's characters.
6. Doing all of the trade for our group, tracking all rolls and money made.

Edit: Oh I also track our ships movement, all world backgrounds, the space around us, and most of the combat rules, as well as paying attention to what the other players are doing since he tends to miss sometimes when players are upset or feeling left out.

You are a bit of an exception, yes, or at least unusual. The role you play is one of an assistant GM and a role that many GMs appreciate.

Back in the old days, several of our players were responsible for tracking genealogy and campaign history, entire folders full of notes as we played for years and years. They kept our GM on track and helped map out how the political landscape changed and grew.

That said, there are a goodly number of players who are less involved in the backside of the game and concentrate on what is going on with their own PC.


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Anzyr wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:

A skilled player can come up with a character concept that will work within the GM's setting and preferences.

An unskilled player fixates on "the one true character concept" and lacks the imagination to deviate from it.

Two can play at that game.

No I'm pretty much the only one who can play this particular game, since the creativity/skill/imagination argument pretty much works entirely in my positions favor.

You'll note I used my skill and creativity to provide a Tengu Gunslinger who did fit in fanasty Solomon's Israel.

Your move Dandy Man.

Whether or not you can construct a rationale on why something could be allowed is meaningless if the campaign does not allow it. Whee, you've used your creativity and skill to say "look, this could be allowed!"

If the GM says "I do not allow guns in this campaign" and you say "But look at these 50 ways you could do it", that doesn't mean that the GM will go "Oh gee, I didn't think of those go right ahead." Maybe they don't allow or don't want it.

Again, it isn't a matter of creativity or skill or imagination or rules knowledge or whatever other construct you'd like to assemble. There are parts of the game that some GMs -- and some players for that matter -- are not keen on. "Eastern" things (ninjas, samurai, katana, etc), guns, dinosaurs, Great Old Ones, etc etc.

This is not wrong. This is a choice.


Anzyr wrote:

Its not an insult it's simply the truth. Here lets break it down and see if you agree on the following points:

A skilled storyteller can make a Tengu Magus fit in a story based on ancient Israel. True or False?

If the GM can make a players concept work in the story they should allow it. True or False.

Spoiler: the answers are obviously True and True.

A storyteller (skilled or not) could make something fit, yes. You could make Superman fit on Golarion if you wanted to.

As for your second question, the answer if False. The GM and Player can discuss the hows and whys of what they want to play along side the setting restrictions. The GM is not under an obligation to shoehorn in a concept that goes outside what they are comfortable allowing in the game, be it disallowed races, guns when they are not permitted, the book version of a spell that has been changed to correct a perceived problem and so on.

There are no obvious answers. There is no One Way.


Anzyr wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
It doesn't change the setting at all though. And lets be honest Demon #53 Caim is basically a birdman/demon. Hell, maybe the character is a descendent of Caim and mortal. Really a skilled GM can make anything work, so I concede it is possible I'm holding you to too high of a standard. I could make it work easily anyway, I guess I shouldn't assume the same is true of everyone, but if you can't you should work on your storytelling/imagination until you can.

Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you HAVE to do something. Just because there are thousands of foods in the store doesn't mean I am required to use them all or else I am a poor cook.

A skilled GM knows how to make the game work with as many or as few elements as they desire. A skilled player knows how to play the game with as many or as few elements as are allowed by the setting restrictions or lack thereof.

No but a skilled enough GM SHOULD use their skills at storytelling and imagination to incorporate a character that player wishes to play. That's what a skilled GM does.

That's an interesting opinion, and not one that seems to be shared. Players like a lot of things that don't always fly in many games. It isn't a lack of skill or imagination, but a lack of desire. And again, a skilled player could choose to follow the setting rules that have been laid down.

This reminds me of a comment upthread about GMs being Customer Service Representatives. As it so happens, my wife deals with a call center and dozens of clients all with Facebook and the like where disgruntled patrons vent their ire about not getting what they want. Some of the problems are legitimate, but an exceedingly large number of them are people that believe they are owed something. Free shipping, free products, massive discounts, and so on for their "trouble".

This is why I am not a CSR as a GM. I do not believe that anyone at the table is owed anything more than a chance to play and have a good time. I believe that if you are so unhappy that you cannot play blah that you scream at me that we don't need to play together. I believe if you are unwilling to deal fairly and calmly, read the material given and discuss it before the game like a rational humanoid then you are owed the right to find your way home.

Sorry for the tangent there, I meant to post that much earlier after I saw the CSR bit.

As for this continued theme of "you don't have the skill or imagination", well, that's just a polite way of insulting people who do not play or believe the way you do. It is possible to be skilled and not allow something, be it a race, a feat, a spell, or whatever. It is possible to have imagination and not desire to have a wormhole open to disgorge a Traveller Space Marine with a Man Portable Fusion weapon into your fantasy world. It is possible to build worlds and campaigns that do not use every scrap of rule and fluff from every book Paizo puts out.

Or, more simply, your imagination is no better or worse than mine. We choose to play games different ways.


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Anzyr wrote:
It doesn't change the setting at all though. And lets be honest Demon #53 Caim is basically a birdman/demon. Hell, maybe the character is a descendent of Caim and mortal. Really a skilled GM can make anything work, so I concede it is possible I'm holding you to too high of a standard. I could make it work easily anyway, I guess I shouldn't assume the same is true of everyone, but if you can't you should work on your storytelling/imagination until you can.

Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you HAVE to do something. Just because there are thousands of foods in the store doesn't mean I am required to use them all or else I am a poor cook.

A skilled GM knows how to make the game work with as many or as few elements as they desire. A skilled player knows how to play the game with as many or as few elements as are allowed by the setting restrictions or lack thereof.


Jack Assery wrote:
On the flip side, is it ok for players to feel put out when a GM says he doesn't wish for X to be in his game? The GM did all the work making a world and then the PC comes in with something that he doesn't like. Did the GM make a mistake by not playing a more inclusive game? Especially considering the investment people make by playing this game, shouldn't they be able to do "legal" things in the game? If you guys in your group decide Pathfinder is the game, is it reasonable to assume that Pathfinder stuff is what you will be playing? Is the only option as a player to sit down at the GM's table? Let me know what your take is?

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying/asking here. What "legal" things is it that they should be able to do?

What does "Pathfinder stuff is what you will be playing" mean?


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Malwing wrote:

I was once playing a campaign where there was an NPC that was a wizard who employed us to handle some exploration. Some of the players did not agree with a the NPC being a powerful wizard who had rights to most of the loot we were hired to acquire so tried to rally the players to demand that the NPC be killed or half the party would stop playing. The DM quit.

The first time I tried to DM 3.5 upon the first hour of session zero one of my players slapped money on the table insisting that it be used to go to the store and "buy a better game" and play that instead. This eventually caused enough friction to where I did not attempt to DM for another three years.

Hen I did I got conflicted demands for NPCs to be/not be killed off because they hated/loved it. This was among a number of demands for what NPC could and couldn't affect the story. After that I didn't play or DM until pathfinder.

Take what you will from those stories.

You should have tossed the money back to the person and told them to do it themselves and to GM as well.

Anzyr wrote:
It doesn't hurt that most GMs use "I don't like it." to justify their exclusion. Because a skilled enough GM can make anything work and should do so, even if they don't like it.

I've seen this sort of argument before in the Pony Wizard thread. It isn't a lack of skill or imagination that gets things excluded by GMs anymore than a lack of skill or imagination that causes Players not to colour within the lines -- that is, follow the world guide and player creation rules for the given campaign.

To answer Pan, I think, from a few pages back: no, people do not have problems starting games, or not to the level that you'd think from threads like this. It has become common, at least in threads like this, for the amount of exaggeration to go overboard so the term entitlement can get bandied about.

In my experience, as limited as it might be, people show up and game without the sort of drama displayed in these threads. I've seen it happen online, however, where people will stamp their feet that they aren't allowed to play a vampire in Shadowrun or a given race in Pathfinder or whatnot. The PFS area of the boards are full of threads where people are very very very ANGRY!!!! that they are not allowed to play blah and everyone and everything should pay for this oversight.

As a player, you are there to play a character and have fun. No where does it say or even imply that you should always get to play the exact character you desire, the exact race, or have the exact degree of fun that you believe you should. This is an idea that seem more prevalent in recent years or only exists on message boards and online games.


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The black raven wrote:

As a GM, I feel that I am sharing great moments with great people when I play because they gave me a big part of their life (ie, their precious free time). Actually, they AGREED to trust me and hope that I will be giving them some great fun back.

Because of this, I feel that I have an obligation to listen to them and their wishes for their characters and do my best to fit it all within the story I plan to share with them.

GMs arguing that they are allowed to ignore their players' expectations and/or disparage them by decrying "player entitlement" because "they spent so much time and money on this" act like spoiled children IMO.

Which is a great point, and why I talk to people in advance so we are all on the same page. That said, if a player or players show up after I've spent time working on things and decide that they want to change the game, then we have a communication break-down. It's rude in gaming or other social situations to do things like that.

And to answer the question/comment that is sure to pop up, the GM could wing it, sure. You can GM with a napkin full of notes and some improv skills .. assuming that you can do that. Many GMs much like many people aren't good with that sort of thing or don't feel comfortable just rolling randomly and tossing things at the players in a desperate desire to fill game time since things went off book for them.

To tilt this back towards the topic of items and getting what you want, I'd suggest that this might be one of the questions that you ask the GM/table at the beginning so if you are someone who likes to plan out their purchases/needs in advance you know what you are getting into before you are deep into the game and can make an informed decision.


Wiggz wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Why do you want the adventure to take place in Cheliax if literally none of your players want to be there?

I don't understand why people think that it has to be "Ooh all GM power or no GM power". There are 5 people at the table.

If the other 4 want to do something a bit different, you're outvoted bro.

Just jumping in here - the GM is the one doing all the work, the vote the PC's get to make is whether or not they want to play in the GM's game, not how, when or why the GM is going to be running it for them.

I don't like the idea of a group of people who aren't working getting together and out-voting the one guy who is with regards to how the fruits of his labor should be distributed. Sounds too much like our tax system to me.

I've never quite understood the "you're outvoted" angle on all of this. Perhaps it is something that is a newer invention or occurs at tables I've not been to. In my experiences, you come to play and may be given a brief player synopsis (or in the case of some of us, a huge player synopsis) that lets you know about the world and what to expect in the coming campaign and you get a character together and you play.

There is no vote, there is no "oh wait, this is about blah? I don't wanna do that!" There is "This is the game that is going to go on."

This doesn't mean that you haven't taken your player's considerations and desires in mind BEFORE you began this process. But there isn't a vote after the fact and the GM tosses what they are going to do because people changed their mind after the fact .. that is, unless someone else is going behind the screen.

This, in my mind, isn't GM entitlement or a power trip. Presumably, the GM has let you know what to expect or at the very least, you came there to game and not wrangle about the other aspects. It feels like poor form and a little bit rude to get to the table and demand that things be changed. Some of this is communication problems and some, yes, is a feeling of entitlement. You are entitled or owed a game if you show up.

Again, it might just be my limited experience with this idea that you show up and try to vote out the GM because you want to play in X city or realm or concept and they had something else in mind. The only way would work is if you are blessed like Kirth with multiple GMs ready to go on deck at a moments notice.


BillyGoat wrote:
Good stuff

I like all of this and may co-opt some or all of it into our next go around. It fits in with a great deal of what we are doing at our table already. Great job!


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At our table, there is no "I must have X or my entire concept goes out the window." Much like Mark Hoover commented above, I chat with my players and try to determine, with them, what they are looking for. Note that this does not mean they will get it, or get it on a schedule that they lay out.

As far as the towns having X and Y number of this and that items, well, I tossed that out pretty early on. There is no guarantee that the item you are craving is waiting for you in a town, even a large city. After all, if it is the must-have-bestest-for-build item, chances are you aren't the only one looking for it.

And yes, I let new people know coming in what to expect. And it has worked for us so far; in fact, a number of players have found that what they get is often more interesting or useful than what they think they wanted, and not so paint by the number to success.

Every campaign and table is different, so your mileage may vary.


talbanus wrote:

Things worth getting offended over:

1.) Racial-based harrassment/discrimination
2.) Gender-based harrassment/discrimination
3.) Sexual-orientation or gender identity-based harrassment/discrimination
4.) Religious faith-based harrassment/discrimination

Things not worth getting offended over:

1.) Criticism of gaming styles.

Seriously, are we all so thin-skinned we cannot rib one another over roleplayers versus optimizers versus casuals versus whatever? It's a game. /endrant

Yes and no.

"It's a game" gets tossed around a lot and it is true, it is a game. So is football and the other football, and people burn cars and tear down city blocks and stadiums over these games. So there's that.

Second, it's the Internet. People will argue over anything because they are bored or between things at work or whatever, and their opinion is IMPORTANT! I doubt many of the views used are even strongly held, but they are a way of making points against that other person who got you on the last thread, the dirty so and so.

It is even possible, face to face or on the boards, to get offended and not say anything, or not get offended by someone trolling or trying to stir the pot and just go on to the next thread. Everything posted is someone's opinion, and if they have 1 post or eleventy million, it's still just an opinion and worth as much as you feel like attributing to it.

My advice in most of this is "go play".


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Feral wrote:

I tend to play the same way you do OP but doesn't mean folks playing the other way are necessarily 'doing it wrong'. It just so happens that on the internet, the optimization folks tend to be the most vocal.

The thing to keep in mind is that there are others out there and on these boards that you'll have fun playing with and try not to let the more hostile types in the other camp get you down.

From what I've been told, it's easier to talk about the mechanical side of the game than it is to talk about the role playing aspects. For many the numbers are hard facts that one can debate back and forth, while RP choices and fluff are pretty much choices and opinions.


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No Evil or extremely disruptive characters.


I found the article an interesting read, myself. As with anything on the Internet I'm not sure how much of it was accurate/true, but if even 10 percent is on the money it is eye-opening and educational, as well as written in less technical language which is a plus.

The comments were, as always, the dark ugly side of the Internet. :(

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