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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 11,029 posts (11,758 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 6 aliases.


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Zhayne wrote:
Are wrote:

I don't really see what healing between encounters has to do with the "15-minute adventuring day". That concept comes from groups who expend all their primary resources (high-level spells, x/day class abilities) within the first few encounters, and don't wish to continue since they no longer have access to their most powerful spells/abilities.

Since between-encounter healing is typically performed using plentiful low-level resources anyway, I don't see how this could do anything with that particular problem.

Correct. HP are the one resource the 15 minute workday generally does not expend, since the party uses their big guns right off the bat.

And even when they do, there are always Wand of CLW.

As I said above, all this change would really do is save you the cash for happy sticks.

And pretty much require a character with Cure Minor Wounds in every party.

Because women fought for decades for that to be accepted. Men haven't done that yet.

If you want to change it, go out in public wearing women's clothing. Not because you're transitioning or for sexual thrills or to pass as a woman. Just as a bloke in a dress.

You'll be harassed. You might be fired or kicked out of school or beaten up. But you might make it a little easier for the next one.
That's essentially what women did. Over generations.

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Auxmaulous wrote:
thejeff wrote:
And your mind is open to change?

If presented with rational thought and discourse, yes. That isn't the case with this thread. Discussing anything in this thread is a "sky-is-yellow/sky-is-blue" style of debate - with you being part of the yellow sky crowd.

thejeff wrote:
Of course, I can't really figure out what you object to. Since you flail back and forth between ranting about controversy and agendas and claiming those aren't the problem at all.

More later, but for now: Thank you for clarifying. As I said, I really couldn't figure out what you were objecting to. From my perspective it seemed to be all over the place and changing with every post.

I see where you're coming from better now, though I still don't agree about the APs.

Auxmaulous wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
You should invest in a mirror, or go back and read some of your posts.

Such as? I'll admit I've been a bit acerbic the last couple of posts before this one. Condescension does that to me.

Aside from that, I'd be pleased to listen to which precisely of my posts you felt were condescending, and to who. That certainly wasn't my intent.

On more than one occasion you deflected any issue, concern or problem away from the AP (and pushing NPCs) on to the DM. AKA - blame the victim (which is the DM and players, if they don't have a good session).


"Deadmanwalking wrote:
This is pretty much just not the way WotR is written. Like at all. There's some built-in babysitting early on...but none of the other things you list are remotely appropriate or suggested by the AP. So...bad GMing, not an AP issue per se.


"Deadmanwalking wrote:
APs all involve at least a little railroading...but the NPCs in WotR aren't a particularly big part of it, for the most part. That was your GM's doing, not the AP's.


"Deadmanwalking wrote:
That's...a sign of bad GMing, not bad adventure design. If a GM doesn't know that, definitionally, the PCs are the most important characters in the game, things aren't gonna go well no matter how much or little there is in the way of character descriptions and backgrounds.


"Deadmanwalking wrote:
That's clearly not what he meant. His intent was to note that other GMs do not behave like yours does (and from your description his behavior sounds like bullying)...thus making generalizing your experience based on said GM's playstyle a bit less than useful for people with GMs who don't do that kind of thing.


Does that cover it?
I may have missed a few quips back there (you're doing it all wrong, can't read, running the module wrong, etc).

When lots of people are playing the module and not having these problems and others read it and don't see the problem there, but one (or possibly a few) person has the problem, isn't it just possible that the problem isn't with the AP, but with the GM running it?

Is it not possible for a GM to "Mary Sue" NPCs that weren't written that way and use them to railroad players when the AP doesn't require it?

LazarX wrote:
MattR1986 wrote:
anthonydido wrote:
Just my opinion here but the problem probably stems more from the fact that it's online. I personally don't care for online play because I don't feel as involved or interested as when playing in person. There are too many possible distractions as well
This. I don't really agree with the idea of online games except out of necessity like if you live in a town of 100 people in the middle of nowhere. Many people, especially if they're under 30 are used to doing at least 3 things at once on a computer. They're likely playing the game as just another thing to do while watching tv or playing a game. There's also the issue of losing social interaction but that's a whole other discussion. I've considered giving onlinr/pbb a chance but haven't felt a strong pull to find one yet.

There's nothing inherently wrong with online play. We've switched from face to face to using Roll20/Google Hangout because everyone in our group lives so far apart. It's given us much more flexibility in setting meeting times and saves us all a good deal of expense in travel.

Online play is exactly the same as face to face, aside from the initial technical difficulties, the bulk of the problems are what people bring to the virtual table, not inherent in the form itself.

I wouldn't go so far as "exactly the same", though it does rely on what people bring to the table.

I'd draw an analogy to the differences between face-to-face conversations and online ones. People do tend to behave differently when not there in person. That's going to affect how they behave in game. You miss a lot of non-verbal social cues. There's less tendency to empathize with people who aren't actually there.

All of this less so if you're playing with people you knew in person, but more so if the only contact is the online game. And probably even more so in a more remote PbP kind of game than a real-time online one.

Auxmaulous wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
I mean, I asked for precisely that politely, what's a guy gotta do?
Maybe if you were an ally NPC?

Yes, because that's a polite way to respond to someone asking you for basic information.

And a great way to bring people around to your way of thinking! I mean, condescension is always such a wonderful way to win friends and influence people.

Can't change the mind of fan-atics so why waste my time?

Your mind was already made up going into this - why maintain the charade? So that it looks like we are having meaningful discourse and an exchange of ideas?

That's a good one.

And your mind is open to change?

Of course, I can't really figure out what you object to. Since you flail back and forth between ranting about controversy and agendas and claiming those aren't the problem at all.

I can tell you don't like the current APs. That you don't like romance options in your RP. That you want APs to be more challenging, by which I assume you mean more and harder combat/trap encounters. That you want more space and time and effort devoted to adventure, again essentially combat encounters, and less to characterization and other fluff.

I'll say again that I want just about the opposite. Less combat, though not necesarily easier, just less. More characterization. More fluff. More roleplay. Even romance.

Which I suppose makes me a fanatic.

The only difference is that I'm not saying the APs are lousy, just that they don't really match my style. Which is fine.

Zhayne wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:
The Beardinator wrote:
That's the reason it was removed for Pathfinder. The same reason that Prestidigitation was powered down. With the unlimited usage of orisons/cantrips, you have to put restrictions to balance the new benefits.
Just add same limitation as daze? Remember daze while unlimited doesn't affect same target twice in same battle.

Using it in battle isn't the issue.

It's using it OUT of battle, where, if you've the time, you can perform infinite healing at zero cost.

And do it in a stupid, annoying and immersion breaking fashion. If you want full heals between battles, just house rule them in. Don't require someone with orisons and the silliness of casting the same minor spell potentially hundreds of times in quick succession.

Bringing it back with the hex-like limitation of once per day/person wouldn't be a problem. But it also wouldn't be useful, except maybe instead of stabilize or for bleed damage.

In fairness, finding a set of good, compatible online players either requires good luck or a good selection process.

It may just be the latter he hasn't mastered. Which may be his problem, but not in the implied way.

And sort of an interesting question: How do you find good compatible players online?

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GreyWolfLord wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:

You can have tons of plot and mystery (and in many cases more) if you devote more to plot options and puzzles rather than a two to four page write up on an NPC and their history which most PC's won't ever see or use anyways unless it becomes a GMPC.

I don't know if you noticed by now, but both your style of play and the style of your GM (as you described them) are very different from those of many others. Most GMs don't use NPCs to bully the PCs around, for one.

So maybe the player isn't interested in a long talk about the NPCs background. Maybe the fact that Bob the Smith was raised as a salve in a far off land will never actually be discussed. BUT - the GM knows that Bob used to be a slave, and that helps the GM act out Bob in a more interesting way. Perhaps the burly smith will have a surprising soft spot for abused children, for example. Perhaps he will refuse to make chains for the PCs even if they are his friends.
The background is there because in some groups (most of the groups I heard of in this forum for example), both the players and the GM care about such things. Those 2 - 4 page writeups are not only interesting, they provide unique gaming moments that another

Thank you for the insult.

What in the heck is different about my style of play? Are you insinuating that we deserve to be bullied!? WTH!? I find that incredibly...I don't know what to say...

Let me express my outrage that you would say such comments.

However, let me elaborate in a more calm manner, despite your lash out.

As far as playing, unless the GM forces the issue, I have very little interest in an NPC suddenly telling me their lifestory (or equivalent of 2 pages of text) for absolutely no reason...especially if we didn't ask.

In your example above, if they guy won't make chains...say he won't make chains...but if he's not going to share his life story with us as to why he won't...why is it pertinent. If he breaks down and tells me two pages of text as to why he won't without us even asking about something that in depth...eventually if all the major NPC's feel they have to vent to us...someone's going to go chaotic evil on them most likely.

Since you mentioned a GM I find the NPC's incredibly interesting to read about and one of the drivers for reading an AP. I find it is a big reason to read the AP and gives it characterization on a read through that most modules and adventures not by PAIZO do not. As a player, their back histories and motivations many times don't even come into play.

IF I had to guess, in my opinion, the NPC backstories are there more for the GM's enjoyment rather than the players...but even though the GM drives the game, the players normally are the majority.

1) He didn't say anything about how you GM. He said
the style of your GM (as you described them)

Without looking back, weren't you complaining earlier about the NPCs being used as GMPCs and ordering the PCs around? That's a problem with the GM running them, not so much with the AP itself, as many people have said.

2) It doesn't matter whether the NPC tells you his lifestory or not. The GM knows it and uses it to determine how the NPC acts and responds to the PCs. If the PCs pursue it, it may come out. Otherwise it remains in the background. That doesn't mean it doesn't affect the game. That's what background information is for.
In that example, it's not just "Won't make chains" with no explanation. IF that's all the GM was given, then then GM a) wouldn't have an explanation if the players asked b) might well agree to have him make/do other things for slavers. Knowing why rather than just what, lets the NPCs be more like real people.

Edit: You edited?
As for your "Style of play", I thought that part was obvious. No you don'd deserve to be bullied. I don't know where that came from.

I'd say that's more to do with your apparent lack of interest in the NPCs. That's different from, for example, my style of play. I like to get to know NPCs. To learn more about them. You apparently don't. Different styles of play. Not better, not worse. One is better served by more NPC background than the other.

RDM42 wrote:
I'd say one first priority would be to get anyone who knows anything to record that 'how to' somewhere.

First priority, until people start getting cold and hungry.

And then they start killing each other for food and shelter.

As far as dealing with the 15-minute day, it seems like this would increase the split between martials and casters. Martials would always be healed up and ready to go from the clerics orison, while the casters would still run out of useful spells.

And honestly, just for thematic reasons, I'd rather something like a "Full Heal" spell with a several minute casting time than have to cast Cure minor wounds 100 times to get someone back to full.

Actually, the only real effect it would have is that no one would bother buying wands of CLWs, since those accomplish essentially the same purpose at the cost of some cash

Jacob Saltband wrote:

Like I said before....I'm not good at putting the ideas in my head into words.

** spoiler omitted **

Now I just have to start on the survival and building parts.

Inspired by some of Feist's backstory in Magician?

I'd say you're talking generations. You're going to lose damn near everything just trying to survive those first few years. Even most farmer/hunter/gatherer types aren't going to be able to adapt too quickly to a new world with no supplies, different creatures/plants to find, unknown climate/weather patterns, unknown pests. It's likely that's going to be the only priority for years. While the tools wear out and you hope the guys who know how to work metal live long enough to be able to take time from basic survival to find ores and bootstrap a whole mining/smelting/forging process.
Magic and any survivors from long-lived races will help. As will any Refugees from stone-age cultures, since they'll have the most useful skills to help make it through the first few years and start the bootstrap process.

Jaelithe wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

I remember a brilliant Captain America/Conan crossover!

Conan got shunted into Cap's reality (modern day 616) and survived he best he could. He became a pimp! Dressed the part, even had a cheetah on a leash!

When he fought Cap, he was surprised by a shield being thrown! Still, he wounded Cap enough that if they continued Cap would die, so Conan spared the brave and skilful Cap.

Is was better than I make it sound. : )

That's the problem when you're fighting someone who's perfectly willing to kill and wielding a bladed weapon if you don't completely outclass them ... and while Cap is faster, stronger, possesses equal fighting spirit and is more skilled in martial arts than Conan, he's not so much better in any of those categories that he can try and subdue him without causing permanent harm all while the Cimmerian is attempting to cleave him in twain. I daresay that in bladed combat, you'd have to expect a result favoring Conan far more often than not—on the order of, say, seven or eight times out of ten. Hand-to-hand, though, with all weapons set aside, Cap drops Conan nine times out of ten, if not more. (Batman does the same almost as often.)

Not sure I remember that story, but ... it's something Conan would actually do, in my opinion, in that he'd never intentionally harm a woman that didn't deserve it, would see nothing wrong with prostitution so long as the girls were treated respectfully and well paid for their services, and would guard them with his life, feeling that they were under his protection. As a matter of fact, I shudder to say ...

... Conan would be a very good pimp, in most senses of the word.

It was interesting, mostly in the relationship between the two. Conan assumes that this strange new world he's come to works just like he's used to and that Cap is just head thug for whoever's in charge, like the guards in the world he's used to. So he moves into the local criminal scene and takes over a gang, like he did many times in Hyboria. (I'm not sure he actually became a pimp, though he did dress in full hollywood pimp style to impress a girl. Which didn't work of course.)

After their last confrontation, it ends with Conan wondering if Cap was right and IIRC considering his offer to join the Avengers. That's a What If? sequel I'd have loved to see.

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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

I remember a brilliant Captain America/Conan crossover!

Conan got shunted into Cap's reality (modern day 616) and survived he best he could. He became a pimp! Dressed the part, even had a cheetah on a leash!

When he fought Cap, he was surprised by a shield being thrown! Still, he wounded Cap enough that if they continued Cap would die, so Conan spared the brave and skilful Cap.

Is was better than I make it sound. :

I remember that one. It was one of the better What Ifs.

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GreyWolfLord wrote:
You can have tons of plot and mystery (and in many cases more) if you devote more to plot options and puzzles rather than a two to four page write up on an NPC and their history which most PC's won't ever see or use anyways unless it becomes a GMPC.

Except more background info on the NPC gives the GM more to base his characterization on and more knowledge of how they fit into what's going on. I'd guess roughly half the 2-page write ups are the villains anyway.

Even if the players never actually learn all the history, that doesn't mean the background doesn't affect the game. That's what background is for.

This is one reason I've taken to just playing short PFS scenarios PbP.
Game death or losing my one interest in a game that makes very slow progress over a long time.

Even with scenarios, there's player attrition and sometimes GM loss, but the investment is less. Even if I lose enthusiasm, I can get through it since the end is in sight and not ruin the game for others.

I suspect real campaigns through PbP work better among players who know each other, but can't meet for FtF, or at least have played together before and have an idea of each other's seriousness and playstyle. Essentially random pick-up games on the site are a crapshoot.

knightnday wrote:

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.

Agreed. That's part of my problem with the "Just file the alignment restrictions off and call it a day" approach. The paladin is built around protecting, healing and inspiring.

As well as smiting evil. :)

Swift self-healing may be useful to everyone, but healing others isn't really the evil version's thing. negative energy would be more appropriate for evil ones. Same with other abilities. Less focused on helping allies and more on hurting enemies.

Different spell lists would really be needed. Or at least an expanded one with restrictions on who could take what.

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Tirisfal wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
I wouldn't mind a list of glossed over npcs - one or two lines of info (to be expanded by the DM), but when these write-ups are fighting for the same space as the adventure it's a let down on all levels.

This is where the GM-juggling comes in; the GM always needs to season the adventure to taste.

For every person who states this view (and I think that your opinion here is a perfectly reasonable view, Auxy), there're three other people who complain that "the AP should hold their hands the entire way, because the point of the adventure path is to do all the work for the GM".

I'm not saying that either opinion is wrong, but the latter does tend to show up on the boards quite a bit more often, from what I've seen.

Or perhaps some who want more plot and more NPCs and less space devoted to encounter write-ups since they're going to tweak those for their group anyway?

It's not necessarily about "holding their hands" or "doing all the work for the GM", it's about what parts you want detailed and emphasized. As I understand it Aux wants more challenge and more space for encounters. I'd rather have less space devoted to combat and encounters and more for roleplaying stuff:NPCs, plot, mystery, etc.

Krensky wrote:

Yeah, I read the article.

Did the act happen in California or Hawaii. I couldn't find any info on it in that article or a cursory search.

Age of consent in the former is 18, in the later its 16.

The Collins-Rector Estate where the first alleged events took place is in Encino, thus California. The kid was 17 and I assume Singer was more than 3 years older at the time, so he would have been open to felony charges.

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While I agree that the behavioral restrictions aren't a good way to balance the class, I like the concept of the class as it is and don't think it needs drastic changes.

If a group wants to travel with a paladin, but don't want to deal with a paladin's restrictions then they don't actually want to travel with a paladin. Much like someone who wants to play a paladin but doesn't want to be lawful good - they don't actually want to play a paladin.

And frankly, while I'm not fond of the "trapping a paladin into falling" thing, a paladin who willingly went along with the "go stand over there while we torture the prisoners" game wouldn't last long.
But then I'm not much on the evil party thing anyway. Certainly not an
evil party + paladin.

Work out a group that can actually work together. Whether that means don't play the paladin or don't play the torturers, either way works.

nosig wrote:
Lormyr wrote:
nosig wrote:
the problem is not the creation of the ITS - it is in the maintaining it.
I have yet to face such a problem. YMMV though.

have none of your PCs bought anything sense you created your ITS? or used anything listed on it?

That's what maintaining it is all about. marking out all the wand charges used, marking all Alchemist Fires used with the correct CR number, adding any new upgrades to armor paid for, etc.

Well that's my question: Do you have to mark wand charges used with the correct CR number? The official sheet doesn't really have space to do so.

Why can't multiple consumables be treated the same way?

Jaelithe wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I also hope it never happens, but see no need for the paladin to be made more powerful.

Though I do see a need, I think it's a moot point. Likely ain't gonna happen in the modern gaming environment, where that kind of virtue ain't kewl.

If you like playing paladins with the restrictions, play them. No need to make them more powerful to tempt people who don't like the restrictions to play them.

Avoiding something because it might be abused by the undisciplined and/or unscrupulous is insufficient reason to not enhance the class. It simply becomes the DM's job to enforce alignment properly.

I suppose I'd settle for paladins having their Protection from Evil aura returned to them. They never should have lost it, in my opinion.

Not so much "because it might be abused" as "Why encourage people who don't want to play paladins to play paladins"? That will just make more people want less restricted paladins. And more arguments about why they should be allowed.

If you think they're actually underpowered in comparison to other classes, that's a different story.

Thus "alleged". :)

But I'd also like to not prejudge the accuser's motives.

Given that the "accuser" was underage when this allegedly happened, I don't particularly care what his motives were.

OTOH, given that the alleged events occurred 16 years ago, evidence is going to be hard to come by. Also, the statute of limitations has apparently expired for criminal charges.

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Jaelithe wrote:
Umbriere Moonwhisper wrote:
I'm not asking for Chaotic Neutral Paladins just yet, just that Neutral Good, Chaotic Good and Lawful Neutral Paladins be opened up as options

I understand your perspective.

I'm hoping even more determinedly that it never happens. In my opinion, the class should retain its strictures and simply be made far more powerful.

I also hope it never happens, but see no need for the paladin to be made more powerful. If you like playing paladins with the restrictions, play them. No need to make them more powerful to tempt people who don't like the restrictions to play them.

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thenovalord wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:

Oh noes! You mean the Mary Sue PCs aren't the sole heroes to save the day but actually WORK with others?!? Noes, don't tell me it's so!

It sounds to me like it's an issue of GMs still learning the ropes rather than the NPCs themselves. It may be that the GM wanted to play the game instead of run it, but no one else wanted to run it. Or it may be an inexperienced GM. Have you sat down with the GM and politely expressed your concerns and feelings? And your belief that it's detracting from the game?

If it's still a problem, find a new GM. Or run the game yourself and learn from the mistakes of other GMs when it comes to NPCs.

Hmm. Can't decide how insulting your post is

Think ditching the AP is the answer rather than ditching friends.

I don't think ditching friends was suggested. "Find a new GM" doesn't mean kick out the guy who was GMing. He can play too. "GM yourself" as well. "Talk to him" certainly does.

And since the APs can be run without this problem, it's quite possible that if your GM ditches the APs he'd still bring in GMPCs. Especially if you've carefully kept quiet what you don't like about the AP and the way he's running it.

MMCJawa wrote:

-Realistic time frames: Personally, if you are going to create a story about people colonizing the galaxy, try not to set it within the next 20 years. I always get distracted when I read space opera set in the far future of 1990.

-Build a realistic culture: Another pet peeve of mine is how much a future setting coincidentally shares all the same fashion/moral qualms/etc as today. Obviously you need shared cultural touchstones, but I think it's silly to think society will remain static between now and a hundred years from now, when it hasn't even in the last 50 years. Also I eyeroll everytime a show set hundreds of years in the future has characters that are somehow intimately familar with all of today's pop culture.

Of course the SF set in 1990 was usually written quite a while back. I can't think of anything offhand that I'd call "space opera" set that close, but there's probably some 50s or 60s stuff I'm overlooking. I'm almost more amused by the tech assumptions for near future "hard" SF. Or the older stuff - early space travel navigation done by slide rule, for example.

As for culture, I'm not too bothered by it. A good part of any fiction is to shed light on your own culture, by showing it from a different perspective. Predicting cultural changes is even harder than tech ones and doesn't age as well. I'd rather see an author projecting his own culture forward and thus commenting on it, than making assumptions about how it will change that will look even more dated in a few years.
Agreed on pop culture stuff though.

Even worse for me is the (formerly?) common "Galactic Empire" approach, with all the standard feudal roles and rituals. (Still nearly ruins the otherwise brilliant Mote in God's Eye for me.) If you're not going to try to project forward, at least don't just transplant ancient cultures forward.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Rub-Eta wrote:
A rogue who doesn't flank. A spell focused druid (with a Domain) who barely ever casts spells and uses his wildshape ~2min a day to fly where he doesn't want to risk failing a climb check... and his standard action is mostly using Lighting Arc with a +1 Dex to hit...
Why is his wild shape only 2 minutes per day? Archetype? Because wild shape is hours per level per use.

I read it as "He only uses it 2min a day", not "He can only use it 2min/day".

IE, he avoids wild shape and just uses it as a minor utility to avoid obstacles.

It sounds like that's the most common issue with the ITS, right? How to track commonly used consumables?

The precedent of the wand/ammo section suggests that as long as you mark off uses, there's no need to track when each use occurred.

Alternately, you could add lines with a single box for CR made and multiple CR used. Something like:
Acid(6) Made [4] Used [5] [5] [6] [ ] [ ] [ ]

Ross Byers wrote:

Frankly, forcing players to walk around with a bunch of items with unknown properties is a lot of extra bookkeeping.

Player: I attack the orc with my new magic longsword!

GM: Is that the longsword from the bandit chief or from the gladiator?

Player: I don't know, I just wrote down 'magic longsword'.

** spoiler omitted **

The result was I made item cards for every single piece of loot, for the entire campaign, dramatically increasing my prep time.

If your players actually keep track of the whole history of every item they pick up, then I guess you can do it, but it still means you're duplicating a lot of the player-handled inventory in your GM notes, because for every 'bandit chief's magic longsword' they write down, you have to have 'the bandit cheiftain's sword is a +2 shock longsword, with the command word "cheese"' written down, all because you want to make them guess the command word.

Or if you use item cards for every single inventory item,...

It sounds like Jaelithe uses a lot fewer magic items than is standard, which is probably why it works. No great trouble keeping track of which magic longsword it is, when they've only seen one.

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Rosgakori wrote:
Abyssal Lord wrote:

Sigh...same old, same old: Spider-Man, Batman, many people just run with the pack. I personally cannot stand any super-heroes that are overexposed and so overly popular.

Can't help it. Spider-Man is first comic book about superheroes that I read as a child. It has stuck with me all the years, and I have grown reading Spider-man. I started to like cap during Civil War, and after reading that storyline, I started to hoard other Cap stories. And Bats is just Bats. I can't help it :D

It's also possible that some characters are popular and long-lasting because they're just good character concepts. Iconic, archetypal, deep rooted appeal to all of those characters.

The hipster "I don't like that because it's too popular" thing is just as bad as jumping on the bandwagon and liking it because it's popular.

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Auxmaulous wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I love this argument: It's always either/or. Either the individual is completely wholly responsible and no influences matter at all or only the influence is to blame and the individual is completely innocent.

No chance of it being more complicated than that. No understanding that sometimes the manipulators and instigators are to blame as well as the one who does the deed. Obviously this guy is personally accountable. But so are those that fed him the line of bull over the years that taught him to hate Jews and revere Hitler. So is the ideology.

It's the same issue that comes up with urban crime, gangs and the like. Any time you start to talk about root causes and patterns, people jump up saying "You're just making excuses. You're saying those thugs aren't responsible." When that's not the point at all.

I love this middle of the road, gray ambiguous argument: "I'm not certain to the degree of where the responsibility lies" mentality.

When do you start to hold people accountable? At what point are people responsible for their actions vs. conspiratorial "manipulators and instigators"?

People are exposed to crime, drugs, gangs, racism and violent ideologies every day - at what point does it become their responsibility to reject those things? This wasn't a 12 year old kid being told to kill for the Klan, this was a 73 year old, grown-ass man. He owns it and he owns it all alone. Just like the inner city kid who joins a gang - own it. There are several kids in those communities who don't join (somehow) - yet we are supposed to provide cover for the people who fall sway to bad influences? Blaming the gun for being fired, the drug for being ingested or the cash for being stolen.

A clown sitting on his porch spouting racist beliefs is just that, a clown. If you listen to that clown then the world will hand you (with full force) whatever you have coming to you. You can't (nor should you) ban the clowns - the exist to serve as a reminder as an example of how "not to" live your...

Thank you for providing such a good demonstration.

How is it "running cover"? Throw the book at him. I'm all for it. Same with the inner city gang kid. Punish him for his crimes.

Of course it's their responsibility to reject those things. I never said otherwise. I never said "I'm not certain to the degree of where the responsibility lies."

But don't ignore the influences. Try to shut down those preaching hate and violence, not just those acting on them. Try to help the inner city kids make different choices, give them opportunities and better influences.

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Auxmaulous wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
And, just this week, a man in Kansas apparently failed his Will save and gunned down three people while shouting "Heil Hitler!" One could try to argue -- I'm sure his defense attorney, for one, will try -- that there's no relationship between his Nazi ideology and the fact that he tried to shoot people outside a Jewish center. But based only on what I've read so far, I think that will be a difficult argument to present.
So what you are saying is that the words/ideology manipulated his mind so much that he is not personally accountable? Got it.

I love this argument: It's always either/or. Either the individual is completely wholly responsible and no influences matter at all or only the influence is to blame and the individual is completely innocent.

No chance of it being more complicated than that. No understanding that sometimes the manipulators and instigators are to blame as well as the one who does the deed. Obviously this guy is personally accountable. But so are those that fed him the line of bull over the years that taught him to hate Jews and revere Hitler. So is the ideology.

It's the same issue that comes up with urban crime, gangs and the like. Any time you start to talk about root causes and patterns, people jump up saying "You're just making excuses. You're saying those thugs aren't responsible." When that's not the point at all.

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scrmwrtr42 wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:

Yeah, it's worse than that. He's saying that when governments do anything unexpected -- not just unpopular -- they become tyrannical. A natural disaster strikes, against the expectations of the many, and only a "tyrannical" government is allowed even to notice and respond, because otherwise it's doing something the masses didn't expect.

I don't know. I expect the government to respond to natural disasters. I think many other people do as well.

That's because you're not yellowdingo, and therefore are presumptively not crazier than a rhinocerous on bad acid.

I'm not going to follow the rest of this thread, so this may have already been brought up and if that's the case, I apologize.

I'm not familiar with YellowDingo, or anyone involved in this debate, so I don't know the background. What I can say I've observed, though, is that Orfamay Quest, you are an extremely condescending and insulting jackass to YD, and at least to this point YD has not responded to the bile you've been raining down on him. I'm not saying I agree with his views, at all, but you, in this thread at least, continually mix fairly strong attacks on YD's character, mental state, and who knows what else with your otherwise rational and logical counter-arguments to his position.

As I said, I don't know your history with this guy, but frankly, you could have been Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and I would have shifted my support from you simply based on the perception that you're an offensive a-hole. I thought the forums were supposed to be free of this type of rancor. If you want to disagree with the guy, by all means, go ahead, but is it really necessary to call him names while you do it?

Grow up.

As TOZ says, you obviously haven't been following yellowdingo. Go read a bunch of his petitions and get back to us.

That said, I took Orfamy to task a bit earlier in the thread for lashing out at YD. Mostly for reacting to him as if YD's petitions and posts should be taken seriously as some kind of evil coherent political philosophy. I don't know YD beyond what he's posted here and the petitions he's linked, but "crazier than a rhinocerous on bad acid" isn't a bad description of the ideas he presents. Personally, I assume he's doing it mostly for amusement value so that doesn't mean he's crazy, but that's definitely how he's presenting himself.

Mind you, I like the persona. The ideas are amusing and some of them provoke interesting debate. Even if most of them require breaking basic economics or the laws of physics.

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
I wondering if Williamson would have been fine at all if he had been speaking privately rather than doing an interview for public broadcast.
He would have. Public performance is a necessary element under the German law, at least as Wikipedia translated it.

It's interesting that the laws in people's heads when they hear about something like this are so much stricter and more intrusive than the ones actually on the books. Private criticism. Ignorance. Scholarship. All things that wouldn't be banned, but are what people immediately jump to.

That's in addition to the assumption that such laws start a slippery slope where you soon won't be able to say anything without checking with the government censor.

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Matthew Downie wrote:

The group needs a decision-making process. The GM needs to facilitate that process.

Also, try to avoid giving them decisions with nothing much between them.
"Do you want to fight ogres or undead? Of course, you have no way of knowing which is more dangerous or more rewarding and you'll probably wind up doing both anyway."
More meaningful choices:
"Do you want a quest that pays lots of money but which will make you unpopular, or do you want to rescue some kidnapped peasant children?"
"Do you want to do a quest for the favor of the priestess, or to serve the king?"
"Do you want to fight the dangerous drow, or the less dangerous goblin tribe?"


Not so much the leader, but the meaningful choices. If they can be engaged by the more RP choices of money vs good deeds or which patrons to impress, great. If it's just high risk/high reward vs low risk/low reward, at least it's something meaningful.

And sometimes you have to be blatantly obvious about it. Far more obvious than you think, looking at it from the GM's perspective.

OTOH, even in a home-brew game it's a pain in the butt to have to say every time, as Threeshades said "I rolled X to hit and X dmg plus whatever my sword does."

I'm all for cool mysterious magic items that only reveal themselves though play and especially ones that grow along with the characters, but once those powers come into play, it's frustrating for both the GM and the players for the players not to know what they do and how to figure them in.

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DM Under The Bridge wrote:

Well that sorts itself out very easily.

If everyone goes their own way, they all die.

Whether it is a trap, a monster, a group of monsters, brigands or assassins, going solo is a very bad idea in a sandbox with plenty of dungeons, plots and antagonists. Lol, imagine trying to solo a den of trolls plaguing a region at really low level. Free delicious adventurer.

Sandbox does not mean there is no teamwork or that everyone splits up. Whatever gave you that idea Aranna?

What's the difference?

In a proper sandbox, the characters make sure they learn what they're going to be up against before they actually fight it. They have to or they can't make the decision to only deal with risks of their own choosing, which is the essence of the style. Why can't each character just look for problems that he can handle alone?

Maybe that means the 4th level character goes after problems that would be appropriate for a 1st level party, but he's solo, so it's reasonable.

What's the difference between "imagine trying to solo a den of trolls plaguing a region at really low level" and "imagine trying to fight the dragon that's plaguing the region at really low level"? The answer of course is that you don't do either. You seek out a lesser problem.

What does "judicial issue that should be looked at on an individual basis" even mean?
If there's no law against it, then why is a judge even going to consider it? If you just mean there should be a trial where the facts of the case are heard and the court decides whether the law applies and whether the accused has broken, well of course that's how it works. Like it did in this case.

As for his last sentence, it's often more palatable to argue the general case for rights than for a particular ugly "right". For example, not that long ago in the US it was common to use "state's rights" as a noble sounding cover for the right to legally discriminate against black people.

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As I suggested awhile back, it's only a problem if you want it to be one. For most games and most groups it's only a metagame problem. If you're the GM and it bothers you, come up with a reason. If it bothers your players, tell them their characters don't know why, let them ask around and get stonewalled. When their high enough level to experiment themselves maybe they can find out, if they don't have more important things to do.

After all, teleport trade is such the obvious thing to do, there must be reason it isn't done, right?

And really, if you're nit-picky enough that the lack of teleport trade networks bothers you, but the rest of the rules and setting doesn't, well I just don't know what to say.

R_Chance wrote:
Jack Assery wrote:

It's an awesome concept for how to give players a "path" to make decisions compared to their power level.
In my own sandbox game, I gave plot hooks to things they "should" face at way higher levels, and the PC's had to figure if they could possibly tackle such things at that point. If they were 5th level and had the option of finding some derro who've abducted citizens, taking on ninja to find info on a BBEG or finding drow who are sacrificing pious priests, they can make a decision on what is realistic for them to tackle. Sometimes it gets a little more hard to figure lol and they had to retreat from some things to address later, and it was pretty successful in that respect.
One thing is maybe those decisions might've been a sort of metagame knowledge, I would argue that but it doesn't matter, they had fun and owned their decisions.
Yes. They have to have a grasp on their own capability vs. the opportunities for adventure. Mine have skipped things they view as too tough and backed off from things that turned out to be tougher than they thought. I try to provide appropriate in game clues and let them make the call. Part of the fun of sandbox games is the uncertainty.

You also have to not hook them too hard for anything tough. They've got to be free to turn things down. If the characters are too emotionally involved or the stakes are too high, they may not be willing to back off when they should.

"The drow are sacrificing pious priests" is one thing. "The drow are about to sacrifice Harry, the priest from our village who's healed us and counseled us so many times" is something else entirely.

Of course, the flip side is that avoiding that kind of emotional investment takes away much of what I'm looking for in a game. Playing a character who's just running around looking for adventure and loot isn't as much fun as playing a character who's driven, who loves and hates and cares about quest(s) he's on.

Well, even the actions of the older brothers imply that it's seeing Noah naked that's the horrible thing. I mean, if my old man got drunk and stripped, it wouldn't be nice to point and laugh and it would be nice to cover him up, probably get him into bed, but I wouldn't try to keep my back to him the whole while so I didn't see his nakedness. That's a bit extreme and suggests something a little more than showing respect to your parents.

It also puts a whole different spin on the curse of Canaan if Ham actually did nothing wrong and Noah just flew off the handle because he was embarrassed or something.

Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
They aren't gods.
In the comics, they are.
But we aren't talking about the comics. Of course the fact that they're called gods in the comics is a bit arbitrary as there isn't much that sets them apart from other races of super power beings other than seniority.
Perhaps going back and reading more Thor might disabuse you of that notion.
Rather it's reading Thor and the rest of Marvel's races of super beings and giant armor clad space aliens meddling with human evolution that will give you that notion.

It may depend on which parts of the 50+ year history of Thor you read.

I remember those giant armor clad space aliens and the Eternals they created that sometimes passed as gods. I also remember them meeting the very gods they were pretending to be.

I remember both Thor and the Valkyrie escorting spirits of dead heroes to Valhala. I remember Hela claiming the spirits of other dead. I remember Thor being the son of Mother Earth. I remember plenty of sorcery and mythology and very little of the Asgardians being space aliens. They go off questing into space from time to time, but that's not the same thing.

Some writers in some eras have emphasized different things, but for the first few hundred issues at least there's plenty of magic and mythology and little of the Asgardians being high-tech space aliens. I haven't read a lot of Thor in last 10+ years, so maybe they've tone down the myth and brought up the space alien thing. I don't know.

nosig wrote:

We have at least got past the point where we started - with the judge who "auto failed" persons who just want to roll the skill check... realizing that this entire subject started with the following:

"I have just accepted the fact in society I have to deal with such things. Half the time the face is a moron and sats things like "I want to convine him to tell us where the map is." They don't understand doing things in character. In my home games I deal with this by failure, but ultimately I just do a better job recruiting in the first place. I no longer expect rp in society at all, and if I get it its a nice side benefit."

We may have gotten past that point, but we seem to have reached the point where "I want to convince him to tell us where the map is." is far too much to ask.

I think we might have overshot.

Sebastrd wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Some of the other things that the Fundies have issue with, Noah getting drunk and parading around naked post-Flood simply prove that they themselves haven't read the Bible they are stridently defending, because he did do so and he curses Ham for calling him out on it. Genesis, Chapter 9, verse 21-something.
That's not quite correct. First, Noah wasn't parading around. He was specifically naked in his tent. Second, he didn't curse Ham for calling him out on it. He cursed Ham for finding him naked, then running to tell his brothers. In contrast, his brothers walked backward into the tent and covered Noah, so they wouldn't see him naked. They showed some respect rather than going, "Hey, guys, come see Pops naked!"
He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father's nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him.

This is one of those funny bits of the Bible that never made sense to me.

You can interpret that text as "Hey, guys, come see Pops naked!", but that's not in the text. My first impression of the text was more like "Ham looks in the tent, see Noah, warns his brothers who are right outside: 'Dad's passed out naked'", which lets them behave more appropriately. And that's no less in the text.

It gets interpreted the first way because Ham has to have done something horribly wrong to get cursed like that. Otherwise it wouldn't have been fair or just.
It's not the only place in the Bible where you have to read into the text to justify the good guys actions.

Though actually I suspect this one originally comes from some kind of taboo against seeing the father naked. It doesn't matter why. Even if it was accidental and you did it as respectfully as possible, you still broke the taboo. You're screwed.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Rapanuii wrote:
I don't understand where you're getting this interpretation with the people who figure an in between is the appropriate method. A general "I use diplomacy" to me is extremely video game like, and makes me cringe at playing a role playing game.

It makes me cringe as well (if its on its own). If its used in addition to actual talking its sometimes good for clarity.

I don't see why the summary method isn't reasonable for you

Its only unreasonable if the DM insists on I use diplomacy to improve attitude, I use diplomacy to aim at a flat DC, or I use diplomacy to gather information- because that's an annoying guessing game.

Gather info seems to fall into a different category. It takes hours. It's not used on a particular person. I can't really see a case where that would be confused.

I'd expect a successful improve attitude to make the favor check easier, but if that's not the case in most PFS uses, I can see that being annoying.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I've rarely played and almost never ran published scenarios/modules.Thus the idea of there being a listed DC for everything the railroad expects you to do is foreign to me.

Ok, and you don't think that this being a discussion on the PFS section of the boards, discussing ways to annoy PFS dms, and PFS is played exclusively with published scenarios/modules MIGHT influence my approach here?

More subtly, In pfs you swap out DMs. As a DM, if you think that "you must announce which kind of diplomacy check you're trying" your players may have NO idea what the heck you're doing. There isn't always time to learn exactly what the DM expects from you. Using a more persnickety system than what the players may be used to leads to confusion.

That part is my bad. The discussion had ranged far enough and lasted long enough without any mention of PFS, I'd actually forgotten it was in the PFS section.

That said, I still think the focus on "which kind of diplomacy check you're trying" is misleading. Near as I can tell that "more persnickety system" is the actual rules. Though generally I would expect the player to tell me, either in character or out, what he wants to accomplish with Diplomacy and from that it should be apparent which kind of Diplomacy check he's trying.

Even in PFS there have to be some times when it might be advantageous to influence attitude and then make a request, even if it's not strictly necessary, right?

Ross Byers wrote:

I realize the Golden Mean is itself a fallacy, but I think a lot of people here are using false dichotomies.

There is a middle ground between 'You need to describe exactly what you do in character' and 'I don't need to know, my skill ranks mean my character can figure it out'.

(Just as there is a middle ground between 'Characters have no way to talk about their abilities in character' and 'Scroll cost is a law of physics'.)

I think we've moved past that, though it did come up a lot earlier.

As near as I can tell, we're now at the "You need to give some indication what you're doing, even out of character, beyond the mechanics of Diplomacy = 32" vs "Make the skill roll and you get the thing this NPC exists to provide"

BigNorseWolf wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
It's because BNW is running NPC's like they are in a video game RPG.
No, that's exactly what the other side is proposing. "Oh, you tried to use the key on the lock, it didn't work. You needed to JIGGLE the key in the lock to get it to work". Its DMing like you're a computer that can only interpret options off of a menu.

As I said, I just can't grasp your approach, though I think I see where you're coming from.

I've rarely played and almost never ran published scenarios/modules. Thus the idea of there being a listed DC for everything the railroad expects you to do is foreign to me.

Generally interactions are more open-ended, with more than one good response possible. And often involve multiple interactions over many sessions. Not just a single Yes/No Diplomacy roll. So the direction the diplomacy takes matters.

As for the menu analogy, your approach seems to discard the menu entirely. Good roll gets the "Success" result, regardless of what the PC wanted to do. Since there's only one "Success" result, that's obviously the good thing to do.

I can see that working well in something as constrained as a PFS scenario. In a longer term more open game, I'd need something more.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
thejeff wrote:

And really, even mechanically, the difference between "improve his attitude" and "ask him to let me through the door", isn't a particularly subtle or arbitrary one.

Its incredibly arbitrary on two fronts. For one, I'm pretty sure I've seen that exact situation done both ways. Secondly they're mechanically the same , the player is rolling a diplomacy check either way.

So it plays out "I chat with guard and try to improve his attitude towards me. Diplomacy = 35"

"Success. He lets you through the door."

And then the player is like "I didn't ask to go through the door. I didn't even want to go through the door. What just happened?"

Or do you ever get a response from the player of "Oh. That's not what I was asking for at all."?
It happens on occasion. Sometimes because the roll wasn't high enough and I threw something irrelevant into the conversation, more often because that particular NPC doesn't know the information they're looking for, sometimes because I forgot what that PCs faction mission was.

I was thinking more of getting the a piece of information or a favor that the player didn't know he was asking for. He thought he was questioning the NPC about something else entirely, but that's the result of successful Diplomacy on this NPC, so you get this result.

But really I think your approach to the game is just so far off what I'm used to that I just can't grasp it.

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