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How to prevent Player "respawn"


Advice

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Andrew R wrote:
Some players seem to think the hobbit should be able to skip into mordor and win just because he is the hero.....

No silly, it is because Mordor has signs and laws against skipping!

.....that is why no happy people live there! ;)

Stupid evil tyrants!

Shadow Lodge

Coriolis Storm wrote:
How to prevent Player "respawn"

Prevent it? I'd like to discover real world resurrection! I have a few words for a friend of mine...

Andoran

hogarth wrote:
Mike Schneider wrote:
...you can't catch-up in any meaningful sense if you start back any significant number of levels[..]
A level 1 character joining a level 5 party will be behind by 10,000 experience points (on the fast chart). By the time the rest of the party reaches level 8, the lagging character will be level 7. How is that not catching up?

Because he never makes it to second level as a 1st level character tagging along with a 5th-level group facing level-appropriate challenges (of the sort you actually earn experience for as a 5th-level PC).

A campaign in which coming-in-late or new characters start with a level penalty is one which will increasingly trend toward escalating hack-n-slash because when lower-level character join higher-level parties, the most expedient way to survive is to create a tank who's even tougher and more min/maxed for hit-points and DPR than the previous. -- Imagining a 1st-level caster joining a 5th-level group is absurd when he's likely to drop from a single attack of any kind and be outright killed if taking two.

Abraham spalding wrote:
Mike Schneider wrote:
If this is a home game (especially one run at his house), the the GM's desire for what he considers most enjoyable in his campaign trumps anything any individual player wants. A disgruntled player can be replaced. A disgruntled GM stops GMing.
Good he was a crap GM if he doesn't consider his player's needs/wants as important or considers himself somehow superior simply by playing a different role in a game.

Wrong -- he makes the game.

Without a GM, Pathfinder is just a bunch of books sitting on a shelf. He could be a crappy GM or a great GM who's "seen enough" of particular styles of game-play which no longer interest him.

Quote:
His needs/wants aren't any more important...

<laff>

I wish I had a Skittle-crapping unicorn.

Shadow Lodge

I haven't read any of the thread, but it seems to be another DM vs Player argument.

Ho hum.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

GM: I'm sorry, Bob, your character is dead.
Bob: Well, you didn't explain that if we made a heroic stand against that horde of orcs I would die! I want a new guy with a very similar build and matching armor.
GM: Fine, what's his name?
Bob: Faramir.

GM: You know that kind of respawning is ridiculous, right?
Bob: Tell it to Gandalf "the White" over here.

Taldor

Mike Schneider wrote:
Because he never makes it to second level as a 1st level character tagging along with a 5th-level group facing level-appropriate challenges (of the sort you actually earn experience for as a 5th-level PC).

Actualy, if a level 20 character kills a cr 1/3 creature, he still gets 135 experience points in pathfinder.


TOZ wrote:
Coriolis Storm wrote:
How to prevent Player "respawn"
Prevent it? I'd like to discover real world resurrection! I have a few words for a friend of mine...

You'd probably not enjoy a game of Humans and Habitats then.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

At first glance there seems to be two solutions, heavy handed or soft touch, and it would depend on the particulars of the group's social dynamics which one would be better.

If the GM lives in a large metropolitan area, with numerous potential players and he (or she) is not afraid of losing the players that have the 'respawn-at-will' mentality, then I'd go with a more heavy handed approach. I would simply state what I feel to be a fair penalty, whether to wealth, xp, stats, what have you, and let the chips fall where they may. This is the 'my-way-or-the-highway' approach. Not really my preferred approach, but I can envision scenarios where this would be the best solution.

The second way, the soft touch, is more how I like to solve problems where I, as GM, feel that player actions are disrupting the game. This would be especially appropriate where a game is happening in a smaller area with fewer potential players or the GM is close personal friends with the players and isn't going to lose a friend over arguments from an RPG gaming session (which would be a shame IMO). I know it's cliche, but a happy table is one where the players and the GM are communicating regularly with each other their thoughts about how the campaign is progressing and any concerns that anyone may have.

I have had similar situations to what the original poster (OP) is experiencing in my own gaming group. Players in my gaming group would, after dying, reroll a new character with the same stats, and in some cases better gear after being given the appropriate amount of wealth to go to the magic mart with. It was actually a benefit to die and reroll. I game with four other guys that I have been friends with for decades, so just flat out laying down new rules with no input from them, dictator-style wasn't going to work.

Finally, at the end of a session, I expressed my concerns about what was clearly a problem. I listened to their thoughts. Our conclusions, as a group, were: 1) the built in penalty of dying is the loss of gaming time where you don't get to play your character until brought back and 2) the material cost of being brought back from the dead (raise dead, rez, etc).

As with most good discussions, it ended in compromise between me and my players. For my part, I agreed to make sure that there would be opportunities for returning from the dead within a reasonable amount of time and on their part, the players agreed to make a concerted effort to stay with their current characters for the long haul (we like to game all the way to epic levels if possible so players are with their characters for a long time), which includes waiting until the dead PC can be brought back to life.

Now, I do understand that there are times when a player has chosen a character that just isn't working for them. It happens. I will never force a player to play a character that they absolutely are not having fun with; in this case I am amenable to that player rerolling a toon at the same level as the rest of the party and with an amount of wealth to spend that is in accordance with the Core Rulebook. Then it is just a matter of making sure that that doesn't lead to 1) other players suddenly deciding to abandon their characters when they see the player with this or her shiny new PC and 2) that the same player doesn't have a chronic habit of needing to reroll multiple times every campaign. If either 1 or 2 starts to happen then it's time to circle the wagons again, sometimes just with a specific problem player, and clear the air with open communication.

I'm starting to sound like Dr. Phil of the gaming circuit, so time to stop typing...

Good gaming to all,

DJF

Qadira

Personally, I *hate* games with no negative consequences.
I *love* games where each and every encounter you have to wonder - will we win.

Where you have to research your opponents.
Where running away is *often* the right course of action.

Where you build a team - and everyone knows his place in it. Knows the tactics each person will employ.

I couldn't *stand* to play in the situation the OP described - where death has no negative consequences. So like Spalding said I do think there is a difference in expectations.

Here's my suggestion to the OP.

Really make each character unique - tailor it to what that player likes. The differences don't have to be overpowering - they just have to matter to the player.

Let the paladin finish a quest that gives him the ability 1/per game session to call down the light of azatoth to make him standfast.

Or if the player is a mentalist a gem that lets them do jedi mind tricks.

To do this you
a). Have to know what makes your players tick (what they want)
b). Have to create opportunities for them to earn it (give the paladin a quest
c). Give them a sense of accomplishment when they do.

Then that light of azatoth will have 'meaning' and the player (perhaps) won't be so quick to risk losing it to death.


Coriolis Storm wrote:

So I've been GMing for my group for quite awhile, and nearly all of that in D&D and Pathfinder.

The group is a mixed bag of roleplayers and roll-players, but the following issue keeps coming up.

A) Party encounters a "Mega threat" that the GM clearly says OOC is intended to push them off. Ie. do not engage, this will kill you. Party engages, because they "think they can do it anyway". Win or lose, party members die.

B) Party encounters a situation where their characters don't die, but lose an item, or take permanent stat loss....etc.

All in all, this results in the party rushing headlong into any situation, as they will either win...or make new characters.

Has anyone else run into similar situations, have any thoughts on how to deal with this?

Um, stop giving them encounters that can't be beat? A hard encounter that might be lethal is fine-my DM throws them at us on a weekly basis. But he never flat out tells us we're SUPPOSED to run from them. When this does happen, it's usually because we simply weren't working together, or using our brains, or picking up on the clues to defeat it. I have trouble imagining throwing too hard to beat encounters at PCs repeatedly.

That just doesn't sound fun.

Respawning is in poor tast, I agree, but it doesn't seem like the problem starts there.

Osirion

Again, expectations. I play(ed) ADOM and Dungeon Crawl and in those games escape items are valuable. Part of being a good roguelike player is knowing when to run because the mobs are brutal and death is forever. My character invested in a scroll of Vanish at level 1 and I'm planning to upgrade his escape item as time goes on. It's just my roguelike background I guess, with all this magic around you should never go into a fight without an escape plan in case it all falls apart.


joeyfixit wrote:

Um, stop giving them encounters that can't be beat? A hard encounter that might be lethal is fine-my DM throws them at us on a weekly basis. But he never flat out tells us we're SUPPOSED to run from them. When this does happen, it's usually because we simply weren't working together, or using our brains, or picking up on the clues to defeat it. I have trouble imagining throwing too hard to beat encounters at PCs repeatedly.

That just doesn't sound fun.

Respawning is in poor tast, I agree, but it doesn't seem like the problem starts there.

Well what is comes down to is whether your dm likes to have his games to be ones that attempt to simulate a world or one where it is catered directly to the players. I personally like simulation and sand box style games because they make more sense. I do not think that the party should always find things appropriate to their level. If they go searching for dragons and they find dragons and the dragon tpk's them well their mistake.

If they arrive upon random encounters that are too hard for them( ie they are in a more dangerous area), I tend to like my players having an opportunity to retreat.

I am not sure if this is how their current dm works or not but if he does, it is their mistake for never taking the option of running away.

I personally do not enjoy a game that is an endless romp of victory. Seems kind of boring.


There is some good advice in here, but another thing is to make the players type out a background that is oked by you before the character can exist. I know this does not sound like much, but if they are truly creating new characters over a drop of a hat, having to type up a few paragraphs that is different enough to get ok'ed by the dm should help prevent this some. Might no be an instant help, but if it is true that they are recreating characters over things like having less than average wealth by level, this should give added incentive to not do this.
Make sure the background has depth, as anyone can slap together a weak or simple background.


Hama wrote:
Actualy, if a level 20 character kills a cr 1/3 creature, he still gets 135 experience points in pathfinder.

Depends. This is from the PRD, though it may fit more into advice than official ruling:

"Each monster, trap, and obstacle awards a set amount of XP, as determined by its CR, regardless of the level of the party in relation to the challenge, although you should never bother awarding XP for challenges that have a CR of 10 or more lower than the APL. Pure roleplaying encounters generally have a CR equal to the average level of the party (although particularly easy or difficult roleplaying encounters might be one higher or lower)."

Lantern Lodge

Serisan wrote:

Let's be fair. The players are the ones being passive-aggressive. The real solution is to talk to them about the issue first. The issue at hand is that the players appear to want a world without negative consequences and the GM wants to actually have some teeth in the world. The players are working to circumvent the GM.

That situation is simply not acceptable. If they're not willing to be reasonable, the GM has every right to enforce consequences until they start being reasonable.

This raises something that I've been trying to articulate. The GM and the Players own the game, that is they both have a stake in the type, style, and feel of the game. If it is a home brew campaign, clearly the GM has more discretion over the content. Still, the group should discuss the kind of game they want to play. Do they want a scary world of death and loss, do they want consequence? Do they want to be the heroes and crush everything, running on the highest octane of awesome they can fuel up with?

Basically the group (gm included) needs to agree to what they are playing, and then play it. If there is general agreement, then those who disagree have two paths of recourse. Suck it up, or quit. That applies to the GM as well, if the gaming group doesn't want a game that suits the style of game you want to run, you either need to run a game they like, or sit on the player side of the table for a different GM.

In the end gaming is supposed to be fun, if your not having fun, gm or player, then you need to clearly communicate why, no group should bend themselves out of shape for the needs of a single player, but most things can be reasonably accommodated, and if not, don't dismiss them, but set them aside for "the next campaign."


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:
Mike Schneider wrote:
If this is a home game (especially one run at his house), the the GM's desire for what he considers most enjoyable in his campaign trumps anything any individual player wants. A disgruntled player can be replaced. A disgruntled GM stops GMing.

Good he was a crap GM if he doesn't consider his player's needs/wants as important or considers himself somehow superior simply by playing a different role in a game.

His needs/wants aren't any more important -- your position in a game doesn't affect your position in life and that position is equal to not greater than any other player of the same game.

A GM is just a player in a different seat.

I'll agree that a DM who doesn't take into account what his players wants are in a game is not a very good GM. If only to make sure that a player's style and your own (as GM) are on a similar page.

However the idea that the GM is just another player pretty much flies in the face of about 25+ years experience of running games in various systems. I dont think I've run into a player yet that would say that the GM is just another player.

A player usually only has his/her PC to be concerned about a GM has considerably more work to do interms of being "just another player".

While I would never submit that players should let themselves be privy to DM abuse, most rational players understand that there are times where (depending on the social contract of the table) the DM has some significant authority at the table that the other players (to an extent) do not.

Having a that mush more authority when running the game doenst affect your position in life. This is true and any person who acts this way? the problem lies with THAT PERSON not with the fact that they are GM or DM.

Lantern Lodge

Mike Schneider wrote:


A campaign in which coming-in-late or new characters start with a level penalty is one which will increasingly trend toward escalating hack-n-slash because when lower-level character join higher-level parties, the most expedient way to survive is to create a tank who's even tougher and more min/maxed for hit-points and DPR than the previous. -- Imagining a 1st-level caster joining a 5th-level group is absurd when he's likely to drop from a single attack of any kind and be outright killed if taking two.

Honestly the leadership feat is a good example of this, most of my cohorts might as well be called cordwood. I basically have my cohort stand beside the cleric and quake in fear, and more often then not they are converted into a smoking hole in the ground.


taepodong wrote:

When a PC "respawns" in my game, and in most I've played over the years, they are significantly lower level than the rest of the party. I don't have an issue with them making virtually the same character, but they will be at minimum 2/3 the level they were before the death. Up until level 5, you restart as a level 1 scrub, somewhere around 8 I let them start at 3, 10 at 6 etc... It seems harsher than it actually is, and I'll break down in my opinion why I think it isn't all that tough:

1) You are going to catch up to everyone else fairly quickly . A level 1 character in a group of 5s will catch back up at about level 6, and the same is pretty much true all the way up the scale.

Nope. In PF you never catch up. Ever. In D&D you got more eXP for lower level, but not in PF.

And due to lower Wealth by level gear, hp, etc you will likely die again staying lower level.


hogarth wrote:


A level 1 character joining a level 5 party will be behind by 10,000 experience points (on the fast chart). By the time the rest of the party reaches level 8, the lagging character will be level 7. How is that not catching up?

You told the story wrong. By the time the rest of the party reaches level 8, the 1st-level character will have been dead for about 40 average encounters (assuming fast advancement. 60 with medium, 90 with slow).


Hama wrote:
Mike Schneider wrote:
Because he never makes it to second level as a 1st level character tagging along with a 5th-level group facing level-appropriate challenges (of the sort you actually earn experience for as a 5th-level PC).
Actualy, if a level 20 character kills a cr 1/3 creature, he still gets 135 experience points in pathfinder.

"Each monster, trap, and obstacle awards a set amount of XP, as determined by its CR, regardless of the level of the party in relation to the challenge, although you should never bother awarding XP for challenges that have a CR of 10 or more lower than the APL."


thepuregamer wrote:
joeyfixit wrote:

Um, stop giving them encounters that can't be beat? A hard encounter that might be lethal is fine-my DM throws them at us on a weekly basis. But he never flat out tells us we're SUPPOSED to run from them. When this does happen, it's usually because we simply weren't working together, or using our brains, or picking up on the clues to defeat it. I have trouble imagining throwing too hard to beat encounters at PCs repeatedly.

That just doesn't sound fun.

Respawning is in poor tast, I agree, but it doesn't seem like the problem starts there.

Well what is comes down to is whether your dm likes to have his games to be ones that attempt to simulate a world or one where it is catered directly to the players. I personally like simulation and sand box style games because they make more sense. I do not think that the party should always find things appropriate to their level. If they go searching for dragons and they find dragons and the dragon tpk's them well their mistake.

If they arrive upon random encounters that are too hard for them( ie they are in a more dangerous area), I tend to like my players having an opportunity to retreat.

I am not sure if this is how their current dm works or not but if he does, it is their mistake for never taking the option of running away.

I personally do not enjoy a game that is an endless romp of victory. Seems kind of boring.

Th flipside to that is that some (not all, possibly not most) encounters in a "simulation" type setting should be really easy for the PCs to overcome.

Regardless, "simulation/immersion" doesn't jive with "DM repeatedly warns players OOC to avoid certain encounters, and the impudent knaves ignore warnings and then have the gall to expect a respawn." Unbeatable encounters smacks almost as much of video-gameness, being akin to an invisible wall at the edge of the sandbox.


joeyfixit wrote:
Unbeatable encounters smacks almost as much of video-gameness, being akin to an invisible wall at the edge of the sandbox.

The difference is that the video game won't run off and pout if you beat its unbeatable enemy. Well, except if it's made by Sony.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
KaeYoss wrote:
joeyfixit wrote:
Unbeatable encounters smacks almost as much of video-gameness, being akin to an invisible wall at the edge of the sandbox.
The difference is that the video game won't run off and pout if you beat its unbeatable enemy. Well, except if it's made by Sony.

Actually, they're the 'reds' and 'purples' you see in MORGS. Difference is, in a MORG if a player kills himself on one rather than avoiding it, they blame the player, when it happens in tabletop, they blame the game.

Andoran

Irontruth wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Coriolis Storm wrote:
How to prevent Player "respawn"
Prevent it? I'd like to discover real world resurrection! I have a few words for a friend of mine...
You'd probably not enjoy a game of Humans and Habitats then.

Subject to the GM's discretion.

In PFS, a character of such-n-such a level becomes outright ineligible to play lower-tier settings.


Coriolis Storm wrote:

So I've been GMing for my group for quite awhile, and nearly all of that in D&D and Pathfinder.

The group is a mixed bag of roleplayers and roll-players, but the following issue keeps coming up.

A) Party encounters a "Mega threat" that the GM clearly says OOC is intended to push them off. Ie. do not engage, this will kill you. Party engages, because they "think they can do it anyway". Win or lose, party members die.

I've commented before about my dislike for 'unbeatable' situations. Your characters are the HEROES... If they see the BBEG, then 9 times out of 10 they SHOULD attack.

Unless there are EXTREMELY specific clues... and I mean REALLY... REALLY specific statements that they CAN NOT win... then showing an enemy to a Player, is usually seen as a starters pistol going off.

Coriolis Storm wrote:


B) Party encounters a situation where their characters don't die, but lose an item, or take permanent stat loss....etc.

In either case, the player creates a brand new character...sometimes with the same stats and equipment. In fact, the statement has been made by the players that loss of equipment is a valid reason to "respawn" because "Why would I play a character that is $X behind the rest of the party?"

All in all, this results in the party rushing headlong into any situation, as they will either win...or make new characters.

Has anyone else run into similar situations, have any thoughts on how to deal with this?

O.o

No.... No I have NEVER heard of a situation like this...

The first time I heard of something like THAT happening... is the day I toss the WBL right out the window. Good heavens... What the heck is THAT about?!??!

I can ALMOST understand if the player had a specific character he wanted to play... and was killed right out of the gate. I've made 2 or 3 elven archers... that never actually got to PLAY. I'd STILL like to play an elven archer someday, and have one waiting in the background as a backup character.

But really... Same character, same gear... Same game... I've NEVER heard of THAT?!?

If I was DM there, I'd be fit to be tied... I can understand the frustration there.

I think my main advice would be like Joeyfixit up there... Don't make the encounters THAT deadly. Seriously... what kind of casualty rate are you looking for in these games? Lord of the rings had a grand total of TWO deaths in the fellowship... and one was ressurected.

These should be about the THREAT of death... not the constant parade of new characters joining the group. If there's continuity between how the group started, and how the game ends... then it's not NEARLY as fun... (We're trying an ultra-lethal game right now... only 2 characters are left from the original party... and there have been 6 'new' characters who needed to be explained the whole quest at different times...

it's tedious.

Besides... it sounds like you want the characters to feel the penalty for death... and then they remake the same character for no raise dead costs... Soooooooo Ultra-lethal isn't workin' for ya anyway!!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm not going to weigh in on the player penalty / freebie death bit. It really depends on the type of game being run. In some games you can be lower level and survive to go up and contibute, in others if you're weak then the party is going to suffer a tpk. And everything inbetween.

On player "respawning" and the video game bit though... tell them you're using a "save point" system and if everyone agrees they get to keep their characters. Who start at a prior point in the game, no one gets xp / treasure for the aborted encounter. It didn't happen. Then alter the encounter, replace it with another, change the timing / location etc. in case they go back. When they go back prepared for the last encounter just look innocent and say "well, things have changed" :D It's more work but the look on the players faces would be priceless. Then mention the other possibility, with penalties (or not) for a new character and ask which they prefer. Just a thought...


In most of the campgains I've played in, the GMs usually let you create a new character that is 1-3 levels behind the rest of the group and some of them require that you use a different race/class combo.

My characters don't often die, so I'm okay with it.

Also, couldn't the rest of the party have him reincarnated ? It seems a popular thing to do (assuming you can find a spellcaster who can do it soon enough) in the games I've played in.


Starbuck_II wrote:


Nope. In PF you never catch up. Ever. In D&D you got more eXP for lower level, but not in PF.

And due to lower Wealth by level gear, hp, etc you will likely die again staying lower level.

I get that. It may surprise you to know that I didn't really follow that xp chart that everyone keeps mentioning from 3.x. Just handed out flat numbers. I understand how the math works. I don't understand why people keep bringing up the fact that the xp doesn't scale.

Let me be clear: you catch up to _very close_ average party level.
I think the disconnect with a number of people here isn't in the fact that there is one set of us that understand math and one that do not, it's the fact that some see "caught up" in this case to mean something like "everyone is level 7 now". I consider everyone equal if they are within two or three levels of one another. Note the level spread range on most modules, there is like a 5 point over-under.

Qadira

Well, there you go. Others were using the term "catch up" to mean that the new character's XP total would never actually be as large as the XP total of the other characters. (True if your campaign always, inevitably hands out exactly equal XP - and fairly likely even if characters do gain individual XP awards at your table.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Coriolis Storm wrote:

A) Party encounters a "Mega threat" that the GM clearly says OOC is intended to push them off. Ie. do not engage, this will kill you. Party engages, because they "think they can do it anyway". Win or lose, party members die.

I've commented before about my dislike for 'unbeatable' situations. Your characters are the HEROES... If they see the BBEG, then 9 times out of 10 they SHOULD attack.

Nope, they is no should or shouldn't... The PC's should act as they see it. If they treat every obstacle as something that can be smashed they deserve to get canned.

This sort of attitude is why the Asmodeus Mirage was retired from PFS. A rule of thumb going back was of the thirteen or so engagements before going up a level - one of the encounters should sent the party running for the hills.

Sometimes parties have run from a tomb only to come back better prepared the following morning - it's the way things are meant to happen.

Our party lost all our characters but one last night, whilst trying to buy enough time for the last to get the children out and to safety. We knew going into the room [woefully under-prepared, no spells left etc..] that things would be tight but due to time constraints placed on us in game our options were limited.

It's a bugger - we started drawing up new characters immediately.


lastblacknight wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:
I've commented before about my dislike for 'unbeatable' situations. Your characters are the HEROES... If they see the BBEG, then 9 times out of 10 they SHOULD attack.

Nope, they is no should or shouldn't... The PC's should act as they see it. If they treat every obstacle as something that can be smashed they deserve to get canned.

This sort of attitude is why the Asmodeus Mirage was retired from PFS. A rule of thumb going back was of the thirteen or so engagements before going up a level - one of the encounters should sent the party running for the hills.

Sometimes parties have run from a tomb only to come back better prepared the following morning - it's the way things are meant to happen.

Our party lost all our characters but one last night, whilst trying to buy enough time for the last to get the children out and to safety. We knew going into the room [woefully under-prepared, no spells left etc..] that things would be tight but due to time constraints placed on us in game our options were limited.

It's a bugger - we started drawing up new characters immediately.

Ok... 12 times out of 13 they should 'engage'... I'll concede, I like your numbers better :D

I love your example too... The characters may not have won the fight.... but they were at least Heroic. They saved children...

Many times on these boards I see DM saying things like.. 'oh, they weren't supposed to fight the bad guy there.... they were supposed to run away and avenge the orphans later...

I would HATE to play in a game like that...

I tend to play the Heroic types when i can... Not necessarily STUPID... or Gung-Ho Paladin... but at least HEROES. The kind that couldn't sleep at night if the whole party had left the children to whatever fate the big bad had planned for them.

Also, I guess it depends on what TYPE of game your playing. Is it standard campaign... with intricate backstories and overarching character plots?

Then don't kill them haphazardly. If your in book 3 of a 6 book AP... there shouldn't be any guaranteed TPKs. The STORY is the important part... and if the whole cast changes in the middle then it tends to get weird...

May have worked for Hitchcock, but it doesn't make for a fun RP campaign...

Now with your heroic children saving... you guys have the unenviable position of trying to get the NEW group emotionally invested in whatever quest the original group was trying to accomplish...

EDIT: Also... What is the Asmodeus Mirage? I havent' heard that referenced before... You've peaked my curiosity ;)


Quote:
EDIT: Also... What is the Asmodeus Mirage? I havent' heard that referenced before... You've peaked my curiosity ;)

It is a Pathfinder Society scenario Link.

But other then that, I have no clue.


Asphesteros wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:
joeyfixit wrote:
Unbeatable encounters smacks almost as much of video-gameness, being akin to an invisible wall at the edge of the sandbox.
The difference is that the video game won't run off and pout if you beat its unbeatable enemy. Well, except if it's made by Sony.
Actually, they're the 'reds' and 'purples' you see in MORGS. Difference is, in a MORG if a player kills himself on one rather than avoiding it, they blame the player, when it happens in tabletop, they blame the game.

I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about when the player kills the 'red' or 'purple' (poor colours).


taepodong wrote:

I consider everyone equal if they are within two or three levels of one another. Note the level spread range on most modules, there is like a 5 point over-under.

2-3 levels can easily be the difference between a really challenging encounter and one that will kill you unless you stay right out. Which will only make it worse because you probably won't get XP for a fight you stayed out of.


KaeYoss wrote:
taepodong wrote:

I consider everyone equal if they are within two or three levels of one another. Note the level spread range on most modules, there is like a 5 point over-under.

2-3 levels can easily be the difference between a really challenging encounter and one that will kill you unless you stay right out. Which will only make it worse because you probably won't get XP for a fight you stayed out of.

Why would you not get xp? That would be a pretty mean DM to penalize characters like that... There are LOTS of situations that a player could be 'useless' in a battle but still mean well.

Wizards holding their actions to counterspell... something that doesn't ever happen.

Someone protecting the prisoners/rear guard...

Someone with horrible initative and the battle is over before it gets to them...

In 2E at least, it was always stated that if you were there, you got the xp. Even if you were in the back of the room... you MAY have scared off some reinforcements that you didn't know about... thus helping the battle.

Also, watching someone take out a couple skeletons or ogres, you have learned something about tactics and weaknesses even if you didn't DO it...

Soooooo I'd be pretty annoyed if I was in the back and didn't get the xp for the fight...

Also, people make too big a deal about everyone being 'equal' We have an npc coming along with us right now in the game... she's about 2 levels behind. After my guy died, I got to play her for a while... When we got to the big bad... she simply could not HIT him. needed a nat 20 to do it... but she COULD hit AC10 and Aid the ranger to hit harder... She COULD use the wand of Cure light wounds to keep the people on their feet... as a pathfinder/bard type she Could do some buffing...

She also helped flank.... she was VERY useful. Just not in the actual 'DAMAGE' situation... Though if my rogue was still kicking at that time.... I don't think HE would have been much better in that case....


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phantom1592 wrote:
Why would you not get xp?

Because if spectators got a share of the XP, arena spectators would all be epic level.

phantom1592 wrote:

That would be a pretty mean DM to penalize characters like that... There are LOTS of situations that a player could be 'useless' in a battle but still mean well.

There is a difference between being 'useless' and not participating at all. And that's what I'm talking about: Staying out of the fight altogether. Hiding behind a rock like the coward the character is.

Well, maybe not a coward. Mainly realising that if he allows himself to register as a thread to the enemy, the enemy might take the half round to take him out.

phantom1592 wrote:


Wizards holding their actions to counterspell... something that doesn't ever happen.

Someone protecting the prisoners/rear guard...

Someone with horrible initative and the battle is over before it gets to them...

All completely beside the point. It's not about getting a chance to participate, it's about choosing to stay out of it.

phantom1592 wrote:


Soooooo I'd be pretty annoyed if I was in the back and didn't get the xp for the fight...

If you did what I'm talking about - not participating at all because you were afraid this obviously overpowering enemy could step on you by accident and kill you - then you wouldn't get any XP. Then again,I don't penalise players for dead characters - the fact that their characters are dead and they have to sit there and watch as others play is annoying enough - so this won't be an issue.

phantom1592 wrote:


Also, people make too big a deal about everyone being 'equal' We have an npc coming along with us right now in the game... she's about 2 levels behind. After my guy died, I got to play her for a while... When we got to the big bad... she simply could not HIT him. needed a nat 20 to do it... but she COULD hit AC10 and Aid the ranger to hit harder... She COULD use the wand of Cure light wounds to keep the people on their feet... as a pathfinder/bard type she Could do some buffing...

Well, not every GM puts on kid gloves. Frail enemy that still contributes somewhat to the fight? Looks like he could be taken out easily, thus denying the other enemies his support AND maybe making them irrational after seeing a friend fall? I'm on that wimp like a pit bull on a poodle!

That's the actual issue here. Not being unable to contribute, but being unable to survive even a glancing blow from the enemy.

Shadow Lodge

Wait, realizing you're overmatched and surviving isn't an experience?

Also, contributing to the encounter does not solely rely on stabbing the enemy.

I'm also not aware of there being a visible difference in appearance between a 1st and 10th level PC. Maybe the fact one is hanging back behind the rest could be a clue, I guess.

Running some math for my own amusement.

Let's see, 4 10th level and 1 1st level characters, 41 levels divided by 5 PCs, APL 8.

XP reward for CR 8 is 4800, divided among 5, chart says 1200 each, but actual math says 960.

2 encounters on the fast track, 3 on the medium track, and the 1st level character is 2nd level.

Make it a CR 10, individual XP awarded is 1920, cutting down level up time by one encounter.


ShinHakkaider wrote:


I'll agree that a DM who doesn't take into account what his players wants are in a game is not a very good GM. If only to make sure that a player's style and your own (as GM) are on a similar page.

However the idea that the GM is just another player pretty much flies in the face of about 25+ years experience of running games in various systems. I dont think I've run into a player yet that would say that the GM is just another player.

A player usually only has his/her PC to be concerned about a GM has considerably more work to do interms of being "just another player".

While I would never submit that players should let themselves be privy to DM abuse, most rational players understand that there are times where (depending on the social contract of the table) the DM has some significant authority at the table that the other players (to an extent) do not.

Having a that mush more authority when running the game doenst affect your position in life. This is true and any person who acts this way? the problem lies with THAT PERSON not with the fact that they are GM or DM.

How a person treats others in when they're in a temporary position of authority them is very, very telling of their character. One of the best ways I've heard of to really see the character of a potential date is to go to a restaurant with them.

...then watch how he, or she, treats the wait staff.

Regarding the rest: I've always thought the best DM was more of a storyteller/manager, so agree with a lot of what you're saying. It takes a certain skill to balance different interests harmoniously, while having fun, yourself.


KaeYoss wrote:


There is a difference between being 'useless' and not participating at all. And that's what I'm talking about: Staying out of the fight altogether. Hiding behind a rock like the coward the character is.

Well, maybe not a coward. Mainly realising that if he allows himself to register as a thread to the enemy, the enemy might take the half round to take him out.

Ahhhh... Gotcha... Still not sure I agree with the philosphy. Different characters are good for different things... We recently had a battle come up with tiny swarms... Two blasters in the party were able to battle them, while the other two characters climbed a high statue and hoped for the best...

HATE swarms ;)

If only one person has a silver dagger... then the others shouldn't be punished for not rushing in and grappling the werewolf... that road leads to suicide... or worse CURSES O.o

phantom1592 wrote:


Wizards holding their actions to counterspell... something that doesn't ever happen.

Someone protecting the prisoners/rear guard...

Someone with horrible initative and the battle is over before it gets to them...

KaeYoss wrote:


All completely beside the point. It's not about getting a chance to participate, it's about choosing to stay out of it.

Even if it is cowardly... I don't really see the difference between 'getting ready to heal a wounded guy with the wand...' and 'SAYING your waiting to heal the wounded guy'.

If Player A is in the general vacinity of a battle, and he flees leaving his comrades to die.... by all means no xp.

If he stands back and ready to jump in when he can... Full XP

If he stands back and hides behind a rock.... He's STILL in mortal jeapordy... even if all mega-evil has to kill 3 other people before he kills HIM... He's STILL in the battle. I wouldn't punish him for that.

What's the difference between hiding because you're 2 levels lower... or becasue it's the 4th battle of the day, and you only have 4hp left and out of healing... Either way, your 'front line' days are over...

KaeYoss wrote:


Well, not every GM puts on kid gloves. Frail enemy that still contributes somewhat to the fight? Looks like he could be taken out easily, thus denying the other enemies his support AND maybe making them irrational after seeing a friend fall? I'm on that wimp like a pit bull on a poodle!

That's the actual issue here. Not being unable to contribute, but being unable to survive even a glancing blow from the enemy.

If the enemy in my example had turned on the bard/pathfinder character... it would have left itself open for unanswered damage from the super-ranger doing 60-80 damage a round.. Sometimes more with crits.

At BEST, she was giving a +2 to hit.... or healing D8+1 damage. She was easily a valid target... but certainly not the BEST target at the time.

Bad guys really shouldn't know what the good guy's HP level is anymore than the good guys know the bad guys health bar. If the bard is swinging and not hitting... He shouldn't know it's because he's 2 levels lower then the ranger... it could JUST as easily be the bard rolling single digits on the die.

I would question any time the monster on a whim decides to take out the squire before the knight... unless that was the night that the squire rolled all 15-20's and the knight never rolled higher than a 5... (I've SEEN that Game!!!) The bad guys should typically aim for the one causing the most trouble.

For that matter... the level difference for a bard. REALLY isn't all that great... at 2 levels lower... BAB is the same, Saves MAY be off by one. POSSIBLY a feat... which most are very situational ANYWAY.

Hit points are nice... but this is hardly an unplayable character. when every stat and every action you have is adjust by 1-20... a +1 to that roll should NOT be that big of deal.

Certainly not to the point that people want to ditch the character and bring a whole new one...


phantom1592 wrote:


If Player A is in the general vacinity of a battle, and he flees leaving his comrades to die.... by all means no xp.

If he stands back and ready to jump in when he can... Full XP

If you're close enough and seemingly ready to jump into the fray, even just to help out, you're part of the fight, sure. That means the enemy might see it the same way - and take you out of the game.

phantom1592 wrote:


What's the difference between hiding because you're 2 levels lower... or becasue it's the 4th battle of the day, and you only have 4hp left and out of healing... Either way, your 'front line' days are over...

It's the 4th battle of the day, there is no more healing, and some of the group is at 4 hp? At that time you should have been retreating since right after the 3rd battle.

phantom1592 wrote:


If the enemy in my example had turned on the bard/pathfinder character... it would have left itself open for unanswered damage from the super-ranger doing 60-80 damage a round.. Sometimes more with crits.

And by not turning on the bard, she was immune to that damage?

Of course not.

Plus, such a weak character, with the usually worse save, less HP, worse AC, etc, is usually quite easy to take out. It might not even eat up a whole round. And after that round (or less), the character is out of the game, no longer providing support.

It's a very viable strategy - attack worst defence first, rather than attack best offence first. A lot of combatants will go for that. Maybe not every one of them, but it only really has to be one. And then BAM! Dead character. Again. Start way behind everyone else. Again.

phantom1592 wrote:


Bad guys really shouldn't know what the good guy's HP level is anymore than the good guys know the bad guys health bar.

While no one is supposed to have access to all stats like in a computer game, it is very possible to make general assumptions: Looks like a fighter, probably has a bad will save; spells seem quite weak, probably low-level, which probably means worse stats.

The character will not think in terms of HP or bonuses to d20 rolls, of course, but that doesn't mean they're completely clueless. Few HP means frail and unable to stand up to much punishment, low AC means easy to hit, low save means easy to influence with certain effects.

And since it's a fundamental truth that most of these things are tied to how experienced you are and what type of character you are (warrior, priest, rogue, etc.), it is only logical that a smart enough character can draw conclusions (and it doesn't require Sheldon-level intelligence, either).

phantom1592 wrote:


If the bard is swinging and not hitting... He shouldn't know it's because he's 2 levels lower then the ranger... it could JUST as easily be the bard rolling single digits on the die.

A single attack roll won't tell you everything about an enemy, but watching them make attacks isn't the only clue, and even that will become more certain the more attacks you make.

phantom1592 wrote:


I would question any time the monster on a whim decides to take out the squire before the knight... unless that was the night that the squire rolled all 15-20's and the knight never rolled higher than a 5... (I've SEEN that Game!!!) The bad guys should typically aim for the one causing the most trouble.

That is one tactic. The other is "see who seems to be the most squishy and squish him first". Both have merit on a tactical basis alone, and the frailest first strategy has the added bonus that it's quite sadistic, and bad guys are often sadists.

phantom1592 wrote:


For that matter... the level difference for a bard. REALLY isn't all that great... at 2 levels lower... BAB is the same, Saves MAY be off by one. POSSIBLY a feat... which most are very situational ANYWAY.

All this is axiomatically wrong.

For a bard (and, indeed for every single-classed character), the BAB will ALWAYS be different at a two-level difference. In fact, half the time, the BAB will be two better.

For saves: The strong saves (which the bards has two of), an extra two levels ALWAYS means +1 on the saves. The weak save (will) will be +1 twice as often as not.

Feat: It's ALWAYS one more feat.

And all that is not even all: Two extra levels mean +1 to some ability score half the time. There's a difference of 2d8+ HP. And, of course, skills and CMD/CMB will be lower, class abilities and spells will be weaker, less, or not available at all yet. That means, for a bard, fewer buffing opportunities.

And gear usually being tied to level, it could be worse even than that.

At low level, where the extra levels can mean being two or three times as good as the lower-level character, these basic things can be devastating.

On higher levels, lagging behind two levels when it comes to extra attacks, class abilities, spell levels sucks just as bad, even though the difference in HP isn't as glaring as before.

phantom1592 wrote:


Hit points are nice... but this is hardly an unplayable character. when every stat and every action you have is adjust by 1-20... a +1 to that roll should NOT be that big of deal.

Certainly not to the point that people want to ditch the character and bring a whole new one...

Those "measly" +1s can be the difference between life or death.

An encounter with a EL of the normal characters' level +3 is difficult for them - for the poor bastard who is behind, we're talking about level +4 to +6. That's quite close to the point (or right at the point) where enemies can kill you without really trying.

And beyond the mere survival problem, having to wait weeks or months until you get to play with the toys the other characters already have (more attacks, higher spell levels, etc.) simply sucks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
phantom1592 wrote:

I tend to play the Heroic types when i can... Not necessarily STUPID... or Gung-Ho Paladin... but at least HEROES. The kind that couldn't sleep at night if the whole party had left the children to whatever fate the big bad had planned for them.

Also, I guess it depends on what TYPE of game your playing. Is it standard campaign... with intricate backstories and overarching character plots? Then...

She has been one of my more interesting PC's (Rogue/Diviner, follower of Asmodeous etc)... but when the moment came to it. She could have moved past her friend who was carrying the last child but to do would have meant leaving them both open to attack. She had heard her companion (and flank buddy) cry out and fall hard lost in the smoke ahead. She decided to hold the line knowing that that in the worst case she would buy that extra rounds time allowing escape and if she got luck she might have lived - she didn't.

phantom1592 wrote:


Now with your heroic children saving... you guys have the unenviable position of trying to get the NEW group emotionally invested in whatever quest the original group was trying to accomplish...

EDIT: Also... What is the Asmodeus Mirage? I haven't heard that referenced before... You've peaked my curiosity ;)

My new character is also quite interesting, you're right though we do take the time to think and put a lot in our characters. Why would we spend hours with an avatar that whose skin we didn't feel comfortable in? the trick is having an idea and then talking with the GM to get the right balance.

Asmodeous Mirage, SPOLIER:
There is a part involving a dragon called Enkendu [which if GM'd correctly isn't an issue] can be extraordinary challenging if players assume that every being they meet is a potential trophy, it apparently involved multiple TPK's in Season 0

The Asmodeous Mirage is worth playing through even though it's no longer PFS legal - just follow some of the tweaks on the boards.

Andoran

XP is a complete pain in the ass; I'm glad PFS got rid of it.


I think there is no avoiding this point -- as a DM, you need to work out what you want to be the power gap (in terms of levels, equipment, or anything else) between the current characters in your game and any new characters who join the game (whether as new players or as replacement characters for existing characters). That gap represents the maximum acceptable degree of loss that the player characters should ever incur (whether from their own actions or from the DM). Any losses beyond that point should be recoverable (for example, stolen equipment that might be recovered in a relatively short period of time). Reducting the gap to zero would give players incentive to replace their characters whenever they suffer the slightest reversal of fortune.

On the other hand, if there is a real cost to replacing a character, players will do that only when they are truly tired of playing a particular character -- in which case they most definitely won't do a "respawn". The fact that your players are doing this after relatively minor losses tells me that you haven't worked out the best power gap for your campaign -- but your players have, and it is too narrow.

I am assuming, of course, that you are not likely to make the reverse error (more common in earlier editions of the game than nowadays) of making the gap so huge that new players joining your campaign will feel useless. But to be fair to your players, the gap does need to be there so that the veterans feel that they have accomplished something that the newer players haven't.

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