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Why I am adament about Metagaming and Rules Bending / Breaking.


Gamer Talk

Silver Crusade

As most of you can tell by my posts and threads that I have a problem things like metagaming and over all rules bending and breaking. I come off as a "tool" at times but the reason I am taking such a stand on these issues is because these boards are the place that new players come for advice and to help learn the game. I want Pathfinder to be as clean and consistent as possible. I know it's not perfect, nor will it ever be but there is no harm in cleaning up what we can.

I don't like to encourage new players to learn bad habits and wrong rules. Also, I like to point out those rules in the game that aren't hard coded and actually have DM judgement come into play. Some people here like to claim guidelines and open rules as hard coded rules that should be followed and if not, are playing the game wrong.

There is nothing wrong with someone's playstyle but when you start to mistake playstyle for rules then you need to prepare yourself for it being challenged. I have been playing 3.5/Pathfinder since it's beginning and I am to the point now where I can tell the difference between optimization and using the rules, and it's many interpretations, to break the game.

I have seen and been a part of too many games that have broken down due to abuse of the system and I don't want the new guys to have to experience this if it can be helped.

I want new player's to get the intended view of the game without the rules bending and the rules breaking. I know we can't clean up all of it but we should be able to clean up as much as we can.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't think you come across as a tool.

You do though come across as someone who thinks they've found The One True Way and is seeking to enforce that. While not necessarily a bad thing, it does create issues when others disagree about The One True Way.

Your post about knowledge skills and item creation feats is one such example. While nothing is inherently "wrong" with them, you already decided before you posted about them that you were right and everyone who disagreed was wrong and that really is what created the problem in that thread.

The post about cheese is another. Clearly plenty of folks disagree about how games should run- but what is cheesy for you may be acceptable to me, and whats acceptable to me may be cheesy to someone else.

You seem to enjoy taking a hard right/wrong "line in the sand " about things that are really just opinions. And as long as you continue to do that, you are likely to continue to receive the same responses to your threads as you have in those two.

-S

Taldor

I know I get a bit miffed myself when I hear people misquoting rules. I think I get more annoyed by people misunderstanding things then I do by house rules that get out of hand.

Basically the people who want to be rules lawyers but are too lazy to actually read the book.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Here's a viewpoint you might not have thought of. When you intend to help someone, your delivery is at least as important as the content.

I'd like to go out on a limb and suggest that should a newbie stumble upon one of your threads wherein you vigorously argue with forum veterans to the point that name-calling is inevitable and the thread gets locked, that newbie is unlikely to absorb your input.

Run-on-sentence TLDR? Carrot and the stick, man. You're not going to teach newbies anything with the stick.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

Follow along, there is a point.

In a 3.5 game I played in, there was this immortal demon lord who before the campaign had been defeated. Since he was immortal, killing him was out of the question, but it was found they could dilute his demonic power by dividing his soul into portions and seal them in mortal souls. During this ritual, the temple was attacked, and instead of the chosen vessels, the souls were trapped in random mortals across the world. The attack ended in an explosion with very few knowing the truth of what happened.

As generations go by, the soul fragment is transferred to the first born child of the one who inherited it from their parent. My character was one such individual. Each person with a soul fragment had abilities they coudl perform. For me, I could take the demonic energy and channel it into weapons with my blood.

Now how does this work mechanics wise? We decided Soul Knife as a start. But what about all the other aspects? My power wasn't psionic, how did it react with magic and psionic powers? Do I detect as evil because of the demonic soul? Would Protection from Evil repel me? Could I be banished?

A character like that doesn't work all that well with a Hard Line rules approach. And it's not the first where me and a DM made some changes, or bent the rules, to make a concept work.

If a newer player wants to play a character that doesn't quite fit in the rules, adapt the rules. They are just guidelines after all.

To be honest, in my opinion, a Hard Line stance on the rules really only belongs in Society play. This is just my opinion, but it's the one I have.


Back when I was a noob to RPGs during the early 90s, rules hardliners are the ones that kept me away D&D. They made it sound like the game was so locked down with ultra-specific rules that any sort of deviation of those rules was impossible. It was kind of ironic actually. It was the mystique of D&D that got me interested in role playing, but rules junkies that kept me away from that source of inspiration. D&D ended up being 5th in the lines of RPGs I've played.

Silver Crusade

I was actualy dissapointed to see the main book named the "Core Rule Book". I would much rather it be called the, "They are More Like Guidelines Book". ;)

By no means am I ever looking for consistency in my games. Consistency means I know what to expect and can easily anticpate what is coming. I prefer flavor injected both from the players coming up with creative ways to do things and DM's in altering things to suit their story.

I enjoy it when a monster that I know from the Bestiary does something that it (by the All Mighty RAW) can't do... but it does it anyway.


Who cares.

Also, making houserules and insisting that they're RAW isn't helpful to newbies.

Silver Crusade

Tempestorm wrote:


By no means am I ever looking for consistency in my games. Consistency means I know what to expect and can easily anticpate what is coming. I prefer flavor injected both from the players coming up with creative ways to do things and DM's in altering things to suit their story.

So you want a game that has ever changing rules that are never the same?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I am not a rules lawyer, either as a GM or a player. However, rules are important and I do my best to stick with them.

But when it comes to making a ruling during game play, intent is as important as anything else. If a player is clearly trying to break the rules to gain an advantage, then I will pull the "rules" card out. But if someone just has a cool concept that doesn't break the game, but that the rules don't really support that well (e.g. a dagger throwing specialist) then I'll be more than willing to bend the rules to allow that concept to "work."

I also will freely ignore the rules entirely when building my campaigns. If I want the evil wizard to have a magic item that you can't create "by the rules" or a spell that does something totally unique, I don't worry about how the rules would allow them to be created. I just give the wizard the spell or item.

The whole point of the game is to exercise the collective imagination of the group by creating a compelling and enjoyable story that each person has a part in constructing. I'm a "first principles" sort of guy, and that's the core "first principle" of RPGing. So that's what I try to focus on. If that means bending the rules here and there, then fine. If that means sticking strictly to the rules for the sake of balance, that's fine too. The trick is in figuring out when to break the rules and when to stick to them. And that is the main reason the game has the GM in the first place.

Lantern Lodge

shallowsoul wrote:
Tempestorm wrote:


By no means am I ever looking for consistency in my games. Consistency means I know what to expect and can easily anticpate what is coming. I prefer flavor injected both from the players coming up with creative ways to do things and DM's in altering things to suit their story.

So you want a game that has ever changing rules that are never the same?

If you have Power Players or a Godding DM's You will have rule problems all the time. like Morgan said also. If you play with people that been playing like this for sometime your not going to change them. The best thing to do is look for some people who never had played a d20 game,and then you have a group that will follow and see what you do has a DM. You got to breed them!! I got a new group like that and they never give me head aces. Now for the older group its hard for some of them to follow my order of Gameing. I already told some of them "this game my not be for you" but they say they want to play then they cry when they do not get thare way strange??


8 people marked this as a favorite.

I think that people react negatively to some of your posts less because of your hardline stance against metagaming and rules bending/breaking and more because of the tone and the rhetorical tactics used. For example, you're sometimes oddly aggressive while simultaneously obviously wrong, which isn't a ingratiating combination, then when somebody points out corrections or other viable interpretations, you go off the rails, backpedal, move goalposts, and (with increasing frequency) start multiple other threads on the exact same topic for no clear reason. The reason you're encountering opposition at every turn is not (primarily) due to your positions themselves (well, except for the positions that are indefensible and transparently erroneous, such as the notion that free access to every wildshape form is "abusive"), but the way you present them and the way you respond to responses.

I don't know if you're under the impression that the threads you create look like a guy standing up for sanity against a world of people bending rules and metagaming, but they don't. They look like a guy who doesn't have much idea what he's talking about being bizarrely hostile towards everyone else, ignoring contrary evidence and challenges to his position and using piles of classic weaselly debate techniques to keep an argument going. That's what the new players who you want to help are seeing. You can't help being demonstratively wrong when you're demonstratively wrong, but you can help being hostile, which not only looks better to the new players, but avoids attracting total beatdowns on your position. As people in the druid wildshape thread suggested, with a little grace you could have had a thread that actually won respect for your position, instead of a thread full of people badgering you about your use of "abusive".

This post isn't intended to be an attack, but seriously, man, a little grace, kindness and openness would complement the passion you have way better than threats and combatitiveness.


Ogay, Joyd,....you be "good cop."

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed a couple posts. Flag it and move on, folks.

Osirion

You do have some genuinely interesting ideas as a DM. I think if you opened threads offering kind advice for DMs either new to the game, or looking for a change of pace, you would be helping the game the way you want.

Returning to your magic item rules, as an example, if you had presented them as "a way to incorporate magic item creation into roleplaying, and vice versa" you would probably get much more support or interest than if you present your position as the best or correct interpretation.

Andoran

shallowsoul wrote:
Tempestorm wrote:


By no means am I ever looking for consistency in my games. Consistency means I know what to expect and can easily anticpate what is coming. I prefer flavor injected both from the players coming up with creative ways to do things and DM's in altering things to suit their story.

So you want a game that has ever changing rules that are never the same?

Rules that don't HAVE to be the same is super fine by me, yes.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
shallowsoul wrote:
So you want a game that has ever changing rules that are never the same?

The score is still Q to 12!

Osirion

Misery wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Tempestorm wrote:


By no means am I ever looking for consistency in my games. Consistency means I know what to expect and can easily anticpate what is coming. I prefer flavor injected both from the players coming up with creative ways to do things and DM's in altering things to suit their story.

So you want a game that has ever changing rules that are never the same?
Rules that don't HAVE to be the same is super fine by me, yes.

I actually had this exact conversation in my FLGS the other day. You're taking a narrativist stance (which is great if your group enjoys that), but I would argue that changing rulings to suit the narrative is still being consistent - the players expect things to progress the story regardless of the "rule".

To restate my argument from the store: If the DM allows Robin Hood to split an arrow at the archery competition, he'd better allow King Arthur to pull the sword from the stone!

In conclusion, the best way to look at gaming consistency is: consistency is the the GMs ruling as related to the groups expectations for the event.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:
Tempestorm wrote:


By no means am I ever looking for consistency in my games. Consistency means I know what to expect and can easily anticpate what is coming. I prefer flavor injected both from the players coming up with creative ways to do things and DM's in altering things to suit their story.

So you want a game that has ever changing rules that are never the same?

As Michael Moorcock might put it, I think we can find a happy medium between Absolute Law and Primal Chaos. Personally I think that's part of the Art of the Game, defining the Balance that works for you and your group.

Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

Removed a bunch of posts. This thread is going nowhere and is locked.

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