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How do you measure "Contributing to the Group" in Pathfinder?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Silver Crusade

I frequent these boards, Enworld and the D&D boards. Something that I have seen talked about, especially over at the Wizard's boards, is contributing to the group.

Now my view on contributing to the group as being relaxed and what gets me sometimes are people that insist on you doing X amount of damage or kill X amount of creatures in order to "rightfully" contribute to the group. Pretty much if they don't rock in combat then their contribution is questioned and so is their character build.

Now I view all aspects of play as contributing. If your character is great with skills but stinks at combat then I feel like you are contributing to the group. If you are a combat type character and you aren't doing loads of damage then any damage that you do, no matter how small, is contributing to the group.

Now I have seen this most when dealing with people who love to optimize their character but can't understand why their fellow player doesn't do the same. Now of course this isn't true for everyone that optimizes but the ones I've seen make the most noise are ones who do.

If all you do is toss me a potion during combat and role play your ass off then I am perfectly cool with that.

If you combat your ass off and you aren't very good at role playing then I am cool with that as well. Just don't slag off those who don't believe in combat equals group contributing. Same goes for those who may look down on people who don't role play very well.

As long as you are doing something to help the group in any way, no matter how small, then you are good in my book.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

If I enjoy the group more when you are absent, you're not contributing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

If the game is easier when your character isn't there, you're not contributing.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

If I'd rather be a man short than have you there, you might be a re- uh, I mean, you're not contributing.


shallowsoul wrote:

I frequent these boards, Enworld and the D&D boards. Something that I have seen talked about, especially over at the Wizard's boards, is contributing to the group.

Now my view on contributing to the group as being relaxed and what gets me sometimes are people that insist on you doing X amount of damage or kill X amount of creatures in order to "rightfully" contribute to the group. Pretty much if they don't rock in combat then their contribution is questioned and so is their character build.

I agree fully. Combat isn't everything. In fact, the game is way larger than combat, despite the obvious emphasis on combat present in the game.

Quote:
Now I view all aspects of play as contributing. If your character is great with skills but stinks at combat then I feel like you are contributing to the group. If you are a combat type character and you aren't doing loads of damage then any damage that you do, no matter how small, is contributing to the group.

The only problem I have with this is that there's contributing and then there's contributing. A common or mule can contribute to the party. I mean, they can at least carry stuff for you. They could even trip a trap or maybe two before meeting their favorite god even. However, adventuring parties usually expect people to be doing a bit more contributing. Adventuring parties traditionally split XP and wealth evenly among members, which implies a more or less equal value. If said commoner looked at the PCs and said "Ok look guys, I know it was you all that slew the manticor, out-foxed the minotaur, solved the wall with the math problem presented in geometric shapes, tripped the traps, and disintegrated the wall of force; but I carried this bag; I deserve a full share of abstract power booster and treasure"; everyone would give him the look. You know the look. :P

Incidentally, it's virtually impossible to truly suck at combat unless you're trying, or just going drastically going against your strengths as your chosen class/race. Even NPC classed charcters have the potential to contribute effectively in combat (it's just way harder and less efficient than PC classed characters, but they can do it).

Quote:

Now I have seen this most when dealing with people who love to optimize their character but can't understand why their fellow player doesn't do the same. Now of course this isn't true for everyone that optimizes but the ones I've seen make the most noise are ones who do.

If all you do is toss me a potion during combat and role play your ass off then I am perfectly cool with that.

The problem is a character like that probably wouldn't last very long in an actual adventure like the ones described in D&D tradition. At best, that makes you a hireling. A porter. Carry the bags. It makes you this guy at best.

If all a character does is toss a potion now and then and talk, then they aren't deserving of a share of resources. That's just logical. A character who actually helps with stuff, and makes situations noticeably easier or more survivable is generally contributing. You don't even have to do much in combat. Be a problem solver, but for goodness sakes do something.

Quote:
If you combat your ass off and you aren't very good at role playing then I am cool with that as well. Just don't slag off those who don't believe in combat equals group contributing. Same goes for those who may look down on people who don't role play very well.

Agreed. But contribution means a lot more than combat. One of the reasons I'm very fond of rangers, paladins, and bards is because they can contribute in a lot of ways that isn't necessarily combat related. Sure, Rangers and Paladins don't have the raw killing power of Fighters (assuming fighters are using their favored weapons), but they have stuff that they can contribute to the cause of adventure beyond just combat. Finding food, spotting ambushes, healing poisons, removing diseases, providing boosts to teammates, putting another ally on the field (a ranger's animal companion can carry some stuff, help with hunting, tracking, and guarding the camp for example), dealing with social situations (Paladins have Diplomacy and Sense Motive) and generally providing out of combat support as much as in combat support.

Scarab Sages

"Contributing to the group" to me means "are you helping the group achieve their short-term and long-term goals?" Outside of the game, it means "are you helping create a fun environment in which to game"?

In the specific case of combat, since most of the rules revolve around it, I would say you are contributing if you are taking actions that positively affect the outcome of the encounter.

A common default that I dislike is "I'll stand by the door and keep watch." There are better things to be doing - even if it's only providing an Aid Another to the fighter so he can Power Attack, or putting yourself in harms way so the damage isn't focused on one PC.
Basically, if you are effectively taking no action, you are not contributing (this is a situation that may warrant with-holding XP).

Of course, then there is detracting - taking actions (intentionally or not) that directly interfere with the party goals. This would be things like getting in the way of AoE spells, charging recklessly into unknown situations, or mouthing-off to NPCs.

A good way to think about it is in-character: would the party keep this person around, or would they look for someone new (or in the worst case, take out their aggression on them)?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
If I enjoy the group more when you are absent, you're not contributing.
hogath wrote:
If the game is easier when your character isn't there, you're not contributing.
Jiggy wrote:
If I'd rather be a man short than have you there, you might be a re- uh, I mean, you're not contributing.

All of these. I can tolerate a useless character more if the player is good (not necessarily entertaining, that's a different thing).

As a character, you can add to the mechanical advantages or keep a good eye out on additional combatants.

As a player, if you have good ideas and don't rock the boat.

All of these are still variables however. A bad character built deliberately by a good player I can tolerate a lot more.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Jal Dorak wrote:

A common default that I dislike is "I'll stand by the door and keep watch." There are better things to be doing - even if it's only providing an Aid Another to the fighter so he can Power Attack, or putting yourself in harms way so the damage isn't focused on one PC.

Basically, if you are effectively taking no action, you are not contributing (this is a situation that may warrant with-holding XP).

I disagree. If you are taking actions in character, no problem.

Even if that action is 'cowering in a corner'.


Jal Dorak wrote:
Basically, if you are effectively taking no action, you are not contributing (this is a situation that may warrant with-holding XP).

Worse than that, if you're taking no useful actions and yet you're receiving a share of treasure, you're actually making a negative contribution.

Star Voter 2013

Ashiel wrote:
Sure, Rangers and Paladins don't have the raw killing power of Fighters (assuming fighters are using their favored weapons), but they have stuff that they can contribute to the cause of adventure beyond just combat. Finding food, spotting ambushes, healing poisons, removing diseases, providing boosts to teammates, putting another ally on the field (a ranger's animal companion can carry some stuff, help with hunting, tracking, and guarding the camp for example), dealing with social situations (Paladins have Diplomacy and Sense Motive) and generally providing out of combat support as much as in combat support.

Everyone can help with social situations. The classes that rewards a high cha and have the social skill as class skill would have an easier job, but that is all.

Find food and spotting ambushes are thing that a figther can do well, if properl builded, the same with the social situations (with or without archetipes).

In the other exaples that you give the fighter would have a harder time. (except maybe boosting your allies with the tactician archetype).


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I concur with the point that combat is not the only place a character can contribute. However, I will add that given the inevitability of combat, every character should be able and willing to do something useful in combat.

Liberty's Edge

I agree with TriOmegaZero: If I miss you when you're gone, you were contributing. Not much of a better way to measure contribution without getting into some oddly specific metrics. It's going to be subjective, because a person's contribution is in part making the game fun, which is itself subjective.


I have to second TriOmegaZero.

If you take your character and cower in a corner, you just made that encounter more memorable for me. Just because your roll playing says you saved vs that dragon's fear aura (and so I'm not subject to the game effects of being feared) doesn't mean that your role playing can't say my character is looking a dragon in the eyes and that's scary so he is going to act accordingly.

Now if you are showing up for your weekly game just to sit and cower in a corner the whole tiem, I'd become more worried about if you are having fun than if you are getting an unfair share of loot.

I can't imagine anyone investing the time it takes to play just to cower in a corner every encounter (even social ones) so if that person is out there surely they could only stand the game for so long before getting bored, making it a mute point.

Also if you fail a save round 1 and run away in fear. You contributed. Anyone saying you didn't should be bared from the game for life.


I won't say enjoying the game more due to your abscense is how to describe. That could be chalked up to you being an annoying person even if you are a good gamer.

I would say that if your character is not making the party's trials any easier you are not pulling your weight. Normally when you make a character certain things will be expected from you. When all eyes turn to you then results should be delivered. If they are not, or nobody ever looks to you, and you don't ever do anything that makes them notice you then something is wrong.


As a DM primarily, I'm happy with pretty much any character the other players are happy with, but I still caution my players to make sure that they have something interesting to do in combat. There's a few reasons for that. There's a number of reasons for that, but one of the most important ones is that the number of players who think they'll be happy minimally contributing to combat is a larger number than the number of people who actually are. There's a gamer personality where the person fancies themselves an extreme roleplayer or someone who sees the game more holistically than being "just combat", and sets out to prove it by creating a character whose contributions to combat are relatively low.

And a lot of the time they end up bored or frustrated.

Combat takes a long time. Unless you're playing a campaign with very little combat at all (in which case why are you using Pathfinder?), combat takes up a huge chunk of the table time, and more importantly is something that everyone participates in whether they like it or not. (Or else sits out doing nothing for a long time, which isn't really better.) I can do what I can to give that player time to shine, but combats happen. The number-one reason I end up granting "rebuilds" to players is "I thought this 10/10/10/16/10/18 Bard would be more fun to play but I am bored during combat."

It's basically the same reason that I encourage players to try to have something interesting to do in social and survival challenges, even if it's just a clear idea of how their character will act such that they get to participate. People get bored when they aren't doing anything. Social and survival challenges are a little different, though, because even if you run really dice-heavy, they're not nearly as dice-heavy as combat, and they're often shorter in terms of real-world time.


Nicos wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Sure, Rangers and Paladins don't have the raw killing power of Fighters (assuming fighters are using their favored weapons), but they have stuff that they can contribute to the cause of adventure beyond just combat. Finding food, spotting ambushes, healing poisons, removing diseases, providing boosts to teammates, putting another ally on the field (a ranger's animal companion can carry some stuff, help with hunting, tracking, and guarding the camp for example), dealing with social situations (Paladins have Diplomacy and Sense Motive) and generally providing out of combat support as much as in combat support.

Everyone can help with social situations. The classes wthat reward a high cha and have the social skill as class skill would have an easier job, but that is all.

Find food and spotting ambushes are thing that a figther can do well, if properl builded, the same with the social situations (with or without archetipes).

In the other exaples that you give the fighter would have a harder time. (except maybe boosting your allies with the tactician archetype).

Why does everything have to be an argument? *facepalms*

These classes I mentioned, Ranger, Paladin, and Bard are naturally set up to contribute in multiple fields. Yeah I'm sure if you remix your ability scores, play against your strengths, spend feats or traits to try and inch your way to diversity, and so forth, that you might be able to gain a fraction of the of the general contribution that some of these classes can.

Look, all I said was I like Rangers, Paladins, and Bards because they almost always - by default - good at contributing in lots of different situations.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Bards are good at contributing in just about ALL situations. That doesn't make them overpowered, they are just good at making everyone else better at what they do.

Paladins a great healers as well as fighters, and are good at bolstering the party as well.

Rangers are wilderness experts, they are great in the wild as well as at fighting their favoured enemies.

Fighters, compared to them, are really good at fighting things.


Presumably, every character is built to be good at something, and isn't so good at other things.

You are contributing if:
1) that thing you are good at is something the group needs.
(being the world's best underwater basket weaver is nice. Not so much as an adventuring goal)

2) That you are also doing that thing when it needs to be done.

3) that when you aren't doing what you are good at, that you aren't getting in the way of what others are good at.

I do generally agree though that someone shouldn't just.. stand back in the corner during combat. If nothing else, grab a sling and plink at bad guys or a reach weapon, or aid another or something.

-S

Star Voter 2013

Ashiel wrote:


Why does everything have to be an argument? *facepalms*

Because is funny :)

Ashiel wrote:


Look, all I said was I like Rangers, Paladins, and Bards because they almost always - by default - good at contributing in lots of different situations.

I know. Nobody would argue agains the idea that rangers, paladins and bards can contribute to a lot of diferent situations.

I just wanted to mention that fighters can also contribute in out of combat situation, sorry if my post seemed like i was against your opinion :P

Scarab Sages

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:

A common default that I dislike is "I'll stand by the door and keep watch." There are better things to be doing - even if it's only providing an Aid Another to the fighter so he can Power Attack, or putting yourself in harms way so the damage isn't focused on one PC.

Basically, if you are effectively taking no action, you are not contributing (this is a situation that may warrant with-holding XP).

I disagree. If you are taking actions in character, no problem.

Even if that action is 'cowering in a corner'.

If that becomes a recurring theme, and the campaign involves lots of combat, I would say a conversation between player and DM is warranted. It's not fair to the other players if they all die because the player wanted to roleplay a coward.

If the group is focused on roleplaying, I would have a hard time envisioning such a character remaining in the party long anyway.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Never said they would. It all depends on the group.

Which is why 'effectively taking no action' is not a reliable metric.

Scarab Sages

TriOmegaZero wrote:

Never said they would. It all depends on the group.

Which is why 'effectively taking no action' is not a reliable metric.

Keep in mind I prefaced my comments by saying they applied only to the specific case of combat - contributing within the rules structure of combat. :)


My metric is pretty simple:
Imagine that the character who is being measured is an NPC, a potential henchman perhaps.
If that PC lacked the PC stamp on his forehead, what treasure division would the other PC's offer him?
Would he be worth a full share? a half-share? a quarter share?
That's how the contribution of a character is actually measured, if one thinks of an adventuring party akin to a small joint-stock company or perhaps a startup.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Jal Dorak wrote:
Keep in mind I prefaced my comments by saying they applied only to the specific case of combat - contributing within the rules structure of combat. :)

Different groups have different expectations of combat. One groups 'no action' in combat will be different from another.


Coupla things...

First there are generally two "groups" here (players and PCs), and it is quite possible, and in fact in my experience quite common, for an individual to contribute greatly to one group, while contributing virtually nothing to the other.

The classic example would be the arrogant min-maxer whose character blows through the opposition like a tornado in a wheat field (contributes greatly to the PC group), but who annoys or angers virtually everyone at the table (actually detracts from the player group's fun).

I like TOZ's test too, with some caveats. If I miss you when you are gone, than you must be contributing to my overall fun in some way.

But the caveat is that fun is not an additive experience. It is quite possible that I could play a session that was so fun and amazing that I didn't "miss" a player who is a solid contributor to both groups.

Given a choice between player "A" who contributes greatly to the PC group, but contributes little to the player group, and player "B" who contributes little to the PC group, but greatly to the player group, I'll take player B every time. Well, almost every time.

Scarab Sages

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:
Keep in mind I prefaced my comments by saying they applied only to the specific case of combat - contributing within the rules structure of combat. :)
Different groups have different expectations of combat. One groups 'no action' in combat will be different from another.

I would imagine a group that is not using the combat system at its "default" application would likely do so intentionally. I'm looking at this discussion from shallowsoul's intention to provide advice for new players.

That said, I would argue "taking no action in combat" is equivalent to "not contributing to combat" - you may be contributing to the enjoyment, the roleplaying, the encounter, the quest, or any other subsystem, but you are not helping defeat the monster.

If there is some other goal, or other way to defeat the monster, we're no longer talking about combat.

Scarab Sages

Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Coupla things...

First there are generally two "groups" here (players and PCs), and it is quite possible, and in fact in my experience quite common, for an individual to contribute greatly to one group, while contributing virtually nothing to the other.

The classic example would be the arrogant min-maxer whose character blows through the opposition like a tornado in a wheat field (contributes greatly to the PC group), but who annoys or angers virtually everyone at the table (actually detracts from the player group's fun).

I like TOZ's test too, with some caveats. If I miss you when you are gone, than you must be contributing to my overall fun in some way.

But the caveat is that fun is not an additive experience. It is quite possible that I could play a session that was so fun and amazing that I didn't "miss" a player who is a solid contributor to both groups.

Given a choice between player "A" who contributes greatly to the PC group, but contributes little to the player group, and player "B" who contributes little to the PC group, but greatly to the player group, I'll take player B every time. Well, almost every time.

The problem with the blanket "do I miss you or not" statement is that it isn't constructive - it doesn't help the DM resolve conflicts or the player to improve.


Jal Dorak wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Even if that action is 'cowering in a corner'.
If that becomes a recurring theme, and the campaign involves lots of combat, I would say a conversation between player and DM is warranted. It's not fair to the other players if they all die because the player wanted to roleplay a coward.

If your combat character happens to have a bad will save and you have poor luck with the dice, it may happen a lot.

Choosing to do it is a different thing, but still not necessarily spoiling the fun for the other players.

Liberty's Edge

Jal Dorak wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Coupla things...

First there are generally two "groups" here (players and PCs), and it is quite possible, and in fact in my experience quite common, for an individual to contribute greatly to one group, while contributing virtually nothing to the other.

The classic example would be the arrogant min-maxer whose character blows through the opposition like a tornado in a wheat field (contributes greatly to the PC group), but who annoys or angers virtually everyone at the table (actually detracts from the player group's fun).

I like TOZ's test too, with some caveats. If I miss you when you are gone, than you must be contributing to my overall fun in some way.

But the caveat is that fun is not an additive experience. It is quite possible that I could play a session that was so fun and amazing that I didn't "miss" a player who is a solid contributor to both groups.

Given a choice between player "A" who contributes greatly to the PC group, but contributes little to the player group, and player "B" who contributes little to the PC group, but greatly to the player group, I'll take player B every time. Well, almost every time.

The problem with the blanket "do I miss you or not" statement is that it isn't constructive - it doesn't help the DM resolve conflicts or the player to improve.

No, but it gives you a starting point. It recognizes that *something* is a problem. But exactly what is the problem is going to vary from group to group and player to player. In one group, someone min/maxing might be a problem, but it might not be in another. Finding such metrics is going to be a per-group process and (in some cases) per campaign.

Once you've acknowledged that you're having a problem with a player, you can sit down and think "What is it about the player that is *actually* bothering me?" Once you have an answer here you can then think about confronting the person or, sometimes, changing groups (you may realize it isn't the player specifically, but an attitude of the group).


I'll take a shot at it.

Contributing to the group ,to me , meens are using your classes abilities to advance the story and can include the following.

1. Your character has , and uses , its available skills. For example , if you are a fighter I expect you to have knowledge Dungeoneering as one on the only classes that has it. If you cant tell me what a ooze we run into does your not helping.

2. I expect you to be able to help in combat in some way. Fighters and barbarian help in obvious ways. Everyone else can still do something. Even a wizard with out spells can still aid other or throw a rock or something. If your a bard and you "roleplay" that you played dead and the fighter dies with the enemy at one hit point , that death is your fault and you are not contributing.....you might even lose a hand if you reach for treasure.

Basically if you are doing something that farthers the goals of the party and have a properly built character your contributing. I understand that you cant build some one to be good at everything but you have an option to be doing something to help at all times.

Silver Crusade

Joyd wrote:


Combat takes a long time. Unless you're playing a campaign with very little combat at all (in which case why are you using Pathfinder?)

This is the only part I have a problem with. Pathfinder caters to many playstyles. The skill system alone is great for a pure social campaign.


The way I see it, you're contributing if you're furthering the party goals in some way. If someone's skills help us in the social arena, it counts. If a fighter cleaves a baddie in half, it counts. If it's the summoner putting their eidolon in flanking position, it helps.

We have one member, I've only played with once, who I think is more disruptive to the game than helpful. Pays no attention to the game, complains when we're in an RP or story segment, distracts one of our regular players, etc... But when the attack hits, and gives our barb a chance to get the kill shot, I have to count that as a contribution (though begrudgingly since you've just spent the last 2 hours whining that everyone else is "too into it").

Even if a player isn't very effective in-game, like the guy who RPs a coward, or someone who makes a bad choice and ends up locked in a cage for the whole dungeon, if out of the game they're helping new players with character builds, or providing guidance to experienced players, then they're contributing.

Maybe I'm a bit overly generous, but I think it's fair.


I work to be productive. I play to have fun.

There's a difference.

Scarab Sages

If you are increasing my enjoyment of the game, you are contributing. Even if you did nothing but make everybody laugh.


Playing cowards can be a whole lotta fun... I played a cowardly wizard once and the members of my play group loved her. She was something else...

She did manage to contribute to combat too, mostly by casting spells that locked down enemies so that the melee bad boys could beat it down.

She once spent an entire encounter running away from the BBEG who had decided to take her down. While the BBEG chased her around, the rest of the party finished up his mooks and minions, and then he had the whole party to deal with. Wuz epic.


Different play styles are going to answer differently.

Wargammers are going to look for tactical assistance. They may even point to the fact that a tactically deficient character's presense is interferring with fair treasure dispersment by not being useful but still getting a share.

Rpers are going to say that as long as you play consistenly within your character and within the campaigns niche you are contributing.


Gnomezrule wrote:

Different play styles are going to answer differently.

Wargammers are going to look for tactical assistance. They may even point to the fact that a tactically deficient character's presense is interferring with fair treasure dispersment by not being useful but still getting a share.

Rpers are going to say that as long as you play consistenly within your character and within the campaigns niche you are contributing.

Along with that, a lot of it has to do with how the GM presents problems.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:

I frequent these boards, Enworld and the D&D boards. Something that I have seen talked about, especially over at the Wizard's boards, is contributing to the group.

Now my view on contributing to the group as being relaxed and what gets me sometimes are people that insist on you doing X amount of damage or kill X amount of creatures in order to "rightfully" contribute to the group. Pretty much if they don't rock in combat then their contribution is questioned and so is their character build.

Now I view all aspects of play as contributing. If your character is great with skills but stinks at combat then I feel like you are contributing to the group. If you are a combat type character and you aren't doing loads of damage then any damage that you do, no matter how small, is contributing to the group.

Now I have seen this most when dealing with people who love to optimize their character but can't understand why their fellow player doesn't do the same. Now of course this isn't true for everyone that optimizes but the ones I've seen make the most noise are ones who do.

If all you do is toss me a potion during combat and role play your ass off then I am perfectly cool with that.

If you combat your ass off and you aren't very good at role playing then I am cool with that as well. Just don't slag off those who don't believe in combat equals group contributing. Same goes for those who may look down on people who don't role play very well.

As long as you are doing something to help the group in any way, no matter how small, then you are good in my book.

Hear, hear. I agree with this post completely. We're supposed to be having fun, after all; if we're all having fun, then it's goodrightfun.

Scarab Sages

Artanthos wrote:
If you are increasing my enjoyment of the game, you are contributing. Even if you did nothing but make everybody laugh.

All things in moderation. :)


Gnomezrule wrote:


Wargammers are going to look for tactical assistance.

I'm sorry, but this sentence doesn't make sense.

In fact, wargammers enjoy the tactics and strategy of combat. Making things easier for them in combat doesn't make the game funner for them. Increasing the number of dice or bonus to damage a character has doesn't make the game funner for wargammers. What makes the game funner for wargammers is increasing the challenge.

The people who it makes the game more fun for are those people who like to see their imaginary character as easily as possible kill/beat/vanquish/slaughter (pick your synonym of choice) other imaginary characters.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

"Wargammers" makes me think of an army of grandmas in plate mail and pajamas marching off to war wielding mops with spearheads.

/that is all


blahpers wrote:

"Wargammers" makes me think of an army of grandmas in plate mail and pajamas marching off to war wielding mops with spearheads.

/that is all

The grey panthers, not to be confused with the black panthers.

Then again, there are the grey black panthers.


Artanthos wrote:
If you are increasing my enjoyment of the game, you are contributing. Even if you did nothing but make everybody laugh.

The player is contributing. The PC may not be contributing.


Darkwing Duck wrote:
Gnomezrule wrote:


Wargammers are going to look for tactical assistance.

I'm sorry, but this sentence doesn't make sense.

Not sure how it can make no sense. Unless you think I mean that the GM is going to assist. I mean other players. A wargaming mindset for a warrior is to have the optimum support, flanks, buffs and so forth to optimize the party effectiveness. Yes they want a greater challenge but from the enemy not from people on the team who not contributing.

My thinking is that a wargamer is going to view "contribution" as help defeating the enemy. A character that is a dead weight tactically might make it more challenging but I have never seen a wargamer make that connection.

This was not meant as a slam on wargamer just their view of contributing we flow through the lense of tactical contribution. Yes they want a challenge but after a TPK there is all sort of monday morning quarterbacking about what spell should have been cast or that was a stupid move blah blah blah.


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Gnomez...

I am one of those hard-core tactical gamers. I cut my gaming teeth on the game of Chess. I have played wargames, and invented wargames, most of my life. I love the gritty, gutty details of tactical give and take. In fact one of the things I like about 4e is that it is a better "wargame" than 3.5 or Pathfinder. The tactical options in 4e are well thought out, well implemented and can be quite challenging to navigate as a group.

But I long ago (decades ago) learned that RPG gamers by and large don't share my deep and detailed interest in combat tactics. I've also learned that they mostly don't care to be treated as my personal combat troops as I role play a 28mm Napoleon. Even those RPGers who tend to have a high opinion of their combat abilities generally tend to confuse firepower with tactics.

So these days I accept what my team members bring to the table. I occasionally make polite suggestions about ways to improve our tactical position, but I don't press it. There's no need. The encounters we have are not tactically brilliant masterpieces of warfare that would impress the Pentagon, they are clumsy, uncoordinated skirmishes on both sides where the fun mostly comes from players executing their favorite maneuvers, regardless of how tactically appropriate they really are.

And that's cool. I'm fine with that. The orc barbarian in our group who views every situation as a nail for him to hammer is just how he wants to play. So instead of trying to convince him that there might be a better way to solve this encounter than rushing in with his hammer, I focus my efforts on figuring out how, in this encounter we can use his big-ass hammer most effectively.

It's a different sort of challenge for me, but one I still enjoy. And it's fun for everyone because they get to do what they enjoy doing.

And that's true of all three groups I play with. I suspect that's pretty common in the RPG community. I just don't see a lot of groups where everyone is a tactical genius. In fact I don't see many tactical geniuses anywhere. Such abilities are quite rare, actually.


Gnomezrule wrote:

A wargaming mindset for a warrior is to have the optimum support, flanks, buffs and so forth to optimize the party effectiveness. Yes they want a greater challenge but from the enemy not from people on the team who not contributing.

It doesn't matter to a wargamer whether the challenge comes from the enemy or the people on the team. What matters is that the challenge exists.

The only people who care about their party members being as powerful as possible are people who are motivated by the victory, not the challenge. Those kinds of people are people who want their imaginary character to beat up on other imaginary characters as easily as possible.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Even those RPGers who tend to have a high opinion of their combat abilities generally tend to confuse firepower with tactics.

Exactly!

A tactician uses what the other players bring to the table (their motivations, their characters' abilities (or lack of them), their degree of skill at the game, etc.) and designs a tactic using that.

That's where a tactician gains a sense of fun.

This is to be contrasted with a player who is more concerned about how easily their imaginary character can beat up on other imaginary characters. These players measure a player's (or a character's) worth by how much damage their character does each round.

Now, personally, I'm not much of a tactician type player. What I am is very able to think on my feet and see the flow of the dynamic system. I suck at planning. I'm really good at assimilating and evolving. I enjoy having to think on my feet.


DD, AD, I get your point. My attempt was not to disparage wargamers. I simply suggested a spectrum. Like all attempts to oversimply it falls short. I have encountered some who see contribution purely tactically and view players who "don't pull their weight" a drag on the game. On the opposite end of the spectrum I have met RPers who view any stat above 15 powerplaying and suggesting a fight is pure hack n' slash and only consider contributing as lore appropriate banter and mundane crafting.

Dark Archive

Joyd wrote:
The number-one reason I end up granting "rebuilds" to players is "I thought this 10/10/10/16/10/18 Bard would be more fun to play but I am bored during combat."

Not to accuse somebody of having WrongBadFun, but it sounds like that player was lacking a bit in creativity. Any high-CHA Bard is going to be super useful in combat. UseMagicDevice is a CHA based skill, all of the Bard's spell saves are related to CHA, Feint is an INT-CHA related combat maneuver---and once you build its feat chain it can make things very nasty indeed. An intelligence-and-charisma based melee character may not be doing a lot of direct damage (UMD excluded---I mean, isn't a wand of M. Missile super cheap and within the bard's ability to use?) but he can definitely soften up the opposition.

As someone else said, with the exception of people purposely building a ridiculously counterproductive class it is hard to be useless.


Gnomezrule wrote:
I have encountered some who see contribution purely tactically and view players who "don't pull their weight" a drag on the game.

As have I. My point is that I don't call these "wargamers" as I feel that that term should be reserved for tactically minded players (seeing as how that term came from tactical games like Warhammer 40K).

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