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Controlling Powergamers in Pathfinder


Advice

1,351 to 1,384 of 1,384 << first < prev | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | next > last >>

My group is composed of perfect players. If one of us starts power gaming, the others will let them know right then and there, "Hey, you suck." Back in the 3.5 days, I once made a ridiculous low level Apostle of Peace that didn't kill everything (or anything for that matter) but just made the game BORING. I had him jump overboard and swim to an island of primitives to spread the peace. I've had players in the games I've ran do other, more OP combat stuff, and the other PC's just let them know it sucked. Generally, even those OP characters will just lay off a bit.

Andoran

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ganryu wrote:
The core problem here, and I've discussed this with several other people, isn't the powergamers. The problem is that DnD/Pathfinder et all premiere combat as the main form of conflict.

Oh, wow, that is sooooooo bizarre. A game that sprang from tabletop wargaming features combat as the main method of conflict resolution? A game based on Conan and Elric and the like features swordplay and combat magic?

The horror.

It would be like me being frustrated because community theater doesn't allow me to resolve conflict by stabbing the director in the face.

There is no "problem". Just people trying to use a feather duster to drive nails. Wrong tool for the goal.


baalbamoth wrote:

but theres a problem with that, if you choose not to allow all the books, the players feel let down, the newer books have more classes, more feats, more ability to crunch and master the system, saying "no" will get you labled as a "too controling" DM etc. but really what other alternative is there?

I also wonder, we have a magic item creation system, a race creation system, why dont we also have a feat, class, prestige and achtype creation system? why cant we boil the whole thing down to class points, etc, and turn PF into a point based system?

Some players feel let down, not all of them. I don't mind a GM saying no to certain books. I even suggest that new GM's stay with the core book only until the get better. You don't normally get the "controlling" label unless you say no, without a good reason. Telling a player "because I said so" is one way to get the label. I didn't allow Magic of Incarnum for 3.5, because I did not want to learn another subsystem, but I also explained it. I never just said "no", without a good reason.


houstonderek wrote:
Ganryu wrote:
The core problem here, and I've discussed this with several other people, isn't the powergamers. The problem is that DnD/Pathfinder et all premiere combat as the main form of conflict.

Oh, wow, that is sooooooo bizarre. A game that sprang from tabletop wargaming features combat as the main method of conflict resolution? A game based on Conan and Elric and the like features swordplay and combat magic?

The horror.

It would be like me being frustrated because community theater doesn't allow me to resolve conflict by stabbing the director in the face.

There is no "problem". Just people trying to use a feather duster to drive nails. Wrong tool for the goal.

Take that attitude elsewhere please.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ganryu wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Ganryu wrote:
The core problem here, and I've discussed this with several other people, isn't the powergamers. The problem is that DnD/Pathfinder et all premiere combat as the main form of conflict.

Oh, wow, that is sooooooo bizarre. A game that sprang from tabletop wargaming features combat as the main method of conflict resolution? A game based on Conan and Elric and the like features swordplay and combat magic?

The horror.

It would be like me being frustrated because community theater doesn't allow me to resolve conflict by stabbing the director in the face.

There is no "problem". Just people trying to use a feather duster to drive nails. Wrong tool for the goal.

Take that attitude elsewhere please.

Why? He's totally right.


could just stop playing campagins once characters reach 5th level ;)

Andoran

Ganryu wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Ganryu wrote:
The core problem here, and I've discussed this with several other people, isn't the powergamers. The problem is that DnD/Pathfinder et all premiere combat as the main form of conflict.

Oh, wow, that is sooooooo bizarre. A game that sprang from tabletop wargaming features combat as the main method of conflict resolution? A game based on Conan and Elric and the like features swordplay and combat magic?

The horror.

It would be like me being frustrated because community theater doesn't allow me to resolve conflict by stabbing the director in the face.

There is no "problem". Just people trying to use a feather duster to drive nails. Wrong tool for the goal.

Take that attitude elsewhere please.

Pfft.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ganryu wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Ganryu wrote:
The core problem here, and I've discussed this with several other people, isn't the powergamers. The problem is that DnD/Pathfinder et all premiere combat as the main form of conflict.

Oh, wow, that is sooooooo bizarre. A game that sprang from tabletop wargaming features combat as the main method of conflict resolution? A game based on Conan and Elric and the like features swordplay and combat magic?

The horror.

It would be like me being frustrated because community theater doesn't allow me to resolve conflict by stabbing the director in the face.

There is no "problem". Just people trying to use a feather duster to drive nails. Wrong tool for the goal.

Take that attitude elsewhere please.

He is actually correct, even if you did not like the way he said it.


ImperatorK wrote:
Ganryu wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Ganryu wrote:
The core problem here, and I've discussed this with several other people, isn't the powergamers. The problem is that DnD/Pathfinder et all premiere combat as the main form of conflict.

Oh, wow, that is sooooooo bizarre. A game that sprang from tabletop wargaming features combat as the main method of conflict resolution? A game based on Conan and Elric and the like features swordplay and combat magic?

The horror.

It would be like me being frustrated because community theater doesn't allow me to resolve conflict by stabbing the director in the face.

There is no "problem". Just people trying to use a feather duster to drive nails. Wrong tool for the goal.

Take that attitude elsewhere please.
Why? He's totally right.

Ganryu appears to not like conflicting opinions on a open forum so Imperator has to be silent or word what hes going to say in a fashion that would make himself look foolish .

Because this is clearly Ganryus forum and we should all just chill out and let him tell us whats what.


It seems when you guys talk about "roleplayers" your going to the extreme example, I dont think I've ever had a player that demanded so much time/to be the star, etc to such a noticable degree or one that couldent be told "hey tone it back a bit and give some of the other players some time".

Generally if these players do exist, I think these guys are off LARP-ing mostly. I have a much bigger problem with the totally combat oreinted guy, who just after the PC's have defeated some major BBEG and is getting thanked by the king/hot females/groveling halflings etc, Immediatly says "ok, done with this, on to the next one..." trying to end anybody else's idea of fun if it didnt have to do with moving minatures around a map.

In a way it sort of blows me away that these kinds of guys are even playing an RPG, if they really just wanted combat and "oh look how awesome my build is compared to your weak ass build!" why arent they just playing magic, or minatures games, why play a role playing game and just live for the annoyance factor?

as to conflicts in an RPG, all of the conflicts begin and RP, its the reason the dragon attacks, the orks get a new leader, etc. It's just that PF and a lot of other games focus on combat as the main means of resolution, not to say thats wrong, honestly I'd get very bored with a party of entirely PF diplomancer characters. My issue is with the fact that the rewards for building an optimized combat only character are huge in comparison to building a less or sub optmized character.

Its sort of like having no middle middle ground... everyone is either UBER combat focused or sad, pathetic, and weak... I'm still thinking of having a secrete XP penalty for the most combat effective characters... or just be sure to control exactly what magic items they can get/find to make sure no matter how much more OP their build was compared to the other players, in a few levels everyting would be balanced except for the fact that the more RP based characters would be getting the best of both worlds, and I dont really have a problem with that...


Baal PF is a combat game that allows you to RP. It is not an RP first system that has combat. That is why most spells, and feats, and so on have combat applications. Most players know that XP is given out equally so when you say Player 1 gets less XP than Player 2 it won't take long to catch on.

In short if you have reasonably smart players they will catch on, and that will lead to other issues. PF also has rules for finding magic items, and they might ask about that. Denying magic items to everyone hurts the RP guys even more. If you only deny the guys that focus on combat they will catch on to that also.

The only thing I can suggest is to tell you to find people that play like you want to play. If the player knows how to make good combat focused builds that means he knows the rules, and that is why your above ideas won't fool him.


IF you take the suggestion that there is no magic items for sale and magic items are extremely vaueable, AND you really only hand out magic items that dont match the OP player's build type (IE you give a staff for the monk, a dagger for the rogue, and no magic falchion for the OP super critting barb)It wont matter if he suspects your doing something or not.

Also theres nothing wrong with saying "oh by the way I do hand out a lot of extra Xp to players for various reasons that dont have anything to do with combat" and ta-da it does not matter how well the powergamer knows the rules.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber
baalbamoth wrote:

IF you take the suggestion that there is no magic items for sale and magic items are extremely vaueable, AND you really only hand out magic items that dont match the OP player's build type (IE you give a staff for the monk, a dagger for the rogue, and no magic falchion for the OP super critting barb)It wont matter if he suspects your doing something or not.

Also theres nothing wrong with saying "oh by the way I do hand out a lot of extra Xp to players for various reasons that dont have anything to do with combat" and ta-da it does not matter how well the powergamer knows the rules.

Your players will likely walk away if you start doing that, or a conflict will brew up and blow up in your face sooner or later. Balancing things by treating player A better and player B worse just because player A plays the game the way you like it and player B is an evil powergamer rollplayer is the worst thing you can do. People are, on average, intelligent creatures and can smell that somebody is shafting them from a mile away.

And you know what? That's how player advocacy people come to exist. This is where all those "we need rules to protect us from GMs" folks come from. That's how the whole "rule 0 is a tool of oppression used by power hungry egomaniacs" drift is born. They come from GMs who went too far in their desire to control the game and shape it to their liking, down to dictating what play style gets bonus points and which one is docked at their table.


wait so your telling me its wrong to give the player struggling with combat a b!~!*en magic item and not give an equally powerfull weapon to the guy who is absolutely dominating?

are you serious?

and for doing this I am a power hungry egomaniac?

and wtf is player advocacy? some group that sends your DM angry letters if somebody else gets a +5 sword and you only got a +2 sword?

and yes, I will reward the players who play the game the way I like it IE non-powergaming and I will find a way to penalize powergamers, and I will "shape the game" so powergaming is curtailed not encouraged...

absolutely guilty as charged.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber
baalbamoth wrote:

wait so your telling me its wrong to give the player struggling with combat a b$!$+en magic item and not give an equally powerfull weapon to the guy who is absolutely dominating?

are you serious?

and for doing this I am a power hungry egomaniac?

and wtf is player advocacy? some group that sends your DM angry letters if somebody else gets a +5 sword and you only got a +2 sword?

and yes, I will reward the players who play the game the way I like it IE non-powergaming and I will find a way to penalize powergamers, and I will "shape the game" so powergaming is curtailed not encouraged...

absolutely guilty as charged.

Are you going to tell your players upfront that you will reward playstyle A and punish playstyle B?

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Here the thing Baal that many DMs forgot. Yes they control what happens at the table yet without players you have no game. Sooner or later they are going to notice that not only are you forving them to play a certain way that you also plan to screw them over if they don't. End result a DM with no players and with social media blacklisted as a DM and possibly a player. One thing I learned the hard way. DMs have as much power as the players are willing to give them. You either learn that lesson or learn to play and run games of solitare D&D.

Why do posters start open ended threads when their mids are made up already. It's a disturbing trend here and elsewhere. If your mind is already made up and and when you don't get validation of your postion get angry why even post. Admitting to being a "power hungry egomaniac" and being proud of it is NOT something to admit or be proud off. Makes me feel very sorry for your players if anything.

Andoran

Gorbacz wrote:
baalbamoth wrote:

wait so your telling me its wrong to give the player struggling with combat a b$!$+en magic item and not give an equally powerfull weapon to the guy who is absolutely dominating?

are you serious?

and for doing this I am a power hungry egomaniac?

and wtf is player advocacy? some group that sends your DM angry letters if somebody else gets a +5 sword and you only got a +2 sword?

and yes, I will reward the players who play the game the way I like it IE non-powergaming and I will find a way to penalize powergamers, and I will "shape the game" so powergaming is curtailed not encouraged...

absolutely guilty as charged.

Are you going to tell your players upfront that you will reward playstyle A and punish playstyle B?

Something tells me no he won't. Dms that usually do are the ones that players stay away from like the plague. And if they do it's a few levels into the character.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
baalbamoth wrote:

wait so your telling me its wrong to give the player struggling with combat a b#!+*en magic item and not give an equally powerfull weapon to the guy who is absolutely dominating?

are you serious?

and for doing this I am a power hungry egomaniac?

and wtf is player advocacy? some group that sends your DM angry letters if somebody else gets a +5 sword and you only got a +2 sword?

and yes, I will reward the players who play the game the way I like it IE non-powergaming and I will find a way to penalize powergamers, and I will "shape the game" so powergaming is curtailed not encouraged...

absolutely guilty as charged.

Lets put it like this Baal:

Lets say I'm a wealthy man throwing a fancy dinner party you and 3 of your friends are sitting at a table with me.

You and your friends all have the same income but your friends squander it on useless junk while you wisely invest yours as a result your much more wealthy than they are. Since you are wealthy you have nice things to eat on a regular basis already, based on your logic I should give your friends gourmet food and I should feed you gruel and fishheads.

If someone did this to you at their table would you come back?


That's not how fancy dinner parties work. Those of who aren't wealthy enough to host that sort of party are expected to serve, and if our lord is very very kind we get to eat the leftovers.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
In a way it sort of blows me away that these kinds of guys are even playing an RPG, if they really just wanted combat and "oh look how awesome my build is compared to your weak ass build!" why arent they just playing magic, or minatures games, why play a role playing game and just live for the annoyance factor?

Why are the Roleplayers playing a role-playing GAME instead of going to the theater club?

Quote:
Also theres nothing wrong with saying "oh by the way I do hand out a lot of extra Xp to players for various reasons that dont have anything to do with combat" and ta-da it does not matter how well the powergamer knows the rules.

Oh, I don't know about that. The Powergamer could always try to roleplay. Then he would be good at combat AND get more XP.

Quote:
wait so your telling me its wrong to give the player struggling with combat a b$&@%en magic item and not give an equally powerfull weapon to the guy who is absolutely dominating?

Yes, that's exactly what I'm telling you. It's not my fault that the other guy sucks at the game.

Or you as the GM could just stop sucking at being the GM. That's an option too.


Dicey the House Goblin wrote:
That's not how fancy dinner parties work. Those of who aren't wealthy enough to host that sort of party are expected to serve, and if our lord is very very kind we get to eat the leftovers.

Depends how fancy the dinner party is. At the high end yes that's very true. But upper middle class people can still throw fancy dinner parties and they may very well invite people from all societal backgrounds particularly if they're friends from before making boatloads of money.

Andoran

Not to mention do to many favors to one or more players then eventually they assume and expect that top continue. While also causing unessary friction at the table. Worse it does not make the player who can't keep up try to improve. Why would he or she try to when your bending over backwards to accodomate the player.


Baal one of the best methods of altering rewards to better encourage role playing is to alter the XP system.

In my mixed play type game I use Story Achievements as the largest reward. These are flat XP awards given for achieving story goals and they make it easier to get people involved with the story rather than simply killing stuff. They also allow me to more accurately control when the group will level as a whole. Secondly I have an ad hoc award system that rewards all the stuff I like to see people doing in game. Examples of these rewards include Use of your background during an encounter, Appropriate use of a skill to affect a challenge, Good teamwork, Acting out of a personality trait during an encounter, The stayed in character award, Clever idea or tactic, achieving a motivational award, and acting as an exemplar of your moral alignment just to name a few. Lastly I issue CR based XP at a much reduced rate usually around 1/4 depending on how plot critical the fight is.


I don't give XP at all.


baalbamoth wrote:

IF you take the suggestion that there is no magic items for sale and magic items are extremely vaueable, AND you really only hand out magic items that dont match the OP player's build type (IE you give a staff for the monk, a dagger for the rogue, and no magic falchion for the OP super critting barb)It wont matter if he suspects your doing something or not.

Also theres nothing wrong with saying "oh by the way I do hand out a lot of extra Xp to players for various reasons that dont have anything to do with combat" and ta-da it does not matter how well the powergamer knows the rules.

People are not dumb. It will matter because they will feel like you are showing bias against them. They will know that by denying them items that you are trying to hold them back. The players catch on quickly. There are many threads on this board about the same thing being tried.

It normally starts with "My GM always gives player X what he wants/needs, but I never get anything nice...." He also notes that he is better in combat than the other players.

It is just better to be honest, and ask the player in question to tone things down or tell them that your playstyles don't match. Yeah feelings might get hurt, but if you the playstyles don't match and you continue to play with them, you are only delaying the inevitable.

edit:clarification.

Silver Crusade

ImperatorK wrote:
Quote:
In a way it sort of blows me away that these kinds of guys are even playing an RPG, if they really just wanted combat and "oh look how awesome my build is compared to your weak ass build!" why arent they just playing magic, or minatures games, why play a role playing game and just live for the annoyance factor?

Why are the Roleplayers playing a role-playing GAME instead of going to the theater club?

Quote:
Also theres nothing wrong with saying "oh by the way I do hand out a lot of extra Xp to players for various reasons that dont have anything to do with combat" and ta-da it does not matter how well the powergamer knows the rules.
Oh, I don't know about that. The Powergamer could always try to roleplay. Then he would be good at combat AND get more XP.

^ So much this.

Or maybe you will penalize the evil powergamers by judging that their roleplay is not good enough to deserve XP ? After all, they already dominate combat, gaining xp by exploiting your own houserules would be so unfair.

You are dismissing opinions because supposedly, your caricatural powergamer doing absolutely no roleplay is a threatening reality.

Until you understand that all players are supposed to expect equal treatment around the table (this balance-through-magic-items-distribution is b+&*+%~!
) and that the dm is just a player with different powers, you will be a terrible dm.
I would never play at the table of such kind of dm, I already had enough of this style to deal with... and the loss isn't mine in the story.


Most of these "anti-powergaming" tips would just make me even more godlike considering I put as much effort into my min-maxed character as I do into my backstory.

I'd have twice the XP of everyone else.

Seriously, how many "non-powergamers" here have spent a week learning to emulate an accent just to play a character?

Do you have any idea how hard it is for a white Canadian guy with a mild speech impediment to emulate a Nigerian accent?

Don't even get me started on South African. I can't roll R's to save my life.

Silver Crusade

Also, put me in the no xp camp.
Dumping xp rewards to level up at key points instead was one of our best decisions.


Tels wrote:

The easiest method for me, is usually banning certain feats/spells/items etc that are key to a build. For instance, I don't allow the Snap Shot line of feats, Eldritch Heritage, Antagonize, Clustered Shot, Litany of Righteousness, to name a few things.

Nixing these things, and making it clear they aren't allowed, can often times nip many things in the bud before they get ridiculous.

Wow, Snap Shot is messed. The Whipped Chain Fighter all over again. And Litany of Righteousness. Wow. Double damage. Really? As if Pallies didn't already do incredible skeetloads of damage. What's broken about Eldritch Heritage and Antagonize though? And Clustered Shots? Are you sketched by that because of the Massive Damage rule?

Sczarni

Hobgoblin Shogun wrote:
Tels wrote:

The easiest method for me, is usually banning certain feats/spells/items etc that are key to a build. For instance, I don't allow the Snap Shot line of feats, Eldritch Heritage, Antagonize, Clustered Shot, Litany of Righteousness, to name a few things.

Nixing these things, and making it clear they aren't allowed, can often times nip many things in the bud before they get ridiculous.

Wow, Snap Shot is messed. The Whipped Chain Fighter all over again. And Litany of Righteousness. Wow. Double damage. Really? As if Pallies didn't already do incredible skeetloads of damage. What's broken about Eldritch Heritage and Antagonize though? And Clustered Shots? Are you sketched by that because of the Massive Damage rule?

I don't see how Snap Shot is a problem...as an archer the last thing you want is to be next to someone anyways. If they were next to you odds are you are going to be running not standing there and making AoOs.

And Clustered Shots requires a full attack action...any good GM will allow it and just make sure that you don't ALWAYS let that player stand and nuke. My campaign has a Gunslinger with the feat and he fires both barrels of his double barrel pistols and has TWF and Rapid shot so the number of shots is high...I just make sure to make him keep moving so he can't abuse Clustered Shots.

Qadira

Fleshgrinder wrote:

Most of these "anti-powergaming" tips would just make me even more godlike considering I put as much effort into my min-maxed character as I do into my backstory.

I'd have twice the XP of everyone else.

Seriously, how many "non-powergamers" here have spent a week learning to emulate an accent just to play a character?

Do you have any idea how hard it is for a white Canadian guy with a mild speech impediment to emulate a Nigerian accent?

Don't even get me started on South African. I can't roll R's to save my life.

I am right there with you Fleshgrinder.

The people who call me a powergamer are usually the same people who put no effort into their character at all. Some of my most "twinked" concepts had many typed pages of backstory, many iconic quotes, a unique sense of style, a full hand drawn character sketch and even a unique way of talking. I built them for games I expected to span over years of play. I play in supportive roles and even encourage other players to take the spot light as opposed to just doing everything myself. However because my characters were better in combat "stronger" then the competitive minded players at the table in question, I was labled a power gamer and shunned.

Needless to say I have joined many other groups since then and never had a similar problem with any of them. Some people just have dramatically different play styles and you really just have to find out if they match yours. This whole debate is moot as you are not going to convince people what is and is not fun. Trying to tell people to play in a way they do not enjoy is just going to blow up in your face every time. Always remember the Platinum Rule- People are there to play a game and have fun, not argue and bicker. Also it is just a game, if you are not having fun then what is the point of even playing?


In my lv15 Kingmaker game, there is a fighter that reliably hits everything I throw at them, and does 30-40 damage per hit, across 8 attacks. Meaning 240-320 DPR or so. And there is a cavalier that can knock planets out of orbit with his lance-charge, and has an AC of "You need 20 to hit".

In the same party is a universalist wizard with Int30, played by a player with REAL system mastery.

I would be very interested in how these builds worked and how they rolled for stats and how much gold they started with. I have made and played with some characters that are crazy powerful and laugh at CR appropriate creatures but that is really ridiculous.


HOLY THREAD RESURRECTION BATMAN!

Edit:
Also what possible way is the 15th level fighter getting 8 attacks? If he's using TWF, ITWF, and GTWF that will still only get him 6. Haste will get him 7, not 8. Also, DR 15 vs that character is something I use quite often.

For the Cavalier, kill his mount. Seriously. Just cream the s$*! out of it. No more lance charging. Or you can use walls, rough terrain, low ceilings, and other impediments to prevent charging lanes from being accessible.

Assuming you allowed a player to start with an 18 in a casting stat, they took a race that gave a +2 bonus, they have a +6 int enhancement, and put all their ability level bonuses into int and maybe bought a +1 or +2 manual for the stat 30 is actually valid. In the future cap all stat at 16 with point buy. And you are using point buy and not rolling right? I can't tell you the insane number of times I've seen players swear they "can't believe they rolled that well!"


Claxon wrote:

HOLY THREAD RESURRECTION BATMAN!

Edit:
Also what possible way is the 15th level fighter getting 8 attacks? If he's using TWF, ITWF, and GTWF that will still only get him 6. Haste will get him 7, not 8. Also, DR 15 vs that character is something I use quite often.

For the Cavalier, kill his mount. Seriously. Just cream the s#~# out of it. No more lance charging. Or you can use walls, rough terrain, low ceilings, and other impediments to prevent charging lanes from being accessible.

Assuming you allowed a player to start with an 18 in a casting stat, they took a race that gave a +2 bonus, they have a +6 int enhancement, and put all their ability level bonuses into int and maybe bought a +1 or +2 manual for the stat 30 is actually valid. In the future cap all stat at 16 with point buy. And you are using point buy and not rolling right? I can't tell you the insane number of times I've seen players swear they "can't believe they rolled that well!"

~smiles~

I have said that exact thing after rolling incredibly well once. Fortunately in my case I rolled in front of everyone or no one would have believed me.

As for the fighter... maybe he found a way to add natural attacks to his routine? That could add a fair number of attacks per round.

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