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GM hitting a man when he is down!?


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

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Shadow Lodge **

nosig wrote:
Serum wrote:
JCServant wrote:
I wouldn't make it a move action... why would the monster waste time testing to see if you're alive when he can just finish the full round make SURE you're dead :P

He generally wouldn't. But, since it required a move action to figure it out in the first place, he'd be more likely to use said move action to deal with more immediate threats than finishing a full-attack on someone who is out of the fight.

Nosig, checking to see if someone is breathing isn't exactly easy in the middle of battle. It's not like you breath fast and heavy when you're unconscious, and most people are, at the least, wearing heavy clothing that would obscure that tell-tale. There's a reason why, in First-Aid, "checking to see if the person is breathing" is more than just quickly glancing at him. Even checking to see if someone's stopped bleeding profusely because his heart's no longer working requires the insight as to whether the blood that's still flowing out of him is due to gravity or the heart pumping it out.

I didn't say it would be an EASY Perception check, just that I am more likely to make it a Perception DC 15+HP below zero (free action), than a DC 15 Heal check (move action). I would do this partly because the wolf in the example above is more likely to have Perception than Heal, and a Shadow is sure to have more Perception than Heal.

Not that I would say a PC can't tell if someone is still alive using a heal check, just that in the heat of battle, in the middle of sword strokes, I think knowing if the guy that just took a blow to the head is dead should be Perception (free action) rather than Heal (free action).

The wolf wouldn't care. It would A) drag the body off, B) start eating, C)make sure there are no threats in the vicinity before doing A or B.

The shadow knows when he no longer needs to attack when his target falls, paralyzed due to his 0 Str. If someone was going to take advantage of this by pretending to be paralyzed, it would be a Bluff vs. Sense Motive opposed roll (given the risk vs. reward).

I don't think I have an opinion on heal vs. perception, but I do think it should take a move action, and will influence decisions on target priority (and no, I don't think anyone will use the move action in combat). If you want at-a-glance status updates, get Deathwatch.

**

No, our converstion is related specifically to a situations where a monster/NPC is doing a full round attack, and after the first attack, the PC falls down. Someone felt that the GM was being a bit too ruthless and should have just had the baddie go after other threats in the area, leaving his PC alive. In opposition, this GM obviously thought it was OK to have the monster finish what he started (Something I feel is well within the rules, and even in the spirit of the game IF it was not a group of players new to the game, and I believe it was not).

My example of doing a perception and/or INT check on the fly would be, IMHO, a reasonable compromise that's within the spirit of PFS. However, I would not say that its required and that GMs who do not do it are bad GMs.

As far as their being versimilitude or whatnot, again, I would say the monster has probably done this before. They're pretty good at killing crap before they naturally move onto the next thing unless something is threatening them immediately in the face (which is not the case here). You're right in saying they don't usually know... but honestly...when a monster is using lethal force to get dinner for the night, do you think he's more likely to overdo the damage necessary....or come up short? The idea that a monster stops right at the point of KO'ing a PC is meta at best without another immediate threat hacking at him. In fact, I would say it would be well IN his character to take an extra round or two to make sure the job is done right...maybe have a few bites...before worrying about those other people 30'+ away playing games with metal objects.

The checks I suggest above, that I do use on occasion, are extra steps I take to give players a chance to live that are borderline meta IMHO, but within the realm of reasonable RP-possibility. Perhaps that Goblin Dog wasn't as hungry as the others. Perhaps he DID think that the threat 30' away was a bigger concern. Likely? Not IMHO. Possible? Sure. Since a player's life is on the line, let's give him the opportunity to see if its his lucky day. Let's roll for it.

**

So I was the player of the PC in question. My character had died previously, so he started with only 24 PP. In the 3rd encounter, I was hit by 4 arrows of human slaying in one round. My turn had not come up, I had no chance to act; I was just there, then dead. Fortunately, I had gotten the boon from the Gen Con Special the night before, so the first raise only cost me 8pp.

Then in the final fight, I was hit by the bbeg giant before I moved away to heal myself. I did so, but my heal roll sucked, and I was then hit by a fireball which dropped me to 12 hp. I should have taken the next round to heal myself again, but since I was behind a column and was not immediately threatened, I decided to help out the paladin (who was fighting a sorcerer) by casting spiritual ally to flank her. The bbeg giant then turned away from the bard he had been advancing on, took a 5 foot step and reached around the column (which gave me partial cover) to hit me twice for 50 some points of damage.

Now, had he only hit me once, there's a possibility, with a 12 Con, that I might have survived. I don't know since he rolled all the damage together. But the GM made sure that I was dead for the second time in that scenario. With the second death, at full price, I was at 0pp. Yeah, I felt a bit salty. I didn't think it was necessary for him to do that, and honestly, if given the option to play at his table again, I don't know that I would.

But I'm not going to pitch a fit about it. He GMed as he saw fit, and I'll also point out that he stepped in at the last minute to run a game for which the original GM didn't show, and even had to run back to his hotel room to get his stuff to run it, then he stuck with us till 4am (because death tends to bog things down). For these things, I applaud him. In the end, I could have made some choices for my character which might have saved him, and we might have worked better as a team, but that didn't happen. Of course, the GM could have also held that last swing and turned elsewhere. Maybe it would have mattered, and maybe it wouldn't, and hell, maybe if he had, I would have bled out anyway. Who knows?

I know that if I were in the GM's place, I would likely not have taken that second swing, but that's me. I don't particularly like killing characters, especially when the player has spent so much time on them, and when there are legitimate reasons (like other threats) to turn an enemy's attention elsewhere, but that's my interpretation of the game. I'm not going to bear this GM ill will, but if he is paying attention to this thread, I hope that the next time he has to make the decision of taking one more swing, he weighs his decision carefully and considers whether or not it's really necessary.


Its sort of a low blow and that is one of the thing i like about my dm. If there are other threats, the monsters will leave unconscious characters most of the time.

No what i found worse was when i was playing a fighter with 2 etins on me (the rest of the party was near by, about a move action for one and a 5' foot step for the other.) First etin hit's me with all four attack reducing me to 1. Then the second etin crits me for 50ish. That is the only time i had wishe i had taken MORE damage.

Grand Lodge **

1 person marked this as a favorite.

First, I think you're very mature in your post. I can feel your frustration, and I don't feel you're pitching a fit. And, I can tell you, personally, I also feel a bit of angst anytime a player dies in one of my campaigns. I just don't know if I would have done differently...even knowing you had died once. It really depends on the giant...Hill Giants, for example, are CE. In Giant's revisited it says...

Quote:

Hill giants are towering brutes of frightening strength, heartless selfishness, and alarming stupidity. Dwelling in the temperate, rolling regions that give them their name, hill giants prove a constant menace to hillside communities, which suffer the brunt of the monstrous giants' unswayable brutality. Though hill giants raid primarily for food and resources, their depredations are not without a sizeable share of entirely extraneous, meaningless destruction, often as a result of their voracious appetite for mayhem and their insatiable bloodlust. For though they are dull-witted, hill giants are still smart enough to derive pleasure from chaos, and their overwhelming greed and ravenous hunger ensure that as long as there is something within reach that can be smashed, stolen, or eaten, a hill giant will gladly deliver such services.

Hill giants learn at an early age that violence is a universal problem-solver, a notion constantly reinforced within hill giant tribes

Personally, I think their personality lends them to over-kill in violence and squishing a cleric looks like big time fun...so much that he would even do something suboptimal (such as knocking out the wizard who can enchant him with one spell) in order to finish off this weak small-ing in front of him. BUT, like I said above, if I was GM'ing the table, I might roll an INT check or something to give you an extra chance...though I may not have told you. You would have just got the result and probably not be too happy with me.

IMHO, I believe the contstructive critique would be better served to the players. And really, they should have pulled together the gold to raise you rather than ask you to spend PPs on this. It really sounds like it wasn't your fault but rather the party not being smart about the fight. It's a shame that not everyone believes in sharing (not just gold, but responsibility).

I don't like killing players either...but I've learend in GM'ing many tables that most players actually like knowing that death is a very real possibility and perfer for GM's to not pull punches as long as they are following the rules. Keep that in mind when you're GM'ing. Next time you start a campaign, ask players, "Hey, do you want me to roll the monsters dice on the table, knowing that if I do, I cannot fiat in your favor if they hit a few lucky 20's in a row" You'd be surprised how many say "Do it!" I know it was a surprise to me.

Grand Lodge **

I've even had two instances I can recall where a player called me out for pulling punches (One was obvious when the dragon breathed one square over to keep the unconscious guy out of the AoE). I did have one get cranky with me when he rushed head first into a enchantress...she held him and her golem killed him CdG style. Funny thing was, it wasn't the player of the PC who died....he was OK with my ruling...it was another player who thought I was being vindictive.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Tivilio wrote:
Tiv adding to the conversation...

Thanks Tiv For posting here, and yes Like I said in my OP I was grateful for the GMing running the game, but like you I thought he should have specifically handled your death differently. More yours then Mine.

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Mesa aka TriOmegaZero

GM-JCServant wrote:
I don't like killing players either...but I've learend in GM'ing many tables that most players actually like knowing that death is a very real possibility and perfer for GM's to not pull punches as long as they are following the rules. Keep that in mind when you're GM'ing. Next time you start a campaign, ask players, "Hey, do you want me to roll the monsters dice on the table, knowing that if I do, I cannot fiat in your favor if they hit a few lucky 20's in a row" You'd be surprised how many say "Do it!" I know it was a surprise to me.

Having played with players that will get up and walk out of a game if they think the DM fudged in their favor, I'm not at all surprised.

Grand Lodge **

Oh wow. That IS extreme. Dang.

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Mesa aka TriOmegaZero

Needless to say, they roll everything in the open. :)

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I used to have a screen to I could Fudge if needed, but ever since I got a Complaint from Painlord about that I stopped doing that.

All my rolls land as they lay.

Shadow Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Silicon Valley aka JohnF

Dragnmoon wrote:
I used to have a screen to I could Fudge if needed, but ever since I got a Complaint from Painlord . . .

I hear modern antibiotics might be able to help you here ..

Cheliax ***

I am kind of confused though about what the GM did wrong, Tiv decided to take the risk that the giant would 5ft and hit him (being within 5ft range of a monster you take the risk that they will take that step) to cast an offensive spell rather than a defensive or healing one, should the GM just ignore casting PC's who cast offensive spells just because they have been hit before? NPCs have some level of intelligence and people who have been hit before go down easier thus meaning rather than a X vs Y battle its now X-1 vs Y which is more in the monsters favor.

If you take an offensive action in your round you must expect that the opponents will retaliate, if you stay within 5 feet of a melee brute your obviously willing to take the risk he will hit you, now im not sure about hitting him twice when once would have taken him out of the fight however assuming that both hits were about equal he was probably dead after the first hit anyway.

I mean yeah its disappointing to die but honestly thats the way this game works, sometimes you die in the surprise round before you can act and sometimes you take risks and they dont pan out, I am assuming Tiv believed the partial cover would be enough to protect him and maybe it even would have been but the GM rolled high (having not been there I cant be sure) I would say though that I wouldnt blame a GM for taking me out when I decide to remain in the fight rather than running away and healing.

Andoran

ciretose wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Man, GMing is easy!
So is acting.

Since I couldn't link to this before, Ian McKellen explains how to both act and GM..

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber

There was no move action for the giant to take - it had to 5 foot to get the partial cover line on the cleric.

ETA, now that I've found that I closed a tab without hitting submit post: My first instinct is cutthroat tactics. Really cutthroat. Unfortunately, at superlateoclock on day three of GenCon, I am afraid I didn't process the mitigation filter that usually runs on said instincts so that I have something that resembles an easy-mode. So in retrospect, I think I MIGHT have done something different, but the enemy in question was picking on a counterpart looking for enough breathing space to do something flashy and dramatic...

specifically:
He didn't get time to enlarge person to Huge, because he's not *that* dumb to try something so likely to fail... but it'd have been a heckuva scare for the pally of Torag who was fighting the caster instead of the giant cleric!

The now-named GM in question.

*

If your PC goes down, it's code red, especially if the villains revel in death, but even with 'normal' villains too because, ya know, they're villains and villains ain't right in the head.
BTW, chopping off a guy's head can do wonders for circumstance bonus the next round when you wave his head around and Intimidate.
Just sayin'...

There's zero reason to expect an enemy to have the combination of foresight/sanity/restraint/tactical prowess needed NOT to kill you when you're down.
It's a gamble so assume the enemy won't, and a pricy one at that.

That said, I would suggest to other GMs to explore RPing routes that add more to the story, rather than kill.
Wolf stands over body and Intimidates to scare away rest of party.
BBEG gloats about adding PC to his harem when she wakes up, or arms himself with her mighty fine flaming sword.
Or uses last attack to kick her (for subdual damage), laughing at her failure.
Or Golem pauses with arm cocked back, stares at fallen PC, stares at upright PC, hits upright PC.

As for finishing a full attack on a PC: If there are no other targets around, sure a villain would do that. It's an offhand gesture at that point, assuming they care about killing the PCs (not just winning/bypassing) and don't seek mercy in return.

JMK

Shadow Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Silicon Valley aka JohnF

My anecdotal contribution:

I came close to losing my favourite character at the last con - he did what he's best at (he's a high-mobility character), and closed on the enemy spellcaster in the back rank to shut her down. While this did mostly work, she was a little bit more than a spellcaster, and managed to do enough damage to take me down fairly quickly. Fortunately the other characters nearby did deal with their opponents in time to be able to close and threaten her before her next turn, so I survived (barely - I stabilised with, IIRC, one HP to spare).

If they'd still been busy, it would have been perfectly reasonable for her to finish me off before turning to the others (although it might have been a sub-optimal choice for her to do so, rather than attacking the others at range). It would have been our fault for poor tactics (allowing two groups of enemies to be engaged at the same time, thus dividing our resources; our heaviest hitter wasn't even in the same room as me).

It was a close-run thing; it's quite likely that if she'd been allowed to user her full capabilities we'd have lost at least half the party, if not more. While it would have been better to have not got into that situation in the first place, I'd at least have died in a good cause, as a result of my own choice of actions.

Lantern Lodge ***

I want to come in here and respond because a similar instance happened to me last Sunday when I GMed an event for a mid-tier party. The scenario was Among the Living and the following is how I ended up killing one of my PCs.

Final Battle:

The battle started with the BBEG drinking his Potion of Invisibility and winking out. With him invisible, the party focused all of its efforts on the Ogre Zombie. The two frontliners were the party's Fighter and the party's Ranger (our casualty for this scenario). Earlier in the scenario the party made the necessary checks to understand how to bypass the damage reduction and the two frontline fighters went to work, dealing damage and taking it as well.

Meanwhile, the BBEG had made his move against the party's Rogue who was near the Sorcerer and Wizard, missing the attacks with his pick entirely for three rounds while those three members of the party hacked away at his life. Part of his tactics say he'll drink potions as needed since he is aware of both him and his zombies health, so I had back away and drink a Potion of Fly to escape the onslaught. He retreated to adjacent his zombie where he healed himself via his Cure spells and then the Ogre Zombie on the adjacent rounds by Channeling Negative Energy.

This is where it all went south for the Ranger. On the Ogre's turn, I rolled a confirmed critical and dealt enough damage to knock him unconscious. He made his stabilization check two rounds later. With the BBEG's zombie at full health and the BBEG himself being out of any curatives to use, I had him move in close to the two biggest threats against him (the Fighter and the Sorcerer). The Rogue and Wizard had been attacking him as well, but they weren't doling as much damage as the Sorcerer and Fighter. The BBEG (out of useful spells at this point - the battle lasted quite awhile) flew within range of the Fighter and Sorcerer and Channeled Negative Energy for harm. The Ranger was caught within the area of effect and rolled his Will save. Making it, though, did not prevent him from dying, however, as half damage was still enough to kill him.

I was not 'gunning for his character' as some GMs do. On the contrary, I was following the tactics as best I could until the tactics could no longer be utilized and I followed the most logical course of action that I believe the BBEG would've taken. It made no sense for him to move over to the Rogue and Wizard who he would have viewed as less threatening than the remaining two party members.

Sometimes, a GM does everything they can to avoid the worst case scenario, but on the days you roll bad, you just roll bad. I was rolling bad most of the game, but got a couple good hits in that spelled death for the Ranger. He was rezzed later on (and with Osirion PA at that), but it's still disheartening sometimes to see your character go, even if it is temporary.

Andoran **

If the NPC villains in the early mods were not written as "fanatics that fight to the death",the PCs may have actually shown a little mercy to a bad guy that surrenders. Or, incorperate some new rules. Instead of intelligent NPCs killing off an entire table, a PC can be captured and returned to his faction in exchange for PPs, gold, and a few choice magic items.

Shadow Lodge ***

Here's a great example for you, coming from

The Penumbral Accords:

In one of the rooms, there's a Shadow Hound, an "outsider mastiff" who, in the text says he is "waiting to be fed", and that "when it doesn't recognise their scent, it initiates combat".

The first ability it has is a fear effect, which made 4 of our 6 flee in terror, while I got downed in one hit. The next round, because it was "hungry", it kept chewing after I stabilised, chewed again, and again, and then I died.

There's two things to note here: one is that it wasn't waiting to be fed intruders, and the second is that outsiders don't need to eat.

Do these circumstances seem like it's okay to kill the PC like that to you?

I'm all for challenge, and I think even if a character dies fairly (where fair is very subjective), then it's kosher even if a player isn't very happy about it (I wouldn't expect them to be). But I err on the side of keeping them alive where possible, without going overboard.

Almost every time, this just means getting them down to negatives, but no further. Beyond that, accidental hard hits do happen.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Avatar-1 wrote:

Here's a great example for you, coming from ** spoiler omitted **

I'm all for challenge, and I think even if a character dies fairly (where fair is very subjective), then it's kosher even if a player isn't very happy about it (I wouldn't expect them to be). But I err on the side of keeping them alive where possible, without going overboard.

Almost every time, this just means getting them down to negatives, but no further. Beyond that, accidental hard hits do happen.

Outsiders don't need to eat, but they can enjoy it. I don't think there's anything wrong with a beastie chewing on an unconscious PC if he's unchallenged.

**

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You know, in most house campaigns, you don't get to 'read the monster tactics' after the fact. You show up every week with the GM, he runs the monsters the way he thinks they're supposed to be run...and if you die for whatever reason, you take your lumps and move on. Even in AP's, I can't remember ever having a player question a death unless I clearly violated a rule in doing so. Only in PFS do players go back, read the tactics and then try to evaluate how the GM played that monster based off that one or two lines of text combined with how they think the monster would have reasoned things outside those tactics.

PFS Organized play certainly does lend itself to evaluating elements of the game more closely than an AP or homebrew. I understand that. However, doing so to an Nth degree, regardless of the motivation behind it, is determinental to attracting and keeping new GMs.

I can certainly understand and relate to the pain felt related to a character dying. However, unless a written rule was clearly violated, I'd just let it lie. If you honestly feel that the GM was being vindictive and cheap (or whatever), take it up with him/her directly. If the result of that is unsatisfactory, just don't go to his games anymore.

Worst case scenario...do what I did. Become a GM and run those monsters the way you want (Following rules/PFS tactics/etc of course) :)

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I was about to point this out as a necro, but it looks like Mergy's more the culprit on that point. ;)

Anyway, although I agree that there needs to be a degree of trust that the GM is running things how he thinks they're supposed to be run, keep one thing in mind:

In an AP or other home game, character death means you make a new character and jump back in the action. Or maybe you even play the same AP (or other adventure) under a different GM.

Can't do that in PFS. GM got something wrong and killed your 5th-level PC (and you can't afford a raise)? Sorry, got to start over at level 1 (which in smaller communities means you either stop playing or force everyone else to put their PCs on hiatus while they make new PCs to play with you) and can't ever play any of those scenarios again.

Comparing PC death in a home game to PC death in PFS is apples and oranges. A PFS death means the player is losing things they can never get back. As such, as GM I would encourage the player of any PC that dies at my table to investigate the cause of death and make sure it was legit. Not only is it acceptable for a player to (politely/discreetly) look into the death, but the GM should encourage them to do so.

I've had several deaths at tables I've run, including two TPKs. I've overturned two deaths due to player investigation (and them turning out to be right - I misinterpreted a poorly-worded curse), while the rest have remained in place. I don't have any hard feelings toward the players whose PC deaths I reversed, and honestly have a hard time sympathizing with any GM who would.

Grand Lodge **

Yeah...I'm not sure what the necro rules are here. Just saw this pop up in my dot list.

I totally understand what death means in PFS, Jiggy. I totally get it. It doesn't change how I feel. And, yes, I know what it means for a small group. I also know that a small, tight knit group is more likely to pull resources to raise their friend (so they don't HAVE to all start over).

Like you, when a character dies at the table, I take time, right then and there, to make sure its the right call. I double check all the math, the bonuses, and even make sure that I's are dotted. It's always considered serious, and every consideration for the player must be taken into effect before making the declaration.

And if a GM violated a clear rule in doing so, and that can be shown, even after the fact, I agree it should be re-evalutated. I agree with many of your sentiments above about encouraging players to looking it over....but I emphesize that it needs to be done with the GM whenever possible.

But the idea of going back specifically to read monster tactics in the scenario and/or evaluating how a monster 'should' act in combat (e.g. Do demons eat humans?) is beyond that scope and pushes the spirit of the above process, especially when you take into consideration the GM's point of view. We all agree that we will never agree exactly how various monsters 'act' in battle aside from using the tactics written as a foundational guideline for each encounter.

Regardless of the issue, I believe strongly that most GMs are reasonable people. They are volunteering time and energy to run these things, and they probably don't want to have issues either (party death, possibly starting over, etc). So, I believe that these things should really be worked out with the GM's rather than going to the boards or the VCs and asking them to step in and/or to give advice on how that GM should run that table.

However, if a player and the GM don't agree on a ruling/rules, then the player should ask the GM if that's OK ahead of time. (I am one of those GMs who does come to the boards often when my player brings up a concern we don't agree on).

Let's use every possible avenue to work together, rather than look for ways to work behind each others back.

Because, in going over their head...you might win a battle, but lose the war. Keep in mind, these guys are volunteers. Let's say the VC, or Mike DOES reverse that GM's decision... and he gets told after the fact. There's a chance he's not going to be happy about that (people don't like it when others go 'over their head.') He's a voulunteer, he doesn't agree with the VC, so he quits PFS. In the small town scearnio you pointed out, that just killed PFS for that area.

I say, work with your GMs. And if you find out that they're more stubborn than you would like, and don't appreciate it when you suggest that you get a second opinion, then, hey...maybe its time to start up your own PFS group. We need more GMs!!


VC's exist partially so people can go over the GM's head. Most GM's that I met don't mind being corrected when they make mistakes, and the ones that do I would rather not have as GM's anyway.

I agree the results are not always good, but overall I think it is better. It lets people know they can't just do what they want. Volunteering your time is not a reason to not be held accountable. Actually since nothing bad happens to the GM, I don't even see why he would be upset.

Having a bad GM, and not saying all GM's that make mistakes are bad, can be more damaging than have one less GM.

Andoran *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

You guys are going a bit off topic... This was more about GM etiquette after a PC goes down (In relation to PFS play) rather then GM mistakes.

It was also not about going back and seeing where a GM made a mistake..

**

Balance in life is a fine thing.

I'm not suggesting that people NEVER go over GM's heads. Specifically, when they make bad calls AND they don't want to work them out.

But, keep in mind, you win that battle and lose the war.

Quote:
Most GM's that I met don't mind being corrected when they make mistakes, and the ones that do I would rather not have as GM's anyway.

When our pool of GMs > the demand, then I might agree with this. For now, I'll take even those GMs who make mistakes and don't want to work them out with the VC. I'll take the stubborn old gamers that, for whatever reason, are cranky.

If they're TOTALLY TPK'ers at heart, and numerous people in the group are complaining, I'm willing to bet that GM is just not going to have a group for very long anyway.

Quote:
Actually since nothing bad happens to the GM, I don't even see why he would be upset.

It just depends. If a player does what I propose...try to work out things with the GM first...and then ask if it wouldn't be appropriate to bring in a VC or ask boards for advice on a ruling they both don't agree on...and that GM says no...and that player does it anyway (which is his/her right), I'm going to take a shot in the dark and guess that if the VC overturns that GM's decision, they may not be too happy about it. Why? Because there are times when these things DO get personal for one or both parties. Seriously.

Quote:
Having a bad GM, and not saying all GM's that make mistakes are bad, can be more damaging than have one less GM.

You know, I don't even think PFS or whoever can "Take out a bad GM." I'm not sure where this idea or concept even comes from. Outside of PFS, of course, you cannot "Take out a bad GM." Players just get cranky and leave, and there's not a thing Paizo can do about it. In PFS, what are they going to do? Invalidate all the chronicle sheets he does? That just punishes the players. Put him on a black list? (Does such a list exist?) informing would be PFS players to "Stay away from this baaaadddd GM!"? I mean, c'mon!

The best a VC can hope to do in such a circumstance, is legally restore the player character on Paizo's records and perhaps find them a new group in the area or something. I doubt he/she can march over to the game store (or heaven forbid they are playing in the GM's home) and tell him he's "authority to run PFS is revoked" because his GM style is defaming the brand.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Phillip Willis wrote:
Yeah...I'm not sure what the necro rules are here. Just saw this pop up in my dot list.

I'm not even sure there are any; I just like to poke people. ;)

Quote:
I totally understand what death means in PFS, Jiggy. I totally get it.

Just wanted to make sure, since (if memory serves; correct me if I'm wrong) I seem to recall you saying that most of your GMing experience was outside of organized play. Some of the differences are subtle and not immediately obvious, so I didn't want to make assumptions about which particular details had occurred to you. :)

Quote:

Like you, when a character dies at the table, I take time, right then and there, to make sure its the right call. I double check all the math, the bonuses, and even make sure that I's are dotted. It's always considered serious, and every consideration for the player must be taken into effect before making the declaration.

And if a GM violated a clear rule in doing so, and that can be shown, even after the fact, I agree it should be re-evalutated. I agree with many of your sentiments above about encouraging players to looking it over....but I emphesize that it needs to be done with the GM whenever possible.

Did I imply otherwise? I was talking about the player coming to the GM (or if they don't know how to get in touch with them, coming to the boards or asking their VC). Did it sound like I meant something else?

Quote:
But the idea of going back specifically to read monster tactics in the scenario and/or evaluating how a monster 'should' act in combat (e.g. Do demons eat humans?) is beyond that scope and pushes the spirit of the above process, especially when you take into consideration the GM's point of view. We all agree that we will never agree exactly how various monsters 'act' in battle aside from using the tactics written as a foundational guideline for each encounter.

I see nothing wrong with reading a scenario to determine the legitimacy of a death. After all, if an encounter seemed unreasonably deadly, Mark Moreland wants that to be written in a product review - but it needs to be accurate. If the GM made a mistake, that needs to go to him instead of to the product page for that scenario. If the GM got it right and the encounter was just too tough, that needs to go in a review rather than to the GM. How does the player know which way to go if he doesn't read the scenario/stat block? What exactly would you propose here?

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They are volunteering time and energy to run these things,

Really? I totally didn't catch on to that in the games I've run myself. ;)

Quote:
and they probably don't want to have issues either (party death, possibly starting over, etc). So, I believe that these things should really be worked out with the GM's rather than going to the boards or the VCs and asking them to step in and/or to give advice on how that GM should run that table.

I agree that the possibility of reversing a PC death should be between the player and GM, though the boards/VOs might be involved if the player doesn't know how to contact the GM. Occasionally people see a player using the boards in that fashion and freak out, which is unfortunate.

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Keep in mind, these guys are volunteers.

There you go again, reminding me of what it's like to be what I myself already am. :P

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Let's say the VC, or Mike DOES reverse that GM's decision... and he gets told after the fact.

To be clear, I don't think VCs should be reversing their GMs' decisions except in very extreme cases. So put your mind at ease on that point. :)

**

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragnmoon wrote:

You guys are going a bit off topic... This was more about GM etiquette after a PC goes down (In relation to PFS play) rather then GM mistakes.

It was also not about going back and seeing where a GM made a mistake..

Etiquette? I believe your OP was something along the lines of whether it was OK for a bad buy to hit you after you were KO'd. Hmmm...I guess it could be considered an 'etiqutte' issue, but "Avatar" above proposed a similar situation and asked, "Do these circumstances seem like it's okay to kill the PC like that to you?"

Etiquette, I imagine in PFS, is just a tiny step away from questions about fairness and rules ...especially when dealing with a sensative topic like character death. So, I understand your concern, but I wouldn't say it's completely off topic.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Phillip Willis wrote:

When our pool of GMs > the demand, then I might agree with this. For now, I'll take even those GMs who make mistakes and don't want to work them out with the VC. I'll take the stubborn old gamers that, for whatever reason, are cranky.

If they're TOTALLY TPK'ers at heart, and numerous people in the group are complaining, I'm willing to bet that GM is just not going to have a group for very long anyway.

Let me get this straight...

There are too few GMs for us to be able to afford ruffling their feathers, but there are enough GMs that players at a stinker's table have somewhere else to go?

That's a very specific number of GMs.

Grand Lodge **

Quote:
Really? I totally didn't catch on to that in the games I've run myself. ;)

I just think it's worth emphesizing...because I see a lot of language that makes sense if we're talking about an employee rather than a volunteer. To be honest, GM's aren't even that. They're gamers/customers at the table just like players are.

And despite being in this role a brief time, I've already had to get involved in a bit of this type of issue...so, yeah, I think its important to understand the big picture in perspective. While GM's are agreeing to play in PFS organized play, and we can certainly have a number of expectations because of that, getting in the middle and adjucating between parties in these types of issues has to be done with the utmost care. More times than not, emotions are raw and on the line when these kind of things happen (and are serious enough to bubble up).

For the most part, it sounds like we agree, except about going back and readling/evaluating monster tactics/AI in an effort to evaluate a death. I think that's pushing the enveolope a bit too hard, IMHO. If the GM gave the monster some bonuses, or extra monstes that should not be there....sure....but I hesitate to overturn a GM call on a death on tactics or perceived monster AI issues. (including death after a player has been KO'd.).

Example: the tactics said "Monster goes after the player with most metal first" and the GM had them attack the leather wearer instead of the plate wearer because, in the GM's eyes, that leather wearer who was MUCH close would have been a much more logical target for the monster than the plate wearer that he could barely see 100 feet away, even given the tactical guidelines.

Grand Lodge **

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There are too few GMs for us to be able to afford ruffling their feathers, but there are enough GMs that players at a stinker's table have somewhere else to go?

That's where my last suggestion comes into play :)

To be fair I don't mind ruffeling feathers, but I do believe in picking and choosing battles, and evaluating the cost of fighting the good fight versus perceived benefit.

**

I think in your example of a concern from a con... there's less chance of an issue with someone overturning a call afterwards. The GM may never know! But, in the example of, let's say, a small home group and/or store, overturning that decision unilaterally tends to have a higher chance of causing a GM issue as those lend themselves more to personal issues, as the player shows up next week saying, "Paizo says my character is still alive."

Will all GM's have an issue with that? No. But, some will. Because some of these disagreement, unfortunately, become very personal.

A VC will have to hear out both sides and play it 'close to the vest,' obviously...and work hard to do his best to satisfy both parties where there's clear contradiction between the two.

And, yeah, sometimes that means a GM is going to get ticked off and leave if things don't fall their way. I'm not saying that we make every deicision on the GM's side in fear of that possibility. However, we do need to count that cost and be careful about making those types of decisions too flippantly. It's a factor in the decision making process based on the facts provided...but not always a deciding factor.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Phillip, you keep pointing out the negatives of a VC/Paizo overturning a death behind a GM's back without the GM even knowing. Has anyone suggested this should be happening, or are you arguing with something you made up yourself?

**

I dunno, Jiggy...I don't see anything about that in my last four posts...so I'm not sure I "keep pointing that out" so to speak. You tell me.

What I do see are a lot of other points I made outside of that possible concern.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Jiggy wrote:
Phillip, you keep pointing out the negatives of a VC/Paizo overturning a death behind a GM's back without the GM even knowing.
Phillip Willis wrote:
I don't see anything about that
Phillip Willis wrote:
But, in the example of, let's say, a small home group and/or store, overturning that decision unilaterally tends to have a higher chance of causing a GM issue as those lend themselves more to personal issues, as the player shows up next week saying, "Paizo says my character is still alive."
Phillip Willis wrote:
I'm going to take a shot in the dark and guess that if the VC overturns that GM's decision, they may not be too happy about it.
Phillip Willis wrote:
Let's say the VC, or Mike DOES reverse that GM's decision... and he gets told after the fact. There's a chance he's not going to be happy about that (people don't like it when others go 'over their head.')

Grand Lodge **

Funny...that first example has nothing to do with your point. The ones that do are from way back in the conversation. We've moved on to other points. next!

*****

3 people marked this as a favorite.

places the dead horse sign and moves on

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Phillip Willis wrote:
Funny...that first example has nothing to do with your point.

A player showing up and saying "Guess what? Paizo says my PC is still alive" has nothing to do with overturning a death without the GM's knowledge?

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The ones that do are from way back in the conversation.

Two and a half hours is "way back"?

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We've moved on to other points.

Repeating the same point three times counts as moving on to other points?

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
places the dead horse sign and moves on

*uproots the sign and commences bludgeoning*

Qadira ****

sets up lawn chair and drags cooler closer. Turns to other bystander and says "so, what have I missed so far? Jiggy is already at the bludgeoning stage?!"

*****

Jiggy wrote:
Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
places the dead horse sign and moves on
*uproots the sign and commences bludgeoning*

Haven't you already been verbally bludgeoning, do you really need to get physical?

plops down besides Nosig... nothing new ... ya know .. new job, new hours, convention this weekend

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

No, my verbal stuff deals piercing damage, not bludgeoning.

Qadira ****

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
places the dead horse sign and moves on
*uproots the sign and commences bludgeoning*

Haven't you already been verbally bludgeoning, do you really need to get physical?

plops down besides Nosig... nothing new ... ya know .. new job, new hours, convention this weekend

slids over cooler and lifts lid

I think there's purple wine cooler fizzy things in there somewhere. Help yourself. Might be other things...
waves bottle of "Dead Guy Pale Ale"

(edit) changed drink

*****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jiggy wrote:
No, my verbal stuff deals piercing damage, not bludgeoning.

contemplates what could cause piercing damange and decides it's better if she doesn't know

*****

nosig wrote:
Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
places the dead horse sign and moves on
*uproots the sign and commences bludgeoning*

Haven't you already been verbally bludgeoning, do you really need to get physical?

plops down besides Nosig... nothing new ... ya know .. new job, new hours, convention this weekend

slids over cooler and lifts lid

I think there's purple wine cooler fizzy things in there somewhere. Help yourself. Might be other things...
waves bottle of "Dry Grape Sparkel"tm

dives into the cooler nose first to find the Sparkle, services and shakes herself ... now looking like a poor soggy catbunny

Cheliax **** Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Leg o' Lamb

Jiggy wrote:
No, my verbal stuff deals piercing damage, not bludgeoning.

I thought it was slashing?

cracks open a tall cool frosty one.

Qadira ****

points at folded beach towels

Shadow Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Silicon Valley aka JohnF

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
No, my verbal stuff deals piercing damage, not bludgeoning.
contemplates what could cause piercing damange and decides it's better if she doesn't know

A pointed remark, perchance?

(as opposed to a cutting aside, or a blunt word)

Qadira ****

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
rolls around on the beach towels, spilling her purple drank

no way am I going to comment.... no way

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