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"You're tied up and knocked out. Why wouldn't they take your equipment?"


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Silver Crusade

The bottom line is it's not the fault of the DM if you are caught unprepared.

"All" PC's can still function without their primary ability. The wizard still has plenty of tricks that he can use to be useful.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Scaevola77 wrote:
stuff that I said just over two hours ago

I should add to this, as I forgot he mentioned the fact that there was a creepy lord, potential sense motives, and evilness to clue in the party pre-knockout (the curse of long-lasting threads, I occasionally forget pieces). It all really depends on how obvious these were when considering the fairness of the capture. I personally am a fan of the DM rolling sense motives behind the scenes for the party in these types of situations (I like the 4e idea of passive perception/sense motive. Basically assume a roll of 10 for a character to notice basic things).

Again, we don't know exactly how obvious this stuff was, just that the PCs missed it and thus were captured. It could have been a guy had a tattoo saying "I am evil" on his forehead and straight up told them he was going to imprison them. Or it could have been he just phrased things creepily and put odd emphasis on certain words. We don't know, though it seems the OP thinks it was obvious enough.

@Roberta - regarding weaknesses, I agree with you that weakness exploitation shouldn't be overdone, and your example of paladin brings to mind the other potential DM trap of continually bringing loaded paladin code issues to the group.

Though I also would argue that in no ways should putting wizards in scenarios where they don't have access to their spellbook be considered taboo. And it is not about shoring up weaknesses in preparation, it is about using your skills in useful ways.

In our capture scenario, the alchemist was without any equipment, but used his knowledge, heal and bluff skills to good effect. Now, if we went multiple sessions without his stuff, that would be bad, but being forced to rely on skills, roleplay, and whatever item-independent abilities you have picked up for a bit? Not exactly the worst thing ever, nor even a bit unfair. In fact, many people could have a lot of fun with it and relish it (see the thread about the guy looking for fun, inventive ways to get around his wizard not being able to read).

However, in this particular case remember that the player complaining was a witch who still had their familiar available, not a wizard without their spellbook and bonded item. The most important item lost is probably their spell component pouch, meaning they still have hexes and any spell that does not require material components, so they are still in pretty good shape. Depending on spell selection, they could be at between 50%-90% of full capacity. Honestly, a witch with no gear but with access to her familiar has far less room to complain most other classes.


shallowsoul wrote:

The bottom line is it's not the fault of the DM if you are caught unprepared.

"All" PC's can still function without their primary ability. The wizard still has plenty of tricks that he can use to be useful.

Except Wizards without their spellbooks and most divine casters whom were forsaken by their god. a wizard whom is without thier spellbook is just a extrmely physically weak but extremely intelligent commoner with a few school powers that become relatively useless by level 3, and a typical divine caster who is forsaken by their god has no class features whatsoever except what their Hit dice grant. which in most cases, is an Expert without the boatload of skill points. last time i checked. NPC classes weren't really made for adventuring.


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Roberta Yang wrote:


(A lot of the solutions offered here are also patently absurd. How am I supposed to use my bonded object when everything's been taken? If anything, loss of the bonded object making it impossible to even cast cantrips consistently is an argument in favor of "Tenth Level Commoner".)

I mentioned the bonded object in a parenthetical comment, as an aside, in a post that was otherwise and more to the point entirely about SOMETHING ELSE--School abilities. Which has been largely ignored. It is the School abilities which I specifically mentioned keeps the wizard from becoming a 10th level commoner (along with improved saves and skills) -- unless commoners can teleport or fire force missiles or animate weapons, but they couldn't, last I checked.

I appreciate the irony that I am in turn responding to your parenthetical aside which actually has little to do with the rest of your own post. I hope you do as well.

And as to the rest of your post, I get the sense very few posters are actually advocating the idea of GMs constantly targeting specific weaknesses of characters. Some folks are saying there are limited circumstances where it might be okay--or be an unfortunate but realistic consequence of foolish actions. There is a difference between a one-time challenge which is resolved relatively quickly and, for example, denying a wizard their spellbook for half a campaign. The latter would obviously be a dick move. I think I and most of the rest of us are in agreement with you that always exploiting character weaknesses and vulnerabilities is a poor way to manage a campaign.

Now, in the OP, I don't know what the situation was, but it was less about why one shouldn't take one's spellbook (I think the character in question was actually a witch and didn't have a spellbook) and more about whether the player ought to have complained (to which the answer is, well, depends on the circumstances).


DeathQuaker wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:


(A lot of the solutions offered here are also patently absurd. How am I supposed to use my bonded object when everything's been taken? If anything, loss of the bonded object making it impossible to even cast cantrips consistently is an argument in favor of "Tenth Level Commoner".)

I mentioned the bonded object in a parenthetical comment, as an aside, in a post that was otherwise and more to the point entirely about SOMETHING ELSE--School abilities. Which has been largely ignored. It is the School abilities which I specifically mentioned keeps the wizard from becoming a 10th level commoner (along with improved saves and skills) -- unless commoners can teleport or fire force missiles or animate weapons, but they couldn't, last I checked.

I appreciate the irony that I am in turn responding to your parenthetical aside which actually has little to do with the rest of your own post. I hope you do as well.

And as to the rest of your post, I get the sense very few posters are actually advocating the idea of GMs constantly targeting specific weaknesses of characters. Some folks are saying there are limited circumstances where it might be okay--or be an unfortunate but realistic consequence of foolish actions. There is a difference between a one-time challenge which is resolved relatively quickly and, for example, denying a wizard their spellbook for half a campaign. The latter would obviously be a dick move. I think I and most of the rest of us are in agreement with you that always exploiting character weaknesses and vulnerabilities is a poor way to manage a campaign.

Now, in the OP, I don't know what the situation was, but it was less about why one shouldn't take one's spellbook (I think the character in question was actually a witch and didn't have a spellbook) and more about whether the player ought to have complained (to which the answer is, well, depends on the circumstances).

Witch Hexes are actually much better than Wizard School Powers. with the exception of a few good ones (Conjurer stuff), a lot of the first level ones are useless by level 3. really, a force missile that never misses, and doesn't deal any more damage than ray of frost? or a ray that blinds for only 1 round at the cost of a standard action with a saving throw, and a touch attack attached?

Silver Crusade

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

The bottom line is it's not the fault of the DM if you are caught unprepared.

"All" PC's can still function without their primary ability. The wizard still has plenty of tricks that he can use to be useful.

Except Wizards without their spellbooks and most divine casters whom were forsaken by their god. a wizard whom is without thier spellbook is just a extrmely physically weak but extremely intelligent commoner with a few school powers that become relatively useless by level 3, and a typical divine caster who is forsaken by their god has no class features whatsoever except what their Hit dice grant. which in most cases, is an Expert without the boatload of skill points. last time i checked. NPC classes weren't really made for adventuring.

The DM can't decide that you have been forsaken by your god, that would be up to you to do something to cause this.

I'm sorry but you just have to accept the fact that Wizards have a really big Achilles heel. If it's a low level encounter then "Cantrips" go a long way. If it's higher level then you more than likely have spells left to use.

The game includes contingency options for a reason.


shallowsoul wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

The bottom line is it's not the fault of the DM if you are caught unprepared.

"All" PC's can still function without their primary ability. The wizard still has plenty of tricks that he can use to be useful.

Except Wizards without their spellbooks and most divine casters whom were forsaken by their god. a wizard whom is without thier spellbook is just a extrmely physically weak but extremely intelligent commoner with a few school powers that become relatively useless by level 3, and a typical divine caster who is forsaken by their god has no class features whatsoever except what their Hit dice grant. which in most cases, is an Expert without the boatload of skill points. last time i checked. NPC classes weren't really made for adventuring.

The DM can't decide that you have been forsaken by your god, that would be up to you to do something to cause this.

I'm sorry but you just have to accept the fact that Wizards have a really big Achilles heel. If it's a low level encounter then "Cantrips" go a long way. If it's higher level then you more than likely have spells left to use.

The game includes contingency options for a reason.

i know wizards have a big achilles heel, it's why i rarely play one when given the oppurtunity to play a Psionicist or a Sorcerer. i'd rather have a slightly lower maximimum power than a greater full power mounted on a drastically greater achilles heel.

the DM could be having a bad day and tell the cleric "your god has forsaken you" using the same Fiat the leads to imprisoning a level 10+ adventuring party. because either, you have an army of cheesed out soldiers doing it, or the mastermind has seemingly infinite resources and enlisted the strongest bounty hunters he could to capture you. which is either adventurers, outsiders, or dragons. none of which are cheap. but if he could amass the power and resources to capture and contain some of the worlds most legendary thugs, why would he when it would be far less taxing to just kill them?


i'm against being imprisoned later in a campaign unless it's a consequence for a mistake i contributed to.

but i don't mind a campaign where PCs start off without gear under the following provisions

1. you inform us in advance that we will have no equipment
2. we are no higher than 1st-3rd level
3. there better be gear we can actually use, whether it's us recovering our missing stuff, or loot from treasure piles of like groups. it need not be optimal, but it better be workable. such as one of the dumber guards dropping another prisoner's slightly lower level and less optimal spellbook 2 cells over by accident
4. we retain our original preferences in attire. don't take my noble blooded "living doll" and force her to wear a potato sack when her dress clearly isn't magical.


Roberta Yang wrote:


(A lot of the solutions offered here are also patently absurd. How am I supposed to use my bonded object when everything's been taken? If anything, loss of the bonded object making it impossible to even cast cantrips consistently is an argument in favor of "Tenth Level Commoner".)

There's an underlying notion that every weakness must be exploited and players should be punished for their vulnerabilities.

That's partially true. While not every weakness must be exploited every time, weakness shouldn't have a "diplomatic inmunity" for granted. An arcane bond item is not a "get a free spell from your spell book per day, nothing else to worry about". It has adventages, and hindrances too. If you can't stand the hindrances, get a familiar instead.


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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DrDeth wrote:

The whole DM fiat “You’re knocked out and all your gear is taken” meme is overused and a sure sign of a bad DM, one who feels threatened whenever the players get any control of where the game is going. The ‘complainer’ was right, the OP was wrong.

I mean really- we have 9th level adventurers. Plenty of ways for them to escape or defeat the foe so that this never occurs in the first place.

Note also that cool loot is looked upon by players as a reward to THE PLAYER for good playing, besides to the PC. Thus, by taking stuff away you are invalidating their hard work to date in your campaign, rendering essentially meaningless for a cheap railroaded plot point.

There is a major exception- as a campaign starter (when it can be a great way of getting a party together). But this clearly wasn’t the start of a new campaign.

Except that they didn't escape. They fell for the trap.

(sarcasm on) You're right, though. It would have been sooooo much better if the bad guys had gone the "kill them and THEN take their stuff" route.

Clearly, this was the hallmark of a bad GM, GM fiat, and gosh durn it - just plain douchy. (sarcasm off)

Talk about a sense of entitlement. "No, your world shouldn't make sense. I EARNED that stuff. Oh, and enemies should always miss and I should always crit."

...I'm sorry. It appears I hit the Hyperbole-laden Sarcasm button when I meant to turn the sarcasm button off....

Andoran

shallowsoul wrote:
I'm sorry but you just have to accept the fact that Wizards have a really big Achilles heel.

Nothing about Pathfinder is a fact we have to accept. Everything about Pathfinder is something we can change or approach differently. It's up to every DM to decide what they should hit the party with. Realistically, PCs can be hit by overwhelmingly powerful opponents, they can be raped, they have their gear stolen, they can run into "die, no save" traps, etc. Each of those might be fun for some players, but won't be fun for other players. If you want the game to be fun for your players, you need to figure out which of those things can be used and in what proportions.

Andoran

I don't mind the DM using scenarios that involve us loing our equipemtn. Espcially if it's due to bad choices as players. Or due to bad dice rolls. I do object to that happening more than once as a player. After awhile only so many times one can fall into such a trap. After awhile feels like it's a excuse to take away any items that are causing the DM problems. As for taking feats for this sort of thing love how some make it out that everyone has a lot of feats like a fighter. i'm not taking any feats that are going to be uiseful in situational cases. If the choice is between eschew material and spell focus evocation i'm usually always going to take the second one.

To give a good example of why it's abd to take aways the pcs gear too often beyond it feeling like your not getting any reward. Yes roleplaying is it's own reward I also want treasure too. We had a DM who mae a mistake with a certain item. the type of guy both as a player and dM viewed treasure just for the benefits not the utility. So one time one of thep laywers found a Decanter of Endless Water. To the DM he thought it was a useless item. The player happy at his good fortune even asked the DM not once but twice if he was sure that was the item he wanted us to find as treasure. Long story short such a item in the hands of asmart player was messing up the DMs plans. First we started coming across people who wanted to purchase the Decanter. Then people who were willing to steal it. Then attack us for it. Finally us waking up with no items in a cage. To make matter worse the player who owned the Decanter as using it only in emergencies.

So use scenarios where the players lose their equipment. Use them very rarely. Otherwise players become to paranoid and are not willing to do anything that may involve them losing their equipment. Which as both a player and DM I can relate to.


Scaevola77 wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

The whole DM fiat “You’re knocked out and all your gear is taken” meme is overused and a sure sign of a bad DM, one who feels threatened whenever the players get any control of where the game is going. The ‘complainer’ was right, the OP was wrong.

I mean really- we have 9th level adventurers. Plenty of ways for them to escape or defeat the foe so that this never occurs in the first place.

Note also that cool loot is looked upon by players as a reward to THE PLAYER for good playing, besides to the PC. Thus, by taking stuff away you are invalidating their hard work to date in your campaign, rendering essentially meaningless for a cheap railroaded plot point.

There is a major exception- as a campaign starter (when it can be a great way of getting a party together). But this clearly wasn’t the start of a new campaign.

DM fiat "You're knocked out" is bad, but there is absolutely no indication from the OP that that is what occurred. In fact, quite the opposite as they were apparently captured by a brigade of 50-200 people, which implies either the PCs were overwhelmed (even level 9 PCs can find themselves trapped and beaten), or surrendered and were then knocked unconscious. We can't really make a judgement call of "right" or "wrong" without the wider context, but the only context we have been given so far implies this was not a cheap DM railroad of "you're knocked out".....

Now, based on what we know, this exact scenario could be playing out for the DM and PCs, except the witch is seriously complaining. We can't make a call on good/bad DMing at this point. However, we can comment on a potential overreaction on the part of the witch; or we can comment on the potential issue of trust between that player and the DM, as none of the other players took issue with this..

We really don't know anything but one side. We have no idea if the other players are complaining or not. It does appear that the DM took them by overwhelming force. Note that "DM Fiat" doesn;t have to be "You get knocked out and wake up without your stuff" it can just as well be "You are surround by a pack of Tarrasques, being ridden by Archmages. They knock you out, and you wake up without your stuff."

Do the PC's have a choice?


BPorter wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

The whole DM fiat “You’re knocked out and all your gear is taken” meme is overused and a sure sign of a bad DM, one who feels threatened whenever the players get any control of where the game is going. The ‘complainer’ was right, the OP was wrong.

I mean really- we have 9th level adventurers. Plenty of ways for them to escape or defeat the foe so that this never occurs in the first place.

Note also that cool loot is looked upon by players as a reward to THE PLAYER for good playing, besides to the PC. Thus, by taking stuff away you are invalidating their hard work to date in your campaign, rendering essentially meaningless for a cheap railroaded plot point.

There is a major exception- as a campaign starter (when it can be a great way of getting a party together). But this clearly wasn’t the start of a new campaign.

Except that they didn't escape. They fell for the trap.

(sarcasm on) You're right, though. It would have been sooooo much better if the bad guys had gone the "kill them and THEN take their stuff" route.

Clearly, this was the hallmark of a bad GM, GM fiat, and gosh durn it - just plain douchy. (sarcasm off)

Talk about a sense of entitlement. "No, your world shouldn't make sense. I EARNED that stuff. Oh, and enemies should always miss and I should always crit."

...I'm sorry. It appears I hit the Hyperbole-laden Sarcasm button when I meant to turn the sarcasm button off....

What "trap"? Was it a trap they could beat or escape? The OP has indicated it was by overwhelming force, which is indeed "DM Fiat".

There is entitlement. The DM sets up the world, it can make sense with or without the party being knocked out and gear taken. But the Players have earned that stuff too. It's not just the DM's world, the players are part of it too. It's a Game and Games are supposed to be Fun. We have proof that at least one Player is not having Fun.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DrDeth wrote:


What "trap"? Was it a trap they could beat or escape? The OP has indicated it was by overwhelming force, which is indeed "DM Fiat".

The OP hasn't indicated just how they were taken. Doesn't mention drugs, force or anything else. Just that, despite warning signs (apparently ignored), the heroes were "knocked out and tied up". Sounds like it could be drugs and / or force. Or perhaps just a major party... after all the situation was social at one point :D Nobody knows.

DrDeth wrote:


There is entitlement. The DM sets up the world, it can make sense with or without the party being knocked out and gear taken. But the Players have earned that stuff too. It's not just the DM's world, the players are part of it too. It's a Game and Games are supposed to be Fun. We have proof that at least one Player is not having Fun.

The players have earned their stuff. They may have "earned" losing it too. None of us know, short of being the OP, the OP's players, or telepaths. Only one player complained. Do the others think it was "fair", or more to the point "justified"? We don't know for sure, just that one player complained. That player may, or may not, be having fun. Some people whine either way. And does the one players "fun" outweigh the other players and the DMs "fun"? Obviously it bothered the DM enough to post a question here.

This thread is at the point where people are not discussing the OPs posts, but rather stating their own philosophy of DMing / playing. Fun, but not necessarily connected to the OP.


Quatar wrote:

Logically they wouldn't have anything on them except a set of clothes. If you're nice. Leave them some underwear at least :)

"It was hidden" doesn't count if they're stripping your unconcious body down and just take everything. They might not find the lockpicks in your secret pocket, but you don't have the jacket anymore.

I saw a gm once impose a rule that you could hide an item in a "secret pocket" but you take a 5 foot movement penalty and -2 to all acrobatics checks due to the awkwardness of its location. Super fun home rule, if not a little messed up.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
but if he could amass the power and resources to capture and contain some of the worlds most legendary thugs, why would he when it would be far less taxing to just kill them?

Sounds like a question the characters should be asking themselves. A good BBEG will likely have a horrifying reason for doing so. Knowing it will probably help the characters immensely.

However, even the reason "Because I can." is perfectly valid with the proper BBEG archetype.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DrDeth wrote:

There is entitlement. The DM sets up the world, it can make sense with or without the party being knocked out and gear taken. But the Players have earned that stuff too. It's not just the DM's world, the players are part of it too. It's a Game and Games are supposed to be Fun. We have proof that at least one Player is not having Fun.

Seriously? So how does your group handle PC death?

GM: "Ok Bob, your character didn't stabilize and is now dead."

Bob: "That sucks! This combat was rigged!" (adopts pouty face to underscore that he isn't having fun)

GM: "Um... ok. So Bob's character is stabilized and at -8 hit points."

Bob: "Negative eight! I'll be out of commission for hours. Might as well be dead."

GM: "Um.... Bob's god (who Bob's PC has never prayed to, done favors for, or tithed to) restores Bob to 10 hit points."

I'm curious, when you have that mentality and play, say, Monopoly or Risk, are you entitled to keep the stuff you've accumulated during the game because "you earned it"?

There is no reasonable entitlement. You can have reasonable expectations - on both sides of the screen.

As a player, you can have a reasonable expectation that you will have a good time, that you will get to play a heroic character, that your GM won't be a jerk. You are not entitled to guaranteed victory, avoidance of injury or death, treasure, or to only face encounters when you are at full strength.


BPorter wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

There is entitlement. The DM sets up the world, it can make sense with or without the party being knocked out and gear taken. But the Players have earned that stuff too. It's not just the DM's world, the players are part of it too. It's a Game and Games are supposed to be Fun. We have proof that at least one Player is not having Fun.

Seriously? So how does your group handle PC death?

GM: "Ok Bob, your character didn't stabilize and is now dead."

B

If we are fighting Mighty foes, but one we can beat with the right tactics and a little bit of luck- and Bob has been lagging on getting healing, and then gets crited and dies, there is sadness all around, but that's the natural order.

If the DM sez "Rocks fall, you die", he is then sitting at a empty table. This is a "DM fiat". Bob's death has nothing to do with his choices. This OP is clearly the second type.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DrDeth wrote:
BPorter wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

There is entitlement. The DM sets up the world, it can make sense with or without the party being knocked out and gear taken. But the Players have earned that stuff too. It's not just the DM's world, the players are part of it too. It's a Game and Games are supposed to be Fun. We have proof that at least one Player is not having Fun.

Seriously? So how does your group handle PC death?

GM: "Ok Bob, your character didn't stabilize and is now dead."

B

If we are fighting Mighty foes, but one we can beat with the right tactics and a little bit of luck- and Bob has been lagging on getting healing, and then gets crited and dies, there is sadness all around, but that's the natural order.

If the DM sez "Rocks fall, you die", he is then sitting at a empty table. This is a "DM fiat". Bob's death has nothing to do with his choices. This OP is clearly the second type.

However, for a realistic setting, a DM might have foes present that you have no hope of defeating. Even at level 9, you are powerful, but not all powerful. In such situations, the DM should provide a potential way out (in this scenario, sense motives and noticing that banners with an evil symbol on them apparently). However, a no-win scenario at a certain point only makes sense. Having a "well, you guys didn't bail out in time, and now you are kind of stuck getting captured" is completely different from "rocks fall, you die". Again, we can't be 100% sure which happened, and part of the tension may be that the DM feels that the first is what happened, while the players feel like it was the second.


Scaevola77 wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

If we are fighting Mighty foes, but one we can beat with the right tactics and a little bit of luck- and Bob has been lagging on getting healing, and then gets crited and dies, there is sadness all around, but that's the natural order.

If the DM sez "Rocks fall, you die", he is then sitting at a empty table. This is a "DM fiat". Bob's death has nothing to do with his choices. This OP is clearly the second type.

However, for a realistic setting, a DM might have foes present that you have no hope of defeating. Even at level 9, you are powerful, but not all powerful. In such situations, the DM should provide a potential way out (in this scenario, sense motives and noticing that banners with an evil symbol on them apparently). However, a no-win scenario at a certain point only makes sense. Having a "well, you guys didn't bail out in time, and now you are kind of stuck getting captured" is completely different from "rocks fall, you die". Again, we can't be 100% sure which happened, and part of the tension may be that the DM feels that the first is what happened, while the players feel like it was the second.

Yeah, we've got very little idea which type this is. The GM clearly thinks it's fine. One player is apparently upset, but it's not clear whether that's from getting captured, from having stuff taken or from having a specific item taken.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DrDeth wrote:

If the DM sez "Rocks fall, you die", he is then sitting at a empty table. This is a "DM fiat". Bob's death has nothing to do with his choices. This OP is clearly the second type.

No, it's not. It was an outcome of play, not a predetermined outcome.

As stated by the OP:

Cry Jay wrote:

It was obvious that a Lord was hitting on her and trying to get in her pants. I gave them plenty of times to see the banners that had "evil" sign on it, they could have made a dozen Sense motive checks in order to see that he and the others were trying to get their guard down, it just didn't occur to them (they're level 9 btw.)


prosfilaes wrote:
It's up to every DM to decide what they should hit the party with. Realistically, PCs can be hit by overwhelmingly powerful opponents, they can be raped, they have their gear stolen, they can run into "die, no save" traps, etc. Each of those might be fun for some players, but won't be fun for other players. If you want the game to be fun for your players, you need to figure out which of those things can be used and in what proportions.

You should never use certain things against the PCs unless EVERYONE has been up front about being fine with it. Things like rape or torture may make sense in game but should be avoided if even one person has issues with it. Treat your game as if it had a movie rating and then find out what rating your players would be most comfortable playing at.


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Wow, this thread derailed somewhere.

I'm wondering why so many people are arguing about the validity of taking all a character's items. There are a lot of other ways to completely negate, not only a caster, but any character dependent on magic items, that most players are already aware of, like an Antimagic Field. Heck, there are entire geographic areas on Golarion wherein no magic will work, like the Mana Wastes. Putting the characters in prison is a perfectly legitimate plot arc for many stories. One that will require players to look at their characters as much more than just a set of numbers and abilities on a sheet, but as a person who can think and react, and, hopefully, find an ingenious way to get out of the situation. At some point in just about any campaign that ranges from level 1 to 20, a group of adventurers is likely to come across a time or circumstance where magic is not available. It is something every player should be ready to handle at some point.


"Entitlement" is just one of those buzzwords that are often used in politics. That you, somehow, have "right" to "not lose" because you "have earned it" is just funny stuff. IT's like the notion that GM's should fudge rolls when they crit and can kill the character. Characters *can* die, and they *can* lose.

That said:

Quote:
It was obvious that a Lord was hitting on her and trying to get in her pants. I gave them plenty of times to see the banners that had "evil" sign on it, they could have made a dozen Sense motive checks in order to see that he and the others were trying to get their guard down, it just didn't occur to them (they're level 9 btw.)

I think the players don't need to *Ask* for sense motive rolls. Just like they don't need to *ask* for a perception roll to see if someone is trying to stealth past them. They roll whenever the oportunity arise. Somebody try to sneak you, you roll perception to oppose it. Somebody try to bluff you, you roll sense motive to oppose it. The Player does not need to ask for a sense motive, because the *player* might have low sense motive and not notice the hints, but that does not mean the *character* does so too.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
"Entitlement" is just one of those buzzwords that are often used in politics. That you, somehow, have "right" to "not lose" because you "have earned it" is just funny stuff. IT's like the notion that GM's should fudge rolls when they crit and can kill the character. Characters *can* die, and they *can* lose.

Well, there's some level of entitlement, if you want to call it that. It's a game. It's supposed to be fun. The GM should be trying to provide interesting challenges, not to roll over the party. Or let them walk all over the opposition either.

Even in a sandbox type game, where the players take more responsibility for choosing the challenges, the GM has to give them the data to work with, so they can gauge the threat accurately.
I'm not fond of fudging, or of retcons, but I've done both in rare circumstances. Either really bad dice luck or player level misunderstandings.


Aranna wrote:
prosfilaes wrote:
It's up to every DM to decide what they should hit the party with. Realistically, PCs can be hit by overwhelmingly powerful opponents, they can be raped, they have their gear stolen, they can run into "die, no save" traps, etc. Each of those might be fun for some players, but won't be fun for other players. If you want the game to be fun for your players, you need to figure out which of those things can be used and in what proportions.

You should never use certain things against the PCs unless EVERYONE has been up front about being fine with it. Things like rape or torture may make sense in game but should be avoided if even one person has issues with it. Treat your game as if it had a movie rating and then find out what rating your players would be most comfortable playing at.

Hell to the yes. A GM that assumed it was okay to have PCs raped without checking first would not be my GM nor many others for very long. And be warned about for any other gamers I knew.


gustavo iglesias wrote:

"Entitlement" is just one of those buzzwords that are often used in politics. That you, somehow, have "right" to "not lose" because you "have earned it" is just funny stuff. IT's like the notion that GM's should fudge rolls when they crit and can kill the character. Characters *can* die, and they *can* lose.

That said:

Quote:
It was obvious that a Lord was hitting on her and trying to get in her pants. I gave them plenty of times to see the banners that had "evil" sign on it, they could have made a dozen Sense motive checks in order to see that he and the others were trying to get their guard down, it just didn't occur to them (they're level 9 btw.)
I think the players don't need to *Ask* for sense motive rolls. Just like they don't need to *ask* for a perception roll to see if someone is trying to stealth past them. They roll whenever the oportunity arise. Somebody try to sneak you, you roll perception to oppose it. Somebody try to bluff you, you roll sense motive to oppose it. The Player does not need to ask for a sense motive, because the *player* might have low sense motive and not notice the hints, but that does not mean the *character* does so too.

As long as someone is attempting to use the skill Bluff to deceive then you get an automatic opposed roll for Sense Motive.

If they are not telling lies then it is at least one minute to get info upon someone.(A Hunch of if they are trustworthy or not)


Remind me why "he is trying to get into her pants" is a hint toward "he has two hundred men hiding in the broom closet who will ambush you"? Different kinds of creepiness don't magically transfer into one another. The lord hitting on her is evidence that he's a creepy jerk, not that he's a supervillain plotting a 200-strong ambush. If I find out that someone has been convicted of insider trading, my first thought isn't "He's a criminal! He'll probably follow me into a dark alley and stab me to death because that's what criminals do!" - because it's not the same type of criminal at all. Likewise, the lord hitting on the PC makes him a creep, but it's a very different type of creep than the type that sets such an ambush.

If I were told that was supposed to be my main "clue" that an ambush was afoot I'd be pretty annoyed.


Roberta Yang wrote:

Remind me why "he is trying to get into her pants" is a hint toward "he has two hundred men hiding in the broom closet who will ambush you"? Different kinds of creepiness don't magically transfer into one another. The lord hitting on her is evidence that he's a creepy jerk, not that he's a supervillain plotting a 200-strong ambush. If I find out that someone has been convicted of insider trading, my first thought isn't "He's a criminal! He'll probably follow me into a dark alley and stab me to death because that's what criminals do!" - because it's not the same type of criminal at all. Likewise, the lord hitting on the PC makes him a creep, but it's a very different type of creep than the type that sets such an ambush.

If I were told that was supposed to be my main "clue" that an ambush was afoot I'd be pretty annoyed.

Where did he say that they were jumped by the villain and 200-strong ambush?

Here is a break down of the info we have to base an opinion on.

1. The players were knocked out and tied up.

2. A Lord was hitting on one of the players and something strange or out of place was going on. The Lord was attempting to get the players to "let there guard down".

3. The 200 soldiers that were mentioned were part of a jail.

So the GM had something strange going on with a Lord and managed to ambush the players. Then something happened. We don't have any information on the encounter that happened or if it was fiat. Whatever happened lead to the players knocked out and tied up and in a jail cell.

No where is it said that 200 men ambushed the players.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Roberta Yang wrote:

Remind me why "he is trying to get into her pants" is a hint toward "he has two hundred men hiding in the broom closet who will ambush you"? Different kinds of creepiness don't magically transfer into one another. The lord hitting on her is evidence that he's a creepy jerk, not that he's a supervillain plotting a 200-strong ambush. If I find out that someone has been convicted of insider trading, my first thought isn't "He's a criminal! He'll probably follow me into a dark alley and stab me to death because that's what criminals do!" - because it's not the same type of criminal at all. Likewise, the lord hitting on the PC makes him a creep, but it's a very different type of creep than the type that sets such an ambush.

If I were told that was supposed to be my main "clue" that an ambush was afoot I'd be pretty annoyed.

My reading of it was that the "I gave them plenty of times to see the banners that had "evil" sign on it" was the GM's way of saying he'd been dropping hints/clues that the PCs were interacting with evil or shady types rather than allies.

Regardless, there's a whole lot of assigning malicious motives & hyperbole about how the PCs were captured, including assertions of GM fiat (Rocks fall, pcs die, & such) with no evidence that this is what occurred.

I find it easier to believe that the OP was being a conscientious GM looking to see if other GMs had handled similiar situations the way that he had than that the OP is a controlling GM who went out of his way to screw his players.

The former type of GM I can see requesting feedback from his peers. The latter type would likely have an ego that wouldn't require him to see outside feedback/validation.

Lacking a whole bunch of specific info, which really doesn't affect the premise of internal-setting-consistency, I'm going to focus on what the OP DID tell us versus wildly speculating about what wasn't said.


The only thing I see questionable about the described scenario, is this:

Quote:
At the beginning of the next week i looked at their character equipment and checked off a few things that they were missing.

Since it's only a few things, it leaves you open to questions of how/why they took particular hidden or apparently innocuous items. Why this and not that, essentially. A question which would be less likely to come up if they'd been stripped to the skin while unconscious.


thejeff wrote:
The only thing I see questionable about the described scenario, is this:
Quote:
At the beginning of the next week i looked at their character equipment and checked off a few things that they were missing.

Since it's only a few things, it leaves you open to questions of how/why they took particular hidden or apparently innocuous items. Why this and not that, essentially. A question which would be less likely to come up if they'd been stripped to the skin while unconscious.

Where does it even say what was taken? You're adding a number of assumptions.

Cheliax

Just to be clear...a witch got her familiar taken away, without any recourse. We all know how bad that is for the witch, right?


Brain in a Jar wrote:
thejeff wrote:
The only thing I see questionable about the described scenario, is this:
Quote:
At the beginning of the next week i looked at their character equipment and checked off a few things that they were missing.

Since it's only a few things, it leaves you open to questions of how/why they took particular hidden or apparently innocuous items. Why this and not that, essentially. A question which would be less likely to come up if they'd been stripped to the skin while unconscious.

Where does it even say what was taken? You're adding a number of assumptions.

It doesn't say what was taken. It does say that only some things were taken: "a few things that they were missing".

It may be that only the obvious things were taken. We don't know. I'm not adding any assumptions. All I'm saying is that by only taking a few things, you're opening up arguments about why those particular items.


Lamontius wrote:


Just to be clear...a witch got her familiar taken away, without any recourse. We all know how bad that is for the witch, right?

Just to be clear, no she didn't. As he told you the first time you raised that.

Cry Jay wrote:
Lamontius wrote:
You took her Arcane Bonded item, didn't you?
lol surprisingly not. She's a witch and her little bid was flying around care free.

Cheliax

I guessed Arcane Bonded item before I knew it was a witch.

I was assuming he meant "little bird".

Unless the witch just had a pet bird, I'm guessing that's her familiar.


Lamontius wrote:


I guessed Arcane Bonded item before I knew it was a witch.

I was assuming he meant "little bird".

Unless the witch just had a pet bird, I'm guessing that's her familiar.

Right. Who is flying around care free. Not taken away.

Cheliax

So the witch still has access to her familiar?


As far as we know.

Cheliax

Man, I've been following this thread the whole time thinking that the OP meant the birdy was just flying around unprotected and he snatched it up along with some party weapons/equipment.

Contributor

BPorter wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

There is entitlement. The DM sets up the world, it can make sense with or without the party being knocked out and gear taken. But the Players have earned that stuff too. It's not just the DM's world, the players are part of it too. It's a Game and Games are supposed to be Fun. We have proof that at least one Player is not having Fun.

Seriously? So how does your group handle PC death?

GM: "Ok Bob, your character didn't stabilize and is now dead."

Bob: "That sucks! This combat was rigged!" (adopts pouty face to underscore that he isn't having fun)

GM: "Um... ok. So Bob's character is stabilized and at -8 hit points."

Bob: "Negative eight! I'll be out of commission for hours. Might as well be dead."

GM: "Um.... Bob's god (who Bob's PC has never prayed to, done favors for, or tithed to) restores Bob to 10 hit points."

I'm curious, when you have that mentality and play, say, Monopoly or Risk, are you entitled to keep the stuff you've accumulated during the game because "you earned it"?

There is no reasonable entitlement. You can have reasonable expectations - on both sides of the screen.

As a player, you can have a reasonable expectation that you will have a good time, that you will get to play a heroic character, that your GM won't be a jerk. You are not entitled to guaranteed victory, avoidance of injury or death, treasure, or to only face encounters when you are at full strength.

If I'm playing a heroic character, I have a reasonable expectation of him dying a heroic death. If he dies a pointless death, I'll be ticked off, even more so if there's no chance of resurrection due to the GM wanting to enforce some flavor of "gritty realism" or "making death mean something."

Death means something when it's dramatically appropriate. I don't want to play the random redshirt who gets incinerated by the BBEG just to keep up his evil street cred this episode.

GMs also have to realize that players throw them bones all the time. You set up some elaborate lair or ambush you've spent days designing, then you have the characters come in, pick up all the clues, and smell "trap" all over it--then the players have the characters go in anyway because if they didn't, there wouldn't be much adventure tonight.

If the players play out of character to help get the adventure on track, it's only fair that the GM occasionally fudges things to keep the game fun for them too. Expecting someone to pitch an interesting character they're emotionally invested in because they lost a few die rolls to a disposable cardboard villain?

You do that too much, you end up with an empty table.

As for characters getting bailed out by the gods when they haven't been particularly devout worshippers, it depends on how you play the gods. The way I see it, while devotion is nice, what's more important is having a god interested in you--and this may not even be a god your character worships either.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed some posts (and replies to them). Keep it civil please. Also, if you're done with a conversation, you can just stop posting. Saying so is just trying to get the last word in.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The 4 pages of 'zomg spellbook gone' posts now have me wondering what the witch was so chappy about.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:


If I'm playing a heroic character, I have a reasonable expectation of him dying a heroic death. If he dies a pointless death, I'll be ticked off, even more so if there's no chance of resurrection due to the GM wanting to enforce some flavor of "gritty realism" or "making death mean something."

Death means something when it's dramatically appropriate. I don't want to play the random redshirt who gets incinerated by the BBEG just to keep up his evil street cred this episode.

GMs also have to realize that players throw them bones all the time. You set up some elaborate lair or ambush you've spent days designing, then you have the characters come in, pick up all the clues, and smell "trap" all over it--then the players have the characters go in anyway because if they didn't, there wouldn't be much adventure tonight.

If the players play out of character to help get the adventure on track, it's only fair that the GM occasionally fudges things to keep the game fun for them too. Expecting someone to pitch an interesting character they're emotionally invested in because they lost a few die rolls to a disposable cardboard villain?

You do that too much, you end up with an empty table.

If you took my example of player entitlement taken to the extreme and came away with "GMs shouldn't be jerks", you completely missed the point.

As to the "players roll more dice", I think they are already compensated by higher levels, more hit dice, traits, greater wealth per level, greater access to magic for combat, divination, and transportation, magic that enables them to raise the dead, plus additional resources in the form of animal companions, familiars, followers, etc. than most of the game world. They are already "a cut above the norm". This is before factoring in optional systems like Hero Points.

I think players are pretty well equipped to roll those dice.

Your points on GM providing appropriate challenges are all good ones. I've fudged many a times over the years to offset a fickle die roll. Unfortunately, the bad GM behavior that warrants making those points isn't present in the OP or my post that you've quoted.

The fact that there are bad GMs out there doesn't validate players bringing a sense of entitlement to the game, their PC, their PC's fate, or their PC's equipment. If it did, the reverse would also hold true: GMs would be justified in their sense of entitlement because there are "bad players" out there.

If, as a GM, I prepare a BBEG and the players take him out through tactics & luck, I'm not entitled to impose a "he survived" outcome just because I spent time creating the NPC. Same goes for plots, storylines, settings, etc. I may be disappointed, but nothing in the game's "social contract" entitles me to say "My way or the highway".

No one is suggesting that arbitrarily taking players stuff or putting them into no-win situations is a good thing. By all of the info provided by the OP, no such thing occurred. It DOES appear that a sense of player entitlement reared its ugly head, however.

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