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Why people don't want to play heroic characters?


Gamer Talk

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The black raven wrote:

IMO, it is still the responsibility of the GM to assess what his players want BEFORE spending a lot of time and effort in creating the story.

To do otherwise, then blame the players for ruining the story, is unfair.

It depends on how this scenario plays out.

On one hand, you might have a GM who says "I am running a game, make characters," and a group of players that throw together whatever strikes their fancy with no info on what sort of campaign this is meant to be.

In that case it is unfair for the GM to be upset that all his planning didn't work out because the characters didn't match his plans.

On the other hand, you might have a GM who said "I've got this story about super-good-guys I'd like to run, you guys want to be super-good-guys and play it?" and the players said "yes" and then proceeded to portray their characters as evil, heartless jerks.

In that case it is unfair for the GM to have his desires for the game, and the efforts put into it, stomped on and discarded by the players who couldn't be honest enough to just say "Not really interested in that kind of campaign, thanks."

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
AaronOfBarbaria wrote:
If the GM's main job is to ensure that the players are having fun playing... to whom does the task of ensuring the GM has fun playing fall?

The GM.

After all, the GM is a player too.

Taldor

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The black raven wrote:
Nepherti wrote:
But at the same time, if the gm spent a crap-ton of time creating a holy rollers righteous paladin setting, don't create a party of chaotically incline evil b@st@rds.

IMO, it is still the responsibility of the GM to assess what his players want BEFORE spending a lot of time and effort in creating the story.

To do otherwise, then blame the players for ruining the story, is unfair.

[sarcasm]Yeah, because the GM is not a person.[end sarcasm]

I asked them if they wanted to play a heroic game where they were heroes who protected the weak and innocent. They said yes. Then they went and behaved like total psychos. Who is at fault here?

I wonder what you think is the responsibility of the players?


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Players have any responsibility? How preposterous!


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AaronOfBarbaria wrote:
If the GM's main job is to ensure that the players are having fun playing... to whom does the task of ensuring the GM has fun playing fall?

It's everyone's job to ensure the fun for everyone at the table.


Irontruth wrote:
AaronOfBarbaria wrote:
If the GM's main job is to ensure that the players are having fun playing... to whom does the task of ensuring the GM has fun playing fall?
It's everyone's job to ensure the fun for everyone at the table.

Thank the Aesir I'm not the only one that feels that way.

My prior question was all about how tons of people keep talking about the GM being responsible for this or that and no one ever seems to mention what the players are responsible for - my view being that everyone involved basically share the same responsibilities.

Taldor

Because most of the players are lazy gits who just want to roll dice and not have to do anything. Thankfully, in that concern, i have mostly been blessed with players who are not lazy gits.

Andoran

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

And most of the DMs are control freaks unwilling to let anyone else have any effect on their vision of the campaign. Look, I can make baseless claims too!

Taldor

Yay!


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
And most of the DMs are control freaks unwilling to let anyone else have any effect on their vision of the campaign. Look, I can make baseless claims too!

No one will divert MY campaign from MY vision of GREATNESS!!! NO ONE! Especially not those pesky players!

Shadow Lodge

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This game would be great except for the players.


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TOZ wrote:
This game would be great except for the players.

These games, TOZ, these games.


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Guys I haven't read all the posts but I have a quick comment on the original question.

"Why don't people want to play heroic characters?" I've wondered the same thing a lot and it depresses me sometimes. I'm fairly old-school and I play with a different generation now and some of them don't want to be heroic characters. What I have been doing lately is show them villains do really disturbing heinous things. Hopefully this will appeal to their humanity and they will want to stop the evil. I think it's working pretty well.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

*shrugs* Frankly, while my own character concepts pretty much default to somewhere between NG and CG, I have no problem with players playing evil characters.

What I have issues with are:
- Players who use their characters' alignments as an excuse to ruin the other characters' fun, or to otherwise behave like total jerkwads. I've seen this with pretty much all alignments (maybe with the exception of NG)
- Players who, after everyone has agreed on a campaign setting and theme, believe in their divine right to play whatever they choose, even if the concept blatantly flies in the face of what was agreed upon.

If you have a concept of an evil character that is interesting to play with, is able to fit within a team, and is not running contrary to what was agreed as campaign theme, go ahead.
If you want to play a larger-than-life hero, be my guest.
If you want to play a pragmastist who cares for making the world a better place, conventions and rules be damned, great.
If you want to play a silver-tongued seducer who just sees the group as a means to a selfish goal, only to realize quite soon that he needs their support, and thus will do his best to stay on their good side; sure, why not?
On the other hand...
If you choose to play a psychopathic serial rapist-murderer who dines on the innards of his underage victims, for exploring the depths of CE, please go play at another table.
If you choose to determine your action on random die rolls, and call that true CN, please go play at another table.
If you rat out the group to the Hellknights without warning or provocation, for having had contact with an illegal group of criminals, and claim that this is your duty as being LN (or even LG, with an emphasis on L), please go play at another table.

In a nutshell, please make sure that you are playing with the group and the GM's ideas, not against them. Almost any alignment (with maybe the exception of CE) can be a valid choice for a character that will be fun for the other players to play with. Choosing to play an evil character in no way frees you from the primary directive: play in a way that everyone at the table is having fun.

Problem is, quite a lot of players seem to equate evil = psychopathic, or destructive, preferrably in a way that targets the other characters.

Shadow Lodge

Midnight_Angel wrote:

If you have a concept of an evil character that is interesting to play with, is able to fit within a team, and is not running contrary to what was agreed as campaign theme, go ahead.

If you want to play a larger-than-life hero, be my guest.
If you want to play a pragmastist who cares for making the world a better place, conventions and rules be damned, great.
If you want to play a silver-tongued seducer who just sees the group as a means to a selfish goal, only to realize quite soon that he neeeds their support, and thus will do his best to stay on their best side; sure, why not?
On the other hand...
If you choose to play a psychopathic serial rapist-murderer who dines on the innards of his underage victims, for exploring the depths of CE, please go play at another table.
If you choose to determine your action on random die rolls, and call that true CN, please go play at another table.
If you rat out the group to the Hellknights without warning or provocation, for having had contact with an illegal group of criminals, and claim that this is your duty as being LN (or even LG, with an emphasis on L), please go play at another table.

In a nutshell, please make sure that you are playing with the group and the GM's ideas, not against them. Almost any alignment (with maybe the exception of CE) can be a valid choice for a character that will be fun for the other players to play with. Choosing to play an evil character in no way frees you from the primary directive: play in a way that everyone at the table is having fun.

Problem is, quite a lot of players seem to equate evil = psychopathic, or destructive, preferrably in a way that targets the other characters.

Heck, you can do it even WITH CE. The CE Magus in my party bickers and snaps at his party-mates (who range between LN and CN) all the time, but he's hardly the disruptive member of the group.

But other than that minor quibble, THIS. ALL OF IT.


Grimmy wrote:

Guys I haven't read all the posts but I have a quick comment on the original question.

"Why don't people want to play heroic characters?" I've wondered the same thing a lot and it depresses me sometimes. I'm fairly old-school and I play with a different generation now and some of them don't want to be heroic characters. What I have been doing lately is show them villains do really disturbing heinous things. Hopefully this will appeal to their humanity and they will want to stop the evil. I think it's working pretty well.

Hey, uh, Grimmy, it's kinda dangerous in this neighborhood, don't you think? [Grips weapons meaningfully]


I fight for what's right, but I won't call myself a heroine until I've earned the right for such a title.

Shadow Lodge

Grimmy wrote:

Guys I haven't read all the posts but I have a quick comment on the original question.

"Why don't people want to play heroic characters?" I've wondered the same thing a lot and it depresses me sometimes. I'm fairly old-school and I play with a different generation now and some of them don't want to be heroic characters. What I have been doing lately is show them villains do really disturbing heinous things. Hopefully this will appeal to their humanity and they will want to stop the evil. I think it's working pretty well.

While not inappropriate, there's no reason an Evil PC couldn't be against these guys also. After all, even Evil has standards, and those who cross them disturb other Evildoers just as much - if not more so, for crossing the few moral compunctions they DO possess - as they disturb Good characters.

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

Generally, my experience of evil is that it is either boring or oh-noes-emotional-trainwreck. And I find oh-noes-emotional-trainwreck boring too.

Can one of the evil fans sell me on how evil characters can be a fun part of a collaborative fanatasy RPG?


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GeraintElberion wrote:

Generally, my experience of evil is that it is either boring or oh-noes-emotional-trainwreck. And I find oh-noes-emotional-trainwreck boring too.

Can one of the evil fans sell me on how evil characters can be a fun part of a collaborative fanatasy RPG?

Kingmaker with a strictly Lawful Evil party that believes that Order is the supreme virtue, Anarchy is the worst thing that can happen and they bent on bringing law and civilization into the Stolen Lands regardless of sacrifices that are required to be made.

Assistant Software Developer

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I removed some posts. Grow up, please.


Ah, I hoped that Ross peeked here with some great idea for Evil campaign and instead he was here just to temper some petty squabbles.

Now I wonder which posts were actually culled.


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Orthos wrote:
Grimmy wrote:

Guys I haven't read all the posts but I have a quick comment on the original question.

"Why don't people want to play heroic characters?" I've wondered the same thing a lot and it depresses me sometimes. I'm fairly old-school and I play with a different generation now and some of them don't want to be heroic characters. What I have been doing lately is show them villains do really disturbing heinous things. Hopefully this will appeal to their humanity and they will want to stop the evil. I think it's working pretty well.

While not inappropriate, there's no reason an Evil PC couldn't be against these guys also. After all, even Evil has standards, and those who cross them disturb other Evildoers just as much - if not more so, for crossing the few moral compunctions they DO possess - as they disturb Good characters.

I know. I agree. I wasn't clear in my post. I'm not banning any alignments.

I made a bunch of pregens as backups for the players I'm talking about because they're playing in a deadly campaign (Rappan Athuk) and I even made one of the pregens a Lawful Evil vivisectionist/assassin.

All I ask is that they have a reason to want to adventure and they can work with a group.

I only draw the line pretty much where Midnite_Angel does.

Taldor

OP - What types of NPCs did the characters in town interact with before the town guard got involved? Was there anyone there you would say was likable and kind, that did not represent an authority figure or a martial threat? It's a leading question, but I find good NPCs are crucial to insuring these types of players don't see the campaign as simply a world filled with cardboard authority figures to cut down.


sometimes, people just wanna roll dice and vent their personal frustrations by breaking down the castle wall and ruining the evil king's day.

this is hardly heroic, and can hardly be considered roleplaying.

adventurers in general, regardless of alignment are Glorified Bandits

What Do Bandits Do?
They Kill intelligent beings, loot the corpses for useful supplies and wealth, trade anything deemed useless, and some might even disrespect the dead and may keep or trade slaves.

What do Adventurers Do?

the exact same thing.

in other words, there is nothing Heroic about adventuring except to those who benefit from the Bandit's effort.

the humans in Hillshire might be excited that their orcish neighbors are being slain by the dozens daily, and deem the bandits responsible heroes. but to the orcs, those "Heroes" are cold blooded murdering sadists and if those same adventurers were motivated to attack the people of Hillshire, their view of those "Heroes" would devolve into "Greedy Murderous Savages who cannot be trusted."


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

sometimes, people just wanna roll dice and vent their personal frustrations by breaking down the castle wall and ruining the evil king's day.

this is hardly heroic, and can hardly be considered roleplaying.

adventurers in general, regardless of alignment are Glorified Bandits

What Do Bandits Do?
They Kill intelligent beings, loot the corpses for useful supplies and wealth, trade anything deemed useless, and some might even disrespect the dead and may keep or trade slaves.

What do Adventurers Do?

the exact same thing.

in other words, there is nothing Heroic about adventuring except to those who benefit from the Bandit's effort.

the humans in Hillshire might be excited that their orcish neighbors are being slain by the dozens daily, and deem the bandits responsible heroes. but to the orcs, those "Heroes" are cold blooded murdering sadists and if those same adventurers were motivated to attack the people of Hillshire, their view of those "Heroes" would devolve into "Greedy Murderous Savages who cannot be trusted."

You know, that's the common reductionist description found here on the forum, murderous hobos or whatever.

I can't remember playing a game like that. We don't play bandits. We play heroes. Sometimes heroes with flaw, reluctant heroes, often caught up in events, trying to handle the situation they wound up in. Novice heroes, sometimes anti-heroes. You get the picture.
There's always a bigger picture, always a higher goal. I don't think
The last big campaign we played in, one of the early adventures involved freeing an enslaved lizardman village. And that was after some of them had attacked us. That game ended up being about an ancient conspiracy to return the now evil and undead elven king to his usurped throne. Unfortunately it died for out of game reasons before we really figured out if there actually were any good guys. I think we were looking for a long missing heir.
I've don't think I've ever played a D&D game where the character's goals were anything like a bandits: loot & power. It's actually one of the things I've always disliked about D&D, how much it's set up to revolve around treasure. Maybe we avoid it partly because we play other games where "kick down the door, kill the monster, take the treasure" isn't the default paradigm: Call of Cthulhu, Champions, Feng Shui, Amber.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I would say the other big issue is the lack of support we've seen publication side in terms of good organizations, proactive good people, or large forces of good. Most of these aren't really discussed in any great detail like evil or doubious alignment factions like say the red mantis assassins, hellknights, worldwound, and the various factions floating around ustalav. Think about the last time we got an article or write up on an organization for good with the size and influence of the hellknights or with the power to mobilize like Asmodeus? Hell look at the products we've received so far we have 4 books on the evil outsiders and their spawn the tieflings and only one on any of the good outsiders and we have one whole ap on hell and its machinations (council of thieves). Now not saying I don't love these but without any counter weight on the moral good side it creates a publication vacuum like what we are feeling now.

This creates a problem where we as gm's don't really have a lot of good references to how a good organization looks, acts, and handles itself in their world making it a truly dubious task for us to build out in the proverbial dark and quite often leaves them lacking when compared to the stuff built by professionals with a slew of editing teams or what we have built off of those. Again to use what we have here as an example we all can clearly identify what separates a devil from a demon and from a daemon but what really makes an Azata an Azata or an Agathion an Agathion? The answer is we really don't and it hurts those groups drastically as we don't know how to use them collectively as players or gm's and therefore end up with inconsistent representations or don't use them at all which then means we see less of them written up as there is little demand and the problem exacerbates.

The other problem this creates is that we end up with inconsistent renditions of good depending on the gm's running the game with a one character coming off a noble self sacrificing npc and another gm's rendition coming off an ass hat. This is compounded after players get sick of this waffling and feeling like they are left very alone in the world they play in, this makes it very easy for a player to get jaded to the cause of good when it feels like the rest of the world is either evil, incompetent, or just willing to betray them later.

I think the biggest thing that needs to happen is that we as gms, writers, and players need to make a collected concerted effort to create well thought out, well written good groups, gods, and creatures that people want to play with and want to work with. It's cool to have angels show up and be more morally good then the players and that they don't chastise the players about it, we need to make commoners that are really good and that the players want to protect because they care about them and understand that they cannot defend themselves and that's ok because they help in other ways, and we need good organizations that will help the players out in whatever ways they need without getting in the way acting like partners not leaders to the pc's sidekick. I can tell you there's nothing more fun then when your back is against the wall and the bad guy is about to win thanks to his holding you off with his horde of minions then seeing a flight of angels drop in and say "Don't worry we'll hold them off you go stop the bastard".

Taldor

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Selk wrote:
OP - What types of NPCs did the characters in town interact with before the town guard got involved? Was there anyone there you would say was likable and kind, that did not represent an authority figure or a martial threat? It's a leading question, but I find good NPCs are crucial to insuring these types of players don't see the campaign as simply a world filled with cardboard authority figures to cut down.

Everyone that they encountered was polite and (i hope) likable. It's Bree. From Barliman Butterbur, Nob and then some of the shopkeepers, all were very thankful that the PCs cleared a spot close to Bree that had dangerous monsters in it. They got free room and board for a week, everyone was buying them drinks. And they got a discount. And kids ran after them laughing.

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
sometimes, people just wanna roll dice and vent their personal frustrations by breaking down the castle wall and ruining the evil king's day.

Unless that is the very point of the game they are playing such people should fire up call of honor or medal of duty and shoot their frustrations away. Or call me and tell me that they had a bad day and aren't good company. I don't care for people venting their frustrations upon my game and possibly other players. If they want to let it off their chests, i have no problem cracking open a few beers and talking it over untill they feel better. But if they're gonna be passive aggressive and vent on others, they will be sent home.

"Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
in other words, there is nothing Heroic about adventuring except to those who benefit from the Bandit's effort.

Sorry, but i call BS. If the adventurers protect the town of good people (alignment in PF is a tangible, definable thing with real world application) from a horde of evil monsters, that is heroic. If they sacrifice themselves to help innocents escape or survive, that is heroic.


doc the grey wrote:
I would say the other big issue is the lack of support we've seen publication side in terms of good organizations, proactive good people, or large forces of good.

That's a fair point. Write-ups of genuinely good factions in Golarion are a bit thin on the ground compared to their evil counterparts.

That said, there's no reason players (or the GM) could not invent such information for themselves. A hole in the setting is not a good excuse for playing a crazed pyromaniac cannibal psychopath.


Tinalles wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
I would say the other big issue is the lack of support we've seen publication side in terms of good organizations, proactive good people, or large forces of good.

That's a fair point. Write-ups of genuinely good factions in Golarion are a bit thin on the ground compared to their evil counterparts.

That said, there's no reason players (or the GM) could not invent such information for themselves. A hole in the setting is not a good excuse for playing a crazed pyromaniac cannibal psychopath.

OTOH, organizations of villains make good enemies. Organizations of good heroes raise the question of why aren't they handling this problem instead of our heroes. Large forces of good, particularly ones that aren't actually governments are as much competition for the PCs as resources.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Tinalles wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
I would say the other big issue is the lack of support we've seen publication side in terms of good organizations, proactive good people, or large forces of good.

That's a fair point. Write-ups of genuinely good factions in Golarion are a bit thin on the ground compared to their evil counterparts.

That said, there's no reason players (or the GM) could not invent such information for themselves. A hole in the setting is not a good excuse for playing a crazed pyromaniac cannibal psychopath.

I know but it's not that we are just missing various groups we are even lacking the some basic consensus on what good looks like in the pathfinder system which leads to inconsistent representations from group to group and even from publication to publication. When a demon is written like a devil we will all notice something is off but right now as it stands the most monk like group of the good outsiders are the agathions, the callistra is more aligned with the azata's (she has their subdomain) rather then proteans and has antipaladins, and I'm still not quite sure on what archons do that separates them from the angels that used to be a part of them in 3.5.

What I think we really need is 1-4 well written pieces on good, the organizations that ally with it, and the outsiders that represent it to give us all an even baseline to start on then we, as a community of fans and developers need to build off from there. After that we need to share these sources around with players and gm's to get everyone familiarized with this baseline and then build and share what we have come up with collectively so we can see what works and what doesn't and eventually end up with something we can all be proud of.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Tinalles wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
I would say the other big issue is the lack of support we've seen publication side in terms of good organizations, proactive good people, or large forces of good.

That's a fair point. Write-ups of genuinely good factions in Golarion are a bit thin on the ground compared to their evil counterparts.

That said, there's no reason players (or the GM) could not invent such information for themselves. A hole in the setting is not a good excuse for playing a crazed pyromaniac cannibal psychopath.

OTOH, organizations of villains make good enemies. Organizations of good heroes raise the question of why aren't they handling this problem instead of our heroes. Large forces of good, particularly ones that aren't actually governments are as much competition for the PCs as resources.

But heroes also do not work alone, these organizations can be factions that give them resources and clout that they can't get roaming about on their own. I mean we all love it when we have a king on our side who will mount a rescue mission for us when we get caught and to represent our interests to the court or having him rally an army to fight by your side holding of the villan's men while you rush in and stop his evil plans. When done right these groups only add and enrich the campaign and the world around it allowing players and gm's to really feel like they are a part of a big world and that good has a place in it. I mean think of it, you could literally have the campaign end on that climactic battle and have the next campaign start with your next group playing veterans of that war. This creates amazing depth that players and gm's just can't get enough of.


Icyshadow wrote:

My villains tend to be more pragmatic than that.

Why burn the village down when you could conquer it?

Then again, I still have a leaning to anti-villains as always.

I truly love anti-villains- maybe more than I love anti-heroes.


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Icyshadow wrote:

Alitan, you're pretty much the only one here arguing for Evil characters in D&D / Pathfinder, a game where the assumed norm is a group consisting mostly of Good characters. You can like your villains all you want, but you cannot shove them down our faces or distrupt games with your villainous characters. If you do, you'll probably get kicked out from the table you're in (or if I'm a PC at the same table, get your character killed quite quickly) if nobody agrees with your views on the issue.

I agree with you about "normal" being something non-existent, but that's where the agreements end.

And I'm sure there are other good RPG systems that far better support Evil and generally unpleasant characters out there too.

I'm having the time of my life running an evil game right now. And I had the most amazing roleplaying experiences playing in an evil game with a great guy whose roleplaying style differed very much from my own. It sounds like you have less a problem with evil, more a problem with jerks. They are, as ever, mutually exclusive.


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Hama wrote:

I have been GM-ing a one/two-shot game set on middle earth, some months before Frodo leaves Bag end. Characters were of course meant to be heroic free peoples, charged by Aragorn to make the wilderness a safer place. And, of course, i told the players this before play. And at the beginning of the session.

The game started well, they were tasked with scouting an old fortification, and after finding it full of goblins, they had an epic fight and won. They burned the corpses and went to the town of Bree. There, the "rogue" character waited for the night before beginning to burglarize people's houses, the warrior got into three bar fights, until Butterburr had him thrown out of the in, and the "wizard" threatened anyone who wouldn't do what he wanted them to do with his magic. The end result had them thrown out of the town and told that arrows will fly if they come back. And what do they do? SET FIRE TO THE FREAKING TOWN
That is where i called BS and had Aragorn and the dunedain slaughter them for joining the shadow.
Why, oh why, are people so incapable of playing normal, good people? Please share your insight.

Right here's where you went wrong. A one-two shot game does not lend itself well to heroic actions- its made for steam-venting. Moreover, you picked middle earth- it's a touchy campaign setting for all sorts of good and bad reasons. Most people I've played with had the damn books/movies shoved down their throats so damn often that they'd leap at the chance to damage the setting, even at the to the detriment of the DM.

As for normal, good people, well..to be fair, normal, good people don't become adventurers. Despite the disagreements above, adventurers ARE murdering hobos on the days when they aren't essentially somewhat well-paid assassins, bodyguards or legbreakers. If you want heroes, you're going to have to let the players know this at character creation and set up a game that will reward them in subtle ways for heroic behavior- or punish them for villainous acts. In addition to Marvel Super Heroes(the greatest super hero RPG EVAR), I would suggest Midnight(to an extent), Dark Sun(where being a hero would REALLY mean something unusual and is quite difficult and comes with interesting rewards), and Star Wars(the old D6 system where good and evil have an effect on the game via Force Points).

I would also suggest that those with strong opinions on the subject roleplay outside of their comfort zone and find out why someone may be so attracted to the "other side" as it were.


Freehold DM wrote:

Right here's where you went wrong. A one-two shot game does not lend itself well to heroic actions- its made for steam-venting. Moreover, you picked middle earth- it's a touchy campaign setting for all sorts of good and bad reasons. Most people I've played with had the damn books/movies shoved down their throats so damn often that they'd leap at the chance to damage the setting, even at the to the detriment of the DM.

As for normal, good people, well..to be fair, normal, good people don't become adventurers. Despite the disagreements above, adventurers ARE murdering hobos on the days when they aren't essentially somewhat well-paid assassins, bodyguards or legbreakers. If you want heroes, you're going to have to let the players know this at character creation and set up a game that will reward them in subtle ways for heroic behavior- or punish them for...

1) He did let them know at character creation. At least, that's what I assume "i told the players this before play. And at the beginning of the session" meant. If they weren't interested, they should have told him so. Or faked it for a couple of sessions.

2) More importantly: Don't tell me what my characters are. I do not play murdering hobos and very rarely play assassins, bodyguards or legbreakers. It's annoying to be told that again and again. That may be how you like to play. It may be a playstyle that D&D caters too, but it isn't necessary and it isn't the only one.


thejeff wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:

Right here's where you went wrong. A one-two shot game does not lend itself well to heroic actions- its made for steam-venting. Moreover, you picked middle earth- it's a touchy campaign setting for all sorts of good and bad reasons. Most people I've played with had the damn books/movies shoved down their throats so damn often that they'd leap at the chance to damage the setting, even at the to the detriment of the DM.

As for normal, good people, well..to be fair, normal, good people don't become adventurers. Despite the disagreements above, adventurers ARE murdering hobos on the days when they aren't essentially somewhat well-paid assassins, bodyguards or legbreakers. If you want heroes, you're going to have to let the players know this at character creation and set up a game that will reward them in subtle ways for heroic behavior- or punish them for...

1) He did let them know at character creation. At least, that's what I assume "i told the players this before play. And at the beginning of the session" meant. If they weren't interested, they should have told him so. Or faked it for a couple of sessions.

2) More importantly: Don't tell me what my characters are. I do not play murdering hobos and very rarely play assassins, bodyguards or legbreakers. It's annoying to be told that again and again. That may be how you like to play. It may be a playstyle that D&D caters too, but it isn't necessary and it isn't the only one.

1) You're missing the "Heroic free peoples charged by Aragorn to make the wilderness a safer place" part. In my experience, that means mercenaries. As always, YMMV.

2) I don't recall naming you specifically in my post, nor do I recall calling you at odd hours of the night to repeat that part of my post to you. Then again, I have been drinking a fair bit lately.


even if the character might be roleplayed as indifferent to the feelings of power.

the player relishes in said feelings.

so even if the character might not have initially been greedy, it will seem their greed has grown because the player wants their character to be effective at what they do and will metagame to get specific items, even when the concept wouldn't fit with it.

i will give you 2 classic examples.

Example 1. as a character. your barbarian has a backstory involving growing up with a lifelong superstititious hatred for magic. yet despite your superstitions. you metagame and completely violate it by, willingly receiving buffs, support, and healing from allied spellcasters. looting that shiny magic weapon that makes you a better barbarian, drinking potions made by allied spellcasters, and allowing a spellcaster or few to travel with you.

the metagame factor, is, your barbarian's superstitious hatred for magic is being greatly ignored so you can travel with a spellcasting ally, use magical equipment to enhance yourself, benefit from magical equipment, and use consumables. no matter how you justify it, your background is completely shattered by your use of the very thing you grew up disliking.

Example 2. your monk has personally swore a vow of poverty and cannot own more than one item of value. so what you do, is you tack all of your magical bonuses onto your one item of value for a 50% markup in price, so that you still only have a single item of value, you are tacking all the bonuses on one item, and sidestepping a loophole in your vow, so that you may not only have all the magical bonuses you forsworn, but the extra ki from your vow as well.

both of the above examples involve metagaming to gain power as a player, despite playing a character that shouldn't.

a third example

you are a Samurai from a powerful family, whom has inherited your honorable grandfather's Masterwork Katana. but despite wielding this masterwork katana, you discard it in favor of the first magical longsword you find. just because the longsword is a magic weapon and thus superior. until you upgrade your Katana later.

a bandit hired as a mercenary under the banner of a heroic cause is still a bandit and is now a mercenary as well. still greedy, still slaughtering and looting intelligent beings by the dozen on a regular basis. if anything, i listed example concepts that would be abandoned at the drop of a hat the moment the PC finds a single piece of usable magical loot that is an improvement over his concept.

Silver Crusade

@Alitan:

Sorry, dude. Been living offline for a few weeks.

No, the comment wasn't intended in any way, shape, form, or whatnot to be an alignment slam. It was just a personal comment that I am currently playing neutral characters and those characters care deeply about something. More to point out that most people believe "heroic" = "good" by definition even though that may be not-quite-correct (Wolverine, anyone?), and to express my theory of "heroes care about what happens to their world enough to interfere in it, right or wrong".

I try really hard not to judge on alignment alone; after all, our Crimson Throne post-AP campaign has my character proposing to Laori if/when all goes well and we defeat Kazavon (oops, we let him live). Whether she accepts or not...well...that's up to her.

My kid wants to play evil characters, and I can understand that. It's cool by me, but he's gotta suffer the consequences of being evil in a party full of do-gooders. :)

Silver Crusade

Addendum: and yes, evil characters can care about things, even things outside themselves. I have a whole long-winded TLDR style explanation for that, but horse dead.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
<snip>

An alternative to all three of your examples: You don't.

Not every last player out there in the world is looking for the same things from a game - so your whole argument and set of examples being so amazingly shortsighted and absolute is disappointing to see.

For example, 7 of the 9 people that play at my table would not violate the concept and role-play of any of those example characters for mechanical benefits.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

adventurers in general, regardless of alignment are Glorified Bandits

What Do Bandits Do?
They Kill intelligent beings, loot the corpses for useful supplies and wealth, trade anything deemed useless, and some might even disrespect the dead and may keep or trade slaves.

What do Adventurers Do?

the exact same thing.

in other words, there is nothing Heroic about adventuring except to those who benefit from the Bandit's effort.

the humans in Hillshire might be excited that their orcish neighbors are being slain by the dozens daily, and deem the bandits responsible heroes. but to the orcs, those "Heroes" are cold blooded murdering sadists and if those same adventurers were motivated to attack the people of Hillshire, their view of those "Heroes" would devolve into "Greedy Murderous Savages who cannot be trusted."

Quote:

even if the character might be roleplayed as indifferent to the feelings of power.

the player relishes in said feelings.

so even if the character might not have initially been greedy, it will seem their greed has grown because the player wants their character to be effective at what they do and will metagame to get specific items, even when the concept wouldn't fit with it.
...
a bandit hired as a mercenary under the banner of a heroic cause is still a bandit and is now a mercenary as well. still greedy, still slaughtering and looting intelligent beings by the dozen on a regular basis. if anything, i listed example concepts that would be abandoned at the drop of a hat the moment the PC finds a single piece of usable magical loot that is an improvement over his concept.

This applies to exactly zero Good-aligned characters I've played.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

even if the character might be roleplayed as indifferent to the feelings of power.

the player relishes in said feelings.

so even if the character might not have initially been greedy, it will seem their greed has grown because the player wants their character to be effective at what they do and will metagame to get specific items, even when the concept wouldn't fit with it.

i will give you 2 classic examples.

Example 1. as a character. your barbarian has a backstory involving growing up with a lifelong superstititious hatred for magic. yet despite your superstitions. you metagame and completely violate it by, willingly receiving buffs, support, and healing from allied spellcasters. looting that shiny magic weapon that makes you a better barbarian, drinking potions made by allied spellcasters, and allowing a spellcaster or few to travel with you.

the metagame factor, is, your barbarian's superstitious hatred for magic is being greatly ignored so you can travel with a spellcasting ally, use magical equipment to enhance yourself, benefit from magical equipment, and use consumables. no matter how you justify it, your background is completely shattered by your use of the very thing you grew up disliking.

Example 2. your monk has personally swore a vow of poverty and cannot own more than one item of value. so what you do, is you tack all of your magical bonuses onto your one item of value for a 50% markup in price, so that you still only have a single item of value, you are tacking all the bonuses on one item, and sidestepping a loophole in your vow, so that you may not only have all the magical bonuses you forsworn, but the extra ki from your vow as well.

both of the above examples involve metagaming to gain power as a player, despite playing a character that shouldn't.

a third example

you are a Samurai from a powerful family, whom has inherited your honorable grandfather's Masterwork Katana. but despite wielding this masterwork katana, you discard it in favor of the first magical...

a bandit hired as a mercenary under the banner of a heroic cause is still a bandit and is now a mercenary as well. still greedy, still slaughtering and looting intelligent beings by the dozen on a regular basis. if anything, i listed example concepts that would be abandoned at the drop of a hat the moment the PC finds a single piece of usable magical loot that is an improvement over his concept.

Oddly, I've never actually played any of those characters or seen them in my group. Maybe partly because we can see that those concepts don't work well with D&D rules?

Yes, D&D does encourage looting your enemies and constantly upgrading your gear. It's one of the things I dislike about it.

You're assuming many things about other people's games to prove your PCs=mercenary=bandit point.
Yes, we're going to loot the defeated enemies stuff. That's part of the game and requires actual rules hacks to avoid. If that's enough to make us "bandits" in your view, then we disagree and there's little point in continuing.
Other than that, our groups are rarely hired on by the heroic cause, so I fail to see why we're mercenaries.
In the game I mentioned above, my character was trying to track down a thief who had stolen an old book from his teacher. That trail led us to the enslaved lizardfolk. We then slaughtered and looted some intelligent intelligent slavers, freeing the lizardfolk. Not demanding a reward or protection money from them. Not keeping them enslaved to sell to others. Just asking them for more information about the slavers and going on our way. I guess that makes us bandits?

Touching back on the OP, was Aragorn a bandit and mercenary? The rest of the Fellowship?


Freehold DM wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:

Right here's where you went wrong. A one-two shot game does not lend itself well to heroic actions- its made for steam-venting. Moreover, you picked middle earth- it's a touchy campaign setting for all sorts of good and bad reasons. Most people I've played with had the damn books/movies shoved down their throats so damn often that they'd leap at the chance to damage the setting, even at the to the detriment of the DM.

As for normal, good people, well..to be fair, normal, good people don't become adventurers. Despite the disagreements above, adventurers ARE murdering hobos on the days when they aren't essentially somewhat well-paid assassins, bodyguards or legbreakers. If you want heroes, you're going to have to let the players know this at character creation and set up a game that will reward them in subtle ways for heroic behavior- or punish them for...

1) He did let them know at character creation. At least, that's what I assume "i told the players this before play. And at the beginning of the session" meant. If they weren't interested, they should have told him so. Or faked it for a couple of sessions.

2) More importantly: Don't tell me what my characters are. I do not play murdering hobos and very rarely play assassins, bodyguards or legbreakers. It's annoying to be told that again and again. That may be how you like to play. It may be a playstyle that D&D caters too, but it isn't necessary and it isn't the only one.

1) You're missing the "Heroic free peoples charged by Aragorn to make the wilderness a safer place" part. In my experience, that means mercenaries. As always, YMMV.

2) I don't recall naming you specifically in my post, nor do I recall calling you at odd hours of the night to repeat that part of my post to you. Then again, I have been drinking a fair bit lately.

1) It could, if they were doing it for the pay. Does it make them "murdering hobos on the days when they aren't essentially somewhat well-paid assassins, bodyguards or legbreakers"?

2) You did write "Despite the disagreements above, adventurers ARE murdering hobos " not long after I wrote one of those disagreements. So you didn't name me, but you did make a blanket statement dismissing those disagreements. And no, you haven't done it again and again, but it does come up again and again. You were just the latest example.


I think there's a difference between the petty bandits of the River Kingdoms and the pioneers from Brevoy who establish a Good nation based around the reverse of what the bandits did and planned to do with the area. Sure, both loot things that technically is not their (which is technically legal in the River Kingdoms) and solve things with violence but the heroes are given options to solve disputes with various races peacefully (including the local lizardfolk and kobolds) while the bandits would have probably just killed them too. Kingmaker as a campaign made the party look much more like heroes so far than any other one I've been in, even though it can quickly descend to murder hobo territory with some players.


Icyshadow wrote:
I think there's a difference between the petty bandits of the River Kingdoms and the pioneers from Brevoy who establish a Good nation based around the reverse of what the bandits did and planned to do with the area. Sure, both loot things that technically is not their (which is technically legal in the River Kingdoms) and solve things with violence but the heroes are given options to solve disputes with various races peacefully (including the local lizardfolk and kobolds) while the bandits would have probably just killed them too. Kingmaker as a campaign made the party look much more like heroes so far than any other one I've been in, even though it can quickly descend to murder hobo territory with some players.

Interesting. Kingmaker calls for some interesting decisions on the PCs part. I'm loving it thus far.


thejeff wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:

Right here's where you went wrong. A one-two shot game does not lend itself well to heroic actions- its made for steam-venting. Moreover, you picked middle earth- it's a touchy campaign setting for all sorts of good and bad reasons. Most people I've played with had the damn books/movies shoved down their throats so damn often that they'd leap at the chance to damage the setting, even at the to the detriment of the DM.

As for normal, good people, well..to be fair, normal, good people don't become adventurers. Despite the disagreements above, adventurers ARE murdering hobos on the days when they aren't essentially somewhat well-paid assassins, bodyguards or legbreakers. If you want heroes, you're going to have to let the players know this at character creation and set up a game that will reward them in subtle ways for heroic behavior- or punish them for...

1) He did let them know at character creation. At least, that's what I assume "i told the players this before play. And at the beginning of the session" meant. If they weren't interested, they should have told him so. Or faked it for a couple of sessions.

2) More importantly: Don't tell me what my characters are. I do not play murdering hobos and very rarely play assassins, bodyguards or legbreakers. It's annoying to be told that again and again. That may be how you like to play. It may be a playstyle that D&D caters too, but it isn't necessary and it isn't the only one.

1) You're missing the "Heroic free peoples charged by Aragorn to make the wilderness a safer place" part. In my experience, that means mercenaries. As always, YMMV.

2) I don't recall naming you specifically in my post, nor do I recall calling you at odd hours of the night to repeat that part of my post to you. Then again, I have been drinking a fair bit lately.

1) It could, if they were doing it for the pay. Does it make them "murdering hobos on the days when they aren't...

1) For the guys mentioned in the original post? Yeah.

2) Blanket statements are bad. So is taking out your frustrations on someone who does something that you don't like exactly once. Let's avoid overall badness.

Taldor

1) He wasn't paying them. They were part of a ranger company. Yuo should seriously stop calling everyone's PCs murdering hobos.

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