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Optimization vs. Role Playing; or, why don't people understand what it means to be an 'adventurer'


Gamer Talk

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Silver Crusade

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johnlocke90 wrote:

This doesn't sound like pathfinder at all. Pathfinder has wealth by level charts that ensure you will gain exponentially more gold the longer you adventure and made it impossible to make money as a shopkeeper. The best you can hope for is making really mediocre money using proffession or crafting that can be eclipsed by adventuring.

Granted, I never see players put this money into practical things(like a house, good food, house servants). It always goes to becoming a better murderhobo.

thejeff wrote:

That's exactly it. You can make a ton of money, but you have to put all of it into more and better gear so you can survive the next adventure, so you can get more loot to spend on better gear... etc.

When Conan got a bag of gold and jewels from the ancient temple he looted, he drank and wenched until they were gone and started the next adventure broke again.

Well the trick here too is that the world doesn't care about your Wealth By Level. There might be some god or goddess up in the portfolio looking down, but I have severe doubts that a level 3 expert is struck down for having too much stock (damn storekeepers and their outrageous wealth by level abuses by having trade goods and more gear then they can 'afford!')

In the grand scheme of things you can get richer better and more reliably by not risking your neck then by adventuring (this is why there are more storekeepers then adventurers). Risk vs Reward ties in here, for every one adventurer who makes it to the Rich As Hell position, there's a fine lining of corpses, and a lot of people consider 'Good Lifestyle + Not being eaten by a gelatinous cube' preferable to 'Outrageously Opulent Lifestyle with periodic cubings.'

Pathfinder like DnD before it doesn't quite grok the problems with being a merchant in the middle ages. Most of them are ameliorated by the constraints of being a game (just like how our pretty elfmaids don't smell, and the paladin is implied to bathe more then five times in his life).

In the 'real world' people weren't allowed free travel, the serf system like its descendant Communism tend to frown on letting people (aka productive assets) wander around uncontrolled. They were also rather concerned with starving to death as opposed to constructing trade goods.

Also, Lords in the old days used to assess ridiculously punitive taxes on everything because 1.) They tended to throw money down holes and 2.) The nobility didn't like merchants getting cash through effort to counter what they viewed as their God-given rights. Also the whole 'shouldn't you be keeping me from starving while I fight off those danged saracens/crusaders/vikings/british/mongols/orcs' thing.

As travel is easy in most campaign settings, border crossings tend to not be troublesme, and most nations don't have onerous laws designed to prevent 'losing money by export,' a merchant in the default fantasy setting should go relatively well.

The problem that does come from this though /is/ with WBL. A PC Merchant who pays attention to what sells best where, who gathers up some seed money from adventures, sells off refurbished goods, produces goods and so on, can soon find himself on top of a lucrative functional business and never need to stick his nose into a murky hole again (He in turn can hire OTHERS to do "curiousity collection" it for him) benefit from not losing out on opportunity cost and spread wealth around productively to allow people to buy more of his goods and so on. You might notice at this point he's transmogrified into one of those darn NPC quest-givers.

That being said, I doubt a lot of people would want to play Spice and Wolf the RPG, or have Grogmar the Devestation of Nations sitting idly by while the merchant discusses arbitrage rates or determines that the selling price of salt in one town allows for him to make an overall .5 gold profit after shipment fees.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

The real nub of the issue is that D&D in any of it's incarnations was never designed as a simulation game. It's essentially a wargame transmuted down to the personal level with roleplaying elements bolted on. It's no more designed to be a porrayal of pseudo midieval life than "Hercules, The Legendary Journeys" was meant as a documentary.

Gygax never claimed to have built a realistic economy, he just wanted hear that sound of hundreds and thousands of gold pieces changing hands, with players spending fortunes as fast as they got them, in order to motivate them to go out for more. Which means of course a ridicoulous adventuring economy is in play that is totally out of synch with the "standard" economy, something that's been lampshaded in more than one comic that I've read. ("Quick, adventurer's are coming! *cue in scenic montage of massive price flipping from copper pieces to gold*)

In short, if you're looking for realism in pricing, whether it's in in Basic D+D or Pathfinder, you're severely barking up the wrong tree, and playing the wrong game.


I tend -- usually playing a Rogue, so skill points to burn -- to have ranks in a Profession (Sailor in seagoing campaigns, Scribe in landbound ones) and at least one Craft, often more than one.

Mind you, I DON'T max ranks in the Profession -- stop at five, which is plenty for verisimilitude -- and Craft/Alchemy is usually the only Craft I max out, barring some oddity (I have an Alchemist with Craft/Weaver, and I'm planning on taking Master Craftsman in order to make some Wondrous Items later on in the campaign, for instance).

Not only does the Craft/Profession thing (a) represent some non-Adventurer training in my Life Before I Became a Murderhobo, but (b) means I have some skills I CAN use to support myself when not adventuring and (c) a disguise as [fill-in-the-profession skill] is REALLY more believable when you have the skill to back it.

Finally, I just like being able to Use Magic Device with Fabrication scrolls to furnish a house or stock a library, etc.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Alitan wrote:


Finally, I just like being able to Use Magic Device with Fabrication scrolls to furnish a house or stock a library, etc.

Keep in mind that you do need the raw materials that are going into the final product(s). The spell is fabricate, not conjure furniture from the air. Craft checks also come into play as well. Some of the worse houses ever made are the result of mages using fabricate. :)

Andoran

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Quote:
That being said, I doubt a lot of people would want to play Spice and Wolf the RPG, or have Grogmar the Devestation of Nations sitting idly by while the merchant discusses arbitrage rates or determines that the selling price of salt in one town allows for him to make an overall .5 gold profit after shipment fees.

Depends on what character I can play. Being the Wise Wolf would be fun. ;)


I have had a great deal of fun playing adventuring merchants.
My first taste of it was in Warhammer Fantasy where my Merchant Princess joined an already established adventuring group who had come into possession of a river trading vessel and needed a skilled trade master to handle cargo for the group (at a profit). So the GM helped me make a character to suit the groups needs. I may not have been even remotely dangerous with a spear or spell... but after I got some good cargo deals going I was keeping the group fat with extra coin. So fat that they just looked the other way when I started skimming a small fraction of the profits. They even placed a permanent body guard with me at all times after one deal went a little sideways and I nearly ended up dead after a double crossing trade contact had me ambushed at a particularly bad moment. Nothing synergizes quite so well as a solid trade background and merchant resources combined with the quick pay days of an adventurer. When that campaign had ended sure I could toss a few simple spells and was trained well enough with a spear and metal armor not to get killed if attacked again. But my real assets were a river manor house, part owner in a trading ship, two private houses (one in a prestigious neighborhood in the main city), and a list of truly powerful adventurers and nobles who were heavily invested in me and the large profits I delivered.

Silver Crusade

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I'm not optimized to be an adventurer, but between Int and rogue levels I can fake it.


My guide to making a character:

1: Determine the kind of campaign we are going to be playing. Ask the DM what monsters we can expect, what kind of environment it takes place in, and gather as much data on my hometown/home area as possible.

2: With the AP/campaign in mind, I create a character concept, something that sounds fun and interesting to roleplay, something that has a good backstory and history, etc. Then I flesh out his character with some small details and habits.

3: Now I sit down at my computer, and get to work on optimizing him. I take my concept, ensure that I have it firmly in mind, and then make it as powerful as I possibly can without going against the original design, and without getting "cheesy."

4: I look over the character, justify/explain any oddness in the abilities, and make any last adjustments and fine tuning as necessary.

This makes me have both optimization AND role-playing. There is a middle ground. The trick is to do RP first, and then optimization. Because it is very hard to explain your dwarf monk/druid/fist of the forest/sacred fist who throws shurikens. Despite it being a powerful build. ;)


LazarX wrote:
Alitan wrote:


Finally, I just like being able to Use Magic Device with Fabrication scrolls to furnish a house or stock a library, etc.
Keep in mind that you do need the raw materials that are going into the final product(s). The spell is fabricate, not conjure furniture from the air. Craft checks also come into play as well. Some of the worse houses ever made are the result of mages using fabricate. :)

Uh, do go back and read the rest of the post you quoted... y'know, where I'm talking about usually having multiple Craft skills?

O.o


If Jesus Then Aliens

There's your trope of 'if dragons then magical cyborg ninjas', albeit from an in-character angle.

Yes, I know there are magical cyborg ninjas in Golarion.

Shadow Lodge

I always put skill points into Profession: Murderous Hobo. Also, Craft: Dead Monsters.

What about the "falacy" (not really a falacy as such, but a bizarelly common assumption on these boards) that if every class and archetype presented isn't completely optimized for combat, some nimrod will start yammering about how it shouldn't exist. News flash, not everyone in the world SHOULD be a monster-slayer / adventurer / etc. Maybe the geisha isn't a combat machine because she's supposed to be a g&$@*!n geisha. As in, an NPC that's more there for flavor than for killing orcs.


This does raise an interesting question re: what PCs do with the money they earn. Do they become merchant lords or blow it all on coke and whores? This thread is going in interesting directions.


Freehold DM wrote:
This does raise an interesting question re: what PCs do with the money they earn. Do they become merchant lords or blow it all on coke and whores? This thread is going in interesting directions.

Speaking as a scion of parvenus, isn't the point to become such as successful merchant lord that you can fund business ventures and still have a fortune left over to blow on coke and hookers? The two are hardly mutually exclusive.

Speaking seriously, I've played in campaigns where becoming a merchant lord was a better use of gold than upgrading gear. Blowing it all on coke and hookers seems more an RP choice, regardless of the campaign goals. Don't get me wrong, I like RP, I just think the PC are bound to put the majority of time/effort/loot into campaign goals.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Freehold DM wrote:
This does raise an interesting question re: what PCs do with the money they earn. Do they become merchant lords or blow it all on coke and whores? This thread is going in interesting directions.

Well, there's one PC in my current group who does blow a lot of money on throwing lavish parties between adventures. And that usually involves renting out the town brothel...

Taldor

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If you want to play tabletop like a video game, and use all the gamist techniques to power up, optimize, increase in wealth and overall uberness... then you can.

If you want to play tabletop like with focus on immersive setting, verisimilitude to a quazi-medieval fantasy realm then you use more narrativist techniques focused on character personality development, character changes in beliefs throughout the campaign, 1st person roleplay, within game world that isn't optimized but instead anchored in believability of the milieu.

The two are also compatible, and often you have players coming at it from both sides.

*As for the reason 1 is more evident in most games today, is the popularity and promulgation of gamist ideas, coupled with game materials that provide such details as to enable them to be optimized. The root cause of this, I believe, is the rise of gamers without any true upbringing in the "second" style of play made most popular in the 1980s by Tracy Hickman and other designers who boosted popularity of game by setting aside tournament style play and cut-throat dungeoning by shifting focus toward the narrtivism and roleplay.

Each style, even as it pains me to say this, is a viable and enjoyable one. In my old age I no longer feel either need to be compared to one another, but are two major avenues of enjoyment based on player and GM desires.

The beauty of PATHFINDER RPG is that is is dedicated in the CORE RULE BOOK to Gary and Dave - who's writings and modules and materials (if you study them) already contained the implicit ability to play either way. Just as the game often represents immense variety in the content and stubstance of setting, story, NPCs, and the milieu, so too can the mechanics of the game be selected as to play them with a style.

Music is like this, and the analogy of saying Country Music versus Classical versus Rock n Roll or R&B is a good way to describe how players can play:
>Simulationist Tacticle Wargaming
>Power Gaming
>Narrativist/Gamist/Simulationist Roleplaying

OR.. any combination of the above and at varying levels of each dimension based on the composition of the players and GM and their preferences and skill.

That is, I play N/G/S which I feel can be described as Pathfinder RPG RAW (rules as written) with heavy focus on character development, storylines, and believability of the Gygaxian fantasy milieu (a quasi-medieval fantasy setting as described in all primary source writings pubslished in AD&D as well as Gygax's writings published by Troll Lord Games).

Finally, I will say, that I struggle from week to week, even after 30 years of GMing, because my player group isn't all cut from the same cloth nor have the same backgrounds. In a very modern sense, it is difficult to please all the players as the modules use all the elements decribed above (I balance gamist (rewards and power increases) with narrativist (the story is supreme); and simulationist (I use 100s of accessories including battlemats, 3d models, and other templates).

In a word, it is very CONTEXTUAL as to which type of game is being run. On the one hand this is very frustrating unless you're at a convention and know exactly which type of game is being run. On the other hand, it is very rewarding that PATHFINDER RPG continues the history and tradition of its game dedicated to the spirit of the game i.e. the foundations set by Gary and Dave.

In the final wash - it is important in every game to:
>Set expectations
>Choose your players wisely
>Use ongoing communication
>Attempt to give each player a bit of the type of game that they enjoy
>Honor your GM who's task is multitudinous and vast

For in the modern world we are trending toward diversity, rather than similarity, and this adds both varied wonders to game outcomes but also encourages us to say that the best games are yet to come.

Sincerely Regards and Best Wishes,
Pax Veritas


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

I've been in situations like some of you have been describing.

Recently, I've been putting the following in my prep materials before starting a new campaign.

Quote:
I give a lot of leeway about character concept and build. I try to provide a reasonable number of plot hooks and motivations. But if you want to make an anti-social, anarchist, loner, hermit; then YOU the player need to find a reason that he will 'play-nice' with the rest of the team and go on the adventure.

{I may need to add shop keeper in there also.}

I will definitely work with a player. But I've had too many players/PC's that just constantly say "my PC wouldn't care about that." As far as I can tell, they really expect me mind read what they want and then to re-write everything for just their character. Without any regard for the other players at the table.

See I'll do this... but I'll also sit there for a bit and talk to the GM about where I see my character, what does interest him, and point out some readily available plot hooks.

My wizard for the Rise of the Runelords for example -- he wasn't really interested in money, power, or adventuring at all really. In fact he was rather the coward when it came to mundane things (That demon isn't scary I know spells that can contain, control or dismiss him -- a sword to the gut? That's scary -- you can't cast well with 3 foot of steel in your guts and there isn't many spells that dismiss that.) -- he was simply looking for his fiance that had gone looking for the hidden city of gold up in the mountains and hadn't come back yet.

But I made the point of ensuring the GM knew this so he could provide those little bits and details that helped keep my character in the game.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Freehold DM wrote:
This does raise an interesting question re: what PCs do with the money they earn. Do they become merchant lords or blow it all on coke and whores? This thread is going in interesting directions.

You mean after they retire? Because during the campaign, they mostly seem to want to spare it on better equipment, to survive the rest of their career.

---

And that "murder hobo" meme needs to die a fast painful death, by the way.


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:

I know of very few adventure fiction novels where the heroes had obviously marketable skills. And I read a lot of them. Most of the time the heroes have a special set of skills and they tend to live in cheap dives precisely because their skills have a limited marketability.

If anything the Fellowship of the Ring included some highly skilled folks in comparison to most literary heroes.

Really? One of the most common tropes I see in fiction is the "Random Nobody Commoner gets dragged into Adventure™".

So a lot of them end up with Profession: Farmer/Shepherd/Scribe/Schoolteacher and Kn. Herbalism or whatever.

Freehold DM wrote:
This does raise an interesting question re: what PCs do with the money they earn. Do they become merchant lords or blow it all on coke and whores? This thread is going in interesting directions.

Hookers and blow! Hookers and blow!


Abraham spalding wrote:

... See I'll do this... but I'll also sit there for a bit and talk to the GM about where I see my character, what does interest him, and point out some readily available plot hooks.

My wizard for the Rise of the Runelords for example -- he wasn't really interested in money, power, or adventuring at all really. In fact he was rather the coward when it came to mundane things (That demon isn't scary I know spells that can contain, control or dismiss him -- a sword to the gut? That's scary -- you can't cast well with 3 foot of steel in your guts and there isn't many spells that dismiss that.) -- he was simply looking for his fiance that had gone looking for the hidden city of gold up in the mountains and hadn't come back yet.

But I made the point of ensuring the GM knew this so he could provide those little bits and details that helped keep my character in the game.

I emphasized a few points. This is great. I could certainly work with that.

I have never gotten anything like that from any of my players.


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

I've been in situations like some of you have been describing.

Recently, I've been putting the following in my prep materials before starting a new campaign.

Quote:
I give a lot of leeway about character concept and build. I try to provide a reasonable number of plot hooks and motivations. But if you want to make an anti-social, anarchist, loner, hermit; then YOU the player need to find a reason that he will 'play-nice' with the rest of the team and go on the adventure.

{I may need to add shop keeper in there also.}

I will definitely work with a player. But I've had too many players/PC's that just constantly say "my PC wouldn't care about that." As far as I can tell, they really expect me mind read what they want and then to re-write everything for just their character. Without any regard for the other players at the table.

Last game the anarchist loner that looked down on the rest of the party as "meat-shields", got left outside the castle when the dragon descended. The loner was subsequently roasted and fell off a wall trying to escape. Having to flee into the forest to escape on the lowest of hit points. A dire rabbit could take him out now, nay a rat.


magnuskn wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
This does raise an interesting question re: what PCs do with the money they earn. Do they become merchant lords or blow it all on coke and whores? This thread is going in interesting directions.

You mean after they retire? Because during the campaign, they mostly seem to want to spare it on better equipment, to survive the rest of their career.

---

And that "murder hobo" meme needs to die a fast painful death, by the way.

Once spent in game, 30,000+ gp on a giant golden jewelled fish and a fishing contest. Had to distract and keep the people happy. A crafting player almost had a stroke.


Kthulhu wrote:

I always put skill points into Profession: Murderous Hobo. Also, Craft: Dead Monsters.

What about the "falacy" (not really a falacy as such, but a bizarelly common assumption on these boards) that if every class and archetype presented isn't completely optimized for combat, some nimrod will start yammering about how it shouldn't exist. News flash, not everyone in the world SHOULD be a monster-slayer / adventurer / etc. Maybe the geisha isn't a combat machine because she's supposed to be a g@~@~*n geisha. As in, an NPC that's more there for flavor than for killing orcs.

A pro murder hobo takes profession: bandit. Just consider how useful banditry knowledge is to murderers? It is the bardic knowledge for criminals. The group I was in laughed as I kept beefing it up and up as we leveled, but I milked it.


magnuskn wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
This does raise an interesting question re: what PCs do with the money they earn. Do they become merchant lords or blow it all on coke and whores? This thread is going in interesting directions.

You mean after they retire? Because during the campaign, they mostly seem to want to spare it on better equipment, to survive the rest of their career.

---

And that "murder hobo" meme needs to die a fast painful death, by the way.

NEVER!!!! hugs murderhobo


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Freehold DM wrote:
This does raise an interesting question re: what PCs do with the money they earn. Do they become merchant lords or blow it all on coke and whores? This thread is going in interesting directions.

From another game:

Quote:

Carouse

When you return triumphant and throw a big party, spend 100 coin and roll + extra 100s of coin spent. On a 10+ choose 3. On a 7–9 choose 1. On a miss, you still choose one, but things get really out of hand.
• You befriend a useful NPC
• You hear rumors of an opportunity
• You gain useful information
• You are not entangled, ensorcelled, or tricked

The base roll is 2d6. So, hookers and blow in other words.


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Irontruth wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
This does raise an interesting question re: what PCs do with the money they earn. Do they become merchant lords or blow it all on coke and whores? This thread is going in interesting directions.

From another game:

Quote:

Carouse

When you return triumphant and throw a big party, spend 100 coin and roll + extra 100s of coin spent. On a 10+ choose 3. On a 7–9 choose 1. On a miss, you still choose one, but things get really out of hand.
• You befriend a useful NPC
• You hear rumors of an opportunity
• You gain useful information
• You are not entangled, ensorcelled, or tricked

The base roll is 2d6. So, hookers and blow in other words.

That's neat. Back in the day, many people played characters that never partied in town or hired hookers, etc. They were as celibate and sober as ascetics because they just knew that if they let their hair down, they'd wake up the next morning and all their stuff would be gone.

Cheliax

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Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

I've been in situations like some of you have been describing.

Recently, I've been putting the following in my prep materials before starting a new campaign.

Quote:
I give a lot of leeway about character concept and build. I try to provide a reasonable number of plot hooks and motivations. But if you want to make an anti-social, anarchist, loner, hermit; then YOU the player need to find a reason that he will 'play-nice' with the rest of the team and go on the adventure.

{I may need to add shop keeper in there also.}

I will definitely work with a player. But I've had too many players/PC's that just constantly say "my PC wouldn't care about that." As far as I can tell, they really expect me mind read what they want and then to re-write everything for just their character. Without any regard for the other players at the table.

We had a guy like that once. It came to a head when the party had opened a gate to a pocket dimension that was obviously leading to the next part of the story.

(Spoilered for convenience)

Spoiler:
Guy: My character wouldn't go in there.
(Collective groan from the table. This is the third time this has happened.)
DM: What?
Guy: He wouldn't go in there. It's none of his concern.
DM: Make it your concern. You want to play, you have got to be part of the story.
Guy: Hmm . . . okay . . . well . . .
DM: OK, you think of a reason he would go in there. We'll deal with the rest of the party and come back to you.
(All of our characters go through the portal and role-play a moment. A few minutes later he turns back to the guy.)
DM: Got a reason yet?
Guy: Hmm, uh . . .
DM: Suddenly a Tarrasque-Pit-Fiend-Balor appears behind you! You are clearly no match for this unholy blight and if you stay you will surely die! The only escape left to you is the portal. . . but that's irrelevant because you pissed yourself when you saw the hell-beast and slipped on the stream into the pocket dimension. You will take a -4 to all Diplomacy, Bluff, and Intimidate checks until you find a change of clothing as you vaguely smell of urine and cowardice.


Nice. :D


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Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
I will definitely work with a player. But I've had too many players/PC's that just constantly say "my PC wouldn't care about that." As far as I can tell, they really expect me mind read what they want and then to re-write everything for just their character. Without any regard for the other players at the table.

What's your feeling on "My character isn't dumb enough to do that"?

Spoiler:
So we're playing Serpent's Skull, and get to the point with the floating statues that tell you how to activate the door into the city.

GM: As you walk into the hallway there's a rainbow of colors, and a mental assault that tells you to lay down your weapons.

*I pass my Will save. Even if I hadn't, I'm a Monk so I can't exactly lay down my weapons.*

GM: When you walk into the main room you see 4 statues floating in what seems to be a purple haze of some sort. One of them tells you to lay down your weapons, sit down, and be at peace, it means you no harm.

Me (OOC): Why would I do that?

GM: ...What do you mean?

Me (OOC): The thing just tried to screw with my mind, and it's an ominous looking statue with purple smoke flowing out of the bottom of it, and it's telling me to lay down my weapons, sit down so I'm more vulnerable, and I'm supposed to listen to it?

GM: Well yeah.

Me (OOC):...Fine. I rip my hands off and throw them across the room, then I sit down next to the Barbarian and wait for the ominous and evil looking statues to move forward and touch me.

GM: Oh don't be that way.

Seriously, WHY WOULD I COMPLY WITH THAT?


Don't forget he can also attack with his feet, knees and elbows.


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3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Don't forget he can also attack with his feet, knees and elbows.

Well once I got my hands off I realized I should have done the legs first and then started from the elbows on the arms, then beat myself to death against the wall so I couldn't attack with my forehead.

But I figured the gesture was what counted.

Taldor

As a GM I really hope my players are spending money, so the incentive to keep adventuring stays relevant.

I think it is essential for players to answer the question, "why would my character keep adventuring." Their answer is key to keeping the adventures interesting and relevant.

Now, as a player myself in others' campaigns, it seems I never have enough gold to do anything or buy anything. I don't know if GMs that run games for me are cheap, but as a player I typically feel I don't have enough, so I keep saving, and it seems the more I save the less new wealth I find.

Of course, the rogue in any party is usually the wealthiest one of the bunch.


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As a player, I am rarely motivated by money or loot. Especially since it all seems to go to buy more gear to let me get more loot so I can buy more gear to quest for better loot to buy more gear...

If I can I try to build a character with hooks the GM can use, but I'm not all that good at that.
I try to compensate by having most characters be very curious and willing to help out. If there's an overall plot (or just a BBEG with a plan) once I get hooked into that I'm usually good.

Unconnected modules with little motivation beyond "You were hired to ..." or "You've heard of a dungeon ..." don't work as well.


Rynjin wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Don't forget he can also attack with his feet, knees and elbows.

Well once I got my hands off I realized I should have done the legs first and then started from the elbows on the arms, then beat myself to death against the wall so I couldn't attack with my forehead.

But I figured the gesture was what counted.

I remember in a 3.5 game, it actually became relevant whether a monk could attack with their head via headbutts. They were stuck in a trap you see and zombie girallons were closing in.

We allowed it, then later realised you can not flurry or attack with your head.


thejeff wrote:

As a player, I am rarely motivated by money or loot. Especially since it all seems to go to buy more gear to let me get more loot so I can buy more gear to quest for better loot to buy more gear...

If I can I try to build a character with hooks the GM can use, but I'm not all that good at that.
I try to compensate by having most characters be very curious and willing to help out. If there's an overall plot (or just a BBEG with a plan) once I get hooked into that I'm usually good.

Unconnected modules with little motivation beyond "You were hired to ..." or "You've heard of a dungeon ..." don't work as well.

Yes, I found escaping that cycle, and playing characters that are not interested in sacrificing all their wealth in upgrades to be rewarding and enjoyable.

Let the rats have the rat race.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
We allowed it, then later realised you can not flurry or attack with your head.

Why not?


For simple reasons really. Attacking some creatures, like oozes, deals damage to the attacker if they use natural weapons (in 3.5, Unarmed Strike was a natural weapon).

Getting some fire burns, acid, electricity, spikes what-have-you on your fists or legs isn't that hard to believe. Headbutting a creature who's very flesh damages you in return, is a little harder to just let go. You could easily melt your face, burn away your hair, melt/burn/cook/puncture your eyes etc. Also, the fact is that slamming your head into an Iron Golem, is very likely to knock you out instead.

I understand there are people who destroy bricks with their heads, but those are special bricks, set apart in a special way, and if the energy from the blow is stopped by the brick, then it rebounds into the skull. So unless you can destroy the Golem with your headbutt, logically (and realistically) the energy from the blow, would bounce back into your head, crushing your skull. If you punch the wall, the wall punches back; but if you punch through the wall, it can't punch back.


Tels wrote:

For simple reasons really. Attacking some creatures, like oozes, deals damage to the attacker if they use natural weapons (in 3.5, Unarmed Strike was a natural weapon).

Getting some fire burns, acid, electricity, spikes what-have-you on your fists or legs isn't that hard to believe. Headbutting a creature who's very flesh damages you in return, is a little harder to just let go. You could easily melt your face, burn away your hair, melt/burn/cook/puncture your eyes etc. Also, the fact is that slamming your head into an Iron Golem, is very likely to knock you out instead.

I understand there are people who destroy bricks with their heads, but those are special bricks, set apart in a special way, and if the energy from the blow is stopped by the brick, then it rebounds into the skull. So unless you can destroy the Golem with your headbutt, logically (and realistically) the energy from the blow, would bounce back into your head, crushing your skull. If you punch the wall, the wall punches back; but if you punch through the wall, it can't punch back.

Do you require the attacker to HAVE some kind of spikes or protection on their fists/feets/knees before attacking the various creatures?

I understand the 'reality' issue of damage to unarmored creatures... I played a monk type for a couple years who wore ZERO armor... it got VERY frustrating describing 'legitimate' damage to him... But really, I don't see any more realistic reason that he can punch a golem without crushing his hand then he could headbutt a golem without crushing his skull...

I like 'unarmed strikes' to be hands/feet/knees/elbow head/ WHATEVER...

Just because it doesn't make sense against a fire elemental or ooze... is no reason to take it out of your list of options against the orc or hobgoblin....


phantom1592 wrote:
Tels wrote:

For simple reasons really. Attacking some creatures, like oozes, deals damage to the attacker if they use natural weapons (in 3.5, Unarmed Strike was a natural weapon).

Getting some fire burns, acid, electricity, spikes what-have-you on your fists or legs isn't that hard to believe. Headbutting a creature who's very flesh damages you in return, is a little harder to just let go. You could easily melt your face, burn away your hair, melt/burn/cook/puncture your eyes etc. Also, the fact is that slamming your head into an Iron Golem, is very likely to knock you out instead.

I understand there are people who destroy bricks with their heads, but those are special bricks, set apart in a special way, and if the energy from the blow is stopped by the brick, then it rebounds into the skull. So unless you can destroy the Golem with your headbutt, logically (and realistically) the energy from the blow, would bounce back into your head, crushing your skull. If you punch the wall, the wall punches back; but if you punch through the wall, it can't punch back.

Do you require the attacker to HAVE some kind of spikes or protection on their fists/feets/knees before attacking the various creatures?

I understand the 'reality' issue of damage to unarmored creatures... I played a monk type for a couple years who wore ZERO armor... it got VERY frustrating describing 'legitimate' damage to him... But really, I don't see any more realistic reason that he can punch a golem without crushing his hand then he could headbutt a golem without crushing his skull...

I like 'unarmed strikes' to be hands/feet/knees/elbow head/ WHATEVER...

Just because it doesn't make sense against a fire elemental or ooze... is no reason to take it out of your list of options against the orc or hobgoblin....

Just wait until the first time a dwarf monk humps a ghost to death in your campaign...


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Thanks Abraham, now I have to go make a Succubus Monk.


ROTFL!!!!


Rynjin wrote:

... What's your feeling on "My character isn't dumb enough to do that"?

** spoiler omitted **

Seriously, WHY WOULD I COMPLY WITH THAT?

I don't know all the context.

I know some of the old modules (3.x and earlier) often assumed that the ‘band of adventurers’ would do stupid carp like that. If the GM isn’t good at adapting/modifying modules, sometimes we had to play along with silly assumptions just to make progress. Yes, he wasn’t a great GM but one us stopping the game for everyone and refusing to play just because it didn’t make sense in character for the pretend person is fairly petty.

Some modules/GM’s would have relatively naïve monsters do things like tell you they are peaceful right after attacking you. Sometimes that is to portray very different thought processes that just don’t understand people and really don’t intend to attack you anymore. Sometimes it might be evil creatures trying just to put you off guard and see if you are stupid enough to go along before attacking you.

Could be the GM screwed up and mis-described the first event. Could have been intended as powerful wave of telepathic peacefulness. I don’t know, but just a possibility.

Could also just be a GM that has a particular ‘scene’ in their mind and doesn’t realize how it is going to look to you the players.

Some GM’s and players (especially those without a lot of experience) have real difficulty with non-linear / non-railroad campaigns. When things go off what they expected, they don’t know how to handle it.

I agree, most of the characters I’ve played would not have complied completely with the order to disarm and sit. However, I would not have torn my arms off either. I probably would have said something along the lines of “I am not brandishing weapons at you, but I don’t trust you since you assaulted my mind. You attacked me first, I will need some convincing before I believe your peaceful intentions. I will just stand here over by the door on guard.”


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Here are a few examples of the kinds of things that have driven me nuts over the years.

I was the GM. Told the party ahead of time, most of the adventures would be in Underountain, a lost dwarven stronghold. One of the players decides he wants to play an elf pirate. I tell him there will be no ocean going or ships involved, so most of the skills will be useless. He says he’s ok with that. He wants to be the guy learning how to cope out of his element. Seems weird to me, but fine you can do it. After a few game session, he gets upset that I’m picking on him and won’t let his PC do anything special. He actually said that since he was playing a pirate, I should have re-written things to let him shine sometimes.

I was a player. The group (all the players including me) decide they want to play a very mercenary borderline evil campaign were they are in it for the money and power. One player ends up with a NG cleric (played almost as a lawful-stupid paladin) who spends all the time upset about all the actions and motivations of every other PC.

I was a player. Group includes a lizardman (might have been kobold) ranger who has no friends nor family, was kicked out of his tribe (for not fitting in by not being evil enough) but holds them no ill will since that is their nature, doesn’t care about power or money, is definitely not a crusading hero helping others, etc… His entire back story was to make clear that he was an anti-social, dark brooding, loner. It provided no reason for him to want to be with the group. No matter what happened or what the group wanted to do he always said something along the lines, “Why would Sithiss care about that?” It felt like the group spent almost half their time trying to contrive reasons for him to go along with them. Eventually they stopped trying. Then he was upset that they were trying to leave him out of the game just because he was playing his character’s personality. He said it was the GM's fault for not supplying him any motivation. None of us could see any motivation for that character to do anything but sit in a bog and rot.

I was GM. PC Kender rogue. I won’t go into this except to say he played the stereotype to the hilt. Drove the other players nuts and destroyed all their interpersonal relationships and plans. The group almost broke up over this one. Just because it is amusing to read about in a novel does not make it a fun companion to try to accomplish things with. I was told that, as GM, I had not provided enough reasons for the kender to behave and want to go along with the plans and activities.

Edit: Sorry for the length. When I get started on some topics, I find it difficult to shut up.


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Kd'M:

I hope that last instance taught you a very valuable lesson.

No Kender. Never. Not negotiable.

As for Sithiss... the reason you would care about that is that your corner of the gaming table is going to be a very lonely, boring place if you don't shape up and play nice. Srsly.

As a GM, I have -- before the game begins -- done everything in my power to set up a fun and engaging game. It is NOT the GM's job to spoon-feed interest into your special, snowflake, psychopathic-loner character's mouth.

[/rant... sorry, button pushed there]

Really, if someone refuses to engage in the game, I let them stew in the corner doing nothing, AND greet their complaints with "Sorry, running a game here, b!%#! afterwards." Afterwards, I will listen to them complain for about five minutes, and then shut them up and point out that they could have been playing with everybody else...

If they pull up their big-adventurer pants and play nice the next session, I will go out of my way to give them some shiney moments as a reward.


I have met exactly one player that I felt could run a Kender so it was amusing without ruining the game for every one else. No, it is not me.

So I don't allow them or even when someone starts describing their character similarly (without using the word Kender) I put the nix stamp on it.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
KenderKin wrote:

TOZ you were on a chair....

Wicker or canvas?

Canvas. Wicker does that creaking crap that sets your teeth on edge.

Wicker rocking chair.

Who does this? Why? Why?!?


KENDER 4 LIFE!!!

Shadow Lodge

If WBL is treated as a rule, and not merely a suggestion, then Ye Olde Magik Shoppe becomes an impossibility. Even assuming that all such shops are owned by20th level characters, the entire inventory's worth cannot exceed 440,000 gp.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kthulhu wrote:
If WBL is treated as a rule, and not merely a suggestion, then Ye Olde Magik Shoppe becomes an impossibility. Even assuming that all such shops are owned by 20th level characters, the entire inventory's worth cannot exceed 440,000 gp.

...and so another plot hole was found.


pres man wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
We allowed it, then later realised you can not flurry or attack with your head.
Why not?

Turns out no, from what I read at the time.


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

Here are a few examples of the kinds of things that have driven me nuts over the years.

I was the GM. Told the party ahead of time, most of the adventures would be in Underountain, a lost dwarven stronghold. One of the players decides he wants to play an elf pirate. I tell him there will be no ocean going or ships involved, so most of the skills will be useless. He says he’s ok with that. He wants to be the guy learning how to cope out of his element. Seems weird to me, but fine you can do it. After a few game session, he gets upset that I’m picking on him and won’t let his PC do anything special. He actually said that since he was playing a pirate, I should have re-written things to let him shine sometimes.

I was a player. The group (all the players including me) decide they want to play a very mercenary borderline evil campaign were they are in it for the money and power. One player ends up with a NG cleric (played almost as a lawful-stupid paladin) who spends all the time upset about all the actions and motivations of every other PC.

I was a player. Group includes a lizardman (might have been kobold) ranger who has no friends nor family, was kicked out of his tribe (for not fitting in by not being evil enough) but holds them no ill will since that is their nature, doesn’t care about power or money, is definitely not a crusading hero helping others, etc… His entire back story was to make clear that he was an anti-social, dark brooding, loner. It provided no reason for him to want to be with the group. No matter what happened or what the group wanted to do he always said something along the lines, “Why would Sithiss care about that?” It felt like the group spent almost half their time trying to contrive reasons for him to go along with them. Eventually they stopped trying. Then he was upset that they were trying to leave him out of the game just because he was playing his character’s personality. He said it was the GM's fault for not supplying him any motivation. None of us could see any motivation...

Just use the kender for crossbow practice. If a player's character wants to be a sabotaging hassle, have them kicked from the adventuring party (gee, you will have to make another character, one that isn't a loon or we kick them too) or killed. For the xp and peace of mind--which could make a good shirt.

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