Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game


Pathfinder Society


Starfinder


Starfinder Society

GM house rules question


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

1 to 50 of 56 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My GM has a vast list of Bans and was wondering if anyone could enlighten me as to why some things are banned, As he states they are broken and or power gamer-ish?
Banned Spells
•Permanency
•Animate Dead
•Fly (And any spells that are similar to fly)
•Polymorph
•Gate
•Simulacrum
•Rock to Mud
•Blood Money
•All Pit spells
•Planar Ally
•Planar Binding
•Polymorph any Object
•Shapechange
•Magic Jar
•Passwall
•Black Tentacles
•Windwalk

Banned Items
•ADHESIVE
•ANIMATED
•ARROW CATCHING
•BITTER
•DELVING
•MERGING
•SLICK
•SLICK, GREATER
•IMPROVED SLICK
•TITANIC
•UNBOUND
•UNDEAD CONTROLLING
•BREASTPLATE OF COMMAND
•ARMOR OF INSULTS
•EQUESTRIAN PLATE
•FOLDING PLATE
•SOOTHSAYER’S RAIMENT
•SCARAB BREASTPLATE
•WARDEN OF THE WOODS
•BATTLEMENT SHIELD
•CASTER’S SHIELD
•CASTER’S SHIELD, GREATER
•COLLAPSIBLE TOWER
•WINGED SHIELD
•ALLYING
•ANCHORING
•CONSERVING
•DANCING
•MIMETIC
•NEUTRALIZING
•REPOSITIONING
•TRANSFORMATIVE
•ALCHEMIST’S BULLET
•BURROWING BULLET
•TEN-RING SWORD
•TANGLE BOLT
•TRIDENT OF STABILITY
•DUNGEON RING
•RING OF ARCANE MASTERY
•RING OF CRAFT MAGIC
•RING OF DELAYED DOOM
•RING OF ECTOPLASMIC INVIGORATION
•RING OF FEROCIOUS ACTION
•RING OF GRIT MASTERY
•RING OF SPELL STORING (ALL)
•RING OF SPELL KNOWLEDGE
•RING OF TACTICAL PRECISION
•RING OF TELEKINESIS
•RING OF X-RAY VISION
•STEELHAND CIRCLE
•IMMOVABLE ROD
•ROD OF ABSORPTION
•ROD OF RULERSHIP
•ROD OF SECURITY
•TRAP-STEALER’S ROD
•SUZERAIN SCEPTER
•BOUNCING METAMAGIC ROD
•PERSISTENT METAMAGIC ROD
•ANIMATE STAFF
•STAFF OF EIDOLONS
•STAFF OF PASSAGE
•Tome of Leadership and Influence
•Enchanted Eelskin
•Staff of One Hundred Hands
•Staff of Swarming Insects
•Aquatic Cummerbund
•Slippers of Cloudwalking
•Winged Boots
•Animated Portrait
•Cube of Force
•Flying Ointment
•Origami Swarm
•Portable Hole
•Salve of Slipperiness
•Sovereign Glue


I just want to get a better understanding why some things are banned and just in what way are they broken


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ask him?


I can't comment on the PF-specific stuff, but from the banned-spells list it looks like your DM is removing things which 1) win/bypass whole categories of encounters (fly-type spells), and/or 2) are incredibly versatile (polymorph-type spells), and/or 3) allow players unlimited access to the Bestiaries and all questionable content therein (polymorph, gate, planar binding).

Some of them don't clearly and definitively fit into any of the above categories (animate dead), but there may be secondary/other reasons for banning those. (He wants a heroic game, and animating the dead causes torment to the souls in question and is thus evil.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Some of these are pretty common bans. Spells that give you permanent minions (Animate Dead, Simulacrum) slow down the game and allow one player to dominate the battlefield.

Others are unusual choices, like banning all flying spells. Perhaps they're unsuited to the type of campaign he's planning. (Maybe there's a chasm you're supposed to be unable to cross, or something.)

But there's only one person who knows the real reason...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yup, Tequila has it in a nutshell.

Primarily this appears to be a DM who doesn't want outside-of-the-box thinking. Just swing your sword and cast fireball and everything will be okay. That's the type of game he's interested in running.

That doesn't make it wrong, it's just what's going on.

Silver Crusade

It looks like the GM has a particular kind of campaign in mind. Unclear what kind just from the bans.

You definitely need to ask him about the campaign and the ways that it differs from a "normal" campaign.

Some just seem strange to me. Black Tentacles is a useful spell but not one that most would consider severely overpowered.


Yeah, ask your GM about it. We could make guesses, but they'd only be guesses.

If something in particular is bothering him you could ask him about it specifically.

Though as far as the spells are concerned, for several of them I can understand:
•Permanency - Very powerful. Usually allows you to replicate much more expensive items for cheaper.
•Animate Dead - Too many Minions. I hate minions as both a player and GM.
•Fly (And any spells that are similar to fly) - At low levels this can really trivialize things. At higher levels it shouldn't be a problem. Some settings, like the one Zeitgeist games uses, just says the flight magic just doesn't work like normal and only lasts at most a minute per level.
•Polymorph - Pretty powerful buff spell, but not a good reason to ban IMO.
•Gate - More minions. Same problems as Animate Dead.
•Simulacrum - Even more minions. Potentially very abusable if you make copies of yourself and your GM doesn't change how spells and SLAs work on simulacrums of creatures.
•Rock to Mud - Not sure
•Blood Money - It's overpowered. Like definitely, you shouldn't even be allowed access to this spell unless your playing the campaign it's from (Rise of the Rune Lords).
•All Pit spells - This is rather silly
•Planar Ally - Minions again!
•Planar Binding - F&#!ing minions!
•Polymorph any Object - Poorly written rules for things that don't operate like normal polymorph spells.
•Shapechange - It's a good spell, but not overly powerful
•Magic Jar - Very powerful, with some rule problems. It's been replaced with Possession spell anyways.
•Passwall - The spell of dungeon bypassing...it can be problematic to a GM, but an experienced GM should be able to work around it.
•Black Tentacles - It's a classic, don't know why it's banned.
•Windwalk- Probably same reason he banned other flight spells.

If your GM is old school he might have banned the polymorphing spells because he thinks it works like it did in 3.5, where it was much more powerful than it is now.

As far as minions are concerned, I allow 1 combat minion per person. Whether it's an animal companion, bound minion, etc is mostly irrelevant to me. Simulacrum is one that I add some extra rules to, that reduces any spell casting or SLAs of the creature based on the hit die reduction the experience (which leaves me room to say that things like Efreeti don't have their Wish SLA if you make copies of them).


Thanks for your input I have asked him but he feels like he doesn't have to explain it to his players. Also he house ruled only 1 active/combat pet/minion allowed. Just trying to figure out his thinking since i cant see why any DM would out rite ban something verse working with your players to fix the broken-ness of a spell or abuse. Since no spell i see is really broken its the uses and abuse that make it broken/over powered.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Some of these are understandable (for example, as Claxon noted, Magic Jar in a lot of places has been replaced by the much easier to use Possession series of spells, and flight/moving through walls/etc. can just break a whole dungeon setup), but others just seem nonsensical (Black Tentacles, Polymorph/Shapechange, Bitter armour, Ring of Arcane Mastery/Grit Mastery, etc.), and the absence of summoning spells on this list baffles me considering the other things he's banned...


Claxon wrote:
If your GM is old school he might have banned the polymorphing spells because he thinks it works like it did in 3.5, where it was much more powerful than it is now.

This is the first time I've ever been refered to as old school by implication. ;)

Truly, old school is a shifting standard.

DAMadrzak wrote:
Thanks for your input I have asked him but he feels like he doesn't have to explain it to his players. Also he house ruled only 1 active/combat pet/minion allowed. Just trying to figure out his thinking since i cant see why any DM would out rite ban something verse working with your players to fix the broken-ness of a spell or abuse. Since no spell i see is really broken its the uses and abuse that make it broken/over powered.

Maybe he fears that some players will interpret "This is why I've banned this thing..." or "Let's work together on this..." as "I will give in out of frustration if you argue with me for long enough."

Or maybe he's just a father-knows-best D-bag DM, who knows? Well, I dunno, you might if you've known him prior to this experience...?


Are any of these things something you really want, or are you just curious? Honestly, I look over that list and don't see a single thing that would make me a lick of difference.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If the GM had older spell descriptions in mind, 3.0 black tentacles was really powerful. You got 1 tentacle/caster level and they would all try to grapple the same foe if there was only one target in the AoE, so 7+ grapple checks, each for d6+4. 7d6+28 per round for 1 round/level, plus all the benefits of grappled foes, was a little much for a 4th level spell. I don't think there was a level cap either.

The current version is much more reasonable.

No fly, or windwalk, but he allows teleport?

Does he just ban polymorph, but not all the various spells it duplicates? That makes little sense.

He bans the Charisma inherent bonus book but not any of the others?

Some of his banned items can be used to do some slapstick prank type things, like sovereign glue and immovable rod.

That magic item list is so extensive and inconsistent I'm surprised he doesn't just ban item creation and shopping, and control magic treasure like a Gygaxian 1e DM.


Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Claxon wrote:
If your GM is old school he might have banned the polymorphing spells because he thinks it works like it did in 3.5, where it was much more powerful than it is now.

This is the first time I've ever been refered to as old school by implication. ;)

Truly, old school is a shifting standard.

3.0/3.5 came out in 2000. While that doesn't seem like that long ago, we have to stop and realize that's almost 18 years ago. If it was a person it could vote. I realize there are plenty of people older than that who are still active, but when something is a 20 habit, it's pretty "old school". 2000 was basically when I started getting into D&D, so yes, it feels a bit old school to me when I think about the nostalgia.

Lantern Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Blood Money is a unique spell from ancient Thassilon that only appears in 1 hard to read scroll and also the end game bbeg spellbook in Rise of the Runelords.

I wouldn't allow unique spells from Adventure Paths unless we were playing that adventure path (or that the events of an adventure path has already occurred in the campaign world), especially unique spells belonging to bbegs...


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
DAMadrzak wrote:
Thanks for your input I have asked him but he feels like he doesn't have to explain it to his players.

That's probably a bigger red flag than the extensive list of banned things.


DAMadrzak wrote:
Thanks for your input I have asked him but he feels like he doesn't have to explain it to his players.....

Ummmm...I find that response VERY problematic.

My first thought followed other posters here.
Maybe it conflicts with the campaign he wants to run..
Maybe there are some things doesn't want to deal with..
Maybe he wants to keep the power level of the game low for flavor.

But when asked by his player(s)...you know, the people the he is SUPPOSED to be making sure are enjoying themselves...you get some pompous "I don't have to answer to YOU PEOPLE" type of answer?

That raises more flags to me, than fly outside the UN building.
Maybe I'm over-reacting. Does the GM otherwise provide an enjoyable and fun game?
Because, that's the kind of answer I would expect from the arrogant, dictatorial type of GM, that only cares about his own power-trip.

I've been a GM/DM for most of the 40 years I've been rolling funny dice on a table. And while I'm not above using a strong hand to keep a campaign from running off the cliff, player enjoyment is always the priority.
If I have house rules or restrictions, or want to run a different type of campaign, ABSOLUTELY I would freely discuss it with my players. I'd give reasons why (as opposed to arbitrary fiat), and be open to good ideas/alternatives or changes they propose; especially if it's going to make the game better for them.
I've changed direction (willingly), when it was obvious that some aspect would be problematic for player enjoyment.
Examples: Planning on a very low-magic game, but finding out 2 players (who usually play martials) were really looking forward to trying out spellcasters.
Or wanting to run the old Ravenloft campaign setting, and while explaining the fear/horror rules, seeing those rules personified in the faces across from me.

IF your GM has solid reasons for that ponderous (and somewhat inconsistent) banned-list of his. I am very disappointing in his reaction to legitimate questions.
Hey, maybe he's a great guy, and the group has a riotous good time together. If that's so, then game-on and enjoy yourselves.
But, if my gut reaction to his non-answer is correct, you may want to consider moving on. That would be the kind of toxic GM that ruins a great hobby for people.


walk, a ridiculous ban list that makes no sense in tandem with his response on the matter does not bode well


Claxon wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Claxon wrote:
If your GM is old school he might have banned the polymorphing spells because he thinks it works like it did in 3.5, where it was much more powerful than it is now.

This is the first time I've ever been refered to as old school by implication. ;)

Truly, old school is a shifting standard.

3.0/3.5 came out in 2000. While that doesn't seem like that long ago, we have to stop and realize that's almost 18 years ago. If it was a person it could vote. I realize there are plenty of people older than that who are still active, but when something is a 20 habit, it's pretty "old school". 2000 was basically when I started getting into D&D, so yes, it feels a bit old school to me when I think about the nostalgia.

Fair enough, there are gamers around who consider 2e AD&D new school.


It is pretty obvious that he wants casters to be blasters, not problem solvers.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Claxon wrote:
If your GM is old school he might have banned the polymorphing spells because he thinks it works like it did in 3.5, where it was much more powerful than it is now.

This is the first time I've ever been refered to as old school by implication. ;)

Truly, old school is a shifting standard.

3.0/3.5 came out in 2000. While that doesn't seem like that long ago, we have to stop and realize that's almost 18 years ago. If it was a person it could vote. I realize there are plenty of people older than that who are still active, but when something is a 20 habit, it's pretty "old school". 2000 was basically when I started getting into D&D, so yes, it feels a bit old school to me when I think about the nostalgia.
Fair enough, there are gamers around who consider 2e AD&D new school.

I resemble that remark.


Taking a complete stab in the dark, I'd say your GM is deathly afraid of player cleverness.

Beyond that, I imagine they misinterpreted several items, such as the Trap-Stealer's Rod or if they did understand them correctly, just really hated the idea and/or flavor of them.

Looking over the spells it seems they mostly hate things that give the party additional bodies or that let them bypass challenges that are no longer level appropriate due to their scope by removing some of the reasons why certain challenges are no longer level appropriate.

If they ever ran a game with any real downtime and someone tried to take Craft Construct, that would probably get added to the ban list in short order.

Looking at the spells in particular

Spoiler:

Permanency is expensive and complicated, so that could be one contributing factor. It can also be used in conjunction with Anthropomorphic Animal to make furries be even more of a thing than they already are in a fantasy world with beast people. Beyond that, there are some things you can make last forever, like Enlarge Person or Reduce Person which are buffs or maybe they don't like the idea of Wizards being able to walk around with Detect Magic up 24/7 without having to cast it and concentrate first. Who knows. It is a mystery.

Animate Dead can replicate the meatshield role and swing the action economy in the party's favor by a fair margin. Also, especially if someone chooses poorly and goes with lots of minions over a couple really strong ones, it can lead to having turns that take up too much time.

Fly is likely because they're cheesed off by people solving movement-based puzzles and challenges and Wizards and such being able to avoid melee confrontations unless the enemy melee can also fly.

Polymorph, I haven't the foggiest. It's kind of completely underwhelming to me as someone who remembers D&D 3.5.

Gate they could dislike either for being good planar travel or because they don't want you using it to get allies per Planar Ally and Planar Binding being banned. They could also fear doing things like gating in things that can then gate in other things.

Simulacrum lets you make copies of people and creatures that then serve you, which can also lead to permanent allies that, especially when it comes to out-of-combat utility but also to some extent in-combat, can be more useful than party members like full-classed Fighters or even Rogues.

Transmute Rock to Mud... They probably don't like the ability to collapse a ceiling on people in caverns. That or they really don't want Druids going around turning rock into mud and then turning it back into mud after shaping it into walls and things.

Blood Money can get around material component costs, saving the party a lot of money over time and there are several tricks that allow you to use it to generate wealth over time or even go into an infinite wealth combo. Starting at 3rd level with Masterwork Transformation to turn every weapon the party comes across into a MW weapon to add 150 gp to what you get for selling it. It also would allow one to turn a profit on buying weapons and then making them MW and selling them. Create Armaments, a 4th level spell, would be where it got really fun, being able to make MW Adamantine weapons for free given an ally with Lesser Restoration or sufficient time and selling them for profit, or even making things like Solid Gold chainmail that are worth more as raw gold by weight than as armor.

The Pit spells being banned probably is them being butthurt over someone using them in a clever way once or seeing a forum post about it and the very idea of it cheesing them off.

Planar Binding and Planar Ally can get you temporary allies that are more useful than party members that only took levels in something like Fighter.

Polymorph Any Object lets you make creatures into objects and objects into creatures and does allow for some old D&D 3.5 weirdness to crop up in how it's supposed to be applied and what it's supposed to do. I suppose they could not like you being able to change what non-valuable materials things are made out of or they could be afraid of you using it to make allies.

Shapechange is probably the only decent polymorph related spell for buffing purposes, and it offers a lot of potential utility and the ability to switch between forms to maximize that utility. So that might be it, or they may just hate shape-changing magic that's open-ended instead of limited to a specific, narrow niche.

Magic Jar... They don't want you taking over other creatures' bodies to be able to use them, which probably ties to them hating minionmancy.

Passwall they probably don't like because it gives players tools to potentially bypass certain challenges unless the GM thinks ahead to make them unusable or gives you a good reason to address the challenge head-on.

Black Tentacles I haven't a clue. It's kind of weak against level appropriate enemies, especially big ones that you'd want to use battlefield control against.

Windwalk probably goes back to them not liking people being able to bypass obstacles. I'm kind of surprised they didn't ban Greater Teleport, but I guess they might be happy with the Ultimate Intrigue nerf to teleportation.

Blood Money is probably the most inherently problematic spell, followed by Animate Dead. Permanency is probably the weirdest inclusion, since without Blood Money, it's going to barely ever get used.

I imagine the only reason Command Undead isn't on that list is because no one has ever thought or cared to try it with them.

DAMadrzak wrote:
Thanks for your input I have asked him but he feels like he doesn't have to explain it to his players.

Then the dude is likely the kind of person whom others should probably just avoid.

Although limiting things to only one minion being used at a time is a reasonable thing to save time at the table.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

1) If the DM won't tell you his reasoning, ask the other players. There may well be a few interesting stories attached....

2) Don't worry about it. Get creative with stuff he hasn't banned (there's PLENTY to work with). If you do this well you might impact future banned lists. :)

3) I don't see any feats on this list. You should ask him about those.

4) If possible, take the leadership feat & seek out a Deck of Many Things. :)

5) If you get the sense that the DM is afraid of player creativity or such, mess with him by asking for or taking something innocuous - like an unbreakable quarterstaff.
I did this to one of my DMs years ago. At the start of the game each player got to request 1 magic item. Assorted weapons/armors/misc items were requested. One gal wanted a custom amulet. Some of wich had game-breaking combo/potential or power-gaming written all over them. (and were eventually used such to the irritation of the DM)
Me? I asked for an unbreakable 1/4staff. That was it. That was it's only magical feature. Not even a + (wich since we were playing AD&D was important as some monsters simply could not be harmed except by +x or better weapons).
For two years the DM constantly wondered WHY this item. WHAT was I planning to do with it? And he had reason to be suspicious as he knew me to be a creative player from many other games (not just D&D) we'd played. If CCS was asking for something there was a REASON, be wary....
And nearly every week, through normal spontaneous play, a situation would arise where having an unbreakable stick proved useful.
And still the DM wondered.

At the end of the game he finally asked, admitting it'd been driving him nuts.
My reply: :Mission accomplished."
Oh & I pointed out numerous times it'd proven just plain useful. That I'd gotten more use out of an unbreakable staff than any of the other players had ever gotten from their special items.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

the list is a bit silly. Some obvious things were missed and some things are just GM taste(they are manageable and balanced). I'd assume that if a spell pops up that he doesn't like or is used in a clever way he'll ban it. If you are not playing a spellcaster it's not a big deal.

Be prepared for a simple martial game that stays on the map. If it's your first game that's not a bad thing (training wheels). Most of the restrictions will hit after 7th level or so... and by then you could find another game.


thorin001 wrote:
It is pretty obvious that he wants casters to be blasters, not problem solvers.

Not entirely obvious. Teleportation, mind control, invisibility and wish aren't banned.

I'm guessing the ban list is for things he's had bad experiences with in the past. E.g., the party found a way to avoid his planned traps by flying over them, or a boss battle with a group of wizards was trivialised by a single casting of Black Tentacles.


Is this a custom setting game? If so the above is pretty reasonable (I mean, I run a custom setting game and my banned list is much longer.) Sometimes there are metaphysical reasons why you want to ban things, as things in your world work differently than things on Golarion might (e.g. in my case, outsiders are different and less-accessible.)

But if the banning involves some kind of "well, it doesn't work that way in my world" don't expect the GM to explain all of it. I will not, for example, explain to my players why Raise Dead, Resurrection, and similar spells are not common, available, or existent. On one hand, I made "you come back from the dead" spells largely unavailable in order to make death more meaningful, and on another hand there's a reason for this I'm working towards revealing in the right campaign.

I admit, though "Fly (and similar effects)" gives me pause.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

Is this a custom setting game? If so the above is pretty reasonable (I mean, I run a custom setting game and my banned list is much longer.) Sometimes there are metaphysical reasons why you want to ban things, as things in your world work differently than things on Golarion might (e.g. in my case, outsiders are different and less-accessible.)

But if the banning involves some kind of "well, it doesn't work that way in my world" don't expect the GM to explain all of it. I will not, for example, explain to my players why Raise Dead, Resurrection, and similar spells are not common, available, or existent. On one hand, I made "you come back from the dead" spells largely unavailable in order to make death more meaningful, and on another hand there's a reason for this I'm working towards revealing in the right campaign.

If you refuse to even just say "I made "you come back from the dead" spells largely unavailable in order to make death more meaningful" to them like you did to us and instead get on a high horse like the guy OP has told us about, then I'm sorry, but you're being rude.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Claxon wrote:

•Rock to Mud - Not sure

•All Pit spells - This is rather silly
•Magic Jar - Very powerful, with some rule problems. It's been replaced with Possession spell anyways.
•Black Tentacles - It's a classic, don't know why it's banned.

These fall into "terrain control and enemy elimination".

The DM doesn't want flight because it removes the necessity for Climb checks and allow PCs to bypass... terrain. They don't want summons because they increase body count, slow down combat, and also... terrain control. They don't want polymorph spells (strange that gaseous form isn't banned) because those can bypass... terrain.

The DM - as is their right - wants walls to be walls, corridors to be corridors, and PCs to not alter the fight, just fight it conventionally.

The unwillingness to discuss this seems defensive and adversarial, but I don't know the DM so it could just be... something else.


thorin001 wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Claxon wrote:
If your GM is old school he might have banned the polymorphing spells because he thinks it works like it did in 3.5, where it was much more powerful than it is now.

This is the first time I've ever been refered to as old school by implication. ;)

Truly, old school is a shifting standard.

3.0/3.5 came out in 2000. While that doesn't seem like that long ago, we have to stop and realize that's almost 18 years ago. If it was a person it could vote. I realize there are plenty of people older than that who are still active, but when something is a 20 habit, it's pretty "old school". 2000 was basically when I started getting into D&D, so yes, it feels a bit old school to me when I think about the nostalgia.
Fair enough, there are gamers around who consider 2e AD&D new school.
I resemble that remark.

Heh, the OS/NS border will always be TSR/WotC for me. :)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
thorin001 wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Fair enough, there are gamers around who consider 2e AD&D new school.
I resemble that remark.

Heh, I remember 1e/2e edition wars. No internet at the time, so it was "fought" mostly in person. It was several years after 2e came out before I was able to find a group willing to actually play it due to 1e preference.

Also, it's perfectly fine for a GM to ban things as part of worldbuilding - but that comes with an easy explanation. "That doesn't exist on the world." Boom, done.

I've been working on a homebrew world where there is no magic that manipulates time, and there are in game reasons for it. It might even be possible to change that state if the players pursue it. I consider all that basic information that the players should know before character creation.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
ryric wrote:


Heh, I remember 1e/2e edition wars. No internet at the time, so it was "fought" mostly in person. It was several years after 2e came out before I was able to find a group willing to actually play it due to 1e preference.

And Dragon Forum posts. But people were bickering over the internet via email just a few years after it came out. It was just done with email listservs like ADND-L rather than web forums.

I never saw that much edition warring in person. Most of the people I knew ran a hybrid game between 1e and 2e, particularly to use the 1e ranger.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm not against banning game stoppers like black tentacles or entangle. Oof. :)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hang on... Tome of leadership and influence, but none of the other tomes/manuals?

What does he have against Charisma?

In all honesty, though, that reads like a list of “I’ve seen these abused in other games, so I won’t risk it in this one” spells and items. Creative players can really do fun things with some of those.


Broken is always subjective. One man's broken is another man's trap(weak) option.

As an example if he intends to have X number of combats, and you teleport from point A to point B then you have just bypassed those encounters. If he uses XP to level, and he wants to you level before getting to point C he now has to find a new way to get you those XP points. There could also have been a plot-based event between points A and B. Now he has to find a way to hold the story together.

I just realized he allows fly, but not teleport. That is strange. I am betting that if you use teleport he will likely ban that too. It is a lot more powerful, than fly. All you have to do is scry and fry to get that ban into place.

PS: This is a weird list, and I have no idea why I thought I saw Teleport. You will have to ask him about this list. If you can do it just join another game.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

If this GM doesn't like battlefield control to the point of banning Black Tentacles, he'd probably have an aneurysm if you showed him Etheric Shards.

taks wrote:
I'm not against banning game stoppers like black tentacles or entangle. Oof. :)

You'd best not look at that link, either...

Shadow Lodge

That is awesome.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bloodrealm wrote:

If this GM doesn't like battlefield control to the point of banning Black Tentacles, he'd probably have an aneurysm if you showed him Etheric Shards.

taks wrote:
I'm not against banning game stoppers like black tentacles or entangle. Oof. :)
You'd best not look at that link, either...

That was like the big red button in Space Madness. Argh!


I mean, Major League Baseball, for example, has a history of banning things after they prove they are a problem (e.g. the moveable outfield wall) and will just pile up ban after ban as team after team figures out a way to exploit something.

I see no reason that GMing *can't* work the same way.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, Major League Baseball, for example, has a history of banning things after they prove they are a problem (e.g. the moveable outfield wall) and will just pile up ban after ban as team after team figures out a way to exploit something.

I see no reason that GMing *can't* work the same way.

I dont think anyone has a problem with a GM making certain rules for his game.

From a general point of view those things he listed can be handled, and that seems to be the point from which the OP was questioning the decisions.

Most of us probably realize that he could have good reasons for those bans, but the GM isn't here so we can only go by what we know.

Silver Crusade

DAMadrzak wrote:
I have asked him but he feels like he doesn't have to explain it to his players.

That is a REALLY, REALLY bad sign.

I have no problem with house rules. Some things ARE overpowered, some don't fit with the game the GM wants to run, some may just be personal quirks (I hate guns in my fantasy, for example).

But I'd always expect the GM to tell the players, even if only in vague terms if they are afraid of spoilers.

Him not telling you makes me think that he is either planning a gotcha or two OR he is a non communicative control freak.


The original post said "he states they are broken and or power gamer-ish". So the general reason is clear, even if the GM doesn't remember/feel able to explain exactly how he came to that conclusion.


DAMadrzak wrote:
I have asked him but he feels like he doesn't have to explain it to his players.

That's a huge red flag, as it signals an incredibly autocratic gaming style. Hope you like that.


DAMadrzak wrote:
Thanks for your input I have asked him but he feels like he doesn't have to explain it to his players.

I wouldn't play in his games, but that is just me even though I do understand one reason why might feel that way.

He could feel like any explanations could open the door up to an argument, but he could say "This is why, and its not open to discussion" if he is 100% sure that he wont change anything.

However he didnt say that so he could just feel like the GM is the boss and that is just the end of it. That is how many "I dont have to explain anything" GM's are.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

You may need to remind him that you're all playing together. He's not your boss, but he can be "fired" as GM. If he just doesn't know how to handle those spells, that's one thing. Maybe he's fairly new and is a bit overwhelmed with all the spells and options available to the players, simply saying that he doesn't have to tell you? Is he supposed to be a friend of yours? Because most friends don't act like that. I've used or been in parties where players have used those spells. There's nothing broken or power-gamey about them.


Matthew Downie wrote:
The original post said "he states they are broken and or power gamer-ish". So the general reason is clear, even if the GM doesn't remember/feel able to explain exactly how he came to that conclusion.

Yeah, it sounds like a fair and valid reason to me. These spell cause the GM headaches, be it because the math is hard, the spells are broken, they bypass too much plot, or are open to being abused to power-game.

The explanation is that he doesn't want to deal with it, and there's no particular reason he should need to. In fact, having a big up-front list of what players can't take is a very helpful piece of communication, rather than finding out 10 sessions in that your shapechanging wizard isn't actually allowed to have Polymorph.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Reverse wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
The original post said "he states they are broken and or power gamer-ish". So the general reason is clear, even if the GM doesn't remember/feel able to explain exactly how he came to that conclusion.

Yeah, it sounds like a fair and valid reason to me. These spell cause the GM headaches, be it because the math is hard, the spells are broken, they bypass too much plot, or are open to being abused to power-game.

The explanation is that he doesn't want to deal with it, and there's no particular reason he should need to. In fact, having a big up-front list of what players can't take is a very helpful piece of communication, rather than finding out 10 sessions in that your shapechanging wizard isn't actually allowed to have Polymorph.

if the plot is being bypassed by flight(or flight like mechanics), grappling, some one turning into another creature or a non artifact item of some kind you need better plot


Lady-J wrote:
Reverse wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
The original post said "he states they are broken and or power gamer-ish". So the general reason is clear, even if the GM doesn't remember/feel able to explain exactly how he came to that conclusion.

Yeah, it sounds like a fair and valid reason to me. These spell cause the GM headaches, be it because the math is hard, the spells are broken, they bypass too much plot, or are open to being abused to power-game.

The explanation is that he doesn't want to deal with it, and there's no particular reason he should need to. In fact, having a big up-front list of what players can't take is a very helpful piece of communication, rather than finding out 10 sessions in that your shapechanging wizard isn't actually allowed to have Polymorph.

if the plot is being bypassed by flight(or flight like mechanics), grappling, some one turning into another creature or a non artifact item of some kind you need better plot

Furthermore, if the plot is being bypassed by someone having armour that is sticky, greasy, or nasty-tasting, I'm not sure whether that's a bad plot or a fantastic one.


I'm very much in the red flags camp and wouldn't play with this GM. Speaking as a GM many of these spells and items aren't exactly difficult to deal with so I would call into question his abilities/attitude to GMing; his response to the OP's request for better clarification was completely disrespectful and would be reason enough to not play. Wouldn't surprise me if you found yourself in suspiciously contrived scenarios where opponents just happen to be specifically immune to your abilities. I've had it happen as a player with a previous GM where in one fight I dropped a load of zombies into a pit then burned the rest and the next fight just so happened to be against some obscure undead creatures that could fly and were immune to fire but who's presence didn't make much sense other then the fact they were immune to a couple of my spells.


Decimus Drake wrote:

I'm very much in the red flags camp and wouldn't play with this GM. Speaking as a GM many of these spells and items aren't exactly difficult to deal with so I would call into question his abilities/attitude to GMing; his response to the OP's request for better clarification was completely disrespectful and would be reason enough to not play. Wouldn't surprise me if you found yourself in suspiciously contrived scenarios where opponents just happen to be specifically immune to your abilities. I've had it happen as a player with a previous GM where in one fight I dropped a load of zombies into a pit then burned the rest and the next fight just so happened to be against some obscure undead creatures that could fly and were immune to fire but who's presence didn't make much sense other then the fact they were immune to a couple of my spells.

Ah yes, I had a GM that said we'd be a lv12 dragon hunting campaign and to make character's that were famous dragon hunters for this. My wizard had some good DC's, spells that targeted saves especially dex, and spell penetration knowing that dragon's have good saves and spell resistance. So the first dragon I easily passed the SR and the dragon's had a less favorable chance of succeeding, the next dragon fight had their lowest save be like 35 and their reflex like almost 50. And then the dragon after that had SR of like 50. I then have no idea what the next dragon had as I had left the campaign.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Decimus Drake wrote:

I'm very much in the red flags camp and wouldn't play with this GM. Speaking as a GM many of these spells and items aren't exactly difficult to deal with so I would call into question his abilities/attitude to GMing; his response to the OP's request for better clarification was completely disrespectful and would be reason enough to not play. Wouldn't surprise me if you found yourself in suspiciously contrived scenarios where opponents just happen to be specifically immune to your abilities. I've had it happen as a player with a previous GM where in one fight I dropped a load of zombies into a pit then burned the rest and the next fight just so happened to be against some obscure undead creatures that could fly and were immune to fire but who's presence didn't make much sense other then the fact they were immune to a couple of my spells.

Ah yes, I had a GM that said we'd be a lv12 dragon hunting campaign and to make character's that were famous dragon hunters for this. My wizard had some good DC's, spells that targeted saves especially dex, and spell penetration knowing that dragon's have good saves and spell resistance. So the first dragon I easily passed the SR and the dragon's had a less favorable chance of succeeding, the next dragon fight had their lowest save be like 35 and their reflex like almost 50. And then the dragon after that had SR of like 50. I then have no idea what the next dragon had as I had left the campaign.

how about an incorporeal swarm at level 4, or a unlimited dispel magic/enervation vs a 2 person party

1 to 50 of 56 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / General Discussion / GM house rules question All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002-2017 Paizo Inc.® | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time.

Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder, the Starfinder logo, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Legends, Pathfinder Online, Starfinder Adventure Path, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.