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Derek Vande Brake's page

Organized Play Member. 1,117 posts (1,157 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Organized Play character. 2 aliases.

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Reminds me of the joke...

A Pastor was walking past a pet shop one day when he noticed a sign in the window: "Christian Horse for Sale."
Being that the Pastor owned a large ranch, he was immediately interested, and went into the shop. The owner took the Pastor out to the back, where he saw a beautiful Arabian stallion. He agreed to allow the Pastor to take a "test run." The Pastor grabbed the reins. "giddyap." The horse ignored him. "no, no," counseled the owner. This is a Christian horse. If you want him to move, you must say, "Praise the Lord!" The Pastor did as he was told, and the horse started off on a leisurely walk. However, he soon found that the horse would not stop. "He won't answer to 'Whoa', said the owner. It's "Amen." The Pastor decided that he liked the horse, so he bought him and took him home to his ranch in the country. He saddled the horse up again, said, "Praise the Lord," and went riding into the countryside. Suddenly, the horse saw a rattlesnake crossing the path. Frightened, he reared and bolted straight for a cliff. The Pastor cried "whoa!" but the horse only ran faster. In vain, he tried one word after another. Finally, he remembered the correct command and screamed "AMEN!!!!!" just as the horse approached the edge of the cliff. The Pastor was so thrilled that his life had been saved that he raised his hands to the sky and shouted, "PRAISE THE LORD!"

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Tiefling, Orc, or Drow Paladin: not disallowed but really against type.

Aasimar Antipaladin: As above but in reverse.

Hill Giant Rogue: *hides behind a tree* "YOU CAN'T SEE ME!"

Gnome Monk: Because any race that literally dies from boredom should NOT be quietly meditating.

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SheepishEidolon wrote:

Well, you are not the first who asks to stretch the definition of a paladin or antipaladin. A common answer is 'play a warpriest, damit', and I actually agree with that. No offense intended.

There is another crossbreed between warpriest and (anti)paladin: The warpriest archetype champion of the faith. It might fit your concept well.

I have always found this answer a bit unsatisfactory. There is nothing inherent to LG or CE that allows only those alignments to have full BAB, minor casting, holy warriors while every other alignment has to settle for noncasting holy warriors or less martial/more casting holy warriors.

I always wish I could play a NG or CG "paladin".

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I'll just leave this here.

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Tacticslion wrote:

Familial bloodline lich

Wow. They used my idea from many years ago!

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Mechalibur wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:
1. This sounds a lot like D&D 4th edition, i don´t know if i like this yet.
How so? 4th edition had hp, healing surges, and action points, none of which were really like how this stamina/health system is described.

This actually sounds a lot like the CRPG Pillars of Eternity. I kind of like it.

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Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
Kick dinosaurs through windows.

You missed a golden opportunity that I shall pick up on instead...

Defenestrating dilophosauruses!

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Honestly, while I do say a haversack is a backpack, I'm opposed to the ability to make it masterwork... precisely because it increases the frequency of the paradox in my OP. Since it always weighs 5 lb. you will come across it any time there is a 5 lb. gap between the "Medium" load at one strength and the "Light" load at the next - which is the case at every strength score above 12. Having light loads in the masterwork backpack is what causes the problem, and the Handy Haversack makes everything that fits a light load.

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A haversack IS a type of backpack. The big difference is that a haversack has only one shoulder strap.

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A masterwork backpack makes you treat your strength score 1 higher for carrying capacity purposes.

So imagine the following scenario...

A person with a strength of 12 is wearing equipment and carrying a masterwork backpack with 1 lb. of stuff in it. The total weight is 50 lb. He's carrying a light load.

He drops the backpack, losing the 1 lb. of stuff plus the 4 lb. of backpack. Now he is carrying a medium load and suffers speed and armor check penalties.

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So apparently WotC has cut a deal to allow licensed content to be sold and used on Roll20. Players can purchase modules and play them all on Roll20. I think this is similar to what GameSpace wanted, isn't it?

I can't help but wonder if this wouldn't be a better model for Paizo - GameSpace seems to be well behind schedule and now your top competitors are first to workable online official gaming content.

Is GameSpace as currently envisioned still a viable route forward?

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James Jacobs wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

In terms of non-deities, there are always the Drow, as you mention. As well as most Gnolls (who are maybe a bit more overt).

Both are matriarchal and unpleasant cultures.

Matriarchal does not mean misandrist.

I'm not sure this is true. This would also imply patriarchy isn't inherently misogynist, wouldn't it? And yet, I'd argue that rule by either gender (which is what the terms mean) inherently implies one gender is fit to govern the other, which logically means one gender is superior to the other.

Matriarchy ultimately means systematic misandry, even if it is benevolent misandry.

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chocobot wrote:
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
I have always felt that a soldier or guardsman type character is best represented by the fighter class. I have had more than one character who was either military or ex-military. None of the other classes seem to fit the flavor of an infantryman quite so well.
vanguard slayer

Eh, strikes me as more the squad leader than the squaddie.

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I never played, but once toyed with, a concept I called Bunny the Barbarian. She was the embodiment of all the "spoiled princess" behavior you can think of... unless she got pissed, in which case she was a titan of death.

"Eww, go down in that icky dungeon? There's like... dirt and stuff down there! It would totally ruin my cute dress!"

"What? Hit him? But I'd break a nail!"

"Oh... my... god... I had another episode. I'm covered in blood. Someone get me a washcloth, now! No, not *that* one, I can't wipe blood off with a blue cloth, it would totally clash with my outfit!"

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I don't agree with Dawkins on much, but I do like the Dawkins scale, which holds seven positions:

1. Strong theist - this person is absolutely 100% sure there is a God. This is not an agnostic position, the person is claiming special knowledge.
2. De facto theist - this is my position on the scale, and I'd suspect that of Pascal. This person estimates the probability of there being some form of deity at much greater than 50%, but does not claim 100% certainty. It is thus an agnostic position, but the de facto theist will live their lives as though there was a god, rather than not.
3. Weak (or Leaning towards) theism - this person estimates there is a greater than 50% chance of there being a god, but not by much. It is an agnostic position with no claim of special knowledge. The person acts as though there is a god, but they are very uncertain.
4. Impartial - this person estimates there is exactly 50% chance for their to be a god or not. This likely doesn't actually exist in the populace at any point, though someone may bounce back and forth between 3 and 5 and average this over their life.
5. Weak (or Leaning towards) atheism - this person estimates there is a less than 50% chance of there being a god, but not by much. It is an agnostic position with no claim of special knowledge. The person acts as though there is no god, but they are very uncertain.
6. De facto atheism - This person estimates the probability of there being some form of deity at much less than 50%, but does not claim 100% certainty. It is thus an agnostic position, but the de facto atheist will live their lives as though there was no god, rather than so. This is, I think where Sanya (from the Dresden Files) is, and is likely where most atheists are.
7. Strong atheism - this person is absolutely 100% sure there is no God. This is not an agnostic position, the person is claiming special knowledge. There are plenty of atheists here.

Note that agnosticism/gnosticism is a claim about knowledge, not belief, as Dread Knight mentioned. Gnostics claim (or imply) special knowledge and certainty, and are associated with both 1 and 7 above. Agnostics do not make the claim of certainty, base their beliefs on estimates of probability, and can run the range from atheist to theist (2 through 6 above). In a sense, then, if we put agnosticism/gnosticism and atheism/theism on two axes (plural of axis, not axe) the above scale would form a horseshoe shape. Further, neither axis would represent moral behavior.

As to the original question, then, it seems to me that "standard" clerics would fall into the 1 category above, or at least very, very high probability levels of the 2 category. It seems reasonable to me that "atheist" clerics, who fall in the 7 category and the low, low probability levels of 6 could certainly exist. However, since their faith is literally in the absence of something, I think the only domain that really fits would be the Void domain... or perhaps simply domains important to that person particularly.

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Well, when a mommy trait and a daddy trait love each other very much...

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I have never had a problem with players drinking my milk without permission. Or with me doing it.

In all seriousness, out of all the groups I have gamed with I have seen or had very little problem with good host or guest behavior. I think the most egregious violation was my own young stupidity when, after seeing another player bringing his dog to the hosts' house every game session, I decided to bring my cat. They were good sports about it, and most of the disasters were pain on my end, so I quickly learned my lesson and they didn't need to tell me not to do it again.

Dogs can, with permission, be fine companions at a game session. Cats, not so much.

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DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Wasn't there a porn star who took up Pathfinder and joined the forums some time back? I remember everyone arguing that she wasn't really who she claimed to be and demanding proof it was her... Jenny something?

Jenny Poussin, and the behavior towards her was less than stellar.

Also, removed a few posts—let's keep this on topic, thanks.

That's not cricket!

We have people from very diverse occupations here, truly sad it went that way.

Reason to boot a player: chronic tardiness. Had to do it alas, but I wasn't nearly as bad as another dm, who would kill their character (hilariously and ignominiously) if they said they were coming and didn't. Fuzzy npc land didn't exist in his game, lying about coming carried the penalty of character death.

I'd allow the ape, if he had rudimentary roleplaying skills, he knew which dice to roll and took care of his own sheet.

122 (I think). Objectification of other players based on occupation... or any other attribute, for that matter.

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Castilonium wrote:
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
I wonder if there is a correlation between people who are okay with evil campaigns, and people who are okay with games where a given race is always okay to slaughter. Or a correlation between people who don't enjoy playing evil characters, and people who need justifiable reasons beyond fantasy racism.
There's no correlation here, you're trying to compare two different things: Comfort with playing evil, and need for nuance in morality. It almost sounds like you're hypothesizing that in order to enjoy playing evil, someone needs to lack a certain degree of maturity, morality, or discernment. Obviously that's not the case, because evil doesn't lack depth. Evil characters can just be as complicated and nuanced as neutral or good ones. People in this thread like DM Blake in post #92 have given stellar examples of evil characters with three dimensional personalities.

That is not at all what I said. I don't equate "evil" with "two-dimensional". At worst my hypothesis might suggest that different motivations and styles of roleplaying lend themselves to different moral outlooks.

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What if you get a discount? If you can buy Onyx at 20% off, do you need to buy 25% more of it?

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I had always assumed this was not possible, but in reading this thread it makes total sense that it would be. And wouldn't really be unbalanced, either.


Dekalinder wrote:
I thought for something to be allowed must have been specified within the rules? When did pathfinder become a prohibitive ruleset instead of a permessive one?

I was about to make a comment on why this was the wrong way to think of it, but I realized all the counterexamples were stuff being done by characters. In terms of stuff being done by players, this is an excellent point - generally, you can't use mechanics unless the game says you can. While archetypes explicitly allow you to do so, subdomains are explicitly not archetypes, even if they function very similarly.

So I half retract my position - I would agree you cannot by RAW. But as a GM, I would allow this in my home game.

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As an attempt to bring this thread back onto the tracks...

108. Showing up for the game session in just your boxers, because we are all friends here, right?

Edited to renumber!

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Skylancer4 wrote:
EldonG wrote:
Skylancer4 wrote:

You can still roleplay your character's motivations and enjoy the game in an evil AP. It is usually called "getting into character", it doesn't mean you are evil in real life.

Evil people can still have heroes.

YOU can. Not everybody can. The experience of roleplaying is subjective, and we are all individuals. For some, evil acts leave them uncomfortable.

Who are you to tell someone else what they can enjoy?

Enjoying the game means understanding it is a game. If you are seriously investing that much into it that you are possibly causing yourself discomfort or worse. That is a personal issue, quite probably one that should be dealt with before being involved with activities like roleplaying.

The general understanding is we are all healthy well adjusted people playing a game. A game should be fun, a social outing you enjoy regardless of the AP.

Or maybe I'm just lucky.

Regardles, the point still stands, people get "shy" about evil campaigns for no good reason the majority of the time, but don't have problems killing mercilessly as a "hero" so maybe I'm wrong about the whole well adjusted part.

Gee, thanks, Skylancer - given the story I just told, I'm glad you were able to diagnose me as having personal issues. I'll immediately stop roleplaying and go seek professional help, because I'm not having fun the same way you are!

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DM_Blake wrote:

So, uh, week after week after week, for more decades than I want to admit, I've sat at game tables. Over those decades, I've played under dozens of GMs and I've GMed for dozens of different groups adding up to probably over a hundred different players (only counting the long-duration players that stuck around, ignoring the guys who joined, didn't like the group and disappeared after a session or two).

During all that time, I've very rarely seen a "good" group. Lone Ranger, Captain America, Superman, whatever - true, blue, white-hat-wearing, save-the-damsels, and shoot-the-villain-in-the-hand "good guys". Maybe one or two players trying to play that in the group, maybe even sometimes successfully, but generally all the groups end up being much the same:

Go to other people's* homes, kill them, take their stuff. Kill their children. Loot their ancestors' tombs. Sell for profit to buy better killing machines. Rinse and repeat.

*very loose definition that includes monsters and, well, all the stuff in the bestiaries. But, frequently also includes sentient humanoids, some of which are as intelligent and as civilized as the PCs themselves.

By any true ethical standards, at most the tables I've experienced the PCs would be considered "bad guys", at least some of the time. Just because the "bad guys" choose to kill lawful hobgoblins and refer to their ethnic cleansing as "ridding the world of evil hobgolins" doesn't change the fact that those men, women, and children were living, often innocently, often minding their own business, until the PCs showed up and murdered them and took their stuff - the fact that they have yellow skin and tusks doesn't usually justify the slaughter.

Gray area? Maybe. But gray is the shade of neutral, not good.

In any case, Way of the Wicked is pretty much the same thing as I experienced at all those game tables, but it's just more often the case that the "bad guys" are just innocent people** living innocent lives.

Tighter definition mostly limited to core PC races....

I have actually argued against this mentality at the game table. Goblins attack your town? You are justified in pursuit and slaughter. But seeking out the goblin tribe who has done nothing to the humans and murdering them is not justified, is an evil act, and will have an affect on your alignment if I am the GM. And if I am in the party and playing a good character, it is probably grounds for my player to step in and defend the goblins.

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18. Attack of the killer self-harvesting turnips!

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Arcanum was a wonderful idea and terrible implementation, but still fun enough to play. But I found you pretty much had to play in turn based mode - real time, even with pauses, just happened too fast. Especially with some of the high speed weapons.

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I would definitely take a pass on this game.

I have played evil characters before, in short games, and it can be fun. However, I recall a game I played a drow ranger in. Not a ripoff of *that* ranger, this guy was an absolute bastard - but very pragmatic evil. In truth, I would have enjoyed a redemption story, and told my party such, but it didn't work out.

My story was that a bunch of mindflayers had enslaved a surface town and were using the humans as shock troops to harass a drow enclave. I was part of a force sent to stop that - not because we cared about the humans, but because their attacks annoyed us. We got into a pitched battle, and then some surface troops showed up and attacked both us and the mindflayers. My character was captured and sentenced to be executed, which is where the PCs found me. They needed to get something in the Underdark so they needed a guide, and I bargained my freedom for my services.

Over the course of the game, I convinced the rest of the party that the Shevarash cleric was the dangerous and unstable one, turning them against him; I convinced the good-aligned party leader that we had to kill a bunch of slaves because they had witnessed something they shouldn't. (I even made it seemed like I was doing him a favor, by offering to cut their throats myself, rather than making him do it.) The tiefling wizard, who had his own story of redemption and had achieved a good alignment, became neutral again under my influence. In short, I slowly manipulated the other PCs into corruption and darkness.

This campaign lasted a while, and it was the longest I had ever played an evil character. But when I roleplay, I emphasize facets of my own personality to help portray my characters. And so I spent months, on a weekly basis, bringing out the worst aspects of my own personality. And it started to seep into my life outside the game - I became more suspicious and mistrustful, I took enjoyment in the failure of others, I became more manipulative and condescending. When I realized this was happening, I started planning how to get out of the game. About that time, Pathfinder came out, and our group ended the campaign, so I didn't need to.

I don't play evil characters anymore. At worst I'll play a neutral follower of an evil deity, with a more moderate view of their tenets. But never evil - I don't like what it does to me.

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85. Homeless people - so you won't have the worst hygiene at the table!

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My favorite character was Viconia. I always made her TN in ToB. I'm a sucker for a redemption story.

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Did anybody else hear the song, "What If God Was One Of Us" when reading the thread title?

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I'm playing in a Scarred Lands game, and I'm the only one in the party who fails the save on some kind of mind altering mist. I decide my party is no longer trustworthy and all serving a titan... so I attack! The party paladin, seeing me attacking in a rage, decides to disarm me - by literally cutting off my hand midway through the forearm. The shock at least brings me to my senses. However, I'm a bit bitter OOC and especially bitter IC, thinking there were better ways to handle the situation. Especially as we had no access to a regeneration spell.

Shortly after, we are on an airship and a storm causes two characters to fall overboard, dangling by a rope - one of which is the paladin. I go over to pull them back on board. And yell, with a bit of snark, "Here grab my hand! Oh, wait..."

The group loses it.

Same game, later. We have determined the BBEG is working for the god of death and disease and is spreading a plague around the world. We are in a fort, under siege by a horde of plague zombies. The enemy leader sends an emissary to demand our unconditional surrender. I suggest our response be to send a Scroll of Cure Disease.

The group loses it. (The enemy leader laughed, too. Then set back a Scroll of Slay Living before starting the assault.)

Different game. Eberron. I'm playing a hyperintelligent yet cowardly and horny goblin. The goblin promotes a vision to lift his people up to the status of more civilized races through eugenics. Really, it's just an excuse to allow him to sleep with more women. So during some down time, I euphemistically say my character is, "improving the local goblin warrens." The GM chuckles, then starts talking about how I go through and start cleaning, dusting, making repairs, and such. Everyone chuckles... except one guy who is clueless. "I don't get it. Why is he doing housework in the goblin warrens?"

The rest of the group loses it.

Same game. The party has found a massive door that we need to get through. The only way to open it is with a lever, found down a side tunnel, that only a small or smaller creature can fit in. The problem? The tunnel is crawling with spider swarms. The rest of the party looks at my goblin expectantly, who takes one look, and decides, "Uh, I can't. It's... um... it's warded against goblins."

The rest of the group loses it. AND I succeeded on the bluff check! Though proved I was lying when a small army of shadows started attacking and the only way to escape was through the door...

Different game. 3.5 edition. I made an poor perception character - deliberately dump statted Wisdom, then took extra drawback that further reduced my Spot skill. The idea was that he was so absent minded he was just too busy inside his own head to be that aware of the world around him, but once something caught his attention he was hyperfocused on it.

The GM creates a haunted pocket dimension, accessible via a one sided rip in reality. My character becomes fascinated with the spatial physics involved. He ties a weight to the end of a rope. Throws the rope through. It goes through. He pulls it back. Goes around the rip to the far side. Ties down the free end of the rope. Throws the weighted end again. The weight lands in front of the party. He walks back to the front side. The rope now appears to stretch through the rip itself, but is entirely in the material plane. He throws the weight back into the rip...

The GM pauses, thinks a moment, and declares. "Well, now I have a headache. I have no idea what the hell happens in that case."

The group loses it.

Same game. The party is walking down a road, and sees a figure merged into a tree. Not a spirit, the guy is literally trapped in it. The party goes to check things out. I wait. The conversation begins. I wait. The GM has described the guy's situation and what curse caused it. I wait. The party is now asking further questions to see what will fix it. I suddenly speak up, "My God! There's a man in that tree!"

The group loses it. And it has now become part of our collection of in-jokes, referenced whenever someone fails to notice something really obvious.

Different game. This time I am running a Fallout PnP game. This was years before Fallout 3 and none of my players have played anything in the series, so they have no idea what to expect. I consider this a feature, not a bug, since they are clueless vault dwellers. Two hours after they leave the vault (in search of a water chip!) they are attacked by a cannibal raiding party. After the fight, and again, a mere two hours after leaving the vault, one of my players asks the rest of the party, "That brings up a good question. Is it okay if we eat people?"

The group, of course, loses it.

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37. To meet people of the gender you are attracted to!

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Manwolf wrote:

Yes it's bad when the GM uses "well everybody knows the fighter would be susceptible to mind affecting spells, but sorry about the TPK because the BBEG used Charm Person on the fighter in the first round and he killed the wizard using his full attack, then killed the cleric in the second round, then..."

I prefer to randomize the targets sometimes. If the bad guys don't know who they're dealing with, sometimes instead of simply picking the weaker looking one or stronger looking one, they just pick one based on a roll of the die.

Actually, when it is based on a feature of a class, it doesn't bother me as much. As in your example - "Hey, that's a heavily armored warrior swinging a sword around. Warriors like that are often more likely to be susceptible to mind altering magic than, say, that skinny robed dude tossing lightning around." Now, he wouldn't know a paladin from a fighter (unless the paladin was doing things like smiting, laying on hands, or adjusting the stick in his nethers) but targeting the warrior isn't exactly GM metagaming.

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Wow! Psionics is one of those things that people choose sides almost as a religious level!

So given that you seem to be openminded at the moment, Alkenstarian, have you heard the good news about our Lord Jesus Christ? ;-)

Personally, I don't like Psionics on a pure flavor level, and the fact that people are already used to standard magic, but I agree with Rynjin - I think it might actually be more balanced than the standard spell system. Narrower but more customization. I wish the default magic system was actually more like psionics.

I also find people who think it is horribly broken either a) missed some limiting element in the rules, or b) have players that nova a lot (which is even easier with psionics).

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43. Group uses laptops. Suddenly, as a GM, you get a Steam popup that one of your players, that you are sitting at a table with, has started playing Skyrim...

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Fixing the numbering from two 31s...

41. Picking your nose at the table and wiping it on the battlemat. No, it is not a random encounter with an ooze.

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20. You want to expand the hobby so you don't feel so marginalized anymore.

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29. Player ragequits because he doesn't like a GM Ruling.

As for politics, religion, etc... given the nature of the game, that kind of thing can and will come up at the gaming table. Especially when people associate moral stances with political alignments. For example, I read an article recently that tried to associate liberal politics with the good alignment, and conservative politics with the neutral alignment.

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Matthew Downie wrote:
Gauss wrote:
Where do you see that Aid Another cannot be used for ability checks?

Nowhere, but I can't see anywhere that says they can be.

"Aid Another
You can help someone achieve success on a skill check by making the same kind of skill check in a cooperative effort..."

There are rules for dying of starvation. Yet there are no rules for eating. A lack of rules doesn't mean you can't. That's why there is a GM, to figure out what kind of check - if any - needs to happen where rules do not exist.

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
It's entirely possible for a DM to run his on PC fairly. I've seen it done. I've (hopefully) done it in the past. But for me it's just too much to keep up with, what with everything else going on in a typical game session.

Please feel free to share some of those characters and what was done with them!

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Seems like the stories you hear about are of how the GM abuses his power and makes his own PC far superior to the rest of the party. But I also hear disclaimers that not all GMPCs are like this. Thought it might be nice to have a thread to share those stories of GMPCs done right!

I know it can be done, and I *think* I have had a good GMPC or two. If anything, mine tend to be underpowered.

For example, I once was in a 3.5 Eberron game where the GM position was rotated between five players. We all had characters. I (foolishly) tried to play a psion/wizard multiclass (I was going for the prestige class that combines them, forgot what it was called, but my spell/power selection sucked) and consequently my character wasn't holding up their end of things in combat. I used one of my GM sessions to kill my own character off and played something better the next game.

In another game, I ran a GMPC cleric who was focused entirely on support - summoning low-level monsters to help allies flank, buffing other party members, and healing when needed. Not only did she never steal the glory, she was deliberately built to give the glory to other players. (Too well, in fact - one of the players had the audacity to complain that she never did anything useful because she never dealt damage herself. The other players ignored that one.)

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I agree with Claxon, though honestly I might make an argument for the paladin being the better choice even if it is harder. At early levels, the paladin doesn't have too much more than the barbarian, and if she is truly new to the game, the paladin will also give her the experience of learning how the magic system works, at a slow enough pace to ease her into it - she'll start being able to cast spells around the time she's gotten the hang of the mundane stuff, and will still have 3 levels worth of play to get used to that before she has to deal with multiple spell levels.

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Swiping a few idea here...

Most evil phylactery idea I ever had was to have the lich turn a living bloodline into a phylactery. The party would have to track down and kill every descendent of this family (most of whom were innocent) in order to defeat the lich.

Obviously, this can't be done in the standard rules.

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I was recently reading the Big List of RPG Plots - which seems to cover nearly ever adventure plot - and was thinking it might be nice to have a similar list for campaign ideas. (Some of the adventure ideas from above could serve well as campaign ideas. Some, not so much.)

Please feel free to add to this with your ideas! It should be fairly generic, as with the Big List linked to above. For example, the Big Bad doesn't have to be a dark wizard, they could be a 1920s mob godfather, a modern politician, or an admiral in command of a fleet of starships.

The players are tasked with discovering - or rediscovering - a territory. They have to survive using local resources, before eventually reporting back to whoever sent them.
Common Twists & Themes: The area is already claimed by someone else, either natives or another civilization. There is some previously unknown natural effect in place (wild magic, sensor scrambling) that hinders them unexpectedly. The players aren't the only group exploring it.
Examples: Star Trek, Allan Quatermain, Marco Polo

The players are fugitives on the run! They must evade capture.
Common Twists & Themes: The players are innocent, and must prove it. One of the party is guilty, but the other players don't know. The players are guilty, but don't remember committing the crime. The players are members of some disliked minority group, and have trouble getting help.
Examples: The Fugitive, Osama bin Laden

Look What I Made
The players must build and run an operation (a guild, an empire, a business) successfully. This means defending it from threats and keeping members/customers/citizens/employees happy.
Common Twists & Themes: The players take over the operation, rather than building it, and not everyone is happy about it. Someone else is building a rival operation. Someone in the organization is a spy and they have to figure out who. The operation must be kept secret. The operation scales up over time. The operation is mobile, and the players move around a lot.
Examples: Breaking Bad, the Roman Empire, Apple Computers

In the Army
The players are an elite military group in a war. They are sent on special missions against the enemy, either in defense of their home or to fight a foreign aggressor.
Common Twists & Themes: The players are on the wrong side, but don't realize it. The players are mercenaries, and will work for whichever side pays more. Political infighting muddies the chain of command and may lead to conflicting orders. The war is a covert one and the players can't fight openly. The war is internal, either a civil war or a resistance movement. Players may have loved ones on the opposing side.
Examples: Delta Force, The Expendables, Star Wars, the Crusades

Who Am I?
The players have amnesia, and have to figure out who they used to be and why they lost the memories.
Common Twists & Themes: The players were very different before, and may not like who they were. The amnesia was their own doing. The players don't have amnesia - they were in fact just created as adults for unknown purposes. They have some special ability to give clues to their history.
Examples: Planescape: Torment, John Doe

Treasure Recovery
The players are professional treasure hunters, seeking out lost relics and taking them back.
Common Twists & Themes: Rival groups are in pursuit of the same treasure. The group's patron is actually planning to use the relics to do evil. The party is trying to destroy the item, not recover it.
Examples: Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider

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I have been looking for a Pathfinder game - most of the Meetup groups I have found tend to run other games, or PFS (which I'm not really interested in). The one game I almost got into fell apart before it began due to inability to coordinate a play time among the already few players.

I'm experienced with the game, and run an online RotRL game every second and fourth Saturday (so I couldn't meet then). But it's getting a little tiring to always run and never play. I'm good with pretty much any day from Friday evening to Sunday afternoons, except as noted the 2nd and 4th Saturdays. Looking for a twice/month regular meetup, maybe weekly depending on the location and day.

I'm 31, I work in insurance, and I'm a grad student at GMU living in Fairfax. I cannot host, for the time being, sadly.

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I'm just going to leave this link here.

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Socialist Good alignment? Isn't that, like, Chaotic Lawful or something? :D

Karelzarath wrote:

For real horror at the mind-blowing amount of wealth your character carries around, look at the wage for an average unskilled worker: 1 sp per day. At current US federal minimum wage, that's $58 per sp. So, that suit of full plate is about $870,000 and it only goes up from there.

Adventurers are the equivalent of rap stars driving gem-encrusted SUVs.

The problem with this is that the modern, largely urbanized, economy is very different from the agricultural economy in a D&D game. This is tied to the reason money was invented in the first place - to make trade easier and avoid the coincidence of wants.

Consider a druid hermit far from any settlement. He has essentially 0 need for money. His living standard is completely independent of that. A farmer isn't as independent, but he still lives largely off his own land and products. He needs some money, but not much. In a city, people are highly specialized, and can't survive without trading with others. The greater the need for trade to survive, the greater the need for money. That silver piece, then, actually represents a lot more than the minimum wage in an agrarian society, which is what most of Golarion is.

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