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jpraab wrote:
Lots o Good Stuff

I just wanted to send out my kudos and thanks for keepin hope alive for your approach.

Oooo ... Willie the SnarfQuest Dragon

Growf ...

does that really need a reason?

Jonathon Vining wrote:
Man, I usually don't set DCs. I just say "roll Acrobatics" and if I feel the result was good enough the character succeeds.

This is the type of judgment I am referring to. I see less and less of this than I used to. Does the task seem daunting? Yes. Was the roll outrageously good? Yes. Success!!

One of the things I keep seeing (on boards and irl) is the paranoia that either a DM or a Player is going to screw you or abuse the rules in a way that ruins the fun of the game. Do Not Play With Those People!!!

If you do not trust the person running your game to have their players' fun and best interests at heart, then you should not be in their game. Nobody is holding a gun to your head to play with them. Walk away!! Pick the people you game with carefully enough to avoid the ones who don't care about the greater good of the game they are involved in.

If fewer people play with the douchey gamers of the world, they will either learn that they can't be douchey and expect to play or they won't be playing anymore. It is a game that is designed for fun. No fun = no reason to play.

Also, people need to go back to the top and realize that I am not talking about just things on messageboards and forums. This is not about the online community of gaming. It is about in person, face-to-face, everyday live gaming as well.

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
I don't see why we can't have rules and use our great imaginations. The rules help keep things consistent and allow us to know what we should be able to accomplish. We can then use this baseline to determine how to accomplish things that aren't listed in the rules.

This is closer to what I'm talking about. I fully agree that the rules exist to offer consistency; that's why it's a game. My issue is that too many people that I have seen playing in recent times are unable to make individualized judgments, to think their way through a situation on their own. They are paralyzed without the rules to explain it to them in agonizing detail. If someone can't make their own judgment calls in obscure situations, perhaps RPGs are not the hobby for them.

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
I have actually had a DM tell me that the paladin in full plate mail could sneak past sleeping kobolds because he said he was going to but my gnome thief/illusionist with no metal (not even his weapon was metal) could not because I didn't say I was being sneaky. He favored the other player (it was obvious from their friendship) and acted like my gnome was doing a drum solo as he walked past the kobolds. With the addition of rules for Perception (listen in 3.5), this whole situation would have been avoided. The kobolds may have been alerted but it would have been because of the clanking metal not the quiet gnome.

This situation was not caused by lack of rules of perception; this problem was caused by someone acting as an illogical and unfair judge. They were not holding up their end of the Social Contract that Abraham spalding pointed out earlier. People shouldn't play with those people as DMs ... then they will have to learn to uphold the spirit of the game for everyone they are responsible Dming. (But that's a whole other thread that we could dive into)

TriOmegaZero wrote:
You mean there was a time you didn't have rules telling you what you could and couldn't do?

I know it sounds shocking, but there used to be a time when characters didn't even have SKILLS!! You just made it up as you went along! You used to have to have a good detailed backstory that would expalin why you could do something.

Selgard wrote:

I just feel sad when someone wants to do something but can't find- or there isn't- a specific rule for it.

There are times when, for fun and realism, you just have to throw yourself on the mercy of the DM. 'I run and jump and grab the chandelier and swing across the room to kick the giant in the chest'. Sounds neat and all that but getting 10 folks to agree on what checks and their DC's should be, is nigh on impossible. Its just a DM judgment call that is made at the spur of the moment.. You roll the dice and pray for the best.

Sometimes you kick the giant, sometimes you miss the chandelier...


EXACTLY!! This is the kind of stuff I'm talking about! I think too many gamers are afraid to let their charcaters take insanely heroic risks like you're talking about because nobody can give them an exact DC statistical breakdown of what their chances are. Sometimes, taking the risk has to be the reason for playing the game, not the guarantee of success.

The DM role is to arbitrate how that risk comes out in terms of rules, but the best DM's out there are more likely to lean toward a successful feat of derring-do if the PC's are entertaining and imaginative in there description of what they want to do.

Sometimes, you may end up as the bug on the windshield, but that can be just as great of a story as succeeding.

mdt wrote:

Or, perhaps, you know, they only cast spells without a somatic component?

Or, perhaps, you know, they use their tail to make the gestures? It specifies Hand because the core rulebook is referencing PCs, who always have hands. Other creatures learn to use their own bodies. This is called evolution. You don't see an issue with a shark knowing how to use it's own magnetic senses. That's just how it works.

Nice imaginative, out-of-the-box thinking there, mdt! You got my support!

As I've glanced through the messageboards from time to time and as I've played with many of the gamers at my University, I have noticed an almost dogmatic need to have every action ever taken by a character defined solely by the Rules As Written. Weren't these games originally designed to cater to a group of people with a broadened sense of Imagination? Aren't the rules merely a means of smoothing over the gaps between that Imagination and the "Reality" of a fantasy world?

I have seen many debates about how "if X is not defined in the RAW, then how can X happen?" or "the RAW specifically say that Y works in this way". While I believe that the rules are highly important for the smooth functioning of any game, the fun and pleasure of any game should be drawn from the Imagination involved in Role-Playing out the story before us (hence the moniker "Role-Playing Game").

After all, if we are going to follow the RAW with such dogmatic fervor, shouldn't we pay attention to the earliest pages of the Rulebook:

"Above all, have fun. Playing the Pathfinder RPG is
supposed to be exciting and rewarding for both the Game
Master and the players. Adventure awaits!

The Most Important Rule

The rules in this book are here to help you breathe life into
your characters and the world they explore. While they are
designed to make your game easy and exciting, you might
find that some of them do not suit the style of play that your
gaming group enjoys."

(and please note that almost every single RPG that has ever been produced begins with a similar if not nearly identical statement.)

How about we get back to letting the Imagination guide how our characters do things rather than being led by a leash of RAW to the point were we can no longer make our own decisions. RPG's should grant the mind freedom, not confine it in a cage of "fear of not following the Law".

DrOctagonapus12 wrote:
...well, they're simply not competent enough to have done anything of REAL merit, good or evil.

Really? As compered to whom? Pukey and Princess Unimpressia? And remind me what happened to your Hellknights? I mean come on! Brother of Ladder-Fu only ran into problems when he got mauled by the skeleton dogs ... and I brought on my multiple near death experiences by heading to the back door and rolling nothing but 4's for 2 hours.

DrOctagonapus12 wrote:
the adventure path doesn't specify that the party must be good, just against the powers that be and such, so them being horrific in the methods they choose to accomplish change is meaningless.

Darn tootin we don't have to be good to fight the powers that be! Sometimes "rebel" might just mean "let anarchy reign supreme". And it's not like we aren't fighting "the good fight" ... we just are "good" while we're doing it.

Luther wrote:
Not only that but it's downright bad resource management. In Cheliax those bodies could have been put to much better uses. Their hearts would have made excellent lures to bind devils, tiefling skulls make great arcane foci, and their colorful skin can me made into fashionable leather coats.

Excellent ideas! Thanks! We were only using the FAT from the bodies; now we can expand our busineess with all of the leftovers!

M. Balmer wrote:
Anyone consider opening up a butcher shop specializing in long pig?

I'm sure we would ... but most of the players in this group had a bad experience with the Swinomancer in Carnival of Tears. Plus, that's a bit too obvious for us....although, one suggestion was to buy ourselves some guard dogs to take care of that problem. The rot grub infestation kinda nixed that idea. We may be terrible, terrible people, but we draw the line at cruelty to animals.

Slatz Grubnik wrote:
Does one really need a rule printed for each and every contingency of absolutely anything that might happen, a player might request, or a DM might have to do? I say use common sense, roll some dice, and make stuff up.

Thank You, Slatz, for saying this for me. These games are designed for people who can be creative and make their own judgements. Needing a printed rule for everything turns us all into sheep ... and the good people at Paizo are already pulling far more than their share of the load; piling on the added role of ovinomancer takes it a bit too far. Trust yourselves; trust your fellow gamers; trust your gaming group. You are capable of making your own decisions.

(stepping off the Suds of Dis box now)

It's Cheliax. Do we really need to keep our hands THAT clean? We're creative enough to keep things on the DL

The more people involved, the smaller our cut of the profits.

Well, it's not "entirely" evil (according to our self-sustaining rationalizations). I mean they ARE tieflings who were doing all their banditry in the city. Maybe if it was a bunch of Aasimar bandits we'd feel bad.

But we are terrible, terrible people.

and as far as how it works, our Witch has levels in Heal and Craft (Alchemy), and he dropped a nat 20 when he tried to figure out how to do this. So we figured that he would have the basic knowledge of how medieval soap is rendered. We will probably teach some of the rebels how to make the soap (although we will probably either do the fat removal ourselves or hire "less than scrupulous peasants to do it for us). Currently, we just want to see if we can support the Rebels in Westcrown with our soap business.

Hey, for a bunch of less than reputable rebels in Cheliax, I think we're doing pretty well.

It should also be noted that, with the exception of perhaps Squeekmaan's Tiefling Witch, yes, we are terrible, terrible people.

Our group would like some opinions on the wonderful idea we had during our CoT campaign.

Much to our DM's dismay, we found an innovative way to dispose of the multitude of tiefling Bastard of Erebus bodies. In order to fund our rebellion, we have decided to open our own soap business. Our product: The Suds of Dis. (We also have a few bars or soap made from those horrible stealing gremlins).

We spent perhaps an hour arguing/debating as to how this would work. It helps having a player (Squeakmaan) who has a working knowledge of how soap is made given his biology degree.

Our DM is afraid this will mess up our future in the AP. We players disagree. He also fears that it is too evil for some of the characters (however, some of us are "unconcerned" by this).

What do you think?

We have already begun voting for who gets throw in front of it when we try to make our escape. It's not looking good for one of the players. he already has 3 out of 6 votes for him to be the distraction.

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I have always been a firm believer in the randomness of character generation throughout all of the editions of D&D I have played. It was once a badge of honor to be willing to risk really crappy rolls for the chance of really outstanding rolls. You'd roll your stats and, since you had an outrageously strong grasp of the system, fit your rolls into a character you were comfortable playing. When did that give way to point buys that merely give you the illusion of control?

I'm just curious how everyone else feels about this topic. Generally, we use the 4d6, drop the lowest, version. It seems to work well enough. How does everyone else handle it?

I would just like to send my kudos to the designers for a fun few sessions with my players. The Pillars of 10,000 Arrows nearly killed my party (even given the fact that it was subdual damage). I had a good sized party (6 characters), and between crappy rolls on their part and good rolls on my part, only 2 remained conscious after 2 rounds of the barrage and were able to drag the everyone's unconscious bodies from the room. After they recovered, SqueakMaan's kobold bard got across the room by getting under an overturned crate from the storage area and pushing it along like a turtle.

Laso, the boots floating in the Blue Fire room worked out well considering the scummy dwarf crossbowman has made a specific point to collect all of the boots he can from the dead folk he comes across.

Thanks, Paizo!

Tiny Tina wrote:
Thanks for the thoughts guys. Way to keep it civil.

You knew it couldn't last forever.

Jacob Blackmon wrote:

What if you are Lawful Evil?
Find a Helm of Opposite Alignment and join society in a helpful way.

But if he was Lawful/Evil and he put on a Helm of Opposite Alignment, he would become Chaotic/Good and therefore hihgly unlikely to join any type of society at all, what, given the distrust of authority and thirst for independence.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jacob Blackmon wrote:
CourtFool wrote:

What if you are Lawful Evil?
Find a Helm of Opposite Alignment and join society in a helpful way.

But if he was Lawful/Evil and put on a Helm of Opposite Alignment, he would be Chaotic/Good and be highly unlikely to join a society at all, what, given the distrust of authority and thirst for independence and self-determination.

Bill Dunn wrote:
It's not Sci-Fi, but my wife and I have been enjoying the first season of Burn Notice on DVD. You can't go wrong with Bruce Campbell.

When you're a spy, you try not to watch too much of any one show at any particular location ... otherwise, the spies trying to find you my be able to track you down easier.

Samnell wrote:
The judge's excuse is pretty much the same one used to defend legal bans on interracial marriage until the Supremes threw 'em out.

Yes, I too enjoyed when those judges said "Stop ... in the naaaame of love!" .... (I do apologize ... I just couldn't hold it back ... the urge was overwhelming!)

But, seriously, I am saddened that people such as this are in positions of power, but glad that it is becoming more fringe as the years go on. Most of my students now have no real understanding of why racial issues exist. That's not to say that it's been stamped out of their generation, but it is far less prevalent and far less acceptable.

DarkWhite wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
this layer of scorchbulb resin doesn't hurt the dragonfly at all.

Awww, that's so nice, animal rights and ecosystem friendly and all :-)

James Jacobs wrote:
and then a bunch of boggards take turns lashing their sticky tongues at dragonflies and eating them.
Oh, wait ... !

Now hold on; the boggards are fully cognizant of the risks. They have chosen to possibly end up in agony; therefore, it is not actually cruelty. If someone is stupid enough to severely injure themselves through their own actions, it's not the Lickboss's fault

ah, yes ... I remember the good ole days. I used to just randomly tell my players "everyone drop me a 20." Having copies of their basic skills always helped. I wouldn't tell them what it was for. Sometimes, it wasn't even for any real reason. But I gotta tell ya, nothing gets a bunch of rowdy players to perk up, calm down, and pay attention like the phrase "everyone drop me a 20".

Personally, I was greatly thrilled by the merger of Spot and Search (and Listen) into one Perception skill. It allows everything else be determined by circumstances (is it hearing=based, sight-based, etc). I think the easiest way to handle it is in the DC of the Perception rolls. It would logically be more difficult to notice something with passive perception than with active perception ... since "active perception" denotes that you are seeking things out through concerted effort. So, why not make the DC easier for active than for passive?

For example, I would say if the normal active DC is something like 10, than the passive should be 15 (adjust that however the heck you want). There should be basic logic in all decisions made on the DM side of the screen ... that's why the DM is the one in charge of how things go down.

But just remember, a simple statement of "everyone drop a 20" always gets attention ...

... and saying it on a regular basis mitigates that whole "the DM is rolling something; I turn invisible" reaction ... it becomes a "boy who cries wolf" statement until something leaps from the shadows and smacks the unattentive around like a ragdoll.

Jabsco wrote:
I know more about these rules then any of you

I was going to comment on the debate goin on on this thread, but I'm still reeling from this comment. Really? Seriously?

Thurgon wrote:
Ixancoatl wrote:
So, to add to this (thankfully still civil) discourse, how often does "broken" come up because an individual overlooks the Role-playing intent, campaign specific, or restrictive RP disadvantageous elements of as certain rule, PrC, or game element?
More or less I agree with Set. But I also agree with you. Weird huh, but here's why. What works fine in my home game because of the RP limitations and organizational controls I might place on some PrC (say a knightly order like the Hell Knights). It doesn't make it a balanced or I guess well balanced PrC. Here's the issue, if that same PrC shows up at a convention game, in a society game or anywhere else were long term RP resrictions do not apply then the class becomes more powerful and possibly unbalanced. And that is were people will see it and say that it is "broken" and in that setting maybe it is. I'm not sure a class that is "balanced" by rp restrictions is really a balanced class. I think of the Paladin when I think about this balanced by RP.

I do agree with Set, but I think I differ on the element of "fluff" as balancing. It is a ROLE playing game which means if the "fluff" requires the concept of the charater to act a certain way (e.g. a paladin does not kill and eat babies for the pleasure of it), that is a controlling mechanism meant to limit the scope of the character taking that class/PrC. Not playing the character towards that intended role for the class/PrC is analagous to ignoring the rules sets that govern the combat elements of some other class/PrC (say, how unarmed combat works when playing a monk or reaping mauler).

Freehold DM wrote:

I agree with Set, but I also think that it is not so much "overlooking" as it is "intentionally ignoring". This also plays into my earlier argument that situational elements are ignored in favor of static or fixed situations when accusations of broken-ness are being bandied about.

This is mainly why I brought up this part of the thread. If you remove the PrC (or feat or class or whatever) from the setting it is designed to be a part of, are you similarly ignoring what the PrC (or whatever) is designed to do as though you were ignoring rules sets. Calling something "broken" in these instances leans more towards the "I don't like how this works" or "I don't understand how this works" side rather than the "this just doesn't work" side.

Cranky McOldGuy wrote:
My shotgun says differently punk!

Yeah, but your eyesight is probably so bad that you can't hit the broadside of a barn.

So, to add to this (thankfully still civil) discourse, how often does "broken" come up because an individual overlooks the Role-playing intent, campaign specific, or restrictive RP disadvantageous elements of as certain rule, PrC, or game element?

Frogboy wrote:
Ixancoatl wrote:
... now that the term has been so misused, can't we find other/better ways to address the fair amount of concerns about things that are broken? I mean we are all just looking for ways to improve our games, aren't we?
We could but good luck getting anyone to use it. "Broken" has entered the realm of gamer geek slang and is probably here to stay...for a while at least.

Yeeeeahhhhh ... I was afraid of that.

James Jacobs wrote:
Ixancoatl wrote:
Actually, shouldn't the term "take-down" be used as it is more accurate? Wolves (dire or otherwise)"trip" their targets by grabbing their legs/feet in a bite or by using force to knock someone over rather than by making them lose balance.
"Take-down" sounds a little too anachronistic to me. Like modern military jargon anachronistic. Trip works better because that's still what they're doing (rendering a walking creature prone) and because that's the name of the combat maneuver that you use to make something fall prone.

Good point. I've always just wondered about that. I've also wondered why 3.5 never better described how the wolf trip was done.

Great title. Thanks for not saying "broken".

I tend to think the strongest prestige classes are those focused on the ROLE the class is meant to play rather than the abilities they have ... but I tend to be more old school.

Actually, shouldn't the term "take-down" be used as it is more accurate? Wolves (dire or otherwise)"trip" their targets by grabbing their legs/feet in a bite or by using force to knock someone over rather than by making them lose balance.

James Jacobs wrote:

I think that, yes, it is indeed a euphemism for "I don't like that" in a LOT of cases. I think also it's a way for folks to complain that a class doesn't work the way they think it should work. Calling a bard broken because he can't hold his own in melee combat the same way a fighter can is just ignorance at work, in the same way calling a fighter broken because he can't provide bonuses to everyone else's combat powers as good as a bard can.

I think that these misuses of the word "broken" have, unfortunately, obscured a fair amount of legitimate concerns about things that are ACTUALLY broken, in fact, which is kind of frustrating. Fortunately, I also don't think that, in the PFRPG or 3.5's core rules, at least, there really IS a lot that's actually broken.

I agree; however, now that the term has been so misused, can't we find other/better ways to address the fair amount of concerns about things that are broken? I mean we are all just looking for ways to improve our games, aren't we?

sorry it took a while to get back to my thread. I had to go corru .... uhm ... teach my students some stuff. Today's lesson was "When I say you will get a Zero on the assignment if you write about topic A, I mean you will get a Zero" and why they need to pay closer attention ...

.... oh and something about how to tell if sources are good for a research paper.

Also, I am moving into a phase of wanting people to not fear speaking truth to power out of the possibility of being fired or otherwise reprimanded. I would like to hope that our community is entirely (or close to entirely) made up of people who are not afraid to say what they see as truth without fear of overwhelming retaliation, and I feel that many uses of the term "broken" are designed to bait people into speaking their minds just so they be attacked.

(Ok, yes, I know I am greatly guilty of this ... open up the free-for-all of "hello, kettle? This is the pot" references)

I think these are all strong and valid points. I like pres's point that it frequently veils a mis- or lack of understanding of the rules, but I also like the idea of the "shock value" of the term "broken".

Maybe one of my other concerns is whether or not threads are titled "broken" just to instigate flame wars (I do know a little about instigation). Shouldn't we be better than this by now? I mean, geeks, nerds, goobers, or whatever you find yourself categorized as now should be more collegial and merely poke fun in good spirits rather than viscious rancor, shouldn't we? I just frequently wonder why "broken" is the fallback position.

All of the above possibilities are most likely true, but I often feel bile is the underlying reason for "broken's" bandiment about.

CourtFool wrote:
It is easier to put in a title than, "I believe I have found a problem regarding ability A when used in situation B which has caused issues within my game."

Couldn't you just title it "Problem w/ Ability A?" and still be fine? Why "broken"?

Frequently on gaming boards (not just these boards), the word "broken" is bandied around. Also, with almost equal frequency, those boards and specific threads turn into flame wars in which the original poster refuses to (and often never intended to) debate or concede any element of their claim. Should we really be using these types of terms in civil discourse? Should we try to find more constructive ways of addressing problems we discover?

Just wondering...what do you think?

CourtFool wrote:
DMG2 kicks puppies. I have it on very reliable sources that I am not at liberty to divulge.

Any kind of puppies, or just poodle puppies?


I am giddy with anticipation at the tragedy (and comedy) I now have on preorder in the form of the Critical Fumble Deck!!!

O Glorious Day, when they arrive!

As Squeakmaan points out, "5% chance of tragedy on every roll"

I have so missed the days of a good "I just boned myself" roll of a natural 1. The closest I have come to that type of gaming joy was when one of my players rolled his 3 attacks at once and got 3 nat 1's ...
he noticed each one in a painful progression of shock, dismay and disbelief.

(why is it I only become poetical about gaming and player suffering these days?)

I would buy more at my local FLGS, but it's just not the same since Angel Leigh McCoy stopped running the good FLGS. Now, we have a LGS (the F comes and goes) that is less fun when political season rolls around ... and I already own most of the stuff he carries.

I think the archetype of the "hermit of the woods" would fit wonderfully with the monk/druid. A L/N druid would merely be one follows a strict code in regards to stewardship of nature. He could study and meditate on the patterns and complexity of nature ...

... plus the shillelagh thing would be cool ... as would barkskin on the monk.

I think I may have to try the druid/monk myself sometime

I say we rename them Bob.

Miphon wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
I feel for my poor, un-RPG-educated age group. How can they possible think 4e is better? It's okay, but it is not real Dungeons & Dragons. Gygax must be rolling in his grave, may he rest in peace.
I...can't tell if this is sarcasm or not.
It was not meant to be.
In that case, your post was not very constructive. Arguing over which editions are "real D&D" doesn't get us anywhere.

Like this thread was meant to be constructive .... have you looked back through any of it?


Larry Lichman wrote:
I KNEW Ixancoatl would bring some sanity back to the discussion...

Hey, I've been marshalling my energies for just such an occassion.

btw, LL ... that thread from last summer has reared its ugly head again... muahahaha

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