Phooey? Them's flippin words. #PointBuyOrDie
Players who've been playing RPGs for decades and who haven't learned that if you have a creature, like a familiar, that is a VITAL PART OF YOUR ESSENTIAL CLASS ABILITIES, you should keep it on your person at all times. Familiar satchels are great, but if you strap it to a mule and take that mule into combat and don't have any ranks in Handle Animal...
...somehow I'm to blame as the GM when the mule takes damage, and runs away to save itself, taking your familiar with it through the thin ice of a frozen lake.
Somehow. This. Is. My. Fault.
Rant even though I'm trying REALLY hard to be relentlessly positive:
It really irritates me when I send out a pre-campaign document that clearly states that the PCs are all brand new to a town, planning on passing through that town on their way from wherever to wherever, have no connection with the town, and that the town is not particularly relevant to the upcoming campaign, being simply a stop-over to kick things off and every single player responds with a background that has them living in the town and being a vital part of the community.
Why? Just... why?
I mean, here's the opening what I wrote:
You start in the common Taldan town of Heldren, true, but that’s because all stories have to start somewhere. Heldren is the sort of place that only exists to be between one place and the next.
You have been traveling for reasons. Those reasons will quickly become unimportant, as snow begins to fall on a mid-summer’s day. You find yourself swept up in a blizzard of bizarre events.
What about that says "You are a sage of the community of Heldren, looked up to for helping the local farmers" or "You are the community priest of Erastil" or "You live as a scavenger and trash remover on outskirts of town, where you have lived since being abandoned after a goblin raid as a baby"?
What, I ask you, in that italicized paragraph is unclear? Am I really so opaque? And it goes on like that for quite some time, with bulleted lists of the ways in which they aren't connected to Heldren and really, please just be travelers on the road. I even emailed to reiterate that they just arrived in town that day, on what they thought was a lunch-time stopover.
I get that everybody wants to make a campaign/character their own, but I literally just asked for one thing. The entirety of Golarion was theirs for the choosing, with a single exception... Which everyone dove on and made central to their background.
And again, I ask "Why... just... why?"
Yeah. I really liked her book SPQR. So when I saw she had a documentary on Caesar, I got excited. And then it opens with a caesarean. In a hospital. Ending with Mary Beard holding a goo-covered newborn.
And to be clear: I'm not grossed out. Or off-put. I just resent my time being wasted on pandering gimmicks that imply I'm an idiot who can't handle The Before-Time, The Long-Long-Ago unless it's wrapped up in the Now-Now and Pictures of Stuff From Today-Me-Time.
I started another one recently on the Impressionists. Open with guy entering fancy hotel, but you can't see the guy 'cause he's carrying a giant stack of stuff. On and on and on, we follow him through the lobby, the elevator, the hallway... he says hi to three different hotel employees, still behind a wall of stuff. He goes into the room. Turns out Monet stayed in that exact hotel room. He dumps the boxes of stuff and they turn out to be Impressionist-themed kitsch.
Ten minutes of my life I won't get back, in which I learned nothing about the Impressionists.
Even if it were 100% true, it's not remotely helpful. Which reminds me of another thing that sets my flippin muscles twitchin... when I post a question on the advice forums and someone responds by saying "I've never had that problem."
HOW IS THAT HELPFUL? HRRRGH!
Oh great. Now my pants are cut-offs. And purple for some reason.
Players who do the following (near verbatim transcript from a recent session with a player new to me, but long in the hobby):
ME (GMing; in hushed tones): You emerge from behind the wall into a dark corridor. Your lantern barely illuminates the length of the hall and you can see a body--
PLAYER: Oh my god, guys, we should all take Stealth Synergy as soon as we can. *Goes on and on and won't shut up about the feat, insisting that everyone HAS to take this oh, and the guy playing the wizard should also take Craft Wondrous Item so he can make everyone boots of elvenkind and then anyone who doesn't have Stealth as a class skill should dip a level in something that does or take Additional Traits as a feat and get the trait that gives you Stealth because that way everyone could...*
ME: Well f~@+ me for trying to build a moment. (┛ಠ_ಠ)┛彡┻━┻
Well, I know what I'd like to recommend, but with your knee it probably isn't a great idea... I'll go ahead and flip one on your behalf.
When I post something to the rules forum and explicitly say "This has to be Pathfinder-official rules only, no 3rd party supplements or GM houserules" and I get responses like "Well here's this 3rd party supplement" or "Have your GM houserule it" or "I found this 3x5 card once on the floor of a convention back in '87. It was blotchy with Mountain Dew stains and Cheetos finger prints, but I think it was notes on a rule by some developer for the defunct Chivalry & Sorcery RPG that will allow you to do what you're thinking about."
Gah. That’s unacceptable. I’d branch out from tables. And not a jury in the world would convict me for all the property damage.
Did somebody say "flipsters"?! HRNGH!