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220 posts. Alias of Aslaug.


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I feel like I'm sticking my head in a noose by saying this ... but I don't see this as being a problem that should have escalated to this level.

However, I also acknowledge that not all groups function the same way.

PvP is an integral part of any game I run. That's not to say that it should necessarily happen, but if there is a reason for it, then it happens. I do not block the players from engaging in it. If they agree beforehand that they won't do it, I'll accept this as their wishes, but I will politely and vocally disagree.

PvP is a very useful tool, and it does not necessarily result in player death. Any action taken by one character to the detriment of another can be classified as PvP. Whether this is stealing, ratting someone you character doesn't like IC out to his arch enemy or the city guards in case he's done something wrong, turning around In Character and punching his toon in the face to start a bare-knuckle brawl because he did something that ticked your character off or yes ... having your character draw a weapon and trying to kill the offending git, are all viable actions in character because they are all things that could legitimately happen.

You play a greedy character, you say ... someone who would try to nick stuff from the other player characters.

Sure, then you play such a character. I've had that exact thing happen in several of my groups and yes, it can lead to hurt feelings when the other players can legitimately see that they are being scammed or stolen from, IC, but frankly, they are taking something that should remain In Character and letting it bleed over into Real Life, and that is never cool. Such players need to learn how to differentiate between IC and OOC, and not to equate the actions of a player character with the actions of a player. Because my character steals and murders, does not mean I would steal and murder.

So I would have no issue with a character being played that way.

However ...

If you play a character who actively acts to the detriment of the other party members, you have to be ready to face the music and you have to be ready to accept the direct consequences of your actions. If one of the other characters notices you stealing and decides that you're not worth having around, then tough ... deal with it. You made the choice to make a character who would do that sort of thing.

One of the, in my personal experience, most annoying tropes in RP is the idea that "everyone in the party loves each other like brothers and sisters". That we're all "best friends evah" and that consequently, you should accept everything the others do without protest.

Why don't you just make clones of each others' characters, then? Even best friends can argue. Even best friends can fall out and stop being friends. Marriages fall by the wayside, lovers leave one another, family disowns family. Why on EARTH (or on any fictional game-world of your choice) would this be different In Character?

Here's a counter-question for you:

You ask what you should do. Whether to make a new character or return with the tiefling and hash things out.

What I want to know is: why should the rest of the group accept the tiefling back after he basically starts his relationship with them by trying to steal from them? They don't even know him yet. For all they know, In Character, he just turned himself into an enemy.

In fact, why should ANY group EVER have to simply say "Oh, that's a player character. That means I can't tell him I don't want him around anymore"?

Of course your character can tell another player's character that. A character is perfectly free to act contrary to another character's best interests.

But doing so means you have to be prepared to deal with the fallout afterwards.

If you and your group can't figure out a way to separate IC from OOC, and that you therefore worry that this will lead to hurt feelings IRL, you have a serious problem right there. One which you need to work on before even considering playing with them again. Because THAT is a one way road to ToxiCity.

If you, as a group, feel that the only way to continue playing is to make an arrangement in which no character is ever allowed to do anything to hurt, upset or offend another character, then make such a deal and honour it, and see if you can continue to have fun that way. If you can, then more power to you.

But unless such an arrangement was already in place, the druid is acting like a spoiled brat by taking an IC issue OOC.

Roleplaying is a game. Nothing else. Nothing we do In Character should ever be allowed to bleed over into a Real Life context. It does not sound like your group is aware of this.

133. Your dice have developed sentience of their own (an all too common, yet little-discussed problem) and are conspiring to make your life miserable.

Bonus information: threatening them with three hours in the freezer usually helps. If it doesn't, follow through on the threat. If you live north of the Polar Circle, you can simply threaten to leave them out in the cold if it's winter-time.

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Nearyn wrote:
** spoiler omitted **...

Being the person running the game Nearyn is referring to in his spoiler, I can only say that yes, it works well. There were a few issues early on, but the main issue isn't with the characters in question running around butchering people wholesale for the fun of it ... but the fact that they wouldn't see a moral problem in doing so.

They don't do it because it'd lead to more problems than it's worth, and because they don't want to see their comrades get into trouble, but to them, life is cheap, even worthless, by its own merit, but also that life can have value if it is lived for a reason and with purpose.

Nearyn once explained their take on life as this:

Imagine two similar situations, where either of the twins have an city guard disarmed, down on his knees and begging for his life.

The first guard pleads for his life, saying "don't kill me, I don't want to die", and the PC asks him "Why shouldn't I kill you?". The guard replies to this: "I'm not ready to die yet. I've got so much life left to live".

That guy's dead the very next second. There's no immediate reason for him to live on.

The second situation plays out identically, but the guard replies to the "why not?"-question by saying "Because I have a wife and three children, who have no way of sustaining themselves if I don't provide for them."

That guy would be allowed to run. Because the twins' beef with HIM does not extend to his family.

Of course, if their beef with the guard was bad enough, they'd still kill the second one too ... Chaotic and all that ... but that's the general gist of it.

Evil characters can certainly work in a party. It depends entirely on the exact outlook. A CE or NE murder-hobo would not work well in a group of LE paladins, that goes without saying ... although I'm sure Nearyn, cheeky sod that he is ;), would still argue that he could make that work, because he's like that.

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From tonight's Legacy of Fire-session.

Grumpy, arrogant and snobby wizard looks around a room which has just seen two successful, consecutive fights against capable enemies, then to his comrades, then to the corpses of the dead on the floor, before stating in a complete deadpan:

Amusing but icky ickiness:
"Fecal matter has been fornicated with!"

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Derailing a thread?

I think that's disrespectful in and of itself. The statement, that is ... not the act.

Conversations, written or spoken, rarely stick to one topic for any length of time. A person starts a thread to get an answer, and may then have to sift through loads of answers on unrelated topics because:

Person 1 asks question.
Person 2 replies strictly to the question asked.
Person 3 replies and uses a metaphor or a bit of personal experience to illustrate his point.
Person 2 takes umbrage with Person 3's example and replies to that.
Person 4 tries to answer the original question.
Person 3 replies to Person 2's upset blurp.
Person 5 now takes umbrage with person 2 taking umbrage with Person 3.
Person 4 is now confused and tries to get the thread back on topic.
Person 1 comes in with a follow-up question.

And ... so ... on.

Unless we want to mandate that no one can answer a question in any way except purely factual and without the use of illustrative language, examples or metaphors, we can't expect threads to stay on topic. They will eventually get derailed and that's part of natural conversation.

However, it's obviously best (not to mention required by Paizo's board rules) to stay reasonable and polite to one another, while always bearing in mind that we are dealing with a written medium here, and things get lost without voice inflection and facial expressions.

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Ashiel wrote:
What I am angry at is the politically correct bullcrap that keeps us from having discussions as mature, rational, capable adults. We do not need to hide ourselves away and you and no other should feel afraid of saying something wrong. If anything, I hope this shows why trying to be overly sensitive is a veritable minefield in its own right. I'm tired of nonsense like trigger warnings. I'm tired of not being able to talk about the unique circumstances of transgendered people in D&D/Pathfinder/fantasy-mish-mash. I am not, however, tired of your metaphorical voice. It deserves to be heard.

I want to marry your brain, Ashiel.

Thank you for saying this.

Political correctness is all well and good in some instances to avoid the worst excesses of hatred and prejudice being thrown in people's faces, but an adult, serious conversation is going to be required if that underlying prejudice is going to be dealt with anyway.

What I, personally, happen to be tired of are the benevolent overprotectors, who are so desperate to shield and guard a minority, to which I myself happen to belong, from a conversation that might help de-mystify people like myself.

There are two ways of being forced to stay in the closet, folks, but NO ONE wants to talk about the second one.

The first one, of course, is the classical one where people's hatred, vitriol, bile and rank prejudice keeps someone from "coming out" in the first place, due to fear of being shunned, humiliated, physically hurt or even killed.

And then there's the form of closeting, where well-meaning friends and family who are aware of the closeted person's gender identity and/or sexual orientation (since the two things are unrelated), fight tooth and nail to keep that person in the closet, for fear of public retaliation against their loved one, when that person comes out at some point.

Trust me, there's little difference in how hurtful the two things are in the end, even if the second option is well meaning and, at least in some parts of the world, a matter of life or death.

I've never seen what Paizo is doing as tokenism. I've seen it as a statement of intent, to make inclusive games where as many people as possible would be able to find at least one important, fictional character to mirror themselves in.

Personally, as I've said before in this thread, I don't bring up NPC sexuality willy-nilly. If it is plot-critical or if the PC for some odd reason should ask (or, in the case of a few dawgs in my group, even make a pass at an NPC) then it becomes relevant.

Otherwise, meh ... why bother with it?

Sexuality is, with the exception of a few lechers and outright rakes, rarely something people display in public. Some people make very loud declarations of their heteronormativity in some situations (young males sharing a sixpack of beer or young females gossiping spring to mind, though such individuals are by no means the only ones to do something like that) but speaking from bitter, personal experience ... that kind of loud, public statement may very well be a load of bovine fecal matter, wrapped up in a fallacy and giftwrapped with lies.

And take it from someone who's walked many thousands of miles in those shoes ... being trans does not mean you want everyone to prod and poke you about it all the time. It's not a grand, political statement ... it's a matter of survival.

I applaud Paizo for not pandering to the ever-shrinking minority of players who want to shove all LGBT-people back into a closet and keep them there until they can find a convenient way to burn it with those people still inside it. I applaud Paizo for not only wanting to be inclusive but to be adamant and public about it.

People can shout "tokenism" as much as they want. I don't see it as such, and people always retain the option of running their games differently.

But to me, and to several friends who also fall into the LGBT-bracket and who also play, it is simply important to know that the company whom we pay for the books we use to play these games, is on our side.

I've never used one of the iconics in any game I've run and unless they come up as a part of an adventure path I'm running, I never will. I don't treat the iconics as actual NPCs to run into, but as examples of character types and classes. I don't really see that changing. Consequently, whether an iconic is LGBT or not is secondary. The point is, LGBT people exist and have existed throughout human history in our own world. They exist in my version of Golarion as well, as presented to my players. Good and bad. Villain and hero. Ordinary people and extraordinary. They're there, and they face the same everyday problems that everyone else faces, and in some parts of the world, they face a lot more problems.

I want this to be clear and I want it to be known, because I want LGBT players to feel accepted and welcome in the groups I run, just as I need to feel accepted and welcome in the groups I play in. I want a bisexual player to know that if she wants to make a character in my group I've got no problem with the character being bi as well because that'd be the most natural for the player to portray. I want a gay player to know that if he wants to make a gay character, he's welcome to do so and I am not going to make it problematic for him ... although I would tell both players that there is still homophobia in Golarion.

It's not a perfect world, after all.

I think, if I should boil it all down to the essentials ... I just don't understand why this is an issue to adult, sensible people. Why other people's sexuality or gender identity can ever be a concern for anyone else baffles me no end.

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I confess ... despite saying earlier I had nothing to confess to ... that I am not a fan of half-elves and half-orcs.

I'm in fact not a fan of any half-anything races. Why don't we have half-dwarves as well? Why don't we have half-elf-and-half-dwarves (dwalves?) or half-orc-and-half-gnomes?

If you can mix humanity into anything, why can't you mix anything into anything else? Is it because we, as humans, are so awesome that we can just be the blank DNA slate that anything can be mixed with? If so, as I said, why no half-dwarves or half-halflings?

I have other problems with half-elves and half-orcs as well, but I'll leave those out because frankly, mentioning them would be invariably be misconstrued as inflammatory.

It's a reference to the deepest and most involved character I've made yet, an Alkenstarian LE Human gunslinger, known to her comrades as "Kismet" ... not her name, admittedly, but her nomme-du-guerre, certainly.

However, "Kismet" was already taken.

The picture looks nothing like the character, but there was no picture that remotely resembled her, so I went with a picture with a bit of attitude and which I liked in general.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Well, obviously. But being LGBT specifically doesn't inherently have to be one of the things they're prejudiced against. No society is perfect but the degree and nature of that imperfection can vary widely.

Agreed. Absolutely. I'm simply saying that since the world isn't a nice and benevolent place, there are certainly areas where LGBT people would be treated worse than in other places :)

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I confess to nothing! NOTHING, I SAY!

*takes blue pill and tries to stop foaming*

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MMCJawa wrote:
also probably should throw in the generic "orientation doesn't equal sex". You can have gay npcs in a campaign with no suggestion of sex, just by having the bartender have a husband instead of a wife, etc.

Extremely important note.

One should also, since the original question included the transgendered community, be aware that gender dysphoria does not equate sexual orientation in any way. There are transgendered people who are gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual and another other subgroup you could probably think out there. And believe it or not, one of the most transphobic groups out there come from the rest of the LGBT-community, who will go to fairly long lengths to point out to a lesbian transwoman that she's not a real woman, or a gay transman that he's not a real man. It's vicious and it's all the more hurtful when it comes from people who should be allies to these individuals.

That said, I count myself as a member of the LGBT-community as well, and consequently, they are a part of my games.

That being said, I do not believe in the use of the "token gay best friend"-trope, and I would be just as likely to portray a gay man as an utter git, as I would a straight man. The LGBT community has every bit as much propensity for being bad-guys as anyone else.

The main thing is that no one in my stories are bad guys because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. These things are non-issues unless they come up naturally in conversation. My current group of players have met a total of two homosexuals, one bisexual and one transgendered character in the campaigns I'm currently running and none of them know, because it's never come up.

If it does, I fully expect some raised eyebrows and "OH!! Ohhh, okay. Aha. We had no idea! No problem, bring the wife next time"-moments.

But honestly ...? I don't think it'll ever be necessary.

That being said, I try to portray social acceptance or lack thereof of the LGBT-community in a realistic way. Some people will shrug and go "meh, none of my business", some will start frothing at the mouth and scream blue murder (and then try to commit said murder themselves), and a fair few would probably go all fan-girl-like and start fawning all over the unfortunate individual subjected to it (straight people who declare themselves "fans" of homosexuals on account of sexuality always struck me as really weird ... I'm not a fan of straight people because they are straight, but because they've done something worthwhile. But that's just me being weird I guess).

The world is rarely an all-accepting, all-benevolent place. I long since stopped believing in the inherent goodness of humanity and I don't see why it would be any different in a fantasy-setting.

Individuals are generally nice, openminded and accepting.

People, however, are swine.

Scratch that. Pigs are nice too. I like pigs. Especially bacon.

People are meanspirited, evilminded and selfish.

121: Wolfshead

What an excellent idea for a thread.

It's also bloody hard to answer briefly ...

My favorite villains come in several varieties, and that's really at the core of it, right there. I like variety. Over the course of a long campaign, I strongly prefer the villains to be very distinct.

I don't even want them to be particularly villainous all the time. Sure, there is a place for the good, old-fashioned, moustache-twirling maniac, threatening to blow the world up, or the brutish warlord swinging his great sword or axe over his head and carving down armies all by himselfish.

Both of those can be fun if used right.

I also have a strong liking for the villain that the PCs never find and never get to find, but where the challenge lies in stopping his or hers machinations nonetheless.

Mostly, I find that the stone cold type appeals to me. I can rant and rage with the best of them, as a GM, but it gets old really quickly. A villain isn't particularly terrifying because he shouts louder than everyone else, but because he is incredible, terribly good at what he does. And when they see no need to brag about it, it adds a level of brutal efficiency that can make a lot of players cringe.

"You seem to want me to wax lyrical about my plans while you wait for your friends to arrive to save you. Whatever for? Goodbye."

And then rather than leaving some inept underlings to use the death-trap of doom, allowing Batma ... I mean the Heroic Heroes (tm) ... to escape in some ingenious way, the villain simply pulls out a gun and shoots the hero. Stone dead. Right then and there.

I've done that to players in the past and it has worked extremely well. A cold, methodical, no-nonsense, calm and completely efficient technocrat tends to work better for me than a raving loon.

Though if the raving loon is powerful enough, he can be dangerous enough to work well as a main villain anyway.

Kalindlara wrote:
The Alkenstarian wrote:
knightnday wrote:
More importantly, would you boot someone from your table for being an ape?


*throws banana at knightnday*

At least he didn't say mon-


*picks up entire sack of bananas and eyeballs Kalindlara*

knightnday wrote:
More importantly, would you boot someone from your table for being an ape?


*throws banana at knightnday*

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I've taken part in or run my share of disastrous game sessions over the years. I hope I never have to experience that again, but one can never be sure.

Here's something to remember, though, Tinalles:

It's just a game.

And yes, that's annoying and frustrating to be told, but it really is that simple. It's just a game. You shouldn't be so frustrated that you end up punching the walls or crying. No game is ever worth such an amount of heartache. It's all fiction, and while it's fun and while people can form some kind of attachment to NPCs or their characters, it's important to always be able to step away from it.

I can sit there at the table and feel my throat constrict and my eyes well up, because of the things my characters experience. We often invest a little of ourselves in our characters, to make them better and of course it's uncomfortable when something bad happens.

But it's still just a game.

And we all make mistakes. Yeah, so ... maybe you shouldn't have told "Bob" the big reveal. But you were put on the spot in a stressful and difficult situation on very short notice. You handled it to the best of your ability in that situation.

It didn't work out the way you could have hoped, sure ... but in the end, its something you can learn from and, from the looks of it, you did.

I'd say that leaves you in the positive in the end.

Don't let a game impact you that strongly, though. It's unhealthy and it makes you doubt yourself needlessly and without reason. Anybody could have made a similar mistake. Or a much worse one. But no one got hurt, except some fictional characters. That makes it a learning experience, but nothing more.

So ... don't beat yourself up over something like this. Or the wall for that matter. And don't lose sleep or tears over it.

It's never, ever worth it.

Conversation with an undertaker:

"How's business?"

"Pretty dead, since you ask."

or when speaking to a group of undead, before setting out on a task:

"Let's move people. Time to look ali ... erh, never mind."

I find it hard to get into fantasy writing ... at least by other authors. It's just not dark enough for my liking. It's too heroic and too ... erk, I don't know. It just doesn't work for me. G.R.R. Martin is okay. He kills enough characters for it to be alright, and I like his linguistic style ... except when he starts describing big meals ...

But I do think it's true that today, Computer Games are taking over an increasing part of the definition of fantasy. World of Warcraft is part of it but by no means the only part. Dragon Age also influenced the debate. Final Fantasy as well, at least to some extent although one could argue that FF is Sci-Fi as well on some levels. Science Fantasy, maybe?

There are a number of computer games and movies that fill up part of the niche that books had a monopoly on earlier, but personally I think that's a good thing. Diversification is definitely only going to make the realm of fantasy bigger.

Athaleon wrote:

1.The Realism Fallacy
2. The Band-Aid Fallacy
3. The Stormwind Fallacy
4. The Anecdote Fallacy
5. The Houserule Fallacy a.k.a. The Oberoni Fallacy
6. The Aesthetic Fallacy
7. The Mathematican's Fallacy
8. The Party Ad-Hominem Fallacy

Been there, seen that, in some ancient cases probably done that, with all of them.

I agree with the list. These are all genuine problems, or at least they are problems in many groups. There are probably some groups out there where some or even all of these are accepted and seen as positive, but personally, I think these are all genuine problems. I'm not sure about the "fallacy" word. I think I'd prefer something like "hypothesis" for each of them, since the people espousing them, try to prove them right and proper, but that's just me nitpicking.

1: One of my oldest catchphrases is "Here, catch this super-realistic fireball I'm lobbing at you!"

If you want realism, live an ordinary life. That's realism. Roleplaying is about suspension of disbelief at its very core. Whether you are playing John D. Ordinary in a perfectly non-fantastical setting, going to work each day and taking care of his wife, two and one half kids and fifteen dogs (and personally I would run screaming from such a game), you're still suspending your disbelief by putting yourself behind the eyes of John D. Ordinary. While you may have to suspend your disbelief slightly more strenuously to play "Frag" Ecking Fighterpilot, or Walter Izard, you are essentially doing the exact same thing. Pretending and partaking in makebelief. This rule is the bane of fun for a lot of people. Getting bogged down in endless, fruitless, needless debates about whether a dragon can fly when a bumblebee can, is enough to suck the fun and entertainment out of almost any game I can think of.

2: I don't see this one as often as some people seem to, mostly because that sort of thing tends to be handled between games by the group I'm in, but that's not to say that the problem isn't there (see what I did there?). There's something to be said for fixing minutiae, however. For example, in my own games, I find it nonsensical that holding high ground only gives a bonus to hit in melee, but not for ranged combat. I've therefore introduced a house rule saying anyone holding high ground over an enemy and equipped with a weapon capable of hitting that enemy, whether in melee or at range, gets the same bonus. For ranged combat, this may be offset by range increments, but that doesn't change the fact that you have an advantage over your opponent by holding a superior position. This is both fixing what I consider a small problem, and a general systemic flaw. Others may disagree, of course.

3: This is horrible, elitist snotspam! It bases itself on the idea, that one player or GM can judge another based solely on the build of their character and not on their actual RP performance. It is also demonstrably false. Personally I dislike maximization because I like to play characters who are not perfect or necessarily the best in the world at what they set out to do, but who nonetheless become skilled at it and can hold their own, but that is not to say that someone who does play maximized characters is automatically a bad roleplayer or even just a worse roleplayer than me. That kind of thinking really is elitist hogwash and in my group, it would be met by an instant banhammer if one of my players started that kind of argument. What I am advocating to my own players is to be mindful that there are people in the group who are not as experienced at character-building as others, and that everyone is there to have fun and to have a role to play, without feeling superfluous. Thankfully, my players are all mature enough and sensible enough (and if any of them are reading this they're going to kill me for using such ignoble and horrible terms to describe them), to minimize their maximizing to a point, where everyone can function without simply being bit-players in the game. Maximizing solely for the purpose of maximizing makes my skin crawl. Maximizing while creating a fantastic, fully rounded character with a complete personality and the ability to function in the game setting, whether for good or evil, is fine.

4: "Gegen die dumheit kämpfen selbst die Götter vergebens" as an old, German saying goes. Translated that goes something along the lines of "Against stupidity, even the gods fight in vain". The idea that a problem only exists when a person can feel it for themselves is so abjectly dumb that a sensible player would leave a group in which it is practiced by the GM and the GM would put his or her foot down hard to a player who insisted on it, to lay down the law at his or her table. Not accepting the problems that others experience shows a basic lack of tact and manners that should not be seen around a game table.

5: Oh come on ... there are actually people who do this? "This problem doesn't exist anymore because I've houseruled my way out of it" is actually a thing? Next time you sit down with a new group of players or a new GM its going to be an issue all over again. Give feedback to the game developers to help them fix it in future versions of the game if nothing else. Or at least address the problem as necessary. Denying the existence of a problem doesn't make it go away. It's the Black Knight all over again, from Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail.

"It's only a flesh wound! COME BACK HERE, I CAN STILL BITE YOU!"


6: It may be that some people uses this because they feel insecure in representing certain fluff correctly, convincingly or in a manner they are comfortable with. However, I absolutely acknowledge that it is a problem and that it is all too often used in a derogatory manner, whether through racism or in some other fashion. Personally, I think it is nonsensical in games that are not, as mentioned above, a John D. Ordinary-game set in Realville, Illitucky. Someone doesn't feel comfortable portraying Keleshites because they don't like Arabs? Keleshites aren't Arabs. They just look like them and draw on inspiration from that culture, but it is specifically not the same culture. Don't want to use Garund because you don't want to portray black people? Ergh, your choice but I'll find another table, thank you.

It becomes a problem when it becomes static and simply accepted. I myself have avoided psionics in fantasy games for a long time because I didn't feel comfortable with the fluff. I asked in another thread on this board for people to weigh in and it's clarified things for me, and thereby swayed me to a point where I'm going to allow it in future games, just to take one example. If I had simply said "I'll never change this because ew, Psionics, full stop, dixit" I would have taken away a potential for fun from my players on a permanent basis and that would, in my personal opinion, have been a bad move.

7: I've seen this done, and frankly, my experience shows me that the people guilty of this are mostly self-obsessed and convinced of their own intellectual superiority to a point where it becomes obnoxious. It's fine to want to fix a problem when you come across it, but this tends to fall completely over the cliff to the point where the person in question is basically redesigning the entire system because "My way works better!"

You find a problem in a crit-table in Rolemaster (they exist. The sheer volume of crit tables in that game makes it practically impossible for them not to exist), then go ahead and fix it. You don't like the way gunfire damage works in WoD (a common bone of contention for many WoD players and storytellers over the years) fix it. However, fixing it does not guarantee smooth sailing and a flawless game. People are people and problems will arise.

8: This will result in me pulling out the banhammer instantly, if done in a group I'm in. It has in the past and certainly will in the future if I should ever have the distinct misfortune of seeing it. People who insult other players or GMs at my table are told to pick up their dice and leave and, as Golum puts it, "never come back". I have pulled a variant of this just once in the past ... it's nineteen years ago now and I still feel intensely guilty and sorry for it. It was arguably my single worst moment as a roleplayer or GM ever. In the end, this usually boils down to jealousy or petty spite and it's disgusting when it happens, regardless of motivation.

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TheAlicornSage wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:
thejeff wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:


...when did they add a Q?

What's the Q?

Queer. Questioning. I've heard other possibilities that I don't remember.

There are other letters too. There's QUILTBAG, but I don't know what all of those are for. Intersex? Asexual? U?
Why not just say "Sexually Nonstandard" and be done with it?

It's not always about sex, or even sexual preference.

Plus, "Nonstandard" contributes to a culture of othering... and we certainly don't need any more of that about the place.

Sex can mean gender just as often, so everyone of the letters that I actually know, would fall under that in one way or another.

Also, you are dividing groups as being outside the normal in anycase. If you didn't, you wouldn't be referencing a group at all, instead you just say "Some people..." and that be it. By giving a name or in any way describing a select group (such those that fall under lgbt... whatever), you are inherently including a division, even if only for the sake of making a discussion easier.

Therefore, how is my suggestion any different?

"Nonstandard" grates my ears and in this case my eyeballs, not so much because it's exclusionary (which I agree it is), but because it carries negative connotations along the lines of "you should be standard. Why are you not standard? Be standard! I demand that you're standard!"

It is probably not meant that way but it is the kind of word that can be used as a sledgehammer.

The same goes for that another recently added expression to the whole argument, namely "gender nonconforming".


That's all I hear when someone uses that expression. When you include a negative, such as "non" in a word, it automatically takes on a subtle, negative meaning, even if it was not intended to.

That said, fitting more than one letter in the whole string of LGBTQIA-whateverelsehasbeenaddedsinceIcheckedlast, I am seriously looking forward to the day when it's not necessary to use these labels any more and we can all just use "human" or "person" and genuinely not give $0.02 about what set of genitalia someone was born with contra what they dress and act like, what gender someone we know falls in love with and whether someone enjoys all genders equally.

Quite frankly, I look forward to the day when the "gay best friend"-trope on TV isn't necessary anymore, and we can have a genuine villain in a movie again, who just happens to be homosexual, without anyone feeling a need to protest, because that character's sexuality is a total non-issue.

We're not there yet. Not by a long shot.

LGBTQIA-people have the exact same propensity for being total creeps as everyone else. We're not somehow magically incapable of being horrible to other people ... even to each other, perhaps especially that in fact ... but in today's society, it's impossible to acknowledge this without being accused of some kind of bigotry, and for good reason.

The amount of genuine bigotry out there is still massive. People still get beaten up and even killed simply for being gay. People still get fired from jobs because of their gender identity. People are thrown out of their homes for it. People are shouted at in the street. Estranged from their bigoted families. Treated like third rate citizens, never mind second class.

We do not need more exclusionary words added to the dictionary, just like Kalindlara said.

What we need is to arrive at a place, where bigotry has been eliminated or at least marginalized to such an extent that it is considered utterly socially unacceptable, but when even major political parties almost everywhere in the world can make hay about, and gather huge amounts of votes on, their bigotry, there is still a very, very real problem.

Hence why words such as "nonstandard" is a problem because they will be picked up and used to beat people with by aforementioned bigots. It's happened over and over and over again already. Any snifter of an opportunity to treat LGBTQIA-people badly is seized upon.

Consequently, we can't have a homosexual villain in a TV-series. Because it'll be used to demean and harass. And hence why I hope we one day reach a point where such a villain is possible. Because that'd mean we'd reached a point in society where it could be done without being used by large swathes of the population as "proof" of the evils (however fictional the character might be) of the LGBTQIA-community.

After being on the receiving end of that kind of hatred for generations after establishing itself publicly, the LGBTQIA-community can't really be faulted for being wary and extremely conscious of anything that can be used against us. We're the ones who have had to face the hatred and the bigotry and tried to make our lives function anyway. Most of us manage. But that doesn't mean we should accept terminology that can be used against us, even if the terminology was not meant negatively initially.

thegreenteagamer wrote:

1. Someone brought up a remotely close to right wing point. If I know my Paizo forums, that means this thread is destined for lock down in a page or so. No right wing opinions allowed here, unless they're purely economic in nature. (I'm a straight centrist independent, with rather across the board opinions that jump sides depending on specifics, but it doesn't mean I'm not blind to blatant favoritism.)

2. Why do bacon lovers insist that other people join them in eating their greasy death slabs? The less I eat, the more bacon for you. The more you clog your arteries and fatten your gut, the healthier I appear by comparison. The situation is win-win.

3. I wash my veggies. Do you wash your steak? Pretty sure I eat less poop.

1: There may be a reason for that. Just sayin'.

2: I don't insist that you join me in eating greasy death slabs. I don't even insist on you eating bacon. I'm trying to save you from a horrible, bacon-less life, that's all. I mean, obviously you're entirely entitled to disassociate yourself from the joys of bacon, but ... but it's BACON?!? I don't get it. How can anyone not love bacon? I even love bacon while it's still alive, although I won't eat it until it's not ...

3: Yes, I wash my steaks. And my dino. And my mutton. And my bacon ... mmmmh ... baaaaacon ...

TanithT wrote:
The Alkenstarian wrote:

Asking someone in a committed relationship if they can join in, without ANY invitation having been extended, but just for their own kicks and because...
Depends on the culture. It's awfully rude and self-centered to assume that every community is monogamous and shares your personal set of taboos about how sex is supposed to happen between consenting adults. There are cultures where polite invitations to join in fun of that nature are friendly rather than disrespectful.

But you're arguing in favour of what I'm saying already. You're saying that an invitation may be forthcoming in certain social situations, depending on where you are.

I'm absolutely fine with that.

What I consider universally rude is to assume that you have ANY KIND of right to walk up to someone in a committed relationship, and invite yourself to take part.

I've been at enough "alternative lifestyle"-events to know that even there, it's considered good manners not to try to barge in on other people's marriage or long-lasting relationship, even if that relationship is an open one, although if someone invites you to take part in such situations, hey presto, enjoy yourself.

I may, of course, be wrong in thinking that this would be considered reasonably good manners everywhere. It MAY in fact be, that there are groups or places in the world, where barging in uninvited is considered not only perfectly acceptable but even polite.

I haven't come across them yet, and so I have to assume this extremely rare, but of course ... if this is in fact a thing with some people, then fine by me. As long as, as you said yourself, there is enough sense of decorum not acknowledge the "When in Rome"-aspect that you yourself mentioned.

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As a firm believer in baconology, I must protest the notion that no meat isn't necessary. While I acknowledge that some people can sustain a sad, desperate existence in such a manner, I believe "life", as in the complete package, MUST include bacon.

There is no such thing as too much bacon.

There is no such thing as a dish that won't be made better by bacon.

Even pigs will eat bacon and enjoy it, and pigs are very intelligent animals. We can learn from pigs. Eat bacon!

Bacon is awesome even when dipped in chocolate or used as a breadbasket. Bacon is good whether crispy or soft.

Bacon, quite simply, is.

Followed closely by cheese. Because cheese. Mmmh. Cheeeeeese.

Now combine bacon and cheese and you have perfection. Except bacon is already perfect, so it's perfection squared.

Now I want bacon. And it's an hour until lunch break.


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TheAlicornSage wrote:
The Alkenstarian wrote:
Thymus Vulgaris wrote:

Hey there, you seem to be in a bit of distress. You should do something about that.

I honestly don't mind MLP. I don't love it, but I also don't mind it. I do mind Pinkie Pie. A lot. She's super annoying, and I don't see how anyone can stand her.

I'm not falling for that one again. You guys have made me click random links to pony-related things for the last time. THE LAST TIME, I SAY!

*Foams and fumes*

You're evil. Downright evil!

Hey, not all of us. I agree that it was rather unkind. Not all of us do stupid stuff like that.

Well, for the record, Thymus Vulgaris is one of my RL players. She's one of those evil creatures tormenting me on a regular basis with pony-related nonsense. She's not the worst of them, but she's certainly involved.

It's a pink pony conspiracy. It's a flagrant and deliberate attempt at driving me stark, raving mad (except I'm already there so it's doomed to fail). It's designed to make my life miserable with squeaky voices and horrible animation.

ARGHH ... It's a ponyspiracy, and I'm suffering under it!

Thymus Vulgaris wrote:

Hey there, you seem to be in a bit of distress. You should do something about that.

I honestly don't mind MLP. I don't love it, but I also don't mind it. I do mind Pinkie Pie. A lot. She's super annoying, and I don't see how anyone can stand her.

I'm not falling for that one again. You guys have made me click random links to pony-related things for the last time. THE LAST TIME, I SAY!

*Foams and fumes*

You're evil. Downright evil!

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I have an irrational hatred of MLP in any form. It admit it's irrational. Entirely so. I have no wish to change it. It makes my blood boil in a distinctly uncomfortable and bad way. It makes me froth around the mouth. It makes me go on lengthy tirades ... and with that, I mean I could rant about my utter loathing of the concept for hours, while going increasingly bugeyed and my voice goes hoa ...

I'm not going there. That's like serving the MLP-brigade my head on a silver platter.

I gnash my teeth when confronted by it, to the point of getting a headache. It gives me irritable bowel syndrome if I have to stomach it. It gives me nightmares overrun by legions of squeaky-voiced, badly animated ponies! I wake up drenched in cold sweat, fighting back the armies of magical friendship while I try to disentangle myself from the smothering duvet of fluffy ponydom.

It's traumatized me ... to the point of wanting to claw my eyeballs out and puncturing my eardrums so I never have to listen to those awful squeaky voices again ever!

And my players are teasing me mercilessly with it, the low-down rotten gits.

I hate them. Just a little bit.

Not the ponies. I hate them a lot.

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Drop out of his 3.5 game. Do not put up with it. Tell him that you don't want to play in that game anymore and leave it at that. Don't tell him that it's because of his BS unless you actually want him to know that. You're not obligated to tell him. Simply tell him you're not having fun.

If you're lucky he'll be so pathetic about it, he'll drop out of your group as "revenge". Both problems solved.

If it doesn't, minimize his impact on the game by giving him less air-time, and then play a dragon realistically when he finally goes hunting.

As in: dragons are awesome, terrifying, murderous creatures that can outperform just about anyone. For one thing ... dragons fly. At quite high altitudes. They have breath weapons that they don't need to land to use. Don't let him fight the dragon on his terms. Play it in a way that would make sense for a super-intelligent creature that has access to abilities he can't dream of. Make it stay at a distance from him, while flying, casting spells when it's not using its breath weapon. Make it do fly-by attacks. Have it grapple him, pin him and then lift him up to a height of two miles before unceremoniously dropping him. If he can somehow fly himself, the dragon is likely to be by far the better flyer anyway.

Or, of course, you could simply let him know that you're running the game for the entire group, not for his ego's sake, and tell him that he goes off to hunt a dragon and then continue to run the game for everyone else. Seven or eight game sessions later, you can then inform him that he's found a hostile dragon. It is a Great Wyrm, and it's just eaten him. What does he want his new character to be named?

I have precisely -zero- tolerance towards egotistical players and I see absolutely no reason to dance to their tune. Egotistical characters can add a great dynamic to a group, but egotistical players are the bane of fun.

The more I'm seeing, the more I'm starting to think I might want to introduce this in my campaigns ... perhaps start small scale and make it an unusual occurrence, but at least allowing myself and the players to get used to it.

There have been some really good suggestions made for how to make it work so far.

Thank you everyone. Please, do keep it coming.

Badum tshhh ...

I salute you, Sir.

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Between games, while talking about how to introduce a new character to the campaign:

Player 1: "I say it's not going to be that easy, considering where we are."

Player 2: "And I said ... WHAT ABOUT, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S!"

All other players: *Groan*

GM: [Sternly] "I'm writing that one down! You're losing XP for that one. That was absolutely terrible."

Player 2: "NOOOOOOO!But we're not even playing?!"

All other players: "We want differentiated XP! This isn't fair on us."

GM: [Even more sternly] "No, you all have to suffer for his bad puns. The Bad Punnage Spell-list is restricted, and only the GM is allowed to use it."

Player 3: [Hopeful] "What if I take the Amateur Punslinger-feat?"

GM: " ... "

All other players: [Pregnant and tense pause]

GM: "Okay, you just got your XP back."

All players in unison: *Sigh of relief*

Player 2: [a moment later, very sadly] "But that was my line ..."

GM: "You lost it. That's your punishment."

Player 2: "Awww ..."

The disjunction spell, frankly, would've been a deal breaker for me. Not on its own, but with everything else that happened, certainly.

I would definitely talk to the other players. Start by telling them, calmly and without placing blame, that you did not have fun during that story, and why. Gauge the audience to see if they might agree.

If they had fun, then you may not want to personally play with that GM again, but at least the rest of them enjoyed it. However, from what you are saying, it sounds like several of them did not have fun either.

If you can confirm that, then yes, you need to confront the GM with it, and tell him why.

But seriously, using disjunction like that is a rotten move. Something tells me that even if the rogue had checked, he would've been told he was unable to disarm it due to the short amount of time the gate was open. Or the GM might have moved it to somewhere else where he could spring it on you.

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Low-level group is fighting a corpulent goblin boss with high AC, and the group is finding it tough to hit the little blighter.

Player 1: "How can a fat little green git like him be so damn hard to hit!?"

Player 2: "He's acrofatic."

So far, I'm taking all this in at least. I'm grateful for the feedback so far.

I know this is a contentious issue for many, but I'm not trying to troll anyone into getting into a flame-fight or anything of the sort. It's genuinely an issue that I would like some help dealing with and consequently, people's feedback is greatly appreciated.

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I must add three nameless goblins to this page. Three poor, sadistic Licktoad goblins who sadly passed away in spectacularly inept fashion.

Imagine ye this:

A room, fifteen feet by fifteen feet, occupied by three angry goblins, one of whom was armed with a rocket, and all three of them carrying dogslicers.

Enter, stage left, a gnome and his talking chicken. The gnome is the group's easily-embarrassed shaman, who didn't think quickly enough and opened a door in the Licktoad-village without sufficient backup nearby. Ergo, one gnome is now facing three goblins.

One of whom is armed with a rocket. This is important.

The goblin with the aforementioned boomboom lights it up and points it at the shocked gnome in the doorway, whose chicken scurries to get out of the way since it's got no great wish to be turned into chicken a' la goblin. However, the rocket has a 1 round firing delay. So, while he is waiting for the fuse to burn down, his mate, swinging his dogslicer, runs up to the doorway, wanting to be a great goblin hero, by cutting down the terrible enemy in front of him.

He promptly rolls a 1 on his attack roll.

The dogslicer imbeds itself in the crossbeam over the door, and the handle snaps off. The goblin in the doorway is now totally disarmed, confused and he's got a friend pointing a rocket with a rapidly burning fuse at his back.

The third goblin in the room, realizing what is about to happen, breaks down in hysterical giggles at the impending splatter.

Next turn, the gnome regains his faculties and understanding what's about to happen, ducks sideways to get cover behind one of the wickerwork-and-goblin-poo walls in the hallway beyond.

The rocket then goes off. The goblin holding onto it, doesn't know he's supposed to let go, so he gets scorched by the exhaust flame before finally losing his grip.

He then rolls a nat-20 on the attack roll.

He confirms the crit.

Moments later, the gnome in the hallway beyond, finds himself covered in wickerwork-and-goblin-poo wall, which he bravely holds up, doing his best Hulk-impersonation, to prevent his talking chicken from getting squashed, all the while all three goblins in the room have ceased to exist.

Not even enough of them remained that the group were able to gather up their ears for a reward back in Sandpoint.

To make matters even more hilarious, the group's catfolk rogue just came around the corner in time to see the explosion, and immediately believed that the gnome was the responsible party.

The gnome is now officially the coolest thing since catnip in that catfolk's world.

So yes, I want to add three nameless goblins, who provided enormous hilarity with their extremely gory deaths.

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Hey everyone.

This came up in another thread, and it's made me think about my own attitude.

The issue on hand, as the headline says, is psionics.

Let me explain my own personal stance her:

I don't allow Psionics in my PF campaigns. Ever. I have flatly rejected character concepts from players as soon as the word "psionic" was even brought up. I've had one player try to explain the idea to me in a circumspect kind of way, hoping he could sell me on the idea before he brought up the word "psionic" and it did sound like a pretty solid concept ...

Until the word "psionic" was mentioned, at which time I told him to please do something else.

Now that I think about it, this actually surprises me. I don't normally hold with putting too many restrictions on players (a few can be in order, in terms of class, race or archetypes I suppose, depending on the campaign), but by and large, I want people to play something they have fun with.

However, the flavour of psionics simply feels like someone is running fingernails down a blackboard or grinding a fork against a plate nearby.

In the school of RP that I was raised in, psionics was a sci-fi concept, and magic belonged in fantasy-settings, and never should the twain meet. Then someone came up with the brilliant concept of making a grimdarkdarkdarkgrimdarkgrimgrimgrim sci-fi setting, calling it Warhammer 40k, and suddenly, the lines got all blurry. Suddenly you had classic psionics, but you also had chaos sorcery, and I never properly reconciled that in my own mind.

But here's the thing:

I'm not sure if my hard-line stance on this issue is the right one. I'm at least not sure if it's the right one for me. However, I just can't seem to bend my head around the idea of psionics in a fantasy setting without getting a headache and feeling like someone's trying to insert a large, round peg in a small, triangular hole.

So I'm going to throw the ball up in the air here, and ask what all of you have to add to the topic. I'm simply hoping for input that'll help jog my ongoing, mental gymnastics-routine on this issue. I'm not saying I'll change or I'll stay with how things are now. But I'm hoping to hear people's honest opinions, pro and con, when it comes to psionics.

Thank you.

Aranna wrote:
Riuk wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
I've never been a fan of Psoinics or stuff like it, however I am genuinely interested in Occult Adventures and will most likely get it as soon as it's out :-)
see I don't know why people don't like psionics its awesome!!! mind powers!!! I know the some of it feels overpowered but its easy to make any class feel overpowered

Psionics isn't overpowered it's just better.

Oh and I will also be buying Occult Adventures

It's one of very, very few things I flat out ban in my games. And it's not because it's overpowered. It used to be, back in the veeeery old AD&D-days but with 25+ years to fix the balancing system, it's actually okay nowadays from everything I've seen, heard and read.

It's exclusively a flavour-thing.

Psionics, in my mind, does not belong in the fantasy-section of RPGs. If I want psionics, I'll play a sci-fi game. For the same reason, I find magic in sci-fi settings to be equally odd and uncomfortable.

Example: I've played Warhammer 40-RPGs pretty extensively, and I love their take on psykers. But then there are chaos sorcerers and I've got to make all manner of mental gymnastics to cope with that.

Is this logical? Certainly not. Is it even rational or justifiable? Probably not either. But it's a matter of personal preference. Sci-fi=psionics, fantasy=magic ...

I've just gotten too old to change that, I think.

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DrDeth wrote:
The Alkenstarian wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
I can't make it more then 5 minutes into the Matrix before I have to shut it off.
Can't really shun you for that. I've seen it precisely once, when it first came out on VHS. I wasn't impressed.
I loved all three, but I'm willing to admit that they were only slightly above average as sci-fi movies go. That being said, I'm a philosophy buff and the underlying ideas that the movies are based on elevated them for me.
Matrix I was a great special effects action film, as long as you didnt stop to think about the silly concept.
Get out of my brain, DrDeth. You're not paying rent, as far as I know!

Sorry, it's being this whole Evil Dark Lord thing, you just can't stop reading peoples minds, they're like peanuts... in many ways....


Mmmmmh ... peeeeanuts!


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DrDeth wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
I can't make it more then 5 minutes into the Matrix before I have to shut it off.
Can't really shun you for that. I've seen it precisely once, when it first came out on VHS. I wasn't impressed.
I loved all three, but I'm willing to admit that they were only slightly above average as sci-fi movies go. That being said, I'm a philosophy buff and the underlying ideas that the movies are based on elevated them for me.
Matrix I was a great special effects action film, as long as you didnt stop to think about the silly concept.

Get out of my brain, DrDeth. You're not paying rent, as far as I know!

I've played WoW and enjoyed it ... at times at least. Don't play it at the moment, nor do I really see myself going back to it anytime soon.

I've played Warhammer Online, and loved the potential it had, until I saw how ludicrously bad a job the creators had done of balancing the game between the two sides.

Tried Aion as well, but genuinely didn't like it.

Played through all 8 classes in SW:TOR, then looked around, twiddled my thumbs for 24 hours, realized there genuinely WAS no end-game content for unguilded non-PvP'ers and left it right there.

Oh, and I'm still hoping that Eternal Crusade isn't going to suck as badly as I fear it will ...

Riuk wrote:
why do people act this way!?

That's a really good question, ranked right up there with: "Why do straight males look at a good-looking lesbian and say "you can't be lesbian, you're too pretty!" or even worse "Oooh wow, I think lesbians are so hawt! Come on, let me join you two. It'll be really awesome, I promise!"

I think it's the same kind of underlying psychology in both cases, and I think there are two variations:

1) The psychology of stupid. The person asking is so monumentally daft that they can't actually tell just how offensive and unintelligent they are.

2) Cases of the personality disorder known as psychopathy, which is a LOT more prevalent in modern society than many people want to admit, and which manifests itself as:

- diminished empathic ability (the person in question does not understand that what he or she is saying is deeply offensive because the emotional spectrum of the person they are adressing does not exist or at least has no bearing or value in their world)
- lack of remorse, usually seen when they take offense to the fact that you find their suggestion abhorrent and/or frightening.
- a lack of inhibitions, which frankly is necessary to walk up to another person who is clearly in an existing relationship with someone else, in order to offer themselves as partners for coitus.

There are other symptoms, but these are typically in full display when someone makes that kind of suggestion.

For someone to think that their sexual gratification is in any way your responsibility or that it is in any way appropriate to make a suggestion of "Can I join in?" in whatever form, shows psycopathic tendencies, and I would calmly get up, then back away slooooowly from that person before leaving entirely.

And then I'd make a very deliberate effort to avoid that person in the future.

Asking someone in a committed relationship if they can join in, without ANY invitation having been extended, but just for their own kicks and because it gets them going to imagine this, quite simply shows such a lack of basic empathy that I'd be -seriously- concerned.

It also shows a profound lack of respect for your relationship and the nature of your sexuality and that of your wife.

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Ryuko wrote:
Christ Scott I will never understand why you find it so hard to believe people didn't like the ending of ME 3. It was depressingly one note with no real influence from everything you'd done to that point. We've seen better, even from bioware themselves.

I'll take a page out of your own book and go:

"Christ Ryuko I will never understand why you find it so hard to believe people do like the ending of ME 3."

Yeah, spoiling the ending here, and shamelessly so:
I was fine with the Citadel being an AI. I thought it was a stroke of brilliance, considering the whole Reaper beef with organics vs. AIs. I think the idea that Shepard simply could not win, no matter what, was the perfect ending. I did not want all my choices to change that. I wanted them to have periferal importance in the end ... and they do, as clearly demonstrated by the various different cutscenes during the ending ... but the absolute, bottom line needs to be that Shepard cannot win. No matter which choice made at the end, Shepard loses. Either by dying or by destroying millions of innocent lives in the shape of AIs, which would include EDI and the Geth. Presumably even the Citadel itself.

If Shepard had won this, I would never have bought another Bioware game in my life. As it was, I ended up sitting there with a gutwrenching feeling of loss and that was exactly how it should be, in my personal opinion.

I'd like to repeat that, just in case someone wants to rip my throat out over this.

This is my personal opinion and I am not trying to transplant that onto anyone else. However, this is why I enjoyed the ending, and why I felt it was as close to perfect as anything I've seen in a computer game to date.

If others want something else, then that's absolutely no skin off my nose. Why would it be? But to unilaterally declare this to be a travesty of a game and horrible, bad, terrible design with no redeeming qualities is JUST as foolish as saying that it's the greatest game ever and everyone who doesn't think so are wrong.

The sad fact is, we all want something different out of the games we play. I have been utterly disappointed in some games that were highly acclaimed, as well. Because what I look for in games likely isn't the same as what many others look for.

But to winge on about how terrible a game it was and how this means the next game is going to be flawed before any of us have even seen a minute of actual game content yet, let alone have any real clue as to what the story is going to be like, is as clear a case of entitlement as I've ever seen with regards to computer games.

Major software companies do not make products for the consumers. They make products for their shareholders. I've said this before and I'll doubtlessly say it again but having worked in that world, I can tell you that the ONLY interest major software companies have in consumers ends precisely once money has changed hands and you've purchased their product. After that, any interest on their part is purely for show. They'll sell their next product as well.

If you didn't like their last one, they won't even blink if you don't buy it, because frankly, they're not beholden to you, nor do they owe it to you.

They owe their shareholders annual profits, and nothing more.

And they'll make those profits even if you didn't like their last game.

Firstly, I think you may want to tell him that you have reason to believe that he's not playing his character according to RAW, and that as a consequence, you need to have a copy of his character sheet open whenever he makes a roll, so that you may double-check that everything is done correctly. Tell him that since you have tried on numerous occasions to explain his class abilities to him, and he still doesn't remember, this is the only option left open to you.

Hopefully that'll act as a wake-up call. In my experience, that kind of behaviour has nothing to do with not remembering. It has everything to do with him cheating through his teeth, because he's learned he can get away with it. And if he should, in fact, be one of those exceedingly few people with a memory like a sieve who genuinely cannot remember, he should not feel offended for you wanting to help check things so he can do things correctly.

Also, you said uninviting him isn't an option. However, here's one thing you may want to consider:

The group already considers him a distraction. If this continues without you putting a plug in it, and fast, you'll start losing other players who are fed up with his antics.

In the end, you may be in a position where you can either close down the group, or you will have to uninvite him. Do not close yourself off to the possibility for that reason.

Furthermore, you should tell him, straight up and to his face, that people in the group have complained about him and that they find his behaviour to be a distraction. Tell him that effective immediately, you do not want to hear another piece of "thematic" or "interesting" music coming from him. If he wants to talk on the phone while playing, he can leave the room or if it happens via the internet, he can turn off his microphone so no one else has to listen. Tell him that you will ask the other players to hold until he gets back, so that he won't miss any of the action because he needs to know what everyone does, in order to react accordingly.

And lastly, hit him squarely in the face with causality every time he doesn't keep up. Let him feel the actual, logical consequences of his one-man-show in character.

This is about tough love. You like the guy, that's fine, but sometimes we have to be cruel to the people we like in order for them to understand that they are doing something wrong. This guy is either ruining or at least diminishing the fun and entertainment experienced by a whole group of people, because he is blatantly trying to make everything he does, about him.

Personally, I give players who act like that two warnings and then I kick them from groups I run.

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Darth Vader

The rebreather, the iconic sound of a lightsabre being turned on, and the sheer, menacing presence of utter, utter evil ... all add up to something so perfect, not even the prequels could ruin it, and that's saying something ...

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

Fair enough.

Still doesn't eliminate the needless goggles, shoulder length rubber gloves, predilection for vests, and ridiculous moustaches that would make a hipster die of envy.


Goggles are the proper sign of a truly deranged mind. Goggles cannot be underestimated. They're so uncool they've come out the other side covered in frost, that's how cool they are! Plus they come in handy if you get caught in an unforeseen summer blizzard or if you walk along the sidewalk and accidentally fall over into a swimming pool.

Also, waistcoats and vests are fantastic pieces of clothing. Where else would you keep your pocket-watch but in your vest-pocket, designed specifically for that sort of thing?

However, the rubber gloves and the moustaches I agree with you on. They're just silly.

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My favorite ... well, I've had so many great experiences with GM'ing that it is hard to choose, but there's one I always go back to as a go-to story.

It's more than twenty years ago, and it was back in the heady glory days of Vampire; The Masquerade, 2nd edition. Around where I lived, you would be hard pressed to find roleplayers who did not participate in at LEAST one V;tM-campaign, perhaps more and perhaps some of the other World of Darkness-games as well.

Somehow, I had managed to get myself entangled with a mixed group of players at the local roleplaying-club. Some were very experienced, others were comparative striplings in the hobby, and I had let myself be convinced that I should try to run that most dangerous and reckless of campaigns:

"Make yourself as a World of Darkness mortal".

People in the group were thrilled at the prospect of actually playing themselves in their own city, where they knew all the locations better than they ever could in some far-flung American setting (this was in a city in northern Denmark, mind you ... plenty of werewolves baying in the suburbs).

When everyone's character was ready, I told people I needed to get something to drink but I'd be right back. I left the room, waited fifteen seconds or so, then STORMED back in, flustered and waving my arms around, declaring I was really sorry but I couldn't play anyway, because something tragic and very personal had just happened (remember, this is WAY before anyone except the top 1 percent of the 1-percenters had cellphones, but no one questioned where I got that information).

My players sat there dumbstruck as I rushed out of the door. They had no clue whether this was for real or not but apparently, most of them thought that was the case and were starting to pack up their character sheet and dice when I reentered, arms crossed over my chest (a symbol used in LARP World of Darkness, to show "I'm not here, ignore me and continue playing"). Only a few of the players were familiar with this symbol, from having played LARPs of that nature but I took a chance that they'd catch on, and one of them fortunately did.

Instead of packing up, he instantly declared that he thought something must be horribly wrong, and that since my Real Life apartment was only a few hundred yards away up the road, they should all go check to see if I was okay.

To MY astonishment and surprise, he then got up and picked up his overcoat, and told everyone to come with him.

Thus was transformed what was supposed to be a normal, tabletop version of the game into a semi-live-action campaign where we literally walked the entire city thin over the course of the next year. We'd USUALLY end up in the same café every time, once the players had visited whatever places they wanted to go to that night, and we would continue playing while there.

Now ... no one had actually told the café-owners about us wanting to do that, and I was concerned we'd eventually get told to take a hike. This WAS the early 90's ... no one knew much about RPGs back then. But instead of being thrown out, we were welcomed every time and after we'd gone there maybe five weeks in a row, on schedule on a specific evening, a waitress came up to us with a tray full of drinks, telling us they were complimentary and that the ownership hoped we'd continue to come by with our "impressionistic theatre-troupe" for many more weeks because business picked up due to us.

When she said that, everyone at the table got deathly quiet and we started looking around and up, and we realized that we had maybe forty people listening in from other tables on the first floor and ground floor.

I don't think any of those players or myself for that matter, had ever been so obscenely self-conscious, but at the same time it was just unbelievably cool. There we were, a bunch of teenaged and early-twenties roleplayers, getting complimentary drinks because people thought we were actors and actresses.

I admit ... that one still puts a smile on my face.

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I enjoy GM'ing more, but occasionally, a campaign comes up where I can make a character that I simply fall in love with. Something fresh and new and entertaining.

But overall, on a general basis, yes ... I prefer GM'ing to playing as well. I like the subtle difference in creative energies involved in GM'ing as opposed to playing. You don't have to think of your own character and nothing else, you have to think of all your NPCs and the entire world in which the game is played. I like the mental gymnastics of that.

Thymus Vulgaris wrote:
I know I'm horrible for correcting you, but that slap was really very well deserved.

No problem. I have to juggle six insane players and a village full of goblins. I think I'm legally excused if I fail to remember every single line. :D

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Neither of these are one-liners per se, but they came up during tonight's session of Jade Regent.

Firstly, the party is in a location with very cramped interiors and many, many doors. Because of the limited space in which to move, they quickly end up splitting up the party, scattering in every direction and checking each their own area.

One of the characters opens another door and looks into a hallway which, lo and behold, contains yet more of these things, and the player bursts out in an annoyed exclamation, to which one of her fellow players immediately and without the slightest hesitation, in a loud and suitably epic voice, says:

"One does not simply walk into more doors!"

The rest of the party, myself as the GM included, groaned loudly enough to wake the dead at the bad punnage, to which the player, still in the same epic tone of voice but even louder, exclaims:



Earlier that same evening, the players had just arrived in aforementioned cramped location, and one of their number, a gunslinger, had sought higher ground in order to get a better vantage point both for scouting and shooting (house rule in my campaigns says that high ground is high ground, and you get +1 to hit on ranged attacks if you have high ground as well). She looks around and suddenly, through a doorway, she spots an enemy lurking. Immediately, her real life boyfriend who also plays in the group (he's the underappreciated one, incidentally) shouts out:


The rest of us, listening in on Skype then hear a loud *slap*, and the female player declaring:

"WAAAH! I'm a victim of peer pressure!"

Her boyfriend then, in the saddest, kicked-puppy-voice ever, counters with:

"I'm just a victim ..."


Disclaimer: No roleplayers were harmed during the course of this session but any resemblance to existing people is both intentional and deliberate.

Jaelithe wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:
It's just geek chic to like Firefly.
Rarely have I read a statement that screams "DEAD ... WRONG" more than this one.

Sadly, I can only give you one up-vote for this, Jaelithe. So here's another couple of dozen:

+, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +, +.

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I think it's a matter of perspective, really.

I don't have the slightest problem with players who want to build powerful characters. There is a certain satisfaction in knowing you have a well-designed character who can reliably take on something truly viciously nasty and still stand a reasonable chance of surviving and even succeeding. I think that's an absolutely fair and reasonable thing to want in one's character. After all, as players, we put a certain amount of work into them (some more than others, admittedly) and we would like to see that we've done well.

That's not min-maxing, in my book. Min-maxing is when you create a character as a gimmick, without the slightest thought to creating an interesting personality or even the vaguest, most distant attempt at some kind of believability (I'm not a fan of the word realism ... here, I'm throwing my super-realistic fireball at you! Now duck!)

Worst scenario I've ever faced with a min-maxer, which forever taught me to avoid that kind of player, was a mate of mine, back in the early days of the D20-system, who bought every book he could lay his hands on to create a character with one specific goal in mind.

He wanted to be the physically biggest and the physically strongest that he could possibly be, and he wanted it to be combined with as high a number of attacks as he could squeeze out of the system whatsoever.

The campaign was largely played with his character being active only in combat situations. He didn't have a personality and he brought literally nothing to the table except the fact that at level 21, he had, I believe +64 strength-modifier.

And, mind you, this was entirely legit. He could show us every feat, every rule, every comma, every rulebook, every ... bloody ... little ... thing ... to allow him to have a character with +64 strength-modifier at level 21. This WAS back in the days of "epic levels", but that makes no difference.

We were about to hit the last boss of the campaign, which turned out to be a kind of dragon encapsulating all five chromatic aspects in one, souped up with some idiotic stats and a ludicrous amount of magic. It had a challenge rating somewhere between a God and Moronic. Most of the players were a bit uneasy about it, because our GM at the time was the type who really didn't like to lose. And he most certainly saw roleplaying as a contest between him and the players. We were all prepared for a TPK and had even talked about how we'd handle it if it got to that. The player with the +64 strength-modifier character just told us to relax. He had it in hand.

When we finally reached the dragon, we promptly rolled initiative. Mr. +64 came first. He then proceeded to level 8 attacks at the dragon, using every feat and every magic item he had purchased, after drinking a couple of potions, and smashed the dragon to atoms in a single round of combat. He did somewhere over a thousand points of damage ... in one round of physical combat. Don't ask me how, this was many years ago, but it was above board, it used the rules to the utmost and even the GM who hated losing had to admit that it was all in order.

The rest of us simply looked at each other, packed up our dice and character sheets and left. We did not return to that group and Mr. +64's player was genuinely astonished at why we felt something was wrong. After all, he had only used the rules.

What he completely failed to grasp was that his gimicky character had contributed pretty much nothing in terms of RP up until that point, and when we got to the intense, horrible boss-fight, he basically turned the entire affair into a solo-display, leaving everyone else in the group utterly useless and pointless.

Again, we all expected to lose quite badly against that dragon, but we also expected to at least make a properly heroic, epic last stand and maybe in the end collapse the ruins we were fighting in, killing the dragon along with the whole group or something suitably heroic like that. We expected to not be made completely superfluous at the end of a long and epic journey.

Instead, the entire group except one character stood there and watched as the greatest monster that up until that time had been created, was struck down before the rest of us had the chance to even move.

And the player to this day does not understand why no one wanted to play with him after that. He really, genuinely believes that what he did was the coolest thing ever, and every attempt at explaining to him that the rest of us felt completely useless is met with blank denial. After all, all he did was follow the rules.

That is min-maxing at its worst.

It leaves players who are not walking rules encyclopedias looking like a bunch of lemons. It turns some players into walk-on extras in a movie in which they should be one of the main characters.

Playing powerful, well designed characters is fine. Building something solely for the purpose of milking the rules system is only fine to the person doing it, but to those who have to be the bit-players in that movie, it sucks.

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