We were running a gmless campaign and occasionally an 'ok what happens now' would come up. We'd all roll d20 and high roll decides what happens. A pair of players rolled natural 20's against each other... Then did it again... and again one more time... 6 natural 20's in a row between two players.
What made it funny was how poorly these guys rolled generally in every other circumstance. To have guys who have a reputation for having dice that hate them wind up in such an amazing anomaly was pretty stunning.
I'm not a fan of the terms 'optimizer' and 'murderhobo' because the folks that use them are referring to themselves always one notch below where they're actually at... Optimizers are actually murderhobos and murderhobos are actually gamists...
Its like a guy who says he only drinks socially but when he shows up to the group you can tell he's been hitting the sauce all week. Them 'optimizers' have spent 72 hours this week scouring the books for powergame combos so lets not pretend you only do it on the weekends responsibly when other people are present.
::Pulls pin... Yells fire in the hole... Throws grenade.
This is why my name doesnt show up on the thread listing 'forum members you'd like to game with' isnt it...
When it comes to cantrips I'm like santa claus when I make it to town. Lots of clean and polish and color cantrips for both the locals and their homes, lots of dilapitory for guys and girls alike.
I've often imagined that a low level hedge wizard could make a decent living with a local barber shop and laundromat.
A woops.. Man if ever there were a confession. I play and prefer to play palladium more than any other system. Heroes unlimited and ninjas and superspies mostly.
I suppose my confession would be that I didn't reallize that such a thing should qualify as a confession, but it having been mentioned above... in retrospect... probably true.
Game System: Warhammer
Speaking of lived on to fight several other days... Was raiding a church that had been taken over by demons and vampires when the bulk of the party went downstairs to investigate further. I arrived late and was prevented from joining the party (and presumably punished for splitting the party) by encountering a 4 blade armed demon. 4 Bladed arms vs my heavily invested defensive statblock meant that while it was incredibly difficult to damage the demon in any way, he was soundly and roundly unable to get past my own defenses... Our battle raged on so long that the rest of the party was able to finish their battle, explore the aftermath, and plot the next element of our adventure before finally coming up to assist in dispatching the demon.
I did not 'win'... I simply played 'not to lose'.
Game System: Warhammer
Party was being pursued by a Chaos Lord on a Juggernaut whose intent was to run us down, destroy our cart, steal the contents and most likely kill us all. My noble does what anyone of high birth should do, and promptly hopped off the cart, told them to ride on in haste, and used my rapier to draw a literal line in the sand. Furrowed brow lowered... and bid the Chaos Lord to do his worst. Certain death of this type usually merits a fate point simply to spare my own life, but I argued that in this case I was using the fate point for an offensive action not to spare my own life, but to stab the Juggernaut in the brain through his eyeball.
In an odd twist, character lived on to fight several other days. Ended up taxidermying that Juggernaut's head. Achievement unlocked: trophy hunter.
Rules vs. flavor
Powerful and flavorful builds
Evil parties vs. noble parties vs. slightly sketchy parties
"Sandbox" (open route, open destination) vs. "railroad" (set route, set destination) vs. "freeway" (open route, set destination)
Silly vs. serious
I think my interest came at being a bit surprised by how easily my sue scores would go through the roof on that online sue test. I think the comic probably covered it best when the cast winds up in the marvel dimension... Have you seen someone fitting this description? Why... That's half the people on the planet!
Oh no, that was kind of my point. At the end of the day we know the marvel character is going to win the day... and theyre all incredibly good looking and everyone has a marvel character they'd like to be... so by one definition they're absolutely sues... They always have whatever they need to get the job done...
But to say they're without challenge? Quite the opposite.
The difference in sue definitions I think is the crux of my trouble with sue as a concept.
I think the 'likeable=sue' is a little too broad for me, but I agree that the 'never runs into trouble they cant handle dismissively=sue does seem to get at 'whats not to like about a sue' better.
If I examine all my characters from the lens of 'are they likeable and do I want to be them' they'd all be sues... But if I reframe the definition of sue to be 'do they never run into challenges' then hillariously no... quite the opposite. Though I do have a penchant for playing 'convenience casters'... Leomunds secure shelter... Winter boots that make you immune to cold... Those kinds of things.
That may indeed be the dragon that I'm chasing... I was looking at that online 'mary sue' test and it immediately struck me how you could hit mary sue territory with a character simply by being 'purple eyed attractive female' and I thought geez... Don't take much, does it? By that definition every character from every show and every movie is sue because every character in a show I like is a sue simply because I like them. By that measure sue does strike me as being 'too broad'
It is perhaps from a literary perspective that I think I get a better idea of what a 'true sue' is and that a true sue is a character that has no challenges. Life is good and nothing ever bothers them. While a character in the marvel universe is fundamentally never 'truly challenged'... Perhaps why nobody likes a 20th level wizard. That kind of thing.
I'm not quite sure how to put it, but I guess when I look at the characteristics that make a marysue or garystu, they seem to be...
What makes my character unique in a desirable way without adding depth?
So, for example if your characters drawback were that they're a poorly educated antisocial brute that kills everything in its path, but the player really wants to play a poorly educated antisocial brute that kills everything in its path... Thats kind of a mary sue even though antisocial, poor education, and killer are 'drawbacks' that I wouldn't in real life personally want to deal with. But the person who makes this character, despite its drawbacks, is really looking forward to, not the drawbacks of such a character, but the joys of being 'Mongo just pawn in game of life'.
I look back on my characters and think... I always play characters that I'd want to be. Even when I have the option to choose drawbacks, I still choose drawbacks that I wouldn't mind having to face... (thus I've never played a dull antisocial brute that kills everything in its path for example... I've never played 'frail emo pixie' either...)
EVEN while such things might be considered a drawback to the CHARACTER... Those 'drawback's arent really considered to be drawbacks to the PLAYER... And by that metric I've played nothing but marys and garys.
If every thing I've ever played is something that I *wanted* to try playing, then EVERY of the things (even the ones with big drawbacks) were sues.
I mean... I'm no literary major, so I can't say I have an eye or an appreciation for 'character development' and 'character arcs'... While I do enjoy analyzing a character's personal tropes/perspectives/mores and finding ways to challenge them (force them to face those tropes/perspectives/mores in ways that either reinforce or debunk them...) I've never seen the character whose tropes/perspectives/mores being debunked (creating a transformative character arc) as necessarily very interesting to me. If being marysue is about having a character without consequence, and the drawbacks I have chosen in fact have consequences that I'd find either enjoyable or, worse, not consequential at all to me as a player... Then what's not a mary sue?
With that in mind my question is... whats on the other side of the spectrum? What characters have you played were characters that you're glad you aren't? If 'drawback' means not just a penalty or inconvenience, but one that you actually find annoying and not enjoyable... What drawbacks have you chosen that turned out to be more of a pain in the butt than you expected and ended up being every bit the drawback they had a reputation for being (and then some)? What are the characteristics of an anti sue? What are the characters and characteristics you've played that you *think* are anti sue and are they really?
A character's greatest challenge is overcoming who they are?
This concept applies to a lot more players than one might expect, heheheh. I've seen it so many times I laughed out loud literally instead of figuratively when I read it. So prevalent that I actually would consider it a relevant and... eloquent way of defining a sue/stu.
What's the best way to get a sue/stu to walk into your trap? Shine a light where you want them to stand and make sure the light is 'lime colored'... They can't resist.
Adds another layer of nuance to why we love 'GREEN FLAME!!!'
It's lime green.
All are welcome... Step into the liiiiiight!
People always give Palladium a hard time for being 'gonzo and imbalanced'... but palladium never had a Pun Pun. From Pun Pun's point of view, Rifts is a 'low magic' campaign.
Snarfs Quest. Ah the nostalgia. I've only got a few of these. Most of them died due to the constant water damage of living in a basement that flooded often...
I'm down to only issues 132-135 and issue 144 and the one with the all silver cover with the Death Knight and Duellist classes. I think that one is like a 'best of previous issues anniversary' thing.
My favorite articles were the 'game convention ornithology' and 'front end alignments' articles describing the different types of gamers as birds and describing not character alignments, but playstyles as alignments.
I'm a palladium gamer... We'd call me 'unprincipled'... the rest of my most recent table are all 'anarchists' at best.
But for the old LNC/GNE engine? Somewhere on the NG/CG spectrum.
I'm at my best when I get to break the rules and do the right thing.
So thats kind of an odd thing.
I like to find rules that suck and break them for good reasons to prove that those rules are bad?
Something along those lines.
Clearly not above breaking a rule for a good reason...
I used to stick with specific games until I purchased their replacements, but I've kind of gotten out of videogames in the last decade. Publishers mainlining microtransactions sort of sucked the wind out of my videogaming sails. I let it slide for a while but when it started to become shameless... Then again I also got laid off and make less money now so I can't just willy nilly afford to be a videogamer these days...
I'll always remember my first tabletop gaming purchase. Red box and blue box each on sale at goodwill for a buck each. If I couldn't have joined the hobby for 2 bucks I can't guarantee I'd ever gotten into the hobby in the first place.
Gaming has always been the 'most fun per dollar' of anything I've ever done.
*What's the worst gaming thing you've ever done?
*The most munchkin-ed PC you've run?
*Worst rule misinterpretation you went with for years?
*OOC behavior at the table that makes you cringe now?
*Shameless plagiarism you passed off as original? (I'm looking at you, Driz'zt clones!)
*Character concept you're most ashamed of?
This is sort of exactly the reason why I post on these board less than others. And the more you call them out on it and try to steer the conversation back on course, the more agitated they get at you. Dont get me wrong. I love you all and I'll always stick around, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that every time I think about posting anything on these threads my very first thought is 'brace for impact' regarding a few specific individuals. I don't even go near the houserules and homebrew section anymore. If I'm thinking about changing this or that in my system, I don't bring those ideas here anymore.
My biggest complaint with STO is the fixed up direction flight model. Like a self centering steering wheel. The pride of the fleet can't even sustain inverted flight in a zero g environment... preposterous. And in a game with ship to ship dogfighting? Very sad.
I dont care if the ships 'arent planes'. I still expect them to fly on a roll pitch mechanic instead of a (simulated roll) yaw pitch model. Amateurs!
I'm totally diggin it so far. The only thing I don't like about it is knowing they're an episode or two ahead of us in the show's home country and a guy like me with some research skills is hard pressed not to go looking for spoilers to see what happens on episodes we don't get to see yet. How can I binge watch this awesome show if we're the last to get it?!?!
Can't wait to see whats next is both a shining endorsement of the show so far, but also a critique... More! More!
On the first point I think I appreciate it when things I might recognize pop up in a campaign, and as a GM I love cameo's of both people and things... The setback that you mentioned that 'if you haven't seen it then there's no way to figure it out' is only true in certain systems. There's a lot of systems out there where a little divination magic or some knowledge rolls will produce useful information. In a system that doesnt use rolls to handle that mechanic, it is kinda the gm's job to offer up an npc spreading legends or a book lying around that someone who knew something was on to something and so this manual with some bookmarked pages provides some useful clues... Kinda like indiana jones following his father's journal to locate him when he got into trouble.
I'm not a big fan of powerful monster bad tactics, though I have used it myself as a gm from time to time. If you know the system really well and know all the different ways to break it, sometimes its bad hat to unleash an enemy that can tactically obliterate a party (say, mosquito swarms against a party with no AOE attack in pathfinder for example... you cant kill them, you cant outrun them...) So sometimes you have to do that, but I'd prefer knowing the monster well enough ahead of time to know what its capable of so that you dont run into a situation where you have to dumb it down to be survivable. Sign me up for 'do a little more homework on the enemy before you put it in the game' on this point. I agree that defeating a monster that's not being foolish is way more rewarding than defeating a monster that's capable of overkill but not really showing up with its A-game
Monty haul is my middle name. I'll admit that both as a player and as a gm I prefer getting past the 'scrounging up the cool loot' as fast as humanly possible so that I can get on to the real meat of a campaign. As a gm I'm so much more interested in the character development that happens after the basest of motivations that I basically am fine with giving characters big bucks right outta the gate just so the campaign can get to 'ok... you're rich... what's next... why did you want to get rich.... what did you plan on doing after you got rich... what's your character actually about once he's not about... just getting rich? So I'm a pretty unabashed monty haul man meself. If a player's goal is 'I want to get rich' and thats it? Well. I've been gaming for 28 years. Such motivations are pretty boring for me. Anymore I just need more out of my players and party members.
On the flip side, if your players *don't* really have a goal past getting rich so they can get more murderkillstompy, so they can get more rich so they can get more murderkillstompy, et cetera, et cetera... ad nauseum ad infinitum.. well... that's horribly boring for me too so in those cases I'd prefer a campaign where the money just doesnt flow as much, since there's not really a point to it. On the other hand if that's all the campaign is going to be about I might be better off walkin in the first place.
This. What I miss the most about gaming these days is how the players seem to go after goals like malnourished piranhas but have no interest in the lower key? simpler? facets of adventuring... You manage to seamlessly incorporate the player's goal into the overall story but halfway through it the players are like 'dang. If I knew it was going to take this long I never would have wanted it in the first place...'
I wanted it... But I just wanted you to give it to me with no fuss. Immediately.
It used to be that getting there was half the fun. There used to be an ebb and flow to the amount of danger the party was in... At least for me lately it seems like players just want to 'fast forward to the door kickin boss monster fightin' part as soon as possible.
I'm also prone to being on the gm side of the screen than not... I do think at the end of the day its a pretty even mix of capability and desire that puts me there. There's a lot of freedom to be had as a gm in terms of putting something together exactly how you like it, and I think I prefer playing off of others more than being driving force in the campaign. I enjoy improvisation and thinking on my feet.
As a sandboxer gm that puts me in a pretty good place.
I think the dividing line is when you specialize to such a degree that you no longer have any expectation of effectively doing anything else but that thing you've specialized in.
You become a one trick pony and before you know it you've become the person in the game to which every problem is a nail to which you've brought your only hammer.
If you don't mind the parts in the game to which your one trick can't be applied, then its not so bad, but variety being the spice of life, a character with no variety can get old fast even if the one thing he does is an amazing but grating accent.
Str: 14. Even guys who hit the gym consistantly or do difficult manual labor for a living are shocked at some of my strength... Mesomorph. Picked up the front end of a pontiac grand prix like a wheel barrow using nothing but a ratcheting tiedown strap over my shoulders.
Dex: 15. An accomplished juggler. Excellent reflexes and a natural at the shooting range. Was a lot worse when I was younger. I was a falling down the stairs kinda kid.
Con: 7. I'm a pretty heavy old dude anymore. My feet hurt just strolling around a grocery store for an hour. Probably would take me 2 hours to walk 2 miles and I'd be miserable at the end of it.
Int: 17. INTP and Professionally conducted IQ tests. Bit of a polyglot and pick up on the subtle nuances of both physical skills and mental skills pretty easily.
Wis: 8. On the one hand I'm pretty sure I know what the right thing to do would be almost every time... On the other hand I seem to choose the wrong thing like... most of the time. My sense of adhering to my principles has been a detriment to my overall success and happiness and sociability.
Cha: 14. I'm definitely not easy on the eyes. I do on the other hand have an unmistakable aura of 'clout or gravitas or presence' and can grab attention quite easily... There is an unmistakable sense, in a room, when 'I Have Arrived'... On the other hand I wouldnt say the end result of having done so would result in 'people liking me'.
I've got kind of an uncanny valley in terms of my charisma over time... The immediate impression is usually whoa... who the hell is that... I don't think he's someone I'd want to talk to. He seems scary and angry. Then they get to know me and find me far less scary and angry than they expected so its like ah... no... he's actually pretty cool... But the more you get to know me the more you sort of get back to that point of... What a machiavellian sociopath he is...
I've got this judge dredd face that hides my big lebowski personality
I'm like an onion.. I have layers.
If you allow dump statting after the rolls, then functionally there is no difference between point buy and dice rolling...
If, on the other hand, you don't allow dump statting after the rolls, then the min maxing you do with your rolls can be palpably different than the min maxing you're capable of with point buy...
I'd even go so far as to say that If you were faced with the option of rolling, then after seeing the results of your rolls, either keeping the rolls as they stand or instead choosing point buy, and then by some chance you rolled straight 14s (only achievable with a 30 point buy), I'd gamble that said player would instead prefer to have a 25 point buy more times than not.
No game that I can think of where I liked the entire soundtrack, at least not in th e8 and 16 bit realm... Final fantasy online is the game from which I like the most tracks by percentage, bu that's not an 8/16 bit game... I also really like 'a mediterannean call' which was sophitia's stage music in the original soul blade, but again. Wrong era...
I think for me when we're talking about 8 and 16 bit, its not a games worth of songs but individual songs I remember most. Other than everyone's perennial favorites of zelda and tetris and mario stufff I guess I'd have a few tunes that managed to make enough of an impression to stick in my head all these years...
Ikari Warriors. The prison theme from arcus odyssey. the theme song to Gauntlet, a few tracks from shinobi and ninja gaiden... The intro music to defender of the crown and centurion defender of rome were pretty good.