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is this character going to be called "acme" or "wile e cyote" ?

Right off the bat you got some problems with your understanding of shrink item, it says very specifically it only works on non-magical items, so no you cant put a shrunken flask into a flask and shrink it again, and alchemical components (assuming they are magical too) would also be right out. Another question would be do fabricated items have any magical residue? if not your fine, if your DM says "its magic but it can be used as any normal material/item" it couldent be shrunk.

so I dont want to get all into breaking down scroll costs etc... just some ideas...

a catapult but rather than a launching bucket has a giant metal spiked fly swatter or axe (for the big critters) toss, yank rope, done.

a giant spring attached to metal flooring in an L shape, inside is a triggering rod that leads to a giant spiked pinball, or giant spiked roller (like a cement roller). pull trigger launch pinball/roller = fun.

could substitute many barrels of oil for either of the two above and toss a fire pit in after them on the second round.

how bout 100 cocked (small) ballistas on some kind of wooden grid again in an L shape,

marbles marbles marbles (and/or caltrops) again in a spring or catapult launcher.

eh, enough... go here for real inspiration...

http://rpggeek.com/rpgseries/1259/grimtooths-traps

1.8501 Grimtooth's Traps (1981)
2.8502 Grimtooth's Traps Too (1982)
3.8504 Grimtooth's Traps Fore (1986, 1990)
4.8505 Grimtooth's Traps Bazaar (1994)
5.8508 Grimtooth's Traps Ate! (1989)
6.8509 Grimtooth's Traps Lite (1992)
7.8530 Grimtooth's Dungeon of Doom (1992)

The lite version probably has more "portable" traps...


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was looking over the City of Fallen Sky again and looked over the campaign chronicle and saw this gem...

Fugitive from Numeria: You spent time studying the secrets of the Silver Mount and have acquired both a rudimentary understanding of its cosmic technology and the enmity of a dangerous organization. When you would be targeted or affected by an activated magical item, as a free action you gain a +2 bonus to AC and on saving throws against that item’s effects for 1d4 rounds. When this boon is used, cross it off your Chronicle sheet.

Cosmic Technology... Humm.....


So a few years ago I read City of Fallen Sky, just to get some ideas about Numeria so I could run a campaign... (http://paizo.com/products/btpy8rkv?Pathfinder-Tales-City-of-the-Fallen-Sky )

The one thing that bugged me though was there were no jungles in Numeria, it was all desert and mesa. I was thinking about weird ass alien jungles over growing ancient or alien civilizations (like in Thundarr!!!) and there just wasnt any. Without weird ass alien jungles, I cant have dubstepping cyber-raptors, If I cant have dubstepping cyber-raptors, I dont want the supplement.

Please designers, put some weird ass alien jungles in there so I can have dubstepping cyber-raptors.

ty


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Nipples, undead, and bloody axes.


Oh hey guess what was on save mode...

+
Actually I love champions and hero games, and its very easy to balance.

all the powers and combat skills come with symbols that tell you what combinations and builds should not be used together because they easily become over powered and should ONLY be approved with specific GM permission IE 99% of the time your GM should say "no" to this build and you should know that before adding this gross combo to your character, meanwhile pathfinder has nothing like that (i would have a lot more respect for the designers if it did, some how they can tell you the proper amount of magic items per level but they cant show you a power level chart where a character is doing too much or too little dpr etc?!?!) and the sky's the limit during character generation and progression.

Also hero game system is a perfect example of a system that only makes minor changes from edition to edition and whos supplements never effect game balance or system bloat. is champions the most popular biggest selling game in the world? No, and I see that as proof their design team isn't just out to "violently steal from" your wallet every couple of months, they all kept their day jobs.

And knightnday- what if I just don't want to be annoyed by players who show up with the newest gross overpowering supplement in their hands demanding it be let into my game because "it's official" and he just spent 60 bucks on it?

And when you tell them "sorry but again, the answer is no I'm not going to let a sick beastmorph vivisectionist build ruin my well balanced game, core only" and they look like wounded puppies then storm off saying they'll find a "real" pathfinder GM...

And now I gotta look all over trying to find that weird probably non-existant player who prefers core only to the standard "anything goes" pathfinder game...

No, it's not a gun to my head but it sure is a gigantic pain in the ass that I won't have to deal with if I simply pick a better designed game.

Good luck to you too.

And if PF is free, how is Paizo on that fastest rising companies list you mentioned?


Tempted to change my profile class to "Lambertz totem druid."
Peace out.


I think Tri0 is right, people play pathfinder because its popular, it has buzz, not because the game is very good. I think Paizo's marketing approach is identical to 3.5 and gamesworkshop in general... IE every few months come out with something that is more powerful than anything that came before it, and people will always buy the new supplement/minature/splatbook etc.

Over time this always leads to huge balance issues and system bloat, and of course a necessary system reset regardless of how many fanbois scream "nuh uh!" but it's an extremely effective way of sucking every last dollar out of your fan's wallets and making sure people who design games as a carreer (rather than as a hobby) are able to earn as much as possible...

I've decided that I'd rather put my money in the hands of people who arent looking to rob me for every last penny, and sell me unbalanced "time limited" gaming materials, I'd rather have a game I can play for years and years if I'm going to spend money on it, or for a single campaign or two if its free and kind of unprofessional.

meanwile I'm working on a free RPG of my own, and hopefully someday all RPGs will be free.


TriO- it worked great moving from 2.0 to 3.0, the f-up happened when they took the advice of the current CEO of Goblinworks (Dancy) and built a system around an mmo (that's why wings of flying or any flying forced you to land after the power was used) and chucked out everything that was good about previous editions including their core consumer base (ie old geeks who started playing in the70s and 80s) as long as nobody listens to Dancy a rewrite should work fine.

Knightnday- from what I've seen nothing will reduce an adult PF player to a toddler having sugar amplified crying fit faster than being told you not using the 400 bucks worth of add on books he bought in your new campaign. Sure you could beg and plead for your players to give it a shot, but if I gotta beg and plead for players to try something new I'd rather have it be a new game system with less flaws and broken than even core PF has.


200-300 official feats is the living definition of system bloat, PF is past that already I believe.


Be a jerk,
WIN
Summon Lambert.

Change your login and IP.

Rinse repeat.


No shard, PF is set to loose all its customers if the bloat continues, resetting the system and reorganizing the company is how to loose less.


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Rictras Shard wrote:
baalbamoth wrote:

So, the real evil in the system is the need for the company to make money by selling rule books... I agree.

Though I see other options for fixing the problem, a complete rewrite, then restructure the company to need to make much less money (fire 3/4 of the staff or transfer them to other product lines) then rather than producing splat books or additional rule books, produce only APs and setting books free of rule changes. Problem solved.

Then people would complain that the game is stagnant.

And the people who say that would move to whatever trendy game is "the mostest bestest game evar!" being played ATM anyway.

Honestly I think that's why 3/4 of the people who play PF play it, not because it's got the best system or design of any game out there but because there's this "pathfinder is cool" vibe, when that gets old people will move on. I did.


Anyone played warriors and warlocks? The 2e fantasy M&M setting?


Eclipse Phase, hands down best sci if game I've bought in the last 10 years, if you've read Richard K Morgan's altered carbon aka the Takashi Kovacs novels the setting is extremely similar. I've been running an EP game for the past three months, setting is incredible and the players are having an awesome time, and all the books are available as PDFs for free. Can't praise it enough.


So, the real evil in the system is the need for the company to make money by selling rule books... I agree.

Though I see other options for fixing the problem, a complete rewrite, then restructure the company to need to make much less money (fire 3/4 of the staff or transfer them to other product lines) then rather than producing splat books or additional rule books, produce only APs and setting books free of rule changes. Problem solved.


Steve Geddes wrote:
baalbamoth wrote:


maybe those flaws dont bother you or your group, but that does not mean the flaws dont exist.

Similarly, the fact it bothers you doesn't mean it's a flaw. There's thousands of people who disagree with you - the best selling RPG in the world today provides strong incentives to develop system mastery. That doesnt mean rewarding system mastery is the best approach.

What's wrong with it being a difference in style? Why does there have to be a "correct" approach to designing an RPG?

Here's the funny thing Steve, I could take that entire post, go back in time and switch it over to the 3.5 forums when that game had reached its zenith in system bloat... Best selling most popular RPG in the world etc didnt make a bit of difference at all when it's sales eventually tanked either, and if you want to point a finger at what made that game go the way of the dodo it's exactly the same things I'm accusing PF of right now. System mastery imbalance, system bloat, and power creep. This is just history repeating itself.

The bigger question is, if you recognize the symptoms of the disease in PF, and you love PF as a game.... What are YOU doing to try and alter PF's course away from the exact same course 3.5 went?

The only thing I can think of is a rewrite, what do you suggest?

Matt and Matthew- it kind of reminds me of the philosophical argument against the existence of evil. You must have evil in the world to allow good to exist. That's true, but there could be MUCH less evil. You must allow a bit of imbalance to allow a level of character customization that people enjoy....but there can be MUCH less imbalance than the gigantic imbalance PF currently has.


Heh, yea I wrote every one of these as an extreme example, mostly for entertainment but also to get people talking.

I've put it up on a few websites now, always no.19 is the one most people have big problems with...

Now I really did have a few games like this, and I never will forget my friend's chair collapsing, him landing on the cat under his chair (there were like four cats and two or three small dogs around the gaming table) the wounded cat running under the bed, then mom, dad, the three crying kids, and five apologetic gamers all trying to coax the cat out to take it to the pet hospital. At the same time I've had a lot of games where one spouse took the kids to a movie or upstairs etc and kids weren't an issue at all.

I'll say I do prefer games where kids or pets aren't around to distract the game (I prefer as few outside distractions in the gaming environment as possible) but do agree with others that if you know what your in for before you show up, you've got no right to cry about it later.

Ellis-there is actually a jokey geek religion called "cheetoism" google it, serious yet pretty funny.

Grey & storm raven- true, but if I was making the player list it'd be a LOT longer, also I feel DMs/GMs because they are a position of authority/hold a higher responsibility for the success of a session, are a little more deserving of having stereotypical (over the top) common errors or problems pointed out so such things in the future can be avoided.

I know I've been guilty of many of these bad habits at one time or another, overcoming those weaknesses and remembering not to fall into the same trap again is another reason why I wrote this.

PS the d100, hilarious, "oh, your going to a new game from an advert on the wall of the local game store that's been up there for more than a year... Roll d100..."


Steve Geddes wrote:

I'm not questioning your experience - as I said, if people are playing for different reasons then there may well be a problem with running a game which rewards system mastery (as Pathfinder does). You mention two groups of PF players - those who built power gamer characters and those who didnt and complained about those who did. Would you have had the same experience if the first group had played together and the second group didnt?

.
The people satisfied with the way Pathfinder plays are not a mythical group - our table, for one, finds that Pathfinder works fine (although it's too complicated to be my game of choice). Don't you think it's really unlikely we're the only group who feel that way? It's not balanced but we dont care. For others who I've seen post on the forums, they consider it is balanced - no doubt their groups are reasonably homogenous when it comes to system mastery (or those who dont have it get help from those who do).

Some games reward system mastery and some dont. That doesnt mean the former are 'flawed systems' they just have a different philosophical approach. There's no objective standard of 'good game design'...

I've heard people argue that PF is balanced because every player has the option of creating a powerful build/power gamer character... that is a load of crap.

There is also arguably no such thing as objective truth, that does not change the fact that "most" people would agree balanced character creation and progression IS an important part of game design. and yes, when the kind of imbalance that were talking about exists(where one character is doing 100 hp damage per rnd and the other can barely make 10)that IS a flaw in design and thus makes it a flawed system.

maybe those flaws dont bother you or your group, but that does not mean the flaws dont exist.


Sure. But it's hard to avoid such gaps, because it's hard to avoid the players choose wrong stuff.

why

is
there
wrong
stuff
?


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30 Habits of Highly Unsuccessful DMs

1) Isn’t prepared
2) Can’t wing it.
3) Can’t sell it.
4) Cant act it.
5) Cant make it.
6) No Girls Allowed.
7) Table Management Fail.
8) Cant Cope
9) Cant Say No.
10) Loves the Meta-Game
11) You Want A War…
12) Where the Choo Choo Go?
13) Cannot bend Like a Reed in the Wind…
14) One Skill to Rule Them All
15) Cant You Smell That Smell…
16) Who is Your Daddy...?
17) Your Soaking In It.
18) Cant Hack It.
19) Daddy YUP! YUP!
20) Captain Homebrew!
21) I WANT TO ROCK!
22) Lawful Anal/Chaotic Stupid
23) Die! Die! Die!
24) The Never Ending Story
25) DM’s Cant Cheat.
26) All Players Cheat.
27) You No Can Haz it!
28) Cheetoist
29) 20-4 meh.
30) Obsessive much?

1) Isn’t Prepared- the adventure is always left at home, or the encounter notes, or something that he desperately needs isn’t available which results in ending the game early or skipping encounters, etc.

2) Can’t wing it- he needs to have absolutely everything written down, and will spend three out of every eight minutes (yes I actually timed a DM like this once) looking up a rule or reading an entry absolutely killing any role playing, suspense, or action built up in-game. Also typically means if the dialog isn’t written down, he cant RP for the antagonists. About the only thing worse than the cant wing it DM is the DM who thinks he can and cant… see no. 18

3) Can’t Sell It-In professional wrestling “selling it” is convincing the audience the punches are real, in D&D it’s describing the scene or the action, in a way with a touch of emotion to really let the players feel like they are in-the moment with their characters. A DM who cant do this lacks an essential skill.

4) Can’t Act- Just has little or no ability to RP, every NPC sounds the same, uses the same speech patterns, uses a lot of modern slang, and the DM will often say something like “well he’s using a British accent but I cant pull it off” or “he sounds short” then speaks in a deep bass tone. Its typical that these DMs also have trait #1 and has to refer to notes or the AP to remember what the NPC needs to say.

5) Cant make it- If the game starts at 6 he doesn’t show till 7:00 if the players start showing up at 7:00 he starts showing up at 8:00, if he cancels a game night, he waits until everyone has changed their plans and is sitting at the table before sending the notice.

6) No Girls Allowed. Happens more than ya’d think, DM cant stop himself from using rude, profane or dirty language/conversations, encourages others to do the same, or simply cant RP with a girl without blushing or quickly changing players. Some DM’s have the same problem with GLBT players (I admit I have a problem with the T, and yah it actually came up once.)

7) Table Management Fail- Just generally cant control player demands, some players get all the spotlight, others get none, slow players never get the nudge, side conversations are loud and endless, game is constantly interrupted by cell phones or other distractions. Often leads to the next habit.

8) Cant Cope- either carpet bags all his anger till it explodes with yelling, cussing and/or throwing dice, or he gets extremely quiet and just reads books or shuts off when the game gets to be too much to manage, when called on this passive aggressive behavior claims its all the player’s fault.

9) Cant Say No- A-typical Monty Hall behavior, dm kinda sucks to begin with then hands out a lot of overpowering magic items, giving incredible amounts of XP, allowing access to feats or advanced class abilities the character cant qualify for to win back the favor of the players. This is often combined with…

10) Loves the Meta Game- yup wash his car get a +5 sword, Give him Pizza get a magic item tailored just for your character, bring an attractive girl to the table and watch her become the favored character of the week, plays favorites, holds grudges and generally cant take criticism without repercussions… often leads to…

11) You Want a War- I’ll give you a war… DM sees the game as a contest between the DM and the Players, and generally the players always loose until he feels guilty and goes all Monty/meta. In his game you’ll have flashbacks of Cartman saying “Respect ma Athorita!”

12) Where the Choo Choo Go? It go wherever the hell the DM wants it to that’s where… Your on the railroad and you cant get off. This DM cant freestyle anything, any attempt to do anything not covered by an AP leads to NPC’s forcing you back into covered territory, loss of everything your character values, world destroying cataclysm, etc. etc, in short if your in his game, neither you nor your characters have free will.

13) Cannot bend Like a Reed in the Wind… you cant solve the puzzle, oh well better spend two sessions going back to town, raiding a library, and getting back again, cant beat the unbeatable BBEG’s init? oh well guess you all die, make new characters. This DM gives you no hints, clues, help, or allowances if you cant tackle some aspect of his game. A little of this can be respected too much and your time is better spent on xbox.

14) One Skill to Rule Them All- DM has a way he likes characters to handle a problem… ONE WAY!, Either the diplomancer is god or everything is a nail to the fighter’s warhammer. DM rarely offers different ways to succeed at an encounter… this is often caboose of the Choo Choo.

15) Cant You Smell that Smell- Ya show up to the game at his place and he hasn’t washed, brushed, shaved, or put on a shirt. The house is filthy, covered in fast food wrappers, maybe the detritus of 100 other gaming sessions, the garbage was last taken out with the previous tenant… and oh.. A hardcore/thrash heavy metal drummer would envy the stink coming off him… Lets be honest, the hobby attracts a lot of anti-social anti-mainstream society types and while I applaud this occasionally there’s always that one guy (player or DM) who just cant take care of basic hygiene needs.

16) Who is Your Daddy… and what does he do… well apparently he’s the DM. This DM is better than you, he’s right, always. He voted for the right candidate in the last election, worships the right god (gods/goddess or is a devout atheist) he cheers for the right sports franchise, and if you disagree with any of his true convictions, you’ll reap the whirlwind buddy, blue bolt, save or die, or just steals your chips and never ever apologizes and will often…

17) Your Soaking in It- “IT” being the preternatural glow of absolute perfection that the DMPC the DM shoved into your party seems to radiate whenever he passes gas. This DM really wants to be a player in a game with a DM as cool as him, one that knows why this absolutely bad ass guy he created needs and deserves to get all the best weapons rewards, xp etc. You can be sure 99% of the time, your adventures will likely be following this NPC around as he buys cities, fights gods etc. Face it if your in this game, your character is just one of the supporting cast to his ultimately cool main character. Probably the best thing you can do is find another game, failing that having your character become Gilligan to his Skipper and learn to endlessly repeat variant phrases of “that guy is SOOOO awesome!”

18) Cant Hack It- Just no system mastery, never knows the rules to the game he’s running, is easily played by a metagaming player, makes quick brash rulings that if you argue about just leads to bigger problems (ala no. 11) has a tendency to DM fiat and is even sometimes correct. Lots of times this is a secondary habit to no. 9, and this DM will occasionally have a lil buddy (husband, wife, friend etc) that has to be around to rules lawyer for him.

19) Daddy YUP! YUP!- when you arrive at this DM’s house you’ll quickly suspect he has a wholesale accounts with Playschool, Pet Depot, and the local goodwill. At this game the game is secondary to the responsibilities of the parent, the kids aren’t in school and the spouse is taking off. Every five minutes one of the droolers is at his knee arms lifted saying “Daddy YUP! YUP!” and demanding to be held, roll the dice, knock your expertly painted tailored minis of the table or better yet finding that the old led orc is missing an arm and it turns into a game of CLUE as to who ate it and needs to go to the ER etc,etc. meanwhile the 4yr old is chasing the screaming 3 yr old, and the three dogs and two cats are fighting over a milk bottle spilled on the couch that the DM just needs “a few minutes” to deal with. If you’re at this game, you’re now a walk on cast member of this guy’s own personal sit com, bout the best thing you can expect is that in-between “incidents” you might get to game a little bit, and there will probably be a barbeque and beer… BYOM! (no tofu allowed!)

20) Here I come to save the day!- This system sucks and Captain homebrew is on his way. Captain Homebrew really wishes he was a game designer rather than just a DM. Before you ever get to the game this guy has sent you gigs of his tweaker manifesto aka homebrew world/rules, and tells you that’s just a smidgeon of what you should read before your first session. He hates the magic system so he made his own, hated the standard ways of rolling characters so he’s got a stat/feat/class ability point buy system, hated the skills and combat system so he’s changed it to the resolution system of some game no one’s ever heard of complete with chips to spend, dice pools, and homemade combat cards. The bad news is if your playing in his game your really not playing the game he advertised as xyz edition with “some” homebrew rules, and you’ve got no idea what to expect. The good news is if you jump on board the crazytown express and agree with his mad ramblings and rants he’ll likely give you a character that has been min/maxed according to his twisted system that will absolutely pwon anything else at the table… (except for his NPC… no.17)

21) I WANT TO ROCK! This Dm requires the right music to set the stage for the game… get ready, its either going to be some Danish unholy black deathmetal bands, or darkwave trance. You’ll be lucky if his speakers only go to 11.

22) Lawful Anal/Chaotic Stupid- you don’t know how to play your character but this DM is gonna teach you. This DM generally demands that the game be serious to the extreme, has little sense of humor, and he has his own very ridged ideas on how races, alignments, background traits etc. MUST be played and failure to play to his sense of right and wrong will lead to the spinning of the great Gigaxian Wheel of Repercussions. Nobodies a winner, bring on the blue bolts and xp loss.

23) DIE! DIE! DIE! no he doesn’t use too many dice… he just wants your PCs to die. His game is lethal in the extreme. More like a game of Paranoia than a game of whatever it was you wanted to play, where if your character lived longer than half a session you should consider yourself lucky.

24) The Never Ending Story- This DM is the exact opposite of no.23, nothing in this game will likely ever kill you and all combat is usually avoided. The DM loves sticking japananime type plots into the game, choc full of mysteries you’ll never solve, twilightesque romanticized NPCs and of course non-stop conflict free story telling. And whatever you do… don’t ask them about their art, poetry, or spiritual views…

25) DM’s Cant Cheat- If ya get the feeling rolling a 1 is not much different than rolling a 20 on any knowledge or influence roll this is probably your DM. Secretly he may claim the rules tell him to roll behind his indestructible DM screen and to fudge the die rolls if it will help the game, but more often than not the truth is more likely that no die roll matters in the least as this guy wants to get to the end of his movie, and is often accompanied by the rationalization that…

26) All Players Cheat- This DM is of the opinion that all players are secretly min/maxing munchkin jerks plotting against him to ruin the game. He may require that all players use a dice tower or he spends as much time as necessary to triple check all figures on any check, stat, roll, etc.

27) You No Can Haz it!- this is the opposite of no.9, you spend three sessions and two party members die to eventually kill a BBEG or mega boss dragon and find the mountainous pile of treasure is made of coppers painted gold and the ancient magic sword is really an illusion or horribly cursed. This Dm tries to give you as little as possible and rewards no successes (possibly due to a strong belief in no. 26), often when you think he may have given you something worthwhile he will complain that it has overpowered you and soon something must come to steal it back or weaken you in some way in the great name of game/PC balance.

28) Cheetoist- the DM is the opposite of no 22, he is a fun first game second DM, he is there to have fun and eat cheetos and if the seriousness of a game interferes with having fun or eating cheetos, something needs to change. This DM has tremendous difficulty addressing any adult or serious topics in the game, the characters and NPCs are typically over the top overdrawn stereotypes, and no effort is made to separate in-game or out of game dialog… unless its funny to do so. Bottom line, this is a goofgame, any desire for in-game seriousness will be punished with out-of-game public humiliation, so don’t try, eat a cheeto and do something stupid that everyone can laugh at and when it gets old (and it will) find a more serious game… or just buy more cheetos.

29) 20-4 Meh. Just a substandard DM in which every game he runs has 20 minutes of fun spread out into 4hrs of gaming. May have elements of all or none of these habits. Either way every week will be a pure meh experience and leave you wondering if there isn’t a better way you could be spending your free time and gas money maybe for years, actually I think this is the worst kind of DM to have.

30) Obsessive Much?- this DM has little or no life, probably spends every waking moment thinking about his game, characters, a new system coming out etc. He’s dangerous in that he has deep seeded largely idealistic views about what a game should or should not contain and what actions any type of player/dm should and should not do. A true onetruewayist. Just expect endless b#@@!ing and criticism. And oh yeah… he probably wrote a list just like this one once upon a time… ;-)


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knightnday wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:
Usually the happy ones, or ones without any real issues to discuss, tend to not post gloating, sunshiney posts about how great their game is going. People with issues look for help. That is why you tend to see more of those posts.

Maybe we should? That way this place will be less depressing and/or antagonistic!

My various groups over the years have been great and with only minor exceptions everyone has gotten along, no real drama, a few marriages have come out of the various groups. I miss my original group very much in fact.

THAT'S A STUPID IDEA!!!!!

J/k

Lol maybe we should have a gamer's thanksgiving and state something in a game were thankful for, I'll start...

I'm thankful for the player whos playing a cowardly uplifted octopus in my game, in our first game whenever he got nervous or scared he'd flail his arms around... Looking exactly like what you'd expect a scared octopus would look like, we all laughed our asses off for about a half hour after that, add in the embarrassment he role plays when he accidentally "inks" himself.... It's RPG gold...


Shard- never said it wasn't legit, I've just never seen it... I've also never seen somebody game with a cat on their head (also legit, theres no anti-head-cat rule in PF) so to me, yeah, equally as weird.

Geraint- was that back when it was an AP for D&D? Also, I understand back when there was only a core book that's the way people played... But how many groups have you seen in the past year that only used a core book? Even new PF players tend to buy an APG.

And uh... PF hasn't been out for twenty years and I've been playing RPGs for 33 years...

Jus sayin...


Love my GM (it's me) gamers are awesome, and we love eclipse phase! Oh wait... Wrong forum... Uh yeah uh... All of our problems went away once we vetoed our PF GM (kicked him from our group) and started playing a different game... Since then it's been oodles of fun.


Gustavo- couple of problems there...
1. I bet you didn't like or enjoy downgrading your character (why else would you feel like boosting the other guys) I bet you liked your character best right where he was when you designed him but I understand for the betterment of the game you had no choice but to cripple him... Ive had to do the same thing before and It sucks having to do that, really both players should be able to make exactly the character they want and both would be mostly balanced without anybody needing a nerf.
2. When an imbalance where one character is doing 10 pts of damage and the other is doing 100... Any combat that will challenge the stronger character will kill the weaker one, so either one guy is dieing all the time or the other is blowing over every encounter... Either way hard for the DM to create adventures, less fun for everyone.


Dunn- five groups over two years at an open game night, and about 20-30 groups at a local yearly con I went to...

How many groups do I have to go through before I will find one that plays core only, and how many will it take before you will admit playing with core only IS weird?


Gustavo- again your perfectly outlining the problem in the design, when you give players 300-400+ feats and all the feats vary widely in their effectiveness, and many have unexpected disgustingly gross and overpowered combinations, your going to get extreme imbalance in character creation as you clearly point out.

and yes system bloat and power creep such as this have been big contributers in the deaths of many previously popular RPGs.

Steve- The only "page" I've seen in two years of recent PF play at a weekly open game night with roughly five games and twenty five to thirty different players and DMs, are those who built and took sick glory in their power gamer characters and those who didnt and endlessly complained about those who did.

It. Was. Not. Fun.

(Ps. Not one of the games made it to the end of an AP before breaking up and everyone going off to play games other than PF.)

now who do you blame for this; the five DMs? The 20+ players themselves who all just wanted an entertaining game? Or the currently broken system desperately in need of a re-write that encourages all of it?

And just how many PF games will I have to jump into and how many years will I have to quest for before I find the mythical game where everyone is on "the same page"?

Pan- Exactly, so I'll likely go off and play "Warrior, Rogue, and Mage" (pretty much the polar opposite of PF) and drag my players along with me, and none of us will spend another dime next year on Paizo products...

So besides one less dissenting voice, how does that help Paizo? And if I'm only one of a great many people who have started feeling the exact same way (OSR, and the free RPG movement) what will that do to the industry?


Steve- the level of ballence is important, if both characters are 10 th level one should not be a pathetic weakling an the other a minor deity just because of the players levels in system mastery and that is purely a flaw of game design.

And those people that find their ability to make characters that are "more good" than players who did not sit up late at night giggling over a particularly effective feat combination is exactly why I think system mastery is just a thinly veiled excuse for power gaming.


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A number of people here site "good" and "bad" characters and this is is where the problem lies in pathfinder, a "good" character is generally perceived as one that is greatly effective, and lacks exploitable weaknesses.

System mastery assures that should you choose to be as effective as possible you will be able to do so.

But if given the choice a "mature" gamer will never choose to make an extremely effective character? I don't buy it, most of the players in my group are over 30 and very mature, but if you ask them "would you prefer to drive a race car or a jelopy?" Few if any would voluntarily choose the jelopy. That has nothing to do with maturity and everything to do with the options being offered.

The system absolutely does favor race car or power gamer type characters, and yes that is a huge gaping flaw in the system and one that only seems to grow and grow as the system bloat increases with every new unnecessary release just like 3.5.


I see the meta game, "hi look, I just created this character because I like the concept, its not as gross as that THW fighter build I saw on the boards, (two feats are different and one is dedicated to a non-combat feature) but I'll adimt it is pretty powerful"

I can recognize a DPR olympian, but what do you say about a player who always brings a character that has been min/maxed in the most favorable way possible towards combat, except for one or two tiny concessions made in the laid out 20th level plan towards non-powergaming.

I'm also sick of a new player who comes in and builds a character based completly around a concept (a prince who became a ranger say) and every character who was based purely on game mechanics makes the player feel his character is pathetic.

how do you address this huge gaping flaw with pathfinder?


If theres nothing wrong or weird with just playing with the core book... how come I have never found ONE pathfinder group who does it that way? I'd say that makes using just the core book pretty weird, on top of that I have never been to a pathfinder game where at least one player did not have their character's progression completely mapped out to level twenty, commonly its two to three or all players who have done this.


Lord Mhoram wrote:

I don't think I've run into one for my tastes.

The game systems I've enjoyed in the last 20 years:
HERO
GURPS
Dangerous Journeys/Mythus
Rolemaster
D&D 3rd
Pathfinder.

I even spent time and played a merged Rolemaster/Mythus game.

But I have never played Aftermath - but hearing about it, I think that would be too much.

same, but I do see huge problems with implementing those systems namely that the complexity turns off new gamers or even expirenced gamers who dont want to take the time to learn a really complex system.

Take for example Hero Game System, if you go with the basic rules its a pretty minimalist system that grows in complexity as you choose to implement more and more rules, but when the players see those three 800 page core books, its like looking at a medusa, they freeze in their tracks and ask "what are we getting into here?"

theres also a problem with the art. I dont know why art is so important to most people, maybe because the art sets the feel for the game, and maybe scratchy black cheap art just sets the mood all wrong.

another problem is mass appeal, its a LOT harder to get a good fantasy hero game going than it is to get a good pathfinder game going, mostly because pathfinder is whats hot, its got cool releases, a strong following etc. Its like trying to convince somebody to watch some weird BBC TV show that only comes on at 2:00 AM... it may have a great plot, production, actors, etc, but it has little or no buzz, so people wont watch it, the same way people wont play a little known TTRPG game that isnt trending.


I think thats all part of pathfinder,

System mastery is uber important (its what people on these boards seem to spend 90% of their time doing and debating) and the differences between a min/maxed character and a character built for concept are HUGE.

If your new to a game system and you build your average character, and are sitting next to a guy wearing a "I won the DPS olympics!" t-shirt your going to feel your character is pathetic and lame. were the two jerks wrong? only partially IMOHO, introducing the new players to the pathfinder uber-build arms race was a bit much, but if thats not the kind of game they wanted, If they didnt really want to buy a crap ton of books (no matter how good the content or art), they really wouldent be happy with pathfinder anyway.


I'm pretty sure there will be vehicles, I read Tim's city of fallen sky JUST to get the lowdown on Numeria, the Technic League had all kinds of weird conveyances, that typically glowed yellow and made people who got near them sick (strontium 90 anyone?) and the numerian anti-hero assassin had all kinds of cyber-hightech-doo dads. but in that story, no, no giant robots...

I'm also kind of wondering how the faceless men fit in to all of this iorn gods business, they were always suspected of having a secrete agenda outside the Technic League... so did the faceless men raise the Iorn Gods when the Technic League wasnt looking?

BTW IF the ACG gives me a point based class creation system, AND the Numeria AP gives me the setting I want... the only thing pathfinder will be missing to draw me away from the other games I prefer more than PF would be a "low magic" tolken/gygaxian traditional setting...


I'm looking for a point buy conversion similar to Skills and Powers from 3.0, I remember about a year ago I found two of em but now can't remember the titles or publishers... Can anybody give me a hint?


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Snake Plisskin is a rogue, Riddick is a rogue, james bond is a rogue, pretty much almost every major bad assed character from any action adventure movie is a rogue.

what draws me to playing a rogue?
Rogues are bad ass.

does the math of totally optimized BS alchemist overpower the concept? not in my head. Alchemests and mages are runty nerdy geeks, bards are just ghey, druids and rangers tend to be flower eating eco-PETA retards, palidins and clerics... their the door to door "would you like to make a donation to... whatever" masterfully handled in the movie Airplane and always living under the thumb of some higher athority.

no other character has the freedom and pure bad assedness of the rogue. period.

does it matter that other classes leave them in powerlevel dust at later levels?

not at all, rogues get along with theives and assassins, got somebody more powerfull than you can take? you probably have the wealth from all your illgotten gains to put a bounty big enough to attract some 20th level super death assassin on em... they fail theres somebody else waitin to take the contract. Thats what contractors are for, and if an assassin PRC kills em, they cant come back no matter how many buddys they got with rez. besides, a rogue with enough money and enough patience/planning can kill anything.


1) summoner, most of the insane DPR olympics threads pretty much point this out.

2) alchemist, again guilty of so many game breaking builds because of mutagens

3) rogues just because of the sap master builds,

combine a synthisist,vivisectionist, sap master rogue and you've got a I dunno a 12 armed beast swinging saps with a 30+ strength thats doing like 2000 pts of non leathal per round with natual AC an dex buffs putting ac in like the 40s.

this has nothing to do with who is the best optimizer, its just broke broke broke.

"adjusting challenges accordingly" is a joke with something like this in a game, anything you put in there will slaughter half the party just trying injure the broken character. Right now summoners and an alchemists are both banned by our DM, because yes, they are broken as all hell.


Mercenario- no the best use of that is with sap master, dual weilding bright energy saps, and the dazzle/enforcer/shatter defenses build.

your doing over 900 pts of non-leathal per round

I'd pretty much say Alchemist Rogue is the absolute most gesalt build.


@shaman

I dont know of a feat that lets you feint before attacking but Skulking Slayer does it at 9th level.

so what about that skulking slayer/scout build?

you charge, opponent is treated as flat footed, you do d'8s for your sap dice, if you get cleave, and supprise follow through, you get to do this to two enemies...

also with the bonuses to greater dirty trick, you can blind for an attack flat footing them for d4 rounds.

so your attack routine could be

rnd 1 charge for insane sap damage
rnd 2 dirty trick and use the fast getaway tallent to line up
rnd 3 charge for insane sap damage

rinse repeat

I havent fully worked it out yet but it seems pretty potent without crossing over to the mega-cheese fromageopocalypse dual sap weilding becomes.


And that makes exactly no sense.

1) any half orc rogue can take combat trick to get suprise follow-through at any level so why is that a class ability? written the way it is it provides you 0 benifits so why write it at all?

2) If its impossible to have cleave and power attack as a second level rogue why is it a second level ability?

It just feels like they ment to give you cleave as a free feat or something. Really wish a designer could explain this.


(facepalm) so wand of invisibility 10ft radius to turn your mount invis so you can charge sneak attack? boy talk about twisting those rules till they squeal...


k might not have to do with what you want but I've really been considering a ninja half elf branblebrewer, essentially your making spider man, would have awesome field control I havent fleshed this out yet but the idea of the invisible staker who throws bombs that entangle huge areas, AND poison the air... priceless...


first I think a MM monk with a whip ends up being the ruler of any dirty tricks, as he can do it with range and flurry.

is there such a thing as a two handed whip? if so I would think the skulking slayer/MM monk would be the best option.


I'm actually kinda supprised here, on the "summer DPR olymics" thread you've got some evokers throwing around 200 DPR every round with lingerinig ray spells. cheap pearls of wisdom, combined with rings of sustinance (2 hr sleep to recover all spells) makes it hard to run out. evoker blaster mages seem pretty damn ok to me.

as to enchantment, its save or suck all the way, team up with a jinxing halfling or a witch with an ill omen wand and its pretty hard to beat combo. not to mention that enchanter build where you take cross blooded sorc and some racial abilities/feats to get -4 to the save, and the abilitiy for your spells to effect everything but undead (maybe a few more)and that can be an awesome build as well.

I think all of this has more to do with what your trying to do vs what build you want. want to control a battlefield blaster mage isnt doing it, want to turn your enemies into friends conjuration isnt making it.

I think some schools need to be beefed up a tiny bit but overall I get the feeling that each school is doing what its supposed to be doing... am I wrong?


my current DM is a no.2 (with a few minors in some of the others) he has been running TTRPG's for 30 years and is currently running 3 pathfinder games a week, and playing in one as well. He is anything but inexperienced. I think the gage of success or unsuccess depends on the feedback of the players themselves. In every one of those examples including no 29 I went to the extreme, most people will have elements of many of those but probably not to the n-th degree I am outlining.


thats the big question, what's the point of the puzzle? generally as a player and DM I hate puzzles.

lets get specific, in the last game I was in we spent two sessions getting to the location of the dungeon, there was an ancient mostly forgotten lord for every school of magic, and there was a statue at the dungeon entrance for each lord, now figuring out that a spell had to be cast from each school on the correct statue was not hard, something just about any player in time and through the process of elimination (statue glows when you cast the right kind of spell) could figure out.

BUT if the puzzle would have required calling out the name of each lord, we would have been in deep bantha fodo. yes the DM provided many means for us to learn the names, yes we had many of them however if that was required we would have had to spend 2-4 sessions getting info we should already have gotten and another two sessions getting back to the dungeon.

so IMHO a puzzle should be solveable by any player given enough time and a minimum of resources. BTW in a sense this is also a new school gamer vs old school gamer issue. in old school games (like AD&D) there were no skills you could roll to figure out a puzzle, as a player you learned to take copious notes about everything. In new school games there are skill rolls, and with many modern DM's if a player cant figure out a puzzle they will simply say "make a skill roll" and even if the player misses the roll say "well you got close enough so..." and explain the puzzle. I personally find this annoying. If I do put a puzzle in an adventure, I wont let it be solved by rolling a few dice because then there really isnt any point to the puzzle other than maybe wasting some time on a nifty scene description.

Fudging is a different issue, as a new DM your likely going to be making some mistakes on encounter ballence vs character ability. its generlly best to start with having slightly underpowered encouters and build up till they become a challenge but not overpowering. keeping on that edge between challenge and TPK especially in a "no fudging" "real" campagin is often a difficult task for most DM's even with a lot of expirence. Thats where the fudging comes in, when mentioned in the habits above, it was more like every roll the DM makes is a fudged roll, I think a good DM does fudge a roll every now and then, but too much fudging makes the challenges seem fake,or auto-win for the players.

This is why a lot of games make use of "hero" or "fate" point systems, where the players earn points they can spend to keep their characters alive. I use a similar mechanic and it does allow me to better control character death, and helps me push that challenge slider up to near TPK without going over, BUT I dont agree with always letting the characters survive, I think one character kill per 4 mo (16 sessions) is about average for me, and most times the revolving door of fantasy character death allows for resurection reincarnation etc.

EDIT- in regards to Auxmaulous's post, "DM bashing" has been around since long before 3rd, its been around since the first poorly run game, probably with Gygax. I dont think pointing out bad habbits common to bad DM's equates to "bashing". If that were so any suggestion as to how to be a better DM or how to identify a bad DM is bashing not "good advice".

I had many of these habbits over the years and had to unlearn them to become a better DM. Its kind of like shooting, everybody who target shoots develops more and more bad habbits over time, and the only way to fix it is go to the range more often and keep shooting till you overcome them. Sometimes the hardest part is identifying exactly where you are going wrong, and that is the point of that peice I wrote.

Figure out where your strenghts are, and play them up in your adventures, then figure out what weaknesses you have that you need to improve on and improve. because knowing is half the battle ;-)


I havent run for a while, but I know when I do I'll be running low magic E6, one of the things I really like about E6 is that you dont have to stop when the characters reach max level, the players can keep playing the same characters almost forever with only minor tweaks to power levels.

E6 also keeps the game gritty and more realistic/cinimatic.


I dont see how your getting sneak attack with ranged weapons unless your sniping which is one (1) shot, none of the rest should be getting SA.


since there seems to be a lot of general DM-ing advice on here... here is what not to do...

So… on another thread I mentioned that I thought that DM’s who used modules/settings or who relied on DMPC’s really weren’t good DMs, or weren’t “real” DMs. Of course I got hammered with onetruewayist comments… so I thought what makes a DM good or bad, I’m sure each of you may have your own not so specific list but I decided to write up mine. I’d be interested to hear if there’s anything you think should be on the list but isn’t, or if you think any of these things can be fixed by a well designed well written system, if so which ones and how? And now… without further ado..

30 Habits of Highly Unsuccessful DMs

1) Isn’t prepared
2) Can’t wing it.
3) Can’t sell it.
4) Cant act it.
5) Cant make it.
6) No Girls Allowed.
7) Table Management Fail.
8) Cant Cope
9) Cant Say No.
10) Loves the Meta-Game
11) You Want A War…
12) Where the Choo Choo Go?
13) Cannot bend Like a Reed in the Wind…
14) One Skill to Rule Them All
15) Cant You Smell That Smell…
16) Who is Your Daddy...?
17) Your Soaking In It.
18) Cant Hack It.
19) Daddy YUP! YUP!
20) Captain Homebrew!
21) I WANT TO ROCK!
22) Lawful Anal/Chaotic Stupid
23) Die! Die! Die!
24) The Never Ending Story
25) DM’s Cant Cheat.
26) All Players Cheat.
27) You No Can Haz it!
28) Cheetoist
29) 20-4 meh.
30) Obsessive much?

1) Isn’t Prepared- the adventure is always left at home, or the encounter notes, or something that he desperately needs isn’t available which results in ending the game early or skipping encounters, etc.

2) Can’t wing it- he needs to have absolutely everything written down, and will spend three out of every eight minutes (yes I actually timed a DM like this once) looking up a rule or reading an entry absolutely killing any role playing, suspense, or action built up in-game. Also typically means if the dialog isn’t written down, he cant RP for the antagonists. About the only thing worse than the cant wing it DM is the DM who thinks he can and cant… see no. 18

3) Can’t Sell It-In professional wrestling “selling it” is convincing the audience the punches are real, in D&D it’s describing the scene or the action, in a way with a touch of emotion to really let the players feel like they are in-the moment with their characters. A DM who cant do this lacks an essential skill.

4) Can’t Act- Just has little or no ability to RP, every NPC sounds the same, uses the same speech patterns, uses a lot of modern slang, and the DM will often say something like “well he’s using a British accent but I cant pull it off” or “he sounds short” then speaks in a deep bass tone. Its typical that these DMs also have trait #1 and has to refer to notes or the AP to remember what the NPC needs to say.

5) Cant make it- If the game starts at 6 he doesn’t show till 7:00 if the players start showing up at 7:00 he starts showing up at 8:00, if he cancels a game night, he waits until everyone has changed their plans and is sitting at the table before sending the notice.

6) No Girls Allowed. Happens more than ya’d think, DM cant stop himself from using rude, profane or dirty language/conversations, encourages others to do the same, or simply cant RP with a girl without blushing or quickly changing players. Some DM’s have the same problem with GLBT players (I admit I have a problem with the T, and yah it actually came up once.)

7) Table Management Fail- Just generally cant control player demands, some players get all the spotlight, others get none, slow players never get the nudge, side conversations are loud and endless, game is constantly interrupted by cell phones or other distractions. Often leads to the next habit.

8) Cant Cope- either carpet bags all his anger till it explodes with yelling, cussing and/or throwing dice, or he gets extremely quiet and just reads books or shuts off when the game gets to be too much to manage, when called on this passive aggressive behavior claims its all the player’s fault.

9) Cant Say No- A-typical Monty Hall behavior, dm kinda sucks to begin with then hands out a lot of overpowering magic items, giving incredible amounts of XP, allowing access to feats or advanced class abilities the character cant qualify for to win back the favor of the players. This is often combined with…

10) Loves the Meta Game- yup wash his car get a +5 sword, Give him Pizza get a magic item tailored just for your character, bring an attractive girl to the table and watch her become the favored character of the week, plays favorites, holds grudges and generally cant take criticism without repercussions… often leads to…

11) You Want a War- I’ll give you a war… DM sees the game as a contest between the DM and the Players, and generally the players always loose until he feels guilty and goes all Monty/meta. In his game you’ll have flashbacks of Cartman saying “Respect ma Athorita!”

12) Where the Choo Choo Go? It go wherever the hell the DM wants it to that’s where… Your on the railroad and you cant get off. This DM cant freestyle anything, any attempt to do anything not covered by an AP leads to NPC’s forcing you back into covered territory, loss of everything your character values, world destroying cataclysm, etc. etc, in short if your in his game, neither you nor your characters have free will.

13) Cannot bend Like a Reed in the Wind… you cant solve the puzzle, oh well better spend two sessions going back to town, raiding a library, and getting back again, cant beat the unbeatable BBEG’s init? oh well guess you all die, make new characters. This DM gives you no hints, clues, help, or allowances if you cant tackle some aspect of his game. A little of this can be respected too much and your time is better spent on xbox.

14) One Skill to Rule Them All- DM has a way he likes characters to handle a problem… ONE WAY!, Either the diplomancer is god or everything is a nail to the fighter’s warhammer. DM rarely offers different ways to succeed at an encounter… this is often caboose of the Choo Choo.

15) Cant You Smell that Smell- Ya show up to the game at his place and he hasn’t washed, brushed, shaved, or put on a shirt. The house is filthy, covered in fast food wrappers, maybe the detritus of 100 other gaming sessions, the garbage was last taken out with the previous tenant… and oh.. A hardcore/thrash heavy metal drummer would envy the stink coming off him… Lets be honest, the hobby attracts a lot of anti-social anti-mainstream society types and while I applaud this occasionally there’s always that one guy (player or DM) who just cant take care of basic hygiene needs.

16) Who is Your Daddy… and what does he do… well apparently he’s the DM. This DM is better than you, he’s right, always. He voted for the right candidate in the last election, worships the right god (gods/goddess or is a devout atheist) he cheers for the right sports franchise, and if you disagree with any of his true convictions, you’ll reap the whirlwind buddy, blue bolt, save or die, or just steals your chips and never ever apologizes and will often…

17) Your Soaking in It- “IT” being the preternatural glow of absolute perfection that the DMPC the DM shoved into your party seems to radiate whenever he passes gas. This DM really wants to be a player in a game with a DM as cool as him, one that knows why this absolutely bad ass guy he created needs and deserves to get all the best weapons rewards, xp etc. You can be sure 99% of the time, your adventures will likely be following this NPC around as he buys cities, fights gods etc. Face it if your in this game, your character is just one of the supporting cast to his ultimately cool main character. Probably the best thing you can do is find another game, failing that having your character become Gilligan to his Skipper and learn to endlessly repeat variant phrases of “that guy is SOOOO awesome!”

18) Cant Hack It- Just no system mastery, never knows the rules to the game he’s running, is easily played by a metagaming player, makes quick brash rulings that if you argue about just leads to bigger problems (ala no. 11) has a tendency to DM fiat and is even sometimes correct. Lots of times this is a secondary habit to no. 9, and this DM will occasionally have a lil buddy (husband, wife, friend etc) that has to be around to rules lawyer for him.

19) Daddy YUP! YUP!- when you arrive at this DM’s house you’ll quickly suspect he has a wholesale accounts with Playschool, Pet Depot, and the local goodwill. At this game the game is secondary to the responsibilities of the parent, the kids aren’t in school and the spouse is taking off. Every five minutes one of the droolers is at his knee arms lifted saying “Daddy YUP! YUP!” and demanding to be held, roll the dice, knock your expertly painted tailored minis of the table or better yet finding that the old led orc is missing an arm and it turns into a game of CLUE as to who ate it and needs to go to the ER etc,etc. meanwhile the 4yr old is chasing the screaming 3 yr old, and the three dogs and two cats are fighting over a milk bottle spilled on the couch that the DM just needs “a few minutes” to deal with. If you’re at this game, you’re now a walk on cast member of this guy’s own personal sit com, bout the best thing you can expect is that in-between “incidents” you might get to game a little bit, and there will probably be a barbeque and beer… BYOM! (no tofu allowed!)

20) Here I come to save the day!- This system sucks and Captain homebrew is on his way. Captain Homebrew really wishes he was a game designer rather than just a DM. Before you ever get to the game this guy has sent you gigs of his tweaker manifesto aka homebrew world/rules, and tells you that’s just a smidgeon of what you should read before your first session. He hates the magic system so he made his own, hated the standard ways of rolling characters so he’s got a stat/feat/class ability point buy system, hated the skills and combat system so he’s changed it to the resolution system of some game no one’s ever heard of complete with chips to spend, dice pools, and homemade combat cards. The bad news is if your playing in his game your really not playing the game he advertised as xyz edition with “some” homebrew rules, and you’ve got no idea what to expect. The good news is if you jump on board the crazytown express and agree with his mad ramblings and rants he’ll likely give you a character that has been min/maxed according to his twisted system that will absolutely pwon anything else at the table… (except for his NPC… no.17)

21) I WANT TO ROCK! This Dm requires the right music to set the stage for the game… get ready, its either going to be some Danish unholy black deathmetal bands, or darkwave trance. You’ll be lucky if his speakers only go to 11.

22) Lawful Anal/Chaotic Stupid- you don’t know how to play your character but this DM is gonna teach you. This DM generally demands that the game be serious to the extreme, has little sense of humor, and he has his own very ridged ideas on how races, alignments, background traits etc. MUST be played and failure to play to his sense of right and wrong will lead to the spinning of the great Gigaxian Wheel of Repercussions. Nobodies a winner, bring on the blue bolts and xp loss.

23) DIE! DIE! DIE! no he doesn’t use too many dice… he just wants your PCs to die. His game is lethal in the extreme. More like a game of Paranoia than a game of whatever it was you wanted to play, where if your character lived longer than half a session you should consider yourself lucky.

24) The Never Ending Story- This DM is the exact opposite of no.23, nothing in this game will likely ever kill you and all combat is usually avoided. The DM loves sticking japananime type plots into the game, choc full of mysteries you’ll never solve, twilightesque romanticized NPCs and of course non-stop conflict free story telling. And whatever you do… don’t ask them about their art, poetry, or spiritual views…

25) DM’s Cant Cheat- If ya get the feeling rolling a 1 is not much different than rolling a 20 on any knowledge or influence roll this is probably your DM. Secretly he may claim the rules tell him to roll behind his indestructible DM screen and to fudge the die rolls if it will help the game, but more often than not the truth is more likely that no die roll matters in the least as this guy wants to get to the end of his movie, and is often accompanied by the rationalization that…

26) All Players Cheat- This DM is of the opinion that all players are secretly min/maxing munchkin jerks plotting against him to ruin the game. He may require that all players use a dice tower or he spends as much time as necessary to triple check all figures on any check, stat, roll, etc.

27) You No Can Haz it!- this is the opposite of no.9, you spend three sessions and two party members die to eventually kill a BBEG or mega boss dragon and find the mountainous pile of treasure is made of coppers painted gold and the ancient magic sword is really an illusion or horribly cursed. This Dm tries to give you as little as possible and rewards no successes (possibly due to a strong belief in no. 26), often when you think he may have given you something worthwhile he will complain that it has overpowered you and soon something must come to steal it back or weaken you in some way in the great name of game/PC balance.

28) Cheetoist- the DM is the opposite of no 22, he is a fun first game second DM, he is there to have fun and eat cheetos and if the seriousness of a game interferes with having fun or eating cheetos, something needs to change. This DM has tremendous difficulty addressing any adult or serious topics in the game, the characters and NPCs are typically over the top overdrawn stereotypes, and no effort is made to separate in-game or out of game dialog… unless its funny to do so. Bottom line, this is a goofgame, any desire for in-game seriousness will be punished with out-of-game public humiliation, so don’t try, eat a cheeto and do something stupid that everyone can laugh at and when it gets old (and it will) find a more serious game… or just buy more cheetos.

29) 20-4 Meh. Just a substandard DM in which every game he runs has 20 minutes of fun spread out into 4hrs of gaming. May have elements of all or none of these habits. Either way every week will be a pure meh experience and leave you wondering if there isn’t a better way you could be spending your free time and gas money maybe for years, actually I think this is the worst kind of DM to have.

30) Obsessive Much?- this DM has little or no life, probably spends every waking moment thinking about his game, characters, a new system coming out etc. He’s dangerous in that he has deep seeded largely idealistic views about what a game should or should not contain and what actions any type of player/dm should and should not do. A true onetruewayist. Just expect endless b$@@$ing and criticism. And oh yeah… he probably wrote a list just like this one once upon a time… ;-)


Hi all, on one of the ferral gnasher threads it mentioned taking druid with this could be awesome. My DM allows any race to have the racial heritage trait, were doing second darkness soon and I was thinking of a dwarf druid/ferral gnasher who would turn into a cave gecko run along the walls and bite the hell out of people...

Any suggestions for how to write this up? how would you maximize wild shape and still get to level 6 gnasher with the most grappling feats?


how can a juju oracle get animate dead (5th level spell) at level 1? I've heard that before and I dont see it, unless your talking about the sort of undead use of charm person.

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