Jakardros Sovark

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Organized Play Member. 2,001 posts (2,007 including aliases). 12 reviews. No lists. 2 wishlists. 1 alias.


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I play 3.5 and miss 3.0 (mostly due to DR, cover details and those quirky 1d4+1 to stat spells). And Unearthed Arcana, with weapon groups and a couple of things more.

PFRPG has a baseline too much geared towards the upper reaches of the "high fantasy" concept; I know it can be custom-tweaked towards a more gritty play, but it's a hassle I'm not willing to undertake.
I'm getting old.

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No character sheets in it, sorry.

The book is a "toolbox" of sorts, as it discusses the various mechanics, how they work, what is their function, their relevance in game, why they were designed that way, how to apply and eventually modify them, which one to pick and choose for a game centered on a theme such as social drama/investigation/combat/whatever, and so on (or just featuring some of them quite often).

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There's the Cortex Plus Hacker Guide, which presents the system in various incarnations (superheroes, fantasy, investigation, social drama, etc.) and talks about the inner workings of the mechanics involved.

It should be the one you're looking for.

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Dragon78 wrote:
Like for example golem101?

Dragonfall has been one of three adventures I used as a campaign ending, and it's pretty much canon in draconic lore.

The Slohr still has an eerie influence in Andoran, both in the Arthfell and in occult circles.

Asmodeus has paladins. Of the LG type. Master of trickery and all that follows.

The cult of Sarenrae is banned in Taldor, and the faithfuls of the Dawnflower actively persecuted. Pretty much half a campaign of mine revolved around this.

Erastil still has debatable elements, which are enforced in the more isolated communities and toned down in civilized areas. Again, this is canon, accepted (and somewhat expected) at my table.

Avistan, and to a lesser extent Garund and Casmaron, are way more human-centric (the way Golarion was presented at first) than it is now.

Half-elves often have a disturbed psyche.

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By Crom!

A lot, if not most, of the stuff that has been "retconned", has or has had an impact of some sort in my games. Some of it was even a major point.

I feel like living the weird alternate universe from The Fringe. I'm playing in doppelganger-Golarion.

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Fantasy AGE is great, though at times veering towards medium-weight. Fortunately the more complex stuff comes up in the later phases of the game, so is excellent for starting players. Do yourself a favor and get the compiled DragonAGE rules too (even just the PDF), as they have a bit more options in them.

Barebones Fantasy is a great d100 based lite system. Recommended. Maybe you'll need to improvise a thing or two, but it's really flexible, so it's almost no hassle.

Recently I've been reading the Lone Wolf Adventure Game, which is really, really, really lite. I recommend using the options for experienced players right from the start.

If you're willing to do some (a lot) of homework building up custom options, monsters and stuff, Cortex Classic is awesome - but it's presented in a generic ruleset form, so you really have to customize it from the ground up.

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Scarred Lands. Golarion 1.0. Greyhawk.

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Tragically badass. Hell yes.

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It's for the LulZ. The fun of arguing for its own sake or to prove you are a better orator (writer?), you can waste away time just fine, your logic is more flawless (whatever it means), and any other less than productive reason you could come up with.

Welcome to the internet. It has long since bored me away.

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I think that it's just a generic rule to cover as much situations as possible, but that doesn't quite fit well in specific ones.
Crystal clear waters are very different from muddy ones, completely submerged by a foot or two is different from being fifteen feet deep (and a water-born monster will shift easily from one to another), etc.

So, while a submerged creature only a few inches under the surface would enjoy a lesser bonus (partial concealment, maybe soft cover if the depth is enough to hinder attacks), a fully submerged and deep enough creature is pretty much out of reach.

Perhaps a few more steps with various degrees of protection would work better.

I understand that declaring it "DM's call" will make more than one brow frown, but that's his role as much as describing the scene or handling NPCs/monsters.

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Nope. You pull the string with one hand/arm.

Now, if you were to use those big-ass ultrastrong bows that required both your hands to pull the strings and your feet/legs to keep and aim the actual weapon (used in the Ottoman Empire, IIRC)...

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Sometimes the appendage is big enough to be considered a creature on its own, or even an object with specific traits (like an hydra's neck and head).
The closest example I can think of right now is a roper strand, which is pretty close to the tentacle-thing discussed.

It could be attacked, severed, sundered, broken (treating it like a lenght of chain, maybe), but probably not grappled following the nowmal rules. The sheer size and shape of the thing won't allow it.

If the fighter wants just to block further attacks, it could be grabbed (grappled, using the usual rules) to hinder further actions and even pinned, but aside from that nothing more - so no move, damage, or tied up.
Mostly GM's call, with some on the fly modifiers to apply, and some limitations compared to a more standard situation, but still doable.

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Set wrote:

Give four different names and descriptions.

One for the Gray Master, one for Blackfingers, one for the Reaper of Reputation and one for Father Skinsaw.

Further research, or perhaps directly communing with Norgorber himself will unveil the terrible truth. Norgorber is far more evil than anyone ever suspected.

He's a committee.

That's the way I'd go.

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Jester David wrote:
9000 years with no art or music under the rule the theocratic rule of a sadist god's clergy...

Graphic descriptions of nastiness.

Art is the blemishes, scars, burn marks and bruises on the skins of the flayed sacrifices.

Or the performances given by the spasms and death throes of the victims of slow, week-long, ritual mutilations.

Music is the screams of the tortured, with properly timed punctures to the lungs and throath to obtain some nasty, otherworly sounds.

It's not YOUR art, but kuthonites like it. Sometimes a bit too much.
And they had close to ten thousand years to develop it, refine it, create styles and trends.

Stay away, or you may become art.

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tony gent wrote:

Following on from another thread I posted just a quick question how afraid are your players of character death ?

I ask because it appears from these boards that most view it as a speed bump on the road of adventure rather than the cliff it should be

Levels 1-6, character death is pretty much definitive, as the group lacks resources to perform/pay for a res. I take care to present dangerous but not outright deadly situations, for this very reason.

Levels 7-12/15 (range varies on the campaign), character death is something that can be dealt with, usign group resources or paying enough money, but I run low to medium fantasy games - no magic shops outside consumables, usually low-level NPCs even on big cities, etc.
Also, bringing someone back from the dead has consequences, the kind you don't like (angry ghosts, vengeful spirits), as the passage between worlds can be abused by others, and is something that can be performed only in certain places (hotly disputed between nations and religions) and/or days of the year.

Levels 14+ (approximated on the above range), character death is less frequent than ever: PCs have strenght and resources to avoid most immediately lethal situations, and in case of character death, it has a deep meaning on the campaign, and it costs way too much in money or potential danger - the bad things that tag along in the passage from the afterworld scale up with the character level.

Overall, a character death is something reasonable and definitive at low levels, something that can be dealt with at middle levels if it' really really really worth it, and something rather rare and too costly to be considered at high level.
Character death stays in the reasonable range, both in frequency, meaning, and player consideration.

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As a long time sufferer from Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia, my understanding is that annoying headaches are the first step towards unhappiness.
Painful, mind-numbing, week or month long unhappiness.

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Aniuś the Talewise wrote:

I really want to houserule resurrection right out of my campaign, or at least make it mindbogglingly rare, so rare that you can't expect to resurrect dead players when you get to the next town.

Death is supposed to be special dammit!

Actually ontopic, dime-a-dozen resurrection doesn't happen in the games I play in with my group. I don't know if it's because we don't think about it or because the other GMs in our group grant full hit die and so we have a lot of hp and are seldom at risk of death.


There's an awesome article on the matter in an old issue of Dragon Magazine (3.5 run), with some limitations to apply - resurrection possible on certain places/holidays/phases of the moon/etc - and some really nasty side-effects (you open the door to the other side, but you're not so sure that only the desired soul goes through the passage) which scale up with the character level, so the more powerful he is, the worst things happen.

Once you have a resurrection on a disputed holy ground on the eve of an astronomical convergence trying not to allow angry spirits of the unquiet dead to follow up your fallen companion... well, it's nice the first time, but afterwards your players will consider their lost characters as gone for good.


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Great stuff, thank you!

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Hope it's the right forum area for this thread. Please move it to a more appropriate section if deemed appropriate.

In a few months I'll run (for the second time) Blood of the Gorgon, which I planned to be the capstone adventure for a rather shortlived campaign - the campaign outlived the planned timeframe, but that's another story. Right now I'm looking for stuff to keep the campaign going onward for a few levels more after that adventure, and it struck me that Ashes at Dawn would be quite appropriate.

For those who don't know...

the BBEG of Blood of the Gorgon is an alchemist who dabbles a bit too much with monstruous extracts, and during the final stages he escapes a confrontation with the PCs only to be found afterwards in his not-so-secret lair outside the city, fully corrupted by his blood-tainted concoctions

So, the PCs follow him up to an altogether new city, and the BBEG is not just hiding, but actively wreacking havoc among a secret vampire coven, hiding among the jaded and bustling upper class.

For further reference, the campaign is Andoran-based, mostly centered in the Darkmoon Vale area with Olfden as the base of operations. The vampires would be ex-nobles biding their time during this "democracy madness", rightfully scared to be exposed to the public by the recent events.

Do you have any tips and tricks to play for this adventure? Suggestions on stuff to change, add, remove? Is it a good idea at all, or should I scrap it and look at other more plausible material?


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15 minutes adventuring day never happened.

Healers are sought after with a passion.

No magic shop/WBL/magic item wishlists. And the game works fine.

Alignment/paladin stuff. There are times when things get strange, but the group as a whole discusses the matter, and positively expects the DM to be the final arbiter of the thing at hand.

No class tiers. There are those who are good at fighting, those who are good at buffing, at stealth, at defence/healing, at arcane magic (both in the blasting and utility spells variants). A group that does not cover as many niches as possible is in trouble, both in the short and long run.

Archetypes, racial class bonus, traits have been ditched as the common consensus was "they botch the game".

Smurf infestation. None, ever.

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Dotted for future reference. This AP has slowly grown up to be quite a favorite of mine.

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j b 200 wrote:
I would suggest going with only CRB and APG. This will give you access to lots of variety without overloading you with tons of extra stuff, most of which you will a) disallow, b) never use. APG really fills in the gaps in the CRB without overdoing it.

Yes. The APG is good, and you won't even need to use all of it. Some character options, some feats some spells - not all of them. Less is better.

Your DM/GM will want to take a look at some subsystems in Ultimate Campaign and the Gamemastery Guide, as they will be a fun addition to spice up adventures or give a thematic atmosphere to a campaign.
But even in this case, the less you use, the better off your game will be.

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Good job. Excellent thinking on the blue wash over the pallid flesh tones.

I'd rather do the armor/weapons drybrush before starting to work on the flesh tones, because it's a messy technique and could ruin a rather long and accurate paintjob.

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Thanks guys. Barbatos and Rasvocel sound both like an awesome patron for this harpy tribe
Will look further into these beings to choose the one that fits best.

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Is there an archdevil/infernal duke/super-powerful diabolic being that ha some domain over the avian creatures in Golarion?
I'm currently looking for an infernal patron for a (Cheliax sponsored) harpy tribe, but most resources I have always make a reference to Pazuzu, which is a demonic being.

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Charon's Little Helper wrote:

I just played at a Con - my first time doing so past the first few levels (I don't do much PFS) - and it surprised me how much many players ignore defense entirely.

In my home group - currently at level 7 - the martial combatants have ACs pushing 30, my samurai has resolve points to help with saves, the wizard always has mirror image prepared for someone slips past us, and the Oracle has weird concealment stuff up all of the time. And frankly - as we're nearing the end of the AP, we're behind WBL.

Please excuse me, I'm out of the PRFPG loop since a while, but is that correct? AC 30 at 7th level? Seriously?

I'm not asking for a detailed breakdown analysis or whatever, just checking if it's not a mistake (maybe 17th level).

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Rynjin wrote:

4d6 ⇒ (1, 1, 3, 1) = 6 = 4

Shouldn't it be a 5? Discard a 1, you get a 3, and two 1s -> 5.

It's pretty much my aforementioned half orc character, minus his 4th level extra point.

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MrConradTheDuck wrote:
Rolling stats and hit die? It's not fun or interesting. You either have a godlike character that dumps on everything, or one so weak you might as well do better things with your life. I seriously left my last 3 games because of it then the GMs wasted my time asking why. *sigh* I just want to play the game without being completely crippled by stupid, arbitrary rules from a bi-gone era that force me to either waste my time completely or leave, still having wasted time on it in the first place. The worst part is when the game isn't advertised as such so I show up with no idea it's going to be bad.

Sometimes it's fun to have a character that's so full of stat points he doesn't even know where to start. Paladin? Easy. Monk? Don't be silly. Three way multiclass? Hmmm, lemme think.

And strange as it may sound, often it makes a challenge all in itself, living up to be the legend that the statbloc promises.

Sometimes it's fun to have a character whose statbloc makes him incredibly impaired compared to the average of his companions - but he succeeds and survives nonetheless, with a little help.
Is he older? Younger? Cursed? Is he just unable to survive in the darwinistic fantasy world or has he some interesting tale to tell?

Sometimes it's fun to have a character with a stabloc that includes good values and abismal ones - I know my half-orc grappler monk is one of them.
And it may even happen that the dump stat is not really the one you'd have chosen in a careful plan, but you have to roll with it (no pun intended), and you find it even enjoyable.

Having a balanced character (math/point wise, that is) surely eliminates some nasty problems and some annoying stuff, but does not always equate to more fun or more useful in the party balance - including those with low stats.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
golem101 wrote:
I honestly don't get this dichotomy between "no fudging: death always on" and "fudging: no death ever".
Well, I see it like this: if I get pulled over for speeding and say, "Well, officer, I usually go the speed limit, so it's totally OK that I was just going 90, right?" -- it's not really going to help.

Uhm... if you go over the speed limits for no other reason than going fast... well no, it's not going to help. It shouldn't.

If you had reasonable motives, the police officer might listen. Maybe fine you nonetheless, but also help you get there faster.

But if the debate is about a principle that exists in a void without situations that might or might not apply and influence it, we're done: subjectively altering random dice results is bad.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:

So, flipping it around, as a player do you tolerate DM cheating? The most common example is, of course, rolls getting fudged so that the party always "just barely" wins every major fight. And, yes, it's controversial, but I maintain that the DM is not by definition "immune" to accusations of cheating. Sorry, but as DM, I don't do it. And as a player, I always ask the DM not to do it, especially in a sandbox-style game. I don't like being railroaded, and, similarly, I want my PC to die if I get in over my head. I know that houstonderek shares that view when he's playing -- it's one of the things that convinced us we'd be a good pairing for a long-term game.

EDIT: Let me add that, for an occasional less-serious game showcasing goofy characters and over-the-top scenarios, I'd heartily approve of any amount of fudging, if it sets the atmosphere. I just intensely dislike it when we're supposedly playing a more serious game in which death actually exists.

I honestly don't get this dichotomy between "no fudging: death always on" and "fudging: no death ever".

If a player "gets in over his head", death for his character is absolutely fine. Stupid tactic? Sorry, fantasy life is harsh. A fight that ends poorly just for that last roll, despite being head to head for all the time? That makes stuff for an epic dirge. A failed save that means a spell will stop a character dead on his tracks, while the battle is raging (and his companions will have to spend hard won resources to bring him back to the living)? Fine, too.

If a player's character risks death for another player being dumb and putting other PCs in mortal danger for his foolishness... well not so much fun (nor sense, narratively speaking). And I've seen this scene once too much.
Or for an incredibly long string of poor rolls. Two, four, one, three, six... close but not enough, hey! four again, five, sorry you're dead. Ugh. That too happens.

I don't ask the GM to have PCs "barely win" every fight (or when I'm the GM I won't do that), it's just that having them survive - when the overall story balance and the choices made by the players grant this privilege - maybe fleeing the encounter with a sense of dread and impending doom, doesn't feel like cheating at all.

A GM adjusts encounters when designing adventures to make them more challenging and fun for the PCs, taking away stuff too dangerous or too easy.
A GM often has to improvise an encounter because the PCs took an unexpected turn, adding stuff on the fly to make up for a better scene, that would be otherwise unsatisfying.
A GM can't fudge a roll or two, saving a PC (different from making him win) or having a climatic scene "boss enemy" survive for another round or two, 'cause that would be cheating. Well, no.

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Mistakes are OK. We play for fun, not in a competitive way.

All to often mistakes are not, and usually we take time for a talk.

Cheating not OK.
First time "ahahah, nice try, NO".
Second time "don't do this. Stop now".
Third time "please go away".

GM's cheating is in a strange place where is allowed to make the game better for all the players. Does cheating mean no useless, stupid PC death? a better narrative? a more enticing and cinematic scene? a smoother flow of the game? That's all OK.
Otherwise (the dreaded DMPC, unkillable NPCs, forced railroading, etc.), no thanks, go write a novella in which everything works as you intended.

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Nostalgia, big time.

The first product I bought for AD&D2e, rulebooks aside, was The City of Greyhawk boxed set - before that I only played BECMi, and had a tresure trove of Mystaran Gazeteers.

Stuff already said: big picture with details, plausible history and people, nations that don't look like "a touch of this a touch of that", a feeling of danger pretty much everywhere without the need of leveled farmers and bartenders.

To me another big point was the proactiveness of NPCs, those high level legends that are DM tools rather than statblocs. Bad guys didn't just brood in dark and foreboding keeps 'cause they were eeeeeviiiil, and good guys didn't just wait in line to bash evildoers when they showed up.

Just reading the setting you had the feeling you had to keep up with the pace, there was a lot actually in motion and not in the "just about to happen" limbo.

The only setting that managed to come close was the Scarred Lands during the 3.5 days.

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For those catch-it-all values in the d20 system (HPs representint meat points, fatigue and will to fight, AC representing armor defence, shield or weapon block/parry, dodge etc.) you have to pretty much rework the game from the gorund up.

HPs split in Vitality/Wounds is a first step. But then you have a rather big issue with the disparity between attack and defence ability during the level progression and its effects n character's resilience in combat, even moreso for criticals and whatnots, all distributed among the different melee oriented or less than able classes.
Pathfinder has its own ideas for this, in one of the Ultimate hardcovers IIRC.

So, you go for Armor as DR as a second step. That alone prevents much abuse of the V/W system and complements it nicely. But it does exacerbate the divergent progression of attack and defence over the levels.
Again, Pathfinder has its own subsystem already developed, in the same hardcover as before.

So, you go for a level and class based defence progression, maybe split in two or three values: parry with equipment (mostly weapons) dependent bonus, block with equipment (mostly shields) dependent bonus, and dodge, which is already its own bonus type.
This gives you the option of developing active defence stances, with their own feats and stuff.
There's some basic stuff, mostly concepts and math progression in Green Ronin's Advanced Gamemaster's Manual.

And once you implement one of the above subsystems, you find that you kinda need to integrate it with the other two, otherwise the game is blatantly unbalanced.

At the end of the line you have a different system, which makes for a very different game, with very different results and expectations for combat situations, which is more simulative but no less wonky.

Not worth the hassle. I tried, and the results were interesting but absolutely not worth it. Slower, less intuitive, almost too much gritty.

If you want to keep it simple, even if somewhat simplicistic, keep it as it is.
If you need something more detailed and realistic, look for another ruleset altogether.

Spelling horrors offered by my tablet.

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Claxon wrote:
Do you make everyone keep track of their rations each day?

Eerrhm... yes? Being in the wilderness and foraging, or stranded in a subterranean labyrinth without enough food is quite a staple of the fantasy narrative.

Moreover, handing effectively infinite ammo even at low levels takes away meaning from specific magic items (and highly valuable, in campaigns without the magic shop mechanic).

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Honest answer: because the fictional pantheon of different gods serves a precise function in the game of recreating an equally fictional setting, contributing in making it a plausible fantasy world (as much as an oxymoron as it may sound) and helping player immersion and identification in their characters.

Personal answer: why should I force my personal beliefs onto other players in a fantasy roleplaying game by having the setting mirror my personal idea of what is or is not a deity?

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No. Just... no. No.

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I'm a huge fan of the AGE system, and I can't wait to see how the stunt gameplay will be integrated with the "romantic narrative" genre of Blue Rose.

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Haladir wrote:

A revised edition of Second Darkness would give the devs a chance to fix the way-too-choppy transition between the Children of the Void and Armageddon Echo; re-write the elves so that they're not a bunch of xenophobic jerks; and just generally address the complaints.

While I agree with the rest of your post, I'd point the problems to the first adventure being... not related with the AP as a whole.

Also the elves are a bunch of xenophobic jerks, they should be portraied as such, and having to cooperate with them is a major social conflict theme of the AP.
Please do not change, Golarion has gone vanilla enough.

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Curse of the Crimson Throne first and foremost, Legacy of Fire close second.

If a large re-haul/re-write is involved, Second Darkness or Serpent's Skull.

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Up to CR 10 or so they are in the "upper echelon" of the monster type, rare but not unknown. They usually show up as tough fights, boss monsters, BBEGs, or narrative tools (too hard to defeat, but available as allies in weird circumstances).
Powerful creatures, but still struggling with their own meteoric rise to power and without the knowledge and/or resources for a backup plan.

Over CR 10 they get into the league of movers and shakers, with a plethora of minions at their beck and call, whole organizations at their disposal, and the wisdom of ages - facing adventurers in straight combat is bad for your health, unless you're overwhelmingly more powerful.
Fighting a dragon means facing a regional spanning organization (a thieves guild operating in more than three towns, a very large mercenary band, a mage circle spanning a dozen members, etc.) or even a whole nation. That's coming to get you.

Better be ready to flee.

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Lord Fyre wrote:

Did I mention that this thread will contain spoilers?

What are the weakest books in each of the published adventure paths? (If you know of a fix, please link it.)

Rise of the Runelords: the connection between book 2 and 3 is weak as written, and the GM should orchestrate a bit better the involvement of the PCs with Magnimar's destiny. Even just having some background ties should suffice.

Book 4 is a big brawl fest, some groups may not like it. Book 6 is a bit of a sandbox in the eploration of the city of Xin-Shalast, and finding the good rythm between fights and various stuff is not always easy; also it's difficult to manage the loot.

Second Darkness: the first book is plainly... wrong sided. Reverse the plot: the PCs work for rivals of Saul and try to sabotage/investigate the Golden Goblin saloon.
Book 5 is too much of a railroad, break it apart, take the crunchy elements and the general idea and rework it from the ground up.
Book 6 is more a mini-setting than a full blown adventure, you should build lots of thematic encounters and mini-adventures.

Legacy of Fire: book 5 should be an exploratyion of the City of Brass, not being trapped (again!) in another dimension.
Collecting informations, tricks, and maybe an exotic magic item or two by doing favors and errands on behalf of powerful extraplanar beings in an unusual and inherently dangerous place.
Reverse engineer the encounters in many different places instead of a single big dungeon.

Council of Thieves: what demiurge 1138 and Lord Fyre have said.

Serpent Skull: book 3 suffers the same mini-setting and no adventure problem seen elsewhere. Also some players may not like the long voyage in book 2.

Jade Regent: the artic trek part may bore some players to death. Scrap the caravan rules altogether. Be cautious of the large cast of NPCs, they may make encounters too easy or steal the spotlight.
Book 5 should be hugely expanded: building up a national rebellion is in no way doable with an handful of encounters.
Be very, very, very cautious of the ever present narrative chokepoint, in which a deus-ex machina NPC provides the means to go forward in a place/moment/situation the PCs have no other way of getting through (this alone has been the biggest roadblock for me).

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thejeff wrote:

I'll go back to what I implied above.

All of this is individual group game contract stuff. What you and most others here are describing is a sort of default implied game contract. That's fine. Talking about what default expectations are is good.
But describing them as absolutes isn't a good idea. If a group wants to change those defaults and play in a different style, that's fine.

Absolutely (no pun intended) yes.

But I can't honestly see how what I've said contradicts your statements.
Quite the contrary.

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Big Lemon wrote:
A GM directly controlling what a character may or may not do is wrong, I think we can all agree:

Yes, 110%.

Big Lemon wrote:
"No, you can't take that side-strret", "No, you cannot visit the witch first and the dungeon second", etc. Many also feel that "excessive restrictions" on character options also makes a bad GM, i.e. "You cannot play a dwarf wizard because I decided dwarves can't be wizards", and the countless myriad of variations.

OK, none of these examples look bad, per se. Situational, probably. But not inherently wrong.

Big Lemon wrote:
My question, though, is: Is it acceptable for a GM to veto a decision based on the in-character reasons the player has come up with?

Only if what the player has come up with is blatantly against the world, campaign, play style, agreed rules, or else the GM and the other players have previously agreed upon.

Aka: a player has no right to wreck a game, because "that's his thing".

Big Lemon wrote:

-Is it unfair to restrict player options if the story does not warrant them? (i.e. does Story trump Rules?)

-Is PC backstory sacred and purely the domain of the player? Does the GM have a right to decide what may or may not be in the PCs backstory?
-Should the fluff not matter as long as the rules are followed?

Not unfair as long as it's common knowledge at the table.

Mostly yes. Usually a few blank spots are left floating about for the GM and the player to expand and work on as needed. If the new stuff doesn't contradict previously agreed material, no problem (Aka: a GM has no right to wreck a character because "that's his campaign").

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The One Ring has a very specific downtime subsystem ingrained in basic adventuring.

A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying - a Game of Thrones Edition also features in-between stuff to do - handling a noble house and its domain is no easy task.
This maybe fits better in your request, as a lot of adventuring may stem from events determined by this phase of the game.

The latest DragonAGE set (set 3) also introduces organizations and their handling by high level PCs, and it's most definitively stuff that may generate adventures.

Adventurer Conqueror King has extensive rules on kingdoms, guild, organizations and stuff to handle off adventuring.

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wraithstrike wrote:
golem101 wrote:
While I certainly like a more deadly, harsh and realistic style of gaming, the subjectivity and all around randomness of the early editions is not on my wishlist. In any wishlist.

I agree.


I strongly support player characters as protagonists of the story being told and heroes of that story, but they're protagonists and heroes not thanks to some ingrained mechanic of the system, but because of their choices and their actions.
Recent editions have transformed hard-bitten heroes who struggled to earn their status into (horresco referens, a TV tropes nudge) Mary Sues who do what they do because they're built that way and have to succeed otherwise the story grinds to a halt. To hell with that.
I'd rather play other games (and I do, when house rules do not suffice).

Could you give an example. I am thinking you are confusing edition issues with GM'ing issues, but I may be misunderstanding you.

I think that my examples would only lead to a rather long winded discussion on what's an edition issue, a GMing issue and which one of them stems from the other.

It's best to paraphrase one of my regular players: "It feels like I'm playing the game just to level up time and time again: I have to plan a character instead of letting the adventures shape him, or having him survive the adventures despite shortcomings in his abilities.
And even not considering the combat encounters and that mountain of modifiers, with all this planning, skill grades, feats, prerequisites, class stuff and equipment, I feel more like an accountant on behalf of my character rather than a player".

BTW, we stuck to 3.X/PFRPG for a bit more than a decade, we came there from AD&D2e, CoC and Kult 1st ed (shudder), and we're now playing Blade of the Iron Throne and Thousand Suns. Pretty much all systems with an hefty load of things to take in consideration - OK, CoC and TS less than the others.
But with the d20 evolution of D&D we had the distinct feeling that the system itself required more attention than it was due. For its own sake, not detail, simulation, or that brain-numbing concept that is "system mastery".

And all of this rant leads to the (maybe) unexpected result: the characters are mechanically built to be heroes. They're not just fledgling adventurers with some tricks upon their sleeves (the feeling you got with earlier editions).
Once you sum up all of the modifiers, skills, feats, class features, traits, equipment, stuff, a 1st level character's leagues away from any other mortal. And it gets worse with every level.
With a game like Exalted, it would be OK. A high magic fantasy game... it still is too much. A sword and sorcery game needs to be rethinked so much it's best to play something else altogether.

And with published adventures we're still there, superheroes with no superproblems. Published adventures which I take are the baseline from the game publishers on how the system works (adventures may be good, bad, or else in any system).
There's no longer a random lethal moment (this is good), but the lethal moment is now only seen when characters are not built/equipped/developed in a path.
No longer they die because they chose the wrong option despite all the evidence. No longer they die because they take on an enemy they do know is more powerful than they are. Hey! It's not fun I die because I did something stupid.
Now they die because the accounting for the encounter bests the accounting the players did for their characters.

Dark Archive

While I certainly like a more deadly, harsh and realistic style of gaming, the subjectivity and all around randomness of the early editions is not on my wishlist. In any wishlist.

I strongly support player characters as protagonists of the story being told and heroes of that story, but they're protagonists and heroes not thanks to some ingrained mechanic of the system, but because of their choices and their actions.
Recent editions have transformed hard-bitten heroes who struggled to earn their status into (horresco referens, a TV tropes nudge) Mary Sues who do what they do because they're built that way and have to succeed otherwise the story grinds to a halt. To hell with that.
I'd rather play other games (and I do, when house rules do not suffice).

But having a storybound DM that says "now your character dies as it makes sense to me and my story", an undetectable trap that springs with no means to know of its existance and it's lethal with no saves allowed, or a plain bad luck roll that disintegrates your character of three years in the silliest moment?
Nope, nope, nope, and nope again.

Dark Archive

Excellent suggestions, guys! Keep them coming!

The One Bling to Rule Them All sounds awesome, it's gonna rock sooo much in the setting I'm hammering out.

I kinda forgot about that Freeport base class. Damn, I'm getting old.

Morgan/FGP, the concept is super interesting. While I'm not much into new classes (option bloat has much guilt for the aforementioned hiatus), the very mechanics on which is gonna be based will fit perfectly.
Looking forward to it.

Dark Archive

After a bit of hiatus, I'm getting back on track for a new campaign, this time going full steam on a custom built world.

Cutting it short, one of the main themes is the lack of advanced industry and the abundance of monstrous sized animals and creatures.

So I'm looking for a themed PDF about extracting useful parts from slain monsters (bones, horns, fangs, talons, hides, armor plates, venom sacs, exotic internal organs, etc), as harvesting prized pieces from the fallen enemies serves almost totally the role of conventional fantasy treasure, both in the mundane and magic department.

A while ago I came up with some rough and tumble rules for hacking apart foes (mostly aberrations, dragons and magical creatures), but something a bit more focused and professionally thought out, would be greatly appreciated - and help me cut some slack.


Dark Archive

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Majuba wrote:
I won't touch the ACG, but still no to the premise.

Yup. Same here.

Dark Archive

Serious, with a load of humour sprinkled all over it. Sometimes IC, but mostly OoC.
As I tend to DM grim games and mature themed adventures, the properly timed joke and light hearted moment works wonedrs to give variety and not bore with uncompromising grimdark fron start to finish of the session.

When the humour is too much IC, players chastise each other for spoiling the mood - feels good as the DM.
When OoC, it's most often of the gross kind, with back-and forth exchanges that quickly devolve into something too disgusting to carry on. And that ends the moment with a shared laugh, that signals that the group is ready to carry on with the serious stuff.

Too serious, not fun. Too IC humour, spoiled mood. Too Ooc humour, sillyness of the worst type.
A good mix - based on the type of game that's played - is what works best.

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