Erdrinneir Vonnarc

shadowmage75's page

Organized Play Member. 331 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 9 Organized Play characters.

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again. common sense, simple solution:

Player uses charm person > target npc fails, is charmed. (hereafter referred to as the 'charm-ee' > person using charm person (hereafter the 'charm-er') says "kill your family." > charm-ee, capable of full free will says "what on earth would I do that for?" (Said statement being charm-ee giving charm-er benefit of doubt, being friends and all (said statement being the fulfilled maximum of spell description)). > Whereupon Charm-er squeals "CHARISMA CHECK". > Whereupon Charm-ee says no, that's a sick, disturbing request no true friend would ask of another. > Whereupon Charm-er squeals "BUT I MADE MY CHARISMA CHECK!"

Whereupon the GM steps outside the PC-NPC interaction and, with reference to common sense, says that it is not and never will be down to a successful charisma check in this instance. The reason it is given to the gm to 'discrete' all over your 'I WIN' command, is because you as a player made the tacit agreement to recognize this person as a judge specifically for these instances. A charisma check isn't the be all, end all to the situation, the GM is.

There has been no wiggle room for a long time and to argue over the small details even after you've gone up to the "head guy" for a ruling and it's gone against you as an argumentative player for this spell (and I do mean you in the pejorative, not singling any single player currently trying to argue against this simple train of thought).


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Jeff Way wrote:
I know people are probably going to throw troll responses at this, maybe you that do or want to should take this to heart. (I kind of lump rules lawyers, jerks and power gamers in one category)

You know what this is, Jeff? This is a guilt slap. It's the same steps as "I know 95% of you won't share this, but.." from little internet turds who only want shares to validate their existence. And like those statements, my "respect this guy's opinion because I don't know anything about him" first reaction goes right out the door.

Yes you have a problem that I fully agree with, but I don't need to be told to feel guilty before I even know what your rant is about. You also have to look at the bigger picture, and realize that some people validate their social existence with their character (build, attitude, etc.) and PFS is a platform for them. Maybe instead of getting wound up about it, you should discuss this with the people you have the problem with. Flaming it over the discussion boards (like there hasn't been several other such threads already), does no one any good. You're being vague and generalizing about specific issues and people. You come across as yelling at everyone under the assumption that some guy or girl who fits your description will magically have an epiphany after reading your rant.


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you seriously open up a can of worms on this subject. Basically, you're only going to get posts from three different groups.

Smartass/trolls, who see this as a chance to whip out their internet wit on you for all to glory in. They're also the ones who're going to nitpick everything you posted, even though you've said it's a second language. Which, by the way, you're more coherent than most people I've seen posting anywhere.

The people who've justified it. They usually swear they're posting from their mobile phone, or my favorite, 'I play this game to get away from grammar nazi's like you.'

And people who completely agree with you and do their best to do the same.

There's the rub. You aren't going to reach anyone with this post who needs to get the hint. They're inured to criticism, and think communication is what you hash out in 140 characters on a phone. They're going to mock you, deny what they're doing, and then pat themselves on the back for the win when they log off.


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I think I can sum it up. Mike Brock and several others of very high note have posted early on in this thread, and we keep rehashing the same key points. It looks more like you're just digging in your heels and braying now. We as a PFS leadership do not need to make our ruleset more restrictive than it absolutely has to be. The problem, as I see it,(and I'm really not attacking you personally, just laying out your role as GM)is that you need to man up.

1. Sit down at the next game session, and AUDIT. By the caps, I mean you stop everyone and everything and say "Bob, gimme your character." have a list of PFS restricted material handy. Obviously handy, with a big red letter title on it. Have Bob sit next to you while you do this. Since initiative is your issue, focus on it. make him tell you where he gets all his numbers from. Be cognitive of things like a 24 dex at level 1-3. I'd lay any money that, like what's been implied at several points on the thread, that something stat-hinky is going on. Maybe the players 'forgot' something. Better yet, you doing so will initiate a cascade of sudden new character sheets with better math and references.

2. You are the GM. again, man up and talk to the players with the issue. It's in your job description to audit gameplay and manage it into a cooperative pleasurable setting for players. I'm getting a lot of "I don't want to touch this without a hard rule-down-from-the-top to back me up" vibe. No one's going to spaz out if you just tell them what you see and ask them to cooperate.

3. As a venue head (again, assuming here) you're worried about driving these players away. Solve this dynamically. Make a drive to get new players in. If there's a flood of new people, then you (and this is me thinking outside of the box, in no refined manner whatsoever) say, "look, Bob, I've got all these new players that I want to keep together. learning curve and all that. What I need you to do is decide who among you wants to GM for your group. For now though, let me get these guys in place and we'll see who can fit into the last spots."

4. Remember ultimately that these players are modding out their characters, and that's their fun. You can't restrict them into waiting between the lines, when they've found the law that permits them to pass cars on the right when they see a left turn signal. Like the recommendation in three, perhaps isolating them to their own group and then stepping up your game with them is a better solution.

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It isn't like they pore over stat blocks.

first: availability. I'm pretty sure even a race like the drow doesn't produce poison in bulk. While likely openly traded, drow still must succumb to supply and demand. not to mention being seen purchasing such would send up red flags all over the place.

second. the terrain of the underdark is largely close caverns, not open spaces, so having a handy weapon that's more versatile in close quarters is my drow logic.

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Ok, as a GM and a Necromancer player myself I'd have to say

a. You said yes. first mistake. that's already showing a slice of favoritism towards the player, if only to keep the peace. You knew how he played, so it isn't a big surprise he's doing the same thing in your campaign. be calm. be authoritative, and be adamant.

b. limit access to extras as a GM. If you're playing pathfinder stay pathfinder. why? because one of the big downsides to 3x is the insane power creep, and what you're probably dealing with is a 3pp who was trying to outdo what was there at the time, thus Necrotic Cysts.

Now, as a player, I would (and i like to think I'm a good player to gm for) ask you to

a. talk it out with me. If I'm being a dick at the table, I need to know. Let me know how you feel. let me know your solutions.

b. I'd say that if he's going such large scale murder and mayhem, he's likely to become the focus of a haunt (all the innocents he's murdered) and is now the locus of a veritable storm of dead souls floating in the ethereal. Start rolling chances for, oh say, a single individual to become a ghost template to start haunting him down (hehe hunting).

If you need to axe the character, do it in style.


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I'm sure most GM's will be willing to handwave this away, probably with a desperate goat or something.

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I'd say this sort of thing falls under prestidigitation these days.

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my name as the next author.

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You're playing into the two internet rules.

1. Giving a person the perceived power over your actions.

2. allowing them to anonymously do so.

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the David wrote:


GM: An explorer has hired you to locate some islands. You're on a ship heading for...
Me: No I'm not. I'm in the city getting equipment and supplies. Why exactly did I agree on this?
GM: The explorer has payed you to...
Me: Really, how much did he pay me? I think I'm gonna renegotiate, the explorer was a little bit stingy. At least I can get all the supplies I need.
GM: You're on the boat when you sail right into a storm and a wave sweeps you all overboard...
Me: What, we don't get a Balance/Reflex/Profession (Sailing) check?
GM: You wash up on the shore...
Me: Yeah, I've had it with your f-ing choo-choo. Farewell!

bad player. The GM has to start you somewhere to give the players context and direction. You did, by your example, nothing but attempts to derail his 'railroad', making what was probably a couple minutes of a starting encounter into a ridiculous farce ending with a rage quit. I'm not prescient, but I would think there were several deep sighs of relief when you left.

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Remove incentives for players to min/max and increase rewards for roleplaying. You need to remember the key is knowing what your players like to do individually, and provide for them as a GM. Some players really enjoy getting the maximum out of combat cheese, and some enjoy getting into puzzle solving, whodunnits, etc. Provide a little of each, so that players can get a moment of shine. I've said in other threads that I've awarded experience for 'fantastic moments' that have added to the overall group enjoyment.

There's no reason that the guy who just made everyone else laugh 5 minutes straight with a perfectly timed pun shouldn't be awarded as well as the girl smashing her way through the front line of a battle sequence, leaving everyone else to clean up the isle after her.

As a GM, don't focus on one player, focus on detailing the story/campaign to have bits of each, and you'll likely see integration without spotlight hogging that helps solve this question.

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Tieflings are the next 'drizzt' drow race. Everyone likes the stats and the idea, but I've never really seen them played appropriate to their flavor text, other than a nod to their background paragraph. I personally fell back in love with tieflings through the Blood of Fiends supplement, which further details personality quirks to go on.

I've personally played two different types. a Grimspawn that really never saw the light of day, due to him up-tiering in PFS and TPK'ing. Most of his level was GM credit and personal idea crafting. The second one was one that was way outside of the comfort zone for me, because it was a foulspawn, in which I really tried to be as sexist and offensive as possible with the other players. They were all adequately warned before I even brought the character out, and game to try it, but he only came along when there was only a fully new party to team up with. I maintained the additional rp element that he was so offensive, no one ever wanted to team up with him twice.

In all though, just like the angst-ridden, pure-hearted individual from an evil race trope, the race has been homogenized into mediocrity.

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well, now that I have a reason to post...

Left turn morons in the far right lane of a two-lane roundabout.

Roadraging prigs driving 110 on the highway up your ass, practically begging you and the two other cars you're next to block up the lanes and roll at exactly 65 for the next twenty miles.

the insurance company rep who lies through their teeth and tells you it's a billing mistake who then transfers you to billing for them to tell you it's a mistake from your representative, and would you like them to transfer you back to the first person.

White people dressing up like they're gangster. See Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus for examples.

Any racial 'minority' (and I personally consider white people to be the real minority) that pulls the race card in the first five minutes of trying to tell them you don't want to give them change for booze.

Neo-nazi's, KKK and any other supremacist that still clings to obvious wrong and ridiculous outdated concepts trying to justify their any context. It's not the black guy holding you down, it's the fact that you cover yourself in offensive tattoos, offer violence for every verbal interaction anyone has with you, and guzzle beer in front of your trailer home sneering at everyone passing you by.

I've recently embraced hatred for trolls in internet forums too. Really, in an age where your ability to let people know who you are, what's really on your mind, and really communicate, you choose to say something offensive just to get a rise? Failing all social conventions, you have to make an ass of yourself just because you can remain anonymous and suffer no consequences?

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welcome to every religious and political entity in the real world ever.

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In short yes, they're being inconsiderate.
And you can't do anything about it.
So instead of sitting and stewing, worrying about the why's and how deeply you should resent them, just let them hang. don't set up another session for you to gm, and play as a player a while. let it go.

Shit like this happens all the time, and you need to lay a good foundation for you and your friends to go forward. for whatever reason they've individually or as a group decided to start bailing out for other things. It being so late, that's usually a sign of the guilt they feel, holding off until the very last minute, until they absolutely had to contact you about it.

Odds are, if you don't make a big deal of it, and in a way blow them off in your own way, they'll start asking why. And you'll tell them. Tell them you got the hint, whatever their specific reasons were, and you didn't want to make a big deal of it. Meanwhile you can take the free time you have now and think up new stuff to run, and recharge your batteries.

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is this a 'justify my too-creepy RP moment' question? because it's blood. in your mouth. you can't find wiggle room there.

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great. another breastplate-is-demeaning thread. haven't ground that subject into fine powder before, have we.

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I always differentiate tech and magic by the affects. I see tech as working 'within' this reality, and magic altering this reality. I personally would like to control the laws of physics, rather than execute what I can do within the restrictions of said physics, as amazing as they may be.

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I attribute this to the advent of sitcoms. People lock into relating with others as witty one liners and puns, all while doing erratic and whacky hijinks. Its all humans understand in the last few generations. I've dealt with this too, where everyone just wants to shine with their one-shot-joke for the night. They don't have the interest or the cohesive attention spans to focus on thought-out personal role play.

And I don't know how to solve it either. Looking back, I've never finished a campaign of any significant note, as a gm or player because of this very thing. Everyone starts out as the snarky <class> and it goes downhill, with everyone fighting each other and trying to throw monkey wrenches in the gameplay, until some sort of meltdown happens and it's back to rolling up new characters.

Worse, nowdays when 50% of the people I play with are all tied up doing their own real life events, it falls to once every few months a game night occurs.

I have taken to asking my friends straight out if they think I'm gay, or they're hoping that I'm gay. (that's their go-to joke bag for my characters/me) whenever they start in. Trying to point out that they're taking shots or hamming it up for no reason other than to distract everyone seems to settle them down, even if they don't stop entirely.


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It seems like he had a legitimate question to the parameters of his specific situation. He didn't come on here to rant away about what was wrong, he was asking if key points of the situation were, in any way, legitimate. Perhaps he needed a bit of bolstering to follow a correct path in this, and browbeating him about doing something wrong, when he obviously is looking to approach this in the best possible manner is rather wrong of you. Not everyone has a bullet list of steps to take, that's what this forum is for.

As for the OP, you are doing a perfect job on getting this taken care of. As everyone has said, approach your VO, VC, or Mike. 95% of the GM's for PFS respect the core value of the campaign. Yes, I will fudge dice for random gross amounts of damage that interfere more than add to gameplay. However, my players also know that when the heat is on, I will crit, I will drop players, and deliver consequences without bias for foolishness. GM's who read their material know that we are not allowed to throw anything against you that's not written in the scenario. I will throw a caveat in there that sometimes misinterpretation can be the norm, not the exception.

There are those people who cannot let go of the GM vs. Players attitude, and they tend to feel that the GM fiat is first and foremost weapon in that fight. This is not your burden to change, and we as the PFS GM community need to reinforce that our hierarchy is supportive, and reactive. This person will be dealt with, and though it will not be some hammer-smashes-fly punishment, our leaders will try to correct the course of this errant ship.

Please continue to ask questions. Maintain this emotional control you seem to embrace (congrats. I don't think I could have kept silent at the table), and hopefully continue enjoying the game. good luck.

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From a standpoint as host to a variety of variations on this situation, I can only recommend some things:

Have a hard line that everyone is aware of before it becomes a problem. I've had players with girlfriends, people just hanging out, even the GM's wife at a gaming session. Nothing, but nothing, derails a game faster. If they aren't directly interested in playing, people shouldn't show up with them.

This is unique to me and my friends, and long in the past now, but having these people show up either ended up as 'strong discussions' (between the gm and his wife, who not only didn't care for her husband's hobby, but thought that he should not have us over, and spend all his time with his family) or really went south, where we'd be driving around to all the people we know looking for a dimebag on a saturday night when everyone wanted to get high rather than play the game.

Don't take the shots at you guys too personally from this girl. it's more likely that she's saying it just to get under her boyfriend's skin. (better a bad reaction than no reaction at all.) An'd agreed, she was most likely expecting someone to be involved with her, and when she wasn't engaged, she disconnected with everyone and the event.

Talk it over with your group now that the issue has come up and establish an agreed-upon guideline for bringing people to your game night.

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you need to be straightforward with her. Honest. otherwise this sneaking around will just lead to greater drama, as she finds her own way over to the game, just to blow up at you all. She needs to know where she stands, you need to be sure you speak for everyone, and you need to be as concise as possible to remove any doubt. She obviously doesn't want to play, though she may think she does. It doesn't sound like you want her to play, so like it was said before, man up and speak directly. give reasons, don't be wishywashy. If you're going to give her a chance, then state the terms of her remaining in the group. If she's getting the boot, say so and leave no doubt there's no going back.

You cannot believe the level of resentment that can build among friends/ gaming groups once a schism forms. I've seen relatively nice people get to the point of lunging across the table yelling at another because of this situation. I've seen groups fall into nothing but mocking and insulting a player because they couldn't say they didn't want him there.

Like a gangrenous limb, it's just better to cut clean before the infection spreads.


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While I agree in part that DnD next will be competitive with pathfinder, I think it won't be along the lines that seem to be the core of the argument. Much like listening to the hardcore '1st', '2nd' and '4th' defenders, it's not the advancement of the game they love, so they reject it outright, clinging to the old ideal version for them.

I for one, am a permanent fanatic for pathfinder because wotc threw everything I loved in my face. It was a deal breaker, and I refuse now to go back to DnD because of it. I will espouse Pathfinder's virtues from here on out, no matter what wotc does, even if it gives up, says ok, we'll support 3x again, and even offer everyone their old positions back with competitive wages.

Many are also ignoring the fact that the 'market' for what it is, has already been a competitive venue. Games like shadowrun, cyberpunk, and many others draw their respective fanatics away from PF and DnD. This era of gaming is no longer a pissing match between two megapowers, and if everyone still clings to the 'my game is better than yours' attitude, then what we'll likely see is everyone dumping out for a video/console version of RP.

DnD has to survive. There's no other way about it. It is the reference everyone uses to describe their own game to, with the additional 'but' in there. It does not, however, hold the destiny everyone assumes, where there's one to rule them all. People are going to react to this just like they did to 3x, 4th, pathfinder, and any other iteration. they'll try it, and then stick with what they know. They'll argue for or against it, because they want to be heard.

Hasbro can't 'wow' me with new material. It can't 'wow' me with rules streamlined any better than they did with 3x. I got tired of elminster and kelben jumping in to save the day on 80% of their novels. I highly doubt there's going to be an amazing shift just because right now the results are coming in that everyone wants to playtest more.


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my question here is, what are the instances that would motivate a VC to go to this extreme. We're all looking at whether he could or couldn't do it, but why would he do it.

There's alot that's not being said here. I've known several mentally challenged people. You know what I don't hear when they discuss situations that've occurred with others? Their condition. They don't bring it up. They speak about the problem with the person, not what their condition made them do.

The OP has my sympathy that it has come down to this, but from what I see, the OP may have instigated the situation after several conflicts with other players. No, I don't think the VC should have castigated you as such, but he may have to disallow you attending events because let's face it, suddenly have a game day fall apart because four or five people take their friends and leave.

The VC's job is to promote a positive venue. While there's obviously a mitigating circumstance, it does not fall to him to ignore the discomfort of the many. You are doubly responsible for conducting yourself at these events because you know for a fact there's an existing issue. As you, and another poster in the list have said, the 'normal' people expect you to act like 'normal' people. Getting violent, angry, even deleriously happy or depressed makes them uncomfortable. If you've gone as far as doing this with other players, i'm not surprised they're asking the VC to ensure you don't attend.

I understand what you have is a great burden, but I also don't believe you may use it as an excuse. If it's that bad, there's medication. If you don't make that extra effort to comport yourself at a public event, then this situation happens.

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My group was leaving the city, with a destination in the nearby swamp. In the outlying farmlands, I had set up an encounter where the party would meet a new race I have crafted similar to lizardfolk but, well.

I described him as well off the road in a tilled field, hunched over a body and apparently chewing something.

The situation was supposed to go "group charges/shoots" "Lizardy drops a ration bag, and holds up hands in obvious surrender" "Party gains important guide into the swamp, bunches of backstory and flavor block text"

How it really went: "ranger rolls triple 20."

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It's never too late to be sympathetic.

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It would be better to phrase the idea as:

Please make at least a male and female option for race/class combinations. Some may just fill as.....say robed caster for wiz/sorc's, but yes, I would like to see a larger range to them as well. I'm personally grateful for the advent of plastic mini's, but tired of DnD's habit of just pulling from their book art, and reaaaally getting sick of Wizkids yanking our chains by constantly processing repaints and passing them off as new.

I would like a to see a dedicated range of idealists and artists focused on crafting with specific representations in mind. and more than that, several variations on the same combinations. such as the afore stated 'practical' and 'impractical' armor designs. I happen to know some ladies who really enjoy their bikini chainmail.

With the titanic pile of monsters, characters, props and oddness to choose from, why is it so hard to pick a single theme and stick with it. With businesses like reaper, they could draw people back to their product with a much closer representation of their character than making do with the Kyra iconic (not knocking it, just not good to be the only scimitar-wielding mini readily available to a guy).

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I am the GM.
I am not here to tell you what to do.
I am here to tell you the consequences of what you do.

That's my primary statement when I discuss such things, but as everyone is liable to do, I forget once in a while. I try to keep my fingers out of the character's pie unless I think they're going to do something another player may easily accomplish. I find that when players start coming up with radical stunts (of which I try to say roll, instead of no) it leads to stage hogging, with other players minimizing their interactions as they get bulldozed by the action man.

That being said, there are also players who, for their private reasons, usually end up trolling. These are the 'I'm going to kill the offical because you need him to monologue an important part of the campaign.' players. For whatever reason they look for ways to break your game in goofy, witty(drudgingly so) or annoying ways. These are the guys I let hang themselves with their own rope, since it's all I'm allowed. If I were to actively attack those characters/players, then none at the table would trust me to keep it above board when they need it.

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I don't see a vote I thought would get obvious I'll take a shot.

I vote for....

MINE! I want to make and see my name on the AP, hehe.

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everyone's got some great advice for interacting well over this situation. I however recommend that you remember your a player in the same game they are.

My suggestion? If all of the 'nice' avenues fail (and I do recommend them first) sit down with all your stuff packed except maybe a gm screen if you use one. Know the general gist of the adventure you want to run tonight, but dont put any effort into things like, oh say, details.

you're night should go something like this.

GM: Intro, player options, hand off to the players.
Players: I want to buy...., I want to search....,
GM: It's yours, the shopkeepers give it to you for free. You search, You find out exactly who the villain is, and where they are hiding. you also find out about the traps, and lesser minions in detail. (GM hands over adventure to player for reference)

If they get suspicious, move onto the second part of this post, but if theyre still buying into it, continue with:

GM: OK, you went directly to the mansion/dungeon/keep where the bad guy is, you are confronted with the gate guards. they yell halt.
Players: ok we're going to...
GM: (interrupting) dont worry you kill them. they had several hundred gold pieces. carry on.
Players: ok, we're going to sneak....
GM: You find your way directly to the BBEG (and really say big bad end guy) Kill him and take his loot. he had several thousand gold pieces, three magic items each of you wanted for your characters and you are now kings of your own kingdoms for killing the BBEG.

Part 2

So inevitably they will sense something amiss. Sit quietly whilst they corroberate, question, and await an answer.

Then stand up, tell them "This is what happens when you play a game not to be challenged, with consequences for your characters. This is what happens when you ignore the rules laid down for everyone to play by, and attempt what you want to really happen regardless. This is what happens when you just come to the table only to argue until you get your way."

Fly the double eagles, fold up GM screen, and walk out.

Locate new players to play with, enjoy new scene much the wiser about how and who you want to play with.

As it's been said before, and I've said myself: It is a cooperative effort between all players and GM to sit down and play this game. The GM is not a whipping boy meant to cater to player egos, nor are they some nemesis that the players must outwit, out rules-lawyer, and out shout to win the game. If for any reason you come to an impass with your current players, life is too short to be angry, resentful, or hurt because you cannot mesh with the people you play with.

We're a growing community, and though it may take you some effort to find a better environ, you'll be better off for it all the way around.

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seriously?! I know this is about a game, but are you really b&+*+ing about not being able to be EVIL. Like it's some life choice like 'engineer' or 'marathon runner'. Evil represents everything foul and reprehensible about the human condition. It's a concept as much as a descriptor, and you WANT to play it? You're angry with the developers because they make being evil unpleasant?

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Perception works on a simple obvious basis. Anything that is intentionally hid requires a direct interest with the object/area in question. for example.

You walk into my spacious study, and note several floor to ceiling book shelfs, an area rug over polished hardwood floors, a bright fire in a small fireplace to chase away the damp, and two fluffy chairs turned to face the fireplace. Over the mantle is a landscape scene, and a family portrait brackets the exposed chimney on the left, with several family portraits on the right. The air smells strangely of clove, though other subtler aromas are noticable.

no perception check. that is what you see, hear, feel entering the room.

Now, You need to go to the wall, remove the family painting to find the wall safe. you would have to go to the book shelves and inspect them to note that the center one is subtly higher than the rest, and slides back and to the side on a ceiling track, exposing a walk-in closet.

Furthermore, an extensive, detailed search (and a knowledge: local/history check may be in order as well) to note that the family portraits are out of order, a sequence that indicates the wall safe's combination.

now, there is always the passive check perception check. Rogues are specifically trained for this stuff, etc. If you don't, I suggest you play with at least 4 perceptions for each character behind your screen (they roll it, 3x5 notecards work well for this, and initiative as well to lubricate combat, especially the surprise rounds) to make the check for your characters without cluing them in that there is something to look for.

It sounds like the player is just looking to get himself the edge against you, thus you can't 'surprise' him.

And as for Roberta Yang, I know several player types that pursue perception and other skills to be challenged and successful. If you glom over that part of the game, or simplify something to just one check for everything, you are actually removing the enjoyment for characters pursuing that exact effort in their character build.

In the above example, I would give a group the room description, including overt sensory information. If they just 'nothing here.' and walk out, their loss. They may figure they missed something later in which case, maybe they learn their lesson.
I would then single out rogue/roguish characters, and use one of their passive perceptions. They know what to look for, far more than other classes.
Then comes the "we search the room." statement, giving them all a roll, and I'll usually divvy up each hidden point of the room with an arbitrary DC. Say the wall safe is pretty standard shtick, 15, hanging bookshelf 19, pictures a 21 or 22 with an immediate knowledge check to identify the family order. (if that fails I would tell them the arrangement looks odd, with children over elderly couples, along side young men and women.)

That way the group all works together, they all get a shot, and instead of one character always 'seeing' everything, you can give parts of the puzzle to each player, rewarding them for being successful too.

And that, is enjoyable for everyone, on several levels.

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yes, because you're the slave to their desires. once you take the gm spot, you're the one in the wrong, and as long as you cater to their every whim, then you'll earn the right to call yourself human again.

Look, first there are a million aspects that may come into play. Are they new players? Then they may be trying to find their niche as much as you are as a gm. Are you delivering a home brew of your own? then they may be hitting rule and story dead stops because you havent fleshed out the part, and that's ok, because players invariably take random right turns in any campaign.

Be realistic, are you enjoying being a gm for them? address your own 'bleh moments' first, honestly and from a neutral perspective. You can only control you, after all.

Yes, ask them (and don't do it at the gaming table during a session) what they want to do or see. Many players, especially ones new to the system and concept, find it really hard to get away from the MMO mentality or to let go of the social media link they've learned to rely on for human interaction. It may just be a case of learning to be comfortable interacting with living people face to face, or it could be discomfort with rules, fear of getting 'the answer' wrong, what have you.

There is no perfect clear cut answer, and just because your players may answer vaguely and without a detailed list of all you're doing wrong, doesn't mean they don't like playing. Nor will jumping to answer their every request magically make everything right. It's an interaction between all players, including the GM, and it takes time to grow in all aspects.

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planar ally spells are innately designed to cost the player something commensurate with their level, but not always. This particular spell you have to coerce the creature you summon, and the creature is free-willed. that means he/she can reject the offer if you bargain poorly, or may do such an act for free (asking a hound archon to battle a demon, for example.)

The Charisma check is a direct check in lieu of good role playing (for most gms, and those players uncomfortable/incapable of doing such.)

I think you have to reference similar bard spells, but no material component is listed for the song, but the bargained payment still remains to be paid.

Summoning an evil creature gives the spell the evil descriptor, and as such considerably affects the summoner's alignment, though it is likely up to the gm as to the depths the player has fallen.

and finally, no good deed ever goes unpunished. Devils and demons have a long term understanding that actions that appear helpful and good on the surface may lead to greater evil later. Were I to adjucate your summon, I would demonstrate honest and loyal results, obtaining your 'trust' while ensuring that each bargain induces a greater effect in each result. (I only ask that you kill a puppy in front of a child this time, master. No actual harm to the child, but said little boy may have just seen the thing that sends him on his merry homocidal way to the serial killer awards.)

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My suggestion is utilize the Taldor faction from Pathfinder Society as a basis. You could have a megalomaniac, like the sherlock holmes arch-nemesis. You could have the players come upon a room, or even a full house, with hundreds of yards of yarn running from one point to the next, all connecting like a branching web to political figures, family members, house servants, even vendors they visit regularly.

Whether you have him actually manipulating court politics or just some convoluted delusion that he's doing so, the serial killer's M.O. is always the same, and eventually the PC's can put together the flaws in his murders to track him down.

This will give you a chance to introduce golarion figureheads, your own npc's, and probably a few of the key elements of taldor, if you're not going to a larger scale intrigue.

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Oh, sorry I went and used "real life" in a subject thread that said nothing about being an "in game" subject.

I'm truly sorry I used referenced the all-mighty christianity for their acts in the crusades, and are even now, travelling in droves to third world countries indoctrinating natives in asia and africa because they have nothing else to believe in under brutal dictatorial rulerships.

I'm sorry I used "real life" historical references as recent as 70 years ago to support my argument.

If you're going to wave the "oh, we were discussing an imaginary society moral" flag, you've already lost the argument.

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Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
it's evil to torture an innocent human bystander because they did nothing to deserve the pain. but it's good to torture an intellegent undead because they did everything in thier power to deserve it. slaying legions of human lives, feasting on humanity, creating more of thier tainted kin.

Then a morally right and lawful defender of the innocent would seek to destroy said "evil" not keep it around, performing evil acts to garner information on the off chance that said coerced information pans out.

again, justifying an evil act with evil. two wrongs don't make a right. we can euphemize this subject all day long.

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Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
it's not evil, it's pragmatic and a smart tactic. nothing in the paladins code forbids torture. and torture isn't an even an evil act. intellegent undead are assumed to be evil and a good paladin wants to see the undead follower suffer.

wow, justify much?

Utilizing any form of harm to interrogate or otherwise punish a prisoner of war is morally, ethically, contrary to the humane condition. A creature, whether born of dark magic and evil intent, a normal human, or any other creature that thinks and feels ( a status that can be long debated in itself)is the target of the act, not a justification.

This is why we have the Geneva Convention, and why much of the German military was held accountable for atrocious acts after WWII (for detailed information that I'm referencing open a book, or wake up during history class, whichever most applies to your situation.)

So now that we understand that the ends rarely, if ever, justify the means, replace "intelligent evil undead" with "my family member" and see how it hypocritical you sound. that, or morally psychotic, in which case you need to see a medical professional. STAT!

The reason a Paladin has a code, and the replied to is just weaving interpretation into generalization, is to protect people from the paladin as well as the paladin protecting the people. How often in real history have we seen the label "evil" slapped on a minority, so we can.....oh say, enslave them, keep them from voting/integrating when they're finally freed, Taking thier land/women/children/wealth in general, converting them to christianity and obliterating their culture.

I can go on, but will assume I've made my point. If you have to justify any questionable act as 'for the good', just own up to doing an evil act. the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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I don't think it makes you a bad GM, you might be very good at it. however, it does add to your douchebag points. If you cant treat your players with respect for their choices, what makes you think you deserve to play with them.

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*nested quote*
*nested quote*
*nested quote*
*nested quote*

religion zinger.


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I think this is fallout from the MMO genre, wherein the storyline inevitably gets dumped by the side as a player spends hours repeating dungeons and quests to obtain loot or armor. They've kinda upped the stakes by adding achievements, but again, only important to completists, not very effective for a roleplaying factor.

Min/maxing has been always a part of the game, but I'm coming to realize that it's more of a problem with those who spend way too much time to study the rules with that action in mind, than absorbing stories from media and thinking "how could I do that, mechanically?"

Unfortunately, those people who walk into the game are slowly turned to the dark side by the obvious returns they see min/maxers walk away with. They want that enjoyment that min/maxers display, but don't realize it was at a cost of an integral part of the game. Vice versa, GM's inequipped to handle one style, but not the other, throw players off RP as well. Simply not executing it because they only understand the rules side of the game, or incapable of interacting on that level, GM's can make it hard on players to RP actions out because it doesn't fit within their agenda.

Good Luck, lead by example, and hopefully you can bring both sides of the table around and ad a little RP to your loot grind tables.


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unfortunately, cranewings, if I'm going to represent paizo and PFS in a professional capacity, I will have to become somewhat of a busybody, since the who/what/why/where/and hows of organizing PFS is something that must remain as paizo intends it.

Head person is my terminology, not the store owner's. I simply don't wish to start a 'misquoting' flame war.

And in my short experience, there hasn't been one player or gm for PFS that hasn't bent over backwards to make the store managers and owners happy about having them in shop, is there really a section out there that is as offensive? especially since a gm is expected to adjudicate whether the material used for a player's character is legitimate. I'd say bragging about torrenting material is the quintessential red flag.

Anyways, I don't really want to discuss the morality of the situation, but avenues on how to solve it. It's going to be awkward trying to get the material into the players hands.


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A nearby hobby store is charging 5$ to play for PFS. I guess it's his right to do so, but he's implied that it is a 'part' of PFS, not his policy. He's also implying that he's the 'head person' to deal with for PFS, not the venture captain. Understand, he's not said anything outright, but controls the system in his area with a tight fist.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to breach this palisade? I want gamers to know the full truth about the PFS, which can be played exactly the same way, less than a half hour away, for free. Nor do I want to alienate him and his business, because he is the only game in town, so to speak. One bad owner shouldn't be able to ruin the campaign for a large community that could have a phenomenal pathfinder following if treated right.

My Ideas coalescing so far is a paizo-approved brochure that states some pointed details out, while also introducing what PFS is to new players. Included Paizo links for more information, volunteers to contact, etc. Then at least the power to choose would be directly in the player's hand. Quite frankly, I would also like to see an ad or two on TV, or Hulu too.

I plan on regularly visiting this store, as a player and an active member of the PFS volunteer team, so getting into an all out grudge match with them is out of the question. I think we can come down to an equitable idea as a community, give me your best.


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I've hashed together a player and gm excel sheet i think will help move this part along, based on a suggestion here. If you could peruse and give thoughts, I'd appreciate it. First page will go in front of players, while second is GM only.
Nesting Swallow.xlsx
hope that works.

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New Xane is up for the week of 5/14/12. Come on by, enjoy the tale.

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