Why are there so many people obsessed with "balance" on here?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed a post with a personal insult, and the replies to it. Reply to civility with civility, and reply to non-civility not at all.


LilithsThrall wrote:
anthony Valente wrote:
Well to be fair, if you are running the game as a GM in the "classical" sense, you are expected to be a literal referee when conducting an encounter and not favor the monsters or the PCs (the literal words "impartial judge" are printed in the 1E DMG if I recall correctly).

No, you're not.

I wrote a big long post as to why, exactly, you're not, but I deleted it (because I, sometimes, beat dead horses), so I'll just ponit out that rule 0 existed as far back as first edition DnD. Rule 0 is not compatible with the claim you made above that GMs are to just be "literal referees". If you're using some other standard to decide what GMing in the "classical" sense is, let me know.

Just because rule 0 existed, doesn't mean it was expected for the GMs to not be 'impartial referees.' It's entirely possible that the baseline GM style would have used rule 0 to create other rules which would be just as justly and neutrally applied by an impartial referee under the title Dungeon Master.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
anthony Valente wrote:
Well to be fair, if you are running the game as a GM in the "classical" sense, you are expected to be a literal referee when conducting an encounter and not favor the monsters or the PCs (the literal words "impartial judge" are printed in the 1E DMG if I recall correctly).

No, you're not.

I wrote a big long post as to why, exactly, you're not, but I deleted it (because I, sometimes, beat dead horses), so I'll just ponit out that rule 0 existed as far back as first edition DnD. Rule 0 is not compatible with the claim you made above that GMs are to just be "literal referees". If you're using some other standard to decide what GMing in the "classical" sense is, let me know.

Just because rule 0 existed, doesn't mean it was expected for the GMs to not be 'impartial referees.' It's entirely possible that the baseline GM style would have used rule 0 to create other rules which would be just as justly and neutrally applied by an impartial referee under the title Dungeon Master.

"Impartial GM" and "literal GM" aren't the same thing. A GM who referees based on what will make the best entertainment is being impartial, though not adhering strictly to RAW. I was replying to the comment that the GM is suppossed to be a "literal referee".


LilithsThrall wrote:

"Impartial GM" and "literal GM" aren't the same thing. A GM who referees based on what will make the best entertainment is being impartial, though not adhering strictly to RAW. I was replying to the comment that the GM is suppossed to be a "literal referee".

When I say being a literal referee, I mean impartial referee. The two are essentially the same thing (and I even wrote it both ways in my post). I also don't see how rule 0 has anything to do with it. For example, more contemporary GM advice often says it's "ok" to fudge dice rolls every now and then if it makes the game "fun". The older editions of the game have plenty of advice for DMs to make the game entertaining, but that particular bit wasn't one of them.

Old D&D advice: if the PCs get in over their heads, let the dice fall where they may. (If they die, they will learn from the experience and play their next PCs better).

New D&D advice: if the PCs get in over their heads, it's okay to fudge a few dice rolls to help them out if it makes fun for everyone.

The former is being a literal/impartial referee. The latter is not. He's more of a narrative director I guess.


anthony Valente wrote:


When I say being a literal referee, I mean impartial referee. The two are essentially the same thing

No, they aren't. But let's put that aside for the sake of the discussion.

anthony Valente wrote:


The older editions of the game have plenty of advice for DMs to make the game entertaining, but that particular bit wasn't one of them.

Yes, it was.

I don't know how things were run in your campaign 20+ years ago, but in the campaigns that I played in and in the DMG that we used, the GM was told that it was okay to fudge the dice as needed. In fact, that was one of the reasons the DM screen was created.


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Illusion of Free Choice

Gameplay people, gameplay...

*shakes fist*


Whether the GM is told in the DMG to fudge is a completely different question from whether the GM should fudge. The second question comes down to game choice and I don't believe there is a right answer. The first question comes down to what RAW says and there is a right answer.


LilithsThrall wrote:
Whether the GM is told in the DMG to fudge is a completely different question from whether the GM should fudge. The second question comes down to game choice and I don't believe there is a right answer. The first question comes down to what RAW says and there is a right answer.

I think (hope) that's been made clear.

*shakes fist*

Grand Lodge

LilithsThrall wrote:
anthony Valente wrote:
Well to be fair, if you are running the game as a GM in the "classical" sense, you are expected to be a literal referee when conducting an encounter and not favor the monsters or the PCs (the literal words "impartial judge" are printed in the 1E DMG if I recall correctly).

No, you're not.

I wrote a big long post as to why, exactly, you're not, but I deleted it (because I, sometimes, beat dead horses), so I'll just ponit out that rule 0 existed as far back as first edition DnD. Rule 0 is not compatible with the claim you made above that GMs are to just be "literal referees". If you're using some other standard to decide what GMing in the "classical" sense is, let me know.

Actually in the 2ed book (in the forward AND in another place), it says that the rules are meant as guidelines. If they get in the way ignore the rules or just use them as you will. The game is what matters.

With that being said. Each game is it's own style, uniqueness and even personality. It is impossible for any one game to be like another. Each player and GM brings to the table something that would make it so. So yes GM's can be referee's and some may not be. While rule 0 as you say might have existed, it does not make it a firm rule to follow either. I know back when I was playing 1ed and even basic D&D, I did not follow ALL the rules nor were we expected to in any way. For someone to expect otherwise is a fool in their own right. (Not saying you expect us to follow the rules or am I calling you a fool) but with that being said... why would talk about compatibility of rule 0 when in this game that we know of as Pathfinder is not mentioned for one... and for two you mention rule 0 but do not tell the quoted person what IT is.

Might want to do that first... then debate the merits of a rule that one does not need to follow if they choose not to.

Liberty's Edge

LilithsThrall wrote:
Whether the GM is told in the DMG to fudge is a completely different question from whether the GM should fudge. The second question comes down to game choice and I don't believe there is a right answer. The first question comes down to what RAW says and there is a right answer.

1e AD&D DMG RAW: "You do have every right to overrule the dice at any time if there is a particular course of events that you would like to have occur."

1e AD&D DMG pg 110, Rolling the Dice and Control of the Game

See it is RAW to fudge! Only Gygax calls it 'giving an edge'.

How we forget our origins.

S.

Sovereign Court

WPharolin wrote:


However, this still says nothing about the current number of people playing RPGs, only about the current SALES state of D&D and Pathfinder. Many of those glory day gamers are still playing the old games, so they aren't counted because they aren't buying the newer books, because they are fine with the old ones. I don't doubt for a second that the games sales statistics show a decline in the hobby. But we don't have enough information to actually make any sort of inference as to how many people play table top RPG's. We don't have enough information to make a reasonable assumption one way or the other.

I think it's difficult to say ...

Say for instance, there have never been as many game shops in my town as now...

On the other hand, the age of the players I see buying in them seems to be rising, as in minimum college age, and not High school anymore ...

OTOH also, now, I sometimes see GIRLS bringing their boyfriends to the games shop, and explaining to them how each game is COOL or not ...

So things are changing, but finding an absolute pattern seems somewhat difficult for now.

I'd say : Keep doing great games like Pathfinder, and they will come !


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Stefan Hill wrote:

See it is RAW to fudge! Only Gygax calls it 'giving an edge'.

How we forget our origins.

Either that, or we remember and always thought he was wrong.

(Personally, I think he would have benefitted from a stronger editor who would have helped him sift the good stuff from the dross, but maybe that's hard when you're pioneering. Of course, I also think this about any number of sacred cows.)

Liberty's Edge

Dire Mongoose wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:

See it is RAW to fudge! Only Gygax calls it 'giving an edge'.

How we forget our origins.

Either that, or we remember and always thought he was wrong.

(Personally, I think he would have benefitted from a stronger editor who would have helped him sift the good stuff from the dross, but maybe that's hard when you're pioneering. Of course, I also think this about any number of sacred cows.)

Or perhaps he was right and we are now wrong? Didn't he define what a Dungeon Master was and role they played? Given it didn't exist previously I would say he's likely correct. I guess that's why we call ourselves Game Masters now? Back then we were 'Masters of the Dungeon', now the 'Game is our Master'. Fitting and philosophical.

Can you point out dross? I would not have liked that job. I know of some rules that others have stated as dross, and fair enough, that I find as gems. Can't those people and myself both be right?

S.

Dark Archive

Stefan Hill wrote:
Dire Mongoose wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:

See it is RAW to fudge! Only Gygax calls it 'giving an edge'.

How we forget our origins.

Either that, or we remember and always thought he was wrong.

(Personally, I think he would have benefitted from a stronger editor who would have helped him sift the good stuff from the dross, but maybe that's hard when you're pioneering. Of course, I also think this about any number of sacred cows.)

Or perhaps he was right and we are now wrong? Didn't he define what a Dungeon Master was and role they played? Given it didn't exist previously I would say he's likely correct. I guess that's why we call ourselves Game Masters now? Back then we were 'Masters of the Dungeon', now the 'Game is our Master'. Fitting and philosophical.

Can you point out dross? I would not have liked that job. I know of some rules that others have stated as dross, and fair enough, that I find as gems. Can't those people and myself both be right?

S.

Didn't Gygax also write tons of materials for extremely dangerous dungeons that were almost "gotchas"? We don't see those hardly anymore. Most of the time it's just a bunch of guys having some casual fun with a softball DM as opposed to DMs throwing high heat and killing players every other room.


Stereofm wrote:

I think it's difficult to say ...

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Do you keep losing your train of thought? I'm not clear on why you trail off at the end of every line.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Stefan Hill wrote:

Or perhaps he was right and we are now wrong? Didn't he define what a Dungeon Master was and role they played? Given it didn't exist previously I would say he's likely correct. I guess that's why we call ourselves Game Masters now? Back then we were 'Masters of the Dungeon', now the 'Game is our Master'. Fitting and philosophical.

Actually it's a copyright issue, assuming you weren't just waxing rhetorical.

Stefan Hill wrote:


Can you point out dross?

Sure: 1E version of the bard, dual classing, level limits, thieves that never become good at finding magic traps and have no special ability that a 2nd or lower level spell doesn't do better, challenging for levels (nice idea, but find a group that didn't hand-wave this or make it trivial and you'll find a group that just doesn't play those classes), 1E weapon vs. armor hit charts, numerous NPCs with names that are permutations of his own name, and Gord the Rogue.

Stefan Hill wrote:


I would not have liked that job. I know of some rules that others have stated as dross, and fair enough, that I find as gems. Can't those people and myself both be right?

Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but... yes, it is possible to get game design objectively wrong, in the sense that you craft a rule with implications that run counter to your design goals.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Like wanting every player involved in a situation while the rules make sure only one person actively participates?


Gygax was a pioneer, not a saint. I have no holy or religious reason to adhere directly to everything he said. I thank him for his contributions, and then make it my own - which, incidentally, is the way he wanted it.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
Gygax was a pioneer, not a saint. I have no holy or religious reason to adhere directly to everything he said. I thank him for his contributions, and then make it my own - which, incidentally, is the way he wanted it.

+1. This more eloquently expresses my opinion.

The first people to do a thing are immeasureably important, but that importance doesn't convey upon them infallibility.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
houstonderek wrote:


The PHB and MM were $12 each, and the DMG $15. But in modern dollars, that's $30 and $38, so the actual monetary valueisn't different than modern books.

PH & MM $9.95 each, when I bought mine at GenCon '78. Still less than $40 total for the core rulebooks.

Liberty's Edge

Dire Mongoose wrote:

Sure: 1E version of the bard, dual classing, level limits, thieves that never become good at finding magic traps and have no special ability that a 2nd or lower level spell doesn't do better, challenging for levels (nice idea, but find a group that didn't hand-wave this or make it trivial and you'll find a group that just doesn't play those classes), 1E weapon vs. armor hit charts, numerous NPCs with names that are permutations of his own name, and Gord the Rogue.

Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but... yes, it is possible to get game design objectively wrong, in the sense that you craft a rule with implications that run counter to your design goals.

(1) 1e Bard, hell cool in my opinion. Only ever had one person I know become one. Fighter/Thief/Druid with benefits, how can that be bad?

(2) Dual classing worked for me. I do concede that at 1st at is possible to have two classes if you stats were good enough. The one time someone in one of my groups was able to dual class (1st level Paladin / 1st level Cleric) it backfired badly. In the Queen of Spiders series he kept getting turned as he was a 14th level Cleric, BUT only a level 1 paladin, by every Drow Priestess they came across...
(3) Thieves were what they were, and as intended I speculate. How would a Thief spot a magical trap unless it was sign posted, it's magic after all? If they could it devalues 'magic'.
(4) Yes magic use to do MAGICAL things - it was however much more limited resource than in today's game.
(5) My 1e BtB Monk would like to inform you of several failed levelling attempts... Still read my quote from the DMG above, hand-waving = fine RAW. Lucky he was LG and not LE...
(6) Weapon vs Armour charts was (and still is) awesome to me. Weapons behave as I think they should - some good against unarmoured and some against armoured. Very good reasons to choose different weapons for different jobs.
(7) I agree some of his NPC names were 'interesting' - Tenser anyone.

See I using equally valid arguments refuted your "Sure", well at least in my mind. Neither of us are right I'll wager if a third person were to comment. I, unlike you, see the above as features of the game and as such they don't bother me at all. From the words written at the start of the PHB and DMG I believe that Gygax did achieve his design goals. I play 'his' game and enjoy it.

Horses and Courses,
S.

Liberty's Edge

Dire Mongoose wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
Gygax was a pioneer, not a saint. I have no holy or religious reason to adhere directly to everything he said. I thank him for his contributions, and then make it my own - which, incidentally, is the way he wanted it.

+1. This more eloquently expresses my opinion.

The first people to do a thing are immeasureably important, but that importance doesn't convey upon them infallibility.

+1 to both.

Liberty's Edge

John Woodford wrote:
houstonderek wrote:


The PHB and MM were $12 each, and the DMG $15. But in modern dollars, that's $30 and $38, so the actual monetary valueisn't different than modern books.
PH & MM $9.95 each, when I bought mine at GenCon '78. Still less than $40 total for the core rulebooks.

You realize that the $40 you spent in '78 (and you got a convention deal on the pricing, btw, the $12 and $15 figures were retail at a store) had the same purchasing power as $130 in 2009, right? So, throw in the DMG in '79 when it came out, and the books back then cost more than the 3.5 trio did, in real dollars. When I was a kid, $12 was a s~~! ton of dough. I had to mow/rake a ton of lawns and shovel a ton of driveways to feed my gaming habit.

The reason I keep using the PHB as my point of reference is, unless we were DMing, we generally didn't pick up the DMG and MM. Whereas most 3.x players picked up all three, as there was no "this is for the DM only" stigma attached to the DMG and MM. The players actually could use them for the PrCs and summoned monsters. TSR sold an obscene number of Player's Handbooks for 1e, not so many DMGs and MMs, whereas WotC probably sold a similar number (or, at least closer to each other figures than the 1e books were) of all three.


houstonderek wrote:
John Woodford wrote:
houstonderek wrote:


The PHB and MM were $12 each, and the DMG $15. But in modern dollars, that's $30 and $38, so the actual monetary valueisn't different than modern books.
PH & MM $9.95 each, when I bought mine at GenCon '78. Still less than $40 total for the core rulebooks.

You realize that the $40 you spent in '78 (and you got a convention deal on the pricing, btw, the $12 and $15 figures were retail at a store) had the same purchasing power as $130 in 2009, right? So, throw in the DMG in '79 when it came out, and the books back then cost more than the 3.5 trio did, in real dollars. When I was a kid, $12 was a s~@~ ton of dough. I had to mow/rake a ton of lawns and shovel a ton of driveways to feed my gaming habit.

The reason I keep using the PHB as my point of reference is, unless we were DMing, we generally didn't pick up the DMG and MM. Whereas most 3.x players picked up all three, as there was no "this is for the DM only" stigma attached to the DMG and MM. The players actually could use them for the PrCs and summoned monsters. TSR sold an obscene number of Player's Handbooks for 1e, not so many DMGs and MMs, whereas WotC probably sold a similar number (or, at least closer to each other figures than the 1e books were) of all three.

And Pathfinder sells exactly the same amount of 'PHB's and 'DMG's :P

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
houstonderek wrote:


You realize that the $40 you spent in '78 (and you got a convention deal on the pricing, btw, the $12 and $15 figures were retail at a store) had the same purchasing power as $130 in 2009, right? So, throw in the DMG in '79 when it came out, and the books back then cost more than the 3.5 trio did, in real dollars. When I was a kid, $12 was a s##* ton of dough. I had to mow/rake a ton of lawns and shovel a ton of driveways to feed my gaming habit.

The reason I keep using the PHB as my point of reference is, unless we were DMing, we generally didn't pick up the DMG and MM. Whereas most 3.x players picked up all three, as there was no "this is for the DM only" stigma attached to the DMG and MM. The players actually could use them for the PrCs and summoned monsters. TSR sold an obscene number of Player's Handbooks for 1e, not so many DMGs and MMs, whereas WotC probably sold a similar number (or, at least closer to each other figures than the 1e books were) of all three.

Splitting hairs, here, but the $9.95 price came off the little price list/catalog in the back of the PHB. I have no doubt that they jacked the price a bit in later printings. Everything else, you are spot on (although I was just starting college at this point, and had a bit more disposable income--$12 was about my take-home for a shift flipping burgers at the dorm cafeteria). I don't think TSR ever did a box-set release of the PHB/MM/DMG, which suggests pretty strongly that they weren't expecting many people to buy them as a unit.

Liberty's Edge

kyrt-ryder wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
John Woodford wrote:
houstonderek wrote:


The PHB and MM were $12 each, and the DMG $15. But in modern dollars, that's $30 and $38, so the actual monetary valueisn't different than modern books.
PH & MM $9.95 each, when I bought mine at GenCon '78. Still less than $40 total for the core rulebooks.

You realize that the $40 you spent in '78 (and you got a convention deal on the pricing, btw, the $12 and $15 figures were retail at a store) had the same purchasing power as $130 in 2009, right? So, throw in the DMG in '79 when it came out, and the books back then cost more than the 3.5 trio did, in real dollars. When I was a kid, $12 was a s~@~ ton of dough. I had to mow/rake a ton of lawns and shovel a ton of driveways to feed my gaming habit.

The reason I keep using the PHB as my point of reference is, unless we were DMing, we generally didn't pick up the DMG and MM. Whereas most 3.x players picked up all three, as there was no "this is for the DM only" stigma attached to the DMG and MM. The players actually could use them for the PrCs and summoned monsters. TSR sold an obscene number of Player's Handbooks for 1e, not so many DMGs and MMs, whereas WotC probably sold a similar number (or, at least closer to each other figures than the 1e books were) of all three.

And Pathfinder sells exactly the same amount of 'PHB's and 'DMG's :P

Clever the way they did that, right? ;-)

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Also, we wore onions on our belt, which was the style of the time.


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Sebastian wrote:
Also, we wore onions on our belt, which was the style of the time.

''They didn't have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...''

::

*shakes fist*


Stefan Hill wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Whether the GM is told in the DMG to fudge is a completely different question from whether the GM should fudge. The second question comes down to game choice and I don't believe there is a right answer. The first question comes down to what RAW says and there is a right answer.

1e AD&D DMG RAW: "You do have every right to overrule the dice at any time if there is a particular course of events that you would like to have occur."

1e AD&D DMG pg 110, Rolling the Dice and Control of the Game

See it is RAW to fudge! Only Gygax calls it 'giving an edge'.

How we forget our origins.

S.

Thank you. I knew that was in there, I just don't have a 1e DMG anymore and I couldn't remember where in the DMG it said that. We used to call it "rule 110" (after the page number), but, seeing as how I couldn't remember the page number, I couldn't remember what we used to call it.

Sovereign Court

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Stereofm wrote:

I think it's difficult to say ...

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Do you keep losing your train of thought? I'm not clear on why you trail off at the end of every line.

I failed my SR roll vs Confusion.

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