New to Pathfinder, Old to RPG's, and I have a few observations...


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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MendedWall12 wrote:
TwoWolves wrote:


So you haven't read page 403 of the core rules then?

Pathfinder Core Rulebook, p403 wrote:
One handy rule to keep under your belt is the Fiat Rule—simply grant a player a +2 or a –2 bonus or penalty to a die roll...{/quote]

Can't believe I'm going to do this but I have to back up Cartigan here. The rest of that rule says:

Core Rulebook wrote:

One handy rule to keep under your belt is the Fiat

Rule—simply grant a player a +2 or a –2 bonus or penalty
to a die roll if no one at the table is precisely sure how a
situation might be handled by the rules.
I get the fiat rule, but that is supposed to be used purely in situations where the rules don't specifically say what should happen. In that case it's not a mechanical bonus for good role playing, it's a mechanical bonus (or in some cases negative) because nobody knows off the top of their head what the rules actually say.

Even if he wasn't cherry-picking, he would still be wrong. The game is not built around storytelling affecting the mechanics.


John Kretzer wrote:
Or you have bob launching rainbows from his ass..

Sorry, I feel like a thread-jacker, but I almost spewed coffee all over my computer when I read that! Too funny.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:
Even if he wasn't cherry-picking, he would still be wrong. The game is not built around storytelling affecting the mechanics.

There's a difference between not being built around storytelling affecting the mechanics, and storytelling never affecting mechanics.

Clearly I've been doing it wrong for 25 years. I think I'll continue to do it wrong.


Cartigan wrote:
MendedWall12 wrote:
TwoWolves wrote:


So you haven't read page 403 of the core rules then?

Pathfinder Core Rulebook, p403 wrote:
One handy rule to keep under your belt is the Fiat Rule—simply grant a player a +2 or a –2 bonus or penalty to a die roll...{/quote]

Can't believe I'm going to do this but I have to back up Cartigan here. The rest of that rule says:

Core Rulebook wrote:

One handy rule to keep under your belt is the Fiat

Rule—simply grant a player a +2 or a –2 bonus or penalty
to a die roll if no one at the table is precisely sure how a
situation might be handled by the rules.
I get the fiat rule, but that is supposed to be used purely in situations where the rules don't specifically say what should happen. In that case it's not a mechanical bonus for good role playing, it's a mechanical bonus (or in some cases negative) because nobody knows off the top of their head what the rules actually say.
Even if he wasn't cherry-picking, he would still be wrong. The game is not built around storytelling affecting the mechanics.

Actualy I disagree because good RPG....and thinking outside the box should be rewarded and it is not covered by the rules....heck it is even better because RPing can cause a determent.


deinol wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Even if he wasn't cherry-picking, he would still be wrong. The game is not built around storytelling affecting the mechanics.

There's a difference between not being built around storytelling affecting the mechanics, and storytelling never affecting mechanics.

Clearly I've been doing it wrong for 25 years. I think I'll continue to do it wrong.

I'm not sure what part of "rules of the game, not house rules" people find so bloody hard to understand.


MendedWall12 wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Or you have bob launching rainbows from his ass..

Sorry, I feel like a thread-jacker, but I almost spewed coffee all over my computer when I read that! Too funny.

All I wrote and you picked out a extreme example :(

Well atleast I got you to laugh...that is something I suppose.

;)


I've been playing D&D for a long time, and I don't recall any version of the game incorporating role playing into the mechanics. The mechanics have always been about the "how" while the role playing has always been about the "what." There has always been an aspect of power gaming in the system. My brother used a wish in 1e to gain ambidextriousness and introduced our group to the concept now formalized as "two weapon fighting" long before there were feats.

As the game evolved it was natural for game designers to introduce new mechanics to resolve questions they had to answer over and over, and new ideas can be a great benefit just as they can be a dreadful burden.

I believe the modern game feels more "number crunchy" is mostly because the evolution of the mechanics has introduced and refined more and more numbers that can be crunched.

Has this had a negative impact on the role playing aspect of the game? I don't know. I think people tend to romanticize the past in most ways, and remembering gaming sessions is no different. I think there is great role playing going on today and I absolutely believe that optimization and role playing are two entirely different things which have minimal, if any, actual impact on each other.

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
Dragonsong wrote:
I do wish that they were compiled togetether in the GMG / UC another setting-less book. Just to save my aching pocket book a little bit as our group tends to not run published adverntures buying an AP just for a mechanic is less than optimal, for me. I am sure others get more out of it. But it is what it is and that may be what I have to do.

They most likely will be at some point in the future. The AP is a great place for us to experiment with new rules subsystems to model new types of adventures and encounters—we do four times as many of these as rulebooks, after all. Haunts, chases, traits, and other elements first introduced in an AP have "graduated" to hardcover status already, and once we're through doing player option books (hopefully with Ultimate Combat or soon thereafter) we can switch focus in the rulebook line to other topics like mass combat, kingdom building, or the like.

Until then, though, the AP (and to a lesser extent, the other book lines we do) will continue to be where we debut these new rules systems. The AP, particularly, since each volume of it is half adventure and half resource book.

Consider them preordered.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:
I'm not sure what part of "rules of the game, not house rules" people find so bloody hard to understand.

The part where the GM giving out circumstance modifiers has been in the game for a long time, even if it's use as a role-play encouragement tool isn't emphasized.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Cartigan wrote:
You have no idea how many acronyms go into a plane...

I've had it with these mother frakkin' acronyms on this mother frakin' plane! [/Samuel L. Jackson]


MendedWall12 wrote:
TwoWolves wrote:


So you haven't read page 403 of the core rules then?

Pathfinder Core Rulebook, p403 wrote:
One handy rule to keep under your belt is the Fiat Rule—simply grant a player a +2 or a –2 bonus or penalty to a die roll...{/quote]

Can't believe I'm going to do this but I have to back up Cartigan here. The rest of that rule says:

Core Rulebook wrote:

One handy rule to keep under your belt is the Fiat

Rule—simply grant a player a +2 or a –2 bonus or penalty
to a die roll if no one at the table is precisely sure how a
situation might be handled by the rules.
I get the fiat rule, but that is supposed to be used purely in situations where the rules don't specifically say what should happen. In that case it's not a mechanical bonus for good role playing, it's a mechanical bonus (or in some cases negative) because nobody knows off the top of their head what the rules actually say.

I left off the rest of the quote not to cherry pick, but because of the unfortunate context used for the Pathfinderized version of the "DM's Best Friend" rule from which it is derrived. It is quite clearly stated as a catch-all bonus/penalty for many situations in 3.X/Pathfinder, and rewarding good roleplaying is an example used in WotC material.

Now that Cartigan has been proven patently wrong (again), he moves the goalposts (again). Where he was once stating "No matter how well you play a character or tell a story, you never get bonuses in D&D. Ever.", he's now moved to "The game is not built around storytelling affecting the mechanics. Which is it Skippy? No way no how not never ever, or just the system wasn't "built around" it?

For someone who jumped into a thread only to find insult where none was intended, he's done a marvelous job of hurling his own elitism and very much intended insult. And in the thread of a first-time poster, no less. Way to welcome folks to the community. Sheesh.


Cartigan wrote:
The game is not built around storytelling affecting the mechanics.

"Built around", yeah, I guess not, but story does play a role mechanically:

Gamemastering wrote:

Designing Encounters

The heart of any adventure is its encounters. An encounter is any event that puts a specific problem before the PCs that they must solve. Most encounters present combat with monsters or hostile NPCs, but there are many other types—a trapped corridor, a political interaction with a suspicious king, a dangerous passage over a rickety rope bridge, an awkward argument with a friendly NPC who suspects a PC has betrayed him, or anything that adds drama to the game. Brain-teasing puzzles, roleplaying challenges, and skill checks are all classic methods for resolving encounters, but the most complex encounters to build are the most common ones—combat encounters.

...
Story Awards: Feel free to award Story Awards when players conclude a major storyline or make an important accomplishment. These awards should be worth double the amount of experience points for a CR equal to the APL. Particularly long or difficult story arcs might award even more, at your discretion as GM."

Anyway,

Welcome Holt!
(Holt wouldn't be an ElfQuest reference would it?)
I would just echo what others have said. There are all kinds of different areas of these message boards where you can peckerduel over rules minutia, or you can role-play a gnome. General Discussion tends to have a fairly high peckerdueling rate, but it is fairly easy to skip if you are not in the mood.

I started gaming in the mid-80's when I was young. I quickly realized that things like the Ranger Bow Specialist and 1st level Cavalier in full plate (w/heavy warhorse!) weren't exactly well balanced. I always try to avoid the fringes of the game where things get stretched or broken. With that said, I really want to know why things work the way they do, and if something needs fixing, I want to find out the easy way. By understanding the rules, I can GM the type of game I want to play, and feel comfortable giving the players fairly free reign. If I want to make a monster tough to beat, or help a PC who is lagging, I can do it without messing up other aspects of the game.

PS Since you are new here, I have some good advice:
The boards have a tendancy to "eat" posts after you click the submit button. Hitting Ctrl-A, then Ctrl-C (or apple-A, apple-C, for you mac types) can save the frustration of re-typing a post.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Nooo! Please stop dropping subjective DM-discretion based elements into Carty's perfectly fine tactical wargame! Where rules and facts matter, and anything that actually depends on DM's decision is Bad Design!


This is moronic.

D&D/Pathfinder is not a storytelling system. Period. Storytelling offers no mechanical benefits by the rules. It isn't built into the game. Bits and pieces of the rules offering advice to the DM does not "storytelling affecting mechanics" make. There is no tangible benefit to mechanics derived from role-playing in the rules of the game. Look at World of Darkness. Look at Savage Worlds. They are intrinsically different games than D&D. You can cherry pick all you want, but you won't be able to find anything that says "Players get 'X' for playing to their character." as a part of the rules.


::Smite::

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Cartigan wrote:
D&D/Pathfinder is not a storytelling system... you won't be able to find anything that says "Players get 'X' for playing to their character." as a part of the rules.

Playing to a character does not equal storytelling. Playing to a character is just one specific method of many that a person could use to tell a story.

On the other hand, there is no way to tell a story without completing a storyline. Which, incidentally, is assigned an explicit, numerical XP value in the Core Rules. From the Story Awards section of the PRD: "These awards should be worth double the amount of experience points for a CR equal to the APL. Particularly long or difficult story arcs might award even more, at your discretion as GM."


Cartigan wrote:

This is moronic.

D&D/Pathfinder is not a storytelling system. Period. Storytelling offers no mechanical benefits by the rules. It isn't built into the game. Bits and pieces of the rules offering advice to the DM does not "storytelling affecting mechanics" make. There is no tangible benefit to mechanics derived from role-playing in the rules of the game. Look at World of Darkness. Look at Savage Worlds. They are intrinsically different games than D&D. You can cherry pick all you want, but you won't be able to find anything that says "Players get 'X' for playing to their character." as a part of the rules.

What about page 399 Story Awards?

Or Circumstance bonus that could be rewarded due to how the player RPs?

Actualy I find these mechanic to be a little more effective in storytelling due to the flexability of actualy imposing a negative...unlike most of what I see in WoD or Savage Worlds.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:

This is moronic.

D&D/Pathfinder is not a storytelling system. Period. Storytelling offers no mechanical benefits by the rules. It isn't built into the game. Bits and pieces of the rules offering advice to the DM does not "storytelling affecting mechanics" make. There is no tangible benefit to mechanics derived from role-playing in the rules of the game. Look at World of Darkness. Look at Savage Worlds. They are intrinsically different games than D&D. You can cherry pick all you want, but you won't be able to find anything that says "Players get 'X' for playing to their character." as a part of the rules.

So? Isn't it kind of silly to give a PC an advantage for... being the PC as designed? I would have thought that was the point of playing in the first place and that achieving the the successes you get for playing the PC's abilities as designed were already the reward for playing them. For example, managing to sway the duke to your way of thinking via Diplomacy and getting him to back your expedition seems to be an excellent validation for investing in Diplomacy, playing to it, and deriving an in-game advantage to me.

Honestly, didn't the designers at WotC come to the conclusion that this was, in fact, a problem with 2e's kits? Trying to balance mechanical advantages with role-playing expectations? And that's somehow now a defining characteristic of "storytelling" systems?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:


No matter how well you play a character or tell a story, you never get bonuses in D&D. Ever. In the rules of the game - not your house rules, the game rules, there is no way for you to mechanically benefit from good role-playing in D&D. Fact.

D+D was not invented as a roleplaying system. It was invented originally to give some fluff flavor to minature combat. As such, it has retained a rules-intensive focus in every one of it's various incarnations.


brassbaboon wrote:
I've been playing D&D for a long time, and I don't recall any version of the game incorporating role playing into the mechanics.

The D&D Rules Cyclopedia specifically said to award good roleplaying with 1/20 of the xp required for the next level.


Cartigan wrote:


I want to point out that in games like World of Darkness and Savage Worlds, the fluff/storytelling is part of the mechanics.

True for WOD, false for Savage World. SW is really old school in it's design (roll a dice, beat a target number, determine margin of success) with a few tweaks to make it fast to play. But you can (and even should) play combaton a grid, and the system works very well for tactical skirmishes.

Maybe you had FATE in mind?
The new edition of WFRPG is also closer to what you describe.


Wow, I've seen that Cartigan come across as pretty antagonistic at times, but it's pretty sad to see everyone jump all over themselves to prove him wrong without reading what he is saying. RAW, role playing and story considerations offer no mechanical advantage, which was what I saw his argument being. D&D doesn't have floating +2s or +4s that get applied if the player adds to the story or role play the action really well. This is directly opposed to a system like FATE, where the way the players role play their characters and tell the story actually does give a concrete and fairly significant advantage in play, or Wushu, where the player's descriptions and number of successes determine how his actions affect the plot and rules like the veto contribute to make the game a sort of structured, collaborative story.

Just because many of us give ad hoc modifiers for good role play, I do especially for social skills when the player makes a good effort, doesn't mean that Cartigan is wrong in his argument. We are adding something to the rules or interpreting something in the rules differently than they are written, which is perfectly fine and acceptable since the Core book acknowledges the rules are just a guideline and DMs can add and change whatever they want.

Anyways, this is a bit tangential to the original point, which I don't really have anything to add other than to say welcome to the site Holt, and don't be put off by the large number of rule discussions. That's mostly a result of the rules being something that can be examined and tested/critiqued, while role playing is very subjective and harder to discuss apples to apples. Heh, just look at any alignment discussion for an example of why role play discussions are harder to make than rules discussions. Everyone seems to have a completely different criteria for what the alignments mean.


Pual wrote:
brassbaboon wrote:
I've been playing D&D for a long time, and I don't recall any version of the game incorporating role playing into the mechanics.
The D&D Rules Cyclopedia specifically said to award good roleplaying with 1/20 of the xp required for the next level.

If that's your best example of "incorporating role playing into the mechanics" of the game, I'm going to have to try hard not to snicker.

The Exchange

I'm a role-player of some 30 years, and a WOW player of 6 months.

WOW isn't a roleplaying game. It has elements of the game I grew up with and it's a lot of fun, but the amusement park analogy is pretty spot on.

There's no doubt WOW has had a massive impact of dice and paper RPG. Critics of 4e point to this, but I don't think it's all been negative.

When playing Pathfinder, my group looks for the meat of the story and the rules are there to help us adjudicate outcomes. For some, the crunch is where it's at. There's no right or wrong here. If you're all having fun, that's the aim.

The thing is, the players that are coming from a computer game background are just more likely to think in terms of character optimisation, and to paraphrase what been said about story-telling, there are no rewards within the rules for playing a character that is flawed for story purposes. So the question is, why wouldn't you play an optimised character?

I'm certainly happy to take the lessons from the younger kids on how best to build a character and use where I see fit. That doesn't mean I start with the numbers when building, the concept comes first, but having a useful character in the party that fulfills his/her role certainly helps the game to flow.

As for Pathfinders story telling credentials, the APs I've been involved in have been brilliant. Kingmaker's sandbox has got everyone around my table excited. It has us reminiscing about the old days of epic adventure such as Dead Gods. Good times.


someone wrote:
I've been playing D&D for a long time, and I don't recall any version of the game incorporating role playing into the mechanics.

"Pure roleplaying encounters generally have a CR equal to the average level of the party (although particularly easy or difficult roleplaying encounters might be one higher or lower). "

Sounds like "Roleplaying = Combat" in terms of experience reward.


LazarX wrote:
Cartigan wrote:


No matter how well you play a character or tell a story, you never get bonuses in D&D. Ever. In the rules of the game - not your house rules, the game rules, there is no way for you to mechanically benefit from good role-playing in D&D. Fact.
D+D was not invented as a roleplaying system. It was invented originally to give some fluff flavor to minature combat. As such, it has retained a rules-intensive focus in every one of it's various incarnations.

This almost sounds like a Dan Brown "fact." We could spell it, Phaqt, for convenience's sake. (Also, the cap. will make it feel more important.)


Fergie wrote:
someone wrote:
I've been playing D&D for a long time, and I don't recall any version of the game incorporating role playing into the mechanics.

"Pure roleplaying encounters generally have a CR equal to the average level of the party (although particularly easy or difficult roleplaying encounters might be one higher or lower). "

Sounds like "Roleplaying = Combat" in terms of experience reward.

Let me put it this way. The core rule books and the secondary rule books have hundreds, perhaps thousands of pages devoted to actual mechanical descriptions of how to move, how to make things, how to interact socially and, most obviously, how to resolve combat. Those are "mechanics."

A couple of vague references to rewarding role playing situations are not "mechanics" in any reasonable sense of the term. Just because the books make a couple of vague comments about rewarding role play doesn't mean they've incorporated mechanics for them.

For example, HOW do you know there has been good role playing? Who "wins" a role play scenario? How long does it take? What rules are invoked?

Reciting a couple of vague references that happen to say "role play" is an absurd way to claim that the mechanics of role playing are incorporated into the game. You might just as easily claim that the rules of the game include sexual encounters because some paragraph somewhere warns the DM that a player might want his character to get all jiggy with a barmaid.

I mean please.


brassbaboon wrote:
stuff

I'm sorry, but due to internet communication being limited by nature, I can't tell if you are joking, being sarcastic or totally serious.

Are you looking for rules based around what players do, or their characters do?


Somebody just won Dungeons & Dragons. And it was Advanced.


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Somebody just won Dungeons & Dragons. And it was Advanced.

I win all the time at DnD, I make my own win conditions :)! Of course there are also the surprise wins, like accidently causing a TPK.


Skaorn wrote:
Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Somebody just won Dungeons & Dragons. And it was Advanced.
I win all the time at DnD, I make my own win conditions :)! Of course there are also the surprise wins, like accidently causing a TPK.

Boy, are you going to feel silly when you discover there is no mechanical justification for this. ;)


MendedWall12 wrote:
I was simply trying to point at that with the advent of the PC and game console RPGs, there seem to be a lot more mechanics minded people than there used to be. Certainly, there have always been mechanics minded RPers. . .

Thanks for the clarification. A lot of people really do entirely blame MMORPGs (computer games) for "ruining roleplaying" and I thought you were representing that view.

.

Champion, ArnesonianNarrativism wrote:

Name win!

.

Fergie wrote:

PS Since you are new here, I have some good advice:

The boards have a tendancy to "eat" posts after you click the submit button. Hitting Ctrl-A, then Ctrl-C (or apple-A, apple-C, for you mac types) can save the frustration of re-typing a post.

+1 Excellent advice. According to Murphy's Law, it will happen just after you wrote your most epic and inspired 3:00 AM post, creating a Unified Gaming Theory, destined to bring about the first Nobel Prize for Gaming, yet which you will be unable to recreate.

.

@John Kretzer re: WoD:

John Kretzer wrote:
2) WoD in my experience attracted the largest number crunchers power gamers in my area. Not saying that WoD is a bad game...it was just the trend in my area of the WoD groups I have known.

I started playing Vampire: The Masquerade when there was nothing but a single paperback book that still had spelling error, I'm in a year-long campaign now, and the intervening time was not empty. So, while I'm not the foremost expert on WoD, I have a complete longitudinal sample. The game has changed quite a bit over the years and editions, and I've seen the same thing.

It funny that, when I'm with WoD players, I'm usually the one who yearns for the "good old days" and when I'm with D&D players I'm the one who advocates for the latest and greatest. There's a good reason for that though - I want the games to do different things!

I want D&D/PF to give mechanics for falling, how many feet, how much damage, and how to avoid it. I want the spell description for fireball to include a radius in feet, and a template I can lay on a grid map.

I don't want WoD to contain those rules. I was perfectly happy with their fire-throwing power to say, "About the size of a house".


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Skaorn wrote:
Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Somebody just won Dungeons & Dragons. And it was Advanced.
I win all the time at DnD, I make my own win conditions :)! Of course there are also the surprise wins, like accidently causing a TPK.
Boy, are you going to feel silly when you discover there is no mechanical justification for this. ;)

That's what you think, it refills my Evil Tanks :p. Normally I have to eat babies or sacrifice kittens for that.

The Exchange

brassbaboon wrote:


A couple of vague references to rewarding role playing situations are not "mechanics" in any reasonable sense of the term. Just because the books make a couple of vague comments about rewarding role play doesn't mean they've incorporated mechanics for them.

For example, HOW do you know there has been good role playing? Who "wins" a role play scenario? How long does it take? What rules are invoked?

Reciting a couple of vague references that happen to say "role play" is an absurd way to claim that the mechanics of role playing are incorporated into the game.

Thank the pantheon there isn't. It would be a very different game.

Roleplaying mechanics are often very prescriptive.

I forget the name of it, but I played a story based RPG where I was a the company man on a space ship over run with Aliens. I scored points for escaping first, making a pass a the hot chick, trying to keep the alien alive for research purposes and covering up the evidence it was a company conspiracy. The guy playing the African American sergeant got bonus points for dying first - http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlackDudeDiesFirst

Doesn't sound much like that actions of your typical adventuring party...


On the subject of D&D becoming more optimizer-friendly over the years, I think part of the design of 3e had a lot to do with it: "trap" options. Rumor has it that these were put in on purpose, but whether or not that's true, there were (are?) some options that are just plain better than others. And they're not all obvious. In addition to that, some of these options are very flavorful and, for me, almost beg to be played (monk and soulknife, I'm looking at you).

Once one sees that there are "traps", one can easily start thinking about what other "traps" one might be missing. And, after a while, everything but the most optimal choice can look like a "trap".


...


Just a few points to address the silliness being expressed.

I did not ask how you "win D&D." I asked how you know you "won a role play encounter." What does "win" mean in that context? It means you "win" experience points. Unless you assume that any role playing scenario, no matter how badly played automatically is awarded XP points. Since the passage you are quoting says "good role playing" gets awarded XP points, then that means to get the XP you have to have "good role playing." So what is that? How do you know? Many, many DMs I know have such a basic misunderstanding of "role playing" that they actually award XP for people who "role play" in opposition to their character's actual stats and build.

Since there are zero guidelines to tell you how to discern "good" from "not good" role playing, there is no mechanic to the role playing system in D&D. Which is why so many people who think they are awesome at role playing actually seem to not understand the concept at all. A few rules in the rule books would actually help things. Rules like:

1. Role playing means to act in a manner consistent with your character's statistics, build and concept.
2. Role playing is not free form improvisational acting.
3. Role playing involves creating and expressing a personality that acts and reacts in a consistent and believable manner.
4. If the player acts out a brilliant scene where he attempts to convince the local Lord to free his companions, but his character has no diplomatic, bluff or other social interaction skills, that player has not only NOT role played, that player has done the OPPOSITE of role playing. They are playing someone other than their CHARACTER.

I think just half a page of rules and guidance would have been a good thing.


I find the talk of stat & system mastery a lot like the conversations my friends & I have about baseball. We love to go and watch a game, but also love to debate players based upon career stats.

I have spent my fair share of time optimizing a character, only to have my optimazation fail in play due to wonky dice rolls. I personaly find system mastery to be a fun part of most of the games that I have played. That goes for statstic/math heavy games such as 3.x/PF, to (for lack of a better term) story driven systems such as FATE (Dreseden files rock!).

I find that mastering the rules allows me to optimize a character in such a way that the character has a better chance of being able to live up to what my imagination wants the character to be.


Mythtify wrote:

I find the talk of stat & system mastery a lot like the conversations my friends & I have about baseball. We love to go and watch a game, but also love to debate players based upon career stats.

I have spent my fair share of time optimizing a character, only to have my optimazation fail in play due to wonky dice rolls. I personaly find system mastery to be a fun part of most of the games that I have played. That goes for statstic/math heavy games such as 3.x/PF, to (for lack of a better term) story driven systems such as FATE (Dreseden files rock!).

I find that mastering the rules allows me to optimize a character in such a way that the character has a better chance of being able to live up to what my imagination wants the character to be.

I absolutely agree with this. I've been accused of optimizing characters in the past, and it's true, I have optimized them. In fact I would say that all of my characters are "optimized" as much as I can make them. It's just that sometimes my goals are not combat oriented, so the "optimization" is just as rigorous and just as much fun, but the outcome is a particular concept I want to play, not the highest DPR character I can possibly create. I got bored with that approach a long time ago.

The Exchange

brassbaboon wrote:

Rules like:

1. Role playing means to act in a manner consistent with your character's statistics, build and concept.
2. Role playing is not free form improvisational acting.
3. Role playing involves creating and expressing a personality that acts and reacts in a consistent and believable manner.
4. If the player acts out a brilliant scene where he attempts to convince the local Lord to free his companions, but his character has no diplomatic, bluff or other social interaction skills, that player has not only NOT role played, that player has done the OPPOSITE of role playing. They are playing someone other than their CHARACTER.

I think just half a page of rules and guidance would have been a good thing.

What you say here is common sense. There not so much as crunch rules but guides. I'm guessing you've had some experience where this wasn't applied!

Good stuff for something like Game Mastery Guide.


I won Dungeon's and Dragon's, and it was advanced too!

Grand Lodge

Cartigan wrote:

This is moronic.

D&D/Pathfinder is not a storytelling system. Period. Storytelling offers no mechanical benefits by the rules. It isn't built into the game. Bits and pieces of the rules offering advice to the DM does not "storytelling affecting mechanics" make. There is no tangible benefit to mechanics derived from role-playing in the rules of the game. Look at World of Darkness. Look at Savage Worlds. They are intrinsically different games than D&D. You can cherry pick all you want, but you won't be able to find anything that says "Players get 'X' for playing to their character." as a part of the rules.

What you are failing to understand Cartigan is that it may not be "a built in mechanic" it IS a mechanic that is implied though. In the Core Rules you are right you do not get "X" for doing "Y" but in the published adventures you do get "X" for doing "Y" so there is most certainly a implied mechanic involved here.

So argue it all you like you technically right but the game is built at it's heart with "Role" playing to the mechanics and rules. From the start. The campaign settings have history, cities with an intrigue for a background and a "living" political system. There are "Thieves guilds" and it is built for Role playing. So like it or not that is what the system is about. Pointing to other game systems all you want is not going to change the fact.

Stating that the arguement is "Moronic" and listening to the others and what they are trying to say is also moronic.

Grand Lodge

LazarX wrote:
Cartigan wrote:


No matter how well you play a character or tell a story, you never get bonuses in D&D. Ever. In the rules of the game - not your house rules, the game rules, there is no way for you to mechanically benefit from good role-playing in D&D. Fact.
D+D was not invented as a roleplaying system. It was invented originally to give some fluff flavor to minature combat. As such, it has retained a rules-intensive focus in every one of it's various incarnations.

While originally designed as a war game type of system for miniatures. Once the rules were solidified it was NOT played that way... this coming right from the designers mouth, Gary Gygax himself.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

A strange game. The only way to win, is not to play.

Grand Lodge

brassbaboon wrote:
Fergie wrote:
someone wrote:
I've been playing D&D for a long time, and I don't recall any version of the game incorporating role playing into the mechanics.

"Pure roleplaying encounters generally have a CR equal to the average level of the party (although particularly easy or difficult roleplaying encounters might be one higher or lower). "

Sounds like "Roleplaying = Combat" in terms of experience reward.

Let me put it this way. The core rule books and the secondary rule books have hundreds, perhaps thousands of pages devoted to actual mechanical descriptions of how to move, how to make things, how to interact socially and, most obviously, how to resolve combat. Those are "mechanics."

A couple of vague references to rewarding role playing situations are not "mechanics" in any reasonable sense of the term. Just because the books make a couple of vague comments about rewarding role play doesn't mean they've incorporated mechanics for them.

For example, HOW do you know there has been good role playing? Who "wins" a role play scenario? How long does it take? What rules are invoked?

Reciting a couple of vague references that happen to say "role play" is an absurd way to claim that the mechanics of role playing are incorporated into the game. You might just as easily claim that the rules of the game include sexual encounters because some paragraph somewhere warns the DM that a player might want his character to get all jiggy with a barmaid.

I mean please.

Pathfinder and D&D before this has not made a specific mechanic to Role playing for various reasons, among them because story telling is such that it differs from person to person. Each DM and even player makes each gaming session unique and because of that the designers of D&D (Gygax and Arnson, and later TSR and then WotC) did not build in to the rules a specific mechanic to "make" the story telling become a simple mechanic that is part of the rules.

Even with the other game systems mentioned in this debate, the rules from what I am seeing here is fairly vague (Have not read or looked at the systems mentioned but going on the rules mentioned about them in this thread alone so could be wrong and if I am then please say so with out animosity)a +2 for furthering the story line? If that was the case fighter A goes up and kills BBG, so therefor he would get a +2 for it. That is what we do in D&D too.. Just because the story telling rules are implied in D&D and Pathfinder alike do not make them any less a story telling system.

The game goes where it goes based on the players and the GM. We as both types and varied in so many styles that we have in this forum develop the game the way we want to see it, the story follows. Like it or not we each bring to the table our own unique playing style, likes and dislikes. Just because one player feels one thing does not make it wrong for another, just different.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Somebody just won Dungeons & Dragons. And it was Advanced.

"I wait fourteen turns."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Holt, if it makes you feel any better, while I know what DPR stood for, I'd actually never heard the acronym "MAD" before. And that's me sitting in the Creative Director's chair... the guy who sets the vision and theme and flavor for the game.

Well, that explains why the Monk turned out the way it did. ;)


Deanoth wrote:
Cartigan wrote:

This is moronic.

D&D/Pathfinder is not a storytelling system. Period. Storytelling offers no mechanical benefits by the rules. It isn't built into the game. Bits and pieces of the rules offering advice to the DM does not "storytelling affecting mechanics" make. There is no tangible benefit to mechanics derived from role-playing in the rules of the game. Look at World of Darkness. Look at Savage Worlds. They are intrinsically different games than D&D. You can cherry pick all you want, but you won't be able to find anything that says "Players get 'X' for playing to their character." as a part of the rules.

What you are failing to understand Cartigan is that it may not be "a built in mechanic" it IS a mechanic that is implied though. In the Core Rules you are right you do not get "X" for doing "Y" but in the published adventures you do get "X" for doing "Y" so there is most certainly a implied mechanic involved here.

There are APs that explicitly say you gain bonuses to hit, defense, HP, spellcasting, anything mechanical for role-playing?


Have you ever read an AP? The story is king in each of them. It is the rich narrative and role playing hooks that make the line a success. Each AP has been built from the beginning to enable story and roleplaying. New mechanics are made simply to enable story. I dare you to read Curse of the Crimson Throne or Serpent's Skull and still blather on about how roleplaying is not a part of roleplaying simply because the mechanics are more robust than jenga.

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