I may have lost the game


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

You don't, people just have a hangup about others 'not roleplaying right' because of the numbers on the sheet.


You just need game statistics to measure how successful your roleplaying is for the current challenge.

As for playing another system versus stripping down a system. I would compare it to buying Neapolitan ice cream and then just eating the strawberry part, instead of just buying regular strawberry ice cream. Of course there are reasons why someone might make that choice. Maybe for some reason the stores locally don't carry plain strawberry ice cream. Maybe they are sold out. Maybe some of the other people at a party, while like strawberry ok, prefer vanilla or chocolate.


pres man wrote:

You just need game statistics to measure how successful your roleplaying is for the current challenge.

As for playing another system versus stripping down a system. I would compare it to buying Neapolitan ice cream and then just eating the strawberry part, instead of just buying regular strawberry ice cream. Of course there are reasons why someone might make that choice. Maybe for some reason the stores locally don't carry plain strawberry ice cream. Maybe they are sold out. Maybe some of the other people at a party, while like strawberry ok, prefer vanilla or chocolate.

Or maybe the Strawberry in Neapolitan tastes better for some reason than the available straight strawberry. Or maybe sometimes you like a little chocolate or vanilla in your Strawberry too. Or maybe one night it's one, the next night another, and the next mix'em all together.

Yum!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Now I want ice cream. :/


The real reason for Neapolitan is that you need 4 other geeks that you can find in your area that you like/can get along with to agree on your flavor. Some people don't care what the flavor is, some people only like one flavor, some people like all of them. But if you only try to offer one flavor you will loose enough people so that the get together drops below a sustainable number.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
The real reason for Neapolitan is that you need 4 other geeks that you can find in your area that you like/can get along with to agree on your flavor. Some people don't care what the flavor is, some people only like one flavor, some people like all of them. But if you only try to offer one flavor you will loose enough people so that the get together drops below a sustainable number.

True, but if you tell everyone you are serving Neapolitan at the party, but when everyone shows up to the party they find you are only serving the strawberry section and have thrown the vanilla and the chocolate sections in the trash, that is probably going to cause problems as well.


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It sounds like the OP was in sore need of a Girlfriend Game, and sadly, never got it.

I am the Girlfriend Game Master. At this point, all ll I run are Girlfriend Games. That's because all those gamer guys realized I could run for their girlfriends and keep them interested, and over time, I ended up with mostly women. And the guys I do have are just not that interested in knowing and exploiting every little rule.

In a Girlfriend Game, the GM is a wealth of knowledge of all the rules and may himself be capable of great optimization. However, he uses that knowledge to run things silently, behind the scenes, while concentrating on delivering a high level of description and story. A sandbox of verisimilitude for his rules-ignorant players to happily frolic within.

Why? Because your buddy's girlfriend might want to send her elf bard on a voyage to discover what really lies across the great wide sea, but she sure as XXXX does NOT want to spend fifteen minutes of every half hour arguing how quickly a galley can move under sail when laden with blah, blah, blah...

A good GM can fairly adjudicate a group of rules-clueless players and make the experience seamless for them. Yes, sometimes you need to explain a rule so everybody gains a little knowledge and to assure them that you are still running the thing fairly. But nobody need be bored to death for the game to run well. I optimize my players' characters for them; I help them to realize the idea they have in their minds, but I know in the end they want to PLAY, not debate, and that is what I help them do.

Here's a wakeup call for a lot of you: probably half the players at any table you play at are bored. They are bored because rules debates are boring to them. Some of them may not say so, but they are. And when you lose them (and sooner or later you will), you will find yourself in the unenviable position of having to fill those vacancies, which will likely be filled by people also destined to be bored. As with much of society nowadays, complete selfishness and self-indulgence on the part of individuals, is ruining the game. Just another way allowing ourselves to be bogged-down by the soul-sucking swamp of minutia obsession can harm.


I don't See that many rules debates at the table. Usually its at most, 30 seconds of going back and forth or checking something really quick. Anything longer than that gets itemized for email/checking the faq/checking the boards.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bruunwald wrote:

It sounds like the OP was in sore need of a Girlfriend Game, and sadly, never got it.

I am the Girlfriend Game Master. At this point, all ll I run are Girlfriend Games.

Can you define the context in which you're using this term? It's got quite a variety of hits on google. :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Here is a thought that a lor of people will hate me for. Maybe the reason we have so many optimizers in pathfinder, is because of the existence of people who do not optimize. There are the optimizers that can't handle it in other games. They tried WOW and gurps, etc (Just grabbing game names, not saying anything about the games) and they found they lacked the skill to be badass. But when they come to pathfinder, and find themselves at a table with people who like playing bards with fluff spells they suddenly realize in comparison that they are epic. So now they stay and discuss the best way to get the most out of every rule and combo, knowing that as long as they play with people who are not interested with that stuff, they will always be "best" at the table.

I like to think most people are interested in taking their fellow human beings goals, feeling and personalities into consideration, but each day I see that when it comes to most people, this is not true. Most only care about themselves. Don't know why I never equated it to gaming before. It isn't that these optimizers don't KNOW what they are doing to the game... it is that they don't care?


LazarX wrote:


Can you define the context in which you're using this term? It's got quite a variety of hits on google. :)

I googled Girlfriend RPGs. I figure that is what Bruunwald was driving at.


noretoc wrote:

Here is a thought that a lor of people will hate me for. Maybe the reason we have so many optimizers in pathfinder, is because of the existence of people who do not optimize. There are the optimizers that can't handle it in other games. They tried WOW and gurps, etc (Just grabbing game names, not saying anything about the games) and they found they lacked the skill to be badass. But when they come to pathfinder, and find themselves at a table with people who like playing bards with fluff spells they suddenly realize in comparison that they are epic. So now they stay and discuss the best way to get the most out of every rule and combo, knowing that as long as they play with people who are not interested with that stuff, they will always be "best" at the table.

I like to think most people are interested in taking their fellow human beings goals, feeling and personalities into consideration, but each day I see that when it comes to most people, this is not true. Most only care about themselves. Don't know why I never equated it to gaming before. It isn't that these optimizers don't KNOW what they are doing to the game... it is that they don't care?

Incoming Rant!

Strange, I have played with many players who optimize their characters and I have never noticed any of them having been bad at optimizing in one game and not another. Indeed the players who optimize, myself included, often are good at optimizing in any system or game.

The only thing I have noticed about optimizing players is that they tend to be really good at the math and logic parts of the game. They all seem to be fairly rational people who look for logical patterns in things they enjoy. They also tend to have these traits in other hobbies. These are the people who will spend all day tweaking the performance of their computer or will spend a hundred hours getting a RC plane into perfect condition.

Overall I feel that to many people bash on optimizing. It is a valid and enjoyable way to play any game that relies on mathematics and logic to function. I believe that the majority of the optimization that occurs in D&D and Pathfinder games is a result of players wanting to be good at what they do. They don't intend to break the game into some unplayable state but instead they wish to be able to play a character that they enjoy and at the same time feel confident that the character has really good odds of surviving.

Here is how I think about it. If you had a job where you had to go into a dangerous place full of armed enemies would you rather have a group of self trained militia members helping you or would you rather have a group of Military Spec Ops helping you? Optimized characters tend to be more like special forces groups in the military. They are highly trained and capable of dealing with tremendous threats. If you really had to face a dragon which would you feel safer receiving help from? I personally would rather have the highly trained special forces helping me out. I would probably even begin to adopt their mentality and training styles to be less of a burden and to increase my own odds of survival. No one with a healthy mindset really wants to die. No one really likes losing either. Optimization helps keep the player from having to lose something they have invested a serious amount of time and effort into.

I also optimize as a DM. If the players are making powerful characters I make sure the fights will provide some challenge to them. I don't aim to kill the players but I do make sure the encounters don't end on the first round. I don't hide this fact from the players either. They know that some fights may be more challenging when they optimize. This helps keep the game fun for everyone involved.

I have never found optimizing to be a bad thing and I have a hard time believing that it is somehow causing harm to the game.

End Rant!

For the OP, if you have a problem with d20 currently then it really is best to take a step back and try something else out. I have burned out on d20 games before. After a while of other systems you can come back and find that the fun is still here. If you really like the Pathfinder adventure paths and d20 modules I have a little alternate non d20 system that I built to allow me to continue to use the d20 adventures and monsters. If you want I can PM you the system I developed.

Anyways I apologize if I have caused any offense in my defense of optimization. I just really hate how it always gets bashed as being some sort of problem. All playing styles are fine as long as you are not cheating.

Later,
Rzach


Something I'm seeing a lot of in this thread is the mixing of the terms "D&D" and "d20" (or, at least that's what I suspect).

I'm not sure if I'd ever go out of my way to play a system other than d20, because:

1. I'm familiar with it. There's something to be said about playing a different base system.. it's like using centimeters instead of feet/inches for my height. Feels awkward.

2. d20 is versatile enough to do anything I want. So I don't feel the need to go out of my way to play a different system.

Now, that doesn't mean I'll only play D&D. D&D is not that flexible (it's more of a subset of d20, if anything).

If I want to play a Modern game, I'll play d20 Modern (or something similar), not D&D.
If I want a superhero game, I'll play Mutants and Masterminds 2e (which is d20), not D&D.
Or, I might try tweaking a True20 game (they've got books for a wide assortment of styles and settings).
And while I've never tried it, I'm sure you can get a better modern Horror experience out of a Call of Cthulhu game, and they've got a d20 for that too.

You can get an extremely different style of play from these systems compared to 3.5e D&D or Pathfinder, and yet they are all still d20.

I wouldn't use Pathfinder for just any kind of gaming out there, but I don't see the need to drop playing "all d20" games if you are getting sick of/burned out on Pathfinder/D&D.
Then again, there's no reason you "have" to stick with d20 as well. It just felt kind of like an odd response to the problem.


Rzach wrote:
Here is how I think about it. If you had a job where you had to go into a dangerous place full of armed enemies would you rather have a group of self trained militia members helping you or would you rather have a group of Military Spec Ops helping you? Optimized characters tend to be more like special forces groups in the military. They are highly trained and capable of dealing with tremendous threats. If you really had to face a dragon which would you feel safer receiving help from? I personally would rather have the highly trained special forces helping me out. I would probably even begin to adopt their mentality and training styles to be less of a burden and to increase my own odds of survival. No one with a healthy mindset really wants to die. No one really likes losing either. Optimization helps keep the player from having to lose something they have invested a serious amount of time and effort into.

Note: I'm not arguing with your point, but rather using it as a springboard for my point.

On the flipside, some of the best stories are about a normal (read: unoptimized) character stuck in a very dangerous situation, and still comes out amazing and winning the day.
While a Spec Ops team would be great against a dragon, it was Bilbo's lucky shot that took down Smaug that made the story.

Which brings it right back to the gameplay style emphasized by the game played. Pathfinder (and D&D) emphasizes the failure and death side of gaming, moreso than other games. It also is built with rewarding system mastery (meaning, there are empirically better choices than others). These two things breeds an environment where you will feel the need for having that Spec Ops team.

This is where a different game would likely be more appropriate, based on what you are looking for in your gameplay experience.

Another example:
If you wanted to emulate a Saturday Morning cartoon Superhero game (say, for a group of youngsters you are just getting into tabletop gaming), it would (in my experience) probably work out better with something like Mutants and Masterminds.
You don't want death to really come up that often (for bad guys or good guys), to the point that it would be something incredibly meaningful and poignant. Quite frankly, Pathfinder would be horrible at this kind of gameplay.. and the GM would have to bend the rules or literally cheat to get the experience he wanted out of that.


Kaisoku wrote:
While a Spec Ops team would be great against a dragon, it was Bilbo's lucky shot that took down Smaug that made the story.

*blink*

Just for everyone's knowledge, Bilbo did not take out Smaug. Bilbo saw the weak spot. Came back and told the dwarves. A thrush overheard about the weak spot and went and told Bard, who was a "special ops" guy and he was the one that killed Smaug. It was no lucky shot that dropped the dragon but a highly skilled shot from an elite warrior. Of course intel is a powerful tool to aid such folk.


pres man wrote:
Kaisoku wrote:
While a Spec Ops team would be great against a dragon, it was Bilbo's lucky shot that took down Smaug that made the story.

*blink*

Just for everyone's knowledge, Bilbo did not take out Smaug. Bilbo saw the weak spot. Came back and told the dwarves. A thrush overheard about the weak spot and went and told Bard, who was a "special ops" guy and he was the one that killed Smaug. It was no lucky shot that dropped the dragon but a highly skilled shot from an elite warrior. Of course intel is a powerful tool to aid such folk.

Sorry, it's been nearly two decades since I read the book. I honestly didn't remember.

Bad example then, replace it with another where someone "not-so-special" still wins the day. Perhaps the movie Willow?

Grand Lodge

I suggest Hackmaster it forces you to play a character with quirks and flaws, like amuptee, lisp, blind, pyhchotic aversion to race/class/monster, and other hilarious things, one of my favorites is truthful and mulitple personality disorcer. it is also harder to get a character to do every thing, unless you take the Charaltan class which in essence was a class designed to sacrifice XP for class abilities! but all around its humorous and hard to power game in, because your hinderences kill optimazation


Optimization is no different than the samurai in a story that masters sword fighting or a knight mastering sword and armor battle or a rifleman that spends a great deal of time mastering shooting.

The problem is that Pathfinder and the D&D system has not yet taken into account that a character does not spend all his time mastering combat. And has not given characters enough skill points to show this reality.

Once they start further modernizing the ruleset with the following:

1. Larger skill point pools with no diffrentiation between classes.

2. Making at least Perception innate. What adventurer isn't going to learn to be perceptive? Seriously, this is such a no brainer I'm surprised Paizo didn't already make perception level-based like they did with Concentration. Perception to all classes is as natural as Concentration is to a caster.

3. Further integration of professional skills into the combat arena. Like making skills like Profession [Soldier] or Perform [Dance] have some kind of combat or fighting bonus. Like Profession [Soldier] could give a +1 bonus on initiative for ever 5 ranks and Perform [Dance] should be dex-based and perhaps grant a bonus on Acrobatics checks per 5 ranks. Somewhat like the old Synergy bonuses.

Basically further fleshing out of the skill system.

As the game evolves, I hope they keep improving the skill system. That was one item that has kept me with the 3E system. It is still the most developed skill system for a D&D game. I hope they keep pushing towards a more interesting and impactful skill system. That would do a great deal to improve the game.


Bard the Bowman was no "special ops" guy. He was a low-ranking but brave archer in the Lake town's army. He felled the dragon not with a single great shot, made awesome by years of special ops training (he missed with his ENTIRE QUIVER of arrows first), no he felled the dragon with a magic arrow that had been handed down to him by his father and which had never missed. Yes, intel helped, but the arrow that did the job was no normal arrow. In Pathfinder terms it was probably a +5 dragon bane arrow.

Now, how did a simple bowman get hold of such an arrow? The same way a simple hobbit got hold of a +4 goblin-bane dagger and the single most powerful magic item in the world.

Literature is full of stories of both types. Special Ops stories would be the ones like Beowulf, The Iliad, The Odyssey, Gilgamesh, King Arthur and the Round Table (the original special ops team), all the way up to Jason Bourne or Remo Williams. But it is just as full of stories of simple, everyday people who overcome incredible odds, such as the Die Hard movies, or Harry Potter (a bunch of kids essentially defeat the most powerful sorcerer in history), or Narnia or many, many others.

Either approach is fine in Pathfinder. And just as in "The Lord of the Rings" it is also fine to mix the two together. It's only a problem if the expectations of the players are out of whack with what their characters can actually do. So it is best if the players talk through the likely impact of a party where half of the members are special ops and half are ordinary Joes. It can work fine, when the expectations are set properly.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
brassbaboon wrote:

Bard the Bowman was no "special ops" guy. He was a low-ranking but brave archer in the Lake town's army. He felled the dragon not with a single great shot, made awesome by years of special ops training (he missed with his ENTIRE QUIVER of arrows first), no he felled the dragon with a magic arrow that had been handed down to him by his father and which had never missed. Yes, intel helped, but the arrow that did the job was no normal arrow. In Pathfinder terms it was probably a +5 dragon bane arrow.

Of course it had never missed. It had never been fired. Otherwise, it would have been destroyed when it hit. :P


Critzible wrote:
I suggest Hackmaster it forces you to play a character with quirks and flaws, like amuptee, lisp, blind, pyhchotic aversion to race/class/monster, and other hilarious things, one of my favorites is truthful and mulitple personality disorcer. it is also harder to get a character to do every thing, unless you take the Charaltan class which in essence was a class designed to sacrifice XP for class abilities! but all around its humorous and hard to power game in, because your hinderences kill optimazation

... I'm waiting for the chorus of "How is it 'heroic' to play a character with a lisp and a prosthetic leg?"

I like a certain level of personalization, and have played systems which enforce flaws of the sort you list, but in general I think those flaws are ridiculously exaggerated for effect in an attempt to force some sort of role playing. Yes, a blind, psychotic arachnophobe could be an interesting character to role play, but I have never felt it was necessary to have such glaring "quirks and flaws" to have a compelling and interesting character. And "hilarious" is not usually the tone I'm looking for in an RPG game. Sometimes. Uncommonly even. Maybe not quite "rarely" but certainly on the rarer end of "uncommonly." A little of that goes a LONG, LONG way for me.


brassbaboon wrote:
Bard the Bowman was no "special ops" guy. He was a low-ranking but brave archer in the Lake town's army. He felled the dragon not with a single great shot, made awesome by years of special ops training (he missed with his ENTIRE QUIVER of arrows first), no he felled the dragon with a magic arrow that had been handed down to him by his father and which had never missed. Yes, intel helped, but the arrow that did the job was no normal arrow. In Pathfinder terms it was probably a +5 dragon bane arrow.

He might have missed that one spot with his entire quiver, but he didn't miss the dragon with it. Smaug was hit multiple times, but the arrows all bounced off of his scales and gem encrusted hide. And Bard was well respected by his fellow guardsman for his skill and leadership, even if they felt is was too pessimistic most of the time. And Bard didn't randomly hit the spot. The thrush told him to wait until he got a clear shot to it and where it was. The shot was placed with great skill, sure the "magic" of the arrow might have aided but in the hands of lesser warrior it would have been just as useless as all the other arrows that were shot at Smaug.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
brassbaboon wrote:

Bard the Bowman was no "special ops" guy. He was a low-ranking but brave archer in the Lake town's army. He felled the dragon not with a single great shot, made awesome by years of special ops training (he missed with his ENTIRE QUIVER of arrows first), no he felled the dragon with a magic arrow that had been handed down to him by his father and which had never missed. Yes, intel helped, but the arrow that did the job was no normal arrow. In Pathfinder terms it was probably a +5 dragon bane arrow.

Of course it had never missed. It had never been fired. Otherwise, it would have been destroyed when it hit. :P

Ha... yeah... I guess Bard found a PF loophole since it is described in the book as the arrow that Bard had always retrieved and never lost... I' gonna go with "artifact arrow."


pres man wrote:
brassbaboon wrote:
Bard the Bowman was no "special ops" guy. He was a low-ranking but brave archer in the Lake town's army. He felled the dragon not with a single great shot, made awesome by years of special ops training (he missed with his ENTIRE QUIVER of arrows first), no he felled the dragon with a magic arrow that had been handed down to him by his father and which had never missed. Yes, intel helped, but the arrow that did the job was no normal arrow. In Pathfinder terms it was probably a +5 dragon bane arrow.
He might have missed that one spot with his entire quiver, but he didn't miss the dragon with it. Smaug was hit multiple times, but the arrows all bounced off of his scales and gem encrusted hide. And Bard was well respected by his fellow guardsman for his skill and leadership, even if they felt is was too pessimistic most of the time. And Bard didn't randomly hit the spot. The thrush told him to wait until he got a clear shot to it and where it was. The shot was placed with great skill, sure the "magic" of the arrow might have aided but in the hands of lesser warrior it would have been just as useless as all the other arrows that were shot at Smaug.

I am just about as much of a fan of LOTR and The Hobbit as you can get and not be committed. Bard was no "special ops" guy. He was a soldier. He was an archer soldier to be more specific. Other than his bravery under fire Tolkien described no special qualities about Bard and his skill. However Tolkien took great pains to describe the black-feathered arrow.

You are welcome to interpret it as you like.

And so am I.


Thank you.

Though, I do find your memory of the description interesting. About the arrow we have:
[quote=]..., till all his arrows but one were spent. ...
"Arrow!" said the bowman. "Black arrow! I have saved you to the last. You have never failed me and always I have recovered you. I had you from my father and he from of old. If ever you came from the forges of the true king under the Mountain, go now and speed well!"
... The black arrow sped straight from the string, straight for the hollow by the left breast where the foreleg was flung wide. In it smote and vanished, barb, shaft and feather, so fierce was its flight.

That is the totality of the description given about the black arrow.

What about Bard? Here is a part, probably the most important in the book, though there is more later when dealing with town's survivors and Thorin, Bilbo, and such before, during, and after the War of Five Armies.
[quote=]..."Which King?" said another with a grim voice. "As like as not it is the marauding fire of the Dragon, the only king under the Mountain we have ever known."
...But the grim-voiced fellow ran hotfoot to the Master, "The dragon is coming or I am a fool!" he cried. "Cut the bridges! To arms! to arms!"
... A hail of dark arrows leaped up and snapped and rattled on his scales and jewels, and their shafts fell back kindled by his breath burning and hissing into the lake. ... No one had dared to give battle to him for many an age nor would they have dared now, if it had not been the grim-voiced man (Bard was his name), who ran to and fro cheering on the archers and urging the Master to order them to fight to the last arrow.
...
But there was still a company of archers that held their ground among the burning houses. Their captain was Bard, grim-voiced and grim-faced, whose friends had accused him of prophesying floods and poisoned fish, though they knew his worth and courage. He was a descendant in long line of Girion, Lord of Dale, whose wife and child had escaped down the Running River from the ruin long ago. Now he shot with a great yew bow till all his arrows but ...
...Marvelling he found he could understand its tongue, for he was of the race of Dale.
...


Bard coming from a line of the Lord of Dale is rather noteworthy. Tolkien was big on bloodlines being important. That this was defined means he wasn't just some random bloke.


D&D mechanically rewards optimization.

D&D does not mechanically reward roleplaying.

People who optimize go for the path of clearest reward for their willingness to invest time into logic and pattern matching.

This does not mean that they can't roleplay. It does mean that they will do what is enjoyable/easy for them.


AdAstraGames wrote:

D&D mechanically rewards optimization.

D&D does not mechanically reward roleplaying.

This succinctly states what I have said multiple times before.


Cartigan wrote:
AdAstraGames wrote:

D&D mechanically rewards optimization.

D&D does not mechanically reward roleplaying.

This succinctly states what I have said multiple times before.

Rules state you get XP for roleplaying encounters.

Most APs and many modules have at least one scene that involves getting XP for doing the right thing or delving deeper into a situation's background. These things have nothing to do with optimization. This is also a fairly old tradition, predating Pathfinder.

Please note, I don't disagree with your premise entirely. I am not one of those who believes CharOp and RP to be mutually exclusive. I think they are compatible styles of play that are not compatible with all players. There is much to be said for the case that optimizers are roleplaying, in their way, by making the best choices for their PCs. I'd actually be on your side, if you weren't pushing the extreme argument that the game only rewards optimization. In practice, RP awards exist.

You may be playing in such a way that they aren't used or their presence is downplayed, but RP awards exist in the documentation, and they exist in lots of adventure content too.

You can definitely make the case that kinds of optimization open the door to certain RP awards, especially those that might be reliant on a passed Knowledge check or some kind of Diplomacy. But mechanically speaking, that's an interaction between RP and optimization. It's possible to have pure RP scenes by RAW that don't interact with optimization. I happen to think it is fun when they do, but this means that the assertion "Pathfinder doesn't reward RP" is wrong.

Of course, maybe you said "D&D doesn't..." on purpose. That'd be true, I don't think there are rules for RP awards in D&D. Except, perhaps, where such rewards have been called out specifically in modules, something I have definitely seen.


I just lost The Game.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:


Rules state you get XP for roleplaying encounters.

No, the rules state you get XP for overcoming encounters.

The REST of the rules give actual mechanical benefits for optimizing. Better damage, better survivability, more capability to overcome encounters.

There is nothing mechanically in the rules that says 'you get +1 Diplomacy for your careful and reasoned solution to the lords problems'. Your impassioned roleplaying of your barbarian's rage at the man who killed his father has no bearing on your attack or damage roll.

Mechanical rewards for roleplaying are entirely due to the DM saying 'yeah sure, that was good roleplaying, here is your mechanical reward'. Pathfinder does not support that in the rules, only in the playstyle mindset.


Simcha wrote:
Stuff

The best way to avoid the problem you're having is to stick with the core ruleboo (and perhaps APG) only. It's your fault that you allowed so many splatbooks to bloat the rules of your game. The core rulebook is quite balanced and allows for more roleplaying and less min-maxing imo.

Then simplify the XP rules. AP do it and so does PF organized play, and it works nice. Less paperwork, more play.

If that's still a problem, find a different game, probably one with less rules.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Your impassioned roleplaying of your barbarian's rage at the man who killed his father has no bearing on your attack or damage roll.

Doesn't it net you XP, which is then in turn used to increase stats, including attack and damage roll?


TriOmegaZero wrote:


Mechanical rewards for roleplaying are entirely due to the DM saying 'yeah sure, that was good roleplaying, here is your mechanical reward'. Pathfinder does not support that in the rules, only in the playstyle mindset.

This no Left to Right arrows in the game.

or Cloud to Crunch arrows if you prefer.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Brian E. Harris wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Your impassioned roleplaying of your barbarian's rage at the man who killed his father has no bearing on your attack or damage roll.
Doesn't it net you XP, which is then in turn used to increase stats, including attack and damage roll?

Was that a result of the roleplaying, or your mechanical stats overcoming the challenge and earning you the XP to level?

Because XP for roleplaying is entirely GM Fiat, not a mechanical determination.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Brian E. Harris wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Your impassioned roleplaying of your barbarian's rage at the man who killed his father has no bearing on your attack or damage roll.
Doesn't it net you XP, which is then in turn used to increase stats, including attack and damage roll?

Was that a result of the roleplaying, or your mechanical stats overcoming the challenge and earning you the XP to level?

Because XP for roleplaying is entirely GM Fiat, not a mechanical determination.

There are several instances in the APs where the text specifically reads If the PCs talk X out of fighting, award them experience for a CR <n> encounter or something similar.


Page 399, CRB wrote:


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

Pathfinder #19 Spoiler:
Ad Hoc Experience Award: Should the PCs merely subdue Haidar and actively seek to cure his lycanthropy, award them experience for a CR 6 encounter.

These are the rules.

The game rewards roleplaying in no uncertain terms.

I totally agree with the premise that optimization and roleplaying can coexist, or even create a gestalt. But you cannot simply claim that the game does not reward roleplaying, when I can cite rules that say otherwise.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Are we counting modules as part of the system? Because I don't count that as a rule.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Are we counting modules as part of the system?

Even were we to discount PF AP #19, would we discount CRB Page 399, as quoted?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Are we counting modules as part of the system?

The PF19 reference is an instance of the cited CRB rule being employed in the adventure design.

I felt it necessary to include the reference as an example of the designer's intent when including the CRB rule. I think the occurrence of this kind of award throughout the product line is admissible evidence of the designer's intent.

That is to say, it is not GM fiat, but it is a rule that requires GM arbitration. Contrary to your claim that RP awards have no mechanical determination, CRB 399 offers exactly that. It isn't a completely objective determination, but it is a mechanical one (APL ± 1).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Brian E. Harris wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Are we counting modules as part of the system?
Even were we to discount PF AP #19, would we discount CRB Page 399, as quoted?

Yes. All it says is 'you can give the party XP for roleplaying, or more or less if you want'. Which is entirely fiat.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Yes. All it says is 'you can give the party XP for roleplaying, or more or less if you want'. Which is entirely fiat.

No more so than the GM giving XP for winning a combat.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Brian E. Harris wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Are we counting modules as part of the system?
Even were we to discount PF AP #19, would we discount CRB Page 399, as quoted?
Yes. All it says is 'you can give the party XP for roleplaying, or more or less if you want'. Which is entirely fiat.

So?

You and Cartigan were claiming that the game doesn't reward roleplaying. Fiat or no, it does. Don't move the goalposts.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PRD/Gamemastering/Designing Encounters wrote:
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.
PRD/Gamemastering/Designing Encounters/Awarding Experience wrote:
Keep a list of the CRs of all the monsters, traps, obstacles, and roleplaying encounters the PCs overcome. At the end of each session, award XP to each PC that participated. Each monster, trap, and obstacle awards a set amount of XP, as determined by its CR, regardless of the level of the party in relation to the challenge, although you should never bother awarding XP for challenges that have a CR of 10 or more lower than the APL. 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).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:


So?

You and Cartigan were claiming that the game doesn't reward roleplaying. Fiat or no, it does. Don't move the goalposts.

Alright. It rewards one roleplaying in one case. I do not count that as enough to say 'the system rewards roleplaying'.


As was pointed out earlier, you get xp for overcoming challenges. If you can do that with roleplaying, then you get xp for overcoming the challenge.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:


So?

You and Cartigan were claiming that the game doesn't reward roleplaying. Fiat or no, it does. Don't move the goalposts.

Alright. It rewards one roleplaying in one case. I do not count that as enough to say 'the system rewards roleplaying'.

"The system" absolutely rewards roleplaying, per the quote above.

I think it's fair to say that many DMs don't, however. :)


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Alright. It rewards one roleplaying in one case. I do not count that as enough to say 'the system rewards roleplaying'.

Let's not forget, I'm not making this argument to advocate throwing out the d20s and joining an improv troupe. That's not how I play.

You guys are not helping your valid case by trying to divorce the opposition's style of play from the game. I agree with you, I just want you to make a real argument, not a spurious one that can be directly contradicted with a simple rules citation.

EDIT: I've contributed my piece. You'll never find me attacking people for making good choices in the game system, nor will you find me attacking anyone for their mechanics-focused play-style. Cartigan on one side, Lilith'sThrall (probably) on the other, I'm in the middle. The game supports multiple styles of play. That's a great feature. You can piss over the fence at the other guy if you like, but you can't change the rules for anyone but your own group.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Alright. It rewards one roleplaying in one case. I do not count that as enough to say 'the system rewards roleplaying'.

Rule rewards roleplaying.

Rule is codified as part of overall system.
Ergo, system rewards roleplaying.

Or am I missing something?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Joana wrote:
"The system" absolutely rewards roleplaying, per the quote above.

Are you seriously continuing to argue with my opinion? You too Brian.

Joana wrote:
I think it's fair to say that many DMs don't, however. :)

Now THAT I can agree with.

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