I may have lost the game


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Joana wrote:
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.

You are getting XP for overcoming the encounter. And possibly getting bonus for doing it nonstandardly. Moreover, "talking people out of things" is a use of a character's concrete skills. Characters have these skills like "Diplomacy," "Bluff," or "Intimidate."


Once again, a system that forces players to choose between an "optimized" character and a "well rounded" character is flawed.

Having to choose between being "optimization" and "roleplaying" is not a good thing. It is a system flaw.


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

Only so much as that there exists concrete fact that shows that your opinion makes an incorrect statement.

If you want to argue about how opinions can't be wrong, my opinion is that that the cover of the Core Rulebook contains the words "TriOmegaZero".

My opinion can't be wrong!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Brian E. Harris wrote:


Only so much as that there exists concrete fact that shows that your opinion makes an incorrect statement.

If you want to argue about how opinions can't be wrong, my opinion is that that the cover of the Core Rulebook contains the words "TriOmegaZero".

My opinion can't be wrong!

No, I'm stating that you are arguing to change my opinion, which is a futile effort on the internet.

Especially after I already conceded the point.

Now you're just being an ass.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Now you're just being an ass.

Awww, thanks! I think you're kinda cute, too.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I do so try to be pretty.

Dark Archive

ProfessorCirno wrote:

Once again, a system that forces players to choose between an "optimized" character and a "well rounded" character is flawed.

You left off the "ineffectual" character design.


Cartigan wrote:
Hardly. The role-players insulting people telling them to go play WoW, are insulting them for playing the game as it is designed and written.

A lot of us came to 3.X/Pathfinder hoping to get the same "fuzzy feeling" we had in AD&D when the game took a lot of distance from Chainmail. For a lot of us, the "wing-it" attitude and common-sense simulationism of AD&D captured the feel of what is a RPG, and we saw 3.X/Pathfinder only as a way to gives more options and a better system to express by numbers what your character is like. And the game was sold to us by saying just that in magazines and stores.

The attitude was "I have a character in mind, lets see how this RPG toolkit let me build it to fit my idea." Quoted from the back of the 3.0 PHB : "The PHB includes everything you need to create your ideal D&D character." The game was sold to us by saying : if you want to tailor your character to your liking, 3.0 will let you do it way better AD&D did with the "character kits" from the small brown books.

Others, latecomer to the game for most, but some grognard happy to see a return to the chainmail basis of the game, had the following attitude : "I will try this class and crunch numbers until I get the most effective character out of it." This attitude was not really possible to have in AD&D, as almost everything was scripted for you in advance when you chose your class.

To each it's own, I guess, and there is no good or bad way to play, but I have to disagree with you when say the game is designed to be played the second way.

It was also designed to be a character generation toolkit, and was sold not only on the basis it was to be played as a tactical game, but also as giving more options to build the character you wanted to play, and not the character you had to play in order to be "effective" in tactical situations.


I think character optimization only works if encounters all begin to look and feel the same...if that is happening, I say blame the DM for not being very creative. I don't mean a DM should go out and deliberatly design encounters to foil the favored attacks / tactics of an optimized group, but if the encouters vary and create enough need for varied character stats, the problem will solve itself.

As for the story telling aspect, yes, you can tell a story with optimized characters fighting a balanced encounter...but that's boring. What makes a story memorable (to me at least) is when they persevere inspite of their weaknesses, (read not-optimized) and when they triumph over foes and adversaries of greater-power.

Just my two-cents worth...


CunningMongoose wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Hardly. The role-players insulting people telling them to go play WoW, are insulting them for playing the game as it is designed and written.

A lot of us came to 3.X/Pathfinder hoping to get the same "fuzzy feeling" we had in AD&D when the game took a lot of distance from Chainmail. For a lot of us, the "wing-it" attitude and common-sense simulationism of AD&D captured the feel of what is a RPG, and we saw 3.X/Pathfinder only as a way to gives more options and a better system to express by numbers what your character is like. And the game was sold to us by saying just that in magazines and stores.

The attitude was "I have a character in mind, lets see how this RPG toolkit let me build it to fit my idea." Quoted from the back of the 3.0 PHB : "The PHB includes everything you need to create your ideal D&D character." The game was sold to us by saying : if you want to tailor your character to your liking, 3.0 will let you do it way better AD&D did with the "character kits" from the small brown books.

Others, latecomer to the game for most, but some grognard happy to see a return to the chainmail basis of the game, had the following attitude : "I will try this class and crunch numbers until I get the most effective character out of it." This attitude was not really possible to have in AD&D, as almost everything was scripted for you in advance when you chose your class.

To each it's own, I guess, and there is no good or bad way to play, but I have to disagree with you when say the game is designed to be played the second way.

It was also designed to be a character generation toolkit, and was sold not only on the basis it was to be played as a tactical game, but also as giving more options to build the character you wanted to play, and not the character you had to play in order to be "effective" in tactical situations.

Am I mistaken in reading that your entire rebuttal could be summed up entirely as "Well, in AD&D..."?

Even in that, you admit the game is numbers heavy. Therefore, it is designed as a numbers game. You can use those numbers to create the character you want, but they are still numbers vs other people's numbers. The elitist role-players are looking down there nose at people playing the numbers game that IS the game. "WoW" gamers and "MMORPGers" are people playing D&D/Pathfinder instead of the tabletop improv that certain sections of the community who refuse to go to RP-focused systems want the game to be.


Nobody Important wrote:

I think character optimization only works if encounters all begin to look and feel the same...if that is happening, I say blame the DM for not being very creative. I don't mean a DM should go out and deliberatly design encounters to foil the favored attacks / tactics of an optimized group, but if the encouters vary and create enough need for varied character stats, the problem will solve itself.

As for the story telling aspect, yes, you can tell a story with optimized characters fighting a balanced encounter...but that's boring. What makes a story memorable (to me at least) is when they persevere inspite of their weaknesses, (read not-optimized) and when they triumph over foes and adversaries of greater-power.

Just my two-cents worth...

...Actually, it tends to be the opposite.

Aside from pure melee, non-skilled characters (who usually end up with one "trick" that the do really well, simply out of lack of ability to do much else), the name of the game in optimization is versatility.

It's the non-optimized sorcerer that specializes in one and only one thing, like blasting. The optimized sorcerer grabs a high variety of spells to be useful in as many situations as possible.

Likewise, the non-optimized bard grabs abilities and spells willy-nilly, while the optimized bard maxes out his versatility in what he can do and cast.

There's a strange and utterly untrue idea that optimization is all about combat. It isn't. It's about adventuring - the challenges and encounters you can potentially face during your adventure, and maximizing your ability to conquer them. A character that is only good at killing things in one way - but is really good at it! - would be closest to tier 4.


Cartigan wrote:

Am I mistaken in reading that your entire rebuttal could be summed up entirely as "Well, in AD&D..."?

Even in that, you admit the game is numbers heavy. Therefore, it is designed as a numbers game. You can use those numbers to create the character you want, but they are still numbers vs other people's numbers. The elitist role-players are looking down there nose at people playing the numbers game that IS the game. "WoW" gamers and "MMORPGers" are people playing D&D/Pathfinder instead of the tabletop improv that certain sections of the community who refuse to go to RP-focused systems want the game to be.

I do not think I made a plain rebutal of everything you said, but only of the notion the design was aimed at a certain kind of player's style.

I never say "role-players" are right when looking down at people playing the numbers. I totally agree with you on that. I do not think anybody looking down at other people is ever right when we are talking about a game.

I just said the game was marketed in 1997 to roleplayers then playing AD&D not only as a number heavy game designed to be played as an optimised tactical game, but as a character creation toolkit designed to be more flexible when came te time to design the character you wanted to play, whatever that character may be, and adding a solid layer of tactical options if you wanted to use them.

I think optimisation was a side effect of the original design, and not the principal aim of that design. And, for the good or for the bad, I believe the side effect took more and more place as splatbooks were published.

Leaving us today with two groups of people playing the game in a very different ways with different expectations. No group is right or better, and no one is playing the game "as it was designed for" because the game was aimed at two kind of people at the same time, marketed for the roleplayers as much as for tactical players (I guess they were trying to get, not MMporgers, but tactical boargamers from Games Workshop to play the game) and designed to be two things at once.

I also think this very contradiction inside the game lead in time to a split in game design - D&D4 and FATE are, IMO, the natural childs of 3.X

I just wanted to say I understood the OP, as I would have understood someone saying he's going to play DnD4 because it's a better designed tactical game, and that "roleplaying" is not what he's searching for.

3.X/Pathfinder, by aiming to please both crowd, brought together two kind of players who wanted different things from the game, things the game was marketed for and supposed to be able to blend together in theory but in practice did not do very well.


Again: I was not insinuating that either play style was inferior or superior to any other! To each their own, so to speak. It wasn't my intention to insult anyone, if I did, I am sorry.
I did not mean to sound that I am looking down at optimizers and "number crunchers" (mind, this is not meant as name-calling).

All I was wanting to say was that, after quite a while of playing it neither D&D nor, alas PF, can satisfy what I am looking for in a RPG. No more, no less. I am just not into the tactics/simulation thing. And my fondest memories are of other RPG campaigns. And I always felt something vital missing from D&D - vital for me. It is hard to put a finger on, really, what it is.

- And I am not using many supplements either. I played 2 D&D campaigns (using PHB, PHB2, UA, and Complete Mage), and I GM'd the CotCT AP (with PF Core and APG). -

Maybe it is what Cartigan says about D&D/PF being a numbers game.

I want to thank all posters for their system suggestions, and I will look them up.

I'd also like to thank all for keeping this discussion so civil! :D


Simcha wrote:

All I was wanting to say was that, after quite a while of playing it neither D&D nor, alas PF, can satisfy what I am looking for in a RPG. No more, no less. I am just not into the tactics/simulation thing. And my fondest memories are of other RPG campaigns. And I always felt something vital missing from D&D - vital for me. It is hard to put a finger on, really, what it is.

Maybe it is what Cartigan says about D&D/PF being a numbers game.

Sounds like you want to be lazy. That's not an insult. You're playing a game, so it's not like you're doing something productive anyway (:

Maybe you want the game to hide more technical details behind the scenes. Maybe you don't want the game (and its corresponding mechanics) to overshadow the actual gameplay (interactions with elements of the game world). This is entirely possible to do with any gaming system. The question is: are you willing to put forth the time to filter out the details and make the game how you want it to be?

If you don't want to do the work, you're not going to get the return you want. Maybe your expectations should be tempered?


meabolex wrote:

Sounds like you want to be lazy. That's not an insult. You're playing a game, so it's not like you're doing something productive anyway (:

...

If you don't want to do the work, you're not going to get the return you want. Maybe your expectations should be tempered?

I just don't get this mentality. Why is it so hard to accept that there are lots of games out there that might meet someone's needs better than Pathfinder? Sure you can toy with rules and get a collection of house rules that works for you, but in the end, sometimes other games work better.

PF does reward optomization, so if that's not what you are wanting from a game, then it is definitely not the game to be playing.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
meabolex wrote:


Sounds like you want to be lazy. That's not an insult. You're playing a game, so it's not like you're doing something productive anyway (:

Sounds like you don't understand some people don't have the amount of leisure required to fiddle with a complex system like Pathfinder and may have te need for a game that can be run without spending hours crunching numbers et optimizing everything.

Often, they are not lazy. They work or study or have kids and stuff, you know, a life?


Doomdspair` wrote:

I just don't get this mentality. Why is it so hard to accept that there are lots of games out there that might meet someone's needs better than Pathfinder? Sure you can toy with rules and get a collection of house rules that works for you, but in the end, sometimes other games work better.

PF does reward optomization, so if that's not what you are wanting from a game, then it is definitely not the game to be playing.

Other games won't work better if you're not willing to do the work required to make the game entertaining for your group. Expecting the game system to be completely customized for you (and your group) is unreasonable. . . unless the game designer is sitting right there building the game for you. . . .

Quote:
Sounds like you don't understand some people don't have the amount of leisure required to fiddle with a complex system like Pathfinder and may have te need for a game that can be run without spending hours crunching numbers et optimizing everything.

Actually, I do. It's a choice. You either wake up at 5am before the session, crunch everything together before responsibilities attack, and spend any awake moment you can optimizing encounters, NPCs, maps, and storylines -- or you don't. I feel little sympathy for those who don't devote significant time to the game and then complain when it isn't what they want. . . .


Quote:
The optimized sorcerer grabs a high variety of spells to be useful in as many situations as possible.

High variety = a large number of different types of things. Sorcerers don't get a large number of spells to work with. So you're basically saying sorcerers should be good at something they're not good at.


meabolex wrote:
Actually, I do. It's a choice. You either wake up at 5am before the session, crunch everything together before responsibilities attack, and spend any awake moment you can optimizing encounters, NPCs, maps, and storylines -- or you don't. I feel little sympathy for those who don't devote significant time to the game and then complain when it isn't what they want. . . .

TIME MANAGEMENT


CunningMongoose wrote:
meabolex wrote:
Actually, I do. It's a choice. You either wake up at 5am before the session, crunch everything together before responsibilities attack, and spend any awake moment you can optimizing encounters, NPCs, maps, and storylines -- or you don't. I feel little sympathy for those who don't devote significant time to the game and then complain when it isn't what they want. . . .
TIME MANAGEMENT

I <3 XKCD (:

Then again, I'm not complaining about PF/D&D. It does exactly what I want it to do.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed some posts. Differing play-styles are not grounds for insults.


meabolex wrote:
CunningMongoose wrote:
meabolex wrote:
Actually, I do. It's a choice. You either wake up at 5am before the session, crunch everything together before responsibilities attack, and spend any awake moment you can optimizing encounters, NPCs, maps, and storylines -- or you don't. I feel little sympathy for those who don't devote significant time to the game and then complain when it isn't what they want. . . .
TIME MANAGEMENT

I <3 XKCD (:

Then again, I'm not complaining about PF/D&D. It does exactly what I want it to do.

So do I. But seriously, as you said, it's a choice. And there are better gaming systems out there for people wanting to maximize playing time and minimize preparation time (Savage Worlds comes to mind, among others, like ORE and Unisystem) or wanting to spend the preparation time on story/backgroung rather than numbers. (Reign RPG, I'm looking at you.)

The trick is knowing how much time you have, what you want to do with that time, and choosing the right system to do so.


Boy, this topic never fails to touch nerves, does it?

Just a few points:

-- The game was deliberately designed to support a wide variety of playstyles. This has been stated repeatedly and explicitly by the developers.
-- Each group and GM is (by the rules) able to tinker with the rules and other aspects of the game to create the game experience they want. Doing that does not mean they aren't playing the same game, or that they should go look for another game.
-- Optimization and roleplaying are not mutually exclusive, but excessive focus on one or the other does tend, at the very least, to effect how one does at the other. In my experience people do tend to be better at one or the other. It's the rare player indeed who is very good at both. I suspect that is because they draw on different areas of the brain.
-- Lots of people are willing to admit they aren't good optimizers, but few seem to be willing to admit they aren't good roleplayers. Why is that?
-- The system certainly has gotten more combat-intensive, more "crunchy" and more susceptible to optimization over the editions and the decades since I started playing. That said, how you play is still not determined by the system.
-- The end result of optimization is, to me, just an increase in the power level of the game. Encounters need to be buffed up to provide the same level of challenge. Essentially, you get the same gameplay experience at a higher power level.
-- Of course, for some, optimization is a way to try and "beat" or "win" the game. For those players, it isn't about the challenge or the story or the shared adventure, it's about being better than everyone else. Avoid that subset of optimizers.
-- I fully agree that characters can be "optimized" for things other than combat. I wish more people who call themselves "optimizers" realized the same thing.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
Robrob wrote:
Just don't play with douches or little kids and you won't have any problems with optimizers...

Not really.

Some classes require optimization and some don't. At higher levels, fighters need significantly more optimization then wizards or witches. Monks have a lot of "traps" built into the class that have to be navigated around.

The chassis of third addition AD&D is literally built around Ivory Tower Game Design, to quote Monte Cook. It's not a thing only "douches or little kids" do. It's something that's intentionally a part of the system.

Yeah i am sure Monte planted a few traps to weed out the poseurs like for instance:

-The greatsword and the longswords are for suckers any true roleplayer knows that falchions and scimitars are the one and only weapon for true heroes.

-The first sign of a poor fighter is a winning smile and quick wit... that guy won't be pulling his weight that is for sure.

Monte sure is a genius, he finally understood that the true way to build a heroic warrior in a roleplaying game is to start with your DPR and build backwards from that until finally when you are done your are left with only one character concept... an autistic, retarded idiot savant fighter. This is not only effective it also saves you a lot of time coming up with a concept, in fact i am quite sure that this could be of great help for ordinary authors, finaly a fool proof way to create fascinating, wellrounded and EFFECTIVE main characters.

It is laughable...


It's disturbing how often legit posts get deleted.

Anyway, to repeat myself;

meabolex wrote:
Quote:
The optimized sorcerer grabs a high variety of spells to be useful in as many situations as possible.

High variety = a large number of different types of things. Sorcerers don't get a large number of spells to work with. So you're basically saying sorcerers should be good at something they're not good at.

That's not what I meant.

An optimized sorcerer doesn't specialize in one thing. They don't get four different types of fireball, and likely doesn't take fireball at all. What an optimized sorcerer does is get transformation or summoning spells - spells with a lot of built in utility that can handle multiple situations.

Sorcerers take spells with high versatility, rather then very limited, niche, or specialized spells.

meabolex wrote:
Actually, I do. It's a choice. You either wake up at 5am before the session, crunch everything together before responsibilities attack, and spend any awake moment you can optimizing encounters, NPCs, maps, and storylines -- or you don't. I feel little sympathy for those who don't devote significant time to the game and then complain when it isn't what they want. . . .

Not everyone has infinite time.

I'm about to start teaching. That's going to take up a lot of time! That means I can't wake up at 5am and do hours of work on a game. And for that matter, even if I still lived at home and was unemployed, I wouldn't want to.

I don't see why this is bizarre of controversial. This game is not my life. It is a game. I have neither the desire nor ability to spend hours and hours and hours on it. It's not laziness, it's simply priorities.


RobRob wrote:

Yeah i am sure Monte planted a few trap to weed out the poseurs like for instance:

-The greatsword and the longswords are for suckers any true roleplayer knows that falchions and scimitars are the one and only weapon for true heroes.

-The first sign of a poor fighter is a winning smile and quick wit... that guy won't be pulling his weight that is for sure.

Monte sure is a genius, he finally understood that the true way to build a heroic warrior in a roleplaying game is to start with your DPR and build backwards from that until finally when you are done your are left with only one character concept... an autistic, retarded idiot savant fighter. This is not only effective it also saves you a lot of time coming up with a concept, in fact i am quite sure that this could be of great help for ordinary authors, finaly a foolproof way to create fascinating, wellrounded and EFFECTIVE main characters.

It is laughable...

Uh, no.

First, that's not what Ivory Tower Game Design means. What it means, as was stated by Monte Cook himself, is a game that intentionally rewards player skill in doing the numbers game and intentionally penalizes characters that do not do the numbers game.

Your gripe seems to be with optimization. Here's how optimizing works: "What is this character meant to be good at?" That's it. That's all it is.

Now, the basic and typical answer is "Adventuring." Because, well, it's a game about adventurers. The problem is that some classes aren't really good at much. Let's take the heroic warrior as a fighter. What's he going to be good at? Well, he has little to no skills, he has no magic, he has no class abilities...that basically just leaves killing things! That's why fighters rate so low - they really can't do much. They are the perfect example of a one trick pony.

Now, let's say you want to make a very well rounded and effective character for a story driven game. Is the fighter what you want? He has two skills per level and rather poor choices of class skills. He has no class abilities. His design is such that it rewards dumping your mental stats. By design, the fighter is a one trick pony, and giving him that saddle is merely taking that design to it's logical conclusion.

Now, let's look at the bard. Six skill points, a large number of class abilities, fairly good combat abilities, and a good number of spells. That sounds like a much more well rounded character to me!

"But Cirno, what if I want to be a well rounded fighter?"

Houserule it, get a different class, play a different game. Now, that isn't to say these are bad options. They aren't! They can be really good options! But you are trying to squeeze blood from a stone in trying to take the core Fighter and make it a well rounded and effective character.


Brian Bachman wrote:
-- The game was deliberately designed to support a wide variety of playstyles. This has been stated repeatedly and explicitly by the developers.

Really? Because 3e's advertising was "Back to the dungeon." Not "Back to town to haggle with the townsfolk," not "back to the courts to roll diplomacy checks with the king," but "back to the dungeon."

Beyond that, one can look at what the game provides. There's a lot of rules about combat. And there's not a lot of rules about everything else. D&D is not a skill-based system - skills are inherently separated from combat.

The game has been designed to support multiple playstyles of heroic fantasy.

Quote:
Each group and GM is (by the rules) able to tinker with the rules and other aspects of the game to create the game experience they want. Doing that does not mean they aren't playing the same game, or that they should go look for another game.

But the system itself can only go so far. I wouldn't grab Call of Cthulhu to play a medieval heroic fantasy game, why would I grab D&D to play a lovecraftian horror game? Systems fall into two catagories - those that are built around being purposefully generic or modular, such as ORE or BRP or GURPS, and those that are built around specific playing styles and genres, such as Shadowrun and D&D.

Not everything works with the D&D mindset. In fact, breaking plaers out of that mindset can be rather difficult! Such as playing a Superheros game where you have one player that keeps trying to "loot" the enemies. Or a Shadowrun game where one character keeps charging at the LoneStars with machine guns.

Quote:
Optimization and roleplaying are not mutually exclusive, but excessive focus on one or the other does tend, at the very least, to effect how one does at the other. In my experience people do tend to be better at one or the other. It's the rare player indeed who is very good at both. I suspect that is because they draw on different areas of the brain.

My experience has been the opposite - that there is no correlation whatsoever between roleplaying and optimization. I've seen some people that are god awful at both, and some that are amazing at both.

Quote:
Lots of people are willing to admit they aren't good optimizers, but few seem to be willing to admit they aren't good roleplayers. Why is that?

Because there is a stigma against optimization. It's easy to say "I am not good at thing that is hated" but very rare to see someone say "I am not good at thing that is loved," regardless of the circumstances.

Quote:
The system certainly has gotten more combat-intensive, more "crunchy" and more susceptible to optimization over the editions and the decades since I started playing. That said, how you play is still not determined by the system.

Again, system matters. Otherwise, you wouldn't be playing Pathfinder, you'd still be playing 0e.

Quote:
The end result of optimization is, to me, just an increase in the power level of the game. Encounters need to be buffed up to provide the same level of challenge. Essentially, you get the same gameplay experience at a higher power level.

Blatently untrue. The end result of optimization is winning at challenges and encounters, not just combat. The problem is twofold: First, that many classes are, by design, only good at combat. And second, that non-combat is extremely binary. Skills are win/lose with nothing in between, whereas combat lasts multiple rolls and multiple rounds.

Quote:
Of course, for some, optimization is a way to try and "beat" or "win" the game. For those players, it isn't about the challenge or the story or the shared adventure, it's about being better than everyone else. Avoid that subset of optimizers.

I don't get this. We're playing Dungeons and Dragons. The game is by it's very name and nature about going into horrible dangerous places and killing horrible dangerous creatures. You seem to think it's "wrong" for players to be good at this. I'm not sure how you can say "They want to win" and then turn aroudn and claim "it isn't about the challenge." Of course it's about the challenge! That's why they want to win! Nobody takes hours and lovingly makes a D&D character then follows with "I can't wait to die senselessly and purposefully because my goal is to not succeed!"

Quote:
I fully agree that characters can be "optimized" for things other than combat. I wish more people who call themselves "optimizers" realized the same thing.

First off, they do! But as I mentioned, non-combat is extremely binary. It's pass/fail, and there's only so much you can optimize that.

Secondly, you seem to want a game that isn't based around combat. Then you should probably play a game without such a combat heavy basis! In fact, when you look at skills based games, you see this very thing - optimization in Eclipse Phase doesn't mean getting every weapons skill to 100, World of Darkness isn't about every character maxing out their various weapon stats, etc, etc. In fact, in non-D&D games, "the combat guy" is often it's own niche. In comparison, 3.x classes are all variations of "the combat guy." The rogue is "the combat guy that's sneaky and stabs," the wizard is "the combat guy with magic," and so on.

Shadow Lodge

ProfessorCirno wrote:
Beyond that, one can look at what the game provides. There's a lot of rules about combat. And there's not a lot of rules about everything else. D&D is not a skill-based system - skills are inherently separated from combat.

That's because many of the other things you're discussing don't NEED to be decided by game mechanics...they can be decided by ROLEPLAYING. Radical concept, I know. In fact, for diplomacy and the like, I think it's more realistic to roleplay the situations out than roll a d20 and say "Rolled a 20: I was really convincing" or "Rolled a 1: I urinated on myself while I was talking to the king"

ProfessorCirno wrote:
I wouldn't grab Call of Cthulhu to play a medieval heroic fantasy game

Nope. I'd recommend Chaosium's Classic Fantasy or RuneQuest for that. :P

ProfessorCirno wrote:
why would I grab D&D to play a lovecraftian horror game?

d20 CAN work for lovecraftian horror. CoC d20 was pretty well implemented, with a few changes it could have been very good (It would have been a great system to use E6 with.)


ProfessorCirno wrote:

Your gripe seems to be with optimization. Here's how optimizing works: "What is this character meant to be good at?" That's it. That's all it is.

Now, the basic and typical answer is "Adventuring." Because, well, it's a game about adventurers. The problem is that some classes aren't really good at much. Let's take the heroic warrior as a fighter. What's he going to be good at? Well, he has little to no skills, he has no magic, he has no class abilities...that basically just leaves killing things! That's why fighters rate so low - they really can't do much. They are the perfect example of a one trick pony.

I don't know why i bother but here i go...

I am not saying that I want to play a "well rounded character" I am saying that if you want to play a charming fighter (instead of an EFFECTIVE fighter with 7 in charisma) and therefore won't squeeze every last drop off DPR out of that character and put a few points on charisma because that is want you want to play then that is fine. The only thing that will happen because of that is that you will be a tad less effective in combat and that should not matter because you play a character that you want to play. Imagine the group that gets upset at the player of that character because he is not pulling his weight... those guys have not got it all.

There have been a multitude of D&D heroes that have had decent to high charisma scores (Tanis Halfelven, Gord the Rogue, Drizzt (shudder), The Simbul) through the years, much like any movie or fantasy novel hero, is it so weird that players wants to emulate them. I mean what do you do when you sit down with a new group of players and one of them says "-I want my warrior to be really witty and funny like Madmartigan" do you then explain that they can't because a character like that won't pull his weight "-you have to make a really dumb and off putting fighter otherwise there is no point playing your character".

And you know there is no fantasy rpg that "rewards" having a charming warrior because there is allways a lot of fighting the reward you get for that charisma score is that you get to play a character that you came up with that you like and for me that is what roleplaying is all about even in Pathfinder - The optimizationing.

Dark Archive

For the most part I agree with last Cirno's post.

I do think you can run a high role-playing 3rd ed game with multiple Diplomacy checks -it'll just be crappy and yes, binary as hell. With no middle ground, no diplomacy maneuvers and decisions so if that is a big focus of your game you are going to be let down.

That doesn't mean that a robust skill system cannot be part of 3rd/PF gaming, it should be. I don’t know what happened with the beta and transition to PF, maybe it's the backwards compatibility issue and they didn't consider making changes to the yes/no aspect of the system, idk – but it should have been fixed.

A few other points about PF Combat: I think that it is actually very binary if you include magic/magic win button. Combat with weapons and HP is dynamic (to a degree) while SOD magic negates all of that and returns to the binary format, in favor of the instigator (usually the player - optimized to win the binary situation placed before him).

I do have a super Min/Max CharOper in my game who is an excellent role-player (played in heavy RP games and campaigns). He will often make tactical sacrifices from a story standpoint and take certain disadvantages - but that is because he has maximized his junk and calculated every pip/stat/number so he doesn't get chumped. In other words he loves a good visual but he isn't going to go utter dumb to get it out, he still finds a way to win and look good while doing it.

I also disagree with the "take it as it is" mentality. PF could have expanded the skills into mini-contests, partial successes and fails, given all classes min 4 SP per level, etc. They didn't, but they should have. I guess that is a discussion for another thread.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
I don't get this. We're playing Dungeons and Dragons. The game is by it's very name and nature about going into horrible dangerous places and killing horrible dangerous creatures.

That was true for the Basic set, not so much for the Expert, Companion, Master and Immortal sets. ;-)

What I mean is that reducing the game to dungeon crawls is pretty much reducing the basic D&D to the red box. There is much much more to the game than that.

Liberty's Edge

I'm sure this has been said, but I'm too lazy to read all the previous posts. But...

Don't award, or reduce, XP from killing monsters. Give out XP only for roleplaying (vote system works well) and completing goals rather than murdering things. I have found that players who optimised for combat starting optimising in other ways which end up making perhaps the more well rounded characters you are after? A little more work on the GM's side as the CR system gets a little out of whack - but no more than say a low magic campaign. At first glance PF (like 3.5e) comes across as fight, fight, fight. But the underlying mechanics support a range of activities. With the right party d20 will meet your needs as much as any other fantasy RPG and the bonus is PF is really well supported.

Break the 'kill stuff, get XP' cycle and it really makes players see their character creation and development in a different light.

S.

Dark Archive

RobRob wrote:

And you know there is no fantasy rpg that "rewards" having a charming warrior because there is allways a lot of fighting the reward you get for that charisma score is that you get to play a character that you came up with that you like and for me that is what roleplaying is all about even in Pathfinder - The optimazitioning.

Maybe there should be more rewards besides those gained from the 1-dimensional focus on fighting? Again I would blame the poor skill system which handles interactions and a biased rewards system that treats combat as hard rewards (solid xp, more xp) while using skills, rp and making choices as soft rewards (subjective, no skill rewards, loosely defined, limited xp, etc).

It would have been nice to see something more robust on the rp side so the charming (or with skills to lead) PC/NPC could actually gain xp and advance by a good chunk of interaction and decision making. PF doesn't seem to be the game for that though it can be forced or expanded by a GM willing to do some extra work.
I wouldn't tell someone to pound sand an play another system - just realize that the design intent is combat - hell, it isn't even as much about exploring or actual adventuring! Otherwise the skill system would be more robust, detailed, you would have less "magic replaces skills with spells" (due to detail and value of skill), classes with skills that are CRITICAL to finishing a mod and so on.

That isn't the case though.

Edit: was partially ninja'd by Mr. Hill


I have a couple of thoughts to offer, at least one of them exceptionally silly and frivolous, at least one of them immensely profound:

  • Any game is what the players and any officials/umpires/referees/other nosy adjudicator types make of it.
  • Genuine optimization is a pursuit with no genuine hope of ultimate success unless it involves at least one succubus.

    Hoping that this post has been Helpful.

    Yours,

    Ask A Succubus.
    Edit:
    Oh, yes, in case you're unfamiliar with my posts, please consider this post made from the viewpoint of a tremendously talented Abyssal temptress of impeccable taste. :)


  • Kthulhu wrote:
    That's because many of the other things you're discussing don't NEED to be decided by game mechanics...they can be decided by ROLEPLAYING. Radical concept, I know. In fact, for diplomacy and the like, I think it's more realistic to roleplay the situations out than roll a d20 and say "Rolled a 20: I was really convincing" or "Rolled a 1: I urinated on myself while I was talking to the king"

    Again, it comes down to what the game's emphasis is. You say "They can be decided by ROLEPLAYING" but there's no robust method of conflict resolution.

    The places the game puts it's mechanics is where the emphasis is. Every game makes a decision on what the conflict resolution is. For D&D, overwhelmingly more attention is paid to conflict resolution of combat then of anything else, and that's held true for every edition.

    Quote:
    Nope. I'd recommend Chaosium's Classic Fantasy or RuneQuest for that. :P

    Yes, you'd recommend a system better built for it. As would I.

    Quote:
    d20 CAN work for lovecraftian horror. CoC d20 was pretty well implemented, with a few changes it could have been very good (It would have been a great system to use E6 with.)

    "Can work" and "is good at" are two different things. Furthermore, CoC d20 s not the same as "CoC Pathfinder Edition," no more then Spycraft using a d20 makes it the same game as Mutants and Masterminds.


    Auxmaulous wrote:
    Maybe there should be more rewards besides those gained from the 1-dimensional focus on fighting? Again I would blame the poor skill system which handles interactions and a biased rewards system that treats combat as hard rewards (solid xp, more xp) while using skills, rp and making choices as soft rewards (subjective, no skill rewards, loosely defined, limited xp, etc).

    There doesn't have to be an xp reward you just play your character... you will get the experience from all the fights anyway having one less point of strength won't change that. You will get the reward when you roleplay the character who can now be charming instead of being that awkward/shy/obnoxious generic fighter.


    ProfessorCirno wrote:
    The places the game puts it's mechanics is where the emphasis is. Every game makes a decision on what the conflict resolution is. For D&D, overwhelmingly more attention is paid to conflict resolution of combat then of anything else, and that's held true for every edition.

    Mechanics schmecanics... in the two campaigns i am preparing right now, Rotrl and CoC, there is tons and tons of space for roleplaying just because you don't have rules for it does not mean it is not there. And that does not take away from all the action either there is a lot off really exciting fights and you will get to experience them too.

    Shadow Lodge

    ProfessorCirno wrote:
    Kthulhu wrote:
    Nope. I'd recommend Chaosium's Classic Fantasy or RuneQuest for that. :P
    Yes, you'd recommend a system better built for it. As would I.

    I think you missed a bit of irony. Both of those use the Basic RolePlaying system, the same system that Call of Cthulhu uses.


    RobRob wrote:
    I don't know why i bother but here i go...

    Because the purpose of this thread is discussion and debate :p

    Quote:
    I am not saying that I want to play a "well rounded character" I am saying that if you want to play a charming fighter (instead of an EFFECTIVE fighter with 7 in charisma) and therefore won't squeeze every last drop off DPR out of that character and put a few points on charisma because that is want you want to play then that is fine. The only thing that will happen because of that is that you will be a tad less effective in combat and that should not matter because you play a character that you want to play. Imagine the group that gets upset at the player of that character because he is not pulling his weight... those guys have not got it all.

    Because the fighter will never be charming.

    Think about how skills in pathfinder rise - namely, they rise if and only if you put points into them. That means the fighter who wants to stay charming must continue to devout resources into "Be Charming."

    In a skills-based game, it would be a simple trade off. But Pathfinder is not a skills-based game. Instead, due to the need for high physical stats, due to low skills, due to no character abilities, and due to poor class skills, the fighter is inherently bad at being charming.

    Quote:
    There have been a multitude of D&D heroes that have had decent to high charisma scores (Tanis Halfelven, Gord the Rogue, Drizzt (shudder), The Simbul) through the years, much like any movie or fantasy novel hero, is it so weird that players wants to emulate them. I mean what do you do when you sit down with a new group of players and one of them says "-I want my warrior to be really witty and funny like Madmartigan" do you then explain that they can't because a character like that won't pull his weight "-you have to make a really dumb and off putting fighter otherwise there is no point playing your character".

    You misunderstand me, I think.

    There is nothing wrong with wanting to play that. In fact, I love those kind of characters! I'd love to see more of them!

    BUT. That's not the 3.x fighter. I empathize that these are great characters, but they are ones that are not represented by the system.

    Quote:
    And you know there is no fantasy rpg that "rewards" having a charming warrior because there is allways a lot of fighting the reward you get for that charisma score is that you get to play a character that you came up with that you like and for me that is what roleplaying is all about even in Pathfinder - The optimizationing.

    That's not my point.

    My point is this: As much as I love the archtype of a charming warrior, it, like many archtypes I like, is poorly represented in the 3.x ruleset. The best version of this is a bard.

    Quote:
    Mechanics schmecanics... in the two campaigns i am preparing right now, Rotrl and CoC, there is tons and tons of space for roleplaying just because you don't have rules for it does not mean it is not there. And that does not take away from all the action either there is a lot off really exciting fights and you will get to experience them too.

    That's not my point.

    I'm glad you have a lot of space for roleplaying. There's tons of space for roleplaying in my games too! BUT. At the end of the day, it's still a game about heroic fantasy.

    Let me use an example I'm in. In one game I play in, that takes place in a setting previously used for D&D games, we are a group of colonists, merchants, tacticians, politicians, etc, founding a trade colony and a mostly unexplored new continent.

    Now, we had two choices.

    We could houserule in rules for mass combat, large scale politics and diplomacy, haggling, trading with other cities, absorbing the locals, conquering opposing colonies and cities, spying on our enemies, expanding our lands, keeping our treasury in check, and much more. We would also never use our attack bonuses, our AC, most of our spells, and most of our magic items, and would need to drastically change the skill list.

    ...Or. We could play Reign.

    We chose the latter.


    CunningMongoose wrote:
    ProfessorCirno wrote:
    I don't get this. We're playing Dungeons and Dragons. The game is by it's very name and nature about going into horrible dangerous places and killing horrible dangerous creatures.

    That was true for the Basic set, not so much for the Expert, Companion, Master and Immortal sets. ;-)

    What I mean is that reducing the game to dungeon crawls is pretty much reducing the basic D&D to the red box. There is much much more to the game than that.

    I disagree ;p.

    Expert and Companion were still very much about Going To Places, Killing Things, and Taking Their Stuff.. I will grant you Master and Immortal, however.

    ...I will also note that BECMI had far more guidelines for doing non-killing-things-taking-stuff then 3.x does.


    Stefan Hill wrote:

    I'm sure this has been said, but I'm too lazy to read all the previous posts. But...

    Don't award, or reduce, XP from killing monsters. Give out XP only for roleplaying (vote system works well) and completing goals rather than murdering things. I have found that players who optimised for combat starting optimising in other ways which end up making perhaps the more well rounded characters you are after? A little more work on the GM's side as the CR system gets a little out of whack - but no more than say a low magic campaign. At first glance PF (like 3.5e) comes across as fight, fight, fight. But the underlying mechanics support a range of activities. With the right party d20 will meet your needs as much as any other fantasy RPG and the bonus is PF is really well supported.

    Break the 'kill stuff, get XP' cycle and it really makes players see their character creation and development in a different light.

    S.

    We just ditched XP entirely.

    Kthulhu wrote:
    ProfessorCirno wrote:
    Kthulhu wrote:
    Nope. I'd recommend Chaosium's Classic Fantasy or RuneQuest for that. :P
    Yes, you'd recommend a system better built for it. As would I.
    I think you missed a bit of irony. Both of those use the Basic RolePlaying system, the same system that Call of Cthulhu uses.

    I think you missed my point. I explicitly called out generic systems - and indeed specifically noted BRP - for being good at multiple genres. Thanks for helping me argue my point, though!

    Silver Crusade

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    ProfessorCirno wrote:
    Stefan Hill wrote:

    I'm sure this has been said, but I'm too lazy to read all the previous posts. But...

    Don't award, or reduce, XP from killing monsters. Give out XP only for roleplaying (vote system works well) and completing goals rather than murdering things. I have found that players who optimised for combat starting optimising in other ways which end up making perhaps the more well rounded characters you are after? A little more work on the GM's side as the CR system gets a little out of whack - but no more than say a low magic campaign. At first glance PF (like 3.5e) comes across as fight, fight, fight. But the underlying mechanics support a range of activities. With the right party d20 will meet your needs as much as any other fantasy RPG and the bonus is PF is really well supported.

    Break the 'kill stuff, get XP' cycle and it really makes players see their character creation and development in a different light.

    S.

    We just ditched XP entirely.

    Kthulhu wrote:
    ProfessorCirno wrote:
    Kthulhu wrote:
    Nope. I'd recommend Chaosium's Classic Fantasy or RuneQuest for that. :P
    Yes, you'd recommend a system better built for it. As would I.
    I think you missed a bit of irony. Both of those use the Basic RolePlaying system, the same system that Call of Cthulhu uses.
    I think you missed my point. I explicitly called out generic systems - and indeed specifically noted BRP - for being good at multiple genres. Thanks for helping me argue my point, though!

    Except of course, d20 is equally as universal as BRP. Point, helping, argue, though, etc.


    ProfessorCirno wrote:

    Because the fighter will never be charming.

    Think about how skills in pathfinder rise - namely, they rise if and only if you put points into them. That means the fighter who wants to stay charming must continue to devout resources into "Be Charming."

    In a skills-based game, it would be a simple trade off. But Pathfinder is not a skills-based game. Instead, due to the need for high physical stats, due to low skills, due to no character abilities, and due to poor class skills, the fighter is inherently bad at being charming.

    He will allways have let's say 12 charisma he will allways be more charming than the average person he will therefore be a popular person whenever he meets npcs, sure when haggling/bluffing etc he will have only one more plus but in any social situation he will be thought of as a charming person.

    Quote:
    I'm glad you have a lot of space for roleplaying. There's tons of space for roleplaying in my games too! BUT. At the end of the day, it's still a game about heroic fantasy.

    What?...

    So because this is a game about heroic fantasy all your fighters allways have a charisma of 7? That does not make any sense you can play heroic fantasy with one less point of strength then you usually have and in return you have a fighter that is not autistic.

    Liberty's Edge

    Kthulhu wrote:
    ProfessorCirno wrote:
    Kthulhu wrote:
    Nope. I'd recommend Chaosium's Classic Fantasy or RuneQuest for that. :P
    Yes, you'd recommend a system better built for it. As would I.
    I think you missed a bit of irony. Both of those use the Basic RolePlaying system, the same system that Call of Cthulhu uses.

    Lucky he didn't say Pendragon then... ;)

    Liberty's Edge

    RobRob wrote:
    So because this is a game about heroic fantasy all your fighters allways have a charisma of 7?

    If you read TreantMonk's work, correct. :)


    As I see it, there are two really HUGE errors that are being repeatedly made in this discussion

    1.) Combat vs. Roleplay. Last I checked, roleplaying can and should happen in the middle of "initiative time" (I hate to call initiative time "combat" since combat can happen before initiative is ever rolled).

    2.) Heroic actions vs. Roleplay. Seriously, what the hell? I mean, seriously? I just watched the movie Troy earlier today. I saw an awful lot of heroic action that happened without swords being drawn.


    RobRob wrote:
    He will allways have let's say 12 charisma he will allways be more charming than the average person he will therefore be a popular person whenever he meets npcs, sure when haggling/bluffing etc he will have only one more plus but in any social situation he will be thought of as a charming person.

    What? No. 12 charisma doesn't mean you auto-pass all charisma tests. In fact, you'll probably lose most of them.

    Your level 1 fighter has 12 charisma and let's go ahead and give him a point in diplomacy. In order to bring someone with straight even mediocre 10 charisma from indifferent to friendly, that means you need a 13 or higher.

    The odds are not on your side.

    Quote:

    What?...

    So because this is a game about heroic fantasy all your fighters allways have a charisma of 7? That does not make any sense you can play heroic fantasy with one less point of strength then you usually have and in return you have a fighter that is not autistic.

    The only one harping on "7 charisma" is you, man.

    What I'm saying is that the fighter is naturally disadvantaged to be charismatic. He has no class abilities towards anything even vaguely related to charisma (whereas in past editions he got the equivalent of the Leadership feat). His only charisma skills are handle animal and intimidate. He also only has 2 skills each level, so that one in diplomacy means he can't swim, or he can't climb, or he can't craft anything.

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