Min-maxing wasn't good enough


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there are three seperate topics in the forum right now which show that it's possible to optimize beyond min-maxing
Those topics are

1.) Allowing characters to take Charisma as a dump stat, but not penalizing them for it - after they use it as a dump stat, they ought to be able to say that their character is attractive and, thereby, gain positive modifiers to social encounters

2.) Allowing a Wizard to collect a god-like spell book without having to worry about keeping it safe

3.) Allowing a character to optimize towards big weapons and never have to worry about the down side of when those weapons shouldn't be usable (due to space requirements)

In all three cases, rather than min-maxing, the character maxes and then demands that the GM sweep the min under the rug where it will never be seen.

Am I simply old school? Does all the passion with which these things are argued influence the game designers? Does it indicate the future direction of the game?


Depends.

Some prefer a more casual game that just lets that stuff slide.

I prefer the gritter cause and effect gaming where these things all need to be considered, which I tend to find leads to a more complete experience.

Some people like a sim, some don't. Some people want to have a freeform RP, some want tactical mini's. Some want blends of all of that.
The rules are fairly robust and allow for the differing styles.

I don't think there is a right or a wrong, I think its about what suits your players and your table...

MMO's are the same; there's easy ones like WoW which are mass market, and then there are the soulcrushingly difficult ones like early EverQuest.

Horses for courses.

(I just happen to be more in your camp)


Yes, your old. Yes realism is really really boring. If you want to play realistically then either dont play a fantasy game, or let me DM you so you can learn how bad an idea this is.

Besides, protecting a spellbook is almost too easy. You do know you cant target something with full concealment right? You know a wizards robe could probably give it full concealment.

Also charisma is your personable stat, the higher it is the more naturally personable you are. Has nothing to do with how personable you can be. Thats why everyone gets to roll the same d20 and can but the same points in diplomacy.

And penalizing people for small spaces just drags the game out when they stop bothering to crawl through small spaces. Or if forced to will just shield rush there way out. Making that small space a pointless waste of time.

Liberty's Edge

Shifty wrote:

Depends.

Some prefer a more casual game that just lets that stuff slide.

I prefer the gritter cause and effect gaming where these things all need to be considered, which I tend to find leads to a more complete experience.

Some people like a sim, some don't. Some people want to have a freeform RP, some want tactical mini's. Some want blends of all of that.
The rules are fairly robust and allow for the differing styles.

I don't think there is a right or a wrong, I think its about what suits your players and your table...

MMO's are the same; there's easy ones like WoW which are mass market, and then there are the soulcrushingly difficult ones like early EverQuest.

Horses for courses.

(I just happen to be more in your camp)

I think it depends on who you play with.

My wife tends to be a more casual gamer who isn't looking for exploits as much as making a fun character and playing it. I can be more relaxed playing with her, because she is playing a more relaxed game.

Others I play with try to push everything up to 11, and as a GM I need to hold them to the rules and look at all the ramifications to keep the game on the rails. It isn't that they are min/maxing as much as they are trying to optimize specific areas of the character.

But everyone I play with understands that if you min, it has consequences. The low charisma guy isn't going to be party face. You need to buy a bag of holding to deal with your encumbrance issue, etc...


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Shadow_of_death wrote:


And penalizing people for small spaces just drags the game out when they stop bothering to crawl through small spaces. Or if forced to will just shield rush there way out. Making that small space a pointless waste of time.

Your instance on riding through the small space because it must be the only way forward is like some bad game shouw where the GM takes you through a conveyer belt of encounters.

That there is not enough robustness in the campain, nor wits on the part of the players to adequately come up with multiple approaches to solving a problem is about as lightweight and boring an idea as watching re-runs of 1980's gameshows from which they have drawn their inspiration.

I reckon you may as well hang up your Fantasy RPG and simply play Mousetrap or Hungry Hungry Hippo.

See, two can point and say badwrongfun, but it's not really helpful

Liberty's Edge

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Shifty wrote:


Your instance on riding through the small space because it must be the only way forward is like some bad game shouw where the GM takes you through a conveyer belt of encounters.

That there is not enough robustness in the campain, nor wits on the part of the players to adequately come up with multiple approaches to solving a problem is about as lightweight and boring an idea as watching re-runs of 1980's gameshows from which they have drawn their inspiration.

I reckon you may as well hang up your Fantasy RPG and simply play Mousetrap or Hungry Hungry Hippo.

See, two can point and say badwrongfun, but it's not really helpful

Hungry Hungry Hippos was the bomb!

As to the main point, some people want to play the game, some people want to "win" the game.

I prefer to play with the former.


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True Cire.

I found that the problem was exacerbated when having to put mini's on a mat became essential to the rules. Things went from abstract to 'tactical minis' really quickly, and whilst this is fair enough and I am happy with the change, I think that there was a new trend to playing the game as though it was Talisman.

Sovereign Court

It's always important to remember from the Gamer's Bill of Rights...

"Awesomeness must not be denied"


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LilithsThrall wrote:

there are three seperate topics in the forum right now which show that it's possible to optimize beyond min-maxing

Those topics are

1.) Allowing characters to take Charisma as a dump stat, but not penalizing them for it - after they use it as a dump stat, they ought to be able to say that their character is attractive and, thereby, gain positive modifiers to social encounters

2.) Allowing a Wizard to collect a god-like spell book without having to worry about keeping it safe

3.) Allowing a character to optimize towards big weapons and never have to worry about the down side of when those weapons shouldn't be usable (due to space requirements)

In all three cases, rather than min-maxing, the character maxes and then demands that the GM sweep the min under the rug where it will never be seen.

Am I simply old school? Does all the passion with which these things are argued influence the game designers? Does it indicate the future direction of the game?

These aren't minmaxing, but funmaxing.

Is dealing with broken spellbooks fun? No. You never found it fun. Be honest. Unless you like being mean to others (you aren't wizard) but that messes with their fun.

And Cha never was just looks. The game never said it was looks even "back in the day", that was the comliness trait back in the day. So the current players are correct.

So the only claim you are correct is squeezing rules. And it depends on what you mean by "big weapons".

Liberty's Edge

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Starbuck_II wrote:


These aren't minmaxing, but funmaxing.
Is dealing with broken spellbooks fun? No. You never found it fun. Be honest. Unless you like being mean to others (you aren't wizard) but that messes with their fun.

And Cha never was just looks. The game never said it was looks even "back in the day", that was the comliness trait back in the day. So the current players are correct.

So the only claim you are correct is squeezing rules. And it depends on what you mean by "big weapons".

The issue comes in when someone wants to exploit the rules for benefit, but not have to deal with the rules that would counter that benefit.

We have a table rule, if you try some shady rules lawyer stuff and the DM allows it, you can be certain the GM will use the same rules against the party later.

The GM should hold the group to the rules they want to play by. But if you want to be a min/maxer, you should be held to the penalties of the Min if you want the benefits of the max.


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It's a tabletop RPG, Rule of Fun trumps everything. That said, munchkinism should still be dealt with summarily and harshly, and decisions ought to have manageable consequences, and players should be expected to deal with that maturely.

Player wants to play an attractive-but-uncharismatic character? Okay, assess a +2 circumstance bonus to Cha-based checks on superficialities, but a -5 circumstance penalty to Cha-based checks on social encounters that go on for longer than the prototypical minute. That way, their Charisma balances out initially, but as the conversation extends and the NPC figures out that despite their beauty they're just not a very nice person and in essence just being manipulative, start to sour towards them or starts turning the conversation in their favor. This also reflects a more "fast-talking" mindset which would work in that sort of character's favor, but pretty much preclude them from any in-depth social interaction from which they'd hope to gain in a major way.

I'd also point out the "Charming" trait on the PFSRD for PC's who wish to do so and insist they take it should they find my aforementioned rule distasteful.

Spellbooks are a part of the wizard. Familiars are a part of the witch. They're central to the balance and flavor of the class. There are rules for reinforcing and protecting one's spellbook on top of the extant zillion other ways to keep it safe, on top of at least one arcane class that doesn't use a spellbook I can name offhand. Deal with it.

Large weapons in enclosed spaces? Now this is one where Rule of Fun does trump. I'd treat that in an ad hoc manner: greatsword in a 5' hallway? Okay, you can do that, but with the -4 attack penalty for using a weapon in an unintended fashion since you're going to have to stab with it or use awkward downward slashes and no power attacking. But since you're already using it awkwardly, I'll be a nice guy and let you lunge with it without penalty.

It behooves the GM to cater to the players, both to allow them to shine and to challenge them by forcing them to deal with their shortcomings every now and again to challenge them. It behooves the players to recognize their characters have shortcomings, accept that in a mature fashion and recognize it as a challenge to be surmounted. If all a player wants to do is optimize a disembodied set of stats and full-clear dungeons, rolling encounters and snatching up loot, World of Warcraft is a cheaper hobby and much better-suited to their expectations. End of story.


Eac seems like a decent fun GM :P


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Starbuck_II wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:

there are three seperate topics in the forum right now which show that it's possible to optimize beyond min-maxing

Those topics are

1.) Allowing characters to take Charisma as a dump stat, but not penalizing them for it - after they use it as a dump stat, they ought to be able to say that their character is attractive and, thereby, gain positive modifiers to social encounters

2.) Allowing a Wizard to collect a god-like spell book without having to worry about keeping it safe

3.) Allowing a character to optimize towards big weapons and never have to worry about the down side of when those weapons shouldn't be usable (due to space requirements)

In all three cases, rather than min-maxing, the character maxes and then demands that the GM sweep the min under the rug where it will never be seen.

Am I simply old school? Does all the passion with which these things are argued influence the game designers? Does it indicate the future direction of the game?

These aren't minmaxing, but funmaxing.

Is dealing with broken spellbooks fun? No. You never found it fun. Be honest. Unless you like being mean to others (you aren't wizard) but that messes with their fun.

And Cha never was just looks. The game never said it was looks even "back in the day", that was the comliness trait back in the day. So the current players are correct.

So the only claim you are correct is squeezing rules. And it depends on what you mean by "big weapons".

Quoting Lex Luthor: WROOOONNNGGGGG

The wizard is one of the most powerful classes in the game he needs a weak point. Of course just destroying the spellbook is a jerk move, but you should at least have something to threaten the wizard for some tension on the storyline. Think less "he burns your book" and more "He runs away with your book are guys going to chase him?"
Cha is not only about appearance, you're right. but doesn't matter how much good looking you are, if you have bad diction and whiny nasal voice or a funky smell and a perpetual creepy stare or a rotten, b*%+$y personality, you're not going to win any over anyone (diplomacy), trick anyone (bluff) or even be really threatening(Your intimidate makes people want to hit you, not cower). You might be breautyful and get laid a lot but it's only one night stands and anyone with two brain cells to rub together will stay the frak away from you. So yeah, dump charisma and no matter how beautyful you are you still take the penalties.
And if you have huge sized two handed sword it's going to be kinda hard to swing that thing in a 10 foot corridor, don't you agree? It's the main reason samurai, for example, carried wakizashi (short swords), because it's really difficult to get a proper swing going with a larger weapon inside a small room.


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Shadow_of_death wrote:

Yes, your old. Yes realism is really really boring. If you want to play realistically then either dont play a fantasy game, or let me DM you so you can learn how bad an idea this is.

Specific discussion on the three points referenced is taking place in other threads, so I'll try not to discuss it here. This is intended more to be a respectful metadiscussion about the topics being discussed. Having said that..

The issue isn't realism. The issue is diversity across characters. Should a knife fighter be a valid choice for a fighter? Yes, even against monsters (an example of why none of these discussions are about realism). Should knife fighters and big two handed blade fighters have some diversity in their fighting styles so that a knife fighter, for example, gets the fun of trying to lure enemies into areas where the knife fighter has the advantage (due to the small size of his weeapom)? Yes, why not? The only possible answer to 'why not' is that it doesn't allow players to hyperspecialize their characters in one tightly narrow set of abilities (big weapons) in order to max kills with the minimum amount of mental effort. But, my god..

How boring is that?

As for having wizards take care of their spellbooks, yes, that's a challenge that some other classes don't have. But one of the significant reasons there are multiple classes is so that they can offer different challenges. The wizard's investment in protecting his spellbook can be an inspired act of creativity. Remember, in a lot of cases, the wizard towers that adventurers explore were created long ago to do the same thing the PC wizard is doing - protect magical power that could alter nations. Once the wizard reaches higher level, his effort to invest in security for his spell book and how he did it when he was a weaker mage, may be part of history taught in wizard school. There is a lot of potential shine time as the GM works with the Wizard as the Wizard explores different magical ways to protect his more powerful books - building constructs, formulating poisons, retrieving rare components for magical apparatuses. A good wizard PC can make the protections on his spell book a thing of art that the player and the people who play with the player can talk about for years afterwards. Or, the players could just whine that any character with exceptional power must take extra measures to protect his power. But then,

How boring is that?

In all three cases, the question is "how meaningful should the decisions which we make to create unique characters be and how unique should those characters be?"


when i strip a PC of something vital to thier percieved ability to function. it just gives me an oppurtunity to give them something weaker shortly after and eventually reward thier patience with something better than what they lost. the temporary compensation isn't always immediate. and the reward might occasionally be delayed. and just because you novaed with your compensation and blew through it doesn't always mean you will get more immediately.


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Been running the game for a long while now over a few editions, never once told someone they couldn't use a weapon in certain area, stolen or destroyed a spellbook, or used a low charisma score to hinder a player more than what the rules say in pathfinder that is to modify skill checks for the most part so if you have a 6 charisma (-2) modifier put one rank in diplomacy that is a class skill you end up with +2, so he is just as good at talking to people as the guy with the 12 charisma and no skill.

But different people have different fun what works for your group is not the same that works for mine.

But the real issue I have is DM's that don't convey the facts they will punish people by making weapons useless in certain situations, target spell books, or make NPC's react to them based on Charisma instead of skill checks. If I know these things before hand I make a knife fighter, sorcerer, and someone with not a negative charisma.

If the players have the knowledge at character creation that these house rules are in play all is good, if not it is punitive for making one character over another.


Starbuck_II wrote:
Is dealing with broken spellbooks fun? No. You never found it fun. Be honest. Unless you like being mean to others (you aren't wizard) but that messes with their fun.

I've had a lot of fun playing wizards and figuring out/working on devious, novel ways to keep them safe. That's the honest truth. If a GM told me that he'd never go after my spell book, then I'd feel like all that contingency planning was pointless and I'd get less fun out of playing a wizard than I could.

Starbuck_II wrote:


And Cha never was just looks. The game never said it was looks even "back in the day", that was the comliness trait back in the day. So the current players are correct.

Noone ever said that Cha is just looks.

Where the current players try to get mechanical advantages for free, they are wrong.


LilithsThrall wrote:
I've had a lot of fun playing wizards and figuring out/working on devious, novel ways to keep them safe. That's the honest truth. If a GM told me that he'd never go after my spell book, then I'd feel like all that contingency planning was pointless and I'd get less fun out of playing a wizard than I could.

You could RP your own disaster. "Forget" your spellbook somewhere in the mega-dungeon. Or, hire a henchman rogue, and then steal your spellbook from yourself.

LilithsThrall wrote:

Noone ever said that Cha is just looks.

Where the current players try to get mechanical advantages for free, they are wrong.

Totally agree. The reason why someone is charismatic is flexible; the CHA modifier is not.


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LilithsThrall wrote:


1.) Allowing characters to take Charisma as a dump stat, but not penalizing them for it - after they use it as a dump stat, they ought to be able to say that their character is attractive and, thereby, gain positive modifiers to social encounters

Rule #1, there are no 'ugly' pcs ;) Unless your INTENTION is that they are hideously scarred... then they typically get hollywood-ified.

Sub-rule #1a: This does not apply to orcs and kin... that never gets hot ;)

Seriously though. Charisma was always about inner strength and leadership potential. There are many... many.... MANY Hot but ditzy or mean or generally unlikable chicks... But y'know... STILL Hot!

NOT sure I'd give out positive modifiers or anything... but I could see some circumstance bonuses in there...

LilithsThrall wrote:


2.) Allowing a Wizard to collect a god-like spell book without having to worry about keeping it safe

My #1 arguement about that... is that Clerics, sorcerers, and basically every class except fighters and some rogues have awesome god-like powers too... but no one attack or failed save completley neuters THEIR classes.

Seriously, if theres a bad fireball or something in the first level of a locked dungeon... that character is screwed beyond survival. That just wouldn't be fun for anyone.

Fun > Realism

LilithsThrall wrote:


3.) Allowing a character to optimize towards big weapons and never have to worry about the down side of when those weapons shouldn't be usable (due to space requirements)

There are multiple ways to use weapons. I went to reenactment one time and talked with the 'scottish mercenaries' They showed the 'proper' way to use a claymore...

Grab it by the handle, and ABOVE the handle (leather wrapped part in braveheart) and just WADE into combat attacking with point, edge, pommel, and hilt. Almost like a quarterstaff.

Just because the OBVIOUS way to swing a big sword is great wide arcs... doesn't mean its' the ONLY way. Warriors would undoubtably know many ways to choke up on their favored weapon.

Shifty wrote:


I found that the problem was exacerbated when having to put mini's on a mat became essential to the rules. Things went from abstract to 'tactical minis' really quickly, and whilst this is fair enough and I am happy with the change, I think that there was a new trend to playing the game as though it was Talisman.

I'll freely admit I liked the game a lot more BEFORE battlemaps... We've ALWAYS used minis to describe marching order and stuff like that... but now that we're counting 5' squares and what's blocking and what's difficult, and yes the snake is between you and the target so you get a -4 penalty... It's gotten SOOOO Rule heavy!!


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
reward thier patience

??

You make GMing sound like some sort of Pavlovian "sit up and bark" arrangement.

Players play the game to relaxe with their friends and cooperatively work through a problem within the context of improvisational storytelling.

As with any good story, the heroes will have their achievements and disappointments. They will have their challenges. And how they respond to these things is how they build their story.

They do not just sit their waiting to be rewarded for their patience.

They do not totally control their environment and, sometimes, their environment will do something they don't like. But it is how they respond that makes them heroes.


Hudax wrote:
You could RP your own disaster. "Forget" your spellbook somewhere in the mega-dungeon. Or, hire a henchman rogue, and then steal your spellbook from yourself.

That'd be like a boxer punching himself in the face so that he could feel like all those hours at the gym were worth it.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Darn, I thought this thread was going to be about a player who min-maxed his character but still got it killed.


i had a wizard whose spellbook was stolen (by an act of DM Fiat) in one of Weekly William's campaigns. at first, i was upset, but i bit my lip and shut myself up. in the end, after 2 levels of relying on a limited cash of scrolls and my drastically inferior backup book. levels 10-12. only using suboptimal general purpose combat spells of 3rd level and lower, (i was a 3.5 universalist/loremaster). i evemtually got a special spellbook that contained every spell in the core book. good thing i had empower spell.


LilithsThrall wrote:
Hudax wrote:
You could RP your own disaster. "Forget" your spellbook somewhere in the mega-dungeon. Or, hire a henchman rogue, and then steal your spellbook from yourself.
That'd be like a boxer punching himself in the face so that he could feel like all those hours at the gym were worth it.

I'm sure a henchman would do that for you too.


LilithsThrall wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
reward thier patience

??

You make GMing sound like some sort of Pavlovian "sit up and bark" arrangement.

Players play the game to relaxe with their friends and cooperatively work through a problem within the context of improvisational storytelling.

As with any good story, the heroes will have their achievements and disappointments. They will have their challenges. And how they respond to these things is how they build their story.

They do not just sit their waiting to be rewarded for their patience.

They do not totally control their environment and, sometimes, their environment will do something they don't like. But it is how they respond that makes them heroes.

well, i guess i am a bit pavlovian. but i agree with most of this stuff. i like teaching PCs to not put all there eggs in one basket.

it's why i prefer sorcerers over wizards, less dependant on thier books.

just because Falchion Fred is a PC does not mean every treasure horde contains a Falchion. nor will every monster.

and Longbow Letty won't always find the perfect longbow tailored to her needs.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
i had a wizard whose spellbook was stolen (by an act of DM Fiat) in one of Weekly William's campaigns. at first, i was upset, but i bit my lip and shut myself up. in the end, after 2 levels of relying on a limited cash of scrolls and my drastically inferior backup book. levels 10-12. only using suboptimal general purpose combat spells of 3rd level and lower, (i was a 3.5 universalist/loremaster). i evemtually got a special spellbook that contained every spell in the core book. good thing i had empower spell.

The thing that confounds me about the story you just told is that you didn't reference your PC's time as an investigator tracking down the thief and exacting justice/revenge. You make no mention of doing anything other than just sitting there quietly waiting for your GM for two weeks to give you another spellbook. It's like your PC might as well have been a bump on a log.

It seems to me like there was potential for a pretty cool story in which your character took the lead and, instead, you just sat there patiently waiting.


LilithsThrall wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
i had a wizard whose spellbook was stolen (by an act of DM Fiat) in one of Weekly William's campaigns. at first, i was upset, but i bit my lip and shut myself up. in the end, after 2 levels of relying on a limited cash of scrolls and my drastically inferior backup book. levels 10-12. only using suboptimal general purpose combat spells of 3rd level and lower, (i was a 3.5 universalist/loremaster). i evemtually got a special spellbook that contained every spell in the core book. good thing i had empower spell.

The thing that confounds me about the story you just told is that you didn't reference your PC's time as an investigator tracking down the thief and exacting justice/revenge. You make no mention of doing anything other than just sitting there quietly waiting for your GM to give you another spellbook. It's like your PC might as well have been a bump on a log.

It seems to me like there was potential for a pretty cool story in which your character took the lead and, instead, you just sat there patiently waiting.

well i did try to search, but the DM by virtue of Fiat said that i failed, no matter what i rolled. and he threatened to Dock me XP (i mean docking levels by the bunches) if i continued "pestering him" when my "pestering" was rolling search and gather information checks.

i initially omitted those details to make him feel better.

Weekly William is one of those old school jerk DMs who looks for methods to be controlling. one of these is Fiat. he makes you have to "earn" (in his eyes) the pieces you gain. and his definition of "earn" is shut up and submit to his will for a set period of time until he feels like rewarding you.


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Shuriken Nekogami wrote:


well i did try to search, but the DM by virtue of Fiat said that i failed, no matter what i rolled. and he threatened to Dock me XP (i mean docking levels by the bunches) if i continued "pestering him" when my "pestering" was rolling search and gather information checks.

i initially omitted those details to make him feel better.

Weekly William is one of those old school jerk DMs who looks for methodss to be controlling. one of these is Fiat. he makes you have to "earn" (in his eyes) the pieces you gain. and his definition of "earn" is shut up and submit to his will for a set period of time.

Sounds like a dick. I'm surprised you play with him. You've always seemed like a nice person who wouldn't have to put up with that kind of crap.


LilithsThrall wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:


well i did try to search, but the DM by virtue of Fiat said that i failed, no matter what i rolled. and he threatened to Dock me XP (i mean docking levels by the bunches) if i continued "pestering him" when my "pestering" was rolling search and gather information checks.

i initially omitted those details to make him feel better.

Weekly William is one of those old school jerk DMs who looks for methodss to be controlling. one of these is Fiat. he makes you have to "earn" (in his eyes) the pieces you gain. and his definition of "earn" is shut up and submit to his will for a set period of time.

Sounds like a dick. I'm surprised you play with him. You've always seemed like a nice person who wouldn't have to put up with that kind of crap.

unfortunately, there is a lack of local easily accessible DMs in the area. i am nice, and i don't get a lot of DMing oppurtunities. not a lot of places to buy Campaign material, (such as adventure paths), most of the time, they sell out fast, and not a lot of willing local players with compatable schedules. and most of the players don't like my newer mindset that incorperates influence from 'nonstandard' genres.


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if i were to DM, i'm not afraid to sunder weapons or steal spellbooks.

but i am not icehearted enough to leave them with nothing. at least i encourage investment in a few backups, and if they are low enough level that they cannot afford meaningful backups, i will incorperate temporary compensation.

but Longbow Letty (as an example) should have invested in more options than just her composite longbow.

yes, i do prefer to reward builds like switch hitters and knife fighters. i also tend to occasionally reward spontaneous casters as well.

and i DO allow concept clerics, if the concept makes sense.

a 'cleric' who venerates the ideals of bushido is fine. if they stick to the ideals. i won't ever allow a cleric of Banjo the clown puppet. except if the campaign were ridiculously nonserious enough to allow it.


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Trying to make a "simulation" fantasy game is kind of ironic, isn't it?

The fundamental rules should be simple and easy to use. Unnecessary complexity just slows down the game and makes it annoying for players who have to look up a rule for every situation.

Broad, general rules should be the gold standard, rather than trying to come up with a rule for every little situation.

Do we really need to see something like this come up: "Oh noes, I am trying to weave a basket but the air is damp, what sort of bonuses/penalties should I get?"


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Black Knight wrote:


Do we really need to see something like this come up: "Oh noes, I am trying to weave a basket but the air is damp, what sort of bonuses/penalties should I get?"

No, but then trying to crawl through some extra narrow and twisty kobold tunnels with a longspear or mounted on a horse so the PC can make use of his monomaniacally selected lance-based feats tends to stretch verisimilitude. So I'll tell the PCs that they'll have trouble trying to do so when they try it and I won't care if they've put all their eggs in the one big-weapon basket and don't have a more suitable weapon to use. That's a challenge for them to figure out.


Black Knight wrote:

Broad, general rules should be the gold standard, rather than trying to come up with a rule for every little situation.

If that were true, the game would have 1 character class who has 1 weapon and has 1 attribute. The entire game would use 1d6 for everything.

Actually, it might just use a coin flip for everything.

But what we've seen is that, due to market demand, the game goes the opposite direction - with characters becoming more diverse. There's a version which does what you claim should be the gold standard and it's not doing that well.

So, I think what you claim to be the gold standard isn't the gold standard.


To me, I don't love the targeting-spellbook thing because it's generally comes down to a GM vs. Player "who's thought of or seen more ways to screw with the spellbook" pissing contest, in that once a GM gets a player with a "spellbook wrecking trick" (e.g., you fall into water and did you buy it a waterproof bag?), you basically can't get any player who was at that table with that trick ever again.

So what in theory sounds like an interesting drawback turns into more of a metagaming arms race. It's not about your roleplaying or putting more game time into things that are interesting to or because of the story of your character, but more the equivalent of the GM and the wizard player telling everyone else the game is on hold while they play a quick game of chess.

Sure, you have your standard-issue "You're captured by overwhelming forces you never had a prayer of beating and all your stuff is taken away!" plot which is an exception to that rule, but frankly, that plot is tired and unworthy of a GM who's over the age of twelve and has been in the hobby for more than a year.


Black Knight wrote:

Trying to make a "simulation" fantasy game is kind of ironic, isn't it?

The fundamental rules should be simple and easy to use. Unnecessary complexity just slows down the game and makes it annoying for players who have to look up a rule for every situation.

Broad, general rules should be the gold standard, rather than trying to come up with a rule for every little situation.

Do we really need to see something like this come up: "Oh noes, I am trying to weave a basket but the air is damp, what sort of bonuses/penalties should I get?"

not always, but i like to control what the PCs get to an extent. 'magic mart' doesn't accept cash with maybe the exception of consumables.

want that awesome magic item? do one of the following things

quest for said item

commision said item with an offering of favors in exchange, some of these favors might involve money, but it's not likely they will.

barter an equivalent item

find some item in a horde or off a monster's corpse

somehow aquire the item as an inheritance or recieve it as a gift.

find a way to perform a complex ritual to enhance yourself or enhance the item. the item is easier than enhancing yourself.


ciretose wrote:

As to the main point, some people want to play the game, some people want to "win" the game.

I prefer to play with the former.

+1 Well said!


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Black Knight wrote:
The fundamental rules should be simple and easy to use. Unnecessary complexity just slows down the game and makes it annoying for players who have to look up a rule for every situation.

I agree, the rules should be simple and easy to use. On the other hand, adhering to RAW without room for improvisation quite frankly binds the players and GM, and makes for a relatively boring game no matter how transparent it is. Players who are fluent in the rules have a distinct advantage over ones who don't, new players tend to get marginalized and discouraged, and the GM absolutely must be the person in the room with the most expansive knowledge of the game and mechanics to keep their players in check. That's especially true in games that have expansive rule sets.

I know for a fact as a GM I'm not going to go rifling through The Ultimate Complete Spiritual Warrior's Handbook: Dancing Blades of the Fifteen Heavenly Justices, Revised Edition, disrupt the flow of a combat and make the other players wait 15 minutes while we reference one throwaway rule, because Timmy insists he gets a +3 to Fifteen Point Armored Heart Assault against goblinoid barbarians with one testicle instead of his default +2 when he couldn't be arsed to get the modifiers right on his own character sheet in the first place or at least have the citation on hand.

One example I can think of offhand was in an Age of Worms game in which I didn't participate because the DM was RAW to a fault and very stingy on what goodies were accessible to players. One of the guys in the game (new player) was playing a spring attacking, partisan-wielding scout, and at one point had to make a climb check; the player just wanted to sling the partisan to his back, but the DM said he couldn't do that because a partisan was too long and he would have to drop it. That little exchange queued an hour-long argument over the DM's adherence to rules to the exclusion of fun, and three players ended up quitting the game because they'd had enough of it.

The DM's fiat to bend the rules, whether that's for Rule of Fun or inject an unexpected challenge for the party to surmount, is an important one. It's also a responsibility to use that fiat maturely, transparently, fairly, and reasonably. In the aforementioned "tight corridor" example, the DM shouldn't wait until the PC's are beset by the jibbering hordes to mention to the player that Elven Curve Blade isn't going to work; the DM would ideally say before the party enters the corridor, "by the way, that corridor looks tight, you're probably not going to be able to get a decent swing off. You might want to switch to your longsword and shield". That's a gimme comment that will be PC knowledge on the back of their weapon proficiency, that a player may not necessarily think of until it's too late.

Otherwise, if something specific and unexpected comes up in a game, just do what I do: get drunk and PIDOOYA, but be fair and fun about it.

Liberty's Edge

LT wrote:
Should knife fighters and big two handed blade fighters have some diversity in their fighting styles so that a knife fighter, for example, gets the fun of trying to lure enemies into areas where the knife fighter has the advantage (due to the small size of his weeapom)? Yes, why not?

Having a small "weeapom"* is never a good thing.

*I have never heard it called that before.


I would not have a problem with the space requirements provided when I am in the situation the area is described as I cannot swing my greatsword. I would not like to draw my greatsword and be told I cannot swing it so I waste a move action.


Quote:
1.) Allowing characters to take Charisma as a dump stat, but not penalizing them for it - after they use it as a dump stat, they ought to be able to say that their character is attractive

Not a problem. Appearance is all fluff anyway

Quote:
and, thereby, gain positive modifiers to social encounters

That isn't min maxing that's outright cheating.

Quote:
2.) Allowing a Wizard to collect a god-like spell book without having to worry about keeping it safe

If its an NPC targeting the book and not the DM it really is harder than you think, and riskier than you'd think, from the NPC's point of view.

3.) Allowing a character to optimize towards big weapons and never have to worry about the down side of when those weapons shouldn't be usable (due to space requirements)

There's a lot of advantage of large weapons that don't get taken into account, for example the reach advantage of a longsword over a dagger, or the difference between being hit in the head with a club and hit with a shortsword. The rules are 1) an abstraction of reality 2) an implicit agreement between all parties that these are the rules we're going to go by. Someone picking up a greatsword only to be told you can't use that in a 5 by 5 tunnel (which is patently ridiculous, you can thrust with it) is right to object because there's no rules against it.


LilithsThrall wrote:

there are three seperate topics in the forum right now which show that it's possible to optimize beyond min-maxing

Those topics are

1.) Allowing characters to take Charisma as a dump stat, but not penalizing them for it - after they use it as a dump stat, they ought to be able to say that their character is attractive and, thereby, gain positive modifiers to social encounters

2.) Allowing a Wizard to collect a god-like spell book without having to worry about keeping it safe

3.) Allowing a character to optimize towards big weapons and never have to worry about the down side of when those weapons shouldn't be usable (due to space requirements)

In all three cases, rather than min-maxing, the character maxes and then demands that the GM sweep the min under the rug where it will never be seen.

Am I simply old school? Does all the passion with which these things are argued influence the game designers? Does it indicate the future direction of the game?

1. I would need to see that thread. I am less RP-cenctric than your group, but expecting for attractiveness to give a bonus to social situation is a no go at my table. You want a bonus to skill, boost the base stat.

2. This one I would like a notice on, but it mostly depends on how the attempt to steal/destroy the spellbook is done. As long as there is no GM metagaming or GM Fiat then I probably would not care since I keep a backup, and try to hide it when I get to play a wizard anyway, which was only twice. I seem to get stuck GM'ing. :(

3. I don't enforce this one, but if a GM did I would understand. I would just like a warning since it is a houserule.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Aw, c'mon. That wasn't what he said and you know it.


Eacaraxe wrote:
that Elven Curve Blade isn't going to work; the DM would ideally say before the party enters the corridor, "by the way, that corridor looks tight, you're probably not going to be able to get a decent swing off. You might want to switch to your longsword and shield".

I agree with most of what you said. I just want to point out that ECBs are still pointy at the tips.

Maybe the problem with weapons and space is more about the slashing/piercing/blunt distinctions than the actual space. Because you can slash with a longsword. It's slightly less effective than a curved sword, but not even to a degree that would warrant -1 to anything. You can grab the blade of your greatsword (if it's anything like a real 2-handed sword it has a portion of the blade that isn't sharp) and use it like a spear. You can jab someone with the end of your club or staff without sacrificing effectiveness (more pounds per square inch).

Space isn't an issue unless the space is so restricting you have trouble moving. Hence the squeezing rules.


Theres just no way jabbing someone with the end of a staff is going to do the same damage as whacking them with it properly.

The same goes for this two handed sword used as a thrusting weapon stuff, you just aren't going to be doing the same damage. Yes you still get to use your muscles, but nowhere near the effectiveness of also getting to use your bodyweight and leverage correctly.


Shifty wrote:
Theres just no way jabbing someone with the end of a staff is going to do the same damage as whacking them with it properly.

Thrusting is one of the more lethal things you can do with a staff. They're worked into the routines with good reason.

I've had one of my walking sticks leave a nice dent in a telephone pole that way.

Quote:

The same goes for this two handed sword used as a thrusting weapon stuff, you just aren't going to be doing the same damage. Yes you still get to use your muscles, but nowhere near the effectiveness of also getting to use your bodyweight and leverage correctly.

The game doesn't model +'s and -'s to damage nearly as well as it models the penalties and bonuses to hit.


LilithsThrall wrote:

said stuff:
there are three seperate topics in the forum right now which show that it's possible to optimize beyond min-maxing

Those topics are

1.) Allowing characters to take Charisma as a dump stat, but not penalizing them for it - after they use it as a dump stat, they ought to be able to say that their character is attractive and, thereby, gain positive modifiers to social encounters

2.) Allowing a Wizard to collect a god-like spell book without having to worry about keeping it safe

3.) Allowing a character to optimize towards big weapons and never have to worry about the down side of when those weapons shouldn't be usable (due to space requirements)

In all three cases, rather than min-maxing, the character maxes and then demands that the GM sweep the min under the rug where it will never be seen.

Am I simply old school? Does all the passion with which these things are argued influence the game designers? Does it indicate the future direction of the game?

it all on your dm, just with me

1 you dump charisma = take some one with you or pay out the but for goods, and never do the talking

2 your book i would let slide but recurring bad guys tend to try and weaken the hell out of you and that book is a easy target

3 my players always have no less then 3 weapons so that never came up


meatrace wrote:

Yes. DMs that take a wizard's spellbook away ARE DICKS.
I'm glad we can agree.

you never seen the face on a player when you tell them there book is gone,

it is like dm bacon. especially if they been asking for it (sleeping in inns with no one on guard when you are being hunted by your big bad guy)


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Thrusting is one of the more lethal things you can do with a staff. They're worked into the routines with good reason.

Sorry, I am as familiar with the 'routines' as you are, and frankly the damage yield just doesn't compare. They aren't worked in as a show stopper, but usually to check the opponent and keep them where you want them in order to carry out a more substantial blow.


Shifty wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Thrusting is one of the more lethal things you can do with a staff. They're worked into the routines with good reason.
Sorry, I am as familiar with the 'routines' as you are, and frankly the damage yield just doesn't compare. They aren't worked in as a show stopper, but usually to check the opponent and keep them where you want them in order to carry out a more substantial blow.

Hmmmm.. got a favorite vegetable for testing that idea out on?

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