Dual-Cursed Oracle's Misfortune (Ex) and showing GM's dice rolls.


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Jiggy wrote:


Anyone have any other data?

I've been guilty of this, actually.

Race for the Runecarved Key:
By leveraging a perfect fly speed and high speed, we managed to catch up with the assassin in the first round, and my character was able to finish him off with a Phantasmal Killer that round. When the portal opened, we knocked down all the interlopers with a cloudkill and Dimension Doored out of there. We all pretty much enjoyed this. However...

Fortress of the Nail:
When we faced the final enemy, it managed to breathe once, before my character had a turn. Again, it failed both will and fort saves vs Phantasmal Killer, and died in a very anticlimactic fashion. We all agreed that this was a pretty big downer of the session. It's the time I've most seen my VC visibly annoyed (apologies to you, Daniel Flood)

Silver Crusade

Amanda Holdridge wrote:

I will share an experience GMing though I will stay as vague as possible about details. (No need to upset anyone.) It involved the spell Color Spray at relatively low levels. I understand there is a lot you can do to get the save high, but have the recipient count as having fewer hit die than they actually do.

The caster in question had a combination of an incredibly high save and a very high initiative. So the combat would start, they would Color Spray, and then the combat would stop. Unless I lucked out and rolled a 19 or 20 the monsters or bad guys or whatever were essentially done. Maybe I should have fudged and switched out for beetle swarms and robots as they would ignore that spell.

The game ended with an uncomfortable and awkward silence from the majority of the group. I had one player tell me they wished I would have fudged some rolls so that the enemies would have had a chance. This is a paraphrase of what else they said on the matter, "I felt like putting on a skirt and grabbing some pom poms. I was just there to be a cheerleader anyway". The person felt they had wasted several hours of their time. Just as everyone has a right to their opinion they also have a right to feel as they do. I wondered if I should have not been so stringent in the rules and instead fudged the roll in a more positive light for a bad guy or two.

Any time a power build in involved, this is going to happen in PFS. I've gotten kind of numb to it. This will continue until they create "hardcore" adventures to siphon off the munchkins/min-maxers. Too many DMs are softies and let people with horrible non-combat skills pass their faction missions with flying colors.

Silver Crusade

Mekkis wrote:
Jiggy wrote:


Anyone have any other data?

I've been guilty of this, actually.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

The authors are at fault, not you. They need to make more well rounded BBEG encounters. And chase scenes are logically short circuited by many means. Fly spell is the most obvious one.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

N N 959 wrote:


[Please don't pay any attention to this webcam I'm setting up behind your GM screen :)]

What screen? ;)


MisterSlanky wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
MisterSlanky wrote:
So in a similar situation, we lost a potential local player to a very poor roll.
Based on what you described, I don't see how you can determine that but for the crit, he would have returned.
Well I could say "he was very enthusiastic until that moment."

I don't think you're going to find a die hard PFS player who is going to be enthusiastic after his characters get's KO'd.

While I agree with PFS's philosophy of handling complete newbies with kid gloves. I don't think one player is worth the integrity of the game i.e. dice sanctity in the eyes of the other players. You may have lost one, but five others did not get put off by a GM breaking the rules to service a bunch of bad decisions by a player who refused assistance from others.

The fundamental problem with your example is that it suggests people who make bad decisions should be rewarded or at the very least insulated from the consequences of those decisions at the expense of the game's integrity.

I'll go on record and say I'm sure there is an example of a situation where a fudged dice might have converted someone into a long term player. But to borrow rhetoric from Jiggy, where does one draw the line on how far PFS's goes to accommodate people?


I have been at tables with SoS players, and then mad damage characters. What is the difference between a cavalier on an axbeak one hitting the final boss and a player SoSing the last boss in one hit. It is the same result with either effect. Why do people hate on the Sos , but the crazy damage magus is cool when he one hits the boss?

Silver Crusade

Finlanderboy wrote:
I have been at tables with SoS players, and then mad damage characters. What is the difference between a cavalier on an axbeak one hitting the final boss and a player SoSing the last boss in one hit. It is the same result with either effect. Why do people hate on the Sos , but the crazy damage magus is cool when he one hits the boss?

I have no idea. Especially since the power build martial types can do their thing fight and fight, but SoS builds and the magus have expendable resources that can run out. Sir-trip-a-lot and sir-grab-a-lot builds are way better than an SoS wizard could ever dream of being.


I'll wade into this mess too. My local gms do a great job of running the scenarios as written and letting the dice fall where they may. Sometimes that leads to a rather fun experience where I'm on the edge of my seat and everyone at the table is interacting and having a great time. At least twice it has happened that most of the other players have done very little in the scenarios compared to my far from optimized building to rage prophet barbarian. In fact, there have been times that I've practically Sat out of fights to allow everyone at the table a chance to shine because if I hit, which I'm going to, it is going to be over and I feel like every player should get a chance to be engaged.

An example, my party and I come to the bbeg fight, which actually has two opponents but one is hidden, and I decide to swing for the fences. I raging charge power attack the giant enemy in front of us and one shot him after the one character who goes before me was able to move to a more advantageous position for themselves to participate, but hadn't acted outside of positioning. I felt like a big darn jerk at the table because I outdid everyone in each encounter we had. And the final fight was a particular let down because I one shotted the big threat and then did the same to the hidden cater when they were revealed. No one said they didn't have a good time, but I know I didn't. I get amped when my party pulls off exciting stunts and everyone is a part. If that giant monster had 15 more HP, then every party member could have had a chance to get a shot in and it would have felt like we all fought hard, even if I took a couple crits and had to use some consumables. As it stood, the fight was over and we took an hour to do paperwork and wait for the other scenario to finish.

My gms are great, but if they were a little more likely to fudge occasionally, they would probably extract some more fun out of the time allotted.

Silver Crusade

Drogos wrote:

I'll wade into this mess too. My local gms do a great job of running the scenarios as written and letting the dice fall where they may. Sometimes that leads to a rather fun experience where I'm on the edge of my seat and everyone at the table is interacting and having a great time. At least twice it has happened that most of the other players have done very little in the scenarios compared to my far from optimized building to rage prophet barbarian. In fact, there have been times that I've practically Sat out of fights to allow everyone at the table a chance to shine because if I hit, which I'm going to, it is going to be over and I feel like every player should get a chance to be engaged.

An example, my party and I come to the bbeg fight, which actually has two opponents but one is hidden, and I decide to swing for the fences. I raging charge power attack the giant enemy in front of us and one shot him after the one character who goes before me was able to move to a more advantageous position for themselves to participate, but hadn't acted outside of positioning. I felt like a big darn jerk at the table because I outdid everyone in each encounter we had. And the final fight was a particular let down because I one shotted the big threat and then did the same to the hidden cater when they were revealed. No one said they didn't have a good time, but I know I didn't. I get amped when my party pulls off exciting stunts and everyone is a part. If that giant monster had 15 more HP, then every party member could have had a chance to get a shot in and it would have felt like we all fought hard, even if I took a couple crits and had to use some consumables. As it stood, the fight was over and we took an hour to do paperwork and wait for the other scenario to finish.

My gms are great, but if they were a little more likely to fudge occasionally, they would probably extract some more fun out of the time allotted.

That's very thoughtful of you, but many power gamers like to see how fast they can end each encounter. I don't understand the appeal, myself. I *could* build characters just like that, but I don't see the point in PFS.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Mmmmm, data... tasty tasty data...

...

MOAR DATA!!!


David Bowles wrote:
That's very thoughtful of you, but many power gamers like to see how fast they can end each encounter. I don't understand the appeal, myself. I *could* build characters just like that, but I don't see the point in PFS.

You are applying what you find fun for other people and this is the main reason behind this debate. They call it the standard person problem applying how you feel to others.

Some people have fun being the most powerfull character they can be. Some people live normal lives and want to be superheroic on their weekends.

I try to make the most powerfull characters I can. Because I enjoy it. I do not want to be a so-so wizard or mediocre fighter. In response I appreciate the difficult mods. That is my taste and preference and I understand others are different.

Lantern Lodge

Jiggy wrote:

Oh, and speaking of getting more data, there are some things that I was really hoping to read more responses to in this thread.

For instance, yesterday I made a comparison between fudging a d20 roll and fudging the BBEG's attack/save bonus. The latter is explicitly illegal for GMs to do, while the former is being treated as a legal option in the GM's toolbox, yet both have the same effect. I had hoped to read a rebuttal from one of the GMs in this thread who believes fudging dice in the BBEG's favor is a legal option, but (unless I missed a post) not one of them has replied.

That's because there is no good rebuttal for it. It is the same effect acquired through slightly different means.

Silver Crusade

Finlanderboy wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
That's very thoughtful of you, but many power gamers like to see how fast they can end each encounter. I don't understand the appeal, myself. I *could* build characters just like that, but I don't see the point in PFS.

You are applying what you find fun for other people and this is the main reason behind this debate. They call it the standard person problem applying how you feel to others.

Some people have fun being the most powerfull character they can be. Some people live normal lives and want to be superheroic on their weekends.

I try to make the most powerfull characters I can. Because I enjoy it. I do not want to be a so-so wizard or mediocre fighter. In response I appreciate the difficult mods. That is my taste and preference and I understand others are different.

I save the powerful character exercise for homebrews. I don't think PFS is configured at all to stand up to power builds, which makes the entire exercise moot, I think. The problem is that the people using power builds in PFS ruin it for others. At that point, it arguably doesn't matter if you find it fun or not, because you are affecting others. However, I see no clear solution to this other than a) avoiding people I know that use power builds b) Paizo putting in "hardcore" modes for PFS.


I am the exact opposite. For home games I do not powergame. In a home game there are always exceptions and changes that can effect the character because the DM decides everything. If I make a character that shutdown everythgin with a grapple I will fight ghosts and slimes everytime. If you character dies the DM wills him to die and creatwed the rules for it.

In PFS there is fear of death. It will cost you resources and possibly end your character. You should be prepared to survive. Although everyone highlites the power gamer for what he does well. There is no one character that can solo every scenario. This is a team game and people should realize there are holes in any character and needs a team. There will always be fights were no matter how powerfull your character is you will be watching the whole thing. If a power gamer dominates everyfight then I would avoid that person. Not every power gamer. because I will find a reason to take my character out of a fight to give other people a chance. But I will not let myself die because of this.


I remember when it came out that 4th ed removed save or sucks. I was happy they got removed. Many people were angry. They said it wasnt d&d without save or sucks. Many went to pathfinder.

When I play casters and wreck combats sometimes people get irritated because I used a save or suck spell. They preferred to kill it with a sword. The irony isn't lost on me.


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Jiggy wrote:
Anyone have any other data?

To this day I recall (and likely always will) being at a convention years gone by, in the center table of a fairly large room..

The party was fighting some kind of spider that was either colossal or gargantuan with a ton of hps and at full health.

The wizard's pseudodragon familiar hit it (which was lucky in itself) and then the thing failed it's save vs the sleep poison (back in 3.5) and fell sound asleep and helpless at our feet.

What would have been a long fight was over very quickly. Had the DM cheated and ignored the natural 1 on the save, none of us would recall that combat as it was one of many over the years and years.. but as it is I always will.. and when the whole table cried out and laughed loudly... loudly enough to have the entire con turn an look at us, is something that I won't forget. I'm glad that wasn't stolen from me by someone else's decision on what I would like.

What makes a fight 'epic' is it's reality. Funny to say in a game, and a fantasy game at that.. but it's true.

If you have someone manipulating things to get a desired result.. frankly that's nowhere close to 'epic' in my book. It might make for a cool story, or the like.. but it has no depth or substance because things were taken out of the hands of fate.

That might be what you want, but it is not what everyone wants.

-James


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james maissen wrote:
If you have someone manipulating things to get a desired result.. frankly that's nowhere close to 'epic' in my book.

This is 100% how I feel about it. Epic results cannot be reached through fraud. They cannot be manufactured. The worst thing a GM can do to me is invalidate my decisions by setting aside the results of my actions. The intentions are irrelevant.


N N 959 wrote:
james maissen wrote:
If you have someone manipulating things to get a desired result.. frankly that's nowhere close to 'epic' in my book.
This is 100% how I feel about it. Epic results cannot be reached through fraud. They cannot be manufactured. The worst thing a GM can do to me is invalidate my decisions by setting aside the results of my actions. The intentions are irrelevant.

I made a thread on this and drew some serious hate.


Drogos wrote:
At least twice it has happened that most of the other players have done very little in the scenarios compared to my far from optimized building to rage prophet barbarian...

I nearly posted the same thing a couple of hours ago but deleted it. Why? Because my barbarian does nothing during the skill intensive or social parts of a mission. So the one place he gets to shine is combat. He's far from optimized but he's iconic 18 14 14 10 10 10. And while I'm happy to have other characters be a factor at combat, I've picked an area to shine and pay a price for that benefit.

Yes, sometimes I do feel like I've trivialized the BBEG's but I can say the same thing about the Paladin who's getting +10 on Diplo at 1st level when it comes to any of the social challenges.

Plus, I'm pretty sure I'll get humbled at some point, so I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

Silver Crusade

"There is no one character that can solo every scenario."

Demonstrably untrue. There are several power builds that can literally solo PFS scenarios.

Maybe we have a slight difference in working definitions. To me, there is effective, ineffective, and then scenario-breakers. Someone can bring a powerful character, like my cleric, without breaking the scenario.

But scenario breakers, like some builds that involve darkness, or huge dpr figher archers, can ruin the whole thing for everyone else.


Well a huge DPS fighter can be stopped with a will save. Him by himself can be easily killed by a kelpie and a low roll. Many things have dark vision, tremor sensem, and blind sight. Some "scenario breakers" may be able to solo a few scenarios, but they all have a weakness and it will come up.

I would love to see a DPS fighter solo fortress of the nail or heck even the cultists kiss.

Scarab Sages

Eric Brittain wrote:
james maissen wrote:
Artanthos wrote:


Which is more fun?

Letting the dice fall where they may.

-James

^^^^This

Most of are a great judge of what we think is fun but a very poor judge of what people feel is fun.

Unless you have either explicit permission from the entire table or have developed your telepathy to the point where communal mind reading is easy, let the dice fall where they may.

Sometimes you just have to get comfortable that as a GM your role is to mostly be the bug and only very rarely the windshield.

:-)

If you find sitting around not playing more fun than playing, why did you even join the game in the first place?

You were always welcome to sit around and not play all day if you find that enjoyable.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Let's focus down some of the data-gathering on how fudging affects players' fun.

First, I have so far seen little to no resistance in this thread to the idea of in-the-players'-favor fudging to help a newbie, so I don't think there's anything to demonstrate by listing times when that kind of fudging increased fun. The controversial part is fudging to increase the duration or difficulty of a fight, such as auto-passing the BBEG's save against a Round 1 save-or-suck spell. Let's focus on data points relating to how much fun was gained/lost in *those* types of situations. "Fudging in a newbie's favor increased their fun, therefore fudging extra rounds of boss fight does too" is a pretty laughable false equivalence, so let's keep the anecdotes relevant.

Second, it sounds like most of the non-theoretical examples of the first-round boss-drop reducing the table's fun have involved situations where the PC who dropped the boss was dominating the entire scenario. So is it the stance of the "pro-fudge" group that the primary purpose of this type of fudging is to rein in a spotlight hog? That's not the impression that was given in any of the defenses of fudging, yet that seems to be the situation in the anecdotes. So if fudging is the proper way of dealing with spotlight hogs, let's discuss that (I bet there are folks who would like to suggest switching to other methods). And if it's not, then where are the anecdotes about a table where the GM decided the fun thing for the whole table would be to block the only SoS spell the player cast all night?

I think if we can keep those two points in mind, we can get much more helpful data. Thanks!

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Oh, and still waiting for anyone to explain the functional difference between fudging die rolls and altering stats, such that one is legal and the other isn't.

Scarab Sages

N N 959 wrote:
I don't think you're going to find a die hard PFS player who is going to be enthusiastic after his characters get's KO'd.

I would love to have something KO, or even kill, my magus. I've been trying to earn my Risen title for several levels now. I've even tried playing up in season 4 scenarios.

Scarab Sages

Jiggy wrote:
Oh, and still waiting for anyone to explain the functional difference between fudging die rolls and altering stats, such that one is legal and the other isn't.

The difference is not one of function, it is one of semantics. Unfortunately, with RAW, semantics usually rule.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Artanthos wrote:
If you find sitting around not playing more fun than playing, why did you even join the game in the first place?

Do you call listening to someone unilaterally narrate a battle in a way that's completely unaffected by character choices, "playing"?

I'd rather actually play for 2 hours and then go find something else to do, than to sit around not playing for 5 hours.


I disagree with fudging to help players. People should know these are lethal. I have seen a DM rewind actions because it killed a player. I play with a guy he says players should lose thier first character so they do not get attached. His logic behind this is we have seen people cry thier characters die. If I was a newbie and someone told me they gave me the scenario by fudging a die I would not want to play my character as much because I did not earn it.

If a DM wanted to rewind an action to save me I would insit he kill my character.

On the second notion I did have a DM stop my spells all night and modify their HD in other scenario. Making my character pointless. When I found out I was cheated because he was not clever and rolled hte dice ont he table and doubled their saves I felt targeted.


Amanda Holdridge wrote:

I will share an experience GMing though I will stay as vague as possible about details. (No need to upset anyone.) It involved the spell Color Spray at relatively low levels. I understand there is a lot you can do to get the save high, but have the recipient count as having fewer hit die than they actually do.

The caster in question had a combination of an incredibly high save and a very high initiative. So the combat would start, they would Color Spray, and then the combat would stop.

I just wanted to thank you for sharing this, Amanda. I've been tossing around this EXACT character build for one of my games. While I don't intend the character to be a one trick pony, your post has shown me that I need to be very careful with how I play it. I'm one of those players who has the most fun when everyone in the group has fun. So while I still intend to spam color spray half the time, I will keep in mind that shutting down every encounter wouldn't add to my or anyone else's enjoyment.


Mystically Inclined, I have a gnome that does this. Although I make no effort to raise his iniative. What I do when I dominate too many of the fights is I goof off and do silly things. I often find a reason to be distracted. Just because you can do it, does not mean you should. Also there are lots of things that can not be colorsprayed, as I say when I make my knowledge check, does it have eyes?


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I'm going to respond to N N 959's post out of order, because it will help me respond more clearly. Linking for those who want to read the original.

N N 959 wrote:
I'll go on record and say I'm sure there is an example of a situation where a fudged dice might have converted someone into a long term player. But to borrow rhetoric from Jiggy, where does one draw the line on how far PFS's goes to accommodate people?

I'd like to go on record too! I personally hope that PFS will go very, VERY far to accommodate people. I think it's more in-line with the idea that organized play is an advertising tool for Paizo. I also think that Organized Play involves such a high number of people that the scenario designers aren't going to be able to please everyone. So the best solution is to please the highest amount of people that they effectively can. This is best accomplished by designers and GMs going out of their way to 'accommodate' their players. Especially new players! Regrettably, this risks stealing the challenge from an experienced, hardcore segment of the market. But those players can always find private games with GMs who know the players and are willing to challenge them. It would be much harder to institute a "we will challenge you" spirit nationwide, as players move between multiple GMs.

On a side note, I think this is the first time I've ever heard someone say in complete seriousness that a business should NOT accommodate their customer. o.O O.o

N N 959 wrote:
The fundamental problem with your example is that it suggests people who make bad decisions should be rewarded or at the very least insulated from the consequences of those decisions at the expense of the game's integrity.

I think you're forgetting that the reason those people are making bad decisions is that they are new to the game. I for one can attest that MY first pathfinder character was a complete MESS! The character wasn't a mess because I stubbornly refused all offers of help. The character was a mess because I was unfamiliar with the system, and kept making mistakes despite people trying to help. If my first pathfinder GM had refused to "reward" or "insulate" me from "the consequences of (my) decisions at the expense of the game's integrity," then I would have gotten extremely frustrated and quit. Nobody who is new to something should essentially be told 'I refuse to coddle you because you're not instantly an expert.' Especially not in a game that they play for fun.

N N 959 wrote:
While I agree with PFS's philosophy of handling complete newbies with kid gloves.

I'm glad to see your view on newbies and kid gloves. That likely means that we are in agreement with what I've said in the section above.

N N 959 wrote:
I don't think one player is worth the integrity of the game i.e. dice sanctity in the eyes of the other players.

Integrity of the game? Sanctity of the dice?

The point of the game is to have FUN. If there are any such things as integrity of the game and sanctity of the dice, then they are worthy sacrifices to the group having fun.

If there are groups out there who can't have fun because the sanctity of the dice has been violated, then the sanctity of the dice shouldn't be violated... BECAUSE it makes the game less fun. So for that group, such things should matter.

But again, we are talking about Organized Play. The people making the policies and rules need to be thinking nationwide, or even internationally. Preserving the fun for a small segment of the player base should NOT be made at the expense of alienating all new players.

And I for one would rather play with the new guy than anyone experienced veteran who puts the dictates of random dice rolls ahead of the feelings and fun of actual human beings. Those dice rolls only have value because we interpret them to have that value.

N N 959 wrote:
You may have lost one, but five others did not get put off by a GM breaking the rules to service a bunch of bad decisions by a player who refused assistance from others.

Again, I'll take the new guy. I'd prefer not to play with players who get put off or otherwise upset when the GM softballs a player who still has a lot to learn. The only time I can even see it mattering to those other players is if the attack/ability/spell/event had area of effect and all players get softballed. If new guy Jack is getting coddles, why should it affect old hand Jill? It's not like Jill's character is getting softballed, so why does it matter?


Finlanderboy wrote:
Mystically Inclined, I have a gnome that does this. Although I make no effort to raise his iniative. What I do when I dominate too many of the fights is I goof off and do silly things. I often find a reason to be distracted. Just because you can do it, does not mean you should.

+1! I'll definitely be keeping this in mind. :)


Jiggy wrote:
First, I have so far seen little to no resistance in this thread to the idea of in-the-players'-favor fudging to help a newbie...

I Absolutely am against fudging dice for newbies or anyone else. If PFS were to officially advocate fudging dice for any reason, it would ultimately erode the game and ultimately cause far more loss of revenue than it would create.

There are innumerous was to prevent PC's from dying within the scope of the rules and playing the scenario as written. None of them need involve fudging dice.


Mystically Inclined wrote:

Spoiler:
I'm going to respond to N N 959's post out of order, because it will help me respond more clearly. Linking for those who want to read the original.

N N 959 wrote:
I'll go on record and say I'm sure there is an example of a situation where a fudged dice might have converted someone into a long term player. But to borrow rhetoric from Jiggy, where does one draw the line on how far PFS's goes to accommodate people?

I'd like to go on record too! I personally hope that PFS will go very, VERY far to accommodate people. I think it's more in-line with the idea that organized play is an advertising tool for Paizo. I also think that Organized Play involves such a high number of people that the scenario designers aren't going to be able to please everyone. So the best solution is to please the highest amount of people that they effectively can. This is best accomplished by designers and GMs going out of their way to 'accommodate' their players. Especially new players! Regrettably, this risks stealing the challenge from an experienced, hardcore segment of the market. But those players can always find private games with GMs who know the players and are willing to challenge them. It would be much harder to institute a "we will challenge you" spirit nationwide, as players move between multiple GMs.

On a side note, I think this is the first time I've ever heard someone say in complete seriousness that a business should NOT accommodate their customer. o.O O.o

N N 959 wrote:
The fundamental problem with your example is that it suggests people who make bad decisions should be rewarded or at the very least insulated from the consequences of those decisions at the expense of the game's integrity.
I think you're forgetting that the reason those people are making bad decisions is that they are new to the game. I for one can attest that MY first pathfinder character was a...

There are many logical fallacies in your response. The most fundamental is the assumption that the game, as written, is not fun. That DM's need to constantly be ready to intervene to save newbies from themselves. You falsely assume that the game would be more successful by making sure newbies couldn't die. Your philosophy is one that is very popular and typical in the gaming community and very myopic.

As soon as the GM starts altering the fates of the players, it is no longer a game. Your cavalier treatment of game integrity suggests you fail to truly understand the importance of integrity not only for games in general, but most importantly for a community based game.

You also overlook a crucial aspect of playing the game straight up. The fact that I was not insulated gave meaning to my success. What is the point of making choices if they all lead to the same place? At that point, it's not a game, it's an exercise.

PFS is built on fairness and equality. That means I play under the same rules as everyone else. That means no player is given any benefits because of who they are or because they are less prepared.You can't have fairness and allow DM's to fudge dice. Those two things are mutually exclusive. The definition for a game on Wikipediae says the key components are "rules, challenge, and interaction." Your philosophy undermines two of these crucial elements.

I'll go on record and say a PFS environment where newbies can't die because GM's are breaking rules and fudging dice will never be as successful as one were the rules are applied uniformly from the start.

If PFS were to issue a rule that advocating dice fudging and setting aside rules specifically to save newbies, I would quit. Such a rule, once introduced, would be a cancer that would spread beyond it's original scope. As I said above, there are innumerous ways for GM's to keep newbies alive without breaking rules. I know, because I've done it with the First Step series. That Ledford is a nasty one.

EDIT: Apologies if I seem to jump around, 1 AM and the writing cohesion is a mess.

Silver Crusade

PFS actually needs to be still more difficult, I think. Too many power builds.


David Bowles wrote:
PFS actually needs to be still more difficult, I think. Too many power builds.

I agree PFS needs more difficulty, but where does it end?

There's going to be a point crossed where "normal" PCs/players have too much difficulty, and it still might not be difficult enough for the powergamers.
How would a new player fare in that world?
Let's not cater to the powergamers, please.
(BTW, I think season 4 has had a decent balance.)

Two solutions I see:
1) Encourage team-fun. Put it in your GM intro, "I expect you all to respect each others' desire to contribute to a successful mission. If you find yourself overshadowing the whole group, please refrain." (Winging it, there's probably a better way to put it.)
2) Have a "Hard Mode" added. Admittedly that's messy with small/large parties on low/high tier to add a third variable, but it could be as simple as a self-imposed penalty like -2 to all d20 rolls &/or 1/2 damage dealt.
In a couple of places notations could be made like:
Those in Hard Mode take max damage from this trap.
...auto-fail save.
...face this poison instead of that.
...fight in Deeper Darkness.
...face BBEG with immunity to these conditions.

Heck, there could even be an "Easy Mode" for beginners. I think it'd be kind of neat to move out of beginner level to normal to hard.
/brainstorm


Castilliano wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
PFS actually needs to be still more difficult, I think. Too many power builds.

I agree PFS needs more difficulty, but where does it end?

With the table deciding the level of difficulty that they want and can handle.

Rather than letting numbers decide what tier and apl to play, the table would decide.

That way if you have a PC that's made bad choices and is level 7, but contributes like a level 5, then you can elect challenges appropriate to their level. Likewise if your level 7 can handle something for a level 9, then so be it.

This would also help groups that find themselves severely mismatched to the point that they don't think they are as viable, and at the same time let those playing together with a high synergy elect more challenge.

The rewards would need to be normalized so as not to 'push' a decision on people, but rather let them understand that it is about finding the right level of challenge that the table will find fun.

It's either something like this, or constantly meandering trying to find the one size that will fit all.. which is just a myth and fallacy from the start,

-James

Scarab Sages

Jiggy wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
If you find sitting around not playing more fun than playing, why did you even join the game in the first place?

Do you call listening to someone unilaterally narrate a battle in a way that's completely unaffected by character choices, "playing"?

I'd rather actually play for 2 hours and then go find something else to do, than to sit around not playing for 5 hours.

In my example, no character choices were affected.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Artanthos wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
If you find sitting around not playing more fun than playing, why did you even join the game in the first place?

Do you call listening to someone unilaterally narrate a battle in a way that's completely unaffected by character choices, "playing"?

I'd rather actually play for 2 hours and then go find something else to do, than to sit around not playing for 5 hours.

In my example, no character choices were affected.

I think you need to re-read my post, as you've flipped the subject/object status of the "character choices", such that your comment is completely irrelevant to anything I said.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I just want to point out, for data points, I don't lose much sleep when a character dies. I usually laugh, sit back and watch, and start counting how much gold/prestige I have.

in fact, when Dexios died, I laughed and pointed out to another player (who was finding herself less than effective in the final combat) that she shouldn't be so down. Heck I died and laughed it off!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Mystically Inclined wrote:
Amanda Holdridge wrote:

I will share an experience GMing though I will stay as vague as possible about details. (No need to upset anyone.) It involved the spell Color Spray at relatively low levels. I understand there is a lot you can do to get the save high, but have the recipient count as having fewer hit die than they actually do.

The caster in question had a combination of an incredibly high save and a very high initiative. So the combat would start, they would Color Spray, and then the combat would stop.

I just wanted to thank you for sharing this, Amanda. I've been tossing around this EXACT character build for one of my games. While I don't intend the character to be a one trick pony, your post has shown me that I need to be very careful with how I play it. I'm one of those players who has the most fun when everyone in the group has fun. So while I still intend to spam color spray half the time, I will keep in mind that shutting down every encounter wouldn't add to my or anyone else's enjoyment.

I have a build that is not an scenario breaker, but he is super effective. I play him Shadow Lodge for one simple reason. I work very closely with the Local 122 and am friends with a lot of them. This means I have a pretty deep understanding of Union rules and laws dictating their schedule. If I feel that I've been dominating the table, I'll *in character* call a union break. I will then proceed to sit down and sharpen my lady, Matilida (read: my big pretty sword). I go so far as to suss out peoples builds in character, "Oh man, you're a caster? I'm going to you for smart stuff." etc etc. I try to find who plays what build and where it's strong. If I'm dominating, I'll pull back, if we're hurting, I'll play smart. Some players *do* self regulate.

I'm not getting into the Fudge For Fun Factor Upset or FFFFu.

Silver Crusade

Yeah, I think they are approaching the limit of reasonable for all comers in season 4.

"Hard mode" could also implemented by a few extra text blocks in scenarios that add templates to existing foes. Levels of just fighter or barbarian can do wonders for an NPC. Extra spell casting can help against broken martial builds. Access to fly, wind wall and fickle winds comes to mind. In fact, scrolls of these kinds of things should be standard equipment for hard mode NPCs. The key to challenging these kinds of PCs is to throw CR out the window and just make nasty, effective NPCs.

This involves extra math, but primarily resources only from the CRB. I would have to be run by experienced DMs. There would be extra rewards, but come with the disclaimer "this mode WILL try to kill you in potentially unfair ways; are you sure you want to proceed?".

People who play scenario breakers are unlikely to hold back, and it is really not the DMs jobs to try to talk them into it. Give the DM the tools to potentially challenge them.

And I like the idea of the table deciding the difficulty rather than a formula. Low level casters in particular can make for some unfortunate runs.

Silver Crusade 4/5

So...dual cursed misfortune, eh?

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One thing I am curious about. How many of us dual role? That is, how many of us play AND gm? I've benefited greatly from GMs willing to VOLUNTEER their time, talent, and money to allow me the opportunity to have some fun. At their expense.

I'm quite curious if players really understand that GMs are volunteering so that the players can have fun. It's not like the GM isn't having fun, and there is some decent reward for GMing, which is great!

But let's be honest: the GM is giving up something so you (I) can have fun. If they want to hide their dice-rolls, well, let them. If your overpowered ability is making them miserable, consider the long term effects of those actions. "Gee, every time I GM for (insert player or character class), I really don't enjoy it. I think I'm going to take a break from GMing for awhile". Is your goal as a power-gamer to ensure that GMs discontinue running games for you?

And by the way--when was the last time you bought something for your GM, brought then something, or heck, just asked your GM how you could help them out.

Wait, that's too convicting to me, personally. Forget I said that.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TetsujinOni wrote:


Your "roll a will save" would probably be met by a "if you can't tell me why, no."

To reply with a rule citation:

PRD wrote:
Succeeding on a Saving Throw: A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack.

You don't get to know what the spell (or effect) was even after a successful saving throw, even less before trying it.

- * -

The Misfortune revelation is terribly metagaming. It would not work without open dice rolls, but at the same time it is not clear if it can affect something that the Oracle don't perceive (like a sense motive roll, a successful sneak attempt and so on) and it can be used as a fortune ability when when a friend roll a very bad roll, something that don't seem to be the intended result.

How I would manage it:
1) all the roll related to actions that the oracle will perceive (actions by friend and foes, included spellcasting, skill checks where you can see or hear what is done and so on) would be rolled in the open, and the kind of action performed declared.

2) the rolls related to actions that the oracle can't perceive would be rolled secretly or openly, as is usual for the table. They wouldn't be affected by the misfortune revelation as using it require an action.

3) Any roll outside the 30' range is obviously not subject to 1), the revelation has a range limit.

It seem the best way to keep the revelation functional and reduce the metagaming aspect.

I dislike it, but I would allow the use of the revelation as a way to give friend good fortune, as the revelation text allow that.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Yiroep wrote:

I just had a scary thought...

A full party of dual-cursed oracles. First of all, they'd look like a bunch of gimp people trying to adventure (with all their curses), but those poor, poor enemies with their rerolls....

Missile weapons and other ranged attacks from outside of the 30' range. How many of those oracles had the Clouded Vision curse?

Liberty's Edge

Jiggy wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
As GM I am responsible for ensuring a fun game. If that means altering the occasional die roll, so be it. This can be in the players favor or against it.
Rather curious as to what types of situations might come up in which fudging dice against the player upholds your stated responsibility of "ensuring a fun game".

Off the top of my head, if they crit kill something they were supposed to capture/befriend.

Although I personally would just let them do it and learn not to be murderhobos every time they roll initiative.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
Jiggy, I would argue that having the BBEG fall to a save or suck on the very first round before his initiative would be unfun for quite a few players. I will allow myself the possibility for fudging, depending on the situation.
Funnily enough, in the just under 2 years I've been playing, not once has a GM asked me (during the game or not) whether or not such a fudge would increase my fun. Makes it really hard to believe that a "make the BBEG not fall too fast" fudge has anything to do with making sure the players have fun.

It is not about changing dice results or not, but I find depressing how you have decided to dismiss the GM fun and pleasure at playing as something that don't matter.

The GM is a player, even if one in a special position, and he should have fun playing. He is not paid to make you happy, he is there to share a good time with other players.

Silver Crusade

I don't plan on having "fun" as the GM, because the vast majority of scenarios still just get crushed. However, I do strive to adjudicate error-free.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Diego Rossi wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
Jiggy, I would argue that having the BBEG fall to a save or suck on the very first round before his initiative would be unfun for quite a few players. I will allow myself the possibility for fudging, depending on the situation.
Funnily enough, in the just under 2 years I've been playing, not once has a GM asked me (during the game or not) whether or not such a fudge would increase my fun. Makes it really hard to believe that a "make the BBEG not fall too fast" fudge has anything to do with making sure the players have fun.
It is not about changing dice results or not, but I find depressing how you have decided to dismiss the GM fun and pleasure at playing as something that don't matter.

Diego, I didn't dismiss the GM's fun. Look at the post I was replying to (right there in your quote: Adam Mogryodi's comment). He made a specific comment about "quite a few players". I was replying to that comment, in that context. Replying to someone in-context is not the same as being dismissive of whatever's outside that context. I'd thank you to read more carefully before making accusations.

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