Confessions That Will Get You Shunned By The Members Of The Paizo Community


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My characters always carry short swords...

It was good enough for Rome, it's good enough for me


knightnday wrote:

To be fair, many of them turn up but usually in a much more diluted form than you might find on the Internet, which tends to blow things up to Godzilla-like proportions.

You might not play with someone who calculates DPR, but they grouse about doing less damage or someone else doing more or what weapon might be better.

I would agree with that first assertion (yes, a GREATLY diluted form), the second not as much, but only in the respect that it just tends to come out in combat as "I need a better weapon," and they eventually get one, and are happier with it.


Randarak wrote:
The so-called Stormwind fallacy

You are blessed my friend. Many of us have played with other players [or god-forbid a GM] who iconifies said fallacy, looking at the sheet and jumping down your throat for 'being a rollplayer not a roleplayer' and 'would it kill you to put a little effort into your character instead of your numbers!?'

Usually they shut up after they see high quality roleplaying, but sometimes they convince themselves that they aren't seeing what they're actually seeing, that despite the proof right infront of them this minmaxed monstrosity CAN'T be roleplayed better than their characters... it just can't.


What is the Stormwind Fallacy?


Wow. I've never encountered that.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
What is the Stormwind Fallacy?

Found elsewhere:

"The fallacy, in short, is that optimizing prevents roleplaying, or that roleplaying prevents optimization. It is called the Stormwind Fallacy after Tempest Stormwind, the WotC forum poster who first wrote up a thread dealing with the fallacy and indicating its fallaciousness."


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
What is the Stormwind Fallacy?

The assumption that as character building optimization increases, roleplaying decreases [and the reverse]


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I have an irrational hatred of MLP in any form. It admit it's irrational. Entirely so. I have no wish to change it. It makes my blood boil in a distinctly uncomfortable and bad way. It makes me froth around the mouth. It makes me go on lengthy tirades ... and with that, I mean I could rant about my utter loathing of the concept for hours, while going increasingly bugeyed and my voice goes hoa ...

I'm not going there. That's like serving the MLP-brigade my head on a silver platter.

I gnash my teeth when confronted by it, to the point of getting a headache. It gives me irritable bowel syndrome if I have to stomach it. It gives me nightmares overrun by legions of squeaky-voiced, badly animated ponies! I wake up drenched in cold sweat, fighting back the armies of magical friendship while I try to disentangle myself from the smothering duvet of fluffy ponydom.

It's traumatized me ... to the point of wanting to claw my eyeballs out and puncturing my eardrums so I never have to listen to those awful squeaky voices again ever!

And my players are teasing me mercilessly with it, the low-down rotten gits.

I hate them. Just a little bit.

Not the ponies. I hate them a lot.


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Randarak wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Which ones have you never seen?

Well, let's see, just for some examples of arguments/controversies/concepts that I never really experienced or knew about:

Martial characters are weak.
That ANY class is broken.
Player's being outraged by not being able to play a particular character in the GM's game.
DPR=I never played with anybody that took the time to calculate it
People not using experience points
The sheer, unadulterated venom towards paladins
The so-called Stormwind fallacy

This is just off of the top of my head. I'm sure I could come up with a notebook of others if I did the research.

Before archetypes came out, I've never been able to make a monk work well in a game. And I've never seen a rogue work well as a GM or a Player. Going as far back as 2e (the game I started with in 1990), I've never seen a fighter be able to do the things a wizard can do at high levels. Of course, the game was designed that way. It's still designed that way today, and this inherent design is what a lot of people talk about. This is one of the reasons I brought Path of War into my home games; to me, it reduces a lot of that disparity.

I've never seen a broken class in play as far as higher power classes go (I disagree with the assessments of overpowered gunslingers and summoners), but I have seen broken classes on the weak end, like the rogue. Every single one of my players who has played one ended up hating how useless their character was for the majority of the game (we play APs). In the Iron Gods game I'm running right now, our rogue player ditched his character at 5th level so he could play something that actually contributed to the party. He had such high hopes for his character, and he was very disappointed with how it worked out. Nearly useless, always going unconscious, barely do enough damage, couldn't find traps, and more.

I've never seen someone actually outraged (using the literal definition of the word) at being unable to play a character concept, but I have seen people bummed out over it for a day or so. I think the OUTRAGE is hyperbole by people who argue against letting players play a specific concept they have in mind. Take the grizzled veteran concept we were talking about; myself and one other both said we were kind of bummed at not being able to make the concept work very well, and it got turned into us being outraged over it and being told to "just get over it." Oh the misinterpretations of written communication!

I have calculated DPR many times going as far back as 2E. Back then, I had to do it to prove to my GM that no, the Fighter wasn't overpowered, and the reason he's doing that much damage is because it's a natural progression of how the game works when you take the standard weapon proficiencies and level up. This was one of the many times I was told by that GM that she "doesn't do math" and any argument which involved math was automatically disqualified and ignored. I don't game with her anymore. I do it a lot now for the many of the same reasons. When my group voted to bring Path of War into the game, one of the dissenters said no because the classes were too over powered. I came back the next session with DPR calculations to show that they weren't, whether compared to a barbarian or a magus (they're about the same power level as a magus), and definitely not more powerful than a wizard, which that player thought was true. I've also done similar analysis with the Psionics vs the Wizard to show that it also wasn't over powered compared to a wizard, when we voted to bring Ultimate Psionics into our game.

I don't use XP. At all. My group abandoned it a few years ago. Too much trouble trying to keep track of it and ensuring that the characters are at the appropriate power level for an AP. The APs give points in the book that say what level a character should be when they reach that point, and that's when they level up. Even when we run a home brew game, we either don't use XP or significantly change the charts, so you get a one or two points per session or mission, and it only takes a handful of points to level up. None of this "I need 200,000 more XP" stuff.

I've personally witnessed venom towards Paladins. That same GM above "loved" Paladins because she loved putting them in situations that would force them to choose one bad outcome over another and force them to Fall. I've never seen any venom towards the paladin as a bad class, and I think it's a great class (I love playing them!), but I do see GMs try their best to make Paladins fall from grace whether the player wants it to or not. I've even debated with many GMs on these boards about poor rulings they gave with their paladin players. Just the other week there was an interesting thread about how a GM hated the paladin so much, that he tried to make it Fall - when in fact the character was just a devout fighter! Quite an amusing story. That GM later just disintegrated the character with no saving throw (one or two sessions later, I believe), just out of spite for the player not actually playing a paladin that the GM could force to fall.

I have personally experienced the stormwind fallacy, and I used to believe it myself. The stormwind fallacy is the belief that one cannot be a good role player AND a good optimizer at the same time (ever seen someone argue the difference between roleplay and rollplay?). I even used to advertise my games as "No min-maxers, munchkins, or optimizers wanted." My old 2e group despised 3e when it came out *because* of how easy it was to min-max. It took me actually playing with other gamers away from that group, as well as reading these boards, to discover how wrong I was. I was the epitome of the stormwind fallacy.

So they all do exist. All these things were true for me before I started coming to the forums. We make up quite a variety of experience between all of us, and just because one person hasn't experienced something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Others have different experiences. And as a community, we share our experiences and learn from each other. That's what I love about these boards, that I can learn from people that I would have otherwise never known. :)


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Randarak wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Which ones have you never seen?

Well, let's see, just for some examples of arguments/controversies/concepts that I never really experienced or knew about:

Martial characters are weak.
That ANY class is broken.
Player's being outraged by not being able to play a particular character in the GM's game.
DPR=I never played with anybody that took the time to calculate it
People not using experience points
The sheer, unadulterated venom towards paladins
The so-called Stormwind fallacy

Like you, these things never came up in any game conversation I ever had before coming to the forums. I'd never heard of some of these controversies before.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
What is the Stormwind Fallacy?
The assumption that as character building optimization increases, roleplaying decreases [and the reverse]

Didn't know it had a name, glad to discover it does. Form follows function after all.

As for my confession, I suppose I don't really have much of one. At first I thought making Shardra transgender was just tokenism and pandering, but I kept reading and thought it was handled reasonably well for the first transgender character in mainstream fantasy (for real trans, not counting, like, Ranma or whatever). I still don't think the decision particularly adds anything to the character, but I don't think it detracts either.

Kind of weak for a confession, I know.


The Alkenstarian wrote:

I have an irrational hatred of MLP in any form. It admit it's irrational. Entirely so. I have no wish to change it. It makes my blood boil in a distinctly uncomfortable and bad way. It makes me froth around the mouth. It makes me go on lengthy tirades ... and with that, I mean I could rant about my utter loathing of the concept for hours, while going increasingly bugeyed and my voice goes hoa ...

I'm not going there. That's like serving the MLP-brigade my head on a silver platter.

I gnash my teeth when confronted by it, to the point of getting a headache. It gives me irritable bowel syndrome if I have to stomach it. It gives me nightmares overrun by legions of squeaky-voiced, badly animated ponies! I wake up drenched in cold sweat, fighting back the armies of magical friendship while I try to disentangle myself from the smothering duvet of fluffy ponydom.

It's traumatized me ... to the point of wanting to claw my eyeballs out and puncturing my eardrums so I never have to listen to those awful squeaky voices again ever!

And my players are teasing me mercilessly with it, the low-down rotten gits.

I hate them. Just a little bit.

Not the ponies. I hate them a lot.

From what I've seen the ponies are quite well animated.

Sure you aren't thinking of the 80's version?

Liberty's Edge

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Stormwind is just a specific version of the False Dichotomy fallacy.

Why people think it needs it's own special name I have no idea.


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Krensky wrote:

Stormwind is just a specific version of the False Dichotomy fallacy.

Why people think it needs it's own special name I have no idea.

Well, in a way, names are like hats and bowties. To quote Terry Pratchett, a King without a crown is just a mildly weak-kneed man with a penchant for telling people what to do, and a wizard without a hat is just an old man with a big ego. Adding into the quotation mess is a good old Doctor quote of "Bowties are Cool." In short, might as well rename it to make it more interesting.


Krensky wrote:

Stormwind is just a specific version of the False Dichotomy fallacy.

Why people think it needs it's own special name I have no idea.

Because it's memorable and provides immediate context.

And the same reason many other fallacies have their own specific name despite being subsections of broader categories: language grows.


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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
What is the Stormwind Fallacy?

It is something that got blown way out of proportion from a WotC forum user. Myself and some of the other forum goers were having a debate about various aspects of role playing and I mentioned how, IME, older players were more often concerned with role playing first, mechanics second, and younger players the other way around.

The WotC forum poster took umbrage with that, created a nifty new fallacy, and named it after himself.

For the past 9 years now its been used as a paper shield anytime anyone says anything remotely related to preferring role playing over optimization.


bookrat wrote:
So they all do exist. All these things were true for me before I started coming to the forums. We make up quite a variety of experience between all of us, and just because one person hasn't experienced something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Others have different experiences. And as a community, we share our experiences and learn from each other. That's what I love about these boards, that I can learn from people that I would have otherwise never known.

I've never denied the existence of any of these concepts Bookrat (you're very eloquent, by the way). What I was saying is that since I've been reading the forums, I have seen ideas and assertions about the game that I've never encountered before in a long history of gaming, and considering how long its been, I've just found it surprising.

It may simply be that I've probably only played with maybe three dozen players over the years and that I've been lucky enough to play with people who I've been like-minded with in regards to the game or the rules. Or perhaps I simply never sat down and analyzed it before.

Suffice it to say, its been interesting...

Liberty's Edge

Tormsskull wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
What is the Stormwind Fallacy?

It is something that got blown way out of proportion from a WotC forum user. Myself and some of the other forum goers were having a debate about various aspects of role playing and I mentioned how, IME, older players were more often concerned with role playing first, mechanics second, and younger players the other way around.

The WotC forum poster took umbrage with that, created a nifty new fallacy, and named it after himself.

For the past 9 years now its been used as a paper shield anytime anyone says anything remotely related to preferring role playing over optimization.

It certainly has become a thought terminating clice.


The Alkenstarian wrote:

I have an irrational hatred of MLP in any form. It admit it's irrational. Entirely so. I have no wish to change it. It makes my blood boil in a distinctly uncomfortable and bad way. It makes me froth around the mouth. It makes me go on lengthy tirades ... and with that, I mean I could rant about my utter loathing of the concept for hours, while going increasingly bugeyed and my voice goes hoa ...

I'm not going there. That's like serving the MLP-brigade my head on a silver platter.

I gnash my teeth when confronted by it, to the point of getting a headache. It gives me irritable bowel syndrome if I have to stomach it. It gives me nightmares overrun by legions of squeaky-voiced, badly animated ponies! I wake up drenched in cold sweat, fighting back the armies of magical friendship while I try to disentangle myself from the smothering duvet of fluffy ponydom.

It's traumatized me ... to the point of wanting to claw my eyeballs out and puncturing my eardrums so I never have to listen to those awful squeaky voices again ever!

And my players are teasing me mercilessly with it, the low-down rotten gits.

I hate them. Just a little bit.

Not the ponies. I hate them a lot.

Hey there, you seem to be in a bit of distress. You should do something about that.

I honestly don't mind MLP. I don't love it, but I also don't mind it. I do mind Pinkie Pie. A lot. She's super annoying, and I don't see how anyone can stand her.


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Randarak wrote:
bookrat wrote:
So they all do exist. All these things were true for me before I started coming to the forums. We make up quite a variety of experience between all of us, and just because one person hasn't experienced something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Others have different experiences. And as a community, we share our experiences and learn from each other. That's what I love about these boards, that I can learn from people that I would have otherwise never known.

I've never denied the existence of any of these concepts Bookrat (you're very eloquent, by the way). What I was saying is that since I've been reading the forums, I have seen ideas and assertions about the game that I've never encountered before in a long history of gaming, and considering how long its been, I've just found it surprising.

It may simply be that I've probably only played with maybe three dozen players over the years and that I've been lucky enough to play with people who I've been like-minded with in regards to the game or the rules. Or perhaps I simply never sat down and analyzed it before.

Suffice it to say, its been interesting...

My pardon for misreading you. :) And thank you for the compliment.

For those who've never experienced some of these things, like yourself, I've found they come in one of a few groups: they have a smallish set of co-players with which they've enjoyed the game and haven't had any problems come up (lucky, I tell you!), they have experienced it but it got lost in the noise and they forgot, or they just didn't analyze it and/or recognize it when it happened.

Basically, exactly what you said. :)


Tormsskull wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
What is the Stormwind Fallacy?

It is something that got blown way out of proportion from a WotC forum user. Myself and some of the other forum goers were having a debate about various aspects of role playing and I mentioned how, IME, older players were more often concerned with role playing first, mechanics second, and younger players the other way around.

The WotC forum poster took umbrage with that, created a nifty new fallacy, and named it after himself.

For the past 9 years now its been used as a paper shield anytime anyone says anything remotely related to preferring role playing over optimization.

Nobody has a problem with you preferring not to optimize.

The only shunning here is those who automatically assume that because someone optimizes, they therefore aren't roleplaying [or are roleplaying worse because of optimization.]


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optimization and role playing -

It's like a Koan, one of those Zen teaching things, you know, like my favorite one

If you want ice cream, you can't have ice cream
If you don't want ice cream, you can have ice cream

See, that's an Ice Cream Koan


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Terquem wrote:

optimization and role playing -

It's like a Koan, one of those Zen teaching things, you know, like my favorite one

If you want ice cream, you can't have ice cream
If you don't want ice cream, you can have ice cream

See, that's an Ice Cream Koan

While I appreciate the skill of that pun, I'm afraid that I have to shun you for it simply out of principle.


I thought it was a drinking game. Every time I see it (and you'll see it a lot in many threads), I feel sorry for anyone drinking if they see Stormwind, fallacy, strawman, and a few other terms. I honestly think that arguments would be shorter and threads quieter if you couldn't use those terms. They make up about half of some poster's vocabulary and arguments. :)

Edit: Yes I've said it before. Sorry, a thread entirely about fallacies brought it back to mind. I'm wondering if I am seeing things when sentences read Blah blah fallacy blah fallacy blah. ;)


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knightnday wrote:

I thought it was a drinking game. Every time I see it (and you'll see it a lot in many threads), I feel sorry for anyone drinking if they see Stormwind, fallacy, strawman, and a few other terms. I honestly think that arguments would be shorter and threads quieter if you couldn't use those terms. They make up about half of some poster's vocabulary and arguments. :)

Edit: Yes I've said it before. Sorry, a thread entirely about fallacies brought it back to mind. I'm wondering if I am seeing things when sentences read Blah blah fallacy blah fallacy blah. ;)

A while back, a friend of mine was trying to learn about fallacies. I sent him links to a ton of posts on these boards for him to gain context on some fallacies. I see a lot of them, and I see a lot of misused fallacies. It was definitely an educational opportunity!


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I shun the use of the word "stealth" as a verb.


Randarak wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Which ones have you never seen?

Well, let's see, just for some examples of arguments/controversies/concepts that I never really experienced or knew about:

Martial characters are weak.
That ANY class is broken.
Player's being outraged by not being able to play a particular character in the GM's game.
DPR=I never played with anybody that took the time to calculate it
People not using experience points
The sheer, unadulterated venom towards paladins
The so-called Stormwind fallacy

This is just off of the top of my head. I'm sure I could come up with a notebook of others if I did the research...

We found that at a certain level, IN OUR GAMES, yes Martial characters are completely outclassed. The level is when spellcasters get 9th level spells. However, for really low levels, martial rules. So, since few campaigns get to 17th+ level,it's not much of concern to US.

Master Summoner. A few PrCs in 3.5. Not much is really broken but quite a bit can be broken by a abusive player.

I have had a few players say something like "But I really wanted to play a Psion/gunslinger, etc" but were mollified when the DM said "Ok, next campaign" or "How about we let you have a special repeating handcrossbow?" . Don't say NO!!!, say "well, how about...."

Only on the boards.

In one game, with busy professional adults with families, etc, we started leveling the whole party at certain points- it was great.

One jerk paladin player can leave a bad taste in peoples mouths. OTOH, I have had a hundred times more jerk players with "CN but really CE" PCs than paladins.

It's a generalization that Powergamers concentrate more on "roll play" than "Role play". It's not a hard and fast rule by any means. Just like I cringe when I hear a CN alignment- but they are not all jerks by any means.


DrDeth wrote:
It's a generalization that Powergamers concentrate more on "roll play" than "Role play". It's not a hard and fast rule by any means. Just like I cringe when I hear a CN alignment- but they are not all jerks by any means.

This gets into a question of definitions.

If a Power Gamer is defined [as the name's specific verbiage implies] as one who's focus is on power, then yeah, a Power Gamer is definitely going to concentrate more on 'roll play' than 'Role play.'

If a Power Gamer is defined [as seems to more often be the case] as one who wants a powerful character- whether or not they value the Roleplay- then in many cases there will be no sacrifice of Roleplay for Rollplay. [Those cases that remain are the first type of Power Gamer listed in the above paragraph.]


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I love leveling without EXP. It takes a lot of stress off the GM (doesn't have to count every monster and special EXP granting whatsit), and off the player (so how much EXP did we get for that? We got some for that right, it took us like THREE HOURS!).


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Yeah, I abandoned EXP over half a decade ago and I'm never looking back.


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bookrat wrote:
but I have seen broken classes on the weak end, like the rogue. Every single one of my players who has played one ended up hating how useless their character was for the majority of the game (we play APs). In the Iron Gods game I'm running right now, our rogue player ditched his character at 5th level so he could play something that actually contributed to the party. He had such high hopes for his character, and he was very disappointed with how it worked out. Nearly useless, always going unconscious, barely do enough damage, couldn't find traps, and more.

Couldnt find traps? Then he built his character wrong. Sure, early rogues had issues with DPR and staying up, but they could find traps better than any, even after they allowed Trapfinding to other builds. Unless you had Perception as a Class skill, enuf skP to max it, Trapfinding and the ability to get the talent "Trap Spotter " then you couldnt equal a rogue for trapfinding. Mind you, yes, many AP's simply do not feature the kind of devious Gygaxian traps from earlier editions. In many you could just take the damage and heal, with hardly a slow down. (Try that in ToH!). This is the fault of the AP, not of the class.

And I also blame the devs there in not telling us upfront on a AP that a specialized trapfinder wasnt required. This was expected int he past, so to see it almost never really important was a paradigm shift.

So yeah, it's true- a bog standard Rogue from the Core RB was inferior in everything BUT finding traps. Still, if he couldnt do that- that's his fault, not the class.


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Rynjin wrote:
I love leveling without EXP. It takes a lot of stress off the GM (doesn't have to count every monster and special EXP granting whatsit), and off the player (so how much EXP did we get for that? We got some for that right, it took us like THREE HOURS!).

I agree, and it also takes into consideration, non-combative situations the players handle well.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
The only shunning here is those who automatically assume that because someone optimizes, they therefore aren't roleplaying [or are roleplaying worse because of optimization.]

For the first part (optimization automatically causes someone to be worse at roleplaying) - I would agree with you. Using all-encompassing words like 'automatically' or 'always', etc., is clearly going to make the statement false.

Instead I would (and have) said that IME, meaning this is of course a subjective statement, I have noticed a trend that people who are hyper-focused on optimization tend to not be as focused on roleplaying as those individuals not hyper-focused on optimization.

This is not an absolute statement, it is not if you do x, y must follow. Its just that my experience leads me to believe there is a link (positive correlation) between the two.

As I've said previously, I know firsthand people that build incredibly powerful characters that are also amazing roleplayers. Those individuals happen to be in the minority in my experience.

As for the second part (you roleplay worse if you optimize) I think this part gets really tricky to define. There are different degrees of optimization - some would argue that a level 1 fighter taking the Power Attack feat is optimizing, others would say its not, and others still would say if a level 1 fighter does not take Power Attack they're gimping their character.

Let me throw out an example though. Imagine a player makes a character, and as part of the character's backstory, they indicate that the character is terrified of water. During various game sessions, the player roleplays the character as afraid of water, refusing to cross rivers and streams even when his allies are in peril.

Later during that session, the character locates a magical item that would be beneficial to the character across a river. Suddenly, the character is no longer afraid of water, and swims across to retrieve the item (yes, this actually happened in a game I DMed.)

I would say this is an example of a player violating the spirit of their character in order to achieve mechanical power. This one instance may be explained away by some other factors, but if a pattern of these type of actions is formed, it becomes pretty obvious that the player is prioritizing the acquisition of mechanical power above that of the integrity of their character.

I would say this is an example of a player being worse at roleplaying due to their desire to optimize their character's mechanical power.


bookrat wrote:
I've personally witnessed venom towards Paladins. That same GM above "loved" Paladins because she loved putting them in situations that would force them to choose one bad outcome over another and force them to Fall. I've never seen any venom towards the paladin as a bad class, and I think it's a great class (I love playing them!), but I do see GMs try their best to make Paladins fall from grace whether the player wants it to or not. I've even debated with many GMs on these boards about poor rulings they gave with their paladin players. Just the other week there was an interesting thread about how a GM hated the paladin so much, that he tried to make it Fall - when in fact the character was just a devout fighter! Quite an amusing story. That GM later just disintegrated the character with no saving throw (one or two sessions later, I believe), just out of spite for the player not actually playing a paladin that the GM could force to fall.

Those are just bad DMs. I have never experienced one like that IRL.


Tormsskull wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
The only shunning here is those who automatically assume that because someone optimizes, they therefore aren't roleplaying [or are roleplaying worse because of optimization.]

For the first part (optimization automatically causes someone to be worse at roleplaying) - I would agree with you. Using all-encompassing words like 'automatically' or 'always', etc., is clearly going to make the statement false.

Instead I would (and have) said that IME, meaning this is of course a subjective statement, I have noticed a trend that people who are hyper-focused on optimization tend to not be as focused on roleplaying as those individuals not hyper-focused on optimization.

This is not an absolute statement, it is not if you do x, y must follow. Its just that my experience leads me to believe there is a link (positive correlation) between the two.

As I've said previously, I know firsthand people that build incredibly powerful characters that are also amazing roleplayers. Those individuals happen to be in the minority in my experience.

As for the second part (you roleplay worse if you optimize) I think this part gets really tricky to define. There are different degrees of optimization - some would argue that a level 1 fighter taking the Power Attack feat is optimizing, others would say its not, and others still would say if a level 1 fighter does not take Power Attack they're gimping their character.

Let me throw out an example though. Imagine a player makes a character, and as part of the character's backstory, they indicate that the character is terrified of water. During various game sessions, the player roleplays the character as afraid of water, refusing to cross rivers and streams even when his allies are in peril.
Later during that session, the character locates a magical item that would be beneficial to the character across a river. Suddenly, the character is no longer afraid of water, and swims across to retrieve the item (yes, this actually happened in a game I DMed.)

I would say this is an example of a player violating the spirit of their character in order to achieve mechanical power. This one instance may be explained away by some other factors, but if a pattern of these type of actions is formed, it becomes pretty obvious that the player is prioritizing the acquisition of mechanical power above that of the integrity of their character.

I would say this is an example of a player being worse at roleplaying due to their desire to optimize their character's mechanical power.

I won't argue with your basic premise [in fact, the lack of absolutes indicates that there must be people out there who ARE limited in this way.]

What I would say though, is that the scene you presented is an excellent opportunity for character development. For the character to face his fears and find a way to continue moving forwards towards his goals.

Diving straight into the water to swim for it is crazy- given the character's mentality, but building a raft [with a lifeline tied to something sturdy on the shore of course] or if the distance is short enough perhaps felling a tree across the river or any number of other things.


Tormsskull wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
What is the Stormwind Fallacy?

It is something that got blown way out of proportion from a WotC forum user. Myself and some of the other forum goers were having a debate about various aspects of role playing and I mentioned how, IME, older players were more often concerned with role playing first, mechanics second, and younger players the other way around.

The WotC forum poster took umbrage with that, created a nifty new fallacy, and named it after himself.

For the past 9 years now its been used as a paper shield anytime anyone says anything remotely related to preferring role playing over optimization.

Yeah, that's pretty much my problem with it.

I sum it up as "Yes, you can roleplay any heavily optimized character concept well. You cannot heavily optimize any character concept you come up with for roleplay reasons. Therefore, the higher power level is required for a game, the less concepts are viable."

If you have to keep up with the guy who built a twinked out wizard, there are a lot of concepts which might appeal to the roleplay side, that just aren't going to cut the mustard. No matter how well the guy with the wizard roleplays his character. And I'm not just referring to deliberately broken low Str/Con 2H fighters or the other usual strawmen. At some point you have to start sacrificing your concept for power if you want to contribute. If everyone's down around the baseline, there's a lot more open to you.
The heavy optimizer crowd doesn't usually see that, because they mostly start with the mechanical concept first, so they'll always have the good build to work with and can wrap roleplay fluff around it as needed.


There are very few concepts the game will support at all, which can't be supported by fairly effective mechanics with a 'wrapping of roleplay fluff' around it, as opposed to whatever default mechanic one might lean to first.


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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:

If you're looking to speed game play up, I'd have to throw in a recommendation for 5th edition D&D not using a battle map. Theater of the mind combat took a little while for my group to get used to, but we now regularly get through 3-4 times as much content per session than we did with Pathfinder.

I cut my teeth in the 80s on theater of the mind, and to this day we prefer it over using a battle mat.

I use it exclusively. Save grids and minis for chess. :P


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I have grown to loathe when someone even brings up the words optimized, munchkin, minmaxing, roleplayers vs rollplayers, or any subject related to them.

It's the religion and politics at the dinner table of RPGs. Everyone has their opinion, it's adamant, they're completely and utterly willing to admit the other side may even be possibly right, and they'll just spit the same two arguments back and forth at each other, somehow finding a dozen ways per participant to spit out the same tired canned argument.

...but then after the GMPC debacle, I think that might be most of the boards. I'm getting a little jaded; it's probably why I'm participating so much less around here lately.


My anecdotal experience is the same as Tormsskull's.

IMO The hydrophobia sufferer who crosses the water to get a more powerful item, then justifies it as "character development" is wrapping their optimisation in roleplaying fluff (that is not hard to see through), rather than actually roleplaying.

Often optimisation and roleplaying can walk along the same path. The relevant question is what do you do when optimisation says go left and roleplaying say ago right? If you pay no heed to following the optimisation path this is an easy decision.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
thegreenteagamer wrote:
...but then after the GMPC debacle, I think that might be most of the boards. I'm getting a little jaded; it's probably why I'm participating so much less around here lately.

If I'm being honest, it is the reason I don't bother actually making arguments with anyone around here anymore. Reasoned arguments don't actually accomplish anymore than sarcastic quips do, so why waste energy reading and writing posts?


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
If I'm being honest, it is the reason I don't bother actually making arguments with anyone around here anymore. Reasoned arguments don't actually accomplish anymore than sarcastic quips do, so why waste energy reading and writing posts?

You'd be surprised. The problem is that most people, when a post actually does sway them, they don't pop up and say "Thank you TriOmegaZero, your post really got me thinking about how I view x. I appreciate your input!"

Often at best they see the other person's point, abandon the thread and then look for another thread to debate in.


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I shun those who don't play PF and only comment to b$@^& about it.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I shun those who don't play PF and only comment to b$@^& about it.

Does this also apply to those of us who have houseruled PF nearly beyond recognition?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Tormsskull wrote:
Often at best they see the other person's point, abandon the thread and then look for another thread to debate in.

Well, I try to give people feedback, but I have this deathly allergy to admitting I'm wrong, so it is difficult.


I house rule house rules


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Tormsskull wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
If I'm being honest, it is the reason I don't bother actually making arguments with anyone around here anymore. Reasoned arguments don't actually accomplish anymore than sarcastic quips do, so why waste energy reading and writing posts?

You'd be surprised. The problem is that most people, when a post actually does sway them, they don't pop up and say "Thank you TriOmegaZero, your post really got me thinking about how I view x. I appreciate your input!"

Often at best they see the other person's point, abandon the thread and then look for another thread to debate in.

If someone changes my viewpoint I tell them so, it's only polite.


Tormsskull wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
If I'm being honest, it is the reason I don't bother actually making arguments with anyone around here anymore. Reasoned arguments don't actually accomplish anymore than sarcastic quips do, so why waste energy reading and writing posts?

You'd be surprised. The problem is that most people, when a post actually does sway them, they don't pop up and say "Thank you TriOmegaZero, your post really got me thinking about how I view x. I appreciate your input!"

Often at best they see the other person's point, abandon the thread and then look for another thread to debate in.

People don't come on the Internet to have their minds changed you goobers. They come on the Internet to tell everyone else why they're right and you should do what they say. If you've had your mind changed then you're clearly using the Internet wrong.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:

I shun those who don't play PF and only comment to b$@^& about it.

Does this also apply to those of us who have houseruled PF nearly beyond recognition?

Not really. You don't complain nearly as much as those who don't play the game.. .LOL

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