Opinions on Odd Conversation


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

1 to 50 of 58 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Last week at the shop there was a fairly normal discussion (well normal for a game shop anyway) about characters. But the conversation just got weird as it continued.

A few of us were talking about successful PC’s we had made for specific modules and AP’s. Some of the ones mentioned were:

  • Life oracle undead blaster for Carrion Crown
  • Paladin Oathbound vs. Undead for Carrion Crown
  • Divinination Arcane Trickster for intrigue heavy Council of Thieves (I think that was the AP)
  • Gillman Synthesist Summoner for Skull and Shackles
  • Gunslinger for the upcoming Warden of the Reborn Forge

    Several people seemed to get very offended by this topic. They made statements like: That is about the limit of incredibly cheesy meta gaming. How would you know you were going to be encountering undead to make an oathbound paladin. You just want to stomp all over the GM’s game. You couldn’t possibly know your career will be needing an investigator/spy to specialize in that. Etc…

    We tried to give the in character explanations. If you hated and were dedicated to fighting undead, it is perfectly logical that you could make contact with the professor that is studying them. It seems pretty likely that if I was a fairly mercenary Gillman that could use magic I would think about joining a pirate group. A gunslinger would almost have to at least start near the only place that makes guns. And he would be pretty interested if they start having problems and need help.

    They were having none of it. We were obviously just meta-gaming dice rollers. . The only coherent response that even kinda made sense is that you should build your characters before the GM even decides on an AP.

    Me: So it would be better if I built my heavily armored lich hunting dwarf paladin and then find the GM has decided on Skull & Shackles? But I stick with the character I made even though he won’t get much opportunity to do what he is good at, will likely drown in his full plate, and will almost certainly fall from grace since the AP is about becoming pirates?
    Him: Yes, that is the type of problems you have to learn to overcome with specialized characters.
    Me: But in-character my undead hunting paladin would refuse to become a pirate.
    Him: You have to find some way to work around that.
    Me: That really doesn’t sound like that much fun to me, why would I want to do that in-character or out-of-character?
    Him: That's just the way it goes sometimes.

    I was honestly a bit confused. So you should only play a gunslinger if you are going where the guns are not. You can only play an undead hunter if the campaign is mostly not about fighting undead. You can’t play a spy investigator if the campaign is going to be taking place amongst the ruling class.

    I can sorta see what they are saying sometimes. With some campaigns the assumed starting point is that you don’t know what is going to happen. You’re shipwrecked, ambushed, caught in a war zone, have amnesia, escaped slaves, etc… However, that is by no means always the case. And I always hate it when players bring PC’s that are a horrible fit for a campaign. But even in campaigns were you know specifically what the situation is you still should build for the campaign?

    Am I missing something? Have you folks encountered attitudes like this?


  • The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Whether you're optimized for a particular module or just running on a wing and a prayer, your build really needs no justification. Stories are told about those who succeed and the less likely the success, the more amazing the story. No one tells stories about those who failed regardless of whether they were optimized or not. Your character made it this far and if this is the test that ends him, whatever. It doesn't adversely affect the backstory because that's already happened.


    I have encountered people like the ones you describe who I feel need to realize that the 80s are gone, other I believe should have never picked up a die, and others who I feel in my heart are so power/meta/munchkin that they are playing the game "wrong". Point is its a big gaming world out there, and most people play differently than me, even when we're playing the same game. Which is why, if you are lucky enough to have a gaming group you mesh with, you should focus on making it last.


    Kazaan,
    Sorry, but I can't tell if you agree with them or not.

    Ciaran Barnes wrote:
    I have encountered people like the ones you describe who I feel need to realize that the 80s are gone...

    I played in the 80's and I still don't really understand what they were wanting.

    Ciaran Barnes wrote:
    ... if you are lucky enough to have a gaming group you mesh with, you should focus on making it last.

    I would say I have a group that I mesh with to an acceptable level. {Personally, I prefer games that are more serious and lethal if you are not careful. Also, where the storyline makes sense without having to say the BBEG is insane.}

    But I like the guys better than the other groups I've tried that play closer to my ideal. I can adjust my gaming easier than I can adjust my attitude to people. So we have fun and I'm sticking with them.


    Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
    Am I missing something? Have you folks encountered attitudes like this?

    Can't say I have, but they have to right to be wrong about things.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I actually like the idea of throwing a character into a situation she's not perfectly suited for. That would be a good roleplaying experience because the character would have to evolve from her starting point, both in abilities and maybe even personality.

    And with an AP, since you start at first level, there's still plenty of time to multiclass. Let's say you start as an alchemist but realize that a rogue would be much better for the AP your GM is running. An alchemist 1/rogue 5 isn't too terribly different than a 6th-level rogue, except that he's got an odd bit of flavor and some unexpected abilities.

    But I can see your point too, especially about a paladin in Skulls and Shackles. Drowning in heavy armor is no fun. But then again, I suppose the character could take off the armor and become a paladin 1/rogue 12, the pirate with a heart of gold.

    Silver Crusade

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    You should make your character blind and then just adapt?

    ...I think I can feel my head roiling.

    Thats like saying 'I'll write the characters and then just drop them into any story!'

    Sorry Pac-Man, now you're playing the Game of Thrones!

    What do you mean you just want to eat pellets and ghosts? This is a complex political drama!

    Or conversely..

    Yeah, I don't think Big-Heart Bear likes your character Littlefinger's suggestion very much, Care-A-Lot generally seems to frown on assassination as a method of dealing with its foes.

    Now you might be able to make Pac-Man claim the Iron Throne, or have Littlefinger do a carebear stare on some villain, and it might be awesome, but more likely your character just isn't built for it.

    When there's a mechanical difference its even more glaring. If I make Altair and then end up in the plot of Doom 3, its not going to be fun for me, or anyone else. Similarly, I don't think I'd want to make a computer/techy/cyberpunk like character, and then find out that the story is all about living on an island somewhere and the highest tech level is bamboo.

    Carrion Crown is about undead. A paladin who fights undead fits here perfectly. The fact he's mechanically suited for it, is a feature, not a bug.

    If I apply for a CG Scallywag with the Pirate archetype in the Pirate AP, I'm doing it right, not wrong.

    Where I can see irritation is where a character gets built for the AP's challenges, as opposed to the AP. I don't really make a pirate. I make a guy designed specifically to defeat anything a pirate game might encounter. Essentially playing Ray Stanz in a Cthulhu game, who resolves the appearance of an elder god by throwing a box out and zapping and trapping him.


    MYTHIC TOZ wrote:
    Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
    Am I missing something? Have you folks encountered attitudes like this?
    Can't say I have, but they have to right to be wrong about things.

    Agreed. We did not tell them they were playing wrong. (Even though they seemed to be telling us that we were playing wrong.)

    I did feel compelled to say that their games didn't sound like they would be fun for me.

    Dustin Ashe wrote:

    I actually like the idea of throwing a character into a situation she's not perfectly suited for. That would be a good roleplaying experience because the character would have to evolve from her starting point, both in abilities and maybe even personality.

    And with an AP, since you start at first level, there's still plenty of time to multiclass. Let's say you start as an alchemist but realize that a rogue would be much better for the AP your GM is running. An alchemist 1/rogue 5 isn't too terribly different than a 6th-level rogue, except that he's got an odd bit of flavor and some unexpected abilities...

    I have done some of that before. Where the characters are specifically stated to not know what is ahead of them. I will still give guidance suggestions. A rhino riding cavalier is not going to have much time on his mount in this campaign. A LG paladin may have a hard time with the storyline here. Social interactions will be heavy so dump you mental stats and skills at your own risk. Things like that.

    But something like Carrion Crown where even in character you know you are going up against undead you can't make an undead hunter?!? That I just don't get.

    Dustin Ashe wrote:
    ... I suppose the character could take off the armor and become a paladin 1/rogue 12, the pirate with a heart of gold.

    Then he would have been a fallen paladin 1 and rogue levels with an 8 in dex. :)


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
    Then he would have been a fallen paladin 1 and rogue levels with an 8 in dex. :)

    Hahaha. That may be true. In that case, I'd probably make the character an ex-paladin 1/fighter 12. Unless her Intelligence is low, it doesn't make much sense in-game for the PC to try to pursue what she's no good at.

    But you're talking to the guy who rolled up a fighter with good charisma and intelligence but an 8 in Constitution. Why? Flavor. He's been a nervous wreck his whole life and it's starting to take its toll on him.


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    DM: I'm gonna be running X module, the theme will be Y...
    Players: Ok we'll make characters appropriate to your campaign!

    When does this NOT happen?


    What I mean is that the stories are often contrived as is. A group of hapless adventurers just "happen" to meet up to share in a particular adventure despite being from very diverse walks of life. Not wanting to become a pirate isn't something impossible to work around and there are a lot of justifications one can come up with. The only limitations are those you place on yourself. The character is an avatar; yes, you come up with a personality for him, but you are coming up with the personality. There are plenty of stories where the "shining knight" archetype works with some "undesirables" to work towards a greater good. Additionally, keep in mind that what is a Pirate to one faction is a Privateer to another. And even in romanticized versions of Pirates, you can justify having an Undead-slaying Paladin; he'd come in handy if you encounter pirates who stole a chest of cursed Aztec gold. Lastly, don't feel shackled by the misconception that Lawful means you follow laws. Respect laws, maybe. Follow them, not necessarily. Paladins believe in the Law of Good first and foremost; that's where they derive their power from. His power comes from his "Goodness"; he's not going to be comfortable working with a bunch of pirates for whatever reason was contrived, but in the face of greater good, the Paladin's job is to put his own comfort aside for the sake of others. So, he may not have a desire to go on this adventurer, but for a sufficiently compelling reason (which a good GM would provide), he would go regardless. Prophetic dreams are a good way to drive this.

    Liberty's Edge

    As a dm, I ask people to create appropriate characters... or I write material appropriate for the characters.

    Some degree of 'out of place' is interesting... if it's what the player wants.

    This guy seems to think we need chess pieces to move 'normally ' in a Monopoly game.

    Silver Crusade

    To a quite limited extent I can see the other patrons point. All of the example characters you mention are going to do very well in the APs they are designed for. This does raise the possibility of making the group a little unbalanced or powerful. For example, I might not allow Gillmen as PCs for Skull and Shackles.

    That said, of course characters should be designed with the campaign in mind. A properly played paladin would quit Skull And Shackles or fall. Nobody should be forced into making that decision.

    Shadow Lodge

    5 people marked this as a favorite.

    Isn't that why they make the Player's Guides for the APs?

    AP Player's Guide wrote:

    The 16-page AP NAME HERE Player's Guide is an invaluable resource for players seeking to start this exciting new campaign.

    The guide presents details on how best to customize your character so that he'll fit into the campaign. What’s the best choice of favored enemy for a ranger? Which of the region's deities will your cleric worship? What about new weapons for your fighter? And everyone loves new feats; there are several to choose from in this product, all of which are specifically designed to aid you in your fight against the AP ENEMIES.

    Yet there's more to building a character than crunching the numbers; this guide also gives you extensive details on the region known as WHEREVER and the town of THAT ONE PLACE where the campaign begins. Build your character from the ground up as a living, breathing addition to this brand new world!

    Pathfinder is Paizo Publishing's 96-page, perfect-bound, full-color softcover Adventure Path book printed on high-quality paper that releases in a monthly volume. Each volume is brought to you by the same staff which brought you Dragon and Dungeon magazines for over five years. It contains an in-depth Adventure Path scenario, stats for about a half-dozen new monsters, and several support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Because Pathfinder uses the Open Game License, it is 100% compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world's most popular fantasy roleplaying game.


    Kazaan wrote:
    What I mean is that the stories are often contrived as is. A group of hapless adventurers just "happen" to meet up to share in a particular adventure despite being from very diverse walks of life. Not wanting to become a pirate isn't something impossible to work around and there are a lot of justifications one can come up with. The only limitations are those you place on yourself....

    So you agree with those guys that said you shouldn't make characters appropriate to a campaign. You should make them in ignorance of the campaign then try to find a way to make them work regardless. Correct?

    Maybe just me, but I don't see that as being much fun unless it is one of those few campaigns specifically designed that way.

    Liberty's Edge

    Conman the Bardbarian wrote:

    Isn't that why they make the Player's Guides for the APs?

    AP Player's Guide wrote:

    The 16-page AP NAME HERE Player's Guide is an invaluable resource for players seeking to start this exciting new campaign.

    The guide presents details on how best to customize your character so that he'll fit into the campaign. What’s the best choice of favored enemy for a ranger? Which of the region's deities will your cleric worship? What about new weapons for your fighter? And everyone loves new feats; there are several to choose from in this product, all of which are specifically designed to aid you in your fight against the AP ENEMIES.

    Yet there's more to building a character than crunching the numbers; this guide also gives you extensive details on the region known as WHEREVER and the town of THAT ONE PLACE where the campaign begins. Build your character from the ground up as a living, breathing addition to this brand new world!

    Pathfinder is Paizo Publishing's 96-page, perfect-bound, full-color softcover Adventure Path book printed on high-quality paper that releases in a monthly volume. Each volume is brought to you by the same staff which brought you Dragon and Dungeon magazines for over five years. It contains an in-depth Adventure Path scenario, stats for about a half-dozen new monsters, and several support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Because Pathfinder uses the Open Game License, it is 100% compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world's most popular fantasy roleplaying game.

    Yes. In spades.


    Conman the Bardbarian wrote:
    Isn't that why they make the Player's Guides for the APs?

    I was going to say the same thing. DMs and players should work together to make up appropriate characters. Heck, one of our players made up a cleric of Pharasma just so he could get full use of a certain item in Carrion Crown! It made sense within the setting for him to be there, so it was all good.

    Then again, our gaming group (even as it has evolved over 20+ years of gaming) has largely worked together to create an effective group of PCs rather than a collection of individuals. That's one of our longstanding traditions. It may make me a bit biased.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    As with most things, there is more than one way to view what is and isn't appropriate metagaming.

    It should be clear to any objective, clear-thinking person that building a specific undead-blasting character to play in Carrion Crown is meta gaming.

    Not all meta gaming is bad. But some is. The boundary between what is good and bad metagaming is a shifty boundary that changes with different perspectives and experience with the game.

    While I would not make an issue of it if the subject came up, I tend to think the folks arguing against crafting specific builds tailored to deal with a particular adventure path have a point. It is "stacking the deck" in your favor, using player knowledge that is then contrived to be character knowledge to avoid accusations of power gaming.

    I'm in carrion crown right now. I'm playing a detective bard. No one in our group deliberately built an undead focused character. We have a half-orc barbarian, a half-orc cleric, a human evocation specialist wizard, a gnome inquisitor and my halfling detective bard.

    So far we are doing fine. If we had an undead blasting specialist, the game would be way too easy I think. I'm glad we don't have one.


    We tried making characters blind once. We ended up with a rogue/acrobat, a rogue/ranger, a rogue/fighter, and a bard, headed into a high-fantasy war zone.

    We don't do that anymore.

    Liberty's Edge

    It would be a natural thing for an undead blaster to end up in Carrion Crown. The area is widely known to reek of undead.

    Any dm that would argue against that...I'm not sure I'd be playing.


    Ciaran Barnes wrote:
    ...need to realize that the 80s are gone...

    Nothing about gaming products in the 80s (or even before that) backs up the "go in blind and adapt - don't be a cheesy metagamer and build a character for the adventure at hand" message coming from the mentioned folks in the OP.

    Back in the day there was a little blurb at the beginning of every adventure module that basically told the GM how many characters, what levels, and what types the module was recommended for - and sometimes even what you can do to accommodate a different number of characters/different level/or different class(es).

    For a historically accurate reference, here is a quote from B2 - Keep on the Borderlands (mine is the 1981 printing), with bold added for emphasis.

    Notes for the Dungeon Master, paragraph 3 wrote:
    This module has been designed to allow six to nine player characters of first level to play out many adventures, gradually working up to second or third level of experience in the process. The group is assumed to have at least one magic-user and one cleric in it.

    Given the complete lack of customization present in all characters made with the D&D Basic Game for which the adventure was written, that basically translates to exactly the sort of information found within an Adventure Path player's guide (after adjusting for the RPG equivalent of inflation).


    Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

    Me: So it would be better if I built my heavily armored lich hunting dwarf paladin and then find the GM has decided on Skull & Shackles? But I stick with the character I made even though he won’t get much opportunity to do what he is good at, will likely drown in his full plate, and will almost certainly fall from grace since the AP is about becoming pirates?

    Him: Yes, that is the type of problems you have to learn to overcome with specialized characters.
    Me: But in-character my undead hunting paladin would refuse to become a pirate.
    Him: You have to find some way to work around that.
    Me: That really doesn’t sound like that much fun to me, why would I want to do that in-character or out-of-character?
    Him: That's just the way it goes sometimes.

    That's metagaming on his part. Making your paladin fall from grace just because you know that this is an adventure path? BS.

    It makes far more sense to design a character that has a reason to be part of an adventure path. That leads to a coherent story.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Adamantine Dragon wrote:

    ...

    It should be clear to any objective, clear-thinking person that building a specific undead-blasting character to play in Carrion Crown is meta gaming...

    Ok, but if you're going to define it that way, building a character with anything other than random dice rolls is meta-gaming.

    Adamantine Dragon wrote:

    ...

    Not all meta gaming is bad. But some is. The boundary between what is good and bad metagaming is a shifty boundary that changes with different perspectives and experience with the game.

    While I would not make an issue of it if the subject came up, I tend to think the folks arguing against crafting specific builds tailored to deal with a particular adventure path have a point. It is "stacking the deck" in your favor, using player knowledge that is then contrived to be character knowledge to avoid accusations of power gaming. ...

    PC's too powerful (even if only against what is in the AP) for the design of the campaign is a legitimate concern. I get that. If the whole campaign is just a walk in the park it is boring for everyone involved including me. I don't want that. I have had GM's ask me to tone back my PC a couple of times. I either retired the PC for a less optimized one or worked out some other restriction with the GM so the campaign wasn't ruined.

    As far as I could tell, their complaint wasn't really that the character would be too powerful, it was that it had been built specifically for the campaign.

    They seemed to be saying you should only play generic can work in any scenario characters or the best case is you should have characters specialized for the wrong thing.

    So if I read the book and decide I really like the Oathbound vs Undead paladin, I can only play it if I don't know whether or not I will be encountering undead. From what they were saying, if I had that character by chance and the campaign later turned out to be Carrion Crown, well then it is ok.


    Adamantine Dragon wrote:

    As with most things, there is more than one way to view what is and isn't appropriate metagaming.

    It should be clear to any objective, clear-thinking person that building a specific undead-blasting character to play in Carrion Crown is meta gaming.

    Not all meta gaming is bad. But some is. The boundary between what is good and bad metagaming is a shifty boundary that changes with different perspectives and experience with the game.

    Yeah, but the line isn't anywhere remotely close to "building a character that has a reason to be in the adventure." That's way, way, way, waaaaaay into the good territory.

    Adamantine Dragon wrote:

    I'm in carrion crown right now. I'm playing a detective bard. No one in our group deliberately built an undead focused character. We have a half-orc barbarian, a half-orc cleric, a human evocation specialist wizard, a gnome inquisitor and my halfling detective bard.

    So far we are doing fine. If we had an undead blasting specialist, the game would be way too easy I think. I'm glad we don't have one.

    It's not hard for a DM to ramp up the difficulty honestly. Since the APs indicate what level you should be at for each part, it is easy to ignore experience and have people level up when they are "expected to". I don't see a real problem with getting a kick out of the anti-undead guy in a campaign built around fighting undead. Ostensibly, that should be when the anti-undead guy is the most fun. Sure, the DM might up the number of enemies and difficulty to compensate, but it can still be fun to lay waste to hordes of undead.

    Liberty's Edge

    Let me put it this way...I built an undead blasting pally a while back. Should I pass on Carrion Crown, and wait to play him in some game where he'll never have half the utility, and I have to concoct a reason why he's not out fighting undead?


    Like most discussions of meta/powergaming it really boils down to personal preference and finding gamers who are like minded. I would imagine it also depends on how many PCs there will be, how experienced the players are, and general make-up of the group. As an example, I might find the anti-undead oracle a bit much in a 6 person group that also has a paladin and cleric, but would be fine with that character in a 3 person party with a rogue and wizard. I think it is in everyone's best interest to come up with a balanced party that can function in every encounter, not just stomp a single creature type.

    I'm currently GM'ing the Carrion Crown AP, and just want to point out that there is more to it then just undead. Sure, there are a lot of undead, but often the characters can spend several sessions without encountering a major undead creature. If everyone in the party is an undead slayer you might blow past several encounters, but I would say MOST of the encounters don't significantly involve undead, so your not breaking the game.

    PS I've been gaming for a long time, and there is nothing "olde school" about just playing a random PC. Then again, there wasn't much you could do to custimize a character back then, and even if you managed to make the frost giant slayer supreme, The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl was all of 8 pages long!


    I was once in a game with 2 paladins, a heavy armor fighter, a cleric and a ranger. It was a high seas adventurer and one of the worst games I ever played. Not because the DM or the game was bad but because the party didn’t fit the setting. The guy who played the ranger kept saying that “we should all play what we want” but I personally learned that sometime it’s more fun to pay a character that works in the setting then it is to play the character you want to that is almost useless in the setting.


    Carrion Crown, like all other APs I'm aware of, has a players' guide. We used the players guide. I don't recall if the players' guide has any specific warning about undead, but it certainly implied that undead would be encountered.

    With all the discussion of Carrion Crown online and from other gamers our group interacts with, we were all very well aware of the nature of the adventure.

    We all individually chose to build and play characters that we wanted to play. It just so happened that none of them have any special undead-combat abilities. If one of our group had built an undead-blasting specialist, nobody would have cared. I certainly wouldn't have objected and would probably have said something like "that's going to certainly be useful."

    So I really don't care if someone wants to use their knowledge of the adventure path to create a character tailored to tackle that adventure.

    I probably wouldn't do it. I never have, and don't have any real desire to. But then I like being perverse and proving the conventional wisdom wrong. That's why I'm playing a halfling bard with a chip on his shoulder in Carrion Crown. But I wouldn't accuse someone of being a power gaming munchkin if they did craft a character tailor made to be the most effective character possible against an adventure path.

    I might suspect it....


    Compelling and exciting stories are nothing more than a series of unlikely events happening back to back.

    Who wants to see the universe where John McClane DOESN'T make that jump? That's boring.

    So I think that a little bit of metagaming to get you set up with a fun and interesting character for the sake of the story is not a bad thing at all :)


    Oxades Moronacus wrote:
    ... one of the worst games I ever played. Not because the DM or the game was bad but because the party didn’t fit the setting. The guy who played the ranger kept saying that “we should all play what we want” but I personally learned that sometime it’s more fun to pay a character that works in the setting then it is to play the character you want to that is almost useless in the setting.

    Several years ago I was in a group that had one person that almost always seemed to bring a character that just didn't fit in.

    I was usually GM in that group, but I didn't pick the modules. The group voted on what would be played (iirc I usually gave them a list of ~4 choices).

  • Exploring the dwarven tunnels of undermountain.
    I want to play an elven pirate.
    Uhmm... You'll be to tall for the tunnels and there aren't any ships anywhere in it.
    That's ok, I can still make use of the skills in other ways.
    {shrug} Ok, go for it.
    A few weeks in he is complaining that I didn't put anything in there for his pirate captain to shine. {head shake}
  • Find the traitor in the court of the Snake Queen Nylithara.
    I made this really kool barbarian mastodon rider.
    Uhmm... Your mastodon won't even be able to get through the swamp and they certainly won't let it into the city.
    I will float it over from the coast on a specially made barge. Then I will stay out side of the city with the mastodon until we are going to do something out side the city.
    Uhmm... You know from the description of the module that this is a court intrigue adventure and takes place almost entirely within the city. More specifically mostly in the palace.
    It won't all be in the palace, I'll be all right.
    No I've already read it. It is like 90% within the palace walls. This is sounding just like your pirate captain only worse. You're going to be upset that you can't do anything.
    No it's not the same situation at all, it'll be fine.
    {Of course it wasn't.}
  • This is an almost no magic campaign. The gods have abandoned the world so there are no divine spell casters. There are a few people who have held onto the lore of the gods, but everyone treats them as crazy. Arcane casters are illegal. Anyone know to cast spells is subject to arrest, but it doesn't usually happen because the lynch mob hangs them before the authorities get there.
    I'm gonna be a mystic theurge.
    {face palm} no... just no...

  • Liberty's Edge

    Building a character that doesn't fit with the campaign is a perfectly acceptable thing to do as well - as long as you're doing it on purpose, and want to enjoy the fish-out-of-water experience. But especially with stories as specifically laid out as APs are, it's really easy for a "random" party to pull the whole thing off the rails, which winds up not being fun for anyone...

    Liberty's Edge

    Dragon, I do that too, sometimes, as long as I can justify it...it can be a blast playing characters out of their element. Still, playing one in their element is hardly what I'd call metagaming. Sure, the hobbits were out of place in LOTR, but everybody else was exactly the people you'd expect.


    Eldon, I need to temper my quirky sense of humor sometimes. I tend to be a bit too tongue in cheek for my own good.

    I don't really try to play "duck out of water" characters, it is important for characters to be competent so that the party as a whole can be successful. I just don't feel a compelling need to be OVERLY competent, which I see a lot of people striving for.

    My halfling bard detective has been quite useful so far in Carrion Crown. As someone else pointed out, there's a lot going on besides fighting undead. Sure he's not real great against undead, but he's been very good at research, investigation, diplomacy and influencing the townsfolk. I've had a great time playing him.

    If he were dead weight or even worse, an actual liability, I wouldn't enjoy that. He's an archer bard and so provides some useful ranged attack potential when the rest of the party is mostly melee or spellcaster.

    If I were playing an undead-slaying beast I doubt I'd be having half as much fun. What's the challenge in killing endless waves of undead if that's what you were specifically designed to do? I'd get bored.


    Adamantine Dragon wrote:

    ... My halfling bard detective has been quite useful so far in Carrion Crown. As someone else pointed out, there's a lot going on besides fighting undead. Sure he's not real great against undead, but he's been very good at research, investigation, diplomacy and influencing the townsfolk. I've had a great time playing him.

    If he were dead weight or even worse, an actual liability, I wouldn't enjoy that. He's an archer bard and so provides some useful ranged attack potential when the rest of the party is mostly melee or spellcaster ...

    There is definitely a whole lot more to that AP than just slaying undead. A PC better at investigating would have been a tremendous help to us. Our group is fairly weak on that and it is giving us troubles.

    Adamantine Dragon wrote:
    ... If I were playing an undead-slaying beast I doubt I'd be having half as much fun. What's the challenge in killing endless waves of undead if that's what you were specifically designed to do? I'd get bored.

    I haven't found it so. Yes, the undead encounters are probably much easier than the writers default expectations. However, the most difficult encounters we've had so far are all the necromancers and godling outsiders. My life oracle is not especially strong against those. So I've been needing to figure out strategies to use against them.

    Liberty's Edge

    Adamantine Dragon wrote:

    Eldon, I need to temper my quirky sense of humor sometimes. I tend to be a bit too tongue in cheek for my own good.

    I don't really try to play "duck out of water" characters, it is important for characters to be competent so that the party as a whole can be successful. I just don't feel a compelling need to be OVERLY competent, which I see a lot of people striving for.

    My halfling bard detective has been quite useful so far in Carrion Crown. As someone else pointed out, there's a lot going on besides fighting undead. Sure he's not real great against undead, but he's been very good at research, investigation, diplomacy and influencing the townsfolk. I've had a great time playing him.

    If he were dead weight or even worse, an actual liability, I wouldn't enjoy that. He's an archer bard and so provides some useful ranged attack potential when the rest of the party is mostly melee or spellcaster.

    If I were playing an undead-slaying beast I doubt I'd be having half as much fun. What's the challenge in killing endless waves of undead if that's what you were specifically designed to do? I'd get bored.

    Well...it's not all undead.... but your character sounds cool. I get where you're coming from...I'm often the guy with the offbeat character... but I build characters that do fit in some way or another. I wouldn't play dead weight, either.


    Why don't they just ask their GM whether their character idea is likely to be disruptive to the game or ruin the challenge?


    mkenner wrote:
    Why don't they just ask their GM whether their character idea is likely to be disruptive to the game or ruin the challenge?

    Isn't this a default part of the process for most gaming groups?

    Shadow Lodge

    Seriously? I thought it was arm wrestling. Hmmm...


    Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
    Kazaan wrote:
    What I mean is that the stories are often contrived as is. A group of hapless adventurers just "happen" to meet up to share in a particular adventure despite being from very diverse walks of life. Not wanting to become a pirate isn't something impossible to work around and there are a lot of justifications one can come up with. The only limitations are those you place on yourself....

    So you agree with those guys that said you shouldn't make characters appropriate to a campaign. You should make them in ignorance of the campaign then try to find a way to make them work regardless. Correct?

    Maybe just me, but I don't see that as being much fun unless it is one of those few campaigns specifically designed that way.

    Not quite. You shouldn't need to make characters that are "geared" to a particular campaign. It's true that being an undead-slaying Paladin or an undead-blaster Oracle is very fine-tailored to an AP like Carrion Crown and a Chaotic character with a strong "ocean" flavor of some sort is geared towards S&S, but you shouldn't always have to play a character like that. It can be a nice challenge to pick a more generalized character who develops and grows in line with the campaign. A Ranger who starts with Orcs as their favored enemy, but finds themselves in Carrion Crown will very likely take Undead as their favored enemy at lvl 5. But even then, he doesn't have to. He could take something else as his favored enemy. He'll either survive or he won't regardless of what he chooses. Sure, it would be very smart to take Undead when he finds himself facing down hoards of them, but if he takes Goblins as his next favored enemy but still manages to pull through anyway, well, more power to him. If the Paladin doesn't want to give up his heavy armor in favor of something more suitable for an ocean-based adventure, he's free to do so and if he never gets knocked into the drink, it he lives to adventure another day. It's kind of like wearing a seatbelt; if you get into an accident, it may be the difference between life and death, but if you never get into an accident, the point is moot as to whether it would have protected you or not.

    By the same token, you could very well make an Undead-slaying Paladin who just gets plagued by bad luck and, despite his specialization, gets whacked all the same. Going with the seatbelt analogy, if you go over a mile high cliff, having your seatbelt on is kind of a lost cause.

    But one of the most important things is that the GM and Players have a mutual and reciprocal responsibility for character development. The player has a certain character concept in mind and GM throws a variety of carrots and sticks to test that character concept in realistic, provocative, and unpredictable ways. It's bad GMing both to coddle you to the point that you're never challenged as well as to abuse you with the express purpose of causing your character concept to fail. These are rich and live worlds with plenty of room for character development not just based on raw number crunching. You need to provide some plot hooks for the GM and he needs to pull on them in realistic ways, then you respond to that to generate more plot hooks. And, if someone wants to run a contrary character (ie. the Mystic Theurge in the land of dead gods and outlawed arcana), he's just picked a very challenging option. It's not "bad" per say to do this, but it's quite awesome if he pulls it off. Never underestimate the value of a high Disguise and Bluff roll.


    I have seen this from the other end too.

    GM sends you against undead and the players team of undead slayers slaughters them. So the GM edits all remaining undead from the story line and replaces them with some other monster type.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Some GMs don't want you to have effective characters.


    Kazaan wrote:
    ... Not quite. You shouldn't need to make characters that are "geared" to a particular campaign. It's true that being an undead-slaying Paladin or an undead-blaster Oracle is very fine-tailored to an AP like Carrion Crown and a Chaotic character with a strong "ocean" flavor of some sort is geared towards S&S, but you shouldn't always have to play a character like that. It can be a nice challenge to pick a more generalized character who develops and grows in line with the campaign. ...

    Ok, that is perfectly reasonable to me. I almost never make a PC to curb stomp a campaign. But if I had read about the Oath vs Undead paladin and thought it was worth trying out, Carrion Crown would be the one I try it in.

    I have piles of builds I want to try 'some day.' But very few of them rely on a specific type of campaign to be playable. But they always will be aplicable to the campaign in some way.


    I dunno, man. For Skull and Shackles I told my players "Hey, spoilers? You're all going to end up being pirates. So make characters who would take the chance to become pirates if it was available to them. Also no Paladins unless you really, really, really want to and then we're going to have to talk about how you're going to make that work without getting keel-hauled the first day out."

    So everyone has at least one rank of Profession Sailor except for the bard. And the bard is a circus acrobat/aerialist, so she can tie all the knots and is perfectly comfortable running around in the rigging. Everyone's new at this and pretty focused on fluff over crunch so they're not super optimized or anything.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    It depends a lot. Are your PC’s dumped into a campaign out of nowhere? Or do they find out about the hordes of horrid undead, and that’s why they sign up in the first place? Best things is to tell the players what the PC’s would know, but not the module name itself, of course. I am pretty sure in Skull & Shackles you are shanghaied, so as long as the pirates would take a dwarf paladin in the first place, then OK.

    So- why are the PC’s there in the first place? That’s what you need to know before this is metagaming.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Spook205 wrote:

    Similarly, I don't think I'd want to make a computer/techy/cyberpunk like character, and then find out that the story is all about living on an island somewhere and the highest tech level is bamboo.

    At some point my players are going to ask me what in the world posessed me to run a game of Paranoia with a "Giligan's Island Meets Cyberpunk" theme.

    And I'm going to tell them it was you. Then I'm going to tell them they need to figure out how to make a datadeck out of coconuts and sea shells and do it quickly because the minigun equipped giant stone head is coming for them.


    Exactly how much fun is it to play an undead-killing-specialist paladin or cleric in a campaign with zero undead? How good is the resulting story? How does the idea that you can't focus your hero to suit the campaign mesh with the retraining rules that exist to let a character do just that?

    This seems like more GM-versus-players whinging. I mean, I design a character after I know what kind of campaign I'm getting into. I don't just say "Sure, I'll play in your campaign, here's my idea for a trip specialist" without at least a one-liner for what I'm getting into. I just don't have the months to waste finding out that this campaign sucks for my character when I could be having a blast playing a different one.

    Dark Archive

    Kryzbyn wrote:

    DM: I'm gonna be running X module, the theme will be Y...

    Players: Ok we'll make characters appropriate to your campaign!

    When does this NOT happen?

    Heck, the AP Players Guides even *suggest* both thematically and tactically appropriate build options (like characters able to handle cold weather hazards, for Jade Regent, or characters with aquatic / seafaring utility for Skull & Shackles).

    And, best of all, if you *don't* make a character that fits into the GM's plans (like, you want to play a member of race X or class Y, when the GM would rather not have race X or class Y in the setting at all), you are a 'special snowflake' worthy of ridicule and all selfish and entitled and whatever!

    Eh. Make a character to fit the game, you're a bad person. Don't make a person to fit the game, you're still a bad person.

    Roll on with your bad person-ness and enjoy the game.


    It seems that the subtlety of this situation is escaping people.

    Creating a character that fits into a campaign well is as different from creating an undead-blasting specialist as creating a well built general character is from creating a number crunching juggernaut.

    Which is exactly the point here.

    GM: "Hey, this campaign is going to have undead in it"
    Players: "Hmmm someone should probably play a cleric"

    Is completely different than:
    Players: "Let's go find the best optimized undead killing machines we can...."


    Adamantine Dragon wrote:
    ... If I were playing an undead-slaying beast I doubt I'd be having half as much fun. What's the challenge in killing endless waves of undead if that's what you were specifically designed to do? I'd get bored.
    Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
    I haven't found it so. Yes, the undead encounters are probably much easier than the writers default expectations. However, the most difficult encounters we've had so far are all the necromancers and godling outsiders. My life oracle is not especially strong against those. So I've been needing to figure out strategies to use against them.

    I don't think the Life Oracle is that optimized an undead killing machine. It is excellent against groups of weaker undead, but it isn't that hard for casters to take on groups of lower CR opponents. I would say that it is a strong choice for the campaign because it is a full caster with good social skills, but several builds of cleric, paladin, wizard, (and various non-core classes) would be just as powerful against undead, if not more so.

    Far from meta-gaming cheese!

    Grand Lodge

    Having just played Black Waters with my Life Oracle, I can safely say that they do not destroy undead. That was the job of the paladin with the sword and massive saves. I just made sure no one died while she dealt with the monstrosities.

    1 to 50 of 58 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
    Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Opinions on Odd Conversation All Messageboards

    Want to post a reply? Sign in.