Does your GM ignore your immunities?


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Wow. I guess it's pretty common after all.


Unfortunately, it seems so.

Though, I don't think that this case is intentional (We did see the rolls on the random encounter charts, after all) but -- New campaign I've been in, was in, before it got sent off to hiatus land I was playing a diplomancer wizard with a bard healbot/partybuffer cohort.

Just about every encounter we had, the enemies were either immune to mind-affection, immune to cold-damage (Our primary damage-dealer was a ice specced wilder), or both. Did not for fun and quick combat make.

It can really get to be a right pain in the arse, after the first few sessions, so if it's still a prevalent thing, I'd advise speaking to the other people in the group and see if they're coming to similar conclusions - And then, from there, going to your gm if the problems are large enough to need addressing.


I have, while GMing, ignored a player's immunities. Sort of. I didn't actively choose not to target them, I just didn't include monsters with those abilities in the first place. And not because I knew they would get the immunity, but because one of the players doesn't really like charm/compulsion stuff. Otherwise I have monsters learn the same way players do. Swing and miss on a 15, maybe let someone else take that one (or gang up with aid another). Finally hit and do less damage than you should? Hit a different target, one without DR. My spellcasters have been pretty good about rolling knowledge checks and asking the right question (which is invariably "does it take less damage from fire/electricity"). It helps that we've hit higher levels with more to track and I'm unfortunately forgetful. So I'll throw things out with all the important descriptors and let the players work it out on their own. Things like "everyone make a Will saving throw, this is a mind-affecting fear effect" or "reflex save for half, this is a poison effect". Poison and fear tend to be the biggest immunities and come in plentiful supply on monsters (so the players do see the benefit).

While playing... it's complicated. I've had both the good and the bad, but the bad were all-around bad. One of the ones who avoided immunities also scaled up combats to the highest to-hit/AC/saves/etc. (to be more challenging and exciting!), ignored skills in favor of high/low rolls, told us to build mid level characters (with standard WBL) and then tried to make low level magic items rare and special, it was just a whole collection of bad GM behaviors with a significant lack of planning ahead. The other was too focused on GM vs players and almost pouted when I won a battle by description (Dragonfire Adept and Entangling Exhalation against a souped-up zombie). The first guy I'm positive was actively avoiding immunities since I already knew he was stacking the deck, the second one I think was just too focused on "beating the players" and picked out monsters that we didn't have special resistance/immunities too. So the second one wasn't necessarily malicious, just a little new to DMing. Or the concept of a coherent dungeon, come to think of it. Our first dungeon read like a mad-lib from the bestiary.


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Manwolf wrote:

Yes it's bad when the GM uses "well everybody knows the fighter would be susceptible to mind affecting spells, but sorry about the TPK because the BBEG used Charm Person on the fighter in the first round and he killed the wizard using his full attack, then killed the cleric in the second round, then..."

I prefer to randomize the targets sometimes. If the bad guys don't know who they're dealing with, sometimes instead of simply picking the weaker looking one or stronger looking one, they just pick one based on a roll of the die.

Actually, when it is based on a feature of a class, it doesn't bother me as much. As in your example - "Hey, that's a heavily armored warrior swinging a sword around. Warriors like that are often more likely to be susceptible to mind altering magic than, say, that skinny robed dude tossing lightning around." Now, he wouldn't know a paladin from a fighter (unless the paladin was doing things like smiting, laying on hands, or adjusting the stick in his nethers) but targeting the warrior isn't exactly GM metagaming.


Malwing wrote:
Just make a 'passive' check that's a constant'take ten' and use that unless they want to actively roll.

Yeah, sometimes, a GM should probably use like a ...randomly rolled motivation table. It can be hard to keep yourself completely honest, since your own experiences bleed over to your characters (and you have to keep track of hundreds as GM- much harder to stay in character than when you are a PC). So it might be easier if you took some of it out of your hands and put it into a table that is something simple like this:

"1-9 take out the strong guys first- the weak are easy pickings"
"10-18 ignore the strong guys and take the weak ones first- we can focus more on the strong guys later"
"19- closest enemy"
"20- GM's choice"

This would mostly be for the initial motivation, of course. Once they start noticing the guy shooting fireballs, wiping them out, then they can certainly focus on him.

Of course you can change things up based off of prior information, or perhaps a perception check.

Of course, you can also do weird and funny things. Like a wild animal (or any monster of the same intelligence) can roll 'circle around and attack the smallest one first'...and then they attack the dwarf paladin instead of the 6'4" half orc wizard.

Oh, and side note about the original post- I can see paladin immunities getting ignored. They are a big showy group well known for their ability to resist mind control- and they are often in full armor with religious iconography (making them easier to spot). Ignoring the barbarian with superstition, when a lot of barbarians do not have superstition...and a raging barbarian is rarely different visually from a really angry fighter? Eh.


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Petty Alchemy wrote:
I don't think DMs do this intentionally to antagonize their players, it's just difficult to shove aside meta-knowledge to do something you know will be useless. Like not instantly looking for a source of fire/acid damage when fighting trolls, even if you don't have that in-game knowledge.

That's one difference between good and bad GMing.

A really great GM (and I'm not saying I am one or that it's easy to be one) will have NPC's act as they would with no knowledge they wouldn't have in game of the PCs' abilities-- though they should get the same types of Knowledge rolls PC's would get.

On the other hand, I don't believe in going the other way, either, by having NPC's attack the tank to make the tank feel more useful (though I do believe that if a character buys an expensive magic item, takes a feat chain, or builds up a skill bonus, a GM should try to work things so that at least a couple of times a situation arises where it's useful, if it wouldn't otherwise have come up).

Some things are common sense, though: Opponents with any sort of Int and Wis will go after the guy in no armor casting spells rather than the tank with heavy armor going after them. The PC's should have to use battlefield positioning and sometimes even take feats to protect the squishies and force the NPC's to have to deal in melee with those built for it.


Manwolf wrote:

Yes it's bad when the GM uses "well everybody knows the fighter would be susceptible to mind affecting spells, but sorry about the TPK because the BBEG used Charm Person on the fighter in the first round and he killed the wizard using his full attack, then killed the cleric in the second round, then..."

I have to admit that I target the big armoured fighter instead of the skimpy caster type because of the martial=bad will save thing.

Of course, in my case the big armored two handed fighter is actually an inquisitor, and the party member with the lowest will save is a slumber witch, so...

Yay* for NPC pseudo meta-game tactics backfiring?

*or rather, "I want to hit the skimpy girl with this hold person spell but the big swordsman is such a juicy target and they can't tell that the swordsman is a high will, wis based class and the girl is a witch with a mediocre will save and slumber and is likely to take them out with a single hex and the swordsman is a native outsider anyway and I DON'T WANT TO MAKE THESE CHOICES BECAUSE THEY ARE TERRIBLE BUT THEY JUST...DON'T...KNOW *sobs*"


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Snowblind wrote:

I have to admit that I target the big armoured fighter instead of the skimpy caster type because of the martial=bad will save thing.

Of course, in my case the big armored two handed fighter is actually an inquisitor, and the party member with the lowest will save is a slumber witch, so...

Yay* for NPC pseudo meta-game tactics backfiring?

*or rather, "I want to hit the skimpy girl with this hold person spell but the big swordsman is such a juicy target and they can't tell that the swordsman is a high will, wis based class and the girl is a witch with a mediocre will save and slumber and is likely to take them out with a single hex and the swordsman is a native outsider anyway and I DON'T WANT TO MAKE THESE CHOICES BECAUSE THEY ARE TERRIBLE BUT THEY JUST...DON'T...KNOW *sobs*"

I would want the same backfire if I made a fighter that was a half elf with dual minded (and the bonus vs enchantments), a decent wis score, a will boosting trait, iron will, and two different 1/day reroll feats depending on the spell.

Essentially, if I have a will save that would make a caster cleric jealous early on, and it is not from stuff that people can see, I want to be targeted with will saves just as often as the fighter that dumped wis. At least when it comes to people that don't know any better (obviously people that spy on you should get the idea after seeing you make enough saves)

I can understand avoiding the cleric, or inquisitor, since they have all that armor, plus spell pouches and holy symbols- that maeks it fairly simple to guess they might be some kind of religious class (maybe with a knowledge check of some kind). But a random martial character? Little reason to suspect they are any different from the other meatshields.


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I've occasionally seen a related but slightly different phenomenon:

A player picks up an immunity or powerful defense, then starts encountering enemies that are specifically built to bypass that immunity.

You're immune to disease? You encounter an obscure disease that your immunity doesn't apply against because of some reason.

You're immune to fear? You encounter something so supernaturally scary that your immunity doesn't count.

You're immune to enchantment effects? You encounter something that can dominate person as a transmutation effect or something.


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Umbral Reaver wrote:

I've occasionally seen a related but slightly different phenomenon:

A player picks up an immunity or powerful defense, then starts encountering enemies that are specifically built to bypass that immunity.

You're immune to disease? You encounter an obscure disease that your immunity doesn't apply against because of some reason.

You're immune to fear? You encounter something so supernaturally scary that your immunity doesn't count.

You're immune to enchantment effects? You encounter something that can dominate person as a transmutation effect or something.

...I'm suddenly having flashbacks to my first GM right now. In his case it was elemental types that liked to shift around. Resist fire? That was a custom spell he made called coldball that works exactly like fireball but does cold damage. Resist all the normal ones? Now it's force damage! I have a feeling if we'd ever figured out a way to get force resistance it would have become a completely new type.

This one isn't entirely on the GM side though. I know in 3.5, haven't checked in Pathfinder, that there were a lot of things that "work like X" but "aren't actually X and so aren't stopped by immunity" or "bypass normal immunity to X". Off the top of my head is ravages, "Good" poisons that affected evil outsiders normally immune to poisons.


Umbral Reaver wrote:

I've occasionally seen a related but slightly different phenomenon:

A player picks up an immunity or powerful defense, then starts encountering enemies that are specifically built to bypass that immunity.

You're immune to disease? You encounter an obscure disease that your immunity doesn't apply against because of some reason.

You're immune to fear? You encounter something so supernaturally scary that your immunity doesn't count.

You're immune to enchantment effects? You encounter something that can dominate person as a transmutation effect or something.

When a GM does that, that's total BS and horrible GMing. Having NPC's metagame is bad GMing, but at least there's the excuse that the GM may find it hard to force himself to have the NPC's make choices he knows are bad. It's poor GMing, but still at least understandable.

What you describe is premeditated, going out of one's way to negate a PC's legitimate ability, and is inexcusable.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:

...I'm suddenly having flashbacks to my first GM right now. In his case it was elemental types that liked to shift around. Resist fire? That was a custom spell he made called coldball that works exactly like fireball but does cold damage. Resist all the normal ones? Now it's force damage! I have a feeling if we'd ever figured out a way to get force resistance it would have become a completely new type.

This one isn't entirely on the GM side though. I know in 3.5, haven't checked in Pathfinder, that there were a lot of things that "work like X" but "aren't actually X and so aren't stopped by immunity" or "bypass normal immunity to X". Off the top of my head is ravages, "Good" poisons that affected evil outsiders normally immune to poisons.

So he basically gives the fireball a free metamagic at no expense?

If he was just using regular metamagics and magical lineage...well, that is great in the sense that both the players and monsters are playing by the same rules. If you can pull off this trick, so can they.

But if he just gives no level increase magic spells with no warning...and he doesn't make them available to you...that is terrible.

Might be slightly better if it is done by a wizard, and he lets you grab the spell for yourself. It is introducing sudden changes for his benefit (which is pretty bad), but if he lets you eventually play by the same rules. But in the inverse- if he only puts it on sorcerers, and doesn't let you study up the spell yourself...


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deusvult wrote:
As I said, with most groups, I'd agree with you. However with some groups, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Those would, I suspect, be the groups where the attitude is "players vs. the gm" rather than "player characters vs. the (game) world".


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If my players have chars that are immune to fear and/or poison, I make sure some enemies will cause fear and inflict poison.

Just so they feel special.

There will also be dungeons where certain builds will likely shine, but everyone gets their turn to shine and be ground into bonemeal, e.g. disease-infested swamp is great for some, less-so for others. "Oh no muh malaria", "git gud non-monks".


DM Under The Bridge wrote:

If my players have chars that are immune to fear and/or poison, I make sure some enemies will cause fear and inflict poison.

Just so they feel special.

There will also be dungeons where certain builds will likely shine, but everyone gets their turn to shine and be ground into bonemeal, e.g. disease-infested swamp is great for some, less-so for others. "Oh no muh malaria", "git gud non-monks".

Oh? The whole place is pure poison? I guess this is a druid and alchemist only mission.

I'm sure there will be enough tentacles between the two of us to take care of everything. I've seen enough anime to tell me that tentacles solve everything. I know where this is going.

(actually, this seems like a fairly good method of splitting the party- use an arbitrary reason that plays on their strengths- maybe have the main party fight hordes of insect-ish monsters that come from the entrance, while the druid alchemist pair go and try to take out the queen)

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deusvult wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
deusvult wrote:
...I generally agree with the sentiments above about "bad GMing" when the monsters/NPCs use the GM's OOC knowledge ICly....
If not for the first sentence of your second paragraph, I seriously would have thought you had gotten your browser tabs mixed up and replied to the wrong thread, because replying to "GM is dodging class features via metagaming" with a list of a bunch of unrelated things you don't like is just totally coming out of nowhere. What was the connection there?

I was saying that I agree that for the most part it's shoddy GMing to fail to seperate OOC and IC knowledge. However, there are certainly times it's appropriate to, as the OP put it, "ignore the immunities".

If the PCs are optimized/munchkins, it may not be inappropriate for the GM to use optimized/munchkin tactics. Some people like games where players try their hardest to see how badly they can "break" the game. If the group's idea of fun is to beat encounters as quickly as possible and with as little risk as possible, then they shouldn't mind the GM using that same mindset to challenge the players at their own game. When players game the system they are literally asking to be challenged to the utmost.

Having the monsters act on OOC knowledge is just another option for challenging over-the-top PCs if dice fudging or throwing encounters far beyond APL aren't the group's idea of fun.

I think it's actually a swell idea in another case: when the monster has superhuman or godlike smarts. As the GM I'm only a human. How do I do justice to determining the life or death decisions for something smarter than I will ever be? Sometimes a great way to approximate superhuman intuition/mentalism/deduction/smarts is using OOC knowledge ICly.

This whole post reads like you're saying that if players build characters whose power crosses some undefined threshold, then for the GM to cheat by metagaming the PCs' immunities is like some kind of well-earned retribution.

If I dig really deep and pick apart your post and do some mental gymnastics, I can reinterpret your post such that the subset of players of whom you're making this claim is only those who see what mini is on the map and flip open the Bestiary, such that the GM is just matching metagaming to metagaming. If that's the case, then I agree: some players want a game where there's no secret knowledge, it's just enemies facing each other in open contest with full (inexplicable) knowledge of each other's abilities.

But I had to really stretch to think your post was talking about them. What it really reads more like is that the more powerful the PCs are (by who-knows-what standard), the more deserving they are of the GM metagaming against them. You used terms that normally applies to massive populations of players who are not okay with metagaming at all and don't do it themselves, then said that they not only "should" be okay with the GM retaliating with metagaming, but that by building powerful PCs the players downright asked for some metagaming. The whole tone sounds punitive.

So what are you really trying to say here?

Sovereign Court

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Jiggy wrote:
So what are you really trying to say here?

You actually got what I was saying. I can only assume your difficulty is in assuming I didn't mean what I said when I said:

Deusvult wrote:
I was saying that I agree that for the most part it's shoddy GMing to fail to separate OOC and IC knowledge.

Once you accept that I agree that most of the time GMs should seperate OOC and IC knowledge, it shouldn't be that hard to wrap your head around my saying that there are additionally (and less common) instances where the GM's using OOC knowledge ICly may be actually appropriate.

To restate and clarify:

One example is a game where roleplaying takes a back seat to tactical wargaming. If the players don't separate OOC and IC knowledge, then it may be acceptable if the GM doesn't either.

Another is the phenomenon that optimized/munchkin PCs are more capable than those that are not.. and resultingly have punching strength above their APL. Maybe the group doesn't like the GM fudging dice. Maybe the group wants to run a published adventure without changing the encounters. Having the GM make optimized/munchkin tactical decisions is one tool that still remains if the group wants all that but to still be challenged.

I mentioned earlier the possibility of using OOC knowledge ICly for a human GM approximating a superhuman intellect.

There are potentially infinite fringe cases where it could be situationally reasonable. But, generally, yes MOST of the time it's poor form.

edit: I think this line might have given you trouble:
"When players game the system they are literally asking to be challenged to the utmost."

That doesn't mean players gaming the system deserve to be punished. It actually means what I said. I wasn't disparaging taking "roleplaying" out of the roleplaying game; it's well acknowledged that's how some people like to play. When they do, they're playing something akin to Warhammer: Not quite perfect knowledge of every capability of the opponent, but certainly a game where you don't deliberately make suboptimal tactical choices for roleplaying reasons. If one side is playing to win and the other side is "roleplaying", it's a fairly foregone conclusion what's going to happen. Yes, even in a tactical wargame version of a RPG the players are generally presumed to win, but if they have fun being challenged despite having made optimized/munchkin PCs then the GM should also dial up some "playing to win", even if he doesn't intend to actually defeat the PCs.

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deusvult wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
So what are you really trying to say here?

You actually got what I was saying. I can only assume your difficulty is in assuming I didn't mean what I said when I said:

Deusvult wrote:
I was saying that I agree that for the most part it's shoddy GMing to fail to separate OOC and IC knowledge.
Once you accept that I agree that most of the time GMs should seperate OOC and IC knowledge, it shouldn't be that hard to wrap your head around my saying that there are additionally (and less common) instances where the GM's using OOC knowledge ICly may be actually appropriate.

Yeah, I got that part. I got that you agree it's usually a bad idea, and I got that you're saying there are some cases where it's okay, such as to imitate superhuman intellect and whatnot. I got all that.

What I was asking about was specifically in one of the cases where you say it's okay for the GM to metagame; I was asking whether this one particular case was "when the players are already metagaming" or "when the players build strong characters".

That was all I was asking about. I got the rest.

Quote:

To restate and clarify:

One example is a game where roleplaying takes a back seat to tactical wargaming. If the players don't separate OOC and IC knowledge, then it may be acceptable if the GM doesn't either.

You say this like these are the same thing, like there's no such thing as preferring the combat aspect of the game while still not wanting to metagame. Like, "Oh, you're not much into roleplay but like combat? That must mean you're totally fine with metagaming, because that logically follows somehow."

Quote:
Another is the phenomenon that optimized/munchkin PCs are more capable than those that are not.. and resultingly have punching strength above their APL. Maybe the group doesn't like the GM fudging dice. Maybe the group wants to run a published adventure without changing the encounters. Having the GM make optimized/munchkin tactical decisions is one tool that still remains if the group wants all that but to still be challenged.

Make optimized tactical decisions? I thought we were talking about metagaming here. Making good tactical decisions and having psychic knowledge of your enemies' defenses are not the same thing. Why are you talking about them like they are?

That's why I'm scratching my head a little at (parts of) your post. What your words actually talk about is people building strong characters and preferring combat over roleplay and making good tactical decisions, but then you treat those three things as though they're all fundamentally linked to wanting the metagaming playstyle.

It sounds more like you're saying that if someone is making strong characters, prefers combat over RP, and is good with tactics then that means they clearly must also be riding the metagame bus. If that's what you meant, then I have to disagree (and also think you owe an apology to the untold thousands of players who like combat and are good at it but don't like to metagame). If that's not what you meant, then why did you say it?

EDIT for your edit:

Quote:

edit: I think this line might have given you trouble:

"When players game the system they are literally asking to be challenged to the utmost."

That doesn't mean players gaming the system deserve to be punished. It actually means what I said. I wasn't disparaging taking "roleplaying" out of the roleplaying game; it's well acknowledged that's how some people like to play. When they do, they're playing something akin to Warhammer: Not quite perfect knowledge of every capability of the opponent, but certainly a game where you don't deliberately make suboptimal tactical choices for roleplaying reasons. If one side is playing to win and the other side is "roleplaying", it's a fairly foregone conclusion what's going to happen. Yes, even in a tactical wargame version of a RPG the players are generally presumed to win, but if they have fun being challenged despite having made optimized/munchkin PCs then the GM should also dial up some "playing to win", even if he doesn't intend to actually defeat the PCs.

See, there again you're doing it: you treat "gaming the system", "taking roleplay out of the system", and "made strong characters" both as all being same thing and as assuming a high level of metagame acceptance. Neither of those is true. That would be like me saying something like, "I'm not disparaging turning Pathfinder into a sacred LotR reenactment; it's a well acknowledged way to play the game. But when the GM is older than 40, you have to remember not to expect them to know the rules very well; there's a reason they made such bad characters." It makes no sense and is a horrible stereotype.

Sovereign Court

Everybody wrote:

...act as they would with no knowledge they wouldn't have in game of the PCs' abilities-- though they should get the same types of Knowledge rolls PC's would get.

Wait - you give knowledge checks of specific opponents? I don't think that's how it's supposed to work. If someone does a knowledge check on the human sorcerer and the human monk - they still only get to know about human things.

They should have no clue as what class or abilities either of them have - heck - as neither is wearing armor they might not even be able to tell which is which even IF they know going in that the group has a sorcerer and a monk - not unless they got descriptions. (and disguises are great for such things)


Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Actually, when it is based on a feature of a class, it doesn't bother me as much. As in your example - "Hey, that's a heavily armored warrior swinging a sword around. Warriors like that are often more likely to be susceptible to mind altering magic than, say, that skinny robed dude tossing lightning around." Now, he wouldn't know a paladin from a fighter (unless the paladin was doing things like smiting, laying on hands, or adjusting the stick in his nethers) but targeting the warrior isn't exactly GM metagaming.

Second this. Anyone with the sense to be throwing magic around should know you go against the body (fort save) of the guy slinging magic and the mind (will save) of the big brute of a guy.


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Loren Pechtel wrote:
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Actually, when it is based on a feature of a class, it doesn't bother me as much. As in your example - "Hey, that's a heavily armored warrior swinging a sword around. Warriors like that are often more likely to be susceptible to mind altering magic than, say, that skinny robed dude tossing lightning around." Now, he wouldn't know a paladin from a fighter (unless the paladin was doing things like smiting, laying on hands, or adjusting the stick in his nethers) but targeting the warrior isn't exactly GM metagaming.
Second this. Anyone with the sense to be throwing magic around should know you go against the body (fort save) of the guy slinging magic and the mind (will save) of the big brute of a guy.

True, it is only metagaming when all the enemies seem to know that you are a warrior that spent three feats, a trait, quite a few points in the point buy, and your choice of racial abilities to make up for your low will save.


I'm used to having different tables with different people with differents levels of metagaming being accepted. I usually just roll with the wind.
Some people I know actually like to play Pathfinder as a tactical wargame with rpg elements and actually appreciate to use a very thick layer of metagame to make tactical decisions during the fight. We usually play short burst of 2-3 combat session before alternating DM. In those occasion, the GM metagaming is actually given and it's just seen as ne other obstacle to overcome.

One day i'll convince them to switch to Rune. Still hopefull.


lemeres wrote:
Loren Pechtel wrote:
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Actually, when it is based on a feature of a class, it doesn't bother me as much. As in your example - "Hey, that's a heavily armored warrior swinging a sword around. Warriors like that are often more likely to be susceptible to mind altering magic than, say, that skinny robed dude tossing lightning around." Now, he wouldn't know a paladin from a fighter (unless the paladin was doing things like smiting, laying on hands, or adjusting the stick in his nethers) but targeting the warrior isn't exactly GM metagaming.
Second this. Anyone with the sense to be throwing magic around should know you go against the body (fort save) of the guy slinging magic and the mind (will save) of the big brute of a guy.
True, it is only metagaming when all the enemies seem to know that you are a warrior that spent three feats, a trait, quite a few points in the point buy, and your choice of racial abilities to make up for your low will save.

No, the bad part of it wasn't just the fighter===low will save, it was the knowledge the GM had of the current state of the party that performing that action would be a TPK. Basically he decided unilaterally to end the game.


lemeres wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:

If my players have chars that are immune to fear and/or poison, I make sure some enemies will cause fear and inflict poison.

Just so they feel special.

There will also be dungeons where certain builds will likely shine, but everyone gets their turn to shine and be ground into bonemeal, e.g. disease-infested swamp is great for some, less-so for others. "Oh no muh malaria", "git gud non-monks".

Oh? The whole place is pure poison? I guess this is a druid and alchemist only mission.

I'm sure there will be enough tentacles between the two of us to take care of everything. I've seen enough anime to tell me that tentacles solve everything. I know where this is going.

(actually, this seems like a fairly good method of splitting the party- use an arbitrary reason that plays on their strengths- maybe have the main party fight hordes of insect-ish monsters that come from the entrance, while the druid alchemist pair go and try to take out the queen)

Disease, poison, depends on the monsters and how it is set up to go. Alchemists could rock, monks could as well. No one says the monk is weak at our table when their poison and disease immunity comes up and actually is relevant.

I do like tentacles (ahem, just the spell), but let me share the fate of one spellcaster that relied upon them too heavily. In a game dmed by another a player thought he could use them upon the city guard (to avoid arrest for horrible crimes), the elite rangers of Korvosa were called and they walked right through them and beat the snot out of him. You should never rely solely on one spell too often, dms can counter it harshly.

Yep, could be used to split the party.


DM Under The Bridge wrote:
I do like tentacles (ahem, just the spell), but let me share the fate of one spellcaster that relied upon them too heavily. In a game dmed by another a player thought he could use them upon the city guard (to avoid arrest for horrible crimes), the elite rangers of Korvosa were called and they walked right through them and beat the snot out of him. You should never rely solely on one spell too often, dms can counter it harshly.

Spell? You...do not know much about alchemists and druids, do you?

You would be surprised- you can run a fairly good grappling build for alchemists because of the tentacle discovery. It makes up for their BAB by giving a +4 to the grappling checks- use that int casting stat to get past prerequisite for feats (for bonuses and the ability to do more grapple checks per round) and combine that with the buffs, and they can more than make magical girls (and guys- not judgin') quiver in fear (or anticipation- again, not judgin'...ok, I kind of am here).

And druids can get tentacles on a recreational basis with wildshape.


lemeres wrote:
Loren Pechtel wrote:
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Actually, when it is based on a feature of a class, it doesn't bother me as much. As in your example - "Hey, that's a heavily armored warrior swinging a sword around. Warriors like that are often more likely to be susceptible to mind altering magic than, say, that skinny robed dude tossing lightning around." Now, he wouldn't know a paladin from a fighter (unless the paladin was doing things like smiting, laying on hands, or adjusting the stick in his nethers) but targeting the warrior isn't exactly GM metagaming.
Second this. Anyone with the sense to be throwing magic around should know you go against the body (fort save) of the guy slinging magic and the mind (will save) of the big brute of a guy.
True, it is only metagaming when all the enemies seem to know that you are a warrior that spent three feats, a trait, quite a few points in the point buy, and your choice of racial abilities to make up for your low will save.

Yeah, although there is a smugness that can come from being a high will save melee char, and over many games now no enemy throws a will save your way.

The best "got ya" from a player I saw involved the old 3.5 knight. The dm was one that liked to win at the expense of the players. Keeps throwing will saves at the knight character. Players keeps winning with good rolls: "will save 22... will save 24". Dm finally asks him, "why is your will save so high?", player responds: "playing a knight, they have a good will".

Then will saves against that knight ceased. The dm seemingly had internalised that it simply wouldn't work, he had immunity. Funny thing was, his will save was still very beatable, he had just been rolling great.


lemeres wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
I do like tentacles (ahem, just the spell), but let me share the fate of one spellcaster that relied upon them too heavily. In a game dmed by another a player thought he could use them upon the city guard (to avoid arrest for horrible crimes), the elite rangers of Korvosa were called and they walked right through them and beat the snot out of him. You should never rely solely on one spell too often, dms can counter it harshly.

Spell? You...do not know much about alchemists and druids, do you?

You would be surprised- you can run a fairly good grappling build for alchemists because of the tentacle discovery. It makes up for their BAB by giving a +4 to the grappling checks- use that int casting stat to get past prerequisite for feats (for bonuses and the ability to do more grapple checks per round) and combine that with the buffs, and they can more than make magical girls (and guys- not judgin') quiver in fear (or anticipation- again, not judgin'...ok, I kind of am here).

And druids can get tentacles on a recreational basis with wildshape.

Yeah the noodly appendage thing (or wildshape). Grappling has the problem of being ripped up while you are doing it though. Great for low numbers of foes, but becomes a problematic tactical option if they are big, strong and love to get in close.

I like the way you think with the multi-grapple options.


DM Under The Bridge wrote:

Yeah the noodly appendage thing (or wildshape). Grappling has the problem of being ripped up while you are doing it though. Great for low numbers of foes, but becomes a problematic tactical option if they are big, strong and love to get in close.

I like the way you think with the multi-grapple options.

You can also fit just enough to get a basic reach build (power attack, combat reflexes) while acquiring the needed feats. Little need to delay the reach, and you can grapple well enough with the tentacle until you get the feats to REALLY do things with it. It all ties together nicely by level 9.

And if the tentacle is your only natural attack, it is primary and gets 1.5x str/power attack, which synergizes well with reach. Spend the rest of your discoveries on nice debuff bombs, and you can have a nice variety of options.

You have to love the alchemist- it is great for building a ton of different builds, and it still leaves room for options.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I myself don't. (to the OP.) I will have the creatures/opponants change tactics after seeing them be ineffective, or only avoid them in their know about them in advance.

Breath 20d6 cold damage of a druid with oceans domain who has cold immunity? yes, him enjoying his sponge icebath will have me not go out of my way to hit him with it a second time.


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Manwolf wrote:
Yes it's bad when the GM uses "well everybody knows the fighter would be susceptible to mind affecting spells, but sorry about the TPK because the BBEG used Charm Person on the fighter in the first round and he killed the wizard using his full attack, then killed the cleric in the second round, then..."

You do realize that charm person doesn't actually make that possible.....right?


IME, what happens most is the GM forget some immunities and say something like "you all fall asleep", just for a player to then remind him his elf character is immune to sleep spells... Then the GM changes it to "okay, most of you fall asleep".

It's understandable...He has to remember lots of abilities from lots of different characters without having to remember the abilities of the PCs.


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Built a swashbuckler flavored as a Dervish, dancing around combat with a scimitar. He would purposefully provoke AoO's from movement or untrained CM's and then parry & riposte it. Gave me a free attack, soaked up an AoO so allies needn't worry, and fit the flavor of the character pretty well.

Took about two sessions for every single enemy to ignore him and never take AoO's on him ever again, and only rarely get attacked at all.

That one especially bothers me because it not just metagames tactics based on the character, it metagames the combat system. Realistically combat is not based on turns. You shouldn't really be able to tell the difference between attacking during your own turn and getting to attack during my turn. You have an opening to swing and you take it.


Derek Vande Brake wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
Ha. My players go the other way with this one. They seem to get annoyed when the NPC says something, they Sense Motive, and the NPC is being absolutely honest.
Yeah, this gets tricky, because players learn that when you ask for a check, the NPC isn't being honest. So you can always ask, which bogs down the game, or never ask, in which case players complain that you never gave them a sense motive roll.

I don't find it tricky. I can roll for them if there is a lie that's plot-relevant. But I'm not going to tell them that they can't roll on their skill so... we spend some time with them rolling and me just chuckling.

mplindustries wrote:
The GM actually considered it a challenge to hit me--he'd throw wave after wave at me, just trying to land a blow. Rarely, he'd get a high attack, get through the layers of miss chance and mirror images, and finally land a blow...only to hear my favorite words and his most frustrating: "Wings of Cover."

Love that spell so very much.


ColonelMidas wrote:

Built a swashbuckler flavored as a Dervish, dancing around combat with a scimitar. He would purposefully provoke AoO's from movement or untrained CM's and then parry & riposte it. Gave me a free attack, soaked up an AoO so allies needn't worry, and fit the flavor of the character pretty well.

Took about two sessions for every single enemy to ignore him and never take AoO's on him ever again, and only rarely get attacked at all.

That one especially bothers me because it not just metagames tactics based on the character, it metagames the combat system. Realistically combat is not based on turns. You shouldn't really be able to tell the difference between attacking during your own turn and getting to attack during my turn. You have an opening to swing and you take it.

This definitely needs to be brought up and discussed.

If he is ignored so often, then send the swash-vish forward as a scout. Then the enemies have to attack him (there is no one else to attack) and if they move past him towards the party that they shouldn't know is there and gave no indication of knowing is there, then have a strong word with your dm.

Is the swash-vish player happy about being ignored?


KenderKin wrote:
Manwolf wrote:
Yes it's bad when the GM uses "well everybody knows the fighter would be susceptible to mind affecting spells, but sorry about the TPK because the BBEG used Charm Person on the fighter in the first round and he killed the wizard using his full attack, then killed the cleric in the second round, then..."
You do realize that charm person doesn't actually make that possible.....right?

That's why I don't play in that group anymore, lots of issues like that


Wow, I would always play characters that could cast charm person if it was that uber in the game. Or is it not that powerful for the players, only for the enemies? Ha ha. :'')


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Well, it doesn't depend on the GM only. If a party follows the powergaming paradigm 'win initiative, then kill them as fast as possible', the opponents have few actions to be a threat. So a GM is very tempted to not waste precious actions on futile attempts but to use the most efficient moves he can. Using more opponents, stronger opponents and / or an favorable battlefield (for opponents) would be better options, though.

If you start serious powergaming, you make GM's life significantly more difficult (experienced that myself). If you want him to cut the metagaming, give him some alternative (see above) or cut your powergaming (so he feels less need).

Sovereign Court

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SheepishEidolon wrote:
If you start serious powergaming, you make GM's life significantly more difficult (experienced that myself). If you want him to cut the metagaming, give him some alternative (see above) or cut your powergaming (so he feels less need).

So - if you pass some undefined power-gaming threshold, you deserve to have your GM cheat to beat you? Gotcha.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
If you start serious powergaming, you make GM's life significantly more difficult (experienced that myself). If you want him to cut the metagaming, give him some alternative (see above) or cut your powergaming (so he feels less need).
So - if you pass some undefined power-gaming threshold, you deserve to have your GM cheat to beat you? Gotcha.

But remember, as we learned from deusvult upthread: if you're powergaming, then you're clearly part of the small demographic of players who wants mutual metagaming for a tactics-only combat experience. The metagaming-is-fun crowd are the only people who powergame, make strong characters, use good tactics, etc. It's all one single population.

Sovereign Court

Jiggy wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
If you start serious powergaming, you make GM's life significantly more difficult (experienced that myself). If you want him to cut the metagaming, give him some alternative (see above) or cut your powergaming (so he feels less need).
So - if you pass some undefined power-gaming threshold, you deserve to have your GM cheat to beat you? Gotcha.
But remember, as we learned from deusvult upthread: if you're powergaming, then you're clearly part of the small demographic of players who wants mutual metagaming for a tactics-only combat experience. The metagaming-is-fun crowd are the only people who powergame, make strong characters, use good tactics, etc. It's all one single population.

Very true. And don't forget that those are the same type of people who are likely to rob you on the street for your dice! I mean - it's fine if they do their power-gaming over in their own neighborhoods - but when they come over here and start trying to intermingle with OUR children!? *insert sarcasm here*

Scarab Sages

When any of us take turns GMing, we either 1. attack closest, 2. roll randomly in front of everyone to determine who to attack, 3. attack person who did most damage to them/affected them the most.

An enemy would only change who they attack due to immunity if they realize the player is immune.

We roll for target in front of everyone to make sure we hold ourselves accountable, and everyone knows there are no favorites. That was established over a decade ago before I joined the group.

Shadow Lodge

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SheepishEidolon wrote:

Well, it doesn't depend on the GM only. If a party follows the powergaming paradigm 'win initiative, then kill them as fast as possible', the opponents have few actions to be a threat. So a GM is very tempted to not waste precious actions on futile attempts but to use the most efficient moves he can. Using more opponents, stronger opponents and / or an favorable battlefield (for opponents) would be better options, though.

If you start serious powergaming, you make GM's life significantly more difficult (experienced that myself). If you want him to cut the metagaming, give him some alternative (see above) or cut your powergaming (so he feels less need).

Going off on a bit of a target here, but I see this argument a lot and don't get it. How does ending combats quickly make any more work for the GM? Seems to me that powergaming makes the GM's work really easy. You never have to roll dice or even bother to look up monster stats. Just say roll initiative, players shout out giant numbers, tell them everything is dead and move on with the game.

Players who hate combat and love to roleplaying should make powerful combat monsters, then combat ends in 1 round and they have more time to RP.
Players who love combat and don't care as much for the roleplaying should make combat wimps with tons of non combat powers. That way they can solve any non combat situation with a spell or massive skill check and get back to the combats which will take a long time to defeat.
For some reason though, players do the exact opposite of this.

Dark Archive

Berti Blackfoot wrote:

When any of us take turns GMing, we either 1. attack closest, 2. roll randomly in front of everyone to determine who to attack, 3. attack person who did most damage to them/affected them the most.

An enemy would only change who they attack due to immunity if they realize the player is immune.

We roll for target in front of everyone to make sure we hold ourselves accountable, and everyone knows there are no favorites. That was established over a decade ago before I joined the group.

I've always disliked this unless it was very clear that there was no preference for one PC over another.

A local GM (for PFS) has a certain quote I like:
"When the PCs show up, the enemies get knowledge checks. If they roll high enough, they certainly know that the small guy on a pony, staying in back and circling around, is the most dangerous thing in the county."

Of course, adjust for general knowledge of the enemies, but the high INT wizard is going to be able to identify a holy symbol, know what that greatsword is going to do, recognize the dual dagger wielding sneak guy, and identify the danger of a lance and horse.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
So - if you pass some undefined power-gaming threshold, you deserve to have your GM cheat to beat you? Gotcha.

Nope, that's not what I said.

goams wrote:
Going off on a bit of a target here, but I see this argument a lot and don't get it. How does ending combats quickly make any more work for the GM? Seems to me that powergaming makes the GM's work really easy. You never have to roll dice or even bother to look up monster stats. Just say roll initiative, players shout out giant numbers, tell them everything is dead and move on with the game.

If the GM is motivated to provide a reasonable challenge, it's more difficult with powergaming players.


One of my GMs recently did kind of ignore immunities but only because he had be charmed/dominated/whatever and wanted to give the other players a chance to subdue my pc lest he'd kill everyone else.

He let a cc spell effect last 2 rounds instead of 1 so they could bind my pc and he hand-waved my save for the 4th (and last) dose of Blue Whinnis poison they drugged me with to knock me out and finally he did not roll the duration but ruled it lasted longer than the compulsion effect.

In this case I was ok with it. And he told the others that they should prepare and have a plan in case this happens again.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Oh yeah, I totally ignore the PCs immunities.

It usually doesn't matter after the first attack is foiled, as my bad guys don't tend to last long enough for a second.

Silver Crusade

TriOmegaZero wrote:

Oh yeah, I totally ignore the PCs immunities.

It usually doesn't matter after the first attack is foiled, as my bad guys don't tend to last long enough for a second.

For PFS, pretty much this.

For home games, it depends. When PC's first enter a region, than no. If PC's are in an area long enough and rely on certain tactics too much, then I'll have enemies start adjusting accordingly. So, if a PC just fireballs every encounter, then people might start prepping / carrying resist energy potions or whatevs. I'm working on an adventure where the PC's are going to be going into a hostile environment that will kill them if they can't work together and adapt. But, in general, if my PC's are going up against some people that have no reason to know I'm not going to use my knowledge of their characters to screw them. But the enemies are going to notice that X has Y feat/ability/thing that makes doing Z harder and act accordingly, provided they make it past the first round.


As a DM usually I've found that a good way to moderate myself is know(local) for random npcs. Especially after a level, a leveled pc us someone known, dcs vary, but on average a lvl 8 pc is a well known individual, so a DC of something close to 15-20 should reveal some tactics/immunities/abilities, with higher rolls representing more things known.

A lot of other things depend on appearances too. A wizard wouldn't try SoS on an armored knight full with holy symbols, a martial would first try to go for softer targets and etc.

Quite a few times my players have used that in their advantage with glamered robes, disquises, illusions and etc but that's all the more power for them for confusing folks that want to target their defences


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I really try as a GM to ignore PC immunities.
As in the monster does not know they are immune...
In my last session (i'm doing Rise of the runelords), one player was having his 3rd level barbarian flanked by goblins , much to the surprise of the player (a newbie), saying that "don't they know i cannot be flanked?".
No they don't. Period!

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