How to deal with pacifists?


Pathfinder Society

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Silver Crusade 4/5

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DM Livgin really nailed it. If you're not participating, then you're making things harder for everyone else. In some cases, that's not a problem, but as others have mentioned, the presence of one more PC at the table can up the difficulty when it comes to average party level, 4 player adjustments, etc. Everyone should have something they can do in combat, even if it's not damage.

I have a cowardly sorcerer who is afraid of violence, and doesn't have the ability to do HP damage to enemies. He doesn't own a physical weapon, not even a dagger. He doesn't have any direct damage spells. Nobody's ever complained about having him at the table. He tosses out Haste in the first round of every fight (mostly so he can run away faster). While he cowers behind the meat shields, or sometimes runs around a corner to get away from the fight altogether, he'll look in on the fight and toss a Glitterdust or other spell in every round to help his companions.

I also have a pacifist warpriest of Shelyn who would rather redeem intelligent enemies than kill them. His goddess's favored weapon has reach, so he uses his glaive to trip, disarm, and sunder without provoking attacks of opportunity, then asks the weaponless enemies on the ground if they'll surrender. If not, he'll bash them with the flat side of his glaive (non-lethal) until they're unconscious. He'll get Improved Trip at level 3 (he's only level 2 now), and upgrade his glaive to merciful when he can afford it (probably around level 7 or 8).

There are plenty of ways to do unusual concepts other than the typical murderhobo, while still contributing in every aspect of the game. Both of my PCs I described above have social skills for non-combat situations.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Two thoughts have been conflated here.

A basic assumption pacifism=not contributing.

Every indication from the OP has been that the 'offending' party is indeed participating/contributing, just not in a way that some would expect.

Perhaps a new thread is needed to just address 'What is contribution to a PFS scenario/module/special?'


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

Every indication from the OP has been that the 'offending' party is indeed participating/contributing, just not in a way that some would expect.

Perhaps a new thread is needed to just address 'What is contribution to a PFS scenario/module/special?'

Standing at the back in Total Defense doesn't sound like an adequate contribution to me, not in any situation where my character's life is in danger.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Ryzoken wrote:

The level of badwrongfun in this thread makes me sad.

Send the player to Sacramento, we'd love to have her as is.

Ive got some people I could send your way then, too.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion to what makes the game fun for them. I enjoy it when I am able to contribute. I don't have to be the star, but I want to be helpful. And I find it annoying when other people aren't. Obviously you cant be helpful in every situation all the time, but as long as an effort is put forth, that's usually enough.

For a situation like OP describes, Id have to see it firsthand to see how annoying I would find it. If the bard is not doing anything at all but using Total Defense til the Oracle is hit, then yes, I would be annoyed by her lack of participation. If her character is actively built to be in the way and take the hits so others don't and works at doing that, then that's something else.

Lantern Lodge 3/5

If you have a character concept that is disruptive to the expected level of play (lets call it "Pathfinder Standard of Care"), you have an obligation to explain your character concept and work with the table towards an acceptable solution to compensate. Its part of the "Cooperate" thingy.

Not fully explaining how your character is going to work and finding a solution before game play starts could be bordering on the "Don't be a Jerk" paradigm. Remember, you chose to be the pacifist in a Society which often requires the use of violence to obtain its goals - you need to make sure you can make it work.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Two thoughts have been conflated here.

A basic assumption pacifism=not contributing.

Every indication from the OP has been that the 'offending' party is indeed participating/contributing, just not in a way that some would expect.

Perhaps a new thread is needed to just address 'What is contribution to a PFS scenario/module/special?'

Oh really? Let's read the OP again.

Quentin Coldwater wrote:

Okay, so there's a person in my group who often plays with another person, and they play an engaged couple. The idea of the character is that she's a pacifist Bard who doesn't like to attack until someone hurts her fiancee. Problem is, she plays a Strength-based Bard, and the other a caster-based Oracle who often stays in the back (luckily, she's pretty impulsive, so she runs into melee a lot). Until the fiancee is hit, she stays in full defense because she doesn't want to hurt anyone.

This drives me crazy, though I know it shouldn't. Everyone has their right to play their own character in their own way, but half the time, she doesn't contribute to the fight and doesn't even throw out a buff. She says it's in character for her to do so, and I'd agree, but this way, she doesn't contribute to the fight. Most of the time, we have characters that can compensate for that, but sometimes it's pretty close. She says she's having fun and I don't want to take that away from her, but the fact that she doesn't help out half the time is driving me crazy.

As an aside, I know the OP IRL, and he's pretty mild around people with different playstyles. He's actually done some good peacekeeping when people got off on the wrong foot with each other.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

Talking about my personal view now;

On the one hand, sometimes you play a non-bloodthirsty character and try to prevent fights when they're not necessary. But the way scenarios are written, it's not necessarily the pathfinders starting the fight.

"But I don't like violence" is IMO fine if violence can be avoided. A good reason not to start fights, and to push other players from starting them. Might even be a good reason to hang back at first if other PCs start a fight you thought wasn't needed.

But if the party is being attacked, then I would expect everyone to join in the defence. There are a lot of ugly words for people who leave their mates in the lurch.

In addition, if it's obvious that it's necessary to start a fight in order to have a shot at succeeding on the scenario, I would also expect people to cooperate (although grumbling is fine!). Sometimes a writer just requires you to be a murderhobo (which makes me sad) but often enough it's something like "a horrible monster is lairing on our dig site" or "go into the woods to slay the thing that's terrorizing the peasants".

5/5 5/55/55/5

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How to deal with a pacifist: make sure they can contribute without fighting. Buff, heal, debuff, get rid of status effects etc.

What constitutes a meaningful level of contribution and how to nudge someone to at least that point is a different issue.

Sovereign Court 1/5

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Just once during mustering I'd like to see a Venture Officer announce the following:

"Okay, everyone playing a character won't help in combat until XYZ happens during a full moon on an odd numbered day because you're a special snowflake and that's what your character would DOOOOOOOOO... you're all at this table."

Grand Lodge 5/5

Quadstriker wrote:

Just once during mustering I'd like to see a Venture Officer announce the following:

"Okay, everyone playing a character won't help in combat until XYZ happens during a full moon on an odd numbered day because you're a special snowflake and that's what your character would DOOOOOOOOO... you're all at this table."

You can organize those tables on your own; you don't need a VO to do it for you.

Sovereign Court 1/5

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They'd probably frown on the way I'd organize the problem player containment table.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 **** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

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SO, perhaps there is a simple answer to some of this as a GM... since the Bard does nothing until the oracle is attacked... you could start attacking the oracle!

He's a spellcaster, so a good target anyway. Attack him with ranged weapons, spells, etc. That'll get her to act.

The other question is whether or not the bard will do things like heal injured characters... that could be a positive interaction. Were the bard a Court Bard, she could use her satire to debuff the enemies, which sounds more pacifistic than inspiring courage.

There are lots of things that both the character, and the GM, can do to balance this out.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix

*opens notepad*

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Fromper wrote:

DM Livgin really nailed it. If you're not participating, then you're making things harder for everyone else.

Well, yes and no. This could be a case of expectations being unmet. If the bard's player is used to easy scenarios/campaigns and just being habitual. Or she's played with powergamers a lot and hasn't had to participate much in combat. I know some of my characters could solo season zero scenarios(but not season 1, except maybe the paladins). Furthermore, I talked about about Emerald Spire in IRC yesterday and one of the local groups is having so easy a time that they've considered drawing lots to see who takes each encounter while the rest idle.

I think the campaign can take all kinds of styles of play.

Scarab Sages 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Jacksonville

Hey the party should be happy the player isn't doing things that are really detrimental to the party: like triggering further encounters in the middle of combat or inciting encounters that would normally be bypassed by role playing.

Community Manager

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Removed some posts and responses. Not everybody plays the game the same way—not even in Pathfinder Society. Talk with your fellow players and GM pre-game to manage expectations. Be nice to each other.

4/5 5/55/55/5 **

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Two thoughts have been conflated here.

A basic assumption pacifism=not contributing.

Every indication from the OP has been that the 'offending' party is indeed participating/contributing, just not in a way that some would expect.

Perhaps a new thread is needed to just address 'What is contribution to a PFS scenario/module/special?'

I don't agree with that. Just because the character is a pacifist doesn't necessarily they aren't contributing to a fight. I don't think the comments would be the same if the character was healing "allies" or in the middle of battle. As described though, the character is staying a distance from the battle and takes only defensive actions (until their paired character is threatened).

This isn't the situation you mentioned before where a tank is taking full defensive actions while blocking enemies from approaching the rest of the party. I'm not suggesting that full defensive actions equate to someone contribute nothing to the battle. Even if the character was moving into the close range and exclusively spending actions to diplomatically end the battle, it wouldn't be the same situation that has been described.

There can be an argument, I feel, whether or not that diplomatic action could be considered "contributing", but I think that this situation as described does not seem like contributing to an encounter.

The Exchange 5/5

Quentin Coldwater wrote:

Note: this isn't meant as an attack, though I might sound quite harsh. I'm just looking for advice for myself. I've tried talking to this person, and she seems pretty convinced in her ways. I can't change how she plays and that's fine. I'm looking for ways to keep myself from stressing out over this, rather than changing the situation.

Okay, so there's a person in my group who often plays with another person, and they play an engaged couple. The idea of the character is that she's a pacifist Bard who doesn't like to attack until someone hurts her fiancee. Problem is, she plays a Strength-based Bard, and the other a caster-based Oracle who often stays in the back (luckily, she's pretty impulsive, so she runs into melee a lot). Until the fiancee is hit, she stays in full defense because she doesn't want to hurt anyone.
This drives me crazy, though I know it shouldn't. Everyone has their right to play their own character in their own way, but half the time, she doesn't contribute to the fight and doesn't even throw out a buff. She says it's in character for her to do so, and I'd agree, but this way, she doesn't contribute to the fight. Most of the time, we have characters that can compensate for that, but sometimes it's pretty close. She says she's having fun and I don't want to take that away from her, but the fact that she doesn't help out half the time is driving me crazy.

Realizing that I was not there and thus am the perfect person to comment on this (not really knowing anything about the circumstances makes me the expert right?), it seems to me that the OP and the person playing the Bard (and her S.O.) should maybe meet at Denny's after playing one night. Heck, invite all the players and maybe even the judge. And discus the game. These people need to talk to each other away from the game. They have differences of play style that appear to be effecting at least one of them enough to come here and vent. Talk about the game. Mention the fun parts, the bad parts, the tough parts, and how to make it better (or how much fun it was). Discuss how to make it "more fun" for everyone. Laugh, cry, be friendly, crack jokes... heck have a beer if that will help, whatever works. Try to understand each others play style... and if they can't work it out, then don't sit at the game table together anymore.

IMHO the problem is not "How to deal with pacifists", it's differing play styles/PC concepts.

my personal rant:

Turning this on it's head a bit... I often play Skill Monkeys.

Trapsmiths or Face PCs.

Often I have a problem that when it comes to a time for my PC to shine. I look around and half the party has "zoned out". They are "Pacifists" in non-combat situations. Got a fight going on? then they are all over that. Got ANYTHING else as a challenge? "Sorry lady, I don't do that, I'll just sit over here and be bored. Tap me when you're done...". The nice ones read a book, the bad ones sabotage what I'm doing. (Reach past my rogue to set the trap off, shoot the guy I'm talking to, bang on the door to wake up the monsters, etc.).

Hey, anyone here with Disable Device? Dex based PC with masterwork tools and a skill rank? How about an Aid Another? we can ever Role Play it up while you play the "Assistant Bomb Disposal Tech" to my "Master Trapsmith". AND you get to roll dice...

"I'm going to stand behind the Face while she talks - you know, giving the impression that I'm a bodyguard and thus supporting her Diplomacy/Intimidate/Bluff... can I roll an Aid Another?" These are even untrained skills!

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

Whoo, this thread blew up, almost forgot I made it. >_>

Let me make some things clear:
- The person I'm talking about puts way more effort in roleplaying her character than others, maybe overly so. It's the "it's what my character would do"-argument, and to a certain extent I respect that. I'm just frustrated that she makes things harder than they should be.
- Outside of combat, she's a valuable asset to the team. High charisma, so her Bluff and Diplomacy are great. She dumped INT though, so not that hot on knowledges, though miraculously she usually rolls high on those as well. Also not an amazing WIS, so she's happy to play the punching bag, as her character is supposedly too stupid to know how to defend herself.
- She really goes into full defense, she doesn't even try to throw out a spell or buff.

Might just be my inner minmaxer trying to optimize everything, but combats usually last for two rounds longer than they should. I've sat at her table two or three times, and looked at another session when our table was already done. She plays her character well and I definitely don't want to take that away from her, but I got the sense I wasn't the only one frustrated with this. She has roleplay experience, but not a lot in an organised play environment, where you sit at the table with strangers. I feel that in a home campaign, this is totally acceptable, as you know your partners better and they know what to expect from you.

Maybe it'll get better when she levels more. She's level 2 or 3 now, I hope that when the difficulty (and her powers) ramps up, she sees how she can contribute more, other than just taking it. I've tried several gentle prods, and I don't think she'll change when other people tell her to. I don't think I expected any actual advice from this whole thread, as there isn't much I can do about it, other than change my own mindset about it (or not sit at her table). This mainly served as an outlet for my frustration. >_>

5/5 5/55/55/5

A few problems with the analogy between helping in combat and helping the face

Combat has turns. everyone gets to go. Its clear when you're supposed to be talking, your turn. If the face is doing his thing it usually involves a lot of chit chat with the dm: the sort of thing you as a player don't want to interrupt with your own talking to break the flow of the RP.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Quentin Coldwater wrote:

Whoo, this thread blew up, almost forgot I made it. >_>

Let me make some things clear:
- The person I'm talking about puts way more effort in roleplaying her character than others, maybe overly so. It's the "it's what my character would do"-argument, and to a certain extent I respect that. I'm just frustrated that she makes things harder than they should be.
- Outside of combat, she's a valuable asset to the team. High charisma, so her Bluff and Diplomacy are great. She dumped INT though, so not that hot on knowledges, though miraculously she usually rolls high on those as well. Also not an amazing WIS, so she's happy to play the punching bag, as her character is supposedly too stupid to know how to defend herself.
- She really goes into full defense, she doesn't even try to throw out a spell or buff.

Might just be my inner minmaxer trying to optimize everything, but combats usually last for two rounds longer than they should. I've sat at her table two or three times, and looked at another session when our table was already done. She plays her character well and I definitely don't want to take that away from her, but I got the sense I wasn't the only one frustrated with this. She has roleplay experience, but not a lot in an organised play environment, where you sit at the table with strangers. I feel that in a home campaign, this is totally acceptable, as you know your partners better and they know what to expect from you.

Maybe it'll get better when she levels more. She's level 2 or 3 now, I hope that when the difficulty (and her powers) ramps up, she sees how she can contribute more, other than just taking it. I've tried several gentle prods, and I don't think she'll change when other people tell her to. I don't think I expected any actual advice from this whole thread, as there isn't much I can do about it, other than change my own mindset about it (or not sit at her table). This mainly served as an outlet for my frustration. >_>

Here's a gimmick for her from another "Pacifist Bard" (this PC is one scenario from retirement now, so 11.2? and has never done a HP of damage to anything other than herself). Something I've done a few times. Take a wand of vanish. Stand behind the frontline PC and tap her with it right after her turn (may need to delay till right after the Melee to set the Initiative order). Repeat each round. After the Bard get's high enough in level to get it, start by casting invisibility on herself, then vanish the Melee.

Monsters see the Melee blink in (first swing is from invisibility, so they are flatfooted and it's at +2 to hit), take a full attack and then blink out. Cost is one 1st level wand charge each combat round. Heck, if you're running the Melee guy, ask if she'll do this, then get the wand yourself and hand it to her at the start of the game...

1/5

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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

I understand the problem but also I think there could be a somewhat "elegant" solution to this particular conundrum: she's a bard, even while being str based her role is to buff the party. Have a chat with her and make it clear you have no issue if she wants to be a pacifist until her partner (who's an healer who's astute enough to keep out of harm's way apparently) gets wounded BUT she needs to contribute somehow. The most logical way to do this for a bard is to stay NEAR her partner OUT of COMBAT and BUFFING the rest of the group thus CONTRIBUTING to the party chances of success. If she insists her character needs to rush into combat while actually not fighting (and why's that exactly? I understand she's a pacifist so she won't fight, at first at least, so why does she want to move into combat? What's her character's motivation for this? If she cares so much for her partner's why doesn't she stay near him and out of the way while buffing people? All good questions you could ask her IMO) she at least needs to help while setting up flanks and maybe even trying some combat maneuvers (risky if she has no feats for it but I guess shoving someone away from you while he's trying to hack you to pieces could be acceptable even for a pacifist character not wishing for martyrdom...).

Just my two cents anyway.

The Exchange 5/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:

A few problems with the analogy between helping in combat and helping the face

Combat has turns. everyone gets to go. Its clear when you're supposed to be talking, your turn. If the face is doing his thing it usually involves a lot of chit chat with the dm: the sort of thing you as a player don't want to interrupt with your own talking to break the flow of the RP.

internet ate my big response (you'd think I would have learned cntl-A cntl-C before posting by now).

off target derail:

the core of it was - when we are not in combat Turns - why does one player have to monopolize the judge? the Face says what he is doing, the aiding player (even before the Face says anything) says his bit.

example
situation: Party of adventurers are gathered outside the suspects door. The intention is to scare him away from doing something, to get him to leave town. The rogue (and an assistant) has checked the door for traps, found an alarm and removed it, unlocked door, and stepped to the back of the party.

Me: "Katisha is going to use Intimidate to convince the Target to leave town quickly... I take 10 and get a 35."

Cleric player: "and I aid by...ah... opening the door and look imposing - like a bodyguard"

Scarab Sages 5/5

Rogar Valertis wrote:

I understand the problem but also I think there could be a somewhat "elegant" solution to this particular conundrum: she's a bard, even while being str based her role is to buff the party. Have a chat with her and make it clear you have no issue if she wants to be a pacifist until her partner (who's an healer who's astute enough to keep out of harm's way apparently) get's wounded BUT she needs to contribute somehow. The most logical way to do this for a bard is to stay NEAR her partner OUT of COMBAT and BUFFING the rest of the group thus CONTRIBUTING to the party chances of success. If she insists her character needs to rush into combat while actually not fighting (and why's that exactly? I understand she's a pacifist so she won't fight, at first at least, so why does she want to move into combat? What's her character's motivation for this? If she cares so much for her partner's why doesn't she stay near him and out of the why while buffing people? All good questions you could ask her IMO) she at least needs to help while setting up flanks and maybe even trying some combat maneuvers (risky if she has no feats for it but I guess shoving someone away from you while he's trying to hack you to pieces could be acceptable even for a pacifist character not wishing for martyrdom...).

Just my two cents anyway.

or use a whip to disarm enemy targets... buy several whips and drop any that they grab. I also use unseen servant to go pick up the dropped weapons and bring them to me. (and sometimes even true strike to insure the disarm works).

5/5 5/55/55/5

nosig wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

A few problems with the analogy between helping in combat and helping the face

Combat has turns. everyone gets to go. Its clear when you're supposed to be talking, your turn. If the face is doing his thing it usually involves a lot of chit chat with the dm: the sort of thing you as a player don't want to interrupt with your own talking to break the flow of the RP.

internet ate my big response (you'd think I would have learned cntl-A cntl-C before posting by now).

Lazarus on firefox saves me a lot of pulled hairs.

Quote:
the core of it was - when we are not in combat Turns - why does one player have to monopolize the judge? the Face says what he is doing, the aiding player (even before the Face says anything) says his bit.

They don't have to but they usually do, and as its his character getting to do something his player also gets the time to do it. It can be important when saying certain things for a bonus or penalty, setting the tone of the conversation, or even relaying a faction mission secret message

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

Oh, one minor detail I forgot to add. She introduces herself as a fighter, so she likes to be in front. It's the weird paradox of saying you're a melee person, but not doing melee that gets to me, I think. She's not doing what she's advertising herself to be.

Dark Archive 5/5

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If you're GMing, the easiest way to get her into the fight would be open attacks on the Oracle every time when possible.

But she sounds less like a true pacifist and more like a bodyguard for the oracle. A true pacifist would at least try to stop violence maybe with a high diplomacy skill or by using enchantment effect to end battle.

Though if she doesn't want to accept an OOC discussion about how her character is impacting everyone else, have your character express how they would feel. I imagine a group of Pathfinders would be quite angry to have someone being a detriment to their team by refusing to help anyone of them but her betrothed.

2/5

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If she never makes a damaging attack unless the oracle is threatened, fine-- assuming she is doing something to aid the party. Arguably "tanking" with full defense can be helpful (say, a whip user as mentioned previously in the thread that trips with AoOs), but it sounds like she is setting a false expectation for her character that is detrimental to the safety of the rest of her team.

Furthermore, the characters are first and foremost Pathfinders. I played a pacifist wizard to retirement; he broke his vow at level 11, because a Magic Missile was the only way to save a fellow Pathfinder from being reduced to a fine mist. But I never failed to take a helpful action on any given round of combat prior to that point, even if it was taking an AoO for another player or rendering someone invisible as Katisha noted above.

If a character has such a crippling roleplay restriction that they cannot or will not suspend it in pursuit of cooperation, then it's going to lead to awkward situations.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

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For some people who's very much into the RP side of things, overshadowing tactical sense, maybe it'll help to engage those people in RP instead of OOC discussion.

After the fight, you walk up to her.

"Hey, lady, we were feeling a bit abandoned during that fight. When we were packing in the Lodge you told us you were a warrior, but all you did was protect yourself and let the monsters past to get at our wizard. Look at what they did to him."

"I don't like fighting."

"Well, those orcs sure did. What were you going to do about that? I mean, if you can talk them down, go ahead. But it looked to me like they weren't going to stop until they'd killed and eaten us - not necessarily in that order. What were you going to do about that?"

---

Thing is to at once keep it wholly IC, and present your objections from a character, not player, perspective. But at the same time, restrain yourself; your character is probably pretty outraged, but it might not be a good idea to play all of that.

Silver Crusade 4/5

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Nosig, that surprises me that NOBODY in your area joins in on the skill stuff. I know there's frequently one or two players at any table who are just there to murderhobo the bad guys, but around here, "aid another" rolls on skill checks are more common than attack rolls. You get into a social situation, and everyone's trying to assist, even if it's just for the comedy of seeing how badly the 5 charisma dwarf can fail.

Sovereign Court 4/5

At least when I'm playing someone who is not good at combat, I advertise it up front, ie "I'm Special Agent Baronet Alistair Quinnell of the Lion Blades. I'm quite skilled at spotting and identifying dangers to my fellow Pathfinders. In addition, I am trained to disable traps, and am a competent negotiator as well. Should hostilities break out, I use my short bow from the rear while watching for any additional trouble. If I am in melee, something has gone terribly, terribly wrong." Note that this character does a bit better damage with a short bow than you might expect : focused shot with an Int of 20 does help :)

The Exchange 5/5

Fromper wrote:

Nosig, that surprises me that NOBODY in your area joins in on the skill stuff. I know there's frequently one or two players at any table who are just there to murderhobo the bad guys, but around here, "aid another" rolls on skill checks are more common than attack rolls. You get into a social situation, and everyone's trying to assist, even if it's just for the comedy of seeing how badly the 5 charisma dwarf can fail.

Oh often we have some... And with people I play with often we sort of have an S.O.P. (Trained 'em right!) that includes it.

But I have been in/seen many games at CONs where when it comes to anything outside of combat, some people aren't even there. One guy even held a d20 in his hand while surfing with his phone... For rolling Init when we got back to the part he could play his PC.

No combat = smoke brake... Combat? Time to round up the melee players and get them back to the table...

Edit: I actually said - "I have a problem that when it comes to a time for my PC to shine. I look around and half the party has "zoned out". They are "Pacifists" in non-combat situations. Got a fight going on? then they are all over that. Got ANYTHING else as a challenge? "Sorry lady, I don't do that, I'll just sit over here and be bored. Tap me when you're done...", so it's only half the party that are "skill check pacifists".

The Exchange 5/5

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
Oh, one minor detail I forgot to add. She introduces herself as a fighter, so she likes to be in front. It's the weird paradox of saying you're a melee person, but not doing melee that gets to me, I think. She's not doing what she's advertising herself to be.

This is much worse.


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1: Say: "You're a pacifist? Explain your philosophy to me."

2: The pacifist PC explains.

3: Everyone else: "That's very convincing! I will reassess my way of life!"

4: Next time a fight breaks out, everyone tries to hide behind the pacifist PC and not help at all until the pacifist PC is no longer alive.

5/5 5/55/5

Cast Charm Person on her and give her the command to extend her protection circle to the whole party. That's what I would allow in a home game. But would likely be considered Pvp in PFS.

In PFS if it bothers you that much refuse to play at tables with her, I know a few PFS players who won't play at PFS tables with certain other players. I'd say it's pretty rare but not unheard of.

I'd talk to the local organzizer/VO first before that extreme of a step is taken.

I know of a few people who stopped playing PFS because of their disdain for certain other players or playing styles

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Roy Rydbeck wrote:

Cast Charm Person on her and give her the command to extend her protection circle to the whole party. That's what I would allow in a home game. But would likely be considered Pvp in PFS.

In PFS if it bothers you that much refuse to play at tables with her, I know a few PFS players who won't play at PFS tables with certain other players. I'd say it's pretty rare but not unheard of.

I'd talk to the local organzizer/VO first before that extreme of a step is taken.

I know of a few people who stopped playing PFS because of their disdain for certain other players or playing styles

Charm Person is for NPCs, not players. And at best, if the character is 'protecting their friend', then the most that could be extended to by wording of spell is the caster of the spell.

In addition, Bards get bonuses to saving throws against that sort of thing.

Separate note:

There is a couple locally that gets shunned a bit. One partner is a bit 'loud' and shrill, and the other is *exceptionally quiet*.

It's taken me a while to 'figure them out', but they are typically avoided (probably due to that shrill/loud combo) by other players.

And then I had the opportunity to play on a Sunday slot, when it was *much* quieter at a local convention. The loud/shrill person wasn't, and the quiet person was actually audible. We had a really good session in that slot.

So I suspect it is the fact that they either have a hearing problem or the noise during hectic periods impacts them in adverse ways. Either way, I'd sit at a table with them again, even if others wouldn't.

Someone else said up-thread to 'hide behind the pacifist'. That would be very much the 'being a jerk' solution. With no emotional signifiers, one hopes that was an attempt at a *joke*.

1/5

Fromper wrote:

Nosig, that surprises me that NOBODY in your area joins in on the skill stuff. I know there's frequently one or two players at any table who are just there to murderhobo the bad guys, but around here, "aid another" rolls on skill checks are more common than attack rolls. You get into a social situation, and everyone's trying to assist, even if it's just for the comedy of seeing how badly the 5 charisma dwarf can fail.

Not surprising to me at all. I've run tables of PFS where when I called for a skill check, even something as simple as the post briefing knowledge checks, all I got back were blank stares.

The Exchange 1/5

I have refused to aid with a diplomacy check before, cause it was not something I wanted to do (evil Outsider).

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

We were playing one of this season's scenarios in a very diplomatic situation, and the pregen I had would have been under normal circumstances facing some serious Diplomacy negative modifiers.

...and then our very own 'Captain Charisma' sarcasm noted opened their mouth, and a sewer flowed forth.

Suddenly my pregen seemed downright silver-tongued, and given that they had been exceptionally respectful in the situation, the GM changed the negative modifiers I was facing to positive ones...

4/5

the headline lead to me believe this was something other than what the Original Poster wrote. LOL.
I'm surprised at some of the opinions out there. It just makes me want to play a pacifist (unlike the player described in the original post). Alas, this is PFS and if I don't kill something people will think my character or my mental state is off... ahh well... lol...

Scarab Sages 5/5

Stephen Ross wrote:

the headline lead to me believe this was something other than what the Original Poster wrote. LOL.

I'm surprised at some of the opinions out there. It just makes me want to play a pacifist (unlike the player described in the original post). Alas, this is PFS and if I don't kill something people will think my character or my mental state is off... ahh well... lol...

one of my favorite PCs is my "Pacifist" Street Performer Bard... Now one XP from 12th level, the only HP she has ever done is to herself (Confusion Effects have a "hit self, do 1d8plus STR" ... even when I point out she doesn't have anything to do 1d8 with). I've enjoyed her greatly, and she's always a lot of fun at a table.

So go ahead and play one! You just may find it's a lot of fun!

fun spin on NOT killing things...:

My character will point out to the party that we should "take them alive", so she is usually tasked with getting information from captives.
She might use Diplomacy:
"Darlin', things will go so much nicer for you if we could just be friends". She slides into bound individuals lap, "You'd be AMAZED what I can do for my friends... I'll have a few days free after this job, and I'd like to spend it with friends. You'd like to be my friend" wiggle-wiggle "wouldn't you?"

or if she has too...Intimidate:
Captive Uthdan Warrior: "Go ahead and kill me! I do not fear death, I will have died a warrior!"
Katisha: "Honey, I never kill people. Never have, don't plan to start with you. No, I think I'll take you home with me, to my little country house just outside of Westgate. I could use another Page Boy..., Perhaps, if you're really 'good', in time you can work up to being a footman... Just think! We'll have such fun! My servants have these cute little uniforms! I think we can get one in just your size!"

Or if we're in a rush (no time to RP) she just uses Detect Thoughts:
how to use Detect Thoughts to get information from prisoners -

Katisha: "Who sent you to kill us?"
Mook: "You'll never make me talk!"
Kat: "Where did you first meet this masked man?"
Mook: "huh?"
Kat: "How much did he pay you? "
Mook "Hay! that's not fair!"
Kat: "and where did you put the money?"
Mook "Now wait, that MY money!"
Kat: "Where were you going to meet him after the job?"
Mook "La-la-la-la, I can't hear you!!"

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Melbourne

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Quentin Coldwater wrote:


Let me make some things clear:
- The person I'm talking about puts way more effort in roleplaying her character than others, maybe overly so. It's the "it's what my character would do"-argument, and to a certain extent I respect that. I'm just frustrated that she makes things harder than they should be.

If she is just making things harder then I wouldn't worry too much about it. I used to play with a Rogue that was always getting himself into situations he needed to be rescued from. My Paladin was constantly saving his butt. It made the game more challenging, but also more interesting.

There are, however, 2 possible problems that may need to be addressed:

1) The increased difficulty she is causing is actually getting PCs killed, results in failed mission, or otherwise has a permanent detrimental effect to the other PCs at the table.
2) The increased difficulty she is causing is making the game less fun for the other players.

If either 1 or 2 are problems, then this is something you need to sit down with her and talk about as her desire to role-play is now impinging on everyone else's enjoyment of the game. Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it.

As a final note, you should point out to her that Bards have a large selection of spells and abilities that can non-violently pacify the opposition.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Melbourne

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
Oh, one minor detail I forgot to add. She introduces herself as a fighter, so she likes to be in front. It's the weird paradox of saying you're a melee person, but not doing melee that gets to me, I think. She's not doing what she's advertising herself to be.

Is she at least acting as a meat shield when she does this? If she insists on being in the front rank and then does nothing to stop the monsters from getting past her, then yes, this is a problem.

4/5

well, being ineffective is a choice. A poor choice but a valid one.

When it's conscientious it just makes it more, ummm, humorous. So many do it accidentally or by making poor choices, sometimes it's by design.
Need I mention the pregenerated characters? (okay - they're not bad, just very middle of the road by design)

Look, she is playing and building a poor reputation for that character stemming from a character design rule that was meant to represent some theme/idea or trope. It's that simple. Probably when it comes to a hard rub (aka death) the other players may be examining the ceilings or walls... A 2-3 level bard isn't going to make a big impact in PFS. So this is much ado about nothing.

BTW I applaud roleplaying. Sometimes it gets in the way of time and effective action. It is a role playing game...

Grand Lodge 4/5 *** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento

leonvios wrote:
I have refused to aid with a diplomacy check before, cause it was not something I wanted to do (evil Outsider).

I will sometimes have my high diplomacy character refrain from helping the other diplomat, just so that if she blows her roll, I can take a second crack at it.

5/5 5/55/5

I stepped into Bonekeep level 1 table that was pieced together. One player was a 5th level pacifist fighter. His attack was a 1d3 non-lethal whip attack. His AC was poor for 5th level at 20 and he had no perception score, or other effective skill points; in effect he was worthless, accept to take a few hits for the party. His weakness was so bad it caused the death of 2 other player characters only a few rooms into Bonekeep, He though his idea was clever but in essence he screwed the other players at the table. There were some angry people who left that table.

I now have 20 characters, when players come to tables with severely under-powered characters that can cause other player deaths, I pull out my characters that I don't care that much about especially when I don't have enough prestige of GP's to pay for a raise dead.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

Bonekeep and other obviously hard scenarios like Waking Rune are something of an exception. I'd consider it a jerk move to bring in an intentionally bad character to these without the rest of the table explicitly agreeing.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Melbourne

Taking a concept character into Bonekeep is like picking Betty White as your quarterback for the Superbowl. It's a cute idea that is going to get everyone on your team creamed.

Silver Crusade 4/5

trollbill wrote:
Taking a concept character into Bonekeep is like picking Betty White as your quarterback for the Superbowl. It's a cute idea that is going to get everyone on your team creamed.

Depends on what you mean by "concept character", and how effective the rest of the team is.

When I played Bonekeep level 1, we finished with max rewards, and nobody died, which is relatively rare. I have since decided to give up on the PC that I played in that one. It was an odd multi-class roguish concept that I just never got to work as effectively as I wanted. But the one thing I did well with that PC happened to be exactly what was needed for our group in Bonekeep: trap finding and disabling. He didn't help as much as I wanted in combat, but I was with enough overpowered PCs that it didn't matter.

3/5

I was at a con with a bard that was "agoraphobic" and would run away at the first sign of battle, danger, or a friendly chat with an NPC. I played with a level 10 grapple witch that was killed by 2 cr 2 alligators out grappling her. I DMed a table for that same witch player and she now had a melee character at level 7 do 1d6+3 damage with an ac of 22 and a globster ate her in 2 rounds.

Reasons like that are why I build as powerful characters as I can. You never know who you will sit down with, and I might have to save the others players as they make up for that glaring hole as each one of those examples were enough to pull the table into a higher tier.

I have a character that will not hurt sentient creatures. But I will grapple and tie them in a bow. Then I ususally cry and bemoan as the murder hobos pathfinder them to what they think is a present.(In chracter i cry, out of character I tell them i am just rping do what you want). I have another character that will never kill a living creature as he tries to redeem them all. And again cries as they get pathfindered by my troupe.

You should talk to this play and see how she can contribute more without violence. If she takes full defense and steps in front taking hits. Well that is still useful. If she hides and takes full defense. Well that is kind of a jerk move. So I would talk to her and alert her of that. Heck she can even Roleplay stepping front saying things like hey guys we do not have to fight as she tries to intercede and separate the groups(so in character she is being a pacifist, and helping the group by taking hits.)

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