An experiment in communication: Do I "optimize" my characters?


Advice

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to be fair, barbarians end up with all kinds of crazy stuff in their treasure hordes :D

and rich parents for a barbarian is equivalent to having extra mountain goats to trade for that fine curved sword stolen off of the corpse of some poor traveler :D

I'd allow it!


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NobodysHome wrote:

To me, "optimization" is a disparaging term used when a player chooses traits/feats/equipment/options that are "obviously" in conflict with the setting/mood/story, solely because they improve the PC, without regards to storytelling.

My favorite example was a post of a barbarian build. The PC was a Shoanti barbarian from the Cinderlands. The player chose the "rich parents" trait, and used that to purchase a masterwork nodachi and breastplate.

I might have even excused the breastplate, but a nodachi?

"Oh, I can write my way around that," was the player's response.

"I abandon storytelling and 'realism' in favor of making my PC as powerful as possible," is my 'negative definition' of optimization.

If you're choosing stuff that fits in with the campaign, fits in with what your character has done so far, and fits in with what you're trying to accomplish, then no problemo, no matter how advantageous/disadvantageous your choices are.

But if your PC is a mishmash of wildly variant traits from a dozen different sourcebooks and your excuse is, "I can write around that," then I have an issue...

EDIT: I mean, I can list simple facts:
(1) Fact 1: In the last 4+ years, I've run 13 players (as a GM) and played with 7 others (as a player) through 33 AP books.

(2) Fact 2: In that particular experience, there is a strong correlation between "problem players" (players with whom I or another GM have a problem) and "number of source books used for the PC".

So while I would reject the assertion that "multiple source books" = "bad", I would say that "multiple source books" is a strong indicator that the player in question is choosing more powerful options without regard to their character concept or the storyline as a whole

This is one of the worst sorts of attitudes I see in the "anti-optimization" crowd. Most mechanical character choices have little to no meaningful relation to actual character personality and development, and the little there is can easily be refluffed. And if you don't allow refluffing, you are actually hindering roleplaying instead of encouraging it, as you are restricting your game to Paizo's set descriptions.

I mean, your problem with the nodachi just screams blind adherence to an arbitrary description. You make no meaningful change to the game if you fluff it as any other type of greatsword. I mean, why should a character choose a blatantly mechanically inferior option when they can choose a better one and slightly alter the description? Because Paizo stated that this weapon statblock is eastern and that one isn't? That's the worse sort of roleplaying in my opinion.


Ah, I see. This is an experiment in, "I am going to take every post and interpret in the most negative possible manner."

Thank you for your time. I'll be moving on now.


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Dear Hiding,

Often it isn't "optimization" but the perceived attitude that comes from how the demand for optimization is handled, socially. For example, the phrases:

* You're responsible for our party's TPK if you don't make x, y, or z as choices
* Let me make your character for you; you'll have more fun that way

...are off-putting. These and similar phrases are often given with honest sincerity by the individual giving them. I repeat: honest sincerity.

With autism, it is very possible to get caught up in the numerical details and a perceived goal of the game. The idea of making someone's character for them so it's "done right, so they will have more fun" can seem logically helpful. Emotionally, it fails to take into account the other person's feelings.

I suspect that disconnect may play a role here. It may also play a role with many conversations about optimization where they have seemed to go off the rails. I have had many, many conversations into the night where I have had to sit aside with someone with autism and explain why they need to let others make their own choices, or learn to phrase things in a different way.

I would estimate that this has happened at least three times in the last two months. These are brilliant, kind people. There is however, that disconnect that can put them at odds unintentionally.

What I WOULD suggest is stepping away from "optimizing" and anything else for a while, and to give this a read. It may give you a better way to approach these conversations. It may also give you a better measure. For example, the book outlines several rules for social interaction, that were written by someone with autism. If you see someone arguing for optimization and see that they are violating these rules, you can be sure that the audience will become upset or even angry.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

At least you didn't say you were okay with errata. That really works them up. :-)


NobodysHome wrote:

Ah, I see. This is an experiment in, "I am going to take every post and interpret in the most negative possible manner."

Thank you for your time. I'll be moving on now.

You stated that you had issues with a barbarian using a nodachi because you didn't feel that its arbitrary flavor didn't match other arbitrary flavor. That's not interpreting in the most negative possible manner, that's just reading your post.

If a mechanical effect can be described in a certain way, there should be no issue letting it be described that way, so long as the description matches the mechanical effect. The mechanical effect of a nodachi is "big two-handed slashing weapon." Anything else is arbitrary.


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NH wrote:
Ah, I see. This is an experiment in, "I am going to take every post and interpret in the most negative possible manner."

Welcome to the Paizo Boards

Scarab Sages

NobodysHome wrote:

Ah, I see. This is an experiment in, "I am going to take every post and interpret in the most negative possible manner."

It did kind of feel that way for a while, didn't it? Quite overtly, in some cases. The first section worked out amazingly well (although the fact that it means I was right from the get-go still puzzles me, because it fails to explain my subsequent experiences)...but Jesus H. Kryten, I did NOT bargain for that second half.

SquirrelyOgre wrote:

Dear Hiding,

Often it isn't "optimization" but the perceived attitude that comes from how the demand for optimization is handled, socially. For example, the phrases:

* You're responsible for our party's TPK if you don't make x, y, or z as choices
* Let me make your character for you; you'll have more fun that way

...are off-putting. These and similar phrases are often given with honest sincerity by the individual giving them. I repeat: honest sincerity.

With autism, it is very possible to get caught up in the numerical details and a perceived goal of the game. The idea of making someone's character for them so it's "done right, so they will have more fun" can seem logically helpful. Emotionally, it fails to take into account the other person's feelings.

This...puzzles me. I'm the admitted autist, and this is the kind of stuff (particularly that first example of yours, which was rabidly thrown at me in that "Inquisitor feat" thread of mine that I linked to on the 1st or 2nd page) that gave me the impression that "optimization" was an idea to fear. I've run into this misunderstanding before, and it's distressing for multiple reasons. Autistic =/= unimaginative. It just doesn't. Quite the opposite (and I don't believe I've ever heard of anyone pitching that second example, at least not in that spirit)....


As a DM, I have tried to accommodate as many different "ideas" about characters as I can, even when those "ideas" might conflict with my vision of the setting.

Sometimes I say no, but I don't remember saying no because I thought a character "idea" was "broken" in any way*

I usually say no, when a character "idea" just seems too far out there for me to do that "re fluff" thing to explain how and why that character is where there are now, doing what they are doing (particularly in my pet campaign setting of Hamth).

I think everyone "optimizes" unless they really don't know what they are doing. I mean, if you want to be the "best" at being a cantankerous old coot, so you select a Chr of 7, that is optimizing.

Why anyone disparages anyone else for the choices they make for their characters is beyond me (other than that one case where people who are strangers get together to play a society game, where success sort of counts, and one player makes choices that others see will lower the overall odds of success, and usually this is done out of ignorance more than deliberately being a nuisance, though that happens as well).

*For me, in the end, it is never about how the character is "built" what options, or sources are used (though I dislike d20psfrd, for two reasons, one, I can't always find the information I need when a player uses something from that site, and two, I have an opinion that some of the options there are not well balanced). But ultimately, I've said this before, no character in any game I am running can break one of my games. Rocks fall, everybody dies - sure it is an extreme, but there are also more subtle ways to balance a game with unusual character options. It is the disruptive player I have a problem with, not disruptive characters.


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
How do I win arguments?

Have you ever considered looking at it from another angle?

Take the example of Bruce Lee, who famously described his style as "The art of fighting, without fighting".

The only true way to win an argument on the internet, is not to get into one in the first place!


I think I have a new favorite poster on this forum. because this whole thread is hilarious.


Its not about winning the argument, its about picking your fights really.
The art of discusson is so full of traps and word twisting that it will in the end be just a matter of wit rather than actual information.

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Autistic =/= unimaginative. It just doesn't. Quite the opposite (and I don't believe I've ever heard of anyone pitching that second example, at least not in that spirit)....

Not at all. I am of the Asperger variant so i tend to fall short on the social aspect, but i do have some rather interesting concepts and i often try to make them work mechanically before going for the fluff.

Personally i am the one who take the "refluff" route quite a deal to have that mechanic that fit to the concept the best while it still being a "effective" character ( Not "Optimized" to the max, just enough for the concept to stand in battle without being useless )

As my Mythweaver might suggest, i am far from the "unimaginative"..

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

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NobodysHome wrote:

I mean, I can list simple facts:

(1) Fact 1: In the last 4+ years, I've run 13 players (as a GM) and played with 7 others (as a player) through 33 AP books.

(2) Fact 2: In that particular experience, there is a strong correlation between "problem players" (players with whom I or another GM have a problem) and "number of source books used for the PC".

So while I would reject the assertion that "multiple source books" = "bad", I would say that "multiple source books" is a strong indicator that the player in question is choosing more powerful options without regard to their character concept or the storyline as a whole

I can list simple facts too:

(1) Fact 1: In the last 4+ years, I've run well over a hundred players (as a GM) and played with a similar (and overlapping) number as a player through dozens upon dozens of scenarios. (Some scenarios I even got to experience from both sides of the screen at different times, which adds quite a bit of perspective.)

(2) Fact 2: In that particular experience, there is a strong correlation between "problem participants" (players/GMs who tromped across other people's fun to enforce their own ideals) and "number of decades of D&D experience/number of editions played".

So while I would reject the assertion that "multiple decades/editions" = "bad", if I were to say that "multiple decades/editions" is a strong indicator that the player/GM in question is choosing to trample other people's fun in order to enforce their own ideals, would you accept that conclusion as being just as valid as your own? Because if not, you're being hypocritical and need to reassess your position.


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A hush falls over the crowd, as Jiggy enters the arena. It should be noted his adversary left hours ago. But that doesn't stop Jiggy.


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Sorry Jiggy. I missed the "some" on the first part and didn't understand you on the second part. I withdraw my complaint and plead a blonde moment or distraction as I was on my way to the beach.

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

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Aranna wrote:
plead a blonde moment

*looks at avatar*

DENIED!


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:


IHIYC you need some perspective.

Okay, I'm game.

What do I need to do to get it? How would I know if I had it? I can't just decide that decades of consistent life lessons (including formal education in history, psychology, etc, and the observations of friends, family, and teachers) have all been wrong based on one little forum thread, but evidently, I don't know what's reasonable (and neither do my family, friends, and teachers, apparently), so I'll take your word for it, since it's plainly superior to mine - but I need you to tell me what to do. If what I think is true actually isn't, what more would I need to do to either verify it properly or find the truth that I've been so blind to for so long? How many times must I test my own assertions before I no longer need to prove anything any further? How often do other people question their innermost convictions and rigorously challenge their self-perception, and to what degree of personal expense? What's the standard for that? Apparently, I pamper and indulge myself and don't do enough to consider the points of view of others. Tell me what the standard expectations and practices are for "getting perspective," and then we can compare it with what I've done to that end to see just how much more perspective I need. Fair?

For a start, how about not claiming emphatically to not enjoy looking down on people then immediately be condescending and patronising about the"ugly pitfalls to which normal people are vulnerable".

That is walking straight into an ugly pitfall of your own making.

I cannot know the difficulties you experience in life, or how easy they are to deal with, and god knows I'm far from perfect, but as long as you make posts like that one you will have to prove (or maybe improve) yourself at least one more time.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:

Ah, I see. This is an experiment in, "I am going to take every post and interpret in the most negative possible manner."

It did kind of feel that way for a while, didn't it? Quite overtly, in some cases. The first section worked out amazingly well (although the fact that it means I was right from the get-go still puzzles me, because it fails to explain my subsequent experiences)...but Jesus H. Kryten, I did NOT bargain for that second half.

SquirrelyOgre wrote:

Dear Hiding,

Often it isn't "optimization" but the perceived attitude that comes from how the demand for optimization is handled, socially. For example, the phrases:

* You're responsible for our party's TPK if you don't make x, y, or z as choices
* Let me make your character for you; you'll have more fun that way

...are off-putting. These and similar phrases are often given with honest sincerity by the individual giving them. I repeat: honest sincerity.

With autism, it is very possible to get caught up in the numerical details and a perceived goal of the game. The idea of making someone's character for them so it's "done right, so they will have more fun" can seem logically helpful. Emotionally, it fails to take into account the other person's feelings.

This...puzzles me. I'm the admitted autist, and this is the kind of stuff (particularly that first example of yours, which was rabidly thrown at me in that "Inquisitor feat" thread of mine that I linked to on the 1st or 2nd page) that gave me the impression that "optimization" was an idea to fear. I've run into this misunderstanding before, and it's distressing for multiple reasons. Autistic =/= unimaginative. It just doesn't. Quite the opposite (and I don't believe I've ever heard of anyone pitching that second example, at least not in that spirit)....

I get you. Yeah, I never meant to come across that you were uncreative. Anyone involved in RPGs is going to be, and I suspect you have creativity in spades. I may have misread part of your post, too. I really apologize for that.

What I am trying to say is that the pushback you received about optimization is often related to how optimization-related arguments and statements have been presented in the past.

While some optimizers give good, kind and well-worded advice. ...there tend to be a set who push too far, unintentionally. I have encountered the second example in that list I gave many times and the first many more often than that. As often as not, the statements were well-intended. The optimizers in question were trying to help and were honestly puzzled why others rejected their help, or why the pro-optimizing statements were seen as offensive.

As a coder friend once explained to me: "It's obvious. Why WOULDN'T you want to do that?" They went on to say that of course someone would want the optimal build in order to have the most fun because it was the logical thing to do. He would get caught up in the details, and 3E encourages a sort of mathematical character-building game as well as the traditional adventure module. It is easy to get caught up in that and admittedly, can be a lot of fun. It can also be very creative.

It took a long time before he was able to sit back and say, "I understand that others don't want the most optimal build. It isn't logical to me, but I have to be okay with that." Many times, we would need to take him aside at the table and explain why steam was coming out of someone's ears.

He was a genuinely good and creative person. He volunteered to bring snacks if people requested it, or if someone said "can I get help with X?" However, he would get caught up in character optimization and was unable to understand others' emotional reactions. He genuinely thought he was helping them. To be fair, it took me a while to see this as well because I too, would be angry because I thought he was being condescending, insulting, or so on.

It turns out that he was trying to be forthright and honest.

He is not the only person who "gets caught up" that I have met or had at the table, and I suspect he is far from the last. He himself later told me he was along the spectrum, and many of the optimizers I knew who tended to "get into trouble" were as well.

However, not all. Others were not on the spectrum, but were just so focused that they missed social cues entirely. It is possible to do that.

I suspect the kind of focus that it takes to get into that level of character optimization encourages that "so caught up I forget to read why others get upset" mindset because boy do I run into it a lot.

Much of the advice may be well-intended. I would go with a polite but clear: "no thank you" or "thank you for the advice, but I would like to focus on something else" or "thank you, but my goal is different" and move on. In the case of the coder friend, if you engaged him on a point of argument, he would become concerned that you were not seeing his point at ALL and he must convince you. It was very important to him.

He was also concerned that you would not have as much fun as you could. The result of this is that the argument will ESCALATE. It will escalate out of well-meaning intentions and a wont to be understood.

Basically, if that sort of "escalation" happens to you, express your gratitude, politely let them know that you'll consider their advice but that your goal/etc. is probably different, and then move on.

I have had way too many conversations like this in the past several months...into the past several decades. The bottom line is: a number of the more driven pro-optimizers end up missing social cues. Some are along spectrum (and have told me so) but not all are. They just for one reason or another, get so caught up that they fail to see the hurt and frustration coming from someone else.

When cues like that are missed, it tends to leave a feeling of anger or upset behind. Because, I suspect, this situation happens more often with pro-optimization mindsets/discussions, that anger and upset becomes associated with optimization in general.

Again, these honestly good and damn creative people who are trying to help. It just comes across not as they'd intended.

Scarab Sages

dragonhunterq wrote:


For a start, how about not claiming emphatically to not enjoy looking down on people then immediately be condescending and patronising about the"ugly pitfalls to which normal people are vulnerable".

That is walking straight into an ugly pitfall of your own making.

Some people buy this. They're the ones who say I'm doing something wrong.

Others don't. They sympathize, and certainly aren't offended - and it seems like there's been a cultural paradigm shift sometime over the past 15-ish years where the bulk of public reaction has gone from "okay" to "not okay," which was certainly mysterious, unwelcome, unexpected, and harmful.

So clearly, taking it personally is something of a choice.

Simply saying what I know about myself, regardless of how it may happen to reflect by comparison on other people - well saying it may be a choice, but knowing it isn't, and it shouldn't be a crime in any case. It's not like I'm taking anything away from other people. Understand that I'm not actually talking about other people, but how I've observed, and by a lifetime of actions, proved I'm different from them - and that difference may really only extend as far as realizing I was free to a different choice: Think about people running around like headless chickens after the "9/11" attacks, whereas I never did - I remembered all the crap that had just happened in the 1990s, and 9/11/2001 was just another beautiful day in the neighborhood for me, and things would all be MUCH MUCH better now if only the majority had dared to take that attitude despite the media and regime trying their hardest to literally scare us stupid. Maybe if what I said that had been called "arrogant" had been in this context first and foremost, people would have reacted differently, but the thing is I see these things bleeding into venues that are, supposedly, divorced from all that. Maybe I was wrong about some of it - it was the best conclusion I could reach based on the available information at the time - but if so, it's not fair at all for people to keep slamming me for what I said prior to getting a better understanding. "Evil mind-plagues" are a thing, my gift of resistance to them is a phenomenon demonstrated by practice and observed on the wider scale by science, and then there's "optimization" - evidently I'd misbranded that because I'd had it glommed all together with other behaviors I'd seen in conjunction with hearing increased talk of "optimization," and I'd cobbled together a faulty picture based on what I had at the time. Now I understand a little better - but I'd been doing my best before.

Also I suspect that there's a lot of sloshing one topic covered on this thread into another or more, which has clearly caused problems. I ceased talking about anything revolving around gaming some time ago, for my part, and I only ever responded to one discrete issue at any given time, because that's about as much as I can handle (at least when the environment feels more hostile rather than less). Some others seemed more comfortable stewing it all together, so again, profound communication clash.

Finally, just so we're clear: "Appearing to be" =/= "actually being," we all know that, right? Misunderstandings are predictable and forgivable, but it's the farthest thing from fair, rational, or just to continue harping on what was said under conditions of misunderstanding after a better understanding has been achieved. This is another Internet problem (which Gary Larson also observed was a comic strip problem) - old posts don't go away, and are just as legible as newer, so they appear to be "on the same plateau" (even then, I'm pretty sure it STILL isn't considered rational or otherwise okay behavior to keep NSA-like track of everything a person's ever said so you can whip out as rhetorical weapons old comments of someone's that that person had never made any allusion to whatsoever in the thread du jour - that's just political axe-grinding).


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You won't be turned. Stabbing you with a transmuting weapon doesn't make you die. Surrounding you with a mob of "townsfolk" with torches and pitchforks and burning the barn down around you hasn't made you a charred lump of dead.

"The dark fire will not avail you, Flame of Udun!"

"Go back to the Shadow!"

*Somebody* murderize this beast. Please.


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Paladin of the Tetragrammaton wrote:


*Somebody* murderize this beast. Please.

Okay. But only since you asked nicely.

*Pulls out chum bucket. Pours out thread chum.*

Batman is chaotic good. End of story.

Martial characters are not useless after 10th level compared to casters. In fact, I saw a useless 15th level wizard once so it must be true.

The unchained rogue is too powerful and the original was just fine. My anecdotal evidence proves it since once I saw one do a lot of damage with a sneak attack.

This election coming up is not really a big deal, and it doesn't matter who wins anyway. Make America Great! Or maybe you hate women if you don't vote for you know who?

The only way to chargen is with rolled dice, and if you use point buy you're a horrible GM. Fact.

Core Pathfinder is the only way to go. There's too many classes. Bloated! I want Pathfinder 2.0! The whole game should be updated because I'm too timid to say no to my players.

Well, if that doesn't get the sharks circling, I don't know what will. You're welcome. Thread should be shut down in no time.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
"Evil mind-plagues" are a thing, my gift of resistance to them is a phenomenon demonstrated by practice and observed on the wider scale by science

Okay, what?

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
"Evil mind-plagues" are a thing, and then there's "optimization"

Okay, WHAT?


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I give up, there's no reason b~~+&ing at each other.

YOU'RE ALL BEAUTIFUL. IN YOUR OWN WAY.

Now, everyone hug and play nice.

You don't want me to bust out my step by step fully illustrated instructions on how to hug stuffed animals.

I will do it. O_o


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Wow SquirrelyOgre, i think you nailed my situation quite accuratly.
Well at least on how i used to be, to this day i still prefer the stability of clear rules over table difference.

But... i think for the topic of the thread we have at least discovered that the "Communication" about "Optimizing" is outright....terrible, at least in this community.

Scarab Sages

Iron Heart wrote:

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
"Evil mind-plagues" are a thing, and then there's "optimization"
Okay, WHAT?

The context is all right there, dude. If you don't understand, it's not the end of the world; just withhold judgment and move on.

Dracoknight wrote:


But... i think for the topic of the thread we have at least discovered that the "Communication" about "Optimizing" is outright....terrible, at least in this community.

My conclusion in a nutshell: An ordered collective lingo arose where little or none had been before, that was intended to improve people's ability to talk about and play the game...and it BACKFIRED on both counts.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:


My conclusion in a nutshell: An ordered collective lingo arose where little or none had been before, that was intended to improve people's ability to talk about and play the game...and it BACKFIRED on both counts.

Or as i would call it in a very sarcastic tone: "Oh no, people have different opinions on the internet. And some of them suck!"

I suppose we could have discussed the finer points of why that is, but honestly thats a rabbit hole i rather not get lost in currently.

So in hindsight, limit the topic even narrower, pick your battles better, discuss ideas and not people.

Honestly the whole "Group VS Group" mindset drives me up the f*+!ing wall, could people just please STOP that?


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Cuddly Hugs Cap'n Yesterday wrote:

YOU'RE ALL BEAUTIFUL. IN YOUR OWN WAY.

Now, everyone hug and play nice.

You don't want me to bust out my step by step fully illustrated instructions on how to hug stuffed animals.

I will do it. O_o

HEY! I take offense to this! I am beautiful in EVERY WAY!

~hugs CY~

Oh and I already know how to hug stuffed animals.

Dark Archive

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NobodysHome wrote:
My favorite example was a post of a barbarian build. The PC was a Shoanti barbarian from the Cinderlands. The player chose the "rich parents" trait, and used that to purchase a masterwork nodachi and breastplate.

I remember that thread. There was a post on it that made me so angry I had to delete my draft reply and walk away from the computer, and I ended up posting nothing.

I'm pretty sure that post was yours. I'm not going back to check (my therapy bills are high enough as it is).

So I'll just say that not everyone agrees with your approach to the game. However I'm sure we all accept that you should play the game whatever way best suits you and your players, but hopefully you can accept that your way is not for everyone.

Personally, I'd take a masterwork nodachi with a cool backstory that everyone remembers for years afterwards, over generic masterwork greatsword #2362, any day of the week.

Also, if I ran an adventure which included an NPC Shoanti barbarian with an unusual weapon I wouldn't be very pleased if one of my players criticised me for it.

Scarab Sages

Dracoknight wrote:
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:


My conclusion in a nutshell: An ordered collective lingo arose where little or none had been before, that was intended to improve people's ability to talk about and play the game...and it BACKFIRED on both counts.

Or as i would call it in a very sarcastic tone: "Oh no, people have different opinions on the internet. And some of them suck!"

Among those:

- the opinion that "nobody has a right to opinions that are different from mine"

- the opinion that "literally EVERYTHING's a matter of opinion" ("Copernicus proved that the Earth revolves around the Sun rather tha-SHUTUPTHAT'SJUSTYOUROPINION!")

- the opinion that "if it's a matter of opinion, then all opinions are equally valid;" no, actually, not quite: Not all opinions have equal thought put into them, or equal sophistication and learning in the relevant field, meaning that some opinions, despite being legitimate matters of opinion, still deserve more gravity than others. True, these things can't be quantified, but math is NOT the only way we figure out what's important...nor is it "the best way," or even "the only objective and logical way." Our senses extend much farther than we realize, and the fact that we're told not to trust them or take them seriously because they aren't quantifiable is actually not much more than a contemporary sociopolitical fad, and despite how hard it is to argue with, it is one that has proved to be POISON.

ALSO: Hence the need for less narrow language norms, since that's increased conflict rather than reducing it (and then there's the nasty little matter of "you get marginalized if you don't conform to the most imposing language edifice looming over the playground").

Dracoknight wrote:


So in hindsight, limit the topic even narrower, pick your battles better, discuss ideas and not people.

I do, as a rule - the problem with anyone who's predisposed to thinking in terms of ideas is that they are still inevitably a person, and so can get attacked as one...at which point rising back above that level is a struggle.


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amethal wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:
My favorite example was a post of a barbarian build. The PC was a Shoanti barbarian from the Cinderlands. The player chose the "rich parents" trait, and used that to purchase a masterwork nodachi and breastplate.

I remember that thread. There was a post on it that made me so angry I had to delete my draft reply and walk away from the computer, and I ended up posting nothing.

I'm pretty sure that post was yours. I'm not going back to check (my therapy bills are high enough as it is).

So I'll just say that not everyone agrees with your approach to the game. However I'm sure we all accept that you should play the game whatever way best suits you and your players, but hopefully you can accept that your way is not for everyone.

Personally, I'd take a masterwork nodachi with a cool backstory that everyone remembers for years afterwards, over generic masterwork greatsword #2362, any day of the week.

Also, if I ran an adventure which included an NPC Shoanti barbarian with an unusual weapon I wouldn't be very pleased if one of my players criticised me for it.

So a certain person linked me back into this thread, and obviously my original post was very unclear.

If there's a cool backstory explaining it, I have no issue with it.

My issue is players who tell me, "It's in the rules, so you have to allow it, and I don't have to justify it in any way, shape, or form. Your desire for a consistent world view is limiting my freedom! You're a terrible GM!"


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:


I do, as a rule - the problem with anyone who's predisposed to thinking in terms of ideas is that they are...

Or as i solve it, when the discussion goes into a argument, and the argument goes into personal you are no longer required to stay in it. And the other side is not a victor when you run out of arguments, if the discussion ends in a stalemate where neither is satisfied i would call that a net loss for both sides.

This is why i say "pick your battles" as in the end there is battles that cant be won by logic, reason or information so you are better off spending your time gathering more information or go to next topic.

My "defense" in such discussions/arguments is that i have taken up the cape as a diplomat. My wording is tailored to my peers so that the communication can be established. When the communication is established and you are "speaking the same language" its only then you should attempt to correct flaws in their language. ( Another metaphor would be if you tried to correct a native-norwegian speaker in norwegian when you barely have heard the language ) And this is how i avoid these kind of conflicts, and most conflicts useally is due to the disruption of communication.

But i could null that all out and just go by the saying: "Never argue with an idiot, he will bring you down to his level and beat you with experience"


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NobodysHome wrote:

So a certain person linked me back into this thread, and obviously my original post was very unclear.

If there's a cool backstory explaining it, I have no issue with it.

My issue is players who tell me, "It's in the rules, so you have to allow it, and I don't have to justify it in any way, shape, or form. Your desire for a consistent world view is limiting my freedom! You're a terrible GM!"

All I'm going to say about NH's games is that he is not as restrictive as some of his posts may indicate.

Anyone who's read this thread (in addition to having a great time) can attest that he allows quite a... variety... of... "characters" (both players and the ones on the paper)... into his games.

(I mean, he generally kind of half-expects a certain amount of optimization in his own games.)

So... I think this is a case of miscommunication with a little of "different styles" and different understandings of the same words thrown in.

That said, I will mention that I don't think the words themselves are necessarily problematic... but I think they can be for certain people. Anyone who's writing or talking needs to think about the potential impact of what they say on others - it's not possible to do so infinitely, but it's an important part of communication to do that.


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Dracoknight wrote:
My "defense" in such discussions/arguments is that i have taken up the cape as a diplomat. My wording is tailored to my peers so that the communication can be established. When the communication is established and you are "speaking the same language" its only then you should attempt to correct flaws in their language. ( Another metaphor would be if you tried to correct a native-norwegian speaker in norwegian when you barely have heard the language ) And this is how i avoid these kind of conflicts, and most conflicts useally is due to the disruption of communication.

Can't believe I'm adding here, again. I intended not to.

This is actually something really important.

In a thread that I made some time back, I mentioned some of the problems with certain terminology - not because the words are bad, but because the words come with emotional connotations to certain people that they lack with others, and some of those (either positive or negative or neutral) create miscommunication without actually diverging on the literal meaning of those words.

- "Optimization"
- "Min/Max"
- "Cheese"

... and so on, are all examples of the same kind of thing.

It's not a case that these terms are bad. As Jiggy eloquently wrote on the first page, there are valid, strong uses of these terms and they can actually assist in communication.

But for certain people, it can confuse the issue. The problem isn't the terms, nor is the problem the people, but the problem is how some people interact with the term. In this case, it's important to think about how people will respond to its use.

The OP of this one utilized inflammatory terms and a confrontational style while actually trying to be conversational. These terms and that style will naturally rile people up and quickly overshadow the actual discussion, regardless of the point. This is exactly how many things get derailed - a comment with a given (apparent) "tone" creates an emotion in others.

(NOTE: by "you" I mean "anyone at all, even and especially me." Like, I'm literally talking to myself with this post.)
Understanding how your words and conveyed emotions impact others is a basic part of communication. You can't always guess accurately... but you must at least try, and also acknowledge any failure on your part. If you don't understand how you've offended, ask. And, if they reply, look at the response and try to understand it from their perspective. Sometimes people will be rude. Sometimes they'll just stop talking to you (maybe because they've got an extension that hides you, or they're just snubbing you). Sometimes people will be willing to engage with you. It's the latter you should focus on. You don't need to agree, but you should be willing to listen. And if you don't want to get into arguments, you should be willing to figure out how to word things differently with the help of these latter folks.

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

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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
How many times must I test my own assertions before I no longer need to prove anything any further?
That's not a state a person can reach.
Technically, no, but there has to be a level that can be declared "good enough for any reasonable person to accept/good enough that it would be perverse by this point to say otherwise" otherwise you're just testing and testing and testing forever, and then you have no functional life. Are you saying I'm arguing with a whole temple's worth of ascetic monks whose existences are devoted to endlessly verifying their every thought? If so, I must admit that's a bit hardcore for me.

Thread's moving faster than I can really keep up with, but I wanted to go back to this one.

IHIYC, how in the world did you manage to interpret my post like that?

I wrote that a person can't reach a point where one's own assertions/beliefs no longer need to be subject to review/proving/scrutiny/whatever.

Somehow, you interpreted this statement as meaning that I'm in favor of constant testing of one's every thought, day in and day out.

Normally when someone responds to such a straightforward statement with a reply as unfoundedly extreme as yours, it's taken as deliberate hyperbole used in an effort to turn the original statement into something more easily refuted so that they don't have to face an inconvenient observation.

But since you've been so big on how honest you are and how you always "fight fair", I guess we have to rule out hyperbole and conclude that you honestly believed that "you never reach a point where your ideas are beyond contestation" somehow meant "you must test your every thought constantly, even to the neglect of other life activities". If you were honest about being honest, then we have to conclude that your interpretation was genuine, despite its gross wrongness.

So, you've understood my statement to mean something vastly different than what I said. Why could this be? Well, according to you (earlier in this thread), it is fully the responsibility of the listener to make sure they understand the speaker's ideas. Since you have not understood the speaker's message, you have failed in the very responsibility you had proclaimed to the rest of us.

If you've been honest this whole time, then you have a self-elected responsibility to go back to my post and figure out where you went wrong and what I really meant.

Do you intend to do so? Or would you like me to explain it further, in spite of the values you've proclaimed thus far?


Guys. Troll is written on the wall all over this thread. Why are you still here? There's no point to make, no argument to win, no agreement to come to. Cut your losses and board your closet shut.


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I've never seen IHIYC make any positive contribution to any discussion around here. If he ever did, I certainly didn't see it. All I've ever seen him doing was show disdain and arrogance towards other players and then claim he never did it.

I don't think IHIYC's just trolling. I think he's "stinging" (or whatever it's called): Trying to provoke a reaction so that someone else gets punished by the admins. Which I believe is againsr the forum's rules.

The only reason I even click this thread anymore is because Jiggy's awesome and makes amazing points.


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1) Batman = CG? Eh. Kinda. I really think he's LN -- for me, the defining characteristic is not how his actions are generally perceived, but his motivations for doing so. Chaotic actions? Sure; to invoke Obi-wan -- "From a certain point of view." Disorderly rebellion as a stance in society -- much less so.

2) Martials are the best classes ever. Duh. Especially the paladin. And who needs archetypes? *eye roll* LAME.

3) Nah. URogue needs a bit more of a bump to be "right". Something like a d10 HD and full BAB. Then it would be close to playable.

4) Not a big deal? This is likely the most important election cycle in the first half of this century, dude. Our two likeliest nominees are Bane and Talia al'Ghul, though, so prolly *everyone loses*. I keep hopin' that the Bern burns it up in Cali, just to keep tweaking the establishment. Vote 'em ALL out!!

5) Dice? Point buy? HA!! Both are totally lame. In the only good and valid method known to gamerkind, the GM gives all players an array!!

6) Whatchoo skurred for, man? I'm a GM, too, and a paladin to boot! Come stand within 10 feet of me -- have I got an aura for you!!

spoiler:
Thanks, gtg.

Dark Archive

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Batman is clearly a Paladin.


>>> Cuup --

Having been through a number of automobile accidents, and surviving through dumb luck *and* amazing reflexes, I have found my new extreme sport: COLLISION SURFING.

So why not ride the Troll Trainwreck?


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Lemmy wrote:
The only reason I even click this thread anymore is because Jiggy's awesome and makes amazing points.

Jiggy is pretty awesome. I really enjoy his posts all over the boards. They're like excellently formatted essays. If he had a blog, I'd follow it. He's a heck of a persuasive writer.

I also enjoy reading your stuff, Lemmy, ever since you solved the Great Goblin Baby Debate with your holy sword solution. That was the most zen thing I'd ever read. You figured out one-hand clapping. The elegance, the simplicity - the simple fact that any GM who said they die is by default declaring they're evil and you made the right decision and if the GM doesn't have them die, again, you made the right decision, no matter what - the God of Gods for your game has to make the call for you. Simply brilliant!


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Quote:
Batman is clearly a Paladin.

Are you kidding me f@&!face, he's a f!~+ing ninja

Liberty's Edge

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Lemmy wrote:

I've never seen IHIYC make any positive contribution to any discussion around here. If he ever did, I certainly didn't see it. All I've ever seen him doing was show disdain and arrogance towards other players and then claim he never did it.

I don't think IHIYC's just trolling. I think he's "stinging" (or whatever it's called): Trying to provoke a reaction so that someone else gets punished by the admins. Which I believe is againsr the forum's rules.

The only reason I even click this thread anymore is because Jiggy's awesome and makes amazing points.

While I disagree with the way he has comported himself through the majority of this thread, I feel the need to show that it's not this bad everywhere.


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...Really? You guys don't think the Vigilante might be appropriate?

The only real question is which type of vigilante.


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Cap'n Yesterday Divided by Zero wrote:
Batman is clearly a Paladin.

Impossible! He has never sufficiently levied the smitedown against the evils he faces! Trying to make a Grey Guard (3.5 PrC) out of him gets an "E" for effort, but for a man driven by vengeance he's missing out on his oath. Inquisitor, at best, and, even then, he's too gadget-heavy.

Furthermore, he has no true narrative bent toward the redemption of his enemies. Sure, he may throw around some money to "improve" conditions in Gotham every now and again (proof he's a Republicrat at heart), but he only offers surrender or defeat as options . . . . If he's not one to offer the chance to repent *before* being sent, he's no paladin.


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thegreenteagamer wrote:

...Really? You guys don't think the Vigilante might be appropriate?

The only real question is which type of vigilante.

Vigilante is so over powered, he's clearly a Paladin.


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Paladin of the Tetragrammaton wrote:
Cap'n Yesterday Divided by Zero wrote:
Batman is clearly a Paladin.

Impossible! He has never sufficiently levied the smitedown against the evils he faces! Trying to make a Grey Guard (3.5 PrC) out of him gets an "E" for effort, but for a man driven by vengeance he's missing out on his oath. Inquisitor, at best, and, even then, he's too gadget-heavy.

Furthermore, he has no true narrative bent toward the redemption of his enemies. Sure, he may throw around some money to "improve" conditions in Gotham every now and again (proof he's a Republicrat at heart), but he only offers surrender or defeat as options . . . . If he's not one to offer the chance to repent *before* being sent, he's no paladin.

Hold on, hold on, not all paladins are about redemption. Paladins of Sarenrae, sure, but Iomedae or Torag? Bugger that, they're about bringing the wrath. MAYBE you might get Erastil or Abadar having you work off your debt to society, but you can't pidgeonhole every paladin into the same role like that. That's why people hate paladins - they're stereotyped even by the people who love them to the point where nobody can see outside of the box.

I mean, yeah, Superman could be a paladin gestalted with...like...every class ever that allows LG and ten mythic ranks and - you know what? He's just unstattable, and I don't care why some crappy movie says, he destroys Batman before Batman comes up with a plan. You read me right, Batman can't plan for a guy who can fly so fast he goes back in time to before Batman came up with a plan...but Batman, no way. Vigilante. Before the big V came out he was a bard, dervish style for the solo double-self-buff, with magic reflavored as gadgets.


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@gtg --

Dude, the vigilante is so appropriate it's inappropriate. It is, without a doubt, the ultimate in lukewarm.

Oh, look! I can do all the things! I'm a vigilante! All you other guys are the lolzers.

If Clive Staples Lewis were an rpg philosopher, he'd tell the vigilante class to sign on with Screwtape & Co.


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Pssssshhhhtttt


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Paladin of the Tetragrammaton wrote:

@gtg --

Dude, the vigilante is so appropriate it's inappropriate. It is, without a doubt, the ultimate in lukewarm.

Oh, look! I can do all the things! I'm a vigilante! All you other guys are the lolzers.

If Clive Staples Lewis were an rpg philosopher, he'd tell the vigilante class to sign on with Screwtape & Co.

If he were still around, he probably would be. Narnia is riddled with stuff ripped off from other authors, religion, and preexisting myths, tweaked ever-so-slightly to seem unique while being utterly and completely a copy of preexisting concepts - if that's not RPG writing, I don't know what is.

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