For the OP haters


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

But the "negative behavioral issues" in the community do not fall into the neat little box you have attempted to construct for them.

Furthermore, there's no blanket of silence over this issue. There seems to be a great deal of chatter from both (artificial) "sides" about how put upon they are when they cross paths with the other.

There's so much noise about it, in fact, that I guarantee you there are people who aren't clicking on this thread precisely because they're sick to death of hearing the same circular non-argument.


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Cole's right, one side's just as victimized as the other.

Which is to say, neither are really victimized.

Grand Lodge

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As a player I have little to no problem with overpowered characters, usually the characters I make are optimized to one degree or another, sometimes to the point that they are completely unfair vs typical CR appropriate challenges.

As a DM I have little to no problem with overpowered characters, the entire system is your playground and you aren't governed by any sort of character creation rules. Crushing an entire party of optimized player characters under you thumb as if they were nothing more than bugs is easily accomplished. Doing so in fashion that feels fair is a little more of an acquired skill.

That said if you're one player in a group of 2-5 others and DM(Who just FYI has to put a lot more effort and prep into the game than you do) and enough of them have a problem with what your doing with your character.
Then it's your job as an individual to come to some sort of reasonable solution with the group. It's not their collective responsibility to tip toe around your victim complex.


Wise Old Man wrote:
I think the people who choose to open up a thread to talk about fixing a very large negative behavioral issues in a community is because they take moral behavior personally. And you tell me, is that something that should be continued until resolved or attempt to hush?

We have always complained here about judging people based on how they play. I even suggested more codified language so people know when they are doing it, but your idea about people playing at the same table is at odds with many people. Our solution is that it is better to not play, than it is to play and not have fun.

I think everyone(high 90%) here would prefer for everyone to be compatible(play and have fun). What I am trying to say is that nobody is against people having fun. We are saying that nobody has a solution that will always work with every type of GM and player at the table, no matter the combination.

So before I repeat my next comment could you tell me what you think I just said in this comment.

That way i know we are on the same page.


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Am I the only one who has a hard time reconciling that, at the core of this discussion, we're talking about a hobby? Not only a hobby, but what is essentially a grown-up version of "Choose Your Own Adventure" that can be played for free? I mean, is it really being put forward that there's some deep, moral value being put at stake by people participating in this hobby if they play a certain way?

In the 80s they said that DnD caused people to commit murder and likened it to drug addiction, but that obviously didn't pan out. Frankly I think there are no serious moral implications inherent to Pathfinder whatsoever. Everything being given as an example is on the part of an individual or a group of individuals and has very little bearing on, well, anything.

Not only that, but what's being discussed is the supposed difference between optimization and roleplaying. I mean, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Does banning Leadership really make me a bad person? Should people be obligated to play with me no matter what the circumstance?

Isn't it disingenuous to refer to this as a "negative behavioral issue" when it's little more than an expression of preference on behalf of other participants?

I'm not condoning singling people out and trashing them for one play style or another, which is why I have a problem with this threads premise. Cole Deschain has the right of it.


If I'm playing a super dungeon or heavy combat oriented moduel, great, build the most OP thing at combat you can.

if I'm building a game about intrigue and courtly interaction you need to focus less on combat. Its still there, so maybe you can focus on dueling or leading armies, but its not the go-to.

There is no such thing as OP. At least to a fairly clever DM.

That barbarian really good at closing the gap and cleaving an entire squad of NPCs? Flying enemies are a real issue. :) and it might have the rest of the party scrambling for solutions the barb doesn't have. Even if it's as simple as casting fly on said barbarian, someone did something other than watch McMeatHands the Cleaver kill everything in one round. This time it took 2 rounds lol.

As far as the "bullying" thing that comes up. I've seen it come from both sides for varying reasons. Optimizers trying to force me (at one point literally took my character sheet and pencil from me during a level up session) and Narrative players kicking me from a group for having Power Attack. I do not think Paizo should adress in a book. If they want to do a PSA blog or something, that's up to them. Bully awareness is good in any medium. Cartoon Network was all over that stuff for a while.

But on the other end of things... sometimes groups just aren't meant to play with each other because of conflicting personality with no easy solutions. Because sometimes people aren't compatible with each other. Everyone usually has their Newman or Dinkleberg.


wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
I think the people who choose to open up a thread to talk about fixing a very large negative behavioral issues in a community is because they take moral behavior personally. And you tell me, is that something that should be continued until resolved or attempt to hush?

We have always complained here about judging people based on how they play. I even suggested more codified language so people know when they are doing it, but your idea about people playing at the same table is at odds with many people. Our solution is that it is better to not play, than it is to play and not have fun.

I think everyone(high 90%) here would prefer for everyone to be compatible(play and have fun). What I am trying to say is that nobody is against people having fun. We are saying that nobody has a solution that will always work with every type of GM and player at the table, no matter the combination.

So before I repeat my next comment could you tell me what you think I just said in this comment.

That way i know we are on the same page.

I think paizo needs like a "Strategy Guide 2" on how to deal with player character's of all context as a group, not specifically GM related.


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A book focusing on the real people playing the game is not a book I would buy. I think Paizo should stick to game content.


Tyinyk wrote:
A book focusing on the real people playing the game is not a book I would buy. I think Paizo should stick to game content.

Player character's is game content. The first one taught player's how to play the game. The second one could be for rule sets for OP's and GM's and such. Make's perfect sense.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Wise Old Man wrote:
Tyinyk wrote:
A book focusing on the real people playing the game is not a book I would buy. I think Paizo should stick to game content.
Player character's is game content. The first one taught player's how to play the game. The second one could be for rule sets for OP's and GM's and such. Make's perfect sense.

... But why would optimizers merit their own special rule set when their whole thing is getting the most out of the rules already?

More rules are not the answer here.

Paizo shouldn't have to publish another friggin' hardcover to regulate inter-player interaction.


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Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
I think the people who choose to open up a thread to talk about fixing a very large negative behavioral issues in a community is because they take moral behavior personally. And you tell me, is that something that should be continued until resolved or attempt to hush?

We have always complained here about judging people based on how they play. I even suggested more codified language so people know when they are doing it, but your idea about people playing at the same table is at odds with many people. Our solution is that it is better to not play, than it is to play and not have fun.

I think everyone(high 90%) here would prefer for everyone to be compatible(play and have fun). What I am trying to say is that nobody is against people having fun. We are saying that nobody has a solution that will always work with every type of GM and player at the table, no matter the combination.

So before I repeat my next comment could you tell me what you think I just said in this comment.

That way i know we are on the same page.

I think paizo needs like a "Strategy Guide 2" on how to deal with player character's of all context as a group, not specifically GM related.

What you're talking about is not a gaming issue. Paizo's job is to build gaming material, not to teach you how to act like a supposedly mature adult.


Nah, but a nice large note right at the start of the CRB with a little bit of advice of how to treat your fellow players [regardless whether you or they be GM or Player] would have been awesome.

Grand Lodge

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I think much of it comes from simple perspective. My first run in with an "OP" player was after a few months of attending our local gaming store's PFS nights. I was not familiar enough with the rules to question some of the things he was doing, but it sure seemed as though he was "cheating" on at least some level. I understand that Paizo encourages optimization. It is one of the major reasons they sell so many of those weekly books they produce.

However I remember, even though it's been three years, how insignificant that player made mine feel at the table. He made nearly every "challenge" the scenario presented to be of no value. I remember the scenarios being challenging before he attended our games. But after a few short weeks it felt like we weren't even needed at the table. We became "cursory characters" to his story. If I stayed at his table I would likely have quit gaming.

I know this is a hobby, but there are some things to consider. First, Paizo writes modules and scenarios without optimization in mind. This means if you have one or two optimized players at the table, you will miss the intended "feel" of the adventure. I mean, building up to a boss fight only to watch one player wipe the floor with him in a round is ridiculous. Optimization eliminates much of the tension and uncertainty of the adventure.

Second, Pathfinder is a group minded game. When everyone isn't on a somewhat level playing field it takes away from the game. Who would really want to be in a recreational soccer league with David Beckham on your team?

Overall it will never change. OP players will not go away and neither will your casual gamers. It will always comes down to balance. Can your power gamers learn to "pull back" and allow others to be less of a bystander?


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Nah, but a nice large note right at the start of the CRB with a little bit of advice of how to treat your fellow players [regardless whether you or they be GM or Player] would have been awesome.

So Pathfinder players need to be told that they need to behave as something other than sociopaths? Is there a particular reason you think that Pathfinder players need that sort of instruction that's provided by no other game?

Because if that's true, you've essentially told every critic of D+D and roleplaying games over 4 decades, that they were right all along.


Wise Old Man wrote:
Tyinyk wrote:
A book focusing on the real people playing the game is not a book I would buy. I think Paizo should stick to game content.
Player character's is game content. The first one taught player's how to play the game. The second one could be for rule sets for OP's and GM's and such. Make's perfect sense.

Sure, that'd be a great idea -- just as soon as you can come up with a description of "over powered" that people can agree on, that doesn't come across as derogatory, and that justify a hardback book's cost, development, and sales.

What rules set does one need for over powered characters? What would it look like? How would it differ? What would the part for the GM be other than "Settle back and strap in, it's going to be a long night"?


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Marculus wrote:

I think much of it comes from simple perspective. My first run in with an "OP" player was after a few months of attending our local gaming store's PFS nights. I was not familiar enough with the rules to question some of the things he was doing, but it sure seemed as though he was "cheating" on at least some level. I understand that Paizo encourages optimization. It is one of the major reasons they sell so many of those weekly books they produce.

However I remember, even though it's been three years, how insignificant that player made mine feel at the table. He made nearly every "challenge" the scenario presented to be of no value. I remember the scenarios being challenging before he attended our games. But after a few short weeks it felt like we weren't even needed at the table. We became "cursory characters" to his story. If I stayed at his table I would likely have quit gaming.

I know this is a hobby, but there are some things to consider. First, Paizo writes modules and scenarios without optimization in mind. This means if you have one or two optimized players at the table, you will miss the intended "feel" of the adventure. I mean, building up to a boss fight only to watch one player wipe the floor with him in a round is ridiculous. Optimization eliminates much of the tension and uncertainty of the adventure.

Second, Pathfinder is a group minded game. When everyone isn't on a somewhat level playing field it takes away from the game. Who would really want to be in a recreational soccer league with David Beckham on your team?

Overall it will never change. OP players will not go away and neither will your casual gamers. It will always comes down to balance. Can your power gamers learn to "pull back" and allow others to be less of a bystander?

THIS is exactly the point. Every game I've been in where a power-gamer was present, the DM had to alter the encounters to present a challenge to that one player. The result was that the other player's characters were chewed up and spit out by those encounters, being completely useless. So the game became ALL about that one character.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I think the OP conflates two issues - how people talk to one another here (which is, I presume the trigger for this thread) and how people play together.

Allowing different styles to coexist on the forums is a no brainer. If someone has a different view from you as to how this game works, you can learn from them or you can ignore them. There's really nothing to be gained from telling them they're doing it wrong.

Extending this to say that everyone should be able to play at any table, regardless of style is an unachievable goal. The fact is, irreconcilable differences in playstyle exist - there are people who, if they play at my table the way they like, will reduce my enjoyment of the game to the point where I don't want to play. I should be nice to them on the forums, but there's no moral imperative for me to help them get the game they want. Similarly, my style will detract from certain people's enjoyment if we sit at the same table. They shouldn't feel obligated to accomodate me during their precious gaming time.

Gaming groups are social places where compromise, negotiation and empathy will go a long way - but if your group decides to adopt playstyles A, B and C it's not okay to insist they let you play X. The best you can do is to hear what their issues are and then help facilitate solutions to those (or explain why their concerns are ill founded).

This is true whether X is hyper-optimised munchkinism or whether it's a love of repeated fifteen minute, in character soliloquies every round of combat.


Marculus wrote:

I think much of it comes from simple perspective. My first run in with an "OP" player was after a few months of attending our local gaming store's PFS nights. I was not familiar enough with the rules to question some of the things he was doing, but it sure seemed as though he was "cheating" on at least some level. I understand that Paizo encourages optimization. It is one of the major reasons they sell so many of those weekly books they produce.

However I remember, even though it's been three years, how insignificant that player made mine feel at the table. He made nearly every "challenge" the scenario presented to be of no value. I remember the scenarios being challenging before he attended our games. But after a few short weeks it felt like we weren't even needed at the table. We became "cursory characters" to his story. If I stayed at his table I would likely have quit gaming.

I know this is a hobby, but there are some things to consider. First, Paizo writes modules and scenarios without optimization in mind. This means if you have one or two optimized players at the table, you will miss the intended "feel" of the adventure. I mean, building up to a boss fight only to watch one player wipe the floor with him in a round is ridiculous. Optimization eliminates much of the tension and uncertainty of the adventure.

Second, Pathfinder is a group minded game. When everyone isn't on a somewhat level playing field it takes away from the game. Who would really want to be in a recreational soccer league with David Beckham on your team?

Overall it will never change. OP players will not go away and neither will your casual gamers. It will always comes down to balance. Can your power gamers learn to "pull back" and allow others to be less of a bystander?

This is why a rule book for OP's would be the perfect idea.

I remember this rpg book (I can't remember the name for the life of me) about 15 years ago that resolved successes based on the average level of the party. And it was basically a manual on how to manoeuver the player's failed rolls into another pocket to succeed in something else that was more rewarding. So that the OP's would win frequently with less reward, and the normal player's would have a higher chance of a great reward. It was very interesting.


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Wise Old Man wrote:
Marculus wrote:

I think much of it comes from simple perspective. My first run in with an "OP" player was after a few months of attending our local gaming store's PFS nights. I was not familiar enough with the rules to question some of the things he was doing, but it sure seemed as though he was "cheating" on at least some level. I understand that Paizo encourages optimization. It is one of the major reasons they sell so many of those weekly books they produce.

However I remember, even though it's been three years, how insignificant that player made mine feel at the table. He made nearly every "challenge" the scenario presented to be of no value. I remember the scenarios being challenging before he attended our games. But after a few short weeks it felt like we weren't even needed at the table. We became "cursory characters" to his story. If I stayed at his table I would likely have quit gaming.

I know this is a hobby, but there are some things to consider. First, Paizo writes modules and scenarios without optimization in mind. This means if you have one or two optimized players at the table, you will miss the intended "feel" of the adventure. I mean, building up to a boss fight only to watch one player wipe the floor with him in a round is ridiculous. Optimization eliminates much of the tension and uncertainty of the adventure.

Second, Pathfinder is a group minded game. When everyone isn't on a somewhat level playing field it takes away from the game. Who would really want to be in a recreational soccer league with David Beckham on your team?

Overall it will never change. OP players will not go away and neither will your casual gamers. It will always comes down to balance. Can your power gamers learn to "pull back" and allow others to be less of a bystander?

This is why a rule book for OP's would be the perfect idea.

I remember this rpg book (I can't remember the name for the life of me) about 15 years ago that resolved successes based on the average level of the party. And it...

It's a bad idea. It wouldn't be helping the underoptimised players by having them carried by the supermen.


Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
I think the people who choose to open up a thread to talk about fixing a very large negative behavioral issues in a community is because they take moral behavior personally. And you tell me, is that something that should be continued until resolved or attempt to hush?

We have always complained here about judging people based on how they play. I even suggested more codified language so people know when they are doing it, but your idea about people playing at the same table is at odds with many people. Our solution is that it is better to not play, than it is to play and not have fun.

I think everyone(high 90%) here would prefer for everyone to be compatible(play and have fun). What I am trying to say is that nobody is against people having fun. We are saying that nobody has a solution that will always work with every type of GM and player at the table, no matter the combination.

So before I repeat my next comment could you tell me what you think I just said in this comment.

That way i know we are on the same page.

I think paizo needs like a "Strategy Guide 2" on how to deal with player character's of all context as a group, not specifically GM related.

Just because they make the game, that does not mean they have a magical solution. They say themselves to do what works for your game. I am sure if they had an easy answer that could fit into a book then they could design a game that worked for everyone, then such a book would not be needed.


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A Strategy Guide like this would require a textbook or two on human psychology. I don't think such an idea is practical. It's be cool if they supported campaign management with larger combat tactics, new terrain, and other similar concepts. But a guide on managing different personalities and expectations in a campaign would not be terribly helpful. I think so of the attitudes here related to some campaigns not being right for certain types of players to be a bit closed-minded; but I don't think paizo is going to provide the solution.


wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
I think the people who choose to open up a thread to talk about fixing a very large negative behavioral issues in a community is because they take moral behavior personally. And you tell me, is that something that should be continued until resolved or attempt to hush?

We have always complained here about judging people based on how they play. I even suggested more codified language so people know when they are doing it, but your idea about people playing at the same table is at odds with many people. Our solution is that it is better to not play, than it is to play and not have fun.

I think everyone(high 90%) here would prefer for everyone to be compatible(play and have fun). What I am trying to say is that nobody is against people having fun. We are saying that nobody has a solution that will always work with every type of GM and player at the table, no matter the combination.

So before I repeat my next comment could you tell me what you think I just said in this comment.

That way i know we are on the same page.

I think paizo needs like a "Strategy Guide 2" on how to deal with player character's of all context as a group, not specifically GM related.
Just because they make the game, that does not mean they have a magical solution. They say themselves to do what works for your game. I am sure if they had an easy answer that could fit into a book then they could design a game that worked for everyone, then such a book would not be needed.

At least they could give it a try. The reason I say that is because the majority of the player's and GM's I know follow only paizo related products, and pretty much any homebrew or third party product is frowned upon. If they had made something compatible as paizo, then I truly believe that the book would cause less arguments and become a wonderful staple for the community to alleviate tension between player's and GM's alike.


Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
A Strategy Guide like this would require a textbook or two on human psychology. I don't think such an idea is practical. It's be cool if they supported campaign management with larger combat tactics, new terrain, and other similar concepts. But a guide on managing different personalities and expectations in a campaign would not be terribly helpful. I think so of the attitudes here related to some campaigns not being right for certain types of players to be a bit closed-minded; but I don't think paizo is going to provide the solution.

A rule book for playing a certain way for certain character's would not require therapeutic psychological attention. They do it all the time, what with Pathfinder Unchained, Occult Adventures, introducing different play styles and rules. It's game design, they have all the strings of classes that should and should not go together. They simply come up with a theme, look at the strings of analytics and make up what compliments what.

Silver Crusade

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"Wise Old Man" wrote:
Like I've said, my friend, everyone has the right to sit at any table.

Nonsense. Nobody has a "right" to sit at my table. Whether that is the physical table in my house or the table at the local game store where I run PFS or a virtual table on the internet there is not some "right" to sit at it.

In a home game I'll exclude players for any number of reasons. My house, my choice.

In PFS I'll accept anybody who follows the PFS rules but even there I'll reject people who cheat or who refuse to play nice or who are too disruptive etc.

As for optimization, different groups have different standards and have the right (and arguably responsibility) to correct and/or reject people not meeting those standards.

Just as in other matters of playstyle. Groups have levels of in character action that are acceptable, moral standards characters must meet, etc etc etc.


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Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

I think a lot of people are used to playing a certain way and they assume that way is the correct way.

Not all people are compatible as players, but unless someone is being intentionally obtuse in order to bend the rules, which I don't think most people do, I don't think making powerful character makes them bad players. I do think it could mean that some people are better off not playing together.

It sounds good to say "just play together anyway", but for reasons many all over these boards it is not that simple.

I think you're taking the game from something that people can enjoy publicly into a personal vendetta.

Actually I thought this was a very balanced and fair perspective, I don't see where you're getting the "personal vendetta" angle in his post.


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Wise Old Man wrote:
Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
A Strategy Guide like this would require a textbook or two on human psychology. I don't think such an idea is practical. It's be cool if they supported campaign management with larger combat tactics, new terrain, and other similar concepts. But a guide on managing different personalities and expectations in a campaign would not be terribly helpful. I think so of the attitudes here related to some campaigns not being right for certain types of players to be a bit closed-minded; but I don't think paizo is going to provide the solution.
A rule book for playing a certain way for certain character's would not require therapeutic psychological attention. They do it all the time, what with Pathfinder Unchained, Occult Adventures, introducing different play styles and rules. It's game design, they have all the strings of classes that should and should not go together. They simply come up with a theme, look at the strings of analytics and make up what compliments what.

You should be able to mix and match any of the classes in a party (barring alignment of course). This isn't a matter of analytics or plugging things into a formula. This is a matter of dealing with other people and/or understanding that sometimes not everyone at the table can have their maximum amount of fun, especially if you measure that in getting your way completely.

Gaming, and life for that matter, is a matter of compromise and choices.


Broken characters can certainly be a problem that can ruin everyone's fun (except the guy playing the broken character). However, I find that many players and GMs don't have enough system mastery to know what's actually OP and what's simply above average.

The issue is that it's difficult to find consensus on what "broken" is. If you have a table full of people playing sub-par characters, then even an average character can seem broken by comparison.

I've actually had to leave two separate campaigns because the GM nerfed my characters into oblivion, even though most of the players agreed with me that my characters were actually below average performers. Each time it was one or two particular players that cried "OP" and unfortunately they had the GM's ear. The other players did not. When you have a below average character that gets nerfed even more, it becomes unplayable.

Grand Lodge

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HeHateMe wrote:

Broken characters can certainly be a problem that can ruin everyone's fun (except the guy playing the broken character). However, I find that many players and GMs don't have enough system mastery to know what's actually OP and what's simply above average.

The issue is that it's difficult to find consensus on what "broken" is. If you have a table full of people playing sub-par characters, then even an average character can seem broken by comparison.

I've actually had to leave two separate campaigns because the GM nerfed my characters into oblivion, even though most of the players agreed with me that my characters were actually below average performers. Each time it was one or two particular players that cried "OP" and unfortunately they had the GM's ear. The other players did not. When you have a below average character that gets nerfed even more, it becomes unplayable.

Many times I feel like there is an "over-saturation" of new books and rules. It seems like it is hard to really know what is broke because by the time we see it in action for a little while there is a whole new set of issues coming up with the new material. This is what makes it so difficult as a GM. Trying to keep up with all the new rules, materials, and such makes this hobby begin to feel like a part-time job.

I'd love to see Paizo slow down a little bit and reflect on things more thoroughly. But this is a business so that isn't going to happen.


Yep. I also find that there's too much opinion and not enough math and statistical analysis when determining what's actually OP. And the problem with gut feeling and opinions is they're often not based on anything substantial.

I'll give an example: in a superheroes game I played years ago, the GM decided it was OP that my character could fly faster than a fighter jet, yet he didn't think it was OP that we had two other characters in the group that were strong enough to pick up and THROW an aircraft carrier. So he took away my super speed but let the others keep their super strength. What was that based on? Pure opinion. There was no math done to show that flying fast is more powerful than being super strong.


Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
I think the people who choose to open up a thread to talk about fixing a very large negative behavioral issues in a community is because they take moral behavior personally. And you tell me, is that something that should be continued until resolved or attempt to hush?

We have always complained here about judging people based on how they play. I even suggested more codified language so people know when they are doing it, but your idea about people playing at the same table is at odds with many people. Our solution is that it is better to not play, than it is to play and not have fun.

I think everyone(high 90%) here would prefer for everyone to be compatible(play and have fun). What I am trying to say is that nobody is against people having fun. We are saying that nobody has a solution that will always work with every type of GM and player at the table, no matter the combination.

So before I repeat my next comment could you tell me what you think I just said in this comment.

That way i know we are on the same page.

I think paizo needs like a "Strategy Guide 2" on how to deal with player character's of all context as a group, not specifically GM related.
Just because they make the game, that does not mean they have a magical solution. They say themselves to do what works for your game. I am sure if they had an easy answer that could fit into a book then they could design a game that worked for everyone, then such a book would not be needed.
At least they could give it a try. The reason I say that is because the majority of the player's and GM's I know follow only paizo related products, and pretty much any homebrew or third party product is frowned upon. If they had made something compatible as paizo, then I truly believe that the book would cause less arguments and become a wonderful staple for the community to alleviate tension between player's and GM's alike.

This is an issue with human psychology, not a game design issue. D&D has been around for at least 40 years. If game design skills was the barrier it would have been done, and "giving it a try" means not putting out products they know will work. Your plan is not a good one. Business dont tend to make it by making books based on hope alone, especially in areas that nobody has succeeded at.

Paizo has put books out based on demand, but they had concrete data to go on, such as the occult book. There is no data to support a book that can solve an unlimited(virtually) number of problems can be printed on a limited number of pages.

Unchained has done nothing, but give variable options. It in no ways fits your idea, which I am still waiting for you to present.

Silver Crusade

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HeHateMe wrote:

Yep. I also find that there's too much opinion and not enough math and statistical analysis when determining what's actually OP. And the problem with gut feeling and opinions is they're often not based on anything substantial.

The GM sonetimes bans things not because they're "too powerful" but because they interfere with the stories they want to tell.

Super speed (especially if the character can bring others along) interferes with stories where the fun is getting from A to B, interacting with the locals, etc.

So, sometines the GMs opinion IS very real and substantial.


Wise Old Man wrote:
Tyinyk wrote:
A book focusing on the real people playing the game is not a book I would buy. I think Paizo should stick to game content.
Player character's is game content. The first one taught player's how to play the game. The second one could be for rule sets for OP's and GM's and such. Make's perfect sense.

OP is subjective so that won't work. As an example I have run games for well optimized parties and to be put nicely, a group or two that forced me to run the game on easy mode or they would have died.

Both of those groups thought they were the baseline for "average" level play.

People can be sensitive, so if Paizo says _____ is the standard someone will take it as an insult. It is basically them saying "If you don't play like this you are doing it wrong", and that is not the attitude Paizo wants to promote.

An example of this is a post I made a while back explaining that it is better to prevent healing than make a character who does nothing but heal. Someone took what I said completely out of context, and even after I explained it they stayed mad at me. Eventually I realized they saw it as me saying "your playstyle sucks", and I was saying "this is more efficient". The same thing will happen with Paizo telling people what a baseline is, and how to get to that baseline.

As far as "how to do __", there are strategy guides here which teach optimization, and I don't mean "how to solo boss encounters". The idea is to just help people make useful characters, and some people complain about those.

Your heart is in a good place, but your idea of what is a problem is not really a problem that can be solved with a book.

PS: I am still waiting on your ideas to fix these problems. <----Just in case you forgot.


pauljathome wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:

Yep. I also find that there's too much opinion and not enough math and statistical analysis when determining what's actually OP. And the problem with gut feeling and opinions is they're often not based on anything substantial.

The GM sonetimes bans things not because they're "too powerful" but because they interfere with the stories they want to tell.

Super speed (especially if the character can bring others along) interferes with stories where the fun is getting from A to B, interacting with the locals, etc.

So, sometines the GMs opinion IS very real and substantial.

I hear you, but banning things should be done up front and should be transparent, it shouldn't be done after the fact. If the GM believes certain classes, spells, abilities, powers, etc will interfere with his or her campaign, that should be made clear at character creation, not several months into a campaign.

Nothing sucks more than suddenly having a completely nerfed character with no way to explain the change. If the GM doesn't want The Flash in his campaign, that's fine, but he better make up his mind ahead of time, instead of suddenly taking The Flash and turning him into Usain Bolt.

Shadow Lodge

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Wise Old Man wrote:

I just want put out my thoughts out on this subject matter.

I think a lot of people mistreat players who want to optimize their character's.

I think you're right.


HeHateMe wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:

Yep. I also find that there's too much opinion and not enough math and statistical analysis when determining what's actually OP. And the problem with gut feeling and opinions is they're often not based on anything substantial.

The GM sonetimes bans things not because they're "too powerful" but because they interfere with the stories they want to tell.

Super speed (especially if the character can bring others along) interferes with stories where the fun is getting from A to B, interacting with the locals, etc.

So, sometines the GMs opinion IS very real and substantial.

I hear you, but banning things should be done up front and should be transparent, it shouldn't be done after the fact. If the GM believes certain classes, spells, abilities, powers, etc will interfere with his or her campaign, that should be made clear at character creation, not several months into a campaign.

Nothing sucks more than suddenly having a completely nerfed character with no way to explain the change. If the GM doesn't want The Flash in his campaign, that's fine, but he better make up his mind ahead of time, instead of suddenly taking The Flash and turning him into Usain Bolt.

You have a point, but as was already mentioned above, the amount of new material that comes along and the rate at which it comes can be overwhelming to some people. A lot of players will take offense once you start limiting content. I have limited content simply on the basis that I'm unfamiliar with it and didn't have time to get up to speed. So yes, in ways you can make basic broad strokes about what to include or not to include. But specific feat, skill, spell, class feature combinations that you as a DM had no idea were possible because of some brand new book HAVE to be removed during game play if they prove to be game-breaking. If that nerfs a player's concept for the sake of salvaging the game, then so be it.


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Tyinyk wrote:

I always find it interesting that people draw a hard line between character optimization and deep roleplaying. It's very possible to have both, and I daresay is how the game is meant to be played, to a certain degree.

Remember, it is both a role-playing game, and a role-playing game. They're equal, not opposite.

The line generally comes when a cheesy build comes out that makes no sense thematically.


johnlocke90 wrote:
Tyinyk wrote:

I always find it interesting that people draw a hard line between character optimization and deep roleplaying. It's very possible to have both, and I daresay is how the game is meant to be played, to a certain degree.

Remember, it is both a role-playing game, and a role-playing game. They're equal, not opposite.

The line generally comes when a cheesy build comes out that makes no sense thematically.

My frustration with "optimization" (really just power gaming) is when 1 level dips are done for the sake of mechanics; no role-playing, no justification within the base character concept, or are just given half-hearted "role-playing" for the duration of time it takes to get the level then forget about keeping up that aspect of the character ever again. I'm dubious about 1 level dips in general (especially if it's fighter for a feat, rogue for skill points/skill options, and casters so they have access to a spell they need for a feat+spell+feature combo that makes them ridiculous at 3rd or 4th level)


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Dipping is far from optimal in PF. You're fortunate if you come out a bit above par in the long term.


I think it happens on both sides. I've seen people complaining about being from one side for or one side for not optimizing. Just imagine the logical extreme of one side and realize the other side is just as bad. humans tend to fall under that bell curve with some outliers who fall far out from the norms.

I have see people post that if your not playing the most optimized way (optimized feats class etc.) your playing wrong and are a detriment to your party just as much as I've seen people on the other side saying you over optimized and are taking the fun away from others. Also look at all the complaint on non-optimized material if you don't believe it. Things like if its not putting my character on a new plateau of power it shouldn't of been printed.

I say play it the way that works best for your party

Most things are going to work out fairly in the middle ground shades of grays personally for me.


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There is merit to the argument of "it depends on the table". One of my first PF games I made a straight Orc Barbarian damage dealer for Runelords. Wraithstrike knows the one.

By many accounts, it would be OP. Enemies were splattered before they had the chance to react a lot of the time. The Monk (well, simplest word for that beautiful multimultimulticlassed abomination) worked similarly, though on a death of a thousand cuts paradigm vs a few big smashes.

The other players were often non-factors in combat beyond the buffs they cast that allowed this slaughter. Everyone seemed to have fun seeing how high the numbers went though.

At other tables, maybe it wouldn't have gone over as well. In those cases, maybe you do need to tone it down a bit. Or maybe the others need to step it up. Again, it varies.

The problem comes in with the people who see optimizing as an automatic evil. The people I see pretty often in various RPG communities that make me scratch my head because in nearly any other game, system mastery is considered a virtue. But in their minds, knowledge of the rules is bad. Those are the people the "abuse" comes from, and causes the fights to break out around here a lot.

It's not a problem that needs to be addressed by Paizo, of course, but it does cause a lot of community friction. The mods assured me a while back insults of this nature were against the guidelines, but they're rarely punished (likely, I assume, because they're rarely flagged). There's your simple fix. Flag those insults as you would any other.


Sundakan wrote:

There is merit to the argument of "it depends on the table". One of my first PF games I made a straight Orc Barbarian damage dealer for Runelords. Wraithstrike knows the one.

By many accounts, it would be OP. Enemies were splattered before they had the chance to react a lot of the time. The Monk (well, simplest word for that beautiful multimultimulticlassed abomination) worked similarly, though on a death of a thousand cuts paradigm vs a few big smashes.

The other players were often non-factors in combat beyond the buffs they cast that allowed this slaughter. Everyone seemed to have fun seeing how high the numbers went though.

At other tables, maybe it wouldn't have gone over as well. In those cases, maybe you do need to tone it down a bit. Or maybe the others need to step it up. Again, it varies.

The problem comes in with the people who see optimizing as an automatic evil. The people I see pretty often in various RPG communities that make me scratch my head because in nearly any other game, system mastery is considered a virtue. But in their minds, knowledge of the rules is bad. Those are the people the "abuse" comes from, and causes the fights to break out around here a lot.

It's not a problem that needs to be addressed by Paizo, of course, but it does cause a lot of community friction. The mods assured me a while back insults of this nature were against the guidelines, but they're rarely punished (likely, I assume, because they're rarely flagged). There's your simple fix. Flag those insults as you would any other.

I don't think viewing optimization as an evil is right either (I will say I don't like banning classes cause their not optimized enough is a little offensive to me.) Its kind of the fanaticism to ones own way of thinking that causes problems on both sides. If people could adopt the mind set that some people want an optimized game to the extreme and others want a non-optimized game and both these people are right to play it the way they want things would be great.

Honestly this says something of the larger world to where ones views can be different but don't have to be wrong just different and if we could accept that and not push our own on people things might not be so bad. (however there is Extremes that just go to far)


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Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
I think the people who choose to open up a thread to talk about fixing a very large negative behavioral issues in a community is because they take moral behavior personally. And you tell me, is that something that should be continued until resolved or attempt to hush?

We have always complained here about judging people based on how they play. I even suggested more codified language so people know when they are doing it, but your idea about people playing at the same table is at odds with many people. Our solution is that it is better to not play, than it is to play and not have fun.

I think everyone(high 90%) here would prefer for everyone to be compatible(play and have fun). What I am trying to say is that nobody is against people having fun. We are saying that nobody has a solution that will always work with every type of GM and player at the table, no matter the combination.

So before I repeat my next comment could you tell me what you think I just said in this comment.

That way i know we are on the same page.

I think paizo needs like a "Strategy Guide 2" on how to deal with player character's of all context as a group, not specifically GM related.
Just because they make the game, that does not mean they have a magical solution. They say themselves to do what works for your game. I am sure if they had an easy answer that could fit into a book then they could design a game that worked for everyone, then such a book would not be needed.
At least they could give it a try. The reason I say that is because the majority of the player's and GM's I know follow only paizo related products, and pretty much any homebrew or third party product is frowned upon. If they had made something compatible as paizo, then I truly believe that the book would cause less arguments and become a wonderful staple for the community to alleviate tension between player's and GM's alike.

So basically what you want is the ability to shut a GM's objections about your class because "I made it following rules in a Paizo book."

Here's the thing. Paizo admits that it can't make a creation system that's immune to abuse. It's simply not possible.

And to tell you the truth, they probably don't really want to share their method for making the products that pay their rent.


Another thing is that his GM's only allowing Paizo related products is not a Paizo problem. He needs to educate his GM's. Many of Paizo's products are written by freelancers such as the members of this forum, so they are already using things not created by Paizo, when they buy Pathfinder products. Some of the monsters in the AP's are even taken from other 3PP companies.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Judging or even bullying people for their preferred style of gameplay is never a good thing, but I wouldn't agree that every table has to be for everyone.

I don't like optimizing too much myself, but that's mainly because it forces me to spend my time on elements of the game I'd rather spend elsewhere. For example, if running one of the APs, optimized characters may force me to modify nearly all the encounters if I want them still to be a challenge for the characters (assuming the players want to be challenged, if they actually optimize to have easier encounters, it's another thing altogether). This cuts into the time I have for world- and storybuilding, and as I prefer those activities, It's not something I enjoy too much. I can adapt to a certain degree, but at a certain point, I'll lose interest in running said game very fast. So I'd rather be upfront about it, even if that means that the game doesn't come to pass because we can't find the golden line.

"Wise Old Man" wrote:
In fact, you can learn a lot from them, because they actually have the patience to invest in the games principles, rather than narrative actions.

Well, I've never played any RPG because of the rules, but because of the stories you can tell with it and especially because of the worlds written for the games. I've come to D&D because of Greyhawk, the Realms and Planescape (later Eberron), I'm here at Paizo for the adventures and the setting stuff, but I've never had much interest in the rules themselves. So to me, game mastery has always been something that automatically comes over time, but has never been something you need to achieve to get enjoyment out of an RPG. So while I'm interested in the perspective of optimising players I don't think that there is too much to learn for my own games.

Quote:
Play something normal" and the OP is looking at the group like "Why would I play something normal when I want to play something badass?"

Personally I think that both statements are offensive in nature. The first one because it claims that there is a standard and if you're not adhering to this standard, you're basically created an aberration, the second because it assumes that "normal" (aka not optimized) characters aren't already badass enough to be worth playing. That's something I totally disagree with because in my mind, being badass has nothing to do with being as powerful as anyhow possible. And, depending on the group and your playstyle, your badass character might disrupt the game experience for everone else at the table, so if you aren't willing to tone it down, this game might not be for you.


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I want to commend system mastery because it takes real passion and dedication to read all the material there is, combine it in creative ways and create interesting builds.

But optimization is also pulling the ruleset to its extremes. I would compare it to Vintage MTG in a way, encounters just get faster and more intense. Any encounter, except maybe social encounters, are solved faster and more decisively. Not always in the player's advantage.

Also you cannot really win in roleplaying. Difficulty level is not set. Goal is to enjoy the journey, not that the session or campaign is over. You would not optimize the campaign to be as fast as possible, funny enough. It would just make you play less with your friends.


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p1: "I am the best as rugby!"
group of people: "we're going to play football, if you'd like to play football you're welcome to join. But We're not playing rugby, so if you're wanting to play that then we're not the group for you"
p1: "OMG, I'm a victim being told to conform or leave. Oh the humanity."
others: "This is not a game issue but a people issue. Sure some skilled ref could alter some rules, smash the rugby player playing rugby into a football game, and make it fun for everyone. But that shouldn't be the base assumption, but a nice and rare exception."


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The best gaming situation is one where everyone in the group is looking for the same thing. When the players all have very different ideas as to what constitutes "fun," it is really difficult to appeal to everyone.

Speaking as a 30+ year GM, it's just plain too much work to try to balance out a campaign where there are wide variations in expectation from the players. Trying to do that destroys my own fun. I used to try to do that, but it was stressful and almost never successful. So, these days, I always have a "session zero" type meeting where we hash all this kind of stuff out head of time.


Envall wrote:


But optimization is also pulling the ruleset to its extremes.

I am going to disagree here. Optimization does not equal make super character or the best character possible. I can make a standard character and optimize. What you are describing is more like power-gaming.

Silver Crusade

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HeHateMe wrote:


I hear you, but banning things should be done up front and should be transparent, it shouldn't be done after the fact. If the GM believes certain classes, spells, abilities, powers, etc will interfere with his or her campaign, that should be made clear at character creation, not several months into a campaign.

Nothing sucks more than suddenly having a completely nerfed character with no way to explain the change. If the GM doesn't want The Flash in his campaign, that's fine, but he better make up his mind ahead of time, instead of suddenly taking The Flash and turning him into Usain Bolt.

Absolutely agreed, with one caveat.

Sometimes the GM DOES find that something that had seemed acceptable at the time has turned out to be more powerful/disrupting/un fun than it was originally thought to be. GMs make mistakes :-)

At that point, sometimes the best solution IS to approach the player and get them to change/dial back aspects of their character.

But that should be done very openly and, to the extent possible, with player participation and buy in. Two mature adults coming to some kind of compromise position is always the ideal (and much more common in practice than the intertubes would make one think). But, on very rare occassions, the GM does have to unilaterally reverse a previous decision for the good of the game.

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