For the OP haters


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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If you are being accused of things you are innocent of a party rulebook does not matter.

As an example the game allows for wizards, but if the GM says that only "you" can't play a wizard then he will ignore the party rules book also. The game already assumes that all of the players will be treated equally. Paizo can't really make GM's be fair to you. PFS has people ignoring the rules, and sometimes blatantly, and that is run by Paizo.

How do you expect for them to force someone to not be a jerk at a home game?

This is not a rule issue if you are being mistreated in the manner above. It is a "people" issue. People already know favoritism is wrong. Do you really think they will say "Well I was taught like most people that favortism was wrong ever since I was young, but now that Paizo has said it was wrong I will listen."?

edit: I could not find a good group either where I live, so I understand how hard it is to find quality groups, but this is not an issue a book can fix. From your description they were not even acting in good faith to try to be fair to you. It would be different if they were accidently doing something that you did not like.


However considering your inability(from my PoV) to separate people problems from rules problem, I am wondering if that story you gave is completely accurate, and no I am not accusing of lying, but I am thinking there is a disconnect somewhere.


It's accurate, wraith.


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Wise Old Man wrote:

I hold back all the time to give my respected players a chance to have the spot light, so everyone can shine equally. Because it feels good to shine.

But I don't like how people are judged based on what kind of character builds they want to make.
I'm very honest about what kind of character I want in the beginning of the game, and I tell my GM's,
"I want to play an admixture wizard"
"No. Pick something else."
"I want to play a summoner synthesist"
"No. Pick something else."

Even when I'm researching a build and show them the link for my resources and FAQ's. They say "I don't know...Would it be okay with you if you just play a fighter?"

And then other player's jump in "You can't make these characters man! You're being disruptive!"

"How am I being disruptive??"

And the crazy thing is that if one of the guys is a closer friend to the GM, he let's him play like a slumber hexcrafter build. And they're always laughing and giggling about it.

It's frustrating. I'm all honest and nice about it and I get burned for it. It's not cool. And I see that it happens all the...

And at last, we finally get to the heart of the problem. Thanks for sharing this WOM. Yeah, it sounds like you're being singled out and treated unfairly by your group. That's gotta be frustrating, and you have my sympathies.

The thing is... this is a problem no amount of rules text can fix. This is a people problem, not a gaming system problem. I *don't* think it's unfair to disallow certain builds, particularly powerful ones; but that rule should then apply equally to everyone at the table. But often, they don't (see: the age-old DM's Significant Other trope.)

Maybe others have some genuine solid advice they can provide that might help with this. I can tell you that *A LOT* of players have gone through this. You're definitely not alone.

Trying to force your GM to play your way isn't going to work, unfortunately - that's the nature of people. But hopefully you can convince him that the rules need to be applied fairly to all.

Sovereign Court

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Rulebook wont stop people from ignoring it. Especially, if it just says "let wise old man play whatever he wants and don't play favorites"

Dark Archive

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Wise Old Man wrote:
Get a party rule set book out there, so people can play their favorite builds on an equal level and have fun.

Again with the vague 'party rule set' line. Rules for... what exactly? Rules to tell people how they are allowed to roleplay? I can't imagine that will go over very well.

Rules for how to build a character? Already have that.

Rules for how to pick classes you can play? Again, not really needed. If a class or archtype doesn't fit the setting, the GM is already free to say "no". And quite honestly there are some people who can't be trusted to play certain classes or archtypes properly. Use to game with someone who I would never let play a magus or synergist summoner. But then that's because the person I'm thinking about either didn't understand those (favored) classes... or more likely knew exactly what they were doing counted on the GM not understanding the class/archtype.

Rules for how to game master? This again I can't see going down very well. When I was 10 and just getting into roleplaying I favored more hack-n-slash games. My characters reflected this. So did the adventures I designed. As I've gotten older my tastes have changed. These days I enjoy more role playing then roll playing. I come up with backstories for my characters, sometimes quite detailed ones. And I give them personalities. Kahel is a warrior scholar who prefers the scholar aspect. Xao Li Quin holds life to be sacrosanct and only uses lethal force as a matter of last resort (unless fighting undead).

The adventures I designed and worlds I create have changed too. Instead of a Random Villain Of The Week (and their monster filled dungeon), I craft stories. I fill my world with interesting people and events which happened previously. The villains have grand plans, rather then just being Evil Monster #579. Or they aren't true villains, you can sympathise with them. Maybe even agree with their end goals, it's just that their methods go too far beyond the pale.

Just as no two people are identical, no two game masters will have the same style. Some will run the game more as a board game. Others view roleplaying as a way to tell complex stories. Some groups will view roleplaying as a social activity with friends where having fun is the most important part. They joke, they goof off, and the game is only one part of why they are there. Others will view roleplaying as deadly serious and any out of character shenanigans are frowned upon.

Which views are right? Which views are wrong? If you are creating rules that dictate how someone role plays, you're basically telling everyone "This is the only way to roleplay".


Wise Old Man wrote:
Stuff about mistreatment at local tables

Have you consixered some form of virtual tabletop game? Its not gaming in person but it is a ton of fun and a far closer approximation of tabletop gaming than Play by Post (which is also tons of fun in its own right.)

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Boomerang Nebula wrote:
The advice I have found online in this area is terrible.

Really? Personally I think thare are a lot of great internet ressources out their tackling this topic (and other topics as well) like Gnomestew.com or roleplayingtips.com (also Kobold Press* comes to mind, great blog if a bit more content-oriented), just to name a few.

Then there are boards like this one where you can find huge masses of advice on this topic(though it's unorganized, due to the nature of a messageboard).

So I don't say that a book collecting and organizing this knowledge wouldn't be welcome. Though I think that this topic is way to complex and encompasses way to many subtopics to fit into a single book.

*By the way, I think that the Kobold's Guide to... series is a great read for any GM, even if you don't plan to publish your material.


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I think "rules" is probably the wrong way to look at this issue. I think it's better to look at the social contract that tabletop roleplaying games operate under, that is the implicit agreement that everybody at the table will cooperate after a fashion for mutual enjoyment of all." The specific boundaries of this will vary (some groups benefit from a soupçon intraparty treachery, some groups will wither from it.)

But "how much should I optimize/how should I play" is largely a question of etiquette, and like all questions of etiquette it's a function of "who you're with." Some groups would consider a badly optimized character who is nonetheless flavorful to be a breach of etiquette because "they have to carry you" some are just the opposite and will view a vastly more effective character as a breach of etiquette" because "I don't get to do anything except watch you kick butt."

The basic principle though is just to pay attention to the other people at the table to see if you're helping them have more fun or causing them to have less fun, then adapt to what works and what doesn't. Talk to other people about what they want out of the game, if it comes to that. Sometimes people with less systems mastery simply resent people's characters that display a higher level of systems mastery, and this can easily be solved by "helping them out with their characters." Maybe people are able to optimize their characters, but they'd rather play something that's quirky and unique, and in that case why not take the opportunity to play along and introduce some quirks to your character?

I think it's less that "optimization is bad" and more because "people have a hard time talking to each other sometimes."


DrDeth wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
Raving Nerd wrote:
I'm especially eager to play in games where the GM has a laundry list of banned items and house rules. Usually these masses of house rules are carefully curated, with things like "CORE ONLY" and "Greater Trip is OP."
PFS makes a decent reference if people want to see what feats and builds should be banned imo.
Not at all. For example, the Vivisectionist is banned for no good reason at all. I've heard the reasons and they're stupid.

Flavor, the classes flavor is pure evil.

Every person I saw wanting to play one wants to use vestigial limb and get 4 sneak attacks.

Vestigial Arm specifically disallows that though.


Wise Old Man wrote:
Get a party rule set book out there, so people can play their favorite builds on an equal level and have fun.

Do you mean that they should release a book with rules that makes sure that people can play anything they like without having to worry about the balance in the group?

I'm asking because I'm still not sure.

Dark Archive

Also remember, the social contract that is implicitly agreed to when you sit down to roleplay doesn't mean you MUST stay in that group. If there's not a very large pool of gamers where you live, look online. VTT games can be just as fun and engaging as sitting around the table. And the prep work for them isn't that much more then it would have been for a F2F game if you're the GM.

Or do play-by post games. Even Play by E-Mail games can be really fun, and let you delve further into the characterization then a F2F game allows. Granted, over the years pbe-m games have fallen to the wayside in favor of pbp games. Both also have the benefit of you not having to devote multiple hours in one sitting to the game. You can take your time to craft the perfectly worded response. Which can be great if your character does technobabble or is suppose to be a brilliant speaker.


There's an easy-ish way to make party balance easier, they officially admit that classes are composed into tiers and say limit your play to three tier that are next to each other. This would help balance a party. If you cut out tier 5 and tier 1 or drop tier 4 and 5, it's easier to have a balanced party.


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Pan wrote:
Rulebook wont stop people from ignoring it. Especially, if it just says "let wise old man play whatever he wants and don't play favorites"

Actually it doesn't. The ruleset are the tools for running a game, not the guide to being a socially adjusted person. That you're on your own for.

The fact that the OP has now moved the discussion to a personality attack on his GM, does not make anything that's been said before irrelevant. His issues with his GM are another matter.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think "rules" is probably the wrong way to look at this issue. I think it's better to look at the social contract that tabletop roleplaying games operate under, that is the implicit agreement that everybody at the table will cooperate after a fashion for mutual enjoyment of all." The specific boundaries of this will vary (some groups benefit from a soupçon intraparty treachery, some groups will wither from it.)

But "how much should I optimize/how should I play" is largely a question of etiquette, and like all questions of etiquette it's a function of "who you're with." Some groups would consider a badly optimized character who is nonetheless flavorful to be a breach of etiquette because "they have to carry you" some are just the opposite and will view a vastly more effective character as a breach of etiquette" because "I don't get to do anything except watch you kick butt."

The basic principle though is just to pay attention to the other people at the table to see if you're helping them have more fun or causing them to have less fun, then adapt to what works and what doesn't. Talk to other people about what they want out of the game, if it comes to that. Sometimes people with less systems mastery simply resent people's characters that display a higher level of systems mastery, and this can easily be solved by "helping them out with their characters." Maybe people are able to optimize their characters, but they'd rather play something that's quirky and unique, and in that case why not take the opportunity to play along and introduce some quirks to your character?

I think it's less that "optimization is bad" and more because "people have a hard time talking to each other sometimes."

Wise words, Cabbage. However, that is a very fine line. If everyone is responsible with their actions, it shouldn't matter what kind of character I make, normal or optimized. If it's about etiquette, than the understanding should be to give chances, not to take away chances. I wish everyone had that kind of idea.

You're right, people don't talk to each other about it, and when you generalize it, everyone has different thoughts and ideas in their head. But one thing is clear, people usually follow the rules of PFS, even if not in PFS, people follow errata, and want to be precise. And if you bring rules to the table, governing party rules, people will with no doubt be indebted to follow these rules as a PFS GM.


OWM,

365 posts in, and counting.

Do you feel that the GM had the right to disallow your character in his game?


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Actually most people do not follow PFS rules. Many avoid it because of the rules.

With that aside the social contract idea is correct, and it is a well known issue on the forums.

I would ask them why player X can do choose a certain class and I can not.

They could feel like you are so much better than the rest of the table that you would take over the game. I am not saying that makes it ok, but it is a valid concern.

Dark Archive

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Here is your key problem Wise Old Man. You want a set of game rules to deal with an out of game problem. Rules that would require you to pay money for the book to even get. Rules that the problematic players and game masters said book is aimed at aren't going to care about, and the ones who aren't problematic don't need.

Think about it. One of the core rules of any RPG is "Do Not Cheat". Yet what is a problem that one has to watch out for? Players lying about what they rolled and lying about how much of a finite resource they have left. Even if 90% of players would never think to cheat, 10% will still do so. They're ignoring the rules for how their character works. While sometimes it's an honest mistake such as me and my former group not understanding how a new class works initially, it's more often deliberate.

The GM that tells you "no, that's too powerful" for every (admittedly powerful) concept you bring in yet then allows an equally powerful concept from his buddy/wife/girlfriend isn't going to care about your hypothetical book of 'party rules'. If he even realizes how unfair he's being, then chances are no rule supplement is going to change that. In all honesty it's probably better to just wash your hands of the group and find a new one. If he doesn't realize how unfair he's being (or maybe doesn't realize how powerful the allowed build is) try explaining things to him. Might be surprised.

Or maybe the classes you were told "no" regarding aren't ones that are suitable for the campaign. There might be reasons other then "it's too powerful" that you don't know. Or maybe the GM has had a lot of bad experiences with power gamers who used the class/archtype in the past. I know I'm reluctant to allow a synergist summoner because even an average "I didn't even try to make it optimized" build is rather powerful. Similarly I'm hesitant to let someone play a magus since there's a lot of fiddly bits I need to track and remember to keep them from becoming game breaking.

Following errata is one thing. These are fixes and clarifications to how the game works. Sometimes it's adding in text which was missing. Or adding text to clarify how something works. That's why errata are there after all. And naturally PFS sessions follow the PFS Organized Play rules. This is an official campaign which is tracked globally after all. The thing you have to remember though is that the PFS rules don't actually tell you how you MUST play or how you MUST game master. Well, okay, they say that as the GM you can't change the mechanics of the encounters. But they don't dictate one style of GMing or roleplaying and say "This is the only one that you may use".

Which again, is what it sounds like you want.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Wise Old Man wrote:
You're right, people don't talk to each other about it, and when you generalize it, everyone has different thoughts and ideas in their head. But one thing is clear, people usually follow the rules of PFS, even if not in PFS, people follow errata, and want to be precise. And if you bring rules to the table, governing party rules, people will with no doubt be indebted to follow these rules as a PFS GM.

You can't legislate morality. And you can't rules lawyer table etiquette.

No printed rules can force someone to obey them. There always has to be a human enforcer.


Sundakan wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
Raving Nerd wrote:
I'm especially eager to play in games where the GM has a laundry list of banned items and house rules. Usually these masses of house rules are carefully curated, with things like "CORE ONLY" and "Greater Trip is OP."
PFS makes a decent reference if people want to see what feats and builds should be banned imo.
Not at all. For example, the Vivisectionist is banned for no good reason at all. I've heard the reasons and they're stupid.

Flavor, the classes flavor is pure evil.

Every person I saw wanting to play one wants to use vestigial limb and get 4 sneak attacks.

Vestigial Arm specifically disallows that though.

They dont believe it. Trust me.

Note that Paizo did have to do a FAQ just because of that. But of course a FAQ is not a 'rules change" is it?

It's crazy.


Just play the same character as this best friend is. Only if you get turned down then based off of it being too strong can you know that it's for you specifically.

I know plenty of GM, me included, that on a normal game would ban synthesis summoner. And some GM's feel that blasting is too strong for a mage/leaves nothing for the beatsticks to do.

But a slumber witch? Yeah it's strong, but not something I'd ban. It's a one trick guy. It's not like he's doing Xd6 +Y damage of any type or having the highest mental and physical stats of the party.

So to you and some those three are all on the same tier. To the Gm and other, they are on different tiers. Your choices being higher than the slumber magus.

Dark Archive

Also, there's the large difference between a gming for PFS and gminga a home campaign. PFS has a limited (if large these days) set of content you can run. You can't change anything in the adventures either. If you're running a PFS sanctioned AP, you have to run every encounter exactly as it's written. If the AP says the party encounters a trio of succubi that want to feed of the party and this is their tactics, the party encounters a trio of succubi that uses those tactics to try making the party their dinner.

Conversely, in a home game the GM is free to create their own adventures. And in the succubus example as the GM for a home game however maybe you feel 3 succubi is a bit much. Or you decide instead of a hostile encounter they're actually helpful. Or that they are trying to seduce one of the party into making a deal with them instead of turning the party into dinner.

Character creation can be different too. In a PFS game you always start with 150 gold at level 1 and it's always a 20 point buy. In a home game the GM may decide to do a 10, 15, or even 25 point buy instead. They may decide to have players roll for starting funds, use the max listed for the class, or use the average listed for the class. Or go with 150 gold.

In a PFS session, the GM has to allow any legal build provided the player proves they own the required books for their build. In a home game the GM may decide certain classes, spells, or even whole books aren't usable. Even what races are available can vary wildly between different home games.


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This is vaguely reminiscent of the accountant at a place I worked having the general manager make everyone say good morning to him. It was hard to decide at the time if it was pure comedy or pure tragedy to be made to say hello to someone on threat of reprimand or termination.

You can't force people to like you or your characters and you can't make people allow you to play at their table. You don't hold anyone's livelihood hostage to force them to do so. Besides which, that's really not how the game works or, for that matter, how life works. Life is about compromise and figuring out how to get what you want from people that owe you nothing. Unless you want to be like that tragicomic accountant but just know full well that he was the laughing stock of the workplace for needing to force us peons to greet him and people liked him even less than they did to start out for having done so. And you'll have to find something to menace people with...

I really don't understand why you don't find people that want to play with you and that you want to play with instead of asking for a book that will make people who don't want to play with you let you sit at their table? I don't want to be around people that don't want to be around me and I think not making them include me is the normal response to such a situation; why do you?

Dark Archive

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Know how many campaigns I've left over the years because the GM broke the social contract? I've lost count. There's been game masters who would shut down any and everything you do if it doesn't match their pre-formed idea of how the story must go. For instance there was one superhero game where the GM had an npc do the whole 'magic hand wave' thing to remove anything that promoted characterization. Alien who can't speak english and uses a now busted translator? Hand wave and alien now understands and speaks english like a native. The heroes are actually managing to rescue the npc which the GM decided simply must get captured by the bad guys? Nope, can't allow that so better have the villains suddenly have the exact powers they need to completely shut down the heroes (oh, and break every piece of alien tech gear that annoying hero who is leading the rescue has).

Playing a "the apocalypse is happening right now" game and my character is a survivalist? Had a GM decide I was too prepared after they already approved the character and equipment list. So they arbitrarily ruled that all the canned goods my character had stockpiled had spoiled, dry goods had maggots in them for no declarable reason, properly long term stored firearms were rusted into uselessness, and all ammunition for said guns was useless because the manufacturers used black pepper instead of gun powder. Oh, and the properly cared for military survival knife is so fragile that it broke into a hundred pieces the first time it got used.

I've had GM's in avatar games tell me it's unrealistic to have weapons such as... a chef's knife, or even a butter knife. If you weren't aware, an 'avatar' game is where you ARE your character. Such games typically require you to prove you own anything you're using for equipment via a picture. I've had GM's rule that I'm unrealistic and thus lying even when I submit a picture of myself with my swords, daggers, B.O.B. both packed and laid out for inventorying (that's bug out bag if you didn't know), and so forth. They would then rant about how no real person has swords, daggers, and a crossbow on hand. And how knives in general are unrealistic. Yes, even sharp knives pretty much anyone is going to have in their kitchen.

In another superhero game I was told my character with superhuman strength and agility couldn't preform spiderman style acrobatic feats such as wall running, bouncing off walls and the ceiling, even though real people can do the same stuff if not to the same degree.

I've also left games where the GM told me my super genius inventor who specializes in vehicles can't build an armored surveillance van because that's not possible. They then helpfully informed me my plan to just use my starting budget to buy one fails because nobody makes such a thing... even though the company which makes the presidential limo makes them.

I've left more then a few D&D and PF games because the GM deliberately tries to kill the party in as bloody a way as possible. Such as throwing a level 1 party up against a greater demon or a dragon. When one of said game masters pulled out the tarrask during a level 3 adventure I left that game too.

All examples of times when I exercised my option to leave a game when the GM is unfair or otherwise abusing their power.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Kahel Stormbender wrote:

Know how many campaigns I've left over the years because the GM broke the social contract? I've lost count. There's been game masters who would shut down any and everything you do if it doesn't match their pre-formed idea of how the story must go. For instance there was one superhero game where the GM had an npc do the whole 'magic hand wave' thing to remove anything that promoted characterization. Alien who can't speak english and uses a now busted translator? Hand wave and alien now understands and speaks english like a native. The heroes are actually managing to rescue the npc which the GM decided simply must get captured by the bad guys? Nope, can't allow that so better have the villains suddenly have the exact powers they need to completely shut down the heroes (oh, and break every piece of alien tech gear that annoying hero who is leading the rescue has).

Playing a "the apocalypse is happening right now" game and my character is a survivalist? Had a GM decide I was too prepared after they already approved the character and equipment list. So they arbitrarily ruled that all the canned goods my character had stockpiled had spoiled, dry goods had maggots in them for no declarable reason, properly long term stored firearms were rusted into uselessness, and all ammunition for said guns was useless because the manufacturers used black pepper instead of gun powder. Oh, and the properly cared for military survival knife is so fragile that it broke into a hundred pieces the first time it got used.

...

In another superhero game I was told my character with superhuman strength and agility couldn't preform spiderman style acrobatic feats such as wall running, bouncing off walls and the ceiling, even though real people can do the same stuff if not to the same degree.

I've also left games where the GM told me my super genius inventor who specializes in vehicles can't build an armored surveillance van because that's not possible. They then helpfully informed me my plan to just use my starting budget to buy one fails because nobody makes such a thing... even though the company which makes the presidential limo makes them.

...

All examples of times when I exercised my option to leave a game when the GM is unfair or otherwise abusing their power.

Welcome to differing perspectives, Kahel. Having run plenty of superhero campaigns in my time there are several of those instances you mention that I would probably have agreed with. Just because you don't think they're fair, doesn't mean they are unfair or aren't intended to produce a balanced game for everyone to enjoy.

Handwaving away language barriers in a superhero setting is pretty common. Witness Professor X and his instant telepathic language instruction. Moreover, having a PC who can't communicate with the others kind of sucks. It bogs down play with complications because one player wanted to have a special snowflake concept.
Plot contrivances to ensure someone/thing gets captured? Fits the genre - at least more modern games like Mutants and Masterminds compensates the PCs for it by giving them hero points for going along with it.

Apocalyptics survival games - if they're trying to mimic stories in the genre, complications arising from bad supplies are going to come up. The GM may have taken things to ridiculous extremes, but he's got to keep some kind of conflict in the setting, otherwise, what challenge is there to overcome this session or that session?

Back on the superheroes, running up walls, bouncing off ceilings are often just descriptive dressing offering no mechanical advantage (and so they're largely immaterial). But if you're looking for mechanical advantage, you probably have to build it and pay for it somehow in most superhero games I know. That's the way they tend to work. Same with supergenius inventors - if you want to regularly make use of something - how are you paying for it? You don't get to just handwave it away just because you bought or rolled a high intelligence. And if it's not going to fit the genre well-enough or is likely to cause complications in running the game, then the GM can and should make it hard to get.


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I think that was their point. The GMs obviously thought that their character was too good, and Kahel didn't. So Kahel left since it wasn't the type of game they enjoy. Having a rulebook that Kahel brought and pointed to and said, "See right here it says that my character as is is within the playable range." wouldn't have done anything, which is what Kahel said previously, that a book wont change any of these problems.


WormysQueue wrote:
Boomerang Nebula wrote:
The advice I have found online in this area is terrible.

Really? Personally I think thare are a lot of great internet ressources out their tackling this topic (and other topics as well) like Gnomestew.com or roleplayingtips.com (also Kobold Press* comes to mind, great blog if a bit more content-oriented), just to name a few.

Then there are boards like this one where you can find huge masses of advice on this topic(though it's unorganized, due to the nature of a messageboard).

So I don't say that a book collecting and organizing this knowledge wouldn't be welcome. Though I think that this topic is way to complex and encompasses way to many subtopics to fit into a single book.

*By the way, I think that the Kobold's Guide to... series is a great read for any GM, even if you don't plan to publish your material.

Can you please share the links?


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born_of_fire wrote:
You don't hold anyone's livelihood hostage to force them to do so.

So your saying the solution then is to pay people to play Pathfinder with you!


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Boomerang Nebula wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
Boomerang Nebula wrote:
The advice I have found online in this area is terrible.
Really? Personally I think thare are a lot of great internet ressources out their tackling this topic (and other topics as well) like Gnomestew.com or roleplayingtips.com (also Kobold Press* comes to mind, great blog if a bit more content-oriented), just to name a few.
Can you please share the links?

Gnome Stew

Roleplaying Tips

Kobold Press

and, while I'm at it, The Alexandrian

[Disclaimer: Apart from The Alexandrian, I've never used any of these sites; I'm just posting the links.]


Thanks mate!

Dark Archive

The language barrier thing was just one time the GM did that. Even then it was providing some great roleplaying as the party worked to solve the problem. Then an NPC which was effectively the GM personified comes in, literally waves their hand, and the alien tech device is gone and my character speaks english with a midwestern accent. The translator (and it's finicky nature) was one of my drawbacks, as painkillers such as aspirin being deadly poison. Both approved, but the second they crop up it's a hand wave fix.

Anything which didn't fit within their vision of what should happen was handwaved away. Usually quite literally by that GM Personified npc. The animalistic feral who actually has one of their drawbacks being that they are guided by animal instincts? Hand wave, instincts are gone. Amnesic hero who has the drawback that they forget everything except their name when they fall asleep? Handwave and now they remember their entire life. These were all things the GM had approved at character creation and were providing roleplaying fodder.

We weren't allowed to actually defeat badguys if the GM had pre-scripted that the bad guys win, even if we were legitimately winning combat. The system was Mutants & Masterminds 1st edition, I rolled a nat 20 for my attack roll at one point to fire an arrow from my energy bow (Device: ranged damage 6, energy descriptor). This was one of my approved, properly purchased powers. The villain I was firing at was a known Brick type, so super strong and super durable with flight. GM rolled the toughness save and flubbed it, but because the villain was scripted by the GM to capture the npc with 100% success no matter what we did, the villain spontaneously now has the passive ability to create a vortex of wind that reflects all physical and energy attacks back at their source of origin. Oh, and my energy bow (which remember is one of the powers which I bought at character creation) collapses into a pile of rust upon being hit by the energy arrow.

Never got any hero points either for the GM basically deciding "you're too effective so I'm going to completely remove your abilities" Nor were we allowed to pick new complications to replace the ones the GM handwaved away. The having my actually purchased powers stripped from me like that was the final straw for me and many other payers who had been getting increasingly frustrated.f That GM had specific story they wanted to tell and they weren't going to let anything like the players actions change that story.

Last thing I saw before removing that game from my watch list was the GM ranting at us for not following their script to a T. They went on about how their npc needs to be captured, tortured for 6 months, and us to be defeated handily and left almost dead dozens of times before we can finally rescue their prized npc. And how if we can't see why this story must happen that exact way then we're blind idiots. Sounded to me like the GM wanted to write their story and us players were getting in the way by daring to actually be effective.

The inventor? The system was Heroes Unlimited 2nd edition. My character was a Hardware: Mechanical class hero and I'd rolled the maximum budget you could have without an outside sponsor. Which means my super power IS building high tech super cars. I built the spy van by the rules with my budget that was rolled. Even made the construction skill checks even though your initial gear generally doesn't require that. GM said "You can't do that it's impossible to armor a van or put surveillance equipment in it". Never mind the fact that the game's rules say yes it is possible. Then when I offered to just buy what I wanted since the van fit within my character's equipment budget I was told "you can't buy it, nobody makes that" even when I linked the web site for the people who literally do make armored surveillance vans.

When in the other game I described running 3 to 4 steps along a wall before bouncing from wall to ceiling to wall, running 3 steps, pushing off that wall, then using a branch like vine a villain had created to flip further down the hall, it was just that. A stylistic description of how I'm making my way down the hall and dodging the vines the villain is creating before preforming a kick attack. No mechanical benefit beyond "Damn that would look cool". I rolled my gymnastics skills and passed them with flying colors even with the nasty high DC the gm gave. And yes, I did make my dodge checks too to avoid the attacks. Only to be told I fall on my face because "that's impossible".

Yeah, complications in a survival game from bad supplies crops up. But claiming every single box of bullets is useless because instead of gun powder they have pepper in them is stupid. Especially when you only do that to one person. That would imply that the multiple manufacturers had a limited run of useless bullets which they shipped out and got sold to only one person.

As I mentioned before, I can make excessively powerful characters. I chose not to because I find being too powerful isn't fun. In fact if I'm asking the GM for permission to bend the rules of the game, it's to give a weakness to my character. Such as asking a GM for a heroes unlimited superhero game if I can have all my powers linked to being in their elemental form, and for any attribute bonuses from skills to go solely into my empowered form too.

They were all examples of GM abuse of power that caused me, and frequently others too, to leave.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Just throwing my two copper pinch in, the "harshest" advice I've ever received in terms of optimization is for aspects of whatever concept I've presented asking for help in streamlining to be ignored in favor of a mechanically more powerful option that clashes with what I was originally trying to create (which, more often than not these days, is a character that gels with the narrative themes and ideas of whatever Adventure Path I'm building it for, a tiefling fits into Council of Thieves in ways a wayang or hobgoblin just doesn't, to give one hypothetical example).

And honestly, the reason I put "harshest" in quotation marks is because it's not really mean-spirited and is meant as genuinely friendly and helpful advice...just not really the direction I was interested in taking things in. Though that's more a board thing than anything else. People here are pretty nice! :)


johnlocke90 wrote:
born_of_fire wrote:
You don't hold anyone's livelihood hostage to force them to do so.
So your saying the solution then is to pay people to play Pathfinder with you!

I have herd of a GM who wanted to charge $5 a game per player back in the mid 90's but I do not know if he had any takers.

I can also see someone paying people to play with them if they have the $$$ lying around as I have seen people with lots of $$$ do strange things that normal people would not do.
MDC


Kaheal Stormbender,
You are describing a GM who is a strict rules GM IMHO. By that I mean if the books says X he has to do X and no matter what logic it bends. Then when the errata comes out so it works the way it should have worked in the first place they are happy to go that route.
I have seen quite a few GM's like this in my day and it is simply one of there limitations, every GM cannot be the same unfortunately or "The Best GM Ever".

MDC


Mark Carlson 255 wrote:

Kaheal Stormbender,

You are describing a GM who is a strict rules GM IMHO. By that I mean if the books says X he has to do X and no matter what logic it bends. Then when the errata comes out so it works the way it should have worked in the first place they are happy to go that route.
I have seen quite a few GM's like this in my day and it is simply one of there limitations, every GM cannot be the same unfortunately or "The Best GM Ever".

MDC

...That sounds like the exact opposite of what he was describing.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Game Mastery Guide, page 50 wrote:

OVERPOWERED PCS

Characters naturally accumulate power over time. And
in a game that relies on random resolutions of complex
interactions, that power accumulation isn’t always
smooth. If one PC—or all the PCs—at your table makes
a quantum leap in power, it’s worth taking a good, hard
look at whether that power is disruptive to the ongoing
narrative and sense of fun.
Consider the Cooperative Dynamic: The Pathfinder
RPG differs from most games in that it’s fundamentally
cooperative. Because you aren’t playing “against” anyone
in a meaningful sense, it might not matter that the PCs
suddenly became much more powerful. You aren’t likely
to run out of powerful monsters. You might have to alter
encounters to compensate, but once you’ve done so, your
game continues unimpeded.
When You Need to Rein It In: By the same token, the
cooperative nature of the game is why you sometimes need
to “nerf ” a character’s power. Do so when one PC is too
powerful relative to everyone else at the table. Before you
take action, though, consider the following steps:
Provide early warning. Say a player comes up with a
devastating combo—something that takes a monster out of a
fight with a high success rate and no countermeasure. Let it
happen the first few times, but tell the player, “I’ll let you know
when that combo gets tired.” The player can still feel clever,
but you’ve delivered notice and the whole table knows you
take the balance of power seriously. Sometimes the problem
power doesn’t emerge at the table anymore—and you’ve got
time to plan further. And the player might volunteer to be
part of the solution, a “negotiated settlement” you
can work out at the end of the session.
Know what you’re nerfing, and why. After the
session where something overpowered emerges,
it’s time to hit the books. Read everything
relevant, even if you think you know the
rules backward and forward. Think like a
player and explore the problematic power,
then put your Game Master hat back
on and search for countermeasures. A
complex game system has lots of moving
pieces, and it takes effort to isolate which
components and combinations are
actually overpowered.
Nerf it to the ground, but make it a
surgical strike.
Once you’ve isolated the
problematic element, bring it back into line with similar
powers available at that level. Do your homework in terms
of rules study and arithmetic; you want to make sure that
the overall technique is no longer overpowered, not just
the specific application you saw at the table. But make sure
the PC still has viable options—and that the player still
has interesting choices to make during an encounter.
51
Explain it outside the game. It’s tempting to solve a balance
issue on the spot, but consider the other players at the
table. They might be bored by a rules discussion about
somebody else’s character. They might leap to the player’s
defense, or recommend a harsher nerf because they’re
tired of being second banana. Talk to that player away from
the table before the next session begins, so that everyone’s
got time to pore over rulebooks and consider alternatives.
It’s also a good time to tell the player that you’re acting
for the good of the table, not to save your monsters. Most
players respond better to a nerf when they realize they’re
diminishing others’ fun and the change isn’t driven by
Game Master competitiveness.
What you break, rebuild. Overpowered situations rarely
emerge overnight. They’re often an intentional or
serendipitous collection of smaller elements acquired
over time. Spell x, magic item y, and feat z are fine by
themselves, but you’ve got a problem once a player has all
three. When you change the rules to make something less
powerful, it’s only fair—and certainly doesn’t hurt anyone
at the table—to let the player retroactively make different
character advancement choices to compensate, so they
haven’t wasted half the game achieving a build that’s no
longer viable.
Overpowered Monsters: Sometimes the proverbial
shoe will be on the other foot, and a monster will be
unexpectedly powerful. At first, let it play out a bit. Once
the power disparity is clear to everyone at the table, take
action—either nerf the monster on the spot and tell the
players (in general terms) what you’ve done and why, or
forego use of that monster, telling the players that “the
dragon turtle has some problems, which I’m going to fix
before our next session.”

In addition to this old text, there are guidelines in the Spells of Intrigue section of Ultimate Intrigue.

This is something Paizo has already done, and apologies if it has already been quoted or linked, as I have merely skimmed the thread.

Personally, I like to run my games in ways that can (and often do) challenge the players in ways other than simply having optimized numbers.

A while back I had a thread about making a 'boss' character who used the Leadership feat to bring in an 'optimized' Aid Another monkey (a witchguard ranger VMC cavalier) who was intended to make said boss caster's AC hyperbolically high. The object of said fight was not to bypass the AC of the caster, but to understand that killing the ranger first made the fight a lot easier. In this sense, the numbers don't matter, meaning players who have high enough numbers can kill the enemy more quickly, but they still oughta use their brain to get there first.

Only real difference between an 'optimized character' taking on this challenge and a non-optimized character are the number of actions it takes to reduce the HP to 0, however the object of the fight (needing to kill the bodyguard first) remains the objective in both scenarios. Ideally, any play style would be rewarded if they understand the object of the fight.

When DMing I've found having invisible countermeasures that both do and don't exist at all times (if/else scenarios) also helps a lot.

Dice+Modifiers vs. the-numbers-I-can-come-up-with is only fun for so long, even to players who get their jollies from exploiting numbers (of which I have a few).

I have highly varied skill level among my players, system wise, but having players with different mind sets (one guy is really good at puzzles, one guy is very rules savvy, one guy is very narrative savvy, one guy is really good with numbers, etc.) and giving them a chance to shine in those respects makes for a better game. I believe the 5e PHB has a section (the CRB might also) on these different types of players.

Another suggestion I may have is dealing with these meta-roles that the players take with an open-hand mentality, allowing players to give each other advice on certain aspects, while hopefully not fully metagaming in an unfair way. Reminding other players of what their on-paper capabilities are IMO is not cheating. Informing them of abilities not on the sheet is. That's where I typically draw the line. This play style also helps the non-optimized characters (often with less experienced players IME) keep up with the ones built more complexly.


Wise Old Man,
I do not think anyone has said it but I hope you find a game that you can enjoy.
MDC


Sundakan wrote:
Mark Carlson 255 wrote:

Kaheal Stormbender,

You are describing a GM who is a strict rules GM IMHO. By that I mean if the books says X he has to do X and no matter what logic it bends. Then when the errata comes out so it works the way it should have worked in the first place they are happy to go that route.
I have seen quite a few GM's like this in my day and it is simply one of there limitations, every GM cannot be the same unfortunately or "The Best GM Ever".

MDC

...That sounds like the exact opposite of what he was describing.

I guess we read his comment differently, ie the book/adventure says act 1 bad guy gets girl no matter what.

Player says I am using rule X,Y and Z that are pathfinder rules and pathfinder 3rd party so they must not be over powered in any way.
etc.

In my experience as I said I have seen a few GM's play this way. As if everything is perfect if it is published by company X. When as we know people are not perfect and mistakes are made. Now with putting out products to be edited and commented on beforehand you reduce the risk of that happening but there are still things that are missed or do not arise until mush later. (if you play Magic The Gathering just think of all the combos that make it through play testing in the early to mid days of the game and even the ones that slip through occasionally now.)

MDC

Dark Archive

Mark Carlson 255 wrote:
Sundakan wrote:
Mark Carlson 255 wrote:

Kaheal Stormbender,

You are describing a GM who is a strict rules GM IMHO. By that I mean if the books says X he has to do X and no matter what logic it bends. Then when the errata comes out so it works the way it should have worked in the first place they are happy to go that route.
I have seen quite a few GM's like this in my day and it is simply one of there limitations, every GM cannot be the same unfortunately or "The Best GM Ever".

MDC

...That sounds like the exact opposite of what he was describing.

I guess we read his comment differently, ie the book/adventure says act 1 bad guy gets girl no matter what.

Player says I am using rule X,Y and Z that are pathfinder rules and pathfinder 3rd party so they must not be over powered in any way.
etc.

In my experience as I said I have seen a few GM's play this way. As if everything is perfect if it is published by company X. When as we know people are not perfect and mistakes are made. Now with putting out products to be edited and commented on beforehand you reduce the risk of that happening but there are still things that are missed or do not arise until mush later. (if you play Magic The Gathering just think of all the combos that make it through play testing in the early to mid days of the game and even the ones that slip through occasionally now.)

MDC

I've designed adventures where the badguy gets their hostage no matter what. The trick to doing so properly is to factor in the conditions for how it happens. For example the hostage is in a tavern and blackguards show up to capture her. Plan out her attempted escape, maybe she'll take 5 rounds to get to the 2nd floor, make her way outside, then steal a horse. If the players spend 5 rounds in combat, the would-be hostage gets captured then. If they spend 3 rounds in combat, the hostage isn't captured right away, but did steal a horse and ride off just as the party starts looking for her. 2 to 3 rounds, and the party can prevent her from running away, but she'll slip away in the middle of the night later and get captured.

Changing the badguys mid fight just to ensure your envisioned plan goes off, not a good idea. Screwing the players over by actually stripping them of their core capabilities because they're daring to not follow your(privately known) script? Also not cool. If you're familiar with M&M, then you'd be aware that flat out removing someone's purchased super powers is not acceptable. Yes, a device based power with the 'easy to lose' flaw such as an energy bow can be stolen. That's a baked in complication. Turning it into a pile of rust though, that power is now gone for good. That was 12 PP spent in a power level 6 game which were flat out wasted because the GM decided to completely destroy the device in a fit of annoyance. So instead of a 90 point character build, I had a 78 point build.

Someone else had their character's innate flight power removed permanently so the badguys could escape with their hostage without being followed. And note, these were not published adventures. However the GM had set up an in-character data base for the known capabilities of villains. If the villain could create an impossible wind that reflects 100% of physical and energy projectiles back to their point of origin, wouldn't that be a known fact.


master_marshmallow wrote:

OVERPOWERED PCS

Characters naturally accumulate power over time. And
in a game that relies on random resolutions of complex
interactions, that power accumulation isn’t always
smooth. If one PC—or all the PCs—at your table makes
a quantum leap in power, it’s worth taking a good, hard
look at whether that power is disruptive to the ongoing
narrative and sense of fun.
Consider the Cooperative Dynamic: The Pathfinder
RPG differs from most games in that it’s fundamentally
cooperative. Because you aren’t playing “against” anyone
in a meaningful sense, it might not matter that the PCs
suddenly became much more powerful. You aren’t likely
to run out of powerful monsters. You might have to alter
encounters to compensate, but once you’ve done so, your
game continues unimpeded.
When You Need to Rein It In: By the same token, the
cooperative nature of the game is why you sometimes need
to “nerf ” a character’s power. Do so when one PC is too
powerful relative to everyone else at the table. Before you
take action, though, consider the following steps:
Provide early warning. Say a player comes up with a
devastating combo—something that takes a monster out of a
fight with a high success rate and no countermeasure. Let it
happen the first few times, but tell the player, “I’ll let you know
when that combo gets tired.” The player can still feel clever,
but you’ve delivered notice and the whole table knows you
take the balance of power seriously. Sometimes the problem
power doesn’t emerge at the table anymore—and you’ve got
time to plan further. And the player might volunteer to be
part of the solution, a “negotiated settlement” you
can work out at the end of the session.
Know what you’re nerfing, and why. After the
session where something overpowered emerges,
it’s time to hit the books. Read everything
relevant, even if you think you know the
rules backward and forward. Think like a
player and explore the problematic power,
then put your Game Master hat back
on and search for countermeasures. A
complex game system has lots of moving
pieces, and it takes effort to isolate which
components and combinations are
actually overpowered.
Nerf it to the ground, but make it a
surgical strike. Once you’ve isolated the
problematic element, bring it back into line with similar
powers available at that level. Do your homework in terms
of rules study and arithmetic; you want to make sure that
the overall technique is no longer overpowered, not just
the specific application you saw at the table. But make sure
the PC still has viable options—and that the player still
has interesting choices to make during an encounter.
51
Explain it outside the game. It’s tempting to solve a balance
issue on the spot, but consider the other players at the
table. They might be bored by a rules discussion about
somebody else’s character. They might leap to the player’s
defense, or recommend a harsher nerf because they’re
tired of being second banana. Talk to that player away from
the table before the next session begins, so that everyone’s
got time to pore over rulebooks and consider alternatives.
It’s also a good time to tell the player that you’re acting
for the good of the table, not to save your monsters. Most
players respond better to a nerf when they realize they’re
diminishing others’ fun and the change isn’t driven by
Game Master competitiveness.
What you break, rebuild. Overpowered situations rarely
emerge overnight. They’re often an intentional or
serendipitous collection of smaller elements acquired
over time. Spell x, magic item y, and feat z are fine by
themselves, but you’ve got a problem once a player has all
three. When you change the rules to make something less
powerful, it’s only fair—and certainly doesn’t hurt anyone
at the table—to let the player retroactively make different
character advancement choices to compensate, so they
haven’t wasted half the game achieving a build that’s no
longer viable.
Overpowered Monsters: Sometimes the proverbial
shoe will be on the other foot, and a monster will be
unexpectedly powerful. At first, let it play out a bit. Once
the power disparity is clear to everyone at the table, take
action—either nerf the monster on the spot and tell the
players (in general terms) what you’ve done and why, or
forego use of that monster, telling the players that “the
dragon turtle has some problems, which I’m going to fix
before our next session.”

All the above I've already implied. This is saying "If things get out of hand, tell them as a GM that you're getting tired of that combo, and if it continues, nerf it."

However, I have already stated that I don't take it out of hand. And player's and GM's don't even trust someone if they mention something that doesn't correlate with their ideas, and immediately think of the worst even when the victim is telling the truth about a certain build. Almost 95% time they jump to conclusions.

That is a quote of a nice and understanding GM, who takes everybody's thoughts and actions into consideration to improve his groups' well being. And not everyone knows or wants or cares to do any of that.
That is a very small example that justifies GM's as a proper host who read and respect the guidelines. The interpretation varies significantly in actuality.

Like I said before, no one cares unless rules say otherwise. Most of you here will deny it, but also, most you here will continuously try to correct those who think are fundamentally out of line within the rules.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Depends on how "by the rules" the group expects me to be.


Wise Old Man wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

OVERPOWERED PCS

Characters naturally accumulate power over time. And
in a game that relies on random resolutions of complex
interactions, that power accumulation isn’t always
smooth. If one PC—or all the PCs—at your table makes
a quantum leap in power, it’s worth taking a good, hard
look at whether that power is disruptive to the ongoing
narrative and sense of fun.
Consider the Cooperative Dynamic: The Pathfinder
RPG differs from most games in that it’s fundamentally
cooperative. Because you aren’t playing “against” anyone
in a meaningful sense, it might not matter that the PCs
suddenly became much more powerful. You aren’t likely
to run out of powerful monsters. You might have to alter
encounters to compensate, but once you’ve done so, your
game continues unimpeded.
When You Need to Rein It In: By the same token, the
cooperative nature of the game is why you sometimes need
to “nerf ” a character’s power. Do so when one PC is too
powerful relative to everyone else at the table. Before you
take action, though, consider the following steps:
Provide early warning. Say a player comes up with a
devastating combo—something that takes a monster out of a
fight with a high success rate and no countermeasure. Let it
happen the first few times, but tell the player, “I’ll let you know
when that combo gets tired.” The player can still feel clever,
but you’ve delivered notice and the whole table knows you
take the balance of power seriously. Sometimes the problem
power doesn’t emerge at the table anymore—and you’ve got
time to plan further. And the player might volunteer to be
part of the solution, a “negotiated settlement” you
can work out at the end of the session.
Know what you’re nerfing, and why. After the
session where something overpowered emerges,
it’s time to hit the books. Read everything
relevant, even if you think you know the
rules backward and forward. Think like a
player and explore the problematic
...

Um.. what?

You mentioned wanting hard rules in place, this is it.


Wise Old Man wrote:
Like I said before, no one cares unless rules say otherwise. Most of you here will deny it, but also, most you here will continuously try to correct those who think are fundamentally out of line within the rules.

I can see the thought process behind this statement, and it's true that on a Paizo discussion board, nearly all of us default to quoting the rules and processing how those rules interact.

However, that's on a gaming forum, not at a gaming table. A statement was made earlier along the lines of most groups using PFS rules and errata, and I don't think that could be further from the truth. I think it's actually a massive minority that abide by such restrictions in their home games.

The difference is that when we're having a discussion on the PF boards about rules, the discussion necessitates referring to what the most up-to-date rules say, because those are the default assumptions of the game. At a home game? Totally different. I have an enormous rules document detailing our houserules (you can check my post history if you'd like to find it), and I'd say that vast majority of groups have houserules in place or use optional rules systems from things like Pathfinder Unchained that change the fundamental assumptions of the game.

The thing is that those alterations have no bearing in discussions regarding default game assumptions. I mean, sure, I could respond to a rules question by saying, "Well, in our game..." or "Ask your GM if they'll bend the rules for you..." which doesn't help advance the conversation in a meaningful or useful way. The GM can always alter the rules. That's Rule 0. What good does it do someone if I answer their questions with our houserules?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
master_marshmallow wrote:

Um.. what?

You mentioned wanting hard rules in place, this is it.

That list was actually advice. He wants rules that say "this is how you must play the game".

Personally I think we both agree that making it into a specific rule won't help.

Example: All players at the table must be allowed access to the same class and feats. If one player is not allow to use ___, then nobody can.
--------------------------------------------
People don't even follow the forum rules about being nice, so there is no way I would expect for them to follow the rules when Paizo is not around to enforce anything.

As another example, PFS has rules saying things must be done a certain way, and I have seen GM's flat out say they ignore certain rules on this forum where Paizo can see them saying it.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

This makes me unhappy. I find myself sharing a lot of fundamental sentiments with Wise Old Man. I believe that the GM should be treated the same as any other player, and I believe that sometimes GMs take too many liberties. I believe Pathfinders main attraction is a huge number of options and that restricting those without good reason is silly.

The reason I'm unhappy, then, is that a thread with a premise that I could have generally agreed with has been squandered. I am almost staggered by how minor WOMs problem seems to be, now that it's revealed, in comparison to the nearly 8 pages of discussion that has been generated by it. Putting aside that I loathe reading arguments supported with nothing but anecdotes and blanket assumptions like "everybody does X", I see absolutely no reason whatsoever that this issue should not be resolved by WOM simply sitting down with their GM and speaking with them as if they were both reasonable adults.

WOM wrote:
Like I said before, no one cares unless rules say otherwise. Most of you here will deny it, but also, most you here will continuously try to correct those who think are fundamentally out of line within the rules.

This is almost criminally untrue. I have like a 60 page document of rules changes I made for one of my games. I can probably even link you to a half-dozen ongoing recruitments that are using PF in a way that was probably never intended.

You have a personal problem with your GM

A book cannot resolve a personal problem.

You need to actually talk directly to your GM if you're so broken up about things, not try and start a crusade against them.

You aren't talking about addressing any problems the community has. At this point I suspect that the communities interests are strictly secondary to your goals. You want a book to be created that solves the problem you have in a way that you think is fair. That's not cool. That's why people are giving you a hard time. Not because people here are lying to themselves about how hard it is for optimizers, or that they don't know what it's "really like" to play Pathfinder.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Wise Old Man wrote:
Like I said before, no one cares unless rules say otherwise. Most of you here will deny it, but also, most you here will continuously try to correct those who think are fundamentally out of line within the rules.

As I said before how we are on the forums, and how things play out at home is different. I tell people they are wrong about the rules here(in the forums) so they can understand the rules, and become better players/GM's. However if someone is discussing a houserule I would never say "that is not what the book says". I don't even follow all of the rules in my home games. There are some I blatantly ignore, and every group I have played in has house rules, but these seem people will come here for the actual rule when a question pops up.

Once again: Don't confuse the forums with how people play at home. It is very difficult to find a group that does not alter any of the rules. Every poster that I know(familiar with) who has told you to give up the rules idea has does not follow all of the rules in their home games.

PS: Are you going to write this book since I gave you ways to make it happen despite having a full time job?


Johnnycat93 wrote:

This makes me unhappy. I find myself sharing a lot of fundamental sentiments with Wise Old Man. I believe that the GM should be treated the same as any other player, and I believe that sometimes GMs take too many liberties. I believe Pathfinders main attraction is a huge number of options and that restricting those without good reason is silly.

The reason I'm unhappy, then, is that a thread with a premise that I could have generally agreed with has been squandered. I am almost staggered by how minor WOMs problem seems to be, now that it's revealed, in comparison to the nearly 8 pages of discussion that has been generated by it. Putting aside that I loathe reading arguments supported with nothing but anecdotes and blanket assumptions like "everybody does X", I see absolutely no reason whatsoever that this issue should not be resolved by WOM simply sitting down with their GM and speaking with them as if they were both reasonable adults.

WOM wrote:
Like I said before, no one cares unless rules say otherwise. Most of you here will deny it, but also, most you here will continuously try to correct those who think are fundamentally out of line within the rules.

This is almost criminally untrue. I have like a 60 page document of rules changes I made for one of my games. I can probably even link you to a half-dozen ongoing recruitments that are using PF in a way that was probably never intended.

You have a personal problem with your GM

A book cannot resolve a personal problem.

You need to actually talk directly to your GM if you're so broken up about things, not try and start a crusade against them.

You aren't talking about addressing any problems the community has. At this point I suspect that the communities interests are strictly secondary to your goals. You want a book to be created that solves the problem you have in a way that you think is fair. That's not cool. That's why people are giving you a hard time. Not because people here are lying to themselves about how hard...

This. Plus, how does a book of rules fix the problem of a GM altering and/or ignoring rules? Maybe a subsequent book of rules instructing GM's to follow this book of rules that instructed them to follow the existing rules?


Any sort of "rule that binds the GM" is going to be extremely unreliable because the primacy of rule zero is going to vary dramatically from GM to GM.

Like when I started in this hobby, a foundational principle of it was that the GM is free to change, ignore, or alter whatever rules they want if they feel that the flow or people's enjoyment of the game would be improved by it. So from that perspective a rule like "you have to allow wizards" is silly (I mean, what if I'm running a low magic campaign, so "banning wizards" is the point.)

There are a lot of other people who view the GM as more of a referee for an existing body of rules, who feel that you can only do something if there exists a rule that governs it. I don't think these people would benefit from any sort of rule that limits the GM since "you can only do that which the rules explicitly allow" is already pretty limiting (I'm not sure how other people can run a game like this; I sure can't.)

The long and short of it is just talk to each other about what you expect from a game, and try to be excellent with each other. It may be that one person's expectations for a game might be incompatible with the rest of the group, which necessitates either adjusting so you can get along or just finding another group (one person trying to convince 3 or more that they are wrong is not going to work.)


born_of_fire wrote:

Power-gaming is one thing, cheating is another. Most people find it very difficult to tolerate cheating and it kind of seems like you are criticizing them for this. More likely though, is that you want to use vague or convoluted rules to power your creations. If this is the case, you really should reasonably expect some push-back in the form of table variation, especially if you are clowning the game as a result of your "creativity".

It's true that everyone has the right to play the game they want to play but you have to consider the group you are playing with. Some players are just not compatible with some groups and tyranny of the majority dictates that the odd man out is the one that needs to move on or change his ways. It falls to you to find a group that appreciates your preferred play style; it is not up to everyone with a preferred play style different than yours to accomodate you.

This will end in tears. You are here pleading for tolerance while demonstrating intolerance for others. You'd be much better off just ignoring the people who "bully" or "disrespect" you than crying about how unfair it is that not everyone plays the way you like to. Do you really require validation from strangers on the internet so badly?

He wasn't asking for validation, just to have people look at the issue from both sides. You are in fact just being rude.


jeremiah dodson 812 wrote:
born_of_fire wrote:

Power-gaming is one thing, cheating is another. Most people find it very difficult to tolerate cheating and it kind of seems like you are criticizing them for this. More likely though, is that you want to use vague or convoluted rules to power your creations. If this is the case, you really should reasonably expect some push-back in the form of table variation, especially if you are clowning the game as a result of your "creativity".

It's true that everyone has the right to play the game they want to play but you have to consider the group you are playing with. Some players are just not compatible with some groups and tyranny of the majority dictates that the odd man out is the one that needs to move on or change his ways. It falls to you to find a group that appreciates your preferred play style; it is not up to everyone with a preferred play style different than yours to accomodate you.

This will end in tears. You are here pleading for tolerance while demonstrating intolerance for others. You'd be much better off just ignoring the people who "bully" or "disrespect" you than crying about how unfair it is that not everyone plays the way you like to. Do you really require validation from strangers on the internet so badly?

He wasn't asking for validation, just to have people look at the issue from both sides. You are in fact just being rude.

LOL What do you think validation is if not people looking at the issue from your side and empathizing?

This thread is chock full of people saying exactly the same thing as I did, I was just the first: the problem is between OP and his GM('s), not anything Paizo can fix for OP, and the best solution is to find a different group. Sorry I offended your delicate sensibilities, I guess.

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