For the OP haters


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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wraithstrike wrote:
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".

Isn't that already in... all books Paizo/any 3PP have ever written?

EDIT: No wait, it isn't. Because no rules says "you have to or must use this rule, otherwise you don't get to play the game and Paizo-Police will be sent out".


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...

It's not a personal problem. I'm just venting my ideas. I'm not concerned with the boards disagreeing with me. I'm stating a problem that I think is wrong and debating about it openly.


Nobody is saying your problem is not real. We are saying you are approaching it from the wrong angle, and we have told you why. Maybe you believe all of our experiences and conversations with people ignoring PFS rules, and ignoring ules in the book are just some random coincidence, and you are entitled to that. However, if that is how you feel I dont know what else to tell you.

Yes, I am aware that you didn't say it, but your statements make it seem like you don't agree.

If you just want to vent feel free to do so, but I don't see how this is a debate since you have not offered any counters as to how or statements may not be true. That matters because if ours are true with regard to people not following the rules they don't like, then that means that book you desire will be pointless.


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Typically, most groups I play with follow the DM's rules because no one else wants to DM.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
Typically, most groups I play with follow the DM's rules because no one else wants to DM.

Good groups, I find, tend to pay a certain level of respect to the GM since it's absolutely the hardest job of everybody at the table and the game wouldn't exist if no one were willing to do that job. That's not to say that there aren't some bad GMs out there (and bad GMs are worse than equally bad players, almost without exception) but you generally ought to cut those people some slack.

That's not to say "buy your GM flowers/candy" but just appreciate that Kermit has the hardest job in the Muppet Show, so it's understandable when he messes up. If your GM says "ugh, not the grappling rules" when you show up with a grappling specialist, say "okay, I'll play something else" or "here, let me break them down for you so they're really clear" but never "lousy GM doesn't even know the rules."


Wise Old Man wrote:
It's not a personal problem. I'm just venting my ideas. I'm not concerned with the boards disagreeing with me. I'm stating a problem that I think is wrong and debating about it openly.

You should be concerned with peoples opinions, given that you're the one trying to present your case. That's the cornerstone of a debate. Otherwise you're just fishing for people who agree with you and ignoring the ones that don't.

I've also yet to see you address any of the counter arguments made against you. You've acknowledged them, but that's not enough if you're actually interested in participating in a debate.

Can you provide evidence that your problem is not specific to you, and is instead a problem in the community as a whole? Saying so isn't good enough for me. What evidence are you using to support your claim?

Dark Archive

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Even a great GM may not know every rule. I consider myself to be a good GM, but then I've been doing it for 26 years now. When it comes to some systems like the Palldium system yeah I pretty much know every rule by heart. Or at least memorized what page the rule is on. But then that's the main system I've been GMing most of that time. For Pathfinder, I don't have anywhere near that level of system mastery. I don't know the mechanics for every class backwards and forwards, just for the classes I tend to play. Nor do I know the grappling rules by heart, so I'd have to look them up if someone is planning on playing a grappler. I'm not 100% certain of the lighting rules either, I keep having to look them up when I GM for pfs.

Dark Archive

Also, I've only ever seen one rpg that had a hard rule that dictated how the GM is allowed to run the game. And that was for the Ghostbusters rpg. That rule was that the GM is not allowed to kill the players unless death is the only possible result from a player's action. And then you had to give the player 3 chances to retract the action. THe book then went on to explain that yes, even if a nuke goes off right at the player's feet they must survive. They can be horribly burned and suffer radiation poisoning, but they must survive and completely recover from it.

Other then that, game rules are so the GM can adjudicate what happens. THey aren't there to tell the GM how they're allowed to run the game, or how the player are allowed to run their characters. You'll only find advice on how to deal with problems within the gaming group because that's all that can realistically be given.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
Typically, most groups I play with follow the DM's rules because no one else wants to DM.

I can't disagree with this. I have been lucky enough to not always be the only GM in the group, but there was a long time that passed when I was the only availible GM.

Related:People who GM seem to be more considerate of the position, and are less likely to be disruptive, and be no calls/no shows.


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Johnnycat93 wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
It's not a personal problem. I'm just venting my ideas. I'm not concerned with the boards disagreeing with me. I'm stating a problem that I think is wrong and debating about it openly.

You should be concerned with peoples opinions, given that you're the one trying to present your case. That's the cornerstone of a debate. Otherwise you're just fishing for people who agree with you and ignoring the ones that don't.

I've also yet to see you address any of the counter arguments made against you. You've acknowledged them, but that's not enough if you're actually interested in participating in a debate.

Can you provide evidence that your problem is not specific to you, and is instead a problem in the community as a whole? Saying so isn't good enough for me. What evidence are you using to support your claim?

Great points.

For someone to say they don't care what people think, but then to call it a debate is strange. In a debate you are supposed to consider the other person's points of view.
Otherwise I don't see the point unless the person is just looking for "yes men".


wraithstrike wrote:
Johnnycat93 wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
It's not a personal problem. I'm just venting my ideas. I'm not concerned with the boards disagreeing with me. I'm stating a problem that I think is wrong and debating about it openly.

You should be concerned with peoples opinions, given that you're the one trying to present your case. That's the cornerstone of a debate. Otherwise you're just fishing for people who agree with you and ignoring the ones that don't.

I've also yet to see you address any of the counter arguments made against you. You've acknowledged them, but that's not enough if you're actually interested in participating in a debate.

Can you provide evidence that your problem is not specific to you, and is instead a problem in the community as a whole? Saying so isn't good enough for me. What evidence are you using to support your claim?

Great points.

For someone to say they don't care what people think, but then to call it a debate is strange. In a debate you are supposed to consider the other person's points of view.
Otherwise I don't see the point unless the person is just looking for "yes men".

If don't feel as though I'm not obliging to your trivia, please move along. This isn't a press review. I'm trying to advocate a good cause, and won't comply to depreciation.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Johnnycat93 wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
It's not a personal problem. I'm just venting my ideas. I'm not concerned with the boards disagreeing with me. I'm stating a problem that I think is wrong and debating about it openly.

You should be concerned with peoples opinions, given that you're the one trying to present your case. That's the cornerstone of a debate. Otherwise you're just fishing for people who agree with you and ignoring the ones that don't.

I've also yet to see you address any of the counter arguments made against you. You've acknowledged them, but that's not enough if you're actually interested in participating in a debate.

Can you provide evidence that your problem is not specific to you, and is instead a problem in the community as a whole? Saying so isn't good enough for me. What evidence are you using to support your claim?

Great points.

For someone to say they don't care what people think, but then to call it a debate is strange. In a debate you are supposed to consider the other person's points of view.
Otherwise I don't see the point unless the person is just looking for "yes men".
If don't feel as though I'm not obliging to your trivia, please move along. This isn't a press review. I'm trying to advocate a good cause, and won't comply to depreciation.

Completely ignoring criticisms isn't helpful to your "cause" either.

Dark Archive

WOM, you may or may not have a good point. But that's the problem here. We're not really sure what your point actually is. The issues you described you have in your gaming group are all 'people' issues and not 'system' issues. They are things that need to be resolved out of game. For that, advice is the best you're going to find.

You say you want a 'party rules' book. But have yet to specify what you want these rules to actually cover. Nor have you addressed the fact that a book of rules detailing how you're allowed to role play or run a game would only work if the 'bad GM' or 'bad players' care about the book with those rules.

So I'll ask you again. What exactly do you want these 'party rules' to cover?


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Wise Old Man wrote:
If don't feel as though I'm not obliging to your trivia, please move along. This isn't a press review. I'm trying to advocate a good cause, and won't comply to depreciation.

Oh, I'm sorry, I wasn't aware you had made the transition from participating in a debate to advocating a good cause.

I don't think your cause is good. I think you're singling people out because you don't like them and I think you're propping yourself up as some kind of martyr so you don't have to explain yourself. I'm fine and dandy with helping the community, but I won't oblige a witch hunt.


@Wise Old Man,

Advice for running games for optimised players and parties with different expectations is already covered in Paizo's Game Mastery Guide - chapter 2: Running the Game.

I don't really see how or why Paizo could expand what is only a portion of this chapter to fill a whole book. In addition judging by the responses on the forum, there would be a very small line of people to buy it.

You say you want rules solutions because they are the things that the optimisers respond to and respect. Einstein says...

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them."

Issues of play style and character creation are best solved out of game with frank discussion and understanding of all parties' points of view.


The Sword wrote:
I don't really see how they could expand what is only a portion of this chapter to fill a whole book. In addition judging by the responses on the forum, there would be a very small line of people to buy it.

Well, if you were to address the issue of "how to handle it when some of your players want one thing and the rest of your players want something wholly incompatible" you could fill several volumes (and probably not resolve the issue completely.)

There are several fairly interesting models for "what type of players exist, what they want, and what points of friction exist with other types of players" but they're models so they're far from 100% accurate and Paizo's publishing a roleplaying game, not a scholarly journal or a trade publication.

But suffice to say that "the rules of the game" and "how people interact with each other" are completely different dimensions and you're far more likely to solve a rules problem with the players getting together and agreeing on a solution than you are to fix a player problem by having some rules to point to.

I have literally never, in 27 years of this, seen a player problem that a rule would even begin to solve (since problem players often protest or creatively interpret rules as is convenient for them.)


If you want an extended essay on differing player types and expectations and tips for how they can be resolved, I highly recommend the Game Mastery guide - page 70. It has 9 pages discussing these types and the benefit and pitfalls of having them in the group. Its all out of game info and right there in a core published book ready for use.

Dark Archive

Pretty sure I remember seeing some really good essays on such a topic too floating around the net. Not sure if they're still around, or if they are as gone as an old website I remember seeing in the 90's that ranted about how pogs were the spawn of satan and the gateway to leading children into devil worship.

Yes...
Pogs...
You know, the old milk bottle caps with weird/creepy/disturbing pictures that were used for a stupid tiddly winks style collectable game in the 90's.


Wise Old Man wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Johnnycat93 wrote:
Wise Old Man wrote:
It's not a personal problem. I'm just venting my ideas. I'm not concerned with the boards disagreeing with me. I'm stating a problem that I think is wrong and debating about it openly.

You should be concerned with peoples opinions, given that you're the one trying to present your case. That's the cornerstone of a debate. Otherwise you're just fishing for people who agree with you and ignoring the ones that don't.

I've also yet to see you address any of the counter arguments made against you. You've acknowledged them, but that's not enough if you're actually interested in participating in a debate.

Can you provide evidence that your problem is not specific to you, and is instead a problem in the community as a whole? Saying so isn't good enough for me. What evidence are you using to support your claim?

Great points.

For someone to say they don't care what people think, but then to call it a debate is strange. In a debate you are supposed to consider the other person's points of view.
Otherwise I don't see the point unless the person is just looking for "yes men".
If don't feel as though I'm not obliging to your trivia, please move along. This isn't a press review. I'm trying to advocate a good cause, and won't comply to depreciation.

A good cause does not equal a valid argument for that cause. In other words, good intentions alone, do not make a solid case, and you need to present one if you want this to be anything more than a discussion for the sake of having a conversation.


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What is this 'good cause' we're advocating here?

Is it forcing DM's to allow whatever the player wants within a set of rules, entitling power gamers to have their cake and eat it too? There's PFS for that. Caveat being that since the power to say "No" is taken away from the DM, you have to deal with nerfs and errata when a council of DMs and Devs[sic] who notices something to be problematic (even in isolated cases, much like the premise of this thread afaik).

Is it having a supplement on how to deal with characters of varying power levels? Because as cited these already exist.

Seems like the issues here really have nothing to do with the system, and more or less looks like a (no finger pointing) player who doesn't like the game they're playing ought to consider other options.

You have the right to power game, no one is taking that away from anyone. But the other players at the table also have the right to not have to deal with it. That's the part that messes most people up (on these forums at least.)


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To be honest, as someone who GMs at least twice as often as I get to play, I would never, absolutely never, run a game that has as a written rule something like "the game master must follow these rules without exception or alteration, and if your GM wants to violate or change these rules show them this section of the rulebook."

Like that would absolutely be a deal killer; I would not run that game, there's lots of other games out there and I would prefer to run one that does not abrogate rule zero.

Dark Archive

Or s one rpg book I have puts it... "These rules are printed on paper, not carved in stone".

Don't feel like digging out the book for the full passage.


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It's a lost cause, all.

WOM is sticking to his guns in his demand and bizarre belief that this would help his situation, refuses to acknowledge it's a problem with the group, refuses to explain what this book should contain (other than it should somehow force his GM to play the way that he wants), has no interest in writing or developing it, and talks over anyone that disagrees while ignoring their points.

I'm beginning to understand where this GM must be coming from, because one can presume that each and every character played involves this level of arguing and insisting that the rules only work the way that WOM interprets them (I'm reminded of the white mage thread made last week, and the pieces are just all coming together.)

I had sympathies for you, WOM, I really did, but that sentiment has been squandered. Best of luck to you and your gaming group.


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As I've stated multiple times, I've never had any problems with my GM's and players, because I know when to separate a game from real life to accommodate my groups free time.

Thank you, everyone. I appreciate all of you taking the time give your honest thoughts and opinions. I will try and give you my most helpful answers in your future posts in the most friendliest manner, and I will also defend you with your merits whenever I see that you are being targeted. And I mean it.

Love, power, respect. Peace.

Dark Archive

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Wise Old Man wrote:

As I've stated multiple times, I've never had any problems with my GM's and players, because I know when to separate a game from real life to accommodate my groups free time.

Thank you, everyone. I appreciate all of you taking the time give your honest thoughts and opinions. I will try and give you my most helpful answers in your future posts in the most friendliest manner, and I will also defend you with your merits whenever I see that you are being targeted. And I mean it.

Love, power, respect. Peace.

So you say. But then you also said

Wise Old Man wrote:

In no way am I a disruptive player. IRL, I'm a super polite, cooperative, and overall friendly person.

I'm not talking about being disruptive, I think if you have a personality problem, it should be dealt outside of game.

I've seen people play evil characters for the sake of wanting to steal from other players and kill them, or just cause shenanigans and they give me an excuses like "That's my alignment. I'm trying to play in character!"

I've also seen players trying to act the scientist for the campaign rules, like when a GM says "There is no astral plane." and players would say "Well, how does teleportation work then? And it wouldn't make sense because of this, this, and this."

And it's like...why are you trying to start this debacle, when it's very unnecessary. The GM puts in rules at the start, that's that. People don't need to justify in their own minds why it wouldn't work.

Those are disruptive players.

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 time. Favoritism.

I don't want to subjected to polite politics on a gaming table. And it's not easy finding a gaming table near me.
So it's "Too bad so sad for me"?
That's not fair.

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

So which is it, do you never have any problem with your GMs and players because you know when to separate a game from real life? Or do you have the problems and issues you'd previously described, then confirmed were accurately described? Because you can't have it both ways. If the earlier post was as accurate as you claimed, you have problems with your players and GMs. Problems which aren't going to be solved by hypothetical book with new system rules. They can't be solved that way because the problems aren't a game system problem.

Or do you never have problems with your GMs and players, in which case the above post describing such problems was pulled out of thin air? If that's the case, why are you insisting on a new rule book?

And you still haven't mentioned what exactly you think 'party rules' are suppose to cover. Clearly you don't think the plethora of advice you can find on how to resolve problems within a gaming group aren't enough. But you keep avoiding the question of what exactly you want new system rules to deal with.

EDIT: Please note, I'm not arguing with you to shut you down. If you can make a legitimate case for your 'party rules' book may well agree with you. As might many others. And that's the core problem I'm having with you WOM. You're not giving compelling reasons for a party rule book. You're not even explaining what you think such a book should cover.


I've given multiple reasons already. I haven't ignored anyone, but I refrain from repeating myself. As I've mentioned multiple times, everything I've wrote is already there. The reason why people are feeling ignored is because they feel it isn't a sufficient reason, and keep asking me for another one. I'm not here to satisfy everyone's ideals.

If people don't want to accept my reasons, then I can't stop them, but I'm not going to change my response to accommodate their search for the right answer.


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wraithstrike wrote:

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.

If someone were to bring a book like that to my home game and insist that this was holy writ that I as a gamemaster would follow, I'd chuck it out the window. (well not really, I would tell said person to put that book away and never mention it again, even if it had the authorship of every developer at Paizo.)

The rules are there to serve the game and me as gamemaster. It'll be a sunny day in Hades before I ever accept the reverse. I once walked away from D+D for ten years because I thought that it's problems were fatal and there were better horizons elsewhere, and there were. I can do that again.

Dark Archive

Wise Old Man wrote:

I've given multiple reasons already. I haven't ignored anyone, but I refrain from repeating myself. As I've mentioned multiple times, everything I've wrote is already there. The reason why people are feeling ignored is because they feel it isn't a sufficient reason, and keep asking me for another one. I'm not here to satisfy everyone's ideals.

If people don't want to accept my reasons, then I can't stop them, but I'm not going to change my response to accommodate their search for the right answer.

No, you have not once addressed the core question I and others have. You never explained exactly what you think a 'party rules' book should have hard and fast rules for. Without that, we're left to guess and assume. I'm sure you know the saying about 'assume'. Your reasons listed in the past are all player issues, not game issues. You claim there is no or little information on how to deal with such issues, but there is a lot of such information. Paizo published an entire book with advice and tips on how to run a game while dealing with potential issues.

So one last time, what exactly do you want a 'party rules' book to have rules for?


I'm going to ask you one last time, what is your motives behind asking me such questions?

Dark Archive

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What do I want? Why do I keep asking you these questions? I want to UNDERSTAND what you want. Why else do you think I keep asking you for this? When you keep saying 'party rules' but don't explain what you think these 'party rules' should cover, it's impossible to make informed decisions.

Once again, you have given situations which are all conflicts with the players. No matter what system you're playing, you'll have such issues. They cropped up in AD&D 2nd Edition. They crop up in the Ghostbusters RPG. They crop up in White Wolf games GURPS, and any other RPG you want to play. Yes, even in the Diceless Systems and freeform games (aka games which use no rules system). They even crop up in miniture war games like Warhammer and Battletech. This tells you that the issues aren't caused by the game rule. It tells you they are social in nature. And none of us can figure out how you expect a game rule book to fix problems of a social nature.

So make your case, explain what exactly you want. And not just "a party rule book", but what you think this book needs to have rules for. Pitch the idea to us. Who knows, you may actually be able to convince us this is a good idea. But you haven't actually tried to pitch your idea yet, just said it's needed.

You said you would be willing to write the book if Paizo signed contract with you. But if you aren't willing to explain what exactly you want the book to cover, why would you expect someone from Paizo to come into this thread and say "Hey, that's a great idea! Let's pay Wise Old Man to write that book!"

Not that this is a likely thing to happen to begin with. Willing and able to write this 'party rules' book? Start writing it. Even if you can't get it published, you could use the book you wrote for your own campaigns. If you can't convince one person on a forum who has admitted they might like the idea if they knew just what the idea was, then chances are you're sales pitch to Paizo or any other publisher wouldn't go over very well.

You seem to think your 'party rules' book is the silver bullet that will fix the issue. So please explain to us what type of rules you think it needs to cover and what situations it needs to deal with. Who knows, you may be right. It Your idea may well be a silver bullet that will fix every issue gamers have ever had. Or it may be a lemon. With what you've said so far, we have no way of knowing if your idea even has merit or not.


Kahel Stormbender wrote:

No, you have not once addressed the core question I and others have. You never explained exactly what you think a 'party rules' book should have hard and fast rules for. Without that, we're left to guess and assume. I'm sure you know the saying about 'assume'. Your reasons listed in the past are all player issues, not game issues. You claim there is no or little information on how to deal with such issues, but there is a lot of such information. Paizo published an entire book with advice and tips on how to run a game while dealing with potential issues.

So one last time, what exactly do you want a 'party rules' book to have rules for?

Wise Old Man wrote:

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 time. Favoritism.
I don't want to subjected to polite politics on a gaming table. And it's not easy finding a gaming table near me.
So it's "Too bad so sad for me"?
That's not fair.
Get a party rule set book out there, so people can play their favorite builds
on an equal level and have fun.

This is what he wants. He wants a book with rules that force the GM to play how he wants to play because he "[doesn't] want to be subjected to polite politics at the gaming table", which means he doesn't want to have to acknowledge this is a people problem or have an adult conversation about it.

No rule book will ever or could ever solve this. To insist otherwise indicates cognitive dissonance that prevents this attempted conversation from moving forward in any constructive way.

This'll be my last contribution to this thread, and I suggest it be locked. We're at the end of the road.


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Hey, it's only taken some 430 odd posts and we have significantly advanced since the start of the thread.


It seems like people want to drill down on details for the "party rulebook" because that's the level where "this endeavor cannot succeed" becomes obvious.

Like what rule could you write that would resolve the situation where half the table wants to play goofy, thematic, and fun characters and half the table wants to play really powerful optimized characters that couldn't better be handled by "people having an open and honest discussion about their expectations and goals for the game."

I mean, sometimes it's just a majority thing. If you have a Wizard, a Cleric, a Druid, and an Upsetting Shield Style Swashbuckler the last person might have trouble keeping pace (they're the least intimidating person in the party with a combat style that requires people to try to hit them.) On the other hand if your party is an archetyped core monk, a gunslinger, a rogue, and a Razmiran Priest sorcerer the last person sticks out like a sore thumb. That's not to say that players can't be outliers in terms of power, it's just important that everybody understands and is fine with whatever power differential exists in the game.

But you should be able to play bad characters and have fun just like you should be able to play good characters and have fun. It's just tricky to mix the two and still have fun.

Dark Archive

As a GM I've definitely had to change directions for a campaign. For a superhero campaign I once planned I had a serious campaign ready that would address the ideas of how power corrupts and evil being done in the cause of good. What I got was the following cast of characters from the players:

1. Beef Man, an invulnerable and super strong man who dresses like a cow. Note, not as a bull but as a cow. It was utterly ridiculous.
2. Cheese Boy, the sidekick to Beef Man who has the power to transform into living... chez wiz. Player wanted this instead of turning into water.
3. The Slushy, friend and ally of Beef Man and Cheese Boy who has the power to transform into a living slushy... he wanted this instead of the power to turn into living ice.
4. The Milkshake, a woman with the amazing power to fire chocolate or strawberry milkshakes from her hands. Player wanted this as a reskin of the energy projection power they rolled.

Thus I had to completely retool my campaign from a serious one into a comical The Tick style campaign. Obviously the players didn't want to do a serious game with such characters.

And I've had to change my player character concepts to fit within the style of game the other players want. In one D&D campaign I had rolled the stats to make a paladin (this was in 2nd edition). I wanted to play a paladin. But I ended up playing a fighter instead because the other players didn't want to be selfless heroes, they wanted to play evil or selfish people who are only adventurers for the money, and refuse to help unless there's a good enough reward on offer.


It seems like the actual playing of these games encourages (and at times requires) flexibility and adaptability by the players and the GM-- invariably either the GM does something the players don't expect and the players have to improvise, or the players do something the GM doesn't expect and the GM has to improvise.

So it shouldn't be a huge ask for people to apply those skills at a more meta-level, as accommodating to circumstances as one must be within the playing of a game, one should aspire to be just as flexible on the meta level of "how the game is run."

It seems like the "okay, let's sit down and figure out what we all want" talk before the game even starts is easier than the "thinking on your feet" parts that are to follow.


When does Rod Serling come out and give a monologue?


Kahel Stormbender wrote:

... For a superhero campaign...

1. Beef Man, ...
2. Cheese Boy...
3. The Slushy...
4. The Milkshake...

Thus I had to completely retool my campaign from a serious one into a comical The Tick style campaign. Obviously the players didn't want to do a serious game with such characters. ...

lol, this is much like my Foodtastic Four, a lampooning of a similarly named group.

BTW, the silver bullet is simply to discuss things. You may not convince anyone but the public behavior at the game table will change.


So, I have been reading quite a bit here about optimized characters, non-optimized characters, bullying, and anti-bullying discussions on this thread. I've greatly enjoyed this hobby for a long time. one of the pivotal differences I've found in a group of players and propensity to optimize or not to optimize typically, although not always has to do with the experience level of the player and, therefore, their knowledge of the game. Over the years I've found that as a player gets more sessions and campaigns under their belt, the better they get at building character concepts, creating or buying magical gear, etc...With all the optimization build guides available, this has become an even faster process. as both a GM and player, I'm cool with that. As the most experienced player of my circle of friends, I optimize, power-build and role-play my characters to level that my colleagues rarely achieve. That is not bragging. It's just a statement that I am comfortable with based on my experience. As far as character bullying and anti-bullying is concerned, that is a different matter altogether. I had a 15 year gamer that reacted very negatively on and off the table to an influx of new gamers that were a much needed addition to our gaming circle. It was unfounded. I had several private conversations with my veteran gamer. Eventually, I had to remove him from our group. It was a hard decision to make. He was my best friend. He was the best man in my wedding. However, his character bullying was destroying our atmosphere. He was killing the fun. Best gaming decision I ever made.


Wise Old Man wrote:

Thank you, everyone. I appreciate all of you taking the time give your honest thoughts and opinions. I will try and give you my most helpful answers in your future posts in the most friendliest manner, and I will also defend you with your merits whenever I see that you are being targeted. And I mean it.

Love, power, respect. Peace.

Could you start with my posts, 8 pages ago, instead of just calling me a mocking bird?


I know I was asking on some examples of what could be in this book to have any idea what he's actually talking about. Right now all I got is, "a book should be made about something, and this will fix a problem."

Now I "think" the problem being addressed it to have less banning of material from the GM? I'm not 100% or really even 60% sure about this.

And the something, I have no idea what so every of what this is.

From what tiny amount of understanding I have I feel that this book wouldn't be able to actually do anything as it wouldn't really contain anything. Hence why I ask, what do you want to be in this book?

The majority of people on here really do like to help and give good advice. BUT if you don't give a serious and thoughtful responce to their questions that give an answer to their helpful questions, they begin to think you're trolling. The longer you avoid answering the more sour the forum becomes to you as they feel more and more that you're a troll.


Tangent feeling not related to current discussion:

I wonder what is the best way to talk about the game pace then.
GM does sound like a sore loser if his message boils down to "You guys made your characters too well, could you please tone it down because I don't have time to adjust encounters to accommodate?".

What even is good enough? Am I, as GM, entitled to decide thing like "This lock will require a take 20 from the Rogue because it lets me create some narrative scenario in my head." Is that dirty? It is a weird dilemma. If I tell my players where they should specialize in this adventure because it has distinct themes, they will do so, make excellent characters and fit too well into it. If I make a game that is stealth based, what is a fair stealth encounter? Is it where no matter how big you got your numbers, you are required to come up with more solutions than just stick to shadows and roll high?

This is a bit of a dilemma I feel for deeply. Mostly because players I play with either one-shot an encounter or spend so much time with it they get frustrated. I do not like it when things in Pathfinder boil down to "do you have the tool you need? too bad, time to get stuck for a while."


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

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.

If someone were to bring a book like that to my home game and insist that this was holy writ that I as a gamemaster would follow, I'd chuck it out the window. (well not really, I would tell said person to put that book away and never mention it again, even if it had the authorship of every developer at Paizo.)

The rules are there to serve the game and me as gamemaster. It'll be a sunny day in Hades before I ever accept the reverse. I once walked away from D+D for ten years because I thought that it's problems were fatal and there were better horizons elsewhere, and there were. I can do that again.

I agree. Paizo has no authority over a table, and <insert game designer X> might get some leverage if a rule is unclear, but if I am knowingly changing the rule it won't matter nearly as much.


Why the questions should be answered:

It seems as though the original goal of this post was to get Paizo to write a book to solve a problem. Many people here are not clear on exactly what this book should have in it. Paizo is also likely to be unsure of what the book should have in it, even if everyone did agree that this was a problem.

If the goal is to still push for the book then answering specific questions in a precise manner vs giving very general answers is helpful to making your request understood.

If that goal has been given up or there was never a real goal other than to vent then I guess there is no reason to answer any more questions.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Now I "think" the problem being addressed it to have less banning of material from the GM? I'm not 100% or really even 60% sure about this.

I really think that "keeping the DM from banning a thing that they believe they have a good reason to ban" is a bad step, period. Simply because the rule system is designed to be able to handle a lot of different kinds of games, and limiting what the DM can ban because it doesn't fit the kind of game they want to run unnecessarily restricts design space.

Like if the GM wanted to play in a low-magic world, that's a valid creative decision and justifies limiting people's access to casting classes or prohibiting certain spells or restricting access to certain items.

If the premise of the campaign is "the gods of good have gone missing, what happened to them" then it's reasonable to tell the players not to bring clerics, paladins, etc. to the first session.

If the premise of the campaign is "the setting is on an island with limited access to natural resources, particularly metal" then putting severe limitations on the equipment characters can have at first level (e.g. no chain mail) are justified.

Whether any of these are actually good games or good campaigns depends largely on how good a job the GM does with the rest of their job, not on what creative decisions that they made in setting up the basic premise of the game. But Pathfinder is a weaker game if Paizo would just come out and say "you can't do any of that stuff, run the game we want, not the game you want" so any sort of rules based limits on GMs (except for basic conduct suggestions like "make the game fun, be nice, etc.")

If you want to highlight that certain things are central to the basic assumptions of the game and that you should be careful if you start changing them, that's valid, but don't say "don't do it." It's better for Paizo to provide options like Automatic Bonus Progression for games where the GM wants magic gear to be rare, than to say "don't make magic gear rare in your setting."


However, that all being said, this is the best story of anti-bullying I have. During the first campaign that our new gamers played in, my wife was running an evil-aligned campaign that had been running for about six months before the new guys joined. They were very green. No table top experience at all. I was playing an evil cleric dedicated to the Dark Tapestry and my long-time buddy was playing an evil necromancy-specialized wizard who was focused on blood spells and becoming a vampire. He and I alone were a force to be reckoned with. The new players were introduced. One of them played a catfolk ninja that made an overly dramatic entrance in the middle of a very dangerous dungeon crawl. The two main characters reacted appropriately to this new "threat". We rolled initiative and killed him. The wizard brought him back as a mummy. The new player was given the option by the gm to make a new pc or roleplay his new "life" as an undead servant of my buddy's character. He chose the latter. I was impressed by his decision. Most people wouldn't have gone that route. About three months later, my cleric, ever the most chaotic character in the party, cast true resurrection on catfolk mummy in secret while his "master" slept. With his mortality restored, he stealthily crept into the wizard's bedroom and coup de graced him in his sleep. Epic! That should of stopped the bullying. Hell, it wasn't even bullying at that point. However, because that new player stood up for themselves, it created even more animosity. That animosity carried through to two more campaigns run by me and was purely one-sided. If you are a GM, and you have a group bully that is ruining your fun as a gm and your other players fun as a group, address the situation. If that doesn't work, try again. rinse and repeat a few more times. If all that fails, save your group and kick the bully out. A lot of the time, discussion along with group and individual reaction will cancel out the bully. "Oh, you are the resident badass and a bully? Cool. There are three of us now that hate you on and off the table and since your pc is more powerful than ours collectively, we will play dirty. Like a coup de grace in your sleep...


Most of the time, GM's are the most responsible for their players have over-powered characters. They gave them too much too soon.


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ummm... for PFS please refer to
The Guide
PFS FAQ
GM 101 & GM 201
Community standard policies

there's quite a bit about how to comport oneself... most if not all applies to home games as well.


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Chess Pwn wrote:

I know I was asking on some examples of what could be in this book to have any idea what he's actually talking about. Right now all I got is, "a book should be made about something, and this will fix a problem."

From what I could gather, the OP wanted Paizo to write a rulebook that would silence GMs who would say "I'm sorry but your OverPowered build isn't allowed at my table.", hence the title of the thread. As he's apparently under the impression that home GM's must obey Paizo rulebooks or get turned to stone.

He then offered to write such a book if Paizo would pay him to do so. OP is apparently not aware on how Paizo works with freelancers.


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Nezzarine Shadowmantle wrote:

... the new guys joined. They were very green. No table top experience at all.

...
The new players were introduced. One of them ... made an overly dramatic entrance in the middle of a very dangerous dungeon crawl ... We rolled initiative and killed him. The wizard brought him back as a mummy. The new player was given the option by the gm to make a new pc or roleplay his new "life" as an undead servant of my buddy's character.
...

...are you for real?

@Wise Old Man...

How can I put this nicely...

Literally nobody understands what you want. Nobody. Nobody at all. Not a single person in this thread that I have seen has managed to understand the "request" you are failing to articulate. They can all understand each other, but they can't understand you despite great effort. This is a sure sign that you need to raise your standards of communication drastically, because plenty of other people have gone out of their way and tried to meet you halfway. Since you have refused to cooperate with them, they have all failed and it is all on you now.

Dark Archive

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NOt just Paizo's freelance policy either. I have a copy of Writer's Market, published in 1995. And while the contact information within this book is likely out of date, it does go into depth on how to break into the freelance writing business. Among the things it talks about is how to pitch your manuscript to a publisher. Note, this does imply that your magazine article, story, or other book/movie script/whatever is already finished. One of the things you need to do is provide a detailed description of what your manuscript is about.

Remember, this is not you sending the manuscript in. This is your letter trying to convince the editor they want to read your manuscript to begin with. I could write the best romance novel ever written. But if my sales pitch consists of "I wrote a novel, it's about a girl who falls in love with a guy" no editor is going to want to risk reading it. There's no reason for them to think my story is even half as good as the worst pos on the market. There's no reason for them to think the story is going to be as epic as I know in my heart it is.

I've been tinkering for 10 years with a viking centered rpg I decided to make. I've GMed a couple short campaigns to test out my system so I could refine it. But right now it's just a collection of rules for character creation, handling ship travel, and combat. There's nothing there to really set it apart yet, or make anyone else think "Oh wow, this could be huge". When I'm finished with the system (if that ever happens) I may go through a local printer to have one to ten copies made. And if I feel it good enough, I may try pitching it to a publisher.

"I've got a game, it's about vikings" however would probably get my sales pitch rejected. And rightly so. Similarly, if I was to approach a publisher and say "I want a game about vikings, I'll write it if you give me a contract" I would expect to be laughed out of the building.

EDIT: Fixed spelling error

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