Distinctions of Metagaming


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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The end result is that some players will always have a mechanical advantage over other players.

Either they have a higher degree of system mastery and can make a better build. They are superior with speaking and emoting and will gain bonuses in social situations. They will be better with tactics and gain bonuses in combat.

In this case you, by not allowing socially inclined players to gain bonuses through being clever, aren't "leveling the playing field" so much as telling social players, "This isn't the game for you."

I'm all about inclusion, but there also has to come a time where we let people shine on their abilities. If some people are outshined, then they are outshined, and they'll find their own area in which to shine.


I think the question we get back to is "what sorts of things do we want to encourage players doing".

Some things that fall in the "good to encourage" category include:
- Spending time thinking about your character.
- When faced with a challenge, think about a solution before you do anything, consider that the most obvious thing might not be the best option.
- Give speeches in character, if your character is trying to be persuasive in a certain way, you should try to be persuasive in that same way.

These are all good things to encourage so they're things a GM is justified in rewarding when the players appear to be getting into these good habits.

Other forms of "metagaming" don't benefit the game as much.


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Boomerang Nebula wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:

As many of you have noticed, the "Is the GM cheating" threads are pretty heated. One of the points brought up is changes to prevent metagaming.

I think of metagaming in the context of RPGs to be using your skills instead of your characters. Personally, I would let you do this because I like cool rules interactions.

However, I often see ingame rewards for player dialog in social encounters praised. To me, this is metagaming. Another consensus is that you shouldn't metagmine with respect to knowledge.

What makes metagaming Diplomacy so much better than metagaing Knowledge?

Speaking for myself when I GM: it is a deliberate bias to encourage roleplaying at the table.

I am mindful of the disadvantage that can place on certain players (shy people for example) so I coach them through social interactions and metagame where necessary to help them along. Basically try to improve their confidence and social skills so they can better participate.

That's important to remember: metagaming goes more than 1 way. What if the character has more knowledge than the player? Lots of us gamers are socially awkward and barely able to hold a conversation, but fantisize about being glib and smooth, so we play a Bard. Then what happens when we actually try to sweet talk our way out of a situation? Does the GM put us on the spot to find the right words when everyone knows we can't?


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:
That's important to remember: metagaming goes more than 1 way. What if the character has more knowledge than the player? Lots of us gamers are socially awkward and barely able to hold a conversation, but fantisize about being glib and smooth, so we play a Bard. Then what happens when we actually try to sweet talk our way out of a situation? Does the GM put us on the spot to find the right words when everyone knows we can't?

Of course not.

We encourage you to try, we cheer you on, and then we have it come down to the dice rolls. Nobody is saying that you can't succeed without giving a great speech, just that giving a great speech might give you a bonus to the roll.

I'd also like to say...

"Does the GM put us on the spot to find the right words when everyone knows we can't?"

No. Negative. Nein.

When you start thinking like that, that everyone knows you can't, then you are dooming yourself to failure. You can try, you can give it your best, and if you believe in it, believe in yourself, you'd be amazed at what you can do. Speaking, like everything else, comes easier with practice.

Here's a fun fact.

I'm an author. For years and years I wrote utter crap. Time and time again I started a "book" only to have it flop after 30 or so pages.

I kept writing. I consigned myself to short stories and my brief time as a comic book writer. I knew I'd never be a novelist.

In September of 2016 I lost my father. I was his caretaker for 4 years. I was devastated. I lost the house, I was alone, I didn't know what to do. A friend took me in.

Not having anything else to do I started writing.

I am proud to say that in November of 2016, only a few months later, I turned out my first full length novel. It was around 117,000 words. One month later a literary agent accepted the manuscript and we are going through the full editing process (It was already edited once thanks to a friend of mine) at the moment. In fact the accident which put me in this thing happened in the middle of all of it.

The fact remains that if you had told me in January 2016 that I'd be a writer. That I would finish a novel. I would have laughed at you because I *knew* I couldn't do that.

So NEVER defeat yourself by telling yourself that you can't do it. You may not succeed at something, but that doesn't mean that you can't, or that you never will. The ONLY way you'll get better though is to keep trying.


Plus, cooperative environments like "Party based table top roleplaying games" can be among the most supportive environments to put yourself out on a limb and try stuff you wouldn't ordinarily try. You can be reasonably confident that if they laugh, they're laughing with you.

If there wasn't a good group dynamic, I would probably encourage this less but if we've successfully filtered for nice people, it's not like nice people are going to hold "the speech wasn't as good in practice as it was in your head before you started giving it" against you.

After all, the GM can always, as the NPC who is being persuaded, subtly lead the player in a different direction if the one they're currently pursuing isn't working. Just, as the NPC, ask a question in response to something that was sad. The rest of the players can speak up too, after all there's no reason you can't roleplay the "aid another" action.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Scott Wilhelm wrote:


That's important to remember: metagaming goes more than 1 way. What if the character has more knowledge than the player? Lots of us gamers are socially awkward and barely able to hold a conversation, but fantisize about being glib and smooth, so we play a Bard. Then what happens when we actually try to sweet talk our way out of a situation? Does the GM put us on the spot to find the right words when everyone knows we can't?

There've been several threads on this before, but its always good to consider you can always ask the player to describe the general style of what their character is trying to say without asking them to make the whole speech. There's room for the GM to prompt a lot by offering options - 'are you going to appeal to their better nature, impress them with your wit or frighten them with the consequences?'


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JulianW wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:


That's important to remember: metagaming goes more than 1 way. What if the character has more knowledge than the player? Lots of us gamers are socially awkward and barely able to hold a conversation, but fantisize about being glib and smooth, so we play a Bard. Then what happens when we actually try to sweet talk our way out of a situation? Does the GM put us on the spot to find the right words when everyone knows we can't?
There've been several threads on this before, but its always good to consider you can always ask the player to describe the general style of what their character is trying to say without asking them to make the whole speech. There's room for the GM to prompt a lot by offering options - 'are you going to appeal to their better nature, impress them with your wit or frighten them with the consequences?'

GM: Exactly how are you disarming the trap?

Me: i-innn the way that one does?


PossibleCabbage wrote:

Plus, cooperative environments like "Party based table top roleplaying games" can be among the most supportive environments to put yourself out on a limb and try stuff you wouldn't ordinarily try. You can be reasonably confident that if they laugh, they're laughing with you.

If there wasn't a good group dynamic, I would probably encourage this less but if we've successfully filtered for nice people, it's not like nice people are going to hold "the speech wasn't as good in practice as it was in your head before you started giving it" against you.

After all, the GM can always, as the NPC who is being persuaded, subtly lead the player in a different direction if the one they're currently pursuing isn't working. Just, as the NPC, ask a question in response to something that was sad. The rest of the players can speak up too, after all there's no reason you can't roleplay the "aid another" action.

I did have a GM who was metagaming in order to create a negative party group dynamic. He withheld information that our party was supposed to have which contributed to my having a terrible fight with another player about which way to go, when in fact we both wanted to go in the same direction!

He did other things, too. One of his favorite things was to make sure that the BBEG always knew where we were, where we were going, and what our big plan was. He liked doing this by secreting what the rules would describe as a Symbol of Scrying in our equipment when our party was only level1. So for starters, that meant our level 1 party had the intense, direct, and personal attention of a BBEG that was at least a level 14 Wizard.

And in the event that the player who actually had it on his person just happened to not show up that day, the item was still in the party's possession in an unspecified location, which meant that finding it via Detect Magic and Identify was nigh unto impossible since the player who actually had it wasn't even there and since he was running it out of a gaming store table, that meant that the player in question might never come back (and didn't).

The only thing we could do is adapt: discuss our plans in some sort of disciplined way: casting Obsure object on a pad of paper then writing our discussion down, pretent to go one way, then feint and go the other way, things like that, but again, since this was a public group, nobody knew anybody else. There was never had any hope of building group cohesion from nothing under those circumstances.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:

GM: Exactly how are you disarming the trap?

Me: i-innn the way that one does?

I feel like "how are you disarming the trap" is an excuse to talk about your backstory with traps and other mechanical devices, and that one time you encountered one that was kind of like this one.

Just tell me a story about something you did that has something to do with what's going on and I'll run with it.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

GM: Exactly how are you disarming the trap?

Me: i-innn the way that one does?

I feel like "how are you disarming the trap" is an excuse to talk about your backstory with traps and other mechanical devices, and that one time you encountered one that was kind of like this one.

Just tell me a story about something you did that has something to do with what's going on and I'll run with it.

Not everyone's good at cranking out random backstory on the spot.


Isn't the real point here is rewarding play that makes the game funner and more interesting. Good acting/roleplay makes a game more memorable, as long as it doesn't cut the rest of the players out of the action/spotlight. Every good thing can be overdone, from roleplay to system knowledge, to tactical expertise. Reward play that suits the table. Is this effectively punishing the player who phones it in? Yes, pity that. Is it punishing the player who overplays it, and doesn't get the rewards a player who has worked out the Table Balance? Yes, pity that too.

Most games are at least to some level about social interaction. Social awareness is not metagaming.


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Chengar Qordath wrote:
Not everyone's good at cranking out random backstory on the spot.

I feel though, that "improvisational skills" be they tactical, narrative, conversational, or whatever are a core part of the activity so helping people cultivate them is responsible GMing. Just get people to do it, whether or not they do well. No one is good at improv when they start; you get better by doing it and failing forwards.

I mean, ultimately my goal when I GM is to help get players to a place where they would feel comfortable running games on their own, and for that they need to be comfortable with thinking on their feet. I think the training wheels for that are a context where "give me anything at all, and I'll give you a bonus" and the only penalty is "you make an unmodified roll" if you cannot give me anything.


HWalsh wrote:
Rewarding one person is not punishing another.

You stay out of politics I take it?

:)


Rewarding someone who puts a little extra in is good.
Does this give an advantage over someone who doesn't?
Of course it does, and rightly so.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Does the GM put us on the spot to find the right words when everyone knows we can't?

In my experience, yes. Usually accompanied by a scoff and "it's ROLEplaying, not ROLLplaying!"


Escallorak wrote:

Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Does the GM put us on the spot to find the right words when everyone knows we can't?
In my experience, yes. Usually accompanied by a scoff and "it's ROLEplaying, not ROLLplaying!"

Being belittled for roleplaying poorly is as inappropriate as being put out that you are expected to at least try and roleplay.


Voss wrote:
Archdevil wrote:


I absolutely agree that people who may be shy or have difficulty with social interaction in RL shouldn't be punished for it in roleplaying situations. I'm just saying that if someone does have a creative idea for a roleplay interaction, you should reward them for it.
As you explain it, rewarding one and not punishing the other looks identical to punishing one and not rewarding the other. Either way the DC is moved by X points.

There is a distinction between "You came up with a good argument for a check that would normally have been of average difficulty, so the DC shifts to an easier one" and "You didn't come up with a great argument for what should be an average difficulty check, so the DC shifts to a harder one."

The idea is to encourage people who are shy about improv and social RP to get better at it, because it adds to everyone's enjoyment of the game.

For what it's worth, when I started out in the world of RP I was incredibly shy about it and I wish my GM had done more along the lines of what PossibleCabbage has mentioned. I didn't start feeling comfortable RPing as a player until after I had tried to be a GM myself.


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All I'll say is I can't count the number of times that a player has said, "I can't do it."

Only for me to say, "Come on, its all good. Give it a try."

Nobody is going to bite your head off for flubbing an attempt at roleplaying. However GMs can become frustrated if players don't even try to do so. I know, for a fact, I start getting frustrated after 3-5 sessions if I can't get a player to try to participate.

It is okay to fail. It is not okay to not try.


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:

GM: Exactly how are you disarming the trap?

Me: i-innn the way that one does?

This is where I am going to be a little blunt...

Only a little mind you.

If you are playing a rogue, who is going to be disarming traps, then you should maybe look up a bit of info when making the character about disarming traps.

No GM expects you to be perfect but...

Here you go:

GM: "Exactly how are you disarming the trap?"

Player: "It is a pressure point like in Indiana Jones right?"

GM: "Yes."

Player: "Well, I'll use one of my thieves tools to force something under the plate preventing it from going down."

-----

GM: "It is a needle that will shoot out when the door handle is turned."

Player: "I will, uh, slip to the side and use one of my tools to turn the lock from the side so that the needle spikes out and doesn't hit anyone."

or

Player: "I will use one of my tools to move the spring off of the trigger so the needle doesn't shoot out when it is turned."

-----

The whole game is a game of pretend. Nobody is expecting everyone to be perfectly accurate.

Here is one I do in my games:

Me: "So how do you cast the Fireball?"

Player: "I pull out a pinch of bat guano from my component pouch, speak the words of magic, and make an arcane gesture with my hand to send forth the fireball!"

-----

Describing what you are doing is a HUGE part of roleplaying.


HWalsh wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

GM: Exactly how are you disarming the trap?

Me: i-innn the way that one does?

This is where I am going to be a little blunt...

Only a little mind you.

If you are playing a rogue, who is going to be disarming traps, then you should maybe look up a bit of info when making the character about disarming traps.

No GM expects you to be perfect but...

Here you go:

GM: "Exactly how are you disarming the trap?"

Player: "It is a pressure point like in Indiana Jones right?"

GM: "Yes."

Player: "Well, I'll use one of my thieves tools to force something under the plate preventing it from going down."

-----

GM: "It is a needle that will shoot out when the door handle is turned."

Player: "I will, uh, slip to the side and use one of my tools to turn the lock from the side so that the needle spikes out and doesn't hit anyone."

or

Player: "I will use one of my tools to move the spring off of the trigger so the needle doesn't shoot out when it is turned."

-----

The whole game is a game of pretend. Nobody is expecting everyone to be perfectly accurate.

Here is one I do in my games:

Me: "So how do you cast the Fireball?"

Player: "I pull out a pinch of bat guano from my component pouch, speak the words of magic, and make an arcane gesture with my hand to send forth the fireball!"

-----

Describing what you are doing is a HUGE part of roleplaying.

In fact, I did produce a fair piece of roleplaying from the situation if I do say so myself, but being put on the spot did set me on my heels. I didn't know the GM yet, and I was really worried that he was looking for an excuse to not use my rather good Disable Device roll by setting a 2nd trap for me, a roleplaying trap. It turned out all right, but in the moment, I was just a little white-knuckled.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
In fact, I did produce a fair piece of roleplaying from the situation if I do say so myself, but being put on the spot did set me on my heels. I didn't know the GM yet, and I was really worried that he was looking for an excuse to not use my rather good Disable Device roll by setting a 2nd trap for me, a roleplaying trap. It turned out all right, but in the moment, I was just a little white-knuckled.

So what was the problem?

Seems like what happened was exactly what was supposed to happen. The GM was pulling you out of your shell.


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I feel like it's probably best to not put new (to you) people on the spot with a "narrate your actions" without letting them know before you start that this is a thing that happens.

Just say something like-

"Hey, so you know, I think it adds a lot to the game when players acting out their speeches, narrating their actions, and tying who they are today to what they saw and did before the campaign even started, so I want to encourage people to do it. Just know that this is a cooperative game and a supportive environment so everybody here wants you to do well and nobody will mind if anybody else sounds ridiculous or flubs it from time to time. Nobody is good at improv when they start, and everybody fails; but the goal is to fail forward, to just try something and see how it goes, then learn from what works and what doesn't then apply what you've learned the next time.

So to underline this, I will give mechanical bonuses to people who do this sort of thing. If you're trying to persuade an NPC with Diplomacy, give a speech, any sort of speech, that sums up your line of argument. No matter how it went, I will give you a bonus to your roll. If everybody else thinks it went especially well, you might get a bigger bonus, but no matter how poorly you think you did I will never give a penalty. Remember, if anybody laughs, we're laughing with you, not at you. We're sitting down to play make believe as elves and wizards, so nobody can take themselves too seriously while doing this. Above all, it's supposed to be fun."


Narrating pulling out some bat guano doesn't sound like it would add a great deal to me, and if one applies this idea to casting all spells it sounds frankly tedious I don't know the material components for virtually any spells unless they expensive and I need to buy them.

Describing a fireball exploding in a wreath of flames and engulfing some gnolls is one thing, pulling some bat s@@* out of your pouch and saying muflublump is quite another.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Narrating pulling out some bat guano doesn't sound like it would add a great deal to me, and if one applies this idea to casting all spells it sounds frankly tedious I don't know the material components for virtually any spells unless they expensive and I need to buy them.

Describing a fireball exploding in a wreath of flames and engulfing some gnolls is one thing, pulling some bat s&++ out of your pouch and saying muflublump is quite another.

It isn't my fault that you don't know the material components for one of, if not the, most iconic Arcane spell (possibly second to Magic Missile) in the game. A sorcerer with eschew materials would probably be lots different.

It is about world flavor.

Like playing a Paladin of Iomedae it is a good idea to know what the 11 labors are or being able to recite the Paladin code.

It's not like anyone's saying you have to do that exact thing. Not to mention I find it funny that you'd mock people who care enough to know the lore.


I think now that spell manifestations are a thing for every spell without Cunning Caster/Conceal Spell the thing I want players to describe, at least some of the time is "what do the manifestations of their spells look like"?

That seems like some pretty potentially fertile creative ground to explore.


Everyone has different ways to role play. There isn't a right or wrong way to do it, just a matter of preference on how you go about it. If you want to be in depth in the lore then that's cool. If you are a little more relaxed, you might describe the way your spell interacts with the environment or whatever.


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HWalsh wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

GM: Exactly how are you disarming the trap?

Me: i-innn the way that one does?

This is where I am going to be a little blunt...

Only a little mind you.

If you are playing a rogue, who is going to be disarming traps, then you should maybe look up a bit of info when making the character about disarming traps.

No GM expects you to be perfect but...

Here you go:

GM: "Exactly how are you disarming the trap?"

Player: "It is a pressure point like in Indiana Jones right?"

GM: "Yes."

Player: "Well, I'll use one of my thieves tools to force something under the plate preventing it from going down."

-----

GM: "It is a needle that will shoot out when the door handle is turned."

Player: "I will, uh, slip to the side and use one of my tools to turn the lock from the side so that the needle spikes out and doesn't hit anyone."

or

Player: "I will use one of my tools to move the spring off of the trigger so the needle doesn't shoot out when it is turned."

-----

The whole game is a game of pretend. Nobody is expecting everyone to be perfectly accurate.

Here is one I do in my games:

Me: "So how do you cast the Fireball?"

Player: "I pull out a pinch of bat guano from my component pouch, speak the words of magic, and make an arcane gesture with my hand to send forth the fireball!"

-----

Describing what you are doing is a HUGE part of roleplaying.

I remember this style of play being very common in the 1980s, back then character abilities like skills were less well defined by the rules. These days hardly any tables play like that in my area. Instead all that matters now is what skills and abilities are recorded on your character sheet.


Boomerang Nebula wrote:
I remember this style of play being very common in the 1980s, back then character abilities like skills were less well defined by the rules. These days hardly any tables play like that in my area. Instead all that matters now is what skills and abilities are recorded on your character sheet.

It is that influence of video games. I have X ability, I click X ability, it does Y. I don't need to explain why I have this, how it works, if it even makes sense... It is a power... I want it.

Roleplaying is dying.


Boomerang Nebula wrote:
I remember this style of play being very common in the 1980s, back then character abilities like skills were less well defined by the rules. These days hardly any tables play like that in my area. Instead all that matters now is what skills and abilities are recorded on your character sheet.

I remember... the exact opposite. At every table I'd ever seen. The closest you'd get to 'roleplaying' was whoever happened to be playing the dwarf occasionally trying to put on an accent. The game was 99% dungeon crawls with absolutely minimal interaction with anyone or anything else basically built into the core of the system.

A strong emphasis on roleplaying and character interaction is a relatively new invention when it comes to TTRPGs. Hell, you can even see this with the way APs are designed. Older modules and adventures tend to be little more than dungeons. Sometimes multiple dungeons stitched together with a thin veneer of setting over it, but generally just dungeons. Often with an emphasis on lethality and character expandability that practically encouraged someone not to get invested in any one character sheet.

Whereas modern adventures tend to have a much stronger emphasis on storylines and themes and atmosphere, even sometimes at the expense of other things.

HWalsh wrote:


Roleplaying is dying.

But doom and gloom and melodrama is fun I guess.


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Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Narrating pulling out some bat guano doesn't sound like it would add a great deal to me, and if one applies this idea to casting all spells it sounds frankly tedious I don't know the material components for virtually any spells unless they expensive and I need to buy them.

Describing a fireball exploding in a wreath of flames and engulfing some gnolls is one thing, pulling some bat s@+% out of your pouch and saying muflublump is quite another.

One of the drawbacks of being a wizard is that actually casting spells looks dumb.

Especially if somatic components take the form of Ginyu Force poses.


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swoosh wrote:
Boomerang Nebula wrote:
I remember this style of play being very common in the 1980s, back then character abilities like skills were less well defined by the rules. These days hardly any tables play like that in my area. Instead all that matters now is what skills and abilities are recorded on your character sheet.

I remember... the exact opposite. At every table I'd ever seen. The closest you'd get to 'roleplaying' was whoever happened to be playing the dwarf occasionally trying to put on an accent. The game was 99% dungeon crawls with absolutely minimal interaction with anyone or anything else basically built into the core of the system.

A strong emphasis on roleplaying and character interaction is a relatively new invention when it comes to TTRPGs. Hell, you can even see this with the way APs are designed. Older modules and adventures tend to be little more than dungeons. Sometimes multiple dungeons stitched together with a thin veneer of setting over it, but generally just dungeons. Often with an emphasis on lethality and character expandability that practically encouraged someone not to get invested in any one character sheet.

Whereas modern adventures tend to have a much stronger emphasis on storylines and themes and atmosphere, even sometimes at the expense of other things.

HWalsh wrote:


Roleplaying is dying.
But doom and gloom and melodrama is fun I guess.

95% of HWalsh's posts can be summed up as "Back in my day (have I mentioned I've been playing for a long time?) everything was so much better. Now all the damn kids won't get off my lawn with their badwrongfun!"


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Ventnor wrote:


Especially if somatic components take the form of Ginyu Force poses.

I'll argue that's more of a pro than a con.


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If you think about it is it really possible not to meta-game on some level? No matter how hard you try your characters actions are always going to be based on what you think they should do. You most likely have no lived their life and have knowledge they have no way of even conceiving of plus your aware its a game thus your decisions may color things as well. On some level there is no escaping some meta play even when you don't mean to.

I've read through bestiary someone throws a monster I know. In fact I could probably guess most of its stats I can try not to let that color my perception but even doing that might be making me take a different action then what I might if I had no idea like my character would.

meta-thought about meta play


Chengar Qordath wrote:


95% of HWalsh's posts can be summed up as "Back in my day (have I mentioned I've been playing for a long time?) everything was so much better. Now all the damn kids won't get off my lawn with their badwrongfun!"

I'll take that over 99% of my posts being about how martials are underpowered.


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HWalsh wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Narrating pulling out some bat guano doesn't sound like it would add a great deal to me, and if one applies this idea to casting all spells it sounds frankly tedious I don't know the material components for virtually any spells unless they expensive and I need to buy them.

Describing a fireball exploding in a wreath of flames and engulfing some gnolls is one thing, pulling some bat s&++ out of your pouch and saying muflublump is quite another.

It isn't my fault that you don't know the material components for one of, if not the, most iconic Arcane spell (possibly second to Magic Missile) in the game. A sorcerer with eschew materials would probably be lots different.

It is about world flavor.

Like playing a Paladin of Iomedae it is a good idea to know what the 11 labors are or being able to recite the Paladin code.

It's not like anyone's saying you have to do that exact thing. Not to mention I find it funny that you'd mock people who care enough to know the lore.

Oh get off the moral high ground I'm not contesting that it's not your fault I don't know some useless information, I'm saying that there are better more fun ways of role playing a spell than having a mental index of material components.

Knowing 11 labours is interesting and has some story attached and can be used for in character roleplay, memorising material components is not and the roleplay it's involved with is super limited. 'I pull out x' not that engaging. Giving a soliloquy about my lady's religious law and my interpretation there upon is quite different.

Also stop playing the victim, I did not mock you I said that there are more interesting ways of roleplaying spells than talking about your component pouch. And then again more interesting types of stuff to roleplay that saying 'I do X' before taking an action. Especially when you likely take very similar actions in most rounds of combat. Finding 7000 different way to say I swing a sword or cast scorching ray isn't fun.

HWalsh wrote:
Boomerang Nebula wrote:
I remember this style of play being very common in the 1980s, back then character abilities like skills were less well defined by the rules. These days hardly any tables play like that in my area. Instead all that matters now is what skills and abilities are recorded on your character sheet.

It is that influence of video games. I have X ability, I click X ability, it does Y. I don't need to explain why I have this, how it works, if it even makes sense... It is a power... I want it.

Roleplaying is dying.

No it isn't roleplaying pulling some s+%! out of a bag is dying because it's dull. Roleplaying isn't dying, I've grown up on video games I've also studied and do act. I'm in a group with some people who've never acted before in their lives right now. They'd also never roleplayed. All early to mid twenties playing things like league of legends online. It took them about 30 minutes of one session before they were happy talking and narrating their characters actions. One of them even figured out their characters accent before the first session. But none of them ever thought to say, I swing my sword or I use my component pouch because it is boring.

I absolutely love roleplaying my character because it's interesting and emotionally engaging. Saying bob the wizard pulls out some bat turds is neither of those things. If anything roleplaying is evolving it's not dying


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
No it isn't roleplaying pulling some s%## out of a bag is dying because it's dull. Roleplaying isn't dying, I've grown up on video games I've also studied and do act. I'm in a group with some people who've never acted before in their lives right now. They'd also never roleplayed. All early to mid twenties playing things like league of legends online. It took them about 30 minutes of one session before they were happy talking and narrating their characters actions. One of them even figured out their characters accent before the first session. But none of them ever thought to say, I swing my sword or I use my component pouch because it is boring.

See, and no, you're actually quite wrong... To a point.

See video games (mostly MMORPGs) allowed for "role play" outside of combat. Namely, you can pretend to be your elf, until the fighting starts, at which point you use the abilities that have been mathematically determined to be the best.

Role playing isn't JUST what my character says and does. It isn't JUST having an accent. It isn't JUST something you do out of combat.

You don't usually say, "I swing my sword."

But there is such a thing as painting an image with words which is part of role playing.

"I'm going to take a move action while drawing my sword and I'm going to attack this orc with my standard action, then I will use a swift action to use lay on hands on myself..."

Is boring.

"Valaria draws her sword as she steps forward and in one smooth crescent arc lashes out at the Orc, drawing the blade across his chest and revealing the crimson lifeblood concealed within. She places her hand over her heart and calls on the divine connection she has with the Goddess Iomedae, allowing the courage of the Inheritor to flow through her and seal her wounds."

Is not boring and is part of role playing.


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HWalsh wrote:

"Valaria draws her sword as she steps forward and in one smooth crescent arc lashes out at the Orc, drawing the blade across his chest and revealing the crimson lifeblood concealed within. She places her hand over her heart and calls on the divine connection she has with the Goddess Iomedae, allowing the courage of the Inheritor to flow through her and seal her wounds."

Is not boring and is part of role playing.

It's a matter of taste. You always come off as some divinely appointed messenger of what somebody should do and like. Thing is, your quote is fun the first time you say it. Saying it (or variant of the same speech) for 15 times in 4 hours is annoying as hell. Our GM use to do that for every monster or NPC. When we hit about 6th lvl, combats tended to last twice as long then they would if he just moved figurines, rolled and we got on with adventuring. We still use descriptions for dropping foes or PC, crits and turning-th-tide spells, but every one? Hell no.


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necromental wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

"Valaria draws her sword as she steps forward and in one smooth crescent arc lashes out at the Orc, drawing the blade across his chest and revealing the crimson lifeblood concealed within. She places her hand over her heart and calls on the divine connection she has with the Goddess Iomedae, allowing the courage of the Inheritor to flow through her and seal her wounds."

Is not boring and is part of role playing.

It's a matter of taste. You always come off as some divinely appointed messenger of what somebody should do and like. Thing is, your quote is fun the first time you say it. Saying it (or variant of the same speech) for 15 times in 4 hours is annoying as hell. Our GM use to do that for every monster or NPC. When we hit about 6th lvl, combats tended to last twice as long then they would if he just moved figurines, rolled and we got on with adventuring. We still use descriptions for dropping foes or PC, crits and turning-th-tide spells, but every one? Hell no.

There's another thing. I recall a friend of mine getting beaten up, and his account of it was, "one moment I was teaching, and then something happened, and then my face was bleeding."

From the perspective of the person in the fight, it might not be crescnt swords making dazzling arcs. It might be a blur of bad people and monsters everywhere and I had a sword in my hand.

Glossing over the heroic details of a combat may not be bad narrative roleplaying. It might just be a different style.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Roleplaying isn't dying,

Well, not with people like you to keep it alive.


It all depends on the group's preferences. Personally, I'd find it frustrating if I was asked to describe how my rogue disables a trap, but when I play wizards I enjoy keeping track of spell components and describing how they're used.

Systems where combat is often long and complicated make it harder to be super descriptive about combat actions without becoming repetitive.


Archdevil wrote:

It all depends on the group's preferences. Personally, I'd find it frustrating if I was asked to describe how my rogue disables a trap, but when I play wizards I enjoy keeping track of spell components and describing how they're used.

Systems where combat is often long and complicated make it harder to be super descriptive about combat actions without becoming repetitive.

Yeah, personally I usually only bother with combat descriptions if someone's doing something especially impressive. Gives the descriptions more impact when they do happen, and it means I don't have to put out purple prose to make this particular description stand out and sound good compared to the last 20 I did.


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HWalsh wrote:


"Valaria draws her sword as she steps forward and in one smooth crescent arc lashes out at the Orc, drawing the blade across his chest and revealing the crimson lifeblood concealed within. She places her hand over her heart and calls on the divine connection she has with the Goddess Iomedae, allowing the courage of the Inheritor to flow through her and seal her wounds."

Is not boring and is part of role playing.

1) no-one is ever that concise there is uming and airing and tumbling over ones words

2) that's fun once, maybe twice then it's a chore

In my group the DM will very occasionally do this if someone one shot something or a boss died.


Archdevil wrote:

It all depends on the group's preferences. Personally, I'd find it frustrating if I was asked to describe how my rogue disables a trap, but when I play wizards I enjoy keeping track of spell components and describing how they're used.

Systems where combat is often long and complicated make it harder to be super descriptive about combat actions without becoming repetitive.

That's a little different, though. Wizard Spells have specific components, and they are supposed to have them on their persons at the time the cast them.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Archdevil wrote:

It all depends on the group's preferences. Personally, I'd find it frustrating if I was asked to describe how my rogue disables a trap, but when I play wizards I enjoy keeping track of spell components and describing how they're used.

Systems where combat is often long and complicated make it harder to be super descriptive about combat actions without becoming repetitive.

That's a little different, though. Wizard Spells have specific components, and they are supposed to have them on their persons at the time the cast them.

I never really go the long-list of different spell components. Always seemed to be an unnecessary piece of book-keeping to keep track of. Now if the type of material components you used enhanced a spell's effects, that would be cool and would make them more interesting in my opinion. Less of "I need to hunt down this random list f ingredients because I need them" chore style mentality and more "If I take a couple of hours out of my time I can make this one spell more effective, but I can always choose to not to and just have a less-powerful spell"


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HWalsh wrote:
"Valaria draws her sword as she steps forward and in one smooth crescent arc lashes out at the Orc, drawing the blade across his chest and revealing the crimson lifeblood concealed within. She places her hand over her heart and calls on the divine connection she has with the Goddess Iomedae, allowing the courage of the Inheritor to flow through her and seal her wounds."

So Valeria pressed the button marked Attack/Heal on her action bar and it worked. Good old Valeria, such a role-player, she tells you what she did rather than relies on you seeing it. Sort of wish she'd just get on with playing, the world doesn't stop for her narration.

Grand Lodge

HWalsh wrote:
voideternal wrote:
In-game, is the above information common sense?
See, we, as people know that Vampires drink blood because we've seen movies (Pathfinder doesn't have those) and we've seen plays (rarely have them) and we have seen TV (none in Pathfinder) and we've read books (potentially rare in Pathfinder).

I'd say books wouldn't be as rare, wizards are total librarians as far as class occupations go. It's really the attitude towards the books that dictates what people read. For example, before the invention of the novel, the idea that you might read a short for fun and pleasure was unheard of- why would you waste time reading something fictional and untrue?

Also it's not the matter of there being less books... but more books. It's like when you go to the 'health and wellbeing' section of the book store and right next to 'Anatomical view of the heart' and 'The invention of penicillin' is 'The healing powers of small coloured crystals'; treated as equally useful when in fact one is totally bogus.

Oh a vampire! I read they are allergic to silly hats and people who keep their necks clean and well exposed.


Saithor wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
That's a little different, though. Wizard Spells have specific components, and they are supposed to have them on their persons at the time the cast them.
I never really go the long-list of different spell components. Always seemed to be an unnecessary piece of book-keeping to keep track of. Now if the type of material components you used enhanced a spell's effects, that would be cool and would make them more interesting in my opinion. Less of "I need to hunt down this random list f ingredients because I need them" chore style mentality and more "If I take a couple of hours out of my time I can make this one spell more effective, but I can always choose to not to and just have a less-powerful spell"

I think the default assumption is that if you wrote down "component pouch" in the equipment section of your character sheet then you're OK to cast anything with a (non-expensive) material component, right? "What specific component does this spell require" is unnecessary bookkeeping for some people but for some people it adds flavor.


Jader7777 wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
voideternal wrote:
In-game, is the above information common sense?
See, we, as people know that Vampires drink blood because we've seen movies (Pathfinder doesn't have those) and we've seen plays (rarely have them) and we have seen TV (none in Pathfinder) and we've read books (potentially rare in Pathfinder).

I'd say books wouldn't be as rare, wizards are total librarians as far as class occupations go. It's really the attitude towards the books that dictates what people read. For example, before the invention of the novel, the idea that you might read a short for fun and pleasure was unheard of- why would you waste time reading something fictional and untrue?

Also it's not the matter of there being less books... but more books. It's like when you go to the 'health and wellbeing' section of the book store and right next to 'Anatomical view of the heart' and 'The invention of penicillin' is 'The healing powers of small coloured crystals'; treated as equally useful when in fact one is totally bogus.

Oh a vampire! I read they are allergic to silly hats and people who keep their necks clean and well exposed.

The reason books would be rare is, I believe, nobody on Golarion has invented the printing press. Meaning each book has to be written by hand.

Shadow Lodge

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HWalsh wrote:
Meaning each book has to be written by hand.

Magic to the rescue! (Again.)


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TOZ wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Meaning each book has to be written by hand.
Magic to the rescue! (Again.)

Huzahh!


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:
Jader7777 wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
voideternal wrote:
In-game, is the above information common sense?
See, we, as people know that Vampires drink blood because we've seen movies (Pathfinder doesn't have those) and we've seen plays (rarely have them) and we have seen TV (none in Pathfinder) and we've read books (potentially rare in Pathfinder).

I'd say books wouldn't be as rare, wizards are total librarians as far as class occupations go. It's really the attitude towards the books that dictates what people read. For example, before the invention of the novel, the idea that you might read a short for fun and pleasure was unheard of- why would you waste time reading something fictional and untrue?

Also it's not the matter of there being less books... but more books. It's like when you go to the 'health and wellbeing' section of the book store and right next to 'Anatomical view of the heart' and 'The invention of penicillin' is 'The healing powers of small coloured crystals'; treated as equally useful when in fact one is totally bogus.

Oh a vampire! I read they are allergic to silly hats and people who keep their necks clean and well exposed.

The reason books would be rare is, I believe, nobody on Golarion has invented the printing press. Meaning each book has to be written by hand.

I could be mistaken, but I think Galt and Andoran had/have printing presses?

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