Was I unjust and out of line?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


So I'm still on my first campaign after months and months, and we're barely halfway through it. The campaign goes up to level 14 and we're only at level 7.
Not for good reason mind you.

The reason for this is because our GM is 5e player and we're playing a 3.5 campaign (Legacy of Fire for reference), and we're playing with Pathfinder rules. This would be fine though, if our GM had read the rules before starting this campaign. Now we're at the point where half of our usually 6 hour sessions are spent trying to figure out how stuff works.

And when we're not taking forever with sessions, we're usually canceling them because the GM and one of our players constantly have to cancel for multiple reasons. The GM always has a different reason. The player has to cancel because he gets scheduled for work, but I work at the same place as him and I told my boss I had a school related activity after 5 on Tuesdays. I have not been scheduled once since then, so I know it's not hard and it gets a little obnoxious since it keeps happening, and I know he barely even tries to trade shifts with someone else. Hell, having 2 sessions in two weeks is rare.

I'll mention real quick that the player did not lie to their boss like I did, they told them the truth about what we do on Tuesdays. He just moved departments and told his new boss the same thing AFTER TELLING ME HE WOULDN'T. His boss was "cool with it", but then got scheduled this last week.

Recently, in the last 6 weeks we have cancelled 5 times.
We went 4 weeks cancelling sessions, came back and had the same problems with not knowing the rules, and then cancelled again the next week.

You should know that our GM does not have a job to mainly focus on college, but now since it's summer time he doesn't have school, so he has all the free time in the world to look at the rules, but me, the player who works 30 hours a week, took the liberty to look up on the rules one day. I didn't read every single rule in the game, but I read the whole Combat, Magic, and Glossary pages on Paizo.

I took the important info I learned and posted it in the group chat after that one player cancelled this last week.

The GM responds, basically saying he already knows half the stuff (which I stated in the message some of it was for clarification on debated subjects), and basically goes on a rant about how there needs to be more GM respect at the table and how he doesn't have the time or patience to read 500 pages of the rulebook, which again, he clearly has the time and I didn't read the whole rulebook, I just looked for stuff I didn't know already.

As for the "GM respect" thing, we have to constantly debate because he's the GM and HE DOESN'T KNOW THE RULES FOR THE GAME. And not to mention, he hasn't been the best with player respect. Sometimes he doesn't remember one of us making a perception check on something, and he's just like "I mean the answer's pretty obvious."

So my question is, did I handle this poorly? Was I unjust and stepped out of line? Did I act out on my anger without thinking?

I've already justified my side and apologized to him if I sounded rude, but I just wanted to know if I stepped out of line as a player.


You did the right thing. There is no "line" to step out of as a player. He doesn't control your opinions, and don't let him try.

After all this time I'd just have to walk.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I would say: No one you've talked about in your post, including yourself, has been handling things fabulously (i.e., maturely). The bottom line though is that if the GM is not invested enough in the game to make sure sessions happen on a regular basis, it's not worth the frustration of staying in the campaign. I'd suggest seeing what you can get going with any of the other committed players and start a new game.


I'm sure you'll find a much more fulfilling gaming experience with another more committed group, be it online or in person.

With your current friends you could try some less structured board games like munchkin or something for fun. That way it's not so dependent on everyone showing up.


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Try GMing a game yourself. That will give other players a chance to learn the basics of the game. Also it means that you'll make all the games and can run if a few flaky players miss sessions. Even if they miss a lot.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Updated the thread title. If you have to star out letters in a word to post it on the forums, you probably shouldn't be posting it on the forums.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Isn't this an ungodly time of day (night?) for customer service to be working? :)

We appreciate your dedication, Sara Marie!

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Zaister wrote:

Isn't this an ungodly time of day (night?) for customer service to be working? :)

We appreciate your dedication, Sara Marie!

Working some overnights at PaizoCon and I got my hands on a laptop so I could clear some flags :)


I have run three Paizo adventure paths, all six modules each, in weekly game sessions that lasted from 3 to 4 hours. Finishing an adventure path at that rate took from 2 to 2.5 years. Reaching 7th level after months and months of Tuesday late evening gaming is not bad.

My most recent campaign, the Iron Gods adventure path, was a home game among friends. If a player could not make a session and their character was key to the story, we cancelled. Sometimes a player warned me about an out-of-town trip and we could arrange a situation where their character was temporarily separated from the party during the player's absence.

My previous two adventure-path campaigns were at the Family Game Store in Savage, MD (great place, Marylanders should check it out). Since communicating with the players was not reliable, I felt the game should go on regardless of missing people. I was adjusting the encounters anyway due to skilled players and a larger-than-four party, so I designed many ways to adjust the encounter. If only four players showed up to a game session, then I did not add as many extra monsters. if only three players showed up and none of their characters was good at combat, I might rearrange the order of encounters--instead of fighting the gangster thugs as scheduled, they get a message from a gangster willing to sell out the mob boss and have the negotiations with the gangster traitor two weeks earlier than scheduled. If the diplomatic characters are missing when the party was supposed to speak with the duchess, the party is instead attacked by bandits on the road to the duchess's city.

I ran the D&D 3.5 version of Rise of the Runelords under Pathfinder rules. The rules were not so different, the main difference is in character construction. Fortunately, www.d20pfsrd.com had posted fan conversions of D&D 3.5 adventure path NPCs, so that I did not have to convert them myself.

Finally, despite having run over six years of Pathfinder games and playing in even more, I don't remember all the rules. Reading a 500-page rulebook can be boring: I have more fun reading the discussions of the rules here in the Paizo forums. Check my posts in the rules forum: though I am sure enough to try answering a question online, I am still wrong about 5% of the time. During a game session, I make a ruling, keep playing, look it up afterwards, and apologize at the beginning of the next session if I was wrong. Common sense rulings in order to keep the game moving are better than stopping the game with arguments.

The game comes first, and both the GM and the players should respect that.


That sounds slow. I played Wrath of the Righteous (which I assume is one of the longest, seeing as it takes characters from level 1 to level 20/tier 10) on monthly 6- to 8-hour sessions and it only took us about 2 to 2.5 years (even though we skipped some months due to schedule incompatibilities). The GM knew the rules well and always prepared for the session (and we did too, since he always told us when we were going to gain a level or tier so we could advance out of the sessions).


A few things stick out to me:

xSaber0022 wrote:
we're usually canceling them because the GM and one of our players constantly have to cancel for multiple reasons

It's evident that everyone in your group does not share the same engagement. And that should be okay, but you may need to talk to the group about this if it bothers you. Maybe consider playing even if you're one player short?

xSaber0022 wrote:
rant about how there needs to be more GM respect at the table and how he doesn't have the time or patience to read 500 pages of the rulebook

I have no respect for this person as a GM and would honestly not allow him to GM at my table.

There is no excuse for not knowing the rules of the system. The bare minimum is knowing enough so that you can make a quick decision in any situation (even if it's not 100% correct).
Being defensive about it and demanding respect because of your title is just plain childish.

I honestly would suggest that you (politely) suggest to your group that you can start your own game, where you will GM and play every week (that the "normal" campaign isn't running, if people still want to play that game), even if all players aren't present.


Mathmuse wrote:
During a game session, I make a ruling, keep playing, look it up afterwards, and apologize at the beginning of the next session if I was wrong. Common sense rulings in order to keep the game moving are better than stopping the game with arguments.

ohh I wish my Gm would do and enforce this kinda of thing. Instead of pandering to the rulelawyer that has to stop the game and look everything up for 3o minutes everytime a ruling comes into effect. This goes for shopping pricing as well.


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Maybe it's just me, but I feel like you shouldn't lie to your boss or encourage others to do so. Or hold it against them when they don't.


Sara Marie wrote:
Updated the thread title. If you have to star out letters in a word to post it on the forums, you probably shouldn't be posting it on the forums.

Thank you for that, I'm a bit new to the forums, so I appreciate it.

Rub-Eta wrote:
It's evident that everyone in your group does not share the same engagement. And that should be okay, but you may need to talk to the group about this if it bothers you. Maybe consider playing even if you're one player short?

Problem is the player that doesn't show up half the time is the one who has it at his house. And again when he's not gone, the GM is.

I am looking to GM at some point though, I just need to find a good starting point.

Artofregicide wrote:
Maybe it's just me, but I feel like you shouldn't lie to your boss or encourage others to do so. Or hold it against them when they don't.

He didn't even tell his boss it was a specific meeting only on Tuesdays, all he told his boss was that he "wanted to hang out with friends on Tuesday nights". Most managers aren't going to give you off for such an insignificant reason.

When he told me he wouldn't do the same thing for his new boss I didn't encourage him either, he just asked what I did and I told him.
I don't need him to lie, he's just a friend of mine that words stuff badly, but my bad for not specifying that.


One of the things we've done in our group to keep games running regularly is have a few other side games that run when someone can't make it. Set up a game that works with the most regular attendees, but can accommodate the others as drop in characters. Players who don't show up thinking that others won't show up will start attending more regularly due to the secondary game making sure the evening isn't a bust. It seems to help with overall attendance for the main game, and you can focus on parts of the game that you think people are missing the rules on.


The only problem I have with absent players is that 5 of my players live in different cities, each over 2.5 hours away (I live right in the middle of Arkansas). We deal with absences of at least one or two people nearly every session. Two of them can Skype in, though even one of those doesn't make every game because of life as a newlywed and trying to find a home in Louisiana. But we manage.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One thing I'm doing for my home game is designing things like interlocked Society adventures. Each scenario leads into another, but we don't have to wonder where a PC went in a locked dungeon. Make some notes for scaling up or down, and you're good.


xSaber0022 wrote:
Problem is the player that doesn't show up half the time is the one who has it at his house. And again when he's not gone, the GM is.

Sounds like you need a new place for gaming. A local library or YMCA could work out. A game store might as well, but may want some 'dues' for hosting. [Store I played MTG had dues of purchase of a booster pack each game day. Cheap, and helped me get a better deck.] In worm weather, a park pavilion could be fun. [Have grilled burgers on the side.]

xSaber0022 wrote:
I am looking to GM at some point though, I just need to find a good starting point.

That point is now.

You know you need something better, and don't expect it from the current setup. Find a place to play, and commit to a regular game day. Once a week is great, but once a month is acceptable. Once a month also allows enough time for players to schedule their lives for it.

/cevah


Cevah wrote:
That point is now.

I meant a good starting point as what campaign to run and such.

I want to make my own campaign at some point as well, but I need an example of what a good campaign looks and feels like, and how to run it.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
xSaber0022 wrote:

I took the important info I learned and posted it in the group chat after that one player cancelled this last week.

The GM responds, basically saying he already knows half the stuff (which I stated in the message some of it was for clarification on debated subjects), and basically goes on a rant about how there needs to be more GM respect at the table and how he doesn't have the time or patience to read 500 pages of the rulebook, which again, he clearly has the time and I didn't read the whole rulebook, I just looked for stuff I didn't know already.

As for the "GM respect" thing, we have to constantly debate because he's the GM and HE DOESN'T KNOW THE RULES FOR THE GAME. And not to mention, he hasn't been the best with player respect. Sometimes he doesn't remember one of us making a perception check on something, and he's just like "I mean the answer's pretty obvious."

JUST WALK AWAY


xSaber0022 wrote:
Cevah wrote:
That point is now.

I meant a good starting point as what campaign to run and such.

I want to make my own campaign at some point as well, but I need an example of what a good campaign looks and feels like, and how to run it.

That's a difficult thing to really find. Not because there aren't many good campaigns out there, it's just that what is good or bad is entirely subjective. For example, I think my 27 year old homebrew is great, as do my players. But because it's homebrew it's not to everyone's taste. So really you just need a few pointers from veteran players, take what you feel works for you, and starting building away, either in an established setting such as Golarion or create one of your own.


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Do what I did and jump head first into homebrewing an entire world, with no short term goal and only a very very long term goal. (That campaign was a mess...)


Though I'd been DMing for 15 or so years at this time I thought it would be cool to create a setting where Yuan-Ti and Nazis were working together to bring my homebrew world into their empire. THAT was a heckin' mess. It died on the vine, thankfully.


The boss guys do you get along with them? Do they give an Inkling of being interested in gaming?


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I heard a lot of good about Kingmaker, so I downloaded the PDF's and put out the word for a gestalt campaign.

Now I'm a GM in a Pathfinder game.

I've never even played in a PF campaign before, only 3.5 and 5e.

I've only GM'ed 13 levels of a homebrew 5e campaign. But I chose to plant my flag in Pathfinder and I am determined to be a good GM, some day.

No time like the present, might as well start now, right?

Shadow Lodge

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
xSaber0022 wrote:
Cevah wrote:
That point is now.

I meant a good starting point as what campaign to run and such.

I want to make my own campaign at some point as well, but I need an example of what a good campaign looks and feels like, and how to run it.
That's a difficult thing to really find. Not because there aren't many good campaigns out there, it's just that what is good or bad is entirely subjective. For example, I think my 27 year old homebrew is great, as do my players. But because it's homebrew it's not to everyone's taste. So really you just need a few pointers from veteran players, take what you feel works for you, and starting building away, either in an established setting such as Golarion or create one of your own.

Speaking of tips from veteran players, I like Matthew Coville's youtube videos. I think he also links/refers to videos of his group and others actually playing, if that would help for reference. He also sometimes talks about the subjective elements of play like "How directly should the plot revolve around the PCs?"

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd go for a premade adventure path to begin with, so that you can get used to running without having to also create everything. Maybe change a few things to appeal to your players, things like that.


Val'bryn2 wrote:
I'd go for a premade adventure path to begin with, so that you can get used to running without having to also create everything. Maybe change a few things to appeal to your players, things like that.

The nice thing about an AP is that it handles the story elements by default, allowing you to tweak as little or as much as you want. You can also refer to the AP threads in the forum for assistance. As to learning rules, you can get by with "make a ruling for now, and write a note to look up after the game and correct for later." Also, a good rule is to tell your players, they are responsible for knowing how their character works.

Another tip, if you have someone summon stuff from time to time, is to require them to have their standard summons on 3x5 cards for reference. You are not limiting them from doing whatever summon they want, but you are instead telling them not to waste everyone's time by generating the summons on the fly. Utility summons don't need this so much, but a combat summons needs all the details readily accessible.

/cevah

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It sounds to me like no one, including yourself, in your group is handling this maturely.

Sometimes, games get cancelled. Even games that are pre-scheduled for every Tuesday or whatever. Things come up and life happens. Sometimes the reasons for cancelling are good, and sometimes they aren't. Gaming takes a commitment and the GM commitment is usually the biggest, but that doesn't mean it comes first. When people can't make it, game without them if you have enough players available. If the GM can't make, have a back-up GM that can run a 1-shot for the group.

As far as the GM not knowing the rules, it's not near as important as keeping the game moving at an acceptable pace.

Also, don't lie to your employer. That's just a crappy thing to do.

-Skeld


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
xSaber0022 wrote:
Artofregicide wrote:
Maybe it's just me, but I feel like you shouldn't lie to your boss or encourage others to do so. Or hold it against them when they don't.

He didn't even tell his boss it was a specific meeting only on Tuesdays, all he told his boss was that he "wanted to hang out with friends on Tuesday nights". Most managers aren't going to give you off for such an insignificant reason.

When he told me he wouldn't do the same thing for his new boss I didn't encourage him either, he just asked what I did and I told him. I don't need him to lie, he's just a friend of mine that words stuff badly, but my bad for not specifying that.

Once you're out of school, scheduling gaming sessions becomes by far the biggest barrier for playing RPGs.

I'll echo what others have said that you and your GM sound rather immature. I'm guessing you're all in high school or college.

Re: Lying to your boss: Don't do it.

I supervise others and put work schedules together. For many of my employees, it's their first real job. I will work as best as I can to accommodate employees' work/life balance and out-of-work responsibilities, but my primary responsibility is to the business. I expect my employees to take their job seriously.

I want my staff to improve themselves, and many of my employees are also students at one of the local colleges. As such, I really do my best to schedule around their class and exam schedules, child care needs, etc. (I do ask thay they provide some kind of documentation.)

That said: If I find out that one of my employees has lied to me after I'd made a schedule accommodation for it (e.g. that the Tuesday night class was really a Tuesday night D&D game), I will not react positively. First and foremost, I will be very disinclined to make further schedule accommodations for that individual.

Bottom line: I have a stack of resumés from other people who want your job. If you won't make a reasonably serious commitment to your job, I will happily let you go and hire someone else who will.


I have a friend who once managed a Taco Bell many, many years ago. The stories he could tell about the people he had to let go. He even made up a "You're Fired" song for the occasion.

Shadow Lodge

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I would definitely agree that you shouldn't lie to your boss about why you don't want to work Tuesdays.

However, saying that you don't want to work Tuesdays so you can "hang out with friends" isn't a very accurate way to express the level of commitment of a weekly RPG session.

If someone told me they like to hang out with friends on Tuesdays, I'd treat that as a lowest-priority consideration. If that person misses a Tuesday a month, bummer for them, but there are other times to hang out with friends.

If someone tells me that they host an activity group with friends once a week, I'd put that slightly higher, because hosting is a bigger commitment than attending and if you can't host, then it negatively impacts the rest of the group as well. (Note: I haven't actually had to schedule people for work shifts so I'm not sure what this difference would translate to in terms of actual scheduling. Certainly you'd still be behind people with classes or child care needs.)

It is not ok to say the activity was "school-related" unless the school was actually involved, eg a teacher has organized an after-school Pathfinder game, or you're part of an official university gaming club. And even then it's probably more honest to call it a "school club meeting" so that the boss doesn't think you have scheduled tutoring or something.


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Lying is just a B.S. habit to get into, anyways, no matter who it is.

However, an employer's overall "need to know" is extremely low, and they don't really have any right to ask you your personal business.

Any shift manager worth his salt can rework the schedule to accommodate an employee asking for a consistent day off. They shouldn't ask you for your reasons at all.

If you're short staffed, the answer is no, despite the reasons for the request.

If it's possible to rework the schedule, the answer should be yes, without needing reasons to sway his or her personal opinion on if you deserve what you are asking for.

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