Keeping “Power Gamers / Game Breakers” in check


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

1 to 50 of 85 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

So what is everyone’s opinion on this? Like to be I get annoyed when people only build towards combat and have zero RP value or power game to the point where they break the game if played by RAW.

Ways I’ve stopped it is by throwing a “bigger fish” at them to remind them they are not demi gods walking around.

Without banning from your table how do some of you keep a game breaker in check.


17 people marked this as a favorite.

If the "bigger fish" doesn't make sense in the context of the world (e.g. sudden tarrasque ambush), it makes you seem arbitrary and vengeful. If it does make sense in the context of the world, it sends the players the message that they need to be stronger to compete, which makes the powergamer try harder. There are better strategies.

1: Identify the problem. Is the powergamer having fun? Are the other players having fun? If the answers to these questions are "yes", the problem isn't with the powergamer, it's with you. Many DMs have a kneejerk negative response to PCs being good at the things they've chosen to be good at. This is a bad attitude.

2: Talk about the problem. No excuses. Now that you've identified the problem, sit down and have an OOC chat with the powergamer. Explain to them how their behavior is disruptive to the game, and offer them a chance to rebuild and tone it down. Many powergamers worry that they won't be active participants in the story if they don't optimize; try suggesting ways to reallocate their feats and gold that you know will allow them to engage with RP opportunities.

3: Tone down combat. Let's say you've talked to the powergamer, and it didn't go well. They don't want to respec and you don't want to kick them out. Solution: dial back combat, either making it a smaller part of the game, or making it easier to win without making it trivial for the powergamer to hog the glory. This helps the other players not feel overshadowed, which the Ambush Tarrasque wouldn't fix in the least. (Some powergamers focus on other things, like crafting or diplomacy. You can still shift the focus of your game away from those things in response.)

4: Get the powergamer to help the other players. This is your last resort. If you're set on a tough combat-centric game, and your powergamer won't respec, see if the other players are willing to. When everyone is "overpowered", nobody is- just send higher-CR monsters at them, and you've got a suitable difficulty with nobody feeling like a sidekick.

Hope that helps!

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

By doing what they don't, build balanced games where they have to have other skills. Yes, you can kill the king's champion, but that doesn't really explain why he would want to talk to you. And remind them of their limitations. I was running a game of PFS with a fighter who dumped his Int and Cha to 7, he was coming up with a convoluted plan, and I reminded him his character was way too dump to come up with that. He didn't like that.

Shadow Lodge

6 people marked this as a favorite.

So I played a ranger in city adventure with a huge perception bonus. Some murderer snuck by me, my response was challenge accepted, clearly my +40 wasn't good enough, and I picked up some magic items and skill focus to boost it more.

"Throwing a bigger fish" just confirms that they aren't good enough and need to optimize more. It's an arms race, when what you want is de-escalation.


To answer are the other players having fun? They would sit in back and happily collect exp/loot (but second choice as the Power gamer would dominate the fight and in character bully his way to first choice) however I notice in fights where he wasn’t there or it was his turn to GM, they had had more fun as they had to be more active.

To give an example about how broken his character was; he played a Wizard/Monk mixture but it wasn’t a Gesault game. Just the appropriate levels mixed with right feats. He was able to hold off a Level 50 NPC (Not kill but hold off) even though the GM made it clear OOC that the NPC desires a worthy spar. He won’t battle to the death on your part unless you break his rules.


Quote:
wizard-monk multiclass
Quote:
level 50 NPC

lol


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Level 50 Npc tells me all the basic assumptions we have of pathfinder need to be thrown out for advising on your game


4 people marked this as a favorite.

To start with make sure you're not suffering from the stormwind fallacy. Is the power gamer unable to contribute to RP?
Was it clear before everyone made their characters that the game would be less focused on combat and more on RP?

Personally, I know that understanding what's expected can cause me to create vastly different characters. So, make sure everyone's expectations for the game are appropriate.

Also, there 4 different categories of players only one of which should be kicked out or banned. Players of all sorts get upset if they feel like their character is being invalidated. So, the challenge for the DM is to find a way to prevent this.

1. Non-Optimizers: These players pick things because they sound cool or otherwise fit their character concept. They don't care about being effective they just want powers and abilities that are consistent with the type of character they want to play. DMs typically don't have issues with players like this.

2. Optimizers (aka power gamers): These players pick options that best augment their character concept. Part of the enjoyment for them is making a character that's really good at X and getting to watch them shine at doing X. They realize that they probably won't be as good at things that aren't X or X adjacent and they are ok with that. They recognize this is a cooperative game and are fine with letting other players shine at non-X things. DMs sometimes have a knee jerk reaction to this players because they might look like player types 3 or 4. But they aren't. The DM may need to ramp up the difficulty of encounters to counter-act the fact that a player is good at X. The main way to tell the difference between these types of players and player types 3 or 4. Is that they typically don't have a problem with the DM banning or limiting the use of an option that is game breaking. They just want to be good at X, they don't want to break the game as a result.

3. Exploiters (aka munchkin gamers): These players pick options that, when combined, allow them to break the game. They will exploit any loop hole that presents its self and will actively seek any mechanic that imposes a drawback or limitation on the character in exchange for more power. They will then minimize their weaknesses and maximize their strengths. Left unchecked these players are the same as a mac truck smashing the DM's wall made out of legos. This leaves the DM scrambling to compensate. If the DM doesn't fully understand how the player is doing what they're doing these adjustments will often fail making the DM even more frustrated. The player will often feel they've done nothing wrong and will take offense and argue with anyone that suggests they have. They have after all followed the rules and aren't actually cheating. They will get upset when certain rules they were abusing get nerfed and/or banned as they'll feel like they're being personally attacked. If their current character gets neutered to the point of being useless, they will complain and ask to be allowed to make a different character. Something the DM will often oblige. At this point they will make a different character that exploits a different set of rules that also completely breaks the game. These kinds of players can be frustrating to deal with and require the DM to have substantial system mastery. Its possible to have these players in a game without the game getting broken. But it requires a lot of time, patience and houserules as loopholes get patched. The player might get frustrated and leave and they might not. These players don't tend to think of themselves as munchkin players and think they are just power gamers.

4. Cheaters: These players often think they are "munchkin" players and may even brag as such outside of game. They intentionally mis-interpret rules, fudge dice rolls, read the dms books/notes to get inside information, etc. Whatever it takes to make themselves as powerful as possible. The easiest way to combat these types of players is to audit them. Demand a copy of their character sheet, demand dice rolls be open, using dice that can be easily read and/or roll fair. Let them know that if their behavior continues they are not welcome to the group. It might be useful to find out why they are cheating. Maybe they are trying to compete with a power gamer or munchkin player but don't have the system mastery required to do so and asking for help would be too big of a blow to their pride. If you can get someone to stop cheating they generally don't cause problems at the table. The trick is to figure out why they're doing it before you are forced to remove them.

It's worth noting, any of the above players can be good or bad at roleplaying as it typically has little to do with system mastery. After all, most DMs are more then happy to fudge things a bit for a player if their roleplaying presents an opportunity that would enhance the game for everyone at the table.


5. This might be unfair to do this in a campaign that is already underway, but you can change the rules. Put caps on bonuses, make up some arbitrary total-b.s. rule like "You can't maintain a Grapple in the same round as you establish one." or "Teamwork Feats never work unless you have allies that also have that Feat." or some other rule that contains the character into something manageable.

6. Manage the objectives of the adventure: if the problem is that the character is making combats boring by dominating them, change the narrative to de-emphasize the combat. The Wizard/Monk's objective is not to kill all the monsters, but to protect the orphaned princess/fairy/kitten/china doll from all harm, or make it so the monster attacking them is the princess they need to rescue. All of a sudden, the Wizard/Monk is in a fight he can lose because he needs to do more than just win the fight.

7. Cheat. Make it so that the orcs the other players are fighting are CR 1 Monsters, but the orcs power gamer are fighting just happen to be level 6 Fighters.

8. Cheat. Allow the under powered gamers to combine features from 3.5 into your Pathfinder or take levels in classes from the Book of Nine Swords. I played under a GM who allowed this for a first-time player, and it worked out well. Place powerful magic items for the other players to use.


LordKailas wrote:


Also, there 4 different categories of players only one of which should be kicked out or banned. Players of all sorts get upset if they feel like their character is being invalidated. So, the challenge for the DM is to find a way to prevent this.

Yup.... Type 2 and 3 often get confused but they are definitely distinct.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Making combat easier and having more non-combat encounters might be a way to "punish" the power gamers. Beyond a certain point, improving your combat ability no longer pays off -- so the PCs of such players do only slightly better than the non-optimized PCs in combat and are probably a bit less useful in non-combat situations.

Players will eventually learn to adapt their PCs to your GMing style, so you should be sure that you really are encouraging the sort of characters that you say that you want.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Level 50 Npc tells me all the basic assumptions we have of pathfinder need to be thrown out for advising on your game

I was not the GM this game lol


doc roc wrote:
LordKailas wrote:


Also, there 4 different categories of players only one of which should be kicked out or banned. Players of all sorts get upset if they feel like their character is being invalidated. So, the challenge for the DM is to find a way to prevent this.

Yup.... Type 2 and 3 often get confused but they are definitely distinct.

Strangely, Type 1 and 3 often get confused, too. And RAW/RAI arguments end up pushing both towards "standard build" Type 2.

And if you typically have a lot of Type 1, you can confuse a Type 2 with a 3 or 4.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Step 1: Lower DCs. Put things in reach of non-optimized characters

Step 2: Don't use high DCs or CRs to try and guide the players away from certain tasks, goals, or strategies. No CR/DC railroading.

Step 3: Make it rewarding for players to build toward other goals. If you want players to make slice-of-life characters, then you need to make slice-of-life adventures and solutions.

I end up building fairly combat optimized characters, but can tell you that only really started when it became obvious that there was only one way to participate in the games run by certain DMs. I make much less combat optimized characters for DMs I know will run games with non-combat options in them. But if diplomacy DCs are always 40+somehow, and everyone is tricking the party regardless of sense motive checks, and NPCs are queuing up betray the party, I'll probably just make sure I can kill everyone.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
McDaygo wrote:

So what is everyone’s opinion on this? Like to be I get annoyed when people only build towards combat and have zero RP value or power game to the point where they break the game if played by RAW.

Ways I’ve stopped it is by throwing a “bigger fish” at them to remind them they are not demi gods walking around.

Without banning from your table how do some of you keep a game breaker in check.

Problems that are not solvable in combat.

And don't direct all non-combat problems to the one character that decides to build a bardic social god/skill monkey. Specifically address problems and dilemmas to a character and have them solve it.


The group of you should be capable of having a civil conversation about what kind of game everyone wants to play and that you want to GM.

Working things out like that should generally take care of ~99% of cases if you're all reasonable people. Especially in home games and especially in advance of a new campaign starting.

Organized play would be a bit more complicated, but you'd also have official rules, guidelines, etc., to fall back on.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Most power gamers I have found that are actively trying to find language loopholes and meta game or fudge rolls are pretty simple to deal with.

Tell them the game you created doesn't require it. That they can make a character without needing to resort to such tactics. That the campaign you have made doesn't need dirty tricks and the like to play let alone enjoy. I've found this helps.

Also

Spoiler:

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Put caps on bonuses, make up some arbitrary total-b.s. rule like "Teamwork Feats never work unless you have allies that also have that feat

EYEROLL. Nice troll bait.


McDaygo wrote:
I notice in fights where he wasn’t there or it was his turn to GM, they had had more fun as they had to be more active.

The best way to deal with that is to try to make sure during character creation that everyone is at a similar level of combat power. Either get the power gamer to tone down their build, or get everyone else to raise their game.

Then it becomes possible for the GM to build encounters that challenge everybody.

I also like to give everyone a bonus minor out-of-combat ability (such as a free Profession skill rank per level) so players don't have to choose between making a well-rounded character and being able to contribute to the survival of the party in combat.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Matthew Downie wrote:
I also like to give everyone a bonus minor out-of-combat ability (such as a free Profession skill rank per level) so players don't have to choose between making a well-rounded character and being able to contribute to the survival of the party in combat.

Background Skills might be a helpful starting point for anyone who wanted to play around with such an idea, too.


I just want to throw my hat in the ring and say, sometimes they aren’t trying to break the game, but have simply grown attached to the character and don’t want them to die. After all, if YOU woke up on Golarion with the potential to become level 20, would you not want to “power game” to survive? It’s almost like that for some people and their characters.

If the game is difficult, then you might want to dial it back AND let the players know, so they can dial back themselves.


Coidzor wrote:

The group of you should be capable of having a civil conversation about what kind of game everyone wants to play and that you want to GM.

Working things out like that should generally take care of ~99% of cases if you're all reasonable people. Especially in home games and especially in advance of a new campaign starting.

Yes. Do that.

Whenever I join a new group, I make a point of showing my character build to my GM and explain how I expect it to work. I thoroughly vet my understanding of the rules with his: I satisfy myself that he understands my perspective. I then happily follow his rulings, changing and re-vetting my character as necessary.

Coidzor wrote:
Organized play would be a bit more complicated, but you'd also have official rules, guidelines, etc., to fall back on.

There is no person to vet with: that's the problem. It is difficult to search the FAQs, and Official Rules Postings on the Forums are not searchable, either. Paizo Publishing is nearly deaf when it comes to requests for official rulings on specific questions, and I am fairly certain I get special treatment when it comes to getting Official Rulings. As a PFS player, my recourse is the official rules, applying those rules in the most literal way possible, and hope that the next GM doesn't break the rules in support of prejudicial notions of "the intent of the rules." I use the rules aggressively to create powerful effects, and so does everyone else I see play this game.


If he's multiclassing Wizard and Monk he isn't a power gamer, he's someone who just has more fun with the combat aspects of Pathfinder and doesn't really care about roleplaying. There might be other issues going on here (frankly I don't trust you to be giving us an unbiased portrayal of this guy so no way for us to know for sure) but it sounds like he might just be a poor fit for more narrative heavy campaigns and it'd be better to do straightforward dungeon romps. YMMV on how the rest of your group will respond to that (I know my group wouldn't want to make that adjustment).


Arachnofiend wrote:
If he's multiclassing Wizard and Monk he isn't a power gamer, he's someone who just has more fun with the combat aspects of Pathfinder and doesn't really care about roleplaying. There might be other issues going on here (frankly I don't trust you to be giving us an unbiased portrayal of this guy so no way for us to know for sure) but it sounds like he might just be a poor fit for more narrative heavy campaigns and it'd be better to do straightforward dungeon romps. YMMV on how the rest of your group will respond to that (I know my group wouldn't want to make that adjustment).

Outside the game I have zero issues. My problem (if I’m GMing or not) is the ridiculous damage output. From how I was brought up the game should play more like dark souls and less like a hack ‘n’ slash on easy mode. If you don’t feel stressed, scared for survival or have that feeling of gone through some stuff it is too easy.

I’m not talking GM vs. player either as that is wrong.


McDaygo wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
If he's multiclassing Wizard and Monk he isn't a power gamer, he's someone who just has more fun with the combat aspects of Pathfinder and doesn't really care about roleplaying. There might be other issues going on here (frankly I don't trust you to be giving us an unbiased portrayal of this guy so no way for us to know for sure) but it sounds like he might just be a poor fit for more narrative heavy campaigns and it'd be better to do straightforward dungeon romps. YMMV on how the rest of your group will respond to that (I know my group wouldn't want to make that adjustment).

Outside the game I have zero issues. My problem (if I’m GMing or not) is the ridiculous damage output. From how I was brought up the game should play more like dark souls and less like a hack ‘n’ slash on easy mode. If you don’t feel stressed, scared for survival or have that feeling of gone through some stuff it is too easy.

I’m not talking GM vs. player either as that is wrong.

Wait, you are calling a Wizard/Monk multiclass “power gaming”? Either he is cheating, or you are lying/withholding important details.

And looking back, it seems the game is dealing with Epic Level. Well I hate to break it to you, but a casually made epic level character can beat characters twice as high in level given the situation. That is not power gaming. That’s just epic level.

Also, the way you were brought up is wrong. The game is closer to hack and slash than it ever will be to dark souls.


Reksew_Trebla wrote:


Also, the way you were brought up is wrong. The game is closer to hack and slash than it ever will be to dark souls.

That is highly subjective and depends a lot on how you play. The D&D family of games may be highly amenable to hack and slash murder hoboing, but since the first day they've been published they've aspired to much more.


I’m not sure the feat output he chose but I know he was able to hit between 80-300 damage a spell by combining meta magic, sacred geometry and other stuff.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
McDaygo wrote:
I’m not sure the feat output he chose but I know he was able to hit between 80-300 damage a spell by combining meta magic, sacred geometry and other stuff.

There it is. Sacred Geometry. I’m willing to bet he has Calculated Mind as well. Sacred Geometry gives a chance to spontaneously add 2 metamagic feats WITHOUT increasing the spell level, and Calculated Mind makes it relatively easier to do so, so he is probably stacking a bunch more metamagic feats than would normally be allowed for higher level spells, thus getting higher results.

If Sacred Geometry is allowed, you might as well expect something like this.


Bill Dunn wrote:
Reksew_Trebla wrote:


Also, the way you were brought up is wrong. The game is closer to hack and slash than it ever will be to dark souls.
That is highly subjective and depends a lot on how you play. The D&D family of games may be highly amenable to hack and slash murder hoboing, but since the first day they've been published they've aspired to much more.

Do you not know what Dark Souls is? If I were to bet on it, I’d say you have less than a 0.0001% chance to survive ANY (and I mean any) encounter WITHOUT ANY prior knowledge of the encounter (in short, without reading ahead or metagaming). Now what about if you have full knowledge? 0.00015% is the chance I’d give you then.

Pathfinder on the otherhand, expects you to have a high chance of surviving from level 1 all the way to level 20, as a completely new player that does NOT read ahead.

While it isn’t necessarily a hack and slash game, it is SIGNIFICANTLY closer to a hack and slash game than being a Dark Souls game.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Dark Souls is a game where you're expected to die fairly regularly, but in turn have free, easily available resurrection baked into the game from level 1. That's kind of a far step away from the basic assumptions of Pathfinder, but if you want to play that way it's fine.

As for the topic of the OP. You deal with power gamers by talking to them about what's wrong and trying to come to an understanding. Attempting to invalidate their characters or one up them is likely to just encourage them to find new ways to power game around that.

Even beyond that, antagonistic player relationships generally aren't healthy for a game. You want everyone to have similar expectations when going into a game.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bill Dunn wrote:
Reksew_Trebla wrote:


Also, the way you were brought up is wrong. The game is closer to hack and slash than it ever will be to dark souls.
That is highly subjective and depends a lot on how you play. The D&D family of games may be highly amenable to hack and slash murder hoboing, but since the first day they've been published they've aspired to much more.

The closest thing I can remember from the Gygaxian era is wacky funhouse dungeons full of "gotcha" traps that you only discover by instantly dying from them so that you know about them for your next, highly disposable character.

Stuff like the Tomb of Horrors where the first winning strategy ever devised for it was for Lord Robilar to Zapp Brannigan his way through it by sending wave after wave of his own orcs to their deaths.

Also, games where fighting was something you tried to avoid doing because you got more XP for gaining treasure, which is pretty well removed the baseline paradigm for Pathfinder and would require a lot of houseruling to implement and wouldn't be compatible with the majority of published adventures and adventure paths without significant retooling.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
McDaygo wrote:

Outside the game I have zero issues. My problem (if I’m GMing or not) is the ridiculous damage output. From how I was brought up the game should play more like dark souls and less like a hack ‘n’ slash on easy mode. If you don’t feel stressed, scared for survival or have that feeling of gone through some stuff it is too easy.

I’m not talking GM vs. player either as that is wrong.

So, in the politest terms, you're wrong.

D&D hasn't worked that way since AD&D 2e (and maybe not even that, I'm not as familiar with all the options). Power Attack was added in 3e, this system (Pathfinder) is two generations after that. And those were the Fighter numbers, the Wizard was throwing out uncapped fireballs and lightning bolts in AD&D. Also health numbers were much lower, a big bad Red Dragon had (I think) 77 HP. So while the Fighter slogged through, the Magic User could instantly fry it just with raw damage.

Dark Souls on the other hand has a plethora of glitch/gamist ways around the difficulty. Tricking people off cliffs, into holes, trapped in buildings, hit them through walls, shoot them before they activate, and my favorite, throwing poop at them until they die of poison. And those are the unintended ones, as at least one boss includes a way to instantly kill them with a flying leap down onto them. Might be the second or third game.

Anyway, my point is that I think you're playing the wrong game. D&D (and its offshoots) have gotten progressively more "easy hack and slash" because they have to. Levels being more tightly tied to power means you need to make higher level characters to keep up, higher level characters take longer to make. The options to avoid repeated lengthy character recreation sessions are either easy resurrection or less random deaths. They went with less random deaths. If you want a game where your character doesn't get a name until level 5 because "why bother", this isn't the game for you.


McDaygo wrote:

From how I was brought up the game should play more like dark souls and less like a hack ‘n’ slash on easy mode. If you don’t feel stressed, scared for survival or have that feeling of gone through some stuff it is too easy.

I’m not talking GM vs. player either as that is wrong.

If you are going all murderdungeon on your players, then they have two options:

1) Stop caring about their characters that are going to die anyway, and treat them as disposable sheets of paper - and they might as well optimize the hell out of those, because who cares, characterisation doesn't matter, or
2) Go to extreme means to make sure that their character does survive, which means that they have to optimize.

A lot of people up there suggested "make sure the optimizer knows that they don't need to optimize", but this here makes it look like they do.

I mean, I know neither you nor the player, but from what you've given us, it could be anything from "Optimizer wants to break the game" to "Casual player wanted to go on a plucky adventure, but was thrown into a Saw dungeon and forced to optimize".


level 50?
What kind of game is this? Doesn't sound like Pathfinder at all.
Maybe you could explain a bit.


Again I wasn’t the GM for the Level 50 NPC. I was playing with the Wizard/Monk.

Dark Souls was an over exaggeration I’ll admit but no I don’t play as GM trying to actively kill my players (when I do GM); I just want the game to be challenging. For example: I think a Level 1 Goblin NPC should have an equal chance of killing the Level 1 fighter vs. being considered a “trash mob”. I also think the game should have a Horror Factor rating just because you made the knowledge check to identify the (insert monster) there is a difference between reading about and experiencing it in the wild. Small realistic mechanics like that (Yes I understand wanting realism in a fantasy setting is silly). Yes I understand the characters are the heroes (or villains) of the story however that story is only as entertaining as the challenge to overcome/Conflict.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Question: you say you want realism, but what is realistic about trained soldiers, because that's what pcs are, freezing up in terror at known quantities of their world?


McDaygo wrote:
(Yes I understand wanting realism in a fantasy setting is silly). Yes I understand the characters are the heroes (or villains) of the story however that story is only as entertaining as the challenge to overcome/Conflict.

It's less about the silliness and more about Pathfinder not natively being that kind of game. Pathfinder is heroic fantasy. It sounds like you want dark fantasy. I've heard good things about Call of Cthulu, so maybe you can try that.


Val'bryn2 wrote:
Question: you say you want realism, but what is realistic about trained soldiers, because that's what pcs are, freezing up in terror at known quantities of their world?

Some Soldiers absolutely freeze in the heat of the moment especially in high stress moments. Hell I feel I know a fair amount about animals and don’t fear them from a distance; However if I am swimming and a big shark happens to be near me that is a complete different scenario. That is 100 percent realistic.

Yes Pathfinder is heroic Fantasy but there is nothing wrong with not wanting an easy game. A dispute I had with a player (as a player not the GM) is they said we as players are supposed to win; I said I disagree, we are supposed to attempt to overcome but with no real chance at failure then it isn’t fun.


McDaygo wrote:
Yes I understand the characters are the heroes (or villains) of the story however that story is only as entertaining as the challenge to overcome/Conflict.

That is one playstyle. Not everyone wants to play the game on hard mode. Some people are perfectly entertained playing overpowered heroes that overcome any obstacle without much of a challenge. And then there are all the shades in between.

What seems clear (to me) is that the optimizer wants a different game than you do - it could, of course, be that optimizing is their game, but it could also be that they just prefer not having the game be another source of stress, and optimize their characters so that they can play on "easy mode" because that's more fun to them.


That could be dudes real life is pretty rough. Like I said out of game zero qualms but I know and the GM knows it a pain in the neck to build encounters cause you either build towards him and no one can keep up or you build towards average and floor is cleared.

This isn’t a issue anymore as we all parted ways due to military moves but the orginal orgin of the topic is if I gm and I get a similar type of player how to reel them in. Like my current group is perfect in my eyes. They understand social is as important as combat and build well rounded.


McDaygo wrote:
Yes Pathfinder is heroic Fantasy but there is nothing wrong with not wanting an easy game.
If you have an extreme power gamer, then you have at least one player who really wants an easy game.
Quote:
A dispute I had with a player (as a player not the GM) is they said we as players are supposed to win; I said I disagree, we are supposed to attempt to overcome but with no real chance at failure then it isn’t fun.

Judging by the published Adventure Paths, and the challenge rating system in general, the intention is for the heroes to win almost all of the time with occasional boss encounters that can actually be dangerous. Fights against fodder should be fights against fodder. Making fodder fights harder would usually just make a boring fight last longer.


Heroes are meant to win in pathfinder

Yes it’s meant to be challenging, it’s meant to be something you can overcome, it’s about a hero.

Sounds like you’re wanting more of a fighting against the odd desperate struggle game than most people anticipate coming into pathfinder.


McDaygo wrote:


Dark Souls was an over exaggeration I’ll admit but no I don’t play as GM trying to actively kill my players (when I do GM); I just want the game to be challenging. For example: I think a Level 1 Goblin NPC should have an equal chance of killing the Level 1 fighter vs. being considered a “trash mob”.

I guess that depends on what's a level 1 goblin? Do you mean the base goblin in the Bestiary (warrior 1, CR 1/3)? Or do you mean a CR 1 goblin (who would more likely be a level 2 PC-classed goblin)?

You've got the tools to make the game as deadly in combat as you want. You may just have to go a little outside the encounter creation guidelines to do so or work at the top end of the scale.

McDaygo wrote:
I also think the game should have a Horror Factor rating just because you made the knowledge check to identify the (insert monster) there is a difference between reading about and experiencing it in the wild. Small realistic mechanics like that (Yes I understand wanting realism in a fantasy setting is silly).

Realistic, in this case, is fairly subjective. Should they really be horrified by everything or only things that are really horrific, and what constitutes horrific? A dragon? A giant? A gnoll? A bear? A pixie?

Would the addition of such a mechanic add to the game or just suck the energy out of the room?


McDaygo wrote:
For example: I think a Level 1 Goblin NPC should have an equal chance of killing the Level 1 fighter vs. being considered a “trash mob”.

Well, then you're in the wrong game. NPC classes are weaker than PC classes. If you make the Goblin also a Fighter with full gold then it's an even match though. Of course, if it's only one Goblin then it's going to get curb-stomped by the other three people in the party. Adding more goblins just raises the CR. Of course, maybe slogging through constant CR+4 boss battles would give you the experience you want. I'd check if that's what the other people want first though (and it's going to lead to all powergaming, all the time).

As for the rest, as others have said that's a very different kind of game. Call of Cthulhu, specifically. You might be able to work with some stuff in Horror Adventures for Pathfinder. But it's really not the default assumptions of Swords and Sorcery fantasy stories. You can add it if you really want, that's clearly what Frightful Presence and all the other fear auras are there for.


Bill Dunn wrote:
McDaygo wrote:


Dark Souls was an over exaggeration I’ll admit but no I don’t play as GM trying to actively kill my players (when I do GM); I just want the game to be challenging. For example: I think a Level 1 Goblin NPC should have an equal chance of killing the Level 1 fighter vs. being considered a “trash mob”.

I guess that depends on what's a level 1 goblin? Do you mean the base goblin in the Bestiary (warrior 1, CR 1/3)? Or do you mean a CR 1 goblin (who would more likely be a level 2 PC-classed goblin)?

You've got the tools to make the game as deadly in combat as you want. You may just have to go a little outside the encounter creation guidelines to do so or work at the top end of the scale.

McDaygo wrote:
I also think the game should have a Horror Factor rating just because you made the knowledge check to identify the (insert monster) there is a difference between reading about and experiencing it in the wild. Small realistic mechanics like that (Yes I understand wanting realism in a fantasy setting is silly).

Realistic, in this case, is fairly subjective. Should they really be horrified by everything or only things that are really horrific, and what constitutes horrific? A dragon? A giant? A gnoll? A bear? A pixie?

Would the addition of such a mechanic add to the game or just suck the energy out of the room?

When I say Horror Factor I don’t mean you gain the scared condition but that instant moment of failure of horror factor check would be like rolling a 1 in initiative. You froze for a second but didn’t quiet lose your turn but that split second allowed the monster to go first and potentially attack first.

It honestly depends the background of the character. If they are farm boys turned to what ever class with minimum adventure time the first time seeing a (insert monster) in life vs. on paper (especially a dangerous one)


Pan, definitely not a Kitsune wrote:
McDaygo wrote:
Yes I understand the characters are the heroes (or villains) of the story however that story is only as entertaining as the challenge to overcome/Conflict.

That is one playstyle. Not everyone wants to play the game on hard mode. Some people are perfectly entertained playing overpowered heroes that overcome any obstacle without much of a challenge. And then there are all the shades in between.

What seems clear (to me) is that the optimizer wants a different game than you do - it could, of course, be that optimizing is their game, but it could also be that they just prefer not having the game be another source of stress, and optimize their characters so that they can play on "easy mode" because that's more fun to them.

Absolutely.

I have a similar situation. That's all well and good- my only real problem cropped up when he asked me to make encounters challenge his character.

I'm not sure, but I think he finally got it when I explained that when his character gets challenged, others simply die.


Incidentally,CofC is an amazing game. I've had one friend show some interest of late, so I may be trying to find another player or three soon.


well what you want is fine, but thats not the default assumption of pathfinder. if thats what you want, you need to talk to your GM and group, and have them be on the same page before a campaign starts.

The player is doing nothing wrong, isnt even that optimized. 50 damage on the low end is like a level 15 damage spell without metamagic (15x3.5=52.5), and a decently optimized character could get to those numbers well before epic or mythic levels without sacred geometry. Their damage is entirely to scale for an epic level character, and your assumptions are the ones that are off for how pathfinder works.

My suggestion is a good long talk with your player and group about whats fun for you, and them, and trying to find a compromise.


McDaygo wrote:
[T]he orginal orgin of the topic is if I gm and I get a similar type of player how to reel them in.

The bad news: In the absolute worst case scenario, there might simply not be a game possible that everyone can enjoy, because everyone wants so different things from it.

The good news is that that's just the absolute worst case. It's more likely that - assuming no actual disruptive intend on either side - there's still enough common ground for everyone to have fun, but you'll have to find it, and the best way for that is to talk it out and figure out what everyone wants and expects from the game.

EldonGuyre wrote:

Absolutely.

I have a similar situation. That's all well and good- my only real problem cropped up when he asked me to make encounters challenge his character.

I'm not sure, but I think he finally got it when I explained that when his character gets challenged, others simply die.

Yeah, actually mixing optimization levels can be horrible, unless everyone is fine with all the aspects of it - the other players need to be fine with being overshadowed (at least in the optimizer's area of competence), and the optimizer has to accept that there isn't going to be much of a reward for optimizing.


So what’s your advice when the optimizer bullies his way to the best loot?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

If there's bullying at your table, then the problem probably needs to be taken care of away from the table. Someone needs to go to the side with that player and have a real talk with them. This is usually a DM's job, but really any respected member of the table can do it. If they can't see that they are bullying and that their bullying is a problem, then you probably need to just remove them from the game.

1 to 50 of 85 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Keeping “Power Gamers / Game Breakers” in check All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.