Avoiding ableism by consistently applying the rules of perception in PF2


Rules Discussion

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Corwin Icewolf wrote:
I thought it might interest some of you to know that humans can echolocate, but it's not usually something you magically get by being blind, it's a skill that takes a lot of practice. So probably best represented as a feat.

As impressive as that is, based on the Youtube video I just watched of a kid that can echolocate who was shooting hoops, he struggles to find and pick up a basket ball. If he was in a sword fight, he's dying within seconds.


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Unicore wrote:

Ok, let’s all take a step back for a minute. I never claimed every character without sight as a precise sense would have some extra ordinary sense. I said that there was no reason to assume that a wizard required sight to cast a magic missile.

Especially after going to great lengths to establish rules language about perception that would make for clear and consistent perception and targeting rules, deciding not to use it feels like a mistake.

I strongly agree that senses can be different. I am not sure that anyone, naturally, on planet earth could be capable of having scent be a precise sense. But on Golarion I am willing to accept that there could be ways for that to happen, and I wouldn’t want such a character to be forced into thinking of that sense as “exactly like sight, except when it wasn’t.”

Why is it better to say wall of force does not block line of sight, but it does block line of effect, than to say wall of force blocks line of effect, but doesn’t interfere with perception, or ability to observe?
If the intention is that the spell would block x senses but not sight where should that information go? If it goes in with a description of the sense, then that description has to account for every possible feat, spell and ability that might yet exist. Whereas, establishing a set of expected senses characters might have in a core rulebook (something already done) and then expecting spells, feats and abilities to reference them is much more intelligent and future proofing design.

The Rhetoric of accessibility is about recognizing that we should use the clearest words we can, especially when establishing rules or conventions that are supposed to apply to everyone, and not rely on colloquialisms that don’t say what they mean, and might exclude possibilities that the rules are suppose to allow for. Paizo has clearly made leaps and bounds to apply this principle to the core rule book. They also could still do better.

The point of this thread was to help them do something they have already...

Then what you're talking about has nothing to do with ableism, at least in the sense that it is a real world issue that affects real world people. What you are talking about is future proofing in case Paizo decides to publish a player facing new precise sense. Which is a danger I suppose, but considering 17th level blindfolds only give you darkvision right now it seems unlikely for the foreseeable future.

And I think evoking the specter of real world discrimination for a conversation about pure mechanics is in rather poor taste.


Unicore wrote:
Assuming that it is common sense that a wall of force would stop sound or scent is far from a common consensus of opinions. Can I bang on the wall to make sound on the other side? What if the wall does not enclose the target? sound very easily travels through physical objects and around corners as can smells.

Wall of Force says it blocks physical effects. Assuming it blocks a corridor or something similar rather than just being a barrier in a vast space you can just go around, it definately blocks scent (although you would be able to follow a scent trail up to the barrier if it was left prior to the wall being formed), and there is a very reasonable argument for it to block sound, and while I wouldn't argue against a position of "you can bang on the wall of force to make noise on the other side" I certain don't feel you have any supporting evidence for that position.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Unicore wrote:
Trying to apply advanced physics to magical effects as an assumption of common sense is going to result in a lot of problematic bickering. Assuming that it is common sense that a wall of force would stop sound or scent is far from a common consensus of opinions. Can I bang on the wall to make sound on the other side? What if the wall does not enclose the target? sound very easily travels through physical objects and around corners as can smells. The details of this do not need to be spelled out in every instance if the general idea is that a magical effect does or does not generally impact perception, only if it is intentionally meant to impact specific kinds of perception.

This is a fair response, but then my question becomes this: Do you really expect your changes to spell descriptions to have any relevant effect on the amount of "problematic bickering" that would ensue? I also still do not quite see how this is a matter of ableism in any cases that are not completely analogous to the Magic Missile thing (of which I, to be frank, do not know how many there are).

To illustrate this: The issues you bring up regarding the Wall of Force spell can be reduced, as far as I can see, to two questions:
1. Does the wall form an airtight seal at its common edges with other structures?
2. Is the wall able to transmit vibrations?

Note first that answering these questions in the spell description would solve all issues related to scent or hearing that you bring up, but only *in reference to the wall itself* - to answer them completely, you would actually need values for transmittance of vibrations through, at the very least, any common materials for walls, as well was for permeability for substances (though this one, I would assume, can safely be taken to be zero for most situations). But this is clearly infeasible, so really, even addressing all issues like this in the spell description would still leave the vast majority of situations a judgment call - and that is fine!

My second point is this: whether you answer these questions in terms of senses or in terms of the underlying physics or whatever-which-way *does not matter*. To frame the issue as one of ableism is, in my eyes, dishonest. It is solely and entirely a rules issue, and I, for one, find the formulation used in the finalized spell to be a very workable compromise between accuracy and economy of space.

As a final point: I do not think the basic mechanisms of hearing and smell are particularly advanced physics. But this issue could be solved by specifying how hearing, smell, and sight typically work in the chapter on senses - which, as it happens, is what other people have already suggested in this thread.


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Yeah, this really doesn't feel like an issue of ableism. Maybe unclear wording, but I don't think anyone is going to read the CRB and say "blind people = bad and stuff".


Helmic wrote:
Magic Missile without the line of sight restriction is just stronger, going around things like solid walls changes the spell in a significant way.

Line of effect, pg#457: "When creating an effect, you usually need an unblocked path to the target of a spell, the origin point of an effect’s area, or the place where you create something with a spell or other ability. This is called a line of effect. You have line of effect unless a creature is entirely behind a solid physical barrier. Visibility doesn’t matter for line of effect, nor do portcullises and other barriers that aren’t totally solid. If you’re unsure whether a barrier is solid enough, usually a 1-foot-square gap is enough to maintain a line of effect, though the GM makes the final call. In an area effect, creatures or targets."

So you can't fire around a corner as the target is "behind a solid physical barrier". If magic missile would go around corners then so would fireballs: you could send a fireball around 16 corners if you wished if line of effect isn't a straight line.


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Artofregicide wrote:
Yeah, this really doesn't feel like an issue of ableism. Maybe unclear wording, but I don't think anyone is going to read the CRB and say "blind people = bad and stuff".

Ableism isn't that you actively denigrate blind people, it's that blind people are not actively included. All this talk - just scroll up for like 20 examples - about how sight is "standard" or "default" is exactly what ableism is trying to fight against.

That the wording isn't clear is exactly what the OP is complaining about. It doesn't actively include the disabled; it just assumes people have all 5 senses by default and doesn't clearly include those who don't.

To be clear, the world is full of ableist language. It wouldn't be noteworthy if Paizo made no effort. But they say they want to, and there are relatively minor changes they can do to accomplish what they say is their goal.


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Watery Soup wrote:


Ableism isn't that you actively denigrate blind people, it's that blind people are not actively included. All this talk - just scroll up for like 20 examples - about how sight is "standard" or "default" is exactly what ableism is trying to fight against.

Ableism is literally discrimination designed to favor able bodied people at the expense of those who aren't. Things like unnecessarily small font, or access points into buildings that are difficult for people with various mobility issues to traverse are ableist.

Having default assumptions about how tasks are performed by most characters in a game is not that.

Your suggestion wouldn't even make sight any less of the default sense either. It would just require rewording a bunch of stuff for no real gain.


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Watery Soup wrote:
Ableism isn't that you actively denigrate blind people, it's that blind people are not actively included.

Fat people are not mentioned anywhere in the CRB and there are no rules to support playing a fat character. I declare Pathfinder 2e to be fat-phobic, by your definition.

This is clearly not the case and sounds completely silly.

Watery Soup wrote:
All this talk - just scroll up for like 20 examples - about how sight is "standard" or "default" is exactly what ableism is trying to fight against.

The existence of a standard, default, or normal character does not exclude characters who do not conform to that default. Including rules in order to support variations is how you create inclusivity. It isn't any kind of 'ism' to understand that there is a statistical normal that applies to most people and to make that the default, as that will be the situation most characters find themselves in.

Watery Soup wrote:
That the wording isn't clear is exactly what the OP is complaining about. It doesn't actively include the disabled; it just assumes people have all 5 senses by default and doesn't clearly include those who don't.

Except where it clearly does include other types of senses while describing possible alternate rules for other senses.

Watery Soup wrote:
To be clear, the world is full of ableist language. It wouldn't be noteworthy if Paizo made no effort. But they say they want to, and there are relatively minor changes they can do to accomplish what they say is their goal.

The changes you think might be minor would effect the structure, length, and composition of the book in a major way.


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Unicore wrote:
Using sight as a presumed sense is bad game design

With that sort of mindset, didn't they already fail the social justice requirements by not having braille or audiobook versions of their core books?


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Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Using sight as a presumed sense is bad game design
With that sort of mindset, didn't they already fail the social justice requirements by not having braille or audiobook versions of their core books?

Oof. Carrying around a braille CRB would be an absolute nightmare and a half. That's talking somewhere like four suitcases' worth of material, and woe betide you if you forget which folder goes into which suitcase ... You'll never get those things sorted straight. And that's not even counting the bestiary.

Think I'll stick with their accessible PDFs, myself.

Although, hauling around nine suitcases whenever I wanted to game would make me most swoll...


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If we are highlighting ableist language, is the assumption that most people walk ableism as well? Plenty of RL people are not able to stride throughout the world for a variety of reasons and use wheelchairs to get around.

Genuine question (it may seem absurd but I swear this is a question made in good faith): Should dungeons be wheelchair accessible?

Now hear me out. IRL sexism was rampant (and many would say it still is) throughout European medieval society. Feel free to correct me, but I believe even during America's early history sexism was the norm. AFAIK Paizo chooses not to mimic that. Probably because many people suffer sexism IRL and don't want it in their leisure game. The only times I've seen sexism portrayed, it is almost always done so in a negative way.

Given Paizo leaves out sexism from their games (except to demonstrate how bad it is), should Paizo make their dungeons wheelchair accessible so that players who choose to play a wheelchair bound character aren't forced to go through the trials and tribulations in their leisure game that they do IRL because a lot of the world is designed in an ablist way (whether deliberately or not).

For a RL example: Australia's parliament house is not wheelchair accessible in many, many areas. We have at least one wheelchair using politician who is forced to work in an environment that was built only for the able-bodied. Why should Paizo put out products that reinforce that negative behaviour towards wheelchair bound people? Instead of creating dungeons that are non-ablist?

If anyone thinks this is taking the piss, or if I have caused offense to anyone in any way, I apologise. This is a genuine thought from me and I'm curious what those who are advocating for non-ablist language with regards to perception think about ableism when it comes to how the very world is designed.


John Lynch 106 wrote:

If we are highlighting ableist language, is the assumption that most people walk ableism as well? Plenty of RL people are not able to stride throughout the world for a variety of reasons and use wheelchairs to get around.

Genuine question (it may seem absurd but I swear this is a question made in good faith): Should dungeons be wheelchair accessible?

Now hear me out. IRL sexism was rampant (and many would say it still is) throughout European medieval society. Feel free to correct me, but I believe even during America's early history sexism was the norm. AFAIK Paizo chooses not to mimic that. Probably because many people suffer sexism IRL and don't want it in their leisure game. The only times I've seen sexism portrayed, it is almost always done so in a negative way.

Given Paizo leaves out sexism from their games (except to demonstrate how bad it is), should Paizo make their dungeons wheelchair accessible so that players who choose to play a wheelchair bound character aren't forced to go through the trials and tribulations in their leisure game that they do IRL because a lot of the world is designed in an ablist way (whether deliberately or not).

For a RL example: Australia's parliament house is not wheelchair accessible in many, many areas. We have at least one wheelchair using politician who is forced to work in an environment that was built only for the able-bodied. Why should Paizo put out products that reinforce that negative behaviour towards wheelchair bound people? Instead of creating dungeons that are non-ablist?

If anyone thinks this is taking the piss, or if I have caused offense to anyone in any way, I apologise. This is a genuine thought from me and I'm curious what those who are advocating for non-ablist language with regards to perception think about ableism when it comes to how the very world is designed.

This actually opens up a lot of more questions. Do characters deal with bulk differently? Should blind characters get Blind-fighting for free? Is a half-elf useless because all it gains is low-light vision? Should there be permanenet overland speed/climb/swim modifiers for some characters? Is it realistic for a blind adventurer without blind-fighting to actually pursue adventuring instead of using Lore and Knowledge skills for income?


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A lot of interesting points have been brought up and are being discussed in good faith. I wish to respond to many of them, but have 100 papers to grade by the end of the week and am not rolling any 20s on my academic lore checks. I will hopefully be back to this later this week


Unicore wrote:
...and am not rolling any 20s on my academic lore checks.

You didn't take Assurance for it?!


Watery Soup wrote:
Artofregicide wrote:
Yeah, this really doesn't feel like an issue of ableism. Maybe unclear wording, but I don't think anyone is going to read the CRB and say "blind people = bad and stuff".

Ableism isn't that you actively denigrate blind people, it's that blind people are not actively included. All this talk - just scroll up for like 20 examples - about how sight is "standard" or "default" is exactly what ableism is trying to fight against.

That the wording isn't clear is exactly what the OP is complaining about. It doesn't actively include the disabled; it just assumes people have all 5 senses by default and doesn't clearly include those who don't.

To be clear, the world is full of ableist language. It wouldn't be noteworthy if Paizo made no effort. But they say they want to, and there are relatively minor changes they can do to accomplish what they say is their goal.

I appreciate that you and folks like you are trying to help, but (personal opinion) you're really not helping and you aren't doing a good job of representing our community. I mean this with only the best of intentions. Thanks!

EDIT: kinda feels like we're getting into hot water here, so if you want to continue this conversation PM me?


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vagabond_666 wrote:
Wording things so that they are capable of being interpreted as also working for magical senses, or the level of hearing possessed by bats or whatever, will just make the CRB even more clunky and annoying to read than it already is.

Then all Paizo really needs to do is clarify that it's not their intention to use inclusive language, and then it wouldn't be a problem that it doesn't exist.

Quote:
I fail to see what is wrong with their "assume sight is the default, and in the rare case a monster has a sense that is as good as sight or better, reinterpret things as required".

Because players end up at the discretion/mercy of the GM.

Is echolocation as good as sight? More importantly, what happens if one GM says yes, and another says no?

If the player pool consisted of isolated groups playing separately, agreed, no problem. Each GM rules the way they want. You might have a deaf-friendly GM who appeases the deaf gamers, and another GM that grants his powergaming players superpowers in return for being deaf. And as long as those players never have to interact with each other, there's no problem.

But that's not the way it is. At the very least, someone in Pathfinder Society is going to have to make a universal ruling. It'd be better for Paizo to make that decision up front and codify it in the books.

Ultimately, I kind of agree with you - I think the easiest way to solve it is by inserting a line somewhere and explicitly saying, "for characters without vision, X, Y, and Z can count as 'sight'." It should go in the same section as "we alternate between using 'he' and 'she' as pronouns, they are not meant to limit the accessibility to any gender."

But it should be explicitly in the text somewhere - not assumed.


Is it actually legal to play a blind PC in PFS2?

Might be worth petitioning the PFS leaders on that and finding out what reasonable rulings you should feel empowered to make as a PFS GM.

Unfortunately I can foresee someone trying to munchkin their way through things “oh my friend to.d me this adventure has a basilisk, so Ms GM who is GMing me in an out of state con and will never see me again my character is blind.”

It’s not an argument against including such characters. Just an unfortunate observation on the mentality some players have (fortunately they do appear to be in the minority).


Would a definition help?

ableism noun
able·​ism | \ ˈā-bə-ˌli-zəm

\
Definition of ableism
: discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities

Continue on... ;)


Tallyn wrote:

Would a definition help?

ableism noun
able·​ism | \ ˈā-bə-ˌli-zəm

\
Definition of ableism
: discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities

Continue on... ;)

this might be slightly more helpful:

Ableist
Adjective
UK /ˈeɪ.bə.lɪst/ US /ˈeɪ.bə.lɪst/

treating people unfairly because they have a disability (= an illness, injury, or condition that makes it difficult for them to do things that most other people can do):
An ableist society is one that treats non-disabled individuals as the standard of “normal living”.
Examples of ableist language include “crazy,” “lame,” and “dumb".


Yeah, ableism typically isn't "I think blind people don't deserve to exist." It's a refusal to make reasonable accommodations and an assumption that those who are able-bodied are the default to be catered to. Or it might involve someone deciding to be a dick to someone for being "weird" and then it turns out by targeting "weird" people they coincidentally kept giving autistic or otherwise neurodivergent people s~$~.

Anyone saying nonsense like "well actually it's the people complaining about ableism that are the real ableists!" are full of it. You can talk about the mechanical obstacles to making blind PC's just as good, because that's actually a difficult thing to pull off without making it an avenue for cheese, but that's different than attacking the motivation for wanting such a change.

And no, it's not "ableism" to have what are effectively superheroes do superheroic things - your one blind friend saying they dislike it doesn't disqualify everyone who does want to see someone like themselves doing superheroic stuff. If someone doesn't want to play Daredevil, they don't have to, but there's plenty of folk who would like to play a character who is like themselves and also going on cool-ass adventures without feeling like they have to make themselves worse mechanically to do so.


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I feel like there is a pretty clear difference between being inclusive as far as all players are concerned versus being inclusive as far as all characters are concerned. Watery Soup, you're conflating the two and it feels pretty problematic.

A failure for Paizo being inclusive to its players was having it's playtest action icons not work be compatible with screen readers, a mistake they have since corrected.

The rules assuming player characters have sight does not exclude blind players. It excludes blind characters. And it does that because doing otherwise can get problematic fast, for reasons that have already been discussed. Most of the players with disabilities who have identified themselves in this thread (and those I know in real life) seem to prefer Paizo's approach to turning disabilities into super powers. That's admittedly just anecdotal, but it does demonstrate that there isn't universal support for giving blind characters echolocation or what have you.

And Paizo hasn't shied away from using disabled characters as NPCs either. But they tend to be quest givers rather than active adventurers themselves, because adventuring is simply not conducive to do otherwise. Trying to make it otherwise rapidly becomes disrespectful to people who actually have to deal with these issues.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
A failure for Paizo being inclusive to its players was having it's playtest action icons not work be compatible with screen readers, a mistake they have since corrected.

Man I love this correction so much. I was dreading having to try to read the CRB with all those funky 'A' icons from before that would usually show up as a number or a blank space.

In the same vein Paizo is also taking steps to make their site more accessible, as well, and it's great.

It's honestly these little quality of life, and quality of product improvements that have me recommending Pathfinder to all my sighted and nonsighted friends alike.


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You can't make rules to accomodate for any possible circumstances, even less for any possible imagined circumstances since we are talking about fictional characters. It quickly becomes an unplayable mess.

What you can do is leaving the rules open enough that a good GM will be able to handle their particular situation. I think Paizo did this well.


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Artofregicide wrote:
you're really not helping and you aren't doing a good job of representing our community.

Depending on how you define "our", I may not disagree.

If you think this topic is too "hot," then let me use a parallel example: Paizo has made it clear they are not including people who primarily speak languages other than English. Their exclusion isn't a value judgement, it's just a practicality. Characters speak "Common," and Common is English. The rule books are not translated. It would be hard to run a game with an English-only speaker and a Spanish-only speaker.

And to my knowledge, although some ex-US players are sad, very few are mad. But it'd be different if Paizo said they were supporting Spanish speakers, and then put out an awkwardly translated CRB. Or translated part of it and just said "use your best judgement in adjusting everything else."

Furthermore, if Paizo did choose to put out a poorly translated CRB, and when Spanish-speakers complained, a bunch of English-speakers on the forums complained about how most people speak English so deal with it, Spanish-speakers would feel excluded.

You're correct that I don't speak for you - or many others in this thread. The question is whether I am part of "our" community, or whether people like my son (who has congenital hearing loss) are part of "our" community. To be clear, it's cool if we're not. I am not threatening to boycott or show up with torches and pitchforks. I am asking Paizo to either scale back their promises or make some minor wording changes.


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Watery Soup wrote:
I am asking Paizo to either scale back their promises or make some minor wording changes.

And it's cool that you feel that way, but acting as though you're speaking for everyone with similar issues and as though your perception is an objective fact about the situation isn't conducive to a healthy or meaningful discussion on the topic.

Insulting people who don't share your viewpoint certainly isn't either.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If Paizo wants to be inclusive, they shouldn't be cluttering up the Core Rulebook with a whole bunch of extra rules that 95% of roleplayers aren't going to use. That will just decrease ease of use, and thus sales. Instead, they should make a dedicated book that includes such rules for those who are interested in using them. That way, Paizo makes more money, nobody is sloughing through piles of rules excess they'll never need, and everyone has what they need to play what they want.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Watery Soup wrote:
Ultimately, I kind of agree with you - I think the easiest way to solve it is by inserting a line somewhere and explicitly saying, "for characters without vision, X, Y, and Z can count as 'sight'."

This is not a workable solution. Other senses are not equivalent to sight, and just putting them on the same level whenever sight is not available diminishes the struggles of actual blind people.

Watery Soup wrote:
Artofregicide wrote:
you're really not helping and you aren't doing a good job of representing our community.

Depending on how you define "our", I may not disagree.

If you think this topic is too "hot," then let me use a parallel example: Paizo has made it clear they are not including people who primarily speak languages other than English. Their exclusion isn't a value judgement, it's just a practicality. Characters speak "Common," and Common is English. The rule books are not translated. It would be hard to run a game with an English-only speaker and a Spanish-only speaker.

And to my knowledge, although some ex-US players are sad, very few are mad. But it'd be different if Paizo said they were supporting Spanish speakers, and then put out an awkwardly translated CRB. Or translated part of it and just said "use your best judgement in adjusting everything else."

Furthermore, if Paizo did choose to put out a poorly translated CRB, and when Spanish-speakers complained, a bunch of English-speakers on the forums complained about how most people speak English so deal with it, Spanish-speakers would feel excluded.

You're correct that I don't speak for you - or many others in this thread. The question is whether I am part of "our" community, or whether people like my son (who has congenital hearing loss) are part of "our" community. To be clear, it's cool if we're not. I am not threatening to boycott or show up with torches and pitchforks. I am asking Paizo to either scale back their promises or make some minor wording changes.

This analogy is exactly the kind of thing Captain Morgan was talking about, so just to reiterate:

Captain Morgan wrote:
I feel like there is a pretty clear difference between being inclusive as far as all players are concerned versus being inclusive as far as all characters are concerned. Watery Soup, you're conflating the two and it feels pretty problematic.


swoosh wrote:
Watery Soup wrote:
I am asking Paizo to either scale back their promises or make some minor wording changes.

And it's cool that you feel that way, but acting as though you're speaking for everyone with similar issues and as though your perception is an objective fact about the situation isn't conducive to a healthy or meaningful discussion on the topic.

Insulting people who don't share your viewpoint certainly isn't either.

I don't really have a horse in this particular race, but I feel like you're misconstruing Watery Soup's words here. From what I've seen in this thread, Watery Soup has presented their arguments in a calm and rational way. They are points that I'm not everyone will agree with, but at no point did I see them insulting others or claiming to speak for the entire disabled community. (I can see how the last paragraph might imply that, but the context of that is just Watery Soup and their son from my interpretation)


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painted_green wrote:
This is not a workable solution. Other senses are not equivalent to sight, and just putting them on the same level whenever sight is not available diminishes the struggles of actual blind people.

Do you want to be a hero fighting darkness in a fantasy world or do you want a realistic depiction of the struggles of disabled people, because you can't have both.


Donovan Du Bois wrote:
painted_green wrote:
This is not a workable solution. Other senses are not equivalent to sight, and just putting them on the same level whenever sight is not available diminishes the struggles of actual blind people.
Do you want to be a hero fighting darkness in a fantasy world or do you want a realistic depiction of the struggles of disabled people, because you can't have both.

I find an archetype that leans into alternate methods of finding and targeting opponents during a fight regardless of class appropriate to both.


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Garretmander wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
painted_green wrote:
This is not a workable solution. Other senses are not equivalent to sight, and just putting them on the same level whenever sight is not available diminishes the struggles of actual blind people.
Do you want to be a hero fighting darkness in a fantasy world or do you want a realistic depiction of the struggles of disabled people, because you can't have both.
I find an archetype that leans into alternate methods of finding and targeting opponents during a fight regardless of class appropriate to both.

That would involve comparing other senses to sight or make them supernatural in some way. This would be "diminishing the struggles of actual blind people." as I understand his argument.


Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Garretmander wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
painted_green wrote:
This is not a workable solution. Other senses are not equivalent to sight, and just putting them on the same level whenever sight is not available diminishes the struggles of actual blind people.
Do you want to be a hero fighting darkness in a fantasy world or do you want a realistic depiction of the struggles of disabled people, because you can't have both.
I find an archetype that leans into alternate methods of finding and targeting opponents during a fight regardless of class appropriate to both.
That would involve comparing other senses to sight or make them supernatural in some way. This would be "diminishing the struggles of actual blind people." as I understand his argument.

That's why I was thinking a mechanical cost (class feats) to being blind, but still effective as an adventurer. You are the old man on top of the mountain/daredevil/specific flavor of your choice.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
I feel like there is a pretty clear difference between being inclusive as far as all players are concerned versus being inclusive as far as all characters are concerned.

Amen. People play games for entertainment, not to re-enact all the things about real life that are distinctly un-fun. That would include dealing with disabilities, doing their taxes or worrying about layoffs at work, for example. Suggesting that Paizo have a framework in place to enable such things is just nonsense. I, for one, would not play a game geared toward immersive tedium.


Captain Morgan wrote:
I feel like there is a pretty clear difference between being inclusive as far as all players are concerned versus being inclusive as far as all characters are concerned. Watery Soup, you're conflating the two and it feels pretty problematic.

Well, no, actually, it's a desire to see characters like ourselves in fiction, and in TTRPG's being able to play characters who aren't "95% of players" is a pretty important part of getting to play characters who are in some way like ourselves without being asked to just be worse than others.

I'm extremely opposed to this accusation that wanting to play characters like ourselves is somehow a f!@~ing problem. It's not, it's that desire to make sure those who are different know their place to avoid making this "tedius" for those that consider themselves normal that I see as a problem.

It's fair enough if you're uninterested in playing such a character, if you think of it as entertaining as doing your taxes. But don't speak on behalf of those who would like to play such characters. We're not being "problematic" by expecting the same representation other groups get, and while there are mechanical issues that might make that more difficult, the effort to make it more possible shouldn't be treated as a bad thing.


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I'm just going to slowly back out of here... I'm not getting into a debate on what would theoretically trigger/upset a theoretical blind/deaf/ect indeterminate gender, ethnic origins and socioeconomic status. That's not a landmine I'm willing to throw myself on. :P


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Helmic wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I feel like there is a pretty clear difference between being inclusive as far as all players are concerned versus being inclusive as far as all characters are concerned. Watery Soup, you're conflating the two and it feels pretty problematic.

Well, no, actually, it's a desire to see characters like ourselves in fiction, and in TTRPG's being able to play characters who aren't "95% of players" is a pretty important part of getting to play characters who are in some way like ourselves without being asked to just be worse than others.

I'm extremely opposed to this accusation that wanting to play characters like ourselves is somehow a f*~&ing problem. It's not, it's that desire to make sure those who are different know their place to avoid making this "tedius" for those that consider themselves normal that I see as a problem.

It's fair enough if you're uninterested in playing such a character, if you think of it as entertaining as doing your taxes. But don't speak on behalf of those who would like to play such characters. We're not being "problematic" by expecting the same representation other groups get, and while there are mechanical issues that might make that more difficult the effort to make it more possible shouldn't be treated as a bad thing.

But how is it representation if the character is not actually disabled? As far as I can tell, all you want to do is play a run-of-the-mill character with all the normal mechanics, slap the label "blind" on it, and go on your merry way. If that's how you want to flavor it and your GM is fine with it, go right ahead. But do you honestly think this would be a good idea for an official implementation of such characters? Do you not see any issue with building trivialization of disabilities right into the core rules? Or am I misunderstanding your intent here?


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Helmic wrote:
We're not being "problematic" by expecting the same representation other groups get

You do have the same representation though.

The rules for blind and deaf characters are on pages 618 and 619.

The optional rules for running a character with disabilities as though they aren't disabled (your dare-devil type scenario) are in a side bar on page 487.


Helmic wrote:


Well, no, actually, it's a desire to see characters like ourselves in fiction, and in TTRPG's being able to play characters who aren't "95% of players" is a pretty important part of getting to play characters who are in some way like ourselves without being asked to just be worse than others.

I'm extremely opposed to this accusation that wanting to play characters like ourselves is somehow a f@$!ing problem. It's not, it's that desire to make sure those who are different know their place to avoid making this "tedius" for those that consider themselves normal that I see as a problem.

It's fair enough if you're uninterested in playing such a character, if you think of it as entertaining as doing your taxes.

But don't speak on behalf of those who would like to play such characters. We're not being "problematic" by expecting the same representation other groups get, and while there are mechanical issues that might make that more difficult the effort to make it more possible shouldn't be treated as a bad thing.

I've clearly hit a nerve here, and I apologize. I'm not quite sure how to untangle this particular knot, because I wasn't addressing you with my post and your attributing stuff that mrspaghetti said to me in there. Your previous post also popped up while I was typing my own, and I didn't get a chance to address the points it raised.

I am not trying to say that it is a problem for people to want to play characters like themselves. I do take some issue with the idea that Paizo is failing to live up to their rhetoric on gaming being for all, which is what Watery Soup is saying. "Being welcoming of all players" and "able to make all characters" feel like two pretty different things, and the CRB can do its best on the former but clearly just can't on the latter.

As you yourself mention, there are some pretty intense mechanical difficulties in creating a balanced way to play disabilities. And these mechanical issues bump up against political issues as well. One part of these difficulties is that what is balanced for one character isn't balanced for another. The needs of a blind swordsman vs a blind AoE caster seem very different.

Which is why I think the CRB probably did as past that could be expected from a new system still ironing out the kinks: give some suggestions for ways to respectfully represent disabilities, but ultimately leave it up to the GM and players to work out what makes sense for their table.

I think it would be cool if Paizo commissioned a book with disabled authors to try and figure out ways to do the full blown Dare Devil thing and try to get those mechanical and political balances just right. But I think it feels like reaching to say Paizo has over-promised or under-delivered because they didn't have that solution ready to go in the CRB.


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Yeah. I think a great many things are being combined together. Three things as far as I can tell.

----------

The original topic, and the one I am promoting, is that the targeting rules should be consistent in the CRB. Yes, this is for future-proofing.

When an expansion book presents the Batfolk ancestry that has hearing as a precise sense and vision as an imprecise sense, can a Batfolk Wizard cast Magic Missile? At the moment, no - because the Batfolk character cannot 'see' the target and therefore cannot target them.

----------

But I think it is a mistake to think that this inconsistency in the rules is a discrimination against players with vision disabilities.

----------

However, there is a lot of ableist mentality - including in the gaming community. That is a minor problem that we as a group really should be at least aware of.

My example:

I was watching a 'how to GM' video. The presenter was talking about getting player involvement in describing events. He mentioned that a player wanted his character to make an intimidation check. He (as GM) told the player to come up with the intimidating line that his character said. The player balked at that and couldn't come up with anything. So the GM kept pushing it, effectively saying that if the player couldn't come up with something to say, then the character couldn't make the intimidate check.

And I thought to myself, 'wait. The player playing a wizard doesn't have to demonstrate that they can conjure fire from their hands in order to cast a fireball. The player playing a rogue doesn't have to be able to do stunts while hanging from a rope in order to make acrobatics checks. The player playing a barbarian doesn't have to demonstrate that they can scale the building in order to make climb checks.

So why do I have to be able to spontaneously craft a sentence that a fictitious person would find intimidating in order for my character to make an intimidate check?'

I'm not trying to be disparaging. If I could remember which Youtuber it was, I would still highly recommend his series. I'm just trying to point out how subtle and insidious ableist thinking can be.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

I've clearly hit a nerve here, and I apologize. I'm not quite sure how to untangle this particular knot, because I wasn't addressing you with my post and your attributing stuff that mrspaghetti said to me in there. Your previous post also popped up while I was typing my own, and I didn't get a chance to address the points it raised.

I am not trying to say that it is a problem for people to want to play characters like themselves. I do take some issue with the idea that Paizo is failing to live up to their rhetoric on gaming being for all, which is what Watery Soup is saying. "Being welcoming of all players" and "able to make all characters" feel like two pretty different things, and the CRB can do its best on the former but clearly just can't on the latter.

As you yourself mention, there are some pretty intense mechanical difficulties in creating a balanced way to play disabilities. And these mechanical issues bump up against political issues as well. One part of these difficulties is that what is balanced for one character isn't balanced for another. The needs of a blind swordsman vs a blind AoE caster seem very different.

Which is why I think the CRB probably did as past that could be expected from a new system still ironing out the kinks: give some suggestions for ways to respectfully represent disabilities, but ultimately leave it up to the GM and players to work out what makes sense for their table.

I think it would be cool if Paizo commissioned a book with disabled authors to try and figure out ways to do the full blown Dare Devil thing and try to get those mechanical and political balances just right. But I think it feels like reaching to say Paizo has over-promised or under-delivered because they didn't have that solution ready to go in the CRB.

I'm glad at least my frustration got through, it didn't seem like it was being taken that seriously before in my other posts asking people to stop.

The problem is not that people have concerns about what a rules tweak here would look like. The problem is the constant arguments that it's somehow wrong or immoral to ask for better. And because it was argued that it was wrong for Watery Soup to make those argumetns in the first place, we got a thread that mirrors a lot of my own experiences with ableisms in other online spaces.

The problem is that bringing up our concerns is treated as this big burden, something that'll "add bloat" or won't be useful to most players and therefore it should not exist and we should shut up about it. It comes up when GaMERs complain about newer online games having text to speech support, it comes up when people criticize a game's s~%#ty colorblind modes (DOOM 2016 literally had a colorblind filter that just simulated colorblindness, it was useless), it comes up when people criticize a game's subtitles being inaccurate. There's a bunch of people who find our presence an annoynace and will try to shut down our discussions.

Your idea that there's a difference between "being welcoming of all players" an "able to make all players" is very fundamentally flawed, becuase that argument would not hold up for identities involving race, sexual oritentation, gender identity, age, whatever. Being able to sufficiently play a character like yourself is a requirement for the system to be actually welcoming, and so when people comment how playing someone different would be like filling taxes it sends a pretty hostile message. You may not have made the worst comments, but that's the kind of post that was following up your sentiment.

Again, I'm fine if people want to talk about the mechanical difficulties in handling blindness or deafness specifcially. My own first post in this thread talks about just that But it's not OK to try to silence someone by arguing that they're immoral for criticizing Paizo on this, or alluding that they're the "real ableist" because someone has a blind friend that dislikes Daredevil. Disability is not a monolith, and those who would like to play disabled characters while remaining optimized are not wrong to have that desire, and any acommodations that make that possible without disrupting the game as a whole are worth discussing.


So I'm gonna preface by saying I'm genuinely trying to learn here, but I don't want to make you responsible for educating me. Given the pretty significant variance of opinions on this, even within the community, I'm not sure how I should best educate myself, but that's not really your problem. As such, I'm gonna hand you a "shut up Captain" card you can play, at which point I won't post in this thread again.

Helmic wrote:
Your idea that there's a difference between "being welcoming of all players" an "able to make all players" is very fundamentally flawed, becuase that argument would not hold up for identities involving race, sexual oritentation, gender identity, age, whatever. Being able to sufficiently play a character like yourself is a requirement for the system to be actually welcoming,

There are some pretty significant mechanical differences between some of the disabilities being discussed and those other traits, though. Like, how would you even begin to approach characters who are in a wheelchair? Or a character who has lost most of their motor functions? That seems to be the logical extension of what we are discussing, and I really no clue what those characters would look like, and I find the idea that this problem need's to be solved in order for wheelchair bound players to feel included really, really depressing. Maybe you've thought about this before and have some ideas already though?

Quote:
and so when people comment how playing someone different would be like filling taxes it sends a pretty hostile message. You may not have made the worst comments, but that's the kind of post that was following up your sentiment.

Yeah, that's not a great look. It is certainly enough to make me rethink the sentiment.

Quote:
But it's not OK to try to silence someone by arguing that they're immoral for criticizing Paizo on this, or alluding that they're the "real ableist" because someone has a blind friend that dislikes Daredevil.

Fair enough.

Quote:
Disability is not a monolith, and those who would like to play disabled characters while remaining optimized are not wrong to have that desire, and any acommodations that make that possible without disrupting the game as a whole are worth discussing.

The bolded part is absolutely true, and something I've tried to get across in my own posts. But that also cuts both ways. That desire isn't wrong, but there are other people who may be offended if Paizo publishes an option that trivializes their disability. Perhaps that won't be the case if they can hit the right mechanical/political balance, but I'm not even sure what that target would be. Is it it to create an option so mechanically balanced that it offers no real advantage for minmaxers to abuse?

And even then... It seems like some people would still feel like it diminishes or erases their disability, and Paizo would be in hot water with them.

Would this conversation be any better if we just steered it entirely towards trying to figure out these mechanical challenges? Because it seems most of us can agree there are real challenges.


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breithauptclan wrote:
So why do I have to be able to spontaneously craft a sentence that a fictitious person would find intimidating in order for my character to make an intimidate check?'

1) Because either you or the GM needs to come up with something, otherwise the game will become the least engaging thing in existence.

Player: "I try to intimidate the guard"
GM: "Roll the dice"
Player: "I rolled a 12"
GM: "The guard is intimidated."

Wheeee. Fun times.

I cannot imagine that if the person in question had made even the vaguest attempt "I tell the guard to back off or I'll tear his head off", that the GM was going to turn around and say "Eh, not scary enough, you don't get to roll".

2) The fact that you (and plenty of people like you) consider being asked to provide some amount of imaginary conversation in a game about imagining various situations to be "ableism" alongside not making government buildings accessible to people that can't walk, or providing visual material that people can't see properly because of a defect in their vision that could be easily fixed, or whatever else, is why I can't take the term ableism seriously, and why I automatically assume anyone that is using it is either seeking attention, or using it as a rhetorical club to attempt to beat people into agreement with them because they aren't capable of making compelling arguments for their position.


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vagabond_666 wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
So why do I have to be able to spontaneously craft a sentence that a fictitious person would find intimidating in order for my character to make an intimidate check?'

1) Because either you or the GM needs to come up with something, otherwise the game will become the least engaging thing in existence.

Player: "I try to intimidate the guard"
GM: "Roll the dice"
Player: "I rolled a 12"
GM: "The guard is intimidated."

Wheeee. Fun times.

I cannot imagine that if the person in question had made even the vaguest attempt "I tell the guard to back off or I'll tear his head off", that the GM was going to turn around and say "Eh, not scary enough, you don't get to roll".

2) The fact that you (and plenty of people like you) consider being asked to provide some amount of imaginary conversation in a game about imagining various situations to be "ableism" alongside not making government buildings accessible to people that can't walk, or providing visual material that people can't see properly because of a defect in their vision that could be easily fixed, or whatever else, is why I can't take the term ableism seriously, and why I automatically assume anyone that is using it is either seeking attention, or using it as a rhetorical club to attempt to beat people into agreement with them because they aren't capable of making compelling arguments for their position.

No, the GM was obviously being "subtle and insidious". You're a bad person for suggesting any possible alternative, shame on you.

Unfortunately, those seeking reasons to be outraged will always succeed, and those trying to appease them will always fail. The implied accusation against Paizo and the rpg community in this thread is just sad. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a more welcoming, accepting group of people than those who play this game.


graystone wrote:
I'm just going to slowly back out of here... I'm not getting into a debate on what would theoretically trigger/upset a theoretical blind/deaf/ect indeterminate gender, ethnic origins and socioeconomic status. That's not a landmine I'm willing to throw myself on. :P

I'm so proud. Their is a land mine you won't touch! :D


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Helmic wrote:
Being able to sufficiently play a character like yourself is a requirement for the system to be actually welcoming

I dont kniw if you responded to this before (I'm skipping the posts where the argument is getting too heated to avoid becoming embroiled). But it is flat out not possible to play a wheelchair bound hero who goes into standard dungeons as they're not wheelchair accessible.

Do you think dungeons should be wheelchair accessible? It's an adventure design issue after all. There is rarely any story value in having the entrance have a spiraling staircase vs a ramp. So should adventure designers make those choices in favour of wheelchair bound heroes?


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breithauptclan wrote:

Yeah. I think a great many things are being combined together. Three things as far as I can tell.

----------

The original topic, and the one I am promoting, is that the targeting rules should be consistent in the CRB. Yes, this is for future-proofing.

When an expansion book presents the Batfolk ancestry that has hearing as a precise sense and vision as an imprecise sense, can a Batfolk Wizard cast Magic Missile? At the moment, no - because the Batfolk character cannot 'see' the target and therefore cannot target them.

----------

But I think it is a mistake to think that this inconsistency in the rules is a discrimination against players with vision disabilities.

----------

However, there is a lot of ableist mentality - including in the gaming community. That is a minor problem that we as a group really should be at least aware of.

My example:

I was watching a 'how to GM' video. The presenter was talking about getting player involvement in describing events. He mentioned that a player wanted his character to make an intimidation check. He (as GM) told the player to come up with the intimidating line that his character said. The player balked at that and couldn't come up with anything. So the GM kept pushing it, effectively saying that if the player couldn't come up with something to say, then the character couldn't make the intimidate check.

And I thought to myself, 'wait. The player playing a wizard doesn't have to demonstrate that they can conjure fire from their hands in order to cast a fireball. The player playing a rogue doesn't have to be able to do stunts while hanging from a rope in order to make acrobatics checks. The player playing a barbarian doesn't have to demonstrate that they can scale the building in order to make climb checks.

So why do I have to be able to spontaneously craft a sentence that a fictitious person would find intimidating in order for my character to make an intimidate check?'

I'm not trying to be disparaging. If I could remember which...

I hate it when people say "I diplomacise the NPC". It shortcuts the narrative of the game and removes the roleplaying and makes it a board game (which WotC actually did with a simplified version of 4e). So I would do what the DM would do that your complaining about.

I've recently come around and will accept a middle ground: "I talk to the guard and threaten him with physical violence if he doesnt let us pass." Its not short cutting the narrative and its allowing the player to roleplay to the best of their ability.

I'm not going to touch the other responses or discuss whether its ablism. I'm just offering my opinion and method on this precise issue.

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