>or, the dangers of changing groups
I recently joined an online pathfinder game with a new group made mostly of beginners, with a "veteran" GM. They were all longtime online friends of mine (except the GM who was a friend of a friend), so I was fairly comfortable this would be a good game.
The GM said she was going to go hard on us, so we'd better bring our A game. We start at level 8, and the stats would use 6d6 drop lowest 2.
"Wait, hang on, that's a spread of 4-24, not 3-18"
>"I know. You'll need it"
I should've taken that as a warning sign that she didn't know what she was doing, but whatever. The group has already chosen their classes of paladin, cavalier, gunslinger, and bard, so I go wizard cause I've been in groups with a primary casting bard before, and I'm not going into a "hardmode" game with that shit again. Despite the stupidly high stat spreads, I still manage to roll a 9, but I'm a wizard so it's not like it fucking matters that I've got -1 to charisma.
Cavalier is having a hard time, so she asks me to help optimize her sheet. No problem, I've done cavalier before, two hours later and we have a charge attack monster who thanks to her 26 strength (jesus christ these stats, I'm terrified of what this character is supposed to look like) does retardedly high damage all day erry day inside a suit of mithril full plate.
She tells Gunslinger, who shows me his sheet and begs me to help him, cause now he's starting to think guns suck cause no one ever reads the firearm rules and finds out they hit touch AC in their first range increment. A little bit of tinkering, and he's doing respectable regular damage and gets to do Big Boss stealth tricks with his camo darkleaf leathers.
Gunslinger and Cavalier show GM their nifty damage totals, and her terror is palpable through Skype. They finger me and I immediately get pinged with a demand to see the math on why the cavalier can do something like 3d8+75 damage on a charge.
I show her the numbers, explain that it's charge attack damage, explain the firearms rules (again) for the preemptive benefit of gunslinger boy, and then she asks to see my character sheet. I hadn't picked my spells yet, so I was fairly confident I wouldn't have to justify the ungodly combo of heightened dazing snapdragon fireworks, but I'd bought equipment, and most importantly a ring of sustenance.
Now, I didn't mention this before, but her game had a few custom races, one of which was a catfolk person. They seemed more geared towards bards and sorcs with their bonuses to knowledge skills, but they could take a plus to int instead of charisma at their choosing, and also got a fairly hefty bonus to spells per day, which suited me nicely, cause I was going to eat though higher level spell slots like no tomorrow.
>"Anon, you made a cat that doesn't like to sleep?"
It was at this point that I realized I had chosen her "cutesy" race among the stable of this setting's people, quite by mistake. I've been listening to HP Lovecraft books on tape at work, so I had inadvertently made the equivalent of a Final Fantasy moogle into a dour, brooding antiquarian who poured over tomes and researched knowledge tiny cat thing was not meant to know for the greater good of science.
So I explained that he stays up all night doing research, brooding, watching camp, and preparing spells, and his experience with the horrors beyond the stars makes him not want to sleep more than necessary. Gunslinger bro chimes in with "Come on, Anon's GM, cat's are supposed to be curious", and this seems to satisfy her. I make a mental note to cast haste on him first.
The rest is questions about how I got so much gear with 36k gold (craft wondrous item, combined with "there's a shitload of wondrous items wizards can buy when they don't need to care about weapons or armor"), and then she's satisfied.
The next day, I get a ping on skype. GM wants me to optimize an NPC for her.
>GM wants me to optimize an NPC for her
I already love this story, and we're only at chargen. Continue, please.
I know, right? I'm really glad she hasn't seen the stupid wizard tricks I'm planning.
Which leads me to today.
I don't know how this NPC is going to play into things, but I'm told she's "pretty important" and that she wasn't going to be in the game till later. I ask about the NPC to the group excluding her, and I learn she's Cavalier girl's idol, and reason for becoming a hero.
So I'm either building her a DMPC who's going to save the day, or the secretly even boss of the adventure. I make a mental note that I'll probably end up having to kill her eventually in either case, and open up her sheet.
She's a ranger who uses crossbows.
She doesn't have an animal companion.
>She's a ranger who uses crossbows.
>She doesn't have an animal companion.
>She's a ranger who uses crossbows.
>She doesn't have an animal companion.
>She's a ranger who uses crossbows.
>She doesn't have an animal companion.
I tried really hard to make a ranger use a crossbow well. I really tried. She asked how to make the weapon do more damage, and I said "buy a bow and throw it away", but she was really married to the idea of using a crossbow. I had to tell her that manyshot couldn't be used with it. I explained that rangers are either bow rangers focused on putting more arrows downrange or dual wielding rangers that specialize in being shitty, and that she really wanted a crossbow specializing figher if she wanted to use the thing we give to low level wizards who are out of today's spells.
So we scrap it and make a fighter, cause that's what she really wants to do, apparently. I chuckle to myself that she figures her lowest stat of 14 belongs in wisdom, and (one of) her 19s should definitely go into charisma. (remember, 6d6 drop 2)
Side tangent here, but why do rookies (and I know that she's probably lying about being a veteran at this point) always ignore the fighter, and never like dumping charisma? Charisma is by no means as worthless as some munchkins make it out to be, but if you're a fighter designed to pump bolts downrange you really don't need to bother. It's either charisma or int that they cling to, from my experience.
Poor fighters never get played by newbies, it seems.
At least when it comes to PF, people ignore the fighter because they're told that 3.PF is a caster's world and only a caster's world. As for not wanting to dump cha I couldn't tell you. I guess they overestimate how much it will come up in games.
spirited charge, belt of giant's strength +4, power attack, having a base strength of fucking 26.
So I twist it a bit, I have to steer her away from shit like arc pistols (I saw that high tech things were available in our setting, but I had to remind her again that the whole reason we were going crossbow fighter was so she could add her stupidly high dex to damage, and 1d8 electrical damage is nothing, even if it's resolved with a touch attack) and eventually we get a crit-focused heavy rapid crossbow user who throws all of the bolts in her magazine downrange and the damage explodes on a crit. She really liked the crit focus idea, so I encouraged it with shocking burst weapons cause at this point I'd already warned her twice about the ubiquity of elemental resistances and now this kind of thing was fair game.
I wish I had a punchline for this story, but I just finished that all a few hours ago, and now she's being ominous about flurries of bolts and shit, and the whole group kind of pities me for being this squishy wizard with no armor and a spell storing pimp cane I bought with my leftover gold, because apparently none of them have ever seen a wizard in play before. And apparently, fighters don't need a high wisdom when they're likely going to be the final boss for a group with a wizard.
tl;dr I now know why my first gaming group's veteran wizard was an arrogant prick.
Really you should be going 13/13 in CHA/INT if you want a proper fighter if you're running pointbuy 25. Even at pointbuy 20 I'd rather give up the 20 str score starting for 13 13, because it means you can really abuse those free feats and do absurd things (in pathfinder).
Update, she just sent me the final sheet
>she didn't buy a cloak of resistance for this NPC
>Her will save is 5
>Cat wizard's face when
>And apparently, fighters don't need a high wisdom when they're likely going to be the final boss for a group with a wizard.
So are you gonna dominate her in round 1 or do something a little more exciting?
Crossbows have to be reloaded as a standard (iirc) action between shots, so you never ever get iterative attacks or rapid shot or anything of that sort. Not having a companion is basically just turning down free flanking/damage for no benefit.
when you're a martial class, your weapon does a dice of random damage and a set amount of unvarying damge
for example, 1d6+2 would do anywhere from 1d6 of damage based on the weapon, plus 2 reliable damage that's usually based on feats and stats.
Bows are pulled back with their wielder's muscles, so a composite bow designed for your strength score can add some reliable damage based on strength. Her strength was 22, so 6 damage could be reliably delivered with this. Bows also don't have reload times, so you can shoot a lot of shots downrange without putting feats into fast reloading. Feats are expensive for people who's class isn't called "Fighter". Bows also can shoot more than one arrow at once, adding to how much damage you're putting out.
Rangers give up on having stupid amounts of feats like a fighter by having an animal companion, more or less an attack dog who can harry enemies and set up flanks with the group's melee fighter while they either plink away at them with arrows or draw their swords and go in with them. They can opt to have a bond with their party instead, but this trades what's essentially a second fighter on the field for a tiny boost to strength and some gimmicks.
Crossbows only get reliable damage boosts if you sink a lot of money into them with enchantments, or if you are a type of fighter who can add half their dex mod to damage. So with a special class, a couple feats, and an expensive magical crossbow, you can almost be as good as a grizzled hippy with a compound bow.
I feel weird and creepy dominating a DM's pet NPC regardless of my intentions, so I'm probably going to have my Silvanshee familiar zip up to her and cast aboleth's lung on her. Make a will save or breathe water instead of air. Then launch the ICBM cavalier girl into her while she's struggling to breathe, and let gunslinger bro pop her head off
I don't give a shit about paladin and bard guy, cause I haven't spoken much with either of them. Maybe I'll convince bard guy to get suck breath to combo with aboleth's lung, so we can instantly send her to suffocating.
I'm not telling anyone about windwall, but it came up when gunslinger bro and cavalier girl and I got to joking about how to kill each other should one of us turn evil/mirror of opposition/mind control, and I hinted that ranged attacks don't do much against a prepared wizard.
The only reason to not take an animal companion is Pathfinder Gnoll Hunter Trait which allows a nice trick of:
"That thing there. I totally mastered combat against it. +12 to me and +6 to my entire team." once a day.
>TLDR, there is a munchkin and a GM doesnt understand the game they are playing, and the munchkin decides the best way to handle this situation is to munchkin harder and post a story about their munchkining and the GM not understanding the game, as opposed to helping the GM understand the game.
But dont worry guys, Im sure your suggestions of "Ruin the game while you are actually playing it, too" will go over well.
To be fair, the GM told me she was a veteran, and this would be a really hard game, so I don't feel sorry in the slightest.
>as opposed to helping the GM understand the game
I helped her optimize her NPC. I'm the reason we're not stomping on a petless ranger with a crossbow. I explained how firearms worked, and why touch AC is important to people fighting wizards and gunslingers.
I feel a little bad, yeah. But not much.
From the sounds of things, the GM hasnt listened to suggestions that fundamentally changed the character she wanted built. And then when a way was suggested that doesnt change that, they did listen.
For all we know, they are a veteran GM. At Maid RPG. Or FATE. Or any number of other rules-lite/non-d20 systems. Not to mention a lie like that isnt really anything to lynch somebody over. It could just be a means to reassure the newer players. It clearly didnt work, but it might have if every player was new, instead of having a munchkin to correct everything.
And I dont have a problem with how he handled the remake of the NPC. Just how he is building his own character, and helping to build the rest of the party. Its clear that the GM doesnt understand what is going on. The solution, in my mind, is to make simpler characters. Not add a million new things to think about and remember in combat.
Those are all just details. You should be helping her understand the whole outlook she should be approaching the game at. Not to mention that from the sounds of things, her "really hard game" is likely going to be a cakewalk.
>munchkin munchkin munchkin munchkin munchkin munchkin munchkin munchkin
shut the fuck up if you're going to use words you haven't the first clue of their meaning. DM a shit, talking up what she thinks is going to be a tomb of horrors meat grinder. If you're given that then the default is "be the best power gamer you can be in order to survive."
>running a module authored by WotC in 3.5
>have reviewed module contents and determined that it is tuned for players who build weak to beginner style characters
>very explicitly tell players that I am running module as is and they may not make high powered characters
>rogue flakes out and I look for a replacement
>get a druid
>ok but please let me review your sheet before you play
>does not give me a chance to review sheet before he shows up
>fleshraker companion, fleshraker wildshape druid with natural spell and venomfire (6d6 acid damage in addition to poison damage per attack for both him and his companion, a total of 12 attacks per round, in addition to the actual damage of the attacks themselves)
Spergs out enormously that he cant use that character
Okay, you guys bring up a valid point. I'm going to explain why saves are important, check to see if the GM knows how challenge rating works, and strongly encourage her to make sure she takes advantage of whatever gimmick an enemy is based on (i.e. crossbow girl should be fighting us with lots of minions to keep us at range if she's our enemy, enemies with flying should stay out of reach of the players and perform strafing runs, be sure that there are enemies who have adequate resistances to things so we need to change up tactics to stay fresh, et cetera)
And I'm going to tell her to buy a cloak of resistance. But I will stand by the fact that she should have noticed that everyone I worked on had one when she left to go set magic items.
I still fully expect to stomp on the game though, but I'm going to make sure that I'm the wizard who kills the bad guy by enlarging the cavalier missile and telekinetically throwing her at someone while optimizing the wind for marksman boy's golden shot, and not the wizard who pokes people and makes them die continuously till the end of turn. The players are all my friends, after all.
I'll post an update when we have our first session.
What the fuck is that, that sounds terrifying
>GM wants me to optimize an NPC for her.
>She's a ranger who uses crossbows.
>She doesn't have an animal companion.
Listen, do yourself a favor. You know going into this that the GM isn't very good at this, and this NPC is clearly supposed to be something special since they specifically wanted this one to be optimized and its involved with one of the other player's backstories.
When the "ranger" shows up, do this one with a hand tied behind your back. If you do ANYTHING that looks like you are exploiting weaknesses you "built into the character so you could exploit" its going to be a shitshow for you and ruin the night for the whole table. You are the new guy at the table, and that sort of drama won't go well for you.
So when the time comes, use some of the less appropriate spells for the situation. Try to avoid save or dies. Fight like a gentleman unless the parties life is legitimately in danger.
Because the alternative is a shitstorm where the GM is going to feel like you betrayed her. You can have fun without ruining things.
I've been a full-time DM for a long time now, and haven't really made any effort to be a player in years, because I've just been DMing too long that as a player, I get bored and overcritical of DMs who do shit things.
But not too long ago, I spotted a game on Roll20 running the same AP I am, with some levels so I could make an interesting character, so I gave it a shit.
>DM replies to my application, says it's cool, and he's got a bunch of other people interested, and he's a really new DM so he might want my advice on how to run things.
>Little did I realize, he would be inviting ALL OF THEM.
>One replacement player turned into 4.
>Ok, cool. I get my character approved.
>Day of the session, only 2 people show up. Learn they're not even original players, they were replacements during the campaign.
>Ok...this will be interesting.
>Expect some kind of thought-out introduction. Instead, they say "You can just do whatever. Dynamic entry your way in, no one cares."
>The 4 hours session we play has exactly 3 minutes of "roleplaying", which consists of a ninja shooting a pedestrian near me, and then vanishing and leaving no clues.
>NPC comes from nowhere and guides PCs to the next plot point.
>I had already talked with the DM beforehand about the session material, how I thought it might play a bit better. Up his DM game a bit.
>He ran it not only perfectly word-for-word from the book, but he hadn't actually prepped maps or read the encounters beforehand.
>3 hours of combat later, one player being progressively more and more drunk to the point of incoherency.
>The session ends, thankfully.
>I leave and never look back.
You know what I really don't get? That an NPC has to be "optimized" or built along the same lines as a PC. It's been a long time since I played 3.5, and I never got into PF, but I had no qualms about giving say, a minor boss barbarian chieftan a few spells he picked up from the tribe's shaman, even thought Barbarians don't ordinarily cast spells.
If I wanted to make a crossbow toting bard and was worried about competitiveness, I'd just write down "Gets plus X to hit and damage with crossbows" and be done with it.
Seriously, where did this meme that all the badguys have to be PC statted come from?
Then it sounds like she's committed. Be kind, be gracious. She's going to learn something important, do your best to ensure the lesson is delivered productively. If you can, you may well end up with a GM who wants to keep learning, and that's not a bad thing.
The secret to great GMing is to write down a statblock for your unique boss enemies, and then never once use it during the fight side from saving throws and how much damage attacks do, so the players don't get too wise.
This is literally what GM screens were made for.
Would a single saving throw turn the climactic boss fight into a one round wonder? You roll the dice behind your screen, make a show of checking the sheet, and proclaim that they passed.
Things looking too far in the players favor? The ogre lands a critical hit at x3 damage.
One of the players on deaths door and in melee? Man, you are lucky both of those skeletons missed this turn. You want to retreat there buddy, or are you going to try and see this through?
Lots of stuff can be left to dice, but anything important enough to be a deciding factor of whether or not your adventure ends on a hard won victory or a wet fart shouldn't be left to chance. No one wants to lose the PC they have been guiding for the last 12 levels to minions, though taking a solid beating and "just barely" surviving will still keep them on their toes. At the same time, only the most masturbatory of players actually wants to defeat the endboss in the first two turns of token effort.
She just doesn't know what the fuck she's doing, right? At the point time travel is a feature available to the party it's just playing pretend or freeform with dice.
Snapdragon fireworks is cast, and then you get to spend the fight shooting people with 1d4 damage that dazzles if they fail a reflex save. Dazing spell raises the spell three levels and makes it inflict daze for spell level number of turns if the opponent fails the spell's save. Heightened spell makes the spell function as though it were a spell of a higher level, which is important cause otherwise the fireworks are a first level spell even with the daze metamagic.
so tl;dr I cast this once, then every subsequent turn I shoot a missile at someone as a move action, they make a reflex save which most things are terrible at, and if they fail they lose four turns. This cost a move action, so I then proceed to cast another spell on my own time. And I can do this for eight or so rounds with one spell.
Maybe not ungodly, but it's a fun use of a level 1 spell that people don't usually see coming if they don't play with metamagic.
Using save or die spells in DnD is kiddieshit, because the GM has the ability to kill your characters at any time without a save anyway, so turning shit into an arms race is totally pointless. The best case scenario there is that the game turns into rocket tag where whoever rolls their first failed saving throw loses the fight instantly, which isn't going to be fun for anyone.
Just play the goddamn game without polishing your knob to the idea of beating the GM. Best case scenario you turn the game into a snooze because you were the one guy at the table who wanted to make sure no one else did anything of value that fight, worst case scenario the GM responds in kind and slaps your shit around like you owe him money. These are not good outcomes.
Which is another dumb shit.
>High Level Play
>Lots of numbers/stats/complications not suitable for the new people
>Wants it complicated anyway
>Time travel to fix the shit both parties (DM and Players) will eventually cause
It is silly, dumb, unwise, overcomplicated and tiresome. Just roll level 1s and kill goblins in a hole. That would simplify everything and make everyone learn the system as they go.
So does anyone else hand wave save-or-die spells out of their setting due to the obvious rocket tag two-round battles that would ensue while everyone that does not have access to those spells are hiding behind magical +10-all-saves rocks while the people with those spells are throwing them at each other hoping to not die first?
I generally play them like guns in the modern world.
Most of them are death or transmutation effects, so any serious organization or large group tends to buy a lot of death wards and create similar defenses. When fighting magic, go for the easy solutions, things that disrupt casting or prevent the LOS required for most spells.
This also follows with the shadowrun thinking of 'geek the mage first' that becomes prevalent.
I warn players that any group that uses save or die effects will find that they happen in kind.
I have a notepad that I keep next to the battlemap. It starts blank.
Whenever they use a save or die spell, even if it doesn't work for whatever reason, I make a tally.
Then the bad guys get to use their own save or die spell later on, be it this session or the next one. When the bad guys use one, the number goes down.
It gets the point across pretty clearly: don't start any shit you don't want getting thrown back in your face. This prompts the rest of the party to keep the wizard player in check, because the Fighter doesn't want to get his ass brain exploded because the wizard wanted to make last fight easy. It becomes a self policing system pretty quickly, though sometimes it takes an actual PC death for the point to get across.
At the very least, save or die becomes a weapon of desperation rather than the go to spell of choice.
I do something similar.
You, as in the group, are never the first to come up with something.
E.g. a spell combo, such as the city nuke.
And as such any ridiculous combos you pull the enemies are just as capable of pulling.
So you need to balance between an I Win Button and powerful spells.
It sounds like this person ran one game for a bunch of newbies and now assumes she's an expert. If you don't want this game to fall apart you should really sit her down and try to make her understand the finer points of optimization. Just walking over everything is going to probably make her start using cheap tactics like no selling attacks she deems 'cheap'.
Well, as the guy who urged you to help them
I guess that makes me your brother, kek, I cant really fault you for trying. This makes it seem like there is going to be a lot of bullshit unavoidable deaths. This is probably the last flag I would need to drop the game.
But you are free to give it your best. As long as you are open about the stuff you are doing and arent powergaming for the sake of ruining the game, I dont really have a problem with it.
How do I GM a 3.5e game without bogging myself down with 15 different stat sheets for the creatures the party will inevitably encounter? What sort of notes should I make to just remember what creatures are? Lastly, does anyone have a link to a reliable random treasure generator with at least a CR dial?
>I'm really glad she hasn't seen the stupid wizard tricks I'm planning.
Come back after a session or two. Tell us more. If she's just new but not total shit in general she'll learn over time growing as a GM, but if she's an idiot she'll never adapt and this will be amazing
>and the whole group kind of pities me for being this squishy wizard with no armor and a spell storing pimp cane I bought with my leftover gold, because apparently none of them have ever seen a wizard in play before
My god, they're all newfags. First or second game, unless they've played shit that isn't DnD derived exclusively before. Show them the error of their ways, vaporize the fighter.
Reasonable. I mean don't feel bad about wrecking a special snowflake they had the bad choice to set up as a boss enemy, that was silly, but clearly you're the one in the group who knows how d20 works and should be like Obi-Wan but less likely to die.
You can completely fudge encounters, if you really want.
Find a good idea for a monster/monster you want to use and jot down it's gimmicks (poisonous, HP drain, is undead, etc.).
Figure out how many hits it should take to bring one down, thematically.
When they fight it, fudge EVERYTHING. Bring dice to make rolling sounds, hit them when it seems right, miss when they need it/you need tension, kill it when they hit it X times. Use status/spell likes gimmicks a few times during the fight, just make the monster feel different than others. Also make sure you miss at least 2-3 times more often than the players.
Pretty much do >>44866300 for every fight.
Waiting for the Sanctity of the Dice paladins to show up, proclaiming one fudged roll makes the entire campaign worthless.
Personally, I try to avoid fudging rolls but I'm about to start a rule light game and have told my players it's rules light so it'll be somewhat rule of cool and arbitrary, so I may fudge numbers during setpiece battles. If the avenging angel is due to plummet from the sky in three turns but they won't see it because the mooks have crit on them three times... That would be no fun for anyone.
I actually read through this once I got through the thread and this... This is awful. Any cool stories they get out of this are basically fake. This is literally freeform RP. Pray your players never find out.
Actually, is this a troll? I'm tired and can't tell.
dont be mean and ruin everyone's experience. Clearly everyone's goofing around and doesnt know whats what.
Buff your friends and save the day if necessary but *especially* dont 1-hit KO the DM NPC.
I'm a player in a Pathfinder campaign and I'm about ready to just drop it because of how shit the GM has gotten.
Sold me this story that its basically post-nuclear armageddon Earth and fantasy creatures and magic have grown up. Low tech is available and we are slowly uncovering more of the old world all the time. I really assumed he meant just guns and maybe basic electrical lighting, maybe a radio.
GM's best friend hears the word "tech" and bitches and moans into being a cyborg. Handwaved as something we uncovered and can't make more of so I let it slide.
GM says no one can be a primary casting class as we are being hired by a man who hates magic and believes it is only poorly understood technology that he is researching.
We are fighting cultists wizards everywhere and "Super-Orcs" with Predator level cloaking technology just laying around but only for them.
He also let a kid NPC that we saved in our first mission kill a major boss enemy without our help, via temporarily summoning the spirit of a PC he killed off as the player was moving many hours away for school and wouldn't be joining us anymore.
OH! And the Paladin (who was a pervert trying to constantly grab female NPC's tits) was killed thanks to my bad negotiation tactics and then came right back because apparently the Director (owner of the company that hired us) just keeps cloning him for shits and giggles.
Finally, all his fucking NPCs that he loves so much are blatant rip offs from Red vs Blue. The show is absolute garbage.
He is a Fallout fan. I think. I told him early on he should look into Shadowrun as that's basically what he wants us doing now. We're hired to go in and grab people from the crazy cultists/government groups that the Director doesn't like and bring them back to him for shit to happen that isn't really explained to us. All we're missing is the full blown internet/hacker shit and we'd be there. Yet he insists on Pathfinder which he had never played before.
It doesn't help that he let one of the players, who is a failed munchkin fuck and one of the few people I enjoy talking to from this group outside of the game, basically design everyone's character for them. I built my own obviously. Anyways, he like to do custom race shit as described in the player's book refusing to look at the setting the DM laid out and how the races interact. He himself is a half-elf half-dwarf thing because he refuses to have racial stat mods that are penalties (his first game was 4e) and built a custom cat-people race for the swashbuckler (named Nyancha) that got killed and revived by the NPC kid since he just finished watching Log Horizon and wanted to make that.
Eh, I guess I can throw in a story.
I was kind of new to D&D at the time, what I tried I liked. A guy I knew was getting a game going. He was a neckbeard, but he was tolerable. I rolled up a paladin. Nothing fancy, just like the thematics of playing a truth and justice guy. I don’t exactly remember what led to this, but…
An NPC hands me a ring and wants me to wear it. This feels like obvious bullshit from the get go, but a paladin wouldn't mind a small favor. I hesitated, but I put ring on felt the oh so magical power.
"This is a magic ring that will punish those who tell lies"
Whatever, I'm a paladin. Why would a paladin walk around telling lies?
"Now, I ask you one question which you are bound to answer truthfully. There exists a fishing village on the coast east of here, would you kill the inhabitants of this village?"
Now, who the hell asks a question like that? To a paladin? Of course a paladin isn't going to go into a village and start murdering people. This answer is a clear and obvious FUCK NO.
Suddenly, a searing pain shoots through my finger. My finger is burnt clean off.
"This village is full of Orcs that have been razing and raping all along the coast. A paladin certainly be bound to destroy such evil. You have lied and suffered the consequence."
I got royally pissed. I called the DM out. It is not a lie to say a paladin, the fucking truth and justice guy, would not fucking slaughter a whole village.
"Yeah, but if you were there, you would start killing them. That's how it would go down. You would kill and your character is a liar."
I think I wasted fifteen minutes trying to explain basic logic to this guy. I even tried to explain why that was a shitty thing to do. The stubbornness of a neckbeard be strong.
I gave up on the campaign after that and have been pretty salty about it ever since. I only really had one other awful DM after that, who just happened to be a shitty hipster. These days I do my own DMing.
I'm not sure if this is real or if I'm missing the reference.
That's just common sense, man.
Honestly, i at least try to keep everything on respectable levels. Jack of all trades, master of one is much more interesting to play than a guy who can achieve godly level of competence in one task, but completely sucks at the others.
Any class can be optimized to a point. Any anything can be optimized to a point. As long as you are optimizing within that subet, ie, an optimized cavalier or an optimized crossbow fighter.
ya know on the topic of why arent you playing a fighter tier classes being optimized. the funny thing about this campaign is, one of the strongest classes could potentially be the monks. Hear me out the Monk's biggest weakness besides 3/4 bab is they are heavy duty multi attribute dependant. But with a 6d6 drop two stat line you'd have plenty of stats for him to scale with.
No matter how much you optimize the monk, it just won't be on par with a spellcaster.
Yes, monks get much more tricks than some other classes, But they are still nowhere near the "can create backup bodies stashed in his demiplane he made for himself with his harem of bound succubus and solar concubines".
Their next biggest weakness is that flurry of blows is a full-round action. Their next biggest weakness is that most of their abilities are worthless.
Paladins on the other hand, become quite playable.
>Any cool stories they get out of this are basically fake.
All fiction is fake. The whole point of the 'fudge everything' approach is to make sure the players walk away happy too, its just to prevent something as inconsequential as game rules from ruining things for everyone.
In a game like DnD or Pathfinder where balance is a joke, some amount of fudge is necessary or you are going to get some pretty unsatisfying outcomes eventually.
Asa the GM, your job is to tell a story with the players as the main characters. Nobody really wants to lose a player character to the random encounter owlbear between towns like a chump.
>By withholding pertinent information necessary to correctly tell the "truth", I have rused you!
I hate people like this. Within the confines of what he had been told, his answer was completely reasonable. But "TECH-NI-CAL-LY" he "lied". What a tricksy banterman the GM is.
I got a story of my own to tell, and boy, it was a doozy.
The whole story was set in motion when my friend who is a GM wanted to play a character in a campaign. One of the people at the site where we chat came forward that he was creating his own pathfinder campaign. He said that he liked making hard campaigns, but we were up for the challenge. After discussing the premise of the campaign, we all created new characters for this adventure. The setting was ecstatically and culturally the Deep South of the U.S. pre-civil war in the 15thcentury on a supercontinent, with magic but no gunpowder. I questioned his logic behind the lack of gunpowder, but quick into the discussion it was very obvious that he just did not want to deal with fire arms. I drafted and created my own character, an alchemist that specialized in throwing bombs. I wanted to have fun with this character and made it so that I used very crude chemicals to create my explosives, not gunpowder.
The party was assembled and our first session started. The party consisted of a tactician, a gambling addicted rouge, a wizard with what could effectively be classified as AIDS, and me, the alchemist. We were all level one, a fresh new party ready to take on the challenges of this new world. The session began with us conveniently all meeting up at a tavern on the edge of town. My character was not that interested with the situation decided to play around with some of my chemicals when the Tactician came up to me and offered me to accompany him with the promise of riches and the thrill of adventure. I cared more about the gold that would help fund me endeavors as an alchemist so I teamed up with him. He rounded up the party and won them over to join his cause. Since it was late, we all stayed at the tavern in the bedrooms on the second floor. The campaign took a very quick downturn from here.
While we were sleeping, the tactician was awoken by the sounds of his armour clinking and rustling. 2 ogres were robbing him, stealing his gold and armour since he had the most expensive armour and the most gold. The rest of the party was awakened by the commotion that was occurring. Both of the orcs fled as we began to respond to their thievery, the tactician was quickly knocked out cold in his attempt to stop them from robbing him. One of the party members stayed behind to get him back on his feet as the rest of the party went off in pursuit of the robbers. Was we went down the stairs, we noticed one of the orcs was pinned to a wall with an arrow. The barkeeper landed and nice headshot on the orc, killing him and pinned his corpse to the wall by the entrance. It was nice that one orc was disposed of; but we still had the major problem that an orc was still alive. We continued or pursuit and managed to catch the orc in a forest on the edge of town. His cohorts came out of the shadows of the trees as the sun began to rise, the encounter began. Thankfully, our tactician was able to catch up with us and the party member who stayed behind to get him back on his feet.
We were surrounded on all sides with archers while the orc leader was in the center of the battlefield. The battle began as a falcon took to the skies and dropped an alchemist fire right next to me. I dodged the attack but took some damage from the fire. Our glorious leader took on the orc leader and immediately got dunked after getting a hit in. Too much of our surprise, he was wielding a great axe and killed him in one swing past his negative hit point threshold. The DM heavily hand waved that he survived that hit. I did manage to kill the orc with a bomb, but the damage was done. With the leader down, I took a shot from an archer and lost almost half of my health. The DM removed two of the six archers to make the encounter easier, but we clearly outmatched and we were going to die from their firepower. We questioned him on how he structured this fight and he told us that he thought that a level 3 orc was a good challenge to throw against us. The campaign effectively ended there and we never continued it.
should have abused it to get info you couldn't have otherwise. "that DMPC will try to kill us. huh no pain, let's get him guys" or "the exact value of this ruby is 100gp. oh there's the pain, maybe it's 200?"
>A lie is 'an intentionally false statement'. You can accidentally be incorrect, but you cannot accidentally lie.
Basically. The only way that would work is if the ring detected untrue statements instead of just lies, but that's an incredibly dangerous thing to hand a PC, depending on the campaign.
He's clearly an idiot. But let's keep an open mind here. Why do you assume the NPC told you the truth?
The ring clearly does not discern whether you're lying, but whether you are correct in your statements. There's nothing to argue about.
Why did the NPC do this? If there is no context, it is clearly an assault. If the NPC resists, kill him. Take the ring and abuse it. If the GM doesn't let you, he fucked up.
"But I just gave this ring my paladin word that I wouldn't kill the villagers. I must abide to that word and reason with them, or find other ways to keep them from their crimes, like imprisonment."
And there falls the logic of your GM
A random encounter with an owlbear between towns is itself bad GMing. If random encounters are used at all it should be to show that an area is exceptionally dangerous, you can't even have a functioning civilization where people are routinely attacked by monsters between towns. You don't need to pad your campaign like it's a video game being sold on its length.
>You know what I really don't get? That an NPC has to be "optimized" or built along the same lines as a PC
Tis a sense of "fair play" plus "using the available materials".
If the rival to a PC is built using the same ruleset as the PC, they are perceivedly equal.
Additionally if they are of the same level, they are expected to be of same efficiency, while calculating odds from the blank is harder.
Game balance issues can and will cock up those expectations.
"Fair play" is what keeps people committed to it instead of blank check statblocking.
But fair play is created by the DM making challenges that are more or less in line with the capabilities of the PCs. I could make an adversary that's built along the exact same lines as the PCs, and just make him 10 levels higher than they are, and guess what, the party isn't going to stand a chance. You're entirely at the sufferance of the GM for a balanced encounter or set of encounters, so why should the mere process that creates PCs be given such sanctity?
>But fair play is created by the DM making challenges that are more or less in line with the capabilities of the PCs.
Yes, and building hem on the same rules gives them same capabilities as a PC of same build.
A barbarian warlord will be the same as a barbarian PC. Giving him extra stuff can also elicit "why don't I get cool stuff?!" from the player, which is not really a good behavior from him, but really better not even tempt.
> I could make an adversary that's built along the exact same lines as the PCs, and just make him 10 levels higher than they are, and guess what, the party isn't going to stand a chance.
Yes you can.
Or you can make him 3 levels higher, so he is acceptably challenging AND gives the players "hey look, soon enough you too will be this badass!" feel which is pretty damn nice.
Basically this side is all about pandering to the players' feelings in order to have a nice game.
And don't forget to couple it with "building an antagonist using PC rules is SUPPOSED to be easy and effective" I've detailed previously.
Oh yeah also for GMs that "minmax" NPCs (i.e. OP's GM) there is an extra flavour of showing it to players when they cry foul with "look, totally legit everything". In hopes that it somehow assuades anything and/or to fap their skillz.
Those are dumbasses ofc.