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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Default How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Heya!

    Yesterday i DM'd the first game of a campaign with a new group of players, two of which i never met before, good people, good players, we had tons of fun in a nine hour gaming session.

    There's my friend, the catfolk thief, then the human barbarian and the tiefling sorcerer.

    The sorcerer is a veteran player who's way better at roleplaying that myself. He's chaotic neutral (potentially chaotic evil at this point) He likes to bluff to get out of situation and plays like he believes his own lies. He has godly rolls which allows him to succeed in most of what he tries. He's basically leading the group at this point. The barbarian tends to side with him, and the thief kinda gets the short end of the stick.

    I tend to narate what happens in the game most of the time, since i'm not that good at roleplaying. But when it comes to roleplaying. I don't always know what to answer, the sorcerer always seems to have the last word.

    I don't want to piss him off by simply pulling bigger numbers than him, or artificial counters like zone of truth. I want to "punish" him by showing him that things can go awry even when you succeed your rolls.

    So far i've created a NPC for the next game, a dim-witted ogre, who's naive, but clumsy and well meaning. I'll have him admire the sorcerer and be clingy as hell. He'll be too strong for them to beat, but he'll have a tendancy to attract trouble. He'll also say things that might incriminate the sorcerer when he tries to bluff. (Think of Lennie Small in "Of Mice and Men")

    I'm not sure how it'll turn out, so i'm turning to these forums to see if anyone could have a tip for me on how to deal with this player. As i said i don't want to piss him off, just trying to spice things up, make the game be more enjoyable, while teaching him that he has to think twice before acting.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Xeolan; 2017-11-27 at 10:02 PM.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    ...talk to him? Artifically ruining his fun because you arent having fun is a negative sum solution.
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    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    There's no real need to do anything heavy handed here.

    If it is completely disrupting the game then you need to talk to your player. A real veteran player should know when it is appropriate to step back and allow the game to be played, and he may just not be aware he's doing it.

    If you are looking for a way to teach him that lying, even successfully, has consequences you really can just let him keep lying.

    Every lie brings an expectation with it. Every guard who you convince you have rank over will expect something from you as a person above them in authority. Every bluff about how powerful your party is has a chance to make a scared NPC hire a powerful and high priced assassin to deal with the powerful threat. Lying is fantastic as a short term stopgap and to get you into buildings, but if they lie in every social encounter it will naturally catch up to them.
    Last edited by Skelechicken; 2017-11-27 at 11:09 PM.

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    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Artifically ruining his fun because you arent having fun is a negative sum solution.

    I actually want to avoid using artificial solution. Also i'm still having fun playing with him, i just want to spice things up and find ways to put him in trouble in a creative way.

    Ex: The sorcerer was very stubborn about not taking his shift when it came to stand watch at night. The first few nights went fine, but then they woke up to find their horses and stuff stolen.

    That's one way i was able to teach him that his stubborness can have consequences. But otherwise he's been running rampant, causing trouble, and so far he's been abusing his bluff checks to get out of every situation.

    I want him to see that there can be consequences to solely rely on bluffing.

    I don't want him to go: "Dang, i can't bluff my way out of this because of this zone of truth."

    I want him to go: "Well, i bluffed and succeed, but maybe that wasn't the best way to go about it."

    Edit: Also sorry for the wording of the title, i guess it can lead to confusion.
    Last edited by Xeolan; 2017-11-27 at 11:42 PM.

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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xeolan View Post
    I actually want to avoid using artificial solution. Also i'm still having fun playing with him, i just want to spice things up and find ways to put him in trouble in a creative way.

    Ex: The sorcerer was very stubborn about not taking his shift when it came to stand watch at night. The first few nights went fine, but then they woke up to find their horses and stuff stolen.

    That's one way i was able to teach him that his stubborness can have consequences. But otherwise he's been running rampant, causing trouble, and so far he's been abusing his bluff checks to get out of every situation.

    I want him to see that there can be consequences to solely rely on bluffing.

    I don't want him to go: "Dang, i can't bluff my way out of this because of this zone of truth."

    I want him to go: "Well, i bluffed and succeed, but maybe that wasn't the best way to go about it."

    Edit: Also sorry for the wording of the title, i guess it can lead to confusion.

    It depends on what kind of a game you are running what you can do. I'm used to screw my players over six ways till sunday so a snarky smooth talker isn't really any trouble at all. If everybody is having fun then there is no need to "punish" him, but that doesn't mean that he can sell the moon 3 times in a row.

    First off the numbers don't tell the whole story. It doesn't mean that he can tell somebody that the sky is green and that pigs can fly regardless of the numbers. Convincing your teacher that your dog ate your homework or asking the doorman to let you in because your girlfriend is waiting for you is perfectly fine if nothing is at stake for them. If evidence is on the contrary to what he is saying then bluffing isn't going to help much.

    I once guarded royalty and a general wanted to get past me, it didn't matter who he was or what he said he would never gotten past me unless he had clearance because there was too much at stake for me, it wasn't until he had gotten clearance from my superiors that I allowed him past me, it wouldn't have matterred if he had offered me a million bucks.

    So when people have principles or too much is at stake then this player has to get really creative about his bluffing.

    Else you can read about how people treat social skills in different ways in this thread.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...ills-different

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    I'll second (or third or fourth, or however much is needed) the 'talk to the guy' thing. You may want to do it just to signal that you're about to do what you're going to do.

    That said, lies have a way of coming back to bite you. Examples:

    "You're a big, important noble, eh? Allright, let me introduce you to our baron, he would be delighted to meet you." The baron, of course, may not be so easy to fool.

    "Oh I know that guy, he's a the best shot in the west! You should challenge him to a duel!" However well you bluff, you will eventually need to put the cards on the table.

    "Okay, so now that you're inside, there's just the formality. You know, the formality. You know what I'm talking about! You don't? Get him boys!" Layered security can be a pain.

    "Oy, don't believe that bloke! He swindled me last time I saw him! He's a big swindler is what he is!" Chickens coming home to roost.

    "Of course I believe you. But you're not getting inside if you don't have your written confirmation. Go home and get it and I'll let you in." As RazorChain points out above me: Believing someone doesn't mean you don't follow procedure. Who knows, it could be a test.

    "Of course you're a angel sent from heaven. I believe you! Why don't you come along with me, there are some nice people in white suits with some snazzy long-sleeved pajamas who will just love to help you out." Believing someone and believing their sincerity isn't the same thing.
    Last edited by hymer; 2017-11-28 at 06:03 AM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Bluff isn't magic. Before you allow him to roll at all, it has to be plausible that the lie could be believed.

    If you do let him roll, though, it's a jerk move to not give him what he wanted if he succeeds.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    There is a difference between "Bluff" and "Diplomacy". A good "sense motive" will foil a good bluff. Plus, the target of the bluff needs to have a reason to fall for it, and a successful bluff is only successful as long as evidence to the contrary doesn't present itself...which it will sooner or later. The more outlandish the bluff, the sooner it will fall apart. A bluff is not a con. A bluff is a threat to do something that you really have no intention, or ability (or both) of actually doing. A con, would fall under diplomacy.

    Having your empty hand in your coat pocket and saying "I have a gun, and I'll shoot" is a bluff. Saying "I'm an off duty cop and I'm going to take the evidence back to the precinct" lasts until another cop from that precinct shows up, or the target asks the "cop" what the color of the day is....and needs the other person to believe you are a cop.....diplomacy, not bluff."
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    Bluff isn't magic. Before you allow him to roll at all, it has to be plausible that the lie could be believed.

    If you do let him roll, though, it's a jerk move to not give him what he wanted if he succeeds.
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...eHorriblyRight

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Well, if the skill bluff is a problem...it is simple enough to remove bluff. For example, you can only bluff intelligent people and creatures that can understand what you are saying. Bluff does not work on things like animals and monsters.

    It is also simple enough to have bad guys not ''stop and talk''. So the player would be waiting to bluff on his turn in combat and you'd be like the goblins attack!

    If you want a bit more 'social' game, you can add in more smart/clever/charismatic foes...and less of the dumb ones that can be fooled so easy. Even just average level social folks won't get bluffed all the time.

    If you don't know how to out smart/out think him....well, there is not much to be done there. It is just a skill you need to learn.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    If you allow a roll you are implicitly saying "This outcome is possible".

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    If you allow a roll you are implicitly saying "This outcome is possible".
    And, sure, it works. In the short term. But actions have consquences, lying not least amongst those actions.

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    As somebody who has played a con artist bluffbot, the simple thing to do is to enforce the logical consequences of actions. Bluffing can be really dangerous in the wrong circumstances, where getting found out will get you killed. Likewise, a convoluted web of lies is hard to keep up. Let the player have their fun and don't look for ways to foil or punish them, but all actions have consequences, so if they do something, enforce the consequences(good or bad)

    As others have said, lying and the use of the bluff skill is not mind control. You can tell tall tales, but few people are going to believe outright falsehoods when there is clear evidence to the contrary. Likewise, some creatures cannot be lied to, due to a language barrier, Intelligence lower than 3, and the like. Some things might also not give two flips about the truth or lies, and even if you could convince them you are the queen of France, their actions won't change.

    If you are worried about the veteran steamrolling your campaign and DMing abilities, then you need to talk to the player. Be sure to frame it in the context that they are so good, you simply cannot keep up. Or perhaps teach you how to be better so you can be as great of a DM as they are a player. You enjoy playing with them and it sounds like everyone is having fun, so I doubt they would take offense. Also make sure the catfolk player is getting enough screen time-some players don't mind taking a backseat and play super stealthy roles so they don't have to interact as much. In session, if you see a player who has not done anything in a while try to engage them with something. It can be as simple as a skill check, or perhaps an entire campaign arc based on their backstory, or anything in between.
    Last edited by Geddy2112; 2017-11-28 at 10:24 AM.
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    BardGirl

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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    You are not letting setting context fully account for the DC, plain and simple.

    Have the player declare their PC intent, and roleplay the deception as desired. You create the DC in your mind accounting for setting and PC action context, and then let him roll if at all necessary. Certain lies will immediately start off at Nigh Impossible or even Actually Impossible, so good roleplay and good rolling is still meaningless. e.g. "I am larger than the world we are standing on!"

    Mechanics serve the fictive world and interactions within, not the reverse.

    That said, a good liar with a lot of creative backup is a danger as well as a joy. However if you are finding it disruptive and steamrolling the table, you have to do the right thing by your other players, too. So never be afraid to clarify table expectations and get everyone back onto the same page with The Talk.

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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?


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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    Bluff isn't magic. Before you allow him to roll at all, it has to be plausible that the lie could be believed.

    If you do let him roll, though, it's a jerk move to not give him what he wanted if he succeeds.
    Exactly. A good call is to only roll when the outcome is in question. If the lie is unbelievable, then no roll occurs. Roll only when the lie makes you go "hrm, maybe he'd believe that, maybe he wouldn't".

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    I endorse the heck out of this.
    Last edited by kyoryu; 2017-11-28 at 02:35 PM.
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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    Bluff isn't magic. Before you allow him to roll at all, it has to be plausible that the lie could be believed.

    If you do let him roll, though, it's a jerk move to not give him what he wanted if he succeeds.
    It's worse, even if you succeed with your bluff role all it means is that the target believes you're telling the truth as you know it. If the NPC already knows the truth then all he'll be convinced of is that you are in honest error about a situation.
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Throw a ghost in a permanent anti-magic field at them that follows them around and tells people he's lying.

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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Well, the two things I wanted to say have been covered; you're setting the DCs too low, and let the lies come back to bite him, or even bite him right away.

    "So why are you posting?" I hear you ask. Well, it's not completely because I like the virtual sound of my own virtual voice, but it's also because I want to add this:
    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    A good call is to only roll when the outcome is in question...
    Not necessarily. Sometimes a good way to make a point is to say "OK, make a roll. The DC is 106. And remember, there's no automatic success on skill rolls."

    And a final note: You mentioned that "he has godly rolls." If his rolls are consistently too good to be true, they aren't true; he's cheating. Someone can get lucky on a few rolls, or ten rolls, but "luck" over many rolls just doesn't exist.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Quote Originally Posted by jqavins View Post
    Not necessarily. Sometimes a good way to make a point is to say "OK, make a roll. The DC is 106. And remember, there's no automatic success on skill rolls."

    And a final note: You mentioned that "he has godly rolls." If his rolls are consistently too good to be true, they aren't true; he's cheating. Someone can get lucky on a few rolls, or ten rolls, but "luck" over many rolls just doesn't exist.
    Yeah, I'd just say "no, that's not possible" in that case.

    Different strokes.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Quote Originally Posted by jqavins View Post
    Well, the two things I wanted to say have been covered; you're setting the DCs too low, and let the lies come back to bite him, or even bite him right away.

    "So why are you posting?" I hear you ask. Well, it's not completely because I like the virtual sound of my own virtual voice, but it's also because I want to add this:

    Not necessarily. Sometimes a good way to make a point is to say "OK, make a roll. The DC is 106. And remember, there's no automatic success on skill rolls."

    And a final note: You mentioned that "he has godly rolls." If his rolls are consistently too good to be true, they aren't true; he's cheating. Someone can get lucky on a few rolls, or ten rolls, but "luck" over many rolls just doesn't exist.
    You are a strange person. Of course luck exists without cheating.

    Furthermore, setting the DC to 100 is still within the realm of possibility. I think there's a balance check for balancing on clouds that measure in on 80 or so. This is a doable thing in D&D.

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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Calthropstu View Post
    Throw a ghost in a permanent anti-magic field at them that follows them around and tells people he's lying.
    When the ghost is ethereal then people can not see it or hear it and when it is manifested it is incorporeal and so wink out in the antimagic field(and so is again impossible to hear or see and this time is also unable to act)
    So your solution is not convenient.

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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordaedil View Post
    You are a strange person. Of course luck exists without cheating.
    Luck doesn't exist at all. Randomness does, but it's unlikely to be biased over many rolls without something going on. But not luck. Because luck isn't real.

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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Luck doesn't exist at all. Randomness does, but it's unlikely to be biased over many rolls without something going on. But not luck. Because luck isn't real.
    Yes, exactly my point, thank you. One can "get lucky," for instance making three unlikely rolls in a row at important times. But luck as a thing, i.e. having good luck that results in making most of one's important, otherwise unlikely rolls, doesn't exist.

    As for the outrageously high DC, as I said it's to make a point. When players object to being "arbitrarily" told a thing is impossible, e.g. you simply cannot convince the guard that the he is on fire but can't see, hear, smell, or feel it due to a powerful illusion, it sometimes helps to respond with "Fine, you have the skill so you can make a roll. And here are the reasons that the DC is so high that under present circumstances it is impossible, and under all but the most outrageous conceivable circumstances it will always be impossible." If the DC for balancing on a cloud is 80 then that's a problem; balancing on a cloud is something that should be outright impossible no matter how the player complains.
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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Quote Originally Posted by jqavins View Post
    As for the outrageously high DC, as I said it's to make a point. When players object to being "arbitrarily" told a thing is impossible, e.g. you simply cannot convince the guard that the he is on fire but can't see, hear, smell, or feel it due to a powerful illusion, it sometimes helps to respond with "Fine, you have the skill so you can make a roll. And here are the reasons that the DC is so high that under present circumstances it is impossible, and under all but the most outrageous conceivable circumstances it will always be impossible." If the DC for balancing on a cloud is 80 then that's a problem; balancing on a cloud is something that should be outright impossible no matter how the player complains.
    Not in a world based on myth. It is a common thing in such tales to have mortals at the peak of their art be able to perform outright impossible acts. At those levels your character is basically a minor god so physics bending acts such as that should be possible.

    Also when I run into a player whose rolls seem too consistently good that is when I break out the epsom salts and test the dice.
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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Luck doesn't exist at all. Randomness does, but it's unlikely to be biased over many rolls without something going on. But not luck. Because luck isn't real.
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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Luck doesn't exist at all. Randomness does, but it's unlikely to be biased over many rolls without something going on. But not luck. Because luck isn't real.
    Of course Luck exists. Luck is a measure of good favor that exists as an intangible force that follows everyone around. It is a measure of born privilige, sense for gambling, and a general experience of fortuitousness.

    For an example of Unluck in motion, watch Wil Wheaton play D&D. That guy can't roll above 10 on average during a session.

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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkerer View Post
    Also when I run into a player whose rolls seem too consistently good that is when I break out the epsom salts and test the dice.
    This is why, as a GM, I make skill rolls for the player, in secret. I'll tell them if the fail, or succeed. But then I may be lying and they only THINK they succeed.*

    Think about it.... If your player rolls his own spot check, and gets a high number, and then you tell them they don't spot anything, they move on. If YOU roll the check in secret, and then just tell them they don't spot anything, they don't really know for sure if there was anything there to find or not....

    The same goes for bluff checks. If you let your player roll, they will pretty much know if they succeeded or not. If YOU roll in secret, you can have the guard PRETEND to fall for it, and then raise the alarm/call for backup after the PC's stroll past the checkpoint. After all, what lone guard is going to want to try to stop a heavily armed group of strangers, single handed?

    *Obviously, some checks can be made in the open, or by the player, such as a climb check. It's pretty easy to tell if you've successfully managed to climb a wall or not.
    "Sleeping late might not be a virtue, but it sure aint no vice. The old saw about the early bird and the worm just goes to show that the worm should have stayed in bed."

    - L. Long

    I think, therefore I get really, really annoyed at people who won't.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Do not forget: if you get a 20 in a spot check no matter what you find you are probably still not seeing the fact that all atoms are epic level assassins hired to kill you.
    Yes you are made of assassins hired to kill you.
    Yes you are doomed no matter how high is your spot check.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    jqavins's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Helendale, CA
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    Default Re: How to "punish" players that are better at roleplay than you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordaedil View Post
    Of course Luck exists. Luck is a measure of good favor that exists as an intangible force that follows everyone around. It is a measure of born privilige, sense for gambling, and a general experience of fortuitousness.
    I can't tell if you're serious.
    -- Joe
    “Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.”
    -- Terry Pratchet

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    You are completely welcome to use anything I post here, or I wouldn't post it.

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