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  1. - Top - End - #181
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    'Principles' on either side don't justify or excuse behavior that damages the group dynamic. So in this case, the DM should have 'chosen differently' once the join or die thing was likely to have ended the campaign. And if Talakeal felt that in that situation their character would have been so driven to stop the villain that even if it was futile they would kill themselves trying, then in that case Talakeal should 'choose differently' upon recognizing that that course of action would likely cause the game to fall apart.

    But if the DM says 'well, realistically the NPC should just kill you if you say no' that doesn't excuse the DM from having responsibility over what happened. Neither would Talakeal saying 'my guy wouldn't compromise at all or do anything other then charge headlong into death' excuse Talakeal from having responsibility over what happened.

    The point is, everyone involved has a responsibility for what happens. The only people who don't have responsibility? Fictional entities such as 'Talakeal's character' or 'the DM's NPC'. They don't exist, can't make choices, and don't get to be used as excuses to hide behind when something goes wrong. That's the point.
    Bloody awesome post!

    I would like to point out, however, that, in this scenario, it seemed that the point at which Talakeal knew that his action was problematic was the point at which the GM declared, "campaign over, Talakeal's fault".

    So, while I don't disagree, I still hold the GM 100% accountable / at fault for neither moving the discussion OOC once they recognized the problem, nor retconning to a valid state from which to move forward by "choosing differently".
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-05-28 at 06:23 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    I think it's important to note that blame is not conserved. Multiple people can be 100% to blame. Anyone who chooses to be inflexible in a game-destroying fashion is at fault when the game gets destroyed. Everyone has the obligation to compromise* if they want the game to continue.

    * Or leave the game, if compromise is impossible.
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  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Earthwalker View Post
    Sorry for the snip too many other discussions in there.
    No I will not murder people to move a live forward. Hope that clears that up.

    I think my issue is. I don't equate spending 10 mins of not having fun out of a 100 hour experience to be the same as murdering people.

    So when situations arise then I am willing to spend those 10 mins not having fun. equally I would expect if the solution to the problem was another player (or GM) not having fun for 10 mins to be fine as well.

    It still seems your point of view is.

    Its ok for the GM to have 10 mins of not fun.
    Its ok for another player to have 10 mins of not fun.
    Its ok for the whole group apart from me to have not fun.

    What is not ok, is for 10 mins for me to have not fun. If that happens then the whole 100 hour experience is ruined for me.

    I just don't get that.
    OK, so we've established that you get the concept of sticking to your principles, even if you might have more fun in the moment if you didn't. Great.

    Now, why don't you get the rest? Hmmm… So, I think your problem is your definition of "fun". So, let me try to reword that into something more clear.

    Everyone gets to choose how important things (like role-playing) are to them. Admittedly, the guy who has no separation of IC vs OOC knowledge is kinda a pain, but whatever.

    Each player is responsible for moving their playing piece. They - and only they - have final authority over what its valid moves are. (See "the players run the PCs, the GM runs everything else").

    If these playing pieces would be moved into an error state (here - and only here - we get to use the word "fun", where an error state is defined as something massively detrimental to the table's fun), then check for resolution.

    Each playing piece involved is checked for alternate valid moves that resolve the error state. If none are found, rewind until a board position with valid moves is found.

    There was a comment earlier in the thread about how "nothing is real until it is established". Cribbing on that, and on the fact that the PCs are the "main characters", whom the spotlight follows, with NPCs generally playing "bit parts" in support of the PCs, I posited that the onus was stronger on the GM to "choose differently" with their NPCs.

    So, no, the goal is to optimize everyone's fun. And I have outlined my technique for doing so.

    Forcing me to either "not roleplay", or to "act against character" (two different things, btw) would be catastrophically detrimental to my fun. Choose differently. Or do you not care about the fun of others at the table? Do you, contrary to your statement, actually get "only your fun matters"?
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-05-28 at 06:51 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #184
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    The utility of blame is recognizing that the outcome can be controlled, so that in the future it can be different.

  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    OK, so we've established that you get the concept of sticking to your principles, even if you might have more fun in the moment if you didn't. Great.

    Now, why don't you get the rest? Hmmm… So, I think your problem is your definition of "fun". So, let me try to reword that into something more clear.

    Everyone gets to choose how important things (like role-playing) are to them. Admittedly, the guy who has no separation of IC vs OOC knowledge is kinda a pain, but whatever.

    Each player is responsible for moving their playing piece. They - and only they - have final authority over what its valid moves are. (See "the players run the PCs, the GM runs everything else").

    If these playing pieces would be moved into an error state (here - and only here - we get to use the word "fun", where an error state is defined as something massively detrimental to the table's fun), then check for resolution.

    Each playing piece involved is checked for alternate valid moves that resolve the error state. If none are found, rewind until a board position with valid moves is found.

    There was a comment earlier in the thread about how "nothing is real until it is established". Cribbing on that, and on the fact that the PCs are the "main characters", whom the spotlight follows, with NPCs generally playing "bit parts" in support of the PCs, I posited that the onus was stronger on the GM to "choose differently" with their NPCs.

    So, no, the goal is to optimize everyone's fun. And I have outlined my technique for doing so.

    Forcing me to either "not roleplay", or to "act against character" (two different things, btw) would be catastrophically detrimental to my fun. Choose differently. Or do you not care about the fun of others at the table? Do you, contrary to your statement, actually get "only your fun matters"?
    I know you do GM.

    So when GMing and you encounter a player who says.

    Look this situation we are in, and the actions your NPC has taken are causing me problems as I can't think of what to do that wont break the game. Can you choose differently for the NPC.

    Then in your head changing the NPCs action goes against their character, or is not role playing. Do you choose again or make the PC change their action ?
    Spoiler
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    Milo - I know what you are thinking Ork, has he fired 5 shots or 6, well as this is a wand of scorching ray, the most powerful second level wand in the world. What you have to ask your self is "Do I feel Lucky", well do you, Punk.
    Galkin - Erm Milo, wands have 50 charges not 6.
    Milo - NEATO !!
    BLAST

  6. - Top - End - #186
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Yes, most people game for fun. But I don't abandon my principles just because I'm playing an RPG, or at a water park, or whatever, even if doing so might increase my fun. That's… not how principles work.
    You have entirely overblown the issue. If we are going to use the word principle for staying in character, it must be in the sense of "principles of game design" (or in this case of game-playing) not as a moral principle.

    Staying in character is not an inherently moral decision because it doesn't effect good or evil. And it also has nothing to do with being at a waterpark so I would "abandon" that principle of game-play at a waterpark simply because it does not apply.

    Now I did say inherently, staying in character can become a moral decision at the table if it has a noticeable effect on how much fun everyone is having. If breaking character means a better outcome, than you should do it. Not because of any game-play ideal, but because we live in a community and should look after our friends. If it is neutral or better to stay in character, then yes stay in character. And no I still don't expect you to get it right every time, but I will be disappointed if you don't try. And if you are unsure than maybe ask the rest of the table.

    Or put a different way if I was forced to pick between the principle of "stay in character" and "make sure my friends are enjoying themselves" (although they don't often conflict) than I know which one I will stick to.

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I think it's important to note that blame is not conserved. Multiple people can be 100% to blame. Anyone who chooses to be inflexible in a game-destroying fashion is at fault when the game gets destroyed. Everyone has the obligation to compromise* if they want the game to continue.

    * Or leave the game, if compromise is impossible.
    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    The utility of blame is recognizing that the outcome can be controlled, so that in the future it can be different.
    Suppose I have the plague. I shake your hand. I am physically responsible for you catching the plague.

    But if I didn't know that I had the plague, it's different from if I knew.

    Did Talakeal know that his actions would cause a catastrophic game failure? No.

    Should he have known? Probably not - there are numerous things other Playgrounders have put forth as ways it could have gone differently after he attacked, or even after he died, than the GM declaring the campaign over.

    Could he have known? … maybe? Honestly, I suspect that GM was too "Bizarro World" for predicting their insanity to be a reasonable assumption, but, as we only have Talakeal's side of the story, we'll never know for sure.

    So, in general, yes, Talakeal could have chosen differently, and the onus is on all players to get better at looking for opportunities to "choose differently" in ways that maximize fun for all.

    In practice, information is imperfect, mistakes will be made, and people need to be prepared for when that happens.

    The GM in question was not prepared.

    By the time that the problem was brought up, there was nothing Talakeal could do. Thus, there is nothing for Talakeal to learn about "choose differently" to better resolve "GM throws up his hands, declares 'campaign over, Talakeal's fault'.".

  8. - Top - End - #188
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    You have entirely overblown the issue. If we are going to use the word principle for staying in character, it must be in the sense of "principles of game design" (or in this case of game-playing) not as a moral principle.

    Staying in character is not an inherently moral decision because it doesn't effect good or evil. And it also has nothing to do with being at a waterpark so I would "abandon" that principle of game-play at a waterpark simply because it does not apply.

    Now I did say inherently, staying in character can become a moral decision at the table if it has a noticeable effect on how much fun everyone is having. If breaking character means a better outcome, than you should do it. Not because of any game-play ideal, but because we live in a community and should look after our friends. If it is neutral or better to stay in character, then yes stay in character. And no I still don't expect you to get it right every time, but I will be disappointed if you don't try. And if you are unsure than maybe ask the rest of the table.

    Or put a different way if I was forced to pick between the principle of "stay in character" and "make sure my friends are enjoying themselves" (although they don't often conflict) than I know which one I will stick to.
    As is the norm Cluedrew has said something I wanted to say far better than I could.

    Also summed up my misunderstanding and what was the itch at the back of my brain.

    Its basically I don't have a role playing principal strong enough to override the fun of the group.
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    Milo - I know what you are thinking Ork, has he fired 5 shots or 6, well as this is a wand of scorching ray, the most powerful second level wand in the world. What you have to ask your self is "Do I feel Lucky", well do you, Punk.
    Galkin - Erm Milo, wands have 50 charges not 6.
    Milo - NEATO !!
    BLAST

  9. - Top - End - #189
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Suppose I have the plague. I shake your hand. I am physically responsible for you catching the plague.

    But if I didn't know that I had the plague, it's different from if I knew.
    If you shake someone's hand, and they catch the plague, and I see this interaction, and after all that your reaction is 'well, I couldn't have known, oh well', then I will never in the future shake your hand. It's not a matter of whether you're a 'bad person' or something - I know that your behavior makes you more likely to subject me to risk than someone who takes responsibility and e.g. sees a doctor after they visit a plague zone, or limits exposure to other people when they were themselves potentially exposed to sick people, or things like that.

    The utility of blame is that, by understanding your role as a vector for the plague, I can reduce the chance that I will get it in the future. By blaming you, I know how to get a better outcome for myself. But also, if you accept the blame, you can change your behavior in such a way that we can still shake hands in the future without me putting myself in undue risk. If I see you accepting the blame and changing your behavior, then even if you make a mistake once I can trust you in the future.

    Blame can be used to figure out a better future course of action in two ways - someone to blame can act to change their own behavior, or the people around them can act to limit the ability of the person who is to blame to have influence that could cause problems in the future. The value of responsibility is that by taking it seriously, there's a pathway to fixing the problem that doesn't involve isolating people after they make an error.
    Last edited by NichG; 2019-05-28 at 07:29 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Suppose I have the plague. I shake your hand. I am physically responsible for you catching the plague.

    But if I didn't know that I had the plague, it's different from if I knew.

    Did Talakeal know that his actions would cause a catastrophic game failure? No.

    Should he have known? Probably not - there are numerous things other Playgrounders have put forth as ways it could have gone differently after he attacked, or even after he died, than the GM declaring the campaign over.

    Could he have known? … maybe? Honestly, I suspect that GM was too "Bizarro World" for predicting their insanity to be a reasonable assumption, but, as we only have Talakeal's side of the story, we'll never know for sure.

    So, in general, yes, Talakeal could have chosen differently, and the onus is on all players to get better at looking for opportunities to "choose differently" in ways that maximize fun for all.

    In practice, information is imperfect, mistakes will be made, and people need to be prepared for when that happens.

    The GM in question was not prepared.

    By the time that the problem was brought up, there was nothing Talakeal could do. Thus, there is nothing for Talakeal to learn about "choose differently" to better resolve "GM throws up his hands, declares 'campaign over, Talakeal's fault'.".
    No. Making an inflexible character, one whose "core principles" are so firmly held that any deviation is character-breaking, is an error (on the player's part). Making a situation that requires a certain action or the game ends is an error (on the DM's part). Choosing not to retcon/change/adjust is an error on both parts. It is never too late unless the game has already ended and no one's speaking. As soon as someone realizes that things are heading down, they need to step up and say something. It's not only the DM's responsibility OR the player's responsibility. It's everyone's responsibility, including the other players.

    You seem to only, ever, exclusively blame DMs for problems and take player decisions as sacrosanct. That kind of one-sided bias (or the reverse, in fact) is the entire problem here, both with the OP's group and with many other similar ones. When a game ends badly, multiple people have made bad decisions. Everyone has something to learn, whether they were principally responsible or not. Even if that thing to learn is "he's a jerk, better not play with him again." Putting blame on one person or another solves nothing and generally makes people defensive. Diagnosing the root of the problem is what matters. And inflexibility and refusal to compromise (in characterization or in situation development), along with an unwillingness to communicate openly and honestly[1] are obvious sources of pending problems.

    [1] The whole thing (and many others) can be avoided if people have the common courtesy to talk through their actions and consequences before committing. Eg:
    * Hey DM, I'm planning to make a character who won't work with criminals. Is that a problem?
    * Uh, yeah. Might want to rethink that.

    or

    * DM: If you take that action, I don't see any way to avoid a Game Over because ... What if you instead did ...
    * Player: I can't do ..., what if ...

    Yes, it's totally meta-game discussion. But it's necessary meta-game discussion. The only sacred principle is the fun of the group. Any impediment to that should be removed. If that means that one person can no longer play due to irreconcilable differences, so be it.
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  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Earthwalker View Post
    I know you do GM.

    So when GMing and you encounter a player who says.

    Look this situation we are in, and the actions your NPC has taken are causing me problems as I can't think of what to do that wont break the game. Can you choose differently for the NPC.

    Then in your head changing the NPCs action goes against their character, or is not role playing. Do you choose again or make the PC change their action ?
    False dichotomy. I've already outlined my technique, but let's step though it with more of a GM-side flavor.

    Yes, you've followed it correctly from the player happens to be the one to recognize the issue, trying to choose differently, and even intelligently explaining the current game state to the GM / me. Awesome!

    So. At this point, I would… OK, I would add in a few extra steps as GM. Hopefully, this won't confuse the issue. I'll mark those extra steps off for ease of… reading, I suppose.

    -----

    So (per another poster from this thread), I would want to verify that their intended action would *actually* break the game. I've been focusing on "metagaming like a mother****ing dolphin" returning false negatives, but it can return false positives, as well. Which is especially true for players who come from a "story" background, and aren't accustomed to my "sandbox" style.

    -----

    Then I evaluate if the NPC can "choose differently" and be in character (elderly couple decides to take a break). I *also* evaluate if any *other* NPCs could "choose differently" and intervene (water park staff come along and help the elderly couple, for example). I *also* sanity check "is murdering the elderly couple being the only possible response really sane?", and, if "no", file it away for further investigation.

    If, with the entire world at my disposal, I cannot see any way for anyone to choose differently and still be in character to resolve this situation?

    -----

    Then I ask, "what happens if this NPC breaks character?". See, I don't just write "surely guard" in my notes, I know (some of) what's going on in his head, how he's connected to the other NPCs, why he's acting the way he is. Breaking character with the NPC could have catastrophic repercussions that would be difficult to impossible to fix.

    So, if it's easy to rewrite this portion of the NPC's personality (and the player seems sane and not unduly needy (see Talakeal's players)), sure, I'll rewrite the bit NPC for the sake of the game.

    However, if this check throws an error? What do I do then?

    Well, I open it to the floor. I ask if anyone has any suggestions for how we could resolve this.

    Each player is still the final arbiter of what are valid moves for their playing piece(s), of course, but the other players may have ideas that we never considered that are still in character.

    If this fails to produce results, we rewind to the last known good state (right before the elderly couple got in line, right before Talakeal was told "join me or die"), and repeat the "choose differently" process from there. Or intelligently skip to a spot where we agree we can move forward.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    Or put a different way if I was forced to pick between the principle of "stay in character" and "make sure my friends are enjoying themselves" (although they don't often conflict) than I know which one I will stick to.
    And if "staying in character" is necessary for my enjoyment of an RPG?

    I'm safeguarding the fun of *everyone* at the table, not just *everyone else*.

    The *one thing* I get to do in an RPG is roleplay my character. Being forced to take an "opposed to character" action invalidates the entire experience (much like GM fudging does).

    So, at a table with me, you'd want to make sure I was enjoying myself, and work hard to ensure that I don't have to take that action, right?

    -----

    If two players' fun come into conflict (two players have mutually exclusive cool ideas how to move forward), you have a problem.

    If "me role-playing this character this way at this moment" is an issue, I'll see if I can "choose differently". If me role-playing this character in general is an issue, I'll bring someone else. In the all but inconceivable event that me role-playing, period, is an issue in an RPG? Then there's no point to playing an RPG - there are much better games.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-05-28 at 07:52 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #192
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Earthwalker View Post
    Its basically I don't have a role playing principal strong enough to override the fun of the group.
    Every person gets to choose how much they roleplay, and what they enjoy.

    If I enjoy rolling dice, that is independent of whether you enjoy rolling dice.

    No one (but you?) is talking about overriding the fun of the group. *I* am talking about maximizing and safeguarding the fun of the group.

    I'm honestly not sure where your disconnect is.

  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Earthwalker View Post
    As is the norm Cluedrew has said something I wanted to say far better than I could.
    That's the norm?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    And if "staying in character" is necessary for my enjoyment of an RPG?
    [...]
    So, at a table with me, you'd want to make sure I was enjoying myself, and work hard to ensure that I don't have to take that action, right?
    These is this whole optimization problem in making sure everyone is having as much fun as possible, that the problem and moment of un-fun are evenly distributed. It is nearly impossible to solve perfectly because we can't see any of the numbers and even if we could there are hosts of other issues.

    But we should try anyways. And yes I will keep in mind everyone's characters and what they (the players) enjoy in this came. My threshold for "work hard" is such that no, I'm not going to work that hard for a game, sorry, I want to be able to show up and enjoy myself too. And someone that difficult is not worth playing with (but I have never seen it require that much work in the past, so it may be fine).

    And then there is the advantage of numbers, most of the time sticking to your character makes the game fun for everyone and that is good. Other times it will just cause someone (me for example) a moment of annoyance and in that case its fine. If it ends the campaign in a bad way and leave a bad taste in everybody (else's?) mouth... mistakes were made we have put you in a bad position and I would be sorry if that happened but there is a right choice there. That is assuming it is a simple stay-in-character/break-character choice, if we stop and talk it out maybe we can make things work a bit better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus
    No one (but you?) is talking about overriding the fun of the group.
    But that is what you and I are talking about, you just haven't realized it yet. Does what we have said make more sense in that light?

  14. - Top - End - #194
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    If you shake someone's hand, and they catch the plague, and I see this interaction, and after all that your reaction is 'well, I couldn't have known, oh well', then I will never in the future shake your hand. It's not a matter of whether you're a 'bad person' or something - I know that your behavior makes you more likely to subject me to risk than someone who takes responsibility and e.g. sees a doctor after they visit a plague zone, or limits exposure to other people when they were themselves potentially exposed to sick people, or things like that.

    The utility of blame is that, by understanding your role as a vector for the plague, I can reduce the chance that I will get it in the future. By blaming you, I know how to get a better outcome for myself. But also, if you accept the blame, you can change your behavior in such a way that we can still shake hands in the future without me putting myself in undue risk. If I see you accepting the blame and changing your behavior, then even if you make a mistake once I can trust you in the future.

    Blame can be used to figure out a better future course of action in two ways - someone to blame can act to change their own behavior, or the people around them can act to limit the ability of the person who is to blame to have influence that could cause problems in the future. The value of responsibility is that by taking it seriously, there's a pathway to fixing the problem that doesn't involve isolating people after they make an error.
    More awesome - you're on a roll!

    I have the same stance regarding blame. So kudos!

    However, humans are idiots. Look at all the dumb things that they've thought throughout history.

    Then look at how much confusion the Playground (generally a bit above the general population, IMO) has had trying to make sense of Talakeal's GM's actions.

    Honestly, I suspect that it's entirely possible that the GM had the NPC make this ultimatum on purpose, knowing how Talakeal would roleplay his character, just to end the campaign and/or to blame Talakeal. We've all heard similar stories before.

    Under that potential scenario, there is no blame to be given to Talakeal, IMO, as there is nothing (that isn't dysfunction) for him to learn from the experience.

    Under the, uh, "default" scenario, well, it's still a head scratcher, and we'd likely all give Talakeal different (and possibly contradictory) advice.

    So, I agree, Talakeal was involved in that scenario. But I think that the only thing that we can agree that he has to learn from the experience… is that he has something to learn.

    If I didn't come from a plague zone, how could I have known to be checked out? OK, that juxtaposition of metaphors is poor, as the claim is that Talakeal games in Bizarro World (which he has recently narrowed down to two players, so kudos Talakeal!), but hopefully you get the point. Which is: sometimes, the most you can learn from a scenario is that you have something to learn.

    Yes, it is incumbent upon the individual to then perform due diligence in attempting to educate themselves. Which may or may not be fruitful. See again all the silly things humans have believed.

    In short, I agree, but want to make sure that we don't edge into "blame the victim" territory.

  15. - Top - End - #195
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    I've always thought people are weirdly hung up on keeping the game running at all costs. If a character sticks to their principles to the bitter end and dies for it, as far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing. What more satisfying end could you possibly want? That's not necessarily the end of the game, people do have the ability to make a new character, shift situations, do something new. Or if it is the end of the game, that's a good end to the game.

  16. - Top - End - #196
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    You seem to only, ever, exclusively blame DMs for problems and take player decisions as sacrosanct.
    That is the character I'm role-playing

    Otherwise, your post is saying almost exactly what I'm saying. So… I agree?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    These is this whole optimization problem in making sure everyone is having as much fun as possible,

    But that is what you and I are talking about, you just haven't realized it yet. Does what we have said make more sense in that light?
    Um, no? Maximizing fun and overriding fun seem different in my book. Or, rather, equating "looking for ways not to seriously jeopardize people's fun" with "killing people's fun" seems fundamentally wrong.

    (EDIT - unless y'all both mean the trivial "my intended action would kill / override your fun"… but then I'm still missing a point somewhere, as we are discussing "choose differently" / "metagame…”; ie, techniques to *not* do that.)

    (EDIT 2 - unless y'all have somehow equated "choose differently" / "metagame…” with "role-playing", when, really, it applies equally to any action, regardless of the level of role-playing behind it)
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-05-28 at 08:50 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #197
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    I've always thought people are weirdly hung up on keeping the game running at all costs. If a character sticks to their principles to the bitter end and dies for it, as far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing. What more satisfying end could you possibly want? That's not necessarily the end of the game, people do have the ability to make a new character, shift situations, do something new. Or if it is the end of the game, that's a good end to the game.
    If one character does so, that's fine. Kill them off and bring someone more suited to the game that everyone else wants to play. Or if everyone agrees, then it's fine. But if 4/5 people want the game to continue and one destroys it, that's a problem in my book. Because one guy who refuses to bend (or change), and does so with acrimony, can certainly ruin a whole gaming group. I've seen it happen.

    The fun of the group is paramount in my eyes, and everyone should be willing to actively seek out acceptable compromises. "I have to play this <mega-ultra-OP> character" is not an acceptable compromise for most people. "I have to play <lawful stupid>" is not an acceptable compromise in a morally-grey game. "I have to play <murder-hobo supreme>" is not an acceptable compromise in a shining-hero game. Etc. I don't care what you decided your character was going to be like before play started--if the personality or mechanics you built makes others have less fun, you have a few options:
    1. Change the character. Whether as "moral growth/decay" in-play or as a retcon, I don't care.
    2. Change characters. Whether the ill-fitting character rides off into the sunset, becomes an NPC, or dies doesn't matter to me. But your next one better fit better.
    3. Leave the group. The last-resort option. I've actually done this, when it was obvious that the rest of the table wanted to play in a style (blatant sex scenes and drugging kids) that I could not stomach.

    In no case does "my character would do X" serve as an adequate justification for bad player behavior.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    That is the character I'm role-playing

    Otherwise, your post is saying almost exactly what I'm saying. So… I agree?
    Honestly, I'm totally confused as to what you're trying to say. You've been all over the map and your stance now seems to conflict heavily with your expressed stances elsewhere.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Honestly, I'm totally confused as to what you're trying to say. You've been all over the map and your stance now seems to conflict heavily with your expressed stances elsewhere.
    No you're not - you just said it.

    For the most part, I've less been "all over the map", and more been "all over the elephant", if I may coin a phrase. That is, I've been describing small parts of the same thing in different contexts, as encountered by different groups. Or small pieces of a complex thing, each easier to grasp than the whole.

    When what I've said sounds like one thing rather than many, you've seen the elephant! (Assuming my sanity held, of course)

    EDIT: Towards that end, allow me to repeat / rephrase a high-level overview:

    Metagame like a mother****ing dolphin

    On error: can I solve this myself?

    Can we solve this together?

    When was this not broken?

    Tally error. Evaluate. What can we learn?

    Character should change?

    Character should retire?

    Player should change?

    Player should retire?

    EDIT 2: if anything seems contradictory, please, bring it to my attention. I may be communicating poorly, or (heaven forbid!) I may have grown. (I hit my head too often already!)
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-05-28 at 09:12 AM.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    More awesome - you're on a roll!

    I have the same stance regarding blame. So kudos!

    However, humans are idiots. Look at all the dumb things that they've thought throughout history.

    Honestly, I suspect that it's entirely possible that the GM had the NPC make this ultimatum on purpose, knowing how Talakeal would roleplay his character, just to end the campaign and/or to blame Talakeal. We've all heard similar stories before.

    Under that potential scenario, there is no blame to be given to Talakeal, IMO, as there is nothing (that isn't dysfunction) for him to learn from the experience.
    Well, one lesson has been mentioned already - when there's an apparent disconnect and someone else at the table says the equivalent of 'hey, wanna play chicken with that cliff?', drop OOC and make sure everyone is explicitly aware of how it's going to go.

    Another, along the lines of 'choose differently': you are allowed to lie (and you're allowed not to care if the GM then says that your alignment changes)

    There are harder lessons too, but this example isn't there yet (such as: when should you cheat?)

    Should Talakeal be censured for not doing these things? No. But it's good to be aware that options existed, even if imperfect ones.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    I still don't get why Talekeal's PC dying from attacking the superNPC of Evil ended the campaign.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Wow, lots of activity while I was on the road.

    To clarify, this was a solo game. It was early last year, while I was still in New Mexico but after I had left my crazy bizarro land GMs group, and I was desperate for DMing so I was trying to teach my roommate to do it. He is a longtime player, but has very little experiance running the game.

    I made a thread about it at the time, if someone wants a mre detailed recollection they could look it up.

    But yeah, I was the only PC, not that it really mattered, that guy and his goons would nave TPKed a whole party more likely than not.

    Basically the DM expected me to either accept his offer, in which case he would send me on a series of appropriate CR jobs, or I would refuse and he would send a series of appropriate CR mooks at me one at a time.

    My logic was that if I have a high level rogue out to kill me my best odds were to attack him on my terms rather than letting him get the drop on me, as I was currently armed and armored and ne was, you lnow, a rogue.

    I blame us both equally, I was too stubborn to comrpomise my character and he was too stubborn to compromise his villain. We had both put a ton of prep work into the campaign and were both really frustrated nothi g came of it.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    I remember that thread!!
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Ah, it being a solo game makes sense. Yeah, the advice I'd give were "save that game" still a goal would be to have both you choose to refuse, and the villain choose to laugh at any pathetic attempts your PC made to fight him.

    Alternatively, the villain wasn't the villain, but was a simulacrum or other disposable patsy that your character could slaughter. Which angers the real villain and sends the CR-appropriate mooks after you.

    But, as you said, inexperienced DM.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Part of the answer here is to remember that it’s the job of the GM to inform the player of things the character would know. If the player is working off of bad assumptions, it’s up to the GM to correct them. Especially if the character is acting in a way that illustrates the assumptions.

    GM: “Bad guy says you either join him or die.”
    Player: “Okay, I go stabby.”
    GM: “Whoa hold up. You do that you’ll definitely die. What’s up?”
    Player: “There’s no way is work for him, and I figure if I lie he’ll just send our assassins to kill me with overwhelming force. Better to take my chances here.”
    GM: “That’s not likely. You know his forces, and he doesn’t really have a lot of extra tough guys to send you - you figure that if you renege on his deal, he’ll probably send whatever low level goons he can spare at you, but he’s got bigger fish to fry. That said, he’ll obviously be an enemy then and there’ll be no help from him or his allies. But you doubt that he’ll waste too many valuable resources on you, unless you walk into his office.”

    You can even get more explicit and out of game if you want.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    The point is, everyone involved has a responsibility for what happens. The only people who don't have responsibility? Fictional entities such as 'Talakeal's character' or 'the DM's NPC'. They don't exist, can't make choices, and don't get to be used as excuses to hide behind when something goes wrong. That's the point.
    I agree.

    By both of them making a Character that "won't budge" - the event would still end like it did, or be a standoff at best.
    Either way, the campaign is likely to end.

    I'd just chalk it up to "Experience" and try to improve in the future.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Since it definitely got lost in the noise, have you ever considered introducing a GM-less system like Fiasco or Capes to your group? If one of the biggest points of friction is the GM/player relationship, going GM-free might be a new experience you'd like better.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    No you're not - you just said it.

    For the most part, I've less been "all over the map", and more been "all over the elephant", if I may coin a phrase. That is, I've been describing small parts of the same thing in different contexts, as encountered by different groups. Or small pieces of a complex thing, each easier to grasp than the whole.

    When what I've said sounds like one thing rather than many, you've seen the elephant! (Assuming my sanity held, of course)

    EDIT: Towards that end, allow me to repeat / rephrase a high-level overview:

    Metagame like a mother****ing dolphin

    On error: can I solve this myself?

    Can we solve this together?

    When was this not broken?

    Tally error. Evaluate. What can we learn?

    Character should change?

    Character should retire?

    Player should change?

    Player should retire?

    EDIT 2: if anything seems contradictory, please, bring it to my attention. I may be communicating poorly, or (heaven forbid!) I may have grown. (I hit my head too often already!)

    I have found one thing that absolutely contradicts your stance as expressed in various other threads:

    5b) instead, why not have the elderly couple move out of the way; ie, have the GM choose differently with these troublesome bit player NPCs, to allow the game to move forward without sacrificing the character of the more important (and generally more established) PCs?
    (emphasis mine)

    In previous threads, you have been very adamant that GMs who change the game world in response to their players' actions are the worst kind of people imaginable, completely untrustworthy jerks who shouldn't be let anywhere near players, ever. Now you suddenly advocate that if the players clash with part of the game world, the GM should change the world to accommodate them.
    Those stances are mutually exclusive; either the GM has to stick with the world as it was created, or the world is malleable and the GM may change parts at their discretion. You can't have it both ways.
    Also, this might be me reading to much into it, but phrasing it as "have the GM choose differently" makes it sound like it is not the GM choosing differently but someone else (the player?) telling the GM to choose differently. If this is not what you meant and just phrased it poorly, I apologise, but if I'm interpreting this right, that is a no-go. The GM is not the players' servant or employee;they are a member of the gaming group, with equal rights, and absolutely allowed to make their own choices. Players cannot order the GM to do anything, just as the GM can't force the players to do anything.
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Since it definitely got lost in the noise, have you ever considered introducing a GM-less system like Fiasco or Capes to your group? If one of the biggest points of friction is the GM/player relationship, going GM-free might be a new experience you'd like better.
    Nobody in my group, myself included, has any interest in running that style of game, we are all fairly set in our ways.

    I have tried "rules light" or "story games" in the past and they have never quite scratched the itch that traditional gaming does.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgaln View Post
    I have found one thing that absolutely contradicts your stance as expressed in various other threads:

    (emphasis mine)

    In previous threads, you have been very adamant that GMs who change the game world in response to their players' actions are the worst kind of people imaginable, completely untrustworthy jerks who shouldn't be let anywhere near players, ever. Now you suddenly advocate that if the players clash with part of the game world, the GM should change the world to accommodate them.
    Those stances are mutually exclusive; either the GM has to stick with the world as it was created, or the world is malleable and the GM may change parts at their discretion. You can't have it both ways.
    Also, this might be me reading to much into it, but phrasing it as "have the GM choose differently" makes it sound like it is not the GM choosing differently but someone else (the player?) telling the GM to choose differently. If this is not what you meant and just phrased it poorly, I apologise, but if I'm interpreting this right, that is a no-go. The GM is not the players' servant or employee;they are a member of the gaming group, with equal rights, and absolutely allowed to make their own choices. Players cannot order the GM to do anything, just as the GM can't force the players to do anything.
    Ah, wording.

    "GMs who change the game world in response to their players' actions are the worst kind of people imaginable, completely untrustworthy jerks who shouldn't be let anywhere near players, ever" - lol. a bit harsh, but close enough. you'll note that my more recent versions phrase it as "game physics or facts". "Choose differently" involves changing neither of those. (EDIT - well, from a certain point of view. I guess it depends on when you consider an action to be "real". I'm accustomed to MtG interrupts, and RPG "wait, what?", So, to me, declared actions can trivially be subjected to, "are you sure?" and its ilk)

    "Now you suddenly advocate that if the players clash with part of the game world, the GM should change the world to accommodate them.
    Those stances are mutually exclusive; " - I can see your confusion. Note that, in my "flow chart", this occurs after "consult the group", or after "being consulted by the group". So, this is not "the GM" changing anything - this is "the group" changing things. Subtle difference. The stances are compatible. (That said, I'll agree, it rubs me the wrong way to have to do so, but I've seen other GMs handle it smoothly, so I know that it can be the right thing for the group to do. Thus its inclusion in my toolkit / flowchart / whatever. Also, I don't… do extemporaneous well (contrary to my players' beliefs), so it's easier for me to "choose differently" or retcon or "choose differently with another playing piece" than to mold a piece on the fly.)

    "makes it sound like it is not the GM choosing differently but someone else (the player?) telling the GM to choose differently. If this is not what you meant and just phrased it poorly, I apologise" - no apology necessary. It's… complicated. I was trying to say several things together. So, let's say I'm just *watching* Talakeal's game, and I realize that the GM's / Talakeal's actions will lead to disaster. I interject, explain the snafu, and nudge them to "choose differently". Only the player can choose what valid moves are for their pieces, but *anyone* can point out that something is not a valid move for fun (see shopkeeps banning R- and X-rated comments in games run in their stores, even if they aren't playing). So, it's less domination and more informative: "the house is on fire". It's a problem with the "choose differently" nomenclature, I'll grant that, that it is worded as an imperative. (EDIT: also, mixed in there is me *telling* the Playground that "choose differently" can and should applied to the GM at least as much as (and probably moreso than) to the players. For some people, this difference in prioritizing the GM to "choose differently" would be because the PCs are more established; for others, it is because the PCs are more important. Shrug.)

    "Players cannot order the GM to do anything, just as the GM can't force the players to do anything." - if you have to be *forced* to care about and act to preserve the fun of others…

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Does it seem consistent now? Or is further clarification required?
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-05-28 at 01:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Ah, wording.

    "GMs who change the game world in response to their players' actions are the worst kind of people imaginable, completely untrustworthy jerks who shouldn't be let anywhere near players, ever" - lol. a bit harsh, but close enough. you'll note that my more recent versions phrase it as "game physics or facts". "Choose differently" involves changing neither of those. (EDIT - well, from a certain point of view. I guess it depends on when you consider an action to be "real". I'm accustomed to MtG interrupts, and RPG "wait, what?", So, to me, declared actions can trivially be subjected to, "are you sure?" and its ilk)
    I fully admit the hyperbole here was all mine

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    "Now you suddenly advocate that if the players clash with part of the game world, the GM should change the world to accommodate them.
    Those stances are mutually exclusive; " - I can see your confusion. Note that, in my "flow chart", this occurs after "consult the group", or after "being consulted by the group". So, this is not "the GM" changing anything - this is "the group" changing things. Subtle difference. The stances are compatible. (That said, I'll agree, it rubs me the wrong way to have to do so, but I've seen other GMs handle it smoothly, so I know that it can be the right thing for the group to do. Thus its inclusion in my toolkit / flowchart / whatever. Also, I don't… do extemporaneous well (contrary to my players' beliefs), so it's easier for me to "choose differently" or retcon or "choose differently with another playing piece" than to mold a piece on the fly.)

    "makes it sound like it is not the GM choosing differently but someone else (the player?) telling the GM to choose differently. If this is not what you meant and just phrased it poorly, I apologise" - no apology necessary. It's… complicated. I was trying to say several things together. So, let's say I'm just *watching* Talakeal's game, and I realize that the GM's / Talakeal's actions will lead to disaster. I interject, explain the snafu, and nudge them to "choose differently". Only the player can choose what valid moves are for their pieces, but *anyone* can point out that something is not a valid move for fun (see shopkeeps banning R- and X-rated comments in games run in their stores, even if they aren't playing). So, it's less domination and more informative: "the house is on fire". It's a problem with the "choose differently" nomenclature, I'll grant that, that is worded as an imperative.

    "Players cannot order the GM to do anything, just as the GM can't force the players to do anything." - if you have to be *forced* to care about and act to preserve the fun of others…

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Does it seem consistent now? Or is further clarification required?
    That does seem consistent now, thanks for clarifying.


    You also said that it is preferable to change the NPC's behavior over the PC, since the PC is likely to be fleshed out far better than the NPC. (Paraphrasing from memory, since I can't find the exact quote right now, correct me if I misunderstood you please.). I agree with that in general. But out of curiousity, let's assume a theoretical situation where the NPC is a recurring character, maybe even a recurring character from several campaigns that is well known to the players (but not necessarily to the characters). Would you still consider it okay to change the behaviour of that NPC to something that the players know is incongruous with their previous behavior, for the sake of one player's actions?
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