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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    How big is this group? Are “the two complainers” half the table, a third? Why not invite them to leave if they don’t enjoy what is clearly fun for everyone else?

  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    How big is this group? Are “the two complainers” half the table, a third? Why not invite them to leave if they don’t enjoy what is clearly fun for everyone else?
    Its currently a 4 person group, we gave our 5th the boot.


    Due to social dynamics we can't really change up the membership at the moment.


    Honestly though, when they aren't complaining (which is 99% of the time) I genuinely do enjoy having both of these players at the table, I guess am just looking for some magic bullet to smooth over that last 1%.
    Last edited by Talakeal; 2019-06-01 at 09:39 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    @Talakeal
    To me, it looks like you have achieved as much "balance" in your group as is possible.

    ****
    The "asymmetrical" guy isn't going to be able to find very many games that aren't that way.

    Most RPGs have Villains/BBEGs (and lots of Monsters) with abilities/powers that the PCs never get, usually based on something from the media/genre they are based on. (SW's Emperor, Marvel's Thanos, DC's Darkseid, D&D = Acererak, Etc)

    ****
    As for all the other Players, there must be something in your game (and style) that they like, or they would just stop coming.
    My Knowledge, Understanding, and Opinion on things can be changed
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by MeimuHakurei View Post
    Quoting this because I feel it could make for an interesting discussion, albeit in a seperate thread - on one hand, I disagree with the implication that equal challenge will play or feel the same on different power levels - a Fighter and a Wizard will perform significantly different even if the challenge matches their power (this holds true whether or not one is stronger than the other btw).

    On the other hand, I do agree that a lot of adjusting to the party is a little overdone - while I'm fine with it on a story level (plot hooks that engage the particular characters et al), you do not need to pump enemy HP on a highly offense-oriented group or remove all traps and locks from the game because nobody took the relevant skills. Let the players figure out how to handle an unorthodox group composition.
    It's video game pallet shifted enemies with bigger numbers: a foo set to 20 and a bar set to 20 against a sna set to 20 play the same as a foo set to 50 and a bar set to 50 against a sna set to 50.

    Instead, set your sna to 20, and let the *players* choose if their foo and bar will be set to 20, or 19, or 21 - or possibly even something further afield, if that's what they enjoy.

    And I think that that advice is appropriate to this thread.

    I agree with that last paragraph. In fact, I think it was what I was trying to get across.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-06-01 at 11:12 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    It's video game pallet shifted enemies with bigger numbers: a foo set to 20 and a bar set to 20 against a sna set to 20 play the same as a foo set to 50 and a bar set to 50 against a sna set to 50.

    Instead, set your sna to 20, and let the *players* choose if their foo and bar will be set to 20, or 19, or 21 - or possibly even something further afield, if that's what they enjoy.

    And I think that that advice is appropriate to this thread.

    I agree with that last paragraph. In fact, I think it was what I was trying to get across.
    Generally (in CRPGs) the actual gameplay curve (palette shift or not) has to do with a segue from straight up damage races to dealing with various complications: status conditions, area attacks, timing sequences, etc. Characters have numbers go up, but they also have the set of available options go up. The curve is there to avoid players having to simultaneously grasp multiple systems at once, but rather lets them learn mechanics one at a time. So we could talk about scaling the numbers, or scaling the complexity, and it's actually two (different) kinds of difficulty rubber-banding.

    An example would be, you could have a campaign where the enemies are always the same level as the party, but the world has some areas populated by things with RHD, some with NPC class levels, some with fighter levels, some with bard/etc levels, and some with multiclass builds with T1 caster shenanigans going on. The level is rubber-banded, but the difficulty definitely still varies, in terms of the complexity of the encounters that the party needs to be able to deal with. Or you could rubber-band the class composition but have the levels vary freely - a really savvy group in that DM's campaign might find themselves at Lv9 facing a squad of Lv3 wizards arrayed behind murderholes and equipped with nearly-empty Wands of CL7 Magic Missile or worse, whereas as less savvy group at Lv9 finds a bunch of Lv3 fighters instead. Both are scaling difficulty, and both block the players from having agency over a particular element of their gameplay experience - but not the same element in both cases.

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    I'd also say that in a hex-crawly type situation, it's not your job to create the encounters and tailor them. It's your job to run the world, let the players have a reasonable idea of what they might encounter, and make their own decisions about what seems like a good thing to tackle or not.

    If they know the ogre mountains are to the north and the kobold forest is to the south, and have a rough idea of what might be there (yay random monster tables tailored to the environment), then they can choose to take the easy way or the hard way, and when they want to head back to safety. Take that job out of your hands entirely.

    If they want the Ogre Mountains, they can go there. Their problem, not yours. If they wanna wimp out with the Kobold Forest, also not your problem.
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  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Just finished a session.

    Too tired to write up a full post right now, but oh holy crap guys, things really came to a head.

    Will be back with the details in the morning.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    So, yeah, things might be a bit worse than I thought.

    First off, I realized that my power-gamer player has a sort of self destructive miserly streak. His evidence that his adventures are too hard is that he barely has any spell slots left to sell for profit at the end of the mission (and boy did he go on a rant about how unfair it was that PCs sell things for half price last night). Furthermore, he refuses to actually spend money on anything that is not a permanent upgrade to his character. In last nights situation they were going after a dungeon that was above their level (sandbox game remember) and I told them that it would be more difficulty than usual but also have better rewards, and that they might want to bring on a few extra henchmen and stock up on consumables first, but he put his foot down and insisted it was a waste of money.

    So then they get there and are doing ok. Then the get to what is the biggest single fight in the dungeon, which I describe as a regiment of very well trained and equipped guards who are practicing with incredible discipline. The party comes in without buffing or anything, and the enemies are willing to talk, but the PCs just go all "no monologuing" and attack as a disorganized mob with no communication. The unengaged enemies then focus fire on the party's mages and the power-gamer's character is brought down (but not killed).

    The player then decides to go into the next room and take a nap.

    He is healed soon after, but refuses to come back out, and thus, down a man (remember he goes ballistic if anyone else plays his character) comes within a hair's breath of a TPK.

    We then get an almost two hour delay where the party is unable to make a decision as to how to proceed, as they are so low on resources that they don't think they can either proceed or safely return to town.* The napping player comes out about half way through this, but doesn't really contribute.

    Eventually the party figures a way out of their jam and are able to complete the adventure.

    One of the rewards is a magic item that grants its user some construct traits, including the "automatically makes all fortitude saves except for those that also affect objects." And then the power gamer, we will call him Bob, said the following:

    Bob: Ok, make sure you protect yourself against fortitude saves that effect objects, because a lot of those will be coming at you now.
    Me: Its a pretty rare form of attack, and its never been an issue before, the odds that it will be the most optimal strategy against you are pretty low.
    Bob: Oh, normally yes. But Talakeal always ensures that if you have a weakness enemies will magically start appearing who do nothing but exploit that weakness.
    Me: When does that happen?
    Bob: All the time!
    Me: What are you talking about? Your "shape-change into an incorporeal creature" trick has reliably made you immune to almost every attack, there have been like what, three times something was able to get through it in the entire 13 month campaign?**
    Bob: No. It happens all the time. Anytime I find a perfect defense you tailor make an NPC just to screw me over and then laugh in my face about it!

    And then I realized something, this player is still nursing an eight year old grudge and apparently it has permanently shattered his trust in me.


    Now, I know I have told this story before, maybe earlier in this very thread, but to reiterate:

    This occurred eight years ago, in June of 2011. The party was fighting an evil demigod whose portfolio was "Space." Bob was playing his usual character, a min-maxxed glass cannon mage, and the demigod, being a supra genius, was ignoring the melee to go after her. She teleported away, and then the demigod followed and I, in full ham villain voice said "Mwa-ha-ha. You think you can use conjuration to escape me? I was born of this!" and proceeds to kill the character.
    The rest of the party continues on, and at one point during the fight I realized I made a bad call, and reversed my decision. The call had nothing to do with Bob's character being killed, but Bob made a bitter statement about how I was clearly playing favorites and am willing to cheat to save the rest of the party but not him.
    Now, this is a fairly high level game, and the rest of the party was able to defeat the demigod and then resurrect bobs character. We continue playing for a while, and Bob doesn't say anything. I figure he is upset that he character died and give him some space, and we continue the game. A while later they meet with an NPC (Bob's character's mentor) and talks to Bob's character about something at length, and then at one point asks her a direct question. Bob doesn't say a word, either in or out of character. After a long awkward silence I break character and ask if why he is just ignoring the NPC to which he replies "Because I just don't care about your stupid world or its stupid lore and I don't give a crap what your stupid NPCs have to say. And you know I don't care, and that is why you are punishing me and then laughing in my face about it!" and then gets up and leaves the room.

    Later I tried to explain to him that it wasn't anything personal, I wasn't trying to punish him or laugh at him, I was merely role-playing an NPC villain as an intelligent, arrogant, and evil son of a bitch. I tried to explain that sometimes players (and DM's) make mistakes and sometimes dice just don't go your way, and sometimes to make the PCs really care about the game you have to make them hate the villains, and used comparisons to several video games I know he likes. He then said that he doesn't play games which mock you for dying or have cheap deaths, and if he encounters either of those in a video game he immediately turns the game off and probably never turns it on again.


    Now, in my opinion this was pretty much the worst behavior I have ever seen from a player. I figured he was having a bad day and just let it go. This was eight years ago, and in my opinion he had really gotten a lot better at playing with others, and a couple of years ago I actually told him how proud I was of him because he was now the stable player holding the group together. But it seems like the last six months or so he has started to rapidly regress back to his old grumpy munckin self.


    At this point I literally can't kick him from the game due to the social dynamics of the group, so that isn't an option even if I were to concede that it was necessary. Apparently he has a lot of unresolved issues with me, and I have invited him out to lunch today where I am going to try and have an open talk about trust and his expectations for the game, and I am going to try and make it about me rather than about him so he can open up and tell me what is going on without feeling attacked.

    But yeah, that's where we are.






    *The adventure is taking place on an island. There are pirates on the island which they decided to bluff their way past, but they sabotaged the pirate's ship while they were there and burned it down. Now the harbor is full of pissed off and ship-less pirates.
    **: This is a sandbox campaign. 90% of it was designed before I knew who would be playing in it, let alone what character they are playing, so the idea that I am tailoring encounters to screw over one specific player's strategy is kind of ridiculous. It has actually kind of been an ongoing problem for me as the mage has been shapeshifting into an incorporeal creature and then wand-ing the enemies to death meaning that he can solo 90% of the encounters without any risk or resource expenditure.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    If thats how he is, there really seems nothing you can do but kick him, no matter how problematic that might be for the group dynamic.

    Players with such a lack of trust for (and kind of a vendetta against) the GM simply destroy groups.

    No matter who was to blame to begin with, if you cant work it out by talking to him (and people saying "I dont care about your stupid lore and you are punishing me for it" dont seem very ... communicative to me^^) there is nothing else left to do.

    Also, just saying, you determine the world and its (re)actions. Until you accept an action of a player, it has not happened. if your players (or Player) say "no stupid monologueing" and aim to attack in a "stupid" way, you can put your foot down, explain there is NO monologing, and expectr them to act like they have more than 2 brain cells.

    Talking to them is necessary in many ways it seems.

    Sigh....
    A neutron walks into a bar and says, “How much for a beer?” The bartender says, “For you? No charge.”


    Later: An atom walks into a bar an asks the bartender “Have you seen an electron? I left it in here last night.” The bartender says, “Are you sure?” The atom says, “I’m positive.”

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Can you explain the “can’t sell items at full price” thing?

    If selling to a shop, it would seem to make sense that you’d sell for less than list price because the shopkeeper would want to make a profit.

    Again, there seems to be a lot of presuming that you will and should tailor the difficulty of things to the group (thus never buying consumables, hiring henchmen, etc.)

    I’d really recommend going full sandbox. Let them choose what they do and where they go. Get out of that business entirely.
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  11. - Top - End - #251
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    BlackDragon

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

    Sounds like an imploding situation, to me.

    I really hope that Talakeal can find a way to talk to him, and resolve these problems - especially the Trust issue.

    Sorry, GreyDeath, but kicking "Bob" out would most likely only cause Talakeal more grief. And has been stated that it wasn't something Talakeal was willing to do.

    Now, it's entirely possible that the player in question will decide to drop out of the Game, but letting him decide that will still leave the door open for Talakeal and him still remaining friends. Kicking him out would most likely forever "burn that bridge".

    I'm afraid that I'm out of ideas, on how to help.
    Sorry, Talakeal.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-06-02 at 12:31 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    **: This is a sandbox campaign. 90% of it was designed before I knew who would be playing in it, let alone what character they are playing, so the idea that I am tailoring encounters to screw over one specific player's strategy is kind of ridiculous. It has actually kind of been an ongoing problem for me as the mage has been shapeshifting into an incorporeal creature and then wand-ing the enemies to death meaning that he can solo 90% of the encounters without any risk or resource expenditure.
    Even super power gaming such that he can solo 90% of your encounters, *without resource expenditure*, he still ends the adventure with no resources? And you've had to implement "you don't really die" rules to keep from having a TPK more often? And you don't think it possible that anyone could ever enjoy a lower difficulty level? Really?

    My recommendation is, run published modules, by the books, no changes.

    Alternately, publish your module before they make PCs.

    Now, you don't have to show them the module first. You can hand a trusted player the zip files, and, after each encounter, give them the password to unzip it (like "Snuffy, the big nose fairy ogre").

    Trust is hard to build. I don't know how to fix such long-term eroded trust other than proving that you're playing fair.

    -----

    Also,

    "never get into an arms race with your players, because they cannot win".

    I / my tables agree that consumables are often a waste. Try implementing *strict* WBL, baked into the system. Your body can only power WBL worth of magic items. Further, make consumables replenish - say, 1/2 every time you level. (So, you use a 100 GP consumable, you get 50 GP back each of the next 2 times you level).

    Or, make magic items and wealth use different pools. Permanent magic items follow strict WBL, as above. So magic items are free. But consumables allow you to bypass WBL limits, and are something worth spending money on.

    Discuss with the players how to get them onboard with a style everyone will enjoy.

  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    So, I had a talk with the player. I apologized for hurting his feelings all those years ago and asked him politely if we could bury the hatchet, and then I told him that it hurts my feelings when he accuses me of cheating the party.

    I told him I would do my best to address his concerns rather than dismiss them in the future, and I told him I would really appreciate it if we could work on trust in the future.

    Then I explained the economics of the game to him and how it was a sand-box setting which was mostly made before I knew who would be playing or what characters they would make, and about the economics of expected power levels and the pitfalls of spiraling out of control into a Monty Haul campaign or death spirals.

    Then I listened to his complains and tried to address rather than dismiss them, and agreed to work harder on battlefield setup in the future. (This party has really low initiative, and we are playing on a small table without any scenery, so he feels that the game is too cramped and that they are often bogged down in combat before getting a chance to react, so I am going to work on that in the future.)

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Can you explain the “can’t sell items at full price” thing?

    If selling to a shop, it would seem to make sense that you’d sell for less than list price because the shopkeeper would want to make a profit.

    Again, there seems to be a lot of presuming that you will and should tailor the difficulty of things to the group (thus never buying consumables, hiring henchmen, etc.)

    I’d really recommend going full sandbox. Let them choose what they do and where they go. Get out of that business entirely.
    Basically, he wants to sell spellcasting services at the same price that NPCs sell spellcasting to the PCs, ignoring the fact that there is an issue of overhead and supply and demand, and in this case him and the other player, the one who hates asymmetry, agree. As a compromise I let him sell any spell slots he has left over at the end of the adventure for a reduced rate as if it were gear, but I don't let him just sit in town and make infinite money casting all day.

    This campaign is already more or less full sandbox.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Even super power gaming such that he can solo 90% of your encounters, *without resource expenditure*, he still ends the adventure with no resources? And you've had to implement "you don't really die" rules to keep from having a TPK more often? And you don't think it possible that anyone could ever enjoy a lower difficulty level? Really?
    Can. Not does.

    Generally he goes full offense and doesn't bother with any defense, either in the moment or build choices, and then once he starts getting beaten on he turns incorporeal.


    90%+ of the time this means the monsters leave him alone and start attacking someone else.

    The remaining <10% of the time he goes down too quickly to turn incorporeal or he comes up against something that can hit incorporeal creatures, or he fights something that is immune to his wand, at which point he sulks and accuses me of either being a killer DM or tailor making the encounter specifically to screw him over.

    I am really, really, afraid that he will try and just go and solo adventures though, because that will amp this problem up to 11 as it will not only trivialize most encounters, but also leave him without any support when his plan does fail, not to mention the rest of the party feeling bored and useless.



    Also, no, I have not had to implement you don't really die rules to reduce the chance of a TPK. I started the campaign stating there would be no permanent deaths because I am running a character driven story in the background of the sandboxy gamist aspect of the game. Not that reducing permanent death would have anything to do with reducing the chances of a TPK as even most "meat-grinder" games allow people to bring in new characters at full power; unless you are just being literal and saying "TPK stands for total party KILL, not total party KNOCKOUT!"
    Last edited by Talakeal; 2019-06-02 at 03:47 PM.
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  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    So, I had a talk with the player. I apologized for hurting his feelings all those years ago and asked him politely if we could bury the hatchet, and then I told him that it hurts my feelings when he accuses me of cheating the party.

    I told him I would do my best to address his concerns rather than dismiss them in the future, and I told him I would really appreciate it if we could work on trust in the future.

    Then I explained the economics of the game to him and how it was a sand-box setting which was mostly made before I knew who would be playing or what characters they would make, and about the economics of expected power levels and the pitfalls of spiraling out of control into a Monty Haul campaign or death spirals.

    Then I listened to his complains and tried to address rather than dismiss them, and agreed to work harder on battlefield setup in the future. (This party has really low initiative, and we are playing on a small table without any scenery, so he feels that the game is too cramped and that they are often bogged down in combat before getting a chance to react, so I am going to work on that in the future.)
    \
    Was there any sense of reciprocity from him? Any agreement, or even an impression, that he's going to be less antagonistic to you in the future?
    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.

  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Basically, he wants to sell spellcasting services at the same price that NPCs sell spellcasting to the PCs, ignoring the fact that there is an issue of overhead and supply and demand, and in this case him and the other player, the one who hates asymmetry, agree. As a compromise I let him sell any spell slots he has left over at the end of the adventure for a reduced rate as if it were gear, but I don't let him just sit in town and make infinite money casting all day.
    In your position I’d de-abstract this a bit. Who are his customers? How does he get them? What do they want? Is there some kind of middle-man involved?

    While you don’t necessarily need to play this out, understanding what is happening may help you to reach an agreeable compromise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    This campaign is already more or less full sandbox.
    “Sandbox” can mean a lot of things so I’m going to move away from that word.

    I do not think you should be coming up with encounters, at least at a planning level. Make regions, maybe some POIs. Populate random encounter charts. Let the players decide where they want to go. Make sure they know what they might find there, to a relatively high degree of accuracy, at least for nearby areas. Make it obvious when they’re going into scary places.

    Let the dice determine what they find, and the numbers. And don’t assume “encounter” means “roll initiative”, instead let it mean “first contact” which could be anything from seeing them in the distance to finding tracks or remnants of their stuff, or still could mean running into them if that’s plausible.

    But don’t tailor the encounters. Don’t make them tougher or easier. Let the players deal with it, and choose to fight, avoid, or run. Let THEM choose their own difficulty.

    Heck, show them this. [/QUOTE]
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  16. - Top - End - #256
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    In your position I’d de-abstract this a bit. Who are his customers? How does he get them? What do they want? Is there some kind of middle-man involved?

    While you don’t necessarily need to play this out, understanding what is happening may help you to reach an agreeable compromise.


    “Sandbox” can mean a lot of things so I’m going to move away from that word.

    I do not think you should be coming up with encounters, at least at a planning level. Make regions, maybe some POIs. Populate random encounter charts. Let the players decide where they want to go. Make sure they know what they might find there, to a relatively high degree of accuracy, at least for nearby areas. Make it obvious when they’re going into scary places.

    Let the dice determine what they find, and the numbers. And don’t assume “encounter” means “roll initiative”, instead let it mean “first contact” which could be anything from seeing them in the distance to finding tracks or remnants of their stuff, or still could mean running into them if that’s plausible.

    But don’t tailor the encounters. Don’t make them tougher or easier. Let the players deal with it, and choose to fight, avoid, or run. Let THEM choose their own difficulty.

    Heck, show them this.
    [/QUOTE]

    Ugh, I so don't want to de-abstract wealth. I really don't want to go back to the days of players spending their downtime grubbing for every copper piece.


    Oh no, I just got over a drama storm over random encounters. My players absolutely hate them, any problems they have with the game just seem worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Was there any sense of reciprocity from him? Any agreement, or even an impression, that he's going to be less antagonistic to you in the future?
    For him, yes. As in he didn't seem grouchy or actively defensive.
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  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Would doing the random encounters before the game, figure out all pertaining data (stats, AC, HP, etc) and possible motivations be helpful?

    Let's you deal with things only as needed.
    And doesn't upset Players by seeing/hearing dice rolled for Random Encounters?

    Con: does burn DM's Free Time
    My Knowledge, Understanding, and Opinion on things can be changed
    No offense is intended by anything I post.
    *Limited Playtest Group - I'm mostly Stuck in the White Room.
    *I am learning valuable things, here. So thanks, everyone!

  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Talakeal... what the heck is it exactly that your "players" actually like about RPGs?

    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

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

    @Talakeal, have you given any thought to enforced WBL, or pre publishing your content? Or even to my crazy idea of having *them* make the house rules, and maybe even the rulings?

    I do think you should explain "supply and demand", and that you can't just sell your spell slots whenever you have them available.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Talakeal... what the heck is it exactly that your "players" actually like about RPGs?


    In Bob's case he likes the "grinding" aspect of the game, mindlessly powering up his character and then discarding it when it hits max level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Would doing the random encounters before the game, figure out all pertaining data (stats, AC, HP, etc) and possible motivations be helpful?

    Let's you deal with things only as needed.
    And doesn't upset Players by seeing/hearing dice rolled for Random Encounters?

    Con: does burn DM's Free Time
    What benefit does that really serve though? I mean, I guess it deflects some blame as I can hide behind the dice when things don't go their way, but I am still the one who chose to generate and run the random encounters knowing that balance was not guaranteed.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  21. - Top - End - #261
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    @Talakeal, have you given any thought to enforced WBL, or pre publishing your content? Or even to my crazy idea of having *them* make the house rules, and maybe even the rulings?

    I do think you should explain "supply and demand", and that you can't just sell your spell slots whenever you have them available.
    Thought about it yes, come to any meaningful conclusion no.

    If I explains supply and demand to him I am sure he will just flip it around and start using the same logic to explain why he should get a discount from the NPCs.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  22. - Top - End - #262
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    I think couching this in terms of the player's understanding is a mistake. The player knows what they want and, either poorly or well, is communicating that. It just turns out that what they want is fundamentally incompatible with the game that Talakeal wants to run. This isn't a case of someone who doesn't get it or needs to be convinced of something. They're simply using logical arguments to try to achieve the end that they want, probably because they believe logical arguments will be effective on Talakeal while saying 'I do not want a challenging game, I just want to feel awesome and show off - and challenge detracts from that for me' probably feels like it wouldn't work (and, honestly, it probably wouldn't work to say that because this is a pretty fundamental incompatibility).

    Sandboxing, being transparent, de-abstracting, etc - those are all good suggestions for explaining something to someone where the problem is that they aren't getting it. But they won't change what someone actually fundamentally wants out of play. At best, you might convince them to feel guilt about not having fun - which is a pretty bad outcome.

  23. - Top - End - #263
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    What benefit does that really serve though? I mean, I guess it deflects some blame as I can hide behind the dice when things don't go their way, but I am still the one who chose to generate and run the random encounters knowing that balance was not guaranteed.
    But… that's the thing.
    What I see is that this player has given you a Paradox.

    One where, almost no matter what you do, they'll blame you, when anything doesn't go their way.

    (1) If you (obviously) use Random Encounters, then they say "no fair, not balanced".

    (2) But, if you spend the time making each encounter, even here, victory is not guaranteed (and shouldn't be). Not without novel (and movie) level "PC Plot Armor".

    (2a) And, if you do make an Encounter that is designed to actually Challenge the Character, they get even more upset.

    (3) Even if you succeed at #2, all that accomplished was to create (for you, at the very least) a type of Railroad Game, one focused on the story about how "Awesome" that PC was.
    (I suppose that if everyone is also being Awesome, this can be ok. Viewing it as more of a Freeform Anime story.)

    *****
    Now, I'm saying that with pre-made "Random Encounters", you still stick to the World being "real/living", as you Envisioned when you made it.

    This way, the players can Encounter different things, even in the same "Dungeon" or "Wilderness" Area.

    Dungeons - are tricky, here.
    Even in Monster/Race specific "Dungeons", there can be unplanned (Random) Encounters.

    Making it where there are only Orcs, and all except maybe the Boss "are in 10x10x10 rooms, guarding a chest" (yeah, really old joke, here) with absolutely no Orcs Encountered wandering (patrolling) the hallways: (to me) isn't believable outside of a (cheep) Video Game.

    ****
    Another aspect of the Paradox, is that either way, you end up "hiding behind the dice".

    (A) If you make the Encounter where there is a chance to fail, then that happening is "the fault of the dice". (I'm avoiding "Lack of Planning/Tactics", here. And just assuming Bad Rolls.)

    (B) But, if you go with "Plot Armor", then rolling the dice is just an illusion, being nothing more than a distraction from the fact that there is no chance of failure. (Which might upset the rest of the Players, if they figure this out)

    *****
    My suggestion was an attempt to still give some variety to an Area, but not provoke conflict by making the "random" part not so obvious.

    Done with enough time, you can even custom make the (Random) "pre-determined" monster to be more Balanced when the Party actually meets it.

    *****
    Now, I'm not going to say how to "solve" this Paradox, beyond my suggestion/s, since doing so wouldn't really be helpful. (and most likely make me an a***)

    You've managed to defuse one problem, and I hope that everyone in the Group (including you) can still have Fun playing the game/s together.

    ***
    Please let me know if anything I suggest is helpful.
    I really like sharing the fun of TRPGs.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-06-04 at 12:38 AM.

  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Ugh, I so don't want to de-abstract wealth. I really don't want to go back to the days of players spending their downtime grubbing for every copper piece.
    The reason why I went into games that do a full abstraction of wealth, either by being completely irrelevant (money won't buy you "power"), or by reducing it to a stat (you need to loan a small plane for your expedition, and to bribe an official for the authorisation? Roll "ressource" against a difficulty of 2)

    Counting every copper piece and revenue source, spending a entire session on a shopping spree to purchase a "I win" button, or worse, having the "space trader" campaign go completely haywire because the GM made a miscalculation on the revenue of the team, was no fun for me. Not as a GM, and certainly not as a player.


    As for your problems : Seems like you have game expectations problems at the table, and those things are HARD to solve, as everybody "knows" how a "normal" game should run but nobody can spell it out loud. Maybe you need to take a break and try something compltely different for a few sessions? (try another game, another world, another power level, switch to low crunch or simulationist or OSR games, change the adventure types from "fantasy dungeon crawl" to "futuristic investigation", change GM for a few games, do collaborative setting creation so that the players can decide themselves what kind of awesome enemies they want to come up against...)

    Of course, having a Call of Chtulhu one-shot will not solve your power-player grumpiness ^^. But it could shake the group dynamic. For me, trying new stuff outside my confort zone (like open rolls, new systems, low-fluff settings, etc...) was the only way to avoid GM-burnout after a loooong D&D3 campaign where I was the only GM in our group.
    Last edited by Kardwill; 2019-06-04 at 04:02 AM.

  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Thought about it yes, come to any meaningful conclusion no.

    If I explains supply and demand to him I am sure he will just flip it around and start using the same logic to explain why he should get a discount from the NPCs.
    If you don't want him to get excessive wealth, and he doesn't like spending money on things that don't permanently power up his character, like hirelings and consumables, those two things may be related somewhat. Of course, chances are no matter how much money you throw at him he'll probably just spend it on more permanent boosts. Why not offer him an alternative advancement path in exchange for those excess spell slots?

    Perhaps no one in town who wants spellcasting really wants to put down the gold, but has plenty of stuff to trade? After all, shopkeeps need to spend their money on other things, but may have plenty of goods to barter instead. Perhaps by lending his services to the local ruler, he can get a retinue of retainers and soldiers? Could allow him to work out deals with the potion sellers, scrollmakers, etc. so that he has a steady influx of consumables, and some contracted hirelings from the local lord(s).

    One critical thing, based on what you've said about this guy, I think it may be best to be upfront with your reasoning (in this case wanting him to have access to consumables and hirelings and not just have tons of random wealth). If you don't tell him, he may very well figure it out himself, and feel that you're trying to trick him. Even if he doesn't know exactly why, he may still think you're trying to screw him based on his (perceived) past experiences. And if he thinks you're not being totally honest, he will think you're trying to **** him over. So trying for full transparency might be the best way to go. Then again, you know him better, and it's up to you.
    Last edited by AdAstra; 2019-06-04 at 05:15 AM.
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  26. - Top - End - #266
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by AdAstra View Post
    If you don't want him to get excessive wealth, and he doesn't like spending money on things that don't permanently power up his character, like hirelings and consumables, those two things may be related somewhat. Of course, chances are no matter how much money you throw at him he'll probably just spend it on more permanent boosts. Why not offer him an alternative advancement path in exchange for those excess spell slots?
    Its a pretty frustrating playstyle for me.

    He won't spend money on anything that isn't a permanent offensive upgrade, even utility and defensive items are only purchased if they are trivially inexpensive, and sometimes not even then. He won't purchase hirelings or consumables, and grumbles if the rest of the group purchases them with party funds.

    Then, if this results in his character taking damage or being otherwise incapacitated he gets mad at me for being too hard or for tailoring the encounter to screw him.

    It won't really matter how much wealth I give him, until he has literally the best offensive gear in the game (i.e. Something that is intended for a character three or four times his actual power level) he won't spend money on anything else AfAICT.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Its a pretty frustrating playstyle for me.

    He won't spend money on anything that isn't a permanent offensive upgrade, even utility and defensive items are only purchased if they are trivially inexpensive, and sometimes not even then. He won't purchase hirelings or consumables, and grumbles if the rest of the group purchases them with party funds.

    Then, if this results in his character taking damage or being otherwise incapacitated he gets mad at me for being too hard or for tailoring the encounter to screw him.

    It won't really matter how much wealth I give him, until he has literally the best offensive gear in the game (i.e. Something that is intended for a character three or four times his actual power level) he won't spend money on anything else AfAICT.
    So... uh... he wants you to GM Diablo: the RPG for him?
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    @Talakeal

    The only thing I can think of is to make it where Permanent Magical Items simply can't be bought. (Since being able to is an optional rule)

    And make it clear to him that those things can only be found while Adventuring.

    Another way, would be to stop giving out loose Treasure; spending the time needed to convert Gems, Art, and Coins into Consumables. Add in more Utility items (especially at low levels), Armor, and Weapons - based on Rarity by Tier.

    You can also use desired Items (Magic Armor and Weapons, and powerful Items) as Plot Goals.

    Want that +3 Flametongue?
    It's located in Baron HateU's Keep.

    Want +3 Adamantine Plate?
    That's located in the Stone Giant's Fortress.

    Want Boots of Speed?
    Well, see - there is this Goblin in that forest that thinks he's a Quickling…

    Sure, he's going to gripe, but he's doing that anyway. When he does, simply tell him (as nicely as possible) that he has made money (gold) useless, because it only has value when spent.

    I like what AdAstra suggests.

    Doing that might also encourage more Social and RP games.

    I'd have to look up what the costs are for hiring a Spellcaster.... PHB 159.
    10-50 gp for a 1st or 2nd level spell.
    Anything higher is usually exchanged for a Quest

    Since I'm sure you don't really want to do more accounting, simply make selling slots be 25 gp per level.

    So, he could get 12 skilled Hirelings for a day, for a 1st level spell.
    ****
    Question: since he's a Spellcaster, do you think he'd be interested in making his own items?

    Adventuring to get the components needed, and then spending gold during Downtime to get things he wants? Just skip over that amount of time between sessions, asking the other Players what they want their Characters to do during that time.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-06-04 at 09:30 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #269
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Its a pretty frustrating playstyle for me.

    He won't spend money on anything that isn't a permanent offensive upgrade, even utility and defensive items are only purchased if they are trivially inexpensive, and sometimes not even then. He won't purchase hirelings or consumables, and grumbles if the rest of the group purchases them with party funds.

    Then, if this results in his character taking damage or being otherwise incapacitated he gets mad at me for being too hard or for tailoring the encounter to screw him.

    It won't really matter how much wealth I give him, until he has literally the best offensive gear in the game (i.e. Something that is intended for a character three or four times his actual power level) he won't spend money on anything else AfAICT.
    Well again, having him trade leftover spellslots for stuff is a good way to deal with that, if he agrees to it. If you just gave him money, he'd spend it on blasty stuff, as you said. But if someone is trading
    him things, you can effectively control what he gets. Give him some choices obviously, but you can set limits on stock, declare surpluses to be "discounted" and do other things to round out his inventory better.
    Then contracts with local lords to give hirelings, indefinitely so long as he continues to provide services.
    That way he gets his money's worth for his unused spell slots, in ways that'll round out his toolset like you want.
    The stars are calling, but let's come up with a good opening line before we answer

    And here's a rat for the road ~(,,_`;;'>

  30. - Top - End - #270
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    Default Re: Legendary Actions and More of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories

    Note that I don't have a problem with how he plays his character or how he spends his money. I just get frustrated when he complains to me games difficulty when most of it is self imposed and when he fights with te other players over party expenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdAstra View Post
    Well again, having him trade leftover spellslots for stuff is a good way to deal with that, if he agrees to it. If you just gave him money, he'd spend it on blasty stuff, as you said. But if someone is trading
    him things, you can effectively control what he gets. Give him some choices obviously, but you can set limits on stock, declare surpluses to be "discounted" and do other things to round out his inventory better.
    Then contracts with local lords to give hirelings, indefinitely so long as he continues to provide services.
    That way he gets his money's worth for his unused spell slots, in ways that'll round out his toolset like you want.
    I think that's more or less what we are going to do, but I a, foreseeing trouble if it is anything other than a 1:1 infinite availability deal that effectively lets him cast any spell in the game while in town.

    If I try and constrain it to what I think he needs (like I will trade you a ring of protection plus two in exchange for 100 castings of wall of fire or something) he will probably feel that I am trying to railroad him, and rightly so imo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lorsa View Post
    So... uh... he wants you to GM Diablo: the RPG for him?
    Yes. Although easier / less random as the rare champion monsters that Diablo occasionally spawns are a sepcific example he has mentioned of the type of game he hates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    @Talakeal

    The only thing I can think of is to make it where Permanent Magical Items simply can't be bought. (Since being able to is an optional rule)

    And make it clear to him that those things can only be found while Adventuring.

    Another way, would be to stop giving out loose Treasure; spending the time needed to convert Gems, Art, and Coins into Consumables. Add in more Utility items (especially at low levels), Armor, and Weapons - based on Rarity by Tier.

    You can also use desired Items (Magic Armor and Weapons, and powerful Items) as Plot Goals.

    Want that +3 Flametongue?
    It's located in Baron HateU's Keep.

    Want +3 Adamantine Plate?
    That's located in the Stone Giant's Fortress.

    Want Boots of Speed?
    Well, see - there is this Goblin in that forest that thinks he's a Quickling…

    Sure, he's going to gripe, but he's doing that anyway. When he does, simply tell him (as nicely as possible) that he has made money (gold) useless, because it only has value when spent.

    I like what AdAstra suggests.

    Doing that might also encourage more Social and RP games.

    I'd have to look up what the costs are for hiring a Spellcaster.... PHB 159.
    10-50 gp for a 1st or 2nd level spell.
    Anything higher is usually exchanged for a Quest

    Since I'm sure you don't really want to do more accounting, simply make selling slots be 25 gp per level.

    So, he could get 12 skilled Hirelings for a day, for a 1st level spell.
    ****
    Question: since he's a Spellcaster, do you think he'd be interested in making his own items?

    Adventuring to get the components needed, and then spending gold during Downtime to get things he wants? Just skip over that amount of time between sessions, asking the other Players what they want their Characters to do during that time.
    I already mostly do that.

    Basically I only allow gold to buy items with straight plusses, other powers are found by questing. So, basically, he puts all of his money towards buying a better wand and ignores everything else.
    Last edited by Talakeal; 2019-06-04 at 09:44 AM.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

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