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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Because my character does one or more of…
    • animates the dead;
    • is a sadist / otherwise enjoys the suffering of others (even if they do not cause such suffering themselves);
    • uses poison:
    • owns slaves (OK, that one's unlikely to jive with your definition for long if others poke at their beliefs);
    • believes in revenge;
    • makes hard choices for the greater good;
    • is Athenian


    I'm pretty sure any one of those would have the character labeled as "evil" in at least one edition of D&D.

    Heck, one of my more recent games, my evil character was concerned about the "good" party's murder of sentient beings. They didn't care when I / he brought it up. He was also the only one interested in second chances, and letting sentient beings repent their evil ways.

    Was he evil? Well, does wanton hedonism and willingness to use extreme measures (like torture) make you evil? It did at that table, and it does in my mind. But he matched your definition of good better than most of the "good" characters I've encountered - thus my question of how *you* define it.
    How does animating the dead work? Can you only do it if you're non good? Then there is a good reason for that. For example, in my current campaign one of my players is a necromancer. In the world using necromancy involve using the agony of a soul being bound to the undead to power it. My player spent time and specifically worked to design a spell that worked on different principals.
    Honestly, your list explains exactly why I have my rule. You know exactly what behavior I don't want at my table, but you pretend otherwise and hope I make a mistake when listing every little thing so you can slip something by and then make it my fault when you engage in it later on.
    For example, in one of the forums I go to there is a phrase that is used: "Hard men making hard decisions while hard." It mocks the whole idea of having characters that make the 'hard decisions' as good people. Those hard decisions are never actually hard. They are just ways to explain away cruelty and expedience.

    As to your point at the bottom, just because another player called his character good while his character did evil things does not make your character good for pointing it out while also doing evil things. It's completely possible to play an evil character and still have some virtues. For example one of the big villains in the setting has a hard rule against mind control, and all her evil is focused on torturing people she views as evil for all eternity. She does this as a way to protect good people, but her methods of eternal torture are evil and not something I'd allow players. This is because i wrote her to fail, to possibly die, or to at least have everything she believed come crashing down on her. This rule isn't to stop my players from playing cool ideas, it's to allow me to run a game where I can watch bad people lose. Because at the end of the day, I see evil winning too much in the real world.


    Also... Dude, comparing slavery with people who talk in theaters? That's not cool.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jakinbandw View Post
    How does animating the dead work? Can you only do it if you're non good? Then there is a good reason for that. For example, in my current campaign one of my players is a necromancer. In the world using necromancy involve using the agony of a soul being bound to the undead to power it. My player spent time and specifically worked to design a spell that worked on different principals.
    Honestly, your list explains exactly why I have my rule. You know exactly what behavior I don't want at my table, but you pretend otherwise and hope I make a mistake when listing every little thing so you can slip something by and then make it my fault when you engage in it later on.
    For example, in one of the forums I go to there is a phrase that is used: "Hard men making hard decisions while hard." It mocks the whole idea of having characters that make the 'hard decisions' as good people. Those hard decisions are never actually hard. They are just ways to explain away cruelty and expedience.

    As to your point at the bottom, just because another player called his character good while his character did evil things does not make your character good for pointing it out while also doing evil things. It's completely possible to play an evil character and still have some virtues. For example one of the big villains in the setting has a hard rule against mind control, and all her evil is focused on torturing people she views as evil for all eternity. She does this as a way to protect good people, but her methods of eternal torture are evil and not something I'd allow players. This is because i wrote her to fail, to possibly die, or to at least have everything she believed come crashing down on her. This rule isn't to stop my players from playing cool ideas, it's to allow me to run a game where I can watch bad people lose. Because at the end of the day, I see evil winning too much in the real world.


    Also... Dude, comparing slavery with people who talk in theaters? That's not cool.
    Shrug. I was looking for the most relevant things that most people find objectionable, and then remembered something that I think was a Firefly quote, and referenced it in my list. Also, while I understand people's objection to talking in theaters, I don't always understand everyone's objections to slavery. So I find "talking in theaters" to be a "clearer" evil than slavery. Which is a subtle part of what I intend to imply with that list: should we object more to people who do that which is *clearly* evil, or that which is *greatly* evil? I just regret that I didn't use "spoils the ending of Endgame" as an example.

    -----

    My point wasn't "my character is good"; my point was what *other* people call "good". My point was that, when some people ask for "good", they mean "torture and kill the *other* guys", or something that you would find equally objectionable.

    Thus, when you said "good", I asked, "OK, what do *you* mean by that?"

    A GM who cannot answer a simple question is a good sign that they will fail to be my eyes and ears.

    You used a great many words to somewhat answer the question I asked, and many other questions as well. Inefficient, but not an untenable start.

    However, you falsely accused me of incorrect motives based on shaky to no evidence for this conclusion. That means you'd be a high-maintenance GM at best.

    -----

    In (most? all?) editions of D&D, Animate Dead is "evil", but rarely if ever is a reason given. Someone who is a saint otherwise, but uses Animate Dead repeatedly, is evil. Even if they don't consider the spell "evil", they still get "evil" on their character sheet.

    Or, if you prefer, in my RPG, "talking in theaters" is evil. Even if you're ignorant of that fact, you get "evil" written on your character sheet if you talk in the theater.

    In other other words, D&D alignment is arbitrary, in that it cannot be divined from logical principles.

    For example, slavery is "evil", right? Yet creating golems enslaves an elemental spirit, but is not considered an evil act. There are plenty of NPCs who have created numerous golems without becoming "evil". There is no discernable logic to D&D alignments.

    (Quertus, the only one of my characters to learn this fact, has researched alternate methods to create golems. As his version of Animate Dead is not inherently evil, he still plans to use it in the event he ever encounters a party that does not object. As this hasn't happened yet, he still doesn't have "evil" on his sheet.)

    -----

    So, it appears that your definition of "good" is "you want bad things to happen bad people". Do note that that is part of my definition of "evil" (bullet point "revenge"). While I'd happily play a revenge character, I'd still label them as "evil".

    Whereas the evil character I used as an example is all about second chances, and giving evil a chance to redeem itself. He'd be too "good" for the type of game you want. The evil being he got to surrender, and began discussing redemption with? The party murdered it. It sounds like those "good" murderhobos would be more appropriate for your style than my "more good" / "too good" evil character.

    So, "good" is not a clear description of the types of games you run, or the types of characters you want to see. "Revenge porn" is probably a more accurate and descriptive phrase.

    And this is why I asked.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Because my character does one or more of…
    • animates the dead;
    • is a sadist / otherwise enjoys the suffering of others (even if they do not cause such suffering themselves);
    • uses poison:
    • owns slaves (OK, that one's unlikely to jive with your definition for long if others poke at their beliefs);
    • believes in revenge;
    • makes hard choices for the greater good;
    • is Athenian

    I don't know why I keep hearing about this animate dead thing. I thought it was generally accepted that it worked pretty much the way it works in OOTS, dead bodies and a little dark magic, no souls required (Even the intelligent ones, minus any sort of Greg shenanigans). In which case the only real problems people have are that a) dead bodies ew gross unsanitary and b) consent of the dead to being used as weapons (c Possible dangers of intelligent undead running amok or otherwise being unreliable. Yeah, the poison thing is from AD&D. I also find it weird. I mean, as long as it's not cruel and unusual (ex., causes spikes to grow inside the body over the course of 1d3 days), then it's just more damage, more or less.

    Athenian....?
    Last edited by Phhase; 2019-06-01 at 10:18 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Crisis21 View Post
    Phhase he played four
    He played nick nack on my door
    With a nick nack paddy whack
    Give a dog a bone
    Phhase came rolling home.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post

    In other other words, D&D alignment is arbitrary, in that it cannot be divined from logical principles.
    I feel you are correct in this, D&D's quantization of alignment is somewhat absurd, especially when odd shenanigans regarding spells that target alignments come up. It is strange to fit ethos principles into a logos mold (if I am using said terms right), and it usually comes down to average outside perception, imo (barring spell shenanigans).
    Last edited by Phhase; 2019-06-01 at 10:28 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Crisis21 View Post
    Phhase he played four
    He played nick nack on my door
    With a nick nack paddy whack
    Give a dog a bone
    Phhase came rolling home.

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phhase View Post
    Athenian....?
    It's a (probably misremembered) history reference. Athens & Sparta, sister city-states. The natives didn't like their presence. So Sparta fought them off whenever they "invaded", leading to hundreds of years of bloodshed. Wise Athens said, "**** that", and killed every last native man, woman, and child, so that they could live in peace.

    Grand total, Athens killed fewer people. But that doesn't make them "good".

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Pex's Avatar

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Specific or general? Individual DMs have a particular gaming quirk that annoys me. For example, for one 5E DM all skill checks are either 15 if he thinks it easy, 20 if he thinks it hard, and 10 if he wants to tell us something but feels the need there must be a roll. Social skills are irrelevant. He either likes what you say or doesn't, and many conversations or things have DC Paladin. Since I'm playing the Paladin I get the perk but other players are annoyed and have gotten used to it. Fortunately he has gotten better than how things used to be. The cleric and warlock get to have decent conversations now instead of NPCs only talking to me.

    However, if there's one universal thing that applies to all DMs it would be what they do when someone rolls a Natural 1. I hate it when DMs treat a 1 as an excuse to have something bad happen to you. It cannot be just failing a task. You have to be punished for it.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    "Welcome to Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition, where the DCs are made up and the rules don't matter."

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Shrug. I was looking for the most relevant things that most people find objectionable, and then remembered something that I think was a Firefly quote, and referenced it in my list. Also, while I understand people's objection to talking in theaters, I don't always understand everyone's objections to slavery. So I find "talking in theaters" to be a "clearer" evil than slavery. Which is a subtle part of what I intend to imply with that list: should we object more to people who do that which is *clearly* evil, or that which is *greatly* evil? I just regret that I didn't use "spoils the ending of Endgame" as an example.

    -----

    My point wasn't "my character is good"; my point was what *other* people call "good". My point was that, when some people ask for "good", they mean "torture and kill the *other* guys", or something that you would find equally objectionable.

    Thus, when you said "good", I asked, "OK, what do *you* mean by that?"

    A GM who cannot answer a simple question is a good sign that they will fail to be my eyes and ears.

    You used a great many words to somewhat answer the question I asked, and many other questions as well. Inefficient, but not an untenable start.

    However, you falsely accused me of incorrect motives based on shaky to no evidence for this conclusion. That means you'd be a high-maintenance GM at best.

    -----

    In (most? all?) editions of D&D, Animate Dead is "evil", but rarely if ever is a reason given. Someone who is a saint otherwise, but uses Animate Dead repeatedly, is evil. Even if they don't consider the spell "evil", they still get "evil" on their character sheet.

    Or, if you prefer, in my RPG, "talking in theaters" is evil. Even if you're ignorant of that fact, you get "evil" written on your character sheet if you talk in the theater.

    In other other words, D&D alignment is arbitrary, in that it cannot be divined from logical principles.

    For example, slavery is "evil", right? Yet creating golems enslaves an elemental spirit, but is not considered an evil act. There are plenty of NPCs who have created numerous golems without becoming "evil". There is no discernable logic to D&D alignments.

    (Quertus, the only one of my characters to learn this fact, has researched alternate methods to create golems. As his version of Animate Dead is not inherently evil, he still plans to use it in the event he ever encounters a party that does not object. As this hasn't happened yet, he still doesn't have "evil" on his sheet.)

    -----

    So, it appears that your definition of "good" is "you want bad things to happen bad people". Do note that that is part of my definition of "evil" (bullet point "revenge"). While I'd happily play a revenge character, I'd still label them as "evil".

    Whereas the evil character I used as an example is all about second chances, and giving evil a chance to redeem itself. He'd be too "good" for the type of game you want. The evil being he got to surrender, and began discussing redemption with? The party murdered it. It sounds like those "good" murderhobos would be more appropriate for your style than my "more good" / "too good" evil character.

    So, "good" is not a clear description of the types of games you run, or the types of characters you want to see. "Revenge porn" is probably a more accurate and descriptive phrase.

    And this is why I asked.
    I mean, my players usually redeam foes.

    Also, if you don't see anything wrong with slavery, then honestly your concept of morality is far too differant from mine to ever reconcile.

    Either way in answed the question with a quote, but like I said. The only types of players I have had a hard time with in any group I run are players that ask the question your asking. That means it's not problem with not knowing the answer. It's trying to rule lawyer your way around it. I wouldn't run for you quertus as you would not be capable of fitting in to the games I GM. I can tell because every question you brought up tells me you know where the line is, you just don't want to follow it.

    And here's the thing. That's fine. I just don't run those type of games. I run games where maybe only one quarter of intellegent foes I throw at my players ever get killed. The rest get redeemed. I am running a game about the morality of power and the responsibilities that come with it. I don't run games for murder hobos (out of my last 5 games I ran, only one had foes in it that were intelligent that were killed by the players, and each of those were after they ran out of other options).

    This is why it's important for me to tell players up front that if playing evil is there thing, this is not the game for them.

    I also don't really care about marvel right now. I haven't bothered watching a movie of theirs since ultron.

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by MeimuHakurei View Post
    To be fair, that last one is less of a situation where you should leave the game/group and more where you should consider siding with the ghosts.
    This reminds me of one time our DM threw a rude, unhelpful quest giver (King) at us for a "save the kingdom from Invaders" quest
    Should have seen the look on the DMs face when I laughed and said "I turn and leave, laughing all the way back to the base, and I'll watch the flames rise from the tower"

    He was scrambling to get us to care about this King who we all hated... We didn't help, he barely survived the war he got into, he was not so rude about asking us for help next time, by that point the DM knew he had irritated all 5 of us.

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    For me, the core experience is defined by the core rules.

    The example in the OP takes some optional rules (nautical scenarios) and shifts them into the focus.

    Basically, if a DM deliberately deviates from the core rules or basic experience, I want to know about it.

    If you're going to mod the game, let me know it isn't plain vanilla.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Things I wish the GM said: "After spending hours in character creation working with my thousands of words of houserules, I will disappear before the game is a week old. A week later, I will be recruiting for a new game."

    PBP is terrible. I won't name any names, but you know who you are.

  11. - Top - End - #41
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by stack View Post
    Things I wish the GM said: "After spending hours in character creation working with my thousands of words of houserules, I will disappear before the game is a week old. A week later, I will be recruiting for a new game."

    PBP is terrible. I won't name any names, but you know who you are.
    Actually, I wonder if there's not room in our communities for DMs to "adopt" abandoned games in these instances, if there was real interest in the game to begin with.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    HalflingRogueGuy

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    If I'm running a game, players get my manifesto: http://home.earthlink.net/~duanevp/dnd/manifesto.htm
    As a player, I pretty much want to know the DM's take on what's in that. They don't need to agree with MY takes on all of it, but I'll certainly want to know what those attitudes are. The rest is almost always negotiable because this IS just an RPG, not nuclear disarmament.

    I don't even (necessarily) have to have all the DM's house rules in writing. But if we're 4 sessions into the campaign and THEN you tell me just how f'd my PC is because of some combat rule you have that you never mentioned, or that you run some spell or ability differently, or that you're annoyed because you actually really hate the character class I chose... yeah, that's YOUR fault as GM for failure to do YOUR job, not my fault as player for not having ESP, and YOU will pay that cost, not I.
    Last edited by D+1; 2019-06-02 at 09:57 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Delta View Post
    Well... what kind of game he'd like to run and what kind of characters fit (and don't fit) into it.

    Once had a really fun case of a GM only telling me where his new campaign was located, I gave him a character concept for a "magical secret service agent", a wizard in service of the local realm, not "lawful stupid", quite willing to go well beyond the limits of the law as long as it's in service of her Empress and magical order. GM was like "Great, that character would be so much fun in this campaign!"
    I had a similar problem. The DM pitches the game to us as "after many years, the turbulent seas around your island home have become calm. Your characters will be the first explorers to leave your island home." Cool, very atmospheric idea with a lot of potential.

    So, the group rolls up (1) an ivory tower academic wizard with (2) his 16-year old bratty kid sister, (3) a paladin of devotion; and (4) a scholarly alchemist who wishes to leave the island to find out more about his lost tribe.

    First session rolls around, and the DM tells us that although the focus of the game will be as described, we begin the game in a tavern seeking membership in a company of mercenaries. Which wouldn't normally be a problem, except we were (1) an ivory tower academic wizard with (2) his 16-year old kid sister, (3) a paladin of devotion; and (4) a scholarly alchemist who wishes to leave the island to find out more about his lost tribe.

    We got a lot of laughs about what kind of lame-ass mercenary company would recruit someone's 16-year old bratty kid sister.
    Last edited by patchyman; 2019-06-02 at 10:07 AM.

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleh View Post
    Actually, I wonder if there's not room in our communities for DMs to "adopt" abandoned games in these instances, if there was real interest in the game to begin with.
    Story time!

    So, once upon a time, a GM decides to run a high-level module for us. Everyone was psyched. Then the GM bailed. Everyone seemed bummed. But what could I do?

    I asked the GM if i could borrow the module and run it. They said yes. So, score one for adopting a game!

    I read through the module, asking WWQD as I went, so that I could run him fairly as a DMPC.

    Then I got to this part that the old GM and I had been taking about, and, although the details were a bit different, Quertus would do something equivalent to what I'd said - which would result in the quest-giver kicking him out of the quest.

    So, I ran the module. Everything was going OK (although the players commented that the NPCs were all jerks. I agreed, and silently was like, "but just you wait").

    Then we got to the quest-giver. The party didn't change the equation, so Quertus started in on his bit. The party didn't stop events, so the quest-giver kicked Quertus out of the adventure. The players just kinda sat there stunned for a bit

    Fortunately, Quertus is not without resources. He did some research, and got back into the adventure later. But it made for quite the memorable scene.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jakinbandw View Post
    I mean, my players usually redeam foes.
    I'm not sure how "redemption" qualifies as bad things happening to bad people. If that's how you use your words, you might want to work on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jakinbandw View Post
    Also, if you don't see anything wrong with slavery, then honestly your concept of morality is far too differant from mine to ever reconcile.
    No, oft times, I don't follow other people's logic when explaining why slavery is bad. To be fair, many other Playgrounders also cannot follow or do not agree with some of their logic. Thus my comments about how "clear" taking in theaters is in comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jakinbandw View Post
    Either way in answed the question with a quote, but like I said. The only types of players I have had a hard time with in any group I run are players that ask the question your asking. That means it's not problem with not knowing the answer. It's trying to rule lawyer your way around it. I wouldn't run for you quertus as you would not be capable of fitting in to the games I GM. I can tell because every question you brought up tells me you know where the line is, you just don't want to follow it.
    Again, if that's what you hear, you might want to work on that.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-06-02 at 04:59 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by patchyman View Post
    We got a lot of laughs about what kind of lame-ass mercenary company would recruit someone's 16-year old bratty kid sister.
    Ironically, out of all those characters, the 16 year old bratty kid sister is IMO the least problematic of that bunch by about a mile. Any remotely fit 16 year old should be able to handle juust about any task that needs doing every day for a mercenary company, and if her older brother joins, problem solves itself, a big part of the support structure of a typical mercenary company should be filled by the families of the fighting members.

    But yeah, the point stands, that's the kind of thing a GM should tell the players in advance.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phhase View Post
    I don't know why I keep hearing about this animate dead thing. I thought it was generally accepted that it worked pretty much the way it works in OOTS, dead bodies and a little dark magic, no souls required (Even the intelligent ones, minus any sort of Greg shenanigans). In which case the only real problems people have are that a) dead bodies ew gross unsanitary and b) consent of the dead to being used as weapons (c Possible dangers of intelligent undead running amok or otherwise being unreliable. Yeah, the poison thing is from AD&D. I also find it weird. I mean, as long as it's not cruel and unusual (ex., causes spikes to grow inside the body over the course of 1d3 days), then it's just more damage, more or less.
    I could almost understand "any attack that deals more than X damage is 'evil', because it doesn't give foes a chance to surrender". But there is no rule like that, so killing someone mercifully quickly with poison is evil, while the Paladin gives the death of a thousand paper cuts over tens of minutes.

    Animate Dead… any grognard remember if a cause was ever actually given for it being evil by RAW? I vaguely remember something about it stealing the soul away from its afterlife (which sounds Chaotic rather than Evil, and might be mercy compared to some afterlives), but that might have been table specific, rather than something in the published rules.

    Really, I think they wanted the vibe of the good swordsman killing the evil Necromancer. Personally, I want the good Necromancer to kill the evil war monger.

  17. - Top - End - #47
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Depending on the edition, Undead are also very hygienic, by the by. Negative Energy kills off any kind of microbial life, parasites, carrion eaters, etc. that would normally be found on the body, unless they're part of that undead's intrinsic nature.

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    SamuraiGirl

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Themrys View Post
    In the group I'm currently in, I think it is fun to roll dice to see whether my character fell for the other's blatant lies, but I can already see how it could get annoying with more blatant lying, and I am prepared to speak up if or when that happens.
    One of my characters was exemplified by a) being basically a Pariah in her own society, and b) having basically the highest possible (total) Willpower from chargen. Now, because the setting is a horrible place and sometimes it's fun to mess with people, NPCs but especially other players tried to tempt her (with booze, mind you). I could have reasonably decided "nope". But... Where would the fun be in that? So I rolled. And somehow botched it every time.

    Point being, the option to leave it up to the dice is great if it's an option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    I'd like it if there was some kind of system that allowed social pvp in a way that wasn't forceful and helped the narrative.

    Like, successfully "persuading" someone means that they get bonuses to doing what you want, and penalties to act against it. Failing to "persuade" someone means that you suffer penalties for your attempt at being a jerk, and they get benefits towards acting against what you want.

    In the end, it still comes down to player decisions, and what they want to do, but they may be more rewarded (with Exp, temporary hitpoints, whatever) by following the narrative. But I'm not sure how people would perceive something like that in real play, though.
    Apocalypse World runs things that way. People who like the system see it as a great feature, most of the time. Other people have tried using it in their campaign on how the game is evil and horrible (Because you're taking suboptimal routes if you decline which is basically forcing you anyways, iirc). I fall into the former camp. It does what you describe wanting, rather straightforwardly.

    Basically, Apocalypse World is not a good game for min-maxers. Or DMs that don't understand "this is rules, keep within them. No, there is no Rule 0."

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Was he evil? Well, does wanton hedonism and willingness to use extreme measures (like torture) make you evil?
    Hey, what's wrong with wanton hedonism?

    On the topic, I'd like to know how much the rules are gonna matter. Because most players I know lean somewhat narrative, but the most common gamesystem around these parts has a significant simulationist bend. The answer? Just ignore most of the rules! Sometimes! ...I can play those games, and I'd probably loathe to play them by perfect rules, but dammit people, play systems befitting your playstyle! There are so many damn games out there, there's bound to be something...

    It just gets annoying when I build my character with skills, invested resources, and then everyone can do it despite them not doing so, because the GM doesn't care for the fact this has the rules it has. At least look over my character sheet and tell me where my wasted points are. And be aware enough that you can tell me.

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    I'd like it if there was some kind of system that allowed social pvp in a way that wasn't forceful and helped the narrative.

    Like, successfully "persuading" someone means that they get bonuses to doing what you want, and penalties to act against it. Failing to "persuade" someone means that you suffer penalties for your attempt at being a jerk, and they get benefits towards acting against what you want.

    In the end, it still comes down to player decisions, and what they want to do, but they may be more rewarded (with Exp, temporary hitpoints, whatever) by following the narrative. But I'm not sure how people would perceive something like that in real play, though.
    FATE kinda does that with the aspect mechanic. Put the result of the social conflict as an aspect on the "loser", and let said loser play it as any other of the aspects on their character sheet.

    For example, Jimmy, one of the PCs of my Dresden Files game, failed a willpower conflict against a White Court Vampire (emotional parasite), and got the aspect "Under Demetria's charm". Jimmy's player is allowed to play that aspect any way they want (outright love, hidden obsession, simple physical attraction, trouble to concentrate whenever Demetria is present, resentment over her influence, willingness to see her as a "good, harmless vampire, different from the other mindsuckers"... Anything that would reasonably match the aspect, and that the player is confortable with). If they want to take direct action against Demetria, and I call them about it, they can pay a Fate point and do it anyway. If they do anything that would be detrimental because of that aspect (like defending Demetria during the next council, or failing a test because they were distracted, or having Jimmy's unwanted attraction complicate his other relationships), they get a shiny Fate point.
    This was for a supernatural, "charm"-like ability, but it also works for intimidation and other social conflicts : Put an aspect the player is confortable with ("Johny Marcone is a dangerous man" after an intimidation, for example), let the player roleplay the aspect in a way that feels "right" for their character, and use the Aspect and Fate Points mechanic whenever appropriate (for example feeding points to the player when he decides to avoid conflict with Marcone, or tries to be more subtle about it than he would usually be).


    But I think having explicit player buy-in is important, in any case. That's the reason why I try to stick to the consent rule that I lifted from old MUSH games : Nothing can happen to a character unless the player gives consent.
    Sure, it's not always appropriate (if your character goes against armed guards, you kinda implicitly agreed one of the possible consequences will be a lot of bullet holes. Although I will probably remind you those possible consequences, so that there are no mistakes about the campaign tone and to make sure your character's charge was an informed decision and you thus agree with the possible results of a failed roll), but it's really important for stuff the player might be unconfortable with.
    For example, I asked one of my players if it was okay his character's family was involved in the campaign's bad-guys'-evil-plot. Sure, I spoiled the surpise reveal that would have happened a few sessions later, and the player quite obviously designed those family members as plot-hooks anyway (the missing mother killed during a mysterious raid against Hades' vault, the distant father who thinks the PC is responsible and handle some shady "family business", the teenage bumbling witch envious of her powerful big-sis), but they took a life of their own during the campaign, so I felt that asking the player was needed before I used them as plot-chow.

    And for intra-party interaction, I decided this rule was absolute. Want your PC to have a rivalry, a conflict, or a romantic attraction to another PC? Will happen only if both players are okay with it, and agree on the stakes and the way it would develop.
    If the thief doesn't want to play the usual cat-and-mouse with the paladin, then the paladin will never notice the thief's misdemeanor or will find good reason to ignore them (and the thief will never take action against the paladin's interest or in a way that would get the paladin to be forced to react, either. It goes both ways, it's not a "be a jerk and get away with it" card like no-PVP rules can sometimes be.)
    Want to settle a PC debate with a roll ? Only if both parties agree to the roll and its stakes.
    Want your character to be attracted by another player's PC? Ask if the player is confortable with the idea first.


    It took me quite some time to handle this kind of things. I have all the social grace and perception of a rock, so putting as much as I could on explicit player choice felt like a good solution.

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    And, on topic, what I wish my GM had told me a few times is

    "Your character is going to be useless or severely underpowered, because I'm not going to use the ruleset/skills you're specializing in".

    Happened pretty much every freaking time I designed a pilot or a sailor, be it in SciFi or Swashbuckling games.
    Also happened when I sunk many point in my talky-man's charisma/diplomacy/deception/information, and the GM then proceeded and ignored the social rules "because in a RPG, you're supposed to roleplay everything, so don't roll, and convince me instead" (Yeah, IRL, I am NOT a 17 charisma, 85% bluff diplomat, just like I'm not a greataxe wielding 17th level barbarian, so I might want to roll that 85% to see if my PC is better at it than me)
    Also works if the character concept is woefully inadapted to the campaign, but the GM won't tell it because it would "spoil the surprise". Even if the first 15 minutes of play take place in a city, it would be useful to know that maaaaybe the 1 strenghth political agitator halfling is not the best fit for your "trek in the swamp and bash zombies" warhammer game?

    If you don't intend to use part of the character sheet, just tell me. That way, I know what my dump stats are supposed to be, or at least I won't invest too heavily in purely "flavor" skills.

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardwill View Post
    And, on topic, what I wish my GM had told me a few times is

    "Your character is going to be useless or severely underpowered, because I'm not going to use the ruleset/skills you're specializing in".

    Happened pretty much every freaking time I designed a pilot or a sailor, be it in SciFi or Swashbuckling games.
    Also happened when I sunk many point in my talky-man's charisma/diplomacy/deception/information, and the GM then proceeded and ignored the social rules "because in a RPG, you're supposed to roleplay everything, so don't roll, and convince me instead" (Yeah, IRL, I am NOT a 17 charisma, 85% bluff diplomat, just like I'm not a greataxe wielding 17th level barbarian, so I might want to roll that 85% to see if my PC is better at it than me)
    Also works if the character concept is woefully inadapted to the campaign, but the GM won't tell it because it would "spoil the surprise". Even if the first 15 minutes of play take place in a city, it would be useful to know that maaaaybe the 1 strenghth political agitator halfling is not the best fit for your "trek in the swamp and bash zombies" warhammer game?

    If you don't intend to use part of the character sheet, just tell me. That way, I know what my dump stats are supposed to be, or at least I won't invest too heavily in purely "flavor" skills.
    To be fair, in D&D like systems, pilot and diplomacy are tricky to incorporate into the adventure.

    I am running a SWSE game where one player is aiming for Ace Pilot and another for a Smooth Talking Crime Lord/Officer type character. Half the party specializes in noncombat or combat tangential skills.

    I've settled into a nice alternative playstyle, thougy. They're currently taking over an Imperial space station. So the smooth talker takes some grunts onto the station under Imperial disguise and gets taken to the bridge, then the Pilot leads a few fighter disguised as Space Pirates to attack the station, allowing the party on the bridge to ambush the commander and seize control of the station.

    Then one session for the pilot to fight the tie fighters in a nearby asteroid field, where his superior pilot skills negates their advantage of superior numbers, while Mr Officer back at the station starts clearing the station, depressurizing the facility to cut their numbers to a manageable portion.

    From there, it's basically a Dungeon Crawl through the facility where I get to use more traditional character maps with gun fights and Mr Officer gets to try to Persuade/Intimidate enemies to surrender and join his army of minions.

    All while the Droid PC they left on the bridge to keep the stormtroopers from retaking control works to monitor stormtrooper activity and use bridge commands to stifle their progress.

    Point being that working to include a bunch of alternative skill paths can actually be rather daunting for a DM and it tends to really change the feel of the adventure, but if DMs can get their heads out of their butts and put the pen to paper, it can also vastly improve their games.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleh View Post
    Point being that working to include a bunch of alternative skill paths can actually be rather daunting for a DM and it tends to really change the feel of the adventure, but if DMs can get their heads out of their butts and put the pen to paper, it can also vastly improve their games.
    Why is that on the GM, and not on the players, to make the PCs' abilities useful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardwill View Post
    the GM then proceeded and ignored the social rules "because in a RPG, you're supposed to roleplay everything, so don't roll, and convince me instead" (Yeah, IRL, I am NOT a 17 charisma, 85% bluff diplomat, just like I'm not a greataxe wielding 17th level barbarian, so I might want to roll that 85% to see if my PC is better at it than me)
    So, you still have to choose which squares to move through, which enemy to attack, which weapon and combat maneuver your Barbarian uses. Why should choosing to feed steak to a vegetarian or telling short jokes to a sensitive dwarf be any different than choosing to attack the tank, or to attack the illusion that the enemy Wizard cast over a Sphere of Annihilation?
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-06-03 at 08:42 AM.

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    So, you still have to choose which squares to move through, which enemy to attack, which weapon and combat maneuver your Barbarian uses. Why should choosing to feed steak to a vegetarian or telling short jokes to a sensitive dwarf be any different than choosing to attack the tank, or to attack the illusion that the enemy Wizard cast over a Sphere of Annihilation?
    Oh, I have no problem with a DM that asks me what kind of tactics my PC aims for in his argument. I do have a problem if he demands me to make the full speech, and then never asks me to roll the dice (for your analogy, it would be like a DM that demands the exact minutia of swordfighting, including complete description of your steps, hand positions, guards and moves, breathing, and decides based on it if you hit and how much damage you do. Or even asks you to show it live with a wooden sword. That would hugely advantage the player who is doing fencing IRL, wouldn't it?)

    I agree that at a tabletop, speech based game, making your speech feels more natural than re-enacting the way you bend your prison's bars, but hey, maybe a timid player just wants to say "I convince the guard to let us through" and roll a dice, just as the party fighter just says "I hit the dragon with my sword" and hopes for a crit.

    If a player is never expected to roll a stat, just take that stat out of the game, otherwise it becomes a trap. If Charisma is useless, just be honest about it, and I'll put my points in "kill stuff with my sword". Don't trap me into a subsystem that doesn't exist in your games (like starship piloting if your entire campaign is planet-based)
    Last edited by Kardwill; 2019-06-03 at 09:10 AM.

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Why is that on the GM, and not on the players, to make the PCs' abilities useful?
    The DM determines the scenario. It's not hard to write a PC out of a scenario entirely just by playing constantly to their weaknesses.

    How might you feel if a wizard you were playing discovers themselves in an entire campaign in a magical location that has a permanent anti magic field effect of god level strength? The DM has surgically removed the minigame your character skills rely on. It's not that much different than putting a pilot in a footpath exclusive dungeon where they'll never see a vehicle, much less use their pilot skills.

    Why is the impetus on the DM? The impetus is evenly shared between all participants. If the DM plans a game where pilots are useless, they should say so before the game (hence, the subject of the thread). If the DM has no plans (as I suspect you are advocating a more sandbox style of game), then the pilot PC could go attain a vehicle for their more constant use, but then we have nothing the DM needed to warn the players about before the game and we find ourselves outside of the scope of the thread.

    Ergo, if a game is TRULY sandbox, there should be very few things the DM needs to tell players before the start of the game.

    The whole subject of our conversation is rather naturally constrained to DM limitations that should really be made clear at session 0. The fact that it isn't a sandbox is certainly something that should come up, if it's true.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    Less like a thing and more of a "if you're a happy-go-lucky thief going out to steal stuff, assume I throw improvised traps and death at you into you know better than to actually RP your character". No, I did not play the "lulul, CN Rogue out there breaking into people's houses to make coffee" random nonsense.

    But seriously if you're railroading my character into activating a trap that releases a fire elemental so that my fellow group has something to do/battle while I steal the map we need to progress back please don't let me roll for it?

    Same as in when I decided to borrow from the xenophobic dwarves' magic weapons vault, I was expecting a fair few traps and locks. What I was NOT expecting was that my DM literally throws people at me to stop me from getting away (the dwarf merchant's son woke up from my noise and I sprinted over him after I failed a reflex save and badly injured him apparently?). I am all for immersive gaming but that was the last straw for me.

    Yes, maybe the character choices were a bit random. But the dwarves showed nothing but disdain for us outsiders, and when we asked for some magic weapons to battle the literal ghosts that murder their citizens we are greeted with: "No, you have to manage on your own." Yea okay, I'm gonna stab this ghost with my masterwork dagger, alright.

    Oof. In the same spot here. Once ran with a GM who, when my rogue went burgling a general store after-hours during some downtime and ended up paralyzed and dropped to 0 strength. How, you ask? Because apparently this general store keeper was affluent enough to coat his doorknob every night at closing with Black Lotus Extract, which did STR instead of CON damage "so it wouldn't kill me." And apparently said Black Lotus Extract was potent enough to completely ignore my gloves, since I'd think thick leather gloves designed for adventuring would prevent contact poisons, but hey. Shows what I know.

    I was then arrested and lost the rest of my downtime and got to sit around doing nothing for two hours. Yay. Last time I play a thievery-focused rogue instead of a stabby kill-all-your-NPCs rogue... >_> *still salty*
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    Jerek Blademantle, Level 1 Human Fighter/Level 5 Cleric/Level 1 Bone Knight (3rd Edition)
    Nadaar Flameweave, Level 14 Dragonborn Wizard (4th Edition) (Deceased)
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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    "Oh, you rolled a 1 on your attack? Let me get out my critical fumble table."

    I personally hate critical fumbles with the fury of a thousand suns. In a game like pathfinder, where it's heavy on the fighting types getting more attacks as they level up, it creates a situation where a more experienced warrior is MORE likely to drop their weapon than a novice. Not to mention the time I was playing an alchemist and had bombs BLOW UP IN HER FACE because of critical fumbles. I've started asking point blank if the game will have critical fumbles. Even had one GM that lied to me, trying to say dropping a weapon isn't really a critical fumble (despite the fact it can cost a martial character two rounds of full attacks.)

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    I'd like it if there was some kind of system that allowed social pvp in a way that wasn't forceful and helped the narrative.

    Like, successfully "persuading" someone means that they get bonuses to doing what you want, and penalties to act against it. Failing to "persuade" someone means that you suffer penalties for your attempt at being a jerk, and they get benefits towards acting against what you want.
    FATE's been mentioned, and also the game Legends of the Wulin uses this exact system for social mechanics. It's quite nice. (It uses the same system for injuries, prophecies, and curses.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Fortis View Post
    "Oh, you rolled a 1 on your attack? Let me get out my critical fumble table."

    I personally hate critical fumbles with the fury of a thousand suns.
    You and me both.
    Legends of the Wulin has a fun approach to fumbles - you get a Luck Point if you let it complicate the situation, otherwise it's a normal failure. You can get them on successes, too! "Well, you cut through the ninja, AND the stone pillar behind him, so now the building is about to collapse..."
    Imagine if all real-world conversations were like internet D&D conversations...
    Protip: DnD is an incredibly social game played by some of the most socially inept people on the planet - Lev
    I read this somewhere and I stick to it: "I would rather play a bad system with my friends than a great system with nobody". - Trevlac
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    That said, trolling is entirely counterproductive (yes, even when it's hilarious).

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    I wish one DM had told me, "Your character may someday become a noble, complete with a castle and lands around it."

    He did this to my 2e Thief. How do you use your Thief skills when you own everything for 20 miles in all directions?

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    I wish one DM had told me, "Your character may someday become a noble, complete with a castle and lands around it."

    He did this to my 2e Thief. How do you use your Thief skills when you own everything for 20 miles in all directions?
    Taxation?

    Take long rides along the borders?
    Imagine if all real-world conversations were like internet D&D conversations...
    Protip: DnD is an incredibly social game played by some of the most socially inept people on the planet - Lev
    I read this somewhere and I stick to it: "I would rather play a bad system with my friends than a great system with nobody". - Trevlac
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    That said, trolling is entirely counterproductive (yes, even when it's hilarious).

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    Default Re: Players, what are things you wish your GM had told you before game start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I'm more concerned about the GM who doesn't ban fluffy bunnies… if a player explains that they have a problem with fluffy bunnies. Substitute whatever for fluffy bunnies
    Anya, is that you?

    Spoiler: bunnies
    Show


    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    I wish one DM had told me, "Your character may someday become a noble, complete with a castle and lands around it."

    He did this to my 2e Thief. How do you use your Thief skills when you own everything for 20 miles in all directions?
    That puts a new meaning to "robber baron" ^^
    You didn't even have some nice, shiny temple or merchant guild to "stealth-tax"?

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