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  1. - Top - End - #121
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Jul 2017

    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Two problems with this premise.

    One, the group is unlikely to be willing to call it a day, then wait several weeks while I explore how the existence of this NPC would have impacted my character's development.
    Make a quick decision as best as you can. Acknowledge that it could possibly be even better, and move on.

    Two, 50 sessions in, when the characters personality has been pretty well established, and the GM runs an NPC whose presence in the PCs life poses contradictions to the established personality?
    Acknowledge that it could be more consistent, and move on. Maybe correct the GM or try to make it work anyways by discovering something new about your character that can keep it more consistent.

    It still feels to me like kindergartens scribbling in the art museum.

    So, care to explain the PoV from which this makes sense, and is playable?
    Sure, I'll try. If hypothetically my kids work hard in kindergarten to make me a drawing, I can appreciate their effort and scribblings even though it wont be a Mona Lisa. Taking an occasional visit to the Louvre can be great, though. If my fellow players try to roleplay well, I can appreciate their effort even though they are not going to be Quertus level consistent. What I care about is the creative process. That the result of that process is sometimes a miss doesn't really matter as long as people agree to the premise of the game and are playing in good faith.

    Not trying to be rude, correct me if I'm wrong, but from my observations here I think I would term your playstyle 'power roleplaying'. Let me try explaining what I mean. There's a quote attributed to famous board game designer Reiner Knizia that goes "When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning". To me, 'power gaming' is when the winning becomes important instead of the just the goal. Correspondingly, 'power roleplaying' would be when perfect roleplaying becomes more important to you than simply having the goal of roleplaying well.

    You keep lamenting that you have tried, but never seen it work. To make it work I think you need to change your attitude and become open to input from other players. No, you probably wont enjoy that playstyle as much, however.

  2. - Top - End - #122
    Troll in the Playground
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    Oct 2011

    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    We don't all enjoy the same things, and that's fine -- even if it means that some people can't play in the same game.
    Agreed. That said, I consider it a mark of a GM's / group's skill as to how many aesthetics / how divergent of desires that they can accommodate simultaneously. Just my opinion, though, not a universal truth or anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    What a DM-hopping character loses is any complication, plot element, or other incident that takes longer to develop, as well as any detail that the player has not yet learned.
    OK, let's back up a minute here, and step through this nice & slow. A *new* character has none of those things, either. But an *existing* character has lots of things that a new character does not, including better role-playing, and better ability to predict whether the character will be suited to a given adventure / party / group. So, first time under a GM, one could bring a new character, or an existing character run previously under a different GM.

    Whichever character the player brings, they will gain "any complication, plot element, or other incident that takes longer to develop", if the GM's game runs long enough and is type to develop such things; if it doesn't, they won't.

    That game is over. Then, another GM's game opens up. This character can either be mothballed, perhaps never having had "any complication, plot element, or other incident that takes longer to develop", or they can be reused, perhaps giving them the opportunity to gain some "complication, plot element, or other incident that takes longer to develop".

    I'm not seeing where "any complication, plot element, or other incident that takes longer to develop" is actually relevant to "running a character under multiple GMs", except that doing so gives the character more chance to develop such things, not less.

    Which… is a great parallel for why I want my characters to be run under multiple GMs. Not all GMs - and not even ask games under a given GM - are going to give "any complication, plot element, or other incident that takes longer to develop". Not all GMs (or all games under a given GM) are going to include combat against tactically adept opponents. Etc etc etc. I want my characters to get, well, some "complication, plot element, or other incident that takes longer to develop", some good combats against tactically adept foes, etc etc etc. I want it all. And I cannot get it - or, at least, cannot get it done well - under just a single GM, let alone out of a single campaign from a single GM.

    (It's actually even bigger and more complicated than that, but hopefully this is a close enough simplification for conversation purposes)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Somebody once told me that he had taken a character from my game to another one. When I heard that he had done that, I realized that:
    • the curse on his sword that would only activate when he faced a dragon had just disappeared
    • the potion of delusion he thought was a potion of flight had just become a potion of flight
    • the wish he had and didn't know about yet was gone forever.
    Well, there was certainly a problem in the handoff there. If you hate existing characters, and thus will never let him be used again, you should probably reveal the secrets once you're done with him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Similarly, there can't be a long-term rival, a plot-sensitive detail returning a long time later, or any other continuing plot element that isn't completely under the player's control. That player has taken over control of the world in one important respect.
    I mean, there absolutely *can*, both while they are running them under you, and if they return later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    D'Artagnan was threatened by Milady's son twenty years after he defeated her.
    "Luke, I am your father."
    Khan returns for revenge over Captain Kirk.
    Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, and many other characters from previous movies returned in Avengers: Endgame.
    Gollum, after losing his ring to Bilbo Baggins, returns decades later to try to get it back from Frodo.
    Superman's mother's name ends the battle between him and Batman, because of an incident in Batman's youth.
    Yup, all possible in my style of play.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Even in stories where the authors change, like long-running comic book stories or long-term movie franchises, the new authors are expected to know the entire background of what came before.
    Then it should be incumbent upon GMs to transfer any relevant information, should it not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    These kinds of incidents can't occur, and you can't even believe that they might occur, if your current DM doesn't know about your earlier adventures. So it reduces to a string of unconnected adventures with no long-term consequence.
    Absolutely can occur, with a proper handoff, or a return to a previous GM. Which, IME, makes for a much less boring, much less predictable history - will the villain introduced in chapter 1 figure into the hero's future? Nobody knows - and that's awesome!

    The long-term consequence (well, longer than the game) is the PC. And that's awesome!

    Now, I would love if we used "A", where everybody's Forgotten Realms was actually the same, and every Waterdeep had a rundown spell component shop serving as a front to sell Quertus' books. I would love if actions had consequences cross-GM.

    But, given how difficult that would be, I'll stick with "there can be long-term consequence at the table, but the character is the consequence that transcends tables".

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    There's nothing inherently wrong with people wanting to leave all continuing plot elements and long-term consequences behind. But I have no interest in playing in or running such a game. I won't port a character to another game, and no character from another DM's game will ever play in my game.
    The game is over, your character is dead to you, fine. But what do you have against supporting those who do not share your definition of fun? That detail seems missing from your otherwise fairly thought-out explanation. Unless it's just because you believe hidden information is an unsolvable issue - but not all characters even *have* hidden information, so I'm suspecting that there must be something more.

  3. - Top - End - #123
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelle View Post
    Make a quick decision as best as you can. Acknowledge that it could possibly be even better, and move on.



    Acknowledge that it could be more consistent, and move on. Maybe correct the GM or try to make it work anyways by discovering something new about your character that can keep it more consistent.



    Sure, I'll try. If hypothetically my kids work hard in kindergarten to make me a drawing, I can appreciate their effort and scribblings even though it wont be a Mona Lisa. Taking an occasional visit to the Louvre can be great, though. If my fellow players try to roleplay well, I can appreciate their effort even though they are not going to be Quertus level consistent. What I care about is the creative process. That the result of that process is sometimes a miss doesn't really matter as long as people agree to the premise of the game and are playing in good faith.

    Not trying to be rude, correct me if I'm wrong, but from my observations here I think I would term your playstyle 'power roleplaying'. Let me try explaining what I mean. There's a quote attributed to famous board game designer Reiner Knizia that goes "When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning". To me, 'power gaming' is when the winning becomes important instead of the just the goal. Correspondingly, 'power roleplaying' would be when perfect roleplaying becomes more important to you than simply having the goal of roleplaying well.

    You keep lamenting that you have tried, but never seen it work. To make it work I think you need to change your attitude and become open to input from other players. No, you probably wont enjoy that playstyle as much, however.
    So, in MtG, I've won more than my fair share of tournaments. But, after winning one week, I'll walk in with a horrible deck the next. Because I play for fun, even in a tournament setting.

    Spike (as portrayed by my brother) is very focused on winning. His decks are optimized for that purpose, and, when I use one of his decks, I try not to give him an aneurism changing things "for fun".

    In that sense, I am a Spike of role-playing. My characters are very carefully constructed for a specific purpose. Quertus (my signature academia mage, for whom this account is named) was built to help me understand how people could play the same game for years (or even decades!) and still never really get the game, for example.

    So, no, I wouldn't enjoy people shoving Muck Dweller, Mud Hole, Mana Clash, and Mountains in my Orzhov deck just because they think it's funny. Or the role-playing equivalent, of shoveling new, disjointed background details in.

    I think that's part of the disconnect, that the cards are being shoved into the deck, that the kindergartners are scribbling inside the Louvre, without respect for the tone or integrity of what they're impacting. Because, sure, I've gamed predominately with war gamers - I really don't require particularly high (or any) standards of role-playing from my fellow players. But anyone adding random detritus isn't going to produce what I want.

    Could I play with such a suboptimal deck? Not really. If I'm not getting the character studies I'm after out of an RPG, and the GM insists on making a mockery of my efforts by adding their kindergartner scribbles to my drawings, then there are better uses of my time.

    But I guess, at least, I can see how some people, who take (that part of) the game less seriously, could like it. Just like I like Cosmic Larva.

    -----

    That said, if, beforehand, we've agreed to all play "theme" decks (for whatever definition of "theme"), I've done that before. When everyone had their decks ready - or whenever the deadline arrived - those who wanted to and were able to played. Similar for decks that were designed to work together in certain ways.

    But trying to build RPG characters together? I've never seen that turn out well - regardless of whether I was even a player in the game. So this problem, at least, cannot be pinned on my role-playing standards / "power role-playing" / whatever.

    Arguably, it could be pinned on other players' *low* standards, of just assuming that said background connection was a magic bullet, and all that was needed to guarantee party cohesion. But that's just my senile best guess.

    So, for the question of collaborative backgrounds, if I'm right, one would expect that my extra effort would actually be advantageous.

  4. - Top - End - #124
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    A
    Now, I would love if we used "A", where everybody's Forgotten Realms was actually the same, and every Waterdeep had a rundown spell component shop serving as a front to sell Quertus' books. I would love if actions had consequences cross-GM.

    But, given how difficult that would be, I'll stick with "there can be long-term consequence at the table, but the character is the consequence that transcends tables".
    If i would allow to import a character i would also allow to import a shop or other minor things. That is not much more trouble than what i might have to adjust for a backstory of a regular new character. Backstories always had the power to suddenly introduce families, rivals homes etc. If the newly created fighter comes from a minor hoble house then there suddenly is a new minor noble house in the campaign world. Why shoulc i treat your shop any different only because it comes from another table and belongs to an existing character instead of a new one ?

    Only major differences can't be importet. But then instead of making a new B) version of the campaign world, i would just not allow the character. Same as i would not allow a new character with a backstory that changes the campaign world too much.

  5. - Top - End - #125
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    @Quertus:
    I don't play MtG, so please forgive any misrepresentation.

    Think of the "connected" D&D group like 4 MtG players, that all buy enough packs to create a deck. Then they sit down, open the packs, and take out Lands, then make all the Cards available to everyone, and then take turns picking one card at a time, until everyone has a complete deck, when adding needed Lands again.

    Now, everyone "knows" what the others chose.
    And the "fun" is seeing how well you can do with what you got, against each of the other players.

    Then (new Player) walks up and wants to join with a premade deck. Which defeats the "goal" of this game.

    (Captain Obvious:
    I'd say that most tRPG are the reverse.
    Instead of fighting each other, they work together to overcome Challenges)

    ****
    As Satinavian said, minor things can be added without trouble.

    Like a shop, which can be a source of (minor) income.

    But, I predict that you could have problems when the DM does a Downtime "Complications" check for each week that passes in Game, applied to that shop. Especially if this has any negative effects.

    A major change could be:
    If the DM hasn't "unlocked" Magic Items in their Game yet, you might not be able to "bring" your PC's favorite Wand/Weapon/Armor/etc into that game.

    ****
    For me, it really depends on how much time you're willing to spend outside of the Game telling me about Quertus (your PC) and his History.

    Letting me know if there are any Traits/Ideals/Bonds*/Flaws that I can use, both for inspiration and "Plot Hooks" within my World.

    Now, I'm never just going to "spring" anything on you (the Player), heck most times I won't use NPCs with direct connections (Parents, siblings, etc).

    I might make indirect connections, like maybe something your "father" did to (just created) "Villain's" father a decade ago, and "Villain" wants to get "Revenge" by annoying your PC instead of your father. (hey, I never said I was super original, here!)

    *Note: not absolutely needed. Making new Bonds during the game is just fine.

    *****
    Now, (IiRC) I've noticed that you've had a bit too many "Bad GM and Group" Encounters to feel that your not going to be "burned" again.
    As such, you don't like giving out you're PC's information, except during actual game play.

    This is where the "conflict" between styles can happen, where it really is easier to either make a (truly) new PC; or decide to just not join that game/group.

    ****
    As for choosing between *new* and *old* PCs, I suppose that the only thing might be, the rest of the Players feeling like your getting more "benefits" than them, with the old PC.

    But, so long as it's ok with everyone: jump on in, and (at least try) have Fun!
    My Knowledge, Understanding, and Opinion on things can be changed

    Without a Playtest Group - I'm Forever Stuck in the White Room.

    I am learning valuable things, here. So thanks, everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by karellink View Post
    2019-05-19 2:04 pm
    as a great dragon you must have the correct wisdom for these kind of shenanigans.
    Mark Hall said
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.

    × This must be supported by all sides to remain effective.

  6. - Top - End - #126
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Feb 2016

    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post

    -----

    That said, if, beforehand, we've agreed to all play "theme" decks (for whatever definition of "theme"), I've done that before. When everyone had their decks ready - or whenever the deadline arrived - those who wanted to and were able to played. Similar for decks that were designed to work together in certain ways.

    But trying to build RPG characters together? I've never seen that turn out well - regardless of whether I was even a player in the game. So this problem, at least, cannot be pinned on my role-playing standards / "power role-playing" / whatever.

    Arguably, it could be pinned on other players' *low* standards, of just assuming that said background connection was a magic bullet, and all that was needed to guarantee party cohesion. But that's just my senile best guess.

    So, for the question of collaborative backgrounds, if I'm right, one would expect that my extra effort would actually be advantageous.
    So. I'm going to respond, mostly to the last bit of this. And no, too much extra effort is not advantageous. The purpose of collaborative backstory is that ideally, everyone works together.


    You're showing up to the jam session insisting on playing Twinkle Twinkle little star. You're coming into the new Fantasy Series, with your 50 novel everything's old hat Tasslehoff. The purpose of high collab games, especially one where players' backstories come into play, or are fiddled with, is to run high stakes things. To have fully enveloped characters. People react so strongly to your reuse, because well, you're playing people for which everything is old hat. You're insisting that they're part of an AU story of some more popular universe.


    (Which, is to say, that a shared universe game is wrong. I've got a few games I'd allow Quertus in. Just not...most of them)
    Last edited by flond; 2019-06-16 at 01:39 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #127
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by flond View Post
    So. I'm going to respond, mostly to the last bit of this. And no, too much extra effort is not advantageous. The purpose of collaborative backstory is that ideally, everyone works together.


    You're showing up to the jam session insisting on playing Twinkle Twinkle little star. You're coming into the new Fantasy Series, with your 50 novel everything's old hat Tasslehoff. The purpose of high collab games, especially one where players' backstories come into play, or are fiddled with, is to run high stakes things. To have fully enveloped characters. People react so strongly to your reuse, because well, you're playing people for which everything is old hat. You're insisting that they're part of an AU story of some more popular universe.


    (Which, is to say, that a shared universe game is wrong. I've got a few games I'd allow Quertus in. Just not...most of them)
    There's a bit of cross-communication here - let me try to untangle this.

    When I was foolish enough to try to build with my groups, I put lots of effort into trying to understand the other (connected to me) PCs, their personalities, their impact on my character beyond "my brother" or "saved my life".

    So, no, most of what you said isn't actually relevant to this particular line of thought.

    I find your closing paragraph rather intriguing, though. Care to explain the difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    @Quertus:
    I don't play MtG, so please forgive any misrepresentation.

    Think of the "connected" D&D group like 4 MtG players, that all buy enough packs to create a deck. Then they sit down, open the packs, and take out Lands, then make all the Cards available to everyone, and then take turns picking one card at a time, until everyone has a complete deck, when adding needed Lands again.

    Now, everyone "knows" what the others chose.
    And the "fun" is seeing how well you can do with what you got, against each of the other players.

    Then (new Player) walks up and wants to join with a premade deck. Which defeats the "goal" of this game.
    Interesting analogy.

    Hmmm… the Fantastic Four could be created to explore what happens to existing bonds when super powers get added to the mix. But does that prevent the Silver Surfer from sitting at the same table? Depends on the group, I suppose.

    Personally, I not only prefer groups that can play complex, multi-layer tunes rather than just one-layer melodies, I consider such talent an indicator of their overall skill.

    So, my take is, no, it doesn't invalidate their game's goal, it adds additional, compatible goals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    As Satinavian said, minor things can be added without trouble.

    Like a shop, which can be a source of (minor) income.

    But, I predict that you could have problems when the DM does a Downtime "Complications" check for each week that passes in Game, applied to that shop. Especially if this has any negative effects.
    Actually, Quertus is just so good at business, his shop (like his other business ventures) are a source of debt. Think about it - most spell components are so cheap, Quertus spends more on his employees than he makes selling spell components. And, as a matter of principle, Quertus always sells his books "at cost". In the end, Quertus adventures to fund his businesses.

    Really, you've got the wrong impression of me - very much so, in fact - if you think I'm adverse to "negative effects". I'm adverse to "illogical effects" ("congratulations, because you've run the dumbest shop in Waterdeep, we're declaring you King") and "inconsiderate GMs" ("I know you've put a lot of work into your backstory; watch me take a **** on it"). But "negative effects"? Nah, you've got me pegged wrong.

    Now, when those negative effects feel like "narrative contrivances" instead of proper Simulationist logic? Yeah, I'll be opposed. But I'll be opposed on the grounds of them being "narrative contrivances", not because they are "negative effects".

    (EDIT: unless you mean "negative effects to me, or to the group's fun", like giving us lead poisoning, taking a dump on my backstory, or railroading the plot through a self-insert über GMPC, in which case, yes, I'm opposed to "negative effects")

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    A major change could be:
    If the DM hasn't "unlocked" Magic Items in their Game yet, you might not be able to "bring" your PC's favorite Wand/Weapon/Armor/etc into that game.
    … there are very few scenarios (in 3e, at least) where that scenario wouldn't trigger alarm bells that this GM is too dumb to run a game. Conventional wisdom says that muggles are UP to begin with, but become even more unplayable when denied WBL.

    Setting aside how bad that particular example is, there are two possibilities - and I've encountered both. One possibility is exactly as you'd expect, and I'll choose to bring a different character - one where the playing piece matches the table.

    In the second scenario, however, my character gets to be the one to introduce X. Which, if you think about it, is a really nice way to tie my character into the campaign, and to help balance out all the "narrative connections / momentum" that the existing party (who also have the advantage of being "from around here") has.

    -----

    Actually, honestly, me choosing to be "not from around here", and not having those connections to draw on, you'd think you'd have noticed that I regularly give myself disadvantages, and that I'm therefore not averse to "negative effects".

    However, in session 0, I find it best to discuss… hmmm… the minimal set of narrative contrivances necessary to make the game enjoyable. Is there a ban on Martial Arts in this town, where Brother Smudge would be arrested on sight if he showed up in his normal attire? Does the party want to deal with that? If not, what can he encounter on the way into town to make his narrative positioning enjoyable to the group?

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    For me, it really depends on how much time you're willing to spend outside of the Game telling me about Quertus (your PC) and his History.

    Letting me know if there are any Traits/Ideals/Bonds*/Flaws that I can use, both for inspiration and "Plot Hooks" within my World.
    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Now, I'm never just going to "spring" anything on you (the Player), heck most times I won't use NPCs with direct connections (Parents, siblings, etc).

    I might make indirect connections, like maybe something your "father" did to (just created) "Villain's" father a decade ago, and "Villain" wants to get "Revenge" by annoying your PC instead of your father. (hey, I never said I was super original, here!)

    *Note: not absolutely needed. Making new Bonds during the game is just fine.
    Maybe it's just because I'm not familiar with 5e, but this feels like a clunky way of taking about this.

    So, grabbing two modules off the shelf… ugh, these are horrific examples: in one, the party has to jump through hoops just to get hired (in a roundabout way) to help some people; in the other, there's strong rails and obvious "adventure this way" signs… that the party could realistically ignore, and just walk right past the adventure. So, bad examples.

    So, freehand it is.

    Used to be, being big into role-playing,
    I was also big into "fog of war", limiting player knowledge to what the character could know. Then I met several GMs who ran games where, 15 minutes in, everyone could see that some of the PCs were completely inappropriate for the adventure. No, the Paladin will not assassinate the rightful king, who is good and just, for money.

    So, yeah, much like my Brother Smudge example, I'm all about setting the party up to "win" at having fun. And this includes two-way communication, collaboratively discussing how a PC will be tied into the adventure, what hooks will work.

    Note that that's not "me describing hooks". Especially if my PC hasn't been chosen yet, that's primarily the GM describing "what everyone will know about the adventure 15 minutes in" and "the hooks they already have planned / see as reasonable". Then I take that (which, building from the last thing you said… I'll say the adventure is "hired by the Fantastic Four to explore new universes"), and say, "Oh, what about Winx? He's connected enough, he might have heard of this 'Fantastic Four', and he'd love to test himself against some fellow transformed beings. Maybe they'd recognize that his strength would be an asset?".

    GM: "eh, no, the FF would peg you as an opponent, and doesn't have a history of including former opponents in their friends circle."

    Me: "OK, what about Quertus? He has extensive experience exploring other worlds - would the FF accept his resume?"

    GM: "actually, Reed is a man of science, and wouldn't put stock in Quertus' 'magic', or his unscientific methods."

    Me: "actually, Quertus' methods are pretty acceptable to 'comic book science' standards. Hmmm… actually, Reed's magic blindness might be an advantage here. What if Quertus (got some help and) has built a ship which operates just fine on just scientific principles, without magic - but also operates just fine on just magic, in universes where science and technology (as Reed understands it) stops working. Could Quertus have already been exploring these new universes, and rescued one of Reed's other teams when their tech failed?"

    GM: "actually, Reed has experience with enforcing his universe's physics on his craft. Could Reed or one of his teams have rescued Quertus from a similar ship failure scenario?"

    Me: "not really - Quertus would just disappear (stop projecting) if things went south."

    GM: "but would Quertus take his stuff with him? What if Reed came across the remains of Quertus' first attempt, and collected Quertus' samples / notes? Or even the whole ship, if it was small enough? Would Quertus return to get his stuff, and sign on with Reed (who, by dent of the ship & his notes, could view Quertus as a fellow scientist / explorer)?"

    Me: "… that could work…”

    Oh, and yes, I'm all about making Bonds in game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Now, (IiRC) I've noticed that you've had a bit too many "Bad GM and Group" Encounters to feel that your not going to be "burned" again.
    As such, you don't like giving out you're PC's information, except during actual game play.
    This feels… wrong… but I'm not sure how/why.

    This feels like "you've taken falling damage so many times, you're not willing to jump out of an airplane without a parachute"

    Yes, I've had lots of bad experiences. From them, and from the good experiences, I've learned the hard way what interface to the character is reasonable for a good GM to want, and what interface to the character is the equivalent of sending my bank account information as proof of my identity.

    You need to know how to tie my character into the adventure? That's reasonable. Let's discuss the parts of my character and the parts of the adventure necessary to make that happen. No, I don't want to read the module, and no, you shouldn't want to read my backstory.

    Maybe it's just because interfaces, information hiding, public vs private procedures, etc, are all a part of software development, but this just makes sense to me, and I'm a step below baffled when others don't get it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    This is where the "conflict" between styles can happen, where it really is easier to either make a (truly) new PC; or decide to just not join that game/group.
    So, "new PC" is not some magic bullet to change "not giving out PC information". In fact, I'd hold information about a new PC much closer to the chest than that of an existing character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    As for choosing between *new* and *old* PCs, I suppose that the only thing might be, the rest of the Players feeling like your getting more "benefits" than them, with the old PC.

    But, so long as it's ok with everyone: jump on in, and (at least try) have Fun!
    Time spent playing the character is, IME, richer than backstory, so, in that regard, they'd be correct. Time spent in the current game, and connections to that world, are worth more than being "Ali, Prince of Ababwa" (or was that supposed to be his family name?), so in that regard, they'd be very wrong-minded.

    Perception issues can usually be fixed with liberal application of a clue-by-four.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-06-16 at 08:45 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #128
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Interesting analogy.
    Thanks.

    Hmmm… the Fantastic Four could be created to explore what happens to existing bonds when super powers get added to the mix. But does that prevent the Silver Surfer from sitting at the same table? Depends on the group, I suppose.
    Right: Surfer may have to wait until the "Second Movie" to join, but if you had (or created) a Spiderman-variant; that could be more immediately accepted by the group.

    Personally, I not only prefer groups that can play complex, multi-layer tunes rather than just one-layer melodies, I consider such talent an indicator of their overall skill.
    Well, I like to think that I'm at least a decent DM, but I'm not sure how well I'd be able to have the Mariachi Band sound like the Philharmonic Symphony…..

    Actually, Quertus is just so good at business, his shop (like his other business ventures) are a source of debt. In the end, Quertus adventures to fund his businesses.
    Aha. I see. LoL.

    Really, you've got the wrong impression of me - very much so, in fact - if you think I'm adverse to "negative effects".
    I'm adverse to "illogical effects" ("congratulations, because you've run the dumbest shop in Waterdeep, we're declaring you King")
    Nah, you've got me pegged wrong.
    My apologies.
    Was my "Villain" within the Bounds of Acceptance for you?

    Illogical effects do "break verisimilitude" for me, as well.

    and "inconsiderate GMs" ("I know you've put a lot of work into your backstory; watch me take a **** on it"). Now, when those negative effects feel like "narrative contrivances" instead of proper Simulationist logic? Yeah, I'll be opposed. But I'll be opposed on the grounds of them being "narrative contrivances", not because they are "negative effects".
    "Incurably" Inconsiderate GMs find an empty seat at their table.


    (EDIT: unless you mean "negative effects to me, or to the group's fun", like giving us lead poisoning, taking a dump on my backstory, or railroading the plot through a self-insert über GMPC, in which case, yes, I'm opposed to "negative effects")
    Actually, so am I. Powerful "important" leadership Characters are expected. The GM trying to put their Dream PC into the group? No, thanks!

    … there are very few scenarios (in 3e, at least) where that scenario wouldn't trigger alarm bells that this GM is too dumb to run a game. Conventional wisdom says that muggles are UP to begin with, but become even more unplayable when denied WBL.
    To me WBL was a two edged sword.
    Sure, it can make creating a higher level PC faster and easier.

    But, it was also used to "justify" automatically getting anything that was wanted for the PC, because (magic) items were "within the price range" that WBL gave.

    Added to the "Magic Shop" that (like Starbucks) seemed to be in every town, and always had every magic item in stock - regardless of where the PC/s went ("I'm a #20th level# knight from >Fantasy London< magically Teleported and lost somewhere in >Post Apocalyptic Outer Mongolia<, but when I walk into the town of Sueveryone, I conveniently find the Old Magic Shop and buy myself a (3x D&D 15-20 crit range, where my Improved Critical feat dropped that to 12-20 crit) +5 Keen Vorpal* Scimitar."
    *Exaggerating, but only a little*)
    - meant that a lot of DMs felt that magic items were reduced to being mundane.

    Kinda like how someone from the 1800 would find a 1950s car a "fantastic piece of machinery", where someone from the 2000s would most likely consider it an "impractical relic".

    5e got rid of the "you never get less than Xx gold" that WBL represented, and made magic items a lot harder to obtain, assuming the DM uses/allows them at all.

    At least, that's how I currently understand what the 5e Devs intended.

    Setting aside how bad that particular example is, there are two possibilities - and I've encountered both. One possibility is exactly as you'd expect, and I'll choose to bring a different character - one where the playing piece matches the table.
    I did like seeing that you're willing to change Characters, to meet the group.

    [QUOTE]Actually, honestly, me choosing to be "not from around here", and not having those connections to draw on, you'd think you'd have noticed that I regularly give myself Disadvantage to my characters[QUOTE]

    (Sorry if misquoted, using my phone is a pain)

    Was not noticeable to me, at first.

    So, grabbing two modules off the shelf… ugh, these are horrific examples: in one, the party has to jump through hoops just to get hired (in a roundabout way) to help some people; in the other, there's strong rails and obvious "adventure this way" signs… that the party could realistically ignore, and just walk right past the adventure. So, bad examples.
    I suppose I might be a little more "the opposite".
    Before 2012 (when I retired) I simply didn't have the time to do Homemade Campaign World Building.

    As such, I was always just grabbing a module. Now, I'd read what the "Plot" was, and then I'd see if there was a way to use "hooks" from the PC/s Background/Backstory to get the Players interested in becoming involved in the Plot.

    I have been known to pick a random Village to start the game in, and place the "Starting" Clues to at least three "Modules" there. Then just sit back and let the Players decide which to investigate, or choosing something new, like exploring the wilderness around (formally Nameless Village) instead.

    So, freehand it is.

    Used to be, being big into role-playing,
    I was also big into "fog of war", limiting player knowledge to what the character could know.
    To me there is a difference between "fog of war" and "incompatible PC"

    Like the Knight PC knows most everything about the city the game starts in, but might not know anything about the Areas around there.

    Like Barterville: everyone from there knows that the Dwarven Mines are North, the Elven Forest is West, and Getbent City is East, but no details about any of those places is really known.

    No-one should be surprised when the Knight tells the Assassin that he's not going to be involved in killing "the good and just king" for money.
    (Although it should be obvious from Session 1 that having both the Knight and Assassin in the same party could be a problem)

    Oh, and yes, I'm all about making Bonds in game.
    Always fun.

    Yes, I've had lots of bad experiences. From them, and from the good experiences, I've learned the hard way what interface to the character is reasonable for a good GM to want, and what interface to the character is the equivalent of sending my bank account information as proof of my identity.
    I guess that I've never had to give "proof of identity" for any of my PCs.

    You need to know how to tie my character into the adventure? That's reasonable. Let's discuss the parts of my character and the parts of the adventure necessary to make that happen.
    No, I don't want to read the module, and no, you shouldn't want to read my backstory.
    For myself, I prefer at least some mystery to the game.

    So, "new PC" is not some magic bullet to change "not giving out PC information". In fact, I'd hold information about a new PC much closer to the chest than that of an existing character.
    Why? When all the other Players are creating "teens with connections" where they all grew up in the same town and "have known each other all their lives" - are you going to create someone that isn't from the town and that no one knows, just to "be the outsider"?

    Note: some Classes tend to encourage this.
    Barbarian, Druid, and Ranger tend to be "natural outsiders" to all the "civilized" Classes.

    And yet, it's amazing how often you meet the mysterious cloaked figure (Strider) in the town bar.

    Time spent playing the character is, IME, richer than backstory, so, in that regard, they'd be correct. Time spent in the current game, and connections to that world, are worth more than being "Ali, Prince of Ababwa" (or was that supposed to be his family name?), so in that regard, they'd be very wrong-minded.
    Heh.
    Aladdin makes a poor Team player example.

    Abu as a Familiar is neat.

    Genie is too much Deus Ex Machina.

    Carpet was - what? Other than transportation, that occasional helped during a fight.

    Jasmine was the Plot Goal, with Jafar being an obstacle to that. (Mostly as a side project to getting power)

    The Seven Dwarves (without Snow White) at least come close to being teammates.
    (If you don't mind playing zero level Characters)

    Perception issues can usually be fixed with liberal application of a clue-by-four.
    Showing the clue = great.

    Being beaten upside the head with it?
    Not no much.
    My Knowledge, Understanding, and Opinion on things can be changed

    Without a Playtest Group - I'm Forever Stuck in the White Room.

    I am learning valuable things, here. So thanks, everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by karellink View Post
    2019-05-19 2:04 pm
    as a great dragon you must have the correct wisdom for these kind of shenanigans.
    Mark Hall said
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.

    × This must be supported by all sides to remain effective.

  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Jay R's Avatar

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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Agreed. That said, I consider it a mark of a GM's / group's skill as to how many aesthetics / how divergent of desires that they can accommodate simultaneously. Just my opinion, though, not a universal truth or anything.
    OK, feel free to consider it a mark against my skill that I run games that all my players enjoy, and that I enjoy running, rather than the game you want me to run.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    OK, let's back up a minute here, and step through this nice & slow. A *new* character has none of those things, either.
    You are describing one way of creating characters as if it's a universal truth. It isn't. In the last game I ran (2e), I gave a several-page document describing the village they grew up together in -- how small and isolated the village is, how little they know about the outside world, and how the old folks would talk about how much better things were back when there was a king.

    The players reached fourth level before they learned that the great king was named Arthur, and that they are living in the barbaric times after the fall of the Round Table.

    In the game before that (original D&D), the PCs all started as acolytes, squires or apprentices to very powerful traveling adventurers who had artifacts -- the Staves of the Wanderers. By the end of the second session, these adventurers had sacrificed themselves, leaving the Staves in the hands of the 1st level PCs to complete a quest. They were over 2,000 miles from home, so they were all "not from around here". But they still were connected to the world, with complications, plot elements, and meaningful backstory.

    In the second-to-last game I played in, after I gave the DM some ideas about the Ranger I wanted to create, he told me that my Ranger would be from the North, and that his prince had asked him to escort some southerners through the Great Blue Forest. I built Gustav with that background and reason for joining the party.

    In my current game, I created a gnome with an ancestral relic. The DM built a legend around it (much of which I don't know). So I started playing him as Gwystyl, a gnome with a hooked hammer that has secrets and a quest. He's trying to find out what the quest is. This led to the following conversation between PCs:
    Gwystyl: Yes, I'm on a quest.
    Mycroft: To do what?
    Gwystyl: I don't know.
    Mycroft: Well who gave you the quest?
    Gwystyl: I couldn't tell you.
    Mycroft: Well, where are you supposed to go?
    Gwystyl: No idea.
    Mycroft: Well, then why don't you drop it?
    Gwystyl: How? Until I know where the quest is supposed to take me, how can I turn off that path?

    It is simply not true that new characters have no complication, plot element, or other incident that takes longer to develop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I'm not seeing where "any complication, plot element, or other incident that takes longer to develop" is actually relevant to "running a character under multiple GMs", except that doing so gives the character more chance to develop such things, not less.
    Well, of course you don't. Until you accept that it's all right for the games I like to be different from the games you like, you will keep trying to show me that I'm wrong to want characters tied to the world they inhabit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I want my characters to get, well, some "complication, plot element, or other incident that takes longer to develop", some good combats against tactically adept foes, etc etc etc. I want it all. And I cannot get it - or, at least, cannot get it done well - under just a single GM, let alone out of a single campaign from a single GM.
    Great! Have fun with that. I'm not trying to convince you that your way is wrong -- just that it's not for me.

    As a player, I want a character tied to the world, with things going on that the DM knows and I don't. As a DM, I want characters tied to my world, and with some things in their history that I know and they don't.

    If you don't want this, fine. I hope you have the games you want to have. But you and I should play in different games, for the same reason that a footballer and a basketball player should play in different games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Well, there was certainly a problem in the handoff there. If you hate existing characters, and thus will never let him be used again, you should probably reveal the secrets once you're done with him.
    I did not use the word "hate". Please withdraw this accusation, and do not accuse me of it again

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Then it should be incumbent upon GMs to transfer any relevant information, should it not?
    No problem. Here is the relevant information:
    "There is no way for a PC, NPC, creature, or god to travel from my worlds to worlds I did not create. There is no way for a PC, NPC, creature, or god to travel from worlds I did not create to my worlds."

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    The game is over, your character is dead to you, fine.
    Insult received. This is an unfair, and untrue guess made up about me.

    I have finished reading "The Lord of the Rings". Frodo is not "dead to me", even though he will have no more adventures.

    I have finished reading Hamlet. Hamlet will have no more adventures. But that character is not "dead to me".

    And for the same reasons, my PCs Darkstar, Endora, Robin Banks, Eiddileg, Nabonidas, Morgan, David, Julius, Christopher, Leprechaun, Ragnar Rabbit, Jean-Louis, Thomas Redhawk, Cal Young, Hyperion, Pinball, Dr. MacAbre, Paragon, Professor Power, Shadowmonk, Gwydion, Ornrandir, Pteppic, Hannibal Smith, and Jed Travis aren't "dead to me", even though their stories are finished.

    Finishing one story and starting another is not declaring those characters "dead to me". I don't believe that level of rhetoric helps us to communicate in any useful way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    But what do you have against supporting those who do not share your definition of fun?
    There is a long, long distance between not doing something I don't want to do, and being "against supporting" them.

    When people are looking for somebody to run a basketball game. I am not "against supporting" them just because I have no interest in basketball and won't referee their game. I am not "against supporting" people who want to play superheroes when I'm running a fantasy game, or wizards in my Flashing Blades game. It's not true that every game must be perfect for every player. My players enjoy my games, and that's all I'm trying to achieve.

    So I would tell them "No, that's not something I would be willing to do. I hope you find the game you want and enjoy it. Meanwhile, I have players enjoying the game I am willing to run, and I need to focus on them."

    This is "against supporting" other people only in the same sense that feeding the poor in New York is "against supporting" hungry people in Boston.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    That detail seems missing from your otherwise fairly thought-out explanation.
    That statement is simply false. That detail was at both the start and the end of my post. I repeat:

    "We don't all enjoy the same things, and that's fine -- even if it means that some people can't play in the same game."

    "There's nothing inherently wrong with people wanting to leave all continuing plot elements and long-term consequences behind. But I have no interest in playing in, or running, such a game. I won't port a character to another game, and no character from another DM's game will ever play in my game"

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Unless it's just because you believe hidden information is an unsolvable issue - but not all characters even *have* hidden information, so I'm suspecting that there must be something more.
    There is indeed. A game in which characters are part of, and tied to, the world they live in is very different from a game in which they are not. You clearly know that they are different, because you prefer one of these to the other.

    It is perfectly acceptable for you to prefer games in which the PCs are not part of, and tied to, the world they live in. I have said that more than once.

    But is is also perfectly acceptable for me to prefer games in which the PCs are part of, and tied to, the world they live in. You have not agreed to that.

    That is our only point of difference. I agree that your preference is OK, even though I do not share it. You are arguing against the idea that my preference is also OK, even though you do not share it.
    Last edited by Jay R; 2019-06-17 at 05:00 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Right: Surfer may have to wait until the "Second Movie" to join, but if you had (or created) a Spiderman-variant; that could be more immediately accepted by the group.
    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Well, I like to think that I'm at least a decent DM, but I'm not sure how well I'd be able to have the Mariachi Band sound like the Philharmonic Symphony…..
    It's a measure of the whole group, not just the GM, how well they can share the spotlight, and blend highschool romance drama, tactical basketball simulator, and (supernatural?) murder mystery into one enjoyable game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Was my "Villain" within the Bounds of Acceptance for you?
    I didn't respond to this bit right away, because I've been debating that.

    So, suppose I told you - not your character, but you - that I was angry with you because your father killed my brother.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Actually, so am I. Powerful "important" leadership Characters are expected. The GM trying to put their Dream PC into the group? No, thanks!
    Hmmm… I suppose, personally, I can tolerate either piece individually, just not together.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    To me WBL was a two edged sword.
    Sure, it can make creating a higher level PC faster and easier.
    That, IMO, misses the beauty (and the failing) of WBL.

    WBL is integrated with CR. It says that a character of this level should be "this big", able to handle something of this CR, with this level of challenge, thanks in part to this level of WBL (purchased with this level of availability).

    Never mind that that's not true (player > build > class, which themselves aren't equal), but, even if it were? Change even one of those variables, and you're in uncharted territory. It's a tricky fragile system, and it puts the *focus* on game balance - "power balancing", if you will - instead of on "fun".

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    But, it was also used to "justify" automatically getting anything that was wanted for the PC, because (magic) items were "within the price range" that WBL gave.

    Added to the "Magic Shop" that (like Starbucks) seemed to be in every town, and always had every magic item in stock - regardless of where the PC/s went ("I'm a #20th level# knight from >Fantasy London< magically Teleported and lost somewhere in >Post Apocalyptic Outer Mongolia<, but when I walk into the town of Sueveryone, I conveniently find the Old Magic Shop and buy myself a (3x D&D 15-20 crit range, where my Improved Critical feat dropped that to 12-20 crit) +5 Keen Vorpal* Scimitar."
    *Exaggerating, but only a little*)
    - meant that a lot of DMs felt that magic items were reduced to being mundane.
    Personally, I hate magic item shop mentality. Note that that includes automatic spell acquisition. I love that, if you looked at 10 of my 2e Wizards, or 10 of my 2e Fighters (if I had 10), you'd see 10 distinct playing pieces.

    3e, for worse or for worse, was not built that way. It was built giving players a certain, clearly specified amount of agency in the development of their character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    I did like seeing that you're willing to change Characters, to meet the group.
    I mean, if the character legitimately won't work, why bring them? That seemed so obvious, I rarely bother to explicitly mention it.

    That said, a lot of GMs are dumb, in the "too quick to declare something unworkable" direction. Heck, I started constantly referring to my characters by name because I got tired of describing something, people telling me it was "impossible", and then having to say, ”no, it isn't - I've *done it*".

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    (Sorry if misquoted, using my phone is a pain)
    It sure is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    As such, I was always just grabbing a module. Now, I'd read what the "Plot" was, and then I'd see if there was a way to use "hooks" from the PC/s Background/Backstory to get the Players interested in becoming involved in the Plot.

    I have been known to pick a random Village to start the game in, and place the "Starting" Clues to at least three "Modules" there. Then just sit back and let the Players decide which to investigate, or choosing something new, like exploring the wilderness around (formally Nameless Village) instead.
    Ah. I was discussing hooks due to the GM wanting to run a particular adventure, or for joining a campaign in progress. So, yes, things are a bit different in a more sandboxy scenario. There, you focus more on the part I all but completely ignored - making sure that you mesh with the party.

    Actually… I think there must be some communication snafu here, because the notions of "hooks" and "sandbox" are mutually exclusive, the way I define the terms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    No-one should be surprised when the Knight tells the Assassin that he's not going to be involved in killing "the good and just king" for money.
    (Although it should be obvious from Session 1 that having both the Knight and Assassin in the same party could be a problem)
    Well, no-one *should*, but…

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Why? When all the other Players are creating "teens with connections" where they all grew up in the same town and "have known each other all their lives" - are you going to create someone that isn't from the town and that no one knows, just to "be the outsider"?

    Note: some Classes tend to encourage this.
    Barbarian, Druid, and Ranger tend to be "natural outsiders" to all the "civilized" Classes.

    And yet, it's amazing how often you meet the mysterious cloaked figure (Strider) in the town bar.
    Why? So that I don't have to worry about the bad things I've been discussing?

    Since I cannot believe that is actually your question, what are you really trying to ask?

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Showing the clue = great.

    Being beaten upside the head with it?
    Not no much.
    IME, for some people, it is required.

  11. - Top - End - #131
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    It's a measure of the whole group, not just the GM, how well they can share the spotlight, and blend highschool romance drama, tactical basketball simulator, and (supernatural?) murder mystery into one enjoyable game.
    Humm, I'm not sure if I could do all those at the same time.

    Even doing one of those things at a time, throughout the game: There are still at least two possibilities:

    (1) Silly: "The Scooby-Doo" Drama game.

    (2) Serious: "Teen Sherlock Holmes/Nancy Drew" Game: where it's just as important to "Get a Date for the Prom" as actually Solving the Mystery.

    Villain
    Basically, I'm led to believe that there simply cannot be any kind of connection to your Character/s from the DMs side. All connection/s must be thought of by you.

    I didn't respond to this bit right away, because I've been debating that.

    So, suppose I told you - not your character, but you - that I was angry with you because your father killed my brother.
    That would just make me ask more questions.
    (Both IRL, or as my PC)

    (1) How my father knew your (family)?

    (2) How was your brother killed, exactly?

    (3) Could your brother's death have been an accident?

    (3a) If not, What evidence to prove those actions do you have?

    (3b) What was my father's goal and motive/s for doing that?

    (3c) How do you know those goals/motives?

    (4) What are you wanting to do with me?

    (4a) Are you seeking "revenge" and are out to hurt/kill me?

    (4b) Are you wanting me to join you in bringing my father to Justice?
    **********
    Ummmm...
    More importantly, this causes me to wonder:
    "Are you (the RL person) unable/unwilling to keep IC and RL separate?" (Like: it's not what "your Character thinks/feels" when something affects your PC - but how you, IRL, think/feel about those things, and then applying that to your PC)*

    Because I'm not able/willing to go down the "Psychological Rabbit Hole" over a Forum.

    * [B]Note: I am not saying that you are doing this. Just pointing out that it can be interpreted that way.[B]

    That, IMO, misses the beauty (and the failing) of WBL.

    WBL is integrated with CR. It says that a character of this level should be "this big", able to handle something of this CR, with this level of challenge, thanks in part to this level of WBL (purchased with this level of availability).

    Never mind that that's not true (player > build > class, which themselves aren't equal), but, even if it were? Change even one of those variables, and you're in uncharted territory. It's a tricky fragile system, and it puts the *focus* on game balance - "power balancing", if you will - instead of on "fun".

    Personally, I hate magic item shop mentality. Note that that includes automatic spell acquisition.

    3e, for worse or for worse, was not built that way. It was built giving players a certain, clearly specified amount of agency in the development of their character.
    To me, there is a difference between asking the DM for getting certain Magical Item/s at High Level Character Creation (regardless of the Edition) and simply expecting to automatically just have that item because WBL says so.

    The Magic Shops were deliberately removed from 5e (actually 4e, if I understand correctly)

    5e D&D is designed to be used without Magic Armor and Weapons. (As long as the Party has a Caster with the Magic Weapon spell)

    The rest of the Magical Items can be used without any problems.

    I love that, if you looked at 10 of my 2e Wizards, or 10 of my 2e Fighters (if I had 10), you'd see 10 distinct playing pieces.
    To me: The main difference is in how you present them.

    Even if all 10 Wizards were wearing Mage Robes and carrying Staves, where they look (mostly) the same, it's how the Player presents and portrays each that makes the difference. 1e, 3e or 5e.
    This is what I love about the Game/s.

    I mean, if the character legitimately won't work, why bring them? That seemed so obvious, I rarely bother to explicitly mention it.

    That said, a lot of GMs are dumb, in the "too quick to declare something unworkable" direction. Heck, I started constantly referring to my characters by name because I got tired of describing something, people telling me it was "impossible", and then having to say, ”no, it isn't - I've *done it*".
    This can just be a clash of concepts.

    Ok, while I know that while it is allowed by the D&D 3x Rules*, I find it very hard to believe in a Gnome (Halfling, Goblin, Kobold) dual wielding Greatswords!

    *
    Spoiler
    Show
    Let me see if I can remember {no book access}
    Gnome with 13+ Str 3rd level Fighter with Two Weapon Fighting feat (1st), Monkey Grip feat (F1), and Dual Weapons feat (3rd).


    I mean, I might be able to see a "normal person" (Human, Half-Orc, and maybe Half-Elf) with at least a 16 Str doing that (and even this pushes the bounds of believability),
    but someone about 3'6" and weighing around 30# (what, about equal to a 4 year old human? - even with a 20 Str) wielding not one, but two, swords about 6' long and weighing almost half the PC's weight each...


    Bad enough we got Buster Weapons in the game, now… Something three times the size of a Greatsword?

    Although, I actually have seen the Halfling Fighter using a Greatsword, and being very effective with it.

    Ah. I was discussing hooks due to the GM wanting to run a particular adventure, or for joining a campaign in progress. So, yes, things are a bit different in a more sandboxy scenario. There, you focus more on the part I all but completely ignored - making sure that you mesh with the party.

    Actually… I think there must be some communication snafu here, because the notions of "hooks" and "sandbox" are mutually exclusive, the way I define the terms.
    I did think that there might be a big difference between our ideas of what "hooks" might be.

    What you seem to be thinking is Railroading*
    The use of something about a PC, be it their Background T/I/B/F, Backstory as a means for the GM to tell the Player that they must be involved (Hook?) in what is being Run (Plot): Or they must behave a certain way because of Alignment (or Class) saying so.
    - is exactly the kind of thinking that gave RPGs a bad reputation in the first place.
    (especially D&D, plus having the whole "Satanic Panic" debacle.)

    Railroading is forcing everyone down a particular path, and often involves having the same Ending, regardless of "path/s" taken. There are several types of Railroading, including the Predestined Hero (King/Queen) with Plot Armor.

    *Not to be confused with Lininer.
    Lininer is where Encounter 1 gives the needed information for getting to Encounter 2, until reaching the End Goal. While this might seem similar to Railroading (because PCs must have the information from E1 to get to E2) due to "having to go through" all the Encounters in order; But, with Lininer all that is really needed is the information itself, which even the Average GM can give through different means.

    PCs don't want to fight the Angry Ogre? (E4)
    But, Party clears out a nest of Harpies?
    Have the information needed about E5, the "Terrifying" Troll. With at least one RP Encounter where they can find out that both Acid and Fire Permanently kills Trolls.

    But, I had to learn how to not do Railroading, even when running Lininer.

    ******

    Most everyone I know has two terms for setting types:

    (1) I can't think of the "lingo" for what is known as "Fixed Location" setting.
    Curse of Strad is the best example I can think of, since there is only a very limited area and the Fog prevents simply leaving, and "escaping" from the Realm requires killing Strad.

    Where the best Sandbox "starting" setting would be Phandalin (Lost Mines of Phandelver) because there's unlimited access to all the rest of the Sword Coast available for the DM to use when the Players "leave the area".

    Sure, my games are more sandbox, now.
    But, that's what I find works for my games.

    And here are the reasons I tend to use Faerun as the basis of my regular games.

    1) FR is the most used campaign for 5e, so even new players can easily find information on it.

    2) Old Players will most likely already know a lot about FR, both from earlier editions of D&D and the novels.

    3) I can tell all the Players what changes I've made to FR, and most of the time don't have to go in depth about these changes.

    But, my actual Homebrew World is a lot more complicated, and requires Players that are both invested in the World with their PCs, and dedicated IRL.

    Why? So that I don't have to worry about the bad things I've been discussing?

    Since I cannot believe that is actually your question, what are you really trying to ask?
    I asked because I'm trying to figure out, exactly, how playing with you is possible.

    On one hand, you seem to be saying "Make connections with other players."

    While on the other hand, saying: "Except me. Neither GM nor Player shall touch my background/backstory."

    The GM has to accept the PC you decided "fits the game".

    The Players just accept your being at the table and not asking any questions OoC, and only interacting IC with your PC after you've "given permission" by you addressing them or their PC directly.

    Now, I'm really hoping this is incorrect.
    But, others getting this impression from you can be the cause of not being able to find a group.
    My Knowledge, Understanding, and Opinion on things can be changed

    Without a Playtest Group - I'm Forever Stuck in the White Room.

    I am learning valuable things, here. So thanks, everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by karellink View Post
    2019-05-19 2:04 pm
    as a great dragon you must have the correct wisdom for these kind of shenanigans.
    Mark Hall said
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.

    × This must be supported by all sides to remain effective.

  12. - Top - End - #132
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    I did not use the word "hate". Please withdraw this accusation, and do not accuse me of it again
    Apologies. You never used that word. Whether I incorrectly inferred such sentiment, or whether my usage is an artifact of spending so much time with kids, I am too senile to remember.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    OK, feel free to consider it a mark against my skill that I run games that all my players enjoy, and that I enjoy running, rather than the game you want me to run.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    If you don't want this, fine. I hope you have the games you want to have. But you and I should play in different games, for the same reason that a footballer and a basketball player should play in different games.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    There is a long, long distance between not doing something I don't want to do, and being "against supporting" them.

    When people are looking for somebody to run a basketball game. I am not "against supporting" them just because I have no interest in basketball and won't referee their game. I am not "against supporting" people who want to play superheroes when I'm running a fantasy game, or wizards in my Flashing Blades game. It's not true that every game must be perfect for every player. My players enjoy my games, and that's all I'm trying to achieve.

    So I would tell them "No, that's not something I would be willing to do. I hope you find the game you want and enjoy it. Meanwhile, I have players enjoying the game I am willing to run, and I need to focus on them."

    This is "against supporting" other people only in the same sense that feeding the poor in New York is "against supporting" hungry people in Boston.
    One ice cream machine / shop only serves vanilla*. A second can serve either chocolate or vanilla. All things being equal, the second is superior** to the first, right?

    A third ice cream machine has two spouts, and can serve both vanilla *and* chocolate; the third shop can ring vanilla and chocolate up in the same order. All things being equal, this third version is strictly superior to either of the first two, right?

    To finish my metaphor, some GMs are "Baskin Robbins 48 flavors" stores, run by master chefs, who can spotlight share different flavors, sequentially in multi-dip cones, or in "twist" cones, or even blending the flavors together into entirely new flavors. And they're wise enough to give samples before selling whole batches, to confirm that it's valid (although, as master chefs, their intuition is usually pretty good, but people's tastes differ).

    Yes, "fun" is the name of the game. It takes skill to be able to deliver a fun game. But I view a GM who can deliver a fun game to a greater variety of groups to be more skilled than one who can only deliver fun to smaller subsets, or even to only one group or style of group. Whether the ice cream is a metaphor for the difference between high school romance drama / tactical basketball simulator / (supernatural?) murder mystery, or the ability to fulfill the "8 aesthetics" of fun, (Discovery, Challenge, etc) or build complexity, or backgrounds / connections to the world, or nearly any other set of similar criteria.

    By all means, prove me wrong, but this is the stance that I hold, that a GM who can produce more varieties of fun / who can cater to more tables is more skilled than a GM with less capability.

    -----

    If my friends invited me to play a game of basketball, even if it isn't my preference, if I was free, I would join them. This is what I meant by "support".

    However, there are games where I believe that my "dislike / hatred" of the concept would likely be detrimental to the group's fun. So, even if I'm not busy, I'll bow out of those.

    -----

    If one of your players said "this has been fun, but I want to try something different - I want my character to have absolutely no connection to the world, and no hidden information. I sprung out of the ground yesterday, fully grown, the product of my own epic spell (cast in the future) - a true self-made man". How would you respond? Would you respond "let's do it!" (I'm guessing not, from my understanding of your stance). Would you respond, "no, I lack the ability to run such a game"? Or "no, I lack the inclination to run such a game?" Or even "no, I lack both the ability and the inclination to run such a game"?

    This is what I meant by "skill" and "support". Feel free to propose an alternative for either word (I'm pretty sure that the first one is applicable, though).

    * And no insult intended here - this isn't a reference to "plain vanilla" or anything, as it's simply the most common / popular flavor, and I happen to *like* vanilla.

    ** Sure, you've got people who are deathly allergic to peanuts being in the same store as them. Players like that, who cannot tolerate any talking/role-playing at their table, for example, are a special case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    You are describing one way of creating characters as if it's a universal truth. It isn't.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    It is simply not true that new characters have no complication, plot element, or other incident that takes longer to develop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Well, of course you don't. Until you accept that it's all right for the games I like to be different from the games you like, you will keep trying to show me that I'm wrong to want characters tied to the world they inhabit.
    This whole bit is simply the result of a misunderstanding - I misunderstood what you meant by "develop" in the phrase "complication, plot element, or other incident that takes longer to develop."

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Insult received. This is an unfair, and untrue guess made up about me.
    More fun with words.

    OK, suppose your GM dies mid-campaign. They left no notes (or those were destroyed by whatever caused their death).

    Or you, and you alone, were abducted by aliens / to another reality.

    In these scenarios, you would never play one of your old characters again, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    That statement is simply false. That detail was at both the start and the end of my post. I repeat:

    "We don't all enjoy the same things, and that's fine -- even if it means that some people can't play in the same game."

    "There's nothing inherently wrong with people wanting to leave all continuing plot elements and long-term consequences behind. But I have no interest in playing in, or running, such a game. I won't port a character to another game, and no character from another DM's game will ever play in my game"
    That misses the "why".

    I mean, I think I understand (correct me if I'm wrong) that it is this hidden information - this stuff that the GM knows about your character that you do not - that is important to you. Whereas, what is important to me is how the character reacts to and grows from a variety of stimulus (specifically, a larger variety than a single GM is likely to ever have the all skills to produce all of them to my satisfaction).

    What I don't understand is why your desire (or other things you haven't explained) translates not only into"your characters are from the world" and "your characters never change GM" to "no characters from another world at my tables", but also "all characters from my tables have hidden information" and "no characters from my tables ever leave".

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Great! Have fun with that. I'm not trying to convince you that your way is wrong -- just that it's not for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    As a player, I want a character tied to the world, with things going on that the DM knows and I don't. As a DM, I want characters tied to my world, and with some things in their history that I know and they don't.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    No problem. Here is the relevant information:
    "There is no way for a PC, NPC, creature, or god to travel from my worlds to worlds I did not create. There is no way for a PC, NPC, creature, or god to travel from worlds I did not create to my worlds."
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    There is indeed. A game in which characters are part of, and tied to, the world they live in is very different from a game in which they are not. You clearly know that they are different, because you prefer one of these to the other.

    It is perfectly acceptable for you to prefer games in which the PCs are not part of, and tied to, the world they live in. I have said that more than once.

    But is is also perfectly acceptable for me to prefer games in which the PCs are part of, and tied to, the world they live in. You have not agreed to that.

    That is our only point of difference. I agree that your preference is OK, even though I do not share it. You are arguing against the idea that my preference is also OK, even though you do not share it.
    I… fine. I was trying to avoid this topic, but if you're insulted already, I may as well go there.

    If everyone supported both styles of play, then you could have your fun playing connected characters under a single GM, and I have my fun playing characters who are "not from around here" under multiple GMs.

    Obviously, if everyone only supported one style or the other, only one of us could have fun.

    If everyone gamed "my way", you could have fun with your group. But if everyone gamed "your way", I could not have fun with mine. By which I mean, my stance is inclusive (people can have connections or not), whereas yours is exclusive (people *must* be from around here, *must* have hidden information).

    So, while I'm fine with you / your group / anyone playing charterers from the world, with background connections, never leaving their world, only ever played under one GM, whatever, you explicitly exclude things at your table. The underlying reasons why determine whether excluding things from your table is acceptable or not.

    "You can eat peanut butter, but not at my table."

    "You can have guns, but not in my house."

    "You can follow (insert religion), but not in my country."

    "You can have kids, but not with my daughter."

    "You can have your gay / colored / foreigner marriage, but not with my cake."

    "You can sell cookies, but not in my store."

    There is - in my eyes, at least - a difference between what type of exclusion are acceptable, and what types are objectionable. Although different people may disagree on which is which.

    And it's the same for your preference for hidden information as it is for barring from and staying in the world - sure, it's your preference, and that's fine, but you force it on the whole table.

    Which is why you are correct: I have not sanctioned your tendencies of exclusion, because I do not understand the root cause. Thus, I do not know that I agree with them.

  13. - Top - End - #133
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Just hitting a few things at a time, in case the battery or I decide it's time to sleep.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Villain
    Basically, I'm led to believe that there simply cannot be any kind of connection to your Character/s from the DMs side. All connection/s must be thought of by you.



    That would just make me ask more questions.
    (Both IRL, or as my PC)

    (1) How my father knew your (family)?

    (2) How was your brother killed, exactly?

    (3) Could your brother's death have been an accident?

    (3a) If not, What evidence to prove those actions do you have?

    (3b) What was my father's goal and motive/s for doing that?

    (3c) How do you know those goals/motives?

    (4) What are you wanting to do with me?

    (4a) Are you seeking "revenge" and are out to hurt/kill me?

    (4b) Are you wanting me to join you in bringing my father to Justice?
    **********
    Ummmm...
    More importantly, this causes me to wonder:
    "Are you (the RL person) unable/unwilling to keep IC and RL separate?" (Like: it's not what "your Character thinks/feels" when something affects your PC - but how you, IRL, think/feel about those things, and then applying that to your PC)*

    Because I'm not able/willing to go down the "Psychological Rabbit Hole" over a Forum.

    * [B]Note: I am not saying that you are doing this. Just pointing out that it can be interpreted that way.[B]
    Although you took it in some different directions than I did, I think you got the basics of what I intended with the question: making this villain makes for some complicated revaluation of the character / father dynamic.

    Depending on the character, that might be something I'd be OK with (despite technically involving role-playing the backstory NPC off screen), or it might not (if it invalidates the purpose of me making/running the character). Also, for some of my characters, it might be completely nonsensical (they don't have fathers, for example).

    So, I'd say… run it by me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    To me: The main difference is in how you present them.

    Even if all 10 Wizards were wearing Mage Robes and carrying Staves, where they look (mostly) the same, it's how the Player presents and portrays each that makes the difference. 1e, 3e or 5e.
    This is what I love about the Game/s.
    This is why I specified that the *playing piece* would be different. Yes, the personalities - the *character* of the character - will vary in any system, but, in 2e, the playing piece did, too. Also, the variance in the underlying playing piece gives different opportunities for growth. So… I'd say that it encourages the development of different personalities, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    I asked because I'm trying to figure out, exactly, how playing with you is possible.

    On one hand, you seem to be saying "Make connections with other players."

    While on the other hand, saying: "Except me. Neither GM nor Player shall touch my background/backstory."

    The GM has to accept the PC you decided "fits the game".

    The Players just accept your being at the table and not asking any questions OoC, and only interacting IC with your PC after you've "given permission" by you addressing them or their PC directly.

    Now, I'm really hoping this is incorrect.
    But, others getting this impression from you can be the cause of not being able to find a group.
    Well, seems like there's been a huge communications snafu here. Let's try again.

    As my FF example indicates, I'll state if I think that the GM's reasoning is unfounded / faulty (Quertus being "unscientific"); otherwise, I'll attempt new vectors to tie the character into the game until the GM & I agree (Quertus), or I run out of ideas for that character (Winx). In the latter case, obviously, I pull out a new character. So, kudos to me for making a good example!

    (Note that, for simplicity, I've limited the example to player/GM interactions. At some tables, the players may have input / be involved, and you'll get things like: "you should bring Armus!", "My character could recommend Winx to Mr. Fantastic", "I don't think my character would get along with your troll cyborg idea", "based on our party composition so far, we could really use a brick", etc)

    Once play begins, my characters will often interact heavily with the PCs, and with the NPCs. This is because I enjoy forming these connections in play. However, it depends on the character - some are less suited to, or more selective in playing, this particular minigame than others. But, usually, I'm more gregarious / vocal than most at the table.

    No, nobody gets to change my characters' history. The rest of the table is welcome to do whatever they want with their backgrounds / connections / history / whatever. (Although, if your character, that my character has previously met in another game, has retconned that out of their history, my character will treat yours as a doppelganger (or alternate reality invader, or wibbly wobbly timey…), and act accordingly.)

    Now, all that said, a lot of tables I've encountered (especially modern ones), the GMs really can't be bothered to talk about the game, and it's just "here's the specs, bring that", with no metagame conversation whatsoever. So… how this plays out at actual tables may vary.

  14. - Top - End - #134
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    To me, there is a difference between asking the DM for getting certain Magical Item/s at High Level Character Creation (regardless of the Edition) and simply expecting to automatically just have that item because WBL says so.

    The Magic Shops were deliberately removed from 5e (actually 4e, if I understand correctly)

    5e D&D is designed to be used without Magic Armor and Weapons. (As long as the Party has a Caster with the Magic Weapon spell)

    The rest of the Magical Items can be used without any problems.
    I mean, there is - it's part of the philosophy difference between editions (and systems).

    I generally prefer the 2e way for D&D, but 3e doesn't work too well / gets kinda clunky without a lot of extra effort from the GM unless you follow RAW item availability & crafting rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    This can just be a clash of concepts.

    Ok, while I know that while it is allowed by the D&D 3x Rules*, I find it very hard to believe in a Gnome (Halfling, Goblin, Kobold) dual wielding Greatswords!

    *
    Spoiler
    Show
    Let me see if I can remember {no book access}
    Gnome with 13+ Str 3rd level Fighter with Two Weapon Fighting feat (1st), Monkey Grip feat (F1), and Dual Weapons feat (3rd).


    I mean, I might be able to see a "normal person" (Human, Half-Orc, and maybe Half-Elf) with at least a 16 Str doing that (and even this pushes the bounds of believability),
    but someone about 3'6" and weighing around 30# (what, about equal to a 4 year old human? - even with a 20 Str) wielding not one, but two, swords about 6' long and weighing almost half the PC's weight each...


    Bad enough we got Buster Weapons in the game, now… Something three times the size of a Greatsword?

    Although, I actually have seen the Halfling Fighter using a Greatsword, and being very effective with it.
    Actually, I was talking more "this character wouldn't work well on this adventure / with this party" than "this playing piece doesn't follow RAW".

    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    Ah. I was discussing hooks due to the GM wanting to run a particular adventure, or for joining a campaign in progress. So, yes, things are a bit different in a more sandboxy scenario. There, you focus more on the part I all but completely ignored - making sure that you mesh with the party.

    Actually… I think there must be some communication snafu here, because the notions of "hooks" and "sandbox" are mutually exclusive, the way I define the terms.
    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    I did think that there might be a big difference between our ideas of what "hooks" might be.

    What you seem to be thinking is Railroading*
    The use of something about a PC, be it their Background T/I/B/F, Backstory as a means for the GM to tell the Player that they must be involved (Hook?) in what is being Run (Plot): Or they must behave a certain way because of Alignment (or Class) saying so.
    - is exactly the kind of thinking that gave RPGs a bad reputation in the first place.
    (especially D&D, plus having the whole "Satanic Panic" debacle.)

    Railroading is forcing everyone down a particular path, and often involves having the same Ending, regardless of "path/s" taken. There are several types of Railroading, including the Predestined Hero (King/Queen) with Plot Armor.

    *Not to be confused with Lininer.
    Lininer is where Encounter 1 gives the needed information for getting to Encounter 2, until reaching the End Goal. While this might seem similar to Railroading (because PCs must have the information from E1 to get to E2) due to "having to go through" all the Encounters in order; But, with Lininer all that is really needed is the information itself, which even the Average GM can give through different means.

    PCs don't want to fight the Angry Ogre? (E4)
    But, Party clears out a nest of Harpies?
    Have the information needed about E5, the "Terrifying" Troll. With at least one RP Encounter where they can find out that both Acid and Fire Permanently kills Trolls.

    But, I had to learn how to not do Railroading, even when running Lininer.
    … by my definitions, a "hook" is a reason for a character to go on an adventure. So, the party is searching for Atlantis - why? For one character, their hook is "Fame"; for another, "Wealth"; for a third, "closure - my Dad went missing looking for Atlantis, and I'm hoping to find out what happened to him".

    In a sandbox, by my definitions, the onus is on the players, not the GM, to match their characters' motivations to one or more pieces of content. The GM just provides content (which they believe capable of hooking most parties), and the players decide which hooks to follow.

    That didn't make much sense - let me try again. In a sandbox, Gandalf may hear about orcs, and a Necromancer, and a Dragon, and some spiders, and lots of other things. And he chooses which thread(s) to follow up on. The GM doesn't have to ask Bilbo for a hook to match the spiders, because it doesn't matter whether Bilbo engages the spider scenario. It's up to the party which pieces of content to engage - and how to engage them. Maybe Bilbo learns that the elves a) craft magic items, and b) are led by someone with a fear of dragons, and so c) tries to convince the Dragon to lean on the elves to produce magic items for the dwarves to use to conquer the humans, to split the wealth with the Dragon.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-06-17 at 11:15 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #135
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Note: I'll respond to your other post when less tired.😇

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Just hitting a few things at a time, in case the battery or I decide it's time to sleep.
    Understandable.

    Although you took it in some different directions than I did, I think you got the basics of what I intended with the question: making this villain makes for some complicated revaluation of the character / father dynamic.

    Depending on the character, that might be something I'd be OK with (despite technically involving role-playing the backstory NPC off screen), or it might not (if it invalidates the purpose of me making/running the character). Also, for some of my characters, it might be completely nonsensical (they don't have fathers, for example).

    So, I'd say… run it by me?
    Ok. I feel like we made some progress.
    Took a Side Quest and some Investigation….
    😁

    This is why I specified that the *playing piece* would be different. Yes, the personalities - the *character* of the character - will vary in any system, but, in 2e, the playing piece did, too. Also, the variance in the underlying playing piece gives different opportunities for growth. So… I'd say that it encourages the development of different personalities, too.
    Umm… is that trying to find the mini that "looks like" your PC? Where you hunt in every Gaming Store, RPG Convention, hobby shop, and even online to find it?
    And once found, will Paint it to be "closer" to the actual description you have for the PC?

    If so - wow. I'm impressed.

    Well, seems like there's been a huge communications snafu here. Let's try again.

    As my FF example indicates, I'll state if I think that the GM's reasoning is unfounded / faulty (Quertus being "unscientific"); otherwise, I'll attempt new vectors to tie the character into the game until the GM & I agree (Quertus), or I run out of ideas for that character (Winx). In the latter case, obviously, I pull out a new character. So, kudos to me for making a good example!

    (Note that, for simplicity, I've limited the example to player/GM interactions. At some tables, the players may have input / be involved, and you'll get things like: "you should bring Armus!", "My character could recommend Winx to Mr. Fantastic", "I don't think my character would get along with your troll cyborg idea", "based on our party composition so far, we could really use a brick", etc)
    Ok. That can work, but not for all tables.

    Jay R has firmly stated that "outside" PCs aren't allowed in his game/s. (No disrespect intended with the following, Jay R.)

    So instead of reaching for your Huge Binder of (premade) Characters, perhaps make a new PC, with no "premade" history.

    Like for the F4, instead of coming up with ways for Quertus (your PC) to be accepted by Mr Fantastic, (and your not wanting my Spiderman-variant) you create the equivalent of Iron Man, which is someone that Reed can both understand, and respect. (Even though Reed does not really study robots, nor did he study Robotic Engineering enough to build an exo-suit like what Iron Man is. Reed knows enough that how the suit works is based on the same "Scientific Laws" that he uses every day.)

    So, we need at least a little backstory here, since we want to know a few details of this new PC.
    (Working with the DM)

    OoC: what makes your PC different from Tony?
    A) Is the PC an "AU" version? Without the bad heart, or drinking problem. If so, what "Physical flaws" do you chose?

    B) Is the PC basically a D&D Artificer?

    IC: Where are they from?
    Pick your favorite >Marvel< City.

    What is the Suit?
    The latest in Japanese design and tech?
    Or the American Competition to that?

    …. Lots more possible.

    Once play begins, my characters will often interact heavily with the PCs, and with the NPCs. This is because I enjoy forming these connections in play. However, it depends on the character - some are less suited to, or more selective in playing, this particular minigame than others. But, usually, I'm more gregarious / vocal than most at the table.
    Neat. I tend to be more gregarious in person, as well.

    No, nobody gets to change my characters' history. The rest of the table is welcome to do whatever they want with their backgrounds / connections / history / whatever. (Although, if your character, that my character has previously met in another game, has retconned that out of their history, my character will treat yours as a doppelganger (or alternate reality invader, or wibbly wobbly timey…), and act accordingly.)
    Now, here can be the point of contention.

    Because you don't want anyone changing your PC's history, could mean that most of your premade PCs will have problems being allowed into the game.
    As for being allowed into the game: See new PC above. (Changing to match Game Genre)

    But, if no… Just politely say farewell, and seek a compatable DM/Group.

    Now, all that said, a lot of tables I've encountered (especially modern ones), the GMs really can't be bothered to talk about the game, and it's just "here's the specs, bring that", with no metagame conversation whatsoever. So… how this plays out at actual tables may vary.
    Spoiler: Sadly, yes
    Show


    (FMU: OD&D pretty much only had one World, and everyone used the same Rules/Mechanics.)

    But, this was at least partially true even as far back as AD&D 1e.

    Where it was assumed that if you were a "true player", you had at least already read all the "official" books on the Campaign Setting being used (Lots of "debate" of which was 'better': Greyhawk or Faerun), if not you actually owning all said books. If not - you were S*L.

    ***

    And by AD&D 2e, Homebrewing started to become super popular. And the "flame wars" started in the mid 80s? (Not sure. I missed most of the early internet days) I do recall these in the 90s.

    ***

    3.x was the Power Player's baby.
    I really did like the system, but it was way too easy to ramp the Power into Overdrive.

    ***

    4e? Kinda niche. I don't know much about this one.
    Lots of old (mostly 3x) players went Pathfinder 1e, instead. Haven't seen PF 2e.

    ***

    5e isn't really that much better.

    Especially for players that easily compare 5e "Archetypes/Subclasses" with 3x "Prestige Classes". (With Grognards reminding everyone that, Back in the Day, Bards took 3 Classes to get (that wasn't really worth the effort), and Paladins were a Fighter {then Cavalier} subset.
    "And don't get me started on the Original Barbarian!!" Or Monk...)

    Although 5e is easy enough to learn that getting to the actual game usually doesn't take too long.
    (As far as basic mechanics goes)

    But, even here, Race and Class, Multiclassing and Feat Options between PHB, Xanathar's, Sword Coast Adventurers' Guide, and Elemental Evil Player's Companion (Backgrounds from Tomb of Annihilation and now Ghosts of Saltmarsh): and new Race options from Volo's and Mord's - it can quickly overwhelm new players. Heck, even old players (me) can find it hard to remember which is in what book.
    My Knowledge, Understanding, and Opinion on things can be changed

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    I am learning valuable things, here. So thanks, everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by karellink View Post
    2019-05-19 2:04 pm
    as a great dragon you must have the correct wisdom for these kind of shenanigans.
    Mark Hall said
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.

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  16. - Top - End - #136
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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Umm… is that trying to find the mini that "looks like" your PC? Where you hunt in every Gaming Store, RPG Convention, hobby shop, and even online to find it?
    And once found, will Paint it to be "closer" to the actual description you have for the PC?

    If so - wow. I'm impressed.
    There is that, too, but when I say "playing piece", I mean the mechanics of the character, the difference between Knight and Rook and Bishop.

    A Wizard with Fireball and Stinking Cloud who owns Boots of Speed and a Robe of Useful Things will play differently than one with Flight, Invisibility, and Polymorph who owns a Wand of Wonder and an Amulet of Caterpillar Control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Ok. That can work, but not for all tables.

    Jay R has firmly stated that "outside" PCs aren't allowed in his game/s. (No disrespect intended with the following, Jay R.)
    If I gamed with him, my existing characters would be from his table.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    So instead of reaching for your Huge Binder of (premade) Characters, perhaps make a new PC, with no "premade" history.
    Does not compute. This unit not designed to play "error - history not found".

    My characters all have backstory. The better ones also have history from time spent being played at actual tables. (EDIT: for clarity, time at the table makes them better - not just more solid, more tested, but also time spent playing the character is better than backstory.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Like for the F4, instead of coming up with ways for Quertus (your PC) to be accepted by Mr Fantastic, (and your not wanting my Spiderman-variant) you create the equivalent of Iron Man, which is someone that Reed can both understand, and respect. (Even though Reed does not really study robots, nor did he study Robotic Engineering enough to build an exo-suit like what Iron Man is. Reed knows enough that how the suit works is based on the same "Scientific Laws" that he uses every day.)
    I have several power suit characters; only one with play time (unless you count giant robot pilots). I could have used them as examples, except none would be interested in exploring new worlds under the guidance of Reed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    IC: Where are they from?
    Pick your favorite >Marvel< City.
    Is Marvel the one where I could just make a new "Metro City", "Steel City", etc, or was that DC?

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    What is the Suit?
    The latest in Japanese design and tech?
    Or the American Competition to that?

    …. Lots more possible.
    Ah, the old Marvel facerip system. It was my character's first action in the game, to build the Suit of Invulnerability… in a cave… with a box of scraps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Now, here can be the point of contention.

    Because you don't want anyone changing your PC's history, could mean that most of your premade PCs will have problems being allowed into the game.
    Anyone *wanting* to change my PC's history could be a huge point of contention - and an indication that they do not understand or appreciate human psychology and the effects of events on a person well enough to where I wouldn't constantly have to hold them back from taking a **** on the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    As for being allowed into the game: See new PC above. (Changing to match Game Genre)
    Eh, a) I picked characters I'd mentioned before; b) exploring the alternate realities created in Secret Wars, doesn't seem like home genre should matter, except that c) diversity of home genre in the party would be tactically advantageous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    3.x was the Power Player's baby.
    I really did like the system, but it was way too easy to ramp the Power into Overdrive.
    Balance to the table.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-06-18 at 08:29 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    So, back to my question. When y'all collaborate on making interconnected backgrounds, from what I've heard, consensus is that major players in one's background, like siblings and spouses, are probably a bad idea. So that is at least part of why I only have experience with epic failure.

    But, beyond that, step me through y'all's process. I'm trying to figure out what else went wrong, so step me through the process, assuming nothing beyond that I / we / they always fail at this, so we could be doing absolutely anything wrong.

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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    I think I lost track at some point, but isn't this two different discussions?

    1) GM and player collaborating on that player's PC's background.
    2) Players collaborating on each other's PCs' backgrounds.

    On the former, I'd consider it almost a necessity in any game I was running or playing in, so that the PC actually fits into the setting/world.

    On the latter, I'd say "only if it's utterly voluntary and there's no pressure". Systems or tables where players get to impose elements into the PCs or PC backgrounds of other players are absolute non-starters for me.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    But, beyond that, step me through y'all's process. I'm trying to figure out what else went wrong, so step me through the process, assuming nothing beyond that I / we / they always fail at this, so we could be doing absolutely anything wrong.
    Or maybe you could describe a real experience where it went amiss and we could talk concrete stuff instead of just beating around the bush with theoretical discussions, especially since several people have already described their process.

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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Anyone *wanting* to change my PC's history could be a huge point of contention - and an indication that they do not understand or appreciate human psychology and the effects of events on a person well enough to where I wouldn't constantly have to hold them back from taking a **** on the game.
    Balance to the table.
    I think this quote right here is indicative of the fundamental disconnect. Quertus, correct me if I am wrong, but do you believe that for a given set of life events, there is one and only possible personality that can result? That given enough information about a person's life or personality, someone could perfectly predict the other?

    If so, that might be the issue, since mixing of players ideas and concepts into your backstory requires a fundamentally more "flexible" view of the human psyche

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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    I think I lost track at some point, but isn't this two different discussions?

    1) GM and player collaborating on that player's PC's background.
    2) Players collaborating on each other's PCs' backgrounds.

    On the former, I'd consider it almost a necessity in any game I was running or playing in, so that the PC actually fits into the setting/world.

    On the latter, I'd say "only if it's utterly voluntary and there's no pressure". Systems or tables where players get to impose elements into the PCs or PC backgrounds of other players are absolute non-starters for me.
    Yeah probably. though I've never heard of any system or group of players being forced into connections like that, so I don't even see why you'd it bring it up, it seem pretty obvious to everyone that such a thing is always voluntary.

    but this thread has been derailed into "everyone is baffled at Quertus's bizarre views and methods on roleplaying."
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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I mean, there is - it's part of the philosophy difference between editions (and systems).

    I generally prefer the 2e way for D&D*, but 3e doesn't work too well / gets kinda clunky without a lot of extra effort from the GM unless you follow RAW item availability & crafting rules.
    *Since it's been about 20 years since I really played 2e, could you explain this a little more?
    I'm suspecting there is a difference between our experience with that system.

    Which can be seen as your not really wanting to play anything but First Level 3x games.
    Because you expect WBL to give you the items that you want at higher levels.

    Ok, maybe a little harsh.
    I'll try again.

    Like, you might, when making a new 15th Level PC, in fact not expect for your Wizard to already have the Staff of the Archmagi.

    But, you might "expect" to get a Ring of Protection +4. But, say the DM only wants to give a +3 Ring right away, placing the Ring +4/5 as part of the rewards in the Adventure.

    Would this be acceptable?
    Or would you feel that it wasn't fair, because your PC wasn't at "peak performance", as allowed by WBL?

    (Note: I'm ballparking WBL to Item costs.
    As stated, I don't have access to the books)

    Actually, I was talking more "this character wouldn't work well on this adventure / with this party" than "this playing piece doesn't follow RAW".
    Well, I was trying to show a little for why a Character might not be seen as compatible, despite following RAW.

    Sure, I (personally) would allow the Double Greatsword Dueling Gnome into my 3x game, despite the fact that I kinda have problems really believing that being possible.

    … by my definitions, a "hook" is a reason for a character to go on an adventure. So, the party is searching for Atlantis - why? For one character, their hook is "Fame"; for another, "Wealth"; for a third, "closure - my Dad went missing looking for Atlantis, and I'm hoping to find out what happened to him".

    In a sandbox, by my definitions, the onus is on the players, not the GM, to match their characters' motivations to one or more pieces of content. The GM just provides content (which they believe capable of hooking most parties), and the players decide which hooks to follow.

    That didn't make much sense - let me try again.
    Actually, (I think) it did.
    I'm thinking that for you, it's about choice.

    In the "Bad DM" scene, you're only given the one choice: Follow "Plot".
    With them "using" things from Background and Backstory to insert your PC.

    Where the "Good DM" has "End Goal":
    Gandalf may hear about orcs, and a Necromancer, and a Dragon, and some spiders, and lots of other things.
    And lets "Gandalf" decide (hopefully after consulting the other PCs) which to pursue first.
    But, maybe has it where only by engaging with everything (except maybe the spiders) do they find out about the "Real Threat" (Sauron).

    And instead of sending two "innocent PCs" into Mordor, everyone finds a way to go on that journey, where they face Challenges together (and gain power, both through abilities (classes) and unique items.

    Maybe Bilbo learns that the elves a) craft magic items, and b) are led by someone with a fear of dragons, and so c) tries to convince the Dragon to lean on the elves to produce magic items for the dwarves to use to conquer the humans, to split the wealth with the Dragon.
    That would have been a rather interesting scene.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    There is that, too, but when I say "playing piece", I mean the mechanics of the character, the difference between Knight and Rook and Bishop.

    A Wizard with Fireball and Stinking Cloud who owns Boots of Speed and a Robe of Useful Things will play differently than one with Flight, Invisibility, and Polymorph who owns a Wand of Wonder and an Amulet of Caterpillar Control.
    But, those differences are only known and noticed by you, unless you A) deliberately point them out to everyone OoC or B) use them during game play.

    Although I think I understand:
    Like lots of players thinking in terms of Team Role:
    Tank (Warrior), Striker (Ranger/Rogue), Controller (Sor/Wiz), Support (Cleric).

    Now, even here there can be some confusion, since there are people who take a Support and also Tank.

    Does not compute. This unit not designed to play "error - history not found".

    My characters all have backstory. The better ones also have history from time spent being played at actual tables. (EDIT: for clarity, time at the table makes them better - not just more solid, more tested, but also time spent playing the character is better than backstory.)
    Anyone *wanting* to change my PC's history could be a huge point of contention - and an indication that they do not understand or appreciate human psychology and the effects of events on a person well enough to where I wouldn't constantly have to hold them back from taking a **** on the game.
    The main point was that you were already having/deciding what the Backstory for every PC was: Ancestry, Birth, Childhood, Teen, and how the chosen Class and Background features were acquired, along with all the PC's Personality.

    Where everyone else started from the other end, where things like Childhood and maybe even Teen events (while technically existing) were only filled out when/if it becomes important.

    Like, I might choose the Outlander (Hunter) Background for my (PC Goal) Monster Slayer Ranger.

    Now, I might place: "Raised by Gypsies" for Childhood events, but leave some details open for the DM. (Like who the Gypsy Leader was during that time)

    And put "Learned to provide for Troup by hunting" as Teen Event. Meaning this is where the Outlander Background came from.
    But, the exact details are left blank.

    Adding "Found and trained by (Local) Ranger on how to become an even greater provider and protector" for how the PC got their Class. Again, leaving out the details of who that person was. (Name, Race, gender, level, etc)

    Maybe listing starting equipment, Weapon, Armor, and Explorers Pack, and some gold coins.
    (For this, I'd ask the DM what the PC had for starting gold. They either tell me what that is, or they allow me to Roll)

    Personality isn't added until the game actually starts.

    ****
    Now, some DMs not only like to see that, but tie things into specific Elements of their game.
    Like if you take the Noble Background, they will pick which House within the (Starting) City the PC is from, and what the source of their income (or political influence) is.
    (Hopefully working with the Player to create more details: Ancestors, Parents, Siblings, Cousins, etc)

    I'd say this was the case with Jay R - But without knowing a lot more about both this person and their Game setup, it would be rude for me to do more than guess. As such, I'll let them confirm or deny.

    Is Marvel the one where I could just make a new "Metro City", "Steel City", etc, or was that DC?
    DC Heroes RPG, I believe.

    But then both Marvel and DC have "infinite" Multiverses, which is why you could "find" NYC on an Island in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.

    I have several power suit characters; only one with play time (unless you count giant robot pilots). I could have used them as examples, except none would be interested in exploring new worlds under the guidance of Reed.
    Ah, the old Marvel facerip system. It was my character's first action in the game, to build the Suit of Invulnerability… in a cave… with a box of scraps.
    Again, sometimes examples are just examples.

    I was sticking with the "Reed" reference and using Marvel's Iron Man as a basis for the (new) Powersuit PC.

    Balance to the table.
    Is brought by everyone coming to the table.

    What I might be having problems understanding, is my "seeing" that you're tending to blend Character Personality with Player Attitude.

    Now, it could also be that your simply combining "everything" together, Crunch and Fluff plus "psychological" ramifications on how a "Real Person" (like from our RL world) would believe and behave, based on those things.
    My Knowledge, Understanding, and Opinion on things can be changed

    Without a Playtest Group - I'm Forever Stuck in the White Room.

    I am learning valuable things, here. So thanks, everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by karellink View Post
    2019-05-19 2:04 pm
    as a great dragon you must have the correct wisdom for these kind of shenanigans.
    Mark Hall said
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.

    × This must be supported by all sides to remain effective.

  23. - Top - End - #143
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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Yeah probably. though I've never heard of any system or group of players being forced into connections like that, so I don't even see why you'd it bring it up, it seem pretty obvious to everyone that such a thing is always voluntary.
    There is a well-known system or family of systems where "the player to your left gets to decide something about your PC" is SOP, and my search-fu is failing me on confirming which it is.

    And there are multiple "indie" games where even more such "around the table" is SOP.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post
    Or maybe you could describe a real experience where it went amiss and we could talk concrete stuff instead of just beating around the bush with theoretical discussions, especially since several people have already described their process.
    That would be beneficial. Even if the Playground gave no input, just putting it into words, trying to explain it to others, I might see it better for myself.

    Unfortunately, it would require me to remember the details well enough to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by kitanas View Post
    I think this quote right here is indicative of the fundamental disconnect. Quertus, correct me if I am wrong, but do you believe that for a given set of life events, there is one and only possible personality that can result? That given enough information about a person's life or personality, someone could perfectly predict the other?

    If so, that might be the issue, since mixing of players ideas and concepts into your backstory requires a fundamentally more "flexible" view of the human psyche
    It doesn't matter whether you follow Deterministic or Chaos Theory logic, you're still looking at the problem upside down.

    Namely, whether or not a given set of inputs could produce one or multiple outcomes, changing the inputs changes which outcome(s) exist in the set of possibilities.

    It's people wanting to change the inputs, but expecting the same output, that I am decrying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    *Since it's been about 20 years since I really played 2e, could you explain this a little more?
    I'm suspecting there is a difference between our experience with that system.
    In 2e, by RAW, a 1st level character could roll a Staff of the Magi on the random treasure table.

    Enough said?

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Which can be seen as your not really wanting to play anything but First Level 3x games.
    Because you expect WBL to give you the items that you want at higher levels.

    Ok, maybe a little harsh.
    The game designers put in rules for item availability, so… I think RAW is pretty clear on what you can expect to get where, and how the developers expected the game to be balanced.

    That said, if you spend your wealth differently than they did, play the classes differently than they did, or in any way deviate from their expectations (including restricting expenditures beyond RAW), the results on game balance are undefined.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    I'll try again.

    Like, you might, when making a new 15th Level PC, in fact not expect for your Wizard to already have the Staff of the Archmagi.

    But, you might "expect" to get a Ring of Protection +4. But, say the DM only wants to give a +3 Ring right away, placing the Ring +4/5 as part of the rewards in the Adventure.

    Would this be acceptable?
    Or would you feel that it wasn't fair, because your PC wasn't at "peak performance", as allowed by WBL?

    (Note: I'm ballparking WBL to Item costs.
    As stated, I don't have access to the books)
    There are much better things to spend WBL on than said +4 ring. So, no, it has nothing to do with what's "optimal".

    Except… balance to the table. If I do *everything* that's optimal, that won't be balanced to most tables.

    What isn't "fair" is the GM deviating from RAW to make it more difficult for me to balance to the table.

    If what's balanced to the table is me starting with a free +5 ring, then the GM should do *that*. The GM wanting to give a +4 as a "reward" is getting in the way of them doing what's right.

    You should define your principles, define what's "right", and stick to that. Is it balance? Then ignore WBL, ignore what you want to give as a reward, and make balance happen, however it needs to happen. Is it having rules? Then follow RAW, ignoring balance or what you want the players to lack, so that you can give it as a reward.

    Honestly, just typing it, "I want you to lack this thing, so that I can reward you with it" sounds pretty dysfunctional. Seems to me like you should reward people with what they want, rather than engineering a want to fit your intended reward.

    Also, it's not like I'd make a new 15th level character, when of course I'd run an existing one. Haven't we been through this?

    -----

    In short, there's the "lawful" approach, where you follow RAW. And there's the "Chaotic" approach, where you ignore RAW, and balance to the table. Anything else, and the GM is not only in uncharted waters, but they've foolishly set themselves up to where everything is their fault.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Well, I was trying to show a little for why a Character might not be seen as compatible, despite following RAW.
    I think my party of the Paladin, the Assassin, the Undead Hunter, and his dear childhood friend, the Undead Master has that covered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    And lets "Gandalf" decide (hopefully after consulting the other PCs) which to pursue first.
    But, maybe has it where only by engaging with everything (except maybe the spiders) do they find out about the "Real Threat" (Sauron).

    And instead of sending two "innocent PCs" into Mordor, everyone finds a way to go on that journey, where they face Challenges together (and gain power, both through abilities (classes) and unique items.
    Gandalf is the GM's best friend / ****, to whom the GM imparts lots of information that he doesn't share, while he constantly abandons the party, runs off and has solo adventures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    That would have been a rather interesting scene.
    Cinematically? Iffy. But at an RPG table? Utilizing the tools that the GM put fourth in unexpected ways is the best.

    Zzzzz…(falls asleep)

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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    In short, there's the "lawful" approach, where you follow RAW. And there's the "Chaotic" approach, where you ignore RAW, and balance to the table. Anything else, and the GM is not only in uncharted waters, but they've foolishly set themselves up to where everything is their fault.
    House rules and special campaign rules are a thing. If a group doesn't use WBL, it just doesn't. And no, considering how horrible the balance in 3.x can be that does not make it automatically less balanced. Whatever replaces WBL is probably more fit to whatever the group wants gear to be.

    But of course, if the group has houserules, that makes importing characters more difficult, considering they might no longer be rules-legal and would have to be converted.

  26. - Top - End - #146
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    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    Actual Questions ignored.
    Noted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    It doesn't matter whether you follow Deterministic or Chaos Theory logic, you're still looking at the problem upside down.

    Namely, whether or not a given set of inputs could produce one or multiple outcomes, changing the inputs changes which outcome(s) exist in the set of possibilities.

    It's people wanting to change the inputs, but expecting the same output, that I am decrying.
    Actually, they are putting in different inputs, and never knowing the output in advance.

    In 2e, by RAW, a 1st level character could roll a Staff of the Magi on the random treasure table.

    Enough said?
    Yep. Different experiences.

    Sure, it was possible, but the odds of that happening (for any specific magic item) are beyond my abilities to calculate.

    IiRC, by RAW, it was the DM that did the random roll/s for possible magic items, not the Player.

    If I'm mistaken, by all means post the relevant information, preferably into a Spoiler.

    The game designers put in rules for item availability, so… I think RAW is pretty clear on what you can expect to get where, and how the developers expected the game to be balanced.

    That said, if you spend your wealth differently than they did, play the classes differently than they did, or in any way deviate from their expectations (including restricting expenditures beyond RAW), the results on game balance are undefined.
    Umm, isn't deviation from expectations the entire point of an RPG?

    There are much better things to spend WBL on than said +4 ring. So, no, it has nothing to do with what's "optimal".

    Except… balance to the table. If I do *everything* that's optimal, that won't be balanced to most tables.

    What isn't "fair" is the GM deviating from RAW to make it more difficult for me to balance to the table.

    If what's balanced to the table is me starting with a free +5 ring, then the GM should do *that*. The GM wanting to give a +4 as a "reward" is getting in the way of them doing what's right.

    You should define your principles, define what's "right", and stick to that. Is it balance? Then ignore WBL, ignore what you want to give as a reward, and make balance happen, however it needs to happen. Is it having rules? Then follow RAW, ignoring balance or what you want the players to lack, so that you can give it as a reward.

    Honestly, just typing it, "I want you to lack this thing, so that I can reward you with it" sounds pretty dysfunctional. Seems to me like you should reward people with what they want, rather than engineering a want to fit your intended reward.
    Bringing in your "Experienced" premade Characters means that everything about them should already be known, and recorded.
    (Racial abilities) (Background benefits)
    Class abilities and power/s (and not just spells) based on Level
    Equipment and all Magic Items

    Spoiler: IME
    Show
    Heck, if you wanted to do "DM Hopping" with a Character, it was required that you kept the original Character Sheet, any Permanent change to the PC was put on a new Sheet (along with the date of said change/s), and you recorded at least summaries of every game session for that Character with each DM.

    In some cases, contact information for each DM was also needed. Since there were too many players would try to get more than they had "earned".

    Never had that problem?
    Lucky you.


    As such, you absolutely cannot bring "balance" to the table with any of them.
    Since you couldn't have known what the other Players had, or what "Plot" the DM had chosen.

    Making a new PC, with the aid of the DM, absolutely can "bring balance" to the table.
    Especially when all the PCs have connections.
    (Something you've made clear you're not willing to do)

    I think my party of the Paladin, the Assassin, the Undead Hunter, and his dear childhood friend, the Undead Master has that covered.
    Nope, I can think of several ways that can work.
    But, that's just me, I guess.

    "Unlikely" is different from "beyond belief".

    Now, if you told me the LG Paladin was Redemption Oath, The NE Rogue Assassin was a mercenary that will betray friends, and The Undead Hunter was clueless about his best friend, the LE Undead Master's, true goal of becoming a Lich?

    Then, yeah.
    Not a compatible Party, normally.

    Gandalf is the GM's best friend / ****, to whom the GM imparts lots of information that he doesn't share, while he constantly abandons the party, runs off and has solo adventures.
    Sure, and if I find that I'm "Sam" in that situation, I'd ignore *Gandolf" and I'd leave with my trusted best friend/s to see if we might actually save (or conquer) the world.

    And if I'm stuck following whatever "subplot" they are doing, or being railroaded (in this case given LotR cutscenes for my PC's "Encounters") to a specific end.

    I'll just politely tell the GM that I won't be returning to their game.

    I don't support "GM's best buddy" games.

    In short, there's the "lawful" approach, where you follow RAW. And there's the "Chaotic" approach, where you ignore RAW, and balance to the table. Anything else, and the GM is not only in uncharted waters, but they've foolishly set themselves up to where everything is their fault.
    And what about DMs like me?
    That don't do either "Lawful" or "Chaotic"?

    Zzzzz…(falls asleep)
    I'm hoping that's not a "subtle hint" that you'd like for me to no longer engage with you in this conversation.
    My Knowledge, Understanding, and Opinion on things can be changed

    Without a Playtest Group - I'm Forever Stuck in the White Room.

    I am learning valuable things, here. So thanks, everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by karellink View Post
    2019-05-19 2:04 pm
    as a great dragon you must have the correct wisdom for these kind of shenanigans.
    Mark Hall said
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.

    × This must be supported by all sides to remain effective.

  27. - Top - End - #147
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    So, let me outline my basic points:
    • I am not, on principle, opposed to making character backgrounds together.
    • In practice, however, I only remember seeing it fail, badly, so I am opposed to, personally, doing so under the old paradigm / without having learned something potentially relevant since those days.
    • Further, most players are opposed to the lag between when we would sit down to create characters together, and when I would be ready to play.
    • I am in no way opposed to others linking their backgrounds together (although, that said, I might be wary of those I've previously seen fail seemingly because of doing so, especially if they give no indication of having learned anything since their last attempt)
    • Anything I have created, I have done so for a purpose. Changing those things generally defeats the purpose. Thus, I am opposed to the GM changing the background of my characters, as it defeats the point of me making them in the first place.
    • If I had a GM with sufficient understanding of human psychology (they could answer questions of the ilk of "what do you know about a customer from the question, 'how much is this?'", they didn't believe that they could just change background elements or badly roleplay background NPCs without it impacting the character, etc), and they were willing to take the time to work through things with me, I would not be opposed to collaborating with a GM on a character's background.


    Anything that seems to contradict these points, assume that it is misunderstood, misstated, mistyped, or conditional (ie, just because I love blueberries doesn't mean I love them on pizza).

    Spoiler: whereas these points, I believe, are off-topic
    Show
    Actually, rather than the bulleted list I had planned, I'm going to start here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    House rules and special campaign rules are a thing. If a group doesn't use WBL, it just doesn't. And no, considering how horrible the balance in 3.x can be that does not make it automatically less balanced. Whatever replaces WBL is probably more fit to whatever the group wants gear to be.

    But of course, if the group has houserules, that makes importing characters more difficult, considering they might no longer be rules-legal and would have to be converted.
    As a rule, I don't really do "conversion" - the character works, or it doesn't. That aside…

    Yes, GMs make house rules - sometimes, really cool ones. My point (other than being written from the PoV that house rules usually are bad, to the tune of "worse than what they were replacing", IME) was simply that if you deviate from any of numerous requirements, you have left the confines of the very, very narrow section of possibilities where the game was actually tested, and where concepts like CR and WBL have defined value. If you choose to leave those confines, you enter "any rules you make, it's on you if they break" territory.

    (For fear of losing this reply, I'll stop here, and edit in my off-topic list later)



    Lastly, my "Zzzzz… (falls asleep)" comment was the most coherent i could manage after realizing I had rambled on about rutabagas (and their ilk) for several paragraphs of walking dream that i deleted before submitting my previous post.

  28. - Top - End - #148
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: How much do you like to collab on backstories (players and DMs)

    @Quertus:
    Ah. I'm relieved.

    Thank you for the summery.

    I'll try to do the same.

    *****
    I seek to understand everyone's viewpoint.
    (Sometimes asking questions until I do understand, can be annoying. Apologies if I did this)

    I will try to have everyone come to a common ground.

    I don't ever force anyone to do something they dislike. (Sometimes I'll get carried away trying to show "options")

    Player Attitude is more important than Character Personality.

    I will do my best to help someone build their Character, from understanding Game Rules to Backstory. And I encourage teamwork.

    Personally, I prefer Balanced Characters, able to handle all the different types of play:
    Social, Exploring, and Combat.
    Being better in one is hard to avoid, in most RPGs.

    *****

    Well, I believe we have reached an end point.
    Unless otherwise notified.

    Thanks for the conversation, Quertus.

    I look forward to discussing the next subject.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-06-21 at 06:45 PM.

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