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  1. #131
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Worst is when you're part of a gaming group that can be unfocused/ambling in approach.

    My one group is only scheduled every other weekend, but we keep missing sessions because almost everyone is a P type and no one uses a calendar. I have to basically play "organizer" and check the "weekend of" so that people remember. How hard is it to even just remember from the last session, where we all say, "Okay, our next play session is <date>" and decide it right then and there? These aren't even college kids or anything, everyone's actually mid-30's or older. Yet we've missed a ton of sessions on an already slow schedule because of people not keeping track of the date two weeks hence.

    Yesterday one guy came an hour late after we contacted him, because he "didn't know we were playing."

    So we had only about three hours of playtime instead of four, and the group kept screwing off without actually doing anything. On numerous occasions, people would be arguing with each other about irrelevant points. (For example, two months back, some critters got turned to gold and people were trying to smelt things out of them... although it was unfortunate that the effect was only temporary and they turned back to flesh after. Gnoll dip, anyone? Anyway, two of the characters got into a heated debate about how heavy one cubic foot of gold would weigh and whether it was heavier than another element. Not for any game-related purpose, just for argument's sake. Fifteen minutes of this argument, while everyone else was, "Okay, let's move on." And so on, and so forth.)

    So we barely play, and then we literally got almost nothing done yesterday because of the off-topic banter that dominated the entire session. (All we accomplished in about three hours: Talking to two different NPCs, one character ate a ton of fruit, and two of us flew 30 miles inland and almost fell to our deaths when the magic stopped working. In three hours. That's it. It was probably 45-60 minutes of activity. And technically it was four hours of playtime since the rest of us were there waiting for the one guy who was an hour late.)

    It's almost like you just gotta view it as a "hang out" session rather than a game session. This campaign has been going on since I moved to this state in 2012, it's a published campaign that we're just following, and I didn't even join at the beginning of it. The kind of campaign that if you played weekly and stayed on task you could finish in probably 8-9 months easily.

    Oh well, I needed to verbalize that and get it out of my system. :p
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #132
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Well, we just killed a dragon. The coolest part for me was Sumiko grabbing her thrall and teleporting waaaaaay in the air onto the dragon's back. (He was a big dragon.)



    So I just added a new line to Sumiko's title: "Rider of Dragons," to go along with "Destroyer of Cities / Killer of Angels" ... well, maybe "Killer of Angels" isn't good press.



    Full title at this point, with everything added: "Her Grand Precipience, Sumiko Psychus [the Unfettered], Master of Stones, Rider of Dragons, Opener of Doors, Slayer of Serpents, Destroyer of Cities, Sailor of Worlds, She Who Walks Among Us Unseen"

    I'll keep adding stuff at the end, and just imagine all of her little believers running around in pairs preaching about "Her Grand Precipience" in their established shrine locations in the major cities. It's hilarious... especially because she's just not actually anywhere near that good [she "rode the dragon" for all of, like, two seconds, although it was pretty ballsy to teleport onto its back]. It's all just been fluke stuff, gone to her head. But no one knows that. It's all media spin. I'm also asking for a bard believer who can make up these songs.

    ---

    I found the perfect miniature for Lich Sumiko over the weekend and managed to get the last one that Miniatures Market had in stock (woo hoo). But I might have to ask someone with decent skillz to paint it for me.

    Check this out (someone's painted version of the miniature), I'm still laughing:

    Last edited by Bellflower; 04-27-2015 at 02:40 PM. Reason: added miniature
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft
    Likes Passacaglia liked this post

  3. #133
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Well, we ended up leveling again after the dragon's death (which was unexpected but largely insane from an XP POV).

    Sumiko now has 40 1st level believers, plus smaller numbers up to level 5. "The Eye of Psychus" will be her own little cult army by the time the final battle comes around; and since I recruited the last 20-25 from a city full of psionic catfolk, I have been able to pick what classes of followers I wanted to develop. (For example, I have a fourth level psionic marksman/sniper who I can send on assassination missions.)

    I don't abuse the system, I don't take believers into sessions with me as mine detectors or meat shields, instead I just try to send them on special missions / functions to spread the word and accomplish side tasks for our group.

    Anyway, the group keeps joking about my "lich boyfriend," not realizing that SUmiko is in her final throes of plotting her rise to Lichdom herself. She's shaping her Greater Soulstone, and Schnitzel -- the ratfolk guy attracted to her -- got the city officials to invest in her personal shrine as a gesture of goodwill for our saving the city from the dragon. Hilarious. This is the shrine that will house the 12-hour ritual of becoming a lich. (Note: Sumiko won't have to kill anyone to finish the ritual, except herself of course. That's a worry... It would suck to get to the end of this, then die during the ritual without coming back. Lol!)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #134
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Worst is when you're part of a gaming group that can be unfocused/ambling in approach.

    My one group is only scheduled every other weekend, but we keep missing sessions because almost everyone is a P type and no one uses a calendar. I have to basically play "organizer" and check the "weekend of" so that people remember. How hard is it to even just remember from the last session, where we all say, "Okay, our next play session is <date>" and decide it right then and there? These aren't even college kids or anything, everyone's actually mid-30's or older. Yet we've missed a ton of sessions on an already slow schedule because of people not keeping track of the date two weeks hence.

    Yesterday one guy came an hour late after we contacted him, because he "didn't know we were playing."
    Ugh, this kind of thing drives me crazy. Like, I understand that most people don't love gaming as much as I do, but shit like this makes me wonder if others want to play at all. 'Cause I can't imagine just forgetting plans to do something even moderately fun! On a regular basis, no less! There are calendars, and I'm sure there are calendar apps that remind P-type flakey people of commitments they can't be bothered to remember.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    So we had only about three hours of playtime instead of four, and the group kept screwing off without actually doing anything. On numerous occasions, people would be arguing with each other about irrelevant points. (For example, two months back, some critters got turned to gold and people were trying to smelt things out of them... although it was unfortunate that the effect was only temporary and they turned back to flesh after. Gnoll dip, anyone? Anyway, two of the characters got into a heated debate about how heavy one cubic foot of gold would weigh and whether it was heavier than another element. Not for any game-related purpose, just for argument's sake. Fifteen minutes of this argument, while everyone else was, "Okay, let's move on." And so on, and so forth.)
    Yup, I've been there, even in the best of groups. I remember one campaign I was DMing in which the party found a bag of holding or something, and two players held a lengthy debate as to whether the item description meant '5 cubic feet' or '5 feet cubed,' and what the difference meant. Or something along those lines. Even after I was like "Whatever guys, the brass monkey fits."

    I wonder if some groups would really benefit from having designated socialization space, and designated gaming space. Like, when I was talking to doctors about my insomnia, they all told me "To train yourself to sleep when you go to bed, don't do anything in it except sleep and have sex." Maybe the same concept holds for gaming? "To train your group to game during game time, don't do anything in the game room except game and have sex." Set aside say the first 30 minutes of every game session as 'Kitchen catch-up time.' And then when everyone moves into the game room, that's official game-time, and anyone who wants to have a lengthy off-topic conversation has to move back into the kitchen. Or gets docked XP, or whatever, even though I hate being punitive.

    And/or maybe this is the sort of player who is best to screen out during the getting-a-group-together process. I'll probably be asking for advice about gamer-screening soon, btw.

    PS: How the heck does a dragon fail a Fort save?! They use the fast save-progression, and they've got an insane Con-progression! Maybe I'm suspicious, but I'd be wondering "Nat 1, or DM fudging...?"

  5. #135
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    well, on this one...

    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia View Post
    ...PS: How the heck does a dragon fail a Fort save?! They use the fast save-progression, and they've got an insane Con-progression! Maybe I'm suspicious, but I'd be wondering "Nat 1, or DM fudging...?"
    Seriously, he shot three arrows... and the dragon actually rolled a Nat 1 on the third arrow. The GM usually doesn't fudge rolls, he lets them stand for good or ill. And whatever the poison was, it was especially virulent and had some special nastiness to it. We don't have any more, and the ninja was saving it for many many sessions for something useful.

    We were all shocked, we didn't even know the arrows were poisoned. We kind of expected to die, and then it just rolled over and crashed into the ground.

    Later the GM said he wasn't expecting us to kill it; we would just fight, and eventually someone would retreat (us or him).

    It turns out it wasn't necessarily a great option, as it was a captain of the high guard and the Queen's favored (there's a dimension shift occurring that we're trying to reintegrate the dimensions -- and the dragon city is right over top the tengu city we were in, but we didn't know... and somehow the dragons got caught in a warp and thought the tengu had invaded THEIR city), so they might have actually been willing to talk to us, but if they find out we slew the Queen's favored... that would be very ugly.

    So while we killed a dragon, it might bite us in the butt later.

    --

    I will state that Jeremy does seem to like to toss in really powerful stuff, to see what we do with it -- whether it kills us or kills the other guys. I mean, the ninja found this deadly poison; and Sumiko found both a balor stone and a great wyrm stone. She didn't even know the dragon stone was a great wyrm until very recently, and here she's been carting it around for many sessions not trying to use it. (He says I can try to talk to the dragon, but I'm kind of scared to. There's the possibility it might end up controlling me, versus me him.)

    I think he likes to throw in stuff and see what we do with it, and if we don't follow up on something, he doesn't say a word. He'll also put in some really nasty stuff, if we're dumb enough to do it... so with him, we just can't tell whether we're going to gain something good or die horribly. (This past week, there was an almost impossible-to-crack dwarven vault that I knew was probably protected in every way possible; Sumiko considered teleporting in but was hesitant to do so, someone in the group taunted her, and she immediately tried to do it anyway Because Roleplay. She had to make a Will save and got a 33 because she happened to have a bonus on it at the time and simply didn't go anywhere... Through a high spellcraft roll, I found out the DC was 30, if she hadn't had the bonus she would have failed, and if you failed that save, the Vault would teleport you 8 leagues out to the ocean floor into a small metal box surrounded by a sphere of anti-magic. Oh good grief!)

    He usually also knows character builds really well and as a player tries weird combinations and also has the highest character mortality rate in our group. it's kind of funny... but it never seems to bother him.

    Anyway, yeah, he likes to put a bunch of fun unlabeled toys in the sandbox that might help us as well as kill us, then lets us do what we want and plays it out.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #136
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia View Post
    Ugh, this kind of thing drives me crazy. Like, I understand that most people don't love gaming as much as I do, but shit like this makes me wonder if others want to play at all. 'Cause I can't imagine just forgetting plans to do something even moderately fun! On a regular basis, no less! There are calendars, and I'm sure there are calendar apps that remind P-type flakey people of commitments they can't be bothered to remember.

    Yeah, that guy is a little odd and has been flakey at times. Also:




    It's interesting, some people I game with are just "normal" folks, typically in the geeky camp (lots of people who work in tech in their day jobs); others game because they have some issues functioning socially and it provides an even-playing field where they can just be themselves and feel good about their knowledge of the game(s).

    Yup, I've been there, even in the best of groups. I remember one campaign I was DMing in which the party found a bag of holding or something, and two players held a lengthy debate as to whether the item description meant '5 cubic feet' or '5 feet cubed,' and what the difference meant. Or something along those lines. Even after I was like "Whatever guys, the brass monkey fits."
    O.M.G.

    I wonder if some groups would really benefit from having designated socialization space, and designated gaming space. Like, when I was talking to doctors about my insomnia, they all told me "To train yourself to sleep when you go to bed, don't do anything in it except sleep and have sex." Maybe the same concept holds for gaming? "To train your group to game during game time, don't do anything in the game room except game and have sex." Set aside say the first 30 minutes of every game session as 'Kitchen catch-up time.' And then when everyone moves into the game room, that's official game-time, and anyone who wants to have a lengthy off-topic conversation has to move back into the kitchen. Or gets docked XP, or whatever, even though I hate being punitive.
    Yeah, I hate doing that too. But when you only play once every two weeks (for that game) at best (and we aren't even playing in May) and have a four-hour session, if you spend half of it talking you never get anywhere. I started with that group in August 2012 or something, and I think I was fourth level, and now I'm ninth. We didn't even get to upgrade gear until level 7. I like the people, but it's a SLOOOOOOOW campaign.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #137
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Currently developing two Lawful Neutral characters.

    One is a Tiefling gunslinger (Tenacity Rue). She's got a tail + a tail feat, so she can thus carry two guns as she has an extra appendage / equivalent of three hands to help her reload. She's kind of scary... and relentless.. and seems to enjoy it.



    The other is a dhampir inquisitor (kinslayer) who goes by the name Clarisse Sangfroide. Imagine a pale/grey-skinned thin wiry woman with long pale blonde hair (perhaps back in a tail), wearing green round glasses so that you can never see her eyes, who speaks with a heavy accent and seems to have no compassion in her heart let alone blood in her body.

    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #138
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Seriously, he shot three arrows...
    Ah, okay, that makes it somewhat less unlikely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    We were all shocked, we didn't even know the arrows were poisoned. We kind of expected to die, and then it just rolled over and crashed into the ground.
    I recently saw a comment about poison in a '101 Previous Edition Rules You Would Bring Back for PF' thread, which makes it sound like Jeremy was being old school with this poison. I vaguely remember a 3.5 poison or two with save-or-die effects, but this sort of poison seems to be going out of fashion. (And understandably so.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Later the GM said he wasn't expecting us to kill it; we would just fight, and eventually someone would retreat (us or him).
    Hm, I don't have much experience with this sort of DMing style, and the experience I do have resulted in me rerolling PCs frequently. Maybe it's my J function, but I find it hard to imagine how this style doesn't eventually but inevitably result in TPKs. Like, how does a party retreat from something like a dragon? Does Jeremy consider keeping a teleport on-tap for emergencies is an essential function of high level casters? Or maybe the dragon would have for some reason lost interest in the party, had you retreated for a round or two...

  9. #139
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia View Post
    Hm, I don't have much experience with this sort of DMing style, and the experience I do have resulted in me rerolling PCs frequently. Maybe it's my J function, but I find it hard to imagine how this style doesn't eventually but inevitably result in TPKs. Like, how does a party retreat from something like a dragon? Does Jeremy consider keeping a teleport on-tap for emergencies is an essential function of high level casters? Or maybe the dragon would have for some reason lost interest in the party, had you retreated for a round or two...
    I think he figured we'd retreat if things got bad.
    Or maybe he figured we wouldn't be stupid enough to attack it.

    We've got some potent powers, but I think the barbarian was actually in the worst shape despite being Superstition since he's still just a toe-to-toe fighter and can be killed, and a dragon does a lot of damage in one round.

    Sumiko has Greater Teleport (she has two soulstones with shadow demons in them, that she has immaculate control over), her thrall can go ectoplasmic, we have a Vitalist who can transfer damage of people in the collective (which helps a bit), a ninja who can Vanish, and so on. So most of us had an escape route in mind.

    It's possible also whatever dimension blip happened might have blipped again. We're not really sure why the crossover occurred, except that it's like three-way current and the three dimensions are syncing up again as they do every so many centuries. Maybe as the sync gets closer and closer, there are "jolts" flying where things cross over to another dimension unexpectedly; that's how the barbarian got to our dimension. We're trying to investigate and understand, but it takes time. We attacked and somehow killed this dragon ("ooo-kay... not what I had in mind, but whatever"), yet it's possible we would have been able to recruit the dragons to help us in the upcoming battle and now we've kind of screwed ourselves over -- won a battle, but risked losing the war. We can still try to recruit them, but if the dragons figure out we killed one of their champions and then held a huge feast for the city to eat the remains... not good!

    Honestly, like I said, I think he finds it more interesting to throw really crazy stuff into the mix and then seeing what we do. He's kind of that way as a player too; he's usually got the most interesting builds, and he has the highest mortality rate in the group of players. He loses at least one character (and sometimes two) per campaign, because he just likes to try things and sometimes it doesn't work. He understands builds better than anyone but is always pushing the boundaries.

    He has all of his background material figured out. When I found that book of how soul-shaping goes, he actually sent me paragraphs and paragraphs summarizing excerpts from the book and the theory of how it all works. Lol. And I like how he lets me decide what I'm doing with my character and just makes the world respond appropriately, rather than trying to force me into a predesigned plan.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #140
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    It's interesting, some people I game with are just "normal" folks, typically in the geeky camp (lots of people who work in tech in their day jobs); others game because they have some issues functioning socially and it provides an even-playing field where they can just be themselves and feel good about their knowledge of the game(s).
    Yeah, some gamers can prove those ugly gamer stereotypes painfully true. I'm not exactly a social virtuoso myself, so I have sympathy for gamers who use the hobby as a social safe haven, but the older I get the less patience I have for dealing with more extreme examples. Specifically the ones who can't or won't improve themselves. The next time I join or form a group -- hopefully sooner rather than later! -- I'm going to do my best to screen this kind of gamer.

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