PDA

View Full Version : What am I supposed to do?



Pages : [1] 2 3 4 5 6

Trekkin
2013-03-09, 03:56 AM
Apologies in advance for length; this is complicated.

I have a friend who's developing a "universal" RPG of his own, and who's put together a CthulhuTech game (in setting only)to test his system. I asked about joining that game, and we worked out a character designed to test what is basically his spontaneous casting system. Then he told me to "do my worst".

See, I have something of a checkered past with RPGs, because I tend to think laterally too much. On the one hand, this has led to a passel of great stories; on the other, very few of these stories were the ones we had originally set out to tell. I kind of self-ban playing primary casters, let alone people with access to modern machine tools. So my worst is bad, but the DM assured me he could match whatever I could come up with as a sort of nerfed sorcerer (which is how he runs parapsychics).

I took that to mean the enemies would be inventive too. Apparently it meant that nothing in the setting or system was fixed. Some of this makes sense, of course. I can take entire schools of magic being axed for being too powerful (organic chemistry and alchemy mix too well), even from a "basically complete" system, and my spells known halved after the fact, and so forth.

What I can't take is when the same thing happens to the setting, following a sadly predictable pattern: if I need it, it's not true. When I want to dodge airborne surveillance by meeting someone under a tree, there aren't any parks or green spaces in arcologies. When I want to introduce home aquaponics as a money-making scheme (banking on the lack of greenery being a bit irksome to people), the arcologies are lousy with parks and everyone's full up on plants. The same has been true of nearly every aspect of my character's backstory; the surest way for me never to have met an NPC is to ask if I might still have their number from such-and-so incident a decade ago. Until they turn out to be evil, and suddenly we hung out all the time and he can pick me out of a crowd instantly. Bear in mind, I got my backstory written for me. Numbers jump based on who's asking, and I specifically have to give a detailed reason for any question I ask about the setting--and I can be sure that whatever the answer, it will last until I come up with a new plan based on the implications of that answer.

Now, the other players have had this happen too, and unfortunately for most people involved I work well with all of them, so they've had it happen a lot more around me. The setting and system are both getting so twisted they're basically unplayable, and the whole thing has taken on a 1984-esque feel where we take nothing for granted because the old world gets constantly sucked down the memory hole. We can show him the chat logs where he definitely said X was true, and the response, paraphrased, is "that was when you wanted to [do A]. Now I'm ruling [X is false]."

This is the same man who claims we can't derail his adventure because there are no rails and we're free to do anything. I suppose there aren't rails because we wanted to move something by train once. :smallbiggrin:

Now, I could just leave, but the DM's put a lot of time and effort into this setting and the sessions are still fun; the fundamental inconstancy of the universe just means my plans are a lot more chaotic, which is great in a secret agent game. I'd rather just figure out how to stop pushing his buttons before he nerfs his system beyond playability and goes nuts trying to come up with a setting where nothing we want to do is possible.

So why might he be taking this approach to DMing, and how do I work with it?

EDIT: We have a blog now, for dissecting the system:
http://irolledazero.blogspot.com/

SilverLeaf167
2013-03-09, 04:08 AM
Have you considered the possibility that the whole world is actually supposed to be one big Schrödinger's Cat scenario, and it's not just the DM screwing around? :smallwink: That whether something is true is redefined whenever you try to make use of it?

Ruling that out, the problem is quite clearly the DM, not the system or setting. If he's a mediocre improviser and you've derailed his campaigns in the past, he might be overly cautious about it happening again (though this behavior is a very exaggerated way to handle it). Depending on his personality, he might also be doing it out of spite or to show you just how "powerful" the DMs. I can't really imagine him just trying to preserve his story or whatever, since acting like that is just as likely to ruin the main plot as it is to stop the campaign from being derailed.

Are there some few, specific things that he lets you do without any problems? If yes, are those things the solution he proposes up front and shoves down your throat? Or are they something you can only discover randomly after having all your other plans shot down?

That said, if you're all having fun, I don't think there's any real need to fix the problem, and having to worry about the system being nerfed is unnecessary unless the DM blames his ridiculous behavior on someone/something other than himself.

Trekkin
2013-03-09, 04:18 AM
As far as consistently allowed actions go, thus far I've always been able to buy coffee without any problems. So maybe coffee-shops are islands of stability in an increasingly mad world. Insofar as useful actions go, though, we typically hit upon them randomly. He's not the type to suggest things; asking him what we ought to do was the first thing I tried.

While I haven't thought that the instability of the world is by design, thinking of it that way makes me feel a lot better.

That said...we are having fun. Just once, though, I'd like an enemy to outsmart us, rather than having us be made to look foolish by forgetting some crucial fact that we knew when last we asked about it, and we're all getting kind of fatalistic about it. Before I came along, there was a reasonable chance that the party's intended course of action could play out.

I suppose that, as far as fun goes, I'd like to lose rather than be disqualified for once. The game was pitched as two intelligent sides fighting a shadow war; it's a bit discouraging to sit down to play chess and be told there are no pawns in checkers. So I guess what I'm after is a way to understand what he wants out of all this retconning, so that the party can work with it.

Rhynn
2013-03-09, 04:21 AM
So why might he be taking this approach to DMing, and how do I work with it?

Because he's a bad GM. What you describe - the physical reality of the setting conforming to his desire to thwart you - is basic railroading. (The actual kind, not the Internet meme "having an adventure is railroadingW kind.) He sounds pretty immature, to boot - "Yeah you can try to wreck the system. *changes everything in response to you trying anything* Lol see I win."

Unless you can talk to him about it (seems unlikely), your options are to endure it or to leave.

Surfnerd
2013-03-09, 01:18 PM
That sounds utterly terrible. I'd be happy to take a huge poo on his work if he treated me like that.... Jeez!!! "I shot you" "NUH UH!!! I have a bullet proof vest!" Really that is the point of rules for crying out loud. Sounds like he is making his own system so he can be a power mad lunatic. I know I don't know this fella from Adam, but sounds weak.

I'd just tell him I'm out. Maybe start my own group or see if anyone else wants to GM. I have better things to do with my time that have someone sit across the table from me and say Nope, no, can't, not now, didn't happen, wasn't like that....

I'd walk out.

falloutimperial
2013-03-09, 03:18 PM
I'd like to recommend the old standby. Talk to your DM about this problem specifically. It's a surprisingly good way to influence people. I believe with candor and politeness, your friend will at least consider altering his style.

Dimers
2013-03-09, 04:39 PM
That's not a game system.

Well, okay, it's a game system if "wait for a tornado to come pick you up and deposit you at your intended destination" is a transportation system. Random, highly unlikely, almost guaranteed to hurt a lot.

Serious advice? Since your gamemaster wants feedback, politely but plainly let him know that the methodology isn't resulting in a good game because players lack agency. Be prepared to deal with the likely rebuttal of "But you accomplished X, Y and Z!" -- maybe by showing a preponderance of times that the players could NOT deliberately affect the game, maybe just by saying "You asked for my feedback and that's my feedback."

Khedrac
2013-03-09, 05:24 PM
One other thing I would look to try:

instead of comping up with a clever plan that relies on something - like meeting under a tree, come up with two plans that rely on opposite answers to the easiest way to derail each other - so one plan for trees and one plan for no trees - that way when you ask "are there trees so I can do "X" and the answer is "no" you can immediately respond "this means I can do "Y". If the universe warps in front of you (as some of the posts above suggest and I agree is likely) you can start in character wording just what is going on with the world (something you can probably do already from things like the parks effect). Also if it warps back to have trees plan A is a go again.

You might also consider asking the DM if you characters remember that there used to be no parks but now they are everywhere... If he is doing these changes and says "no, it's always been that way" then it is definitely time to talk to the DM about why.

Trekkin
2013-03-09, 06:09 PM
when you ask "are there trees so I can do "X" and the answer is "no" you can immediately respond "this means I can do "Y". If the universe warps in front of you (as some of the posts above suggest and I agree is likely) you can start in character wording just what is going on with the world (something you can probably do already from things like the parks effect).

We've tried this before. Sequentially implemented plans usually see the variable in question flip repeatedly. Simultaneously suggested plans see the variable in question suddenly become a third option that foils both. Then our characters have their apartment broken into or something, without fail.

Amusingly, this has extended to physical laws. I've lost count of the number of particles now "immune to special relativity".

And we've asked before if we remember the world being different; we've always failed the Wisdom check to recall. The DC must be in the 50s by now.

As far as starting a new game goes, none of the rest of us want to make the time commitment to prep and GM a game. If there were a way to avoid this guy rewriting the world, that would be a lot less hassle. That said, I like the idea of rolling with it and acting like the world keeps shifting around us. Playing Job: A Comedy of Justice: The RPG ... I can work with that.

Rhynn
2013-03-09, 07:34 PM
We've tried this before. Sequentially implemented plans usually see the variable in question flip repeatedly. Simultaneously suggested plans see the variable in question suddenly become a third option that foils both. Then our characters have their apartment broken into or something, without fail.

This is seriously the definition of railroading, and the reason that is a negative word.

"We go this way."
"You can't, the pass is snowed in."
"We melt the snow with fireballs."
"Frost giants show up to drive you away."
"Great, my initiative is -"
"They knock you out and you wake up ."

Except your GM isn't even doing it to direct play, just to thwart you. That is [I]even worse. There is no way your DM can get any kind of useful feedback here, and if he tried to run a game like this to most any experienced players who aren't his friends, they'd walk out.

I think you were joking when you suggested it, but if your GM has in fact codified railroading as a "system", that's the worst idea there is.

Talk, then walk.

Or, if you're unwilling to do that, why not match bad behavior with bad behavior? Derail play into long in-character discussions about how the physical reality around you just keeps changing. If that doesn't shame your GM into behaving... well, then nothing, I guess, since you want to stick around for a bad game.

Lord Torath
2013-03-09, 08:25 PM
I think you should talk to him, and if that fails, then yeah, start playing "Job: A Comedy of Justice: The RPG" and see just how far you can get the laws of reality to stretch.

Dimers
2013-03-10, 07:50 AM
Your GM might also need help understanding why it's bad and unfun for players to constantly lack agency. I don't have any great ideas on how to get that across, but it seems like it might be a key concept. If he thinks that what he's doing is great for y'all just like it is for him, then he's not going to care much about anything you say to the contrary.

Maybe he thinks you get your jollies from fighting for control of the game, so he's just trying to give you the best game possible by providing a good struggle.

Trekkin
2013-03-10, 07:50 PM
Okay, I spoke to the GM. At length.

Apparently part of the reason we're being so hemmed-in is because he already wrote the major plot of the adventure, and us in it, as part of the ascension of his literal author avatar to godhood, so while we're free to do anything ("no rails"), the laws of the universe as delineated by his future in-game self prevent us going outside our assigned role and the world changing to thwart us is an artifact of that. :smallconfused:

As in, there's a character that is literally him in-game through some many-worlds shenanigans who's been going around to all of his favorite fictional universes and "fixing" them, and we're playing in one of the universes he's yet to "fix", and so we need to see how badly off we are before the god that is literally the GM in-universe fixes all our problems for us. Said deity is apparently literally invincible, as well, because he can read his OoC self's mind and knows what we're going to do before we do. Sort of. And apparently he can retroactively switch places with a clone of himself in case we manage to get around all of the above.

At least that's everything I understood. I don't really know even what to call this other than "not at all how I'm used to playing RPGs".

Grod_The_Giant
2013-03-10, 08:22 PM
Yeah, OK. "Wrote the plot in advance" is a warning sign. "Literal author avatar" is a warning in flaming letters a mile high, backed up by two major metropolitan orchestras and a metal band playing ominous music at 200 decibels.

This is the point where you ask "Dude. What. The. ****? Is there any reason for our characters to exist outside of you showing off?" (Use more profanity if necessary. Watch him sputter. If he can't give you a good reason, politely inform him that while you'd be happy to read this story if he writes a novel, as a player in a game you expect some sort of agency. Make your frustration clear. Failing that, use the folding chair.

Hiro Protagonest
2013-03-10, 09:49 PM
The dark clouds above you part, and descending in the shaft of light is an old man wearing sunglasses, a beach shirt, and shorts, holding a shotgun.

"AH AM ODE MAN HENDERSHON (http://spiritsoffire.com/forum/index.php?topic=3954.0)," the man says with a heavy Scottish, his voice slurring as he is obviously drunk, "AH WUNSH FOUGHT AGAINSHT THE TEERNY OF RAILROADIN, AND NAH I'VE COME TAH HAILP YOU."

Do you accept his offer?

Yes. You must work hard for many months at your desk or computer, writing up a two-hundred page backstory and being willing to change details as you go along. If your DM is the type to read such a thing, put in lots of spelling and grammar errors, and call it a rough draft that's good enough for the game.

No. Go back to your other options.

---

Given the "system" he's using, this probably won't work. But it might, until his author avatar comes along.

It might convince him to speed up the time it takes to do that, though, and end the game sooner.

Trekkin
2013-03-10, 10:28 PM
As I recall, there's a standing ban on anything he hasn't read/doesn't want to read, and that goes double for backstories. And triple for scientific journal articles that contradict him. Anything we claim to have for in-character reasons that we haven't paid for with feats or skill points (that don't exist yet because he doesn't want to write them up) usually dies pretty quickly anyway. The most I've gotten out of him for more than a session or so is the ability to speak fluent Irish, and I'm saving having that retconned away for a special occasion. I don't think I can manage a 300-page backstory.

That said, I may be able to become Old Man Henderson in-game. It's certainly something to look up to.

JoshuaZ
2013-03-10, 10:43 PM
Okay, I spoke to the GM. At length.

Apparently part of the reason we're being so hemmed-in is because he already wrote the major plot of the adventure, and us in it, as part of the ascension of his literal author avatar to godhood, so while we're free to do anything ("no rails"), the laws of the universe as delineated by his future in-game self prevent us going outside our assigned role and the world changing to thwart us is an artifact of that. :smallconfused:

As in, there's a character that is literally him in-game through some many-worlds shenanigans who's been going around to all of his favorite fictional universes and "fixing" them, and we're playing in one of the universes he's yet to "fix", and so we need to see how badly off we are before the god that is literally the GM in-universe fixes all our problems for us. Said deity is apparently literally invincible, as well, because he can read his OoC self's mind and knows what we're going to do before we do. Sort of. And apparently he can retroactively switch places with a clone of himself in case we manage to get around all of the above.

At least that's everything I understood. I don't really know even what to call this other than "not at all how I'm used to playing RPGs".

What.

Get out now.

Alternatively if you want to stay, explain to him at minimum that this is an awful way to test a new system (which it sounded from the first post was the goal of the game).

It may also be worth telling him that even mild author avatars (DMPCs) can go really badly. This is like a DMPC but orders of magnitude worse. This is like the ultimate Mary Sue made into an RPG.

Let's put it this way: It is sort of implied in the Dark Tower books that the main reason our universe exists is so that Steven King will be around to write the books which will cause the events in the books to take place correctly. It was obnoxious then, and he only got away with it because a) it wasn't a major issue b) it had some clever aspects and hints early on c) He was Steven King (ignoring temptation to put this in all caps) and d) it wasn't part of a cooperative story telling game.

Fighter1000
2013-03-10, 10:46 PM
This "campaign" that your GM is running just sounds like ego-stroking masturbation to me. Just butt-out dude. Seriously.
Take the highway

llehctim
2013-03-10, 11:59 PM
I am also in this game (and another in the same setting), The GM is actually writing a story on the plot, and its actually fairly good, however I have been noticing in my other campaign, everything my character has accomplished changes nothing since the whole thing is to kill a clone of the Gary Stu character.

In the game being referenced here I am also playing myself (modified, with the ability to use magic, long story, as a character), and was content to ignore the mary sue in the other game, since I had this one to enjoy being able to try to make a difference, it has recently come to our attention that this is not really the case and now I am unable to ignore the issue.
The character in question has a power that makes him have more or less absolute control of no less than 3 incredibly advance realities. Where anything he writes about the realities is considered Canon, which might be fine if typical wish warping were in effect, but since he is the GM as well it works perfectly, and he they began attempting to "unify the universe" and bring "better technology" to other worlds.
Now perhaps this is just me, but Mind controlling major leaders and using time stop for months at a time to take over entire realities (ie mind controlling emperor palpatine into handing over the entirety of the empire) kind of irritates me, the unification of everything also annoys me since even in the most ideal scenario it results in the crushing of more obscure sciences and technologies, and takes away most of the strife that allows societies and heroes to grow. At worse cripples any science besides the one from his world and makes the entire multi-verse vulnerable due to lack of diversity.
In theory I have the ability to ask the GM to let me have a power similar to the mary sues over a universe I made, but I tend to dislike that type of method for gaining power since I enjoy the struggle and the learning and improving on your flaws. Should I attempt to be an opposing force of chaos to balance out his force of order, to give us some slight chance of actually making a difference however small it might be, despite that requiring me to also get powers that could be considered marysuish, and most likely not working as well as his?
Another Issue I have been having is that he told me anything that the NPCs can get the players would also have theoretical access to as well, which I accepted at first, since most of the things they had access to that I couldn't get had horrid side effects, but lately, I have been noticing when we want to use something and enemy has there is some reason we can't.



It may also be worth telling him that even mild author avatars (DMPCs) can go really badly. This is like a DMPC but orders of magnitude worse. This is like the ultimate Mary Sue made into an RPG.

PS: I mentioned to him that in all of my attempts at DMing, this was the most major cause of players dissenting, so I have made attempts to make powerful NPCs have flaws that make them more relatable and gives the players something to use against the BBEG, and even at my worst, at least the BBEG had to sacrifice something to get their power, which could be discovered and exploited by the PCs. So I suspect that he knows that DMPCs are typically bad, but assumes that his is more acceptable.

Rhynn
2013-03-11, 01:28 AM
Okay, I spoke to the GM. At length.

Apparently part of the reason we're being so hemmed-in is because he already wrote the major plot of the adventure, and us in it, as part of the ascension of his literal author avatar to godhood, so while we're free to do anything ("no rails"), the laws of the universe as delineated by his future in-game self prevent us going outside our assigned role and the world changing to thwart us is an artifact of that. :smallconfused:

Ahahahahahaaaaa.

Yeah, your GM is horrible. I am not being hyperbolic. This is railroading in the most classic sense, but "perfectly justified." Plus a self-insert rising to freaking godhood? This is the sort of crazy crap you only even hear about like once a year. The only type of GM that is worse is the kind who actually abuses or outright attacks his players, and those are really rare.

RPGs are not novels. You cannot write the plot. There is no plot. There is a story that emerges in gameplay from the interaction of situations, circumstances, characters, and the players' choices.

Why would you continue to suffer through this?

Ashtagon
2013-03-11, 01:45 AM
Okay, I spoke to the GM. At length.

Apparently part of the reason we're being so hemmed-in is because he already wrote the major plot of the adventure, and us in it, as part of the ascension of his literal author avatar to godhood, so while we're free to do anything ("no rails"), the laws of the universe as delineated by his future in-game self prevent us going outside our assigned role and the world changing to thwart us is an artifact of that. :smallconfused:

As in, there's a character that is literally him in-game through some many-worlds shenanigans who's been going around to all of his favorite fictional universes and "fixing" them, and we're playing in one of the universes he's yet to "fix", and so we need to see how badly off we are before the god that is literally the GM in-universe fixes all our problems for us. Said deity is apparently literally invincible, as well, because he can read his OoC self's mind and knows what we're going to do before we do. Sort of. And apparently he can retroactively switch places with a clone of himself in case we manage to get around all of the above.

At least that's everything I understood. I don't really know even what to call this other than "not at all how I'm used to playing RPGs".

So basically, he has a DMPC who is a god.

Run, don't walk, from that "game".


Or if you must stay, have your character sit in a coffee shop all day till he runs out of money. Then have him sit on the street outside that coffee shop begging for money. Your DM will reality shift things soon enough so that he either dies or gets money for coffee, or gets forced to go on a quest to find a coffee shop.

Arbane
2013-03-11, 01:58 AM
Okay, I spoke to the GM. At length.


:smallfurious:

Tell your GM that some guy on the internet said that HIS GAME IS BAD AND HE SHOULD FEEL BAD.

If he's going to stonewall your every attempt to deviate from his script, you players need to GO ON STRIKE. Hand him your character sheets and tell him to let you all know how it works out, and save yourselves a lot of ongoing Kafkaesque frustration in his World of Futility.

Or, if you feel like trolling him back for all that wasted time, you could turn it around on him: have all the players COMPLETELY IGNORE his stonewalling every time you get off the railroad tracks, and act like you CAN do whatever he's currently rearranging the laws of physics to prevent. Get the other players to go along with it, and see how furious he gets.

Then go play RISUS or something. If he apologizes for subjecting you all to that fiasco, let him play, too. Maybe.

Ashtagon
2013-03-11, 03:12 AM
If you're worried about no one else being willing to set up a campaign, propose a board game night instead. Settlers of catan has good reviews, so I'm told.

AuraTwilight
2013-03-11, 03:30 AM
Or, if you feel like trolling him back for all that wasted time, you could turn it around on him: have all the players COMPLETELY IGNORE his stonewalling every time you get off the railroad tracks, and act like you CAN do whatever he's currently rearranging the laws of physics to prevent. Get the other players to go along with it, and see how furious he gets.

I second this. Have all the players pretend the DM ruled whatever you WANTED him to rule, and just continue the game with a ghost-DM in that fashion. He'll get the message.

What's he going to do? It's him against all of you. If he leaves, the group exists. If you all leave, there's no group.

Rhynn
2013-03-11, 08:59 AM
If you're worried about no one else being willing to set up a campaign, propose a board game night instead. Settlers of catan has good reviews, so I'm told.

This is not even a bad idea. My group's been playing a lot more board games, including Eclipse and Arkham Horror, which means a lot of people who aren't into RPGs joining the table, too - and now one of the guys who hasn't played RPGs with us in years is wanting to try Fiasco or even Mouse Guard at one of the board game nights. Plus good board games are hella fun.

Ashtagon
2013-03-11, 09:22 AM
Also, this:

http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-board-games-that-ruined-it-everyone/

Khedrac
2013-03-12, 12:57 PM
Thinking this one through a bit, my first reaction was to agree with everyone else (walk away) but it is not the only good option - especially as you say you like this guy's DMing.

Probably your best option is to go back for another chat with the DM - but I will come back to that later, first let's think of some in-game responses which might help or spark other ideas:

1) The world is going to pot until the DM turns up to save it and nothing you can do can help anything - so why try to help? - You could actively try to make things worse. Possible reasons includes being fed up at not being able to help; and option 2.

2) Start a cult prophesying the coming "salvation" by the DM. This can be a nuisance cult, or it could actively try to speed up the DM's arrival by making things worse.
If the DM was playing fair (which he isn't so meh) people would actually blame him for all the disasters when he turns up - after all they did happen so he could make things better. You won't be able to get mass rallies against him to happen as everyone will love him, but you might be able to operate as individuals trying to shoot/bomb/paintgun/whatever the DM when he arrives.
Get it right and he will have to render your characters retired (probably not dead, but incapable of acting which equals not a PC) to stop you - at which point no PCs = no running the big I love me celebration afterwards.

Now thinking about the above and back to talking to him.
The obvious thing to start with is how very frustrating it is to play in a world where you cannot achieve anything - and how would he like it?
What you can also do is point out that he might want to think about the implications of his character's actions - and tell him to look up Hero Syndrome (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_syndrome). If he thinks about it the world your characters are on is in a bad way because of his character - his character is actually the ultimate "bad guy" responsible for all the woes he will "save" people from. Is that what he really wants his alter-ego to be?

It might also be worth asking if he has read 'The Number of the Beast' or 'The Cat Who Walks Through Walls' by Robert Heinlein (more the second one). The basic premise is that all universes are reachable and that "all" includes fictional worlds (e.g. they visit Oz). At one point the protagonists speculate that they may be "up against an author". The big difference here is that they are not helpless though.

dps
2013-03-12, 02:51 PM
It sounds to me from the OP that basically you're playtesting the system for the DM. Playtesting isn't really like actually playing the game. One of the things that supposed to happen when you playtest something is that things that don't work get changed, or even things that do work get changed to see if they work better some other way.

So, some of what's described makes sense in context--for example, axing certain schools of magic because they're too powerful, or halving the starting known spells if the original rules made starting casters too strong. That's the sort of thing that's supposed to happen in playtesting, so I don't see a problem with it. But just randomly changing basic things about the setting to just to keep you from doing things the way you want isn't. The DM seems to be confusing "changing things in the rules that aren't working as intended" with "changing anything that let's the players actually plan their actions". Unless the point is that it's supposed to be a mindsc**w (which doesn't seem likely if it's intended as a universal system).

Sith_Happens
2013-03-12, 04:47 PM
Well, since this game is allegedly supposed to be a playtest for a new system, the first thing I'd do before sitting back down at the table is demand to have a copy of the system in its entirety. If he hasn't written all of it yet, then he needs to.

The next step is to get all rules-lawyery with your DM about his own game system, at every possible opportunity. While this sounds like something that would be in extremely bad taste, in reality it's exactly what you're supposed to be doing (assuming that this is in fact a playtest). Most importantly, every time he makes a ruling that contradicts the rules you've been given, make sure he knows that you can't playtest rules that you aren't using.

Eventually, he'll either let you actually play his game, or admit that the whole thing is really just an excuse to stroke his own ego at your expense.

Talakeal
2013-03-12, 05:16 PM
Well, since this game is allegedly supposed to be a playtest for a new system, the first thing I'd do before sitting back down at the table is demand to have a copy of the system in its entirety. If he hasn't written all of it yet, then he needs to.


That is a LOT of work, even professional publishing companies don't usually do this. While an outline of the basic mechanics is a good idea, doesn't it seem like a lot of effort to rewrite the same stuff over and over again each time you need to revise the rules.





As for the OP, how does the Cthulhu mythos actually fit in? It doesn't seem like it does at all, so maybe there is more going on here than the GM is letting on.

dps
2013-03-12, 05:23 PM
Ideally, if it's a playtest, the designer/developer shouldn't actually be DMing at all. He should be monitoring and coordinating things, but have someone else DMing--the rules need to be clear not only for future players, but for future DMs (perhaps even moreso for DMs). Really, there should be multiple groups playtesting, but it's tough to find people willing to playtest, especially for what sounds like a non-professional enterprise.

Grod_The_Giant
2013-03-12, 06:00 PM
Ideally, if it's a playtest, the designer/developer shouldn't actually be DMing at all. He should be monitoring and coordinating things, but have someone else DMing--the rules need to be clear not only for future players, but for future DMs (perhaps even moreso for DMs). Really, there should be multiple groups playtesting, but it's tough to find people willing to playtest, especially for what sounds like a non-professional enterprise.
To be fair, and speaking as someone who has built his own (simple) system, it's worth it to be running the earliest drafts. Clarity of rules, at that point, is less important then their functioning, and there's less turn-around between the "that doesn't work" and "ok, fix it like this" stages. Later on, yeah, it's important to have other people play, but...

In my opinion, the optimal path for a (small-scale, amateur) designer:
1. Run a few one-shots with you as DM. One shots so that significant rules shifts don't ruin established characters.
2. Run a short (several sessions) campaign, again with you as DM, for more rule tweaking and to test character advancement.
3. Have one of the previous players run a game or two, with you playing.
4. Have a previous player run a game or two without you present.
5. Have a stranger, or at the very least someone who's never played with you around, run a game or two, then drop in and observe after they've got their feet under them.
6. Find total strangers to playtest things for you.

Talakeal
2013-03-12, 07:21 PM
Ideally, if it's a play test, the designer/developer shouldn't actually be DMing at all. He should be monitoring and coordinating things, but have someone else DMing--the rules need to be clear not only for future players, but for future DMs (perhaps even moreso for DMs). Really, there should be multiple groups playtesting, but it's tough to find people willing to playtest, especially for what sounds like a non-professional enterprise.

I have tried that a couple of times, and let me say it is often very difficult. Both because it is already hard to find enough play testers, and incompetent DM will turn potential play testers away, and because learning a game at the same time you are running it is too much work for most people.
Also, it is an awkward power dynamic, where you have to sit back and not say anything when they are "doing it wrong", and they have to resist the urge to ask you questions. It is very hard to be "in charge" of a game when there is an expert looking over your shoulder, and if there is a conflict between the players and the DM it is very hard not to take sides or get involved.

I suppose it might work in theory, say if you had the budget or resources to actually have several focused groups running at once with you taking notes and moving back and forth between them, but for your average independent game designer that just isn't realistic.

dps
2013-03-12, 08:32 PM
I have tried that a couple of times, and let me say it is often very difficult. Both because it is already hard to find enough play testers, and incompetent DM will turn potential play testers away, and because learning a game at the same time you are running it is too much work for most people.
Also, it is an awkward power dynamic, where you have to sit back and not say anything when they are "doing it wrong", and they have to resist the urge to ask you questions. It is very hard to be "in charge" of a game when there is an expert looking over your shoulder, and if there is a conflict between the players and the DM it is very hard not to take sides or get involved.

I suppose it might work in theory, say if you had the budget or resources to actually have several focused groups running at once with you taking notes and moving back and forth between them, but for your average independent game designer that just isn't realistic.

I don't disagree with any of that, which is why I said "ideally" in my earlier post.

The absolute worst situation is when a group designs a game together, and then playtests it among themselves. They knew what they meant when they wrote the rules, so they never find anything unclear or ambiguous, and they'll almost never test the limits of the rules. Functionally, it's pretty much the same as no playtesting at all, because anyone who buys the first edition of such a game will end up doing the de facto playtesting.

Trekkin
2013-03-13, 06:25 AM
I think part of the problem is that he really, really wants to run this game; apparently every game he's ever GMed since I've known him has actually been this, but some parties died before they ran into the "real" plot. They all tie into this grand metaplot centered around his character. I've not actually played in any of the ones that reached the point where his...alter ego...shows up, but in talking to people who have, he is "everything [the GM] thinks is cool from every work of fiction he's ever read, watched, played, or heard about". A sunlight-immune regenerating vampire telepath/seer/"microkinetic" (apparently he automatically gets any school of mystical powers I cause the GM to ban as overpowered) whose first act on ascending to heretofore-unheard-of godhood was to pop over to Star Wars and reform Emperor Palpatine through ten minutes' intense conversation...I'm still trying to codify everything Mary Sue-esque about this guy, but for a start: the mean score on this Litmus Test (http://www.springhole.net/writing/marysue.htm) is around 190 (simple average from everyone who's seen this character in play taking it), when the test is only designed to go to 50.

At this point, I'm just going to stay in the game and stay alive so I can witness our GM, with a straight face, describe this guy fulfilling every prophecy in CT (as is apparently his standard MO). It looks like the consensus on here is that this whole game is a single massive ego trip, so I'm hopeful he won't let part of his audience die.

That said, I'd like to think he's capable of more as a GM than this. Maybe. Hope springs eternal. So now I have to figure out how to explain to him effectively how wrong all of this is. How the system he's spent years developing is now expressly tailored to showing off a character who is laughably written, and in the process the only fun anyone has is laughing at this state of affairs. I've tried to explain things to him before, and his usual recourse is to nitpick every fact, figure, and other datum included to death in order to ignore the message, and when that doesn't work, to concoct some rationalization regarding how I don't know such-and-such and so I'm wrong. Or, when others have tried, to just ban them.

So any tips for how to explain that "this, no matter what your rationalization, is not good GMing practice?"? Is it just a lost cause?

Rhynn
2013-03-13, 07:04 AM
I think part of the problem is that he really, really wants to run this game; apparently every game he's ever GMed since I've known him has actually been this, but some parties died before they ran into the "real" plot. They all tie into this grand metaplot centered around his character.

This sounds worse and worse the more you tell us about it. Your GM should try writing a novel, not running a game. Unfortunately many GMs get the two confused, but they really are nothing alike.


I've not actually played in any of the ones that reached the point where his...alter ego...shows up, but in talking to people who have, he is "everything [the GM] thinks is cool from every work of fiction he's ever read, watched, played, or heard about

:smallsigh: Groan. I can't be too hard on myself for borrowing directly from other works I liked (including some really, really bad choices) for RPGs - when I was 15! Please tell me your GM isn't older than 21, at least.


A sunlight-immune regenerating vampire telepath/seer/"microkinetic" (apparently he automatically gets any school of mystical powers I cause the GM to ban as overpowered) whose first act on ascending to heretofore-unheard-of godhood was to pop over to Star Wars and reform Emperor Palpatine through ten minutes' intense conversation...I'm still trying to codify everything Mary Sue-esque about this guy, but for a start: the mean score on this Litmus Test is around 190 (simple average from everyone who's seen this character in play taking it), when the test is only designed to go to 50.

Let me guess, he's got two different-colored eyes, and/or unnaturally/rare-colored eyes (purple, silver, gold, black), the same for hair (silver, blue, purple, maybe white or black), wears some sort of long coat... oh, there's got to be a katana somewhere in this, right?


At this point, I'm just going to stay in the game and stay alive so I can witness our GM, with a straight face, describe this guy fulfilling every prophecy in CT (as is apparently his standard MO). It looks like the consensus on here is that this whole game is a single massive ego trip, so I'm hopeful he won't let part of his audience die.

I really am not joking or being cheeky when I say I do not understand your masochism. That can't be fun, can it? Why wouldn't you do something more fun with your time, like play a board game or cards or even Solitaire alone, at home, on your computer?


That said, I'd like to think he's capable of more as a GM than this. Maybe. Hope springs eternal.

Yeah, no. Sorry. This is the worst kind of GMing except for the ones whose personality disorders make interacting with them dangerous. (Cf. That Lanky Bugger's story (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23784)) Your GM is not going to improve, at least in the next 5 years. He's certainly not going to improve unless he's confronted with why he's awful:

Mary Sue self-insert DMPC who is the center of the story.
Confusing RPGs and fiction writing.
Scripting a plot for a game.
Railroading (changing reality to direct play).
Vindictiveness (changing reality just to be an ass to the players).


Stop being a masochist, either cut and run (the non-confrontational way) or tell your GM why he's horrible, as nicely and persuasively as you can (the confrontational way), then in all likelihood get kicked out or cause a meltdown that ends his game. There's no bad outcomes - either you don't have to play that game anymore, or (sorry, never gonna happen) your GM is enlightened, a beam of light descending upon him from yon Heavens as a choir of celestials sings "Bismillah!" ("No, we will not let you go").

geeky_monkey
2013-03-13, 08:01 AM
Personally I'd tell him that as hilarious as it had been listening to his terrible fanw*nk Mary Sue storytime shouldn't you be getting on playtesting that game he'd mentioned?

Trekkin
2013-03-13, 08:24 AM
:smallsigh: Groan. I can't be too hard on myself for borrowing directly from other works I liked (including some really, really bad choices) for RPGs - when I was 15! Please tell me your GM isn't older than 21, at least.

22. So...barely?


Let me guess, he's got two different-colored eyes, and/or unnaturally/rare-colored eyes (purple, silver, gold, black), the same for hair (silver, blue, purple, maybe white or black), wears some sort of long coat... oh, there's got to be a katana somewhere in this, right?

If I recall correctly, red eyes, silver hair, full-on cloak. And he dual-wields them. Apparently, another part of the standard pattern, albeit not a constant one is the PCs uncovering and temporarily using a legendary katana of some description, only for it to rebel when this guy shows up and "fly to the hand of its true owner". Failing that, lightsaber katana seem to show up with some regularity.

At least the katana thing is internally consistent; their stats are usually significantly and universally better than any other bladed weapon in the setting. And, functionally, most of the guns.

As to why I bother: if there really is no way out, and it doesn't matter what we do, I might as well have fun with it. My problem came with the assumption that what I was doing was suboptimal; as long as I'm doing my best by virtue of my actions being totally irrelevant, I can have loads of fun with this just joking around -- as, I suspect, can the other players.

Things are coming to a head soon either way, to judge from the early signs of the plot wrapping up. If I'm going to confront him, I might as well do it over as much as possible.

Rhynn
2013-03-13, 09:27 AM
If I recall correctly, red eyes, silver hair, full-on cloak. And he dual-wields them. Apparently, another part of the standard pattern, albeit not a constant one is the PCs uncovering and temporarily using a legendary katana of some description, only for it to rebel when this guy shows up and "fly to the hand of its true owner". Failing that, lightsaber katana seem to show up with some regularity.

There are tears in my eyes. I am going to die laughing. You have got to be making this up. There is no way...

This is right up there with "i am a star elf i am also a ~vampyre~ (half)" (It hurts and stings! (http://www.elfonlyinn.net/d/20020523.html))

JoshuaZ
2013-03-13, 11:12 AM
22. So...barely?



If I recall correctly, red eyes, silver hair, full-on cloak. And he dual-wields them. Apparently, another part of the standard pattern, albeit not a constant one is the PCs uncovering and temporarily using a legendary katana of some description, only for it to rebel when this guy shows up and "fly to the hand of its true owner". Failing that, lightsaber katana seem to show up with some regularity.

At least the katana thing is internally consistent; their stats are usually significantly and universally better than any other bladed weapon in the setting. And, functionally, most of the guns.

Ok. The bit about the katanas makes me think almost this is all part of an elaborate satire on his part. But I'm probably just being optimistic here.

Maybe just link the guy to the Mary Sue quiz and see what he does with it?

Sith_Happens
2013-03-13, 02:31 PM
Or, alternatively, figure out what quantity of explosives it takes for the GM to be unable to convince himself that it somehow wouldn't work. Then use twice as much.

llehctim
2013-03-13, 02:32 PM
Ok. The bit about the katanas makes me think almost this is all part of an elaborate satire on his part. But I'm probably just being optimistic here.

Maybe just link the guy to the Mary Sue quiz and see what he does with it?

The katana thing is not at all a satire sadly, the GM is a serious katana fanboy. I don't hate katanas and yeah they are kind of cool (when kept rare), but to him katanas are the best thing since well hands I guess, and I pointedly avoid discussions about them since they go on for hours unless you just smile and nod.
I will remain actively trying to avoid katanas to avoid his superkatana stealing powers apparently.

jindra34
2013-03-13, 02:50 PM
Or, alternatively, figure out what quantity of explosives it takes for the GM to be unable to convince himself that it somehow wouldn't work. Then use twice as much.

Or get your party to arrange a meeting with someone under/near something. And then when all those somethings disappear, go out and start scavenging the WORLD for one.

Arbane
2013-03-13, 04:55 PM
So any tips for how to explain that "this, no matter what your rationalization, is not good GMing practice?"? Is it just a lost cause?

Send him a link to this thread.

Then go on strike. Start your own game, in which Marty Stu there dies repeated horrible and hilarious deaths.

dps
2013-03-14, 01:30 AM
Personally I'd tell him that as hilarious as it had been listening to his terrible fanw*nk Mary Sue storytime shouldn't you be getting on playtesting that game he'd mentioned?

Yeah, it justs gets better and better, doesn't it? Apparantly, in addition to his other faults, the guy can't separate the system he supposedly wants tested (which, per the OP, is supposed to be a universal system) from the Mary Sue content.

Trekkin
2013-03-14, 05:05 AM
Yeah, it justs gets better and better, doesn't it? Apparantly, in addition to his other faults, the guy can't separate the system he supposedly wants tested (which, per the OP, is supposed to be a universal system) from the Mary Sue content.

Oh, the universal system is just a barrel of laughs. It's gestalt by default, the idea being that there's a "racial" class and a "trained" class for every character, and the "racial" class is locked unless you go vampire or something; either it's some aspect of your upbringing for humans or it's defined by a nonhuman character's race. Now, he maintains that all racial classes are of equivalent power level. Some of us get literally nothing but a single trained skill from our racial class and some get sorcerer spellcasting, depending how cool the DM thinks the setting is; balancing is put off until "later" except insofar as "overpowered" abilities are removed and the cooler ones given to the Sue. That's not even counting the Sue's racial class, which no one has ever been allowed to use or see.

Of course, the initial explanation of the system included "anything the enemies can do, you can do. I don't play favorites."

I'm still trying to codify all the issues with the system itself; I figure I might as well do as I was asked. Certainly, the lack of classes whose abilities don't disappear when out of their home setting is one of them, given the frequency with which characters are moved around.

Besides which, the more I learn, the more I think I'm going to need to start my account of the problem with a review of basic math skills. Is there anywhere I can point him for how probability works in terms of games?

And on my own end, is there anywhere I could look to learn how to more effectively argue? This guy is the type who needs the last word in everything; if you say the sky is blue, he'll say it looks more light blue, so I need to learn a way to get my points through that.

Lorsa
2013-03-14, 09:01 AM
This sounds worse and worse the more you tell us about it. Your GM should try writing a novel, not running a game. Unfortunately many GMs get the two confused, but they really are nothing alike.

This is why I can't write a novel now matter how much I would like to. I never can figure out what the protagonists do or act in the story and it just feels weird and superficial.

I'd have to agree with Rhynn too, you have to be trolling us. It's amusing nevertheless but this just can't be true. If it is, you should have taken Rhynn's advice and just quit a long time ago and set up your own game. GMing really doesn't take that much time, or it doesn't have to, and I if you have time to play you have time to GM. Sure it takes some planning and thinking but unless you're running a railroaded train you can get away with the players doing most of the work.

You can even be really lazy and let the players figure things out for you. Let them encounter a murder mystery for example that you don't really know the answer to and when they talk about their different theories just choose one that sounds most plausible / most interesting and go with it! Or just make up clues / stories along the way depending on which people the players want to interrogate or where they go. I've ran scenarios where I had just as little idea of what was going on as the players.

JoshuaZ
2013-03-14, 10:25 AM
Besides which, the more I learn, the more I think I'm going to need to start my account of the problem with a review of basic math skills. Is there anywhere I can point him for how probability works in terms of games?

It isn't focused on an in game context, but Khan academy has some well-done



And on my own end, is there anywhere I could look to learn how to more effectively argue? This guy is the type who needs the last word in everything; if you say the sky is blue, he'll say it looks more light blue, so I need to learn a way to get my points through that.

There are two options here. One is to learn to more effectively argue. This isn't likely to have an impact directly on the individual in question but is more likely to work in making bystanders more convinced that in an argument they see that you are correct. The other is to get him to appreciate that rational people can acknowledge their mistakes and should do so. The importance of saying oops (http://lesswrong.com/lw/i9/the_importance_of_saying_oops/) is one good place to start on that.

Actually arguing to convince someone is really difficult. One thing that's really important to remember if one wants to do so is to not raise the pressure. Rather lower it. If an argument is tied into or summarized as "and that's connected to why you are hopelessly confused and a bad person and a terrible GM" it isn't going to go well. If it gets phrased as "You're an ok or good GM; here are things that could make you better" things are more likely to go ok. Remember to leave a line of retreat (http://lesswrong.com/lw/o4/leave_a_line_of_retreat/) so it doesn't feel like giving in is a total loss. People have this tendency to view arguments as conflicts rather than mutual attempts to find the truth. That sucks, but one needs to work in that framework generally and reduce the amount of apparent conflict.

CarpeGuitarrem
2013-03-14, 10:30 AM
I have tried that a couple of times, and let me say it is often very difficult. Both because it is already hard to find enough play testers, and incompetent DM will turn potential play testers away, and because learning a game at the same time you are running it is too much work for most people.
Also, it is an awkward power dynamic, where you have to sit back and not say anything when they are "doing it wrong", and they have to resist the urge to ask you questions. It is very hard to be "in charge" of a game when there is an expert looking over your shoulder, and if there is a conflict between the players and the DM it is very hard not to take sides or get involved.

To be honest, this is exactly how playtesting should work. It's hard, but it's important to have it work this way. Though you do have to find someone who's competent at running games. But this is how playtesting works.

Staying quiet and watching someone else struggle through your system and discern how it works is an eye-opener, let me tell you. It's a good way to get rid of your designer blinders, because when you design a game, it's easy to miss a lot of things. And fixing those early on is paramount.

Trekkin
2013-03-14, 10:47 AM
This is why I can't write a novel now matter how much I would like to. I never can figure out what the protagonists do or act in the story and it just feels weird and superficial.

I'd have to agree with Rhynn too, you have to be trolling us. It's amusing nevertheless but this just can't be true. If it is, you should have taken Rhynn's advice and just quit a long time ago and set up your own game.

Honestly, I wish I could come up with something this amusing out of whole cloth, but this isn't trolling -- or if it is, I'm being trolled by my GM, not trolling you guys.

I have set up my own games, in the past. I'm just really busy this semester, and I don't know of any way I can GM other than trying my darnedest to make as big and detailed and rich a world as possible, which takes a lot more time and energy than doing the same thing for a character. For the moment, I can't GM, and neither can anyone else in my circle of friends who aren't multiple timezones away or constantly busy at odd hours. It's either this or not gaming, at least for the forseeable future. Once that changes, though...everyone else in this group has at least one idea for a campaign or two, even people who have never GMed before. This is at best a temporary problem.

killer_monk
2013-03-14, 11:28 AM
three words:

run like hell!

Arbane
2013-03-14, 11:58 AM
Oh, the universal system is just a barrel of laughs. It's gestalt by default, the idea being that there's a "racial" class and a "trained" class for every character,

Wait, wait wait.... his 'universal' system is a class-and-level system? O_o

You just keep revealing new layers of this everlasting gobstopper of pure failure. Has this guy ever played anything besides D&D? Like GURPS, at least?


Of course, the initial explanation of the system included "anything the enemies can do, you can do. I don't play favorites."


BWAHAHAHAHAHAHno.
Ask to play Marty Stu, then. "Just for a playtest".



Besides which, the more I learn, the more I think I'm going to need to start my account of the problem with a review of basic math skills. Is there anywhere I can point him for how probability works in terms of games?


These seem like a place to start:
http://www.ehow.com/how_5858157_calculate-dice-probabilities.html
http://topps.diku.dk/torbenm/troll.msp



And on my own end, is there anywhere I could look to learn how to more effectively argue? This guy is the type who needs the last word in everything; if you say the sky is blue, he'll say it looks more light blue, so I need to learn a way to get my points through that.

http://lesswrong.com/ , maybe?
Like I said, send him here. If there's one thing online forums love, it's telling people they're WRONG ON THE INTERNET.

Rhynn
2013-03-14, 02:18 PM
Wait, wait wait.... his 'universal' system is a class-and-level system? O_o

It all fits together sublimely.

The "universal" "system" in which he chooses to tell his awesome story of this red-eyed silver-haired twin-awesome-katana-wielding self-insert is a d20 hack.

No one could come up with a better parody. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

I wish we had one of those Something Awful -style animated ROFL smilies to go right here.

illyrus
2013-03-14, 02:46 PM
This sort of reminds me of the Haruhi anime. In it basically Haruhi is the one goddess of the world but doesn't know it. All other characters are trying to keep her amused so she doesn't unmake reality while not letting her in on the fact that she's god. Wackiness ensues.


Actually I think the main male character is the one god and everyone is just fooling him for much of the same reasons as they stated for Haruhi.


Anyway, if you know supergod will be coming, I would actively aid the bad guys in worsening the world to the point where supergod can make his grand entrance sooner. Suggest ways to make a bad situation even worse and get the bad guys and thus the GM to buy into it. When supergod arrives say "Finally you answered our summons, now if you could get to solving everything that would be great." Bonus points if you can be sipping coffee when you say it Office Space style.

AuraTwilight
2013-03-14, 05:14 PM
This sort of reminds me of the Haruhi anime. In it basically Haruhi is the one goddess of the world but doesn't know it. All other characters are trying to keep her amused so she doesn't unmake reality while not letting her in on the fact that she's god. Wackiness ensues.

The ironic and hilarious difference being that Haruhi's lack of self-awareness means that EVERYONE ELSE has more plot agency than she does, which is pretty much the ideal sort of thing you do with that kind of character in a tabletop RPG if you do it at all.

Talakeal
2013-03-14, 06:47 PM
To be honest, this is exactly how playtesting should work. It's hard, but it's important to have it work this way. Though you do have to find someone who's competent at running games. But this is how playtesting works.

Staying quiet and watching someone else struggle through your system and discern how it works is an eye-opener, let me tell you. It's a good way to get rid of your designer blinders, because when you design a game, it's easy to miss a lot of things. And fixing those early on is paramount.

Would be nice in an ideal world. I have trouble finding enough players for a normal gaming group, I can't imagine finding a group of strangers who would be willing and able to do indepth playtesting for me while I sat and watched.

Rhynn
2013-03-14, 07:19 PM
Would be nice in an ideal world. I have trouble finding enough players for a normal gaming group, I can't imagine finding a group of strangers who would be willing and able to do indepth playtesting for me while I sat and watched.

I think you're talking about creating a system to play at your own table (which is the scenario in the OP's case), while CarpeGuitarrem is talking about creating a system to distribute in some form. You're both right. The idea of finding strangers to test your own house system/rules is generally unfeasible. The idea of not doing it for a system you want to distribute is ridiculous.

Trekkin
2013-03-15, 02:39 AM
I think you're talking about creating a system to play at your own table (which is the scenario in the OP's case), while CarpeGuitarrem is talking about creating a system to distribute in some form. You're both right. The idea of finding strangers to test your own house system/rules is generally unfeasible. The idea of not doing it for a system you want to distribute is ridiculous.

Oh, did I not say? That isn't my situation;he's actively looking to publish this.For sale. In dead tree form, no less.

We're supposedly beta testing a "Pathfinder killer".

Sorry; I didn't realize his intentions for the system were important.

And to Arbane : he's always expressed negative opinions of GURPS for a variety of reasons, chief among them incompatibility with d20.

Rhynn
2013-03-15, 03:55 AM
Oh, did I not say? That isn't my situation;he's actively looking to publish this.For sale. In dead tree form, no less.

In that case, 1. CarpeGuitarrem is right, 2. I didn't believe this could get better, 3. bwahahahahaa.

It wouldn't be that hard to at least run it on Google+ or something for strangers, or hit a local game shop (if one exists) for a demo game, or something.

Obviously there's no way in heck he ever will publish it, but there you go.


And to Arbane : he's always expressed negative opinions of GURPS for a variety of reasons, chief among them incompatibility with d20.

So let me guess, he's only got real experience (as in more than reading the books and maybe 1 game) with d20?

:smallbiggrin:

Trekkin
2013-03-15, 04:36 AM
So let me guess, he's only got real experience (as in more than reading the books and maybe 1 game) with d20?

:smallbiggrin:

Well, yes. The only non-d20 system I know of him even playing is a single classic Deadlands game I ran over his protests that I should use Deadlands d20. Before this system he created, he ran 3.5, Mutants and Masterminds, d20 Modern, and a few other variants on the same.

Personally, I don't much like d20 systems, but his general stance is that they're the best and only way to play -- except Pathfinder, which he for some reason can't stand.

Rhynn
2013-03-15, 04:43 AM
You need to start blogging humorous write-ups of the game - this could be the stuff of legends.

SiuiS
2013-03-15, 04:55 AM
Just once, though, I'd like an enemy to outsmart us, rather than having us be made to look foolish by forgetting some crucial fact that we knew when last we asked about it, and we're all getting kind of fatalistic about it. Before I came along, there was a reasonable chance that the party's intended course of action could play out.

I suppose that, as far as fun goes, I'd like to lose rather than be disqualified for once. The game was pitched as two intelligent sides fighting a shadow war; it's a bit discouraging to sit down to play chess and be told there are no pawns in checkers. So I guess what I'm after is a way to understand what he wants out of all this retconning, so that the party can work with it.

Tell him this. Exactly this. Paste this part across.

killer_monk
2013-03-15, 10:42 AM
Well, yes. The only non-d20 system I know of him even playing is a single classic Deadlands game I ran over his protests that I should use Deadlands d20. Before this system he created, he ran 3.5, Mutants and Masterminds, d20 Modern, and a few other variants on the same.

Personally, I don't much like d20 systems, but his general stance is that they're the best and only way to play -- except Pathfinder, which he for some reason can't stand.

I've been following this thread for a bit now, and all I can say is that this guy sounds like a psychopath. Straight up, just look at the definition on Wiki. He's a Marty Stu-ing, Psychopathic narcissist and he needs a wake up call. Maybe you should tape him DMing and make him watch what he does? He may not even realize he needs help.

Seriously though, his "Game" would be the least of my concerns. It sounds like this guy needs some serious psychological help. If you're really his friend maybe you should step forward and tell him he acts like this, because he's only going to get worse over time...

Jornophelanthas
2013-03-15, 11:08 AM
I've been following this thread for a bit now, and all I can say is that this guy sounds like a psychopath. Straight up, just look at the definition on Wiki. He's a Marty Stu-ing, Psychopathic narcissist and he needs a wake up call. Maybe you should tape him DMing and make him watch what he does? He may not even realize he needs help.

Seriously though, his "Game" would be the least of my concerns. It sounds like this guy needs some serious psychological help. If you're really his friend maybe you should step forward and tell him he acts like this, because he's only going to get worse over time...

I disagree. I think he's just immature and slightly self-centered, and he clearly taught himself how to DM, with either nobody ever giving him any feedback on how to improve, or him being too stubborn to listen to any feedback.

Being pigheaded and self-aggrandizing in his spare time does not necessarily mean that he has a personality disorder.

Xiander
2013-03-15, 11:20 AM
I disagree. I think he's just immature and slightly self-centered, and he clearly taught himself how to DM, with either nobody ever giving him any feedback on how to improve, or him being too stubborn to listen to any feedback.

Being pigheaded and self-aggrandizing in his spare time does not necessarily mean that he has a personality disorder.

While you are correct, I did catch myself wondrering if the GM in question did have some mental diagnosis.
I have only met one person who was as bad a game-master as the one described in this thread.
That guy was diagnosed with Asbergers. He also had several big characterflaws (Egoism, stubbornness and a tendency to hide behind his diagnosis being the most infuriating of them).

While I am not arguing that this guy MUST be a psychopath, whenever i read a story that reminds me of that person, I cannot help wondering if there is some psychological baggage, which might add to the situation.

In short: He might just be a bad GM, but when someone is this bad, I figure there is likely more to the story.

Rhynn
2013-03-15, 11:28 AM
Bad GM with an autism-spectrum disorder? Come on - what at the odds!?

Seriously, though, diagnosing someone's psychiatric or developmental disorders over the Internet from a description by a third party takes some skills. You guys should be putting those abilities to use getting paid and helping people in the real world.

:smallamused:

Or maybe stop assuming people you don't know have some kind of disorder that makes them act like a regular jerk.

(Also, there is no such diagnosis as "psychopathy;" and way to conflate "psychological baggage" with "psychopathy.")

JoshuaZ
2013-03-15, 11:46 AM
So the existence and nature of psychopathy/sociopathy is complicated, controversial among mental health professionals, and even as described generally doesn't fit most of this fellow's description. There's an excellent book about this subject - "The Psychopath Test" by Jon Ronson. The book is both informative and a very fun read.

Arbane
2013-03-15, 12:12 PM
You need to start blogging humorous write-ups of the game - this could be the stuff of legends.

YES! Please do this! :smallbiggrin:

Sounds like he's writing Yet Another Fantasy Heartbreaker (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/articles/9/). Which wouldn't be SO bad except if all he knows is D20, he's missed out on a large chunk of the last 30+ years of game design.

killer_monk
2013-03-15, 12:16 PM
Bad GM with an autism-spectrum disorder? Come on - what at the odds!?

Seriously, though, diagnosing someone's psychiatric or developmental disorders over the Internet from a description by a third party takes some skills. You guys should be putting those abilities to use getting paid and helping people in the real world.

:smallamused:

Or maybe stop assuming people you don't know have some kind of disorder that makes them act like a regular jerk.

(Also, there is no such diagnosis as "psychopathy;" and way to conflate "psychological baggage" with "psychopathy.")

It's always possible that the person in question is just a fracking bastard. But I wouldn't rule mental instability out completely.

But seriously consider video taping the session and having him watch it for review. It may just be the wake-up call he so desperately needs?

Rhynn
2013-03-15, 12:18 PM
Sounds like he's writing Yet Another Fantasy Heartbreaker (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/articles/9/).

YAFH, everyone's favorite game! :smallamused:

CarpeGuitarrem
2013-03-15, 12:30 PM
We're supposedly beta testing a "Pathfinder killer".

Oh dear sweet baby salamanders.

THE HEARTBREAKER LEVELS ARE OVER 9000!!!!!

Sith_Happens
2013-03-15, 12:42 PM
You need to start blogging humorous write-ups of the game - this could be the stuff of legends.

Thirding(?) this. Watch the 1st/11th episode of Haruhi (the one with the movie) first though, because the more you can make your campaign log sound like it was written by Kyon, the more win it will contain.

Arbane
2013-03-15, 12:50 PM
At this point, I'm just going to stay in the game and stay alive so I can witness our GM, with a straight face, describe this guy fulfilling every prophecy in CT (as is apparently his standard MO). It looks like the consensus on here is that this whole game is a single massive ego trip, so I'm hopeful he won't let part of his audience die.

CT?

I admire your capacity for cheap laughs. It sounds like you're going to need it.

Maybe have your character become a member (or the founder) of The Church of Katana Guy, GOD OF AWESOMENESS, and play it in the most farcical manner possible? Be sure to emphasize that all mortal efforts are as nothing, and ONLY Katana Guy can possibly hope to achieve anything in this world....

Or just create a drinking game for his game, and get everyone at the table to play. There's no reason to endure this nonsense sober.


That said, I'd like to think he's capable of more as a GM than this. Maybe. Hope springs eternal. So now I have to figure out how to explain to him effectively how wrong all of this is. How the system he's spent years developing is now expressly tailored to showing off a character who is laughably written, and in the process the only fun anyone has is laughing at this state of affairs. I've tried to explain things to him before, and his usual recourse is to nitpick every fact, figure, and other datum included to death in order to ignore the message, and when that doesn't work, to concoct some rationalization regarding how I don't know such-and-such and so I'm wrong. Or, when others have tried, to just ban them.

So any tips for how to explain that "this, no matter what your rationalization, is not good GMing practice?"? Is it just a lost cause?

Like I said, send him here. The resulting flamewar should be the stuff of legends. :D

Semi-seriously? Sit down with him outside of the game, and explain a few simple things:

1: Nobody is impressed by his UberNPC.
2: If you wanted to play in a world where everything shifts to frustrate every action you attempt, you'd play Toon or Paranoia. Or maybe Exalted as Fair Folk.
3: Nobody's going to purchase another D&D clone, especially not one whose entire cosmology is based around a character they've never heard of and don't care about.
4: People STILL don't think his UberNPC is impressive.
5: If he has a Big Story in mind, he should WRITE A NOVEL. Don't force players to go through the paces unless he's actually handing them scripts.
5.5 If he DOES hand you scripts, demand minimum wage.
6: You're here to be players, not an audience. He can give you something to do, or you can all play Settlers of Catan.
7: I feel the need to reiterate that treating the entire game as a showcase for Katana Guy, GOD OF AWESOMENESS, is laughable and best left to 14-year-olds.
8: Remind him that there is a REASON so many D&D fans dislike Elminster.

Good luck with this. Sounds like this guy has Improved Fact Resistance as a class power.

Rhynn
2013-03-15, 12:54 PM
CT?

CthulhuTech, I believe.

CarpeGuitarrem
2013-03-15, 01:22 PM
5.5 If he DOES hand you scripts, demand minimum wage.

This is the best response to railroading that I have heard.

Xiander
2013-03-15, 02:02 PM
Bad GM with an autism-spectrum disorder? Come on - what at the odds!?

Seriously, though, diagnosing someone's psychiatric or developmental disorders over the Internet from a description by a third party takes some skills. You guys should be putting those abilities to use getting paid and helping people in the real world.

:smallamused:

Or maybe stop assuming people you don't know have some kind of disorder that makes them act like a regular jerk.

(Also, there is no such diagnosis as "psychopathy;" and way to conflate "psychological baggage" with "psychopathy.")

I apologize if I came of as needlessly judgmental.

I did try to express that calling the guy a psychopath is more than a bit harsh.

The I tried to elaborate that some of the description reminded me of a person I knew that did have a real life Diagnose. So it set of some red lights with me.

I do not suggest assuming that your friend has any disorders because I have met a bad GM with a disorder. I am not a psycologist and cannot make any judgements and I did not mean to insult anyone.


Now to actually adress the topic: I would not play in that game for very long. I would however, give the G_M a clear talking to about why. Honest, friendly, but firm is the tone I would shoot for. This can be really hard if the guy is actually your friend, but in the long run you are doing him a favor.

Trekkin
2013-03-15, 05:40 PM
5: If he has a Big Story in mind, he should WRITE A NOVEL. Don't force players to go through the paces unless he's actually handing them scripts.


This one may come back to bite me, since that's exactly what I did in the Deadlands campaign he was in; I lined up all the modules I had and tweaked them to flow better from one to the other. In general, when they jumped the rails, whatever baddie they decided to stop to combat ended up being in some way a pawn of the larger evil at the end of the track (which is kind of how Deadlands itself was set up). It was a Big Story.

Certainly, the larger point still stands that robbing the players of agency is the exact opposite of one of the main facets of RPGs, but I'm not sure how to differentiate "having an elaborate evil scheme for the players to investigate" from "writing the players' actions off until GodStu descends from the heavens", because the first thing he's going to point to is that I DID write a plot to my campaign, and the campaign (to the best of my knowledge; llehctim can confirm/deny, as he was in it too) worked fairly well in part because of it.

llehctim
2013-03-15, 06:16 PM
This one may come back to bite me, since that's exactly what I did in the Deadlands campaign he was in; I lined up all the modules I had and tweaked them to flow better from one to the other. In general, when they jumped the rails, whatever baddie they decided to stop to combat ended up being in some way a pawn of the larger evil at the end of the track (which is kind of how Deadlands itself was set up). It was a Big Story.

Certainly, the larger point still stands that robbing the players of agency is the exact opposite of one of the main facets of RPGs, but I'm not sure how to differentiate "having an elaborate evil scheme for the players to investigate" from "writing the players' actions off until GodStu descends from the heavens", because the first thing he's going to point to is that I DID write a plot to my campaign, and the campaign (to the best of my knowledge; llehctim can confirm/deny, as he was in it too) worked fairly well in part because of it.

The preplanning helped with deadlands, one of the main issues was there were 8-9 players and initially there were 2 GMs making it a mess, not to mention the party infigthing and factions towards the end. You did make some mistakes in the deadlands campain, but even Certain mary sues, basically just acted as goals for certain characters to beat, (not getting into the specifics to avoid spoilers of the system) but my character was basically aspiring to beat one of the strongest mary sues in the system etc. and another was trying to beat another of the mary sues while trying to avoid becoming like him. (its complicated).
Another issue was with that many players, combat took forever and most times the loudest was heard and got to do things, there was also alot of between session planning/building things which some players opted out of, which allowed some degree of freedom in preparing for possible railroading and planned events that we could attempt to find out about in advance as well.
in my opinion mary sues are useful in the beggining of the campain as basically measuring sticks for character power growth and something to let them be part of the story before necessarily being strong enough to necessarily survive. I am still really sad that i lost my campaign journal for that campain, because i spent a lot of time on it and wanted to post it for others to enjoy :(. And even with the mary sues in that campain the players still had massive influences on the events.

Trekkin
2013-03-15, 06:48 PM
And that WILL be a fun conversation to have with the GM of this current game, once he brings up this campaign as I know he will.

Setting aside the canon "no stats, the PCs are just dead" characters like the Reckoners and Stone (who, on reflection, I overused), the party's backstory included them being brought together by a young incognito Teddy Roosevelt (we moved his date of birth back a few years), who died holding Stone off to kickstart the campaign.

And nearly did so a second time, once he came back Harrowed, charging through the portal in Devil's Tower no less, chasing down future Stone, although I maintain that was more of a dramatic backdrop to the fight at Devil's Tower than an actual attempt at anything impactful.

In retrospect, I'm not all that good about Mary Sue NPCs either, other than having the sense to let them butt heads uselessly while the PCs actually accomplish things--and it was my very first time DMing a full campaign. I guess we ought to bring up their mutual uselessness in the argument, then.

llehctim
2013-03-15, 06:57 PM
Well to be fair, Mary sues are hard to deal with, I have issues with it when i try to GM, although looking at other examples I guess mine aren't that bad, because they are explicitly always killable, also oh yeah spoiler tags
But when my character was hunting down stone, the mary sueness was more or less parodied. And most times a mary sue showed up another would eventually show up, to take on the mary sue that we had made several attempts (some sucessful later) to injure them, and more or less negated the other one letting us alter the battlefield. My character was actually hunting down stone for his "betrayal" in a certain adventure, and you know being evil and taunting her alot.

Grod_The_Giant
2013-03-16, 09:35 AM
This one may come back to bite me, since that's exactly what I did in the Deadlands campaign he was in; I lined up all the modules I had and tweaked them to flow better from one to the other. In general, when they jumped the rails, whatever baddie they decided to stop to combat ended up being in some way a pawn of the larger evil at the end of the track (which is kind of how Deadlands itself was set up). It was a Big Story.
The significant part is bolded here. Having a plot isn't railroading. Adapting the plot to still work after the players jump the rails isn't railroading either. Railroading is when you don't allow the players to jump the rails.

Mr.D
2013-03-16, 12:57 PM
So, your GM isn't just meta-gaming. He has built a Meta-Game. In which he has the most control both IC and OOC.

Fine.

Have your character get the power to read your mind, like his can. If he says no, say that YOU (real life you) have formed a psychic connection to your Character instead. He's the one that said 4th wall breaking is part of the game. Then every time you're about to do something, speak twice, once as you discussing it with the DM and then as your player saying "Nope, the DM has said we can't do that" everyone else's characters can that react IC "What the hell!? But we did that last week and it was fine!" or something.

Unfortunately it sounds like you're playing this game online, am I right? If not I would have suggested that once your 4th wall breaking powers become manifest, every time the DM is about to **** you out of something, you slap him in the mouth, not really hard, just hard enough to shut him up. He wrote himself in, combat encounters are part of the game! And I mean that, seriously, if nothing else it will demonstrate how much of an enormous arse he is being.

Have fun!

Trekkin
2013-03-16, 03:19 PM
Oh, we play in person, so that's at least possible.

The emulation of his psychic cheat is, on reflection, going to be a harder sell. His system has that type of two-way trans-universe communication dependent on both sides having psychic class levels.

Which he's denied characters made from players in the past because "[they] aren't psychic in real life".

I never actually followed that train of thought to its logical conclusion before, but it makes sense in light of what I had thought to be joking remarks about the mind...

:smalleek:

Mr.D
2013-03-16, 03:24 PM
Which he's denied characters made from players in the past because "[they] aren't psychic in real life".

I never actually followed that train of thought to its logical conclusion before, but it makes sense in light of what I had thought to be joking remarks about the mind...

:smalleek:

Urm...so he thinks he's psychic too?

Best thread ever.

Mono Vertigo
2013-03-16, 03:34 PM
At this point, I won't even be surprised if you tell me he's Sephiroth's twin on the astral plane.

Dimers
2013-03-16, 03:52 PM
Hey, is your DM the same guy that tried to publish an obvious White Wolf knockoff a couple months back? Mikal Lakim or something? 'Cos I remember him being kinda obsessed with self-inserts, too, and he was astoundingly resistant to logic ...

llehctim
2013-03-16, 04:01 PM
He has a bunch of songs for the other campaign I'm in, since at the end there will be an epic showdown between our characters and him (lower level clone). Where one of the songs is one winged angel, which was a reference to Sephiroth I think. He also Is a huge fan of code geas, and the fleja or however you spell it is a disturbingly commonly used weapon, as well as katanas. Honestly I used to be ok with katanas being awesome weapons when they were rare, but I have recently determined that katanas follow the laws of conservation of ninjutsu. He also really likes code geas and uses his knowledge of the setting and few other manga/anime that he knew about to manipulate the settings.
Worth noting the psychic thing between players and characters wouldn't work, because a prerequisite of having a self-insert character was that the player/character would have no knowledge of the system. Since he was sucked into the game before he would have been GMing this game. (I know because I am playing me who got magic powers, because it was a funny idea at the time. Perhaps not as fun as anticipated, and may cause issues later)
I also got stuck being a pretty lame racial class based on me in real life. Every ability i try to pick for the class is moved to another class where its "more appropriate". I was told that my racial class is basically similar to nerd abilities, which is accurate in real life, I was just hoping that in an RPG where i could get magic powers I could also get a better racial class that lets me have cool abilities, instead of a just few extra class skills. Especially considering the GM getting an uber-racial class.

illyrus
2013-03-16, 04:07 PM
Pull a pseudo-Inception. Have your characters sit down and play the RPG game inside the game. Set one of you up as the god-GM that pulls the same sort of stuff the actual GM does. Have the PC-players complain about it and have the mock GM use the same reasoning as the actual GM. If the GM himself gets drawn in to "roll up a character" then give him no agency.

On a more serious level, I'd simply ask the GM what he thought the purpose of the GM to be. If he responds with some sort of "tell a story" then ask him what the difference is between that and a novelist or a storyteller by the camp fire. At no point argue, just ask leading questions until hopefully he's lead to something like "telling a story WITH the players where everyone has meaningful input" or "to make the game fun for all". Not that these are the only valid answers or anything, but something that is a bit less self-centered as an answer.

If you can have him lead himself there then ask if he thinks the current game is fulfilling that goal or not.

Lord Torath
2013-03-16, 07:29 PM
This one may come back to bite me, since that's exactly what I did in the Deadlands campaign he was in; I lined up all the modules I had and tweaked them to flow better from one to the other. In general, when they jumped the rails, whatever baddie they decided to stop to combat ended up being in some way a pawn of the larger evil at the end of the track (which is kind of how Deadlands itself was set up). It was a Big Story.
This seems more like "All roads lead to Rome", rather than railroading. The only time this becomes a problem is when the characters really don't want to go to Rome, whoever and whatever Rome ends up being.

Perhaps the best thing to tell your DM is that you (and the rest of the group, if they agree) are not having fun in this campaign where your every idea is struck down. Ask him if HE would enjoy playing in a game where the very laws of physics shifted at whim to specifically thwart any idea he came up with.

Asmodai
2013-03-16, 07:47 PM
This sounds like a horrible trainwreck in the making. I got no idea why he is even bothering to call this a RPG if you cannot even affect the plot in any way. The fact that it's all a story about the apotheosis of his author avatar is even creepier.

Devils_Advocate
2013-03-17, 01:02 AM
"why is it the best kind of irony is always the unintended kind."
- - Dave Strider (http://dstrider.blogspot.com/2010/02/some-candy-company-ripped-me-off.html)

Comedy gold.

I guess that the next obvious step would be to ask for your GM to demonstrate his real-life psychic powers. Not that you're challenging his assertions, of course; you'd just be interested to see them in action, that's all.

I'd fully expect him to explain that he simply has the ability to telepathically communicate with others with the same ability, and is the only person in the world with this power, so he can only use it to communicate with people not on Earth. Which... well, you can't fault the internal consistency.

Arbane
2013-03-17, 02:37 AM
The fact that it's all a story about the apotheosis of his author avatar is even creepier.

You know, that would be a GREAT plot for a game of Unknown Armies....

MukkTB
2013-03-17, 04:20 AM
There's a time to just walk away from things. Take a breather. Try to explain why you don't like x. The DM is out of order asking you to sit on the sidelines while he finger puppets his own awesomeness. He's not really hurting anyone though. He's just being obnoxious with his fantasies because he hasn't really seemed to consider the fact that other people should have room to play as well.

D&D is a game where socially inept people have a higher chance of showing up. This guy needs to develop some. That doesn't make him a psychopath. It just means he's operating on the emotional level of a 5 year old. Similar care is probably called for: obtuse simple explanations of what's going wrong. Positive reinforcement of good behavior, negative reinforcement of bad behavior by withdrawing attention. No spankings or I'll call child services.

Dimers
2013-03-17, 05:05 AM
negative reinforcement of bad behavior by withdrawing attention.

*laboriously cranks tongue OUT of cheek*

That's a really good point. The guy seems to want other people's support for his concept of what's awesome, based on what little I know. So this is a good handle for managing him. Let him know that you like him and enjoy playing with him, but if he takes it too far, you'll leave him alone. That should provide you with substantially more emotional impact than you apparently get at the gaming table now.

It's not wrong to exploit someone's emotional makeup to help them get along with others.

Asmodai
2013-03-17, 05:47 AM
You know, that would be a GREAT plot for a game of Unknown Armies....

True. But in Unknown Armies you could stick it to him. You'd probably die horribly, but still stick it to him. It'd work in Mage and Kult too.

Big Fau
2013-03-17, 11:33 PM
Oh, we play in person, so that's at least possible.

The emulation of his psychic cheat is, on reflection, going to be a harder sell. His system has that type of two-way trans-universe communication dependent on both sides having psychic class levels.

Which he's denied characters made from players in the past because "[they] aren't psychic in real life".

I never actually followed that train of thought to its logical conclusion before, but it makes sense in light of what I had thought to be joking remarks about the mind...

:smalleek:

Not to continue the psychoanalysis here, but that is downright disturbing. He's 22, and he thinks he is psychic. I'm in my mid-20s and I grew out of that when I was 9.

Please tell me one of his family members has full control over his credit cards...

Rhynn
2013-03-17, 11:49 PM
Not to continue the psychoanalysis here, but that is downright disturbing. He's 22, and he thinks he is psychic. I'm in my mid-20s and I grew out of that when I was 9.

Plenty of adults who lead perfectly normal lives believe in magic. I don't want to get political, but the number is seriously high in a lot of countries.

llehctim
2013-03-18, 12:12 AM
Not to continue the psychoanalysis here, but that is downright disturbing. He's 22, and he thinks he is psychic. I'm in my mid-20s and I grew out of that when I was 9.

Please tell me one of his family members has full control over his credit cards...

To be fair there are different branches of Psychics in the system, and unless you are a trained psion you need a feat to get access to 1 of the following; Telepathy, Telekinesis, etc... or more, I really never bothered since it was too in flux and expensive. They are incredibly weak at low levels so conceivable you could have minor amounts of telepathy and detect emotions from people on a minor level that's hard to distinguish from observational skills of different cues. And the feat is basically discovering a hidden talent for a specific field of psionics (I think something like that is in D&D too).

Trekkin
2013-03-18, 01:26 AM
There used to be four schools. I got at least two of them axed, Telepathy split into three to stop me using it, and Telekinesis is now so weak that the d&d spell of the same name is now accessible, at best, twice a day at 20th level, since he balances the individual effects by taking the most creative, damaging thing we can imagine doing with them and putting the effect out of reach until the level where it is "balanced".

Thus, because I suggested telekinetically playing with weapon safeties or batting grenades around to get around mass limits on what could be moved, telekinesis is now roughly on par with Meteor Storm.

Telepathy/Charm is even more fun. See, at low levels, you can "suggest" that someone do things that are "in line with the target's personality". I have yet to find someone whose personality is in line with "doing what someone telepathically suggests", and by that "logic", telepathy is useless.

More to the point, though: however subtle he maintains these powers to be, he's allegedly using them to commune with his dual-lightsaber-katana wielding godlike immortal vampire alter ego clone army and thereby justify metagaming by having them manipulate the beginning of the game universe to change the present "via chaos theory".

Gavinfoxx
2013-03-18, 01:41 AM
Okay.... he has, obviously, severe deficiencies in certain neurological areas, especially regarding understanding the feelings of others, and it sounds like he is getting a drug-like high over the thought of his asperger 'topics', of which he has several that are pretty stereotypical of autistic males.

At the current level of emotional maturity he has, he should not be hosting any social events under any circumstances. That requires the capacity to fathom what is going on in the heads of others, and his cognition is so blatantly alien to yours, it's likely impossible for him to do so. It's probably easy for you to: think of an eight year old boy who believes certain things are TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!

It's sad, but he can't comprehend that he is wasting his time if he wants to actually take down pathfinder... but that's the case. Just make sure he doesn't harm himself or others, that's probably what you want to focus on.

Remember, he's living in his own world of his own making, where things work the way he thinks they do. About the psychic thing, he likely thinks he's Empathic and understands what other people are thinking and feeling, but he is the exact opposite of that-- he has no idea what is going on in the heads of others..

JoshuaZ
2013-03-18, 08:28 AM
Plenty of adults who lead perfectly normal lives believe in magic. I don't want to get political, but the number is seriously high in a lot of countries.

Yes, but that's a cultural issue. In cultures where that isn't common it is more of a concern. And there's a major difference between thinking magic exists and thinking one can personally do magic that others can't.

Sith_Happens
2013-03-18, 01:29 PM
There used to be four schools. I got at least two of them axed, Telepathy split into three to stop me using it, and Telekinesis is now so weak that the d&d spell of the same name is now accessible, at best, twice a day at 20th level, since he balances the individual effects by taking the most creative, damaging thing we can imagine doing with them and putting the effect out of reach until the level where it is "balanced".

Thus, because I suggested telekinetically playing with weapon safeties or batting grenades around to get around mass limits on what could be moved, telekinesis is now roughly on par with Meteor Storm.

On the bright side, it sounds like you're doing well as a playtester.:smalltongue:

Rhynn
2013-03-18, 04:26 PM
Yes, but that's a cultural issue. In cultures where that isn't common it is more of a concern. And there's a major difference between thinking magic exists and thinking one can personally do magic that others can't.

I'm talking, like, all Western cultures. Especially this big one that provides most of the media for all of them. Enormous amounts of belief in specific people actually being able to do magic. These "magicians" make not-so-modest fortunes.

JoshuaZ
2013-03-18, 04:51 PM
I'm talking, like, all Western cultures. Especially this big one that provides most of the media for all of them. Enormous amounts of belief in specific people actually being able to do magic. These "magicians" make not-so-modest fortunes.

So, yeah. Those who do make money generally fall into one of two categories: people who don't realize they are doing cold readings and people who are con-artists. The nature of their abilities claimed also doesn't sound a lot like the claimed abilities this guy implies he has, which frankly sound a bit like classical schizotypal claims. Obviously there's an issue of diagnosing a guy from a handul of posts from someone else, and not everyone needs a diagnosis. Some people are just immature and egotistical and have a few wacky beliefs. But the psychic claim as explained here doesn't sound like accidental cold reading.

Gavinfoxx
2013-03-18, 05:00 PM
Ask him for his specific beliefs on the nature of him and people he knows having psychic abilities, what things he has seen in his group, what abilities folk he talks with online say they have that he believes, what practice he has been practicing (cause those abilities take work), and what specific abilities he thinks he has.

Cause there are a LOT of places online that talk about, 'here is how to unlock your psychic potential!'

Some of them even help with some mental things; awareness, calmness, observational skills, focus, etc. etc.

llehctim
2013-03-18, 05:51 PM
It's also more than likely that hes not in telekinetic communication with his avatar since that is him, but that his avatar has the same logic paths as him. And since everything he knew the avatar knew, it knows all about the system and the realities therein. Also considering some of his abilities and massive intelligence boosts etc., its seems more of a he did a time stop learned all the things, and now makes actions with the full knowledge of how things work, basically making every action he takes the "correct" one since he has access to more knowledge than even the GM.

PS:To be fair I believe in bad luck sometimes (mostly since really weird and inconvenient things seem to happen to me with statistically unlikely frequencies), which is arguably more or less magic.
PPS:I am almost completely certain that the GM is not "in telepathic communication with the GMPC and that it just knows more or less everything about the system (the actual issue in my opinion). The character is based on the GM, his personality influences it in the same way any player has "telepathic control" of a character, and he plays it in the way he believes he would act if he became a super-uber vampire knowing all the rules of the universe.

Sith_Happens
2013-03-18, 06:11 PM
Ooh, I just remembered something:


In theory I have the ability to ask the GM to let me have a power similar to the mary sues over a universe I made,

1. Create a pocket universe consisting entirely of every explosive known to man, and some known only to dolphins. Just to be sure, this universe also has the property of turning all shirts red.
2. Lure GMPC Man into it.
3. ???
4. Profit.

llehctim
2013-03-18, 06:22 PM
Ooh, I just remembered something:



1. Create a pocket universe consisting entirely of every explosive known to man, and some known only to dolphins. Just to be sure, this universe also has the property of turning all shirts red.
2. Lure GMPC Man into it.
3. ???
4. Profit.

That was in reference to a semi-completed setting I had made when I was younger, which was basically a low magic, low tech setting, thats very adventurer heavy, and had conflict between nations. I made it when I was in middle school mostly because I was bored and had written a story set in the world, so why not make the world, but its a rather weak world on a whole, with magic and technology being actual treasures instead of "oh you went to the supermarket and got a +1 sword *yawn* wake me up when they are selling +3 vorpal katanas with armor penetratrion". Compared to the things the GMPC has access to (the only saving grace since its not worth conquering).

Also a side-note regarding the explosives: Many explosives known to mankind have become inexplicably difficult to make or use, making that difficult. I am also not convinced he can be killed by explosive trauma, since I know he at the minimum has ludicrous regeneration and most likely plot armor.
Otherwise that plan might be amusing

Sith_Happens
2013-03-18, 08:33 PM
That was in reference to a semi-completed setting I had made when I was younger, which was basically a low magic, low tech setting, thats very adventurer heavy, and had conflict between nations. I made it when I was in middle school mostly because I was bored and had written a story set in the world, so why not make the world, but its a rather weak world on a whole, with magic and technology being actual treasures instead of "oh you went to the supermarket and got a +1 sword *yawn* wake me up when they are selling +3 vorpal katanas with armor penetratrion". Compared to the things the GMPC has access to (the only saving grace since its not worth conquering).

What the world was when you first wrote it is irrelevant once you have Super Special Awesome God-Mode Sue GM PowerTM over it. Just retcon it into whatever you want.


Also a side-note regarding the explosives: Many explosives known to mankind have become inexplicably difficult to make or use, making that difficult. I am also not convinced he can be killed by explosive trauma, since I know he at the minimum has ludicrous regeneration and most likely plot armor.
Otherwise that plan might be amusing

If someone is immune to explosions, it's because you didn't use enough explosives.:smalltongue:

Anyways, the real point is in step 2, namely, tricking Count GMPC into going someplace where you have the same meta-GM-fiat powers that he does and then promptly getting all up in his grill. If your GM doesn't realize something's wrong when his alleged RPG system turns into a game of "'I hit you!' 'No you didn't!' 'Yes I did!' 'Nuh uh!' 'Uh huh!'",* then there is truly no hope for him.



* If he tries to pull out an actual, fully-OOC Rule 0 to break the IC "it works/doesn't work because I said so" stalemate, kindly point out that this is a playtest of a ruleset, therefore if a particular powerset is a problem then the appropriate solution is to nerf it wholesale. And that this necessarily affects things on both sides of the GM screen, since it's his intention to have complete parity between the options available to PCs and NPCs.:smallwink:

JoshuaZ
2013-03-18, 08:59 PM
All of these trollish ideas sound funny to talk about and might even be funny to try and pull off, but if one wants to stay on good terms with the fellow, or actually get them to change at all, mature conversation is still probably your best bet. That said, if you do any of these (especially Sith_Happens suggestion), please please videotape it.

llehctim
2013-03-18, 09:43 PM
All of these trollish ideas sound funny to talk about and might even be funny to try and pull off, but if one wants to stay on good terms with the fellow, or actually get them to change at all, mature conversation is still probably your best bet. That said, if you do any of these (especially Sith_Happens suggestion), please please videotape it.

I have actually in the past done something like that when a different GM was blatantly railroading us and killing off players with stupid instakill gimmics and long dungeon grinds, he had a particular character who he showed BLATANT favoritism towards, letting him get special items, side missions all the time, super bad-ass girlfriend who basically threatened to murder the rest of us occasionally an assassins guild etc... lets just say I can make really good back stories and you should not be a complete jerk to a mentally unstable wild mage who stockpiled explosive runes. I don't regret killing off the character in the slightest since he was more or less harassing me and breaking rules in character, (resurrected with perfect free will despite soul imprisonment, also noone suspects the "undead" replacing the barbarian (the only NPC I liked in the campain), and using the same damn weapons the assassain did. Suffice to say at a certain point of him harassing her, she was forced (via mind control, which I hate OOC and in character) to help bring him back, certain factors that I honestly hadn't planned for came together, and the character more or less snapped and waiting for the perfect moment to take out Herself and the favored character, using polymorph self on myself and familiar, I grappled him, and intentionally failed a area dispel on somewhere around 100 explosive runes (many of which were maximized) at point blank which allows no save so no improved evasion dodges everything. good times.

However I felt really bad about more or less screwing over the other people in the party by my explosive quitting so would much rather resolve this peacefully and without getting my campaign world involved since I would be paranoid about him being the DM of my campaign world (I get a little bit possessive of things I spend a lot of time and effort on). Ironically character death is something I don't mind much anymore, means I get to come up with a new story.

Deffers
2013-03-18, 11:53 PM
Guys, I've been a long-time lurker in the GitP forum, and this of all threads made me stop to make an account.

Y'see, I think I have a unique solution. A lot of people don't get a unique, crucial little bit about the Old Man Henderson story. The DM was a killer DM, yeah, and the player was tired of what kept happening, yeah, but one thing you really don't figure out unless you read the director's cut is that the only reason his character worked at all is because the DM bought into it too, right up until the masterstroke.

I mean, if you read the director's cut it shows that the characters in this campaign? Had synergy. Chemistry. Actual role-playing was going on. Dude was funny. But there's no real cheap, cop-out deaths happening to Henderson. Tough fights? Yes. Impossible situations? Yeah. But no "five sided d6 that made you unplayable because of SAN damage" which was what spurred the creation of Henderson on in the first place. The only logical conclusion is that, despite himself, the DM was sucked into the Old Man Henderson story, until it was too late to do anything but let him kill an outer god. Things came to a head, if you'll recall, at the hockey ring portion. Then the dude showed his trump card.

So, what you have to do? All of you, who are in this campaign? Make something the DM wants to see. Something the DM becomes invested in, and maybe even falls in love with a little bit.

And then destroy him with it. Mercilessly. Thoroughly.

You're gonna have to be crazy. You're gonna have to be clever. And, yes, you're going to have to pander to this crazy little psychic godling's fetishes.

But if you succeed... you'll go off the damn rails so hard you'll send a locomotive of enlightenment riding straight into his brain.

So, first thing? Engage him with humor. This has got to be the start. Either re-roll, or have one of your characters go psychotically insane. A little idea I came up with , for example, came about due to this quote:


As far as consistently allowed actions go, thus far I've always been able to buy coffee without any problems.

So, have one of your characters have an utter psychotic break and become convinced that a) reality is shifting and b) coffee, for whatever reason, is immune to these effects. If the DM says something about metagaming, explain that the character is crazy; it's just a coincidence he's right.

So, of course, no quest for freedom is going to be complete without hijacking a truck full of coffee beans. You're going to live in it. This is your home base now. You're going to persuade your teammates to live in it too.

You're also going to want to get a coffee grinder, because the crux of my idea is you're character's going to go buck-ass nude into battle against whatever enemy you were fighting a shadow war against, covered head-to-toe in coffee grinds.

He's going to be a venti-sized declaration of war on the plot and sanity.

If you pull a stunt like this, it's going to need to be both fast and something you will, for sure, convince the GM to make work. If you can't steal the truck, steal the beans out of the shop. If there's no beans, steal the damn cappuchino machine and slather yourself in espresso instead (I have put entirely too much thought into this). If there isn't one, have your character go deeper into madness and drive a car into a damn ChtulhuTech-Starbucks. Don't give away all your cards at once. Intrigue the GM so he WANTS to see why your ass is so invested in coffee beans, then have him regret it when he realizes that, holy crap, his ass is about to be invested in coffee beans in the worst possible meaning of that phrase.

Of course, you can ditch the Naked Coffee-Bean Plot if it doesn't sound like something that suits your inner madman. The key is that, whatever it is, it piques both the DM's interest and the interests of the other players. Sooner or later you'll probably also want to get a katana. You're going to want to make basically Description Porn of how you care for the damn thing. Maybe get some roleplaying XP for that.

From there, basically tear the plot apart. Ruin the enemy organization in the zaniest and most creative ways possible. Make him see your character as cool, enough so that he's actually inclined to give you the smallest chance to beat his little avatar. Then destroy his avatar all to hell and back. Begin compiling weaknesses, like, NOW. RUIN this guy. If an old man with a mohawk and a shotgun could kill Hastur, you can kill this two-bit self-insert without breaking a sweat.

Talakeal
2013-03-19, 12:47 PM
Keep in mind that the old man Henderson story also requires blatant DM fudging in the players favor. Afaik there is no rule in any CoC RPG or story which states that you can permanently kill an outer god through any means, let alone dynamiting them while they have summoning sickness. If there was the mythos really wouldn't be much of a threat, as a squad or army engineers and a few well bribed ex cultists could wipe out the whole mythos in an afternoon.

Trekkin
2013-03-19, 01:26 PM
The blatant DM fudging is why I'm reticent to try Old Man Henderson-style shenanigans. Henderson's player had the DM entranced in his actions to the point where that sort of thing was allowed, which isn't something I can see happening here simply because our DM is only interested in a positive way in his own exploits. I think I mentioned before that the "setting's" central premise, at least on the metaplot level, is that 7200 specific works of fiction are somehow real, and their authors (only spelled Authyrs because Ys are so cool, am I right?) wield godlike creative powers within them, and everywhere else once they travel to them, except not anymore, because he was the best one ever and changed the very rules of the setting to prevent others from doing it? We tried Code Geass sorts of tactical planning once, because he loves that show to a disturbing degree, to the point of pulling and citing specific maneuvers. It didn't work "because [we] aren't Lelouch". ...guess who willingly serves the DM Sue now out of awe at the Sue's tactical prowess?

Even more than that, though, there's an underlying current of fear that springs up whenever we get really creative that works to shut us down in truly nonsensical ways, and Henderson-level lunatic genius is one of its most reliable trigger conditions. See, at one point in a past campaign (I bowed out early, due to workload), he let us suggest settings to fill out his 7200. Being facetious, I suggested Warhammer 40,000, because a fellow player wanted to play an Imperial Guardsman type. After making sure it couldn't hold a candle to his favorite settings in terms of technology or katanas per capita, he let it in.

Since then, when things were going to heck, he gave the party twenty-four hours to prepare for his alter-ego's invasion. They had these inter-fiction portals...and not much else, and everyone the party could think of to ask for help didn't want to fight, either out of respect or awe. I suggested telling whatever Orks were handy that a Waaagh! like none other was imminent, and just leaving the portal open hoping the resultant chaos would draw the attention of Khorne (or Slaanesh, given the excessive Sue-ness). Personally I just wanted to see the mekboy reaction to Death Star level dakka, but it might have been interesting.

Cue the invention of an entirely new mechanic: "sealing a reality". On the spot, backdated in the in-game timeline to before he knew about the setting. It trashed the mechanics to heck, contravened two or three founding principles of the meta-setting, and took weeks to quit making party-usable implications -- and even still the plot holes echo -- but it slightly scared him for a second to think of a green tide sporulating all over his perfect creation, and that was enough to make him rewrite half of his mechanics to make absolutely sure we couldn't ever possibly do that.

So while I'm more than willing to do something of that sort, his first reaction to anything I do is going to be paranoia, so I don't know how much DM indulgence I can bank on to make really crazy stuff work.

Deffers
2013-03-19, 01:27 PM
Ah, but see, that's where the investment part came in, sort of. Game wasn't straight CoC; it was TRAIL of Cthulhu, which has a big investigative portion. In the director's cut it explains how, using the investigation bits the GM made up he justified that Hast should die. I believe the fuel truck incident provides the bit the player needed to justify the killing to the GM at the hockey rink. It's exactly at this point that the GM goes into a literal table-flipping rage and quits. The quite-poignant ending is instead narrated by one of Henderson's fellow players.

Like I said, the director's cut of the story really fills in the details. And mentions a bit about Henderson's player nearly choking someone out after being killed by a katana-wielding Mary Sue, now that I think about it...

Edit: maybe you just need to either go completely insane, or instead... actually, this looks like it might be a lost cause unless you really get under his skin somehow. I mean, like REALLY make him want to crush your upstart rebellion so he exposes himself.

Jornophelanthas
2013-03-19, 01:50 PM
You do realize that this "campaign" has nothing to do with roleplaying anymore? Or even with a game? Or even fun?

In fact, if you do not actually talk to this DM at the start of a "session" and tell him that what he has designed is not in the slightest bit fun and inviting for players (rendering his entire project an utter failure), then it has nothing to do with playtesting either.

Also, he needs to be told to his face that a character based on him is NOT the greatest gift to the field of roleplaying ever. Now, it MAY be the greatest gift to the field of fiction ever, and he is free to market it in that direction, but that has NOTHING to do with roleplaying anymore, and should NOT involve an audience sitting at a table with him.

And he also needs to be told that being reduced to an easily-ignored voice in his head while he enjoys himself is NEITHER roleplaying, NOR fun for anyone except him, and the only reason people would continue to do so voluntarily is to laugh at him behind his back.
(Also, if he is your friend, you should quit the game immediately after saying this, out of respect for him.)

Sorry if this sounds heavy-handed; it's not meant to be.

Deffers
2013-03-19, 02:02 PM
Yeah, I'm actually thinking that if this game is all about him, and it is, then all the real ways to truly "derail" his campaign involve ruining his silly-ass fantasy. And, I do mean ruining it.

I mean, he's seated in his own little universe. Right at the center. Got all the powers, all the abilities, retroactively backdates things so you can't use that, probably would begin to use recursion to really highlight exactly how much power he's got.

To even begin to touch him, you've got to set his universe off-axis somehow. That doesn't necessarily mean to derail the plot-- the plot, as it stands, might be too thickly protected to touch. Dude loves his universe too much to even risk it, because in it he is basically God.

No, to really set him off-axis, you're going to have to upset him. You're going to have to get him cheesed off enough to begin to want to risk things to destroy you. And you're going to want to make him want this so bad he's willing to stop doing retcons to make the eventual end all the more satisfying.

Really, I think it would be easier just to bow out. But you haven't done that yet, so it seems you want to go for the kill.

To me, there's really only two positive kinds of plot derailment-- when you find an innovative solution to a problem the DM thought was going to take entire sessions, and when you need to dynamite a dumb plot from a tin-pot tyrant. This is the latter. To really tear him apart, you're going to have to get MEAN. If you're not willing to get MEAN, you simply won't be able to win. If you value this guy as a friend, probably you won't be able to do what it takes to kill him without at least risking that. How far are you guys willing to go?

Comet
2013-03-19, 02:16 PM
I know people are making suggestions here in a humorous manner, but this still needs to be said just in case anyone reading this thread gets the wrong idea:

Don't get mean. It's a game. Go along with the dumb stuff, sure, but only if you're actually having fun despite all the dumbness.

But if, at any point, you are starting to feel angry or vindictive about the whole thing, just stop. Stop the game and talk, very OOC, about how upset you are.

It's all make believe. There is no power to be had by clever tricks or mechanics or any of that sweet nerdy stuff or breaking the sad, apparently psychomaniac Game Master. Things can only continue like this if you are actually having fun and just grumbling for the laughs. If not, stop.

Gavinfoxx
2013-03-19, 03:19 PM
I say again:

Your friend is mad. Why are you letting him run any social event whatsoever??

Tanuki Tales
2013-03-19, 05:29 PM
Don't get mean. It's a game. Go along with the dumb stuff, sure, but only if you're actually having fun despite all the dumbness.



At what point did this horror ever sound like a game to you?

It honestly sounds more like his group has Stockholm Syndrome or a Masochist's streak a mile wide and long to put up with all this drek I've read.

This is more an experiment in how the human mind can disconnect fantasy from reality than any concept of an enjoyable pastime.

llehctim
2013-03-19, 05:30 PM
I say again:

Your friend is mad. Why are you letting him run any social event whatsoever??

For several reasons, one is that we don't really have the time to set up a good RPG game until the semester is over. Another is that without the metaplot, the system is actually kindof fun to play in since you are not basically locked into level only advancement. The third reason is hes actually been a really good GM, until recently where he has become paranoid (more so than is warranted) about Trekkin doing creative stuff or anything sounding remotely like science.


Also Deffers the coffee idea might be workable (alcohol is also something that has been consistantly allowed) [no this is not because the GM likes alcohol, actually he and myself don't really drink]. Clearly we need to use alcohol to take over the world, and we shall call ourselves the Inebriati, (Mitchell & Webb Reference)
We are also planning on trying to basically take the power away from Crysalis and make our own megacorp, which the GM seems to be rather amused by so there is a possibility that our audacious plan for that might work.

Feddlefew
2013-03-19, 05:43 PM
Also Deffers the coffee idea might be workable (alcohol is also something that has been consistantly allowed) [no this is not because the GM likes alcohol, actually he and myself don't really drink]. Clearly we need to use alcohol to take over the world, and we shall call ourselves the Inebriati, (Mitchell & Webb Reference)

Irish cold brewed coffee will theoretically make you invincible then. It's like regular cold-brewed coffee, but made with high proof alcohol instead of water.


Personally if I was playing this game, I would try to sneak in a universe-devouring eldrich abomination as a PC and see how long it takes for anyone to notice. Preferably one which slowly replaces sections of the campaign world with one that runs Call of Cthulhu or its GURPS equivalent.

I've always wanted to say "ROLL FOR ONTOLOGICAL INERTIA SAVE" during game time.

Deffers
2013-03-19, 05:53 PM
A-HA!

Then maybe he has a sense of humor after all!

...I don't know if destroying him with it would be the best of ideas for, yunno, his general moral fiber, but...

If he can be amused, then amuse him. See if he actually enjoys crazy shenanigans.

I mean, hell, I dunno. Get booze. Get coffee. Cover yourselves in them and live out of a truck full of them. Make regular trips to suburbs and steal lawn gnomes (this is a good strategy even for a serious game-- they are potent omens of good luck). Ram into enemy megacorp buildings in explosive-laden golf carts. Hell, if you're the Inebriati, and you're supposed to be fighting a shadow war, maybe keep the pretense going by just pumping tequila into their buildings' water supply. If he accuses you of metagaming, just point out you're drunk, how could you possibly metagame.

Hell, liquor's flammable. That's, like, half your game plan right there.

Trekkin, if the problem's mostly with you, then just find a way to covertly tell others your plans and have THEM suggest them. Act cowed. That'll be a confidence booster for him, which'll let him lower his guard.

Sith_Happens
2013-03-19, 10:12 PM
I think I mentioned before that the "setting's" central premise, at least on the metaplot level, is that 7200 specific works of fiction are somehow real, and their authors (only spelled Authyrs because Ys are so cool, am I right?) wield godlike creative powers within them, and everywhere else once they travel to them, except not anymore, because he was the best one ever and changed the very rules of the setting to prevent others from doing it?

Wait, wait, so you're saying that on top of everything else, this guy thinks he's a better author than 7200 actual, successful authors? Is there no point at which the FAIL of this scenario will stop escalating?


We tried Code Geass sorts of tactical planning once, because he loves that show to a disturbing degree, to the point of pulling and citing specific maneuvers. It didn't work "because [we] aren't Lelouch". ...guess who willingly serves the DM Sue now out of awe at the Sue's tactical prowess?

...

:annoyed:

Forget my previous suggestion, just burn everything to the ground and be done with it.


a past campaign

HOLD IT RIGHT THERE.

You're saying that this is the second time you've willingly subjected yourself to this bull****?

I don't even...


but it slightly scared him for a second to think of a green tide sporulating all over his perfect creation, and that was enough to make him rewrite half of his mechanics to make absolutely sure we couldn't ever possibly do that.

Then he needs to know that his alleged "Pathfinder-killer" cannot by definition be a "universal" system if its rules are subservient to a specific setting (and one that no one in their right mind would even play (yes, I'm saying that you are not in your right mind)).


For several reasons, one is that we don't really have the time to set up a good RPG game until the semester is over.

Then you just shouldn't be playing RPGs until the semester is over, if the alternative is this.


The third reason is hes actually been a really good GM,

Your definitions of "good" and "GM" are substantially different than most peoples'.:smallsigh:

Deffers
2013-03-19, 10:35 PM
Yeah, you guys have... an odd definition of good, that's for damn sure. Maybe read some campaign logs around here or something. I've heard good things about SilverClawShift, and I'm partial to Kaveman's campaign logs. Those're what good campaigns should be like.

Hell, GitP has a few PbP's. Read a few of those.

After you trash this guy, or before if that becomes too hard, just ditch the dude. You guys can do WAY better for yourselves.

Rhynn
2013-03-19, 10:49 PM
Your definitions of "good" and "GM" are substantially different than most peoples'.:smallsigh:

Yeah, this is some Helsinki Stockholm Syndrome right here man.

Seriously, dudes, your GM is not even remotely passable or acceptable. He's as far from good as you can be without being physically dangerous to other players.

Arbane
2013-03-20, 12:44 AM
and their authors (only spelled Authyrs because Ys are so cool, am I right?)

:smalleek:

:smallmad:

:smallfurious:

*FACEPALM*

Tell your idiot GM friend that Some Guy On The Internet wants to remind him that The '90s weren't as cool KEWL as they thought the first time through, either.

Why are you enabling this guy's powertripping stupidity? Go play videogames or wargames or something. It will undoubtably be less aggravating than trying to FORCE Crazy GM to admit that the game should be about the players DOING STUFF, not acting as a Greek Chorus to his Marty Stu character.


Wait, wait, so you're saying that on top of everything else, this guy thinks he's a better author than 7200 actual, successful authors? Is there no point at which the FAIL of this scenario will stop escalating?

The Dunning-Kruger Effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect) is a helluva drug.



Then he needs to know that his alleged "Pathfinder-killer" cannot by definition be a "universal" system if its rules are subservient to a specific setting (and one that no one in their right mind would even play (yes, I'm saying that you are not in your right mind)).


Trekkin, llehctim: Please, please, PLEASE tell Crazy GM that you started a thread about his game here, and people didn't like it. PleasepleasepleasePLEASE get him to sign up here and 'defend' it. :smallbiggrin:

Edit to add: This cartoon (http://ffn.nodwick.com/?p=96) seems relevant.

llehctim
2013-03-20, 03:13 AM
Yeah, you guys have... an odd definition of good, that's for damn sure. Maybe read some campaign logs around here or something. I've heard good things about SilverClawShift, and I'm partial to Kaveman's campaign logs. Those're what good campaigns should be like.

Hell, GitP has a few PbP's. Read a few of those.

After you trash this guy, or before if that becomes too hard, just ditch the dude. You guys can do WAY better for yourselves.

To be fair this might be true, given some of the other campaigns I've been in. My first campain was 2e where I had a lot of fun, my transition to 3.5 was ... a failure, multiple times. But I enjoy roleplaying so I kept trying despite failures, I had even given up on 3.5, but then read silverclawshifts campaign and was inspired to join another friends 3.5 game that I had heard good things about, determined to play a hilariously convoluted binder, well that was fun for just long enough to get me hooked again before it went ... badly. I kind of just assumed that my first DM was exceptionally good at DMing and that I shouldn't necessarily assume too much of a GM since they are only one person, and I know that designing an entire campaign world can be difficult from experience (although I tend to work from scratch working through the worlds historical events, so I suppose maybe I just overdo it).
Honestly I should probably try DMing again at some point, but I would worry too much about it, and I'm too busy to rework one of my many campaign ideas.

tldr: I've been told I have the patience of a saint (as a bad thing) before, and I have been in a few campaigns much worse than this, so have fairly low expectations of D&D based games. :smallfrown:.

Mr.D
2013-03-20, 04:36 AM
WAIT. . . .You've been in worse games?

Arbane
2013-03-20, 05:03 AM
Even more than that, though, there's an underlying current of fear that springs up whenever we get really creative that works to shut us down in truly nonsensical ways, and Henderson-level lunatic genius is one of its most reliable trigger conditions.

Well, of course he's afraid. You're threatening his REAL SELF, not the puny meat-form that's sitting behind the DM screen vetoing your ideas!

(I hope I'm joking here, but from all you've said, I'm worried I might not be...)


Cue the invention of an entirely new mechanic: "sealing a reality".

For some reason, this makes me think of Kingdom Hearts.



On the spot, backdated in the in-game timeline to before he knew about the setting. It trashed the mechanics to heck, contravened two or three founding principles of the meta-setting, and took weeks to quit making party-usable implications -- and even still the plot holes echo -- but it slightly scared him for a second to think of a green tide sporulating all over his perfect creation, and that was enough to make him rewrite half of his mechanics to make absolutely sure we couldn't ever possibly do that.


9_9 This, on the other hand, makes me think of a steaming heap of bad GMing.

You seem to be having fun with this madness, but I have to say, you can't win a fight where the other person LITERALLY makes all the rules, and Rule One is "Katana Guy Always Wins." So what are you trying to prove? That this guy will retcon his entire metasetting at the drop of a d20 to avoid you mildly inconveniencing Gary Stu? You've already proven that pretty conclusively. All you can do now is call him on it, and it sounds like you're pretty sure that won't work, either.


True. But in Unknown Armies you could stick it to him. You'd probably die horribly, but still stick it to him. It'd work in Mage and Kult too.

Yep. So, how would this work in those games? Fictional Evil GM is trying to create a hypothetical, omnipotent, perfect existence, bring it into reality and merge with it to assume godhood. I'd imagine some weird rituals and human sacrifices would be required... the rituals could be done in game somehow, and maybe poison the Cheetoes at the final game-session? :smallbiggrin:


WAIT. . . .You've been in worse games?

Terrifyingly enough, this is far from the worst GMing story I've heard. Or at least it's bad in an entertainingly different way.

Mono Vertigo
2013-03-20, 06:01 AM
WAIT. . . .You've been in worse games?

Well, technically, you could make this game worse by running it with the FATAL system.
Disclaimer: it might constitute psychological torture and be outlawed in most countries.

Devils_Advocate
2013-03-21, 12:05 AM
Wow, I don't think I could just walk away from a campaign like this. It sounds so bad it's, if not good, at least interesting. Even assuming that the whole thing isn't secretly an elaborate, over-the-top satire of bad GMing, overwrought metafiction, and blatant fanboyism.

I'm not saying that necessarily it is one, mind you, just that it seems pretty fascinating to consider it from that perspective. Like... Lightsaber katanas? Omnipotent author avatar? Multiverse combining exactly 7200 previously created settings? "Authyrs"!? The evidence thus far just fits the theory so well.

And if you do decide to try to appreciate the story from that perspective, well, the obvious approach to take is to try to subtly provoke the GM to increasingly gratuitous acts of tyrannical narcissism. Really take it to the limit, see just how poorly justified his retconning can get. Maybe make it a goal to get him to officially ban as many known laws of physics as possible?

Sith_Happens
2013-03-21, 12:16 AM
Maybe make it a goal to get him to officially ban as many known laws of physics as possible?

...Then, at the climax of the campaign when Garystu-Sama of the Blessed Blade is getting ready to do whatever the heck it is he's supposed to do, you present the elaborate paper detailing exactly in what ways the universe should fall apart based on which laws have been altered and how.

Feddlefew
2013-03-21, 12:39 AM
...Then, at the climax of the campaign when Garystu-Sama of the Blessed Blace is getting ready to do whatever the heck it is he's supposed to do, you present the elaborate paper detailing exactly in what ways the universe should fall apart based on which laws have been altered and how.

I suggest we start with the following:
-Electromagnetism (EVERYTHING IMPLODES!)
-Gravity (EVERYTHING EXPLODES!)
-General Relativity Probably already been desecrated beyond recognition.
-Causality

JoshuaZ
2013-03-21, 12:41 AM
I suggest we start with the following:
-Electromagnetism (EVERYTHING IMPLODES!)
-Gravity (EVERYTHING EXPLODES!)
-General Relativity Probably already been desecrated beyond recognition.
-Causality

There's already retroactive retcons. That sort of throws causality out already.

For getting rid of electromagnetism, that will also mean light will cease to exist.

Feddlefew
2013-03-21, 12:47 AM
There's already retroactive retcons. That sort of throws causality out already.

For getting rid of electromagnetism, that will also mean light will cease to exist.

We will have bigger problems if electromagnetism ceases to exist, since not only will there be no way for atoms to associate with each other to form molecules and ionic compounds, but without the repulsive force everything will just kind of collapse into a congealed mass of, well, mass.

There's probably other things I am forgetting, but I'm a biochemistry student, not a physicist.

Arbane
2013-03-21, 02:10 AM
Pointing out the laws of physics are a shattered wreck won't help - The Plot holds everything together. :smallwink:


There's already retroactive retcons. That sort of throws causality out already.

Clearly, Our Heroes need to visit a few other realities and recruit some experts on Time to fix this.

Dave Strider, The Doctor, and Akemi Homura should do for a start.


Wow, I don't think I could just walk away from a campaign like this. It sounds so bad it's, if not good, at least interesting. Even assuming that the whole thing isn't secretly an elaborate, over-the-top satire of bad GMing, overwrought metafiction, and blatant fanboyism.

You do make a persuasive argument for that.

Sadly from what Trekkin's said, the GM sounds dead serious about this farce. Which only makes it more hilarious to us, but...


Multiverse combining exactly 7200 previously created settings? "Authyrs"!? The evidence thus far just fits the theory so well.


Come to think of it, has anyone pointed out to your GM that he can't possibly get his setting published due to copyright infringement?

Mr.D
2013-03-21, 03:23 AM
Come to think of it, has anyone pointed out to your GM that he can't possibly get his setting published due to copyright infringement?

Well you'd just go to the 'Star Travel' setting. And go "Why do they keep sending wave after wave of these guys in red shirts at us?"

Everyone knows where you are, but you haven't got yourself in trouble

Trekkin
2013-03-21, 07:11 AM
And if you do decide to try to appreciate the story from that perspective, well, the obvious approach to take is to try to subtly provoke the GM to increasingly gratuitous acts of tyrannical narcissism. Really take it to the limit, see just how poorly justified his retconning can get. Maybe make it a goal to get him to officially ban as many known laws of physics as possible?

Well, we've already got relativity absolutely (albeit nebulously) "banned". Apparently it conflicts with there being a single "absolute time" across all the different sub-settings, so general and special relativity "don't work". That gravity still works is something of a mystery.

Now, I'm not much of a physicist; my background is in computer science, biology, and a bit of organic chemistry. Thus far, willow trees and honey bees have been placed in ontological limbo after I wanted salicylic acid as a synthetic starting point and, well, pepperball rounds loaded with honey bee alarm pheromones. There's a very long list of chemical syntheses that "just don't work", with varying consequences for industry, but I need to go over them again to make anything like a summary. So far, though, petroleum has become nearly useless except as an energy source, which makes me scared for plastic

Since I've somewhat petulantly gone back to very basic chemistry at least partially out of a desire to bring the absurdity of the above to his attention, I've gotten antimony stricken from the universe, and the canonical existence of neutrons is in doubt.

Under ordinary circumstances, of course, I wouldn't be nearly so inventive, but as it stands it is literally the focus of my character; the DM actually built most of it, including the knowledge base and the slightly crazy survivalist/anarchist bent, and then told me, verbatim, to "do [my] worst" in order to lend verisimilitude to my character's primary occupation. Compounding the problem, crazy solutions are literally the only thing I can do that makes any kind of impact on the kinds of foes we usually fight; it's either adventures in chemistry and physics or sitting around while his NPCs (who are fervent believers in the various prophecies that totally don't concern the Sue, honest) take out everything for us. I would also handwave all the chemistry except his usual retort to "well, if we did this" is "there isn't anything you can make that's potent enough to do that".

So yes, I AM accidentally shredding the laws of physics, but only because it's my only contribution to the party.

Feddlefew
2013-03-21, 08:34 AM
Now, I'm not much of a physicist; my background is in computer science, biology, and a bit of organic chemistry. Thus far, willow trees and honey bees have been placed in ontological limbo after I wanted salicylic acid as a synthetic starting point and, well, pepperball rounds loaded with honey bee alarm pheromones. There's a very long list of chemical syntheses that "just don't work", with varying consequences for industry, but I need to go over them again to make anything like a summary. So far, though, petroleum has become nearly useless except as an energy source, which makes me scared for plastic

Since I've somewhat petulantly gone back to very basic chemistry at least partially out of a desire to bring the absurdity of the above to his attention, I've gotten antimony stricken from the universe, and the canonical existence of neutrons is in doubt.

You know what you must do now: get redox reactions banned.

I recomend starting with some nice chlorine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorine_trifluoride) trifloride. (http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2008/02/26/sand_wont_save_you_this_time.php)* Then move on to HF and elemental oxygen.

This list might give you some ideas (http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/things_i_wont_work_with/)

Edit: *I like to think of this stuff as Trogdor in chemical form. :smallbiggrin:

Jornophelanthas
2013-03-21, 08:45 AM
Does your DM actually believe in this self-god-fantasy he is weaving? Does he overidentify with and obsess with his literal self-insert god-character? If so, confront him with it and state your concern for his mental health. And quit the game, because enabling him in an unhealthy habit is a bad idea.

However, if you do not have this concern, and you REALLY want to deconstruct this system, here is a suggestion that will truly break it:

Arrange a meeting between the party and the Mary Sue. Then, upon finally laying eyes on the real character for the first time, let your characters laugh at him (e.g. "Wow, that guy looks stupid." "Why is he carrying that silly swordy-thing?", "Is everyone really so worked up about this clown?" "Red eyes, shoulder-length silver hair, long black coat? Does he think he's Sephiroth?"), and refuse to take the character seriously, not even for a second. Question the sanity and judgment of character of any important NPC (e.g. Merlin, Darth Vader, Robin Hood) who introduces you to the character. Interrupt the character whenever it tries to speak, ridicule anything it does, and be as irreverent as humanly possible. All in-character, of course.

The DM will be forced to either deflate his god-self (killing the purpose of his setting), or to kill/punish your characters in such a way that is the equivalent of "rocks fall, everyone dies", or more likely "rocks fall, everyone is now in awe of Mary Sue". If it is the latter case, kindly point out that you will decide how to play your characters, thank you.
You can even justify it with the argument that all players' characters have been driven insane by everything they have been though, that they can't take the universe at face value anymore, so why should they take the awesomeness of Mary Sue at face value?

This plan does require full support from all players, though.

Deffers
2013-03-21, 09:18 AM
Wow. You've tried distilling Henderson into chemical form, Trekkin. I can see why you'd be skeptical of it working. Hell, even I'm not so sure now....

I'd reroll a new character focused on mechanics. Like, designing things. Like a CthulhuTech artificer with a greater focus on real-life mechanics for when he inevitably bans the magic. Tell him you've run out of ideas on how to break the game with O-chem. THAT'S where this'll get silly.

GM: "Momentum is banned."
You "Wha... how does that even-"
GM: "Sorry, it's too unbalanced. Isaac Newton certainly isn't the deadliest son-of-a-bitch in THIS universe."

geeky_monkey
2013-03-21, 09:35 AM
If I was in this game I'd wait until the Mary Sue turned up and roll to disbelieve an illusion, and whatever the role just keep ignoring and talking over it in character as "come on - this is clearly too stupid to be real".

Even if rolling to disbelieve illusions isn't in the game.

Tanuki Tales
2013-03-21, 10:13 AM
You guys do realize that even if Trekkin got every single thing in existence banned, it wouldn't affect the integrity of the verse in the slightest bit, right? The Ao-Sue can just keep things trucking along quite fine with his unlimited power.

And Jornophelanthas' plan won't work at all. The Ao-Sue can just rewrite the character's very mind and being to be in awe of the Ao-Sue if they aren't already. Think Jasmine from Angel with the dials turned up to 11.

Feddlefew
2013-03-21, 10:15 AM
You guys do realize that even if Trekkin got every single thing in existence banned, it wouldn't affect the integrity of the verse in the slightest bit, right? The Ao-Sue can just keep things trucking along quite fine with his unlimited power.

And Jornophelanthas' plan won't work at all. The Ao-Sue can just rewrite the character's very mind and being to be in awe of the Ao-Sue if they aren't already. Think Jasmine from Angel with the dials turned up to 11.

I believe at this point it's just a matter of messing with the GM. If enough physical laws are bulldozed, they might even be able t get a nice "no, john, you are the demons" moment in.

Deffers
2013-03-21, 10:18 AM
This is true. Laughing at this guy might be the only real way to beat him.

Also, Trekkin, I sent you a PM about this setting. Did you get it? If you like you can post it, amd the answers TO it, on here. Mainly it was asking about some specifics about this 7200 business.

Tanuki Tales
2013-03-21, 10:32 AM
I believe at this point it's just a matter of messing with the GM. If enough physical laws are bulldozed, they might even be able t get a nice "no, john, you are the demons" moment in.

But it only gets to the DM if the DM lets it get to him. He has written himself an in-universe way to use his DM born Omnipotence with impunity and nothing can happen unless he wants it to happen.

What they need is an outside party for an intervention, not to play a game (rattling the DM's cage, not the actual unwinnable "game") they can't win.

Jornophelanthas
2013-03-21, 11:21 AM
And Jornophelanthas' plan won't work at all. The Ao-Sue can just rewrite the character's very mind and being to be in awe of the Ao-Sue if they aren't already. Think Jasmine from Angel with the dials turned up to 11.
My entire point was that if the DM does this, he effectively bans the players from his universe, by taking over their characters.

At that point, the game stops being a group activity. So while the DM may have saved his universe from the players' independent thought, he has also eliminated the "game" aspect.

The players should, of course, point that out if it happens, stating that they are now no longer needed to play their own characters, and that the DM is free to continue the "game" without them.

If the DM truly expects them to stay there and have them play their characters in the way he tells them to, he gives hard evidence that he believes he can control not just the player characters, but also the players. This is, of course, very wrong, and the players can simply prove him wrong by refusing to do as he says.

Tanuki Tales
2013-03-21, 11:31 AM
My entire point was that if the DM does this, he effectively bans the players from his universe, by taking over their characters.

At that point, the game stops being a group activity. So while the DM may have saved his universe from the players' independent thought, he has also eliminated the "game" aspect.

The players should, of course, point that out if it happens, stating that they are now no longer needed to play their own characters, and that the DM is free to continue the "game" without them.

If the DM truly expects them to stay there and have them play their characters in the way he tells them to, he gives hard evidence that he believes he can control not just the player characters, but also the players. This is, of course, very wrong, and the players can simply prove him wrong by refusing to do as he says.

But will the players react to such a ham-fisted move in that manner?

Because from what I've read thus far from this thread, at least two of the players I could conceivably see putting up with it. I mean, it's not that much of a skip or a jump from what the DM has been doing to them already.

Jornophelanthas
2013-03-21, 11:35 AM
But will the players react to such a ham-fisted move in that manner?

Because from what I've read thus far from this thread, at least two of the players I could conceivably see putting up with it. I mean, it's not that much of a skip or a jump from what the DM has been doing to them already.

True, but I already mentioned that.


This plan does require full support from all players, though.

Still, having the DM tell the players: "No, you can't laugh at this handsome katana-wielding person, because you all believe he is awesome" should underline just how ridiculous his position is. And a DM telling players what their characters think rarely goes down well.

Trekkin
2013-03-21, 12:14 PM
This is true. Laughing at this guy might be the only real way to beat him.

Also, Trekkin, I sent you a PM about this setting. Did you get it? If you like you can post it, amd the answers TO it, on here. Mainly it was asking about some specifics about this 7200 business.

Laughing is the plan at the moment. There are four of us playing, and I've asked two of the others and gotten more or less total agreement that the game's a farce. The fourth I haven't asked, but in the past we've agreed pretty seamlessly on how not to DM, so I suspect if I can frame it well enough, I can get everyone laughing with me, and manipulating the remaining laws of physics to the point of absurdity will help. As a way of bringing things to a head it needs work, but as something to do, it makes the sessions enjoyable. If he forces awe on us, he robs us of interactivity, and at that point it's not a game at all anyway.

And I got the PM and am still drafting a response. This setting is complicated, and simple questions have hugely involved answers.

Jornophelanthas
2013-03-21, 12:27 PM
Laughing is the plan at the moment. There are four of us playing, and I've asked two of the others and gotten more or less total agreement that the game's a farce. The fourth I haven't asked, but in the past we've agreed pretty seamlessly on how not to DM, so I suspect if I can frame it well enough, I can get everyone laughing with me, and manipulating the remaining laws of physics to the point of absurdity will help. As a way of bringing things to a head it needs work, but as something to do, it makes the sessions enjoyable. If he forces awe on us, he robs us of interactivity, and at that point it's not a game at all anyway.

And I got the PM and am still drafting a response. This setting is complicated, and simple questions have hugely involved answers.

So how do you intend to frame the ridicule? Will you be able to meet the Mary Sue face to face? Because the Mary Sue is the focal point of the DM's entire multiverse, I don't think anything other than directly addressing (or rather, refusing to acknowledge) the Mary Sue character itself will work.

Also, has your group encountered this character before, or has it been sort of a hidden force behind the (DM) screen so far? I am asking this because it would work best on the first time that the DM deigns the time is right for the great glorious god-character to be awesomely unveiled before your collective unworthy eyes.

Deffers
2013-03-21, 01:15 PM
Also, remember to ham it the hell up when he first shows. I mean, try and think of comments funny enough to make the GM laugh along with you. If you manage to do THAT, then you've won. Forever.

I mean, you'd have to be some crazy-ass charismatic diplomancer in the real world to pull that off, but imagine if you did! It's something to aim for, at any rate.

Sith_Happens
2013-03-21, 01:16 PM
Now, I'm not much of a physicist; my background is in computer science, biology, and a bit of organic chemistry. Thus far, willow trees and honey bees have been placed in ontological limbo after I wanted salicylic acid as a synthetic starting point and, well, pepperball rounds loaded with honey bee alarm pheromones. There's a very long list of chemical syntheses that "just don't work", with varying consequences for industry, but I need to go over them again to make anything like a summary. So far, though, petroleum has become nearly useless except as an energy source, which makes me scared for plastic

Since I've somewhat petulantly gone back to very basic chemistry at least partially out of a desire to bring the absurdity of the above to his attention, I've gotten antimony stricken from the universe, and the canonical existence of neutrons is in doubt.

:eek:

Keep up the good work.

Lord Torath
2013-03-21, 01:21 PM
Since I've somewhat petulantly gone back to very basic chemistry at least partially out of a desire to bring the absurdity of the above to his attention, I've gotten antimony stricken from the universe, and the canonical existence of neutrons is in doubt.
Isn't antimony one of the core ingredients in gunpowder? Does that mean everyone now has lasguns or air guns?

Have you tried building a rail gun yet? That might be a good start on getting the laws of electromagnetism banned.:smallbiggrin:

Trekkin
2013-03-21, 01:30 PM
So how do you intend to frame the ridicule? Will you be able to meet the Mary Sue face to face? Because the Mary Sue is the focal point of the DM's entire multiverse, I don't think anything other than directly addressing (or rather, refusing to acknowledge) the Mary Sue character itself will work.

Also, has your group encountered this character before, or has it been sort of a hidden force behind the (DM) screen so far? I am asking this because it would work best on the first time that the DM deigns the time is right for the great glorious god-character to be awesomely unveiled before your collective unworthy eyes.

So far, we've only been indirectly exposed to the Sue; we keep finding prophecies, some of which are canonical, referring to an enlightened individual leading a glorious crusade that will bring about a new order of prosperity and peace. It's like the 2012 Apocalypse; "all the prophecies agree" and I'm facepalming several times a day.

As to my plan: I fully intend to sit as humorlessly as possible while he launches into the pixel-by-pixel description of the Sue, wait for perfect comedic timing, and laugh my head off in synchrony with my fellows. I think we're all capable of holding our laughter for that long, if we train a bit.

It's the breathless explanation as I roll teary-eyed and guffawing on the floor that I'm still working on.

EDIT: Antimony isn't an ingredient in gunpowder, at least not any of the preparations I'm familiar with. I wanted it for antimony pentafluoride in any case; apparently many futuristic building materials are "acid-proof", and I wanted to find out how much so. With HSbF6.

And we do have a railgun; our team sniper has a rail sniper rifle.

JoshuaZ
2013-03-21, 01:46 PM
EDIT: Antimony isn't an ingredient in gunpowder, at least not any of the preparations I'm familiar with. I wanted it for antimony pentafluoride in any case; apparently many futuristic building materials are "acid-proof", and I wanted to find out how much so. With HSbF6.


He won't even let you do mild damage to buildings in his precious setting? Wow. Also, who in their right mind would ban antimony in that context? The problem isn't antimony; the problem is fluorine.

Lord Torath
2013-03-21, 01:56 PM
EDIT: Antimony isn't an ingredient in gunpowder, at least not any of the preparations I'm familiar with. I wanted it for antimony pentafluoride in any case; apparently many futuristic building materials are "acid-proof", and I wanted to find out how much so. With HSbF6.

And we do have a railgun; our team sniper has a rail sniper rifle.Wow. Can you tell it's been a while since Chem 101 for me? I think I was thinking Saltpeter. :smallredface:

I'm afraid I'm not going to be a huge amount of help in the chemistry department.

As far as banning electromagnetism... Maybe you can break into Cern? Try making a black hole... Or convert it into a Super Rail Gun..... Or channel a huge burst of radiation at a particular opponent's HQ...

Edit: You know, with Neutrons being banned, all those neutron stars are going to collapse into Black Holes. And in Nuclear Fission, the energy is generated by neutron decay. Does that mean there's no nukes in his multiverse?

Feddlefew
2013-03-21, 02:01 PM
EDIT: Antimony isn't an ingredient in gunpowder, at least not any of the preparations I'm familiar with. I wanted it for antimony pentafluoride in any case; apparently many futuristic building materials are "acid-proof", and I wanted to find out how much so. With HSbF6.


You should seriously try using some ClF3. Or, make some XeF4 and let it get exposed to oxygen... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenon_trioxide):smallamused:


He won't even let you do mild damage to buildings in his precious setting? Wow. Also, who in their right mind would ban antimony in that context. The problem isn't antimony the problem is fluorine.

Getting him to ban the other strong oxidizers (Chlorine and Oxygen) would be funny.

Trekkin
2013-03-21, 02:12 PM
You should seriously try using some ClF3. Or, make some XeF4 and let it get exposed to oxygen... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenon_trioxide):smallamused:

Well, now I'm simultaneously terrified and intrigued. I will most certainly try both.

obryn
2013-03-21, 02:15 PM
I know I'm going back several pages/weeks, but...


Apparently part of the reason we're being so hemmed-in is because he already wrote the major plot of the adventure, and us in it, as part of the ascension of his literal author avatar to godhood, so while we're free to do anything ("no rails"), the laws of the universe as delineated by his future in-game self prevent us going outside our assigned role and the world changing to thwart us is an artifact of that. :smallconfused:

As in, there's a character that is literally him in-game through some many-worlds shenanigans who's been going around to all of his favorite fictional universes and "fixing" them, and we're playing in one of the universes he's yet to "fix", and so we need to see how badly off we are before the god that is literally the GM in-universe fixes all our problems for us. Said deity is apparently literally invincible, as well, because he can read his OoC self's mind and knows what we're going to do before we do. Sort of. And apparently he can retroactively switch places with a clone of himself in case we manage to get around all of the above.
AH! AHAHAHHAHAHAH!!!AHAHAH!

This is clearly the best thing. I haven't read the rest of this thread, but this has just made my day. (When you mentioned CthulhuTech, I knew a trainwreck was in the making, but this has exceeded my expectations.)

Anyway, my main advice is, "Keep going to this game no matter what and write about it because I have a lot of popcorn that should be eaten."

My secondary advice is to tell him, out of game, "This is really, really terrible and like every bad GM story (that doesn't involve bodily waste) rolled into one. Please stop doing this because I don't want to participate in your novel. Until you think you can stop doing this, please let someone else run the games." No need to get mean or hurtful or anything - but he needs to be told he's bad at GMing and should pause and learn how to do it better before wasting 7 or 8 peoples' valuable free time like this.

-O

Feddlefew
2013-03-21, 02:16 PM
Well, now I'm simultaneously terrified and intrigued. I will most certainly try both.

Don't be down wind of the ClF3, the gasses it makes while reacting its way through... Well, everything, are only marginally less dangerous than the original compound.

Deffers
2013-03-21, 02:26 PM
Ooh, yeah! ClF3 is basically like a nested recursive chemical apocalypse! That's the one where the best safety equipment is a damn good pair of running shoes, right?

Also, Trekkin, sent you a reply, with two strategies for defeating the Sue.

Neither one is much good (although one is richly ironic-- find a way to send the little godling into Old Man Henderson's universe, where we know one canon thing about recently-teleported-in mega-entities and what happens to them if you kill them exactly as they enter the world). The other involves seeing if you can use actual H.P. Lovecraft fiction in this Cthulhu-Tech esque universe.

Rhynn
2013-03-21, 02:49 PM
When you mentioned CthulhuTech, I knew a trainwreck was in the making, but this has exceeded my expectations.

Why is this, anyway? I've heard a lot of this sort of views about CthulhuTech, but never any specifics.

Feddlefew
2013-03-21, 03:02 PM
Ooh, yeah! ClF3 is basically like a nested recursive chemical apocalypse! That's the one where the best safety equipment is a damn good pair of running shoes, right?

I've seen the safty sheets for it. The spill protocol is basically "Sound the alarm, then everyone for themselves". I posted a link early in the thread (and here it is again! (http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2008/02/26/sand_wont_save_you_this_time.php) Seriously go read it.) that describes what happens:


There’s a report from the early 1950s of a one-ton spill of the stuff. It burned its way through a foot of concrete floor and chewed up another meter of sand and gravel beneath, completing a day that I'm sure no one involved ever forgot. That process, I should add, would necessarily have been accompanied by copious amounts of horribly toxic and corrosive by-products: it’s bad enough when your reagent ignites wet sand, but the clouds of hot hydrofluoric acid are your special door prize if you’re foolhardy enough to hang around and watch the fireworks.

Some other good ones from that blog include:

Almost (but not quite) explodium! (http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2011/02/25/things_i_wont_work_with_chlorine_azide.php)
Explodium! (http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2013/01/09/things_i_wont_work_with_azidoazide_azides_more_or_ less.php)
More fun with Fluorine compounds! (http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2010/02/23/things_i_wont_work_with_dioxygen_difluoride.php)
Things that smell terrible.... (http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2010/05/07/things_i_wont_work_with_small_smelly_isocyanides.p hp)
And the smelliest chemicals of all! (http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2012/05/15/things_i_wont_work_with_selenophenol.php)

Arbane
2013-03-21, 03:03 PM
If the DM truly expects them to stay there and have them play their characters in the way he tells them to, he gives hard evidence that he believes he can control not just the player characters, but also the players. This is, of course, very wrong, and the players can simply prove him wrong by refusing to do as he says.

He might NOT be wrong. :smalleek:

Given how long the players have endured this farce already without mocking him to death, mind control seems like one of the more reasonable explanations. FNORD

Trekkin
2013-03-21, 03:07 PM
Ooh, yeah! ClF3 is basically like a nested recursive chemical apocalypse! That's the one where the best safety equipment is a damn good pair of running shoes, right?

Also, Trekkin, sent you a reply, with two strategies for defeating the Sue.

Neither one is much good (although one is richly ironic-- find a way to send the little godling into Old Man Henderson's universe, where we know one canon thing about recently-teleported-in mega-entities and what happens to them if you kill them exactly as they enter the world). The other involves seeing if you can use actual H.P. Lovecraft fiction in this Cthulhu-Tech esque universe.

Both strategies are theoretically workable, or would be in a universe with object permanence. The main problem I see with the first one is what I've come to think of as Xeno's paradox applied to definitions.

Let us assume there exist some trait with two possible states, both of which imply something bad for the Marty Stu. As an example, let us say I have two spells, one of which bars mortals from getting near me and one of which does the same for all non-mortals, active simultaneously. One might assume that since the intersection of set [M] and set [not M] is zero, I would be safe.

Marty will get through.

Marty, who has been previously described as immortal, will get through the latter because "he's not really a non-mortal", and he will then get through the latter because "he's not a mortal, either". If pressed, our DM will hem and haw through Marty's state of being, adding a mass of caveats and conditions in poorly phrased legalese to the end effect that he is definitely one thing, but that one thing has all the benefits and none of the drawbacks of all of the conditions we were relying upon. This has resulted in spontaneous ternary logic circuits, what we are for lack of a better word calling the double-rules-lawyer experiment, Elitzur–Vaidman semi-testers, and a few other fun toys.

Out of game, Xeno's definitions appear for basically anything relating to a game(and indeed anything) as I described in my first post, but without the ontological flexibility that allows for shenanigans like the above. If I describe Cthulhutech as a dystopia, I am told it isn't really a dystopia; if I go on to call it a non-dystopian something, I am asked what the heck I mean by non-dystopian.

Arbane
2013-03-21, 03:13 PM
This has resulted in spontaneous ternary logic circuits, what we are for lack of a better word calling the double-rules-lawyer experiment, Elitzur–Vaidman semi-testers, and a few other fun toys.

It's hard typing this reply due to uncontrollable snickering, but I have to say:

Whatever happens, PLEASE keep updating us. This thread is the best thing about the worst thing I've read in a long, long time.

obryn
2013-03-21, 03:15 PM
Really, guys, there are no in-game "strategies" here because this is an out-of-game problem. By seeking to handle it in-game, you're becoming part of the problem and just perpetuating it.

-O

Trekkin
2013-03-21, 03:31 PM
It's hard typing this reply due to uncontrollable snickering, but I have to say:

Whatever happens, PLEASE keep updating us. This thread is the best thing about the worst thing I've read in a long, long time.

Well, I do have a master plan for the updates. See, all along, he's been writing a 'novelization' of the campaign, and I've gotten permission before to show it to whoever. I've been keeping a journal roughly in parallel with it, albeit with fewer references to various anime.

Right now, I don't want to get too into putting it out there, in case I get kicked out of the game for it. I could accept leaving on my own if it got too annoying, but really, I want the end to offer at least a modicum of closure. Until that happens, I have to ignore a lot of the really specific, really outrageous stuff, so I'm just recording it all.

When it's all over, I intend to combine an MSTing of the novelization of the campaign with a Darren-and-Sartin-style review of the system a la FATAL (both with the aid of my fellow players where possible and hopefully the DM if we can bring him around), sprinkling highlights from the snarkiest campaign journal I've ever written throughout.

Until then, you have my apologies for not being able to show everything.

Feddlefew
2013-03-21, 03:38 PM
Is he writing the alleged novelization before or after each session? :smalleek:

Eldan
2013-03-21, 03:39 PM
Right. If I can just make a few suggestions to try and warp the laws of physics:

(I'm a biologist, not a chemist, but I can think of a few things).

You want to get the less exotic (to laymen) and more common elements banned. Try for basic metals, and then oxygen, nitrogen and carbon.

I'd suggest starting with Termite:
Fe2O3 + 2 Al → 2 Fe + Al2O3.

If you do it right, you should be able to either get Iron Oxide or Aluminum banned. That would mean things can no longer rust.

For oxygen, I suggest the Haber Bosch process to make nitrates.

Also, try combining really simple household chemicals. There's a surprising amount of stuff you can do with some salt, soap, strong cleaners, vinegar and soda.


Disclaimer: this is a terrible idea, you should never try to passively-aggressively solve problems like this ingame, please talk to your GM OOC, ask a doctor for advice. Advice not available in certain nations.

Feddlefew
2013-03-21, 03:42 PM
Thermite's probably "safer" than any of my suggestions, in the "not killing your character in the process of making/using them."

Edit: Although this depends, are we prioritizing causing as much collateral damage or just getting as many physical laws banned as possible?

Eldan
2013-03-21, 03:55 PM
Well, yeah. I'm not suggesting they make magic acid. I'm suggesting they find a way to get ridiculously common stuff banned to make the universe implode from the paradoxes.

Feddlefew
2013-03-21, 04:04 PM
Nitrogen packed compounds and the more unstable oxygen compounds would be the best things to start with, then. Carbon and hydrogen are a bit too stable to be banned, but it's worth a shot.

Or he could try getting rid of the three most powerful oxidizers (F, O, and Cl). I can't think of anything obviously essential that fluoride does, but oxygen and chloride are essential for life as we know it.

Trekkin
2013-03-21, 04:05 PM
The paradoxes also have a practical upshot. See, one of the main signs of the Chosen One is that he will be "of the people but of a world apart". Xeno's Definitions again... I'm trying to mess with as much of biochemistry as possible to make "of the people" as farcical as possible. If I can get a few amino acids banned in concert with simpler chemicals, I can claim he isn't "of the people" based simply on phylogenetics. I think I'm close with histidine, given the sheer utility of nickel column purification.

The other problem is that outright bans are getting harder, thanks to the above hairsplitting. Familiar-to-him things like aluminum simply "don't work like that" rather than not existing.

That said, the more carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen (and phosphorous and sulfur) diverge from their chemical properties as science knows them, the more I can end up denouncing the Sue as not the chosen one for being too alien. I mean, he contains phospholipids, for goodness' sakes!

Feddlefew
2013-03-21, 04:10 PM
The paradoxes also have a practical upshot. See, one of the main signs of the Chosen One is that he will be "of the people but of a world apart". Xeno's Definitions again... I'm trying to mess with as much of biochemistry as possible to make "of the people" as farcical as possible. If I can get a few amino acids banned in concert with simpler chemicals, I can claim he isn't "of the people" based simply on phylogenetics. I think I'm close with histidine, given the sheer utility of nickel column purification.

The other problem is that outright bans are getting harder, thanks to the above hairsplitting. Familiar-to-him things like aluminum simply "don't work like that" rather than not existing.

That said, the more carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen (and phosphorous and sulfur) diverge from their chemical properties as science knows them, the more I can end up denouncing the Sue as not the chosen one for being too alien. I mean, he contains hydrocarbons, for goodness' sakes!

Hmmm..... You might be able to muck up cellular respiration with enough Oxygen related shenanigans. At which point you could point out that, since all life forms in your universe use a sulfur-based version of cellular respiration because oxygen isn't reactive enough.

Jornophelanthas
2013-03-21, 04:11 PM
Have you looked into the Twin Earth thought experiment?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Earth_thought_experiment

It may provide fuel for your argument.

Arbane
2013-03-21, 04:13 PM
The paradoxes also have a practical upshot. See, one of the main signs of the Chosen One is that he will be "of the people but of a world apart".

Like Nylarthotep's human guise, then? :smalleek:

(Looking forward to this game's inevitable (and possibly thermite-powered) immolation and your MS3TK of it afterwards. This is going to be hilarious.)


Hmmm..... You might be able to muck up cellular respiration with enough Oxygen related shenanigans. At which point you could point out that, since all life forms in your universe use a sulfur-based version of cellular respiration because oxygen isn't reactive enough.

I think I found the problem with these ideas: You folks keep expecting logic to work. The puny earth-logic is no match for the power of the GM and his Sue. Obviously, Katana Guy can make a rock so big He can't lift it, and will then lift it anyway. As was demonstrated in Portal 2, some forms of stupidity are paradox-proof, and this GM sounds like a shining example of that.

Trekkin
2013-03-21, 04:20 PM
Obviously, Katana Guy can make a rock so big He can't lift it, and will then lift it anyway. As was demonstrated in Portal 2, some forms of stupidity are paradox-proof, and this GM sounds like a shining example of that.


To paraphrase a reported saying of GM Sue: "I'm so powerful an unstoppable force meets an immovable object every time I clap my hands!"

Eldan
2013-03-21, 04:29 PM
I think I found the problem with these ideas: You folks keep expecting logic to work. The puny earth-logic is no match for the power of the GM and his Sue. Obviously, Katana Guy can make a rock so big He can't lift it, and will then lift it anyway. As was demonstrated in Portal 2, some forms of stupidity are paradox-proof, and this GM sounds like a shining example of that.

Sure, sure. I'm just suggesting shenanigans so the OP has something to keep himself sane until the finale.

Feddlefew
2013-03-21, 04:32 PM
Like Nylarthotep's human guise, then? :smalleek:

(Looking forward to this game's inevitable (and possibly thermite-powered) immolation and your MS3TK of it afterwards. This is going to be hilarious.)


I still say the cascading effects of the ClF3 would be be better. Maybe a tanker truck of it* with a small can of thermite perched on top. Make the DM think its full of petroleum or something.


*!!Fun!! fact: Apparently these existed during the fifties.



I think I found the problem with these ideas: You folks keep expecting logic to work. The puny earth-logic is no match for the power of the GM and his Sue. Obviously, Katana Guy can make a rock so big He can't lift it, and will then lift it anyway. As was demonstrated in Portal 2, some forms of stupidity are paradox-proof, and this GM sounds like a shining example of that.

I suppose this could be used as an example of the "not one of us" bit, as if he was one of us we'd be able to do those things too. Like that would work, but it would be funny.


To paraphrase a reported saying of GM Sue: "I'm so powerful an unstoppable force meets an immovable object every time I clap my hands!"

what

Mr.D
2013-03-21, 04:36 PM
To paraphrase a reported saying of GM Sue: "I'm so powerful an unstoppable force meets an immovable object every time I clap my hands!"

Class. Utter class. Best being an arrogant super villain ever.

Also, is there even the chance that the Mighty Dice Gods would smile on you and Katana Guy would roll a never ending line of resplendent 1's while you and your comrades roll an unyielding barrage of Apocalyptic 20's? (I may have overstated that slightly) Do rolls matter that much or is Katanagod 2000 just so over powered he has +20 to everything anyway?

Eldan
2013-03-21, 04:37 PM
Eh. This is the level of sueness where dice no longer matter. I mean, it takes the same amount of energy to say "He hits you" after you roll a 1 as it does to say that after you roll a 12.

Also, I suggest not just laughing out loud right away when the Suelord is introduced. First, keep your face perfectly straight and ask a question like "Okay, so, where's the real guy?"

Then laugh when you get the answer.

Trekkin
2013-03-21, 04:43 PM
Class. Utter class. Best being an arrogant super villain ever.

Also, is there even the chance that the Mighty Dice Gods would smile on you and Katana Guy would roll a never ending line of resplendent 1's while you and your comrades roll an unyielding barrage of Apocalyptic 20's? (I may have overstated that slightly) Do rolls matter that much or is Katanagod 2000 just so over powered he has +20 to everything anyway?

1's and 20's are no longer automatic successes and failures in his system. A 1 counts as a roll of -10 and a 20 counts as a roll of 30, so a +11 bonus over the task DC guarantees success.

I can't even be sarcastic about this. A system where a sufficiently powerful character has no chance of failure is exactly what one would expect.

JoshuaZ
2013-03-21, 05:36 PM
1's and 20's are no longer automatic successes and failures in his system. A 1 counts as a roll of -10 and a 20 counts as a roll of 30, so a +11 bonus over the task DC guarantees success.

I can't even be sarcastic about this. A system where a sufficiently powerful character has no chance of failure is exactly what one would expect.

That's not actually intrinsically unreasonable as a system rule. My preferred variant of that is that when you roll a 1 you subtract 10 and roll again, while for a 20 you add 10 and roll again, and keep doing so. This gives a nice distribution while still making it always possible to get really lucky or unlucky, it just becomes less and less likely with larger differences.

Note that in 3.5, deities in the official rules don't have 1s as automatic failure (but 20s on attack rolls are still auto hits on them).

This brings up a possible other thing you could do: see if you can get him to change the laws of mathematics. Fun things that might work include one-time pads (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-time_pad) and other encryption related things.

Arbane
2013-03-21, 06:25 PM
This brings up a possible other thing you could do: see if you can get him to change the laws of mathematics. Fun things that might work include one-time pads (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-time_pad) and other encryption related things.

You may be on to something there. Once math stops working, so do character sheets.

Gavinfoxx
2013-03-21, 07:07 PM
1's and 20's are no longer automatic successes and failures in his system. A 1 counts as a roll of -10 and a 20 counts as a roll of 30, so a +11 bonus over the task DC guarantees success.

I can't even be sarcastic about this. A system where a sufficiently powerful character has no chance of failure is exactly what one would expect.

That is a great rule that I absolutely love. That rule works fantastically well, as does solid rules that allow Take 10 in most circumstances (except combat, high winds, etc.). That rule is specifically suggested many times in this forum; a 1/20 chance of abject failure, or jumping to the moon, or whatever, is terrible in most D20 systems... it is far, far, far too high of a chance. And in 3.5e, 1's and 20's aren't generally automatic failures or successes anyway...

Most D20 homebrew fumble rules that add fumbles to the game (they were taken out for a reason!!) absolutely suck, especially from a realism standpoint.

Grod_The_Giant
2013-03-21, 07:52 PM
You may be on to something there. Once math stops working, so do character sheets.
Muahahahahaha! :smallamused:

Deffers
2013-03-21, 08:00 PM
Hrm. Now that I think about it, any plan to defeat Mary Sue increases its chances exponentially once we kick math out the window. At that point, you're playing in a consensus reality-- and the consensus is, Mary Sue sucks, down with Mary Sue, nobody's having fun.

Hell, it actually sounds like you could make a kind of badass story this way. The players are all, really, godlike beings with some definition of reality. One of the players enforced The Rules. The other players saw that The Rules were bad and sought to overthrow them. The first player, now the GM, tries to thwart them by making a seal-proof prison and stripping them and his own world of anything capable of unseating him from his power and his glory that he acquired by writing The Rules. However, his downfall is embedded in his tyranny, as he strips away layer after layer of his own Rules to try and break the will of the players. Thus the players begin to force the GM's hand, to erode the world such that their freedom is, eventually, ensured and All May Be Set Right Once More.

It'd certainly be a hell of a lot more engaging of a storyline then what the actual DM has cooked up.

Maybe everyone can come away having learned a lesson. And that lesson is Mary Sues suck.

Sith_Happens
2013-03-21, 10:23 PM
Both strategies are theoretically workable, or would be in a universe with object permanence. The main problem I see with the first one is what I've come to think of as Xeno's paradox applied to definitions.

[snip]

Zeno's paradox (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno's_paradoxes) occurs when you analyze instantaneous states without the benefit of calculus and come to the conclusion that basic kinematics are impossible. You're thinking of Schrödinger's cat (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schrodinger%27s_cat).

...Which leads to your master stroke in mucking up reality:
1. Start openly thinking up a method to observe some aspect of Marty and exploit it before he has time to regain superposition.
2. The natural response to this from your GM, of course, will be to ban wavefunction collapse.
3. Quantum mechanics immediately begin to function on the macroscale, causing the universe to turn into a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey... stuff.
4. ???
5. Profit.

Deffers
2013-03-21, 11:55 PM
...Or we combine ALL these tricks, destroying math, causality, quantum space time, oxygen, and, hell, the dude's psychic, right? Wreak some havoc on psychic stuff too. Get him to stab himself in the foot, save yourself the trouble.

My conscience IS speaking up again, though, troublesome thing that it is. This kid's obviously got problems. Obviously he's not high-functioning-- at least, not well. We're looking at a dude who's basically wasting your damn time, every week, and unaware of it because he's caught up in the awesomeness of his katanas. And it's obvious he may think he's straight-up psychic, to boot.

Lovely though it may be to think that a complete and utter destruction of the plot will enlighten him, it... probably won't. So we're left trying to have fun at his expense, witout making him worse to be around. Ideally, but improbably, to teach him a general lesson on how NOT to interact with others (i.e. don't take advantage of the fact you're the only game in town and we can't set up our own campaigns).

At the very least, we don't want him to go Black Leaf on our asses, if you're catching my drift.

Guuuuh. When a DM brings his obvious psychological hangups THIS HARD into a game, it's hard not to cross the line between derailment and open psychological warfare. It's train-wreck levels of bad.

Arbane
2013-03-21, 11:59 PM
We tried Code Geass sorts of tactical planning once, because he loves that show to a disturbing degree, to the point of pulling and citing specific maneuvers. It didn't work "because [we] aren't Lelouch". ...guess who willingly serves the DM Sue now out of awe at the Sue's tactical prowess?

This is supposed to be a 'universal system', right?

Ask to see Lelouch's character sheet.

Ashtagon
2013-03-22, 01:48 AM
You may be on to something there. Once math stops working, so do character sheets.

I was under the impression they already had.

Trekkin
2013-03-22, 04:36 AM
Zeno's paradox (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno's_paradoxes) occurs when you analyze instantaneous states without the benefit of calculus and come to the conclusion that basic kinematics are impossible. You're thinking of Schrödinger's cat (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schrodinger%27s_cat).

My apologies for the bad analogy; I was too hung up on the incremental nature of his state shifting (he gets a little more godlike every time we try to peg him as a mortal) to realize that, yes, Schrödinger's cat is perfect.

Or, in this case, Schrödinger's katana.

And the 1's-and-20's rule isn't in and of itself bad, I suppose. I'm just used to the school of thought that if there's no reasonable chance of success or failure, you don't roll and just assume. Then again, this does let us roll more dice; most of my problems with it stem from how it's used to justify really powerful NPCs doing whatever they want to us sans dice.

Tanuki Tales
2013-03-22, 12:25 PM
A thought just came to me.

If the whole thing about this Metaplot is that Many Worlds rings true, then shouldn't there be an exact duplicate of the Ao-Sue out there who is the complete and utter opposite of Ao-Sue-Prime?

7,200 works were mentioned, but do they truly span the entire scope of the setting's greater Omniverse?

randomhero00
2013-03-22, 12:44 PM
First ask him if his Sue is made of matter. I mean, please tell me he will at least admit to something that logical?

Then hopefully once he has confirmed his character is made of matter, and since he has already confirmed it is a "universal world/setting" ask him how Sue will deal with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Monitor#Powers_and_abilities

Anti-Monitor has the power to travel to the beginning of time, destroy a near infinite amount of universes, absorb the energy from multiple universes...withstand a supernova.... warp reality.... I'm curious to see how he'll explain what happens when one reality warper meets another :P

I mean, you really can't come up with a more powerful character than AM unless you just go, well blah blah infinity +1!

PS another funny thing you might do is write a short story about another Sue that can mirror all powers and abilities he is faced with. Only needs to be a couple paragraphs. And doesn't need to be good writing.

Then under traits list immunities (all) and has undying devotion for X (X being your character). As well as telepathic communications constant with X.

Pop, up shows your very own Mary Sue minion. If he argues it doesn't count because its fictional, then say, but so is star wars. If he argues well star wars is published and a movie, then say, well your game isn't published either, yet by your own rules your character exists....

Basically he can't have a Sue without you having one by his own rules.

Tanuki Tales
2013-03-22, 12:50 PM
First ask him if his Sue is made of matter. I mean, please tell me he will at least admit to something that logical?

Then hopefully once he has confirmed his character is made of matter, and since he has already confirmed it is a "universal world/setting" ask him how Sue will deal with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Monitor#Powers_and_abilities

Anti-Monitor has the power to travel to the beginning of time, destroy a near infinite amount of universes, absorb the energy from multiple universes...withstand a supernova.... warp reality.... I'm curious to see how he'll explain what happens when one reality warper meets another :P

I mean, you really can't come up with a more powerful character than AM unless you just go, well blah blah infinity +1!

In Universe there are a handful of characters more powerful than the Crisis of Infinite Earths Anti-Monitor.

Mandrak, Cosmic Armor Superman, The Great Dark Beast, YHWH, God-Thing, Death, possibly Lucifer or the Zrfffians...

Edit: I mean, the Spectre channeling the power of the assembled remaining mystics and such was enough to stalemate him for a time.

Grod_The_Giant
2013-03-22, 01:24 PM
In Universe there are a handful of characters more powerful than the Crisis of Infinite Earths Anti-Monitor.

Mandrak, Cosmic Armor Superman, The Great Dark Beast, YHWH, God-Thing, Death, possibly Lucifer or the Zrfffians...

Edit: I mean, the Spectre channeling the power of the assembled remaining mystics and such was enough to stalemate him for a time.
I don't know that you can count Vertigo entities, though. If we are, then sure, Lucifer is "save for his creator, perhaps the most powerful there is." But...

Tanuki Tales
2013-03-22, 01:58 PM
I don't know that you can count Vertigo entities, though. If we are, then sure, Lucifer is "save for his creator, perhaps the most powerful there is." But...

Pre-Reboot we had Daniel showing up in both JLA under Grant Morrison and during Day of Vengeance. Destiny played a major part in the Brave and the Bold when his book was stolen and Supergirl, Hal Jordan, Lobo, Adam Strange and the Challengers of the Unknown had to retrieve it. Swamp Thing has always faded in and out of main DC in all his practically omnipotent glory, especially with Batman: The Widening Gyre and Brightest Day.

But the cream of the crop is Death showing up to tell Lex Luthor that not only is she the Death, but that Blackest Night had nothing to do with her, thus cementing that Nekron is just another lesser entity. All of this in Action Comics no less.


So while Vertigo is supposed to be separate continuity, there's enough bleed over to main DC to use them in lines of discussion like this.

Feddlefew
2013-03-22, 02:59 PM
I propose having a protomultivers and eldrich abomination attempt a hostile take over, of one of the worlds. Preferably one that does not run a D20 game. As its appendages slowly push its way through the world-plane, they warp it into something both alien, yet stable and comfortably habitable for your characters. I think a no-portal rule for that universe would help prevent any invasions, and instead you could use a series of passages between different world-spheres, fluffed as you see appropriate.

There happens to be one of these tunnels attached to the world your characters are in now, accessed through a certain coffee shop....:smallamused:

Grod_The_Giant
2013-03-22, 03:04 PM
Pre-Reboot we had Daniel showing up in both JLA under Grant Morrison and during Day of Vengeance. Destiny played a major part in the Brave and the Bold when his book was stolen and Supergirl, Hal Jordan, Lobo, Adam Strange and the Challengers of the Unknown had to retrieve it. Swamp Thing has always faded in and out of main DC in all his practically omnipotent glory, especially with Batman: The Widening Gyre and Brightest Day.

But the cream of the crop is Death showing up to tell Lex Luthor that not only is she the Death, but that Blackest Night had nothing to do with her, thus cementing that Nekron is just another lesser entity. All of this in Action Comics no less.


So while Vertigo is supposed to be separate continuity, there's enough bleed over to main DC to use them in lines of discussion like this.
Touche. white text is white

Trekkin
2013-03-22, 03:24 PM
Basically he can't have a Sue without you having one by his own rules.

Unfortunately, he can. I should have mentioned this earlier, but after I suggested WH40K, he's placed an absolute ban on player-suggested settings unless it's one we've written ourselves AND we let him "revise" it and "fit it into the timeline". In effect, all we can do is hand him more ammo.

And unfortunately he's been very tight-lipped and vague about the precise conditions under which one becomes Sue-like; there's some indication that it happens exclusively by his in-character whim, now.

I'm pretty sure the Marvel and DC universes are both banned, though.

Tanuki Tales
2013-03-22, 03:35 PM
I hadn't realized Anti-Monitor was a comics character; it explains his being mentioned on the Sue's list of loyal allies, now...

Ok. This is where I'm drawing the line.


You seriously need to, as a group, confront him and tell him that:

His "magnum opus" is something expected from a tween to write on Fanfiction.net.
That no one meaningful will ever purchase his "grand masterpiece", let alone want to play it if they could ever get it for free.
That he needs to grow the hell up and get back into the real world.


Don't toy around with him, don't be passive aggressive, don't try to one up him and don't try to laugh him away.

This guy, from everything I've read up to now, needs a bullet piercing slap from Madame Reality. Get his family and other friends involved if you can and get this pompous man-child to act his age and his species.

Deffers
2013-03-22, 03:52 PM
Agh, what... the Anti-Monitor? What? Aughhhh. Agh.

I'm choking on the fail here.

Next thing you know he's going to say he reformed the Allied Mastercomputer from I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream because he wanted a swanky bachelor pad.

I'm starting to think maybe this dude needs HELP. Like, serious, psychological, I'm-not-enabling-your-silly-ass-power-fantasies-any-longer help.

It's like... from what I've seen, you won't be able to beat him. The only way to beat him is upsetting him or laughing him off. At that point, you may as well just say... no. I mean, I know you want to write your own counter-novelization, and all of that's important. But, it's like... the stupid is quickly outpacing the funny here now. I don't think if you play this out to its conclusion, that there might be even a SHRED of humor left. I don't... I just don't know.

Arbane
2013-03-22, 04:08 PM
Agh, what... the Anti-Monitor? What? Aughhhh. Agh.

It looks like the bit that was a reply to has been edited out.

OH GOD THE RETCONS ARE AFFECTING REAL LIFE NOW.

If so, wow, this brings a whole new meaning to the phrase Black Hole Sue (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlackHoleSue). (Warning, TVTropes link. Click only if you have nothing to do for a few hours.)


It's like... from what I've seen, you won't be able to beat him. The only way to beat him is upsetting him or laughing him off. At that point, you may as well just say... no. I mean, I know you want to write your own counter-novelization, and all of that's important. But, it's like... the stupid is quickly outpacing the funny here now. I don't think if you play this out to its conclusion, that there might be even a SHRED of humor left. I don't... I just don't know.

I guess it's like playing Paranoia. Yes, failure is inevitable, but it's FUNNY if you have the right mindset.

But yeah, what Deffers said. You're not going to beat Sue in-game because Rule Zero is that Sue Always Wins. You're not going to beat the GM in-game because he's hilariously convinced (against all evidence) that this is TEH BESTEST EPIC GAEM [email protected]!1one!, so all you can do is go along with the ever-shifting railroad until you FINALLY explain to the GM that his game has achieved a state of Fractal Failure, where it fails at all possible levels to the point that every single part of it is just as bad as ALL of it.

But as long as you're extracting morbid laughs from it, I guess that's OK. I still think smacking the GM with a rolled-up newspaper every time he retcons things might be the best solution.

Tanuki Tales
2013-03-22, 04:46 PM
I still think smacking the GM with a rolled-up newspaper every time he retcons things might be the best solution.

I think an intervention is more in order.

Arbane
2013-03-22, 04:52 PM
I think an intervention is more in order.

That IS an intervention. And where logic and reason fail, the polled-up newspaper shall succeed. :smalltongue:

Tanuki Tales
2013-03-22, 05:05 PM
That IS an intervention. And where logic and reason fail, the polled-up newspaper shall succeed. :smalltongue:

No, I mean a serious one. He may be harmless now, but as he's been described to us, the guy sounds like he has serious issues with his ego, social relations to others and connection to reality.

Kalmageddon
2013-03-22, 06:02 PM
Unfortunately, he can. I should have mentioned this earlier, but after I suggested WH40K, he's placed an absolute ban on player-suggested settings unless it's one we've written ourselves AND we let him "revise" it and "fit it into the timeline". In effect, all we can do is hand him more ammo.

And unfortunately he's been very tight-lipped and vague about the precise conditions under which one becomes Sue-like; there's some indication that it happens exclusively by his in-character whim, now.

I'm pretty sure the Marvel and DC universes are both banned, though.

May I ask you a question?
So far, you've been searching for ways to break the game to humiliate this DM guy for ****s and giggles, am I correct?

Because otherwise, why wouldn't you and your friends just talk to him out of character? Tell him your problems and don't allow him to use a "because I say so" answer.
In fact, how can he even get away with saying things like "aluminum is there but doesn't work the way you think it does"? If you have a firm grasp on chemistry and physics why don't you just debate with him out of character? Insist and insist, demand that he gives detailed and scientifically plausible explanations.
I'd like to point out that this is a method that cannot fail, simply because the game grinds to a halt until you are satisfied with his answers (something only you can decide) or he admits his faults, at which point the choice is to continue playing and stop complaining or quit the game and be over with it.
One way or the other the situation is solved.

Otherwise if you are having fun in this campaing because of how horribile and pathetic the DM is but you are still going to try and "teach him a lesson", wouldn't that constitute biting the hand that feeds you, so to speak?

I've been in horribile campaigns before and when the game is so bad that it becomes amusing to make fun of that's when I quit. Because if I would stay then my mindset would be all wrong, I would just start enojoying the wrong things and I wouldn't be playing for the same reason as the DM, meaning having fun togheter, not making fun of someone.
This, in legal terms, breaks the contract, since to be valid a contract has to have both parties in agreement over what the objective of the contract is.

By the way don't get me wrong, this thread is very entrataining and I'd love to read more about it, I'm just curious about your motivation at this point, since this whole story is so surreal.

Eldan
2013-03-22, 06:22 PM
No, I mean a serious one. He may be harmless now, but as he's been described to us, the guy sounds like he has serious issues with his ego, social relations to others and connection to reality.

I agree with this, really. I have given several silly tips on how to avoid this situation. But in the end it comes down to this:

Your DM sounds as if he has serious problems. Making fun at him or laughing at him won't improve matters. It will either make him angry or sad, and most likely confused.

Since you still play with him and since you call him your friend in your first post, I think that he still means something to you and your friends. Don't do that to him. Talk to him about it.

Malrone
2013-03-22, 07:16 PM
Going to put another vote down for not just burning the world down for the laughs. Hilarious as it would be to read about...

No, you should help him. Help him to not be such a git, sure, but if he's resorting to, and believing in, these practices? He needs more than a reality check.

Sith_Happens
2013-03-22, 08:12 PM
Unfortunately, he can. I should have mentioned this earlier, but after I suggested WH40K, he's placed an absolute ban on player-suggested settings unless it's one we've written ourselves AND we let him "revise" it and "fit it into the timeline". In effect, all we can do is hand him more ammo.

Well that's a shame. While reading that article on the Anti-Monitor I had the idea to get him to add the Gurren Lagann universe to the setting. Because once Spiral Power is on the table all bets are off.

(The rules don't work that way any more? Spiral Power. Physics doesn't work that way any more? More Spiral Power. Spiral Power doesn't work that way any more? Even more Spiral Power.)

Feddlefew
2013-03-22, 08:41 PM
I think you need to tell him that if he has to go to such extreme lengths to protect his "universal" RPG from outside influence as this, it's not a universal system.

JackRose
2013-03-22, 08:42 PM
What are you supposed to do? Find a new GM.

Jornophelanthas
2013-03-23, 07:59 PM
I do hope that Trekkin and Llehctim will post back about any developments.

Trekkin
2013-03-23, 10:02 PM
Oh, we will. There is another session happening tomorrow, so we will see what happens there. It promises to include chemistry.

Highlights from the planning, or Adventures In Making Net Guns:

1. If you increase the ultimate tensile strength of a net's fibers by 350%, the net's breaking strength is unchanged.

2. It requires a PhD-level education in chemistry to know what crosslinking means because the DM does not remember AP Chemistry. Same goes for dehydration synthesis.

3. The best fibers available in 2085 will have a breaking strength of 200 MPa.
3a. Basalt fiber is brittle, and cannot bend without breaking, because basalt is a rock and whoever heard of bendy rocks?

4. Disposable CO2 tanks have an energy density higher than military propellants.

Arbane
2013-03-23, 10:09 PM
3. The best fibers available in 2085 will have a breaking strength of 200 MPa.
3a. Basalt fiber is brittle, and cannot bend without breaking, because basalt is a rock and whoever heard of bendy rocks?


He's never heard of asbestos, has he.

It sounds to me like if only things he's not ignorant about will work, you've got a SEVERELY restricted list of options. Get him to Wikipedia...

Trekkin
2013-03-23, 10:40 PM
He's never heard of asbestos, has he.

It sounds to me like if only things he's not ignorant about will work, you've got a SEVERELY restricted list of options. Get him to Wikipedia...

He "doesn't trust Wikipedia as a reliable source". He's cited the katana article in the past as an example of its bias.

Bear in mind, this is a guy who developed his "totally realistic" rules for fighting with axes "from watching hours of barbarian movies."

Deffers
2013-03-23, 10:57 PM
It's like, with every new fact that comes up about this guy, the more I want to ignore my conscience and simply send him into a table-flipping rage. Personally.

Friend or no, at this point if you've been bearing with him for so long I can see why you'd want to laugh in his face, tear his universe to bits, and rip him a new one in so many different ways his head'll spin. There's only so much that human compassion can take before you find a drunk, mohawked man in a Hawaiian shirt lurking inside of us all, shotgun at the ready.

It's like, sure. Those of us who haven't been playing with him for months are telling you to try to talk to him, try to get him to seek help, because he's DANGEROUSLY egocentric and sounds straight-up like he needs help. But I can't blame you if you ignore all that and send his stupid little... thing up in flames. To call this a campaign is to insult what a campaign is.

I mean, Edward Cullen is a better vampire than this Mary Sue. That's... terrible on so many levels. To let him publish a novelization is for him to bump up Twilight to be actually good in comparison to something.

I empathize completely with your desire for vindication here.

...Incidentally, has he ever mentioned how in WWII, US soldiers would shoot at officers wielding katana first? Has he ever claimed a well-made katana can cut through a block of steel? Just... out of a sick curiosity.

Trekkin
2013-03-24, 12:58 AM
...Incidentally, has he ever mentioned how in WWII, US soldiers would shoot at officers wielding katana first? Has he ever claimed a well-made katana can cut through a block of steel? Just... out of a sick curiosity.

Katanas have armor piercing by his rules (more so than, say, spears or hammers)...running the numbers, they can not only cut through steel, they will outright ignore steel plate. And most combat armor, despite claiming swords are useless against armored foes.

An analysis of previous combats DOES indicate a marked preference for enemies to target katana wielders first, but that's usually because they're the tanks.

I guess it's inconclusive. Hopefully.

And funny you should mention Henderson again. I am slowly morphing my character into him, one item at a time. The first step, now accomplished, was more or less perpetual drunkenness; I am working on the Hawaiian shirt. I once used a long coat to hide my tool array; now it's hiding an increasingly Hendersonian get-up.

It's like playing Hangman with bad DMing decisions, really.

Waker
2013-03-24, 02:42 AM
Alright, I do agree with the other posters that you should consider sitting down with this guy outside of a game setting and possibly get him checked out. That being said, I am a terrible person with no vested interest in him, so on to how I would play!
-In character come to the conclusion that it seems fate is out to get you. Decide that since you are powerless over your own actions, you should just lie down on the ground or possibly resort to some other activity, like spending your entire sessions in the bar. The entire session. React to nothing, no combat included. Just sit there and mutter to yourself that the world isn't fair.
-Have two or more party members come to the conclusion that they are in fact The Marty. Devote the rest of your efforts to converting NPCs and destroying the False Marties.
-Take up a stress-free hobby like gardening. After all the hustle and bustle of battling eldritch abominations, your character probably could use an early retirement. Continue playing said character, but role-playing his new hobby. "I roll a gardening check to inspect the peppers for ripeness."
-In the event that you survive to the big reveal, a bit of childishness would be just fine. Hit the OverDM with a pie or run over and ask for his autograph.
-Reveal that this was all a dream and inform the DM's character that it's time to go to school. You even made sure to pack him some chocolate pudding.
-Have a friend IRL burst in at the last possible second, in character all of you shout out "Rufus!" and then you go on a most excellent adventure.

Malrone
2013-03-24, 04:52 AM
-Have a friend IRL burst in at the last possible second, in character all of you shout out "Rufus!" and then you go on a most excellent adventure.

I dunno, brah, this is shaping up to be, like, a most heinously bogus journey.

Feddlefew
2013-03-24, 05:18 AM
I dunno, brah, this is shaping up to be, like, a most heinously bogus journey.

If you can get some people to dress up as their favorite historic figures you could have a great day of IMAGINATION.

Sith_Happens
2013-03-24, 05:57 AM
He's never heard of asbestos, has he.

Or Kevlar, for that matter. Or what happens when you multiply tensile strength by a small cross-section (seriously, pretty sure a 200 MPa net would be so breakable as to be useless).


4. Disposable CO2 tanks have an energy density higher than military propellants.

Is this because the CO2 tanks have a higher energy density than they should or because the propellants have a lower energy density than they should. If the former...:smallamused:

Feddlefew
2013-03-24, 06:18 AM
Or Kevlar, for that matter. Or what happens when you multiply tensile strength by a small cross-section (seriously, pretty sure a 200 MPa net would be so breakable as to be useless).


I'm wondering how your muscles are still working, personally. Or anything containing keratin or chitin, for that mater....


Is this because the CO2 tanks have a higher energy density than they should or because the propellants have a lower energy density than they should. If the former...:smallamused:

Well, if the CO2 is compressed enough*, then theoretically it's possible that the tanks might have more energy density than the equivalent amount of a given propellent at room temperature. To test this, I sugest figuring out what technology is responsible for filling CO2 canisters and making a nice canister of liquid O2....

*not going to do the math for this one.

Edit: Let's try fluorine gas while we're at it. Just remember to use a nickle or aluminum container! :smallwink:

jindra34
2013-03-24, 08:17 AM
Well, if the CO2 is compressed enough*, then theoretically it's possible that the tanks might have more energy density than the equivalent amount of a given propellent at room temperature. To test this, I sugest figuring out what technology is responsible for filling CO2 canisters and making a nice canister of liquid O2....


Actually compressing CO2 to that level is quite hard do to the fact that it has an easily achievable solid state. Still filling a container with fresh dry ice and then letting it warm up will get quite a boom.

Trekkin
2013-03-24, 08:50 AM
I'm wondering how your muscles are still working, personally. Or anything containing keratin or chitin, for that mater....



Well, if the CO2 is compressed enough*, then theoretically it's possible that the tanks might have more energy density than the equivalent amount of a given propellent at room temperature. To test this, I sugest figuring out what technology is responsible for filling CO2 canisters and making a nice canister of liquid O2....

*not going to do the math for this one.

Edit: Let's try fluorine gas while we're at it. Just remember to use a nickle or aluminum container! :smallwink:

I was simply informed that a 15mm blank round wouldn't have sufficient energy to launch a ~2 kg net any significant distance (meaning tens of meters) because blanks aren't packed with much propellant (???), and that I would be well advised to look into CO2 cartridge propulsion as for the setting's "needler" guns, despite them being canonically subsonic, because "it's a lot harder to jury-rig rounds to accept more propellant than it is to overpressure an airgun".

Now, I've actually gone back and done the math on this, assuming we're using his special super-science nanomaterials that can make thin-walled multi-gigapascal pressure tanks but not stronger fibers than cast iron. Somehow. Modern propellants still out-volumetric-energy-density room-temperature dry ice sublimating while being kept warm (which is apparently how these things work) by a factor of eight.

Feddlefew
2013-03-24, 08:59 AM
I was simply informed that a 15mm blank round wouldn't have sufficient energy to launch a ~3 kg net any significant distance (meaning tens of meters) because blanks aren't packed with much propellant (???), and that I would be well advised to look into CO2 cartridge propulsion as for the setting's "needler" guns, despite them being canonically subsonic, because "it's a lot harder to jury-rig rounds to accept more propellant than it is to overpressure an airgun".

Now, I've actually gone back and done the math on this, assuming we're using his special super-science nanomaterials that can make thin-walled multi-gigapascal pressure tanks but not stronger fibers than cast iron. Somehow. Modern propellants still out-density room-temperature dry ice sublimating while being kept warm (which is apparently how these things work) by a factor of eight.

:smallmad:

"Warm" or "solid" wouldn't be an accurate description of the CO2 at the pressure needed to out preform gunpowder as a propellent- It'd probably be a super critical fluid*.


*Need to check but too lazy and too sleepy to do the math.

Edit: I believe a tiny liquid nitrogen cylinder (or liquid noble gas) could act as a bullet, but it's a terrible idea for reasons that should be obvious.

Tallai
2013-03-24, 08:59 AM
The level of insanity your DM has expressed is nigh-incomprehensible. I'd almost not believe it if it weren't for feeling like I've gamed with them before.

I share the opinion of everyone else here. A part of me wants you to utterly destroy the game world until no fundamental forces of the universe exist in a stable state. Another part thinks he's on the verge of violent lunacy and you really need to get professional help to him.

Though there is one thing that must be considered from the far stronger, far less moral voyeuristic point of view. A Henderson could end this too soon. Before you reach the end! Antagonize the universe, sure, see what you can get away with, but don't reach the point that he leaves in a psychotic huff.

Trekkin
2013-03-24, 09:41 AM
:smallmad:

"Warm" or "solid" wouldn't be an accurate description of the CO2 at the pressure needed to out preform gunpowder as a propellent- It'd probably be a super critical fluid*.


*Need to check but too lazy and too sleepy to do the math.

Edit: I believe a tiny liquid nitrogen cylinder (or liquid noble gas) could act as a bullet, but it's a terrible idea for reasons that should be obvious.

My back-of-the-envelope calculations agree with you; assuming the isothermal case (ha, ha...) it requires around 4 GPa, which at what I'm using for an operating temperature makes CO2 a supercritical fluid.

Exactly where one gets the heat to keep it isothermal, I have no idea.

Feddlefew
2013-03-24, 09:46 AM
My back-of-the-envelope calculations agree with you; assuming the isothermal case (ha, ha...) it requires around 4 GPa, which at what I'm using for an operating temperature makes CO2 a superfluid.

Exactly where one gets the heat to keep it isothermal, I have no idea.

Well, maybe if it's actually being stored in a mini-pocket dimension, then the canister doesn't need to be very strong, and the fact that it's a completely closed system until the cartage is opened (or breached) would help with some of the thermodynamic issues. But at that point I'd just use the cartage itself as a weapon... :smalleek:

Edit: Come to think of it, using a material that creates a pocket dimension would explain how it can contain a massive amount of energy without having much tensile strength. Maybe you could see how much helium you can fit into one of these cartridges?

Trekkin
2013-03-24, 10:06 AM
Well, maybe if it's actually being stored in a mini-pocket dimension, then the canister doesn't need to be very strong, and the fact that it's a completely closed system until the cartage is opened (or breached) would help with some of the thermodynamic issues. But at that point I'd just use the cartage itself as a weapon... :smalleek:

Edit: Come to think of it, using a material that creates a pocket dimension would explain how it can contain a massive amount of energy without having much tensile strength. Maybe you could see how much helium you can fit into one of these cartridges?

Assuming 39700-fold compression is an adabiatic process, sure. :smallsigh: I will be sure to ask him what kind of gas fittings are cheap enough to put one in every clip of light pistol ammunition, yet strong enough to handle ~20,000 K CO2.

And how these are apparently less durable than aluminum.

Feddlefew
2013-03-24, 10:20 AM
Assuming 39700-fold compression is an adabiatic process, sure. :smallsigh: I will be sure to ask him what kind of gas fittings are cheap enough to put one in every clip of light pistol ammunition, yet strong enough to handle ~20,000 K CO2.

And how these are apparently less durable than aluminum.

I admit I haven't taken much physics yet. :smallfrown:

Other good questions: Why doesn't everyone die when these cartridges are used? 20,000 K CO2 translates to about 10,000 cubic meters of CO2 at 1 atm. Assuming that everyone still has functioning (AKA not liquified) lungs after the CO2 is released, why doesn't everyone suffocate? :smallconfused:

randomhero00
2013-03-24, 11:14 AM
I'm no expert, but just out of curiosity why are you using a 15MM machine gun? Far as I know the 15mm round was made obsolete 60 years ago.

PS oh wait, this is cthulu right? that takes place in the 1940s? For some reason I was thinking this was d20 modern.

Mr.D
2013-03-24, 12:19 PM
I love the fact that your DMs utter refusal to lose forces you to go into high-level (to me anyway) physics and chemistry just so you can say "LOOK! Here is the science behind why this HAS to work!"

Trekkin
2013-03-24, 12:27 PM
I'm no expert, but just out of curiosity why are you using a 15MM machine gun? Far as I know the 15mm round was made obsolete 60 years ago.

PS oh wait, this is cthulu right? that takes place in the 1940s? For some reason I was thinking this was d20 modern.

For once, this is not the DM's fault. Cthulhutech core has 15mm pistols.

And neither have I, Feddlefew. I may be completely wrong; my :smallsigh:-ing is simply at how ludicrous the physics for all this end up being, thanks to DM silliness and insistence that science is valid.

Deffers
2013-03-24, 12:40 PM
If it's any consolation, your math LOOKS right to the sophomore petroleum engineering major.

We do a lot of stuff with compressed fluids AND mechanics, as you might imagine. And that looks right.

EDIT: By which I mean, your calculations look right. The rest of this looks terribly, terribly wrong. On so many levels.

Arbane
2013-03-24, 01:07 PM
Now, I've actually gone back and done the math on this,

I think I found part of the problem. You're wasting time on this so-called non-katana-related 'science' and 'math' which he fears and doesn't understand. Try just making some stuff up and see if the GM notices. With his ignorance, cribbing from crank science sites to make things like orgone accumulators, psychotronic projectors, Kirilian aura scanners, and DNA synchronizers will probably be every bit as effective as trying to make real-world devices. You can even point him to websites which 'prove' that they exist and should work!

If you can figure out a way to make them katana-powered, he's almost sure to let them exist.

Mystic Muse
2013-03-24, 01:42 PM
I feel both of these animated images are warranted, given what I've read in this thread.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y202/egregious_girl/gifs/movies%20and%20telly/buffy%20the%20vampire%20slayer/ek25c6.gif

http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/293/590/6f6.gif

I hope you tear this setting to absolute shreds, or at least show this DM how terrible of a DM he's being.

Eldan
2013-03-24, 01:42 PM
He might just be doing it for fun. Taking pseudoscience to ridiculous conclusions using real calculations ca nbe a lot of fun to a scientist.

Kalmageddon
2013-03-24, 01:50 PM
Trekkin, could you answer to my last post?
Still very curious about it.

Trekkin
2013-03-24, 01:56 PM
Working through the logical implications of the pseudoscience is fun for me, yes.

And I would go all-out pseudoscience back, but he's not totally ignorant, despite what his grasp of every scientific principle I've ever thrown at him would indicate. He's an aeronautical engineer, you see, and from what I gather not a horrible one, so I keep trying to drill down to that core of math that I know he has to have and show him that bigger numbers indicate larger quantities than little numbers.

Also: apparently the kevlar issue is still not settled. Now the issue is that, and I quote, "the kevlar would work, though you couldn't make as large a cross section as easily as with metal, which would mean it would break more easily".

I'm not quite sure how he expects us to make monofilament steel wire into a net, but okay...

And yes, Kalmaggeddon. I don't know how I missed it; let me go read it.

EDIT: Honestly, I don't know. Part of me just wants to see how deep the rabbit hole goes; this guy never backs down from anything or admits fault in any way, and against such staggering incompetence, I kind of want to hear his rationalization. Beyond that, we have spoken to him out of game before. If anything, he's more rational/logical about the game when behind a DM screen than at other times; I think he's more at ease there. When we ask outside of game too strenuously, the threat of DM Fiat looms large; we get more minutes of hedging and sort-of-legalese and "clarifying terms" thrown at us the more we ask, and we just get stonewalled. See, he thinks he's an expert at debate, and when that doesn't work, the banhammer does, since he can't drop ninjas on us out of game. I don't know how other games work, but I'm used to fiat being a last-resort option; "Because I, the DM, say so." is the warp core ejection of gaming. This whole method of running a game is so alien to me that I don't really get mad at it anymore until it starts disagreeing with itself. I just work with it.

And yet, outside of game, he's more or less functional, at least for here, that makes me curious, and the game is the only way I can satisfy that curiosity. I have to see what's at the bottom, the grand unifying explanation for why all this makes sense and he's the best DM and game author in the world. It's just such a disconnect from reality, in such an otherwise functional person, that I can't help but want to see how all this ends. At the same time, if I just go meekly along with the plot, I'll never get to see anything more than the thin veneer of unbelievable egotism, and that wouldn't be satisfying at all.

Sith_Happens
2013-03-24, 02:31 PM
He's an aeronautical engineer, you see, and from what I gather not a horrible one,

I'll take your word for it, but remind me to never get in any vehicle that he's worked on.:smalleek:


Also: apparently the kevlar issue is still not settled. Now the issue is that, and I quote, "the kevlar would work, though you couldn't make as large a cross section as easily as with metal, which would mean it would break more easily".

Kevlar nets are a thing you can buy.


I'm not quite sure how he expects us to make monofilament steel wire into a net, but okay...

Which is exactly why you should do it.:smallbiggrin:

Gavinfoxx
2013-03-24, 03:00 PM
Um, could you please ask for a list of things which fly in the air which he has worked on??

Trekkin
2013-03-24, 05:30 PM
Change of plans for people wanting a session recap: the DM has decided to cancel the session. The "main planning person" couldn't make it, so all we had to do was a small mountain of logistics and chemistry and mathematics and tactics...which means no session.

So it will now be a full month and a quarter between the next session and this one. Joy of joys.

Arbane
2013-03-24, 08:02 PM
So it will now be a full month and a quarter between the next session and this one. Joy of joys.


NOOOOooooOOO! We need out fix of unbelievable idiocy! :smallwink:

And I second the request to know what aerospace company this guy works at, so I can stay out of their vehicles.

TuggyNE
2013-03-24, 08:15 PM
And I would go all-out pseudoscience back, but he's not totally ignorant, despite what his grasp of every scientific principle I've ever thrown at him would indicate. He's an aeronautical engineer, you see, and from what I gather not a horrible one, so I keep trying to drill down to that core of math that I know he has to have and show him that bigger numbers indicate larger quantities than little numbers.

So… he's like Jim (http://darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0143.html), except more so, and he's DMing. Nice!

llehctim
2013-03-25, 12:26 AM
I'll take your word for it, but remind me to never get in any vehicle that he's worked on.:smalleek:


No, to be fair, he really is good at what he does, he is just not willing to learn things from other fields for the purposes of playing a game, which to be fair wouldn't be unreasonable on its own, but he should state that instead of trying to out-science the idea with new physical rules.

The other game I am playing with him as a GM (only 2 players left, the other was having fun so i didn't want to ruin it for him so i made a "secondary character" which is one i don't really care about as much, to assist him having fun, because hes started off with alot of bad RPGs where he was ignored/killed off often, so I'ld feel bad ruining his first RPG as a main character) is nearing its conclusion, yay, so mabye I'll have more time for other things, like possibly GMing my own game again.

EDIT: So… he's like Jim, except more so, and he's DMing. Nice!
Yeah that's actually pretty accurate.

Trekkin
2013-03-25, 01:40 AM
Thankfully the guy showed up, so we managed an abbreviated session. In it, I learned the following:

1. The total stocks of kevlar thread of all the vendors in the Great Lakes area total significantly less than four kilometers.

2. There is no wholesale market for kevlar thread, nor surplus, and no manufacturer hangs on to bad batches of it. Do not pass Go, go directly to bulletproof vest manufacture. There exist no nanofabricator templates for it, and the feedstock for it is unavailable.

3. It takes three days to hot-draw aramid fibers.

4. The flying trucks shipping this stuff around are more or less hack-proof; the telemetry to their navigation systems is protected by a better firewall than the one on the government's security cameras. I could believe this one, but...

5. Cargo air traffic to an arcology of several million is directed by CB radio. These have not gotten noticeably more sophisticated in a century of technological development.

5a. The argot of their operators has, however, evolved to such a degree that Trucker is an actual language you need to research to be able to speak convincingly.

5b. I should stop trying to bluff people with whom I can't intelligibly communicate as soon as I realize this.

6. Eight guys with hand trucks can only move about ten kilos of stuff between them in a single trip.

7. Security is so bored in the middle of multiple wars with eldritch horrors that the entire arcology's air traffic control will go on high alert if ten kilos of kevlar get stolen "brazenly".

8. An overhand knot takes two minutes to tie.

And now part 2 of our little adventure:

1. The entirety of the Great Lakes region's netting needs are met by a single tiny factory in downtown Chicago.

2. This factory spends enough on external cameras to outfit a small army.

2a. Despite the ubiquity of suitable aircraft, Fulton skyhooks are completely unheard of. HALO parachutes are similarly no longer a part of the world government's CIA equivalent's arsenal.
2b. There is no air traffic over nighttime Chicago anyway.
2c. Sewer lines don't run that way.
2d. Any security system worth its salt includes seismometers "for PRECISELY that reason".

Note to self: in future, I should ask if the party mage can cast Invisibility first...

3. Net tying machines are some of the loudest pieces of industrial equipment ever made.
3a. Industrial machinery does not come with instructions printed anywhere on it.

4. They also require several kiloamps' current to run. Thankfully Cthulhutech batteries have ludicrous capacities.

I'm reserving judgment on the remainder of the session, as it was essentially half of a conversation, until I can see how it ends.

In case the plot of the session wasn't clear: we made some really strong nets. They are apparently very easily cut, though, because "that's Kevlar for you".

I seem to recall aramid being terrible on scissors.

Unrelated to the actual plot: in 2085, the military has no tactical use for submarines. Or stealth technology.