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gom jabbarwocky
2015-03-01, 01:22 AM
Apparently I have this tendency as a GM to be "mean" about the various stuff owned by the PCs. Weapons break, vehicles get stolen, homes are raided by enemies or blown up. This never seemed like such a big deal to me, since as a player I'd expect no less from a GM. I figure that what makes my character unique isn't their stuff, but their, you know, characteristics and skills. There are exceptions, of course, but, for the most part, I've always had that attitude, and my players are aware of this fact before they game with me. As a player, I'll basically throw away stuff unless I'm sure I'll need it, and my PCs prefer to travel light.

Last session of a game I'm running, one of my newer players majorly botched a roll and as a result her weapon broke, and while she didn't say anything to the effect, seemed super pissed about it. You'd have though I said that her character got her leg lopped off instead. I didn't even make up that the weapon broke, I pointed out that the fumble tables in the book ruled it, but that didn't help my case. Maybe it was just my 'cavalier' attitude toward the event. But what was I supposed to say? It was only a knife, geez.

I've been playing RPGs for almost ten years now and no one ever taught me that this attitude was "wrong." Yet I've come across players on the forums and the like who seem as though they'd rather have their characters die than get their gear broken or taken away, like that's somehow worse or more cruel than maiming or killing a PC. I don't really get this, except that if your PC dies you can just roll up another one with full HP and no sense of self-preservation while if your gear gets broke you just gotta deal with it, 'cause it ain't coming back.

Am I missing something here? I'm bringing this to the forum because I wanted to know how other people here might feel about this subject. Anyone have any stories to tell, or explain to me why I'm wrong? Does anyone feel the same way I do on the issue? Anyone want to tell me that I should be flayed alive for my crimes against players (get in line)?

Sidmen
2015-03-01, 01:35 AM
Quite frankly, yeah. I'd be annoyed if all my stuff was constantly being broken, stolen, blown up, etc.

It depends on the system, but often times things are what players work for. And when you take those things away, you have literally just rendered their efforts moot. If I spent multiple sessions building myself a super cool home complete with koi pond and miniature waterfall - only to have it blown up by the bad guys via DM fiat. Well, why did I bother with any of it.

It can be similar with weapons, though I usually care less about them myself. If I'm playing a Swordsman, then having my sword destroyed in a fashion that stretches believability (which, most of the time, fumble rules that break weapons are). I'm no longer a swordsman, am I? No, I'm some bloke with a backup quarterstaff or knife.

It gets worse when a character puts thought into an object that he or she is carrying. If that was her grandfather's knife, etched with the family coat of arms and painstakingly sharpened every morning as part of a ritual - well, loosing it "because dice" is going to be nothing except irritating.

Sorry if its a ramble, hopefully it helps.

Knaight
2015-03-01, 01:41 AM
This is extremely system dependent. In some editions of D&D, a lot of the equipment is basically a supplemental character power system, and it breaking with any frequency can get irritating. In other games, it can be a running joke that the characters go through a vehicle every session or two, and everyone in the group finds it funny.

Forrestfire
2015-03-01, 01:43 AM
Well, what game were you playing? For example, in D&D 3.5, a significant portion of what makes a character's abilities function is their gear. If you break their gear, you may as well be removing them from the game, especially if it's something unique or something they tried hard to get in-game. Even breaking normal +numbers gear will leave them behind, while, say, chopping off a leg would instead lead to some sort of penalty (the DMG suggests -2 penalties to things, which isn't super debilitating, and Regenerate and robot limbs are cheaper than replacing some centerpiece item), and likely some fun roleplaying opportunities in the meantime.

And really, losing equipment isn't fun. You have fun toys, and the DM broke your toys. This is a different feel from the DM hurting your character, because the character is different. You expect your character to be wounded, or injured, or in grave danger (or killed), and that's part of the fun. The equipment is there often as a side factor to help the character work, and sometimes as an important part of characterization, but overall, in my experience, it's not really thought of as in the line of fire. It's like if you were playing a basketball game and moving to intercept a pass, but instead of throwing the pass, the opposing player ran to the sidelines and threw the basketball at your coach, breaking his nose. It's just not something you'd expect, and not something that's really fair, or right, in the eyes of many (including myself, depending on the game. In 3.5? Don't mess with equipment. Items form too much of a character's power and abilities [especially for the noncasters], and they're incredibly hard to replace if broken unless the DM replaces them).

Now, that's not to say that breaking items has no place. But just like doing something like chopping off a character's leg (which should be something major), breaking important items should be something major. Not the result of a critical fumble (also, shame on you for using critical fumble tables. They are almost universally terrible, turn the game into a bad attempt at slapstick comedy, and are generally designed by people who don't understand the game). If a magic sword is important to a character, and you break it, it should be done by some important event or NPC, with a chance at reforging it into something new, or a small arc for the character to overcome their loss and find some other way to fight. In many games especially D&D, items are just as important as anything else a character has.

Naturally, the majority of this post applies only to D&D and D&D-likes, but even then, you should make sure you're on the same page with your players before doing something like that.

Vitruviansquid
2015-03-01, 02:30 AM
Why can't you just tell your player, after the fight, that she picks up another knife somewhere. Because basically everybody wants to have a knife for cooking, eating and day-to-day life so they are basically being sold everywhere or being given out by anyone isn't a total ******* if you ask nicely enough.

Coidzor
2015-03-01, 02:33 AM
This is extremely system dependent. In some editions of D&D, a lot of the equipment is basically a supplemental character power system, and it breaking with any frequency can get irritating. In other games, it can be a running joke that the characters go through a vehicle every session or two, and everyone in the group finds it funny.

Yes, it entirely depends upon the system and there are systems where destroying the players' stuff all the time is doing it wrong.

Though, I must admit, I've yet to encounter a system where critical fumbles aren't loathed and detrimental, though I suppose there's some possibility that there are such systems somewhere out there.

Well, aside from joke systems, anyway, where the point is failing spectacularly and ludicrously, similar to how Paranoia is played in order to see who can die in the most humorous and/or humiliating ways possible.

jaydubs
2015-03-01, 02:49 AM
Most people like to play competent, capable, extraordinary characters. Not sub-par, incompetent, perennially lagging characters. So as a general rule, long-term penalties are going to irritate a significant portion of players. The issue with destroying gear is that in a lot of systems, gear has a huge impact on character ability. So wiping out equipment is the equivalent of placing permanent handicaps on those characters.

That said, if you're playing a system where equipment doesn't play a huge role in character ability, or where most equipment is easy to replace (i.e. D&D 5e without magic items), it's much less of an issue.

But let's turn the question around. What, specifically, are you trying to accomplish by going after PC equipment and property? Do you think your pool of players would have less fun if you didn't destroy their stuff? If no, why are you doing it?

I'll also drop this thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?385992-DM-s-who-want-you-to-Roleplay-but-can-only-say-quot-No-quot) here, in case it's relevant. Wherein several forumites make the argument that "bad stuff happens to PCs" should never be the goal in-and-of-itself. Rather, it's but one of several tools, to be used with care in order to make for a more entertaining game. Or alternatively, a side-effect of the actually important "challenge your PCs" DM responsibility.

hymer
2015-03-01, 03:39 AM
But what was I supposed to say? It was only a knife, geez.

Yeah, that attitude from a DM can certainly be galling.
People have been very polite so far in this thread, but I'll go a little different:
I'm with the players here. There is no better yardstick for a game's performance than whether fun (and not necessarily 'ha-ha' kinda fun) is had. You seem bewildered that penalizing players and not taking their emotions into consideration is not fun for them.
Sit down and talk it out with your players. And don't belittle their feelings, or call the rules in to cover for players not having fun. Hear what they have to say and get on the same page about the game.

Karl Aegis
2015-03-01, 04:25 AM
You're playing with critical fumble rules. Every character should have failed so spectacularly they shouldn't be relevant to the story. It strains belief that they avoided the mishap when they've had more than enough chances.

Coidzor
2015-03-01, 06:44 AM
Yeah, that attitude from a DM can certainly be galling.
People have been very polite so far in this thread, but I'll go a little different:
I'm with the players here. There is no better yardstick for a game's performance than whether fun (and not necessarily 'ha-ha' kinda fun) is had. You seem bewildered that penalizing players and not taking their emotions into consideration is not fun for them.
Sit down and talk it out with your players. And don't belittle their feelings, or call the rules in to cover for players not having fun. Hear what they have to say and get on the same page about the game.

Yeah, being actively callous or even just a cold fish doesn't do a DM any favors.

mephnick
2015-03-01, 07:51 AM
It depends entirely on your group and the expectations you've laid out for them. Even in 3.5 you can have a gritty "realistic" (what a stupid term) game where weapons get broken and homes get torched. That's fine, if your players agree to it and are given the opportunity to prepare for such a game. If I knew item degradation was a huge part of the campaign, I'd like the chance to play a character that can build or mend equipment, something I'd never consider in a generic game.

Did you have a session zero? In this session did you tell your players that nothing is safe and that their toys/friends/spirits will be broken, and that harsh critical fumble rules apply?

Strigon
2015-03-01, 08:25 AM
The thing about most RPGs is that many characters are only as good as their equipment. Sure, the extra stats/skills/whatever you get from levelling up is pretty nice, but nothing feels better than finding a +3 sword of awesome at the end of a dungeon.
Likewise, nothing feels worse than losing that same sword because of rolling low once or twice. If you must play with fumbles, hurt the characters; nothing absurd, like chopping all of their limbs off, but going into town and getting healed/getting a replacement arm is far easier than replacing your favourite piece of loot.
Now, that's not to say every piece of loot should stay until your players let it go - stealing something from the players can motivate them quite effectively* - but the differences lie in both the frequency with which it happened (your players should be able to say "Hey, remember that time X lost his favourite toy and we had to get it back?", and everyone should be able to clearly recall the incident>), and the ability to get it back, preferably with a nice little bonus at the end for their trouble.

*Note: Some players get very attached to their gear. In this case, it'll be far more likely to get them mad at you, which is a very different scenario from their characters being mad at the thief. Exercise caution when using this technique.

Maglubiyet
2015-03-01, 09:28 AM
Weapons break, vehicles get stolen, homes are raided by enemies or blown up. This never seemed like such a big deal to me

I'm betting you're not the oldest child in your family.

Kid Jake
2015-03-01, 12:20 PM
I'm betting you're not the oldest child in your family.

As the oldest child in my family, I can verify that both of my sisters' stuff used to break all the time. Dolls, craft projects, etc.... It was hilarious mysterious.

Knaight
2015-03-01, 01:07 PM
Though, I must admit, I've yet to encounter a system where critical fumbles aren't loathed and detrimental, though I suppose there's some possibility that there are such systems somewhere out there.

This does get into why things are breaking. Your shield breaking because you just used it to block an incoming sword from a three meter tall monstrosity of a golem? That's often something that can be pretty cool. Your shield breaking because you tripped and landed on it weird? Less so. I'm generally not too fond of fumbles, though I have seen them incorporated into games in an effective way (more with guns jamming than anything else, though I have GMed a game where the characters were versatile martial artists, the weapons tended to be wooden, and it was entirely common to break a staff over someone's head then have to fight unarmed for a while - because of the conceit of the game, that wasn't ever an issue).

To use a non-fumble item breaking example from one of my games, I ran a game which was about a bunch of futuristic treasure hunters trying to track down El Dorado - before the demons found it. Their big material assets were their armor, their weapons, and their jeep. The armor and weapons generally came through the game okay, but the jeeps were getting destroyed all the time. There was the one which fell into a canyon when the bridge was blown out from under it - the PCs ended up having to leap for the edge while it fell. There was the one that took a hellfire ball dead center when a very good fire roll went up against a pretty terrible driving roll, and had all of its moving metal parts welded together into not moving metal parts. There was the one that got buried under a rock slide.

It quickly became a running joke, and everyone involved had fun with it. It helped that replacements weren't too terribly difficult to come by, and it certainly helped that they went out in a particularly cinematic fashion. Contrast something like all the magical equipment of a D&D party being hit with Mordenkain's Disjunction. It's not cinematic, it's ridiculously hard to replace, and it's generally just irritating.

Darth Ultron
2015-03-01, 02:16 PM
There is a type of game, lets call them materialists, who think they should never loose any objects or equipment. They are the type of person who is more playing the roll side of the game and don't go for the idea of role playing in the games alternate reality. They really do obsess over the +1 an item gives a character to a roll.

I play a lot more in the alternate reality style: When a character falls off a bridge they will drop things, when they get captured they will loose things and sometimes an enemy might even target their stuff. And this can lead to so very upset players. And the big problem is that it's hard to prepare for....

Should the GM say ''sigh, ok, just to make it clear before we start the game. I believe in the idea of game reality. And part of that is your character might loose some or all of their stuff , depending on the game reality of the situation.'' Most players will just nod and think that ''it will never happen'' or ''only happen once in a while, like once every ten games''. Then an hour later the player is all upset when the guards lock the character in a cell and take away the characters weapons.

I've had much more fun in games losing items then the type that are like ''you swim to shore....and find your sword laying on the beach, guess the tied brought it in....''

VincentTakeda
2015-03-01, 04:39 PM
I do have mixed feelings all over the place for this one.

In the real world if I have an heirloom katana and an nsx, things that I place emotional value on, I'd never use the katana in combat or drive the nsx into a bad neighborhood. You are careful with the things you care about so one might assume that if she's got a knife she cared about, she wouldnt be using it in fights...

But in a fantasy game or cinematic game you'd rather be able to use the legacy sword of your people without worrying about it being destroyed in a bad roll... You'd rather be able to drive your cool toys into battle...

Yoda's light saber gets plot immunity but lukes blue one? Nope. Had to make a new green one. And having to make a new saber is actually kinda cool in that context... Just part of being a jedi... Indiana Jones's hat? Quite the opposite... He makes some pretty foolishly dangerous choices to protect his fedora.

So I swing both ways pretty strongly from moment to moment. Given the choice, I want my toys to survive, but if the system isn't designed to let my toys survive... I kinda talk myself out of having an emotional attatchment to them. In a world where cars are being destroyed every day, I wouldnt even own an nsx. And not every time, but a lot of times, thats less cool than a campaign where I can have and use my cool things with impunity. But in a system where stuff breaks often and arbitrarily? Not really a good option.

Best to either not care to start with, or to make 'fixing the blade' an important story element. If her knife had broken as a result of being used to block a deadly incoming blow? Yeah. Her heirloom blade saved her life... Took one for the team. That's its own kinda special.

I do feel like replacability/repairability is pertinent... If I could get hand crafted folded katanas ad nauseum from a local shop, i'd be less angsty about breaking one now and then. If its a zombie apocalypse and I'm in a neighborhood that has no other humans and a ferrari dealership i'm going to be pretty cavalier about wrecking ferraris for a while... We didnt feel bad about Dean's metallicar getting seriously banged up because we trust Dean to put it back together... Good as new.

Knaight
2015-03-01, 05:04 PM
There is a type of game, lets call them materialists, who think they should never loose any objects or equipment. They are the type of person who is more playing the roll side of the game and don't go for the idea of role playing in the games alternate reality. They really do obsess over the +1 an item gives a character to a roll.

There are also people who feel that a particular thing a character has is a major component of the character, and who consider the loss of that thing to something like a fumble table a problem. King Arthur as a character is defined partially by his relationship to two items - Excalibur, and the grail. Excalibur being easily lost would undercut the character. The grail being easily found would undercut the character. A player playing a character like that can easily take the same approach, and it's not unreasonable, nor does it make them a rollplayer.

Then there's the matter of the system. If the system assumption is that stuff is impermanent, fortunes will be squandered, and that there's a fragility to most things in the environments the characters deal in, basically nobody is going to have an issue with their stuff breaking. People won't make characters which are at all defined by (or even which have any real relation to) a particular thing. If the system assumptions are exactly not that, there can be an issue.

Gritmonger
2015-03-01, 06:32 PM
I'm going to say it depends on the tone of the game.

Losing stuff for no reason, probably not a tone most people would strive for.

But if you want an enemy that the players will really, really hate: have the enemy break their stuff.

I think it's partly the "why." If it's for no reason, it can get to be a bit much. If it's due to carelessness ("I swear I left my car here... right near where the mission was... and the bad-guys had seen it before... whoops...) or deliberate acts (I have twice sacrificed vehicles that I dearly, dearly loved to take out enemies) or as part of a "loss" instead of a "broken" (I might be able to get it back) or the theme of the game is one of being hard-luck characters...

But to say that a GM should never break anybody's stuff - in point-buy systems, the "equipment" very often is something you buy with the understanding that it's so "cheap" points-wise because it is expected to be broken, or taken away, or sacrificed, or lost.

tl;dr: If you break it, really mean it. Losing it for no reason is just galling because there's no reason, narratively, for it to be lost. It's like random encounter tables. They can be used, but shouldn't substitute for narrative flow.

PurpleSocks
2015-03-01, 06:32 PM
One of my first campaigns with my regular group of players, I had all of their boots and 14gp stolen from them while they slept in a fairly trashy inn.

The rest of The campaign degenerated into a mad revenge rampage against some low-level cutpurses (who had to eventually be restatted into a thieves guild of awesome in order to provide a challenge) so they could get their boots back. My PC's literally spent thousands of gold, killed dozens of mooks and ruined my elaborately planned campaign because I decided to **** with them and steal 5 pairs of boots and 14 gold pieces.

So I dont mess with my players belongings anymore.

Kid Jake
2015-03-01, 06:38 PM
One of my first campaigns with my regular group of players, I had all of their boots and 14gp stolen from them while they slept in a fairly trashy inn.

The rest of The campaign degenerated into a mad revenge rampage against some low-level cutpurses (who had to eventually be restatted into a thieves guild of awesome in order to provide a challenge) so they could get their boots back. My PC's literally spent thousands of gold, killed dozens of mooks and ruined my elaborately planned campaign because I decided to **** with them and steal 5 pairs of boots and 14 gold pieces.

So I dont mess with my players belongings anymore.

Kill a PC's father? Well that's just the cost of doing business.
Steal a PC's boots? Now it's personal.

Mr Beer
2015-03-01, 09:34 PM
One of my first campaigns with my regular group of players, I had all of their boots and 14gp stolen from them while they slept in a fairly trashy inn.

The rest of The campaign degenerated into a mad revenge rampage against some low-level cutpurses (who had to eventually be restatted into a thieves guild of awesome in order to provide a challenge) so they could get their boots back. My PC's literally spent thousands of gold, killed dozens of mooks and ruined my elaborately planned campaign because I decided to **** with them and steal 5 pairs of boots and 14 gold pieces.

So I dont mess with my players belongings anymore.

That's great, I would make boot theft a recurring theme if it's going to reliably send them into badass vengeance mode.

Darth Ultron
2015-03-01, 10:50 PM
King Arthur as a character is defined partially by his relationship to two items - Excalibur, and the grail. Excalibur being easily lost would undercut the character. The grail being easily found would undercut the character. A player playing a character like that can easily take the same approach, and it's not unreasonable, nor does it make them a rollplayer.

Well, the first problem is where the player will equate ''any item there character wants/needs'' with ''Excalibur''. The archer with the normal mundane bow thinking that they have the equal of Excalibur. And that is just for mundane items. It get's worse when it's a special item. But even a special items does not come close to ''Excalibur''.

And saying ''every magic or special item my character finds is equal in importance to the legendary artifact sword Excalibur'' is just weird.



Then there's the matter of the system. If the system assumption is that stuff is impermanent, fortunes will be squandered, and that there's a fragility to most things in the environments the characters deal in, basically nobody is going to have an issue with their stuff breaking. People won't make characters which are at all defined by (or even which have any real relation to) a particular thing. If the system assumptions are exactly not that, there can be an issue.

I'm not a fan of the System Complain.

BootStrapTommy
2015-03-01, 11:03 PM
Kill a PC's father? Well that's just the cost of doing business.
Steal a PC's boots? Now it's personal.
Could I by chance Sig this?

Kid Jake
2015-03-01, 11:24 PM
Have at it. :smalltongue:

Slipperychicken
2015-03-02, 12:00 AM
-snip-

To be fair to your players, having your stuff broken or stolen IRL can be really annoying too. Our possessions and territory (i.e. any area or thing thought of as belonging to us, including personal space) are a big part of our identity. I know I'd be pissed as hell if someone screwed with my computer or my walllet. Even messing with my bed would probably get a reaction, and I don't even own it.


Secondly, the people you're hearing are almost certainly playing 3.X, where a PC's +2 Special Weapon can easily be worth more than his own life. As in, a strong magic weapon (or a handful of medium-powered weapons) can literally cost more than being raised from the dead.

Thirdly, there's a mentality among 3.x players (particularly newbies, but veterans sometimes face it too) regarding consumables and equipment, which I think is caused partly by WBL and items' central role in character progression. It's like XP that you keep in your wallet. There's a feeling that you're only going to get so much money over the course of a campaign, which means you can only progress so much. Any loss, no matter how small, and no matter the cause, constitutes irreparable damage to your character and must be avenged or recovered. Heaven have mercy on the thief who steals a PCs' magic item and gets caught by him. I have personally come very close to having my PCs maim people over petty theft.

Pex
2015-03-02, 12:33 AM
No equipment in the game exists without the DM's permission, especially magic items. When a PC gets a magic item, it's something he's earned. Doesn't matter if it's found in a treasure hoard or purchased with gold pieces found in a treasure hoard. XP is metagame accomplishment. Treasure is in game accomplishment. When the DM targets the equipment/magic items, players can feel the DM is targeting them to take away their accomplishment. It's not logical, but that's the way it is. That sense of loss is excruciating.

If the loss of an item is a logical consequence of happenstance of an adventure, that sense of loss is diminished. Players accept it as part of the game. However, too many happenstances and the players know the DM is doing it on purpose. Then it becomes a DM vs Player thing, and players will become upset. A DM purposely targeting equipment/magic items is also a DM vs Player thing. The DM gave it to them and now taking it away means the DM is toying with the players, and players will resent the manipulation.

BootStrapTommy
2015-03-02, 12:42 AM
There are a few thing on which the Playground seems to agree. This seems to be one of those things.

goto124
2015-03-02, 01:36 AM
Wait for it... :smalltongue:

BWR
2015-03-02, 01:37 AM
Expectations of the game varies from person to person. I full agree with object impermanence in general, but there is a limit. If I was breaking weapons or armor every combat or losing random items or money purses every single time I entered a town, if his horse disappeared every time my PC turned his back, if my Staff of the Magi was always taken in my sleep, I'd be pissed.
Having the GM say something like 'mundane gear like weapons and armor need to regularly maintained or replaced or they will break in combat' is fine. A little extra resource management and expense, it's true, but I'm the kind of player who will deduct maintenance costs on a regular basis anyway. Likewise, some enterprising thieves trying their luck and stealing from low-level PCs every now and then is fine. A master thief who specializes in stealing from the ridiculously well-armed and obviously extremely dangerous group of superheroes is fine as a once or twice in a campaign event.

Thing is, it shouldn't happen all the time. Magical items should generally not need to worry about damage from regular use. Most thieves will not try to steal or rob from heavily armed, borderline psychotic mercenaries unless they are desperate. Most really powerful thieves have better things to do that steal from a group of people who will probably find them and kill them pretty easily.

BootStrapTommy
2015-03-02, 01:52 AM
Wait for it... :smalltongue:
Shhhhhh!!! I'm trying to coax them out of hiding!

VincentTakeda
2015-03-02, 02:10 AM
You cant imagine the flack I've recently received over on another website for suggesting that a particular game creates a mindset in its players.

Coidzor
2015-03-02, 02:23 AM
You cant imagine the flack I've recently received over on another website for suggesting that a particular game creates a mindset in its players.

Expectations of the game and all that rot.

Slipperychicken
2015-03-02, 02:51 AM
Thing is, it shouldn't happen all the time. Magical items should generally not need to worry about damage from regular use. Most thieves will not try to steal or rob from heavily armed, borderline psychotic mercenaries unless they are desperate. Most really powerful thieves have better things to do that steal from a group of people who will probably find them and kill them pretty easily.

This. Insipid minimums, I only need five characters for this post!

Deophaun
2015-03-02, 02:55 AM
Kill a PC's father? Well that's just the cost of doing business.
Steal a PC's boots? Now it's personal.
Or, as a certain Florentine put it

A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair.

Knaight
2015-03-02, 03:47 AM
Well, the first problem is where the player will equate ''any item there character wants/needs'' with ''Excalibur''. The archer with the normal mundane bow thinking that they have the equal of Excalibur. And that is just for mundane items. It get's worse when it's a special item. But even a special items does not come close to ''Excalibur''.
Some special items are pretty character defining. That generic bow in question almost certainly isn't (it could be, but it takes some serious contrivance to get to that point, involving either the bow being the only piece of wood for a good long way and irreplaceable or time travel). Excalibur is an extreme case of a character defining special item, but it's hardly the only one. For instance, the horse Red Hare is another item tied deeply into the narrative of a character. Narsil is kind of a big deal. The Silamarillions eventually were destroyed, and it's worth noting that it wasn't from some sort of random fumble.


And saying ''every magic or special item my character finds is equal in importance to the legendary artifact sword Excalibur'' is just weird.
Good thing nobody said this then.


I'm not a fan of the System Complain.
Bully for you. I'm not a fan of pretending that dramatically different systems don't influence how the game is played.

Dimers
2015-03-02, 03:58 AM
I figure that what makes my character unique isn't their stuff, but their, you know, characteristics and skills.

"Unique" is nice! So is "effective", in most games. Depending on the system and build, "effective" might require belongings. "Unique" is easier to come by.


I've always had that attitude, and my players are aware of this fact before they game with me. ... one of my newer players majorly botched a roll ...

Heart of the problem. New player, doesn't know your playstyle yet. It's a communication issue in this case.


Am I missing something here? I'm bringing this to the forum because I wanted to know how other people here might feel about this subject. Anyone have any stories to tell, or explain to me why I'm wrong? Does anyone feel the same way I do on the issue? Anyone want to tell me that I should be flayed alive for my crimes against players (get in line)?

You're not wrong, you're not right either, ditto for the player. Differing expectations.

I do have a story to tell. I played in Deadlands once -- not a very stuff-oriented game in general, but I built the character around owning a tavern/bordello as a 'home base' for the group. It was also important because of the game conceit that spreading tales of defeating monsters is how you make the world a better place, and the tavern was the place where that would happen in this game. I invested lots of build resources in it; the character had no way to shine other than that, weak in combat, not stealthy, not knowledgeable. The GM burned it to the ground in session 1. Completely by fiat, on a whim, and despite the efforts of the party to save it. Sooooo ... now I'm supposed to be a nobody for the rest of the campaign? I'm supposed to take a back seat to every other player in every scene? The character already had a bum leg; the loss of the building was far more crippling. It was not fun. It did not make for a good game in any way.

Coidzor
2015-03-02, 04:58 AM
You're not wrong, you're not right either, ditto for the player. Differing expectations.

You don't know that. You can't know that unless you have information about the situation that the OP neglected to mention which you'd like to share with the rest of the class.

Skaven
2015-03-02, 05:13 AM
I'm of two minds about the issue.

if its a deliberate thing that just keeps happening to mess with the players: I think its a poor thing to do. I try and play these games like a story, and I don't recall the fellowship of the ring or Garion's party in the Belgariad having to replace their swords and bows every other scene.

It should be reserved for key moments where its a plot point. In those moments its fine. So long as the party have a way to recover from it, even if its by quest.

There have been games where I am basically really wanting the party to lose most of their stuff. If you play from 1-10+ you accumulate a lot of stuff during the course of your adventures and since WBL is slow and incremental you basically end up with a LOT of weenie items and other superfluous junk that you just hang on to.

Satinavian
2015-03-02, 07:12 AM
Equipment should not in principle be immune, but in many situations. There are three cases :



If it is reasonable easy to come by and there is no emotional etachement, it is simply part of the game to comne and go. Immunity does nt serve ayny purpose then.

But if it is expensive and not easy to replace, it should only be at risk, if willingly put at risk. Still part of the game, but here it is meaningful and should be treated as such. Risk per default mode like via fumble rules usually is a bad idea. It's annoying, random and you can't do anything about it. Deliberately targetting by the GM is even worse as it drives home the message, who makes the important decisions at the table and that all achievements by the chars only exist by GMs will. There are few things poinoning the climate more.

Now there comes the items with emotional attachement. Those should really be immune, expect the players decides otherwise. Because they define the character and losing them will change the whole character concept.
Without immunity here, you won't get emotional invested PCs and players regarding items. But then again, cool items and signature items are so an important part of many many stories, that you usually won't make it impossible in your game. Exactly the opposite, you usually want to encourage it.

I figure that what makes my character unique isn't their stuff, but their, you know, characteristics and skills.
Sometimes it is the stuff. Of course, players knowing your attitude won't build characters with important stuff. So it is quike reasonable that most stuff in your game is unimportant, everyone knows this and you haven't encountered any issues so far.

Knaight
2015-03-02, 03:03 PM
f its a deliberate thing that just keeps happening to mess with the players: I think its a poor thing to do. I try and play these games like a story, and I don't recall the fellowship of the ring or Garion's party in the Belgariad having to replace their swords and bows every other scene.

On the other hand, Conan goes through weapons and armor like nobody's business, Le Morte d'Arthur has armor get habitually shredded, so on and so forth. Shields in particular break in a number of stories. It really depends on what the story is, which is yet another reason for this sort of thing to be game dependent.

Beta Centauri
2015-03-02, 03:21 PM
You're wrong because you expect everyone to feel the same way you do.

For whatever reason, this person clearly did not. You can tell them how you think they should feel about it, but that isn't necessarily going to make them feel that way. You might make progress by acknowledging how the player feels and seeing if there's something about the game that could help them feel the same way. For instance, I wouldn't find losing my character's stuff to be a big deal, as long as I knew that there would be more stuff available when I needed it. Oh, my car was wrecked? I'll take another one when we're leaving, but that's not my concern right now.

But whatever. The point is that it's going to be necessary to see things how your players see them and address them from that angle, not from the angle of how your see them.

BootStrapTommy
2015-03-02, 03:32 PM
If its a deliberate thing that just keeps happening to mess with the players: I think its a poor thing to do. I try and play these games like a story, and I don't recall the fellowship of the ring or Garion's party in the Belgariad having to replace their swords and bows every other scene. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Aragorn have to fix his ancestor's broken sword at one point? >.>

Sliver
2015-03-02, 03:39 PM
Acting surprised that someone can have a specific opinion, such as disliking their equipment being destroyed by fumbles, is rather condescending. Regardless of my current position, whether I share your opinion or not, at some point I might be holding an opposing opinion and having someone tell me "am I missing something? I'm just trying to understand how you can have this opinion" is rather off-putting. If my DM behaves that way? I'll be wary of him, as that's not a behavior that indicates open-mindedness.

Regarding your actual question: Depends on the system and expectations of the players, along with the extent to which it happens.

Kid Jake
2015-03-02, 04:32 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Aragorn have to fix his ancestor's broken sword at one point? >.>

True but that was just how he obtained his awesome magic weapon, once it was in his possession though he didn't fumble while fighting an orc and proceed to trip and drop it off the side of a cliff.

Sith_Happens
2015-03-02, 05:40 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Aragorn have to fix his ancestor's broken sword at one point? >.>

That one came pre-broken, which isn't the same thing at all.

Acacia OnnaStik
2015-03-02, 06:23 PM
That one came pre-broken, which isn't the same thing at all.

And when it originally broke, it was part of Elendil's dramatic heroic death while helping to defeat an evil demigod. Not some random meaningless fumble.

HolyCouncilMagi
2015-03-02, 06:24 PM
Just going to mirror everybody else and say it depends on the type and tone of the game, and the player expectations thereof (which really ought to match, if you're doing your job as a GM).

If you're playing Paranoia or World of Darkness, yeah, your stuff getting broken and you getting completely screwed by that fact is an expected part of the game. In Paranoia's case, it's black comedy; in WoD, it's because it's super gritty and the idea is that you need to be super careful and lucky to avoid dying by every little thing. In games like Ars Magica, most LotR games, and kinda-sorta D&D (though D&D items tend to feel very generic and replaceable in games where the level of fantasy actually matches the core assumptions) it would be unreasonable to expect important items to break unless either plot happens or you're really careless with them, because it's high-fantasy and either you've put a lot of resources towards the acquisition of the item, or the item largely defines your character (possibly both simultaneously, in the sense that a character could be defined not by the item itself, but by their journey to acquire it... In which case if it randomly breaks, the character has still grown, but you've also invalidated their effort from an emotional perspective).

D&D, because it's popular in RPG terms and thus much easier to find players for at Ye Local Game Shoppe (nobody correct me, dang it, I know that isn't grammatically correct), tends to be a big case of "square peg, round hole," with DMs forcing game tones and styles that aren't really appropriate to the game in because they want/need to play D&D, instead of going for a game more suited to the intended style.

This also applies to other locally popular games, which might be the case for what you're playing.

In which case, regardless of whether you or your player are the guilty parties, there's probably been a divide between what the game in question is actually intended for and what the person usually misapplies it towards.

Coidzor
2015-03-02, 08:08 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Aragorn have to fix his ancestor's broken sword at one point? >.>

Completely different situation. He didn't have it as a whole weapon and get it broken, it was broken long before he or his father's father were born, and he got the reforged weapon in Rivendell before embarking upon the quest of the fellowship of the ring. So basically it was a fluffy quest reward for managing to get all of the hobbits to Rivendell mostly intact. Also, a plot token. And if it had been broken at other points in the story due to random happenstance, it would have severely borked up the plot of the books.

He also got a scabbard in Lothlorien that had a magical property to prevent the sword from ever breaking in combat again, IIRC, though I may be muddling movie canon and book canon on this point, but, then, in the movies he didn't even get the sword until well after Lothlorien.

Talakeal
2015-03-02, 09:06 PM
Players are ridiculously attached to their loot. It is irrational and unrealistic, but it is a fact. I blame loss aversion myself; players will scream bloody murder if you take even the smallest copper from them. Spoony has a whole video about how a DM can use this to his advantage in railroading the PCs as if you have someone steal from them they will follow them to the ends of the Earth and thus the DM can easily lead them wherever he wants.

One thing that is kind of stupid in a lot of modern RPGs (particularly D&D 3.X) is that character power is tied to wealth and the game assumes a certain level of wealth. I don't like it, but I personally can't think of a good carrot and stick system that doesn't revolve around treasure vs. expenses so I kept it in my system.

As a player I have a few objects that are actually important to my character for sentimental reasons. I need to break my attachment to them, as I know they are only transitory, but that is easier said than done both in and out of character.

My current DM is of the mindset that it is the DM's job to rob and ransack anything the players own. He is boggled when I tell stories of the wealth that previous characters have had and he finds it incomprehensible that a player would have a magic item for more than a few levels as SOMEONE is bound to steal it. Of course, he also believes that your own superiors will regularly demand tithes in the form of the party's most powerful items and declare them heretic / outlaws and change their alignment to CE if they refuse.

Coidzor
2015-03-02, 11:24 PM
As a player I have a few objects that are actually important to my character for sentimental reasons. I need to break my attachment to them, as I know they are only transitory, but that is easier said than done both in and out of character.

Yeah, no, trying to play a game where your dice are randomly taken away from you by the DM but you're still expected to roll is just going to end poorly.

Also, that's pretty sketchy and borderline theft if not just actual petty theft for a GM to seize player's books, dice, miniatures, writing implements, paper, notebooks, backpacks, laptops, etc. over the course of a session.


My current DM is of the mindset that it is the players job to rob and ransack anything the players own.

The players have it as their job to rob and ransack anything they own? :smalltongue:

Slipperychicken
2015-03-03, 12:07 AM
The players have it as their job to rob and ransack anything they own? :smalltongue:

I sometimes feel like I'm ransacking my own room when I get ready to head out for a D&D game. Between all the books, computer equipment,battlemat, and other accessories, it feels like I'm looting everything of value.

Fiery Diamond
2015-03-03, 12:11 AM
Yeah, no, trying to play a game where your dice are randomly taken away from you by the DM but you're still expected to roll is just going to end poorly.

Also, that's pretty sketchy and borderline theft if not just actual petty theft for a GM to seize player's books, dice, miniatures, writing implements, paper, notebooks, backpacks, laptops, etc. over the course of a session.

Where in the world are you getting this from? I didn't see any reference to this in Talakeal's post. Talakeal was saying that it's difficult to break emotional attachment to the character's objects which have such attachment both in-character (it's difficult for the character to break emotional attachment) and out-of-character (it's difficult for Talakeal the player to break emotional attachment to Talakeal's character's objects).

HolyCouncilMagi
2015-03-03, 12:34 AM
and change their alignment to CE if they refuse.

Oh hey, look. It's not even the point of the thread and we have another example of the bad things that happen because the game designers weren't smart enough to take alignment out of the system. Though this seems especially dumb... He'll seriously insta-change your alignment to CE if you don't give some high-level NPC your items on demand? Does he even have the barest clue how this whole alignment thing works??? (insofar as it does)

Coidzor
2015-03-03, 01:16 AM
Where in the world are you getting this from?

He invoked himself as the player separate from the character, I thought it would be both amusing and potentially even personally pertinent for him to draw the parallel with other materials necessary to play the game.

It was that or directly address with his internalized notion that desire is the root of all suffering when it comes to gaming, which is a can of worms I don't really want to try to dissect given the board rules.

goto124
2015-03-03, 01:31 AM
Oh hey, look. It's not even the point of the thread and we have another example of the bad things that happen because the game designers weren't smart enough to take alignment out of the system. Though this seems especially dumb... He'll seriously insta-change your alignment to CE if you don't give some high-level NPC your items on demand? Does he even have the barest clue how this whole alignment thing works??? (insofar as it does)

This was discussed in another thread before. You're more or less right.

Frozen_Feet
2015-03-03, 06:24 AM
There's a logistics minigame built into the root of traditional RPGs, and managing your equipment is part of it. Anyone who gets into a game expecting and accepting their characters could get wounded, but expects equipment to be sacrosanct, is Doing It Wrong. Likewise, anyone who thinks losing a particularly nifty item equates to being removed from the game is Doing It Wrong. As long as the character can do anything at all, they're still in the game, can affects its outcomes and can gain new equipment. If your character's personality revolves around a certain item, then you accept that their character might be forced to change if something bad happens to it. People mentioned Excalibur, but as far as I remember, that damn thing actually got stolen once and its sheath, you know, the thing that granted Arthur invulnerability, was lost permanently. It was sort of, shall we say, plot point.

And that's what whatever bad happening to your equipment is - a plot point. Plot points aren't always "fun", and they don't need to be - they only need to be drive forth the story and create new situations. Refusing to deal with these situations and throwing up your hands thinking its the end of the game is usually a sign of a sore loser. Not always, though - sometimes, forfeit is perfectly realistic and acceptable choice that furthers the game in its own way. A rough guideline for realizing which one is happening is observing whether it's player quitting the game, or the character quitting the adventure.

The cure for being irrationally attached to your items (or characters, for that matter) is for the players to play few dozen attempts of Nethack, ADOM, Angband or any other roguelike. :smalltongue:

Sliver
2015-03-03, 06:45 AM
Doing It Wrong.

So you are saying that there is a Right and Wrong way to play and enjoy a game, huh?

Coidzor
2015-03-03, 07:11 AM
There's a logistics minigame built into the root of traditional RPGs, and managing your equipment is part of it.

Meaning that losing a massive chunk of your equipment is going to throw your character for a loop, yes.


Anyone who gets into a game expecting and accepting their characters could get wounded, but expects equipment to be sacrosanct, is Doing It Wrong.

If the game is predicated upon having equipment and being able to use it, then equipment should be available to replace what is lost with analogous equipment. That is most definitely not doing it wrong. :smalltongue:


Likewise, anyone who thinks losing a particularly nifty item equates to being removed from the game is Doing It Wrong.

Well that's just needlessly and baselessly absolutist. :smalltongue: There are many game systems where losing an item of central importance can make a character useless either in the short term or until they've recovered the item or created a replacement for it. It's not Doing it Wrong to acknowledge the possibility.


As long as the character can do anything at all, they're still in the game, can affects its outcomes and can gain new equipment.

Incorrect, or at least, inaccurate. Being able to do anything at all is not the same as being able to meaningfully affect the outcome of the game in all game systems. In D&D 3.5, for example, a level 1 Commoner can take actions, but they're not going to be able to meaningfully impact the outcomes of situations past a certain level threshold.


If your character's personality revolves around a certain item, then you accept that their character might be forced to change if something bad happens to it.

And that the GM had better have a damned good reason for messing with it if it's important and plot relevant, and not make it a recurring theme to the point where it becomes tiresome.


People mentioned Excalibur, but as far as I remember, that damn thing actually got stolen once and its sheath, you know, the thing that granted Arthur invulnerability, was lost permanently. It was sort of, shall we say, plot point.

Yes. It was a plot point, not mere randomness or banality. It had significance and wasn't overplayed.


And that's what whatever bad happening to your equipment is - a plot point.

Not necessarily. Critical fumble rules, for example, are decidedly not a plot point. They're random happenstance.

Also, one has to remember not to conflate an open-ended game with a written and completed story.


Plot points aren't always "fun", and they don't need to be - they only need to be drive forth the story and create new situations. Refusing to deal with these situations and throwing up your hands thinking its the end of the game is usually a sign of a sore loser. Not always, though - sometimes, forfeit is perfectly realistic and acceptable choice that furthers the game in its own way. A rough guideline for realizing which one is happening is observing whether it's player quitting the game, or the character quitting the adventure.

If you're having a lot of players quit your games, you're the one Doing It Wrong. :smalltongue:

They might be too, but you're the one letting people join your table and communicating the expectations of the game to them prior to play.


The cure for being irrationally attached to your items (or characters, for that matter) is for the players to play few dozen attempts of Nethack, ADOM, Angband or any other roguelike. :smalltongue:

The problem is who is defining what's an irrational attachment. :smalltongue: The OP doesn't exactly set himself up as in a position to really credibly do so, given that he admits that the idea of being annoyed at losing one's weapon to a critical fumble is utterly alien to him.

goto124
2015-03-03, 07:51 AM
(snip) :smalltongue:

If you wish to run this sort of game, just let the players know before you start.

hifidelity2
2015-03-03, 08:10 AM
The DM giveth and the DM Taketh away

My parties know this and live with it. The only limitation to this is back story items - so if you invested cash / starting XP / whatever into something (a castle/ lair etc) then I will generally not destroy it willy nilly BUT I will warn you as part of a plot if its under threat and then its up to you as a PC to go and protect it.

Frozen_Feet
2015-03-03, 08:14 AM
So you are saying that there is a Right and Wrong way to play and enjoy a game, huh?

For any actual game, yes. (As opposed to hypothetical dream game custom-made to cater to the deepest wishes and unstated assumptions of everyone at the table.)

Let's take D&D, for example. It has extensive rules for item durability and destruction; rules for which items can be targeted and when; rules for acquiring money and posessions. So on and so forth. Save for few occasions like "artifacts are indestructible", it has no rules telling you equipment is or even should some fixed part of the character. Some people have gone to lenghts about how the system supposedly requires you to have this and that to tackle level-appropriate challenges, but gloss over a rather important detail: the game itself doesn't tell you that. Finding out what items are necessary for a given task, how to acquire them and how to keep them, these are tasks and challenges for the players and their characters.

Likewise, there are extensive rules for characters suffering damage, losing abilities, and what have you. There are no rules telling you your character is fixed to their concept and untouchable by the rules against the rules. On the contrary, the rules are very clear that random chance can and will ruin your day.

If you've ever read the rules, going into the game expecting equipment to be sacrosanct is ridiculous. Complaining to the GM how they've ruined your character, when they invoke the rules as they're plainly written and intended, is doubly so. As it is, the game expects you to look after your own stuff, to plan ahead and to occasionally accept things are going to happen to your character and the game is taking a direction you neither agreed to nor anticipated.

Pretty damn-near all arguments to the contrary, in this thread and elsewhere, are metagame ones. And here's the deal: the moment you write down and enforce metarules, you actually start playing a different game. Any game with plot armor for character or items, any game with random bad things removed, those are different beasts from traditional RPGs and D&D, even if they nominally use some rules from such games. And they have their own ways of doing it Right and Doing it Wrong. If I take something like Noitahovi or Kagematsu and try to play the logistics minigame within them, it will be neither rewarding nor will it help my characters achieve their goals.


[FOO] are decidedly not a plot point. They're random happenstance.

In any game with dice, random happenstance is a plot point. What happens during the game is the story, events happen in present tense; ergo, you won't know if this is the time Excalibur gets stolen until the dice show it does. All strokes of luck and misfortune alike are plot points, and not treating them as such has no place in a dice game. It's like saying "What's with this three-of-a-kind? No fair, I was supposed to get a full house" while playing Yahtzee.

EDIT:
If you wish to run this sort of game, just let the players know before you start.

I do! I do it by saying "we're playing D&D". :smalltongue:

goto124
2015-03-03, 08:26 AM
I do! I do it by saying "we're playing D&D". :smalltongue:

Quoting a post from this thread:


Just going to mirror everybody else and say it depends on the type and tone of the game, and the player expectations thereof (which really ought to match, if you're doing your job as a GM).

If you're playing Paranoia or World of Darkness, yeah, your stuff getting broken and you getting completely screwed by that fact is an expected part of the game. In Paranoia's case, it's black comedy; in WoD, it's because it's super gritty and the idea is that you need to be super careful and lucky to avoid dying by every little thing. In games like Ars Magica, most LotR games, and kinda-sorta D&D (though D&D items tend to feel very generic and replaceable in games where the level of fantasy actually matches the core assumptions) it would be unreasonable to expect important items to break unless either plot happens or you're really careless with them, because it's high-fantasy and either you've put a lot of resources towards the acquisition of the item, or the item largely defines your character (possibly both simultaneously, in the sense that a character could be defined not by the item itself, but by their journey to acquire it... In which case if it randomly breaks, the character has still grown, but you've also invalidated their effort from an emotional perspective).

D&D, because it's popular in RPG terms and thus much easier to find players for at Ye Local Game Shoppe (nobody correct me, dang it, I know that isn't grammatically correct), tends to be a big case of "square peg, round hole," with DMs forcing game tones and styles that aren't really appropriate to the game in because they want/need to play D&D, instead of going for a game more suited to the intended style.

This also applies to other locally popular games, which might be the case for what you're playing.

In which case, regardless of whether you or your player are the guilty parties, there's probably been a divide between what the game in question is actually intended for and what the person usually misapplies it towards.

Frozen_Feet
2015-03-03, 08:40 AM
Not sure if you got the joke. To use the post you quoted as a reference point: I perfectly agree with HolyCouncilMagi that a lot of player try to use D&D for things it's not made for. Where my opinion differs is the idea that D&D is made for "High fantasy" where "it would be unreasonable to expect important items to break unless either plot happens or you're really careless with them".

D&D's default rules have more to say on item destruction than any of the supposed "gritty" games mentioned. Expecting those rules to not be in effect by default is ass-backwards. That's like going to a game of Chess expecting that your Queen can't be captured.

Satinavian
2015-03-03, 08:43 AM
I do! I do it by saying "we're playing D&D". :smalltongue:You do realize, the original event was due to some fumble rules that are pretty certainly not part of D&D ?

While D&D does have few items really indestructable, it goes out of its way to make important items pretty hard to destruct. A person grilled by a fireball and his cloak completely unharmed. Yes, that is normal D&D.

Frozen_Feet
2015-03-03, 08:47 AM
I do. See the "actually a different game" comment I made prior. Though the specific example of cloak and fireball makes me nostalgic about Item Saving Throw tables. :smalltongue:

Coidzor
2015-03-03, 08:58 AM
Let's take D&D, for example. It has extensive rules for item durability and destruction; rules for which items can be targeted and when; rules for acquiring money and posessions. So on and so forth.

Generally it requires specifically targeting that equipment or something like Disjunction which is incredibly disruptive to the story and generally agreed to be an effect that deteriorates the game when used in quantity.


Save for few occasions like "artifacts are indestructible", it has no rules telling you equipment is or even should some fixed part of the character.

No, there's just rules where your characters need equipment to do things and losing them and permanently being behind is incredibly detrimental to a character's ability to contribute and keep up.


Some people have gone to lenghts about how the system supposedly requires you to have this and that to tackle level-appropriate challenges, but gloss over a rather important detail: the game itself doesn't tell you that.

Of course not, it'd be redundant in many cases. It already tells you that you need a magic weapon to beat DR/Magic when it covers what DR/Magic is and that you need some way to actually harm an incorporeal creature is obvious if you're going to be fighting incorporeal creatures.


Finding out what items are necessary for a given task, how to acquire them and how to keep them, these are tasks and challenges for the players and their characters.

So you admit it's possible to keep items, eh? :smallamused:


Likewise, there are extensive rules for characters suffering damage, losing abilities, and what have you. There are no rules telling you your character is fixed to their concept and untouchable by the rules against the rules. On the contrary, the rules are very clear that random chance can and will ruin your day.

Having your character die as a wandering swordsman is quite different from having your character cease to be a wandering swordsman because his sword got broken and there's no other swords in the setting and he can't make another one himself despite ostensibly being able to do so, either on his own or by working with other characters.


If you've ever read the rules, going into the game expecting equipment to be sacrosanct is ridiculous.

Congratulations for arguing against a strawman, then. It's still not a good idea to just carelessly mess with equipment in games where character abilities are intricately bound up with their equipment.


Complaining to the GM how they've ruined your character, when they invoke the rules as they're plainly written and intended, is doubly so. As it is, the game expects you to look after your own stuff, to plan ahead and to occasionally accept things are going to happen to your character and the game is taking a direction you neither agreed to nor anticipated.

And sometimes GMs need a reminder that they're going off in a direction that their players don't find interesting, so can we please get back to what everyone actually enjoys playing because none of us are interested in what nobles are having sex with what servants. It's a balancing act, like all things.


Pretty damn-near all arguments to the contrary, in this thread and elsewhere, are metagame ones. And here's the deal: the moment you write down and enforce metarules, you actually start playing a different game. Any game with plot armor for character or items, any game with random bad things removed, those are different beasts from traditional RPGs and D&D, even if they nominally use some rules from such games.

I don't see how you could expect people to not acknowledge metagame concerns when the OP introduced it by discussing player frustration.

Also, critical fumbles not being part of the base game is not a game with random bad things removed, it's a game where nonsensical random bad things aren't added in.


And they have their own ways of doing it Right and Doing it Wrong. If I take something like Noitahovi or Kagematsu and try to play the logistics minigame within them, it will be neither rewarding nor will it help my characters achieve their goals.

Well, obviously things are going to vary from game system to game system, that was brought up in the first few responses to the OP about how without more knowledge a full evaluation would be impossible.

And that applying things from one game system to another is generally going to lead to weirdness for a variety of reasons should be self-evident, even if one isn't so familiar with a given game system that one can immediately call to mind its mechanics just from a casual reference to its name.


In any game with dice, random happenstance is a plot point. What happens during the game is the story, events happen in present tense; ergo, you won't know if this is the time Excalibur gets stolen until the dice show it does. All strokes of luck and misfortune alike are plot points, and not treating them as such has no place in a dice game. It's like saying "What's with this three-of-a-kind? No fair, I was supposed to get a full house" while playing Yahtzee.

Not so. Random encounters remain random encounters. Showdowns with plot-central antagonists remain showdowns with plot-central antagonists.

Combine critical fumble rules that allow destruction of any item, regardless of how difficult to damage it might be, with random ass scrub bandits and you've got a completely unfitting breaking of Excalibur that nonetheless came out entirely due to how the dice fell.


I do! I do it by saying "we're playing D&D". :smalltongue:

Insufficient communication. You'd also need to tell your players in advance if you were using critical fumbles, since the only thing worse than playing with critical fumbles is springing critical fumbles on players after they've started playing.


Not sure if you got the joke. To use the post you quoted as a reference point: I perfectly agree with HolyCouncilMagi that a lot of player try to use D&D for things it's not made for. Where my opinion differs is the idea that D&D is made for "High fantasy" where "it would be unreasonable to expect important items to break unless either plot happens or you're really careless with them".

D&D's default rules have more to say on item destruction than any of the supposed "gritty" games mentioned. Expecting those rules to not be in effect by default is ass-backwards. That's like going to a game of Chess expecting that your Queen can't be captured.

Actually the rules for 3.5 suggest that items won't break unless they're subjected to damage or suffer the consequences of a failed check of some sort or an effect that specifically destroys something. There's no wear and tear by default. Without fiat Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandpa Jededededeiah's favorite rake is still going to work after all those generations because it was never subjected to anything that would damage it, much less destroy it.

Earthwalker
2015-03-03, 09:11 AM
I do think this is system dependant. As my view on item destruction for my characters differs depending on what system I am using.
Playing Runequest I expect to go through many many weapons and even shields with how the system works (also the low quality of weapons in the world) You spend your time tracking the HP on your sword knowing that it might break on the next parry.
Of course even rune quest didn’t have a “Weapon Breaks” on its fumble tables. Runequest also had rules for fixing items and even had spells for the same.Then high level items, made of iron or other runic metals were more durable and again could be repaired.

Playing a build point system you can end up investing points into material things. If you material things can be taken easily surly others should also be able to lose what they spent their points on to be fair.
GM “Your house burns down. Sorry cross it off your character sheet. Also bob you lose 4 points of strengh to a wasting desease. “
Players <sad face>
GM “What I am just being realistic, peoples houses burn down. People get deseases. Its all reasonable you big babies”
If you are investing points into something it shouldn’t just be wipped on whim, or maybe not even on one bad dice roll. I aren’t even saying players shouldn’t lose it but you should think carfully before GMs do take stuff.


Finally in DnD its sad that items are part of a characters power, taking the characters stuff can lead to problems with encounter balance and it should be taken into consideration before GMs try it.

Zyzzyva
2015-03-03, 09:39 AM
The DM giveth and the DM Taketh away

My parties know this and live with it. The only limitation to this is back story items - so if you invested cash / starting XP / whatever into something (a castle/ lair etc) then I will generally not destroy it willy nilly BUT I will warn you as part of a plot if its under threat and then its up to you as a PC to go and protect it.

Yes, I agree with the last part of this; but, as most of the other people in the thread has noted repeatedly, there's a big difference between "the sword of my Grandfather was shattered in battle with the Lich I've been hunting most of my adult life" and "while hunting down the Lich, I came into a room with eight goblins, critical fumbled, and broke my Grandfather's sword." And, frankly, if you're deep in a dungeon crawling through a chain of encounters I wouldn't be too picky about the "of my Grandfather" part either.

Frozen_Feet
2015-03-03, 09:47 AM
So you admit it's possible to keep items, eh?

You keep missing the part where it's the player's job to look after them. Meanwhile...


It's still not a good idea to just carelessly mess with equipment in games where character abilities are intricately bound up with their equipment.

... it's the GM's job to play the antagonists, very much including targeting valuable items where it is tactically sound. It is not the GM's job to babysit the player characters and make sure they'll have nice, even chance of winning at every occasion. On the contrary, all DMGs up to 3.5 at least specifically advice the GM that about one-in-ten (etc.) of encounters should be insurmountable, specifically to avoid lulling players into a sense of false safety.


Generally it requires specifically targeting that equipment or something like Disjunction which is incredibly disruptive to the story and generally agreed to be an effect that deteriorates the game when used in quantity.

The only legitimate argument about Disjunction, as far as I'm concerned, is that rolling separately for each item takes more time than is sensible. There's nothing about its in-game effects that should be objectionable on a metagame level. Also, once again, you approach the game with the idea that there's a story outside of what's happening. If Disjunction robs you of your precious trinket and your forced to work back up from defeat, that is the story.

(As a sidenote, I recall Tippy arguing one time that Disjunction is actually sort of necessary for game balance and many of the high-end magic exploits only become serious problems in its absence. For what it's worth, I tend to agree.)


Not so. Random encounters remain random encounters. Showdowns with plot-central antagonists remain showdowns with plot-central antagonists.

This sentence again includes a value judgement that has no place in being there. How dramatic or important the random encounter is depends on how it goes, and how it goes depends on the dice. Ditto for a fight against pre-set antagonists. The latter might turn out to be an anti-climactic pushover, the former could completely stymie the PCs with them only surviving by the inch of their teeth. They're both random in that regard.

Treating random encounters as filler is possibly one of the stupidest metagame attitudes. It used to be all the plot-central antagonists for the multiverse were there on the random encounter list. What's ruining enjoyment isn't randomness, it's the fixation on what the characters are supposed to be doing (ie. "the story"), rather than focusing on what they are doing.

(Speaking as a player for a moment, I find the swordsman-without-a-sword example bloody hilarious, because I just played a series of games where having your sword broken and then reforged - over and over again - was pretty much the whole point. After the fifth iteration or so, having to use a stick or a boomerang for a while is a welcome change rather than something to be irritated about, even though it makes everything harder.)

Beta Centauri
2015-03-03, 10:19 AM
It's not the GM's responsibility that the players win, but the GM does have some responsibility to the players who are spending valuable free time playing in the game that they enjoy that time. If a player clearly isn't enjoying some aspect of the game, no matter how much the GM may think it's the player's fault for feeling that way, there's a social obligation to address it in a civil manner. Maybe the best way to address it is to part ways, but it should be addressed.

Yes, the player should have known that there was a chance that this could happen, and not gotten attached to that particular weapon. By the same token, players playing in games in which characters can die should not get attached to their particular character. Except that people do get attached to things, and the means to bring characters back has long been incorporated into D&D (if not the particular game in question) for a long time. Yes, a lot of people remove that option, but that would be making the game something it's not, wouldn't it?

Not every set of stakes is interesting to every player. Not everyone wants to stake their character, and very few people want to stake (and shouldn't stake) their ongoing meaningful participation in the game. If losing that knife meant that the character was even temporarily unable to contribute in a way that was meaningful to the player, then that knife wasn't just a knife, it was the player's interface with the game.

Spare me any foisting of responsibility onto the rules. Rules, at best, are fair, but fairness is only one aspect of fun. Maybe they're also realistic, but that's also only one aspect (and for some a rather minor aspect) of fun. If the rules aren't generating fun (and it's foolish to expect them to), then everyone at the table has some responsibility to close that gap.

Broken Twin
2015-03-03, 10:45 AM
In general, I tend not to target my PC's equipment. For the most part, it's just not engaging for the player to randomly lose part of their toolbox through no fault of their own. So the typical fumble table, for instance, would never be used in my game.

Having said that, how destructible their gear is is entirely dependent both upon the setting and the system. For instance, in the setting I'm currently working on, metal is a scarce commodity. To help reinforce that theme, weapons and armor breakage is represented as something that can happen frequently, as they're made from weaker materials. They can either be targeted by opponents via the sundering rules, or the player can choose to break them for an advantage. If you roll a nat1 attack roll, you can choose to reroll the attack at the risk of breaking your weapon. With armor and shields, you can break them to soak some damage from a single attack. It costs half the price of the equipment to repair it.

Either way, churning through equipment is rarely the default of any game I've played or seen played. If that's the expectation the GM has for their campaign, they need to clearly communicate that to their players beforehand. Just like every other expectation the GM has for their game. More focused systems can have common gear destruction as a default, but for more generic / toolbox systems, it needs to be clearly expressed.

VincentTakeda
2015-03-03, 11:15 AM
That could actually be an interesting possible tradeoff... If you roll a natural 1 your weapon is going to break, but it did so by providing critical damage that time... A hit so powerful that the weapon could not handle the stress...

Thats a reward both crunchy and fluffy.

Knaight
2015-03-03, 11:28 AM
That could actually be an interesting possible tradeoff... If you roll a natural 1 your weapon is going to break, but it did so by providing critical damage that time... A hit so powerful that the weapon could not handle the stress...

Thats a reward both crunchy and fluffy.

That's a 5% chance of a weapon breaking per round, even at low levels. By high levels for warriors it gets to an 18.5% chance. That's pretty ridiculously high, even for more fragile weapons. It's ludicrous for more durable ones, and once magic starts getting involved it gets worse.

The closest I've seen to this which has worked is in Fudge Firefight. It deliberately emulates cinematic works, so there's a 1/27 chance on any given round that you empty a clip and need to reload, and a 1/81 chance that your gun jams. Even the jam can be repaired, and there's a Knack you can take to remove the jam chance (though that comes at the cost of not getting to take another Knack, and when there's one that lets you quick draw a gun concealed under a bunch of clothing, one that lets you jump through a plate glass window, draw a bunch of fire, and not get shot, "well oiled guns" doesn't seem super high priority).

The rates at which that happens are still pretty high (in keeping with action movies), but are still 15 times lower than the proposed natural one rule.

Broken Twin
2015-03-03, 11:53 AM
That's a 5% chance of a weapon breaking per round, even at low levels. By high levels for warriors it gets to an 18.5% chance. That's pretty ridiculously high, even for more fragile weapons. It's ludicrous for more durable ones, and once magic starts getting involved it gets worse.

With the system I have in place, the lowest durability weapon will still only break 3% of the time, and that's if the player chooses to take the second roll for another chance to hit. Changing it from a straight penalty into an optional risk/reward mechanism.

Aedilred
2015-03-03, 12:13 PM
I think there are a few related issues kind of bleeding into each other here.

First is that, as has been alluded to, not all items are created equal. Players will typically have a handful of items that they really care about - whether this is for RP reasons (family heirloom, gift from a loved one, something they've hung onto despite having the option to switch it out for something better) or for game reasons (in D&D3.x etc, it may be required for the character to function adequately). They'll probably also have a huge pile of other junk that they've accumulated and lug around because it might come in handy or because they've forgotten to get rid of it.

It's usually not that difficult to tell which is which, since the former type is the stuff the PC keeps on their person at all times and if they ever have to leave it somewhere, make sure it's protected. The rest is the stuff they sometimes leave at home, or in the cart. They also probably carry a fair amount of gold (or jewellery for its gold value). How much they mind losing gold is probably going to vary: most of the time gold is easy-come, easy-go but if they're saving for something in particular and shortly before purchase they have all their gold stolen that's going to infuriate them as it's like losing that item.

At the top of the value tree tends to be items the players have created themselves. This isn't necessarily a magic item; it could be a house that they've drawn out or whatever. But in general something the players find, or buy, is likely to be more important to them than something they've made. Something they've found or bought, unless it's an artifact, can probably be replaced, and always comes with at least a slight sense that the item in question is fungible. Something they've made is theirs for life, and any replacement would always be measured against the first.

Also, not all item loss is created equal. There is equipment decay, where items fall apart if not maintained; there's also randomised equipment destruction, either through a fumble table or an imperfect way of trying to mimic decay. There's the stuff that gets stolen, there's targetted destruction of individual items, and there's default destruction where everything in an area gets blasted (as with a Disjunction or the like). In general it can be broadly divided into two categories: stuff that's lost for narrative reasons, and stuff that's lost because the dice say so.

On the whole, it's going to be the randomised equipment loss that annoys players most, but most particularly when it starts eating into not just the "buffer space" of random crap but into the items they actually care about, since it's going to feel like their effort is ultimately futile since they can't control the fate of their own gear. It's the sort of thing that leads to disengagement or, at worst, leaving the game.

On the other hand, loss for narrative reasons can really drive a story forward, add spice to an adventure that's otherwise flagging, give a player both IC and OOC motivation to do something, and so forth, especially if the item in question has been stolen rather than destroyed. As alluded to, the PC can often feel this loss even more acutely than they would losing a family member or NPC friend, because they have more invested in their gear than they do in their relationships. What quality of equipment is necessary to be lost before this starts to kick in is going to vary from player to player: some would take it as a mortal insult to lose the least significant item in their possession, others won't care unless they lose something really important to them.

What I'm trying to get at, I guess, is that as a GM you need to work out what you're trying to accomplish by having equipment loss in the game, and what reaction you're trying to provoke from the players. I would suggest that randomised losses as a regular occurrence* is almost never a good idea unless there's an exemption for certain items. Equipment decay, requiring maintenance costs or whatever, could be made to work if you're upfront about it with the players as they'll generally make sure the stuff they care about is ok - although some will see it as tedious bookkeeping. Destroying or stealing something for narrative reasons though could well be ok, depending on the group. Something which just indiscriminately destroys equipment in an area - that's probably something to reserve for fights against the BBEG or the like either as an initial curbstomp to show them how outclassed they are and motivate them to "train up" to come back and fight him again, or in the final battle.



*One-offs, e.g. your house burns down and you have to roll to see what mundane items survive, a la Carrrion up the Reik, aren't quite so bad, but they're generally narrative decisions rather than random ones.

Fiery Diamond
2015-03-03, 12:24 PM
You keep missing the part where it's the player's job to look after them. Meanwhile...



... it's the GM's job to play the antagonists, very much including targeting valuable items where it is tactically sound. It is not the GM's job to babysit the player characters and make sure they'll have nice, even chance of winning at every occasion. On the contrary, all DMGs up to 3.5 at least specifically advice the GM that about one-in-ten (etc.) of encounters should be insurmountable, specifically to avoid lulling players into a sense of false safety.



The only legitimate argument about Disjunction, as far as I'm concerned, is that rolling separately for each item takes more time than is sensible. There's nothing about its in-game effects that should be objectionable on a metagame level. Also, once again, you approach the game with the idea that there's a story outside of what's happening. If Disjunction robs you of your precious trinket and your forced to work back up from defeat, that is the story.

(As a sidenote, I recall Tippy arguing one time that Disjunction is actually sort of necessary for game balance and many of the high-end magic exploits only become serious problems in its absence. For what it's worth, I tend to agree.)



This sentence again includes a value judgement that has no place in being there. How dramatic or important the random encounter is depends on how it goes, and how it goes depends on the dice. Ditto for a fight against pre-set antagonists. The latter might turn out to be an anti-climactic pushover, the former could completely stymie the PCs with them only surviving by the inch of their teeth. They're both random in that regard.

Treating random encounters as filler is possibly one of the stupidest metagame attitudes. It used to be all the plot-central antagonists for the multiverse were there on the random encounter list. What's ruining enjoyment isn't randomness, it's the fixation on what the characters are supposed to be doing (ie. "the story"), rather than focusing on what they are doing.

(Speaking as a player for a moment, I find the swordsman-without-a-sword example bloody hilarious, because I just played a series of games where having your sword broken and then reforged - over and over again - was pretty much the whole point. After the fifth iteration or so, having to use a stick or a boomerang for a while is a welcome change rather than something to be irritated about, even though it makes everything harder.)

You seem to not realize that you're arguing in support of a single playstyle and claiming any other playstyle is a weird deviation from your One True Playstyle TM. For example: the part I put in bold, and that whole paragraph. That's not a default, that's a particular playstyle, and you have no business saying that others are wrong for having different ones. Not everyone holds to a "the dice are gods, we are slaves to their whim, and all story unfolds because of their holy word" that you are insisting is the One True Playstyle. In fact, from my perspective, I would never want to play in a campaign that the participants had that attitude.

Knaight
2015-03-03, 12:26 PM
I would suggest that randomised losses as a regular occurrence* is almost never a good idea unless there's an exemption for certain items. Equipment decay, requiring maintenance costs or whatever, could be made to work if you're upfront about it with the players as they'll generally make sure the stuff they care about is ok - although some will see it as tedious bookkeeping.

The best way to avoid tedious bookkeeping is to operate in reverse - generally assume items are well taken care of, and only really pay attention to what happens to the things that actually matter. Basically nobody really cares about the effects of weathering on their rope. The condition of their space ship is somewhat more important. As such, if the rope is going to go it's probably best it happens all at once. Maybe the system has that built in for failing certain rolls (e.g. failing a swim or climb roll which causes you to drop something, though if you drop your rope on a climb roll there's a believably problem), where the item is lost. Maybe it's something that gets targeted specifically when it makes sense. Durability tracking though? That should be saved for particularly important items likely to incur damage. In pre-modern games, that's often shields, maybe weapons, maybe armor, almost certainly mounts. If the game is nautical at all, add the ship to that.

Flickerdart
2015-03-03, 12:31 PM
In pre-modern games, that's often shields, maybe weapons, maybe armor, almost certainly mounts. If the game is nautical at all, add the ship to that.
I would say that tracking this sort of stuff only really makes sense during individual battles - unless one of those things is somehow exceptional, it should be standard practice for a warrior to have access to as many replacements as he needs in the baggage train. For games like D&D, you're probably buying new more magical shields more often than they'd get worn out - and when you find a magic shield you'd want to pick up and use right away, you need to take it to town anyway to get it Identified, so having it fixed can be abstracted away.

Knaight
2015-03-03, 12:45 PM
I would say that tracking this sort of stuff only really makes sense during individual battles - unless one of those things is somehow exceptional, it should be standard practice for a warrior to have access to as many replacements as he needs in the baggage train. For games like D&D, you're probably buying new more magical shields more often than they'd get worn out - and when you find a magic shield you'd want to pick up and use right away, you need to take it to town anyway to get it Identified, so having it fixed can be abstracted away.

With the notable exceptions of vehicles and mounts, I'd pretty much agree most of the time. At most, it often comes down to things being tracked over the course of some sort of extended expedition in which the PCs are away from supplies for whatever reason - maybe they rappelled down into a canyon to investigate the bottom and can't really take a cart with them, maybe there's a dungeon scenario, maybe the space ship crashed, they need to get a distress beacon to high ground, and that's going to need to be one trip.

VincentTakeda
2015-03-03, 02:45 PM
When I'm a player I tend to use every possible tool at my disposal to protect my gear from specially crafted storage to schroedingers shell game techniques... My gm is usually at least very pleased with the fact that I take the time and money in character to create these defenses, or at worst very annoyed with but accepting of the fact that I take the time and money in character to create these defenses. It allows him to see up front how far I'm willing to go to protect my gear thus he has a great idea of how little I'd enjoy having my stuff taken.

At least with most gms, the extra effort and finance and time invested is appreciated enough to get a gm on the same page.

Talakeal
2015-03-03, 03:56 PM
The players have it as their job to rob and ransack anything they own? :smalltongue:

Sorry, typo snuck in. Fixed now.


Oh hey, look. It's not even the point of the thread and we have another example of the bad things that happen because the game designers weren't smart enough to take alignment out of the system. Though this seems especially dumb... He'll seriously insta-change your alignment to CE if you don't give some high-level NPC your items on demand? Does he even have the barest clue how this whole alignment thing works??? (insofar as it does)

I already started a thread about his odd ideas on ownership, authority, and alignment. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?392632-Atlas-Shrugged-in-D-amp-D&highlight=atlas+shrugged

Sith_Happens
2015-03-03, 04:02 PM
My current DM is of the mindset that it is the players job to rob and ransack anything the players own. He is boggled when I tell stories of the wealth that previous characters have had and he finds it incomprehensible that a player would have a magic item for more than a few levels as SOMEONE is bound to steal it. Of course, he also believes that your own superiors will regularly demand tithes in the form of the party's most powerful items and declare them heretic / outlaws and change their alignment to CE if they refuse.

[Stockholm Syndrome intensifies]

...Seriously, how do you find all these people?:smalleek:

Also, have you tried making it clear that bloody vengeance will be exacted upon any NPC that deprives or attempts to deprive you of your items, whether petty thief or noble lord? Because that at least should be a pretty good deterrent.:smallwink:


Oh hey, look. It's not even the point of the thread and we have another example of the bad things that happen because the game designers weren't smart enough to take alignment out of the system. Though this seems especially dumb... He'll seriously insta-change your alignment to CE if you don't give some high-level NPC your items on demand? Does he even have the barest clue how this whole alignment thing works??? (insofar as it does)

Bolded for emphasis. This isn't an example of the alignment system being a problem, it's an example of a power-tripping DM deliberately ignoring even the broadest, most obvious strokes of how the system actually works so that he can better wield metagame threats against his players should they do anything he doesn't like.


D&D's default rules have more to say on item destruction than any of the supposed "gritty" games mentioned. Expecting those rules to not be in effect by default is ass-backwards. That's like going to a game of Chess expecting that your Queen can't be captured.

That comparison would be accurate if chess had a rule saying that you can only capture your opponent's queen while in check. While D&D does in fact have lots of rules on how items might end up broken, almost all of those rules require that an enemy specifically target your items in lieu of just stabbing you. There are very few situations in which, from the enemy's perspective, "just stabbing you" is not by far the superior option.

Arbane
2015-03-03, 04:13 PM
For some reason, this argument makes me think of Thor. He was such a terrible roleplayer.

VincentTakeda
2015-03-03, 04:38 PM
Makes me want to play a game of chess where after each move you roll 2d8 and the piece on that square gets destroyed or gets a free move or somethin...

Forrestfire
2015-03-03, 05:23 PM
You should check out Knightmare Chess (http://www.sjgames.com/knightmare/), which is pretty fun.

Metahuman1
2015-03-03, 05:47 PM
You keep missing the part where it's the player's job to look after them. Meanwhile...



... it's the GM's job to play the antagonists, very much including targeting valuable items where it is tactically sound. It is not the GM's job to babysit the player characters and make sure they'll have nice, even chance of winning at every occasion. On the contrary, all DMGs up to 3.5 at least specifically advice the GM that about one-in-ten (etc.) of encounters should be insurmountable, specifically to avoid lulling players into a sense of false safety.



The only legitimate argument about Disjunction, as far as I'm concerned, is that rolling separately for each item takes more time than is sensible. There's nothing about its in-game effects that should be objectionable on a metagame level. Also, once again, you approach the game with the idea that there's a story outside of what's happening. If Disjunction robs you of your precious trinket and your forced to work back up from defeat, that is the story.

(As a sidenote, I recall Tippy arguing one time that Disjunction is actually sort of necessary for game balance and many of the high-end magic exploits only become serious problems in its absence. For what it's worth, I tend to agree.)



This sentence again includes a value judgement that has no place in being there. How dramatic or important the random encounter is depends on how it goes, and how it goes depends on the dice. Ditto for a fight against pre-set antagonists. The latter might turn out to be an anti-climactic pushover, the former could completely stymie the PCs with them only surviving by the inch of their teeth. They're both random in that regard.

Treating random encounters as filler is possibly one of the stupidest metagame attitudes. It used to be all the plot-central antagonists for the multiverse were there on the random encounter list. What's ruining enjoyment isn't randomness, it's the fixation on what the characters are supposed to be doing (ie. "the story"), rather than focusing on what they are doing.

(Speaking as a player for a moment, I find the swordsman-without-a-sword example bloody hilarious, because I just played a series of games where having your sword broken and then reforged - over and over again - was pretty much the whole point. After the fifth iteration or so, having to use a stick or a boomerang for a while is a welcome change rather than something to be irritated about, even though it makes everything harder.)

I'm curious Frozen, what system did you learn first? What was your first exposer to Table Top RPG's? What was the first Edition of D&D you actually played?

Beta Centauri
2015-03-03, 06:31 PM
I'm curious Frozen, what system did you learn first? What was your first exposer to Table Top RPG's? What was the first Edition of D&D you actually played? Good question. Not that it's the right way to play, but the "D&D as story" approach is quite common, enough so that it can reasonably be expected from a GM and players. I'm told the idea came out around the time of the Dragonlance modules, and it's here to stay, as much as some people might not like it.

I'll be the first to admit that the idea of story in D&D or any RPG is a major pain, because people expect planning and they expect tropes and pacing that they recognize from stories. A lot of the randomness goes out the window, except as an inspirational tool, because stories aren't random, except in minor details.

A completely random game can work fine, sure, as long as everyone's expecting that and is actually going to be happy with any possible result. Some people would dig it if their first random encounter was something that chased them down and wiped them out. They'd get a bit laugh and make new characters. Some people wouldn't, and would wonder what they're wasting their time on. The GM can fudge the roll, but at some point the people who wouldn't like that are better off playing a game where that can't really happen.

The game in the original post is clearly not such a game. The randomness it involves can clearly result in things some players aren't happy with. Not all of the players in that game should be playing that game, but as long as they are the GM might as well fudge things enough to keep the players happy. If fumble rolls can't be fudged, then maybe the treasure rolls can be fudged so that the person who lost their knife can get something worthwhile in return.

Or whatever. I hate fudging. I'd rather everyone was happy with every random result. The fact is, though that not everyone will be.

Wardog
2015-03-03, 06:47 PM
The Silamarillions eventually were destroyed, and it's worth noting that it wasn't from some sort of random fumble.


Also a good example of players characters flipping out when someone messed with their stuff.


Fëanor: W00t! Finished crafting Silmarils!
Melkor: Lol! I'll take those!
Fëanor: :smallfurious::smallfurious::smallfurious:I KILL YOU!!! :smallfurious::smallfurious::smallfurious:

BootStrapTommy
2015-03-03, 08:43 PM
True but that was just how he obtained his awesome magic weapon, once it was in his possession though he didn't fumble while fighting an orc and proceed to trip and drop it off the side of a cliff. Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Narsil get broke in the first place because his ancestor Elendil fumbled with it?

Kid Jake
2015-03-03, 09:39 PM
Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Narsil get broke in the first place because his ancestor Elendil fumbled with it?

It's been way too long since I've read LoTR so I can't speak with any authority, but from what I remember wasn't it more like a sunder? Like I said, though; it's probably been ten years or more since I last read the books so I might just be blowing smoke.

Acacia OnnaStik
2015-03-03, 09:48 PM
Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Narsil get broke in the first place because his ancestor Elendil fumbled with it?

No. Elendil was already dead.


But at the last the siege was so strait that Sauron himself came forth; and he wrestled with Gil-galad and Elendil, and they both were slain, and the sword of Elendil broke under him as he fell. But Sauron also was thrown down(...)

Physically, yeah, it could have "broke under him as he fell" just as well if he'd tripped and landed on it funny instead of being beaten down by a foe beyond any mortal compass. But that would have been undignified and not the kind of thing that happens in heroic fantasy.

Take another bit of LotR gear destruction: Eowyn's shield, a much less storied item, was shattered along with the arm it was strapped to by a vicious blow from the Witch-King, a foe believed to be beyond any mortal compass, in a battle she fully expected and indeed wanted to die in. She was later hailed as the "Lady of the Shield-Arm" among other titles, and it was just generally very dramatic and intense. She didn't just randomly botch a roll, either.

Zyzzyva
2015-03-04, 08:47 AM
What Acacia said. Also, of course, Sting and Greyswandir never even come within a suggestion of breaking, nor Legolas' bow and Gimli's axe, and the Horn of Gondor does but only Dramatically after its owner dies.

Lord_Viper_69
2015-03-04, 11:56 AM
You cant imagine the flack I've recently received over on another website for suggesting that a particular game creates a mindset in its players.

Do tell. I am curious about the lengths people will go to avoiding any responsibility and or choices involving specific systems.

Frozen_Feet
2015-03-04, 12:23 PM
I'm curious Frozen, what system did you learn first? What was your first exposer to Table Top RPG's? What was the first Edition of D&D you actually played?

The first pen and paper game I played was Cyberpunk. The first version of D&D I played was BECMI, then moved to 1st Edition AD&D and CRPGs emulating it. But going back all the way doesn't actually explain why I think the way I do. I've seen, played and held lots of other games too, and bought into "RPGs as storytelling" for a while too. What beat it out of me was my growing experience as a gamer and looking back through the history of RPGs and wargames. There's a moment where you realize some rule everyone proclaims to hate was actually invented to solve dozen other problems they incessantly whine about, but they can't accept the original solution because they're sore losers in Yahtzee.

Lord_Viper_69
2015-03-04, 12:25 PM
Players are ridiculously attached to their loot. It is irrational and unrealistic, but it is a fact. I blame loss aversion myself; players will scream bloody murder if you take even the smallest copper from them. Spoony has a whole video about how a DM can use this to his advantage in railroading the PCs as if you have someone steal from them they will follow them to the ends of the Earth and thus the DM can easily lead them wherever he wants.

One thing that is kind of stupid in a lot of modern RPGs (particularly D&D 3.X) is that character power is tied to wealth and the game assumes a certain level of wealth. I don't like it, but I personally can't think of a good carrot and stick system that doesn't revolve around treasure vs. expenses so I kept it in my system.

As a player I have a few objects that are actually important to my character for sentimental reasons. I need to break my attachment to them, as I know they are only transitory, but that is easier said than done both in and out of character.

My current DM is of the mindset that it is the DM's job to rob and ransack anything the players own. He is boggled when I tell stories of the wealth that previous characters have had and he finds it incomprehensible that a player would have a magic item for more than a few levels as SOMEONE is bound to steal it. Of course, he also believes that your own superiors will regularly demand tithes in the form of the party's most powerful items and declare them heretic / outlaws and change their alignment to CE if they refuse.

Demanding tribute, basically, that is quite heavy-handed. If member of an organization, society or guild where that is a rule, it is known and expected; that would be player choice to be part of said group(s).

I do not believe PC's should have such wealth and magic to be equivalent to a nation's magical might and wealth but that is a game conceit.

Lord_Viper_69
2015-03-04, 12:42 PM
Not sure if you got the joke. To use the post you quoted as a reference point: I perfectly agree with HolyCouncilMagi that a lot of player try to use D&D for things it's not made for. Where my opinion differs is the idea that D&D is made for "High fantasy" where "it would be unreasonable to expect important items to break unless either plot happens or you're really careless with them".

D&D's default rules have more to say on item destruction than any of the supposed "gritty" games mentioned. Expecting those rules to not be in effect by default is ass-backwards. That's like going to a game of Chess expecting that your Queen can't be captured.

I have seen this a few times but it is quite noticeable with those playing adventure paths or modules, in my xp. The half-orc barbarian began arguing physics when his axe took damage, from a Heat Metal spell (adjusted) and was personally affected. It was the first time in 10 sessions a weapon was affected and it was known that such events are possible. The butthurt was strong in that moment.

If an item has emotional significance to a player and/or character it is the player's responsibility to protect it. If you go adventuring with it, you should always expect it can be targeted or in danger, just as you and allies are.

Many players have this sense of plot armor for their equipment even when stated at session zero it does not exist.

BootStrapTommy
2015-03-04, 12:52 PM
I do not believe PC's should have such wealth and magic to be equivalent to a nation's magical might and wealth but that is a game conceit. God-Emperors and great Conquerers would. Why not PCs?

Beta Centauri
2015-03-04, 03:27 PM
If an item has emotional significance to a player and/or character it is the player's responsibility to protect it. So, basically, a smart player won't have any items of emotional significance. That's something I see a lot of people complain about. "They just turn around and sell every item I give them!" Well, yeah, why come to enjoy an item that can just be lost, stolen or broken?


If you go adventuring with it, you should always expect it can be targeted or in danger, just as you and allies are. Yes, which is the cause of another problem I see a lot of: "Why won't the players make interesting characters with deep backstories and interesting relationships?" Because all of that is just more stuff to be taken away from them.


Many players have this sense of plot armor for their equipment even when stated at session zero it does not exist. And many others just choose not to get invested. Which would you rather?

Lord_Viper_69
2015-03-04, 03:40 PM
God-Emperors and great Conquerers would. Why not PCs?

I believe and enjoy playing in a game where the PC's are not the absolute best things in the world, there is always something else out there, something for them to overcome. Salt of the earth, actually earning what they have, "you keep what you kill", grounded characters are for more interesting to me as a player and DM.
Also, players have the belief they should be loaded with all the magics, ever, that is makes them unique or interesting.
I prefer story over gear and optimization. The need for gear should be secondary, at least, but these are often not the observed actions of players or modules/AP's.

Story: I have a character now, cleric of sarenrae 6, who is 11,000 gp below the WBL chart and lacks any magic gear, her only potions are Cure, she strategizes all encounters, and is the conscience of the group. Through careful planning there have been zero times, with the current Kingmaker AP, where the party was in true peril. Eventually I will need better gear to survive the future encounters (halfway through book 2) and thinking or roleplaying through encounters is not viable (book 3 boss I was told about; I do not read the AP's) so necessity forced me to evaluate my gear and those in the party. The numbers/arms race is a total grind and I do not enjoy it, at all, but many players do. I must adjust for minor needs. The character has succeeded using pure RP and some spells with contingency plans for nearly every scenario (I emulate Kurama of Yu Yu Hakusho but I am not at that level, yet).


The glut of "PC's are special", "they are the absolute best", or the idea they should be the most powerful beings in the setting, I do not agree with. There should always be a challenge they cannot overcome immediately, where they must think, do something unconventional even, where their precious magic does not win just because.

Lord_Viper_69
2015-03-04, 03:44 PM
So, basically, a smart player won't have any items of emotional significance. That's something I see a lot of people complain about. "They just turn around and sell every item I give them!" Well, yeah, why come to enjoy an item that can just be lost, stolen or broken?

Yes, which is the cause of another problem I see a lot of: "Why won't the players make interesting characters with deep backstories and interesting relationships?" Because all of that is just more stuff to be taken away from them.

And many others just choose not to get invested. Which would you rather?

It does add some "realism" to the game which may not be enjoyed. The idea of realism in a fantasy game, yes, strange. The characters can evolve and not be simply numbers on a sheet with rich backgrounds, specifically if the DM uses it properly and does not target them, spite their efforts or attempt to force conflict. If it reasonable within the game world, I see no problems.
I do like emotional attachments and pushing past "this is just a game" to something more.

D&D is not the best game for this but it can be accomplished in any system.

BootStrapTommy
2015-03-04, 03:48 PM
I believe and enjoy playing in a game where the PC's are not the absolute best things in the world, there is always something else out there, something for them to overcome. Salt of the earth, actually earning what they have, "you keep what you kill", grounded characters are for more interesting to me as a player and DM.
Also, players have the belief they should be loaded with all the magics, ever, that is makes them unique or interesting.
I prefer story over gear and optimization. The need for gear should be secondary, at least, but these are often not the observed actions of players or modules/AP's. The glut of PC's are special, they are the absolute best, I do not agree with. There should always be a challenge they cannot overcome immediately, where they must think, do something unconventional even, where their precious magic does not win just because. So why can't players rise to become God-Emperors or Conquerors? They all started out as adventurers and stuff too. Most earned those positions. Why shouldn't players be able to rise to that eventually? That's silly.

Genghis Khan would have been lucky if he was above a 6th level character by D&D's standards.

Lord_Viper_69
2015-03-04, 03:52 PM
So why can't players rise to become God-Emperors or Conquerors? They all started out as adventurers and stuff too. Most earned those positions. Why shouldn't players be able to rise to that eventually? That's silly.

Genghis Khan would have been lucky if he was above a 6th level character by D&D's standards.

That should be end-game, I believe, not something they can do by level 10 or too early; the system used does matter.
The level should not matter if the RP of the characters has them in positions of power that bely their personal power.

BootStrapTommy
2015-03-04, 04:07 PM
That should be end-game, I believe, not something they can do by level 10 or too early; the system used does matter.
The level should not matter if the RP of the characters has them in positions of power that bely their personal power. At level 10 characters can pull off Live Free or Die Hard John McClane stuff that real human beings can't, in most RPGs with levels. There are exceptions.

Yet Alexander of Macedon, Julius Caesar, and Genghis Khan all conquered. And none of them were likely 10th level (Alexander maybe).

Lord_Viper_69
2015-03-04, 04:15 PM
At level 10 characters can pull off Live Free or Die Hard John McClane stuff that real human beings can't, in most RPGs with levels. There are exceptions.

Yet Alexander of Macedon, Julius Caesar, and Genghis Khan all conquered. And none of them were likely 10th level (Alexander maybe).

True. The inclusion and use of magic creates a gulf between power levels and abilities, what any characters can do.

It becomes the arms race: who has the biggest guns, who wins initiative, who has magic for any given scenario and prepared it, etc.

The king of Stormwind (WoW) was a boy, noble birth and later a fully fledged adult (also a world boss, I believe). I see that as quite acceptable, he has the position and can roleplay all decisions though he is protected by guards of great power. A lvl 5 character can be a king, that is fine and often expected if a PC meets such an individual.

BootStrapTommy
2015-03-04, 04:25 PM
Worth noting that not all conquerors begin in positions of power. Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, and William the Conqueror had influential families, but they forged their own legacy into something much bigger. All without obtaining John McClane like ridiculousness.

Point being precedent exists for low level accomplishment of greatness. While I understand your issue with excessive magic items (recently in a campaign I'm in the players voted to be stripped of their magic items because things were so out of hand), don't go knocking on what low level characters can accomplish when motivated and smart.

Metahuman1
2015-03-04, 04:47 PM
The first pen and paper game I played was Cyberpunk. The first version of D&D I played was BECMI, then moved to 1st Edition AD&D and CRPGs emulating it. But going back all the way doesn't actually explain why I think the way I do. I've seen, played and held lots of other games too, and bought into "RPGs as storytelling" for a while too. What beat it out of me was my growing experience as a gamer and looking back through the history of RPGs and wargames. There's a moment where you realize some rule everyone proclaims to hate was actually invented to solve dozen other problems they incessantly whine about, but they can't accept the original solution because they're sore losers in Yahtzee.

I actually think it does. Part of your logic, I think, comes form the foundation you have in your gaming experience. And your experience that forms your foundation is in systems were Money is less essential. And don't say it's not essential in 3.5 D&D, if it wasn't Vow of Poverty Monk would be in a dead heat on power and capability at all levels with none Vow of Poverty Monk, just for an off the top of my head example.

Ok, so, 3.5 game, Oriental Adventures-ish. The DM had done a fair bit of refluffing of the setting to make it less mish-mash and more straight japanese mythology, changed the clans around, so on and so forth. I figured I'd build a fighter since I was new (Fighter being an infamous Newb Trap class and all.), and go for duel Katana's cause that sounded cool.

And I spent 3 feats to get this up and running. I also spent what was called an Honor point, a house rule the DM was using were you could get minor boons and everyone started with 1, to get the second Katana.

Right after hitting level 2, we had a mission were we happened to stumble into the middle of an assassination attempt on a clan princess. My Samurai called the leader of the group of obvious ninja to come out, expecting a ninja, and found a Samurai form inside that clan answering the call, beating him up, and then publicly shaming him with his political clout and having my Samurai's Daimyo order my character to bow down and apologize to him for an unfounded accusation.

During this little encounter, the party's Fire Shugenja used a bit of magic to turn herself into a decoy, and managed to get herself captured by the ninja's, in order that the princess might get away, which she did.

The next mission was a rescue mission, in which we were upstaged by some minions of the bad guy Samurai form the previous mission. 1 of whom was another lesser Samurai form his clan, 1 was a monk, and 1 was a member of my clan who the DM told me I didn't recognize personally and only insulted me when I queried to him who he was and what was he doing there.

We ended up having to fight them to keep our party member from being sold into slavery. We won, but my Samurai got knocked out by the monk who grappled him into passing out (the DM swore himself blue in the face it was rules legal to me at the time.) so for my character is was counted as a shameful defeat by an unarmed opponent. Before that, during the fight, the Monk Sundered both my characters Katana's, which I was told would take a minimum of 6th months game time to fix, and would require personal money (which we hadn't been getting since we were doing stuff at the call of the Emperor and his law enforcement officials, and since my clan was poor in money (Cause the DM said so and that they were the only clan that practiced 2 weapon fighting so if I wanted TWF I had to use them.), that I'd be looking at a year or more easily to get them fixed. And that I couldn't just use someone elses Katana because that would be dishonorable.), and as an added insult, the one opponent who got killed in the fight, turned out to be one of my Daimyo's younger sons. I narrowly escaped having a seppuko demanded of my character, spent the rest of the game (Good two months real time, bout 10 sessions.), shamed, dishonored, and unable to play the character in anything resembling either and effective manner or the manner I'd intended for him to be played in, and having exactly 0 fun, before in my last session with that group do to a work scheduled change I suicided him, and even THAT was twisted into dishonor through some logic I rather hated.

All of that above? Could have been fine, if the GM had either made it doable to get new swords after the monk fight, or had not decided to go first for the Sunder then the knock out. (And yes, that's even cutting him slack for both the knock out and the getting blamed for the Diamyo's son getting killed by my group on my watch.).

That is the sort of play experience your advocating. Incidentally, it was a good couple of years before I played 3.5 again, and during this time I tried 4th, which I hated, and combined with a couple of other bad previous experiences, I very nearly dropped the hobby. The only reason I didn't, was that I was stubborn, so I can't imagine how many people this play style actually has driven off the hobby. In another system? Sure, go for the gear if it's designed with that in mind. In this system? No, the gear needs to be untouchable with out extensive house ruling since to do otherwise is to systematically and willfully make the characters impossible to play as anything other then Canon fodder. Which some people might like, but most? No, most people aren't gonna want to be labor intensive canon fodder.




Lord_Viper_69: No, no it doesn't add to realism. It adds to Unnecessary and excessive darkness and an utterly dreary and depressing tone, but not Realism. Why? Because D&D has all the realism, and can handle all the realism, of a Superman comic or a Star Wars Movie or a long running Shonen action anime.

Attempting to add more realism does nothing save make the game rather a nasty affair to play. Other systems can do realism, but not D&D, particularly 3.5 edition.




And just to put "Endgame" in perspective here, Conan is a freaking Gestalt Epic 6 character with a number of feats, a couple of AFC's and a house rule about the feats Acquire Martial Maneuver/Stance and Extra Ready Maneuver form tome of battle, and straight 18's in stats.

Sherlock Holmes is a 6th level Factotum who put all his feats into Fount of Inspiration and got an extra +1 Inherent Bonus to Int, which was an 18 and got his 4th level point to make his total in a 20.

Gandalf is another E6 Gestalt.

Yeah, honestly, the only way to excuse a party not being able to be conqueror's and emperors and the like, is if the world if full of people who at a personal level are considerably more powerful. Which is standard in published settings for most of the game's level run.

HolyCouncilMagi
2015-03-04, 04:47 PM
don't go knocking on what low level characters can accomplish when motivated and smart.

But low-level characters can't even afford very good stuff to boost Will saves or Intelligence, so higher-level characters will always be more-motivated and smarter...

Lord_Viper_69
2015-03-04, 04:51 PM
Worth noting that not all conquerors begin in positions of power. Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, and William the Conqueror had influential families, but they forged their own legacy into something much bigger. All without obtaining John McClane like ridiculousness.

Point being precedent exists for low level accomplishment of greatness. While I understand your issue with excessive magic items (recently in a campaign I'm in the players voted to be stripped of their magic items because things were so out of hand), don't go knocking on what low level characters can accomplish when motivated and smart.

I did not "knock" low level characters, I was comparing how magic separates those of essentially the same abilities before its inclusion. I enjoy doing much with little, make the most of what I have without needing items or magic. The character personality drives what they do.

Metahuman1
2015-03-04, 05:09 PM
I did not "knock" low level characters, I was comparing how magic separates those of essentially the same abilities before its inclusion. I enjoy doing much with little, make the most of what I have without needing items or magic. The character personality drives what they do.

Which sounds suspiciously like advocating caster supremacy and using the fact that casters are often the least gear dependent classes as a way to help enforce and exasperate it.

Lord_Viper_69
2015-03-04, 05:17 PM
Which sounds suspiciously like advocating caster supremacy and using the fact that casters are often the least gear dependent classes as a way to help enforce and exasperate it.

I do not enjoy caster supremacy. I vouch for a system with little to no magic; it is evident if all of my comments were read. I often seek to conduct actions requiring DM discretion (called shots, using terrain creatively, maneuvers not described in books but with appropriate skills and other "out of the box" thinking) to mitigate the gap between spellcasters and mundane characters.

I encourage RP as the best option for any action or encounter with violence as a tertiary.

Knaight
2015-03-04, 08:29 PM
Do tell. I am curious about the lengths people will go to avoiding any responsibility and or choices involving specific systems.

It's not even that, it's often just a stubborn refusal to acknowledge that the system has any effect on the game at all. There's an observation made that the group has a bigger effect than the system (which is more or less true), which then somehow warps into "the system has no effect at all". Counterexamples are then inevitably provided, and those counterexamples are obvious proof that the person giving them is a "roll player" who is totally system obsessed, and for people who are actually role playing it doesn't matter. I'm not saying that this is necessarily exactly what happened, but I'd put good odds on it being how it got started. It's a familiar conversation.

goto124
2015-03-04, 09:00 PM
IMHO, even if you don't go out of your way to protect player's possessions, they shouldn't lose it all that often. Maybe I just don't think of stealing PCs' items.

PlatinumVixen
2015-03-05, 01:37 AM
I don't think that stealing PC's items and sundering their weapons is out and out a bad thing, but it absolutely is not appropriate to many campaigns, and must be used sparingly and with care. Mind you, this is entirely built on D&D experience. I don't care much about losing possessions in other games.

The issue for me is that, while I consider sundering a viable, even realistic tactic, is simply that the way both 3.5 and PF are built, it is entirely possible, even probably, that you can render a Fighter or other heavily martial character absolutely useless at certain levels if you break their weapon. If you're throwing viable weapons at them regularly, sure, whatever, I can deal with it. If they had to go to a grand effort to keep their weapon relevant and you rarely send new weapons their way? You might as well have just killed the character off right then.

Sundering can absolutely work. But it must be used with thought and an eye towards your player's feelings. It's just a consequence of the way the game often turns out, at least in groups I've been in.

Arbane
2015-03-05, 04:23 AM
God-Emperors and great Conquerers would. Why not PCs?

Basically, because PCs aren't important people in the world. They're just there to be errand-boys for the important NPCs.

Lord_Viper_69
2015-03-05, 11:00 AM
Basically, because PCs aren't important people in the world. They're just there to be errand-boys for the important NPCs.

PC's are important. They are not the only important individuals in the world.

Real world actions still occur, kingdoms are ruled outside of their influence (generally), the world rotates.

Knaight
2015-03-05, 01:13 PM
Which sounds suspiciously like advocating caster supremacy and using the fact that casters are often the least gear dependent classes as a way to help enforce and exasperate it.

Hardly. It sounds like trying to have minimal magic items, caster supremacy is a system specific failure condition that gets exacerbated under those conditions. In other systems casters are balanced, in yet others they are actually way more item dependant than anyone else.

Beta Centauri
2015-03-05, 01:25 PM
It does add some "realism" to the game which may not be enjoyed. The idea of realism in a fantasy game, yes, strange. The characters can evolve and not be simply numbers on a sheet with rich backgrounds, specifically if the DM uses it properly and does not target them, spite their efforts or attempt to force conflict. If it reasonable within the game world, I see no problems.
I do like emotional attachments and pushing past "this is just a game" to something more.

D&D is not the best game for this but it can be accomplished in any system. I'm with you, particularly in that it depends on the GM. I've encountered lots of players who simply won't risk giving the GM anything that can be turned against the player, because they've been burned too often. It takes a lot of effort to get such a player to unclench and start developing a character with attachments.

I would expect the player in the original example to, yes, do what the GM is hoping and stop being attached to equipment. But I'd expect it to backfire, in that the player would stop being attached to anything, even the character, and maybe eventually even the game.

Frozen_Feet
2015-03-05, 10:45 PM
I actually think it does. Part of your logic, I think, comes form the foundation you have in your gaming experience. And your experience that forms your foundation is in systems were Money is less essential..

This is one thing you couldn't be more wrong about. In old school D&D, money = experience points. In Cyberpunk, it's essential to getting all the really neat twinked-out cybernetics, firearms and hacking equipment. The scenario you described (losing your weapons and your face) was not just something that happened, it was either central theme or an expected outcome of several published adventures we played.

The difference lies in whatever the heck it was you chose to do during those 10 other play sessions. Because that amount of real time was easily enough in all games I've played for either the player to work the character back up, or for months of in-game time to pass so the character would've had swords back that way. (If it had been me playing, I would've made the character commit seppuku because it would've been the setting appropriate thing to do, then rolled a new character. Or just bite the dishonour bullet and go full Ronin.)

If I had to guess what it was, I'll go back to the money part. As all sessions at their core were about getting loot, losing or having to abandon some of the stuff was just a speed bump. The guy with the katana or spiffy cybernetics were looking to replace those in some form anyway - so it didn't really affect the way they intended to play their characters. It maybe meant we'd have to be more careful and fight weaker enemies next few times (at least, we players did out darnest to go after weaker enemies), but it was seen as part of the main adventure, not some boring detour - because honestly there wasn't much of a difference.

You refer to this as playing "labor intensive cannon fodder", which is at the same time perfectly descriptive and utterly wrong. The "labor" really is just learning the rules and playing the game. As for cannon fodder? I ran a long OSR campaign for eleven different player groups. Between the players who had experience from old-school games, the players who expected the GM to guide them through a premade story, and the players completely fresh to the hobby, try to guess which ones didn't have pointless character deaths. As with most games, once it's known bad play leads to game over, typical players learn to avoid it or do it intentionally because they find it amusing. (http://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/v0.31:Losing)

As for completely new players, most of them barely have concept of what's going to happen in one session, let alone in 10. It's pretty rare to see a new player get upset over me ruining their character concept, because most don't even have the concept of a having a character concept. They don't share the assumptions or hang-ups of more experienced players, because how could they? I have deliberately screwed over new players to see what effect it would have, only for them to not notice at all and then thank me for a great game afterwards with big smiles on their faces. The one person who gets his expectations broken and subverted the most, is me.

Metahuman1
2015-03-06, 01:26 AM
This is one thing you couldn't be more wrong about. In old school D&D, money = experience points. In Cyberpunk, it's essential to getting all the really neat twinked-out cybernetics, firearms and hacking equipment. The scenario you described (losing your weapons and your face) was not just something that happened, it was either central theme or an expected outcome of several published adventures we played.

The difference lies in whatever the heck it was you chose to do during those 10 other play sessions. Because that amount of real time was easily enough in all games I've played for either the player to work the character back up, or for months of in-game time to pass so the character would've had swords back that way. (If it had been me playing, I would've made the character commit seppuku because it would've been the setting appropriate thing to do, then rolled a new character. Or just bite the dishonour bullet and go full Ronin.)

If I had to guess what it was, I'll go back to the money part. As all sessions at their core were about getting loot, losing or having to abandon some of the stuff was just a speed bump. The guy with the katana or spiffy cybernetics were looking to replace those in some form anyway - so it didn't really affect the way they intended to play their characters. It maybe meant we'd have to be more careful and fight weaker enemies next few times (at least, we players did out darnest to go after weaker enemies), but it was seen as part of the main adventure, not some boring detour - because honestly there wasn't much of a difference.

You refer to this as playing "labor intensive cannon fodder", which is at the same time perfectly descriptive and utterly wrong. The "labor" really is just learning the rules and playing the game. As for cannon fodder? I ran a long OSR campaign for eleven different player groups. Between the players who had experience from old-school games, the players who expected the GM to guide them through a premade story, and the players completely fresh to the hobby, try to guess which ones didn't have pointless character deaths. As with most games, once it's known bad play leads to game over, typical players learn to avoid it or do it intentionally because they find it amusing. (http://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/v0.31:Losing)

As for completely new players, most of them barely have concept of what's going to happen in one session, let alone in 10. It's pretty rare to see a new player get upset over me ruining their character concept, because most don't even have the concept of a having a character concept. They don't share the assumptions or hang-ups of more experienced players, because how could they? I have deliberately screwed over new players to see what effect it would have, only for them to not notice at all and then thank me for a great game afterwards with big smiles on their faces. The one person who gets his expectations broken and subverted the most, is me.

Ok.

1: Actually, no, no I'm not wrong. Now, here's the question. "Why is he not wrong when I just explained that money was a thing that controlled everything in those systems?"

Answer: Because in those systems, there was no hard cap on money for your level were, once it was acquired/spent, it was gone. 3.5 D&D does not have this. You are not, by the rules, getting another 8,000+ GP extra if your +1 Magebane sword is sundered. Period. And the further you go, the more the rules just smack you and say "Denied."


I rolled (Untrained.) gather info rolls, with what ever help the party members could/would give me (not much since all but one of them were told "You look down on him because of his inexperience and his clan being lower status then your clan." in session 1 by the DM.) for someone who would give me or make me swords, or fix the one's that I'd lost. I was consistently told "No." for a about a half dozen reasons ranging form "Won't do it if your not my clan" to "Busy with my own clan cause were at war even though your an ally." to "Your Beneath me.".

Once in a VERY great while we'd get a defeated opponent who would loose his swords either when taken captive or killed, and those would be immediately confiscated by the 10th level or so NPC giving us our missions as this was the "proper" practice cause looting the dead was bad yadda, yadda setting fluff that basically boiled down to "I knew I was deliberately screwing you over the moment I gave that monk 3 feats to make him excel as a sunder monkey, and I wrote the setting fluff knowing that it would screw anyone who went with any kind of weapons based concept and did it anyway so I'd have an excuse of "fluff" to hide behind *trollface.*" and was told several times "Well, you could carry/use them, but every member of that clan with any magic or combat skill/training/ability is gonna try to gank you on sight since there not marked as being made for your clan. And the smiths are gonna give you the same reasons and an answer of "No" if you try to get them to modify it, assuming they don't tell you to go and come back and have a dozen or more Samurai from that clan handy to try and gank you for dishonorably stealing swords form one of there clansmen."

So, yes, I tried, VERY hard, for 10 sessions, and got nothing but stone walled.

As for why I had a character concept? That was something that group had made it a big point to try and teach me, was the importance of character concepts. They'd done it in the previous game (Hero system super hero's, I went with a big good flying brick type and it worked out pretty well actually even though yes, a number of things went wrong for that character too. the difference was I could at least do a number of the things I wanted to do with him the majority of the time.), and had worked with me for better then a half hour before the game started on just that part of it, concept, no mechanics, before they even wanted me to roll stats or pick a race or class. Only to screw me over with that concept not all that long there after.

And before you say that was a central premise of the game, no, no it wasn't. If it was it would have been happening consistently to the rest of the party. It wasn't. There was one incident were lord jerk face I'm leading ninja's and blaming you for it that I describe earlier started trolling the fire Shugenja with lot's of creepy sex undertones thinly veiled but nothing that ever actually effected her play mechanically in the least. And everyone else got lots of credit for when things went right, except me. I got blamed when they went wrong though, front and center for that. (Even when if STILL managed to save several characters or when I was admitted later by the DM to have been almost as important to bailing that princess out as the Fire Shugenja because if Lore jerk face hadn't been distracted by me her plan would have failed.)

So, no, it was just lousy DMing. The ONLY right spot is that he had told me when I was looking at books for ideas not to look at Tome of Battle, because it was "Stupid Broken." That experience was so bad that I decided in future games to ignore that advice (Which I'd also gotten from a different group.) and discovered just how brilliant Tome of Battle was and refuse to play a 3.5 game with out it. Which could have just as easily happened if he'd said "You know, I think either a warblade or a swordsage would do your concept some good, here, let's try one of them out and see what happens." Course, that would have meant screwing me over less. (Particularly cause I likely could have dropped the Monk faster and maybe not lost my Katana's. Or at least not BOTH of them. Just off the top of my head.) And it taught me to instantly distrust anyone who talks about Role Playing/Story/Character concept/flavor/fluff as being more then at most, equally important to mechanics, because that's a massive red flag that there gonna use that as an excuse to be jerks.

And now we come to the points I highlighted. Yeah. I'm, actually, just gonna let that part hang, cause, well, it speaks volumes all on it's own.

BWR
2015-03-06, 07:08 AM
Ok.

1: Actually, no, no I'm not wrong. Now, here's the question. "Why is he not wrong when I just explained that money was a thing that controlled everything in those systems?"

Answer: Because in those systems, there was no hard cap on money for your level were, once it was acquired/spent, it was gone. 3.5 D&D does not have this. You are not, by the rules, getting another 8,000+ GP extra if your +1 Magebane sword is sundered. Period. And the further you go, the more the rules just smack you and say "Denied."



What on earth are you talking about? Are you really claiming that 3.5 has a hard rule that says you are only allowed a certain amount of wealth per level? Or is this merely how your DM handles it?

neonchameleon
2015-03-06, 07:43 AM
OK.

D&D has magic swords as a significant part of a PC's power. The average high level fighter in D&D bears more relationship to Iron Man than they do to Captain America; their equipment contributes greatly to their effectiveness. But unlike Iron Man they can't repair and rebuild their items. Which means item destruction is as harmful as level drain. On a series of botched rolls, would you have drained the spellcaster of a level? If not then don't take away the fighter's equipment.

Other systems are different. If I'm running a Firefly game I will take away Simon Tam's gun at the drop of a hat. (I won't take away River's, but that's because it's more fun not to). Simon's not a shooter and whether or not he has a gun isn't a part of his character. (Under the Firefly system it's not even written on his character sheet). On the other hand the only times I'll take Vera away from Jayne are situations where no one is allowed to have a gun at all (weapons checks and the like) and that with the understanding he'll get Vera back at the next opportunity to rearm. This is because Vera is a part of Jayne's character.

That said in D&D I use the 4e Dark Sun Weapon Breakage rules. Roll a 1 and you may reroll, risking your sword when you do so. In chaff fights no one wants to risk their sword. Against big bosses? It's the safer option. And no one complains - that was their risk to run and they knew the odds.

Sliver
2015-03-06, 08:51 AM
What on earth are you talking about? Are you really claiming that 3.5 Iמas a hard rule that says you are only allowed a certain amount of wealth per level? Or is this merely how your DM handles it?

It's not how much you are allowed, it's how much you can get. If the DM doesn't give you any gold, or a small amount, then losing a piece of equipment is a serious hindrance. Even if you do get a normal allotment or wealth, the other players might not be willing to give you a bigger split, meaning that you are going to be behind them in terms of wealth. Some are okay with that, others aren't.

It's not fun if the DM constantly destroys or messes with your equipment but doesn't provide any way to replace it while still sending challenges that are balanced on the assumption that you have that gear.

Slipperychicken
2015-03-06, 12:34 PM
What on earth are you talking about? Are you really claiming that 3.5 has a hard rule that says you are only allowed a certain amount of wealth per level? Or is this merely how your DM handles it?

It's the mindset I referred to over here on the first page:



-snip-

Thirdly, there's a mentality among 3.x players (particularly newbies, but veterans sometimes face it too) regarding consumables and equipment, which I think is caused partly by WBL and items' central role in character progression. It's like XP that you keep in your wallet. There's a feeling that you're only going to get so much money over the course of a campaign, which means you can only progress so much. Any loss, no matter how small, and no matter the cause, constitutes irreparable damage to your character and must be avenged or recovered...

The mentality is persistent, even when DMs explicitly compensate for consumables and lost gear in future loot.

Metahuman1
2015-03-06, 01:49 PM
Really? Cause, majority of my DM's have just pointed at the WBL chart in the DMG and said "You had this. It is not my fault you wasted it on stuff that got lost/stolen/broken anymore then it would be my fault if you spent it on potions and used them up. Deal with it, it's part of the systems rules."

So, no, it's a rule. It's a bad, stupid, ill conceived and poorly though out rule, but it's a rule.



And that assumes a normal game. Heaven help you if your in a game like the one I described.

Flickerdart
2015-03-06, 01:54 PM
Really? Cause, majority of my DM's have just pointed at the WBL chart in the DMG and said "You had this. It is not my fault you wasted it on stuff that got lost/stolen/broken anymore then it would be my fault if you spent it on potions and used them up. Deal with it, it's part of the systems rules."
Your DMs were wrong - WBL is not "value of the loot that was dropped for you" but "value of the equipment you have."

Talakeal
2015-03-06, 03:05 PM
I am pretty sure WBL is not a strict measurement of either how much wealth a character currently has Or has ever earned, merely the average of what a character should have rolled on the random treasure table after killing enough monsters to have reached that experiance level.

Seerow
2015-03-06, 03:19 PM
I am pretty sure WBL is not a strict measurement of either how much wealth a character currently has Or has ever earned, merely the average of what a character should have rolled on the random treasure table after killing enough monsters to have reached that experiance level.

Actually, WBL is a measure of how much equipment a PC is supposed to have on them at any given time. If you add up the average loot drops from the encounters necessary to reach a given level, you'll note that it consistently comes out a bit ahead of the WBL charts. I think by something like 10%, but I'm not sure on the exact amount. But in theory that extra bit is what is supposed to cover consumables used and such. But there is nowhere near enough leeway there to make up for say a Fighter getting his 100k+ gp sword destroyed.

Flickerdart
2015-03-06, 03:24 PM
I am pretty sure WBL is not a strict measurement of either how much wealth a character currently has Or has ever earned, merely the average of what a character should have rolled on the random treasure table after killing enough monsters to have reached that experiance level.
Nope. The notes for the table even explain that WBL is intentionally less than you'd get on the random tables because it's assumed that a bunch of money will be invested in consumables. It's a rather useful read that most people skim or skip.

Talakeal
2015-03-06, 05:30 PM
Nope. The notes for the table even explain that WBL is intentionally less than you'd get on the random tables because it's assumed that a bunch of money will be invested in consumables. It's a rather useful read that most people skim or skip.

That's true, but that's not really my point.

What I am trying to say is that WBL is just a guideline based on averages, not a hard rule, and there are no rules preventing or requiring a Game Master to give a different amount, reimburse players for losses and consumables, or otherwise micro manage player wealth to make sure the adhere to the totals.*



One interesting thing I noticed though, it does say that it is a DM's job to make sure the players distribute wealth evenly, but gives no suggestions on how. In my current group one of the players has nearly double the wealth of the other players because he is very frugal and refuses to contribute to party expenses, and when I suggested the players start dividing their net rather than gross income the player went on an objectivist rant about how he deserved more than the others because he was smarter with money and they had no business telling him what to do or even judging him for doing it.

When I asked for a solution on the playground I was told to keep out of it, that splitting wealth is purely the players responsibility; but the DMG flat out says that it is the DM's. Anyone have any advice or anecdotes about how a DM should go about doing this without violating player agency?



*I am aware there is a line somewhere in the DMG that, if read a certain way, implies the DM is obliged to give players extra wealth to replace any that they waste or consume, but it is also my understanding that it is only the minority interpretation.

Beta Centauri
2015-03-06, 06:38 PM
When I asked for a solution on the playground I was told to keep out of it, that splitting wealth is purely the players responsibility; but the DMG flat out says that it is the DM's. Anyone have any advice or anecdotes about how a DM should go about doing this without violating player agency? I don't know what "violating player agency" would mean in this case. The player is entitled to save his money and not contribute, and not to spread the total wealth over the whole party.

That player is not entitled to make the game unpleasant for the other players. It's not clear to me that he is making the game unpleasant (except probably when he rants), but if having more money means he is somehow inhibiting the other players' ability to contribute meaningfully with the game, then something should change. The GM doesn't have to take away the player's money, and shouldn't, but if the GM finds a way to allow the other players to contribute just as meaningfully, despite not having saved money, then that would address their concerns without negating his achievement.

If what he was trying to achieve was the sidelining of the other players, I can't muster much sympathy for him.


*I am aware there is a line somewhere in the DMG that, if read a certain way, implies the DM is obliged to give players extra wealth to replace any that they waste or consume, but it is also my understanding that it is only the minority interpretation. My interpretation of the intent of wealth-by-level and treasure parcels is that the game is making a lot of assumptions about character effectiveness, and hewing to those guidelines allows those assumptions to be more reliable. I don't see how one could assume that the game will work and be fun at a given level no matter how the characters spent their rewards up to that point; the designers had to have assumes it would be spent on and consist of a reasonably wise set of possessions, because there's no real way to design a game that's fun no matter what the characters buy. And I seriously doubt that the designers wanted to the game to be less fun for players who weren't financial experts.

But do wealth however you want. If your players are happy, you're doing it right. If they're not, good luck making them happy by pointing at the rules and telling them they should be happy.

Sith_Happens
2015-03-06, 07:07 PM
(Particularly cause I likely could have dropped the Monk faster and maybe not lost my Katana's. Or at least not BOTH of them. Just off the top of my head.)

Don't forget the part where maneuvers don't care what weapon you're using, so you could have grabbed a pair of clubs and fought about as well as if you'd had the katanas. And this DM obviously couldn't have that.


Are you really claiming that 3.5 has a hard rule that says you are only allowed a certain amount of wealth per level?

Yes and no. While XP and gp aren't directly linked to each other, they are correlated. If your DM is both balancing encounters and awarding treasure "by the book," then there exists some function f such that, on average, a party that's earned k XP will have received f(k) gp's worth of treasure in total, and any equipment breakage constitutes a downwards translation of that function. If your DM adjusts encounter difficulties downwards (or you seek out weaker encounters, depending on the campaign style) to account for the breakage, on the other hand, then things get more complicated; specifically, the slope of f increases and I don't know if it does so by enough to eventually replace the broken equipment.

Coidzor
2015-03-06, 07:47 PM
The mentality is persistent, even when DMs explicitly compensate for consumables and lost gear in future loot.

DMs who explicitly will not compensate for it in any way shape and form certainly don't help matters. Especially when any attempts to explain a position other than their own, even as an expository piece rather than a persuasive argument are met with vitriol and bitter recriminations. :smalltongue:

Edit: Rather like those DMs who are obsessed with making paladins fall, they have a much bigger impact than just on those they play with directly.


One interesting thing I noticed though, it does say that it is a DM's job to make sure the players distribute wealth evenly, but gives no suggestions on how. In my current group one of the players has nearly double the wealth of the other players because he is very frugal and refuses to contribute to party expenses, and when I suggested the players start dividing their net rather than gross income the player went on an objectivist rant about how he deserved more than the others because he was smarter with money and they had no business telling him what to do or even judging him for doing it.

When I asked for a solution on the playground I was told to keep out of it, that splitting wealth is purely the players responsibility; but the DMG flat out says that it is the DM's. Anyone have any advice or anecdotes about how a DM should go about doing this without violating player agency?

Cough pointedly and ask the rest of the players why they're kowtowing to and paying the way of the guy who not only has the richest character of them all, but who isn't even investing his wealth in his character's ability to contribute to the survival of the party in combat/adventuring?

Granted, the moment a player brought up politics like that particular player did, I'd be considering booting him out the door, because nothing good comes out of a real world political argument at the D&D table. One of the biggest similarities between playing D&D and posting on GITP, actually.

Metahuman1
2015-03-07, 01:06 AM
Don't forget the part where maneuvers don't care what weapon you're using, so you could have grabbed a pair of clubs and fought about as well as if you'd had the katanas. And this DM obviously couldn't have that.



Yes and no. While XP and gp aren't directly linked to each other, they are correlated. If your DM is both balancing encounters and awarding treasure "by the book," then there exists some function f such that, on average, a party that's earned k XP will have received f(k) gp's worth of treasure in total, and any equipment breakage constitutes a downwards translation of that function. If your DM adjusts encounter difficulties downwards (or you seek out weaker encounters, depending on the campaign style) to account for the breakage, on the other hand, then things get more complicated; specifically, the slope of f increases and I don't know if it does so by enough to eventually replace the broken equipment.

Or at least remained effective-ish with the Wakazashi and actually killed him. But, yes, I agree that it was decidedly in "Not cool" territory.

Frozen_Feet
2015-03-09, 08:30 AM
Answer: Because in those systems, there was no hard cap on money for your level were, once it was acquired/spent, it was gone. 3.5 D&D does not have this. You are not, by the rules, getting another 8,000+ GP extra if your +1 Magebane sword is sundered. Period. And the further you go, the more the rules just smack you and say "Denied."

WBL is not a hard cap in 3.x., and any reading of it as such is mistaken. Even if it was a cap, there are myriad ways for working back up to that; there are rules for earning money with, say, Profession and Perform checks.

Nevermind that the presence or absence of a cap doesn't matter. Just because old school games are about acquisition of wealth, there's no rule saying they will get it. Ditto for Cyberpunk. You don't automatically get anything to compensate for lost gear; it's up to the players to work for it.


So, yes, I tried, VERY hard, for 10 sessions, and got nothing but stone walled.

There's a difference between options having bad consquences, and being stonewalled. Did you actually do, in-game, any of the stuff mentioned, or were you just dissuaded out of it by being told the consequences?


As for why I had a character concept? That was something that group had made it a big point to try and teach me, was the importance of character concepts . . . Only to screw me over with that concept not all that long there after.

There was a sentence I omitted from my last post, and now regret it, because it was aimed at the root of this. It was "unless specifically taught by older players". The older players, in this case, told you to expect one thing and then broke it. This is either a tutorial failure or active malice.


I rolled (Untrained.) gather info rolls, with what ever help the party members could/would give me (not much since all but one of them were told "You look down on him because of his inexperience and his clan being lower status then your clan." in session 1 by the DM . . . So, no, it was just lousy DMing.

So the GM told the players how their characters should act and no-one challenged this or went the other way in 10 sessions? Have you considered this is the real problem, rather than having your equipment destroyed?

This, coupled with the above, makes me question what sort of players you were playing with. It's a pretty far cry from the sort of play I've been advocating; if anything, it sounds like the concept-first / story-first attitude I've been opposing, except this time, the attitude was not internal to the player, but rather foisted on you by the rest of the group.

EDIT:

To other things:


One interesting thing I noticed though, it does say that it is a DM's job to make sure the players distribute wealth evenly, but gives no suggestions on how . . .
When I asked for a solution on the playground I was told to keep out of it, that splitting wealth is purely the players responsibility; but the DMG flat out says that it is the DM's. Anyone have any advice or anecdotes about how a DM should go about doing this without violating player agency?

This is one of the cases where the rules are incomplete and quite likely contradictory. The easiest way is to just ignore that line and let the players divide loot as they will; the second easiest way is for the GM to ignore player agency and dictate that loot is always divided evenly, period. However, the latter method works really poorly with non-currency wealth, especially poorly with randomly generated magic items. You pretty much have to make treasure non-random if you wish to go that way.

Ironically, the way D&D has handled this is/was precisely the sort of behaviour opposed by many of the players here: have the overtly rich or powerful character be targeted by thieves and other bad things. There are and were other mechanics and "soft" ways to encourage splitting via in-setting events and roleplaying, such as hirelings refusing to work if they don't get their share etc.. This does not violate player agency, as it's achieved completely through GM's listed game pieces (NPCs and environment), but you can't really expect a perfectly even division, as there's a chance the rich or powerful character will just deal with it in one way or another instead of changing their habits.

Another equally devious way is to, out-of-character, remind the other players and their characters how this one person is ripping them off, and subtly try to get them to go on a mutiny or put pressure on the rich one. This runs afoul of another RPG "taboo", though: that of "no PvP!" :smallamused:

Metahuman1
2015-03-09, 09:10 AM
Really? Cause, majority of my DM's have just pointed at the WBL chart in the DMG and said "You had this. It is not my fault you wasted it on stuff that got lost/stolen/broken anymore then it would be my fault if you spent it on potions and used them up. Deal with it, it's part of the systems rules."

So, no, it's a rule. It's a bad, stupid, ill conceived and poorly though out rule, but it's a rule.



And that assumes a normal game. Heaven help you if your in a game like the one I described.

See the above. If it's not a rule, it's such a common house rule that it might as well be. (Circa monk's proficient with there own body's.) And I have encountered it so many times that I have stopped being surprised and started treating like the default. Pretty much everyone else seems to.

So, yeah, hard cap. More so since Profession and Craft skills are explicitly slow, and if you character happens to be something the DM says "well they generally weren't suppose to/allowed to craft/be handymen because of status." (A noble who's not a total runaway, a knight, a Samurai *cought*bigpartoftheconcept*cought*) "So, no, can't use them for that.".

And it doesn't help that things like money from selling the material made in an Iron Wall spell is considered game breaking (You know, almost like there was suppose to be a hard cap there or something.) and Item Crafting is specifically designed to not allow you to sell for profit with out jumping through crazy hoops. (Because, you know, more money would break the game, almost like there's a hard cap or something.).

So, if it's not in the system, this is just another case of "Dear god did Wizards of the Coast need a competent Editor.", which means, sadly, it's like the reading on more then half the spells in the game. It's stupid and broken the minute you start to think about it, but, them's the breaks.



And yes, I rolled the checks (I tried taking 20 on the checks but couldn't because we didn't have that much down time between missions. And taking 10 did not yield a high enough result.), I talked to the NPC's and the DM, repeatedly, about either keeping a sword or two we picked up after a fight or getting mine fixed, and I laid out the end results. Which was why I laid those out in the post you quoted. (And yes, the summery was "Nope.".)




And it was far longer then that. He told them at session 1 that this was gonna be the case. I though at the time, and was reassured a couple of sessions later, that at higher levels this would slack off as I got achievements and experience (and personal power ala Levels.). Which, did not happen, as I didn't survive long enough to get those levels and all attempts to get those accomplishments backfired spectacularly. I could have alleviated some of it before start by playing a different concept with a different clan that was looked down on less (I would have had to as he explained only 1 clan does TWF thus if I wanted to do Duel Katana's I had to play that clan.), but that would have required me to have wanted to play a different concept at that stage.

So, no, I don't think this was Solely a product of "Concept/story first gaming", though that was a contributing factor. I think a significant part of this was game mechanics that can be pointed to to back up "Nope" after permanently crippling a character, and only a certain type of character to boot. (One that isn't a dedicated caster.) In fact, after the character died, that was a proposed way to keep that from happening again. "Just play a cleric or a Sorcerer, there awesome and probably won't have that problem!". And then my work scheduled shifted and I stopped playing with that group as I couldn't get to sessions so nothing ever came of that.

Frozen_Feet
2015-03-09, 09:28 AM
And yes, I rolled the checks (I tried taking 20 on the checks but couldn't because we didn't have that much down time between missions. And taking 10 did not yield a high enough result.), I talked to the NPC's and the DM, repeatedly, about either keeping a sword or two we picked up after a fight or getting mine fixed, and I laid out the end results. Which was why I laid those out in the post you quoted. (And yes, the summery was "Nope.".)

I didn't refer to talking. I meant, did you actually loot any bodies and try to get away with it, and if so, what was the result?

Metahuman1
2015-03-09, 09:44 AM
A 10th Level NPC with actual magic gear (DM would not specify beyond knowing that he used single sword style like most Samurai in the setting and it was known his sword was "potently" magical. I know meta it was at bare minimum a +1 vicious but there could have been higher +'s or other ability's that he didn't care to demon-straight the one time we saw him fight with it.) telling me "Well, time to hand it over now so that I can have this packaged up and shipped off to his family as is the honorable practice." (Translation: Fork it over, you don't get replacement money or loot.)

On one occasion were I tried to make temporary use, I was very nearly killed, dropped into negative HP by a charging lance (Refluffed for the setting as Yari.) attack from a mounted Samurai form a clan that specialized in Breserkers and Calvary (Mounted combat and "Power of honorable ancestors" being refluffed form Barbarian Rage.), and had the swords taken at the end of the exchange. The only reason I didn't die was that instead of drawing swords, I was holding up the symbol that worked as my badge of current office to them the entire time the charge was coming, and this guy didn't act on it (having failed his spot check to notice this important detail.), and then after the guy hit me but before he could come around and finish it, the rest of the group yelled at him and showed there badges of office, marking us as working directly for the Emperor. Which got him to stop long enough for them to explain that I had not stolen the swords, but had found them on some horse thieves we'd just killed and had been sent out to hunt, and that we were returning to the capital now and the magistrate we were working under would return them upon our arrival. And then they stabilized me with a healing spell from one of the casters (I forget if it was the Druid or the Water Shugenja.). This was enough to get him not to kill me, but the senior member of the group recognized them as belonging to his family and took them off us before leaving with a "Thanks." to the rest of the party. (Not to me as I got K.O.ed which was dishonorable after all.).



It was also explained that had I drawn a weapon, I WOULD have been finished off before they'd even hear "Yeah, your not suppose to do that.", but that I should take comfort that cause the guy had jumped the gun abit and potentially (but not in actuality.) made himself and his superior look bad to an imperial magistrate, that he'd be getting a talking to form his Daimyo.

Broken Twin
2015-03-09, 10:33 AM
@Metahuman1: So you did the honorable thing and didn't draw your blade, the guy who attacked you did the dishonorable thing and attacked an unarmed emperor-sanctioned samurai, and you were somehow not entitled to compensation for his actions against you? Wow your GM was a jerk.

And how do you fail to notice what the guy you're charging at is holding in his hand? Especially one who's not taking any aggressive actions? That's got to be a critical failure.

------------------------------------------

Regardless of whether the WBL for 3.5 was a hard limit or a soft cap, a point of contention is that the classes that were the most gear dependent were frequently the only ones who suffered gear loss. Even then, a wizard who loses his prized staff is inconvenienced, but a fighter who loses his prized blade is at a significant disadvantage. Targeting gear in a game where said gear makes up a significant portion of your character's ability is cruel, unless the GM provides usable ways for the players to recover their losses. In games where gear is auxiliary to the characters... yeah, break, steal, draw and discard.

Frozen_Feet
2015-03-09, 10:39 AM
The more you tell, the more it sounds like your whole group was actively conspiring against you being able to do stuff with your character, period. There are problems there, certainly, but overall it's pretty far-removed from just having your equipment destroyed. The playstyle I'm advocating has players work for their stuff and sucking up losses, but it also the GM allowing the players to work for their stuff and sucking up losses just as well. There's a symmetry there that didn't even exist between you and the other players in your game.

Metahuman1
2015-03-09, 10:42 AM
I assume he was Fighter and/or Barbarian and/or Paladin and/or CW Samurai. Thus, few if any points in Wisdom and few if ANY spot ranks.

And nope, was doing my duty, don't get paid for doing duty after all. (One of several reasons I play Chaotic or Neutral characters now as a hard and fast rule rather then Lawful.). Doesn't help that it was Honor Neutral since he THOUGH he was killing horse thieves, and stopped when his error came to his attention, didn't actually kill me, and DID actually knock me out by breaking his Yari (which he'd have to replace after all. Such a pain in the ass. *Glares.*) on the opposite side of my chest cavity that it entered form. And you know, Samurai, being knocked out counts as a loss, so, Dishonorable!




And people wonder why I have no patience for games that take your wealth away and ban Tome of Battle for being "Broken.".

Edit: Ninja'd.


Or, you know, there was the matter of the previously explained "You got the money, you spent it on swords. It is not my fault these techniques exist and you fought someone who used them, and lost, badly. He was the same level you were, fair fight, now suck it up. I am not obligated to give you extra wealth to replace what you spent on the swords anymore then if you'd spent it on Potions and used them up."

That's not conspiring against me. THAT is playing the system as it is. Ruthless and unforgiving of loss of money unless your a dedicated caster.

The malicious part would be other things like the Samurai are expected to answer when challenge by other samurai to single combat, everything else be damned, being a thing that let 20th level NPC's get me in single combat, or banning Tome of Battle as Broken. Especially Banning Tome of Battle as Broken.

goto124
2015-03-09, 10:51 AM
And nope, was doing my duty, don't get paid for doing duty after all. (One of several reasons I play Chaotic or Neutral characters now as a hard and fast rule rather then Lawful.).

As someone who'd has similar experience, I agree with you.

Broken Twin
2015-03-09, 11:18 AM
And nope, was doing my duty, don't get paid for doing duty after all. (One of several reasons I play Chaotic or Neutral characters now as a hard and fast rule rather then Lawful.). Doesn't help that it was Honor Neutral since he THOUGH he was killing horse thieves, and stopped when his error came to his attention, didn't actually kill me, and DID actually knock me out by breaking his Yari (which he'd have to replace after all. Such a pain in the ass. *Glares.*) on the opposite side of my chest cavity that it entered form. And you know, Samurai, being knocked out counts as a loss, so, Dishonorable!

How did you not blow a gasket at this GM? Not getting paid for doing your duty? Ridiculous! Maybe not in material goods, but at the minimum your employer would gift you with prestige, land, or something in thanks for performing your duties. Not doing so encourages your warriors to go rogue, or seek better conditions under a different leader. Bare minimum, the emperor would want you to look like you're well off under his rule, as it would encourage others to aspire to your position.

And either your GM has a really weird take on how honor systems work, or the setting you were playing does. In an Honor system, intentions don't matter, what you do does. WHY he attacked you doesn't matter, the fact is that he failed to properly assess the situation, and acted dishonorably because of it. And you didn't suffer a loss in combat, because you didn't engage him in combat. ARG.

Metahuman1
2015-03-09, 11:38 AM
Rewards for Exceptional service happened. Usually at the end of your tenure in one big lump sum. (What we were doing was described during planning as the settings version of Jury Duty, which was intended, we were told, to explain why certain things that didn't necessarily make perfect sense were happening. Like why members of clans on bad terms with one another weren't killing one another on sight per there Daimyo's orders (Cause Emperor Trumps Daimyo as a rule of thumb.) or why a druid was wasting time with the party. That kinda stuff.) I just didn't live to get these rewards cause "Occupational Hazard." and I did leave the group do to a scheduling conflict right after "Occupational Hazard" finally got me. And we did get SOME authority, which is why anyone so much as gave us time of day, and likely why in the described incident, I wasn't finished off anyway just cause since his clan and my clan were not getting along at that point in time.

Combat in OA, per this GM, is ideally "Out came my weapon, I hit him once before he could do anything, then I stepped up while he was helpless on the ground and finished it/he died instantly form that initial hit.". Me not fighting back doesn't do me any favors, it just doesn't borrow additional trouble. And again, it was Dishonorable, culturally frowned upon, and outright illegal to take another Samurai's swords and do much of anything other then give them to a rep form his clan. And ultra taboo to handle anything that was dead more then utterly essential for things like a funeral function. (Both of which translated to "Not just gonna find and pick up a new sword.".)

As to intentions, they don't always matter, but they can. It was previously why I was not demanded to preform Seppuku by my Daimyo over insulting the 20th level NPC trying to kill the princess and my inadvertent insult offered to him during that event. Cause, I was prioritizing protecting the princess, so it was alright for him to simply downgrade the punishment to "Lose face. BADLY!" as long as I took it.

And he did say he'd be getting a talking to form His Daymio for it. For the fat lot of good that actually did me.





As for not blowing my stack at him, I was very much under the impression this was how the game was, period. At least for an OA game, having never played one before and having played few games before. (And a number of subsequent games re-enforced this position.).

I eventually learned this was by and large not true (With the possible exceptions of OA having only done 1 other OA game and that was a PBP that died before we even had our first three pages of interactions and the point about money.) and have since had little patience for games or GMs or DM's that wanna run that way.

Now day's, he'd have gotten as far as "Tome of Battle is Banned for being Broken." and if after a few minutes of trying to persuade him of the grievous error of this position he wasn't coming around, I'd not play, that simple.





In fairness, part of the mess was my fault for lack of experience to know certain things. Like the fact that Fighter is a trap class despite what anyone might tell you. Just for the sake of fairness.

Frozen_Feet
2015-03-09, 11:45 AM
That's not conspiring against me. THAT is playing the system as it is. Ruthless and unforgiving of loss of money unless your a dedicated caster . . . The malicious part would be other things...

As noted, the player can play the system just as well via stealing or profession checks etc.. It's those other things that are the main problem here. The system may have made you lose the stuff, but it's them that very much prevent you from getting anything back.

Metahuman1
2015-03-09, 12:55 PM
No, no, definitely the system. There not gonna cool there heels for months and years while I make profession checks to recover cash, and the world isn't gonna abide a Samurai dishonoring himself by working a trade for simple money, there above that after all, there Samurai.



And don't even get me started on stealing, which, even if I WASN'T a samurai (and I was.) was never an option cause Lawful Good.

Sliver
2015-03-09, 01:43 PM
You know, in a system that it's such a great dishonor to take someone else's sword, it's also pretty much dishonorable to break it on purpose.

The DM specifically made an opponent that specifically targeted the items you depended on in a setting he specifically created so that it would be impossible to recover from such punishment which would specifically only ruin your character which was suggested to you by other players and not of your won initiative. Specifically.

Everything else is excuses. You clearly wanted the situation to change and the DM refused to accommodate you in any way. He blocked you out of his game.

That's not the fault of the system. The system doesn't dictate that all rewards should be given by the employer and anything else you encounter is taken from you. The DM chose a setting, the game style and the foes to send against the party, knowing full well that you would be the only one to suffer. Considering all the other stories followed, he was targeting you.


You were plenty dishonored already. You were shamed, your weapons broken and you lost many times. How much lower can you drop? With everybody looking down on him and him not being able to regain any form of weaponry while nobody else cared, why did he continue? I think there's less shame in admitting defeat than to take the empror's so-few-that-his-men-can't-be-provided-with-replacement-weapons-to-actually-do-their-work resources and pretending that he can still contribute. I would have retired that character and made something that can't be messed with by a spiteful DM, or simply left.

You confuse me.

Metahuman1
2015-03-09, 01:57 PM
Dishonorable for Samurai to break them. Honor becomes far less important to none Samurai classes. But they don't get to duel wield Katana's. Which is what I said I wanted to do. "I wanna do a character that uses Duel Katana's, I think that would be cool." And the DM's response was "we can work with that.".





And you know, it's a funny thing, it would have gone far Better if there had not been the sunder monkey to fight. But that was only a problem because I'm gear dependent, in a system that is not at all interested in cutting slack to players who have there gear stolen or destroyed. That, is the system failing.

And incidentally, it wasn't going THAT badly prior to the swords being sundered episode. I'd had

1 chewing out form my dimyo and 1 meaningful loss because of stupid 20th level lord jerk face and is "Oh come on who the hell are you fooling of course there freaking ninja's!". I'd also had a couple of successes.

Then that fight were I lost, (And subsequently didn't manage to force the party to take my fellow clan member who turned out to be the Diamyo's son alive and he died at there hands.) and had my swords broke. Then it went to crap.



I didn't quite the campaign or retire the character because I was young and lacked the experience I have now. Course, as I stated up thread, that DM would have lost me as a player at "Tome of battle is Broken and Banned.". And because I was under the impression that if I could juuuuust tough it out I'd get them fixed eventually. Probably during a time skip we knew was coming down the pipe (Scheduled for 2 sessions after I died. That group alternated DM's every so many Months, who ran different games in different systems to give one another a break.).

Now, I just take the lessons hard taught in that game. Sundering is a big no-no, characters are mostly cripplingly gear dependent and messing with gear is a deal breaker, and Tome of Battle MUST be on the table no matter what. Period.

Sliver
2015-03-09, 02:37 PM
The system isn't wrong for having counters. Arcane casters can be screwed with too (3.5e, at least), as they need rest, and wizards also need a book. If the DM wants to be a jerk and shut down your character, he can do it regardless of the system. He can simply decide that you are the only level 1 character in his world, and everybody is level 10+. The system isn't at fault that you are playing with an a-hole.

3.5e, and I'd imagine many other systems, has plenty of faults. This? That's about attitude.

Had the DM allowed you to get a replacement weapon, or two, and didn't encourage other players to turn against you, you would have felt differently.

I agree that messing with the item that a character needs to do its job isn't fun for that player and shouldn't be used lightly...

Sith_Happens
2015-03-09, 02:51 PM
And you know, it's a funny thing, it would have gone far Better if there had not been the sunder monkey to fight. But that was only a problem because I'm gear dependent, in a system that is not at all interested in cutting slack to players who have there gear stolen or destroyed. That, is the system failing.

Once again, no, it's not a failure of the game system if the GM conspires against you at every possible level to keep you useless forever and breaks out the ham-handed fiat and railroading when the conspiring doesn't work. I guarantee that had you played any other sort of character this GM would have come up with some other kind of bull**** to achieve the same result:

Druid? You and only you must wear metal armor at all times for such-and-such reasons or you've dishonored your clan and emperor and are marked for death by 10th level NPC hit squads. Oh, and your animal companion died first session and the whole country knows about it and will refuse to ever sell you a combat-worthy animal of any kind because you obviously can't be trusted to take proper care of it. What's that, "I can just pray for 24 hours and have my new animal companion appear out of thin air," you say? Well you can try, but it won't be a proper samurai-trained animal so by keeping it you've brought dishonor on your clan. Oh, and good luck with Wild Empathy, because even animals can sense your dishonor so you take a -5. And then the sunder-monkey still shows up and breaks your scimitar just to be sure.

Shugenja/Shaman/Cleric? Not long into the campaign you bring dishonor upon your god/the spirits for [insert BS reason here] and fall. Cue ten sessions of no one wanting to cast Atonement on you because that sort of stain is lifelong and they're sure not going to be complicit in helping you ignore it. Oh, and the sunder-monkey still shows up and breaks your wakizashi just to rub salt in the wound.

Wu Jen? Those things use spellbooks, do I even need to elaborate?

I could go on but I won't.

...Incidentally, do you want to copy your posts so far into the "worst DMs" thread or should I?

Metahuman1
2015-03-09, 04:57 PM
Well, the rest of the party was

Gaijin Fighter Mercenary. (The emperior decided to draft one for "Jury Duty." because he was curious about these Bizzare people who worshiped Bizarre gods and had Bizarre customs and gear for combat.) Incidentally, he was the only one who had straight lower status then me.

Me: Fighter, trying to focus on TWF with duel Katana's.

A Multy-class Sorcerer/Water Shugenja, who rolled for an odd talking magic staff on his chance to start with random special item. (It wasn't very powerful, but it was flavorful in that it could drink infinate booze if you let it.) He was slightly above me in Status case Casters were only slightly below Samurai, and his clan was higher on the totem pole then mine.

A Samurai form the clan the last character was from, who was built as a Scout and focused on Archery.

A Druid form another clan. I recall Elf with 20 Dex and her clan was considered even higher up the totem pole then the last two guys.

And a Fire Shugenja who was from what at the time was considered the top dog clan, which counted the imperial family among it's ranks.



And you guys are missing the point. Your basically saying "Hey, it was at such a low level and so important to the concept that it shouldn't have been impossible to get new ones like it was!" But what if it was, oh, 17th level or something and they were a pair of +10 Katana's that got Sundered? Same Attitude? Or does the DM suddenly become quite reasonable in his position that he's no obligated to give me hundreds of Thousands of Gold to get them back?






And I posted this guy, and the previous DM (Who at least had the benefit of helping me understand that Monks are useless at low levels, which later made it easier to swallow that there just useless.) in the Worst DM's thread first thread some time back.

Earthwalker
2015-03-10, 04:30 AM
Can I ask what are the effects of sundering a weapon in DnD or Pathfinder ?
I just can't recall the rules and have no books here (or interwebs to the SRD)

Is it that your weapon is destroyed beyond repair.
Or does your weapon gain the broken condition that you can repair.

Milo v3
2015-03-10, 05:27 AM
Can I ask what are the effects of sundering a weapon in DnD or Pathfinder ?
I just can't recall the rules and have no books here (or interwebs to the SRD)

Is it that your weapon is destroyed beyond repair.
Or does your weapon gain the broken condition that you can repair.

In 3.5e it destroys the weapon. In PF if it is between half-HP and 0 HP it gains the broken condition, but is still completely destroyed at 0 HP like 3.5e.

Earthwalker
2015-03-10, 05:32 AM
In 3.5e it destroys the weapon. In PF if it is between half-HP and 0 HP it gains the broken condition, but is still completely destroyed at 0 HP like 3.5e.

Ahh thank you. I knew I read something about broken it must have been the half to 0 HP thing.
Thank you for the clarification.

Broken Twin
2015-03-10, 06:42 AM
And you guys are missing the point. Your basically saying "Hey, it was at such a low level and so important to the concept that it shouldn't have been impossible to get new ones like it was!" But what if it was, oh, 17th level or something and they were a pair of +10 Katana's that got Sundered? Same Attitude? Or does the DM suddenly become quite reasonable in his position that he's no obligated to give me hundreds of Thousands of Gold to get them back?


Nah, I get the point. I'm just fully of the opinion that the GM shouldn't be targeting PC gear unless they're willing to provide a way for the PC to recoup their investment, one way or another.

I've never really been fond of 3.5's economy, number bloat, or gear reliance anyway. I much prefer my magic items to be flavorful instead of necessary. That's why I built a houserule to strip the necessary number progression out of items and added it into character advancement. Worked fairly well, too.

Sith_Happens
2015-03-11, 02:57 PM
And you guys are missing the point. Your basically saying "Hey, it was at such a low level and so important to the concept that it shouldn't have been impossible to get new ones like it was!" But what if it was, oh, 17th level or something and they were a pair of +10 Katana's that got Sundered? Same Attitude? Or does the DM suddenly become quite reasonable in his position that he's no obligated to give me hundreds of Thousands of Gold to get them back?

At least to me, the answer to the bolded question is "No." That's not to say that the hundreds of thousands of gold has to come all at once or the ready-made replacement weapons come right away (depending on which of those two compensation options is chosen), but it shouldn't take unreasonably long* and any balancing done in the mean time needs to take the gap into account.

* Especially considering that if you're high enough level to have a +10 sword you're also high enough level that you come by huge amounts of money as a matter of course, so it's not that big of a deal for those amounts to get slightly huger for a while.

Metahuman1
2015-03-11, 04:44 PM
Then the point stands. Going after players Gear in 3.5 is bad unless the characters are allowed to take great pains to be gear independent and have the advanced warning to choose to do so.


Also that DM was bad as a DM but that part went with out saying.

Daws2727
2016-01-08, 12:17 AM
I am a fan of a rule that magic items cannot be broken, except in specific or magical ways. As far as mundane equipment however, I think as long as the cause is realistic, then it is okay, although I wouldn't break an item that was personally important to a character. Magic item immunity is a great idea from my point of view.

Douche
2016-01-08, 08:08 AM
If i wanted to be a regular schmoe with cheap clothes and my stuff constantly breaking, I'd stay in real life. I play D&D to live in a fantasy world with crazy awesome boots of escaping and scrolls n such.

If I played with you and I sensed you were getting some sort of sexual thrill from the power trip of making me lose my stuff all the time, I wouldn't play with you.

nedz
2016-01-08, 09:01 AM
Thread Necromancy folks

Raimun
2016-01-09, 02:03 AM
It all depends.

If the game (like Savage Worlds) features equipment as easily replaceable and you're not completely screwed with substitute equipment, then it's no big deal. Basically, the equipment is not a crutch but just a tool. "Phew, I won, even if that guy disarmed my sword into the ravine. Not ideal but wasn't he armed with a hand axe? That'll carry me through until we get back to the city."

It's a whole different thing in D&D/Pathfinder, especially at the higher levels. If a freak accident destroyed/made non-functional even, say 25% of the combined worth of your magic items, that would damage your adventuring career more than any other harmful effect: You were wounded? Go to a cleric. You get poisoned or diseased? Go to a cleric. You've been cursed? Go to a cleric. You got level drained? Go to a cleric (works in Pathfinder). You died? Your friends will carry you to a cleric. Someone Disintegrated your sword? There's nothing we can do.

And then... there's owning a warjack in Iron Kingdoms RPG. Watch in horror as your cool metal behemoth of war takes damage. You know that repairing every hit box will take money, time and skill rolls and have to be done in a peaceful workshop. And just hope the monster doesn't have a second attack this round because now one good hit to the left arm weapon system will cripple the left arm, making the shield on that hand useless and thus making the whole machine less durable. Imagine if they actually destroyed this one? Of course, you can always just buy or make a new one. They only cost multiple times the net worth of the whole party combined and making one will only take 1-2 years... and still cost in spare parts more than even the party has combined.

Itsjustsoup.com
2016-01-09, 02:54 AM
In a Game where death is at most, a minor annoyance, and life is just a few dice rolls away,

Death means nothing.

But in a game where GEAR makes the character into the IMAGE or BAD ARSE THE PLAYER HAS IN MIND FOR THEMSELF, or makes the CHARACTER WORTH PLAYING,

Gear is everything.

I once had a a beat-down start at lvl 10 game - you die, come back at lvl 10. No one made it past 12.

The ONE time a player lost his magic items to an NPC - HE WANTED TO REROLL.

People don't care about death in RPG for the above reason, they care about GEAR!! They care about the POWER it gives them!!

You want people to be miserable, hate you? Break and steal their gear!!!


Simple example

It translates into life too. (hypothetical example warning)

If I were to throw you off a bridge, you'd be dead. period.

However, If I got up one morning and punctured all 4 of your tires and you went to go to work,

You would hate me.

So after you get them fixed, you get in your car to drive home and look to adjust your re-view mirror and find ITS GONE. Taken straight off the glass. And I left you a note.

Rather annoying, no? But stuff happens? Would you start hating me more?

If the next day you went to go to work, and your tires were flat, AGAIN But this time, I cut a ring around the rim so you couldn't even fix them or inflate them, you'd have to buy new ones.

Well, you would be out in the street looking for me during the daytime with a flashlight , wouldn't you? Because all the source of antagonism is coming from the same person for no reason other than arbitrarily! (because they thing they have a good reason to do this stuff)

But stuff happens right? No. it don't

Messing with people's stuff comes across as a purposeful and hurtful act to which one can only be seen as "that [email protected]#%@ @# who keeps messing with my @%@#%"

There is NO ART FORM INVOLVED, PERCEIVED, OR RECEIVED.


Do you see why it annoys people? If not, go start your car...

goto124
2016-01-09, 03:46 AM
You died? Your friends will carry you to a cleric. Someone Disintegrated your sword? There's nothing we can do.

"I shall pray to the Goddess of Swords, and ask to Resurrect your sword..."

Knaight
2016-01-10, 04:22 AM
In a Game where death is at most, a minor annoyance, and life is just a few dice rolls away,

Death means nothing.

But in a game where GEAR makes the character into the IMAGE or BAD ARSE THE PLAYER HAS IN MIND FOR THEMSELF, or makes the CHARACTER WORTH PLAYING,

Gear is everything.

I once had a a beat-down start at lvl 10 game - you die, come back at lvl 10. No one made it past 12.

The ONE time a player lost his magic items to an NPC - HE WANTED TO REROLL.

People don't care about death in RPG for the above reason, they care about GEAR!! They care about the POWER it gives them!!

All of this is D&D specific. There's the assumption that death is a minor annoyance, when plenty of other games (starting with almost all of the main D&D competitors that aren't D&D in another name) have just about nothing for resurrection. WoD characters tend to stay dead, Shadowrun characters stay dead, GURPS characters stay dead in all but a handful of settings, so on and so forth.

Similarly, the importance of gear varies, and D&D is again an outlier. It's a system where there's a whole bunch of useful abilities tied into an extensive magic item system, where characters often specialize narrowly and can't really use other things effectively, where there's an assumption of a core set of equipment as opposed to varied equipment used on a per-case basis. While D&D is much less of an outlier here, and at least some of these show up elsewhere (e.g. Shadowrun), all three coming together to the extent they do in D&D is comparatively rare.

RickAllison
2016-01-10, 11:19 AM
As just my 2 cents/credits/copper pieces, I think a certain level of fleeting possessions is key to keep the players on their toes. In the campaign I'm GMing, I warned the party before play that none of their possessions would ever necessarily be safe (a good precaution for GMs, in any case), and took away their beloved vehicle before the first scene was finished.

However, it is wise to consider the emotional, temporal, and monetary investment that has gone into items to decide how best to destroy it. An ordinary knife that they just picked up somewhere? Vaporize freely. Ordinary knife relating to backstory or a deep connection to an NPC? The knife the player began with and has carried on numerous misadventures? A knife modified to tie into the character's concept (like a hilt carved from a bone of a dangerous foe)? A magical knife they payed massive amounts of gold or time for? That should be handled more delicately. In that case, it should serve a purpose by inspiring vengeance or deep sorrow, or be able to be fixed. If able to be fixed, decide whether the penalty is to prevent usage of the weapon temporarily (low cost to repair, but they might have to wait to get to town) or to inspire a sense of caution with the precious item (might cost more to repair than to buy a new one).

If the player really connected with the weapon, let them show it by dishing out extra to keep it. Alternatively, make it cheap money-wise, but require a quest, an especially attractive option for lower-leveled characters or rare weapons. Maybe that +3 longsword was enchanted by unknown demon magic and the party must find a smith capable of understanding them in order to repair the weapon, which may or may not lead to a plot the GM wanted to run... *coughrailroadingcough*

TL;DR: GMs should warn the players beforehand if they are willing to destroy possessions, ordinary items without importance to the player can be destroyed utterly, and items that do have importance should be able to be fixed through expenditure of resources or a quest, else players might resent the GM's actions.