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Author Topic: What should you never say as a DM?  (Read 8580 times)
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Lord Infinata
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« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2009, 02:57:56 PM »


@Kris - I'm with you on developing "your" perfect character, I'm that way too. Many of the players in my group look at the mechanics of the game and try to focus on those skills/feats that get the most out of a given feat tree to create the perfect melee fighter, or perfect mage invoker. I pick and choose skills and feats that interest me in the development of a given character. The other players complain that I am not try to max out the mechanics to work in the best interest of a successful melee encounter, for example.

Yes!  I do this too; I'm glad I'm not the only person who does.  That's why I have a rogue who couldn't pick a lock if her life depended on it (and it has, lol), but can perform a dance that drives a city into a riot (also has happened).  I have a mage who fills up her spell book with fire spells and other attacks (as opposed to practical things like Knock or Invisibility) because it's in her nature to explode-in-a-firey-blast-first than to wait and see what happens.  Just entered a room full of skeletons?  Fireball.  Giant ogre blocking our path?  Scorching ray.  Just stay out of her way.  Smiley  It's extremely effective in battle, because I can wipe out half the field while the fighter is still trying to reach an enemy.  But I don't know many spells that could help us out of otherwise tricky situations.  She's not really interested in that, as she's kind of obsessed with power.

A lot of my characters wear little to no armor (even my 4E cleric and my fighter/rogues), because the character wouldn't walk around heavily armored.  Or heavily armed for that matter.  My 4E cleric started with leather armor, a staff and a dagger (which she won't use).  And I'm basically refusing to wear any kind of heavy armor.  If I could get away with NO armor, I would, but it's difficult with the system.  

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Final point. I hate those players that too often try to bring real world physics into the game - I really, really hate it.

Ah...sometimes I argue this.  I do want a LITTLE real world physics.  For example, little kobolds swinging around a large damaging bolder shouldn't be able to hit with accuracy without some serious penalties.  And I get really annoyed when people go well beyond the 6-second round time frame.  

But in regards to a fire ball spell increasing in blast radius because of an tight space...well....  I would argue that it's a MAGICAL effect, not a real fire, first of all.  It can't exceed its boundaries, period.  

Yeah, I'm in total disagreement on the "no-physics" approach. The reason we study physics is to explain motion through mathematics; at the very least they are laws the DM should use as a guide to verifying the outcome of a physical event. I remember, Kris, your pendulum conundrum your party went thru months back and I defended your point based on the mechanics of the scenario. Without physics, the DM has to pretty much guess if a system can operate the way the players intend (or not intend).

Might I recommend some reading for you: "Surely, you're joking Mr. Fineman" . Fineman was a physics lecturer in the 60s who received so many accolades from his classes they insisted he publish the lectures... he did, and they were a NY Times bestseller as a result of his sardonic, witty and very humouress approach to explain physics without using much math. The man is also brilliant, and a rebel... two of my favorite flavors for any superhero.

Anyhow, I also love Poe and I'm sure you've figured out my love of antiquity and lost writings. Did you know the first book I ever read was Poe's complete unabridged works, or was that a lucky guess? I think it was for a 1st grade book report, at least The Tell Tale Heart entry was.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2009, 03:04:47 PM by Lord Infinata » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2009, 03:23:38 PM »

My problem with that is there are no physics experts at our gaming table, in fact I'm the only college graduate and my major is Art! I argue that if D&D had physics in mind there would be game mechanics to describe it, and it ain't there.

The argument that I provide to the person always trying to insinuate real-word physics is if D&D would alter its "magic" to apply for physics (which is an oxymoron in of itself,) then the D&D manual would contain fluid dynamics, thermal dynamics, quantuum physics, etc. and the books would be 50,000 pages long - totally unusable in a gaming environment where constant reference to rules occur already.

"What's the third rule of thermal dynamics again? (darn) I need a scientific calculator and a trig book with alogrythms to figure out that fireball again... that's the problem.

The best answer from me, is "we're not playing the real world, we're playing D&D".

And not to say, someone in a particular D&D world wouldn't understand higher metallurgy theory (for example), but that person would not be an adventurer, rather some sage in an Armorsmith College or something. That person would know at what temperature to create an alloy with adamantine and tantalor (metal from 9th plane of Hell), however that person would not know how to effectively swing a sword, shoot a long bow with accuracy or cast a Fireball spell, because all there efforts and learning went to master metallurgy, not adventuring.

GP
« Last Edit: July 27, 2009, 03:37:57 PM by gamerprinter » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2009, 03:33:01 PM »

Ah, no, I just threw Poe in there as a recognized example.  I own his collected works, though have not read all of them.  I've written a couple of times about the Cask of Amontillado, and almost got into an argument with a professor over his grading of my interpretation of House of Usher (I ended up not bothering, but basically my interpretation was different than the one he taught, and he marked my exam for it; he taught it with a homosexual angle, I chose inner psychology; he basically wrote "why didn't you talk about what I talked about," and I was too nice to tell him I thought he was an idiot).  

Oh, and that's true....  I somehow disregarded your enjoyment of literature for the sake of the argument, lol.  I forgot what forum I was in.

But basically what I was getting at was that you like fusion, and I like Dickens' and Hugo's social satire and political commentaries.
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« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2009, 03:35:54 PM »

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Might I recommend some reading for you: "Surely, you're joking Mr. Fineman" . Fineman was a physics lecturer in the 60s who received so many accolades from his classes they insisted he publish the lectures... he did, and they were a NY Times bestseller as a result of his sardonic, witty and very humouress approach to explain physics without using much math. The man is also brilliant, and a rebel... two of my favorite flavors for any superhero.

If you're finding it hard to find his work... his name is Feinnman.  Bongo playing weed smoking physicist lecturers... ooooh yeah.


Why don't fireballs run down corridors? "Choose an area it goes woof because of magic" is not "I throw a barrel of petrol + fist-sized lump of C4 into prebuilt fireproof corridor" like they do in action movies.  Action movies is massively careful physics... (and some cool chemistry but that will REALLY bore you).
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« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2009, 05:10:03 PM »

Dang.  I wish Kris and GP were closer to me.  They're the kind of players we'd love to have more of in our group.  We got stuck with a couple of serious power gamers for a while, you know the ones who bend and twist every rule to their advantage, and it ruined an excellent long running campaign. 

As for the physics question, we use a "common sense rule."  We try to make things as "realistic as possible," but do so with the recognition that we're playing in a fantasy game.  We're quite content to toss out "reality" when we feel appropriate.  The degree to which that happens is dependent upon the game we're playing, so a fantasy game like DnD will have more exceptions than if we're playing CoC or VTM.
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Lord Infinata
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« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2009, 05:23:37 PM »

Quote
Might I recommend some reading for you: "Surely, you're joking Mr. Fineman" . Fineman was a physics lecturer in the 60s who received so many accolades from his classes they insisted he publish the lectures... he did, and they were a NY Times bestseller as a result of his sardonic, witty and very humouress approach to explain physics without using much math. The man is also brilliant, and a rebel... two of my favorite flavors for any superhero.

If you're finding it hard to find his work... his name is Feinnman.  Bongo playing weed smoking physicist lecturers... ooooh yeah.




...or just click the Fineman (sic) link provided...
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