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  #31  
Old 02-06-2011, 04:26 PM
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To be fair, you TOTALLY had the chance to make yourselves a gnolly friend, but... yeah that bridge was pretty thoroughly burnt. Wait no, not bridge, tent full of children.
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  #32  
Old 02-06-2011, 04:46 PM
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Antagonizing children with bestial qualities, these are the ties that bind.
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  #33  
Old 02-07-2011, 07:54 AM
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Another tale from my group's storied past:

We were playing the old West End Star Wars game, which, for those of you unfamiliar, includes some of the most fragile player characters you could imagine.

It was fairly early in the campaign, and while following some lead or another we came across an underground facility we wanted to investigate. We parked our Imperial surplus Lambda class shuttle near the entrance and as we approached the door, it opened and we were confronted by a contingent of Storm Troopers.

Blasters trained, they ordered us to hand over our weapons. The group began to oblige. Not keen on the idea of being taken hostage, I mimed taking off the belt that held my grenades, mimed pulling a pin (noticeable, but subtly) and then mimed handing the belt to the GM. It was kind of a gamble, but he obviously wasn't paying too close attention, and mimed taking it from me.

I yell: "I'm diving out of the way!"

I explain that I pulled the pin before handing it to the Trooper, the group confirmed that I had mimed it, and the GM accepted that since he didn't notice and mimed taking the belt, that's what the Trooper did. I felt I was probably still going to die, because the grenade I armed was a powerful one and I was still pretty close. Diving and huddling on the ground wasn't going to do much.

The grenade explodes. The GM rolls dice and crunches numbers. We roll our reactions. The Stormtroopers are completely wiped out. Three party members immediately die. I'm knocked unconscious and bleeding out. Another character is knocked unconscious. Only our beefy bounty hunter, most heavily armored and farthest away from the blast, survives conscious.

The immediate threat is gone, but we're assuming since there were Stormtroopers there, this was probably some kind of Imperial outpost and we were going to be facing their wrath soon. The bounty hunter makes a quick check of the bodies, and loads up myself and the other surviving party member into the shuttle and blasts off.

He uses his medic skill on me to stabilize me and then gets me conscious. Despite being quite exploded, I still have to drive the shuttle because I'm the pilot for the group.

He then tries to use his medic skill on the other unconscious member. He fumbles the roll and instead of helping, actually wounds the party member more. Now he is bleeding out and going to die if he doesn't receive immediate medical help. He tries his medic check a second time, again fumbling and kills him.

My actions ended up killed four out of six party members. Needless to say, the group was not happy with me, though I found it fairly hilarious. I started keeping a PC death count total on my sheet whenever my actions helped lead to a player death. It got pretty big.
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  #34  
Old 02-12-2011, 07:12 PM
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So about half an hour ago, the long-running D&D campaign I've been playing on Saturdays ended. Not in the "people lost interest and the GM said #$% it" sense, the much more rare "accomplished the eventual goals of the campaign/killed the last boss/all that good stuff sense." We've been playing regularly from 4:30 to 8 or 9 every saturday, with only really rare exceptions for the bulk of those involved needing to attend things like weddings or graduation ceremonies. So after finally wrapping things up, we dug through old e-mails to see just when the heck we started. January, 2007. That's... an appreciable amount of time (someone worked it out as something like 690 hours I think). Granted, things picked up on speed efficiency and fun over time as we switched from drawing and erasing letter codes by hand on a bland grid in Open RPG to tossing out actual iconic depictions of things, running skype conferences for table chat, switching to the much more usable maptool, and eventually scanning maps in rather than redraw them. Here's a fun little first session (or close enough)/last session comparison!

The really amazing thing about running that though is that this wasn't some free-form game. This was a pre-published campaign that just took that freaking long to get through. Either we were going slow or HOLY %$@# the GM got a nice return on his investment picking that book up. I'd kinda like to track a copy down now some time and see how much of the enjoyable smooth flowing bits were the book really accounting that well for what the party might try and do and how much was the GM tweaking it. Really though, this isn't much of a story so hey, final boss fight anecdote!

So yeah. We're fighting the final boss here, who is normally just a giant pile of unfair cheese, and in this case was tweaked a bit by the GM to be a giant pile of cheese who used the very same unfair tactics our party specialized in. Not so much in an evil clone sort of way, just moving some feats around to pull the same sort of long reach tripping and playing keep away stuff, things like that. Part of the problem with this is that he was moving around constantly, and I'm playing a vow of poverty monk (with haste up). So... yeah, if I start right on top of someone I can smack'em 6 times, but otherwise I'm just kinda running around sheepishly. So yeah. I spent a lot of time running around sheepishly, and getting smacked in the face with negative level giving tentacles. Eventually though, he ends up cornered enough that I can get in there, and get 3 critical hits in one round. And we're using this funky critical hit card deck (I believe this one), which let's you trade off the usual double damage for various random things. Sometimes triple damage, sometimes just regular damage, usually some special effect in there somewhere. In this case, I didn't do a whole lot, but all told did a decent bit of damage to yon boss's con and dex, and stunned him (which of course made him drop the cheesy whip thing too). Added bonus, this boss has a weird feature of rerolling initiative every round, and goes from a high roll to a low roll here, so tada, wide open to pounding for essentially a full two rounds before recovering.

And then I proceeded to whiff completely for the rest of the fight because, you know, negative levels stacking up will do that, but the rest of the party got him taken apart pretty nicely, and hey, I got fixed up by the end to get the penultimate 5 hits in.
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  #35  
Old 02-17-2011, 10:37 AM
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The D&D game I'm playing in has more or less broken down into "the players are entertaining themselves". Not that we can't entertain ourselves, but it's sitll a bit disappointing. We're enteirng this old keep to rescue this other player's (a Shifter Druid)'s in-game sister. This was the MO this session:

Quote:
Gaiseric (my Barbarian): Look at those frost hawks that attacked us! They're surely drawn to the dead, such as Brook's sister (the Druid).

Brook (Druid): Dude! I'm RIGHT here!

Garrick (Cleric): Oh don't worry I'm those Troglodytes you abandoned her to are treating her like royalty (makes cutting motion across throat)

Brook: Still here and was watching you the entire time.
So we're in this cave system that I guess leads into the castle, and due to

a) Barbarians having scores of HP
b) a Cleric who is ridiculously good at healing
c) a GM that tends not to present very challenging encounters

I'm charging up ahead without a care in the world. I run into some of the Troglodytes.

Quote:
DM: You recklessly charge right into one of them. They rolled a 1 on their Perception check, so they don't notice you at all.

Me: OK, I say hi and start my pitch. "Have you ever had one of those dungeon captives that just go and die on you? Well not anymore! Introducing Brook the Druid, a new type of prisoner who not only grows his own food, he can shapeshift into your favorite meal!

Brooke's Player: Still here!

Me: Now you might be asking how much a Druid would cost! Well..

DM: Are you going to roll to attack? You charged right into that guy.

Me: Oh, uh *rolls* 28 AC?

DM: You run him through.

Me: Oh, uh, crap! I didn't mean-- er, this troglodyte was probably their friend huh? Damnit! Okay Gaiseric, stick to the pitch! Uh, now most Druids would cost upwards of, uh, a hundred gold pieces but--

Garrick's Player: You just reduced that guy to one hit point didn't you? Don't you get a free charge?

Me: Natural 20. Oh boy, this is going to be a real tough sell.
- Eddie
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  #36  
Old 02-21-2011, 06:32 PM
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We've got a game of Scion running. Of the PCs there's a private eye, a doctor, an Interpol agent, a short order cook, and a sheriff's deputy. I am the deputy.

Four members of the opposing side break into our motel room, and after a short fight, it ends when the voodoo Scion forces me to place my gun against my head. The lead dude kills a hostage, I surrender, and everyone follows suit.

Stuff happens, everyone is knocked down, fight starts again.

So to prevent the voodoo chick from doing things to me again, the doctor rushes over to the voodoo chick and uses her Serpent's Gaze, which render's the target unable to look away or take any actions.

So after one round of holding voodoo chick in place, she shoots her in the head.

Jaws drop. Mine especially, because my character is a mostly by-the-book cop, but he draws the line at shooting people that can't defend themselves. Long story short, I drag the doctor PC out and put her in cuffs as the motel gets swallowed up by a portal to hell.

The characters go back to my place and we argue whether or not the murder was justifiable. Defending my character, times of war, easiest way to subdue the enemy, whatever, my character ain't buying it because in the end, she shot someone that could not defend themselves. Also, I'm a cop and I have handcuffs.

Of course, no body, no evidence, and I end up uncuffing the doctor PC. I planned to anyway.

OOC: Today the doctor PC made mention about all of us going to the Underworld to retrieve Interpol's spear if it had fallen in. I joked "oh hey, there's the voodoo girl you MURDERED." And Interpol's player is all "THIS IS WAR". I responded that "just because it's war doesn't mean we go around killing everyone". I'm not going to burn a village to save it.

His response was that we kill the freaks with special powers and that there was no way to safely capture that NPC.

Which infuriated me to no end. HOWEVER, he's got a touch of the aspergers, and my wife explained that this might be one of the things we won't be able to let go, so I should let it go.

Still annoyed though.
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  #37  
Old 02-21-2011, 08:31 PM
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Why would that infuriate you? Sounds like a bit of good old-fahioned in-party conflict to me.
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  #38  
Old 02-21-2011, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickroad View Post
Why would that infuriate you? Sounds like a bit of good old-fahioned in-party conflict to me.
This conflict is out of character and he's being a cock about it.
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  #39  
Old 02-21-2011, 09:21 PM
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OOC conflict is stupid.

But shooting the voodoo lady was awesome.

My group has a philosophy that has served them well throug the years; there are always two ways to do anything: the right way, or the awesome way.

Speaking of which, we just started playing 7th Sea. We already double-crossed the guy who hired us to steal an ancient treasure map, because PIRATES!!. That was sufficiently awesome for the first session, I reckon.
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  #40  
Old 02-21-2011, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickroad View Post
Why would that infuriate you? Sounds like a bit of good old-fahioned in-party conflict to me.
Man, in-party conflict is only good if your DM isn't a cock, or making cock-like decisions. When the DM obviously favors one side, in-party conflict gets lame fast.
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  #41  
Old 02-21-2011, 09:31 PM
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That kind of conflict is the driving factor in so many games though. How boring if a group of characters always agrees on everything forever!
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  #42  
Old 02-21-2011, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
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That kind of conflict is the driving factor in so many games though. How boring if a group of characters always agrees on everything forever!
Oh, no, I agree, conflict is important. The issue is when the DM stacks the deck so that player A's decision/goal is amazing for the party and player B's is terrible, then it's not really a meaningful choice (which I guess some people are okay with, they might like RPing someone who thinks they know more than they do, I'm not a big fan of that). The really big issue is that my DM really likes skill checks, so instead of having to actually have an argument/debate, it comes down to skill roles, with one guy optimized in social stats, and everyone else, not so much.

Argh, man, I'm going to have to stop, otherwise I'm going to just bitch about the current campaign I'm in, which isn't actually that bad, I just feel horribly screwed over in the game, and I'm still frustrated about that.

EDIT: Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think that inter-party conflict is something that has to be handled delicately by all players. sraymond's example is one that I wouldn't mind having to play with, methods differ and all that. When characters in the same party have completely opposite goals, well... that can be fun, or it can turn into something incredibly frustrating, depending on how the DM handles it.

Last edited by kaisel; 02-21-2011 at 09:59 PM.
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  #43  
Old 02-21-2011, 10:22 PM
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Skill checks? Why would the GM make you roll skill checks against another player? I mean, does he just let the other guy roll Bluff, or whatever, and then tell you, "You believe whatever he says"?
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  #44  
Old 02-21-2011, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Brickroad View Post
Skill checks? Why would the GM make you roll skill checks against another player? I mean, does he just let the other guy roll Bluff, or whatever, and then tell you, "You believe whatever he says"?
Pretty much, and it's just as stupid as it sounds (alright, fine, it's an opposed skill check, not that it makes it any better). Because of the way non-combat stuff is handled in the campaign is why I decided to start up a different game with mostly different folks, just to see if I handle it any better.

Really, there are all sorts of things that bug me in that campaign, but it's the only way I get to actually play in a campaign, so I kind of take what I can get. Good thing D&D4e makes for a mostly fun tactical game (and even that is kind of getting screwed up in the game). Man, I'm bitter...
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  #45  
Old 02-21-2011, 10:40 PM
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Opposed skill checks against other players can be fun. I've played in a game where that happened. I was a kleptomaniac rogue and the fighter in our group caught me stealing and tried to extort money from me. We argued a bit, first with me denying everything, then haggling over percentages of what I would give him and finally ended up with me paying him off but lying about how much I had actually stolen in the first place.

It was pretty great. But this was a game where the attitude of the PCs towards each other could be described as "neutral at best." We never got far enough in to make them all best buds.
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  #46  
Old 02-21-2011, 10:41 PM
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Not knowing the circumstances of your group, it's tough to say whether your GM is in the wrong here. A lot of groups approach D&D as a purely mechanical game, where dice rolls are "the rules". If your group is like that it makes perfect sense for the guy with the high Bluff skill to always succeed at Bluffing, even against PCs.

I mean, look at the flip-side: for in-character conflicts to be role-played, everyone involved has to be arguing in good faith. If someone at the table can't or won't do that, it pretty much ruins it for everyone else. Are you, as a player, capable of willingly "failing" a role-played Sense Motive check, if it makes sense for your character to do so? If not, maybe it's best the GM lets everything go to the dice.

ALTERNATE ANSWER: A purely social character is going to be lackluster in other areas. Next time, sword him in the face before he gets a chance to Bluff!
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  #47  
Old 02-21-2011, 10:46 PM
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My take on stuff like "diplomacy checks" is, if you're going to use them, what you do is you roll before the player says anything, to determine how well they manage to present themselves and make a first impression, and take that into consideration when having the actual conversation.

The whole notion of saying something, then rolling a skill check to see if they just believe you makes no sense at all, and generally comes off really lame to boot... but I've never heard of anyone who actually goes as far as to use that to resolve debates BETWEEN PLAYERS.

This kinda ties into what I was popping in here to say though! In this Pathfinder campaign we just started, the GM actually answered yes to a question I've been asking everyone for years when it comes time to make characters as a weird little inside joke- "Can I play a half-orc paladin princess?" My policy is, if someone actually calls me on something like this, I commit to it, so I worked out an elaborate backstory for that idea to make sense (Short version- a king had some weird kinks he rode off into the wilderness to satisfy, and there was some confusion over local marriage customs political arrangements due to a language barrier).

Skip ahead, we start playing, kill some bandits, keep one alive to question about where their hideout is, get what we need to know, and then everyone looks at me waiting for me to execute him, because, you know, that's what a paladin can be expected to do in that situation, what with it being this remote trading post in the dead of winter, making it not even "kill him or let him go are the only options" but "kill him or let him hang out for a month or two mooching food until the weather clears up." Can't even have him work his debt off because there's a huge taboo against indentured servitude in the region.

From my perspective though, guy hasn't done one thing wrong. I went with one of those rare human father half-orcs. Busting people's doors down, killing anyone who tries to fight back, and looting all their valuables not only wasn't considered a crime where I grew up, but a proud family tradition. Plus? This particular bandit didn't even try and fight back. The sort of over-planning you get when a group of players had level 18 characters killing a god the week before had us killing his leader before he even had a chance to pull a weapon out, so he just ran, and then gave us handy info.

This put me in the pretty rare position where, as a paladin, the only way I could satisfy my code of honor was to convince the rest of the party, this bandit, and the guy he'd been regularly robbing blind for the past several months, that he's going to get to stay here mooching free room and board until spring rolls around. Which I actually pulled off somehow.
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  #48  
Old 02-21-2011, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickroad View Post
Not knowing the circumstances of your group, it's tough to say whether your GM is in the wrong here. A lot of groups approach D&D as a purely mechanical game, where dice rolls are "the rules". If your group is like that it makes perfect sense for the guy with the high Bluff skill to always succeed at Bluffing, even against PCs.

I mean, look at the flip-side: for in-character conflicts to be role-played, everyone involved has to be arguing in good faith. If someone at the table can't or won't do that, it pretty much ruins it for everyone else. Are you, as a player, capable of willingly "failing" a role-played Sense Motive check, if it makes sense for your character to do so? If not, maybe it's best the GM lets everything go to the dice.

ALTERNATE ANSWER: A purely social character is going to be lackluster in other areas. Next time, sword him in the face before he gets a chance to Bluff!
I agree with that: partially. I wouldn't want to punish the guy who put all their stats in social skills by making him actually have to always make a good argument, that's as ridiculous as requiring the guy who plays the strong fighter to be able to lug around 100 pounds. I'm not as big a fan of that style of gameplay, but I can understand and deal with it (sparingly at least. When it's always a character bluffing the party about everything, it gets tiresome).

On the other hand though, when the players know that by listening to some guy is opposite their characters' goals, but goes along with it because of dice-rolling, well... that annoys me more, if it happens repeatedly, especially with the skill disparity between the bluff-guy, and everyone else. When it's practically impossible to succeed, it just gets a bit tiresome, again, for me.

Also sword in the face doesn't work so well when your character should theoretically feel the bluffer isn't a jackass.
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  #49  
Old 02-21-2011, 11:07 PM
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Yeah, I know a few different ways I'd handle that situation, but without knowing your GM or what your group is like I don't know what to suggest.
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  #50  
Old 02-21-2011, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickroad View Post
Yeah, I know a few different ways I'd handle that situation, but without knowing your GM or what your group is like I don't know what to suggest.
Yeah, looking at it a little more objectively, it's mostly a group cohesion issue when I think about it. Half the group would prefer the RP/not-just-rolling method, while the other half prefers the dice for those sorts of situations, and the situation that really caused all of my frustration was a comedy of errors, and not the sort of game I was looking for.

The basic situation was one of alliances and the like, my character was basically trying to prove that his people weren't a bunch of lying bastards, found no evidence that they were (due to one bad skill roll, and one "um, there's no evidence there"), despite the GM deciding they were going to be a bunch of lying bastards, which led to an extended bit where the GM decided the little mini-adventure thing I was on to try to help the non-bastard people of my country would basically take every skill that I wasn't trained in. The GM's a good guy, and usually a good GM, he's just one of those GMs who prefers a more codified/realistic structure, and isn't as flexible as I'd like.

Anyway, thanks for listening to my little bitchfest, and I admit, I should have looked at the other side a bit more, despite how frustrated I might be. And, it looks like it's going to be a moot point anyway, since the chances of my guy surviving the next session are slim-to-none.

EDIT: And actually now I think I'm a little more depressed at how awesome this could have been, if it hadn't been a comedy of errors.

Last edited by kaisel; 02-22-2011 at 11:10 AM.
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  #51  
Old 02-22-2011, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaisel View Post
Man, in-party conflict is only good if your DM isn't a cock, or making cock-like decisions. When the DM obviously favors one side, in-party conflict gets lame fast.
GM's not being a cock. Aspie is.

Quote:
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But shooting the voodoo lady was awesome.
It's tough being the modern-day equivalent of a paladin.
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  #52  
Old 02-22-2011, 06:01 AM
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One time while playing D&D I subbed in for the primary DM and I made a dungeon that was basically a maze of rooms with a high-level barbarian minotaur inside chasing them. The players came up with the idea of pissing on doors and then going through other ones to throw him off their trail. I decided it would help slow him down a bit. It was a pretty frantic atmosphere the whole time despite it being a turn based game.
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  #53  
Old 02-22-2011, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sraymonds View Post
GM's not being a cock. Aspie is.
Ah, yeah, I was projecting my own frustrations onto the situation. Actually, out of character conflict is a pain in the ass.
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  #54  
Old 02-22-2011, 09:33 PM
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While we are sharing in-game out-of-game conflict, in the group I play with on Thursday I play a female character (because I wanted to know what it was like, damnit!)

Anyway, we needed this informant to tell us something in order to advance the plot. As all good informants do, he is charging us a ridiculous amount of money. Being low level characters, we obviously spent all our money on swag to keep us from dying. But that doesn't stop our fearless leader. He quickly asks what languages I know, then proceeds to try to sell me to the informant while keeping my character blissfully ignorant of the transaction. In his defense, my character was a professional dancing girl, so this was bound to happen sooner or later.

OOC I found this utterly hilarious because I expected this to happen and spent all my money on ways to deviously dispose of whoever tried just what he was doing. I'm really looking forward to the coming sessions because it is essentially going to be my character slowly sneaking up trying to poison our leader for the insult of trying to sell me.
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  #55  
Old 02-23-2011, 01:55 AM
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Man, if I had a nickel for every time I had a D&D character the rest of the party tried to sell to an NPC...

What's the actual ending to that expression anyway? I've never seen it not just trail off at the end. I mean, literally here I'd have like, 25 cents roughly? But I'd probably have to give one back for the incident where some demodand (I think? Might have been a demon or a devil mumble grumble three categories of lower planes jerks) thought my (new) character was a sacrifice brought down to trade for information (in fairness, I WAS totally unarmed and literally glowing with lawful goodness), and then to compensate for getting their hopes up someone else had to make out with something that looked roughly like this.

Also, on the whole playing a character of the opposite gender bit? Usually when it comes up for me the conversation is some variation on this:
"It seems creepy to me to play a girl if you aren't a girl in real life."
"Well then I have a shocking confession I need to make. In real life, I'm... not actually a goblin! Or a wizard!"

Doesn't work as well if everyone in your group always plays a human, but still.

I also find it REALLY strange that such people are always totally cool with the GM having to play any given NPC of opposite gender, even when doing the whole seducing random barmaid deal.
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  #56  
Old 02-23-2011, 04:44 AM
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In retaliation of having a party unable to deal with a lawful-good cop, my next Scion character is based off of Nic Cage from Drive Angry.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:56 AM
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Paul le Fou Paul le Fou is online now
We just don't know.
 
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Location: Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Googleshng View Post
Man, if I had a nickel for every time I had a D&D character the rest of the party tried to sell to an NPC...

What's the actual ending to that expression anyway? I've never seen it not just trail off at the end.
I'd be a millionaire, or I'd be rich, or something to that effect. Because it happens a lot.
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  #58  
Old 02-23-2011, 07:11 AM
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namelessentity namelessentity is offline
Fancy Muppet
 
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Originally Posted by Googleshng View Post
Also, on the whole playing a character of the opposite gender bit? Usually when it comes up for me the conversation is some variation on this:
"It seems creepy to me to play a girl if you aren't a girl in real life."
"Well then I have a shocking confession I need to make. In real life, I'm... not actually a goblin! Or a wizard!"
In my experience, you can get away with anything as long as you give a scenario where it is going to be useful in the future.

"Dude, that's a bit creepy"
"Yeah, but the bonus to my persuasion is going to get us out of plenty of jams"
"Well, ohk then"
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:55 AM
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Comb Stranger Comb Stranger is offline
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We use skill checks to affect inter-party relations sometimes, but with heavy circumstance bonuses/penalties. A party member trying to bluff someone he's been travelling with for months, who <i>knows he's a compulsive liar</i>, is going to have a tough time of it. Skill rolls really only have a chance to succeed if said liar makes a compelling argument and the receiving PC is in a position to waver.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:56 AM
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kaisel kaisel is offline
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Originally Posted by Comb Stranger View Post
We use skill checks to affect inter-party relations sometimes, but with heavy circumstance bonuses/penalties. A party member trying to bluff someone he's been travelling with for months, who <i>knows he's a compulsive liar</i>, is going to have a tough time of it. Skill rolls really only have a chance to succeed if said liar makes a compelling argument and the receiving PC is in a position to waver.
Hrm, that's something that I should bring up, I like that a lot. Looking back, I think the main issue is that half the party is the "talk things out" sort of players, and the other half is the "roll dice and stuff happens" in my group, and this seems like a pretty good way of trying to reconcile the two.
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