August 16th, 2008


It's what my character would do.

OK that's a phrase often used as an excuse for being a general annoyance but it's also a valid point surely? If you're not going to do what you feel the character would do why play a character rather than just use a set of tools as a problem solving excercise.

Generally I've always been very much in favour of sacrificing bits of how the character "should" be in favour of making the game flow more easily. I'm now starting to wonder where the line needs to be drawn.

The question came up recently in our Star Wars (WEG) campaign; there was a point at which I couldn't see any way in which the character would go along with what the rest of the group planned without a real change, which would have been almost the same as just changing characters. So my decision was that the character would start making preperations to leave and I would bring in a fresh one that would fit the group more (with GM approval); whereas just a short while ago I'd have probably been more likely to abandon the way I'd been playing and just run with it. As it turns out the turn the game has taken has actually ended up with the character not really changing as such but managing to stick with the group without it being awkward for anyone else either. It just got me thinking about the entire notion though.

Which way do you go; or which do you think makes for a better game? Sticking with the character concept no matter what; allowing the character to develop (potentially stretched) reasons to go along with the group/way the game is going; or some sort of compromise "this far and no further" type of deal? Why? Where do you feel the line should be drawn, if at all? etc.
How about intra-party conflicts caused by character personalities?

I'm not after advice as such, just different opinions to chew around should be interesting.
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    thoughtful thoughtful
nerd shit

pathfinder beta

So the Pathfinder beta is out and free for download.

I'm kind of disappointed with what I'm seeing. I really think they could have changed a lot more and still kept basically true to the core 3.5 mechanics. Rangers still have their nonsensical combat styles, the weapon list is effectively unchanged (read: totally without any consistent design goal), etc.

Armor does look like it's balanced a bit better, but the fundamental system is still terrible/heavy armor feats are still worthless unless your Dex is in the toilet. Light armor still rules supreme if your Dex is high (padded ftw). Power Attack continues its reign as the most no-thought "take this if you want to do a lot of melee damage" feat.

A lot of the ideas are cool, but the execution still needs some work. Barbarians have Renewed Vigor as a Rage Power option. It heals 8 + Con modifier in hit points as a standard action and has 6th level as a prereq. What 6th+ level barbarian is going to spend a standard action to heal 8 + Con points of damage? Then there's the Overhand Chop chain, which attends to the neglected, under-represented melee characters in D&D games that use two-handed weapons and try, in vain, to do high amounts of damage.

Paizo guys: you seem to still be intending supplemental 3.5 rules to be used in conjunction with your core rules. If this is the case, you have got to do some shit in your core rules to curb the specialization meltdown that starts occurring in the low teens of D&D. Our Rise of the Runelords campaign turned into lopsided drudgery by Fortress of the Stone Giants. D&D overly-rewards the specialists, and splat books just amplify the problem. I honestly don't think you have to worry about people fearing too much change. 4th Ed. is so far from 3.5 that the people sticking with 3.5 are probably willing to put up with a bit more modification if it still stays in the same overall spirit of the system.

Star Wars campaigns

I'm gearing up to start writing out some plot for a Star Wars campaign some of my friends showed interest in when I brought up the idea a few months back, and I was curious for those of you who have either played in one or GM'ed one what era you placed your campaign within, be it way back in the day (around the same time as the events of KOTOR), during the timeframe of the movies, or well afterward, and how did you handle use of Force powers? Personally, I'm thinking about having my campaign take place after the end of the movies, and I don't think I want every player running around with Force powers. Maybe just one or two tops. Also (for the GMs), how much research did you do, and did you make your campaign canon with the rest of the universe, or did you essentially just make most of the stuff up? Or did you just tell your players that the campaign isn't canon with the rest of the universe?

Also, I'm using the D20 system, not Saga, if that makes any difference. Your input is very appreciated!