[Pathfinder / 3.5 / D&D] Advice on an out of control Wizard (I use that term loosely)

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  • YygdrasilYygdrasil Tree of Awesome BostonRegistered User regular
    Have him loot a necklace that looks like a decent upgrade, but have it be cursed! And the curse? It gives the wearer TEENY TINY T-REX ARMS until the necklace is removed!
    Note that these tiny arms are too small to actually reach the necklace, and too small to wield a crossbow.

    This is such a fantastic idea that I can't possibly not use it. This is happening. This is happening so fast it isn't funny. Knowing the parties current displeasure with him, he's going to be SOL for help getting it off. They'll sooner let him suffer than see him back to normal.

    You sir, deserve an award.

    mtdew-1.jpg
  • PantshandshakePantshandshake Registered User regular
    Have a series of adventures underwater!

    Have him get hit with a Potion Of Wonder that turns him into an equal level monk!

  • FyndirFyndir Registered User regular
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    While I think the T-rex necklace and cursed crossbow are fun, my issue with those is that they make it very obvious you are targeting them specifically toward him.

    My idea of a thorns spell was specifically tailored to make it so that it felt like a natural part of the campaign, but just happens to be to his detriment more than anyone else.

    You can explain away him being targeted pretty easily, though, given his past actions.

    Family/friends/guild/whoever with connections to either (or both) of the two PCs he seemingly murdered in cold blood put a bounty on his head, intrepid adventurer who has heard of his reputation and skills seeks to nullify or reduce his deadliness with his weapon of choice before confronting / ambushing him.

    You could even have it be some LG Wizard council who heard of the deaths and believe he has turned to Evil and must be stopped before he can do anything worse, build up a whole thing about Good and Evil Wizards coming closer to outright war as they keep tarnishing (or polishing) each other's reputations in the eyes of the general populace.

  • PantshandshakePantshandshake Registered User regular
    Yygdrasil wrote: »
    I feel it's necessery to post his stat choices: (point buy system)

    10 STR
    18 DEX
    10 CON
    16 INT
    10 WIS
    10 CHA

    It gives me the willies just looking at it.

    First, if you want to get him, it would seem he's got nothing for saving rolls.
    Second, only 10 con? Really? Come on....

  • RendRend Registered User regular
    Yygdrasil wrote: »
    Have him loot a necklace that looks like a decent upgrade, but have it be cursed! And the curse? It gives the wearer TEENY TINY T-REX ARMS until the necklace is removed!
    Note that these tiny arms are too small to actually reach the necklace, and too small to wield a crossbow.

    This is such a fantastic idea that I can't possibly not use it. This is happening. This is happening so fast it isn't funny. Knowing the parties current displeasure with him, he's going to be SOL for help getting it off. They'll sooner let him suffer than see him back to normal.

    You sir, deserve an award.

    You are going to end up with a player who feels singled out and it is not going to make him happy at all.
    He already has trouble separating RP displeasure with real displeasure, this is likely to tip him the f' over.

    You are not likely to teach him the appropriate lesson by pushing buttons of his you already know exist.

    GnomeTankadmanbEsseeAssuranalternatingAberrationcrimsoncoyoteTychoCelchuuuKochikensMegafrostGammarahgjaustin
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    Me and Rend agree on this, singling him out (while funny) isn't going to fix the behavior. If you're goal is simply to drive him away from the gaming group without specifically saying "go away", that might work...but if you're goal is to mold his behavior to be more group friendly, that's not going to do it.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
    admanbEsseeAssuran
  • YygdrasilYygdrasil Tree of Awesome BostonRegistered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    Other possibilities:

    He gets captured by some entities known for their sadism (Goblins spring to mind here) who blind him in one eye (real hard to shoot a crossbow with no depth perception).

    He gets haunted by the spirit of the Rogue who manifests as a poultergeist inclined to interfere with his shooting. A cleric might be able to get rid of the poultergeist, but given his recent actions, the party cleric might not want to until he mends his ways.

    The party finds a Cursed crossbow, which he will surely claim. Again, a Remove Curse will help here, but who will cast it for him? Maybe he'll find an Evil cleric willing to do the job. But the thing about evil priests is that they're evil. Maybe the price will be higher than he wants to pay. Maybe he'll just get scammed.

    All of these ideas need only be a temporary hinderance to his Railgunning, but they'll emphasize that a little versatility is a good thing. And also that he has to rely on the other members of his party.

    Also great ideas.

    mtdew-1.jpg
  • YygdrasilYygdrasil Tree of Awesome BostonRegistered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    Other possibilities:

    He gets captured by some entities known for their sadism (Goblins spring to mind here) who blind him in one eye (real hard to shoot a crossbow with no depth perception).

    He gets haunted by the spirit of the Rogue who manifests as a poultergeist inclined to interfere with his shooting. A cleric might be able to get rid of the poultergeist, but given his recent actions, the party cleric might not want to until he mends his ways.

    The party finds a Cursed crossbow, which he will surely claim. Again, a Remove Curse will help here, but who will cast it for him? Maybe he'll find an Evil cleric willing to do the job. But the thing about evil priests is that they're evil. Maybe the price will be higher than he wants to pay. Maybe he'll just get scammed.

    All of these ideas need only be a temporary hinderance to his Railgunning, but they'll emphasize that a little versatility is a good thing. And also that he has to rely on the other members of his party.

    Also great ideas.

    mtdew-1.jpg
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    Me and Rend agree on this, singling him out (while funny) isn't going to fix the behavior. If you're goal is simply to drive him away from the gaming group without specifically saying "go away", that might work...but if you're goal is to mold his behavior to be more group friendly, that's not going to do it.

    This. If your goal is to drive him out of the group, be an adult and just tell him he's out. If your goal is to make him a more tolerable player, none of these things are going to help.

    DarkewolfeBloodySloth
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I think that like you said: if you change his alignment you probably don't need to target him in any other way, although you might want to change the kind of monsters you send at them just so he's not getting away with the min/maxing.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    Yygdrasil
  • CowSharkCowShark Registered User regular
    Also, I don't know much about Pathfinder, but it seems like a simple impediment to a mainly ranged dude would be to have occasional fights with cover strewn about for bad guys to fight behind, good cover makes regular ranged attacks pretty crap unless you're mobile enough to pass by the cover, and makes magic that auto-targets, or is area of effect into a superior type of firepower--at least in whatever the heck last version of DnD I played where I read the rules.

    This doesn't require magic and would just be reasonable for non-animal level intelligence bad guys to try.

    BloodySloth
  • YygdrasilYygdrasil Tree of Awesome BostonRegistered User regular
    I'll have to do this carefully... but the announcment of his alignment change has been posted to our own message board. The stage is set...

    mtdew-1.jpg
  • InxInx Registered User regular
    Yeah, I...singling this dude out because his build and playstyle grate on you is just poor DMing. Doesn't matter that he sounds like a real tool. Frankly, you sound like a bit of a tool yourself, wanting to hold this guy to some standard that he doesn't share with you.

    I also really disagree with the whole "critical failures punish your allies" thing. It punishes players who had no say in the matter for one guy taking a 1 in 20 risk. If you want critical failures to be more than just a miss, have it punish the player who rolled the die - say, his crossbrow string snaps, or somehow disastrously misfires so he has to change gears for the rest of the fight, or he provokes an attack of opportunity. Don't kill another player, because clearly that's caused nothing but turmoil.

    Really, the guy sounds like a self-absorbed tool, but you sound like a controlling, overbearing fuckknuckle. I think this one falls on you, man.

    Cowboy Bebop
  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks The Myth, the Legend, the Bowman, the Shambler FuckerRegistered User regular
    edited December 2012
    Inx wrote: »
    say, his crossbrow string snaps

    and the tension from the string whips it back into his face, temporarily (for a few sessions) blinding him in one eye.

    Something like that would have given him the push required to get him to explore other aspects of his class without making it seem like you were picking on him specifically.

    SmokeStacks on
    gRAhjXV.gif
  • Cowboy BebopCowboy Bebop Registered User regular
    To be honest I don’t see much of an issue with how this guy is playing his character, it is after all his character not yours. Just don’t call him a wizard, I feel like you’re getting really hung up on the label here, and frankly it’s refreshing to have a wizard that doesn't follow the generic ‘Check out Gandalf with his staff!’ vibe. Just ask him to flesh out the background of the character like others have mentioned, like being part of a guild or something.

    In addition it could be argued that you killed the rogue to spite this guy and turned the group against him, generally my GM would argue caution when firing through allies but he wouldn't say before the roll ‘If you roll a 1 you’re going to hit the rouge’, it affords some more wiggle room like Inx has mentioned. You could have halved the damage for instance because it simply grazed the rouge or allowed the rouge to make an acrobatics check.

    Don’t get me wrong he sounds like a glory hog and a bit of a pain to play with but I think you need to accept some responsibility here as well.

    It’ll be interesting to hear what happens next, keep us posted.

    Kayne Red RobeInx
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Inx wrote: »
    Yeah, I...singling this dude out because his build and playstyle grate on you is just poor DMing. Doesn't matter that he sounds like a real tool. Frankly, you sound like a bit of a tool yourself, wanting to hold this guy to some standard that he doesn't share with you.

    I also really disagree with the whole "critical failures punish your allies" thing. It punishes players who had no say in the matter for one guy taking a 1 in 20 risk. If you want critical failures to be more than just a miss, have it punish the player who rolled the die - say, his crossbrow string snaps, or somehow disastrously misfires so he has to change gears for the rest of the fight, or he provokes an attack of opportunity. Don't kill another player, because clearly that's caused nothing but turmoil.

    Really, the guy sounds like a self-absorbed tool, but you sound like a controlling, overbearing fuckknuckle. I think this one falls on you, man.

    Vitriol aside, I think this is an important point. Things like critical failures from poor decisions shouldn't hurt other players, unless there's a real teamwork setup in your group already. In cases like this, the critical failure should result in the string snapping and needing a turn's repairs. Or, if this is a magical crossbow that you think he has overused and which he pumps a LOT of magic through, say that the magic has burned componentry out, and not only does he need a day's work on the crossbow to fix it, but he needs to spend a gold's worth of spell components to rebuild the magical conduits in the wood.

    A weapon shouldn't be breaking every single critical, but critical failures on weapons which have outlandish magic going through them can definitely result in more spectacular or expensive failures. Either way, having one player hurt another with a failure is only a good punishment if it's actually a punishment. It sounds like your group isn't a bunch of friends playing together, but some people who are mostly there for the game and not the camaraderie. In that case, make these sorts of things more isolated against the individual player.

    What is this I don't even.
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Inx wrote: »
    Yeah, I...singling this dude out because his build and playstyle grate on you is just poor DMing. Doesn't matter that he sounds like a real tool. Frankly, you sound like a bit of a tool yourself, wanting to hold this guy to some standard that he doesn't share with you.

    I also really disagree with the whole "critical failures punish your allies" thing. It punishes players who had no say in the matter for one guy taking a 1 in 20 risk. If you want critical failures to be more than just a miss, have it punish the player who rolled the die - say, his crossbrow string snaps, or somehow disastrously misfires so he has to change gears for the rest of the fight, or he provokes an attack of opportunity. Don't kill another player, because clearly that's caused nothing but turmoil.

    Really, the guy sounds like a self-absorbed tool, but you sound like a controlling, overbearing fuckknuckle. I think this one falls on you, man.

    Vitriol aside, I think this is an important point. Things like critical failures from poor decisions shouldn't hurt other players, unless there's a real teamwork setup in your group already. In cases like this, the critical failure should result in the string snapping and needing a turn's repairs. Or, if this is a magical crossbow that you think he has overused and which he pumps a LOT of magic through, say that the magic has burned componentry out, and not only does he need a day's work on the crossbow to fix it, but he needs to spend a gold's worth of spell components to rebuild the magical conduits in the wood.

    A weapon shouldn't be breaking every single critical, but critical failures on weapons which have outlandish magic going through them can definitely result in more spectacular or expensive failures. Either way, having one player hurt another with a failure is only a good punishment if it's actually a punishment. It sounds like your group isn't a bunch of friends playing together, but some people who are mostly there for the game and not the camaraderie. In that case, make these sorts of things more isolated against the individual player.

    If there had been no warning, I'd be right with you guys. As it is, the dude WAS warned, and gave absolutely no shits. "Hey, that guy's head is in the way of your shot. If you crit fail you will hit him." "Yeah, well, I think it'll be okay" shows a lot of disregard. I think that's why the group is pissed. I would sure be pissed. He was given the chance to make a different decision as a player, and as a player he decided to show a complete disregard for the time another player had put into the game. I would want him out of the game if it were me, or at least sat out for a few sessions, but I take my characters pretty seriously. Fortunately the other player in question isn't like that, but either way, no, this is not the DM's fault.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    To go along with what a few others are saying, since this guy's build seems so specific, there have gotta be ways to subvert his gravity bow without making it seem like you're just shitting on him because he's not being fun. Throw some leveled characters at the group with Deflect/Snatch Arrows? Like a cabal of evil monks or something (just make sure that every npc in the game doesn't inexplicably end up with Deflect Arrows). Even having bad guys who are simply smart enough to end their turn out of line of sight (and ready ranged attacks after they've hidden around a corner) make his ranged attacks less valuable.

    BloodySloth on
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Yeah the OP resolved the labeling issue on page 1, and really it's something that can be balanced for with creative DMing - it's just a little more work to do so, but that's what it is: a balance issue, and fixable.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited December 2012
    ceres wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Inx wrote: »
    Yeah, I...singling this dude out because his build and playstyle grate on you is just poor DMing. Doesn't matter that he sounds like a real tool. Frankly, you sound like a bit of a tool yourself, wanting to hold this guy to some standard that he doesn't share with you.

    I also really disagree with the whole "critical failures punish your allies" thing. It punishes players who had no say in the matter for one guy taking a 1 in 20 risk. If you want critical failures to be more than just a miss, have it punish the player who rolled the die - say, his crossbrow string snaps, or somehow disastrously misfires so he has to change gears for the rest of the fight, or he provokes an attack of opportunity. Don't kill another player, because clearly that's caused nothing but turmoil.

    Really, the guy sounds like a self-absorbed tool, but you sound like a controlling, overbearing fuckknuckle. I think this one falls on you, man.

    Vitriol aside, I think this is an important point. Things like critical failures from poor decisions shouldn't hurt other players, unless there's a real teamwork setup in your group already. In cases like this, the critical failure should result in the string snapping and needing a turn's repairs. Or, if this is a magical crossbow that you think he has overused and which he pumps a LOT of magic through, say that the magic has burned componentry out, and not only does he need a day's work on the crossbow to fix it, but he needs to spend a gold's worth of spell components to rebuild the magical conduits in the wood.

    A weapon shouldn't be breaking every single critical, but critical failures on weapons which have outlandish magic going through them can definitely result in more spectacular or expensive failures. Either way, having one player hurt another with a failure is only a good punishment if it's actually a punishment. It sounds like your group isn't a bunch of friends playing together, but some people who are mostly there for the game and not the camaraderie. In that case, make these sorts of things more isolated against the individual player.

    If there had been no warning, I'd be right with you guys. As it is, the dude WAS warned, and gave absolutely no shits. "Hey, that guy's head is in the way of your shot. If you crit fail you will hit him." "Yeah, well, I think it'll be okay" shows a lot of disregard. I think that's why the group is pissed. I would sure be pissed. He was given the chance to make a different decision as a player, and as a player he decided to show a complete disregard for the time another player had put into the game. I would want him out of the game if it were me, or at least sat out for a few sessions, but I take my characters pretty seriously. Fortunately the other player in question isn't like that, but either way, no, this is not the DM's fault.

    But, really? We have a problem with the rules being bent pretty hard in the first place.
    Choose a type of crossbow (hand, light, heavy) or a single type of one-handed or two-handed firearm that you are proficient with. You can reload such a weapon quickly.

    Prerequisites: Weapon Proficiency (crossbow type chosen) or Exotic Weapon Proficiency (firearm).

    Benefit: The time required for you to reload your chosen type of weapon is reduced to a free action (for a hand or light crossbow), a move action (for heavy crossbow or one-handed firearm), or a standard action (two-handed firearm). Reloading a crossbow or firearm still provokes attacks of opportunity.

    If you have selected this feat for a hand crossbow or light crossbow, you may fire that weapon as many times in a full-attack action as you could attack if you were using a bow.

    Firing a heavy crossbow twice in a round is not possible. With Rapid Reload as a feat, the best he could muster is firing once a round, as he has to use his move action to reload precluding the full attack that would be required to get two shots off.

    Unless he's somehow figured out how to give himself permanent haste as well, I can't find a way this should have happened by the rules. And, in a case like this, I honestly would have brought the player to 0hp and bent the rules a bit, giving him a chance to coup de grace the fuck out of that wizard while he slept.

    Edit: I feel like a huge nerd. :( Also edited to sound less douchey. :\

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    You could even introduce magical enemies that can cast Dispel Magic. It would put him out of the fight for almost two rounds as he has to put the weapon away as a move, cast the spell on his next turn and use his move that round to redraw his weapon.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I know literally nothing of D&D ammo rules, so that sounds reasonable.

    I do know that as a GM if you say "a crit fail means death" and then it doesn't mean death, there are no consequences for player decisions. That's the view I take. So if the move is allowed under whatever twist of the rules may have already been established for the player (and I know that happens), I can see why the OP followed through on the warning. If I were in a situation where a player made me GM-fiat someone not dying because they are shitty to play with and don't care about other players' characters, I would not make their lives easy for it.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    You could even introduce magical enemies that can cast Dispel Magic. It would put him out of the fight for almost two rounds as he has to put the weapon away as a move, cast the spell on his next turn and use his move that round to redraw his weapon.

    One round... you only need one hand free to cast a spell, and I would argue that a heavy crossbow could be held one handed while the other hand casts. Otherwise, wizards using staves would be fucked.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    You could even introduce magical enemies that can cast Dispel Magic. It would put him out of the fight for almost two rounds as he has to put the weapon away as a move, cast the spell on his next turn and use his move that round to redraw his weapon.

    One round... you only need one hand free to cast a spell, and I would argue that a heavy crossbow could be held one handed while the other hand casts. Otherwise, wizards using staves would be fucked.

    Right! Damn... still, a delay is a delay.

  • VanguardVanguard A wretched country of duskRegistered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    If my players can beat everything by using the same strategy, that's a sign that I'm doing something wrong. Try designing encounters where just blasting shit with his bow is not going to be a solution. This mean's some neat trick that the monster employs, environmental factors, traps, etc.

    BloodySloth
  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    I know literally nothing of D&D ammo rules, so that sounds reasonable.

    I do know that as a GM if you say "a crit fail means death" and then it doesn't mean death, there are no consequences for player decisions. That's the view I take. So if the move is allowed under whatever twist of the rules may have already been established for the player (and I know that happens), I can see why the OP followed through on the warning. If I were in a situation where a player made me GM-fiat someone not dying because they are shitty to play with and don't care about other players' characters, I would not make their lives easy for it.

    Crit failures aren't actually part of the rules.

    They're more a thing DMs throw in because it sounds cool but in reality just kinda screws over characters that make multiple attack rolls per round.

    which, ironically, is a thing wizards are usually not going to be doing.

    Firing into Melee is a thing, but that is just a straight penalty with no chance of hitting an ally.

    Steam PSN: DerWaffleMous Origin: DerWaffleMous Bnet: DerWaffle#1682
    ShadowfireInx
  • RheumatoidRheumatoid Registered User
    Okay, so your player seems like he's a little annoying to deal with as a DM. I completely understand your frustration, but did you ever attempt to discuss this behavior or any other problems with his playing style with the rest of the group outside the context of the game?

    Seriously man, have a conversation with the guy like adults and try to work something out amicably instead of all this passive-agressive "Help me punish one of my players!" nonsense.

  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    I know literally nothing of D&D ammo rules, so that sounds reasonable.

    I do know that as a GM if you say "a crit fail means death" and then it doesn't mean death, there are no consequences for player decisions. That's the view I take. So if the move is allowed under whatever twist of the rules may have already been established for the player (and I know that happens), I can see why the OP followed through on the warning. If I were in a situation where a player made me GM-fiat someone not dying because they are shitty to play with and don't care about other players' characters, I would not make their lives easy for it.

    Crit failures aren't actually part of the rules.

    They're more a thing DMs throw in because it sounds cool but in reality just kinda screws over characters that make multiple attack rolls per round.

    I don't think critical failures necessarily give characters with multiple attacks an uneven disadvantage any more than critical successes give them an uneven advantage. They take a bit of self-control to dole out on the part of the DM ("you cut your own head off!" would be a bit much...) but some of the most memorable moments in any given evening have a good chance of originating from a hilariously timed natural 1. That's my personal experience, anyway.

  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    It's not like he was firing into melee anyway. He was essentially firing over another dude's shoulder. Not at two closely spaced dudes smacking each other. I think killing the rogue was definitely the wrong call. I think worst case I would have ruled it that the rogue takes some damage and his shot is a miss no matter the roll because he's diving out of the way of the wizard's wild shot.

    steam_sig.png
    Inx
  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    Have his behavior start reflecting on the rest of the party. Do you have NPC priests and other "good" characters that give advice/help to the party? Have them refuse to help, or at the very least, throw the equivalent of a Geas spell upon him to change his behavior. At this point, you want the rest of the party to help him change his behavior.

    I would keep an eye on the paladin, though- he sounds like he's going to try and kill the wizard 'because he's evil'. That kind of crap and break a party apart.

    steam_sig.png
  • InxInx Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    @Ceres The warning really doesn't justify the outcome. Like the guy said, the odds that the rogue was going to die were ASTRONOMICALLY small. Just about any player will take those odds when it comes to someone else's character dying. Fact of the matter is that critical failures, as has been mentioned, aren't even an actual part of the rules, and some DMs actively use them to mess with players for petty reasons.

    A warning that justifies an death outcome would be more like "If you lick the toad demon mucus, you are GOING to die. You won't get a save. Just death." Then, if the player does it, then they have nobody to blame but themselves.

    But these are adventurers we're talking about. The John McClanes of their world. A PC with 16 intelligence and 18 dexterity, as we've been shown, really shouldn't even have a 5 percent chance of slipping and shooting the guy who's shoulder they're shooting over. It makes just as much sense as a fighter rolling a critical failure and snicker-snacking off the wizard's head because his vorpal sword went flying out of his hands.

    I'm sorry if I'm coming across as hostile, by the by - I've had a lot of really bad DMs who tried to enforce bad, made up rules out of spite and would play favorites, and this whole situation just sounds a lot like that. You could say my jimmies are a bit rustled.

    Inx on
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Putting explicit probabilities on the action places it firmly in the "Numbers" portion of the game rather than the "Peoples" portion of the game. That the guy reacted to it as a numbers issue when you lead him that way isn't exactly fair dinkum.

    Frankly, if everybody is roleplaying their characters....why the fuck do they still travel with him if he's killed two traveling companions? The answer is your actually playing a numbers game and it's Bob's character rather than a double murderer who takes a watch while you sleep.

  • RendRend Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    Even if he critically missed only once and only hit the rogue once, he could very well have taken him down to half health, and the probability of that isn't exactly astronomical. Taking that rogue down to half could have indirectly resulted in him dying, or being taken out of the fight.

    I don't necessarily agree with the ruling, but the warning was not "you have a 0.08% chance of the rogue dying" it was "you have a 5% chance of shooting the rogue with a railgun."

    The real problem here that I see is one I see all the time for some reason with various D&D groups. When the DM sees the game has essentially been broken, the first response is to punish. How many times in your games have you said:

    "You can't do <thing> because <reason>."
    "If you do <thing> you will cause <unreasonably severe negative response>."
    "Because I secretly don't want you to do <thing>, I will inflict <punishment> to ensure you can't."

    Obviously sometimes it's appropriate to tell the players a thing cannot happen. But it's generally good to do it much less often. One of my favorite D&D axioms has always been the modified rule of cool, which just states that if it's awesome and doesn't break anything, you should probably be able to do it. Consider the following situations.

    1. I go to the temple of the gods and tithe 10,000 gold in exchange for the magic sword.
    2. I go to the temple of the gods and profess my faith by telling of my works. Seeing my piety, they give me the magic sword for free, and I then spend 10,000 gold throwing the biggest party the city of Townsburgh has ever seen.

    At the end of the day, the second one is cooler, and you sacrifice nothing by allowing it, so why not let the character have the awesome? It's fun for everyone, and encourages players to think about the mechanics differently.

    Your player picked wizard because they wanted an incredibly high damage slow shooting ranger. The ranger class, which seems like the one to use, would not allow him to actually accomplish it, but he found a way to play the character he wanted to by calling it a wizard. What he actually wants to play is an enchanted ranger, and why not let him? The enchanted ranger is cool, and mechanically he doesn't break anything by doing it, considering you're more than capable of balancing around 1-2 very high damage shots per round without preventing him from doing the thing he wants.

    Displacement, hardened shell, damage reflection, stealth, ignoring the first attack per round, skeletal enemies (iirc, that's half damage from piercing right?), cover, swarms/hordes, and that's just off the top of my head of basic mechanics which will reduce the broken-nature of his power level while giving him interesting decisions to make, and allowing him to do the cool thing he likes to do.

    As the DM you should be enabling your players to do whatever they want to do, and you should make it awesome that they are doing it. Barring, of course, split second decisions that you don't have time to consider, if you ever take away capabilities from your players without a very compelling replacement (regardless of reason), you have fallen short creatively.

    If the party has been captured, you obviously take their weapons away. No brainer. But are they then supposed to escape simply without equipment? No, of course not, that's not interesting at all.
    1. A god they've pleased recently grants them supernatural powers temporarily to aid them in their escape.
    2. They find themselves leading a prison riot in order to free not just themselves, but all the prisoners.
    3. A sympathetic guard reveals himself to them and they must orchestrate their escape via their small circle of good-hearted rebels.
    4. For the next X sessions they take control of a random band of adventurers (perhaps much higher level than they, perhaps much weaker) who have heard of their plight and seek to enable their escape.

    Again, off the top of my head there's 4 ways to handle a seemingly no-options situation while being an interesting set of encounters. Your characters either get to, for the moment, play supermen, underdog freedom fighters, clandestine schemers, or mentors/groupies. Bonus points for the fourth option when the second party rescues the original, and you get to assault the dungeon by splitting the parties along two paths to take two critical objectives simultaneously to avoid setting some sort of arcane alarm.

    Wall of text. Sorry, I hope any of this helps you at all.

    Rend on
    InxRheumatoidEsseecrimsoncoyoteV1mShadowfire
  • InxInx Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    Inx wrote: »
    say, his crossbrow string snaps

    and the tension from the string whips it back into his face, temporarily (for a few sessions) blinding him in one eye.

    Something like that would have given him the push required to get him to explore other aspects of his class without making it seem like you were picking on him specifically.

    Also I just read this one, and I disagree with it wholeheartedly. A punishment for a 5 percent probability like that shouldn't last for more than a few minutes after the current encounter unless the player was doing something unbelievably stupid, which the guy wasn't doing in this case.

    Also, while the problem of "how to get him be my definition of wizard" seems to have been solved, my approach would have been to introduce an NPC that they interact with regularly, who sort of takes on a mentor role with your wizard. This NPC should be your more traditional wizard, and give him wizarding advice that amounts to "use more than just crossbow hax". Then, once the player really admires the NPC, fucking kill him off. Have the NPC's last words be like "you have such potential" or maybe he leaves the player his spellbook in his last will and testament. Make the player WANT to be a wizard, rather than just NEED to. Inception that shit.

    Edit: When I say "interact with", I don't mean RELY ON. This guy shouldn't be saving their asses. He's too old for that adventuring shit.

    Inx on
  • KiplingKipling Registered User regular
    Dependent on when the rogue died, you have a great plot line for a NPC relative out for revenge to mess with him for a little bit. He could betray them and get them captured, the party escapes and confront. That makes for a good coda to the rogue. And you would have been able to make him chaotic evil if he killed the relative as well, instead of forgiveness.

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  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    So this is almost definitely too late, but when the rogue died, it occurs to me that you had a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone:

    Like telling the rogue that as he took aim at the goblin sorcerer, he had a sudden looming sense of impending doom approaching from behind him. As he turned to look, he sees the crossbow bolt(s) coming right at him and going right through his chest. Then with his last breath, he could have cursed the wizard, saying something about, "Until you right this horrible wrong, you will never fire a bow again!"

    This lets you A) curse the wizard so he has to do something other than fire a bow, B) lets the guy playing the rogue feel like he's getting a little back, C) lets you introduce the new paladin character when the wizard goes to a temple to try to figure out how to atone, D) opens the door for a new quest.

    If you wanted, you could even say the paladin was assigned by the temple to decide when the wizard had properly atoned for his crime so that player gets to make the decision on when he gets his bow back, and when paladin feels he's atoned enough then he could intervene with his god on behalf of the wizard.

  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    I think its time this party had a run in with the Head of Vecna.

    Though as a DM its always time for the Head of Vecna.

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  • The Scottish UnicornThe Scottish Unicorn CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    Loose cannon wizard off da hook

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  • CowSharkCowShark Registered User regular
    Suspend him and make him turn in his badge. It doesn't matter if he 'gets results.'

    InxThunderous_T
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    I dunno. In all the RPGs I have played, the other party members would have just killed the wizard. Right after he killed the first player.

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