Monday, January 26, 2009

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

I can't decide if I care enough about this blog to want it to be read. If I do, I clearly need some controversial opinions and I need to swear while I explain them.


Fuck everybody who thought there was something wrong with 3.x Edition paladins. Go sit in a corner and have a think about what "losing your paladin powers if you grossly violate the code of conduct" means and learn to understand the concept of some fucking leeway. Fuck DMs who think trying to force the paladin to lose his powers is good roleplaying. Fuck people who insist paladins have to be shining idealist knights who have to help every innocent they come across. Seriously, fuck you guys. Go learn to fucking roleplay and stop treating the code of conduct like a fucking crutch. You retards are the reason they dumbed down the alignment system and everything else in 4th "hay guys aasimar sounds like ass lol" Edition.

See that? I managed to work in a 4th Edition reference and I haven't even read it yet.

Well, normally I try to relate my post to the comic I drew, so here we go.

One of the games I run is in a homebrew steampunk setting for /tg/, or at least people I know from /tg/. General gist: It is steampunk, all the cool cities have science academies and universities, major outsiders like Levistus walk the world in de-powered avatars building money and influence, dapper neogi and dieselpunk nation "advised" by Mephistopheles are the villains. Fun times.

That last comic was real, by the way. One of the PCs (first time I've played with this guy) is an "anthro-cat" sorcerer with a triple-barreled sniper rifle, a fez and a monkey familiar. He is working on a small mecha in his spare time. Most of those things are just things the player feels are awesome.

I'm strangely okay with it.

Apparently I am very tolerant, despite my usual habit (along with everyone else who plays on the internet) of being a passive-aggressive bitch about it when I have a problem. My favourite one is complaining about people behind their backs and not doing much about it, and my players apparently don't read this shit, so...

The other players not so much. Some are fine and just find it a little irritating (it doesn't help that the player sometimes has a showboat problem, but whatever), some are probably going to knife him ASAP.

As for the above: the party went on an adventure to a small peninsula adjacent to their usual country, inhabited by druids, at the request of the party druid. (Not much change from D&D ones, except more scholary and with hundreds of weird nature deities.) They took a train to a town at the border and prepared to journey the rest of the way by boat. While they prepared, the sniper sorcerer kitty looked for a clock tower...

He wanted to use his powers for good and shoot criminals. He tried to shoot a purse-snatcher. He actually wanted to wing the guy and stun him, but the argument on whether that is possible turned out to be a moot point since he missed and smashed a shop window anyway. Then he called out death threats and argued with another PC who called for him from the clock tower, narrowly evaded the watch, smiled smugly as he escaped, etc.

Later they secured a boat ride from a blue-skinned large-chested amazon pirate drow captain wearing a swimsuit and a cape, because I am a terrible DM. Really. I'm sorry. At least all drow in this setting are like that!

Anyway, there was (naturally) an argument, or at least something approaching one. The crochety old druid told off the sorcerer and banged him on the head with his cane, then the sorcerer ignored him and wandered off.

A few minutes later the player had to leave early, and hasn't been around since. (I've been having attendance problems with this game for months now). In his absence, the party druid has decided to push him off the boat. Progress has been made in the adventure since then and the PC hasn't been seen, so everyone has been acting as though he drowned or something.

He's going to be back tomorrow, though. I am not sure what will await me. Perhaps someone will start a fight and someone will get killed, or everyone will be okay with him now. Who knows.

At least I am not short of players. For some reason I have enough people waiting in the wings to start a second group if I wanted to. One guy who contacted me via this blog asking (incidentally, panjandrum, if you're reading this: you are totally next if a spot opens), a guy I DMed for before who wants me to tell stories about how great his character is and is terrible at the old subtle "I'll just make a character sheet for fun. Hey, can I watch your game?" trick, a guy who is surprisingly normal about it, and the ex of one of the players. (Apparently she has already started work on her character too and her description is over 4,000 words. I have no idea if I should be scared or not.)

That's probably the central problem I'm having here. Should I be afraid of random strangers I haven't met yet? Do I worry too much or too little about what kind of people play in my games? Are anthro-cats weird or not?

Remember when I said I'd look at my flaws as a DM? That is probably one of them. I am wary of new players and indecisive about the ones I am already with. As flaws go, though, it's Pretty Okay (TM).


Karizma said...

I'd say that's not too bad. It's like a general GM rule that "Players suck, and will do everything in their power to make things as difficult as possible for you." It could be worse though. You could have joined a group playing WoWRPG (which is a blatant transcription of D&D3.5 with awful organization) where the GM does more playing his 4th level character amongst a party of first level characters than actual GMing.

I'm working on overthrowing the GM and teaching him how it's done.

I love your blog by the way.

Ettin said...

"WoWRPG (which is a blatant transcription of D&D3.5 with awful organization)"

Do you mean Warcraft d20 or World of Warcraft d20?

Both are by the same guys, as far as I know, I just happen to dislike the latter a lot more.

Karizma said...

World of Warcraft d20.

But it's okay, I've already started working on making characters for the system *I* will be using to start trying to have fun. (It's High Adventure RolePlaying or "HARP" by Iron Crown Enterprises).

Urch said...

If Cat Dork has a problem with me shoving him off the boat, I will proceed to shove him off the boat again, and hold onto him as we sink to the bottom of the ocean. Then casually talk to him as he drowns. Doing this is totally justifiable in character, by the by.

Karizma said...

Also, I TOTALLY agree with you on the Paladin rant. (Not from a 3.x perspective, but) I always hear people bitch about how "No one plays Paladins right" because I constantly hear people say that Paladins are fucked up assholes. No they're not, they're just half-ass priests with big swords! People make Paladins more uptight than Clerics. That's confusing. Clerics need to be anal about their religion. Paladins are just given a moral reason behind their slaughter.

If I were to play a paladin, I would play him like a fighter that has some confidence issues and hides behind morality, separating himself from "brutish thugs" like mercenaries.

Oh, topic, right. Cat-man. You know, I think it's cool that you're tolerant. Some people love to just play "What's cool", and I think that's great. However, I think the mood conflict is a bit grating. If Catman wants "cool" and your other players want "roleplay", then we have a problem because the role-players have something that repetitively kills their suspension of disbelief, or some roleplaying theory bullshit.

If the player HIMSELF is annoying, that's just a different problem altogether.

Yes, I posted again. My first post was more about me sympathizing with the pains of GMing.

David said...

Your comics are fun and your posts are as well. There, the ass-kissing is out of the way.

Paladins are a tough nut to crack sometimes in certain groups. There's a fairly undefined line there regarding 'grossly violating their code', and their code isn't all that well defined to start with.

I do despise DMs that go out of their way to force a paladin to fall. It's not deep, it's not clever, and they are generally bad DMs for doing it. If a situation arises during play that requires a difficult moral choice, fine. Constantly railroading the players into situations just to piss around with the paladin? Sucks.

Anyway, I went through your blog today and it was a fun read. Woo.

Ettin said...

Oh hello more posts

And yeah, that is kind of how I feel about paladins. I haven't personally encountered many problems, though, except one player who tends to be a major pessimist having hangups about them. Another player decided to "teach him a lesson" by rolling a paladin and showing him how it was done.

A few sessions later, that paladin happily massacred a group of civilians the PCs were about to investigate because the player had forgotten what happened last session and spent too much time complaining about it to pay attention during this one.

The player demanded a "mulligan". Fun times.

The worst paladin-related thing I've witnessed, funnily enough, was sort of the opposite - someone telling off a player whose paladin was visiting family and didn't go out their way to help a town in trouble of the adventure hook sort first. Apparently, paladins are supposed to be selfless shining beacons of hope and righteousness, and taking a break for personal time is against the code.


And the cat player is fine! Or at least, I think so. Some of the others find his showboating and habit of being easily excited/impressed by things others find stupid a little irritating, but the only thing that's particularly bugged me is the time he ignored a PC hitting him in the head with a length of wood and yelling at him.

I've played with a few people who can't accept bad things happening to their character, and usually bad things happen to them. Bad, hilarious things.

Anonymous said...

The 4000 words isn't going in the GAME description. She just got carried away with the character and went and wrote some fanfiction. She's a prolific writer at least.

Jay said...

I hate people who complain about other player's paladins. And yes, the vague code is certain part of it, especially since one of the few clear rules is to not knowingly associate with evil characters, which can be hard in your average gaming party.

As a result, whenever someone decides to play a paladin or cleric in my game I make up a Code of Conduct for them based on their god (since we've only had one Paladin and no Clerics so far, it's not been that hard).

And I suggest other DMs do this too, as it allows you to throw in bat-shit insane little surprises, y'know, crazy shit like you'd get from a real religion. Things like "Must not associate with followers of *other god with similar alignment*" or "Must never knowingly eat the flesh of reptiles" or "May never harm foxes".

Fluffy said...

I like paladins, in general. My only experience with a paladin in-game however was a guy who thought it would be a good idea to have a demon possess his sword and say "It's all right, I can intimidate it into obeying me."

On the other topic, anthro cats are cool - ignoring another person hitting you on the head is not. If it were real life and someone ignored my character hitting theirs on the head, you can bet I'd do the same in real life to make sure they got the point.

Karizma said...

Happy GM Day. I miss you.