>GM: "You can circumvent many fights with your social skills in this game!"
>whole party loads up on social skills
>every enemy so far is either an insane, fanatical, divinely brainwashed cultist or a mindless undead
>GM makes it clear that this what the storyline is about
>GM makes vague and wishy-washy assurance that there will be more times in the future
>we still have a whole map full of insane, fanatical, divinely brainwashed cultists and mindless undead to deal with
Do GMs just not like social skills even when such skills are properly roleplayed out?
>GM: "You can circumvent many fights with your social skills in this game!"
I promise this but it doesn't always work out cause I'm a shit GM.
>GM makes vague and wishy-washy assurance that there will be more times in the future
This is how I act when I want to compromise but I'm too shitty to be able to.
>Do GMs just not like social skills even when such skills are properly roleplayed out?
Your GM just doesn't really know how to go about even when he wants to. Just let him keep trying and tip him. He'll get it right one day but he'll keep messing up a few more times until he gets it right. The only way to practice is through actual play after all.
>Beefy McHugetits and Talky Talkerson
This is pretty stupid. She would grapple, not pin, and there isn't such a thing as an 'action to silence'. Besides, it's the caster's turn so she would have had to ready her action to grapple rather than suddenly interrupting and readying a new action.
>make it a point to learn grappling rules well
>DM gives OK on all feats I want
>2 months into campaign
>every enemy is undead, on fire, large, or REALLY high strength
It's almost like I can do nothing at all.
>everyone starts changing their skills because everything we picked has been worthless
>DM won't give us tips on worthwhile skills for campaign
>same with languages to speak
>or relevant favored ranger enemies
>come across fish people on a shoreline near a wrecked ship
>can't communicate with them
>they become hostile when we pass
>get frustrated and beat them up to continue on because this is stupid
>DM claims our alignments wouldn't let us do that
We are level 5, lost on islands, we have ONE +1 dagger and 3 worthless scrolls for our magical loot, and haven't had a story lead since 6 weeks ago.
DMs are just like bad movie directors anon. I feel your pain.
Honestly like most problems in any relationship/group communication is the route to growth and success. If he's having trouble handling those situations I'd keep attempting them SK he has opportunity to grow.
Honestly I could see ready an action to silence as her effectively making the grapple equivalent of a called shot to keep him quite
Come to think of it, are they any rules to keeping one from speaking in any version of D&D?
Also I could see them being that close counting as a grapple
>DM says campaign is going to have lots of intrigue and social situations.
>DM says combats will be few and far between, and all of them will be meaningful.
>Game devolves into the usual hackathon.
>not posting the original.
>DM says its gonna be a political campaign.
> mfw that it turns out that way.
if it wasn't for the fact it was in pathfinder, it would have been perfect.
Even worse when he makes it random encounters and you encounter a boss early and die before the campaign really even got anywhere. I'm not sure how I was supposed to survive that day still.
Because the only thing you can do socially is bargain or reason. You can't redirect the insane cult or even manipulate others into putting them on a priority risk. That's beyond the scope of random ass social skill roles, right?
Your GM is shit, drop his ass. Fuck being reasonable, he's wasting everyone's time.
>Literally all I have to do is show up and roleplay/develop a single character.
>THE GM FOING 95% OF THE WORK IN THE GAME MUST PUT ON A PERFECT PERFORMANCE OR ELSE DROP HIS ASS!
DMing an entire campaign should be a group initiation requirement.
That is a little difficult to do when the only other sapient entities within a ten-day ride (this had been established earlier) are completely feeble townsfolk who would be mercilessly cut down by the cultists and the undead.
I GM four six-hour sessions a week (two campaigns, each running twice a week). The least other GMs could do is run a game competently. One of my other GMs is very competent, but the one I am speaking of in the OP is not.
>I GM four six-hour sessions a week (two campaigns, each running twice a week)
What kind of monster are you? I did that kind of schedule before and I burned out within a week. My players seemed happy though but I was exhausted.
One with plenty of free time.
I will admit that my campaigns have had many a rough patch wherein I was not able to cater to the players well at all, and some players outright saying they did not have fun, but I have been trying to improve my GMing capacities over time.
Man, if it's gotten to the point that not one, but multiple people are taking you aside and saying they aren't having fun, you need to take a break and have a think. Maybe four sessions is beyond your abilities. Nothing wrong with that. Maybe you poorly communicated your expectations with your players, or neglected to ask them what sort of game they would like to play in. Again easily fixed, but the point is this: if you yourself have acknowledged you can't actually run that many games well, and the players aren't having fun, you need to stop. I'm not telling you to quit and never dm again, but the relationship between gm and player is one that's built on trust, and sometimes one bad campaign is all it takes to shatter that trust.
Oh, that was before. I have been proving more capable since then.
The players who who had been saying they are not having fun are the ones who are hardcore GMs who have been GMing non-stop for several years, so I have rather high standards to live up to.
Part of the issue is that I am poor at conveying the setting I am trying to run in both campaigns: Planescape. It is a setting I love very dearly and know *intensely* well (I am the one giving page number citations in the Planescape general threads), but it seems I am better at explaining it over the course of a long post than in "real time."
The aesthetic and races are not too weird, but the conflicts of the setting are alien and detached from reality (e.g. virtuous paladins who fight for "the force of entropy," devils who wage war with demons for the sake of "cosmic law and evil", clockwork hiveminds of completely inhuman values who work towards "pure law").
High-grade D&D magic (I do not run D&D, but I am trying to stay true to the setting) gets slung everywhere to the point where magic is more vital than mundane tools. Long-distance travel is facilitated by idiosyncratically-activated portals and mental and social constructs (e.g. physical travel in the plane of Elysium is facilitated through acts of goodwill and passion, which sounds simple on the surface but can get very weird in practice). The setting expects problems to be solved through completely bizarre, esoteric methods revolving around belief and philosophies.
On top of all this, the above is all "common knowledge" to most inhabitants of the setting, who will gladly insult and snub "clueless" PCs who are unaware of such "basic" facts.
It is a setting with a very high entry barrier, and getting players into it has proven to be a rough process (and I have proven somewhat inept at presenting it in a digestible fashion), but I have been improving over time.
>no one in the party builds a hyper min-maxed 'body guard' that exists purely for such contingencies.
Best case, they aren't needed and player can find a reason to part ways and roll a new one. Worst case, someone can keep the campaign from grinding to a halt of meat and bones.
>DMing an entire campaign should be a group initiation requirement.
As a DM, I appreciate that this would give all us DMs a chance to play while new players get vetted.
As a DM, I also know we make the worst players and such a system would be a living hell.
Here's the thing:
I am a DM who loves roleplaying. Like, give me an opportunity to play an NPC and have a conversation, and I can go for hours.
It is very difficult to find players who find this to be a worthwhile part of their game. Players don't want to talk to shopkeepers, or try and hold their cool talking to a powerful drug lord, or silver-tongue their way into places they shouldn't. They just want to roll their skill check and move on, hopefully to the place where they can show off their combat skills.
What I don't do is "political intrigue". I don't run games where you're a hero who happens to be brought into government politics, or where people talk around a big table. There may be elements of politics in a game, sure, but I won't really ever run a game based on that, because it's boring and it goes nowhere.
But seriously, it's almost fucking impossible to find a character who will just get into character. It would be nice for once in my life to hear a PC that doesn't have the exact same voice, speech patterns, and humor as the person playing that character.
It won't ever happen, because you guys universally do not play RPGs to roleplay.
Everything about everything you post makes you sound like the absolute worst human being to ever sit at a gaming table, and I feel so desperately sorry for the players in your games, because they must be fucking miserable.
My Shadowrun group is deathly afraid to ever get into combat because they got wiped by an High-Threat Response team a few years ago and now they do absolutely everything within their power to prevent physical combat from breaking out. They are a crew of infiltrators, faces, sneaky hackers and manipulation mages and everyone gets visibly nervous whenever the guns actually have to come out
I'm not a killer GM and I don't go out of my way to kill my players but for whatever reason that one party wipe got me a reputation as someone who will ice a party if they get too cocky. I don't mind it because its lead to some wonderful intrigue and roleplay over the last year.
Oh boy time for DA EPIK MEME POAST SCORER!!!
1P Cute animeme picture (A classic!)
1P Epic copy-pasta made up shit to bait replies
1P Animemer is a weeaboo unable to speak his mind
1P DM is kinda of a dick
-1P Animemer posts shitty copypasta to make people get a raise of it that's been done a million times
1P Epic cute gurl animeme stutter
1P No Sjw related shit
6 fedoras out of 10! You attempted, but it was quite stale! Try to be more fresh and original next time!
The players wanted to be introduced to the setting through their clueless characters, so the characters are having everything explained to them by a mimir (a floating dispenser of information that can take many forms, this one being a ball of fuzz).
I tried the "your characters area already fairly knowledgeable" approach during the first session, and that session was a mess we will never speak of again, because the players were overwhelmed with information they could make neither heads nor tails of.
We get it, anime flares up your autism, people who can function in the outside world sometimes like more than one thing, some of them even like three things! And they can pull inspiration from other things they like for their roleplaying games
You know what, in all the years I've been here, I think this might be the first time I've actually seen someone unironically make a "ha I was just pretending to be retarded" post. Neat, didn't know people actually did that.
Legends of the Wulin does not actually have social combat by default; it emphasizes very strongly that it requires a specific technique to use Inspire to directly attack, and another technique to Take Out enemies with it.
That said, I would call a Graceful Crane courtier with Quick Work and Heart-Breaking Words Technique on the slightly overpowered side; such a character is highly capable both in and out of combat. During combat, they have both very high defense from Graceful Crane and incredibly-difficult-to-defend-against attacks from their Quick Work. Such a character is also no easier to shut down than a conventional Strike-attacker. The character also has their choice of Boundless Prosperity Manual for Footwork defense or Removing Concepts for trivializing skills.
>>GM: You know, you can use skills other than killing and murder to solve a problem
>>Players: Yeah, I guess we can try that out
>>Fights are always to the death, never let anyone surrender or escape even if they're just regular bandits
>>Mercilessly hunt down stragglers
I would like to add that in the case of my own GM, the cultists are apparently completely and utterly immune to intimidation. They also literally dissolve into a black goo when subdued, so as to prevent capture.
When I had my character bring out a vial to try to collect and study the black goo, the GM declares that the goo vanished before my character could collect anything.
This, as you might expect, makes anything but the direct approach rather difficult to work with.
>DM said that this campaign was going to heavily involve the Underdark
>Talk to my fellow players and the DM and end up making a Drow
>One session in dealing in the Politics of Menzoberanzan.
>Every session since has been topside since.
>Most often outside in the day.
However, it looks like we'll be going under again soon.
I'm going to be running Out of the Abyss very soon, though heavily re-writing the intro so it doesn't just start "So you guys are prisoners on your way to Menzobarannzan".
I absolutely will punch the first person who asks to play a Drow in the face.
I just spent two weeks in my off-hours developing a campaign that the players asked for and were apparently excited to play, but not one of them could find five god damn minutes to generate a character for in a rules-lite game that would take ten minutes to learn, because they were always too busy/tired.
Fuck them. What a waste.
A Drow in that campaign, especially one from the Underdark already, opens up so much more potential that what the book accounts for.
Or do you just not trust your players to be anything more then chaotic-evil-stupid dickheads?
Have you considered, given the obivious eldrich nature of your cultists, to go into a town, gather an army og religious zealots with your social skills and moving onto a grander scale of play?
Drow are shitty and have a killer LA on top of suffering penalties in nearly every environment that isn't a dungeon. If your party benefits in any shape or form from someone playing a Drow elf you should seriously thank them for their sacrifice.
What does that mean?
And I only know 5th ed so it may be different in other systems but they only have Sunlight Sensitivity as a penalty and that's only applicable in sunlight.
My players are complete shit at combat, and continually complain about getting their asses kicked. I could make the enemy equally retarded about it, but then the PCs are going to utterly destroy the enemy every time they blunder across a half-decent strategy.
What am I gonna do?
I feel your pain, OP.
>going to investigate missing villagers
>"Suddenly, the road behind you vanishes and you hear zombie-like moaning in the woods... u have now entered a skill challenge to navigate the woods and need a number of successes"
>all of the party tries various things with attached skill rolls such as
>climbing trees for better perception
>using knowledge of nature to navigate the strangely uncooperative woods
>being stealthy to avoid being found out by zombies
>using magic to be stealthy to avoid being found out by zombies
>looking out for zombies or a route out of the forest
>using magic to locate zombies
>all skills succeed or critically succeed
>no information is given apart from "yep, there's zombies"
>zombies attack anyway once they've been spotted
What was the point of making all those rolls and trying to be stealthy when they were just going to attack anyway?!
It's hard depending on the system.
>player munchkins their character to have really good combat stats but dumps social stats/skills
>still has great ideas and convincing conversation despite their character not having viable stats for this
>other player is socially retarded IRL but takes shitloads of Diplomacy/Conversation/Interrogation/Intimidation skills
>tries using them in situations where they really wouldn't help
>has no explanation or idea in mind to justify said attempts
>just rolls dice and wants them to work
SOCIAL MECHANICS ARE CANCER IN A GAME OF AUTISTS
>Hurr hurr D&D play other games
Replace stats with pibs/willeridoos/perks/essence/dots whatever the fuck you want.
LA is Level adjustment. Some races have them to make up for their innate abilities that would be too powerful for a level 1 character to have.
A level 1 human. They get a bonus feat, but that's pretty much it.
A level 1 half-elf. They get some extra vision abilities and sleep magic resistence INSTEAD of the bonus feat.
But then you have some dumb race like a Wumbledoo, who can shoot 3d6 eyelasers whenever he wants. Rather than just saying "No, you can't play a Wumbledoo", older versions of D&D decided to make Level Adjustments a thing. So someone gives a Wumbledoo an LA of +5, that means you can't be a level 1 Wumbledoo. You could only play one if your GM was starting a higher leveled game. So everyone else would have level 5 characters and you'd just be a Wumbledoo and could start gaining levels from there.
The real problem with this is that D&D was built with a relative progression in mind. An LA of 1 or sometimes even 2 is okay, but larger LAs usually cripple a character at higher levels when the game focus shifts.
>other characters are getting their level 20 class powers
>you can never hit level 20 because you took a meme race for a stupid eye laser that quickly has become outdated by mages/etc
It can be broken at lower levels, because it wasn't intended for PC use.
There's a splatbook called Savage Species that tried to break up racials too, so you could play a Wumbledoo at level one, by making it so you start with a 1d6 eye laser and then every few levels it would go up to 2d6, and then 3d6 to scale with the rest of the party, but honestly any DM worth his salt is either going to say No or balance it himself regardless anyway, so the splatbook is kinda pointless.
No it doesn't. For example, a game like L5R has an actual political system with social combat, so the whole complaint in OP would never get off the ground. The social system does not exist by the fiat of the DM. It's an actual system.
This is a D&D problem, and not even in all versions of D&D.
Player in OP's game here; we've got a bard, a wizard, a monk and a warlock, and the highest skills we have are diplomacy/arcana, arcana (which can be substituted for diplomacy or bluff), stealth and diplomacy and bluff and diplomacy.
It's significantly social skills loaded though we can all still do combat stuff.
Buy that one feat from Eberron that makes mindless undead count as indifferent and diplomancable.
Then Spec into Ur-Priest to give Anti-Divine powers and prove to the fanatics that god has no dominion over you.
Become the speaker for the lost, Shepard of the damned.
>GM says game will take place on the asian continent of the setting
>make a ninja character to fit the theme
>never once step foot in asialand, most of the game is in an arabian desert on the other side of the ocean
Do the game's reward systems incentivize actions that aren't "sit around and talk to this barkeep for hours about his old adventuring career" while providing no benefit for spending an entire session in an inn learning about an NPC's backstory by engaging him?
If I spent an entire session chatting up an NPC and then the session ended with everyone getting 0 XP (for example), I'm pretty sure the rest of the group would be pretty pissed off at me for wasting their time like that, regardless of how much fun I had doing nothing but pure roleplay for a session.
If you want your players to do a thing, provide carrots for doing that thing.
>Legends of the Wulin does not actually have social combat by default; it emphasizes very strongly that it requires a specific technique to use Inspire to directly attack, and another technique to Take Out enemies with it.
That's "during a fistfight". If you're specifically modelling a social combat, there's no reason you shouldn't give everyone the equivalent of Courtiers' Quick Work and Heart-Breaking Words Technique for that conflict, because that IS a fight using words, and even a Warrior can make an argument if that's what he's setting out to do.
My players don't get XP, ever. They level up when they reach that point in the story, and they never know when that point will be.
The rest of the party is there because they want to be. If they want to be somewhere else, doing something else, then they can and we'll just deal with it in parts, going back and forth between player's scenes until they have gotten what they want out of the scene.
If I want them to accomplish something specific, I push them with hooks I know they'll take.
Sure, but it's not a very big leap to use the conflict rules to model social combat. There are Chi Conditions based on social shit built right in, and the conflict system is flexible enough that it wouldn't even take any homebrew to use it for things that aren't straight-up fistfights.
Hell, that was one of the first things that jumped out at me when I first read the book.
>tfw my party is the fucking least murderhobo-y party on the planet
>we've gone through multiple sessions avoiding combat
>i focused most of my character's attributes on combat
>Noone can understand why the gnome that wears Vorpal Knife-Leather keeps vibrating with sheer rage every time they talk down a bandit
Sounds to me like your players aren't as enthusiastic in the setting as you are and the information you've provided is neither interesting nor actually integral for a good story. Stop focusing on making your story about the world and instead focus on making a story that takes place in the world. Plenty of things are common across good stories so any gaps they don't know you could yknow, just say they would ICly know instead of having characters berate them for not reading something only you care about.
I have taken to running a rather generic fantasy plotline for the players with a Planescape coat of paint over it. This is hardly what I would prefer to do, but if it is what is necessary to capture the players' interest, then so be it.
We have established that the characters are mostly ignorant of the setting and have to be educated by an in-game NPC.
One of my players is the *extremely* immersion-seeking player type who complains whenever I deliver information out-of-character, but strangely considers it fine when I have a talking ball of fuzz spout off information in-character. I will never understand this irrational double standard.
>They level up when they reach that point in the story
>reach a point in the story
See that's why they do not want to chat with shopkeepers.
They want to buy/sell shit and move on with the plot.