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Posts posted by terminalmancer

  1. I'm expecting mine tomorrow. Hooray! More minis I will imagine painting and almost certainly not...


    (It's funny. I've gotten better about painting minis again, but I don't think I can keep up with my old kickstarter habit.)

    • Haha 2
  2. Talk to the player. This sounds like a player problem, not a you problem.


    To provide a little outside perspective, I usually give a player one shot at these sorts of things. If I decide they deserve a second shot, it's usually at a penalty. And a 25% discount is, relatively speaking, huge. I wouldn't give out a discount that good in most circumstances.


    You had already been very incredibly nice to the PC before this second attempt to barter came around.

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  3. Big picture stuff: as a GM, you want things to be fair, so if a player puts more work into roleplaying but the player makes a bad decision, should that affect his PC? If someone who didn't want to roleplay just walked up and made a check, would they have succeeded? If a different player went through the extra effort of roleplaying and did well instead of poorly, would you have given him a commensurate bonus?


    In other words, incentives matter. If you want your players to use a technique, whatever that technique is, you should make sure they do materially better when they use that technique.


    Another thing to watch out for: hidden information your players have no way to learn about. On important checks, arbitrarily penalizing players for not knowing information they had no way of getting usually creates acrimony. On less-important checks (say, negotiating with a merchant...) you can provide mild or temporary penalties as a way of making personality traits or backstory especially tangible. If people don't feel like they're being punished for not knowing things they can't know, especially if they get a chance to make things right later, they're usually fine with whatever you as GM are doing.


    These are just some things to think about as you progress in your GM abilities. Every GM has their own style and own priorities and own answers to the problems of running a game, and in time you'll figure out which answers you like the best.




    This specific case: it sounds like a minor check. Nobody's going to die because you offended the merchant? You provided feedback to the player--this guy really loves his wares--and the other players understood it. The player misread that, or ignored it, and the DC went up. That's how these things usually work. The player rolled and didn't make the check. Is that all accurate?


    If so, it sounds like you're 100% in the clear to me. There's not a lot else you could do to make that better.


    Sounds like there's a larger problem with the player, though. Bruunwald gives very good advice here--communication is important!


    If the bard's player is always this problematic, you should probably sit down with them one-on-one and talk about it. Something to the tune of "Hey, can we talk about the game? I'm human and I'm not going to be perfect. I'm going to make mistakes. But sometimes you're going to fail, and that's by design. You've been arguing with me a lot when things don't go your way, and it's been really distracting to me and the rest of the group. What's going on?" The player might have different table expectations. They might need to learn how to play or get used to not succeeding. (I see this a lot with people who get into the hobby through video games.) They might simply be a jerk. Or there could be something else going on. Not every player is going to be a match for every table and sometimes it's just best that certain players don't play for certain GMs. There's not really any shame in it--I have excused myself from games before where I knew that the GM and I were just not going to work out. Maybe that's what needs to happen in this case?


    Talking to the player and figuring that out might be better than letting things keep going as they are.


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  4. You'll hear (and have heard) a lot of specific advice. A lot of that specific advice will be very good... in some situations.


    My biggest piece of advice is the hardest thing I ever had to learn as a GM: every group is different. Try to figure out what your group enjoys and then make sure you incorporate things that each of your players considers fun. Hopefully there's a lot of overlap across players!



    • I love open-world stuff. One of my groups I GM for does, too. Another one hates open-world stuff and likes to be on rails. A perfect campaign for one group would be the worst for the other.
    • Different groups enjoy different levels of risk to their characters. Some groups hate risk. For those groups you might want to do things like provide easier encounters, more XP, or roll behind the screen to avoid exceptionally unlucky things (making 5 saves in a row against a character's ability, ignoring the third crit you've rolled in a row, that sort of thing). Other groups like challenges. For those groups, they tend to be more willing to roll with whatever the dice provide.
    • Some groups really enjoy puzzles. Other groups hate puzzles. Don't get the two mixed up. It can be bad.
    • Some groups will get more out of in-depth roleplay than others. There's a spectrum; try to figure out where your group lies on the spectrum and give them the right amount of roleplay, if you can.
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  5. Oof. Reapercon's happening during the first week of university classes... we're not terribly thrilled about that. Means we probably can't make it this year, and we'd need to make a decision on a lot of things (like flights) before we even know what those classes are going to be. Boo! I hope it works out for most people though!


    I guess when class registration starts happening for fall, we'll look at our schedule and see if classes--and then flights--can be wrangled into shape.

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  6. I can't speak for Quartet, but I know Expo changed their formula a few years ago. My old bottle cleaned permanent marker off maps and tiles no problem, but a brand-new bottle didn't touch it at all.


    Filling my old bottle with rubbing alcohol, it smelled about the same and it worked almost as well as the old formulation. I wouldn't bother buying the newer stuff, though.

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  7. We have basically the same issues you've noticed, with the dry erase being a bit tough to get off. I think the quality of the surface is a bit low and it isn't perfectly smooth, leading to sort of a staining effect even though the tiles don't seem to actually be permeable. If I dump enough rubbing alcohol on the tiles I can get the ink off, but my wife's not a huge fan of having to go through that whole "scraping the ink off" thing.

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