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> PC's worthy of the Darwin awards, how do you handle them?
Joker9125
post Apr 29 2004, 06:32 PM
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How does everyone handle PC's doing really stupid things in character? Like in my create gold thread the PC makes some gold with a spell and I warn him that it carries his astral signature, but he sells it anyway then later on hes wasted by ritual sorcery(this hasent happened its just a hypothetical situation).

Of course any criminal mage would know that selling something that perminantly carries his astral signature is a really BAD idea because it could be used as a ritual link to him, but the player may or may not know that. I know thats what the common sense edge is for but outside of the players having that edge how do you handle players doing things that their characters or any person with a shread of common sense wouldn't do.
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I Eat Time
post Apr 29 2004, 06:36 PM
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Normally, it's the other PCs who talk them down, so the GM never really has to say anything if he/she doesn't want to, at least in our games.

Last game we were making a really big assumption and making detailed plans, and the GM just started covering his face and shaking his head. When we asked what was wrong, he wanted to know if any of us had the Common Sense edge. We said no, and all he said was, make a back up plan. Or pick another plan.

A GM could be like, "A gut instinct tells you that something's off with this idea." And do it randomly a fair bit, so they don't always take it as the biggest hint, and they could be fooled by it, or ignore it.
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Herald of Verjig...
post Apr 29 2004, 06:40 PM
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I let consequences lead where they may.

Like the group with a pair of hunted amnesiacs (the cheap amnesia, so they did know they were hunted and what they were skilled at) who didn't try to find out about their pasts at any time. One of the group technically survived after the mass-death scenes, but was retired as a character.

[edit] my mistake, one of the amnesiacs discovered that he was very well known at a BTL dealer, a gunshop, and a few other places. He spent his time trying to act like he didn't have amnesia instead of asking them about his past.
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krishcane
post Apr 29 2004, 06:41 PM
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Or, just tell them if it will be more fun for the players to know. Use the Common Sense edge when it's in the character's best interest to know better, but use your own common sense when it's in the player's best interest. Keep the "everyone having fun" goal clearly in sight with all decisions. Don't let people get themselves in a situation where you know they'll not be having a good time.

--K
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Smiley
post Apr 29 2004, 07:07 PM
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PCs are going to do stupid things. It's inevitable. Just HOW stupid they end up being is usually measured by the survival rate (or the hand of god). To paraphrase, 'The difference between idoiocy and genius is measured by success.' If the PCs are about to shoot themselves in the foot to such an extent that a mortality rate is definitely in the cards, I would try to head them off somehow. But that's me.
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TinkerGnome
post Apr 29 2004, 07:16 PM
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I've found that if you repeat back to them their plan in context it generally helps somewhat. Often one side or the other isn't communicating what they really mean properly.

GM: So you're going to all hop out from around the guy while the mage casts a stunball at him. A spell with an area effect which he hasn't mentioned trying to reduce...
PC1: Oh, wait. Maybe not.
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booklord
post Apr 29 2004, 07:56 PM
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Joker9215

This is the second time I've read about using the astral signiture for ritual sorcery and I thought I'd make a few comments. As I stated in the "Create Gold" topic I just would not have allowed the spell. ( Pure gold being a refined substance )

1) I wasn't aware a mere signature was enough to cast ritual sorcery over. I basically viewed it as an astral fingerprint.

2) Don't astral signatures wear off over time? We're talking about a matter of hours I think.

3) Can't a character use sorcery to erase their astral signature?
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LaughingTiger
post Apr 29 2004, 08:03 PM
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When people first game in my campaigns, I allow three

"Are you SURE you want to do that?"

Moments. No corrections, no pointing out a flaw, just a simple question. Most people pick up on the fact that what they're planning may not be such a good idea at that point. And most people get the hang of the game long before they use up their three opportunities.

If a PC is being intentionally stupid, I let the chips fall where they may.

If they're being game-breakingly stupid in an insulting, annoying way, a cow falls from the sky on their character.

AND they have to pay for pizza.

With cow on it, usually.
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Kagetenshi
post Apr 29 2004, 08:46 PM
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I handle PCs worthy of Darwin awards with a humorous writeup in the Obituaries section of SotSW.

Well, rather, I will once I get off my lazy arse and write them.

~J
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John Campbell
post Apr 29 2004, 08:49 PM
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My #1 guiding rule for all GMing is: Actions have consequences.

That cuts both ways... it means that, if the players tell me they're doing something, I won't arbitrarily prevent their actions from having an effect because I want to railroad them in some other direction. But it also means that if the players tell me they're doing something, they have to live with any nasty fallout from what they did.

More specifically, I don't allow the Common Sense Edge in my games, not because I don't like it, but because I treat all characters as if they had it. The players don't have the advantage of being actually immersed in my game world, so things that would be obviously stupid to the PCs may not be so obviously stupid to the players, and the only way they have to know that is if I tell them. So I do. But if I've warned them, and they insist on doing it anyway, I have no compunctions about letting the consequences of their actions kill them dead.
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Smiley
post Apr 29 2004, 08:53 PM
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I like that. The game world thingy is a good point. Consider it stolen. YOINK!
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gknoy
post Apr 29 2004, 10:06 PM
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I agree with John Campbell.

If any of my players is about to do something really stupid, that their character might reasonably know better than (weapon specialist juggling de-pinned grenades, a decker trying to punch a large drunk troll, or someone trying to do something Stupid like convince someone that their car is really the character's car ("No, really, don't you remember, you gave it to me!")), I will ask them to make a related knowledge check (such as magic background) vs a low TN. like 2. Or perhaps a perception check.

I'll then attempt to convey that that seems like an ill-advised idea.
If they insist on it, I might give them an "Are you sure?" query OOC ... but otherwise, let the dice fall and the bodies hit the floor. If they complain when the troll pastes them to the wall, or the owner of the car punches/shoots/calls the cops, or when that enemy mage uses ritual sorcery on that gold sample, THEN you can tell them the details of why it was a stupid idea, and remind them of the chances they had to Not Do It.
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Joker9125
post Apr 29 2004, 10:54 PM
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QUOTE (booklord)
Joker9215

This is the second time I've read about using the astral signiture for ritual sorcery and I thought I'd make a few comments.  As I stated in the "Create Gold" topic I just would not have allowed the spell.  ( Pure gold being a refined substance )

1) I wasn't aware a mere signature was enough to cast ritual sorcery over.  I basically viewed it as an astral fingerprint.

2) Don't astral signatures wear off over time?  We're talking about a matter of hours I think.

3) Can't a character use sorcery to erase their astral signature?

What makes a substance refined anyway? If im not mistaken when you get raw gold its very impure and has alot of other elements in it. now lets say you refine it down to refined gold. It would still have some impurities but woud be somewhere between raw and gold radicals. Gold radicals are as close to pure as you can get they have almost no impurities in them so a create gold spell would have rationally have to create pure gold. Which would make it sa valuable as gold radicals. So basically a refined substance is as close to the pure substance as you can get.

1. A regular astral signature like the ones found on people after being affected by a spell is not enough to use ritual sorcey over because it wears off in a matter of hours and most mages will erase it from their victims bodies, however something that permiantly carries the mages astral signature like a foci, tissue sample, or a perminant pice of material made with a spell such as create food or gold would work for a ritual link.

2. Yes most astral signatures wear off over time but as i stated before a spell that creates something would carry the mages signature permiantly kinda like the free spirit wealth power (p.118 MiTS)

3. Yes they can for most spells but as i have stated before that would and should not be true for spells that create things. The signature would remain on the item created as long as the item is in existance.
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Shev
post Apr 30 2004, 01:41 AM
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I'm suprised no one's mentioned the CLUE files yet...

Get a CLUE

Well, it looks like you plan on being somewhat more merciful, but this should give you an idea of what to do when it's hopeless :D
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Zazen
post Apr 30 2004, 01:44 AM
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I'd jump at the chance for Create Gold, especially with those rules. (40,000 worth per cast!?)

I'd hoarde up about 8 zillion worth of gold, initiate to change signatures, and retire.
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Kagetenshi
post Apr 30 2004, 02:46 AM
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I'd get the karma to initiate before I hoarded the gold, but yeah.

~J
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Joker9125
post Apr 30 2004, 02:56 AM
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Their are still several ways to screw players over with stuff like this even if they change their astral sig. After killing enough lone star mages your old astral sig will be known to several mages. Ok so lets say you sell the gold then initiate and change your sig. A mage that sees the gold will try to ritually track you then when that dosent work theyll probably pursuade you contact to give you up in exchange for his freedom and/or life. :vegm:
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Zazen
post Apr 30 2004, 02:58 AM
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I'd simply decline to tell my contact that I'll be purchasing a small island in fiji and never being heard from again.
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Smiley
post Apr 30 2004, 03:39 AM
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May i suggest Barbados? I hear it'svery relaxing for runners who need a time out.
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I Eat Time
post Apr 30 2004, 03:43 AM
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Need a COP out, you mean. *grumble*
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Smiley
post Apr 30 2004, 03:59 AM
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Ah, quit yer cryin'. You're still here, aren't you?
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Joker9125
post Apr 30 2004, 04:01 AM
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QUOTE (Zazen)
I'd simply decline to tell my contact that I'll be purchasing a small island in fiji and never being heard from again.


Ya but the players in my group arnt that smart. If I ever get around to it im gonna type up one of our runs and send it to the clue files and youll see what I mean.
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Smiley
post Apr 30 2004, 04:04 AM
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I wish it were that simple. They've been discontinued, i'm afraid.
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Joker9125
post Apr 30 2004, 04:07 AM
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Ohh well. Ill prolly type it up this weekend and post it on the good old dumpshock fourms for all to read and be amazed by the sheer cluelessness and bad luck that plauged the run. It was a 2 GM run where they were offered access to delta clinic and they still managed to royally screw themselves over. But because me and the other person GMing the game were nice we gave them a way to survive. Im gonna have fun trying to remember all the details.
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Kagetenshi
post Apr 30 2004, 04:23 AM
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Karen dropped by and semirecontinued them last year, but then she vanished again after making a new "Coming Soon" page and a single new post on the archive page.

~J
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