D&D 5E Would you allow switching shield proficiency for Agonizing Blast as a DM?

Yeah, I for one absolutely hate for example the 'it's portraying slavery as bad, so it' okay to have slavery be the single defining trait of a worrying amount of the campaign world so you can fight it!' trope or the 'all these brown people are sad and will remain sad because that's what being brown is'. I'm not (usually) sad and I don't want slavery in my escapism, thank you.

I feel like (but can't confirm) that there's probably blind people who don't appreciate 'being blind sucks, let me enumerate this in exacting detail in game mechanics and paint blind people as especially incapable' either.
You have come a long way from a thread about an OP char wanting Agonizing Blast to slavery.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
You have come a long way from a thread about an OP char wanting Agonizing Blast to slavery.
This isn't a terribly accurate characterization of what you're quoting.

You skipped over the context, which is a discussion of the supposed "need" to depict anything that is detrimental IRL as having a negative mechanical impact in the game.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
This discussion reminds me of discussions wherein people insist that things like the Warlock class, or being a cool looking fantastical race, have to have downsides or the game might as well be candyland, or whatever.

It's just strange.
 

This isn't a terribly accurate characterization of what you're quoting.

You skipped over the context, which is a discussion of the supposed "need" to depict anything that is detrimental IRL as having a negative mechanical impact in the game.
Look at the original post. Does it, in any way, have anything to do with slavery, or real life? If someone wants to leap from Agonizing Blast to blind chars to slavery, maybe they should start a new thread.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Look at the original post. Does it, in any way, have anything to do with slavery, or real life? If someone wants to leap from Agonizing Blast to blind chars to slavery, maybe they should start a new thread.
Or, you could recognize that you've no authority over the course of a discussion, and not try to accuse someone whose opinions you disagree with of "leaping" from one thing to another as if the thread hadn't drifted in a fairly easy to follow path from one to the other over the course of several pages, involving a half dozen or so posters.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
In this case, wouldn’t the GM just say “Ok, you get the Blind-fighting fighting style for free”, then call it a day?
Absolutely, that would be a reasonable way to go. As a player, I'd do things like not making perception checks that rely on sight normally and involve things I couldn't possibly hear or otherwise perceive*, but as a DM I wouldn't force a player to do the same.

*For me, things like that are fun when I am the one deciding when to use them as a spice for the game. They become immediately boring and often obnoxious when they become the DM's tool to "gotcha" the PCs or otherwise try to force players to play a certain way. If I want my traumatized gnomish sailor to murder stab the captive goliath wizard mind-controlling slave overseer when they express disinterest in the fate of dwarven slaves sold to the necromancer cult that murdered my PC's friends because he lost control, that's a satisfying RP moment that added a lot to the session. If the DM had forced a wisdom save against murder-impulse, I'd be completely taken out of the scene and just roll my eyes at the mechanization of that sort of internal emotional reaction.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Look at the original post. Does it, in any way, have anything to do with slavery, or real life? If someone wants to leap from Agonizing Blast to blind chars to slavery, maybe they should start a new thread.
You are the one who bought up blind PCs, please recall.

if you don't want to discuss something, don't expressly bring it into the thread, or continue to talk about it. You are 100% free to go back to talking about how players shouldn't ask for replacement abilities for ones they don't want to use if you want.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Absolutely, that would be a reasonable way to go. As a player, I'd do things like not making perception checks that rely on sight normally and involve things I couldn't possibly hear or otherwise perceive*, but as a DM I wouldn't force a player to do the same.

*For me, things like that are fun when I am the one deciding when to use them as a spice for the game. They become immediately boring and often obnoxious when they become the DM's tool to "gotcha" the PCs or otherwise try to force players to play a certain way. If I want my traumatized gnomish sailor to murder stab the captive goliath wizard mind-controlling slave overseer when they express disinterest in the fate of dwarven slaves sold to the necromancer cult that murdered my PC's friends because he lost control, that's a satisfying RP moment that added a lot to the session. If the DM had forced a wisdom save against murder-impulse, I'd be completely taken out of the scene and just roll my eyes at the mechanization of that sort of internal emotional reaction.
On the other hand, if it's in the context of a different game which explicitly does mechanize such emotional reactions, that might be cool. I'm playing in my first Pendragon campaign right now, and part of the mechanics is the thirteen paired Traits of Virtues & Vices. It's within bounds in that game to (e.g.) have a player test against their Lustful or Chaste, their Lazy or Energetic, or their Cruel/Forgiving, for example.


I do tend to concur about Blindness as a character disadvantage. In GURPS, say, by default it's a major handicap but does grant you a pile of extra points to build your character. In D&D I'd be more likely to run it like Zatoichi- give the PC Blindfighting so they're not at a major mechanical disadvantage, but play out the other downsides (inability to see stuff at long range, detect colors, recognize NPCs by sight, etc.) as appropriate for the desired feel and concept.
 

Celebrim

Legend
This is just a straight no. Heck, this is a big huge red warning flag that causes me to say something like, "I'm not sure this is the right table for you." This is a player manifesting massive dysfunctionality and I think most GMs that don't hurt for players would be happy in the long run they got rid of them. The motivates are suspect and the wheedling probably will never end with this player. Every single future stressful situation is going to feature this sort of bargaining as an attempt to solve the puzzle. There is no end of table arguments and rules lawyering I would expect from a player pulling this sort of crap.

The whole approach here of looking up a power build here and planning out 20 levels is sus, but the fact that he's not only looked up a power build but is like, "That's not enough power. I want more!" tells me he'll never enjoy a game he isn't the absolute center of attention of, and he'll do his best to ruin everyone else's game when he isn't.

This is not a point buy game. But if it was, basically shield proficiency would be 0 points because for most builds losing it means nothing. Anything you could exchange it for would be an upgrade because he's not planning on using it ever. Shield proficiency is a flavor option, that allows combatant classes choose a fighting style where the fighting styles are generally considered equal and balance. You lose basically nothing for switching between fighting styles in D&D. There is no preference here. Having a shield doesn't clearly make you stronger than using a two-handed weapon. There is no equivalence between the two things.

Try to tactfully explain why that's a non-starter of a proposition, and if it turns into a bargaining session do yourself a favor and kick him to the curb because it's not worth wasting hundreds of hours of your life trying to play with a dysfunctional player. And if he's a friend, well, the friendship is probably not going to survive playing with him anyway.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
On the other hand, if it's in the context of a different game which explicitly does mechanize such emotional reactions, that might be cool. I'm playing in my first Pendragon campaign right now, and part of the mechanics is the thirteen paired Traits of Virtues & Vices. It's within bounds in that game to (e.g.) have a player test against their Lustful or Chaste, their Lazy or Energetic, or their Cruel/Forgiving, for example.
Totally silly and immaterial tangent: I have always kinda hated traits named like that. I don't have "Chaste" or "Lustful", I have Chastity and Lust or Lustfullness. I am rolling to test my Chastity.

Like I get the convention, it's just a silly thing that annoys me even though it doesn't matter. I greatly prefer to just use "natural" language, and trust the players to know that chaste and chastity refer to the same thing, depending on the structure of the statement.

I do tend to concur about Blindness as a character disadvantage. In GURPS, say, by default it's a major handicap but does grant you a pile of extra points to build your character. In D&D I'd be more likely to run it like Zatoichi- give the PC Blindfighting so they're not at a major mechanical disadvantage, but play out the other downsides (inability to see stuff at long range, detect colors, recognize NPCs by sight, etc.) as appropriate for the desired feel and concept.
Exactly. And I'd talk to the player ahead of time about how they plan on playing the character, and makesure that it isn't going to annoy or offend anyone at the table on an ongoing basis.

eidt: also Pendragon is really cool and I wish I wasn't basically the only person in my group who wants to play a game of romantic knightly fantasy.
 

You are the one who bought up blind PCs, please recall.

if you don't want to discuss something, don't expressly bring it into the thread, or continue to talk about it. You are 100% free to go back to talking about how players shouldn't ask for replacement abilities for ones they don't want to use if you want.
Read my post again. I brought it up as an analogy for the silliness of asking for more than the rules allow, and you went off on a tangent with it. And slavery...wow, that is quite the leap. I would suggest that you stay on point as well.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
eidt: also Pendragon is really cool and I wish I wasn't basically the only person in my group who wants to play a game of romantic knightly fantasy.
We're only about ten years into The Great Pendragon Campaign and it's great fun so far.

Last session we had our first PC death- the famously Reckless Sir Berel, seeking out his missing sister (on his own) wound up finding her in a fairy court, enchanted and compelled to be the Unseelie lord's "songstress". He challenged the lord to a duel to the death to try to save her, and was lost, alas. The player will be taking over his own former squire (recently knighted during the Uther/Gorlois conflict) as his new PC. That same session Sir Florence learned his first spell from Merlin and cast it to bless the crops and production of his estates, though badly draining his own strength in the process. And my PC Sir Gwydion tracked down and exacted revenge on his absconded, corrupt and drunken former steward, whom he holds responsible for the past couple of years' disastrous winter phases, including the deaths of his prized charger and his first son, in infancy. And all that's just the character-centric side plots; not getting into the main plot issues of Uther & Gorlois & Ygraine, or the ongoing threat of the Saxons! :)
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Absolutely, that would be a reasonable way to go. As a player, I'd do things like not making perception checks that rely on sight normally and involve things I couldn't possibly hear or otherwise perceive*, but as a DM I wouldn't force a player to do the same.

*For me, things like that are fun when I am the one deciding when to use them as a spice for the game. They become immediately boring and often obnoxious when they become the DM's tool to "gotcha" the PCs or otherwise try to force players to play a certain way. If I want my traumatized gnomish sailor to murder stab the captive goliath wizard mind-controlling slave overseer when they express disinterest in the fate of dwarven slaves sold to the necromancer cult that murdered my PC's friends because he lost control, that's a satisfying RP moment that added a lot to the session. If the DM had forced a wisdom save against murder-impulse, I'd be completely taken out of the scene and just roll my eyes at the mechanization of that sort of internal emotional reaction.
I worked a long time on creating a limitation system with this and I'm still not sure I'm happy with what I came up with.

Basically, you can take a limitation and if you get limited by it in a meaningful way; miss an opportunity, fail, get injured, etc, you get an Action Point, But Better, which isn't limited by the number per turn you can burn.

So if you're addicted to something and you don't get your fix and start taking penalties. You get a point whenever those penalties accrue.

Or if you've got an arch enemy, you get the point whenever that enemy pops up.
 

I worked a long time on creating a limitation system with this and I'm still not sure I'm happy with what I came up with.

Basically, you can take a limitation and if you get limited by it in a meaningful way; miss an opportunity, fail, get injured, etc, you get an Action Point, But Better, which isn't limited by the number per turn you can burn.

So if you're addicted to something and you don't get your fix and start taking penalties. You get a point whenever those penalties accrue.

Or if you've got an arch enemy, you get the point whenever that enemy pops up.
That's how Savage Worlds works with hinderances. A few things like missing limbs impact you mechanically, so if you want to be missing an arm but have no mechanical drawback, don't take the drawback (and get the points for it). Mostly is just the player deciding to opt in though. There are traits like "outsider" which would work for choosing to engage with institutional oppression (like being a POC in a pulp game), so it is at the player's discretion whether they want the ugly history to rear its head.

When we play I just have a stack of chips in the table for players to award themselves whenever they play to a drawback.
 

lingual

Adventurer
This discussion reminds me of discussions wherein people insist that things like the Warlock class, or being a cool looking fantastical race, have to have downsides or the game might as well be candyland, or whatever.

It's just strange.
Well. To be fair, not using a shield means you don't
Look at the original post. Does it, in any way, have anything to do with slavery, or real life? If someone wants to leap from Agonizing Blast to blind chars to slavery, maybe they should start a new thread.
These threads always devolve! Freely admit my guilt...everyone's gotta have the last word!
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I worked a long time on creating a limitation system with this and I'm still not sure I'm happy with what I came up with.

Basically, you can take a limitation and if you get limited by it in a meaningful way; miss an opportunity, fail, get injured, etc, you get an Action Point, But Better, which isn't limited by the number per turn you can burn.

So if you're addicted to something and you don't get your fix and start taking penalties. You get a point whenever those penalties accrue.

Or if you've got an arch enemy, you get the point whenever that enemy pops up.
I’ve thought about doing a similar thing using “dice forward” that you can add to any roll.
 

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