PC throwing, essentially broken, smashed glass dust into the eyes of other characters, mostly NPC

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Just be honest with yourself about whether you're blocking an idea because you don't like it, or setting up challenge to encourage improvement. If you feel relief when a player abandons an idea, or when the idea doesn't work, then you're blocking. Try not to do that.

What if we feel relief because it was a genuinely dumb idea? And were being quite entertained by the character and would hate to see a dumb idea end it all... so we were glad to see the player abandon the idea and instead do the COOLEST THING EVER?

Yeah-yeah-yeah.. no dumb ideas and all that crud. Poppycock.

I don't generally feel relief when an idea doesn't work... if there was no chance at all that it would work, I would just set the DC to impossible. If the player actually thought it would work, he'd have at least a half-baked reason for why it works.

Hell.. even the dumb pillow battering ram... maybe he wanted to run at the door full-out and hoped having the pillow would give him a psychological advantage because running at a closed door sounds painful and his character concept is a foppish bard, not a barbarian... hence the velvet pillow instead of a coil of rough scratchy hemp rope. Sure... how does a +1 morale bonus to your check sound? Not much, but better than nothing.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
"Yes, and..." makes the game and story into what the group thinks they should be.

"Yes, but..." or "No" make the game and story into what the DM thinks they should be.

Fine.

Yes, and it was a dumb idea, therefore it didn't work well at all.

Yes, and that was a better idea, therefore it has a decent chance to work.

Yes, and that was a great idea, therefore it has a good chance to work.

Yes, and that was a brilliant idea, therefore it succeeds... with flying colors.


And if the DM is brilliant and can pull it off so that everyone is happy and the game and story are as the group thinks they should be? How does he do that?

He says, "Yes, and..." when appropriate. "Yes, but..." when appropriate. And "No", when appropriate.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
Whiskers, this thread is awesome!  The discussion on this topic is fantastic!  The 5 or 6 who are really getting into it makes it worth the read!  The back-and-forth is great!!!!!  An original question that I thought might get a few comments, is turning into a very good discussion.  I would like to thank those who have given their ideas, this is truly exceptional and very helpful!!!!!
So, it just occurred to me......  what if the PC wants to mix it up a little and have a few different types of flavours of this glass dust?.... 

Such as - Curry!!!!!! 

Can you imagine?  First it stings to the high heavens and then it stains the character's eyes yellow!!!!!    LOLing out loud

Perhaps have a different saying when using each flavoured option?....

For the curry, perhaps - " I've been working on a new recipe......... curry to the eyes"!!!!!! 

Yeah.... not too creative... Anyone else have any good ideas for some flavoured glass to the eyes options and sayings to go with them?
Don't devote time and effort into thinking of reasons why something shouldn't stand a good chance of working. If you're going to spend that time and effort, spend it looking for reasons why something can and does work. Justify, don't block.



I am recomending the same, to me, a -1 attack and -5 perception for 1 round is a decent effect, and I would be ignoring the overall crudeness of his execution. Is it the greatest? perhaps not, but it is balanced and matches the effort, a minor debuff for a minor action. Could it be better? Yes the Player has complete control and can put the effort into improving it. It's not requiring much and any extra effort by the player will be rewarded. Also unlike others, some who suggest far too much of an effect for what it is, I am against any drawbacks to trying the idea, there is no "it blows back in your eyes" tagged to "balance" it. That's what will change this from a good idea to a bad idea.    
Why bother being creative and building a ram?

I see nothing creative about building a battering ram to knock down a door, this is what they are made for. Seems like a silly discussion.



There is nothing really creative, because it is what they are for. The point of mentioning that is refuting the idea that the battering ram shouldn't give an additional bonus to knocking in a door, because there is an existing way of doing that already and it doesn't need improving on.

As in building a battering ram and carrying it around while adventuring is it's own reward, it won't give any bonuses to breaking down a door.   I hope you can see the problem with such a statement.

Add pepper? I dont see any real need to change the mechanics as compared to the original, but you might be inclined to give a -2 to the save (if it is a save ends blind). But do you keep making it better if more and more is added? And where do you stop? There is a line somewhere that could signal when the player is looking for a creative idea to have fun with or if they are looking to game the system. In this case it might be a good idea to keep the mechanics simplified, Or make it a lower difficulty to create the bag, but keep the same mechanics. Personally, if I had ground glass in my eye, I dont think adding pepper is going to make it any worse other than added discomfort, it is the glass doing the real damage.



There are several reasons for making it have different effects, one it scales, and secondly the better one has an actual cost in coin and effort that should be rewarded if the player wants to put in that effort. Also, since you are suggesting making a roll to create the item, then proper tools (cheap tools) should give a bonus to that roll, if a PC grabs an appropriate tool to do a task, I don't see why it wouldn't give hiom a bonus in doing that task.

As for the difference in materials used to do it. Glass powder is light and doesn't go far, Sand/metal shavings are denser and thus better suited. It is fair to treat the glass ground in the manner described as improvised. The suggestion of using the pepper? This tactic is easy to block, I only need to blink, and in fact my reflexes will do this automatically, I also have eyelashes that help block from this very thing. In short humans are specifically designed to protect our eyes. The idea of the cayenne pepper is that it is a reactant, it will sting on the edges even if I managed to shut my eyes in time, the powder will stay in the eyelashes and around the edges of the eyes and continue to react, nostrils and mouth will also burn.

If you were to put this on a scale, the pepper would be 100 times as effective. If you noticed my suggestion earlier you will see I went from -1 attack, -5 perception for 1 round with the first to -2 attack -10 perception up to 4 rounds with a chemical reagent.

It also sets it up to scale believably into higher levels. Where better materials can be found (and the player can afford them)
So, it just occurred to me......  what if the PC wants to mix it up a little and have a few different types of flavours of this glass dust?.... 

Such as - Curry!!!!!! 

Can you imagine?  First it stings to the high heavens and then it stains the character's eyes yellow!!!!!    LOLing out loud

Perhaps have a different saying when using each flavoured option?....

For the curry, perhaps - " I've been working on a new recipe......... curry to the eyes"!!!!!! 

Yeah.... not too creative... Anyone else have any good ideas for some flavoured glass to the eyes options and sayings to go with them?

Curry has a strong odor. If he flees, creatures with scent get a +2 to their chance to track. How's that?
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
So, it just occurred to me......  what if the PC wants to mix it up a little and have a few different types of flavours of this glass dust?.... 

Such as - Curry!!!!!! 

Can you imagine?  First it stings to the high heavens and then it stains the character's eyes yellow!!!!!    LOLing out loud

Perhaps have a different saying when using each flavoured option?....

For the curry, perhaps - " I've been working on a new recipe......... curry to the eyes"!!!!!! 

Yeah.... not too creative... Anyone else have any good ideas for some flavoured glass to the eyes options and sayings to go with them?

Bay and basil, sage advice, don't mess with me... I've pepper spice!

Glass and shavings, silt and dill, if the sand don't get ya... the spices will!

A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.

I can’t believe this thread is still alive; the DM of the game of the OP has already stated how he is handling the issue.  Once again another issue that doesn’t (and by the very nature of DnD CANT) have one answer.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/1.jpg)

Bay and basil, sage advice, don't mess with me... I've pepper spice!

Glass and shavings, silt and dill, if the sand don't get ya... the spices will!




Now i have an idea for a group of trolls that do this to the players, while talking about pre-seasoning and marianating them for eating later.

Or Order of the Sticks, BBQ sauce trap just before the pit of monsters trap. 

I can’t believe this thread is still alive; the DM of the game of the OP has already stated how he is handling the issue.  Once again another issue that doesn’t (and by the very nature of DnD CANT) have one answer.




Dood..... You just posted, keeping it alive....  Yeah, I started it, but it's been a good thread, and the most recent posts w/ catch phrases are pretty classic from Sir_Joseph_the-Crowe.


What witty and humerous quotes would you suggest my friend?    

Lol you can't expect me to come up with material as funny as Crowes (and I realzied the irony of keeping it alive shortly after I posted something should be dead )

I do think the player could invest in some cool raybands or a ski-mask to protect him from glass shards. Hell if we are going down this road why not dip the glass in penut butter and hope the monsters are allergic.    

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/1.jpg)

@CliveDauthi - No worries.  But now you're suggesting totally unrealistic things like sunglasses and ski-masks!!!! LOLing out loud!



Perhaps putting on a pair of oven mitts before tossing the glass salad?.......    

I can’t believe this thread is still alive; the DM of the game of the OP has already stated how he is handling the issue.  Once again another issue that doesn’t (and by the very nature of DnD CANT) have one answer.




Dood..... You just posted, keeping it alive....  Yeah, I started it, but it's been a good thread, and the most recent posts w/ catch phrases are pretty classic from Sir_Joseph_the-Crowe.


What witty and humerous quotes would you suggest my friend?    


I grew up on Muhammad Ali. I dedicate my bad poetry to him.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
This is actually a Rogue tactic, and It's brilliant.  It can blow up in your face though (pun definitely intended).  This along with crunching chalk or using flour thrown at invisible enemies to coat them or coating the ground to see their foot prints, to using a steel mirror to look around a corner are all genius ideas that a PC can use while adventuring to keep himself alive.  Other than that, your friend is either a great Rogue player, or he saw that video of Spoony play a game at that one convention where he talked about doing that exact same thing.  Ideas like this are rarely thought up nowadays.
BuddhaKai, one of the reasons for there being "less" imaginative solutions being thought up by players is the addition of so many choices. In 4e and even 3.5 there are a large number of options to choose from. 3.5 has a wide range of feats, and cross class/prestige class choices, 4e a variety of powers. Many of these things are a result of clever ideas being hodge podged in the past, but as a result Players are too busy choosing from the viable options rather then trying to find different things.

Necessity is the mother of invention, with so many viable choices already in place there is no real need for this creativity, and thus less of it happens. Also such creative ideas pale in comparison with equal or greater powers already existing. When a character's only option is to swing a sword, then any clever idea, however small, is a huge payoff in comparison to the little to nothing the character has. However when one already has plenty of really cool powers, these payoffs suddenly seem insignificant in comparison.


That doesn't mean that creativity is no longer there, it is just focused in a different direction.   
  
Ideas like this are rarely thought up nowadays.



This is definitely not the case at our table, even with players who aren't my regulars. I attribute this to never requiring players to jump through my arbitrary hoops to get an effect that is as useful or powerful in context as choosing a power card on their character sheet. I never block ideas and encourage the players to consider the whole scene and what a good solution would be first, then look at their feats, powers, skills, etc. to see if they can make it work. If there's nothing there, I will create a mechanic on the fly that is level-appropriate, get buy-in, and then the player can give it a shot.

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Ideas like this are rarely thought up nowadays.

And part of this is because they're too dependent on DM say-so to make them effective. People look at their sheets, rather than trying to imagine things, because their sheets are a list of things they can try, and bonuses they can have, that don't rely on the DM's say so. I tend to agree that it's more fun when players come up with cool ideas, but they won't do it, and will stop doing it, if they can expect the DM to judge that their idea is too lame to work worth spit.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Hmm.  Well I've noticed this at my table and at other tables I've been at, and I'm NOT saying it never happens, just not as much.  It may be from 3.x's feats or 4e's powers.  I have noticed that my table currently, at my group's 4e game that I run, my players seem to dumb down, but are the opposite while playing Pathfinder.  It can't be that it's 4e's fault.  They claim that 4e restricts roleplay, and I argue it does not.  A player can use an encounter power that causes the blind condition, sure, but what happens after that encounter or daily power is gone?  Then they start to use At-Wills.  Maybe it's just my party, but they don't think of things like forgoing their attack power to throw glass dust in someone's face.

I honestly question if my 4e party loses IQ when they play 4e.  Their arguments are lazy and bias towards pathfinder, but that is a different topic entirely.

I don't see smart ideas like this in many 4e games.  They can still be used, but maybe everyone just counts on their powers to do anything in 4e.  I think that's inexcusable.  4e, or any game rules, should not limit player role playing ingenuity, wether it's the rules or the players doing it to themselves.

Sorry if I went off on a tangent, I tend to do that sometimes.
Hmm.  Well I've noticed this at my table and at other tables I've been at, and I'm NOT saying it never happens, just not as much.  It may be from 3.x's feats or 4e's powers.  I have noticed that my table currently, at my group's 4e game that I run, my players seem to dumb down, but are the opposite while playing Pathfinder.  It can't be that it's 4e's fault.  They claim that 4e restricts roleplay, and I argue it does not.  A player can use an encounter power that causes the blind condition, sure, but what happens after that encounter or daily power is gone?  Then they start to use At-Wills.  Maybe it's just my party, but they don't think of things like forgoing their attack power to throw glass dust in someone's face.

I honestly question if my 4e party loses IQ when they play 4e.  Their arguments are lazy and bias towards pathfinder, but that is a different topic entirely.

I don't see smart ideas like this in many 4e games.  They can still be used, but maybe everyone just counts on their powers to do anything in 4e.  I think that's inexcusable.  4e, or any game rules, should not limit player role playing ingenuity, wether it's the rules or the players doing it to themselves.

Sorry if I went off on a tangent, I tend to do that sometimes.



Based on what I see with Pathfinder groups, they seem to be required by the rules to bash 4e at least once per session, so this doesn't surprise me. This is what I see anecdotally, anyway, and was backed up by others on Twitter who notice the same. I get to DM for a lot of pick-up groups and the Pathfinder players all (and I'm not exaggerating when I say "all") go, "Wow, this is 4e? Why does everyone bash it?" Why indeed.

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

I don't see smart ideas like this in many 4e games.  They can still be used, but maybe everyone just counts on their powers to do anything in 4e.  I think that's inexcusable.  4e, or any game rules, should not limit player role playing ingenuity, wether it's the rules or the players doing it to themselves.

This exemplifies what I'm saying. There's no asking or negotiating involved in using a power. One never has to worry that the DM will judge a power too powerful, or give it an unappealing downside in order to make it "realistic." A power just works.

There's also the fact that it's not necessary to get creative because everyone has pretty decent ability. It used to be that wizards would try to use light to blind targets, or Mage Hand to throw things, but they had to do this because they only had two useful spells. Or, later, fighters had to come up with clever things because they couldn't keep up with the spellcasters. Now everyone is pretty equally powerful, and necessity isn't around to be the mother of invention anymore. It's unfortunate in a way, but it's a sign that the game is finally working out of the box, instead of through ad hoc invention and rulings.

That said, my players are still creative. Last session, a player asked if he could use the icy difficult terrain effect from his power to negate the crawly difficult terrain effect from an enemy power. I said "Yes, and..." to that. It was not something that would have occurred to me, but the party was in a tight spot and needed to get creative.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.


I honestly question if my 4e party loses IQ when they play 4e.  Their arguments are lazy and bias towards pathfinder, but that is a different topic entirely.



Like I say, some the creativity in the older systems was to shore up the system's weaknesses, players were creative due to a lack of tools or to compensate for the inbalances and flaws in the system, the new tools address these issues, so there is less need to be creative. Those tools all address the issues that the players used to have to be creative to do. Not a bad thing overall it just changes the focus of the creativity.

I think there is also a different mindset today, which is why many "old school" gamers see such a difference in "creativity" among new gamers, they blame alot of it on the system when it is really the players. No different then kids looking at the old video games I used to play and commenting on how lousy the graphics and interface were, they sort of have a point.

As an example, in 3.5 (which my groups tend to prefer) Spells and metamagic feats. The DMG gives good outlines on how casters can design and research new spells, but the game gives them a whack of meta-magic feats. Those feats esentially strip away any need to design unique spells. ie If a player wanted an improved Fireball spell, They use the Maximize Spell Feat on it, if they want a Cone of Fire the use the Sculpt Spell feat, or use Energy Admixture to make an Acid Ball instead of a Fireball. These feats are great, no denying that, but they do away with any need to create new spells.  
I don't know that 4e hinders creativity.....  It just allows for more role playing of the character, doesn't it? 

Probably helps players think up crushed glass to throw in other characters' eyes....

Yes.  The DM threw the character a bone for thinking outside the box.  I recommend you try thinking outside the box, and getting a similary rewarding attack for your character.  The trick to succeeding at this is to delve deep into the psyche of the DM, and Incept what you'd like to do before even doing it.. OR boast alot and make what you're doing sound really cool...

 
I'm playing w/ a guy now who, upon reaching a local town, goes and purchases glass cups/mugs/whatever, puts them in a pouch or bag and smashes them to a gritty sand-like texture.  Then he throws it into the eyes of monsters or NPC's that he needs to defeat.

Personally - I think that's hilarious, because it's not an attack, it's more the DM rolls a D6 and 1 through 5 is how long the character is blinded or impared, and the off-chance a 6 is rolled, it's permanent (until a Healer can be paid or something to heal)

I think a funny solution to this scenario that happens quite frequently would be for the DM to allow for the chance of wind to blow the glass back into the PC's face for damage to himself!  LOLing out loud.

Your thoughts?

I think, were I to be the DM of this, I would probably adjudicate this as a 'assist another' type action, allowing the character to spend their standard action, to give the next character a bonus of +2 to hit (as the critter blinks the stuff out of its eyes, it is briefly easier to hit).

I would also suggest to the player that he should be on the look out for an encounter power that can cause blindness or at the least some sort of penalty, I am sure the rogue class has something, if he would like to produce a stronger effect.

While I am all for player creativity in fluffing up their attacks, I guess I am something of a stickler for then representing that fluff through mechanics, in the vague hope that the end result remains balanced.

Talk with your players though.  And if they all agree they want this to be something possible with a real effect beyond what the 'balanced' result would be, agree to have a trial of the new rule for the next few sessions then a final vote.

Then have at least one fight with semi-intelligent or smarter enemies (kobolds are ideal) and have the kobolds all go to town with the trick on the players.  If the players develop a counter (I dunno, maybe helmets with glass panels over the eyes) then say - OK, lets trial adding that to the game - and again have the monsters use the same trick too.

The point is, if it is a logical, real world plausible trick that anyone could do, then the monsters can do it too.  So let the players experience the effect this has on their game, then ask them if they'd prefer to stick to the rules.  Maybe they wouldnt, in which case I'd suggest going back to 1st ed DnD.  4th ed is first and formost a game system, with boundaries in place, to produce a hopefully entertaining game, it doesnt try to be an accurate real life simulation.

I think, were I to be the DM of this, I would probably adjudicate this as a 'assist another' type action, allowing the character to spend their standard action, to give the next character a bonus of +2 to hit (as the critter blinks the stuff out of its eyes, it is briefly easier to hit).

Yes, that's a pretty cool way to flavor Aid Another. That would certainly be a way to do it, if the players were amenable.

I would also suggest to the player that he should be on the look out for an encounter power that can cause blindness or at the least some sort of penalty, I am sure the rogue class has something, if he would like to produce a stronger effect.

Sand in the Eyes blinds on a hit. So does Blinding Barrage, for that matter.

While I am all for player creativity in fluffing up their attacks, I guess I am something of a stickler for then representing that fluff through mechanics, in the vague hope that the end result remains balanced.

Same here, but too often the mechanics that might make sense tend to discourage a cool idea. That's when reflavoring comes to the rescue.

Talk with your players though.  And if they all agree they want this to be something possible with a real effect beyond what the 'balanced' result would be, agree to have a trial of the new rule for the next few sessions then a final vote.

Definitely.

Then have at least one fight with semi-intelligent or smarter enemies (kobolds are ideal) and have the kobolds all go to town with the trick on the players.  If the players develop a counter (I dunno, maybe helmets with glass panels over the eyes) then say - OK, lets trial adding that to the game - and again have the monsters use the same trick too.

The point is, if it is a logical, real world plausible trick that anyone could do, then the monsters can do it too.  So let the players experience the effect this has on their game, then ask them if they'd prefer to stick to the rules.  Maybe they wouldnt, in which case I'd suggest going back to 1st ed DnD.  4th ed is first and formost a game system, with boundaries in place, to produce a hopefully entertaining game, it doesnt try to be an accurate real life simulation.

This is where I tend to disagree. It's not necessary for monsters to have the same abilities as PCs, or use them even if they do. It's very easy to see "If you use it, they'll use it too," as a way of dissuading players from trying things, as a threat toward anyone who hopes to get more powerful.

It's the DM's job to keep the game interesting, and if a player's idea defuses every encounter, things aren't going to be interesting. Better than allowing something coupled with a strong, implicit, disincentive, either allow it as the players want it or, if you can't see how to allow it as the players want it, be open about that fact and discuss it openly. "I think it's a cool, plausible idea, but I'm worried about keeping the game interesting if you can do this to every monster. What do you suggest?"

This sort of thing is why 4th Edition features limited use powers. It lets the players do lots of cool things (like blinding enemies) but instead of being open ended and allowing players simply to use the best single tactic over and over again, it makes the game more like a movie or book in which, for some reason, the character's cool move only comes out every now and then. I guess DMs of older versions had ways to bring this about without the rules, but I never got the hang of that, and many other DMs didn't.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

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