Dealing with an extreme player reaction to a PC choice


We are playing Savage Worlds. My character is an ex-military dishonorable discharge that was granted an opportunity to waive the charge by volunteering for a Black Operation service term instead. The Op resulted in genetic engineering resulting in “Spiderman-like” abilities. The Op was later disbanded, and all records of the Op was dissolved, leaving my PC without any records.

I have had a bad memory for using the “non-lethal” option, and I have only been reminded after the fact where my attacks have ended up killing enemies. This has been dealt with in several ways – leading to a trial and parole, which I willingly submitted to, as “consequences of my actions”.

In our last game, it was reveled that my PC I had been playing for the past few months (in game, over a year) was actually a clone of the original PC, after an odd happenstance where the character was abducted from an NYC hospital, and washed up on the shore in Nova Scotia.

So, the group decided to rescue the “Original”, and my “Clone” decided to worry about the existential issues of being a clone until after the fact. We were then made aware that the original was actually at risk of death, so time became an essential factor.

Upon arrival, we were met with a horde of mutant spider abominations, indicating that the cloning had lost control, and was creating monsters; not just “clones”. We delved a little further, and found that the monsters had created nests in the fallen people of the facility, and we found that one of them bodies was actually still alive, if only barely.

We have 4 PCs, with the following Hindrances (that apply to this situation):

  • Scrapyard Ironman (Heroic)
  • Army Spiderman (Heroic)
  • Robot Samurai (Heroic, Code of Honor)
  • Telepathic/Telekinetic Cop (Heroic, Code of Honor)

The Choice

When we found the survivor, we got into a discussion about what should be done. It led to a 50/50 split to either spend resources to save him, or put him out of his misery in order to preserve the resources in order to preserve our chances at rescuing the Original. The Clone (My PC) and the Robot Samurai were for leaving/killing him, the other two were for spending the resources to save him. The group argued back and forth for about 20 mins (IRL), but I was attempting to put across that time was of the essence. Eventually, it got to a point were I openly declared that I was going to shoot the survivor.

This is the first time I have actively chosen to kill anyone. And I stated it was essentially a necessary evil. I did not want to, but it was needed in order to help save the Original.

The Outcome

The DM allowed other players to attempt to intervene, by way of opposed agility checks. Scrapyard Ironman and the Cop attempted to intervene, but the Robot Samurai did not. I won, so the event happened unhindered. The Scrapyard Ironman player immediately announced that “as soon as we get out of here, you’re out of the (in-game) group”.

I attempted to explain, again, time was of the essence, no one knew this person, this place we were in was evil (it had been established) and our goal was to rescue the Original. Instead, they simply continued to point out my character was Heroic (which I admit, is a valid point), that “this is why I asked for a gun” (which I do not normally carry, but had asked for because my character is almost entirely only melee-capable), and that my character was ex-military so I clearly did not understand the “comrades in arms”, or “no man left behind”, to which the DM reminded everyone that neither they, nor I had the “Code of Honor” Hindrance, and the other two who did, had not responded to the situation.

All the other times I have accidentally killed (i.e. forgotten the non-lethal option) the most I have received from other players is an “oh damn”, or had my “Heroic” Hindrance pointed out, and threatened to be taken away (resulting in confiscation of Power Points).

The Problem

I believe that the reaction from the Scrapyard Ironman player seemed a bit extreme. I’m not sure why; if it was personal, or maybe something to do with my play style, or maybe if it was simply the lack of control of the situation. I know, in order to address and hopefully deal with the situation, I need to talk to the player, but I’m not sure if I should do it one-on-one, or in the group.

Is cubical type theory still consistent with univalent excluded middle and univalent choice?

I want to formalize some undergraduate maths in cubical agda, and learning cubical type theory in the proccess. The problem is that I will need univalent excluded middle and univalent choice (and maybe propositional resizing). I know these are consistent with homotopy type theory (although computation is lost when axiom are used), but cubical that type theory is stronger (in the sense that univalence is a theorem). Are this axiom still consistent in the cubical setting? Is there a better way of doing classical theorems in cubical type theory?

How can I help my players make meaningful choice during dungeon navigation?

Foreword: I run a D&D 4e campaign, but I think that this question is overall system-agnostic.

Recently I’ve somewhat shifted my D&D campagin towards a more traditional dungeon crawling style. However, a problem I’ve noticed is that when the PCs are exploring a dungeon, they have no way of choosing where to go next except by random chance. For example, if the current room has two exits, they have will have no way to choose which door to go through except by flipping a coin.

I’d like to change this, because I don’t want the players to be forced to act at random. I want the players to have enough information that they can make strategic decisions about their movement through the dungeon, but I’m just not sure how to do that.

How can I give my players hints as to what they’ll find in different dungeon paths, so that they can make logical decisions about how to explore the dungeon?

Does limiting Sneak Attack to the Dexterity choice on Finesse Weapons imbalance anything?

Inspired by this question “Reckless Attack + Sneak Attack synergy?”.

This question brought my attention to something that seems odd. I was about to make a house ruling that in order to be able to utilize Sneak Attack that you had to choose the Dexterity option on the finesse weapon, this seems thematically sound as well as implied by the text in the ability. One of my players has tried to counter argue the point. Since I was not really convinced by his argument I thought I would ask the community.

Sneak Attack PHB 96 (emphasis mine):

Beginning at 1st level, you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe’s distraction. Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a finesse or a ranged weapon.

Finesse weapons have the text as follows PHB 147 (emphasis mine):

When making an attack with a finesse weapon, you use your choice of your Strength or Dexterity modifier for the attack and damage rolls. You must use the same modifier for both rolls.

I understand that this would pidgeon-hole Rogues to be more Dexterity based but to be quite honest they already are quite reliant on it as most of their base kit and skills are leaning that direction. Most brute Rogues are multi-classed into a martial class in my experience as well. In addition classes are in and of themselves pidgeon-hole anyway.

To strike subtly implies to me more Dexterity rather than Strength.

So would making this change do anything imbalanced other than limiting arguably “sub-optimal” builds?

How to set up a “Forced choice” for players in a game?

So, I have come up with a plot twist to create a “wrong person, wrong place, wrong time” plot twist. that part is important, and I don’t want to change it. However this obviously causes a potential conflict with the players deciding “this obviously isn’t for us”, or “I don’t want to get tied up in someone else’s business”, and therefore leave a plot essential thing behind.

Note: this is going to be a cyber-punk setting, but I don’t have a system for this yet, so I can’t rely on any system rulings at this point.

Basically, I want the players to feel like they need to take a Macguffin, even though the setup is that it is clearly meant for someone else. E.g. a recording talking to a “Dave” when the party doesn’t have a “Dave”, and likely never will. E.g.:

Dave… we found it. We’ve managed to get it this far, but you need to finish the job. This was meant for you, and only you can finish the job.

Obviously, there is a full potential for the party to think this is some kind of trap, and may need some reassurance from the DM that “no, this isn’t a trap” (which is fine), but I don’t want the player(s) to not take the Macguffin.

What techniques should I employ to force the party to take the Macguffin, effectively making this a “Press ‘A’ to continue” situation, without having to straight out tell them that it’s plot centric, in a Cyber-Punk setting?

Is the Crag Cat or the Dire Wolf the mechanically better Wild Shape choice?

Which is the mechanically superior Wild Shape form in terms of survivability and situational benefits: the Crag Cat (SKT pg. 240) or the Dire Wolf (MM pg. 321)?

I know the Dire Wolf has better stats than the Crag Cat (AC/HP), but the features are drastically different. I’m looking for a mechanical answer, not an opinion.

I’m looking at these for possible Wild Shape options for a level 8 non-Moon Druid. My DM has already ok’d the non-MM choices.

Is the choice of static and dynamic typing not visible to the programmers of the languages?

From Design Concepts in Programming Languages by Turbak

Although some dynamically typed languages have simple type markers (e.g., Perl variable names begin with a character that indicates the type of value: $ for scalar values, @ for array values, and % for hash values (key/value pairs)), dynamically typed languages typically have no explicit type annotations.

The converse is true in statically typed languages, where explicit type annotations are the norm. Most languages descended from Algol 68 , such as Ada , C / C++ , Java , and Pascal , require that types be explicitly declared for all variables, all data-structure components, and all function/procedure/method parameters and return values. However, some languages (e.g., ML , Haskell , FX , Miranda ) achieve static typing without explicit type declarations via a technique called type reconstruction or type inference.

Question 1: For dynamically typed languages which “have no explicit type annotations”, do they need to infer/reconstruct the types/classes, by using some type/class reconstruction or type/class inference techniques, as statically typed languages do?

Question 2: The above quote says static or dynamic typing and explicit or no type annotations can mix and match.

  • Is the choice between static and dynamic typing only internal to the implementations of programming languages, not visible to the programmers of the languages?

  • Do programmers in programming languages only notice whether the languages use explicit type/class annotations or not, not whether the languages use static or dynamic typing? Specifically, do languages with explicit type/class annotations look the same to programmers, regardless of whether they are static or dynamic typing? Do languages without explicit type/class annotations look the same to programmers, regardless of whether they are static or dynamic typing?

Question 3: If you can understand the following quote from Practical Foundation of Programming Languages by Harper (a preview version is,

  • Do the syntax for numeral (abstract syntax num[n] or concrete syntax overline{n}) and abstraction (abstract syntax fun(x.d) or concrete syntax λ(x)d ) use explicit types/classes with dynamic typing?
  • If yes, is the purpose of using explicit types/classes to avoid type inference/reconstruction?

Section 22.1 Dynamically Typed PCF

To illustrate dynamic typing, we formulate a dynamically typed version of PCF, called DPCF. The abstract syntax of DPCF is given by the following grammar:

Exp d :: = x x variable            num[n] overline{n}      numeral            zero zero      zero            succ(d) succ(d)      successor            ifz {d0; x.d1} (d) ifz d {zero → d0 | succ(x) → d1}      zero test            fun(x.d) λ(x)d      abstraction            ap(d1; d2) d1 (d2)      application            fix(x.d) fix x is d      recursion 

There are two classes of values in DPCF, the numbers, which have the form num[n], and the functions, which have the form fun(x.d). The expressions zero and succ(d) are not themselves values, but rather are constructors that evaluate to values. General recursion is definable using a fixed point combinator but is taken as primitive here to simplify the analysis of the dynamics in Section 22.3.

As usual, the abstract syntax of DPCF is what matters, but we use the concrete syntax to improve readability. However, notational conveniences can obscure important details, such as the tagging of values with their class and the checking of these tags at run-time. For example, the concrete syntax for a number, overline{n}, suggests a “bare” representation, the abstract syntax reveals that the number is labeled with the class num to distinguish it from a function. Correspondingly, the concrete syntax for a function is λ (x) d, but its abstract syntax, fun(x.d), shows that it also sports a class label. The class labels are required to ensure safety by run-time checking, and must not be overlooked when comparing static with dynamic languages.


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