Because there’s a big chunk of the GameMastery Guide that rankles me. It appears the Viking Hat is alive and well in Paizo world. It’s part of the chapter on PCs and it’s subtitled Player Interactions. It’s basically a list of player types and how to accommodate them at your table. This is all well and dandy. I loved the typology in Robin’s Laws which was largely repeated in the DMGs for the last couple of editions. So I was interested to see if there were any new spins I’d not encountered before. There certainly were, and they are (in full);
Check that out. A list of flippant dismissals. Pretty much every one is meant as a pejorative. There’s a preamble that says “all of these different personalities make a campaign better” yet the following sections go to lengths to talk up the issues that these bring to the table. Frankly, I think you reap what you sow, and if you have a table of players that you’re happy to classify in terms like lump, tagalong and loner, then your game is beyond all help. What I find astonishing is how the authors can’t bring themselves to add in personality types such as roleplayer, or gamist, or tinkerer, or optimiser or other such non-insulting terms. At least the text has the good sense to advise;
Recognise that labels can be a negative, and that you shouldn’t casually assign one of these personality types to a player, nor even mention your mental designations unless you’re sure the player will take it with grace and not see it as dismissal or name calling.
No shit. I suspect even the Dalai Lama would balk at calling his players lumps.
Maybe this would be ok if the section was titled ‘problem players’ or some such. Frankly, I’d be all for it, as forums are rammed with free advice on the very subject. But no, instead GMs are encouraged to pigeon hole their players, in the worst possible light, but shssssh! don’t tell anyone!