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Punishing Bad RP


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Have you ever encountered this argument? “You wouldn’t make Throg’s player lift a boulder in real life. Why are you forcing me to talk good? You’re punishing me for not having a 27 Charisma in real life!”

I've evolved on this issue since I first wrote this comic on the subject. I don't think that players should be punished for a bad accent or their inability to improvise a witty bit of dialogue. However, I do think that players should be rewarded for clever ideas.

I've come to the conclusion that giving circumstance bonuses to social-skill checks for good roleplay, and thereby ENCOURAGING players to try and play something out without strictly requiring it of them, is best practice.

Does that make me a terrible tyrant who hates players that didn't go to Juilliard, or is this fair ball?

Grand Lodge

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I don't hate the idea, but it certainly seems a bit unfair.

If I bring my weight set and powerlift during the game do I get a bonus on all str checks? A bonus on sleight of hand if I do a cardtrick? That's the main argument I generally see against this; why do social skills get rewarded for being good at them IRL but not other types of skills?


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I recognize that my players don't all have the gift of gab, but I do at least expect them to lay out an approach to a social encounter just as they would to a combat encounter. If they can speak their way through it, fine, if not, also fine.
If their approach seems particularly sound or they engage in particularly good role play, then I'll lay on the circumstance bonuses. If they take a particularly bad approach or role play in a particularly offensive manner to the NPC (even if done well), I'll lay on circumstance penalties. I really try to encourage this like I would encourage a player to flank or otherwise eke out situational combat bonuses.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That is exactly what circumstance bonuses are for. I tend to look at 'effort' by the player for any circumstance bonus more than the players particular skill at conversational gambits. The skill is the roll and the character.

If one of my players ALWAYS roleplays conversations well, is engaging and clever in their conversational gambits and generally good at 'that talking stuff' I probably won't generally give them a special bonus. While they are good at this, they also aren't making any particular special effort (and they are getting a reward anyway, they are able to demonstrate their skill at this to a group).

On the other hand, if I have a shy player is really isn't good or comfortable with this sort of thing, and they don't do a particularly great job at conversation but they really try and put themselves out there, I am going to give them a bonus.

What I do demand regardless, is that it be 'more than just a roll'. They have to explain at least the gist of the deal they are trying to offer with their diplomacy roll, or how they are threatening with intimidate and stuff like that. This might effect the outcome of their effort, but it is more likely to change the flavor, rather than change success or failure.


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I want my players to try so the basic house rule mechanic is that if you make any reasonable effort to narrate something in an interesting or in-character way or similar creative effort that improves the game for everyone, they get a circumstance bonus on the associated roll. If it's *really* good, you get a bigger bonus, and if it's something everyone at the table agrees was fantastic it gets the biggest bonus.

So in effect I am punishing the players who refuse to commit to anything, but the threshold for that +1 is really low- just convince me that you're trying!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
DRD1812 wrote:
However, I do think that players should be rewarded for clever ideas.

Players are rewarded for clever ideas, inherently. If players come up with clever plans, their characters succeed. If players come up with poor plans, their characters fail.

The system already rewards smart players.


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Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Why do social skills get rewarded for being good at them IRL but not other types of skills?

Because we are playing a roleplaying game.

If you would like a bonus for your real physical abilities, try LARP'ing. However, I do grant a small bonus if players describe their skill check with vibrant detail. In your Sleight of Hand example, if you were to describe how you misdirect your mark's attention from what you're pick pocketing, I'd give a +1 or +2 bonus.

Conversely, this isn't Night at the Improv, either. I have DM'd shy players who've had social characters and just let their Diplomacy roll be their check. I didn't penalize them for not acting it out.


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Immersion. It's all about immersion.

A good speech by a player brings everyone into the scene, and provides a common experience that sticks in everyone's memory.

In contrast, just saying "I want to roll Diplomacy" without addressing what the PC is saying forces every player into the mental gymnastics of individually deciding what was said and how. Then the GM has to create their own mental picture to determine the NPC's take-aways from the conversation. It's all messy and takes people out of the scene.

To me, whether something is "fair" or not is all-but-irrelevant. Instead, I focus on creating a fun and immersive game experience. I certainly don't want someone to leave my game feeling bad about themselves or angry with me. But beyond that, it doesn't terribly bother me if the player who is contributing most to the immersion is getting a whole lot of +2s while the player who just rolls dice is not. If you don't feel comfortable making speeches, maybe you should take that to mean it's time to challenge yourself and move out of your comfort zone, and try making a speech or two. Even if it's not as polished as the party actor's speeches, I'll still give you a +2 for trying to contribute to the scene and the immersion.


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Mykull wrote:
Conversely, this isn't Night at the Improv, either.

But it can be, if that's what the people in the game want, is the point. Some people like their d20 games super-wargamey and nobody should begrudge them that (I mean, I use a whiteboard and flat marbles for tactical stuff, other people have 3-D terrain and miniatures that look exactly like their characters), so when people want their d20 games to be really heavy on the improvisation and extemporaneous speaking, nobody should begrudge that either.

One way isn't "right" and the other "wrong" nor is the solution "somewhere in the middle"- because there isn't a one-size fits all solution for all tables.

I would say though that the title of this thread is getting off on the wrong foot. Rather than punishing people for not living up to standards you've set for them, it's better to nudge people gently by rewarding them for engaging in behavior you'd like to see more. Sure, a particularly shy player might want to just say "I roll diplomacy" but if you cultivate an environment where they don't feel like other people will look down on them for saying something foolish, and they come to a situation where one roll is really important, they know that little bonus is there for them if they put themselves out there, and who knows maybe they'll find that they like it. I guess it helps if some of the more established players are tremendous hams, so as the GM it's your job to embarrass yourself more than any player conceivably could, I figure.


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As an aside, I WOULD give a player a bonus to a str check for kicking down my door. That’s just impressive. I would also make them pay for my door. And my heating bill.


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I suck at talking worth a dang, so I'm of course a bit biased, but I really dislike it when people actively punish introverts for trying to enjoy the hobby but not actually being super charismatic. That said, I have no issue with rewarding particularly good interactions from players, especially if they're someone who usually does have issues.


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djdust wrote:
As an aside, I WOULD give a player a bonus to a str check for kicking down my door. That’s just impressive. I would also make them pay for my door. And my heating bill.

I just give the bonus to strength (or similar) checks when the player tells a story about "I know how to do this, because one time I ... [description of a similar set of circumstances in their past]." Like if your character used to collect debts for an organized crime syndicate, you'd probably have a lot of experience on how best to kick a door in, or perhaps one of the elder loan sharks took you under their wing... As the GM accept pretty much anything that is not a direct contravention of established fact here, and if the player's account of the past is better than yours, use that one instead.

It saves on doors...

Grand Lodge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
djdust wrote:
As an aside, I WOULD give a player a bonus to a str check for kicking down my door. That’s just impressive. I would also make them pay for my door. And my heating bill.

I just give the bonus to strength (or similar) checks when the player tells a story about "I know how to do this, because one time I ... [description of a similar set of circumstances in their past]." Like if your character used to collect debts for an organized crime syndicate, you'd probably have a lot of experience on how best to kick a door in, or perhaps one of the elder loan sharks took you under their wing... As the GM accept pretty much anything that is not a direct contravention of established fact here, and if the player's account of the past is better than yours, use that one instead.

It saves on doors...

I'm a lot more on board with this method.


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As a GM, I want the player to throw me a hook for my own roleplaying. Simply making a wordless Diplomacy roll to Influence Attitude does not tell me why the Unfriendly gate guard became Indifferent. I could make up something myself, "The guard says, okay, I believe you that you are not one of the Bloody Hand gang. But you look like a hobo of some sort, so I'm keeping an eye on you." But I would be strongly tempted to make up an embarrassing reason out of annoyance, "The guard thinks you are flirting with him and he asks you out to dinner."

On the other hand, if the player says, "James the Younger explains we are the heroes of Duvik's Pass and we came when we heard of trouble in Eastville," then the Diplomacy roll tells me whether the guard heard of the rescue of Duvik's Pass and whether the guard believes that they are the heroes. "Duvik's Pass, eh? A wagon from there came through last week. And you fit the wagoneer's description. Great, you can be the mayor's problem, not mine. I'll guide you to her." That saves the character a second Diplomacy check to request to see the mayor.

And, as Dave Justus said, a good idea for diplomatic negotiations can give circumstance bonuses. The downside is that a bad idea can give circumstance penalties or a harsh reaction to a failed Diplomacy check. Though I have had a party NPC step interrupt the negotiations when a player starts digging a deep hole of idiotic misunderstandng. "Your pack mule leader speaks up. Boss, this isn't Eastville. This is Eagleton, which is at war with Eastville."


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I want my players to try so the basic house rule mechanic is that if you make any reasonable effort to narrate something in an interesting or in-character way or similar creative effort that improves the game for everyone, they get a circumstance bonus on the associated roll. If it's *really* good, you get a bigger bonus, and if it's something everyone at the table agrees was fantastic it gets the biggest bonus.

So in effect I am punishing the players who refuse to commit to anything, but the threshold for that +1 is really low- just convince me that you're trying!

Exactly and I apply that round the board if you describe that str check or what ever.


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Jurassic Pratt wrote:
I'm a lot more on board with this method.

As a GM I find it's incredibly helpful when players know that not only can they just assert setting details in most contexts, but that they'll get mechanical advantages for doing so.

Like if the party is confronted by a city guard and needs to convince the guard to look the other way a story like "Hey, I know that guy; he owes me money! I covered for him at the Foul Owl tavern last week, when he got hustled at darts for all he was good for and then some by Oblong Hector, that old scalawag!" Since now I know something about the guard that I didn't know before (maybe he'll become a character now, who knows), and I also know that there's a place called "the Foul Owl" and a scoundrel named "Oblong Hector" (and how exactly does someone get *that* nickname? Perhaps we'll find out.) All of this is free stuff I can use, so I'm happy to give a bonus on the diplomacy roll (which is still needed, since we're trying to convince the guard to let personal/financial considerations override their sense of duty). You just have to establish that the player does not have complete license to dictate exactly how much they are owed, if they are expecting to collect. So respond with something like "Nah, it ain't a hundred gold, I was only short by a few dozen coppers, but you saved me from a good kickin', and I appreciate that" if need be.

If nothing else, this helps me because "engaging in this sort of thinking on one's feet" is good training for players eventually becoming GMs, since that means I get to play more. Players can be a tremendous resource for the GM, if you enable them.


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I don't believe in requiring people to act out social scenes, nor do I think it's necessarily a good idea to give some bonus for acting out stuff.

Roleplaying =/= acting

The important bit of roleplaying is creating a character and making choice based on their personality and knowledge. The important thing is what is said, not how. What I do usually require is people tell me what sort of arguments they try to make, why they make those particular ones and what exactly they are trying to accomplish. The skills are for the rest of it. If people want to act out the details, fine. If they happen to make a particularly convincing argument I may give a bonus on, or even waive, a skill roll, but a plain roll will work in almost any circumstance.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've had many times where I *really*, *really*, *really*, like OMG wanted to roleplay out a scene... but we were in the last ten minutes of a five hour slot and the venue was closing at that ten minute point.

I wouldn't penalize a player *in that circumstance* going "Okay, they're about to kick us out, I roll Diplomacy and say the things we did this adventure". It'd feel a bit bleh, but (for the example of PFS) I want to make sure that the players get their chronicles and have a chance to complete their mission.

Note: This is not saying that the table was incompetent nor was the GM. Some scenarios just *run long*.


Jurassic Pratt wrote:

I don't hate the idea, but it certainly seems a bit unfair.

If I bring my weight set and powerlift during the game do I get a bonus on all str checks? A bonus on sleight of hand if I do a cardtrick? That's the main argument I generally see against this; why do social skills get rewarded for being good at them IRL but not other types of skills?

I tend to run with, "If you can find an example of someone doing stunt (x), and it's in line with the character you can try to pull it off too."

Even some of the stuff that's likely camera/wire magic.


Jurassic Pratt wrote:

I don't hate the idea, but it certainly seems a bit unfair.

If I bring my weight set and powerlift during the game do I get a bonus on all str checks? A bonus on sleight of hand if I do a cardtrick? That's the main argument I generally see against this; why do social skills get rewarded for being good at them IRL but not other types of skills?

I think it's an unhappy coincidence that skill at speaking IRL resembles the Diplomacy skill in-game. If you come up with a clever way to use the Ride check, you get a circumstance bonus on Ride. That's because we aren't talking about physically lifting weights or performing card tricks or riding horses. We're talking about a game where your avatar's actions are a direct extension of your thoughts. A clever plan ought to net you bonuses regardless of what skills it's attached to. Why take that away from "the talky skills" because they happen to have a direct correlation between player action and character action?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
I'm a lot more on board with this method.
As a GM I find it's incredibly helpful when players know that not only can they just assert setting details in most contexts, but that they'll get mechanical advantages for doing so.

Somewhat off-topic but man I wish I had this. Unfortunately most of the GMs in my group get outright irritated if I pull things like this without specifically running it by them ahead of time.


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DRD1812 wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:

I don't hate the idea, but it certainly seems a bit unfair.

If I bring my weight set and powerlift during the game do I get a bonus on all str checks? A bonus on sleight of hand if I do a cardtrick? That's the main argument I generally see against this; why do social skills get rewarded for being good at them IRL but not other types of skills?

I think it's an unhappy coincidence that skill at speaking IRL resembles the Diplomacy skill in-game. If you come up with a clever way to use the Ride check, you get a circumstance bonus on Ride. That's because we aren't talking about physically lifting weights or performing card tricks or riding horses. We're talking about a game where your avatar's actions are a direct extension of your thoughts. A clever plan ought to net you bonuses regardless of what skills it's attached to. Why take that away from "the talky skills" because they happen to have a direct correlation between player action and character action?

But some make you go further and not just describe the basic gist of your clever plan for bluff or diplomacy, but use the delivery and phrasing you come up with as what your character actually says.

There's a lot of grey area between "I use Diplomacy 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (6) + 15 = 21" and giving the full speech in character.
I prefer something closer to the latter, at least for short conversations, but I do like to be able to fall back to describing the gist of what I'm going for.
It's even worse with Bluff - being able to come up plausible stories on the spur of the moment really should be part of the skill and it's something I'm very bad at in real life, so even if the GM is basing the presentation of the lie on the roll, but also using the nature of the lie itself, I'm kind of screwed. I rarely play bluff based characters as a result.


Shinigami02 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
I'm a lot more on board with this method.
As a GM I find it's incredibly helpful when players know that not only can they just assert setting details in most contexts, but that they'll get mechanical advantages for doing so.
Somewhat off-topic but man I wish I had this. Unfortunately most of the GMs in my group get outright irritated if I pull things like this without specifically running it by them ahead of time.

On the flip side, I really dislike being expected to do this as a player. Making up setting details, especially to gain advantage, messes with my immersion pretty badly. Puts me in author mode, rather than "thinking like my character" mode, which is where I'd much rather be.


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thejeff wrote:
But some make you go further and not just describe the basic gist of your clever plan for bluff or diplomacy, but use the delivery and phrasing you come up with as what your character actually says.

I don't think we're in disagreement here. This comic dealt with a similar subject. Here's the comment I posted there.

I think people are scared to death that, if they stumble on a word or go “ummm,” they’re going to get dinged with a -20 penalty. Naw man. I want people to describe their actions and speak in character because that’s more fun. Sure you might get a bonus or a penalty depending on context, but that has more to do with content than delivery.

I mean, can you imagine if your GM acted like some kind of dickish acting coach?

“I’m sorry, Dwarfguy McBeardface. You muffed your Scottish accent. The dwarven high king thinks you’re just a dwarf poseur. -5 to your check.”

The Exchange

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I am an introvert with 7 Cha in RL. It means at a table I simply CANNOT come up with what to say on the spot. Give me 5-10 min.. Maybe. Oh I'll also say I don't function well under pressure. So it'll probably take longer.

But is it fair to the table waiting 5-10 min when we're already in a rush because the game shop is closing for the night?

I guess I should forget about putting ranks in diplo or bluff on all my characters since I can't do it in RL then...

Intimidate you can always threaten to slowly chop them to bits.


thejeff wrote:
There's a lot of grey area between "I use Diplomacy d20+15" and giving the full speech in character.
DRD1812 wrote:
I think people are scared to death that, if they stumble on a word or go “ummm,” they’re going to get dinged with a -20 penalty. Naw man. I want people to describe their actions and speak in character because that’s more fun. Sure you might get a bonus or a penalty depending on context, but that has more to do with content than delivery.

Negotiations are a dialog. If the GM penalizes the player whenever he says, "Umm," does the player also get a +20 bonus whenever the GM says "Umm"?

While I wrote my previous comment, I noticed the gray area between "I use Diplomacy d20+15" and giving the full speech in character. I often speak in 3rd person as a GM, since I play many characters and have to tell the players which person is speaking. Out of habit I wrote some sample dialog in 3rd person: "The guard thinks you are flirting with him and he asks you out to dinner."

And since I speak in 3rd person, I feel that my players speaking in 3rd person is valid, too. They prefer 1st person, for the fun.

In my current Iron Gods adventure path game, my players rely on bluff and diplomacy. They adventure under false names so that their enemies never track them back to their hometown and punish the town. They bluffed their way into the crashed spaceship in the 6th module by lying to its central computer that they are a repair crew trained by former android crew member Casandalee. And their most impressive act of Diplomacy, converting an enemy (friendly to their false identities but hostile to their true cause) to their cause, during some casual conversation intended to gather information rather than convert: Make a roll for existential philosophy (Divinity Drive spoiler). Sometimes, content matters so much that the roll isn't even Diplomacy skill.


DRD1812 wrote:

Have you ever encountered this argument? “You wouldn’t make Throg’s player lift a boulder in real life. Why are you forcing me to talk good? You’re punishing me for not having a 27 Charisma in real life!”

I've evolved on this issue since I first wrote this comic on the subject. I don't think that players should be punished for a bad accent or their inability to improvise a witty bit of dialogue. However, I do think that players should be rewarded for clever ideas.

I've come to the conclusion that giving circumstance bonuses to social-skill checks for good roleplay, and thereby ENCOURAGING players to try and play something out without strictly requiring it of them, is best practice.

Does that make me a terrible tyrant who hates players that didn't go to Juilliard, or is this fair ball?

I don't penalize players for not RPing well, but I do reward players that do RP well with circumstance bonuses (usually in the +1 or 2 range at low levels and +3 or 4 at high levels).


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As someone that often plays after getting off a 9 or 10hr shift every weekend, I hate bonuses for being able to talk well.

Scarab Sages

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Giving a bonus for speaking well is the same as giving a bonus for any other circumstance given a sufficiently awesome description. If a player described, in detail, about how they climb the building by scuffling together nearby boxes, leaping from box to box, onto a nearby railing, vaulting up and then catching onto the roof with just the edge of their fingers, pulling themselves to safety, I'd probably, as a DM, just allow an automatic success for the great story-telling. DM's love when their players help tell the story for them, and if it's good enough they run with it.

Roleplaying social skills works the same way. Some players can't describe combat for the life of them, but are really good at wordplay. Some are great at describing physical acts of strength, but not so much dialogue. You reward play differently. If you're really just there to roll dice and get numbers, you deal with the numbers you've got.


I can't stand people that "Press F to pay respects" hard roll their social skills in pathfinder, I need at least an idea of what yer doing/saying in order to articulate the bonuses/penalties that are listed in the darn skills. I simply ask of my players that the bare minimum be that there is structure to their social actions, that they describe what they are doing/a summation of what they want to say. Diplomacy and saying yer asking if its worth the trouble in a eloquent fashion is much better then "I roll DC X and win right?"


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I generally equate social skills to 'social combat': it's nice to have people embellish what happens but it's not needed. I've never gotten a bonus to hit because I eloquently described how I was hitting someone...

Now, I WILL pass pass out circumstance bonuses IF the players bring up certain points [exploit grudges, offer appropriate bribes/gifts, use flattery/intimidation/sexuality/ect against someone vulnerable to it, ect] that are relevant to THAT NPC. Knowing the NPC is afraid of his boss or wife and dropping a hint about 'ratting them out' is what's worth a bonus to me, not players acting abilities.

Shadow Lodge

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Isn't bad RP punishment enough?


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I'm curious how you handle the naturally extremely eloquent/talkative player who always comes up with really cool ideas playing the charisma 5 character with negative social skills?


I would expect them to handle themselves :)


Quote:
I've never gotten a bonus to hit because I eloquently described how I was hitting someone...

But you probably have for moving into a flanking position or similar.

The only thing worse than a game where character skills are made irrelevant because player ability takes precedence is a game where player tactics and creativity and skill are made irrelevant because the numbers on the character sheet are the only thing that matter.


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I think this concept comes up time and again because it depends on what kind of "game" your group is trying to play.

Are you playing a "game" where skill is important, and better ability is rewarded by better results by design and intent?

Are you playing a "game" where fun is paramount, and any disparity in player skill is negated so everyone gets an even share of fun?

These are both valid kind of game in my mind, but they're different. If I sit down with a professional tournament Street Fighter player, while neither of us can likely punch through bricks, skill is involved. The pro-gamer has more of it than me, and as such is going to win most if not all of the matches. I may or may not enjoy that depending on how I react to repeated legitimate defeat, and the pro-gamer may or may not enjoy it, depending on whether I put up so poor a fight it bores them, but we can't blame the system if we don't - it's working as intended.

People often recite the "Why does Alice get a bonus to diplomacy for talking good IRL when Bob doesn't get asked to scale the house to earn a bonus to climb?" line. I'd like to take that path of reasoning a step further. What if Charlie wants to play a tactical genius who displays talent in party-level combat, but Charlie's also terrible at wargaming?

Playing Pathfinder/any grid-based D20 game well is a skill. Not a huge or deep skill, not on the level of chess, but arranging flanking, deft use of 5 foot steps, planning area effect coverage and such details are grasped more by some than others and do make a difference. To cite a personal example, a friend's character had been knocked prone and had HP and AC such that they really weren't up to taking an AoO from the enemy next to them with that prone disadvantage. I asked them to delay, and had my less-injured character move past the enemy in question to get into an advantageous position. In the process they provoked an AoO they could survive even if it hit them. The enemy did not have combat reflexes, so as soon as my turn ended my friend's came up (because I'd told them to delay until right after me), and they stood up while the enemy had no AoO available to use on them. To me, this was the work of a few seconds thinking. To everyone else at the table, including the DM, the coin didn't drop until I told my friend "OK, you can stand up".

I don't consider my tactic particularly ingenious, but it only happened due to my individual skill at turn-based/grid-based/D20-based wargaming.

If Charlie wants to play a tactical expert, why should his IRL lack of wargaming skill affect his character's effectiveness in combat anymore than Bob's IRL probable lack of mountaineering experience affects his character's skill at climbing, or Alice's IRL excess of acting skills affects her character's diplomacy checks? Should Charlie be allowed to solicit the GM for sound actions in combat "his character would know"?

I think the answer varies, as it depends on what kind of game you play.


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We roll first and then describe what happened based on the roll.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Quote:
I've never gotten a bonus to hit because I eloquently described how I was hitting someone...

But you probably have for moving into a flanking position or similar.

The only thing worse than a game where character skills are made irrelevant because player ability takes precedence is a game where player tactics and creativity and skill are made irrelevant because the numbers on the character sheet are the only thing that matter.

Part of the problem (which ties into Artificial 20's post) is that we have detailed complex combat mechanics that make use of a player's skill at manipulating that mechanics system, completely independent of any real-world combat skills or tactics, while the social skills system lacks any equivalent mechanical depth. With few exceptions, it's left as a matter of single skill roles and maybe subjective bonuses.

There is no rule for a social equivalent of "moving into a flanking position". Far less in the way of mechanical tactical choices to make in general.


Some months ago my GM wanted me to roleplay how to barricade a door. I had no idea, I didn't care and another player used the opportunity to gain spotlight time by rapidly throwing in his ideas. It was quite awkward. This strenghtened my belief in: Encourage RP, but don't enforce it.

In my own campaigns that works out nicely. Over the course of ~60 sessions, the players slowly became more confident, creative and consistent with their RP. It doesn't do miracles, our most silent player is still mostly silent and still cares more about XP and loot. But his contributions became more frequent - which is a blessing since he is a smart, creative guy, just handicapped by perfectionism. If I would have forced him to RP, he'd be gone for a long time already.


dragonhunterq wrote:

I'm curious how you handle the naturally extremely eloquent/talkative player who always comes up with really cool ideas playing the charisma 5 character with negative social skills?

If they give a compelling in-character speech, give them a +2 circumstance bonus, and then have them roll Diplomacy at a -1 instead of their normal -3.


dragonhunterq wrote:

I'm curious how you handle the naturally extremely eloquent/talkative player who always comes up with really cool ideas playing the charisma 5 character with negative social skills?

GM: The mayor did not catch all of your elloquent speech because she was standing far way to avoid the pungent odor of rotting flesh. Slimey the Rogue has not bathed, nor even swum across a river, since cutting his way out of the behir's stomache.

WIZARD: Remember, Slimey?. I suggested a Prestidigitation cleansing this morning and you rejected it, because you don't like magic. You said that to my face.


dragonhunterq wrote:

I'm curious how you handle the naturally extremely eloquent/talkative player who always comes up with really cool ideas playing the charisma 5 character with negative social skills?

If you have a charisma of 5 and no ranks in diplomacy, but are nonetheless personally good at talking, your speech will result in a +1 modifier to your diplomacy roll, so that you wil be rolling with a -2 instead of a -3, the DC is 35.

I only let "roleplaying replace skill checks" when the sort of skill checks we're skipping are things that the player could more or less just pass by taking 10.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
But you probably have for moving into a flanking position or similar.

But that's my point entirely. Me saying "I move from a3 to c7" and my saying 2 paragraphs about my awesome dance like moves... both end up giving me +2 to hit for flank... pretty words didn't help.

thejeff wrote:
There is no rule for a social equivalent of "moving into a flanking position". Far less in the way of mechanical tactical choices to make in general.

For me, it's those circumstance bonuses for 'social flanking'. Know he has a weakness for liquor, correctly guess he's cheating on his wife, know she wants to impress her parents... For me, that's the equivalent situation.

dragonhunterq wrote:

I'm curious how you handle the naturally extremely eloquent/talkative player who always comes up with really cool ideas playing the charisma 5 character with negative social skills?

Witty wordplay gets you exactly nothing. Clever tactics now, can give you a substantial boost. Do your research and gather some info and your bonus might be higher than the 18 cha max skill guy that just wandered in without any plan other than sleight of word. :P


First off, I am a teacher, so talking in front of others is not a problem at all. I would also say I have a positive Cha modifier, nothing crazy, but not a negative. Maybe a 12? And I have a better memory than most of the people I play with because I am younger and haven't smoked/drank/fought my brain cells away yet.

But, I have had a lot of problems in the past trying to talk through social encounters for a variety of game-related reasons. One campaign I joined late, so myself and my character both didn't know some background info that was brought up. I would have hoped that the characters in game brought my character up to speed during the many days/nights of travelling but we didn't take the time out of game to bring me up to speed.

Since we only got to play once a month or so, sometimes there were things that I forgot simply because a year had past in real life compared to the 2 weeks in game. So I felt very dumb being like, "Umm, hmm, who now? Oh! The queen of the country I have lived in my whole life that I just met yesterday? I totally remember her name..." This plus a GM that expected us to act out our diplomacy roles made me really not want to be the party face.

The last big hold-up for me is that I don't know Golarian that well. There is a lot of lore already created and I don't like making things up when there is already an established culture. Medieval Paris is different from Medieval Barcelona and significantly different to Japan during that same time period. Part of that stems from having a GM that just kind of assumed we knew rather than explicitly setting the scene. Or he would talk in mechanics himself, "You reach the city of Bridgeway (I can't even remember the name of a 'real' town because they weren't memorable to me), it is a large city with around 12,000 people living in it. You see caravans of people entering and exiting from a large gate. What do you do?"

Silver Crusade

dragonhunterq wrote:

I'm curious how you handle the naturally extremely eloquent/talkative player who always comes up with really cool ideas playing the charisma 5 character with negative social skills?

Someone can say all the right things, but there is something about them that is offputting. You can't quite put your finger on it, but there is something about them that is just not likable. Sure they're saying all the right things, but the response from everyone might be "The person-thing is talking, make it stop"

Same works for the opposite. Maybe someone doesn't know what to say or how to talk, but they're just a really likable person. They've got a face that is trustworthy and such.

So charisma skills aren't just how well you talk but also what sort of "vibe" someone gives off.


dragonhunterq wrote:

I'm curious how you handle the naturally extremely eloquent/talkative player who always comes up with really cool ideas playing the charisma 5 character with negative social skills?

The Klingon takes offense to your elequent overtures of peace and opens fire.

Also, advantage or no, you still have to make your roll.

Good role playing is more so being able to play off the dice. I think I like the roll first method, or maybe: state intent->roll->roleplay method.

The Exchange

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wow... is it that time of year already?

here's more on this subject...

Do you tolerate or punish Gamers for not roleplaying? .

and

Pathfinder Society: A roleplaying game, or a roll-playing game? .

and

Is-PFS-rollplay-or-roleplay

...


I feel like we shouldn't also attribute too much to intro/extroversion. I know that there are tremendously extroverted people (to the point where they loath being in a building alone), who simultaneously can't abide crowded spaces and loud parties.

Likewise there are some introverts who are absolutely "life of the party" types who are adroit in social situations, they just need a week to recover thereafter it is so draining to be as "on" as they are (yo!).

I feel like there's a big difference between one's comfort level at a given table, and whether or not one gains or expends energy by being in a social space. As a GM you can work on people's comfort level with the game or with each other, and introversion does not necessarily correlate with shyness. Introverts can be tremendous hams (again, yo!) it just requires an audience you feel comfortable with.


graystone wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
But you probably have for moving into a flanking position or similar.

But that's my point entirely. Me saying "I move from a3 to c7" and my saying 2 paragraphs about my awesome dance like moves... both end up giving me +2 to hit for flank... pretty words didn't help.

thejeff wrote:
There is no rule for a social equivalent of "moving into a flanking position". Far less in the way of mechanical tactical choices to make in general.
For me, it's those circumstance bonuses for 'social flanking'. Know he has a weakness for liquor, correctly guess he's cheating on his wife, know she wants to impress her parents... For me, that's the equivalent situation.

Yeah, it's kind of equivalent, but there are pages and pages of rules about various things you can do in combat.

Social interactions have at best a "GM handwaves a circumstance bonus".

You can develop skill at the tactical combat game in Pathfinder, based purely on the mechanical rules. There's no real way to do the same in any kind of "tactical social" game in the system.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:


You can develop skill at the tactical combat game in Pathfinder, based purely on the mechanical rules. There's no real way to do the same in any kind of "tactical social" game in the system.

Ultimate Intrigue says "HELLO!"

...which kind of underscores this point.

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