How much is "too much" role playing?


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Zog of Deadwood wrote:
Incidentally, this is off-topic, but you mentioned your wolf had regular leather armor. As somethng your half-dryad might consider for the future, masterwork studded leather armor is not super-expensive, even for an animal (you double the base cost of the armor, then add masterwork cost), and is totally worth it as like leather it has an armor check penalty of zero and reduces the chance of your AC getting hit that little bit more that might make the difference. My avatar character Zog paid to get his dog Ausk's MW studded leather enchanted to +1.

So this might well be on topic...

The druid in question had been raised totally in the wild until she eventually was discovered by a local druid who took her in and taught her how to be a druid. Even that was done far from civilization, so my druid was absolutely naive about things like the value of gold, trade, economies, etc. So for a long time she didn't handle her share of the loot very well. She tended to give it to the party ranger and accept whatever the ranger got for her. She made her own bows and arrows, clothes, etc. She slept outside in a tree and really had no expenses at all. The party ranger was a good guy and did his best to provide her with useful items, but he never thought about barding. It wasn't until level 7 or so that she even discovered the value of barding.

This was also a pretty low wealth campaign, so there weren't many places where she could buy barding for a wolf. Eventually the party found a local leatherworker who agreed to make the barding for a fee.

Around level 8 they finally returned from a months-long quest and she had her first encounter with a big city. By then the ranger was dead and she was left to her own devices with her loot.

Let's say her purchasing decisions that first time she found herself in the big city were not.... optimal.

At level nine though she finally did get her current animal companion some +1 studded leather barding.


EWHM wrote:

Zog,

I could see going to the forge and making some new armor for a male druid's replacement animal companion WITH HIM as actually offering a fair amount of comfort to him. It really doesn't matter too much what the activity is, just that its shared. CS Lewis' 'The Four Loves' talks a fair bit about this sort of thing if you're interested.

Lewis is one of my favorite writers, but if I've read that particular work, it's been too long, because I don't recall it. I recall he touched on something akin to the same subject in The Screwtape Letters:

Screwtape wrote:
Another great help, where the parties concerned are male and female, is the divergence of view about Unselfishness which we have built up between the sexes. A woman means by Unselfishness chiefly taking trouble for others; a man means not giving trouble to others. As a result, a woman who is quite far gone in the Enemy's service will make a nuisance of herself on a larger scale than any man except those whom Our Father has dominated completely; and, conversely, a man will live long in the Enemy's camp before he undertakes as much spontaneous work to please others as a quite ordinary woman may do every day. Thus while the woman thinks of doing good offices and the man of respecting other people's rights, each sex, without any obvious unreason, can and does regard the other as radically selfish.


Zog,
I've never read anything of Lewis' that wasn't well worth the time and investment. Even his stuff from his day job, like 'The Discarded Image' is really rewarding.
Here's a fun one for old school gamers. Look at 'The Silver Chair'....
then look at Against the Giants, Descent into the Depths of the Earth, Vault of the Drow, Queen of the Demonweb Pits. Notice any profound similarities?


When my ranger lost his wolf animal companion, he took one of his paws and scarred his face with it so that whenever he saw his reflection he would always remember the animal's sacrifice on his behalf.
He also went through a grieving process, and was much more careful with how he utilized his next companion. The DM was so impressed that he allowed me to have a Snow Leopard!
Which we all know, is the coolest of all leopards!
So, no. I think you nailed it.


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Was my role playing too much?

Not at all, since you politely put it in an email so you wouldn't be monopolizing game time. And there was nothing wrong with the other players' reactions either; they're not morally obligated to be interested in the stuff that you find interesting about the game.


Zog of Deadwood wrote:
Incidentally, this is off-topic, but you mentioned your wolf had regular leather armor. As somethng your half-dryad might consider for the future, masterwork studded leather armor is not super-expensive, even for an animal (you double the base cost of the armor, then add masterwork cost), and is totally worth it as like leather it has an armor check penalty of zero and reduces the chance of your AC getting hit that little bit more that might make the difference. My avatar character Zog paid to get his dog Ausk's MW studded leather enchanted to +1.

Even better, get it mithril full plate barding FTW!


It depends on why the people in your group play. When I was younger it was to get into deep role play but now that I am old I do it to fave fun blow off steam and spend time with friends. All of whom have had to deal with more sadness, and grief in the last 12 months than anybody should. So not embracing your RP grief may have nothing to do with you and more to do with what others want out of the game.

I alternate between male and female characters and I try and choose a different race each time. In my group we we have those that exclusively play female characters and that only play male characters.


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In a more general sense (since the specific consensus seems to be "Naw, you're a'ight"), the only time I see it as RP "gone too far" is when it directly interferes with the game.

There's a subtle, but important difference between putting the spotlight on your character now and then (due to important events, emotions, and so on) and "hogging the spotlight".

Hogging it implies it is on a constant basis, not one isolated event or even session that you take the focus off of the party and onto you for a significant period of time.

As well, it does vary a bit by group. If your group is there to kick in doors and impale goblins on pikes, having your character constantly soliloquize about whatever scenario they're in and all that jazz is out of place. Just as out of place as the guy who picks a fight with everything that has an EXP value in a game based entirely around storytelling and roleplaying.

You did nothing to interfere with the other players, and indeed went out of your way to make all participation optional. It didn't hold up the game (you did it during a period of the day where normally nothing happens, not do something like postpone the actual adventure to mourn your companion, forcing them to choose between losing a day or losing a party member for a day), and all in all was just a moment for you with the option for others to join.

That's how it should be, IMO. Though it is kinda sad nobody even made a cursory "Yeah Joe's sad too. He sheds a manly tear and then heads off for the first watch" gesture.

Silver Crusade

Another vote for "Nah, you done good."

The Exchange

I'm on the same page as most here with that you handled the situation fine and the other players just missed an opportunity to further advance the personalities of their characters.

Our group would have definitely wanted to use that prompt to build on the party's bond (what better thing to bring a group of misfit adventurers closer together than a shared experience of grief and realisation of the cost of their quests) and have an interesting creative role-playing session with the aftermath of the event.


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:

... So my question to the group is this:

Was my role playing too much? Was it over the top? Was it inappropriate? How would you react to a player who had their druid spend an evening grieving over the loss of their first and only AC instead of immediately summoning a replacement?

Am I "That Guy" who role plays too much? ...

Can't say for sure. But it sounds like you might be a little over the top for those players. But they didn't shun you, roll their eyes, or ask you to leave. So probably not too far over the top. Plus your GM seemed to like it.


I don't think you went too far. As a GM I know I'd be really happy about this (it seems your GM was also) because it meant you were really getting into the world I had made, were I running it. Were I you, I would probably be disappointed at my fellow player's reactions.

It does sound like your friends are more on the gamer-side of things than roleplayer-side. It's not a bad thing, but it is a thing to consider. While I definitely do not think you went to far, it was probably more than they cared about. If you HADN'T described the situation via email, the others might have been a bit frustrated.

A similar situation came up in one of my games that had much worse results:

The PCs were investigating a small island that according to legend was protected by a forest spirit (nymph), but people were starting to go missing in the woods, and fewer animals were seen. Turns out it was a Forlarren, i.e. the most depressing monster in the game.

The party subdued it, tied it up, and were ready to dispatch it with a cold iron knife. One player, Kim, started talking to the forlarren, which was taunting and practically begging them to kill it, trying to figure out why it wanted to die. In other words, a purely roleplaying goal.

This goes on for a little while, until another player, Zach, gets tired of it and just stabs the thing while Kim was trying to talk to it, without an in or out of character "Hey, can we move this along?"

There's still some residual frustration over that.


I would say that our group tends to be more interested in roll playing than role playing, and my awareness of that was one reason I introduced the grieving activities in an email instead of playing them out at the table.

There are two other players in our group who generally seem to be open to role play opportunities. One of them was the GM in this case, but one was the party tank, a dwarf battle cleric.

After most sessions he and I compare notes about the session because he and I are the two primary drivers in our gaming activities and we generally have very similar play styles, goals and enjoyment of the game. So I asked him why he had overlooked such a wonderful role playing opportunity since he usually jumps on them.

His response was satisfactory. He and I had been playing our two characters off against each other for years. My druid was somewhat suspicious of anyone with an axe, and the dwarf was uncomfortable around anything to do with the forest. So he figured that his dwarf's reaction would have been a mix of a desire to tweak the druid about the loss of the AC, coupled with a general decency not to compound another humanoid's grief. So he essentially just grumped off and let it go.

Again, the only character that I really felt missed an opportunity was the sorcerer who had been saved at the cost of the AC. I was actually disappointed that he not only did not express appreciation for the sacrifice, but actually was one of the ones joking about getting a better AC this time. But to be fair, that player is the least invested player in our group, he only plays as a means of getting out of the house with his friends.

Which is perfectly fine with us. We enjoy his company even though we do have to pretty much create and manage his characters for him.


Maybe they're role-playing callous meanies? :P

From a general standpoint it sounds like your group was okay with your actions, (although I have to admit that I too would have been a little disappointed with their reactions. Sometimes even a "Man, you're over-reacting to this" is better than a "Meh"), so it seems like there were no lines crossed.

From a more personal view, I think that sounds awesome, and I love it when people put this kind of thought and life into their characters. So another "Well done!" vote, here.

I love my group to pieces, and generally am okay with our story and character progression, but I knda think I would love to have a slow progression game where I have a character who hasn't hit twentieth after two years.


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AD if I had been there I would have poured one out for your dead wolf
while singing 'Crossroads" by Bone Thugs N Harmony softly and reverently


When we invest in something emotionally it makes us vulnerable. You invested much into the character and the relationship with the wolf. Of course it hurt when the other players didn't sympathize. They don't share your investment! To them an AC is like a magic sword. If it breaks then they get a new one, that's hopefully better than the broken weapon. When the AC died they joked about it probably because they didn't want to open themselves up as you did. Your level of investment can be intimidating for people who aren't used to expressing themselves emotionally.

To answer your question, yes, you did too much roleplaying. It didn't clog up game time or infringe on the others fun, but it made you vulnerable to those trying to avoid the emotionality of the situation. In their eyes you could've had the wolf raised or just called upon a new wolf. There is no penalty for doing so. Your investment is a self imposed restriction. It isn't necessary to the game.

But it does make the game better for those of us who allow themselves that level of investment. I'm sorry your friends didn't get it. It seems like many of the other folks on this forum do though, so that's something.


This thread is making me realize I've never played a character with an AC or even a familiar... I need to rectify this.


playing an elven conjuration wizard with a raven familiar that screams profanity that rivals Yelling Bird's Twitter Account is best in life

Silver Crusade

Ellis Mirari wrote:

A similar situation came up in one of my games that had much worse results:

The PCs were investigating a small island that according to legend was protected by a forest spirit (nymph), but people were starting to go missing in the woods, and fewer animals were seen. Turns out it was a Forlarren, i.e. the most depressing monster in the game.

The party subdued it, tied it up, and were ready to dispatch it with a cold iron knife. One player, Kim, started talking to the forlarren, which was taunting and practically begging them to kill it, trying to figure out why it wanted to die. In other words, a purely roleplaying goal.

This goes on for a little while, until another player, Zach, gets tired of it and just stabs the thing while Kim was trying to talk to it, without an in or out of character "Hey, can we move this along?"

There's still some residual frustration over that.

Condolences. They missed out on most of what makes forlarren great. :(

(been in Kim's shoes before)

Liberty's Edge

No you are not that guy. If you made the game stop to do the ceremony, maybe. Sending an e-mail does not make you that guy. It means you have invested 5 years in a concept.

You always hope the people you play with care about the characters they create enough to make them "real".

The GM appreciated it, you enjoyed it. The rest aren't put out because you put out an e-mail.

If it were my table, we all would have thanked you for helping immersion and making the fights have real consequence.


did the forlarren drop a +2 longsword as loot


First off, I don't think you did much wrong. It sounds like you just did something you thought would be a cool rp idea and when you got that ice cold reception, you thought maybe you were being creepy or something. Anyway it could be that you guys are rping at different levels, though maybe there is an rp reason behind that.

Did the characters have what anything beyond a working relationship going on with the character? Would you have considered them close friends prior to this incident? I ask this because these elf druid types have a reputation for being aloof or distant, so sure their companion died, but would this character even want or expect people's condolences? Maybe they just don't know what it means to have lost an ac.

On a related note, some people just don't like a moper. It doesn't matter how legitimate the reasons are. I've had similar experiences myself like that time when my character's good friend/mentor got eaten by werewolves.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

So my question to the group is this:

Was my role playing too much? Was it over the top? Was it inappropriate? How would you react to a player who had their druid spend an evening grieving over the loss of their first and only AC instead of immediately summoning a replacement?

Am I "That Guy" who role plays too much?

No. Not at my table, anyway.

As much as we might end up throttling each other over any number of irl issues, you'd probably fit in well with my group.

As the DM, I try to prepare three fights per session. They are almost always superfluous, however. My group has a real problem with "downtime." We'll spend, say, two or three hours role-playing a day's events and I'll be watching the clock and try to speed things up with a "Later that evening..." and invariably someone will say, "Wait a minute, I wanted to go talk to blah blah blah" and we'll spend another half hour or so getting that out of the way.

For example, we played our first official RotRL game last weekend and it took five hours to get through arriving in town, settling in for the night and the next day's Swallowtail Festival. In order to get in the goblin assault on Sandpoint, we had to go a couple of hours past my bedtime.

Conversely, however, they are terrible roll-players. Haven't incorporated a single tactical thought in their playing for...hmmm...five years now?

At one point, there was the possibility that we were going to add another player to the group. He was bragging about he would teach the other players strategy and tactics and things like that, and I said, "Well, I don't think they'll listen. In fact, I'm pretty sure one or two of them will actively resist you."

When I relayed a sanitized version of the conversation to the rest of the players, the most (not very) tactical minded player in the group respondend: "What, you mean things like marching order and shiznit? F&&% that!"

Of course, probably related, most of our campaigns end in Total Party Kills.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You were fine. The other players should have taken up the hook a bit. Were I the sorcerer I would have apologized for putting you in such a difficult position. Were I another player I would have eulogized the wolf with an anecdote.

In my Jade Regent game, I have a druid named Morgan and he has a tiger named Albion. Morgan's a fairly introverted character, the only time he really gets animated at all is if his tiger is threatened. If the tiger takes a single point of damage Morgan will expend prepared healing to bring the tiger to full health, before tending to the PCs.

Sometimes the other players get annoyed, but over time that tiger has saved their bacon and they understand the druid's attachment.

As a GM it's my job to put that tiger into peril as often as is necessary for good drama.


As far as the OP is concerned, I pretty much side with everybody so far. You did good not hogging the game time, sad your group didn't take the bait, etc.

I did want to chime in a little on the gender-bending bit, though. Here's my stance: In the circles I tend to run in, I end up doing most of my face-to-face role playing with a bunch of actors. As such, we're pretty heavy into the role playing side of things, and we all get fairly into our roles. Just so we know where I'm coming from with this.

At our table, nobody cares what kind of character you play, so long as it's interesting. It is, however, really confusing when you start playing something really far outside yourself. As I said, our group often gets into the roles we play, and it's damn easy to forget that you're not talking to the tiny redhead girl sitting next to you, you're supposed to be talking to Kirthax the mighty-thewed half-dragon warrior dude. It's not a problem, it's just confusing. Bear in mind, this isn't just for gender bending characters - this goes for anyone who's sufficiently different from the person they're playing that it breaks the mind, gender bending is just the most common and/or easiest example.

With that in mind, I've noticed that when one of those characters is in the group, they tend to get a little more ignored by everyone else. I don't think it's on purpose, people just tend to avoid interacting with the character they have a hard time interacting with, which is just natural. On an intellectual level, we can all appreciate that the character is still totally awesome, and even out of character chat about interactions our characters might have that we think are great, but when we're actually trying to interact, there's less of it happening. Seen in that light, I can see how it's possible that people at your table may have had trouble getting into your kinda heavy emotional bit with that character. I'd like to think my group would've run with it, but I can see how they might shy away, consciously or no.

Wow, that went on longer than expected. There's my two (four?) cents.


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At least nobody said:
"Sorry about your wolf...mind if I skin it and make a really cool cape?"


Lamontius wrote:

did the forlarren drop a +2 longsword as loot

Nup. The cold iron blade they got from the local priest was their treasure.


This is one of the reasons why the GM needs to act as a gateway for who sits at his table.

Some players like to see how far they can optimize (perhaps with a thin veneer of <b*ll s**t>"character"</b*ll s**t>))

Some just want to bang dice and drink beer with friends

Some want to focus on the tactical simulation

Some like to role play

These desires aren''t always compatible. So, the GM needs to be clear in his own mind what kind of game is being played. Then he needs to consistently communicate that.


Justin, what part of this situation leads you to believe that the GM needed "to act as a gateway for who sits at his table"?

This group has played together for almost a decade now. We seem to be quite compatible. I can't recall a single fight or significant issue that has come up that caused anyone hurt feelings or led to long term personal issues.

Yet you suggest there was some problem with the GM gatekeeping? I'm really curious what you think that might be.


Alternatively, you could say that roleplaying has gone too far when you start hallucinating that the monsters are real and then you start calling yourself by your character's name, breaking off with previous relationships that are incompatible with your character's lifestyle, culminating to traveling to the big city on a quest, killing a homeless man, attempting to jump off a skyscraper and getting committed.

The Exchange

How much is too much?

Given you are collectively writing a Story...you should be recording everything that happens and is said...and be turning it into your work of Fiction.


magnumCPA wrote:
Alternatively, you could say that roleplaying has gone too far when you start hallucinating that the monsters are real and then you start calling yourself by your character's name, breaking off with previous relationships that are incompatible with your character's lifestyle, culminating to traveling to the big city on a quest, killing a homeless man, attempting to jump off a skyscraper and getting committed.

Did this happen in your group? Awsome story.


HarbinNick wrote:
magnumCPA wrote:
Alternatively, you could say that roleplaying has gone too far when you start hallucinating that the monsters are real and then you start calling yourself by your character's name, breaking off with previous relationships that are incompatible with your character's lifestyle, culminating to traveling to the big city on a quest, killing a homeless man, attempting to jump off a skyscraper and getting committed.
Did this happen in your group? Awsome story.

Yeah, it sounds like a movie that could use a young Tom Hanks...

Project Manager

Adamantine Dragon wrote:

You know, I'm going to ask my group if they have any issues with a female PC. It never occurred to me that it might make anyone uncomfortable. I think I'm a pretty good reader of people's body language and emotions too, and I never picked up on any of that from any other context.

I don't think that's an issue here frankly. I think they would have reacted pretty much the same if my druid were a male.

I can't speak for men's comfort level with men playing women, but as far as I can tell it wouldn't affect how I reacted to another character's grief unless I thought there was something derogatory about the portrayal -- e.g. a male player playing his female character as incapacitated by grief that wouldn't stop a male character from being useful.

But it sounds like the grief your character portrayed was just straight-up grief, and not particularly gendered, so it doesn't sound like that's the problem.

I don't think it's too far. In a campaign my group played before I joined, a druid spent weeks in the form of his animal companion as atonement for letting it die, which seemed believable, poignant, and appropriate to me, and didn't strike the other players as excessive.

Grand Lodge

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There is not enough arguing in this thread. I don't know how to respond.

Shadow Lodge

Just let it be known next time you play that your character is quite bitter over everyone's lack of condolences that next time you have to make a choice between a party member and a beloved animal companion, you will be inclined to think differently.

Haha!


I'd say:

1) Yes, it was too much for your group - clearly, based on their reaction; but,
2) Overall: No, not at all. You did everything pretty much perfectly, AFAIC - took it to email, didn't 'hog' the spotlight. Great stuff.

So, overall - no. You're probably not 'that guy'.

With that said, I'm a little surprised you thought you'd get a reaction from the others - or, rather, I don't have enough info to know either way. As another poster alluded to - how awesome was your wolf? Without knowing any details, the AC is more likely than not treated as a non-existant class ability and bundle of mechanics belonging to somebody else - so no wonder there wasn't much reaction.

To illicit a reaction, that wolf would had to have been it's own complete character, with its own distinct personality and reasonable level of visibility throughout multiple sessions. Was that the case?


Arnwyn, no I can't honestly say that the wolf was the equivalent of a full party member in terms of interaction and personality. That was in part deliberate, I already have such a character in the party (the druid) and having TWO seems a bit excessive to me when other players only have one.

I played the wolf as HAVING a personality, a playful, hopefully wolfish one. He was very protective of the druid, would occasionally interact with another character to make a point (e.g. "Wolfie's [not his real name] hackles bristle a bit at your tone of voice.") but he was an animal companion, not a full party member.

In another game that I am GMing with the same group, the dwarf battle cleric player in the previously mentioned game is playing a human paladin with the leadership trait and he treats his lower level cleric companion in a similar manner. She's there, she does stuff, but she's not a fully fleshed out character, and that is, again, precisely because the player feels doing so would mean too much time with the spotlight on him.

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