Does forcing players to 'roleplay your stats' bring more emphasis on said stats?


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The black raven wrote:


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Is it just stats you get to ignore? What if someone wanted the mechanics of a human but described their character as a halfling?
Poor delusional PC. Wonderful opportunity for roleplaying though :-)

So just to be clear, is that a no? You would not let someone play a halfling using the mechanics of a human?


The black raven wrote:
I am sorry that I did not understand your point then and I apologize for that :-(

No worries :)


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Is it just stats you get to ignore? What if someone wanted the mechanics of a human but described their character as a halfling?

I think it's more like you have a character who delusionally acts as though they are a Halfling, but is mechanically and is treated in all ways as though human.

EDIT: Scooped by black raven. I should refresh more often!


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Sarcasmancer wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Is it just stats you get to ignore? What if someone wanted the mechanics of a human but described their character as a halfling?

I think it's more like you have a character who delusionally acts as though they are a Halfling, but is mechanically and is treated in all ways as though human.

EDIT: Scooped by black raven. I should refresh more often!

So is the character not playing their stats delusional? If you want to play a charming PC but dumped CHA for whatever reason, you would not be offended if the other characters called you delusional every time you tried to roleplay your character as such?


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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
So is the character not playing their stats delusional? If you want to play a charming PC but dumped CHA for whatever reason, you would not be offended if the other characters called you delusional every time you tried to roleplay your character as such?

Well that would be pretty rude, but in theory if you wanted a charming PC you wouldn't dump CHA. In real life there are plenty of people who are convinced that they are smart, funny, charming, etc. but lack the "stats" to back it up. So if the game models the same situation, I don't see that as a problem that needs to be corrected.

It's not a question of not playing their stats, per se, it's a question of their mechanics not matching their self-image.

Liberty's Edge

Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Sarcasmancer wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Is it just stats you get to ignore? What if someone wanted the mechanics of a human but described their character as a halfling?

I think it's more like you have a character who delusionally acts as though they are a Halfling, but is mechanically and is treated in all ways as though human.

EDIT: Scooped by black raven. I should refresh more often!

So is the character not playing their stats delusional? If you want to play a charming PC but dumped CHA for whatever reason, you would not be offended if the other characters called you delusional every time you tried to roleplay your character as such?

What S. said. My answer was a Yes, you can ;-)

That said, if the PC (and player) is okay with being called delusional, no problem. If not, my PC would just keep his opinion and his pity/scorn to himself.

Still, I see a bigger difference with pretending you are Small rather than Medium.


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
The black raven wrote:


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Is it just stats you get to ignore? What if someone wanted the mechanics of a human but described their character as a halfling?
Poor delusional PC. Wonderful opportunity for roleplaying though :-)
So just to be clear, is that a no? You would not let someone play a halfling using the mechanics of a human?

Actually... Why not? What about all the actual humans are actually midgets or dwarfisms or something?

We've joked around a lot about someone making 'little person' who flips out every time someone 'in game' refers to him as Halfling :D

I

AM

A

HUMAN!!!!!

I see what you're saying... but that example?? I could totally see it :P


Scaevola77 wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I don't look at it as "forcing someone to roleplay a particular stat" so much as not wanting someone to play the opposite of their stat.
I agree with this. At a recent session, I was very annoyed with another player. His gunslinger has 7 to Int and Cha, 0 skill points in Appraise or Diplomacy (or even Sense Motive), but spent a solid 20 minutes haggling, trying to figure out the best possible deal with a merchant, and coming up with increasingly complex arguments (all spoken "in character"). As a fellow player, it severely hindered my enjoyment of the game because it caused a major disconnect between what the player wanted and what the character actually would be able to do. Also, I feel slighted because I have a character with 8 Cha, but who has invested heavily in Diplomacy and Sense Motive to overcome her social awkwardness and allow her to speak with some competence. It is really frustrating to have a character with weaknesses and that struggles to overcome them only to have another player have a character with even more glaring weaknesses just completely ignore them on a whim. Thus I see it as less "forcing someone to roleplay a particular stat" as a negative thing, and more of a "keep players from breaking immersion and hindering the fun of the rest of the group". (and yes . . . I plan to discuss this issue with my GM and I would actually be very disappointed if she did not address it and "force" the player to roleplay their stats).

Again, I see this as a DM issue. Haggling for the best deal should require an APPRAISAL roll to know what the best price IS, and a Diplomacy roll to determine whether you can get the merchant to meet it. (or intimidate or bluff I suppose)

As such, the disconnect should not be there. He should have said his speech, made a roll and then find out if he convinced the merchant or adjusted his relationship with him.

All in the rules, USING the stats that the player had chosen.

Honestly... why do you think an 7 Int and Chr would NOT negotiate for a better price? it's pretty common in most merchant type societies, and he should certainly be allowed to try.

Whether he SUCCEEDS is based on the stats... Which your character would be BETTER at then he would.

Role playing should be an important part of social situations. I'm all for it. However, it can EASILY go the other way too... I have a paladin with a 21 chr and a diplomacy score of 15. My CHARACTER is better at social conversation then I will EVER be. There have been a few diplomatic missions where everything I said was basically crap... Everything I said only dug the hole deeper. I failed a few meetings based on MY talents, and we never even got to ROLL...

If he had ROLLED his hard earned stats... then he would have succeeded. I have little doubt of that. So 'playing your stats' is a double edged sword.


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DigitalMage wrote:

I think like with other mechanical aspects of the character I like the narrative to be consistent with the ratings.

Basically if a player continues to narrate his characters actions in a way that is inconsistent with the results of the mechanics (skill checks etc) then I, both as GM and player, will be annoyed.

Bob "Damnit Dave! You keep describing how your character is handsome, articulate, attention grabbing, persuasive and a serial womaniser able to bed any woman he raises an eyebrow at - but your character's Charisma is 7, you have put only 1 rank into Diplomacy (and as you're a Fighter you don't get a Class skill bonus) and you have no ranks at all in Bluff and Sense Motive! And because of that you keep failing miserably at all the stuff your describe your character as being good at."

You can SAY you are a suave ladies man who can have any woman he wants... but the number one rule for players should be... they are the PLAYERS. The DM gets to control the npcs... and that includes the ladies in question.

Make whatever claims you want... but it won't effect the REALITY one bit. If they start spouting out of character knowledge about physics and alchemy and engineering.... then the DM is perfectly in his right to say 'You have no idea'. (Though the more 'polite' way to phrase it would be 'what's your score in engineering?"

I think the biggest issue is people disagreeing what the stat numbers mean. CHR is the worst offender. Every generation and every age group has a different definition of what 'sexy' may mean. Everyone has a different definition of what 'cool' means. For some it's james dean and clint eastwood... for some its Robert Pattison and Justin Bieber. All 4 have an insane amount of followers and fans... so it's safe to say they have a good CHR score. It doesn't universally guarantee that people will like them though.

Can a low charisma represent someone who is a bit withdrawn and keeps to himself? Sure.

Can a high charisma represent that mysterious loner who everyone wants to hang out with... Why not!

Frankly those could be the SAME character!

The actual stats themselves have VERY little use OUTSIDE the skill system. There really aren't any RAW uses an 'intelligence' roll that doesn't get lumped in with ONE of the skills somewhere. And the skill have rules already attached. Most need to be trained, If the DC is over 10 on a knowledge, you don't even get a chance to ROLL for them untrained. NPCs, (even using the standard array) will only be getting a +1 in 2 stats and very limited skill points... so who are these people that are looking down on the PCs?

An Intelligence of 7 with his 4-6+ skill points placed where he needs them is still going to know more and answer more questions then the NPC tavernowner with the 10 or 12 INT about specific subjects that HE can't
even roll on...

Shadow Lodge

phantom1592 wrote:


The actual stats themselves have VERY little use OUTSIDE the skill system. There really aren't any RAW uses an 'intelligence' roll that doesn't get lumped in with ONE of the skills somewhere. And the skill have rules already attached. Most need to be trained, If the DC is over 10 on a knowledge, you don't even get a chance to ROLL for them untrained. NPCs, (even using the standard array) will only be getting a +1 in 2 stats and very limited skill points... so who are these people that are looking down on the PCs?

An Intelligence of 7 with his 4-6+ skill points placed where he needs them is still going to know more and answer more questions then the NPC tavernowner with the 10 or 12 INT about specific subjects that HE can't
even roll on...

This is the disconnect some of us have. Ability Scores cover both game mechanic(rollplay) and roleplay. Having a vast knowledge of things doesnt change that your reasoning ablility is noticably lower then the average person. Having a high skill in sense motive and several professions doesnt change that your common sense doesnt come over as common but more like less then common, etc.

Those who dont want ability scores to interfere with the way they want to play their characters. They want to be able to have that 5-7 in an ability score and not have to deal with the roleplay aspects of that ability. these are the people who look at the ability score discription and go "hum reason in the intelligence discription has no rollplay mechanic so that word is useless fluff and can be ingored".

Only my opinion of course.


Jacob Saltband wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:


The actual stats themselves have VERY little use OUTSIDE the skill system. There really aren't any RAW uses an 'intelligence' roll that doesn't get lumped in with ONE of the skills somewhere. And the skill have rules already attached. Most need to be trained, If the DC is over 10 on a knowledge, you don't even get a chance to ROLL for them untrained. NPCs, (even using the standard array) will only be getting a +1 in 2 stats and very limited skill points... so who are these people that are looking down on the PCs?

An Intelligence of 7 with his 4-6+ skill points placed where he needs them is still going to know more and answer more questions then the NPC tavernowner with the 10 or 12 INT about specific subjects that HE can't
even roll on...

This is the disconnect some of us have. Ability Scores cover both game mechanic(rollplay) and roleplay. Having a vast knowledge of things doesnt change that your reasoning ablility is noticably lower then the average person. Having a high skill in sense motive and several professions doesnt change that your common sense doesnt come over as common but more like less then common, etc.

Those who dont want ability scores to interfere with the way they want to play their characters. They want to be able to have that 5-7 in an ability score and not have to deal with the roleplay aspects of that ability. these are the people who look at the ability score discription and go "hum reason in the intelligence discription has no rollplay mechanic so that word is useless fluff and can be ingored".

Only my opinion of course.

I don't say this often... but 'quote please' :)

It's quiz show mentality. When the DM presents you with a question. WHO has the right answer? Does it REALLY matter if you know it off the top of your head... because your awesome? Or does it make your answer LESS right because you studied HARD in that particular skill and through dedication burned that same answer into your mind?

If one person has 5 ranks in Knowledge: nature and an int of 7... then he'll have what? a score of 3?

If someone else has 5 ranks in that knowledge, but has an Int of 13, then he'll have a score of 6. he's TWICE as knowledgeable in that category as the first guy. That is the built in handicap of the rules.

If there is a 3rd guy who NO ranks in nature... but has an intelligence of 25 and needs to roll a DC 15 check..... He CAN'T even roll.

At this time... in that place... the Int 7 guy knows MORE then the 25 guy. All the common sense and reasoning... does NOT by RAW trump Skill points, training and leveling.

In 2E We were frequently called on to make straight up 'intelligence' checks... Pathfinder doesn't seem to DO that. Your stats are used for stuff... but usually as a bonus to something ELSE. Never on it's own.

Your 'smarts' are a combination of multiple aspects. being weak in one, does not make you a dullard.

Shadow Lodge

CRB page 15 under the heading Ability Scores, first paragraph. Then in each ability discription it tells you what they govern.

Why is it that every exsmple you gave in the last post used a low ability character with skill ranks again a higher ability character with less or no skill ranks.

Try an example with both opponents having no skill ranks in the task and see what happens.
Also I'm not saying the low int person wouldnt be able to come ip with tbe answer to a question just that they will probably take longer to reach that answer.

Shadow Lodge

Also all the examples we both gave were rollplay example, they had nothing to do with roleplay.


Jacob Saltband wrote:
CRB page 15 under the heading Ability Scores, first paragraph. Then in each ability discription it tells you what they govern.

Does it say anywhere in the book when you roll an Intelligence check? Or what exactly 'lower than normal reasoning' would look like?

What I see in that section is that

Quote:


Intelligence determines how well your character learns
and reasons.

Agreed. That is shown with your skills. Your skills are based on class + int modifier. the higher your intelligence... the more you learn and the better you reason your way through the skills.

Then it tells you how to USE intelligence.

Quote:

You apply your character’s Intelligence modifier to:

• The number of bonus languages your character knows at
the start of the game. These are in addition to any starting
racial languages and Common. If you have a penalty, you
can still read and speak your racial languages unless your
Intelligence is lower than 3.
• The number of skill points gained each level, though
your character always gets at least 1 skill point per level.
• Appraise, Craft, Knowledge, Linguistics, and Spellcraft
checks.
A wizard gains bonus spells based on his Intelligence
score. The minimum Intelligence score needed to cast a
wizard spell is 10 + the spell’s level.

This is what the RAW considers learning and reasoning.

Jacob Saltband wrote:


Why is it that every exsmple you gave in the last post used a low ability character with skill ranks again a higher ability character with less or no skill ranks.

I thought it helped explain my point better ;)

Absolutely, if you want to say that High intelligence character WITH equal or more skills would know more then the lower one. It's the very basis of the system.

Nobody disagrees with that.

For that matter The high intelligence guy may know more then the lower one in a DOZEN different catagories, when the lower one is only focused in one or two. These weren't really debated. What people seem to say is regardless of your skill placement. dumb is dumb.

Jacob Saltband wrote:


Try an example with both opponents having no skill ranks in the task and see what happens.

If two people have no skill ranks in a knowledge category, then they don't even get to roll it. Only things with a DC less then 10 can be attempted in knowledge untrained...

Jacob Saltband wrote:


Also I'm not saying the low int person wouldnt be able to come ip with tbe answer to a question just that they will probably take longer to reach that answer.

Times not really a factor though. The time it takes to make the check is standard action, full round, take 10.. whatever. Do you make the same kind of 'time' distinction with the 16 Int guy and the 19? Do you tell the 16 guy, he can't answer the question before the 19 guy does?

I have NO problem with people who play their character as having little book learning and not a wizard if they have a low intelligence. What I have an issue with is saying it's IMPOSSIBLE for that 'dumb' of a character to even participate in aspects of the game.

Shadow Lodge

Did I at any point say that they couldnt participate in the game. Dont put works in my mouth.

Shadow Lodge

@phantom1592

No matter how many skill ranks you have int based skills it doesnt change the fact that 7 int character has a 7 int.

A character with a 5 dex and a 10 score in acrobatics still going to fail normal (dc 10) acrobatic exercises. Just because that character is trained in acrobatics doesnt mean hes now a swan crusing across then pond, instead of the splashing frog he is.


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Jacob Saltband wrote:
A character with a 5 dex and a 10 score in acrobatics still going to fail normal (dc 10) acrobatic exercises.

Uh, what?

Someone with 10 ranks in acrobatics and a -3 dex modifier would have a +7 to acrobatics checks, far better than the average person. They would succeed on dc 10 checks 90% of the time, or 100% of they can take 10.

Shadow Lodge

137ben wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
A character with a 5 dex and a 10 score in acrobatics still going to fail normal (dc 10) acrobatic exercises.

Uh, what?

Someone with 10 ranks in acrobatics and a -3 dex modifier would have a +7 to acrobatics checks, far better than the average person. They would succeed on dc 10 checks 90% of the time, or 100% of they can take 10.

Read my post again. Where does it say ranks?

Shadow Lodge

Okay, if he has a 10 score despite having a 5 DEX (meaning that with the -3 penalty he has at least 13 ranks spent in it) then your point makes even less sense. He auto-makes those DC 10 checks - a 1 isn't an auto-fail on a skill check.

And if that's not what you meant and what Ben posted is also not what you meant, you're going to have to explain it because then your post makes zero sense.

Shadow Lodge

Orthos wrote:

Okay, if he has a 10 score despite having a 5 DEX (meaning that with the -3 penalty he has at least 13 ranks spent in it) then your point makes even less sense. He auto-makes those DC 10 checks - a 1 isn't an auto-fail on a skill check.

And if that's not what you meant and what Ben posted is also not what you meant, you're going to have to explain it because then your post makes zero sense.

Your right. I wrote that wrong. That was a very flawed example.


The answer I had posted and which was eaten...

It can be problematic with players. Some people interpret different items as being different things. For example, some interpret tactics as being reasoning; that means tactics need a good Int score. Others as instinct; that puts tactics under Wis.

It is best to work out, beforehand, what is what with players.

Shadow Lodge

What I was trying to say using dex and acrobatics as an example, was that 2 people can have the same skill level and succed on an attempt but the person with the lower modifier, in my opinion, would come across as less graceful (of course this part doesnt have any game mechanics to support it) and it took that person considerably longer to learn how to do it.
Call it class skill and both put the needed ranks to get a 10 score. the person with the lower dex to at least one level longer to get to the 10 score then the other person, probably more then one level.

Same goes for any skill example.

this was part of what I was tring to get across.


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"Can we get on with the plot?"

Any dm trying to force me to roleplay a stat, is wasting their time wanting the minutiae just right. Players should play their characters how they wish, because they are the players of their characters, not the dm.

Some dms' don't seem to agree though.


I don't actually see an issue with a fighter or barbarian with low-ish intelligence being good at relevant tactics. He's a PC character with the ability to increase in levels, so presumably he's competent enough in his chosen area of expertise, otherwise he would be a warrior. He will still do poorly in dc checks outside of his expertise, as he should.


Certain cultures consider tactical knowledge to be a demonstration of wisdom, mastery and foresight, not intelligence.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
How often do you see people intentionally make characters where the mechanics don't back up the character concept?

Not often, but presumably its on those occasions that the player won't be roleplaying their stats.

Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
I mean, my experience is that someone who makes a suave character wants to be able to succeed at the relevant rolls.

And so if they do that by assigning a high Charisma and / or high ranks in Diplomacy, Sense Motive and Bluff they would be playing their stats. But this thread is about players who aren't roleplaying their stats.

Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Now, there is a problem that certain concepts are difficult to make work in Pathfinder. [...] The thing is though, I don't think the problem here is how the player is roleplaying their character. The problem is that they weren't able to get what they want out of the system. A solution is for someone else in the group with more system mastery to help that player create a character with the mechanics that fit their character.

I still think that there are some concepts that no matter how much system mastery a player has, simply cannot be built within the limitations of some campaign. If a player wants to be a world renowned wizard, a master of the arcane arts who strides across the planes of existence at a whim - but the campaign is for 1st level characters, that concept is simply not going to be able to be built.

Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
There are mechanics for lying (and not having the lie discovered) but there aren't mechanics for pronouncing words correctly or coming up with tactical decisions. It doesn't make sense to require the mechanics to match the roleplay here, because there are no such mechanics!

But it comes down to trying to reconcile the mechanics check result and the roleplaying, if how the player roleplays and the results of the character's actions are consistently at odds then it can cause a problem. It can be better to have the player roleplay in a manner that is more likely to be consistent with the characters results.

For example, if a player is trying to lie his way past a city guard and the player roleplays a sincere sounding plea, with clever details to the lie - but the player then rolls a Bluff result of just 8 (-2 Charisma, no ranks in Bluff, +0 for "lie is believable" and a dice result of 10, i.e. average roll) failing against the level 1 NPC (with no ranks in Sense Motive, just average Wisdom (10/+0) and also a dice result of 10) then it sounds like maybe the character didn't convey all that good information, or he did it in such a way as it didn't sound as sincere as the player delivered it etc.

Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
tl;dr: you're arguing against a silly strawman.

To be honest, reading some more of this thread I am not sure what I am arguing against. Could we come up with an example of a player not roleplaying his stats?


DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Any dm trying to force me to roleplay a stat, is wasting their time wanting the minutiae just right. Players should play their characters how they wish, because they are the players of their characters, not the dm.

I don't think anyone is suggesting a GM should tell a player how to play. Those that agree that players should RP within the bounds of their stats are saying that players should be the one to take the initiative to do that. When players do not do that, and blatantly RP without regard to their stats, is it the GM's responsibility to mention it to the player?

I say yes. Again, we're not talking about a character with an 8 intelligence and saying "Your guy has an 8 Intelligence, you're a moron, you don't know how to tie your shoes." We're saying that a character with a 5 Intelligence should not be RPed as incredibly intelligent.

For an even more extreme example, a PC with an Intelligence of less than 3 is incapable of understanding speech. So if a character rolls a 4, puts that in Intelligence, and chooses to play a race with a -2 Intelligence, then the result is a 2 Intelligence.

So because the mechanics say a character with a less than 3 Intelligence cannot understand speech, I assume most people would enforce that. But if a character has a 3 Intelligence, what does that mean? Logically a 3 Intelligence would mean that while a character can understand speech, they have some serious difficulty. Other people would say "No, the book doesn't say anything about it, so a person can RP a 3 Intelligence as a genius."


If you have a low int, some are annoyed at a player playing there char as if they have an average int, which most people at the table will have.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Sarcasmancer wrote:
in theory if you wanted a charming PC you wouldn't dump CHA.

But then the player would be roleplaying their stats, but that isn't what this thread is about.

Sarcasmancer wrote:
In real life there are plenty of people who are convinced that they are smart, funny, charming, etc. but lack the "stats" to back it up. So if the game models the same situation, I don't see that as a problem that needs to be corrected.

But in that case I would hope that the player would acknowledge that they aren't roleplaying a smart, funny and charming character, rather they are roleplaying a character who thinks they are smart, funny and charming but actually aren't.

In this instance I would hope the player would roleplay a character in such a way, for example being confident in talking to people but saying the wrong thing, or having a creepy stare while they talk, or maybe a childish snigger at their own jokes (that no one else laughs at).

As a GM or other player I would never dream of telling a player specifically how to roleplay their character, but I would encourage them to find some way to roleplay their character's stats.

"Hey, Bob, I know you roleplay your character as an amazingly suave and diplomatic character, but with a Charisma of 8 and no ranks in Diplomacy or Bluff your character is consistently failing at those task. Maybe you could roleplay something about your character that would explain why your character keeps failing - either that or look at investing some skill ranks in those skills"

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
phantom1592 wrote:
You can SAY you are a suave ladies man who can have any woman he wants... but the number one rule for players should be... they are the PLAYERS. The DM gets to control the npcs... and that includes the ladies in question.

If the player roleplays a confident character who tries to be smooth but always does something to screw up (saying the wrong thing, picking up an empty glass rather than a full one from a waiter's tray and trying to drink from it, mispronouncing or using a wrong term of phrase etc) than that matches the stats and as you say they are playing a character who just thinks they are "all that".

But if the player narrates a great seduction technique and gives an incredibly smooth series of lines that make all the players at the table go "Wow! With that speech I would fall for you! Remind me to take you as my wingman next time I go clubbing!" but the dice roll fails miserably (even by taking 10, i.e. an average roll) then the roleplaying really hasn't matched the stats.

And yes the GM will roleplay their NPCs and not have them succumb to the PC's charms, but the GM is going to have to strive to come up with a reason why not one of the ladies at the ball is even interested ("they are all already married", "the countess apparently has a hatred of elves", "you remind her of her long dead brother" etc).

Why should the GM have to be the one who has to come up with all the explanations to reconcile the player's roleplaying and the results of the mechanics? Isn't it better to have the player, up front, provide a few possible reasons why his seduction attempts may fail if that is what the dice roll ultimately show?

phantom1592 wrote:
If they start spouting out of character knowledge about physics and alchemy and engineering.... then the DM is perfectly in his right to say 'You have no idea'. (Though the more 'polite' way to phrase it would be 'what's your score in engineering?"

So it sounds like you would be happy "encouraging" a player to roleplay their stats, potentially even "forcing" them by satying "Your character wouldn't know that so he didn't say it!". is that correct?


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MMCJawa wrote:

I don't actually see an issue with a fighter or barbarian with low-ish intelligence being good at relevant tactics. He's a PC character with the ability to increase in levels, so presumably he's competent enough in his chosen area of expertise, otherwise he would be a warrior. He will still do poorly in dc checks outside of his expertise, as he should.

According to some military people I've talked to who've seen actual combat, tactics have very little to do with intelligence. They're mostly a combination of instinct and training.

So, I could see a character with low-ish intelligence coming up with complex tactics.


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MagusJanus wrote:
According to some military people I've talked to who've seen actual combat, tactics have very little to do with intelligence. They're mostly a combination of instinct and training.

Hate to "pull rank" (har, har) but my academic training was in history with a concentration in military history. So insofar as anybody cares about my opinion or credentials, I concur with MagusJanus's statement here.


DigitalMage wrote:
"Hey, Bob, I know you roleplay your character as an amazingly suave and diplomatic character, but with a Charisma of 8 and no ranks in Diplomacy or Bluff your character is consistently failing at those task. Maybe you could roleplay something about your character that would explain why your character keeps failing - either that or look at investing some skill ranks in those skills"

Or "Hey, Bob, I know your sheet says Intelligence 20 but you're actually kind of a dunce, so maybe you could roleplay something about your character that would explain why your character speaks and acts like such a dullard."


Cool, putting it in wisdom and xp.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Sarcasmancer wrote:
Or "Hey, Bob, I know your sheet says Intelligence 20 but you're actually kind of a dunce, so maybe you could roleplay something about your character that would explain why your character speaks and acts like such a dullard."

Yep, it is easier to roleplay below your own real life ability than roleplay up. In these instances the GM maybe will have to add a few words to reconcile the difference between roleplaying and stats results...

"In addition to what you have just said, you also point out that you studied at the Solar College, have cross-referenced the works great works of the wizard Greydawn and correct Borad the Astronomer on a few mistakes he has made on the charts that adorn his wall. Overall you convince him to help you in creating the new star chart"

If it becomes a real problem, I may (big "may") encourage the player to simply narrate his character's speeches rather than trying to act them out in character, e.g. "Ceyrad shouts for quiet and then points out nearly every practical flaw in their methodology, before explaining some of his latest research to impress them"

The point is, there is still potential work to reconcile the roleplaying and the mechanical results - but if the player can help with that reconciliation and not leave it all to the GM I would encourage them to do so.

I.e. where it is possible for a player to play their stats it would IMHO be beneficial to do so in order to alleviate some of the work of the GM and / or help maintain the immersion of the other players.


DigitalMage wrote:
Yep, it is easier to roleplay below your own real life ability than roleplay up.

Makes sense.

Shadow Lodge

MagusJanus wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:

I don't actually see an issue with a fighter or barbarian with low-ish intelligence being good at relevant tactics. He's a PC character with the ability to increase in levels, so presumably he's competent enough in his chosen area of expertise, otherwise he would be a warrior. He will still do poorly in dc checks outside of his expertise, as he should.

According to some military people I've talked to who've seen actual combat, tactics have very little to do with intelligence. They're mostly a combination of instinct and training.

So, I could see a character with low-ish intelligence coming up with complex tactics.

no plan survives first contact with the enemy

Shadow Lodge

Orthos wrote:
I've honestly been tempted to do away with both point buy and rolling for stats, and give a shot at "Just pick the stats you think represent the character you want to play, I'll give them a once-over before we begin to make sure nobody's going in with 6 18s or something else ridonkulous like that".

This would be the best way for someone who wants to play a particular character idea. If that character idea needs a little better stats then usual, say equivalent of a 30 point buy, I'd just give that amount to the other players as well.

Silver Crusade

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Jacob Saltband wrote:
Orthos wrote:
I've honestly been tempted to do away with both point buy and rolling for stats, and give a shot at "Just pick the stats you think represent the character you want to play, I'll give them a once-over before we begin to make sure nobody's going in with 6 18s or something else ridonkulous like that".
This would be the best way for someone who wants to play a particular character idea. If that character idea needs a little better stats then usual, say equivalent of a 30 point buy, I'd just give that amount to the other players as well.

I've played that way for years.

No DM should force, or even expect, a player to role-play a low stat exactly how the DM would play it!

If there is a PC with a low stat, it's easy to seek inspiration from the stat itself:-

Intelligence governs how your PC learns and reasons.

Wisdom governs your PC's willpower, common sense, awareness and intuition.

Charisma measures your PC's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance.

Although it's possible to role-play a low score by deciding that your PC is poor in every single area governed by that stat, real people (and, therefore, a well realised PC) will be stronger than his score suggests in some areas, weaker than the score suggests in other areas, and maybe average in another. It's just that they average out at the final score.

So a Cha 7 may be a 7 in personality, magnetism, leadership and appearance.

Or may be a 4 in personality, 5 in magnetism, 3 in leadership but a smokin' hot 16 in appearance!

Or two 3s and two 11s. Or whatever! But the choice belongs to the player not the DM!

The trouble comes when the DM sees me role-play my Cha 7 PC as a smokin' hot 16 appearance, they accuse me of NOT ROLE-PLAYING MY LOW SCORE because they haven't noticed me playing my personality 4, my magnetism of 5 or my leadership of 3.

So if your player turns up with a low mental score, to put your mind at rest, simply ask him before play starts how HE envisions that low score in the above terms, and let him explain in his own words just how that weakness manifests in that particular character.

Surely better than casting premature aspersions.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Orthos wrote:
I've honestly been tempted to do away with both point buy and rolling for stats, and give a shot at "Just pick the stats you think represent the character you want to play, I'll give them a once-over before we begin to make sure nobody's going in with 6 18s or something else ridonkulous like that".
This would be the best way for someone who wants to play a particular character idea. If that character idea needs a little better stats then usual, say equivalent of a 30 point buy, I'd just give that amount to the other players as well.

I've played that way for years.

No DM should force, or even expect, a player to role-play a low stat exactly how the DM would play it!

If there is a PC with a low stat, it's easy to seek inspiration from the stat itself:-

Intelligence governs how your PC learns and reasons.

Wisdom governs your PC's willpower, common sense, awareness and intuition.

Charisma measures your PC's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance.

Although it's possible to role-play a low score by deciding that your PC is poor in every single area governed by that stat, real people (and, therefore, a well realised PC) will be stronger than his score suggests in some areas, weaker than the score suggests in other areas, and maybe average in another. It's just that they average out at the final score.

So a Cha 7 may be a 7 in personality, magnetism, leadership and appearance.

Or may be a 4 in personality, 5 in magnetism, 3 in leadership but a smokin' hot 16 in appearance!

Or two 3s and two 11s. Or whatever! But the choice belongs to the player not the DM!

The trouble comes when the DM sees me role-play my Cha 7 PC as a smokin' hot 16 appearance, they accuse me of NOT ROLE-PLAYING MY LOW SCORE because they haven't noticed me playing my personality 4, my magnetism of 5 or my leadership of 3.

So if your player turns up with a low mental score, to put your mind at rest, simply ask him before play...

A low intelligent fighter or barbarian can still kill you extremely dead, and hello to that starting 18 str at level 1 thanks to dumping. If they kill you brilliantly and so quickly, they clearly are not daft, slow or stupid in the combat arts. They have learned how to fight (demonstrated learning!) and kill and in D&D settings, this is something to be respected. Intelligence is only one part of what we consider intelligence, and people will roleplay that different ways.

A low int high wis char may have plenty of set plans to deal with situations but never change or deviate from them. A low int high con char may be confident they can handle anything that is thrown at them, and they don't care what Faranziah with all his knowledge skills has to say about it. Thanks to hp, con and fort, they might even be right. I have also found how intelligent a character seems is dependent on how successful they have been and how many checks they are passing. Of course even low int chars can have good days. If you solve the problem, survive, prosper and succeed, you can seem like a masterful genius, regardless of your actual int stat.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

The trouble comes when the DM sees me role-play my Cha 7 PC as a smokin' hot 16 appearance, they accuse me of NOT ROLE-PLAYING MY LOW SCORE because they haven't noticed me playing my personality 4, my magnetism of 5 or my leadership of 3.

What if the player role plays all four aspects as 16? Should it be a problem then?


My last character was an Int based sorcerer (Sage archetype) with low charisma, who had great bluff and diplomacy, thanks to that trait that give you +Int to diplomacy and Bluff instead of charisma.

I roleplayed him exactly like Sheldon Cooper, from Big Bang Theory. Nobody could win him in an argument, ever, and he is very convincing by a combination of stubborness and unbeatable reason-based arguments. However, nobody would go out with him to take a beer, because it is just impossible to stay around him without hating him.

It was a great character with a very fun personality to play


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Orthos wrote:
I've honestly been tempted to do away with both point buy and rolling for stats, and give a shot at "Just pick the stats you think represent the character you want to play, I'll give them a once-over before we begin to make sure nobody's going in with 6 18s or something else ridonkulous like that".
This would be the best way for someone who wants to play a particular character idea. If that character idea needs a little better stats then usual, say equivalent of a 30 point buy, I'd just give that amount to the other players as well.

I've played that way for years.

I would be hard pressed to go that route in a game like this. Frankly the numbers are a little TOO close to really have the discernable difference.

Now... I DID do that all the time in the Marvel Super Hero TSR game. A superhero is pretty much all concept, and those random charts created some serious freaks.

There is so much comparison and charts detailing what every rank of every stat actually means, that modeling the character was pretty easy. Add in the nigh-impossibilty of leveling up, and your starting stats were PRETTY important.

Here?

It's usually more of what stat is 'less' important... but still improvable. The difference between 12 and 13 is unnoticable... so why NOT pick the 13? hit level 4 and it can go up, get some gear, they go up... what starts as 16 ends in the 20's... yet your still playing the same 'concept' character you 'picked' the stats for.

Shadow Lodge

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Orthos wrote:
I've honestly been tempted to do away with both point buy and rolling for stats, and give a shot at "Just pick the stats you think represent the character you want to play, I'll give them a once-over before we begin to make sure nobody's going in with 6 18s or something else ridonkulous like that".
This would be the best way for someone who wants to play a particular character idea. If that character idea needs a little better stats then usual, say equivalent of a 30 point buy, I'd just give that amount to the other players as well.

I've played that way for years.

No DM should force, or even expect, a player to role-play a low stat exactly how the DM would play it!

If there is a PC with a low stat, it's easy to seek inspiration from the stat itself:-

Intelligence governs how your PC learns and reasons.

Wisdom governs your PC's willpower, common sense, awareness and intuition.

Charisma measures your PC's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance.

Although it's possible to role-play a low score by deciding that your PC is poor in every single area governed by that stat, real people (and, therefore, a well realised PC) will be stronger than his score suggests in some areas, weaker than the score suggests in other areas, and maybe average in another. It's just that they average out at the final score.

So a Cha 7 may be a 7 in personality, magnetism, leadership and appearance.

Or may be a 4 in personality, 5 in magnetism, 3 in leadership but a smokin' hot 16 in appearance!

Or two 3s and two 11s. Or whatever! But the choice belongs to the player not the DM!

The trouble comes when the DM sees me role-play my Cha 7 PC as a smokin' hot 16 appearance, they accuse me of NOT ROLE-PLAYING MY LOW SCORE because they haven't noticed me playing my personality 4, my magnetism of 5 or my leadership of 3.

So if your player turns up with a low mental score, to put your mind at rest, simply ask him before play...

The problem I see with this is that your willing to roleplay the ability score with the higher number but are you willing to get the penality for the lower numbers? If your going to break the number into more numbers then your going to have to except the good with the bad.

My opinion on why I dont think this way works.

Silver Crusade

Jacob Saltband wrote:
The problem I see with this is that your willing to roleplay the ability score with the higher number but are you willing to get the penality for the lower numbers? If your going to break the number into more numbers then your going to have to except the good with the bad.

This is about role-playing exactly how my Int/Wis/Cha is the score it is in any particular character, rather than being forced to conform with someone else's explanation of a score.

The mechanics are always based on the actual score. I cannot choose to take extra magnetism penalties on my rolls any more than I can choose to gain appearance bonuses on other rolls.

Silver Crusade

Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

The trouble comes when the DM sees me role-play my Cha 7 PC as a smokin' hot 16 appearance, they accuse me of NOT ROLE-PLAYING MY LOW SCORE because they haven't noticed me playing my personality 4, my magnetism of 5 or my leadership of 3.

What if the player role plays all four aspects as 16? Should it be a problem then?
As I previously wrote:
So if your player turns up with a low mental score, to put your mind at rest, simply ask him before play starts how HE envisions that low score in the above terms, and let him explain in his own words just how that weakness manifests in that particular character.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
This is about role-playing exactly how my Int/Wis/Cha is the score it is in any particular character, rather than being forced to conform with someone else's explanation of a score.

This would make sense if you had planned ahead of time to do this (before stats are rolled or PB is determined.) "Hey GM, my character's concept is that while he has a very poor charisma, it is actually manifested in the fact that he cannot lead, has no magnetism, but is actually quite good looking."

If a player brought that to me, I'd say sure. Give yourself a 5 Charisma or whatever you think is appropriate to RP a "very poor charisma", and then roll for your other stats.

The problem is when it comes about AFTER the rolling of stats (or, after the determination to dump for PB.)

For example:

Player A: "Crap, I rolled a 5, guess I'll put that in Charisma."
Player B: "Great, so we have the guy that got hit by the ugly stick in our party."
Player A: "No! My character is actually really good looking, he's just not able to lead and has poor magnetism."

At which point it really feels like an attempt to ignore the negative that you just rolled.

Silver Crusade

Tormsskull wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
This is about role-playing exactly how my Int/Wis/Cha is the score it is in any particular character, rather than being forced to conform with someone else's explanation of a score.

This would make sense if you had planned ahead of time to do this (before stats are rolled or PB is determined.) "Hey GM, my character's concept is that while he has a very poor charisma, it is actually manifested in the fact that he cannot lead, has no magnetism, but is actually quite good looking."

If a player brought that to me, I'd say sure. Give yourself a 5 Charisma or whatever you think is appropriate to RP a "very poor charisma", and then roll for your other stats.

The problem is when it comes about AFTER the rolling of stats (or, after the determination to dump for PB.)

For example:

Player A: "Crap, I rolled a 5, guess I'll put that in Charisma."
Player B: "Great, so we have the guy that got hit by the ugly stick in our party."
Player A: "No! My character is actually really good looking, he's just not able to lead and has poor magnetism."

Why is the timing of this a problem in any way at all!

I've been rolling a set of six stats for 35 years (unless I simply choose whatever I want with no reference to a 'point-buy' whatsoever). I roll six stats, see what I get, work out what kind of PC I can make with that set, assign the scores to the abilities, and create my PC by going backwards and forwards between the mechanics I choose and the growing concept. One part of that is imagining what my PC is like, bearing in mind the mechanics. All of them, not just ability scores. If I do have a low mental score, I try to work out why the score is low, and how living with that affects my PC. So one PC might be good-looking but a total jerk, another might be like Adolf H. who had magnetism and leadership in bucketloads but was butt-ugly, etc. etc.

Why is this process unacceptable on the grounds that I rolled the dice first?

Quote:
At which point it really feels like an attempt to ignore the negative that you just rolled.

Then the problem lies with you. You're choosing to see the player's decisions in the worst possible light, with no justification beyond the fact that you would play those scores a different way. You're choosing to see the very lowest motives, making assumptions of cheating, getting round the rules, ignoring low scores, without even asking the player how he sees those scores in relation to his role-play.

You're deciding he's guilty of all these things before you know the whole story.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Why is the timing of this a problem in any way at all!

Because the timing shows intent. If we all sit down to roll ability scores, some people are going to roll well, some are going to roll average, and some are going to roll poor.

If you roll poor, but then RP your stats as if they aren't poor, it seems like you're being a poor sport and refusing the accept that the dice weren't good to you.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
If I do have a low mental score, I try to work out why the score is low, and how living with that affects my PC.

Okay, so why can't the "why the score is low" be "because your character sucks at that?"

Why does it always have to be a "but?" Yeah, I've got a real low Charisma, but I'm actually good looking. Or I've got a real low intelligence, but I'm actually a genius.

Why can't you simply accept that low stat, and then work up a character's RP that embraces that low stat and represents that low stat without having to special snowflake it?

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Aaaaaaaand this thread is on the merrygoround again. I'm out.

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