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


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Shadow Lodge

Irontruth wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

I actually prefer talking in reality, instead of hypothetical. I wasn't doubting that you've seen it happen, but rather trying to find footing for the discussion.

So, how do you improve that problem? How do you provide guidance at the table to improve how people roleplay?

This is a tough question to answer. In what way are you looking for improvement?

If you have someone who is not interested in RP its hard to get one like this interested, you can hope that eventually, with examples from the other players RPing their characters, he'll start to join in the RP.

If you have someone who is just having a hard time deciding the best way to RP their character, maybe just talking about what their idea of their character is could help them. Once you know what their character is like you might have some ideas to offer.

Is this some of the things you wanted to discuss. If not maybe more info could help us.

I'm not the one who is talking about something that is wrong. I don't have a problem with RP'ing ability scores at my table.

I wasnt trying to imply you had problems but the way you worded your queation I thought you were asking to info on how try and get players to roleplay better or more.


Jacob Saltband wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

I actually prefer talking in reality, instead of hypothetical. I wasn't doubting that you've seen it happen, but rather trying to find footing for the discussion.

So, how do you improve that problem? How do you provide guidance at the table to improve how people roleplay?

This is a tough question to answer. In what way are you looking for improvement?

If you have someone who is not interested in RP its hard to get one like this interested, you can hope that eventually, with examples from the other players RPing their characters, he'll start to join in the RP.

If you have someone who is just having a hard time deciding the best way to RP their character, maybe just talking about what their idea of their character is could help them. Once you know what their character is like you might have some ideas to offer.

Is this some of the things you wanted to discuss. If not maybe more info could help us.

I'm not the one who is talking about something that is wrong. I don't have a problem with RP'ing ability scores at my table.
I wasnt trying to imply you had problems but the way you worded your queation I thought you were asking to info on how try and get players to roleplay better or more.

Well, I'm always open to more ideas, but in this case I was more prodding to get at actual things people have done to address this issue, other than talk about it in the hypothetical on a message board.

Shadow Lodge

Maybe a little off topic.

How do you see roleplaying high mental ability scores?
Seems from alot of posts in various threads that some dont want to roleplay low ability scores, though personally I think it easier to roleplay low ability scores.
How do the players you play with potray high ability scores in roleplay?


Jacob Saltband wrote:
Seems from alot of posts posted by Jacob Saltband in various threads that some dont want to roleplay low ability scores,

Fixed for you.

Quote:
How do the players you play with potray high ability scores in roleplay?

Badly. How often do 25 INT wizards prepare fireball? If they were roleplaying their intelligence score properly the answer would be "never," but fireball remains a popular spell.

Shadow Lodge

137ben wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Seems from alot of posts posted by Jacob Saltband in various threads that some dont want to roleplay low ability scores,

Fixed for you.

Quote:
How do the players you play with potray high ability scores in roleplay?
Badly. How often do 25 INT wizards prepare fireball? If they were roleplaying their intelligence score properly the answer would be "never," but fireball remains a popular spell.

To be factual I've never said I had a problem playing a low ability score, and there are more threads then 3 0r 4 I've personally started. Do a search and you will find this discussion has been going on far longer then I've been involved with this forum.

So 137ben, that had been an attempt at humor it wasnt a good one.


Jacob Saltband wrote:
137ben wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Seems from alot of posts posted by Jacob Saltband in various threads that some dont want to roleplay low ability scores,

Fixed for you.

Quote:
How do the players you play with potray high ability scores in roleplay?
Badly. How often do 25 INT wizards prepare fireball? If they were roleplaying their intelligence score properly the answer would be "never," but fireball remains a popular spell.

To be factual I've never said I had a problem playing a low ability score, and there are more threads then 3 0r 4 I've personally started. Do a search and you will find this discussion has been going on far longer then I've been involved with this forum.

So 137ben, that had been an attempt at humor it wasnt a good one.

It was not an attempt at humor at all, there was nothing humorous about it.

Anyways, I answered your question.

Silver Crusade

I find you can fix both the "rollplay low stats" and "rollplay high stats" by the same process: let all the players participate with their thoughts, then attribute them to the highest statted character or two. This frequently happens in my games with diplomacy characters. The players as a group formulate the perfect speech full of the appropriate compliments and key points, then the diplomacy character rolls diplomacy for "their" amazing speech.

Shadow Lodge

137ben wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
137ben wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Seems from alot of posts posted by Jacob Saltband in various threads that some dont want to roleplay low ability scores,

Fixed for you.

Quote:
How do the players you play with potray high ability scores in roleplay?
Badly. How often do 25 INT wizards prepare fireball? If they were roleplaying their intelligence score properly the answer would be "never," but fireball remains a popular spell.

To be factual I've never said I had a problem playing a low ability score, and there are more threads then 3 0r 4 I've personally started. Do a search and you will find this discussion has been going on far longer then I've been involved with this forum.

So 137ben, that had been an attempt at humor it wasnt a good one.

It was not an attempt at humor at all, there was nothing humorous about it.

Anyways, I answered your question.

So then what your saying buy your post is that you personally have an issue with me in some way?

Shadow Lodge

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Riuken wrote:
I find you can fix both the "rollplay low stats" and "rollplay high stats" by the same process: let all the players participate with their thoughts, then attribute them to the highest statted character or two. This frequently happens in my games with diplomacy characters. The players as a group formulate the perfect speech full of the appropriate compliments and key points, then the diplomacy character rolls diplomacy for "their" amazing speech.

This is one of the ways the group I play with handles things.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In all honesty role-playing your stats doesn't make a lick of sense to me. The stats are a numerical representation of the raw talent or ability that a character has.

The doesn't mean the character can't think themselves better than they are at something.

I regularly play low Cha characters, I regularly play these characters as if they had a high Cha, I regularly fail rolls to support my attempts at bluffing, intimidating, diplomacy. It makes for fun role play. I'm like the plan looking douche who thinks they are smooth, sexy, and silver tongued. My current rogue is like that. When he fails at a social skill check he justifies it by saying that the other person is being unreasonable. On the rare occasion that he succeeds at a social skill check he uses it as justification and further evidence of how awesome he is.

I have a low Int fighter who regular attempts to act like he knows far more than he does. He will make stuff up on the fly and act as if it is total fact. When someone else makes a successful knowledge check he usually replies with "I was just getting to that and would have said so if you have not interrupted me, but yes, in spite your rudeness you are correct" (because he also uses vocabulary wrong)

I have yet to make a particularly low Wis character and have no idea how I would role play that. My point is that you can role play however you want regardless of your stats. When the math and the rolls don't back it up it should be providing a player with an opportunity to role play further.

On a side note...what do people consider "low" or "high"


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Irontruth wrote:

I actually prefer talking in reality, instead of hypothetical. I wasn't doubting that you've seen it happen, but rather trying to find footing for the discussion.

So, how do you improve that problem? How do you provide guidance at the table to improve how people roleplay?

I really try to use the 'lead by example' method of encouraging Role-play. I actually love to introduce new people to the hobby. So how I would encourage Role-play depends on where I'm sitting in regards to the GM screen.

As a GM, I like to be involved in the character creation process and all the while I ask them a lot of questions about the character. I ask about their parents, alive or dead, and if dead how or why? I ask about siblings, I ask about why they decided to become whatever class they are or how it began. I ask them about their highest and lowest stat, not what the number is or why the player put it there, but more what resulted in the character having them that way. How they manifest in play, as the higher or lower someone's features are from the norm, the more they define the way others see/interact/associate with them.

As a player, I do it by example. I find a mindset, voice, and notable mannerisms that would be held by my PC, and when I do stuff in character I maintain these mannerisms. To that effect, when I make a character I ask myself the same questions I ask my players as a GM. This allows me to take on the role of my PC. I also look at their stats and try to determine how and why they are what they are. Is he strong from being a manual laborer, or from training. Are they Intelligent as quick thinker with a sharp wit, or because they were studious bookish types. I put all these things together to establish a personality.

I don't force anyone to play any stat any specific way. I encourage them to come up with a way to reflect the stats they have, the how and why they are what they are, and how that creates a complete person. The easiest way to accomplish this is by having positive quirks reflect the high stats, and negative quirks reflect the low stats. Overall this helps with everyone's immersion, when they don't have to know the other PC's numbers to know they may not want them to be the one that speaks for the group or makes the plans.


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mswbear wrote:

In all honesty role-playing your stats doesn't make a lick of sense to me. The stats are a numerical representation of the raw talent or ability that a character has.

I agree and disagree with this statement. It seems ridiculous to think that at character with a 7 strength would default to strength-based approaches to solving their problems. E.g. A portcullis is down, the character's first instinct shouldn't be to try and lift it. Instead, finding a way around or bribing someone to open it, would be more congruent with the character's makeup.

That said, I have a problem with certain stats. While you can mechanically separate INT and WIS, in reality, WIS is a factor of INT. You're not going to ever meet an extremely low INT individual that is capable of making good judgements, primarily because they lack the basic faculties to assess what their senses are telling them. The usual retort to this statement is something along the lines of "well hs has common sense, just not book smarts." But INT is not about book smarts or even knowledge. It's about the ability to learn and apply reason. WIS is basically the ability to apply valuation to the reason. i.e. Is this a good idea or not. However, I think we all know someone who is extremely bright that seems incapable of thinking about consequences. The game, however, allows for a low INT high WIS character, which introduces an impossible rp situation.

My main problem with forcing players to rp stats is that there isn't a good scale for what is acceptable per stat per value. What is the difference between a 7 and 8 INT, or 7 and 12 INT? I absolutely hate it when someone tells me that my character wouldn't have thought of something I stated in-character. If a roll can be applied to a character's action brought about by an idea, then let the character's stat stand on its own. I.e. I may say something that is completely correct (science/logic-wise) that is way over my characters INT of 7. Instead of stating that I wouldn't think of that, apply my INT mod to the a roll to see if I pull the action off successfully.

If anything, I would ask players to develop a persona for their characters and then encourage consistency in their rp for that persona.


Grey Lensman wrote:


...There isn't really one right way to play a low charisma character, but I don't expect the player to try and act the part of a suave lady's man when he has a CHA stat of 6.
...

Not a good recipe for making a lot of friends.

Whether you should enforce characters stats in rp is an old argument that is usually argued from the perspective that player has a higher stat than his character. e.g. I'm smarter than my character who has a 7 INT. (At least I hope I am. ;)

And taking that perspective means that the player has control of the rp and can limit the thoughts/statement/actions of his character. But what happens with the reverse is true? When the character is smarter/wiser/more charismatic than the player. How can you possibly enforce the obnoxious boob at the table to rp a charismatic paladin according to his stat?


Ralif wrote:
If anything, I would ask players to develop a persona for their characters and then encourage consistency in their rp for that persona.

This I agree with whole-heartedly, but then you add the below to enhance the idea.

Ralif wrote:
It seems ridiculous to think that at character with a 7 strength would default to strength-based approaches to solving their problems. E.g. A portcullis is down, the character's first instinct shouldn't be to try and lift it. Instead, finding a way around or bribing someone to open it, would be more congruent with the character's makeup.

Then you can also reason that someone with a 7 Int would not likely default to using intelligence-based approaches to solving their problems. Or someone with a 7 Chr would not likely default to using charisma-based approaches to solving their problems. The most common exception being that they specifically take measures, in character, to overcome their deficiency.

Ralif wrote:
The game, however, allows for a low INT high WIS character, which introduces an impossible rp situation.

I disagree with the idea it's impossible. Not many ways to do it, but not impossible. I had a character with low Int high Wis, and I played him as having a child-like mentality. He may have been told or raised knowing right from wrong, gotten bad feelings or rely on his intuition, but most of the time he didn't know why or wasn't able to resolve what bothered him about any situation. He couldn't articulate why it didn't feel or seem right, but it just didn't.

Look at animals, they are a good example in game of really low Int, but decent wisdom. Animals sense things, they can read the mood and nature of others, but they don't KNOW what's wrong.

Shadow Lodge

@Malachi Silverclaw,

I havent been able to find this thread and post you mentioned:

"As a dev (SKR?) was quoted as saying earlier, the (Cha) score is the quantity of that ability, not the quality that is the role-play part."

I've tried several different searches but I havent been able to get it, guess my search skill isnt good enough to locate it. ;-(


I think the whole issue can be appreached in two ways. Either you let players roleplay their stats or you let them ignore them in their roleplay and just let the dice speak for it.

In the example brought up on page 1 with the Cha and Int 7 gunslinger with no ranks in bluff and diplomacy. Let the player come up with complex arguments but also make him roll diplomacy for it. Then the dice are likely to decide that the gunslinger can't deliver his arguments convincingly and makes them more confusing.

I keep repeating this on threads like these, like a broken record player: There are actually rules to adress the roleplaying vs. stats disparity, giving you bonuses for convinving arguments/lies or penalties for unconvincing ones to your checks. With those rules even a high charisma character with max ranks in bluff can fail a bluff check easily, if they are just talking obvious nonsense.

(Some GMs might have had a player trying to bluff something completely nonsensical and obviously untrue, thinking that their bluff skill is the only thing they need for it to be convincing, because they never saw the table that gives -20 penalties to such things)


Threeshades wrote:
Let the player come up with complex arguments but also make him roll diplomacy for it.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that the mechanics should be changed. If you have a 5 Intelligence, you should still be suffering the penalty to all Intelligence-keyed skills.

The question is, what actually happens in the game world? If the player with the 5 Intelligence PC comes up with an incredibly complex plan and presents that to the other players/npcs, what actually happens in the game world?

Some people are suggesting that the great idea should simply be attributed to a different PC. So while player A came up with the idea OOC, IC you assume that player B's PC was the one that came up with it.

Other people are suggesting that while the player may have come up with this brilliant plan, it must then be filtered through the character, so the actual plan presented should be adjusted by the GM to something more appropriate to the character.

Another group of people seem to be saying it doesn't matter at all. If a player is running a PC with a 5 Intelligence, they can come up with amazing plans and that isn't a problem because a 5 Intelligence only affects the mechanics, nothing else.

Lastly, what I would advise, is to let the plan go through the first time, and then remind the player that their PC has a 5 Intelligence and shouldn't be coming up with brilliant plans. If the player balks, then have them explain what they think a 5 Intelligence represents. If what they envision and what I envision are completely different, try to iron out those differences.


I'm opposed to telling a player that his character couldn't come up with a brilliant plan because of a low INT. I know there have been times in my life where I have been pleasantly surprised by the suggestion of a dimwit. I think this type of situation would be represented in-game by a critical success. So automatically dismissing (no roll allowed) the actions of a pc because his stat is too low, doesn't account for such instances.

The problem comes in when the low INT pc suggests the brilliant plan and the necessary action to carry out the plan is then handed off to a more suitable pc, thereby getting around any negative modifier from the low INT pc. In this situation, I would impose a lost-in-translation modifier to the roll of the more suitable pc, carrying out the action.

Also, I absolutely hate the group-think method. I.e. Players discussing options ooc and then attributing the plan to the high INT character. IMHO this breeds meta-gaming, discourages rp and diminishes the role of the individual at the table. I see this all of the time when other players suggest more advantageous tactics during another player's turn in combat. Play your pc and let others play theirs.

I guess what it comes down to is whether or not the skill of the player actually matters. In all other games (poker, basketball, monopoly, etc...), personal skill determines how well you play versus others. Are RPGs so different that personal skill should have no bearing on the game?

Scarab Sages

Just once when metagaming was getting out of hand i made each person on a three by 5 card write out their next action. (i did give them a chance to write in a contingency plan one so really two actions) Because frankly their level of each round how do we optimize this conflict was dragging the fight along. (it wasn't even the big bad fight). I have been in combat with the army in afghanistan, communication in battle only goes so far. It stopped them from being able to have the low int high tactics guy explain to the high int, low tactics guy how they were going to do the intricate plan. I already know this will anger half the board. I think half the reason why combat can get sloggy is because i have seen quite a few people literally wait til their initiative to decide what the most optimum, (decided metagame-ish) ooc thing is for them to do that moment. No i dont mind new players who have to think about everything.

Also on the subject of the low int guy having good ideas, sure, it can happen, I woould be lying if i said the Army infantry was a fountain of highly intelligent people. But you know what they knew about tactics, literally what they were trained to do in response to certain stimuli. There was not a lot of thinking outside the sand table (or box for the laypersons here). Just my opinion of course, but those with a higher intellect would be more like to think outside that box than say, that 7 int fellow. YMMV


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ralif wrote:
I guess what it comes down to is whether or not the skill of the player actually matters. In all other games (poker, basketball, monopoly, etc...), personal skill determines how well you play versus others. Are RPGs so different that personal skill should have no bearing on the game?

I don't think I'd want to play with anyone who approaches collaborative storytelling in the same way they would competitive card/board games. ;) IMO, the underpinnings of group success in an RPG are built on trust, communication, and striving for a common goal, not reading/bluffing the others at the table and trying to best them.

Additionally, when the term "roleplaying" is attached to a game, a certain degree of abstraction, of emulating someone you are not, is implied. While that "certain degree" is going to vary from person to person and group to group, I'd wager all but the most gamist* groups expect at least some separation between player and character. And really, that's what all debates of this sort boil down to: expectations.

* "Gamist" being one of three commonly-identified RPG playstyles (i.e. Gamist, Narrativist, Simulationist).

Slight Derail:
Does anyone else tend to wish that we could divorce RPGs from the word "game"? Given the commonly uttered manta, "it's just a game," I've often felt that the word cheapens the experience somehow — particularly with respect to RP-heavy PbPs.


Laithoron wrote:

...

I don't think I'd want to play with anyone who approaches collaborative storytelling in the same way they would competitive card/board games. ;) IMO, the underpinnings of group success in an RPG are built on trust, communication, and striving for a common goal, not reading/bluffing the others at the table and trying to best them.

** spoiler omitted **

I certainly did not intend to impart the idea that players should be playing against each other as one would in a poker game. The player skills and collaboration I see would be more akin to basketball, where the players are all on the same team and GM/monsters are on the other team. While team members collaborate to win a victory, the individual skill of each member matters.

I agree with your statement regarding underpinnings. I just believe that the trust and communication should flow from the player through the pc to the other pcs and their players. Yes, some level of abstraction is required. But, where possible, I tend to reduce or remove the abstraction.

Silver Crusade

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Whatever way we play should work just as well with high scores as low scores.

Quote:
Lastly, what I would advise, is to let the plan go through the first time, and then remind the player that their PC has a 25 Intelligence and should be coming up with brilliant plans. If the player balks, then have them explain what they think a 25 Intelligence represents. If what they envision and what I envision are completely different, try to iron out those differences.

Does anyone berate their players for not coming up with a brilliant plan? If you don't, you shouldn't berate the players of low scores either.

If a real group of people had a range of intellects, ranging from 5 to 25, then that group will collectively be overwhelmingly likely to come up with a brilliant plan! Yet the group of players who play characters like these don't include anyone with Int 25. Even collectively, these players won't come up with as brilliant a plan as those characters would if they were real.

What people advocate is denying the group access to the plans made by an Int 14 player on the grounds that his PC has Int 5, while denying the player of the Int 25 PC access to those plans because his player only has Int 11. So we end up with Int 11 plans, when those characters would really have access to Int 25 plans, and you do it in the name of wanting the PCs played according to their intellect!


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Does anyone berate their players for not coming up with a brilliant plan? If you don't, you shouldn't berate the players of low scores either.

Berating seems quite an exaggeration on your part, but that aside, yes, characters with very high intelligence scores should be privy to information from the GM. A character that is incredibly smart should get benefits other than specifically what is laid out in the CRB.

If a player of a character with a 25 Intelligence made a decision or action that I thought to be not inline with their Intelligence (i.e. their character would know better,) then I would say something like "As you ponder that idea, you realize that it wouldn't be a great course of action to take because of x." They can still choose to do so, if they wish.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
What people advocate is denying the group access to the plans made by an Int 14 player on the grounds that his PC has Int 5, while denying the player of the Int 25 PC access to those plans because his player only has Int 11.

I think that is what you're falsely inferring. Every group is going to be comfortable with a different level of GM involvement in their character. I've had players say "My guy has an 18 Intelligence, wouldn't he have a pretty good idea of x." And usually I say "Yeah," and then give them that information.

Other players don't want the GM to give them tips or advice regardless of their character's Intelligence, because they want to think of the answers themselves.

Both ways work.


Tormsskull wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Does anyone berate their players for not coming up with a brilliant plan? If you don't, you shouldn't berate the players of low scores either.

Berating seems quite an exaggeration on your part, but that aside, yes, characters with very high intelligence scores should be privy to information from the GM. A character that is incredibly smart should get benefits other than specifically what is laid out in the CRB.

If a player of a character with a 25 Intelligence made a decision or action that I thought to be not inline with their Intelligence (i.e. their character would know better,) then I would say something like "As you ponder that idea, you realize that it wouldn't be a great course of action to take because of x." They can still choose to do so, if they wish.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
What people advocate is denying the group access to the plans made by an Int 14 player on the grounds that his PC has Int 5, while denying the player of the Int 25 PC access to those plans because his player only has Int 11.

I think that is what you're falsely inferring. Every group is going to be comfortable with a different level of GM involvement in their character. I've had players say "My guy has an 18 Intelligence, wouldn't he have a pretty good idea of x." And usually I say "Yeah," and then give them that information.

Other players don't want the GM to give them tips or advice regardless of their character's Intelligence, because they want to think of the answers themselves.

Both ways work.

...are you completely ignoring the possibility of one or more other players giving the high-int-character's player hints or ideas? It's possible for someone other than the GM to come up with ideas.

It sounds like you're saying that a player with a 25-INT character should be able to use ideas/plans handed to them by the GM, but not by the other players. Is that actually how you play or just what it sounds like?


Keep those riddles and puzzles out of the game, as those are player challenges and not character challenges. You can say there is a "riddle", but then just have the characters roll a check and tell them if they figured it out or not (whatever the "riddle" was).


Tormsskull wrote:
Threeshades wrote:
Let the player come up with complex arguments but also make him roll diplomacy for it.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that the mechanics should be changed. If you have a 5 Intelligence, you should still be suffering the penalty to all Intelligence-keyed skills.

The question is, what actually happens in the game world? If the player with the 5 Intelligence PC comes up with an incredibly complex plan and presents that to the other players/npcs, what actually happens in the game world?

Some people are suggesting that the great idea should simply be attributed to a different PC. So while player A came up with the idea OOC, IC you assume that player B's PC was the one that came up with it.

Other people are suggesting that while the player may have come up with this brilliant plan, it must then be filtered through the character, so the actual plan presented should be adjusted by the GM to something more appropriate to the character.

Another group of people seem to be saying it doesn't matter at all. If a player is running a PC with a 5 Intelligence, they can come up with amazing plans and that isn't a problem because a 5 Intelligence only affects the mechanics, nothing else.

Lastly, what I would advise, is to let the plan go through the first time, and then remind the player that their PC has a 5 Intelligence and shouldn't be coming up with brilliant plans. If the player balks, then have them explain what they think a 5 Intelligence represents. If what they envision and what I envision are completely different, try to iron out those differences.

There's a different way to handle that. If, as the GM, you keep the adventure more fluid and are willing to fly by the seat of your pants (which I find I have to do regardless of how much prep I do, because players are unpredictable), you simply have the player with the 5 Int roll to see how effective his plan is. Sure it sounds brilliant at first, but maybe there's an unknown flaw (to both you and the player), or unforeseen consequence. If they have an applicable Knowledge skill I'd use that, otherwise a straight Int roll.

As for keeping fluid, even if the plan SHOULD work, if the roll is bad, the GM adds a detail that prevents it from working properly. The creativity behind the plan triggers the roll, the roll measures success. If the plan was really good, leave it open to future success for another plan as a reward, or give partial success.


phantom1592 wrote:
I have never actually been in a game where a DM says "No... that's not how you play your character, he's to[o] dumb to know that, not pretty enough, not wise enough... to try XXXXX"

I have. It's a bit irritating, but often the correct call. Frankly, playing a low-intelligence character as a mastermind breaks verisimilitude for me, so I don't overly mind seeing people get called on it. Of course, I've never done such a thing. >:)

I haven't gone so far when DM as to disallow a character's action over this, but have asked a player, "Do you really think a character with Intelligence 7 would think of that?" Usually, players who (like bright, willful children) try to get away with whatever their ref allows, sheepishly grin and say, "Nah."

Quote:
If I have to chose between people acting like their character is better then the numbers will ever support.... or people actively sabotaging diplomacy/stealth/adventure stuff in the name of 'realism'... I'll go with the first one ;)

Uh uh. You're not "actively sabotaging" by honestly playing your character's intelligence or wisdom. You are, arguably, cheating by having your Intelligence 6 character consistently come up with brilliant plans and outwit his foes. That may be inconvenient, but ... tough. Don't dump your stats.

On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with having your low-intelligence character occasionally come up with a solution. Even a stopped clock is correct twice a day.

Quote:
Honestly, attitudes like that are the best reason to BAN dump stats.

Different perspective, same conclusion.

Quote:
How do you draw the line between being a 'little slower then average...' or a 'less likable than average' and being a complete moron or kender??

Come on. Are you trying to tell me you can't differentiate between the two?

But let's be honest, here. You can't entirely play high or low charisma, per se. People react to your charisma, so it's beholden on the DM to have his NPCs either love, like, or loathe you. If your DM is having his/her NPCs react to your Charisma 7 like Charisma 17, it usually means one of two things: Said DM is incompetent ...

... or you are providing real-world sexual favors and it's a quid pro quo.

Dumping stats and playing them as if normal or even high is a manifestation of the childish "I'm going to have my cake and eat it, too" mentality.

Silver Crusade

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DM: Come on, do you really think that a character with Int 25 would come up with such a stupid plan? Try again, and I won't accept any plan that wouldn't have been thought of by a character with 25 Int.

You might be there a while.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

DM: Come on, do you really think that a character with Int 25 would come up with such a stupid plan? Try again, and I won't accept any plan that wouldn't have been thought of by a character with 25 Int.

You might be there a while.

[Rolls eyes.]

That doesn't alter the fact that Intelligence 7 characters shouldn't be played as if they possessed genius-level IQs, no matter inconvenient it is to the players who dump stats because they want it all. The fact that the practice is widespread doesn't make it any less classless or dishonest.


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Jaelithe wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

DM: Come on, do you really think that a character with Int 25 would come up with such a stupid plan? Try again, and I won't accept any plan that wouldn't have been thought of by a character with 25 Int.

You might be there a while.

[Rolls eyes.]

That doesn't alter the fact that Intelligence 7 characters shouldn't be played as if they possessed genius-level IQs, no matter inconvenient it is to the players who dump stats because they want it all. The fact that the practice is widespread doesn't make it any less classless or dishonest.

Right and Int 25 characters shouldn't be played as if they possessed turnip-level IQs.

Unless a GM holds both of the spectrum to the same standard, then they are just be hypocritical.


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pres man wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

DM: Come on, do you really think that a character with Int 25 would come up with such a stupid plan? Try again, and I won't accept any plan that wouldn't have been thought of by a character with 25 Int.

You might be there a while.

[Rolls eyes.]

That doesn't alter the fact that Intelligence 7 characters shouldn't be played as if they possessed genius-level IQs, no matter inconvenient it is to the players who dump stats because they want it all. The fact that the practice is widespread doesn't make it any less classless or dishonest.

Right and Int 25 characters shouldn't be played as if they possessed turnip-level IQs.

Unless a GM holds both of the spectrum to the same standard, then they are just be hypocritical.

And the same would go for a player as well. If you treat every character as having high stats regardless of what is on your sheet, if you play them the same regardless of what you roll or buy, then why bother to do so in the first place? Just play what you want and disregard what is written. Not every character has to be the prettiest, smartest, strongest, fastest and come up with the best answers.


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knightnday wrote:
And the same would go for a player as well. If you treat every character as having high stats regardless of what is on your sheet, if you play them the same regardless of what you roll or buy, then why bother to do so in the first place? Just play what you want and disregard what is written. Not every character has to be the prettiest, smartest, strongest, fastest and come up with the best answers.

Because there are actual game mechanics involved. I mean Int effects how many skill points you have for example. Playing an Int 7 character as intellectually effective but taking a -2 penalty to Int related game mechanics isn't cheating despite what some might think. Cheating would be not applying the -2 penalty to those game mechanics.


Part of what I'm use to is providing advice to a player who has a character smarter than they are.

This is recognized as ooc because it is -- I'm helping the player -- my character isn't talking or doing anything.

It is then up to that player to have his character act accordingly. My character (if dumber) is going to do something in lines with his intelligence and over all problem solving skills (sometimes it's Fighter killing the crap out of something because his brain told him it would be faster).

occasionally when I've played a lower intelligence character and we having an issue with solving a problem I'll suggest a part of the solution -- like, "it seems like a rope should be helpful here" but leaving how the rope will be useful to someone else to figure out.


Here's a concept from Burning Wheel:

When you roll the equivalent of a knowledge skill in that game, prior to rolling you state what your character knows. Then you roll...

Success: it's true and will have beneficial consequences
Failure: it's false and will have harmful consequences

You can use game mechanics to make impact the game and enforce certain concepts. Less intelligent characters are less likely to have useful facts or skills that will solve problems. This is reinforced in the mechanics because you have lower knowledge skills and fewer skills.

Odds are, most characters with 7 Int probably haven't invested in very many knowledge skills anyways. Implement mechanics to reinforce the style of game you want and this problem becomes non-existent.


pres man wrote:
Because there are actual game mechanics involved.

Some of us think that role-playing is just as important if not more important than the mechanics of the game. Thus allowing a player to play an Int 7 character as incredibly smart is, to us, the equivalent of not applying the -2 to a roll.


Tormsskull wrote:
Some of us think that role-playing is just as important if not more important than the mechanics of the game.

Sure -- no disagreement. Where I disagree is when you claim that gives the DM the right to tell the players exactly how they're "supposed to" roleplay. As DM, I might suggest things, but I sure as hell don't tell them, or else what's the point of even having players? Just run all the characters yourself.

Silver Crusade

Quote:
Some of us think that role-playing is just as important if not more important than the mechanics of the game. Thus allowing a player to play an Int 27 character as not incredibly smart is, to us, the equivalent of not applying the +8 to a roll.

How do you enforce the 'correct' playing of Int 27? If you can't, it's inconsistent to enforce the 'correct' playing of Int 7.

Given that, and given the infinite possibilities of personality, and given that no-one should tell someone else the 'correct' way to role-play their character, the answer is simply to divorce the decisions of the player from the stats of their character, and let the player choose to modify their play based on stats any way they want, including not modifying their play at all.

I think that those people who just play themselves, no matter what character they play, as missing out on part of the fun of this hobby. But it's not my decision to make; it's theirs. You can encourage, but not enforce. It's no skin off your nose; they won't gain any actual advantage in game mechanics, and if you take agency from the player then you might as well play with your imaginary friends so you can make all the decisions for everyone.


Irontruth wrote:

When you roll the equivalent of a knowledge skill in that game, prior to rolling you state what your character knows. Then you roll...

Success: it's true and will have beneficial consequences
Failure: it's false and will have harmful consequences

Something isn't right there. If I say that my Int 3 character knows there is a BBEG -- or at least some villains, somewhere -- when I fail the check, do they magically disappear and we win the game?

Shadow Lodge

To me the argument that "you dont ask the high ability score to roleplayed so why are you asking the low ability score to roleplayed" is a bad argument. It is infinity harder to roleplay above the PLAYERS ability then it is to roleplay below it.

Of course this is my opinion, others may feel differently on this.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

When you roll the equivalent of a knowledge skill in that game, prior to rolling you state what your character knows. Then you roll...

Success: it's true and will have beneficial consequences
Failure: it's false and will have harmful consequences

Something isn't right there. If I say that my Int 3 character knows there is a BBEG -- or at least some villains, somewhere -- when I fail the check, do they magically disappear and we win the game?

That could make a heck of a capstone ability right there.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

When you roll the equivalent of a knowledge skill in that game, prior to rolling you state what your character knows. Then you roll...

Success: it's true and will have beneficial consequences
Failure: it's false and will have harmful consequences

Something isn't right there. If I say that my Int 3 character knows there is a BBEG -- or at least some villains, somewhere -- when I fail the check, do they magically disappear and we win the game?

I would say no. Even a busted clock is right twice a day. Your character essentially guessed and was correct. So the DC was so low that a 3 actually succeeded.

You've touched on what I see as another failing of the game, or at least of the way people tend to play it. I accept that a player should know when they succeed or fail at a physical action. I have a problem with knowing success/failure based on the die roll, for sensory/knowledge checks. E.g. You check for secret doors and roll a 2. You the player know you failed but your character should believe that no secret door exists rather than think they can't find one but they suspect one is present. This extends to your fellow players who often wait to see the result of your roll before declaring that their characters will give it try.

What I would give for a table that concealed players rolls from other players, but not the GM.

Sorry if this is a bit tangential to the original post.


mswbear wrote:

In all honesty role-playing your stats doesn't make a lick of sense to me. The stats are a numerical representation of the raw talent or ability that a character has.

The doesn't mean the character can't think themselves better than they are at something.

I regularly play low Cha characters, I regularly play these characters as if they had a high Cha, I regularly fail rolls to support my attempts at bluffing, intimidating, diplomacy. It makes for fun role play. I'm like the plan looking douche who thinks they are smooth, sexy, and silver tongued. My current rogue is like that. When he fails at a social skill check he justifies it by saying that the other person is being unreasonable. On the rare occasion that he succeeds at a social skill check he uses it as justification and further evidence of how awesome he is.

I have a low Int fighter who regular attempts to act like he knows far more than he does. He will make stuff up on the fly and act as if it is total fact. When someone else makes a successful knowledge check he usually replies with "I was just getting to that and would have said so if you have not interrupted me, but yes, in spite your rudeness you are correct" (because he also uses vocabulary wrong)

I have yet to make a particularly low Wis character and have no idea how I would role play that. My point is that you can role play however you want regardless of your stats. When the math and the rolls don't back it up it should be providing a player with an opportunity to role play further.

On a side note...what do people consider "low" or "high"

Yeah, the dice say what they will, you as a player can attempt whatever you can think of. Definitely agree with you here.

Ha ha, I like the I was just getting to that. This guy is riding the bluff ALL the time aren't they?


Ralif wrote:
mswbear wrote:

In all honesty role-playing your stats doesn't make a lick of sense to me. The stats are a numerical representation of the raw talent or ability that a character has.

I agree and disagree with this statement. It seems ridiculous to think that at character with a 7 strength would default to strength-based approaches to solving their problems. E.g. A portcullis is down, the character's first instinct shouldn't be to try and lift it. Instead, finding a way around or bribing someone to open it, would be more congruent with the character's makeup.

That said, I have a problem with certain stats. While you can mechanically separate INT and WIS, in reality, WIS is a factor of INT. You're not going to ever meet an extremely low INT individual that is capable of making good judgements, primarily because they lack the basic faculties to assess what their senses are telling them. The usual retort to this statement is something along the lines of "well hs has common sense, just not book smarts." But INT is not about book smarts or even knowledge. It's about the ability to learn and apply reason. WIS is basically the ability to apply valuation to the reason. i.e. Is this a good idea or not. However, I think we all know someone who is extremely bright that seems incapable of thinking about consequences. The game, however, allows for a low INT high WIS character, which introduces an impossible rp situation.

My main problem with forcing players to rp stats is that there isn't a good scale for what is acceptable per stat per value. What is the difference between a 7 and 8 INT, or 7 and 12 INT? I absolutely hate it when someone tells me that my character wouldn't have thought of something I stated in-character. If a roll can be applied to a character's action brought about by an idea, then let the character's stat stand on its own. I.e. I may say something that is completely correct (science/logic-wise) that is way over my characters INT of 7. Instead of stating that I...

Yeah, I've run into that "you can't make the plan because one of your mental stats isn't high" argument before. My response is usually, it is not that complex a plan and we have been fapping about wasting a lot of time.

I've never read the rule that you cannot plan an action unless you have 13+ int. Maybe one day it will be in.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

When you roll the equivalent of a knowledge skill in that game, prior to rolling you state what your character knows. Then you roll...

Success: it's true and will have beneficial consequences
Failure: it's false and will have harmful consequences

Something isn't right there. If I say that my Int 3 character knows there is a BBEG -- or at least some villains, somewhere -- when I fail the check, do they magically disappear and we win the game?

Well, first off we're already talking about things that don't exist. Nothing is present except for what we declare to be present.

So, if you state:

"Lord Soth is the evil behind this" and fail the roll, guess what, I as the GM can still insert any other villain I choose that makes sense. Lord Soth could still be part of it, but maybe something even worse is pulling his strings. I did say "negative consequences" after all.

As a GM, I am not beholden to my notes.


Ralif wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

When you roll the equivalent of a knowledge skill in that game, prior to rolling you state what your character knows. Then you roll...

Success: it's true and will have beneficial consequences
Failure: it's false and will have harmful consequences

Something isn't right there. If I say that my Int 3 character knows there is a BBEG -- or at least some villains, somewhere -- when I fail the check, do they magically disappear and we win the game?

I would say no. Even a busted clock is right twice a day. Your character essentially guessed and was correct. So the DC was so low that a 3 actually succeeded.

You've touched on what I see as another failing of the game, or at least of the way people tend to play it. I accept that a player should know when they succeed or fail at a physical action. I have a problem with knowing success/failure based on the die roll, for sensory/knowledge checks. E.g. You check for secret doors and roll a 2. You the player know you failed but your character should believe that no secret door exists rather than think they can't find one but they suspect one is present. This extends to your fellow players who often wait to see the result of your roll before declaring that their characters will give it try.

What I would give for a table that concealed players rolls from other players, but not the GM.

Sorry if this is a bit tangential to the original post.

You can partially solve this with negative consequences.

The party is searching for secret doors but fails horribly. Instead of never being able to find the secret door, they find it, but now there's a monster/trap involved. Or the McGuffin device is now missing.

This approach works better if you don't have the philosophy of "roll for EVERYTHING". If dice rolls (outside of combat) are rarer, it can work great as it overall raises the stakes of every roll. It also relieves the potential of halts in the story due to failed rolls, though you might miss out on some problem solving when a failed roll leads to inventive thinking for an alternate solution, but that can be retained by just adding complications to situations, example:

The thief is picking a lock and fails. Instead of just saying "No, it doesn't work" you could say "you're making progress... by the way, you hear a guard coming and he'll be here before you finish".


No, they find the trapped secret door, which leads to a lever which opens the real secret door. The lever is also trapped.


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OOOH Gotcha games! I love gotcha games!

Know what I learned about Gotcha games like this, tic-tac-toe and thermonuclear warfare?

The only way to win is to not play.

Because I finally learned after way too many bad GMs that at the end of the day I am the ultimate ball -- and I can always take myself and go home.

No seriously though -- one of the worse ideas I have ever heard of. Altering things for the better or worse just because someone speaks up is simply asking for bad juju. In my book of tips and rules for myself as a GM that's up there in the top five of things not to do. Right after screw you gifts, but before GMPCs.

Silver Crusade

Or the DM makes your roll in secret for you (using your modifiers), and says if you find anything or not.


Abraham spalding wrote:

OOOH Gotcha games! I love gotcha games!

Know what I learned about Gotcha games like this, tic-tac-toe and thermonuclear warfare?

The only way to win is to not play.

Because I finally learned after way too many bad GMs that at the end of the day I am the ultimate ball -- and I can always take myself and go home.

No seriously though -- one of the worse ideas I have ever heard of. Altering things for the better or worse just because someone speaks up is simply asking for bad juju. In my book of tips and rules for myself as a GM that's up there in the top five of things not to do. Right after screw you gifts, but before GMPCs.

Are you under the assumption that I'm doing so purely at my whim? If so, you would be mistaken.

Let's say I've designed a castle, but I didn't design a secret entrance to it. When the player asks "Hey, is there a secret entrance?" I have them figure out a way to answer that question... finding an NPC, rolling knowledge checks, perception, the what is determined by the method they describe.

Instead of pre-determining my answer ("No") I let the die rolls play out. After a good roll (or multiple if this is really important), there might indeed be one that I, as the GM, was unaware of prior to the start of the session. As the GM, I let the players and their ideas help lead me as I present the world to them. Good rolls have good outcomes. Bad rolls have bad ones.

You're right in that it can be a double-edged sword. If I'm not doing a good job of "reading the room" in regards to judging what my players do and don't like, it can have bad results. The same can be said for pre-planned things though, if you make stuff your players don't like, it probably won't go well.

The hard part is maintaining logical consistency, so you don't want to go against things that are already established. This is where good note taking and session recaps help a lot. I put my players in charge of session recaps, they write up a summary of each session that everyone can refer too, so then I just need to write other little details down and keep track of changes behind the scenes.

For me, the important part is the fun of the moment. I enjoy the idea of a long, though out story, but I'm not a professional writer and players rarely stay on track anyways, that it isn't my first priority. My first priority is creating engaging scenes that are fun for me and my players. Everything else is either secondary, or a tool for helping to make that happen.

I often find that when I plan things out concretely, it goes poorly. The sessions just aren't that much fun for me, or my players. When I focus my energy on just starting things out and seeing where the players go from there, it ends up much better, people are more animated and engaged, myself included.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Where I disagree is when you claim that gives the DM the right to tell the players exactly how they're "supposed to" roleplay.

Where do I claim that?

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
How do you enforce the 'correct' playing of Int 27?

Pretty easily. Your character is incredibly smart. Your character is going to know a lot of stuff about a lot of things. If you try to RP your character as a simpleton that cannot read or write, I'm going to question how that makes any sense.

Its not Int 5 = you must RP like this.
Int 27 = you must RP like this.

It's Int 5 you cannot RP like Int 18, and
Int 27 you cannot RP like Int 5.

Irontruth wrote:
Instead of pre-determining my answer ("No") I let the die rolls play out. After a good roll (or multiple if this is really important), there might indeed be one that I, as the GM, was unaware of prior to the start of the session. As the GM, I let the players and their ideas help lead me as I present the world to them. Good rolls have good outcomes. Bad rolls have bad ones.

There's a line between playing make believe and playing a table top RPG. This method would seem to make that line very thin.

Are the players aware that the world alters based on their rolls?

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