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


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So I've seen a lot of threads suggesting that if you have a low stat then you should act a certain way, or that you are lacking in said stat in all ways without exception.

One example often cited is charisma. If you have a low charisma you are understandably not a people's person (even though you may be a people person), but does that mean you are ugly, unlikable, shy, off-putting, and a jerk all at the same time -- or could you not be one of those?

If you are lacking in wisdom could it be that you are simply unaware and not strong of will while still having a certain amount of 'folksy wisdom' to you that you simply learn from your grangran?

I would argue that by not allowing such expressions and by forcing people into a strict interpretation of what each stat means people are actually acting in a way that will lead to players being overly concerned with their stats and numbers and correspondingly less concerned with their overall character concept to the point of wanting new numbers for things (including substats) to help make the numbers match what they want their character to be more.

I would suggest that allowing the numbers to be more... fuzzy on what they represent without negating the mechanical penalties involved with them can help people look past the numbers and develop more in depth characters.

I would also suggest allowing characters to invest in improving the flaws with skills, traits and feats is a good thing that can help GMs show improvement is possible even if it comes at cost and helps bring a more realistic bent to the game as a whole.

Thoughts?


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Many years ago, a couple of my friends and I had a very interesting conversation about how, in real life, real, whole people were a synergy of their Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. That is to say that being wise can help you to make more intelligent decisions, learning can make you wise, having wise things to say could help you come across better with people, etc., even if you weren't very outgoing or comely.

Charisma, Intelligence and Wisdom can hold each other up, and even bring each other up. That's closer to how a real person works.

The game, though, breaks those things down for various reasons. Some mechanical, some RP-centric. That's okay --- you're playing larger-than-life characters, so if some aspect of their personalities looms over the others, that's just part of the flavor and character of the story.

I play with a lot of old school gamers, so I never have to really "force" them to roleplay their stats. That was always just an accepted part of the game for most of us. One guy I game with has always sort of gone overboard, playing unwise characters as foolishly as possible, uncharismatic characters as repugnant and impossible to deal with, etc.

Others do the thing where they just sort of play straight forward without accentuating any particular trait. I suppose most players in other groups do that, too. Roleplay can sometimes be embarrassing, and I think people are sort of conditioned to just try to excel in every aspect of the game, even if their character is not particularly adept in some of those areas.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I think as long as a player strives to roleplay the stat in some manner that is fine.

For example if a player roleplays his low charisma character as being fairly good looking but painfully shy with little confidence that is fine - and will even allow for some amusing roleplaying moments if he gets chatted up by an NPC.

Shadow Lodge

Bump.


Abraham spalding wrote:
One example often cited is charisma. If you have a low charisma you are understandably not a people's person (even though you may be a people person), but does that mean you are ugly, unlikable, shy, off-putting, and a jerk all at the same time -- or could you not be one of those?

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.

One low cha character I played was a tiefling psychic rogue. She looked pretty nice and all, and could carry a decent conversation, but her appearance was certainly not natural, and she had an attitude that many of the rules of society were something for other people to follow, and by other people, she meant suckers.

Not a good recipe for making a lot of friends.


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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.

I say let them try. It'll probably look like this

Regardless of how the character may THINK he looks/acts... the dice still play a part. If he's got a -3 to all diplomacy and no ranks in any 'face' skills... then yeah, He's going home alone :P

Grey Lensman wrote:


One low cha character I played was a tiefling psychic rogue. She looked pretty nice and all, and could carry a decent conversation, but her appearance was certainly not natural, and she had an attitude that many of the rules of society were something for other people to follow, and by other people, she meant suckers.

Not a good recipe for making a lot of friends.

This exactly. I think we've all seen the girl who was just SMOKING Hot but an absolute stuck up JERK...

Charisma can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. and most of them are built into the rules. I know a lot of people like to just take the dice off the table for social encounters and RP it all out. But if your not going to USE the stats fcr what they are made for... then who really CARES what the number is.

Stats don't really tell you what a character CAN do. Only what the character is LIKELY to do. Sometimes the jerk gets the homecoming queen. Sometimes the idiot says JUST the right thing to solve the puzzle... but when you roll the dice a hundred times... the averages say the dumb guy with low charisma is LESS LIKELY to succeed at those skills.


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I agree OP. In my experience a lot of the people who bang that "roleplay" drum the loudest tend to be these character-sheet essentialists who think that your playstyle is circumscribed by your stats.

Also agree phantom1592's post. You can play the "lady's man" with low Charisma, it's entirely true to life.

Shadow Lodge

So the way some on this thread look at ability scores is that they are only used for game mechanic purposes and dont effect roleplay at all in any way. Is this correct?

If this is correct, why do the ability score discriptions have more the just game mechanic info?


Jacob Saltband wrote:
So the way some on this thread look at ability scores is that they are only used for game mechanic purposes and dont effect roleplay at all in any way.

If it's in the game it's affecting your roleplay, no? It's a role-playing-game.

There's plenty of people in real life who act like they're smart but don't have the "mechanics" to back it up. Same is true for strong, healthy, wise, charismatic, physically attractive, skilled, etc etc etc.


To answer the question in the thread title, yes. Of course it does. A follow up question is: is this desirable? Personally, when thinking about what I like about roleplaying games, I never think "I'm really excited for these 6 numbers to determine my character!" I'm interested in the gestalt of my character---which includes those 6 numbers---but I don't understand why we would want to privilege those 6 numbers over other aspects of the characters we roleplay.


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This is largely a question of mental stats, isn't it? Nobody expects you to demonstrate weight-lifting or sleight of hand at the table to justify using your Str or Dex. But you're not allowed to have a low Int unless you act like what the DM imagines low Int to be; you're not allowed to have a high Cha unless you play-act what the DM imagines high Cha to be; etc etc.

Shadow Lodge

So what your saying is yes, ability scores are only used for roll part of the gme and dont vome into play for role part.


Jacob Saltband wrote:
So what your saying is yes, ability scores are only used for roll part of the gme and dont vome into play for role part.

Saying the two are not easily seperable.


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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.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
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).

Liberty's Edge

If the GM lets the gunslinger get away with this through pure roleplay and not using the rules system (ie, the stats, skill points, feats) at all, then the problem lies with the GM.

My take on this eternal debate : low mental stats already put you at a disadvantage through game mechanics (just as low physical stats do).

I see no point in adding houserules disadvantages beyond that, even worse if it only affects low mental stats and not low physical stats.

Finally, I do not intend to force someone to play his character in a certain way and I would not look kindly on anyone trying to force me to play my character the way he thinks I should play it.
This holds true for concept, this holds true for alignment and this holds true for stats.

Shadow Lodge

At the same time, I'd like to point out that sometimes even the less intelligent can come up with really great ideas. So sometimes the brilliant idea coming from the character with an INT of 10 or less doesn't have to be dismissed out of hand.

Liberty's Edge

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Especially when the player of the INT 26 character just cannot come up with a brilliant idea ;-)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The black raven wrote:

If the GM lets the gunslinger get away with this through pure roleplay and not using the rules system (ie, the stats, skill points, feats) at all, then the problem lies with the GM.

My take on this eternal debate : low mental stats already put you at a disadvantage through game mechanics (just as low physical stats do).

I see no point in adding houserules disadvantages beyond that, even worse if it only affects low mental stats and not low physical stats.

Finally, I do not intend to force someone to play his character in a certain way and I would not look kindly on anyone trying to force me to play my character the way he thinks I should play it.
This holds true for concept, this holds true for alignment and this holds true for stats.

The difference, though, is that a player's physical stats have nothing to do with how their character plays (apart from adding time when the less dextrous among us continually roll dice off the edge of the table). An extremely strong player can't dump STR (reaping the mechanical benefit of more points to allocate elsewhere) and use the player's strength to solve problems in-game. That's not true of mental stats, and (as we probably all know by now) the issue is that the player who dumps mental stats and pays a game penalty but no role-playing "penalty" is seen to have gotten something for nothing.

IIRC, that was one of the points of the edition wars--that characters are more than the sum of their mechanics. That PF is allegedly superior as a system because it has built-in roleplaying elements that make it more than a miniatures wargame. Well, this is an extension of that argument--a character pays a mechanical penalty (in the miniatures wargame aspect of things), and (the argument goes) should also pay a penalty in the role-playing aspect of things.


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John Woodford wrote:
and (the argument goes) should also pay a penalty in the role-playing aspect of things.

Why should one pay a penalty in roleplaying? If you want to play a THOG SMASH PUNY ELF barbarian, that's perfectly fine. But if you don't, why should you be forced to just because you dumped Cha so you'd have a few more points in point-buy? Why should you be punished because you built a mechanically effective character? Usually, you want your character to live so that you can continue roleplaying them. A good way to ensure your character survives combat is to optimize them mechanically. Why should you be punished for that?

Especially since this yet again hurts martials while spellcasters are unaffected. First, it's the mental stats that are typically the point of contention here; even when people bring up physical stats, being able to lift slightly less weight has minimal impact on how you roleplay your character. Casters tend to have at least one high mental stat. And since they are more SAD, they can afford to not dump their other mental stats. You can easily make a human witch under 15 point-buy starting with 19 Int and still having all mental scores ≥10. Try making a monk under 15 point-buy with all mental scores ≥10.

So punishing players for their character having a low mental score limits what is allowed for martial characters while barely affecting casters. I suppose if your goal with this is to push your players away from playing martial classes, then isn't there an easier, more direct way to do that?


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
I suppose if your goal with this is to push your players away from playing martial classes, then isn't there an easier, more direct way to do that?

In other words "I'm going to play like this, regardless of what our group has determined the rules to be. As such, doesn't it make more sense to just give me my way?"


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Tormsskull wrote:
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
I suppose if your goal with this is to push your players away from playing martial classes, then isn't there an easier, more direct way to do that?
In other words "I'm going to play like this, regardless of what our group has determined the rules to be. As such, doesn't it make more sense to just give me my way?"

That is entirely not what I said. I mentioned this in another thread about essentially the same issue (the 7 point-buy thread), so I understand if you haven't seen it. But my position comes from the viewpoint of both a player and a DM. As a player, I want to play the character I want to play. As a DM, I want my players to play the characters they want to play. I'm not in the game of micromanaging their roleplaying decisions.

But anyway, my point with that sentence you quoted was if you're trying to get your players to not play martial classes, why not just tell them that? Rather than obfuscating your intent through this thing about low mental stats, just tell your players you want to run a game where everyone plays a spellcaster. I think being upfront and honest about your desires is important as a DM. That way, everyone is on the same page as regards what people want out of the game. This passive-aggressiveness about how players are allowed to roleplay their characters just comes off badly.


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
But anyway, my point with that sentence you quoted was if you're trying to get your players to not play martial classes, why not just tell them that? Rather than obfuscating your intent through this thing about low mental stats, just tell your players you want to run a game where everyone plays a spellcaster. I think being upfront and honest about your desires is important as a DM. That way, everyone is on the same page as regards what people want out of the game. This passive-aggressiveness about how players are allowed to roleplay their characters just comes off badly.

But clearly that is not the point of requiring people's role play to be within the bounds of the stats. No one is trying to get people to not pay martials and play spellcasters.

What you're saying is that it is so obvious that if players are forced to keep their role play within the bounds of their stats they will immediately decide to play a spellcaster. That is not the case. IME, people generally don't have a problem role playing within the bounds of their stats. Those that do just need to be reminded from time to time.


Don't people do this already?

Liberty's Edge

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Tormsskull wrote:
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
I suppose if your goal with this is to push your players away from playing martial classes, then isn't there an easier, more direct way to do that?
In other words "I'm going to play like this, regardless of what our group has determined the rules to be. As such, doesn't it make more sense to just give me my way?"

Not the way I read it at all.

If there are houserules about that and they are shared with the players BEFORE they create their characters, then all is well and good IMO.

If not, then it becomes surprise houseruled penalties that are used to enforce the GM's will on the player's PC. Not so well and good IMO.

And I agree 100% with VL that this will be far more detrimental to the players of martials than to the players of casters.

A player who has decided that his PC would draw on the awesome power of learned magic will also be able to play with finesse and give smart ideas, while the player who decided that his PC would concentrate on muscles and steel won't. I do not see much logic here, but just cause for frustration.


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Tormsskull wrote:
But clearly that is not the point of requiring people's role play to be within the bounds of the stats. No one is trying to get people to not pay martials and play spellcasters.

Even if that's not the intent, it is the effect. If I were to play with a GM who was gung ho about enforcing low mental stats in the roleplay in this way, I wouldn't play a barbarian. I'd instead play a character where I wouldn't get punished by this rule. That is, I'd play a caster. The alternative is to be constantly faced with frustration whenever the GM's idea of how to roleplay my character conflicts with my idea of how to roleplay my character.

Do you know what's not fun? The GM trying to tell you how you ought play your character. It's not fun when it's something like "your paladin wouldn't act like that because she's a paladin" or "I don't think a chaotic good character would act that way". It's not fun when it's "you should roleplay differently---an elf wouldn't act like that". It's not fun when it's "you shouldn't be roleplaying like that---your barbarian only has 7 Cha".


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Even if that's not the intent, it is the effect.

Its only the effect because you CHOOSE to make it the effect. You're refusing to abide by the rules of the group in this hypothetical situation. Hence my earlier comment.

Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Do you know what's not fun? The GM trying to tell you how you ought play your character.

Maybe your experiences are so vastly different from mine that we're simply coming from two different extremes. If it gets to the point when a GM has to tell a player that they're not playing it right, then I would assume (because my default assumption includes a non-moron GM) that the player is flagrantly violating their stats/back ground/etc.

I don't want to play in a group where a player can have a 5 Intelligence and be a military genius. I would expect the GM at the point to step in. If the player's response was "You don't get to tell me how to play my character." I would say "You're right. But that stats do. You have a 5 Intelligence. You're not a genius. Sorry."

It sounds to me like you'd prefer if the stats were not named. You just rolled them, and then wrote down the mechanics only. "Oh, I get a +2 to hit and damage creatures with melee weapons, great. Oh, I get 3 less skill ranks, that stinks."

That way you can play whatever kind of character you want and not worry at all what the stats say. Not my cup of tea, but not everyone has to play the same, luckily.


Tormsskull wrote:
but not everyone has to play the same, luckily.

That's the point! If one of my players wants to roleplay their character's Int of 7 in a certain way, they can do that and I'm not going to tell them how to play their character. Because we don't have to play the same. If they want to play their character differently than I would, that's okay! What I am opposed to is the GM trying to enforce everyone playing the same wrt how low mental stats determine roleplay.


Tormsskull wrote:
I don't want to play in a group where a player can have a 5 Intelligence and be a military genius. I would expect the GM at the point to step in. If the player's response was "You don't get to tell me how to play my character." I would say "You're right. But that stats do. You have a 5 Intelligence. You're not a genius. Sorry."

Is 5 Intelligence even legal, or would that be a houserule? I would accept a character with an intelligence penalty being an exceptional military tactician because there are plenty of people who are skilled, experienced, or talented in a narrow area (such as military tactics) while not necessarily having a great deal of general intelligence.

IRL look at the example of Stonewall Jackson, who was a good general but a poor student.

Shadow Lodge

Well, Profession (Soldier) checks would be Wisdom based, so.... =)


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
That's the point! If one of my players wants to roleplay their character's Int of 7 in a certain way, they can do that and I'm not going to tell them how to play their character. Because we don't have to play the same. If they want to play their character differently than I would, that's okay! What I am opposed to is the GM trying to enforce everyone playing the same wrt how low mental stats determine roleplay.

Consistency is important. If the group has decided that a 5 Intelligence is a very unintelligent person, then it is unfair for a player who ended up with a 5 Intelligence to simply ignore that aspect because they don't want to play a low Intelligence character. The solution is to move that 5 somewhere else, or if your stats are atrocious on the whole, ask for a new roll or what not.


Tormsskull wrote:
Consistency is important.
Why?
Tormsskull wrote:
If the group has decided that a 5 Intelligence is a very unintelligent person, then it is unfair for a player who ended up with a 5 Intelligence to simply ignore that aspect because they don't want to play a low Intelligence character.

Why is that unfair?


Tormsskull wrote:
Consistency is important. If the group has decided that a 5 Intelligence is a very unintelligent person, then it is unfair for a player who ended up with a 5 Intelligence to simply ignore that aspect because they don't want to play a low Intelligence character.

That person is a part of the group too.


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Why?

It makes it easier to be immersed in the campaign world. If today the shopkeeper's name is Bill, but tomorrow the shopkeeper's name is Tim, then I immediately have to wonder if this is a different person, or if the GM just forgot the name he assigned to the shopkeeper.

If on day 1 we all agree that a 5 Intelligence character is not very intelligent, but then tomorrow when a PC suddenly has a 5 Intelligence character they decide that a 5 Intelligence character really can be intelligent, then the world is not consistent, and thus doesn't make sense, and thus makes it very difficult to RP.

Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Why is that unfair?

Because a level ruleset is important for consistency. See above for why consistency is important.

Would it be fair to you if all PCs were level 1 except for one PC who was level 5?


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:
Consistency is important.
Why?
Tormsskull wrote:
If the group has decided that a 5 Intelligence is a very unintelligent person, then it is unfair for a player who ended up with a 5 Intelligence to simply ignore that aspect because they don't want to play a low Intelligence character.
Why is that unfair?

Because the game is a sort of social contract amongst the players and GM based on rules. If the group decides you should RP your stats, the one guy or gal that doesn't is breaking the "contract" they have with the others there.

Not holding to that is unfair, because the one player that ignores those rules during character creation, especialy if point buy is being used, is taking a penalty to one stat to gain a higher number in another, but chooses to ignore that penalty roleplay wise is gaining an unfair advantage over those that abide by the rules.

Conversley, if the rule is, "don't worry about it", then the player that gripes about people not RPing their stats is in the wrong.


@Tormsskull: Okay, but that's a different kind of consistency. I agree that consistency in the world helps with immersion. It would be immersion-breaking if a PC were to drastically change personalities between sessions. One player was originally roleplaying their character one way but after that session, the GM forced them to play their Int 7 character a certain way. So that's another reason to not enforce narrow meanings to low mental stats. Thanks for that!

Shadow Lodge

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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".

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

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

Suppose we are playing a game of D&D where we are all starting at 1st level and one player wants to play the best swordsman in the land, a noted general in the King's army who women swoon over whenever he set foot in a tavern. Should the other players and/or GM not explain that concept is at odds with playing just a 1st level character in a world where major NPCs are routinely 6th level or more, with some of the generals in the King's army level 9 fighters?

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."

Dave "But that's how I want to play my character! I see him as a dashing scoundrel"

Bob "Okay then, but then I shall start playing my Strength 7 Wizard as being powerfully muscled, able to win any arm wrestling challenge, and renowned as a famous Strongman."

Dave "But that doesn't make sense, your lifting capacity is only 60lb as a heavy load! And arm wrestles are just a comparison of Strength stats so any Strength 8 character will beat you!"

Bob "But that's how I want to play my character! And if on the odd occasion my character needs to actually lift anything heavier than 60 lb or accept an arm wrestling challenge and fail, I will write that off as a fluke or a muscular twinge."


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How often do you see people intentionally make characters where the mechanics don't back up the character concept? I mean, my experience is that someone who makes a suave character wants to be able to succeed at the relevant rolls. Just like if you want to play a character who's good at chopping things with an axe, you want your character to be able to succeed at attack rolls and do damage.

Now, there is a problem that certain concepts are difficult to make work in Pathfinder. The suave swashbuckler is one of those. (Though hopefully the ACG swashbuckler will help fix that.) I find it completely plausible that someone with limited system mastery would try to make such a character and end up not having the mechanics back up the concept. 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.

You'll notice that none of this touches upon aspects of roleplaying that don't have underlying mechanics. 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!

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


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
I suppose if your goal with this is to push your players away from playing martial classes, then isn't there an easier, more direct way to do that?
In other words "I'm going to play like this, regardless of what our group has determined the rules to be. As such, doesn't it make more sense to just give me my way?"

That is entirely not what I said. I mentioned this in another thread about essentially the same issue (the 7 point-buy thread), so I understand if you haven't seen it. But my position comes from the viewpoint of both a player and a DM. As a player, I want to play the character I want to play. As a DM, I want my players to play the characters they want to play. I'm not in the game of micromanaging their roleplaying decisions.

But anyway, my point with that sentence you quoted was if you're trying to get your players to not play martial classes, why not just tell them that? Rather than obfuscating your intent through this thing about low mental stats, just tell your players you want to run a game where everyone plays a spellcaster. I think being upfront and honest about your desires is important as a DM. That way, everyone is on the same page as regards what people want out of the game. This passive-aggressiveness about how players are allowed to roleplay their characters just comes off badly.

In that case actually build the character you want to play and play it, rather than building something else and pretending its that character?


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The lines are blurred by certain abilities, traits and archetypes as well...

...an Inquisition that substitutes your Wisdom score for use on Diplomacy, Bluff and Intimidate.

...a trait that allows you to use your INT score for Diplomacy.

...a feat that allows CHA to be used for Initiative.

There are more.

My inquisitor may have a CHA of 5, but it's hard to see where this number impacts the mechanics behind my roleplayed character. I play him as suave, sophisticated and cooler than the other side of the pillow. I back up my roleplaying with great diplomacy, bluff, intimidate and sense motive rolls.

At some point, I feel your overall build trumps the individual numbers, so there is no sense in worrying about them when the mechanics of your build back up the actions you take via your character's personality, motivations, desires and goals.

Liberty's Edge

Kryzbyn wrote:
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:
Consistency is important.
Why?
Tormsskull wrote:
If the group has decided that a 5 Intelligence is a very unintelligent person, then it is unfair for a player who ended up with a 5 Intelligence to simply ignore that aspect because they don't want to play a low Intelligence character.
Why is that unfair?

Because the game is a sort of social contract amongst the players and GM based on rules. If the group decides you should RP your stats, the one guy or gal that doesn't is breaking the "contract" they have with the others there.

Not holding to that is unfair, because the one player that ignores those rules during character creation, especialy if point buy is being used, is taking a penalty to one stat to gain a higher number in another, but chooses to ignore that penalty roleplay wise is gaining an unfair advantage over those that abide by the rules.

Conversley, if the rule is, "don't worry about it", then the player that gripes about people not RPing their stats is in the wrong.

Thing is, I do not see what the "unfair advantage" is.

I enjoy roleplaying my INT 7 CHA 22 Sorceress as an empty-headed bimbo because I chose to do so.

I would have hated someone else telling me that I HAD to play her that way (or what ? get booted from the game ?).

To me, it sound exactly like a player telling the GM how he should roleplay his NPCs. No way.

And I would not mind another player playing his INT 7 character differently, as long as the GM uses the RAW penalties associated with such a low stat.


Lamontius wrote:

The lines are blurred by certain abilities, traits and archetypes as well...

...an Inquisition that substitutes your Wisdom score for use on Diplomacy, Bluff and Intimidate.

...a trait that allows you to use your INT score for Diplomacy.

...a feat that allows CHA to be used for Initiative.

There are more.

My inquisitor may have a CHA of 5, but it's hard to see where this number impacts the mechanics behind my roleplayed character. I play him as suave, sophisticated and cooler than the other side of the pillow. I back up my roleplaying with great diplomacy, bluff, intimidate and sense motive rolls.

At some point, I feel your overall build trumps the individual numbers, so there is no sense in worrying about them when the mechanics of your build back up the actions you take via your character's personality, motivations, desires and goals.

In those cases, however, the mechanics back it up: bther IS something else compensating for the low raw stat ...


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
@Tormsskull: Okay, but that's a different kind of consistency. I agree that consistency in the world helps with immersion. It would be immersion-breaking if a PC were to drastically change personalities between sessions. One player was originally roleplaying their character one way but after that session, the GM forced them to play their Int 7 character a certain way. So that's another reason to not enforce narrow meanings to low mental stats. Thanks for that!

You seem to be intentionally dancing around the issue. Let's say in a campaign world, all orcs are killed on sight in the city of Wehateorcsville. The PC party is all humans or dwarves. Sometime during play, a PC dies and recreates as an orc. The PC then says it is unfair that he is getting attacked anytime he tries to come into town.

Make sense? I wouldn't change the game world to accommodate this player's choice as it ruins the verisimilitude of the game world.

In a separate situation, if the party all agrees that a 5 Intelligence is a very unintelligent character, and all PCs have 10+ Intelligence, but then one dies and recreates as a character with a 5 Intelligence, and wants to play him as a military genius, I'm going to say no.

@DigitalMage

You've hit the nail on the head.

The black raven wrote:
I enjoy roleplaying my INT 7 CHA 22 Sorceress as an empty-headed bimbo because I chose to do so.

Sounds like a fun character. What if I wanted to role play the same character stats as a genius who was hideous. Is that acceptable?


The black raven wrote:
I enjoy roleplaying my INT 7 CHA 22 Sorceress as an empty-headed bimbo because I chose to do so.

That's obviously not what I'm talking about. You're playing the stat, which is what you should do.

Imagine I'm playing a 22 INT 7 CHA sorceress who's just as powerful.
Fair?

Liberty's Edge

Tormsskull wrote:


@DigitalMage

You've hit the nail on the head.

Honestly, I do not think so at all. Both characters depicted will be very disappointed in that they are just not able, by the RAW, to actually DO what they state they can ;-)

Quote:
The black raven wrote:
I enjoy roleplaying my INT 7 CHA 22 Sorceress as an empty-headed bimbo because I chose to do so.
Sounds like a fun character. What if I wanted to role play the same character stats as a genius who was hideous. Is that acceptable?

Acceptable AND interesting IMO. However, I would expect the GM to enforce the RAW (few skill points, abysmal INT-based skills, no spells based on INT, no additional language due to high INT) and have the NPCs react to your actual CHA as soon as they have the opportunity to see beyond the appearance (ie, skill rolls with the CHA skills should be pretty good, at least at low levels).

Kryzbyn wrote:
The black raven wrote:
I enjoy roleplaying my INT 7 CHA 22 Sorceress as an empty-headed bimbo because I chose to do so.

That's obviously not what I'm talking about. You're playing the stat, which is what you should do.

Imagine I'm playing a 22 INT 7 CHA sorceress who's just as powerful.
Fair?

Impossible by the RAW ;-)

She cannot even cast spells.

With those stats, she could play a Witch. Who could even act like a bimbo, except that she would actually know a lot of things, speak many languages, but may not necessarily be very good at seducing/manipulating people (and animals for that matter) ;-)

Obviously her familiar would be better off than mine though with all these additional skills.

Shadow Lodge

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The black raven wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
The black raven wrote:
I enjoy roleplaying my INT 7 CHA 22 Sorceress as an empty-headed bimbo because I chose to do so.

That's obviously not what I'm talking about. You're playing the stat, which is what you should do.

Imagine I'm playing a 22 INT 7 CHA sorceress who's just as powerful.
Fair?

Impossible by the RAW ;-)

She cannot even cast spells.

Sage bloodline! INT based sorcerer =) problem solved


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The black raven wrote:

Impossible by the RAW ;-)

She cannot even cast spells.

With those stats, she could play a Witch. Who could even act like a bimbo, except that she would actually know a lot of things, speak many languages, but may not necessarily be very good at seducing/manipulating people (and animals for that matter) ;-)

Obviously her familiar would be better off than mine though with all these additional skills.

Again, that's not what I'm talking about. Of course you can make a character based on the stats you purchase/roll.

Who's arguing against that?


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

Liberty's Edge

Kryzbyn wrote:
The black raven wrote:

Impossible by the RAW ;-)

She cannot even cast spells.

With those stats, she could play a Witch. Who could even act like a bimbo, except that she would actually know a lot of things, speak many languages, but may not necessarily be very good at seducing/manipulating people (and animals for that matter) ;-)

Obviously her familiar would be better off than mine though with all these additional skills.

Again, that's not what I'm talking about. Of course you can make a character based on the stats you purchase/roll.

Who's arguing against that?

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

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 :-)

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