The Attribute Roleplaying Problem


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Well I have noticed this a lot and it tends to bug me...

People like going all "Why did you play a face when you cannot speak?"

(well it is not so much a problem for me, but my boyfriend does have that issue...)

Honestly, this drives me up the wall, that Charisma gets this treatment but not any other attribute. How come your playing a wizard when you can't cast or are as dumb as a bag of bricks? Why you playing a BSF when your about as strong as a chihuahua? Why are you playing a tank when you freak out over a papercut?

The answer to many of these tend to be: Because I want to roleplay something I am not. Not many people go into a game thinking "I am going to make a completely average guy that is capable of things I am." A lot of people use TTRPGs as a way to do that which they could never do but so wish they can!

So what are your guys thoughts on "immersion breaking" and "roleplay" vs a characters attributes and the PLAYER'S attributes?


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I defend the idea that mechanical choices should have mechanical consequences and role playing choices should have role playing consequences.

Attributes are a mechanical construct, and therefore, have mechanical consequences. They do not interfere on role play aspect of the game... However, they do dictate your capabilities, so it doesn't matter how well or poorly you role play a character with Cha 7, she will still take that -2 to all Bluff, Diplomacy and Intimidate checks.

Just like a character doesn't automatically trip and fall every 5 min just because she has low Dex, a character with low Cha doesn't auto fail Cha-based checks, instead, she just takes the appropriate penalty.

On occasion, I do reward good role play with mechanical advantages, though. e.g.: If a players makes an actual speech instead of simply saying "I roll Diplomacy" I'll often give that player a +2 or +4 (maybe even a higher bonus) to that check.

I don't penalize players for not role playing, though. I know some people are not capable/interested/willing to role play and there is nothing wrong with that. They can just say "I use Diplomacy" and be done with it if they want. I find that to be a rather dull way to play, but to each their own.


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Lemmy, I think the OP meant more along the lines that you can play a high-CHA character yet potentially be penalized as a player by your GM if you're not well-spoken or are shy, quiet or (insert personality quirk here).

Whereas yeah, no one is going to bat an eye if you have noodle arms but play a character with STR 20.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm fine with using charisma and social skills in a mechanical sense, though I would appreciate how they are being used.

A person that says "I use stealth" gives a GM little to elaborate on. A player that says "I hide behind the large chest" gives a GM a little more to work with.

In a similar fashion "I use diplomacy" gives the GM very little idea of how you are negotiating, A player that says "I use diplomacy to compliment the guard, and then ask him questions that such a knowledgeable guard would surely know" gives a GM much more to work with.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

There's a player in our group who is low-Cha IRL. I mean, he's a nice guy who means well, but if there's an absolute worst way to put something, that's the way he's going to say it. When he's playing a high-Cha PC, I encourage him to just roll the Diplomacy dice and tell me what he wants to get out of it. Anything he actually says when he tries to roleplay it out just makes me want to give him penalties.


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Lamontius wrote:

Lemmy, I think the OP meant more along the lines that you can play a high-CHA character yet potentially be penalized as a player by your GM if you're not well-spoken or are shy, quiet or (insert personality quirk here).

Whereas yeah, no one is going to bat an eye if you have noodle arms but play a character with STR 20.

Yeah, I realize that... I kinda went on a tangent because I believe both problems are connected to each other.

IME, the GMs who will penalize a player for playing a character with high Cha despite the player himself being an introvert are the same GMs who will often make a character auto-fail any social challenge because she has low Cha.

I consider both of these situations to be unfair GMing and poor role play.

Sovereign Court

I see the game as a fantasy escape and wont penalize a person for not being an extrovert or poet while being a face. In fact, I enjoy trying to get them out of their shell and helping them realize their imagined character. Obviosuly, different people will have different levels of proficency. Saying you cant play a charismatic character becasue you are not in real life is sad. I dont think id want to play at a "you cant be that" table.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I know my wife has gradually shifted away from playing characters with even decent Diplomacy because she doesn't like having to step into the spotlight to try and use it.


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It doesn't really bug me. A player's ability to play a character or roll should be taken in to consideration, both when making the character and during the game. Not just in the actual abilities, but what they like to do. The person who doesn't like to talk around people or isn't very quick on their feat for dialogue probably shouldn't play the party talker. Much in the same way that the guy who barely knows the rules and only ever wants to punch things shouldn't play the party Wizard.

I've been in multiple games with people who play along those lines and it can be frustrating. It tends to go one of two ways: either the player/character is a major hindrance to the group or they want to spend large amounts of time trying to come up with something to do. Nothing like waiting half an hour for the paladin to decide what to say to the members of another religion and having them decide on "Greetings." Yeah great you got a 32 on your Diplo roll, can we get back to playing now? This is no different than not wanting to spend 30 minutes waiting for the Wizard to pick a spell or for the "tactical genius" fighter to decide to move "here or there".

This is a game, games require skill and ability. It doesn't come down to whether or not you are intelligent, charismatic, strong, or anything else. What matters is if you can play those things. Take Gamers: Dorkness rising. Gary probably should't play a female character. Not because he lacks CHA or role playing ability, but because he lacks the ability to remember that he is playing a female character.

I strongly disagree with Lemmy's sentiment that mechanics and roll playing should be separate things. Your roll playing should be heavily dependent on your mechanics. Mechanics aren't just numbers. They are a representation of how the world and characters function.

Your character has 7 CHA. Now what does that represent? Are they ugly? Are they poorly spoken? Is there just something about them that rubs people the wrong way? This is further modified by skills and class abilities. Even if you only view it as a -2, that still can tell you a lot. What is the average stat, what is the average DC, where does that -2 put my character in relation to others?

Your mechanics aren't something you only worry about when you have to make a roll, they should always be taken in to account when you are playing the character. How are you going to roll play a massively strong character when you only have 5 STR?


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KestrelZ wrote:

I'm fine with using charisma and social skills in a mechanical sense, though I would appreciate how they are being used.

A person that says "I use stealth" gives a GM little to elaborate on. A player that says "I hide behind the large chest" gives a GM a little more to work with.

In a similar fashion "I use diplomacy" gives the GM very little idea of how you are negotiating, A player that says "I use diplomacy to compliment the guard, and then ask him questions that such a knowledgeable guard would surely know" gives a GM much more to work with.

I agree.

I always encourage players to at least tell me the general idea of the tactics they are using for Diplomacy, etc., rather than force them to tell me exactly what they are saying or worse, act it out in character.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Corrik wrote:
The person who doesn't like to talk around people or isn't very quick on their feat for dialogue probably shouldn't play the party talker.

Why not? What's wrong with a player saying "I want to convince him to do X" instead of acting out the exact dialogue? What does that hurt?

Quote:
Your roll playing should be heavily dependent on your mechanics. Mechanics aren't just numbers. They are a representation of how the world and characters function.

I don't think anyone was saying otherwise. Rather, the topic of the thread is when the player wants to play a character (both mechanically AND in how the character functions in the world) and someone else tells them they "shouldn't" for no other reason than that the player doesn't have the same level of skill/ability.

Sort of like how you said a low-CHA player "shouldn't" play a high-CHA character. Nobody's talking about claiming their low-STR character is strong or their low-INT character is smart; we're talking about a player not being allowed to be different than their character.


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Joana wrote:
There's a player in our group who is low-Cha IRL. I mean, he's a nice guy who means well, but if there's an absolute worst way to put something, that's the way he's going to say it. When he's playing a high-Cha PC, I encourage him to just roll the Diplomacy dice and tell me what he wants to get out of it. Anything he actually says when he tries to roleplay it out just makes me want to give him penalties.

You just have to work to flip that around. I'm sure you can imagine ways your friend would say things IRL compared to things other, more charismatic, people say. You just have to take the horrible way the player puts it while roleplaying and apply the result of his Diplomacy check to "translate" it into what his more charismatic character would say. No need for penalties (or bonuses IMO), just relate it to what the dcie tell you. You may get the flipside where a well-spoken player may roll a 1 with his CHA 6 barbarian. Then you just think about how your other friend would say it that would offend the people he's trying to speak to.


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I have a pretty high CHA in real life. I can talk my way through any situation. But if I have low Cha or low diplomacy on my character, I expect my character to fail.

Part of the point of this game is the power fantasy. Sometimes, players want to be something better than they are. Sometimes that doesn't entail fireball and muscles.

Let's say someone knows nothing about climbing in real life. If their character climbs a mountain, you don't expect them to tell you exact, accurate climbing techniques. Just let people play the characters they want.


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To me, if the roleplaying side of the game is completely abstracted to dice rolls and modifiers, it ceases to be a roleplaying game. Play however you want, but I have been known to greet statements like "I use diplomacy" with -20 penalties to the roll and hand out similarly large bonuses for great roleplaying, even from otherwise socially inept characters.

I honestly don't understand why people would want to subsume the roleplaying half of the game into the mechanics, but I gather that some people do. To each his own, I suppose.

Shadow Lodge

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Because sometimes people want to play something they're not.


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the secret fire wrote:

To me, if the roleplaying side of the game is completely abstracted to dice rolls and modifiers, it ceases to be a roleplaying game. Play however you want, but I have been known to greet statements like "I use diplomacy" with -20 penalties to the roll and hand out similarly large bonuses for great roleplaying, even from otherwise socially inept characters.

I honestly don't understand why people would want to subsume the roleplaying half of the game into the mechanics, but I gather that some people do. To each his own, I suppose.

Because it's unfair and it's one of the few things that people actually treat like this. If I'm playing a dumb, uncharismatic brute, I shouldn't get bonuses because I, the player, am good at talking. I'd say that it make it's less a roleplaying experience. You're just playing yourself at that point.


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My boyfriend loves to play the charming, dashing hero guy because, sadly, that is exactly what he is not. He is a quiet, introverted, shy guy who prefers to hide behind books and computers than socialize at a party.

But TTRPGs gives him the opportunity to be the dashing guy up front. It lets him be the center of the party if you will. So to take that away because he, himself, is normally a shy fellow seems kind of unfair :)

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the secret fire wrote:

To me, if the roleplaying side of the game is completely abstracted to dice rolls and modifiers, it ceases to be a roleplaying game. Play however you want, but I have been known to greet statements like "I use diplomacy" with -20 penalties to the roll and hand out similarly large bonuses for great roleplaying, even from otherwise socially inept characters.

I honestly don't understand why people would want to subsume the roleplaying half of the game into the mechanics, but I gather that some people do. To each his own, I suppose.

Wait, so your players are only allowed to act the way they really are in real life, and you're accusing other people of getting rid of the roleplaying aspect of the game? You literally just labeled the imagining of being a different person as not roleplaying.

What specifically do you think the word "roleplaying" means?


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Jiggy wrote:
Why not? What's wrong with a player saying "I want to convince him to do X" instead of acting out the exact dialogue? What does that hurt?

It can cause a lot of internal consistency problems when the rest of the group talks to a NPC for half an hour of roleplaying and the "party face" sits there quietly after rolling his check. It is also problematic for all of the roleplaying situations where a roll doesn't come up. The character is still the one that is supposed to speak for the party in such a situation. Might be an issue if the player can only come up with "Okay" and "Sure" for their comebacks. What if 3 players are trying to role play an intense conversation with the NPC. There is a lot of quick back and forth and a lot of improvisation. How does that scene play out with the high CHA character played by a player who doesn't talk during scenes? Are the players supposed to stop and wait for the other to come up with something to say or to make a roll?

A: "You don't know what you are talking about."
B: "And you are just an old man and a fool."
A: "Call me what you like but I will not allow these actions to continue!"
B: "So stop me, if you can."
C: Desmond rolls a 32 for diplomacy.
B: "...Okay yeah like I said you can stop me if you think you can."
A: "Damnit you young fool, I don't want to stop you, I want to save you! Just listen to me, don't do this."
B: "It's too late, I'll do what needs to be done."
C: Desmond rolls a 19 for Intimidate.

Should the players ignore 'C'? Should they stop and think of what 'C's character says for him? Should they move on or have their characters respond to the things that weren't said? Is any of this fair for players A and B?

And again, this isn't limited to roll playing. If a player hates keeping track of things, is bad about handling many different abilities, and/or thinks magic is dumb they probably shouldn't play a Wizard. If a character is a 5 Int Barbarian with not training, education, or real battle experience to speak of be able to come up with a genius tactic just because the player is really good at strategy? Of course not.

What is wrong with trying to steer players towards options that fit their ability and taste? If we were playing a fighting game and a player is really bad at playing fast characters, am I wrong for suggesting he plays one of the stronger/slower characters that would be easier for them to handle?

They point here isn't whether or not a player is actually charismatic, smart, or what have you. It's whether or not they can play one, whether or not they can act. An actor doesn't have to be crazy strong to play Thor, nor do they have be a deceitful backstabber to play Loki.

Jiggy wrote:

I don't think anyone was saying otherwise. Rather, the topic of the thread is when the player wants to play a character (both mechanically AND in how the character functions in the world) and someone else tells them they "shouldn't" for no other reason than that the player doesn't have the same level of skill/ability.

Sort of like how you said a low-CHA player "shouldn't" play a high-CHA character. Nobody's talking about claiming their low-STR character is strong or their low-INT character is smart; we're talking about a player not being allowed to be different than their character.

Lemmy said otherwise, I even specifically mentioned that in my post. And the topic is about people advising "Low Cha" players away from Cha classes. No one mentioned any hypothetical DMs who require auditions for Cha classes.

This is a game and guess what, people can be bad at games. I'm failing to see how advising someone to pick an option they will be better at is wrong.

Kitty Cat wrote:

My boyfriend loves to play the charming, dashing hero guy because, sadly, that is exactly what he is not. He is a quiet, introverted, shy guy who prefers to hide behind books and computers than socialize at a party.

But TTRPGs gives him the opportunity to be the dashing guy up front. It lets him be the center of the party if you will. So to take that away because he, himself, is normally a shy fellow seems kind of unfair :)

No one is taking anything away from him. It doesn't matter what he is like in normal day to day life. What matters is how he is at the table. Can he play the charming, dashing hero? If so, great swashbuckle away.

I'm not a psychotic, devil blooded murderer in real life. I don't have much in common with this character, very few, if any, natural traits that lend themselves to the roll. Still, I can play one at the table. I feel like this has someone been lost. It doesn't matter what you are like in life, it matters what you are like at the table. It doesn't matter if you are smart, it matters if you can play smart.


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Jiggy wrote:
the secret fire wrote:

To me, if the roleplaying side of the game is completely abstracted to dice rolls and modifiers, it ceases to be a roleplaying game. Play however you want, but I have been known to greet statements like "I use diplomacy" with -20 penalties to the roll and hand out similarly large bonuses for great roleplaying, even from otherwise socially inept characters.

I honestly don't understand why people would want to subsume the roleplaying half of the game into the mechanics, but I gather that some people do. To each his own, I suppose.

Wait, so your players are only allowed to act the way they really are in real life, and you're accusing other people of getting rid of the roleplaying aspect of the game? You literally just labeled the imagining of being a different person as not roleplaying.

What specifically do you think the word "roleplaying" means?

exactly!

I mean, take myself for example. I am petite (as in.... super petite... I can still fit clothes meant for younger teens -.-...), and my voice is kinda squeeky (you don't know how many times I am called thr group Chibi in my little clique). I mean, I can try all I can but I am just not intimidating... the only time I have ever intimidated someone was when I was just vastly superior to their intelligence (I ran logic circles around a guy bullying a friend of mine). Should I recieve a penalty to Intimidate? And I am HORRID at lying -.-.. like, I just cannot come up with a good lie on the spot. Should I take a penalty to bluff?

And for those who say they want more "roleplay" and hate the whole "I role diplomacy to try and see if I can get soem rumors from the barkeep" and want more discription, how about we flip it around?

Maybe, rather than saying "I roll to attack... 24" I should give you a penalty for not Roleplaying your attack and give a bonus to the guy who says "Well when the monster swung with his claw in for an attack, I ducked down and dodged his attack (missed playres touch AC), I take the opportunity to perform a 3 o'clock swipe on his exposed arm with an attack roll of 24."


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so wait, just because I have muscles and like drinking whiskey and being loud and avoiding punctuation

then I am not allowed to play a bookish elf with a slight build and shy tendencies?

sorry Lamontius since you are basically just a big dumb drunken animal most of the time, you can only play barbarians with low wisdom and poor impulse control

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Lamontius wrote:

so wait, just because I have muscles and like drinking whiskey and being loud and avoiding punctuation

then I am not allowed to play a bookish elf with a slight build and shy tendencies?

sorry Lamontius since you are basically just a big dumb drunken animal most of the time, you can only play barbarians with low wisdom and poor impulse control

So, most of the dwarves I've seen?


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Jiggy wrote:
Lamontius wrote:

so wait, just because I have muscles and like drinking whiskey and being loud and avoiding punctuation

then I am not allowed to play a bookish elf with a slight build and shy tendencies?

sorry Lamontius since you are basically just a big dumb drunken animal most of the time, you can only play barbarians with low wisdom and poor impulse control

So, most of the dwarves I've seen?

*sobs*

Liberty's Edge

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Aww now look, ya got 'im started again!


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Albatoonoe wrote:
Because it's unfair and it's one of the few things that people actually treat like this. If I'm playing a dumb, uncharismatic brute, I shouldn't get bonuses because I, the player, am good at talking. I'd say that it make it's less a roleplaying experience. You're just playing yourself at that point.

If you, the player, decide to "talk pretty", then you are not playing a dumb, uncharismatic brute, are you? If you decide to play an oaf and then conveniently get eloquent fishing for a bonus in social situations...eh, no. That's just schizophrenic, terrible roleplaying.


Here is how I look at it:

Combat and RP consist of both in and out of game elements. In combat, a character’s effectiveness is partly determined by the character’s stats and gear (in-game element) and the player’s tactical ability and rules mastery (out-of-game element). The same should go for RP. In that case the characters stats and the player’s ability to figure out how best to deploy them what is synthesized, to produce the final degree of effectiveness.

If I really don’t understand the rules and frequently make really bad choices in combat, my high level fighter is going to come across as an incompetent amateur. Likewise, if I have no real concept of what kind of arguments or suggestions are reasonable, my attempts at diplomacy should be less effective than if performed by a player, with similar in-game resources, but with a better grasp of how best to deploy them.

The way this usually plays out if I GM, is that I allow the players to either 1) present their argument as their character, speaking their character lines and talking directly with NPC or 2) have them describe in general terms what they are trying to accomplish, which kind or arguments and incentives they use and why they think that should be reasonable way to convince/seduce/intimidate/manipulate the NPC. Depending the quality of their arguments and how well their approach aligns with the NPC’s personality and goals I either impose a -8 to -2 penalty to their rolls, or grant a +2 or +4 circumstance bonus. We then roll as normal to determine if they are able to sway the NPC.

This way the character’s stat do have a major influence on the outcome of the RP encounter, but the player also have a real incentive to at least try an present a compelling case or argument – which I personally feel is a major positive addition to the RPG experience.

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Corrik wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Why not? What's wrong with a player saying "I want to convince him to do X" instead of acting out the exact dialogue? What does that hurt?
It can cause a lot of internal consistency problems when the rest of the group talks to a NPC for half an hour of roleplaying and the "party face" sits there quietly after rolling his check.

So a group settles on which person is going to be the face, but then keeps butting in on that person's face activities, to the point of causing internal consistency issues, and it's somehow the face-player's fault?

Maybe the standards for adult behavior vary by region, but when I'm at a table and someone else is the face, I follow their lead rather than trying to take over or ignore what they're doing. If they talk it out, I back them up (or not, depending on what I'm playing). If they say "I use Diplomacy," then I say "I assist" (with maybe an additional "Oh, and you're gonna mention X when you talk to them, right?").

Trying to do what was already agreed to be someone else's role (and for that matter, agreeing to it in the first place if you're not planning to respect it) and then blaming the resulting issues on them is just being a grade-A jerk.

Quote:
Lemmy said otherwise, I even specifically mentioned that in my post.

I may have misunderstood him (or you), then.


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the secret fire wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
Because it's unfair and it's one of the few things that people actually treat like this. If I'm playing a dumb, uncharismatic brute, I shouldn't get bonuses because I, the player, am good at talking. I'd say that it make it's less a roleplaying experience. You're just playing yourself at that point.
If you, the player, decide to "talk pretty", then you are not playing a dumb, uncharismatic brute, are you? If you decide to play an oaf and then conveniently get eloquent fishing for a bonus in social situations...eh, no. That's just schizophrenic, terrible roleplaying.

But what if it is an Intelligence 7, Wisdom 7, Charisma 7, no skill points invested in any social skills character, who has always been played as a smooth-talking, intelligent, observant character?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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the secret fire wrote:
If you, the player, decide to "talk pretty", then you are not playing a dumb, uncharismatic brute, are you? If you decide to play an oaf and then conveniently get eloquent fishing for a bonus in social situations...eh, no. That's just schizophrenic, terrible roleplaying.
Earlier in this very thread, the secret fire wrote:
Play however you want, but I have been known to greet statements like "I use diplomacy" with -20 penalties to the roll and hand out similarly large bonuses for great roleplaying, even from otherwise socially inept characters.

Shadow Lodge

JCAB wrote:
I either impose a -8 to -2 penalty to their rolls, or grant a +2 or +4 circumstance bonus.

Any particular reason the penalty is so much lower than the bonus is high?


Jiggy wrote:
the secret fire wrote:

To me, if the roleplaying side of the game is completely abstracted to dice rolls and modifiers, it ceases to be a roleplaying game. Play however you want, but I have been known to greet statements like "I use diplomacy" with -20 penalties to the roll and hand out similarly large bonuses for great roleplaying, even from otherwise socially inept characters.

I honestly don't understand why people would want to subsume the roleplaying half of the game into the mechanics, but I gather that some people do. To each his own, I suppose.

You literally just labeled the imagining of being a different person as not roleplaying.

Lol...you literally don't know what "literally" means. I said "great roleplaying", not great rhetoric. I don't reward out-of-character speeches, but it is possible for low-CHA characters to communicate something poignant or important through good roleplaying. Think Sam's speech to Frodo (and please don't tell me Sam had a high charisma or great social skills...).


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This is a game about escapism (and fun). Why would you punish people for their real life faults? It seems like you are missing the point.


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the secret fire wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
the secret fire wrote:

To me, if the roleplaying side of the game is completely abstracted to dice rolls and modifiers, it ceases to be a roleplaying game. Play however you want, but I have been known to greet statements like "I use diplomacy" with -20 penalties to the roll and hand out similarly large bonuses for great roleplaying, even from otherwise socially inept characters.

I honestly don't understand why people would want to subsume the roleplaying half of the game into the mechanics, but I gather that some people do. To each his own, I suppose.

You literally just labeled the imagining of being a different person as not roleplaying.
Lol...you literally don't know what "literally" means.

. . . . .

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I can't stop laughing at the fact that you have an avatar for that alias.


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Wyntr wrote:
the secret fire wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
Because it's unfair and it's one of the few things that people actually treat like this. If I'm playing a dumb, uncharismatic brute, I shouldn't get bonuses because I, the player, am good at talking. I'd say that it make it's less a roleplaying experience. You're just playing yourself at that point.
If you, the player, decide to "talk pretty", then you are not playing a dumb, uncharismatic brute, are you? If you decide to play an oaf and then conveniently get eloquent fishing for a bonus in social situations...eh, no. That's just schizophrenic, terrible roleplaying.
But what if it is an Intelligence 7, Wisdom 7, Charisma 7, no skill points invested in any social skills character, who has always been played as a smooth-talking, intelligent, observant character?

you still have to make the rolls

Shadow Lodge

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Jiggy wrote:
I can't stop laughing at the fact that you have an avatar for that alias.

It used to be just the avatar of the hand with the tattoo on the back, but when the new avatars came in and this guy showed up I couldn't resist changing it.


Wyntr wrote:
the secret fire wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
Because it's unfair and it's one of the few things that people actually treat like this. If I'm playing a dumb, uncharismatic brute, I shouldn't get bonuses because I, the player, am good at talking. I'd say that it make it's less a roleplaying experience. You're just playing yourself at that point.
If you, the player, decide to "talk pretty", then you are not playing a dumb, uncharismatic brute, are you? If you decide to play an oaf and then conveniently get eloquent fishing for a bonus in social situations...eh, no. That's just schizophrenic, terrible roleplaying.
But what if it is an Intelligence 7, Wisdom 7, Charisma 7, no skill points invested in any social skills character, who has always been played as a smooth-talking, intelligent, observant character?

That's when you have a talk with the player, or barring that, just assume that the character is so hideous or noxious in some way that the smooth-talking actually is in-character, and the stats and social skills are nevertheless what they are due to extenuating circumstances - ie. take the smooth-talking as the norm given the stats/skills and don't apply any bonuses on top of that. In a limited sense, I could see that being a character concept (at least as far as charisma and smooth talking goes - think Cyrano de Bergerac), but if taken too far, it is obviously just awful RP, and not to be rewarded.


Orthos wrote:
JCAB wrote:
I either impose a -8 to -2 penalty to their rolls, or grant a +2 or +4 circumstance bonus.
Any particular reason the penalty is so much lower than the bonus is high?

Yes, I personally think that granting too large bonuses tend to break the mechanics worse, than imposing large penalties do. YMMV. Also, my real life experiences tell me that people usually react more strongly to "dealbreakers" than to "perfect arguments". Again, YMMV. Regardless, such numbers are entirely arbitary and as long as penalties and bonuses are applied fairly, my experience is that players do not care overly about the exact size of the modifier. In actual play I will almost exclusively grant +2 or -2 to rolls and only pull out the +4 or -8 if a player either blows the entire table away with awesome RP or so utterly misreads the NPC that what they what their character to say only can be understood as a mortal insult.

Shadow Lodge

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JCAB wrote:
Orthos wrote:
JCAB wrote:
I either impose a -8 to -2 penalty to their rolls, or grant a +2 or +4 circumstance bonus.
Any particular reason the penalty is so much lower than the bonus is high?
Yes, I personally think that granting too large bonuses tend to break the mechanics worse, than imposing large penalties do. YMMV. Also, my real life experiences tell me that people usually react more strongly to "dealbreakers" than to "perfect arguments". Again, YMMV. Regardless, such numbers are entirely arbitary and as long as penalties and bonuses are applied fairly, my experience is that players do not care overly about the exact size of the modifier. In actual play I will almost exclusively grant +2 or -2 to rolls and only pull out the +4 or -8 if a player either blows the entire table away with awesome RP or so utterly misreads the NPC that what they what their character to say only can be understood as a mortal insult.

I personally just don't consider it fair. If it was -4 vs +4 I wouldn't have an issue with it.


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Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Just something that works really well for my group, but we have been doing it for a few years now:

Folks role-play their characters as best they can, but I gauge the NPCs reaction through a combination of what they said and their diplomacy check. The logic being that a *character* with a low Charisma would say the exact same thing in a much worse way than the player just did, while a *character* with a high charisma would say it much better.

The NPCs still react to what was said, but the positive/negative aspects are determined by the roll.

At first we were concerned that it would take out the role-playing aspect of the game, but it really has enhanced it. We're a fairly bookish lot, so it allows us to play those super-charismatic folks that we all dream of being without worrying that our lack of eloquence will haunt us in a fantasy world. And the members of our group who are better spoken have been very willing to accept that, if they used Charisma as their dump stat, then their characters just aren't as well spoken as they are.

That doesn't mean they never say it well, the dice aren't that fickle, but it does keep things on a more logical keel, the same way the dice do with physical and mental abilities.


Albatoonoe wrote:
This is a game about escapism (and fun). Why would you punish people for their real life faults? It seems like you are missing the point.

Bad roleplaying breaks the immersion and takes away from the fun of the other players, to the extent that they care. I gather that not everybody cares. Some folks just want to "diplomacy people", punch faces and count loot. Every table is different.

Shadow Lodge

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the secret fire wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
This is a game about escapism (and fun). Why would you punish people for their real life faults? It seems like you are missing the point.
Bad roleplaying breaks the immersion and takes away from the fun of the other players, to the extent that they care. I gather that not everybody cares. Some folks just want to "diplomacy people", punch faces and count loot. Every table is different.

>>>--THE POINT-->

.

.

.

.

.

--Your Head--

And that's not even getting into your excessively dismissive tone.


Orthos wrote:
JCAB wrote:
Orthos wrote:
JCAB wrote:
I either impose a -8 to -2 penalty to their rolls, or grant a +2 or +4 circumstance bonus.
Any particular reason the penalty is so much lower than the bonus is high?
Yes, I personally think that granting too large bonuses tend to break the mechanics worse, than imposing large penalties do. YMMV. Also, my real life experiences tell me that people usually react more strongly to "dealbreakers" than to "perfect arguments". Again, YMMV. Regardless, such numbers are entirely arbitary and as long as penalties and bonuses are applied fairly, my experience is that players do not care overly about the exact size of the modifier. In actual play I will almost exclusively grant +2 or -2 to rolls and only pull out the +4 or -8 if a player either blows the entire table away with awesome RP or so utterly misreads the NPC that what they what their character to say only can be understood as a mortal insult.
I personally just don't consider it fair. If it was -4 vs +4 I wouldn't have an issue with it.

We obviously differ, no biggie. However I will say that plenty of mechanics are assymetrical, in that they only apply penalties or penalties are worse than bonuses. Take the rules for visibility, for example. Perfect clear weather is the standard assumption. This is as good as it gets. Any effect which modifies visibility does so by imposing penalties. Terrain is also vastly more likely to impose penalties than bonuses to characters and the penalties tend to be decidely worse than the boons.


Chaderick the Penguin wrote:


Just something that works really well for my group, but we have been doing it for a few years now:

Folks role-play their characters as best they can, but I gauge the NPCs reaction through a combination of what they said and their diplomacy check. The logic being that a *character* with a low Charisma would say the exact same thing in a much worse way than the player just did, while a *character* with a high charisma would say it much better.

The NPCs still react to what was said, but the positive/negative aspects are determined by the roll.

At first we were concerned that it would take out the role-playing aspect of the game, but it really has enhanced it. We're a fairly bookish lot, so it allows us to play those super-charismatic folks that we all dream of being without worrying that our lack of eloquence will haunt us in a fantasy world. And the members of our group who are better spoken have been very willing to accept that, if they used Charisma as their dump stat, then their characters just aren't as well spoken as they are.

That doesn't mean they never say it well, the dice aren't that fickle, but it does keep things on a more logical keel, the same way the dice do with physical and mental abilities.

I think this is rougly equivelent to the way I do it, excpet that I grant bonuses/impose penalties, instead of what you do which seem to be to modify the DC.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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the secret fire wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
This is a game about escapism (and fun). Why would you punish people for their real life faults? It seems like you are missing the point.
Bad roleplaying breaks the immersion and takes away from the fun of the other players, to the extent that they care. I gather that not everybody cares. Some folks just want to "diplomacy people", punch faces and count loot. Every table is different.

There are people who want to play a character that they themselves are not capable of representing completely, who nevertheless care a great deal about roleplaying, immersion, and the fun of the other players; and are interested in far, far more than just "diplomacy-ing people", punching faces and counting loot.

I don't understand why it is hard for you to accept that this category of people exists.


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Jiggy wrote:
Corrik wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Why not? What's wrong with a player saying "I want to convince him to do X" instead of acting out the exact dialogue? What does that hurt?
It can cause a lot of internal consistency problems when the rest of the group talks to a NPC for half an hour of roleplaying and the "party face" sits there quietly after rolling his check.

So a group settles on which person is going to be the face, but then keeps butting in on that person's face activities, to the point of causing internal consistency issues, and it's somehow the face-player's fault?

Maybe the standards for adult behavior vary by region, but when I'm at a table and someone else is the face, I follow their lead rather than trying to take over or ignore what they're doing. If they talk it out, I back them up (or not, depending on what I'm playing). If they say "I use Diplomacy," then I say "I assist" (with maybe an additional "Oh, and you're gonna mention X when you talk to them, right?").

Trying to do what was already agreed to be someone else's role (and for that matter, agreeing to it in the first place if you're not planning to respect it) and then blaming the resulting issues on them is just being a grade-A jerk.

Quote:
Lemmy said otherwise, I even specifically mentioned that in my post.
I may have misunderstood him (or you), then.

Being the party face in no way gives you dibs on role playing. My current character doesn't have a single point in the social skills, that doesn't mean he sits there and does nothing during RP or social encounters. He talks, he speaks his mind, he gets along with some characters and NPCs and doesn't with others, he will try to engage in topics of conversations. I hardly pick up the dice during these times, because he is a person and I have him act like one.

If the guy with the stats in diplomacy wants to begin and end things with "I roll a diplomacy check" that is his business. I'm not "trying to do his role", I'm taking part in a scene. Why should others be punished because he can't act? "Sorry guys, I know you all like role playing, but Jim isn't good at it so no more of that.", is this what you are proposing?

Taking on the responsibility of a party roll without the capabilities to fulfill it makes you just as much of a jerk. That's true both at the table and in the real world. Also, a group doesn't always settle on a roll. Often either only one person stats for a role or multiple people are in the same roll.

The standards for adult behavior in my region include acting like an adult. Children are the ones that demand to do something and then whine when things don't go their way. I have two little brothers, the "NO FAIR! You aren't letting me hit you!" argument won't get you far.

Let's go back to my A, B, C scenario. A and B aren't the party face, they are just characters dealing with a situation. Tell me how you would handle that? Who has to come up with the dialogue that A and Be respond to when C makes a roll?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Corrik wrote:
(snipped for wall of text)

...Are you under the impression that "roleplaying" means "talking to NPCs", and vice-versa?

Because that would sure explain a lot.


Jiggy wrote:
the secret fire wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
This is a game about escapism (and fun). Why would you punish people for their real life faults? It seems like you are missing the point.
Bad roleplaying breaks the immersion and takes away from the fun of the other players, to the extent that they care. I gather that not everybody cares. Some folks just want to "diplomacy people", punch faces and count loot. Every table is different.

There are people who want to play a character that they themselves are not capable of representing completely, who nevertheless care a great deal about roleplaying, immersion, and the fun of the other players; and are interested in far, far more than just "diplomacy-ing people", punching faces and counting loot.

I don't understand why it is hard for you to accept that this category of people exists.

I think it is possible to understand the sentiment and just don't care about those people and their “fun” or simply value your own” fun” more. As a general rule I think that people should be allowed to play any character they want, that could reasonable exist within the setting and conforms to the general tone and theme of the campaign. However, sometimes that fact that you want to play a character, which you do not have the Out-of-Game abilities to portray can impact the other players’ enjoyment of the game negatively. And while I think that all players and GM should give each other the benefit of the doubt and go to great lengths to accommodate people who want to play, for example social characters without being so themselves, there is a limit to this principle. I used to play in a campaign where one of the other players was supposed to play this really smart mastermind-tactical-genius character, but the player was so bad at it that every plan or stratagem he came up with was either impossible or suicidal. His plans were so bad that the GM would have to fundamentally alter the campaign setting and its laws of physics and everybody else’s understanding of how reasonable people react, if he were to accommodate that player’s character concept.

In the end two of the other players quit the campaign, because they were so frustrated by the first player, who was totally unwilling to play any other character. His “right” to play a character he was unable to even remotely believable portray made them leave, which resulted in the campaign instantly imploding and no-body getting to play. Was that the best possible outcome? I don’t think so. Was it fair of them to demand that the first player should play something else? I don’t know. But I do know that the fact that he played that particular character meant that nobody else was really enjoying the game as much as they could, and two other players enjoyed it so little that they quit.


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Jiggy wrote:
Corrik wrote:
(snipped for wall of text)

...Are you under the impression that "roleplaying" means "talking to NPCs", and vice-versa?

No, I'm under the impression that roleplaying means playing your role. Interacting and responding to NPCs, other characters, situations, and or events. Do feel free to give me your impression while you continue to ignore my points.

So tell me. A and B's characters are in a passionate argument. C rolls a diplomacy check. Whose responsibility is it to come up with the dialogue for C's character. Someone has to if A and B are going to respond to the character. Should it be the DM, should it be either A or B? Should we stop in the middle of the scene and wait for however long it takes for C to come up with dialogue? Is any of this fair for players A and B? If someone else is coming up with C's dialogue, can we really say that player C is playing the character?


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I think I'm in Lemmy's boat here. If you don't like talking but wanna play the "face", go for it. If you're not as strong as, say, most houseplants and you want to play Ahnold from Conan, that sounds awesome.

The only time I get cheesed off is when a person uses mechanics and CALLS it roleplaying. Stated another way, I don't enjoy passive players.

Roleplaying to me is an active experience. If you enter a dungeon don't wait to be attacked or caught by a trap to start interacting with the environment; when you enter a town don't wait until the guard harasses you before you ask for directions. Get involved. Play your character; literally play your role.

In respect to this thread then that means explain how, or at least why, you're using a skill. Don't just wait til someone comes up to you and go "I use diplomacy. 25; what info do I get?" That's my opinion though and others' most certainly will vary.

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