The Attribute Roleplaying Problem


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This digression is a very good illustration of why having a "party face" is, in fact, a terrible idea. Roleplaying and talking to NPCs are not selfsame actions, but there is a high amount of overlap, and it is bad juju to allow (or intend for) any one player character to dominate NPC interactions. It makes about as much sense as having one PC dominate all of the fights.

As a DM, I see it as one of my duties to get all of the PCs involved and contributing in both sides of the game, whatever the strengths or weaknesses of the players behind them. The problem of the "incompetent face" never really comes up at my tables because nobody gets to play that Bard who can crank out the +50 social checks, as I simply won't allow it. Some PCs may be better at social skills than others, but there is never enough daylight between the characters for any one of the PCs to be expected to do all of the talking, so the quieter players aren't forced into a role they cannot adequately act out.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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JCAB, there's a difference between "certain players attempting to play certain characters could reduce other people's fun so let's address that" and "the only two possibilities are that you're fully able to act exactly like the character you're playing or else you just want to diplomacy people and punch faces and count loot".

The former seems to be what you're describing, while the latter is the very small world in which certain posters apparently live. The former is something that's just part of being a reasonable person (and is connected to every aspect of the game, not just the roleplaying), while the latter is very far from reasonable.

I was replying to the latter.


Still think Charisma needs to go as a stat entirely, along with the sixth of the BP people get to boost it. It would solve such a wondrous amount of problems.

Shadow Lodge

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This is hilarious. There's clearly some issue of communication in this thread. It's like some people are reading in a completely different language or something.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Mark Hoover wrote:
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.

In my experience, the oft-discussed category of lower-CHA-than-my-PC players are doing exactly as you ask: they say "I ask him about [topic]; should I roll Diplomacy?"

The "I Diplomacy him" player seems (near as I can tell) to only exist in the minds of internet dudes who want there to be only one type of player other than the method-actors so that the method-actors can feel superior.


Jiggy wrote:

JCAB, there's a difference between "certain players attempting to play certain characters could reduce other people's fun so let's address that" and "the only two possibilities are that you're fully able to act exactly like the character you're playing or else you just want to diplomacy people and punch faces and count loot".

The former seems to be what you're describing, while the latter is the very small world in which certain posters apparently live. The former is something that's just part of being a reasonable person (and is connected to every aspect of the game, not just the roleplaying), while the latter is very far from reasonable.

I was replying to the latter.

I agree. I think I just maybe might have a slightly more charitable way of reading some posts than you do.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Heh, entirely possible. :)


JCAB wrote:
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...

Maybe this is just a bad example, but this differs from the "face" issue, IMO. There is no mechanical support for being a "really smart mastermind-tactical-genius" in the game. There are rules linked to Intelligence that grant you character knowledge, but there is no mechanical support for being a tactical genius. Anything without mechanical support is left in the player realm of control, thus you would actually have to be a tactical genius to play a tactical genius.

And this could be where some of the holdvoer comes from. Old school D&D (1E and BECM) had no mechanical support for social skills. Thus, you had to actually be good socially to play a "face."

And I'm not here to tell anyone they are wrong. Each is a playstyle. "Challenge the Character" or "Challenge the Player" weigh on this heavily and your preference will color how you like to treat these things whether the mechanics support it or not.


Jiggy wrote:
Mark Hoover wrote:
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.

In my experience, the oft-discussed category of lower-CHA-than-my-PC players are doing exactly as you ask: they say "I ask him about [topic]; should I roll Diplomacy?"

The "I Diplomacy him" player seems (near as I can tell) to only exist in the minds of internet dudes who want there to be only one type of player other than the method-actors so that the method-actors can feel superior.

The important thing is that you feel superior to them right?

But enough passive aggressive insults, let's hear your answer already.


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I think Cha gets picked on a little because people tend to want to act out social interactions. Just rolling checks in a social situation is boring. People expect some in-character dialogue and then have trouble reconciling a great speech with a terrible roll or vice versa.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Corrik wrote:
let's hear your answer already.

Unless I'm thinking of the wrong question, I already answered it.


Jiggy wrote:
Corrik wrote:
let's hear your answer already.
Unless I'm thinking of the wrong question, I already answered it.

You have not, in fact you've ignored the majority of the length of my posts to try to focus in on the areas you think you actually have a leg to stand on.

The players who simply roll the dice exist. The entire point of this thread is that someone who isn't good in social situations should be able to play the party face since all they have to do is make a diplomacy check.

Now then, Players A and B are having a scene and Player C just made a diplomacy check. In detail and describe what is fair to who, go.


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conversion inquisitors all up ins
CHA 7?
still cooler than the other side of the pillow

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Corrik wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Corrik wrote:
let's hear your answer already.
Unless I'm thinking of the wrong question, I already answered it.

You have not, in fact you've ignored the majority of the length of my posts to try to focus in on the areas you think you actually have a leg to stand on.

The players who simply roll the dice exist. The entire point of this thread is that someone who isn't good in social situations should be able to play the party face since all they have to do is make a diplomacy check.

Now then, Players A and B are having a scene and Player C just made a diplomacy check. In detail and describe what is fair to who, go.

Okay, maybe I just wasn't clear before, so I'll try again more thoroughly.

So you're in this scene. So that means the game is underway, which means you started playing at some point, which means that character creation is done, which means at some point everyone (all the players and the GM) decided that the assortment of characters everyone was playing was A-okay, which means that (whether explicitly or implicitly) everyone agreed to let Player C lead the way in social situations.

That means that the situation you describe is the result of one of the following (but if there's a third option I missed, by all means, point it out):
1) Nobody realized there would be a clash between Player C's handling of social situations and Player A/B's preferences.
2) They *did* realize there would be a clash, but failed to have a discussion about it way back during character creation and so Player C went forward thinking everything was fine.

If the situation is #1, then the group discusses the issue and finds the resolution that's best for them. If the situation is #2, then the whole group is pretty immature and A/B have no right to hold C accountable for their own failure to point out a problem that they saw coming.

Basically, either way it's time for an OOC discussion about expectations and roles; but I'm having a hard time imagining a situation where there's fault on the part of Player C.


expect table variation


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

To make things clear... What I said (or at least, what I meant) is this:

The game already provides bonuses and penalties for your attribute modifiers. I do not punish players for not role playing, I just apply the bonuses and penalties provided by the rules. Some players are not comfortable role playing for one reason or another, so I don't force them to do it and don't hurt their characters for not doing it.

I do, however, occasionally reward good role play with bonuses to skill checks and similar rolls. Notice that by "good role play", I do not mean "player is good at talking to people", I mean "do something in an interesting and/or creative way", like providing a really good argument in a discussion with an NPC (you don't have to be outspoken to use logic), coming up with a creative way to check for traps or poison, finding an unexpected solution to a problem, etc.

It's not related to the character's Cha score (or any other attribute ), it's related to the player's creativity.

I enjoy role playing in my table, as do my players (and again, I mean, player creativity and initiative), so I try to encourage them to do it, but I do not force it on them.

IMHO, if you have to break the rules, do it in a way that benefits the players and makes them have more fun. I might be too permissive a GM, but my 3 general GMing guidelines are:

1- Always say "yes", unless you really have to say "no".
2- If you have to improvise a ruling, do it however is more beneficial to players. Better give them a small boost than cheat against them.
3- Don't whine. Adapt.

EDIT: Oh, one more thing: Role playing is not the same as "using social skills". You can be a mute Fighter with Cha 7 and still role play far better than the Bard with Cha 20. Role play is acting your characters ideas, personality, actions, beliefs, quirks, etc in a credible, consistent and, hopefully, entertaining way.

Hell! As long as you and the rest of the table are having fun, you don't even have to be credible or consistent! ^^

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Sounds good to me. :)


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

To make things clear... What I said (or at least, what I meant) s this:

The game already provides bonuses and penalties for your attribute modifiers. I do not punish players for not role playing, I just apply the bonuses and penalties provided by the rules. Some players are not comfortable role playing for one reason or another, so I don't force them to do it and don't hurt their characters for not doing it.

I do, however, occasionally reward good role play with bonuses to skill checks and similar rolls. Notice that by "good role play", I do not mean "player is good at talking to people", I mean "do something in an interesting and/or creative way", like providing a really good argument in a discussion with an NPC (you don't have to be outspoken to use logic), coming up with a creative way to check for traps or poison, finding an unexpected solution to a problem, etc.

It's not related to the character's Cha score (or any other attribute ), it's related to the player's creativity.

I enjoy role playing in my table, as do my players (and again, I mean, player creativity and initiative), so I try to encourage them to do it, but I do not force it on them.

IMHO, if you have to break the rules, do it in a way that benefits the players and makes them have more fun. I might be too permissive a GM, but my 3 general GMing guidelines are:

1- Always say "yes", unless you really have to say "no".
2- If you have to improvise a ruling, do it however is more beneficial to players. Better give them a small boost than cheat against them.
3- Don't whine. Adapt.

EDIT: Oh, one more thing: Role playing is not the same as "using social skills". You can be a mute Fighter with Cha 7 and still role play far better than the Bard with Cha 20. Role play is acting your characters ideas, personality, actions, beliefs, quirks, etc...

So what do you do when an uncreative player wants to play a creative character? (Emoticon that denotes light hearted post)

Paizo Employee Designer

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I think this is another thread where many people are immersed in their experiences and adding subtext to the other side. Let's see if I can give an example of what I might try with a shy player and see if most people would agree with it. The goal of the game is to make sure everyone has fun, and that means adapting for differing playstyle. Basically, my plan would be to engage the player from a perspective that doesn't require them to use social skills, just problem solving skills and thinking about the imaginary characters. Shy Player is A. CharA is A's character. In theory and in my experience, it's possible and even likely that the shy player would come up with something like what player C says in this example, but I decided here to use the extreme example where the shy player also just can't think of anything.

GM: The wyvern's tail rises up, ready to inject its deadly venom into the villager.
A: I ask it to stop. Diplomacy 30.
GM: OK, how are you going to convince it to stop.
A: I'll ask nicely.
GM: OK, that sounds good. Could you offer it any reason to do as you suggest?
A: Umm, because it's mean.
GM: You consider that for a moment, but then you remember (from your earlier Knowledge [Arcana]) that wyverns are nasty brutes who don't really care about being mean. In fact, they like to be known as the toughest guys around.
A: Umm...sorry. Then I don't know.
GM: Hey gang. A got a 30 here. Want to help him out with some ideas?
B: Well you could tell the wyvern it won't get away with the body because we'll kill it first.
GM: What do you think, A?
A: I don't know...I don't think CharA would say that
GM: Good thought B, but that sounds more like an Intimidate check. A's vision here is that CharA is asking it nicely.
C: Well, if they like to be known as the toughest guy, what if you played to the wyvern's ego? You could flatter it and try to set it up against Lord Evilor's forces by pointing out how much more treasure Lord Evilor has. With a 30, we might even be able to gain the wyvern as a tenuous ally.
GM: Does that sound right for CharA?
A: Yeah, I think he would say that.
GM: Great. So you butter up the wyvern with flattery and then point out that Lord Evilor claims to be the mightiest in the valley, which is an insult to the wyvern. The wyvern drops the peasant and replies "Very interesting, meatling. This Lord Evilor needs to be taught a lesson..."


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lol ok its official, I have seen lots of your posts and now its official xD, I would love to play on one of your tables xD


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Mark Seifter wrote:

I think this is another thread where many people are immersed in their experiences and adding subtext to the other side. Let's see if I can give an example of what I might try with a shy player and see if most people would agree with it. The goal of the game is to make sure everyone has fun, and that means adapting for differing playstyle. Basically, my plan would be to engage the player from a perspective that doesn't require them to use social skills, just problem solving skills and thinking about the imaginary characters. Shy Player is A. CharA is A's character. In theory and in my experience, it's possible and even likely that the shy player would come up with something like what player C says in this example, but I decided here to use the extreme example where the shy player also just can't think of anything.

GM: The wyvern's tail rises up, ready to inject its deadly venom into the villager.
A: I ask it to stop. Diplomacy 30.
GM: OK, how are you going to convince it to stop.
A: I'll ask nicely.
GM: OK, that sounds good. Could you offer it any reason to do as you suggest?
A: Umm, because it's mean.
GM: You consider that for a moment, but then you remember (from your earlier Knowledge [Arcana]) that wyverns are nasty brutes who don't really care about being mean. In fact, they like to be known as the toughest guys around.
A: Umm...sorry. Then I don't know.
GM: Hey gang. A got a 30 here. Want to help him out with some ideas?
B: Well you could tell the wyvern it won't get away with the body because we'll kill it first.
GM: What do you think, A?
A: I don't know...I don't think CharA would say that
GM: Good thought B, but that sounds more like an Intimidate check. A's vision here is that CharA is asking it nicely.
C: Well, if they like to be known as the toughest guy, what if you played to the wyvern's ego? You could flatter it and try to set it up against Lord Evilor's forces by pointing out how much more treasure Lord Evilor has. With a 30, we might even be able to gain the wyvern as a tenuous...

That is actually what my table does a lot. He help him OOC to try and help him in character :)

Paizo Employee Designer

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K177Y C47 wrote:
lol ok its official, I have seen lots of your posts and now its official xD, I would love to play on one of your tables xD

Come to Paizocon next year—I'll be in the lottery (and probably not a hard lottery slot to win since I'm new!).

But yeah, having played and run a lot of games, including with plenty of players both shy and boisterous, since I always like to have lots of RP no matter what, I've tried to learn how to engage and include each player's style while still having lots of great RP. Sometimes, that means that if Player C isn't there, I as the GM can offer a few potential options to the player as well. One of the keys with a shy player is affirming while asking for more. Things like "Okay that sounds good. So—" followed by a clarifying question will make it easier for the shy player to engage the problem and add detail in a different way that isn't as confrontational as directly talking in character would be, while also making them feel good about what they have so far. I've found that if you have a supportive group, usually by the end of the session, the shy player is adding a few more of those details without prompting for extra questions too!


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:


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 people are getting a bit overly emotional about his issue right now. I can totally see where the secret fire is coming from. If a player takes no effort to role play - and like he said, we're not talking rhetoric here - when other players are willing to make the effort then I think the game suffers for it.

And here, I'm not talking about always talking in character or with flowery speeches that exactly fit their Charismas. I'm looking for an effort to put together the major points of an attempt at diplomacy, the tactics used, and all fitting with the PC's perspective and what they could and would understand of the situation. If the player can do it in character, all the better.

But if someone wants to just say "I use diplomacy on him" and roll... they can do that at another table.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Bill Dunn wrote:
I'm looking for an effort to put together the major points of an attempt at diplomacy, the tactics used, and all fitting with the PC's perspective and what they could and would understand of the situation.

I've never seen anyone try to get away with less. Ever. Rather, what you describe here is the group of people who are feeling (accurately or not) pointed at when certain posters talk about people who don't care about roleplaying.

For instance, Corrik describes a situation where some players are trying to have an in-character dialogue but the player of the "face" isn't, and labels the face-player as the source of the problem. Well, a player who prefers to do it in the way that you described as being acceptable would fit the villified role in Corrik's example, so they (and others on their behalf) feel attacked.

So they explain that their own flaws shouldn't affect their characters. Then certain other posters respond with things along the lines of "Pfft, well sure, if you don't care about roleplaying," effectively painting people who do the very thing you described as perfectly acceptable as instead being only interested in smashing stuff and rolling dice.

And it just goes round and round. And then some kind of rogue eidolon shows up and gets all "clear" and "communicative". ;)


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:


I've never seen anyone try to get away with less. Ever. Rather, what you describe here is the group of people who are feeling (accurately or not) pointed at when certain posters talk about people who don't care about roleplaying.

I've seen it and didn't like it, so that's why I push any player trying that to do more when I run games.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Jiggy wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
I'm looking for an effort to put together the major points of an attempt at diplomacy, the tactics used, and all fitting with the PC's perspective and what they could and would understand of the situation.

I've never seen anyone try to get away with less. Ever. Rather, what you describe here is the group of people who are feeling (accurately or not) pointed at when certain posters talk about people who don't care about roleplaying.

For instance, Corrik describes a situation where some players are trying to have an in-character dialogue but the player of the "face" isn't, and labels the face-player as the source of the problem. Well, a player who prefers to do it in the way that you described as being acceptable would fit the villified role in Corrik's example, so they (and others on their behalf) feel attacked.

So they explain that their own flaws shouldn't affect their characters. Then certain other posters respond with things along the lines of "Pfft, well sure, if you don't care about roleplaying," effectively painting people who do the very thing you described as perfectly acceptable as instead being only interested in smashing stuff and rolling dice.

And it just goes round and round. And then some kind of rogue eidolon shows up and gets all "clear" and "communicative". ;)

Usually you help me figure it out in a roundabout way. What I do is when I read a thread and see one of your more confrontational posts and feel like it is aimed at what I consider good gaming, I realize that it doesn't make sense because it would be unusual for you to assert that, so I take a few minutes to try to figure out if it's just a problem with definitions and we have another case again where both "sides" are really mostly in agreement but are imagining the other "side" as being an extreme. For instance, Jiggy, until I stepped back and reassessed, I temporarily thought you were arguing for NotJiggy there:

GM: The wyvern's tail rises up, ready to inject its deadly venom into the villager.
A: I ask it to stop. Diplomacy 30.
GM: OK, how are you going to convince it to stop.
NotJiggy: GM, player A is shy and you're putting him on the spot by asking for more details. I'd appreciate it if you just leave it at 30 and have the wyvern drop the villager and we move on to the next encounter. I will be upset with you if you continue any further.

I try to think of myself as a reasonable guy, so if even I could imagine this as an outside onlooker before I reassess, then I realize what the people being directly addressed by the posts might imagine, and that's when I try to make a post like the one I made. I think most everyone in the thread can agree that the NotJiggy opinion is not conducive to good RP, and I hope that everyone can agree that my example above is an example of good RP while still respecting shy players' playstyles.

EDIT: Like BillDunn, I have also seen people who really do just want to roll and refuse to offer any detail or clarifications, so it's not a hypothetical, and it may help explain why people reacted to you in a way that would seem so strange to you. Both sides were chasing a phantom of an extreme position they have seen before in real games (I know you've mentioned you've seen the extreme position on the other side with your wife, where the GM doesn't respect that she's shy and tries to force her to give long speeches in character).

Shadow Lodge

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Bill Dunn wrote:
Jiggy wrote:


I've never seen anyone try to get away with less. Ever. Rather, what you describe here is the group of people who are feeling (accurately or not) pointed at when certain posters talk about people who don't care about roleplaying.
I've seen it and didn't like it, so that's why I push any player trying that to do more when I run games.

I'm with Jiggy, I've never had this sort of problem. So it's utterly bizarre to see people talking about things like this, and even more bizarre to see people explain that no, it's not just a strawman, there actually ARE players like this.


Orthos wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
Jiggy wrote:


I've never seen anyone try to get away with less. Ever. Rather, what you describe here is the group of people who are feeling (accurately or not) pointed at when certain posters talk about people who don't care about roleplaying.
I've seen it and didn't like it, so that's why I push any player trying that to do more when I run games.
I'm with Jiggy, I've never had this sort of problem. So it's utterly bizarre to see people talking about things like this, and even more bizarre to see people explain that no, it's not just a strawman, there actually ARE players like this.

I've seen it, especially in PFS. I have heard "I bluff him", "I intimidate him" and "I diplomacize him" a lot actually.

Let me preface this by I totally allow that at PFS now. I used to not but Jiggy brought up some points on another thread months ago so if someone isn't comfortable role-playing I let them roll dice and continue.

In my home games I run high Socio/Political campaigns where the players are expected to role-play. I put this as a requirement up front, and let people know if they aren't comfortable with that they are welcome to take up an arm role. I then try and engage said players into more and more role-play as the campaign continues.

For instance, I had a player who started with me several years ago now. He had already been playing for five years, but he was super shy. He would say less than 100 words (probably less than 50) during an entire session. I slowly brought him into the role playing fold and the players has been with me through several campaigns now. In the last game he finally played the face and totally rocked it out. This game, he is no longer the face, but is Madness Cleric and gets the entire table rolling with his off the cuff RP.

I have a player currently whose playing in 2 different games I run. He didn't RP at all for the first several months he was in my game, but he didn't try to be the face either. He slowly started rping more with the party and I started giving him non-important side cameo RP experiences. The last three sessions he's been in he's done an amazing job at RP and has really expanded, last session he actually took the role of party face!

Because I have a play style difference, I don't think that makes me a villain as it appears I may be. That is how I like to run games. We may go sessions without combat in my home games so, yes, rp is important to me. Often we may not even roll dice. Its a decision that I make, and that those players who come to my tables know about, and I would like to believe in several cases I have helped develop those players into better role players.

But its just that, a play style difference. I also run gritty games, which also isn't for everyone. I don't think that's "bad" either though, just different.

Because of RP alone in one game I ran we had:
A player save a traitor who they later became friends with and revealed classified secrets.
A player got sentenced to execution.
A player got saved from execution and sold into slavery.
A noble woman gave up family secrets in exchange for privacy.
A player raised a small army to help defend the valley from a barbarian horde.

And those are just a few off the top of my head. I like those things. So do my players, and I make it clear up front, so why is that worse than people who want to "diplomacize" things. Its not, just different, and not villainous either.


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
So what do you do when an uncreative player wants to play a creative character? (Emoticon that denotes light hearted post)

That's easy! Describe his actions as being creative! He didn't just succeed on an Acrobatics check to move without provoking AoO... he moved in a way that the sun would momentarily blind whoever would take that AoO. He didn't just succeed on a craft check. He pulled a McGyver and somehow created alchemist's fire out of a piece of bubblegum and a bar of chocolate!

(He won't be getting any bonuses, though... I reward player creativity. ;) )


Lemmy wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
So what do you do when an uncreative player wants to play a creative character? (Emoticon that denotes light hearted post)

That's easy! Describe his actions as being creative! He didn't just succeed on an Acrobatics check to move without provoking AoO... he moved in a way that the sun would momentarily blind whoever would take that AoO. He didn't just succeed on a craft check. He pulled a McGyver and somehow created alchemist's fire out of a piece of bubblegum and a bar of chocolate!

(He won't be getting any bonuses, though... I reward player creativity. ;) )

I am more amazed the character managed to create/find bubblegum xD


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The stories I write in character background, the pictures I draw sometimes, the descriptions, the way I play the character, and the stat block... these are all just ways of describing the character. If they are not consistent, then there is a problem.

This restricts me in my choice of characters. I have tried to play characters who are horrible people. I can't keep it up. I have tried to play characters who are very social and outgoing. I can't keep that up, either. Maybe for a tabletop game, on a good day, if there weren't too many talky bits, but I LARP too, and I can't do it there. It's just too tiring. I've tried to play characters who are stupid. It's boring. I've tried to play characters who are illogical. It doesn't last. I've tried to play characters who aren't good at tactics. It... sort of works, sometimes, as long as I remember to work at it. It's easier to alter motivations than anything else, because those I can think through logically, while other people are in the spotlight.

I was somewhat proud when I managed to play a character who was convincingly, believably faithful. It was hard to get into the mindset. I think I can go back there, and it is strange, almost like a self-hypnotism exercise.

A friend tells me that I could, or should, push harder to play the characters that are further outside of my normal behaviour. For me it's rewarding to be further out and really nail it. But it's also so draining, and sometimes I want a relaxing game just playing someone who is pretty similar to me but with extra powers.

This is one approach. There are many others. This one is starting from an assumed "actor" stance. There are other stances, but I am somewhat traditionalist. There are radically different ways to play, so different it's hardly even the same activity.

One of the problems with groups is getting them all on the same page on things like this, also many other issues. Or at least, on close enough pages to mutually enjoy events. One of the inbuilt problems with organised play is that throwing together strangers seems to be one of the aims. And doing that in an environment with little time to discuss such things leads to problems. Given the vast range of possible gaming options, it is impressive that it can function at all. :-)


Bill Dunn wrote:

I think people are getting a bit overly emotional about his issue right now. I can totally see where the secret fire is coming from. If a player takes no effort to role play - and like he said, we're not talking rhetoric here - when other players are willing to make the effort then I think the game suffers for it.

And here, I'm not talking about always talking in character or with flowery speeches that exactly fit their Charismas. I'm looking for an effort to put together the major points of an attempt at diplomacy, the tactics used, and all fitting with the PC's perspective and what they could and would understand of the situation. If the player can do it in character, all the better.

But if someone wants to just say "I use diplomacy on him" and roll... they can do that at another table.

Bang on. And people like that exist, regardless of the protestations certain people are (poorly) attempting to make.

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

*chuckle*

***
For our group, we expect at least some effort. If a player can make their own decisions on how they move on the battlefield or what spell to use (even if they're not tactical geniuses), then they can put at least a bit of effort in explaining how they're going to use Diplomacy. (Any suggestion that this requires "method acting" is a silly strawman. Stop it if you want to retain a shred of credibility.)

By allowing players to make their own decisions of how their characters will act in battle, they've already made the concession that they are accepting players' abilities will impact their characters' abilities. Any suggestion otherwise is demonstrably false. So let's not go there, either.

I understand different groups may want to play differently - play styles vary widely, and some people may not be a good fit for certain groups. A shy player (to the degree of not being able to come up with a reasonable effort when using Diplomacy) insisting on playing a "face" character in our particular group probably wouldn't last long, since they just wouldn't be a good fit in our group's long-since-set dynamics and expectations (as to what we consider fun for us), just as a player who is consistently lousy at complicated rules probably would be encouraged to not play a wizard. (Thankfully, nobody is shy or have poor rules knowledge in our group.) That's just the way things go sometimes.

(Our group and I also don't make the mistake of conflating and comparing "physical" skills to "mental" skills in a "mental-based" game - so any of those comparisons are immediately dismissed as nonsensical. We're not at a LARP - we're sitting around a table making wholly 'mental' decisions. We absolutely make that distinction.)


K177Y C47 wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
So what do you do when an uncreative player wants to play a creative character? (Emoticon that denotes light hearted post)

That's easy! Describe his actions as being creative! He didn't just succeed on an Acrobatics check to move without provoking AoO... he moved in a way that the sun would momentarily blind whoever would take that AoO. He didn't just succeed on a craft check. He pulled a McGyver and somehow created alchemist's fire out of a piece of bubblegum and a bar of chocolate!

(He won't be getting any bonuses, though... I reward player creativity. ;) )

I am more amazed the character managed to create/find bubblegum xD

Chewing gum has existed for at least 3000 years... It's a simple matter of using Prestidigitation to change its flavor. ^^


Orthos wrote:
This is hilarious. There's clearly some issue of communication in this thread. It's like some people are reading in a completely different language or something.

Could be. The bad thing about text (without any kind of inflection) is that you don't always get your point across. Words and phrases can mean two completely different things due to hand waving, vocal inflection, facial expressions, etc.

Now, for the thread discussion itself. Our group never has this issue. Maybe it's because we have a really good DM, maybe it's because the players all know each other and each other's weaknesses. When someone who is not naturally well spoken plays a charismatic character and can't think of what the character would say, the other players and sometimes the DM give him/her ideas. Maybe none of us tend to get as "immersed" in role play as some people seem to.


Lemmy wrote:
K177Y C47 wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
So what do you do when an uncreative player wants to play a creative character? (Emoticon that denotes light hearted post)

That's easy! Describe his actions as being creative! He didn't just succeed on an Acrobatics check to move without provoking AoO... he moved in a way that the sun would momentarily blind whoever would take that AoO. He didn't just succeed on a craft check. He pulled a McGyver and somehow created alchemist's fire out of a piece of bubblegum and a bar of chocolate!

(He won't be getting any bonuses, though... I reward player creativity. ;) )

I am more amazed the character managed to create/find bubblegum xD
Chewing gum has existed for at least 3000 years... It's a simple matter of using Prestidigitation to change its flavor. ^^

I believe Beeswax was sometimes used.

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