How do you handle "roleplaying" vs "rollplaying" in your games?


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Plot armor?

You can't really call adventuring a common profession or most plot hooks for pre gen adventures would fail.

"Hey are there any dungeons to explore or mystique occurances to thwart?"

Well there were, but three parties came through last week and prettier solved all those problems.

Ever wonder why there is a retired 5 th level ranger that lives in town
But the outlying areas have a goblin problem ONLY the pcs are able to handle
When that single ranger and his mangy pet could have killed them all single handedly?
(I'm looking at you hamlet)

Adventuring is as rare in fantasy as it is for us in modern real world

Lewis and Clark didn't have competition

Heck even early century Egyptologists who had much competition were still pretty rare and scarcely funded


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Rhedyn wrote:
How do you balance having an authentic world and tailoring a campaign to a leveling party?

Well, coming from semiprofessional game design I learned: A game is all about fun. If authenticity adds to fun, great, build it in. If it doesn't, let it out. Encounters with CR far from APL are clearly the latter case, in my opinion.

Also players have a much harder time to understand the world as the GM. The GM is familiar with the world because he developed it. He knows the NPCs, secrets, potential further developments and connections between the things. Now compare that to players who have to understand concepts from an alien mind in realtime, presented in unsorted bits and pieces. Finally, probably they simply don't care that much about the world as the GM - which is totally ok as long as they somewhat care.


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SheepishEidolon wrote:
Well, coming from semiprofessional game design I learned: A game is all about fun. If authenticity adds to fun, great, build it in. If it doesn't, let it out. Encounters with CR far from APL are clearly the latter case, in my opinion.

Exactly this. One of the worst gaming sessions I ever had to put up with came from a GM who put so much effort into making the game "authentic" that it became horrendously boring. Maybe it was realistic that we couldn't do anything to stop the shapeshifting druid who spent hours slowly stalking and wearing down our party, but spending an entire game session with "nope, your natural 20 on perception still doesn't see him. You can do nothing but wait for the next attack that you won't see coming, and will be powerless to respond to" was not fun at all.

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Merged threads, adjusted thread title, and moved to Gamer Talk subforum since this isn't a system specific discussion. I've also removed a series of pointed and baiting posts. It's absolutely fine to express your own preferences and gaming experiences, but remember that we welcome gamers to our site of all stripes. Additionally, when we temporarily lock a thread over the weekend, it's because we want to be able to take time to address it properly. Remaking the thread and then bringing the contentious/insulting comments over to that new one is really not cool. I also encourage the participants of this thread to take another look at our Community Guidelines and keep them in mind before continuing to post.


I always feel like the default is to do or say something as a PC and then ask the DM if you need to roll something?

So roleplaying is the default and rollplay is the mechanism needed at times to determine the outcome.

I have had full conversations and required zero diplomacy rolls. They are needed on occassion, but not every time!

Nor are they always appropriate!

PC upon meeting the king and the princess....

Diplomacy roll 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (19) + 22 = 41

"I would like your daughter's hand in marriage."

(aside to the DM) Of course I get it look at that diplomacy roll!!! ; )


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I had hoped to post this yesterday before the topic shifted, but better late than never.

Knitifine wrote:
The decision to forgo the common decency of building stories with your group in favor of maxing out the numbers on your character sheet so that you can be the star of the campaign.

That is a beautiful sentence that illuminates the heart of the roleplaying vs. rollplaying debate.

My philosophy is that designing a character intelligently around the character's goals and experiences optimizes the character in ways that work effecively for the character. The character's story shapes the story of the campaign and leads to victory more reliably than a direct grab for power and glory.

I am an optimizer. I can tease that optimization is literally my job, because I am a professional mathematician, Ph.D. and years of experience, and one of my mathematical specialities is named "optimization." But I don't act like the optimizers that Knitifine describes. I see all the Pathfinder abilities, feats, and skills and imagine all the ways to fit them together to make the character I want. My wife, my daughters, and I are so good at optimization that we build highly capable characters that do not resemble the maximum damage-per-round characters traditional for powergamers.

I optimize like both SunstonePhoenix and Maezer.

Knitifine wrote:
Maezer wrote:
Player A says I want to be able to do this. Player B says here's what you need to do that (take this feat, take that class, shift your attributes around so you get do this). And you think Player B is harming player A role playing experience?

That's not optimizing in my eyes. Let me give the example I've already given. (this is based on an actual instance but paraphrased for format/protect people identities)

Player A: I'm going to play a no-nonsense Paladin.
Player B: Yeah? *looks at player A's character sheet* No, you're not doing it right. You can't take Knowledge (Religion), Int is your dump stat. Skill focus? Nah, leave that to the rogue. We'll change your feat to Power Attack, and move your Knowledge ranks into Climb. There, now you're better at being a Paladin.

Player A is going for a no-nonsense paladin. Time to ask questions. That means defending the creed of his church, right? The paladin had better be able to quote that creed, so taking advantage of Knowledge(religion) being a class skill with a skill rank there is the right idea. On the other hand, player A did not say that his paladin will be a scholar of his religion, so Skill Focus(Knowledge(religion)) might be more than he wants. Ask Player A about it. If Player B keeps harping about the paladin's low Int, suggest that Toughness would help the paladin use his favored class bonus for skill ranks rather than hit points, and give an early boost to hp at first level.

SunstonePhoenix wrote:
I am much more likely to choose ability scores, skills, languages, and the like based upon my characters' personal experience, and not what is necessarily best for the class.

Let me illustrate this with my Pathfinder characters.

My first Pathfinder character was Abu Gorgani, a gnome ranger. The Pathfinder take on gnomes seemed fresh and amusing, so I created a young gnome out to see the world. Ranger seemed a good class for that. Str 14 Dex 14 Con 11 Int 15 Wis 15 Cha 13, rolled as 4d6 keep the best three. Those rolls were good, 16, 15, 15, 14, 11, 9, but I deliberately evened out his stats for a well-rounded character so that his gnomishness would be his primary attribute. First level feat was Fleet, to help him travel. Third level feat was Iron Will, because at first level he had been charmed by a goblin warchanter and did not want to repeat the experience. Fifth level feat was Power Attack, because with Str 14 he was not dealing enough damage. At sixth level he multiclassed to monk, for weird roleplaying reasons. When the APG came out, the alternative gnome trait Eternal Optimist fit his personality to a tee.

Abu was not optimized by powergaming standards, but he fulfilled his role as the happy guy who held the party together, solved mysteries with his skills and wisdom, and fought well. He was surprisingly effective as a ranger monk, second best character in the party. He shot owlbears with his longbow until he had to melee against one to protect the wizard. He struck unarmed with a punch and a kick while holding the longbow in his other hand. After he and the wizard defeated the owlbear, he shot arrows at the others without pause. Fleet let him run around, Power Attack let him deal damage, and Iron Will saved him from mind-affecting spells a few times so that he could protect the party. He was elected party leader when the prior leader died heroically. (The player chose a heroic death for her fighter instead of a miraculous survival, and rolled a new bard character.)

My second Pathfinder characer was Gaspar, a human alchemist with Int 18 and Dex 16. I wanted to try out an alchemist, and I optimized his stats. In his backstory, alchemist was a new profession and he teamed up with his cavalier friend Sir Guy (played by my wife) to prove that alchemy was great. The GM sent the party to an isolated feudal city supported by a silver mine. In combat we usually fought against crowds of low-level thugs, which favored Gaspar's bombs. The party summoner would take out half the thugs, Gaspar would take out a quarter of them, and Sir Guy, the rogue, the oracle, and the fighter would take out the rest. When the summoner's player quit out of boredom, Gaspar prepared infusions to buff Sir Guy and the fighter to compete at the same level as him. But the non-combat roleplaying was Gaspar's true calling. Gaspar saw the potential to open new mines in the wilderness, investing his skill points in Knowledge(geology), Profession(prospector), and of course Craft(Alchemy) for assaying. Upon discovering a vein of tin, he needed to persuade investors and his charisma was poor. Fortunately, Sir Guy, the rogue, and the oracle had Cha 18. They became the faces of the company while Gaspar was the idea man behind the scenes. This small band of penniless immigrants became major wheelers and dealers in the province.

My third Pathfinder character was an NPC, because the Jade Regent adventure path was a quest to escort Amaya Kaijitsu, half sister of Ameiko Kaijitsu. She was optimized as someone good to escort: likeable and helpful without stealing the limelight. For example, I gave her the oracle curse Tongues, so that she could not speak during battle. Creating the ultimate support character was fun, though Amaya could not resist taking too many risks, which sent the other party members scrambling to protect her. She exploited the human alternate favored class bonus to learn twice as many spells as the typical oracle. She earned some moments in the limelight by having the surprisingly right spell at the right time. She had more moments when someone else claimed the limelight because Amaya's spells gave them the opportunity to do something totally awesome. The teamwork in that party was superb. I had to increase the difficulty of the modules, because challenges three levels above the party level were a light workout, despite the party mostly using gear purchased four levels ago.

My current Pathfinder character is a hand-me-down from my daughter, who optimizes as well as I do. She created Muffin, a gnome barbarian, but left for Seattle last year. When I joined the game, I brought back Muffin as my character. She is a barbarian optimized for survival and versatility rather than damage per round. Her signature ability is maximized climb skill aided by Raging Climber rage power. With Int 12, she also maximized Acrobatics and Swim with skill points left over for other skills. Recently, when I leveled Muffin up to 12th level, Greater Beast Totem would have been the powergaming choice for a new rage power, for it gives pounce! But Muffin was not interested in combat prowess. She had been wandering in too many unlit corridors lately, so she chose Night Vision instead as an important survival ability. And the very next game session, the party had to battle in supernatural darkness, where only the half-orc and Muffin could see. The powergaming choice is not necessarily the best choice. Yet after skipping both Power Attack and Greater Beast Totem, she is still the second best combatant in the party. Survival skills allow a character to take ridiculous risks for tactical advantage.

These characters were powerful. They changed the game. And they were designed for roleplaying reasons. The reason Abu and Muffin were only the second most powerful characters in their party is because my daughter's battle oracle outshone Abu and my wife's melee sorceress outshone Muffin, and both of them were designed the same way.


Chris Lambertz wrote:
Merged threads, adjusted thread title, and moved to Gamer Talk subforum since this isn't a system specific discussion. I've also removed a series of pointed and baiting posts. It's absolutely fine to express your own preferences and gaming experiences, but remember that we welcome gamers to our site of all stripes. Additionally, when we temporarily lock a thread over the weekend, it's because we want to be able to take time to address it properly. Remaking the thread and then bringing the contentious/insulting comments over to that new one is really not cool. I also encourage the participants of this thread to take another look at our Community Guidelines and keep them in mind before continuing to post.

One thread was about player PC builds, the other was about GMing styles.

The community guidelines tell us not to purposefully derail threads with tangential discussion.

Yes, some posters did copy/paste comments from the locked thread for some ungodly reason, but I see that as a poor excuse to make some sort of chimera thread talking about two completely different topics just because the title seemed similar.


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Paizo prefer us to discuss/argue/appeal moderator decisions in the website feedback subforum. (Or by emailing community@paizo.com) rather than doing so in the thread in question.


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chbgraphicarts wrote:

Step 1) Come up with a mechanical concept - what the character can do, not who they are (that's fluff and has no business in designing a character)

Step 2) Fine-tune that concept to its most-efficient form, cutting out extraneous things (it doesn't have to be the "best" version of a class, but it should be highly effective in at least 1 useful area).

Step 3) Come up with a personality that would make sense/be interesting for the mechanics chosen.

Perhaps the best way to go in PF. Doing the mechanical thing last can end in frustration - "what do you mean is my fault for wanting to play William Tell instead of Robin Hood?"


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Someday, yes someday, we will stumble upon the right way to play this game.


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My problem is with the notion that there are two states and two states only: 'ineffective' or 'optimized'. 'Not competent at what they do' or 'optimized. The only two states a sprinter, for example, can exist in are not, for example, 'Usain Bolt' vs 'incompetent runner'.

A character can be well and truly competent at something without being maximized in it.


RDM42 wrote:

My problem is with the notion that there are two states and two states only: 'ineffective' or 'optimized'. 'Not competent at what they do' or 'optimized. The only two states a sprinter, for example, can exist in are not, for example, 'Usain Bolt' vs 'incompetent runner'.

A character can be well and truly competent at something without being maximized in it.

Most assume optimised means competent unless they are talking about playing a wizard.

If someone means optimised as best, then they can't really be playing anything else. All other options are a roleplay choice. Some would argue that other fullcasters deserved to be put on par with the wizard but I think if we really are talking about being the most optimal, the wizard is the class that you can pull out every stop for.

Aside from the extreme case of maximum optimisation I find that those that optimise their concept tend to care more about the game in general and are therefore better role players. Self proclaimed optimizers to the exclusion of roleplaying tend to just be bad at both. They bring "hax" fighters with "broken" to hit or rogues with "broken" stealth mods or a daze blasting sorcerer with what they think is "max DCs". On the flip side you have self proclaimed role players to the exclusion of optimization. They tend to send the GM a mini book back story but refuse to tell any other player about it. But their character is so tortured that they back stab the party with no apparent justification. Or they bring those original-characters that only has an interesting appearance with no personality aside from eclectic build choices.


In many cases doesn't an Arcanist give a Wizard a run for his money? He's working on a delayed Spell Progression but he's got tricks up his sleeve to complement it that make the sorcerer cry for mommy.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
In many cases doesn't an Arcanist give a Wizard a run for his money? He's working on a delayed Spell Progression but he's got tricks up his sleeve to complement it that make the sorcerer cry for mommy.

The delayed spell level kills it. Reduced spell slots, no school slots and errata nerfs further the gap.

There is also the issue that if you are playing at maximum optimization then spont casting offers no benefit since you already prepared what you need to cast.


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Gah, this forum has way too much US versus THEM. I don't think that that is what gaming is or should be about.


Rhedyn wrote:
RDM42 wrote:

My problem is with the notion that there are two states and two states only: 'ineffective' or 'optimized'. 'Not competent at what they do' or 'optimized. The only two states a sprinter, for example, can exist in are not, for example, 'Usain Bolt' vs 'incompetent runner'.

A character can be well and truly competent at something without being maximized in it.

Most assume optimised means competent unless they are talking about playing a wizard.

If someone means optimised as best, then they can't really be playing anything else. All other options are a roleplay choice. Some would argue that other fullcasters deserved to be put on par with the wizard but I think if we really are talking about being the most optimal, the wizard is the class that you can pull out every stop for.

Aside from the extreme case of maximum optimisation I find that those that optimise their concept tend to care more about the game in general and are therefore better role players. Self proclaimed optimizers to the exclusion of roleplaying tend to just be bad at both. They bring "hax" fighters with "broken" to hit or rogues with "broken" stealth mods or a daze blasting sorcerer with what they think is "max DCs". On the flip side you have self proclaimed role players to the exclusion of optimization. They tend to send the GM a mini book back story but refuse to tell any other player about it. But their character is so tortured that they back stab the party with no apparent justification. Or they bring those original-characters that only has an interesting appearance with no personality aside from eclectic build choices.

No ...

I mean, I will make a post saying 'I don't necessarily need to garner every plus one I can to be effective' and get a response along the lines of 'well, I want to be competent at swinging my sword!!' With the clear implication being that sacrificing some numerical efficiency for other reasons makes a character 'not competent' at that activity. There is a broad range of competent and useful. Or complaints that a character 'won't be competent' if they have, say, a sixteen rather than an eighteen in their prime stat.

I'm actually using the definition of optimized many are using of 'optimized for task' not 'absolute best character'

Example - one does not have to have every possible plus available to be competent at a bow. You make a range without full concentration at that task, and I wager that unless you specifically try to make him incompetent at it, he will be competent - to the tune of 'being able to consistently contribute and make useful things happen in combat and do so throughout the entire campaign.'


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SunstonePhoenix wrote:

I have become very aware recently of the fact that I tend to be very roleplaying oriented, and have many people in my routine PFS group that also lean towards roleplaying. Here's what I mean:

When I create a character, it's typically because I've become fascinated with a certain class or race that I haven't played before, and a million ideas for cool characters that could be of that race or class pop into my head. I create a stupid amount of backstory for some of my characters, and some of them aren't very well optimized. One of my favorite characters that I've created is a cleric of Groetus who has a very odd balance of maturity and childishness. He preaches of End Times and death, yet will put the life of his fluffy pet rabbit over his own, and constantly dotes over the thing. (Just as one example) Here's the thing, though. From what I've seen, Karawan doesn't seem to be an optimized cleric. His oddity and nihilism grants him abysmal charisma, which is the stat used to channel energy, basically depriving him of a class feature. Karawan just doesn't seem like a charismatic guy, so I didn't give him a high charisma score.

Most optimizers will assure you that Charisma is a dump stat for a cleric unless you're using a particularly overpowered feat was published recently (which gives what amounts to Divine Grace to any divine caster). Channel Energy is a mild class feature that's nice to have but virtually never practical enough to consider when choosing ability scores.

Quote:
I guess that, though I try to make characters that can aid a party, I am much more likely to choose ability scores, skills, languages, and the like based upon my characters' personal experience, and not what is necessarily best for the class. They have to have had some reason to become the class, so I wouldn't make a wizard with zero mental skills and all physical ones (seriously, they wouldn't want to be a wizard in the first place.)

I had a player whose wizard grew up on a rural farm doing hard labor who was later trained as a wizard as a gift to his father for showing a wandering wizard exceptional hospitality. So the party's wizard looked like a rural farmhand with impressive physique, moderate mental stats, and carried an axe.

The player wanted to play a wizard who buffed, blasted, abjured, and mixed it up in melee sometimes. He was quite well rounded and his Str and Con were greater than his Int for a very long time (and remained pretty close to it later).

Maybe if you can't fathom how X could equate to Y, you shouldn't be lecturing about fallacies because it seriously looks like you might understand neither side, let alone that the two mindsets are not opposed at all.

Quote:
, but I don't seriously optimize. Thus, I tend to be a very, very roleplay oriented player with maybe a little bit of rollplay thrown in.

There are generally two major draws that this game has for people. The gameplay half and the roleplay half. Many people love both, but some who are inept at one are usually not at the other, or else they'd be inept at both the crunch and the fluff and that leaves little else so you'd probably be playing something else.

Quote:
To be honest, I was shocked the first time I played with a true optimizer, as I saw them exchanging all sorts of concepts that would have worked with their character's personality for ones that didn't compliment the character that well. They worked very well on a gameplay standpoint, but seemed very uncharacteristic of the character in question.

Example?

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TLDR: How do you balance roleplaying with rollplaying, and which one do you consider more important to your enjoyment of the game?

Both are important. However in the most literal sense the mechanics are more important to "playing D&D/Pathfinder" because people can happily enjoy playing through a story-lite or story-less dungeon crawling campaign using these games, however abandoning the mechanics means you aren't playing the game anymore you're playing Whose Line is It Anyway.

In the practical sense, I prefer a very healthy dose of both. I want to play the game and have fun and a big part of that fun comes from creating stylized characters, toying with various concepts, and creating stories.

Quote:
How well do you work with roleplayers/rollplayers?

"Rollplay" supports "Roleplay" so extremely well. I've found that someone who knows what they are doing and understands the system are typically far more capable of making concepts work well in a party even if they are atypical and have their mechanics reflect exactly the sort of character they want to play.

Quote:
I'd love to start a good discussion here on the topic, but let's try not to murder each other over our opinions. :)

Oh if you insist. *sheathes life-drinker*


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I've posted on this a few years back:

Kirth Gersen wrote:

Overwhelmingly, the people I have at the table who are good role-players are also good at practical optimization. The people who are lousy at optimization are also the exact same people who don't get into the role-playing aspects, either. Maybe I've just been really lucky, but I've seen this as a pretty consistent trend over 30 years of gaming. There have been exceptions -- Houstonderek's original Pathfinder group had a guy who loved the role-playing part and really hammed it up, but had zero grasp of the rules -- but that's been relatively rare (that same group had me and Derek on the good-at-both end, and also a guy who made the least effective characters I've ever seen, and also seemingly never had a hint of a personality or backstory for them).

I feel that I should also mention Andostre's character Agun, whose personality quirks (some part of his backstory, some organically grown as a result of adventuring experiences) and character effectiveness are actually mutually-reinforcing, rather than antithetical to one another. That doesn't happen by accident, and it doesn't happen by lopsidedly favoring one over the other.

For example, we start off: Agun is a dwarf who enjoys cigars and whiskey a bit more than average. He maxes out ranks in Appraise to simulate his knowledge of the quality and antecedents of these comestibles. Agun is also the party wizard; he selects detect magic as a cantrip and becomes an ace at identifying magic items -- an ability the group was in desperate need of. Agun's interest in apprasing objects, however, often leads him to be callous about his fellow party members, viewing them as objects as well. This would normally be a detriment to character-party effectiveness, but Andostre handled it this way: as a result of some interaction with a magic fountain druing an early adventure, Agun becomes extremely wary of using magic on himself, but sees the advantages of magically-buffed teammates, and has no qualms using magic on them. Andostre, realizing that our houserules rules make casting in combat extremely difficult, weaves together Agun's personality quirks with his disinclination to be a direct combatant, and makes Agun the party buffer. Casting spells on his compatriots and sending them ahead is exactly what Agun would do as a result of his personality and experiences, and exactly what Andostre wants him to do in terms of character effectiveness.


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I consider it a simple courtesy to be bringing an effective character to the table.

A character doesn't need to be bleeding-edge optimized, but they need to be able to perform the role the rest of the party is counting on them to do.

Granted, at my table, people tend to coordinate when building and leveling characters. So if someone can't actually do the thing they're supposed to be able to do, they'd often be leaving a gap.

Being deadweight is embarrassing. My very first 3E character was deadweight, and, well, never again =P

I have a couple people in my games who have an utterly miserable grasp of the rules but are good roleplayers; other people at the table usually help them with building their characters and with running the character in a combat situation. (In part because both of the players I'm thinking of are so bad at math that the game grinds to a screeching halt if we don't do it for them =P)

And I also have at least one player who's very good at optimization but only barely interested in roleplay; he's there to kick ass in combat (and that he does), and otherwise pretty content to just read or mess around on his tablet when there's no combat going on.

(For my own part, I start with a class I want to play, and then work out concept from there. While I make sure my concept is supported by the mechanics, I have had concepts evolve because I later found mechanics that were more interesting than what I was originally looking at.)

Rollplay v. Roleplay is a spectrum, not a binary equation.


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137ben wrote:
Gah, this forum has way too much US versus THEM. I don't think that that is what gaming is or should be about.

that sounds like something one of THEM would say!


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It's like the alignment axis.

Pretend mechanical mastery equates to law/chaos.
Pretend roleplay mastery equates to good/evil.

Lawful Good = You are awesome at this game.
Neutral Good = Crunch fair, fluff strong
Chaotic Good = Crunch weak, fluff strong
Lawful Neutral = Crunch strong, fluff fair
Neutral = Average
Lawful Evil = Crunch strong, fluff weak
Neutral Evil = Crunch fair, fluff weak
Chaotic Evil = You suck at this game.


Roleplaying gets plot cookies. Rollplaying doesn't, because they're interested in stats.

It's not so much punishing Roll Play, but tailoring the experience to the player. A roleplayer will have a charcter who falls in lust/love, makes strong friendships and stumbles into awkward situations.

A roll player doesn't care as long as he hits stuff and does tons of damage. I don't, as a DM have much control over his choice of stats or feats, and s/he isn't interested in plot, so why throw cookies that only get ignored?

That being said, plot cookies can lead to things like the NPC giving something like an item to a player ot helping them out in a really bad situation. It can, also, however, lead to mortal enemies being made and the role player being targetted for assassination.

It utterly depends on how the player wants to play. Of course, this gets mitigated and adapted based on how many you have playing, so roll players can end up left out in the cold if the majority want RP.

It's like the difference between social characters who get extra dialog options in a video game as opposed to players who just cut swathes through content.


How do I handle rollplay vs roleplay?

I keep playing.


We play both kinds because we want to have fun. When there is a good piece of Roleplaying between characters we give them extra XP.


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dkonen wrote:

Roleplaying gets plot cookies. Rollplaying doesn't, because they're interested in stats.

It's not so much punishing Roll Play, but tailoring the experience to the player. A roleplayer will have a charcter who falls in lust/love, makes strong friendships and stumbles into awkward situations.

A roll player doesn't care as long as he hits stuff and does tons of damage. I don't, as a DM have much control over his choice of stats or feats, and s/he isn't interested in plot, so why throw cookies that only get ignored?

Because people offered cookies are more likely to try cookies. My brother was pretty distant from the roleplay aspects of my campaign I started months ago, because he hadn't figured out a lot about his Paladin other than he was a Paladin and had a bible and sword handed down from his parents. He was mostly blank beyond that.

I stuffed some cookies in his mouth and not long after he might as well been blue and furry.


Ashiel wrote:

It's like the alignment axis.

Pretend mechanical mastery equates to law/chaos.
Pretend roleplay mastery equates to good/evil.

Lawful Good = You are awesome at this game.
Neutral Good = Crunch fair, fluff strong
Chaotic Good = Crunch weak, fluff strong
Lawful Neutral = Crunch strong, fluff fair
Neutral = Average
Lawful Evil = Crunch strong, fluff weak
Neutral Evil = Crunch fair, fluff weak
Chaotic Evil = You suck at this game.

It could just be my perception but it seems that chaotic neutral types have the most problems with others. Was that a coincidence?


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BigDTBone wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

It's like the alignment axis.

Pretend mechanical mastery equates to law/chaos.
Pretend roleplay mastery equates to good/evil.

Lawful Good = You are awesome at this game.
Neutral Good = Crunch fair, fluff strong
Chaotic Good = Crunch weak, fluff strong
Lawful Neutral = Crunch strong, fluff fair
Neutral = Average
Lawful Evil = Crunch strong, fluff weak
Neutral Evil = Crunch fair, fluff weak
Chaotic Evil = You suck at this game.

It could just be my perception but it seems that chaotic neutral types have the most problems with others. Was that a coincidence?

I'm glad someone got the joke. :P

Liberty's Edge

The same way I deal with most issues.

A cattle prod.


I have always said Roleplay and Rollplay(optimization) are two separate skills. So I guess I agree with Ashiel's RP alignment axis.


The reason I think people think of them as opposites is because people tend to focus more on the side of the game they like more. So a guy who loves optimizing is going to spend more time developing his Roll play skill and less time on his Role play skill, or vice versa for the Fluff guy.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I feel both skills are important to the game. But I find that the rules heavy nature of the system makes it more difficult to teach the roleplay aspect versus the rules aspect. Quite simply, most groups I have participated in don't know how to teach a new player how to get into character and stay in there for a conversation. I blame the lack of roleplaying guidance in the books for this and well as the ephemeral nature of roleplaying not having any hard rules in the first place.


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Aranna wrote:
The reason I think people think of them as opposites is because people tend to focus more on the side of the game they like more. So a guy who loves optimizing is going to spend more time developing his Roll play skill and less time on his Role play skill, or vice versa for the Fluff guy.

That makes logical sense, but the overall time that people spend on the game varies wildly. In general, what I see is that some people devote a lot of time to the hobby -- when they're not playing, they read rulebooks, and they make up a bunch of characters that they may never play, and maybe they draw sketches and work up backgrounds, etc. The proportions might differ slightly, but in general, the total amount of time they devote to the hobby is large, and they therefore develop both skills a lot.

Other people are far more casual -- the ones who are in it just to hang out or whatever. They devote comparatively little time to developing either skill, and therefore tend to be lackluster at both.

Say a group of 4 players spends 8 hours/week playing together (assume half and half "role" and "roll"). But Player A also spends another 4 hours at home on rulebooks and another 12 on characters. Maybe Player B has no life; he spends 12 hours on rulebooks and 8 on characters. And maybe Players C and D spend 0 hours outside of the game.

Player A might have developed his "role-playing" more than anyone (16 hrs/wk), but his rules-savvy is also quite good (8 hrs/wk). Player B is way ahead on "roll-playing" (16 hrs/wk), but really isn't too far behind on "role-playing" (12 hrs/wk) either! And they're both far, far better at BOTH aspects than either of the other players who spend very time on either skill (4 hrs/wk).


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I don't mind if people want to powergame, but I do mind when they want to powergame my character for me. Play your PC your way and I'll do mine my way.


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Jiggy wrote:
Brother Fen wrote:
I don't mind if people want to powergame
I don't believe you.

That's just because you are a complete rollplayer. Just because he didn't roll high enough on his bluff check, you say you don't believe him. Sometimes, the rules are wrong and you should just ROLEplay your reaction. Even if he didn't roll very high, since Brother Fen ROLEplayed his bluff well, you should believe him and ignore the MMO die rolls.


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Brother Fen wrote:
I don't mind if people want to powergame, but I do mind when they want to powergame my character for me. Play your PC your way and I'll do mine my way.

Then again, there are are pretty good reasons why random Peewee Little League players aren't drafted by the Yankees.

If you're playing an Everyone Wins Happy Funtime Game, in which "scary" encounters are at a CR below your level, then non-optimized characters are the order of the day. If some dirty "powergamer" shows up and starts actually using the rules to his or her advantage, he'll curbstomp the opposition, upstage the rest of the party, and generally ruin the game. That's why Michael Jordan spent the late 80s playing for the NBA, rather than trying to pass as a schoolkid and playing at the local YMCA. So, yeah, you definitely SHOULD mind if someone wants to "powergame," in that context.

On the opposite end of things, imagine all the other players all want to play Age of Worms -- an AP in which only a highly-optimized hunter-seeker team has any chance of survival. A purely "role-play" character with no abilities outside of basket weaving takes up a membership slot that is desperately needed to carry its full weight and then some. Refusing to allow anyone to help you "powergame" your basket weaver is, in that context, nothing more than a drama-queen move designed to destroy the game.


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It's funny- this whole "pull your weight!" stuff never comes up in my game or any game I have been in. Usually characters that suck on their own merits die on their own merits.


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Burrowing? My special skill is Burrowing!?


It sure would be nice of Burrow Speed were a little easier to achieve.

For a martial character I mean.


Freehold DM wrote:
It's funny- this whole "pull your weight!" stuff never comes up in my game or any game I have been in. Usually characters that suck on their own merits die on their own merits.

It doesn't come up at my table either. But then again, the worst optimizer at the table always asks me what feat he should take next. I make a short list and let him choose. He gets to roleplay the character he wants while still being able to impact the outcome of combat (in a positive way for the group). Right now I'm the co-DM, but I still don't mind offering him advice.

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