Munchkining is the opposite side of the spectrum for roleplay. I check things up and basically everything but railroading is being a munchkin. having a good combination of anything like Combat Reflexes feat and a Reach weapon.
I havent found a point where roleplaying can be ignored entirely. You have to ask characters/players questions or else you cant do anything. Even asking where there are enemy mobs, rewards, quests requires something.
I do ask more questions than most other people in my group. I bring up moral choices sometimes, like "should we kill those goblin dogs?".
But i also picked a Half-orc for Darkvision.
I currently play in Pathfinder Society campaign, so there is no reward and no penalty for extra effort in combat or in roleplaying. Its a simple win/lose scenario.
If you run into a sentient teddy bear and your only question is "Where are the bad guys for me to fight!" you are roleplaying.
There are some perks for having a backstory, but a john doe who does not remember anything is a blank slate that the GM can fill in with a missing person built into the scenario. Maybe their parents died fighting an old one and they blocked it out of their memory. Maybe that tattoo of a star on their chest is an actual elder star.
Just standing around like a lump when there is no combat is it's own punishment. When I GM, search or perception are always a class skill.
Of course, some players don't want the GM to add to or create their backstory for them. I know personally that if the GM tried to add things to one of my character's backstories, I wouldn't like it.
Generally I'm iffy about it, but "I don't remember anything" is an open invitation. Just like "I'm an orphan, left on the steps of the local church as a new-born" is an open invitation for the GM to do something interesting with the parents.
If you don't want the GM to touch your backstory, fill in normal broad outlines, even if you make them mundane and boring.
I've worked characters backstories into the scenario on numerous occasions. (mind you, it takes a DM that knows your character)
There's one scenario where you're asking around the orc city. The half orc bard had a shaman who was ashamed of him in his background, so when they made their gather info check they wound up talking with him and role playing for abit.
An inquisitor of asmodeuous got into a fight with another cleric of asmodeous in part I of the adventure. A quasit showed up and ordered him to "guard" a jail from the inside while the church hierarchy worked out the paperwork.. the same jail the party was breaking into in part II.
The scenario doesn't allow it all the time/you may not know a particular character well enough to realize when it does, but it can and does happen.
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Just please, it doesn't have to be 40 pages long, these are first level characters after all. :-D
I actually used to come up with long overly contrived backgrounds, but then the rest of the party would just have "this is my name, and I like strawberries" but then as the game went along they would build on it. So while my character was who he was, their characters became who they were.
I no longer come up with long backstories. My Medium for Hell's Rebels only has "He tries to channel The Brightness, but only gets dead people" the rest I'll make up as we go along. :-)
Edit: "overly contrived" lol, f%~! you phone! I guess I'm to blame for doing what the spell checker prompted me to say. :-)
|Captain Yesterday's Phone|
Here's my "just please":
Just please, please, please, for the love of all that is holy, don't just f!~&ing copy your favorite character from a movie or TV show or video game or comic. Make it differ at least a little bit.
I get you really, really liked Zorro. That's cool. You want to make a swashbuckler with fencing grace? That's cool.
But when you name your character Zorro and give him a black mask and tights and basically play exactly the same character? Just...just f*&% you. I don't care if I'm a bad person for this. I hate that. I hate it so damn much.
You can't, I don't know, differ him even a little bit? Make the character your own, in any way possible? No?
Go play a video game if you don't want to use your imagination at all.
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Munchkining is the opposite side of the spectrum for roleplay.
No, its not. Bad gamer, no mountain dew for you.
Munchkining/optimization and role playing are two completely different things. You do not get better at one by ignoring the other. Your role play does not get better just because your character can't meet their design objectives or fight their way out of a wet paper bag and there's nothing to prevent you from telling the tragic epic drama of Pun Pun the overoptimized.
This attitude encourages optimizers not to role play, encourages role players to make horrible characters, neither of which is a good thing. Its also not really true. People familiar enough with the game to optimize also tend to think about their characters enough for a background and people that have been role playing for a while know the basics of how to build a character. If you could make a scattergraph of it you'd probably see a pretty strong positive correlation between role and roll playing if anything (but it would probably drop off a bit at the extremes)
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Heh, when I think about my threads I can usually sum it up in one sentence.
Would you play with me as I am or do I have to change for you?
As a GM I see myself like a host of a party. I create an environment/game and I want my guests/players to have fun. If I notice that they seem more involved in combat, I lean towards that more. If not, then not. I try to be upfront in what I expect in the game, but let the players take the lead in what they actually do.
As long as everyone is having fun, the game is being run correctly.
You don't need to change for me, but if you only like combat (Not saying you said this, this is just a hypothetical) and you are happy to let the others take the lead when it comes to non-combat, I won't force you to do something you don't enjoy to "just get to the good parts". On the other hand, I won't do only combat if the other players and myself want to do some non-combat activities.
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Since you're just asking our opinions, I'm not going to say my opinion is right or wrong. I will say that I have fun DMing for players who enjoy role-playing, so I don't enforce it, I just don't play with people who don't want to. There are players at the game who are there to have fun, and the DM is one of the those players. He has a slightly different role, but his feelings and desires are not invalid just because he's the DM.
It's not wrong of you to not want to role-play unless you keep joining groups that say they all really enjoy role-playing and you expect that to change based on your feelings alone.
At the same time I appreciate that everyone has a comfort level and also has a view of how the game works.
I have usually gotten more fun from the when I would show up prepared to do, say things that my PC might say.
I usually try and get this in the backstory of the character what are some things your character says.
If you did a question and answer what would your character say about why he became a X adventurer?
Long ago in first edition I used to prepare my characters with some things I had written down....