"Out of character mode activated"


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Does anyone have the players and/or DM do something to denote when they are talking out of character (as opposed to having their character say whatever it is)? Sometimes it's obivious but not in all cases. I'm wondering if everyone should be given a piece of paper labeled "OOC" which they can turn writing side up to denote they are saying something out of character?


One of my older groups used to put their hand on top of their head when they were speaking OOC, I still find myself doing that sometimes - but now as a Player I actually try to just have my Character Voice be different enough from my ACTUAL voice that I can just use that to denote in/out of character stuff.


We're usually pretty informal, so this hasn't really come up yet. I might institute something like that for Strange Aeons but I haven't decided whether it's really necessary. I've heard of people holding an "OOC stick" or other talking stick variant, though.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

If I (as a player or a DM) can't tell the difference between something you're saying in-character and something you're saying out-of-character, then it's in-character. Especially if it's embarrassing.

Player: "I'm going to void my bowels."
Me (as DM): The king is unimpressed by your disrespect and refuses the party's request to increase the size of his reward for your rescue of his daughter given the difficulties said rescue entailed.

The lesson taught: just go... don't announce.


Anguish wrote:

If I (as a player or a DM) can't tell the difference between something you're saying in-character and something you're saying out-of-character, then it's in-character. Especially if it's embarrassing.

Player: "I'm going to void my bowels."
Me (as DM): The king is unimpressed by your disrespect and refuses the party's request to increase the size of his reward for your rescue of his daughter given the difficulties said rescue entailed.

The lesson taught: just go... don't announce.

What? Any player in any group that I’ve ever been in, that just got up and walked away without saying anything, even to go to the bathroom, would be quickly kicked out of the group for the major disrespect they just gave everyone.


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Reksew_Trebla wrote:
Anguish wrote:

If I (as a player or a DM) can't tell the difference between something you're saying in-character and something you're saying out-of-character, then it's in-character. Especially if it's embarrassing.

Player: "I'm going to void my bowels."
Me (as DM): The king is unimpressed by your disrespect and refuses the party's request to increase the size of his reward for your rescue of his daughter given the difficulties said rescue entailed.

The lesson taught: just go... don't announce.

What? Any player in any group that I’ve ever been in, that just got up and walked away without saying anything, even to go to the bathroom, would be quickly kicked out of the group for the major disrespect they just gave everyone.

Yeah, the player probably learned his lesson: Don't play at a jerk Gm's table


I play online, so my group has to say that we're OOC. If all we need to is run to the bathroom, we type BRB into the chat, and 'Back' when we get back. Of course, we try to wait until we won't miss anything for that.


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Generally speaking, my group finds it pretty clear what is and isn't in character. And if it's unclear we err on the side of it not being in character.

No, we don't like punishing the party for talking between themselves about things they couldn't know or are speculating about a character they've just met.

It doesn't make the game more fun for out table.

Yes, that means we're often not terribly immersed. Immersion isn't our primary goal. Our goal is to have fun as a group. Restricting ourselves to only in character talk or having to signify that talking about the funny thing I saw on Reddit shouldn't require me to say that I'm out of character. And I think trying to force such behavior on others is rude and mean.

This doesn't mean it's a bad style of play, but trying to force others to do it that way is. And if you have this issue, it may mean that you and the other person/people have different play styles and desires for the game. And you should talk about that like adults and come to terms with what the group as a whole wants. If someone doesn't think that can abide by the collective will of the group, then they may need to find another group.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Reksew_Trebla wrote:
Anguish wrote:

If I (as a player or a DM) can't tell the difference between something you're saying in-character and something you're saying out-of-character, then it's in-character. Especially if it's embarrassing.

Player: "I'm going to void my bowels."
Me (as DM): The king is unimpressed by your disrespect and refuses the party's request to increase the size of his reward for your rescue of his daughter given the difficulties said rescue entailed.

The lesson taught: just go... don't announce.

What? Any player in any group that I’ve ever been in, that just got up and walked away without saying anything, even to go to the bathroom, would be quickly kicked out of the group for the major disrespect they just gave everyone.

Sigh.

Let's go with the theory the lunch-time sense of humour post fell flat, not that I'm a sociopath.


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Reksew_Trebla wrote:
What? Any player in any group that I’ve ever been in, that just got up and walked away without saying anything, even to go to the bathroom, would be quickly kicked out of the group for the major disrespect they just gave everyone.

I just noticed this post and I want to say....your group is very very different from mine.

This is not to say it's bad, but it is extremely different. And this kind of reaction would illicit an....unfriendly response from me.

I play with my friends, but they are not my keeper. Unless I'm leaving the table and not returning with a few minutes, I don't feel I owe it to everyone tell them what I'm doing. Maybe I'm going to the bathroom. Maybe I'm getting a drink. Maybe I'm just walking around the room because I've been sitting too long and want to stretch my legs. Unless it's my turn or about to be my turn I don't feel I owe it to anyone to explain my actions. And if I unduly delay the game you can skip my character's turn. But frankly, I feel the sort of reaction your describing isn't considerate of people's individual autonomy.


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Unless you're doing a split party, there is always a good chance for you to be needed at the table, if just to get attacked by an npc. At the least, you should say something like, "Be back in a minute".


The other lesson being : know your group, cause we don't.
Depends how serious you're being, usually and now specifically, how heavy the moment is, what the mood is. Who you're playing with, the playstyle ... The usual factors.

Sometimes, pointing out you're ooc is very important, but how you do it only matter as far as everyone being okay with it.
I usually either just say so, if I'm asking the gm something quick or some such, or go with the "time out" gesture, as its generic enough and we never really discuss a specific way to deal with it.
If you feel it could be useful, that it would benefit the flow of your game to have an agreed-upon sign or physical thing, go for it. You can always change things up later if it turns out you chose poorly.


I never have much of an issue telling the 2 apart.


Yqatuba wrote:
Does anyone have the players and/or DM do something to denote when they are talking out of character (as opposed to having their character say whatever it is)? Sometimes it's obivious but not in all cases. I'm wondering if everyone should be given a piece of paper labeled "OOC" which they can turn writing side up to denote they are saying something out of character?

People in my games tend to cross their fingers when speaking OOC, purely out of habit, since we're also LARPers, and that's the common symbol for "not speaking as my character" in the LARPS we play.


Melkiador wrote:
Unless you're doing a split party, there is always a good chance for you to be needed at the table, if just to get attacked by an npc. At the least, you should say something like, "Be back in a minute".

Disagree. The GM or another player can look on my sheet to know if they hit and someone can write down as a note how much damage I took. I don't feel like it's too much to ask to allow people to be people without having a "mother may I" situation.

And that's not to say it isn't courteous to notify the table, and I will do so if I expect to be away from the table for more than 5 minutes. But if I want to get up to stretch my legs and I'm going to be penalized unless I tell everyone what I'm doing...that doesn't sit well with me.


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There's a big difference between asking permission and informing others. I don't think anyone has said you should ask permission, but by mysteriously vanishing you can be holding up an entire table of 4 to 6 other people, which is obviously rude. And it's not like it's always convenient for someone else to rifle through your stuff to find your stats like hit points, non-lethal damage, AC, Touch AC, Flat-Footed AC, Fortitude, Reflex and Will to run your character for you. It's not like character sheets are standardized. I've seen nearly as many formats as people at tables. I really hope you don't ever play a pet class with that kind of attitude, because that just doubles the problem.


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Ninjamancer wrote:
One of my older groups used to put their hand on top of their head when they were speaking OOC, I still find myself doing that sometimes - but now as a Player I actually try to just have my Character Voice be different enough from my ACTUAL voice that I can just use that to denote in/out of character stuff.

Yeah, I prefer to use a character voice for in-game speech, and my normal voice for the OOC, and it hasn't presented any problems so far. It's also not a hassle, since the ratio of IC talking at our tables to OOC is probably 1:8. Not sure how that would match up at other tables, but we do a lot of conversation/rule discussion/joking "to avoid the argument I activate Treeform and let them rant away at my stoic barkiness". We find that letting people "be themselves" most of the time means that they stay truer to their character persona the rest of the time, but I'm suddenly suspicious that everyone else here is thinking "they just TALK and break IMMERSION frequently? Glad I don't play with THAT guy!".

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I get grumpy when players try to use OOC chatter as free telepathy among their characters. If they haven't worked out their plan before they walk up to the guards and start bluffing, it's too late. The guards are right there. They can hear you. "But we're talking OOC" doesn't cut it. Ditto if you have limited rounds before the next bad thing happens. Your planning is in real time. Of course, I'll stop the clock for actual OOC stuff. We can pause while you talk sportsball scores. But you can't use OOC as a way to magically share information between characters.


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Aaron Tysen wrote:
I get grumpy when players try to use OOC chatter as free telepathy among their characters. If they haven't worked out their plan before they walk up to the guards and start bluffing, it's too late. The guards are right there. They can hear you. "But we're talking OOC" doesn't cut it. Ditto if you have limited rounds before the next bad thing happens. Your planning is in real time. Of course, I'll stop the clock for actual OOC stuff. We can pause while you talk sportsball scores. But you can't use OOC as a way to magically share information between characters.

I understand this, but you have to remember, sometimes dumb people play the game, or even just average intelligence people. The fact is, the 18 INT Wizard being played by an average intelligence person SHOULD get free advice, because their character is a lot more intelligent than the player.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Aaron Tysen wrote:
I get grumpy when players try to use OOC chatter as free telepathy among their characters. If they haven't worked out their plan before they walk up to the guards and start bluffing, it's too late. The guards are right there. They can hear you. "But we're talking OOC" doesn't cut it. Ditto if you have limited rounds before the next bad thing happens. Your planning is in real time. Of course, I'll stop the clock for actual OOC stuff. We can pause while you talk sportsball scores. But you can't use OOC as a way to magically share information between characters.

I hear you but I recognize that my players who gather every two weeks for five hours of gaming don't work together as well as my characters who adventure together for weeks and months on end.

As such, I don't mind a fair amount of OOC discussion. It's safe to assume that adventurers have more in-setting knowledge and experience than the people puppeting them do, and that OOC edge nicely simulates that.


Melkiador wrote:
There's a big difference between asking permission and informing others. I don't think anyone has said you should ask permission, but by mysteriously vanishing you can be holding up an entire table of 4 to 6 other people, which is obviously rude. And it's not like it's always convenient for someone else to rifle through your stuff to find your stats like hit points, non-lethal damage, AC, Touch AC, Flat-Footed AC, Fortitude, Reflex and Will to run your character for you. It's not like character sheets are standardized. I've seen nearly as many formats as people at tables. I really hope you don't ever play a pet class with that kind of attitude, because that just doubles the problem.

I'm not suggesting doing this at a random pick up game or a society game or anything like that. I'm saying that a table of people you regularly game with, that it's not necessary. These people are ostensibly your friends.

If you're playing with people you don't know then I agree with the idea that you should let others know. But that wasn't what I took Reksew's statement to refer to. They said any group, which would presumably include people you regularly game with. If your friends are willing to kick you out because you walked away to the bathroom and didn't tell them where you were going they're not your friends, in my opinion.


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Reksew_Trebla wrote:
Aaron Tysen wrote:
I get grumpy when players try to use OOC chatter as free telepathy among their characters. If they haven't worked out their plan before they walk up to the guards and start bluffing, it's too late. The guards are right there. They can hear you. "But we're talking OOC" doesn't cut it. Ditto if you have limited rounds before the next bad thing happens. Your planning is in real time. Of course, I'll stop the clock for actual OOC stuff. We can pause while you talk sportsball scores. But you can't use OOC as a way to magically share information between characters.
I understand this, but you have to remember, sometimes dumb people play the game, or even just average intelligence people. The fact is, the 18 INT Wizard being played by an average intelligence person SHOULD get free advice, because their character is a lot more intelligent than the player.

I would agree with this. While I like the idea of "act quickly, this is happening in 6 second rounds", a high-int character would conceivably come up with much more tactical plans than I might in the same period of time. Kind of like how it's OK to allow a little bit of "my high-cha character begins wooing the barmaid" without actually forcing the player to come up with excellent pick-up lines or fail.


Melkiador wrote:
And it's not like it's always convenient for someone else to rifle through your stuff to find your stats like hit points, non-lethal damage, AC, Touch AC, Flat-Footed AC, Fortitude, Reflex and Will to run your character for you. It's not like character sheets are standardized. I've seen nearly as many formats as people at tables. I really hope you don't ever play a pet class with that kind of attitude, because that just doubles the problem.

I know it's off-topic, but if you tried that with me, you would find the information very quickly. That's because what's lying in front of me is a single sheet that looks like this!

If you can't find the information on another player's sheet quickly, it's very likely the play can't do so quickly, either. At that point, I would suggest to the player to use a cheat sheet like the ones in my link.

Of course, as a GM, I have the PCs with all vital stats done in CombatManager, so I could easily check if any attack hits. I could even check HP if I didn't always forget to change them in the program...

awbattles wrote:
Kind of like how it's OK to allow a little bit of "my high-cha character begins wooing the barmaid" without actually forcing the player to come up with excellent pick-up lines or fail.

I think I'm gonna start doing the latter. Well, I wouldn't judge excellency, but hilariousness... maybe even let the other players jusge it, and use that judgement as a stand-in for the roll!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Derklord wrote:
That's because what's lying in front of me is a single sheet that looks like this!

My groups have all seen the light and use Paizo-standard statblocks... except one specific player who uses a Paizo-standard character sheet (with SO many extra scribbles).

Tricky-tricky... if players are taught how to read, write, and love statblocks, they're conveniently trained a big part of what's required to become DMs! So sneaky. << Seriously, this works. Hand a player who already knows statblocks an adventure book and they can read 100% of it, and therefore imagine themselves running the adventure. If they can't comfortably read statblocks, a big part of the material is intimidating. So yeah, I encourage this skill, and most of my groups have run at least side-quests.

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