How to become good at roleplaying.

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Centauri, if by jumping the DM's hoops you mean playing the game?

No, I mean play the DM's game, which might mean something fun that you both enjoy, or it might mean him making you dance for his amusement.

If Goblins attack the PC's are they forced to "jump through the DM's hoops?"

Possibly. There are plenty of boring and DM-serving ways to run any encounter. Did the PCs state they were making Spot checks? Did they state they had their weapons out? Did they talk to the one NPC who knows about the goblin attacks? No? Oh, well, I hope they enjoy the monsters' surprise round. Perhaps that will teach them where the hoops are.

It's not jumping through the DM's hoops to build circumstance modifiers for yourself with your actions. Gather information in 3.5 takes 1d4+1 hours. Depending on the time spent and what the characters are doing to gather information they could earn modifiers (or penalties) to their roll.

Depending on whether the DM thinks that what the players did earned that bonus, and on whether the DM is content with serving up boring results in order to leash the players into his way of thinking.

PC1: Makes his roll, but spends a good portion of the time picking fights in the bar. -5 to his roll for not spending the required time and +2 to the DC because he has made everyone hostile to his questions.

Boring and punitive. Instead, maybe the PC earned some respect, or noticed some important exchange between two PCs who thought no one would notice during the fight.

If the player's intention was to cause there to be downsides, then the downsides are appropriate. Otherwise, it's just the DM choosing to penalize the player's roleplaying choices, in an effort to get the player to conform to the DM's idea of roleplaying.

PC2: Just rolls his dice. He gets a normal result, no modifiers

Boring, but fine.

PC3: Pays for information, and spends the evening socializing, buys rounds of drinks for everyone, etc and generally makes everyone friendly towards him, he gets a +2 to his roll.

Boring, but fine. Trivially obvious, so why bother granting a bonus?

It's called "jumping through a hoop," because it's trivial and boring, rather than creative, and it's something someone else set out for you to do. It's checking a box, and doing it just for a cruddy little coupon - or worse, out of fear that without that coupon, the next stage of the story can't be purchased.

It's roleplaying by the numbers.

I'm as tired as anyone else of the barbarian who can't think of anything to do other than beat people up, but punishing them for that behavior is even more tiring. There's a better way, and when they finally get tired of that behavior, it's on their terms, and not because the game was made arbitrarily boring for them.

That isn't a Hoop, the circumstance bonus is part of the ruleset. This is no different then making a swim check in full armor as oppsed to taking the armor off and building a raft.

Different because it's at the DM's discretion, and many DMs see it as an opportunity to teach the players a lesson about the relative value of realism over fun.

Dms will generally modify the DC or give a bonus or penelty to a skill check if the Player engages with roleplaying rather then simply tossing the dice.

If the player conforms to the DM's idea of the game.

A new player who doesn't roleplay or hasn't roleplayed before is often up against a wall of not knowing what their character would do beyond rolling a skill check. Goal Oriented Rollplaying gives them somethign for their character to be doing. How would this character go about the task? What can they do to help succeed? What can I do to overcome being a low charisma Orc to be treated less hostile? Can I use a Diplomacy check to help as a high Charisma Paladin? This will get them engaged, and the more they are engaged the more they will be drawn into character.

Fine. What disengages them is being told, directly or indirectly, that the DM didn't like the roleplaying decision they made, and that it earned them a penalty, which might very well block their access to further gameplay. That's the problem.

And that is the point, getting into character. To get into character you have to take actions for that character, not just roll dice.

And players will take actions when they are given the impression that, while their actions have consequences, those consequences can be interesting and move the game forward.

There's nothing a player who doesn't like hoops can do about this, outside of talking to the DM, if the DM is a hoopster. What tends to happen is that players prefer to roleplay the anti-social (and more interesting) behavior, rather than drop out of their perceived character just for treats. DMs often lose their nerve when it comes to penalizing the characters, because they've set up the scenario so that the PCs have to pass the checks, or everyone's stuck doing boring stuff. Or the DM punishes them, and the players go more and more off on a tangent to see how far they can push the DM. Can they get him to just shut them down completely? That becomes their new winning condition, because at least it gave them a modicum of narrative control.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.


Argument with Centauri



In Centauri's games the PCs run everything and the DM is not supposed to direct, help, influence or hinder the PCs in any way.  This includes rules.  Centauri believes that if you let players use whatever interpretation of the rules they want and never challenge any of their rulings, they will default to the rules that are the most fun.  Centauri believes this situation always works with players because the players want to have fun and will realize immediately that making their characters more powerful than they should be (by inventing rules / twisting current rules / ignoring current rules) that it detracts from overall fun at the table.  Centauri doesn't think anyone comes to the game and consistently makes characters with obscure or invented rules for the sole purposes of power will continue to do so for long because it isn't fun for anyone.

I don't agree on any of those points, but just so you know where he is coming from before this continues. 
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here

Argument with Centauri



In Centauri's games the PCs run everything and the DM is not supposed to direct, help, influence or hinder the PCs in any way.  This includes rules.  Centauri believes that if you let players use whatever interpretation of the rules they want and never challenge any of their rulings, they will default to the rules that are the most fun.  Centauri believes this situation always works with players because the players want to have fun and will realize immediately that making their characters more powerful than they should be (by inventing rules / twisting current rules / ignoring current rules) that it detracts from overall fun at the table.  Centauri doesn't think anyone comes to the game and consistently makes characters with obscure or invented rules for the sole purposes of power will continue to do so for long because it isn't fun for anyone.

I don't agree on any of those points, but just so you know where he is coming from before this continues. 



If this is in fact "true", then Centauri I ask, what is the DM supposed to do in a game like this?

 

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Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
If this is in fact "true", then Centauri I ask, what is the DM supposed to do in a game like this?

It is not, in fact, true.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

If this is in fact "true", then Centauri I ask, what is the DM supposed to do in a game like this?

It is not, in fact, true.




I believe that was a fairly accurate paraphrasing of you from the DM quiz thread, from the dicussion about Ichoice and from another thread as well.  What part of my statement about what you believe is incorrect?
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here

Argument with Centauri



In Centauri's games the PCs run everything and the DM is not supposed to direct, help, influence or hinder the PCs in any way.  This includes rules.  Centauri believes that if you let players use whatever interpretation of the rules they want and never challenge any of their rulings, they will default to the rules that are the most fun.  Centauri believes this situation always works with players because the players want to have fun and will realize immediately that making their characters more powerful than they should be (by inventing rules / twisting current rules / ignoring current rules) that it detracts from overall fun at the table.  Centauri doesn't think anyone comes to the game and consistently makes characters with obscure or invented rules for the sole purposes of power will continue to do so for long because it isn't fun for anyone.

I don't agree on any of those points, but just so you know where he is coming from before this continues. 



This is just about the most disingenius, obfuscating, dirty misrepresentation of a person's position that I have ever seen, and I've been to Star Wars forums.

Argument with Centauri



In Centauri's games the PCs run everything and the DM is not supposed to direct, help, influence or hinder the PCs in any way.  This includes rules.  Centauri believes that if you let players use whatever interpretation of the rules they want and never challenge any of their rulings, they will default to the rules that are the most fun.  Centauri believes this situation always works with players because the players want to have fun and will realize immediately that making their characters more powerful than they should be (by inventing rules / twisting current rules / ignoring current rules) that it detracts from overall fun at the table.  Centauri doesn't think anyone comes to the game and consistently makes characters with obscure or invented rules for the sole purposes of power will continue to do so for long because it isn't fun for anyone.

I don't agree on any of those points, but just so you know where he is coming from before this continues. 



This is just about the most disingenius, obfuscating, dirty misrepresentation of a person's position that I have ever seen, and I've been to Star Wars forums.



Hey, if some part of it is wrong please point it out.  That was what I was honestly thinking his position on the matter was.  I'm not trying to be offensive.  After I thought that was his point of view I stopped trying to discuss things that seemed directly in opposition to that mind set and it seemed to work.

So.. if I'm wrong please say how.

Edit: To explain it a different way his point of view seems to be that the DM should do minimal oversight minimal correction and minimal influence in the story of the players.  The reasoning that this will turn out well is that players want to have fun and will get quickly bored of trying to bend the rules to let them always win. 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
Matyr, what Centauri is arguing against is the DM who very deliberately puts stumbling blocks in front of the players that don't conform to a certain variety of roleplay.  He isn't saying that the DM should do nothing and let the PCs run the story, but he is saying that the DM shouldn't force the players to run their character counter to how they envision them.  The player shouldn't be penalized for playing an encounter in the tavern just as their rough, uncivilized Barbarian PC would behave--if that means they start a bar fight, then the events might have to adapt, but not necessarily should the DM just say "Well, you don't find out a bloody thing, because you didn't spend your entire time schmoozing with the patronage of the tavern like the charismatic Bard did.  And furthermore, you're now in trouble with the local guard, and will now be barred from this town as a result."

An option in such a situation might be to have an NPC who finds the bar fight uproariously funny, and likes the way the Barbarian thinks.  So he might spill a little information about something he's heard--a good fight to be had, and this bruiser who just took out three Dragonborn at once might be up for it.  Or those town guards summoned to break it up might inform the Barbarian and his comrades that they'll have to undertake a mission to hunt down an aggressive tribe of local Hobgoblins as restitution for what they did.

The same goes for the "shopping the marketplace" event.  The DM shouldn't go giving a bonus to one PC for bargaining or talking it out to get a blacksmith to assist them, then a penalty to the player who simply says that they roll to find things or otherwise don't verbally act it out.  It might not be in their PC's personality to bargain and wheedle, or the player might not be comfortable or able to act it out as the DM sees appropriate.

In general, this is similar to the argument against accepting roleplay in place of or despite the appropriate skill rolls.  Don't allow the CHA 7 Barbarian to act out the information gathering scenario and find out everything while you ignore the fact that he rolled a 2, and then say that the Bard who rolled nat 20 fails to find out anything because he doesn't roleplay it.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />The same goes for the "shopping the marketplace" event.  The DM shouldn't go giving a bonus to one PC for bargaining or talking it out to get a blacksmith to assist them, then a penalty to the player who simply says that they roll to find things or otherwise don't verbally act it out.  It might not be in their PC's personality to bargain and wheedle, or the player might not be comfortable or able to act it out as the DM sees appropriate.



Penalty to the other player?

Is giving the first player a bonus and not giving one to the second player a penalty? Or it that simply rewarding the first player?

As for me, I reward the first player and the second player gets the roll. Period. If one person puts in more effort and does more, they get a bonus. The other person just rolls the die...because that's what they did.

This to me is VERY fair.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Rogue, none of that seems mutually exclusive to what I was saying.  Maybe my phrasing was a bit negative, but basically all the same things can apply to both situations.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />The same goes for the "shopping the marketplace" event.  The DM shouldn't go giving a bonus to one PC for bargaining or talking it out to get a blacksmith to assist them, then a penalty to the player who simply says that they roll to find things or otherwise don't verbally act it out.  It might not be in their PC's personality to bargain and wheedle, or the player might not be comfortable or able to act it out as the DM sees appropriate.



Penalty to the other player?

Is giving the first player a bonus and not giving one to the second player a penalty? Or it that simply rewarding the first player?

As for me, I reward the first player and the second player gets the roll. Period. If one person puts in more effort and does more, they get a bonus. The other person just rolls the die...because that's what they did.

This to me is VERY fair.



This is not what I'm arguing against.  The discussion seemed to rather be suggesting that there are people in this thread who find it appropriate to not only give the person who roleplays a bonus or to ignore asking them for a mechanical confirmation to what they do (as in, rolling the social skill needed), but to also apply a mechanical disadvantage to the person who uses the mechanics instead of acting the scenario out.  So it's essentially saying that one person who didn't even make a Streetwise (or Gather Info, if you're a 3.x-er) check is getting an automatic Take 10, or in some cases being treated as if they'd rolled a nat20 for acting it out, while the person who'd rather let their dice help determine what they find is taking at least a -2 no matter what they rolled.

It's ignoring the mechanics of the skills, and instead placing a greater value on the players' ability to act, which is an unfair measure.  It's the scenario I posed later in my post, of the DM who lets the Barbarian with almost no Charisma charm the entire crowd (often with behavior that runs counter to the way the character has acted until now) in spite of rolling 2, or even perhaps without being asked for a Diplomacy or other such roll to back it up, because the player is talented at acting it out.  Then, when the Bard with incredibly high Charisma asks if they can make a Diplomacy/Insight/whatever roll to find out information and gets a nat20, they're told they either didn't find out a lot, or they're given a pittance of information compared to that Barbarian player because they didn't act it out.  It's often full of the potential for rewarding OOC-ness, and also for unfairly penalizing players who are not comfortable acting, or who simply lack the talent to do so.  It's also putting forth a strong sense of "people who roll for these things don't even say what they're doing, they just roll the skill," which is also quite untrue from what I've experienced and what I've seen from other groups I've observed in play.

I have often had players in my group that are of both ends of this spectrum.  I would find it wholly unjust to say to my player who is often awkward in finding her words that she fails spectacularly at a diplomatic situation when her Paladin is a CHA-build and has incredibly high Diplomacy skills, just because she's not able to act it all out, and asks if she can roll and give a general outline of what her PC will say instead.  It would be equally unfair for me to reward the theatre major in our group for acting out the same scenario without a roll or with a poor roll, and say he gets the entire opposing group behind him, while he's playing his low-CHA, antisocial Artificer.  And I would find it even more unjust to use that as an excuse to tell a person they can't play a high-Charisma PC because they can't properly act as the character, which I can recall seeing proposed frequently back in the pre-4e forums.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />The same goes for the "shopping the marketplace" event.  The DM shouldn't go giving a bonus to one PC for bargaining or talking it out to get a blacksmith to assist them, then a penalty to the player who simply says that they roll to find things or otherwise don't verbally act it out.  It might not be in their PC's personality to bargain and wheedle, or the player might not be comfortable or able to act it out as the DM sees appropriate.



Penalty to the other player?

Is giving the first player a bonus and not giving one to the second player a penalty? Or it that simply rewarding the first player?

As for me, I reward the first player and the second player gets the roll. Period. If one person puts in more effort and does more, they get a bonus. The other person just rolls the die...because that's what they did.

This to me is VERY fair.



This is not what I'm arguing against.  The discussion seemed to rather be suggesting that there are people in this thread who find it appropriate to not only give the person who roleplays a bonus or to ignore asking them for a mechanical confirmation to what they do (as in, rolling the social skill needed), but to also apply a mechanical disadvantage to the person who uses the mechanics instead of acting the scenario out.  So it's essentially saying that one person who didn't even make a Streetwise (or Gather Info, if you're a 3.x-er) check is getting an automatic Take 10, or in some cases being treated as if they'd rolled a nat20 for acting it out, while the person who'd rather let their dice help determine what they find is taking at least a -2 no matter what they rolled.

It's ignoring the mechanics of the skills, and instead placing a greater value on the players' ability to act, which is an unfair measure.  It's the scenario I posed later in my post, of the DM who lets the Barbarian with almost no Charisma charm the entire crowd (often with behavior that runs counter to the way the character has acted until now) in spite of rolling 2, or even perhaps without being asked for a Diplomacy or other such roll to back it up, because the player is talented at acting it out.  Then, when the Bard with incredibly high Charisma asks if they can make a Diplomacy/Insight/whatever roll to find out information and gets a nat20, they're told they either didn't find out a lot, or they're given a pittance of information compared to that Barbarian player because they didn't act it out.  It's often full of the potential for rewarding OOC-ness, and also for unfairly penalizing players who are not comfortable acting, or who simply lack the talent to do so.  It's also putting forth a strong sense of "people who roll for these things don't even say what they're doing, they just roll the skill," which is also quite untrue from what I've experienced and what I've seen from other groups I've observed in play.

I have often had players in my group that are of both ends of this spectrum.  I would find it wholly unjust to say to my player who is often awkward in finding her words that she fails spectacularly at a diplomatic situation when her Paladin is a CHA-build and has incredibly high Diplomacy skills, just because she's not able to act it all out, and asks if she can roll and give a general outline of what her PC will say instead.  It would be equally unfair for me to reward the theatre major in our group for acting out the same scenario without a roll or with a poor roll, and say he gets the entire opposing group behind him, while he's playing his low-CHA, antisocial Artificer.  And I would find it even more unjust to use that as an excuse to tell a person they can't play a high-Charisma PC because they can't properly act as the character, which I can recall seeing proposed frequently back in the pre-4e forums.



I can see nowhere in the thread that contains posts that supports what you are saying here.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Yagami, while I will admit that I did misinterpret what was being said by MrCustomer in particular as saying there was an actual mechanical negative being given to a player who was using their mechanical skills as opposed to acting it out, his language did strongly imply to my interpretation that he was the sort of DM who effectively gave a free pass to a player who "roleplayed."

He mentions (post #27) about a Barbarian coming into the tavern and going into outright RP versus the Rogue who goes out picking pockets and then rolls Gather Info before going back to doing Rogueish things, with no interactions.  The way that this reads to me is that he wouldn't even ask for a roll from the Barbarian, because he's conforming to his standard of "roleplaying," while not even considering that the Rogue potentially could be gathering information while in the midst of his pickpocketing, nor considering what the Rogue is doing to be actual "roleplaying."  It might not be what he was aiming to say, but it felt like he was presenting a scenario wherein not only does the PC he interprets as "roleplayed" trump the PC whose player rolls his skill, but where he also illustrates his particular "hoop," as Centauri termed them.  He doesn't see the potential for the Rogue to have found information while he's cutting purses, so the Rogue isn't "roleplaying," and therefore gets shut down even though he's actually trying to use the mechanics.

As I said, this is the sort of thing that can have a high potential to reward OOC actions; is that Barbarian always roleplayed as the friendly, talkative guy in that scenario, or is this only his "Gather Info" face in counterpoint to a normally "Hulk SMASH!" Barbarian?  I've seen players try to abuse this sort of "roleplay trumps rolling skill checks" style of DMing; there's a player in my group who would frequently go into a well-spoken, deliberately tailored personality that was one he only put on when he was trying to do things like gather information or otherwise gain something from interactions with NPCs.  It had nothing to do with his PC's normal behavior or mannerisms, was not at all tied to his stats (the PC was fairly low CHA), and in general was only used when wanting to get in good with someone of import.  As a result of this, no matter which DM is in charge of a particular campaign in our group now, we always ask for a roll of the requisite skill no matter how good the roleplay was.  If the roll is made first, the player has to interpret their roleplay the way the dice indicated, good or bad.  If the roll is made after the roleplay, the DM interprets it, and will say that a low roll meant that the PC "pushed the wrong button" somewhere in the conversation, or otherwise triggered a poor result, no matter how good the RP was.

It reads to me very much like Centauri said: this is a case of a DM with a set mentality regarding what roleplay is, and who refuses to adapt events to match his PCs' actions if they do not meet up with it.  It's making the PCs jump through hoops, conforming not to the way they want to roleplay their character, nor what they might want to be doing in the scenario, but to how they'll actually get what they're looking for from the DM.

By comparison, a DM who doesn't create such hoops would simply have done as warrl said--have one of the people he pickpockets have some useful missive, a map, a peculiar key or other mcguffin in his purse.  If the Barbarian picks a fight, have someone admire him for his fighting spirit and offer information, or use the town guard breaking it up as a way to introduce a new plot hook.  Don't just expect the players to bend to you or to see and do things in precisely the way you want them to; meet them in the middle.  If their IC actions don't conform to the typical methods, find an interpretation as to how it actually would work to do what they're out to do, so that you can advance your plot.  Don't throw things (like in the "PCs jumping off cliffs" scenario) that the players will deliberately misinterpret or otherwise make light of in front of them if you want a serious plot, because you won't get what you're looking for if you keep giving them openings to be ridiculous.  It helps the players to use their characters in whatever way they're comfortable using and interpreting them, and it lets the DM continue his story without having to throw in the unwanted "break out of prison" scenario, etc.  Win-win, yes?
Yagami, while I will admit that I did misinterpret what was being said by MrCustomer in particular as saying there was an actual mechanical negative being given to a player who was using their mechanical skills as opposed to acting it out, his language did strongly imply to my interpretation that he was the sort of DM who effectively gave a free pass to a player who "roleplayed."

He mentions (post #27) about a Barbarian coming into the tavern and going into outright RP versus the Rogue who goes out picking pockets and then rolls Gather Info before going back to doing Rogueish things, with no interactions.  The way that this reads to me is that he wouldn't even ask for a roll from the Barbarian, because he's conforming to his standard of "roleplaying," while not even considering that the Rogue potentially could be gathering information while in the midst of his pickpocketing, nor considering what the Rogue is doing to be actual "roleplaying."  It might not be what he was aiming to say, but it felt like he was presenting a scenario wherein not only does the PC he interprets as "roleplayed" trump the PC whose player rolls his skill, but where he also illustrates his particular "hoop," as Centauri termed them.  He doesn't see the potential for the Rogue to have found information while he's cutting purses, so the Rogue isn't "roleplaying," and therefore gets shut down even though he's actually trying to use the mechanics.

As I said, this is the sort of thing that can have a high potential to reward OOC actions; is that Barbarian always roleplayed as the friendly, talkative guy in that scenario, or is this only his "Gather Info" face in counterpoint to a normally "Hulk SMASH!" Barbarian?  I've seen players try to abuse this sort of "roleplay trumps rolling skill checks" style of DMing; there's a player in my group who would frequently go into a well-spoken, deliberately tailored personality that was one he only put on when he was trying to do things like gather information or otherwise gain something from interactions with NPCs.  It had nothing to do with his PC's normal behavior or mannerisms, was not at all tied to his stats (the PC was fairly low CHA), and in general was only used when wanting to get in good with someone of import.  As a result of this, no matter which DM is in charge of a particular campaign in our group now, we always ask for a roll of the requisite skill no matter how good the roleplay was.  If the roll is made first, the player has to interpret their roleplay the way the dice indicated, good or bad.  If the roll is made after the roleplay, the DM interprets it, and will say that a low roll meant that the PC "pushed the wrong button" somewhere in the conversation, or otherwise triggered a poor result, no matter how good the RP was.

It reads to me very much like Centauri said: this is a case of a DM with a set mentality regarding what roleplay is, and who refuses to adapt events to match his PCs' actions if they do not meet up with it.  It's making the PCs jump through hoops, conforming not to the way they want to roleplay their character, nor what they might want to be doing in the scenario, but to how they'll actually get what they're looking for from the DM.

By comparison, a DM who doesn't create such hoops would simply have done as warrl said--have one of the people he pickpockets have some useful missive, a map, a peculiar key or other mcguffin in his purse.  If the Barbarian picks a fight, have someone admire him for his fighting spirit and offer information, or use the town guard breaking it up as a way to introduce a new plot hook.  Don't just expect the players to bend to you or to see and do things in precisely the way you want them to; meet them in the middle.  If their IC actions don't conform to the typical methods, find an interpretation as to how it actually would work to do what they're out to do, so that you can advance your plot.  Don't throw things (like in the "PCs jumping off cliffs" scenario) that the players will deliberately misinterpret or otherwise make light of in front of them if you want a serious plot, because you won't get what you're looking for if you keep giving them openings to be ridiculous.  It helps the players to use their characters in whatever way they're comfortable using and interpreting them, and it lets the DM continue his story without having to throw in the unwanted "break out of prison" scenario, etc.  Win-win, yes?



So it's unfair for the DM to reward someone trying to directly interact with the world in a way that is far more amusing and interesting for everyone at the table as compared to a dice roll?

If the entire game can just boil down to dice roles, why roleplay? Why even have a DM? At what point is it just a computer sim?

And no, not win-win...DM's shouldn't have stories.

Also are you suggesting that if a cliff is put before a players and one of them jumps off it it is unfair to have that person take falling damage? Because that was, somehow, Centauri's point.

I am going to be putting up a post when I get some free time that basically boils down to the fact that survability/success in a game will NEVER be made easier by rules so long as the game has a legitimate challenge to it. All you are doing is empowering CHARACTERS which does nothing to empower the players...it only creates the illusion of empowerment through power-fantasy. That does nothing directly for player agency, the only legitimate empowerment possible in a game.

This mentality though? This whole thing? It's the removement of empowerment from players. It is the reduction of them to numbers on a piece of paper. Yes, people that roleplay and make a legitimate effort should be rewarded. Does that mean people that simply roll should be penalized? Only if you conclude that a lack of bonus is a penalty...which is as ludicrous as saying Jews get penalized on Christmas by not getting Christmas presents. If the barbarian player roleplays a way to legitimately uncover information, no roll SHOULD be required because player action trumps dice.

PS.

D&D 7th Edition Playtest

"You see a dungeon"

"I roll to clear it! I got a 17!"

"You clear it!"

"YAY!"

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Idea for how to become better at role-playing:

Study personality profiles, like Myers-Briggs, Four Humours, things like that to get a good idea for how different people think

I found some good links if anybody wants to take a look:

Humours:
archive.fighunter.com/?page=temperaments

MB:
tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Myer...
www.keirsey.com/4temps/overview_temperam...
www.personalitypage.com/html/home.shtml
www.typelogic.com/
www.discoveryourpersonality.com/abouttyp...

Founder - but not owner - of Just Say Yes!

Member of LGBT Gamers

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Why there should be the option to use alignment systems:
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If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

Remember Rogue_Elen if the DM has any plans, goals, wishes or desires that means he automatically loses the game of DMing.  No DM should ever make any difference to their game beyond facilitating anything and everything for their players.  There can be no fun in any game that doesn't revolved exclusively around the mind of the players.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
Remember Rogue_Elen if the DM has any plans, goals, wishes or desires that means he automatically loses the game of DMing.  No DM should ever make any difference to their game beyond facilitating anything and everything for their players.  There can be no fun in any game that doesn't revolved exclusively around the mind of the players.



If you want to determine what happens in a game be a player or write a book.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Remember Rogue_Elen if the DM has any plans, goals, wishes or desires that means he automatically loses the game of DMing.  No DM should ever make any difference to their game beyond facilitating anything and everything for their players.  There can be no fun in any game that doesn't revolved exclusively around the mind of the players.



If you want to determine what happens in a game be a player or write a book.



Or be a DM with players that can actually integrate things you give them into their goals .

I know, me having fun with the players may seem like a sin... but if it is... yay sinning! 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
Remember Rogue_Elen if the DM has any plans, goals, wishes or desires that means he automatically loses the game of DMing.  No DM should ever make any difference to their game beyond facilitating anything and everything for their players.  There can be no fun in any game that doesn't revolved exclusively around the mind of the players.



If you want to determine what happens in a game be a player or write a book.



Or be a DM with players that can actually integrate things you give them into their goals .

I know, me having fun with the players may seem like a sin... but if it is... yay sinning! 



Thou shalt not lie :P

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Yagami, while I will admit that I did misinterpret what was being said by MrCustomer in particular as saying there was an actual mechanical negative being given to a player who was using their mechanical skills as opposed to acting it out, his language did strongly imply to my interpretation that he was the sort of DM who effectively gave a free pass to a player who "roleplayed."

He mentions (post #27) about a Barbarian coming into the tavern and going into outright RP versus the Rogue who goes out picking pockets and then rolls Gather Info before going back to doing Rogueish things, with no interactions.  The way that this reads to me is that he wouldn't even ask for a roll from the Barbarian, because he's conforming to his standard of "roleplaying," while not even considering that the Rogue potentially could be gathering information



To answer this, there are ussually, especially if the DM lets the players write the game, are more then one solution to anything. Gather Information is only one solution out of many for getting the information. Talk to the right person and ask the right questions is another solution. Researching in the city records with a Knowledge skill might be another solution.

To this end the barbarian may well have chosen one of the possible solutions. he first engaged to make the enhabitants more friendly to him, and then to get to know people, and then to ask the right questions. To this end he has succeeded (in the even of happening upong the right people) or at the very least earned a modifier to his rolls. Again there are other ways to have solved this and all may be more or less or equally valid approaches, some the DM may have thought of ahead of time and some that may not have occured to him, but that he should roll with.

The Rogue's approach? Yes rolling Gather Information is a perfectly valid solution. However it tyically takes 1d4+1 hours time to do, (2 hours minimum basically) and the Rogue has spent the time focused on other activities, no doubt he may succeed in breaking intot the inn's vault, or pickpocketing some pocket change and jewelry. But he won't have gotten much success in Gathering Information if he isn't even trying. Yes he could spend some of the time actually gathering information, but his success/failure is going to reflect the amount of time and effort he actually spent focused on the task.

So increasing the DC for not spending the entire time needed, ie rushing the task, is called for.  This would be the same as if using any other skill while rushing, after all if he is literally trying to do 2 hour's work in 15 minutes, it's going to be more difficult.

My point was for people new to roleplaying who need a focus, a "what to do?"  to start them, working to gain modifiers for the skill, rather then just tossing the dice, is a good way to break out of the shell, it gives them a goal oreinted purpose that will help get into character. The Rogue could be using the same method while pickpocketing.

There is nothing dickish in a world that is reactive in a realistic manner either. Having the world behave realistically and reactively is one of the best way to make the game immersive.  
   

  


   
    
Remember Rogue_Elen if the DM has any plans, goals, wishes or desires that means he automatically loses the game of DMing.



I have to admit I got a chuckle out of this, but it's still a mis-representation of Yagami's position. 

No DM should ever make any difference to their game beyond facilitating anything and everything for their players.



I don't remember anyone saying that. Except for you, just now, in the post that I'm quoting. 

There can be no fun in any game that doesn't revolved exclusively around the mind of the players.



See my previous two points above.

If you want to determine what happens in a game be a player or write a book.



This is 100% true. Creative fiction writing and running a tabletop RPG are two entirely different beasts. There are skills from both that can overlap and serve you well in either field, but they are not the same thing. Now, my English instructor may not be the greatest master of literature in the world, but he knows his stuff, and he runs tabletop RPGs pretty regularly, one of them of his own design that he has been iterating for a long time, and he realized all this a long time ago. When I talked with him about this, all he did was confirm what I thought.

Here are some excerpts from the 3.5 DMG, from page 44 and 45, respectively.

"Choices: A good adventure has at least a few points where the players need to make important decisions. What they decide should have significant impact on what happens next. A choice can be as simple as the players deciding not to go down the corridor to the left (where the pyrohydra waits for them) and instead going to the right (toward the magic fountain), or as complex as the PCs deciding not to help the queen against the grand vizier (so that she ends up being assassinated and the vizier’s puppet gains the throne). Difficult Choices: When a choice has a significant consequence, it should sometimes be a difficult one to make. Should the PCs help the church of Heironeous wage war on the goblins, even though the conflict will almost certainly keep them from reaching the Fortress of Nast before the evil duke summons the slaadi assassins? Should the PCs trust the words of a dragon, or ignore her warning?"

"Leading the PCs by the Nose: A bad event-based adventure is marked by mandates restricting PC actions or is based on events that occur no matter what the PCs do. For example, a plot that hinges on the PCs finding a mysterious heirloom, only to have it stolen by NPCs, is dangerous—if the players invent a good way to protect the heirloom, they won’t like having it stolen anyway just because that’s what you had planned beforehand. The players end up feeling powerless and frustrated. No matter what, all adventures should depend upon player choices, and players should feel as though what they choose to do matters. The results should affect the campaign setting (albeit perhaps in minor ways), and they should have consequences (good or bad) for the PCs."

These are both taken from the good/bad structure section.
I wrote this huge thing out, then tapped a button by mistake.  It's all gone, so you get this instead.

Out of all the descriptions there was one that the DM said looked sad, I immediately thought "That's her." I sat next to her and ordered a drink. I then attempted to flirt with her to get information, but I ended up giving her the information I had. Unfortunately it was her, and now because I failed at roleplaying well she knew that we were looking for her.


This was not bad roleplay.  This was awesome roleplay.  Take my advice.  You just made a memorable event that people will not forget so easily.

I saw the second example but it really sounds like is that you are not getting the words right. 
Rollplay is playing by rolling the dice.  It's unimaginitive, and gets you nowhere.  You played to have fun, remember? 
Roleplay is where you act as the character would.  Doing badly does not make it any less.  In fact, things are much more eventfull that way.
Remember Rogue_Elen if the DM has any plans, goals, wishes or desires that means he automatically loses the game of DMing.  No DM should ever make any difference to their game beyond facilitating anything and everything for their players.  There can be no fun in any game that doesn't revolved exclusively around the mind of the players.



If you want to determine what happens in a game be a player or write a book.



If the DM didn't determine what happens in a game the PCs would be sitting in a tavern doing nothing for a very, very long time.

The DM's job should be to create an immersive, interactive and organic world in which the players incert themselves into.  A world that behaves and reacts realistically, one in which the NPCs are every bit as alive as their own characters is one that they can immerse themselves into. Good or bad, the world should react and behave accordingly.
Remember Rogue_Elen if the DM has any plans, goals, wishes or desires that means he automatically loses the game of DMing.  No DM should ever make any difference to their game beyond facilitating anything and everything for their players.  There can be no fun in any game that doesn't revolved exclusively around the mind of the players.



If you want to determine what happens in a game be a player or write a book.



If the DM didn't determine what happens in a game the PCs would be sitting in a tavern doing nothing for a very, very long time.

The DM's job should be to create an immersive, interactive and organic world in which the players incert themselves into.  A world that behaves and reacts realistically, one in which the NPCs are every bit as alive as their own characters is one that they can immerse themselves into. Good or bad, the world should react and behave accordingly.



Agreed. And in such a world, just like in real life, a DM will have little ot no ability to determine what will happen. The onus is on the players, therefore the DM has little to no ability to determine, for himself, what happens.

With a trap, for instance, you cannot determine whether the players encounter it...you cannot determine whether it harms a player...you cannot determine whether they by-pass it or not...etc etc. Only the players and the rules can determine that. The DM should always be as far removed from determination as possible.

In truth, I'm sure we agree, I think we may be looking past one another though. Lemme know if you need any more clarification...it's a weird concept.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.


With a trap, for instance, you cannot determine whether the players encounter it...



Cept for, as a DM, you actually do determine some/many/all of what the characters encounter and whether they encounter it.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here

With a trap, for instance, you cannot determine whether the players encounter it...



Cept for, as a DM, you actually do determine some/many/all of what the characters encounter and whether they encounter it.



Incorrect. The players may choose to avoid the place its in...they may never go to that place...or they may stop short of it.

Additionally, the trap may be generated randomly in which case you did not determine it, it is as much a surprise for you as the players.

So no, there is never a time when you determine whether they encounter it or not. They simply do or they don't...and the onus is on the players.

I think you are misconstruing what I mean by "determine"...you do not decide that they do something. Things need to be cut & dry...either something DOES happen or it doesn't. The DM does not "determine" that...the rules, the players or logic do. The DM should need to determine very little on the part of the game world. The DM DOES have to determine certain things on behalf of the players, but that is aiding them because there are many situations PCs can come up with that the game is not necessarily made to arbitrate. This is when the DM steps in...however, even then the PCs have the ability to determine whether or not they still undertake the action and then they or the dice decide what happens.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

There is nothing dickish in a world that is reactive in a realistic manner either. Having the world behave realistically and reactively is one of the best way to make the game immersive.

At some point (and that point is not very far along) the game must diverge from apparent "realism," and veer down a path of (at least) "unlikely but plausible" to keep things interesting. Consequences for character actions don't always need to be strictly positive, but there's no excuse for making them boring.

(And I bet most DMs who make the whole town angry and closed off to a party don't see it as boring. They probably don't see prison or death as boring. Think of all the movies in which the character is ostracized or killed or imprisoned, and the scenario turns out to be very interesting. So, shouldn't a DM and party let these sorts of scenarios arise and see what interesting things come of them? It really depends on the kind of time they have. It should be acknowledged though that certain scenarios, when played "realistically," are likely to limit interesting development and play for arbitrarily long swaths of game time, partly due to the fact that the DM is then obliged to keep the PCs in that scenario in order to maintain realism. A prison the PCs can just smash their way out of, or a town that quickly changes its mind about a miscreant isn't that realistic, after all, right? If the DM is resorting to "realism" as an excuse for punishing certain players, there's even more incentive for the DM to keep things boring.

(What's a player to do? Know what you might be getting into if your DM touts "realism" and "immersion." They're double-edged swords.)

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

There is nothing dickish in a world that is reactive in a realistic manner either. Having the world behave realistically and reactively is one of the best way to make the game immersive.

At some point (and that point is not very far along) the game must diverge from apparent "realism," and veer down a path of (at least) "unlikely but plausible" to keep things interesting. Consequences for character actions don't always need to be strictly positive, but there's no excuse for making them boring.

(And I bet most DMs who make the whole town angry and closed off to a party don't see it as boring. They probably don't see prison or death as boring. Think of all the movies in which the character is ostracized or killed or imprisoned, and the scenario turns out to be very interesting. So, shouldn't a DM and party let these sorts of scenarios arise and see what interesting things come of them? It really depends on the kind of time they have. It should be acknowledged though that certain scenarios, when played "realistically," are likely to limit interesting development and play for arbitrarily long swaths of game time, partly due to the fact that the DM is then obliged to keep the PCs in that scenario in order to maintain realism. A prison the PCs can just smash their way out of, or a town that quickly changes its mind about a miscreant isn't that realistic, after all, right? If the DM is resorting to "realism" as an excuse for punishing certain players, there's even more incentive for the DM to keep things boring.

(What's a player to do? Know what you might be getting into if your DM touts "realism" and "immersion." They're double-edged swords.)



This is why logic "sometimes" doesn't work because there is no line to draw. "What is fun" means absolutely nothing so it is impossible to fully determine. Imprisonment doesn't mean an end to the character...though it can. A player is free to give up on a character if they so choose and leave them to their fate. This is also a big reason my players have satellite characters like henchman and friends & allies (from their 3x3) so that they can pick up that person and shift focus to that character as their PC if they so wish.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.


With a trap, for instance, you cannot determine whether the players encounter it...



Cept for, as a DM, you actually do determine some/many/all of what the characters encounter and whether they encounter it.



Incorrect. The players may choose to avoid the place its in...they may never go to that place...or they may stop short of it.

Additionally, the trap may be generated randomly in which case you did not determine it, it is as much a surprise for you as the players.

So no, there is never a time when you determine whether they encounter it or not. They simply do or they don't...and the onus is on the players.

I think you are misconstruing what I mean by "determine"...you do not decide that they do something. Things need to be cut & dry...either something DOES happen or it doesn't. The DM does not "determine" that...the rules, the players or logic do. The DM should need to determine very little on the part of the game world. The DM DOES have to determine certain things on behalf of the players, but that is aiding them because there are many situations PCs can come up with that the game is not necessarily made to arbitrate. This is when the DM steps in...however, even then the PCs have the ability to determine whether or not they still undertake the action and then they or the dice decide what happens.



You can say it is incorrect and try to muddle it up as much as you want.  But it is the DM's role to determine some things for the players.  Yes they might not go way A and get to thing B, but most DMs arent running exclusively with random generators (at least in my experience).  If they are improvising they are doing it on the fly, using their imagination and suggestion from the players to build the world.  But they are still putting things in front of the players.  Unless you play a game where everything is either player built or randomly created that is how it has to be.  Now I'm not saying you can't do it that way.  I am saying that professing that as the only way to do things is absurd.  Even if you are building things randomly you probably still picked the generator to draw things from, the list of random names to draw from etc etc.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here

With a trap, for instance, you cannot determine whether the players encounter it...



Cept for, as a DM, you actually do determine some/many/all of what the characters encounter and whether they encounter it.



Incorrect. The players may choose to avoid the place its in...they may never go to that place...or they may stop short of it.

Additionally, the trap may be generated randomly in which case you did not determine it, it is as much a surprise for you as the players.

So no, there is never a time when you determine whether they encounter it or not. They simply do or they don't...and the onus is on the players.

I think you are misconstruing what I mean by "determine"...you do not decide that they do something. Things need to be cut & dry...either something DOES happen or it doesn't. The DM does not "determine" that...the rules, the players or logic do. The DM should need to determine very little on the part of the game world. The DM DOES have to determine certain things on behalf of the players, but that is aiding them because there are many situations PCs can come up with that the game is not necessarily made to arbitrate. This is when the DM steps in...however, even then the PCs have the ability to determine whether or not they still undertake the action and then they or the dice decide what happens.



You can say it is incorrect and try to muddle it up as much as you want.  But it is the DM's role to determine some things for the players.  Yes they might not go way A and get to thing B, but most DMs arent running exclusively with random generators (at least in my experience).  If they are improvising they are doing it on the fly, using their imagination and suggestion from the players to build the world.  But they are still putting things in front of the players.  Unless you play a game where everything is either player built or randomly created that is how it has to be.  Now I'm not saying you can't do it that way.  I am saying that professing that as the only way to do things is absurd.  Even if you are building things randomly you probably still picked the generator to draw things from, the list of random names to draw from etc etc.



The point is entirely that the PCs still have control over their fate. If they run into something they can choose to encounter it or ignore it...they can pursue it to the extent that they wish. When properly run, the DM can determine NONE of that.

You are right in that the DM places things in the world...however, I find it important that the DM places no importance on whether or not the players encounter it and see it through. PC attention and focus is entirely on the players part...they determine that. The DM can have NO INVESTMENT in wanting the players to do certain things...that way lies madness.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

There is nothing dickish in a world that is reactive in a realistic manner either. Having the world behave realistically and reactively is one of the best way to make the game immersive.

At some point (and that point is not very far along) the game must diverge from apparent "realism," and veer down a path of (at least) "unlikely but plausible" to keep things interesting. Consequences for character actions don't always need to be strictly positive, but there's no excuse for making them boring.



Never suggested they need to be boring, negative nor positive, just that the world reacts organically in a plausible fashion. realism being limited to the fantasy genre, and here I am talking of generating modifiers and circumstance bonuses.

the world acting organically, players can take actions to create better or worse circumstances, and there is a section of the DMG that discusses Circumstance modifiers, ussually they are plus or minus 2 to the DC or Skill roll. And what I mentioned concerning Gather Information is no different then giving a +2 Climb bonus for having climbing tools, or changing a difficult climb down a cliff to easy because they used a rope.

(And I bet most DMs who make the whole town angry and closed off to a party don't see it as boring. They probably don't see prison or death as boring. Think of all the movies in which the character is ostracized or killed or imprisoned, and the scenario turns out to be very interesting. So, shouldn't a DM and party let these sorts of scenarios arise and see what interesting things come of them? It really depends on the kind of time they have.


Or more importantly the degree of actions the Players took to get in that situation. Does a barfight exchange of drunken fisticuffs do more then get them tossed out the bar, perhaps land them in a cell for the knight and released when they are sober the next morning? Petty crimes cann't be solved with a bribe, or paying a fine, or by fleeing the scene and laying low till they leave town?

I've got to ask what exactly the character or party did to warrent Imprisonment? Did they kill a dozen people in the barfight in cold blood and then proceed to attack the city guards? 20 corpses later...?

I am refering to realistic consequences, much the same way that if I suggest chalenging encounters that I don't mean to imply that level 1 characters should be attacked by ancient red dragons.  I suggest the game be run with a sense of realism and using circumstance modifiers in response to their actions and you jump to DMs being abusive and tossing characters in prisons .
the world acting organically, players can take actions to create better or worse circumstances, and there is a section of the DMG that discusses Circumstance modifiers, ussually they are plus or minus 2 to the DC or Skill roll. And what I mentioned concerning Gather Information is no different then giving a +2 Climb bonus for having climbing tools, or changing a difficult climb down a cliff to easy because they used a rope.

You're right, it's not much different: some DMs punish players for not remembering to buy rope, too.

But it is different in how generally vague the "circumstances" for Gather Information are. It's not as straightforward as having a rope or not (and I doubt even that is particularly straightforward). It's much easier for a DM to slip into the roll of trying to goose players into line with penalties and rewards for Gather Information (which, thankfully, isn't a skill in 4th Edition, replaced by a skill challenge that the rules strongly advise have interesting failure).

Or more importantly the degree of actions the Players took to get in that situation. Does a barfight exchange of drunken fisticuffs do more then get them tossed out the bar, perhaps land them in a cell for the knight and released when they are sober the next morning?

Yes, it does, because what it does is something interesting, not boring for the sake of realism.

Petty crimes cann't be solved with a bribe, or paying a fine, or by fleeing the scene and laying low till they leave town?

Sure they can. Is that interesting, or punitive? It could be made interesting, but not when "realism" is the watchword.

I've got to ask what exactly the character or party did to warrent Imprisonment? Did they kill a dozen people in the barfight in cold blood and then proceed to attack the city guards? 20 corpses later...?

It doesn't matter. Imprisonment should be off the table, unless the players are expressly seeking it, or the DM can be trusted to make it interesting. I could see some players deciding that getting tossed in prison with other ne'er-do-wells , or making inroads with the local criminal element could be the way to gather the information they need.

I am refering to realistic consequences, much the same way that if I suggest chalenging encounters that I don't mean to imply that level 1 characters should be attacked by ancient red dragons.  I suggest the game be run with a sense of realism and using circumstance modifiers in response to their actions and you jump to DMs being abusive and tossing characters in prisons .

Not all DMs who rely on realism and use circumstance modifiers are boring and abusive. But almost every DM who is boring and abusive relies heavily on realism and circumstance modifiers. No, I can't logically deduce that realism and modifiers are guarantees of a bad DM, but they should certainly be red flags for every player.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Centauri, then that is more appropriately in the DM section on "how to be a Good DM" here is "how to be a Good Role Player" And here I am suggesting to the players how to create Circumstance Modifiers via roleplaying, especially in social situations.

Buying the tools of the trade will help in other situations, even "easy" tasks such as climbing or swimming can be the death of a fighter in full plate and a tower shield. Buying some rope and climbing gear and other supplies is good advice. It is the same thing, creating modifiers to your benifit.   


If there happens to be a cliff in a dungeon, the DM isn't "punishing the players for not buying rope" there is just a cliff in the dungeon. The DM shouldn't be crossing it out simply because the player's didn't come prepared.   

It doesn't matter. Imprisonment should be off the table, unless the players are expressly seeking it, or the DM can be trusted to make it interesting. I could see some players deciding that getting tossed in prison with other ne'er-do-wells , or making inroads with the local criminal element could be the way to gather the information they need 



like it or not, an individual player's actions can be ruining the game for the rest of the group when he goes on a murder spree and slaughters a town. A good DM will not and should not enable that kind of behavior, especially not at the expense of the rest of the players.

IMO if the player is running around all stabby, then he is expressly seeking to be stabbed back. If he doesn't want to be imprisoned or killed, then it is entirely up to him to make sure he can get away with it.
Centauri, then that is more appropriately in the DM section on "how to be a Good DM" here is "how to be a Good Role Player" And here I am suggesting to the players how to create Circumstance Modifiers via roleplaying, especially in social situations.

Buying the tools of the trade will help in other situations, even "easy" tasks such as climbing or swimming can be the death of a fighter in full plate and a tower shield. Buying some rope and climbing gear and other supplies is good advice. It is the same thing, creating modifiers to your benifit.

There is nothing a player can do that is guaranteed to create modifiers to their benefit in the case of gathering information, diplomacy, or anything else. The only way is to find out what the DM expects, which might not actually have anything to do with a player roleplaying in a consistent manner, and everything to do with the players behaving in a certain way in certain circumstances and being punished in game if they don't.

like it or not, an individual player's actions can be ruining the game for the rest of the group when he goes on a murder spree and slaughters a town. A good DM will not and should not enable that kind of behavior, especially not at the expense of the rest of the players.

Handling out-of-game issues with in-game punishments has a sad history as long as that of the game itself. Avoid this approach. Talk about the game outside of the game.

IMO if the player is running around all stabby, then he is expressly seeking to be stabbed back. If he doesn't want to be imprisoned or killed, then it is entirely up to him to make sure he can get away with it.

Why would anyone involved in the game want to see the character imprisoned or killed? Unless those circumstances are being made much more interesting than they traditionally have been, this is basically telling the player that if they make a mistake or misjudge something, that they have to sit out of the game until the DM either releases their old character or incorporates the new one.

Do you see how choosing boring consequences is a passive-aggressive way to leash the players into one's preferred style of play? Do you see how much of a waste of time that is for everyone?

Not to construct a straw-man, but the classic come back to this is that the DM gets to have fun too, and sometimes player behavior is boring for the DM. I understand that. But what it comes down to is arranging one's play so that choices by the players can't disrupt a DM's fun, because the DM can roll with those changes while at the same time keeping the game interesting and fun for the players. Yes, it's more of a matter for the DM forum, but it can be done.

What's a Player to Do? Find out what the DM wants and give it to him as much as possible. Don't hinge your fun on the DM acting a particular way. Stay flexible.

(For a complete experience, swap "Player" and "DM" in the previous paragraph.)

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.


You are right in that the DM places things in the world...however, I find it important that the DM places no importance on whether or not the players encounter it and see it through. PC attention and focus is entirely on the players part...they determine that. The DM can have NO INVESTMENT in wanting the players to do certain things...that way lies madness.



Which is what I meant to a certain extent the DM determines what is in the world.

Secondly, while I know it is your heartfelt belief that the DM cannot have any investment in seeing what the players will do, it is not the only good way to play the game.  I'm sorry we just won't be able to see eye to eye on this point ever (apparently). 
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You are right in that the DM places things in the world...however, I find it important that the DM places no importance on whether or not the players encounter it and see it through. PC attention and focus is entirely on the players part...they determine that. The DM can have NO INVESTMENT in wanting the players to do certain things...that way lies madness.



Which is what I meant to a certain extent the DM determines what is in the world.

Secondly, while I know it is your heartfelt belief that the DM cannot have any investment in seeing what the players will do, it is not the only good way to play the game.  I'm sorry we just won't be able to see eye to eye on this point ever (apparently). 



Oh I have investment in what the players will do...its what I'm there to see. I just have no expectations to thrust upon them.

Also no need to apologize.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

We've overlooked the other example from the OP: haggling down the price.

Ignoring for now what a waste of time haggling scenes generally are, what's worth considering is that the player "roleplayed with the merchant so horribly" that far from gaining circumstance bonuses or penalties, the player didn't even get to roll at all, yet still incurred a penalty in the form of a higher cost for the item in question.

This was with a high Charisma character.

We don't know what the DM expected from the character. It's possible that the OP did something that any one of us would be hard pressed to take in an interesting direction, even accounting for how uninteresting haggling already is. But what I've seen much more of is DMs who simply have no intention of budging on a particular point, no matter what the player does, and then penalizes the character for even trying, to ensure that they won't try again.

This is the hoop. Players usually can't see the hoops or even know they're there, so they try this roleplaying thing they've heard of and get a cookie or a slap. If they get a slap, they're not likely to try it again, and will do everything they can not to make any choices, so as not to make any the DM doesn't want them to make.

Some players come into a game pre-slapped, but slapped over the wrong things, so the DM has to get them to come out of their shell in order to slap them over the right things.

I would bet that the OP is a great roleplayer, and it's to their credit that they want to keep trying to appease this DM despite what has happened so far. They clearly want to roleplay, but the DM doesn't seem to want to let them. All the player can do is ask the DM where the hoops are, and their extents, and stick to those.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

We've overlooked the other example from the OP: haggling down the price.

Ignoring for now what a waste of time haggling scenes generally are

Needless judgement call.

, what's worth considering is that the player "roleplayed with the merchant so horribly" that far from gaining circumstance bonuses or penalties, the player didn't even get to roll at all, yet still incurred a penalty in the form of a higher cost for the item in question.

This was with a high Charisma character.

We don't know what the DM expected from the character. It's possible that the OP did something that any one of us would be hard pressed to take in an interesting direction, even accounting for how uninteresting haggling already is. But what I've seen much more of is DMs who simply have no intention of budging on a particular point, no matter what the player does, and then penalizes the character for even trying, to ensure that they won't try again.

This is the hoop. Players usually can't see the hoops or even know they're there, so they try this roleplaying thing they've heard of and get a cookie or a slap. If they get a slap, they're not likely to try it again, and will do everything they can not to make any choices, so as not to make any the DM doesn't want them to make.

Some players come into a game pre-slapped, but slapped over the wrong things, so the DM has to get them to come out of their shell in order to slap them over the right things.

I would bet that the OP is a great roleplayer, and it's to their credit that they want to keep trying to appease this DM despite what has happened so far. They clearly want to roleplay, but the DM doesn't seem to want to let them. All the player can do is ask the DM where the hoops are, and their extents, and stick to those.



You've been abused by DMs in the past, haven't you? Here this might help...

hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2012/12/on-...

And as for haggling scenes (and other similar scenes)...what scene told us more about Luke Skywalker, him shooting Tie Fighters with Han Solo or him arguing with Uncle Owen about going to Toshi station?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Haggling always presents a problem to the DM because the expectation of the players is always on the value of the item never costing more then base price and never selling for less then the standard rate (ussually 50% cost) The expectation is just too skewed one way because the haggling is starting at the base price.

Typically when something is haggled over, the price starts higher then normal and is haggled down to the median price. Ie a 1000 gp item should start at 1,300 to 1,500gp and be haggled down to 900 to 1,100 gp. (median of 1000gp) Inevitable a player will end up paying more sometimes, and is not going to be happy.

This can be exasperated if the player, while haggling says something rude to the merchant, "tsk, typical Gnomes, always greedy little refuges thinking you can swindle us humans? I will pay no more then 500 gp" (refering to a 2,000 gp magic item that costs 1,000 gp to craft) Insulting the shopkeeper, especially by an offer below cost for the item, is generally a bad idea.

gotta run, not finished postin    
  
Haggling always presents a problem to the DM because the expectation of the players is always on the value of the item never costing more then base price and never selling for less then the standard rate (ussually 50% cost) The expectation is just too skewed one way because the haggling is starting at the base price.

Typically when something is haggled over, the price starts higher then normal and is haggled down to the median price. Ie a 1000 gp item should start at 1,300 to 1,500gp and be haggled down to 900 to 1,100 gp. (median of 1000gp) Inevitable a player will end up paying more sometimes, and is not going to be happy.

This can be exasperated if the player, while haggling says something rude to the merchant, "tsk, typical Gnomes, always greedy little refuges thinking you can swindle us humans? I will pay no more then 500 gp" (refering to a 2,000 gp magic item that costs 1,000 gp to craft) Insulting the shopkeeper, especially by an offer below cost for the item, is generally a bad idea.

gotta run, not finished postin    
  



Exactly. Many of my merchants sell things ABOVE regular cost. I mean...that's real life. So if something is 800 gold, the merchant might be asking for 900 or 1000. Then the haggling can take place and they can interact with the merchant, maybe learn something in doing so or pick up a hook or something and get the price down to the normal price and even, with a bit of luck and some insight, they can even get it for less.

Heck, my players have taken that time to develop their characters like the rude Barbarian (from a race that can't stand haggling) interjecting and such while the street savy rogue (and player) tries to weasel every nickle out of the merchant.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

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