How to become good at roleplaying.

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Hey, I play a bit of D&D but this problem can relate to any tabletop game that I play. I am pretty good at building characters, but I have found that I am horrible at roleplaying.

I have tried making social characters with great charisma and good skills to try and counteract this by utilizing the "the character is his own person and not exactly you" thing so that I could replace my bad roleplaying with some good skill checks and minor roleplaying. Thing is, I am so bad at roleplaying that even when I played those characters I could never roleplay well enough to get to the skill checks or anything and would screw many things up (I will list an example or two a little later in the post). And characters that I don't build to be social I figure won't have any problem, but they seem to always be put into social situations where I end up not being able to do anything and henceforth screwing up again.

I am a bit tired of having trouble with roleplay, screwing things up for the party, and most of all having my character developed throughout time with the party as one kind of character but then when interacting with important NPCs end up breaking character and fumbling around trying to figure out what to say.

Some examples of this follow (you don't have to read these if you don't want to):

  1. Most recently I was playing a Fighter/Warblade in 3.5, and we are looking for a woman who could be dangerous for information on a big bad guy we are looking for. We recently went through some magic which is enhancing our abilities, so for the moment he didn't have bad charisma. So we found out that she was somewhere in or around a local tavern/strip club that we were familiar with. Everyone started scouting except for me and the cleric. I was hoping the cleric would be able to handle the talking with everyone since he was great with words and also had connections with the ruler of the area which everyone feared. Instead his character told my character to go out and see what I could find out while he watched over everyone to make sure there was no trouble. At that point I was personally worried, but as my character would do I agreed. With my charisma a bit higher, a character that has attracted plenty of women in his past, and a woman we are looking for I asked what woman I saw around the place other than the ones I came in with and the ones on the stage. 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. She said she had some information on the person we were looking for and led me outside (which I wasn't worried about splitting the party due to our current situation). She then tried to attack me swearing that no one could stop her from getting revenge on the gods. Now that magic I mentioned earlier actually turned my party temporarily into gods, so I thought she knew and was saying this because of my holy aura. So I ended up saying something, telling her that I was a god thinking she already knew, and causing even more problems for my party.

  2. A little while back I played a Beguiler also in 3.5. Now that class, whether it be their skills or spells is all social. I had developed him with extremely high social skills, gained every language, and had a lot of awesome social feats that let me do a lot of nice things. It was built as a social tank, anything social that needed to be done it could do. The only problem was my personal roleplay. A few problems came up with this, but one of the simplest (since last example was so long) was that I tried talking down the price for an item for a party member. I ended up not being able to lower the price, plus the man put some extra cost for inconveniencing him. My barbarian party member was not happy. But the point is, I roleplayed with the merchant so horribly that I never got to the point of being able to make a roll to try and convince him.


I will leave it there since those examples took up some room, but if any of you could give me advice on how to improve, that would be great. Thanks. ^_^
Some players struggle with roleplaying, even ones who have been playing the game for many years.   I'm going to offer the same suggestion I offer to anyone trying to get the hang of roleplaying.

One key part of roleplaying is "Make the decisions the character would make, and not the player."   In other words, you are acting (playing the role) of someone other than you.

One easy way to learn this, is for your first real RP character or two, just borrow from fiction.   Take characters that you already know how they act, and act like they would.

"Your party is in a private room in a large tavern.   You are having a meeting with a small but powerful baroness and trying to negotiate an agreement between him and another less powerful baron who shares a land border."

- Sarek (of Star Trek), would use logic and try to negotiate a peaceful settlement.
- Han Solo would put his feet on the table and try to charm the baroness.
- Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) would kick the table over and put his sword to the baroness' throat.

Once you get the hang of playing someone else, it becomes easier when you create your own character.
What I've always done with my characters is I made them a part of me, so it wasn't so much acting as putting on a different face.

For example: In Iron Kingdoms (d20 steampunk setting game) I played a Bodger. Looking at the class I got excited because they're mechanics and I've always been interested in stuff like that in my real life, I also grew up quite the little tomboy. So I took that part of my personality and put it into this character and exaggerated it a bit. She was still a part of me so it wasn't so much acting for me as narrowing down a specific part of my personality.

Also I have a bard who I look at myself and basically say 'what would I be like if I was rich (she's from a noble family, beautiful and intelligent' so I just place myself into the situation that my bard is in and I become the character, I'm not acting for that short session I am her. It's a difficult thing to explain but I had to come to do it this way because I cannnot act but I can put myself into situations and build on that.

What helps me a lot too is to picture how the character looks, for some reason that visual aspect really helps me along. I also try to write outside of the game, I've always loved the written word and though it's nothing I plan to publish I sit down for a few hours and physically write out what happened to my character in the past to bring her here.
I'd like to clarify something: "roleplaying" isn't "talking." Roleplaying is:

One key part of roleplaying is "Make the decisions the character would make, and not the player."   In other words, you are acting (playing the role) of someone other than you.



You, Hooded_Boy, are already a good roleplayer. How do I know?

At that point I was personally worried, but as my character would do I agreed.



That's roleplaying.

But, you still want to know how to be good at interaction. That's a fair question, and a definite concern, so I'll try to address it.

Basically, if I were you I wouldn't expect to get good at it on my own. The characters we love who are good at it, are usually in a story written for them, in which the author makes sure they come across as a smooth, subtle, in-control character. You are not that character.

But look at what that character has that you don't have: an author rooting for you. What do you have? A DM. You need to get the DM on your side, to want you to be a hero who succeeds.

Talk to your DM. Tell them about the kind of character you want to make, and that you'll do your best being that character, but that you'll have to rely on the character's skills, and in-game description. Bear in mind that the description doesn't have to come entirely from you, but can also come from others at the table who understand what you're trying to do with the character.

This can be an uphill battle. Some DMs are deadset against dice rolls doing anything more than serving as a baseline that's modified by the player's performance. Some don't like rolling for "roleplaying" at all. Some players are happy with those approaches. If you find your DM's approach makes playing certain character types difficult, you'll need to talk to your DM about meeting you halfway. You seem like you're interested in playing a character, not breaking the DM's game, but you'd just like to play a character a little closer to what you imagine.

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

There is a diference between RPing and Acting,  RPing is taking decisions based on the perspective from someone who isn't you and dictated under your character persona,  i will say this...it was one of the hardest things for me to learn, because of my condition....thought now i have been got used to it, and only shyness would be a barrier for me when i am on a group i don't feel confortable...hence the reason i couldn't never DM for a group i am not confortable with....as of now, i freaking love RPing & Acting NPCs.  

Acting is diferent, and it just how you convey those decisions into the game, this require alot more work and practice thought and it varies alot between people, and as a DM i should never expect my players to be very actors like (hence the reason i actually support social skill checks...it help players that are not very good actors...ofcourse they need to tell me what they want to tell to the NPC to convince him first...and the DC will change depending on what they say...but the way they say it...i will take it as a skill check, it would be very harsh for people that can't act as well to be hindered in game for that)
In one of your examples, it doesn't seem like you roleplayed poorly so much as your character made a bad decision influenced by some feminine wiles.  Nothing potentially out of character there.  If your character is supposed to read people better than you played him, consider asking the DM to make insight rolls to see 1. how trustworthy someone seems and 2. what kinds of things you could say to win them over.  If you can get the DM on board to help you figure out what kinds of things to say that can help especially in the short term until you become more comfortable making dialogue in character.
Hey, I play a bit of D&D but this problem can relate to any tabletop game that I play. I am pretty good at building characters, but I have found that I am horrible at roleplaying.

I have tried making social characters with great charisma and good skills to try and counteract this by utilizing the "the character is his own person and not exactly you" thing so that I could replace my bad roleplaying with some good skill checks and minor roleplaying. Thing is, I am so bad at roleplaying that even when I played those characters I could never roleplay well enough to get to the skill checks or anything and would screw many things up (I will list an example or two a little later in the post). And characters that I don't build to be social I figure won't have any problem, but they seem to always be put into social situations where I end up not being able to do anything and henceforth screwing up again.

I am a bit tired of having trouble with roleplay, screwing things up for the party, and most of all having my character developed throughout time with the party as one kind of character but then when interacting with important NPCs end up breaking character and fumbling around trying to figure out what to say.

Some examples of this follow (you don't have to read these if you don't want to):

  1. Most recently I was playing a Fighter/Warblade in 3.5, and we are looking for a woman who could be dangerous for information on a big bad guy we are looking for. We recently went through some magic which is enhancing our abilities, so for the moment he didn't have bad charisma. So we found out that she was somewhere in or around a local tavern/strip club that we were familiar with. Everyone started scouting except for me and the cleric. I was hoping the cleric would be able to handle the talking with everyone since he was great with words and also had connections with the ruler of the area which everyone feared. Instead his character told my character to go out and see what I could find out while he watched over everyone to make sure there was no trouble. At that point I was personally worried, but as my character would do I agreed. With my charisma a bit higher, a character that has attracted plenty of women in his past, and a woman we are looking for I asked what woman I saw around the place other than the ones I came in with and the ones on the stage. 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. She said she had some information on the person we were looking for and led me outside (which I wasn't worried about splitting the party due to our current situation). She then tried to attack me swearing that no one could stop her from getting revenge on the gods. Now that magic I mentioned earlier actually turned my party temporarily into gods, so I thought she knew and was saying this because of my holy aura. So I ended up saying something, telling her that I was a god thinking she already knew, and causing even more problems for my party.

  2. A little while back I played a Beguiler also in 3.5. Now that class, whether it be their skills or spells is all social. I had developed him with extremely high social skills, gained every language, and had a lot of awesome social feats that let me do a lot of nice things. It was built as a social tank, anything social that needed to be done it could do. The only problem was my personal roleplay. A few problems came up with this, but one of the simplest (since last example was so long) was that I tried talking down the price for an item for a party member. I ended up not being able to lower the price, plus the man put some extra cost for inconveniencing him. My barbarian party member was not happy. But the point is, I roleplayed with the merchant so horribly that I never got to the point of being able to make a roll to try and convince him.


I will leave it there since those examples took up some room, but if any of you could give me advice on how to improve, that would be great. Thanks. ^_^



Here is your best bet...

If you are having issues knowing what to say or do, lean on the mechanical portion of the game. Let your DM know you intend to do this because it will help you learn. Now, when you go into situations that can be resolved with a mechanical solution like rolling Bluff or Diplomacy or what-have-you, tell the DM what you are trying to achieve (What! Not How!) and simply roll and get a resolution from that roll. For instance, if you are going to be attacked by someone and don't want that to happen you can roll a Diplomacy check to try to convince them not to attack you. Let the DM know that that is your intent ("I want to try to shmooze them into not attacking us") for instance, and then roll to see if this can be done. This could also apply to lying to get past someone or whatnot as well. At that point, it's your DMs place to come up with a reasonable lie or plea or whatever to create the resolution.

There is nothing wrong with this. It also gives you the opportunity to observe how to resolve these situations.

Now, this is dependent on two things...1) that your DM allow you to use the mechanics of the game that exist to resolve in-game situations and 2) that your DM is able to reasonably come up with social solutions for his own situations.

If the DM doesn't allow #1 it's gonna suck for you...if the DM CAN'T do #2 it will also be rough for you but at that point he'd be punishing you for something he can't do either so that's a bit silly.

If you do run into #1 or #2, however, I'll recommend reading quite a bit and writing when possible. Sign up for some boards where you can do freeform roleplay in a genre that you like. Writing/acting in-character is a learned skill...it's a mind-set you're adopting...social interactions are also a learned skill...and these things have to be practiced. A forum board that does freeform roleplay is really good for this because you are under no time constraints to post. You post and write at your own pace. When you remove the pressure created by time it will give you the luxury to consider your responses and actions. As you repeat and practice this it will come to you faster, like most skills.

Hope that helps.

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.

My best advice is to make your character real to you.  Write a background that molds and shapes her personality.  What I'd recommend is to give her goals, fears and (if your party is okay with it), sexual tastes.  Maybe she dreams of one day setting down her blade or spellbook and becoming an author.  Maybe she's terrified of kobolds (perhaps she was abducted by them at a young age)?  These are just my thoughts (with a few examples) on what may help and I apologize if I am not much help.
Here's how you get better at roleplaying:  choose a character from a TV show.  Think how that character would act in each situation and how they might grow in each situation.

In application, don't be afraid to have a belief for your character ()beyond combat that is).

Also, don't be afraid to STOP talking sometimes and let the other characters chime in.

What really works for the group is to ask the other players what they think their character would do in that situation (yes, you as a player, not always instigated by the DM).

Lastly, don't be afraid to be a dork.  Yes, sometimes talk in a funny voice (my current character is a french-sounding elf with profession barber).  Put your character in less than ideal situations becuause "that's just what he would do."  Now, mind you the "what he would do" gets old really quickly when it annoys the other players so you've got to ask them, "How is your dwarf different from you Zach?  What would his mother say about his choices?"

JH

Gamer Chiropractor - Hafner Chiropractic 305 S. Kipling st,Suite C-2, Lakewood, Co 80226 hafnerchiropractic.com

I am in agreement with YagamiFire - Use game mechanics whenever you cannot come up with good role-playing.  As YagamiFire said, this puts the impetus on the DM to describe the results.

That being said, Whenever I am in the spotlight in game social situations, I typically ask for a moment and compose myself.  I take that time to think about what my character's motivation is (what is it he/she wants to get out of the situation), sometimes I even jot down some notes.  Once I know what I want to have happen, I just start talking to the DM like he/she's the NPC.  I speak carefully and with purpose - make believe you are giving a speech/presentation to a group.

And WHEN (it will happen) the DM responds in an unexpected way ask for another moment.  YOU being flustered does not mean your character is, and your DM should know this and grant you the opportunity to re-compose yourself.  If he/she does not...well /shrug

I also agree with Sir-Zalphon regarding creating characters like yourself...to a point.  I have seen too many players play the EXACT SAME character type over and over and over again simply because they fear trying something different.  So, I would also recommend that you make a character that is the antithesis of you - if you have fears make your character fearless, if you are normally very out-going make your character introverted, etc.  This way, you can have the same thought processes "what would I do?" but instead your character does the opposite

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

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.
Put your character in less than ideal situations becuause "that's just what he would do."  Now, mind you the "what he would do" gets old really quickly when it annoys the other players so you've got to ask them, "How is your dwarf different from you Zach?  What would his mother say about his choices?"

"It's what my character would do" can be risky. The reason it becomes annoying is because what one's character "would do" inconveniences the other players. For any given choice there's usually no one thing a given character would do, so just try to choose something that's both in-character and not at odds with the other characters.

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

I am in agreement with YagamiFire - Use game mechanics whenever you cannot come up with good role-playing.  As YagamiFire said, this puts the impetus on the DM to describe the results.

That being said, Whenever I am in the spotlight in game social situations, I typically ask for a moment and compose myself.  I take that time to think about what my character's motivation is (what is it he/she wants to get out of the situation), sometimes I even jot down some notes.  Once I know what I want to have happen, I just start talking to the DM like he/she's the NPC.  I speak carefully and with purpose - make believe you are giving a speech/presentation to a group.

And WHEN (it will happen) the DM responds in an unexpected way ask for another moment.  YOU being flustered does not mean your character is, and your DM should know this and grant you the opportunity to re-compose yourself.  If he/she does not...well /shrug

I also agree with Sir-Zalphon regarding creating characters like yourself...to a point.  I have seen too many players play the EXACT SAME character type over and over and over again simply because they fear trying something different.  So, I would also recommend that you make a character that is the antithesis of you - if you have fears make your character fearless, if you are normally very out-going make your character introverted, etc.  This way, you can have the same thought processes "what would I do?" but instead your character does the opposite




I do believe there was a misunderstanding.  I mean make the character feel real--I don't mean clone yourself.  Give your character emotional flesh to their numerical bones.  Make them realistic in that they have aspirations beyond: "Slay all the monsters and get money!" 
I am in agreement with YagamiFire - Use game mechanics whenever you cannot come up with good role-playing.  As YagamiFire said, this puts the impetus on the DM to describe the results.

That being said, Whenever I am in the spotlight in game social situations, I typically ask for a moment and compose myself.  I take that time to think about what my character's motivation is (what is it he/she wants to get out of the situation), sometimes I even jot down some notes.  Once I know what I want to have happen, I just start talking to the DM like he/she's the NPC.  I speak carefully and with purpose - make believe you are giving a speech/presentation to a group.

And WHEN (it will happen) the DM responds in an unexpected way ask for another moment.  YOU being flustered does not mean your character is, and your DM should know this and grant you the opportunity to re-compose yourself.  If he/she does not...well /shrug

I also agree with Sir-Zalphon regarding creating characters like yourself...to a point.  I have seen too many players play the EXACT SAME character type over and over and over again simply because they fear trying something different.  So, I would also recommend that you make a character that is the antithesis of you - if you have fears make your character fearless, if you are normally very out-going make your character introverted, etc.  This way, you can have the same thought processes "what would I do?" but instead your character does the opposite




I do believe there was a misunderstanding.  I mean make the character feel real--I don't mean clone yourself.  Give your character emotional flesh to their numerical bones.  Make them realistic in that they have aspirations beyond: "Slay all the monsters and get money!" 



Another good tool for this is to give your character an interest that you yourself don't have. Then do research on it. Try to see from the characters point of view how it would be interesting. not only will you learn some stuff (wikipedia is your friend) but you give the character something outside your own comfort zone to call his own and draw on.

For example, a player in my game is currently playing a...well, let's call it a Viking-Orc who is a former privateer and sailor. Now, the player doesn't really know anything about ships because he's never been out on anything larger than a small rowboat...but he loves the Treasure Island movie with Christian Bale and so decided he wanted to play someone with that frame of reference (sailor/pirate sort). So while he's been playing, in-between games he's been reading up on the golden age of piracy and such...it's given him an always-ready touchstone with his character where he can put on his "sailor hat" and slip into his character a lot more easily. Once you start learning how to walk-the-walk (even a little) it makes talking-the-talk a lot easier because it shifts your mind-set.

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.

I am in agreement with YagamiFire - Use game mechanics whenever you cannot come up with good role-playing.  As YagamiFire said, this puts the impetus on the DM to describe the results.

That being said, Whenever I am in the spotlight in game social situations, I typically ask for a moment and compose myself.  I take that time to think about what my character's motivation is (what is it he/she wants to get out of the situation), sometimes I even jot down some notes.  Once I know what I want to have happen, I just start talking to the DM like he/she's the NPC.  I speak carefully and with purpose - make believe you are giving a speech/presentation to a group.

And WHEN (it will happen) the DM responds in an unexpected way ask for another moment.  YOU being flustered does not mean your character is, and your DM should know this and grant you the opportunity to re-compose yourself.  If he/she does not...well /shrug

I also agree with Sir-Zalphon regarding creating characters like yourself...to a point.  I have seen too many players play the EXACT SAME character type over and over and over again simply because they fear trying something different.  So, I would also recommend that you make a character that is the antithesis of you - if you have fears make your character fearless, if you are normally very out-going make your character introverted, etc.  This way, you can have the same thought processes "what would I do?" but instead your character does the opposite




I do believe there was a misunderstanding.  I mean make the character feel real--I don't mean clone yourself.  Give your character emotional flesh to their numerical bones.  Make them realistic in that they have aspirations beyond: "Slay all the monsters and get money!" 



Another good tool for this is to give your character an interest that you yourself don't have. Then do research on it. Try to see from the characters point of view how it would be interesting. not only will you learn some stuff (wikipedia is your friend) but you give the character something outside your own comfort zone to call his own and draw on.

For example, a player in my game is currently playing a...well, let's call it a Viking-Orc who is a former privateer and sailor. Now, the player doesn't really know anything about ships because he's never been out on anything larger than a small rowboat...but he loves the Treasure Island movie with Christian Bale and so decided he wanted to play someone with that frame of reference (sailor/pirate sort). So while he's been playing, in-between games he's been reading up on the golden age of piracy and such...it's given him an always-ready touchstone with his character where he can put on his "sailor hat" and slip into his character a lot more easily. Once you start learning how to walk-the-walk (even a little) it makes talking-the-talk a lot easier because it shifts your mind-set.



What YagamiFire said

There is also a creative writing aspect to it.  Even if you have no idea what the world you are about to play in is like, you can still come up with an outline of something:

birth
parents
siblings
rivals
allies
why are you the class you are?
why are you adventuring?
the list goes on.

Ironically, the more outside the box you think, the more likely the character will "feel real." The typical, I'm a street rat orphan; I'm a member of the city guard; my parents gave me to the church; etc, rarely inspire creative thought.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

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.
I am in agreement with YagamiFire - Use game mechanics whenever you cannot come up with good role-playing.  As YagamiFire said, this puts the impetus on the DM to describe the results.

That being said, Whenever I am in the spotlight in game social situations, I typically ask for a moment and compose myself.  I take that time to think about what my character's motivation is (what is it he/she wants to get out of the situation), sometimes I even jot down some notes.  Once I know what I want to have happen, I just start talking to the DM like he/she's the NPC.  I speak carefully and with purpose - make believe you are giving a speech/presentation to a group.

And WHEN (it will happen) the DM responds in an unexpected way ask for another moment.  YOU being flustered does not mean your character is, and your DM should know this and grant you the opportunity to re-compose yourself.  If he/she does not...well /shrug

I also agree with Sir-Zalphon regarding creating characters like yourself...to a point.  I have seen too many players play the EXACT SAME character type over and over and over again simply because they fear trying something different.  So, I would also recommend that you make a character that is the antithesis of you - if you have fears make your character fearless, if you are normally very out-going make your character introverted, etc.  This way, you can have the same thought processes "what would I do?" but instead your character does the opposite




I do believe there was a misunderstanding.  I mean make the character feel real--I don't mean clone yourself.  Give your character emotional flesh to their numerical bones.  Make them realistic in that they have aspirations beyond: "Slay all the monsters and get money!" 



Another good tool for this is to give your character an interest that you yourself don't have. Then do research on it. Try to see from the characters point of view how it would be interesting. not only will you learn some stuff (wikipedia is your friend) but you give the character something outside your own comfort zone to call his own and draw on.

For example, a player in my game is currently playing a...well, let's call it a Viking-Orc who is a former privateer and sailor. Now, the player doesn't really know anything about ships because he's never been out on anything larger than a small rowboat...but he loves the Treasure Island movie with Christian Bale and so decided he wanted to play someone with that frame of reference (sailor/pirate sort). So while he's been playing, in-between games he's been reading up on the golden age of piracy and such...it's given him an always-ready touchstone with his character where he can put on his "sailor hat" and slip into his character a lot more easily. Once you start learning how to walk-the-walk (even a little) it makes talking-the-talk a lot easier because it shifts your mind-set.



What YagamiFire said

There is also a creative writing aspect to it.  Even if you have no idea what the world you are about to play in is like, you can still come up with an outline of something:

birth
parents
siblings
rivals
allies
why are you the class you are?
why are you adventuring?
the list goes on.

Ironically, the more outside the box you think, the more likely the character will "feel real." The typical, I'm a street rat orphan; I'm a member of the city guard; my parents gave me to the church; etc, rarely inspire creative thought.

What y'all said.

I'm having a particular player that plays the same very strong fighter with power attack and a great sword with every single character... he is always the orphan whose parents gave him to the church and he became a city guard! But he always has knowledge arcane as well. And his life goal is to slay the monsters and get all the money to buy more equipment to slay more monsters to get more money to buy more equipment to slay more monsters to get more money to buy more....

We have 5 campaigns going on... a jungle setting, a desert setting, a sylven setting a romanesque setting and a medieval european-style setting and I can't remember any of his character's names or what is the difference from one to the next.

I like the idea of asking him to try playing something the 'opposite' of his usual character, though. I've been racking my brains on this one player. His enthusiasm never wanes but his characters bore the rest of us. It seems his entire existence is to 'steal the kill'. Which means if we want to have the occasional hero moment, we need to either gang up and off his character or else make the same min/max character he always does.

Sorry. Only meant to say thanks, not much else to add.


A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
Put your character in less than ideal situations becuause "that's just what he would do."  Now, mind you the "what he would do" gets old really quickly when it annoys the other players so you've got to ask them, "How is your dwarf different from you Zach?  What would his mother say about his choices?"

"It's what my character would do" can be risky. The reason it becomes annoying is because what one's character "would do" inconveniences the other players. For any given choice there's usually no one thing a given character would do, so just try to choose something that's both in-character and not at odds with the other characters.




Totally agree here.  Some players do not have the self-awareness to know when it goes beyond "interesting idea" to "you know, you just killed the group because your stupid paladin couldn't keep his sword in his scabbard."

Some players simply screw things up

jh

Gamer Chiropractor - Hafner Chiropractic 305 S. Kipling st,Suite C-2, Lakewood, Co 80226 hafnerchiropractic.com

I am in agreement with YagamiFire - Use game mechanics whenever you cannot come up with good role-playing.  As YagamiFire said, this puts the impetus on the DM to describe the results.

That being said, Whenever I am in the spotlight in game social situations, I typically ask for a moment and compose myself.  I take that time to think about what my character's motivation is (what is it he/she wants to get out of the situation), sometimes I even jot down some notes.  Once I know what I want to have happen, I just start talking to the DM like he/she's the NPC.  I speak carefully and with purpose - make believe you are giving a speech/presentation to a group.

And WHEN (it will happen) the DM responds in an unexpected way ask for another moment.  YOU being flustered does not mean your character is, and your DM should know this and grant you the opportunity to re-compose yourself.  If he/she does not...well /shrug

I also agree with Sir-Zalphon regarding creating characters like yourself...to a point.  I have seen too many players play the EXACT SAME character type over and over and over again simply because they fear trying something different.  So, I would also recommend that you make a character that is the antithesis of you - if you have fears make your character fearless, if you are normally very out-going make your character introverted, etc.  This way, you can have the same thought processes "what would I do?" but instead your character does the opposite




I do believe there was a misunderstanding.  I mean make the character feel real--I don't mean clone yourself.  Give your character emotional flesh to their numerical bones.  Make them realistic in that they have aspirations beyond: "Slay all the monsters and get money!" 



Another good tool for this is to give your character an interest that you yourself don't have. Then do research on it. Try to see from the characters point of view how it would be interesting. not only will you learn some stuff (wikipedia is your friend) but you give the character something outside your own comfort zone to call his own and draw on.

For example, a player in my game is currently playing a...well, let's call it a Viking-Orc who is a former privateer and sailor. Now, the player doesn't really know anything about ships because he's never been out on anything larger than a small rowboat...but he loves the Treasure Island movie with Christian Bale and so decided he wanted to play someone with that frame of reference (sailor/pirate sort). So while he's been playing, in-between games he's been reading up on the golden age of piracy and such...it's given him an always-ready touchstone with his character where he can put on his "sailor hat" and slip into his character a lot more easily. Once you start learning how to walk-the-walk (even a little) it makes talking-the-talk a lot easier because it shifts your mind-set.



What YagamiFire said

There is also a creative writing aspect to it.  Even if you have no idea what the world you are about to play in is like, you can still come up with an outline of something:

birth
parents
siblings
rivals
allies
why are you the class you are?
why are you adventuring?
the list goes on.

Ironically, the more outside the box you think, the more likely the character will "feel real." The typical, I'm a street rat orphan; I'm a member of the city guard; my parents gave me to the church; etc, rarely inspire creative thought.

What y'all said.

I'm having a particular player that plays the same very strong fighter with power attack and a great sword with every single character... he is always the orphan whose parents gave him to the church and he became a city guard! But he always has knowledge arcane as well. And his life goal is to slay the monsters and get all the money to buy more equipment to slay more monsters to get more money to buy more equipment to slay more monsters to get more money to buy more....

We have 5 campaigns going on... a jungle setting, a desert setting, a sylven setting a romanesque setting and a medieval european-style setting and I can't remember any of his character's names or what is the difference from one to the next.

I like the idea of asking him to try playing something the 'opposite' of his usual character, though. I've been racking my brains on this one player. His enthusiasm never wanes but his characters bore the rest of us. It seems his entire existence is to 'steal the kill'. Which means if we want to have the occasional hero moment, we need to either gang up and off his character or else make the same min/max character he always does.

Sorry. Only meant to say thanks, not much else to add.




i had a similar player and something I considered, but did not do, was a game where the dice determined the class.  Normally groups do a point buy or some variation of 4d6 arrange to taste.  In games like I am suggesting, players do 4d6 in order (in front of witnesses, preferably you the DM), they then look at their stats and see what class best suits those stats.

I've played and run in these types of games.  Two pieces of advice:

1-once the stats are rolled and the class is chosen, add in some point buying power because a lot of the time, the rolled stats are not "heroic"
2-do a one off adventure or two to start.  While some love the novelty others may not (like your orphan PA GS friend).


this type of game gives players a chance the explore other classes they may not normally play.

 

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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.
For every character you create, try some of these ideas:

Describe your character in a way that does NOT include his class, race, profession, or physical description.   Come up with at least five words/phrases  (generous, aloof, timid around the opposite sex, studious, and cranky in the mornings).    Every player should be able to do this.   You can describe your close friends without mentioning their appearance or profession, you can do it with your character.

Come up with something your character does that has nothing to do with adventuring nor a profession.   Try to mostly avoid obvious ones like drinking or gambling. (juggler, gourmet, book collector, making hand shadows, etc.)   I die a little every time I hear a player tell me ("I'm motivated by killing things and getting treasure."

Include a physical trait beyond a standard description.  (always smiling, has a stutter, blinks often, allergic, etc)

Open up a newspaper and select a half dozen controversial subjects.   Ask yourself what side of the argument for each of these that you stand on vs your character.   If it's the same every time, you may wish to alter that character.

Add at least one character motivation that does not directly tie to important events of the character's past.   "My brother was killed by an orc named Shrumgug and I must avenge his death" is ok to have for a motivation but you need something less personally tied to his past.   Use real life as an example.   Perhaps you've always wanted to visit the vatican.   Your character might have a unique, far away temple he's always wanted to see, or a library, or an unusual town, or a famous person he's always wanted to meet, etc.

Do all this on top of all the other stuff; race, background, why he became a (CLASS), goals, physical description, etc.   When you are done (and done any back and forth with your DM), read it again and again.   Keep this information with your character sheet.  Read it again before the start of every night's adventure.
Put your character in less than ideal situations becuause "that's just what he would do."  Now, mind you the "what he would do" gets old really quickly when it annoys the other players so you've got to ask them, "How is your dwarf different from you Zach?  What would his mother say about his choices?"

"It's what my character would do" can be risky. The reason it becomes annoying is because what one's character "would do" inconveniences the other players. For any given choice there's usually no one thing a given character would do, so just try to choose something that's both in-character and not at odds with the other characters.

Totally agree here.  Some players do not have the self-awareness to know when it goes beyond "interesting idea" to "you know, you just killed the group because your stupid paladin couldn't keep his sword in his scabbard."

Some players simply screw things up

jh

Which isn't to say that characters can't be at odds with one another; that's just classic, after all. But players should be working together, and any in-character argument or conflict or troublemaking should occur with out-of-character buy-in from the rest of the table.

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

Put your character in less than ideal situations becuause "that's just what he would do."  Now, mind you the "what he would do" gets old really quickly when it annoys the other players so you've got to ask them, "How is your dwarf different from you Zach?  What would his mother say about his choices?"

"It's what my character would do" can be risky. The reason it becomes annoying is because what one's character "would do" inconveniences the other players. For any given choice there's usually no one thing a given character would do, so just try to choose something that's both in-character and not at odds with the other characters.

Totally agree here.  Some players do not have the self-awareness to know when it goes beyond "interesting idea" to "you know, you just killed the group because your stupid paladin couldn't keep his sword in his scabbard."

Some players simply screw things up

jh

Which isn't to say that characters can't be at odds with one another; that's just classic, after all. But players should be working together, and any in-character argument or conflict or troublemaking should occur with out-of-character buy-in from the rest of the table.

Agreed, but when this is a problem, it is generally a problem because a player uses his character as an excuse to act like a jerk.  
Agreed, but when this is a problem, it is generally a problem because a player uses his character as an excuse to act like a jerk.  

I'm not sure of this anymore. I think a lot of times the player is actually doing what they think they're supposed to be doing, such as a thief stealing, or a paladin hitting a thief for stealing, or a barbarian making insulting comments in polite company. Then they get told no, and they think the person telling them no is being a jerk and then there's a arms race of jerkiness.

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

Agreed, but when this is a problem, it is generally a problem because a player uses his character as an excuse to act like a jerk.  

I'm not sure of this anymore. I think a lot of times the player is actually doing what they think they're supposed to be doing, such as a thief stealing, or a paladin hitting a thief for stealing, or a barbarian making insulting comments in polite company. Then they get told no, and they think the person telling them no is being a jerk and then there's a arms race of jerkiness.

Fair point.  
For players that use their character as an excuse to act like a jerk (I'm a rogue so I steal the group's treasure, I'm a Paladin so I kill the rogue, I'm CN so I murder everyone in their sleep at the flip of a coin) it comes down to a DM enforcing consequences.

Consequences quickly settles such behaviour and cause players to look for more roleplayable choices and actions, and it's easy to do right away at low levels. If you follow this by placing them in some social situations where they need to behave positively while in character then you can encourage more roleplaying.

The Thief acting this way ends up arrested or "punished" by the local thieves guild. The rude barbarian ends up having the group tossed into the street instead of rewarded for their heroics, or ends up being beaten up in a barfight, tossed outside into the street at night, where he is robbed by some thugs that take advantage of him being already beaten up. The Paladin ends up being targeted by the local thieves guilds, criminal element for stirring up trouble, and possibly arrested for his "vigilanty" justice.

And thieves guilds don't need to be stabby to target anyone, it can be as simple as telling all the merchants that pay them protection money to not deal with them. When the magic sword they want is on the wall behind the counter and the smith is saying, "sorry we don't carry those here" and "no that's for display only, sorry, perhaps you should try in " then you have the player's attention.   
For players that use their character as an excuse to act like a jerk (I'm a rogue so I steal the group's treasure, I'm a Paladin so I kill the rogue, I'm CN so I murder everyone in their sleep at the flip of a coin) it comes down to a DM enforcing consequences.

Consequences quickly settles such behaviour and cause players to look for more roleplayable choices and actions, and it's easy to do right away at low levels. If you follow this by placing them in some social situations where they need to behave positively while in character then you can encourage more roleplaying.

The Thief acting this way ends up arrested or "punished" by the local thieves guild. The rude barbarian ends up having the group tossed into the street instead of rewarded for their heroics, or ends up being beaten up in a barfight, tossed outside into the street at night, where he is robbed by some thugs that take advantage of him being already beaten up. The Paladin ends up being targeted by the local thieves guilds, criminal element for stirring up trouble, and possibly arrested for his "vigilanty" justice.

And thieves guilds don't need to be stabby to target anyone, it can be as simple as telling all the merchants that pay them protection money to not deal with them. When the magic sword they want is on the wall behind the counter and the smith is saying, "sorry we don't carry those here" and "no that's for display only, sorry, perhaps you should try in " then you have the player's attention.   



And horrifically enough there are people that will bemoan the DM doing that by claiming they are infringing on the players desire to play a character a certain way.

I totally agree with you, however.

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.

My advice on how to be a good role-player for the general gamer:


  • Don't try to make epic speeches or use twenty dollar words every time your character talks.

  • Have a general idea of your character's personality and story.  Let it direct what he/she does or says.  But remember most of what your character does won't have some important meaning or purpose relating to his/her backstory.

  • Use a manner of speaking that is most comfortable for you as a player.

  • Describe your character's actions as much as what he/she says.

  • Don't force the story.  It'll happen naturally.  Focus on just playing a character in a scene rather then trying to use the character as a vehicle for progressing some overall story (that will happen naturally, and sometimes with prodding from the DM when appropriate).

  • Remember to let your character do the wrong thing if it fits the character.  In combat, this may mean not doing the best, most strategic things.  However, it does make combat more fun, since it becomes more focused on a story-scene and role-playing rather than a strategy game.

  • Enjoy it and have fun with it.



S'all I got for now. =P
Consequences quickly settles such behaviour and cause players to look for more roleplayable choices and actions, and it's easy to do right away at low levels. If you follow this by placing them in some social situations where they need to behave positively while in character then you can encourage more roleplaying.

I have rarely seen this work to bring out more roleplaying. What I have seen bring out more roleplaying is not handing out punishing consequences for character behavior, but rather accomodating, as much as possible, how players want to play their characters. This means letting go of one's stories and plans, much of the time, but it can be worth it for the trust it can earn a DM.

Oops, that advice is more for a DM. Forgot which forum I was in.

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

Centauri, perhaps I used poor language, I said consequences, those can be either good or bad. The point is if the world reacts to their actions, then they will be more likely to interact with the world.

Anti-social behaviour discourages roleplaying because of the mess it creates. It is nearly impossible to roleplay in a tavern, as an example, if it becomes a combat scene in a bar fight.

It is the DM's job not to just accomodate the players, but to also be a neutral judge.

If the character belly flopped off cliffs all the time, would you A: roll fall damage each time or B: have a passing Giant Eagle save his life at the last second and similair occurances to "accomodate" the character?

Option A is how a neutral, unbiased judge would handle it, and would quickly stop the Wiley Coyote cartoonish behaviour, option B: would quickly degenerate the game into a Loonies Toons episode.

 Good consequences would be that (not starting a fight) interacting with someone
 will make them more favourable to the party and help out those Bluff/Diplomacy/gather information checks. bad consequences occur when the Rogue tries to pick that same NPC's pockets while the barbarian pushed him off the bar stool so he can have a seat to interogate the bartender and a barfight quickly ensues.
  
This is really advice for the DM though.

As a Player, keeping in mind that there are consequences for your actions will help you roleplay. Having a Dark, complex backstory won't help you roleplay, in fact it might make it harder to roleplay. Trying to manipulate the desired outcome as a consequence of your actions will help more then a prepared speach.

Another hard part of roleplaying is what to talk about. Because what does one imaginary character say to another imaginary character? The easiest is to talk about things that have happened in game

The barbarian who comes in, sits at the bar and orders a pint, saying he really needs a drink after all he's been through and recounts his last adventure and how annoying that stick in the mud paladin was and now we are in town looking for information on.... can end up finding more information then the Rogue who spends the night getting caught picking pockets and had just tossed the dice, "I roll gather information and try to slip behind the counter when the bartender is busy talking to the barbarian"

The barbarian player doesn't have to be "good" at roleplaying, and in need of something to say he simply highlights a few events of the last adventure. As a consequence the town might view the party as local heros, he makes those listening more favourable to them and as a consequence gets an easy gather information (or doesn't even need to roll it at all)

When going to buy new weapons/armor, talking to the blacksmith about how your current sword's lack of balance and poor grip has caused you to drop it in the middle of several fights (because you rolled alot of natural "1"s on the last few adventures with it)   Instead of just buying something like Mithril armor, go to the armorsmith and talk about how heavy and akward your armor is, and ask what can be done to get lighter, less hindering armor.

That sounds rather  simplistic at first, always talking about the obvious, but as you do this you will find yourself drawn into the character and will start to spread out and talk about other things as well. This gives a starting point.

Some people it helps to have a detailed, complex past to create a character that they know how they will roleplay in advance. For some that aren't too sure, this complex, detailed past will be akward to actually use.  So it is often best to start out as simple and bareboned as possible, and then develop the character. It starts with a mundane conversation on the merits of Lightening bolt over Fireball while buying a scroll, and then develops with use to more emersive interactions.
  
Centauri, perhaps I used poor language, I said consequences, those can be either good or bad. The point is if the world reacts to their actions, then they will be more likely to interact with the world.

Depends how it reacts to them. If it shuts them down, and they're left feeling punished or shamed, then they will clam back up.

Anti-social behaviour discourages roleplaying because of the mess it creates. It is nearly impossible to roleplay in a tavern, as an example, if it becomes a combat scene in a bar fight.

It might be impossible to talk but it's not impossible to roleplay.

Anti-social behavior does not create messes. DMs create messes.

It is the DM's job not to just accomodate the players, but to also be a neutral judge.

If the character belly flopped off cliffs all the time, would you A: roll fall damage each time or B: have a passing Giant Eagle save his life at the last second and similair occurances to "accomodate" the character?

What cliff? Oh, the cliff the DM decided to put there, because they're not impartial, but thought having a cliff around would be interesting and fun? Well, if it's not fun, I imagine that DM won't put cliffs around in the future.

It's not necessary to have a DM for the impartial, neutral aspects of the game. Anyone could roll that falling damage.

Option A is how a neutral, unbiased judge would handle it, and would quickly stop the Wiley Coyote cartoonish behaviour,

Sounds like that judge isn't being neutral and unbiased, but has a personal issue with the "cartoonish" behavior, and has an agenda to stop it.

And I don't for a moment believe that Option A would put a stop to the behavior.

option B: would quickly degenerate the game into a Loonies Toons episode.

Or an awesome action movie, depending on the circumstances and description.

Good consequences would be that (not starting a fight) interacting with someone  will make them more favourable to the party and help out those Bluff/Diplomacy/gather information checks.

Boring.

bad consequences occur when the Rogue tries to pick that same NPC's pockets while the barbarian pushed him off the bar stool so he can have a seat to interogate the bartender and a barfight quickly ensues.

Boring.
 
This is really advice for the DM though.

Yep.

As a Player, keeping in mind that there are consequences for your actions will help you roleplay. Having a Dark, complex backstory won't help you roleplay, in fact it might make it harder to roleplay.

There's no reason to think that.

Another hard part of roleplaying is what to talk about.

Only if the roleplaying involves talking. Picking a pocket, or pushing someone off a barstool is also roleplaying.

The barbarian who comes in, sits at the bar and orders a pint, saying he really needs a drink after all he's been through and recounts his last adventure and how annoying that stick in the mud paladin was and now we are in town looking for information on.... can end up finding more information then the Rogue who spends the night getting caught picking pockets and had just tossed the dice, "I roll gather information and try to slip behind the counter when the bartender is busy talking to the barbarian"

Sounds like the barbarian is being rewarded with actual gameplay by jumping through the DM's preferred hoops, and the rogue is getting stonewalled for not doing so, even though he, too, is roleplaying: roleplaying a thief.

The barbarian player doesn't have to be "good" at roleplaying, and in need of something to say he simply highlights a few events of the last adventure.

Which presumably everyone was present for, and doesn't need a recap on.

As a consequence the town might view the party as local heros, he makes those listening more favourable to them and as a consequence gets an easy gather information (or doesn't even need to roll it at all)

Good barbarian. Have a cookie.

When going to buy new weapons/armor, talking to the blacksmith about how your current sword's lack of balance and poor grip has caused you to drop it in the middle of several fights (because you rolled alot of natural "1"s on the last few adventures with it)

Side note: don't use that optional rule.

Some people it helps to have a detailed, complex past to create a character that they know how they will roleplay in advance. For some that aren't too sure, this complex, detailed past will be akward to actually use.  So it is often best to start out as simple and bareboned as possible, and then develop the character. It starts with a mundane conversation on the merits of Lightening bolt over Fireball while buying a scroll, and then develops with use to more emersive interactions.

And, with any luck, eventually you'll actually get to adventure.

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

What cliff? Oh, the cliff the DM decided to put there, because they're not impartial, but thought having a cliff around would be interesting and fun? Well, if it's not fun, I imagine that DM won't put cliffs around in the future.



LMFAO Sorry, man but that is utterly ridiculous. If a player decides to jump off a cliff it is the DMs fault for putting a cliff there.

Really? Really? REALLY?

This is why so many people have bad players. Heck, this is why so many people in the world have bad children. Oh no it's not your fault something bad happened to you...it's someone elses fault.

Bullocks.

And, with any luck, eventually you'll actually get to adventure.



When all someone is is a statblock used for "adventure" (IE combat) there is no roleplaying to be had.

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.

Centauri, I hope you aren't arguing for the sake of arguing. Are you saying that games shouldn't have DM's?

The World reacting to the PC's actions  is how a game becomes emmersive and the players feel like they are a part of that world. When you make them a part of that world and they see how their interactions with it shapes that world.

When their actions, positive or negative, don't change anything, then they aren't part of that world, they are sitting on the edge looking in, their actions are meaningless to that world.

Sounds like the barbarian is being rewarded with actual gameplay by jumping through the DM's preferred hoops, and the rogue is getting stonewalled for not doing so, even though he, too, is roleplaying: roleplaying a thief.



I am suprized that you shot down the Barbarian/Rogue example here. Ok the Rogue made a Gather Information check, and he does have a high skill, but he also didn't do anything to actually gather that information either.

If he was trying to craft a sword without a forge, iron, or any other material or time spent, by simply rolling the dice and walking away, would you give him a sword?

If a player at your table said, "I am going to rent a room for the night, lock the windows and doors, and then hide under the bed and sleep, oh and by the way" rolls dice "I make a Gather Information check" what information do you give him, beyond "this town doesn't sweep under the beds very often, judging from the dust bunnies you find"?

The Half Orc barbarian with no skill ranks, negative Charisma score, is going to find more information without rolling then the rogue who didn't actually do anything to gather information. The Rogue is stonewalling himself here. 

As for him being a thief, yes that is rollplaying, but there are risks to pick pocketing as well as Rewards, if it is just press button, get treat, then that is all you will ever, if they are clumsy about it, Such as spending an entire night in one location steeling from every customer that comes into the one tavern, getting caught is pretty inevitable, but I am not going to punish him for looking for a good mark, or planning a heist/con job, only a foolish DM would object to the players creating their own plot hooks.

As for the optional rules of rolling a natural "1" and dropping your weapon, hurting yourself with it, or hitting another players, -rolls eyes- I hate that rule and would get rid of it except my players absolutely and totally love it, their eyes sparkle and light up one each natural "1" even more then when they score critical hits. They have literally house ruled me to be an absolute abusive jerk, break their weapons, score a critical hit on themselves, slip and fall, drop their sword off a cliff, lost forever, if I did this any other time it would be a fight, but they roll a 1 and they beam and smile and laugh in excitement over it.
What cliff? Oh, the cliff the DM decided to put there, because they're not impartial, but thought having a cliff around would be interesting and fun? Well, if it's not fun, I imagine that DM won't put cliffs around in the future.



LMFAO Sorry, man but that is utterly ridiculous. If a player decides to jump off a cliff it is the DMs fault for putting a cliff there.

Really? Really? REALLY?

This is why so many people have bad players. Heck, this is why so many people in the world have bad children. Oh no it's not your fault something bad happened to you...it's someone elses fault.

Bullocks.



Thank you.

There are plenty of locales where cliffs come into play.  Is it my fault, as the DM, when a player decides to jump off a cliff just because it happens to be there?

However, it could be said that the reason the player decided to jump off that cliff was to spice things up.  In that case, it is the DM's fault for not engaging the players enough.

Two sides to every arugment and I argue both Surprised

 

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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.
Centauri, I hope you aren't arguing for the sake of arguing. Are you saying that games shouldn't have DM's?

I'm saying that games don't need DMs to do things like roll falling damage, or provide other impartial interactions with the rules. That's the worst use of a DMs time.

The World reacting to the PC's actions  is how a game becomes emmersive and the players feel like they are a part of that world. When you make them a part of that world and they see how their interactions with it shapes that world.

That's one way. But this does not justify a DM making the game unfun for players who don't fit the DM's idea of what players should be doing.

When their actions, positive or negative, don't change anything, then they aren't part of that world, they are sitting on the edge looking in, their actions are meaningless to that world.

Their actions change things. Obviously. Goes without saying. But that doesn't mean that the DM has to arrange things so that the changes are boring.

Sounds like the barbarian is being rewarded with actual gameplay by jumping through the DM's preferred hoops, and the rogue is getting stonewalled for not doing so, even though he, too, is roleplaying: roleplaying a thief.

I am suprized that you shot down the Barbarian/Rogue example here. Ok the Rogue made a Gather Information check, and he does have a high skill, but he also didn't do anything to actually gather that information either.

That's fine. If I need description, I or someone else at the table can offer one, and get feed back from the player.

If he was trying to craft a sword without a forge, iron, or any other material or time spent, by simply rolling the dice and walking away, would you give him a sword?

If I could see some other way that he could come by the sword, or simply didn't care how he came by it, then sure. Maybe even without rolling the dice. He wants a sword. That's cool. It's a gift to me as the DM. Why should I obfuscate it?

If a player at your table said, "I am going to rent a room for the night, lock the windows and doors, and then hide under the bed and sleep, oh and by the way" rolls dice "I make a Gather Information check" what information do you give him, beyond "this town doesn't sweep under the beds very often, judging from the dust bunnies you find"?

That's different than just not describing what led to the roll.

The Half Orc barbarian with no skill ranks, negative Charisma score, is going to find more information without rolling then the rogue who didn't actually do anything to gather information. The Rogue is stonewalling himself here.

It's plausible to assume he did do something, if he rolled. It's uncharitable to assume that just because the rogue didn't describe anything that nothing happened, and then to punish the rogue for that.

I'm a big fan of "establishing the fiction" that leads to a roll. I understand the desire for that. But I also understand the desire to punish a player who doesn't engage, and I recognize it and advise against it.

As for him being a thief, yes that is rollplaying, but there are risks to pick pocketing as well as Rewards, if it is just press button, get treat, then that is all you will ever,

That's not just what it is. The character is roleplaying is thief. Most people would consider that to be worth a little reward. And there might easily not be risks, if the character's skill is high enough. Or, more to the point, if it's not interesting for there to be risks.

if they are clumsy about it, Such as spending an entire night in one location steeling from every customer that comes into the one tavern, getting caught is pretty inevitable, but I am not going to punish him for looking for a good mark, or planning a heist/con job, only a foolish DM would object to the players creating their own plot hooks.

Do you require characters with certain skills to know how to use those skills? I don't, and I would think it was pretty cool if a movie or a book featured a thief that was so good that he could rob everyone in the tavern and not be caught.

I'm sorry this has become a post about DMing here in the Player forum, but look: Don't assign risk just because you think there should be a risk. Assign risk when everyone thinks the risk would be interesting. Boring risk in a game is a waste of everyone's time.

As for the optional rules of rolling a natural "1" and dropping your weapon, hurting yourself with it, or hitting another players, -rolls eyes- I hate that rule and would get rid of it except my players absolutely and totally love it, their eyes sparkle and light up one each natural "1" even more then when they score critical hits. They have literally house ruled me to be an absolute abusive jerk, break their weapons, score a critical hit on themselves, slip and fall, drop their sword off a cliff, lost forever, if I did this any other time it would be a fight, but they roll a 1 and they beam and smile and laugh in excitement over it.

Terrific. It's good to give players what they enjoy, and to derive enjoyment from that.

Anyway:
Roleplaying is not just talking. Anything a player does in character, even just rolling a particular skill, is roleplaying.
"Roleplaying" should not be used as an excuse by players or DMs to be a jerk.
There's not much a player can do if a DM has a certain idea about roleplaying and will concoct boring consequences for anyone who doesn't conform. Talk to your DM about it out of game, and be respectful.

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

What cliff? Oh, the cliff the DM decided to put there, because they're not impartial, but thought having a cliff around would be interesting and fun? Well, if it's not fun, I imagine that DM won't put cliffs around in the future.



LMFAO Sorry, man but that is utterly ridiculous. If a player decides to jump off a cliff it is the DMs fault for putting a cliff there.

Really? Really? REALLY?

This is why so many people have bad players. Heck, this is why so many people in the world have bad children. Oh no it's not your fault something bad happened to you...it's someone elses fault.

Bullocks.



Thank you.

There are plenty of locales where cliffs come into play.  Is it my fault, as the DM, when a player decides to jump off a cliff just because it happens to be there?

However, it could be said that the reason the player decided to jump off that cliff was to spice things up.  In that case, it is the DM's fault for not engaging the players enough.

Two sides to every arugment and I argue both


Yeah, but from what I've been reading, there are DMs that put a cliff there just because the character made a jump check. And then do a reverse and give the player a parachute because he crafted it on the way down. And a robotic jetpack with missile launchers... that stop working when the player kills an NPC with them.

ACME company... Walla Walla Washington? (Old School Reference)

It seems like there's a lot of over-correction going on. No wonder the players are having a hard time roleplaying. Actors need direction. It's hard enough that the players must ad lib the dialogue (a good thing), but to control the set as well is a bit much.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
It seems like there's a lot of over-correction going on. No wonder the players are having a hard time roleplaying. Actors need direction. It's hard enough that the players must ad lib the dialogue (a good thing), but to control the set as well is a bit much.

The belief that players are actors and the DM is a director is the source of many, many of the problems people ask about in these forums.

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

It seems like there's a lot of over-correction going on. No wonder the players are having a hard time roleplaying. Actors need direction. It's hard enough that the players must ad lib the dialogue (a good thing), but to control the set as well is a bit much.

The belief that players are actors and the DM is a director is the source of many, many of the problems people ask about in these forums.



I think the abdication of DM responsibility because DMs in the past have abused their position, leading to a general directionlessness of game tables and the game in general has compounded those problems.

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.

The way I do my character is there me with a different name. Which makes it easy to role-play for me. There a fighter but instead of just strength I invested into my intelligence because I am very smart and so is my character I also trained heal and perception because they describe me.
Hope this helps
    -Erik Farven
      P.S That's the name of my character.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/1.jpg)

As for him being a thief, yes that is rollplaying, but there are risks to pick pocketing as well as Rewards, if it is just press button, get treat, then that is all you will ever,

That's not just what it is. The character is roleplaying is thief. Most people would consider that to be worth a little reward. And there might easily not be risks, if the character's skill is high enough. Or, more to the point, if it's not interesting for there to be risks.

There is always the option of making the risk interesting, and using the situation to make other things interesting.

If the thief picking pockets rolls a natural 20, that mark just became someone he would need a natural 20 to pick the pocket of. Maybe an experienced official or adventurer. What he gets is... interesting. Maybe a map or something. Why would such a character be carrying that in his pocket, and what will he do when he finds that it's missing?

Ooops, a new plot hook and a new conflict within the adventure.

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
Centauri, nowhere did I describe as making "boring risk" or anythign else, when i stated that a gme world should react to the player's actions (or lack of actions) and it goes without saying that if a PC stabs a guard, that the stabbed guard dies, and the guards standing right beside him don't just stand there and do nothing.

And since I never specified what the risk entailed, I am wondering how you reached that conclusion? 

As for the barbarian/Rogue I was illustrating that actually doing something will reward you more then doing little to nothing. The player could do several things to use gather Information, they could

1: just toss the dice and do nothing else "ok I gather information" Ok they get information as if they spent the night doing that

2: Make a roll, And do things to gather information beyond that roll, thus earning additional modifiers to their roll

3: They can make a roll, and do something else that isn't related to Gather Information, the rogue who tosses the dice and then goes and spends the evening picking pockets has not spent the time needed to gather information, ie "A typical Gather Information check takes 1d4+1 hours" in 3.5, so spending 10 minutes to do a 3 hour job isn't going to get much information.

From the player's perspective, my advice to the player that wants to learn to roleplay more, that this is a good starting point as it gives them a subject and a purpose and they will see an emmediate reward. Gather Information? Talk to people. Their goal is to get a better check, and they can visualize what they need to do to get what they want to help them roleplay it.

The difficulty those who aren't sure of how to roleplay is generlly, what do I do. That is the same way they would be in real life in any situation that they didn't know what to do. Having a goal and steps in mind helps break the ice. It's like bringing a bottle of wine to a party that you aren't entirely sure you were invited to, at the very least it will get you past the door.
Yes, as a player, all you can do to get better at "roleplaying," is to find out what your DM thinks "roleplaying" means, and walk that tightrope. Most DMs will be overwhelmingly vocal about what they think "roleplaying" means, so it shouldn't be hard to find out everything you need to do to fit in. You may find that getting better at jumping through those hoops is not worth your time, in which case you'll need to talk to the DM, find a new group (people with strong feelings about roleplaying often just become DMs, so they can control it), or just be passive aggressive and take your licks from the DM in hopes of wearing them down.

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

Yes, as a player, all you can do to get better at "roleplaying," is to find out what your DM thinks "roleplaying" means, and walk that tightrope. Most DMs will be overwhelmingly vocal about what they think "roleplaying" means, so it shouldn't be hard to find out everything you need to do to fit in. You may find that getting better at jumping through those hoops is not worth your time, in which case you'll need to talk to the DM, find a new group (people with strong feelings about roleplaying often just become DMs, so they can control it), or just be passive aggressive and take your licks from the DM in hopes of wearing them down.



The bolded part in light of the rest of the post is hilarious.

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.

Centauri, if by jumping the DM's hoops you mean playing the game? If Goblins attack the PC's are they forced to "jump through the DM's hoops?"

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.

ie, gather Information from an Inn

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.

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

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.

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. 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. 

  Goal oriented roleplaying can give a player an edge to make the Dm jump through hoops (by earning modifiers etc)  but more importantly it gives the Player a goal and purpose.

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.

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