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Tanarii
2018-05-26, 12:29 AM
A Guide on How to Roleplay

Make decisions for your character in the fantasy environment.

Seriously, that's all there is to it. :smallbiggrin:

--------------------

Every decision you make for your character in the imaginary environment of the game (ie the "fantasy" environment) is roleplaying. Non-decisions are not. Although the latter are often very important/useful to way the game feels, as well as the group's overall enjoyment.

Decisions can be based on various things, of course. In fact, most people do some combination of roleplaying, or making decisions, based on:
- the mechanical aspects of their character.
- the fictional persona of their character.
- the current situation in the imaginary environment.
- desired outcomes or consequences.
- expressing the story (narrative results) in one's head.

-------------------

I'm sure this thread will get interesting, and I'm looking forward to seeing alternative takes from my own. I'll be the first to admit that my definition of roleplay is a very "big tent" one, designed to capture the wide variety of RPGs and what people do in them. But I think it's a useful thing to keep in the back of your mind, to keep your eye on, even as you drill down into the specific aspects of how you want to roleplay, which subset of the big tent you want to focus on, in a specific given system, table, character, or situation.

Let's keep insults to a minimum please.

Dracojai
2018-05-26, 01:46 AM
The second, and more complicated phase, is being consistent with the reasoning behind said choices.

Koo Rehtorb
2018-05-26, 01:59 AM
Why wouldn't talking in character to other people be roleplaying even if you're not currently making decisions?

Tanarii
2018-05-26, 02:00 AM
The second, and more complicated phase, is being consistent with the reasoning behind said choices.
That's a thing? I think you're asking too much. We're only human. :smallbiggrin:


Why wouldn't talking in character to other people be roleplaying even if you're not currently making decisions?
I don't know about you, but when I have my characters talk to other people in the fantasy environment, I'm making lots of decisions for what the character does. Or says, rather.

BlizzardSucks80
2018-05-26, 04:01 AM
Yeah, like making big decisions that could drastically affect the fate of one's character. I like that.
A few examples I could think of would be:

Deciding if you want to make your D&D Paladin keep that shiny Lawful Good alignment, or fall into corruption, lust, greed, etc.

Being a thief in a small crew of other thieves and deciding whether or not to betray the others so that you can have a larger share of the loot. Or holding onto that idea that maybe there is honor amongst thieves and maybe you have some family-like connection to the other thieves, who know?


Being the leader of a village or settlement and deciding to ally with another village or raid them mercilessly for their food and loot.


Being an apprentice mage in a wizard's tower and one of your fellow mages starts using dark forbidden magic but for a good cause (little sister is sick, grandma has Alzheimer's, helping the beggar underdogs in the streets, etc.) If the head mages found about this, that fellow mage of yours would probably get expelled at best, or horribly executed at worst. What do you do? Sell him/her out and gain a reputation as a snitch, or keep it a secret, and possibly be labeled an accomplice to these crimes?


Siding with the BBEG at the last minute, betraying your party and friends, because maybe you gave into the BBEG's promise of ultimate power at his/her side?

War_lord
2018-05-26, 04:05 AM
I'm going to grab my popcorn and not rise to the bait.

Anonymouswizard
2018-05-26, 04:44 AM
Part C) there is a difference between not making a choice and choosing to do nothing.

Tanarii
2018-05-26, 10:15 AM
Part C) there is a difference between not making a choice and choosing to do nothing.
Good point, well made.

Actana
2018-05-26, 10:33 AM
My biggest concern with that definition is that it's too broad and contradicts how people use the phrase. People often hear games being described as "roleplay-heavy" and "roleplay-light", most often correlating to how much combat there is. So as a descriptive word, simply taking actions as a character in a fantasy environment doesn't really cut it. You make decisions while in combat, thus rendering combat roleplaying. Yet I don't see many arguments in favor of tactical grid based combat being roleplaying, at least except in the most semantic way. So as far as I see it, those two seem to have something separating the two.


Personally, I use the (rough) definition of "roleplaying is the act of making choices within a fantasy environment where the emphasis is on making those choices as the character would make them, instead of emphasizing the gameplay mechanics of that choice."


Of course, this doesn't mean that highly tactical grid-based combat minigames "aren't roleplaying", or that it's bad. It's just another part of the game which by default emphasizes the mechanics of the game more than the characters, with typically less roleplaying. I personally enjoy tactical combat, but I wouldn't call my tightly focused overhead placement of a fireball so that it strategically doesn't affect my allies "roleplaying". It's very much me, as the player, engaging with the mechanics. At the same time, refusing to attack some enemy because they're my characters mentor is absolutely roleplaying, despite being in that combat minigame.

It's not the most airtight foolproof definition, but it's one that I'm happy with as it solves an issue I've found fairly often.

Tanarii
2018-05-26, 10:43 AM
It's very intentionally a definition to try and knock some sense into the heads of people that think combat doesn't involve roleplaying. Because that is wrong. Combat involves tons of roleplaying.

At a certain point, you've divorced/abstracted the mechanics of the system, including tactical combat on a grid, sufficiently from imagining the character in the fantasy environment that they only seem to be weakly tied together. And that's why some people try to draw a dividing line between them.

But yes, the most common modification of it for most people is "making decisions in character in the fantasy environment".

War_lord
2018-05-26, 10:50 AM
It's very intentionally a definition to try and knock some sense into the heads of people that think combat doesn't involve roleplaying. Because that is wrong. Combat involves tons of roleplaying.

And bait thread confirmed, good job everybody.

Anonymouswizard
2018-05-26, 11:42 AM
It's very intentionally a definition to try and knock some sense into the heads of people that think combat doesn't involve roleplaying. Because that is wrong. Combat involves tons of roleplaying.

Of course this means picking my wizard's six starting spells (Find Familiar, Fog Cloud, Disguise Self, Silent Image, Mage Armour, and Tasha's Hideous Laughter) was as much roleplaying as whether I use my turn to cast Fog Cloud or Minor Illusion (I have no hp damage magical abilities or ranged weapons, this will be fun :smalltongue:). Which feels a little off.

Of course, whether I cast Silent Image or Mage Hand is roleplaying, so I think that, assuming people are familiar with basic roleplaying terminology, it becomes 'making in-character decisions in a fantasy environment)'. Removes the silly bit of some, but not all, parts of character creation being roleplaying.

Tanarii
2018-05-26, 12:10 PM
I'm not trying to claim all decisions are equally important. Or sensible. :smallwink:

But IMX character creation usually takes place outside the fantasy environment. It's a precursor to it. So it doesn't feel like part of roleplaying the character to me personally, it feels more like the pre-game "metagame". Was that your point?

That said, if someone else told me they considered the decisions in creating a character are part of roleplaying the character, I could see where they were coming from.

KillianHawkeye
2018-05-26, 12:20 PM
Okay, combat can or can not involve roleplaying depending on how you approach it.

If you always take the most tactically advantageous actions regardless of the situation, you probably aren't roleplaying so much as playing the tactical combat game (unless your character is an actual master tactician). On the other hand, focusing your efforts on a particular foe because he's the one who insulted you, defeated you once before, or murdered your parents, despite the fact that there may be better actions you could take, is definitely roleplaying. Spending your actions on healing because your character is strongly committed to healing or maybe has just lost too many friends to injuries sustained in battle, despite the prevalent view that healing in combat is typically less useful than ending the combat sooner, is also roleplaying. But healing the unconscious Fighter only because you know out-of-character that they're at -9 hp and about to die isn't, because you're acting on information your character doesn't know.

Basically, roleplaying intersects with combat action any time you base your actions on your in-character motivations rather than your out-of-character human observations of the situation and knowledge of basic game strategy. These aren't always mutually exclusive.

kyoryu
2018-05-26, 12:30 PM
But IMX character creation usually takes place outside the fantasy environment. It's a precursor to it. So it doesn't feel like part of roleplaying the character to me personally, it feels more like the pre-game "metagame". Was that your point?

That said, if someone else told me they considered the decisions in creating a character are part of roleplaying the character, I could see where they were coming from.

It totally depends on whether the aspects of character creation you're dealing with are something under the character's control, historically, or not.

Tanarii
2018-05-26, 01:25 PM
But healing the unconscious Fighter only because you know out-of-character that they're at -9 hp and about to die isn't, because you're acting on information your character doesn't know.
Theres no reason that the characters dont know some equivilent in-universe of what the players know out.

Yes, there is a point at which the abstraction is too divorced/removed from what is supposed to be going on in universe that it is very hard to map from one to the other. But a chqracter about to die mapping to "I can see this character is gasping their last breath and about to die" is rarely one of them. Ditto for many decisions based on the combat mechanics of many games. They easily map.

For more on what I'm talking about:
http://theangrygm.com/through-a-glass-darkly-ic-ooc-and-the-myth-of-playercharacter-seperation/

KillianHawkeye
2018-05-26, 03:27 PM
Theres no reason that the characters dont know some equivilent in-universe of what the players know out.

Yes, there is a point at which the abstraction is too divorced/removed from what is supposed to be going on in universe that it is very hard to map from one to the other. But a chqracter about to die mapping to "I can see this character is gasping their last breath and about to die" is rarely one of them. Ditto for many decisions based on the combat mechanics of many games. They easily map.

I don't think it's so easy to tell "gasping [one's] last breath" apart from any other gasping that a character who will die in the next 7 to 54 seconds might do. Then what about all the times people bleed to death without gasping?

Maybe if you're alone with them in a quiet place, giving them some last bit of comfort before the inevitable end. But during a battle, when you might be 10 or 50 feet away, with monsters or enemy soldiers about and the clash of weapons and magical explosions or summoned creatures or a complicated death trap?

Yeah, no. I call BS.

To begin with, there's no easy way to tell at a glance if the blow that knocks out an ally took them down to -1 or -9, so you've got no clue how much time you have to save someone. Likewise, you wouldn't be able to tell how bad their injuries are or if they've stabilized or not without going to check on them.

Realistically, when an ally goes down, you either decide right away that you need to go over and help them or decide right away that you'll have to just hope they hang in there while you keep up with the fight. To act like everything is fine until they reach -9 hp, without any means of determining when that actually happens, and then suddenly deciding to go heal them at the last second is simply metagaming, not roleplaying.

WindStruck
2018-05-26, 04:00 PM
Simply making a decision isn't roleplaying. You have to use your imagination, try and pretend what if you were your character, make choices and execute actions like them. Don't look at where you want the game to go. Look at what your character's long-term desires are.

Darth Ultron
2018-05-26, 07:11 PM
A Guide on How to Roleplay

Make decisions for your character in the fantasy environment.

Seriously, that's all there is to it. :smallbiggrin:


Your advice is more ''how to play a role playing game'', not how to role play.

To role play you want to pretend that you are the character 100%. You, quite literal, want to play the role of another person. Hence the word.

And note, if your thinking about the mechanics of the game: your roll playing, not role playing.

And if your thinking about the game in real life as you make decisions for a character, you are metagaming.

Mr Blobby
2018-05-26, 07:48 PM
...People often hear games being described as "roleplay-heavy" and "roleplay-light", most often correlating to how much combat there is. So as a descriptive word, simply taking actions as a character in a fantasy environment doesn't really cut it. You make decisions while in combat, thus rendering combat roleplaying. Yet I don't see many arguments in favor of tactical grid based combat being roleplaying, at least except in the most semantic way. So as far as I see it, those two seem to have something separating the two...

Plus, there are still 'Roleplay opportunities' within combat or just before/after. Having, for example a character who without hesitation checks the bodies afterwards and not only goes for the bling but also pats down for loose change etc - I'm playing a character right now who checked the bodies to see if their boots were better than hers [not enchanted, merely 'nicer'] and got in a sulk that they couldn't loot an armoury says more to everyone about that character's upbringing than merely stating 'they grew up very poor'.

Pleh
2018-05-26, 09:10 PM
Simply making a decision isn't roleplaying.

This can't be stated strongly enough.

A lot of mechanical decisions are more like calculations than role play.

Sure, it's true that at times what the character wants to do and what the player wants to do will be identical, but if they're NEVER different, then you're looking at a very LIMITED form of roleplaying, which is to say exclusively the kind that places yourself into a scenario.

What you probably mean to say is that roleplaying doesn't NEED to be anything more than this at any point. That's correct, self-insertion is the basic minimum requirement to begin roleplaying. However, this is a fairly large and vague definition of Roleplaying to the point that playing Chess might be considered Roleplaying, thus putting us dangerously close to another, "X term is meaningless" debate (that never accomplishes anything, if you've noticed). Might as well embrace Collaborative Storytelling and Sandbox if we're allowing Roleplaying to be defined so broadly as to include Chess.

However, any attempts to use that to suggest that there is anything wrong with taking Roleplaying further than basic self-insertion is fruitless and insulting. For players show up for the roleplay, simply putting themselves into the story may not be challenging enough for them and so naturally they reach to become another person as they stretch their acting skills. It's the same with the game's crunchy combat systems. Some people like to keep it lightweight and streamlined because they want to get THROUGH the combat. Others want it heavy and technical because it's really the main event that they even bothered to show up for and they want it to actually challenge them somewhat. Just the same with Roleplay that some just want to hurry up and get to the results of their choices while others want to feel the weight and tension of having to make tough choices with characters that have conflicted motivations (that may also conflict with the player's motivations).

If the only choices to be made are mechanical calculations, you're not really playing the game of making hard choices. You're just running numbers. Don't get me wrong; running numbers can be meaningful. Strategy games are all about reaping the benefits of making good calculations while under pressure. But Roleplaying is more about overcoming an internal tension on the battlefield of the soul, mastering the compelling sense of motive inside a character and following their pursuit of these motivations to whatever end.

The Angry DM talks a big game about how pretending to be someone else is used to cover for bad game behavior, but the way he talks about it makes it seem clear to me that this attitude towards higher level role play comes from bad DMs teaching him bad things about Roleplaying and that he could use someone to spend some time unteaching him the bad things he's been taught.

For example, yes, a lot of toxic players will try to use any excuse they can to exploit the trust of other players and so some hide behind Roleplaying to be jerks to their fellow players. In non-toxic games, players that intend to play the role of betrayal or an untrustworthy ally usually obtain AT LEAST the DM's consent ahead of time and they usually get the whole table's consent unless the secrecy is critical to the betrayal arc. At that point, if it all falls apart, the DM can still take responsibility for making a bad call allowing something that just didn't work as planned. But the point is that it should never be possible to hide being a jerk to your fellow players behind roleplaying because you shouldn't be doing it at all unless you know point blank that they are open to that kind of element in the game.

To draw from MMOs, PVP isn't for everyone. Some people just don't like that kind of game, and you certainly shouldn't derail the game they want to be having to impose a game they didn't want or expect. It's not wrong to play a jerk character that is different from yourself; it's wrong to try to excuse yourself playing in ANY style that takes away the fun of your fellow players. And this is what I'm talking about when I say, "unteaching angry DM." He's been taught that people who want to play jerk characters are just trying to excuse being jerks to the people across the table. I would tend to agree in the case of people who surprise others with it and resist efforts to change their behavior. This is not a problem of roleplaying jerk characters, but being a jerk player.

And that's precisely why I dislike trying to pidgeonhole Roleplaying into Self-Insertion. When the only person you can roleplay is yourself, if your character ever has a moment of weakness and does something bad, then YOU did something bad and you should feel bad. In actuality, you should only feel bad if you've acted in bad faith with the people at your table to have your fun at the expense of theirs. If they wouldn't like a betrayal scenario, then you don't play that scenario with those people and save it for people who find that kind of game fun.

Quertus
2018-05-27, 05:48 AM
Hmmm... Lots of sub threads here. My 2 cp: talking involves lots of decisions, which can therefore involve role-playing. Combat includes lots of decisions, which can therefore involve role-playing. Character creation involves lots of decisions... which I guess therefore could involve role-playing? Role-playing involves making the decision as the character, from the character's PoV.

Choosing who to heal in combat - hmmm, that sounds like something combat medics have to do all the time, choosing whose injuries to prioritize. Do they always get it right? Probably not. But I expect that they get it right, eh, close enough to, say, the odds of a 3e D&D character making a DC 15 Heal check to not break my immersion / verisimilitude / whatever over it.


Simply making a decision isn't roleplaying. You have to use your imagination, try and pretend what if you were your character, make choices and execute actions like them. Don't look at where you want the game to go. Look at what your character's long-term desires are.

FTFY. I don't know about your experiences, but, IME, most humans are at least as driven by their short-term desires as their long-term plans.


Your advice is more ''how to play a role playing game'', not how to role play.

To role play you want to pretend that you are the character 100%. You, quite literal, want to play the role of another person. Hence the word.

And note, if your thinking about the mechanics of the game: your roll playing, not role playing.

And if your thinking about the game in real life as you make decisions for a character, you are metagaming.

Very concise and well put. You may deserve the award for the most content per character in this thread. However, that doesn't stop me from disagreeing about your definition of "roll playing". By which I mean, if I'm playing a combat medic in, say WWII, I don't want to be given all the gory details of the injuries on the battlefield to do my triage ala Saving Private Ryan. Nor do I want the OOC information of the mechanical wound levels. No, what I want is the results of my First Aid / Heal / Triage / whatever skill roll(s), and as much or as little detail of what that knowledge and those injuries mean as is appropriate to the table.

Because I am not a trained combat medic. I can't personally process all those injuries to accurately assess what treatment to give to what soldier, and in which order. But my character can - somewhat, in accordance with his stats and skills. That's what they're there for. So I want to use those stats and skills to determine what my character understand about the world, so as to correctly roleplay them. Because that's what they're there for.

Tanarii
2018-05-27, 08:16 AM
Simply making a decision isn't roleplaying. You have to use your imagination, try and pretend what if you were your character, make choices and execute actions like them. Don't look at where you want the game to go. Look at what your character's long-term desires are.
That is not required. You were doing great, but you went off the rails at the end. You wandered off into a sub-set of roleplaying. It's my favorite one personally, the type of roleplaying where you imagine a character distinct from yourself, and flesh out their personality. It's the one most people in TRPGs do. But it's not the core of roleplaying.

Simply making a decision isn't roleplaying. You have to use your imagination, try and pretend a character is in the fantasy environment, make choices and execute actions for what the character will do in that environment.

The character doesn't have to be anyone other than your own personality if you don't want it to be. They don't have to have goals other than your own. You can totally play an RPG about what would happen if you were transported to the fantasy environment. Alternatively and fairly commonly, you can totally play an RPG in which you don't make a special attempt to figure out who the character is personality wise, just roll up some stats and then start doing stuff in the game, making decisions based without any consideration of an alternate personality to yourself, but still considering the character an entity in the fantasy environment and acting accordingly.

The key here is they are some character in the fantasy environment. This is what distinguishes a game of chess or checkers from RPGs, be the free form like D&D or almost tactical board games like Gloomhaven. To use two opposite extremes of kinds of RPGs.

It is possible to play RPGs like Gloomhaven or the WoTC D&D 'board' games or CRPGs, ones that emphasize specific responses and are GM-less, either with or without roleplaying. As that matters is if you're imagining the character in the fantasy environment, and making decisions based on that.

Similarly it is possible to play a game of Warhammer RPG or Battletech RPG or Robotech/Rifts RPG some versions of D&D as something akin to an actual board game, with no attempt to imagine a character in the fantasy environment and make decisions based on that. But rather as a playing piece constrained purely by the rules.


Yeah, no. I call BS.
The only thing that's BS is metagaming. Metagaming requires going out of your way to find explanations that don't allow the abstract rules to be reflected somehow in game.

ImNotTrevor
2018-05-27, 11:25 AM
Metagaming is fine. We all do it. All the time.

Especially those of us trying to say that the tactics minigame is roleplaying by virtue of making decisions as a character.

We know what we, the player, want to do. So we come up with a reason why the character wpyld choose this. Backwards reasoning like this is so easy as to be reflexive. I didn't think I did this until I actually tried to pay attention to my own thought processes and, sure enough, yes I was. Often.

There's nothing wrong with that. Hell, we metagame all the time. Even in our urge to roleplay faithfully, we all know that some things will not fly, even if our characters would totally do it. Because we aren't the only player at the table. That's metagaming.

Whenever you consider stats as part of the equation, metagaming.

Whenever you wonder what the DM is thinking and try to figure that out and have the character do something, metagaming.

And that's fine. The stigma around metagaming is infantile and stupid. We're playing a game. We're all sitting around a table. Nobody is unaware of this. Playing the game like a game is OK. Because it's a GAME. That G is at the end of RPG for a reason.

And roleplaying is playing a role. It's pretending to be someone else. If the thing you're doing counts as pretending to be someone else without stretching it, bam. Playing a role. Roleplaying. 99% of it is actor stuff. (I do theater, and it helps my roleplaying. And vice versa.) Talking, motioning, desires, goals.

Emotionless tactics-bot #9 is, I guess, technically roleplaying? But is about as interesting as Edward Cullen as characters go. Flat, boring, etc.

"But my character wants to not die above all things!"

Uhuh. You've made a good retroactive character design to explain the behavior. Stiiiiiill boring.

RazorChain
2018-05-27, 11:43 AM
A Guide on How to Roleplay

Make decisions for your character in the fantasy environment.

Seriously, that's all there is to it. :smallbiggrin:



I'd say:

Making decisions as your character in a imaginary environment

because I can make a decisions for a hunk of cheese.....is that roleplaying....guiding that hunk of cheese through obstacles?

2D8HP
2018-05-27, 12:03 PM
This book is dedicated to Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax, who first opened Pandora's box,
and to Ken St. Andre who found it could be opened again.(Arneson & Gygax were the creators of Dungeons & Dragons -published 1974, Andre of Tunnels &Trolls -published 1975).


INTRODUCTION
WHAT IS A FANTASY ROLE-PLAYING GAME?
A role-playing game is a game of character
development, simulating the process of personal development commonly called "life". The player acts a role in a fantasy environment, just as he might act a role in s play. In fact, when played with just paper and pencil on the game board of the player's imagination, it has been called "improvisational radio theatre. " If played with metal and plastic figurines, it becomes improvisational puppet theatre. However it is played, the primary purpose is to have fun.



If I want to do that, he said, Ill join an amateur theater group. (see here (http://www.believermag.com/issues/200609/?read=article_lafarge)).


:amused:

Darth Ultron
2018-05-27, 05:25 PM
Very concise and well put. You may deserve the award for the most content per character in this thread. However, that doesn't stop me from disagreeing about your definition of "roll playing".

Well, to me Roll Playing is reducing the otherwise Role Playing Game to the bare bones of just the dull and direct rules. It's playing like a Board Game or a Video Game.

Like take the Medic example.

Role Playing is where the player will act out the role of the Medic: Joe Smith. So the player comes up with a personality for Joe, and then role plays that. And everything the player does will be based upon their role playing of Medic Smith. So if the player decides Medic Smith is a ''save everyone(except himself) type'', then they will role play the character as that type. So, for example, if Medic Smith sees a wounded person, he will use his last bandage on them to help.

Roll Playing is where the player is just playing by the numbers, but is often ''pretending'' to the others in the group as being the above. The wounded person has 20 hit points and only took 5 points of damage, so using a 'full heal bandage'' would be a waste of 15 points. So the player will, roboticaly, be like ''I ignore the wounded person''. And sure, it's a ''smart'' decision...if your Roll Playing.

KillianHawkeye
2018-05-27, 09:23 PM
The only thing that's BS is metagaming. Metagaming requires going out of your way to find explanations that don't allow the abstract rules to be reflected somehow in game.

Except your character doesn't have any "abstract rules" telling them whether or not a character is going to die next turn or 5 or 6 turns later. There are some specific ways of getting that information, like magic or examining them with the Heal skill or equivalent, but the most common way is for the player to tell the other players that they're about to die and then the healer metagames to wait until only when it's absolutely necessary to heal them.

But if you really thought that metagaming was BS, you wouldn't be calling it roleplaying.

Tanarii
2018-05-28, 09:03 AM
:amused:

😂😂😂

Yeah, I used to be grumpy about amateur acting being held up by elitists as One-True-Way Roleplaying too. Especially during the TSR era.

But it is kinda fun. Figuring out an alternate personality, then immersing yourself in it to the point you're almost method acting, in the process of imagining a character in an imaginary environment. Also eventually I found some rare people that can do funny voices right: entertaining but in a way that enhances immersion, as opposed to distracting from it.

But neither character personality immersion nor funny voices nor other kinds of amateur theatrics define roleplaying. They're just stuff layered on top of it.

Edit: I consider bad funny voices de rigueur for a popcorn-and-dice Orc-hunt type game.

Edit2:
Rereading that, clearly I should have written my OP definition of how to roleplay as:
imagine a character in the fantasy environment, and make decisions for them.

Darth Ultron
2018-05-28, 10:53 AM
But neither character personality immersion nor funny voices nor other kinds of amateur theatrics define roleplaying. They're just stuff layered on top of it.


Well, acting out a role defines role playing...and that is ''character personality immersion ''. If your not pretending to be the role of someone else, then your not even role playing.

KillianHawkeye
2018-05-28, 11:57 AM
Well, acting out a role defines role playing...and that is ''character personality immersion ''. If your not pretending to be the role of someone else, then your not even role playing.

I would say that self-insertion, i.e. imagining yourself in the situation at hand, is the most basic level of roleplaying. Imagining being someone else in that situation gets into increasing higher levels of roleplay the farther away that pretend person's personality gets from your own natural one. Playing a character that's the literal exact opposite of you, if that's possible, would be the theoretical highest level of roleplaying one could achieve, because at that point you've entirely removed any bit of yourself from the character you're playing as.

Tanarii
2018-05-28, 12:02 PM
Well, acting out a role defines role playing...and that is ''character personality immersion ''. If your not pretending to be the role of someone else, then your not even role playing.
That's wrong. And an all too common mistake.

As I said, you can easily play the role of yourself if you want. Or you can play the role of another character mechanically, but without making any distinct-from-yourself personality decisions, so you're not having to do any special immersion. No need to 'get in character', all you have to do is take your character and make whatever decisions make sense to you, the player, as you go along.

Which is a fairly common way to play RPGs.

Edit:

I would say that self-insertion, i.e. imagining yourself in the situation at hand, is the most basic level of roleplaying. its entirely possible to think of the character as 'my guy' and make decisions for them. Without any 'method acting' or self immersion at all. In that case, you've probably got a distinct personality from your own affecting decision making though, so almost the opposite of what I just said to DU above.

The core part, to me, is imagining a character in the imaginary world. How you approach imagining the character can vary. It can be first or third person. It can be a fleshed out personality with enumerated differences from your own, or it can be a pile of stats and mechanics but you making decisions how you normally would.

KillianHawkeye
2018-05-28, 01:07 PM
That's what I just said. :smallconfused:

Darth Ultron
2018-05-28, 04:51 PM
I would say that self-insertion, i.e. imagining yourself in the situation at hand, is the most basic level of roleplaying. Imagining being someone else in that situation gets into increasing higher levels of roleplay the farther away that pretend person's personality gets from your own natural one. Playing a character that's the literal exact opposite of you, if that's possible, would be the theoretical highest level of roleplaying one could achieve, because at that point you've entirely removed any bit of yourself from the character you're playing as.

If the role you are playing is yourself, you are not role playing all that much. You are doing the 'E' for Effort. And the role does not need to be ''opposite'', just not you.


That's wrong. And an all too common mistake.

As I said, you can easily play the role of yourself if you want. Or you can play the role of another character mechanically, but without making any distinct-from-yourself personality decisions, so you're not having to do any special immersion. No need to 'get in character', all you have to do is take your character and make whatever decisions make sense to you, the player, as you go along.


It sounds to me like your more just describing playing a game like a board game. You don't ''pretend'' the little boot on the game board is you in any way, and just make whatever decisions you the person would make to win the game.

At best your talking about Roll Playing: My Character moves ten feet forward and attacks foe number A2, I rolled a 17 to hit.

KillianHawkeye
2018-05-28, 05:02 PM
If the role you are playing is yourself, you are not role playing all that much. You are doing the 'E' for Effort. And the role does not need to be ''opposite'', just not you.

But you've admitted that it is roleplaying a little.

I mean, I did say that was the most basic level of roleplaying, and that playing someone completely opposite of yourself is the theoretical most extreme form, and that there was an entire spectrum of levels depending on how different the character you're playing is from yourself.

I mean, did you actually read the text you quoted? :smallsigh::smallconfused:

Darth Ultron
2018-05-28, 05:08 PM
But you've admitted that it is roleplaying a little.


Yes, it is role playing a little.

You are, after all, making the wacky decision to ''role play'' yourself, instead of just ''play as yourself'', and it does open up the endless wackiness as a person will ''role play'' the person they ''think'' they are...and not the person they ''really'' are....at least until their emotions take control....

2D8HP
2018-05-28, 05:18 PM
If the role you are playing is yourself, you are not role playing all that much....

....your talking about Roll Playing: My Character moves ten feet forward and attacks foe number A2, I rolled a 17 to hit.


http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g68/Cats_Are_Aliens/Banners/DirtFarmerM_zpsf9mvc6ni.png And why insist on "role-playing" not "roll-playing"?

A pox on that!

Amateur theatrics may be fun, but not when it's forced!

Insisting on "role-playing" when you want to play Dungeons & Dragons is mean.

Let people play D&D, not a psychological therapy gimmick!

*goes to a high shelf, takes down and dusts off an old adventure*

Oh look, on the back of my
Dungeon Module B2
The Keep on the Borderlands
by Gary Gygax
INTRODUCTORY MODULE FOR CHARACTER LEVELS 1-3

I see "Other releases of additional items relating to D&D Adventure Games are planned for the future."

Adventure not role-playing!

Proper D&D is about exploring dungeons, encountering and then looting monsters, not exploring inner deals!

Down with role-playing!

Up with Adventure!

Pleh
2018-05-28, 09:16 PM
Dungeon Module B2
The Keep on the Borderlands
by Gary Gygax
INTRODUCTORY MODULE FOR CHARACTER LEVELS 1-3

I see "Other releases of additional items relating to D&D Adventure Games are planned for the future."

Oh, look! A primordial Adventure Path for old school Roleplaying Games!

I point my tongue at you, you son of a silly person! Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

2D8HP
2018-05-28, 10:41 PM
Oh, look! A primordial Adventure Path for old school Roleplaying Games!

I point my tongue at you, you son of a silly person! Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!


Oh! The wound is deep!

Mordaedil
2018-05-29, 05:33 AM
I'm actually with Darth Ultron on this one. Except I'll take a more extreme stance and say that if you are just doing the self-insert route, you aren't even taking a remote interest or putting an inkling of effort into the game and are hereby declined from participation at my table.

Not that I think any will take any offense to that, none of you are prerequisite at my table nor should you feel like it is a standard you must meet. You have fun your own ways, but for me and my friends to have fun, you have to try a little bit harder to perform a bit of theater.

We consider that as important, nay, more important than the rolling of the dice, when we sit to play a scenario.

We have another game going where I specifically said I wanted us to approach it as more of a boardgame kind of ordeal and I ran that one as 1st edition AD&D with very explicit goal of killing the players using randomized dungeons with tools available online. But we don't consider that D&D. It lacks the blood and commitment we otherwise feel.

KillianHawkeye
2018-05-29, 06:53 AM
Wow, the elitism and gatekeeping are strong in this thread! :smallsigh:

Tanarii
2018-05-29, 10:01 AM
Wow, the elitism and gatekeeping are strong in this thread! :smallsigh:
That's what started me off thinking about this in the first place. I've been uncomfortable with various Roleplaying Elitists since the days of D&D 2e and TSR, when the company catered too it. And I disturbed by the amount of people that echo that kind of attitude when I first started posting here a few years ago. So I came up with big tent definition of roleplaying.

Tables can certainly want more out of their roleplaying game experience. That can include more theatrical acting, or it might include taking a character on exciting adventures. So long as they involve imagining a character in an imaginary environment, and making decisions for them, it's roleplaying. Saying "we prefer this kind of roleplaying" is cool. Saying "this is *real* roleplaying" is not.

Mordaedil
2018-05-29, 02:26 PM
I think everyone is allowed to run their table however they want, though?

Like, our group is very into the theatrical part, but we're fine with other people not being into it?

2D8HP
2018-05-29, 06:04 PM
That's what started me off thinking about this in the first place. I've been uncomfortable with various Roleplaying Elitists since the days of D&D 2e and TSR, when the company catered too it. And I disturbed by the amount of people that echo that kind of attitude when I first started posting here a few years ago. So I came up with big tent definition of roleplaying.

Tables can certainly want more out of their roleplaying game experience. That can include more theatrical acting, or it might include taking a character on exciting adventures. So long as they involve imagining a character in an imaginary environment, and making decisions for them, it's roleplaying. Saying "we prefer this kind of roleplaying" is cool. Saying "this is *real* roleplaying" is not.


Why not just strike out the phrase "role-playing" from our hobby?

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-pZv8T0hIWSQ/VZSLb79eIXI/AAAAAAAA2GY/zvV4pcRXefg/s1600/D%2526D%2BAdventure%2B001a.jpg
"EXPLORE EXCITING WORLDS OF FUN FANTASY AND ADVENTURE WITH DUNGEONS & DRAGONS AND ADVANCED DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS ADVENTURE GAMES"

Nowhere does that ad use the cursed phrase "role-playing"!

I want an Adventure Game back!

Down with role-playing!

Down with optimiz-what's-it!

Down with Paths!

Down with endless conga-lines of meaningless combat!

Down with competitive soliloquies about one's characters inner deal!

Down with saving the world!

I want to start in a tavern, loot a dungeon, try to avoid bandits that want to steal the stolen loot, and then spend the loot in the tavern just like the young Conan, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser!

It's been too long!

I want my Dungeons & Dragons back damnit

Mr Blobby
2018-05-29, 06:16 PM
I'd prefer to start with some bandits, loot a tavern and spend the loot building a dungeon...

2D8HP
2018-05-29, 06:19 PM
I'd prefer to start with some bandits, loot a tavern and spend the loot building a dungeon...


Call the dungeon a "stronghold" and I'm with you!

Mr Blobby
2018-05-29, 06:34 PM
I'm not sure... 'stronghold' sounds, well strong. Less appealing for marks to come in and 'give' us all their stuff...

2D8HP
2018-05-29, 06:46 PM
I'm not sure... 'stronghold' sounds, well strong. Less appealing for marks to come in and 'give' us all their stuff...


Well, when you put it like that... (http://www.critical-hits.com/blog/2016/08/02/the-deep-elf-game-shows/)

ZamielVanWeber
2018-05-29, 08:04 PM
I don't think it's so easy to tell "gasping [one's] last breath" apart from any other gasping that a character who will die in the next 7 to 54 seconds might do. Then what about all the times people bleed to death without gasping?

They are easy to tell apart actually and someone bleeding out without gasping would be unusual. Agonal respirations are grotesque and, as an EMT, indicated I was working hard on a dead man. The stories of people surviving them often involve the people being close to a hospital or the EMT getting insanely lucky. No shame in you never accounting them. You don't forget them.

Tanarii
2018-05-29, 09:01 PM
I think everyone is allowed to run their table however they want, though?

Like, our group is very into the theatrical part, but we're fine with other people not being into it?
Of course. Nor am I suggesting you should invite players that want something radically different from your group to your table.

Pleh
2018-05-30, 05:46 AM
I'm not sure... 'stronghold' sounds, well strong. Less appealing for marks to come in and 'give' us all their stuff...

It really shouldn't. Most Dungeons in D&D are old forgotten ruins or undergound strongholds. Real Dungeons were just a part of a castle where unwanted people were sent to disappear in a dark hole full of terrible things that would happen to them. Usually, dungeons were occupied with professional torturers or guards OR some halfway domesticated carnivorous creature. They usually weren't labarynthine or even terribly large, but most were built to keep people from escaping, so stronghold really shouldn't be much different than a dungeon (and should probably have one).

Knaight
2018-05-30, 06:17 AM
Why not just strike out the phrase "role-playing" from our hobby?

To start with, while you've got the Gygax quote there's the small matter of the contributions of one Dave Arneson - who was very into this whole role playing business. Beyond that our hobby involves a combination of a fair few different aspects, and while individual games usually don't have all of them none can really be removed without reducing the interest of the hobby for people. Particularly when that something is role playing, the main draw for a huge number of people in the hobby.

There's a case for balkanizing the hobby into a few different ones, to reflect just how different a lot of games are*, but there's not really any clean ways to do that, and regardless of how you break them up people routinely drift across anyways. I don't think it's a good idea, but there's definitely some appeal there.

*Which also applies to board games and videogames, but those have somewhat better genre definitions beyond thematic genre, which introduces some level of pseudobalkanization. That partial measure is probably preferable anyways.

Tanarii
2018-05-30, 07:08 AM
Particularly when that something is role playing, the main draw for a huge number of people in the hobby.Personally I find 'amateur theatrics' (which unfortunately smacks of an insult but I'm not trying to use it as such) to be a fairly niche part of the system. But that's because I play a lot in game shops and WotC official play. And even my 'home game' experience in the last decade has primarily been a private mailing list that uses WoTC official play. That subset of roleplay is IMX almost exclusively done by tight groups of personal friends that have known each other for a while. I must say, the few times I've had an opportunity to join a game like that, knowing in advance it would be on a short term basis relative to the pre-existing & ongoing campaign, it has been both a blast and a privilege.

But more generally in the hobby, the norm seems to be figure out a personality 'hook' or two, a rough background, then just make decisions, act and react, based on current circumstances and a combination of your own personal instincts and intellect, within those caveats. Ie apply 'player skill' and 'player personality + a bit' and 'character capabilities' and focus on doing stuff in the game world.

Knaight
2018-05-30, 09:18 AM
Personally I find 'amateur theatrics' (which unfortunately smacks of an insult but I'm not trying to use it as such) to be a fairly niche part of the system. But that's because I play a lot in game shops and WotC official play. And even my 'home game' experience in the last decade has primarily been a private mailing list that uses WoTC official play. That subset of roleplay is IMX almost exclusively done by tight groups of personal friends that have known each other for a while. I must say, the few times I've had an opportunity to join a game like that, knowing in advance it would be on a short term basis relative to the pre-existing & ongoing campaign, it has been both a blast and a privilege.

I don't think it's even a matter of close groups of friends so much as absence of bystanders. Theatrics in general are awkward (stage fright is a thing in a reason), improv is harder, and while actual proper actors tend to be pretty good about performing in front of an audience RPG players* tend not to be.

*That don't have enough of a theater background.

2D8HP
2018-05-30, 10:04 AM
Personally I find 'amateur theatrics'... .


"Amateur theatrics" is fine and fun, it's "role-playing" that I'm against.

You know "role-playing"!

"Stats" not inventory.

Murder not hobo (XP for murder, not for gold)

Starting as already powerful.

Wangsting 'bout being powerful and murderous.

"Saving the world" instead of trying to survive and prosper.

"Saving the world" is an endless conga-line of combat with very little detail why, and there's "boss monsters".

No treasure is collected, instead there's "power points", "feats", and "stat boosts"

Token worries 'bout "losing humanity" or going "cyberpsycho"

Being Elric or the Vampire Lestat instead of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser!

"Fantasy Adventure Game" was fun (for me)!

"Role-playing"?

Not so much.

"Adventure Games", you play out The Italian Job or Raiders of the Lost Ark

"Role-playing" is Avengers: Age of what's-it, or Interview with a Vampire instead!

"Role-playing" is the never-ending "Dream of the '90's" instead of the fun of '81!

I'm tired of Darkness.

I miss Dungeons & Dragons

I wish it would come back.


:frown:
Feeling sad, and wishing my best friend and DM was still alive

Mordaedil
2018-05-31, 02:18 AM
Your post makes no sense to me 2D8HP. Were you rejected by your group for not roleplaying at the table or something? You seem kinda misinformed about what roleplaying is.

WindStruck
2018-05-31, 02:41 AM
I think he confused "role playing" for "roll playing". :smallconfused:

Tanarii
2018-05-31, 07:39 AM
Your post makes no sense to me 2D8HP. Were you rejected by your group for not roleplaying at the table or something? You seem kinda misinformed about what roleplaying is.
Pretty sure he's been playing a lot of WotC official play recently. :smallamused:

The D&D 5e adventure paths remind me a lot of the approach 2e TSR took for D&D, in terms of approaching it as a game of grand protagonist heroics. Save the world stories. In this case, designed to run you from low level all the way up to high level (typically 11-16). At which point you save the world. Then reroll new characters to do it all over again the next season.

Otoh from what I've seen, they aren't supposed to be an endless conga line of combats. That's just how many DMs run them. And to be fair to DMs, how many players approach the game.

That's actually a pretty good model for official play though, as it keeps players moving from adventure path to adventure path every season of play. And it allows them to do something that at least 'feels' new each time. I'm a huge fan of raiding dungeons and wilderness adventuring sites. But it can get stale if not done well.


I don't think it's even a matter of close groups of friends so much as absence of bystanders. Theatrics in general are awkward (stage fright is a thing in a reason), improv is harder, and while actual proper actors tend to be pretty good about performing in front of an audience RPG players* tend not to be.

*That don't have enough of a theater background.
That's a good point. I've never considered it before. I mean, I stand up in front of 4-8 players plus various other people in game stores several times a week, and act to one degree or another like an idiot NPC or monster or whatever. So I'm probably not as aware of public performance anxiety, and I can see why I've missed the idea. But I certainly understand the concept from other areas of my life. :smallamused:

2D8HP
2018-05-31, 07:54 AM
Your post makes no sense to me 2D8HP. Were you rejected by your group for not roleplaying at the table or something? You seem kinda misinformed about what roleplaying is.


What I'm told:


"Your character isn't optimal"

"Your back-story is inadequate"

"Don't just say what your PC tries to do, what mod is it?"

"You need to do better dialog"

"You have to pick a feat"

"You need to optimize"

"You need to synergize more"

"You can't just decide without it fitting the motivation"

"You can't just say what kind of character you like, you have to make a build"


I don't want to do any of that!

I want to have someone:


Describe a scene

Ask "What do you do?"

Say what dice to roll.

Repeat.


Like it used to be http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4050/4516162331_96e85c130b_o.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2708/4516795204_8fdb1ee258_o.png


I think he confused "role playing" for "roll playing". :smallconfused:


Both terms mean basically the same thing!

They mean "To play, you can't just say a type of character you'd like, you have to make a back-story and a build"!

They mean having to pay attention to "stats" and "mods" instead of deciding when to use a bag of flour, a flask of oil, or a ten foot pole!

They mean being told to make a "Gish" whatever that's supposed to be!

The mean there's little description of the environment for my character to interact with, just a conga-line of combat with powers and rules to memorize!

They mean a lot of time is spent talking to each other in-character instead of exploring the setting.

They mean instead of saying what my PC see's and hears the GM monologues for a long time about the history of the continent of What's-it, and how it invaded by the Whom-evers who worship the gods of What-now

They mean when another players character is injured, my character isn't supposed to run to them unless some ability or other is on my character record sheet.

It means instead of thinking about what I or the character I'm trying to play would do in the situation described, I have to cite rules and stats.

It means instead of being asked "What do you do?" the GM asks "What do you roll for?"
It means my old best friend and DM died years ago, and my now being told again and again "You don't do it right"! Both "role-playing" and "roll-playing" mean my play-style is obsolete, and character creation that used to take at most ten minutes now takes at least an hour, and if I want to play I have to think of "back-stories" and "builds".

The both mean the same thing.

Change.

Some I like (my PC's usually surviving to second level).

And others I don't (having to audition a "back-story" and a "build").

To be fair, I had one GM this last year who almost made it feel like an Adventure Game again (suprising for a youngster!), even with the new rules, but he disappeared after just a few sessions and now it's back to role-playing/roll-playing like it has been since the early '90's.

I suppose there's a trifling difference between "role-playing" and "roll-playing", in that if it's "role" it's more about the characters inner deal, and there's a bit more competative soliquies, and if it's "roll" theres a little less in-character talking, but I find them both similar in that there's little focus on the current in-game environment.

In contrast to an Adventure game, in new-fangled role/roll-playing games everthing seems to be about what's written up before everyone gets to the table; the players present their back-stories and builds, the GM reads off some history they've written for the world, and then there's some token dice rolling that usually ends with the GM saying something is dying or exploding.

If an adventure/module is used instead, then at least there's some description of the scenery, but a PC can only go where there's been a scene that's been written up.

I used to prefer "custom" GM made worlds long ago because I felt that my decisions would have more meaning, but I'm past that now because I now realize that pre-written adventure at least let you turn left instead of right sometimes which effects the order things are encountered, so that's something of a difference.



Pretty sure he's been playing a lot of WotC official play recently. :smallamused:


Not as much as I would like!

I have started Phandelvar three times now though.


The D&D 5e adventure paths remind me a lot of the approach 2e TSR took for D&D, in terms of approaching it as a game of grand protagonist heroics. Save the world stories. In this case, designed to run you from low level all the way up to high level (typically 11-16). At which point you save the world. Then reroll new characters to do it all over again the next season.

Otoh from what I've seen, they aren't supposed to be an endless conga line of combats.


It isn't?

How can I get in on that action?


That's just how many DMs run them. And to be fair to DMs, how many players approach the game.


Do they ever!

Not fighting something never seems to occur to the other players!


That's actually a pretty good model for official play though, as it keeps players moving from adventure path to adventure path every season of play. And it allows them to do something that at least 'feels' new each time. I'm a huge fan of raiding dungeons and wilderness adventuring sites. But it can get stale if not done well.


But it was glorious when done well!

I miss it so much.


:sigh:

Tanarii
2018-05-31, 11:09 AM
2D8 what you're describing to me is a focus on story-characters vs build-characters, instead of just pretending to 'be' as the character in the environment and interact with it. It bothers me too, because it's one of my favorite ways to roleplay too.

I don't mind a few personality/motivation hooks to differentiate my character from me, a touch of 'method acting', of the "what's my motivation?" kind of acting. I don't mind awareness of character's mechanical capabilities. It's excessive focus on either of those that I don't like. Because they force a focus on unnecessary player/character separation, instead of just allowing me to let the two blend, as they naturally do if you don't go out of your way to separate them. And let myself get absorbed in deciding what my character does (and says) in the fantasy environment.

Knaight
2018-05-31, 11:31 AM
I'm going to edit the below into an enumerated list, for clarity.

Both terms mean basically the same thing!

1) They mean "To play, you can't just say a type of character you'd like, you have to make a back-story and a build"!

2) They mean having to pay attention to "stats" and "mods" instead of deciding when to use a bag of flour, a flask of oil, or a ten foot pole!

3) They mean being told to make a "Gish" whatever that's supposed to be!

4) The mean there's little description of the environment for my character to interact with, just a conga-line of combat with powers and rules to memorize!

5) They mean a lot of time is spent talking to each other in-character instead of exploring the setting.

6) They mean instead of saying what my PC see's and hears the GM monologues for a long time about the history of the continent of What's-it, and how it invaded by the Whom-evers who worship the gods of What-now

7) They mean when another players character is injured, my character isn't supposed to run to them unless some ability or other is on my character record sheet.

8) It means instead of thinking about what I or the character I'm trying to play would do in the situation described, I have to cite rules and stats.

9) It means instead of being asked "What do you do?" the GM asks "What do you roll for?"
It means my old best friend and DM died years ago, and my now being told again and again "You don't do it right"! Both "role-playing" and "roll-playing" mean my play-style is obsolete, and character creation that used to take at most ten minutes now takes at least an hour, and if I want to play I have to think of "back-stories" and "builds".

Basically none of this is intrinsic to roleplaying. Going down the list:

1) Roleplaying doesn't really need a backstory, just a character personality. As for builds, that's more a matter of mechanical complexity than anything else.

2) This definitely has nothing to do with roleplaying.

3) This reflects downright bad player/GM habits of telling other people what characters to make, in this case pushing a particular warrior/mage archetype.

4) Lack of description is just a bad GM habit.

5) This at least does relate to roleplaying, though I'd argue that at that point you're exploring the setting by exploring the people who live in it.

6) Again this is a bad GM habit, here one of unelegant info dumping that gets in the way of the present.

7) This is a mechanical quirk of the system, and one that's been in D&D for a while. The whole idea of the effective dedicated healer pushes this, as does the way the wound system works.

8) This definitely has nothing to do with roleplaying.

9) This is another aspect of mechanical complexity, a side effect of heavier systems and the cultures they bring.

Seriously, if you find yourself in Northern Colorado on a Thursday evening hit me up. I'll probably be running an invite-only one shot in a modern style that does none of these things, and you can consider this an invite.

WindStruck
2018-05-31, 12:26 PM
They are absolutely not the same thing.

Anything that has to do with mechanics, builds, or any other technical stuff involving rolls is with game systems themselves. Pretty much all games use dice except for pure storytelling freeform games.

The numbers are simply there to quantify how good your character is at doing something. That way, if another actor were to oppose him or her, the two of you can resolve the issue with a dice roll, rather than an argument irl, or an outlandish fight scene where neither opponent wants to lose. Eventually, someone will have to concede, or they both agree on a draw. Using dice, plus modifiers, we have a neutral arbiter.

Even still, dice rolls are explicitly stated to be used for resolving an unknown outcome. They can take the guesswork out of roleplaying, because if your character isn't too great at picking locks, you don't have to decide when to randomly fail or not. The system decides for you.

Aside from that, it has nothing to do with roleplaying. Everything else is up to you and how you envisioned your character.

2D8HP
2018-05-31, 12:57 PM
2D8 what you're describing to me is a focus on story-characters vs build-characters, instead of just pretending to 'be' as the character in the environment and interact with....


To me "role-playing" and "roll-playing" are two sides of the same coin, and the "vs" between the "optimizers" and "method actors" isn't a debate I'm interested in, because emphasis on either and/or both gets in the way of something that I want more of in what have become to be called "role-playing games": The sense of exploring a rich and detailed world (not an "Empty Room" or its near twin the "passive-aggressive railroad").

As to the "If your just 'roll-playing' it's just a board game" line, have you seen boardgames lately? They're richer with more actual meaningful decisions and world detail than most RPG sessions now!

From when I was on the other side of the screen, I know that much of that detail of those increasingly rare good "RPG" sessions is often improvised on the fly as the much decried "illusionism", and I don't care!

I want GM's to make that effort of some illusionism again, instead of just setting up drawing rooms for a few players to monologue their PC's back-stories to each other, and I want more to that illusion than endless fights!

Maybe have some NPC's other than antagonists and patrons/questgivers again?


....none of this is intrinsic to roleplaying...


In my experience those things are so endemic to how what are called "role-playing games" are played that they are the definition, and the few rare exceptions should be called something else, which is why I suggest dusting off a label from the late 1970's and early 80's: "Adventure Game"

They didn't used to be, and sometimes there's a few rare sessions where they aren't now, but for the most part?

Just as in the early 1990's when I walked out of the hobby (for the record it was other "RPG's" that were not D&D then that I last played then, I know it's hard to believe, but back then D&D games were rarer to find than other games), and today when it's hard to find anything played besides D&D and Pathfinder, it's mostly what I call "Empty Rooms" or "Locked into Lameness arenas" that I see.


...Seriously, if you find yourself in Northern Colorado on a Thursday evening hit me up. I'll probably be running an invite-only one shot in a modern style that does none of these things, and you can consider this an invite.


Wow!

That's really kind, thank you!


They are absolutely not the same thing.


Are you sure?

Because both give me that "Why bother" feeling, as both involve a mute world besides the PC's.

What would bring back the Adventure is:

NPC's who talk more than a few words.

Descriptions of the environment besides "Duchess and Duke blah-di-blah say go fight what's-it for inadequately-explained reasons that the PC's just do because heroes", and "You see the what's-its, and they attack".

Challenges other than combat, maybe walls to climb? Traps to avoid? People to find? A chase?

Combat that's quick and that's deadly for the PC's as well as the antagonists, so it's something that you try to avoid, or use tactics, not "powers" to survive.



....Aside from that, it has nothing to do with roleplaying. Everything else is up to you and how you envisioned your character.


I'd like to envision my character as someone exploring and interacting with a world beyond voicing their inner deals or in endless riskless combat.

In short, I want a to explore a world not a role, and I want more options than "I roll to attack".

PanosIs
2018-05-31, 01:47 PM
To me "role-playing" and "roll-playing" are two sides of the same coin, and the "vs" between the "optimizers" and "method actors" isn't a debate I'm interested in, because emphasis on either and/or both gets in the way of something that I want more of in what have become to be called "role-playing games": The sense of exploring a rich and detailed world (not an "Empty Room" or its near twin the "passive-aggressive railroad").

I totally understand where you're coming from, 2D8HP. Although in my case, I have some instinct saying that all these things are fine.

I suppose I'm one of those sorta-rare people that very much enjoy both mechanical depth, character depth and story depth, so I want my games to have each of those things. Although I'll agree with you that the most enticing part of (at least being a player) in an RPG is exploring the setting.

I like it when my players are arguing with each other about what to do next because they have conflicting motivations. I like it when their characters are trying to fight their way through a combat or noncombat obstacle using all their (mechanical or otherwise) abilities. And I like it when they discover x or y piece of lore, or that the old giant ruins they passed by a couple of sessions ago are now using to forge weapons or whatelse.

The experiences that you are describing, at least from what I infer, have to do more with style of play rather than an intrinsic feature of roleplaying games today. And it is true that good games are hard to come by. From my experience though, there are plenty of players and/or DMs that appreciate that style of play, the one that's focused on exploration of a setting rather than a character or a set of mechanics. Of course though, these things meld together.


From when I was on the other side of the screen, I know that much of that detail of those increasingly rare good "RPG" sessions is often improvised on the fly as the much decried "illusionism", and I don't care!

I want GM's to make that effort of some illusionism again, instead of just setting up drawing rooms for a few players to monologue their PC's back-stories to each other, and I want more to that illusion than endless fights!

Is illusionism decried? I may have skewed opinions of what constitutes illusionism (My lurking in online fora is limited). But I'm pretty sure that any sane game master with experience under his belt will be skilled in improvisations and narrative tricks.


I'd like to envision my character as someone exploring and interacting with a world beyond voicing their inner deals or in endless riskless combat.

In short, I want a to explore a world not a role, and I want more options than "I roll to attack".

In the end it all has to do with different styles of play. And one way or another the later trend in RPGs for good or for bad is a big focus in characters and backstories and motivations. And that can be observed in many recent games. Vampire (And to a lesser extent the other NWoD games) I think is one were it is most extreme, as the game literally went from A) Politics and conflict among the different factions, all out war, and a focus on setting and interaction with different factions to B) A personal horror game about how your character deals with being an undead monster.

One way or the other, character driven games appeal to a lot of people, and to those people setting exploration takes a second seat if their character has to voice their concern when they are going to raid the dungeon run by the poor defenseless goblins and steal the sword of great importance.

And of course, that is not bad, it's just a different style of play. I am sorry that you've had experiences with people that claimed that your preferred style of play is wrong.

kyoryu
2018-05-31, 02:46 PM
What would bring back the Adventure is:

NPC's who talk more than a few words.

Descriptions of the environment besides "Duchess and Duke blah-di-blah say go fight what's-it for inadequately-explained reasons that the PC's just do because heroes", and "You see the what's-its, and they attack".

Challenges other than combat, maybe walls to climb? Traps to avoid? People to find? A chase?

Combat that's quick and that's deadly for the PC's as well as the antagonists, so it's something that you try to avoid, or use tactics, not "powers" to survive.



I so want to play a game with you. How are we going to do this?

2D8HP
2018-05-31, 03:21 PM
....I suppose I'm one of those sorta-rare people that very much enjoy both mechanical depth, character depth and story depth, so I want my games to have each of those things.....

Hmmm...

When you put it that way, a "three-leg stool", with elements of mechanical (board/wargame-like) depth, character (improvisational radio theatre) depth and a certain kind of story depth (if story deprh means a rich setting beyond the GM just.reading off "10,000 years ago the McEldrich's settled the continent of Customlandia"), sounds like it would be fun



...The experiences that you are describing, at least from what I infer, have to do more with style of play rather than an intrinsic feature of roleplaying games today....


The build obsessed style of play that bugs me, I first saw a little bit in the 1980's with games like Champions, and a lot with Car Wars (though the build would be a vehicle not a PC), and it bugs me not because some enjoy it (I actually found specifying custom cars, and then battling them engrossing back-then), it's more the insistence that my PC's "measure up", and "Go Caster", when I just want to play something more like Robin Hood or Indiana Jones.

The character-driven stuff I first saw a lot of it in the early 1990's, and it is fun too, I like doing voices and speech mannerisms, if that's not all their is.


....I am sorry that you've had experiences with people that claimed that your preferred style of play is wrong.


Thanks.

It's more that they said that I did their preferred style wrong, either my "builds" and play was "sub-optimal" (probably true), or that my in-character banter was lacking (definitely true), which is kinda why I regard method-actoring and optimizing as similar: I'm bad at both.


I so want to play a game with you...

Wow thanks!

I should warn you, as a GM my last successful sessions (the players said they liked it, and "That was good") were of Call of C'thullu in they late 1980's, and as a player some of my most recent attempts (5e WD&D, and Pendragon) have netted me criticism of my in-character banter, but I have gone 'bout two years since someone has dared to hassle me about a sub par "build", probably because I've gotten a little less than absolutely terrible at it, and I'm now pretty clear early on what sorts of "suggestions" I'll welcome.

I did have one self proclaimed "extreme optimizer" that I played with a bit, invite me to some more games that others were DM'ing, but those haven't happened much yet.


How are we going to do this?

?

I just don't know, time and geography are a hurdle.

I've played some PbP' games at this Forum, so if that's an option...

Darth Ultron
2018-05-31, 03:25 PM
As to the "If your just 'roll-playing' it's just a board game" line, have you seen boardgames lately? They're richer with more actual meaningful decisions and world detail than most RPG sessions now!

Board games like what? Monopoly? Life? Clue?




What would bring back the Adventure is
NPC's who talk more than a few words.

Descriptions of the environment besides "Duchess and Duke blah-di-blah say go fight what's-it for inadequately-explained reasons that the PC's just do because heroes", and "You see the what's-its, and they attack".

Challenges other than combat, maybe walls to climb? Traps to avoid? People to find? A chase?




Your adventure game sounds great, now you just need to decide what you will do in the game as a player with a character: Role Play or Roll Play.

Will you, Player Bob, role play out your Character Zom and talk to the NPCs for a couple minutes at least in real time?
OR will you Player Bob just roll a die and say ''my character talks to them and stuff and whatever''.

Will you, Player Bob, role play out your Character Zom in the environment described?
OR will you Player Bob just roll a die and ask it the spot check saw anything?

Will you, Player Bob, role play out your Character Zom interact with and try to solve challenges?
OR will you Player Bob just roll a die and pass the challenges?

Friv
2018-05-31, 03:42 PM
Board games like what? Monopoly? Life? Clue?

Gloomhaven. Seventh Continent. Kingdom Death. Pandemic Legacy. Tales of the Arabian Nights. Mice and Mystics. Once Upon A Time. Betrayal at House on the Hill. Dead of Winter. Above And Below. Charterstone.

Even Sentinels of the Multiverse, Spirit Island, or Arkham Horror have a pretty decent story element to them in the background material and ways in which the game plays out a story.

WindStruck
2018-05-31, 04:12 PM
To me "role-playing" and "roll-playing" are two sides of the same coin, and the "vs" between the "optimizers" and "method actors" isn't a debate I'm interested in, because emphasis on either and/or both gets in the way of something that I want more of in what have become to be called "role-playing games": The sense of exploring a rich and detailed world (not an "Empty Room" or its near twin the "passive-aggressive railroad").

Well your opinions don't matter if you purposely keep getting the definitions wrong.

Sorry.

2D8HP
2018-05-31, 04:24 PM
...
Board games like what? Monopoly? Life? Clue?.

....have a pretty decent story element to them in the background material and ways in which the game plays out a story.

What he said


..Your adventure game sounds great, now you just need to decide what you will do in the game as a player with a character: Role Play or Roll Play.

Will you, Player Bob, role play out your Character Zom and talk to the NPCs for a couple minutes at least in real time?
OR will you Player Bob just roll a die and say ''my character talks to them and stuff and whatever''.

Will you, Player Bob, role play out your Character Zom in the environment described?
OR will you Player Bob just roll a die and ask it the spot check saw anything?

Will you, Player Bob, role play out your Character Zom interact with and try to solve challenges?
OR will you Player Bob just roll a die and pass the challenges?


What I have done as DM for TD&D, was for the player to say or paraphrase what the PC said, and if I remembered I sometimes looked at the PC's CHA and let it influence a little bit how well they did, I don't remember even considering a roll for it.

As a Keeper for Call of Cthullu, I'd have them roll their Fast Talk, or Oratory skill, maybe influenced a bit by what the player actually said at the table.

I've also seen in a game of Pendragon where a skill roll is made, and how bad or good the result informs how the player not the GM narrates the results.

This actually worked well for every player except me.

Me first attempt at narrating the results were rejected, and after my subsequent attempts I was told "Don't even bother".

:redface:


Well your opinions don't matter if you purposely keep getting the definitions wrong.

Sorry.


Purposely?

I'm relaying my actual experience.

Please show me a game where your definition is applied.

No really, PLEASE!

I'm desperate here, it's a wasteland!

Tanarii
2018-05-31, 04:35 PM
To me "role-playing" and "roll-playing" are two sides of the same coin, and the "vs" between the "optimizers" and "method actors" isn't a debate I'm interested in, because emphasis on either and/or both gets in the way of something that I want more of in what have become to be called "role-playing games": The sense of exploring a rich and detailed world (not an "Empty Room" or its near twin the "passive-aggressive railroad").The difference it to me, it's "Roleplaying Elitists" vs "Mechanical-ists". (I'd say Gamists, but I've gone off that term now I know the history of GNS.)

Roleplaying Elitists are what you seem to be talking about. People that have a fairly narrow definition of Roleplaying, claim it's the only "True" roleplaying, and cast any other kind of roleplayers as roll-players. They leave me with a bad taste in my mouth too. Hence the big tent definition of roleplaying, and this thread.

kyoryu
2018-05-31, 05:09 PM
I just don't know, time and geography are a hurdle.

I've played some PbP' games at this Forum, so if that's an option...

I'm more likely to do online via webcam, personally.

2D8HP
2018-05-31, 05:22 PM
The difference it to me, it's "Roleplaying Elitists" vs "Mechanical-ists"....


Hmmm....,

Yeah those terms work, probably a little better than mine.

The weird thing is that while I have more sympathy for what I perceive the goals of the "Roleplaying Elitists" to be, I find their assumptions less valid, because while the goals of the "Mechanical-ists" just seem more trivial to me, I can imagine someone being able to get better at "mechanical optimizing" by spending a lot of time studying the rules and finding ways to exploit them, but short of spending an extraordinary amount of time taking improvisational acting and creative writing classes, I really don't see a way to be better at their kind of role-playing without actually getting to play and practice in actual games, so I find their assertion that it's something that can just be done with willpower stings more.

If the "Roleplaying Elitists" want others to be better at their kind of "role-playing" the way to do it is by invitation and example, though I've already experienced that they find my efforts annoying, so I don't expect much of that.

As annoying as I find their goals, surprisingly, the "Mechanical-ists" are usually more welcoming to the new and out of practice.


...Hence the big tent definition of roleplaying, and this thread.


Thanks!

At least I got some venting in!

WindStruck
2018-05-31, 05:49 PM
Purposely?

I'm relaying my actual experience.

Please show me a game where your definition is applied.

No really, PLEASE!

I'm desperate here, it's a wasteland!

What you are saying what you want... it is most definitely a roleplaying game. But you also want a rules-light or a freeform game. That's all.

kyoryu
2018-05-31, 06:59 PM
What you are saying what you want... it is most definitely a roleplaying game. But you also want a rules-light or a freeform game. That's all.

Being Also Old, I don't think that's what he's saying.

What he's saying is that he wants:

A) A game that isn't focused on mechanical builds
B) A game that offers exploration, not a linear series of "encounters" (usually combat) with little in the way of player choice between them
C) A game that isn't about a bunch of people with "their stories" that are coming together

Basically, the primary way games were played prior to, say, '85 or so.

Tanarii
2018-05-31, 07:35 PM
Basically, the primary way games were played prior to, say, '85 or so.
I'd say '89, because that's when 2e came out. Otoh there was probably stuff going on in the field that led to TSR's changes and 2e. Being I was in high school I wasn't exactly in touch with the scene back then. :smallamused:

GreatWyrmGold
2018-05-31, 09:13 PM
A Guide on How to Roleplay
Make decisions for your character in the fantasy environment.
Seriously, that's all there is to it. :smallbiggrin:
That should be all there is to it, just like there should be nothing more to positive representation than not consciously making decisions about a character based on their gender/race/sexuality/whatever. But in both cases, that is exactly what people default to, and it lets the subconscious mind cause exactly the sorts of problems that a guide like this is intended to prevent.

There's a lot to say about roleplaying. If I were writing this kind of guide, I'd start with a largely-theoretical overview of the "point" of roleplaying, what a roleplayer does in the context of creating/experiencing fiction as an author/audience, and how various methods and actions play into or conflict with those, but I don't think anyone would care.

2D8HP
2018-05-31, 11:53 PM
....Basically, the primary way games were played prior to, say, '85 or so.


:amused:

As usual kyoryu hit it.

1985 is the year that Pendragon came out, which I loved (and still do), and it was the year that the AD&D Unearthed Arcana supplement came out, which I skimmed and....

....left in the store unbought, and didn't buy any other AD&D or D&D rules for over a decade, though I still played some but only using pre-'82 rules.

I have had some great sessions using game rules published after '85 (in particular I remember some Shadowrun, BECMI, and even WD&D), so I didn't hold pre '85 rules as mandatory, it's more a play style thing.

There's at least three you've posted to this thread that I think I'd really enjoy a game they would run no matter the rules vintage.

I do have a lower tolerance for how "heavy" the rules are that I'd be willing to GM than as a player, my upper limit as a GM or "Keeper" now is probably Call of C'thullu or BD&D, I wouldn't do AD&D again, nor would I'd do full bells and whistles WD&D, but I will play them.

At it's best (for me), despite getting the closest of any version of D&D, I still wouldn't call 5e a "role-playing" game (sorry Tanarii, I'm not as broadminded as you), but I have found it can be as fun of an adventure game as the best of them, but usually, as played, it's a surprisingly unsatisfying wargame, as most DM's "pull their punches" (I still play it in the hopes of it getting good again).

I have played satisfying wargames, so I think I.know the difference.

As played in the very early 1990's, I remember Vampire being a role-playing game, but I don't remember the rules well enough to be sure (and since modern-ish settings just aren't my cup of plasma I'm not likely to check).

A glance at Legend of the Five Rings, and 7th Sea makes it look like they may be role-playing games, but the only game that I'd definitely class as a role-playing game (instead of "roleplaying") is King Arthur Pendragon, .which I'd gladly play again.

The difference is rules mechanics that actually encourage you to portray a different personality (you can play a different personality without rules of course, it's called "acting").

KAP hasn't hit the highs of D&D yet, but it hasn't the lows either, but unfortunately none of the lame-os I gamed with in the mid '80's to the early 1990's (when I gave up), would try it ("6th century Britain isn't that fun dude"), so the young people of the 21st century are superior (sorry age-mates, you had your chance!).

Note: i don"t think a role-playing game is better or worse than an adventure game, a board game, a cardgame or a wargame (but all are better than videogames :smalltongue:), there have been many nights when I'd rather have been playing old D&D or Risk.

Besides many mentions of videogames at this Forum the games most mentioned are 3.5 WD&D, Pathfinder, and 5e WD&D.
While I have the rules, I've no experience playing 3.5/PF so I'm not going to guess, but as I mentioned 5e is the closest to a full role-playing game of any version of Dungeons & Dragons that I've played.

Would it be more fun if it had more LotFR or KAP-like mechanics to put it over into RP (yes I know of Backgrounds, Inspiration, and of course Alignment, but I only think they make it close)?

I really don't see how, the KAP RP mechanics remove some agency from the players to encourage RP, and given how "Alignment" (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?559645-D-amp-D-Alignment-a-history) has been used and mis-used in D&D, I don't see them working for D&D, and I think RP should be optional.

Or just maybe Darth Ultron's
Board games like what? Monopoly? Life? Clue? jest was correct (https://geekandsundry.com/why-monopoly-sucks-or-how-it-turns-you-into-a-ferengi/).

Cooke26548
2018-06-01, 08:40 AM
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kyoryu
2018-06-01, 10:58 AM
I'd say '89, because that's when 2e came out. Otoh there was probably stuff going on in the field that led to TSR's changes and 2e. Being I was in high school I wasn't exactly in touch with the scene back then. :smallamused:

I was going with DragonLance as the inflection point.

Hey, sounds like we're about equally old and decrepit!


role-playing game (instead of "roleplaying")

There's an interesting distinction here. It's not quite storygame, but I know what you're talking about, and don't have a useful term for it.

Tanarii
2018-06-01, 12:25 PM
I was going with DragonLance as the inflection point.To quote 2D8HP, that's a fair cop. As far as I know it was the first major save-the-world-story adventure-path series, in a way that Against the Giants or the like weren't.

Knaight
2018-06-02, 10:36 PM
What would bring back the Adventure is:

NPC's who talk more than a few words.

Descriptions of the environment besides "Duchess and Duke blah-di-blah say go fight what's-it for inadequately-explained reasons that the PC's just do because heroes", and "You see the what's-its, and they attack".

Challenges other than combat, maybe walls to climb? Traps to avoid? People to find? A chase?

Combat that's quick and that's deadly for the PC's as well as the antagonists, so it's something that you try to avoid, or use tactics, not "powers" to survive.

The first three of these are pretty much just basic competence when running a roleplaying heavy game, and I'd argue that the middle two are basic competence with most styles (even if you were running a game that was literally just arena combat I'd expect better environment descriptions and some traps).

The fourth is genuinely stylistic. Combat lethality is a choice, as is the question of which sorts of mechanics one builds a game out of - "powers" as a thing are entirely optional.


I'm relaying my actual experience.

Please show me a game where your definition is applied.

No really, PLEASE!

I'm desperate here, it's a wasteland!
If you have time to burn on audio (which is generally conducive to multitasking) take a look at the Skies of Glass actual play. It's a pretty good example of a style in action, for all that actually playing a game would be better (which, Colorado, Thursdays, etc.).


A) A game that isn't focused on mechanical builds
B) A game that offers exploration, not a linear series of "encounters" (usually combat) with little in the way of player choice between them
C) A game that isn't about a bunch of people with "their stories" that are coming together

Basically, the primary way games were played prior to, say, '85 or so.

I'd also characterize this as how a huge amount of modern gaming goes. This is my baseline assumption of what RPGs look like as based on personal experience (though I've definitely seen evidence to suggest I'm pushing against the current to some extent), and I wasn't even close to born in '85.

Morty
2018-06-03, 07:47 AM
I can understand nostalgia, but I do prefer it when it doesn't come with a giant heap of contempt for everything made after (insert year here) and insulting, sweeping generalizations about every improper form of participating in the hobby. Which tends to take over every thread it appears in.

2D8HP
2018-06-03, 12:20 PM
I can understand nostalgia, but I do prefer it when it ..

FWLIW, I had more fun playing games in 2016 than in 1992, so I'm nostalgic for '16 as well as '81.

Bring back 2016!