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Asheltots
2008-09-12, 10:18 AM
So, our DM is terribly frustrated. Y'see our party has a problem with talking too much in combat. We don't mean to, honest! But sometimes we just get excited.

Our DM has been looking for a rule or an idea to help make sure we talk as our characters would be able to in combat. We bought a timer- that didn't work. We tried only talking on our initiative and that didn't work either since it didn't give us time to give commands to our allies. So does anyone have any ideas or actual factual rules that could help us out? Our poor DM is at his wits end. :smallfrown:

RagnaroksChosen
2008-09-12, 10:23 AM
when our group has a problem with it we do one of two things...

You can only say any thing (inchar or out) other then dice rolls or activating an ability when it's your turn, period.

The other which uses the one above and gives you 6 seconds to get out what you want to do.. Gm counts down from 6 and if you haven't spit any thing out you stand there for a round deciding hat to do.

I find the second one really effective for keeping combat moving. Cuz, most people will have there stuff ready to go when there turn hits..

Now we don't count looking up spells, or optimizing where to drop a fire ball... but they basicaly need to sum up what they want to do.

Example is : Move and shoot an this orc.
or
I want to fire ball that group of orcs... then we would calculate where they dropped the fire ball

hamlet
2008-09-12, 10:31 AM
Our rule has always been "you say it, your character says it." That means that, literally, whatever comes out of your mouth that is obviously not a declaration of action to the DM, comes out of your character's mouth.

It's really not very much help until you realize that you, as the DM, can interpret that to mean that those players who spend too much time chatting curing combat have obviously declared that their character's action for that round is to stand there talking.

Tadanori Oyama
2008-09-12, 11:00 AM
We love talking during combat. The DM (which is normally me) controls all the monsters so they get to communicate, why shouldn't the players? Especially when you have somebody who doesn't always get things right on (two different people in my group (both of my groups *sigh*)) than talking extensivally out of character is helpful.

For a more experienced group, I'd have to agree with Hamlet: "You say it, your character says it". Keeps everybody focused and aware. It's also a great chance for witty banter or roleplaying quips. How do you tell your wizard to use a specific spell when your fighter doesn't know what that spell is called? "Hey, use that blue spell we used on the trolls!"

I love moments like that. My players never do them, so I charish the few that have appeared.

arguskos
2008-09-12, 11:04 AM
I always try to get the talking in combat down, esp with the "you say it, they said it" rule. However, it is hard to enforce, since it can engender bad blood at the table if you are even a little strict with it. *sigh* I continually think that my group is just "special" (not in a good way).

-argus

Starsinger
2008-09-12, 11:12 AM
I always try to get the talking in combat down, esp with the "you say it, they said it" rule. However, it is hard to enforce, since it can engender bad blood at the table if you are even a little strict with it. *sigh* I continually think that my group is just "special" (not in a good way).

I enforce that heavily outside of combat. Because my players have this awful tendency to treat NPCs like, well, NPCs.

arguskos
2008-09-12, 11:14 AM
I enforce that heavily outside of combat. Because my players have this awful tendency to treat NPCs like, well, NPCs.
That's an wonderful tendency though! It means they are actually playing their characters, not just their "hit stuff til it dies" guy. I tried to enforce it, and got bitched at. >_>

What methods do you use to actually make it stick that such things need to be followed? XP penalties? Stat penalties? RP-only consequences?

-argus

Starsinger
2008-09-12, 11:16 AM
What methods do you use to actually make it stick that such things need to be followed? XP penalties? Stat penalties? RP-only consequences?

My NPCs tend not to stand around listening to PCs converse. So mostly it's stuff like guards hearing their plans, stuff like that.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-12, 11:51 AM
A GM should start counting to ten whenever they decide the players have talked for too long in any given situation, and when they reach ten, the player or players lose their turn or turns, and the enemy acts or whatever's about to happen happens.

I don't think I've ever reached ten.

TheThan
2008-09-12, 12:27 PM
I recommend a IC stick. Its something you hold when youíre talking in character.
Bonus points if itís a microphone.

Brauron
2008-09-12, 02:11 PM
As DM, I have players differentiate between in-character dialogue and out-of-character dialogue by putting their thumbs against the sides of their head, giving themselves "moose antlers" while speaking out-of-character. It helps prevent people from confusing what someone says in character with what they say out of character (I've had issues with this before), and amuses the heck out of me.

Zeta Kai
2008-09-12, 02:21 PM
I had this same issue, & I basically told my players in one game that they could only say 20+Dex words in a single round. That's their Dexterity score, not the modifier, so it you had Dex=18, you could bark out 38 words in 6 seconds; if you had Dex=3, you could bark out 23 words in that same time.

Starsinger
2008-09-12, 02:23 PM
I had this same issue, & I basically told my players in one game that they could only say 20+Dex words in a single round. That's their Dexterity score, not the modifier, so it you had Dex=18, you could bark out 38 words in 6 seconds; if you had Dex=3, you could bark out 23 words in that same time.

Why Dexterity?

ericgrau
2008-09-12, 02:26 PM
So, our DM is terribly frustrated. Y'see our party has a problem with talking too much in combat. We don't mean to, honest! But sometimes we just get excited.

Our DM has been looking for a rule or an idea to help make sure we talk as our characters would be able to in combat. We bought a timer- that didn't work. We tried only talking on our initiative and that didn't work either since it didn't give us time to give commands to our allies. So does anyone have any ideas or actual factual rules that could help us out? Our poor DM is at his wits end. :smallfrown:

The rules are pretty loose on this, but many spells that allow you to speak limit you to 25 words per round. I'd go with that. The rules also say you can speak when it's not your turn (but also that some DM's can rule differently). I'd continue to allow that, but with the 25 word limit. Note that "25 words" is a rough number for the amount of speaking you can do in 6 seconds. In individual situations the DM should decide how much you can really say: no using long words to try to skirt the rule, or conversely he might let you finish a 26 word sentance.

Zeta Kai
2008-09-12, 02:55 PM
Why Dexterity?

Because D&D doesn't have a Speed ability, measuring how fast you are at accomplishing tasks. In my own homebrew RPG (due out next year), I use a slightly different formula that is based off of pure Speed. The "talk is a free action" thing has always bugged me.

Jimp
2008-09-12, 03:04 PM
You'll find the rules for talking in character next to the average stride distance of an African giraffe table, DMG p712.

Starsinger
2008-09-12, 03:05 PM
Because D&D doesn't have a Speed ability, measuring how fast you are at accomplishing tasks. In my own homebrew RPG (due out next year), I use a slightly different formula that is based off of pure Speed. The "talk is a free action" thing has always bugged me.

I was thinking talking would be based on a mental stat rather than Dexterity. Besides in 3.5 Dexterity does enough.

Erk
2008-09-12, 03:12 PM
Because D&D doesn't have a Speed ability, measuring how fast you are at accomplishing tasks. In my own homebrew RPG (due out next year), I use a slightly different formula that is based off of pure Speed. The "talk is a free action" thing has always bugged me.

So you're saying "talk is cheap", but not Free?

DM Raven
2008-09-12, 03:16 PM
I'm a fan of the, "You say it your character says it," approach. For combat, if someone is telling someone else what to do thats fine assuming the two are close togethar. But I also limit such banter to six seconds (round time). If they start trying to give all their allies detailed orders I will remind them that they have already spoken for the round and it is not possibly for them to expand time and continue to speak without the aid of magic or god-like abilities.

If they continue to talk OOC their character explodes. Yes it's silly...but effective. How you ask? Spontanious combustion...it happens!

No but seriously don't talk out of turn! ;p

AmberVael
2008-09-12, 03:22 PM
I recommend a IC stick. Its something you hold when youíre talking in character.
Bonus points if itís a microphone.

More bonus points if only the DM has a stick, and he uses it to whack people when they speak OOC too much. :smalltongue:

Xyk
2008-09-12, 03:23 PM
We use the "if you say it, you say it" except we use our hands to make thought bubbles when we have it in our heads. The problem with that is the players appear to have some sort of telepathy.

It also applies out of combat though which is way more fun. Every once in a while an NPC will get on a player's nerves and he'll say something like "I'm gonna kill this guy in his sleep, leaving his remains scattered across his parents bedroom" OOC but not put up the thought bubble so he says it to the NPC's face. That's where most of the trouble the PCs get themselves into comes from.

EDIT: Also, I'd put words per round into charisma, not dex, just because charisma needs more use and is really the social skill.

valadil
2008-09-12, 03:25 PM
One of my groups allows a short sentence as a free action during combat. The other groups allows anything. I like the latter for speeches and taunts, but it allows too much freedom to discuss tactics for my liking. Next time I run with them I'm probably going to cut down the amount of tactical planning they can do mid combat (although if they want to invent complicated maneuvers and communicate them to the group outside of combat, awesome).

Blackfang108
2008-09-12, 03:42 PM
More bonus points if only the DM has a stick, and he uses it to whack people when they speak OOC too much. :smalltongue:

As I've said in other threads, we call that the "Obedience Stick."

My DM has another mantra: Every minute you spend talking grows the Kraken another Tentacle.

He likes Krakens. I've never been Tarrasqued, but I have been Krakened many a time.

and one time a Dragon came to pester us after we spent too much time arguing amongst ourselves in a dungeon. Luckily I talked it off.

Artanis
2008-09-12, 04:16 PM
The group I'm in plays over OpenRPG. This is a HUGE advantage when it comes to handling OOC chatter, and (at least with this group) it takes a LOT of chatter for it to really begin to matter. Believe it or not, the vast majority of the GM's warnings to shut up and get moving come when the characters are spending too much time yakking in character :smallcool:

*The specific system my group uses is OOC chat in parenthesis, IC chat in quotation marks, and actions in /me emotes or just normal, unaltered text. This makes it VERY easy to differentiate between IC, OOC, and declared actions without them interfering with each other. Unlike IRL, people doing IC stuff are never forced to shout down or interrupted by people chatting OOC.

*Players can "prep" their actions beforehand, so instead of needing time to describe it, they can cut+paste it from notepad or something to have it on the board in an instant. A few lines of OOC chat, and then oh look, Artanis just pasted his devastatingly effective and sublimely role-played turn! Time to shut up and read what he did! :smalltongue:

*Text can be color-coded by player, making it that much easier to cut down on confusion. You always know who said something.

monty
2008-09-12, 04:21 PM
Because D&D doesn't have a Speed ability, measuring how fast you are at accomplishing tasks. In my own homebrew RPG (due out next year), I use a slightly different formula that is based off of pure Speed. The "talk is a free action" thing has always bugged me.

Wait, you have a problem with talking as a free action, but the number you suggest is 20+Dex per round?

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Words_per_minute#Speech_and_listening:

...even auctioneers can only speak at about 250 wpm.

That comes out to 25 words per round, which means that nobody has over 5 Dex by your system. Also, that's while focusing on moving, attacking, spellcasting, etc. (well, unless your combat consists entirely of talking). 10+Dex is probably better if you want to be moderately realistic, giving the average person 20 words per round (the article also says that 200 wpm is a common conversation speed).

Zeta Kai
2008-09-12, 07:39 PM
It was originally 10+Int, but there was too many complaints about it being draconian (my players are often notorious motor-mouths). So it later became 20+Int. Then there was too much emphasis on Intelligence, so it got changed to Dexterity. I've considered switching it to 15+Charisma. Thoughts?

Cheesegear
2008-09-13, 08:23 AM
It was originally 10+Int, but there was too many complaints about it being draconian (my players are often notorious motor-mouths). So it later became 20+Int. Then there was too much emphasis on Intelligence, so it got changed to Dexterity. I've considered switching it to 15+Charisma. Thoughts?

You could always make it a skill check. And make it a d20 roll. That keeps the randomness up. Hell, in combat, you're not going to be able to speak at a 'normal' rate anyway.
Depending on how the battle is going of course. If anyone has any experience with 'fighting' (martial arts, fencing, etc.), I challenge you to get off more than a few words next time you spar.

My ruling is that my players get Speech as a swift action (not free), so they can't talk forever. Depending on what else the character is doing, and who just did what to that character (Hey, you just got Greatsworded for 18 points of damage, sure, you could probably talk after that!) limits them to how much they can say.
A 'round' is six seconds. Think about it. How much can you really say in six seconds?

ericgrau
2008-09-13, 05:45 PM
It was originally 10+Int, but there was too many complaints about it being draconian (my players are often notorious motor-mouths). So it later became 20+Int. Then there was too much emphasis on Intelligence, so it got changed to Dexterity. I've considered switching it to 15+Charisma. Thoughts?

I like that. It makes sense and gives charisma more use. And it's not like people will complain about the boost to cha-focused classes. Though if it were me I'd just keep it "within reason". i.e., limited to a single statement, maybe 2-3 if they're short. The word count or 6-second limit would just be a rough mental guideline; I wouldn't usually count the words or pull out a stopwatch. But since your group is already using something similar, and needs strict enforcement, I like that idea.

Dode
2008-09-13, 05:56 PM
Our DM ruled that you can only say 6 words as an immediate action, and give explicit instructions only as part of your move action.

Seems to have worked since counting words on fingers to meet the limit is a fun challenge.

Even if it's "AAGGGHH OH GOD IT HURTS! CLERIC!!!!!"

Dode
2008-09-13, 06:05 PM
Believe it or not, the vast majority of the GM's warnings to shut up and get moving come when the characters are spending too much time yakking in character
This happens at my table actually.
Only it's almost always IC-ripping on each other and verbal abuse to one another.
Damn if it isn't funny though.

Gorbash
2008-09-13, 06:51 PM
Counting those 25-38 words takes more time than actually limiting talking at all. I know how long it takes for my group to use sending (and then arguing will it be shorter in our language or in english) and then counting the words... It doesn't take too much time, but it's bothersome.

I hate it when they talk during combat. At first, I had situations when party wizard was asking the rest of them what should he summon, it was like this:

Wizard: So, I can summon 3 celestial badgers, here, here and here. Or maybe I should summon one dire badger there. Or should I cast fireball... What do you think?

Or if someones is moving towards enemy, party rogue interupting him and instructing him where to go, so he can get a flank better.

I tried to stop it by limiting their turns on 20 seconds, but it just pissed them off, only when they start talking about something irrelevant in combat. Also it's rather stupid when they discuss tactics while in combat...

But this rule about 6 seconds as an immediate action is pretty good, I'll certainly use it.

Mark Hall
2008-09-14, 02:49 PM
Occasionally, our high school group would institute "Ok, you say it, you play it" rules to lessen talking.