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63

Powerful drama requires powerful motivations. When everyone at the table agrees that they want a Horror game, they must craft their characters around these motivations. If they don't buy in, then you get the kind of power-fantasy where the heroes do the quite sensible thing of feeding Cthulhu a couple cases of dynamite and legging it. That isn't horror, ...


58

It sounds like your fellow roleplayer just wants you to be verbally clear about what exactly you're doing, mechanically, without just pointing to a thing on your character sheet. It doesn't sound like their problem is necessary that you're roleplaying at all - I'd be pretty surprised if they disliked flavourful descriptions of how people do things. It's ...


58

What you're experiencing is a mismatch in what you all expect the actual game to be. As such, a boon will likely not make up for the confusion — at best it will be inexplicably ineffective at altering the players' choices, and at worst it will exacerbate the problem. Different games, same name You see roleplay and adventure in a believable world as the ...


48

There's no such thing as senseless violence, according to the one who commits it. Characters who kill or torture without at least an internal justification are crazy, not evil. You don't have a reason to kill people in the party or at random, so you don't. This doesn't make you nonevil. Also remember that just because you're Evil doesn't mean you're a ...


45

When I've played (or joined in others playing) these quiet characters, the best way to run them is have an almost noir style internal monologue. "I looked at the wall, and frowned. I wasn't certain, but there might be something behind it. Best not to mention it though, I'd look like a chump if I was wrong." is much more interesting than. "..." ...


44

Check This Part Thieves and gamblers, fast talkers and diplomats, bandits and bounty hunters, and explorers and investigators all might be considered rogues, as well as countless other professions that rely upon wits, prowess, or luck. Although many rogues favor cities and the innumerable opportunities of civilization[...] Class fluff is, for the most ...


37

This is a place where you should probably revert to descriptive GMing rather than reciting the character's lines. Say something like: The Elf approaches you (the dwarf) and says something in a language you don't understand. It sounds like elf talk to you, but you don't have any idea what he's saying. Your player can then react to this situation. If ...


35

Alignment is a mess, particularly Law and Chaos I am almost certain that you will never find two people who define Law and Chaos exactly the same way. The books definitely don’t; there are actually different definitions of each such that the same action or person could be equally described as Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic, because the different definitions ...


33

Sure, here's a concise differentiation. In computer RPGs, every course of action that is allowable must be specifically coded for, potentially at great expense. At the single scene level, in a fairly open world game like Fallout: New Vegas, you can go into a shop and attack the shopkeeper, or buy from him, or conduct a canned discussion with him. You can't ...


28

Geniuses are Hard It's easy to play a person stronger or faster than you, since we have an objective sense of how to scale up stats. A really agile character is just that- like you, just more agile. But mental stats are a lot trickier. We know what it's like to encounter a smarter/wiser/more charismatic person, but that doesn't tell you how to think or act ...


28

As intelligent NPCs, dragons will have a range of personalities and motivations; however, since your trouble is with separating them from ordinary humanoid NPCs, I would recommend playing up the stereotypes a bit to add some distinction. I will draw mostly from Draconomicon here, since the specified system is 3.5. It has some advice on roleplaying dragons, ...


27

My first rule of changing something you don't like about the game... When you'd like the game to change, talk to the group. Take what you just explained here and explain it to the group... you feel like you're getting the short end of the stick and would like more interesting duties once in awhile. I would be surprised if they reacted badly. If you ...


26

Split the Difference Unless your table has an "always in-character" attitude (and even if they do) chances are you've developed some understanding of when something is in character and when it's out of character. You could always try something like: I'm using my fascination ability on the dog. Good dog. Gooood dog. Goooood Doooooog. As a bonus, ...


25

I do. I'm so competitive I managed to win a game of Fiasco (a very non-competitive game). Luckily, I know why you feel this way and where the source of the problem is. Unfortunately, D&D 3.X is more often than not the cause of this dicothomy. There's a thing game designers call reward cycle: encouraging the players to behave in a certain manner by ...


24

Here are some ideas for dealing with overly clever players. Let the wookie win. Sometimes the party does something clever. You can take it away in a contrived fashion and they'll resent you for it. Or you can give them bragging rights and they'll proudly tell all their friends about the time they took down a dracolich at level 3 with a potion of ...


24

Unfortunately, people have built up a weird set of expectations around alignment over time that make this hard to do. "Well if someone's Chaotic then they never follow any rule and don't put their pants on half the days and and..." I find the more effective way to treat the alignments is to realize that normal humans and humanoids are more lawful, chaotic, ...


24

Not necessarily I've run about a dozen games in the last four years, and in each of them the roleplayers come out on top. Some of them happen to do a little min-maxing on the side (like the troll in Shadowrun who lived up to his race's namesake), but the truth of the matter is that it doesn't really matter. The rules encourage it D&D is one of those ...


24

Be the wiser character. If you think that all humans are an inferior threat to nature but you need their help, your character shouldn't be surprised when they verify your assumptions. You "knew" they were problems going in and you still chose to work with them, so seeing evidence of it shouldn't change your approach. Someone calls you an idiot? You're ...


23

I do two things to help me better play my cunning and/or manipulative characters: Read/watch lots of cunning characters in fiction. I grew up watching TV shows like Gargoyles, whose not-quite-villain David Xanatos is the Trope Namer for a whole bunch of tropes related to being cunning. I also read, and still read (yay English), books with cunning ...


23

The fundamental problem in finding a model for chaotic evil group to use as a model is the chaotic part. Any historical evil with a large scale hierarchy is going to be lawful evil or neutral evil. The great evils of the 20th century: Stalin's Soviet Union, Mao's China, Pol Pot's Cambodia, and Hitler's Germany are all very organized states with hierarchy. ...


23

Unless you and the players speak Elvish, you have three options: Say that they're speaking another language without saying what it is. Say that they're speaking Elvish. Say a few Elvish words for flavor. To decide which option to use, think about the effects of each: The party only knows that this language is one they themselves don't speak. The ...


22

It's pretty simple: don't be a murderous angry jerk. If you reach the point where you're going to threaten people, or kill them, or kill the entire party, the simple way to handle that is... not do it. If you feel you must do it, you're probably falling victim to My Guy Syndrome, where you think "well, my guy would do it" as if it remotely limits your ...


22

Ask Them The most important question here is why they aren't engaging with you on this. We can't answer that. They can, but you have to ask them. If you do that, be calm and polite. If someone says something that you don't agree with, DO NOT ARGUE WITH THEM! Trying to argue with them about their opinion on this matter will just make them turn defensive, and ...


22

I think you're metagaming. You, the GM and player, know that continuing to pursue the truth will lead to madness. Your characters don't know that. They don't know the risks yet. Your characters are just finding out (possibly for the first time) that "magic" or something like it is real. If you, in real life, just found out that magic was real, wouldn't you ...


21

Not all rogues are lawbreakers as strongly as the build describes. A good rogue can be like the Secret Service: Because they have all the detection skills they can be great at knowing when a trap/ambush is in the wings. Additionally, one extremely overlooked role of a rogue that's especially useful with the cleric cross-classing is the role of the ...


21

Use out-of-character discussion to let the other players know you're engaged and not bored. This is more important in online gaming because you don't have any body language, eye contact, or other social cues to work with. In particular, tell them that you're playing a loner. Engage with the group in-character privately, when NPCs aren't around. Keep your ...


18

Tim's answer is great, but I want to expand on it. This especially applies if you're thinking "NPC villain" and not just "powerful monster." Liches are people, too Start by remembering that a lich was a person... human or not, it was an intelligent creature that, for some reason, went to great lengths to cheat death. When you think of your lich as ...


18

The closest I can find to relevant RAW is in the rules for monster races: .. creatures with an Intelligence score lower than 3 are not playable characters. But this doesn't necessarily mean that a PC with temporary int damage should be made an NPC. I'd definitely allow any feats they haven't lost the prerequisites for. (Animals have feats, after ...


18

"My character would do that" should never be used as a "justification" (more likely excuse) for game-wrecking behaviour. It's not a simulation, it's a game. Everybody wants to have fun. One thing is doing something that will make the in-game situation difficult while still providing a positive gaming experience. But good role-playing should never lead to a ...


17

You can, but you can use other audio quirks too. Quirks define an NPC or a character and if you are sufficiently gifted to be able to impersonate a libertarian communist monkey juggler's voice (or whatever is required) then go for it. The problem is that more than likely unless you're a talented voice actor your array of voices you can do is likely to be ...



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