I do tend to as a player default to giving the task to who ever is best at it and I like monks so it is rarely me so you might be on to something.
Yes, and it doesn't help the situation that many social interaction challenges presented by DMs are some talking followed by a single check. That just further pushes the group to put forward a specialist PC to deal with it. If the social interaction challenge is more complex, veers into areas where a range of skill proficiencies may apply, and allows for some failure without completely going wrong, then the pressure to send the specialist forward while everyone else dummies up is reduced.The larger problem here is the idea of the face being a thing. Success in social encounters should be just as dependent of fictional positioning as how skilled someone is. There should be NPCs who are more likely to weigh the words of a knightly warrior than a foppish minstrel regardless of skill level. The other issue is that PCs should be much more broadly skilled than they currently are.
Ok, if you really want to let Bree, my 1/2ling warlock, be your chief negotiator....I do tend to as a player default to giving the task to who ever is best at it and I like monks so it is rarely me so you might be on to something.
So D&D has an odd imbalance in that of the three pillars of play (combat, exploration, and social interaction) only one of them can actually be done by the players instead of the characters. Combat and Exploration are always going to be solved via rolling dice and adding your modifiers. You can increase your odds by having smart ideas and preperation (pushing the enemy into the fireplace, having rope to help cross the chasm, etc) but in the end it's going to be decided by your character and their abilities. You as the player cannot stab the orc or navigate the swamp only your character can.
I would also be interested to hear how other people solve this issue in their games or if it just isn't an issue.
look lots of people play high cha characters, so likely someone else in the group would take up the slack plus this has literally never happened to me before.Ok, if you really want to let Bree, my 1/2ling warlock, be your chief negotiator....
+ side: 19 cha, relevant social skills, friendly, and LOVES to talk.
The down sides: She's an 11 year old child. ShetendstotalkfasterthanaKryinnishGnome & sometimes gets way off topic. Very likely doesn't understand everything. Oh, and she's Lawfull(?)Good, honest, and & will negotiate as such - so as long as you're OK with no lying/cheating/trickery vs non-monsters....
Let me tell you, as Bree's player? I don't think she's the appropriate face for a party. This of course has never stopped me from having her talk to NPCs.
I don’t think social interactions are actually different in this. In social interactions, as with in combat and exploration, a player can have ideas or prepare ahead in ways that will eliminate the chance of failure, but when failure is a possibility, it is the roll of the dice combined with their character’s modifiers that determine the outcome.So D&D has an odd imbalance in that of the three pillars of play (combat, exploration, and social interaction) only one of them can actually be done by the players instead of the characters. Combat and Exploration are always going to be solved via rolling dice and adding your modifiers. You can increase your odds by having smart ideas and preperation (pushing the enemy into the fireplace, having rope to help cross the chasm, etc) but in the end it's going to be decided by your character and their abilities. You as the player cannot stab the orc or navigate the swamp only your character can.
I disagree that this imbalance exists, if the DM is employing the rules for exploration and social interactions properly. When traveling, there are a number of tasks that can be performed (navigating, foraging, keeping watch, making a map, etc), and each character can only perform one of these tasks at a time. So, while some characters like rogues and rangers may have a much higher bonus to rolls relevant to these tasks than others, those characters can still only perform one task each, and the party will have to decide which task to assign to which character. In social challenges, as @iserith pointed out, Wisdom (Insight) and Intelligence with various Skills are often relevant, so low-Charisma characters still have meaningful ways to contribute. For those characters who have low scores in all three of these abilities, Working Together to grant advantage to another character’s roll is an option.A separate but related imbalance is that all classes are going to be, roughly, equally able to participate in combat. The Fighter, the Bard, and The Wizard all have things to do that make them valuable during combat. This is not something that is going to hold true for the other two pillars. Exploration is not as well balanced. As a whole spellcasters (Bards/wizards/sorcerers/clerics) and skill monkeys (bards/rogues/rangers) are likely to be more useful then more martial classes. However Athletics comes up often enough that the Fighter/Barbarian/Paladin will still usually be able to contribute sometimes (largely because even with skill monkeys the strength based character will usually be the best in the party at Athletics). So while exploration is somewhat imbalanced its not as game breaking because it offers at least some opportunity for participation by all and its is the least used pillar.
Again, I disagree. If your criteria for calling for checks is “does this approach have a reasonable chance of success and failure at accomplishing this goal and a meaningful consequence for failure?” instead of “did the player make a compelling argument?” then social interactions are not “done by the player” any more than combat or exploration are.This leads to the reason for my post which is Social Interaction. So unlike the other two pillars Social Interaction is something that the Player can do in addition to the character. The Player can make a compelling argument, a believable lie, a terrifying threat. This is a large part of roleplay which for many people (myself included) is one of the most fun parts of the game. The problem comes in when Social Interaction interacts with the game mechanics.
Well… yeah. It makes sense for the character with the best Charisma (Persuasion) modifier to do most of the persuading, the character with the best Charisma (Intimidation) roll to do the intimidating, etc. But as discussed above, those aren’t the only ways to contribute to a social interaction challenge. Wisdom (Insight) and Intelligence with various proficiencies can be relevant, and there’s always Working Together if you’ve got nothing else helpful to do.The first imbalance that comes from when Social Interaction meets game mechanics is the lack of mechanical options. For combat each class gets at least a dozen cool little abilities that help out. For exploration there are 6 relevant skills and at least some amount of relevant abilities/spells. For Social interaction you have Persuasion, Deception, Intimidation, and Insight for skills and of those four Persuasion is going to be used the majority of the time. The amount of abilities and spells that are useful in Social Interaction are also much more limited. This is a good thing in that it allows more fluidity and freedom during roleplay then you get during combat. Social interaction has no set positions, no initiative, no health. If another Player decides to hop into a conversation I as the DM am free to say sure.
The problem however is that this means that mechanically you are usually going to have a single person who is the best at almost the entire Social Interaction pillar. No one is going to be as good at Persuasion as the Bard with Expertise and Enhance Ability. This means that any time a Persuasion is being rolled it makes the most sense mechanically to have it rolled by the Bard. Which in turns that it makes the most sense mechanically to have the Bard roleplay with every NPC the party meets in case a Persuasion/Deception roll is needed.
I don’t agree. There are always going to be times where you can’t avoid having to make a check with an ability and/or skill you don’t have a very high bonus in. Sure, maybe the rogue usually does the sneaking and the barbarian usually does the breaking of objects. But what happens when the whole party needs to be stealthy, such as when traveling, or when they need to climb under treacherous conditions? Sometimes you get into a situation where you have no real choice but to make a roll you won’t be great at. Those are usually good opportunities to use Inspiration.Which means that the game ends up with a vast majority of the roleplay being done by a single Player with the rest of the group being afraid to take initiative in roleplay in case it bites them in the ass due to not having the best Charisma. This is only a problem with skills like Persuasion. When the party needs a Stealth check the rogue is going to roll it. Wizards will be doing Arcana, Fighters will be doing Athletics. For pretty much every other skill having the one with the highest bonus roll the skill is going to happen automatically.
This notion of roleplay vs. rollplay is nonsense in my opinion. If you’re imagining yourself as your character and making decisions as you imagine they would in the scenario described by the DM, you’re roleplaying. Often, dice rolls will be called for to resolve the outcomes of your roleplaying decisions.The difference is that every other skill involves rollplay not roleplay. If the Wizard rolls every Arcana check for the entire campaign it doesn't mean that they suddenly get all the roleplaying opportunities.
I do agree that a drawback of this house rule will be that it destroys the charismatic character’s niche in social interactions. Given that I don’t think the problem it’s trying to solve is a problem at all if you use the full social interaction rules and create dynamic social challenges, I don’t think the payoff is worth the drawback.So as I said at the top of the post my solution is to just let anyone use the highest modifier available and then whoever has a good idea or is plot appropriate can roleplay without it mechanically hurting the Party. I will say there is a downside to this approach however in the form of niche protection. When the Fighter uses Athletics to save the drowning child, when the Wizard recalls obscure lore use Arcana, When the rogue scouts the enemy base using Stealth, all of those allow that character to shine at their Niche. That means the Player gets their "only I could do this" moment. With my change the Bard with expertise in Persuasion will never have their "only I could do this" moment because anyone in the party could do it. This can make taking the Social skills feel like a skill tax rather then a choice. In addition it will make it even more likely that anyone who is not reliant on it to just dump Charisma which is already a problem. I will say that overall I find that the downsides are outweighed by the upside of more people being willing to roleplay and interact with NPCs and the world.