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Does the world exist for the PCs?

Ovinomancer

Explorer
Roleplaying is not acting, though acting is roleplaying.
Well, yes, which is why I said acting is sufficient but not necessary to roleplay.
However, "Bob the fighter swings the sword," is also not roleplaying. The person controlling is not playing the role, but rather is just dictating how he's moving his piece. It's like playing Monopoly when I say, "7! The car lands on Virginia Avenue." Had the person said, "I swing my sword," that would be the person inhabiting and playing the role with no acting involved, rather than just dictating a piece move. Similarly, I can roleplay Monopoly if I really feel like it. I just have to say something like, "7! I put myself into gear and screech off, corning around the jail and stopping at Virginia Avenue."
Nope, first person is not required to roleplay, although you may prefer it. The player saying, "Bob the Fighter swings his sword," is engaged to the role of a Fighter and declaring actions against the fictional positioning of the scene from the standpoint of that role. A token in Monopoly lacks any such role in a fiction and is just a pawn.

This isn't to say that preference for first person declarations or even acting aren't valid -- they most certainly are. Care should be taken to not lump preference into definition.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
Roleplaying is not acting, though acting is roleplaying.
Acting is not necessarily RP in the sense of an RPG. Improv likely would be, but reciting lines, not s'much.
However, "Bob the fighter swings the sword," is also not roleplaying. ...Had the person said, "I swing my sword,"
He would be speaking in 1st person rather than 3rd. That's not a litmus test for RP. Neither is speaking 'in character.'
 
Acting is not necessarily RP in the sense of an RPG. Improv likely would be, but reciting lines, not s'much. He would be speaking in 1st person rather than 3rd. That's not a litmus test for RP. Neither is speaking 'in character.'
I agree with all of these statements, but I think there is something important captured in the idea of when acting is or isn't role-playing, that ought to be applied to the litmus test for when something is RP. Clearly you think that there is a litmus test, or you wouldn't have one for acting. So while I think you are right that it isn't "1st person rather than 3rd", still I think that the person you are responding to is also right that that as yet unspecified critical difference is also there separating simply moving a playing piece from the act of role-playing.
 

Reynard

Adventurer
I think a better question would be "Does the world exist for the NPC's?", considering the NPC's only exist for the benefit of the PC's, and they only exist when the characters are around.
Not in my worlds. Those NPCs must have independent existences if the world is to be anything more interesting than a CRPG without the graphics. There's no place for NPCs merely standing around with glowing exclamation points above their heads.

Now, some NPCs pop into existence when the PCs seek them out, but that's the result of limited time. They still exist as a matter of context. If there is a village and in that village is an inn and in that inn a stable, there's a stable boy in there even if I had not taken the time to name him. If I did my job right in prep the character appears with a life, even if it is just a sketch. So if the players go seeking out the stable boy to bribe him for information on horses he's seen, for example, his knowledge isn't based on the PCs asking, it's based on a quick judgment about whether he'd know. At least, in a perfect world.

Sometimes of course it's easier to ask for a Persuasion roll and use the result to determine what the stable boy knows.
 

Satyrn

Villager
What about the little stuff? Like, you have previously established an ancient hero who was buried with his famed weapon. The players' adventures bring them to the tomb. Do you make sure the famed weapon is one your party can use, even if for whatever reason your players have chosen are or esoteric weapons? And if so does that player choice impact the historical context of the hero?
I used to do that sort of thing in 3e. I don't anymore. I try to randomly generate everything . . . although the smart player could use divinations to help their cause. For example, if they pay a witch to tell them where a good battleaxe can be found, randomly generated weapons in that area will be heavily weighted towards battleaxes.

Or if they use that spell that answers weal or woe, and ask "will I find a good gun in that hellhole?" the dice will get heavily weighted, too.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
I agree with all of these statements, but I think there is something important captured in the idea of when acting is or isn't role-playing, ... that as yet unspecified critical difference is also there separating simply moving a playing piece from the act of role-playing.
What the piece represents, perhaps? I mean, over and above, "is the piece being used in an RPG?" (Like, you could have an RPG going, and someone moves a piece representing a barrel - presumably not RP... why he's moving it, IDK, maybe it's rolling each turn on it's own?)

It shouldn't be a high or a complex philosophical bar. /Excluding/ actions & styles of play from "really RP" serves little purpose beyond arguing for exclusionary policies in the context of an RPG, which is against the spirit of the hobby, IMHO.

But, if you're controlling a character in an RPG, you're RPing it - you're making decisions for it in accord with hit's role in the game.
Maybe that could be part of a fair test?
For instance, in monopoly you're moving a shoe, say, and it represents a real estate magnate checking into a hotel - but you're not making a decision for it, the dice landed you at a rival's hotel. You could method-act an ad-libbed scene of checking into a hotel and be "immersed" in it, if you were somehow in that frame of mind, and it wouldn't really make a difference.
Conversely, you could be playing a vengeful hero confronting his nemesis, and just move your mini next to his chit and declare an attack action in the third person using game jargone, and you'd be RPing (you're trying to KILL him, in the fiction), just not immersed or acting.

::shrug:: what is or isn't RP is surprisingly murky, and not terribly helpful even if you do reach what you think is a valid set of criteria.
 

Brashnir2

Villager
I used to do that sort of thing in 3e. I don't anymore. I try to randomly generate everything . . . although the smart player could use divinations to help their cause. For example, if they pay a witch to tell them where a good battleaxe can be found, randomly generated weapons in that area will be heavily weighted towards battleaxes.

Or if they use that spell that answers weal or woe, and ask "will I find a good gun in that hellhole?" the dice will get heavily weighted, too.
I do both. I find that creating items specifically for a character is rewarding for both the DM and the player, but I also roll most loot randomly. I think it adds something to the game when not every item found during an adventure is a perfect match for someone in the group. It's funny how sometimes the whim of the dice ends up with a result that feels more authentic than carefully curated and placed items.
 

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