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D&D 5E Don't play "stupid" characters. It is ableist.

This is the reaction that the title of the thread gave me as well, i.e. "don't tell me what to do."

Having now read 15 pages of the thread, it seems like a lot of contentious conversation is just driven by that: posters who feel like they make a good faith effort to be kind to fellow players and within the hobby, are reacting to the combative tone of the OP--though they would probably mostly agree that crude impersonations of 'stupid' people aren't the best.
Quite. If you actually want to persuade people to modify their behaviour, this is a prime example of how not to do it.
 

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Hussar

Legend
Quite. If you actually want to persuade people to modify their behaviour, this is a prime example of how not to do it.
Meh, it's pretty obvious what the OP is referring to and I know I've certainly seen it done at tables. The half-ogre named for the sound his axe makes when it hits people, whose player talks like Forest Gump or Dustin Hoffman in Rainman and pretends that his "disability" is an actual character.

Let's not kid ourselves here. We've all seen it done. Basically it all boils down to "don't be a dick". It's not exactly rocket science.

But, no, instead we now have eighteen pages of people having temper tantrums because someone said, "Don't be a dick". :erm:

One thing threads like this do is make me truly appreciate the people I game with.
 


Jahydin

Explorer
I remember Gygax said something like that (1 INT = 10 IQ) in one of the old books or articles.
Palladium RPG too!

Found this neat article that does a deep dive on the subject. I guess it was more just for the Int stat for monsters?

I was curious though, so I pulled up the 3d6 bell curve and compared it to an IQ test distribution and came up with the following:
Int 3 = IQ 61 (Extremely low)
Int 6 = IQ 80 (low average)
Int 9 = IQ 95 (average)
Int 12 = IQ 110 (high average)
Int 15 = IQ 125 (superior)
Int 18 = IQ 150+ (very superior)

Seems to me the AD&D descriptors tracked, but not so much the IQ x 10. Also, the lowest roll possible would only indicate a scholastic equivalence of a 3rd grader, far from the drooling, mindless idiot I imagined.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Palladium RPG too!

Found this neat article that does a deep dive on the subject. I guess it was more just for the Int stat for monsters?

I was curious though, so I pulled up the 3d6 bell curve and compared it to an IQ test distribution and came up with the following:
Int 3 = IQ 61 (Extremely low)
Int 6 = IQ 80 (low average)
Int 9 = IQ 95 (average)
Int 12 = IQ 110 (high average)
Int 15 = IQ 125 (superior)
Int 18 = IQ 150+ (very superior)

Seems to me the AD&D descriptors tracked, but not so much the IQ x 10. Also, the lowest roll possible would only indicate a scholastic equivalence of a 3rd grader, far from the drooling, mindless idiot I imagined.
There has never been a direct correlation between IQ distribution and the 3d6 bell curve ever mentioned in an official D&D book. The closest anyone can get is that 1E had a reference to using a modified 3d6 roll for NPCs if you wanted to randomize their ability scores.

The range and median of 3d6 just happens to roughly correspond to the range of IQ. That's all. The numbers are only relative comparisons anyway, it's not like people in the real world walk around with IQ score nametag. That and IQ tests are pretty flawed indicators, general intelligence is too complex to boil down into a single number.
 


ReshiIRE

Adventurer
Look, I am sorry, I have been searching of a summary of this excellent video on the infamous Bell Curve book, and why it's *******, and ineed so much of the ******** around IQ, but I can't find one.

It's just... it is a long video, and I myself haven't watched all of it, but god damn. The part at teh ending reviewing the political motivations of a lot of these people promoting and funding this research should be chilling enough.

I mean, hell, the fact that someone mentioned that IQ scores have to continuing being normalised because well, apparently, people today crush earlier ones... doesn't that prove it's all crap? Doesn't that prove it's a measure of a certain type of education, and resources we have today? Are we seriously suggesting that the human beings alive are somehow smarter than earlier ones... when really, we just have access to better and better resources?
 

I would tend to encourage people to play stupid characters. And autistic characters. And ADHD characters. And characters with low-status or high-status backgrounds. And socially inept characters. And in-crowd characters. And characters with all sorts of personal challenges. Roleplaying is as much or more the process of trying to envision the world or game world through another perspective as it is the process of lampooning other perspectives.

And, yeah, sometimes people are ignorant about what it means to be subgroup X and end up offending people who belong that subgroup. The solution to that is to learn more rather than try less.
 

I would tend to encourage people to play stupid characters. And autistic characters. And ADHD characters. And characters with low-status or high-status backgrounds. And socially inept characters. And in-crowd characters. And characters with all sorts of personal challenges. Roleplaying is as much or more the process of trying to envision the world or game world through another perspective as it is the process of lampooning other perspectives.

And, yeah, sometimes people are ignorant about what it means to be subgroup X and end up offending people who belong that subgroup. The solution to that is to learn more rather than try less.
I have one simple question. At what point in the history of the game of D&D did the backstory of a char and the subsequent acting out that char's personality supercede the actual mechanics of playing D&D? I remember very clearly how D&D was played some 40 years ago. At what point did it transition into a game where threads like this were even entertained?
 


AnotherGuy

Explorer
nI have one simple question. At what point in the history of the game of D&D did the backstory of a char and the subsequent acting out that char's personality supercede the actual mechanics of playing D&D? I remember very clearly how D&D was played some 40 years ago. At what point did it transition into a game where threads like this were even entertained?
People gain different levels of enjoyment from the various fun boxes in an RPG. Some value min-max over everything, some don't. It is all good.
 
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How about we eliminate all racial ASI, everyone starts with 6x 11s and gets 8 points to freely assign at 1st level.
That way, everybody's slightly above average in everything, with a few better stats but nothing overpowered. And then everybody gets a participation trophy.
I would say six 9's, and 16 points to hand out, with no score more than 16. But I quibble. We are essentially talking a modified 27 point buy. The part about the participation trophy is quite on point.
 

People gain different levels of enjoyment from the various boxes in an RPG. Some value min-max over everything, some don't. It is all fun, it is all good.
I asked when did the inflection point happen, not whether every type of form of play under the so-called D&D tent is acceptable. From what I read here, or in just about any post anywhere, any article, the majority seem to now believe that sitting down with other people for 4 or 5 hours and talking about your char and its motivations is far more important that actually slaying a dragon.

I want to know when that happened.
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I asked when did the inflection point happen, not whether every type of form of play under the so-called D&D tent is acceptable. From what I read here, or in just about any post anywhere, any article, the majority seem to now believe that sitting down with other people for 4 or 5 hours and talking about your char and its motivations is far more important that actually slaying a dragon.

I want to know when that happened.
The 1e DMG was filled to the brim with personality traits for NPCs. I assumed PCs were supposed to be similarly fleshed out - albeit more in long running campaigns than dungeon crawls. I think we really started getting in to character in the 2e days (which could have been a function of age more than edition). Certainly when VtM was the D&D competition, character was huge.

In skilled play days, did anyone play a "stupid character"? For those folks should this be a non-issue?
 

I asked when did the inflection point happen, not whether every type of form of play under the so-called D&D tent is acceptable. From what I read here, or in just about any post anywhere, any article, the majority seem to now believe that sitting down with other people for 4 or 5 hours and talking about your char and its motivations is far more important that actually slaying a dragon.

I want to know when that happened.
Somewhere in the eighties I’d suspect.
 

I have one simple question. At what point in the history of the game of D&D did the backstory of a char and the subsequent acting out that char's personality supercede the actual mechanics of playing D&D? I remember very clearly how D&D was played some 40 years ago. At what point did it transition into a game where threads like this were even entertained?
I expect you meant your question rhetorically, but the Bioware Neverwinter Nights CRPG (2002) shipped with "stupid" dialogue, of the "me no tink so good" variety for characters with lower than a certain intelligence score. To add insult to injury, only half orcs could qualify without being hit by intelligence draining powers.

But really, D&D has always been divided into roll-players and role-players, right from the start, and some of that role playing weren't done too good.
 




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