D&D 5E Grey beard culture question about critical role


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robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
I’m with you on this, but I think what drives that reaction is that this particular kind of downtime activity tends to be very low-stakes. For many players, talking in-character with quirky NPCs might be mildly amusing for a few minutes, but quickly gets boring because there’s no challenge or dramatic conflict.
I think the problem is Matt, too many of his shopkeepers are very charming/quirky and the players just love interacting with them :)
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I don’t understand this, is that not how most tables run? The rules cannot be engaged most of the time? Or are other groups rolling dice for every declared action?
Depends on the table and the rules.

They're all actors and voice actors. So RP is huge, obviously. But they also make rolls for persuasion and deception. So they engage the rules more than some tables in that regard. A lot of tables have no, use no, and want no rules re: social interactions. Matt's also adamant about perception checks. Making the players roll basically any time they want any information. Which some tables do, but some don't.
This surprises me as I feel it is the complete opposite. The CR players really interact with the environment from what I’ve seen and are constantly coming up with creative solutions. It would be pretty dull otherwise.
We're defining "interact with the environment" and "creative solutions" differently, then.

What I mean is a player describing something in detail that then bypasses having to roll to accomplish that task. The player is creative enough in their thinking and description that rolling for it is obviated. I've watched almost all of CR. I can't recall a single time that's happened. Matt invariably calls for a roll. Search for secrets doors. Roll. Search for traps. Roll. Look down a hallway. Roll. Give an amazing speech. Roll. He auto-succeeds on stuff like walking. But he defaults to rolling for basically everything there's a mechanic for.

The ur-examples are a 10ft pole tapping the floor for pit traps and descriptive searches. They haven't had that situation in the game that I recall. But I get the impression that Matt would still have the player roll for it rather than simply tell them, yep, there's a trap. Likewise with searches, Matt always asks for a roll. The players don't describe things in detail, they literally call out a skill and throw a die. Likely because most of them are newer to D&D and those who might have otherwise done the descriptive bit are so trained by now that simply rolling is easier all around.

There were a few times in campaign two where Liam seemed visibly upset that Matt refused to describe something unless Liam rolled perception first. Some that stick out are when they were walking toward the docks in some coastal city and Liam asked if there were any ships in the harbor. Matt called for a perception check. Despite them being on a street with a direct line of sight to the docks. Something similar in the same or a close episode where Matt described a tall tower at the center of the city that loomed over all the other buildings...and the streets were laid out like spokes on a wheel surrounding the tower, so line of sight the majority of the time...so at one point Liam wanted to spot the tower and orient himself based on that. Matt called for a perception check. You know, despite that tower being 100-or-so feet taller than every other building in the area and the majority of streets leading directly to the tower in question. And again later in Aeor. Liam was at an intersection and asked what was down the side hallway...Matt called for a perception check.

That's literally the opposite of what I'm talking about.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I think the problem is Matt, too many of his shopkeepers are very charming/quirky and the players just love interacting with them :)
I mean, I don’t blame them! I quite enjoy just talking in character with other characters, both PC and NPC. But I can see why many folks find it boring. As a DM I try not to linger too long on social interactions that have no conflict, but I don’t always succeed 😅
 

jgsugden

Legend
Link? Twitcv is a big place
For Critical Role content, go to Twitch. Then, search for Critical Role. The video is right there.

Generally speaking: People are under no obligation to go out to the location and find the link and copy it for you. If they did not do so, you can decide to go find it, or decide to live without. I'm surprised you'd think you'd spend time watching a lengthy video if you're not going to even try to find it.

There are also threads on these boards talking about the same interview with links.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
For Critical Role content, go to Twitch. Then, search for Critical Role. The video is right there.

Generally speaking: People are under no obligation to go out to the location and find the link and copy it for you. If they did not do so, you can decide to go find it, or decide to live without. I'm surprised you'd think you'd spend time watching a lengthy video if you're not going to even try to find it.

There are also threads on these boards talking about the same interview with links.
You are looking at the comment the wrong way. All of your criticism is staring you back in the mirror over bringing it up originally without bothering to copy & paste the link at the time.

"There's this thing on twitch somewhere by some folks with a zillion things on twitch, go find it & hope it's the thing I'm talking about after you finish watching it" is hardly justifying that reaction to being asked for the link.
 
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jgsugden

Legend
You are looking at the comment the wrong way. All of your criticism is staring you back in the mirror over bringing it up originally without bothering to copy & paste the link at the time.
I beg to differ. It is perfectly all right to tell people, "Hey, there is something out there for you to go find if you want to see it. Here is the rough location." It is quite a different thing for someone else to expect you to come back, grab the link, and then paste it here.

Letting people know something is out there is a nice thing. Telling people to go fetch it for you is not.

And quite frankly, if you have trouble finding the most recently made Critical Role video on Twitch ...
 


SakanaSensei

Adventurer
No matter how good a plan is, it can still fall victim to bad luck.
I definitely understand WHY Matt handles this the way he does, but I think I generally lean toward "if the player tells me what they want to do and it makes sense in the fiction, I'm going to let them succeed and move on." I think that generally makes things more fun, and I think my players agree generally, though I have had once or twice where a player is doing well in a social situation and they'll ask me "so can I roll Persuasion or something?" and I'm just like, "my guy, you're already succeeding? Why bring dice into it?"

I think sometimes people just wanna roll dice because click clack makes brain go brr, which is totally valid.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
No matter how good a plan is, it can still fall victim to bad luck.
Of course. But that's not really relevant. What's relevant is how much table time is necessary to deal with that potential. It's possible that a PC could die walking across the street, but because they don't find that kind of randomness satisfying, they skip over it. Likewise, unless they really find the whole "I failed my perception check, I guess I'm blind" meme super-funny, there's no reason to waste even 5-10 seconds calling for a roll to see things that are clearly out in the open. But, taking 10-20 seconds describing a character's actions increases immersion and pushes the players to interact with the environment through their character. So on one hand you have a pointless waste of time while on the other you have immersion and roleplaying.
 

I think sometimes people just wanna roll dice because click clack makes brain go brr, which is totally valid.
This. The feel and sound of the physical dice is why many people prefer in person games. The outcome doesn't matter, so long as they get to roll them periodically.

I don't watch CR, but it sounds to me like Mercer is using the dice as a reward for role play. It's kind of like clicker training for animals.
 
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dave2008

Legend
Okay, if you define "old-school" as "not story-focused," then I agree "old school story focused" is an odd construction. I also agree it's the way the OSR has defined it. If, on the other hand, the poster was referring to the more general meaning as "old-fashioned or traditional (in a positive way)," then I think it's fine.

I mainly inserted myself into the conversation because I feel like the OSR has led people to believe that their idea of "old-school" is the way most old people actually played, and this was not my experience. In terms of the setting and the way it's structured and developed (as opposed to the quality of the writing or voice-acting, etc.), Mercer's campaigns would fit just fine in the 80s IMO.
I agree. When we started with 1e/BECMI in the 80's it was definitely more story focused versus challenge based. We only engaged the rules when necessary and focused on the story. We did it poorly, but it was definitely old school story focused.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Ask them to share their three favorite anime, moives, tv series and books. Back before you could grow a beard you did this automatically because they were your peer group. Also "Just for Men" has hair and beard products. Just $8.98 at walmart. They will never know.
Jasper looks in mirror. Updates shopping list.
 

This is a great suggestion (well, maybe not the Just for Men part...). I am frequently surprised and fascinated by the genre touchstones younger people have.

Ask them to share their three favorite anime, moives, tv series and books. Back before you could grow a beard you did this automatically because they were your peer group. Also "Just for Men" has hair and beard products. Just $8.98 at walmart. They will never know.
Jasper looks in mirror. Updates shopping list.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Ask them to share their three favorite anime, moives, tv series and books. Back before you could grow a beard you did this automatically because they were your peer group. Also "Just for Men" has hair and beard products. Just $8.98 at walmart. They will never know.
Jasper looks in mirror. Updates shopping list.

Yeah, it's different frame of reference!

I DM'd for my Son's group (14 year olds) and the first time, I could barely understand them. They kept referencing Anime. comics and video games that I just had no experience with. My son had to give me a boot camp/primer just so I could follow along!
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
It's like the language / cadence. Or maybe the things they "expect D&D to be". A few examples:
  1. the interchange with merchants is not not something I'm accustomed to - this seems to be a big part of the experience
It's "somewhat" part of the CR cast's experience, though you can often tell not ALL of them (erm. Travis) are that into it. Primarily because Mercer has such colorful NPCs. How it plays in a home game? depends on the group, it certainly doesn't HAVE to take up much stage time. But if the rest of the group really is having fun? Why not.

  1. the depth-of-character is really impressive, but again, I'm simply not accustomed to it - the group is "really in character" at the table
Again, that's a style of play - if the group likes it, why not?

  1. the killing move, "how do you want to do this" is something new to me
I've seen variations of this since I started playing, so it's certainly been around.

As mentioned up thread, it's actually a relevant question in 5e because the person who delivers the blow gets to decide, at that time, if it's a kill or a KO.

  1. the mechanics of the game seem to be less important than the story of the game

At least for the main CR game, I have to disagree. While the story is fun and important, Mercer seems to fairly strictly adhere to the mechanics of 5e. Sure, he'll homebrew (and is doing more of that) but the mechanics seem quite important; he will not let the players simply bypass them.

Now with Exandria Unlimited, particularly Aabria's game? That 100% seemed to be the case. She was not just willing but eager to completely ignore the mechanics to get the story where she wanted it to go. It was a hugely different style than Mercers!
 

wicked cool

Adventurer
I went searching for talk of recent campaign 3 talk but stumbled on this

For the original poster I’m going to go with an analogy you should embrace as we are maybe the same age

Tom Brady-he’s a quarterback in nfl football. He’s in his mid 40’s playing in a sport dominated by 20 year olds. Most people in their 30’s can’t play never mind 40. At this point he’s seen more football and the game is easier for him than younger players (hard to fool him). The rules have changed and he’s adapted
You need to do the same. There’s a whole new group of young people playing this game but you should/could know the rules better than them. The critical role cast especially Sam didn’t know the game but yet in many ways have mastered it. They solve difficult puzzles, take on powerful enemies and suffer just like I’d when one of my favorite 1st/2nd edition characters died in the classic modules which were deadlier then todays game

I often say back in my day a giant spider could wipe out a fighter just with webs.
Embrace it
 

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