Player Characters Doing The Dumb Things

People underestimate the fog of war in the real world and I would think it is really beyond the capability of a referee to generate the kind of chaff that one would encounter in the real world.
It's not that hard to generate enough that players start making mistakes. The trick is doing it without confusing them about what the characters can see, hear, and so on, which is unfair. Time pressure and a lack of understanding of what's at stake will often produce errors: that's how Chicago got destroyed in one of our games.
 

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Pedantic

Legend
I rather see that as a feature, not a bug. Arguably, games as a whole category of thing are about narrowing the field of choices and paring back enough distractions to allow the players a consistent fantasy of competence. Even failing in most games comes from getting your analysis wrong or failing to anticipate or see another line of play, but not from failing to parse the rules of the situation, or not having an articulated reason for your actions.
 

Hindsight is both a blessing and a curse depending on which past action you're reflecting on at the time. If the past action leads to a favorable consequence, we give ourselves a pat on the back and offer ourselves a bit of praise. Otoh, if the past action leads to a less than desirable consequence, then we give ourselves a mental kick in the rear end when we realize that things could have turned out differently if we took the other path. We then try to do better lest we repeat ourselves.
 

Played with a guy who waited 3 rounds, holding bow in hand but choosing not to fire at a charging owlbear. When it got into melee, instead of pulling out a sword, he said,

"I wrestle the owlbear."

From that moment on, it's became the phrase we use when our characters do something stupid.
 

Reynard

Legend
Played with a guy who waited 3 rounds, holding bow in hand but choosing not to fire at a charging owlbear. When it got into melee, instead of pulling out a sword, he said,

"I wrestle the owlbear."

From that moment on, it's became the phrase we use when our characters do something stupid.
Was this a roleplaying decision, or was the player drunk?
 

Was this a roleplaying decision, or was the player drunk?
Not drunk. I'm not sure what makes him choose the things he does. I think, partially, bad tactics and, partially, the "That's what my character would do" syndrom. I've told him to stop playing characters with low wisdom because I'm genuinely curious to see if he can make sound tactical decisions.

The point, though, is I've seen players make decisions based on their character's foibles for no other reason other than 'that's what their character would do.'
 

The point, though, is I've seen players make decisions based on their character's foibles for no other reason other than 'that's what their character would do.'
This makes me think of a fellow PC in the adventure I am currently playing in. ;) One time, the party I was in was in Berdusk. Each party member was doing their own thing before meeting up with the rest of the party. The PC was walking through the crowds when he spotted some of his fellow party members travelling to a meeting with the Lords Alliance in another part of the city. Rather than shout out to them to get their attention and join them, the PC decides to stealthily follow them. Why? I don't know. But he was spotted by the party sorcerer who then cast an illusion spell on him. He was then set upon by some kids who saw him as something cute. 😋 When he refused to play with them, they got upset and then some of the local 'mama bears' showed up and knocked him unconscious. 😋 They later brought him back to the inn the party was staying at.
 

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
Played with a guy who waited 3 rounds, holding bow in hand but choosing not to fire at a charging owlbear. When it got into melee, instead of pulling out a sword, he said,

"I wrestle the owlbear."

From that moment on, it's became the phrase we use when our characters do something stupid.
If they beat the owlbear that's a wonderful move. Great story to tell at the next village or when meeting a guard trying to keep you out of a castle.
 

Reynard

Legend
I kind of like the idea of attributing mechanical failures through a character faults lens: I failed that investigation roll because my character has a pet theory and it clouded my thinking, or failing that perception check because I was too busy chatting up the girl at the desk to notice the mark leave. It shifts the characterization away from the "wangrod defense" as well as allows the player to really build a "person" out of their character.

Which I guess it ultimately what I am hoping for: player characters that act like actual people might, rather than action comedy protagonists all the time.
 

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