Role playing to the detriment of the game

Aus_Snow

First Post
I do love for Players to seriously role play their characters, but there is a limit. There is a line between playing a role to the benefit of the game and playing the role to the detriment of the game.
I don't think there should be any limit, except (if any) those agreed on by the group in question.


Do you consider it a good thing or a bad thing to be willing to cross that line for the sake of "pure" role playing? Should a Player be willing to stop their true role playing for the sake of the game?
There are some serious misnomers at work here: '"pure" role playing' and 'true role playing', both. Some of what you have described is just plain old roleplaying (i.e., the playing of a role), with the occasional problem of a DM being exceedingly unhelpful, whereas some of the rest is not roleplaying at all - by the sounds of it - and more like attention-seeking behaviour. Metagaming, if you will, but of a type not usually referred to as such. Seeking to create some kind of 'drama' outside of the characters' setting, rather than in it, IOW.

'Pure' roleplaying, as you put it, is something I haven't encountered in that many roleplayers. I treasure it most highly, whenever I do come across it.
 

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Mishihari Lord

First Post
It really depends on what's fun for your players. For me fun priority #1 is exploration, #2 is roleplaying my character, and #3 is completing goals/adventures. I don't see a problem with most of the OP's examples. The ones where a player wouldn't participate are a problem, but the solution is for your players to make characters that won't behave this way in the first place.

You only really run into problems with this when players have different values. If some want to get on with the adventure while others want to take some actions their characters find important you're going to have a problem. The best solution is to find people that want to play the way you do. If that's not practical then everyone has to be a grown up and compromise, realize that the game is not always going to run the way they prefer, and try to have fun anyway.
 

S'mon

Legend
The no-show-at-mansion player was a poor player, since they were rejecting the premise of the game, that their PCs showed up at the mansion. Often this kind of thing is done by attention-hog players who want their anti-social PC spotlighted with the GM forced to improvise a whole sub-plot around them. I think of it as the "Wolverine Syndrome".

The cases of the cohort (definitely) and the raging ranger (marginally) I find forgivable though; though I agree that TPKs resulting from "I'm just playing my character" are rarely much fun.
 


S'mon

Legend
The "rude NPC" situation is one I've seen firsthand many times, and I'm always kind of amazed that the DM expects the PCs to fall in line. But if the players are really being unreasonable, I'd just let them not go on the adventure. Next time, they'll probably be thicker-skinned.

As GM, I've learned to expect that if an NPC is rude or tight-fisted the PCs may well kill them & take their stuff. If I want the PCs to cooperate with an NPC, I darn well make them respectful & generous!
 

Fenes

First Post
As a DM, you need to provide for the fact that your PCs love RPing and will act in character. You need to consider what they might do and plan accordingly the same way a DM of a combat-heavy group would need to prepare tactically for his PCs. As a player, try getting into your character more and enjoy getting in character along with the others in the group.

I fully agree. Maybe change the adventures so you have less Dungeon Crawls, and more city adventures, whith more hooks and plots that run parallel.

I run most of my adventures that way - I offer lots of plots and hooks, and run those the PCs get involved with. We have three players, so splitting the party is no problem - it happens often that the PCs are off on their own, one doing a dungeon crawl like trip, the other infiltrating a mansion as an entertainer and the third trying to free a kidnapping victim, all at the same time. As long as the overall arc/mission keeps them together, and brings them together regularily, it works well.
 

Fenes

First Post
We all chose to tell the GM that we were serious - we would not do it. Our characters would prefer to stay than become mass murderers, even if that ended the Chronicle, or meant that we'd need to make new characters, and we asked if the GM could come to the next session prepared to discuss the new characters...

Similar thing happened to me years ago, when my co-DM run an adventure that had the party trapped in some dungeon, and the only way out was some mage NPC - with a party who strongly disliked mages on general, considering them heretics. We killed the NPC after a few "Hot" words were exchanged, and before we even realised that he was supposed to teleport us out. Not that the "trap" was very likely either, imagine a dungeon named "Portal of Heavens" but apparently created to "trap undead", full of low-level skeletons, which any cleric could have permanently laid to rest with turn undead, in a country ruled by churches since three thousand years.
DM wouldn't budge, said he saw no way to get us out, was not willing to rewrite the dungeon into an actual portal to somewhere, or simply let us Dimension Door out, or do anything else to get the party unstuck - and got mad when we suggested such solutions. Instead he dropped from the group.
 

Fenes

First Post
Why didn't the DM do something simple? Like say "The school has offered to cover all transportation expenses." Or have her teenage girl the recipient of some money from the discovery of her powers? Or any one of a million other ways to get her in? This is a simple problem, with a simple solution.

What's the DM's problem?

Indeed. Sounds like the DM was unable to simply say "ok, since you cannot fly you were sent by bus, in advance, so you arrive on time with the rest". Like, you know, people do all the time when planning a trip.
 

delericho

Legend
The guys in my group are good role players. They will role play their characters' personalities and motivation fully -- and I've seen this become a problem a few times.

I started a Marvel Super Heroes campaign where the PCs were newly rising supers invited to join a group overseen by an NPC -- picture something like Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. To start the first game session, I had each Player describe how they arrived at the mansion of the NPC. One came by bus, one came by borrowing his parent's car, etc.

One guy, whose PC was a teenage girl from California commented that there was no way his family could fly her all the way to the east coast. While I started the introductions as each PC arrived, this Player willingly sat at the table without having his character introduced.

That's not an example of good roleplaying. The player is entirely responsible for the character's personality and background, and coming up with a personality or background that is causing problems right at the start of the campaign is just being disruptive.

It's one thing to have a long-standing character with a well-defined history and motivation act in a manner that causes problems for the group because "that's what my character would do". At the outset of the campaign, the same is simply not true.

In this specific case, the player should have adjusted the background to bring his character in - perhaps a rich uncle just died, allowing his parents to send his character for this "once in a lifetime opportunity". Perhaps your Professor X-equivalent NPC agreed to pay the plane fare. Or something like that.
 

Fenes

First Post
As GM, I've learned to expect that if an NPC is rude or tight-fisted the PCs may well kill them & take their stuff. If I want the PCs to cooperate with an NPC, I darn well make them respectful & generous!

Exactly. Problems can crop up though of the PCs are rude to begin with, and the NPC answers in kind.
 

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