Should personality or mental stats exist?

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
One other thing I think is useful is to allow players to determine their contacts based on their skills. Let's take a game like Call of Ctulhu. If you have a History skill of 60% you're an expert. Other people probably contact you from time-to-time to ask some questions about whatever history you specialize in. You certainly know other people who work in the same specialization you do and probably even others outside your speciality just because you're going to run into them at conferences, are one of their peers who reviews their research, or something else.

Or let's say you're playing Cyberpunk Red and you've got a Rifle skill of 8. This is a pretty high skill and it means you likely go to the shooting range on a regular basis. You're probably going to get to know people at the range, at least the employees, and on occasion people will probably come to you for advice on a particular firearm. "Man, I've one got 50 eddies to my name but I need a piece. Should I go with the Budget Arms Teen Dream or this Kang Toa pocket pistol?"
Oh yeah, I operate like this too in my games. Traveller has a social skill and I like to ref it as a spectrum. High score and you can work a room of nobles and adminstrators, but enter a blue collar spacer bar and stick out like a sore thumb. Giving all travellers a chance to contribute I the social game.
 

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loverdrive

Prophet of the profane (She/Her)
Yes, untrained person, going with pure talent (ability) has 25% chance to meet or beat DC 15 if he is average or 50% if he is pinnacle of talent (20 in ability). But both can reliably succeed more often than not by using pure talent even vs average difficulty DC.
I'm not sure I understand. 25% chance of success is not "reliably succeed more often than not"???

Typical DCs table in 5E DMG states that DC 15 is a "moderate" difficulty, with DC 10 being easy, which means that a person with only 10 in a given stat has only a 25% chance at succeeding at a moderately difficult task and only a 50% chance for an easy one. This doesn't sound average to me in practice, even if the book says otherwise in theory
 

GrimCo

Adventurer
Lapsus calami. They can't. Reliably succeed more often than not is that, on average, you succeed at rate higher than 50%. Hence, more often than not. Since we use dice and go by 5% increments, that would be 55% chance of success at least (in 100 attempts, you succeed 55 times). Problem is with DCs. They are too high. For character to have more than 50% chance to succeed Moderate DC, he has to be both naturally gifted (at least 18 in ability score) and proficient in skill (to get +2 bonus), so with +6 it has 55% chance to roll high enough. So the best of of the best in any stat cant get more than 50% without training (proficiency) or braking the stat cap via magic items.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
My point is that you can have those traits without ability scores for them, though. Similar to how you can play a whiny, brave or impatient character even though you're playing a game without Whining, Courage or Patience stats. This opens up more character options as you are less restricted by your stats, I think.
technically you could also choose to roleplay a strong, tough or nimble character even if we didn't have STR, CON or DEX stats, but the games we choose to play have those stats and thus they matter, those games also have INT, WIS and CHA stats so they matter too,

but mental stats don't equal personality traits, having a high INT doesn't mean your character has to be an intelectual snob, having high CHA doesn't mean your character can't be the slimiest weaselly suspect anyone's ever had the misfortune to meet, it just means they're knowledgeable, or know how to appeal to people.
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
One thing related to that I tried was turning social situations into group checks or skill challenges. Everyone can and should help out, and it’s not just social skills that can contribute.
Everyone can and should have something to do in the game. Helping social situations isn't one of them. The dragonborn barbarian who dumped Charisma and walks around with trophy heads on his belt has a very narrow band of social situations to which he can contribute. Like this guy:
Oh My God Omg GIF by LosVagosNFT


I’d probably swipe MCDM’s negotiation mechanic as a general social skill challenge mechanic going forward.
Example please, for those of use who don't watch MCDM?

One other thing I think is useful is to allow players to determine their contacts based on their skills.
Skyrim does this. If you have enough enchanting skill, the guards will say, "would you enchant my sword? Dull, old thing can barely cut butter."

Lapsus calami. They can't. Reliably succeed more often than not is that, on average, you succeed at rate higher than 50%. Hence, more often than not. Since we use dice and go by 5% increments, that would be 55% chance of success at least (in 100 attempts, you succeed 55 times). Problem is with DCs. They are too high. . .
The Best of the Best has a 50% chance to succeed under stress. That's what the checks are for, and why "easy" difficulty starts at DC 10. Also, I guess in 5RD, a PC is better called "non-proficient" than "without training." Because even if you're proficient in a skill, say acrobatics, it would be kind of embarrassing to go through the Witcher gauntlet, for example, and have only a 10-15% edge on someone who is "untrained" in acrobatics. More likely, that person has some experience or training, but just isn't "proficient" in acrobatics. (See also: 5e characters improve at everything with level, like waaaay back in 4e.)
 

Andvari

Hero
technically you could also choose to roleplay a strong, tough or nimble character even if we didn't have STR, CON or DEX stats, but the games we choose to play have those stats and thus they matter, those games also have INT, WIS and CHA stats so they matter too,
The difference is that your character can frequently act as if their intellect is very different from their intelligence score, but can never act as if their strength is different from their strength score. If the character is too weak to move a boulder, it doesn't help that the player is a bodybuilder. If the character should be too dumb to solve complex, logical puzzles or mysteries, or make good tactical decisions, he can still solve the puzzles constantly and make perfect tactical decisions if the player is smart enough.

Because a TTRPG takes place in an imaginary space into which you can only project your mind. A notable difference to LARP, which takes place in physical space.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
The difference is that your character can frequently act as if their intellect is very different from their intelligence score, but can never act as if their strength is different from their strength score. If the character is too weak to move a boulder, it doesn't help that the player is a bodybuilder. If the character should be too dumb to solve complex, logical puzzles or mysteries, or make good tactical decisions, he can still solve the puzzles constantly and make perfect tactical decisions if the player is smart enough.

Because a TTRPG takes place in an imaginary space into which you can only project your mind. A notable difference to LARP, which takes place in physical space.
i'm well aware that you can roleplay your character as smarter/wiser/more charismatic than their scores indicate, what i don't understand is why they get this allowance, it's not like the mental scores are given different rules to abide by than the physical scores in the books yet so often they are treated like an entirely different mechanic.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
The difference is that your character can frequently act as if their intellect is very different from their intelligence score, but can never act as if their strength is different from their strength score. If the character is too weak to move a boulder, it doesn't help that the player is a bodybuilder. If the character should be too dumb to solve complex, logical puzzles or mysteries, or make good tactical decisions, he can still solve the puzzles constantly and make perfect tactical decisions if the player is smart enough.

It really depends on how you look at it.

The vast majority of the time, players control their characters however they want. No one bats an eye if the character does something or acts in a way that doesn't make a lot of sense related to their physical stats either ... unless a check is required (such as moving a boulder).

In much the same way, a player can act differently than their intelligence score, unless a check is required (such as remembering an obscure fact).

Or, for that matter, in terms of the skills that are based on those abilities. Or saving throws. Or class abilities. And so on.

So yes, abilities don't matter, unless they do. If you make every roleplaying decision, from solving puzzles to choosing how to attack monsters, an issue for the dice to decide, at a certain point you are no longer roleplaying and you are no longer allowing players to make their own decisions.

To a certain extent, allowing players to choose their tactics and solve puzzles and talk to NPCs is not just a part of the history of the game, it's also something that most players enjoy and consider fun.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
So yes, abilities don't matter, unless they do. If you make every roleplaying decision, from solving puzzles to choosing how to attack monsters, an issue for the dice to decide, at a certain point you are no longer roleplaying and you are no longer allowing players to make their own decisions.

To a certain extent, allowing players to choose their tactics and solve puzzles and talk to NPCs is not just a part of the history of the game, it's also something that most players enjoy and consider fun.
i don't see how making them roll for their outcomes stops them roleplaying? they still decided their own course of action, they knew there was a chance of failure to the actions they took when they attempted it and gambled their luck, that was still their choice to gamble, if they pick actions that match their strengths or are more logical to succeed then they are rewarded with higher odds, but they can't exactly choose to just succeed, atleast not without expending apropriate resources.
 


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