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D&D General Styles of Roleplaying and Characters

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It seems to me that sometimes, by control, you mean something like being free to declare actions for my PC (eg "in control of what my PC does, how they act". And I agree that getting temp hp doesn't affect that.

But I don't see how it doesn't affect what your PC thinks and feels. If nothing about your PC's mental state has changed, where do the temp hp come from?

For the record, even though Inspirational Leader doesn't impel or limit any action declarations, I still see that feat as philosophically problematic. Sure, when somebody uses it I take the temp HP and keep my mouth shut, but I'm also thinking that I don't like the implication that my character automatically finds this other character inspiring. I'd much rather it be along the lines of, say, a song, and any character who joins in the song gets the benefit. That way I'm making a decision for my character.

I never take that particular feat, even when it might otherwise make sense for my character.
 

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Aldarc

Legend
For the record, even though Inspirational Leader doesn't dictate any actions/beliefs, I still see that feat as crossing the line. Sure, when somebody uses it I take the temp HP and keep my mouth shut, but I'm also thinking that I don't like the implication that my character automatically finds this other character inspiring. I'd much rather it be along the lines of, say, a song, and any character who joins in the song gets the benefit. That way I'm making a decision for my character.
Here you go, @Swarmkeeper. I told you that these people exist. 👆

Edit: So why can't you consider the effects of that feat "Background Magic," to borrow the much earlier snippets that @Oofta found from Jeremy Crawford?
 


Edit: So why can't you consider the effects of that feat "Background Magic," to borrow the much earlier snippets that @Oofta found from Jeremy Crawford?

I missed those snippets. If it were a really important issue I might worry about how to justify/explain it. As it is, it's just one of those outliers that I don't really like, but I don't let it spoil the game.
 

pemerton

Legend
He was stubborn? He left and then changed his mind over Leia? It's not hard to come up with a very reasonable explanation.
Okay. I was responding to a post which seemed to imply that a change of mind constituted a redefinition of a character. Apparently you don't agree with that other post on this point?
 

pemerton

Legend
I don't think anyone is arguing that supernatural effects can't affect character thoughts and emotions.
I'm arguing that Gandalf is not using a supernatural effect. That's a misreading of JRRT, in my view - actually quite a deep one.

EDIT to make this slightly less gnomic: Gandalf is not Saruman. That's one of the central motifs of LotR, and thematically quite fundamental.
 

I'm arguing that Gandalf is not using a supernatural effect. That's a misreading of JRRT, in my view - actually quite a deep one.

EDIT to make this slightly less gnomic: Gandalf is not Saruman. That's one of the central motifs of LotR, and thematically quite fundamental.

Excellent point! And to extrapolate...

RPGs that dictate player emotions are designed inspired by Saruman.

RPGs that let players determine their own emotions are designed inspired by Gandalf.
 


Aldarc

Legend
I missed those snippets. If it were a really important issue I might worry about how to justify/explain it. As it is, it's just one of those outliers that I don't really like, but I don't let it spoil the game.
Snippets here.

I'm not sure how you missed it. It was part of the discussion on Frightening Presence in 3e. It's talking about whether a dragon's breath weapon is "magical" in 5e. You even liked the post above it where it was first mentioned, and you posted after me responding to it.

The principle of "background magic" could easily extend to satisfy a number of your other aesthetic preferences.

Excellent point! And to extrapolate...

RPGs that dictate player emotions are designed inspired by Saruman.

RPGs that let players determine their own emotions are designed inspired by Gandalf.
That's some pretty wild cognitive bias in that reading of LotR and RPGs. Wait. Let me try.

RPGs that dictate player emotions are okay if it's magic are inspired by Saruman.

RPGs that influence player emotions without magic are inspired by Gandalf.
 

You seriously believe this gibberish?

Absolutely. Gandalf and Saruman are real people, and all RPGs are designed by one or the other of them. All the other supposed "authors" have either been mind controlled or persuaded (as appropriate) to take credit.

Next question....?
 

That's some pretty wild cognitive bias in that reading of LotR and RPGs. Wait. Let me try.

RPGs that dictate player emotions are okay if it's magic are inspired by Saruman.

RPGs that influence player emotions without magic are inspired by Gandalf.

Gosh, so far everybody (N == 2) is taking that so seriously. Should I have added a smiley?

@pemerton was making the point that Saruman mucks around in people's minds, and Gandalf expressly avoids doing that and lets people make their own choices. I was having some fun with that analysis, vis a vis the current topic.
 

Absolutely. Gandalf and Saruman are real people, and all RPGs are designed by one or the other of them. All the other supposed "authors" have either been mind controlled or persuaded (as appropriate) to take credit.

Next question....?
Well then, let's look at it again.

What the extrapolation actually means is that without mental mechanics one cannot inpire, and therefore one cannot play Gandalf, one can only dominate 'magically' amnd therefore only play Saruman.
 

pemerton

Legend
RPGs that dictate player emotions are designed inspired by Saruman.

RPGs that let players determine their own emotions are designed inspired by Gandalf.
I think all RPGs dictate, or at least influence, player emotions. As a general rule, if they didn't make people feel enjoyment and/or satisfaction, people wouldn't play them.
 

Well then, let's look at it again.

What the extrapolation actually means is that without mental mechanics one cannot inpire, and therefore one cannot play Gandalf, one can only dominate 'magically' amnd therefore only play Saruman.

I don't follow. Why can't there be any inspiration without mental mechanics?

Player A: "I give a rousing speech!"
Player B: "I'm inspired!"
DM: "So are all the NPCs!"

What's the problem here? (And this totally ignores the distinction between using mental mechanics on NPCs, and using them on PCs.)
 

I think all RPGs dictate, or at least influence, player emotions. As a general rule, if they didn't make people feel enjoyment and/or satisfaction, people wouldn't play them.

Ooh...you're right. I meant "character" not "player" emotions. As in, "dictate to the player what their character's emotions are." My bad.
 

Aldarc

Legend
Gosh, so far everybody (N == 2) is taking that so seriously. Should I have added a smiley?
Or maybe not have said it at all.

@pemerton was making the point that Saruman mucks around in people's minds, and Gandalf expressly avoids doing that and lets people make their own choices. I was having some fun with that analysis, vis a vis the current topic.
That doesn't mean that these characters aren't affected or influenced by his words.

I don't follow. Why can't there be any inspiration without mental mechanics?

Player A: "I give a rousing speech!"
Player B: "I'm inspired!"
DM: "So are all the NPCs!"

What's the problem here? (And this totally ignores the distinction between using mental mechanics on NPCs, and using them on PCs.)
There can be inspiration without mental mechanics. But that's not really what the issue is fundamentally about. Instead, it's about the converse: "Why can't there be any inspiration with mental mechanics? Why can't 'non-magical' mechanics affect the PCs' mental/emotional states? What's the problem here?"
 

Ok, to get back on topic....and catching up on this thread, in reverse...here are some thoughts:

1. Yes, I am primarily concerned with the mechanics of action declaration.
2. My discomfort with mechanics like Inspiring Leader, even though they don't seem to be directly related to action declaration, is that it blurs the line. It seems to me...especially reading some comments about "your character would/n't do that"...that it's a small step from dictating emotions to dictating actions.
3. BIFT and Alignment, as written, don't dictate actions. There are incentives to base RP off BIFT, but no demands. (Again, though, I don't think it's ok for another player or DM to say "your character wouldn't do that", citing BIFT/Alignment as the reason.)
4. Knowledge: what my character believes to be true, and what is actually true, are (or can be) two different things. I want to control what my character believes to be true. The DM gets to determine what is actually true.
5. This is all preference. I can totally see how a game could still work while dictating emotions, knowledge, and/or actions. Just not what I'm looking for in an RPG. I also don't like hoppy beer. So maybe it's just that I'm as unsophisticated in my gaming as I am in my beer drinking.
 

Instead, it's about the converse: "Why can't there be any inspiration with mental mechanics? Why can't 'non-magical' mechanics affect the PCs' mental/emotional states? What's the problem here?"

Huh? There absolutely can be. Is there anybody saying such a thing is somehow paradoxical?
 


Aldarc

Legend
Ok, to get back on topic....and catching up on this thread, in reverse...here are some thoughts:

1. Yes, I am primarily concerned with the mechanics of action declaration.
2. My discomfort with mechanics like Inspiring Leader, even though they don't seem to be directly related to action declaration, is that it blurs the line. It seems to me...especially reading some comments about "your character would/n't do that"...that it's a small step from dictating emotions to dictating actions.
I can't say that I have ever felt as if my action declarations are somehow drastically being impeded by mental mechanics anymore than they are by non-mental mechanics. As I said earlier, resolution mechanics in RPGs inherently restricts the resulting fiction of my action declarations.

4. Knowledge: what my character believes to be true, and what is actually true, are (or can be) two different things. I want to control what my character believes to be true. The DM gets to determine what is actually true.
Emotions: what my character believes would affect them and what actually does affect them are two different things. The aforementioned mental mechanics are predominately concerned with latter and not the former.

5. This is all preference. I can totally see how a game could still work while dictating emotions, knowledge, and/or actions. Just not what I'm looking for in an RPG.
For curiosity sake: have played any of these other games to see how they would actually operate in practice?

I also don't like hoppy beer. So maybe it's just that I'm as unsophisticated in my gaming as I am in my beer drinking.
IPAs are good, but overrated. I do welcome them when I can, but that is mainly because I'm stuck in a country that seems to only have Lagers (e.g., Märzen, Helles, etc.), Pilsners, and Weizenbiers as a result of the influence of the Reinheitsgebot.
 

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