log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E Weird Interpretations for High/Low Ability Scores

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Sure, table rules can set a reasonable standard for the given group. But that standard cannot be applied to other tables, nor can they be said to be part of the actual rules of the game.
Now, if I had too much spare time, cared more about it, and didn't hate one-true-wayism, I could actively try to goad people into debating whether the game of 5e should actually be called a Role-Playing game or a game that's a house rule or two away from being a Role-Playing game.

But there are more important things on here to debate (like the definition of a Sandwich!).
 

log in or register to remove this ad


iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Ok, but that's total bullshit, isn't it? "By those definitions" is some weasely politician nonsense.
Take that up with the designers of the game, I guess. I'm playing the game they designed and my arguments are based on the same.

If you always work out could, and never RP to your own disadvantage, you're a massive power-gamer, possibly bordering on a munchkin (depending on how you impact the game and other players), and denying it at that point just makes you disingenuous.
Where is it written that never "RPing" to your own disadvantage makes one a "power-gamer?" Other than in your post which is just your opinion and full of pejorative labels and baseless insinuations.

I feel like this is an entirely theoretical discussion for you though. The total lack of actual examples you've given, your complete inability to provide details about how "your" game runs (just generalities) and so on makes me wonder if either you play totally differently from this, in practice, or you don't play at all. It wouldn't be the first time I had a multi-page discussion with someone on an RPG forum who, it turned out, hadn't played the game for a long time (or in one memorable case, had never played the game, despite having acted like a venerable and experienced GM for it, for years).
I play in two regular campaigns and run one regular campaign (rotating on Fridays), plus I'm in a West Marches game where I jump in to play from time to time. I also run pick-up group one-shots three or more times per month including both new and veteran players. There's nothing theoretical about this. I find examples are problematic in forum discussions because people want to pick apart examples instead of try to use the example to gain a better understanding of what is being discussed. What examples could you even want here? Players say what they want to do, I adjudicate the results. Or I say what I want to do and the DM adjudicates the results. That's more or less the game.
 

Gradine

Final Form
FWIW, most interpretations of Sherlock would necessarily have high (or at least not extremely low) Intelligence and Wisdom. Sherlock's major shticks are noticing small details others miss (Perception) and then using inductive reasoning to produce information based on those details (Investigation). Sherlock is, generally speaking, rather low in Charisma (though in some cases this is presented more as Sherlock not caring about other people but able to turn it on when necessary), which is why most interpretations, especially the modern ones, have Watson be the people person. See also: House, etc.

For a high Wis low Int detective you'll want someone like Shawn Spencer from Psych, whose perception is nigh-legendary but often needs to rely on others (usually Gus) to provide him with additional knowledge he otherwise lacks in order to actually piece the clues together.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Came for some interesting ideas for my new low Wis character, but all I got were boring semantic badwrongfun Saelornisms and arguments over Sherlock Holmes. :confused:
Is Wisdom divorced from Willpower in 5e (except that Charm needs a wisdom save)?

One thing might be just not noticing that things aren't done. So sometimes not having packed the right things, got distracted securing the horses because you had to do something else, etc... I might call that depressingly real, and not interesting though.
 

Take that up with the designers of the game, I guess. I'm playing the game they designed and my arguments are based on the same.
No, this on you, not them.

Where is it written that never "RPing" to your own disadvantage makes one a "power-gamer?" Other than in your post which is just your opinion and full of pejorative labels and baseless insinuations.
Where is it written...?

Really?

That's what you want to go with? I'm not sure 5E D&D defines power-gaming at all, so I guess by that logic, nothing is power-gaming, nothing is being a munchkin, and so on.

And it's not baseless. You're hoist by your own petard, here. It's you who have suggested that you literally never RP in any way that you think will be to your disadvantage, that you always find a way that you could/should know/do something, never that you shouldn't. And that's obviously power-gaming.

Basically, your entire argument here boils down to rules-lawyering in the name of power-gaming.

That really is what you're doing here. Instead of taking accepted understandings, and realizing that the game isn't perfect (D&D 5E is much worse at explaining both RPing and DMing than a lot of other games, including 4E), you're trying to find loopholes, and failures in definitions to fly this 747-sized "stats mean nothing at all and can be 100% ignored for RP purposes" argument through. And to some extent you've succeeded (not in proving it's good RP or even RP at all, but that in proving it isn't specifically called out as bad, unlike other editions).

As for examples, I asked a number of specific questions - your response re: what games your in is the first time you've even come close to a specific answer, despite demanding examples from me re: bad behaviour (which you then ignored).

Anyway, I've said my part. You're rules-lawyering some stuff that's barely even rules, in order to find fig-leaf argument to hide blatant power-gaming behind. I don't think anyone else here thinks never RPing a character in a way which would intentionally put you at a disadvantage, is "good RP". My personal opinion, and this is obviously just that, is that's dishonourable, even unconscionable, to do that. I couldn't even begin to count the number of times I could have ignored my PC's personality/being and just said/done the smart thing, but didn't, because it wasn't in-character (and I didn't need "rewards" to do that, either, good grief).
 


Doesn't get much more subjective & opinionated than that.
Sure it does. I don't think it's unreasonable or even particularly subjective to suggest that honest RP is picking a character and sticking with that character, even when it's inconvenient.

Seems pretty opinionated or even bizarre to me to suggest that playing a character with zero personality and just saying whatever is least likely to cause the DM to ask for a roll is "good RP" or "honest RP" to me. Successful manipulation of the DM, sure.
 
Last edited:

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Roleplaying is just saying what your character does, thinks, or says. It can be done actively (1st person) or descriptively (3rd person). By those definitions provided by the game, anyone who does that is a good roleplayer.
It's a false definition, though. Roleplaying is also within bounds set by the game. If your PC just starts building a laser because you the player know how to do so, it's poor roleplaying, because despite you just "saying what your character does, thinks or says," it's something your PC would have no way to accomplish and science to that level or science fiction(depending on the laser type) is generally outside the bounds set by a D&D fantasy setting.
 


Sure it does. I don't think it's unreasonable or even particularly subjective to suggest that honest RP is picking a character and sticking with that character, even when it's inconvenient.
No, you're putting some unnecessary rules around roleplaying and saying that any roleplaying that doesn't abide by those rules is invalid.

EDIT:

But to pick apart what you just said, we aren't really talking about "picking a character and sticking to it". You are saying that people can't even pick their character in the first place, that their ability scores dictate what that character is.
 

DM Dave1

Adventurer
It's a false definition, though. Roleplaying is also within bounds set by the game. If your PC just starts building a laser because you the player know how to do so, it's poor roleplaying, because despite you just "saying what your character does, thinks or says," it's something your PC would have no way to accomplish and science to that level or science fiction(depending on the laser type) is generally outside the bounds set by a D&D fantasy setting.
Are we going to have the “know” vs “think” debate?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I think I'd have no problem with Xena having a 20 Strength in D&D terms despite not being super burly.
In one episode, it was revealed that Ares might be her biological father, which would explain her quasi-supernatural ability and strength.
 


No, you're putting some unnecessary rules around roleplaying and saying that any roleplaying that doesn't abide by those rules is invalid.
No, that's you. You keep saying it, but I haven't said it, and have explicitly said to the contrary.

But to pick apart what you just said, we aren't really talking about "picking a character and sticking to it". You are saying that people can't even pick their character in the first place, that their ability scores dictate what that character is.
We're absolutely talking about both. You want to time-travel back to the earlier debate about ability scores alone. Go ahead, I'm not interested - I've said my piece on that. But we now have the point where it's been suggested you don't even need to RP a character consistently at all, but instead can just say/do whatever you want that's going to let you allow rolls, no matter how out-of-character, and that's apparently "good RPing".

You seem to be skipping most of the posts, so to be clear, I've noted that there is a loophole which lets you ignore the stats in terms of RP (unlike previous editions), but have suggested that imo, one ought to at least nod to the stats, even if it is in an unexpected way.
 

No, that's you. You keep saying it, but I haven't said it, and have explicitly said to the contrary.



We're absolutely talking about both. You want to time-travel back to the earlier debate about ability scores alone. Go ahead, I'm not interested - I've said my piece on that.
Ok, fine.


But we now have the point where it's been suggested you don't even need to RP a character consistently at all, but instead can just say/do whatever you want that's going to let you allow rolls, no matter how out-of-character, and that's apparently "good RPing".
You're ascribing motive here, and that's the problem.

I'm not saying that people don't do what you're describing, but I don't think it's worthwhile worrying about why players take actions. Really the only negative effect on the game is that some players choose to bothered by actions that they suspect are some kind of "non-RP powergaming". If people just didn't worry about other people's motivations, the "problem" wouldn't exist.

As for changing your character concept, I certainly have found that the idea I originally had for a character is less fun, less interesting, than something that occurs to me as the campaign progresses. So my character changes. I think you're calling me a bad roleplayer. Is that right?

Now, I understand (or I think I understand) the "rules" that some players ascribe to:
  1. Your ability scores determine the range within which your character concept is permitted, and so does your choice of race (if non-human)
  2. Anything in your character's past you want to refer to has to be in the backstory you create at the beginning of the campaign; after that you need the DMs permission to add anything
  3. In game, the goal is to take actions that you think this particular character "would" take in that situation.
And so on. That's a perfectly valid way to roleplay. I don't think it's a particularly interesting/exciting/engaging/immersive way to roleplay, but I understand that's what some people prefer.

But it seems to me that some people who roleplay that way think it's "real" roleplaying, and anything else is....not roleplaying.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
No, this on you, not them.
What's on me? That I'm playing the game as it says in the rules? Guilty as charged, I guess.

Where is it written...?

Really?

That's what you want to go with? I'm not sure 5E D&D defines power-gaming at all, so I guess by that logic, nothing is power-gaming, nothing is being a munchkin, and so on.
Yeah, I think it's high time we did away with those silly terms. They serve no good purpose in my view.

And it's not baseless. You're hoist by your own petard, here. It's you who have suggested that you literally never RP in any way that you think will be to your disadvantage, that you always find a way that you could/should know/do something, never that you shouldn't. And that's obviously power-gaming.
I haven't actually said how I "RP" at all. Swing and a miss.

Basically, your entire argument here boils down to rules-lawyering in the name of power-gaming.
Another silly term that belongs in the dustbin of history.

That really is what you're doing here. Instead of taking accepted understandings, and realizing that the game isn't perfect (D&D 5E is much worse at explaining both RPing and DMing than a lot of other games, including 4E), you're trying to find loopholes, and failures in definitions to fly this 747-sized "stats mean nothing at all and can be 100% ignored for RP purposes" argument through. And to some extent you've succeeded (not in proving it's good RP or even RP at all, but that in proving it isn't specifically called out as bad, unlike other editions).
You will note that I didn't say "stats mean nothing." I said it's up to the player to decide how they are portrayed. It increasingly seems like you're having an argument with some phantom from your past who acted like a jerk at your table rather than meaningfully addressing any points I've made.

Anyway, I've said my part. You're rules-lawyering some stuff that's barely even rules, in order to find fig-leaf argument to hide blatant power-gaming behind. I don't think anyone else here thinks never RPing a character in a way which would intentionally put you at a disadvantage, is "good RP". My personal opinion, and this is obviously just that, is that's dishonourable, even unconscionable, to do that. I couldn't even begin to count the number of times I could have ignored my PC's personality/being and just said/done the smart thing, but didn't, because it wasn't in-character (and I didn't need "rewards" to do that, either, good grief).
Good for you, man. You're in charge of how you portray your own character. That's how it should be in my view.

It sounds like you don't use the Inspiration system either. If that's the case, it tracks with a lot of people who think your way in my experience. Much like how DMs who are concerned about players "metagaming" steadfastly refuse to do two simple things to completely negate it, preferring instead to label it as an identity and then molding the group's identity in opposition to it via table rule. I find this to be an interesting phenomenon.
 

You're ascribing motive here, and that's the problem.
That might be a problem, but the main person I've been speaking to - iserith - specifically stated that was their primary motive. Not in unclear terms, either! Look upthread.

As for changing your character concept, I certainly have found that the idea I originally had for a character is less fun, less interesting, than something that occurs to me as the campaign progresses. So my character changes. I think you're calling me a bad roleplayer. Is that right?
I dunno, it depends how you do it, doesn't it? I feel like what I'm opposing here is the extremes of behaviour. I specifically said, for example, we can always expect some OOC or against-character behaviour. That's not problematic, within reason.

And yeah, sometimes a character needs to change. If you gradually change them, that's probably impressive role-playing.

Equally, if you go full OOC, explain what you're doing, and say "My backstory blew, and I don't like my dude's personality, so I'm changing it!", I don't think anyone will argue with you or see that as bad. Some people re-roll when they do that, but if you like the PC mechanically I think this is fine, and I've seen it done. I've considered doing it myself, but did the slow modification instead.

But if you just always say what you think is going to get you to avoid a roll (which again, is specifically what I was responding to!), and never RP in a way that might put you at a disadvantage, that's yeah, bad RPing in my, RE's, opinion.

Now, I understand (or I think I understand) the "rules" that some players ascribe to:
  1. Your ability scores determine the range within which your character concept is permitted, and so does your choice of race (if non-human)
  2. Anything in your character's past you want to refer to has to be in the backstory you create at the beginning of the campaign; after that you need the DMs permission to add anything
  3. In game, the goal is to take actions that you think this particular character "would" take in that situation.
And so on. That's a perfectly valid way to roleplay. I don't think it's a particularly interesting/exciting/engaging/immersive way to roleplay, but I understand that's what some people prefer.
I don't think 1 is as simple as you suggest, and it's not opinion in previous editions, certainly 1E/2E, it's supported by the actual text, quite strongly (see much earlier in this thread, not my posts).

2. No. I've not suggested anything of the sort, and that's completely mad. I have no idea where that's coming from, but it's not from me. It's absolutely valid to add to your backstory, within reason. It can get really stupid and cheesy, and the DM is within his rights to say "Okay, dude, your character is 22, and you're saying he was mercenary for several years, is suddenly the rightful heir to a kingdom, and was raised as such, now you're claiming they were a pirate for years, and also that they lived in a monastery and learned the ways of this religion so shouldn't need to make checks? Is that right?" and maybe work with the player to uh, cut down on that sort of thing.

Cutting stuff from your backstory should be notified to the DM. Some will allow it, some won't.

Ignoring the personality that YOU CHOSE TO ESTABLISH for your PC just to avoid rolls (or not establishing one at all for similar reasons) is pretty crummy. Gradually changing the personality is cool RP, but needs some consistency.

3. I don't think that's the goal, but I think taking actions as the character is an important part of good RP, yes. Within reason, of course - you can be tactically smart, and you can justify things, but sometimes you're going to be faced with a situation where you could either stay true to the character, and suffer a disadvantage, or ignore the character and do the smart thing.

Everyone will choose the smart thing SOME of the time. If you choose the smart thing ALL of the time, that's pretty obviously power-gaming, and it's extremely unlikely it looks like good RP unless you're RPing Anasûrimbor Kellhus (look it up lol).

The issue for me is I think we're not that far apart, but you're reading extreme stuff into what I'm saying that isn't there.

Whereas the guy I was arguing with was extremely clear about his position, and the only debate was whether this was poor form or not.

EDIT - Post finished now.

Yeah, I think it's high time we did away with those silly terms. They serve no good purpose in my view.
Another silly term that belongs in the dustbin of history.
ROFL. So yes, any term that points out bad behaviour as bad belongs in the "dustbin of history", okay buddy, got it. Cool. Thumb up. But that's pretty intense clarity on your position, I'd suggest, in that you're saying you consider behaviours widely regarded as atrocious, and which can be extremely disruptive and spotlight-stealing to be totally cool.

I haven't actually said how I "RP" at all. Swing and a miss.
I've asked, multiple times, and you've just pointed me back to answers like "It's up to the player" instead of explaining, so I don't think that's a miss as much as it is you hiding under a bed and refusing to come out, argument-wise.

We use Inspiration tons, I note. But it's not very valuable as a motivator for people who play the way you're describing, because it's just Advantage and you can only have 1 of it. That's literally less valuable than one entirely avoided roll.

If it stacked up to 5, allowed an auto-success (or high base value, like, a 10 or 15), and was rewarded ONLY for good, in-character role-playing, then I think it would be a good counterbalance to attempts at DM manipulation like you're describing.
 
Last edited:

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
It's a false definition, though. Roleplaying is also within bounds set by the game. If your PC just starts building a laser because you the player know how to do so, it's poor roleplaying, because despite you just "saying what your character does, thinks or says," it's something your PC would have no way to accomplish and science to that level or science fiction(depending on the laser type) is generally outside the bounds set by a D&D fantasy setting.
We've addressed this in other threads. Enough times that it's a wonder why it keeps getting trotted out only to be swatted down (though to be fair, it's usually about gunpowder, not lasers). So, once again: If the player is outright stepping beyond the bounds of genre expectations, then that is a problem to be addressed outside the context of the game. But given that, as I recall, D&D has had lasers in it before (and there are rules for it in the DMG), the player still has to run actions through the DM who decides the outcome. If the DM doesn't want lasers in his or her game, then the action fails.

As for the verity of the definition, we're playing a game. The game has rules. The rules are found in the rules books. If you think the rules books are wrong, that's not my problem and you can always address what you consider to be false definitions via table rules.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
ROFL. So yes, any term that points out bad behaviour as bad belongs in the "dustbin of history", okay buddy, got it. Cool. Thumb up. But that's pretty intense clarity on your position, I'd suggest, in that you're saying you consider behaviours widely regarded as atrocious, and which can be extremely disruptive and spotlight-stealing to be totally cool.
I'm all for calling out bad behavior when it happens. Characterizing skilled play as necessarily problematic or divorced from good roleplay or consistent character portrayal is not something I can sign on to.

I've asked, multiple times, and you've just pointed me back to answers like "It's up to the player" instead of explaining, so I don't think that's a miss as much as it is you hiding under a bed and refusing to come out, argument-wise.
Letting the player decide how they want to play their own character is how I play. Nobody's hiding here.
 

COMING SOON: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top