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Machiavelli
Come on, you all try that.^^ Everybody of us has a vision of what your char. should become, which goals he should reach etc. But how (except of telling the GM what you want...which would crumble the "illusion" of the GM being "neutral" a little bt) do you make your GM to act in your wanted direction? Do you use inverted psychology, some nasty tricks like blackmail or bribing or do you try it the hard way (which means roleplaying)?
Dwight
How...Machiavellian.

How does it break the functional neutrality of the GM by openly asking something like: "Hey GM I want to to try have my character be this sort of character. Mind if you create perils that test them (and my resolve) in that way so we can see if they, and I, achieve those kinds of goals [or die trying], thus defining of my character in terms of those aspects whether they succeed or fail?"


Or do you mean you are trying to ensure "success" of attaining the goal, without the risk? Which, you know, makes attaining the goal pretty damn hollow....unless your actual goal is to manipulate your [friend?] rather than play the game you suppository agreed to play, or to just show up and run through a pre-written script.
kzt
Pizza. And a cool story.
Machiavelli
Pizza seems to work worldwide....a penomenon that should be the topic of socialcultural master or doctor-thesis.^^

@Dwight: no, if i would try it machiavellian-style i would have to kill my GM, his family and everybody that might take revenge in the future. ^^ I am talking more of things like "i played x or y in the past but now i changed my mind. I think my char. is going to evolve in another direction and i want the GM to see this tendency". GMing isnt an easy thing and maybe the GM has already set up some plans for your char. So i want to force him without too much force in my wanted direction. I hope you understand what i want to express.
Machiavelli
Pizza seems to work worldwide....a penomenon that should be the topic of socialcultural master or doctor-thesis.^^

@Dwight: no, if i would try it machiavellian-style i would have to kill my GM, his family and everybody that might take revenge in the future. ^^ I am talking more of things like "i played x or y in the past but now i changed my mind. I think my char. is going to evolve in another direction and i want the GM to see this tendency". GMing isnt an easy thing and maybe the GM has already set up some plans for your char. So i want to force him without too much force in my wanted direction. I hope you understand what i want to express.
Glyph
It is a combination of having a good, non-adversarial relationship with your GM, roleplaying your character's new direction, and spending your Karma appropriately.

It is a good idea to let your GM know ahead of time if you are going to dramatically change the way you play a certain character, because it is annoying when you set up plot hooks specifically for one character, only for that character to do a 180. But on the flip side, the GM should only be giving you opportunities and challenges, not railroading you or bigfooting your character.

Which comes back to open lines of communication with your GM. Pizza never hurts, though.
Summerstorm
Well, i as a GM try to keep an open ear for my players. After every session i ask for critiques, comments. I ask them to send me material about their character: What they want to experience, what their thoughts are on last adventures/runs... what they are planning for the future. I am always trying to get personal stories and new npc's with which to interact into the game and try to let them choose where to follow up.

This is of course totally in contrast to my "The world doesn't revolve about your character"-gameplay, where everyone can die at every minute.

So with the "how can i influence the gm" in mind: I am totally on the side of the players to construct a story, but in my execution i am a ruthless bastard. I don't have to be bribed or threatened to do that.

Ah and i have to say of course: I seldom get any plothooks and "what i like to experience"-material from my players, though. Maybe they are lazy, maybe they are content with what is going on in the game already? I don't know.

So my opinion: Healthy feedback with your gm.
Machiavelli
And now we come back to pizza..^^
kzt
It always comes back to pizza. wink.gif
Machiavelli
If my plan works out, you all get one pizza for free from me.^^
Neurosis
QUOTE (Machiavelli @ Sep 19 2010, 03:37 AM) *
Pizza seems to work worldwide....a penomenon that should be the topic of socialcultural master or doctor-thesis.^^

@Dwight: no, if i would try it machiavellian-style i would have to kill my GM, his family and everybody that might take revenge in the future. ^^ I am talking more of things like "i played x or y in the past but now i changed my mind. I think my char. is going to evolve in another direction and i want the GM to see this tendency". GMing isnt an easy thing and maybe the GM has already set up some plans for your char. So i want to force him without too much force in my wanted direction. I hope you understand what i want to express.


This is definitely something you should be able to convey through roleplaying. I say this as a GM.
Machiavelli
This also fits to my opinion that i want to react on whatever the GM throws at me. I like it "realistic". Some things are beyond your influence.^^
Dwight
QUOTE (Machiavelli @ Sep 19 2010, 01:37 AM) *
GMing isnt an easy thing and maybe the GM has already set up some plans for your char. So i want to force him without too much force in my wanted direction. I hope you understand what i want to express.

Nope. At least not why you aren't going to just out and say it (end of the session, start of the session). Trying to communicate this big picture, planning stuff by encoding/decoding to/from the obscure language of "roleplaying" is a recipe for disappointment, confusion, and frustration around the table....and gets in the way of actually playing the role of the character and playing the game. It is bad basic interpersonal communication.

As a GM I'll say over and over again, you want your character to become Mike The Dragonslayer? Then just spit it out so I can throw some dragons at you rather than having me waste my time and yours with whatever else I would throw at you.
CanRay
I've stated to my group, numerous times, that I take bribes as a GM, and am unashamed that I do so.

After all, I have a much bigger toy box. devil.gif
Dwight
Of course that assumes a GM that is going to put the effort in to consolidate his goals and vision with yours instead of only focusing on what they want and flip you the bird if their initial pass at a solution doesn't work for you, too. But really then you are left with the very ugly option of base social manipulation anyway, trying desperately to play the GM rather than playing your character and the game.
Kruger
QUOTE (Dwight @ Sep 19 2010, 06:30 AM) *
Of course that assumes a GM that is going to put the effort in to consolidate his goals and vision with yours instead of only focusing on what they want and flip you the bird if their initial pass at a solution doesn't work for you, too.

How mature.

Anyhow, the easiest way to make sure the GM knows what you want to achieve is to tell him. Then you can discuss whether or not that's even going to be possible in the game and come to an agreement as mature adults to find a common ground you're both willing to work for since everything you want to happen means an effort on the part of the GM to craft the story to your individual desires as opposed to the whole of the group.

I don't think a GM should really ever have to be "manipulated". If you're trying to manipulate the GM, you're either playing a bad campaign or you're the bad player ruining it for everyone else. RPGs aren't a contest, they are a collaborative effort.
Dwight
QUOTE (Kruger @ Sep 19 2010, 08:19 AM) *
How mature.


What? Linking something very relevant? That OP is the other side of the vicious spiral down. Rand eschewed "coming to an agreement", AKA negotiating a solution everyone was accepting of, AKA collaborative problem solving. That is what makes it the same road to suckville as choosing to "force" the GM via manipulation rather than openly talking. They both are things that tend to lead to the other. Pathological choices that undermine healthy social interactions and leave very unhealthy tools as the ones still on the table. frown.gif
Kruger
What would be the "agreement"?

Compromise his vision for the game? As opposed to what? Telling the player in a one time situation that he couldn't do something for a very valid reason? Sure, he could have gone the other way and said "Okay, this time you can break my rules, but in the future you can't or shouldn't." THe game isn't just about that one player. The GM is a player too and should be allowed his vision of how the game should work as well. Especially since he puts in all the work. This wasn't some kind of GM strong-arming. It was simply an establishment of parameters. Is every time the GM won't do something at your demand as a player he's being a bad GM? lol.

If there's a problem with that decision, it comes down to player temper tantrum as opposed to GM bird flipping.
Ed_209a
QUOTE (Dwight @ Sep 19 2010, 02:08 AM) *
...How does it break the functional neutrality of the GM by openly asking something like: "Hey GM I want to to try have my character be this sort of character.

QUOTE (Glyph @ Sep 19 2010, 02:57 AM) *
It is a combination of having a good, non-adversarial relationship with your GM, roleplaying your character's new direction, and spending your Karma appropriately.

It is a good idea to let your GM know ahead of time if you are going to dramatically change the way you play a certain character, because it is annoying when you set up plot hooks specifically for one character, only for that character to do a 180. ...

If you have a good GM, these are both good ideas. Gaming at it's best is really collaborative fiction. A good GM will be happy to let you be an "associate writer" for the game, as long as you accept the fact that he has final editorial approval.

It's important enough to repeat: Communicate Communicate Communicate! A GM who would use your plans against you (other than to create reasonable challenges for you to overcome) is not worth your time. A GM who cackles evilly at how he ground his PCs into the dirt (with his unlimited GM powers) is just as pathetic as someone who puts boxing gloves on 5-year olds, and then takes pride in beating them 4 at a time!
Dwight
QUOTE (Kruger @ Sep 19 2010, 09:40 AM) *
What was teh 'agreement"?

Exactly. Rand shut it down before one was figured out.
QUOTE (Kruger @ Sep 19 2010, 09:40 AM) *
Compromise his vision for the game?

ohplease.gif Well if nobody else at the table is digging on it....
QUOTE
As opposed to what?

As opposed to following up his poor planning, communication [of his vision], and decisions ("nobody's perfect" in his words) with summarily shutting down the discussion and dumping the consequences of HIS screw-ups on someone else. frown.gif

How do players communicate openly effectively and how do you expect them to trust that path, when the GM arbitrarily shuts it down? EDIT: And you can swap "GM" and "player" in that sentence for this thread's OP.
Mooncrow
QUOTE (Dwight @ Sep 19 2010, 11:47 AM) *
Exactly. Rand shut it down before one was figured out.

ohplease.gif Well if nobody else at the table is digging on it....

As opposed to following up his poor planning, communication [of his vision], and decisions ("nobody's perfect" in his words) with summarily shutting down the discussion and dumping the consequences of HIS screw-ups on someone else. frown.gif

How do players communicate openly effectively and how do you expect them to trust that path, when the GM arbitrarily shuts it down? EDIT: And you can swap "GM" and "player" in that sentence for this thread's OP.



It's way more important to rule and move on than it is for someone to be "right".

I have an unbreakable rule of "No more than 30 seconds for rules discussion during play". A ruling gets made, the game goes on, and we look stuff up later so we know how we want to handle it for next time.

Discuss rules before play, discuss them after play - never, ever, ever during play.

@OP - any answer that's not "talk with your GM" is going to leave one of you feeling pretty angry in the long run.
Kruger
"consequences"? More melodrama. For one action, he told the player he wasn't going to allow him to utilize very blatant meta-game knowledge to affect his character's action. GM's mistake for not making everyone declare. Player's mistake for not conforming to the standards of good role-playing, or at the very least not being familiar enough with the standards of the game being run. Everyone's "at fault" (even though nobody is) and you move on.

A good player says "Oh, yeah, that's true" and moves on.

You seem to be hung up on this idea that the GM making a judgment call in a game snag is some kind of strong-arming and that somehow player characters get total free will even if that free will breaks the confines of the game's structure.
Dwight
QUOTE (Mooncrow @ Sep 19 2010, 10:03 AM) *
It's way more important to rule and move on than it is for someone to be "right".


If you want to The Man, it's pretty damn important to not dump the consequences for your mistakes on other people. Clear conflict of interest.

There-in was his [last] crucial mistake...

P.S. I sure didn't get the sense that he went back to it to work it out at the end of the session. Instead he came here to get some validation.... frown.gif


EDIT: Which of course brings us to "@OP - any answer that's not "talk with your GM" is going to leave one of you feeling pretty angry in the long run." Exactly! It's the same problem, with the same solution.
Dwight
QUOTE (Kruger @ Sep 19 2010, 10:13 AM) *
"consequences"? More melodrama.

If they weren't a big deal he could have just run with the game the other way, right?
Ryu
QUOTE (Machiavelli @ Sep 19 2010, 08:54 AM) *
Come on, you all try that.^^ Everybody of us has a vision of what your char. should become, which goals he should reach etc. But how (except of telling the GM what you want...which would crumble the "illusion" of the GM being "neutral" a little bt) do you make your GM to act in your wanted direction? Do you use inverted psychology, some nasty tricks like blackmail or bribing or do you try it the hard way (which means roleplaying)?

There are steps to success. Telling what you want is the simplest. Show dont tell at all is the hardest. If your numbers allign with your backstory and what you want to play, the direction of your char will be obvious in hindsight. If you do really well, everybody including the GM will cheer you on.

I prefer establishing stats that fit with the backstory, and working out everything else according to the campaign. If I wanted to do an 180-degree turn with a char, at least the GM would be pre-warned, as would any player whos chars territory I would tread on due to the change.
Mooncrow
QUOTE (Dwight @ Sep 19 2010, 01:20 PM) *
If you want to The Man, it's pretty damn important to not dump the consequences for your mistakes on other people. Clear conflict of interest.

There-in was his [last] crucial mistake...

P.S. I sure didn't get the sense that he went back to it to work it out at the end of the session. Instead he came here to get some validation.... frown.gif


If that's how you want to interpret his actions, I would agree. On the other hand, being wrong, even when you are "The Man" doesn't automatically make you a bad person.

Personally, it felt more like he genuinely was interested in how he should have handled it, then got rather defensive when certain people told him he was a terrible person. /shrug

QUOTE
If they weren't a big deal he could have just run with the game the other way, right?


Sure, he could have. With the initiative issue being messed up in the first place, neither option was really ideal, so it doesn't really matter which he picked. But the player getting into a "heated discussion" about it was just as wrong and game disrupting.
Neurosis
Kind of ignoring the shitfight to focus on one interesting post.

QUOTE
Nope. At least not why you aren't going to just out and say it (end of the session, start of the session). Trying to communicate this big picture, planning stuff by encoding/decoding to/from the obscure language of "roleplaying" is a recipe for disappointment, confusion, and frustration around the table....and gets in the way of actually playing the role of the character and playing the game. It is bad basic interpersonal communication.

As a GM I'll say over and over again, you want your character to become Mike The Dragonslayer? Then just spit it out so I can throw some dragons at you rather than having me waste my time and yours with whatever else I would throw at you.


While I also don't understand why he doesn't just out and say it, I do have some ideas. The first is that "ask and you receive" storytelling really takes away from things from the versimmilitude end, as well as taking away some of the GM's mystique. Your character does not have authorial control over his life. When playing, the most important thing is (to me) embodying that character. But of course I am into fairly intense roleplaying.

Secondly but in the same vein, I do think that once a character enters the game, decisions do need to ring true for the character as well as the player. While RP is a bout the principles of good improv--about saying "yes, and"-- I do think if the player says to the GM 'I want to be a bad guy' it is well within the GM's rights to say 'I don't think that rings true for your character, why don't you show me the origins of this behavior through roleplay?".

I don't know, there are so many different styles of games and of GMs. I have found this entire topic really weird from the beginning.
Summerstorm
Ah yes... the question itself was a bit weird...

To go on a bit on my stance:
I think part of it stems from other groups/session i had. The GM says to you: build a char, approves of it and sets you in the world. But after that all your ideas count for nothing. Depending on the GM, of course, you are somewhat set upon the board of the "Game of Life" nearly no branches, just forward according on how much you roll. I REALLY NEED to have at least a side story for my character, which i have to explain to the gm at least a bit. I don't want him to just echo it, and present me in the light as i directed.

The challenges, the circumstances are his, but the direction is mine. I am just helping him telling his story. Only i can do that for my character because only i know him.

For example:
I write up some basics for my "Enemy"-Quality, no stats, just who he is, why he is my enemy and so forth. Then maybe the GM let him surface and complicate my life... uses it in his stories. I and the gm have interactions, we write the story...

THEN, when i think it is time to buy myself out of the flaw, or maybe think it is time to change enemies (thinking we have gained what we could from this), i tell him: Yeah i would like some kind of epic showdown... but couldn't we make it more so, that i have to do it alone? Danger and all?

I would like my gm to listen to me on that. Give me the spotlight and don't let the enemy go down like a punk against our whole team, just because we planned it good.

For me it is essential that the gm listens to the players in these circumstances. (I also like to get the spotlight when my character is dying - you know: Narrating a bit, changing the circumstances of his death to suit myself for a worthy death. (Dead Man's Trigger & Hand of God rules partially do that in SR4 though)): Just getting told: Yeah, he hits for 7 damage, ah seems you are dead is just... underwhelming.

Ah well... Let the discussion commence
Dwight
QUOTE (Mooncrow @ Sep 19 2010, 11:40 AM) *
If that's how you want to interpret his actions, I would agree. On the other hand, being wrong, even when you are "The Man" doesn't automatically make you a bad person.

It is true that good people sometimes make bad decisions! But better people acknowledge the mistake so they can work on mitigating it and/or not repeating it.
QUOTE
Personally, it felt more like he genuinely was interested in how he should have handled it, then got rather defensive when certain people told him he was a terrible person. /shrug

I tried hard to keep the wording of my disapproval aimed at the actions. If you go back you'll find that true at least in the general (I could have missed one some where...oops).
QUOTE
Sure, he could have. With the initiative issue being messed up in the first place, neither option was really ideal, so it doesn't really matter which he picked.

Except that it did matter that he picked the one that made him happy knowing it made the other person unhappy. He very consciously made that decision. Abuse of position that's going to poison the table, and what appears to be his further compounding the problem.
QUOTE
But the player getting into a "heated discussion" about it was just as wrong and game disrupting.

Takes two to tango, for sure. *shrug* I'm not sure what to make of the player's role in this. We do only have Rand's side on this one at this point. wink.gif But it certainly wouldn't surprise me to find the player has perpetrated poor communication, and judgement themselves, or find that this is not an isolated incident at the table (maybe just the latest crescendo in a rising divide, potentially involving the other players, too). :/ If the player posted here I'd point that out just as much because one feeds the other.

EDIT: That is also why I posted earlier on in the thread that maybe this was the wrong person for Rand to be playing with. Because sometimes you do have what are ultimately intractable situations.

EDIT2: It wouldn't even surprise me in the least if this argument about a proxy, or just a culmination of a series of things the player was pissed about. If the GM is all about "my vision" they probably weren't overly approachable for smaller things that could normally be dealt with and put behind everyone, but instead they were getting pushed down and building up pressure.
Dwight
QUOTE (Neurosis @ Sep 19 2010, 11:53 AM) *
While I also don't understand why he doesn't just out and say it, I do have some ideas. The first is that "ask and you receive" storytelling really takes away from things from the versimmilitude end, as well as taking away some of the GM's mystique. Your character does not have authorial control over his life. When playing, the most important thing is (to me) embodying that character. But of course I am into fairly intense roleplaying.


Keeping this discussion prior to starting play in the session, or better yet starting the campaign at all, helps a lot here. That way the player doesn't need to shift into "storygame" mode during play (something that many long time RPG players aren't used to doing).

Also, remember that I'm not talking about "ask and you receive fame, fortune, and a pony". It is more "ask and you receive a shot at accomplishing your goal, a chance to show me that your character really is who you say they are in spite of the pain and danger of that". The challenge is still there.
QUOTE
Secondly but in the same vein, I do think that once a character enters the game, decisions do need to ring true for the character as well as the player. While RP is a bout the principles of good improv--about saying "yes, and"-- I do think if the player says to the GM 'I want to be a bad guy' it is well within the GM's rights to say 'I don't think that rings true for your character, why don't you show me the origins of this behavior through roleplay?".

WTF? Roleplaying? Roleplaying, in the terms of talking a good game? Talk is cheap. Bad is as bad does. Player says 'I want to be a bad guy', I respond 'well there is a sweet, frail grandmother on the corner holding her newborn grandchild, standing next to those armed and alert Lone Star officers....so are you going to kick out her cane so she falls over into traffic, bad man?"

See the difference? You are cock blocking the player from attempting an action till they talk some talk (EDIT: making a coded rationalization argument really). I'm taking them at their word that this is where they expect the character to go and letting, nay daring them to show me the action. Show me their character is who they say they are.
Mooncrow
/shrug Phrases like "dick move" and "doing his job poorly" etc seem pretty combative to me, but if your intent was to attack the action only, I won't belabor the point.

(The player did post in the thread btw http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?s=&a...st&p=990088)

Personally, I almost never take control away from a character; after reading what the player said, I'm not sure that I wouldn't have in this case. (Hard to say though; the whole "not resolving simultaneous actions simultaneously" makes pretty hard to wrap my head around - there's no way in a million years I would do that)


As an aside, normally I would be sorry for highjacking a thread, but I'm still having trouble figuring out what this one was supposed to be about.
Dwight
QUOTE (Mooncrow @ Sep 19 2010, 02:20 PM) *
/shrug Phrases like "dick move" and "doing his job poorly" etc seem pretty combative to me, but if that was your intent, I won't belabor the point.

Oh to be sure I wasn't blowing sunshine up anyones 5-hole or coddling anyone. wink.gif But I didn't say "you are a dick" or "you are too stupid to ever do your job correctly"....in no small part because I didn't think that.
QUOTE
The player did post in the thread btw

Ah, I pretty much stopped reading the thread after I stopped posting. Thanks for the link, I might go read his posts....not sure. Is the thread pretty much Zombie Thread now, do you think?
QUOTE
As an aside, normally I would be sorry for highjacking a thread, but I'm still having trouble figuring out what this one was supposed to be about.

Well I don't think it was a hijack, obviously, since I think this was a different angle on the same topic. wink.gif Effective communication at the table.
Mooncrow
QUOTE (Dwight @ Sep 19 2010, 03:10 PM) *
See the difference? You are cock blocking the player from attempting an action till they talk some talk. I'm taking them at their word and letting, nay daring them to show me the action. Show me their character is who they say they are.


If a character who has been playing as a straight arrow good guy starts kicking old ladies into the street one session, you wouldn't even raise an eyebrow?

I mean, I'm fairly certain that if that happened at my table, the other players would start looking for an exorcist/mage etc to see what had happened to their poor friend. In other words, doing something like that out of the blue as a player is going to be pretty damn disruptive to the rest of the players.
Dwight
QUOTE (Mooncrow @ Sep 19 2010, 02:32 PM) *
If a character who has been playing as a straight arrow good guy starts kicking old ladies into the street one session, you wouldn't even raise an eyebrow?

Sure would. They'd have my full attention as a looked forward to better understanding what's going on and just how far they are going to change. Dynamic characters = good. wink.gif

Now if that never came, if it was just random noise and I wasn't feeling it and others were scratching their head then, yeah I'm going to ask later "what's up?" if the player doesn't volunteer an explanation themselves. And if they can't or won't give some insight then the trust is going to take a hit and I'm going to be disappointed. Discussions will be had.
QUOTE
I mean, I'm fairly certain that if that happened at my table, the other players would start looking for an exorcist/mage etc to see what had happened to their poor friend. In other words, doing something like that out of the blue as a player is going to be pretty damn disruptive to the rest of the players.

There can be good disruptive. Other characters start phoning exorcists? Hot! But certainly if the player starts doing things that is pissing all over the game we are going to have a talk. Maybe a quick one mid-session if it's really bad and it's likely that the game play is going to be fubar proceeding anyway, preferably post-session though.

Really though GM <-> player communication isn't the only channel to keep flowing, and players are responsible for respecting each other's enjoyment, too. If you can build up that trust then it becomes a lot easier to trust players with some latitude in their characters, to trust them to keep things internally consistent over time and not be doing things that make too much a mess.

Besides, haven't you ever gone "wtf, I would never have expected that from that person"?


P.S. There is also a rudimentary support in Shadowrun for rewarding the portraying of your PC convincingly, the awarding of Karma.
Mooncrow
Ok^^ Just trying to clarify your position in my head.

I'm all for players taking their characters in a new direction, I just ask for some type of in-game rationale so:

A. I can help them feel their new role, and

B. the rest of the players know how to react to the change.

I mean, if it's because of something like "the orphanage that the character had been sending the children he rescued to turned out to be a front for MCT cyborg experiments", that gives me all sorts of hooks, and it gives the rest of the players something tangible to react to. Even something as simple as "my character had an existential crisis of faith last night" gives you something to work with.

"Just 'cuz" is much harder nyahnyah.gif
Dwight
QUOTE (Mooncrow @ Sep 19 2010, 03:28 PM) *
"Just 'cuz" is much harder nyahnyah.gif

Personally I'm okay on the lack of help on creating side, assuming they are willing to live with and work with whatever wildass thing I come up with. If not, well then too bad jackass, you should have said something. wink.gif Or, more likely, I stand back or busy myself with other PCs and let them do the heavy lifting till they give me something to work with.

Mostly though my issue with what I think you are talking about is that it's all kinda boring. I'm all "Hey, thespian-wannabe, you aren't Anthony Hopkins and even if you were we know what Anthony Hopkins' character is thinking because of the context in the film, context that you aren't giving us." That is one of the two key reasons why over the years as the GM I've really worked on opening up and stopping having table secrets or hold out on giving information. Because nothing kills tension, nothing builds disinterest in what is going on like ignorance of what is going on.
Neurosis
QUOTE
WTF? Roleplaying? Roleplaying, in the terms of talking a good game? Talk is cheap. Bad is as bad does. Player says 'I want to be a bad guy', I respond 'well there is a sweet, frail grandmother on the corner holding her newborn grandchild, standing next to those armed and alert Lone Star officers....so are you going to kick out her cane so she falls over into traffic, bad man?"

See the difference? You are cock blocking the player from attempting an action till they talk some talk (EDIT: making a coded rationalization argument really). I'm taking them at their word that this is where they expect the character to go and letting, nay daring them to show me the action. Show me their character is who they say they are.


This is getting kind of ridiculous. I think we are talking about two different things here.

1. Roleplaying is about action just as much or moreso than talking. When I say roleplaying that does not mean 'talking'. Roleplaying is (improv) acting and acting is not talking. Acting contains talking, but is not limited to it. Acting is based on action.

2. Separate Issue: People do not just decide to kick grammas 'for the evils'. The changes to a character over the course of any character arc should come as organically as possible from the events of the character's life. I would never tell a player "no your character can't throw grandma in front of the bus" but I can't imagine ever having a player that would want their character to throw grandma in front of the bus without their character having reasons for doing so.

QUOTE
Mostly though my issue with what I think you are talking about is that it's all kinda boring. I'm all "Hey, thespian-wannabe, you aren't Anthony Hopkins and even if you were we know what Anthony Hopkins' character is thinking because of the context in the film, context that you aren't giving us." That is one of the two key reasons why over the years as the GM I've really worked on opening up and stopping having table secrets or hold out on giving information. Because nothing kills tension, nothing builds disinterest in what is going on like ignorance of what is going on.


I want to avoid taking an extreme position, but I'd be tempted to say that if you really aren't able to see into the inner feelings of a character without being told, either:

A) The player is not roleplaying right, and needs to work on showing, instead of telling.
B) You are not paying attention.

I'm not saying there's not such a thing as being overly subtle. But it's not something that I've ever encountered in the context of tabletop, where everyone's hamming it up. I have never needed a player to tell me "My character is angry" (or whatever). I have never not been able to tell that from their roleplaying.

EDIT:

QUOTE
It is more "ask and you receive a shot at accomplishing your goal, a chance to show me that your character really is who you say they are in spite of the pain and danger of that". The challenge is still there.


The player should not even have to ask for that. That is something that a GM should always be providing.
Dwight
QUOTE (Neurosis @ Sep 19 2010, 03:25 PM) *
This is getting kind of ridiculous. I think we are talking about two different things here.

1. Roleplaying is about action just as much or moreso than talking. When I say roleplaying that does not mean 'talking'. Roleplaying is (improv) acting and acting is not talking.


No, that's what I was picturing. I was trying to tone down the derisive by not referring to it as improv acting. nyahnyah.gif Improv acting is cheap....and it sounds crazy. Mike has to get his Robin Williams on before you'll put dragons in the world for Mike to try slay????
QUOTE
2. Separate Issue: People do not just decide to kick grammas 'for the evils'. The changes to a character over the course of any character arc should come as organically as possible from the events of the character's life. I would never tell a player "no your character can't throw grandma in front of the bus" but I can't imagine ever having a player that would want their character to throw grandma in front of the bus without their character having reasons for doing so.

Well what exactly do you plan to stop, then? I mean, maybe the problem here is that it's a crazy hypothetical that you posed, to start with. It doesn't give much info. Like what is a 'bad guy'. Yeah you are going to get weirdness from that, it's not terribly realistic.

How about a real example of some time you stopped a player?
Dwight
QUOTE (Neurosis @ Sep 19 2010, 03:25 PM) *
I want to avoid taking an extreme position, but I'd be tempted to say that if you really aren't able to see into the inner feelings of a character without being told, either:

A) The player is not roleplaying right, and needs to work on showing, instead of telling.
B) You are not paying attention.


I picked Anthony Hopkins for a very specific reason. You should probably avoid taking that position. wink.gif

Dwight
QUOTE (Neurosis @ Sep 19 2010, 03:25 PM) *
The player should not even have to ask for that. That is something that a GM should always be providing.

But how do they know what the player wants challenged? Telepathy?
Neurosis
Welp:

QUOTE
Mike has to get his Robin Williams on before you'll put dragons in the world for Mike to try slay????


No.

QUOTE
maybe the problem here is that it's a crazy hypothetical that you posed, to start with.


I agree.

QUOTE
How about a real example of some time you stopped a player?


If you'll be much more specific about what kind of example you're looking for, I'll gladly wrack my brain.

QUOTE
I picked Anthony Hopkins for a very specific reason. You should probably avoid taking that position.


What is your point here? That you hate acting and it should never be part of roleplaying, or that you hate roleplaying and it should never be part of a roleplaying game? I don't want to put words in your mouth but I'm having trouble seeing a different interpretation for this.

QUOTE
But how do they know what the player wants challenged? Telepathy?


I am unclear how this is a secret at any table. The GM should be aware of the player's backstory, contacts, negative qualities, and get a lot of the rest of player-specific plot from roleplaying cues. This kind of stuff should be fairly obvious from the character and the game. If it isn't, it should be, but I have no objection to the player simply telling the GM (and again, I wonder why this topic came to pass in the first place).
Dwight
QUOTE (Neurosis @ Sep 19 2010, 03:54 PM) *
If you'll be much more specific about what kind of example you're looking for, I'll gladly wrack my brain.

Whatever you had in mind when you wrote the below sentence.
QUOTE
I do think if the player says to the GM 'I want to be a bad guy' it is well within the GM's rights to say 'I don't think that rings true for your character, why don't you show me the origins of this behavior through roleplay?".


QUOTE (Neurosis @ Sep 19 2010, 03:54 PM) *
What is your point here? That you hate acting and it should never be part of roleplaying, or that you hate roleplaying and it should never be part of a roleplaying game? I don't want to put words in your mouth but I'm having trouble seeing a different interpretation for this.

Ok, I'll dig out the quote. “Blank face is fine.....The art of acting is not to act. Once you show them more,what you show them,in fact is bad acting.” - Anthony Hopkins, I want to say this is from an interview on the Red Dragon DVD, and if it isn't he said close to the same effect there...or maybe it's the Hearts in Atlantis DVD but I don't think so

The expressions on the actor's face makes full sense only because of the context it is in, what else is happening around and to the character, otherwise the facial and body language are just signals for basic emotions (or a blank slate that we scribble in what we want). Where you pulled my quote from was describing a situation where that wasn't happening, context wasn't being given.

Now I don't hate improv ((EDIT: quite the opposite, I like getting my Robin Williams on from time to time, generally enjoy when people bring their character to life with a little thespian magic)). What I greatly dislike is:
1) limiting people to having to talk, and act in the first person always rather than giving an equal nod to using [in some cases better suited] 3rd person exposition
2) the assumption that dice can't be involved with, naturally (or by definition) aren't a part in anything involving 'roleplay'
3) that idea that someone improving, or describing to me the character's actions and words by itself actually proves anything to me about the core of the character
QUOTE
I am unclear how this is a secret at any table. The GM should be aware of the player's backstory, contacts, negative qualities, and get a lot of the rest of player-specific plot from roleplaying cues.

Yet that actually isn't the full of it! You'd hope that'd be enough to narrow in on what the player wants the character to be challenged on, and therefore what aspect of the character to be defined and emphasized. But it isn't actually the case. *shrug* You can find something to challenge them on but that doesn't mean it was what the player actually wanted....and if you wait for a few or more sessions in for the encoded "roleplayed" message well shite, you've wasted time and might just have to retool the operation. If the other players also happened to be expecting other highly divergent challenges? Oy vey!
Neurosis
(While GMing Shadowrun) I cannot recall a time when I ever told my player that they could not do anything because it was not right for their character. I have never had a player take an action that was a total nonsense curveball that was completely out of character. Perhaps am I just fortunate. I know that character arcs are good and I don't want all characters to be static, but the compassionate Dog shaman kind of always had a heart of gold, the selfless amoral bitch of a hacker was always a selfish amoral bitch, and the buffoonish more-muscle-than-brains street-samurai was always comic relief. I'm not saying that none of these characters changed or had an arc. But I am saying that none of these players ever proposed a course of action for their character that made me go "no no no no" or "what now?".


(Telling players to reconsider a certain course of action because it will GET THEM KILLED and their character would KNOW BETTER is a different issue.)
Dwight
QUOTE (Neurosis @ Sep 19 2010, 04:45 PM) *
(Telling players to reconsider a certain course of action because it will GET THEM KILLED and their character would KNOW BETTER is a different issue.)

Agreed.

The only time I've seen anyone really come close to "breaking character" with the character personality was when the player was blatantly using the character as a proxy for attacking another player. That, and calling a stop to things at that point, I suggest is also a different ball of messed up wax. Oh, and "roleplaying" and rationalizations for what they were doing aren't going to cut it.

So I suspect it isn't that you are overly fortunate, it's just a rare, nigh mythical situation.


EDIT: Now trying to break rank with the game stats of the character, such as the Wisdom 3, Int 3 Genius Syndrome, well that's hardly mythical.
Mesh
QUOTE (Dwight @ Sep 19 2010, 03:08 AM) *
Or do you mean you are trying to ensure "success" of attaining the goal, without the risk? Which, you know, makes attaining the goal pretty damn hollow....unless your actual goal is to manipulate your [friend?] rather than play the game you suppository agreed to play, or to just show up and run through a pre-written script.


LOL, suppository. I hope that wasn't a Freudian slip.

Mesh
Dwight
QUOTE (Mesh @ Sep 19 2010, 05:05 PM) *
LOL, suppository. I hope that wasn't a Freudian slip.

Mesh

LOL, the Chrome browser is such a comedian. smile.gif I probably hit the spelling correction without reading closely.
Mooncrow
QUOTE (Dwight @ Sep 19 2010, 07:00 PM) *
Agreed.

The only time I've seen anyone really come close to "breaking character" with the character personality was when the player was blatantly using the character as a proxy for attacking another player. That, and calling a stop to things at that point, I suggest is also a different ball of messed up wax. Oh, and "roleplaying" and rationalizations for what they were doing aren't going to cut it.

So I suspect it isn't that you are overly fortunate, it's just a rare, nigh mythical situation.


EDIT: Now trying to break rank with the game stats of the character, such as the Wisdom 3, Int 3 Genius Syndrome, well that's hardly mythical.


Eh, I think you're just a little hung up on his use of the terms "roleplaying" and "improv". I had assumed he just meant "in-game reasoning"; not some soliloquy where the character explains his reasons.

Now, I have had players who wanted to change their character's personality. One in particular was a little tired of being the "naive guy" and asked me to work in something so he could be a little more cynical and jaded. Enter "orphanage he was helping out being a front for MCT cyborg experiments" nyahnyah.gif It wasn't a good guy to bad guy scenario, but it was a major enough change that it needed some in-game stuff to support it.
Neurosis
QUOTE
EDIT: Now trying to break rank with the game stats of the character, such as the Wisdom 3, Int 3 Genius Syndrome, well that's hardly mythical.


Actually, the most often that I do tell a player "no you fucking can't" is the aforementioned dumb samurai, who sometimes wants to do things so comedically dumb that I have to question...if you are really that dumb, how would you have survived that long? In other words, a player playing BELOW his Logic.

Anyway, Dwight you snuck some edits in on me. Here goes:

QUOTE
The expressions on the actor's face makes full sense only because of the context it is in, what else is happening around and to the character, otherwise the facial and body language are just signals for basic emotions (or a blank slate that we scribble in what we want). Where you pulled my quote from was describing a situation where that wasn't happening, context wasn't being given.

Now I don't hate improv ((EDIT: quite the opposite, I like getting my Robin Williams on from time to time, generally enjoy when people bring their character to life with a little thespian magic)). What I greatly dislike is:
1) limiting people to having to talk, and act in the first person always rather than giving an equal nod to using [in some cases better suited] 3rd person exposition
2) the assumption that dice can't be involved with, naturally (or by definition) aren't a part in anything involving 'roleplay'
3) that idea that someone improving, or describing to me the character's actions and words by itself actually proves anything to me about the core of the character


Well now we're getitng into your preferences.

1) I don't think that first-person character embodiment is the only way to do it, but it is the mode that everyone at my table naturally slips into when PCing. PCing is "I", and GMing is "He/she". But not everyone has to do it that way.
2) Obviously dice are involved n Shadowrun. No one has argued this anywhere, have they?
3) Of course it can, if done well. This is the way in which movies and many books work. You've never heard of the showing not telling principal of writing?

QUOTE
Yet that actually isn't the full of it! You'd hope that'd be enough to narrow in on what the player wants the character to be challenged on, and therefore what aspect of the character to be defined and emphasized. But it isn't actually the case. *shrug* You can find something to challenge them on but that doesn't mean it was what the player actually wanted....and if you wait for a few or more sessions in for the encoded "roleplayed" message well shite, you've wasted time and might just have to retool the operation. If the other players also happened to be expecting other highly divergent challenges? Oy vey!


I like to think that I haven't done anything to discourage my players from coming out and telling me what direction they want their characters to go in, dramatically. Of course, from the fact that I don't recall any of them directly telling me "I want my character to do/be x", I also like to think that I am correctly interpreting that kind of thing through their roleplaying.
Dwight
QUOTE (Neurosis @ Sep 19 2010, 06:29 PM) *
Actually, the most often that I do tell a player "no you fucking can't" is the aforementioned dumb samurai, who sometimes wants to do things so comedically dumb that I have to question...if you are really that dumb, how would you have survived that long? In other words, a player playing BELOW his Logic.

To be clear it drives me up the wall but I don't say "no you fucking can't", either. "Roll to attempt to do that" however can certainly happen. Although I tend to give a fair amount of leeway, and try to use systems where the die roll is the expected norm, the system has proper mechanics in place to support it, and I'm not inventing stuff to do this (to avoid the problem Rand ran into) and systems that themselves inherently encourage the player to keep their character in form rather than me running around playing parent.
QUOTE
1) I don't think that first-person character embodiment is the only way to do it, but it is the mode that everyone at my table naturally slips into when PCing. PCing is "I", and GMing is "He/she". But not everyone has to do it that way.

Ok, I just got a different impression from this phrase "if you really aren't able to see into the inner feelings of a character". We are clear on this, then.
QUOTE
2) Obviously dice are involved n Shadowrun. No one has argued this anywhere, have they?

In this thread? I can't say so off hand, I suspect not. I included this item for completeness. But outside this thread? Well I rather not try count the times I've been heard some variation of "dice are for rollplaying not roleplaying" or "put away the dice, this is the roleplaying part". :/
QUOTE
3) Of course it can, if done well. This is the way in which movies and many books work. You've never heard of the showing not telling principal of writing?

Until you are putting the character and/or the things they (you) value on the line, or you've made a hard [informed] choice that demonstrates the core of the character, or until you've shown mechanically that the character can pull something off you've proven jackshit to me. That's the showing, not telling. The window dressing of words and mummery are nice touches, to really close the deal and give a satisfying veneer to the fiction. But when risk and choice and dice talk, the bullshit walks (after helping with the occasional die bonus because carrots are nice wink.gif ).
Dwight
Oh, this.
QUOTE (Neurosis @ Sep 19 2010, 06:29 PM) *
I like to think that I haven't done anything to discourage my players from coming out and telling me what direction they want their characters to go in, dramatically. Of course, from the fact that I don't recall any of them directly telling me "I want my character to do/be x", I also like to think that I am correctly interpreting that kind of thing through their roleplaying.

You know, until I started asking very explicitly and getting explicit answers I didn't get people offering up the info either. But the difference made by better matching the challenges the players are really looking has been stunning. I'm convinced the players were never really even thinking of what they wanted, they were more like your post. "Well that's the GM's job, right? Not my problem."
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