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I was going to have a column today titled "Roll for Seduction," about how social skills are blurred by also wanting to RP. I've had GMs say that by RPing the roll doesn't matter; only using the roll to augment the RP; or having the roll override the RP.

I ended up not finishing the write-up because there's no one solution--even within a single group.

How does your table handle social skill rolls in the context of RP?

@attercap The last group I was in (D&D 3.5) the DM was... frankly more permissive than he should've been. A high roll opened the doors of the kingdom to you, more or less, and almost literally. There's a system that Rich Burlew (of Order of the Stick) fame designed that I like (basically a deal system with modifiers based on risk/reward), but the site forums are down for maintenance right now so I can't link you (web.archive.org should work though). I want to try this in my next game.

@attercap I make them RP first, or at least describe their approach. Particularly good/bad ideas grant modifiers, but in the end it's the roll which counts.

@kensanata I see where you're coming from in that article, but I think not being able to lean on dice rolls for intelligence or social skills would lead to avatar play rather than character role-play. If players aren't forced to fully comprehend a science to play a scientist, why should they have to be charismatic to play a charismatic character?

@attercap Perhaps they should? It depends on the context of the game. Do the characters do science in the game? Die the players do science in their lives? When I’m a biologist at the table and somebody else plays a biologist badly, I might cringe – it might detract from the entertainment at the table. Or not! But when a player is not charismatic and plays a charismatic player, then that definitely detracts from my entertainment is all I can say – I love seeing charisma being used at the table.

@kensanata I suppose it comes down to the goal of the players/group. I like to play RPGs to explore unique situations and characters who I am not in real life. It doesn't break my immersion when I or others lean on the dice to cover for something they don't know or can't do in real life.

Similarly, when a GM creates an adventure puzzle that conflicts with my real-world experience I'll ask about it, but am OK adjusting my thoughts to "that's how it works in this game's universe."

@attercap Sometimes it's pretty fun to roll first and then roleplay the flub / success. But in Fate you have a lot of control over how you approach the social encounters so it works fine for us.

@ossifog That's a good way to do it. It's an approach I don't see groups use that often so I completely forgot about reversing the order.

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