Mod+ Sandbox Discussion & Resource Thread II

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robertsconley

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I wouldn't stand behind any blanket statement like "sessions without dice rolls are the best", but I get the sentiment, as being able to go through a session without any rolls demarks a point where the players are that comfortable and invested in role-playing their characters that discorse is enough to carry the game.
Play a LARP. Just saying if one wants to avoid die rolls. :wink:
 
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robertsconley

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Yeah, I get the sentiment. And it was more that they were discussing comments they tend to find online where folks say something like "oh that was the best RPG session the other night, we didn't even roll the dice once". John Wick then offered the idea that roleplaying is actually what happens in between the rules....or in between rolls. And again, I get the sentiment.....but I just come up short of agreeing because I think dice rolls (or the equivalent) are an integral part of the game.
My sentiment is to do whatever is best based on the interest of the group and the circumstances of the situation. Sometime that means dice rolls, sometimes a lot of dice rolls, just roleplaying, or something in between.

I talked about how I defined RPG and as a result one of my views is that the player describing what they do as their character and the referee adjudicating and describing the result is a fundamental part of how make a roleplaying game, a roleplaying game. But what isn't fundamental is how that process of adjudication and description (player and referee) comes about. That part should be tailored to taste and circumstances.

So anybody who say "It best if X occurs" I consider it a preference even if it said or written with the sense it should always apply for most people.
 

TristramEvans

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Play a LARP. Just saying if one wants to avoid die rolls. :wink:


I do play a LARP, I just do it sitting on a couch instead of prancing through a park and without wearing a silly costume. And we use dice instead of paper-rock-scissors ;)
 

Baulderstone

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Yeah, I listened to the rest and it was a pretty interesting discussion. I found their views on things to be well rounded, all in all. Fail forward was something I wasn't sure would have been so embraced, but it was. Same with the idea of players establishing facts in the game.
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I thought they had very nuanced opinions on the topic. Wick was unsurprisingly the biggest proponent of letting players establish facts, but even he was definite on it not being a good idea for something like Call of Cthulhu. Their opinions went along with my general observation that successful game designers are generally less concerned with staking out ideological stances than using the mechanic that works in a particular situation.
I didn't agree with the general idea about the best roleplaying sessions involving no dice rolls. I mean, I agree that you hear that a lot, but I don't know if I consider that the best sessions. I do like fewer rolls so that each roll carries more weight; when paced properly, a roll of the dice to me IS what the game is about.....a good roll and things go one way, a bad roll and they go quite another.
In my experience, sessions without dice rolls are more likely to be very good ones (and most of them have been Call of Cthulhu sessions). At the same time, they are the kind of magic you can't force. Deciding at the beginning of a session that you aren't going to roll any dice isn't going to guarantee you an great session. It's always the kind of thing I don't notice until a session is wrapping up.

I agreed completely with Sandy's thoughts on dice rolling when it comes to characters bargaining. That's pretty much my approach.
But other than that quibble, it was a good discussion. I like the series of talks Questing Beast is doing.
Yes, it's a great format. Milton is a good host. He has his own solid opinions to offer, but gives his guests plenty of time to talk. He's also good at disagreeing with people without being antagonistic. I hope he keeps it up.
 

robiswrong

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Yeah, I get the sentiment. And it was more that they were discussing comments they tend to find online where folks say something like "oh that was the best RPG session the other night, we didn't even roll the dice once". John Wick then offered the idea that roleplaying is actually what happens in between the rules....or in between rolls. And again, I get the sentiment.....but I just come up short of agreeing because I think dice rolls (or the equivalent) are an integral part of the game.
I think it makes sense.

That's not saying the dice rolls are unimportant... but really roleplaying is all about the decisions. The dice rolls are just the mechanics that tell you the results of the decisions.
 

hawkeyefan

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I think it makes sense.

That's not saying the dice rolls are unimportant... but really roleplaying is all about the decisions. The dice rolls are just the mechanics that tell you the results of the decisions.

Oh, I agree that decisions are important. But I think I like when what those decisions mean.....how things go based on those decisions....is equally important. And when you say "the dice rolls are just the mechanics that tell you the results of the decisions" then it kind of seems that a session with no dice rolls would indicate that no decisions of importance were made, or that the results of those decisions were decided in some other way.

And that's what sets my inner agency advocate to twitchy.

If I'm a GM, I don't want my judgment to be the sole factor on deciding the outcomes of decisions. If I'm a player, I want to know that the GM isn't steering things in some specific direction.

I say all that knowing that a session without a dice roll may be great and may not actually be "guilty" of anything I'm talking about here.....but it's something I've become aware of.
 

BedrockBrendan

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Oh, I agree that decisions are important. But I think I like when what those decisions mean.....how things go based on those decisions....is equally important. And when you say "the dice rolls are just the mechanics that tell you the results of the decisions" then it kind of seems that a session with no dice rolls would indicate that no decisions of importance were made, or that the results of those decisions were decided in some other way.

And that's what sets my inner agency advocate to twitchy.

If I'm a GM, I don't want my judgment to be the sole factor on deciding the outcomes of decisions. If I'm a player, I want to know that the GM isn't steering things in some specific direction.

I say all that knowing that a session without a dice roll may be great and may not actually be "guilty" of anything I'm talking about here.....but it's something I've become aware of.

Keep in mind they are not talking about people all agreeing to roll no dice, and they are not talking about just any session, they are talking about those sessions where everyone at the table feels great about what just happens and someone realizes "hey we didn't roll a single die". I am sure why that arises is going to vary a lot from table to table. In some groups, it may in fact be because the GM was steering things in a direction and the group was okay with that (which isn't a problem if people are all on the same page). But given it is a sandbox discussion, and sandbox campaigns tend to be very anti-railroad, anti-GM forcing things/steering things. I think it is more likely to be referring to sessions where there was simply a lot of talking in character and no need for dice rolls (which again is a style and system thing that can vary, but there are definitely tables where this can happen and everyone can be happy with it).
 

BedrockBrendan

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I didn't agree with the general idea about the best roleplaying sessions involving no dice rolls. I mean, I agree that you hear that a lot, but I don't know if I consider that the best sessions. I do like fewer rolls so that each roll carries more weight; when paced properly, a roll of the dice to me IS what the game is about.....a good roll and things go one way, a bad roll and they go quite another.

I actually kind of agree with you in that I think whether or not dice were rolled, isn't an indication of whether something was a great session, and the best sessions certainly don't have to be ones where dice weren't rolled (one of my favorite sessions was when I got killed by a Stirge literally first attack of first encounter of the first ten minutes of play----because it was funny and unexpected, and that hinged on a dice being rolled). I do agree with the sentiment behind what they expressed (there is a kind of session that is great where you realize dice weren't rolled and something magic happened: I just think if I am going to be pedantic about it, that really doesn't make a good metric: there are all kinds of 'best sessions').
 

BedrockBrendan

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I wouldn't stand behind any blanket statement like "sessions without dice rolls are the best", but I get the sentiment, as being able to go through a session without any rolls demarks a point where the players are that comfortable and invested in role-playing their characters that discorse is enough to carry the game.

This was my sense of things as well
 

BedrockBrendan

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I was kind of amazed that Sandy didn't know what sandbox meant. Hysterical. Once they explained, he was like "oh yeah, that's how I always run a game" but the term itself was one he only associated with video games.

That actually didn't surprise me at all. I don't think designers from that era are nearly as invested in the terminology of forums as people who post on them regularly. And I think that was a time when there wasn't as much rigidity around style lines (which I think you see in the discussion). I have to say too, I thought it was very endearing that he was so honest about not knowing what the term meant. I think a lot of designers would have pretended to know.

In a way too it kinds of reminds me how a lot of our terminology is written after the fact to describe what people were doing, but often the people were are referring to weren't even thinking in those terms. Sort of how a lot of music theory was created after the fact to describe what baroque or classical composers were doing. There is something to be said for not having your work influenced by the concepts themselves (i.e. Cthulhu always struck me as being very open and free in its approach, but maybe it wouldn't have been as great a game if he were focused on concepts like this in his design).
 

robertsconley

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I think it makes sense.

The dice rolls are just the mechanics that tell you the results of the decisions.
Not all results only those that are uncertain with a chance of success. Or some results are a spectrum and the mechanics tell where on that line the PC efforts fell.
 

CRKrueger

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Oh, I agree that decisions are important. But I think I like when what those decisions mean.....how things go based on those decisions....is equally important. And when you say "the dice rolls are just the mechanics that tell you the results of the decisions" then it kind of seems that a session with no dice rolls would indicate that no decisions of importance were made, or that the results of those decisions were decided in some other way.

And that's what sets my inner agency advocate to twitchy.

If I'm a GM, I don't want my judgment to be the sole factor on deciding the outcomes of decisions. If I'm a player, I want to know that the GM isn't steering things in some specific direction.

I say all that knowing that a session without a dice roll may be great and may not actually be "guilty" of anything I'm talking about here.....but it's something I've become aware of.
I am Jack's utter Lack of Surprise. :devil:
 

ffilz

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I think the occasional session that is awesome but had no dice rolls is great. The problem I saw was that at some point, folks took this and thought that it would be great to have as few rolls as possible over all. And the roll playing v.s. role playing false dichotomy was born. The problem is the almost no rolls means you are relying on something else to decide the path of the campaign, and it seemed like that was heading towards telling the GM's story. Along in there was the Forge "system matters" which while not everyone likes much about the Forge, "system matters" is a good idea. And then the OSR movement started and folks who had never played the early games and people who had left them behind picked them up and gave them new life and spawned lots of new stuff. And Sandbox play started to be promoted and explored. And guess what, sometimes in a Sandbox, a session can occur that doesn't need any dice rolls. But I would argue that if that starts to happen most of the time, you should examine your system and determine if you really want no randomness. Are you not making any rolls because your game system is basically a combat system and the campaign has evolved into the social arena? Maybe you want mechanics that can be engaged in such an arena (and it need not be a "social combat" system). Or maybe your group is all comfortable with social gymnastics and eager to play to their character's social position and free form with no dice rolls actually is working great. Fine, but at least you stopped and checked in.
 

Stevethulhu

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I think the occasional session that is awesome but had no dice rolls is great. The problem I saw was that at some point, folks took this and thought that it would be great to have as few rolls as possible over all. And the roll playing v.s. role playing false dichotomy was born. The problem is the almost no rolls means you are relying on something else to decide the path of the campaign, and it seemed like that was heading towards telling the GM's story. Along in there was the Forge "system matters" which while not everyone likes much about the Forge, "system matters" is a good idea. And then the OSR movement started and folks who had never played the early games and people who had left them behind picked them up and gave them new life and spawned lots of new stuff. And Sandbox play started to be promoted and explored. And guess what, sometimes in a Sandbox, a session can occur that doesn't need any dice rolls. But I would argue that if that starts to happen most of the time, you should examine your system and determine if you really want no randomness. Are you not making any rolls because your game system is basically a combat system and the campaign has evolved into the social arena? Maybe you want mechanics that can be engaged in such an arena (and it need not be a "social combat" system). Or maybe your group is all comfortable with social gymnastics and eager to play to their character's social position and free form with no dice rolls actually is working great. Fine, but at least you stopped and checked in.
Roll v Role playing goes back to the mid 80s at least. And it seemed a well established thing in letters pages from magazines as diverse as Dragon, White Dwarf and Imagine. Then continued into the pages of Arcane and Valkirie. And finally went online.

For as long as I've been aware of secondary media around around RPGs, there has been this split.

Oddly, the people supporting Role over Roll often claim the moral high ground. While those who like to Roll just get on and play their games.
 

Fenris-77

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I would categorically reject the high ground argument. These are games we all play for whatever reasons, and doing it for shits and giggles is a perfectly fine reason for play, in fact possibly the best reason. There's no pure way, just some wankers who want to feel fancy about their pretend elves.
 

ffilz

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Roll v Role playing goes back to the mid 80s at least. And it seemed a well established thing in letters pages from magazines as diverse as Dragon, White Dwarf and Imagine. Then continued into the pages of Arcane and Valkirie. And finally went online.

For as long as I've been aware of secondary media around around RPGs, there has been this split.

Oddly, the people supporting Role over Roll often claim the moral high ground. While those who like to Roll just get on and play their games.
Oh, yea, the roll v.s. role goes back into the early 1980s or even earlier, but the particular expression of it I didn't see until the 90s. That may have been in part because the gaming communities I was involved in during the 80s (engineering university environments) were more focused on just playing the games and enjoying the role playing that went hand in hand with all the rolling.
 

hawkeyefan

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Keep in mind they are not talking about people all agreeing to roll no dice, and they are not talking about just any session, they are talking about those sessions where everyone at the table feels great about what just happens and someone realizes "hey we didn't roll a single die". I am sure why that arises is going to vary a lot from table to table. In some groups, it may in fact be because the GM was steering things in a direction and the group was okay with that (which isn't a problem if people are all on the same page). But given it is a sandbox discussion, and sandbox campaigns tend to be very anti-railroad, anti-GM forcing things/steering things. I think it is more likely to be referring to sessions where there was simply a lot of talking in character and no need for dice rolls (which again is a style and system thing that can vary, but there are definitely tables where this can happen and everyone can be happy with it).

Yeah, I agree. I think a lot of it is about expectation and preference, and if a group who plays a session without any rolls made says "wow that was great" I'm not gonna say "but was it really?" I believe them.

My preference is just a bit different. I agree that sandbox games are meant to be more open and to allow for more agency on the part of the players in deciding what happens and where things go and what they get up to.

Where I think a sandbox can be susceptible to GM steering things is just through everything being filtered through that one lens. From what I've seen, many GMs tend to develop their patterns and their preferences and their kind of view on what's plausible and what "makes sense" in the game world. And while I think that is at least partially a good thing, I don't prefer that to be the sole factor in determining the outcome of player decisions, or in determining how the world reacts to the PCs.

I think the dice can help prevent that. I think they also can give the players a clearer idea of odds and chance and similar considerations. And I think giving the players a bit more say in how things go fits perfectly with the idea of a sandbox.

I actually kind of agree with you in that I think whether or not dice were rolled, isn't an indication of whether something was a great session, and the best sessions certainly don't have to be ones where dice weren't rolled (one of my favorite sessions was when I got killed by a Stirge literally first attack of first encounter of the first ten minutes of play----because it was funny and unexpected, and that hinged on a dice being rolled). I do agree with the sentiment behind what they expressed (there is a kind of session that is great where you realize dice weren't rolled and something magic happened: I just think if I am going to be pedantic about it, that really doesn't make a good metric: there are all kinds of 'best sessions').

Yeah, for sure. I've had sessions where there were few or even no dice rolls and they were sessions I really enjoyed. I may have even described them with a similar sentiment "it was so much fun and we didn't even roll". But as you say, there can be many reasons that a session is enjoyable or exciting or thrilling, and the number of rolls may or may not have anything to do with it.

So I think I was just pushing back on the idea of the rolls as being separate from the roleplaying the way John Wick described.
 

robiswrong

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Not all results only those that are uncertain with a chance of success. Or some results are a spectrum and the mechanics tell where on that line the PC efforts fell.
Yeah, I was simplifying to not get overly pedantic, but you're correct.

My point is that roleplaying is, literally, by definition, "making decisions as if you were in that situation or role" - like even the term that existed before RPGs. So the roleplaying is all of that decision making process... resolving that isn't roleplaying, it's mechanics, whether that's dice and tables or GM fiat.

It's not a statement that rolling dice is a "roleplaying vs rollplaying" thing. That resolution still has to happen in some way, and if you've noticed I'm actually in favor of dice and other mechanical processes to help resolve social situations. But since the resolution process doesn't involve decision making (mostly/for the most part, there are some exceptions), then it's not, strictly speaking, roleplaying.
 

Stevethulhu

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Yeah, I was simplifying to not get overly pedantic, but you're correct.

My point is that roleplaying is, literally, by definition, "making decisions as if you were in that situation or role" - like even the term that existed before RPGs. So the roleplaying is all of that decision making process... resolving that isn't roleplaying, it's mechanics, whether that's dice and tables or GM fiat.

It's not a statement that rolling dice is a "roleplaying vs rollplaying" thing. That resolution still has to happen in some way, and if you've noticed I'm actually in favor of dice and other mechanical processes to help resolve social situations. But since the resolution process doesn't involve decision making (mostly/for the most part, there are some exceptions), then it's not, strictly speaking, roleplaying.
The problem with going outside RPGs for definitions is, you need to also look at uses. Then you start to wonder if RPGs actually involve roleplaying at all.

Then, you have this weird epiphany that there's three words in the name of this weird and wonderful hobby of ours. And with it comes the realisation that a lot of perceived problems come from emphasising one over the others. Put all three words on an equal footing and you can do the impossible. Like have different personality types and approaches to the game at hand all sat round the same table.

/sarcasm
 

robiswrong

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Then, you have this weird epiphany that there's three words in the name of this weird and wonderful hobby of ours. And with it comes the realisation that a lot of perceived problems come from emphasising one over the others. Put all three words on an equal footing and you can do the impossible. Like have different personality types and approaches to the game at hand all sat round the same table.

/sarcasm
I'm pretty sure I didn't say that couldn't happen? Or was that the sarcasm?
 

Stevethulhu

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I'm pretty sure I didn't say that couldn't happen? Or was that the sarcasm?
Well spotted.

I do think the whole Roll/Role split is because of emphasising one word over another, though. we play a role, a character. But we play it in a game. It's the Stormwind Fallacy, really. Only instead of played well or optimised, it's played in character or rolling dice.

Except it doesn't have to be one or the other. It can be both.
 

Tulpa Girl

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Well spotted.

I do think the whole Roll/Role split is because of emphasising one word over another, though. we play a role, a character. But we play it in a game. It's the Stormwind Fallacy, really. Only instead of played well or optimised, it's played in character or rolling dice.

Except it doesn't have to be one or the other. It can be both.
Besides the inherent fallacy to it, one of the things that annoys me about 'roleplay vs rollplay' and the people who use it unironically in an argument is that they seem to think that it's actually some sort of clever witticism, despite the fact that the expression - as you and ffilz ffilz have noted - is some four decades or so old at this point. It may have been a clever bit of wordplay at one point, but if so that point was literally last century.

Seriously, do these same people still say "Sit on it!" thinking it's a clever retort? If the intention is to prove your superior ability as a gamer, then having to resort to a dead horse that has at this point been beaten down into its individual molecules is not the best way to display it.
 

robiswrong

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Well spotted.

I do think the whole Roll/Role split is because of emphasising one word over another, though. we play a role, a character. But we play it in a game. It's the Stormwind Fallacy, really. Only instead of played well or optimised, it's played in character or rolling dice.

Except it doesn't have to be one or the other. It can be both.
I agree with that. That wasn't my point at all.

What I was trying to say is that when you're playing your character, you're doing that. When you're working through a mechanical resolution system, you're not "playing your character".

That's not a roleplay/rollplay argument, because fuck that. Again, note that I'm in favor of using mechanics in social situations, sooo.....

It's all roleplaying in terms of being "things you do while playing a roleplaying game". No divisons or false dichotomies intended.
 

Stevethulhu

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I agree with that. That wasn't my point at all.

What I was trying to say is that when you're playing your character, you're doing that. When you're working through a mechanical resolution system, you're not "playing your character".

That's not a roleplay/rollplay argument, because fuck that. Again, note that I'm in favor of using mechanics in social situations, sooo.....

It's all roleplaying in terms of being "things you do while playing a roleplaying game". No divisons or false dichotomies intended.
I'm not so sure about that. To my way of thinking, working through mechanical resolutions is playing the system aspect of your character.

It's like, if the game mechanics are your operating system, the character is your interface with the game. So by using the mechanics, you're using the part of your character that is embedded in the part of a roleplaying game that is tangible and usually mathematical.
 

Baulderstone

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I agree with that. That wasn't my point at all.

What I was trying to say is that when you're playing your character, you're doing that. When you're working through a mechanical resolution system, you're not "playing your character".
I don't agree with that. Yes, there are times when fiddly mechanics can get in the way of roleplaying, but using mechanics is one of the most important ways to express your character. I can roleplay my hatred of the Duke at a banquet all evening, but when I make a Slight of Hand roll to poison his drink, now I am really showing my personality.
 
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Stevethulhu

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I don't agree with that. Yes, there are times when fiddly mechanics can get in the way of roleplaying, but using mechanics is one of the most important ways to express your character. I can roleplay my hatred of the Duke at a banquet all evening, but when I make a Slight of Hand roll to poison his drink, now I am really showing my personality.
Character Through Action is one of the most important things I can think of in action movies. Amd in RPGs, the same is true.

Which means sometimes, you express the personality of your PC by rolling dice.
 

robiswrong

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I don't agree with that. Yes, there are times when fiddly mechanics can get in the way of roleplaying, but using mechanics is one of the most important ways to express your character. I can roleplay my hatred of the Duke at a banquet all evening, but when I make a Slight of Hand roll to poison his drink, now I am really showing my personality.
So, that doesn't disagree with what I'm trying to communicate.

You're making the decision to poison his drink. That is 100% roleplaying.

Rolling the dice, looking up modifiers, looking up the result of the poison.... that's working through the mechanical process of determining the result.

What I am not saying here, is that if you're engaging in things that have a mechanical component you're not roleplaying. I'm going a bit more fine-grained than that, and I'm really saying what I think is an interpretation of "roleplaying is what happens between rolling the dice."

Again, I 100% think that mechanics can absolutely be part of "roleplaying" stuff.

I'm not so sure about that. To my way of thinking, working through mechanical resolutions is playing the system aspect of your character.

It's like, if the game mechanics are your operating system, the character is your interface with the game. So by using the mechanics, you're using the part of your character that is embedded in the part of a roleplaying game that is tangible and usually mathematical.
So, let's reframe this a bit? Using the interface is roleplaying. The machinery behind that interface is just the machinery. It could be black box for all the character cares.

Character Through Action is one of the most important things I can think of in action movies. Amd in RPGs, the same is true.

Which means sometimes, you express the personality of your PC by rolling dice.
I'm pretty sure I see the disconnect here, because I 100% agree about character-through-action.

What I'm not saying is that "decisions that result in mechanical systems getting employed aren't roleplaying". What I was doing was trying to give an explanation for "roleplaying is what happens between dice rolls."

Deciding to hit the goblin with a sword is absolutely roleplaying - you're making a decision as a character. That is absolutely an incredibly strong in-character choice. 100%. Decision-making, especially with stuff on the line, is 100% all about character and roleplaying.

Rolling to hit and damage, looking up hit locations, etc., isn't "roleplaying". It's working through the mechanical system to determine the result of the choice you made in-character. While you're doing that math, looking up, etc., you're not really in the character head space. When it's your turn again, and you decide what to do, you're once again making decisions as your character.

Again, I'm more trying to interpret someone else's statement (roleplaying is what happens between dice rolls). In actual talking with people, I probably wouldn't go that pedantic. But I do think it's useful, because it separates out the decision-making bit from the mechanical resolution bits, which I think is super helpful. But usually when I talk about that split I talk about stuff like "focus on the decisions the players/characters make, more than the systems used to resolve those decisions."
 

Baulderstone

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So, that doesn't disagree with what I'm trying to communicate.

You're making the decision to poison his drink. That is 100% roleplaying.

Rolling the dice, looking up modifiers, looking up the result of the poison.... that's working through the mechanical process of determining the result.

What I am not saying here, is that if you're engaging in things that have a mechanical component you're not roleplaying. I'm going a bit more fine-grained than that, and I'm really saying what I think is an interpretation of "roleplaying is what happens between rolling the dice."

Again, I 100% think that mechanics can absolutely be part of "roleplaying" stuff.
That's not how it feels when I play a game. That moment when I roll the dice, with the potential to either set up the death of an enemy or to get caught in an attempt to murder, is going to help create the tension in me that my character is feeling. That dice roll might be the most emotionally powerful moment of the session. If getting drawn-in emotionally to what my character is feeling isn't roleplaying, I don't know what it is.
 

TristramEvans

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That's not how it feels when I play a game. That moment when I roll the dice, with the potential to either set up the death of an enemy or to get caught in an attempt to murder, is going to help create the tension in me that my character is feeling. That dice roll might be the most emotionally powerful moment of the session. If getting drawn-in emotionally to what my character is feeling isn't roleplaying, I don't know what it is.

That, for me, represents a diagetic mechanic.
 

Stevethulhu

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So, that doesn't disagree with what I'm trying to communicate.

You're making the decision to poison his drink. That is 100% roleplaying.

Rolling the dice, looking up modifiers, looking up the result of the poison.... that's working through the mechanical process of determining the result.

What I am not saying here, is that if you're engaging in things that have a mechanical component you're not roleplaying. I'm going a bit more fine-grained than that, and I'm really saying what I think is an interpretation of "roleplaying is what happens between rolling the dice."

Again, I 100% think that mechanics can absolutely be part of "roleplaying" stuff.


So, let's reframe this a bit? Using the interface is roleplaying. The machinery behind that interface is just the machinery. It could be black box for all the character cares.


I'm pretty sure I see the disconnect here, because I 100% agree about character-through-action.

What I'm not saying is that "decisions that result in mechanical systems getting employed aren't roleplaying". What I was doing was trying to give an explanation for "roleplaying is what happens between dice rolls."

Deciding to hit the goblin with a sword is absolutely roleplaying - you're making a decision as a character. That is absolutely an incredibly strong in-character choice. 100%. Decision-making, especially with stuff on the line, is 100% all about character and roleplaying.

Rolling to hit and damage, looking up hit locations, etc., isn't "roleplaying". It's working through the mechanical system to determine the result of the choice you made in-character. While you're doing that math, looking up, etc., you're not really in the character head space. When it's your turn again, and you decide what to do, you're once again making decisions as your character.

Again, I'm more trying to interpret someone else's statement (roleplaying is what happens between dice rolls). In actual talking with people, I probably wouldn't go that pedantic. But I do think it's useful, because it separates out the decision-making bit from the mechanical resolution bits, which I think is super helpful. But usually when I talk about that split I talk about stuff like "focus on the decisions the players/characters make, more than the systems used to resolve those decisions."
I guess I take a more holistic view of things.
 

xanther

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Keep in mind they are not talking about people all agreeing to roll no dice, and they are not talking about just any session, they are talking about those sessions where everyone at the table feels great about what just happens and someone realizes "hey we didn't roll a single die". I am sure why that arises is going to vary a lot from table to table. ....
We've had plenty of such sessions where the players spend there time leveling up (which in my games involves spending XP, making skill, save improvement and other fun choices), buying gear, commissioning gear, doing their social thing, planning their next adventure, training animals (more fun choices), etc.
My players love numbers it seems when they are deciding how to spend...all about providing them with tough choices, in that what is behind doors 1, 2 an 3 are all good but you can only afford what is behind two of the doors.

Otherwise we like to roll dice....
 

TristramEvans

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We've had plenty of such sessions where the players spend there time leveling up (which in my games involves spending XP, making skill, save improvement and other fun choices), buying gear, commissioning gear, doing their social thing, planning their next adventure, training animals (more fun choices), etc.
My players love numbers it seems when they are deciding how to spend...all about providing them with tough choices, in that what is behind doors 1, 2 an 3 are all good but you can only afford what is behind two of the doors.

Otherwise we like to roll dice....

That's uh, more out of game book-keeping than roleplaying
 

Mankcam

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This was posted on the 'How To Be A Great GM' channel, discussing some interesting tips for running a free form adventures which feels 'sandbox' in spirit
I thought this may be of interest to this thread :thumbsup:

 
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