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Old 06-15-2013, 09:31 PM   #1
dark acacia
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Roleplaying to stats?

Is it always a good idea to stick to your character's stats when roleplaying? I always thought so and have done my best to keep this policy, but over the years I've found that playing a character with deficiencies in certain stats don't always make characters endearing enough for others to want to associate with regularly. This isn't intended to be a criticism of people who ignore some or all of their stats, and I don't intend to say that one way is better than the other.

From what I've seen, the most common deterrent based on stat score seems to be when a character has an intelligence score at either the really smart or really dumb ends of that spectrum. Obviously the big dumb axe-for-brains orc "ME SMASH THINGS GOODLY" type is a little trite, but there are other ways of playing a character who isn't too bright. I recently played a character with a low wisdom and reasoning score by having the character require having new or complicated things explained two or three times. This often frustrated others, occasionally to the point of open hostility, and once it was established that the character was the village idiot, the character slowly became a pariah.

Charisma seems to be the other stat which gets overlooked by some for the sake of getting along, or which a low charisma turns people off. Now, to be sure, a low charisma score is supposed to make a character less likeable (and in some games, a low or negative score will make NPCs attack). In a roleplay-enforced game, however, where interaction between players is key, is it at all wise to stick to roleplaying with a low charisma score? On one hand, a player may want to choose to play to stats, but on the other, being left out in the cold all the time while others are involved in the game's drama is no fun.

Strength, dexterity, and constitution are the common stats which usually do not seem to have any effect on roleplay if someone chooses to play to stats.
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:01 AM   #2
Juason
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Re: Roleplaying to stats?

Player stats can certainly add a level of depth to your roleplay. But good judgement is required so ensure it is a positive experience for everyone involved. There are other ways to roleplay having a low wisdom or intelligence, for example.

Lacking the insight to identify a challenge that is too difficult for you, which results in your foolish death during an invasion or quest. The first time this happens it speaks to your character - but keep doing it and it gets annoying.

Lacking the wisdom to use powerful magic items... safetly. This can be a handicap for you, but upon explaining why you just can't bring yourself to activate the energy blast wand or holy sword is unlikely to upset anyone, but it will make your gameplay experience different.

High intelligence can be roleplayed in various ways. From an extreme sense of morality, to overthinking and overanalyzing every situation (fits well with low wisdom), to trying to optimize every combat scenario. And low mentals can simply mean you act more like a kid and ask more questions than normal. Just tone it down so you don't annoy people.

I'd also argue that physical stats can have a substantial impact on your roleplay if you let them and if the games' mechanics support it. The weapon types you use, the messaging you use when moving, how often you get "sick" in game, how much you can drink, or sleep, etc. All tied to your physical stats and you can choose to bring up their effects on you in conversations.

Hope that gives you some ideas!
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:47 AM   #3
SnowTroll
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Re: Roleplaying to stats?

This is a question that's really kind of mud-specific, and doesn't really fit in a general mud forum. It invites people to say, "In my mud..." with no right answer, because in some muds, roleplaying your stats is absolutely required, in others it is optional, and in others, it's just plain not done.

Nonetheless, every stat -can- be roleplayed. Even the physical ones. Even "luck" or other oddball stats that some muds have. Your strength and dexterity are going to affect the adjectives you use when you describe your movement and how you carry yourself, as well as the activities you choose to undertake. But roleplaying in muds isn't about accurately portraying your character sheet anyway. It's about being interesting to other players, in a way that's fun for you. You'd never want to roleplay a "dumb" character in a way that was tedious and unfun to play, or in a way that aggravated other players. You're involved in a team sport (even with your in character "enemies"), where everybody works together to make the game as fun and entertaining as possible. You're not being a team player if you're making the game more tedious, aggravating, and less fun for others.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:08 PM   #4
dark acacia
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Re: Roleplaying to stats?

I wouldn't say that it's mud-specific. A lot of roleplay-required games have stats, and even if roleplaying to them was required, it's a difficult rule to enforce.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:08 PM   #5
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Re: Roleplaying to stats?

The general rule governs in any case. Not just for stats, but for everything. The objective is to be interesting, have fun, and do it in a way that's not stupid, tedious, or unfun for you and for the other players. Playing something commensurate with your stats kind of falls along the same line as playing something that lines up with anything else about your character. You annoy people and make the mud stupid and unfun if you roleplay a powerful behemoth who knows everything about everything when your strength and intelligence are pitiful and two seconds into a PvP or group PvE event, your character's underperformance is obvious. Just like you annoy the mud and make things stupid and unfun if your troll barbarian from the savage lands regularly attends and butts into the mage college's debates on magical theory because the player likes to win arguments and garner attention even though his character has no business having anything to do with that event.

You're supposed to roleplay in a way that lines up with your character's background, your character's skills, and your character's everything else. So why not stats? Unless you're playing in one of those muds where the grind and the arena are treated as something entirely separate from the chatty RP scene. They exist.
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