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Tyndmyr
2011-09-08, 09:30 AM
Aright...I have a player/fellow DM that has a very biased view of...well, the world and roleplaying in general. Specifically, diplomacy is the ultimate of things. All other forms of play are inferior to talking to people. The rest of the party does not share this view, and while they don't mind spending a portion of the time talking, also routinely use violence or other tactics to solve problems.

Now, games with him tend to start out with extremely heavy investigation/talking regardless of system. After a boring session or three, one or more players(ok, essentially everyone) will eventually optimize for combat, and just kill everything annoying, from the inevitable backstabbing employer to every lawful evil monologuing villain. This'll continue for a while, with players one upping each other to punch out the world...then he gets bored with the campaign and abandons it. This is mostly a problem because I'm the default DM when nobody else is, and I like to get me some playing too.

When playing, he invariably plays a lawful evil type that pumps the hell out of diplomacy or the system equivalent, and talks until the remainder of the party gets bored and makes with the violence. Note that entire sessions have been spent talking...it's not pure hack and slash. He'll frequently make characters that are entirely worthless in combat while striving to be ideal at discussion.

How do I convince him that being combat focused is not inferior to talking, and get him to use...slightly more balance when DMing/playing?

Hanuman
2011-09-08, 09:45 AM
Aright...I have a player/fellow DM that has a very biased view of...well, the world and roleplaying in general. Specifically, diplomacy is the ultimate of things. All other forms of play are inferior to talking to people. The rest of the party does not share this view, and while they don't mind spending a portion of the time talking, also routinely use violence or other tactics to solve problems.

Now, games with him tend to start out with extremely heavy investigation/talking regardless of system. After a boring session or three, one or more players(ok, essentially everyone) will eventually optimize for combat, and just kill everything annoying, from the inevitable backstabbing employer to every lawful evil monologuing villain. This'll continue for a while, with players one upping each other to punch out the world...then he gets bored with the campaign and abandons it. This is mostly a problem because I'm the default DM when nobody else is, and I like to get me some playing too.

When playing, he invariably plays a lawful evil type that pumps the hell out of diplomacy or the system equivalent, and talks until the remainder of the party gets bored and makes with the violence. Note that entire sessions have been spent talking...it's not pure hack and slash. He'll frequently make characters that are entirely worthless in combat while striving to be ideal at discussion.

How do I convince him that being combat focused is not inferior to talking, and get him to use...slightly more balance when DMing/playing?
It sounds like either your player is socially retarded, or you are presenting situations to convince him of this.

Either way, changing the scenario will easily accomplish this.

First off, you are the DM, so first get your shorthairs back in your pants and tell them social stats only are applicable in a reasonable scenario. Social effects, do have static charts, but you decide what the circumstance modifier is for their attempt. Sure, if he's that charming and can play the character damn well then give him his wench and his bartender and mercenary friends, but if he's abusing the stat as a replacement for a mind compulsion and simply saying "my character diplomacizes their faces" hit him in the back of the head with a fat circumstance mod. "Your character gestures 'diplomatically' and then just stares. Roll."

Second off, you need not railroad a social character out of his/her options, just make the situation more risky to do so. By the time he gets to talk, have their knives at your throats, a wrong word might get a finger or two removed, or some teeth punched in until a restore spell can be achieved. Be gritty, be visceral, and be fair. This is what it takes.


If he were my friend, I'd take him out to the backyard and spar with him, teach him what violence means and how **** goes down. People tend to lose that cockyness fast when they realize that a snide comment can lead to a large amount of real pain-- psh, most of the kids I played dnd with as a teenager hadn't even been punched seriously.

Tyndmyr
2011-09-08, 09:51 AM
Let me clarify. He's not socially retarded as such, and is perfectly capable of making quite normal statements for diplomacy. Other players are less inclined to get into detail with this. Therefore, imposing lots of circumstance benefits for terse statements of what they wish to accomplish would only make the other players worse at diplomacy, widening the gap.

The problem is a gap in playing styles, and his strong belief that his way is superior, and others should adopt it. It's not that he's bad at talking at all. It's that it's ALL talking.

BlueInc
2011-09-08, 09:59 AM
If he were my friend, I'd take him out to the backyard and spar with him, teach him what violence means and how **** goes down. People tend to lose that cockyness fast when they realize that a snide comment can lead to a large amount of real pain-- psh, most of the kids I played dnd with as a teenager hadn't even been punched seriously.

For a while, I DMed with a bunch of guys I sparred with. Good times.

To address the OP, occasionally throw monster at your players who can't be reasoned with - oozes, aberrations, mindless undead, animals, creatures that don't speak the same language(s) as you, etc. - or won't be reasoned with - a lot of outsiders, etc.

Of course, if these are the character he enjoys playing, make sure there's something for him to do in combat. For example, give them a mission to save the merchant's daughter from the evil necromancer who won't listen to reason (and his undead certainly can't hold a conversation over tea and crumpets), but the merchant's daughter has decided that she likes living with the necromancer despite his flaws and doesn't want to return.
-Mr. Diplomancer can either convince the daughter to return with his smooth moves, or convince the merchant that his daughter is happier without him.

A druid, a few rangers, and their fey allies are trying to wipe a logging settlement off the face of the map. The fey can't be convinced (they're getting slaughtered by the thousands every day the deforestation continues), the plant creatures can't be talked to, and the animals under their command are powerfully charmed.
-The druid and rangers can be brought to reason if the townsfolk agree to limit their activities to what can be maintained and regrown, or the townsfolk can be risen to arms against the denizens of the forest.
-Mr. Diplomancer can manipulate two distinct groups of people to either band together or fight and weaken each other, but the fey, plants, and animals have to be taken down by brute force.

Slightly silly examples, but you get the point.

Hanuman
2011-09-08, 10:03 AM
Let me clarify. He's not socially retarded as such, and is perfectly capable of making quite normal statements for diplomacy. Other players are less inclined to get into detail with this. Therefore, imposing lots of circumstance benefits for terse statements of what they wish to accomplish would only make the other players worse at diplomacy, widening the gap.

The problem is a gap in playing styles, and his strong belief that his way is superior, and others should adopt it. It's not that he's bad at talking at all. It's that it's ALL talking.
Right, and if it works why should he change?

K, first off make the solutions concise, and reverse the flow of social recovery. Use maybe a scale down approach with bluff, diplomacy, gather info, ect. Roll, first impression, roll, followthrough, roll, continued discussion, roll continued discussion. Perhaps he rolls 16 at first, then rolls 18 then rolls 3 then 10 then 18. Treat it more around 3 than 10 or 15, and increase the social risk dramatically after you fail.

Like most scenarios, if they blow through it too easily you need to make it more complicated. Don't make the social situations easy or straight forward, make them awkward, and a real challenge to tackle. Make him spend 10 or 60 mins thinking for every 1 minute speaking. Have the social dynamic fluid, shifting, make it enthralling but risky, this is social adventure, and also prickly enough not to binge off of.

Greenish
2011-09-08, 10:06 AM
Right, and if it works why should he change?Maybe you didn't read the first post, the one where OP explains how this guy's campaigns all end up flopping.


Make him spend 10 or 60 mins thinking for every 1 minute speaking. Have the social dynamic fluid, shifting, make it enthralling but risky, this is social adventure, and also prickly enough not to binge off of.How does that help, at all, with OP's problem?

DogbertLinc
2011-09-08, 10:08 AM
Try to reason with him that he's being douchey in trying to only do his thing. Ask him to pay attention to others' reactions to his means of doing things and that if he doesn't go overboard, the rest probably won't go gung-ho murdering things.

kamikasei
2011-09-08, 10:13 AM
The problem is a gap in playing styles, and his strong belief that his way is superior, and others should adopt it.
"You're being a jerk. Show some consideration. Don't play a character whose approach to the game is boring and unfun for everyone else. Don't run games where you reward players for doing stuff that bores them and punish them for having fun."

That seems to me to be the root of it, and trying to construct rules to constrain his behaviour won't help so long as he sees the rules as something to work around to achieve his ends. If he can't appreciate that he's limiting the enjoyment of the others, he's pretty much a hopeless case and little loss to the group.

BlueInc
2011-09-08, 11:11 AM
Also: Rewards. I play with a very similar person (who rarely DMs); he almost always plays someone who can bluff/diplomacy out of anything.

He's turned around a lot in the current campaign we're playing in because while the DM awards some experience for RP, he awards far more money and experience for fighting. The character (a social-focused sorcerer) is still more useful to the party in RP situations, but the player is much more willing to beat things up than before.

(Also note that RP has good applications pre-combat, such as luring enemies into traps).

Tyndmyr
2011-09-08, 11:25 AM
Also: Rewards. I play with a very similar person (who rarely DMs); he almost always plays someone who can bluff/diplomacy out of anything.

I like this one...subtle.

Hanuman
2011-09-08, 11:59 AM
Maybe you didn't read the first post, the one where OP explains how this guy's campaigns all end up flopping.

How does that help, at all, with OP's problem?
It addresses how he plays his characters in other campaigns. My advice for people who suck at running is to not run, plenty of other exciting adventures await outside of dnd, so go do that instead of being in a room talking to a guy who bores you for 4 hours, regardless of whats on the table.

Alejandro
2011-09-08, 12:04 PM
Have a monster eat his tongue.

Greenish
2011-09-08, 12:04 PM
It addresses how he plays his characters in other campaigns.Yes, you basically said "let him blab", if not "encourage him to blab". If the problem is that a player prefers talking to any other method, how is making talking challenging, complex and engaging going to help?

Steward
2011-09-08, 12:14 PM
Don't make campaigns where you can talk to anything. That's my solution to any problem that boils down to "my player keeps using the same tactic over and over". There are so many different types of obstacles and monsters in 3.5e, at least, and probably most other games in that category. Sure, he can use his Diplomacy when you're fighting bandits -- no one is saying that talking is always bad, but if you're letting him talk at length at an ooze (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/ooze.htm), a kraken (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/kraken.htm), or any variety of undead horror.... well, don't. If you think it's reasonable, have a monster that he's talking to just attack. There's no particular reason why a hezrou (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/demon.htm#hezrou) would listen to a blabbermouth who just teleported into its master's keep at the head of a small group of invaders.

And there should be at least some non-monster challenges. You can't argue with a trap or a puzzle. Sometimes these problems are caused by a lack of variety. If a player can spam the same move over and over, and you're not willing to just tell him to knock it off (or if that doesn't work), come up with something else that isn't vulnerable to that move.

BlueInc
2011-09-08, 12:26 PM
I like this one...subtle.

Works out pretty well, too.

Last session, we killed one (well, two) of the highest ranking members of a dwarf gang that wants us dead. Mr. Bluff used Alter Self to turn into an extremely attractive dwarf and convince the target to go somewhere private.

Once they're alone, we catch 'em with their pants down. Druid summons a hippogryph, barbarian rages, I start buffing and using my cleric spells and in a few rounds we've got us a nice chunk of experience and gold.

NOhara24
2011-09-08, 12:34 PM
The problem is a gap in playing styles, and his strong belief that his way is superior, and others should adopt it. It's not that he's bad at talking at all. It's that it's ALL talking.

Form a new group and neglect to tell him about it.

/problemsolved.

Hanuman
2011-09-08, 12:50 PM
Yes, you basically said "let him blab", if not "encourage him to blab". If the problem is that a player prefers talking to any other method, how is making talking challenging, complex and engaging going to help?
By letting him suffer a horribly painful maiming or death due to his overzealous efforts to talk his way out of ****.

Tyndmyr
2011-09-08, 12:52 PM
It addresses how he plays his characters in other campaigns. My advice for people who suck at running is to not run, plenty of other exciting adventures await outside of dnd, so go do that instead of being in a room talking to a guy who bores you for 4 hours, regardless of whats on the table.

Look, I don't really want him to think about talking for forever before talking...that just bogs it all down, and makes everyone else even more bored. Eventually, someone else will just solve the boredom by throwing a grenade or something.

He's not bad at all aspects of DMing...encounter balance is pretty spot on, etc. It's just the focus on talking above all else that's the killer.

Andreaz
2011-09-08, 12:53 PM
Well, you do have to tell him he's being a boring ass, right?
Because it's easy. Call everyone, have the biggest person in the group smoothly but sternly hold his shoulders and say "Dude, your method's boring. We don't want it. It doesn't matter you like it: We don't".
Then shake him a little for good measure as soon as he says "but"

TurtleKing
2011-09-08, 02:01 PM
Bestow Curse causing him to be mute. Now he can try to diplomacy which should be interesting even though he is now mute. This tactic now will bear little fruit so he either adapts or his character dies. Adapting is going on a quest to get his speech back, using signs, or trying something different such as fighting. Might also try by letting someone else be the party face making him go for something different. Can't let him hog the position and spot light. Could also make talking have little value.

NichG
2011-09-08, 02:21 PM
I really don't think 'screw over the player' is a good solution to this, though people seem to be bandying it about quite a lot.

Basically, this guy likes a different aspect of the game than the rest of the table do. From his point of view, he's probably very frustrated that the party keeps killing potential long term allies and recruits before he has a chance to win them over, and is generally a bunch of violent hobos.

It'd be the same if someone who really liked tactics and the wargame aspect of the game was in a party of people who like the storytelling aspects of RPGs, and whose game usually involves a lot of deus ex machina plot powers, PCs making things work because they're cool, etc, with the rules being very unsteady beneath the whole thing. There's going to be some friction.

So honestly, my suggestion would be to expect friction since for the most part your group seems to have a different playstyle than the one player. Put a few situations in that are very solvable by talking, but then have occasional fights that are against things like golems, mindless undead. I would say though to try to discourage the tendency of the party to throw a grenade while the guy is talking to the king: it's just going to make him want to go off on his own and take a lot of screen time talking when the rest of the party isn't around, so that they don't grenade his mark.

A high road solution would be to figure out why he finds the talking aspects fun, and integrate them into combat in a way that is mechanically supported. For example, a repartee system or something along those lines that lets him actually mechanically defeat something using witty banter. That way, he spends his round bantering and deals 1d6 Cha damage, while the fighter spends his round stabbing and the wizard spends his round winning.

Tyndmyr
2011-09-08, 02:26 PM
I really don't think 'screw over the player' is a good solution to this, though people seem to be bandying it about quite a lot.

Basically, this guy likes a different aspect of the game than the rest of the table do. From his point of view, he's probably very frustrated that the party keeps killing potential long term allies and recruits before he has a chance to win them over, and is generally a bunch of violent hobos.

I agree that overtly screwing him over is unlikely to help. That'll just cause conflict. I want to convince him to be a bit closer to the rest of the party is all.

I would not describe them as a bunch of violent hobos. The party has spent an entire session roleplaying being at a ball, and not a single fight or theft happened. They enjoyed it immensely(this also wasn't 3.5, so social stuff was a bit more supported) But...next session, they wanted combat. I consider them fairly balanced with, if anything, a slight bias toward hack and slash. Hence why I'm not too worried with trying to change their playstyle.

Trekkin
2011-09-08, 02:53 PM
I agree that overtly screwing him over is unlikely to help. That'll just cause conflict. I want to convince him to be a bit closer to the rest of the party is all.

I would not describe them as a bunch of violent hobos. The party has spent an entire session roleplaying being at a ball, and not a single fight or theft happened. They enjoyed it immensely(this also wasn't 3.5, so social stuff was a bit more supported) But...next session, they wanted combat. I consider them fairly balanced with, if anything, a slight bias toward hack and slash. Hence why I'm not too worried with trying to change their playstyle.

As a DM, he needs it explained to him that talking all the time doesn't work for you guys as a group, and that the players would like more combat. I'd recommend recommending to him that he include more tense diplomacy at the end of a sword; if the party is facing, say, an overzealous City Watchman who's got them at sword point and demanding they explain themselves, that's an encounter that could go either way, with a balance that talking to a nobleman isn't going to achieve. Alternatively, maybe play something like Shadowrun, which is usually "outsmart Mr. Johnson" and "make everyone at the target try to outsmart bullets" in equal measure. Maybe give him a pink mohawk-level adventure and see if he doesn't play up the diplomacy into something balanced.

As a player...maybe he'd agree to play a Dashing Swordsman, or to use the combat functions of Bluff and Intimidate more.

INDYSTAR188
2011-09-08, 03:03 PM
I think you should read through the 4e DMG. They have a pretty awesome section about different players and what roles they like most and how to make everyone happy. For my part if I was DMing a game and he was being useless in combat just because he felt that diplomacy (or whatever equal skill) is the best way to handle situations I would talk to him separately. I would point out to him how everyone else enjoys combat AND skill challenges AND puzzles AND role play. Tell him that you will present plenty of opportunity for RP and will try to let him be creative w/his use of his favorite skills but he needs to get on board or find a different group to game with.

EvilDM
2011-09-08, 03:37 PM
I would take 2 steps towards attempting to 'solve' this situation.

1. Put a time limit on the negotiations before you either determine or roll for the results. This gives the PC the chance to try his thing without making the rest of the party fall asleep.

2. I would run a side encounter with the PC outside of game time, perhaps via email or forum board, that is a pure, 100% diplomatic situation. The results of this negotiation would actually take place in game at the appropriate time.

For example, when the PCs finally make it back to town after their current dungeon crawl the Diplomat, out on his own, is going to be accosted by 3 people who mistake him for someone else, and he has to talk his way out of it. By running the diplomatic part of it on the side before the event actually takes place in game you satisfy the players need for diplomacy without bogging down the rest of the group. Just be careful to avoid the players metagaming it.

If he can't talk his way out of it, he's kidnapped and the party end up chasing the kidnappers across town. If he does talk his way out of it, the next morning a rich merchant wants to hire the PCs to find his son, who looks a lot like one of them...

Shadowknight12
2011-09-08, 04:21 PM
As usual, I advocate splitting up the group. Send the diplomacy guy with a more RP-oriented group and optionally find a replacement who's more into violence.

Tebryn
2011-09-08, 04:30 PM
If he were my friend, I'd take him out to the backyard and spar with him, teach him what violence means and how **** goes down. People tend to lose that cockyness fast when they realize that a snide comment can lead to a large amount of real pain-- psh, most of the kids I played dnd with as a teenager hadn't even been punched seriously.

So your first reaction to someone whose play style goes against yours (and the party he's in) is to...take him out and "teach him what violence means and how stuff goes down" instead of you know...the easier solution of telling him "hey...this isn't working out. We don't want to diplomacy all the time." I mean...not really surprised I guess but still. Threatening violence isn't very productive is it?

Mark Hall
2011-09-08, 04:33 PM
Assuming that the usual solution (i.e. let him go and start over) isn't going to work for whatever reason...

Help him with game design. It seems like most of your group is OK with RPing, but want some kill-based sessions (or even encounters) from time to time. Make it clear that y'all're less likely to kill EVERYBODY if they can just kill SOMEBODY. So, into that intrigue plot, introduce some assassins to foil. Some undead left to guard a vital closet. A clue at the bottom of a well that's filled with grey ooze. Putting some nails in front of your hammers keeps them from busting windows.

On the other front, make sure everyone's somewhat diversified in skill sets. Big hulking fighter? Spend some points on intimidate. Backstabbing sociopath? Make sure he has some bluff. Make it so they CAN contribute to the talkiness.

Tyndmyr
2011-09-08, 04:48 PM
It's annoying, but it's not end of the world. The game goes on, nobody is screaming at anybody else...but I think Im gonna steal the time limit idea as well. Diplomacy with the quickness is much, much better, and hey, I tend to encourage people to try to not take excessive time on turns anyway, so it's not going to be like singling him out.

Yeah, there's almost always at least one melee guy who gets really good at intimidate, and is pretty good at using it.

Don't wanna hit the undead note too heavily, Im afraid, though. He's also based on precision damage for what little he can contribute to combat, so the things he can't talk to have an unfortunate overlap with things he's really, really bad at fighting. Might have to offer some mild respeccing to fix that. It's really just bad char design to have such glaring weaknesses.

Eldest
2011-09-08, 04:50 PM
You mentioned he DMs and you're the backup DM... could you get somebody else in your group, other than you, to DM?
And I agree with just asking him to tone down the talking.

Tyndmyr
2011-09-08, 04:59 PM
You mentioned he DMs and you're the backup DM... could you get somebody else in your group, other than you, to DM?
And I agree with just asking him to tone down the talking.

We actually have a third person DMing right now, so it's no trouble at the moment, but he's heading out of state for an extended period of time, so one've us'll be DMing till he gets back at minimum. This isn't a "OMG, I need this fixed now" situation, more of a subtle advice thing to gradually change focus.

Geigan
2011-09-08, 10:32 PM
Perhaps give him enemies that he can discuss with, but won't be able to shut down with talking alone?

Like say a preacher of some weird cult in a town square. Make sure to have the speech be fairly offensive to his character particularly in some way. They'll get into a sort of public discussion, and if he wins he's destroyed him in the court of public opinion, and now he'll try to get back at him through underworld contacts for revenge.

Perhaps he catches the interest of a powerful being, such as a mindflayer, a dragon, or a powerful fey. He might convince them to abandon some course of action that would have done evil, but in doing so he attracts them with his natural charisma. They now want to take him home with them. If he tries to use his silver tongue he'll just make them just come on stronger, and he'll have to resist their advances with force to avoid being dragged off.

Maybe he has a concerned family member with strong influence. He'll always be sending people to hunt him down and drag him back home "for his own good." This gives him a character goal of eventually convincing them through discussion while still making him stand strong enough in ways other than just talking to avoid just being dragged off forcefully like some sort of errant child.

Hanuman
2011-09-08, 11:09 PM
Look, I don't really want him to think about talking for forever before talking...that just bogs it all down, and makes everyone else even more bored. Eventually, someone else will just solve the boredom by throwing a grenade or something.

He's not bad at all aspects of DMing...encounter balance is pretty spot on, etc. It's just the focus on talking above all else that's the killer.
How does it bog it down? You control the pace of the campaign, not him.


So your first reaction to someone whose play style goes against yours (and the party he's in) is to...take him out and "teach him what violence means and how stuff goes down" instead of you know...the easier solution of telling him "hey...this isn't working out. We don't want to diplomacy all the time." I mean...not really surprised I guess but still. Threatening violence isn't very productive is it?
I don't have any friends who are so stuck in their own heads that they don't know what concepts like "how hard is it to jump" or "how does pain effect the body". If I did, I'd encourage them to be comfortable in a sparring situation, if they weren't then I'd ask myself if they are really my friend.

caden_varn
2011-09-09, 05:35 AM
Have you actually discussed it with him at all? I would start here - a polite conversation may help to clarify to him what the rest of the group want.

Re. his current character - you can always give him an item which gives him precision damage against undead - isn't there a Gravestrike power or something?

Alternatively, let them find out that the BBEG has used a ritual ensorcel some of his followers to be fanatically loyal or mindless - they are alive and thus sneak-attackable but immune to diplomacy etc.
Some obvious mark, like a brand on the forehead, makes it easy to tell which are the ensorcelled ones, so he can easily tell when diplomacy is an option.

mint
2011-09-09, 06:46 AM
If you've already talked to him, and it boils down to the fact that he enjoys talking more than combat, consider this:
Delegate some rp of NPCs to him. Write parameters on cards and hand them over. He gets to talk more and you have to do less as DM. In exchange for getting to do what he likes best more, he would have to accept the things the rest of the group enjoy. Maybe?

I guess its a bigger problem when he is the DM. There is very limited bandwidth if you are just talking to the DM who pretends to be a lot of different NPCs.
Maybe point out that he is basically doing most of the talking and playing when all you do in a session is talk.
His NPC roles will always be active in conversations whereas not every PC will be involved. Even then, a conversation is rarely divisible into equal parts. Someone ends up out of the spotlight and it isn't going to be the DM for long, if at all.
You might even point out that it's actually kind of selfish. If you think you can sell it to him :3
I personally find it exhausting to DM that type of thing. I have enough conversations with myself as it is. See if he is willing to delegate some NPC roles to you guys as a start. At least the you would be able to participate more.

hewhosaysfish
2011-09-09, 06:49 AM
I don't have any friends who are so stuck in their own heads that they don't know what concepts like "how hard is it to jump" or "how does pain effect the body". If I did, I'd encourage them to be comfortable in a sparring situation, if they weren't then I'd ask myself if they are really my friend.

There seems to be some talking at cross-purposes here; I had to go back an reread you previous post to even work out what point you were trying to make here...

Correct me if I'm misrepresenting you here, but you seem to be assuming that the player in question is trying to negotiate with oponents in the middle of a fight and you were advocating giving a practical demonstration of why this would be infeasible.

Now I was assuming that the player was negotiating before and instead of combat so when I read your suggestion it came across as "If this person disagreed with me, I'd just take them outside and punch them until they stopped disagreeing with me" which struck me as a little... thuggish.

From Tebryn remarks that "Threatening violence isn't very productive is it?" would seem to suggest that he(?) misread your suggestion the same way I did and was arguing against something less reasonable that what you were actually saying.

Then you defended your reasonable remarks against the criticism - which had been not actually been directed at them but at the perceived unreasonable remarks.
This confused the heck out of me, who couldn't see how this followed from anything else until I went back and reread everything.

Now I think I get it, and if I'm right then you both don't disagree as much as you might have though and shouldn't start an argument over nothing.

I hope this helped.

Tyndmyr
2011-09-09, 07:11 AM
There seems to be some talking at cross-purposes here; I had to go back an reread you previous post to even work out what point you were trying to make here...

Correct me if I'm misrepresenting you here, but you seem to be assuming that the player in question is trying to negotiate with oponents in the middle of a fight and you were advocating giving a practical demonstration of why this would be infeasible.

Now I was assuming that the player was negotiating before and instead of combat so when I read your suggestion it came across as "If this person disagreed with me, I'd just take them outside and punch them until they stopped disagreeing with me" which struck me as a little... thuggish.

I actually did the same thing, then reread it and came to the same conclusion. It's not so much that in combat is a problem...because if he's trying to talk his way out of a combat, everyone else is getting actions and combat and they're happy as a clam.

The giving him NPCs worries me. I feel like this might lead to the same place as it does when he DMs, and thus, controls the NPCs.

I guess I *could* hand him combat power...but he knows quite enough to build a character that has it. If he's optimized himself for diplomacy at the expense of combat, Im not certain it's fair to cover for his weakness. I mean, if the random item generation tosses him something awesome...great, but I generally don't tailor loot that specifically.

I don't mean to come across as too negative...some of the ideas have been fantastic. I'm just looking for fairly subtle ways to alter the party dynamic instead of "kick him out" or the like.

Hanuman
2011-09-09, 08:08 AM
How do I convince him that being combat focused is not inferior to talking, and get him to use...slightly more balance when DMing/playing?
1) Make him realize that in or out of game if someone really wants to put a piece of metal in you, it's really hard to stop them.
2) Have him acknowledge and respect the art of stopping them.
3) Have him realize that people have a desire to roleplay this art, and that their wants and what they find enjoyable are equally important to his want and enjoyment of the social dynamic.
4) Design the scenario to be symbiotic, but not have each player stuck in a single role.



Scenario: Fortress Crumble
Background:
-Adventuring party: 1 Goliath Rock Thrower, 1 Dipolancer, 1 Swashbuckle Warlock, 1 Medium Dragon Shapeshifter
-History: The party has infiltrated the tower of the red clock guarded by an indeterminate number of soldiers, they have killed a few and have taken one hostage.
Situation: The players run into a 20'x50' room, part of the floor has collapsed making the rooms floor roughly 10'x50' but the floor becomes part of the entrance and exit (lengthwise) allowing there to be a fully supported doorway on each side.
The south entrance (that they entered from) has stomping footsteps of soldiers rushing to the room, the north exit has a heavily bolted iron door with a puzzle lock on it.

This situation presents a large amount of factors, the players are likely to both mount a defense and solve a puzzle as it's the most efficient route, but they may opt to try a number of things like have the dragon hop in the hole and try and break a wall, or fight the guards which is unlikely to yield results, but because of the scenario it's looking like either they succeed or become captured or killed (preferably one of them killed, the rest captured, just for drama).

What your player could do is use his diplomancy to intimidate the guard into helping them solve the puzzle the warlock and dragon might try and solve the puzzle as the goliath tries to guard the 10' ledge from onrushing guards, but it gives the players a variety of options, is fair, and has an equal contribution effect.

This is the kind of play which I believe DMs should strive for, linear puzzles, applied puzzles, combat, social drama, and complicated social dynamics.

If he's being effective at social effects alone, then as a DM you can fix that by changing some things, so social strength even while impressive in its own right may not be the best solution even when in the situation it CAN be applied successfully. This is where spot and sense motive checks come in, spot is visual character profiling (vs disguise) and sense motive is social character profiling (vs. bluff or act). Have him roll to initially size people up, that way when they completely ignore his bull**** you can claim that it didn't fit the npc's situation to believe him or be friends with him or whatever manipulation he tries to pull.

In terms of his DMing? Don't play his campaigns, and state that you want to play a more kick-down the door style.

valadil
2011-09-09, 08:33 AM
Why do you still play with him? It sounds like he's in the wrong group.

XenoGeno
2011-09-09, 09:23 AM
I don't even think he's necessarily in the wrong group so much as he's playing the wrong game. D&D will always and forever be a combat-oriented game. You should consider introducing him to something like Nobilis. No dice to roll, no "talking stat" (I think; it's been a while) that takes resources that could be spent elsewhere, and it's generally a lot more interested in social combat than regular combat, though how much that winds up being the case depends on the GM. It might be a little difficult to find a group, but it might be easier to get people interested who wouldn't want to play D&D to begin with. Just my two cents.

DabblerWizard
2011-09-09, 02:09 PM
I've got a moderate approach suggestion, that neither takes away his right to talk, nor gives him more justification to talk his face off.

One scenario you mentioned, OP, is that the other players get bored with this player's rambling / ongoing social engagement.

The point is to give him leeway, until he's reached your tolerance limit. So, he enjoys his social gaming, while stopping before you guys go bonkers.

When your tolerance starts to run thin, you could point it out to him in various ways:

Subtle and Joking: "Hey [player]. I'm going to take a nap. Let me know when you're done."

Direct and Serious: "[Player], we're having trouble staying focused right now. Could you wrap things up?"

Mix the above as it suits you.

Also, you could talk to the player about his chatty behavior outside the group, and maybe just give him a signal that he's going overboard during play. You might feel uneasy about mentioning his behavior in front of the group, but this way, you can still make headway while game play occurs.

NichG
2011-09-09, 03:31 PM
The player may just not enjoy the combat mechanics of D&D (or combat mechanics in RPGs in general). There are a number of systems in which I'd try as hard as possible to not be involved in fights, including earlier editions of D&D. They may not like the risk of sudden character death, or they may just not like playing the numbers and contingencies game that is combat in D&D 3.5, especially at the more optimized end.

So I'd say, if he's not participating in fights don't have the enemies target him equally to the other PCs if he hasn't done anything hostile, and maybe have other ways for him to contribute during the fight that don't involve getting into a slugfest with the big things trying to kill the party.

If he can participate tangentially, he might be more warm to the idea of fights in general. Its the sort of 'we need to pull the three levers while we're under attack from the soldiers' thing that players respond with 'lets just kill the soldiers then pull the levers' that'd be good for this guy. He can take care of strategic objectives while everyone else is in a tactical 'hold them off/knock them down' mode.

jguy
2011-09-09, 03:54 PM
If he were my friend, I'd take him out to the backyard and spar with him, teach him what violence means and how **** goes down. People tend to lose that cockyness fast when they realize that a snide comment can lead to a large amount of real pain-- psh, most of the kids I played dnd with as a teenager hadn't even been punched seriously.

I couldn't disagree with this hard enough. So your solution to a guy who believes that talking is the best way out of a hard situation is to punch him and prove him wrong? In RPG it is one thing but we don't live in a feudal system anymore where a duel solves all issues of honor. Also, you say "hadn't been punched" like it was derogatory to not have been in a fight. It's like those people who feel it makes them a badass for having gone to jail and those of use who haven't are somehow weaker for it.

The issue here is that his way of gaming is simply at odds with everyone else and he is making himself out to be a prick with it.

Hanuman
2011-09-09, 08:27 PM
I couldn't disagree with this hard enough. So your solution to a guy who believes that talking is the best way out of a hard situation is to punch him and prove him wrong? In RPG it is one thing but we don't live in a feudal system anymore where a duel solves all issues of honor. Also, you say "hadn't been punched" like it was derogatory to not have been in a fight. It's like those people who feel it makes them a badass for having gone to jail and those of use who haven't are somehow weaker for it.

The issue here is that his way of gaming is simply at odds with everyone else and he is making himself out to be a prick with it.
I'm using never been punched the same way as never had a physical job, never gone camping, never took a stand for yourself, never been in love, never had sex, ext. It's simple lack of exp. gain. You don't need to have your wishes violated to get struck, and you need not be a man. Being struck is important to physical conditioning and if you don't understand then I'd question your experience on the subject.

For jail or any long-term strife that requires strength see: Riddle of Steel.

Sparring for me is important, I spar with all my close friends guys and girls, it's a matter of respect and I surround myself with good people and hugging, sparring and sharing feelings are way to judge people's true character.

I understand that people have a different views on this, I was stating if they were my friend.

Lord Raziere
2011-09-09, 08:37 PM
simple. convince him to make a diplomacy check outside the game to help work out a compromise between him and the other players that would allow both their playstyles to work, and that to keep insisting that talking is superior to everything else counts as a natural 1 :smallwink:

jguy
2011-09-09, 08:50 PM
I'm using never been punched the same way as never had a physical job, never gone camping, never took a stand for yourself, never been in love, never had sex, ext. It's simple lack of exp. gain. You don't need to have your wishes violated to get struck, and you need not be a man. Being struck is important to physical conditioning and if you don't understand then I'd question your experience on the subject.

For jail or any long-term strife that requires strength see: Riddle of Steel.

Sparring for me is important, I spar with all my close friends guys and girls, it's a matter of respect and I surround myself with good people and hugging, sparring and sharing feelings are way to judge people's true character.

I understand that people have a different views on this, I was stating if they were my friend.

I will just say I disagree with you and leave it at that since it seems we have a fundamental difference on how we view the world. Any more would just end in flames on either end.

Dimers
2011-09-09, 10:20 PM
I think you should read through the 4e DMG.

I think *he* should read the 4e DMG, specifically pages 8-10, before planning or starting his next campaign. It spells out in explicit and simple terms (without 'talking down' to anyone) many of the things your group likes about games other than talking. And it suggests ways to give those things to the players.

A little perspective -- I'm a big believer in the power of words to change people's lives, and it sounds like your companion may be as well. Obviously words are important to him, at least. These words have changed the way I game. It could be very valuable to have him read these few pages -- as in, worth buying the book yourself just to show it to him.

Also, I second Mark Hall's whole post.

EDIT: This far into the thread and no "talky man" reference yet?

Hanuman
2011-09-10, 01:11 AM
I will just say I disagree with you and leave it at that since it seems we have a fundamental difference on how we view the world. Any more would just end in flames on either end.

1) Make him realize that in or out of game if someone really wants to put a piece of metal in you, it's really hard to stop them.
2) Have him acknowledge and respect the art of stopping them.
3) Have him realize that people have a desire to roleplay this art, and that their wants and what they find enjoyable are equally important to his want and enjoyment of the social dynamic.

Love you <3

Tyndmyr
2011-09-10, 07:08 AM
I confess I'm really not sure how it's applicable.


I'm using never been punched the same way as never had a physical job, never gone camping, never took a stand for yourself, never been in love, never had sex, ext. It's simple lack of exp. gain. You don't need to have your wishes violated to get struck, and you need not be a man. Being struck is important to physical conditioning and if you don't understand then I'd question your experience on the subject.

Being struck is not important to physical conditioning. Many exercise routines do not involve getting hit. I dare say most of them.

Regardless, we're not really doing D&D as physical conditioning. I suspect it would be pretty bad at it.


For jail or any long-term strife that requires strength see: Riddle of Steel.

Sparring for me is important, I spar with all my close friends guys and girls, it's a matter of respect and I surround myself with good people and hugging, sparring and sharing feelings are way to judge people's true character.

I understand that people have a different views on this, I was stating if they were my friend.

Sparring is fun. I enjoy it as well. But, again...I suspect it has very little to do with D&D. Especially talking in D&D. It's not like he's denying that getting hit can hurt. I just don't see how I can or should punch the talking out of him.

Hanuman
2011-09-10, 11:35 AM
I confess I'm really not sure how it's applicable.
Being struck is not important to physical conditioning. Many exercise routines do not involve getting hit. I dare say most of them.
See: Art of not having metal in you (Above Post pg.1/1)



Sparring is fun. I enjoy it as well. But, again...I suspect it has very little to do with D&D. Especially talking in D&D. It's not like he's denying that getting hit can hurt. I just don't see how I can or should punch the talking out of him.
Does your friend have experience in being able to defend himself in real life or not?

Tyndmyr
2011-09-10, 02:22 PM
See: Art of not having metal in you (Above Post pg.1/1)



Does your friend have experience in being able to defend himself in real life or not?

We...don't play d&d with real swords. He doesn't need to know any of that. He just needs to mesh with those that prefer d&d combat...which bears little similarity to real world fights anyhow.

I suppose its possible he has experience tho. I've never asked, but as we're all mil, he has to have at least shot a m-16, though I'm not sure how that's relevant either.

Trekkin
2011-09-10, 07:58 PM
I'm not sure how that's relevant either.

I don't think it is, just from a cursory analysis of what you've told us about him. I suspect that, rather than the mechanical preference I'd originally assumed, he simply enjoys diplomacy a heck of a lot more than fighting. That's a powerful component to pnpRPGs, and one that's hard to get virtually outside of them with similar depth. I can't really blame him for wanting to do what he enjoys when it dovetails so nicely with what's mechanically possible in the system.

Just to make sure I'm not fundamentally understanding this: if the rest of the party were fighting while he was talking, would he mind terribly? If not, maybe the answer is to make him the party face operating remotely; in a DnD-esque setting, he can RP the guild master and negotiate for better missions or cheaper prices on gear and so forth and generally arrange for the party to accomplish the tasks brought before them more satisfactorily. While he's doing that, the party can go off and do the missions and give him more diplomatic leverage. There's probably a better solution that's mutually agreeable than splitting the party, but I haven't thought of it yet and fully expect someone to beat me to it.

In short, I suspect the best solution to this problem, if it is as I understand it, is to work out a way that he and the rest of them can do what they love simultaneously rather than sequentially, and perhaps even symbiotically.

This might work in reverse too, actually, if someone can serve as a co-DM to handle the fighting parts.

Narren
2011-09-10, 09:33 PM
Sparring is fun. I enjoy it as well. But, again...I suspect it has very little to do with D&D. Especially talking in D&D. It's not like he's denying that getting hit can hurt. I just don't see how I can or should punch the talking out of him.

Have you tried using a baseball bat then? Or perhaps setting him on fire? The latter tends to end most disagreements.

Back on (semi) topic, how is this guys physical conditioning or experience in life relevant? If anything, I would imagine (and have experienced) that the least experienced in combat and conditioning would play the most violent characters. My chattiest player works in politics, so that's no surprise. My most violent player has zero experience at fighting or exercising. I'm not really sure if there's any correlation.

Hanuman
2011-09-10, 10:39 PM
We...don't play d&d with real swords. He doesn't need to know any of that. He just needs to mesh with those that prefer d&d combat...which bears little similarity to real world fights anyhow.

I suppose its possible he has experience tho. I've never asked, but as we're all mil, he has to have at least shot a m-16, though I'm not sure how that's relevant either.
Same as taking your friends camping if you've got survival in your game.
It's about experience in view, you want your friend to expand his view, expand his perspective? Get him experience.

What are you not getting.

Trekkin
2011-09-10, 11:31 PM
Same as taking your friends camping if you've got survival in your game.
It's about experience in view, you want your friend to expand his view, expand his perspective? Get him experience.

What are you not getting.

Is making him aware of the realities of the feasibility of employing diplomacy over combat going to make him enjoy combat more, though? Ultimately, this sounds more like a personal preference of his than a misconception as to the viability of the practice. Either there's a way to integrate his preference into that of the group and come to a mutually agreeable solution, or he's got to accept that the group will be fighting more than talking. Personally, I think that there is evidence that such a way might be found to sate his need for diplomacy and the party's need for combat time, which is probably the best solution in terms of the number of players satisfied.

Besides, Vancian spellcasting isn't a viable means of accomplishing goals in real life*, and a player who loves casters isn't going to be hampered by that in insisting on playing a caster. Diplomacy, as written in 3.5, works and works well as a means of avoiding a fight. Altering the setting to something more balanced might work, but insisting that the player acknowledge that this is a departure from reality isn't going to make him any less fond of it. Departure from reality is a major part of why many of us play, after all.

*although if anyone believes otherwise, far be it from me to disparage their beliefs.

jguy
2011-09-10, 11:44 PM
I think Trekkin put it best here. Sparring with him to show him the feasibility of diplomacy over fighting won't change how he likes to play. It is simply preference. If we kept that line of thought for every sense of D&D, then Hanuman, if you ever really wanted to play a monk, your DM would require you to fight and slay a pack of wolves with your bare hands.

Zale
2011-09-11, 12:32 AM
I wonder what you would have to do to use magic then.

Trekkin
2011-09-11, 12:49 AM
I wonder what you would have to do to use magic then.

Everyone who wants to play a telekine, raise the DM's hand. :smalltongue:

On a more serious note, though, I think that as realistic as putting limits on diplomacy might be, it's suboptimal. The trick here is to figure out a way for diplomacy not to preclude fighting, and it may be something as simple as mixing intelligent and nonintelligent enemies together.

Hanuman
2011-09-11, 02:24 AM
Is making him aware of the realities of the feasibility of employing diplomacy over combat going to make him enjoy combat more, though?
-----
Departure from reality is a major part of why many of us play, after all.

Yes. Experience grants the ability to relate to things and we all find satisfaction and even enjoyment out of things we relate to. Not having the experience means not having a large capability to relate to it, it's not that it's his thing but if he's a neckbeard who can't do a pullup, if he's never had a 2' piece of metal pointed at his eye (so that it becomes 1 dimensional in perspective) then he's probably not going to really "get" what it means to be on the front line.
----
Sounds like your battle is with the concept of method acting, I suggest you take your fight to every acting school ever and plead ignorance.


I think Trekkin put it best here. Sparring with him to show him the feasibility of diplomacy over fighting won't change how he likes to play. It is simply preference. If we kept that line of thought for every sense of D&D, then Hanuman, if you ever really wanted to play a monk, your DM would require you to fight and slay a pack of wolves with your bare hands.
Yes. Half-wolf albino Alaskan malemute. 5'x3'x2'-ish
http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/5527/kobp.jpg

Zale
2011-09-11, 03:44 AM
And what about things that happen to our characters that we can not experience?

Hanuman
2011-09-11, 05:45 AM
And what about things that happen to our characters that we can not experience?
Guess vs. Educated Guess

You can ballpark an experience by giving relative real life experiences as base references, the less you have experienced the worse your guesses will average out.

flumphy
2011-09-11, 05:56 AM
Whether he understands the implications of real combat is irrelevant, because people playing D&D generally do not want realism. I am reminded of an anecdote where Christopher Lee tried to play a death scene realistically by just slumping over undramatically, and he was laughed at by the rest of the cast for being lame.

Anyway, I agree that this guy is playing the wrong game and would probably be happier if he just found a different group that had preferences closer to his own. But assuming you're trying to keep him around, my advice would be to get him into CRPGs. Specifically, find him a few good, old-school roguelikes. This will demonstrate how the mechanics of combat can be interesting and rewarding in of themselves.

And if he can't get into those, again, he's just playing the wrong game for him. People have different tastes, and there's no changing some of them.

potatocubed
2011-09-11, 06:25 AM
Does your friend have experience in being able to defend himself in real life or not?

Do you have experience in real-life diplomacy?

It bears about as much resemblance to D&D diplomacy as real getting stabbed in the face bears to D&D getting stabbed in the face.* The argument that real-style violence beats D&D-style diplomacy is trivial - of course it does, because D&D-style diplomacy is absurd.

*Of course, not having ever been stabbed in the face I could be wrong about that.

Zombimode
2011-09-11, 06:59 AM
Sounds like your battle is with the concept of method acting, I suggest you take your fight to every acting school ever and plead ignorance.

I cant tell if you are actually serious with your postings, but if yes, it seems to me that you dont recognize the difference in the desire to experience something in real life, and the desire to experience something similar but fictional.

Many people roleplay because they want to experience and explore things they cant/dont do in real life. Only with a preference for realism real life knowledge and experience becomes relevant. If someone dont has this preference how-things-work in real life is pretty meaningles.

Are you saying that not having a preference for realism is somehow "badwrongfun" or something?
If yes I would urge you to reconsider your views on gaming and the possibility of objective fun in general.

(This comes from a guy who HAS a preference for realism)

Also, your remark on method acting is not particulary relevant. Roleplaying and acting, while more closely related than roleplaying and say nascar driving, are in the end two different things.

Hanuman
2011-09-11, 08:12 AM
Do you have experience in real-life diplomacy?
Yes I ran an questionably legal underground community of about 200-300 people for 2 years, full of people who have radically different, and sometimes violently different ideas, I've heard death threats, had people burn symbols into fields, get into police trouble, been threatened to be sued with legal action to pre-empt disclosing compromising information.
The community has several different factions, cliques and groups that come together as a central hub to, ahem, "violate bylaws", so it's a juggling act between keeping the residents, the regulatory forces and the police in check without getting official or being on record.


Roleplaying and acting, while more closely related than roleplaying and say nascar driving, are in the end two different things.
I respectfully disagree with the heart of the term, but in varied usage I'd say that a dungeon-crawl or a korean grinding mmo even when taken in immersion from a top down perspective, is technically still roleplaying, but I'd make the argument that any war game is modifying one's behavior to that of war. I'd make the argument that leaving a notepad beside a chess board then writing down a name and suffix for each of your pieces technically transforms it to a roleplaying game, you could do the same for hockey, or horseshoes, or whatever you want.

So yes, I agree that limited immersion roleplaying is valid to term, but not in spirit, same as someone who's picked up a guitar and tried to play something once technically is a musician, but really couldn't claim to be.

jguy
2011-09-11, 12:03 PM
Yes. Half-wolf albino Alaskan malemute. 5'x3'x2'-ish
http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/5527/kobp.jpg

That dog is obviously asleep, not dead. And there is one of him, not a whole pack. You also have the home-field advantage and access to delicious snacks!

Hanuman
2011-09-11, 05:35 PM
That dog is obviously asleep, not dead. And there is one of him, not a whole pack. You also have the home-field advantage and access to delicious snacks!
What that dogs considers snacks is scary :smalleek:

Greenish
2011-09-11, 05:50 PM
Yes I ran an questionably legal underground community of about 200-300 people for 2 years, full of people who have radically different, and sometimes violently different ideas, I've heard death threats, had people burn symbols into fields, get into police trouble, been threatened to be sued with legal action to pre-empt disclosing compromising information.
The community has several different factions, cliques and groups that come together as a central hub to, ahem, "violate bylaws", so it's a juggling act between keeping the residents, the regulatory forces and the police in check without getting official or being on record.…You're running Fight Club. That explains so much.

Trekkin
2011-09-11, 05:55 PM
Yes. Experience grants the ability to relate to things and we all find satisfaction and even enjoyment out of things we relate to. Not having the experience means not having a large capability to relate to it, it's not that it's his thing but if he's a neckbeard who can't do a pullup, if he's never had a 2' piece of metal pointed at his eye (so that it becomes 1 dimensional in perspective) then he's probably not going to really "get" what it means to be on the front line.
----
Sounds like your battle is with the concept of method acting, I suggest you take your fight to every acting school ever and plead ignorance.


If I'm interpreting this correctly, you're suggesting that if someone experiences something enough, it is a logical certainty they'll come to enjoy or at least appreciate it. While experience does allow for greater appreciation of things, I don't think it's sufficiently direct correlation that one can state with confidence that the only reason he doesn't enjoy fighting is because he hasn't fought enough. If you're saying he can't enjoy it because he's never experienced it, I can only offer casters as the obvious counterexample; nobody I'm aware of has spoken a word to cause a fireball to launch from their hands by sheer force of will, but plenty of them love building wizards to do just that. Conversely, if you're saying he will enjoy it once he experiences it, I'm forced to recall basically every repetitive unpleasant experience I've ever had. For example, I still don't like keeping a lab notebook even though I've been doing so for five years of research and can do it well. I appreciate its value and recognize the complexities of doing so, but it just doesn't appeal to me, like fighting might not appeal to this guy. On a more universal level, when's the last time anyone seriously enjoyed getting a dental checkup or paying their taxes? Perhaps fighting is different, and everyone who fights enough becomes enamored of it. I can't vouch either way for it, having never seriously fought someone with the mutual intent of causing injury; if I haven't been physically hurt enough to make an argument about integrating conflicting playstyles, please forgive a lack of enthusiasm to rectify that on my part. Really, though, I don't think the problem is a lack of experience. The player likes talking, and doesn't like fighting. If there's a way to integrate his talking with the party's fighting or otherwise prevent his enjoyment from conflicting with the party's, that may be a more practicable solution than forcing the player to change his preferences--especially by physically threatening him.

Also, I'm not arguing about the efficacy of method acting. I'm just saying that it's probable that the player is fully aware of what he's doing, and no amount of additional experience is guaranteed to make him happy to fight rather than talk. He wants to sit down to the table and roleplay diplomacy; whether or not he does that by method acting and despite any capability he would have to method act violence, that's his motivation to play, and it might be more practical to change the game rather than the player.

I just wish we knew if he enjoyed his end of diplomacy or the opposing end more. If he just likes speaking, that's a lot simpler to work into a combat-oriented party.

Coidzor
2011-09-11, 06:52 PM
Have you tried using a spray bottle?

Narren
2011-09-11, 09:47 PM
Perhaps fighting is different, and everyone who fights enough becomes enamored of it. I can't vouch either way for it, having never seriously fought someone with the mutual intent of causing injury; if I haven't been physically hurt enough to make an argument about integrating conflicting playstyles, please forgive a lack of enthusiasm to rectify that on my part.

Eh, not really. I started playing at 13, with no fighting experience outside of a few schoolyard brawls. Since then, I've had many years of martial arts and defensive tactics training. Because of my occupation, I've been in numerous physical fights. Some of these were simple brawls with drunk idiots and some of them were literal fights for my life. Some involved weapons, some didn't. I've been very hurt in some of these, and put people in the hospital in others.

And all of that crap has literally not affected my play style in any way. I doubt a sparring match will make Tyndmyr's player appreciate D&D combat more.

Lhurgyof
2011-09-12, 12:49 AM
It sounds like either your player is socially retarded, or you are presenting situations to convince him of this.

Either way, changing the scenario will easily accomplish this.

First off, you are the DM, so first get your shorthairs back in your pants and tell them social stats only are applicable in a reasonable scenario. Social effects, do have static charts, but you decide what the circumstance modifier is for their attempt. Sure, if he's that charming and can play the character damn well then give him his wench and his bartender and mercenary friends, but if he's abusing the stat as a replacement for a mind compulsion and simply saying "my character diplomacizes their faces" hit him in the back of the head with a fat circumstance mod. "Your character gestures 'diplomatically' and then just stares. Roll."

Second off, you need not railroad a social character out of his/her options, just make the situation more risky to do so. By the time he gets to talk, have their knives at your throats, a wrong word might get a finger or two removed, or some teeth punched in until a restore spell can be achieved. Be gritty, be visceral, and be fair. This is what it takes.


If he were my friend, I'd take him out to the backyard and spar with him, teach him what violence means and how **** goes down. People tend to lose that cockyness fast when they realize that a snide comment can lead to a large amount of real pain-- psh, most of the kids I played dnd with as a teenager hadn't even been punched seriously.

Funilly enough, with enough diplomacy or bluff you can essentially mind control people. Look it up in the epic level handbook. :smallwink:
I happen to have a character with like +30 to bluff. That being said, I don't make every or even most encounters use my skills, a good fight is usually in order.

See, if Im trying to solve combat with my skill checks, then I'm stealing the spotlight from every other character. Does your friend understand that? It's also a waste of time.

Its good once in a while, but every time?

Also, I think you should seriously approach him in a way that you won't hurt his feelings. I have a feeling that if you take some of the more extreme suggestions he may get really upset. I dunno, I just have a bad feeling about being mean to this guy. I don't know him at all, but it seems like he may be trying to roleplay to.... be somehing he wishes he was? Its late so this may not make sense, but I know that feeling. And I really don't want you to go and hurt your friends feelings.

Trekkin
2011-09-12, 01:32 AM
And all of that crap has literally not affected my play style in any way. I doubt a sparring match will make Tyndmyr's player appreciate D&D combat more.

That's what I had supposed.



I dunno, I just have a bad feeling about being mean to this guy. I don't know him at all, but it seems like he may be trying to roleplay to.... be somehing he wishes he was?


As much as I agree, we're still left with the problem of his desire, no matter how respectable, detrimentally affecting the party's enjoyment of their games. If this analysis is correct, is there a way to let him be that without bogging the party down?

ZakRenning
2011-09-12, 01:46 AM
Have you tried using a spray bottle?

Hehe that just made my day. :smallbiggrin:

Roderick_BR
2011-09-12, 07:38 AM
Simply put, you'll have to... talk to him. Explain that while his gaming style is not wrong, nor is the rest of group's, and people are getting bored of just talking. People play D&D a lot for the combat, and talking for the whole game is boring. He need to understand that balancing both is what makes a game fun. If he can't understand it, he won't fit with the rest of the party.

Hanuman
2011-09-13, 01:00 AM
If I'm interpreting this correctly, you're suggesting that if someone experiences something enough, it is a logical certainty they'll come to enjoy or at least appreciate it.
No, but it has that possibility. Don't knock it till you try it kind of thing.


While experience does allow for greater appreciation of things, I don't think it's sufficiently direct correlation that one can state with confidence that the only reason he doesn't enjoy fighting is because he hasn't fought enough.
And if he didn't enjoy it out of something than pure ignorance then he probably wouldn't be up to sparring, and if he is then sparring is a great exercise and is much fun.


If you're saying he can't enjoy it because he's never experienced it, I can only offer casters as the obvious counterexample; nobody I'm aware of has spoken a word to cause a fireball to launch from their hands by sheer force of will, but plenty of them love building wizards to do just that.
Well I was a professional fire performer for 3 years (thousands upon thousands of hours of practice), I can ballpark the experience quite well and couldn't imagine it viscerally until I did it.

{Scrubbed}


Also, I'm not arguing about the efficacy of method acting. I'm just saying that it's probable that the player is fully aware of what he's doing, and no amount of additional experience is guaranteed to make him happy to fight rather than talk. He wants to sit down to the table and roleplay diplomacy; whether or not he does that by method acting and despite any capability he would have to method act violence, that's his motivation to play, and it might be more practical to change the game rather than the player.
You make it sound like I was proposing a cure to the FDA.
Also, defense is different than violence, it's animalistic in nature and doesn't need to factor in empathy or morality, you can use your strengths to stop others from getting hurt, which can be done out of love or loyalty and commonly is. Sparring with your friends, knowing they can protect you, this is a activity of respect.

I do value social skill, but this isn't about "is physical prowess better than social prowess", this is about learning the value and importance of both aspects in life, to gain respect for them, and value your friends in different respects and allow them as a DM to both express their affinities or roleplayed affinities in an adventure, and use them to support each other.


And all of that crap has literally not affected my play style in any way. I doubt a sparring match will make Tyndmyr's player appreciate D&D combat more.
Well I appreciate your experience and your opinion, and I don't think I can say if it will or won't, but what I can say is that lack of experience breeds ignorance.


Funilly enough, with enough diplomacy or bluff you can essentially mind control people.
Well, with enough of anything you can do anything, but a good DM will set a ridiculous diplomacy check for bad roleplay, but if you had +900 then I can't imagine you failing let alone imagine what that would look like. At that point it would probably be along the lines of divine NLP.

Katana_Geldar
2011-09-13, 01:34 AM
IMHO there is no Diplomacy roll in the world high enough to convince an NPC to do what you want to do.

I will say this: it is a relief sometimes to solve a fight with diplomacy, saves breaking out the minis.

ken-do-nim
2011-09-13, 06:23 AM
I had a player just like that in the last 3.5 game I DM'd. The encounters I had planned for the session went: bronze golem, ninja, hellfire swarm. He was so *whiny* because he'd maxed out his diplomacy and didn't get a chance to use it. Truth was, however, that he in fact did have a very potent attack against the hellfire swarm - a slow spell, as he was a bard - and didn't even think to use it. He just ran away first thing. Sad.

I abandoned 3.5 after that. I decided I don't like "build" games.

Steward
2011-09-13, 08:04 AM
IMHO there is no Diplomacy roll in the world high enough to convince an NPC to do what you want to do.


What, really?

Then what's the point of the skill then, if it never works on NPCs?

Tyndmyr
2011-09-13, 08:35 AM
What, really?

Then what's the point of the skill then, if it never works on NPCs?

Would agree.

It's a skill that's particularly hard to balance. It can very, very easily be either horrifically broken or essentially worthless.

Incidentally, even the giant's rules cap out at a -20 mod. Even with the additional -20 for single round action diplomacy...it is still possible to build characters such that at moderate level, they can basically yell a few words in combat and stop things, giving them more time to make much, much better checks to get...whatever.

Hanuman
2011-09-13, 09:53 AM
What, really?

Then what's the point of the skill then, if it never works on NPCs?
It's not that it never works, it's that it works the same as a bribe. A bribe isn't mind control, but most people have their price.

Trekkin
2011-09-13, 12:21 PM
{Scrub the post, scrub the quote}

I do value social skill, but this isn't about "is physical prowess better than social prowess", this is about learning the value and importance of both aspects in life, to gain respect for them, and value your friends in different respects and allow them as a DM to both express their affinities or roleplayed affinities in an adventure, and use them to support each other.


That's an interesting conclusion to draw, physiologically speaking. I'll assume it wasn't meant as a personal attack.

I think we're arguing fundamentally the same thing here, but approaching the solution from different--but not mutually exclusive--ways. You're completely right in saying that sufficient experience with fighting (in which I include sparring, if you'll forgive my brevity) would preclude a judgment based on ignorance. It's my belief that there are too many confounding variables between that and his adoption of a more balanced playstyle, though. He may, for all we know, love the idea of it, but dislike its rules implementation or be wary of his ability to run an engaging combat as a DM, for example. I'm just wary of assuming that experience in real-life sparring will equate to greater willingness to fight and run fights during roleplaying.

My proposal was that the best way to get him better used to roleplaying combat was to frame it in terms of the facets of roleplaying he already enjoys, getting him to willingly engage in it in a more tangential way and thereby at least get the party fighting while he's doing something he enjoys. Even if the rest of it fails, at least the party is bored less. You're quite right that as long as he does not engage in combat, it's doubtful he'll be willing to; I'm just proposing getting him exposed to it more directly albeit less straightforwardly in the hopes that he will willingly modify his playstyle.

bigjeff5
2011-09-13, 01:30 PM
You've got to put some reasonable limits on diplomacy. Regardless of what the rules say, there are some common sense situations where diplomacy should and shouln't work.

It should be able to get you out of fights where the basis of the conflict is some sort of misunderstanding - but only before the fight begins.

It should only be able to stop a fight if there is a strong leader in the group of enemies, and that leader isn't actively fighting and is thus available to listen to the diplomat. If the leader is actively stabbing someone, they are going to be all hopped up on adrenaline and your silver tongue will do no good, as he's simply ignoring you.

Similarly, it is pointless to use diplomacy on a weak leader. You'll be able to convince him to stop, sure, but he won't be able to stop his crew once they start fighting.

If the party is fighting an enemy that actively hates the party and knows all about how silver tongued the diplomat, you are going to start out with a massive negative modifier to diplomacy checks, and the enemy will likely kill on sight (starting with the hated diplomat).

Incredibly angry individuals can be impossible to reason with for the same reason as above: they aren't capable of reasoning beyond "kill the bastard!", so diplomacy would automatically fail.

A wise BBEG who keeps a group of deaf-mute guards isn't even going to hear the diplomat - they'll see a threat and simply attack. Party members who can't defend themselves adequately tend to die in these situations.

Last but not least, when you are DM'ing, if you feel the negative modifiers are inadequate, simply raise them. If you have a party member that is spoiling everyone's fun because of a game mechanic, change the mechanic so it's fair to everyone. It's like a mid-level archer who can tag a falcon diving at top speed from 100 yards away - I mean, wut? That's virtually impossible with modern rifle, and he can do it with a bow and arrow? Not likely - up the penalty beyond what the book says*.

*Note that I don't actually know what the penalty for this would be, but it should be way above -20, into the realm of "basically impossible". No matter what their skill, I'd probably roll a 100 sided dice and let them hit on a 99 or 100.

EDITED to note that Tyndmyr mentioned his entire group is military, including Mr Talkypants.

He probably knows how to fight and shoot a rifle and generally "be violent" better than most people in this thread, so it's clearly not a lack of experience that is the problem, and insisting that it is is pretty close-minded. It's one of those "but if they could only understand what I mean, they'd be on my side!" situations. Perhaps they understand it perfectly, and disagree?

In fact, I could see the military experience pushing him toward diplomacy in his fantasy games - i.e. not having to fight is the fantasy for him. I'm non-military, but a few of my friends are. I like to shoot guns, but I don't very often. One of my military friends loves to go shooting. Another hates it. The one that hates it basically doesn't find it any fun at all to work on his time off. It's just not fun for him.

Likewise, some military folks might really enjoy pretend fighting on their time off, while others may find it silly to pretend to do something that they already do in real life.

See what I'm saying? Different strokes for different folks, basically. People can see your point of view without agreeing with it. I think the guy should be accommodated, but not at the expense of the other players. Find a middle ground and stick to it.

Steward
2011-09-13, 04:04 PM
It's not that it never works, it's that it works the same as a bribe. A bribe isn't mind control, but most people have their price.

That's the way I view the skill too, but Katana said that there is no way to use Diplomacy to get an NPC to do what you want. Doesn't that seem a little too restrictive? That's like giving a player a sword and saying, "There is no attack roll that you can get that will allow this sword to harm a monster".

Now that I think about it, I could be reading that post completely wrong, but I don't think I've ever heard of a house-rule that basically says, 'Diplomacy never works'.


You've got to put some reasonable limits on diplomacy. Regardless of what the rules say, there are some common sense situations where diplomacy should and shouln't work.

I like this system, and in fact, this is the way that pretty much all skills and abilities should work. If you've created a campaign where your problem player can roll a single d20 and solve every single encounter instantly, you've made a mistake.

NichG
2011-09-13, 06:03 PM
It's perfectly reasonable to give Diplomacy a different function than direct behavior influence, so you could indeed have a system where 'no Diplomacy check no matter how high can force behavior', but Diplomacy still does something. E.g. 'if you hit DC X, you get to know whether a deal would be accepted before proposing it; if you hit DC Y, you get to know whether you could ask for more and still have it be accepted; if you hit DC Z, you can know the most valuable thing to offer; if you hit DC Q, you can take back something you just said and try again'.

Acanous
2011-09-13, 08:29 PM
Yes. Experience grants the ability to relate to things and we all find satisfaction and even enjoyment out of things we relate to.

If I'm interpreting this correctly, you're suggesting that if someone experiences something enough, it is a logical certainty they'll come to enjoy or at least appreciate it.

No, but it has that possibility. Don't knock it till you try it kind of thing.

...Am I a bad person for wanting to see this played out in court?

Beeskee
2011-09-13, 10:17 PM
There's a lot of good suggestions in this thread. And some really bizarre tangents. :)

For when you are DMing:

The stuff about rolling for diplomacy even for excellent speeches is good. (Anyone else reading this, keep in mind that if it were the other way around: dealing with players who didn't seem to want to use diplomacy at all, I'd recommend letting a really awesome speech override a poor diplomacy roll.)

Also keeping diplomacy short, if the first few rolls/speeches are successful you can wrap it up by saying "... And the talks conclude successfully."

You can have them face groups of monsters where some in that group can be diplomatted and some can't. Maybe a group with ogres which are all for a fight and goblins who would rather be anywhere else.

Involve other players in the diplomacy. If it's just one character giving speeches, have the NPC they're trying to persuade turn to the rest of the group and ask them what they think or what they have to say.

Remind the player OOCly that they're missing out on loot opportunities. They might be able to convince, say, a group of bandits to not attack them, but there's no way at all that they should be able to convince that same group of bandits to give them their armor, weapons, and gold.

Set limits to what diplomacy can accomplish. Especially if the above has not been true before, and that player has somehow been talking enemies out of all their gold and equipment. For the aforementioned bandit encounter, the diplomancer may be able to get the bandits to settle for taking only half the party's gold instead of all of it. I imagine that would still be unacceptable to the party and they'd end up in combat anyway, even though technically the diplomacy was a success.


For when they are DMing:

Talk to them about how you'd like a mix of combat and diplomacy. Show them the Star Wars Pacing Chart (here (http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/4032/beyond_pacing_games_arent_.php?print=1). Thanks Extra Credits (http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/episode-07-pacing)!) and ask them to have a better mix of both combat and non-combat, with peaks of exciting moments and quiet spots in between for breathers that diplomacy can fill nicely.



And finally, the 4th edition Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide are both excellent references. Even if you prefer another edition, there are some really good tips and guides in both of those.

Katana_Geldar
2011-09-13, 10:44 PM
What, really?

Then what's the point of the skill then, if it never works on NPCs?

Sorry, I should have clarified it as "getting an NPC to do something they really don't want to do".

Beeskee
2011-09-13, 10:47 PM
Sorry, I should have clarified it as "getting an NPC to do something they really don't want to do".

Right, Diplomacy is not a Charm spell. :smallbiggrin: And even that has limits.


I'm reading through your Tomb of Horrors campaign btw, it's pretty awesome.

Hanuman
2011-09-14, 02:41 AM
I'm just wary of assuming that experience in real-life sparring will equate to greater willingness to fight and run fights during roleplaying.
Extremely verbose.

If you are wary in a situation then factor that in and choose. I'm saying what works for me and my life, be receptive to the situation, that is the time to be wary if there is cause for concern.



Incredibly angry individuals can be impossible to reason with for the same reason as above: they aren't capable of reasoning beyond "kill the bastard!", so diplomacy would automatically fail.
I think that's valid for a check alone, but I think when you've got crossbows to your heads that you can roleplay your way into being spared, especially if you make it worth their while. Even if they intend to kill you, you can reasonably postpone their actions, but perhaps not intent.


EDITED to note that Tyndmyr mentioned his entire group is military, including Mr Talkypants.
Me as well =P

TBH there's no good sparring outside competitive sport sparring in the military, US or CA.


...Am I a bad person for wanting to see this played out in court?
Safe, sane and consensual.

Steward
2011-09-14, 06:41 AM
Sorry, I should have clarified it as "getting an NPC to do something they really don't want to do".

Ah, gotcha. I totally agree then.

Tyndmyr
2011-09-14, 06:41 AM
It's perfectly reasonable to give Diplomacy a different function than direct behavior influence, so you could indeed have a system where 'no Diplomacy check no matter how high can force behavior', but Diplomacy still does something. E.g. 'if you hit DC X, you get to know whether a deal would be accepted before proposing it; if you hit DC Y, you get to know whether you could ask for more and still have it be accepted; if you hit DC Z, you can know the most valuable thing to offer; if you hit DC Q, you can take back something you just said and try again'.

That's not really diplomacy, though...it's basically changing the skill to haggling.

Also, regardless of what ya'll think on the matter, I have no inclination to solve this by punching. This is a relatively minor problem as things go...I enjoy the subtle fixes, and I really don't think that the whole "getting him to spar" leads to "him liking sparring" leads to "him liking RPG combat" is a logically sound path.

I mean, it's not like sparring even has that much in common with a dungeon crawl.

GungHo
2011-09-14, 03:32 PM
It sounds like both you and the diplomacy guy are both failing your diplomacy checks.

Unfortunately, my only suggestion is to try more diplomacy. Mix it up. Do a bit of both. Take turns DMing. Do your beat-em-up campaign for a session or two and then do his talky campaign. If folks really (really) can't stand the talky campaign and really (really) want to keep doing the beat-em-up only, then it will become pretty clear what everyone really wants to do and he'll have to make a choice to either continue with the group or not.

If he continues to try to "munchkin" his way into using diplomacy to solve every problem, I'd suggest either having it backfire on him or give obstacles that can't be spoken through. And, that doesn't have to be a bunch of mind-controlled slaves/abberations. If current real-world politics hasn't elucidated to you that even educated people can and will continue to remain steadfast to a position despite how eloquent any counter-argument may be, then I don't know how to proceed with further examples.

Personally, I like talky campaigns. I'm a talky player. However, I play with a bunch of former military guys and cops, so eventually things start getting blowed up. My desire to hang out with my buddies wins over my amateur thespianism. They entertain me by giving me talky stuff... but they also keep me in check by helping me understand that we're all the stars of the show.

Daimbert
2011-09-14, 04:28 PM
When he's a player, I'd encourage him to take on one of two main roles:

The standard Dirk Benedict character (see Face from A-Team or Starbuck from the original Battlestar Galactica).

A -- and kudos to anyone who gets the reference -- Nigel Bailey type character (from Relic Hunter).

For the former, we all know the type. The character is a smooth talker and tries to run their life that way. They don't like to fight. But when the time comes to fight, they're really good at it. A class like Dashing Swordsman or even sorcerer where the Charisma can be turned to mechanical advantage works really well here, and if this guy wants to take on that sort of character he'd have to focus a bit on combat ... which will make it easier to sometimes foil his diplomacy and allow for combat without irritating anyone. And how do you guarantee it? How did the writers make that happen for those characters? By tossing in unexpected circumstances which made it so that no one in their right mind would expect that diplomacy or bluff would work, such as his trying to convince them that he's the BBEG's brother and having one reply "Well, I find that hard to believe, since I'M his brother". Or having him face off with a bunch of angry villains and making a speech that would work on any reasonable person, but pointing out that these guys aren't exactly reasonable at the moment. Don't do it all the time; let him avoid combat sometimes, and not some other times, but help him make his character good in combat as well.

Or, the Nigel Bailey character: useless at fighting, but really good at everything else (okay, he wasn't great at diplomacy, but it can be worked in) and try to align the backgrounds so that that is expected. Expect that player to do more than just diplomacy, but also research and history and all of that in exchange for not being combat-oriented. Let things fail occasionally, but then make it so that in general he can stay out of combat without problems, only chipping in in odd cases or also doing some of those other things that need to be done, like his deciphering the hieroglyphics while the rest hold off the undead besieging them so they can escape with the relic ... er, loot [grin].

For both, also add in cases where at first talking won't work, but after the party demonstrates their combat ability the enemies get far more inclined to listen. So, at first, say that they think they can take the party and have no reason to listen to them (start them off with the attitude that they want to attack/kill the party). After you take out half of them, introduce a lull where the talkative character can point that out and ask them to reconsider.

Also, make it for that player the combat are the not quite as interesting things he needs to get through to get to the really fun stuff, instead of the really dull things that might make up the whole game if he isn't allowed to do his thing.

As for DM'ing, hopefully after seeing well-balanced campaigns that really work for everyone he'll see that more balance is good.