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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default How should it be played?

    I play a few games and I DM one. One of my games I play in has around 8 to 10 people playing. The game I DM has 5 players. And the last game is 4 players. My games all complain about roleplaying time and combat time. In the large game we play majority of combat and almost no roleplay, but that is our DM, we all optimize cause to survive you have to, though death is very common, and complaints of metagaming are high. In the game I am DMing we spend equal time doing both, though I require roleplaying to spark from players and not be prompted, and combat sparks from there or they go in a dungeon. My last game with 4 players is majority roleplay, combat is even roleplay, we must describe everything and we must play our characters to the core. The problem is that the large game spends so much time in combat and that the smaller games rush through, I am looking for a reason why a large game shouldn't be more roleplay and a small game more combat should happen because you spend less time going thru the rounds and you can go on to the roleplaying, or take time to roleplay the combat even.

    As players and DMs would you rather have a large game roleplaying or fighting?
    And same for smaller game?

    I know it is a DM thing most of the time but as a player can we bring more roleplay even if the DM does not cooperate? Or should I find a new game?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    crimson77's Avatar

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    Default Re: How should it be played?

    Quote Originally Posted by DareTheRogue View Post
    As players and DMs would you rather have a large game roleplaying or fighting?
    And same for smaller game?
    I would first like to point out that I do not consider describing what is occurring as roleplaying. Roleplaying transcends just description, it is acting or becoming that character during play.

    Now, you ask, what would I prefer with a large group roleplaying for hack-n-slash? I would prefer a little bit of both, but it would really depend on the DM. Some DMs are wonderful with tactics and unique encounters which make the battles amazing. Other DMs see combat similar to the old "Might&Magic" video games where there is little movement and you just roll your hits and damage. Some DMs are great with roleplaying and bring out amazing NPCs for characters to interact with or create non-combat dungeon situations for the players to act out what they are going to do based on their character.

    When I play, i enjoy some tactical fighting and some roleplaying with the combat rounds short and action packed.

    For a DM it is often a hard balance to keeping things moving so that all players are having fun. I think that at least 50% of the players should be involved in something at any given moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by DareTheRogue View Post
    I know it is a DM thing most of the time but as a player can we bring more roleplay even if the DM does not cooperate? Or should I find a new game?
    Start with your characters interacting with each other. This will take some of the pressure off the DM to have every second fun for the whole group. Suggest being a co-DM so that you can help speed up things a bit.
    I am posting from my IPhone 90% of the time. Please forgive any spellcheck errors.
    Notice: All events written about or discussed on this site are fictional and fantasy/science fiction based.They are for entertainment purposes only within a fantasy/science fiction game and any relationship to the real world (events, individuals, situations, etc) are unintended and coincidental.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: How should it be played?

    I would just like to point out that when your group is large, you often have the roleplaying spotlight stolen by the most active/outgoing players at the table, whereas in combat everyone gets a turn to play.
    "Nothing you can't spell will ever work." - Will Rogers

    Watch me draw and swear at video games.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Prometheus's Avatar

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    Default Re: How should it be played?

    It depends entirely on the players as to how the game is played. I've played large and small games more or less in each emphasis. I have noticed that just having a couple of players care about roleplaying will usually spark many of the others, but there are some players who will never care that much about it.

    My biggest concern with the issue has been that combat in large games has taken so long, that many players would rather only pay attention when it is there turn, and is forced to take a large portion of the game whether or not that is the style it is intended to be played. Therefore, if nothing else, reduce the random encounters with a big group.

    Finally, the two don't have to be mutually exclusive.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How should it be played?

    As a non-D&D player I always find the idea of a balance between "combat" and "roleplayng" (which seems to broadly mean "everything that isn't combat") a bit weird.

    It's like trying to strike a balance between "scenes that take place in a city" and "scenes that take place in a field". It's simply a non-issue: combat is neither desirable nor undesirable, to be sought out nor avoided. It's just a thing that the PCs can do.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: How should it be played?

    Before I address the questions raised by the OP, I will address the post by Dan_Hemmens.

    I've been playing for about 2.5-3 years, and DMing for a year less than that. I agree with part of what you said, and disagree with part of it; I understand completely where you are coming from. The heart of the issue, though, is that not everyone sees things the same way. Pretty obvious, you would think, but it really isn't obvious -- even to you. Your post showed that though you may think you know that, you don't. I shall analyze and explain.

    As a non-D&D player I always find the idea of a balance between "combat" and "roleplayng" (which seems to broadly mean "everything that isn't combat") a bit weird.

    It's like trying to strike a balance between "scenes that take place in a city" and "scenes that take place in a field". It's simply a non-issue: combat is neither desirable nor undesirable, to be sought out nor avoided. It's just a thing that the PCs can do.
    First, let's assume your definition of "roleplaying" is correct (it isn't necessarily-it depends on whom you ask). Let's move on, then, to your analogy. Let's again assume that all scenes take place either in a field, or a city, but not both or neither (this is in line with our first assumption). Further, let's assume we're talking (for your analogy) about real life, not a game. Your next sentence then shows that you, aware or not, don't realize how differently others see things from the way you do.
    You said, "It's simply a non-issue: combat is neither desirable nor undesirable, [neither] to be sought out nor avoided." Replace combat with city scene. Suddenly, this statement becomes blatantly, obviously, and glaringly false. Of course whether something happens in a city or a field is an issue! Some people hate cities! Other people hate the country. Still others love cities, but feel they need to go to the county to get some fresh air; or perhaps they love the country but want the convenience of the city once in a while. Balancing being in the city versus the country might be a very important thing. It would be ridiculous to say it couldn't be.
    Yet, you used this analogy without realizing that. That shows that you either didn't truly think about it, or you were unaware of how other people felt about the issue. If we hold our first and second assumptions, your analogy is actually a very good one - but it implies that balance does matter, not that it doesn't.

    HOWEVER, there's a teeny problem. That lies in that many people (not all) think that the first assumption (that roleplay is essentially all non-combat) is a false assumption. I am one of those people. While I acknowledge that the above analogy is useful in gaging how some others feel, I also believe that it is incomplete because of the false assumption. Combat is fighting, casting spells while fighting, and everything done while fighting. Roleplay is speaking and acting within the context of what's happening in the game as if you were the character you're playing. This means two things.
    1) First, there are things that are neither combat nor roleplaying. The rogue disarms a trap, the team navigates a dungeon without enemies, the caster dispells illusions, the group travels across the countryside. These activities, in and of themselves, are not combat or roleplaying. They can have roleplaying elements added to them, however.
    2) Second, something can be combat AND roleplaying. The party, in character, shouts suggestions to one another or banters with each other while slaying the orcs. The fighter calls a war-cry and insults the parentage of the highwaymen assaulting them. The rogue comes up with a tactical plan on the battlefield. These are examples of both.




    Now, to answer the OP.
    First, read everything after the big "however" above. It has relevance. As far as what's better for a large versus small group, I have to say that it depends entirely on the attitude of the players. Large groups can make combat more cumbersome, but if all the players are willing to make snap decisions and think about what they're going to do before their turn, it can work. Small groups - it doesn't make any difference; whatever the players want works best. As far as roleplaying when the DM wants to just do combat - just start talking in character, doing things in character, etc. Either roleplay will ensue, and all's good, or you'll be repressed, and that's a good signal that you need to find a new group.

    My group (that I DM) has 8 party members - 1NPC, 1Cohort, and 6PCs. We do a reasonable amount of both roleplay and combat, as well as roleplay at the same time as combat.

    -Fiery Diamond
    I'm currently writing a story, titled "Zenith: Another World Saga."

    It's a fantasy/adventure story. Here's the summary:

    When I opened my eyes, I was in a fantasy world. I quickly discovered that it functioned off of game-like rules (levels, EXP, skills, and so on). Taking the name Zenith, I decided to make the best of my new world and live as an adventurer aiming for the top together with my new best friend Rozenskye. And I might be functionally immortal? An Isekai-style story.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Neon Knight's Avatar

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    Default Re: How should it be played?

    Mr. Diamond:

    I believe you have misinterpreted Mr. Hemmens statement. My interpretation of his post was that combat was not objectively good or bad; He though that when earlier players stated a preference for a balance of combat and non-combat that this balance had to be maintained despite the preference of the players.

    If one group wants nothing but combat, then they should receive nothing but combat.

    He interpreted the earlier posts as meaning: Any combat that the players encounter must be balanced out by non-combat. To him, this was odd, since he feels non-combat should only be encountered if the players want it.

    What Mr. Hemmens was stating was that combat does not need to be balanced against non-combat; the group should pursue the amount and level of combat and non-combat they want, regardless of the ratio to the opposite.

    That is, if I interpreted him correctly.
    Last edited by Neon Knight; 2008-02-22 at 08:32 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Fiery Diamond's Avatar

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    Default Re: How should it be played?

    Ah. If that is what the poster intended, then I did indeed misunderstand. It seemed to me, however, that he was saying that it wasn't good or bad, not that it wasn't objectively good or bad, which are two completely different statements, from my point of view, since it certainly can be subjectively good or bad. However, if I misunderstood and you in fact interpreted the post correctly, then I suppose that there wasn't a lot of point to my showing what I believe to be true about the issue, other than providing context for the statement that "it all depends on the players."

    Oh well. It was a good argument anyway (I thought). Maybe he'll come back and tell us what he meant. If he did mean that balancing for the sake of balancing was pointless, then I agree. I just thought that he meant bothering to make an effort to balance was pointless, which I disagree with. (Given that "balance" to me doesn't necessarily mean making a 50-50 ratio. A "balanced" diet, after all, isn't one in which you eat as much fat as you do carbs and proteins.)

    Thank you, Kasrkin, for pointing out that I may have misunderstood.

    -Fiery Diamond
    Last edited by Fiery Diamond; 2008-02-22 at 09:52 PM.
    I'm currently writing a story, titled "Zenith: Another World Saga."

    It's a fantasy/adventure story. Here's the summary:

    When I opened my eyes, I was in a fantasy world. I quickly discovered that it functioned off of game-like rules (levels, EXP, skills, and so on). Taking the name Zenith, I decided to make the best of my new world and live as an adventurer aiming for the top together with my new best friend Rozenskye. And I might be functionally immortal? An Isekai-style story.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How should it be played?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiery Diamond View Post
    First, let's assume your definition of "roleplaying" is correct (it isn't necessarily-it depends on whom you ask). Let's move on, then, to your analogy. Let's again assume that all scenes take place either in a field, or a city, but not both or neither (this is in line with our first assumption). Further, let's assume we're talking (for your analogy) about real life, not a game. Your next sentence then shows that you, aware or not, don't realize how differently others see things from the way you do.
    You said, "It's simply a non-issue: combat is neither desirable nor undesirable, [neither] to be sought out nor avoided." Replace combat with city scene. Suddenly, this statement becomes blatantly, obviously, and glaringly false. Of course whether something happens in a city or a field is an issue! Some people hate cities! Other people hate the country. Still others love cities, but feel they need to go to the county to get some fresh air; or perhaps they love the country but want the convenience of the city once in a while. Balancing being in the city versus the country might be a very important thing. It would be ridiculous to say it couldn't be.
    Yet, you used this analogy without realizing that. That shows that you either didn't truly think about it, or you were unaware of how other people felt about the issue. If we hold our first and second assumptions, your analogy is actually a very good one - but it implies that balance does matter, not that it doesn't.
    Emphasis mine.

    I think you're rather missing the point. We're *not* talking about real life, we're talking about a game. Sure if you're choosing a place to *live* then "city versus country" is a serious decision. If you're designing an adventure it totally isn't. It's not like you think "well they're going to fight their way up the valley of darkness, rest in the village of Nevermere, and then make the final assault on the Tower of Darkness ... but wait, I have to preserve the balance between city scenes and country scenes, so they have to go to a town at some point in between".

    The point I was making was that to me "combat" isn't an end in itself, it's just a thing that can happen. Substitute whichever analogies you like: scenes in which the characters are wearing hats, scenes in which there are more than three NPCs present, whatever.

    Point being, to me, combat is a non-issue. I don't think "hmm, there should be a fight here to break things up" or "hmm, there's been too much fighting, better put some roleplaying in now."

    HOWEVER, there's a teeny problem. That lies in that many people (not all) think that the first assumption (that roleplay is essentially all non-combat) is a false assumption. I am one of those people. While I acknowledge that the above analogy is useful in gaging how some others feel, I also believe that it is incomplete because of the false assumption. Combat is fighting, casting spells while fighting, and everything done while fighting. Roleplay is speaking and acting within the context of what's happening in the game as if you were the character you're playing. This means two things.
    1) First, there are things that are neither combat nor roleplaying. The rogue disarms a trap, the team navigates a dungeon without enemies, the caster dispells illusions, the group travels across the countryside. These activities, in and of themselves, are not combat or roleplaying. They can have roleplaying elements added to them, however.
    2) Second, something can be combat AND roleplaying. The party, in character, shouts suggestions to one another or banters with each other while slaying the orcs. The fighter calls a war-cry and insults the parentage of the highwaymen assaulting them. The rogue comes up with a tactical plan on the battlefield. These are examples of both.
    As I had hoped would be obvious, the "combat vs everything else" dichotomy presented above was deliberately false, indeed my entire point was that I don't make that distinction, that I see "combat" as just being part of "everything else".

    For what it's worth, I also don't by the "talking in character" definition of "roleplaying" either. I tend to see everything that happens in an RPG as roleplaying by definition.
    Last edited by Dan_Hemmens; 2008-02-23 at 06:42 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How should it be played?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kasrkin View Post
    Mr. Diamond:

    I believe you have misinterpreted Mr. Hemmens statement. My interpretation of his post was that combat was not objectively good or bad; He though that when earlier players stated a preference for a balance of combat and non-combat that this balance had to be maintained despite the preference of the players.

    If one group wants nothing but combat, then they should receive nothing but combat.

    He interpreted the earlier posts as meaning: Any combat that the players encounter must be balanced out by non-combat. To him, this was odd, since he feels non-combat should only be encountered if the players want it.

    What Mr. Hemmens was stating was that combat does not need to be balanced against non-combat; the group should pursue the amount and level of combat and non-combat they want, regardless of the ratio to the opposite.

    That is, if I interpreted him correctly.
    Basically, my point was a little from column A, and a little from column B, which is to say, both you and Mr Diamond are half-right.

    What I was saying was that not only are there some groups who actively want more or less combat in a game, but that there are also some groups (like mine) for which combat is literally a non issue. Not only am I saying that the right balance between combat and non-combat (which some people call "roleplaying") is subjective, but that there are some people who don't feel the need to balance the two at all.

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: How should it be played?

    Having played in a large group, I would definitely not recommend playing in a large group. Combat takes forever, and the more charismatic people at the table always get the spotlight during roleplaying. I try to stay away from large groups whenever I can.

    For smaller groups (my current is 4 players and a DM) I would prefer if there was more oppourtunity for roleplaying and less combat. I would also like to see skill based challenges pop up now and again. But that's just my preference; loads of people like combat way more than they like roleplay. Whatever floats your boat. As long as you have fun doing it.
    ---Spider Dave

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: How should it be played?

    In my experience, in large parties, some people will wind up being the face characters and dominating any non-combat situation through having the loudest voices or characters that take leadership roles or demand attention as much as possible. Ultimately, to get the whole party involved, sometimes it feels that one -has- to begin combat, because otherwise, the rest of the party will wander away from the table (even if it's just a metaphorical table) and you have to go hunt them down when they're actually needed.

    At 8 to 10 players, if I had to guess, your DM might be feeling that. Non-combat time is great.. for those characters who are built as primarily faces, but for the combat-oriented types, non-combat time is ultimately time between fights. And if you have 10 faces in your group, then great, your DM should be pandering a little to that.

    RP can occur mid-combat, too, especially if you and the other players are interested and motivated enough to make it happen.

    It could also be the DM, who might be running a combat-oriented game. The real question is, as always, are you having fun?

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Newtkeeper's Avatar

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    Default Re: How should it be played?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Hemmens View Post
    As a non-D&D player I always find the idea of a balance between "combat" and "roleplayng" (which seems to broadly mean "everything that isn't combat") a bit weird.

    It's like trying to strike a balance between "scenes that take place in a city" and "scenes that take place in a field". It's simply a non-issue: combat is neither desirable nor undesirable, to be sought out nor avoided. It's just a thing that the PCs can do.
    And that, I feel, is wisdom. Truly, thou art enlightened.
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