Tobold's Blog
Monday, May 26, 2014
 
New player guide to role-playing: Ask me anything

Without wanting to turn this blog into Reddit, I could use some more feedback on my "New player guide to role-playing" series of posts. Before I go off on some tangent nobody is interested in, I'd rather ask my readers whether there is anything in particular they want to know about pen & paper role-playing games. Please, use the comment section of this post to ask me anything you want to know about RPGs.

Comments:
You talked a lot about D&D, how do you deal with the traditional alignment grid? I find it very difficult to accept that I need to be both good and lawful, or chaotic and neutral, and not simply good, lawful, chaotic, or neutral. I feel the traditional grid tries to limit good role-play too much in order for mechanics of the game to make sense. Granted, I played very little of 4th edition, and even there we mostly just threw the alignment charts out of the window before we moved to Dungeon World.
 
How does good roleplaying trump a permanent +1 to X, and should it?
 
If I want to initiate friends that have never tried RRPG (Real Role Playing Game ;-) ), how can I start ?
I have played 3-4 session of RPG, (1 D&D, 1 created one, 1 Masquerade (my best session) and one other (not so good ), and I think some of my friends can like it.But I would have at most a 3h session to convince them, and I do not want to put €€ in a game I will play once !

You spoke about knowing the rule to not have very long combat. Is there a way to discover this game without each turn taking XX min ?

Last question : If my friends are not willing to try it, where can I try it ?
 
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Reply to Ettesiun.

Couple of questions first:

Does it have to be with existing friends?

Do you want to be the DM/GM?

If the answer to both is no, then there will be a club or group somewhere in your locality that will be playing it. They will have the books, they will have everything - you might need to buy a mini-figurine and a set of dice, but that's it.

Just google YOUR_CITY_HERE D&D club and you'll find them.

Pro-tip: Don't use greater than and less than symbols in forum posts if you want something readable that you won't have to delete.
 
How do you deal with players who don't play their alignment? Do you give them more leeway on intentionally difficult moral choices?

Scenario: NPC Bob is a fruit vendor. PC is a lawful good paladin.

Take 1: PC kills Bob for fun.

Take 2: PC finds out Bob is selling poisoned fruit. Kills Bob, not realising Bob didn't know the fruit was poisoned.

Take 3: PC finds out Bob has willingly accepted to sell poisoned fruit from a demon who keeps Bob's children alive (they are suffering some incurable disease). PC kills Bob/doesn't kill Bob. What? :P
 
Yeah interesting question and here is how I usually handle this situation and if IIRC it is in line with what the "Book of Exalted Deeds" has to say about these challenges.

Scenario 1: PC kills Bob for fun.
##> Player Alignment changes to Chaotic Evil immediately, Player loses all Powers // Killing for pleasure is defined as an outright evil act in the D&D universe, even if the local law permits people to kill other people for no reason (other than pleasure).

Scenario 2: PC finds out Bob is selling poisoned fruit. Kills Bob, not realising Bob didn't know the fruit was poisoned.
##> This one is a bit more tricky. It depends what the local law and the codex of the Paladin order says about killing wrongdoers and how the order is implemented in the law enforcement. If Paladins are accepted as Judges and Executors in one person and if they are permitted to kill as a form of punishment for committing crimes (in the Gameworld of your DM), it depends on, if the accused was given a chance to defend himself.
a) if there was no fair Trial => Player Alignment changes to Lawful Evil (or Evil in 4E) or Chaotic Evil (depending on the case at hand), and loses all powers
b) if there was a Trial but the case for the accused was not strong enough (because he was framed), Players Alignment wouldn't change but he would loose his Paladin powers until a higher member from his order/faith has cast Atonement-Spell on him and/or he had fulfilled a quest to repay for his sin of having executed an innocent man.

Scenario 3: PC finds out Bob has willingly accepted to sell poisoned fruit from a demon who keeps Bob's children alive (they are suffering some incurable disease). PC kills Bob/doesn't kill Bob. What? :P
##> Now it gets messy. D&D and Paladins are not really made for the gray area, because when your DM constantly challenges you with this kind of questions you are doomed to loose you Paladin status sooner or later. Because the Paladin Codex don't give you freedom in this matter. Depending on your Gameworld and how the faith/order is implemented in the judicial system you have to at least subdue Bob and bring him to justice (get him to court to stand trial, execute him, depending on what the game world expects from a Paladin of your order).
After that you can try to save the children and destroy the demon. But a Paladin has no right to decide that the lives of the eventually killed fruit customers from bob are less important than the children. The only thing the Paladin might be able to to do if the circumstances allow it, to just stop Bob and preventing him from further selling poisoned fruit and make sure that he later stands trial for his crimes, to speed up the rescue mission for Bob's children.
 
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