After last week, I suggested to a couple of people I rather enjoyed the cathartic nature of the blog but I subsequently promised my favourite writer that I wouldn’t simply rant ever week, and that I should also write positive things.
It’s been a funny old week (and that’s funny strange, not funny ha-ha by the way). I’ve had some highs and sadly some extreme lows – but I’m still here.
Assuming Corvus doesn’t die, she’s going to appear in her first ever Invasion as an Ally. Something I would not have contemplated when I wrote that blog last week.
And she’ll be wearing armour. Kind of. OK…I plan to hand-wave the defensive capabilities and wear it for the theatre of it (no spoilers, OK) so just don’t tell Taeli, right?
And I grew a slightly thicker skin and made some RP decisions that I can’t share but that means I’m determined to live up to my own expectations and not avoid ‘stuff.’ And that made me feel rather good if I’m honest. It’s always darkest before the dawn they say, and believe me, it couldn’t have gotten any bleaker from my position earlier this week.
Anyway…I like to ponder unanswerable problems. I don’t know why, I just do. Plus, I like to consider both sides of both sides – I am something of a devil’s advocate (or just awkward – both fit, pick the one that works for you).
So a small conundrum has been rattling around in my brain for a while now and I’m darned if I have a solution – but I do want to share my thoughts. And I will remain positive, so…
Consider a role-playing scenario. In it, the player’s character has to fast-talk his way out of a situation. Imagine you had a player that was naturally gifted with improvisation. Role-playing would take to the floor and he would probably be able to talk his way out of the problem.
Now consider an average player. If his parents had rolled dice, he would be straight 10’s – with maybe a 9 thrown in somewhere. He can’t do the talk as effectively and finally asks to roll a die instead.
If both players had a character that had bluff or a similar skill, both PCs would survive the encounter. On the other hand, if the character lacked these skills, the eloquent player may get away with it and the tongue-tied player would flounder.
Now I already have the first counter-argument ready. Don’t let the smooth-talker have the chance to role-play his way out of trouble if the character doesn’t have the skills.
But if you extend that logic – we would never role-play. We’d simply roll the dice at every situation and let the stats decide.
We could of course force players to only roll characters that reflect their natural abilities – but what’s the fun in playing yourself?
I can see some logic in limiting meta-gaming but not to the extent of taking away any opportunity to role-play. And I was reminded of an old ‘Dragon’s Inn’ podcast where a player with autism emailed in to relive where he was forced to role-play a social situation and the GM refused to let him roll dice. And how he found the situation utterly beyond him and of course his character failed – even though the stats said this should have been easy for his PC.
Which leads me neatly into a closed circle. I don’t believe that the stats should be used exclusively. Nor do I think it’s fair that some players can compensate for their character’s deficiencies and other players can’t. Do I have a solution? No.
Other than accepting the situation and applying that much misunderstood term ‘common sense’ wherever possible, I guess I’ll just have to live with the injustice of it all.
So what does this mean for CHAOS. Well PvP feels like that sometimes. I often say that Corvus is a better fighter than I’m a writer of fighting. She’s had 22 years of daily practice, I haven’t. So is PvP character versus character or writer versus writer? And does it matter? Does anyone even care? I guess I do as I said at the outset – I like to solve things and leave them gift-wrapped with a neat bow.
But as I also said, I’m happy to carry on without a solution. You see…
I've looked at this from both sides now,
From win and lose,
And still somehow,
It's PvP illusions I recall.
I really don't know PvP at all.