Role-Play or Die Trying

I draw my father’s sword from it’s scabbard hanging loosely from my old leather belt. The ring of steel echoes off the surrounding buildings that stand like a canyon about me.
Sweat drips into my eyes and I blink them clear.
The rag tag mob of bandits stand out in the open road just beyond the buildings long shadows. Weapons glint from the failing sun.
We all know we will have to fight, we try and anticipate the moment by staring long and hard at each other.”

There is a big issue at the moment, not a new issue thought about combat and moving the rpg game at a reasonable pace.

“Who is responsible?”

Is it down to the Game Master to provide opportunities for the players to Role Play or vice versa. The players themselves to seek the moment to take the story forward without resorting to a fight.
Why not both.
Take the scene I wrote at the start. Now is that written from the players prospective or the GM’s?
It could be from either.
What I’m trying to put across is it’s a collaborative game so do not wait to be told to Role-play.

“ok everyone here, you have to talk to the Bandit lord.”

What skills could be used to get through this tricky moment. Yes ok Skills are there to help with a result but what about just talking to the Bandit lord. What about asking him straight from your characters mouth.

I once witnessed a game where a player spoke to a NPC but after the GM asked for a Diplomacy check which he then failed but the actual things the player said in conversion didn’t need for him to make that check.
To me it was a role-play success. Don’t make rolls just because the game says you have dice so you must use them, make rolls when its a situation that calls for it.

There is the opposite of this that should be watched out for by the GM.
The player who is quiet and feels that ACTing a scene isn’t for him/her or that they just don’t get it. Be careful of how things are handled don’t forget to give their character the moment in the spot light. Prompt if you think it will help. Ask how they swing their sword or jump from roof to roof.
This can be the same for combat. Yes you will still need to know if your blow hits and how much damage. But put some role-play into your combat to gain an advantage in story.

Ok ok  some will abuse this idea and say things like.

My fire ball explodes and kills all in the room in a fiery death!”

“My Arrow pierces both enemies killing them both instantly”

“I flirt with the maiden and she let’s me straight into the safe of the brothel”

If your power description allows that then by all means, but we all know powers are limited so keep your Role-play in the confines of the power and the rules.
You may also need to take into consideration the fact that a particular PC didn’t put any points into say Charisma, so when dealing with that maiden at the Brothel this may change how she deals with the PC. Maybe they have a huge strength so then there build could alter the outcome.
So many variations there can not be a set rule.

Something was said a while ago via twitter.
Roll all your damage first have a list on scratch paper of the value, then as a GM goes around the table cross out the top number and work your way down.
This is brilliant for Role-play as you can see how much or how little damage you are going to do with your next attack, so adjust your description accordingly.

I don’t want to go on and on as I’ll get lost. but i hope this is enough to have you think and consider.


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