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Roleplaying vs Make-Believe: there is a difference


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Pet topic: Roleplaying vs make-believe or as I like to call it, "Roleplaying vs Making S___ Up".



Let's say you are in a sit-down pencil and paper medieval fantasy roleplaying game. The GM says, "You come to a door. It is barred."


A roleplaying answer might be: "I lift the bar and open the door."


Obviously you are roleplaying as someone who is facing a barred door and would like to open it.


Someone who is making s___ up might say: "I pull out my laser blaster! [his character does not have a laser blaster -- this is medieval fantasy] I blast the door to pieces! There's treasure behind it! I take it! I am now rich!" *writes 500,000 into the gold slot on his character sheet* "Roleplaying sure is fun!"


At this point the GM facepalms and has words with whoever invited him to the game.




This example might seem silly but things similar to this happen a LOT on roleplay servers by people who believe they are serious roleplayers.


Let us take, for example, an exchange between a Smuggler, who is roleplaying, and a Bounty Hunter, who thinks he is roleplaying but is actually Making S___ Up. Assume this is on an RP-PvP server, but they are roleplaying people who don't want to just fight for no reason.


BH: "I've tracked you down at last. Jabba has a big bounty on you."

S: "... no he doesn't."

BH: "You can't use any jedi mind tricks on me, smuggler!"

S: "That wasn't a mind trick, I'm just telling you Jabba doesn't have a bounty on my head."

BH: "Yes he does, and I'm going to kill you and collect it."

S: "No, I'm entirely certain he doesn't, and you're not going to collect anything."

BH: "/ooc dude I'm trying to roleplay here."

S: "/ooc You're roleplaying a psychopath who uses lies to justify his kills?"

BH: "/ooc No! I'm just trying to provide some good context for us to battle!"

S: "/ooc Well that's fine but I know there's no bounty on me because there's no game mechanic for that, ergo, your character is lying. You are roleplaying either a liar or someone that's delusional and off his meds."

BH: "/ooc Fine."

BH: "I hate rebels." *shoots smuggler*

S: "/ooc Much better!" *dies*



I do wish games provided real, in-game, supported, contextual reasons to want to shoot each other, but this is almost never the case. If the smugger really had a bounty on his head then the BH could roleplay that he is tracking the smuggler down for that reason.


If there isn't really a bounty, then the BH is no better than the poor misguided person in the first example who pulls out a laser blaster from thin air in a fantasy game. He is not roleplaying within the context of the game. He is Making S___ Up, or else he is roleplaying a liar or a delusional person.


Learn the difference!

Edited by Slamz
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  • 10 months later...

even at the risk of this never being read on the making S up side.

nothing is wrong with thinking outside the box but you do have to use context, ergo I agree random blasters should equal face palming and a sudden fatal case of badluck on said player character

however no one can argue that using items or skills in a non intended manner.

For example from a D&D game I was in a Halfling thief killed a dwarven defender in one move.

"How the **** did he do that!?" You ask.

He dropped from a tree he had climbed a few turns back and puled a bag of holding over his defender.

think outside the box my friends but not outside the game.

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