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A Flannel Shirt

GM Style - Originally Written - Jul 6, 2010, 1:46pm

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I've come to the recent conclusion about my own styles lately.

I'm a dice chucker and this is why. If there were no stats there would be no dice and there wouldn't be a game. It would only be an interactive story. During yesterday's chat room game Dan/Sabby was facing an angry mob of 38. For the purist role player he played his character. He decided to retreat back into the store front and talk with the people. The clues that were presented to him (getting shot at 38 times and only needing to deflect twice) let him know that if he decided to attack he would have been able to easily kill them. For the dice chuckers I asked him to roll persuasion to convince the people not to attack. From a GM point of view I was looking for a set combination of words that would calm the mob.

"Lower your weapons. I'm just stopping these people from looting the burning building."
Was Sabbyís first response and wasnít going to be good enough for the mob to stop their advance.

The people open fire on you again sabby,,,you are not hit, but you deflected 3 shots.
Then after a few more exchanges Sabby starts to play on the mobs lack of wealth. Which is what I as a GM was looking for.

Sabby: "Just because the empire treated you like trash, does not mean that you can't be more then you are. The New Republic is always looking for more able soldiers, and workers."
At this point the mob was listening and a roll was used. The DC for that check was 15. It was a lower DC due to the words that Sabby/Dan used. If he said something like lower your weapons or die (he originally tried something like that) then that DC would have been 20-25 due to these people have nothing to really live for.
Dan rolled a 12 + 6 = 18

At this point the mob was on Sabbyís/Danís side, all but 4 of them. Those 4 then shoot at Sabby. Next round 14 members of the mob point their weapons at the 4 that just shot at Sabby. Why? Because Sabby said they may have work for them. They want to protect their chance for a better life.

This is where it gets kind of funny.

Sabby: "Just lower your weapons we can work this out. I don't want anyone to get hurt."
[17:12] Deep Thund: roll it
[17:12] OnlineHost: Danimal 924 rolled 1 20-sided die: 2

The DC for this roll was 20. The people once again donít care they just want a better life. If Dan/Sabby said something like ďIím sure we can find work for everyone the DC would have been 15. However it didnít matter because the roll was so low and the 14 decided that they need to protect Sabby (their meal ticket).

IMO this is a great example of a fair balance of Roll playing and Role Playing. This is what is going through my head when we are going through encounters. I did not plan any of this a head of time and it was all done on the fly. The rolls and actions of Dan/Sabby changed the story drastically. If Dan/Sabby would have kept saying things like ďDonít make me kill you, I donít want to hurt you, and this isnít worth it Dan/Sabby would have murdered the entire group because Sabby would have needed to defend himself. Is a dark side point warranted if that happened? I would say no, Sabby defended himself. Through Danís/Sabbyís actions and words he was able to defuse the situation.

The dice and a characters choice of words play an equal factor in my games. This is a perfect example of it.

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  1. SDJThorin's Avatar
    Nicely put -- and a good example of roleplaying!