Unreliable Narrator (blackmanxy) wrote in roleplayers,
Unreliable Narrator

Realistic Roleplaying

It's been too quiet lately. So I'm just gonna throw out an observation I've made and see what anyone's got to say about it.

Okay, it's one thing to play your RPG characters so they do things that you yourself never would. Characters are usually more courageous and inquisitive than their players will ever be and that's just part of the mystique of playing a hero I think. Taking that a step further, some of us play characters who possess utterly reprehensible habits and do things that we never would because we are either too moral or too scared to do them in real life. If the words "Chaotic Evil" have ever graced your character sheet, you know what I'm talking about.

Now this is all well and good. Part of gaming, right? But has anyone else noticed player characters doing things that no one would do in real life? Well, excepting those with hard to pronounce mental problems, I mean. Let me give you some examples.

A Shadowrun character who decided he was going to buy literally hundreds of thousands of rounds of extra ammunition... and clips to hold all of it so he'd never have to worry about reloading (and so the player could keep track of it by clips).

A werewolf (in a VTM/WTA LARP) who caught a rumor of Sabbat Black Hands in the area, so he demanded everyone in the area show him their hand so he could check it for the Black Hand symbol. (Never mind that a werewolf shouldn't know Jack Mierda about the Sabbat, much less the Black Hand.)

These are the two worst I can think of, but there are more examples of what I call "gamer thinking" than I can think of. Some are relatively easy to deal with. It's not difficult to teach players what times and places are appropriate for packing weapons and armor and which are not. You can even deal with the constant, annoying use of Disciplines/Gifts/etc. by making it clear to the players that using your powers on your colleagues is extremely poor etiquette.

But what about a character who builds a fortress that's nothing but traps? (Of course, they learned that ridiculous habit from various GM's/modules that involve way more traps than anyone sane would use.) Or whose weapons stockpiles put militias to shame?

How do you deal with players who only see things tactically, rather than worrying about What Real People Do? This isn't a problem just relegated to power gamers and dungeon crawlers, either. Some otherwise very good roleplayers constantly fall into this trap of trying to be prepared for anything and thus every character they play is obsessive-compulsive.

Of course, I'm looking for ways of dealing with it that don't involve saying "even you wouldn't do that in real life" or "my God, what a stupid idea."

Bear in mind this is all hypothetical. The people I tend to game with now rarely, if ever, do this. If anything, they fall too far on the side of playing their characters and not paying attention from a player point of view. But I've met far too many of this sort of player in the past (sadly, about 50% of the LARPers I meet) and I was sort of wondering how one deals with them.

Or... do I just need to get over it myself? :)
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