Hm... seems like you're using IE. Can I suggest a better browser, such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera? There are other choices too.

If you wanna stick with IE, or can't switch, I'll warn you right now, while most of this site should work with IE, stuff might come up buggy, so you might not enjoy it as much...

Have PC's changed?

Sep 4, 2020 1:45 am
I'm an 'old-school' D&D guy. I ignored 2nd, 3rd, and 4th edition, before finally opening up to 5e. I like it, but starting several games on this site, I feel like 5e players are very different than what I'm used to.

Not a criticism by any means.

It seems like players here are deeply int the role play, which I LOVE (I hate the nit-picky number crunchers) but they get so caught up into thinking about ther characters, that they forget to think about their world, and they forget to ASK QUESTIONS.

'In my day' (I know I'm old, but boy does that hurt to say) when a party walked into an empty room, the fighter guarded the entrance, the thief searched for traps and secret doors, the cleric checked for evil, and the magic user scanned for anything unnatural.

Today it seems the paladin comments on how his armour catches the light. The rogue describes the flourish of their cloak. The druid says something pithy, that the wizard matches with wit.

Surely there is enough time and room for both?
Last edited September 4, 2020 1:46 am, a total of 1 time
Sep 4, 2020 1:53 am
Skallagrimm says:
I'm an 'old-school' D&D guy. I ignored 2nd, 3rd, and 4th edition, before finally opening up to 5e. I like it, but starting several games on this site, I feel like 5e players are very different than what I'm used to.

Not a criticism by any means.

It seems like players here are deeply int the role play, which I LOVE (I hate the nit-picky number crunchers) but they get so caught up into thinking about ther characters, that they forget to think about their world, and they forget to ASK QUESTIONS.

'In my day' (I know I'm old, but boy does that hurt to say) when a party walked into an empty room, the fighter guarded the entrance, the thief searched for traps and secret doors, the cleric checked for evil, and the magic user scanned for anything unnatural.

Today it seems the paladin comments on how his armour catches the light. The rogue describes the flourish of their cloak. The druid says something pithy, that the wizard matches with wit.

Surely there is enough time and room for both?
I think this has more to do with the play-by-post format. It rewards and encourages deep role play by its very nature, which is often slow.
Sep 4, 2020 1:56 am
I also think there are many more players than before, so we'll see a wide range of styles.
Sep 4, 2020 1:59 am
I still ask, but I tend to role play the asking. Combo of both. And I am an old old school player too
Sep 4, 2020 2:03 am
Also, if you're looking at this through a 5e lens: Passive Perception is there to alleviate the need to constantly be declaring that you're looking around for traps, ambushers, secret doors, embarrassing odors, puerile graffiti, etc.
Sep 4, 2020 2:32 am
Hi Skallagrim, this is a super interesting question. Here's my thoughts on this ...

The cool scene you described, where the fighter guarded and the thief searched and so on, is an example of cooperative tactics. Those arise more easily at a table, where it's an easy conversation to coordinate actions. Also, the people were probably friends or at least acquaintances and comfortable with each other.

In PbP, it is much more difficult to communicate. Players are painfully alert for not slowing down the game. Taking the time to ask each party member about their room clearing tactics could make it take 2 or 3 days to enter that room, even with an active group. On top of that, players often don't know each other too well so they tend to focus on their own character, which doesn't step on other peoples' toes or slow things down.

Even old school gamers, who do post about tactical placement and stuff, tend to coordinate a lot less in PbP. It's just not efficient.

Here are some things that might help:

One thing that some of my groups do is declare marching order, which I'm sure you'll know about. It gives context for players to post about the tactical situation without any back-and-forth. The barbarian and fighter know they're up front and can work that into the post for example.

I generally leave it at that, and just assume the characters are entering the room with all the skill and knowledge of their class whether they post about it or not. But if you want to further encourage your players to coordinate tactics, you can give rewards for good coordination. I would first check to see if players are interested in this and be really clear with the expectations.

Also, any kind of coordination, tactical or otherwise, can be aided with a real-time channel of communication that runs parallel to the game forum, like a private discord server. I don't run games anymore without them.

Hope this helps! Happy gaming!
Sep 4, 2020 3:58 am
As Kaigen mentioned, Passive Perception negates the need to constantly overtly state your situational awareness, which creates room for interactions between characters that can help players bond and spark an interest in each other that helps a party to gel. I have never played a 5e game where the PCs made such irrelevant and disconnected comments as presented in the original post, but if I ever do, I'll probably leave that game in a hurry.

That said, the important thing isn't whether one style or another is "right," but whether the group overall is in agreement regarding expectations. So if your idea of a proper D&D game is one where the party follows the type of norms laid out in the original post - fighter does this, rogue does that, cleric does the other thing, etc. - then you should make that expectation clear from the outset. Ideally, make it in the interest check, if you're the GM. There's nothing worse that finding out after the game has started that everyone is look for different things from the game.

But when everyone's on the same page - no matter what is actually written on that page - then magic can happen.
Sep 4, 2020 5:45 pm
Good points. Especially the passive perception. I hadn't been thinking about that properly. I feel like I've been dropping clues and no one bothers to pick them up. Then it's hard to move the story forward.

But maybe in PbP the story should set the pace the players follow instead of the other way around
Last edited September 4, 2020 7:25 pm, a total of 1 time
Sep 4, 2020 5:51 pm
"Story setting the pace" isn't a bad way to think about it. Because players rely on the DM to supply the details of the world around them, it can sometimes be hard for them to move on under their own steam. This is another area where having an official marching order and a real-time communication channel can be helpful: You can send a quick message asking "Has everyone got what they need out of this room?" and when they confirm that they have and what exit they want to take, you can narrate them moving along and describe the next situation they come to.
Sep 4, 2020 5:52 pm
The dropping clues thing is a crapshoot, in my experience. Sometimes it's hard to tell whether something is a detail that bears following up on or just something the GM tossed in. And some players are more geared toward investigation than others. Maybe you should have an OOC chat about expectations and the methods you like to use to move the story forward.
Sep 4, 2020 6:08 pm
Skallagrimm says:
I'm an 'old-school' D&D guy. I ignored 2nd, 3rd, and 4th edition, before finally opening up to 5e. I like it, but starting several games on this site, I feel like 5e players are very different than what I'm used to.

Not a criticism by any means.

It seems like players here are deeply int the role play, which I LOVE (I hate the nit-picky number crunchers) but they get so caught up into thinking about ther characters, that they forget to think about their world, and they forget to ASK QUESTIONS.

'In my day' (I know I'm old, but boy does that hurt to say) when a party walked into an empty room, the fighter guarded the entrance, the thief searched for traps and secret doors, the cleric checked for evil, and the magic user scanned for anything unnatural.

Today it seems the paladin comments on how his armour catches the light. The rogue describes the flourish of their cloak. The druid says something pithy, that the wizard matches with wit.

Surely there is enough time and room for both?
I think there's some truth to what you say. I was starting to think that I was being too cryptic with my clues.

I'm now making an extra effort to be blindingly obvious.
Sep 8, 2020 8:58 pm
I have played a lot of 2e, 3e and 4e.

i think passive perception has nothing to do with it. 4e have passive perception, and people playing it had very tactical, wargame style of play.

For me, this thing has more to do with the group and the type of game you are playing. Some people like to roleplay and PbP do encourage that.

One thing I always did in my face-to-face games was giving 10 seconds to the player make his decision in combat situations. It was detrimental to roleplaying, but it also introduces a lot of tension. And most of my friends really liked combat focused games, so roleplaying wasn't the top priority.

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