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composure checks

Discuss any non D&D roleplaying topics here.

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Rblademaster
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composure checks

Post#1 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:20 am

here is something that occured to me during a discussion I was having about logic and excessive use of illogical tactics in combat, that where sometimes going on during our 4E sessions.

It kind of got shot down in our group but I still think it has some possible merrit, if not as a personal roleplaying tool

the composure check
(Let me start to say that if this already exists I didn't know, and would be interested in links or whatever)

It is basicly a check you roll at certain intervals to determine wether your character will remain level headed about a situation, flanking and teamworking their oponents into submision. Or go into a adranaline induced semi rage of storming at the enemy and killing him into tiny bits, not considering frevolities like flanking bonusses.
Those of you saying: "Isn't that just a less extreme berserker rage?" are absolutely correct.
My idea was that it would be rolled every 5 or so turns/rounds. and probably on a big hit or on becoming bloodied or something similar.

This would then be modified by race, class and wether or not any natural enemies are involved.

where you to make it an acctual mechanic aside from just a thing you could use to make your moodswings a little less convenient ("no my barbarian keeps his cool this fight, against the highly armored and intelligent BBEG, he drank some relaxing herbal tea this morning" ). and thus for more then personal use only. A leader could be employed to help this. like a charisma check to cool whoever is becoming a little less considerate of the world around him down.


While discussing this I realised it seems like a very weak way to impose roleplaying upon players, and I'm generally against rolling where roleplaying is sufficient. But I think we all know that we will often lean towards "metagaming" these sort of situations if we are afraid that acting like a moron would get everyone killed. So if you find that happening alot you can throw in a system like this for yourself to force yourself to behave a little less jedi and react emotional for once :P.

any reactions would be helpfull because I might do this for my own guys.
"...not touching that with a 25 foot collapsable pole..."

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Tempest
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Post#2 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:04 am

I think I would be pretty grouchy at you as a player, if you imposed this rule on me. I like to have control over my character, not to be forced into arbitrary actions by the roll of the dice.

I don't think that its too much of a stretch to assume that individuals who've seen a lot of battle would remain level headed during its execution. Especially if they are heroes.

I think it might be a useful one for a campaign thats driven by more realism and grittier themes, but it certainly doesn't work well with high fantasy like standard 4th.

That said, this idea also sort of appeals to me. Especially if you're using it as a personal roleplaying tool.

What are the actual workings of the mechanic you are thinking about? What circumstances trigger the need to roll?

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TigerStripedDog
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Post#3 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:27 am

I actually like this idea a lot. And there is precedence for it. The game already has mechanics in effect for this with Dragons via dragon fear. Why shouldn't that apply in a lesser form to the other horrors of the world? How many real people do YOU know who wouldn't have a violent emotional reaction to watching hideous monsters rape, pillage, eat, and enslave a small village? How many people could face the onslought of a horde? Or a rushing army?

Desertion was not uncommon in midieval times... because it was scary! A broken BONE was enough to permanently maim someone... let alone all the other nasty things that could happen to you in battle.

Forcing characters to make wisdom checks, or willpower check (depending on edition) does a few things. One, it brings what is traditionally thought of as a non-combat ability score to the forefront of combat, which should prevent min-maxing. It also brings an extra element of realism and emotion to your play.

This SHOULD stimulate RP, it should also force your players to broaden their scope of play, and increase depth.

Does anyone here WANT their character to be the one who runs away to hide and empty his or her stomach? Probably not... BUT, its a great opportunity to face a new kind of challenge, and to reinvent the character... After all, a brave hero faces down his or her fears, a hero without fear isn't really a hero at all. By overcoming that previous check, to go out and fight again the next time, to steele yourself for the challenges ahead... THAT is heroic, and allows for a more literary and emotionally engaging adventure.


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phindar
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Post#4 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:51 am

Yes, but it takes what should be a rp'ing step (even one that a lot of players skip) and makes it into a roll. I think it's a step backwards in that regard.

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TigerStripedDog
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Post#5 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:13 am

I both agree and disagree. I agree that this SHOULD be an RP element, at least in idea. However, this game takes some things and takes them to the dice. Whether or not you hit, save, or make a check. All of those COULD be RPed... but then it becomes a story, not a game. The game, that randomness keeps it fun, keeps it real. And to quote Chapelle Show "I's keeps it real!".

I would also point out that a roll is just a roll... you RP what happens from that roll. If you fail, RP that out, if you succeed, RP that out. The DM can tell you "you puke in fear", but you're the guy that gets to go to town playing that.


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LordWilly
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Post#6 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:42 am

Well considering there are classes that basically have this as an ability (berserker I think it is from the Barbarians handbook) I can understand where it's coming from but I think it's something I would leave in the realm of roleplaying. For example, on a recent adventure the hero's had just rescued a friend that had been kidnapped. One of the characters in particular was really close to this friend and all adventure long had been stressed due to the fact that the friend was pregnant and they had a time crunch if you will. Well after the friend was safe and they confronted the kidnapper before anyone could even think about offering to allow the baddy to surrender the character yells and attacks. Not caring one bit that they were outnumbered or that there was a bigger issue to deal with. (the kidnapper had sent a large force in a round about way towards the location of the hero's home and they needed to get back there)

that's the kind of thing that should be rewarded. In the players mind the character was SO mad and SO stressed that consequences be damned she was attacking. And there was no fancy maneuvers or called shots or flanking, it was just beat on them till they drop.

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Jenara
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Post#7 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:10 pm

Beyond the Supernatural has a check soething like this, its a horror check, based on how a character would react to a given situation. If they fail there is a random table.

This is an interesting idea, so are we just talking about a modified morale check? If the player fails then all tactics fall out of the window (kind of like me playing street fighter, no tactics, just aggression).

It could work, some players wouldn't like it, but it would be fun for the DM!
"Once you label me, you negate me."

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