Saturday, October 18, 2008

Roll Dice, Receive Friends

RAW is one of those things I like to pretend doesn't exist, since most of the time it's a code word for "this is some pretty stupid bullshit I'm doing that goes against the intention of the rules and probably also common sense, so I need to give it a false sense of legitimacy" and most of the rest of the time it means "interpreting the rules in the way that benefits me" and then usually loops right back to the first one.

Sometimes, though, I have to partially blame the rules for being pants-on-head retarded.

Enter Diplomacy.

We all know this one. Someone rolls a "diplomancer", pushes their Diplomacy score up as high as they can get it, and basically throws Diplomacy rolls at everything until they get their way.

Usually there's no effort, so you end up with people saying "I roll Diplomacy!" and hurling dice down in the middle of a heated battle with a unit of orcs, or making a rushed Diplomacy check to try and end the conflict with the pit fiend possessing the party paladin's body and escaping across the planes in a magical dune buggy by telling it you think it's cool.

Yeah. No.

That's normally when I point out the part that says "even if the initial Diplomacy check succeeds, the other character can be persuaded only so far, and a retry may do more harm than good." The rules for Diplomacy are still marinated in concentrated stupid sauce, but at least it's a concession to common sense.

On the other hand, I get enough people going "durr hurr, you're a railroader" without actually railroading anyone, so the rule now has me in an awkward position: That line is basically palming off the problem to me, and now Diplomacy works based on whether I feel like it. It's a hard road to walk, or at least a pain in the ass.

I'm only playing with one diplomancer right now, but we've talked about it and I'm pretty sure he won't try to be a foolhat with it, so we're cool so far. It's not that hard, really: Most people can roleplay well, or at least properly, and it can't be that hard to see where and when Diplomacy can work, right?

Bards still suck.

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