A Game of Thrones • A Song of Ice and Fire NWN2 Persistent World • Low Magic Role Play

The Role-Player's Guide - Advanced Role Playing

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Wednesday, 19 November 2008 14:10
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The Role-Player's Guide
Character Development
Background & Personality
Character Creation
Refining your Character
Speaking & Emoting
Moving in the Game
Role-Playing Out of Game
Common Conventions
Pushing the Limits
Advanced Role Playing
Tricks of the Trade
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Advanced Role-playing – Thinking “Outside of the Box”

The NWN game engine limits what actions your characters can perform. This is one of the great weaknesses of CRPGs, compared to pen-and-paper role-playing. However, there are ways to role-play “outside of the box” in NWN. Here are some ideas that we have come across. Some of these were real eye-openers for me. Most of these, however, require a DMed game.

The ideas in this section are designed to get you thinking. However, it largely depends on your DM whether he or she wants you to do such things. Most DMs will generally approve, because it can get players thinking more creatively and make the game more interesting for the DM too. But, be sure to check with your DM(s) first.

Talking to Scripted NPCs

Having a DM in NWN can really add a lot to an adventurer. However, it is also very common to play multiplayer games without a DM. In these cases, you will usually be running through a module that was custom-built. These modules will have primarily scripted NPC conversations, like the Official Campaign, where you click on an NPC to run through a conversation tree with them.

One interesting role-playing technique in these types of games is to “talk” to scripted NPCs without actually clicking on them. Of course, the NPC won’t respond, but you can use this technique in interesting ways.

A party made up of townspeople is going to visit the Mayor’s house to find out about a quest. Outside of the door, there is a guard (scripted NPC). Roknurst speaks these lines without ever clicking on the NPC:

Roknurst: (to guard) Good day man, is the Mayor in? Roknurst: *nods thoughtfully* Do you think he would mind if we interrupted for a moment? We’d like to talk to him about his rat problem. Roknurst: Oh, he’s been expecting us? Wonderful. Well, we won’t take a minute. And do tell your wife we said “Hello”!

As you can see, the conversation is a bit one-sided, but it also has a much better role-playing “feel” to it than clicking on an NPC whose script is most likely something standard like “Move along. I’m on duty right now.” It’s just another idea for improving the atmosphere in a scripted game.

Using Skill Checks

Using skill checks really requires a DM to pull off smoothly. Using something like the DMFI toolkit, players can be provided with the ability to roll ability or skill checks at any time. This can be done at the DM’s request, or initiated by the players. This also makes the game a lot closer to the pen and paper version. Some examples:

  • You come upon a riddle that you personally can’t decipher. But, you are playing a wizard with an 18 Intelligence. Roll an Intelligence ability check, and ask the DM if you can figure out the riddle, or at least a clue.
  • After a furious combat, you are forced to flee back to a small chamber. A horde of orcs is not far behind. Your big brute of a fighter throws his shoulder against the door. Roll a Strength ability check to see if you can keep the orcs from bursting into the room.
  • You are on a mission to steal a gem from an evil baron. Inside the house, you come up to the baron’s room. Your thief steps up to the door. Roll a Listen skill check to see if you can hear anything inside.

The opportunities here are nearly limitless. Even without DMFI, your DM could always have a good, old-fashioned set of dice at his or her PC to handle such things.

Doing Things Not Allowed by the Game Engine

Again, playing with a DM allows you to do all kinds of things outside of the game engine, that helps make the game more realistic. Players should be encouraged to do things that their on-screen avatar is not capable of. Some ideas:

  • You are in a mine room filled with barrels and crates. Goblins are attacking from a corridor to the north. Even though you can’t really move objects in the NWN game engine, role-play that the two strong fighters are going to carry barrels over and pile them in front of the corridor to block off the goblins.
  • You are stuck on the other side of a chasm with an open drawbridge. The lever to close the drawbridge is on the wall opposite from you. Role-play an attempt at a heroic shot from your ranger’s bow to knock the lever into the “down” position.
  • You are stuck in the dark with no torches and no Light spells. Role-play breaking up the nearby wooden chest, and having your wizard using his Burning Hands spell to ignite the broken planks as torches.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 November 2008 15:07