May 4th, 2005

D6 System (General) -- When Characters Act How Players Don't Want (Part I)

The D6 System has lots of social skills and abilities. Most players view these as abilities their characters use against other people (such as conning a guard or haggling with a merchant). But they should, theoretically, be usable against them as well. Unfortunately, this brings the matter of free will into play -- if the dice declare that the evil seductress charms a player's character, and the player doesn't want his character to be charmed, is it okay if that choice is taken away from him? (This same issue comes up when players try to use their characters to influence the actions of other players' characters.)

Some gaming groups don't have a problem with this, and they've sorted out the issue on their own. Good for them!

Other groups may have struggled with this. For the next couple of days, then, we'll be offering some advice for these groups.

Perhaps the easiest option is to allow players to decide their characters' actions, but give them a Character Point bonus for good roleplaying if they relinquish control to adverse dice rolls. For example, in the case of our evil seductress, the player might say, "Well, I know she's evil, but I rolled really poorly on my willpower roll . . . so my character will go along with her for now. Just remember that I have Devotion: Code Against Killing, so if she tries to go against that I should probably get another roll to snap out of it."

This player is giving up control, and as such deserves to get at least one bonus Character Point at the end of the adventure. The gamemaster might even give the extra point immediately, so the player might have it to use to get out of the situation . . .