May 5th, 2005

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

Yesterday we offered an example of what to do when players might not want to abide by what the dice say in social interaction rolls; today we're offering more advice. We'll be milking this puppy until . . . well, until we realize that puppies don't give milk.

Anyway, as an alternate idea, players might be given the choice of what to do, but if they don't follow what the dice say, they are penalized by an amount they failed that interaction roll by in whatever other actions they take. This penalty persists as long as the gamemaster decides; it should probably be at least a few rounds, and might be until the character has something else distract her from the situation that she lost the social interaction at in the first place.

Example: Dr. Booqueworm, played by Carl, is being seduced by the evil mastermind Kate Dangerosa. Carl suspects Ms. Dangerosa is actually evil, and declares he doesn't want to be seduced. Unfortunately, even with the +10 bonus to his willpower roll (see the "Mental Defenses" sidebar in the "Example Skill Difficulties" chapter), Kate still beats his total by 6. (This is what happens when you don't put any skill dice into those social attributes or skills.) The gamemaster says that he feels compelled to go off to Kate's private chambers. Carl says that he doesn't want his character do to that, but instead wants to shoot her. The gamemaster allows this, but imposes a -6 penalty to this action, since he failed his interaction roll by 6.

One advantage of this method is it gives the player reason to pay attention to (and improve) social skills, even if not playing a social charcater, while still keeping the player more or less in full control of the player's character.