RPPR Episode 53: You Lie! Rhetoric and Large Groups

Thank you RPPR listeners! The Ruins of Lemuria PDF Ransom was a success! We are hard at work behind the scenes creating many cool things for you and running games over Skype for the ransom contributors.

Synopsis: Rhetoric is a divisive issue in tabletop games. Where do you draw the line between a player’s skill in speech and the PC’s ability? Tom and I discuss how rhetoric touches on game design, running a game and player vs. player conflicts. I’ve also started a superheroes campaign, using Wild Talents for the rules, and this time around we have seven players. A large group presents quite a few interesting challenges so we discuss how to run a game with a huge number of players.

Shout outs

Music: I can be persuaded by Mars

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  8 comments for “RPPR Episode 53: You Lie! Rhetoric and Large Groups

  1. Salkovich
    January 27, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Pretty good show, guys. Enjoyed the discussion of “large group” tactics more than the rhetoric debate – it kinda felt like already covered territory.

    The anecdotes from the Wild Talents game are wonderful. Ross, you beautiful bastard, post those games and stop torturing us with the wait!

    Also Tom is a cool guy.

  2. January 31, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Good episode. Dealing with big groups is un-fun.

    TOM?! Where are your letters/commentary/solo-awesome-best-segment-of-the-show? You are tearing me apart Tom.

  3. Tom Church
    February 1, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Distractions in the family. They will return, don’t worry.

  4. Jon Hook
    February 2, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Great episode. I really enjoyed the discussion on rhetoric; Tom and I see eye-to-eye on this topic.

  5. Flawless P
    February 7, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Hey, loved this episode, especially since my usual group is easily 7 people. I liked your combat suggestions. It’s good too hear you guys might return to a bi-monthly schedule with the regular episodes because I’ve always been a big fan of the regular podcast.

  6. Jim Vassilakos
    February 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Role of Rhetoric in Roleplaying:

    Here’s how I handle rhetoric and related topics: Make the players play their characters. This, of course, brings up possibilities for GM favoritism. When playing an NPC, I might find one player’s articulation more convincing than another’s. So I will roll a d6, either secretly or openly, and on a 1, I’ll take the argument in the worst possible way, and on a 6, I’ll take it in the best possible way, and if it’s somewhere in between, I’ll just consider the roll and pay it by ear. Very minimalist, but it works. All this, however, is just a starting point. It helps determine for me where the NPC is in terms of his or her thinking, however, it doesn’t end the conversation (unless, of course, I decide that the initial “1” results in a combat). Even on a 1, I’ll have the NPC react however I think he should react, and then the PC can react to that reaction, and so the conversation continues.

    GM: “His face turns red, and he draws his sword.”

    PC: “Whoa… just hear me out!”

    Can a PC turn a 1 into a 6? Possibly. The PC might offer new information that changes the NPCs mind, or he/she may make such a convincing argument that I’m prompted to re-roll the NPC’s reaction.

    I do not like games that have rhetoric and such as character abilities or attributes. In fact, I don’t even like using Charisma as a stat. Players should have to play their own charisma. If they don’t have any charisma in real life, then too bad. Work on it. I am a shy person, but shyness can be overcome. Like everything else, it just takes work.

    As for the Persuasive (lawyer playing a) Barbarian example. First, does the barbarian have a really low intelligence? Let’s say he does. Then the next question is how has the player been playing this character? We’ve all known some stupid people who can actually be fairly convincing from time-to-time. If he’s been playing the barbarian as a complete moron, then I’d probably prevent him from pulling out his full intelligence to deal with something unless, for example, his character were to successfully make a intelligence-check, in which case I’d let it pass. However, if he’d been playing the character in a way that shows he’s slow and a bit dim-witted but still capable of explaining his point of view, then I think I’d let it ride. Intelligence, after all, is a hard thing to quantify.

    Just my two-and-a-half bits. Your mileage may vary.

  7. Ethan
    February 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    By Dawn’s Early Light. A good flick!

    Tom…..Cast: It had Powers Boothe, Rebecca DeMornay, and Martin Landau amongst others.

    The B52 had a tailgun but it was nocked out by enemy fire and/or the gunner was killed by the same. They were somewhere in Siberia or some such and they descended to low altitude on one side of a mountain range and dropped the nuke (nukes have parachutes to slow their descent for controlled airburst.) They then throttled up and climbed over the mountain and descended rapidly again to use the mountain to shield themselves from the blast.

    Many good scenes in this drama. Especially James Earl Jones’ character’s resolution to the problem of the crazy many in charge.

    By the way the crazy man in charge was the Secretary of the Interior. Everyone else above him in succession was dead, except of course for the president who was presumed dead.

  8. Ethan
    February 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    This part has the bomb drop scene around 2:30

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