Teleri (telerib) wrote,

Comically inept heroes?

"In nearly any game with dice, even characters that are statistically three sigma experts in their field are going to wind up failing tasks that dramatically (and statistically), they should have succeeded at. (Some games have mechanics to alleviate this, but there are still going to be borderline cases-- and a lot of the traditional gateway games tended not to have those mechanics.) Ditto situations where the characters are (or believe they are) misreading GM plot and character clues, so that situations intended to forward the plot instead wind up spinning wheels or generating (apparently) unneccessary problems for the PCs.

And non-comic ineptitude isn't really a common protagonist characteristic-- it tends to be reserved for secondary or tertiary characters who serve as foils or obstacles (frequently the idiots above the protagonist in the chain of command, the subordinate who can't be removed because he's the boss's nephew, etc.) So I suspect that there's a bias in favor of figuring that if one is going to be inept, one might as well treat it as funny (whether in character or out)."
- lhn responding to the question, "Why do you play your RPG hero as comically inept?"

Combined with another player's insight that it's easier to get a laugh out of an audience than any other reaction, that's some interesting food for thought.
Tags: gaming
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