About sinful acts and religion in Mythic Europe

This makes me think that Ars Magica is intended to be much more like writing a movie than like playing a video game. Sure, when I'm playing a video game, I'm looking for ways to preserve my character and reduce her risk. But imagine how boring movies would be if the writers thought, "Hm, it sure would keep these guys out of trouble if they checked their voice mail before deciding to run away to Mexico...."

Sorry I meant rationale, above.

All roleplaying games are like this. Not just ArM.

Even when playing a video game, a player is interested in doing what they find fun, not what they imagine the character would find safe or fun. Particulary when you can reload from a saved position...

And the video game authors are trying to find challengers etc that the player is meant to find fun, rather than challenges that are primarially realistic, or interesting "in-character". Moving crates around in the middle of an inter-dimensional invasion is a rather artifical and odd thing to be doing.

Yes. Exactly.

But I play to role play, the better i'm role playing the more fun i'm having. Doing what you think you would do and not what you think your character would do is almost the definition of BAD roleplay.

I play the character i will have the most fun roleplaying not the one who does what i find the most fun.

Uh-oh. Please don't call it bad roleplaying.

There are two different approaches to role-playing going on here. In one, you take a character, and do your best to have the character achieve the character's goals, which may not be yours. You may set the character up with problems that interfere with those goals, because that would be fun, but once you start, you are always trying to do the best that the character can.

In the other, you are interested in telling a story, so you aren't interested in the character achieving his goals, but rather in being a character in an interesting story.

If you're the first type of roleplayer, playing an evil character may be a sign of a disturbed mind (why do you want to help someone achieve evil goals?), but if you're the second type it's certainly not; you don't identify with the character, and may well be setting him up for redemption.

Story Flaws and Personality Flaws cater to the first type, by allowing you to set the character up to have interesting problems in achieving her goals, but they also cater to the second type, by letting you signal the sorts of stories you are interested in.

Both styles are perfectly valid ways to roleplay, and neither is bad. What's more, it's a continuum rather than a dichotomy. For what it's worth, I'm basically the first type. If I want to tell a story, I write a novel.

I don't think those statements are equal. I think thats what you were implying. Even if you are PRing to tell a story (perfect vailid, i agree) it is still the story of that character. The character may want to do somthing other than take part in the story but at some time he made a judgement call and participated (i'd quote sams whole hero speech but i post incognito at work) But he still has some motivation pushing him through the story other than simply to make things entertaining (although sometimes that is valid motivation for certain characters)

Not playing in character is bad roleplay no matter which way you slice it. Thats what i ment by the above bad RP comment.

I think it really depends on what you mean by "playing in character."

It seems to me that, in many cases, it could be perfectly "in character" for someone to avoid life threatening situations, settle down, get a job, raise a family, grow old and eventually die of old age surrounded by friends and loved ones. It does, however, make for an outragously boreing roleplaying game. Trust me, I know. I've had players do it... while playing D&D!

There comes a point where we have our characters make "bad" decisions because this is a game and we are playing to have fun. At the start of any adventure there is a point where the players say, if only to themselves, 'ok, that's the adventure hook, we need to go do that' even if a rational person in the same situation as their characters would either ignore the hook or actively run the other way.

IMO, Story and Personality Flaws are game mechanisms that exist to support the cooperative effort between players and storyguide to create an interesting game. So, while a character might rationally run the other way when his Flaw threatens, the player has chosen that Flaw because he wants to have adventures based on it. So the player, in cooperation with the storyguide, creates situations where the Flaw can come into play.

I'll agree that adventurers do tend to be more towards the reckless, incredibly egotistical, trusting, loyal side of things.

However if that happens Your SG needs to integrate his hooks into his story better. If an adventure doesn't evern initially sound like a good idea then its prolly not teribly well thought out. I'll agree that we have all done that before but it is certainly not GOOD from a pure RP perspective. But it's rude to shut down the game because your SG can't plant a decent plot hook.

If that is true for you, it is only because that is what you (and your other players) want.

See, this is all player considerations, which are trumping in-character considerations. The characters are not worried about being rude to the story-guide. The characters are not (unless they are very post modern) looking out for plot hooks, decent or otherwise.

As David says, there is a continuum rather than a dichotomy here. Although, I would say that the continuum is about how conscious the players are of acting mostly for player considerations, not about how much the players act from player considerations.

For you, it seems, that an important player consideration is "having characters act in a way that the players feel is realistic in-character". Which is fine, it is certainly something that I consider in play too. But it is still just a choice that you have made from the perspective of what the players want. It might sometimes be abandoned in favour of other player considerations such as "not being rude to the story-guide", "there is only an hour of game-time left", "the characters doing X advances the plot", "the characters doing Y is boring (for the players)", "if the characters do Z, player A's character will not get much play, therefore the characters will do Z_2" etc.

Off topic, but this reminded me of a quote from a recent Ars session. The characters were deep inside a faerie regio and realized that they would like to have an item that was outside the regio.
Niall: "But that involves going all the way out and then coming all the way back again."
Vlad: "You realize that that's only two seconds of play time?"

unless you have. RANDOM BATTLES!!!

May be i should have quoted above instead of useing it as a seg way. But seriously every party going on an adventure basically has SWAT level cajones.
"Yep guys we'll just go room too room clearing out eldrich abominations. AND we'll sleep in the dungeon with no reliable means on extraction the one man watch should be able to handle in during the night."
More of a D&D thing but you get the idea.

I still don't think daves thing about the two roleplaying styles is really related to player considerations vs character considerations.

And that is not even close what a real group of characters would do. "SWAT level cajones" is not playing in-character. That's merely what is sometimes convenient for the characters to do, because it is a game played for the enjoyment of the players.

Also that's not even how a real SWAT team would operate. Real SWAT team operations are all about assembling heaps more firepower and men-on-the-ground than the target, and being absolutely careful to minimise risk when deploying.

This is what clasic old school adventurers do day in and day out: "Yep guys we'll just go room too room clearing out eldrich abominations. AND we'll sleep in the dungeon with no reliable means on extraction the one man watch should be able to handle in during the night." meaning they are some combination of brave, reckless, and confident several steps above a SWAT team. Which would be somthing along the lines of: "we'll just go room too room clearing out guys with guns. AND we'll bring superior wepons and plenty of back up!"

I like to call this "Adventurer Narcolepsy" (as in "wake up, open door, kill monsters, go back to sleep (so that the wizards/clerics can refresh spells), repeat").

However, the reason that our characters act like this (if they do) is that it is "fun" for the players. There is no pretence that adventurer narcolepsy is "in character", or "realistic".

I wasn't really refering to the 5 minute adventuring day thing (which i don't approve of and avoid if able)

But there is potential risk in leaveing the dungeon and comming back in the morning, just like there is risk in sleeping in the dungeon (enimies might fortify the known entrance at night, ect.) really it's just a judgement call the characters make.

As things are a tad off track regarding sinful acts ...

That the problem of corruption in the clergy seems to be historically entrenched
is also evidenced from the writings of Blessed Jordan of Saxony (1190-1237) who recounted the following tale: