[RPG] A fellow player does not want me to roleplay, what do I do


I have a little problem. One of the guys I'm playing with does not like roleplay. What I do now is like:

I'm talking to the dog:

Good dog, good dog

Reciting it as a hypnotizing mantra

And I point to the "bardic music: fascinate" on my character sheet so our DM knows what it is, mechanically.

What he is trying to make me do is to just say:

I'm using bardic music to fascinate this dog.

Simpler and faster? Maybe. But no satisfaction in it for me.

I'm just using Bard class to represent non-bardic character concept (scholar boy with not quite enough power to be a wizard or sorcerer). Repeating "bard" again and again would be against roleplaying.

Any way to make him accept roleplaying, or maybe roleplay a bit himself?

Best Answer

It sounds like your fellow roleplayer just wants you to be verbally clear about what exactly you're doing mechanically without just pointing to a thing on your character sheet. It doesn't sound like their problem is that you're roleplaying at all—I'd be pretty surprised if they disliked flavourful descriptions of how people do things.

It's pretty easy to verbally express what you're doing mechanically and what you're doing flavourfully side by side. Doing one doesn't preclude doing the other. You could say something like this:

I walk up to the dog, and I'm going to use bardic music to fascinate it. I say good dog, good dog... as a repeating mantra.

Then your DM knows what's going on both in terms of mechanics and roleplay, and your fellow player does too, and nobody has to squint at your character sheet or have it held up to them whenever you do something for them to know what's going on.

Repeating “bard” again and again would be against roleplaying.

This isn't “against roleplaying.” It's just good communication. I roleplay regularly in my own games—I just say what I'm doing mechanically at the same time. Let's not misrepresent what will be happening: you're not going to be repeating “bard” again and again, you'll just be stating “bardic music” when that's what you're using. If the name bothers you then you could rename it to something you find more satisfying, like Fascinating Voice.

Maybe your specific brand of roleplaying involves avoiding any verbal mechanical description, but you should understand that's going to make things difficult and frustrating for some people.

Think of it this way: people are pretty bad at focusing on multiple things at once. Your fellow players can either focus on listening to you and watching you, or they can focus on looking at your character sheet and trying to read what you're pointing at, but they can't do both very well. Ever been to a talk where the presenter had a dozen bullet points on their slide, and if you tried to read them you'd realise you weren't absorbing what the presenter was saying? It's going to be like that.

So really, verbally stating what you're mechanically doing allows your players to focus entirely on watching and listening to you, meaning they can follow everything you're doing easily. That supports roleplaying and makes it easier for you and everyone else. Not doing this is more likely “against roleplaying” since it makes it harder for people to understand you.

You could talk with them and find out what will help accommodate them, but really I suggest you just accommodate your fellow player and take this as a lesson on communication.