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Strip 662 - "What's his WIS score?"

5th Jul 2018, 12:00 AM in Cave of No Return
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Strip 662 - "What's his WIS score?"
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)

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Raxon 5th Jul 2018, 2:05 AM edit delete reply
Dumb characters can be fun to play, but dumb and insane are not the same thing. You'd be amazed how many people think that 'stupid' means the character has no set method of thinking.

A dumb character might approach a glowing artifact, and upon being told that it kills anyone who lays hands upon it, try to use his feet instead. They do not skip straight to "I cover it in orange paint and pee a circle around it."

There is a logic to the former, flawed though it is. There is no logic to the latter, it's just random insanity.
Youken 5th Jul 2018, 8:08 PM edit delete reply

Gonna be honest, I think you're doing insane characters a disservice here. An insane character very well may have a set way of thinking, it's just not the standard one. I agree with you that dumb and insane are not the same thing. I've played a lot of very intelligent (but also totally insane) characters and some dumb but totally sane characters.

To highlight the difference, let me introduce you to Elick:

When Elick was asked how many refugees he meant to bring into the city, he started pacing around in a circle, mumbling to himself for a good few minutes before pronouncing that it would be 2453 give or take 73. He then went into copious detail on how he had calculated that. Elick frequently made out that he was dumb to others because it was a good cover and meant that nobody expected him to be smart enough to think of lying to them. Elick was, however, totally insane. He'd devolve into fits of laughter over things that really weren't funny (as well as things that were), had a moral system basically built around quantifying how much of a person somebody was and therefore how much he was allowed to stab them (in which he himself quantified as about as much of a person as a wild owlbear does) and stuck to this moral system for ages into the campaign. He would quite happily walk up to somebody and threaten them with "being manslaughtered" because, in his own self consistent logic, that was possible. Insane, therefore he worked on a different sort of logic to everybody else with different axioms... but it didn't mean he was dumb and it didn't mean that his actions didn't have logic. If you understood his different axioms, all of his actions actually made sense (and towards the end of the campaign, most of the other characters were starting to figure him out). He would absolutely not attempt to pick up your artefact with his feet... but he also likely wouldn't cover it in orange paint and pee a circle around it... he might cover it in orange paint (because of course he had orange paint on him, what sort of individual doesn't carry orange paint on them for emergencies?) and then attempt to pick it up, seeing as how that would mean that he wasn't laying hands on it so much as the paint.

Anyway, just my own anecdote there. Sorry for length.
Raxon 6th Jul 2018, 12:09 AM edit delete reply
No, no, you're all good. What I mean is that stupid characters aren't without a train of logic. For example, a crazy character painting it orange, well, that could be a color he associates with orange, and if the thing smells like urine, nobody's going to touch it, right? Well you can't pee directly on it, the paint's still wet.

The thing is, I've seen people who play low int or low wis characters as chaotic, schizophrenic types with no set form of logic, when, unless they are danger to themselves and others levels of schizo, they should have some logical consistency in the way they think.

I've met people with severe schizophrenia, and sometimes, what makes them happy one day terrifies them and sends them into screaming fits the next. But that kind of behaviour is not what a stupid character does.

But I do agree. I gave crazy characters the short end of the stick. Hell, one of my favorite characters to write is a paranoid war vet. Like batman levels of paranoid. There's a consistent logic to it.

"The queen knew we were the most loyal to her of any of tribes. The queen is a master strategist. She'd never sacrifice us for a tactical advantage, we're far too strong in combat. The queen sent us into an enemy trap. The only logical conclusion is that the queen wants to wipe us out. I'm the only remaining soldier of my tribe, therefore it is in the queen's best interests to have me killed as soon as possible. I can't fight the queen. I can only hide."

Logically consistent. Wrong, but consistent.
Inbetweenbooks 6th Jul 2018, 4:08 AM edit delete reply

"what makes them happy one day terrifies them the next"

as sad as it makes me hear thet, that is EXACTLY how i played my insane split personality disorder char. even had a die chart about what personality that surfaced in different situations, and aded modifyers depending on the situation.

i really pitied the poor meek, stuttering, pasifist druid personality, it often had the misfortune to wake up after the warrior personality gave way to the berserker. A personality that made our mages want to roll Knowledge:demons checks. tha meant that the personality that hated blood eventually went "you know what, i give up. not even gonna bother cleaning my clothes anymore, they just end up covered in blood and body parts anyway"

funny thing is, his mental defence score, that among other thing prevents mental attacks and psychic illness, was sky high. I lored it as a "well, yeah, he broke ONE of my personalities into a simering wreck easily enough. this has pissed of the other five guys to no end"

He also had his own set of logic, as told in the tale of how we birthed a Mary sue, and ingame lore explained why there are now masterpiece weapon scattered all over the world.

So if you need a reason for a hidden treasure trove of weapon and gear in the midle of f*cking nowhere, nail a gull within 10 feet of it, if it's magical and worth over 2000 gp, you need to nail a duck on top of it. He totally would have traveled to any distant dimension he could get to to set up the cache, after all, if HE could get there, the chosen one would totally be able to get there and might need the gear(not by any prophecy mind you, he just assumes that she is chosen by the gods to be a hero)
Halosty45 6th Jul 2018, 12:12 AM edit delete reply
I've played some dumb characters. I got to play a half-orc with a total of 3 int (Through virtue of int for PCs not dropping below 3 even with negatives... because I rolled a 3.)
It was fun using only the 1000 most common English words especially because I was a shepherd and sheep isn't in the list.

Another time I played a pixie barbarian who couldn't count to more than 3 (Everything 3+ was just 3). It was fun because as a small flying person I was the scout a lot.
"How many enemies are there?"
Snowtwo 5th Jul 2018, 4:54 AM edit delete reply

When I get a character whose INT is lower than average, which is surprisingly frequently, I don't play them as being 'idiot' so much as 'uninformed'. You don't need to be a genius to figure out that fire spells don't work on the fire elemental or something else obvious. What you may NOT know, however, is that Eevee has multiple forms beyond just the first three or something similar. You don't need to be a genius to pick up on the obvious. Like 'Dark Elves hate light' because 'Dark' is in their name.
Raxon 5th Jul 2018, 2:59 PM edit delete reply
And there's a difference between low int and low wis characters. Low wisdom are the ones with faulty logical conclusions. Low int is what you're describing.

Both are idiot characters, but in different ways.
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