Some people have criticized my past blog entries where I argued that the best RPGs (like old-school D&D) are superior at handling actual roleplay because they DON'T have any 'social mechanics' and just make you actually play it out.
The common complaint is "RPGs should be fair to players though; it isn't a competition; and if a player has a PC who should be able to do well at diplomacy or something like that, but the player himself is not very good at speaking or putting together arguments, isn't it only fair that the GM give him a bonus??"
This isn't really about being in "competition", but it sounds like they're saying that if you're a really good roleplayer and come up with good ideas, you should roll with just your normal bonuses; but if the guy next to you is a moron who always thinks up dumb ideas or can't roleplay worth a damn, he should get a Special Snowflake bonus so his feelings aren't hurt.
Is that not going to create a sense of 'unfair competition' from the people who do not get that bonus?
Doesn't that look like favoritism?
As far as your character failing to do things he should be able to do: the question would be WHY do you feel your character "should be able" to do those things? In an OSR game you don't have 30 points to dump in Diplomacy so you can wave it around like a Mind-Control Superpower to avoid having to actually come up with ideas or roleplay, so that's out.
Do you feel he "should be able" because he has a high Charisma? Well, if he has a high charisma that's factored into his bonus. Players who have a high CHA AND come up with decent ideas, roleplay well, and make a good argument will obviously do better than people with a high CHA who always think up dumb ideas and/or don't roleplay their character and/or can't string together two words. But having a high CHA still means statistically, you'll do better than you otherwise would on account of your PC being likable even if you aren't capable of playing him as such.
Or do you feel he "should be able" because your mommy told you that you were special and everyone deserves a participation trophy for showing up? Because in that case, you're just Demanding to Win, you might as well think you "should be able" to find a +10 Holy Avenger sword in the next dungeon room. It's a nice thought, but you in no way deserve it and it's not going to happen at my table. Especially since your demand inherently invalidates the talent or hard work of other players at the table; who will get to see you being a socially inept doofus with shitty ideas who never actually portrays his character, and still end up doing just as well as the people who come up with all the actually good ideas.
It will make the world seem less emulative, it will ruin people's immersion, and it's a way to run a game that won't end up being fun for anyone.
If I have a player who feels they 'should be able' to do well in social situations, but doesn't, I'll try to encourage them to actually play out their character, to get more confidence in public speaking, or to think a bit harder about the ideas they're coming up with and develop some logic skills to think if its a good idea or a bad one.
If they refuse to do those things but want to be awesome anyways, then they're not really going to fit in with my games.
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