Player vs. Character

This is my 6th post for Blaugust.

I was playing The Witcher 3 the other day (yes, still). Geralt and a fellow witcher were trekking out to a cave to do witcher things and  all of a sudden, a child’s voice calls out. Someone may need help, Geralt thinks, while his companion chides him – they’re in the middle of nowhere, there are no children here. I know it’s not a child calling for help. The voice is odd and echoey, it’s clearly a monster pretending to be a child. Geralt, seasoned monster hunter, should know this as well. From an RP and common sense standpoint, I should ignore the voice, and continue on. But, from a player of video games with completionist tendencies standpoint, I can’t. It could lead to a quest, experience, items, some kind of content I may not see otherwise. I guess you could call this a choice, but it’s not much of one for me. I follow the voice. Surprise, it’s a foglet. I kill it and get back to my quest.

The Witcher 3 - Geralt shrugging

There’s a disconnect between what I’d choose as my character vs. what I’d choose as a player. As a player, I’m always going to go for the option that may give me more content even if it means taking an action my character would never do.

I find this kind of “optional” quest comes up a lot in RPGs and I don’t think it’s something that’s handled very well. I could be playing an evil wizard, but if I come upon a little girl whose kitten is stuck in a tree, goddamn it I will get that kitten out of the tree. There are NPCs who I’d really like to slap for treating me like an errand girl (or boy) but rather than give them sass, which is what I or likely any character I make would like to do, I run and get their dry cleaning for a few slivers of XP and a nominal reward.

Do you ever  find your choices as a player in games don’t line up with the character you play in games?

6 responses to “Player vs. Character

  1. This happens to me a lot; and generally for the same reason. I tend to be a completionist as well so I hate the idea of skipping content. It’s occasionally frustrating to have to turn off my genre savvy and play dumb to see everything in a game.

    I suppose in the example you bring up you could play it as ‘Yes, it’s obviously a trap, but if I don’t go deal with it someone else less capable may stumble into it and get killed.’ That doesn’t work as well if you’re playing a selfish or downright evil character though.
    Thalen Firebeard recently posted..#Blaugust Day 7: Endings

  2. This is why I try to roleplay my playthroughs, but that becomes problematic when my character has a distinct point of view and personality. Then, I end up more or less skipping things, while in other games (Skyrim), I might pick those kitten saving quests up on a different kind of character altogether.
    Murf recently posted..#Blaugust Day 6: 1,000 Followers Found

    • My completionist urges are way stronger then my RPing urges, so doing the quest will always win out. But I don’t have to like it!

  3. I’m like you — I try to roleplay my characters, but I often end up making variants of myself so that’s not too hard, or I blatantly break the RP rule if it’s something *I* as a player really want to do.
    I find I have no trouble living with myself for this heinous RP crime. I am, after all, playing to entertain myself, not to pass a role-playing test.
    Ysharros recently posted..Blaugust Day 8 – The Morning After the Night Before

    • I do that as well. Generally my characters actions are based on what I’d do in that situation. Unless I’m specifically trying to be evil.