So, how would you play a character with low wisdom?

We assume you're interested since you're on our forums.
User avatar
Lord Foul
Rolled to Meet a Good Group on the Internet and Got a Crit
Posts: 46468
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Great Britain

So, how would you play a character with low wisdom?

Postby Lord Foul » Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:24 pm

Starting a new game, and I find myself with two characters who have very low wisdom scores. Not the first time I've had this to deal with, but I wonder what kind of approaches others take to this role-playing challenge.

As an example, the last time I played a character with really low wisdom it was a human fighter who also had big strength and big charisma, so I played him as a big grinning handsome chap, with a very positive outlook, who tended to rush in without thinking things through. In play, every time I had an idea he would immediately act on it, regardless of whether it was sensible or not. It made for some interesting scenes, but I could easily foresee others getting fed up with this after a while. That game didn't last long enough to find out, but it was a concern.

So, how would you do it? :eh:
"...with frikin' lasers!"

User avatar
clintmemo
Questing for the elusive New Title
Posts: 22734
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:38 am
Location: Louisville KY
Contact:

Re: So, how would you play a character with low wisdom?

Postby clintmemo » Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:18 pm

I saw the time we came to post basically... What you just said.

I supposed to elaborate on that, it would be a person that generally does not learn from their mistakes, and does not learn from mistakes of others.

But another way to spin that would be as a person who always had to think everything out, every time. Maybe they have low wisdom scores, but average intelligence scores. They can reason something out, but they can't remember the lesson they learned. So the next time they run into that situation, they have to reason it all out again, and hopefully get it right.
2021 Goal: Not to repeat 2020

User avatar
[red]
Wayne's Batman Costume ASSistant
Posts: 318
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:48 am
Location: Denver, CO USA

Re: So, how would you play a character with low wisdom?

Postby [red] » Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:56 pm

Easily foolef, but willing to follow friends' lead.

Immediately rushing in isn't necessary. Come up with obviously terrible plans once in a while and let your teammates shoot them down. Buy in to anyone's plan, good or bad. Believe everyone.
--- < :facepalm: > ---

User avatar
clintmemo
Questing for the elusive New Title
Posts: 22734
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:38 am
Location: Louisville KY
Contact:

Re: So, how would you play a character with low wisdom?

Postby clintmemo » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:56 pm

[red] wrote:Easily foolef, but willing to follow friends' lead.

Immediately rushing in isn't necessary. Come up with obviously terrible plans once in a while and let your teammates shoot them down. Buy in to anyone's plan, good or bad. Believe everyone.



But once, in a while, be brilliant. Not constrained by wisdom and experience, once in a great while, you notice something that others might not or think of things that others might not.
Young children often excel at this.
2021 Goal: Not to repeat 2020

User avatar
Azhrei Vep
Drinks like a Bear
Posts: 27605
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: So, how would you play a character with low wisdom?

Postby Azhrei Vep » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:25 pm

Low wisdom characters I've played have had a few different ways in how it's gotten represented, but it can usually be summed up as "Doesn't stop to think things through." Reckless swashbucklers, raging barbarians, arrogant nobles who seize on their first idea and don't consider anything else.

Some (most) of them are also pretty high on intelligence, too, because I like my characters smart. The difference there is if someone stop them and forces them to give some thought to their actions, they'll come up with workable plans or ideas, it's just not their natural inclination.

Oh, and then there was my lovely alchemist. He was a mad scientist. Certifiably insane. Even sitting him down to make him think about things that didin't involve SCIENCE!!! ALCHEMY!!! would still get ridiculous, terrible ideas that only made sense in his less than accurate worldview. ... And the damn party kept listening anyway.
Julia wrote:You don't understand the amount of dick I get ... in my giant American Hoohah.
PS Fuck you Cafepress

User avatar
Leoff
You Gotta Admit!
Posts: 7207
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:59 pm

Re: So, how would you play a character with low wisdom?

Postby Leoff » Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:35 am

Gamma-Ray played one very-low wisdom cleric as having very bad vision. He actually took his glasses off for the game. Cinaeth was very knowledgeable and capable in talking and reading (by good light up close), but simply didn't see things fast enough, or often enough. just wasn't aware of surroundings beyond an arm's reach, and fine details beyond a handspan.

User avatar
John
Host
Posts: 4846
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:20 am

Re: So, how would you play a character with low wisdom?

Postby John » Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:11 pm

Bad impulse control is great for creating exciting situations and I recommend it.

Another oft-ignored angle is laziness. PCs tend to act like they're being directed by someone outside their head who wishes for their well-being and advancement. Real people tend not to. I had a long running low-wis character who was just lazy. He wasn't malicious or useless (he was a good healer) but hell if he was getting up early, passing on a third helping of pie, or engaging in any kind of physical activity he didn't absolutely have to.

User avatar
Lord Foul
Rolled to Meet a Good Group on the Internet and Got a Crit
Posts: 46468
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Great Britain

Re: So, how would you play a character with low wisdom?

Postby Lord Foul » Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:48 pm

Some really good ideas there. I may borrow some of those to help in playing my new characters. I do want to make them different from each other. Thanks everyone. :thumbup:
"...with frikin' lasers!"

User avatar
tombombodil
3 for 3
Posts: 12205
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:43 pm
Location: Just south of the Barrow Downs
Contact:

Re: So, how would you play a character with low wisdom?

Postby tombombodil » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:20 pm

John wrote:Another oft-ignored angle is laziness. PCs tend to act like they're being directed by someone outside their head who wishes for their well-being and advancement. Real people tend not to. I had a long running low-wis character who was just lazy. He wasn't malicious or useless (he was a good healer) but hell if he was getting up early, passing on a third helping of pie, or engaging in any kind of physical activity he didn't absolutely have to.


This is honestly my go-to example, but I've never played a character that way because it would basically be a 1 to 1 adaptation of people I've known in real life and that would be in bad taste even if I was the only who knew.

To me low wisdom is being lethargic, apathetic, complacent, and incurious and not having the self awareness to see the ways these traits negatively effect both their own lives and the lives of those around them.
Have you found the yellow sign?
Have you found the yellow sign?
Have you found the yellow sign?

User avatar
Lord Foul
Rolled to Meet a Good Group on the Internet and Got a Crit
Posts: 46468
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Great Britain

Re: So, how would you play a character with low wisdom?

Postby Lord Foul » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:13 am

So, I've recently started these characters off, and at present I'm going for two different approaches:

One, with 6 WIS, is rash and doesn't think things through before acting. He's going to be causing all kinds of trouble, for himself and others. He is also unconcerned with consequences, other than his immediate desires.

The other, with 5 WIS, is easily led and far too trusting of things and people. A perfect patsy for any passing confidence trickster, like the hobbit with 19 CHR being played by another player. He will tend to take things at face value, regardless of my own suspicions.
"...with frikin' lasers!"


Return to “Role Playing Games”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron