I like your method of motivating the PCs to roleplay the action cards. Could you elaborate on it or could you guide me to a forum entry where this approach was formerly discussed? hopefully with some examples?
Well, all groups roleplay differently. But the difficulty of lazy roleplaying isn't unique to WFRP, and I don't feel that the action cards reinforce lazy roleplaying. But they can be used to promote good roleplaying.
A simple example on how you could roleplay in a lazy fashion:
In WFRP: I play the "Flirt" card to flirt with the noble.
In D&D: I use CHA to flirt with the noble.
The action card isn't to blame for lazy roleplaying, you could play it lazy it in more or less any system.
So here's an example about using the flirt card:
To use an action card you must first roleplay the action you intend to take (in this case flirting). By describing what you your character does, conversing, acting etc. All the 'normal' roleplaying/acting stuff.
After roleplaying it for a while, you get to use the flirt card. You roll and look at the results (which is quite quick and easy to do in WFRP).
Depending on how the roll goes you see how the flirtation is recieved by the target character.
If you rolled a success you've managed to flirt well with the target character, how well depends on successes, boons, comets etc.
If you fail, you obviously did something wrong during your flirting, maybe you insulted the character by accident, or maybe he/she isn't interested in you and so on.
After the roll you go on to roleplay the effects of the roll,
A successful roll might mean you've been on a great date and you escort the lady home, maybe get a kiss good night, maybe you get another date, or maybe you end up in bed (it all depends on the situation, results of the roll and the goal of the acting character).
If you fail, you get to roleplay what went wrong instead, maybe you get a drink flung in your face (chaos star), or maybe you say something inappropriate that ends the date, or maybe you just don't klick and both go home feeling that this wasn't the love of their lives. A fail with banes might mean that you had a string of bad luck during the date.
I encourage my players to participate (and often drive) the interpretation of the results. The result is decided by the dice, but the why and the how is very much decided by the player. For example if rolling a failure with banes, they get to roleplay mistakes they make, what their character does or says to ruin the date and obviously I respond to their roleplaying by playing the NPC they are flirting with.
Good roleplaying awards fortune dice to the roll, so there's incentive for the player(s) to prepare, think it through and roleplay well. Bad roleplaying might result in misfortune (or even challenge) dice beeing added to the roll, which further increases the incentive to roleplay and not be lazy. Just saying "I play the flirt card" will mostly 'award' you with at least a couple of extra misfortune dice to the pool. So preparing and putting effort into the roleplaying has an impact on success rate (which is fine by me as it encourages roleplaying your character).
Roleplaying a card before rolling might only take a minute or two (sometimes more), same goes for the roleplaying of the results. But that minute of roleplaying adds a lot to the shared experience of the players and GM at the table.
Obviously, sometimes we just make the roll, all rolls aren't worth roleplaying, sometimes it's ok to be lazy so that we can keep the plot moving forward. In those cases I don't add extra misfortune dice to the roll.
As the player has all the information about what dice to use on the action card (except modifiers and difficulty from the GM), so while preparing he/she can gather the dice pool, get the difficulty and modifiers, and then roll when asked to roll and get the results.
A short summary of the process for the player:
- State what you intend to do (in the example flirting with a lady by using the flirt card)
- Roleplay what you do, say, think etc.
- Use the card, roll and interpret results.
- Roleplay results.
In the end, it's all about what the players and the GM wants. The players and the GM should decide together how they like to play the game.
This is applicable to tasks that are not social as well. Roleplaying how you use education to learn some fact can obviously award fortune dice. For example going to the temple of Verena, talking to priests there (and roleplaying the conversation obviously) and so on.
In combat we do this less, but a sentence or two about what you do and how may award fortune dice. This encourages clever use of the environment and keeps the fights more interesting.
I don't have a good forum entry on hand, but I believe it's been discussed before.
This, obviously, can also be done using any other roleplaying system. In D&D you roleplay, roll CHA, roleplay.
But the system, dice mechanics and action cards makes it easy for the players to prepare rolls, easy to interpret interesting results which at least in our opinion gives more inspiration to roleplaying than most systems. Finally, the action cards gives more juicy success, boon, bane, chaos star lines. Which further aids roleplaying (in our oppinion).
For example, my character succeeded but got stressed in the process, this raises the question "Why did he get stressed?" one answer could be: He almost said something inappropriate during the date but managed to cover it up. And then the player roleplays that almost slip of the tounge (which could be very memorable).