Some Stuff that seems important to realize

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Some Stuff that seems important to realize

Post  Homu on Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:07 am

Hello all. I'm dumping quotes and stuff here that may improve RP and may (hopefully) shatter the differences some RPers here have with eachother.

1. Don't assume things are the first thing you think they are, because your mind could be lying to you.

2. To yourself, you seem to have all the information about the thing you're judging. But you don't. You're only seeing one of the many truths.

3. People will have justifications for what you think is a "mistake" in their character, but these will often involve them having to spoil their character's backstory in order to explain their reasoning, so don't be too quick to judge.

4. Complaining is pretentious and it's usually done for the wrong reasons unless it's complaining about something that genuinely causes problems.

5. Complaining can just cause you to lose fun in something otherwise enjoyable.

5.5. (Not as important) Characters that are abandoned are generally only the ones that are 'complete'. If you're still 'building' (developing) your character, you've got more reason to continue playing them.

6. "Mary Sue" is not an appropriate label in itself. It contradicts itself and it's way too subjective. The definition of "Mary Sue" varies from group to group. The true problem is whether the character is fun and/or engaging for others. In extension of 6; "Mary Sue" is often just a derogatory term used for the sake of complaining. Tie that in with the earlier rule about complaining.

7. If something happens in an RP that you don't like, react to it as your character would, trying to keep immersion. This event should be taken as an opportunity rather than complaining about it. Express what you disliked after the RP has finished if you feel it affects your enjoyment.

8. Power levels in games are usually given for logical reasons by the developers, in relation to how strong the mob in question should be from a lore and common sense point of view. Use common sense with power levels. Level 80 farmers are not as dangerous as level 80 demons in RP just because they have the same level. Levels are a guidance, they reflect experience and combat prowess. Levels alone do not determine power, but an enemy's race does not determine power. Both must be used in harmony.

About OP and "power levels" next.

I really wish more people could realise that RP isn't a contest, but a co-narrated story.
As there are no winners or losers, there is no OP. If it really becomes an issue, people need to get more creative: THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY OUT!

However. Contra argument.
There is a clear "OP".
When one person always saves the day, is always the hero, and never gets hurt for more than an hour (and then everyone HAS to be "OMG YOU'RE HURT").
Then there is OP.

Ingame VS extragame

Role-playing employs two distinct tools that, when used properly, enhance each-other in mutual harmony; and, when used improperly, contradict one another, causing dissonance.

The first of these tools I call in-game, or ingame. Ingame, as the name implies, is everything – both what you use in your role-play and what you chose to ignore – that comes from the actual game. These include: your character model, your character's class, his position in the world, emotes and many, many more small things you might be unaware you are using (or deliberately not-using).

The second of these tools I call extra-game, or extragame. Extragame tools are any and all elements you add on top of the ingame tools, almost always using text as a medium. Most obvious extragame tools are role-playing addons that allow you to add biographies to your character, but all of the text you type in the game – emotes and dialogue alike - also counts.

Extragame tools are invaluable to role-play and, without them, role-play as we know it would not be possible. Extragame tools allow us to shape and change the game we play and without them, we would be limited to the customization offered by the game and would all be playing generic characters like 'Pandaren monk' without any further customization. It would be impossible to play a fat monk, or a skinny monk; a sad monk, or a happy monk; an energetic monk, or a slow monk, etcetera. I consider even the dialogue you type for your character to be extragame, as it is unique to your play and does not stem directly from the sources of the videogame. So, without it, role-play would not be possible.

However, we mustn't overemphasize the importance of extragame either. Much of your play is ingame; walking is the most striking example. One almost never emotes walking somewhere; why would you? You use your character model to move somewhere. Typing it would be double. Imagine describing every single step your character takes with text: it would be a total chore!

Nevertheless, extragame is a pivotal element of our play, without which role-playing would not be possible, though there are some problems with extragame tools. Most of these problems stem from the disharmony between ingame and extragame and the jarring, immersion-breaking sensation whenever this disharmony is being perceived. This is jarring exactly because we are used to accepting many ingame facts as relevant to our role-play (such as the location of our characters and their position to one another) and when we are asked to arbitrarily ignore some, this feels strange and calls into question why we accept some, but not other facts of the game. I find this creates some problems, not knowing why we accept some but not other facts.

This gets of course tricky because of the fact that we routinely ignore whole swathes of ingame facts in our role-play, most commonly NPCs, and, crucially, character deaths. However, a disharmony between ingame and extragame can - even if we are used to ignoring some other ingame elements - be jarring and should be avoided as much as possible, while on the other end, we should use as many ingame elements as possible and strive to include as much as we can, while limiting the amount which we ignore; though there are some ingame elements that we have no choice but to ignore in order to rp properly, such as character deaths; except if we accept Spirit Healers and corpserunning as real things that actually exist in the world. But this would require a radical shift which most players would find disagreeable. Another argument against accepting characte deaths, corpserunning and spirit healers are existing in the ingame reality is the fact that no NPCs ever refer to them as existing. This might place them in the same category as, say, the interface. Can you imagine characters refering to being queued in an instance? Because I can't; that's silly.

Let's look at examples. Let's look at Death Knights specifically, because this class in particular has been the subject of much controversy. The bare, naked ingame Death Knight is, amongst many traits, most importantly: undead. They are called Death Knights for a reason. However, many players have played their Death Knights as being very much alive. This, I feel, is a classic example of extragame contradicting ingame: somebody's role-playing biography might say that his character is alive, but his model says: 'Undead'. You can't hide those glowing eyes. the hollow voice and perhap most importantly, the class: the character itself screams: UNDEAD, regardless or in spite of the player's best efforts to hide this. This is the type of dissonance that is jarring when experienced. At least to some. Others might be able to imagine it properly.

Of course there are clever way around this problem. The Death Knight might wear armor that hides his eyes, for example. But one should ask oneself whether this sort of effort to fight the model's inherent ingame qualities is particularly worth it. To fight ingame trough extragame means requires a momentous amount of effort. I have very often been ticked off by Death Knights walking around with a ghoul pet one second (usually before or after a battle), only for them to after declare that the ghoul was never there, since they're not really Death Knights at all; this is another and perhaps even more clear example of dissonance between ingame and extragame: the Death Knight is actively trying to hide some of his ingame qualities by extragame means. But they were there: we could see them.

Mind you, the badness of the dissonance between extragame and ingame isn't absolute. Some discrepancies are more jarring than others and there is much disagreement over how much variation is acceptable. For example, one might use the human male model to play a fat character: but the model itself is very muscular and fit. I, personally, find this jarring, but many others would argue that, if we were to not allow this kind of discrepancy, we would seriously be limiting our role-playing potential and the possible characters we could play. These sentiments, while I don't necessarily agree with them, raise a valid point, which is why I don't oppose them outright.

I have, however, developed a mistrust over the general disharmony between ingame and extragame and have striven to instead harmonize the two. I try to have my ingame be as close to its extrame which it supersedes as possible. I have personally found that this, rather than limit my role-play and homogenize it with others who use the same model and class, has added much color and personality to my play. Once I stopped trying to contradict my model by having my character be 'thinner' [the pandaren male], I could utilize the fatness of my model to its fullest extend and play around with it. I allowed the flow of the animations of my model – mostly the silly /kiss and /shy animations – to determine the flow of my character's mood and his personality. If my character used energetic animations, his extragame dialogue and emotes would be equally energetic; these two now work to enhance each-other. This I call ingame-extragame harmony, and it is my role-playing ideal; it is opposed by ingame-extragame disharmony, or as I said earlier, dissonance, which has become my negative ideal and is that which I try to actively avoid.

I propose that following: a dissonance between ingame and extragame is the source of many role-paying woes and worries, to which my solution is simple: while players shouldn't be worried about enriching their play trough extragame means, they should be wary to do so in a way that enhances and expands upon the ingame and never contradicts it.

So, next time you role-play, think carefully over how your ingame and extragame relate to one another. Are you fighting really hard to change your ingame trough extragame means? Then I encourage you try a playstyle in which the two are more aligned. The outcome might surprise you.

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Re: Some Stuff that seems important to realize

Post  Homu on Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:23 am

Some more wisdom. Random stuff. Much of this is WoW or MMO rp centered, but can be painted onto other RP aswell.

"RP isn't really a game, at least not in the traditional sense, so making it "fair" is a bit pointless. I think it depends on the situation, though. Having everything laid out and removing spontaneity can make things less interesting in most cases, imo, though there certainly are situations where things need to be a bit more structured."

I guess one can also say "RP may not be a game but it is a cooperative exercise between people trying to have fun together and, much like how we conduct our daily lives, the best way to ensure everyone is having fun is to try and be as fair, balanced, and reasonable as possible to one-another. RP's not about 'you' having fun, more about 'you and everyone else together' having fun which isn't really something you can ever guarantee but it's an ideal worth aspiring towards, no?"

I also found something neat about stealth in RP, game mechanics in RP (WoW specific).

I think there does have to be balance between mechanics and how you play it in RP. Heroic Leap exists to give Warrior another gap closer, not because swinging your axe for long enough builds up the leg muscle necessary to catapult yourself 40 yards forward from a standing start. Still, I'm sure they can leap and land with a cleaving attack, more so the lighter/less armour they wear. Like an orc barbarian in leather/fur.

With that I could claim levitate is a game mechanic. HEal is a game mechanic. Everythig is a game mechanic. That argument falls apart there. Not only that but we have examples of warriors like Broxigar, Cairne Bloodhoof and several others who perform such feats of strenght that'd be enough to call them supernatural, even if all they use is raw strenght and skill. Mantid bladelords are also so skilled in the art of using swords that they can create cutting winds with their cleaves.

IRL physics have little to no ground in WoW. It's entirely viable in WoW for a warrior to carry his armor like a second skin and not be hindered by it at all.

Like for Rogue. Cloak Of Shadows, actual Stealth, Shadowstep - they're all useable, but it's a form of Shadow Magic. You do not hone your body so much that you can hide your whole group out in the open.

Actually you can. Illusion magic is a thing, and I've seen Thorodias roleplaying his use of illusionary magic really well in RP (Aka, shroud of shadowing entire Rotgarde and me a few months back). Illidan also conceals you and your allies in Well of eternity in shadows. Pretty sure there was also a engineering gadget that does that in some quest but that asides the point; Rogues can disappear in the middle of a bright day in plain open.

Stealth in RP is a huge pet peeve for me. If you want to stealth without some kind of magical form of invisiblity, then don't use a stealth ability. If there's a crate, you emote sneaking quietly and then whip out a /kneel behind it etc. If there's no hiding place that you can get to your target without being seen, where you can't realistically hear what your target is saying, then guess what? You're screwed.

A huge pet peevee of mine are priests wearing robes and using holy light. I see anything else than using plasters and bandage aid as healing as something that genuinely ruins RP and breaks my immershun heavily.

You get my point? Stealth is lorewise a 100% proven ability that works as intended. If you wan to RP being able to stealth as the skill does, then by all means, use it. If you want to be seen and /kneel, sure, that's your choice. If you want to RP your stealth is infact illusionary magic, sure, go with it!

Roleplay, to me, should be about playing a character through his role and making a good story with other characters along the way; if you can't handle being spied on fairly then so be it, but you can take your e-peen elsewhere, you're not the kind of player I want to RP with.

You can create good RP by using stealth normally aswell, I assure you.

Some useful points, possibly. I'm just picking out quotes I like that may get us to "think". Here's some more, pet peeves.

- An accent should be heard, whereas dialect should be written. If it's difficult to read, I'm not going to read it.

- The idea that "grimdark" = mature and therefore better RP.

- People who call into debate or outright ignore things that are part of the Warcraft setting that they don't like. This usually happens when you ride anything that isn't a horse.

- Dwarves who have no personality, they're just enthusiastic alcoholics.

- Gnomes/Goblins with little to no imagination. Often found with a mechanical sidekick and an explosive personality.

- I saw a Troll talking like Jar Jar Binks, once.

- People trying to force needlessly adult themes into the setting.

- Obvious breaches of lore.

- Using pop-culture references too often.

- Overly long emotes that are too descriptive. Leave something to my imagination.

- /y *GUNSHOT*

- People who enjoy RPing wounded/ill characters for a long period of time, and look down on those who don't

- People dressing up as obvious <insert class or profession>, yet denying the claim if confronted.

- People retconning their own characters too frequently / fundamentally after it's far too late for it.

- People who try to make WoW like Game of Thrones by making it too gritty and realistic. We're on Azeroth (mostly), not Westeros.

- You're in plate armor! How can you sit down?! 

- The notion that warriors are supernatural beings with supernatural abilities.
- The notion that warriors have to be completely mundane despite the evidence to the contrary.

Some stuff about power in RP:
Unless you are a living god or something, there is no 'right' or 'wrong' power. A good writer can do wonders with anything from a peasant to a seemingly unstoppable character. Saying 'X is always bad' is a sweeping generalisation and overly dismissive.

Here's one that Bjorn will probably agree on.

People who don't understand the effect of bludgeoning weapons.

People seem to think that unless you're stabbed/cut you're perfectly fine. Excuse me, biche, but I just slammed a hammer into your chest. That plate is gonna do jack schmidt once you're dealing with several broken ribs, a shattered sternum, and maybe a collapsed lung or two.

Heck, it doesn't even need to be a hammer, people just don't seem to acknowledge that bludgeoning weapons are freaking DEADLY unless they take a hit to the head! You don't just get back up after I shatter your kneecap, fool!


I'd like to complain about people who seem completely uninterested in learning anything about other characters. I can spend a good session asking someone questions about their lifestyle, history or plans for the future, only for the questions never to reach me. Maybe they don't take as much of an interest in it as I do but, it kills my desire to interact with other people sometimes.

That's some food for thought for me. What about you?

People who have unnecessarily long and elaborate character descriptions. As far as I'm concerned, with a physical description less is typically more. I don't care how flowery you can make your writing, if the description surpasses two or three paragraphs the chances are I'm not going to bother reading it.

But, perhaps, worse than that are people who give an in-depth description of their character's personality. What's the point in me RPing with you/your character if I already know everything there is to know? It just kills any interest.
Ridiculously long emotes, descriptions of actions and the like. Overly complicated vocabulary comes into this at times as well, we don't need a thesaurus to describe how you fly though the air with your ninja skills thanks.

Oh, also; "Emerald orbs gaze out from under thick black lashes, while luscious locks of burgundy frame an unblemished visage."
Go away. There is nothing wrong with just saying eyes and face, ok?
"But Apris, one should not deride the splendid verbosity of the cerebral overlords that so delightfully parade their fantastic clout with the labyrinthine ways of language."


Now about "would" usage in RP. Yes this specifically goes to Karthusin, since she is the one of us doing this.

I don't particularly understand the use of the subjective tense in emotes, your character either does something or not (otherwise there's no point in informing people).
Generally it's just a matter of newcomers to the language, though, and maybe you could just whisper them and tell them why it doesn't make a whole lot of sense and recommend the present or simple past. I know if I were trying to speak another language I'd appreciate it.

    If one were to look around the room - "you would see a large crystal partly covered by an old cloth, it would sit upon an old oak table."

And that still doesn't make sense. I mean, would implies it's not really. It would be there, were it not for <insert whatever reason>

So basically in your example that large crystal would stand on a table, but it isn't because?

    Character A enters the room.
    DM - "The room would be dark, with several candles burning low. Some stacks of paper would be sitting on a desk several feet from the candles.
    Character A - "Geoffry would not see the stacks of paper, but instead would go to investigate the area around the candles"

The room would be dark with several candles burning. So.. is the room dark, or not?
The stacks of paper are on the desk, or they aren't. Geoffry sees these stacks of paper, or he doesn't. He's investigating, or he isn't.
Would implies you are going to do something, but you can't because something is stopping you. There is the intention of..-

"Pete would open the door, but he can't because the door is blocked from the other side."
"Geoffry would see the stacks of paper, if the light was brighter."
"I would love to meet up for coffee, but unfortunately I have to work."

I don't think people use would because of some old school style. They use would because they're terrified that if they don't, they'll be seen as some godemoter or they're new to the language and think it's polite. (A polish exchange student used to say "maybe yes" and "maybe no" because he thought using the word maybe was polite, when he really just meant yes and/or no).

/e would smile and then would pick up her glass of whisky. She would drink what's left before she would place the glass back down on the counter. She would then ask the bartender to refill her glass.

Do you not see how that emote is.. off? Is she doing these things, or is something stopping her from doing them?

I still maintain the overuse is a cultural backfire of the oversensitivity of poweremoting. Bill can't cut Sam's head off, he "would" try to and so, a new linguistic hell was spawned, spewing forth its spawn to punish our little world.

    DM - "The room would be dark, with several candles burning low. Some stacks of paper would be sitting on a desk several feet from the candles.
    Character A - "Geoffry would not see the stacks of paper, but instead would go to investigate the area around the candles"

DM - "The room is dark, with several candles burning low. Some stacks of paper sit on a desk several feet from the candles"
Character A - "Geoffry doesn't see the stacks of paper, but instead investigates (or even goes to investigate if you want) the area around the candles."

Notice how in this example, I can remove the word would too? And woah, the GM can still actually put consequnces after Geoffry's actions! He's investigating, what would happen? What's the consequence? Even if you use would to have the DM tell you all the different possible consequences, you'd still not say "Geoffry would investigate" You say "What would happen if Geoffry investigates the area?"*

He finds nothing.
He accidentally blows out a candle.
He knocks a candle over.
He notices the papers on the desk (if they actually are on the desk. The use of the word would in that sentence doesn't actually verify whether or not these papers are really on the desk..)

In the aforemention context, you use would (what would happen). Not when Geoffry's going to look for things. He's looking, or he's not. If you say "Geoffry would investigates the area around the candles" the GM can't know if he's actually investigating the area around the candles. He has an intention of doing so, but he's not actually doing it. How can you put a consequence on something when you don't even know if the person is going to perform the action? Well, you can't! A GM can't tie consequences to an action when there's only an intention of said action. You have to -do- something first.

The use of would in all these example is, in fact, blocking the whole purpose.

*If you say "What would happen if Geoffry would investigate the area?", the second would is overused and unnecessary.

Personally, I RP in the present tense: "Character sits on the ground" etc. I don't mind too much when people use past tense: "Character sat on the ground", but I do dislike it when people use the conditional tense (at least, that's how I refer to it).

The way I see it, RP is a bit like a play. In a script for a play, stage directions are written in the present tense: "He drinks the fish" (Yes, that's from an actual play/radio drama). They aren't written as conditional, "He would drink the fish". To me, stage directions and emotes in RP are extremely similar.

'Would' suggests that the character would do that action, if this was a real situation. Now that sort of breaks the 'fourth wall' in a sense, in acknowledging the fact that this is all 'make-pretend'. Breaking the fourth wall is okay in drama, not so much in RP - it breaks immersion.

'Would' has instances where it works. I.e. in moments of contested continuity, or in laymen's terms, when neither party is too sure of what is coming next. It is a substitute for 'attempts to' and works as a good element of theoretically-tensed writing.

Some arguments about ROLLS now, because why not?

As for rolls? Rolls are some of the most enjoyable moments in RP. Yes, they too have their place, not unlike 'would' but that place is in large events with lots of people and in moments of contestation to settle the RP fairly. It introduces an important element of chance to the mix and forces RPers to think on their feet and contemplate what they will be writing if they win and what they will write if they lose, forcing them to accept their character's own flaws. In large events the weedy little teenage priestess can end up beating the hulking monster on her own through the use of lucky (for her) rolls and it forces upon that character an important moment of heroism that would otherwise have come off as power-emoting or being overpowered.

By throwing that element of random chance into the mix the event-organiser does the most important thing one can do with an RP Event... they make it gripping. Yeah, it might be that at the end of the event you didn't get a single good roll but y'know what, that only matters if you headed in there expecting to win and be the hero in the first place which is just the wrong attitude to have. RP is about more than just beating the pulp out of one-another, it's about taking your knocks and Rolls allow event organisers to make those knocks as well as the successes come at a regulated pace.

If you're not rolling well that in and of itself becomes important, both as an element of characterised humour for you and as an eventual reflection by your character, wondering why they were so weak or being angry at their performance and fueling character growth.

That's why rolls matter... because RP is alive in a sense, and a few well-implemented rolls can completely change the way your character operates... in a good way.

It's not a mechanic for when the outcome can be easily decided or is perhaps even obvious. It is for when a large group is fighting a boss and you roll for damage or when there's a very evasive flying enemy that needs a few good shots to get in. It's about taking the power of decision out of the hands of the players and forcing them to make the best of situations they weren't expecting or even better, forming some truly heroic and yet oddly realistic narratives because you know that the person pulping that daemon is not doing it just to look like a badass.

Now there is a lot of the:

    That's just RNGsus playing my character for me.

... sentiment about but I personally think that demonstrates a fundamental difference in approach to RP and in my opinion an unhelpful one. The want to hold complete dominion over one's character is understandable but somewhat foolish. Yes, it is 'your' character but RP isn't a storybook in the same way that Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter is. RP is populated with a 'lot' more realism than those stories. In those stories unlikely heroes save the world but those are 'heroic' stories. In RP there's only so far heroism can go. We live in a narrative populated by countless other characters, none of which will ever have a profound effect upon the world.

/rolls, when employed properly, embrace the less 'heroic' and more 'realistic' nature of RP. In life we 'aren't' in control of our own destiny nor can we ever be assured that we will succeed because we are skilled. Yes, we want to guide the storylines of our characters but the more command we seek to exert over them the less real the characters become.

/Rolls aren't to be used so that the gnome can beat the Tauren or the Farmer beat the Knight. They're used when the simulation of uncertainty, of wavering successes and failures becomes relevant. No matter how strong your character may be the /rolls indicate that they are far from invincible. We introduce modifiers to deal with the matter more personally but in RP, pulping that daemon's face because you wanted to and got lucky will always be more engaging than pulping that daemon's face because that's what you decided you would do.

/rolls don't have a place in every RP conflict nor even in most of them, but their presence within events, when implemented properly, does the most realistic and immersive thing that a mechanic can do... it makes you powerless, and the understanding that in the end success comes down to the modifiers gained by your skills and a whole heaping of luck makes the victory both more hollow and yet somehow sweeter than you could imagine.

Yes, /rolls don't belong everywhere, but where they do belong they work better than simply deciding ever can.

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