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Reference RPG Tech Talk

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by Ktala, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 7, 2002
    RPG Tech Talk

    (Walks out with large soapbox, put it down, next to the microphone, and steps up.)
    *Tap, this thing on...?*

    So, first I will say welcome, to those brave or adventurous enough who took the time to take a peek and see what this is all about. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..

    No wait, wrong intro..


    Back in the day.. (DANG I SOUND OLD!) in the days of the old boards, we had a forum called: "How We Play Our Games." Several GM's of the day, and plenty of players put in there input on how various games, systems and other ideas about Role Playing Online.

    Well, now its years later, and different styles and video games have come and gone. New generation of players and their ideas have come out. I think it's time for an update. Well, not so much of an update, as an addition. The old stuff is still out there, and most of the information if still quite valid.

    Im going to give some ideas of my take on online RPG's (Role playing games), and feel free to jump in with yours. Hopefully, it will give new people an idea on the different ideas that float out there in the net, and what they might look forward to.

    For one, I will state that on-line style of RPGing is NOTHING like the tabletop version. And I think many people do forget that. When your playing with friends at someone's house, you might role play some character to character interactions and such, or with an NPC, but most of the time, its your group, taking stock of a situation, or getting ready for battle, or dealing with the treasure.

    But online, you are not in a constant state of preparing for battle, getting to the battle, THE BATTLE, and getting back so you can spend yer loot. On a table, you can see where everyone is, and where everyone is going. When you are online, you must actually ROLE-PLAY those things, so that others in your group know whats going on. Moving around, there is much more downtime between battles. So you have a chance to do something you dont usually do on tabletop games. You actually get a chance to TALK between the other player character. To develop your character, so that other readers and players can learn more about them, just like reading a good novel. So you're not just a 9th level dwarf, who can knock down a wall with a sneeze, but your also a fellow who hates trees and forests, and has whats in his mind, valid reasons for distrusting certain beings. Online RPG requires you to put in a little bit more depth into your characters, since in most games, you are not just a simple stat of numbers. In this instance, online is more like being a writer. The more you put into both your character, the more you will get back, and most likely enjoy the game. Which brings me to another point. Other players want and NEED your feedback. Except for RL (Real Life) issues and emergencies, there should NEVER be a reason for a one line post. EVER. Your character might say one line, but there is so much more to write about. The look on your characters face. Anything physical. Their THOUGHTS.

    That is another difference on playing online various playing tabletop. As a GM I HATE it when I go through the effort to sit there, and write up a lengthy post, with as much as information as I can come up, for the situation on hand, and I get a two line response. Really? As a GM AND a writer, I would like more feedback and information. The more information I am given to work with, the better my response to the other players. Even if the character dosent say anything, YOU as the writer can. Its not like across the table, where I can SEE if you act out your character, turn your back to the person, snort, scratch your butt, whatever. I cant guess if your character is mad, disgusted, bored, too scared to speak, or whatever. I cant see your face. I cant guess whats going on. Neither than the other people who might be reading the game, trying to decide if they want to play or not. Now I know, that sometimes, writers block is a horrible thing. Sometimes, the words just dont want to come. Everything you write dosent have to be epic. But sometimes, just adding a bit to the basic can help your writers block.

    Also, remember this is all for a game. For a chance to write and interact with other people. Being that we CANT see each others face, remember that what actions a character does to you, are NOT the same as doing them TO YOU, the PLAYER. If another players character attacks you...they are attacking YOUR CHARACTER, either verbally or physically..or maybe even both. DONT take it personal. It is most likely not personal. It some games, characters can die and will die, depending on the GM. If you cant get out of it, then make it believable.

    Every character is important in a game. But not ALL of us can be Luke Skywalker, or Princess Leia. Or related to them 20 generations down. Or the babysitter of them. They are people, thrust into a situation, just like anyone else. What made them a hero is how they reacted to the situation. So what, that your character dosent have a last name that is instantly familiar in the 12 quadrants? That dosent mean they are not a hero, or can become one. Usually, when I read that someone is playing a distant cousin, or relative of, and 'borrows' the last name of say a Skywalker, Solo, Organa, etc., the first reaction usually is.. 'Really?' Unless the game is specifically set up in such a way, that the GM is asking for such.. yeah, automatic turn off. Why? Cause you name dropping. 'Gee, look at me, look at who Im related to. 'whoever'. So what? Just because you have the last name of a famous person, dosent mean your any more or less special than anyone else. Course, as a GM, I might LOVE this, because you have automatically set yourself for every venedetta, and attack for any being that has every had the reason to curse your family name! ;) (hehehe) And if that was your intent, then I say good luck. Course, if your character uses a different last name, but is a distance relative, those I accept more readily, but that is just my first impression and opinion. Just be aware, I might not be the ONLY person who thinks the same way.

    To new players, I say, even if the game looks a little daunting at first, then try PMing the GM (Person who's running the game) before you submit a character sheet. Look at the info the GM wants for his game. Obviously, you like the general idea of the game, if you're thinking of joining. The worse that can happen, is that you dont like it, and you can then simply drop out. If your not sure, ask the GM questions. They might be able to help you out, or steer you towards others who might be able to help you as well. We were ALL beginners at one time. And most of us are a forgiving bunch, understanding that you are new to the RPG. We've all had our rabies shots! :) There is only one thing I can think of immediately that tends to tick off ALL players, and is the one thing you should be careful NOT to do. And that is:

    (Boos and Hisses, thunder and lighting)

    Godmodding - The act of moving another persons player character around, and/or doing several reactions at once, not giving the other player character or GM that you are interacting with enough time to respond.

    Let's face it. We can get intense into a game. Especially when the action is going full tilt. This is when this is most likely to happen. Unless you have PM'd someone in advance, and asked them about an idea or action you have had in mind, most game play is done in a turn round.

    1: You character does its action, pick up sword and swing, turn on lightsaber and glare, whatever... then you must WAIT... So that the other person has a chance to react, defend, throw up a middle finger, whatever they have deemed as an appropriate response. Why? Because you have no idea WHAT kind of automatic defenses/magic/technology that they have in place, that would stop your attack, or possibly aid it. Whatever the action may be, you MUST give them the opportunity to respond to it.

    2: THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS. In some games, the GM has given prior permissions for a player character to interact with, NPC's (Non Player characters) characters that are run by the GM, or another player. In certain things, the GM will allow you to fight off, kill, maim, talk to, or bargain with those characters without having to wait for a response from a GM. Usually, it is for other things, off the main storyline, or perhaps your own back-story that you are exploring, besides the main one the GM is running. If you are not sure.. ask. I have many times, worked on combination posts with other players, so that we didnt have to wait for each other to respond, and we do one large post together.

    Well, now that I've hit that subject, then I will go to another favorite:

    PET PEEVES!! of Both Players and GM's

    What? you say? Common. You know what I am talking about. Things that have burnt out MANY a player and GM. Things that make you grind your teeth when you see it. Everyone is different. Im NOT going to add spelling to the list, because Im not an English teacher. People make mistakes. And not everyone here on the board speaks English as their first language. So I am not going to nit pick. I've had friends who were sight impaired, and when they posted, were BLASTED, because of the spelling mistakes. Spell-check does NOT catch everything. The only thing I ask, is DO NOT USE TEXT SPEAK. This is not a license plate. You are NOT here to save space, by not spelling out the correct word. If everyone ignores you, it MIGHT be because no one can UNDERSTAND you. I do not want to have to try and decipher your post. I do this for fun, not for headaches.

    So, with that being said. I will add a few more. PLEASE, feel to chime in with a few of your own. Some of these, are things noticed. Not all of these are my own.


    Jedi are NOT Omnipotent.
    If that was the case, Order 99 would have never happened. They do NOT SEE EVERYTHING in the FORCE. THEY CANT SIMPLY JUST READ SOMEONE'S MIND in an instant. ESPECIALLY against another FORCE USER. That, I posted in caps for a reason. I see it far too much. I think a Jedi, if scanning a being, touches on a thought that is current, and in the forefront of their mind or memories, yes the Jedi could possibly read that. If the person is planning to slit their throat in the near future, then yes, I could see the Jedi picking up on that as well. But, as a character, if Im not actively doing anything evil, not thinking of any certain act, or anything else that might telegraph my intentions, then no Jedi should suddenly point at me and yell out - "YOU'RE A SITH!" To do something that in-depth into a beings mind, is something that is NOT done 3 seconds after meeting them. And if Im a Force User, better believe I have SOME skills, against casual readings. It will take time and effort. Neither are you going to SCAN my equipment with the Force in 30 seconds or less, and know what I have. And unless you character is a mechanic or builder, they DARN SURE not going to figure out how it works instantly as well! The Force can give a player a general 'something is very wrong here' feeling, a general direction, and you know that your well being is being endangered. Your fast reflexes and perception are what usually keep Jedi safe. The Force does NOT scream out at you, that "HEY, there is a guy on the 3rd floor, 2 blocks away, who is about to shoot you in the head!" Jedi got killed. Jedi got killed by ordinary people. Its not EASY, but it can be done. REMEMBER THAT.

    Guess what? Sith are not omnipotent either. Same rules apply. They all do not stomp around, growling at everything that moves. Their eyes are not always glowing red, nor do they have an aura, that sucks life out of everything in a ten foot radius. They dont glow red. If they did, this would be a rather constant energy drain on their bodies, and it would show. Why would you want to constantly spending out energies, just so you can 'LOOK' evil? Also draws the Jedi straight to you. Again, why? Also, the Sith for the most part, do not do cheap villains parlor tricks. Notice I said for the most part. Some do. Just be prepared for the consequences. Not everyone in the universe knows what a Sith is in MOST time periods. They just think some are rogue Jedi gone bad. The name does not INSTANTLY have folks cowering in fear. Also, not all Sith throw lighting. Its a rather rare skill. Because it's power is drawn from the USER, using their hate and rage. So it drains them. Even Sidious was careful in its use.

    Emo Characters
    Okay. Emotional issue characters. I will be the first one, to say, that yes, a character with a turbulent past can make for interesting reason. Especially if they can escape from their past, or use that past to build up a believable character. Not every evil person had a bad upbringing. Some came from rather privileged homes. Angry characters are fine. But have a real reason for them to be angry. If done right, they can be used to an advantage.

    This is for any character..not just Force users, but any game systems. Everyone has a weakness. Most have more than one! In a superhero world, a being who can walk around without consequences, is a very BORING CHARACTER, and not fun to read at all. "Oh gee look, I can bounce bullets off my chest, walk thru a burning burning, and my teeth sparkle when I smile." YAWN. What makes a story is drama. Conflict. how a being deals with what is happening to them, while dealing with the fun of staying alive as well. If there is no danger, no intrigue, why are you here? Go stroke your ego someplace else. Write fan fiction.

    This is NOT a console game!
    This one I see a lot. Characters in a game, that seem to have powers WAAAAY over what is usually considered normal from the regular gaming system rules. Especially if your character is just starting out at as a beginner. You know what I mean.

    Player: "Can I yank a starship outta the sky?"
    GM: "No."
    Player: "Can I rip off the top of that mountain, and toss it at my enemy?"
    Gm: Growling. "Are you superman?" (Looks at sheet) "No. and No."
    Player: "Well, can I at least cast a fireball spell, that takes the entire town, so I can just walk in and grab the treasure?"
    GM: *Resists the urge to strangle..* NO! And no tactical nukes, death stars, and dont you dare mention creating a black hole..!
    Player: . . .

    Again, check with your GM first! It will save you lots of trouble, and your GM's sanity!

    Posting, posting, all around a posting...
    Okay. We all know we do this for fun.
    And as such, real life, takes precedence over everything. Sith happens. We all must take time away from the keyboard. Out of respect for the other players, however, it is considered VERY NICE, and very appreciated, if you would at least let the GM know that you must leave. Of course, is something happens, like sudden net loss, we understand those types of things. But if you KNOW you are leaving, please let us know. You could be holding up other players as well. (Heheh...what do you know.. My router died as I was writing this up. It must be Karma, wanting to make sure I add it in.)

    But what is REALLY annoying, is when you are waiting for someone to post, and you notice that person is posting EVERYWHERE else on the boards... but not the game. They can chat lengthy about a new game that has come out, or another game, or even work on a fan group or contest. But you cant come and post SOMETHING to the game that YOU joined, so that others in the group are not left stuck, while waiting for a post? Even if you post, OOC to say something, is better than simply acting like the game you asked to join does not exist. Im not saying you cant post to all those other fun places on the boards, of course not. Thats what they are their for. But to ignore.. for DAYS on end a game, is just rude. Especially if the game has ground to a halt, as the GM tries to wait for others to respond. Im sure many a GM has burned out from gaming, because they got tired of waiting...and waiting..and waiting. A GM should not have to NAG their players, if the GM has posted information for them to work with.

    Enough on THAT subject.

    And enough of this for now. Time for something fun now.

    So now, I will hit you (Looks up to see everyone has ducked behind their chairs...)
    Come one, guys!

    Questions! Hit you with some questions. (Sheesh, you use a pike staff just ONE time...) :p

    1. Do you prefer a 'hands on' style of game, or a 'freestyle' type of play?
    To explain, a hand-on type of game is one that closely monitored by the GM. The GM sets up the intro of the game, and gets them started. Players and GM then interact with each other as their characters move about, and they get their cues from the GM. Most (but not ALL) interactions exist between the players and the GM who describes the world around them. You play in rounds, TAGGING the other players and GM in turn. This is more like a tabletop game.

    Freestyle, is when the GM sets up the game, gets the players started, and then the rest is totally up to the players to run. The game is loosely structured, with the GM only stepping in, when they players ask specific questions to them, or when a situation comes up that the GM needs to step in, in order to steer the game in the direction he wants it to take, or to introduce new scenarios. Many people enjoy this type of play. Only issue I see with this scenario, is that sometimes, it is more difficult for a new player to jump into. Especially, if they dont know any of the players already in the game, or if players are spread out in various places.

    2. Next question, as either a GM or a player..what is your number one pet peeve?
    Be nice. Do NOT call out anyone specific. Just give us an idea of the issue.

    Sometimes, we all like to stretch ourselves, and play games in other things besides Star Wars. Nothing wrong with that. So, besides Star Wars, (Which Im guessing in number one, being on a Star Wars board and all.. ) What other types of games do you like?


    Other Science Fiction /Star Trek/Stargate
    Apocalypse/Mad Max setting
    Harry Potter
    Anything else I havent mentioned.

    Rate them in order of what you would prefer, with one being the highest.
    Might be useful for those trying to plan that next big game. ;)

    Just trying to start a discussion here. NO FLAMEWARS. Just discussions. I'll put on the asbestos suit now, just in case. ;) Hopefully, this will start some USEFUL discussions about gaming in general.

    Would especially like to hear from folks new to RPG. :D

  2. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 29, 2002
    Love what you've done here, it was a fun read. I can't think of much to add at the moment, but I'm sure something will come up, but as for the questions posed, I'll go ahead and answer those.

    1. Do you prefer a 'hands on' style of game, or a 'freestyle' type of play?

    My preference is 'hands on', as I view the role of the GM as that of a 'Director', be it for stage, movie, or other. He or she is an essential part of how the story is told, from beginning to resolution. A good director would include 'freestyle' elements, like infusing players ideas and the like into the story, as they can make the story all the richer and more exciting! Players who participate and feel they have invested in the story they are in, are likely to remain to see it completed. :)

    2. As either a GM or a player..what is your number one pet peeve?

    (Do I have to choose just one? LOL!!) :p

    Hmmm. My number one answer would be game abandonment. When a player disappears without saying a word, or worse, when a GM disappears, or simply closes a game without explanation. UGH! As you pointed out above, at least say something. It's the right thing to do, especially in a community setting. For GMs: offer the game for adoption, perhaps another player or GM would like to run it, don't just close it on folks who have invested time and energy on your project. Common courtesy goes a long way and bolsters loyalty.

    3. What other types of games do you like?

    Superheroes!!! (of course) :p X-Men, Avengers, JLA, Young Justice, Authority, New Warriors, Chronicle, Heroes, name it!
    Sci-Fi: Matrix, Galactica, Earth: The Final Conflict ( LIAM FTW!!), DS9, Babylon 5
    Fantasy: Vampire the Masquarade (Anything with Vampires), World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter (Snape and Dumbledor, FTW!)
    Anime: DBZ, Bleach,NARUTO, Ergo Proxy, 8Man, Cyborg 009, Vampire Hunter D, Blood: The last Vampire, Guyver... ( too many to list)
    Gaming: Final Fantasy VII-X, Devil May Cry, Onimusha, Legacy of Kain, Soul Reaver, Suikoden, Dark Stalkers, Street Fighter, Ninja Gaiden,( er...yeah)

    Uhm...ya, just to name a few. :p

    Either way, I hope there is a discussion and as a consequence, a crop of good games!! [face_peace]
  3. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Jul 13, 2008
    Excellent write-up, Ktala, a good mix of advice and approachable informality. Lessee here...

    1. Do you prefer a 'hands on' style of game, or a 'freestyle' type of play?

    Um... wú. I think it's quite dependent on the genre and scope. Games with a large scope benefit from freestyle since then the factions can police themselves. Games with a small scope require more careful guidance. I don't really prefer one or the other.

    2. Next question, as either a GM or a player..what is your number one pet peeve?

    Actually, you mentioned it in the write-up. People taking things too personally. It's good to be invested in a game, but it's bad to interpret in-character actions as representative of out-of-character thoughts or feelings. Darth Some Guy is insulting Master Billy Bop; ModFavor1te is not insulting darth_somebody.

    3. What other types of games do you like?

    True confessions? I'm rather ambivalent on Star Wars games. I joined initially because I was seeking some, but that taste fad passed and never really came back with tremendous vigor. Too often, I think, a good concept is wasted on trying to make it fit that universe for maximum appeal. I completely understand that's a minority position, though, so I'll leave it at that.

    "Strajatams": I enjoy map-based strategy games; it is an unfortunately dead genre around here. Never got to play in any of the old greats, they were just a bit before my time. They require probably more work and patience to run then I think most people are willing to deal with. Also, I must include the disclaimer that I despise "roll dice to win" variants of this genre - it's okay to have a system built on dice, but there needs to be an architecture that minimizes the dice's garbage, ie. Risk bad, HoI good.

    Sci-fi: Everybody knows what I'm about to say, so all together now: I! DIG! GIANT ROBOTS!

    Superheroes: Well naturally, right? One of my biggest regrets is that I 1. Allowed Excelsior to go on hiatus and 2. Wrote myself into a corner immediately prior to that. I'm not sure I'm fit to actually run a game, but I'm always up for playing in one.

    Historical: With the caveat that I really do not enjoy broaching the subject of remotely modern warfare (I do not see the appeal, for example, of games set during WW2), I like games that take place in ye olden days, however fantasized or prettied up. Pirates, the old west, ancient China, medieval Europe, whatever. Speaking of medieval Europe...

    DnD: Justly knock its cumbersome mechanics all you like, I enjoy DnD for the sake of DnD. It's precisely the right sort of fantasy setting to tickle my... fantasy bone? I just wish it were more suited to grandiose swashbuckling than it currently is ("I jump up and grab the chandolier!" "Okay, role to jump, role to grab, I'll roll the chandolier's durability versus your weight, then you attack at a -4 because one hand has to hold the chandolier, it provokes an opportunity attack from all adjacent foes..." "Never mind.").

    Crossovers: I will not rest until every game allows me to punch Cthulhu with a Zeta Gundam piloted by Winnie the Pooh.
  4. DarkLordoftheFins

    DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 2, 2007
    Great piece, Ktala. I might get into your views when I find time and comment a bit on it . . . but for now the questions-catalogue will have to do. So here we go.

    1. Hands-on. Why? simple, I like good stories and the freestyle can be fun, but usually can not offer anything complicated or ambitious when it comes to a narrative . . .

    2. Oh, I recently freed myself of those, actually. I had a few, but nowadays I simply lay back and yawn. Things repeat themselves. Maybe the last thing I truly dislike is a general habit of people showing their age . . . like seeking attention by provoking people. But the point is, the problem is me being old and them behaving like 17-23 years old do. I just lost my inner youth, I guess. I am not enjoying the "battles of egos" or at least not in an environment like this.

    3. Oh, SW isn´t my favourite by any means. It is maybe number three, right behind . . .

    a. Horror
    b. Mystery

    Which I still think are the two most challenging type of games, because writing updates twice a week is not very well suitied for them. The more spectecular it is when they fly . . . I would join a good genre game.

    c. Star Wars, yeah maybe it´s number three.

    d. Sci-Fi . . . and by Sci-Fi I mean hard Sci-Fi. Not Manga franchises or the latest Sci-Fi series . . .

    e. VAMPIRES . . . there was a game about Vampire and Hunters around for ages. I have seen at least three GMs drafts and never saw any posted around here. *sighs* I would join a game like that. A tragedy. I always thought the long widning ideas of immortal beings fit into this environment especially well.
  5. Bravo

    Bravo Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 10, 2001
    BRAVO! BRAVO! =D= (no pun intended). Ktala, I've always struggled to put online RPGing in context. You did it wonderfully! Could I use the above quote (and possibly other bits and pieces from your post) in the intro to my new game, Intervention: Allegiance? And maybe our Intervention Quick Reference thread as well? [face_praying]
  6. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 30, 2007

    Well, it´s been some time since we talked about such things, really. Also I kinda have a different tabletop group, I must admit. They all try to be A-level actors when we meet and create one memorable drama after the next, just to feel like they are experiencing their own eclusive blockbuster movie that night.

    Anyway, the questions . . . oh those questions . . .

    1. Difficult one. Hands on and freestyle have their big advantages and if done right both can lead to tremendous games. Different from what Fin says, I believe also freeform can have a good story. Not one as sophisticated as handson, but more authentic probably.

    2. Pet Peeves, I had to look it up actually. But yeah, I must say it´s hard to talk about it without making it to obvious who you mean . . . so . . . ANTI-SOCIAL Minds, that´s my pet peeve. You wonder what I mean? Well, we got a lot of people here who talk a lot about community, but only care about what THEY want from it and what they want it to be like and try to regulate things accordingly or push people into that direction. People handing DEMANDS to the GM, group thinking. We had people demanding to get rid of democracy because they did not like the votes, bans of games and endlessly debates about what is allowed and what is not to be talked about in Hoopers . . . because people did not like what others said . . . these things really suck, not because the single incident is so bad, but because they generally paint a bad picture of the community which is actually consisting of a silent majority.

    3. Mystery, mystery, mystery (may it be fantasy, sci-fi, horror, crime mystery . . . I love the mysterious!); then comes the rest. Well, I appreciate a good horror game, but did we ever had a real horror game around here?

    Well and obviously a good Star Wars game always warms the heart of the twelve year old inside of me . . . who is the part of my persona showing up here regulary, I suppose.
  7. Winged_Jedi

    Winged_Jedi Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 28, 2003
    Cool write-up.

    1. Do you prefer a 'hands on' style of game, or a 'freestyle' type of play?

    Hands-on. I agree with grey that the GM is the Director. Freestyle is too similar to round robin fan fiction for my tastes.

    I think a good GM can be hands-on while making the players feel that they're still in control of the experience.

    2. Next question, as either a GM or a player..what is your number one pet peeve?

    Not much anymore. Over the course of (almost) ten years here, I've committed most RP sins myself.

    3. What other types of games do you like?

    I'll play and enjoy almost anything if it's written with a bit of style and prettily presented. But currently my Most Wanted in the RPF are:

    1. An espionage game. Preferably a down-and-dirty, dialogue-driven espionage game. EDIT: In multiple languages.
    2. A time travel game.
    3. A map-based strategy game.
    4. A Cowboy Bebop game.
    5. A Final Fantasy game, but I might want to run this one. I've got certain long-held ideas about how it should be done.

    I do love Star Wars games still, hope I always will. There's no mythology quite like it.
  8. DarkLordoftheFins

    DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 2, 2007
    So, I hope the GM who recently circled "The Fifth Column" is reading this, because I think Winged would like that game, too. And that would make two of us . . . Give it a thought!
  9. Penguinator

    Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    May 23, 2005
    Hey, I remember bombing at that!
  10. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 7, 2002
    Of course. If any bits of my text can help out, please feel free to use them.
    Entire idea of this, is to get some feedback, and ideas flowing, so we all can exchange ideas, and get some thoughts flowing.

    Im also loving the ideas folks are having for games.
    I've heard 3 so far for vamps.
    Was actually play testing a time travel game - but it didnt get too far along

    LOVE Cowboy Bebop! :p

    I really am loving the feedback guys! I will reply to stuff soon.
  11. Winged_Jedi

    Winged_Jedi Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 28, 2003
    Hey, just cos it closed prematurely doesn't mean it bombed. I seem to recall you had the Bebop feel down pat. In fact, even now I remember my character exactly- a Smiths-loving sniper named Hideo Higashi- so you must have been doing something right.
    Whoever that GM is, the title alone has my attention.
  12. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 30, 2007
    That GM is me, but I always wondered if a Spy Game is not too political for the boards . . . well . . . with Fin and Winged interested, I might give the "Fifth Column" another thought.
  13. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Splendid write-up, Ktala, great reading.

    1. Do you prefer a 'hands on' style of game, or a 'freestyle' type of play?

    I flourish in freestyle.

    2. Next question, as either a GM or a player..what is your number one pet peeve?

    Another person posting the actions for, moving, injuring or killing my characters/npcs for me. No time to arrange a medivac, anything.

    What other types of games do you like?

    Hands down, Crossovers are first.

    No particular order or preference on the rest.

    I totally agree with the first two-and-a-half lines of Sirak-Romar's pet peeve, though it was not in a game on here where I experienced that.
    Bravo likes this.
  14. LightWarden

    LightWarden Jedi Master star 4

    Oct 11, 2001
    This is an extremely unfair representation. If you're going to accuse tabletop games of being shallow fight-fests with little characterization, you might as well make the same accusation of this forum since the Lightsaber Combat Thread still exists. Much like anything else it depends on your group. Some groups are all about the combat and scoring loot, and that's fine. Others are about relationships, interaction, and characterization and that's also fine. Others are all about puzzles, or jokes, or causing mayhem or finding new things or just hanging out with your friends, and these are all fine. What matters is getting a group and a game that provides what you want out of it.

    As you said, the medium does affect how you play the game. The nature of online play does make it easier to post more details, and it can allow you to offer more insight into your character's mental state, though this does depend on play-style, since there are those who represent their character's mental with indirect hints such as actions or word usage compared to directly telling you "my character is afraid because reasons." A more indirect style is not too different from what you might find in face-to-face gaming, though without the visual clues of the other players' expressions to provide insight into the character.

    One of the quirks to forum games is the latency- the time between posts. Upside is that you have more time to think about what you're going to say and do, and can post whenever you want. Downside is that you have more time to think about what you're going to say and do, and can post whenever you want- it can do a number on the game's pacing and tension. Without some degree of alternate correspondence (such as instant messaging systems) it's more difficult to do things like a rapid-fire back-and-forth discussion or argument between characters, and the time between posts means that it's difficult to maintain an emotion of fear or surprise for very long since you can step back from the keyboard for a few hours and think through your problems.

    Combine the time between posts with the ability of the players to expand on their thoughts and you create the potential for what is in my opinion one of the more annoying quirks of Play-by-Post: the dueling monologue.




    And then it snowballs into a verbose hell.

    There are times when posting a great deal is useful or even necessary to convey what you need, but at times it seems like there's a mentality among some folks that "more words = more effort = BEST ROLEPLAYER!"

    Personally, I think that part of the problem with Play-by-Post is that your posts are pretty much self-contained- you only get to play with your own toys because it's rude to make decisions for other player characters. So when you want to interact with someone and have a conversation, it can take some serious amounts of time.

    "Hey, how are you doing?"


    "Pretty good, thanks. And you?"


    "Decent enough. Hey, did you hear about that thing..."

    Since the latency stalls many attempts at interaction, players will often compensate by focusing more on their own characters, especially if they have more than one character under their control and can make them play off of one another. The end result is that in contrast to roleplaying in person where player characters can quickly establish a rapport with others and chime in to establish and embellish their relationships and personalities, there are PbP games that I've read that feel more like a stack of fanfic vignettes on the same topic piled in a central location. There are players who can work things out with each other and interact through IMs or PMs to pick up the slack, but given the globe-spanning nature of the forum it's difficult to get many people online at the same time, which can lead to a game having a bunch of cells of characters who routinely interact with one another but don't deal with other cells that frequently. And while this can work for some of the big sweeping games this board used to favor, it's much more difficult when the players are all supposed to be on the same close team. There may be a bunch of nice houses, but that doesn't always mean that it feels like a neighborhood.

    But Order 99 never happened. There was some Order 66 business where the Jedi got wiped out, but that was a different story.

    Back on track, the Jedi aren't omnipotent, but that doesn't mean they can't be potent. Jedi have different strengths and weaknesses- Corran Horn was good at mind tricks and illusions but terrible at telekinesis, Jacen Solo was good with animals while Jaina was good with machines. Some Jedi were excellent healers and diplomats but inadequate combatants, while others were amazing in battle but useless outside of it. Any of those things you mentioned could be done by a Force user provided that the skill was in the Force user's area of expertise. A strong mentalist could read deeply into another's mind even if that target is also a Force user, while one with strong precognitive abilities might be able to sense the intent of a sniper hundreds of meters away, while one with incredible sensitivity might be able to pick up a Dark Force user even if that target is trying to stay hidden. Just don't expect a Force user to be awesome at all of these things.

    Incidentally, there's this weird fixation Dark Force users (and their players) have with being the Sith. For a thousand years up until the prequel trilogy, the remaining Sith didn't do much, just having a master teach an apprentice, who then killed the master and took on a new apprentice. They hid. A lot. If you were part of that line of succession from Bane to Palpatine/Sidious, your most obvious title would be Darth-Not-Appear-In-This-Game. But that's not the only possible avenue of approach. The old Sith Empire left behind a lot of artifacts such as holocrons when they weren't outright haunting places, some with some rather malevolent energies that often found their way into the wrong hands. As a result, while the Jedi were pretty sure the Sith themselves were wiped out, that didn't mean there weren't a bunch of dangerous Force users running around who learned from old Sith relics or learned from the people who learned from the relics, or even Jedi who captured the relics, tried to learn from them to destroy the Dark Side only to go corrupt and vanish into the night. End result is that there's a bunch of sects of Sith hipsters who each believe they are the truest and most powerful Sith around and all the others are poseurs and fools who don't know the real meaning of the Dark Side of the Force.

    Anyways, back to the whole idea of having specific strengths, other players should also respect a character's strengths, regardless of whether or not a character uses the Force. If a player's character has a particular talent and you find yourself on the business end of that talent and your character isn't particularly strong at a thing that counters it, you should probably accept that the other character has an advantage over you. This isn't really a PbP thing so much as it a system thing- in games with more defined rules you can point to your character sheet and say "well, this character has strong mental attacks, while the other one doesn't have good mental defenses, so barring a good idea or the use of another resource the mental attacker will probably win". It's incredibly annoying for a player to just ignore another player character's strengths and turns the scenario into an ego-stroking exercise where the player with the advantage has to make concessions to the player with the disadvantage. Another obvious solution to this is just don't play games where Player vs. Player is an expected outcome, though that does require some work on the GM's part- if the GM isn't controlling the antagonists well, it can turn into an exercise of literary onanism where a player posts a wall of text about how their characters totally massacre the opponents and aren't they just the best? Admittedly, mooks are largely supposed to be fodder for the protagonists, but the GM should probably throw in some opponents who represent a serious threat for the type of game that the group is playing.
    Penguinator likes this.
  15. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    I have observed where players also ignore the environment. Usually, the GM will set up security restrictions around a headquarters building or a ship, and then for game flow or whatever reason, roll over when players ignore everything that was posted earlier.
  16. Bravo

    Bravo Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 10, 2001
    1. Do you prefer a 'hands on' style of game, or a 'freestyle' type of play?

    Freestyle. Players able to be creative.

    2. Next question, as either a GM or a player..what is your number one pet peeve?

    Realism. I feel that most veteran players do a great job with realistic posts that allow other players to get in realistic responses. But sometimes I feel that there are players both on the veteran and newbie sides that violate it more then others. I know for me personally, the Rocketjock has served as a great area to discuss realism issues within Intervention and even as of a day ago, served as a great resource for me to reverse a realism / god-moding problem on my own end involving a storyline in the game.
  17. Penguinator

    Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    May 23, 2005
    Playing devil's advocate, why are you striving for realism in a space opera setting?
  18. Bravo

    Bravo Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 10, 2001
    Because god-moding, which can be accidental through a bold lack of realism, destroys the challenge of the game. It doesn't put everyone on a level playing field. While I appreciate and do enjoy moments in RPing when we can act a bit more free from realism (lets call it "harmless fun" for a lack of better wordage at the moment), I feel that realism lends to the game a better environment and more exciting place to be part of. I've always liked a mix of harmless fun and realism in my games. While I feel that realism can be a big plus, too realistic reminds us of the real world, the same real world I would think we try to escape when we come here. So, too much realism can be just as damaging as not enough of realism. So a mix of both is where I try to find balance.

    I do feel that during space combat, where RPG stats and data often determine a winner and loser at face value if tactics are played out correctly, that realism should be brought to the forefront of any match up. Because I've seen some players here use realistic science to defeat larger and better equipped "enemies" and I think it drives you to become more knowledgeable in your RPing craft when you see people use that realism to bring a logical conclusion to a match. My most recent experience is Sith-I-5 in Intervention when he defeated my superior forces, all because I didn't have my forces deployed correctly. He took advantage of my lack of tactical planning. And it was great fun to go back and forth IC until he finally won; I retreated, because logically, if I pursued him, I would have left myself open to a counter attack and defeat if reinforcements came to aid him.

    I think if you wanted to sum it up, Peng, you could say that realism drives committed players to become more adept at their chosen hobby, making RPing even more fun in my personal opinion. But, once again, I do think a balance of harmless fun and realism is always the best, safest bet.
  19. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Jul 13, 2008
    See, the issue I have with this is that Star Wars style space combat (And indeed, basically every incidence of space combat in anything ever) is inherently unscientific. I mean, the fights are generally modelled on some kind of mundane terrestrial combat form (Typically naval engagements, though Star Wars favors dogfights. I've seen some settings utilize ground combat.) that fails to take into account the fact that in a properly scientific military tradition developed for space combat, well... things are really dull. That's why a "harder" sci-fi setting (As if hard sci-fi is a thing, but that's another rant) will typically have a magic explanation particle and a "softer" sci-fi setting will typically just say "screw it."

    With regards to the rest of your post, you seemed to be classifying realism within the context of setting, which I'm totally cool with, but this one specific instance kind of sticks out at me with a "Wait, what?"
  20. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Bravo, I find it odd that the engagement is considered as me "defeating you", as from my side, none of my ordnance had the slightest effect on whatever of yours they were fired at. And I actually lost interest in the outcome when my attack on a shuttle was ignored, and not corrected when this was pointed out.

    All I really did in the end was evac my people the feth out of the battle zone.

    Still, it was a ground and air battle with RL-analogue ground vehicles, troops, air support, so a fair amount of "realism" was managed, compared to pure space combat throwing energy beams around.
  21. Bravo

    Bravo Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 10, 2001
    Mistakes happen, Sith? :oops:
  22. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Maybe "out-manouvered" is a better descriptive than "defeated".
  23. Bravo

    Bravo Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 10, 2001
  24. Penguinator

    Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    May 23, 2005
    The reason I bring up the concept of "realism" is because, well, fiction isn't realistic. At best it's a facsimile, a shadow of reality, and reality itself is subjective depending on the individual witnessing it.

    Dialogue is a prime example of this - no one actually speaks in complete sentences all the time, unless it actually is a prepared speech - we repeat ourselves and stumble over words and ideas all the time. We think faster than our mouth can work, and our speech demonstrates this on a regular basis.

    So really, if I were to, y'know, speak in these, these fragmented - I speak like this, really, day in, day out, and even then it's a construct - such a construct, run ons, incorrect grammar, tense agreements wrong, fragments. That whole thing. You know, tone, it's really - tone is really hard to convey in the written, the written word, because we don't have the nuance of hearing, y'know, voices.

    And even an example such as that is a total construct. Reality is unrealistic to us. Applying rational thought to fiction doesn't work because fiction is, again, at best a facsimile of the real thing.

    My point is - why are you striving for realism in a fictional world? I'd argue we should worry about consistency (or versimilitude, when used in the broadest sense applied to narrative), which is the sense I got from your post, Bravo.
  25. Bravo

    Bravo Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 10, 2001
    I see your point, Penguinator. And it makes sense. Realism in a fictional world can only go as far as our concept of realism can take it and everyone's concept of what is realism is different.

    And yes, to your last statement, Verisimilitude is where I was going with my post (although I didn't have the wordage): make it as realistic as possible in a fictional world.