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Reference RPG Tech Talk

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

  1. Penguinator

    Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    May 23, 2005
    Well, again, it's internal consistency. "Realism" is one of those buzzwords like "historically accurate" or "gritty."
  2. Saintheart

    Saintheart Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Dec 16, 2000
    True dat. Look at arguably the best work that the science fiction genre has ever produced: Dune. I somehow don't think the word "realism" interfaces terribly well with--
    (a) living organisms so large they should actually collapse under their own weight when you consider their dimensions and form, never mind the energy imbalance problem of how the hell they get that big without any carbon-based food sources
    (b) magic LSD psychoactive substance that allows human beings to somehow telekinetically FOLD SPACE for several kilometres in any given direction, not to mention turns your eyes glowing blue, not to mention is produced on one planet in the entire universe
    (c) manipulation of energy allowing "i.hada.field" to such an extent that we're all back to pistols and knives when we fight one another
    (d) human beings that have genetically mutated to allow superfast coagulation
    (e) thinking machines
    (f) being able to breed a human who can manipulate higher order dimensions as a prophet
    (g) a political system (Landsraad + Emperor + Spacing Guild) that has survived for several thousand years when we've had, shall we say, a number of different systems in the past four hundred
    (h) being literally able to talk to your genetic ancestors by virtue of just sharing some DNA with them.

    But my God it works as a novel, because it's internally consistent. It's not so much space magic as genetic magic, and it carries you along like an Old Testament story does.
    Sith-I-5 and Penguinator like this.
  3. Benjamin Bunny

    Benjamin Bunny Jedi Youngling star 1

    Feb 22, 2013
    Amazing thread, thank you for the great conversation. :)

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

    I think I would prefer a 'hands on' style. I would consider a GM to be akin to an author or storyteller, and I want to take part in their story and experience their vision. I don't mind the thought of shaping it in minor ways, but would really prefer to find ways to assist the GM in telling that story rather than trying to drive it in my own direction.

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

    Players who have high and unreachable standards for those they are playing with. Everyone is coming into a game with their own experience and skill, and as long as an honest effort is given by the player it would be good to accept that and take him/her under the wing of the community so the talent is allowed to grow rather than stifled.

    I have played on a few other sites, one Star Wars and another Faerun (AD&D). One was good at encouraging fresh voices, the other was not.

    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?


    Star Trek: Like the idea of it, not sure if I would really enjoy it though.

    Superheroes: For sure! Anything related to comics I will buy into immediately.

    DnD/ADnD/Fantsy: This is my first love in gaming. I started off as a table-top gamer many years ago, probably in the early 90's. Can't get my heart into 4th Ed., and don't really know anyone who plays 3.5 currently so I don't have any real opportunities to play.

    Star Wars: In particular would love to see some Golden Age of the Sith, or the Dawn of the Jedi era games. Seems like there are plenty of future Legacy era games all over the place, and that was fun for a while but for me at least they have gotten stale.
    greyjedi125 likes this.
  4. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    I just now idled into two new games, and read the opening posts of Battlefleets of the Galaxy and Deathtroopers: Biohazard Outbreak with growing interest till I encountered requirements of D6 etcetera dies to play.

    Though not my cup of tea, I am curious, what does this sort of game need to say, get beyond the first 3-5 pages?
  5. Tim Battershell

    Tim Battershell Jedi Master star 5

    Sep 3, 2012
    Great thread! I'm a complete newbie when it comes to RPG (though I do have some experience with tabletop and back-garden WW2 era plastic-soldier/model Wargaming). Thanks for posting, I'm putting this on my 'Watched' List!
  6. Bravo

    Bravo Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 10, 2001
    Great to hear Tim Battershell! :D
  7. Saintheart

    Saintheart Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Dec 16, 2000
    I'm going to re-drop something in I posted in another thread, because it bears repeating. It's thieved off DnD Online, but it applies to roleplaying here, too:

    Interactions Between Characters

    Often the most difficult part of successful roleplaying, particularly of the type done on this site, is the handling of interaction between characters. In tabletop roleplaying, interactions are direct and efficient, and the use of body language and tone can - and usually do - contribute to a powerful, believable performance. In play-by-post roleplaying, however, and in fact in writing in general, it is considerably more difficult to establish understanding of this body language and tone, and it is thus far more difficult to have clear, easily flowing interactions.

    This limitation, then, has to be overcome, and then some - writing can never fully capture the myriad subtleties of human body language, inflection, or the enormous amount of ways in which eye contact can alter the meaning of a sentence. It is up to the writer to fill that gap somehow after formatting and syntax are applied to their fullest effect - all in order to continue to maintain that odd beast, suspension of disbelief.

    Often newer PbPers, and newer writers in general, will attempt to simply lather on more and more description to their posts, in an attempt to replicate in the mind's eye what the standard eye would normally perceive and instinctively analyze. This often meets some measure of success, but that is usually limited, as this method is akin to placing a bandage on a bleeding gash - useful in some cases, but usually not the ideal solution.

    Instead of looking towards such tricks of writing to solve the issue, it is more helpful to move towards tricks of the mind - to understand internally what is going on and what type of reaction would be believable and in-character under these circumstances. In order to do so, it is often useful to apply two acronyms: namely, SOAPS and CROWE.

    When using this approach, one has two tasks: first to understand and analyze the writings of others (or, if you're writing alone, what your other character has just said or done), and then - and only then - to craft one's own in-character response. The first of these two tasks uses our first acronym: SOAPS, also useful in the study and analysis of historical documents (on a basic level).


    SOAPS is simply a list of things to make sure you have gleaned from what you are reading, whether by pure statement or by inference. The list goes as follows:
    • S - Source - which character is saying this? What do you know about them? What biases might they be bringing along? How does this affect the speech?
    • O - Occasion - when, and where, is this character speaking? In other words, what are the circumstances? How does thisaffect the speech?
    • A - Audience - who is this character speaking to? Himself, someone else? If someone else, why that particular person? Take note of who is intendedto hear it in addition to who actually hears it. How does this affect the speech?
    • P - Purpose - why is this character speaking at all? Beyond that, why are they saying what they're saying? How does this purpose affect the speech?
    • S - Significance - what does the speech mean? Why is it important? Keep in mind that most good speeches work on more than one level and mean more than one thing. This is the real clincher of the whole deal, and is also the most difficult one to successfully pinpoint.
    This process, done post-by-post over time (yes, even the DM's posts should be subjected to this!) will become second-nature. Fundamental to successful PbP interaction, successful in that it flows well with the rest of the narrative and is believable, is an understanding of what others have said - easier, and already second-nature, in person than in writing. Having thus SOAPS-ed all of the posts since your last one, and having assured yourself that you can understand them all, it is time to choose one to respond to - usually, this will be the most recent post, but even if it is not, the post should take into account all the information that is available to you. Remember to take into account all of the things you've gleaned from this process! Once again, understanding what others have said is criticalwhen it comes to crafting your own response.

    Writing your post is where CROWE comes into play. Far too often, novice roleplayers (and even experienced ones) fall into the trap of ignoring one or more of its five elements. These elements are fundamentally important for believable, sustainable (in that others can respond to you in kind) writing - and acting (which is where this acronym originates) - and writing without these elements feels more flat, more lifeless, and much less interesting. This is not what we, as writers and readers of these posts, want to see! We want powerful, believable, lifelike, and most of all interesting posts. CROWE is a tool to help you do that.


    CROWE, much like SOAPS, is a list - but this time it is a list of things to acknowledge as you write, rather than a list of things to look for as you read. For this section, I will be using "you" as a replacement for "your character."
    • C - Character - Who are you? Why are you here? What are your beliefs, your convictions, your personal style of speaking? More succinctly, "what's your deal?"
    • R - Relationships - what are your relationships to the people and events around you? Keeping that in mind, especially when it comes to who wields power over who, how would that alter your actions or speech?
    • O - Objective - This is the big one, the one that makes or breaks the post. What are you trying to accomplish here? How are you being prevented from accomplishing that? What are you going to do about it? Almost every action should be fueled by your character's objective. Those that aren't don't contribute to the believability of your post - why would you do X, if your objective is Y, and X doesn't help you achieve Y?
    • W - Where - Keep in mind where you are, when you are, and the other general circumstances of the events. This seems simple enough, but is tragically missing from far more posts than we would all like.
    • E - Emotion - What are you feeling right now? How did you get into this state? Is it positive, negative, or neutral? How does this change the way you talk and the way that you act? More importantly, how can you get this across without outright saying it? (Very few people spend much of their time saying things like "I'm angry." or "I'm sad." outright.)
    Notice the similarities between SOAPS and CROWE: posts written with CROWE in mind make for more easily SOAPS-ed writing, hence less misunderstanding, more cohesion, and overall better-written interactions. As with every aspect of play-by-post roleplaying, and in fact writing in general, it is critical to keep one's writing grounded in the reality of the world you're writing in, and SOAPS and CROWE are simply two tools to make that easier when writing posts based around interactions with other characters. As always, these tools should be used in conjunction with your constant focus on justification - if you can't justify it in-character, or if it doesn't make sense to you, it definitely will not make sense to other people. And, after all, isn't making sense the goal?
    Benjamin Bunny and Penguinator like this.
  8. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Due to the problem when players write posts using information available to them, rather than restricting info to that available to their in-game character, I would prefer advice to make the distinction.
    greyjedi125 likes this.
  9. Saintheart

    Saintheart Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Dec 16, 2000
    That would be what's called metagaming, i.e. using things that you -- as opposed to your character -- know. For example, another character is sneaking up on yours behind that wall over there. You read that post. And then, for no apparent reason, your character suddenly turns and throws a grenade over the wall. While you might have a reason to order your character to do that, your character does not. It's highly destructive of the "internal consistency", such as it is, of an online RPG. It's tricky enough to suspend disbelief in this sort of forum, and acting like your character has an omniscient deity hovering over him protecting him from harm is, well, putting said suspension to a pretty big weight.

    Here's a handy list of stuff to consider whether it's you or your character who knows a particular piece of information:

    (1) Did your character see, touch, smell, taste, or hear what he's meant to know? If not, it's potentially metagaming for your character to act on that information.
    (2) Is there some logical and plausible reason your character knows a piece of information? If not, it's potentially metagaming for your character to act on that information.
    (3) Are you making your character do something because you (as opposed to your character) don't want to "lose"? If so, you probably are metagaming.

    Protip: cloaking metagaming in a piece of logic stretched so thin it would appear better suited to the Dance of the Seven Veils is dishonest. It also demonstrates that not only do you not have sufficient ego to withstand your character suffering harm, but you have such insufficient ego that you're willing to "game" the rules in order to keep your character from suffering harm. So to take our example from earlier in this post, lobbing the grenade over and then rationalising "Well, Boris the Operator has always had a fear of walls because he had someone lob a grenade at him from over a very similar-looking wall about ten years ago, so he's always careful to lob a grenade over inoffensive-looking walls at random just to change things up" is not deep character. It's metagaming, and anyone reading that crap will think so if not say so.

    Player Characters are generally above normal standards of competence in any event (nobody generally plays Boris the Milk Van Driver, unfortunately), but for God's sake, let them fail sometimes. Let them not comprehend now and then. Let them be fallible. If your character gets killed you just have to write another one. Don't fall into the trap of becoming so attached to your characters you can't let them be put at risk. If you want to do that, go write actual self-insertion fanfiction. EL James proves you can even make money doing it.
  10. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 7, 2002
    I'M BAAACCKKK!!!!! [face_dancing]


    It is nice to see such feedback and discussions going on. =D=

    I'd also like to say welcome to the new folks joining in on the discussions. Please, this is the place to ask questions, and throw stuff out there. We want feedback. Encourage it. We all need to know what it is folks want to see in games now days, and to get feedback from new members if they have any questions or problems!

    So feel free!

    Also, anyone else have any questions to add, go for it!

    It's interesting to see the 'hand's on vs 'freestyle' game play.

    A game doesn't have to be ONLY one or the other. A GM can certainly have a hands on approach to certain aspects of the game, and then if the players want to add a bit of freestyle, can make for a much enjoyable game.

    On the thoughts of tabletop vs online RPG versions of gaming...

    But the Lightsaber Comabat thread is just that. Just a string of battles, for people to practice their lightsaber skills. And I didnt mean to imply that a tabletop game can ONLY be a battle to battle type of gaming. But it IS what a many tend to be. Im sure, that if folks have played together with a certain group of people for YEARS on end, you will most definitely develop a kinship. But that is between the players, more than the characters. They have learned what types of characters each other tends to play. They will play characters that a party is missing, or will fit in, to make sure of their survival. Not always true in an online game. Not giving absolutes here. And you are correct. Its all about relationships, interactions and socialization. Some want jokes or puzzles, others like combat and loot scoring, and some just like hanging together with other like minds. And hey, they are all great.

    Also, on tabletop games, because you can see each other, and the tables and maps and such, a game for example, ONE battle, is usually done within a night of game play. Usually, several are done, and a party can move from point A to point B..and then stop there, until they get together for the next game.

    Online, that same battle can take well over a MONTH sometimes, because of having to wait for everyone to be able to reply, the GM setting up the scene, laying out the maps and monsters, figuring out the stats, and figuring out attacks and such.

    So yes, there can be waiting.

    Moving on.

    While I do want to see more than a one line response to an action or comment from a player, doesnt mean I want to see twenty page of everything rambling through their mind as a response as well. But there can be a healthy in between ground. It TOTALLY depends on the GM. I love some detail. Details gives me things I can write about later on. It gives me an insight and perhaps a segway to a character and their motives and reasons. The motivation and hopes of a character. THOSE are important, to help moving a game along.



    Didnt know some folks considered that a dirty :p

    But I will say this about it. all depends on the WORLD/UNIVERSE THAT THE GM HAS CREATED. PERIOD.

    If the GM says, that people can fly with just a thought, then they can.
    If the GM states that the air is pink, the water is purple, and you can walk on any flat service, be it vertical, horizontal, or whatever... then you can, period.

    Of course, it is UP to that GM to state what different rules might exist in the world that they have created, so that everyone is playing on the same field.

    So you have a game, where say, you have superheroes. By the very nature, superheros do require a bit of suspension of disbelief of certain rules. The superhero world has their own set of rules. That dosent require it to follow one hundred percent with the rules we abide by now. It can. But again, that is up to the GM.


    Because, like it or not, its his world he has created, folks. And because of that, it doesn't have to follow "The rules."
    As a GM..I am NOT required to be a scientist, physicist, or any other type of 'ist'!

    If a GM..want to play the statistician.. MORE POWER TO YA! I applaud you! I think that is fantastic. ;)
    There is nothing wrong with that. If numbers are your game, and you enjoy all the calculations, and math required to figure it out. GREAT! IF you WANT to play, a more scientific type of game, nothing wrong with that either. You wanna play with the sciences with abandon, feel free. To each their own. =D=

    But Im should not have to massively alter my game, because you understand physics, and know that a bullet travels so many feet a second, and that x, y and Z might be possible. Now, if You want to PM the GM .. AND I DO MEAN PRIVATE MESSAGE THE GM ... and tell them why you think it should be allowed, please do. But dont interrupt the game flow, to post what you think should happen, and then think they will be happy. Discussion threads are good for such discussions as well, IF your game has one, but again, be respectful to the GM running that game.

    I just think you should let your players know what to expect. That is your part of the bargain to your players.

    GM's, if you make various rules in your game, Then STICK with them. Dont say that players can leap 30's straight up in the air no problem, in one scenario, and then in another instance, they suddenly find they cant do that anymore... (without a reason.) Keep it consistent.

    Stats and numbers are there to HELP a GM. To aid with them in balancing the game play. But the ULTIMATE balance rests with the GM. Remember on tabletop games..many times there is a GM screen between the GM and the players. WHY? Because the dice didnt rule the game. The GM ALWAYS has the last say in the game. It is THEIR GAME. Maybe the GM wants to give a bonus to a player or group, because they tried something really unique and creative in their play. Should they disregardful it, just because a dice roll was crappy?

    Stats alone should not rule their game play. Remember the 'Midi-chlorian' debacle? Ole George tried to give a "REAL" reason of what gave folks the Force. It was very painful. Because that little word gave rise to a bunch of "REAL" issues that gave some folks headaches.

    Suddenly, the Force was not a mystical power, or a unifying force of nature. It was 'a intelligent microscopic life form, inside the cells of all living things.' And gee, we could now COUNT it..and the folks with the highest percentage in their cells, were more powerful..not just training or mental strength alone. Heck, some folks were conceived by the midi-cholorians!! (a la Wookieepedia)

    Fan stories went wild. Well if the Force was suddenly reduced to cells, what happens if ya gave someone a transfusion, of just those cells? Could you temporarily raise their 'FORCE-NESS?" make em the most powerful Force user around, cheap and easy way. Heck, swipe a few Jedi kids, grab some 'chlorian's', should be able to turn a non-Force user into a Force user. It quickly deluded the all powerful Force, into a biology experiment.


    To each their own. Not to say that a game trying to run experiments in the Force would NOT be fun. (Thinking Sith Alchemy) I jut think some people would think the Force is more than just a tiny microbe. Again, this is only MY opinion on THAT matter. :p

    Which brings me to...



    This one seems to be a biggie as well.

    It also plays into the last bit of talk. How many times has a GM come up with what they think is a GREAT scenario. Here is where table-version vs online RPG really comes into play. In a table-top, you pretty much have to deal with the scenario as presented. You dont have time to set back, and come up with a lengthy plan of attack, listing out your spells, and such. Many times, you're in real time. Not so with online. You have a bit more time to plan and deal with attacks.

    But lets say you are being attacked by something you've never seen before, IN CHARACTER. Even something say, like a Dragon. We all have an idea what a dragon looks like, or might look like. Even a newbie player character could most likely look at something, and go.. 'its flying, has teeth, wings, breaths something, its BIG ... its a dragon!' A more experienced CHARACTER could even go into the details of what type a dragon it is, what it breathes, etc, etc.

    As a PLAYER, you might know EXACTLY what type of dragon it is, what it breathes, how it attacks and everything. But that does not mean your CHARACTER knows that information. And that's where sometimes issues can creep in. As a player, you might run to the manual, and if you know the name of the creature, you look up the stats.... "Hey..this creature does this, this and this." and then you plan your attack against that.


    For one, your CHARACTER, unless stated otherwise, has no idea what type of creature he is dealing with. So how would he suddenly know that using this spell, will guard against this type of breath attack? Not unless your character somehow came into contact with the information, or your GM has decided that, due to his level, he might have learned that bit of information from his training, your CHARACTER will not know that info.

    Also, you are assuming that the GM is running the basic, standard creature.


    You, as a player, are running a character, that is growing, learning and expanding its experience. Why does the GM have to limit themselves to 'stock' creatures that anyone can look up? As a party grows and expands its knowledge and expertise, it gets harder to give adventurers a true challenge. And that is what a game should be. A chance for characters to expand themselves, and challenge themselves, so that they can grow. Thats what tends to make a game interesting for many players. (AGAIN, NOT FOR ALL)

    So why cant the monsters grow as well? Why shouldnt the GM, have a creature, that has gone up against adventurers in the past, and has earned his OWN experience? One that has learned a few tricks of his own, so that people who come up against him, and try the standard on him, are in for a surprise of their lives. He should, especially for the more higher level characters.

    It keeps those 'stat keepers' from chocking the life out of a game, by rattling off dry statistics, of what something can and cant do. It gives GM's a chance to make the party earn their experience. Most folks tend to remember the really difficult, and hard battles, that they sweated and worried and had heart attacks over, during a battle. Those are the ones that stories are told over a flagon of ale.

    Gaming should not be just dry numbers and statistics, anymore than it should be something off the top of a hat. In many gaming modules, the heavy duty monsters (Bosses) are much more than the basic beasties. They carry and USE magical items, use common sense, and will fight hard to stay alive, just as the party is doing.

    Some Dragons are spell casters. Some might use a magical device or two, to help them out, depending on the age of said Dragon. So why would you expect a 500 year old Dragon, to make the same moves and mistakes of say, a 70 year old Dragon?

    This 'knowledge' also applies to player character vs player character.

    I as a PLAYER, KNOW that Lord_Kumudgen is playing a Sith Lord. I just happen to be a Jedi. But my CHARACTER, being a Jedi just cant go up, and start attacking Lord K's character, with no valid reason. (Well, in truth, I can, but most likely, I would be quickly arrested, as I have just broken several laws, most likely! :p ) Especially, if said Jedi just simply jumps out in the open, and starts attacking him for no legitimate reason. (Ie..I whip out a lightsaber, and attack in the middle of the open market.) If Lord K's character hasnt done an attack, broken the law, or anything else that justifies such a thing, then you're risking arrest, unless GM has a reason NOT to. Your Jedi might realize that Lord K's character is a Force users, and that the Force MIGHT give you a bit of an uneasy feeling, but that does not mark him a SITH in big glowing neon letters. He could just be a bad person. Not EVERY Force user is a Sith or Jedi. Not every person dressed in black is an assassin, and Just because YOU read something in a post between two other player 3 pages down in the game, does NOT give your CHARACTER suddenly instant knowledge of that information... unless your character is present, or is one HECK of a mind reader!



    OK. Enough of that. I have probably fed the flames to last a long while now.
    So, new questions...

    And remember, if you have some of your own... ASK EM!!!

    For the new people, or folks who remember that far back. :D

    1. What was the hardest part about joining into a game?
    Do you remember what you did to join in? How difficult was it at first?

    2. For the folks already on the list, any recommendations you would give to a new person feeling a bit
    overwhelmed about trying to join in a game?

    Next, might look at the list of interests folks have mentioned so far...if folks are interested.. ;)
    Till next time!!!

    greyjedi125 likes this.
  11. Benjamin Bunny

    Benjamin Bunny Jedi Youngling star 1

    Feb 22, 2013
    1. What was the hardest part about joining into a game?
    Do you remember what you did to join in? How difficult was it at first?

    The hardest part of joining a game seems to be doing just that. You don't know anyone or the dynamics of the community. It is akin to your first day at a new job or at a new school, it is uncomfortable and you go into it just hoping to not embarrass yourself.

    The only game I am in right now is Heroes but it hasn't started yet. I read all the other characters before making my own, and I tried to keep it simple. It was easy as the character has an existing reputation so very little was needed at that point, playing him will be harder and I hope to do him justice and not flub it.
    DarkLordoftheFins likes this.
  12. Saintheart

    Saintheart Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Dec 16, 2000
    The only point I'd have is this, and they're more towards GMs I guess:

    To be honest, about one of the most annoying things with "levelling" sorts of games is that if done wrong, they don't feel like there's any real advancement at all. You probably all have played at least one or two computer games where you've hit Level 20, or max possible level, or whatever, and you still feel like you're scrabbling desperately to win battles against the opposition. You don't feel like all the work you've done to get to level 20 means anything, because you don't have a sense of competence or superiority: every fight is still a cliffhanger, the only difference being that the numbers are greatly increased between players and opponents. I could see how as a player that would become unsatisfying, because your advancement is therefore illusory: it doesn't matter how many cool abilities you get, the DM will still be throwing opponents at you which you'll always be on the verge of defeat against. But on the other hand, just offering only cakewalks to the party is just as bad, because if there's no risk of defeat, the dicerolling gets boring pretty fast.

    The solution to that, I think, is that you have to offer a mixture: some encounters should be cakewalks for the party, and preferably against the sort of opponent that the party previously had a real problem defeating. That then gives the party a real sense of advancement. D&D itself suggests a mix of encounters for a party of a given level: X number at the party's level of competence, Y number at below the party's levels, Z number at slightly above their competence, and one fight at least which the party should be running like hell from if they have any sense.

    (D&D 3.5's main problem comes down to the fact that the makers didn't realise exactly how magic allows casters to become exponentially powerful as levels go by, which renders a lot of fights cakewalks.)
    Ktala, Benjamin Bunny and Sith-I-5 like this.
  13. DarkLordoftheFins

    DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 2, 2007
    From what I can dimly remember about joining my first game around here that is probably the perfect metaphor.

    When I was joining I stood at the side and watched the boards for weeks. Only when a friend of mine joined it, I dared to enter the schoolyard with her. And even then I bound my character so tightly to hers, I knew I had something to hold on to, should everybody hate me. She was much more approachable and she quickly made friends, but I kept for myself and watched for several weeks until I felt comfortable enough to amke myself known outside in-game posts.

    2. For the folks already on the list, any recommendations you would give to a new person feeling a bit overwhelmed about trying to join in a game?

    Oh you know me. I usually got good advise and then I ignore it myself :p

    No. Seriously.

    I would like to tell there are no wrongs just jump in, but actually everybody around here knows the general fear of players with newbies always is they break the three golden do-nots.

    1. Do-not GODMOD (make up results actions which you cannot determine, but only the GM can or use other characters as if theywere yours)

    2. Do-not METAGAME (use info your char cannot have - see above)

    3. Do-not create SUPERCHARACTERS (make characters who are demigods and probably unplayable)

    All three are not mistakes only newbies do, but the fallout if you do hits a newbie harder, because he is obviously less secure in his standing.

    If you avoid the three above there is only one thing you gotta do . . . well, two . . .

    Join a game. PM a GM, really any and join his game. Better two, because some games die early and you have another one to play in that case. And then put some effort into your character and posts. I don´t mean write a lot, I don´t mean give us the great novel of the 21st century post-by-post. I just mean enjoy yourself, write a bit, show us who he/she (the character) is and interact with others. It doesn´t matter really how, but more that people see you do . . .it will be fun, you´ll see!

    If you do that I guarantee every new player that all involved in the game will RECOGNIZE and APPRECIATE It! Always.

    A final fact most newbies do not have in mind when joining games.

    GAMES NEED PLAYERS. GMs NEED PLAYERS. So they are happy when you join! They will work hard to make a good game for you. Because then their game will be good!

    My advise.

  14. Penguinator

    Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    May 23, 2005
    Let's be honest, everyone makes those mistakes, not just newbies. I'd argue that a list of "do-nots" is less helpful than a list of things one can actually do. Using your same list, here's a few observations about those problems and why I think they arise:

    1 - Don't turn on the god mode and use other characters as if they were your own - okay, fair, but everyone is doing this to an extent. We write conversations that honestly don't make sense because our characters kind of just talk AT each other instead of WITH each other. It's tough not to, but such is life. Hell, people get around by godmodding "Jim sliced the zombie in half effortlessly" by writing stuff like "Jim swung the blade in such a way that, barring unforeseen consequences of fate, he'd cut the undead creature in half." I mean, really? If we're that sold on the idea of avoiding assumption, then the game is going to slow right the hell down. If you're throwing a bunch of mooks at the players, maybe make them expendable to begin with. You want to present a challenge to your melee characters, give them a ranged enemy that's going to pick them off unless they think. Godmodding is frustrating because the GM is often as much a cheating rascal as the players are, so really, if you want players to play fair, lead by example.

    2 - Metagaming. Probably the hardest thing to avoid, because honestly, writing dramatic irony is seriously challenging. "I'm supposed to go through this door, but the GM just said there's a guy with a gun on the other side, so I'm gonna have a sudden change of heart about opening said door." Let's face it, if the player always knows what they're getting into, their chances of actually DOING anything are pretty slim when you introduce a fail condition. Again, it's all about playing fair. Except for those times when you don't play fair because you're the GM :D

    3 - Supercharacters. I gotta disagree, playing a demigod would be WAY easier than playing a regular human being :p If a supercharacter annoys you, don't approve them, problem solved. If the character develops unreasonable expertise after the game starts, kill them off, problem solved. :p
    Benjamin Bunny likes this.
  15. Saintheart

    Saintheart Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Dec 16, 2000
    I suspect many issues with supercharacters -- whether overly competent, overly resourced, or overly endowed in the groin area -- and godmoding come down to a deeper issue: an ... inappropriate ... level of attachment to said character.

    Let's be clear: you can't "win" an online RPG, any more than you can "win" D&D or "win" the Internet. RPGs out here seem primarily built -- especially these days with PvP action more or less going out of fashion -- as participation in a story. The difference between a real story and an RPG being that the players provide arguably the protagonists and many of the supporting characters, and that unlike a story, an RPG is at least partially unpredictable because the storyteller (the GM) can't predict what his protagonists are going to do -- I mean, he really can't predict their behaviour, not like authors who lie claim their characters take over their stories. RPGing isn't about winning; it's about interacting with others. I can honestly say that some of the best moments in games I've played here have been moments which have very, very little to do with the overarching plot of an RPG and which have a hell of a lot to do with just plain old interactions between characters. If I understand it right (never having kept up with it terribly well) Corben's Inn back in SOTS wound up being awesome for precisely that reason.

    Point being, you can't win an online RPG, so it's a bit pointless to play one with that assumption. That being so, don't get overattached to your character that much. I have dim recollections of getting personally frustrated with nameless GMs over obstacles or challenges thrown in my characters' paths -- because I was too invested in the character in terms of his survival or prosperity. As Lightwarden once posted up, and which bears repeating: Pretendy Funtime Games, do not take it seriously. And the best way to avoid taking it seriously is to say, out loud to yourself, what your issue is:

    "I am angry with Penguinator, a person who I have never met, who calls himself the Batmanager and has an ironically humourous signature calling for the destruction of Carthage, because he got his submission for Green Lantern, a fictional comic book superhero, in before me, and I have a different opinion of the accuracy of his portrayal of Guy Gardner, and feel that if I were permitted to play that character that I would bring that character tremendous power and prestige in the completely fictional universe of Reynar's RPG."

    "I am angry with Saintheart, a guy who has an English-speaking alien meme for his avatar, because he rolled a dice on a random number generator website which result he then incorporated into the rules of Dungeons and Dragons to inflict six hundred notional hitpoints of damage on my character, which means I will not be able to realise my dream of attaining eleventh level and adding perhaps an extra +1 to my damage count with my fighter character."

    "I am angry with DarkLordOfTheFins, because he is so awesome."

    "I am angry with Ramza, just because."

    See? Helps a lot, doesn't it? :D
  16. DarkLordoftheFins

    DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 2, 2007
    From a GM point of view that is exactly what will happen, so the superchar is kinda useless . . . but the nbew players reputation will not be a better one for creating such a char, therefore I pointed out to avoid trying . . . that it won´t work anyway is another good reason though :p
  17. Penguinator

    Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    May 23, 2005
    Super characters only exist if they get approved, though - a newbie might make one, but it won't see the light of day unless you approve it!

    Also, Saint - I would never play Guy :p
  18. TheSithGirly

    TheSithGirly Jedi Master star 3

    Apr 26, 2007
    Actually I can verify that, having been in there :p Fin threw one event at us (a random shooter who killed an innocent and was killed himself immediately thereafter) and then had every other human being dissappear, so the people in the diner were alone in hte world . . . from there, without great NPC participation the drama played out completely among us and was very intense, leading to treachery, violence, player vs player battles including a killing and pretty much a raw diamond of a storyline provoked but not at all scripted by the GM from what I can say . . . Xany, TGI, Methangatorix, SWBeauty . . . they were all brilliant in their character. I wanna remark TWO of them were newbies (or at least not regulars around here) and I must say it did not show a moment.

    More than a few updates by the GM were postponed with the reason that he did not wanted to disturb the interaction. Which is usually a good sign for a player that the GM seems to like the game as much as you do . . .
    SirakRomar and greyjedi125 like this.
  19. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 7, 2002
    umm.... time for an update. Any question out there, before I do?
  20. Jedi General Gelderd

    Jedi General Gelderd Jedi Master star 5

    Mar 6, 2004
    Hi Ktala, not so much a question but a few yes/nos to the facts I've picked up along the way from helpful chaps around here, before I make my first ever post in a RP stroy...

    1) You do NOT speak or take control of any NPC your character comes across. If they talk to you, your response is JUST your dialogue and/or action, leading for the GM to return. You can leave them if you go away from the scene, but you don't control them.

    2) Tag only the people your post relates to, or involves, that it is important they need to know what your character has done/is doing.

    3) Keep the posts fairly meaty, and DON'T post a couple of lines of response

    4) You control your own story, guided by what the GM and other players throw your way once your characters is able to interact with them.

    5) Don't feel the need to rush ahead in getting your character into all sorts of escapades - take the time to develop, learn and enjoy the character's journey you want to create.

    6) Don't be scared, and have fun!

    That's what I feel I should know before I post - am I right with what I've picked up and interpreted? :)
  21. Saintheart

    Saintheart Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Dec 16, 2000
    Welcome to the RPF, Jedi General Gelderd! :D (For my part, yes, you've got it exactly right!)
  22. Jedi General Gelderd

    Jedi General Gelderd Jedi Master star 5

    Mar 6, 2004
    Brill - thanks Saintheart! I've made my first post in the RPF thread now so I've taken my first step in a much larger world! [face_dancing]
  23. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 7, 2002
    Thank you Saintheart for responding to General Gelderd! :)

    A GM will let you know, if it is alright to man handle their NPC's usually. Sometimes for a simple scene, or a single combat, Other than that, it was totally right.

    Im catching up with other RPG's at the moment, but I should have a post here soon. Any other questions OR comments out there before I climb the soapbox once more?

  24. Jedi General Gelderd

    Jedi General Gelderd Jedi Master star 5

    Mar 6, 2004
    I have a question if I may -

    My character is about to be thrown into what looks like a firefight with some nasty individuals, but there are no other major NPCs on the enemy side.

    This is going to be my first "action" sequence in the RPF, and just wondered what the limits are usually with these sort of moments.
    • Could cannon fodder can be taken down without a hesitation like the odd Stormtrooper or battle droid?
    • What lines are there that shouldn't be crossed or actions not to take?
    • How far do you go creating an injury or wound to your character if you want them to get hit?
    Thanks! :)
  25. Penguinator

    Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    May 23, 2005
    Depends on the GM. When I run games, I try and make nameless mooks total cannon fodder. Named characters or NPCs clearly meant for an actual fight are another story.