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Reference The RPF Rules Discussion - Now Discussing: Writing Violence

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by Imperial_Hammer, Apr 14, 2008.

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  1. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    Sounds good to me. Guess it´s practical and working.
  2. Kahn_Iceay Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2006
    star 5
  3. MarcusDade Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2006
    star 4
  4. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
  5. The_Dark_Overlord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2002
    star 4
    While I agree to abide by the rules, I do not like them.

    In my opinion a RP containing graphical violence should be labeled as such. The rule about torture is probably going to make me not post a scene I had planed for SoTS because theoretically, I could write a masterpiece in character development containing torture, hand it in to Fin only to have it rejected as it somehow broke the rules.

    My point is, a player with a disturbed character might feel he's being robbed of the one thing that would show exactly how disturbed that character is. Thus, preventing that player from developing his or hers character the way her or she wants to. And this rule does affect me because my only character I have on these boards is a disturbed madman.
    Now I'm not promoting torture and explicit violence just for the sake of it, but the line has to be drawn somewhere and its easier to enforce the rule by being strict rather than liberal.

    But again, I'll abide by the rules but I don't like them.
  6. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    While I get where you're coming from, TDO, the line is probably nonnegotiable. If it's anything like a certain rule I have an issue with, it'd be partially based on an owner mandate. We're a "family friendly" site, so there's only so much, violence wise, that can be considered kosher. C'est la vie.
  7. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    That's your prerogative, and you're welcome to think what you will. The GM of a game is entitled to think what he will, as well. If he doesn't like a post such as the one you detailed, then he's more than allowed to say no.

  8. The_Dark_Overlord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2002
    star 4
    But that's based on personal taste rather than being forced to say no to a post the GM might actually like and agree that it develops the character further. That the point of the post is not to glamorize torture, explicit violence or the likes but to show the dark side of the human creature.

    I understand that it is a family friendly board and I agree, to some extent that the RP Community should not promote 'illegal material' to them.
    But I don't quite agree about banning it all together, as we are playing characters different from ourselves and led by Game Master into unknown situations.

    And where should the line be drawn? As an example one could take The Good The Bad The Ugly RP which core game mechanic is the killing of other human beings, and even let's you play as 'the bad guys'. Without detail I could imagine a duel being described as a long intro and a finale that is "I shoot you" "you hit at a random location, I die" "I win".

    This is not torture, but if you were to describe the event in detail, where the bullet hits and the consequences then we are well within the boundaries of detailed explicit violence. Is this okay simply because it is not torture?

    Or is it because both parties are in consensus of what might be the outcome? What if the bullet hits an innocent bystander?

    My point is, acts that could be described in a torture might just as well find it's way into other scenes.
    I'll show an example from myself

    "The edge of the blade first cut through the skin on the cheek, inflicting a real feisty sting, then with the force from a muscular man trained in a myriad of ways to kill, the blade cracked open the lower part of his cheek, pushing through the bone and finally getting stuck in his palate. The point man then punched the backside of the knife pushing the blade in a vertical direction, splitting his spinal cord severing vertebra C3 and C4. Cutting of all traffic from the rest of the body with his brain."


    Now this is in no way a scene which contains torture, but it is a pretty well described violent act which could be put in a scene with torture.
    Is there a difference here simply by the nature of the scene or is this description of a mans death equally wrong?
  9. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Speaking as the GM of aforementioned game (Which, by the way, I'd prefer wasn't brought into this discussion as I do not feel it pushes any rule boundaries) - the bullet will not hit an innocent bystander, because that doesn't happen in Spaghetti Westerns. Every shot is deliberate, and people shoot to kill or to show of marksmanship prowess. As for the description of the duels, the entire point is a long build up to action followed by a fast, non-glamorizing act of violence. I'm not aiming for gritty realism, the game is my love letter to Sergio Leone - by choosing to participate in a "duel," you accept the consequences of any possible outcome. A person who's character does not consent to a violent action will find that their character is miraculously good at dodging.

    So to an extent, yes, it is entirely about intent. Physical torture is an attempt to either derive satisfaction from the slow mutilation of the victim or to break said victim via the action - any such actions would be strictly prohibited in my game, because that is definitely not within the game's vision. Psychological torture is another matter, and while I suppose one could argue that the agonizingly slow build-ups to action are an attempt to wear the characters down at a mental level, it's hardly the same as shooting off individual digits in an attempt to make a point.
  10. Kahn_Iceay Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2006
    star 5
    Perhaps because there's a difference between Torture and Combat? While yes torture does entail pain infliction in some manner it is in no way shape or form thus simple. Torture is pain inflicted for either 1. A sadistic purpose or 2. To acquire information. Either way pain inflicted by torture has a much more psychological effect then pain inflicted in self defense. Torture is methodological, it is done with the specific purpose of inflicting pain in the slowest, most drawn out, and effective way. Where as in combat its often done in the fastest, quickest, most efficient way. You cannot compare a gunfight to torture. Both involve an act of violence, but neither are in any way shape or form the same.
  11. The_Dark_Overlord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2002
    star 4
    So a shot in the leg is different depending on the intent? Does it hurt, bleed or cause less pain if you are in combat?

    I'm sorry Darthramza I did not mean to drag your RP in out of spite :p I was trying to make an example because it's a spaghetti western.
    Where the build up is the purpose of the scene, and then some combat. I'll refrain from using it again.

    The point I am trying to make is that the exact same type of violence, now I'm talking about the pure violence (A knife in the chest is still a knife in the chest no matter who is holding the knife) can be found in other scenarios than those of torture.
    As my example above.

    Do you really believe that a minor can see the difference between a well described knife through the mouth by a soldier or a psychopath?
    One of the reasons why such material should not be available for minors is because their minds are not fully developed. I read somewhere that kids can't truly understand irony until the age of 12. Can they see the difference between different intentions?
    Specially in RPs that are outspoken dark and gruesome?

    And on a side note, how often does acts of torture occur in the various RPs? Is this a major issue?
  12. Kahn_Iceay Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2006
    star 5
    Well one if Kids can't understand irony till 12, fine, you have to be 13 to join the boards.

    secondly we keep everything with a "PG-13/TV-14/PG15" zone. Therefore that "Well described knife through the mouth" isn't going to be all that well described or detailed.

    Thirdly, yes, it is all about intent. Gunfights and combat are done quickly and efficiently to end it as quick as possible. torture is the exact opposite all they have in common is somebody getting hurt in some way. The purpose and method behind them are totally unrelated. A gunfight, and combat in general, is a matter of survival, kill or be killed. Torture is a matter of inflicting pain either for sadistic pleasure, or some sort of gain, be it in information or something else. Its like calling a Crepe and an Omelet the same thing cause they're both made of eggs. They both contain the same thing, they're both made with nearly identical tool sets, but the purpose of endeavor is totally different.
  13. The_Dark_Overlord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2002
    star 4
    Alright then, explicit violence is alright as long as you intend to be efficient. Answered my question.
  14. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    NO. It is not. Not necessary.

    As far as I know: Violence is allowed if it is not too graphic. Rule-of-thumb, what you see in a SW movie is okay for the board. That is quite a bit, but not exactly terrible much. That´s what SotS will tolerate, actually. Also I see the many opportunities to go beyond that my game offers.

    Just to point out one thing. Gore is forbidden as well, as is the showing of violence only for the reason to show it. So it is not the case that you can describe a combat scene far worse than any torture and post it. It would most likely be covered by one of the other rules and be forbidden, too.

    Character development has to get along without it. That´s what family friendly is about. We cannot rule out someone who still cannot deal with mature things finds that psycho cool and therefore his actions are "cool", too. Therefore we give not too many details. That´s it. I find that annoying sometimes, but I am rewarded with great games I can play here, so I can accept it :D

    EDIT: MTo make sense of it.
  15. Kahn_Iceay Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2006
    star 5
    ... What?


    I explain the difference between violence in combat and violence in torture. How one is preformed in a kill or be killed situation and the other is done for the sole purpose of inflicting pain for one reason or another. How, does that say explicit violence is alright if its intended to be efficient in any way?
  16. MarcusDade Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2006
    star 4
    I don't understand what you're arguing for or against, TDO. We have agreed on a rule change in which torture would be allowed as long as it stays within the TOS where violence is related, and it develops character or, in the case of the scene involving more than one player, the scene is agreed upon all parties involved.

    So what exactly are you arguing for? In one post you say that it should be allowed, that your character needs it for character development (which is a moot point, since we agreed that doing it for character development is fine as long as it's not too graphic), and then in another post you talk about how it will affect children badly. Do you even known what you're arguing for? Because I can't understand the argument you're trying to make here...
  17. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Unfortunately, that's how things go. There are several character types that are difficult to play on the JC RPFs, and the kind that likes to graphically torture other people a lot is one of them. Consider it a test of your roleplaying ability to show as much as possible in a brief, non-graphic fashion. :)
  18. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    Violence is never necessary in prose.

    Also...

    Bananas are good.

    I like bananas!
  19. The_Dark_Overlord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2002
    star 4
    Marcus

    I was questioning the reason behind the rule, if it was the violence itself or the intent that made the difference between right and wrong.
    If the reason had been the explicit violence itself the rule would have been very strange, to rule out torture when the same type violence would be accepted in other scenes, just because it's not torture.

    However, as I have been told now a few times the reason is the mental state of the perp, apparently (and I quite don't see the difference of the outcome, but perhaps I'm just a slow learner :p) if the person committing the act of violence gets a thrill out of it then it's bad, if the person is feels bad / neutral to the violence it is okay.

    I know it might look as if I was arguing for tighter rules towards violence, but I was merely pointing out that if the rule was based on violent acts then it would basically have to rule out every RP ever made. But again, it's about intent.

    And I would still like to point out that I will follow the rule, there is after all, a reason why I am but a servant of the great JC Gods ;P
  20. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    It is all about intent, and I imagine some posts will straddle the line between violence and torture. Consider this post by LordT:


  21. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    I think it was a mistake to drop the PG-15 metaphor. It works better. Games and violence work like Movies and violence. A certain amount and if you go above, you are next rating. It´s just that the adult ratings are not allowed to play in the family-friendly-cinema we got here . . .

    And you can say that Mulan is violent, too. But it´s not Hostel. [face_peace]

    We will have to agree to disagree on Bananas. I don´t like them. :p

    On the other thing, I am not able to write action scenes without violence.


    That was actually the scene I had to hand in twice, as my GM did not give his okay to my first, much longer, more graphic and bloody draft. I rewrote a second using the "Art of not showing" as Lovecraft once called it. And it worked fine for me. GM gave his okay, too. I think it is within rules now and actually even better. It was a core scene for my character. Going from a usual clichée slacker to something much more sinister. So writing this thing needed only a little effort on my side to be rules-conform. My first reaction was to try and get through with a graphic version, too. When I did not make it, I found a way to write it different. From my fellow players reactions, I think I can say . . . it seems to have worked as a scene.

    As the victim is an alternate version of a played character, I showed it ot the other player, too. She agreed before posting, even though it is not actually the character she plays . . . I think it is only polite to do that. She surely had to read it (as the not!Laura is part of her plot and she obviously wanted to know, what happened)
  22. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Haha... yes, LordT, it conforms to the rules (even though it pre-dates them - perhaps you or Fins are secretly psychic? I'm on to you! :D) which is why I used it as an example.

    The PG-13/15 metaphor is just kind of incorrect. If you thought N instances of torture per X was bad, have a look at Peng's link - one instance of this is OK, one instance of that makes it a higher rating, and so on. Better to compare borderline scenes to the fanfic example posted.

    But I think we're basically in agreement, yes? We'll leave this discussion open for a while longer, but barring any new convincing arguments to the contrary, I think we can adopt these guidelines... :)
  23. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    I like them. They seem to be easy to use and leave a lot to the involved people. Which is a good thing, as they usually have to "suffer" from any unwanted cruelties.

    Psychic? Oh, I knew you were going to say that :p
  24. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    We're gonna completely drop the term PG, whether it be 13 or 15. You can do a lot in a PG-13 movie that you can't do on these boards, plain as that. :)

    And also, LordT...I like oranges. Oranges are good!

    EDIT: Don't think PG, think "family friendly."
  25. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    Oranges are excellent. Orange juice, pressed directly from a good orange in the morning . . . hmmm. So if we want to have an official fruit of the RPF, I´d say use your new-found modly powers and make it the orange!

    And I see, I might have a wrong idea about PG. Or wanted to make a point, but made another due to my wrong idea of . . . anyway. No more PG.
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