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Roleplay Standards
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kellan



Joined: 27 Oct 2013
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:21 pm    Post subject: Roleplay Standards Reply with quote

Hey Guys,

I wanted to reach out as I'm a little frustrated on my return. I have been back roughly a week and the role-play standards of the mud seem to be non-existent.

We have players who are HM's, supposedly our best RPers constantly attacking city guards. Cities are living breathing things and they would beat your ass eventually if you kept knocking them out. Its like RL, you can do a lot of things, but eventually it catches up to you. There has to be a balance and respect for lawful actions even if there are no players, avatars or wizzes to enforce it. Cities are centers of lawful actions, we need people to RP that, an occasion crazy Pangretor-like attack is fine, but it can't be constantly or that makes it unbelievable.

The world needs examples of great RP. Druids partying with Shades(quite unnatural), people knocking out guards just to knock out guards. This is a game, but it is a game with RP rules. It isn't just about getting the best gear, the most gold. All of that is a lot of fun, but the most amazing part of it is telling a story. To tell a good story, we need to do that story within the confines of SG's rules and overarching goal, which is RP themed mud.

Lets start holding ourselves accountable for good RP. We can't be perfect, nor should we try, but we can pretend that cities are powerful, that temples are powerful and think about who or why we party with people. Please hold yourself to a RP standard.

Thanks
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ViolaRose



Joined: 20 Apr 2015
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers, Kellan! Thanks for posting this. Shadowgate is definitely drifting from "RP Enforced" to "RP Encouraged" and it's a little bit hard for some of us to swallow. More than a few players I know of have drifted away from the game because of this reason and, unfortunately, they were in my opinion some of the best roleplayers. I imagine the rest of us will follow them before too long, because this isn't what we signed up for.

The biggest thing, I think is what you touched on - the lack of accountability. We used to be held to certain standards, but now that nothing appears to have consequences, we players have decided that consequences must not exist. And it's utter bullshit. We're a smart lot. We know what we could or couldn't get away with if the world was a living, breathing entity. We know that cities have assassins and armies and bounty hunters, and just because we can kill a few guards doesn't mean the city would let us. Just because we can walk through Synoria and slay all of its citizens doesn't mean they simply decided not to defend themselves because we're so super strong.

I mean c'mon. We're smarter than this, and we're better than this. Let's play like somebody's watching!

But it brings me to my big question, and I am genuinely curious - active and non-active players alike, do you even WANT ShadowGate to enforce roleplay anymore, or should it just be gently encouraged? What will best draw players and retain those that we have? Is it a better world when good and evil can team up to pick flowers and bake bread, and we can just ignore any sort of alignment or faith or class? Is this why there's so many neutrals now? Because there are no rules when you're neutral, and you can be everyone's best friend (which, by the way, isn't true)? I mean, isn't that bloody boring to you guys, too?

Just wondering, and a little bit sad about the state of things. Smile
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saide
Immortal


Joined: 18 Mar 2007
Posts: 311

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't been actively lately. It is possible that might change in the coming days/weeks. However, I'd like to point out a couple of things.

Mechanically - we do need to fix some code - it would not be difficult to code repercussions for attacking/killing guards - that anyone would feel. More extreme depending on the town.

I'd also like to point out that neither of you nor I see everything. I cannot see a situation and then judge that it is wrong. To do so is really insulting to the people I am judging. I do not know every circumstance that lead up to interaction y - nor do you. Just because a shade and a druid somehow interact without conflict that I see, does not mean that they interact with no conflict or that it is wrong.

Maybe there is some valid reason that is worth trying to understand or maybe part of the mystery is that few understand it - at least until they know either the druid or the shade. Just a few thoughts.

Also, I can promise you that we are not going to get new players by forcing people to play a way that we think is best. It is not going to happen. The world is too big, there are far too many options now. I can literally play any MMO and find a group within that MMO that enjoys RPing and stories. That group will be larger than SG has ever been. I will have no one forcing me to do this. I can do this at my leisure and have a lot of fun with it, so can anyone who wants to do so.

I am not saying that I do not think SG should be about RP. I just think that RP is very subjective, there are different types of valid RP. I played tabletop D&D with a couple of different groups when I was a teenager and every group played somewhat differently.

I think SG has the unique ability to have an immersive world where this happens continually in such a way that all groups can interact - as long as none believe they are right and all others are wrong. In my opinion this opens the way for all types of stories and developments that no one person or one group would ever dream up on their own. This is one of the things that makes SG amazing.

When I first started playing there were no adjectives, there was no paperwork for pkilling someone, and it was an amazing amount of fun. I think almost all of us were just learning back then, learning to enjoy the stories, learning how to interact and create our own, learning that our characters could be greater than the sum of their statistics.

Somewhere along the way we got so divided that we think we are right and you are wrong, we become almost arrogant in that our way was the only right way and forgot that we too started from some place else and worked our way here. This leads to alienating people who are still learning and encouraging them to do something else with their time. See my above point. The world is too big, this will never happen again. There are limitless options as far as ways to be entertained.

So we should be encouraging other people, showing them the depth of SG through fun and interesting stories that include people.

Or I mean don't - be arrogant, prideful, and alienate them - there will be few for you to alienate - the world is too big for everyone else to deal with it.

It's not really my game - or your game - it was always our game - a game that we have collectively grown to the point were it is at now. A game inspired by people that come before us and that will live on beyond us.
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ViolaRose



Joined: 20 Apr 2015
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

saide wrote:
I haven't been actively lately. It is possible that might change in the coming days/weeks.


Yes, please.

Also, thank you for the response. I think many of us remember SG in our own ways - my personal experiences come from a time when there very much was one way to do things, and if you weren't doing it that way you better damn well have an excellent reason for it (isn't that why we bother picking all of our statistics in the first place?). If a shade and druid wanted to party, there would be months of plot leading up to why that's an okay arrangement. So I guess that is the place from where I draw my standards and conclusions. And maybe that's what occurred in this case, you're right.. we certainly cannot know, and perhaps it isn't our place to judge but, once upon a time, it would have been (or at least it would have been the job of the DMs, but those are few and far between nowadays) (And I'm not trying to pick on anyone here, I only cited this example since it's already been mentioned above)

And perhaps it's presumptuous of me, or downright arrogant to think I know anything at all, but I think I can tell you exactly why a shade and a druid are partying together now: because there are so few other options when it comes to party goers. Does that make it alright? Hell, I don't know. A lack of bodies, both players on the field and referees, is a big problem. One that doesn't easily have a solution unfortunately. Trust me, I see this, and I understand the concessions that must be made as a result. But I digress..

I believe you are right, Saide, that being a positive example and engaging others in our stories is the best thing we can possibly do. At least for awhile.

I miss you imms. If I need to kick somebody's ass in order for you all to come back to us, you let me know! <3
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Sierra



Joined: 09 Mar 2015
Posts: 14
Location: Somewhere in Dagger

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:28 am    Post subject: Re: Roleplay Standards Reply with quote

kellan wrote:
Cities are living breathing things and they would beat your ass eventually if you kept knocking [guards] out.


You'd really think people would get the idea after a certain public execution. This next sentence I realize could be seen as defying what's been said, so to clarify, that's not my intention. It does seem for the most part that people are treating guards like video game characters they can just murder without consequence, but there are a few (Pang is apparently the example of maniacal "Do whatever the hell I want and no one's telling me otherwise" villain) whose RP involves disregarding laws and disrespecting city guards. As far as I can see, though, he's just about the only character who has a believable reason to.
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cyric
Immortal


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 291
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make an avatarmail if you see something like this (people attacking city guards in broad daylight) please. These are the types of things which should be 'enforced' IG if possible, with communication to the player in question beforehand of course. In other words, it's my opinion that people should be able to attack a city guard if they want/need to, but that there should be IG repercussions for that.

Until saide can code in some meaningful repercussions like level-appropriate bounty hunters/assassins/special forces or refusal of service in/passage through the city, IG repercussions will probably have to take the form of avatar intervention.
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kellan



Joined: 27 Oct 2013
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cyric, I think most of us have been through such periods of low avatar involvement, excluding when Brando was around that we forget to do such things, because it normally doesn't end up anywhere. It is a good reminder and I'll personally try to do a better job.

Would any of the immortals care to share why they aren't currently around? It seems from posts by Nienne and Brandobaris that something has transpired that has caused a immortal shortage.

Thanks,
Kel
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Verbannon



Joined: 30 Sep 2013
Posts: 374

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RP Enforcement I believe is essential. And for the reasons Saide said its not. The world is a big place, there are many options so if SG wants to survive not to mention thrive, then Shadowgate has to do something to stand out and one of that somethings has been the standard of RP. Obviously we don't want to ban people who do bad rp but we want Avatars or maybe even HMs to sit down with those folks and talk it over with them. And keep at it. Maybe have their indiscretion come back to bite them later ICly.
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PM me in the forum here when you want me on to RP or dungeon dive. The forum will automatically notify me by e-mail. Then my e-mail will send me a text message. Then I will get on likely within minutes.
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kellan



Joined: 27 Oct 2013
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+10 for Verbannon's post Smile)

Love it man and truly believe it.
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cyric
Immortal


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 291
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My policy regarding rp standards has always been try to resolve things ic first. Have a reasonable reaction to the player's action from the game, an npc, involve other players, etc. couple this with an ooc explanation so they don't think they're being treated unfairly, or provide them a hint that the ic reaction is legit and they could investigate to find out more.

Ooc punishments should be a last resort imo, only used when the player breaks ooc rules or something of that nature.

This game is all about choices and dealing with the repercussions of your choices. To restrict the ability of a player to make whatever choice he wants for his character takes something away from the game. That's why ic action should be met with ic response.

Above all, the two main rules of roleplaying have to apply all the time: be fair, have fun.
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kellan



Joined: 27 Oct 2013
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think RP enforcement is the wrong terms as it always give people a sour face Smile

I think what Verbie is referencing and what I was discussing is to rp what you rolled. If you are an evil Halfling hippie rp it or a fire loving druid, rp it. Not just create stuff to gain items and PK.

RP stats, alignment, religion to the best of your ability. If you don't know or feel you could get better, maybe ask someone you respect. I think we all love help each other. I know I've spent hours trying to help people, it doesn't work, but when it does it is amazing.
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cyric
Immortal


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 291
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The trick is to have a well developed concept and background. This is why we require backgrounds. Once you know what shaped your character and why they are the way they are, you will be able to more easily predict how they will act in any situation.

Like anything it gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the better you get at including all those little nuances that help bring a character to life. As the character continues, it should grow and change as a result of its experiences, sometimes dramatically, sometimes gradually.
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kellan



Joined: 27 Oct 2013
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cyric,

Agree with both, but there is little time for character development these days. We are in an ARMS race again. We have had this issue before, but leveling is super easy(enjoyable, but easy).

Sg has to define what it is from immortal to player are we RP enforced, RP encourage, or just hack-n-slash, because for the most part I feel like it is somewhere between encouraged and hack-n-slash. I just don't see the detailed characters I used too and that is me too. I'm not doing as a good a job as I used too, because it is a lot of work.

I think everything you listed Is dead on, I just disagree that we are doing any of it.
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cyric
Immortal


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 291
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The main issue with RP enforcement is that RP is such a subjective thing accusations of favoritism are inevitable. Even doing some kind of rating system where people rate each others' characters or hand out kudos points for excellent RP will have difficulties because such systems are very simple for a small group of players to exploit.

I think what we need is a more high level approach than simply deciding what level of RP we want to have from players. I'm going to respond on saide's thread.
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ViolaRose



Joined: 20 Apr 2015
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi!

I'm just going to leave this here because it almost fits the thread but not really at all, actually. It is an idea for ....exp tax! I know we're so over that, but here it is anyway, and this is 100% stolen from another MuD, but it's amazing in its ingenuity.

Because I'm 100% stealing the idea, I am 100% copy/pasting the explanation of it from their website:

"<Not ShadowGate MUD> uses an unusual experience system. When you gain experience, it goes into a buffer that slowly drains over time. This is meant to promote roleplay, as when you have experience in your buffer your character will be advancing in level as fast as possible. The system is also meant to slow down character growth while avoiding forcing players to "grind" for experience."

"The experience buffer lets you know how much time is left until it is completely drained, and increases the amount of time it can store as you gain levels. Eventually you will be able to store days of playtime in the buffer. Unfortunately, if you die, you will lose half of your experience buffer...."

"You can gain experience that bypasses the experience buffer through a Role Playing Award (RPA). RPAs are awarded for good roleplaying that staff takes notice of. Since RPAs bypass the experience buffer, roleplaying after you've earned a good amount of time in the experience buffer is an even better idea." (Only applies if staff is on hand, but meh..stranger things have happened)

In order to have an idea of how full your experience buffer is, <Not ShadowGate MUD> also provides something called mental states. In ascending order, the mental states are:

You are musing over a few ideas.
You are reflecting upon recent events.
You are turning things over in your mind.
You are slowly pondering a succession of ideas.
You have attained a state of deep reflection.
Your mind bends beneath the weight of ponderous thoughts.
Your mind is working overtime to digest your recent experiences.
You are meditating heavily upon recent events.
Your head feels as though it is about to explode.
Your mind gyrates wildly and your thoughts spin out of control."

This was the most elegant form of powerlevel enforcement I have ever seen, and because I always knew where I stood, I never really felt like I was being held back (it also provides an alternative for losing levels and sch when dying)

That is all. Take care, everyone. Hopefully everything blows over soon and we can all get back to having happy fun times soon enough. Smile <3
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