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ViolaRose



Joined: 20 Apr 2015
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:52 pm    Post subject: Backgrounds Reply with quote

In the spirit of "less paperwork" (aka no more pkmails), I'd like to suggest we do away with player backgrounds in lieu of pcnotes. Perhaps require players to write a sentence or two detailing their character concept in the beginning, followed by a sentence or two update every 5 or 10 levels to let the imms know what we've been up to.

Backgrounds, as they are, make very little sense from an IG perspective given the lack of consistency in form, and the fact that many characters would not want to provide others with information of their past or present. But perhaps libraries could still be used by chroniclers or anyone else who wants to share their story with others.

Gracias!
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Aunuit



Joined: 14 Jul 2014
Posts: 9
Location: oregon

PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes please! I struggle with them every time - not because I have trouble thinking of a background but because to me it makes no sense whatsoever for people to have access to my background in a library. Especially when I often play characters that have reason to conceal their background. Most of the time I just slap something together and never revisit it. I agree that pcnotes should be the go to for immortals to view our backgrounds/current events. If they want to launch rumors off of those, great. Otherwise I think backgrounds go largely ignored by both player and immortals.

Let's oust that dinosaur!
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Zathery



Joined: 30 Sep 2013
Posts: 38
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll have to second Aunuit there. While I don't usually struggle with the actual writing, comming up with something that would make sense from a character concept level can be an annoyance and I usually fall back on something contrived for certain archetypes.

My first concern when reading this suggestion was it would open the doors more for people who just want to shit out a character and rush up the levels, but I doubt writing a slapdash background would have been much of an issue. And having a shorthand in PC notes for an imm to review, including things that you wouldn't put in a bad guys public background, like motivations, true goals etc. Would actually give the imms more insight and easily able to see if someone is following through or have, well just shat out a character.

Considering how to set it up...

Before leaving newbie perhaps, aka when you go up to level 6 you need to add one, just like with a describtion. Possibly more at the level 10-11 transition, aka the current roadblock with backgrounds. Possibly one more at level 20 and then require semi regular updates based on playtime. Depending on the person there might not be significant updates up to level 20, at least none that require a wall of PC notes.

And at the prompts for PC note updates the level 6 one requires a truthful background shorthand, the level 10-11 requires an explanation of character goals in the long term. Level 20-21 one would perhaps an updated long term goal submission considering player interactions up to that point, and if they have none, well, imo, welcome permanent level cap until you learn to play the game properly.

Past that, with the periodic updates I'd suggest something like a notification pops up after X amount of playtime has past, and it comes up upon each login for Y amount of time before you get flagged, possibly XP capped or something. And it would ask that more short term goals considering any ongoing player/imm plots and if they've effected longterm RP/goals, also asking that if anything is outdated, aka some goal mentioning a 2 year old, long dead/finished plot/interaction, is removed. Keeping things somewhat neat and tidy and more importantly, readable by the imms.

I often forget to use PC notes and something like this would not just help me remember to use it, but also keeping a record of events between me and other players that imms can see and get an understanding of what's going on. And can see the motivations of two counteracting positions and can use that to further whatever is going on.
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Verbannon



Joined: 30 Sep 2013
Posts: 385

PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I concur with this.
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saide
Immortal


Joined: 18 Mar 2007
Posts: 342

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off, I am in favor of reducing paper work.

However, I like writing a background. I know that some struggle with writing it. I don't think that we require elaborate backgrounds that could be published though.

For now, until such time that we can figure out a decent way to use pcnotes related to backgrounds in such a way to let others players have some way to find out about them, I think backgrounds as they are will remain required.

I also want to say that I know a lot of people write one, maybe just a couple of paragraphs, and then never re-visit it. I also understand that some people would not want everyone to be able to find out their background so easily.

As backgrounds are right now though, I look at them as somewhat like the study command for items - as a means of letting other players find out some history about your character.

Your personal background could be written with this mind. As in maybe there are several possibilities and some obscurities. (So it's not just one assured thing, if that makes sense)

Also, use them to create a story - make them living testaments to your character, not just something that you put in and forget about - keep in mind that they are basically a collected history of you, it could be told from the perspective of someone else, a collection of short stories by different authors, etc. I think there are a lot of ways to write one that can make them interesting and not give away **everything** about your character.
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kellan



Joined: 27 Oct 2013
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saide,

I don't think you are making a lot of sense here. Why would anyone whom is rping a secretive character ever publish anything? Perhaps one might do it for misleading, but not every character whether good or evil would do that. Why would a ranger want people in cities to research them? This is something that could actually benefit RP. If you guys TRULY need them to be allowed then at the very least remove them from public consumption as this has NEVER made sense from a RP standpoint and we are asking for help from a RP standpoint.

Saide this sounds like one of those sitatuations where it is "I like them, so they stay", but I thought we were moving away from that thought process to more inclusiveness and less paper work. Multiple people and now myself have added that it isn't an issue to write one, it is an issue because it MAKES zero sense dude. If we are going to take a stance on NO pkmails, quick advancing and less paperwork explain to us please how this is a stance that we are going to make in the form of lets keep doing it? it just doesn't make sense to me at all.

Characters should find out about other characters by rping with them not walking to a library and researching them, especially when they haven't done anything that is meaningful. Could I go research you in a library before there was the internet? Doubtful, you'd need to be famous. You could probably find something on say Alzar or Nightfall whom are big bads or Alveric and Zeal who were big goods. However, when all of these characters were toddlers and wetting themselves no one cared. Again, it just makes zero sense. Could we at the very least try something on a tenative bases? What about letting players mail each other and tell their "academics" skill and allows them to work together to determine what they find in research. I've been very helpful with other players when needed and have conducted multiple plots without immortals needed through research by mail which then lead to AMAZING interactions. Those interactions might have happened with a background, but I doubt it as when I type a background it is usually very limited.

Alzy
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Sierra



Joined: 09 Mar 2015
Posts: 15
Location: Somewhere in Dagger

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

saide wrote:
For now, until such time that we can figure out a decent way to use pcnotes related to backgrounds in such a way to let others players have some way to find out about them, I think backgrounds as they are will remain required.


Seems like you kind of ignored this part.
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kellan



Joined: 27 Oct 2013
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't ignore it at all. It had nothing to do with my point. My point isn't about letting others players see it as I don't believe anyone should know my background by researching a in a library. I believe if you want to know my character and his history you should interact. This isn't 2016 where they have google, it is FANTASY and tbh even with google and facebook its pretty unlikely to find REAL information about someone. Could we all post BS stories etc, but if THIS is a RP mud still than why would a Lawful good Monk, Paladin whatever class do such? I don't understand it.

My point is we have done a lot of stuff without other solutions of late and it seemed no big deal, why is this one such an issue. I don't get it.
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Nienne
Immortal


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 2572
Location: Aussieland

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was a discussion we had upstairs & Saide happened to be first in to post on it; it's not just a case of one of us liking them so we decided to keep them. We are definitely working on cutting down any unnecessary tedium we can find (PK paperwork, re-equipping, etc) but this isn't one we feel we are comfortable letting go yet - primarily due to having an insufficient substitute. We are a RP-first mud & character histories are integral for numerous reasons: imms rely on backgrounds as hints for plots & interactions; they form a longterm mud history; they give players some interesting snapshot of characters they meet as well. I've given out some bling shineys for some of the better written ones over the years and I'm not the first imm to do that either.

There's nothing forcing a secretive character to spill their beans in their background. If you want to be sneaky, just have hints, or witness accounts, or have them convey perceptions that may realistically have happened IC but don't actually fess up the character's true intentions. That's all fine - so many are not written first-hand after all, but are worded more as witness accounts/etc. But if we put ourselves in the position of having absolutely nothing on a character to go off (regular/effective PCnote users are still an absolute minority) that's going to be us screwing ourselves out of our game's foremost intention.

Beyond the above, libraries can and should have at least some information on any adventurer of note - you should be at least vaguely known or witnessed somewhere. Adventurers are well beyond the standard NPC of the realm; they stand out and get noticed daily. Even someone committing mass genocide of goblins to keep Tabor safe, or cleansing the meadows and orcs so the halflings there don't get eaten, is going to stand out to the general populace of the area, and probably merit a note in the city news or the local crier's word-of-the-day. Let alone when you get high enough for our high-magic setting to have your character under constant regard from their enemies. If people can sit and scry 24/7 to see what everyone on the mud is doing, someone somewhere has heard of you and seen at least something you've done. For those who do want to be sneaky, please feel welcome to expand on what may not be apparent in the background so we can still gear plots appropriately!

I'm sure given our players' extensive creativity and character range they can figure out something suitable to write, even if it's just a couple paragraphs from a complete outsider's viewpoint Smile
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Verbannon



Joined: 30 Sep 2013
Posts: 385

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was a dark and stormy night, the rain poured down like a crystal spray from the mouth of a great fiend from the lore of a barbaric storm cloud creature of dark and stormy lore. And in a bed of plush and softness which is a mattress on a iron frame, with springs that squeaked and creaked because it was a bed with springs that was soft and plushy with padding made of something soft and plushie. And there on that soft and plushie bed that was squeeking because of its springs were a man and a woman, and there the player character was concieved, which is to say [censored].

/End background.
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cyric
Immortal


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 291
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a very simple solution. Make two backgrounds, one public, and one immortal eyes only. Make the private one optional but if you decide to create one, put enough plot hooks in there an immortal could run a plot and include elements of your background .

If you take part in an "event", you need to put it into your public background.
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