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How To Have Fun On An RPI
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:50 pm      Reply with quote

Re: "stagnation" and other concerns, I have decided to share my personal philosophy for how to approach an RPI, for whatever it's worth. I've also decided to frame it as Do's and Don't's, for the anti-paragraph among us. Cool I tried to keep it as succinct as I could, so some of the work of interpretation is left to the reader (though further discussion is, of course, possible).

Don't look to other people to make the game more interesting for you (especially staff (especially especially coders)) -- those who are actively trying to make the game interesting for others: this means you, too

Do look for ways to use the existing framework of the game, as is, to make things more interesting for yourself -- bonus points if you have the time and energy left over to do this for others as well

Don't look to the setting to make your PC interesting

Do use your PC to make the setting interesting

Don't confuse IC competition among PCs for OOC competition among players

Do work cooperatively with other players to make the IC process of competition interesting for everyone

Don't observe a separation between "code time" and "RP time"

Do take advantage of code activities to mentally explore the details of the setting and provide your PC with experiences, memories, ideas, opinions

Don't create a character who only interests you in the context of one specific story that has to be forced into reality once in game

Do create a character who would interest you no matter what they did ("Does Wolverine still interest me if he's making soup? How WOULD Wolverine make soup?"), and allow their story to evolve through collaboration with the players of other PCs around them

Don't resist changes to your PC's attitudes and circumstances (IC permitting, naturally)

Do embrace the opportunity to shake things up and explore areas of the game your PC hasn't had to navigate yet

Don't avoid failure/humiliation/demotion at all costs

Do take the opportunity (IC permitting, naturally) to give everyone a failure/humiliation/demotion to react to -- they won't shun you; in fact, they'll keep coming back for more, because your PC is interesting

Don't wait for IC events (particularly coded ones) to motivate your PC

Do extrapolate from the setting and the stories of other PCs to come up with reasons to do things that you and others might find interesting -- it's all there, everything that ever motivated any Shakespearean hero or villain, implied, virtually, within the setting

Don't try to orchestrate elaborate scenarios casting other PCs in specific roles and then get frustrated when things don't happen the way you'd planned

Do try to orchestrate situations that trigger other PCs to do something and then respond dynamically to the unforseeable results

Don't view the game as a service provided to you by the staff and your fellow players

Do view the game as an on-going project you have the opportunity to assist with and take advantage of

Don't think that a great RPI was built in a day

Do remember that patience is the single most effective path to power, glory, and world domination -- eventually everyone ahead of you will die or retire (true story!), all you really have to do is not throw your PC's life away in a fit of boredom or frustration before then

TL;DR: Ask not what your PRPI can do for you, but what you can do for you PRPI.

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I would prefer not to.
Cute and Cuddly Coder

Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:58 pm      Reply with quote


But no really, those are all good points. I don't really have anything to add. Putting in a bit of effort on your end goes a long ways in creating a lot of fun for those around you.

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Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:26 pm      Reply with quote

I think by now, pointers are kind of useless. Still nice to read every now and then, don't get me wrong. But, pretty much any advice one can give about roleplaying, that doesn't involve tips with commands or specific circumstances, is easy for anyone to think up; pretty much everyone knows these things but don't follow them all the time, including me.

Think of it like the "do's and dont's for job interviews" or "do's and dont's of relationships' articles you come across a lot. A lot of it's common sense and everyone knows them, but enough people don't seem to know (they probably do) and it makes people think they need to list the do's and dont's.

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Cute and Cuddly Coder

Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:17 pm      Reply with quote

'tl;dr this thread is worthless.' is all you really had to say.

It's not like the list hinders anybody, unless you're somebody who's only pure hatred in life is lists of things. Threads like this are generally there to get you thinking of what you have, or haven't done, not to imply you don't know anything. I mean, they might be for that, but that's not quite the vibe I'm getting here.

tl;dr posting in 'helpful' threads with a passive aggressive stance on them being worthless isn't very productive either way

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Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:48 pm      Reply with quote

I think that saying people trying to point out ways to have fun in a forum post are being useless is a corrosive attitude that borders on arrogance by assuming some people aren't new here and can't use them. Also, it makes you think on these points and ask yourself if you are doing that. Overall, it is far from useless, especially from a person that enjoys the RP aspect of the game more than anything else. I am disappointed that people would try to diminish that instead of adding to the discussion or just remaining silent.

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Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:19 pm      Reply with quote

Just for the sake of clarification...

I don't presume to know who might or might not find any of this useful. My reason for posting it was that some people seemed to be expressing a frustration with exterior factors not lining up in a way that allowed them to have fun. I think everyone feels that way some of the time, and the above has been the result of my on-going process of figuring out how to make a game fun for myself regardless of what anyone else might be doing.

It seems to me that it's far from an elementary issue appropriate only for new players. Everyone is aware of the conventional "shoulds", maybe, but this is not a list of rules for good citizenship. It is also not intended to be an RP guide. It is a list of things that I have learned through experience, which I have found contribute positively to my personal enjoyment of games like this.

It may not be as useful to everyone as it is to me, and it may not be immediately clear how these things actually work, and all points are debatable.

My personal hope, I suppose, is that at least some of the discussion might turn to questions of how to be a more fulfilled and effective player, and away from what could be coded that would rescue everyone from their boredom.

ETA: The Do-and-Don't structure was not intended to be prescriptive, only short and to the point.

Also, if you agree with a given point (or other points made elsewhere, or a point you yourself would like to share) but don't put it into practice, why not? What are the obstacles you run into? What do you think might help you overcome them?

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I would prefer not to.

Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:08 pm      Reply with quote

I apologize for my earlier comment. I was listing an personal annoyance of mine that didn't really belong here.

Not sure if this would be a good tip, persay, but I've noticed that my more convincing RP has been from characters stemmed from certain aspects of my personality modifyed by factors in the background. Makes it very easy to get into the mindset of my characters even on an off day, though admittedly it might it easy to spot (not necessarily me as the player but that the same person has played both).

Guess that'd be my tip, just don't do it for every character?

Eddited to add: By 'certain aspects of my personality', I mean like not being aggressive if you yourself are not aggressive, or not being shy if you yourself aren't shy, unless the things in the background would make you act that way.

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Sometimes I struggle with my demons. Other times we just fuck and have cheesecake.

Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:58 pm      Reply with quote

Uh, okay ignoring everything else.. Thanks! I'm going to sorta use this as a checklist against my current PC and look at where to improve!

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Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:32 pm      Reply with quote

I thought this was a great post. Good on you Bartleby.

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Post Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:24 am      Reply with quote

This was a really nice post. Even if I know this stuff due to playing a lot of roleplaying muds, it's still helpful to review and try to internalize each point. There were some points on the list that I haven't thought of in a while, too.

As a side point, when I suggest things about the game, it's not because I'm not having fun with it - it's because I am having fun with it and just have ideas. I think Holmes has stewed up a great setting here, and the code helps rather than hinders. Just because there are constraints in the game that limit my exploration of possibilities (ex., you can't go out scavving without X number unless you're suicidal) doesn't mean it's a bad game or that it's not fun to play. In fact, a game without constraints really isn't a game.

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