Thoughts on creating roleplay?

General discussions of games, players, ideas, and Pern canon.
Siyde
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:25 pm

Thoughts on creating roleplay?

Postby Siyde » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:03 am

I will start this off by saying that I am comparatively new to the mushing community, i'm more comfortable with pbem and forum play. Still I recently got into playing on a mush and have wanted to ask for some time now, exactly what kinds of rp people enjoy and ways to constructively contribute to a community.

TouchMeNot
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:01 pm

Re: Thoughts on creating roleplay?

Postby TouchMeNot » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:53 pm

Welcome to the MU* community! I hope you enjoy it as much as you've enjoyed RPing on forums and PBeMs!

As far as what types of RP people enjoy, I'll tell you what I like and hopefully others will jump in with their preferences as well! I'm all about organic RP, I don't like having predestined plans for my character when I walk into a scene. I tend to personally put some humor in my poses, which isn't always everyone's cup of tea, with a decent amount of purple prose as well. I'm pretty varied, honestly, I like boring RP sometimes, dramatic RP, humorous, so on and so forth. It's all about what mood I am in that day!

Honestly, the only RP I personally tend to shy away from is relationship RP, though I know many people love it which is totally fine. I simply prefer to skimp over that for the most part, minus a few scenes where it's Doomed Love RP. Most to almost all of my characters are single and shall remain so! ;D

When it comes to contributing to a community, just being out and asking for RP is the BIGGEST thing you can do. The MU* community has gotten smaller over the years, though there are still a lot of us out there! It can sometimes be rare to see someone just jump on channel and ask for RP, but it's the best way to help the game stay active! If you are looking for more OOC ways to help a community, I'd totally ping the staff of the game or the area you are in! See if they need someone to run a TP or if there was anything you, as a player, could do.

But really, by just being an active member of our Pern community, you are already helping the entire genre! :D

Welcome again to MU*ing!! If you ever have questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

skywaterblue
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:05 pm

Re: Thoughts on creating roleplay?

Postby skywaterblue » Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:22 pm

Just some thoughts:

1. Always ask on chan if people want RP, but ask with clear purpose and not more than once an hour or shift-flux. MU*s have a community feel that varies by the hour as people pop in and pop off; try to get a feel for your community's particular rhythms. And by clear purpose, I mean that you should have a good idea what the scene will be about, and have reasons for your character to be in the room with folks - even if the purpose is OOCly making sure two characters get introduced.

2. If things on your game seem slow, start running a plot. A plot doesn't have to be - and maybe shouldn't, depending on how your game/area organizes its MU*wide TPs - something like 'I've been kidnapped'. If it's the first one you've run on a MU*, I would start with something simple like: someone is stealing panties out of the laundry bin. The ideal MU* plot is something that can either be folded into random conversations (ie: while klah-sipping, character A complains her favorite panties are missing!) AND has an action component for individual scenes (ie: the stash of stolen knickers is found in the stables).

Once it becomes clear you are capable of following through a story, and can provide interesting stuff to do, people will begin to respect and rely on you as a member of the community.

3. Never start RP if you can't finish it in one session..

If you naturally have an hour to play, play a scene that can be done in an hour. If you are getting bored, either try to interest yourself, or gracefully bow out. You are there to have fun, but remember that for the other people on the game, you are their source of fun. Fun people get to have more fun. People who put out unfun vibes find themselves slowly getting pushed out.

Sidye
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:44 am

Re: Thoughts on creating roleplay? AND Plots?

Postby Sidye » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:00 am

Thank you for the warm welcome!

Re Touch me not: I have to say that Mu is very different in that it seems a more fluid format. I've already put to use some of these suggestions with great success! Namely the asking. I admit that I enjoy both fluid rp as much as constructed (meaning driven by purpose.) So I'm curious how you deal with uninspired scenes that happen in this kind of setting.

RE Skywaterblue I find the plot idea interesting, in that I'm used to having an overall arc in mind for a character, Plots are something I've not quite grasped though. I can take part in active ones usually, but what are the essential elements to a plot that helps draw other players in? I've been trying to find ways to genuinely engage other characters but I feel like the attempts have been sloppy and could have seen better execution. Any suggestions on how to improve writing for other players? Meaning, how to create an engaging environment for them?

skywaterblue
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:05 pm

Re: Thoughts on creating roleplay?

Postby skywaterblue » Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:10 pm

This is where (I am assuming) not having a background in tabletop really hurts. A MU* plot is best described as any interlinking thread where multiple players interact. The person running the plot is functionally the GM and in charge of determining when, where and the resolution as well as running any NPCs (non-player characters) needed, usually via @emit. Check your local version of 'help @emit' to learn how it works.

When plotting, it is best to create a decision tree. For the first time, you might want to write it down, but since I have oodles of experience, I don't. The idea is that you leave several open pathways for your players to follow.

Here is a typical MU* plot that functions on a non-world level.

I've decided to run a story running over the week about an infestation of mice. I make sure everyone knows (via bbposts, your local +events and chan-chat) that I am going to run scenes on Monday and Saturday. (Or whatever). In the living caverns on Monday, I @emit about a mouse crossing the cavern floor while several players are present. Player A has her character shriek. Player B's firelizard leaps for it. Player C shrugs it off to keep talking to player D.

I want them to be freaked, though, so I @emit that Player B's firelizard has nailed the mouse, but that another one has appeared floating in the soup. And so on, playing off their reactions until I'm satisfied and the scene feels like it is coming to a natural close. Then I hook them into next time, by having a headwoman come out and charge them with part two of the story.

ETC ETC in Part Two of the Story. If the players are a particularly bloodthirsty bunch (or weyrlings/brats) I may decide that they have to go into the tunnels to find the mousenest. If they do go in the tunnels and it's too easy for them, throw a big tunnelsnake their way. If the players are not that interested, I will have to up the ante somehow to engage them. Maybe the headwoman is threatening punishment to their wingleader, or maybe shame on the heads of these goldrider/bronzeriders who are letting the Weyr fall to tatters. Maybe they have to brew a big vat of mouse poison and it needs a flower that only grows in Igen or something and the riders have to go pick it. Or our big metallic honchos need to negotiate with Igen's Lord Holder for it. Something to be a barrier to making the mouse poison.

At the end of the story, the mice will (probably) be dead and players can feel satisfied that they did X/Y thing to get there.

cake
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:46 am

Re: Thoughts on creating roleplay?

Postby cake » Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:46 pm

Hi Sidye!

My tips to improving your writing (YMMV, IMHO and all that):

If your game posts logs (either game-wide or player-initiated), read them. In fact, read logs from lots of different games, if you can. Do the scenes seem real (that is, you could imagine this conversation/those actions happening naturally) or forced (only a scriptwriter would think people talk/act like that)? Is there one person (or more) whose RP and poses you enjoy? Try to emulate them. What is it about their poses that you like?

No logs, or you don't feel comfortable emulating? Then try 'acting' your pose. Add in environmental cues. Mention NPCs. Know what your character was doing earlier, or will be doing later. Make the scene feel 'real' on your end of things. As a compare and contrast:

Grover sits down at the table. "Junmay, can you believe the prices of grain this year? Harry, I like your shirt. Can one of you hand me that klah pitcher?"

That's an ok pose, right? Not very exciting, but it asks questions and invites responses from both Junmay and Harry. But add in a touch more realism and you could do something more like:

Over at the klah pots Grover attempts to pour a mug, but every pitcher he touches is empty. He turns, frowning, and spots the occupied table. Without waiting for more than a break between sentences he pulls out a chair and drops heavily into it. "Junemay, can you believe the prices of grain this year? Harry, I like your shirt." He speaks quickly, like he's trying to get the pleasantries out of the way, but his eyes linger on the pitcher just out of his reach. "Can one of you hand me that klah pitcher?"

Maybe Grover's just been outside and it's cold, so he's trying to warm up. Maybe he's a klah addict and he's gone too long without a cup. Maybe he was making his own but it burnt. Maybe he's suffering from some horrible poison and he'll die without regular infusions of klah. (OK, probably not that last one.) The point is, obviously Grover really needs/wants the klah, and that makes the second pose more interesting, because we can see some of his internal workings.

I find that knowing my character's motivation in a scene (hi, acting class!) makes my poses work better and feel more natural. Keep in mind, too, that there are other people in the world/Weyr/room besides the people in the scene; the same goes for weather, firelizards, and mice (skywater, I don't want to have soup now. Thanks!). Feel free to throw in additional fragments of the environment and that will help immerse you (and, presumably, others) in the story.

Sidye
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:44 am

Re: Thoughts on creating roleplay?

Postby Sidye » Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:12 am

Re Skywaterblue: Ok, I can see a decision tree, and that sort of plot setup, That might be something I'd have to bring up with area admins first though, depending on the size of the plot. Something to definitely think about though.

Re Cake: This is actually a really good guideline for any pose, for any character since I have characters whom I have trouble distinguishing.

Which actually brings me to another question, How do you realign a character with their original intent if you've gotten off character, or better yet how can you tell when you've gotten away from your concept in a way that is unnatural.

cake
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:46 am

Re: Thoughts on creating roleplay?

Postby cake » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:05 am

Cake wrote:How do you realign a character with their original intent if you've gotten off character, or better yet how can you tell when you've gotten away from your concept in a way that is unnatural.

I've had to sit on this for a while, and I'm still not sure I'll be able to add anything helpful. I'm a 'method' RPer. My characters, to me, aren't collections of words and quirks and descriptions, they're people. As such, I don't worry about my characters acting OOC. They literally can't. By definition anything they do is in-character, because they're doing it, and there's a reason for them doing it that isn't just me typing.

Obvious made up scenario: For instance, let's say I'm playing Captain Jack (Dr. Who/Torchwood), and in today's scene Jack doesn't hit on everything breathing. OOC behavior, right? Well, no. You see, he's being followed by a robot assassin, and he's busy trying to stay alive. Now maybe the robot assassin doesn't show up in this particular scene, but it's in the back of my head that he's been dealing with it for the past However Long and thus, his libido is squashed. Jack's behavior is IC. (Maybe the assassin is part of a larger plot. Maybe it's just something I decided would happen off-camera. Doesn't really matter.)

Does that make sense? It goes back to knowing my characters' motivations. It may not come out in the scene that "there's a robot assassin following me", or "my crops got eaten by Thread", or "I just made an awesome pot of klah", but all of those things will affect your character, and thus, the scene. I find that if I don't have a good grasp on my character then that's when the problems start.

(Edited for clarification.)


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