Friday, December 31, 2010

Echo Bizzare

A guy I used to game with has introduced me to another new browser game ((aside from the zombie game who's button I've listed on the side)) It's Echo Bazaar and it's an fascinating, rather Lovecraftian set up that's got a gritty, dark feel and a very addictive quality. I wish I could set up multiple characters, just to see about what I could do.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A little reminder

Dear fellow roleplayer

A small reminder. I am not, in fact, my character.
 In fact I'm pretty sure it should be clear that I am not an privileged, spoiled-but-learning rich boy with obscene levels of resources and a little model student girlfriend.  I mean for starters I'm not even MALE. And since the character in question had points of inspiration from Jaimie from Song of Fire and Ice... I'm really not sure how I feel about you saying that you see him as "Me".

 As a result; I am in fact kind of annoyed that someone giving us (Me and his girlfriends player) some R rated gift art apparently freaks you out. I mean you draw people having outright sex and give it to people. If you can deal with other peoples characters having sex you need to get out the OOC =/= IC stick and hit yourself with it until you accept the fact that I am not my character.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Players Dilema

 As roleplayers, most of us have heard the mantra of "In character does not equal out of character". This mantra is usually brandished to remind us all that what happens to our characters is generally ((With some rare exceptions of really bad games)) not directed at us, personally.

 This also holds true with the Players Dilema. Likely we've all been there. The characters are facing some sort of possibly dire, definitely facinating situation, and a couple of options arise. In the case of one of my own characters, nearly getting levitated away by an unknown force to parts unknown.

 In character, my character in no way, shape, or form, wanted to find out who thought that particular spell would be fun and entertaining at that time, and didn't really care -that- much about where he might end up had he let go of what he was clinging to. After all, he's managed to make all kinds of interesting enemy's with interesting magical powers and a mentally scaring sense of creativity. ((He's good at that. The man has an uncanny knack for really pissing off evil-aligned-necromancers. And those are just the enemies he remembers.))

 The player dilemma part comes in because while my character REALLY didn't want to know, I, as a player, REALLY REALLY DID. Sometimes as players we just really want something off the walls and potentially even godawful to happen to our characters, just to see what happens. This is a bit different, I think, than the player who seems to exist specifically to beat their character so bloody that you start wondering if there's an Abuse-shelter-wayhouse for characters, since most of us just occasionally want to say "Oh hell, let's see what happens."

 In character, there's lots of hurt feelings and possibly just hurt, but sometimes it leads rp in really interesting directions and leads to angles of character development we might not otherwise get to witness. The dilema is that this is hard to 'make' happen without really breaking character, and sometimes that's where the GM comes in.

 GMing is a really tough job and there is no way anyone will argue me out of beleiving that. It's incredibly difficult to weave a story just for yourself, but to write for a handful of other people with different goals and personalities? Trying to make sure everyone is happy and involved can be downright maddening, and then you've got the nagging fear "What if they hate me. Do they hate the game? Do they think I'm a horrible GM? Am I being too mean? Too soft?"

 It's a hard middle ground to find, but with a little practice you can learn to read your players, digital or otherwise, and pick up on the nuances between what they feel in character and what they feel out of character, and remember. You're the only one who can fix the players dilema!

 Into each game a little rain must fall!

Monday, December 13, 2010


 Again, not everyone may know this but one, usually slightly insulting term for an place of game play, especially for online usage is "Sandbox". As in "Let me play in your sandbox."

  This usually only becomes an issue, and primarily an insult, in larger communities, especially ones which have had time to form a closed group of role players who may (or may not) have formed into an impenetrable unit who, although they may allow new characters to sign up, will then shut them out entirely to continue playing with their regular set. This may result in new 'groups' developing among the newer players, (these are often, but not always, more flexible than "The Regulars"), but it also tends to cause a high turnover rate of new players getting fed up with being ignored and leaving... assuming they could get in to the theoretically 'open for apps' system.

 If you can legitimately say that you can't name a single older player who has actively interacted with people who aren't "One of the COOL/Special players", chances are you've got a sandbox group.

 It's one thing if you've simply decided you REALLY don't like Joe-Shmoes new character, but then you should really stop and consider how Joe got into the rp in the first place. Does he have a ton of problems with his aplication? Were they not caught?
 Is the application actually kind of ok and you just feel that interacting with Joe wouldn't be 'as awesome' as playing with The Regulars?

 If the answer is the last one, stop and ask yourself: HOW DO YOU KNOW?

 Even if you've rped with a totally different character of Joe's, you don't ALWAYS know you won't find a hidden gem. Granted there are some people who are just outright horrible roleplayers, for whatever reason happens to make them horrible roleplayers, but speaking from experience, and seeing dozens of people all over the place going "Wow... character A stunk horribly but their character B is freaking AWESOME."... I think I'm making a fairly legitimate point.

 Also: If someone goes through the trouble of revising their profile multiple times in an clear effort to try and make their application fit the standards, and they do not have a background of problems that have caused them to be legitimately kicked from a setting, it's generally polite to give them a hand with trying to work out the application problems.

 Seriously: Don't leave people hanging, either tell them to get out of your sandbox because it's YOUR sandbox, or show them what they're doing wrong. Not everyone will take your face off for it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Oh Tannenbaum Oh Tannenbaum,

Mini Monster would like everyone to be very clear on the fact that WE HAVE A TREE. It's an Artificial Tree, but it's a pretty nice one, though we did spend some time 'fluffing' the posable parts of the branches to fill it all out. It's not 100% decorated, we need to put the tree skirt down and also put on some more ornaments, but it's most of the way there.

 MiniMonster was extremely excited by this, though he was a little edgy when it first went up because everyone was a little stressed. When it was up and lit (It's not lit in the picture) however, he did a circuit of the tree and delicately poked the lights he could reached, and jingled the bells that we hung down low. 

 I still need to finish fixing the toe of his Christmas stocking, but it's a pretty good Christmas Season so far.

Friday, December 10, 2010

RP Class Stereotype

 I don't have a current RP stereotype so I'm going to grumble about an old one. My group and I have only switched to D and D in the last couple of years, since we were all really huffed off at WhiteWolf and their handling of the InGame Apocalypse, and even more huffed off by the REALLY HORRIBLE new system, which pretty much makes everything feeble and uninteresting, and emo. I'm sure the system has some redeeming qualities, but I didn't like anything I saw, especially the new, much more complicated looking dice system.

 Seriously, the old one was beautiful and was one of the things I loved about that system. You only needed one kind of dice and the ability to count past one. D and D you practically need a flow chart.

 That being said, we switched to Dungeons and Dragons, and I've been annoying my game mates to limp through leveling and various die rolls since.

 One of the first games we decided to play involved a really really old module from the original days of D and D, updated a bit to go with the newer system. "Keep on the Border Lands". We've... well... pretty much entirely strayed from the original purpose which was 'hack and slash your way through the monster inhabited caves', and we've made truces with most of the monsters living there. But I digress.

 One of the things we did was to play a 'flashback' game of characters that had gone before the ones in the 'current' game.  Well... My husband was playing the same character but younger, but he was an elf.

 Anyway, we also had a psionic, a wizard, and me. I decided to play a Barbarian. He was there to act as a 'diplomat' to the local town, who wanted to obtain more grazing land for their cattle from the Barbarians.

 Anyway, from the get go, one of the players ((Who has since left the game)) Pretty much started announcing every so often how "Stupid" my character was, and rolling their eyes virtually every time he took an action, especially if he got annoyed at something, or dug in his heels over anything he thought would hurt his clan. The character was extremely defensive of the land belonging to his people, since he saw cities and towns spreading like a sickness, and could picture a day where there simply wouldn't be a span of land wide enough to support the life style in which he'd grown up, so the requests for more grazing land didn't go over too well with him, but apparently this was just 'Stupid Barbarian Rage'.

 It got old incredibly fast, let me tell you, especially since he only actually used rage -once- and that was because he was going toe to toe with a minor freaking demon, and it seemed like it might be a good idea.

 I know the stereotype of the Dumb Barbarian as well as any player, but as a fan of the ORIGINAL Conan, ((Frank Herbert wrote some surprisingly poetic stuff.)), I'd have appreciated that my character be treated through the lenz that he was my character, not because the other player didn't like Barbarians, or that my character was playing a significant role in how things turned out, instead of a pissy little wizard who's player got pissed off every time they were reminded that most spells past cantrips took time to cast, and that a lot of them took material components.

 There are a whole lot of RP steriotypes, and let's face it, they're there because they're the easy bucket to dump a character into. The big dumb muscle, the theiving rogue... the fragile wizard... and many of these steriotypes are enforced by the pros and cons of the class, but they're not the be all end all.

 Our psionic was actually pretty tactically smart and good in a bar fight, and our rogue later became a cleric. He also never really stole anything, but he did engineer a lot of really clever pranks, and yet people automatically still bucket other peoples characters the second they hear the class. That's one of the reasons I used to like Whitewolf better, because the skill buckets were ALL open. You could define your character entirely on what YOU decided their profession was.

 I think GM's might consider taking a lesson from that, and encourage players to not reveal what their actual defined class is unless they really have to. The character is more important than the file folder they go into.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Other Peoples RP Stories

I know, they're only interesting to the players, right? That's the old standby, though sometimes I don't think so. Some stories are boring, but often times it comes down to the person telling it, or what actually happened. I mean if you're listening to the number of times Joey's character Grogdar the Lethal rolled natural twenties and made spectacular and insane successes in the middle of battle, be it on the battlefield or in a random bar brawl, and how he got SO much treasure and XP that the GM made him retire the character...

 Yeah that's boring. But if you think about it, other peoples "OCs" ((Original Characters for those who don't know the term)), aren't that much different than characters in books. A really well written character's stories, well told, can be a lot like getting a summary of a really interesting book that someone read. It's like make believe gone a bit more adult, and some people come up with some really amazing "What ifs" to set their worlds in, and, if they're lucky, find just as amazing people to RP with. When that happens, there's absolutely nothing boring about 'other peoples RP stories', and in cases like that, I actually enjoy reading them, or in the right setting, I'll actually open up and read peoples ongoing or closed RP's.

 It's fun, and in a lot of cases, it tells me a lot more about how someone rp's than a cut little sample or a cut and dried profile. Once I have an idea of them, then I can read just a profile for a new character later, and picture how things might go.

 It's not the stories are boring it's the telling.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Super Oddy!

Got the awesome flats for my character "Oddy"'s further stages.
He's for a non canon Sailor Moon RP, which is more fun than some people would think:
 This is his original, basic stage. He's Sailor Eridanus, the Senshi of Ink.
Here are the flatcolors for his Super and Eternal Stages:

 Isn't he just awesome? XD

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Second verse, same as the first. Photobucket won't upload these from my desk top, so I've gotta move em from here.