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    OOC: Establishing Guidelines

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    Post by Guest on Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:53 am

    The RPG these will be applied to is still being concocted, but I thought I'd go ahead and start establishing the rules and such.  They'll be about the same for any of the RPGs that I start or co-develop.

    THE RULES.

    You control only your own character.
    Example:  You can extend your character's hand to shake hands with another character, but they have to choose to reciprocate that handshake.  

    Your character only knows their own thoughts.
    Example:  If someone posts,  "Bob thought the idea was stupid but didn't say anything," you don't respond with "It's not stupid, you're stupid!"



    If the story leads to a sexual situation, make sure it's "off-screeen."
    Or take it to the 18+ section.

    Use dark and edgy concepts tastefully, please.
    You don't need to make every character a child prostitute or violent drug addict.  It's better when it's subtle (as seen with characters like Cherenkov or Virgil).

    Play to your established set of traits an abilities.
    Example:  If a door is locked, you can't pick the lock or hack the security system unless you've already established that is one of your skills.

    Don't Godmod.  Seriously.
    God-modding means to be invulnerable and always hogging the spotlight.  Your character is the best at practically everything.  Even when you have a "flaw" it is used to steal another character's thunder.  You prevent everyone else from having any sort of character interaction.  I'll expand on this in a supplementary post.
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    Post by Guest on Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:23 am

    GODMODDING.

    I don't know if I need to explain the idea of god-modding, but I have run into serious problems with it in the past with the Xeno fandom, so I'll go ahead and lay out the basic idea here.  

    A god-modder is someone who plays their character in such a way that they can do everything and they are invulnerable.  You throw a punch at them, and they not only dodge it, but catch your fist and break it in their hand.  It also applies to non-action situations when a player makes everything revolve around their own character.  The other players never get to do anything important or have any sort of interaction that doesn't involve them.  I'll call this type of person “Sam” in the examples.


    • The villain is about to deal a blow to the heroes that will cause them to have to regroup and learn to work together, thus driving a lot of fun character interaction, when suddenly Sam discovers the hidden ability to kill him single-handedly.
    • Sam is kidnapped, and the others go to rescue him/her.  But by the time they get there, Sam has already defeated the villain and freed him/herself without any effort.  
    • Lucy and Jim are about to have their first kiss, when suddenly Sam faints and requires them drop what they were doing to carry him/her to the medical facility.  
    • Tim has been struggling to save Sally from peril at great risk to himself for quite a while, when suddenly Sam rushes in and saves Sally in a moment without Tim's help.


    It could also be described as “stealing the thunder” or “hogging the spotlight.”  

    Why it's bad

    The fun of an RPG is interacting with other characters and seeing what happens.  When you cut everyone off at the pass so to speak, you're preventing that very important interaction from happening.  If you never get hurt, then you never give someone else the chance to heal you.  If you're always the one saving the day, you don't get that experience of someone else saving you.  

    Most people guilty of this type of play don't even realize they are doing it.  So let me make a tl;dr  clarifying the rules.

    Balancing Defining Traits

    You cannot be “the best” at something, better than all the other characters, unless that is your character's defining trait.  It is possible for you to be a genius or a prodigy, but not about everything.  Nobody can be the James Bond or Sherlock Holmes of the group.

    For example, in Xenosaga, Tony's thing is piloting, and Hammer's thing is the net.  Shion is really good with technology, but she can't fly the Elsa better than Tony, or crunch data as fast as Hammer.  She allows those characters to do those things for her.  As a result, we get a cast of diverse characters.  

    Realistic Age and Skill Level

    Also take into consideration the age of your character and the time it takes to learn a skill.  Jin is an amazing swordsman, he's also in his thirties.  Citan, too, has a lot of skills, but he is one of the older members of his group.  It would not make sense for a teenager to have the same level of skill and experience.  

    Certain professions require years of training and certification.  While it's possible to go into these fields younger, it's rare and special.  Shion starts first division at age 18, but it's made very clear that this is a special case, and Kevin is still her superior.  Kevin is a genius youth at age 14, but he's a pupil to the much older and wiser Joachim Mizrahi.

    Oh yeah?  How should I react, then?

    So, say you're playing a doctor, and someone playing a professional martial artist wants to punch your character in the face.  Their level in skill at fighting should by all logical means be higher than yours.   Are you supposed to just take it?  Nobody wants to get hit in the face, after all.  

    If you feel uncomfortable with something another player is doing, it's your prerogative to contact the GM about it.  Or you could let another character who possesses those skills step in to help you.  

    But what I suggest is let the hit land, at least from time to time.  It opens up a new range of character interaction.  

    Likewise, if you are playing a fighter, and your character gets hurt, the right thing to do is not suddenly develop medical skills, but to allow the doctor character to heal you.  

    Play nice!

    It is less often you run into the opposite type of god-modder, the type who aggressively attacks characters and overcomes them for, I dunno, shits and giggles.  These types are unusual because such a flagrant abuse of power is so obvious, they know they will be kicked out of the game.  But I'll cover it just to be thorough.

    Only start a fight if you have a good reason.
    Some people think it's funny to kick a guy in the nuts, slap somebody, issue a random punch in the face.  It really isn't.  Slapstick doesn't really come off as anything but violence in an otherwise dramatic story.

    Only start a fight if you're cool with having your ass handed right back to you.
    Even if the other character hasn't got the skill to beat you, the GM can promptly issue a Deus ex Machina to put a stop to your aggressive tendencies if they are interrupting story flow.  

    You can under no circumstance seriously injure or kill another character without their player's consent.
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    Post by Guest on Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:33 am

    Reserving this post for later stuff.

    If anyone wants to, they can go ahead and post here. If you have any questions about the rules. OOC stuff, of course.
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    Post by Guest on Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:28 am

    It all right if I make a suggestion?

    If there's a potential fight scene or a scene that involves a lot of physical character interaction, I suggest that, if possible, for players to agree on roughly what happens before playing it out. It's probably not necessary to do this for everything -- maybe for major events. It could help with keeping everyone involved on the same page, though, which I think is never a bad thing. Which goes for most things in general, I guess. Miscommunication tends to make things worse.

    I can't think of much more than that; your posts hit on a lot of the key points.
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    Post by katimus_prime on Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:50 pm

    shale-rowe wrote:It all right if I make a suggestion?

    If there's a potential fight scene or a scene that involves a lot of physical character interaction, I suggest that, if possible, for players to agree on roughly what happens before playing it out. It's probably not necessary to do this for everything -- maybe for major events. It could help with keeping everyone involved on the same page, though, which I think is never a bad thing. Which goes for most things in general, I guess. Miscommunication tends to make things worse.

    I can't think of much more than that; your posts hit on a lot of the key points.

    That is a good way to handle fight scenes!  It especially helps keep things from escalating into fights outside the RP space.  :3


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    Post by Guest on Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:25 pm

    Yeah, I will add a section on etiquette and OOC discussion. I just got kinda sleepy and went to bed before I got there.

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