Making the RP more accessable...

Out of Character discussion forums. Post questions here.

Making the RP more accessable...

Postby ShadowsMyst on Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:39 am

I think that this area has lost a lot of its life due to a couple of factors. But with the comic coming back, I'd like to see some life here again. However I think the RP application process is a bit prohibitively difficult at the moment.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on how it could be made a little easier to get through without completely eliminating the quality control that's made the RP a very high quality.

My thoughts right now are providing character templates as guides (not absolutes but as something to work from), in terms of stats vs occupation and also some history templates to help people make reasonable histories in the Shifters world.

Thoughts?
User avatar
ShadowsMyst
Shifters Creator & Admin
Shifters Creator & Admin
 
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:38 am


Re: Making the RP more accessable...

Postby FoxOfWar on Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:05 am

I took a read through the rp forums for the first time, and was positively impressed by the general quality of things. You have a great rp in here. :)

One thing that I took note of, though: the scaling point system when defining your character(ie. intelligence from 1 to 10, etc.). Maybe phase them a bit to the background, to more towards "guideline how to describe the character" and not so hard-and-fast rule points. Maybe it's just me, but it seems a bit forced - but I guess they are useful if it is your first time creating a written-rp character and you find writing in general a bit harder. They are useful in seeing the character's strengths at a glance(however debatable the usefulness of that is in a written rp of all things is wholly another can-o-worms). But instead of a stat listing, I'd much rather read a description of the character's nature and abilities. Just making a list feels... kind of awful, to be honest. Granted, creating such a description takes more work than just listing numbers, but it does wonders to make your character feel deep and real, rather than just a row of numbers in a notebook.

...I just realized that would probably (sadly) make it harder to create a character for many, and that I'm rambling. But I would like this line somewhere in the rules: "Show, don't tell." Rather than poke seemingly random numbers in a spreadsheet, write your character's nature, feelings and workings of mind down first. Rather than tell your character "has these feats", write in his/her history how it happened that he/she got them and only then describe the ability so you have better grasp just exactly what it is your character can do.

I understand the need for the list, but having it in the order that stats are last in the description page would make perhaps a bit more thinking under the actual depth of the character, the, well, "character" of him/her, and not just be a stat listing of a DnD char(so to say). Make people think about how to write the person first, and the raw stats only as an afterthought. This also has the side effect of having much more background to work from when actually rp'ing with the character.

In short, give the feeling of a free reign without actually giving too much leeway. Give the idea of not confining things so straight in stats, and more towards how the character feels. Have the stats still in there, but as a background, not as a focus(especially since this is not exactly combat-oriented roleplay).

Myself, I have done written rp's for nearly a decade by now, so maybe I am biased. But there would be my thoughts on this. Now, I think I need to create a character. *sheepish grin*
The Truth is out there, so better stay inside not worrying about it, yes?
When life gives you lemons, you make apple cider out of the lemons and make people wonder.
My dA account of insanity
User avatar
FoxOfWar
Shadow Shifter
Shadow Shifter
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:39 am
Location: In the dark forests of Finland


Re: Making the RP more accessable...

Postby ShadowsMyst on Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:34 pm

While I would love if every player was awesome, and awesome writer, and self regulated and able to write well enough and complete enough to account for ALL their abilities within the game's spectrum on their character sheet, its usually hard enough WITH the numerical stats as a guide line to get people to account for their character's abilities and history. I wish I still had some of the doozies we had apply before we lost the old board. I'd illustrate the problem.

I have to admit, I do come from over 15 years of tabletop background, D&D, cyberpunk, shadowrun, GURPS, and all that jazz. But I've done well over that RPing with txt online so I know both sides of the coin. However, through that lengthy time, I've learned that a measured 'skeleton' of defining some kind of concrete numbers to particular attributes does have its uses. Particularly in what can become high powered RPs like Shifters.

Stats do perform a useful function in that the give a standard to everyone's sheets and a universal scale upon which characters can be judged against each other. With pure writing, anyone can write anything and be vague and argue nine ways to Sunday if it was/wasn't included in the initial version of the sheet, but its pretty hard to argue that five isn't greater than four. If you are doing contested checks, or trying to judge if someone is smarter/faster/stronger than another person, its very hard to do so from a GMing standpoint without something hard and fast to judge against. If everything is ONLY based in writing, then it becomes a judgment call. I've run enough RPs to know that relying on the players for pure description with no quantification can invite many problems.

There is also the approval process. I don't really want to lose this, as it kind of indoctrinates players into the world mentality, and also makes sure that they are aware of the world and genre reality of the setting. It also serves to keep the zippies and godmongers out until they can be reigned in. However, the approval process takes a long time because I'm the only person who can approve characters right now.

If there is some kind of standard, something easy to verify in terms of the actual character build so other people can easily tell if the character is 'legal' in the game or not, I could assign others to do it. But right now, there is only two other people on this board who MIGHT be able to read the veritable novels that each character would be in pure text format, and make an approval. We had a peer approval process, which I think worked well, but I'd like to be able to get approvals through within a day, not take weeks to do it.

The other problem is, with pure writing, there's a LOT more critique to the characters because most people don't know initially enough about the Shifters Universe to make a good one. That or they really just want to play some kind of power mongering character that kicks ass and is uber. Each novel would have to be torn apart, analyzed, re-written, changed, tweeked, tweeked some more, and by that time most people don't handle the criticism well (assuming they didn't walk away the second someone told them their character history sucked), and we've lost them.

The stat blocks could be changed to stars, or 1-5 rather than 1-10, or grades with a point value assigned, there could be less stats, but I'm kind of still wanting something in a definitive, numerical, quantifiable that can be checked to see if a character is, in fact, in line with all the others. Most people also can learn to fill out a sheet correctly, and if given a certain number of points, they can make a legal character reasonably quickly. But its getting them approved, and making sure the history/written portions are correct where we lose it. Because most people just don't get the 'feel' of the Shifters world.

Thank you for your thoughts though FoxofWar! I will take them into consideration, even if I don't totally agree with them. ^^
User avatar
ShadowsMyst
Shifters Creator & Admin
Shifters Creator & Admin
 
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:38 am


Re: Making the RP more accessable...

Postby Gorble on Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:59 pm

My standard of a guy with no concept of even the numerical values or reality was a weretiger characte on the old forumsr, who in human form needed to be strong enough to punch holes in concrete and needed an intelligence (when it still represented raw brain power vs. book learning) of at least 7 otherwise he was and I quote "A Dumbass". That has been the bar for me.

I definitely want to see the numbers stay because they are good for a guideline, a quick look at can confirm that indeed in most cases "Bob with str 3 should not win an arm wrestling match vs Bill with str 5'. Not without some delightful writing and likely something swaying the odds in Bob's favor ie. cheating.

The only good example of a person not willing to even face the process is 'Jason 'XIII' Lindsey' in the Character Workshop. He failed to even fill out a standard character sheet, let alone collect his thoughts. His char info scattered through several posts that could have been consolidated easily. It's a doozie of a read. I know he states he wants it deleted, but it's such a fine example of what not to do.
"Why do angels always look like that?"
-Room mate
"God isn't very inventive."
-Me
User avatar
Gorble
Queen of Darkness
Queen of Darkness
 
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:05 pm
Location: In front of my computer


Re: Making the RP more accessable...

Postby Keaoden on Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:44 am

I would like to see this RP come back since I lost out on the chance when I first came in. Keeping the numerical system in the Rp is a good idea just to keep players knowing just how good their character is relative to 'the best' and 'the worst' as well as to each other. This would also help immensely in player interaction since each person knows the attributes of each other and can Rp without too much guessing.

I would also recommend that there be at least a few seed stories set in place so people get the idea of the shifter's rp from the start and are better able to understand what is expected of them. This could also help newer players to see what the Rp should look like if they wish to join in, in addition I would like to see a pool of NPC characters that appear from time to time in the stories to help the plots along and the players to interact with should someone go missing for longer periods of time. I've seen this happen, without NPC's for players to call on a thread can become very slow and can often die if someone simply vanishes.

I'd be willing to advise in areas of the Rp section, though I think I would have to re-read shifters first just to pick up the small nuances again.
User avatar
Keaoden
Shifty Novice
Shifty Novice
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 12:10 pm
Location: ....yah Im still trying to figure that one out.


Re: Making the RP more accessable...

Postby FoxOfWar on Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:50 am

Glad to see my points are read - and they are just that, my own opinions.

My point wasn't to completely do away with the stats, sorry if it was unintentionally implied there. The point was more to phase the stats a bit more to background(even doing so little as having the stats be the last thing to be filled on the page as opposed to first would help), so that people think their character first and only then fill the "quotas" - at least, that would be the aim. I realize that some people wouldn't still think anything more, but I would imagine it would help if you first think about your character's nature, background and such, and only then fill the "scaling stat system", so to say. The point is to make it clear that stats aren't the end-all important thing the sheet kind of unintentionally implies here. The character should define the stats, and not the other way around.

I also don't hate stats(else I probably wouldn't play WoW or DotA...), I just find that such sheets often discourage the use of good old-fashioned imagination if stats is the first thing you "have" to think about. ;)

The points about pure writing being harder to critique is certainly a fair one. It does take an interested enough individual to sort out, I will grant that.
The Truth is out there, so better stay inside not worrying about it, yes?
When life gives you lemons, you make apple cider out of the lemons and make people wonder.
My dA account of insanity
User avatar
FoxOfWar
Shadow Shifter
Shadow Shifter
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:39 am
Location: In the dark forests of Finland



Return to OOC Discussion

Who is online

Registered users: No registered users

cron