October 20, 2009 – 9:49 am
One of the hardest things about being in an established RP group is dealing with people that obviously want to join in… but who are so clueless as to toe the /ignore line because their behavior is egregiously annoying. This goes whether you’re new to the group, to the server, or new to RP altogether. As a whole, RPers like new people. They bring new ideas and fresh perspectives into a group that’s sometimes so well established as to be a little bit boring.
Each new RPer is a risk though, because sometimes you run into a bad egg. And some nights, you get lucky enough to have a not-so great experience with one new person and a fantastic experience with another one. Last night was one such evening and was the inspiration for this post.
So. Things to beware of.
The Bad! (And sometimes Ugly)
- Repeatedly stating things in /say, but using ((OOC BRACKETS)) is really annoying. Particularly if what you reference in say using brackets is bitterness at someone who didn’t read all of your RSP flag. (see point #2) A casual ((afk a few)) is fine, every once in awhile – though there are in character ways of dealing with afks as well.
- RSP mods are great, but not everyone has them. If your description is seven screenshots long? Nobody is going to read it. Pretend it doesn’t exist and RP from where you are.
This is particularly true if you have, in the past, chewed people out in general chat for having what you deem “bad RSP descriptions”, only to have yours contain the information that you are a DK but you’re not really a DK, and that your bust is exactly such and such size. If you have to break it down into sections like “Physical Appearance” “Armor” “Is Not a <Class>” and each of those sections is more than a paragraph? It’s too long. Which is fine, just don’t demand that people who are busy in the middle of several conversations around a bar-room table stop what they’re doing to read all of it before they RP with you.
- Long, passive aggressive emotes will only annoy the people you are talking to. Things like “/me sighs and stares pointedly at everyone at the table who is ignoring her attempts to stalk them.” aren’t going to make you any friends. In fact, if even YOU think it seems like you’re stalking them? They’re probably not real keen on your being around.
- If you want attention, and you keep doing attention hogging things to get it, people aren’t going to be keen on giving it to you. It’s the equivalent of ignoring the three year old running around with a shipping box on her head. When everything you do screams PAY ATTENTION TO ME I’M SPECIAL… it’s not conducive for a group RP setting. If you come across as trying to be the center of attention, you’re probably going to be unsuccessful (or at least get a negative reaction)
- Point #4 also goes for Elune Stones. Standing around in spotlights and then ignoring anyone that tries to ask you if you’re putting on a show? Not a good way to have people want to spend time RPing with you.
- If, when you get frustrated with a group of people’s refusing to acquiesce to your demands for attention, you stand on the table, dance, strip naked, make sexy emotes, or do other behavior usually found in the sphere of griefers…. you seem like a griefer. Even if you aren’t trying to be one.
In short, demanding – either outright or through your actions – that you MUST be the center of attention because your character is somehow amazingly special isn’t going to make you any friends. If you were going into a real life bar or coffee shop for the first time, and a large group of people who obviously know each other were there, how would you act? Those same kinds of guidelines work for your character as well. Real people don’t like emo, passive aggressive behavior, obvious ploys for attention,
Now, not every new RPer does this.
In fact, last night at the Pig we had the pleasure of RPing with someone new both to our circle and our server. And this young paladin, in short, got it right.
- Use emotes to your advantage. Emotes are a great way to let a group know that you’re there, and that you’re interested in RP. Talk to the bartender, order a drink, make a face at an NPC (Aedis and Brom are particularly good for this, if you’re in Stormwind). In general, let people know that you’re there… without demanding any response from them.
- In an active, busy group, know that you might have to try a few times to get noticed. Especially when the chat window is flying by at the speed of sound because there are four conversations going, a single emote from /anyone/ can get missed. (In fact, they frequently ARE missed. It’s no big deal, just roll with it).
- Offer something to the conversation. If someone is talking about something your character knows, or doesn’t know, or doesn’t believe in, or thinks is a bunch of hooey – respond. Conversations are not limited to the people holding them, and sometimes expressing an opinion is a good way to break the ice. Just be wary of being overly creepy. If your opinion is that you enjoy necrophilia… expect characters to be somewhat revolted.
- Be present enough to participate without forcing all attention to be on you. Going AFK is fine, especially during long nights of RP – but if you emote once and then just sit in the corner, people don’t know whether you want to have interaction or not.
- If a particular character interests you, see if you can strike up a conversation. Whether that’s asking about an accent (Aely gets lots of those!), a particular item of clothing, a non-combat pet, or just something someone said earlier, little things that make your character go “huh?” or pique their curiosity are good ways to break the ice. Sometimes by focusing on one character that seems particularly friendly, you can find an “in” with the rest of the group.
In short – be a courteous part of the group. Is it a fine line to walk? Sure, and it takes guts too. But people are very willing to forgive a few flubs if you’re obviously making an effort. It’s only when someone starts to force their way into the RP that a group will be less likely to overlook things.
As a side note, you’ll notice that nothing in the list of “do’s” is related to backstory. After speaking with this person OOCly to invite him to our usual RP night last night, I found out he doesn’t really have one. All he has is a loose character concept – and that’s all he needed.
We had fun, he had fun, and maybe Aely will have a new protégé to look after. Who knows?
So go forth and RP. Be patient and courteous of other RPers, and they’ll return the favor!
October 15, 2009 – 12:27 pm
So one of the things I talk about every now and again is character creation. How to make a new character, things to think about, ways to make them balanced and interesting, and even lists of questions to consider about them.
But at some point, at least in my experience, you get a character built up and start RPing with them… and then all hell breaks loose.
Because that character takes on a life of his or her own.
And every once in awhile, you turn around in the middle of an RP conversation, look at your character, and say “WAIT WUT? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?!”
Maybe this is a product of my very free and unconcerned attitude towards backstory.
None of my characters have a document where I tell you exactly what happened to them, and when, and how, and why. Aely’s childhood story is the closest thing to that – and she was a fully developed character before any of that came to be. When I start RPing with a character, they do have a loose history, but I’m more interested in seeing where they go from here – seeing how interaction brings them to life and how they take shape.
Without a backstory that’s set in stone, their history is (mostly) their own. I don’t decide when I roll a new character exactly what their opinions are on everything – those opinions are shaped by their interactions in game… and sometimes they come out of left field and reveal something new, and I’m left stammering, wondering when or where they got that from.
The character basically becomes independent from my conscious development process – and I’m free to set them up for things without knowing exactly how they might respond.
Does this happen to anyone else? Do you guys encourage this kind of independence for your characters or do you prefer to keep more control over where things go and how they react?
*This post is inspired by Aely, who threw me a curveball last night. I’m still trying to process exactly what the implications are, but what happened, and what she said, puts a lot of things about her character into very stark relief.
October 14, 2009 – 6:17 am
Peeve The First: It’s not a tip if you require someone to pay it.
That’s called a fee.
It’s especially not a tip if someone gives you their materials for an enchant and you refuse to do the enchant until they give you some amount of gold that you have determined.
A tip is something you give someone because you appreciate what they’ve done, because you find their service to be exemplary, because they went out of their way to find you, because you brought your own mats and want them to have a little reward for helping you, or because you want to chip in to a crafter who has cranked through leveling.
A tip is in the hands of the person who is paying, not in the hands of the person who is doing the work.
If someone asks, “What should I tip you for that enchant?” you’re free to make a suggestion. But “I don’t work until you give me a tip of Xgold” is a fee. Which is fine. You’re well within your rights to charge a fee for your services.
But you darn well better tell people in advance that you charge that fee.
Springing that fee on someone after they give you their materials – and then refusing to give them the materials back OR the enchant they wanted until they pay you your “tip” (FEE) is not only scummy and asshattish, it’s scamming people, and against the ToS.
Peeve The Second: Griefers Suck, and the Report system isn’t much better.
Ok, so griefers exist. And yeah, I’ve run into more this week than I have in the last month. In fact, I’ve run into griefers every night I’ve done roleplay since Sunday. But whatever, I’ll blame the phase of the moon or something.
(Wait, that doesn’t work… my calendar says the new moon is coming up. Meh.)
So far I’ve run into people who have: postured sexually – repeatedly, even after being told to stop, emoted inappropriately, spewed racist bullshit in /say, danced naked on the table with their pet out while spamming Piccolo’s of Dance Like An Idiot, got on their mounts and spammed the spacebar while standing on top of people (to create the /whinny or /roar noise constantly), spammed conversation with emotes and/or inappropriate chat, god-modded that their pet was eating people without allowing us to god-mod shooting holes in their pet for eating our friends, were otherwise idiots when a group of people all having a conversation didn’t bend to the whim of some asshat who walked up and tried to direct what was going on, got frustrated, and decided it was time to ruin the night of everyone else there. Or better yet, a group of people who all rolled level 1 alts specifically to be jerks.
And so, after dealing with that, attempting to handle it in character (“Hey, you mind getting off the table? You might like it, but I don’t really like night elf boxers.”), attempting to handle it out of character – ((Hey do you mind not doing that?)), and attempting to leave and go somewhere else only to be followed… they got reported.
“We are experiencing a high volume of petitions.”
Three hours after the absurd asshattery started, my ticket was still “experiencing a high volume of petitions” and I went to bed.
What frustrates me is that there is absolutely nothing I can do. I want to RP with my friends. We are in a relatively out of the way place, and we are not bothering anyone. Why that invites someone (or a whole group of someones, in two cases so far this week) to show up or roll level 1 alts with obscene names and purposefully be jerks I don’t know.
But the /ignore function? Only works for chat.
It doesn’t remove the ass of the naked male night elves dancing on the table. It doesn’t remove their pet from my lap. It doesn’t stop their mount from going ROAR or WHINNY constantly for five minutes. It doesn’t make them go away when they realize that nobody is paying any attention to them.
Ignoring griefers /does not help/.
And guess what! Then they follow you around. I almost wonder if having them on ignore didn’t make it worse.. Which means we can’t play the game the way we want to play it because we have a tagalong who has decided his entire purpose in life is to ruin everyone else’s fun.
And the GM? “We are experiencing a high volume of petitions.”
It’s no wonder RPers are so hard to find, and why they do so much RP in quiet, out of the way places with only people they already know.
This is a rant. It’s not meant to express any sort of solution. It’s not meant to think that I never go out of my comfort zone and only RP with my friends. It’s a rant, because I’m annoyed.
October 13, 2009 – 10:19 am
The cards are set, the armies in motion… we’ll see what happens when reality strikes! This is part 3 of Aely’s “transformation” story – you can see part 1 and part 2 at these links. As with the previous parts, this is written with Yva from WTT:RP. We’ll be back to the usually-less-frivolous Anna posts for the rest of the week!
Aely lay back, each hand in a little bowl of steaming, fragrant water, her feet soaking nearly to the knees in a basin of the same. Emma smiled down at her, and she attempted a nervous smile back.
“Right, so Rain said to leave your hair loose, mmm… yes. I can see that – we just need a little something to bring up the curl, mmm. And tone down the frizzies a little. This won’t take but a few moments.”
She reached into the cabinet for a little tub of something, opened it, took some out with her fingers, and rubbed it between her hands. It smelled lovely, of coconuts and some kind of warm, earthy herb. Emma leaned down, noticing the tension in her shoulders.
“Relax, missy, this isn’t going to hurt!”
And slowly she began working the balm into Aely’s hair, forming the haphazard waves into spirals and massaging it into her scalp.
If it was possible to melt, Aely would, most definitely, have melted.
Fifteen minutes or so later, her hair fell in shiny, slightly sticky ringlets, and all the stress had left her face. She was very nearly asleep when Emma washed her hands in a nearby sink, looked over to her, and said “Alright, now let’s see about those feet, mmm?”
The next hour or so was less relaxing. Emma and her assistant trimmed and filed her toenails, and then, in an act totally out of proportion to the profession of the woman being “pampered,” proceeded to “soften up her feet”. Callouses from years of heavy boots and hard work, rasped away with a heavy file under the cheerful chatter of two women used to being ignored by their clients.
Aely would later liken the experience to what wood must feel like when a master carpenter decides to change it from a sturdy plank into a delicately carved filgree.
Rain poked her head into the room and made a shrill “Squee”.
“Look! You don’t have nubs anymore. I TOLD you Emma was good.”
“She’s so flattering,” Emma murmured, patting Aely’s toes with a towel. “Such a sweet girl you are, Rain.”
Rain flounced in, her hair clipped on top of her head, body wrapped in a big plushy bathrobe. She had one in hand for Aely as well, but as the paladin tried to stand up, there was a collective shriek of angry salon workers.
“Wha’s wrong?” Aely’s hands went instinctively for her waist, for a weapon she didn’t have on her. They’d robbed her of her gear the moment she’d stepped inside, tucking everything into a pink and purple coat room.
“You can’t WALK on them now. Slippers!”
” . . . oi. Right.” Her posture relaxed as they slid silk and leather sandals onto her feet. They had little segments of string between the toes to keep them separated so the lacquer could dry. She waggled her toes, marveling at the lack of cracks, callouses, and or anything else ungainly.
“So it’s time for your facial. Umm, don’t mind the mud.”
“Yeah, it makes your skin soft, but it smells a little weird. It’s Un’goro, so there’s this ash thing to it. The cucumbers help, though.”
“Cucumbers f’r salad?”
“Oh, no, you put them on your eyes.”
Rain held the robe up and helped Aely shoulder into it, giggling a little as she peered at the long expanse of legs revealed below. “I owt nae ask anymore, ayeh?”
And she didn’t, and found out that was the smart thing to do, because within the hour, she was smeared in mud and had fruits and vegetables all over her face. Rain’d been right about the smell – it was odd, charry and fresh at the same time – and she had no idea what the horrible concoction was doing, but sooner rather than later they were scrubbing her clean and . . . soaking her in milk.
She was long past the point of asking questions, just going through with this alien regime and biting her sardonic wit back. Rain blabbed about tea and society balls and the difficulty of maintaining her duties along with a socialite’s burden. Aely tried to answer, but every time she started to talk, they were putting some strange paste near her mouth that threatened to seep inside. After a while, she just kept her lips pursed together to avoid swallowing salon gunk.
It took another hour for them to announce that she was “done”. If she’d had to explain the process to someone, if she had to even tell them why she’d sat there while they’d smeared her with strange textured goop, she couldn’t say, but when it came time to touching her skin, to looking at it in the mirror, whatever they’d done made her glow. She shined like a polished pearl, and everything was so soft to the touch, she just kept gliding her fingertip down her cheek.
“Isn’t it though? You look good. The redness will go down. Around your nose I mean.”
She hadn’t noticed it at first, but Rain was right – the skin around her nose was a little too pink, like they may have scrubbed a layer or three of skin off.
Strangely, that didn’t seem to bother her at the moment.
Aely rubbed her hands together, noticing that they too were free from callouses. Which, if she’d thought about it, probably meant handfuls of blisters, like a new recruit, the next time she was on the field… but for now the novelty of it was enough.
Emma tapped her on the shoulder, breaking her out of small wonderment.
“Miss? If you could sit for a moment, we’ll do your eyebrows and get your face finished.”
“… I thowt ye said I wis done? Ayeh?”
“Well, with the mud and things, yes, but we’ve still to get you properly made up!” Emma looked as though her patience was slightly fraying on the corners. Still, she made a good sport of it, and Aely dutifully sat back down and tried not to make unsightly noises as the woman carefully “slimmed out” her eyebrows.
When she reached for a pot of colored powder, however, Aely finally did object. “Emma… I ken tha’ folks usually go f’r this kin’ ay business? Jus… dinna make me look owt… unnatural?”
“Oh sure! We’ll do something really light, don’t you worry. It’ll be fine”
Emma’s assistant was currently dusting Rain’s face with some kind of light copper colored dust to “bring out the color in her cheeks.” Aely was quite sure she’d never heard so much fluff about appearances all in one setting in her life. In fact, in one day, she’d probably outdone everything she’d ever heard in the past.
“Alright now, I need you to look up at the ceiling, and try not to blink.” Emma had a menacing looking fuzzy blackish brush about the size of a pencil in her hand.
“…oi. wha’s ‘at?”
“Mascara! It’s for your eyelashes. You have gorgeous ones, you know – but they’re so light! This will make them stand out.” Aely squirmed. “Be still, Miss, or you’ll have this all over your eyelids.” Thirty agonizing, will-power-stilled seconds later, Aely blinked into the mirror. By some trick of magic or sleight of hand, her eyes sparkled back, their usual hazel flecked with an unusually bright green. Her skin was luminous, the usual pale cream given a shimmer she was completely unprepared for.
“…Ligh’… ‘f I w’s nae sure tha’ my own hands w’re there in ‘at mirror, I’d nae b’lieve tha’s e’en me. Dinna recognize myself.”
Emma smiled, her professional demeanor just about covering up the smug “I told you so” in her eyes.
Rain squealed when she saw Aely. “See! See I told you you’d look good! Your eyes! And you have such beautiful skin! Wait until we get you all dressed!”