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Monday, April 29th, 2002
1:08a - Rifts Game!
Looking for players here. It's an online campaign, I've got all the information needed to hand out.

For those who aren't really sure, Rifts is a D20 system roleplay. The game will be taking place on AIM (or AOL) where it is possible to roll dice in the chat rooms. I'm looking to run the game either Friday or Saturday nights, depending on availability of the players (prefer the weekend so we don't run into work/school problems)

There's basically a little something for everyone in the game, there are the Men of Arms; the soldiers, the knights, the guys with the really big guns and really cool armor. There are the Psionics, the people with amazing mental abilities; able to read people's thoughts, move things with their minds, heal and protect with the mind and project their conscious mind leave their physical body. There are the Magic users; the people who use the mystic energies of the world to enchant, to defend, to attack, to distract, to heal and protect themselves and others, and sometimes just to amuse. And of course, there are dragons, dragons start off with some psionic powers and have the abilitiy to learn magic at uper levels. The Dragons are the largest, most damage resistant characters to play.

I'm ready to have people start rolling up characters and would like to start setting up times to do this. Anyone insterested in joinging this game, or if you've got some questions for me, feel free to email me at Jcoulier@aol.com Please put RIFTS somewhere in the subject so I know what it's in regards to. Serious players only please,


current mood: curious

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2:44a - Control
I know a lot of people who take actions that are counterproductive to the progress of a game session based on the idea that "it's what my character would do." Now, for the time being I'm going to simply ignore the people who use that as an excuse - the people who justify their metagaming and munchkinry with that phrase - and concentrate only on the people who really do try to do "what their character would do."

One thing that's been said before, and it's something I heartily believe in, is that the real point of an RPG is for everyone to have fun. Now, in some situations where people were "just doing what their character would do," I've watched them do things that were very much against this idea. They were either direct actions against other players (though that's rare) or usually actions that forced everyone else in the group to conform to what they want to do. Predictably, such actions are almost invariably taken by loner-type characters. Or self-centered manipulators.

What gets me about this is that the people I've seen do this are generally some of the best roleplayers I know. People who don't suffer from 99% of usual gamer flaws and who usually contribute a lot to the enjoyment of a session. Since this is the case, and since actual roleplay is usually one of the most important facets of the games I participate in, it makes it hard to look askance at such practices. For a serious roleplayer like me, it can be tough to argue with good roleplaying.

But then I step back and think about what I said above, about how the enjoyment of the entire group is paramount. One thing that occurs to me is that, while "good roleplaying" does contribute to the overall enjoyment of the group, there comes a certain point when roleplaying a character accurately and well is more about the player's enjoyment than anything.

So what does one do about this? One thing these otherwise "good roleplayers" fail to see is that ultimately the player has control of the character. It's true, in both writing and in roleplaying, that some characters seem to come to life on their own. You don't have to think about what they say or do - it all comes perfectly naturally. And sometimes, that really is the height of roleplaying. But it's incredibly important to remember that the player really is the one in control. Sometimes, when a player thinks of exactly what the character would (or "should") do, that player needs to veto the character's decision and make one on their own.

If it's actually a good character, one with three dimensions and reasonable motivations and all that, then there is probably a way to justify not taking a given action. People are complex, contrary, flexible, and frequently indecisive. There are very few situations that exist in life, I think, that compel only one reaction. Barring those situations, those certain psychological triggers, cropping up in the game, there are almost always several options that are valid and "in character" for that character. There's almost always a good justification for taking an action that is conducive to group enjoyment, and, conversely, not taking an action that is inconducive to such.

And the more I think about it, the more I believe that this instinctual roleplaying, this need to always do what you first believe "the character would do," is just one step short of "good roleplaying." Or rather, of good game etiquette.

I'm not saying one should always take the path of least resistance in following the plot and getting along with the group, mind you. Character conflicts and independent actions are what add depth to the roleplaying in game sessions. I just wish more people knew when to reign in the character and do what's best for the game.

Thoughts?


current mood: sleepy

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6:16a - I need a new group...
To say I'm not happy with my current with my current RPG group is a gross understatement.

Actually, there's only one person in it I'm not happy with, but he's kind of important because he's the person in whose apartment we hold the damn games.

Why am I not happy with this person? Well, let's see. He's overbearing, dominates the games and ends up making them more action oriented than roleplaying.

And just last night he was talking to an online friend of mine and was telling me how much he enjoyed how bad things were getting in Shadowrun and just how much he loved watching us squirm when he made our characters go against their morals to get a job done.

What the blue hell????

I'm sorry, but isn't this supposed to be as much fun for the players as it is for the GM? When you start that shit, it pretty much ruins the fun for the players.

Example: I make a new character for Shadowrun, a voudoun priestess, essentially a shaman. She's a acquaintance of my main character, and she's come up from New Orleans to get a taste of Seattle. She's on a few runs and everything is going ok. She's trying to get a feel for the Seattle underworld and maybe drum up a few contacts there like she did in New Orleans.

On her third mission, she ends up having to get some info out of a 17 or 18 BTL(Better Than Life; kind of an extremely addictive form of VR) dealer and the only thing he'll accept as payment is a few rounds in bed with my character (female Creole elf with a HIGH charisma stat). I planned on using some illusion spells (her specialty) to fake it and get the info, as she has NO intention of laying this punk, but then he insists on me wearing this BTL recording equipment. Not seeing any other avenue, she went ahead and did it. You do what you have to do in this profession sometimes.

Of course, he recorded it, put it on a BTL chip and in a few weeks, it becomes one of the hottest chips in town. Dominique (my character) cannot go out without being recognized by SOMEONE as some kind of porn queen, which really went against the image she wanted to cultivate. Basically, he's ruined the character for me.

He's also in the process of putting the screws to my main character, which will piss me off to absolutely no end.

I've made the decision not to go anymore unless *I'm* running Palladium or Rifts, because the only other GM at the moment, Nate, gets manipulated into doing the same shit and out lovely host strongarms his way through Nate's D&D games.

My best friend Jason is so frustrated with the guy that he's decided not to run his D&D game anymore.

Another friend of mine, Mike, was running a DC universe game based off the Marvel SuperHeros (classic) system that was pretty damn fun, but again we pretty much got strongarmed out of playing it, because our "host" didn't like it, due to the more comedic aspect of the game and the fact that his character seemed to have all these aliens living in his house.

Our only other GM, Alex, goes to Vincennes University and won't be back for at least another two weeks. HIS games, I'll go to. The guy is a magnificent GM. I don't use that word lightly.

Actually, Jason, Nate and myself have been discussing a new RPG group, but there's a small problem: We have no place to hold it. My apartment is WAY too small, Jason still lives with his mother at the moment and she's not trying to have us there more than once a month. Nate rooms with our "host", and Mike's house is waaaaaay far out for us to drive.

See my dilemma? I wanna keep playing, but there's no way in hell I'm tolerating this shit for another second.


current mood: pissed off

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3:07p - Variatons on a [cliched] Theme: The Bar Scene
Of all RPG cliches there is none more ubiquitous, so hackneyed, and so blatantly contrived as The Bar Scene.

This small convention of gamers everywhere leads us to a lot of deep questions.

First some examples. Pretend you're reading a module...

Collapse )


current mood: bored

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