Is -not- thought emoting bad?

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Manon Seid
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Re: Is -not- thought emoting bad?

Postby Manon Seid » Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:51 am

Ah fair enough. I might have misunderstood.

To me it seemed Tamar was more of a clue giver, while Oor was more of a secretive roleplayer.

My style tends to lean towards the clue giver, but my current story line is build with one who is great at giving the story that secretive touch and i have to admit it is insanely thrilling to suddenly realize plot twists i had not seen coming as Oor mentioned. So i guess i am fine with either.

Also I completely agree about how to win in roleplay, which is why i don't give a damn really that my thief is always found out and end up in jail. I still have fun so i don't see myself as having lost, though i am pretty sure a few of the ones who kicked me to jail had a profound sense of having won.

Hmm as i consider this a bit more. I might experiment with being more secretive in my rp. It's a writing style i haven't really thought of working on and considering it can be used to really give a story a kick of excitement it's definitely a tool i want to learn to use.

I would need to also work more on planning ahead then, which i very rarely do since i tend to just go with whatever comes to mind in the moment. My year long rp experience is that story line plans never work out as expected so i very early on totally gave up on that and just went with whatever happened. But things has changed in SL Gor and perhaps it's time to trust people around me more and get out of my usual habit of just going with the flow and see if it's possible to plan more for plot twists.

This is why this forum is great at times, you guys teaches me stuff :)
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Anarch Allegiere
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Re: Is -not- thought emoting bad?

Postby Anarch Allegiere » Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:41 am

Personally find it hard to write without much detail or insights into my character, I seem to be quite used to writing with a lot of narrative. Sometimes I make mistakes due to it such as describing other people's appearance, only if they gave me a good picture of it before, but I still shouldn't do that.

Every so often I also make the mistake of giving too much insight, and I literally even write out my thoughts, example: "He cuffed his slave-girl across the cheek. She looks hot today."

Then again it's partly because I'm worried about my post length sometimes and I have a certain rhythm of writing which causes me to not feel content when my posts aren't at least 2 to 4 paragraphs long. I should practice more in typing shorter emotes with more content, but sometimes I fall in a trance with writing and I completely lose track of time and lose myself describing everything... (People should pinch me when I'm taking longer than 15-20 minutes to write a post...)
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Re: Is -not- thought emoting bad?

Postby Echo » Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:35 am

I think the issue is less thought emoting and more descriptive emoting.
Thought emoting tends to have a bad rap because you can't react or build on it. I have seen a man walk up and do nothing but thought emote at two women having tea. No help at all.

As for honesty and lying. . Lying is dishonest, the question is your character dishonest?
And visible thought emotes can be put into looks.
Your example.

"He cuffed his slave-girl across the cheek." While his eyes darted along her appreciatively, enjoying how hot she looked today.

Instead of a thought it is a look or body language. And putting them in can add depth or flavour to a scene.

The other described scene where one has a knife to another's throat? You don't have to emote that you won't. How about a 'Narrowing of the eyes as you consider the act.' Your partner now can react and still not feel 'safe'.
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Re: Is -not- thought emoting bad?

Postby Danika Stenvaag » Wed Jul 13, 2016 1:04 pm

Tamar Luminos wrote:Fft, if I get what you mean, I'm not a fan, myself. It's an OOC form of being dishonest, in my eyes and it's the sign of a poor or inexperienced roleplayer/writer. It's not that hard to write:

"/me gave the other woman what appeared to be a genuine smile" instead of "/me gave the woman a genuine smile"

The distinction is small but necessary. The first example leaves a crack open for a turnaround later. The latter is simply dishonest writing and not fair to the people they are roleplaying with if they have a turnaround in mind and it is, in fact NOT a genuine smile that their character gave but they need to fool the other person so they use ham-fisted tactics to force them to be tricked. Lazy writing, disrespectful roleplaying. Dislike.


Tamar is spot on and the best response I've seen to the OP. I agree 100 percent. Less is more when you use thought emotes. Use thought emotes sparingly. Rely less on thought exposition and especially be careful not to offer genuine smiles or similar emotional expressions especially when you have opposite intentions. As Tamar said, it's not that hard to write "/me gave the other woman what appeared to be a genuine smile" vs. giving a genuine smile.

Consider this analogy: In roleplay, you can't just hit or kick someone or steal their hat or personal belongings without their roleplay consent; if you must strike or steal something off someone, then it's better to roleplay an "attempt" to direct a slap or "/me makes an effort" to steal something from someone (the exception to the roleplay golden rule is you can do these things to someone in GM bindings). Otherwise, with this kind of misleading thought emoting you're being ooc disingenuous and entering metagame country and possibly flirting with the border of godmod-land just to the south. You're manipulating the direction of the roleplay using ooc trickery.

I'm not a writer, but I've always heard that the best kind of writing is to show, don't tell. Let the reader or the roleplayers you're playing with experience the unfolding of the story through action, words, genuine thoughts and senses and feelings, not through the author's exposition, summarization, and misleading description of expressions that really aren't what the main character is feeling. Otherwise, it's like reading a novel where character A gave a loving, heartfelt smile to character B, then we read on to find character A takes out an axe and kills character B. That makes no sense. Unless character A is genuinely insane and loves people then kills them.

/me turned to face the man groping my breasts and tugging at my hand, guiding me to his bed, and gave him a seductive smile and passionate look, my eyes on fire with desire... as my period raged painfully in me, the bleeding unstoppable, feeling as if my uterus was trying to kill me, and thus I whispered barely audible... "No circus tonight. The monkey has a nose bleed and I'm surfing the crimson wave. No really, not kidding, I'm making wine and there will be no stomping of the grapes at this point." Then I blew him a warm kiss and gave him another smile more sexy than ever and an expression of pure wanton hunger for him.

See what I mean? That made about as much sense.
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Re: Is -not- thought emoting bad?

Postby Oor » Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:35 pm

Manon Seid wrote:Ah fair enough. I might have misunderstood.

To me it seemed Tamar was more of a clue giver, while Oor was more of a secretive roleplayer.


Not really secretive. I guess I've described it to other people before as "I like a little Sherlock in my RP". I like slow exposition and wondering where the story is going. A little narrative exposition about some interesting character history tidbit isn't going to break the story for me, but explaining your dastardly plan in great detail might. I'd rather just get (and give) hints.

As an example, "Oor was breathless, stressed and covered in blood because she'd just returned from butchering a family of four in cold blood," is alright, but I'd rather "Oor was breathless and covered in blood" and leave it up to the other character to /ask/ why, giving mine the opportunity to lie. Or maybe the other character doesn't ask, and just assumes mine has been slaughtering verr or something. Even though the more elaborate exposition allows for options (by way of the superfluous info being ignored by the other character's typist), I still think the more minimalist exposition makes for better story and a higher likelihood of less predictable outcomes. Which I prefer.

I can understand wanting to give more elaborate exposition - especially for people who spend a long time creating and writing a character background - and often those backgrounds are interesting. I'm not saying I dislike the sort of narrative we're talking about here (nor that I never use it myself!)... just that for the sake of role play, I'd rather be a little more in the dark so it's like... there's a game within the writing, rather than it just being writing where everyone knows everything at all times (not that that can't be fun!)

Less is more, I guess, often, but not because I think more is necessarily /bad/. I just prefer to be left picking posts apart for the clues. Like, sometimes someone will post "/me had just returned from a meeting with the ubar where they'd discussed trade deals" or something - and I just feel like unless I ask, unless my character would know - I'd rather not know. I mean, come in looking flustered from the meeting, or looking smug about it, or happy. Let my character ask why you look that way (or not ask!) and let some things be left unknown.

My feeling is that for this question - like for so much of RP - there is no "right" answer, and even that there's no "right" answer on a person-by-person basis. In many ways I tend to mirror the person I'm playing with, adding or minimalising detail in response to how they play. Chances are, someone who is very explicit in narrative is going to be less adept at picking up clues and hints in narrative than someone who tends to use them in their own RP, so if I'm playing with someone who exposes /everything/ in narrative, I'm more likely to do the same than if I'm aware that I'm playing with someone who's likely to use hooks and cues and leave me guessing or chasing after info.

Everyone's different though, and like people have said here, the only real problems arise (as in, RP-etiquette problem rather than preference problem) when people use narrative to lie. IMO unreliable narrators can be great tools in fiction, but they should never exist in RP - narration that is an outright lie is powergaming and breaks RP convention.
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Re: Is -not- thought emoting bad?

Postby Qingwen » Thu Jul 14, 2016 1:41 am

Oor wrote:Everyone's different though, and like people have said here, the only real problems arise (as in, RP-etiquette problem rather than preference problem) when people use narrative to lie. IMO unreliable narrators can be great tools in fiction, but they should never exist in RP - narration that is an outright lie is powergaming and breaks RP convention.



Yep.

And if the underlying motivation for "lying" in the narrative is to get another player to play along in a certain way, the best, indeed the only way to do that is to get them to want to play along. Impossible to trick or corner people into playing a scenario they aren't interested in. At best they'll still wiggle out of it ICly, at worst they'll have a tantrum OOC. Much simpler to give them a heads-up somehow, and let them choose.
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Re: Is -not- thought emoting bad?

Postby Anarch Allegiere » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:33 am

Qingwen wrote:Impossible to trick or corner people into playing a scenario they aren't interested in. At best they'll still wiggle out of it ICly, at worst they'll have a tantrum OOC. Much simpler to give them a heads-up somehow, and let them choose.


Well, see about this I'm not convinced. It's extremely hard to notice when someone might be throwing false narrative at you and probably even harder to moderate it. The person I ''caught" doing it was a very good writer, and I suspect a lot of women would be all the more glad to just role-play along even if it comes with false narrative and a plot-twist they might not have been given even the slightest clue of. It's just a really weird fringe issue where the lines might get blurred between what is acceptable in RP and narrative.

I role play a sneaky character, with a fake merchant's smile and hidden motives, but I try to give small hints and clues, so when this other dude comes along and doesn't do anything of it, just writes false narrative to compete with me, it gets irritating, but I'm not even sure how to address it. If I'd bring it to a moderator's attention (very unlikely I will) they'd probably just scratch their heads and not know what to do with it either.

Someone else that role played both of us, seemed to be of the opinion that his style was better because he'd win more and convince more people, and that I'd just get meta-gamed more, but she comes from a very cynical point of view about other role players. It's really confusing and I've gotten a lot of feedback in this thread, but I'm afraid I still have a hard time putting a firm judgement on it. From a pure RP point of view it's dishonest, from a competitive RP point of view it has an edge, from a cynical RP point of view it protects you from being meta-gamed. From a RP moderation point of view it seems almost impossible to moderate or notice unless you go through a person's entire emoting history. From a human point of view it might be too hard to notice even for the people that got 'tricked' over the course of a long storyline and many scenes.
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Re: Is -not- thought emoting bad?

Postby Oor » Thu Jul 14, 2016 1:09 pm

I think you maybe neglected someone's point of view there Anarch. Have you got any more?

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Re: Is -not- thought emoting bad?

Postby Qingwen » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:21 pm

Anarch Allegiere wrote:
Qingwen wrote:Impossible to trick or corner people into playing a scenario they aren't interested in. At best they'll still wiggle out of it ICly, at worst they'll have a tantrum OOC. Much simpler to give them a heads-up somehow, and let them choose.


Well, see about this I'm not convinced. It's extremely hard to notice when someone might be throwing false narrative at you and probably even harder to moderate it. The person I ''caught" doing it was a very good writer, and I suspect a lot of women would be all the more glad to just role-play along even if it comes with false narrative and a plot-twist they might not have been given even the slightest clue of. It's just a really weird fringe issue where the lines might get blurred between what is acceptable in RP and narrative.

I role play a sneaky character, with a fake merchant's smile and hidden motives, but I try to give small hints and clues, so when this other dude comes along and doesn't do anything of it, just writes false narrative to compete with me, it gets irritating, but I'm not even sure how to address it. If I'd bring it to a moderator's attention (very unlikely I will) they'd probably just scratch their heads and not know what to do with it either.

Someone else that role played both of us, seemed to be of the opinion that his style was better because he'd win more and convince more people, and that I'd just get meta-gamed more, but she comes from a very cynical point of view about other role players. It's really confusing and I've gotten a lot of feedback in this thread, but I'm afraid I still have a hard time putting a firm judgement on it. From a pure RP point of view it's dishonest, from a competitive RP point of view it has an edge, from a cynical RP point of view it protects you from being meta-gamed. From a RP moderation point of view it seems almost impossible to moderate or notice unless you go through a person's entire emoting history. From a human point of view it might be too hard to notice even for the people that got 'tricked' over the course of a long storyline and many scenes.


I was thinking of a scenario like this:

Someone your character has no reason to mistrust pours your character a cup of wine. Your character drinks it. The other character only then reveals there was a fatal dose of poison in that wine.

What reasonable person could possibly figure out that character-changing event without some IC clues? Even a thought emote would allow you to pause and ask for a dice roll or something.

Bah I sound like a RP lawyer. Qin & Partners says you may have a case but best settle out of court :P
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Re: Is -not- thought emoting bad?

Postby Oor » Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:50 am

Qingwen wrote:Someone your character has no reason to mistrust pours your character a cup of wine. Your character drinks it. The other character only then reveals there was a fatal dose of poison in that wine.

What reasonable person could possibly figure out that character-changing event without some IC clues? Even a thought emote would allow you to pause and ask for a dice roll or something.


Anecdote time!

Recently(ish), my Gorean FW character had reason to try to use tassa powder on someone. She made enquiries IC about obtaining the powder (with the story that she suspected a house slave of stealing wine and wanted to prove it conclusively since the slave was one of her father's preferred girls), and OOC I sent a message to the sim admins to see what the admins' preference was - whether I would need to emote about the (pre-prepared) wine being laced with tassa powder before handing over the wine, or would be able to not mention the powder until after the other character had drunk (or left).

And the admins decision was that it should be mentioned in narrative before the target character drinks. My opinion is that mentioning something in narrative that the other character cannot know gives an opportunity for metagaming that is unnecessary. I'm confident that the person I was planning to get with the tassa powder would not have metagamed, so it wasn't really an issue, but I still feel that as long as it's all been played out and logged (I would have had logs of obtaining the powder and of my character's tower slave lacing the wine before the target's arrival) then there is no need to mention it in narrative until it's relevant to the scene.

Now the scene didn't come to pass in the end (his character got mine before mine could get his!) but if it had I would have played my character as being a little nervous - maybe as being a bit too eager to offer wine to someone who'd recently hurt her.

During the scene, opportunities for the target to become suspicious would have existed, and would still have allowed the target to decide to decline the wine, or to not drink, or to spill it, or to switch the cups - but we'd both have known beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was no metagaming going on. If the tables were turned and my character was the target, I'd also rather not know about the tassa powder (or poison or whatever) until my character would.

Yes, admittedly, a fatal dose of poison is a little different in theory - it sounds much worse and like you should give someone warning - but in practice what, really, could the target /do/ about it that isn't straight-up metagaming to avoid ICC? And if the choice is between giving someone an opportunity to metagame or giving someone the opportunity to be surprised/shocked/blindsided/thrilled... it's not a choice at all, to me.
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