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The Required one-a-year RP discussion

A couple of times recently I’ve been asked if there is an RP for beginners group in New Babbage or, equally often, how someone can start RPing. 

We don’t really have an, “Here’s a way to start” notecard so I thought maybe starting a discussion here (ooo!) would give us something we can point to when people seem to be struggling.

So, here is what I would tell every RPer in town I met if they bothered to ask me.

1) New Babbage RP optional, opt-in rather than opt-out. (I’ll leave someone else to define that better)

2) A smile and ‘hello,’ gets you a lot farther than standing on a corner looking broody. If you see a character out wondering around, skating in the park, sitting watching their dog play, or having a pint alone in the pub, you should never hesitate to strike up a conversation. If they don’t want to talk they will say so. And, if they are OOC, usually they will also say so. Even the villains in town (most of them) are polite to people they don’t know and often full of helpful information. 

3) You need a background and you need a simple premise. Sure, there’s lots of details about my own character’s past, but I can sum her easily as, “Star moved to New Babbage after a few deaths in her family because she wanted to be somewhere where people don’t ask questions about the past.” See? easy peasy.  

4) Pick your alignment and try to stick with it. This is a hard one! Sometimes it’s more fun to be the bad-guy than the good guy. Sometimes it’s way easier to just do something out of character with your character. And yes, sometimes alignment shifts happen. Star has subtly shifted from Lawful Good to Neutral Good (to follow the old D&D chart…yes I’m a nerd), but please note she hasn’t gone from Lawful Good to flat-out Evil and back again. You made your character, you love your character, don’t do something to your character that your character would regret. Even if it means telling some of your best friends that you think they are traitors (as happened to me recently *sigh*).

5) Encourage other players. Each of us are not particularly keen on certain RP story lines. But that’s no reason to tell someone to just give it up. If you don’t want to be a part of something that is totally okay. I’m known to opt-out on certain stories I’m just not comfortable with. But I’d never tell other people that they should avoid said storyline like the plague nor would I tell the person telling the story that I thought they were idiots. Remember to love each other, otherwise it all becomes very ugly. 

Right…so that’s my five bits of advice, who else has something? Questions? Comments? I think we are all all ears.


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  1. Tepic Harlequin Tepic Harlequin November 30, 2011

    Ummm… yes… all of what Star said!

    Also, become familiar with the surroundings and people, read the stories here, start small.

    That’s about it for me :-)

  2. Cyan Rayna Cyan Rayna November 30, 2011

    Thinks this should be a Notecard handed out at Town Hall with other greeting materials.

    • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger November 30, 2011

      We actually do.  I wrote a version, and as I recall someone softened it up a little.

      It should be in the kiosk.

  3. Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger November 30, 2011

    RP optional:  Not everyone in town is here to RP, understands RP, knows or even cares what is going on.  Suddenly falling upon them with RP-related chatter tends to be scary and confusing.  If Mrs Leadbottom is here to look at furniture and buy clothes, she doesn’t want to be shot with a raygun because she may be harboring an evil spirit.

    Opt-in:  Makes the assumption that you are not playing unless you actively pursue ‘being in’.  See above.  Mrs L is not playing.  Now if she sees what is going on, and runs after you and says “I know your mother” while throwing up green pea soup, then I would assume she’s opting in.

    Opt out:  This is what normally gets folks in trouble.  This is based on the premise that even in the 100% optional RP environment,  everyone is playing until they say they aren’t.  So in this case, it’s perfectly fine for you to spray someone with paint because your character is such a well-known prankster in town.

    We had a problem with opt-outers and gunplay in town a few years ago.  It got ugly, and several of them enjoyed the coffee at Mr Tenk’s office.  The key is random gunfire at live avis never ever ends well.

    Bottom line: Never ever clobber a new person with heaps of RP stuff until you know they are in, and “no means no”. 

    If you think what Tenk wrote doesn’t apply to you, think again.

    • Stargirl Macbain Stargirl Macbain November 30, 2011

      The only thing I want to add is a very very odd one (and this might be a personal preference):

      If you walk into a room where everyone is OOC and they inform you of that, something about continuing to talk in the OOC brackets ((ie this is me talking OOC)) makes me feel like you’re pressuring me into being IC.  

      If we are all OOC here, leave the brackets out of it. 

      Also (this makes two things, I suppose) I have never, ever heard of anyone getting their heads bitten off for IMing someone and saying, “I need a few minutes IC with you, when would be a good time?” 

  4. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk November 30, 2011

    i’ll be the bad guy and say it.

    Don’t kill what you love.

    If someone tells you IC or OOC to back off, they have essentially “thrown the safe word” at you and if you continue to pursue said person, you are violating the other person’s right to opt-out. Camping out near their property until they are in a better mood is not an appropriate action. Free form roleplay assumes you are mature enough not to need common social norms spelled out for you. You’ve sent some people out on walkabout, I only hope they are going to come back.

    Stop it, or you are going to get an invitiation to have coffee with me.

    Likewise, don’t be an attention whore. It’s no fun playing with that person that keeps trying to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral. For the love of God, you can’t be in every single scene, and with all the blogging that has been going on lately, its not like you’re going to miss something.


    • Cyan Rayna Cyan Rayna December 2, 2011

      Forgot about that one honestly.

  5. Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey December 1, 2011

    Start slow.  Start very slow.  Make friends with someone and play a sort of a flavor role in whatever they’re up to.  Don’t try to make world-changing plots in your first few weeks in town, even if you’re a veteran roleplayer.  Work yourself into it.

  6. Erica Fairywren Erica Fairywren December 1, 2011

    I do agree with all that is said here. For myself, a relative newcomer, I’ve found it useful to be an observer while fleshing out my character on this site through monologues. Slowly getting to know places, people, and past events just like a real person would if they moved to a new city or country. If anything, prior experience with RPGs have taught me tread carefully and not cause interference with others’ carefully crafted story lines. I’m quite content to be an “extra” for a good long time until finding my place.

    I have found the citizens I have met to be most gracious without exception.

    I do think its a good idea, whether IC or OOC, to continue to adopt the manner, speech and look of the times to maintain the background illusion for those immersed in RP. A little dash of Victorian manners when greeting a stranger can go a long way. 

    The guidelines set down by Mr. Tenk are quite easy to follow and I had read everything thoroughly before immigrating.

    I think one thing I find a bit confusing is not the general rules, which are quite clear, but getting a handle on the past events, manifold story-lines, and interactions of the various characters. I know that some attempts are underway to compile these into a coherent history. However, even this is a realistic situation for one such as myself who fell off the boat :). 

    • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse December 1, 2011

      Think of it as writing for the X-Files: a great deal of stuff is made up on the spot with no thought as to future ramifications. Some people get very creative in trying to retcon stuff back into the history, others just conveniently skip the bits that don’t make sense (like putting the Great Fire only a few decades ago).

      Or look up “Chuck Cunningham Syndrome”.

      Sometimes things don’t make sense. Go with what works for you. The rest can be untangled later.


  7. Mr Underby Mr Underby December 1, 2011

    Yes, RP is freeform, and I get that everyone has put a lot of work into their characters and don’t want it mangled or dead… but if you are in some sort of conflict RP with me and EVERY single attempt I make is thwarted with “X dodges to the side, having been trained in the arts of the ninja since he could hold his own urine.” well, don’t be surprised if I don’t respond to your RP much in the future.  I don’t expect to hit every time, but the odd give and take makes a scene much more fun.

    True, some characters ARE so good they probably never get hit, but they aren’t much fun to RP with.  And often, they aren’t much fun to play.  Yes, Loosestrife, I am looking at YUO.

  8. Maddox Sinclaire Maddox Sinclaire December 1, 2011

    I agree with Mr Underby on that one. If your good guy can’t be beat, then who wants to try and ultimately fail? Similarly, if your bad guy has an out every time, who wants to try and fix that guy?
    Being somewhat new myself, lots has happened to Maddox that I never had happen with any other RP character I know of that I’ve made. She’s been threatened, she’s gotten married (to a half-demon, might I add), and all sorts of other fun things. And all of that was through (a few random) a few set RPs with people who we made sure to ask if they had the time to play out some stuff. I think that’s partially why RP can be so fickle sometimes. There are times when the typists just aren’t feeling up to it. And as a somewhat vet RPer, I’ve found that we have to respect that. No storyline will be good if the players don’t feel like playing.

    That said, IC and OOC are very simple to judge, most of the time. ((Brackets for OOC, always good to use and ask about a situation one has just entered)), Out of brackets for IC, once we’ve gathered what’s going on and we’ve decided to join the conversation and IMs. IMs are things that I have always considered OOC unless someone asks me to be IC. So, for the sake of all involved, that’s how I’ll play it. IMs are for fun and discussion, sometimes at the same time! Just ask Christine and Erehwon. Our IMs are always fun.

    And, bottom line, have fun. That’s what we’re here for. We wouldn’t be in Babbage unless it was fun and we wanted to be. If it feels like a chore, step back and think about why you wanted to come to Babbage with whomever you brought to life. If your heart isn’t in it, think about why you want to stay. If you can’t find a reason to, maybe it’s time to move on.

    Just my two cents. ^^

    • Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg December 2, 2011

      Since NB is RP-optional, I don’t use brackets to indicate OOC unless I know for certain I’m in an RP situation and am actively participating.  To do so everytime I say anything would seem to imply that when I don’t use brackets, I’m roleplaying, which is rarely true.

      So as most things, YMMV.


      (Updated this to say that I’m rarely roleplaying.  That seems more accurate than saying I’m rarely IC, which is what I’d previously written.  To me, “IC” can be a pretty fluid thing in Babbage overall.)

  9. Wiggy Undertone Wiggy Undertone December 2, 2011

    I agree wholeheartedly with Maddox and Mr. Underby.  I would add that it is best to make your character flawed somehow.  For example,  Wiggy is well meaning but terribly dense.  Think Duddley Do-Right but with a lower IQ.  (Of course Wiggy thinks he is terribly clever!)

    That also makes it easier for the villains to constantly elude him.  It’s also important to always give the other fella an ‘out’. 

  10. Victor1st Mornington Victor1st Mornington December 2, 2011

    To be blunt, i aint been in Babbage much at all for almost 2 months.  The redo of the Katrina sim to mesh was basically finished a couple of weeks ago, its all ground work.  When the redo was winding down i found myself on the verge of dreading going back to babbage and when i did go back i usually locked myself away in my home, away from the hotel.

    When it gets to the stage where people are shoving RP down folks throats in the middle of foot tappin friday in the hotel…thats when the 100% optional thing is no longer relevant.

    Dark Aether has a lot to do with it over the past two months.  It’s feeding the fire of folks who want to RP 100% of the time, all the time.  The rest of the folks like me who just want to go to NB to relax are now being scared off.

    • Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey December 2, 2011

      Frankly, Dark Aether feels RP-mandatory to me.  I don’t mean that as a slight to Loki or to anyone else who is having fun with it, but it’s like Babbage’s World War: it’s involving the whole city, and you’re part of it whether you like it or not.  For one thing, it’s the first time (since I’ve been in Babbage) that an optional plot could mean that your character *will die*, if the plot comes out a certain way (Babbage no longer exists and everyone in it dies).

      It’s my own failing, but I’ve been feeling like I need to be participating in it. Partly because all my friends are major players in it. And RL hasn’t given me the time to be as involved as I might like with it.


      • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk December 2, 2011

        A major problem of the Dark Aether story is that there is no “out.” There are quite a few folks biding their time out of town right now until it is over. I have pulled the plug on a previous rp because of complaints about aggressive themes that were bringing the entire mood down. I hope Loki solicits some feedback when this one is over. It is highly experimental, as always, but i think the problem is more in the subject matter than how it is being played. The map is not as lit up with regulars as it should be this time of year, that is not giving me a good feeling.

        • Jimmy Branagh Jimmy Branagh December 2, 2011

          Part of the problem with that is that so much of the RP is taking place here on the forums/blogs, instead of actively inworld, something I’ve been avoiding engaging in as much as I can.  Of course there is much that simply cannot be done inworld for the same reason cinematic special effects are so expensive, but I think we would be better served playing out as much as possible, rather than simply writing it up.

          As to an “out”, I’m not sure what you mean.  Do you mean the story has so dominated the scene?

          Also, people who are RPing bounce in and out of IC/OOC at a moments notice, and openings to present something else appear.  On the other hand, a group which is RPing cannot be expected to stop because someone who is not interested has rezzed in.

          • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk December 2, 2011

            hmm. why aren’t there people rp’ing drinking like there is no tomorrow? that seems like it would be a very babbagy response to certain annihilation, rather than evacuation.

            now that i’m thinking of that, why ISN’T it happening? hmmm.

            • Mr. Arnold Mr. Arnold December 2, 2011

              That’s a very good point…maybe someone should throw an end of the world party at some point…although IC I suppose drinking a depressant right now would probably be a bad idea, since when has that ever stopped anyone before?

            • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse December 2, 2011

              *checks diary*

              We’re due for annihilation? I’m busy at least until the New Year, it will have to wait.

      • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs December 2, 2011

        “…it’s the first time (since I’ve been in Babbage) that an optional plot could mean that your character *will die*”

        Well, that’s if you believe the Writer.  Do we really know that what it’s been writing is accurate? *grin*

        I don’t think you should be feeling any pressure to participate.  RL happens–we all understand that.  If we run into each other on the street, feel free to talk about everything but this topic, and I’ll join you in that conversation. *smile*

        • Ceejay Writer Ceejay Writer December 2, 2011

          Ceejay apparently was one of the first to die.  Heroically too, as I recall.  Typist takes that as a compliment, to be included and written as such.  Ceejay herself hasn’t a clue what’s going on.  She’s busy writing, sipping absinthe, and living in the haze that Doctor Dayafter’s paper packets have kept her in for a very long time.  She would be highly amused by anyone trying to inform her of this Writer thingy or any predictions. 

          How’s that for opting in to the plot while opting out of active roleplay?  *winks*


    • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse December 2, 2011

      Actually that’s a very good point Vic. I heard about some people who had to get THEIR rp on while attending someone else’s wedding in Babbage, and we’ve had a few incidents at Piermont Balls.

      Lots of people are forgetting the optional means I shouldn’t have to leave an event just to avoid RP. You want to banter back and forth IC during a Ball? Go right ahead. But when it comes to IC accusations of evil deeds and stuff, take it outside.

      I have in the past been a mouseclick away from ejecting someone who was RPing, but neglected to tell those of us who weren’t involved.

      • Stargirl Macbain Stargirl Macbain December 2, 2011

        I was always told (and always told other people!) that events are ALL OOC unless otherwise specified. 

        Drives me crazy when people decide to do a big RP thing at a dance or foot-tapping friday.

      • Jimmy Branagh Jimmy Branagh December 2, 2011

        Ageed.  Leave RP at the door when attending events not specifically attached ramora-like to the current RP.  Such events should be neutral, like the dance in West Side Story.



      • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs December 2, 2011

        “…we’ve had a few incidents at Piermont Balls.”

        Uhh…what?  There was the Mystery Ball a few years ago, but the incident was supposed to be the Mystery, hence the name of the ball.  There was the Robber Baron Ball this year, but that was brief, and was only used to set up for the RFL donations.  And there was the Rubble Ball, but the RP associated with it all occurred before the ball–all that was left by the ball itself was the atmospheric aftermath.

        Victor…did you say anything to the people who were RPing?  Not everyone realizes or remembers that regularly scheduled events are, unless otherwise indicated, OOC.

        I said it once before, but I’ll say it again:

        Yes, New Babbage is RP-optional.  Yes, that means that those of us who RP need to remember that there are those who don’t RP, and need to make concessions for their comfort and enjoyment.

        But, JUST AS MUCH, it means that those of us who *don’t* RP need to remember that there are those who *do* RP, and need to make concessions for *their* comfort and enjoyment.

        Give and take, people.  It needs to happen on *both* sides.

        • Tesla Tripsa Tesla Tripsa December 2, 2011

          I don’t believe Edward is referring to any of the prearranged RP, those that are set up in advance and folks know when they are coming to them that something is going to happen, but the random folks that try and RP in the middle of the balls.  I can recall at least 3 incidents, though granted, they were all by either new people, who I haven’t seen since, or by people from other steamlands who just wanted an audience for the dramatic conclusion of their RP that had nothing to do with Babbage.  I’m not an RPer at all, and those of you who have seen my awkward attempts when the situation demands it would agree that it’s best that I stay that way.  I do enjoy seeing others stories play out though (I could barely contain my confetti as I sat on the roof of the Gangplank when Kaylee kicked Loosestrife).  However, when it comes to primarily OOC events, if one wants to RP (not just be IC) they shouldn’t expect others to participate, and yes, it will make some people uncomfortable and scare some off.

        • Victor1st Mornington Victor1st Mornington December 2, 2011

          Give and take should happen on both sides?

          Do you see me jump into a group of RP’ers in Babbage and start forcing OOC chat down everyones throat?


          I shouldnt HAVE to say anything to someone who’s trying to ram RP down my throat while i’m standing in my house in Academy, half naked, with the door’s locked, and me sitting infront of the fire with a TARDIS half unlinked whilst someone is “Roleplaying” knocking politley on my window trying to get me to RP with them.

          The rules are in the notecards in the booths, the rules are in the land description…there is NO excuse and there should be NO need to “give and take”.

          • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs December 2, 2011

            Situation like that?  I compeltely agree with you, Victor.  If you’ve told them no, and they persist, they are definitely in the wrong.

            The understanding I’m asking for is to understand that RP is occasionally going to happen in the presence of those who don’t do or like RP.  Can that not be tolerated?

            • Stargirl Macbain Stargirl Macbain December 2, 2011

              “The Understanding I’m asking for is to understand that RP is occationally going to happen in the presence of those who don’t do or like RP.” <—I think that’s already tolerated by many quite often. 

              It seems to me that the objection isn’t really from non-roleplayers about roleplaying (since most of the comments here are from our fellow roleplayers). But the usual roleplayers who feel like they no longer are given the option to ‘opt-in’ but are assumed to be ‘in’ anytime they are seen online.  

              • Grendel Footman Grendel Footman February 15, 2012

                it’s why  i have an ooc tag

      • Fono Heninga Fono Heninga December 2, 2011

        To be honest, I tend to avoid balls for this very reason – I feel like I’m expected to either a) Ooh and Aah from the sidelines (a ball is an instant audience, very handy), or b) take part in the rp some way as in an enclosed space, there’s very little avoiding it, physically.

        • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs December 2, 2011

          *points to her comment above*

          Except for the incidents mentioned above, there is no RP at the monthly balls.  The chatter I have seen has been nearly entirely OOC.  This isn’t a formal-type ball, with dance cards and whatnot.  You dress up, you come, you enjoy the music, you dance (alone or with someone as you choose) or don’t dance (again, as you choose), you lag like crazy and complain about it. *grin*

          • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse December 2, 2011

            No the incident I was referring to isn’t mentioned in your list above. No, I’m not going to say who it was that was about to get the boot. In this particular case I gave the lady in question a public warning in my capacity as Admin. Her abrupt departure saved me having to boot her myself.

            Sometimes there’s a fine line between “IC banter” and “annoying RP”. When I start getting IMs from people saying they wish so and so would shut the hell up with their tirade, it’s crossed into the latter.

            • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs December 2, 2011

              *shrug* I haven’t seen anything particularly egregious at a Ball in quite some time.  If it happened recently, it must have been out of my chat range.

              • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk December 2, 2011

                I have.

                There was one this fall (at the new build) where it got so bad it looked like people were going to leave, permanently. Fortunatly it was not repeated at the next ball.

                There was a lot of rp going on at the old Piermont build, but it seemed to self-police itself to that area at the top of the steps, out of range of the dancefloor, so most people never noticed.

                I do enjoy the in-character banter at the balls, it helps people learn who the neighbors are and can lead to new story arcs, if you do your introductions right. It is easy to slip in and out of, and just as easy to deal with as yourself, since the avatar is talking in natural conversation,  rather than in roleplaying conventions.

                I can’t stand hearing a lot of  “jack does this and jill does that” at the balls.

    • Grendel Footman Grendel Footman December 22, 2011

      i’m actually sorry i missed dark aether

  11. Erica Fairywren Erica Fairywren December 2, 2011

    Re: Wiggy

    I wholeheartedly agree, a character, any character, must have flaws.  Otherwise its just not a good story. I can’t tell you the number of novels i have thrown in the fire for having “perfect” protagonists.  Flaws are wonderful storytelling devices, and open the door for a light hearted chuckle at the darkest hour.

    Having had a brush with the dark aether myself, I felt not pressured, but cordially invited and was given a graceful out.

    On a normal day I just roam the streets admiring the builds :)

  12. Gadget Starsider Gadget Starsider December 2, 2011

    I agree with many of the above caveats. Especially that RP should never be foced upon anyone unwilling and it seems that simple RL courtesy of respecting others wishes and space should always be observed, it is arrogant and rude not to.

    That said, for those of us who enjoy the excitement and adventure of such rich, complex and immersive RP in a such a beautiful setting as Babbage it does not get any better. This is a ‘Living story’, led by Loki but with the oppertunity for any of us to nudge and play with it. Loki puts such huge effort into his adventures and receives little in the way of reward except our gratitude and the satisfaction of seeing the interest and buzz his stories create. It has been inspiring and fascinating to see how people have run in so many directions with his concepts and I am addicted to the daily blog updates on the BAR like a loved book that keeps evolving.

    In a world where nobody can die or even graze a knee it is very hard to create a sense of danger, peril and drama (the fun kind), but I think Loki and others who have taken up his baton have got as close as you can get with this adventure. I think Loki’s adventures will never be everybody’s cup of tea and he certainly will never please all the people all the time. But I do hope people dont feel it is lowering the mood enough to stay away. That feels so regrettable when so many of us (judging by the blogs) are having such fun.

    As far as advice to people wanting to join in goes, I would want to encourage people to use their builds as props more in their RP’s, but mostly I want to stress the two golden rules: No Godmodding (assuming an unfair advantage over others) and No metagaming (assuming knowledge you character could not have possibly known). Not always easy to stick to them, especially with the amount of OOC material on the BAR, but they are crucially important for everyone to have fair and fun RP. Everybody makes mistakes sometimes (my clumsy words “Its allright it’s only Jimmy messing about” as the old man stepped from the spaceship will make me cringe for the rest of my Second life whenever I remember it! :S).

  13. Jimmy Branagh Jimmy Branagh December 2, 2011

    “Its allright it’s only Jimmy messing about” as the old man stepped from
    the spaceship will make me cringe for the rest of my Second life
    whenever I remember it! :S).


    That very thing makes it even more memorable. :)


    • Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon December 2, 2011

      When young master Jimmy messes about, he really messes about! ^_^

  14. Henri Metier Henri Metier December 2, 2011

    I’ve tried my best to make sure everyone involved with my particular arcs were having fun, and thus far the only time that it didn’t seem that rp was welcome, a chat I was having with Stargirl the mayor and the emperor, I mostly just dropped out of character.  All in all it’s gone well on my end, and everyone involved seems to have had a good time and I can’t wait to start a new arc…

    Just not as Henri, because he was doomed the moment I brought him back IC.  There was no way he was going to survive the first time around, and there was no way he was going to fare much better this time, though I wanted it to look like he might for awhile. 

  15. Sheryl Skytower Sheryl Skytower December 2, 2011

    Feel free to RP me chocolate and pastries at any time.


    *snorgles merrily*

  16. Jonathon Spires Jonathon Spires December 2, 2011

    Being that RP is a sideshow of Babbage and not the main attraction, it is not likely to ever have any kind of formality or bounds, and because of that, its best treated VERRY carefully.

    There are RP regions devoted entirely to a game, be it free form or freeform w/meter. Those tend to work much better for rpg as there ARE limits. Like most games there are rules, and failure to play by the rules means you will not play. That’s how it is, but obviously that wont work with our situation.

    Babbage rp all too often denegrates into “Well I have a DINOSAUR that Eats force field dogs!”,  (sorry.. Toy Story reference) “Oh yeah? Well I have an airship that is all powerful and is from an obscure anime that I must assume you knnow nearly as much as me about! Now we will blow stuff up!”.”Well IRL I know more about bolt-action rifles than Alvin C York, so your char’s back history in fightin means nothin!”    I’ve seen garbage like this in town. I only exaggerate a little.

    Very few want to deal with the possibility of loss. All free form rpg can be, or the best it can be, anyway, is mutual storytelling but fleas come with the dogs, and those fleas can be pretty funny and sometimes sad. Either way it’s a good story.

    I can only add  to what everyone else has said here: be selective in who you rp with. Try to get an idea if you will be able to work in this mutual storytelling well with them. You don’t have to RP with the entire city, though it’s great to have such a backdrop. If you dont rp well with the other person, it doesn’t mean that either of you are bad persons or even bad writers. If mutual writing was easy you’d see far more of it on shelves and magazines.

    • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger December 2, 2011

      Oh yeah?  I have an Alvin York eating dinosaur!

  17. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs December 2, 2011

    OK. Evidently there’s been more going on than I’ve been aware of–which really isn’t that difficult, considering how early I usually log off. *wry grin*

    But consider this–and please, consider it honestly.  We’ve had how many Piermont Landing balls?  How many Foot-Tappin’ Fridays?  How many Breakfasts/Bedlams in Babbage?  And how many of those have truly been disrupted by RP?

    And where is the line?  What constitutes disruption?  I have twice consciously done RP at monthly balls–once at the Robber Baron Ball (the one mentioned above), and once during my first try at an extended RP story–at the ball, I tried to be tipsy and flirting with Baron Wulfenbach while we danced.  (And daggone it, I was going to link to writeups of these, but Livejournal’s down. *sigh*)  On what side of the line do these fall?

    I just get the feeling–rightly or wrongly–that some people are using the few bad or poorly-handed incidents to condemn all of RP, and I don’t like that.  Yes, RP is optional, but I, for one, can’t imagine New Babbage without it.  I came here because I followed Ceejay.  I initially came back because of the marvelous builds.  I kept coming back because of the interactions I started to have with others.  I live here because of the RP.  And I don’t think I’m the only one for whom that’s true.

  18. Queer Hermit Queer Hermit December 2, 2011

    *bows politely*

    To add my two yen into this interesting discussion, I honestly try to stay in character as much as possible.  That being said, I do not equate IC as role play.  What I am attempting to do is develop my back story and give others a chance to interface with me if they desire. 

    I truly understand that RP is optional in Babbage and believe it should stay that way.  I have faith in the admins to handle people who cross over into “drama-land” as it were. As for myself, if I am in the mood I will gladly play a bit part if it helps someone’s arc along.  However, if I am occupied I will quietly say so in an IM.  No harm and no foul as far I am concerned.

    With respect to major roleplay, I was involved in the Slenderman RP and enjoyed it very much and came into the Dark Aether RP at the request of a few citizens and hope to participate as well as I can.  The major roleplay is a great exercise for me in writing and interacting with other people which was a reason why I came to Second Life in the first place.

    I do agree that your SL personal space and time is just private as your RL and others should respect that. However there are people that won’t do that both in SL and RL.  One just accepts it as a part of life and moves on.

    To comment on Underby’s thoughts of flaws in a character I to agree super villains or super heroes are duds.  While Miss Hermit has incurred some battle damage in the course of being here in Babbage her injuries are more likely to be mental as a result of causing harm to one of the ghosts.  Is that a flaw or not?  Yoyo has caused me to stop and wonder if Miss Hermit is to impervious and haughty.  For that I thank him.  Oh, if someone would like to comment on this I would be glad to hear it….really!

  19. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs December 2, 2011

    And to continue…

    Maybe what we need is an RP liaison?  Someone to whom new people can be directed to get RP rules and guidance?  Or maybe a monthly New Citizens or monthly RP course at the Academy?  Things written on notecards…don’t always sink in, or even get read.  Face-to-face conversations might be more effective.

    • Sky Melnik Sky Melnik December 2, 2011

      To me this happens inworld all of the time. I actively work on welcoming others in this manner, as does anyone else I know. Often times we will stop whatever we are doing to help a new face. In fact, I have never been in Babbage and not seen this happen.

      On the RP classes note, I have said before that I think a RP roundtable once in a while would be neat. Not only to help new folks, but to just talk about RP. I remain unsure if it’s appropriate for an optional RP sim like Babbage. Even if a class wouldn’t necessarily fit there are always plenty of friends and people to seek out concerning it.

    • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk December 2, 2011

      face to face is more effective.

      the more notecards there are, the less likely they are to be read.

    • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger December 2, 2011

      Just to be the curmudgeon, I’d be concerned if you pick a single person.  This is one of those topics that there is enough of a difference of opinion that it may be better for a group approach, and even then I’d have to have some way to make sure that there was no deck stacking.

  20. Sheryl Skytower Sheryl Skytower December 2, 2011

    *scratches nose*

    Just a suggestion – perhaps there should be a notecard that the DJ/host/hostess can read out/cut and paste into chat at the start of every event that lays out the rules for RP’ing and perhaps once an hour after that to catch latecomers.

    True, it’d be a bit of a distraction but it’d only be for a few moments and then if action is needed to be taken, no one can say that they weren’t warned about the rules.

    A generic announcement along the lines of “Just to remind everyone – this event is officially RP-free. If you wish to RP please leave the immediate area and carry on outside of public earshot. Thank you.”

    *steals pastries from Brunel Hall*


    • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk December 2, 2011

      i think i would leave the event if someone did that.

      • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs December 2, 2011

        *raises an eyebrow*  Why?

        (Note: Not trying to be combative, just would like explanation to try to understand your point of view.)

        • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk December 2, 2011

          you know those places in real life that put little signs all over everything? or have too many notecards at the entry point? all it does for me is  scream “these people are high maintenance! eject! eject!”

          • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs December 2, 2011

            Too many notecards at the entry point for a place in real life?  You must go to some odd places… *grin*

            Anyway, what Sheryl suggested doesn’t quite strike me as being in the same league, but maybe that’s just me.

            Do you have any suggestions, or are you waiting for others to chime in? *wink*

    • Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon December 2, 2011

      *the unicorn disappears in a puff of logic*

      Drat! Hate it when that happens…


      • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger December 2, 2011

        If you turn into a pot of violets now, I will be rather upset.

        • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs December 2, 2011

          But if she turns into a bowl of petunias, we might know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.

  21. Glaubrius Valeska Glaubrius Valeska December 3, 2011

    Granted Glaubrius is a bit long in the tooth, and does not get out much, but he has enjoyed the annual Loki Do’s, having gotten in on the beginning of the previous two years and been able to observe at close distance; he even was able, fortuitously, to participate in the impressive climax of the Dark Heart. This year, however, the going’s on have been more opaque. He has been peripheral to some of the events, even getting chased by clockwork crabs just this morning, quite difficult for an old man with gout considering how persistant they are. But this year understanding what is happening is not immediately evident, including the disturbing rumors that the City might need to be evacuated which have  compelled him to stay homebound.

    As to the problem of RP for newcomers, it seems Mss Dagger’s advice to set back and observe for a reasonable period before dipping a toe is the best.

  22. Leia Rossini Leia Rossini December 5, 2011


    Perhaps I’m old school, but I usually attach RP to stories and themes that last a while…where there’s a little more connection between stories and characters.   Prior to my arrival at Babbage, I was in sims where they were full RP with stories…outcomes weren’t predetermined except for a couple of scenarios, otherwise it was up to the players.  OOC events happened but many events were there to move stories and have characters interact.  A place where the ‘guide to RP’ wasn’t about saying hello, it was about godmoding, metagaming and emoting properly, etc. 
    A different setup than we have here, of course.  And it’s a set-up I’m cool with.  

    In that light, I don’t consider Babbage much of an RP sim at all.  I thought it was, but it really is a place where we get to dress up old-school, enjoy the past, and adopt the lingo, mannerisms and style of a character we create. Sometimes we tread the cobblestones IC and sometimes we don’t.  Most people. however, wander around in character or characters, as the case may be. 

    What little storytelling there is, is typically between a handful of souls, usually with each other. Or it’s posted as stories on the forum.  I have not enjoyed some of the OOC drama that has ensued amongst some of the dwellers over others’ story choices…it has been toxic to some.
    Dark Aether?  Not into it, haven’t followed it by choice. And if the people in it are having fun, then that’s awesome.  I know it takes a lot to build a story and coordinate SL folks around it, so good on Loki for tackling it.  

    IC I’m still the Widow Rossini who has begun a dalliance with laudanum but I haven’t had the inclination or time to write further on that.   The school, classes, wedding, etc is all OOC. 

  23. Emerson Lighthouse Emerson Lighthouse December 10, 2011

    *re-reads this entire thread with a renewed sense of interest and appreciation*

  24. Grendel Footman Grendel Footman December 22, 2011

    i know having been gone for months, probably don’t have as much say right now, but there was a space station sim , deshima, I visited a friend at once that had a concept called ‘grey rp’ that reading it, seemed very similar to Babbage’s concept of RP, (just a better name)

    and another sim I used to RP in before coming to babbage did have a notecard with their rules on it, it was pretty much one sentence : “Don’t be a dick”  both seem like good ideas


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