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Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

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Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby Bones » Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:30 pm

I've been guilty of it from time to time. I think that we all have. You are in a scene, and the attention starts to focus on you. It's only natural that you want some of the spotlight.

The Good Things to Do:
1. Yank another player into the light with you. Even if you only grab one. Make it someone who doesn't seem to get much 'face' time.

2. Try to get ideas/help from multiple people.. Acknowledge those people and their aid in your RP in the scenes. Give credit where credit is due.

3. Share the rewards! They don't seem to come up often, but sometimes there's a little honey cake of reward hidden in a scene if you look for it. Don't hide it and hog it to yourself, like some Gollumesque creature.

4. (Something I have been working on myself) Occasionally take a back seat! If you're a badass, let someone else be a badass! When a character, or a small group of characters is -constantly- the away team (Stolen utterly and shamelessly from the Kudos/Feedback thread), it makes some players go 'Well.. What the hell am I doing here? I could be Crafting/Hunting/RPing Breathing/Washing my Laundry.' Don't always be the first to transport down, and if you are, don't -tell- everyone else to stay back all of the time.


The Bad Things NOT to Do:

1. Ignore contributions during large or smallscale scenes. Players AND Staff are putting in hours of their lives. Be you Orc, Human, Ent, Troll, Dwarven Kneebiter whatever.. You aren't the star of the show in most cases!

2. If you -are- the star of the show, -please- try to act taking into consideration emotes around you. Especially if player(s) are RPing in a fashion that would directly affect what you are doing.

3. Lewt Coveting can be bad! If you have some item, weapon, magic scroll, handgun of the gods, etcetera, don't hide said object, and then whip it out when you feel you aren't receiving enough attention. Staff Plots are wonderful! Sometimes however, there are day to day minutia that -need- to be taken care of in game, despite the plots. Let it happen! You'll get your turn!

4. Grandstanding... Yes Grandstanding. And I don't mean you badass Yrch that cleanse the Mountain of assassins. Or the Utterby people who used a ballista to make the River stop misbehaving! Those are heroic acts! I mean walking into a tavern or cave and letting off the magical 'Look at me, I'm FANCY!' that seems to happen on occasion. We get it. You're fancy.


In conclusion, I don't feel this is ranty. Avoid the Red-shirt syndrome that Captain Kirk brings upon us all!

Thoughts?
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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby Songweaver » Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:34 pm

I don't entirely agree, or disagree, with this. It made me think the following, though.

Play with consistency, and as your character would. Try to incorporate others with IC reason, yes, but I would never encourage a player to simplify their prose, or decide not to act when it is in their character's nature to act given a specific situation.

Good, proactive roleplay should inspire other players to higher levels of play themselves. While you want to co-operate with other players to include them, you don't want to dumb down your own play.

The best, most proactive roleplayers in the RPI Community are a large part of what makes RPIs work. Their example has encouraged less experienced or capable players to reach higher levels of play. That's something to remember.
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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby WorkerDrone » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:15 pm

People need to slow down and incorporate more of their character into their play and less of their play into their character.
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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby Real » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:17 pm

Content > Pace

I think it's possible to tighten up a bit and not take the reins of a scene with huge emotes if you're mindful of how you portray. As a general rule, I like to only describe things that are significant, gestures that have subtle meaning or imagery that applies to the scene in the environment.
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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby Songweaver » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:25 pm

I am a giant proponent of adapting your prose length to the necessary pace of a scene. I'm just not a proponent of dumbing it down for other reasons.

There was a time in this community that I feel like the best, most proactive roleplayers were considered an extremely valuable commodity; they were the pinnacles of what could be accomplished on an RPI, and they helped others (both RPAs and players) to elevate their play, and thus elevate the quality of the game. Somewhere along the line, I feel like a bastion of the community began to experience resentment, or something akin to it, in regards to these players. Perhaps it is that there is less plot interaction now than in the past, or perhaps it's a number of reasons.

Either way, I feel like we've lost a lot of these sorts of players, due in part to this attitude, and due in part to a more hands-off approach from staff. This certainly isn't an indictment, and is really just my observation.

There aren't many of these players left, today. I wish that they were universally more valued, and instead of being targeted as "plot-hoggers" and "scene-stealers", they were instead shown as an example for how all players can create their own plots, better interact with admin plots, and act meaningfully in a scene.

RPIs need proactivity to thrive. The truth is that the majority of players are not incredibly proactive. Again, this is not an indictment, but rather an observation.
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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby WorkerDrone » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:32 pm

Real wrote:Content > Pace

I think it's possible to tighten up a bit and not take the reins of a scene with huge emotes if you're mindful of how you portray. As a general rule, I like to only describe things that are significant, gestures that have subtle meaning or imagery that applies to the scene in the environment.


I guess when I say pace, I don't mean overall the length of the prose you're writing, or even the overall quality--that gets better with practice and time on its own. I don't mean the frequency of your emotes or says either.

When I say slow down, I mean you should be spending less time entering, or enter fewer coded commands overall throughout your playtime. I will use the following example.

Evan just logged into Atonement ALPHA. This is something he regularly did while logging into the game as this character:

You sit at a metal-framed bunk bed.

<****** / ||||||>
A fibrous, scarred, tattooed man places his feet on the floor and sits up in a metal-framed bunk bed, reaching up and rubbing his face with both hands, sighing.

You thought: (He thinks back-- to the day before. What happened? What can he remember?)

<****** / ||||||>
You thought: (Flashes. Deck Two. Corpse clean-up. Giving orders. Black.)

You thought: (And... Thirteen. Thirteen said she was attacked by one of the bugs. And that she saw a fourteen-foot-tall grasshopper that told something the bug put inside her to grow. That-- he kind of wishes he had forgotten that.)

You thought: (But he didn't. So he'll have to deal.)

You say, muttering as he shoves away from a metal-framed bunk bed, snagging at a halved barrel-shield, shouldering it, moving to the west,
"snarfagle me..."

<****** / ||||||>
You get up from a metal-framed bunk bed.


This is the kind of focus you should be giving to your roleplay, but instead of just like, when you log in, or when you're in a room with other players, you have to remember that the reason we got so immersed in the past is that we were roleplaying AT ALL TIMES. It will up your abilities to the next level and then some.
Last edited by WorkerDrone on Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby tehkory » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:36 pm

WorkerDrone wrote:People need to slow down and incorporate more of their character into their play and less of their play into their character.


I've played a guy who was essentially clanlead for the entire MUD, leading 70% of the combat patrols and almost every combat event. First came why I -couldn't- Kirk it up.

Staff would've KILLED him if I'd tried. NPCs would've KILLED him if he tried. You couldn't walk up to a few troll-sized enemies, let out a laugh, and then escape with a wink and a grin. How about the next time three PCs walk into a death trap, somebody turns it into a death trap and they die? Atonement was brutal, more brutal than SoI -should- be overall, of course, because of its setting. And yet SoI should match Atonement blow for blow when it comes to combat-plots/danger when you're putting yourself in obvious, intentional, downright stupid danger. The game's only weakened when nobody is forced to make sacrifices, when lives aren't at risk, when everybody gets to go off and laugh off danger because they *KNOW* they're not actually in any.

I know combat balance is tough--the difference between a total party wipe and everyone -barely- living can be tough and small, but it's like someone said in another thread: if the danger's so minimal that people can ignore it and break character completely, they will. Create a game-world where we're in one of the darkest times in the memory of Man, where we ARE losing rather than winning. If you run a plot, don't guarantee everyone's survival. Don't guarantee everyone's victory. Don't make the only sacrifice and sorrow come from some loss that nobody has any affection for or connection to.

Players can only do so much. And like WD said, they need to flesh out their characters. The reason I -wouldn't- let my PC run off and do the Kirk thing is because he had something to live for, something to not let him make stupid risks. Risks he had to, sure, sometimes risks that killed one out of every six PCs on the mission. Risks that sometimes killed his dearest family. Risks where you might lose one out of a dozen PCs if you played it right and then you called it a victory and started over again the next day. But not pointless risks. Your PCs have friends, they've significant others. They don't need to risk it all because it's more fun for you and because you know there's no actual risk.

And then, back to Staff: they didn't -designate- a Kirk. Even when there were amazing, proactive players, Staff didn't necessarily -favor- them to the exclusion of others. Kirks can't exist(this is actually a terribly exaggeration, especially in SoI, but it still bears some merit/needs saying) unless they're given all the toys/tools.
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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby Real » Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:23 pm

tehkory wrote:some loss that nobody has any affection for or connection to.

I believe in the case you're talking about, it wasn't sorrow for the individual, but rather a universal theme about releasing people from suffering, even if it means going to hell and back.
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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby Letters » Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:27 pm

When playing any sort of combat leader on an RPI - and I think I've played a few decent ones - I feel that it becomes a decidedly gamey role. I spend an inordinate amount of time checking people's health/general status, tracking where in the world my party is, constantly trying to figure what sort of state it's in for a fight, what pace to set, who's doing what.

I'm just repeating the same thing over and over, there, but my point is that if I stop focusing on code-related issues and start spewing out anything more than quick emotes, I slow everything down and, by and large, impact on everyone else's enjoyment to boot. People don't like long trips unless they can do stuff. I'm pretty damn sure they don't want to see my attempts at writing either. I keep it short. By and large, hell, they probably don't even much care about my character beyond my character's capacity for violence and ability to direct others to inflict it.

Number 4 from Bones' list of good things to do -- you know, I don't really agree with it. A few people here might remember what happened when people complained IC about a handful of PCs bearing the brunt of the fighting against robots on Atlas. Characters wanting to be the ones doing the heavy lifting doesn't mean they're actually able for it.
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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby tehkory » Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:36 pm

Real wrote:
tehkory wrote:some loss that nobody has any affection for or connection to.

I believe in the case you're talking about, it wasn't sorrow for the individual, but rather a universal theme about releasing people from suffering, even if it means going to hell and back.


"going to hell and back" wasn't really what happened, though. And what I'm discussing/what happened aren't mutually exclusive.
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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby Real » Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:42 pm

tehkory wrote:
Real wrote:
tehkory wrote:some loss that nobody has any affection for or connection to.

I believe in the case you're talking about, it wasn't sorrow for the individual, but rather a universal theme about releasing people from suffering, even if it means going to hell and back.


"going to hell and back" wasn't really what happened, though. And what I'm discussing/what happened aren't mutually exclusive.

Dude. Everyone and their grandmother went on that RPT.
If they had made it a vicious combat grind, with two dozen barkers and a pair of GT lagatos and then bandits firing on them as they ran out the door, the theme would have been lost in the mess of 'damnit, so many have died for this now-dead individual'. Vadok Mal is hell for Men, at least in the figurative 'into the rabbit hole' sense, and particularly because everyone who stepped foot outside the gates that day knew that they could very well die.

This is just imo, based on what I've been told.
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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby tehkory » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:16 pm

Real wrote:
tehkory wrote:
Real wrote:I believe in the case you're talking about, it wasn't sorrow for the individual, but rather a universal theme about releasing people from suffering, even if it means going to hell and back.


"going to hell and back" wasn't really what happened, though. And what I'm discussing/what happened aren't mutually exclusive.

Dude. Everyone and their grandmother went on that RPT.
If they had made it a vicious combat grind, with two dozen barkers and a pair of GT lagatos and then bandits firing on them as they ran out the door, the theme would have been lost in the mess of 'damnit, so many have died for this now-dead individual'. Vadok Mal is hell for Men, at least in the figurative 'into the rabbit hole' sense, and particularly because everyone who stepped foot outside the gates that day knew that they could very well die.

This is just imo, based on what I've been told.

And that's why I said combat balance was -hard-, but worth it. But the part of your post that I've bolded were patently untrue, no matter who told you what.

RE:'so many people died for this,' that's the exact meaning of sacrifice, yes. That's what I'm talking about.
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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby Hawkwind » Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:02 pm

Songweaver wrote:The best, most proactive roleplayers in the RPI Community are a large part of what makes RPIs work. Their example has encouraged less experienced or capable players to reach higher levels of play. That's something to remember.


Disagree with this. The best and most valuable ones are those that see a new player and go out their way to include them in something. An example of you leading the charge in to the Mirk is going to relegate them to NPC status. Finding out his name will not.
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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby Oblivion » Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:16 pm

Do just want to idly add... Admins... if something unforeseen happens through an npc you load in during a scene... let it happen...

I've seen instances of what I can only assume are players petitioning up for action, and when that action happens a sudden random gushing grievous gets magically wiped away as if it didn't happen.

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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby krelm » Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:23 pm

Hawkwind wrote:
Songweaver wrote:The best, most proactive roleplayers in the RPI Community are a large part of what makes RPIs work. Their example has encouraged less experienced or capable players to reach higher levels of play. That's something to remember.


Disagree with this. The best and most valuable ones are those that see a new player and go out their way to include them in something. An example of you leading the charge in to the Mirk is going to relegate them to NPC status. Finding out his name will not.


I think, when he mentioned "proactive players," that (somewhat?) sweeping generalization also included people who go out of their way to help newbies.

But, I would agree to both sentiments. RPIs without proactive players stagnate, but so do RPIs where no one goes out of their way to help newbies. Also, RPIs that aren't going out of their way to draw in more players-- you can't retain people you aren't getting.
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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby Songweaver » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:39 pm

krelm wrote:
Hawkwind wrote:
Songweaver wrote:The best, most proactive roleplayers in the RPI Community are a large part of what makes RPIs work. Their example has encouraged less experienced or capable players to reach higher levels of play. That's something to remember.


Disagree with this. The best and most valuable ones are those that see a new player and go out their way to include them in something. An example of you leading the charge in to the Mirk is going to relegate them to NPC status. Finding out his name will not.


I think, when he mentioned "proactive players," that (somewhat?) sweeping generalization also included people who go out of their way to help newbies.

But, I would agree to both sentiments. RPIs without proactive players stagnate, but so do RPIs where no one goes out of their way to help newbies. Also, RPIs that aren't going out of their way to draw in more players-- you can't retain people you aren't getting.


Correct. These two things should not be mutually exclusive. How you approach newbies should always be through the lens of your character, though. I'll use two examples of characters that I've played within the past year:

Galwen was interested in hearing and learning everyone's stories. By sitting down with new players, I felt like I was able to help them create stories about their characters' past that they may have never even considered before. That's one way of engaging and setting an example.

Bjarndyr was interested in showing new characters just how dangerous the Forest could be if they were not safe (even though, as Kory points out, the danger level currently in SOI is pretty low in actuality.) He would stalk them and watch them, and if they did something dangerous, or got out of their league, he would step in to help and then mysteriously show them how dangerous the gameworld was (supposed to be). He engaged positively, even if his personality was generally not cordial in regards to those outside of his clan.

There are a hundred different ways to engage new players (and all players), and try to set an immersive example; these are just two easy ways to go about it. My overall point is that RPIs desperately need players immersed enough to set such examples, knowledgeable enough to teach other players (even if just through IC actions), capable enough of making big things happen story-wise, and proactive enough to see things through.

As I said, I just feel like we (as a community) used to have more of these players. It's a smaller number each year, it seems like, and I think that this comes down to those players feeling less valued than they used to, and like their plot/story/character options are more limited than they used to be. Those are both things that we, as a community of staff and players, have the ability to fix.

Being jealous of other people for doing cool things isn't the way. Anyone here can do awesome things, and get involved in awesome plots. It can't happen, though, unless you learn from others, and try.

We don't need to lower the bar. We need to raise it. That's my opinion, however unpopular it might be. :p
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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby ThinkTwice » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:03 pm

Bones wrote:4. Grandstanding... Yes Grandstanding. I mean walking into a tavern or cave and letting off the magical 'Look at me, I'm FANCY!' that seems to happen on occasion. We get it. You're fancy.


Haha, we are wholly disagreed. Dear god, sweet lil baby Jesus, please do this more. Walk in, make a scene. Shove your FANCY all over my screen. Grandstand, be grandoise, be over the top, be epic, demand attention, flash and flaunt whatever makes you a special lil unique snowflake.

Because that's how you draw people in, shake things up. When this happens, instead of resenting others for showing off how FANCY they are, engage with them. Learn how they became so fancy. Find out if there is more than one of their FANCY. I'll guarantee every FANCY probably has a backstory that's worth your time to learn.

I'd argue that, while they aren't terribly subtle, every FANCY is probably a hook into that person's character, and I'll never, ever shame someone putting out the effort to draw others into their character driven RP.

While there's a difference between good drama and melodrama, everything beats yet another series of boring bar RP.
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Re: Kirking it Up: The Red Shirt Syndrome

Postby Celairel » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:40 am

I really have to emphatically agree with the people mentioning making newbies feel welcome. I can't stress enough how frustrating it is for me as a "new" player, with extremely limited free time, logging in hoping for some decent role play only to be absolutely ignored by people who already have their own groups and relationships going on.

Now I'm not saying that I expect anyone to drop everything and start fawning all over me - that's not even close to what I want, because no matter how anyone else feels I'm definitely not a fan of the special snowflake mindset. But at least acknowledge someone who walks into a room and poses a bunch of times rather than disregarding them both ICly and OOCly. I know I don't have as much time as I used to dedicate to the game, and thus I have much less of a chance to develop IG relationships, but I don't think it's too much to ask to at least have other people break out of their clique-zones to make an unfamiliar face feel a little welcome.

THAT sort of behavior makes a player fantastic in my eyes. Inclusiveness. I've seen plenty of elitist behavior in this community before, and I was sort of hoping the new iteration would help that somehow.
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