Author Topic: Rules And Documentation  (Read 1002 times)

Riev

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Rules And Documentation
« on: December 04, 2017, 03:38:36 PM »
This has gotten off topic and I apologize for contributing to that but I would like to point out that, without making a specific reference, you can not pick and choose what documentation you would like to follow. Despite the current trend just because you, as the player, don't like something does not permit you to do whatever you want and disregarding documentation is against the rules.

I wanted to make it a new topic.

Documentation states people are afraid of magickers.
Documentation states all elves are seen as thieves.
Documentation states that men and women are considered equal in the world of Zalanthas.


Yet people go against this documentation all the time, willfully or neglectfully. Players HAVE, DO, and ALWAYS WILL go against certain bits of the documentation. I always considered part of Staff's responsibilities while in Observation mode to check on these things and correct when necessary. Read: Necessary.

Sometimes you come across someone who thinks women are nothing but whores and dick parking. It only takes one badass female combat type to put a stop to that, or a Lady Templar to posit whether this misogynist is better than her, because she's a woman.

Disregarding the documentation IS against the rules. Not KNOWING the documentation is forgivable. Not being HELD to the documentation is an unfortunate side effect of volunteer staff busy enough with their own lives and responsibilities that every person can't be held to a strict ultimatum.

Does the rest of the community find that people brazenly and blatantly "cherry pick" which rules to follow? Are they the SAME rules? Are there changes to the documentation necessary? Or is it enough to simply complain about individual behaviors and not suggest a way to fix it?

Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

sleepyhead

  • Posts: 244
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 03:47:26 PM »
I think we need to differentiate people who ignore/break the docs and people who play people who, in one way or another, break social norms. There are hardliners who don't like any kind of exception, and certainly snowflake syndrome can be worrisome, but as long as you take a character's upbringing, socialization, environment, etc. into account and don't just make them an exception "just because," you can play to the docs while being an outlier from them in certain ways. So I think playing to the docs, at the core of it, just means taking those factors into consideration when putting yourself into the mindset of your PC.

nauta

  • Posts: 2239
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 03:56:52 PM »
Does the rest of the community find that people brazenly and blatantly "cherry pick" which rules to follow?
Certainly not.  As a general rule, the community in Armageddon has a high level of quality RP, and it is very rare to find someone who is brazen or blatant about ignoring RP standards (such as a respect for the documentation).  From what I can tell, it was pretty bad back in the olden days (see the logs on old.armageddon.org for examples), but the "current trend" certainly is that people who break docs are exceptions and not the rule.

It comes off as discouraging to hear veteran players constantly harp on how sub-par the RP is in Armageddon (with phrases like "despite the current trend").  This, just as much as directed attacks at individuals, is something that deters new players from even wanting to move forward and immersing themselves in the rich documentation and experience of Armageddon, much less participate in discussion debates on the subject.

Rather, focus your energies on making up HOWTO guides for newer players that offer examples of how to RP, e.g., a sneak, a merchant, etc., and lead by example inside the game with your characters.
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5958
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 04:11:34 PM »
This has gotten off topic and I apologize for contributing to that but I would like to point out that, without making a specific reference, you can not pick and choose what documentation you would like to follow. Despite the current trend just because you, as the player, don't like something does not permit you to do whatever you want and disregarding documentation is against the rules.

I will contribute to your derail, because honestly, it's one of the topics that I think -needs- to be brought up in cycles, from time to time.  It's a fairly important piece of the game, really.  Maybe we can get a derail split on a topic that is always worth reinforcing via discussion on the GDB.

Documentation is the description of the game-setting.  It's important to fit everything into them, whether you are playing an exception to documentation (as we know is allowed), or whether you're playing hardball into them.  The reason why is because characters that do things 'just because documentation' often come up shallow or boring; it's only once you fit together pieces behind the documentation, put together the hows and whys and significance of them, that you can tweak things about your character, or affirm things about your character, in ways that make them interesting.

Documentation is not to be discarded.  Ever.  No matter how much you dislike what it has defined for the game setting, your job is to reconcile the game setting with your character behavior, always.  If you're playing an exception in some way...you should expect exceptional behavior.  If you're playing a hardline documentation character...you should be focused on demonstrating the -reason- those rules of culture and game setting are in place, rather than being a blind person who appears to have no reason behind them.

If those are in place, the immersion of the game increases immensely.  But the point of following documentation is not necessarily always a 'You MUST do this', so much as 'This is how things are; your character needs to react to that reality accordingly.'  Thus, even in playing the exception, you are reinforcing the documentation, and through that, the setting.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Riev

  • Posts: 4826
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 04:16:45 PM »
I think some of the old logs are hacky and a bit forced, but I don't know that they were ignoring rules and documentation. Otherwise they wouldn't have made it as a log to begin with.

My worry is that, as Nauta puts it, veterans complain about the sub-par RP but are either unwilling or incapable of correcting it.

I hate to put more on staff, but it is on them to lovingly correct out-of-documentation roleplay. It happens, sometimes on purpose (who doesn't like a good gortok romp?) and sometimes on accident (I forgot a Tuluki magicked away into the Allanak Labyrinth PROBABLY wouldn't know its called "Hathors").

We don't know we're doing bad, unless its corrected. When we're corrected, we lash out because we've never been corrected on it before. Its a bad situation.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Marauder Moe

  • Posts: 12660
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 04:18:29 PM »
I think we need to differentiate people who ignore/break the docs and people who play people who, in one way or another, break social norms.
Seriously, this.

It is NOT against the rules/docs to not be afraid of magickers, or to trust an elf.  (Though possibly it IS against the rules to be sexist... I honestly haven't been following those threads for a while.)

Taboos are made to be broken.

My personal guideline/suggestion has always been that for every social norm/taboo your character deviates from, they should strongly adhere to several others.  That way, even if every character is in some fashion a "snowflake", for any given taboo most characters will honor it.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5958
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2017, 04:19:35 PM »
Quote
Certainly not.  As a general rule, the community in Armageddon has a high level of quality RP, and it is very rare to find someone who is brazen or blatant about ignoring RP standards (such as a respect for the documentation).

I agree with this sentiment.  The precise reason why I'm still here is because the standard of roleplay...not because of game rules, but by the contribution of other players, is utterly unmatched.

However, as someone who was around in the 'olden days', I can also confidently attest that the same spirit was present at that time as well.  I'm sorry that you don't like some of the old logs, but the immersion was just as prevalent then as it has ever been...it was just a lot more deadly.

I don't think 'despite the current trend' was addressing the quality of play in game.  I think what it's discussing is that despite what you may feel about the GDB today, it was far more hostile in the past.  There wasn't an underlying theme of relativism, where 'you do you' was a common thread reply.  It didn't make for feel goods when you questioned how things worked.  People were much harder, faster, and more aggressive on stamping out the idea that you could just take what made you enjoy the game, and much more insistent that the game was the game, and you liked it or didn't.

Shortcomings or different interpretations are -bound- to happen in a game setting with a rich history and deep background.  I think the point of those posts is more about caution against making newer players get too comfortable with playing exceptionalism against various facets of the game, because over the course of time it can lead to a distortion of what the game setting -is- versus what you -want it to be-.  But I don't think that degrades the roleplay we see.  It just provokes an ancient fear of losing some base parts of the game that are fairly integral to the whole thing, i.e. the making fun of weak, beautiful, tressy-tresses is the fear that we will muddy the waters of sexism.  That's not  a specific gripe, just an example of what I think comes about time to time, that promotes the relationship I'm trying to describe.

Words words words, essay essay essay, hopefully you get what I mean.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

LucildaHunta

  • Posts: 274
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2017, 04:29:34 PM »
To me there are two kinds of rules: hard rules and soft rules.

Hard rule: Elves donít ride. There isnít really any other interpretation of it, it is what it is.

Every once in a while youíll get someone whoís a nipple twister thatíll say Hey gaiz, what if like ...the elf gets knocked out and the dorf puts them on the wagon. Does the elf explode? Liek how do we role play that?

The game has a few rules like that.

Then you have soft rules: thereís a lot of those and I really donít feel like rustling jimmies by giving an example. They basically say ďYou can do this, but you can also do this. (There really is no norm). People start getting a little too creative, people come up with these elaborate reasons why their characters do what they do. Thatís great actually!

The problem comes in when their interpretation becomes a substitute for what is written and then they feel everyone must do what theyíre doing. I really donít care about the Mating habits of the Canadian Goonie bird or how a womanís hormones can allow her to lift a car while sheís under duress. Itís really great you put that much thought into your character. Iím going to enjoy the hell out of playing off that, if you allow me to.

Just donít try to impose that on me. I really donít find people breaking rules that often. I just think people are very dogmatic about things that werenít intended to be that way
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Sings a song
Sounds like she's singing
Oooo,ooo, ooo

Namino

  • Posts: 111
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2017, 05:09:28 PM »
Documentation states the cultural standards of Zalanthas. The normal social conventions are that people are scared of gickers, distrusting of elves, and xenophobic towards accents and habits of other cultures.

Cultural standards on Earth include: adults should not be sexually attracted to children. Yet pedophiles still exist. They're socially crucified, and rightly so. But just because something is social convention doesn't mean it is some iron clade impossibility that someone can be outside the confidence interval. It's not true on Earth, it shouldn't be true on Zalanthas.

Someone who plays a character violating social or cultural standards set out in the documentation can still be doing so in an in character fashion. Your reaction to this shouldn't be an OOC player complaint. Your character should react ICly the same way you'd react OOCly if you found someone lusting over children. Ie, 'wtf is wrong with this guy'. On the flip side, if you're the player of the character with a weird rebellious trait going against social norms, its your responsibility to recognize that you should catch IC heat for it.

The only way I can see this becoming a problem is if Amos is in the bar weaving magick, and someone flips out on him, and fifteen other people in the tavern are like, "woah bro, Amos is chill. Stop over-reacting". But the problem in this situation isn't Amos weaving magick, or even if one person in the crowd wasn't scared of it (ie, the cultural deviant), but that the collective group isn't representing the collective mentality of the game world.

But based on what I've seen from the player base, if fifteen players are in a bar, fourteen of their characters would flip on Amos in that situation and the fifteenth that wasn't flipping is keeping their mouth shut because they know they're the weirdo. So whatever this 'current trend' is, you've lost me.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 05:11:07 PM by Namino »

infinitehope

  • Posts: 14
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2017, 05:57:22 PM »
I think we need to differentiate people who ignore/break the docs and people who play people who, in one way or another, break social norms.
Seriously, this.

It is NOT against the rules/docs to not be afraid of magickers, or to trust an elf.  (Though possibly it IS against the rules to be sexist... I honestly haven't been following those threads for a while.)

Taboos are made to be broken.

My personal guideline/suggestion has always been that for every social norm/taboo your character deviates from, they should strongly adhere to several others.  That way, even if every character is in some fashion a "snowflake", for any given taboo most characters will honor it.

Behind this all the way. The biggest issue that stems up from this is isn't an 'armageddon' only issue, it happens in roleplaying everywhere: People assume the worst of another player, they see something that doesn't 'fit the docs' and immediately start forming a lynch squad or growing up and arms about it, they don't spend the time to sit back and think maybe there is some sort of IC thing that made them that way.

i'm not saying that very obvious things against the documents in ways that are hilariously inaccurate should be given some space (Ie, an elf riding a mount), and even then, its more important to put in a player complaint first, than do anything IC, at least, imo. But! I think the better reaction, as a player, is to think "Okay, I don't know this character's past, motivations, and the like, so there could be something i'm missing here" your character might want to hate them for it, your char may want to do all sorts of things over it, but the fact is, you, the player, dont KNOW, so why assume?. Its better to think positively than negatively of your fellow players.

Nauta is right, the quality of Rp is generally high on Armageddon, always has been since I first started armageddon. It'd be an insult to our fellow players to simply assume the worst.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 05:59:05 PM by infinitehope »

Eyeball

  • Posts: 693
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2017, 06:13:41 PM »
Remember there can be (and often is) a big difference between outward behavior and inner dialogue.

For example, someone may treat an elf politely in a chance encounter, purely out of not wanting to make an unnecessary enemy, while actually despising elf-kind and wishing to be elsewhere.

Powerful people can (usually) afford to display their scorn openly. Not all feel they have that luxury.

seidhr

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Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2017, 08:11:56 PM »
I think the biggest problem that (some) people have is detaching their modern day viewpoint of IRL social norms from the way Zalanthas is.  This is probably most evident with racism.

As staff I try to stay out of it, because it does tend to self correct, if they're around other players, but I would say that I've seen clusters of players start to embrace the "hey he's a breed, it's not his fault, you be nice to him" mentality and that definitely grates on me.

As an addendum I would say that a lot of the "RP" back in the 90s and early 2000s was hot garbage; the quality of roleplay now is way, way better than it was at that time.  Exceptions do exist in both directions of course, but as a whole, pretty confident in making that statement.

The Lonely Hunter

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Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2017, 08:43:28 PM »
I mostly agree with seidhr. People tend to rp their chosen roles better these days but those chosen roles are more often against Zalanthas culture than what they used to be. We have a heck of a lot of RL bleed over, imo.
"People survive by climbing over anyone who gets in their way, by cheating, stealing, killing, swindling, or otherwise taking advantage of others."
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Grapes

  • Posts: 221
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2017, 09:16:16 PM »
Even regardless of background, there's an element known as "character growth", wherein experiences shape the character. A lot of Zalanthan culture is biased against a lot of things, but considering potential circumstances, any character might end up the exception, whether through ignorance, manipulation, or some combination in between. I disagree with if/then logic in these situations. The circumstances are exceptional, but character development is not exceptional, and should not be viewed as a "snowflake" trait.

Note that this does not extend to the rules I interpret as "core", and therefor, hard rules, as someone else mentioned, an elf riding should be extremely weird, and in my opinion, so should activities such as slut-shaming, or somehow interpreting the gender of the character to influence their potential and/or motive. You know what their motive is, male or female, they're out to bilk you out of all you're worth, then stab you to death for your waterskin. There may be exceptions to their motives, but the general approach would not be to go out and make instant best friends for life with the entire known world.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

Kankfly

  • Posts: 1201
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2017, 09:48:23 PM »
For me, this is how I view documentations:

Documentations provides the solid backbone of my characters. They tell me what sort of environment my PCs grew up in, what kind of thinking and norms my characters will adopt or be influenced by, what kind of beliefs they are/were exposed to and will therefore, become absorbed (by varying degree according to their backgrounds) into their personalities.

Then based on all of that, I develop my characters' backgrounds, personalities, appearances, and sometimes goals etc, and hit the 'submit app' option.

Once they get in-game, they already have a basic set of RP rules on how they function, and how they react to different situations. How they continue to grow is partially influenced by the people they encounter, what sort of friends and enemies they make, the various situations they find themselves in, as well as the choices they make, which are all determined by the set of RP rules generated by the above (background, personality, appearance, sometimes goals), including new factors such as clans and such.
I ruin immershunz.

nauta

  • Posts: 2239
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2017, 10:29:27 PM »
I mostly agree with seidhr. People tend to rp their chosen roles better these days but those chosen roles are more often against Zalanthas culture than what they used to be. We have a heck of a lot of RL bleed over, imo.

Veterans complaining about the purported crappy RP of new players ("players these days") on the public forum does absolutely nothing but alienate those new players.  It's insulting, frankly.
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Grapes

  • Posts: 221
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2017, 10:45:20 PM »
I mostly agree with seidhr. People tend to rp their chosen roles better these days but those chosen roles are more often against Zalanthas culture than what they used to be. We have a heck of a lot of RL bleed over, imo.

Veterans complaining about the purported crappy RP of new players ("players these days") on the public forum does absolutely nothing but alienate those new players.  It's insulting, frankly.

Maybe they should rise to the challenge, because if they can't, I doubt the first PK or three they're on the receiving end of is going to sit very well with them.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5958
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2017, 10:54:19 PM »
Quote
Even regardless of background, there's an element known as "character growth", wherein experiences shape the character.

I might be completely nitpicking, but I think that this is where we were talking about the RL bleed in entering playing.  It isn't that you're doing bad, it's just that natural reactions to things in game vary a bit from natural reactions in RL.

To use the over-analyzed topic, a mage might be friendly to you, and in RL terms, exposure to a nice mage might make you say 'Hey, that's not a bad dude.'  And that very well might happen sometimes in game, as well.  However, the standard within game is set, with some amount of wiggle room (pun!), but generally leading towards distrust and distanced acceptance versus a life-changing event where you are suddenly an ally.  I'm not asserting that that's what you're saying, but that seemed like a really good opportunity to further elaborate on the point that others, like me, are nitpicking at.

Quote
Veterans complaining about the purported crappy RP of new players ("players these days") on the public forum does absolutely nothing but alienate those new players.  It's insulting, frankly.

You can take it as insulting if you want.  But veterans do the same thing to other veterans.  I would strive to take it more as someone making it clear they're speaking from a bank of experience on shifts that they notice, instead some dude just chucking bottles off his porch at whippersnappers in his neighborhood.

And you've just done a better job of calling it 'crappy rp' than I ever did.  I've gone out of the way to note that I think that quality of RP is very good, just not necessarily gaining the enforcement of adherence that used to be very prevalent.

I mean...I don't know if you noticed, but one veteran and another veteran just completely disagreed on a point in less than soft terms.  I said my early time in Arm was immersive, full of fun, filled with cool characters, and that while some things have changed, the quality of play has not.  Seidhr called that same era hot garbage.  It's a discussion board, filled with peoples insights and perspectives on a game, and this line essentially equivocates to telling someone not to share because you think it was mean.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Grapes

  • Posts: 221
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2017, 11:04:58 PM »
Thanks for clarifying that for me, Armaddict. I see why clarification was necessary, what I said could be interpreted a bit openly.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5958
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2017, 11:14:02 PM »
Thanks for clarifying that for me, Armaddict. I see why clarification was necessary, what I said could be interpreted a bit openly.

Yar!  We do really do have stellar roleplay here.  Or I wouldn't be here.  If we didn't have stellar roleplay, I don't think nitpicking about these kinds of things would even be remotely -possible-.

I enjoy playing with all of you.  Except when you kill me.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Grapes

  • Posts: 221
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2017, 11:17:30 PM »
Thanks for clarifying that for me, Armaddict. I see why clarification was necessary, what I said could be interpreted a bit openly.

Yar!  We do really do have stellar roleplay here.  Or I wouldn't be here.  If we didn't have stellar roleplay, I don't think nitpicking about these kinds of things would even be remotely -possible-.

I enjoy playing with all of you.  Except when you kill me.

I think so too, lot of newbs really diving in head-first and getting into the game. Also, pay no attention to the character readying the tainted knives. (backstab Armaddict)
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1335
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2017, 11:21:19 PM »
kill armaddict
emote stabs the shit out of ~armaddict unless #armaddict is dead!


On a more on topic line of thought, I personally use the docs as a guideline for the most part, and yes, hard rules are hard rules, as said that elves cannot ride, and meks are crazy-stupid-dangerous.

But the softer rules, eg elves are lying cheating scumbags can be bent slightly until they are just lying scumbags instead of cheating as well. Just slightly bent is all.

Edit: Grapes beat me to killing you Armaddict. Or I guess we tag teamed you, either is fine.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5958
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2017, 01:04:57 AM »
Quote
Edit: Grapes beat me to killing you Armaddict. Or I guess we tag teamed you, either is fine.

It's okay.  Experiencing a chain betrayal on one hand, and facilitating one at a different time with a different character, makes you realize how awesome they are.  Thanks, I'll just go bleed over here.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2017, 01:07:48 AM »
My suggested fix is that if you feel someone is behaving in a way that's poor for the documentation, ICly react like such. If they're random joe schmoe human the merchant, and he's best friends with magicker #46432, be disgusted. Pour your ale on him. Get up and refuse to be near him in case he gives you bad luck. Etc. Go down the line of things you can do to show your displeasure. Your responsibility in leadership roles is also similarly to reflect the documentation even if your PC does not personally have a behavior that matches it. Most of the powerful players in the game (as far as role power, not to be always confused with coded, though that's a possibility as well) are trusted because they have shown ability to correctly roleplay the documentation. To take that one step further, you can always wish up and ask animation possibly from someone who will behave a little more reasonably IC, if you're in an environment that calls for it.

Be the change you ask for -- and if you must, go ahead and pour gasoline on it, and go full on hate and call them all out. You might die, but hey, losing a character to set the standard for how people should react has never caused someone to lose karma. And people behaving drastically against documentation meet their ends sooner than later anyhow.
I caused my knife to go into her back, and she
effectively was murdered.<- Rulebook on how to politick. -My Anonymous Staffer

hyzhenhok

  • Posts: 1635
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2017, 01:44:08 AM »
My suggested fix is that if you feel someone is behaving in a way that's poor for the documentation, ICly react like such.

The problem has always been that this can be hard to do when everyone else is failing to react to broken norms. Sometimes it happens: you're in the Gaj at the bar, a gemmed half-elf walks in and start chumming it up with a well-established PC -- how often to people start whispering? How often are people's characters actually lowering their opinion of the Honorable Sergeant who turns out to be friendly with the worst of the worst? Will anyone else actually join in if you decide your character is going to react in a hostile manner? If the established PC is part of a powerful clan, will you really risk the wrath of a noble or templar? Good luck telling that templar their lackey deserved it for yucking it up with an undesirable. On occasions my character would walk out of a tavern or other group setting thinking "Why is everyone going along with X broken norm? What's the world coming to?" And unless you're playing a certain kind of character, it's not always fun to shout out how crazy and norm-breaking everyone is being.

I think the problem is a real one, but it's primarily the weak reactions to norm-breaking that cause it. Norm-breaking is just less socially costly than it should be. And I'm not sure there's really any way to counteract that -- given the shortage of players, especially reliable, solid characters with which you can build long-term rapport with, it's perfectly rational that people would ease off the norm-enforcement.

So if you want to see a change, I think it's reasonable to ask for a bit more OOC enforcement. And it should come down on both norm-breakers (especially those with social clout that might be ignoring virtual NPC reactions) and those who react blithely or indifferently to norm-breaking with ostensibly non-norm-breaking characters.

Kankfly

  • Posts: 1201
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2017, 02:05:10 AM »
My suggested fix is that if you feel someone is behaving in a way that's poor for the documentation, ICly react like such.

The problem has always been that this can be hard to do when everyone else is failing to react to broken norms. Sometimes it happens: you're in the Gaj at the bar, a gemmed half-elf walks in and start chumming it up with a well-established PC -- how often to people start whispering? How often are people's characters actually lowering their opinion of the Honorable Sergeant who turns out to be friendly with the worst of the worst? Will anyone else actually join in if you decide your character is going to react in a hostile manner? If the established PC is part of a powerful clan, will you really risk the wrath of a noble or templar? Good luck telling that templar their lackey deserved it for yucking it up with an undesirable. On occasions my character would walk out of a tavern or other group setting thinking "Why is everyone going along with X broken norm? What's the world coming to?" And unless you're playing a certain kind of character, it's not always fun to shout out how crazy and norm-breaking everyone is being.

I think the problem is a real one, but it's primarily the weak reactions to norm-breaking that cause it. Norm-breaking is just less socially costly than it should be. And I'm not sure there's really any way to counteract that -- given the shortage of players, especially reliable, solid characters with which you can build long-term rapport with, it's perfectly rational that people would ease off the norm-enforcement.

So if you want to see a change, I think it's reasonable to ask for a bit more OOC enforcement. And it should come down on both norm-breakers (especially those with social clout that might be ignoring virtual NPC reactions) and those who react blithely or indifferently to norm-breaking with ostensibly non-norm-breaking characters.

I actually agree with this. Without going into too IC a detail, on a much more previous character, she walked into a public establishment and there was a bunch of PCs making friends with an undesirable. My PC and perhaps one or two other PCs were the only one reacting to it in a weirded out, and maybe even hostile manner. Because my PC had some measure of social standing (?)/influence (?), she didn't recieve any hostility from PCs that had made friend with that undesirable. However, one of her underlings was more vocal in their hostility, and people began defending that PC.

It was only after that PC was gone from the game did those people who formerly were making friends with them began to talk about how distasteful that PC was.

This raises another question for me, how would you react to certain norms being broken if the PC in question is of a rank that is much more higher than you? What if it was a templar or a noble that was doing it? What if despite you leaking gossips about out-of-norms behavior about a certain PC that holds such a rank, nothing was done because nothing really happens to that PC due to a variety of reasons (either IC or not), and because other people don't see anything happen, they just assumed that the "rules" has changed and things are supposed to be that way?

What sort of example would that set to new players who are fresh to the game?
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Hauwke

  • Posts: 1335
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2017, 02:28:41 AM »
I think if a Templar is doing it, they need a -damn- good reason to be even interacting with the filthy elf/rinthi/dwarf/tribal in any way that isnt: 'Out of my sight scum'

A noble? It really, really depends on the house, I could see just about only Fale being tolerant of elves, since they are, to me at least, the most easy going 'party house' house.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5958
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2017, 02:47:36 AM »
I think if a Templar is doing it, they need a -damn- good reason to be even interacting with the filthy elf/rinthi/dwarf/tribal in any way that isnt: 'Out of my sight scum'

A noble? It really, really depends on the house, I could see just about only Fale being tolerant of elves, since they are, to me at least, the most easy going 'party house' house.

If you're talking purely in public eye or fraternizing, then I'd agree.  Templars, in particular, have all sorts of reasons to tolerate and use undesirables.  It might be weird to see, but on a business level, they are particularly hard to apply that standard to.

Nobles are a bit different.  If they're a particularly underhanded noble, they might have strong ties with undesirables that may draw some distrust/intrigue/disgust from other nobles (and perhaps approval from others), particularly the sort of nobles who are looking pristine, or the less political and more social, etc, etc.  Even within Houses, there's a fairly large 'span' of methodology.  Kinda like how in Tor for awhile there was representation of division over the use of War Mages, up to a certain point.  Some had no interest in being friendly with gemmed, or brushing elbows in particular, but -did- have interest in having a few to make sure they weren't outmatched in battles.

However, again, I am on board that there would never be any social affinity in the arrangement unless there's one hell of a story behind it.

...this is kinda weird since I'm in support of pretty good adherence to documentation, but I also view templars and nobility as common exceptions to the standard anyway, by their own documentation/mood/feel/role within the setting.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1335
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2017, 03:42:36 AM »
Oh yeah, agreed, straight up face value and in the public they pretty much should not, in fact you can pretty assume I am meaning in that sort of direction since it actually takes me a moment or two of actual thought to read into subtlety, (its my one weakness).

But, elves are useful in that they are in fact the scum/scorned/undesirables. Its the same thing as kids and servants essentially in that no one thinks they are useful, and thus say whatever around them.

valeria

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Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2017, 08:11:30 AM »
I don't think it's on staff to tell people when they aren't following the documentation.  I think it's on us as players to police each other socially and impose social consequences on people who are breaking the norms.  Sometimes it's uncomfortable to call out someone else for being nice to a breed, but someone has to treat that breed lover with derision and scorn, that breed lover's friend might want to stage an intervention.  Because in many ways it is less socially acceptable to be a race/class/whatever traitor.

But I do think there is an unrealistic expectation attached to some of the documentation.  Racism against elves, everyone hates and fears gemmed.   I unfortunately have some really racist relatives, and I tell you what, they don't go out of their way to throw slurs and make people feel uncomfortable at bars.  It's much more pervasive and oppressive than that.  Most of them don't think they're particularly racist.  Sure, they hate and fear people of a certain religion, or think that everyone of a particular race is lazy/violent/[pick a negative trait], but they believe they're justified.  They're uncomfortable around them but capable of interacting socially.  Some of my very racist relatives even have a 'black/Mexican friend,' usually someone they feel that they're helping out by deigning to be friends with them and also probably the guy who takes care of their lawn or car.  They would tell you that those people are all lazy except X, who's really a good guy trying to work hard and make it for his family.  While I get that the documentation says that everyone hates and fears gemmed, and is racist against half-breeds and elves, when I see someone who is using/exploiting a rinther/gemmed/elf/whatever, it doesn't rustle my documentation jimmies.

I don't think there's anything wrong with playing an exception to the documentation, either, as long as you realize that you're playing the exception and accept the consequences.  People might bang a breed but they wouldn't flaunt that or hang out with them socially in public, they would be deeply ashamed of it and everyone would justifiably come down on them if their dirty secret came out.  I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt because I can't see what internal conflict they're going through when they realize they've fallen in love with a mutant or whatever.  And someone higher in the thread suggested that if you're breaking one norm, you should even more strictly adhere to others, and I love that idea.

LucildaHunta

  • Posts: 274
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2017, 09:59:37 AM »
Even regardless of background, there's an element known as "character growth", wherein experiences shape the character. A lot of Zalanthan culture is biased against a lot of things, but considering potential circumstances, any character might end up the exception, whether through ignorance, manipulation, or some combination in between. I disagree with if/then logic in these situations. The circumstances are exceptional, but character development is not exceptional, and should not be viewed as a "snowflake" trait

Yeah, see thatís the way I play my characters, as dynamic beings that are shaped by the game world and events. I think this is a point that should not be glossed over either. This is also why I say if you feel someone is doing something out of the ordinary, you should engage them and try to see why theyíre doing what theyíre doing. Personally, I feel the report button is over used in many cases of ďrule breakingĒ where itís a soft rule where you absolutely do have some play. Even hard rules have exceptions.

The gameworld itself sets up scenarios like this all the time. A good dynamic world IS going to set up scenarios like this. This is an opportunity for conflict, not an opportunity for reporting. You report the guy that goes into the red desert and boxes raptors daily......while sitting down. The guy thatís saying ďLeave that breed alone.Ē I would investigate this. Why is he saying that? Has he been in life and death situations with the breed? Is the breed his lover? I donít know and thatís why Iím going to take a minute to delve into this. Iím not going to jump to calling this snowflake RP or even carebear rp. In my opinion that becomes a legitimate reason for that action. I the player get that, my character might not. But now thatís my opportunity for future conflict.

I can think of many ways I could play with that scenario and make it more interesting, drag it out and play off it. To me something like that is faaaar more interesting than, lock dooró>kill Amos because he likes breeds. This is only an example, hopefully Iím making the idea behind it clear.

What a game like this offers that I canít get from playing Fallout 4, is that itís mainly our imagination and the interpersonal relationships we form that make it interesting, that set it apart. So, Iím not saying if someone is breaking the game donít report them. Iím saying if youíre seeing something that is making you scratch your head....thereís your chance at a dynamic situation that might actually surprise both you and your character.
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Renenutet

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Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2017, 10:47:08 AM »
Documentation states the cultural standards of Zalanthas. The normal social conventions are that people are scared of gickers, distrusting of elves, and xenophobic towards accents and habits of other cultures.

Cultural standards on Earth include: adults should not be sexually attracted to children. Yet pedophiles still exist. They're socially crucified, and rightly so. But just because something is social convention doesn't mean it is some iron clade impossibility that someone can be outside the confidence interval. It's not true on Earth, it shouldn't be true on Zalanthas.

Someone who plays a character violating social or cultural standards set out in the documentation can still be doing so in an in character fashion. Your reaction to this shouldn't be an OOC player complaint. Your character should react ICly the same way you'd react OOCly if you found someone lusting over children. Ie, 'wtf is wrong with this guy'. On the flip side, if you're the player of the character with a weird rebellious trait going against social norms, its your responsibility to recognize that you should catch IC heat for it.

The only way I can see this becoming a problem is if Amos is in the bar weaving magick, and someone flips out on him, and fifteen other people in the tavern are like, "woah bro, Amos is chill. Stop over-reacting". But the problem in this situation isn't Amos weaving magick, or even if one person in the crowd wasn't scared of it (ie, the cultural deviant), but that the collective group isn't representing the collective mentality of the game world.

But based on what I've seen from the player base, if fifteen players are in a bar, fourteen of their characters would flip on Amos in that situation and the fifteenth that wasn't flipping is keeping their mouth shut because they know they're the weirdo. So whatever this 'current trend' is, you've lost me.

I'm not responding to take issue with your post, but because it was the jumping off place for my thoughts.

Recently when introducing the gladiators we decided that all reigning gladiators would be human. The documentation states that gladiators are admired by everyone (except for the exceptions.) We want people to follow the docs. Putting a demi-human in a position if acclaim would have left people in a position where they had to choose which rules to break.

It's ok to play the exception, but don't do it in a way that sets other players up to fail, as they try to play to the rules and setting.

Veselka

  • Posts: 300
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2017, 03:16:05 AM »
I like this thread and the mature responses therein.

I am a hard documentation player. I think exceptions are fine when consequences are anticipated. I think the game world presents situations that change people and their views, but this too should be a difficult struggle that documentation should often win.

I would encourage Staff to expand documentation and reinforcement. The more information to work from the better. I think older documentation appears more rigid than newer documentation, especially in clans/Houses.

sleepyhead

  • Posts: 244
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2017, 10:06:00 AM »
There are some things you can do to help reinforce the game world even when you are playing an exception/playing with an exception.

1. If you are, say, a gemmer and a fancy Borsail aide is chatting you up in public, or if you witness something like that, or if you ARE the Borsail aide, don't be afraid to write up a rumor! Not every filthy gemmer-lover (or whatever) is important enough to be so heavily gossiped about, but this is something you can do to make sure that if high-profile people are breaking social norms, they feel some heat from it, even if there are no other PCs in the tavern. Don't feel like you're being a jerk; they may very well OOCly enjoy this kind of realistic reaction.

2. If you are playing an exception and you diverge from cultural norms in public, you can use VNPCs to show that you are in the minority, even if you are not in the minority PC-wise. Maybe people shoot you some looks, maybe people are starting to get up in disgust, or maybe that buff woman over there is cracking her knuckles threateningly.

3. Conversely, if you're one of the oppressed, you can use VNPCs to illustrate that you are, in general, being treated poorly, even if the PCs around you are being kind. (I have seen players of oppressed PCs using VNPCs to show disapproval for or hassle people who treat them too well, but I don't really feel comfortable with using your own VNPCs against other players, even if it's a pretty cut-and-dried situation. I dunno, maybe staff can weigh in on this.)

4. Consider the attitude with which you approach being an exception. If you are saying something like, "Hey, I can't believe you guys are picking on that breed over there! It's not his fault!" then I think you should consider that breeds being picked on is the norm, and you should probably not be indignant or shocked. "It's not his fault" is also kind of a mindset that is alien to at least the major civilizations of Zalanthas, where, to name just one example, nobles are considered inherently "better" just by being born to the right bloodline. Instead, your breed-loving filth character might Way the breed reassuringly as he joins in the teasing, or say something like "hey, it's just a breed, not worth our time," or simply leave and go elsewhere. Even if you believe your PC must publicly stick up for the breed, understand that this is something you would witness constantly, so there's no room to be too mortified, and no room to be surprised if people gang up on you, so adjust your words accordingly.

CodeMaster

  • Posts: 1038
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2017, 08:46:54 PM »
If my best friend walked into a mcdonalds without a shirt on and got kicked out I wouldn't jump to his defense, I'd be ashamed and feel relief when they kicked him out.  If he asked why I'd say MCB

At the end of the day the most important thing to play out is the consequences.  And if you decide your character has "grown out of" a certain prejudice (I've definitely had characters where this has happened), remember to double-down on another prejudice you might've been neglecting.
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Hauwke

  • Posts: 1335
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2017, 12:29:13 AM »
The problem I face with a lot of it, is that a good portion of people are 'nice' in game. (nice meaning inclusive) And that translates to saying things like: Oh, its not that bad, let the stump do its crazy stump things, its fine, dont accost the stump, please just leave it alone. When, really the view is more like: Whats wrong with it? Go away stump, dont do your crazy stump things around me at all or I will get a bunch of guys to beat the snot out of you

It could just be a perception thing in all honesty, but it certainly feels that way. Now dont get me wrong, I am all for inclusion, but if you want to be included in drinking session #7474848575 with me, dont be an elf, or a dwarf, or a anything other normal. This isnt a world of niceties.

Grapes

  • Posts: 221
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2017, 12:57:36 AM »
Untrue, with enough effort, any PC can expect to be treated with wary respect... you just shouldn't expect aids to openly flirt with you if you're not human.
Quote from: Is Friday
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Is Friday

  • Posts: 6182
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2017, 01:17:40 AM »
I think it depends on what clan you're associating with. Being an asshole to dwarves or elves is going to catch up with you in a clan like the Byn, most of the time--but wouldn't if you're playing in GMH or a noble house. When in Rome, etc.
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chrisdcoulombe

  • Posts: 1067
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2017, 02:16:34 AM »
There are always exceptions.
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Akariel

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  • Posts: 487
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2017, 02:42:02 AM »
Dwarves drink piss for fun, who wants to sit and -converse- with such a barbaric brute?

Grapes

  • Posts: 221
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #40 on: December 09, 2017, 03:17:21 AM »
There are no givens.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1335
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2017, 03:23:00 AM »
Dwarves drink piss for fun, who wants to sit and -converse- with such a barbaric brute?

I myself may or may not have started a thing after doing that. Well technically staff did since one if you guys was giving me echoes about how it would be the dopest thing ever to drink some pee.

Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2017, 03:26:42 AM »
Blanket statements are really going to cause people to misunderstand the documentation, I think. Here's my opinion, and I don't mind being corrected if I'm wrong but, there are some instances where discretion is the better part of valor even socially. Here's some examples of instances where documentation-wise, you might appear unusual. People can react more or less depending on some specifics.

An Oashi aide can interact with gemmed magickers much more acceptably than any aide (or even most general commoners), though people may react to this ICly. The absolute worst aide to be interacting with magickers by far is a Borsail aide. (there is a range)

No aide generally speaking wants to be seen associating with an elf in too friendly a manner. Business has its own paradigm, but a certain distance would be expected by anyone.

A Templar can be seen speaking with any manner of person coming into and out of the city. Bear in mind, an Allanaki templar decides citizenship of someone on whim. That 'tribal' isn't a tribal if the templar doesn't want them to be. Are you going to argue with them? That said, this has a range as well. Human > elf/breed. Templars interacting too positively with elves can and will inspire some negative reactions. (Usually very quietly except by their own)

A noble who is less strictly accountable for family reputation (See - House Fale) is capable of far more out-of-documentation behavior than say, 'House Borsail'. A House Fale noble may demand some random dirty tribal be dragged to their table and tell stories to entertain them whimsically. Among most nobles, they'd probably just roll their eyes and go, 'Fales will be Fales.' If someone else did it, you'd probably assume they were trying to document something for their own personal interest. They may treat this person as valuable to them on account of their being entertaining.

Now, stepping away from the upper class and their often times far outside what is 'normal' commoner Zalanthan behavior:

If you're playing a breed, you're immensely strong and sitting at the bar and everyone knows you're a breed, and some guy or girl comes up and calls you a filthy breed, while it's not unreasonable for you to want to kick their ass, you should not be surprised about it. And you almost certainly shouldn't try to murder them over it. You're being called a filthy breed very often, and you're not serial murdering NPCs at random on the street. Unless you are. In which case, I will casually accept your murder.

If you're playing someone that's friends with a breed or known magicker, you should be very used to your friend (and yourself by association) getting treated like shit. When it happens, don't act surprised.

If you're playing a magicker/breed, and you see people leaping to your defense at large, in a way that is unreasonable for the documentation, be the big player and do an emote about getting uneasy with the other people around to witness your breedy-ness. Have a breedy moment, and want none of their help and lash out and run off.  Don't be their friend, for their undermining your independence by sticking up for you and risking themselves in the process.

Now of course these are all just example and there are various ups and downs to each, but it's all I can really chip in on the matter.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 04:10:07 AM by Decadent Decisions »
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effectively was murdered.<- Rulebook on how to politick. -My Anonymous Staffer

Cind

  • Posts: 1297
Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2017, 07:02:18 AM »
There was a moderate while back a socially-powerful pc for whom I (and literally everyone else I saw talking to them) broke social norms to not be openly disgusted by and they had a few things going for them:

1. They were genuinely friendly.

2. They were professional in their business dealings, trading fairly always.

2. Their horribleness was not listed in their sdesc.

3. They were very dangerous to the wrong people.

Now that I've read a few posts here and were reminded of them I'm intrigued by the way how things are presented in the game affects our reactions to them.
Look, a petting tregil.  So silky...Feel him.