Author Topic: Rules And Documentation  (Read 2760 times)


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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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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.


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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.
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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.


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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.
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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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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.
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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.
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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.


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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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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.


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


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Re: Rules And Documentation
« Reply #40 on: December 09, 2017, 03:17:21 AM »
There are no givens.
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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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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.
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