Author Topic: Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.  (Read 5576 times)

Angela Christine

  • Posts: 6595
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« on: December 12, 2003, 04:35:01 AM »
Warning:  My question is about emoting magickal effects, if you have no interest in magick or if you don't want to risk learning something you don't want to know, then you might want to skip this thread just in case something slips.  Reader discretion is advised.

I've had a few, very few, opportunities to observe magicker PCs that do wonderfully evocotive emotes before and during spell casting that really add to the atmosphere and spooky feeling of magick.  The problem is that the few times I've tried running a mage myself I have trouble doing more than "em closes her eyes for a moment" or "raises her hands toward the <sun/wind/sky/whatever> as she begins speaking" without feeling like a tool.  I have a sense there is a line where atmospheric emotes become melodramatic nonsense in there somewhere, but I can't find it so I chicken out and err on the conservitive (read: dull) side.

Find out IC!  Of course it would be possible to go where magickers are known to congragate, like 'Nak's elementalist quarter, and just wait until magickers come by and start casting.  But it would probably take months to learn by example that way, and what are the chances my character would live that long?  Pretty damn slim.  Besides, who wants to wait that long?

So, any ideas on good magicker emoting?

AC
Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with."     Henry S. Haskins

Boggis

  • Posts: 688
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2003, 05:24:11 AM »
I'd say it pretty much depends on what type of magicker you're running - how they view their abilities will probably have a big effect on the type of emotes that you will produce. Perhaps they see their attunement with their element as something approaching a supernatual or deity level and will be quite melodramatic in their casting as they appeal to their "deity" to grant them the spell. I'd imagine that this type of quasi-religious wielder of magick could be quite ritualistic in their casting. On the other hand they may see magick as a science or a tool with the result that their emotes have a clinical style to them. Wave your hand at the sun and do some ritual dance? That's crazy - you may as well chant to your sword or dance around your kank for a few minutes before setting out to ride on it. I'd see emotes for this type of character having a kind of professional sparseness to them, like a practiced hand that knows exactly what to do to get the right result with the minimum of fuss. Or maybe they see magick as an art and their actions will be imbued with a certain style or a desire to be both functional and aesthetic, which to some may appear a little over to the top. Or perhaps they see magick as a curse which makes their actions furtive and hidden, leaving them feel uncomfortable after casting.

So, in short I think it's just up to your character. If they're melodramatic about their casting because that's how they are then so what? If it's OOCly making you feel like an idiot being like that then make a magicker that views magick differently and would never go down the melodramtic route. I don't really see it as an emoting line between atmospheric and melodrama that has to be walked. Hmm, maybe this doesn't exactly answer your question as to what a "good" magickal emote is but I think a good emote is one that's appropriate to your character. If you have your character idea straight in your head then the type of emotes to produce will flow naturally enough in my opinion.
You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drinkĒ Dydactylos' philosophical mix of the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans (Small Gods, Terry Pratchett)

Dakkon Black

  • Posts: 1238
    • Amazonia Reforestation Project
Hrm
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2003, 06:34:12 AM »
*** Magick Talk, Not seriously IC, Your choice to read ***

Atmosphere, Atmosphere, Atmosphere. Itís all about that. Thatís why I wrote it three times. Magick is the atmosphere about the mage and the world. You can see the face of a mage change when they cast, itís a simple emote, one that is common in everyday arm. But when the wooden walls to the sides of the Krathi start on fire as he chants a spell then you need to research.

Each emote is research at the level of play you'll find a good mage. Every room is studied and checked for interaction by you so that your emote can bring the world out of the background and into play.  Canít burn stone walls? Watch the sky, the time, your personal interaction with your element. The tingle you feel when the wind takes your Whiranís hair back. The addictive pull of pure rock to your earth elementalist. You have that karma for a reason. That reason is because you should be at this level. Where you can comfortably emote your char screwing up if he has too. That is why you have the power to create shadows that wrap themselves morbidly about a torch, drawing the light into gloom. The staff trusts you to be able to emote it and well, not use it for excessive twinkishness, always IC.

*Disclaimer: Following never happened IC*  


The Vivaduan woman gasps slightly with a wicked arch to her back, eyes bleaching a translucent blue in seconds.

Dark tendrils of rich moist mist careen about the room wildly as she sets her empty eyes on you.

Thick mist swarms as the Vivaduan casts her arms at you, the vapor tearing across the floor and up your legs.

Your vision goes black.

****************


The above emoting is obviously for more advanced powers. Do not take your noob Whiran and emote making Tuluk fly away. Your roll is to show that you have the responsibility to bring this world to life. Just because staff are called such does not me that we should be afraid to be storytellers. That is part of the true RP knowing the story well enough to write about it flawlessly. To emote that time your rich merchant accidentally passed gas during a massive business deal. If you honestly believe that there is an IC chance then bring the world into reality.

In short (as this incredibly short rant is short) let me conclude with, too many people think they can't be a major part of the world till they are super duper. I've never had a char with such absolute $(*)($% damn $#_)*#_)$ ass bad stats as my favorite. Crap stats, crap abilities but the RP, far surpassed the weakness
A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.  Zalanthas is Armageddon.

Nemesis

  • Posts: 4
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2003, 06:42:56 AM »
You don't have to emote every time you cast. I had a Ruk who was ordered to cast and practice his magicks by a templar. I can't come up with a different way of waving my hands and making the earth tremble every five or so minutes for an hour. Just incorporate some thinks in there as well describing what you're trying to do.

Quirk

  • Posts: 754
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2003, 06:59:12 AM »
Quote from: "Nemesis"
You don't have to emote every time you cast. I had a Ruk who was ordered to cast and practice his magicks by a templar. I can't come up with a different way of waving my hands and making the earth tremble every five or so minutes for an hour. Just incorporate some thinks in there as well describing what you're trying to do.


I would strongly disagree. Casting without emoting is as bad as sparring away without emoting or crafting without emoting; it's substandard RP in that you have an wonderful opportunity to describe how your character's dealing with something altogether supernatural and strange and you're wasting it. By all means include thinks, but if someone should by some chance stumble on you and they don't have any emotes to go on, reacting to your casting will be much harder.

Quirk
I am God's advocate with the Devil; he, however, is the Spirit of Gravity. How could I be enemy to divine dancing?

Rindan

  • Posts: 2825
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2003, 07:06:50 AM »
I always viewed magikers as being horrifically powerful.  My first magiker was a rukkian and I was knocked on my ass by the power of their starting spells.  I mean  hell, one of those spells could stop a non-magikal army dead in its tracks, and that is just for openers.  Even when you donít have access to super duper magiker of death, I view what you are doing as being incredible powerful, even if you have no control over it.  If my rukkian casts, the earth is going to move while it is happen.  If my water elementalist starts to cast, the air is going to get disturbingly moist.  I really go out of my way to describe how incredible off things are when a magiker is casting.  Magikers are scary and unnatural, and I try and get that across in my emotes, especially when I have an audience and I am no rush.

I think you really have a lot of liberty in your emoting as a magiker, and in my opinion, I think the goal is generally to scare people around you even when not trying to be scary.  Even generally non-scary things like water can be terrifying.  If you are standing next to a vivaduian as she casts, water should take on a whole new meaning, and I would go so far as to strongly suggest in my emotes what that meaning is.  That isnít to say they canít decide that they have wills of steel, but they should certainly ponder running in terror.

The ugly old man stands solemnly with his eyes closed as Suk-Krath high overhead radiates its terrible oppressive heat down upon the parched land, the wind still offering no relief from the heat.

A sudden oddly cool breeze whips down around the ugly old man as he continues to solemnly stand with his eyes closed.

Cool air swirling around the ugly old man and begins to feel thick and heavy with moisture from an unseen source.

As the cold wind begins to pick up stronger, drops of dew forms on the tips of spikes on a nearby cactus as the air is saturated with eerie and unnatural moisture around the ugly old man.

The ugly old manís eyes suddenly snap open revealing unnatural completely dark blue eyes.

Insert casting here.

Granted, something that long and elaborate would probably not be what you do to quickly tear off a spell at an incoming Gith.  The idea is to show how the subtle changes in the environment around the caster are freakish and unnatural.  When you have the time, and especially if you have an audience, I would play up the casting.  Sure, you could just whip off an spell quickly, but if there is no need, it is best to be a crowd pleaser.  Donít force everyone to imagine what you are doing and have each person see a different thing, really spell it out in detail.  I even would go so far as to use some more subjective sounding words to really get across that this stuff is scary.  I donít see using the words Ďeerieí or Ďunnaturalí as being out of line when emoting casting.

Twilight

  • Posts: 1720
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2003, 07:20:33 AM »
Ideas for AC:

Something about your element manifests itself as you cast.  Winds blow around you.  The earth rumbles.  Flames suddenly flare.  The coded change in ldesc that happens is a great place to start.  Give some more colour to that change. because that is something that is happening, each and every single time you cast.  It tells you what is going on around you, throw out an emote or two to give it more color.

The words in the cast command don't have to be the only thing you say when you cast your spell.  I had a character that sang in Bendune when he would cast a spell, calling upon his own secret name for each magick.

A greatly underutilized type of emote imho is smell.  A whiran might have any of thousands of different smells carried to them on the wind.  A krathi might give off the smell of smoke when they cast, a rukkian earth.  Just describe it.

Those are just a few ideas.  Its only really limited by your imagination.
Evolution ends when stupidity is no longer fatal."

Quirk

  • Posts: 754
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2003, 07:27:47 AM »
As far as emoting the actual act of magick goes, I think paying attention to what manner of spell it is you're casting is important. If you're casting some spell of sheer fiery destruction, you may want to represent it as a channeling of anger, the savagely-spoken words accompanied by bursts of jerky movement. If your spell is of a more protective nature, having your mage's body adopt a more defensive posture while weaving the charm could be appropriate. Perhaps the spell is more creative, and while your character must make the initial strokes in forming the object from raw element, his or her magick will complete the task. I tend to find my magickers fall into habitual sequences of gestures and movements while trying to recreate some power over their element they discovered some time in the past, as though these were a key to their memories of how to direct the energies the way they wish.

A degree of caution may be advisable when altering the environment you work in with your magicks, as some environmental changes ought to be immediately noticeable to others passing by. The imms are far too busy to run round changing room descriptions because your emoted spell burned the ground near you to a crisp or blew every tree flat in leagues around. That said, interacting with your environment in a non-permanent way - and having it interact with you - allows for a whole new range of exciting emotes, with the potential for huge variety. This is particularly the case as you wax in power and your magicks become more capable of seriously affecting your surroundings.

Quirk
I am God's advocate with the Devil; he, however, is the Spirit of Gravity. How could I be enemy to divine dancing?

Anonymous

  • Guest
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2003, 09:24:26 AM »
Half of the fun of a magicker for me is trying to picture new and funky ways to emote the effects of magick.

I try to picture it like a Baldur's gate game where things are happening around you as you cast and then just try to come upw ith a funky way for the magick to come about and do as best a job as I am able to emote it.

I've had some emoted effects that both sucked and blew, but I've also had some I really, *REALLY* liked.

My favorite so far is drawing an outline of something in the air with a finger before whatever that was came to be.

I've stopped emoting greater effects of the canned emotes that accompany the emote command for the most part.  You can only emote element X doing Y so many times and it's redundant anyway.

Instead I really try to focus on how I envision the spell's output taking place.

And yes, you can only emote lifting your hands in worship of the sun so many times...

Rindan

  • Posts: 2825
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2003, 10:27:30 AM »
Hehe, CRW is dead on.  One of the most painful things in the world for me is casting in a temple for hours on end.  I tend to binge train, then go and chill for a few days to avoid it.  When you first start out, it is great fun, but after a while you can only emote the same damned thing over and over again.  The longer I have had a spell and the more I practice it, the more generic and quicker my emoting becomes.  Instead of four emotes before the spell, I might just throw out a single simple emote or two.  Eh, so I am a bad person.  Take away my karma.

When you are around people though, I would highly encourage going the extra mile in emoting.  If you know you are going to cast in front of someone and you are not worried about them trying to whack you (or they simply canít whack you), then consider working out what you are going to emote beforehand so it is really good and dramatic.  Not many people get to see casting in their life time, even nobles and such.  So, when you get the chance to show off, donít be afraid to go all out and really make it a memorable moment.  Not only do you have the chance to entertain, but you have the chance to really impress upon them the freakish nature of what you are doing and the raw power you are throwing around.

naatok

  • Posts: 260
Inanimus, Animate'!
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2003, 01:51:54 PM »
Naatok the Naughty Monkey says, in chimpese:
"I'm not a vile,  life-sucking sorcerer, but I often play one on ArmageddonMud."
 
I wholeheartedly agree that atmosphere is critical to good magicker roleplay.
 
If you're having trouble imagining emote concepts for your mage or defiler, check out the rad swords & sorcery, or scifi movies, such as 'Warlock', or 'Carrie' or 'Firestarter'.  There are some awesome examples of paranormal influences on immediate environment and spectacular 'evil manipulator of the elements' facial expressions in those cheesy movies.
 
I'm currently exploring development of a system of 'somatic components' for wizardry to accompany via emotes the casting of a spell.  At this stage it isn't quite defined and not terribly exciting, but I hope to improve on that.
 
My goal (besides usurping Tek's throne, of course) is to think outside the box when it comes to mage craft.  Not just emotes, but everything.  Who knows, your PC may, through your ingenuity as a player, start a great philosophical school of mage craft based on the cool shit you come up with.   :wink:
 
I sometimes find myself stumped when trying to come up with another cool emote for spellcraft.  Some of you have actually presented excellent ideas and given me more food for thought.  I'll thank you when my malevolent, life-sucking wizard appears out of nowhere to end your PC's failed and miserable existence.  :twisted:
-Naatok the Naughty Monkey

My state of mind an inferno. This mind, which cannot comprehend. A torment to my conscience,
my objectives lost in frozen shades. Engraved, the scars of time, yet never healed.  But still, the spark of hope does never rest.

Tlaloc

  • Legend
  • Posts: 1439
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2003, 02:03:02 PM »
I actually think the easiest way to learn, and the way I learned myself, is to play more magickers and play around other magickers, as much as you can. I know my magicker playing got much better after I joined a clan that gave me access to lots of magickers.

Since that can be hard to do, I would encourage you to instead hang around places like the Elementalist Quarter, in Allanak, and...make friends.
Tlaloc
Legend


Armaddict

  • Posts: 6192
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2003, 07:27:15 PM »
I watched a vivaduan who emoted mist covering the wounds of people, and the wound being gone when it dissipated.  Also know of a recent elkrosian who had some -badass- emotes for preparation of casting his spell...definitly need to see more of this, it makes magickers much more scary, when you're looking on.
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

number13

  • Posts: 1052
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2003, 08:52:08 PM »
ooo,

this thread sooo makes me want to be a magick type person.

/karma envy

Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2003, 10:39:26 PM »
Number13 wrote:
Quote
ooo,

this thread sooo makes me want to be a magick type person.

/karma envy


You can always special app. That's what I did. *Crosses fingers*

This thread definetly gave me some ideas for my magicker character, when and if I get him. Thanks all. Keep the advice coming!
EvilRoeSlade wrote:
Quote
You find a bulbous root sac and pick it up.
You shout, in sirihish:
"I HAVE A BULBOUS SAC"
Quote
A staff member sends:
     "You are likely dead."

Dan

  • Posts: 2332
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2003, 02:01:44 PM »
Most definately try to make friends with others of your element, or even PC's of another element. Try to play an allanaki gemmed, it is much easier to start off with this then to try being a secluded magicker, or a hidden one.

One thing I would suggest if your playing one of your first couple magickers is to speak with those in your temple. Set your objective and wish up, kindly asking if you could just chat with one of the npc magickers in your temple. Just speaking with one of them, another elementalist, can set you in the right swing of things. It will give you a good base for your character aside from a background. You only have so much space to send in a background to the imms, seriously try to detail your first experience with magick, be it you or another casting. If your first experience wasn't when it showed itself, then you go on to detail your own experience as it came about and revealed itself. Make sure to add notes as to how it affected you emotionally, socially, and physically. Mayby even psychologically. Did it make you insane, calmer, angrier, or any other?

Now that you have such a firm base, think up a profession they would have had before being a magicker, unless it was with them their whole life. They probably did something for money before the magicks were manifested in them. Mayby pick a crafting subguild to display this.

All in all, the best advice I can give is to be -creative-. Not to the point of sillyness though. Be creative, put time and thought into your character, and most of all, have fun with it.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

spawnloser

  • Posts: 7313
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2003, 05:38:53 PM »
Personally, I've never played a magicker...although, I do want to.  Personally, the magic system does appear daunting, but it seems quite interesting at the same time...and yes, emoting something never considered before will possibly be quite daunting to a new player of a magicker as well.  This thread could be quite useful...others find that this would be a good addition to the Archives?
Quote from: Malifaxis
We need to listen to spawnloser.
Quote from: Reiteration
spawnloser knows all

Quote from: Spoon
A magicker is kind of like a mousetrap, the fear is the cheese. But this cheese has an AK47.

Gilvar

  • Posts: 679
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2003, 07:34:28 PM »
My favorite log, and the inspiration behind my first magicker is this:

Rukkian Ritual

When you see "The earth responds to your call." That is him casting. Its a good judge of intverals of interaction between hard-coded actions.

I feel that anyone feeling 'iffy' about their magick-protocols can get a few tips for this. To me its a good example behind the nescessary 'interaction' with your surroundings and self to not be labeled a magick-crazy super-twink. Of course more/less isn't always worse, but churning out a single-line emote every 5 castings is beyond-lame to me.

Combat is the only situation where I feel discussion on emoting/casting is really needed. As it is spending 20 seconds on an emote can mean the death of a magicker in combat, but when your in your haven, there really isn't an excuse not to emote.

-Gilvar

X-D

  • Posts: 5661
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2003, 08:57:59 PM »
Me, I simply see elementalism working somewhat differently then most.
(and I've posted this before)

I see them as channeling energy from the elemental plain then giving it direction and form, the higher the skill of the channeler, the less waste or flash.
So, for me, the most effect emoting is done when the spell is newer for the caster, I think it would be pretty neat if it was even coded that way, but then I suppose it would give too much information to the players, shrug.

If I attempt to place myself in my chars boots, I find that I would be far more impressed with somebody who utters a few words quietly and with little fanfare, poof, demon gortok arrives.
Then if somebody waves his arms around, shouts out some words, there is a huge rumble and shaking then poof, demon gortok. Gets me to thinking, wow, what would have appeared if so much power had not been wasted on effects.
A gaunt, yellow-skinned gith shrieks in fear, and hauls ass.
Lizzie:
If you -want- me to think that your character is a hybrid of a black kryl and a white push-broom shaped like a penis, then you've done a great job

Angela Christine

  • Posts: 6595
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2003, 09:54:21 PM »
I think there are two kinds of emotes here.

1. What the caster is doing.  Waving your arms, invoking the Great Gazzoo, or simply concentrating quietly.

2. How the environment is responding.  Casting changes your ldesc, environmental emoting is often an expantion of that.  It isn't necessarily something the character herself is doing, but something that the magickal energy, the land or the local wildlife is doing because of what the character is doing.

The first kind isn't that hard, you can fall back on the basics and assume that all your character does is stand there and recite the symbols, like a mystic spelling bee.  

The second kind is potentially more  interesting, but also more difficult and prone to looking silly.  Sure, a whiran casting a spell might cause the branches of nearby trees to be blown violently, and a host of dust devils to spiral around the caster sending small animals running for cover -- but if that happens every time no matter how petty the spell... I don't know, if it were me I'd feel like I had some kind of god complex.  Virtual meglomania, don't want to go there.  I suppose it is the same problem as emoting for the virtual NPCs, it can make the scene more vibrant when I see other people do it well, but it always feels like power-emoting when I try to do it myself.

AC
Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with."     Henry S. Haskins

Nemesis

  • Posts: 4
Magicking without feeling like a melodramatic idiot.
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2003, 10:34:53 PM »
Quote
I see them as channeling energy from the elemental plain then giving it direction and form, the higher the skill of the channeler, the less waste or flash.


Same here.

Generally, I wait until the spell has been cast to finally do it. If I conjure a big, giant demon dog, I wait until it's there before pressing enter and sending the emotes. I won't go too far into the magick system but you might not get your desired result. It seems odd to emote that gateway to another world and summoning your demon gortok if you sneeze and screw it up.

Quote
The second kind is potentially more interesting, but also more difficult and prone to looking silly. Sure, a whiran casting a spell might cause the branches of nearby trees to be blown violently, and a host of dust devils to spiral around the caster sending small animals running for cover -- but if that happens every time no matter how petty the spell...


Well, going in theory with the channeling elemental energy from the plane, you could base the effects of the environment on how much energy you use. If you cast something at wek, maybe a light breeze goes by. At mon, you can have a sandstorm blowing about you and those branches being violently blown. Just put it all into perspective.