Author Topic: Focus  (Read 2034 times)

5 day lifespan

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Focus
« on: March 25, 2009, 02:55:07 PM »
I did a little searching and could not find the answer to this:  How old are Dwarves before they get their first focus?  Or is the ingrained psychological hardiness something that occurs from birth?

IE Focus one: Drink milk and shit myself.
    Focus two: take the other dwarf kids' toys.
    Focus three: be the fastest runner in the second grade.
    Focus four: (dad killed mom when I was 10) Find and kill dad.
    Etc.

Or, is it more like "As I hit puberty, I find that my body is changing.  I am getting more definition to my muscles, my voice is deepening, and my hair is falling off.  Girls are becoming more interesting to me, and I have a stubborn near psychotic desire to do something important with my life."
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NoteworthyFellow

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Re: Focus
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2009, 03:04:21 PM »
Or, is it more like "As I hit puberty, I find that my body is changing.  I am getting more definition to my muscles, my voice is deepening, and my hair is falling off.  Girls are becoming more interesting to me, and I have a stubborn near psychotic desire to do something important with my life."

This is how I tend to interpret it.  I figure, a dwarven child won't be expected to have a focus, but eventually, around adolescence perhaps, one will simply emerge, likely as a result of a combination of internal and external influences.
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X-D

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Re: Focus
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2009, 04:41:37 PM »
I don't.

The docs do not state exactly when a dwarf gains focus. But the docs do state that
Quote
a dwarf will never have no focus, even if that focus is finding a new one.
.

A dwarf is NEVER without focus. So, untill staff changes it, I assume that the moment they are able to think at all, they have focus...even if it is to learn enough to gain a new focus.
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Lizzie:
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Masterofthat

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Re: Focus
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2009, 04:47:20 PM »
Hmm that gave me a mental image of a dwarf child who has a focus to "eat that kalan fruit." Even though he then sees someone else eat it impossible is nothing to a dwarf so he spends the rest of his life trawling through shit feeling that when he sees the remains of that particular fruit he will know it.
e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e w

5 day lifespan

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Re: Focus
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2009, 06:30:17 PM »
Now the question becomes: are dwarves reactions when it comes to achieving their objectives unpredictable or will they follow a pattern or does it rely on the individual?  For instance, if my focus is to be the fastst stunty in the second grade, will I:

Train Harder as a rule,
Kill the competition as a rule,
Do either based on whichever is the most expedient route?
Do either based on the kind of person I am?
You'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany.  Except for maybe Allanak."

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X-D

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Re: Focus
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2009, 07:54:02 PM »
Dwarves are all about planning.

He might decide that training is the rule, but could still decide to use any other tactic. If amos the elf is simply too fast and malik the dwarf knows he will never beat him in a race...well...if amos the elf is missing a leg.....

I personaly have my dwarves plan on the path of least resistance...But if something comes to block the path, they will normaly work to open it again rather then search for a new path.
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

SMuz

  • Posts: 2540
Re: Focus
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2009, 10:58:06 PM »
I've always played dwarves as intensely, well, focused. A modern dwarf kid would probably be the type of kid who watches TV all day or the one who plays a video game 3 days straight without sleep.

Yeah, I'd have to go with what X-D says: Planning, and planning on the path of least resistance.

I don't think that they'd make decisions any differently than humans would, in regards to being fast, or steal toys, or whatever, but they'd be a lot more stubborn about the decisions they do make.
Clans can give stat bonuses and penalties, too. The Byn drop in wisdom is particularly notorious.

Marauder Moe

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Re: Focus
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2009, 10:17:51 AM »
I disagree about planning.

There's no doubt that dwarves will always think about their focus, but thinking is not the same thing as planning.  How much of that is actual planning would depend on the dwarf. 

Some might always be planning:
"I'll need four thousand bricks, seventy planks of wood, twelve glass panes, and a mekillot skin tarp at least thirty cords by thirty cords.  Bricks and wood I can buy locally, but I'll need a way to get them to the building site.  That'll probably mean hiring a half-giant.  Olaf is always palling around with that half-giant, isn't he?  I'll see if he'll let me borrow him for a few days.  Olaf if a pretty stingy bastard, though.  I can't really afford to pay him, but I have noticed he has a thing for rare amethyst jewelry.  Maybe Malik the jeweler will make something special for me.  He owes me a favor..."

Or some might be just thinking about it:
"House.  House.  House.  House.  Oh it's going to be nice to live in a house.  I want to build a house, the sooner the better.  House.  House.  Someday I'll live in a house.  No time for whores, I've got a house to build. House."

SMuz

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Re: Focus
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2009, 10:57:09 AM »
I guess it depends more on the focus. A dorf walking around trying to build a house without a plan would probably not get anywhere (and won't be much fun to play either). Maybe if you had a simple focus to kill all gickers, or collect swords or something, you'd be able to get away without any plans :P
Clans can give stat bonuses and penalties, too. The Byn drop in wisdom is particularly notorious.

X-D

  • Posts: 5817
Re: Focus
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2009, 11:59:27 AM »
Actually Moe, the docs state differently.

First.
Quote
A dwarf has infinite patience and determination when it comes to their focus. It will be difficult for a dwarf to be deceptive, due to the subtle thought involved, but the dwarf will think and think and think about it for seven years, and then they will know what they have to do. While an elf will use deception as a reflex, it is something that takes immense effort for a dwarf. If unprepared or surprised, a dwarf should not be deceptive. But the dwarf should, by all means, spend a long time dwelling on it - forcing their single-minded intelligence to think about being subtle - and then acting with absolute deception.

And

Quote
Notes: While dwarves are generally obsessed over their foci, a dwarf is far from a mindless automaton. Dwarves will often plan out intricate, mind-numbingly careful, even decade spanning plans to fulfill their focus.

Which pretty much squelches your mindless automaton house example.

Dwarves are about planning, it is what they do. And to me, one of the great joys of playing a dwarf.

Of course, Looking through the docs again, I do find this little bit that applies to the OP.

Quote
The stubborn nature of dwarves typically stems from their driving goal, or 'focus'. This goal, usually adopted during adolescence, becomes a near-obsession for the dwarf, and their whole existence (from their point of view) revolves around it. They will seek out any (and often all) means to fulfill the needs of the focus.

Of course it contradicts the other docs which state a dwarf is never without focus.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 12:13:45 PM by X-D »
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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

Marauder Moe

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Re: Focus
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2009, 12:21:20 PM »
Your first quote lacks the word "plan".  Your second quote qualifies it with the word "often".

Also, I never meant for my second example to convey mindlessness, just determination in absence of planning.  Perhaps he is a really stupid dwarf, or perhaps he's so focused on his goal that he has trouble considering intermediate steps towards achieving it.  I don't think that's unrealistic.

X-D

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Re: Focus
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2009, 12:39:26 PM »
Don't nitpick Moe. I can as easily say that thinking about something for seven years is indeed, by definition, planning. Taken in context the quote definitly means planning. Think about for seven years then act with absolute deception. The second, often...fine, you can take it as saying they "often plan" And so, sometimes don't (silly I think) And I can take it as it was written, Often plan out intricate detailed plans...and sometimes they are just less so. But still planned. IE, the often was in the type of planning, not planning itself.


Besides, a dwarf that does not plan would be a...a...human!

Quote
1. plot, formula, system. Plan, project, design, scheme imply a formulated method of doing something. Plan refers to any method of thinking out acts and purposes beforehand: What are your plans for today? A project is a proposed or tentative plan, often elaborate or extensive: an irrigation project. Design suggests art, dexterity, or craft (sometimes evil and selfish) in the elaboration or execution of a plan, and often tends to emphasize the purpose in view: a misunderstanding brought about by design. A scheme is apt to be either a speculative, possibly impracticable, plan, or a selfish or dishonest one: a scheme to swindle someone. 4. sketch, draft, diagram, chart. 8. design, devise, plot.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 12:54:03 PM by X-D »
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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

Marauder Moe

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Re: Focus
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2009, 12:56:05 PM »
Sorry.  I don't mean to nitpick for the sake of nitpicking.  The thing is I often see posts that seem to attempt to squeeze non-humans (or heck, even some classes of humans) into too small a box.  I've also heard lots of people say they don't like playing some non-humans because they feel the racial mentality is too restrictive.  I think the actual restrictions for these races are a lot looser than they realize, and that there's plenty of room to make a dwarf or whatever unique and interesting.

I want people to know that it's OK for their dwarf to not plan in regards to their focus.  They should try to have their character think about it often, and work towards it when possible, but it's not necessary to always be analyzing data in their thinks, making logical connections, and laying out precise tasks leading up to their focus.  Daydreaming about houses while performing whatever job brings in the 'sid is a perfectly valid life for a dwarf.

X-D

  • Posts: 5817
Re: Focus
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2009, 01:12:15 PM »
The very act of thinking about it is planning...even if it is but a tiny bit.

As to squeezing them into the small box. That IMO is a good thing. When you allow too much leeway you just end up with a bunch of funny looking humans. Elves become humans that don't ride, Half-giants become really big humans that talk stupid, dwarves become midgets without hair etc etc.

If a player does not like a race because it is restricted, that is a good thing. As it sits, right now I see very few races played well and this is what causes IMO all the posts about Elves and breeds and such. Not so much that the people playing the other races are poorly acting out the racism they should but that other people are not playing the race so you can act out the racism. At the bottom of the ladder of good RP I see right now for races is breeds, then half-giants then elves...I cannot say on dwarves because there are so few.

I don't like to play half-elves, Not because of the stats but because the mindset is one I have a hard time getting into. I realize this, so, I do not play them. I personaly think one should not play a race at all rather then play it poorly or very far outside the documented norm.
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

Marauder Moe

  • Posts: 13015
Re: Focus
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2009, 01:21:15 PM »
I disagree. 

I'm not going to get into a semantics fight, or docs fight, or anything like that today, though.  The OP's question seems to have been answered anyway.

Cheers.

X-D

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Re: Focus
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2009, 01:33:24 PM »
True, massive derail anyway.

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

Jenred

  • Posts: 497
Re: Focus
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2009, 08:26:42 PM »
My experience with Focus (and its a pretty broad subject, with many alternatives to playability and no real definitive - you must play it this way), and the way I've always played it is, it is like a wave. It has lulls and surges. But it is always there, in some degree.

First off, the Focus cannot exceed the scope of knowledge I have. I.e. as a newborn, having a focus to see the mountains, that I don't even know exist.

But being born, having a Focus to explore... a wanton urge to travel and explore. This is its baseline. And as a child, that desire to explore would not need to be specific. Your knowledge of the world is very little. Exploring out of your crib could be enough.

As I gain knowledge, and age, the focus adapts and grows. My exploration focus might drive me to explore a certain region, and then lull a little with the completion of that. This helps me fit my focuses in the "when they are attained they are replaced" aspect. It also allows me to let that feeling grow as I grow closer.

Kinda like the game hot and cold.

If Im doing something unrelated, but not contrary to my focus, its kinda cold... if my focus, using the documentation as an examplel, is to provide food for an ailing family member.

On my day to day I might be feeling in the back of my head:
You really should be getting food for Joe. Why are you not getting food for Joe. Joe is ailing and you are not assisting.  - This is because I tend to have a similar conscience to my characters, and I respond to guilt. So I RP this way alot of the time.

When I'm doing something in line with my focus, the thoughts will become more high-speed, almost like an adrenaline rush, I'm doing something for them, so I become eager and excited that my focus is being satiated.

After providing the food, and realizing the family member is well fed, my focus will go into almost neutral... but still nagging. Joe is fed, but when will they need more food. Should I be providing more food? Why am I not providing more food. What if he becomes hungry soon, I am unprepared.

This to me works for many focus options.
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Dalmeth

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Re: Focus
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2009, 03:01:26 PM »
How old are Dwarves before they get their first focus?

Here's your problem, right here.  You think dwarves get a focus, like it's something tacked on to their psychology at one point or another.  The focus is merely a description of certain area of the shared dwarven psychology.  As some have stated, at a young age, it's often simply that they aren't knowledgeable enough to really have a focus, but they will still obsess over the work they do, at least in comparison to a human.
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