Thinks, Feels and Bios.

Started by Kavrick, May 24, 2024, 07:37:52 PM

So, in the wake of my karma review, I kinda realized I'm absolutely awful with these three things. This is probably due to coming from a roleplay scene where the first two don't exist and the latter not being necessary even when it was an option.

Did any of you have particular ways you got into the habit of doing them? I always assumed what my character thinks can be shown through their body language and tone, but with mindworms existing I feel a little bad that most of characters are completely empty-headed for them.

And whilst there's a good chance I never get good at thinks/feels, Bios are something I completely think I need to be doing. The only issue is that I'm not really sure when to do them and what to include in them.

Tl;Dr - How do I get better at thinks, feels and Bios?
I make up for the tiny in-game character limit by writing walls of text here.

Watch people for their body language. Think about stupid little shit. Damn it's stormy out. I'm hungry enough to eat the ass out of a mek. My back hurts from all this digging. Feel the aches and pains in your joints. The wind in your hair. Awe at the size of a mekillot. Shrinking terror from creeping death when you've heard you have a price on your head.

For bios, sometimes I'll talk about people
bio add Sergeant Stump
This Sergeant has been down my throat about cleaning out of the latrines. He waived my entry fee.
Good sort, but seems mighty preoccupied by making the perfect shield. Last week he convinced us
to come out to help take down a Roc, a contract he paid out himself, just to experiment with an
avian skull of that size.

Or life events
bio add Execution in Meleth's
Saw someone on the cuddler in real time rather than laid up on the pile. It was the most upsetting
thing I've seen in person that wasn't already happening to the dead. Someone said they were consorting
against the Highlord. Didn't make the screams softer. I don't know if I'll ever forget that day.


Me? Any time my PC lies, I will do a feel, a think, or a hemote. Possibly two.
Whenever my PC does something that is out of their normal routine, a think.
Whenever I, the player, think like "Oh, right, I need to refil my waterskin" ect.
Try to be the gem in each other's shit.

I suppose it depends on what you find easier to document for yourself. If you're more verbal, it might be more natural to start talking in your character's mind via thoughts. If you're less verbal, maybe making your character feel something might be an easier adaption. When you emote for others to see, occasionally tying in a 'feel' or 'think' for just you as well that goes alongside the emote.

If you're like me, you're already doing the thinks, but in your head instead of your PCs.

So you thinking this: "It's late afternoon now. Tonight should I try to steal some shit, log out, or spam contact to see who is on?"

Becomes this:
think Am I feeling lucky, tired or lonely?
em stares off in the middle distance
feel lucky
think Let's steal some shit.

I type fast so it's easy for me to type out thinks in game as I have them in my head. If I was a slow typer I'd probably avoid them.  But they benefit more than benders and staff: they help focus and pace your RP and flesh out your logs, if you keep them. 

PS I rarely bother with bios but shorter and more frequent than never  is probably the way to go.

There is also "mood"!

Because I wasn't playing very much and wanted to make the most of my time, I entered a bio almost every single time I played.  Just a few sentences summarising any developments in his life.  I thought it was kinda fun, and I liked the idea staff could read it any time they want and basically be able to completely engage with the character without feeling like I was filing really dull char reports

So, one of the best ways to get into the habit of doing thinks.

Any time you are saying something ICly.

Type out your say,

then also type out a think, that adds additional context.

Every two or three poses try to update your mood or throw in a feel.

"So what do you want me to do anyway?" said Amos the Hitman to the Guild Middle man.

think What's his angle? And what am not seeing?

feel cautious, the hairs on the back of my neck standing up.

"I want you to execute the contract our boss ordered, but I have an additional requirement for you." The Guild Middle man asks simple and sweet. "Cause as much property damage as possible as you do so."

think He just wants me to be caught. I should clarify this with the boss. This could be a test.

emote nod simply.
hemote eyes go towards the door. Mind clearly elsewhere.

"I can do that." Amos responds.

Looks a lot better from your end, and from a storytelling end.


"So what do you want me to do anyway?" said Amos the Hitman.

"I want you to execute the contract our boss ordered, but I have an additional requirement for you." The Guild Middle man asks simple and sweet. "Cause as much property damage as possible as you do so."

"I can do that." Amos responds.

I always have the fear that you will think "Boy, I hope a gigantic spider doesn't attack me while I'm out grebbing." and then staff will send a gigantic spider, maybe thinking you're asking for it.

For Bios I tend to add one whenever my character has big plans in the works.  Be they solo or instigated through external influences, I like to leave my characters thoughts on the table for imms to keep up to date.

Thinks I tend to throw in a lot when I'm crafting, being hopeful, or making fun of myself for how bad at something I am.  Or when I run into someone I have a feud with ongoing. 

Feels I really don't use at all.. I don't know why, I guess I feel indifferent in this sandbox gikker-king ruled life.
The glowing Nessalin Nebula flickers eternally overhead.
This Angers The Shade of Nessalin.

I find think especially useful when it might not be clear to a staff observer why my character is doing something. Often those uses of think are very basic, like "I'd better get to the shop before it closes" or "I need to finish making these cups like I told Amos I would."  Or if my character has thoughts about something they're seeing, but the thoughts aren't something they would necessarily vocalize. "What in the world is he wearing?" "Who does she think she is?" "This soup is too bland." Also think is very useful if my character is lying, but it wouldn't otherwise be obvious to someone who just started watching the scene.

I don't use feel as much, but I like the versatility of the feel command. I use it to highlight physical things like achy knees, or things more tied to emotion like feeling bored, or inspired, or eager to impress.

For some characters I use bio quite a bit, and for others not at all. My advice on bios is to make it part of your routine, like maybe try to post at least one bio entry every RL week. There was a time when we had to be logged into the game to write a bio, which could sometimes be a challenge. Now, being able to write bios from outside the game (or even for past characters) gives a lot of flexibility to use bio in whatever way works best for you.

So if you're tired of the same old story
Oh, turn some pages. - "Roll with the Changes," REO Speedwagon

I use think a lot with my PCs. Mostly when I'm either on my own or if I'm observing a scene where I'm not the one of the main guys and having to talk/emote a fair bit. If I'm one of the main guys I find Arm is a bit too fast paced to include more than a quick thought or two. I find thinks are a great way to flesh out my characters thoughts/motives on something and give him a bit of direction - just type it out as you think through something yourself. As I play more off-peak it can be quiet at times so using thinks can be a great way to while away a bit of time. I don't use feel all that much on its own but I do tie it in with my thinks quite a bit just to flesh out the thought a bit more and help bring in a bit of emotion into my character. I'd say the main thing is to just start doing them - it does genuinely force you to think through some things and it will sometimes lead you into actions that you might not have thought about otherwise. I think once you see them working for you you'll keep up the habit.

Bios are something I could improve on myself. I tend to write up them up a bit infrequently and usually when some major new chapter starts in my character's life e.g. getting made Sergeant at which point I'll do a summary of the last while.
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 drink" Dydactylos' philosophical mix of the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans (Small Gods, Terry Pratchett)

I did a couple things that kind of 'trained' me to use thinks/feels.

Firstly, early on I played in the North almost exclusively - no longer an option, really, but thinking that that Templar over there can read your mind and is quite possibly bored out of their skull always gave me a lot of incentive to have a vivid internal life for my characters.

Secondly, I love dwarves. Yep. And I like to think about my Focus. A LOT. I mean, I figure that when I, the player, am tired of hearing/listening/thinking about my character's focus, I'm probably roleplaying a dwarf pretty close to what it should be.

After those experiences, it kind of became second nature. I like to think that it was entertaining - and I recently requested my account notes after many years, and one of the notes on one of my characters is something along the lines of, 'deliciously spiteful thinks about their fellow aides'. It actually warmed my heart to think that some imm, somewhere, got a kick out of it. Whether it be an imm or a mindworm, you never know who might be watching. I just hope I enrich someone's experience of the game.