Posting Etiquette: In Character Non-Verbiage

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Posting Etiquette: In Character Non-Verbiage

Post by MagicRob on Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:18 pm

Good evening, ladies and gentleman.

I thought I would write a brief 'How we at Creole Souls will handle ____' thing. In this case, how will we be handling non-verbal IC communication.

We are gifted on this board with more than a few talented writers. Truly, the lifeblood of any board are those players that can paint a scene to life using prose and praise and erudite stringing together of words. It makes the scenes really come alive.

Some of how scenes come alive can be done with a character's body language, stance, behavior or internal monologue. Now, there aren't all that many powers that allow one character to read another character's mind in WoD. Even fewer in D:tF. This grants forum games a brief and understandably frustrating platform with which to take pot-shots at other characters without ever having to be guilty of doing the thing.

As an example:

Character A stood with his arms folded, a smile plastered on his face as he looked down at Character B. Dear god Character B was a chucklehead. Look at him sitting there with his smug-face all being smug and face like. Man, I sure do hope someone smacks Character B right in his mouth.
Character A nods as Character B continues to speak.

This example isn't particularly poetic or engaging because I'm trying to make a point. See, if I'm playing character A, I can say literally anything I want about Character B without fear of reprisal, simply by saying 'my character never said those nasty things, they were thinking them!'. While that is technically true, it generates something of a lousy grey area where one character has free license to criticize or demonize (HA!) another without having to worry about In-Character consequences.

We don't like that. Consequences is literally where we generate half of our plot.

So, here's how internal monologuing works. If you felt it necessary to type it, your character feels it necessary to emote it in some manner. In the above example of Character A and Character B, Character B might not know that A is fantasizing about him getting punched in the face. But, it's very clear from his body language, stance, posture and false grin that they're thinking 'not nice things', and they can act accordingly. Does this justify combat? Probably not. A starky comment? Sure. A 'What the hell is your problem, bro?' definitely.

Hit me with questions; this is designed to make you pick carefully what you have your toon emote, not punish people for writing long in-depth inner monologues.

-Rob.

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Re: Posting Etiquette: In Character Non-Verbiage

Post by Rex Mercer on Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:13 pm

May I ask a question here concerning a possible implication of this rule, or is there a more appropriate place for it?

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Re: Posting Etiquette: In Character Non-Verbiage

Post by MagicRob on Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:14 pm

If it's general consumption, here's fine. If you have a specific to you concern, your character forum seems more appropriate.

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Re: Posting Etiquette: In Character Non-Verbiage

Post by Rex Mercer on Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:29 pm

It's general.  Let's say I make a character who has an incredible poker face (Rex, for the record, does not).  His face belies no emotion and he's ice cold.  But he still has thoughts and feelings about what's going on, obviously.  How can someone roleplay that character appropriately as the epitome of a pokerface and yet have their every thought and emotion worn on their sleeve automatically?  Short of not conveying any sort of internal dialogue, how can they express thoughts and feelings for their character while simultaneously being true to their character being largely inscrutable? 


For instance, one of my favorite lines from this whole game was Henri silently hating the jazz-loving couple.  Henri is a blank slate until you push him, as I see it.  I don't think anyone would have necessarily perceived him as hating the jazz-loving couple if they had seen that.  But with these rules, they would have instantly known.  

So either someone with this sort of demeanor has to refrain from internal dialogue or accept that they have no pokerface, no?.  



Please understand this is not a challenge to the rule, as I will abide, and I mean no disrespect, but I'm having a hard time logically justifying how this works narratively.  I can understand someone with high empathy picking up on it, but Rex has no empathy.  I don't feel like he would pick up on someone's subtle thoughts all that well unless he was otherwise in their head.

Now if I as a player get offended by something player X types as a thought but doesn't say, I feel like I'd just have to get over it because otherwise I feel like reacting to it is metagaming.

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Re: Posting Etiquette: In Character Non-Verbiage

Post by MagicRob on Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:35 pm


If your character has a great poker-face, don't emote. It's that easy.

Anything that you put in your posts are going to be things that the other characters in the scene can respond to and react to. True me, one of the problems with forum games is that unintentional metagaming angle. If Rex and Victor are in a scene, and Rex keeps thinking shitty stuff about his boss, it's entirely possible that it'll rub off on my posts without it meaning to. I keep reading that Rex is upset, it's natural to respond like he is.

In the 'Henri as a blank slate' thing, that hate wasn't directed towards any other character. If you're in a scene with him and he's staring at a thing and you walk up and start talking to him, you might not know he was hating the sign, or hating stuff on the sign. But if he starts staring at you and has inner monologues wondering what your insides look like, you'd definitely get that squicky feeling and should be able to react accordingly.

Make sense?

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Re: Posting Etiquette: In Character Non-Verbiage

Post by Rex Mercer on Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:47 pm

I think so, but I want to be clear to insure I understand this.  If I'm reading this correctly, typed out thoughts toward or about other characters are broadcast (for lack of a better term), but not necessarily typed out thoughts about things unrelated to other characters?

As an aside, I personally disagree with the "if you have a great poker face, don't emote" approach, as that sucks if you want to play an emotionally complex, but outwardly closed off character.  Luckily, I have no such character, currently, so I won't have to worry about it, though.

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Re: Posting Etiquette: In Character Non-Verbiage

Post by MagicRob on Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:18 pm


These questions feel more like a thinly veiled critique, but basically, yes. If you post something, anything at all, it's understood that players can play off that. Posting that you have a knife hidden on your person might prompt other players in the scene to say "You know, my guy is a highly trained security guard, can I notice the knife?" Posting "That guy's a fucking idiot" in your head can prompt that player to come to the same conclusion.

I'm sorry you disagree with it. You can have emotional complexity and still keep stuff to yourself: that's what lits are for.

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Re: Posting Etiquette: In Character Non-Verbiage

Post by Rex Mercer on Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:32 pm

Now let me nip this in the bud right now.  When I ask a question, I'm not complaining.  I try to be very clear about that, and I try to be very respectful when I do ask.  Please stop assuming that my questions like this, or the one I had about combat, are anything more than what they appear.  I have no secret agenda to undermine the staff of this forum or anything.  Why would I do that?

If I was critiquing, I would say so.  I wouldn't "thinly veil" anything.  Don't make this something it's not, please.  I'm 100% legitimately trying to learn what the expectations and rules are.  I am getting fairly frustrated by the repeated implications that my questions are challenges to the authority here.  You all know I'm new at this, and I don't want to F up and break rules that everyone else seems to know.  I don't want to have unrealistic expectations or incorrect ones.  How the hell am I going to learn if I don't ask?

That said, thank you for the answer regarding the lits.  I had assumed that was the proper outlet for that situation, given this ruling, but I appreciate the confirmation.  Please note, when I say I disagree, I do not expect you to change anything for me.  That is not my intent at all.  I will abide by the rules because they are the rules and I have no choice, ultimately.  

Also, I now understand the rule to be "If you post something, anything at all, it's understood that players can play off that."  I didn't exactly get that from the initial post, so the clarification is welcome and appreciated.


I'm satisified with the clarification at this point.  Thank you, MagicRob.  If you feel as though I'm trying to pick a fight or something, feel free to delete all of this so it won't linger in the thread.

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Re: Posting Etiquette: In Character Non-Verbiage

Post by MagicRob on Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:35 pm


<tips hat>

Happy to help

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