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Edge's Four Basic Lessons of RPGing

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Edge's Four Basic Lessons of RPGing

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Edge on Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:52 am

Introduction POST
I learned four lessons when I was being taught how to RPG.

The Five Senses, Communitcation, and Power.
The last lesson was the overall goal, The Promise.

I understand that these lessons may not be to everyone’s liking, but it’s my own way of how to RPG, and I don’t think it’s a half bad list.

Lesson Three is Pending.
Sub Element Lessons pending as well



How to Lengthen Posts:

This is what many come to the RPG Acad for. The best way I’ve found to lengthen posts is to add details of the world. And further describe your character, adding internal dialogue and SOME flashbacks help but aren’t needed every post. Adding some smaller actions such as a hand wave or drum of the fingers on a table works well.

The quality of your posts will make a better impression then the length.

Some RPGers never move beyond three long paragraphs but those paragraphs are packed so well that you have to read every word to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

There is a way of writing the skeleton of your post first and then go back over it to further see into the details.



The Promise:

In the world of writing, you make a contract between the reader and yourself.

You make a promise. As to what that promise is- it depends on the story and the writer.

In the flipside world of RPG, it’s no different, though instead of making a promise just to the reader, you’re also making a promise to the other writers.

The World is the first part of the Promise, and following the build of the world is very important.

RPGers rely on team work. As a team, we may be as small as 2 or as many as 12 or more. We lean on the post above and take details from that sample of writing to further the story along. Our characters react to what ever is thrown at them by the other players. This is why the Promise is so binding.

But how do you keep the Promise with The World?



Lesson One:

The Five Senses:


I’ll cut the chase- the three most used senses in writing are are:

Sight
Hearing
Touch


Those three are the most commonly used senses in RPG posts as well. But we’ve got two more not so commonly used.

Taste- Your body is well tuned to taste just about anything you smell. From sweat and blood to peaches to cheese.

Smell-
Smell generally is where the action is taking place.

No matter where you are, there is always an area. Even in the blackest pits of Oblivion, there is something. You can feel can’t you? Or maybe you can’t. But that’s a feeling too- but more on that some other lesson.

The guy I learned to RPG from had a drill where I would stand in the room and name off what was in it. So it started like this:

Chair, table, books.

Then he would ask for details: Red chair, plastic table, brown books.

Again he asked for details: Red plastic chair- cracked down the side; a white plastic table with a faded coffee stain and scratches on the legs. And the books were brown leather bound books about Sir Thomas Moore and his essays.

Do you now see the process of adding layers of details?


The first challenge is to:
~ usea basic human
~ No magic
~ No powers
~ Keep a light back story.

Bonus: One physical handicap: Blind, deaf, or both, or physical injury that slows the character down and/or makes the character interesting (optional)

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Edge
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Re: Edge's Four Basic Lessons of RPGing

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Edge on Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:03 pm

Lesson TWO:
Communication


Like opening, the Promise states that RPGer’s rely on teamwork to complete tasks. This requires interactions between characters, both NPC (non playable characters) and normal players. This can be anything between action or dialogue, or both.

Most times those playing NPCs are not submitting stats for that character, but their role in the RPG is usually is clear. Sometimes not. It’s considered rude to control another person’s NPC. This however should not hinder what you can do to the NPC. No, you can’t force words into their mouth, but you can direct their attention and most times make implied movements. This can include “off stage” movements. Off stage movements means you’re putting a character off to the side to do some menial task that’s apart of everyday life, but not needed to be in the limelight of the RPG.

The same goes with a player. The difference is that you can’t force emotions, actions, or words on another player. The interaction with an RPGer is more implied and less direct.

As technical as all this sounds, it’s not. Just let your writing flow, and reread to make sure you didn’t accidentally force anything.

The Second Challenge:
~ Speak and interact with one NPC of your own
~Speak and interact with one of my NPCs
~Speak and interact with my character.

Higher Level Goals
~ Direct an NPC to a place or get their attention.
~ Imply that a player needs to follow you somewhere.

~Bonus: Your NPC interaction with my NPC and implying they need to go somewhere “off stage”

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Edge
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Re: Edge's Four Basic Lessons of RPGing

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Edge on Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:47 pm

Lesson Three: Power

This is perhaps the only lesson where reading is required.

This is one the places where writing and RPGing cross over quite well

This is also one of the most important lessons to learn on an individual level. Up until now you’ve been working, in a sense, for and with other RPGers. This lesson is the only lesson that focuses solely on the strength of your writing. This is where you make your mark as an RPGer.

But before I can go further, the lesson has to be broken down into two radically different aspects that work together.

Language vs. Character

Let’s focus on characters first.
For most RPGs you’re going to see this divide mostly based on genera:

Brain vs. Brawn: For the RL RPGs, Horror, Military, some Sci-Fi, and all out non-magical worlds.

Magic vs. Sword: for all fantasy and some Sci-Fi worlds.

For those of you who’ve played D&D, you know how points in either magic or arms department can affect how your character functions.

Brawn and Sword:
To begin, any character of non magical or not intellectual- a character with an Average Joe IQ- relies on their bodies as their lines of defense and offense. If your character is based on how well he swings his sword, then you know the cost of swinging his sword is however much endurance he has. If you really want to test this look up the weight of any sword, fill a bucket with that weight, and stand out in some open space with your arm extended holding the bucket. While you think this is a dumb exercise and argue that the blade is in motion, thus giving relief, I advise you to go out in the field and swing that bucket of water around.

Your arm will still tire out. Trust me. I’ve been a swordsman since I was fourteen. I still get tired after a five to seven minute duel with a bastard (one handed) sword and a dagger in my guard hand. Don’t try and tell me you can fight on and on for hours. Can’t hold that bucket up for hours, can you?

The same theory works for you two handers too . Actually the longer the blade, the harder it is to wield. Not to mention the timing between strokes gets longer. Even if you’re wielding two blades, cool as it may be, your arms will tire. So watch that.

Ok, so what if you aren’t the sword swinging manic? Well, let’s assume you’re more of a bruiser, a rough character. Strong, average intelligence, what do you have to worry about? Well actually quiet a bit. If you’re a gun man you might want to know about the vibration of the gun in your hand or if you have some kind of semi automatic or any kind gun in the Tommy family, you’re going to be feeling the pain in your shoulder and the ache in your elbows.

If you’re a hand to hand character, the same applies. Take the punches and roll with them. Now if you’re in a fight with another character you’re going to have to read your opponent’s post carefully. You’re going to do some real pulling from their post and note where the gaps are to throw your own fists.

Overall, as a physical character, you have to be very away of your body’s limits and be aware of that your character WILL tire or run out of some kind of energy. Now kids, before you think you’re done read up on this next chapter.

Intellectual and Magic

Now, unless you’re a complete neutral character in which case you have some strength, but not a lot, but have your wits about you- your character cannot perform many of the feats that a stronger character can. However that doesn’t mean you’re completely helpless. While there are few true Bruno characters, there are just as few truly high genius level characters.

As a true genius character the blood flows toward your brain, not your brawn, so while you may not be able to pound any kid for their lunch money, chances are you can blackmail them into giving it to you or have the perfected art of running away faster then a jackrabbit with its tail on fire.

From what I’ve seen in the RPG field, there’s a trend of a mix between Bruno and the Harvard grad student. Generally I’ve found these characters either have as much money as one or in a serious amount of debt from Harvard. Intellectual characters can be of any economic class and are more flexible.

Honestly intellectuals are going to be the leaders of the RPG, but be mindful that intellects also come with a high price- pride. Wounded pride at that- making them dangerous to cross. And intellectuals are dense about how things in reality actually work.


Magic. Oh look at the pretty fireball! Look at it wipe out the entire field of monsters! Yay! Victory music! Black Mage saved us all!

Wrong.

Black mage is on his side panting from the amount of energy it just took him to work that damn spell for the second time today.

Magic happens to be my specialty and often I see spells that go into effect and yet have little consequence on the user. I’ll save the exceptions to the rules for last. For all you mages out there, there are actually three good rules to note.

Remember Newton’s laws?

I. An object in motion remains in a state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

Alright, so class, if I throw a fireball at my opponent and she uses a greater water spell, guess what happens to my fire spell? Yes, Sally, my energy is dispersed.

II. The relationship between an object's mass m, its acceleration a, and the applied force F is F = ma.

Actually the second law is more for physical combat. So if I swing a heavy iron club at you it’s going to be slower and take more effort out of me then if I swing a plastic bat. However, this is highly important because of the telekinesis crowd, or use of “Jedi” powers to move things. The heavy the object the more magic required to lift it.

III. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Equivalent Exchange, Eye for an Eye, what comes around goes around, Balance, Cost, Light and Dark. Good and Evil, Fire and Water.

What ever the hell you want to call it, it all amounts to the MOST IMPORTANT RULE IN Magic. In fact it’s not Magic if it doesn’t follow this rule- it’s God Playing. Plain and simple.

For every act of Magic there is a price. It also depends on the world.
Normally the price is blood or energy.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULES:
Artifacts: I know some people are going to argue that an object holds a certain amount of charge and yadda yadda, can only be used a certain amount of times.

Honestly- I hold to one rule of thumb- the older the artifact the more power it holds. Like a battery working the opposite way. It gathers energy and holds it in. There are too many other factors that come into play to call it a sure bet- but I can say from experience that if it’s an object of power it’s sure to be old. If it’s something minor, let it be minor and new, a dragon is not going to be deflected by a ring you made two minutes ago- though you could trap its jaws shut for five minutes to get out of a sticky situation. Much better alternative then facing the damn thing.

Chemistry/Classical Alchemy: I say Classical because the FMA crowd. I’m talking potions. The adjustment is tempory unless otherwise stated due to the fact… well… you have to use the restroom some time, even if it’s absorbed into your system. – Intellects this includes you too.



WHAT TO DO ABOUT THOSE GOD DAMN EVIL VILLAINS:
Sorry. Evil Villains get to break as many rules as possible because not many people are willing to play them.

Call it a perk.

However, an evil Villain cannot ignore posts nor can he avoid most of the actions done against him. There are ways to outsmart him, and despite all odds- you CAN beat him. He cannot avoid the three rules of Magic either- however he is allowed a massive amount of baddies and wells of power.

Whew… that covers Character.

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Re: Edge's Four Basic Lessons of RPGing

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Le Cruise on Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:29 am

I hate to argue with a moderator (since you typicaly don't bite the hand that feeds you, or the one that can put your ass out on the street, via BANNING express) but, isn't one's magical capabilities entirely dependent on the world, since a certain game could say," the magic system works as such, sacrifice one soul per spell, rapid fire spells are acceptable", defeat the entire purpose of your lesson, which brings another theory, what system of magical...(for lack of a better word) stuff, are you basing your lessons on, in my time, I have come across a couple different systems, one envolved the amount of mice you had in your pocket at the time (please don't ask about that) to one that said that each person was born with X amount of spells available for use in their entire life, and can be rapidly used ( based off that one anime, my friend just loved it). In recap, isn't your lesson entirely dependant on the energy to magic ratio idea ( give or take the nitty gritty), and please don't ban me for speaking my mind, the first amendment can be worked around.
Sanity is just a limitation

If I was normal, then why would you even acknowledge me?

Go Eagle Go!

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Re: Edge's Four Basic Lessons of RPGing

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Edge on Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:48 pm

I hate to argue with a moderator (since you typicaly don't bite the hand that feeds you, or the one that can put your ass out on the street, via BANNING express)


Look. I’m not an evil moderator looking to ban people. So please don’t speak to me as if you’re a victim before you get into trouble. That’s just offensive and could be read as slightly manipulative from a more paranoid person.

I’m human too, ya know?

but, isn't one's magical capabilities entirely dependent on the world, since a certain game could say," the magic system works as such, sacrifice one soul per spell, rapid fire spells are acceptable", defeat the entire purpose of your lesson,


As I stated above, For every act of Magic there is a price. It also depends on the world. yes it does depend on the world and on the contrary, it does not defeat the point of my lesson at all.

This lesson is meant to be kept in mind as to how to use magic in a realistic sense.

Sure you can do all the rapid fire ball spells you want, you’re still going to tire out, your palms are going to burn, and your arms won’t be thanking you anytime soon. Oh and mind that you don’t set your robes on fire.


what system of magical...(for lack of a better word) stuff, are you basing your lessons on, in my time, I have come across a couple different systems, one envolved the amount of mice you had in your pocket at the time (please don't ask about that) to one that said that each person was born with X amount of spells available for use in their entire life, and can be rapidly used ( based off that one anime, my friend just loved it).


You speak as if I’m basing this off another magical system. I’m not. I’m basing this off of a lot of crossroads I’ve come across with my ten years of experience of RPGing. I’ve studied most of the systems and then reduced it to the most common rules I see.

I have to do it that way because we have characters that are multi universe.

You missed the point of the lesson altogether really. It’s not about creating a default magic system at all. It’s trying to make sure other RPGers don’t go about casting spells that they can physically do without some reason. That’s why Newton’s laws are in there. Something simple to tie magic back into because it’s three easy rules to remember.

Think on it a second. Ever come across a beginner RPGer that shots out spells and yet never tires? Never seems to run out of arsenal no matter how many times he summoned Oblivion that day? That kind of action defeats the purpose of having powerful spells to begin with. Defeats how large the spell actually is.

In recap, isn't your lesson entirely dependant on the energy to magic ratio idea ( give or take the nitty gritty), and please don't ban me for speaking my mind, the first amendment can be worked around.


Yes, when it all boils down, it is dependant on a ratio of how powerful the character is to how powerful the spell is. A fire ball can be a small as a baseball or as large as an air balloon, but you can’t say the energy level for both spells is the same yes?

As for the source of where you tap that energy from, it depends on the world.

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Re: Edge's Four Basic Lessons of RPGing

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Le Cruise on Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:35 pm

alright, that's clear to me now, thank you for not being an evil moderator

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