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Ambient RP Help
How can we best explain the do's and don't's of ambient RP?

Hey chummers, I'm looking to add a helpfile on ambient RP. Things that get handwaved for the sake of the story.

E.G.: not everyone wears coded socks, some characters train their skills using non-coded facilities like simulators.

Reply with your thoughts and ideas on how to teach players the as yet unwritten rules of ambient RP? Please remember we're not a MUSH and do not condone pretending functional objects benefiting your character exist without code.

I'm not absolutely certain if this counts but, I find it a little ridiculous when a player has to be unactive for extended periods of time for OOC reasons, and when someone asks their peers of their whereabouts, they'll come up with something like "he just has been sleeping in my closet for weeks". I'd like to promote an understanding that characters don't sleep for weeks uninterrumpted, and giving players ideas of how to prevent breaking immersion.

This is what you get for shacking up.

I want to contribute, but it's such a huge topic that I don't even know where to start. I know a couple of times I've gone in thinking something could be handwaved and discovered shortly after that I was actually dealing with a situation where there was a lot more coded depth than I thought. It can be really hard to know where lines are with that sort of thing sometimes.

I think it should mention that certain containers can be handwaved, like purses, backpacks, etc, so that it's not assumed everything you're carrying is in your pockets (if you even have pockets).

The thing is, even knowing which containers don't exist codedly (for instance, briefcases do) would be difficult for a new player, because they simply don't know. Just like Vera said, sometimes you don't know what's possible or what's available, so you try to RP things you shouldn't be.

I am very excited that someone is working on this. I have no idea about what I can safely use in terms of Ambient RP so I just avoid all of it and I think it keeps me from contributing as much as I could. Thanks in advance!

Right, I'll see about adding that bit about inactive players ambiently doing stuff anyway somewhere in the things newbies see first.

As for the problem with not knowing what's coded or not, would a list of things you definitely can and can't ambiently RP be useful? Do you think new players should find out IC first if there's any coded equivalent to what they want, or should they know right away? Just to hear your opinions.

Making a player find out in game if a common item like a purse exists in game seems unnecessary to me. I think it would be helpful to have a list of containers that are coded, so they know what they have to work with or not.

Ditto Manywaters. Just basic stuff helps.

Coded containers aren't necessary, beyond what we already have. Realism of inventory is just one of those things that are handwaved for the sake of gameplay. I frequently see people emote things like 'pulls out a *something* from somewhere', and that's okay, because this is a game and we don't have to assume that you can't carry a shotgun in your pockets.

I agree. We don't need to have more containers, but new players need to know which containers -do- exist.

And that it's OK to handwave pockets, backpacks, purses, etc.

Discussion around "sleeping" characters is a must, not just 'offline' but physically sleeping characters. Guy got attacked and killed, logged off before the doc could revive him. Is he passed out? Sleeping? In a coma?

For the offline types, I usually use "out of central for work/funeral/etc"

On the note of this. I think a consensus on ambient pop in streets would be useful.

Considering how packed the city is, people shouldn't be able to instantly spot a random hooded person across the street and then report later 'oh yeah, I saw a hooded guy go past just after that murder, must've been him'. There's hundreds of hooded manos on that street alone.

Another good example is bars. People are coming in to and out of bars very often, especially mix ones. I pity the bartender who has to individually ask everyone who walks into the bar if they want a drink.

Now of course that's the realistic way. But how much do we sacrifice for the sake of gameplay?

This has been discussed before, but essentially for the sake of the narrative, PCs (and NPCs with bits) are the people in the room who get noticed. If you see a guy in a red hood on the street, then your character spotted him. If he didn't want to be noticed, he can sneak.

As for bars, usually when I go out the bartender is quick to catch my eye and throw me a wave. That's how they make money.

"it's OK to handwave pockets, backpacks, purses, etc.

Pockets? Sure. Please don't do this if you're unclothed, though. Just play along with the magic of inventory and don't pretend you have a pocket when you don't even have a stitch on.

Backpacks and purses? No, not OK.

We have wallets, briefcases and certain other kinds of carry-able/wearable containers for specific types of contents. And since those ones are coded, they can be stolen, opened, emptied, lost, et cetera.

A handwaved backpack is a cheat when you look at it from that point of view, and it is contrary to the RP where someone puts their coded wallet in their fake "purse" and then gets it lifted. It's pick pocketing, not pick pocketbooking.

For the same reason, don't make a purse prop from material and RP putting your stuff in it. If the prop gets stolen but the thief doesn't get they contents they saw you pretend to store in it, you've just abused @rule 1.E, Circumventing In-Game Code.