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Drug Highs
Am I even high right now?

Alright, so I'm almost sure this has been discussed before, but a quick, not-in-depth search didn't turn up much. We need SOME kind of messages during drug highs, even just at the very beginning.

Now, my character doesn't use drugs very much, but when she does, I have very little idea of how to roleplay it. Because I have a tendency to @holdback a lot, for IC reasons, I can't see the buffs and penalties the drug gives me, so I have no idea whether my character is high. This is an ISSUE, because I can't roleplay being high if I don't know I'm high. This issue also arises in the Korova Milk Bar, when immies accidentally take HARD DRUGS without knowing at all, and those HARD DRUGS don't affect them at all until they start withdrawing, at which point they're like, What the fuck. All I'm asking for is messages at the start of the high, giving you a rough idea of what's going on ('You suddenly feel super zen, man.' 'You let out a breath as all the pain slips away from you.' 'Oh shit you're tripping balls, are you hallucinating or is this shit real??!!') so that you can actually ROLE-PLAY being on drugs. Also, another message for coming down off the high, and another once it's over, would be really nice. I'm not asking for constant, railroading messages that are the same for everyone, like withdrawals. That would be boring. Instead, I want guidelines so that I can make my high unique, make it my own. Characters shouldn't take drugs for stat boosts, that's not what people take drugs for in real life. They should take them because they wanna get high.

I definitely took two doses the first time I did candy ICly because there was no 'This is how you feel' echo, and I assumed that meant it didn't affect me. Having to look at OOC @stats to get an idea of how your character might be feeling DOES seem really strange.

I like this idea. Like maybe not a message that broadcasts to everyone, but only yourself. (Like how the 'laid' command works :d) Just a notification or something for yourself.

That is exactly what I mean, Diani. Maybe certain physical effects, like dilated pupils, red eyes, or a sweaty sheen can be portrayed automatically, but what I don't want is for the game to tell other people how I act during my high, because that would feel like the game is roleplaying my character for me. Private guidelines are best.

Love this idea.

Drug use is a very intimate personal experience that varies but I would certainly welcome some -passive- IC guidance. This is a job for scripting. A short brief, randomly driven script comparative to the withdrawal scripts except more positive would do the trick. Some skill and stat checks to make the experience a bit more personalized would be amazing too but I don't think that's possible in Babble-On.

I think this should be something the game provides you info on, to make the decision yourself.

Example:

I take wonderpill (Makes me happy)

OOC: This drug is known to make people extremely happy.

emote starts to grin as he looks around.

I don't think it should be a hard and fast CODE like BOOM now you're happy, but they should be readily available by code (like above) so I don't have to memorize fake drug effects or go searching webpages to figure out what X feels like.

The other thing I'd like to see included is the quality of the high, from "This gets you a bit buzzed" to "holy shit this is an intense high." Because the stat words are vague at best, I can imagine it being hard to tell how good a drug is based only on how much it boosts you.

I have a little more input here, after some more experience.

We're expected to be able to deduce drug effects from stat buffs and two-sentence blurbs alone, yet @holdbackers and people with nanogens can't see their stats being effected as reliably. Also, some drugs have a point where their buffs change to penalties midway through the high, without informing the player in any way or explaining why that is or what it feels like.

Having gotten a Nanogenic treatment recently, I really really wish drugs acted the same way. For those of you who don't know, nanos provide you with one or two sentence updates, throughout the course of the effects, to give you the symptoms to work with, then update your @look_place so that you can't ignore it. And while some may rail against @lping a certain way while high, @temp_place still overrides it.

Lastly, I have mixed feelings about withdrawals. I like that they give symptoms and force reactions, but I absolutely hate it when they force thoughts that seem out of character for my character. For example, and I'll tread into IC territory a little here, my character would never wish she was 'crunchy baked on green tree,' and while I get that yes it's a joke (haha) and it's showing that my character is pondering it, thoughts are IC now and I don't like that my character is being forced to think like a filthy Mixer. There -are- better examples out there, but I haven't experienced them ICly yet. What I do love are the messages specific enough to inspire RP, but vague enough that the effect will be different from character to character. I also love the physical symptoms from harder drug withdrawals, even though some of them don't account for clothing and the like.

I like all your ideas but I have to disagree a little on the withdrawal symptoms.

I think the point for the fact that there are forced reactions is that your character -is- not acting like what he/she usually acts due to the withdrawal. For instance, my character would probably never slap his/her friend or insult them, but due to the withdrawal, he/she doesn't have control over his/her body. (Thank you, candy!) You kind of lose control of yourself as you withdraw. I mean, all you can think about is "GIMME THAT CANDY!" or "I want!" so yea...That's just my opinion.

I love this idea in general. Short sentences after the initial dose just like the withdrawal messages would be fun and engaging i think. Triggers would be even more fun, like if your char is hopped up on Lana and then you look at another char or npc and you suddenly imagine them naked or something and other messages that reacted to how you perceive and interact with your environment. That sounds difficult. :-P

My only input to your concern of thoughts is...guess what? As soon as your character suffers withdrawal then she is indeed a filthy mixer and that withdrawal now has her in its clutches just like 40 million people in Red. It doesn't matter how rich the clothes or lifestyle she hides behind is...she's a tweeker now and her deepest thoughts are betraying her. If she can't stand that she can pay the dough like a good little corporate citizen and get the detox. Nobody has to be the wiser. :-)

I have to disagree on the state of withdrawal scripts. I don't like the withdrawal scripts that aren't physical symptoms or thoughts. Yes, your character should act differently when withdrawing but the scripts that force you to take actions are very stiff, impersonal and inorganic. Even withdrawal is a different battle for everybody. Withdrawal effects, like the suggestion of drug high scripts, should steer the RP but be personal to every character. It takes you out of the game when you see someone spit out the same canned withdrawal attack all the time, especially when it leaves no nuance for each characters' particular coping mechanisms.

Withdrawals should come in the shape of physical symptoms combined with something akin to angel/demons on shoulders, with players policing themselves, as we're expected to police ourselves in all aspects of the game.

In addition, I'd argue that the current incarnation of withdrawals feels like an RP-lite system in an RP intensive setting.

Oh true...Euclid brings up a good point...There were times where the withdrawal was just sudden and awkward in the RP....

So I guess maybe they should leave hallucinations or similar script that can only be seen by you. And then it is up to the player to RP out the withdrawals.

However, I think, the problem is that some players would then ignore the symptoms completely, because they can and probably all the players around them wouldn't know they're withdrawing anyways, due to the fact that no actions were forced.

Diani brings up a good point, and that is a tricky balance. I know I've held back with RPing my withdrawals on more than one occasion, which I do regret. The issue is, and I've both done this and seen it happen, some people see the script coming and get the fuck out of whatever room they're in so as to avoid what they know the script will do. So forcing action through script really doesn't work. Now, I am fully prepared to be shut down on this front, but I would propose allowing GMs to force actions, rather than the scripts. Send thoughts of frustration, for example, and, if the player doesn't react in a satisfying way, then force them to attack someone nearby. It'll feel like an intrusion, but, as already stated, that's what withdrawals are supposed to be like, and I'd rather a GM do it than some RP-lite code.

Yea, that solution is good, but it also brings up the ultimate problem; Think of all the work the GMs have to do!

I'm sure they're already pretty busy. Now add in...say, 5 characters who are experiencing withdrawals. They'd have to keep their eyes on all those characters in addition to what other RP they might be generating or monitoring...

And what happens when GMs aren't around at all?

It would be a sometimes thing. Not asking them to monitor and control every withdrawal in the game. Just, if they notice it, and are either not doing anything else, or able to multitask, then why not.

As an aside, if I were a GM, I would have SO MUCH FUN plaguing characters with hallucinations.

I'm pretty sure GMs already sometimes add to character's withdrawals....Either that or I coincidentally get scripts that are suitable for the current RP sometimes...

I searched the website for 'drugs' people:

https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/game-discussion/game-problems/drug-mechanics-270/

I can probably click 20 or so threads of this topic too. Search better, yeah?

(In my defense, I actually did search the boards a bit before making this post. None of the ones I checked covered everything I wanted to bring up. The post you linked is mostly apology and less in-depth than what I wanted. I know the staff is aware of the situation, I just wanted to gauge interest and get feedback.)

Wasn't doing much, so dug through the boards a bit. Of particular interest are the ones that teach you how to script, if y'all feel like writing some stuff for drug highs/withdrawals yourselves, if that's still something the staff would appreciate. Here's to hoping I get the formatting right!

https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/game-discussion/game-problems/drug-mechanics-270/ 2016

https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/development-discussion/script-development/drug-withdrawal-scripts-51/ 2014

https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/game-discussion/ideas/drugs-225/ 2002-2005

https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/game-discussion/ideas/-down--drugs--420/ 2003

https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/game-discussion/ideas/environment-changing-drugs-257/ 2002

It's really cool to see the old conversations about stuff that's actually been implemented. Goes to show that conversations on these boards do have influence on the game and how it's been shaped over the years.

If you don't like the withdrawal scripts...read help scripting and write new ones. ;-)