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So you've permed!
Handbook for the Recently Deceased

This has always been something of a problem, to varying degrees, for as long as I've been playing, and I'm writing this in attempt to help all players affected by it. Offenders (accidental and otherwise) and everyone else around them, as I've seen a number of players complain about being targeted over multiple characters. Hopefully, it all comes across with that tone, so forgive me if I dip into the hypercritical, as I write this all very carefully for a number of reasons.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

So someone's permed. It was a messy and dramatic affair, largely against their will, and that character's run was cut short. Unable to achieve their goals, get revenge, see their arc come to fruition the way they wanted to. Then, shortly thereafter, an immy appears and it becomes all to clear who the last character was.

It's a scenario I think anyone who's been playing long enough is familiar with, and the fact it's recognized as one is a problem for a number of reasons.

>The Meta

The biggest issue at the forefront is signalling (accidentally or otherwise) to other players who you were previously. For better or for worse, you've alerted the player base to who you once were and made the burden of ignoring past favoritism or grudges all that much harder. There is, also, the tendency for some of these characters to 'speedrun', making dashes for characters/factions/jobs they know they can benefit from.

>Ruined Expectations

Not universal, but not uncommon, I've seen players make a character pursuing the same goals again and again and again, each time feeling frustration and failure at having not achieved what they themselves (the player) are after. One example was a player when I was a GM who, over a period of time, kept trying to be a Judge. Each new character went to a different faction that would lead them down this path, until they eventually circled back around to where they started. This leads into the third issue.

>The Bleed

Sometimes, whether these players recognize it or not, they're pursuing those previously mentioned biases. Whether taking the first chance to get revenge on a person who helped perm you, or pursuing your past character's love interest, or even playing off a bias you know another character shared with your previous one. This is probably one of the biggest issues of all, as it cheapens not only your previous character's experiences and your current one, but you're also blindsiding characters who have no history with your new one. This one is harder to quantify, admittedly. Sometimes, you simply like a player's style. Sometimes, you -really- dislike a player's style. I've seen it ranging from enjoying a person's sense of humor to full on blood feud the first chance a character got. This is bleed, pure and simple.

Recognizing the issue and solving it

To keep this from running on any longer than it inevitably will, I think we can all see how these thing compound. But how do we fix it?

I'll make this advice general, as not to call anyone out even vaguely, as I think these things are something everyone should consider when making a new character.


This one could be considered the easiest and the hardest. For some people, it's easy to recognize what sort of 'signature' parts of themselves are obvious, while introspection is a bit more difficult. The easiest one is using the same exact phrases as the last. Or ranting about certain things. Probably the most volatile is people reacting to the same scenarios that led to them perming, finding the same anger as before, and using the same insults. If it didn't work the first time, it probably won't work the second, third, fourth...

>Change up your goals

If your last character wanted to be a blade wielding Chinese mugger, but -this- one is different because they're a brawling Swedish mugger... You might want to change things up more. Again, I know some people are more tuned to combat than other aspects of the game, but try to at least change up the angle of approach. It might keep you from perming the same way again.

>Character Bias

Another one that could be considered easy/hard. The next time you make a character, try to give anyone you held a strong bias for/against on your last a wide berth. Easier said than done, sometimes, but give yourself some breathing room and not immediately fall back into your OOC biases. If you hate something, let it go. If it comes back to kill you, stab it.


This has been long as fuck already, and I could still probably go on more, so forgive me if it was too long or I didn't expound on something more. Hopefully this helps players who feel like they're trapped in a cycle, on the receiving end or otherwise.

All really good advice.

I definitely have noticed players struggling with repeating patterns, it seems to get worse when a player's characters perm out repeatedly and it's obvious they're just circling the drain from the start each time, each time getting more and more frustrated.

I constantly find myself wanting to give the advice to 'slow down', but then that's not what some people are after and if everyone played super long-term minded things would probably be pretty quiet, but there is a good balance to be found there I think.

I have an extremely obvious narrative style and voice so I sympathize with players who have 'tells' which make fresh starts difficult, but I do think the most common cause of character-to-character reputation bleed is those characters acting basically the same, whether that is attention-seeking behaviour or impulsiveness or whatever else.

I think it's worth keeping in mind that perming resets your character, other player's opinions of you as a player are not going to change, unless you change as a player as well.

I found starting a new character a huge wake-up call that I wasn't anything remotely like as good as roleplayer as I thought, and I made a lot of effort to improve and better emulate people who actually were (to mixed results). Sitting back and honestly evaluating yourself (insofar as that is possible) and what you did as a character, and what you wanted to do as a player, and how to get closer to that, I think is something valuable, or at least I found it to be.

I always try to generate a completely different character, personality, age, background, but especially goals. Rolling again gives you an entirely clean slate, so I think it'd be a shame to waste it on CC'ing your last character, or just trying to climb up the exact same hill.
I'm one who has tells and to a certain extent don't try very hard to mask some of them. The ones which I complacently let slip through due to diminishing-returns of benefit vs. effort are ones which reflect me, the player, not my new character.

If any character's behavior toward my new one seems to have a whiff of bleed, I just stop RPing with them. There's so much more to do than feed someone else's bleed.

There have been players whose RP tells give them away, who have impressed me greatly with their ability to play a very different character with very different motivations, plans and situations than their last one(s). Even though some of their stock socials or mannerisms are OOCly recognizable.

So you've permed?

Great, it's an opportunity. Do something different. Show us how it's done.

I think it's worth keeping in mind that perming resets your character, other player's opinions of you as a player are not going to change, unless you change as a player as well.

I always try to generate a completely different character, personality, age, background, but especially goals.

This is another thing that might help players who are stuck in the cycle.

Your character's been reset. You have a new past, which means a new way of achieving your new goals, which means new mannerisms, which means new... Etc etc.

Like 0x1 said, sometimes it is hard to displace those feelings, but by putting those opinions on your character and compartmentalizing them, and combing that with a completely new spectrum of approach (mentally, behaviorally, ticks/tells), you'll avoid repeating the same mistakes... Sometimes literally.

Just going to mention this since it seems like it at least vaguely fits, but, the first thing that inadvertently and through no doing of my own spoils me on who the player behind a new character is, is the fact that the "A new character has entered the city" message displays the players Karma count, and if you see them in Game-Help occasionally, you'll usually know.
One thing I do try to do is NOT appear before other PCs right after being announced on game-help. Getting a good IC week or so before being OOCly recognized is great.

If any character's behavior toward my new one seems to have a whiff of bleed, I just stop RPing with them. There's so much more to do than feed someone else's bleed.

This goes for other players' new characters too. Don't take this as a challenge, because that would be metagaming and against the @rules, but, good luck trying to RP with my character if you can't let go.

Oh, PCow, also - that karma count you see on "A new player has entered the city" has nothing at all to do with the player involved.
I have found that another good way to stop repetition and character bleed is choosing somewhere your previous character hadn't frequented and make that their new playzone. Played a corpie last character? Be a mixer. Liked to hang out on Sinn? Avoid that side of town, choose a different favorite bar. You'd be surprised how, especially in the first few weeks, separates your last character from this one.

Same goes for things like tells - choose a new favorite drink, clothing style, item, attitude. Last character was a murder hobo? Be a scared immigrant who is shocked by what they see.

For ideas for things like the little things like clothing style, drinks, etc, Cyberpunk 2020 has a randomized character generation set of charts for things like this that are good for starting points when making a character. Get those creative juices flowing.

It does. PCow is saying as a means of IC and OOC separation, when game-help announces a new character is in the city - and the karma attached to the bit - and then a character announces themselves or is seen immediately, it makes the waters murky.

Because not only is meta'ing an issue between someone's last character and their new character, it can also be an issue for the players behind characters who aren't the ones who permed.

One of the things I don't like witnessing in game is when someone's -player- obviously has a social tell about themselves that they probably don't realize is bleeding through to their new characters. And that character gets dog-piled for that social tell, as some tells can often be annoying, by the rest of the game or by a loud subsection.

Players should not meta and bleed between going from one character to the next, absolutely not. Likewise, players should also recognize that not everyone is socially aware of themselves and while your character may not like certain personality traits that are showing up in character after character.. maybe give the player a little bit of time to breathe. Otherwise frustration just gets compounded on the sides of all parties.

Being blunt, players do have 'tells' but a lot of the time this isn't so much bleed as both characters are extremely loud and annoying. I feel like if you die because you alienated the entire city over SIC, you should maybe take a break from it for a few weeks on the new character.

A new coat of paint on the same drama-engine is usually pretty easy to identify, and players should be realistic about how much anonymity they're going to have. It's not hard to identify the player behind the character, regardless of how different the character is.

Players write a certain way, they act a certain way, the want certain things, they have a certain roleplay and mechanical ability. If you are yourself interacting with characters your previous character did, it's reasonable to expect for your character to not inherit that character's relationship, but be realistic about how different you are, really, from what you did previously and how you're interacting now; because chances are if they're treating you the same, you're acting the same as you did and expecting different outcomes.

That came off as self-aggrandizing and judgemental, so to be clear, I made a ton of bad choices myself my first year (and afterwards too, but I try to think I am doing better lately).

I distrusted staff, I didn't make enough of an effort to tell a story for other people, I made permanent choices based on temporary circumstances, I avoided conflict playing a character who should have embraced it, I didn't play to my stats well, I mistook speed-bumps for walls, and probably worst of all I completely failed to recognize how much work other players and staff were investing in me.

That I managed to learn from that, at least a little bit I hope, I entirely credit for being lucky enough to have played with amazing players and roleplayers who tolerated my failings enough to influence me to be better. I completely sympathize with players who struggle to make things work, but don't have the chance to link up with people who can show them how to succeed. Hopefully everyone finds the right people for that, but sometimes it's chance.

Appreciate you sharing that, 0x1. Sometimes, the hardest part comes from realizing that some problems are internal, IC and OOC. All too familiar of that myself.
Agree on the karma count. "Oh, a player permed out who was being obvious about who their character was OOCly. And they have 10 karma. And then a new immy strolled in with 10 karma and announced their SIC alias to the dome. Welp."

I do my best to avoid paying attention to those things, but I still find it to be an issue. To guarantee you've anti-meta'd it, you'd have to create a new character at least a day later at an ungodly time of day for you, then make a beeline for the coffins and logout instantly. Then wait at least another day or two before being seen by anyone.

When I'm involved with a permed character, I try to minimize interaction with the next character in order to help push them elsewhere. I appreciate anyone who does this, too.

Thanks for this thread. 0x1mm's last post had some parts that rang true for me, and it is something I've been trying to figure out how to get away from. There's a lot of fear on my side, because of RL insecurity, when my character -shouldn't- fear nearly as much. Knowing I'm not alone in having difficulties separating OOC from IC helps.
Staff always encouraged me to avoid forming close relationships with characters, if your previous character also had a close relationship with them. Some people do this for that OOC closure and the meta knowledge that this character could be benefitial to them, or because they enjoy what that character providers.

Diversify your stocks. If you were really close to a specific group of characters, in your next roll, try to not be so obvious about sidling up with the same people. Now make them your enemy.

Making them your enemy can be touchy too - it doesn't do anything to eliminate bleed or (I know this thread is not about) mis-using meta knowledge.

Best in my opinion to not deliberately highlight them in any way whatsoever - at least until your new character has had a good burn-in time to develop their own turf and react to an organically legit IC reason to engage with them at all.