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How To Fill A Room Using Narration

We didn't have enough time at town hall to cover it, so I'm making a thread to talk about it! Using spoofs and regular ol' emotes, you can employ narration to fill a room around you with npcs and elaborate on the scene as pre-described by the room.

Have you ever seen the movie Hook? Some of our younger users might not have, so I'm going to link you to this scene. Please take a gander (condensed, thankfully):

Peter comes to the table and he's famished. He's ready to consume what the table has to offer. But when the pan tops are lifted, he sees nothing. He expresses frustration: what's the deal, yo? Any bakalaka can see there ain't nothin' here!

That sounds a lot like what someone might think when they first walk the streets of Sindome, right? "There's no one here." Ah, but there are people there! You have to use your imagination to see them. And as soon as you do--boom! They appear. They will seem more real in your perception and your writing style will change to accommodate your new POV.

How can you take up this practice to immerse yourself more in the world? How can your writing not only accommodate the invisible NPCs, but make room for them in your writing for flavor? Here's some easy tips to get started!

- When you first get to the room, check out what kind of crowds the room tells you are there. Grunen's has smokers and corpies taking a load off from the work day. The Drome has every type of Mixer imaginable crowding the bar for a drink and searching for information. The room's description will clue you in on your narration starting point.

- Narrate a little of your character interacting with those crowds. They could be squeezing in to get a seat, or waving smoke out of their face while taking a seat next to a PR consultant.

- In between major actions between players, spoof what the room is doing ever so often. If you are in a diner, there's servers rushing around and customers rolling in and out of there. You can just imagine the sights, sounds, and smells you'd get from a scene like that. What do you hear? What's the cook doing in the kitchen? Tell a micro-story that's one post long with him. Then, you can go back to your character's own narration.

- Don't forget the cyberpunk flavor! An upscale bar is an upscale bar no matter what game you're in. But in Sindome's upscale bar, there's high-stakes dealings in the corners. Do you see those two suits over there? The way they're whispering probably means they're up to no good. Oh look, there's a Mixer in the corner trying to blend in by dressing up--and here comes a Judge to fine them for impersonation. On the streets of Red, you can see a bag lady wandering up and down with an empty, broken stroller that's filled with trash that she's going to try and dump into a chute for SIC cred. All those things make the city what it is, one spoof at a time.

What are the benefits of spoofing?

- It shows other players you aren't just your character. You can think outside the box and play anyone.

- Players will react to your spoofing and help enhance roleplay in the room.

- People might actually seek you out to play with you more!

- You're giving more life to the dome which is always good.

Best Practices

- Don't spoof an NPC to fight a PC, it isn't fair to do that and it violates ToS.

- Spoofed microstories have a short half-life. When an NPC's time is done, let them go back into the crowds of Withmore again. Don't hold on to them for too long.

- If you aren't sure you should spoof a specific thing, it's best not to do it.

- If someone else narrates something, don't write narration that negates what they've said. Go with the flow and let your writing work together.

That's all the tips I have, but if you have questions, please feel free to ask me! Also other player tips are totally welcome, come add yours!

It is best not to over-use spoofing as it can appear meta and appear to people that it is a 'norm' for Sindome, which it is not.

People should spend the majority of their focus on role-playing with each other and improves their poses and emotes without devolving into ParaRP.

We allow some players to spoof in clubs for the sake of RP and ambiance but this should not be common place every where you go.

It is very easy to get carried away with spoofing and act in a meta or antagonizing way with your spoofs. Nothing you spoof should ever suggest, acknowledge, or imply anything that affects another character, because if it's something that character would react to, they simply cannot.

It's most appropriate for someone in an employed job to make use of, a bartender serving drinks to someone, completely find, adds to the ambiance and doesn't affect anyone else.

Should another player start spoofing make-believe NPCs approaching the bartender? Absolutely not, you're taking the control and ability for them to react and for the game to judge how that interaction is handled away.

We're not a MUSH and players need to be cautious of creating these types of scenarios.

Just remember, if it's not an object it's not real, and if a player is spoofing it, you don't even need to acknowledge it as something that's happening.

I think it's appropriate to use spoofs inside clubs/bars/etc if you work there as a performer or bartender, as long as it's to add color/flavor/CP detail to your workplace rather than try to create a significant and substantive narrative. I use them heavily myself. Part of it, to me, is that you're sort of taking responsibility for a space while you're RPing there, and it's your IC job, and people tend to appreciate it. For something like KMB, where it's televised, performers and bartenders spoofing/crowd spoofing can actually keep people watching (and generate SIC chatter) even if there are no other PCs in the room.
I totes agree with Mr. Cerberus' comment but I also love this theme. Let it ride!

Emote like no one is watching

We've got ninja's and shit. There's GM's watching you more than you think. Invite opportunity!! Take a hit of LNA and emote a tribute to it while you collide down Lamb's Wake with some crumpled chyen in your pocket. If you politely tickle the dome it might jostle back. Style > Substance.

I will say, my characters often interact with the world even when I don't think anyone is watching. Talking to themselves, getting comfortable, checking their weapons... It adds to my own immersion and possibly, to others.
Omigod I'm glad other people emote with no one else in the room! Now I don't feel weird about doing it, lol.
I want to add that I find spoofing helps a lot when it simply doesn't make sense for you to interact directly with another character, as it allow you two to both interact by roleplaying your reactions to the narration, and could possibly even serve as an opener for interaction.
Hello am here to rez this thread since it was mentioned in help chat the other day.

Can I get more examples of acceptable spoofs please? I don't wanna cross the line, but it might be fun to use them here and there. I was gonna ask an IC friend oocly to show me examples, but it felt wrong. I dunno. #stress

Maybe at a bar or at the bank or the street. Common areas.

Anything that wouldn't need another PC/NPC to react to it. A patron bumping into you and spilling your drink in the crowd? Go for it. A patron bumping into another PC? Nope.

Trying to withdraw some cash but the machine tells you to insert your credentials again? Sure. Someone trying to pickpocket you in the bank and running off? Nope.

Put me down as someone who emotes in assumed privacy! It really helps to get into my character's mindset and stay in it. 😁

Here are some great spoofs I've seen:

- Someone joining in with ambients' applause and hooting

- Someone perusing ambients in a room while trying to find me in a crowded bar (the ambients are no longer interacted with after the spoof)

- Someone guiding a crowd of ambients along with some players

- Someone posing ambients' non-confrontational reactions to a speech

Spoof I have seen someone get reprimanded for:

- Wanting a stray bullet to hit an ambient

Here are some spoofs that I used when my character was a bartender. I never got reprimanded for using them.

!There is a steady ebb and flow to the club. Patrons wash ashore against the chrome bar, where Castayo and ... serve customer and dancer alike. Now and then a customer will be will be pulled away from the bar by a dancer, senses lost in the lure of sex and the promise of temporary companionship.

!In a booth along the wall, a woman in a suit speaks with a man who has not bothered to remove his mirror shades. Untouched drinks rest on the table, like the untouched dancer perched next to the woman. The cost of admission, the price for a place to a meet. The dancer knows better than to pay attention to the conversation, and she nods her head to the beat while she looks out over the club. Her and ... share a subtle, 'what can you do?' sort of shrug before he goes back to cleaning glasses.

!A dancer emerges from the hallway to the southwest, thumbs hooked into her g-string as she repositions the small patch of fabric over her crotch. On the hunt for more chy, she seems unaware of the of man who follows a few steps behind her. ... glances over at them, eyes shifting from the dancer to the John as the latter figures out that the glimpse of the dancer's ass as she heads towards the bar is the last he is going to see of her.

!A steady beat thumps through the club. It baths the space in a stimulating, yet numbing repetition of sound and sensation that seeps into the muscles, while dulling the senses. It obscures conversations, and soon enough fades from the conscious mind for all but the dancers. For them, it is their pulse, their lifeblood, an invisible puppeteer tugging imaginary strings to keep them in near constant motion. They, like the rest of the staff, bring an efficient energy to place. Be it ... and Castayo behind the bar, serving drinks. Or the dancers as they pay attention to the regulars, welcome the new comers, and always remain bright spots of joy in an otherwise harsh world.