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w Macabre 2m 60% GM, 40% Baby Builder!
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As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. As (mostly) Americans and Westerners (almost entirely), I think that we have a problem conceptualizing just how crowded the Mix (especially) is.

I have seen this inability to conceptualize what real crowds look like pop up in discussions here on BgBB from time to time, and even ICly in the game. (This bar is empty. Nobody is around. SIC is quiet. etc.)

This is what I picture Red sector being like (minus the umbrellas, because Trash Golems can't afford umbrellas).

Crowd densities like this are why people with swords and sticks can take out people with firearms. There simply isn't much room to create distance. That's not because the street isn't wide enough. There are just too many people in too little space.

Very good point. That image terrifies me a bit, and I love it.

I wonder if some people carry an umbrella to aid with personal space. kind of as a shield or a centering point.

Thanks, Hek! This is sort of how I was imagining it.

As far as PCs and NPCs we see and interact with on the street, is it safe to presume of your character is looking for them and could spot them in the crowd? I've always struggled with this in my attempt to not small-world.

I think it depends, DoveCage. Which is an answer for a lot of SD related questions.

Are they shouting and being loud on the street? Or are they chilling on the side of the road. Are they wearing a hood with their face barely peeping out?

The one thing I always try to do (especially with a newer character and ESPECIALLY if their char-name matches their sic-tag) is not auto-assume that someone showing up at my meetup spot at the appointed time is the person I'm meeting if we've agreed to meet. In those situations people are usually pretty good about RP'ing a phone call or sic-tags for hand motions to help ID people.

I know ambi-pop was one of the biggest challenges for me as a new player for sure.

I love this mental image as I race my car at max speed down Fuller.
Or a WJF dropship making a fast landing on Knife.
mixers aren't casualties, they're just speedbumps.

I roleplay the awareness of tokens as there being something unique about them that makes them stand out from the masses. It does require a bit of a suspension of disbelief, especially given that every other character also notices the same tokens.

It can be anything as simple as the tokens being the more social members of the gang. Maybe they are the 'public face' of the gang and the ones who are tasked with hitting people up, or otherwise repping turf much more visibly than the thousands of other gang members who we are supposed to assume are there as part of the ambient population.


I like this thought process and has been similar to what I've been doing. If my character is looking for someone specific, PC or NPC, I think it's reasonable that they would look through the ambi-pop to find them. It's in situations where they are not looking for someone specific.

For example, maybe my character is waiting for the lev. Another PC they know arrives in the station. I don't imagine these stations are empty and I think of them similar to NYC subway stations, where there are hugely long platforms, with tons of people milling about. If that PC finds my character at the station, of course, I'll interact, but otherwise, I've been assuming that my character may not see them in the crowd.

Am I doing this right?

That sounds about right. 👍

Although if someone looks very suspicious in the lev station, it makes sense that they'd stand out.

A fight in the lev would definitely catch your eye.

Someone showing up and slipping into the Quick Kleen would likely not.

Ultimately, check the ambpop of a room to decide how likely it is to notice someone.
-10 to AGI in public because there's too damn many people outside to be able to swing effectively.
How I imagine every street in the Mix and most of Gold:

(but like, probably not as wide, at least in the Mix)
I was only half joking about flying down the street in the car.

Given these visual graphics, it still makes me laugh, but what is everyone's take on top speed driving through the mix? Ever since someone requested an ambient message years ago about bodies flying over the hood I have always had trouble not thinking it was kind of immersion breaking but also a game function that you handwave because sit would be a nightmare to actually drive in the mix without murdering everyone

I hate traffic as it is currently implemented. It makes the tubes all but useless in emergencies, if it was extended to the street without some way to counter it I don't know that anyone would bother.
Lets keep this on topic.
Well I didn't mean express tube traffic, I was just more so talking about the bustling streets of the mix and the human traffic element. I suppose the citizens on foot would hear your engine gunning and jump out of your way, but it's always been amusing to me to picture when people hold street races or chase each other at high speed in cars given these visuals.

I'm right there with you on this one. I seem to remember that one room @desc even explicitly calls out pedestrian traffic being so dense that vehicles can't pass, but some are trying to anyway.

It would be kind of cool to have certain areas of the Mix that are vehicle no-go zones. Or at least areas where vehicles are slowed down to the equivalent of 'crawl'.

I understand why it isn't like that, but it seems like a missed opportunity. It would add a certain element of danger and themeliness to have to 'dismount' and go forward on foot.

"Careful. We're entering Trash Golem" territory.

This clip from one of the genre's founding media pretty much is my mental image of what a ambient pop looks like in the mix.

It's fucking crowded to the supermax, but the street makes space for vehicular traffic and a nasty gunfight. The crowd is wise to these things. Ambient pop knows how to avoid something by making itself scarce or fitting into the nooks and crannies, they've been doing it all their lives. They don't even blink at the horrific carnage and the police crime scene.

I agree with that sentiment. It would be really cool from a code perspective to enforce things like 4 hour traffic jams on Mix streets, but it's also boring AF and doesn't increase RP. That's why we rely on the messages in white you see in each room which change based on where you are and the weather. They tell you what the world around you is like in a way that we don't want to code because it would be a hassle for you the player. Like, for instance, if you got pic kpocketed 20x more often by random starving mixers. It would just get tedious, ya know? Use your imagination! Dream the world around you.

I think about the fight scene in this short whenever there's violence in the Mix. Everyone moves out of the way like a big school of fish when Sapper starts swinging.

What about enemy gangers seeing each other? There are situations in which a ganger shows up on the same street as someone else and immediately attacks without any RP or anything in a huge crowd. Is this meta or unrealistic?
Ambient population informs RP, but when it comes to combat unless you're disguised there are no meta protections. You might have been on the other side of a massive, packed block from someone; equally you could have walked right into them.
Can't really afford to take the time to RP out walking up to someone and attacking them on the street when escape is as simple as go e e e.

Why did no one tell me my link above accidentally got posted as an image? Raaaahhhh

"What about enemy gangers seeing each other? There are situations in which a ganger shows up on the same street as someone else and immediately attacks without any RP or anything in a huge crowd. Is this meta or unrealistic?"

I also want to know the stance on this.

How do we act around the "masses of people".

A player walks into your location on Fuller street. Do you notice them immediately?

Even if someone had amazing perception, how fast can they notice a person in a crowd, especially if the "masses" are blocking line of sight.(perception can't trump a wall) The person looking at the crowd would do best to be in a elevated location above the crowd.

And if its raining and people are using umbrellas or wearing raincoats, even harder to identify an individual.


Are we just going by trust in others to RP as best they can?

The way I've been told it is that the names you see on a block are the people that stand out the most among the crowd.

As far as I know, "AIM AT (character)" stops the other player from moving my imposing yourself as a threat so you can maybe have a conversation about it, or auto-attack if they try to flee.

Accessibility comes first. To roleplay, characters have to stand out for you to interact with. Typically the way it's reasoned is that PCs and NPCs in a room just kind of 'stand out' and are near enough to recognize.

Honestly? I think people overthink this a little bit. Just don't roleplay like you're the only person in the room. Having to stress ambience came up as an issue because a) players have a habit of doing things that are extremely dumb to do in a crowd and b) players don't always recognize the squalor, overpopulation and urban chaos that is hard to convey with only so many PCs and NPCs to fill the space.