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Staying on Theme: Learning by Example
Examples and Discussion to stay on theme

The following are examples of RP that we might have seen in game. Let's review them together and decide if they fit the theme. There are good examples, and bad examples. We've left thoughts on what we think and ways to course correct below the examples.


There are places in the game that may have been influenced by modern day pop culture, this is not an invitation for everyone to do it.


Jane to John: I am paid less because I am a woman.

Not in 2103. Gender has so implications on salary in our world. All salary ranges are defined by the job itself codedly, the only true implications on salary are roleplay, relevant stats and relevant skills.


Modern meme reference. do not do this.

John says, "Mixers are all scum and deserve to die."

On theme.

John says, "Corpies are the real problem with the city."

On theme.

John says, "Muh fuckah was rappin' so off beat yous'a thought da chummah was left shark."

Another good effort, especially with the slang. Go me. However, the left shark reference is dated even TODAY. Let alone 100 years from now.

Cerberus thought he was making it up.

Jane-John says, "Why are people denying that you can pick your gender in 2103?"

Frank says, "You need to get a bio-mod to change your gender."

Jane-John says, "No, I don't."

Frank says, "If you want to ask people to address you with your preferred pronouns, that is up to you. If you want the city database to respect your pronouns, you need a bio-mod."

Let's be frank here. You the player, picked your characters gender during character generation. The game knows about males and females. It has special pronouns for them. If you want to ask people to refer to your male character with female pronouns (or vice versa), or use 'they' when referencing you, or something along those lines-- go for it! If you want your ACTUAL pronouns that the game uses to change, you need to get a bio-mod, which will allow the code to respect your characters choice of gender. That's just the way it is.

If your character asks people ICly to refer to them as a different gender or with different pronouns, those characters are under no obligation to do so, and your character is under no obligation not to hire someone to beat them up. It's an IC problem that needs to be handled ICly.

Jack says, "I wasn't hired hired for a job because I am male."

John says, "That's fuckin' bullshit and shitty."

And it is bullshit and shitty. ICly. The world doesn't care about our modern day biases. That doesn't mean that no one in the world doesn't have biases. If you uncover biases in NPCs or PCs ICly, you deal with them ICly.

Jack says, "People are arachiac if they don't accept my view on gender and religion, my beliefs should be the norm by the year 2103."

Joe says, "It's not that no one accepts your point of view, it's that they don't care. We've got bigger things to worry about, like Classist Corpie pricks."

Jack says, "If it's important to me it should be important to everyone."

Joe says, "No, if it's important to the world then it's important to everyone, you're the blip on the radar that goes unnoticed. Stop thinking Withmore, or Earth revolves around your ideas on what your penis, vagina, or God means to you or anyone else."

Jack says, "They insulted my beliefs, so they must care."

Joe says, "They probably insult your beliefs because you think they're important, not because they matter to anyone else one way or another. You turn nothing into something by bringing it up, if you don't want to be challenged on your beliefs, realize you're one of 73,000,000 people and keep them to yourself."

There is nothing wrong with trying and failing to convince the world that what you believe is right and true. It's good RP. However, the problem comes when players see someone speaking intelligently on a topic that relates to theme, and believing that what the player is saying is the way it's designed to be in the theme. This leads to the community policing itself in the wrong direction. Gender, race and religion matter very little. The only religion that truly matters on a global scale is Eternalism.

Just because 1 player says something is true, does not make it true. It's OK to take theme cues from other players, but it's important not to take them as an accepted part of the entire world if you aren't seeing it come from an NPC or corporate news source.

Jack says, "I don't like any race that isn't my race."

John says, "Good luck with that."

Race and gender are non-issues in 2103. The world worked out these issues way back. Someone thinking they are better than someone else because of race or gender should be treated in the same way you'd treat someone who says that people born on Wednesday are better than people born on Tuesday. We don't forbid this RP, but the world is going to treat someone saying that kinda thing as an idiot.

Jack says, "Dirty fuckin' criminal mixers ruining things for everyone."

John says, "You kiddin'? CORPIES is da fuckin' problem mano."

On theme. The only real geopolitical issue is class. The haves versus the have-nots.

Jack says, "I got a new quickterm."

John says, "Your mom is a quickterm."

Your mom is a classic, ya? Let's not make it a classic for another 100 years. We can be more creative and inventive as a way to enhancing the quality of our community and game world.

Jack says, "I got a new quickterm."

John says, "Im'a put my input in ya quickterm's output."

Good use of cyberpunk slang as a replacement for real world.

John says, "I'm walking around without a clone. Fuck Eternalism. YOLO!"

Great effort, but YOLO doesn't exist in our world and even if it did, it would be 100 years out of date. Make up your OWN slang.

John says, "I'm walking around without a clone. Fuck Eternalism. NOCLO! "

You are free to use NOCLO from now on. You're welcome.

John says, "A disguised boy robbed my crate from ACME. It must be Steve."

Jane says, "I had my crate stolen last week by a disguised boy, I bet it's also Steve."

John says, "There can only be one possibility."

Jane says, "Ya, I bet you that explains everything that has happened up to this point."

This is called meta gaming, or small world thinking. Maybe it was Steve. Maybe Steve is the only small boy who has a shroud in the game. That doesn't mean that among the 65 million+ people in the city, Steve is the only small boy with a shroud. Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Did I see the boy put on the shroud?

2. Did the boy do something I know Steve does? Such as pick his nose, or scuff his shoes against the floor in a certain way.

3. Did his disguise slip, revealing his 'name', which is an OOC indicator that your character might have glimpsed the person's face or some identifiable trait in someone they already knew?

4. Did you hear the boy talk, and recognize their voice?

5. If your answer is yes to these, is the answer also yes on any subsequent encounter with a fully disguised boy?

John says, "Donald Trump was president in 2017."

Jane says, "Donald who?"

Our timeline diverged from the modern timeline at the end of 1999. Check out the timeline on the website and you can see this. Nothing that happened after the end of 1999 happened in the Sindome Universe the same way it happened in the real world. No modern memes or slang, no modern companies. This is in place to prevent modern day references from seeping into the Sindome world. It's important. It takes practice to avoid. No YOLO. No Kardashians. No Star Wars Episode 8. The fact of the matter is, nothing that happened matters. Referencing modern day events ICly would be like going to work and referencing news stories/fads from 1918 and expecting people to get what you were talking about. That's weird. Don't be weird.

John says, "I am an expert in 1990s pop culture."

Jane says, "I can barely remember the 2090s, mano."

The Sindome Universe has gone through revolutionary and catastrophic geo-political changes that take precedent in people's memory. It is unrealistic that someone would obsess over New Kids on the Block from the 1990s in 2103 when they've grown up in a harsh dystopian future, and their life has been devoid of consistent happiness and enough down time to focus on irrelevant pop-culture from 113 years ago.

When you focus on the past, it dilutes the immersion of the current year and theme. Become an expert on the events in Withmore dating back to 2085, and the content of the timeline if you want to appear knowledgeable about world events and pop-culture.

John to Jack, "Does Rick James need to choke a bitch?"

Don't quote modern day things.

John says, "The titanic was a ship that sank."

Jack says, "America used to have 50 states."

John says, "Kurt Russel was an actor. He played Snake Plissken."

That's true, and it even happened in our timeline. Unless you are giving a history lesson though, why are you talking about something that happened 300 years ago or whatever? There are things happening in the game world TODAY or in the recent past (post 2085) that are much more relevant. It's much more immersive to use game world references and examples when discussing something or trying to prove a point. It might be more difficult, but it is also more rewarding.

Other examples of things that are not on theme:

1. modern tv show references

2. internet/youtube references

3. Any modern day meme reference

4. Any modern day slang

We welcome your thoughts, your examples, and your feedback.

Remember, it is up to each and every one of us to self police the theme. If you see someone making modern day references, remind them either ICly first that they are doing that.


.stare blankly at Jeff, "What the fuck is a YOLO? You sound like a fuckin' baka."

If ICly doesn't get the message across, try OOCly.


OOC hey, modern day meme/slang references are off theme for this game. Check out 'help theme'. I'm happy to help clarify if ya need it!

If ICly and OOCly don't work, report it on xhelp and an admin will take over.


xhelp Hey, talking to this guy Jeff and he keeps making modern day meme references. I've tried staring blankly at him ICly and tried OOCly reminding him what is/is not on theme, but he doesn't seem to get the message.

-- Slither & Cerberus

Probe the left shark thing is outdated is that I don't know what it is.
I fully agree. I've seen some said stuff happen, and even though we're all players in 2017 at the end, just please try to fit the theme. I have to agree with this especially regarding memes - even if SD was set in 2017, memes in a SeriousRP setting just break immersion.

Regarding other pop culture stuff, unless the situation SPECIFICALLY needs you talking about it and your character somehow knows, I mean, it's fine.. but in my opinion randomly bringing that stuff up shouldn't be done.
How do we best address small world gaming and meta gaming when a victim of it?

Personally, my motif has always been to keep things moving rather than loop in staff with the expectation that they'll do there jobs without me rudely telling them how to do it.

Leave a player-note mentioning the grievance if you suspect other players of engaging in meta or small world behavior.
Folks, this thread is now mentioned in a helpfile. Please keep on theme, on the thread.
I like it. I know it sounds like a newbie question, but the message I'm getting is:

Race/Gender/Sexuality is socially nothing compared to the power that the rich vs the have-nots.

First post in a while, sorry if it's nonsense!

Correct, Vivvykins.
Basically, in CP;




this is what affects how people see you. Not your gender, your race or anything like that. If you have the power, chyen and influence, then it's what and how people judge you. Are you a catgirl with a dick, yet are a billionaire? Well, people are always going to talk about your money first. Are you a hardened Street Judge, having done many infamous arrests over the years - yet you're actually a 5'5 female inside all that armor? People will take your accomplishments, first instead of calling you a weak Judge just because you're a girl.

When you're insulting someone, consider power, money, influence. Those are the most important things, as has been outlined here. Thus, those are the things you insult.

Words I (almost) never use when roleplaying on Sindome:

1. Yo <-- this is a crutch. If you are using it, do better.

2. Bitch <-- I use puta/punta (punta cause that's how I think it sounds in my head). there are plenty of better ways to insult someone with CP slang

3. Hello/hey/hi <-- Unless I am RPing a valley girl type who is going to be like Hi!!!! there are better ways to greet people. Sup chum/hola/even howdy.

I'd also like to add that cultivating new slang and insults and such is awesome, and I really admire and appreciate the players who are actively trying to broaden SD's vocabulary. And this isn't just an insult thing or a Mixer thing, though that's probably where it comes through most pervasively.

Honestly, to me, using the same 3 pieces of CP slang over and over and over is as unimaginative as anything else, even if it's (appreciatedly!) themely. Trading 'bitch' for 'baka' is a good first step, but I love when people really push.

That said, taking this overboard is 24/7 is obnoxious, so nuance and good RP is required, over time, to be effective. Sometimes fetch just isn't going to happen.

Hey. Awesome topic! I have a few questions:

What about references to historical works that have already survived for thousands of years? Like a StreetSam quoting 'The Art of War'? Or a Zen or Taoist saying?

What about this whole outraged reaction to a man hitting a woman? I get that individuals can have what ever stance they want but what is the big picture stance on this? I'd assume that a mixer hitting a corpie or a rich as hell mona creasing a mano who just immigrated would be more a topic of concern.

How about 'kids' who decide to mix with the big boys? Mechanically, to my knowledge, they can be just a strong/skilled/powerful as any adult character (unless the player is good at policing themselves) but thematically, how are they viewed by the world at large? Are they deserving of protection? Are they treated as adults? Again, I get that there is room for each character to take a stance on this.

Also as a quick aside, what does this mean for our time-honored tradition of Futurama quotes for ambient SIC? It's never bothered me personally, but if this is something we want to push harder on (and I agree we should), keeping those going might send a mixed message, being modern pop tv references and all.
There is a wide variety of "easter-eggs" that staff over the last twenty years have put into the game, including random SIC quotes which have pop culture references to the modern real world.

Your best bet is to forget you know where they're from. I don't want to destroy 20 years of people adding easter eggs to random message generation simply because people are good at remembering references to a TV show, that seems more destructive than encouraging people to police their own, and current/future RP.

On the kid thing...

I've watched plenty of anime in my time, while it may be unrealistic for a kid to be able to lob the head off of a fully grown man with little muscles and a katana, the code doesn't differentiate between age/size/skill/stats. So that's the way the game is. There's no expectation right now for kid PCs or NPCs to weaken themselves purposefully. They need to be able to compete or they'll get permed all the time, and that's no fun.

Keep the questions coming,


From a more IC perspective: yes, kids are still kids, that hasn't changed simply because humanity at its most biological level hasn't evolved at all in 85 years and our base instincts still steer us towards protecting the children. Just know that an alarmingly large portion of the young generation in 2085+ is growing up in unfavorable conditions: they are poor, hungry, stunted, and orphans, most of them don't know what is education. You can expect them to be as rude, mean, and gross as any other grown up adult :)
My perspective on IC kids has been that a somewhat reasonable IC 'cover' for what Cerb is saying about the game mechanics needing to be what they are is to bear in mind that chrome and nanogens and certain environments (like the Mix) mean kids should be expected, at least to some degree, to be as potentially dangerous (or intelligent!) as anyone else. And Withmore history, past and present, has smart and dangerous kids in it.

Oh, I wasn't suggesting that kid characters need to be weakened or restricted. I figure that is that's how things were meant to be that Staff would have made mechanical adjustments or made people aware of it.

I was more interested in the side that Villa covered. My take away based on what I've read: One can expect to be looked down on or considered a baka if you beat a kid down or crease one.

I suggest taking some time to review the ambient messaging in the Mix. Tons of it reflecting that kids are mugging, harassing, and killing adults, and elderly people in packs like wild dogs would.

I dunno if people are gonna look down on killing Mixer children. But think about the divide. A mix child != a corpie child.

I think there's an IC solution to this.

-> Stop giving a fuck about looking like a bad person IC.

This is a setting with super powered kids who can tussle with any adult and reach mass-murderer or terrorist status and go toe-to-toe with the WJF. People are going to throw themselves to the aid of these kids anyway, that's just going to be their roleplay.

This isn't something that needs to be policed though. You PERSONALLY can (and should!) kill child PCs if your character sees it fit to. You're probably going to get pushback IC for it, but those are the breaks.

If you want to see the game treating children differently than how you see it, then people need to go out and start treating child PCs on the same plane as everybody else. That means that if you want to see this you're going to have to step up.

Just want to say that I'm a new player who's having fun on Sindome, and I find this all very helpful!

Keeping the nudges steady but gentle and setting the right example goes a long way towards retaining new players on any game. Keep in mind that it's all a LOT for people new to the setting to swallow. In my case I'm coming in literally knowing nothing in terms of CP fictional culture. I doubt I'm the only one.


Hey worstperson,

It's good to know that you're enjoying the thread - it's whole purpose is to allow players, both old and new, to stick to the theme. CP culture is very unique in its own, and has a way in which it has to be played - one that none of us have mastered yet, and probably will never completely as it's a learning experience where new things pop up everytime.

On the topic of kids, I'd like to mention again that I believe only three things affect what people think about you; power, influence and money. Age by the time of CP, just like gender and race would have less effect on people compared to modern times. It also entirely depends on the view of the player; if you're a lawful person who has a honor code of his own, you might find a person who attacks kids dishonorable and scum; if you're a character who'd do anything to further his own agenda and gain whatever, you might find it easy to hurt children on the way without a care in the world.

However, as room descriptions in Red show and as a general rule of thumb, children can be just as mean as adults and it'd probably be safe to say that children wouldn't get a free protection card, and shouldn't. Their actions and their status in society would decide that. If you're the son of a wealthy CEO and are going to inherit the company, people would respect you even if you were ten years old. If you were a Mixer child who robbed and thieved his way, don't expect a lot of respect or protection - except if you prove yourself to be a capable thief, for example.

I've got to agree about younger characters not getting a free pass. From an OOC standpoint they are literally no different than anyone of any other age.

From an IC standpoint I also consider human cloning and gene therapy. That kid you are looking at? They could be a 100 year old man in a 15 year olds body. That isn't beyond the realm of possibility in our world. An old dying man could pay to have a vat grown clone made of his teenage self and have his brain downloaded into it.

If you've read (or are reading this in the future, watched) Altered Carbon, you understand this concept.

With biomods and gene therapy, someone old could easily be altered to look much younger. This would be common enough that looking at someone an assuming they are the age they look, would have fallen out of favor, in my opinion.

Please don’t roll a child character unless you’re prepared to really, really rock it.

Especially if you’re a new player.

It is very, very hard to play a child character in a way which is fun for anyone else. Or even to come up with a child-character concept which has the potential to be fun for others to play with.

I find it really repugnant to tell someone what kind of character they should and should not make. In this instance, I'm extremely biased but I think the instances of child characters or rather teenager characters are fine.

The current run of child characters and the would-be gang some of them are part of is a great way for newbie's to learn the game, instantly get involved, and be better equipped for there next pc if they should die permanently. Most of all - it's fun.

If you're having trouble figuring out your RP around them - that's a personal problem.

I find it really repugnant to tell someone what kind of character they should and should not make. In this instance, I'm extremely biased but I think the instances of child characters or rather teenager characters are fine.


You’re both right. I’m sorry.
*digs deep into the grave*

This initial post covers some good stuff about using current slang. Just thought I'd boop it to the top! Using current trendy slang is immersion breaking! We may slip but it's always good try to use cp slang instead or help add new sd specific @slang. I find myself able to fit in more and more over time, but can always do better to immerse my char's language in the world.

Please also apply this to your SIC tags in the IC who list, people.

The SIC who list is IC! But it's been very common to see several pop culture references or even direct quotes on there. Recently I've seen direct quotes from Mulan, Spaceballs and Hot Shots, to name a few.

This breaks immersion as much as quoting 1990s stuff at the bar in the Drome would. Please don't do it!

+1 @geigerbunny

I see it too. While I do get a laugh out of it sometimes, it's odd ICly and a little disconnecting from the immersion.

A lot of these old school quotes are not from player characters.
From what I've noticed about a third of NPC ctags are film, television or video game quotes.

More or less the same with NPC SIC chatter.

It would be a cool project to rewrite some of them to be more themely.
Sorry, I'm a little confused about the

"Race and gender are non-issues in 2103. The world worked out these issues way back. Someone thinking they are better than someone else because of race or gender should be treated in the same way you'd treat someone who says that people born on Wednesday are better than people born on Tuesday."


Reviewing the history makes me believe there is a major Prussian state discriminating based on race/ethnicity that, while people can think they're idiots, is also too geopolitically significant to discount, no? Or was that retconned?

Similar question regarding "not knowing history from too far back."

What about things thousands of years old we know, and are taught, TODAY? I know things about the Ancient Roman Republic. Can I call someone a Centurion in Sindome? As an example, I mean.

That's a great idea, there's a lot of mixed messaging to new players I think when you get NPCs singing Call Me Maybe in between shouts not to make pop-culture references.
Personally from my own observation, I think that the whole Prussian racism plotline has kind of been largely phased out. It kind of seems like something that we all agreed to ignore, for the moment.
Plus, the Prussian empire stuff is more than 60 years ago, IC.
We've generally moved away from using Futurama quotes and into using the quotes we have collected over the past several decades, for ctags.