Thoughts are a way for you (or the GMs) to externalize your characters thoughts in such a way that the GMs (and possibly players with a special cyberware) can see the thoughts.
This is done using the 'think' command. For example:
'think Damn that dude has a cute butt!'
You think . o O ( Damn that dude has a cute butt! )
The GMs will see this think message. Other players (with cyberware) may see this think message.
You can use these thoughts to provide indicators to what you are thinking, your mindset, and your immediate goals. You can also use them as flavor in your own roleplaying. For instance, if you were playing a character with a split personality, you might do some thinks from the perspective of the other personality, and have your character react to them.
GM PROVIDED THOUGHTS
First and foremost, if a GM provides a thought to you it will show up as an angel or a devil, appearing on your shoulder. You can customize these messages in the following ways:
@good_idea me is A tiny fae sprite version of yourself appears on your left shoulder and says . o O ( %a ) before vanishing.
@bad_idea me is A tiny pirate version of yourself appears on your left shoulder and says . o O ( %a ) before vanishing.
You must include %a in your message or it will be broken.
Second and importantly you are FREE TO IGNORE GM THOUGHTS. GM provided thoughts can be considered IC if you choose, but you can also completely ignore them if they are not relevant or they seem incorrect.
REASONS BEHIND GM THOUGHTS
GMs often need to draw your attention to things. We want to do this in an IC way, and we will sometimes use 'thoughts' to do this. Typically, the type of thought you receive (good angel version) or (bad devil version) are some indicator of the type of thought you are getting.
GMs will use thoughts in a variety of ways, sometimes to offer you a 'plot hook' or to give you an IC indicator that there is something that might need your attention, and at other times, to make you aware of an action you took that might have been counter productive to your goals or survival.
EXAMPLES OF GM THOUGHTS
"huh maybe I should talk to that creepy looking guy at the bar" => plot hook
"maybe I shouldn't stick around looting all these corpses because ganger backup should be coming" => notification that standing around after a battle can be dangerous, and that backup might be coming.
"I should really ask someone smarter than me about this." => your character is RPing beyond their stats, in this case their intelligence.
"Huh, how'd I know that guys name?" => indicator you might be using meta info to know someones name, when your character doesn't know it.
"Wow, it's crazy that I just knew that shrouded person was Bob considering there are 70 million people in the city and everyone seems to have a shroud." => You may be ignoring the ambient population within the city.
GMs see just about everything, but we can't see into your head. If your character makes a mistake on purpose, we may not realize that's what is happening. If we send a 'thought' to you and you don't think it makes sense (like if you purposefully made a mistake), don't agree with it (you know something we don't), or for any other reason, you can simply disregard it, or you can respond with a 'think' of your own to clarify things.
As has been said, we use thoughts for a variety of reasons, and those reasons include making people aware of the theme, and ambiance, and mistakes, in an IC fashion if possible. Don't take a critical 'thought' personally on an OOC level. We aren't sending them to annoy, we're sending them to hook you for a plot, or educate you in an IC (ish) way as to how you could handle a situation differently in the future.
There is no guarantee that a thought will lead you to a good outcome. They are just thoughts. No warranty provided.
From Sindome, With Love. *Last Updated: 10/20/19 by Fengshui*