The MUD Connector

General Category => Roleplaying Forum => Topic started by: Slaymedieval on January 25, 2014, 3:11 PM

Title: Roleplay - what, when, where, and how?
Post by: Slaymedieval on January 25, 2014, 3:11 PM
I guess the title says it all - I am not new to MUDs in general, but have never actually played an RP-enforcing MUSH/MOO/whatevertheyrecalled, simply because I have never understood it, but felt too stupid on account of that to ask anyone so far.

So, here goes: I get that one creates a char with a rich background story and personal traits, and while IC one has to act in a way that's plausible and fitting with said background and traits. So far, so good.
But how do I actually play? Where do I get XP, how do I level up? What I am interested in is the actual gameplay, seeing I understand the char creation process, but not what to do with my char afterwards.

In hope of not sounding too much like an idiot, and my best regards :)

Title: Re: Roleplay - what, when, where, and how?
Post by: Emerald Lady on January 25, 2014, 8:46 PM
Hey, so the answer to that question depends a lot on the particular game that you're playing. But in general, throw your character into conversations with other characters and you'll invariably end up finding out the current main RP plot points that you can then get involved in according to the personality of the character you've made.

Different MUDs have different methods of involving players with some giving points for good RP, while in others there is guilds/clans/other types of organisations you can get involved with. Many also have a pk element where in the development of the storyline can come from players attacking/killing other players, thus fueling even more RP.

With regards to xp and leveling up, I cannot attest to how this is done on MUSH/MOO systems, but in MUDs with PK systems there is usually an element of gaining xp from exploring the MUD world, doing built in quests, mob hunting or taking part in Imm run quests.

Hope that brief outline is some help on what to look for when getting stuck into RP!
Title: Re: Roleplay - what, when, where, and how?
Post by: Slaymedieval on January 26, 2014, 11:08 AM
Hi :)
First of all, thank you for your answer, I think I have some better understanding of the subject now!
So, if I understood correctly, the action is created by dialogue with other players (and NPCs?), and xp are awarded based on what happened in said dialogues, or on the quality thereof, and essentially quests etc are created during those dialogues as well, or a blueprint created by someone else can be used as a starting point.
Is that the gist of it? Or did I misunderstand anything completely? ???

Peace!  8)
Title: Re: Roleplay - what, when, where, and how?
Post by: Quixadhal on January 27, 2014, 4:38 AM
I would hazard a guess that most RP muds have a small amount of XP that is gained from having conversations with other players, automatically.  The bulk of your XP is most likely granted by a GM's arbitration of how "good" the RP conversation was and your contribution to it (like in a pen-and-paper RPG), and possibly also by the players involved in the conversation.  For example, if there are 4 other people, maybe at the end of the session each will get to vote for who did best, and the game might hand out a reward scaled by that metric.

I doubt a fully automated system would work well, since it would be analyzed and exploited.  Nor would a purely player-handled system work well since favoritism might well skew the results.  To me, it seems like a mix of all three would be best.

Maybe a few people who run such games could comment on this?  It's an intersting topic, I think.
Title: Re: Roleplay - what, when, where, and how?
Post by: harroghty on January 27, 2014, 9:20 AM
We have kicked around methods for rewarding straight role-play over the years at Forgotten Kingdoms. In the end, we have a mixed system something like what Quixadhal mentioned: players can grant XP rewards once per day, staff members can grant XP rewards as often as they want, immortals can grant glory point rewards (a kind of role-play currency), and there are certain players who can assume selected immortal-like abilities for a limited duration in order to run a small plot (screened and selected members of a Story Council).

In the end, the system is limited by the opinion of those around you, but that's kind of the consistent rub of evaluating role-play. It is either something which you can exploit (e.g. an automated points system) or something mortal and fallible (a human system). The latter seems more suitable to the effort.
Title: How it works for me at Sindome - Re: Roleplay - what, when, where, and how?
Post by: Beanluc on January 27, 2014, 6:22 PM
I play a code-supported, class-less, level-less roleplay-intensive game where experience is granted for playing, up to a daily maximum.

It's not granted for completing "quests", though there are low-level ones which are mostly available just to give new characters/players an income source or something to do to begin learning the game's geography or whatnot.

It's not granted for killing mobs/NPCs/PCs, though all of these things are (at times and for some players) important parts of the game - and can be mild sources of loot or income.

It's not granted for crafting good loot or gear, though for some characters this is much more important that combat and is a very important source of income, when another roleplayer finds that their own character has an IC need for these services and items.

It's not granted for rewarding "good roleplay" - favoritism, language skills, and karma aren't factors, though there are a lot of ways your IC actions have IC consequences, for better or for worse. Ideally you're advancing your character's position and capabilities in other ways besides the earned experience. There are a lot of IC ways to achieve this which don't depend on investments of earned experience.

In this game, the best plots, battles, income, loot, jobs, double-crosses and victories are those which result from players interacting with each other. You can get coded jobs in the game, but your character is still going to "feel hungry" and as a player you'll ideally be motivated to create and/or participate in RP-driven situations for the sake of earning the greatest rewards, taking the biggest risks, and experiencing the best "scenes" or "acts" in the game.

This game's fairest way to grant experience is to simply dole it out as players are conducting in-game and in-character actions. Talking, moving, buying/selling, looking at things, turning things on and off, posing or emoting, eating/drinking, searching, texting on your phone ICly, whatever. If you're logged in and not idle, you earn experience at the same rate as all other players logged in and taking action.

Because it's code-supported, experience which you can invest in your character's mechanical development is important. But because it's roleplay-intensive, the stats, skills, loot and money your character has are definitely not the only way to "advance" in the game. The goal isn't to become capable of pwning some boss or even some other specific PC in a direct combat confrontation. That's a mechanical achievement on your part as a player, that's not a human achievement on the part of the character you're roleplaying.

The goal is to apply your skills and stats in memorable and fun IC situations, ones which your character may have set up, or ones which they may be participating in which another player or a game-master has set up. The situation's outcome may indeed at least partly depend on the stats and skills and conditions (injury, disease, stats/skills) of the characters involved, but additionally depends on things like whether the roleplayers have earned, or granted, each of their characters' cooperation among each other - and whether it's sincere. Or things like whether their character has support or hate on the part of NPC factions, which also is the result of your IC actions while roleplaying your character. The code supports and responds to the RP, it's not a free-for-all.

One of the coolest things about true roleplaying, as opposed to driving a pacman around, is that literally anything at all could happen. GMs and admins can make things happen which were never written into the game-world or the coded systems. And they will, if your roleplay justifies it.

So: "what, when, where, and how"?

What - Whatever you want - it's your character, they should have goals. Goals which are human, not goals like "level up until I can pwn the turf captain" or "farm cops until they drop the uber restraint item".
When - All the time. Solo play is unrewarding play. Even some "quests" which you can achieve by forming a party with one or more other players can still be pretty lifeless, if you aren't really roleplaying, are just trying to grind out some money or loot, and don't really have an IC justification for why your character is motivated to do it. So persuade other characters. Cajole, trick, pay, bribe, entice, force them to work to your character's advantage and advance your character's agenda. Or, allow others to do this to you: Your character's goals can be reached by riding the coattails of someone else who's going that way - and when they've gotten you where you want to get off, assert your own agenda again and get off their train.
Where - Wherever other player-characters are. Or NPCs, too - you never know when GMs will bring them to life for your benefit or detriment as the case may be. All NPCs should be treated the same as PCs in this game, as GMs know everything that happens and may use it to influence your character's path in the world. Subtly or dramatically.
How - Well, it really starts with being willing to give your character a voice and use it to talk. Talk to everyone - find out who's who. Who are the big fishes with power and influence. Who are the goodguys and badguys from the point of view of your character's goals and values Who are the losers who are good for nothing, who are the moochers and the nudzhes you want to avoid or take advantage of, who carries loot and bling, who needs you and your character's talents, connections and gear. Talk, listen, plot, plan, and then go start sh** and reap the rewards. Get the cushy job so your income is secure, craft the bitchin' loot so everybody wants your booty, keep the right secrets and sell the right secrets so you have the right people's loyalty and the right people have yours.

The game I'm talking about is Sindome. It may or may not have a theme which interests you, but IMO it's a great example of how roleplaying puts you in the position to get the most out of some really rich coded systems and features - many of which do require you to earn experience points before you're capable of accessing them.
Title: Re: Roleplay - what, when, where, and how?
Post by: Beanluc on January 27, 2014, 6:41 PM
One more thing I'll say about the "How" part is:

Don't be shy. Just put your guy (or whoever) into the game, and pay attention. Let others show you how. How do they talk, how do they reveal their characters' lives, motivations, traits to you? How are they using the emoting and communicating features to act out their characters' stories? How do they "win" at their goals? What are they getting out of participating in a roleplaying M**?
Title: Re: Roleplay - what, when, where, and how?
Post by: Xee_Thot on January 27, 2014, 6:57 PM
It really makes it worth the time invested in the game when you see that kind of feedback... I'll still try to make your character suffer tho.
Title: Re: Roleplay - what, when, where, and how?
Post by: Qzzrbl on January 29, 2014, 10:43 PM
Some MUDs give arbitrary XP for introducing yourself to other players, some give them for just being logged on, and others give XP like any other upon killing stuff-- which is often ignored for RP purposes, 'cause it'd be really hard to justify running around and murdering everything with a pulse willy-nilly.

Some of the more serious RP MUDs out there have done away with that system entirely, not rewarding RP because it's expected and enforced.

In Armageddon (and other RPIs), there's usually no typical level and xp system. Your skills increase as you use them, and give ample opportunity to use them in ways that make sense. Meaning, no running from the tavern to break character in the local park by slaughtering all of the freshly-respawned wildlife to get 'dat sweet XP before someone else does.
Title: Re: Roleplay - what, when, where, and how?
Post by: Kinaed on February 02, 2014, 2:34 AM
There's a few different standard paradigms, most of which are mentioned above, but some aren't:

- XP from an algorithm that checks how often you emote, who is in the room with you, etc.
- GM moderated (a staff member sees you playing and likes your work). Lots of RP games either supplement with this or use it primarily. Other games shy away from it completely because of the bias problem mentioned earlier.
- Voting or recommendations - this is when other players say 'thank you for making my RP great' and send a bit of love your way, which may be similar to a GM, but far more dispersed amongst the populace.
- XP-less ... available, but I think more uncommon.

As to where and how:

Most RP games will actually have a command like 'where' to get a list of places in-game where RP is available. I think 'where' is the standard RPI command, but I might be wrong. You'd have to check what is used on your individual game. Many RP games also have 'travel' or 'waypoint' commands to help you get to a listed location.

Once in that location, RP is typically done through the 'emote' command, though you'll often find that emote commands on RPI games are more intricate than typical muds.

Something I'd add about character goals and whatnot is that they should be thematic. What you play is generally completely up to you, so long as it's within limits of the theme (ie, my game is a medieval fantasy game about the fight between magic users and mage oppressors, so playing a Jedi warrior just wouldn't fit).

Most RP focused games won't have levels or mobbing. Most will improve skills either through use or XP gained through RP. Some use trainers or a combination. I'd check the help files for the game you choose, but one thing that works well on my game that's always a good idea is to ask someone to teach you, spar with you, or otherwise practice together. RP focused games are primarily social in nature, so most rewards will come from RP touch points.