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Halloween:

Ok, I admit it, it's my favorite holiday, and I didn't even give it up when I was Wiccan.

Ever work anything special into your games for the event? Got anything planned for this year, gaming relatee or no?

Inquiring minds!
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Games People Play:

Role playing and beyond, what are your favorite games? Do you play computer games? What do you like? What are your least favorite? What other hobbies might you have?

Just how diverse do we gamers get?
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RL Issues and Gaming:When is too much too much.

So, you play reality based games. They can be harsh. They can involve some pretty nasty goings on.

When is nasty TOO nasty, though? And what should or should not be sacred, in spite of that old call that we should all separate IC and OOC?

When is an IC comment, even by a villain TOO insensitive for players to not call a line?

(Brought about by the topic coming up over in BRPS about 9-11. IMHO, there IS a line, for that, for subjects like rape, etc. No PLAYER should ever feel victimized by goings on in a game, or have to be that kind of upset over something that is all too real for them. At the least, there should be cuts, discussions, etc, about what is too much. True that in some games, EVERYTHING may be too much for some, in which case another game might be sugested, but when it's something not so common? A bit of sensitivity SHOULD be employed. Happy fun times and games are one thing. Reality that can't help but intrude another.)
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Exploring The Topic of Love in Gaming:

When is it appropriate to have two characters (or more) fall in love? When does it cross the line? When is it just plain annoying?(I'm not strictly speaking here about sex, or ever playing out sex, but actual love)

Is it better or worse when those with the love-bird characters are in love in real life? What about when they are not, but also game with those who are their significant others? When should this be a problem, if ever, how, and why? Can it be kept from becoming problematic? Does it simply depend on the players, and how well they separate IC from OOC?

When might a love story actually add to a campaign?

What about the END of love? Ever see characters end up HATING each other in the end? Ever seen characters who were divorced try to work together? Do tell!
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    pleased pleased
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Sues/Stus revisited.

This would be my own position on Sues/Stus, as again inspired by a BRPS post.

OC does NOT equal Sue/Stu. Canon does NOT necessarily escape it. (In fact, quite often, canon characters are egregious Sues/Stus (Prime example would be Laurel Hamilton's Anita Blake).

Sues/Stus are as they are written/played, not as they are made.

You can have an IC character with EVERY potential Sue/Stu trait (E.G., beautiful, talented, desireable, powerful, tragic background, closely related to or dating some popular canon character, hell, even color changing eyes) in the book, and still not have a Sue/Stu.

In gaming, the divide starts with how you play it. Sue/Stu players never let anyone else get a chance to solve a problem, to take the spotlight, etc. They find 1001 ways to head this off with meaningless driveling drama that contributes nothing to the plot overall, and ONLY serves to draw attention back to the Sue, and to show how SPECIAL the Sue is COMPARED to everyone else. They never lose. They tend to be the alpha and the omega of EVERYTHING. If they see others in an intense or interesting scene, and that includes a private one with long buildup, they will INTRUDE. No one else can get that spotlight!

This player, meanwhile, will expect, nay, DEMAND that that Sue/Stu be universally loved/respected, even if the character does NOTHING IC to warrant this, and, in fact, does pretty much everything to guarantee that such a reaction makes NO sense whatsoever. If being 'nice' to others with the use of those Sue/Stu powers, it will be in such a way as to insta-resolve any issues they may have, in spite of the players often not wishing such things to be resolved, as they are the entire point of PLAYING.

Sue/Stus also will randomly pull new shiny specialness out of their hind ends. Their players are often resistant to sheeting, and if forced to sheet, will be resistant to being anything but vague. Even if called on this, and forced to be specific, they will still suddenly be holding the exact right thing, for all it's not on the equipment list, or suddenly be able to use a formerly non-existant power, or use a power that formerly could not be used in such a way not as a part of natural character developement, but for gross convenience and further seld-aggrandizement.

Sue/Stu is NEVER about everyone having a good time, it's ALL about the personal wish-fulfillment of the player. Now, some personal wish-fulfillment is fine, so long as it doesn't get in the way of the OTHER PLAYERS, who want to have a good time, too. Self insertion is also pretty common, though not ALL characters based on self are again, necessarily Sue/Stu, or even necessarily self-insertion. That again goes more toward that personal wish-fullfillment line, and player ability to differentiate IC from OOC.

Sue/Stu players are generally terrible at differentiating IC from OOC.

Now, written Sue/Stu can be avoided even by the voice central to the book, such as one posed in first person singular, even a powerful and attractive one again. Step one is that that character has real flaws, and admits it. They don't always win every battle, at least NOT ALL BY THEMSELVES. They probably are not universally liked, even if quite likeable to the reader, though not everyone who DISLIKES them will automatically be bad/evil/antisocial. They might sometimes be SLIGHTLY misguided with some characters, but it could all just boil down to a matter of personal taste. NOT everyone should like everyone...even a likeable someone.

IF a character is very well liked, in either event, they must EARN it through actions and words both. Sues/Stus simply DECLARE themselves well-liked. They also declare themselves right, even when they clearly are not (and the player stands behind this, just to differentiate that from a well-played character who believes itself never wrong, but has a PLAYER who DOES NOT agree). Sues/Stus also declare themselves intelligent, yet tend not to be, at the top of various professions, yet play like amateurs, etc. Again, the PLAYER will be in full accord with the defense of the Sue/Stu position, no matter how ridiculous or destructive of the rest of the game it might be.

Of course, just to confound the issue, the VERY worst Sue/Stu players will accuse others of the traits inherent to the breed...FREQUENTLY, especially if they feel upstaged, or if the player (or even GM) has called them out for their foolishness. ANY character who is capable or well-liked is seen as a threat by this sort of player.

As for the tragic background (There are games where this is OK, and where it is not. If it is, that's up to the GM, frankly, and the sort of interactions and situations they wish to have played out, but GMs should be up front about how great a roll this can take, and some who are upset by this sort of thing should probably avoid games where it's a focal point) Sues/Stus do not play this to explore possibilities, to try to be realistic, or to try to be interesting for the sake of others, but only to have endless reasons to angst and yet again call attention to their characters.
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    bitchy Ranty!
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Characterization: Coming Up With Fantastic New Characters

How do you deal with needing a new character for a game, new, old, or otherwise?

What sort of things might inspire you?

How do you go about working that character into the world, or do you use the world itself to assist in your development?

Do you tend to lean toward preferring a certain type of character? Male/female? Good/evil? Certain powers, quirks, or abilities?

What are some bad ideas that may have seemed good at first that you've seen? Some great ideas that may have looked bad on the surface? How might you tell the difference?

Inquiring minds!

-Dira-
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    accomplished accomplished
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IM versus Bulletin Board: Inspired by BRPS.

This was inspired by THIS POST over on BRPS, in which the Original Poster argues that IM and BBS are basically the SAME THING, and never having played IM but being fine on bulletin board shouldn't be an issue for stopping you from playing in IM.

Now, while I agree with the part that it's similar enough in principle in some ways that this certainly shouldn't stop a person, I also can see the multiple other arguments that they really are not the same thing: Thus, my take on the situation.


They are different, but as the OP said, they also have some extreme similarities.

I've done both, extensively. I've done boards where we ALSO edited and posted IM sessions.

IM is great for when you're both on and bored, you've got a chunk of time, you both are reasonably matched for typing speed, or don't mind waiting a little, as you multi-task, anyway, it's a really intense, often dialogue-heavy scene, (Not that you can't also do big text blocks and description, your IM partner just has to be cool with it. My regular partners ARE.)or you need to get something up in one piece to the board, perhaps due to secrecy, perhaps simply to limit intrusions by the board sue. It can work very well. IM is especially great where you need a series of fast, short answers to continue beyond a scene or portion of a scene.

Boards are great if you want to write really long, involved posts without worrying that someone else is sitting there waiting. (Though often, they may very well be, especially if you're of a mind to sit there threading back and forth. If that's the case, I can never understand NOT using IM...cuts down on the number of posts, makes back reading easier.) Boards are also great if you DON'T have hours to post, can only slip in a post or two, need to write something really, really extra complex, or are so slow a typist that it's problematic. They also can be better for things like spell- and grammar- check. Boards are also more 'permanent'. Easier to read back, less editing before posting if you're JUST using them, and not editing out IM handles. They can be a much better group venue in some ways than chat or conference-styled IMs, because you probably aren't dealing with the scroll. Of course, if the board is very fast moving, or you have two or more people posting back and forth continually, you can also wind up with paradox and re-write problems, as one person posts something just as another hits send on their answer...

So, in short, both have advantages, both drawbacks, you can combine the two, but the basic mechanics are generally also similar in that what you're usually doing is post-reply, post-reply, between two or more people.

-Dira-
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    productive productive
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A Day At The Beach, In Gaming! (Getting out of Ye Olde Tavern or Bar!)

So, you include a scene at the beach in your game (Let's say you start there). Could be any beach, anywhere. Maybe it's a really isolated stretch, maybe there are a ton of people there.

What might be a good scenario to be represented by this? What might happen?

For those of you who don't like sand, maybe it's a lake, high in the mountains, or even a pool, natural or otherwise, perhaps on a quiet estate.

What can you do with this?
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    artistic Inquiring
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Summer Gaming:

Do you continue to game during the summer, or do you get too busy? If you're a table-topper, ever take it outside? To the beach? A picnic?

What games may best suit this time of year?

Do you run any short-term games because it's a school break, or other form of break for you? How do you handle if they don't end 'on time?'