Cultural differences between MUDs and MUSHes



  • In my transition from MUDs to MUSHes in the last few weeks, lately I've been coming across a lot of terms that I've never (or rarely) heard before:

    • Posing — which means emoting
    • Metaposing — which means the opposite of show-don't-tell, and apparently is sometimes acceptable, sometimes not
    • TS — which means mudsex

    And a whole bunch of other things. I've also been encountering culture shock, which for me is a lot harder to learn to manoeuvre around.

    • Different attitudes towards what constitutes creepy player behaviour, addressed by me here
    • Anger over metaposing etiquette, brought up by others here
    • The lack of spontaneity in stumbling across RP on the grid, partly explained here
    • The ubiquity of OOC communication
    • Preferences for openness about characters' hidden motives vs. a preference for mystery and secrecy

    These are just the ones I've observed, to name a few, but I'm sure there are others I haven't picked up on yet.

    Naturally, when in Rome, one should do as the Romans do, though it's a little hard when there's so little documentation the Romans have about their unspoken rules. I was wondering if anyone who's made similar cross-genre forays would care to share observations they've made about the cultural differences.

    I'm particularly interested to hear from MUSHers: what are some aspects of player etiquette you would consider to be required, and which are more take-it-or-leave-it? For example with metaposing, what does everyone agree you shouldn't do, and where do personal preferences come in? Note, I'm not really interested in the 'be yourself, all roleplay is subjective' attitude, because it can be very easy to offend, or worse, bore people if you don't engage them according to their expectations. And that's going to kill potential interactions faster than confusing 'your' and 'you're'.


  • Coder

    @Kestrel said in Cultural differences between MUDs and MUSHes:

    Note, I'm not really interested in the 'be yourself, all roleplay is subjective' attitude, because it can be very easy to offend, or worse, bore people if you don't engage them according to their expectations.

    While it's certainly true that you can put people off if you don't conform to their expectations, in my experience you won't find a consistent set of expectations. To put it another way, there isn't "Rome" of MUSHing - there's the US and Russia and Germany and France and they each have their own unique set of expectations. And even within a given "country" if you will (or sub-culture), you'll get widely differing preferences based solely on taste.

    The Glossary on this tutorial might be helpful to you, but it sounds like you're probably beyond the rest of it already.

    Here are the etiquette suggestions from one of my games, but they are by no means universal:

    • Ask before joining a scene in progress.
    • If someone asks to join a scene, try to find a way to work them in if you can.
    • If you really want a private scene, use a TP room.
    • Avoid 'lurking' to watch a scene that you are not a part of unless you know the people pretty well. It sometimes creeps folks out.
    • If you are speedwalking through a room with other players, a simple OOC "Just passing through!" is polite.
    • Ask before posing logs containing sensitive/private IC information.


  • @Kestrel

    Something to keep in mind is if you're new to Mushes and you tell people you're new to Mushes, people will read into that. And many will try to be helpful (or busybody or plain manipulative) and tell you what is right and wrong, but that will most likely be based on their personal preferences and then inflated into ubiquity. As anyone who has traveled to different countries might tell you, you'll get as much failadvise as real advise.

    I'm now on my 5th year of Mushing, and damn time has flown. I've never been on a Mud, but I have roleplayed on different mediums that have put different weight on what I think are the two main axes: Are you playing the Game or are you writing a satisfying Story (a very unfocused, bad, and even when its not horrible still in badly need of massive editing, story)?

    Different Mushes put different emphasis of what should matter most, thus growing different cultures in their playerbases over time, then die and those players go out in the world and spread those culture spores to new places. Clashes of culture and expectation happen, leaving a hodge-podge in its wake. I can tell you that in 5 years I've still not come across a whole lot of hard rules as to what's okay or not, only a lot of often-conflicting personal opinions. Some exceptions are:

    Malicious or ridiculing metaposing will get people bitching like crazy, because its taken (and often meant to be) a passive-aggressive critique of characters and players they feel helpless to respond to. Conversely because a lot of Mushe(r)(s) weigh heavily towards story/character development they're happy to metapose quite a lot to fill in that story as the play happens. A personal favorite of mine is self ironic meta posing that pokes fun at one's own character.

    Entering private grid spaces uninvited. While some people will frown at you for crashing any public space too, I say fuck them and do it without blinking an eye. Also there's +hangouts on most games to add the facilitating of spontaneous rp.

    Personally I really dislike too much OOC communication, especially when it (and it often does) lends itself towards OOC manipulation of events and layering pressures and expectations of what should happen, for fishing for ways to avoid even slightly unfavorable consequences. But a lot of players have a vastly different opinion of me on it, believing OOC communication to be the key to happy funtimes. My solution has just been to do it my way, deal with the occasional (and there's never been much of it) fallout with a shrug and a smile. (ETA: Or a cyber screaming match. WHATEVER WORKS.)


  • Coder

    I had a lot of thoughts on this while in the shower, and I have to get one or two of them down before work.

    I am going to take a break from demanding my independence from stereotypes of a larger group and use the term "we", because it's quicker to type and because it's easier to get across the more generic points that I'm going to make.

    @Kestrel said in Cultural differences between MUDs and MUSHes:

    • Different attitudes towards what constitutes creepy player behaviour, addressed by me here

    I'm jumping way ahead of myself, but you're reacting to the Mush attitude about OOC behavior. One of the key differences between a Mud and a Mush is one of game system. A Mud is typically a game with a coded system; that is, the code is the system. If you're playing with code, you're playing the game. A Mush is most typically a play-space based upon a table-top RPG or agreed-upon rules of role-play, systems that often need a human being to arbitrate conflict of "does it hit" or "am I poisoned". We have had well over a decade to figure out how to make this work without a computer telling us the answer, and sometimes without an adjudicator (storyteller, ombudsman, staff) to tell us and agree upon an answer between us. To do this, we in the Mushing world must rely on OOC.

    It's caused some of its own issues, such as a heavy reliance on it and, as @lordbelh said, opportunity to manipulate the more fluid situation via the very channels meant to solve the problem of the system not being code-heavy.

    This is ownership of the character. You're writing the character so it's yours. You aren't giving the code the opportunity to kill you just for interacting with it. The character's daily life is almost entirely yours to write. So when someone writes or controls your character for you, then yes, people get upset. This is the "bad" kind of metaposing. The other bad kind of metaposing is when someone is passive-aggressive at you via off-hand author comments in the middle of a pose, but that's because passive-aggression is bad, m'kay.

    Mushes used to be a whole lot more spontaneous. I don't honestly know how to explain this one, other than World of Darkness games especially have grown insular over the years. Possibly because of fear of what people are willing to do to your character, but I feel it's more to do with what happens when people with that fear become staff and that attitude starts being the game culture's norm. A much larger discussion for another day, perhaps.

    • The ubiquity of OOC communication

    I jumped ahead, here. See Above.

    • Preferences for openness about characters' hidden motives vs. a preference for mystery and secrecy.

    This is also mostly due to the lack of systems to support secrecy. We had something like this, and it was horrible, horrible because there was no way to prove who did what or better yet, who knows what. We in the World of Darkness arena have tinkered with the idea of "supernatural lore systems" as a codified way to determine who knows what, and if you couldn't prove it that you had the knowledge then you weren't allowed to act on it.

    It ... wasn't pretty.

    There also isn't any code to allow you to affect another character without somebody knowing about it. Good side: There's more you can do because you're not relying on code. Bad side: You need a human being. As game staff gets busier and busier, they're less and less likely to babysit those situations. (As a side note: I think it's many staffer's fault for finding busywork, but again, another long conversation for another day.)


    I've overstepped my time allotment by (checks) 15 minutes, but I think that summarizes the main points pretty well. A different approach to application of game systems seems to color most of the differences. Not really a guide, this, but an explanation that might help ease you into why the differences exist.

    Ta.

    edit: Incidentally, you are always, always okay to be creeped out by someone approaching you as a player (OOC) over things that are emotional. Say 'I'm not comfortable with this' and let them retract. My personal Prime Directive is that RL Comes First. If this means that you need to step away from someone because they're getting all up ins, then do so. What constitutes 'creepy' is so personal, moreso than almost the rest of this, that I wanted to add that on.



  • To prove my point about conflicting cultures (and thus, sadly, I don't think you'll ever please everybody @Kestrel):

    @faraday said in Cultural differences between MUDs and MUSHes:

    Here are the etiquette suggestions from one of my games, but they are by no means universal:

    • Ask before joining a scene in progress.

    On not all games this is a thing, but if you want to be safe, you can always do it anyway. If I'm in a public room I expect people to join if they want to. I kind of want them to, since that's why I'm in a public rather than a private room.

    • If someone asks to join a scene, try to find a way to work them in if you can.

    Within reason. Gotta give to receive, and I know plenty of people who think you've got no right to expect any interaction even if you politely asked. Me, I like to include someone who does ask, who make themselves intractable.

    • If you really want a private scene, use a TP room.

    This is something I'd agree with, but it also runs directly counter to the idea you have to ask before joining a scene (asking means you can be denied, which means people can totally have private scenes anywhere they like.)

    • Avoid 'lurking' to watch a scene that you are not a part of unless you know the people pretty well. It sometimes creeps folks out.

    I do think this is a thing. On every game I've seen this.

    • If you are speedwalking through a room with other players, a simple OOC "Just passing through!" is polite.

    Is this a thing? Admittedly I often do say 'passing through', but sometimes I don't bother. I don't really care if someone else says it.

    • Ask before posing logs containing sensitive/private IC information.

    Oh god yes. But still something that not everybody does or thinks is necessary. I've learned this to my chagrin.


  • Coder

    @lordbelh said in Cultural differences between MUDs and MUSHes:

    To prove my point about conflicting cultures...

    Does it? I mean, it seemed from your responses that we were in agreement more than not? You say "within reason...", I say "if you can..." - it's semantics. And I do think there are a lot of gray areas. That's the reason why these are guidelines, not rules.

    Should Mary and Joe be required to go to a TP room just because they're on a date at the restaurant? I don't think so. But then if Bob comes along, I have no problem if Bob's "Mind if I join?" is met with "Well, we're having a date at the back table, so it might be a little hard to work you in..." That wouldn't stop Bob from kicking up a scene with Harvey at the restaurant bar, which may result in a heated argument, which may distract Mary and Joe from their date... Sometimes that's the fun of having a "private" scene in a "public" space.

    Tangential side note: Speedwalking doesn't bother me personally, but there are some people who are downright incensed by it. It's probably not enough to warrant having it on the list though, in retrospect.


  • Coder

    Avoid 'lurking' to watch a scene that you are not a part of unless you know the people pretty well. It sometimes creeps folks out.

    Unless the MUSH in question has some form of recall command, I always lurk for a few poses to get an understanding of what the scene is about before posing in myself, anything else seems rather tricky and presumptuous.

    Ask before joining a scene in progress.
    If you really want a private scene, use a TP room.

    On most games it should be safe to assume (and in some games explicitly written in the rules) that anything that happens in a public room is a public scene that anyone can join however if people are in the middle of something I do usually ask before posing in. I also think most MUSH are better off without TP rooms.

    The lack of spontaneity in stumbling across RP on the grid, partly explained here

    It's my experience that as long as you are visible in +where (while possibly saying that you're looking for RP in whatever passes for the RP/General channel of the game) you can attract people to whatever room on the grid you're idling in. It's how I've gotten most of my RP over the years. The key thing is that most players tend to idle in the OOC room so you need to provoke them into coming on grid.


  • Coder

    @Groth said in Cultural differences between MUDs and MUSHes:

    Avoid 'lurking' to watch a scene that you are not a part of unless you know the people pretty well. It sometimes creeps folks out.

    Unless the MUSH in question has some form of recall command, I always lurk for a few poses to get an understanding of what the scene is about before posing in myself, anything else seems rather tricky and presumptuous.

    Yeah I don't consider that 'lurking' - that's just waiting a few poses before jumping in, which is extremely common (and usually prefaced by the person saying "I'm doing this..."). I've seen people who'll just come down to watch scenes like they're bringing popcorn and watching the show. Some folks don't mind that - I was on Maddock for a long time where there was "watch" code for public places, and I tend to post most scenes as logs anyway - but there are a lot of people that are creeped out by it.



  • IMO, the etiquette rules are typically harder to get a grasp on in MUSHes because MUDs have coded constructs to enforce the rules and are typically anti-OOC-chatting-while-playing. MUSH culture is highly dependent on who's playing the game and who you're playing the game with. Some people want minimal OOCness, on the ball posing, and are willing to get into PVP conflict. Some people don't want that at all and are likely to metapose or provide running OOC commentary. My advice is RP with different people and see who you like playing with. Unlike in a MUD construct, it's typically easier and even maybe encouraged that you avoid people whose company you don't enjoy.



  • @acceleration said in Cultural differences between MUDs and MUSHes:

    IMO, the etiquette rules are typically harder to get a grasp on in MUSHes because MUDs have coded constructs to enforce the rules and are typically anti-OOC-chatting-while-playing.

    I also think it's important to keep in mind a lot of game culture issues vary, sometimes quite drastically, from game to game. I don't know if that's true in MUDs are not, but I'm hesitant to make blanket statements about my experience in MUSHes when it comes to the use of meta, how the grid is treated in terms of being a public space, OOC secrecy, etc. I came up in one environment, have played in many others, and have my own preferences that I've developed over the years. A lot of this stuff, in its less extreme form, isn't right or wrong, but a matter of preference that's been discussed on boards like this a lot (and debates can still be found here, I suspect, though I am not using the terrible search function to find them).

    ETA: What I consider "required" for this stuff is doing a careful read of the game's rules and observing the overall OOC culture. Not every game's going to do things like I personally most prefer, and that's fine. If the culture is too different I probably won't last long, but new players should be aware of their environment, just like games should make a particular effort to help newbies integrate. I feel like it's a two-way street and forcing expectations from another game on a new place leads to a lot of easily-avoided problems.



  • @faraday said in Cultural differences between MUDs and MUSHes:

    • Ask before posing logs containing sensitive/private IC information.

    What constitutes sensitive/private IC information on a MUSH other than TS? I could be misreading between the lines, but based on various communications and the one instance where I asked someone, 'Can I post this?' I felt like I was met with this weird implication that one should always have nothing to hide, and that if you aren't entirely open about your character's motives/secrets, you're being kinda sketchy.

    @lordbelh said in Cultural differences between MUDs and MUSHes:

    Personally I really dislike too much OOC communication, especially when it (and it often does) lends itself towards OOC manipulation of events and layering pressures and expectations of what should happen, for fishing for ways to avoid even slightly unfavorable consequences. But a lot of players have a vastly different opinion of me on it, believing OOC communication to be the key to happy funtimes. My solution has just been to do it my way, deal with the occasional (and there's never been much of it) fallout with a shrug and a smile. (ETA: Or a cyber screaming match. WHATEVER WORKS.)

    So far this is probably the biggest source of MUSH-related culture-shock for me, I think. I had my character react a certain way to something they found off-putting, for very IC reasons (though I found it great) — and received an OOC apology for the off-putting behaviour, with a clarification that it wasn't intended to be off-putting. Is this normal? Do many MUSHers have an aversion to conflict-based RP, and/or take the stance that character behaviours should be altered to cater to harmony with other characters? I mean beyond the basic, 'we need an excuse to stay in a scene together'.

    @Thenomain: thanks for the explanation on metaposing, that 100% clears up all of my confusion around it.

    ETA: I realise I'm dealing with generalisations here, so while many have expressed the sentiment that everything is a 'sometimes, some people, everywhere/everyone is different', my reason for raising some of these questions is that on MUDs, a lot of this stuff is practically unheard of (or even strictly forbidden). It's the same token by which not all Scotsmen wear kilts, but you're definitely a lot more likely to see them there than in England. So I ask, 'How widespread is kilt-wearing in Scotland? Will I be looked at funny there if I don't wear a kilt?'


  • Pitcrew

    @Kestrel said in Cultural differences between MUDs and MUSHes:

    @faraday said in Cultural differences between MUDs and MUSHes:

    • Ask before posing logs containing sensitive/private IC information.

    What constitutes sensitive/private IC information on a MUSH other than TS? I could be misreading between the lines, but based on various communications and the one instance where I asked someone, 'Can I post this?' I felt like I was met with this weird implication that one should always have nothing to hide, and that if you aren't entirely open about your character's motives/secrets, you're being kinda sketchy.

    This sounds like something specific to the culture of what ever MUSH you were playing on when this happened. But it is part of the culture, as mentioned above, places put in policy now if they're open or closed, the closed places have adopted from WoD and sometimes call it 'OOC Masque'. It comes into play more when mingling spheres and from the PvP culture of its okay for say, a vampire, to kill a werewolf on site in certain locations on the grid. The secrecy that is, the openness, I've always been around that. Usually if folks don't want to give something away they'll kindly say 'you'll have to see when it comes out', meaning wait for it to come out in RP, or read it in the logs.

    @lordbelh said in Cultural differences between MUDs and MUSHes:

    Personally I really dislike too much OOC communication, especially when it (and it often does) lends itself towards OOC manipulation of events and layering pressures and expectations of what should happen, for fishing for ways to avoid even slightly unfavorable consequences. But a lot of players have a vastly different opinion of me on it, believing OOC communication to be the key to happy funtimes. My solution has just been to do it my way, deal with the occasional (and there's never been much of it) fallout with a shrug and a smile. (ETA: Or a cyber screaming match. WHATEVER WORKS.)

    So far this is probably the biggest source of MUSH-related culture-shock for me, I think. I had my character react a certain way to something they found off-putting, for very IC reasons (though I found it great) — and received an OOC apology for the off-putting behaviour, with a clarification that it wasn't intended to be off-putting. Is this normal? Do many MUSHers have an aversion to conflict-based RP, and/or take the stance that character behaviours should be altered to cater to harmony with other characters? I mean beyond the basic, 'we need an excuse to stay in a scene together'.

    Yes, some do have an aversion to conflict. If you say OOC its good and you're not upset about the behavior, things should be okay. That was just a step to avoid some OOC drama. The char behavior shouldn't be altered, but it does lead back to needing an excuse to scene together. If all characters can't get along ever, no one plays together.


  • Pitcrew

    There is an elephant in the room, it might not be white or big, but there is another fundamental difference between MUD and MUSH that should be addressed. In a MUSH death is nearly always permanent (except maybe superhero genre), there is no res at the temple, or pray to the gods, or take an XP cut. I know some MUDs do go permadeath, but most I've been on have some form of resurrection. As a MUSH lacks this, yes, some people are more concerned about death. Its why there is more cultural differences over meta and control, or being polite and speaking OOC a little to befriend.

    Edit: On a MUD if someone is a jerk and I don't like their RP, I go play with others, or just go back to regular grinding. On MUSH, nothing happens without collaboration and cooperation of the other players.

    The key is, once there is a little OOC trust, more players open up to things like allowing meta (ooc: can my guy punch you, ooc: sure, I trust you, I'll take the hit ...). If there is even more trust, and some story going, more people are even willing to accept IC death, especially for a good story.


  • Coder

    @Kestrel said in Cultural differences between MUDs and MUSHes:

    ETA: I realise I'm dealing with generalisations here, so while many have expressed the sentiment that everything is a 'sometimes, some people, everywhere/everyone is different', my reason for raising some of these questions is that on MUDs, a lot of this stuff is practically unheard of (or even strictly forbidden). It's the same token by which not all Scotsmen wear kilts, but you're definitely a lot more likely to see them there than in England. So I ask, 'How widespread is kilt-wearing in Scotland? Will I be looked at funny there if I don't wear a kilt?'

    There are people that play MUSH while locking their pages and leaving all OOC channels, that works pretty fine as long as you do mostly social RP but you want to get involved with things the more OOC communication tends to become necessary. That is, you'll probably be fine not wearing a kilt.



  • @Lotherio

    There are plenty of perma-death MUDs. RPIs are all perma-death and several RP-centric MUDs are also perma-death. Non-perma-death MUDs are typically considered RP-light with combat emphasis (like the IRE series and New Worlds) and probably not where OP is coming from given they seem more interested in figuring out if people on MUSHes are conflict-averse.


  • Pitcrew

    Honestly I think the difference between muds and mushes comes down to the fact that by and large on a mush there is no gameplay without other players. That's not true on 99.9% of muds. You could even say the PvE play on muds influences mud players' perceptions of each other -- when you interact with coded systems like crafting or bashing you develop a set of expectations that extends to your RP.

    Uruk-hai07837 doesn't ever OOC does he?


  • Pitcrew

    I can't imagine that ooc targeting never happens on MUDs just because there's humans involved.

    But yes, on a MUSH there can be big histories of IC conflict blown up into ooc in particularly unfun ways (poisoning the well, ect). So I do think you'll have more people checking in ooc, either if you start an IC conflict or they do, just to make sure everyone's cool.

    Though you're right, there are also people that very clearly feel they can't make any mistakes or can only make mistakes on their terms. Sometimes that's due to unfortunate experiences on other games, sometimes it's something intrinsic to them.

    I think most of the time asking is just a way to proactively communicate (I'm fine with however things go, or hey I am enjoying this and you're a lot of fun even if my PC is a jerk/thinks yours is).

    Metaposing is sticky. Unless it's meant to poke fun at oneself or explain a very immediate context of a scene, ect--I think it tends to give the impression of wanting to dominate the scene/force people into spectate mode (especially when the pose is essentially non interactive). I think most people do that now and again, it's a legitimate device for moving a scene, but if someone does it habitually in a domineering, selfish, or snarky way I will tend to not enjoy RPing with them very much or want to be involved much with them (IME it tends to extend way into ooc interactions too). So I don't know that it's a no never thing so much as use with intention and awareness of others' enjoyment rather than habitual style.

    MUSHing is partially collaborative storytelling. Other players are not your captive audience, ideally pcs grow/are affected by the other pcs and shared stories/events/fuckups/victories. I am not sure how much that is actually put into practice. I think things would be a lot more fun if people were less ooc unkind and unwilling to extend some grace to other players in exchange for allowing more failure/IC conflict to be resolved (which is easier to do when people are not nasty/suspicious/tone deaf to each other ooc).


  • Pitcrew

    @acceleration said in Cultural differences between MUDs and MUSHes:

    @Lotherio

    There are plenty of perma-death MUDs. RPIs are all perma-death and several RP-centric MUDs are also perma-death. Non-perma-death MUDs are typically considered RP-light with combat emphasis (like the IRE series and New Worlds) and probably not where OP is coming from given they haven't really mentioned the death thing at all.

    I'll give you this, and sorry, I only saw MUD not semantics; like MUSH on the other side, but I'm sure folks are speaking on behalf of Muck and MOO as well. Though how many RPI Muds have approval processes that take 24+ hours? And how many require more than 4 lines of BG? How many strongly encourage more hours of char development by throwing up a wiki page? Or require some explanation of skill choices?

    They are out there, I have seen them, but not the vast majority. I think what I'm looking at more is character vestment. There are plenty of MUSHes with players that are not averse to conflict, but on MUSHes folks feel more vested in the character due to time spent learning theme to make the char, making the char, waiting for approval, making changes to fit the particular them. Most places may say 24-48 hours on approval, but between development and approval, making on char on a MUSH is more intensive most of the time.

    I forget where it was, but I was challenged once to try an RPI MUD to compare it to a MUSH. THey hadeasy CGen for players new to MUDs where they went to friendly lands, and a challenge CGen where everyone started a slave. I choose the slave, went through the 'heh you're naked' RP, did enough RP to up my price on those bidding to buy me, and developed a char from scratch that eventually got his freedom. Lots of RP but lots of grinding for things like food and such, sometimes on behalf of my master, especially at the beginning. The CGen was still by far easier and I was less vested in the char if someone came along, got mad at him for slighting them and whacked him there on the spot. I could of jumped in and whipped up another char fairly quickly.



  • @Lotherio

    100% agree on the ease of chargen for RPIs. In my experience, there's also typically a cap/soft cap of how strong you can really get, and living long enough to grind will get you to par, so there aren't necessarily huge power gaps in PVP.

    I don't think it necessarily means they are more willing to take risks because the initial hurdle is less painful. It's true they don't have to wait 3-4 days for staff to unbusy enough to approve an app, or really even need staff at all to stat their characters, but RP done right typically involves a certain amount of emotional investment in a character, and losing that character in any MU* setting might warrant a break regardless of what it takes to roll a new one.

    IMO, RPIs/RP MUDs encourage risk taking by:

    1. offering more PVE danger
    2. reducing OOC communication and thereby minimizing any guilt tripping that might happen because a PC got killed, as well as minimizing any OOC manipulation attempts to get reduced consequences for any given PC
    3. streamlining code so there's less opportunity to argue about fairness or accuracy of mechanics

    Side tangent about wiki pages:

    I'm not actually a huge fan of wiki pages for character development. I think things stated to be RP hooks on character wiki pages typically aren't actually RP hooks but rather more a resume of skills, and that they're usually used in a 'hey look how many friends my PC has and how awesome my sheet is' and a 'check out my mixtape!' capacity. I don't see them as improving the RP experience in any way. The main way they might be useful is in giving an OOC impression of who's playing and what might be a good PC to roll for a grid that's already balanced in some particular way.



  • @Kestrel said in Cultural differences between MUDs and MUSHes:

    So far this is probably the biggest source of MUSH-related culture-shock for me, I think. I had my character react a certain way to something they found off-putting, for very IC reasons (though I found it great) — and received an OOC apology for the off-putting behaviour, with a clarification that it wasn't intended to be off-putting. Is this normal? Do many MUSHers have an aversion to conflict-based RP, and/or take the stance that character behaviours should be altered to cater to harmony with other characters? I mean beyond the basic, 'we need an excuse to stay in a scene together'.

    A certain subset of mushers are extremely conflict averse. Since I'm not, I expect I tend to attract other players who aren't, while putting off those who are. Thus pretty much limited any big interaction with that crowd. (Which benefits everybody, in my mind. Have fun the way you want to have fun as long as it doesn't screw with the game rules or my character autonomy.) I expect that if you play along with that mentality you'll find more and more of that particular mentality. But it's not something hard wired into every Musher.

    People self select. In your case if you don't like the risk adverse overly OOC concerned harmony style of RP, false flagging through attempting to assimilate will lead you surrounded with it.


  • Coder

    @Kestrel said in Cultural differences between MUDs and MUSHes:

    What constitutes sensitive/private IC information on a MUSH other than TS?

    The same sorts of secrets you might want to keep to yourself in RL. Confessing a crush on someone, plotting revenge, committing a crime, revealing you're a Vampire or a member of a secret organization, planning a surprise party, or - yes - TS. I've heard the phrase "OOC Masquerade" as @Lotherio mentioned, but the idea is pretty common even on games that don't have heavy PvP aspects.

    I had my character react a certain way to something they found off-putting, for very IC reasons (though I found it great) — and received an OOC apology for the off-putting behaviour, with a clarification that it wasn't intended to be off-putting. Is this normal?

    It's quite common. There are those out there who will assume "if you're playing a jerk, you must be a jerk", or "if you're being a jerk to me, you must not like me". I wouldn't say they're the majority, but they're common enough that folks will often make the sort of clarification you're alluding to - just in case.

    So I ask, 'How widespread is kilt-wearing in Scotland? Will I be looked at funny there if I don't wear a kilt?'

    Except I think it's more like "How widespread is kilt-wearing in Europe?" To which the answer is: "You'll probably be okay in Scotland, not be too out of place in the rest of the UK, and get really strange looks in Germany..."

    MUSHes are astonishingly diverse. For instance, a lot of the players on this board mostly play WoD games. I've never played one, and routinely feel "Is that really a thing?!?" type culture shock when participating in discussions here. And I've been MUSHing for 20 years.


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