How to start?


  • Pitcrew

    I know I've been away from the hobby for a while, and perhaps the culture has changed a bit but how exactly does one go about getting into an actual scene that isn't a +event nowadays? I was able to get a character approved through chargen, but I've yet to have an actual scene. It looks like anyone who's not in a specific scene on the grid is just hanging out in the OOC Room. I know that bar/coffee shop RP is boring and frowned upon, but how are debut scenes supposed to happen? I remember back to times where people idled on the grid, but now it appears to happen in the OOC Room. I know I should throw out a "Scene anyone?" line, but most of those seem to get frowned upon and considered needy. Am I just reading things the wrong way?


  • Pitcrew

    @jonah42175 said in How to start?:

    I know I should throw out a "Scene anyone?" line, but most of those seem to get frowned upon and considered needy. Am I just reading things the wrong way?

    Yes? Or maybe it depends on where you're playing.

    I'm only on Calaveras at the moment, and - outside of +events - every scene I've had has begun with me or someone else going IC and saying something about looking for RP on the public channel.

    I guess the culture could be different where you're playing.


  • Coder

    @jonah42175 said in How to start?:

    I know I should throw out a "Scene anyone?" line, but most of those seem to get frowned upon and considered needy.

    It's not considered needy at all on the games I've been on - in fact it's the principal way for people to get together outside of events.

    Bar/coffee RP is still a staple of MUSHing but I think it's better if you can come up with a more creative way/place to meet new people. Games should have multiple hangouts for such purpose.


  • Pitcrew

    I'm not saying that this is the hurdle you're facing, just to be clear, but...I consistently see people doing things that are either ineffective or straight-up counterproductive to getting RP.

    Vaguely saying in a lounge, and sometimes even saying on faction channels,

    Player is trying to decide if they want to RP tonight!

    or,

    Player feels like RP!

    --I almost never respond to this, for a whole boatload of reasons. I'm not an elitist, and I don't just like to RP in a corner with my friends, though that's often how things go, because my friends actually specifically ask me if I want to RP, and usually they have an idea as to what we might do. So many of the people I see complaining about cliques and being left out of plots never actually page a scene-runner and say, 'Hey, your plot looks awesome! Is there a hook that would allow me to get involved, or somebody I should talk to about doing that?' Most of the people I see in lounges who announce they are debating RP tonight :D never actually go so far as to ask anyone specifically for a scene, or put in the thirty seconds of time to check someone else's character info and suggest a scene that might appeal to them, or check the +events board and ask people running plots if their character could follow up on something that happened, or propose something they could get going on the grid, no matter how simple -- or any number of other proactive choices.

    Which almost inevitably seems to lead to this kind of player disconnecting after making some kinda passive aggressive remark like, 'Player guesses they'll just give up for the night, then.' And while I totally understand that it can be frustrating not to get traction on a game, this behavior is not endearing. That person becomes someone I sorta plan to avoid.

    Which kinda leads into the other thing I think people don't keep in mind: many people still doing this are grown adults, many with children and full-time jobs. Some of us enjoy ST/GMing, particularly large-scale, long arc plots. There have been times mid-plot when my free time for RP is booked up for literally two weeks with people who need scenes with me, in addition to whatever funsies I'm doing for myself. It gets difficult to do spontaneous RP for scheduling reasons, and certainly there's only so much creative energy anybody can put into this stuff without going insane and burning out. Sometimes, it's very much a kindness to very specifically ask someone for a scene, suggest something you think might be fun, and then plan a day to do that. I sort of miss games where the culture leaned into 'random grid RP,' too, so I get where you're coming from there...but, that's just the way things have trended, so all you can really do is try to be more direct.

    People do not page, though. I sure can attest to that. I've run enormous plots on numerous games, and more often than not I wind up hearing about salty players who say they can't get involved, who have never once actually paged me to ask me how they can do that. I'm a very not-scary person to interact with.

    Honestly, I think most people are flattered if they're approached for RP by a polite person who has an idea as to what the scene might be.


  • Pitcrew

    @juke Yes to all of this. I cannot count the number of times I have suddenly heard that XYZ hates me for being an elitist cliqueing bastard, while XYZ will have literally never spoken to me once.

    Usually they place the blame on me for "being unapproachable and too scary to page" (????), or for "making them feel blown off" because I told them I literally cannot RP until next week at XYZ time, due to other obligations both at and away from the computer screen. Both of these things baffle me.

    It is tiring when people read 500 malicious intentions that aren't there into even the most innocuous things I can say or do.

    So I suppose my advice is to dispense with this mode of thinking that so-and-so "seems to be frowned on," or that XYZ kind of RP is "boring and unwanted.' You are sabotaging yourself over something that may not even be there. Just ask people for RP. Let people tell you what they actually want from there.


  • Pitcrew

    Agree with @juke and @Altair.

    The best way to gain traction is to do a bit of lurking. Find out who might have RP that excites you (read wiki, logs, char info).

    Then page them. Query availability. Set a date.

    Spend the time between now and your date germinating a scene you can set that hooks in with their character vibe.

    If you did even a passable job you now have a RP ally. Rinse. Repeat.

    Echoing whats been stated I think its harder to to find /meaningful/ RP by throwing out an undirected solicitation to the entire game/lounge or to host a me-centric meet and greet event for the entire game/lounge.

    If you are gonna do an event at some point make sure it's setup in such a way the people you really want to attend are available and desiring to join in. Glorify your attendees by not making it a rail shooter to a predetermined outcome.

    Show people you appreciate the nuances of their style and they'll return the favor and soon you'll have a clique of your own.


  • Pitcrew

    First, I wanna say that we could have better tools to signal that we want to RP and what we might be open too, which is why it's sometimes hard to pick up a scene.

    @juke said in How to start?:

    Vaguely saying in a lounge, and sometimes even saying on faction channels,

    Player is trying to decide if they want to RP tonight!

    or,

    Player feels like RP!

    I do this when I don't have the mental energy to drive a scene myself, but I mightmaybecouldbe open to the right proposal from someone who is a regular RP partner. I know the vagueness won't be jumped on by many, but friends might page 'hey, so-and-so and I are down at blah-hangout.' So that's what I use it for.

    When I'm up to RP with anyone and everyone and really wanna RP, but I'm not particular about what, I'll hop IC and put out a shout on a channel that I'm in such and such a place for people who wanna join.

    If I'm open to RP, but won't really be put off if no one joins me (like if I'm already in a scene elsewhere), I'll just hop IC to signal that I'm around and available, but not point out on a channel that I'm IC.

    If I really wanna RP with so-and-so about such-and-such a thing, I will page them and let them know and then watch-stalk them and try not to be that annoying person who pages every time they log on, while still reminding them that I'm waiting for a scene.

    There should be better ways to do all these things


  • Pitcrew

    @lisse24 said in How to start?:

    There should be better ways to do all these things

    We need a coded raid/dungeon/party finder/matcher, clearly. Sign up for a 3 person 'slow poses' 'social' scene (or whatever) and then as soon as 3 people are found it teleports you all somewhere within the parameters with a prompt. Go.

    ...that started out as a joke...


  • Coder

    @sunny said in How to start?:

    ...that started out as a joke...

    From the aspect of a coder, it got funnier as you went along.

    ;)


  • Pitcrew

    @lisse24 said in How to start?:

    If I'm open to RP, but won't really be put off if no one joins me

    I don't think any of the above methods are a problem if you're relaxed about whether or not you get a response! It's only when people try nothing else, expecting a response, and then grouse about never getting any RP/talk about how getting RP is impossible that it becomes a frustrating phenomenon. There's nothing inherently wrong with open invitations!


  • Pitcrew

    Having been in this hobby for decades on and off, it has indeed changed. Bar RP used to be how you met people (and you still do to a certain degree), but I think many players these days look for more meaning. Back then, there were no wikis. At the most you'd get some hints from people's +fingers and could work out some hooks pre-RP which made things easier and more in debt once you started scening. Working out hooks in advance now is much more common, so bar RP doesn't really exist on the same level.

    My best advice? Throw a post up, suggesting hooks for your character towards others. Look at wikis to see who might be in the same fields as you, and contact them via mail or page. And if saying you'd like to RP on channels, have a basic premise. Example: 'I'm going to go to the park and have an impromptu open picnic if anyone wants to join' or 'I'm going to the laundromat for some RP. If you wash your clothes there too, we could bump into each other'. It doesn't have to be big or complicated, but many people love the chance for something that isn't bar RP in my experience.


  • Pitcrew

    Thanks, everyone. I'm glad the post got some good discussion around it. Every bit of advice is good and I'll take a look at what works and doesn't work within the culture of the specific game. I'm glad that it is more of a shift in how things are done now. I'm not accusing anyone of being elitist, I legitimately was curious as to what to do next.



  • @juke said in How to start?:

    --I almost never respond to this, for a whole boatload of reasons.

    Ugh, I'm on board with you, but to add a couple more reasons, people that do this very often expect any scene to specifically cater to their particular tastes and mood, and sorry, but you have to play your character out of character in order to accommodate their character's arc, oh by the way, they're a secret undercover agent and now the fun adventure just turned into one PC getting arrested.

    Oh, sorry, yeah, I've since stopped responding to +pub CAN I HAS RPZ requests, too. I'm not salty at all. Honest.



  • If you want to invite someone to a scene, have an idea as to the essentials: Who, what, why, when, where.
    Who do you invite? What will you do? Why them in particular? When will this take place in the IC scheme of things? Where are we going to be (and why are we there in particular?)

    The biggest annoyance I have lately is being asked to RP and then having to come up with all this myself. I don't mind creating a story, that's part and parcel of the hobby, but it's sort of like being invited over to someone's house for dinner and having to bring all my own food. I bring wine, you bring food, we all have a good time.



  • As someone who still idles on the grid instead of the OOC room, I find that people tend to come to me when I do that. I do also ask in OOC and occasionally PUB, but most of the time, people show up in the IC room I'm in and inquire if there is RP to be had.