Re: RP Conventions

Thanks Rushin smile

We've more or less settled in on how we have our RP conventions, through playing. I'll be writing them down shortly I hope smile

Re: RP Conventions

Seeds of Atys RP Conventions

Below are my suggestions as to how we should RP different things that would otherwise greatly tax our suspension of disbelief, and thus lower our immersion. A few of these things we have already discussed and agreed upon. Others we've not discussed, but they've come up and been dealt with ingame. Some things I have tried to explain a little, but I'm also currently preparing a huge public post arguing why we need good explanations for these things as RP'ers. I intend to post it on the official forums later. For now, let's discuss these views and finalize how we RP them. Now then, here are those views and my take on them.

Death and Respawning

We've already gone over this, and the general consensus is that death is cheapened a lot by homins simply dying and then getting resurrected, basically for free, no strings attached, and everyone can get resurrected. No real permadeath. Explaining how this, and the respawning, which doesn't even need to go to Kami or Karavan shrines, but can also go to seemingly random portals in game can be realistic in the context of any world/reality is a tough task to say the least. The suspension of disbelief is immense.

So, we are saying we do not die. When we get hurt enough to fall down, we RP unconsciousness or more commonly that we're so hurt we can't move, and we're slowly dying (those minutes until automatic respawn). That works very well imo, and can even enhance RP. Willing the Karavan or Kami to save you is a conscious effort or thought, and can happen while you lie there. You can also shout for help of course, and insert a few suitable emotes (*spits blood* *gasps for air*, etc).

So death is still a possibility from sickness or a quick stab through the heart for instance. Makes more sense. Personally my immersion takes a hit when I hear something along 'I died, but I got better'. And since all other RP'ers seem to RP like that, I hear it a lot wink However, there's no reason to do this, and it cheapens death too much, apart from being illogical. Imagine such a world where powers made everyone physically immortal (until old age presumably). It would not look like Atys looks now, put mildly.

So, I have two questions for you regarding this:

How do we explain that you can respawn at a portal and not just at Kami/Karavan shrines?

Should we RP that only a select few homins get this treatment from the Kami and Karavan? Such as, those who are promising, and not just common folk? Even if we RP we're not dying, it's still a lot of wasted help the Kami and Karavan are giving all of Atys. Would be more believable of it was not for all. Still, we can also conveniently 'ignore' this.

- Edit: I forgot to mention that we're in an uphill battle here, as the story people of Nevrax have made an event where the leader of the Trykers was killed off permadeath wise by some special weapon - i.e. at least part of this is official ingame lore. It's usually stupid to battle against ingame lore, like it or not, but Nevrax are confused themselves, as you can see when you hover your mouse over the HP bar and then reading the explanation there. If we have to accept we die, I'd at least campaign for only a select few homins able to get the Kami/Karavan immortality gift. That could save some consistency, which is better than nothing. However, as long as there's any doubt, I think we should keep RP'ing this as we do, because simply, dying 10 times a day sucks in more than one way, and I see red everytime someone uses a variation of the phrase 'rez plz' wink

Death Penalty

In continuation of this, the death penalty makes no sense either. So you 'die' and the Kami or Karavan help you out and you have a game mechanical penalty. All other RP'ers I've met (I think all got this from the Dragonblades) explain this by saying they have a 'debt' to work off, to either the Kami or the Karavan. However, that doesn't make sense either, if you dig beneath the surface of this explanation. What debt? Some spiritual debt that can be worked off by crafting 5 sets or armors and mysteriously not learning anything while doing so? Why would the Kami or Karavan set such a system in place? What would they possibly gain from that? And then there's the fact you get a death penalty when you respawn at a portal too, which is unaffiliated with Kami or Karavan helping you.

I think, and that's also how we seem to RP it, that it is far easier on the suspension of disbelief if we simply ignore the Death Penalty ingame. It's a game mechanic, there to punish you for failing. It's too long a stretch to explain it in ingame realistic terms. Now, it could be cool if indeed the Kami or Karavan helped you, and wanted something in return each time they did. That could be really great. Say, you had to do this or that quest for them, and if they had to help you again before you payed off the debt, you had to do more, etc. But saying you owe them xp is just too abstract imo, doesn't make sense.

Named Creatures/Boss Creatures

Here and there on Atys, there are these special creatures that are beefed up versions of the common beasts. They yield special and rare materials, good for serious crafting. There's only one of each at a time, when killed they respawn after some time.

Outside of the Seeds, I have only seen this roleplayed like there is one creature that has been given a certain name. Like "ah yes, that is old 'x' he's a fierce one". This makes NO sense, unless beasts can respawn like homins can. Yes, of course they can, looking at game mechanics. But trying to explain that ingame? That's tough. Is it like in indian myths that these special animals live to be killed again and again by hunters? Why and how? Going in that direction takes a lot suspense of disbelief.

Now, it is much easier and believable if you say that the named creature is a rare subspecies of the main species. That means you can have several of them, and thus you're not killing the same one beast over and over. Simple solution. Of course, you'd only ever meet one of them at a time, but that's easier to ignore than the other explanation, or?


All talk of levels ingame is to me meta-gaming. When I hear someone IC ask me what level my char has in fighting for instance, I cringe. How would or could anyone make a 250 levels system for such things? It would take close study, and then it'd be a little scary that all professions have 250 levels and so on. Like there's an invisible hand of God at play. Looking at our own world, we don't operate in levels like this, so why should other worlds? The immersion suffers when we bring in talk about game mechanics. If we can talk about levels of fighting or materials, then why not talk about our hitpoints too? If one thing can be so accurately measured, the other can too. It's a slippery slope beginning on this - it doesn't make sense to stop halfway. If you can explain and use this game mechanic language IC for some things, you can do it for others too. Most would agree that knowing your hitpoints was going too far. Yet, if you are able to say you're at lvl. 5 in fighting, it doesn't take much either to say that you could then have 200 hitpoints. Let's just not go there.

I propose that we do this the real RP way. Talk about past achievements (I killed the Great Kirosta alone yesterday), show others your weapons, duel them or show them some mock-fighting, then give them a /tell saying *after having studied him fighting, you'd say his skill was 130-140*, or simply '((I'm lvl 143')). But our chars should have a reason to make an informed guess, and all mention of game mechanics should stay in brackets imo.

Edit: There's also another way that seems better. You can say you get these fancy titles from your trainers at certain stages, and of course most also do that. You could even say you get an official badge with your rank if you wanted. That's true and good. Too bad the titles are made to be 'fun'. Fun as in 'non-immersive'. Now, a realistic person, in a realistic world, might not want to introduce himself like this: Hi there, I'm Oluf, Master of Pain (insert diabolical laughter). Or: Pleased to meet you, I am Neshor, Destroyer (insert diabolical laughter). Or: Greetings fellow homin, I am Perun, Cleaver (insert joke about butcher tools). Some titles are worse than others obviously, but the point remains. It's still better than giving levels though, and it could even be fitting, if they had more mature names. As it is, somehow you get the impression the whole world of Atys is some kind of game (oh right, it is wink)


Biggest topic for last. We spent a lot of time formalizing this to some extent, and the conclusion so far was that we semi follow these guidelines, individualizing them as we see fit:

0 in Magic ability - possibility to receive communication, but not to send.

1-25 in Magic ability - limited ability to send. No thoughts, no clear images, no sound or smell, but emotional states and vague descriptions of where they originate.

26-50 in Magic ability - No thoughts, better images, some smell.

51-75 in Magic ability - No thoughts, but otherwise seeing, smelling, hearing and feeling (emotional and to some degree physical) what the sender experiences.

76 in Magic ability - Broadcast of thoughts.

SUggested modifications are affinity with the one to send to, whether in Guild with the one, your own mental state, etc. Up to everyone individually. Perun for instance, does not seem able to send thoughts at all, even if he's well over the needed level for it. Actually I like how unique that has made him, and the RP it has fostered, after the initial inconvenience.

The point with this system was both that we wanted to try something new, and that we didn't like the ad-hoc way this communication has been explained ingame.

However, this topic is a bit bigger than this. There are practical advantages and disadvantages to it, and not all will like this way, nor can all follow it, as some will join our group who have already communicated in the full manner, from when they had 0 magic ability. All other RP'ers use /guild, /tell and /team as they would use /around in this regard. So, of course, those joining us wouldn't simply forget this, they'd be able to speak as usual. It's easy enough to say that there's difference in how homins learn this, and if they can learn it even. So we could have all kinds of communication.

The problem however, lies in the social aspects. For some RP'ers, a good deal of the fun in the game lies in /guild and other channels, being instantly able to talk to anyone, saying what you want, or being able to follow the constantly ongoing (IC) guild chatter. Now contrast this with how the Seeds function. Very, very little activity in guild, apart from the occasional images or inquiries, meant to stimulate RP or to get to meet face to face. For those who're used to being in constant touch with the guild this way, those viewing the guild as a big, constant family, this can feel very empty and dead I'm guessing.

On the other hand, I firmly believe that this way of doing things, while more difficult, stimulates more intense and immerse RP. RP just isn't the same, if you can chat away with everyone instantly, day in and out, without needing to meet face to face. Whereas with us, if you want to know how someone is doing, you'll have to meet up for real or send a letter. That leads to more RP possibilities, more unforeseen things happening, and most importantly, they neccesitate more engagement and focus from the players, thus it also feels 'stronger'.

There's one other added bonus I must admit, tieing in somewhat with the above. When you talk to someone face to face, who cannot broadcast thoughts, you can be sure that someone is not busy chatting with 3 others + following and writing in their guild channel. This means you don't have to wait up to several minutes for a reply, and you actually get the feeling that the person is completely focused on you. Which is as it should be really. When meeting up with your friend/lover/business contact for instance, you're not usually speaking into several mobile phones at the same time. It's not just impolite, it also makes you less intense in your RP I believe. And that I feel is a shame. I also know I did this myself a lot with my old char. Not willingly, but at times it was damn hard focusing on the person in front of me talking, when there were 3 important secret telepathic discussions going on.


- Deeper immersion
- You're forced to do some things the hard way
- More focus on those you meet
- More real RP (is of course debatable)


- Lack of bonding within the guild (that is debatable)
- Lack of cozy chatter that helps set a good atmosphere
- Lack of getting to know people (yes and no. In the start yes, later no, you'll get a deeper relation by meeting them for real at times and focusing solely on them)
- boredom if nothing much is happening
- Less RP (I disagree - I'd say cozy chatting day in and out is actually diminishing RP, but that is debatable I guess)

So, even when we get homins who can talk fully, our /guild channel would feel empty for them I think. So in all fairness new recruits, whether young or old players, must know about this before they join. Hopefully those who do join, will then feel the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I've felt both at various times, but finally I'm settling into the view I began with, that this is for the best. It's an experiment, but it can led to deeper immersion, which is the most important thing for me. I've also come to see how much it is affecting the immersion or intensity that you constantly have your attention divided between several chats. Not to speak of it being impolite.

How do you feel this is working out? Is it too restrictive?

Well, that sums it all up I guess - please comment and discuss these points, so we can get them finalized and made into official RP conventions for the Seeds of Atys. We need these conventions badly in one form or another I believe, to have consistency internally, and maybe also to be able to influence how others RP this or even make the developers aware of it. Ryzom's background lore, stories and physical consistency has not at all been written with RP'ers in mind. Maybe we can get them to see how a RP'er sees their world?

Are there some topics I have forgotten that you think impact on your sense of disbelief? If so, feel free to add them, and present your possible solution. I'm sure I missed something, I'm just listing what I've felt most problematic myself.

This isn't that small a post I see, and I just want to crash into bed, so I'll turn off my ego, and not look through the text for typos or punctuation. So there.

Last edited by Darkhawk (2006-12-19 10:14:51)

Re: RP Conventions

I agree with everything you say, Darkhawk (except about every other roleplayer chatting freely over tells and guild chat - Karm uses pretty much a similar thing as we do, with vague images and concepts).

On the sending thing I'd also add that you may want to customize it for your character based on whether he/she's a visual, tactile or aural person. Faeron, for instance, only rarely sends recognizable images but he can send tactile sensations, smells and tastes easier. This is because I think it's interesting to try to describe your location through those senses, instead of just sending "*image of a street in Pyr*" for instance.

And since you asked, I will once again whine about the biggest immersion killer in the game: the level gaps. Right now, Faeron has 50 levels in melee fighting and nothing much else, while some of those who started at the same time have several skills around a hundred. This is because I've spent orders of magnitude less time in-game. I have no IC explanation whatsoever for my character's lack of ability, except for him being a talentless lazy loser while the others are hard-working mega-genius wonderchildren. So should all casual players be forced to play only lazy, untalented characters?

Now you can ignore this mostly while roleplaying, but whenever you go out fighting, for instance, you just can't not notice the level gap (unless the more skilled party voluntarily stays back, for which I thank you Mehken/Kendrus).

Unfortunately I don't have any solutions to suggest, so I guess this is merely one more unconstructive rant...

Last edited by Kryigerof (2006-12-19 11:34:26)

Re: RP Conventions

Geez that was a long read.

Well here are my comments:

I agree that death is not death. I'm not sure about the portals but someone must have created them so it stands to reason that they are focus-points for Kami or Karavan power.
Perhaps only a chosen few are saved by the K/K. It is clear that people do die permanently in the world so obviously the do not save everyone from everything. I don't think we have to agree to an explanation for this. We may very well have differing opinions of this IG. For example Faeron is obviously saved because of his devotion to the Kami (or so he would probably say), Artash may have another explanation and Perun yet a third.

I agree with everything else, the only problem I've had with the communication thing is when I've been contacted by outsiders they often don't quite get it and I even though I explain it OOC too it's not something I like spending a lot of time on.

Also I agree very much with Kryigerof about the level-gap thing. This is one of the biggest killers to me too. I don't see that anything can be done about it but it and I'm not quite sure how to roleplay it either.

Re: RP Conventions

Miho wrote:

I agree that death is not death. I'm not sure about the portals but someone must have created them so it stands to reason that they are focus-points for Kami or Karavan power.

Karm's version about the portals is that they're some sort of an integral part of Atys and thus not of the Kami or the Karavan. Of course, it's just one of the versions of the background lore that's being speculated about and floating around in the lack of developer confirmation.

As for communicating with outsiders, I usually just adapt to their way of doing things. For instance, in the Samsara, I spoke without effort on the guild channel while at the same time communicated with my brother using only vague ideas and impressions.

Last edited by Kryigerof (2006-12-19 12:51:56)

Re: RP Conventions

I guess my take is a little different...but guess seems a good place to add it here big_smile

Death, well since i have a man in my head almost daily trying to pull this out of me. Death is defined by the Kami and Karavan, and it is a choice to return once more to life...knowing that one must repay their kindness (as my friend puts it..paying back one's sins). Though I've heard others say we are locked in a war where we have no choice as to whether we will fight or not. That you will be revived against your own choice. But I do feel death does happen to some homins as otherwise...we would never have lost loved ones and such. Though I've heard this explained as they Kara/Kami do not reach the old lands.

When dealing with OOC chatter, happens. Even in the House, we try to encourage heavy RP in everyone..and haven't had issues with OOC too much. Though I won't look at anyone and in IC chat say i'm 146 healing. Instead, I will either put in () or send a tell and in the tell in () again I will state my level.  Though I must admit I like the idea of showing off one's sword and such..but well smile  . I run about in inferior equipment all the time.  Though I find adapting, or even taking a couple mins to explain to a random member that your a heavy RP'er and that () means that information is OOC. I've had people who are swear up and down not to be RP'ers brush up on the RP skills cause they just wanted to fit in....(even almost recruited him to the House as he was _that_ good of a RP'er).

As for tells/whispers...I hope that Suryi's adapted well enough to the sendings. But I know that as for my char she just tells people she hears voices. Which has yielded some interesting role-play at times. But I think it's different for each of us. I know we've had a similar discussion of pages and pages on communication on our guild probably best to keep it short and sweet big_smile

Re: RP Conventions

Right, so there's one other, big immersion killing factor for some of you. The difference in levels. I've been playing for 2.5 months, like most of you. I've taken it very easy with levelling, but not as easy as most others, since I play SoR a lot. However, what Perun managed in 2.5 months, new players (even roleplayers) manage to surpass in arond 2-3 weeks, and ingame Perun notices this too of course. Perun manages only to be lightly amused at this, as he knows he's taking it easy ingame, and thinks all those homins running around training for no real purpose are a bit strange, or too focused on work. But I can see how warriors like Faeron or Artash would feel affected badly by this instead of being amused. Not too much to do about it in this game, except invest time in training, preferably with others, or subtly have homins ignore differences in level, unless they're really bad.

Amd Kryigerof, you have one possible IC explanation for Faeron's slowness, mh? That wound of yours.

Shotzie, we have no problems with OOC chatter, none of our members do this, they are all complete RP'ers luckily smile When I wrote about guild chatter, I meant IC guild chatter actually. I personally feel that such chatter day in an out lessens the RP and lessens your urge to actually meet up face to face, which again lessens the immersion. Things gets to be daily routine, you feel you know those you play with by this chatter, and the intensity and urge to actually get to know them is lessened. On the other hand, it's cozy and can help with bonding on some level. But personally I think it dilutes heavy RP and am of the opinion that a few things you're forced to work around, or a few things that seem like handicaps can actually provide for deeper, more intense RP.

That's an individual opinion though, as to what works for me. It might not be the same for others of course, so there should ideally be space for both, also within the same guild.

Re: RP Conventions

I can understand the the leveling thing as well. I've been playing for months, and there's some nights I'm about that, well, I don't level in any way...and spend it RP'ing instead. I have a skill that can group with anyone...truly. Even if they are coming straight from the island. The reason I do this is so that it's harder to run into that disparity. Granted, most of the House seems to be skyrocketing in levels, and in truth...I don't wanna. I find that I can never find anyone to heal that's a heavy RP'er that allows me to use my heal skill (with the exception of us hunting cratcha that one night).   And I even get pressures to go out and work those skills, but because of the disparity once more..I wind up spending my time alone.  And that's truly never any fun.

Course that's why I like our IC guild always feel a connection. And I believe we explain why we can hear our thoughts and such as they may be..but again that does come down to the various play styles. And since we are always running in different helps.

*hugs* Anyway, I find it all fascinating how each group deals with things differently.