Dumb question: Just what is a RPI?
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Spazmatic



Joined: 18 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Q. Do any RPI muds exist that are not based on Diku-Artic code?
Does this really matter? You can create an RPI from anything as long as it has the certain qualities, IMNSHO.


Some flamewars are still started over this, occasionally. There are those who argue RPIs only apply to a certain set of very specific derivs. Not me, but I do recall a low-heat argument over this not too many months ago, maybe on TMC?
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Tyche



Joined: 13 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Delerak wrote:
Q. Can muds with OOC channels be role-playing enforced?
Any mud can enforce roleplay, whether it's obeyed by the players is up to them.


I was trying to ascertain whether you thought the term role-playing enforced means something different than RPI. That is it didn't mean RPI enforced.

Delerak wrote:

Q. Could a mud implementing manual player consensual combat or even game-mastered combat be an RPI?
I'm not sure I understand this, do you mean muds aimed at players fighting each other? An RPI can only exist in the sense that you are roleplaying a character, the goals of that character might eve differ from your goals, even if you hate a certain PC, out-of-character, you can't just up and decide to kill him in-character, it's like Mel Gibson deciding since he doesn't like the actor who played the King in Braveheart going ahead and lopping his head off for it, you just can't do it, you have to stay in-character and not let out-of-character emotions get involved with your roleplay.


I mean role-playing games where the players or a game master manually adjudicate combat.

Delerak wrote:

Q. Could a mud implementing consensual role-play, story-telling role-play or freeform role-play ever be called by anyone "intense"?
Anyone can call anything they want, the fact that the Carrion fields claims that their "Roleplay" is mandatory, is a joke in my eyes, but some people truly believe that's what they are doing.. However..


I'm not really familiar with the game. I'm guessing it isn't consensual role-play or story-telling roleplay at least.

Delerak wrote:

Q. What happens on a role-playing mud? I mean a mud that's not a hack-n-slash mud and not an RPI.
This.

---snip---
Do note the above mud is listed as RP enforced, so far no enforcement
is being done because right now I can do whatever I want in the mud
and have no repercussions, it's a game for kids.


I'm not sure what you mean. What did you do or didn't do that required intervention or enforcement? Or what were you about to do that would indicate role-play wasn't enforced?

Delerak wrote:

Q. If I role-play out a scene in a mud and there's noone around to see did role-playing occur?
Yes. Solo-Roleplay as I like to call it, is very acceptable among RPI's, why? People are watching. Whether invisible PCs or Invisible Immortals, and even if no one is watching, it can be a very rewarding experience, I happen to love roleplaying by myself with certain characters, and several staff members at certain muds love watching my loner PCs.


The reason I ask is that there are several views on the purpose of role-playing. Another view is that absent player v. player interaction, role-play has no purpose, because it's primary purpose is entertaining your audience (or co-cast members).

Delerak wrote:

Q. Do any RPI muds exist that are not based on Diku-Artic code?
Does this really matter? You can create an RPI from anything as long as it has the certain qualities, IMNSHO.


Oh I think I had stumbled across a few RPI Mushes and was told they wasn't RPI. I can't remember why.


Last edited by Tyche on Sun May 22, 2005 1:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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Delerak



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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2005 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If a mud that claims to be Roleplay Enforced and really isn't then claims its an RPI, where's the intense part come in?
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Tyche



Joined: 13 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2005 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HaiWolfe wrote:

I'm essentially proposing that we split up the term RPI into two terms: roleplay-enforced, and some technical term that describes coded features. This could help alleviate some of the animosity that's currently present whenever RPI MUDs get discussed in public fora.


There's apparently even confusion over the term role-play enforced. I've played on a number of role-play enforced games and none of them are RPIs. They all happen to have been Mushes and MOOs. None of them even accept non-roleplayers and all of them enforce role-play.

To use the terminology of TMC list. I see they have:
Non-roleplay
Roleplay accepted
Roleplay encouraged
Roleplay enforced

The bulk of Mushes, Muxes and MOOs (maybe close to half) on that mud list are listed as role-play enforced, and rightly so.
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Tyche



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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2005 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falconer wrote:

Because of the ephemeral nature of the label, I believe that a far more interesting question is whether or not the typical design features offered by RPI MUDs (permanent death, application approval, lack of a who-list, classless/levelless systems, no global channels) are of help to enforcing/encouraging a roleplaying environment.


That's the most coherent description of the genre I've seen.

Maybe the following might spawn some interesting discussion. I'd start them as new threads (and anyone feel free to do so) but old reply habits being hard to break....
-----------------------

Falconer wrote:

A distinct seperation between IC knowledge and OOC knowledge. RPIs assume that when players are in the gameworld they are IC and should act as such. There are no global OOC channels, personal tells, who lists, or other methods of gleaning IC information through OOC means.


More interesting is not the separation but how it is handled, and why it is handled that way. Conversely other role-playing games assume the players understand the rules and concept of OOC/IC separation and thus find no need to prevent them conversing OOCly. There are great social benefits to that.

Tyche OOCs: I really have run to the bathroom guys. Please hold up.
Tyche Orksbane trips on an tree root and falls flat on his face. He seems to be dazed.
(at this point I am running to the bathroom)
Gerrold Worrrier screams "Dear Neptune! Tyche are you okay!!? Tyche! Help can someone help"
Harald the Empathetic pokes Tyche in the ribs with his left foot. "The poor thing appears to be dazed.", he says.

And interesting way of handling things rather than failing to respond for 5 minutes. Presumably if I had continued to play through things would have gotten much more intense. Wink

I'm thinking player enforcement of roleplay, player consent negotiation would be almost impossible in an some role-play environments without OOC. There are situations people don't wish to role-play. While it's true one can give signals in role-play to that effect, an OOC message instantly clarifies both intent and interest. Better communication.

As an aside, some of us choose to role-play with certain people. Some role-playing muds would make "cheaters" out role-players. For instance my wife and I and some of my friends would arrange things so that our characters are role-playing with each other.

I think some of the strictness is arbitrary. I've typed score, save, quit and help on RPIs. Surely OOC commands I do as player and not IC as a character. Some muds separate these conceptually in the interface as VR (virtual-reality) commands and non-VR commands. Again the emphasis in these roe-playing games is on trusting the player came to role-play and understands the concept of OOC/IC separation.


------------------------
Falconer wrote:

The stress in programming of realism over gameplay.


I have noticed a tendency towards dependence of simulationism on some role-playing games. Might be worth exploring the benefits and consequences of over reliance on coded systems in role-play.

Two issues come to mind.
1) If it didn't happen in the game, then it can't have happened.

Example: "My name is Tyche Orksbane. I am a prince of Helios, now landless, pennyless and in exile. I aquitted myself well at the battle of Glemmings Ford slaying forty and four orcs earning me the nickname, Orksbane. I also lost a leg there. I hope to one day return to Helios drive out the invaders and restore my family manse."

Note this isn't an attempt at a feature character or powerful character. Actually in many role-playing environments it would be considered flawed. Character has an obsessive mission, revenge of past wrong, and he's starting the game crippled.

It bring to the fore some problems like, Hey you can't do that. You can't start the game crippled and middle-aged. No you can't have noble blood. And despite said kingdom existing and being overrun and the battle in question occurring, you weren't here when it happened. Etcera, etcera. There are better examples that don't just involved character entry, but character actions which happen to not be encoded.

2) Time
The inability of players to manipulate time in a simulationist role-playing game to reenact scenes. Players renacting flashbacks for instance are for that time disconnected from the reality of the game. Players playing a scene which logically lasts 20 minutes (practically too) yet game time has passed many hours or days becaus of the clockwork nature of the coded system. Alternatively players wishing to ignore the clockwork system, and arrive in a town after a two week trek across the desert in order to role-play. That is no one involved the plot is really interested and has agreed to ignore the "boring" two week journey.
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KaVir



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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2005 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tyche wrote:
To use the terminology of TMC list. I see they have:
Non-roleplay
Roleplay accepted


I could never really work out the difference between the above two (unless there are mud which actually ban roleplaying?).

Quote:
Roleplay encouraged


The carrot approach: You are rewarded for good roleplaying.

Quote:
Roleplay enforced


The stick approach: You are punished for bad roleplaying.
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eiz



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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2005 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roleplay accepted does not always mean no roleplay.

Non-roleplay = GW2. Sure, it might technically be 'accepted', but in actual fact, people will just look at you funny.
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Sandi



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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2005 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tyche wrote:

Falconer wrote:

A distinct seperation between IC knowledge and OOC knowledge. RPIs assume that when players are in the gameworld they are IC and should act as such. There are no global OOC channels, personal tells, who lists, or other methods of gleaning IC information through OOC means.


More interesting is not the separation but how it is handled, and why it is handled that way. Conversely other role-playing games assume the players understand the rules and concept of OOC/IC separation and thus find no need to prevent them conversing OOCly.


This, I think, is the crux of the matter. Again, I think we need two separate terms to be able to distinguish these completely different concepts of "roleplay".

The RP Tyche describes, and Falconer references in his earlier mention of Otherspace, is descended from table-top roleplaying games such as AD&D and White Wolf's WoD series. In a table top game, you sit in a room with other people, and your reality is being in a room with others, playing out a story in which you have a role. Moving this to the internet, you're still in your room, but the other players are only available through your computer screen. Hence, the acceptance, even reliance, on OOC communication.

RPI MUDs, on the other hand, seem to be trying to create the immersive environment of a computer game such as Final Fantasy or Baldur's Gate. You are alone against the machine. Other players appear as mobs, simply parts of the game, and you are also expected to act like a mob. Thus there are no commands which would allow OOC communication, and here we see a difference in the use of the word "enforced". RPI games enforce IC behaviour by making OOC behaviour impossible, whereas RP games simply make it against the rules.

As an observation, not a personal opinion, what passes for "roleplay" on an RPI MUD would not be considered acceptable on many MUSH/MUCK/MOOs. For example, Del mentioned a required character background of 4 to 10 lines. When Shadowrun MUX was saturated with players, and being very picky about apps, they considered anything less than a 40K background file a waste of their time. Now, that's intense. Wink
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Ashon



Joined: 11 May 2005
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Q. Can muds with OOC channels be role-playing enforced?
Yes. But, I might suggest a little innovation, that instead of associating the character name with those channels, to associate the player's name.

Q. Does the term role-playing enforced mean admin enforced or player enforced or either?
It should mean both. Having Admin Enforced makes it feel, well, forced. Having players enforce it I think make players less likely to feel slighted.

Q. Could a mud not implementing combat be an RPI?
I don't see how combat removes or increase Roleplaying.

Q. Could a mud implementing manual player consensual combat or even game-mastered combat be an RPI?
Sure, why not? The Roleplay is there.

Q. Could a mud implementing consensual role-play, story-telling role-play or freeform role-play ever be called by anyone "intense"?
By, Intense I usually think more immersive. Intense I think is misnomer that has been applied to and by muds, by players and encouraged by those that need to categorize the type of roleplaying going on. I myself prefer the RPE (Role-playing Environment) which loosens the restrictions up, and gives a better atmosphere.

Q. What happens on a role-playing mud? I mean a mud that's not a hack-n-slash mud and not an RPI.
That's a damned good question.

Q. If I role-play out a scene in a mud and there's noone around to see did role-playing occur?
Depends, did you interact with the game in anyway? Are Choose-your-own adventure games roleplaying? I prefer to think of roleplaying as a social aspect. But if you can interact (roleplay) with the game itself, I would say yes.

Q. Do any RPI muds exist that are not based on Diku-Artic code?
*shrug*

I contend that if you want a free-from gm-mastered, emotial game, there really is no need to run a mud. You can easily run a game like that in a chat room.

I will also contend that the game needs to support immersion, in fun ways to get a player to roleplay. A RP-Administrator who runs events adds depth to the game, when they are on, and when an event is running. But if you want to quantify your game as Roleplay intense, that means that roleplaying should be happening all the time, and the game itself has to enable the players to play out their roles.[/i]
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Traithe



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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RPI is just an acronym - not particularly any better or worse than, for example, MUD (multi user dungeon? what if a game's setting doesn't even include dungeons? oh no!).

I'm not quite sure why people get so bent out of shape about it, really. It's a label that helps convey a sense of a given mud's featureset to a prospective player.

To me, it's much more about the coded systems than the game's roleplaying atmosphere. The latter is far too subjective to be useful in creating a reliable subcategory identification.

If a game has the features, they can justifiably use the label. If not, they shouldn't, unless they're deliberately trying to muddy the waters.

The most important features that make these types of games distinctive are:

1. Applications required for all PCs.
2. Permadeath.
3. Complete absence of any PC-accessible OOC global channels.
4. Heavy reliance on relatively realistic coded simulations as adjudicators of in-game conflicts, e.g. combat code. (This last obviously being far more subjective than the first three.)

Borderline elitist and dismissive jackassery like Delerak's post above aside, there's really nothing "better" or "worse" about being an RPI or anything else for that matter.

It's like being dead, folks - you either are or you aren't. <g>

It does irk me a bit that people who enjoy these sorts of games get a bad rap because a vocal but very irritating minority earns it, but I suppose there's nothing for it.
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Sandi



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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Traithe wrote:
RPI is just an acronym - not particularly any better or worse than, for example, MUD (multi user dungeon? what if a game's setting doesn't even include dungeons? oh no!).

I'm not quite sure why people get so bent out of shape about it, really. It's a label that helps convey a sense of a given mud's featureset to a prospective player.

Hey, I know I'm beating a dead horse. I've been claiming for years that "roleplaying" meant different things in different games. The lack of specific terms has caused misunderstandings and flames, but it seems no one wants to use another term. Or, more precisely, they all think the other guy should use another term. The spread of the "RPI" designation pretty well nails the coffin shut, much to my dismay.

Wait, how about if we say it stands for "Real Player Immersion"!
No? I had to try...


Traithe wrote:
It does irk me a bit that people who enjoy these sorts of games get a bad rap because a vocal but very irritating minority earns it, but I suppose there's nothing for it.

Well, if you and Haiwolfe keep posting, you might just turn the tide. Smile
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Traithe



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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandi wrote:
I've been claiming for years that "roleplaying" meant different things in different games. The lack of specific terms has caused misunderstandings and flames, but it seems no one wants to use another term. Or, more precisely, they all think the other guy should use another term. The spread of the "RPI" designation pretty well nails the coffin shut, much to my dismay.


Well, speaking as the founder of one of the three main RPIs (at least, that are generally recognized as such) out there currently, I initially used the label because it was recognizable - as I mentioned before, that's the entire purpose of slapping on these nifty little acronyms to various games.

Players see that it's classified as RPI, and based on whether or not they like the very specific and niche-oriented coded features that it entails they decide whether to give it a chance or to move on - because of this, they can make a relatively informed decision without needing to spend a whole lot of time, if any at all, doing research.

I don't really see what the huge deal is about. The fact is, the acronym is in common usage, connotes a certain feature set, and that's just the way it is. <g>

If other people want to come up with new classifications and try to get them propagated, that's great, but there's not much of a reason to muddy the waters when it comes to terms like this that already have a history of reasonably clear and consistent usage.

Sandi wrote:
Well, if you and Haiwolfe keep posting, you might just turn the tide.


I tend primarily to lurk, unless I'm either a) prodding Tyche with a stick and offering to fork() his crashed walker, or b) flaming Mercthievia. Occasionally I try to contribute something positive, but usually I'm too busy breaking code and figuring out how to put it back together again to say much. Cool
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Tyche



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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandi wrote:

Hey, I know I'm beating a dead horse. I've been claiming for years that "roleplaying" meant different things in different games. The lack of specific terms has caused misunderstandings and flames, but it seems no one wants to use another term. Or, more precisely, they all think the other guy should use another term. The spread of the "RPI" designation pretty well nails the coffin shut, much to my dismay.


But of course "role-playing" means different things. RPI is just one sort of system of 'role-playing'. Not a lot of time was spent on this thread describing other 'role-playing' systems. Of course this was a "What is an RPI thread?"

I think most of the RPIers communicated a similar set of features. I know what they are at least, and I've a good grasp of the general philosophy behind why they are the way they are.

Now that that's out of the way maybe we can talk about role-playing instead of RPI.
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Ashon



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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Traithe wrote:

The most important features that make these types of games distinctive are:

1. Applications required for all PCs.
2. Permadeath.
3. Complete absence of any PC-accessible OOC global channels.
4. Heavy reliance on relatively realistic coded simulations as adjudicators of in-game conflicts, e.g. combat code. (This last obviously being far more subjective than the first three.)


1 - Why do you need applications? I've never understood the need for applications, or character histories. They seem to be limiting factor to roleplaying. Why not have a dynamic character generation system, that allows for the players to fit their character history into the story? On my tabletop game, I expect my players not to bother me with history, after a couple simple rules usually. I expect them to spend the first couple of sessions developing their history by roleplaying with each other, and going with the flow. Of course this doesn't exempt pre-concieved character historys, it's just that I as the GM don't need to know it.

And unless you mud has some pretty awesome features which takes the application and translates it into in-game events for the players (which would kick massive ass!) I don't see why you need to know about the character before they start to play. With the submission of logs to apply for an event, you could easily craft the event to the player, and what the player wants out of it.

2 - While I'm not a fan of permadeath, I'm not against it either. But I don't think that Permadeath is a requirement to bring out the RP'ing. It just doesn't seem to make sense to me.

3 - I agree, that if you want a consentual based Roleplaying Game, you need to have OOC conversations. But as I said in my previous post, it would probably help to make the OOC broadcast the Players name, or the Account Name instead of the Characters name.

4 - Again, I agree, that the system itself needs to handle conflict resolution in whatever form is available. If you don't have automated conflict resolution, why not just play in a chat room? Or on a forum. Or through email.
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Sandi



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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ashon,

With respect, I think you're missing the point. Or, perhaps not, perhaps we need another thread to hash over the aspects of RPI that other roleplayers disprove of. At any rate, Traithe was enumerating the game elements that define an RPI, and while those elements may not define what you call "roleplay", I don't think we can argue with Traithe and Del about the requirements of their chosen genre.

They are free, of course, to argue between themselves. Wink
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