My Rant on Eliest douches

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by daemon_reaver, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. Note: before i go off those who aren't guilty of the following and are Paragrah players i have the utmost respect for you. your skill are way above mine in the RP world and probably Fanfic world too. so thumbs up to you guys. also Iwaku has a very few of what i encountered so also awesome.

    Now to vent. One thing I really hate is when a GM puts in minimal word count or when they have to write like an insane number of lines! i mean seriously this RP not a book! While it's a Story it is made by interactions! Not a bunch of fucking fluff which i'm sure 90% of those lines are. RP is made by bouncing stuff off of each other! fluff in those paragraphs inhibit that! I mean get the point! Then with grammar! they want it to be freaking perfect while damn long. News flash: We make mistakes! just ugh. worst part is some the ideas they have are awesome and then i see a rule involving that stuff. Plus while i don't mind pretty detailed skele's when you have to go overly complex it can be annoying. but that's me. well that's it for now. may add to later.
     
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  2. i second this
     
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  3. I'm a paragraph rper, and as a GM I don't hold people to my standards, but I do expect them to contribute something that pushes the story along, and to uphold the general plot ideas that the group discussed.

    Case in point: On another forum I was doing a Dark Tower rp, and we decided not to involve any ofMaerlyn's Rainbow or Blaine in the plot. One person did a three sentence post, not only bringing in Blaine, but had his character vanish using Black Thirteen. To say I was pissed was an understatement. It wasn't the size of the post that got to me, though, although I will admit my nose turned a bit at it.

    For me though, it's really not the post size, it's what's in the post. If a post is small, but actually decently written, I don't mind. If a post is small and looks like a third grader threw it together, then I mind.
     
  4. i actually write quite a bit

    action scenes can get rather detailed

    that being said, its always plot-forwarding material or an attempt to engage other players in shenanigans
     
  5. Hey same here. this more addressed to to the Grammar Nazis and Length Police. Quality over Quantity is my policy on post length.
     
  6. As someone who highly values length in roleplays, I'd just like to point out that setting the scene can be immeasurably important. Getting to the point is nice, but at the same time the scene and context is important for truly building a story and setting the scene and mood for things. And to me I do appreciate good grammar, but I've not exactly seen any 'Grammar Nazis' here <.<

    Over all I think some of what you said was not thought of all that deeply, though I do completely see exactly where you're coming from and what you mean. There is indeed a line between having standards and being totally snobby and stuck up.
     
  7. I write giant posts because they tend to be filled with content for several simultaneous scenes and actions. What bothers me is nobody has spatial contextual awareness or understands pacing. This implies that a great deal of people have terrible reading comprehension, whether they write ten paragraphs or ten words. I've read several lengthy posts where the author has utterly no comprehension of the passage of time for instance, and will write something absurdly silly. For example, the big bad villain having a giant two paragraph speech about how meaningless life is... Whilst in the middle of combat. Heated combat. Heated, melee combat.

    It doesn't matter if you write a giant block of text if you don't understand basic facets of real life concepts. If you can't properly convey the passage of time or appropriately pace out information so information flows at a smooth rate rather than at jerky periods of info dumping, how can you write anything correctly? People focus on the most stupid things. Star Wars isn't a cultural powerhouse because of its originality (or complete lack there of), but because it's paced incredible and understands how to make emotional connections with the audience in simple, effective ways. Lord of the Rings isn't a cultural powerhouse because of its originality (it literally rips off the folk tales of several European cultures blatantly), but because it takes the time to envelope you in this deep and beautiful world of fantasy and magic that appeases your inner child. It has characters you grow to love which have been aped by hundreds of tales not because they're overly complex, but because they're admirable, relate-able, they're characters you can look up to, who feel human emotions, who have struggles and doubts.

    A straightforward knight on a horse trying to rescue the damsel, who is a bastion of human courage and dignity, is a simple concept. However, it is a vastly superior character to any overly complex loner that nobody can associate themselves with because it's the author creating a self-insert fantasy, that he or she wishes to be like, because they don't understand themselves as people yet. Similarly, a plot about acquiring the magical Macguffin sword of a thousand truths to slay the evil overlord who has the princess locked away in a tower, is a vastly superior plot to some convoluted mess of a story with no clear direction or goal for the protagonists. Originality is just an impossible concept, everything you know is something that already is, or a derivative thereof. Inventions are stepping stones building upon what we already know. You don't just magically "poof" a Lord of the Rings into the world, you look at what's come before which people already understand, and try to find a way to put your own unique spin on it.

    Note the word choice: Unique. Not Original, unique. Star Wars and Lord of the Rings are unique, there's nothing quite like them. Other stories which are like them are compared and contrasted to them, because they have great influence in the modern world of storytelling. They are the pillars upon which all others follow. When you mention elves, people don't go "what's an elf?" They think of Legolas. When you mention hyperdrive, they don't go "what's a hyperdrive?" They think of the woosh sci-fi super speed thing in Star Wars.

    The more original your story, the less comprehensible it is to other people. Because the more original your story, the more content others see which they have no frame of reference for, which you have to explain. If you have to spend more than five to ten minutes explaining what's going on, you will lose the majority of people, because they will go to other works that don't demand so much of them just to be entertained.

    Yet, I still see it. Even more prolific than elitists are people who demand that all works are completely original. That their works are completely original. They pump out piece of garbage after piece of garbage and never learn from their mistakes, they always blame others for just not understanding them. They never stop to think "oh, maybe that classical knight archetype I disdain is as popular as it is because it fucking works and I should learn from it." Nope. Everybody is a special snowflake.

    It drives me completely batshit as a GM, too. Because I see so many people that could do so much better if they just stopped trying to always be perfectly original and just focused on learning the basics first. They could even enjoy themselves. For instance, a lot of loner archetypes are assassins and rogues. Assassins and rogues also tend to share similarities with fast talkers and ladies men, you can easily expand your character from being the boring as hell Mary Sue super badass loner to this flawed human being that never had a real family. You could easily do this. If you would just try... BUT NOBODY DOES! Nobody tries! Everybody just blames their failures on everyone else! This happens so consistently that nine times out of ten I can instantly tell when I have a new player who will just rage quit the moment I throw a genuine obstacle in his path as a GM. I can call it with near pinpoint accuracy and that's just sad. It's my job as a GM to challenge players, to put their characters through hell, to create adversaries that can and do sometimes win, to make the player characters have to learn and grow and experience all the potential shades of life, from total victory to total failure... But I will still get yelled at for doing that, consistently, every new RP I make I have that shadow fucking lingering over my shoulder, whispering in my ear, reminding me that at least one person who joins will explode in my face the moment I genuinely challenge him to write something better than a fantasy insert.

    Yet I keep GMing anyway. Because occasionally I meet good players, really good players. Players like @Tempest or @Jorick or @Kadaeux or @Elendra who come up with clever schemes and who create incredible scenes, uplifting scenes, dark and deadly scenes. With Tempest I fostered a four year long romance arc between a princess and an ex-pirate lycanthrope. None of those elements individually are particularly original, but put in combination with the fact that they're both women, and you tell me how many fictions you know that contain a pyromancer princess married to an ex-pirate lycanthrope. Oh, what's that? Basically zero save mine? Well, there you go. How about Jorick, who plays a classic Lothario with a hero complex in one role play, while playing a deranged but charismatic man with a god complex in another role play of mine. How about Kadaeux, who played as a goblin that outwitted a slaver warlord and out-charisma'd an angel. How many stories do you know of where a goblin escapes slavery, becomes one of the most powerful shamans of the land, convinces an angel to not only stand down but eventually join him, and overthrows a slaver state to become an emperor? Again, not many I'm willing to bet. Elendra? Playing as a little sprite named Draza, who just recently helped to convince two sides of a civil war to stand down and join together by using gardening metaphors, and who easily befriends royalty and nobility from lands all over the continent... By baking them cookies and singing them songs.

    No one particular element creates originality. I have a princess who became a queen? Big deal. I have a fire wielding staff chick princess who became a queen? Big deal. I have a fire wielding staff chick princess who became a queen by banishing Gods, marrying an ex-lycanthorpe pirate, and rebuilt her kingdom from scratch, who is now the main quest giver for a new generation of player characters in a new continent-spanning conflict? Oh, look, suddenly "original" by taking entirely unoriginal concepts and combining them together to make something new. How did it work? Because I understood the basic concepts I was using and both played them straight and subverted them where appropriate. I understood pacing and spatial contextual awareness, I spent time building up these character relationships, this world, the players spent time building up their powers and list of achievements by accomplishing short term goals on their way to the long term, in forming friendships and rivalries.

    It doesn't fucking matter how long a post is. It only matters what you deliver in that post. If you use length for length's sake, or cut out artistic detail because you're trying to meet a word quota, you're doing it wrong. You focus on pathos and logos, appeals to emotion and reason. You have to form basic, simple connections with people first before you slowly start to unveil greater complexity, because complexity is a natural result of multiple entities all encountering each other and interaction. Jimmy is a simple country boy, but he's thrust into a world of war where he becomes stronger and smarter, forming relationships with allies and rivalries with enemies. Jimmy through the journey becomes a more complex character, you don't have to heap it on to start with, just understand basic real world things like the passage of time, and literary concepts like pacing, and you will create works of art.

    Stop trying to be the best at any one element. Be the best at creativity, and be willing to constantly learn new concepts and archetypes and tropes and stereotypes. The rest will follow with time, including your own writing style, which may be verbose, or short and sweet.

    EDIT

    Also, if you're going to rant about elitists and want them to give a rat's ass, spell "elitist" correct in the title. Just a tip. :rotfl:
     
    #7 Brovo, Nov 12, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
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  8. as said before i like quality. not length. as for my spelling error: :embarrassed:
     
  9. I have two concerns with your opinion.

    1) Two people reading the same piece of writing will always picture it differently. We write by triggers, not by holding their hand through the entire scene.

    2) There is a difference between a word dump and a concise, meaningful conveyance of ideas. That is why scientific publications are heavily edited from the first draft to final manuscript.

    In addition, if things need to be done, it will end up being lengthy. The plague with many RPs is the indecision that forces players to play by sentence: "I swing the sword - if it lands - if I miss -". What should be a story is instead a giant decision tree that does nobody any favours.
     
  10. Part of quality is the construction and art of language, though. For example...

    jane walked down the street to the store She entered the stor boght things and went home.

    Versus...

    Merrily skipping down the sidewalk towards the local grocery store, Jane hummed a soft melody to herself whilst quickly double checking the list of things her mother asked her to pick up from the store. Gracefully entering the store, she picks up a carton of milk and a few canned goods, stopping momentarily to smell the flowers. With a gentle, careful scoop, she grabs a handful of flowers and arranges them into a small bouquet, a mix of yellow and white as she tucked a small red, thorn-less rose behind her ear. Going to the checkout, she purchases her goods, thanking the clerk and heading home to her mother with a surprise gift.

    It conveys the same information, but the latter example slathers on details about the nature of the character. They don't just walk to the store, they merrily skip there. They don't just buy goods, they double check their list to ensure accuracy, pick out a few specific objects that may appear later in the story, and she even picks up some flowers for her mother in a gentle manner that reflects her soft nature. She doesn't just purchase the goods, she thanks the clerk at the register before heading home.

    Detail and grammatical structure, word choice, means a lot. It's an important tool. Is it the most important? No! Creativity is always more important. It doesn't matter if someone is capable of verbosity if it just produces superfluous crap nobody cares about, but if you have a creative person who has the capacity to express that creativity in a manner greater than "Jane walked to the store", in a manner that is grammatical solid so it flows nicely when read aloud, it connects better with an audience.
     
    #10 Brovo, Nov 12, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
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  11. again i refer to my thing which is fluff. which dosn't add to it. if it does awesome. if it's stretcher to satisfy those length rules yeah i got an issue.
     
  12. eh again quality. also with the decision thing i do put attempt and use trust system as my preferred method though don't put in the if i hit or miss stuff.
     
  13. As a GM though I usually dictate what hits and what misses. It adds tension and forces players to work together and think smart. It allows me to openly reward players for being clever and working together and to actively discourage rambo-type behaviours that tend to plague a lot of role plays, because I dictate who wins and loses directly.
     
  14. eh i will call out rambo stuff and get them to change it. guess it's just differnce in GMing style.
     
  15. Okay, but you can't hide behind such an ill defined word as 'quality.' What does quality mean to a reader?

    "She walked into a store."

    "She brushed her wind-swept hair back, and gracefully entered the store, skipping over door frame because she was excited to buy milk -"

    Or something in between? What is important to the scene? What are the important triggers?

    Scene build is absolutely important. You have to give respect to the scene, you have to build the world for your reader. Is it worth describing the microscopic motions and irrelevant portions of the scene? No, that is why you use triggers. He parried the sword blow. It matters not if he swung it from the bottom of his left hip to his right shoulder. Making excuses like "quality" or, on the opposite, saying "you need to fully lay everything out" is not good in either case.
     
  16. Some people actually enjoy having a standard of length and quality, because what do you know, part of storytelling is scene establishing and character development, and that tends to go hand in hand with descriptive paragraphs. Personally, I love when I see somebody replied to a game I'm in and they wrote a long post. It means it's going to be something enjoyable to read (most of the time, anyways), it's like reading a new page in a novel you're all collectively writing together. I actually enjoy writing and being descriptive, and it's paid off by having players have emotional reactions to my posts and characters. I've actually made players cry because of what I wrote because it hit them emotionally. That pay off wouldn't have happened if I did bare bones posts.

    A big reason for setting posting standards is because it ensures that everyone in the game is writing at a similar quality, pace, and length, which keeps things consistent and interesting. Nothing is worse than writing up a response to somebody and getting absolutely no effort back.

    Let's do a quick example, let's say we're in a typical fantasy game and our two characters are fighting a group of goblins. The GM says that we're attacked, and I decide that my character is getting overwhelmed so it opens up an opportunity for your character to actively engage with my character in an action scene, which does a couple things;

    A) It keeps both characters working together and making it seem like they are only succeeding because of teamwork,

    B) Both characters are likely to build up their relationship due to the mutual respect forged by help in battle,

    and C) It's a lot more engaging than two people ignoring each other for the duration of the fight while they describe cutting down their foes.

    Say I wrote something along the lines of,

    Jensen parried the spear thrust with his sword, barely avoiding the tip as the first of the goblins advanced, the battle joined. He responded to his attacker by striking with his shield to not only put protection between himself and the creature, but to drive its weapon away from him to open for a counter-attack. Pushing forward, the knight closed the distance with the creature, staying inside of the goblin's reach, rendering its weapon useless. Concealing his blade with the shield, suddenly Jensen pulled his shield aside to make way for this thrust which found purchase in the creature's chest, felling the goblin with the sickening puncture of flesh.

    A flash of movement caught the knight's eye and he just raised his shield in time to ward off an incoming mace blow, the impact shaking his shield so violently he feared for his arm. The goblin's attack was fierce, a repeated clash of iron on wood in an attempt to overwhelm it's enemy, fury in its eyes and vengeance in its heart. Jensen could not free his blade without moving his body, risking exposure to his attacker. "A bit of help here, would you?" he called to Arthur across the room, who was deftly dealing with his own goblin problem.

    Two quick and easy paragraphs that establish a few things about Jensen, the goblins, and how the fight is progressing. Now imagine you wrote that, and the response was,

    Arthur heard Jensen yell for help, so he cut off the head of the goblin he was fighting and he moved behind the goblin attacking Jensen and stabbed it in the back. "You're getting sloppy." Arthur smirked.

    Yes, it does say what actions are taken, but it seems really lazy and it just makes it seem like you're writing a character who's an untouchable badass who's above what's going on. It's boring, and if everyone else is writing like the first example and you're doing one liners, it kind of exasperates the quality issue because you're not meeting the standards everyone else is trying to achieve. It's not fun for the other players, and they probably don't want to interact with your character because he's giving them absolutely nothing to work with. If you consistently write 2-4 paragraphs and you keep getting a sentence or two in reply, it gets pretty old and you're going to start to gravitate towards other characters who are more interesting and better established who are actually going to respond accordingly to your posts.

    Standards aren't a bad thing. It's not about elitism, it's about comfort levels and personal expectations. If you want to put it in video game terms, you and your friend are going to play a game, and you've gotten really good at it and want to play on Hard, but your friend doesn't want to play at that difficulty and asks for you play on Easy. Either you force him to play something that's outside of his skill and comfort level, or you play through something that isn't engaging to you because it's beneath your expectations and skill level, making it not very engaging. You're more likely to play that game with other friends or players who want to play at the difficulty you want than the friend who isn't at the level you're into.

    In other words, there's nothing wrong with being at a skill or comfort level in roleplaying that's one liners or short paragraphs, and there's standards that cater to that and no shortage of players. But if you want to join a game that has higher writing standards than you want, it's up to you to write at the established standards for that game and not ask everyone else to come down to write at the level you want. If you really want to be in a game that interests you but is above your usual writing standard, then it should behoove you to improve and expand your writing comfort level and ability instead of expecting people to slump down to write how you want them to. That's like going into an online game and asking people to take it easy on you; it isn't going to happen.
     
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  17. your free to like them. i don't. that's just how i am.
     
  18. yes triggers are important. won't say they aren't. Length in some cases is needed to get the post right. what i'm talking about here is when They have every single post somewhere in the mid to upper digits when a two,three hell even one-liner would work for a response, though the one-liner is a rarity. i guess what i'm saying is i'm a "get to the point" type. if detail helps out a scene then include as much as it will. if it dosn't then you aren't obligated to do so.
     
  19. Which is fine, but do take note that calling people "Elitist douches" for having minimum writing standards is going to provoke a response. It's certainly one of those things that you can expect someone who falls under what you classify as an "Elitist Douche" to explain why they write the way way they do, point out why it's not exactly fair to lump everyone under a derogatory term, and so on. I shouldn't have to explain how calling a large segment of the forum names is pretty uncalled for.
     
  20. sorry. when i made this saw a char sheet that fell in the overly complex category i mentioned. made me think of the bunch i saw on a previous site and i reached boiling point and felt a need to vent. and this was ranting so yeah. just in the very most basic terms my thing is: "if we're all having fun then why should length matter? isn't part of RPing having fun?"
     
    #20 daemon_reaver, Nov 12, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014