Posts By: demosthenes

NANOWRIMO Followup

Okay, so NANOWRIMO is officially over! Everyone rejoice~!

Did you win? Did you ‘lose’? Did you come out just about in the middle?

Win or lose you’ve started on the steps of a great adventure and even if you didn’t hit 50,000 words in one month, you’ve started an epic journey that will make a great story so keep on writing.

I personally made it to 14,500 words before the end of the month, with half-assed writing and taking many breaks to do other things like watching Toradora and even watching Twilight and playing Fable 2. I’ll save my opinions about the Twilight ‘saga’ for another post/review.

I’ve started an epic tale, and I won’t stop until the plot arc is finished, 50,000 words or not.

Take care Wrimos and good luck on your next steps if you’ve finished your first drafts.

~Demosthenes

NANOWRIMO: Masochistic Writers Unite~!

November is the month of the annual National Novel Writing Month when masochistic… er… motivated writers from around the world gather together (online) and try to reach individual goals of 50,000 words in one month’s time span.

I’m participating this year, and in previous years I made it only to 9,000 words before failing. It’s less about the quality of what you write, but more that you write as often as possible on one project and you push aside your judgmental feelings and urges to revise as you write your first draft.

As Americans, nay, as a people we have been taught from a young age that we are not allowed to make mistakes and we’re expected to be absolutely perfect from the first try. We have forgotten that it took us a lot of tries and trial and error and practice to become our ‘perfect’ selves.

NANOWRIMO reminds us that the first draft doesn’t have to be pretty, it doesn’t have to flow, it doesn’t have to have continuity and it can be full of plot holes. It doesn’t even have to make sense on the first read through.

The Writing Process Diagram

The Writing Process Diagram

The writing process that we learned as kids in school is soon forgotten and overridden by our almost obsessive need to be absolutely perfect in every way.

I’ve added in a diagram of the writing process to better help others understand that the process itself is important. From the first thought of the ideas of what you want to write about you’ve entered the Pre-writing process, you’re brainstorming and coming up with ideas you want to use in your piece. Thinking of points of interest that may catch the eye of the reader.

Soon your muse strikes and you get motivated and you begin drafting out what you want to become the basis of your story or paper. You might try writing out your major plot points or twists in more of a storyboard kind of manner and then arranging them as you see fit, but the moment you start writing you are drafting. This is where NANOWRIMO comes in, they urge you to put out your 50,000 word draft in 30 days. No skipping to the proofreading and editing part of the writing process, no revision, no re-writing.

It’s a very freeing experience to not have to worry so much about being perfect and let go and just let the story go off into the direction I always mean it to go before I go back and change my mind because I re-read parts and decided I didn’t like how they flowed. Without having to worry about revision right away it lets me focus on just getting that first draft hammered out and worrying about revisions and editing later. After all, that’s why there is more than just three steps in the process.

You will end up going back and forth between parts of the process as your story or paper develops and grows, but the most important thing to do is just finish your first draft. I always have let other things distract me from what I want to finish, but as long as I (you) work on it a little every day it’s not an impossible goal.

Don’t be scared of the 50,000 word goal, many Wrimos (NANOWRIMO participants) exceed their goal of 50,000 words as they get into the story as it develops and they feel the blockage of needing to rewrite fall away. There is a large support network made up of other participants and it’s not a competition, and everyone may or may not meet the 50k goal, some will exceed it.

Give it a shot, and you may surprise yourself.

~Demosthenes

RP 101 Part Three: Tree of Knowledge

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the third part of the RP101 series. Part four will be posted in the next couple of days and I will be updating more frequently in the coming months.

~Demosthenes

RP101: (Part 3) Tree of Knowledge

by Wes Platt September 24, 2004


Of particular trickiness for a new roleplayer is the concept of what one knows out of character as opposed to what one knows in character. This distinction is known colloquially as the separation of IC/OOC.

In a text-based online roleplaying game such as OtherSpace, Chiaroscuro or Reach of the Empire, it’s extremely difficult to prevent Player A from finding out what happened to Player B or what Player C did to Player D. Players are able to page each other, talk on OOC channels, e-mail, and instant messenger. Staffers occasionally post logs of major events that involve specific groups of players so the entire playerbase can get a sense of what’s going on in a storyline. So, it’s important for players to distinguish between what the player knows and what the character knows.

Let’s think of all that information out there as the fruit of a tree of IC knowledge.

What staffers know exclusively can be considered the roots: The sort of information that isn’t likely to float around outside administrative circles.

What everyone knows forms the trunk, which everyone can see: Broad-based thematic information and IC news accounts about major events.

What individual players know can be seen as branches spiraling off from the trunk: Each branch is a single player’s perspective of events they experience.

Sometimes, during the course of a storyline, branches can become intertwined because separate players come together for a plot. For the duration of that entwining, the separate players share IC knowledge of events. But, once they drift apart, their experiences diverge along with their IC knowledge.

Problems arise when a player who only knows about something through an OOC source, without personally learning of it while in character, assumes they know the information ICly and then uses that information ICly.

For example: Player A walks into a dark alley, where Player B lurks and waits. Player B attacks Player A, beats him senseless, steals all his stuff and drags him to a warehouse to hold him as a prisoner. Player A is friends with Player C. Because Player A is imprisoned and isolated, he cannot share information ICly. But it’s possible to talk to people through OOC means. He tells Player C about his plight, revealing who mugged him and where he’s being held.

If Player C just commiserates OOCly, but takes no action himself without a purely in-character motivation, the line between IC/OOC is unbreached.

But if Player C takes that OOC information, attacks Player B and rescues Player A without any real IC motivation, the line between IC/OOC is shattered.

The only reason Player C should act on Player A’s behalf is if Player C learns about Player A’s plight through IC resources.

For example: Perhaps Player A tells Player C that he’s leaving on a trip to Destination 1 and that he’ll only be gone two days. After three days, Player A still hasn’t come back. At this point, it’s perfectly acceptable for Player C to visit Destination 1 to investigate, asking around about his missing friend. Maybe Player C’s investigation leads him to that dark alley and the waiting Player B. A scuffle ensues as Player B tries to mug Player C, but Player C prevails, subdues Player B and learns where Player A is being held.

Another problem may arise, however, if Player B abuses information obtained through OOC resources.

For example: Maybe Player B knows from reading logs on the website that Player A and Player C are IC friends. When Player C shows up in the dark alley, Player B drops out of character, leaving the IC grid to avoid the confrontation with Player C.

That’s a breach of IC/OOC.

When in doubt, ignore what you know behind the scenes and run with what your character knows. As important as it is to keep the player and character persona separate for mental health sake, it is just as important to keep separate what you know as opposed to what the character knows. It’s okay while watching a horror movie to yell at the screen “Don’t go down in the cellar!” because you know a monster’s waiting for the victim-to-be, but your input must be ignored. There’s no way the victim-to-be can know what you know outside the context of the movie.

It’s worth repeating: As a player, you may know much more than your character about what’s happening in the IC universe. Don’t abuse that abundance of information. Don’t assume you know things that your character hasn’t personally experienced or learned about through resources such as news outlets or other players’ characters in an IC context.

Channels, pages, @mail, e-mail, logs and instant messengers are OOC context; not IC. If you learn about something only through these methods, then you cannot, should not, must not allow that information to be used by your character ICly.

Your character should only use IC information gleaned from news articles, common knowledge sources, or interaction with other players.

Comments / Discussions about this Article

Wes Platt is the creator of OtherSpace: The Interactive SF Saga and Chiaroscuro: The Interactive Fantasy Saga. He’s a head-wiz on Star Wars: Reach of the Empire. (All games can be reached through his official site at www.jointhesaga.com.)

RP101 – copyright © 2004 by [email protected] – All rights reserved.

RP101 Part Two: Taking the Stage

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I present to you the second of six installments of a well thought out article entitled RP101. The original author of this piece is Wes Platt and was posted as an article on MUDconnect on June 5, 2004. Additional parts will be added to the blog shortly.


RP101 (Part 2) Taking the Stage

by Wes Platt June 5, 2004


Roleplaying, with its primal, deep-plunging cultural roots, gives people a chance to exercise their imaginations and participate in what-if experimentation.

So, let’s dispense right away with the myth that our text-based roleplaying environments are “just games.” They’re not. They do contain game-like competitive aspects, and they’ve even got referees for purposes of resolving in-character conflicts. But, at its heart, what truly sets a roleplaying game apart from roll-playing is the immersion of the player into an assumed identity as part of an evolving storyline. The story may be driven by staff-crafted plots, player actions, or a synergy of both. No matter what form of engine the storyline uses, the player’s assumption of a specific role within the saga is a constant.

In a true roleplaying game, the player takes on a job that is equal parts writer and actor.

Repeat after me: “It’s not just a game.” Keep repeating it until you’ve got it. I’m not sure you’re repeating it. In fact, it’s possible you don’t buy that premise just yet. After all, I’ve been referring to these environments as roleplaying games, so isn’t it contradictory for me to argue otherwise? No! Because I’m not telling you to convince yourself it’s not a game. I’m arguing that it’s not just a game.

What else is it, then?

  • Improvisational theater: Players interact in real-time, and bounce unrehearsed, impromptu actions and reactions off each other.
  • Creative writing: Players experiment with language, descriptive writing and dialogue.
  • Cheap therapy: Players can use the roles they play to work through frustrations and real-life issues.
  • Community: Players from around the world aren’t always “on stage.” Behind the scenes, friendships grow and communities are built.

So, roleplaying games offer potential to be far more than just the waste of time many detractors would have us believe.

Wait. Perhaps you hadn’t heard that roleplaying of this kind has detractors. Well, it does. Many of these detractors are also convinced that our true roleplaying environments are just games. They simply don’t understand.

Among other things, they think:

  • Roleplaying is a waste of time; hours and hours of your life you’ll never get back.
  • Roleplayers are geeks without lives.
  • Roleplaying without graphics is pointless.

I’ll address these misconceptions one at a time.

First, roleplaying’s not a waste of time. It’s an activity that takes advantage of modern global communication technology to hone creativity and social skills. It combines aspects of a traditionally solo activity, writing, and a traditionally social activity, theatrical acting. It gives players a chance to entertain themselves and others with minimal expense. In “the real world,” some people collect stamps, some sing karaoke, and some plant gardens. Their hobbies are no more valid for the expense of time involved than online roleplaying.

Second, all right, I concede that many roleplayers are, to some extent, geeks. Yes, you too are at least a minor geek. If you know words like “Telnet,” “blog” and “retcon,” then you have to admit at least a small percentage of geekitude. I’m a geek. I’m fine with it. But even geeks often have lives. Roleplayers come from many different walks of life. Very few of them, in my experience, are shut-ins. Most are high school and college students whose attendance waxes and wanes depending on homework, exams, school activities, vacations and dates – yes, dates! The adults who play often come from technological fields – information technology workers, Web customer service workers, computer repairs, web designers – but I’ve also seen law enforcement officers, soldiers, actors, journalists and artists. Almost all roleplayers I’ve met have lives, even if they frequently insist they don’t. Nevertheless, even if a specific player arguably has little social life in the real world due to their circumstances, the fact that they seek socialization in some form, even if it’s with a bunch of relative strangers via the Internet, is positive in my opinion.

Third, I’d argue that roleplaying with graphics doesn’t exist yet. Roll-playing with graphics, such as Everquest, Planetside and Star Wars Galaxies, makes for great eye candy. I’m not sure I’d want to spend $15 a month for the privilege to wander around a graphical version of a MUD, where socialization is minimal (usually limited to grouping for monster hunts), killing is rampant, and character development can only be gauged by increased experience points and improved skills.

So, it’s okay to roleplay. It’s not a complete waste of time. Those hours spent watching Star Trek: Enterprise, however, are hours you’ll never get back. You should have spent them roleplaying instead.

Now, one final point before we conclude this lesson: Although true roleplaying games are more than just games, it is imperative for the player to separate themselves from their character. Our hobby can become mentally unhealthy for players who fail to make this all-important distinction. The player is an actor who brings to life a character.

In that vein, consider an actor like Harrison Ford. His characters have included Han Solo, Indiana Jones and Jack Ryan. All three characters experienced triumphs and tragedies during the movies in which they appeared, and although Ford certainly imbued each character with emotion and personality, the actor is clearly distinguishable from the characters. What happens to those characters stays on the screen. You aren’t likely to find Harrison Ford lamenting how unfair it was that Han got frozen in carbonite and shipped off to Jabba the Hutt.

On the other hand, you’ve got actors like George Takei, who in recent years seems to have become obsessed with how much he deserves to command a starship. Er, wait, no, how much Hikaru Sulu, his character from Star Trek, deserves to command a starship in his own series. The line between actor and character is thinly drawn. It’s not a healthy situation. If Sulu got killed off, Takei would likely be the roleplayer who spins off the deep end, crying about the unfairness of it all and embarking on a campaign of truth to protest.

In a roleplaying game, it’s great for players to throw their energy and creativity into a character, bringing it to life. But for your own mental health, keep a clear distinction in your mind between the player and the character.

One rookie mistake that tends to foster confusion between player and character: Creating a character that is little more than an Internet puppet version of yourself. If you’re just playing you, then, naturally, you’re going to take it more personally when bad things happen beyond your control. Players who fail to make an adequate distinction between themselves and their characters are often the ones who end up complaining that they have to deal with bad things happening to them in real life, they shouldn’t have to deal with it in a game.

But, remember, it’s not just a game. Winning and losing aren’t the point. Developing a character and sharing a story: Those are the real points. Conflict, failure and strife are part of building character. So, if you don’t want those bad things to happen to you, don’t create yourself in a character’s shell.

It’s okay to imbue a character with some aspects of your personality, but you’re always better off creating a character that’s different enough so that when you log in and jump into roleplaying mode, you feel like you’re slipping on a mask and a costume. You’re not you when you take the virtual stage. You’re playing a character. One day, by your choice, by someone else’s choice, or by accident, that character’s going to be gone. Dead. Lost. Accept that now. Every story has an end. Make the most of these characters while they last, but understand from the outset that their existence is finite and separate from your own.


Wes Platt is the creator of OtherSpace: The Interactive SF Saga and Chiaroscuro: The Interactive Fantasy Saga. He’s a head-wiz on Star Wars: Reach of the Empire. (All games can be reached through his official site at www.jointhesaga.com.)

RP101 – copyright © 2004 by [email protected] – All rights reserved.

Harvest Moon Tree of Tranquility: First Rainbow in First Spring

I’m currently playing through Tree of Tranquility for a second time, my data from the first game was lost when my roommate left and took his Wii. I have one of my own now so I’ll have to rebuild everything I had before.

If you want to do your best in Tree of Tranquility you need to do your best to get the first rainbow completed before the end of first spring. It’s not an easy task but for veteran Harvest Moon players it should be a pretty straightforward list of tasks to complete.

Here’s a quick rundown of how your first season on the island should go, the information is courtesy of DetroitDJ on GameFAQs.com. Rewritten for the blog by me:

  • Pick up all tools (hammer, axe, fishing pole) on the first day you are released from training. You will have been given the hoe and the watering can by the grumpy looking man at Soufflé Farm.
  • Go to the river side of the root blocking the path to the Ganache Mine District to cue the cut scene to get that root out of your way, believe me the time cut off by that shortcut is significant. After the cut scene, head for the carpenter’s shop, then back to the tree root after all the cut scenes.
  • Meet all villagers as soon as possible, especially Maya (any sunny day at Waffle Town Square) and Mira (at the graveyard on any sunny day) as both will be vital in your mission. Maya will run a booth at the flea market with a goddess recipe ingredient, and Mira works in the blacksmith’s shop refining ores and gems you find in the mines, refined materials are worth more gold when you ship them.
  • Ship 2000g worth of products as soon as possible. Any products will do. Junk ore, unrefined ores and wonderfuls, herbs, shells, etc.
  • Gather the needed materials to upgrade your house once. This will take substantial stamina because your tools suck. Make use of the hot spring to refill your stamina. 18 wood and 16 stone total.
  • Save up some money for your house upgrade and for your oven. Try and ship at least 500g worth of goods per day. One trip to the mine ONLY picking up mushrooms and toadstools can get you over 1000g per day.
  • Collect the fish you need for the recipe, one carp, and several other fish to cook together to make good herb fish. The sell value of the fish used in the recipe determines the quality of the fish dish.
  • Keep a few herbs; you’ll need them to make the herb fish recipe in your oven.
  • On Spring 22 at the Flea Market pick up your Grilled yam and your apple needed for your goddess recipes. Also, if you have the extra gold pick up some Ostonnaise and an omelette here too. Those are used in later recipes and won’t be available to you for some time after spring 22.
  • By Spring 24 you should have your house upgrade under way. If you don’t start the upgrade on or before the 24th you may run out of time to complete the recipe.
  • As soon as you ask Dale to upgrade your house go and talk to Gill about the second half of the quilt (After your first 2000g the mayor should have talked to you about one half of the quilt). Once you talk to Gill, talk to Dale, and then talk to the mayor. Tell the mayor you’ll fix the clock tower and then head straight over there to get the second half of the quilt.
  • Once you complete the quilt, go up to the tree in the town square that has the harvest sprite’s flower beneath it and use your watering can on it. Trigger the sprite’s cut scene and get the recipe. You should already have all the ingredients, and if they are in your inventory just water the flower again to trigger the rainbow recipe completion cut scene.
  • Continue to save up your gold as the animal festival happens at the end of the season! You should pick up some yarns here even though they’re pricey. The rucksack upgrades will need them.

Rainbow #1 Recipe List:

Daren’s Rainbow

A. Good Herb Fish

  • Use 1-4 fish and any herb in your oven. The regular selling prices of the fish used should total at least 320g when combined with one another. A good combination is three carp, or three Masu Trout. If you’re not sure of the selling price and you’ve caught the fish, check your bookshelf and your fish list for more information.

B. Grilled Yam

  • Purchase the grilled yam (165g) from Maya at the Spring Market on Spring 22.

C.  Apple

  • Purchase the apple (225g) from Simon at the Spring Market on Spring 22.

D.  Common Seashell (NOT THE FANCY SEASHELL)

  • Find it on one of the beaches. It’s a random spawning forage item.

E. Carp

  • Fish it out of Maple Lake or Midstream/Downstream of the river.

Money Needed by Spring 28 (animal festival):

Oven – 2550g

Grilled Yam – 165g

Apple – 225g

House Upgrade – 3000g (18 wood, 16 stone)

Ostonnaise – 480g

Plain Omelette – 240g

4xGood Flax Yarn – 2160

4xGood Silk Yarn – 4200g

4xGood Wool Yarn – 1860g

For a total of 14,880g

The four of each type of yarn is for a straight jump up to a 25-slot rucksack once the tailor shop comes to town. You will need 2 good yarns of each type for a 20-slot upgrade and 2 Yellow Flax Yarn, 2 Red Wool Yarn, 2 Green Silk Yarn for the 25 slot upgrade. Buy at least two of each kind of yarn to jump to the 20-slot rucksack if you can’t afford 4 of each type of yarn. If all else fails, buy 4 flax, and two of the other yarns. You can always invest in sheep and silk worms to get the colored yarns. Flax yarn and flax seeds won’t be available again until after Taylor’s Seed Shop is set up in Winter Year 1, three seasons after the first rainbow appears. Or Spring of year 2 at least.

Tips for making quick cash early on:

  • Take daily trips to the mine to collect stacks of mushrooms (30g ea.) and toadstools (40g ea.)
  • Forage around the beaches, town, and forest for boosts to your cash flow.
  • Fish like your life depended on it when you have extra stamina. Not only do you boost your fishing skill and find recipe ingredients, you can sell off the un-necessary fish. Remember: grilling the fish using a match set and a stack of wood boosts the selling price of the fish by 30g so if you have a little extra gold, invest in matches when you go fishing. Match Sets are pretty cheap.
  • Another option for the grilling impaired is to invest in a Cutting Board and make Marinated Mushrooms (mushrooms and an herb on the cutting board). One herb, one mushroom, sells for 320 gold each. The color herb used will affect the price but the 320g is achieved with a green herb and a mushroom. (Again, only if you have the extra gold to spare on investing in a cutting board.)

Also, remember that in Tree of Tranquility items in your shipping bin don’t ship until you’ve slept, so you can use the shipping bin as a temporary storage to open up space in your rucksack until you get home and you can move things from your shipping bin into your toolbox or other storage device. Just don’t forget that you’re storing things in it or they will ship if you sleep.

Keep in mind that the most vital things for completing your first rainbow should be purchased first. Oven, House upgrade, etc. It’s a very tight schedule to keep to but with some determination it will work out for you. You might even want to make a few plates of ‘decent herb fish’ using one fish and one herb so you can restore your stamina while you’re out working. In a pinch, mushrooms will do for stamina restoration but they cause fatigue if you eat too many (around 10+) and they are also worth gold. Conversely, you could just sell the decent herb fish, but I’ve found that when I’m in a pinch it helps more than mushrooms. And it’s cheaper than buying onigiri from the Inn.

Good luck!

Demosthenes

RP101 A Crash Course in Roleplaying Games

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I present to you the first installment of a well thought out article I came upon while looking through Mudconnect.com. The original author of this piece is Wes Platt and was posted as an article on MUDconnect on May 4, 2004. I am adding it to Aude Sapere so that you might enjoy it as much as I did. I will add the additional parts shortly.


RP101 (Part 1) Roll-Playing vs. Roleplaying

by Wes Platt May 4, 2004


Of more than 1,600 text-based games listed here at The MUD Connector, most of them are hack-and-slash monster killing and loot collecting games. Those games are great. But a smaller percentage of these games focus on interactive storytelling. OtherSpace and Chiaroscuro creator Wes Platt introduces readers to concepts in roleplaying.


The first important lesson that should be learned by participants in our games is the difference between roll-playing and roleplaying.

It’s a fairly common misconception, perpetuated by computer games like Baldur’s Gate and Fallout, that roleplaying is just a matter of picking how your character looks, giving the character a selection of skills, and then roaming a virtual world solving quests, exploring and killing monsters to gain experience and cool new weapons and armor.

That’s not roleplaying. It’s roll-playing. When we talk about roll-playing, for purposes of this course, we’re referring to games where dice determine just about everything (although the dice rolls may all be handled invisibly, behind the scenes in an automated system) and the main goal of the player is to gain experience, rise through levels, and, ultimately, win the game. Victory in a roll-playing game is achieved by completing all the quests or reaching the highest player rank.

Most MUDs are roll-playing games. That doesn’t make them inherently bad. Quite a few roll-playing games are absolutely fantastic. But they perpetuate an expectation that causes an occasional problem for true roleplaying games, such as OtherSpace, Chiaroscuro and Star Wars: Reach of the Empire.

Many players who make the shift from roll-playing to roleplaying find the culture shock overwhelming. They come to a roleplaying game without understanding certain basic concepts and principles that stand in stark contrast to what they’ve become accustomed to in roll-playing.

Roll-players are often accustomed to:

  • Gaining levels
  • Killing monsters
  • Seeking out treasure and equipment
  • Automated combat
  • Unrestricted naming conventions
  • Interacting with other players only to take down tougher monsters
  • Around-the-clock activity possibilities, such as automated quests

When a roll-player first arrives in a true roleplaying game, they find a culture that doesn’t usually put much value on levels, killing monsters usually only happens as part of a non-automated plot developed by the staff, combat is refereed by staffers and likely requires consent of all parties, staffers impose restrictions on the names players can choose and may require players to write in-depth backgrounds before their characters can be approved for the grid, most activities run by the staff are scheduled – not automated, and interaction with other players for character development and entertainment is absolutely critical.

It’s like the difference between a video arcade and a dance club. In a video arcade, it’s fine to wander from diversion to diversion. On your own, you can have plenty of fun as long as the quarters don’t run out. But, in a dance club, you’re wasting your time and cover charge money if you don’t interact with other people, either by talking or dancing with them.

Roll-playing prizes material acquisition and scorekeeping; roleplaying prizes player interaction and character development. No wonder it seems like such a disconnect when roll-players make that switch to a roleplaying game for the first time. For them, a true roleplaying game seems too personally demanding, too boring, too reliant on other people for fun. It’s perfectly understandable that, upon first sticking their toe in the water, they declare it too damned freezing cold and go diving back into the familiar pools of MUD.

That disconnect, that shock, is natural. Experienced roleplayers need to demonstrate patience in helping to acclimate such newcomers into this culture. And they need to try not to take it personally when roll-players express disdain or just don’t seem to “get it” right away.

Roleplaying is an acquired taste. It’s about socializing and character development. It’s a sort of improvisational performance mixed with storytelling. People are judged based on how they perform their roles, the quality of their writing, their grammar, and even their spelling. Success is gauged via the character’s experience: The plots they’ve survived, the villains they’ve thwarted, the friends and enemies they’ve made. These accomplishments are satisfying to roleplayers, but to a roll-player fresh out of the traditional MUDing ranks it’s fairly alien.

The gap between roll-playing and roleplaying can be bridged by players who want to cross the breach. But the roll-player must do it from a position of informed choice. A roll-player choosing to play a true roleplaying game without understanding what they’re getting into is likely to experience frustration and embarrassment as they roam the game looking for monsters to kill and quests to solve, totally ignoring other players who are gathered in popular roleplaying hotspots, doing what it is that roleplayers do.

Wes Platt is the creator of OtherSpace: The Interactive SF Saga and Chiaroscuro: The Interactive Fantasy Saga. He’s a head-wiz on Star Wars: Reach of the Empire. (All games can be reached through his official site at www.jointhesaga.com.)

RP101 – copyright © 2004 by [email protected] – All rights reserved.

Neopets – JellyNeo

Neopets has long since been my on again off agan habit. I haven’t touched my account for going on two years but everything is still sitting there as I log in today.

There are millions of new changes and things to learn and relearn about neopets. They’ve changed a lot of the games and scoring for the games and with one exception I’ve found there’s a limit to 1,000np per game.

The exception being of course, Key Quest, the newest (to me) addition to the NeoPets site.

The guides at JellyNeo.net have been most helpful in reacquainting me with Neopets. Also they have several services that will help you get organized, start making your own fonts and even tutorials on how to make neopets-esque banners and other nifty things.

Along with JellyNeo they also have their item database. You can look up any item on neopets and find out how much it’s worth.

At JellyNeo if you spend time at their site during the day you’ll see alerts pop up, such as ‘Alert! The Snowager is sleeping!’ and should you click on it it will take you directly to the snowager in the Ice Caves so you can try your luck at collecting a prize.

The site is usually updated with the latest faerie crossword answers and daily puzzle answers shortly after midnight NST.

The staff at JellyNeo do their best to provide their members with the most accurate and up to date information.

They also have several sections where you, the neopian, can assist them with their items databases.

With the advent of the new wearable items in Neopia, the staff at JellyNeo are in need of models for some of the newer wearable items. Though, trying to obtain some of these items may prove difficult (some items they need modeled currently include a 30,000np Summertime Fun Sloth Spray Mister Necklace.) The staff at JellyNeo readily award their models (the first person to post the needed neopet) with 500 Joodles. Joodles are the forum currency and you can even buy items and things specifically for the jellyneo forums.

Check JellyNeo out, you’ll be surprised.

Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan

Okay, so recently after my fixation with Ouran I came across one of the anime featured in the AMV Hell series. It features a lilac haired angel killing this boy repeatedly.

I found that the anime was called Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan (Club you to death angel Dokuro-chan). I watched all the episodes and I have to say that foan OAV I was very pleased with the animation. The only diappointment was that the series was too short and when more episodes were made, it was not done by the same animators and Dokuro-chan’s hair was changed in color.

Over-all it’s worth checking out if you want cute girls, mindless violence, main character dying at random, explosive diarrhea and pedophiles.

Actually, forget the pedophiles, but it’s a good anime and you should check it out.

Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-Chan

Ouran High School Host Club – Problems

Sorry in advance ladies and gentlemen,

I wanted to try and keep this blog about moving and helpful subjects but as I’ve finished watching Ouran through for a second time I’m hit with a small wave of disappointment at the deus ex machina ending to it all.

While I empathize with Haruhi and her determination to pay off her debt to the Host Club and her indifference about people mistaking her gender, I can’t take the sudden 180 of emotions toward Tamaki in stride. I just don’t see Haruhi suddenly realizing that she loves Tamaki and has loved him since the beginning. Tamaki’s character is too childish and confused on his own in the anime to accept that she suddenly becomes aware that she loves the sexually harrassing senpai.

Tamaki doesn’t realize his own emotions because he sees the Host Club as a family and uses the family dynamic to incorrectly label the feelings of jealousy and protectiveness he feels toward Haruhi. He feels that as ‘daddy’ he should protect Haruhi’s first kiss, but really he wants to be the one to take her first kiss. His inability to cope with these feelings is what makes the ending hard to believe.

There is one thing I caught in the second round of watching Ouran I didn’t see the first time. At the end Superintendent Suoh is speaking with Mr. Ootori about Haruhi. Ootori says he intends her to be Kyouya’s bride, and Suoh says that they can’t really end their disagreements then because he intends her to be Tamaki’s bride.

I think that even the Hitachiin brothers’ mother would want Haruhi for her sons. In the manga Haruhi has met members of Kyouya and Hikaru/Kaoru’s families.

Haruhi has slowly wriggled into the hearts of all the hosts and I think they would all be hard-pressed to give her up, regardless of her social status. But just being their special scholarship student gives her class A status.

There are a ton of potential relationship paths in Ouran and I’m tempted to begin writing fanfiction plots and things. Perhaps you’ll see some of them up here.

Anyway,

Demosthenes out.

DebtKid and You

So, readers, recently I fell upon the blog of DebtKid and found that he has very sound advice. He is using his own experiences of being very very far into debt to help others avoid the problem entirely.

While I myself have decent credit, it never hurts to learn a few tips to build up your credit.

In today’s market it’s hard to get a good credit card because banks are taking fewer and fewer risks on people. If your credit is bad or does not exist… or even if you have a limited credit history and low credit limits (500.00 or less) the banks now see that as a bad sign.

There are people who think that they can live in a ‘cash and carry’ kind of mode, but without any kind of credit rating those people will be hard pressed to find any kind of financing for the shiny new car they want, or the house they want to buy.

The simple fact is, if you want any kind of loan, including a car loan or a mortgage, you have to have an established credit history and it has to be in good standing.

So my best advice would be to hit up google and search for the DebtKid and see what he has to say about knocking your score up a few points before you go in for that car or house loan.