Posts Categorized: Gaming

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.


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

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 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!