Hardcore Characters, and 'Normalcy'

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Felkesste
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Hardcore Characters, and 'Normalcy'

Post by Felkesste » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:12 pm

Before anything, even the opening line introducing what I'm proposing, I need to make it clear that this is a voluntary thing, that is in no way meant to be an 'elitist circle-jerk', or a beneficial group of OOC 'friends'. It's a proposal brought up purely out of a desire for pain to actually mean something ICly. This was just one of the most positive, and fun ways I could think to bring attention to it. Now then..

Hardcore Characters
The Idea: Upon character creation- or maybe during an LE- you decide that this character is not a 'super badass'- maybe a more modest kind of badass, but not the sort of person who can't be killed- they're a mortal. It's easy to play off injuries, and defeats, and treat adventuring as a fun, care-free romp through the land, telling yourself you're the very best, like no one ever was, when being KO'd is an instant revival, with just a few lost items and coins being the only consequence- a consequence almost always avoided with the help of the bank, anyway. What this is is a self-imposed set of rules, that could be compared to a Nuzlocke run in Pokemon. By presenting IC consequences for defeats with actual risks, and sticking to them, you'll hopefully adapt your role-playing style to stop making light of being injured, and with every battle- every attack you take- actually carrying some IC weight, you'll have more fun. I always have more fun when there's more on the line, personally- and from a role-playing perspective, this'll hopefully serve as an interesting thought exercise, that could teach you a thing or two about adventuring, taking hits, and how serious, and dangerous an adventurer's life-style can be.

The Execution: It's not particularly complicated, if you're beaten in a dungeon, rather than just popping back into existence near an inn, and awkwardly walking away with your hands in your pockets, trying to play it off like nothing happened- roll a d20. Or flip a coin. Roll a d100, even. Do something, that determines the outcome of your 'defeat, and your attempt to escape'. My own take on it would be something like, roll a d20 on dungeon-defeats, roll a 20, escaped just fine, laugh it off, haha, what a close call that was, good thing I had my trusty spork to dig my way back out, 19 - 10, escaped, maybe a few bloody gashes, or serious bruises, but some bandages, ointments, and a drink to settle the nerves, and I'll live, 9 - 2, seriously injured, but otherwise made it back, spend the rest of the day recovering, letting my body mend before I try 'anything that dangerous' again, maybe end up losing a body-part, like an eye, or a finger- arm, even, and on a 1- I died. I didn't escape. The monster got me.

The Motives: Why would you implement the possibility of death into your character's daily life? Because for as fun as power-fantasies may be, they water everything down, kiddos. Everything. Adventuring is a 'fun game', a hobby to most folks. There's no consequences. There's no real emotional investments. There's no realism. There's no satisfaction. You'll see it all the time around the arena, folks RPing crazy things, like ripping trees from the ground to throw at eachother, and punching hard enough to end a person's life- but no matter what happens, one trip to heal-cat later, and everyone's good as new, and already looking for another fight. It's the same problem with any kind of game like this- everyone is their own main character. They want to do the crazy cool heroic things they saw in their favorite video games, movies, animes- they want to be loved, respected, and admired- shucks, some people are so into this mind-set, that it takes them quite some time to realize that no one is going to walk up to them and initiate a conversation with them, just because they 'look really cool', or 'fight really well'. I know there's at least one person out there, who hasn't realized that reaching level 60 is not super-duper-amazing-special, and that LE's do not make him a prodigy, hmhmhm.

With this decision, the decision to make your character mortal, everything counts. Every attack you take makes you anxious! Every attack you miss frightens you! You're emotionally invested- you could die! After a rough fight, that you just barely managed to win- you're not going to want to play off your low HP as no big deal just to be cool- your life is on the line, screw that, you need a minute to recover! Back to town, or to the nearest medical professional! Make camp, pass around bandages! Something, this is no time to brood, or be all mysterious and cool- your face is coated in your own blood! If you get KO'd, you have to make a roll, or do a coin-flip, and chance -dying-.

So let's say you're interested, but don't want to constantly tell people, "I don't want to go raiding dungeons with you for grinding- because I decided this character's in Hardcore Mode." Or you want to make it clear to people that you're going to respond as a mortal ought to, to their crazy, over-the-top emoted attacks during spars. Just put a little bubble, (HM), in your character description. Easy-peasy. People will only ever need the meaning of that bubble explained to them once, and it'll serve as a constant reminder to them, and to you, that you're a mortal. Maybe you guys can come up with your own variants of it, too, maybe <HM> means a character who doesn't bother with dice-rolls, or coin-flips, and just straight up dies if they're ever KO'd. Maybe [HM]III is a character with '3 chances', their own little KO-count health bar. The important thing here is that you stick to whatever you decide, whatever rules you set for your character's Hardcore Mode. To give them, their mortality, their life-choices, and their every action in a fight weight. That's not to say there's consequences of any sort for just dropping that decision at any time. It's your fun. Your priority.
- - - - - -

So why even bother proposing this weird little self-imposed rule system? Because gosh darn, everyone's so edgy! So much raw, unbridled power-fantasy everywhere. People RPing as these 'super amazing badasses that can deck just about anything and anyone with a single punch', but who have the mentality, and emotional-development of a child. How many folks were at that Lover's Day festival Chimera hosted? I thought that was the coolest thing ever- for one day, everyone was an actual person. No power-struggles, no power-fantasies, people were shy, they were confused, they nervously grappled with the idea of flirting with someone- and that was kind of cute! I'd love to believe someone, just out of sight, worked up the courage to actually approach someone of the opposite sex that day, drop a cheesy romantic line, and- at the very least- made a new friend. It was absolutely wonderful, and something I was super happy to have gotten a chance to be a part of, (I was the one over-charging for 'Lover's Fortunes' all night, so sorry, hope at least some of those came true, hmhmhm!) That event completely addicted me to the idea of 'normalcy', and 'realism' in SL2. There's so many adventurers, a massive number of whom see nothing 'wrong' with their lives. They don't seem to acknowledge how dangerous the life-style is, how painful it is, how hard they must work to overcome some of these creatures they fight daily- for what? For a chest full of butter, and onions? To be sold to Zeo- who's not going to give you more than 2 murai for that onion- and you better hope the butter doesn't melt in your pocket on the way back, 'cause he's not paying for a buttery stain in your trousers, buddy! The economy is hard to really map out, or play with, you have to get really creative to manage to carry any kind of 'honest career' out in SL2- folks have told me 'blacksmithing, cooking, carpentry, enchanting, alchemy', but adventurers can not only do those things as well for themselves- they can do them better, because they have access to dungeons. Everyone is very self-sufficient... Until they message a friend or call out over OOC for a specific kind of craftsman's help with their newest weapon.

I'm not saying anyone's wrong for enjoying a power-fantasy. This is a game at the end of the day, if it's not fun and you're still playing it- you're probably not playing it for the right reasons. If you're enjoying yourself in emoting things like shrugging off impalement, or hurling people miles away- then keep doing what you're doing, this isn't a condemnation of you, and your smile. This is me suggesting something- if it takes, awesome, adventuring, partying, and fights- it'll all mean much more to the community as a whole. If it doesn't, then I'll at least be having fun playing my own hardcore character- I've got three character slots, I'll live if one of them empties itself out every now and again. Not like I don't delete one of my characters every few days, anyway, for new ideas. This is a personal choice, and it's got all the freedom you could ever want attached to it- really, at the end of the day, all I'm proposing is that if your character is mortal, you put a bubble, or a couple weird symbols around the letters HM, to show your character's life is fleeting- and therefore, precious to you. Hopefully, that'll open up a few of the people who do genuinely enjoy the power-fantasy aspects of things, to being more sensitive to characters with more mortal levels of fortitude, and their reactions to being punched through brick walls, or kicked repeatedly in the ribs. Let's not spoil eachother's fun, guys, by stepping on one another's beliefs on how this world works, pain-wise. With these little bubbles, at least you'll have some warning of who's 'a normal person', and who is 'an adventuring badass'.

I'd love to hear what other folks in the community think of this suggestion, and it's motives- 'too tryhard'? Not tryhard enough? Needs more cowbell? Or shucks, even just new suggested Hardcore Mode rulesets. That could be fun.

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Re: Hardcore Characters, and 'Normalcy'

Post by Sarah54321 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:44 pm

This honestly reminds me of things like Nuzlocke mode from Pokemon. It seems like an interesting concept, though I don't know how many people will be doing this. I might try this on a character once, to see how it goes. Good luck to me, haha.
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Re: Hardcore Characters, and 'Normalcy'

Post by Mivereous » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:42 am

Yeah, I'll try this. Seems neat.
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Re: Hardcore Characters, and 'Normalcy'

Post by MegaBlues » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:59 am

I won't lie, this makes me feel a little bit of draw back towards SL2. I think some real, lasting consequences would freshen up the game. And so would more everyday event things. go lovers day

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Re: Hardcore Characters, and 'Normalcy'

Post by Rendar » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:16 am

Except if you pvp someone in a spar and they deal 1000+ damage to you in a single. They can just pass it off as a friendly fight and that they didn't just do 3x your maximum HP in one hit. :')
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Re: Hardcore Characters, and 'Normalcy'

Post by Egil » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:11 am

Then if you're a hardcore character, you shouldn't be sparring someone that strong casually?
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Re: Hardcore Characters, and 'Normalcy'

Post by Tsundere » Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:41 am

I don't think we're so desperate for reasonable RP that people should have to tag their characters as "reacts appropriately to genuine threats". I'm going to say outright that I don't like this idea, and while you stated that it isn't meant to be an elitist circle-jerk...well, that's how it comes off.

MOST people typically don't exaggerate their character's abilities beyond what they can do via in game mechanics, and whether or not the abilities are perfectly justified for the character to have, you really don't see many people legitimately roleplaying throwing another character through a wall. The edgelord minority will remain the edgelord minority.

Level 60 characters have been described as superhuman and incredibly capable as opposed to the average human/citizen (the consensus among many being that an untrained human with a normal career and no outstanding qualities has about the ability of an un-LE'd level 20-30 character). While this doesn't entirely excuse some levels of power that people RP as, I really think that the combatants we see are capable of sparring eachother without breaking their bones in the process.

Roleplaying a completely invulnerable character is bad RP. I can't bring myself to sugarcoat it by saying I don't want to mess with other peoples' fun, but I'm not doing that, just insulting their idea of it. A player must use their judgement when deciding whether or not a situation poses legitimate threat to their character--it's just not appropriate to end up killed in a spar when the other character had no intent of doing such. Get wrecked in a dungeon in character? Yes, that's a dangerous situation, and you should regard it as such. Get attacked ICly by someone with malicious intent? Dangerous situation. Omitting any possible injury or true danger from situations that could harm your character is poor writing.

I really just don't feel that there's a point to hardcore mode. Anyone with the cognitive ability to differentiate between a spar and a threatening situation should be expected to respond accordingly. You might as well just state 'I'm not too attached to my character to let them die if they logically should' and leave it at that.
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Re: Hardcore Characters, and 'Normalcy'

Post by Felkesste » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:40 am

I can understand why you'd say that- and that's why I felt the need to make mention of how this isn't at all about elitism, and actively tried to avoid phrasing the glorified the idea of being an (HM) character, or implied that there was going to be some inherent reward, or consequence to playing as one, or not. This is really just a personal choice, and a means of avoiding butting heads with the folks who enjoy a more singleplayer RPG feel to their SL2, treating it more like what I imagine people play most JRPGs as. "Spend thirty minutes killing enemies in this section, reach this level, move to this section, kill enemies for another thirty minutes, procure rare weapon A, to compliment rare armor B." As I understand it, that's what SL2 was originally built as, and the role-playing came afterwards, so I won't say people are wrong for enjoying that kind of thing in this game. If that's what they're having fun with, too, I wouldn't want to tell them they're wrong for it unless it's actively ruining other people's fun. The point of a game is to have fun, after all..

This proposal's intention is to offer a fun way to explore the concept of mortality for a character, it's a challenge, like a Nuzlocke run in Pokemon, so that'll get folk's attention, and playing out a character like that could be a great learning experience for some folks, really illustrating the actual frequency of life-threatening situations in adventuring, and helping to familiarize them with the emotions that would normally be at play in fights- not stoic badassery, but quiet fear, that can build into panic as the situation worsens.

I had never really intended for sparring to be a major point of argument with this proposal, I had assumed from the get-go that people are entirely capable of pulling their punches- I believe I briefly referenced a few situations I had personally seen at the arena, where people emoted something very violent, and over-the-top for a sparring match, and then played it off like it was no big deal afterwards, but again, I don't mean to call anyone out on it, or say that it's wrong, just that the people who do things like this should probably acknowledge that other folks are playing far more mortal characters. Just having the two sides of this coin acknowledge eachother, and open them up to politely meeting eachother halfway, when their paths DO cross. It does happen, I can speak from personal experience.

I'd like to politely point out that calling this an elitist circle-jerk, while taking an elitist's position here, saying that 'anyone enjoying the game in a way other than what's most professional', is.. Well, hypocritical, and DOES go a ways towards spoiling people's fun. A lot of folks on SL2 are very self-conscious, I mean, that Lover's Day party alone showed just how many people RPing as 'badass adventurers' couldn't work up the courage to speak to a member of the opposite sex- despite frequently working up the courage to wrestle undead dinosaurs to the ground with their bare hands. People frequently stand stock-still, silent as the grave, nervously watching other people RP, waiting for someone to address them, and get them involved. To imply that any of this is 'common sense', or should be the expected norm, is really mean to those folks, and doesn't exactly fill them with hope, or encourage them to keep playing. For a lot of them, they're still learning the ropes of role-playing, and are only just familiarizing themselves with writing out emotes 'on the spot', let alone wrapping their heads around character mortality, and emotional responses. Near as I can tell, the big difference between elitism, and whatever it's opposite is- is inclusion, and exclusivity. Hardcore Mode is open to everyone, and anyone can play one, if they so desire- and stop playing one, as soon as they lose interest. I've made it clear that (HM) characters aren't going to get any special perks for it, or suffer any obscure punishments for going back on their own rules. It's all about fun. I'd like to believe that there'll be no judging, in either direction. The folks who play (HM) characters shouldn't judge the people who aren't doing so, and vice versa. We're all just doing what we think is most fun.

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Re: Hardcore Characters, and 'Normalcy'

Post by NaitoPsych » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:39 pm

Making alot of assumptions here. I can think of a dozen people who do this on a daily basis. Assuming everyone is an edgefag who runs around trying to be the baddest of asses is kind've showing that elitism you're trying not to show. To me this comes off as 'Oh hey everyone sucks at RP so I'm bored even though I likely don't RP outside of my own group. Lets me make this totally original system and see if I can get people on my level.'

That being said barring coinflips I already RP my characters like this. You know, as someone who isn't immortal and can die very suddenly. If people are RP'ing their characters as invulnerable shits then they're doing it wrong.

On that note, not interested because if I did this with this system I'd be out of characters in a week because of a little thing called #Psychluck.

As for the lovers event point. Maybe some people are just content with being single. Or, if you're like me, you just didn't care for the event enough and was only there to show support. You can't just write it off as 'Oh they were scared to talk to girls.'

Long story short: This isn't much of a challenge as it is COMMON SENSE, LOGIC, and DECENT RP. Not fond of being dependent on rolls but I can appreciate it though, not being hostile I'm just an asshole.

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Re: Hardcore Characters, and 'Normalcy'

Post by Ranylyn » Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:11 pm

I have, in fact, done this in the past, using a personalized table based on Necromunda's injury roll tables, purely due to boredom.

To explain, Necromunda is a gang war game set in the Warhammer 40k Universe set on the planet of Necromunda. The planet is largely divided into layers, such as the mountainous spires (Nobility central) and the slimey, gritty, scummy Underhive, where all battles in Necromunda take place. You create a gang of characters ranging from Leaders (Limit 1) hevies (limit 2) gangers (no limit), and "juves" (new blood, unproven youngsters, limit: Amount of Gangers,) and every injury you sustain that takes you to 0 Wounds or Below (Most characters start with only 1 wound, but you can get more via level up.) forces you to roll on an injury table after the battle.

The table is rolled on via 2 seperate D6, calling one to be "tens" and one to be "ones" much like via percentile (aka D100) 11-16 is Death, with 21-65 being varying consequences such as an old war wound that occasionally acts up and costs you your action in the same way hesitation would (1D6, 2-6 you're okay) or horrible disfiguring scars that have a chance to cause fear (based on a leadership check.) 66 is "Survive against the odds" where you're left for dead but survive and fight tooth and nail to make it back to your gang in one piece, gaining additional experience for the ordeal. Naturally, a lot of this does not translate well into SL2, what with it's inability to lower your own stats at will, so I modified it to include things like "broken weapon" and the like.

... this is partially why I go through so many characters. We've established my RNG luck sucks. I roll a lot of deads.


Now. I can understand why some wouldn't be up for this, because despite being an RP game, it's basically devolved into a powergeme PVP clashfest for many players, and this could result in some self-imposed penalties, which they would not want to do. And that's their choice. But I actively encourage people to try this purely for RP reasons. There's a story behind every scar. There's a story behind your limp or missing eyebrow. There's a story behind your sword's missing tip. And you know what we call it when our career is storied? What we call it when your character becomes deeper than a walking trope, with their current actions having a deeper immediate impact than their backstories? ROLEPLAY.

I can understand not wanting permadeath, because BS rolls do happen (Case in point: I recently got Poisoned and Burned on turn 0 by a Corruptor, and critted 4 times each by 2 Terrors. All on turn 0. There was absolutely no way I could have possibly survived any longer than one more round on the vast majority of characters.) but to this I say "you're in charge of your own rolls. You create your own roll table." You can create a roll table without permadeath if you so choose. Just something, anything, to punish failure and encourage success, you know?
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