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Messages - Niarra

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Cantina / Re: Gratitude
« on: Today at 02:00:19 AM »
Thanks to @recoveringgeek for their event tonight! Even though Ziost tried to consume all of our computers in its death field, we survived! Set things on fire, drowned, called old ladies schuttas, and managed not to murder each other. Success!

Events and Occasions / Re: A Dread Mind
« on: 07/19/18, 03:11:01 PM »
5 PM is likely too early for me, but I'll get there as early as I can.

I have never researched character transfers, so I don't know what you can and cannot transfer with you in regards to Collections, Credits, and Legacy.

I have extensive experience with transfers (from back when they were a beautiful $1) and can give a good run down here.

You must pay a character transfer cost for each individual character you wish to transfer.

Your Collections (in terms of what you do or do not have unlocked for free retrieval) is universal across all servers at all times, whether you're creating a new character or have transferred one. This is the only thing that is locked-in account wide and updates in real time.

Your Legacy - including character perks, Legacy levels, achievements, and very critically your inventory of decorations - only move with you if you pay for a character transfer (and actually transfer a character obviously). You could transfer a minor low level character and still take all of that with you. (Note that if you later unlock more decos or perks on your source server, you would have to execute another character transfer afterward to then take those updates with you to the new server. What moves with you is only valid as of the time of the transfer in question.)

Stronghold unlocks (both the initial unlock and any unlocked individual rooms within it) only move if you pay for and execute a character transfer, but note that you will have to pay the reactivation cost to open that stronghold again on the new server. For some SHs that reactivation cost is very cheap, for others it's upwards of 2 million credits.

Credits and any physical items only move if you pay for and execute a character transfer, and they must be either in that character's personal inventory or in that character's personal cargo hold. (Items in your Legacy bank do not transfer.) Note this is not a copy/duplication, it will be subtracting the credits or items from your source server and moving it to the new server. (This means if you want to create an alt on a new server without actually transferring a character, you start with zero credits just like a new player would.)

Things that will not transfer at all under any circumstances:
  • Actual decoration placement. Your strongholds at the new server will first need to be reactivated, and once they are they will be blank slates. No decorating will transfer with you.
  • While you will keep any unlocked outfit slots on your transferred character, the actual outfits stamped into them will not transfer. For dye modules (if they are stamped to the slot rather than a physical piece of gear), that means the dye is completely lost and you will need a fresh copy of that dye module to be consumed to recreate it. For the gear pieces, it means you will need to have a physical copy of those gear pieces in your inventory to re-stamp them.
  • Guilds. Nothing at all about guilds will transfer. Not the existence of the guild, nor any of its assets. You cannot recreate a guild and then "reactivate" a guild SH, all of that will be lost, including guild flagship, guild stronghold, decorations donated to a guild, and anything in the guild's bank (that is not transferred to a personal bank first).

There is no doubt in my mind that the Star Forge RP community is larger and more healthy overall. That was true while it was still Ebon Hawk, and undoubtedly it's still true now. Although I've only ever peeked in there myself, I am sure that everything Nick and Ash have said is completely valid and spot on. All of the concerns and context are hard to dispute, nor would I want to.

The truth of all of that notwithstanding, there are lots of reasons I personally will almost certainly never move to Star Forge. (I won't say never never because it's impossible to predict everything, but just assuming variables as they currently stand.)

For me, it is almost entirely logistics based. A single character transfer costs about $10. Accepting that it's not strictly necessary for me to transfer all 70 of my characters, even just transferring the stable of characters I frequently and primarily role play would already put me in the realm of between $100-$200 dollars. Most of those primary characters have their full 16 outfit slots kitted out, in which many unrecoverable and expensive dye modules have been slotted (outfit stamps are all lost upon transfer). I have 21 personal strongholds, of which more than half are completely and extensively decorated, and all of that decorating would be lost. I own 8 guilds, all with strongholds, and all of those guild assets would be lost as guilds do not transfer in any capacity.

Even assuming that I were willing to lose access to the roster of 50+ secondary characters and GM-purpose NPCs I've created in order to just get my "primary" characters over to SF (which I am really not, they represent a substantial $ investment in character slot unlocks), all of the rest of it is a cost that's just too high for me to be willing to pay it. (For me personally, there's also the fact that I would be yanking characters I actively use for PVE out of reach of my established PVE guild as well, though I recognize that's not a concern for everyone.)

If there was a way to pick up my entire account, all assets intact, and just hop over to Star Forge... I might very well do it. But as it currently stands, it would take something pretty extreme... like the 100% absence of every other RPer I know on SS... to get me to make that move.

I would be more amenable to the idea of creating alt-versions of my primary characters on Star Forge to attend the occasional event over there if someone has a particularly cool event to call out (or if folks from our community want to create "satellite" events over there for this purpose). But the thing about group RP is that it's like a living eco-system, and if you aren't actively and consistently connected to it you won't really get much out of it either.

I don't mean any of the above to sound like negativity aimed at shutting down discussion. I'm just one person, and in this as in all things in life everyone has to make decisions that are best for them, and the pursuit of their own RP fun. For some people, maybe moving over to SF is absolutely the right choice. For others, it may be the wrong choice, or it may just not be logistically feasible.

I derive a lot of my RP enjoyment from small group RP interactions, so it may be that I just don't feel the lack of "big population events" as keenly as do those who derive their RP enjoyment from those bigger cast affairs. While I fully acknowledge our community here is small, I'm not willing to acknowledge that it's dead. It's only dead when we choose to stop playing in it. That doesn't mean, however, that it might not be too small to achieve certain things. Again, it's all about what each person is looking for.

What I think I see most sharply affecting our particular community here is what Imazi called out in her post, about folks being strapped for time and the impact that has on RP. While it's undeniable that very many people have left the game entirely, of the folks who remain it's very common to see work or health issues or other life conflicts preventing people from being able to attend events. That's not going to stop any time soon, here or on SF (though enthusiasm always helps I don't deny that) because neither school nor work stops in people's lives (and those who are transitioning between or combining the two are probably finding their time even more strapped). As an example, for @recoveringgeek 's Dread Mind event (which I will below cite in a different and more positive context), five people have commented about work or other life conflicts possibly or definitively preventing them from being able to attend. That's just... life.

I also stand by what I've said before in other posts: we have to be the change we want to see, and if we want to see more events we have to run more events. At the risk of feeling like some game developer with a death mark on my back, I can say that while there's currently only my word for it I have a lot of events in the works right now, I just need the time (there's the time thing again) to roll them out. Social RP events serve an important function, but adventure-hook RP events are where most knock-on RP gets generated, and I think the interest in @recoveringgeek 's Dread Mind event shows that "if you build it, they will come." Maybe not in mass droves (when you don't have mass droves to start with), but still. Even counting all the folks who said they can't come because of Work/Life Monsters, there's still a good number of sign-ups, and as we all know it's common for folks to show up without signing up.

The key is to have more (and varied, variety is important) events running, because then if you have to miss one it won't be 2-3 months before your next chance. Ideally it will only be 2-3 weeks, or less. But it all requires folks stepping up to run events. (I know, a lot easier said than done, but it's still the truth.)

In any event, I'll stop now before I enter dead horse territory. Just my two (thousand, as usual) cents!

Events and Occasions / Re: A Dread Mind
« on: 07/18/18, 06:37:58 PM »
I'm still definitely going to be there (barring totally unpredictable Life things). For the time being I think I've decided on bringing the character who could make it harder to work with the other faction because that's more fun!  :evil: Also because she's got Seer abilities that are only half-way under her control and Ziost sounds like a great place for that. (Again with the  :evil:.) If it turns out a different character really feels indicated when it comes down to it, then I'll make the change then. Looking forward to it!

Events and Occasions / Re: A Dread Mind
« on: 07/15/18, 02:28:15 PM »
I am still torn trying to decide who to bring to this. Do I bring the person who might make working with the other faction easier and has a cool head for danger? Or do I bring someone who will absolutely make it harder to work with the other faction and processes things in a way almost certain to make things more complicated? (I mean, I know what the devil on my shoulder says, but still... )

I know for most interesting makeup I ought to just bring a Sith... but I don't have enough Sith characters I'm genuinely invested in, and we get events like this so rarely now that I can't help wanting to bring the Jedi out to play... argh, decisions decisions...

... screw it, I'm bringing the psycho pyro pink pig-tailed horror...

Events and Occasions / Re: Jedi Night Weekly Event Thread
« on: 07/03/18, 10:04:30 PM »
@Lolermelon - Are we doing Tournament stuff this Thursday (7/5)? If so, what's the dealio? Set up, or the start of actual combat? Want to make sure I have the right characters in place at the right time!

Events and Occasions / Re: Jedi Night Weekly Event Thread
« on: 06/28/18, 03:47:55 PM »
Okay, with the updates I have received, I am going to push back the beginning of this arc one more week. I'll be around on Tae to teach a lesson or two ICly, Custodum Stronghold as per usual.

Works for me! Though in the event I played a part in breaking things I can say that plans have shifted and I can make it tonight. I might be just a few minutes late as I'll be coming back from another out-and-about thing. But next week works for me too! I'll show up at Jedi Night tonight regardless, a tad late or otherwise.

Events and Occasions / Re: Jedi Night Weekly Event Thread
« on: 06/28/18, 02:33:38 PM »
Just a reminder that I am hijacking Jedi Night tonight for the All-Galaxy Combat Tournament. Meet at the Enclave, we'll leave as one big happy family to my stronghold! This will likely be a multi-week thing, but I'll get the introduction done tonight and work with people in the chatroom to progress the arc!

Uhoh!  :cry: I confess I wasn't clear that this was actually confirmed for today. I'm afraid there's a very good chance I won't make it to Jedi Night tonight, just FYI. I don't know for sure yet and will confirm later, but just a heads up. (That being said, I am 100% confident you (brave GM @Lolermelon) can steer Ms. Haughty Pants just fine if need be, or slot in her partner in crime until next time.)

As a heads up on general Jedi Night turf for tonight, I believe Custodum's fearless leaderess is still without internet and she probably won't be making it to shenanigans tonight, whether they involve bloodshed or otherwise. But hopefully I'll be proved wrong!

Worldbuilding and Community / Re: Jedi and mental disorders
« on: 06/26/18, 06:14:07 PM »
I was literally just thinking about this the other night...specifically, I was talking about 'psychic chirurgery' in the old Ravenloft setting and ideas I'd had for the horror implications of seeking a cure for madness from a mysterious psychic.

Thanks for giving me PTSD flashbacks of my own, Bling.  :nuu: I played one of the Ravenloft 3rd Ed. campaigns through two times, once in the classic fantasy setting and once in a home-brewed post-apocalyptic gunslingers setting, and both times the players concluded the experience even more insane than the characters. Strahd can kiss my *@#*%#$ with his booby-trapped rooms.  :rage: (Even if my Small Wonder android girl helping the mutant demolitionist to rig up Count Jerkface's big ol' heart crystal with explosives and sending his tower up in smoke was pretty damn rewarding. And IIRC we took down Strahd by the drug-addicted gunslinger holding him in a chokehold while someone scrambled to stab him... that was pretty epic too.)

But yes... back to the topic at hand...

For the most part I'm on the same page with what others have said here. In particular I'd probably underline this here that Bling said:

The way I see it, I'd say that Jedi likely DO have techniques for 'Force healing' mental illnesses, but they're dangerous and frowned-upon: an attempt to force someone's personal trauma to be 'fixed' is no balm to most people.

The Jedi 'mind trick' only works against the weak-willed and, as someone with experience with dealing with mental illness, the trauma-drive of an afflicted individual is not 'weak' takes hard, long work to help someone get through their issues, and no doctor or counselor can do it alone. Without effort and dedication from the patient, it's almost doomed to failure.

At a basic and high level, that's my interpretation as well.

I think with Jedi, provided you are hewing to what canon gives us about them, you have an interesting intersection of supernatural toolset with worldview philosophy that would definitely apply to mental conditions. For the supernatural, you have an ability to actually and accurately sense emotion and thought, as well as an ability to telepathically influence change. For the philosophical, you have a belief system that is based on the concept of balance and harmony, not in some good/bad sense but specifically in the way living and non-living systems interact to create an energy field that allows for the perpetuation of natural life cycles (in other words, the "life energy ecosystem" of the universe). With the nature of the Force adding in an element of "thoughts really do shape reality" then the importance of helping minds to achieve balance becomes truly paramount.

The mental discipline that is key to a Jedi's training is a tool that the layman in this universe often won't have, and while it certainly wouldn't make Jedi immune to something like PTSD (and frankly I imagine a lot of Jedi would have good cause to suffer from PTSD) it does at least give them an avenue to attempt to control it. In that sense, I imagine that beyond even their superpowers the chief tool Jedi would have would be this greater facility with enacting coping mechanisms. Perhaps Jedi are no more immune to falling prey to these conditions than anyone else, they're just better equipped to keep functioning in spite of them.

With my character Niarra, who is a trained Jedi Healer, I've had the fun opportunity to play her trying to help two separate characters with their mental conditions, and in both cases I chose to make her approach be one foremost of psychology assisted by Force-use rather than the other way around.

Basically... what everyone else said before me.

But I admit I have also imagined the possibilities of something more in line with Bling's 'psychic chirurgery.' Revan's reprogramming is a good lore example of ways in which the Force can be used to truly alter someone's mind, though obviously with many side-effects and consequences. Any other variety of powers that we've seen that affect memory, form empathic bonds, or inflict false/horrible/painful memories or regress people's minds - these all explore ways in which something like the Force might truly change people's psyche. When I take those examples in conjunction with the canonicity of dark side corruption literally changing people's physiology (eyes, veins, skin, etc), and the ability of the Force to heal physically and disperse energy, I imagine there could be an argument made for the possibility of 'Force surgery' on the literal neural pathways or biochemistry of a mind.

The danger you start running into with that idea, though, is of course that it starts to tread very heavily into more SF realms when Star Wars is predominately a Space Fantasy. I think there's a decent argument to be made for it, though, for those who might wish to explore that. But personally I feel that would need to be approached cautiously, with an eye to the thought it would most likely be an extremely rare ability and very risky to attempt. It's a neat thing to imagine, but an easily abused concept.

Then again... we've already got the pure magic of Force alchemy. So... perhaps not much of a stretch after all.

Roleplay Workshop / Sabacc Playtesters Needed!
« on: 06/26/18, 02:06:28 AM »
I have always wanted to run a RP Sabacc tournament that uses actual Sabacc rules, and Solo: A Star Wars Story only made that desire all the more fierce.

Other fans before me have cobbled together rules for Sabacc play based on all the lore, and I used this set as my foundation. With that as the starting point, I set out to create a few versions of Sabacc to be played in an in-game SWTOR RP environment (or a chatroom environment).

I'm at the point now where I could really use some play testers, and so I'm putting out the call!

I've designed three game variants: Super Simplified, Simplified, and True Sabacc.
  • The first (Super Simplified) is meant to play very quick, with many players, and it's not necessary for players to actually understand the canon rules of Sabacc in order to play.
  • The second (Simplified) is meant to play relatively quickly, but with more detail, and with a more limited number of players. It's not necessary for players to understand all the canon rules of Sabacc, but they should understand my gameplay rules of it.
  • The third (True Sabacc) is an attempt to approximate true canon gameplay and players absolutely should be familiar with both the canon rules and this rules variant. It will require an extremely limited number of players and should take quite some time to play through.
I am including the current version of the rules below (I tried to put them behind a spoiler tag but the formatting just wouldn't take it for some reason). If you are considering volunteering to play test, but you are appalled by the number of rules in this first draft and can't (or don't wish) to read through them, then play testing is not for you. Enthusiasm is appreciated, but what I really need in order to test this is people who have enough number-crunching-nerd in them to actually cheerfully read through all these rules and be prepared to spend an evening playing through them down-and-dirty style in-game. 

If anyone is interested, please let me know! (You'll be sparing the people whom I might press-gang into service in the absence of volunteers.  :evil:) Once I know who might be interested, I'll coordinate with folks for a time that works for everyone.

Okay! Below are the rules as they currently stand. I will update this post if / as changes are decided on. Note that you might see occasional references here to the Hutts and other things that might sound like RP color, and those are nods to what will end up being the RP setting of the event; for now they're not relevant except insofar as they contribute to actual rules.

Again, if you want to read the rules version of Sabacc that I am basing my adaptations on, you can find that here. Basically, Sabacc is a cross between poker and blackjack. The goal of the game is to get a hand that totals as close as possible to 23 (or alternatively -23, or a "literal" 23 with three cards valued 0 and 2 and 3, all depending on what version of the game you're playing, but in this case the negative and literal alternatives will only apply to my True Sabacc variant). While the goal of the game mirrors blackjack, it plays out like poker in terms of rounds, drawing cards, betting, and etc.

Luck / Force Points:

      * Every participating character will be granted 3 Luck/Force points (for the entire event, regardless of how many matches a player participates in). These points will be tracked by the GM as a player reports spending them.
      * A character may cash in a Luck/Force point as indicated in the gameplay rules below. (Note that using these points to Cheat is only applicable in the True Sabacc version.)

Super Simplified Sabacc (Electrum Circuit) – This version of Sabacc abstracts the full game into a single roll, and does not include negative values. Specific cards will not be referenced, and all values are abstracted into pure numbers. The goal is to achieve the closest hand value possible to 23. There is no Sabacc Shift in this version of play. There will be no player signup limit for this tier of play.

1. All players roll 1-100 in a single party with the GM. Results determine Play Order, highest to lowest.

2. Players ICly pay the ante of 100 credits.

3. The GM will group with players in Play Order, and players roll once, range 1-23.

4. Players have one chance to cash in a single Luck or Force point to reroll, still in private with GM.

5. In Play Order, players either fold or state their bets publicly (visible IC RP), as a single sum.

6. Players RP showing their cards.

7. Closest to 23 wins. Ties split the pot.

Simplified Sabacc (Aurodium Circuit) – This version of Sabacc plays over the course of four fixed rounds (plus one for a Sabacc Shift), and does not include negative values. Specific cards will not be referenced, and all values are abstracted into pure numbers. Rounds after the first are abstracted to represent adjustments to the initial hand dealt. The goal is to achieve the closest hand value possible to 23. There will be one Sabacc Shift in mid-game.  There will be a player/signup limit for this tier of play (to be determined by testing), first come first served.

1. All players roll 1-100 in a single party with the GM. Results determine Play Order, highest to lowest.

2. Players ICly pay the ante of 250 credits.

3. Initial Deal / Round 1: The GM will group with players in Play Order, and players roll once, range 1-23. This represents the total of the initial two cards of their hand.

            a. Players have a choice to cash in a single Luck or Force point to reroll, still in private with GM, before the GM moves on to the next player.

4. Betting: Players either fold or state their bets publicly (visible IC RP). Rules for raising or calling will not apply, any bet is fine, but to stay in the game a player must bet a minimum of the 250 credit ante.

5. Lock The Cards: Players have the option to either lock their entire hand (in other words, lock in the current total number value of their hand), or not. (NOTE: Locked hands in this version of Sabacc are not visible to other players.) Locking your hand at this point means you no longer participate in any further rounds of gameplay (except betting), so choose wisely.

6. Round 2: Players roll 1-2 in private with the GM. A result of 1 means the player subtracts 5 from their initial hand total, a result of 2 means they add 5.

            a. Players have a choice to cash in a single Luck or Force point to reroll.

7. Betting: Players either fold or state their bets publicly, with a minimum bet of 250 credits. (Players who have locked their hands must also fold or bet.)

8. Lock The Cards: Players have the option to lock their entire hand. Locking a hand at this point means no further participation in gameplay with the exception of betting, so choose wisely. But the choice to not lock a hand means that the Sabacc Shift will completely reset the value of the hand with a fresh roll… so... choose wisely!

9. Sabacc Shift: Any player who has not locked their hand takes the following action:

            a. Players roll once, in private with GM, range 1-23. This represents the new value of their hand.

            b. Players have a choice to cash in a single Luck or Force point to reroll.

10. Betting: Players either fold or state their bets publicly, with a minimum bet of 250 credits. (Players who have locked their hands must also fold or bet.)

11. Round 3: Players roll 1-2 in private with the GM. A result of 1 means the player subtracts 5 from their current hand total, a result of 2 means they add 5.

            a. Players have a choice to cash in a single Luck or Force point to reroll.

12. Lock The Cards: Players have the option to lock their entire hand.

13. Betting: Players either fold or state their bets publicly, with a minimum bet of 250 credits. (Players who have locked their hands must also fold or bet.)

14. Round 4: Players roll 1-2 in private with the GM. A result of 1 means the player subtracts 5 from their current hand total, a result of 2 means they add 5.

            a. Players have a choice to cash in a single Luck or Force point to reroll.

15. Final Bets: Players either fold or state their bets publicly, with a minimum bet of 250 credits. (Players who have locked their hands must also fold or bet.)

16. SHOW THE CARDS: All players RP showing their cards.

17. Closest to 23 wins. Ties split the pot.

True Sabacc (Nova Circuit) – This version of Sabacc attempts to most accurately approximate true Sabacc gameplay. It will play for as many rounds as the players progress the game. Specific cards will be referenced and tracked (all 76 cards, including all four suits and face cards).  There is a random chance each round for a Sabacc Shift to be triggered, and players have an opportunity each round to lock any number of their cards. Because so many variables need to be tracked, the number of participants at this tier will be extremely limited (most likely two to three players, to be determined by testing). Please do not sign up for this tier unless you are willing to commit to long game play, to RP it all the way through, to fully read the below rules and prepare, and to coordinate with the GM and trust to the GM’s book-keeping.

When players roll to determine the cards they are dealt (draw/trade/shift/etc), they will roll on a number range indicated by the GM/bookkeeper, starting with 1-76 and diminishing by one for every card already dealt in the game. This roll is compared to an evolving table in the GM’s keeping to determine which card the roll result equates to, and the GM/bookkeeper will communicate privately to the player what card they are dealt. This table will be adjusted by the GM behind the scenes after every card dealt so that there is never a chance of the same card being dealt twice (so those who choose to cheat run a legitimate chance of their cheating being detected depending on how observant the other players have been).

For this variant of gameplay, each player will have a bookkeeper avatar partied with them at all times, who will be either controlled by the GM or in voice communication with the GM to facilitate book-keeping. At any point in the gameplay rules as outlined below where it says the player “rolls,” they will be doing this in private party chat with their bookkeeper.

1. All players roll 1-100 in a single party with the GM. Results determine Draw Order, highest to lowest. Draw Order will apply to the rest of the game. 

2. The Draw Order party breaks up, and each player parties up with their individual bookkeeper.

3. Players ICly pay an ante of 500 credits into the Main Pot, and an ante of 1,000 credits into the Sabacc Pot.

4. Initial Deal / Round 1: In this round, players are dealt the two cards of their starting hand. This round incorporates the following four steps, in this order.

            a. In Draw Order, players roll against the full deck table for their first card (first player will roll 1-76, second player 1-75, and etc; players will be told the range to roll on by their bookkeeper). They will be told by their bookkeeper which card they are dealt based on this roll. 

            b. Players have a choice to cash in a single Luck or Force point to reroll.

            c. In Draw Order, players roll against the deck table for their second card (as adjusted based on current remaining card count).  They will be told by their bookkeeper which card they are dealt based on this roll. 

            d. Players have a choice to cash in a single Luck or Force point to reroll.

5. Draw, Trade, or Stand: In Draw Order, players choose to take one of the following three actions.

            a. Draw: Players roll against the deck table for an additional card. (Roll range and resulting card will be communicated by their bookkeeper.) Players have the option to cash in a Luck or Force point to reroll.

            b. Trade: Players publicly discard a card by ICly describing discarding a card, and thus revealing the value of the discarded card to everyone at the table. Players then roll against the deck table for a replacement card. (Roll range and resulting card will be communicated by their bookkeeper.) Players have the option to cash in a Luck or Force point to reroll.

            c. Stand: Players ICly declare their intention to stand, neither drawing nor trading their cards.

6. Betting: In Draw Order, players either fold or state their bets publicly (visible IC RP). All bets are put into the Main Pot. Players must at minimum match the bet placed by the player before them, and have the option to raise by an amount of their choosing thus setting the new minimum bet. The game cannot be called at this time.

7. Lock The Cards: In Draw Order, players have the option to lock the value of any or all of their cards by placing them face up in the Static Field on the table. This action is taken ICly in public, so all players will be made aware of the value of the cards. (Each player is expected to keep track of their opponents’ visible card values on their own, the GM already has enough bookkeeping to do and will not be reminding you, thank you very much!)

8. Possible Sabacc Shift: The GM will roll 1-100. Any number between 33 and 66 will result in a Sabacc Shift. If a Sabacc Shift occurs, the following takes place:

            a. In Draw Order, player card values are reset by “erasing” the previous card values of all cards in the player’s hand (ie, not locked in the Static Field), and then rolling as many times as they have cards to determine their new card values. (Roll ranges and resulting cards will be communicated by their bookkeeper.)

9. Draw, Trade, or Stand / Round 2: This step proceeds the same as Step 5, described above.

10. Betting: This step proceeds the same as Step 6, described above. 

11. Lock The Cards: This step proceeds the same as Step 7, described above.

12. Possible Sabacc Shift: This step proceeds the same as Step 8, described above.

13. Draw, Trade, or Stand / Round 3: This step proceeds the same as Step 5, described above.

14. Betting: This step proceeds the same as Step 6, described above. 

15. Lock The Cards: This step proceeds the same as Step 7, described above.

16. Possible Sabacc Shift: This step proceeds the same as Step 8, described above. NOTE that this is the last time a Sabacc Shift is possible, further rounds of play do not incorporate this mechanic.

17. Draw, Trade, or Stand / Round 4: This step proceeds the same as Step 5, described above.

18. Lock The Cards: This step proceeds the same as Step 7, described above. NOTE that from this round forward the option to lock the cards comes before the betting stage.

19. Betting: From this point on in the game, during the betting phase a player can choose to approach betting as in all the previous phases (see Step 6) by meeting the previous bet or raising – or all players now have the option to call the game. (If no one calls, continue on to Step 20.) A player choosing to call the game ICly announces their intention to call when their turn in the Draw Order for betting arises. The calling player must meet the previous bet as part of calling the hand (but cannot raise). At that point, proceeding on from the calling player, a new and final round of betting occurs, wherein players must again meet the previous bet to stay in the game but cannot raise. When the round of betting has once again returned to the player who called, they too must meet the bet. Before players reveal their hands, everyone has an option to CHEAT:

            a. Cheating: Players can cash in all three of their Luck/Force points at once (meaning if you spent any of your points previously, you cannot cheat) in order to ADD a card of their choosing to their hand. (Please note that if you plan to cheat the GM expects you to be familiar with the Sabacc cards and know which card you want to add to your hand; do not ask the GM for advice!)

            b. When the GM has concluded the cheating mechanics with all players, the Dealer will ICly announce that all players should now reveal their hands. Once hands are revealed, skip to Step 24 below. 

20. Draw, Trade, or Stand / Rounds 5-?: For each subsequent round played until a player calls the game, this step will proceed the same as Step 5, described above.

21. Lock The Cards: This step proceeds the same as Step 7, described above.

22. Betting: This step proceeds the same as Step 19, described above.   

23. Repeat steps 20-22 until a player calls the game.

24. Determining the winning hand:  Hands that qualify for a win are described below, in the order in which they beat out other hands. (In other words, a hand higher in the list will beat a hand lower in the list.) Note that the Hutts are being generous at this tournament, and no one is going to be required to pay into the pot for Bombing Out.
  • Idiot’s Array: A hand made up of the Idiot card (value of 0), a 2 value card of any suit, and a 3 value card of any suit. (A literal 023).
  • Pure Sabacc: A hand totaling 23 or -23.
  • The hand which comes closest to totaling either 23 or -23.

25. Breaking a tie: If two players have equal winning hands, the tie is broken by Sudden Demise. In Sudden Demise, each player is dealt one extra card (players will roll against the deck table, as communicated by their bookkeeper) and then hand totals are re-calculated.

26. To the Victor the Spoils: The winning player claims the Main Pot. If that player won with an Idiot’s Array or a Pure Sabacc they also claim the Sabacc Pot (otherwise the Sabacc Pot goes the house).

Outside Realm / Re: Editing - Everyone Needs It
« on: 05/22/18, 10:51:54 PM »
Two things:

First, the Telltale version of Batman isn't Batman... he's Bruce Wayne.

There's a reason you spend more time as Bruce Wayne in the games than you do as Batman, why you're given the option to solve problems at various points as Bruce instead of the Bat... because Telltale's trying to develop Bruce first and foremost, something that's... honestly kinda lacking in Batman material.

One of the more minor but interesting bits of the 90's Batman animated series was that Bruce Wayne wasn't just a cover for Batman. In Poison Ivy's first episode (I think), Bruce, as the CEO of Wayne Enterprises, goes in hard against an underling/business-partner/someone who was carelessly polluting the environment, even though that's something that "billionaire playboy" wouldn't care about.

Telltale just took it further than that, by not making Bruce Wayne the mask, but letting Batman actually be the mask...

That's a great way of putting it. I can see that. There's definitely a sense of Batman being the mask, at least in what I've seen so far of the series (which is the first two episodes and half of the third, so admittedly I've still got a ways to go).

Second... look, about the English Language.

The English Language is awful. It is horrible. It is wretched. It is the literal worst. Rules are weird and inconsistent, words have bizarre alternate meanings (I'm looking at you, "literally"), not to mention the odd "optional" rules like the Oxford comma or the pluralization of nouns ending in "s".

I wouldn't say it's the literal worst. (And yes, that was meant to be cheeky following on Orell's own parenthetical aside.  :grin:)

In all seriousness, while English has its oddities, it also has a lot going for it. I speak two languages fluently, have a rough understanding of a third, and at least dipped my toe into two years of study in a fourth (which I've mostly forgotten at this point, but the grounding and the experience is there). While there are occasionally times that another language has the perfect, unique word or saying that I would like to use to convey something when English lacks that particular nuance, in general English has a degree of specificity and range to it that is very much in its favor. It has its oddities and stupid things, for sure, but it isn't solely because of geopolitical reasons that English has become the lingua franca (irony of that term aside) of international dealings.

There are a lot of books on English as a language out there that are very interesting for the linguistically and philologically inclined, but one I would highly recommend is The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson. I recommend it in part because Bill Bryson could make a description of paint drying somehow hilarious, and everything is better with humor. But Bill Bryson also happens to be a fantastic researcher, and taken in conjunction with humor that makes most of what he writes a joy to read. Among the many interesting things he points out in that book is included a general assessment of the places where English is strong (even as it pointed out where it's dumb), and though my memory is certainly not good enough to recall all his arguments off the top of my head, in speaking for myself I'll say that I do feel English is laudable in the way it provides essentially simple (even at times simplistic) building blocks that also have the virtue of being able to be slotted into something much more complex than the sum of its parts.

When I was getting my certification in interpreting (in this case between English and Spanish, my two native tongues), I was struck by how many more words it often took to convey something in Spanish than it took to say it in English, and that wasn't unique to Spanish either. It's certainly not because Spanish or the other languages are less sophisticated or less artful. I mean, I personally would argue that with very few exceptions there aren't really poets writing in English (for example) who can compare, in a lyrical sense, to what the great poets writing in Spanish have achieved, because the one language feels like the work horse or the handyman with infinite tools while the other feels like a stained glass window.

My point... from which I realize I have now definitely strayed... ahem... was to just to argue that I don't think English is any more silly or breakable than other languages. Sometimes I find it to be significantly less silly. (Even if I will never shake the funny horror story anecdote of the man learning English who was trying to literally interpret what someone was telling him when they told him to "Go ahead and back up" the car.)

You should know the rules of grammar, you should keep them in mind when writing, you should edit with them in mind... and you should break them when breaking them makes the work more interesting. Knowing the rules so you know when to break them.

Yes, indeed. That's essentially the argument I always make, and which I launched this thread with long ago. Sometimes there's call to break the rules, but you have to know them in order to break them.

More importantly, though, I think there's nuance even in that glib statement. Because for the most part when you are breaking rules you are only breaking certain kinds of rules. Some rules cannot be broken and still keep the language's integrity intact.

You might break a rule about tenses if you're switching them for (deliberate) artistic effect, or you might break a rule about sentence structure if you're going for (again deliberate) artistic effect. In a way, you can think of it like... riding a bicycle along a street, maybe. The rules say you're supposed to stay in the bike lane, but sometimes there might be an exception when you can cut across car lanes, and sometimes you might just straight up ride your bike on the sidewalk because it's the best way to get where you're trying to go even if it's against regulations in your area. So you can break rules about how to ride your bicycle, but you can't break rules about how the bicycle functions; if the gear spokes don't fit into the chain, or you have a flat, the bike doesn't work, and where or how you might want to ride it is therefore irrelevant.

Language is no different. You can bend some grammatical rules about sentence structure to make something work artistically, but you cannot arbitrarily discard word definition or proper conjugation or the function of a period (outside of maybe some wild interpretive poetry in the latter case). I'll go back to one of the Word versus Word examples I called out in an earlier post and talk about lightning versus lightening. It's not an artistic choice about which word to use, because those are actually two completely different words with two completely different meanings. And it's in that context that I was also talking about the world "would" in response to Nick's post. Some ways of using the word are correct, and others are technically incorrect. (Even if "would" is admittedly one of the fuzzier examples.) That's a totally different discussion from, for example, what styles we use in RP. The latter discussion about styles is all about art and feeling and interpretation and fun and rule-breaking, but the former discussion about word definition is about one of those rules that isn't exactly breakable.

To me, the rhythm of a sentence is paramount. Run-on sentences, split infinitives, dropped pronouns and sentence fragments, they're all useful tools when crafting a sentence... and sometimes the effort to make something grammatically correct robs the words of their texture and flavor.

I'm very much with you on this. In fact, one of the things I have to be mindful of in narrative writing is not straying into that realm too often (which I am wont to do), because breaking the rules as a matter of course can rob a work of the impact that it should make from breaking those rules on the occasions when it does break them.

But I will always draw a very stickler line between artistic structural fuzziness and the correct use of words. I mean... a "vehicle" may be a physical thing, or it may be a metaphorical thing to describe the conveyance of another thing, but a "vehicle" is never an adverb. You may "ride inside a vehicle" or you may "use the chip as a vehicle for delivering the dip to your mouth" and you may even go "offroad vehicling" but you never "travel down the street in a vehicly manner." 

Outside Realm / Re: Editing - Everyone Needs It
« on: 05/22/18, 09:11:10 PM »
At least he brought intensity to the role and played a rare, convincing Bruce Wayne—another part of the Telltale game I was not digging so much. Bruce just feels kinda whiney and... normal? Bruce Wayne should feel anything but normal, even if he's just being Bruce Wayne. I don't know, I hope this doesn't get taken the wrong way (and I mean no offense by it) but I was getting some real "this is Millenial Batman" vibes that were, as a Millenial myself, making me a bit ill. I think they were just trying too hard to make him feel "updated to the times" (a mistake DC will apparently never learn from) when, at least in my opinion, Batman is kind of a-temporal by nature. He's always going to be a Noir character, and is defined by the lens of that time. Updating is good, and by no means impossible, but I think they tried to hard.

That's a very interesting perspective. I admit I wasn't feeling that while playing, but now that I reconsider in light of your comment, I think I can see where you're coming from. At the end of the day it probably doesn't bother me because I enjoy Batman but I am not a Batman fan, so I don't feel that sense of ownership over or passion for the material that I do for something like, say, Star Wars. When it comes to comics, I have always been a Marvel girl.

But I do feel you're right in that this Telltale version of Batman definitely feels less Noir. I found myself picking a lot of the nicer dialogue options because that just felt more right for the story I was seeing, but it's true that what the character ended up saying and emoting as a result of those choices really did not feel Noir.

Ultimately I'm still fairly on board with it, though, because I feel like Telltale was trying to do a re-imagining in some ways. Admittedly this may be my ignorance of Batman canon speaking, but I think the treatment they gave Bruce's parents is different from anything previously seen. Or at least different from anything I'd previously seen. And once I got a sense of where that aspect of the story seemed to be going I did definitely feel like I was getting a different take on Batman the character too, for good or ill.

Outside Realm / Re: Editing - Everyone Needs It
« on: 05/22/18, 09:04:21 PM »
@Niarra, this is another brilliant thread of yours.  One subject I'd like to see you address is the abusive use by RPers of the word would in their writing.  This drives me crazier than anything else I see in SWTOR fan fiction writing.

Example: Nick would walk to the door and open it.

Better: Nick walked to the door and opened it.

I see this in in-game RP and short story writing all the time and it makes me want to gauge my eyeballs out of my head.

This makes me want to cry as well. I have often given thought to why it is that people do this, and though I obviously can't speak for them I honestly think that maybe some of the time it comes down to inexperience or the kind of experience they have.

In tabletop RPG, you do often hear people say "Conan would go over here and try to shoot this guy." Though even in that setting it still shows a breaking of character, it's a little more understandable because when you're all sitting at a table eating Doritos and moving miniatures on a grid, especially during combat, there can be a sense that you are controlling something else and not embodying a character. In that scenario, saying what you feel the character, as a thing outside of yourself, would do, might lend itself to using that word. So maybe some of those people come from that background, and that's one kind of experience that might be at the root of it.

The inexperience angle may just be people not entirely accustomed to working in the written medium. Who knows?

But at the end of the day using "would" is ultimately just grammatically incorrect. By its very nature that word means that the action has not yet taken place. It doesn't even communicate whether or not it might take place. The only thing "would" communicates is a desire; it says nothing about actualization. Whether you are writing in present or past tense, "would" is not correct in trying to communicate something that one should assume is actually happening or has actually happened.

Now, that being said. As Imazi pointed out, there's a broader issue around tenses. Whether a RPer uses present or past tense is entirely up to the player; that's just a stylistic/preferential choice. I personally prefer present tense in RP because it is something that is unfolding in real time, observed in real time by others, and subject to change in real time based on what other people do. I feel that past tense conveys a sense of recounting something that has already happened as opposed to something that is unfolding right in front of you, which is why I avoid it in RP, but again as I said that's purely a personal preference, and I've noticed that it's a fairly even split between players who like to use present tense and those who like to use past tense. I think we're all used to that, and used to navigating a group scene where different tenses are being used. No harm no foul and variety is the spice of life.

Whatever tense you're going to be using, though, "would" is still not technically correct. I understand the point that it might be a means to indicate intention that is open to being contested by another player, and RP is not an exact science, so sometimes whatever gets the thing to work properly for all parties involved is a good thing whether or not it's technically correct. While refining the craft is also a good thing, actually having fun and workable RP is more important than anything else, and I'll be the first to get on board with that.

But "would" is always about desire, not about action. Tries/attempts/strives, words like those and others are still actions; they do not indicate the outcome, but they do indicate that action was taken to try to create an outcome. "Would" does not qualify.

"Would you come over here, please?"
"Would you please pass me the salt?"
"I wouldn't do that if I were you."

The above are ways "would" is used in normal language (not RP descriptions I mean), and in all cases the word is used to describe an action one wishes to see, but which is fundamentally out of our control (usually because the action is in someone else's hands), the outcome not certain. That's the whole purpose of the word "would." It communicates that there's a wish or a hypothetical situation, but says nothing about whether or not the wish is fulfilled or the situation actually comes to pass.

It's one of those words that we use so commonly that it's a little easy to forget what its strict parameters are. But strictly speaking, "would" is about conjecture, possibility, wishing, etc etc. Not only does it not convey what the outcome is, it doesn't even convey whether or not a thing was actually attempted, and that's the reason it's not technically correct.

(Obviously an exception is when you're using "would" as a past tense to "will" but that's not what we're talking about here.)

Also, is this thread your way of subtly offering to edit writers' work before publishing?  I have a short story I'll be posting to Star Forge - RP later today. :)

 :evil:  :evil:

Actually, though, no wicked subterfuge involved. Putting the rest behind a spoiler tag though, as an aside, because it's really not relevant to the shop-talk about Adventures In Grammar.
Spoiler: show

I haven't offered editing services outside of a professional environment for a long time for one simple reason: As an editor, I work as an editor and not as a support reader, and that's often really not what people are looking for. I don't mean that in a negative way either, because support readers are crucial. You need some people who want to read your work just to be supportive, to give constructive feedback or even unconditional feedback, and basically be your support network. Very few things in life are truly solo endeavors, and though writing is one of the more solitary of crafts even it shouldn't be totally solitary. But in the past when I've worked freelance as an editor, more often than not it ended up not being a fun experience for either myself or the writer; they had been hoping for essentially a human spell-checker functioning primarily as a cheer-leader and were no happier about getting serious technical critique than I was about seeing the looks on faces when I was done talking. No one likes feeling like a villain, and no one likes feeling like the hobby that brings them happiness has just been turned into a trial.

I'll never forget the time I pointed out to a writer that they were switching back and forth between present and past tense throughout their story. I had marked every time it happened, and in conversation explained to them what the problem was. When they looked both emotionally crushed and also very confused I tried to soften the blow a bit by explaining that if they were deliberately writing something that was attempting to stylistically or artistically invoke a certain experience by strategically swapping tenses then that might be one thing, but if that had been their intention then it meant there were other things that needed to be re-worked to support it. And I watched them latch onto that idea like a lifeline, and they said, "Yeah, I think that's what I was trying to do." They literally I said "I think." And then they looked hugely relieved, because they felt that had obviously let them off the hook, and they began trying to bring the session to a close. And that was actually the moment I decided not to work as a freelance editor anymore, especially as it had been preceded by a guy who tried to tell me that he felt he didn't have to address the errors I'd pointed out because English was his second language and that meant they were fine.

Which is just a way of saying that as a beta reader, I'm not a good choice. If you genuinely want someone to go at your work with an uncompromising eye to technical review, however... well, provided it's not 100 pages long and isn't a serial commitment, I'd be willing to be that pair of eyes. But I would truly ask that I not be asked if you think it's going to make you hate my guts.  :umm: I genuinely enjoy talking shop (because I'm a nerd), which is why I started this thread, and shop-talk conversation built out of the contributions of many minds is always great. But at the end of the day I, like everyone else, am just here to have fun with friends and tell fun stories, and I can't do either if no one wants to tell them with me because things got taken to a level where the hobby didn't need them to be.  :cry: We're all here to have fun, and that's the most important thing.

Outside Realm / Re: Editing - Everyone Needs It
« on: 05/22/18, 03:04:17 AM »
If I end up dropping another dumb and unwelcome grammar bomb in this thread in the coming days you can all blame Telltale Games for it. I've been enjoying their Batman series a lot, but nothing takes you out of immersion quite like a character using the wrong word in a sentence because the writer didn't have an editor looking out for them.  :rage:

As an aside, boy does Telltale seem to like Troy Baker and Laura Bailey as voice actors! I kinda dig Troy Baker as Batman, though, I won't lie. He's at least more intelligible than Christian Bale, gotta give him that. (Even if there's something about the combination of his tone and the visual design for Bruce in that series that just makes me half-expect him to detour into Sterling Archer at any moment.)

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