Standard DJ as an attribute known as “Attractiveness”, essentially a measure of just how appealing a Persona is to others. It also has measures such as “Inner Beauty” and “Inner Ugliness”, but I’ve decided that just muddles up matters. So I’ve decided to divide Attractiveness into three Attributes; Appearance, Personality, and Attractiveness.
Appearance: This is what the Persona looks like, ranging from a minimum of 1 (rather grotesque) to 25 (stunning beauty) for humans. A human Persona rolls 2d6+3 for an average of 10
Personality: What the Persona is like in terms of behavior and how he treats others. For a human it can range from 1 (intolerably disagreeable) to 25 (remarkably pleasant). If you like a player may roll 2d6+3 for a basic idea, but keep in mind that in actual play the value will rise or fall depending on the player’s behavior.
Attractiveness: Here we have a measure of just how attractive a Persona is. It is the average of Appearance and Personality and can range from 1 (avoid if you value your life) to 25 (worship and adore) for a human.
Other species will have different limits. In Mythus for example dwarfs and phæ are mostly limited to a maximum Personality of 15, though for different reasons. While in The Abyss the uplifted Sasquatch has a maximum appearance of 12.
This is a video for something you may find interesting. Basically when your blood sugar rises it changes color. It’s intended for those diagnosed with diabetes, but I can see it’s use in diagnosing the condition, and for keeping tabs on one’s blood sugar. At present it means a permanent tattoo, but should it be possible with temporary ones it may well make a doctor’s visit a different thing indeed.
Heck, now that I think of it, felt tipped pens one would use to write on one’s skin to keep tabs on blood sugar levels and possibly other matters.
For our purposes acting is the art of pretending to be somebody or something other than what you are. In the realm of RPGs that is supposed to include behaving in such a manner as to direct others into thinking of you as that “other”, and just as importantly yourself.
With some it comes naturally, others don’t even bother to try. Then too there is the fact that not everybody sees the role you play the way you do. You have the savage as presented in old adventure stories, and then you have the savage as presented in the pages of National Geographic. By received wisdom the North American raccoon is a wild animal that studiously avoids humans, which according to videos one can see on-line are kept as pets that can get down right affectionate.
And let me add that one person’s setting could have, let’s say, illithids as conniving, treacherous, manipulative, brain devouring bastards. While another sees them as wandering merchants fostering trade and communication among the cultures they visit. Which means that often the player will need to adapt and adjust as he plays his role.
Just as important is the fact that in each group each member will need to be flexible in how he approaches his own play, the play of others, and the play of the guide. For the Dwarfs of the Viridian Glens are not the Dwarfs of the Fetid Wastes. My orcs are not going to be yours.
So being open and able to accept differences is important. Accepting that another is going to see matters differently from you is especially important. For such acceptance can and most often will mean more open play. I mean, treating all goblins as crazed killers gets boring after a while. Having to actually learn about who you’ve just met can be a lot more fun.
But the really important thing is to learn how to act. Act effectively, act convincingly, for it is your task to convince your fellow players that 4’2″ tall Anne is now playing a 12′ tall argent giant who can easily see over that 10′ wall, and even help her friends get over it.
And why is acting so important? We’ll look at that in part three.
Back in 1975, in his contribution to The Wild Hunt, the late Glenn Blacow made the observation that what you were doing in D&D was playing a role. Other figures in the early community took up that idea, and sort of expanded on it, interpreting it to mean that Dungeons and Dragons and the like were what amounted to role playing games. Thing is, from what I can see the purpose of a game such as D&D is not to play a role, but to accomplish tasks. You can assume a role, but that’s not really why you’re there.
At the acting game link I’ve provided here you get a series of exercises for young children. Those exercises, those games, are designed to help teach children how to play a role. They will work for adults. That is the purpose of an acting game, to act. To play a role. You’re not out to win anything, but only to become a better actor, a better role player.
In games like D&D you have numerous goals, but acting (role playing) isn’t one of them. Any role playing you do is incidental and there are really no mechanics for them. Even the now defunct Theatrix really doesn’t have mechanics for acting, and the only system I can think of with what you can call acting rules would be the mechanics for social play provided in an accessory by Bill Stoddard for GURPS. Even Mythus doesn’t really have express role playing mechanics, those are more often suggested than concrete.
Why Role Playing Games?
That we are playing role playing games is really more an assumption than an actual fact. And now that I’ve gotten this far I realize that this is going to have to be a series. So for the next in this series we’ll have a look at what acting (role playing) is.
At this moment I’m feeling like crap. Hopefully my new medicine routine will make a difference. Hopefully my Monday I’ll be able to get some things done that need to be done. For now I’m going to see about catching up on my sleep.
People to see: My doctor, my cardiologist, urologist, and Serving Seniors.
Advice: Should the father of your children smoke, kill him and bury his corpse under a tree in your back yard. Your legal fees will be cheaper than the kids’ medical bills, and the tree will benefit.
Actually, it’s more like a phrase. The phrase is ‘role playing game”, and I rather doubt anybody has designed or written a role playing game. They’re more adventure guides. Which is to say, guides to having adventures in imaginary worlds. And seeing as they are guides to what is happening in that imaginary world, you can’t even call them stories.
The thing to keep in mind on Adventure Guides is that they don’t really have rules. That is to say, what mechanics they have are descriptive, not prescriptive. When a velocity is given for an object that is not how fast a rule says it can go, that is a description of how fast it does go. Under a different set of conditions it could be faster, or slower.
Also keep in mind that with descriptive laws you really can’t cheat. Relativity in part describes how fast an object can go in our reality. You can’t accelerate past the speed of light, you don’t have infinite energy and that is what you need to get to the speed of light. A mechanic says your character takes 1d6 times an exposure roll of 1d6 in damage, that he takes between 1 and 36 points of damage depending on luck and how he lands. There will always be times when a person falls 100 feet and gets minor injuries (a total of 10 points), while another falls just 10 feet and suffers the 36 points of injury.
But Besides That
What an Adventure Guide really provides is a set of guidelines for describing an imaginary person and his imaginary world. That’s all it needs to do.
It’s basically what any “RPG” does, presents a setting where adventures can take place, and a set of mechanics describing those involved in the adventure and how they can participate. Whether it’s John Wick presenting Houses of the Blooded or Ken St. Andre and his Tunnels and Trolls, both are presenting a guide to playing a role in a make believe land, and the land to adventure in. That’s all adventure guides need to be, and should you require the restrictions most often found in a game, that’s your problem.
Stress is not your friend. Most especially when you are autistic and can’t really handle what you’re getting.
Tomorrow I’ll be getting an apartment, until then I’m fretting my brains out. What I could use right now is a friendly dog, square miles of meadow, and a ball. The three together should keep me distracted and wear me out. The last would give me a good night’s sleep.
In any case tomorrow means a big change in my life, I can only pray that I survive.
Why They're Important In most RPGs violent interaction is known as “combat” Which is what it is when you get right down to it, but a term such as “combat” is most often associated with what are known as wargames, or with the family of formalized conflicts most often associated with war.
There is an alternative. The word here is “fighting”. It’s basically the same thing as “combat”, but has different connotations from “combat.” Both combat and fighting basically mean the same thing, a violent struggle between two or more parties, but fighting is really understood to mean a violent struggle between two parties on an informal basis.
For this reason I have decided to refer to violent struggle in an Adventure Guide as fighting. Since that is what the participants are essentially doing, fighting. It’s my way of telling those playing that they are not involved in a wargame. Rather, what they are involved in is an adventure occurring in an imaginary setting while playing imaginary people.
Also be aware that while combat can occur between groups of people, fights happen between individuals. You could have a single combat involving units of thousands, but when fights are involving you are going to get thousands of fights. That can take a while. My advice here is to focus on a few people, as is what most often happens in life. Just remember that adventures involve individuals, not mobs.
So remember that an adventure guide cannot be a game, for ADs are meant for and written for individuals.