Roleplay 101: RP Log 1 – Just who is carrying this thing?

Throughout this series I’ve been mentioning Medieval- and Shakespearean-themed roleplay sims, and for a reason. The Roleplay 101 series was birthed as a ‘How To’ series of notecards when Daros, Rannon and I (and a couple of alts) were playing in just such a sim. I’ve expanded on them greatly in these posts, but that was their genesis.

In the previous post I mentioned that I would be posting a few (edited to change names) old roleplay logs and analysing them. Some may be really good logs, but most will be (wittily-annotated) examples of the kind of roleplay one bumps into in Second Life. By the time you’ve read a couple of these, you’ll know why Daros and I are so.damn.happy when we find a good roleplay location that contains some good roleplayers. Sad to say, this particular log contained a lot of the bad stuff. I’m quite sure everyone involved (us excepted, later in the log, and you’ll see why) was having a whale of a time just sitting around, chatting OOCly and complimenting each other ICly on their outfits. Suffice to say, this is one log that I will label: DIRE.

This is what Skell looked like when he was playing in this sim, back in 2008:

What a sweet and innocent lad!

Daros, Rannon and I were trying to interweave several storylines into this Medieval/ Shakespearean/fantasy sim. When we first arrived, there were two factions, and Skell joined one of them as the young Lord who would inherit the family estate. Daros and Rannon came in as a pair: Rannon was a soldier making his way back home from the wars, and Daros was his young manservant, with a twist: he was also a Fae, but kept it hidden. When he was stressed, he sprouted beautiful big wings, which distressed him enormously. It was a fun, innocent role, and he played it to the full. Meanwhile, on alts, Daros and I had a sub-plot going: his character was an evil male witch who wanted control of one faction, and was going about it through bewitching Skell, and I brought in a mercenary alt whom I played as the witch’s cousin.

All names have been changed, for obvious reasons. (Skell doesn’t actually appear in this log, as I was playing Ghis.)

Characters

  • Daros: The (secret!Fae) manservant of Rannon; innocent and very sweet
  • Rannon: A soldier returning home from the wars (mentioned in passing in this log)
  • Zin: An evil male witch with designs on one estate’s land. Currently holding the faction leader’s cousin in thrall
  • Ghis: Zin’s cousin, a mercenary who likes to drink, fuck, and fight (not necessarily in that order)
  • Keef: Owner of the sim, and – in character – the owner of the tavern. Disliked Zin’s character intensely (we’ll have no evil characters in our pretty sim, thankyou)
  • Sally: Keef’s slave and the tavern wench
  • Never: A lord (this, Dear Reader, is the extremely-experienced En Garde player who wanted to duel with me, with the loser [me, since I didn’t know HOW to play the game]  leaving the sim for good)
  • Vanessssa: Too many consonants!
  • Nessie: Tries her best, giggles a lot (I’ll count each one in the log for you)
  • Nexus: Actually not a bad roleplayer (also, female; since the alternative name I gave her is somewhat ambiguous)
  • Mia: Skell’s cousin and the faction leader of his ‘house’ (and this, dear reader, is the ‘dearest coz’ who refused to let Zin take a room in the castle as part of our captor plot, because that meant she would ‘lose’). Normally a decent roleplayer, she seemed to have the arse in this log, as she was practically monosyllabic
  • Katy, Creamy, Kami, Nessie, Charlie, Thomas: Bit-part roles

The Scene

An En Garde tournament is taking place (as it always did; the entire sim seemed to revolve around that damn game!). On landing in the area, the greeter whispers the following:

A strange mist moves across the land,passing through it you feel your inhibitions lift. Inexplicably you are drawn to the sounds of revelry in the forest as if gypsy blood runs hot through your veins: dancing, singing and merriment await!

The women in the sim were all wearing silks (and yes, we soon realised that was the excuse behind the ‘lower your inhibitions’ fog). The men mainly wore their usual pants and boots, but were bare-chested (big woop). I actually found a screenshot that I took on the day (names blurred, for obvious reasons).

Notes

I’ve left in some ‘amusing’ OOC chat (highlighted pale blue) and the En Garde chatspam (set to dark grey so it doesn’t distract too much) because some of the interactions were in response to that. My own (somewhat jaded and waspish… okay, bitchy) remarks are in orange. IMs that are pertinent to this RP (when they arrive) are in green.

Incidentally, neither myself nor my character of Ghis are misogynists, before that gets huffed about. This is an in-character roleplay set in Elizabethan times. A woman’s role truly was obedience to the men around her back then (and not in the mildly-kinky and usually titillating definition of ‘obedience’ that is found in SL). Yes, you would find the occasional fiery female (the formidable Bess of Hardwick, for example) but – unless you’d stumbled into some Shakespearean enclave of independent women (the Greenham Common of its time, perhaps?) one would not discover a whole village full of them. Especially ones that fought and sparred with weapons. Ghis’s reactions in this log are merely a reflection of the realities of that era.

The Log

[14:31]  Keef: greetings M’lord *says to Ghis*
[14:31]  Never: Be well lady Bela
[14:32]  Ghis saunters up to the gathering and eyes those around him. He nods to the man who greets him, but says nothing.
[14:32]  Daros notices the New Person. “Hello!” he waves a sticky lollipop at him.
[14:32]  Katy smiles lazily and stretches
[14:32]  Daros: Some of Daros’s leaves stick to his sugarflower.
[14:32]  Nessie laughs loudly at Daros’ antics (There’s laugh #1)
[14:32]  En Garde: Both players try a last-second attack from 5 paces, but Verbena is faster and scores a touch! (3 – 1)
[14:32]  En Garde: Next round!
[14:32]  En Garde: Verbena leads 3 to 0
[14:33]  Nessie: Greetings….
[14:33]  Katy shakes her head to clear it of the fog
[14:33]  Daros licks his sugarflower, trying to get to the other side of it, his eyes very serious in concentration.
[14:33]  Ghis smirks. “Plenty of flesh on display here. Have I walked into a whorehouse?” He would add ‘by mistake’ but it’s never a mistake whenever he walks into a whorehouse.
[14:33]  Nessie laughs (laugh #2)
[14:34]  Keef: hmm methinks he did not step into the fog (damn right he didn’t; I’m not stupid. Also, hmm, you ICly know all about this mysterious fog?)
[14:34]  Katy eyes narrow as she regards the newcomer (that’s right; I’m not playing along)
[14:34]  Nessie: ah, tis not a whorehouse…..far from it in fact
[14:34]  Creamy frowns: Nay, not a whorehous, that would imply that this is not for fun
[14:34]  Keef: tis a Festival, m’lord. a gypsy festival
[14:34]  Daros: “Speak fer yerself,” Daros says, his lips sticking together a little. “Master says I am a litle whore all the time.”
[14:35]  Nessie: I am Lady Nessie, tis nice to meet you….(whoever you are)
[14:35]  Vanessssa: ….
[14:35]  Creamy giggles: Mine says… *stops herself and becomes quite quiet*
[14:35]  Ghis grins at the girl. “You’ve never been in a whorehouse then, lass. They are certainly fun places.”
[14:35]  En Garde: Charlie makes a last-second attack from 2 paces and scores a touch!
[14:35]  En Garde: Next round!
[14:35]  En Garde: Verbena leads 3 to 1
[14:35]  Verbena: oh the talk makes me lose my mind (“I’m a virgin whore! I want to rip off my pretty silks! SOMEONE RAVISH ME!”)
[14:35]  Nexus looks at the newcomers and narrows here eyes. “Perhaps for the patrons.” (Got news for the feisty females: women had NO rights in this era. I’m playing it as it was.)
[14:36]  Katy stifles a yawn “This fog is making me so sleepy – I’m afraid I must retire. Be well, all” (“Oh god, the actual roleplayers are here. The fun chatting is over, and I don’t wanna work for my fun. I’m off.”)
[14:36]  Ghis looks the girls nearest him up and down. “Lady Nessie?” he says, with the emphasis on the ‘Lady’.
[14:36]  Daros: “I’ve been in whorehouses!” Daros pipes up. “Everyone has fun there.”
[14:36]  Mia: Good Eve Katy.
[14:36]  Nessie laughs…. (laugh #3)
[14:36]  Creamy: Are they M’Lord… You are right, I wouldnt know. Ive never been. But i would say that I dress this way for I choose, not because I must
[14:36]  Nessie: Yes, Lady
[14:36]  Nexus: Be well, Katy.
[14:36]  Verbena: grins
[14:36]  Keef: be well Lady Katy
[14:36]  You: “Hark at the boy,” Ghis laughs. “Been in whorehouses, have ye, lad?”
[14:36]  Nessie: Twould take more finesse than you probably possess to get me into bed sir (“…but pleasepleaseplease try anyway!”)
[14:37]  Daros nods eagerly. “Uh huh! My master took me with him a lot. ”

NEVER ARRIVES (Yep, because he saw Ghis – who is a big, hunky guy – arriving and talking to HIS HAREM OF WIMMINZ)

[14:37]  Never nods, ” Is all well here?”
[14:37]  You: “Not through lack of advertisement on your behalf, my girl,” Ghis murmurs, giving the girl a wink.
[14:37]  Nessie: yes, quite M’lord (Oh, that went straight over your head, didn’t it, sweetie?)
[14:37]  Daros giggles at the sallies.
[14:38]  En Garde: Charlie wins the round based on position!
[14:38]  Nessie: Ach well, advertising and um….selling are two quite different things, don’t you think sir?
[14:38]  En Garde: Next round!
[14:38]  En Garde: Verbena leads 3 to 2
[14:38]  Never turns to watch the match and keep an eye out (NO TOUCHING MAI WIMMINZ!)
[14:38]  Nexus: Perhaps the visitor would wish to join the sparring and test his sword… against the ladies of this land. (INNUENDO. I HAZ IT!)
[14:38]  Creamy: No problem Lord Never… just those who are not as well versed in manners perhaps (Oooh, burn! Yep, that’s Ghis all right. Drinkin’, fightin’ and whorin’.)
[14:38]  Vanessssa: Greetings Ghis (Did I give you my name? Nope, I don’t think I did. You’re metagaming, sweetie.)
[14:38]  Never nods to Creamy
[14:38]  Ghis laughs uproariously. “Fight against ladies? You allow your women to fight here?” (Again, playing it as it was in HISTORY, people)
[14:38]  Nessie: You are being surrounded sir…. (Yes, by rabid, feisty, heaving bosoms. Help, etc.)
[14:39]  Creamy: I did not commend you on your choice of silks Lady Nessie. they are quite beautiful (The compliment on an outfit. HAPPENS EVERY TIME.)
[14:39]  Keef: spar, not fight (15th & 16th Century women didn’t wield swords, pal. Elizabeth I herself had one; the average wench or Lady? Nope.)
[14:39]  Daros giggles and offers some sugarflower to the stranger. “I licked it a little…”
[14:39]  Nexus glares at the newcomer with a wolfish gleam in her green eyes. (DID MAI INNUENDO WORKZ? I HAS MOAR!)
[14:39]  Nessie laughs (laugh #4)
[14:39]  Never: yes, sparring is for sport
[14:39]  Vanessssa: He simply asked where he was…
[14:39]  Nessie: Might we gain an introduction sir? (Holy shit. Actual GOOD roleplay. Thank you!!!)
[14:39]  Nexus glances at Lord Never. “Perhaps for some.” (Also good roleplay. You’re differentiating speech from action. There’s hope…!)
[14:40]  Never chuckles to Nexus
[14:40]  Creamy: Yes Lady Vanessssa.. but the way He asked… could have been better… (Stop capitalising my pronoun. I’m not your Master.)
[14:40]  En Garde: Charlie wins the round based on position!
[14:40]  En Garde: Next round!
[14:40]  En Garde: Match is tied at 3 points each.
[14:40]  Daros: Licked ‘ a little’ means Daros has nearly worn a hole through his lollipop. “Still tastes good though.”
[14:41]  Ghis grins and bows. “I fight, spar and wrestle only for money, girl.” He looks at the boy and winks. “Anyone here helped the lad lick that sticky thing he’s holding?”
[14:41]  Creamy giggles at Daros, before returning to her own lolli. Did I thank you properly for this treat Lord Never
[14:41]  Vanessssa giggles

Now wait for iiiit. Waaaaaait for iiiiiit. Here it comes…

[14:41]  IM: Vanessssa: haha your funny :)

And there it is. The opening gambit…

[14:41]  Daros: A few leaves cling to the sugarflower. “Oops.” He brushes them off, then off himself. “I should have brought some clothes…”
[14:42]  Never smiles to Creamy,” your smile is thanks enough.”
[14:42]  IM: Vanessssa: hehe and handsome if i might add :) (angling for a return compliment)
[14:42]  En Garde: Charlie wins the round based on position!
[14:42]  Daros: Nooo I licked this all by myself! I’m GOOD at it!
[14:42]  En Garde: Next round!
[14:42]  En Garde: Charlie leads 4 to 3
[14:42]  Creamy giggles continuously (OhShit, she caught the Laughing Virus from Nessie!)
[14:42]  IM: Vanessssa blushes….you probbably dont see me (I probably said something nice about her avi here, and she’s angling for more compliments, which I deflected)
[14:42]  Keef watches the match, a grin on his face at the banter (because that’s all he ever really wanted from his roleplay sim: no actual roleplay, just somewhere to dress up and chat)
[14:42]  You: “Good at licking, eh? And nobody’s taken you up on that? Shame on them!”
[14:43]  Vanessssa laughs (Ack, it’s spreading!)
[14:43]  En Garde: Charlie wins the game!
[14:43]  Keef: ah good match you two
[14:43]  Daros still holds the lollipop out to Ghis. “Well you could try,” he says innocently.
[14:44]  Charlie: you played very well Mildady
[14:44]  Verbena: thank you m’lord
[14:44]  Nessie: Wow Daros, that is a huge sugarflower….
[14:44]  Keef: ok Now the timer is at 60
[14:45]  IM: Vanessssa smiles
[14:45]  Daros: Oh it is! Huge! I like them big.
[14:45]  Never: Nexus and Charlie
[14:45]  Ghis looks down at the boy. “Sweet,” he murmurs. “You say your master takes you to whorehouses?”
[14:45]  Never: hold
[14:45]  Vanessssa giggles (HALP!)
[14:45]  Never: Nexus and Mia
[14:46]  Nexus raises an eyebrow at the change…
[14:46]  En Garde: Mia joined as Player 2
[14:46]  En Garde HUD: Nexus ready (Version 1.11)
[14:46]  En Garde: Nexus joined as Player 1
[14:46]  En Garde: Game starting in 10 seconds!
[14:46]  Daros nods a little and resumes licking the candy. “Ah hah. Nice place to visit, he says. When you can afford the whores. We were in the army. Well… not me. I was sort of… following the army.”
[14:46]  En Garde Board: Mia left the game
[14:46]  En Garde: En Garde!
[14:46]  Thomas is happy to see Mia matched against someone other than Never for a change
[14:47]  Nessie agrees with Lord Thomas…. (because she dipped into his mind and fished that thought right out when he wasn’t looking)
[14:47]  Ghis’s gaze shifts to the sparring and he raises an eyebrow. “Army slave, were you?” He doesn’t look down at the boy, merely grins.
[14:47]  Daros nods. “Sort of.” He bites into the candy. “Have you been in the army?”
[14:48]  Nexus: Lady Mia, is there a problem?
[14:48]  Never: How is my favorite released prisoner this eve?
[14:48]  En Garde: Mia joined as Player 2
[14:48]  En Garde: Game starting in 10 seconds!
[14:48]  En Garde: En Garde!
[14:48]  Creamy: Released prissoner?
[14:49]  Keef chuckles (Now he’s at it, too… in a manly way, of course.)

ZIN ARRIVES

[14:49]  Zin: Well what have I walked into… a slave market?
[14:49]  Never: nay, my bedroom has been sadly empty
[14:49]  You: “Maybe not quite the same army as your master was in,” Ghis murmurs. “I fought for money, lad.” His spine stiffens momentarily.
[14:49]  Keef: Zin has arrived, the party can begin *says sarcastically* (Yes, we know you absolutely hate Zin’s character)
[14:49]  : Creamy OOC : … ummm why? and where do i sign up?  lol (To fill Never’s sadly-empty bed? Form an orderly queue behind all the other gigglers over there *points*)
[14:49]  Daros: “Nuh uh,” Daros says. “It’s a naked party.”
[14:49]  Vanessssa glances over at Nessie with thoughts going through her mind and giggles to herself (I give up)
[14:49]  : Thomas OOC : only his spine? (He wasn’t looking at the ladies, pal; he was reacting to his witch!cousin showing up)
[14:49]  En Garde: Next round!
[14:49]  En Garde: Nexus leads 1 to 0
[14:50]  Zin: “You fought for gold, whores, and looting, Ghis,” Zin slaps him on the back. “Shopping, are we? See anything to your liking?”
[14:50]  Vanessssa hears lady Nessie but continues to watch the match, smiling to herself
[14:50]  Creamy: Shopping? (“I see no shoes here; whats he shopping for? Oh, you’re hinting he’s shopping for pussy? I AM OFFENDED! and I like it…”)
[14:50]  Verbena is thinking glad we dont live here
[14:51]  Ghis tears his gaze away from the sparring and glares at Zin. “Thought I might find you here. All this flesh proved too much for you, eh?”
[14:51]  Keef frowns at Verbena’s thought (Ooh look! A mind-reader!)
[14:51]  Daros licks his lolli and thinks the men look dangerous. He backs away a bit.
[14:51]  Creamy: I believe we have met before Zin…. in the forest?
[14:51]  En Garde: Nexus has run out of time. Mia wins the point.
[14:51]  Nessie thinks there isnt much that can be bought here
[14:51]  En Garde: Next round!
[14:51]  En Garde: Match is tied at 1 point each.
[14:51]  En Garde: Next round!
[14:51]  En Garde: Nexus leads 2 to 1
[14:51]  Creamy licks her lollipop and stares at the witch with curious eyes… (Another mind-reader! When did you discover he’s a witch, then?)
[14:52]  Nexus: No idea.
[14:52]  : Verbena OOC : was thinking the same thng (“Me and Nessie are ladies, not whores to be bought! That’s why we’re wearing these [really pretty, from Silks-r-us] silks! Hmf!”)
[14:52]  Nessie: Greetings again M’lord, I didn’t see you behind me…
[14:52]  Nessie laughs (Laugh #5)
[14:52]  Nessie: I almost tripped over you
[14:52]  Never smiles to Nessie
[14:53]  Keef: sorry I know not what happened either
[14:53]  Zin nods at Creamy. “Aye I believe so… ” He slaps Ghis a little harder on the back. “You wish. In fact,” he inhales the mist lustily. “Some of my finest work,” he whispers in Ghis’s ear. “Wait til you see what I do for Beltaine.”
[14:53]  IM: Vanessssa: it was boring until you showed up (Yeah, I’ll bet. So… what is it you’re after?)
[14:53]  Charlie thinks no ants, but bugs here (Ooh, subtle dig there; we weren’t popular in this sim, because we actually wanted to ROLEPLAY instead of play En Garde and compliment everyone on their outfits)
[14:54]  Daros: You two look alike… are you brothers? Zin says he doesn’t have any brothers. He was hatched.
[14:54]  Verbena: oh honey hold my hand (*blech!*)
[14:54]  Charlie: with pleasure my love (Oh god, pass the sickbag…)
[14:54]  Ghis looks around, then grimaces. “Ah. Your doing, was it? Why does that come as no surprise. And remind me to be a thousand miles away from this place when Beltaine arrives.”
[14:54]  En Garde: Nexus makes a last-second attack from 2 paces and scores a touch!
[14:55]  Verbena: if the bug get up my dress and i have to come out of it no one will notice today (“Ooh, I’m so naughty! Look at me, saying I’ll get all nakey and stuff!”)
[14:55]  En Garde: Next round!
[14:55]  En Garde: Nexus leads 3 to 1
[14:55]  Nessie wonders what isplanned for Beltaine (Then why don’t you just ASK?! Active participation is better than just blandly thinking and wondering all the fucking time. ARGH!)
[14:55]  Creamy blinks as she looks at the two then to Daros: they do look like brothers
[14:55]  Never smiles dreamily at all the lovely ladies (You need a 2×4 across the skull, mate)
[14:55]  Zin: “From a white dragon,” Zin grins at the boy. He raises his eyebrows at Ghis. “I thought you enjoyed a good orgy? Better than paying for it.”
[14:55]  Vanessssa laughs (ARGH!)
[14:56]  En Garde: Mia wins the round based on position!
[14:56]  En Garde: Next round!
[14:56]  En Garde: Nexus leads 3 to 2
[14:56]  Sally slips in quietly
[14:56]  Ghis pats the pouch that hangs from his belt. “Business has been good, you old bastard. I can afford to pay for it.”
[14:56]  Keef: greetings Mine, you made it
[14:56]  Daros frowns. “I know some dragons. What was her name?” He takes everything people say as the truth. He bites into the last bit of his lolli and tries to wipe his hands on his leaves, succeeding in removing nearly all of them.
[14:56]  Creamy offers Daros her lolli
[14:56]  Sally: greetings my Lord -exhales softly, happy to be here finally-
[14:56]  Ghis stares at the boy for a moment, then bursts out laughing. “He’s a fine one, that lad.”
[14:57]  Creamy: Greetings Sally
[14:57]  Zin: “They have no brothels here, alas,” Zin informs. “I’ve got a hut in the forest if you get a hankering though. Or you can use my room at yon castle for your wenching.”
[14:57]  Nessie: Greetings Sally, tis good to see you
[14:57]  En Garde: Both players try a last-second attack and block each other!
[14:57]  En Garde: Nexus wins the round based on position!
[14:57]  En Garde: Next round!
[14:57]  En Garde: Nexus leads 4 to 2
[14:57]  Sally: greetings Lords and ladies… Creamy, Daros
[14:57]  You: “Castle?” Ghis turns back to Zin. “Moved up in the world a little since I last saw you. How did you manage such a fine position?”
[14:57]  Verbena: Mia are you in the game?
[14:58]  Mia: no (mo-no-syl-la-ble)
[14:58]  Verbena: i see (“Ooh, get you. Snotty bitch!”)
[14:58]  Nessie: Enjoying the match Lord Thomas?
[14:58]  Verbena: well with your dress i see why……smiles (Yes, there wasn’t much of it; can’t be tempting the menfolk too much, can we?)
[14:58]  Daros takes the lolli but makes it go poof with a little magic back to his house. “Thank you,” he says. “But I’m getting a tummyache.” He grins at Ghis. “I’m a fine lad!” he repeats, just as the magic shimmers around him.
[14:58]  Thomas: nay, not really lady Nessie
[14:59]  Creamy giggles, looking to Daros in amazement: How did you do that?
[14:59]  Ghis watches the boy, then glances at Zin, wondering just who is this lad’s master. “More of your doing?” he murmurs.
[14:59]  En Garde: Nexus makes a last-second attack from 4 paces and scores a touch!
[14:59]  En Garde: Nexus wins the game!
[14:59]  Verbena: good games
[14:59]  Nessie: I am sorry to hear that M’lord…
[14:59]  Keef: good match
[14:59]  Zin coughs. “Found another fine lad in this village,” he chuckles. “The kind you’d like… repressed, angry, hungry, a little lost, a lot twisted.” He smiles wolfishly. “It was just luck that he was highborn.” (That would be Skell!)
[14:59]  Never: well done
[15:00]  Never: Now Charlie and Thomas
[15:00]  Nexus: The 60 second rule dues keep things interesting.
[15:00]  En Garde HUD: Charlie ready (Version 1.11)
[15:00]  En Garde HUD: Thomas ready (Version 1.11)
[15:00]  Verbena kisses lord Charlie for luck
[15:00]  Keef: the top three get a cash prize, so the remaining are garaunteed winnings
[15:00]  Zin catches that magic shimmer and narrows his eyes. “A fae,” he realizes. Hmmm… blood magic from a fae… he could much with that.
[15:00]  Thomas: pardon me lady Nessie
[15:00]  You: “You always did enjoy warping the vulnerable, Zin,” Ghis mutters.
[15:00]  Never watches Verbena kiss Charlie and gets a grin (and then a stiffy)
[15:00]  En Garde: Charlie joined as Player 2
[15:00]  Never starts looking over the crowsd (He only starts because it’s a slow-motion look!)
[15:00]  En Garde: Thomas joined as Player 1
[15:01]  En Garde: Game starting in 10 seconds!
[15:01]  En Garde: En Garde!
[15:01]  Never saunters over to lady Nessie (“Yo, hottie. Want some of dis?” *grabs crotch*)
[15:01]  Daros frowns at Zin, as if he can hear some of those thoughts. “You be good!” he shakes a finger at Zin. “Or I will turn you into something horrible!”

Pay attention, Dear Reader: THAT is how you ‘mind-read’ in roleplay – when you have a character who could concievably do such a thing (eg: a fae) and you then mention it as a possibility (“…as if he can hear some of those thoughts…”). The kind of mind-reading that I bitch about is when someone thinks something and someone else frowns in response to that thought, when the frowner has no IC mind-reading ability.

[15:01]  Nessie: Did you need something M’lord? (“I thought you’d never ask!”)
[15:02]  Zin laughs aloud. “Will you now?” He nudges Ghis.
[15:02]  Never slides a hand across her back and the other to her opposite shoulder, bending her over backwards he kisses her lips and holds it a moment before standing her back up (“Look! Learn!” The Master Seducer is at work!)
[15:02]  You: “Feisty,” Ghis chuckles. “Don’t get into a war of magic with my cousin, lad. You’d make a very pretty spider, I’m sure of it.”
[15:02]  En Garde: Thomas makes a last-second attack from 1 pace and scores a touch!
[15:03]  En Garde: Next round!
[15:03]  En Garde: Thomas leads 1 to 0
[15:03]  Never smiles dreamily (… and then Master Seducer reveals himself to be a complete sap)
[15:03]  Nessie squeaks at Lord Never in surprise (A squeak? That makes a change from a laugh, I suppose)
[15:03]  Verbena says be well lord Charlie (We dun need no steenkin’ speechmarks!)
[15:03]  Never smiles and waners back to watch the match (You left your d behind, pal. I’m sure Nessie will make good use of it…)
[15:03]  Keef looks back behind him hearing the squeak
[15:04]  Daros: “I make a shiny spider,” Daros shoots back. He frowns and looks suspicious, then stomps his foot at Zin. “You go away! Bad witch!”
[15:04]  Nessie feels dizzy from Lord Never’s Kiss and wonders if he has poisoned here again…he seems to like incapacitating her
[15:04]  Zin’s amused smile vanishes and he makes a grab for the fae. “Come here, you insolent pixie! I’ll rip your wings off!”
[15:05]  Thomas thinks Lord Never needs a dose of Salt peter (It’s saltpeter [saltpetre in the UK], but at least you’ve heard of it. Well done.)
[15:05]  Daros: “Ahhh!” Daros yells, dodging. “Bad witch!” He POOFS his wings out and flutters off. “Bad bad! I will get you!”
[15:05]  En Garde: Thomas has run out of time. Charlie wins the point.
[15:05]  En Garde: Next round!
[15:05]  En Garde: Match is tied at 1 point each.

And, finally, she gets to the point…

[15:05]  IM: Vanessssa: can u do me a favor
[15:05]  : Nessie OOC : what is salt peter Thomas?
[15:06]  Daros: Pooey pooey bad witch! I’m telling my master!
[15:06]  Verbena rolls eyes
[15:06]  You: “Better run, Zin,” Ghis laughs. “Before he turns you into a fluffy bunny rabbit or something. HEY!” He reaches out and grabs Zin’s wrist, then watches as the boy flutters up into the air. “For the love of…” He sighs. “Leave him be. He’s just a boy.”
[15:06]  Sally: ((it promotes err… softness in male anatomy -coughs-))
[15:06]  IM: Vanessssa: well…me and Nessie dont get along and i blieve her and Never are trying to get me offended with the way they are actng…can you make a comment directly towards me….a nice one haha if you dont want too..you dont ahve too

Oh no, honey. You leave me out of your petty little squabbles. I deflected this as politely as I could.

[15:06]  : Nessie OOC : roflol
[15:07]  : Nessie OOC : probably take more than a little, eh?
[15:07]  Creamy: ((lmao, can i administer it then Lord Thomas?))
[15:07]  : Thomas OOC : depends on the size
[15:07]  : Verbena OOC : omg
[15:07]  Zin laughs loudly as the little imp gets away. “That’s no boy,” he says to Ghis, shaking him off. “Or are you eyes are feeble as your sword hand lately.” He looks after where Daros has flown. “I could do much magic with his bones…”
[15:07]  En Garde: Thomas has run out of time. Charlie wins the point.
[15:07]  En Garde: Next round!
[15:07]  En Garde: Charlie leads 2 to 1
[15:08]  Creamy frowns at Zin, over hearing Him: You leave Him be
[15:08]  Nessie eyes Lord Never warily wondering what he is scheming next (wonder wonder wonder. From now on, honey, you’re gonna be called Wonder Woman.)
[15:08]  Never smiles charmingly (MAI PENIZ, YOU CAN’T REZIST IT)
[15:09]  Nessie knows he has something up his sleeve now (You’re right to be wary; guy’s a skeezball…)
[15:09]  En Garde: Next round!
[15:09]  En Garde: Match is tied at 2 points each.
[15:09]  Verbena kisses Charlie when no one looks
[15:10]  Zin grins at Creamy. “Or what? You’ll slap me with a lollipop? What do you want with a fae anyway? Planning on bathing in his blood to make you young forever?”

And there, I’m afraid, is where my five-year-old log cuts off, and I’m not digging through three old backup drives to find where it continues ;-)

So, Dear Reader, spot the actual roleplay (which would be the thing that contains dialogue and plot and suchlike). And remember: this was on a themed occasion in the sim, which was pre-planned as a ‘roleplay event’. What eventually happened was that, if Ghis and Zin hadn’t shown up, the only thing people were doing was blandly reacting to other people while they watched a game. Someone cracks a joke, someone else giggles. Someone wins a game, someone else claps. Someone mentions they feel woozy, someone else makes an innuendo in reponse. Even Daros had very little to work with, but was doing his best to inject some life into the scene before Ghis and Zin showed up. Knowing his roleplay as well as I do, I can tell from his poses that there was nothing at all going on in the scene to interest him; he was hanging on grimly until Ghis showed up.

From memory, the only decent RP scenes I had there were mainly with Daros and Rannon. There was one good scene where we finally managed to involve everyone in the captor plot, and it was actually brilliant. AT LAST people ‘got it’ and everyone was joining in. Poses were tumbling out all over the place in the tavern and I dared to hope that we’d finally struck a spark to enliven things up. And then, during the course of the scene, Zin showed up (as he had to at that point, because the scene was beginning to go round in circles and we wanted to keep it moving forward) and Keef’s instant knee-jerk reaction to Zin’s presence (seriously, he clearly disliked having an evil witch character in the sim that he’d built an evil witch hut in the forest for) saw him ‘hear something dangerous outside’ and go rushing out, followed – one by one over the course of ten minutes – by everyone else.

Zin and I continued for a while on our own, and when we finally exited the tavern… everyone was watching an En Garde game. *sigh* At that moment, we realised that ‘roleplay’ sim was a lost cause.

Analysis

This sim was promoted as a roleplay sim. Like so many other RP sims before it, it began with a few small homes that could be rented (of a necessity, since roleplay sims don’t pay for themselves and the owners need to recoup some costs as best they can), and eventually ended up (I believe) as an entirely rental sim, keeping the period theme. Much of the scenery (castles etc) was removed to make way for more rental homes, and the RP just… fell through. Not that there was much of it to begin with, because this was NOT a roleplay sim; rather it was a themed social sim.

Let’s analyse two separate bits from that log. First, some ‘social roleplay’ from the other players, with our poses removed and commentary attached.

[14:46]  Thomas is happy to see Mia matched against someone other than Never for a change (silent pose) X
[14:47]  Nessie agrees with Lord Thomas…. (silent pose, mind-reading) X
[14:48]  Nexus: Lady Mia, is there a problem? (dialogue, question)
[14:48]  Never: How is my favorite released prisoner this eve? (dialogue, question)
[14:48]  Creamy: Released prissoner? (dialogue, reaction)
[14:49]  Never: nay, my bedroom has been sadly empty (dialogue, reaction)
[14:49]  Vanessssa glances over at Nessie with thoughts going through her mind and giggles to herself (silent pose) X
[14:50]  Vanessssa hears lady Nessie but continues to watch the match, smiling to herself (silent pose, mind-reading) X
[14:50]  Verbena is thinking glad we dont live here (silent pose) X
[14:51]  Keef frowns at Verbena’s thought (silent pose, mind-reading) X
[14:51]  Creamy: I believe we have met before Zin…. in the forest? (dialogue, interaction)
[14:51]  Nessie thinks there isnt much that can be bought here (silent pose) X
[14:51]  Creamy licks her lollipop and stares at the witch with curious eyes… (silent pose, mind-reading – nobody knows he’s a witch) X
[14:53]  Charlie thinks no ants, but bugs here (silent pose) X

So… what is actually happening here? Um, in short, a big, fat NOTHING. This is classic ‘social roleplay’. People are trying to keep it in-theme (note Never’s use of “nay” instead of “no”) but was that interesting for you to read? There is a lot of silent posing (people think a lot here, but won’t actually say what they’re thinking) and there’s a lot of mind-reading (Keef, especially, seems to want Verbena to articulate that thought, but his frustration at wanting to respond but being unable to leaves him posing a silent response, in the form of a frown).

Granted, much of the mind-reading comes from the fact that there are no speechmarks around dialogue, so it’s easy for someone who’s not really paying attention to assume that Thomas is happy to see Mia matched against someone other than Never for a change is Thomas saying, “I’m happy to see Mia matched against someone other than Never, for a change” and respond to it with Nessie agrees with Lord Thomas…. – which, again, could be Nessie saying, “I agree with Thomas”. But that’s not what it is. Those are thoughts. It’s someone thinking something, and someone else agreeing with that thought.

When was the last time someone agreed with something you thought but never actually articulated? Yeah, I’d freak out, too ;-)

Where are the actions? This is dull. Dead. Flat. It’s people sitting around and chatting, as you might sit with your mates in a skybox and natter about a friend’s upcoming rezday party while you sort your inventories together; only they’re trying to keep a vague themed setting.

THIS IS NOT ROLEPLAY!

THIS is roleplay:

[14:47]  Ghis’s gaze shifts to the sparring and he raises an eyebrow. “Army slave, were you?” He doesn’t look down at the boy, merely grins.
[14:47]  Daros nods. “Sort of.” He bites into the candy. “Have you been in the army?”
[14:49]  Zin: Well what have I walked into… a slave market?
[14:49]  You: “Maybe not quite the same army as your master was in,” Ghis murmurs. “I fought for money, lad.” His spine stiffens momentarily.
[14:49]  Daros: “Nuh uh,” Daros says. “It’s a naked party.”
[14:50]  Zin: “You fought for gold, whores, and looting, Ghis,” Zin slaps him on the back. “Shopping, are we? See anything to your liking?”
[14:51]  Ghis tears his gaze away from the sparring and glares at Zin. “Thought I might find you here. All this flesh proved too much for you, eh?”
[14:51]  Daros licks his lolli and thinks the men look dangerous. He backs away a bit.
[14:53]  Zin nods at Creamy. “Aye I believe so… ” He slaps Ghis a little harder on the back. “You wish. In fact,” he inhales the mist lustily. “Some of my finest work,” he whispers in Ghis’s ear. “Wait til you see what I do for Beltaine.”
[14:54]  Daros: You two look alike… are you brothers? Zin says he doesn’t have any brothers. He was hatched.
[14:54]  Ghis looks around, then grimaces. “Ah. Your doing, was it? Why does that come as no surprise. And remind me to be a thousand miles away from this place when Beltaine arrives.”
[14:55]  Zin: “From a white dragon,” Zin grins at the boy. He raises his eyebrows at Ghis. “I thought you enjoyed a good orgy? Better than paying for it.”
[14:56]  Ghis pats the pouch that hangs from his belt. “Business has been good, you old bastard. I can afford to pay for it.”
[14:56]  Daros frowns. “I know some dragons. What was her name?” He takes everything people say as the truth. He bites into the last bit of his lolli and tries to wipe his hands on his leaves, succeeding in removing nearly all of them.
[14:56]  Ghis stares at the boy for a moment, then bursts out laughing. “He’s a fine one, that lad.”
[14:57]  Zin: “They have no brothels here, alas,” Zin informs. “I’ve got a hut in the forest if you get a hankering though. Or you can use my room at yon castle for your wenching.”
[14:57]  You: “Castle?” Ghis turns back to Zin. “Moved up in the world a little since I last saw you. How did you manage such a fine position?”
[14:56]  Creamy offers Daros her lolli
[14:58]  Daros takes the lolli but makes it go poof with a little magic back to his house. “Thank you,” he says. “But I’m getting a tummyache.” He grins at Ghis. “I’m a fine lad!” he repeats, just as the magic shimmers around him.
[14:59]  Ghis watches the boy, then glances at Zin, wondering just who is this lad’s master. “More of your doing?” he murmurs.
[14:59]  Zin coughs. “Found another fine lad in this village,” he chuckles. “The kind you’d like… repressed, angry, hungry, a little lost, a lot twisted.” He smiles wolfishly. “It was just luck that he was highborn.”
[15:00]  Zin catches that magic shimmer and narrows his eyes. “A fae,” he realizes. Hmmm… blood magic from a fae… he could much with that
[15:00]  You: “You always did enjoy warping the vulnerable, Zin,” Ghis mutters.

Dialogue and reaction, yes, but also ACTION. People do things. That reads more like an actual story than the piece above it does, even with the muddled poses that often come with multiple-person roleplay (it can be difficult to respond in a single pose to everything and everyone around you, especially when something else happens that affects you either when you’re mid-pose or you’ve just pasted your pose into chat).

*sigh* I know, I know. I’m just bitchin’ at some people’s idea of having fun. “Leave ’em be, Skell. let ’em do their own thing, their own way.” Yeah, eventually we did. However, looking at it from a true roleplayer’s perspective, so many so-called ‘roleplay’ sims are just this: they’re social sims with a theme. It’s incredibly difficult to find a ‘proper’ roleplay sim, where people believe in story and plot, and when you do find one with hints of that, you throw yourself wholeheartedly into it, praying that you’ll find like-minded people who enjoy weaving stories with you… and then, slowly, the social reveals itself or it creeps in. Hell, even the owners of Venexia recently introduced some drastic changes to the sim, because they realised it had turned into a social sim where people mostly sat in their homes and nattered in group chat. The changes worked: we finally have action in the sim.

Action is what drives every story you’ve ever read and been engrossed by. How many pages of a book containing no action, no conflict, nothing to strive for, nothing actually happening, would you read before you put it down? And action doesn’t have to be fights and raids; action can be simple things. Patting the pouch that hangs at your belt, with a smug grin…? That shows you have money; it’s an open invitation to get robbed! A grimace speaks worlds about your levels of despair and disgust. And doing/saying, rather than thinking/wondering gives other people something to react  to, rather than leaving them hanging and carrying the entire roleplay themselves.

Verdict? This log is dire. The next post in this series will show a log that’s bloody brilliant. Stay tuned ;-)