Roleplaying on Cajun Nights
The main purpose of the ‘game’ on a MUSH (unlike a MUD which is primarily to kill robot monsters) is to interact with other players (player characters). Together, players weave the storyline of their own characters into those of other player characters. The main goal of MUSHing is to create ‘quality’ roleplaying situations and scenes. It is not uncommon for these scenes to effect the players in a way in which they feel as if they are very much a part and pattern of the ‘Art of Story Telling’, where players take on a persona, and ‘act out’ that persona, as that character. It is sort of a grown-up version of ‘make believe’. You can check the selections above for more information about Roleplaying, for tips on how to Roleplay (RP) in a MUSH setting.
Roleplaying on the Internet
But there are differences between roleplaying on a mush on the Internet, and roleplaying in a tabletop setting in the real world. The main difference is Direction. Direction of a plot, direction of character actions, and direction of story. On a MUSH, (for the most part), plots (we refer to them as Tiny Plots, or TPs) are player driven. There aren’t any Storyteller/GameMaster to direct the other players through stories and plots, unless the presence of a Storyteller (Judge) is requested by one of the players, to over see the story to make sure things such as combat are resolved fairly. Most players make their own stories. They direct their own character’s actions, and set his or her goals. They also look for other characters to interact with and find stories to be involved in. Players cannot expect the staff or other players to ‘entertain’ them. Not without themselves putting out some kind of effort to involve themselves, and other players. You must go out and look for adventure.
In most tabletop games, the Storyteller/GameMaster creates situations for the players to become involved in, as well the Storyteller also creates problems for the players to solve. On a MUSH, staff is generally involved with the various day to day operations of the MUSH, including overseeing and processing player requests, complaints, mediating, approving new players, as well as organizing MUSH-Wide Events. They do not generally have the time to cater to an individual player to where it seems a full-time occupation keeping them occupied. The players themselves must go looking for, or create their own fun (or trouble).
At Cajun Nights, we encourage players to become their own Storytellers and run stories for others or even become one of our Staff Storytellers, who’s job is, primarily, to run stories (TPs) and judge scenes and play a needed NPC (non-player/permanent character).
Roleplaying on Cajun Nights
The main focus of Cajun Nights, as well with the products and settings of White Wolf’s(tm) Storyteller system is Roleplaying. As such, we feel the best code and building are the backdrop and ‘props’ that promotes quality Roleplaying. If you are not familiar with Roleplaying or Roleplaying MU*s, please don’t be intimidated, as long as you are open-minded, putting out an effort to learn, trying and learning, no one can ask anymore of you.
Roleplaying on a MUSH is be somewhat difficult to describe, but can be compared to writing a novel or a play. On Cajun Nights New Orleans provides the setting, the Players and Staff to work together to provide props and plotlines, and you, the Player, create the characters that react to the setting, props and plotlines set forth.
Your character is an integral part of Cajun Nights, so you should take some care and thought in developing them. Your character need be nothing like you, the Player. He can look different, act differently, even be a different gender than you. Though, playing the opposite sex might be stretch, and others might notice something ‘strange’ or ‘not right’ about your character. Which might not be the desired effect that you are looking for.
Just as you help the other Players to visualize your character with your description, you show them your character’s personality with her speech patterns, and you show them how she feels about them, what they’re saying and the events happening around her by how you pose. That is the essence of Roleplaying. Having your character act and react according to her personality, not yours.
There are many different ways to create and develop a character. Some people start with a basic background with few significant traits and skills, and build from there. Others prefer to detail their character’s family, background history, personality and goals before starting to Roleplay. Additionally, there are still other ways to develop a character. At Cajun Nights, we encourage Players to come with a background, and personality, and a set of goals and desires.
Whichever way you choose, your eventual goal should be a fully-developed and complex character. Please take into consideration that this world is one of drab, gothic, tragedy. Flaws of personality, and character are what make your character more interesting to play, and more interesting to Roleplay with for others. Think about your favorite characters from a book. They probably have flaws as well as strengths, that’s what makes them interesting.
Conversely, if you want to play a bad-guy, villains should be more than just evil. They should have the same well-developed personality and motivations of a “good” character. The characters in the novels are far from black-and-white, they each have their negative and positive points, weaknesses as well as strengths. A complex villain can be one of the most challenging and enjoyable characters to play. We encourage Players to play villains/thugs/criminals whenever the need or mood arises. More experienced Roleplayers, who have carved out a respected niche among the Staff will get the chance to play super power NPCs (Non Player Characters) occasionally. Players are encouraged to take up the role of Storyteller, and run their own plot(s). But, first, the plot should be run by the Roleplaying Staff and you should receive their approval and/or assistance in getting your TP (TinyPlot) off the ground.
Character development is an on-going process. Just as you change and grow and learn as you have different experiences, so can your character. A naive character who starts journeying the world is unlikely to stay naive. An angry character who is shown warmth and love may stop being so angry.
Roleplaying on Cajun Nights should be left up to the Players. If they wish their character to be a gifted but tragic artist who’s all but given up on life then they are the only person to say, and no one should be able to tell them otherwise. Your character is your own possession and no one should be able to what you are doing ‘wrong’ with it. Of course, this is a two way street. If you want to rob someone, and they object, this becomes a problem to be resolved. You have the power and ability to try and mug someone, but they have the power to refuse to become involved in your actions.
There are stories to explore, and experience points to gain, once you’ve just seen a person jump twenty feet up into the air, or crush a gun with his bare hands. You can tell a reporter, (+submit
If the offending party has a character, who is a underworld crime lord, for example, and runs down the street with a shotgun, and blows people away, this should be something that is reported to by both the newspapers, and police. The character’s actions should come to light, if they haven’t tried to suppress them In Character. Mistakes will always be made by characters, and they should be dealt with and Roleplayed to their fullest.
We will not reward Roleplayers who don’t seem to contribute to the game. They don’t do anything, or go off and make flagrant displays of power or in public. We wish to reward good Roleplayers with experience points, or the eventual chance to play a character which holds both power and responsibility.
Please feel free to speak to a wizard or Staff member if you have any questions or comments about this policy, or have some questions about a specific character type or your individual ideas and conception.
Unless you are in someone’s private abode, (i.e. their home, their apartment building), then you have all the right to be in any public place, and no other person can ask you to leave. No other Player has the right to refuse any other Player the ability to Roleplay with them and the people they are with. If you do have a problem with a specific Player, such as you feel that they are too “twinkish”, or too annoying, or they disrupt your story with their intrusions, please make it clear to them, Out of Character. Explain the situation to a Staff member, or a Storyteller. But, please, do not ignore, insult, or chastise other Players that you do not know. Let new people Roleplay with you. If we find there is specific Players, or a troupe of Players that isolate themselves, and do not let other Players join their stories repeatedly, they will be asked to leave the MUSH.
As well, try and help new Players find niches as well as other Players to Roleplay with. Players who are helpful, and are respected will more than likely gain the notice of Staff as well as a positive reputation around the MUSH. This will more than likely lead to advancement in the ranks of In Character development, or the ranks of the Staff.
Conversely, you should make yourself available for Roleplaying for other Players. Don’t seclude yourself in your room every hour you’re logged on, get out to a public area. Other Players will probably notice you’re there and drop by.
Which brings us to the use of the Unfindable Flag, a flag that players can put on themselves, or their rooms so other players can’t tell where they are located on the mush. We on Cajun Nights try to discourage the use of the unfindable flag on players. Unless you have a supernatural or in-character reason to be unfindable, then please do not use the Unfindable Flag.
Additionally, we also suggest that if you wish to make your location unfindable because your in a secret room somewhere, then put the Unfindable Flag on the room, and not yourself. Playing your character out in public, and allowing other players to see where you are, and allowing others to find you promotes roleplaying.
As well, we wish the Players to organize, socialize, and inform the other Players, keeping the MUSH running. There are plenty of ways in which we can do this. Players can post messages on the Global Bulletin Board or the Newspaper, and notify everyone to the fact that they plan to have party or social get together. Masquerade Balls, Parties, Poetry Readings. Whatever you can think of. We want the Players to organize and run events that promote roleplaying, and socializing on Cajun Nights. As well, the Players that organize these gatherings can have something happen, such as a murder, a robbery, whatever they wish. Of course, the Players that attend may have something in mind themselves. Those players that host events will usually be given bonus experience points (XP) for their efforts and involvement.
We also have a IC newspaper that Players can write for, and keep other Players up to date on the social gatherings, recent events, such as a building was burnt to the ground. A museum was broken into. Or a gang stole a number of cars, and drove through the streets of New Orleans at high speeds at night, smashing them up, though no one was apprehended. This is to keep the MUSH and other Players informed of what is going on, and what has currently happened. Explaining what In Characters occurrences or results have stemmed from recent stories and plots. As well, those players who do submit newspaper articles anonymously, or publicly will be given experience points for their efforts as well.
As well, we will have a library and book stores for creative writing types. If you want to submit a poem, or a story. Please, by all means, do so. The books we plan to have on this MUSH you may actually read, instead of pretending to do so.
Non-Player Characters (NPCs)
All Non-Player Characters must be approved by both the wizard who governs over that race and the Head of Roleplaying. All NPCs will start at beginning level unless they are filling a very specific role, with an explanation for their increase in power. There is no need for overly powerful NPCs. NPCs are devices to move plots along, and make the MUSH more enjoyable for the Players.
All NPCs should have justification for not filling their position/purpose or role with a normal Player Character. All NPCs must be marked with an expiration date (no more than 3 Real Life months from their first use) unless they are very minor roles (advisors or other characters just used to pass on information in an In Character manner). Any NPCs that is seen as a threat to the MUSH will be immediately reviewed for purpose. If an NPC has not been approved for a long life span, they will be deactivated after three months unless an extension is granted, no exceptions. Any NPC just filling a position because there are no available PCs, will be subject to expiration immediately upon finding a suitable Player for the role.
The Head of Roleplaying and appropriate Staff reserve the right to extend the “shelf life” of any NPC at their discretion, or to ask for the removal if given just cause. No NPC is to be turned over to a non-Staff member without the express approval of the head of Roleplaying, nor to another member of Staff without notifying the appropriate wizards. NPC stats are subject to modification by the appropriate wizards, and all powers must be justified according to the role of the NPC. Purpose, Staff owner and expiration date must be clearly marked by @comment or Wiznotes. NPCs are subject to periodic review to determine continued need.
The purpose of NPCs is to further the plots and stories of the MUSH, without favoritism or overpowering of Staff owned characters becomes an issue. Everyone playing an NPC should first think about MUSH, and the enjoyment and fairness to it’s Players before they think of their own NPC.