How does one write..?

Physical parameters

POSTED: Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:32 pm

Just as an technical writing question, how does one write physical contact without overstepping bounds and assume direct control of another's character?

For instance, I'm assuming the the following sentence is a breach of etiquette: [insert name] gripped [insert name]'s shoulders and them shook furiously.

The aforementioned example takes the situation out of the other writer's hands (or other grasping appendages. Any literate squid out there?) as far as I've been able to glean from the rules section.

So, how should I write physical contact correctly?

POSTED: Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:25 am

Typically, it will vary betwen partners. You could ask for pp permission from your partner and most people tend to be okay with minor pp after permission is given. Over time frequent rp partners tend to give free range.

You could say something like "Wolf reached out to Coyote, wanting to shake him ferociously by the shoulder" which gives your partner your intent while leaving the event in their hands.

For me personally, this is the type of (mild) pp, if it's really even pp, is pretty fair game as long as the other person doesn't assume that they shook them for a full minute without allowing the person to react. I'm not sure if I'm being clear? XD;
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POSTED: Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:08 am

Gen pretty much nailed it. :> Writing intent rather than direct action is generally safe, and generally very minor powerplay -- e.g., patting a character's back -- is accepted by others.

We address this briefly on the RP Guide:
Most roleplayers are typically okay with minor instances of action and assumption powerplay. For example, if you and your roleplay partner’s characters are taking a walk together and your character takes a left at the fork in the road, it’s probably not a big deal for you to assume that the other character will follow yours.

Sometimes players will make notes like “minor pp, can edit if wrong!” so others will know they’re happy to correct any wrong assumptions they make. If you’re very unsure or if it’s anything beyond a minor assumption of normal behavior, it is better to ask first!

The biggest thing is that if you're not sure, ask first -- and if you added something small, make note of it and leave room for objections. :>

If you have a scene in mind and don't want to break up the flow of writing, conversing with the other player first is a good idea. For instance, "I want Wolf to grab Coyote's shoulder as he walks away, spin him around, and shake him" could be met with either "Oh, Coyote would smack her arm away but you can write that he does!" or "Oh man, great idea, go for it!" And that saves you from ending your post abruptly by writing Wolf's intended actions.

As Gen mentioned, too, different players have different levels of tolerance for certain things. I, personally, don't mind super minor stuff as long as (like Gen said) the character's entire reaction isn't assumed. They might try to break away, snarl, fight, whatever. And it depends on character, too! One of my characters, Skoll, would be fine if a rowdy, amiable stranger was patting him on the back, cuffing his arm, etc. during a funny conversation -- but another of my characters, Pascal, freaks out when strangers touch him, so if the player writing it assumed Pas allowed this constantly, I'd ask them to edit their post.


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