The Evil Professor Is In. (Anna's Scrapbook)

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The Evil Professor Is In. (Anna's Scrapbook)

Postby Khesas on July 16th, 2013, 3:25 am

Please pardon the intrusion, but I just wanted to say, I liked reading about the discussion here. I fully agree with whats being said, and it brought me to reconsider again, why Khesas is the way he is. Knowing how someone came to be who they are, gets me more emotionally invested in the character, and thus more interested in whats going on with them. With that said, I thank you for your time.
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The Evil Professor Is In. (Anna's Scrapbook)

Postby Annalisa Marin on July 31st, 2013, 12:54 am

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Arrogance and I

My short little vacation away from Mizahar has given me time to think long and hard about certain recent events. I've been told that getting your thoughts out in writing is rather therapeutic, so thus this scrap now exists. This scrap is also going to serve as part apology, part explanation, and part observational analysis, just as a fair warning.

If you have been following The Founder's Public Service Announcements, which you should, you will notice that the most recent one addresses an issue of Grandstanding. As some of you are painfully aware, I was one of those Grandstanders. I was not banned, I was one of those who chose to simply stay out of chat for a couple of months at the very least. My reasoning was that if I am enough of a problem where people are sending complaints to the chat mods and making their lives more difficult that it would be much easier to just avoid chat. I would rather not make a bigger ass of myself than I already did or cause issues for the chat mods, who shouldn't have to put up with my crap, or players who were annoyed by my incessant "memememe". To those and anyone else I offended I give you my deepest apologies.

So that happened and it got me thinking as to how I can properly own up to the problem. You see the problem is rather simple and it deals with my biggest character flaw. I'm arrogant.

Arrogant, prideful, and selfish. I've been that way for quite some time, I wouldn't say I'm a narcissist but then again what narcissist ever admits to being one? I'm certainly not a perfect person by any stretch of the imagination, I'm human and I have a multitude of flaws that come with the package that is me. At the end of the day that certainly does not excuse my actions but it provides an explanation of sorts for it. I'd rather not be thought of as "that guy who annoys everyone in chat for giggles", no no no, that's not the case. If that was the case I would have likely kept going until the mods decided to ban me, being the somewhat sensible person that I am I decided not to do that.

Everyone has flaws, whether they are horribly judgmental, lazy, or naïve. That's just the way people are and that's alright, to a certain point. It is socially acceptable to be flawed, but when those flaws start causing problems for others and its something that happens over and over again then you should really take a step back and think about it. Stop being a selfish jerk and actually show some courtesy, reign in your own problems so they aren't issues for others. That's a part of growing up and being mature.

In a way this little event is something of a learning experience for me going forward, because at the end of the day that is really all you can do. You can mope and analyze over shit for days and days, but the best thing you can do is say lessoned learned, move on and try to correct or check yourself. If you can't then at least have courtesy to remember that there are other people that are affected by your actions, and that they are making judgments based on those actions. Hell, I don't want to be judged based on my flaws but that is what happens when you make dumb decisions.

I had every opportunity to stop, Jules and Bani both warned me. Actually Jules warned me twice, which was more patience than I could ever show. She probably should have just banned me the second time, but she did not and for that she has my eternal gratitude. I should have known better, I'm a staffer for Christ's sake, I'm supposed to obey the rules to the letter and provide an example to others.

In any event that's enough self pity for one scrap, reading back through this I'm already holding back bile at how utterly pathetic this sounds. I'm still going to post it up though, if nothing else than for the apology bit at the top because that is definitely owed.
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The Evil Professor Is In. (Anna's Scrapbook)

Postby Annalisa Marin on August 4th, 2013, 5:03 am

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Rollplaying and Roleplaying

So this has been on my mind for a little while, figured I might as well get my thoughts out just for recording sake. I'm sure this topic has been discussed before somewhere on Mizahar, or addressed in another Scrapbook but I figure I'll get my two cents in. Some of you might be wondering what exactly I'm comparing here, so lets start this scrap off with an example.

You are in your parent's basement/apartment/dungeon, your friends are all ready for tonight's exciting session of D&D/Dark Heresy/Witch Girls Adventures. You have your wizard cap on, your character sheet all ready and up to date for the GM's approval, and a fresh bowl of Cheetos are at the ready.

Its just you, your two friends who will be referred to as Bob and Larry for this example, and the GM. Now then your friend Bob is armed with his trusty calculator and his freshly polished dice that he keeps in a little bag around his neck, already showing off his freshly and strategically placed stats for the GM to view on his CS. His CS contains a tiny backstory and very brief descriptions of current events that effected his character. Larry on the other hand has given the GM a large packet of papers that detail in excruciating detail his character's backstory, accomplishments, and contacts down to Villager number 100 who he saved from being eaten by goblins a few campaigns back. His dice are merely functional and his stats are more fitted to his character's personality rather than for efficiency's sake.

Your CS is average, with more of a backstory than Bob's and better stat placement than Larry. That's right, you get the 'average joe' PC, deal with it.

Bob gets this excited gleam in his eyes early on when he rolls high in a persuasion check. Larry is attentive as an interesting plot twist comes into play, staying as IC as possible, effectively becoming his character with ease. At the end of the session, Bob is squealing delight at his freshly awarded XP and crunching numbers on his calculator and Larry is furiously scribbling down the events of the session. Your PC got stabbed in the gut by a rusty pitchfork by a level one villager, so you have to roll a new CS. Then again, you were wearing a red shirt so its really your own fault.

A Rollplayer is someone like our friend Bob, someone who loves the game play part of an RPG. Rolling dice, building up stats, and crunching numbers are very much his thing, story is usually a secondary objective. Often it is related to a Powergamer but while all powergamers are Rollplayers, not all Rollplayers are powergamers. Some people just have more fun with the mathematical side of RPG's and creating an efficient character. They tend to view the RPG in question as a game first and foremost, a game to be beaten at that.

A Roleplayer focus' more on the story side of the game and will tend to view the mechanical side of the game as an intrusion. They want to see their character grow and can very easily get IC, actors by their nature. While less likely to fall into the trap of powergaming, there are those who insist that the mechanics don't matter and its all about the story. Naturally this mindset can lead to the dreaded Mary Sue, who is universally reviled by GM's. The only solution is either a swift blow to the offending player's skull.

I've encountered both types of Players in my time as well as their respective extremes. I have also been to RP sites that cater to one or the other, Nationstates comes to mind and it fits into the Roleplaying camp. A good example of Rollplaying games would be the D&D 4th edition power system. Yes, I'm a complete nerd, if you have not discovered this yet you should really keep up.

I tend to try and find a blend when I myself am playing, a good mix between a story and mechanics. Dark Heresy has that fairly well, though it depends on your GM really as to how the game will be played. I tend to fall slightly more into the Rollplaying camp than I do into the Roleplaying camp, which is rather surprising to me. I love storytelling to an insane degree, but I like solid mechanics and a fair system that is not easily ignored better. Yes, your stats do matter. No, I'm not going to let you skimp on your intimidation check just because you think your Halfling Bard should be able to stare down the three thousand year old sorcerer king.

I love rolling dice as well as spending XP to get my stats just right for this build on my character. Nothing makes me more happy then having a low level Assassin in Dark Heresy with 60 Weapon skill, duel wield, and ambidextrous at a low rank due to insanely good rolls on Character Creation. Of course getting gunned down by Ork Boyz with piss poor ballistics skill next session kind of puts a damper on that achievement.

So let me get to Mizahar and where it fits in, just in my own opinion. I would say that it definitely focus' much more on the Roleplaying aspect. Mechanics are there most certainly, but some are much more arbitrary and vague than in other RPG's. More emphasis is placed on storytelling here with the stats there to just reflect the growth of your PC IC.

Is that bad? Well, its all a matter of taste really.

Everyone has a different play style when it comes to RPG's, there is no debating that. Even on Mizahar you have those who enjoy seemingly pointless or dull training solos just to get their stats just right. You also get those who focus on building a story and could give less of a crap if a thread awards them XP.

Fortunately the system here seems to scare aware terrible Powergamers or those who pay no mind to the rules put in place mechanically, because it is 'all about the story'. I enjoy looking at a good array of stats and seeing how they make my PC more effective for a wider array of tasks or story opportunities. For instance, when deciding to make Anna I decided to take a few of factors into account. I knew I was going for a wizard, so I looked at the magic list and the skill list to see which abilities complimented each other. From that I was able to get Reimancy and Glyphing, which I both cranked up to competent for more flexible use. The remaining points I had left, because I'll admit that I made Anna human purely for the 15 point allocation in any skill, I placed into a skill that would fit a good occupation. I chose teaching for her job at the University.

Those were the framework I built up from, I started with a strategic compilation of stats and worked my way up from there. Personality and backstory came after, both which I made to fit the wizard psychology with a few minor tweaks here or there. Now others do things differently, stats come after story to reflect what the character has experienced in their life. Both, in my opinion, are perfectly valid means of character creation so long as they avoid either extremes of the spectrum.

Are their things that annoy me about Mizahar as a Rollplayer? Hell yes.

For example, I dislike the amount of trust placed in the player when using magic considering that defining the limits gets a little hazy and chance is difficult to account for.

That's just one of many, however I still respect the system for the freedoms it grants. If I want dice rolling I go to Dark Heresy or D&D, but if I want a fun time with mostly pure story writing? Mizahar is still my first destination. Its the first place I've seen that managed to lean heavily towards Roleplaying and still possess solid enough rules to keep out most elements that ruin the experience.

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The Evil Professor Is In. (Anna's Scrapbook)

Postby Kreig Messer on August 7th, 2013, 12:05 am




For you dear abomination.
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The Evil Professor Is In. (Anna's Scrapbook)

Postby Annalisa Marin on August 7th, 2013, 2:31 am

Oh, Krieg, you certainly know how to bring a smile to my face after popping out eighteen grades in one day. I think I'll start keeping a record here, see if I can't top that score. Yes, I'll start tracking my GPD (Grades per day), trademark, on Eldritch and see if I can't hit twenty or higher next time... it will make grading more like a game in itself! Bwahahaha!
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The Evil Professor Is In. (Anna's Scrapbook)

Postby Kreig Messer on August 7th, 2013, 2:41 am

good to know I helped bring a smile, have a nice day hun.
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The Evil Professor Is In. (Anna's Scrapbook)

Postby Gossamer on August 7th, 2013, 5:06 am

I think I have to disagree with you. I find stats hugely important and will train then mercilessly if I feel the need to. So how do you explain Mizahar being all about the story when one of her primary Founders is a stats girl? The story is important but it's not much without the skills to back it up. Categorizing us as "roleplay v rollplay" offends me because Mizahar is designed to be a balance of both.
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The Evil Professor Is In. (Anna's Scrapbook)

Postby Annalisa Marin on August 7th, 2013, 5:34 am

Hello Goss, did not expect you to comment on the above post so you'll excuse me if I'm a bit caught off guard. And tired as its about 1 AM here.

First off, I apologize if I offended you in anyway that was not my intent by any means. I just tend to make observations about certain things, its just how I tend to see things and the opinions I possess from what I've seen. I can certainly see what you mean by it possessing a balance, stats do indeed play a large roll in your PC. They symbolize mechanical growth as well as character growth.

I look around and it just seems like people are focused on telling a good story more so than grinding up their stats just right. Though, your point about there indeed being a balance calls into question my earlier classification. It could be that both are indeed intertwined with each other in a sense, that the way the stat system is set up encourages story telling more so than the grinding apparent in other systems. Because it of the amount of growth it reflects IC...

Of course! Its brilliant really, I was focused on one or the other that I was not paying mind to the mix. Rather than it just being a numbers crawl the numbers themselves represent the skill and growth of the PC as not just a character but as a person. The trials the person faces when going from Novice to master shape a story in itself, making them one in the same. Not sure why that escaped me during the initial post.

You've given me reason to reevaluate my previous stance, I'll need to look into this a bit further.
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The Evil Professor Is In. (Anna's Scrapbook)

Postby Annalisa Marin on August 7th, 2013, 8:07 pm

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Alright, this topic is going to be off Mizahar for a change and on to something I hold even more dear to my heart, which is my personal writing. If you know anything about me, you'd know I absolutely hate my own writing. I find that I'll set my own standards way too high which can result in creative stagnation. I don't typically have this problem with Mizahar writing, I still hate my own writing but it does not cripple me here.

Personal writing is much different, because its all happening not in a world someone else created but one that I make. Its all me in that instance, everything falls to me when I'm writing my own stories, if the plot is terribad, the world is poorly put together, or the characters are cliché then its my failure as a writer. So naturally I want to do my best, however my idea of best is often different those who read my stories. A friend of mine, who possesses a keen eye for detail and a personality more blunt than the grill of an on coming semi, helps me recognize the flaws but she always compliments my style for possessing a high focus on detail.

Okay so she says, but then I look over my own work and flaws slap me right in the face. Some are those she points out but others are most likely products of my own desire for perfection. I know that nothing is perfect logically, but illogically I want it to be as perfect as I can make it.

Take this idea I had for a magic system for one of my settings, power was determined due to the shifting of certain astral currents. The closer one was to these highways and the more in tune with the lines the more power they could divert from the lines. The power does not come from within but rather requires one to direct the currents of a cosmic force to them and shape it to take the form they so desire. This was one of three possible ways one could actually use magic, the other two involved blood purity and immersing oneself in the essence of magic itself.

So I took this idea to my friend and she loved it, adding suggestions here and there. I get home and start looking over it again and already I'm noticing holes in the idea that are freezing me from actually doing anything with it. Its utterly ridiculous.

This isn't just isolated to settings or mechanics but characters as well. The amount od time I spend painstakingly building a single character and making sure they lack the qualities of a Mary Sue is mind boggling. I don't have issues distancing myself from my characters, I want to see them suffer and struggle and undergo trials that would break lesser people. However, then I start to notice clichés they seem to fall into and the whole thing falls apart from there as over analysis sets in.

I don't lack ideas or motivation, rather its my own stupid desire for perfection that beats me down every single time. I don't believe in a muse, that's just an excuse in my opinion, I'm never absent creativity. There is never an idea I don't want to try or a thought I feel shouldn't make it to paper. The thing is, unless these things are carried out long term these ideas are just that, ideas.

I needed to get that off my chest. I think I'll go grade on my staff account now. That should make me happy. :)
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Postby Annalisa Marin on August 9th, 2013, 10:20 pm

Warning, the following is a rather nitpicky vent and might possess imagery that is both barely coherent and/or violent.

Okay, so I'm a reasonable person, at least I like to think I am. I'm open to other thoughts and opinions, I'm perfectly ready to change my opinion on something when I am proven wrong, and if I have done something wrong I'll be the first to admit it. I think I'm civil, polite, if not a little self absorbed at times.

As such there are very, very, VERY few things that can really set me off on a raging tangent. I recognize that anger is likely to get me nothing in return, nothing but a strained throat and frustration. So I take a couple of deep breaths, calm myself and keep as cool as I can for as long as I can. It doesn't work 100% of the time, I do have limits, but you get my point.

I'm not a grammar Nazi, I know my own sentence structure is far from perfect. However, there is one sure fire way to make me rage. One thing that will likely get me frothing at the mouth if the offense is committed enough.

I'm talking about not capitalizing letters at the beginning of your sentence or for someone's name.

WTF is with that!? Why? Why will you not do something so very easy? Is your shift key somehow broken, because I'll send you one if it will help you out. Do you just not want to put forth the effort to move your pinky over the shift key and press down? Are you trying to give me an aneurism?

This is not limited to the rare occasions I see this on Mizahar, thankfully either spellcheck gets it or they use the shift key. To those that either have spellcheck or use the shift key, you have my eternal gratitude.

When I was in high school, back in the days of about three months ago, I was given the position of Editor in Chief of the Literary Magazine. Was it a fun position? Hell no! I only got it because no one else decided to apply for the 'hard job'. I could handle emo poem after emo poem after Mary Sue self insert story easily enough. The second I got one with no capitalization I nearly tore my hair out and had to resist the urge to swiftly discard it into the almighty trash can. Apparently the High School English teachers were too busy having students memorize Julius Caesar to notice that half their students have the grammatical prowess of a 1st Grader.

I'm not really sure why this of all things is the thing that is guaranteed to set me off in some way, it just is. Its such a tiny and insignificant thing but that somehow just makes the whole thing worse. Like, you don't want to capitalize your letters? Really? Do the basic rules of the English language not apply to you?

What triggered this vent was a friend of a friend sent me something to look over, a bit of fiction they had been working on. I looked over it and noticed that there was pretty much zero capitalization through out a fifty six page draft, even in the character's name.

You know that feeling where your in the dentist chair and their working on your teeth? The one where they weren't able to fully numb your mouth and they are still drilling away at your teeth? That's the feeling I get every single time I see no capitalization at the front of a sentence or a name. So imagine that over a fifty six page draft, yeah not very pleasant.

What I wanted to respond to her with was something like:

"Are you trying to cause my eyes to melt out of my skull? I'm fairly certain this story is hazardous to my health and might cause me to start taking heart medication. It's called a shift key, shall I staple it to your forehead while screaming various obscenities?"

I did not respond like that, thankfully but you get the gist of it. I did have few choice words for my friend though. Gah! That's enough out of me for one week.
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