prev | toc | next

1.6 Role Playing with Argo

The primary purpose of Argo is to facilitate and enliven role-playing by providing challenges and elements of chance. It is designed as a supplement rather than replacement for consensual RP. In a traditional TinyPlot, participants often confer OOC about the overall course the plot should take, improvising their character's specific reactions and contributions to plot events. This is still a perfectly valid option under Argo, provided that the involved parties are in agreement (that is, that the consensual RP really is consensual). Where character's goals are in conflict, or where players prefer elements of chance and the challenge of working against limits, Argo can be used to determine the outcome of contested or unpredictable events.

The Role Playing section of this manual does not attempt to discuss the characteristics of good role play, role play etiquette, role play strategies, etc.; it simply discusses how to use Argo toward these ends.

RP'ing with Argo primarily involves rolls against or demonstration of one's skills and stats while remaining within the boundaries of one's character conception and disadvantages. Most skills are `uncoded'. The programs simply indicate an outcome for the players to respond to and build upon, rather than making the outcome `really' happen. Some skills, however, are coded: successful rolls — and sometimes unsuccessful ones — write changes to the database. A sword blow causes damage to an opponent; using a medical skill or healing spell removes it. Successfully picking a lock can allow a character to use an exit that would normally be locked against him. Successfully picking a pocket causes a quiet transfer of funds; unsuccessfully picking a pocket is not so quiet, and the intended victim may take action against the would-be thief. (Coded skills are discussed in separate sections: Combat, Rumors, Artisan Skills, Thieves' Skills, Medical Skills.)

Monitors will enforce adherence to RP guidelines — including matters such as observing one's disadvantages and abiding by the results of IC rolls — but both players and staff should consistently try to foster a climate in which this is not necessary, and the Monitors can pursue their proper role of facilitating rather than enforcing RP developments. Argo is a game, a MUCK is a virtual world where player's can vicariously experience things they cannot in RL, and a TinyPlot is a shared creative endeavor. Conflict is a healthy component of these, but everyone's participation will be enhanced if the cooperative and creative aspects of online RP are kept in mind and used as guiding values.

prev | toc | top | next