Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Play-By-Post Challenges, Part Two

The Thinker... Effective communication is an important skill to have. Effective USE of your communication skills is even MORE important! In a Play-by-Post game, if your character knows or hears something, you shouldn't assume everyone else knows and hears the same thing; you need to communicate that information to the rest of the group. If only you can read the warning sign scrawled on a door in goblinese, you'd better tell everyone else in the party before someone opens the door! And, no matter how well you write it, you can't assume everyone else will pick up on the facial expressions you describe.

[The party was introduced to a new player in an unusual manner... Groin pulled a jeweled dagger from the ribcage of a skeleton and everyone watched in awe as it slowly re-formed muscle, sinew, and flesh back into a living person, Tantrum Half-Wit. It seems, however, that his tongue did not fully form...]
Groin: "... and I'm Groin Ballsmasher. Your acquaintance is well-met!"

Tantrum: As Groin speaks, Tantrum Half-Wit stares at him in a manner that suggests he is questioning his value as a person, or at the very least attempting to determine if he is lying or not. Finally, he says, "Very well. I am Tantrum, of..." the half-elf trails off, his eyebrows furrowing and his eyes squinting. A couple of seconds later, he seems to shrug whatever it was off.

Groin: "Right... er... well, if you're going to journey with us, you'd best be armed!" Groin gives Tantrum the short sword, bow, and quiver of arrows they pulled off the dead goblin. Groin then resumes his examination of the door, looking for traps.

Tantrum: Tantrum Half-Wit watches Groin's antics as if astonished by a perceived recklessness. However, the half-elf says nothing, simply hefting his new- and quite horribly made- weapons and angling them towards the door.

[Opening the aforementioned door produces a raging tide of rats the party must fight!]
Tantrum: As the tentatively titled 'battle' begins, Tantrum Half-Wit slightly lowers his newly acquired bow and, while still maintaining a ready stance, eyes the scene before him with a sort of incredulous look. Nevertheless, while the rats may be enough to keep the others occupied, he will make sure to keep an eye out on the halfling that brought them into the room. After all, behind every distraction lies the true threat.

Dodo: "I hope dem ratsies don't overruns us, Meester Groin! Shouldsa we retrit?"

Tantrum: Tantrum Half-Wit scrunches an eyebrow in something akin to disbelief at the mention of retreat. He then nods and turns his gaze back to the newcomer. "There seems to be little to retreat from. Nevertheless, I must agree that stepping back and approaching the situation with more grace is certainly a good path to take."

[Dodo drinks from the magical fountain that was in the room the rats inhabited. The ensuing uncontrollable laughter doesn't quite drown out the moaning the party can hear coming from an unopened door...]
Tantrum: Tantrum begins to seriously question accompanying anyone who would drink out of a random underground fountain without the need to do so. Tantrum seems unaffected by the moan. Indeed, it seems to trigger a tickling in the back of his mind... like a memory eager to surface. Tantrum, driven by the curiosity to discover more of himself, moves closer to the door, standing about 8 feet away from it, focusing himself to see if he can hear anything else from behind the door with his sensitive half-elven hearing.

[Two zombies burst into the fountain room and the party hacks them to pieces. Groin spies an interesting brass buckle on one of the zombies, cuts it free, and tosses it to Tantrum to see if he recognizes it.]
Tantrum: Tantrum casually raises his left arm as if beginning a wave, and catches the buckle upon his palm. Tantrum glances at the amulet, only to feel a flush come upon him. For a moment, Tantrum was certain memory was coming back to him. Nothing more happened, however. Tantrum bit the inside of his lip, his only expression of his frustration. Coolly, Tantrum turned back to Groin, holding the buckle out. "It means nothing to me."

DM: Upon further examination of the door at the end of the hallway, Bore'me spots a silver arrowhead imbedded in it.

Bore'me: I pull out the arrowhead and examine it.

Tantrum: Tantrum notices the glint of a silver arrowhead. Tantrum watches it spin around in Bore'me's hands. Then, the whirling of silver fills Tantrum's sight, and his vision blurs.

Arrows fill the air. A hand- smooth, thin definitely elven- hands him a silver arrow. Without thought or hesitation Tantrum nocks it and turns to face the...

With a painful pulse the recollection ends, leaving Tantrum unsteady on his feet. Looking around, Tantrum is glad that the others in front of him are still intent on the doorway and haven't noticed the event. Feeling a prickling on his neck, Tantrum tilts his head to look behind him. Raisin returns his gaze with what seems to be concern. Tantrum gives the slightest of grimaces and then turns back to face the door.

Groin: "Right... er... well, I say we head back the way we came. There doesn't appear to be anything but undead in this direction and we're supposed to be hunting goblins. We shouldn't get distracted from our goal!"

Tantrum: Tantrum Half-Wit rubs his cheek in absent contemplation, then follows the others. At Groin's declaration to return the way they had come, Tantrum gives a slight frown. As he had returned from the dead, it stands to reason that death holds the answer to his questions.

Groin: ... Groin looks at Tantrum and says, "You don't say much, do you?"

Tantrum: Tantrum Half-wit wonders to himself how he ever got mixed up with these bumbling low-class fools in the first place.

Groin: Groin wonders to himself why he ever pulled that accursed jeweled dagger out from between the damned skeleton's ribs in the first place... and then seriously considers putting it back.

1 comment:

  1. That one went a little long, but in this case, most of the posts by Tantrum were verbatim. That was also the bulk of his posts over a period of more than a month - I only left out two short stances of actual speaking dialog.

    Should characters have internal dialog? Yes, absolutely, of course they should! The Grue has internal dialogs all the time! It is good for your own personal character development and generates more creativity.

    In that way, it is similar to character development through background story. But you have to temper the internal dialog with external dialog if you want your character to develop and grow with the rest of the party!