And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

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And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Masterweaver » Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:18 pm

The shop was, as all shops of these kind were, practically unnoticeable.

Its front door was intended to be a sort of baggage storage for waycomers on the tramway, but since few people using this particular station changed trams, it had fallen into disuse. Until one day, when a small sign was placed head height, a sign that read "Doctor A. M. Fizgig's souvenirs and intraworld appliances." Some of the managers had complained, only to find that the emporium was completely legal, if oddly named...

Ever after, curious tram riders would glance its way, one or two occasionally entering. An unusually tall old gentleman with a frizzy, silver ponytail maned the registrar, and would greet them equitably as they looked around at various devices whose purpose was not, at a glance, clear. Once in a blue moon, a brave soul would make a purchase, earning a raised eyebrow and sometimes a cryptic warning. It was only after the customers left, that they'd realize how unusually large the baggage room was.

A carefully observing child once reported seeing a strange woman exit the shop without ever having entered. While this was dismissed as mere creativity, rumors continued to persist about personages emerging from the shop and making a brief stay in the town, then abruptly disappearing. These rumors were only compounded by the citizens that would sometimes enter, never to return. When questioned, the doctor would merely state, "They entered my shop, and then left. To where, I cannot say."

So, the shop persists. And it seems, as you wait for your tram, to be worth a peek.

(Freeform RP, join at any time, no killing other characters!)
Last edited by Masterweaver on Thu Jul 09, 2009 7:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Plasman » Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:53 am

Inside, the shelves of Doctor A. M. Fizgig's shop towered above the average customer. Each ledge held an odd array of objects ranging from the mundane, to the chintz, to the surreal, to the downright dangerous (and probably illegal). The overall effect was like standing inside a maze, built by an collector of avant-garde art sculpture. Or perhaps some sort of vertically aligned museum of the bizarre.

The majority of the product available seemed normal upon a casual glance. And a lot of the items on sale looked the "Souvenir" part. There was a display of glass bottles and tubes filled with multi-coloured sand, small sticks with pinwheels that twirled in the wind, and cute marionette puppets on strings. But what to make of the strange ivory obelisks that fit in the palm of the hand? What to make of the strange cactus-like plants, kept within a glass dome? And what on earth would you do with a small metal bowl, lined with sharp spikes on the inside?

There was an extensive catalogue of books that filled one of the walls. Most of the titles were the type found in your average way-station or airport; mildly engaging fare for the wandering reader. But nestled in between the copies of The Phantom Tollbooth and Sweden on 40 Euro a Day were less mundane titles, such as Maggot Preparation for the Solo Dweller, The Collected Adventures of Araphel (vol. III) and Grow Two to Three Inches in One Year (Without Drugs)!

There would not be anything so gauche as a price tag on any of the objects available for sale. One should know immediately if you could afford such an object, and, even if you didn't think you could, the good doctor at the register is always willing to negotiate.

The only concession to signage within the shop are some small typed notes, pasted and evenly spaced on the shelves. This is an example of one of them:
Customers:
Please Refrain From Breaking
Any Of These Items
Until After Your Purchase



EDIT: not sure if this is what you meant, but it came to mind.
If this last post seems ridiculous, please disregard it. Thank you. ;)
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Masterweaver » Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:04 am

EDIT: not sure if this is what you meant, but it came to mind.


OOC: OOC means out of character, for future reference. While I appreciate and admire the description (is that a Vlax cameo I see?), the primary purpose of a role play is, as the name implies, to play roles. That is, to introduce and control a character into the RP who will have some sort of impact, be it major or minor. You could be a bored lawyer, a twelve-year-old runaway, a heartbroken teen... hey, even just an alley cat wandering in to look for some mice! But you have to be someone (fer instance, I'm the doc) and they have to do something (man the registrar and talk to the customers) because each character is important to the story of a role play as a whole.

So, in conclusion, that was great Plasman, I think we should keep it, but not exactly what I was looking for, no.
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby strange_person » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:19 pm

A humanoid in heavy black boots, all else concealed by a hooded cloak of fuzzy, dull-green material, steps off the tram. After nervously glancing back in forth, as though looking for escape routes or concealed foes rather than taking in the scenery, it enters the store and addresses the man behind the counter.

"Do you sell duocylinders? Optical-quality quartz would be ideal, but anything transparent might work."
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Masterweaver » Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:21 pm

"I believe we have some duocylinders in stock, friend," replies Doctor Fizgig as he rises from his chair. "However, I am unsure as to their composition, and their actual size varies greatly. If you would come with me..."

He walks out from be hind the counter, entering a portion of the shelves that seemed, until just then, to not have had any opening. "Oh, and if any of the civilians enter, I would ask you keep quiet. Your voice would be disturbingly... androgynous to them."
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby strange_person » Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:21 pm

*follows into the back room*

"That's precisely the problem, as it happens. It's not actually my voice, you see... not my regular one, anyway. My translator was corrupted, and when I went to call for replacement parts, I discovered a crack in the scope's primary signaling lens."

*produces a round, fist-sized piece of glass from under the cloak; it shifts slightly in size and shape as it's rotated*

"See? Right through the center."

*points at a tiny flaw in the glass, which reflects distant stars, despite being indoors and the middle of the day*

"So I'm in the rather awkward position of improvising from locally-available materials, and short on currency as well. I've got some antiquities on hand, though, and botanical samples I'd be willing to barter."
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Monocheres » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:11 pm

(The butterfly breeze of the two individuals' passage sets one of the teetering bookcases nearby them to swaying microscopically. High atop the uppermost shelf, a vertiginous stack of century-old leather-bound books (written in various foreign (and alien (and alternate)) languages), begins to lean minutely. A dusty tome, casually tossed on the apex of the pile decades before, such that 49% of its mass lay cantilevered over empty air, at long last makes its millimeter slide to freedom. Once 51% of its weight is unsupported, it tips precariously, ever so slowly, like a cetacean breaching after nautiloid prey. With a groaning creak, it succumbs to gravity and flutters down to the ground, landing on the floor with a soft plop. It lays open to an illustration depicting a one-armed sailor poling a small, two-hulled barque across a river. He is grinning sardonically upon a youthful, noble-born passenger seated in the stern, who gazes wistfully at unseen danger no doubt laying in wait for him on the opposite shore. The caption, in demotic script, says "And you're going just like that? Just to humor the Crown?" Ironically, out of sight beneath the youth's mantle is a royal crown of inestimable value, his desperate mission to exchange it abroad for gold to equip a down-trodden nation unprepared for invasion. Yet, the cheeky boatsman, in his own candidly unassuming way, is as much a patriot.)

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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Plasman » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:25 pm

Oopsie. :blush: Let me try again...

Meanwhile, a man dressed in a business suit stands on the platform, looking anxiously down the line for his tram. He looks down at his wristwatch, then the station clock.
"Damn it!" he yells. "This stupid watch is running slow AGAIN!"
He paces back and forth across the platform. Realising that he has another fifty minutes to wait before the next tram, he resigns himself to seeking out something to pass the time.
While looking for a cafe, he spies a small sign posted above an out-of-the-way passage.
"Hmmm..." he thinks to himself, crossing the threshold. "Souvenirs and Inter-Wurdled Appliances. I wonder if they sell watches? Ones that actually work?"
If this last post seems ridiculous, please disregard it. Thank you. ;)
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Masterweaver » Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:56 am

"Ah, yes. Your translator uses a database conversion system, I assume?" the doctor queries as he bends down to pick up the book. "I believe that you'll find what you need over--"

a small beep is heard from one of the many pockets on his lab/trench coat. "Oh dear. That means one of the natives is here. Feel free to examine the shelves and bring what you need to the desk..." He walks off back the way he came.

To the man, what appeared to be a solid wall of shelves abruptly turned out to open into a hithero unseen passage, as it was clearly impossible for both to exist in the same space. The tall and elderly man, presumably the Doctor Fizgig of the sign,smiled as he dusted off the book in his hands. "Hello, good sir. Is there anything I can do for you?"
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby strange_person » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:47 am

*quietly looks over the shelves in the back room*
*picks out an item about the same size and shape as the cracked duocylindrical lens, but opaque and covered with black tracery*

*mutters* "This would be almost perfect. Pity it's ivory scrimshaw rather than glass."

*considers*

"What kind of a beast would grow four-dimensional ivory, anyway?"

*sets it back on the shelf*
*keeps looking*
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Monocheres » Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:52 pm

As Doctor Fizgig's hands wipe through the thick, half-century-plus coating of dust on the book he is holding, a title (such as it is) gradually reveals itself on the fine leather binding:
ΠΗΝΕΛΟΠΗ ΔΕΛΤΑ wrote:
ΠΑΡΑΜΥΘΙ ΧΩΡΙΣ ΟΝΟΜΑ
Α’ϠΙΑ

His universal translator implant handily renders this as:
PENELOPE DELTA wrote:
TALE WITHOUT A NAME
1911

At the sight of these words, Doctor Fizgig senses a faint, electric (ectoplasmic?) tingling in his fingertips. An ethereal, vaguely female voice seems to whisper in his speech center:
Διαβάσε με...

His universal translator implant (a top-of-the-line unit, after all) renders this as:
Read me...

OOC: This character is a book. As such it is entirely passive, and can do nothing unless someone reads it. Any character in this RP who wants to read any part of this book, may do so by simply providing a narration of what point they are starting and what quantity is being read (sentences, paragraphs, pages, up to perhaps a chapter), and that section will be quoted in response.
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Plasman » Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:17 pm

"I need a new watch, please," said Peter (for that was the businessman's name). He held out his faulty timepiece as a means of explanation. "This one keeps running slow. I just missed my tram to work..."

The doctor took the watch and looked at it intently for a moment. "Hmm. Yes, it does seem to be running slow. Have you had it repaired recently?"
Peter did not answer. He seemed distracted, and was looking somewhere in the aisle behind him. (For a moment, he thought he caught a movement from the corner of his eye, something large and dark...)
"Ahem."
The businessman whirled around again, remembering what he was here for.
"Oh, uh, yes, I did get it looked at by a jeweller last month, but he said it was just a cheap watch and was probably worn out."
"Oh." The doctor studied the watch again. "You know, I might just have a use for this one. Tell you what; I have some new stock in timepieces in Aisle 3, so if you want to exchange your old watch for a new model, just go and pick it out. How does that sound?"

Peter couldn't believe his ears. What a strange idea! He wondered what on earth this Dr. Fizgig (assuming he was the titular doctor) would want with a cheap and faulty old watch.
"Er, okay then," he replied. "Uh, but are you sure about this - "
But the doctor merely waved him away; his attention had shifted to the dusty book sitting open on the counter. Suddenly feeling more awkward - if that had been possible - Peter turned back to the aisles.

"Aisle three... Wristwatches..."
If this last post seems ridiculous, please disregard it. Thank you. ;)
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Masterweaver » Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:41 am

OOC: Plasman, it's generally considered bad form to run another player's character, and is in fact against the rules of many role-playing systems. I will run with it, since Fizgig is in character, but please try to remember this in the future so as not to cause messy altercations.

IC (In character): Having directed the man to the aisle of timekeepers, as he referred to it himself, Doctor Fizgig turned to the book and murmurs, "If you are sapient, tell me your name." He then opens the book at complete random, glancing down towards the left page as he walks back to his current nonhuman customer.

"Perhaps this is what you are looking for?" he asks, reaching out and picking up a purple but otherwise transparent duocylinder.
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby strange_person » Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:15 pm

*Examines the purple lens*

*very softly, so as not to be overheard by the other customer* "It looks like about the right curvature, yes. Not too crazy about that absorption spectrum, but I think I could make it work."

"As to the method of compensation... is there something in particular you're looking for?"
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Monocheres » Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:40 pm

Masterweaver wrote:Doctor Fizgig turned to the book and murmurs, "If you are sapient, tell me your name." He then opens the book at complete random, glancing down towards the left page


Penelope Delta (on page 52, most of the ink faded to sepia tones with age) wrote:“Give me the letter,” the King said with gratitude. “This man at least has royal manners!”

He took the letter, o
pened it, fixed his glasses firmly on his nose, and began to read:

Most magnificent King and nephew:

It was with great joy that I received your news, and learned how things are not going so smoothly in your kingdom. For this appears the ideal occasion to prove myself useful to you by sending you a gift. However, I thought that if I were to send you florins, you would spend them, and they would run out. If I were to send you food, cooked or raw, it would be eaten, and again would run out. If I were to send you clothes, they would wear out. Therefore I am sending you a gift that will remain with you forever, a gift proportionate to your worth, most magnificent King and nephew, such a gift that, as soon as you see it, you will perceive how much esteem I hold for you, and you will understand what import your existence has in the scheme of things.

Your Sovereign Uncle


“There! There’s a true man!” King Nottaclew cried enthusiastically. “There’s a letter written with nobility and good sense! Proportionate—says he—to my worth, did you hear that everyone? So, what are you standing there for, Slycraft you dolt? Why don’t you open the bushel?”

The ch
ancellor cut the strings and uncovered a bundle wrapped up in a red silk kerchief, woven with gold and silver designs.

The red color caught Queen Batty’s eye, who u
p to that moment had remained indifferent to everything.

“Oh, how lovely! How striking!” she said. “You take the gift, milord, and give me the kerchief, so I can make a cap out of it.”

“You may take it, milady,” the King replied magnanimously. “Whatever you wish I now give you. Slycraft, put the bundle on the table. I want to open it myself.”


Penelope Delta (on page 53 facing) wrote:He fixed his crown firmly on his head, wrapped himself grandiosely in his faded mantle and approached the table.

With great care he loosened the knots in the kerchief. A parchment covered the gift, and the King in a thunderous voice read the words that were inscribed on it in gold letters:


If you understand what I signify, it will profit you.


“Have a care!” said the King. “All of you, see how there is a secret meaning enclosed herein. The glory of discovering it has fallen to me. Stand back!”

And with an elaborate flo
urish, he lifted the parchment and uncovered ... the head of an ass, with a tin crown between its pointy ears!

General laughter broke out around the table. Only the King remained
mute, with gaping mouth and bulging eyes. Meanwhile, the Queen snatched the silk kerchief, ran to the mirror, and wrapped it around her hair.

The Prince drew near, and pale as a sheet, looked first at his father and then at the ass’ head. Suddenly, hiding his face in his hands, he leaned against the window sill and broke out weeping.

Amidst the others’ laughter, the King heard his son’s sobbing. He looked around him, his expression abashed.

“Who is crying?” he asked.

His eye fell on the boyish form leaning on the sill. With tot
tering steps the King proceeded to the window and rested his hand gravely on his child’s shoulder.


In a momentary fumble, the slick dust on the cover causes the book to slip from Doctor Fizgig's fingers. It slams onto the floor and the cover snaps shut. The title once again stares up at him:

PENELOPE DELTA wrote:
TALE WITHOUT A NAME


And again, there is an (imagined?) impression of a feminine presence (youthful? wise beyond her years? ageless?). Indulgently smiling.
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Masterweaver » Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:00 pm

"I am a collector of many trinkets," Doctor Fizgig replied. "I obtain them, research them, and sell them. So, if you have anything that I have not seen before, and I don't doubt that there are many things I haven't seen, we might be able to make an arrangement."

The book's cryptic message made him chuckle slightly. The theory of L-space practically guaranteed him access a record stating its name, and that was only using blunt research.

MEANWHILE...

Peter would find that in addition to the more usual wristwatches and clocks, there were a variety of ticking things, something that looked like the child of a fountain and a computer, a few models with free floating orbs slowly spiraling around, what appeared to be a four-winged pigeon...
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Monocheres » Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:21 pm

Little did Doctor Fizgig suspect that his question had already received a straightforward answer -- in fact, several straightforward answers to the several levels in which his question could have been interpreted...

OOC: MW, this is the first I've ever heard of "forum role-play" so I'm still unclear on the rules. Who is in charge of the omniscient narrator perspective? Is there the equivalent of a "DM" or does every participant need to contribute their own portion of omniscience, as I just did? The players are privy to everything omnisciently revealed in this forum, but I assume their characters must be played with only the knowledge and abilities they could have obtained during the game.

For instance, you and Plasman and S_P (and any spectators) have now all seen two pages of PD's prose (which I have translated into English) as well as two illustrations from the 1920's. But within the game, only Doctor Fizgig saw it. Peter the businessman, and the green-cloaked humanoid have not. Moreover, what Doctor Fizgig actually saw was a dialect of demotic Greek from a century ago, which his UT translated for him into ... whatever language he actually thinks in. I assume green-cloak would be able to read it, but it's unlikely that a mundane like Peter could, unless they happen to be fluent in modern Greek -- or they somehow are provided UT technology.

Point of order: I actually screwed up the publication date. 1909 was an important year, and it was probably when she wrote it, but it didn't get published until 1911. So I've corrected the post above.
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Masterweaver » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:37 pm

Monocheres wrote:OOC: MW, this is the first I've ever heard of "forum role-play" so I'm still unclear on the rules. Who is in charge of the omniscient narrator perspective? Is there the equivalent of a "DM" or does every participant need to contribute their own portion of omniscience, as I just did? The players are privy to everything omnisciently revealed in this forum, but I assume their characters must be played with only the knowledge and abilities they could have obtained during the game.


OOC: As creator of the role-play, I set the rules and attempt to provide an engaging atmosphere from the first post. This makes me the unofficial DM. However, I specifically said freeform, so while I'm also somewhat justified in describing the setting, as I play the shop owner, this is technically even powers for all players.

In general, however, there are certain conventions: Do not play another player's character, do not kill (unless it's that kind of game), if you're in a fight say "He punched at X" and let the target decide whether they are hit, etc. Basically, it's the simple idea that each character is a soverign entity in itself.

Having OOC knowledge and acting on it is referred to as metagaming, and in a Role Play it's a bad practice. You can spy on other characters far away if you can justify it, but Peter suddenly knowing that the book's name is chevorlett would be an extremely random in-world event. So yes, please try to stay in character.

And this is really the first time you've heard of a forum RP? Where exactly have you been hanging out? They're, like, everywhere! Like Smilies! Only cuter!
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Monocheres » Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:18 am

As Peter passes aisle 2 on his way to aisle 3, a glint catches the corner of his eye for an instant, but when he involuntarily glances that way, all he sees is a poorly-lit set of racks containing what appear to be rather typical stuffed animal heads, mounted as hunter's trophies. It's difficult to tell because of all the shadows, but there seems to be a bison, a moose, a 10-point buck, a donkey, an elk ... wait, a donkey? And something shiny?

OOC: Okay, I'm just trying to play the role of the distraction here. It's up to Plasman what Peter's reaction would be. Hope this doesn't violate the rules. MW, you did imply that we might have some license regarding the contents of the shop*, and that characters could have certain ... um, remote capabilities. Don't worry though. As I hope will become clear, I'm adhering to certain self-limiting constraints. :mrgreen:

* EDIT: MW, if the above is wrong, please correct me. I assume that if we ever take such liberties, they would have to have some direct relevance to our character's actions, be plausible within the premise of a souvenir and gadget shop of almost infinite capacity, and not directly contradict any specific descriptions from you or any other player (who has your sanction).
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Re: And becuase I haven't seen a Forum RP yet...

Postby Plasman » Wed Jul 15, 2009 3:03 am

OOC: Can you tell we're a little new at this? :blush: Though it's a little disorienting, I think I'm getting the point now. It might work a little better if we set some basic guidelines early now (as we are in fact doing), but all in all, we should remember that this is merely FUN, not WAR. Unless of course it does turn into war, in which case Monocheres is kinda stuck. ;]
Oh, and apologies for hijacking Dr. Fizgig! I tried to keep him in character, I just didn't realise it was against the rules. Won't happen again.


When he (eventually) found the right section of Aisle 3, Peter was stunned.
"Uhm..." he said, as he gazed at the strange array of objects. Some of the clocks looked completely unlike any timepiece (or anything else) he had ever seen before. One of them appeared to be made of balls that floated around an obelisk; he prodded one of the spheres with a finger to see what held it up, but it just moved back into its place when he let go.
He carefully picked up a small glassy cube edged with silver metal. It appeared to be some kind of three-dimensional clock; within it, he could see a number of illuminated lines, pointing in several directions and slowly turning around from the centre of the cube.
"How on earth does this even work?" he thought to himself. "It doesn't even have a battery compartment!" He carefully placed it back on the shelf. "Well, these aren't much use to me... Ah! There's the watches!"

He picked up a wristwatch that looked perfectly fine at first glance - but when Peter took a closer look at the face, he saw it had a fourth hand along with the familiar three (being the hour, minute and second hands).
"Four hands? What the heck is the fourth hand for?" He turned back toward the front counter. "Well, I know the best way to find out..."
If this last post seems ridiculous, please disregard it. Thank you. ;)
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