Sunday, December 30, 2012

Costuming a New Character

A fun and rather lighthearted question for a blustery day...

I'm interested in the problem of costuming a new character-- especially a new player character. For me, costuming a player character is often more difficult as, beyond budgetary concerns, the costuming ultimately has to be functional and weather-appropriate. (A winter cloak, for instance, may look great, but is inappropriate for an unseasonably hot autumn day.) A corset, for instance, might be really beautiful, but it also needs to withstand line fights and long stretches of continual wear. (Hats and boots fall into a similar category.)

How do people set about costuming a new character? Where do you go for inspiration? How do you start purchasing and/or making things? What sort of things do you think are absolutely necessary to acquire for a starting event? Similarly, if you have a limited budget, how do you throw together distinctive and effective costuming (this is especially useful for NPCs)? I know a lot of my readers have large costume bases, so I'm interested in costuming from different perspectives. How do you create a good costume from a lot of wardrobe? How do you create one from a more limited wardrobe?

A Happy New Year to everyone!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Artwork: Remi and Esme 2012

Artwork by Zoe

And now for some artwork that were holiday presents this year: Esme and Remi, my Madrigal PC and my husband's. They were completed in an hour or two last night with watercolors bought in Japan (and forgotten about until 24 hours ago).

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

On Surprising Staff

A submission from JJ!

So every now and then, the staff I'm on runs into a situation where a player decides that they really want to surprise staff with something.  And by surprise, I mean they want to surprise people OOG, not surprise some character that is played by a staff member.  It doesn't come up all that often, but when it does, it usually generates a fair amount of discussion among staff about how to handle the situation.  Here's the general feeling I've gotten from most of the people I've worked with.

Surprising staff is totally ok if: you are mostly trying to get a fun emotional response from the staff character.  Surprise! confessions of love/hatred, surprising them with a meal to cheer them up, anything that isn't supposed to have any effect other than generating some sort of emotional response from the staff character is cool, and tons of fun.

When it is not so awesome: if you're trying to get the staff character to drop information or actually jumping them with spells and weapons.  I understand the desire for an 'authentic' surprise response, but really, if you want to surprise the staff character into dropping information, it's WAY more likely to succeed if the staff member actually has time to figure out what information they should know to drop.  We try to build really well-rounded characters and to be briefed on as much as we can, but the sad truth is that I don't know everything that all my characters know, and if you happen to hit a topic that I am not OOG briefed on, then you're going to get a shocked exclamation, but no actual information on where my minion hid the liche's bottle.  Which is disappointing for everyone, both the player who set the whole thing up, and the staff member who'd probably *like* to reward the player for setting things up and get out information on their plotline.

Any thoughts on that?