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Art Specialities

I think this has been suggested before, but I can't find the board post. I think it'd be worth having Artistry specialties, wherein one has the option to boost one art discipline at the expense of the others. My suggestion would be to divide it into Performance, Tailoring, and Canvases/Tattoos. Hopefully it will encourage a little bit of diversity and let artists get into the field they really want to get into faster. Also, while knowing nothing about code, it seems like it would be relatively simple to implement: we already have similar things for combat.
TBH tailoring should be a new skill, it's disproportionately used in comparison with other applications of artistry.

I've also heard several times that you're supposed to "choose" three artistry specialties and thematically stick to them. Just like in martial arts, it's coded. I think the same could apply to artistry; make you choose specialties which show up as perks in @stats or something?

If tailoring ever moved to its own skill, the other two would have to be a lot more useful and versatile. As is, painting and performing are neat, but they're much narrower niches than tailoring, especially when you consider future possibilities like armored materials, disguises, and state-changing clothing.
I proposed this months ago. It's not a priority but it 's do-able and more fitting for a higher community population. It's on the table but buried under a pile of things like Grid 3.0, Drugs 2.0, Cybernetics 2.0, etc.
What would be some ideas about how to enforce a specialization for performance? Because, currently, performance isn't coded. It's just RP.
I'd also like for this thread to include specifically why the changes proposed are desired. What exactly are the complaints about e undifferentiated art skill?
You could make a command just for performing that makes a global message show up depending on the skill roll of the user. So for example, a shit stripper could perform [insert paragraph here] and the message would be . o O ( You think to yourself, This is really awful) or an NLM star could perform and the message would be . o O ( This is amazing! ) Additionally, for places with stages, the 'On the stage' command could garner automated reactions from the crowd in much the same way.
I really hate that idea.
I don't think forcing a coded response to someone's performance is a good idea. Taste varies by person, and that doesn't even bring into account your opinion of the performer themselves.

It's still up to the player to react however the fuck they want, but even if you hate juggling for example, you can still tell the difference between an amateur juggler and a ball-tossing master. Even if you hate opera, off-pitch opera is even WORSE. This is just a way to -codedly- recognize quality even if you don't actually like the performance.
This is an RPI, I'd much rather people were policing themselves. And no, not everybody can recognise actual quality. Additionally with thought being IC, I think placing thoughts into peoples' heads is a pretty hamfisted approach.

That said, I'm not necessarily supportive of breaking up the more generalised Artistry skill at all. I don't think it is nearly as big as a problem as has been said, whereas I can think of times where we had a much smaller playerbase and far more 'general' artists. I'm never going to be for approaches that mitigate players policing themselves in RP heavy roles like performance.

The community already polices itself in this respect in that there are -plenty- of characters who will seek out characters who specialise themselves in a specific form of art above the others.

Nobody has actually said there's a problem. Just that this is an idea. I'm still interested in "why".
With the players not knowing the exactness of the code they're working with, self-policing isn't an option. With how stats work, it's impossible to know exactly how good you are when it comes to performance. If you want to roleplay not recognizing quality or hating a certain kind of performance, be my guest. The prompts don't force actions, they just suggest thoughts. It's a tool for the audience to use or not use at their discretion.
There is still such a thing as objectively good and objectively bad in comparison to other things of the same nature. That's why art object value is based on skill. The option is there to ballpark what something's worth with inspect, but it's entirely up to the player how to react to it.
bean_dip: It's kind of immersion breaking seeing characters do the full package of artistry work on their own, and if the code can help encourage specialization I'm all for it. I'll be happy when I can be sure the expensive tattoo artist I hire isn't just a tailor who got bored and bought the gun.

Performance seems to be a particular lightning-rod, which is a little odd because it's the single area of artistry for which there's not a prayer of enhancing with skill-aware code.


There has to be more to it than that. Look at the volume of messages this idea and its sister in the other thread has triggered.

I think the focus should be style, which isn't easily quantifiable by code, rather than some specific type of mechanical artistry usage.

In all my Artistry, I've always stuck to very particular themes across tailoring/tattooing/painting/etc and turn down jobs that don't fit within those perimeters.

The same way that if you're "specializing" in super Mixer/Punk/Voodoo art, you shouldn't be able to whip up ultra-fashion/post-modern suits, and vice versa.

So far, I haven't seen many cases of this, but I think most of the prolific PC artists and even the NPC ones keep to a certain theme about themselves and reflect that in what they do. I think the real issue is jack-of-all-trades artists who aren't limiting themselves to a motif is the real issue here.

I think the real issue is jack-of-all-trades artists who aren't limiting themselves to a motif is the real issue here.

Is the real issue here is the real issue here is the real issue here.

Fuck me.

Nobody has explained why that's an issue. Other than "immersion breaking".

Yeah, I've seen Artists who dabble in all the arts in a totally fitting and immersive way that doesn't tread on other peoples' RP.

And I don't even think the 'true' jack-of-all-trades who don't limit themselves whatsoever are even problems. Because if I'm playing a discerning character I RP accordingly to get an Artist that fits my needs.

Similarly, why would you be concerned about hiring a tailor who 'just got bored and picked up the gun one day' for a tattoo? It's easy to figure out whose-who and who does what through... RP.

I don't really get it either.

This and the adjoining thread feel like a solution looking for a problem. If someone is overextending themself or acting like they have higher skills than they do, staff will bop them for it IC.

Adding "performance" into the help text for artistry might be a good idea, though.

There's nothing inherently immersion breaking in an artist who is a complete generalist, frankly.

Those who aren't don't need coded reinforcement, because we roleplay.

OOC-Chat comments like "How is the player supposed to know how much skill or charisma their character has, so that they can RP a performance appropriately?" just make me boggle.

The goal is to be able to play a one-skill artist without feeling like I'm wasting UE, and for amateur artists to have at least one thing they're good at. Also, if I invest in Artistry but RP not being able to tailor or perform, I feel like two thirds of my valuable points are being wasted in comparison to other people who don't limit themselves. Does that make sense?
No, it frankly doesn't.

Specialist artists an incredibly important commodity IC.

If you're specialising and feel muscled out by generalists, or that you're less valuable, you have an IC issue, be it branding or otherwise just not networking as well as you could.

Two words.



If artistry were split into multiple categories everyone would complain that nothing's worth nearly as much as tailoring and thus the tailoring skill would be unfair in comparison. Even at the most base level mechanical level, I just don't see the need for it to be split.

If people are playing wildly above their talent, they should probably get bopped. There is a case for players who simply don't know how good 'good' is because they don't know the extent of the stats and skills systems, but if we apply that to performance I'd much rather read something someone really put time and thought into to make something cool and interesting to watch than some routine performance where we're supposed to think they're super great because they rolled high even though it's just like, copy pastes of a Beyonce video or something.

There's also the issue of varying types of performance which would call upon different skills/stats that wouldn't be represented by a static Performance+Charisma check or something. I'd expect someone doing a high flying act to be agile, someone doing kata to know their martial arts, someone putting on a display of their body to really have the looks for it, so on and so forth. Would these things suddenly require points invested in a Performance skill in addition to what's already required just because they're doing it in front of a crowd? It's not like we're generating 6d8x10 gold pieces every time we make a check here, we're just playing in the bounds of our characters and doing cool stuff.

It can be tough not to stretch a little far, especially for newer players who figure X amount is actually pretty high up when in reality there's much, much more UE to be spent. But is this really such a widespread issue to need some robotic solution?

I've been confused since I started playing, actually, as to why artistry isn't divided the same way martial arts is- you pick one thing you specialize in, and if you get good enough at artistry, you can pick up more things, and there's an oddball here and there that just goes off your artistry in general regardless of your specialization.

I can see some of the logic being thrown around here, and while it's true that a lot of "artsy" people dabble in multiple things, the artistry skills in Sindome are mostly very different things. Most tattooists in the real world are going to be comfortable with drawing, but -painting- uses different tools and techniques that might be alien to them. And the inverse is also true- you can be super comfortable with paintbrushes and not at all comfortable with putting needles in people- the fact that your canvas squirms and bleeds might be an issue. And learning other artistic avenues, like tailoring, is another thing entirely.

The tl:dr is that "artsy stuff" isn't a single umbrella and dividing it isn't needlessly complicated. If we're going to break down martial arts by style, I agree that breaking down artistic endeavors by type is at least worth a look.

I'm glad I asked for the reason for the idea. I actually do remember a time a few years ago when there were some very vocal players complaining a lot about other people's artistry RP. I wanted to see if this week's ideas were similar to the attitudes I heard about back then.

So, people think that if they were to - possibly hypothetically, possibly for real - choose to RP only a subset of the in-character Artistry possibilities, coded or otherwise, then there would be other players who will get more out of spending UE in that skill.

As if it were unfair that someone else gets tattooing, painting, tailoring, dyeing, and vehicle customization for free, when all I want my character to be involved with is performance for the same amount of UE.


But it's not unfair. I don't think it's any lesser, just different.

Hell, I have probably been on the other side of the fence in the past, but I've had a lot of time to approach the game and reevaluate my feelings on things, and I strictly think there's no need to break up Artistry.

Neverminding whether there even are possibilities for art specialization code, and whether there's some way (I know this is totally laughable but bear with me) to have coded skillchecks somehow influence the descriptions artists write, the poses performers pose, or the words poets rhyme, neverminding all of that, there are really good reasons why artistry doesn't need anything remotely like what we have for combat.

You have to have an absolutely objective winner and loser in a fight. Art is just different. Think about it.

As a real life artsy person who draws, paints, sews, sings, acts, and pretty much does a half decent job at any artistic endeavor she sets her mind to, generalist artists just make sense to me.

I'm not the best in the world at everything I set my mind to doing, but I do a decent job of it. So -forcing- someone to specialize doesn't make much sense to me from a realistic standpoint. However, I wouldn't object to having it as an option.

What art DOES need is gatekeeping. Tailoring has a low enough barrier to entry that pretty much anybody can do it as a side gig without compromising their main skillset. The tailors that are good or great, of course, build reputations with RP while other people are content to just make their own clothes, but the latter is really the case for it. We want interaction, not self-sufficiency. And your one artist friend shouldn't be the single person you go to for every clothing item, tattoo, and painting you want unless they've REALLY built an empire around it.
As I've said, there's nothing 'immersion breaking' about dabblers-in-all, but dabblers-in-all are looked at differently IC.

The game polices itself in this regard.

You make a really good point, Taoimean. The players of artist characters are using coded mechanics to support an RP choice.

I'll add to it: The code shouldn't get in the way of that RP.

When we do anything artistic in the game, we're giving other players our best RP. That's our text which their characters are going to bear on their skin, wear on their backs, or view on the in-character broadcast media. I agree that it's both appropriate and sporting to try to include in that text some hints about what my character's actual experience and aptitude levels are as of the moment in time he creates a given piece, but that's my RP.

I don't judge other players' RP choices, and I don't judge other players' OOC talent for composing text. They're not "doing it wrong" if their RP represents their inexperienced, unintelligent character giving it their all, and maybe moving our characters' emotions and tastes as a result. And they're not expected to have the same real-life talent, when they roleplay their brilliant, beautiful seasoned professional producing a sublime work which just might deeply touch their patrons' hearts and souls.

You can't code for that. Well, maybe you could, but it wouldn't be Sindome. I don't know what it would be. It wouldn't be a RP game.

I think we all agree that, sure, it's good gameplay if a player can humble himself and put mediocrity into his RP when he knows he has a mediocre PC. But that's not at all to say that it's unfair, bad sport, cheating, or inadequate game code if a player "gets away with" typing text into the MOO which someone else thinks is too good for their character.

Performance is a special case (which we have another thread for discussing), but the rest of the coded artistry options have in-character outcomes which do make the skill rolls matter. And performance isn't un-influenced by UE either: Many have been the times GMs have given or withheld praise, rewards or opportunities based on an art character's stats and skills. Good enough?

What art DOES need is gatekeeping.

Already in place. Staff are on top of Artistry in general, because people make things they're not supposed to. But that's the price of all the freedom to create what you want. Which is vastly important, as bean_dip underlined in his own post. Freedom to actually apply the creativity behind the fourth wall.

There's nothing necessarily complicated about splitting artistry. It's making it exactly as complicated as the rest of the game, which isn't very. No weird new mechanics. Just the code we have now, except tailoring, tattooing/painting and performing aren't all combined into one big thing. A generalist would have to balance where they're putting their UE like a character might do with Auto Tech and Aero Tech. I don't think that's unreasonable.

We're just retreading ground now.

And Artistry is in absolutely NO WAY similar to Martial Arts or Tech Skills.

bean_dip, I was wondering if you could explain what you meant by this comment in greater detail:

OOC-Chat comments like "How is the player supposed to know how much skill or charisma their character has, so that they can RP a performance appropriately?" just make me boggle.

Honestly I feel challenged with this myself but is seems that seasoned players find it silly. Why is that?

Well, one of the reasons is because I really feel like ALL you have to know is that you ARE putting UE into the skill and stats.

As long as you know you're doing it, knock yourself out, give it your all, RP your best RP.

The other reason is that roleplaying a performance isn't easy, on an OOC level. There is NO reason to make it harder by making players feel like they might "do it wrong".

As long as you can feel like your efforts are honest ones, and you're not trying to "get away" with something, let this go and just focus on playing the game and posing your heart out.

But like I said, be honest with yourself. If you genuinely feel like you haven't been working on building the kind of character who should be able to put on the kind of performance you're putting them through, throw some flubs or some stage-fright into it. Show US how good you think your character is, don't imagine that players are going to criticize you for "doing it wrong".

And don't worry about the numbers. Just worry about sincerity.

Staff will nudge you, IC or OOC, if they feel you are RPing beyond your stats.
Thanks for explaining bean_dip. That helps a lot.
Good thread.

And my thoughts are instead of separating Artistry out, don't be a professional at every art under the sun. I can see a rare character who has trained since they were a kid to be good in several areas, or several instruments but though this is a game, do try to not go overboard.

And those who are good in 1 or 2 things may only be okay at another.

Main thing is to have fun.

Yes, a good rule of thumb is to choose a couple things art-wise to be able to do. Maybe 3. Possibly 4 (Like some actors can do).

I'm not a painter but I play one on TV.
-- --

Just some thoughts:

Professional tailors in real life may be able to dance a little but not to the same level as Professional dancers. They didn't have the same years of practice / level of training. They can still dance at charity balls, maybe, but won't even consider putting on a performance.

Not all musicians are lead vocalists.

Not all painters can sing or dance although they might carry a beat and sing off key and aren't absolutely awful.

Some are actors and can sing and dance on top acting. Some can even play an instrument or two on top of that but can't necessarily write their own music.

(Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Hugh Jackman. Kevin Bacon and Gary Sinese can do these plus make their own music for their bands.)

Some standup comedians are singers and can play the piano. Some can only do standup and act.

Some artists are actually writers and can't sing or dance or paint. Maybe they can draw a little but not at the same level. (Comic books usually have different writers and drawers, and also someone else who is the inker and another for the coloring.)

Some tattoo artists are good at tattooing but only okay at drawing. Some are really good at drawing. Just don't ask them to sing or sew.

Just RP and have fun.

(And yes, you will likely be told if your skill hasn't even reached Average to write worse, and to then think of how to make poems and art worse can be funny and interesting to RP.)

haha, nice one bean_dip.
I'm not going to read through all of this but the point of codifying specialties is to remind a player that it's kinda unsightly to be a painter, a singer, a tattoo artist, and everything else under the sun when it comes to the possibilities of artistry skill.

We have a hard time with Artistry players earning money and this is because everyone does everything.

A specialty would encourage you to stay within your wheelhouse and give other players an indicator as to what void needs to be filled when they get involved in Artistry.

I don't want to get a new suit, a tattoo, and song written about me, and the guitar / drums/ piano played for me by the same person. It starts to make that terrible small world RP thing rear it's ugly head.

A specialization makes sense. (Or even two.)

A separate skill to me didn't. (That's also due to me being used to the current no separation of sub-skills within it.)

Everyone with the artistry skill able at doing everything doesn't make sense to me either and I agree, it shows that small world RP.

We have to consider what art is meant to be in the game. Is it a viable profession or is it just a diversion?

Some characters dedicate their careers to the arts and invest heavily into it financially, rp-wise, and code-wise. Others use the arts as a second job, the striving (or starving) artist type, maybe hoping to get to independent artist status eventually. Some just like to use artistry as a hobby. While others, still, have actual careers in other fields while managing to be full-time artists, as well.

As of now, there is no differentiation between these artist archetypes and I think this breeds a certain resentment and that is why this thread pops up every so often.

If artistry, aside from the high-profile performance arts, are only meant to be diversions or hobbies then no change is necessary, but if we want to make art a viable career path then there has to be -some- delineation between these archetypes. Those that invest in it -should- have a big advantage over those that don't and right now this isn't the case.

So there's resentment on both sides, sounds like.

People who want to dabble resent those who make a living, and those who are committed resent those who dabble.


Well those that invest in it also invest in the stat that goes along with it.

Even if you have 2 Skilled Artists, the ones who invest in the stat, as well as the RP, are the Professionals, you could say. And they'll eventually become experts or true professionals down the road. There have been some characters like that in the past (and currently).

Like in Cyberpunk 2020, anyone can get a skill in art or music, but it's the Rockerboys and girls that take it a step above and can truly command an audience. (Even in D&D, anyone can get an instrument, but the Bard knows his shit.)

Was there resentment? I didn't get that. Confusion maybe.

I know Cerb mentioned it is in the works, but OP mentioned a few specialties but only 3 categories:

Performance, Tailoring, and Canvases/Tattoos.

I take it that music, singing, dancing and acting falls into Performance.

Would sculpting and painting things which are not canvases fall into the 3rd category?

And then what about Writing?

(There's creative writing but also Journalism, and then there's lyric writing and then song writing, and then there's script writing. Each of those really are different skills. I'm decent at creative writing but my Journalism and essay writing skills need work. I can write some lyrics sometimes but writing music? No.)

(Some singers sing very well but do not write their own songs or music or only write some.)

It's just some thoughts and curiosity on my part.

In terms of the idea that artist characters have too easy a time making money, consider for a second all the effort and creativity required IRL to produce a garment, a painting, a tattoo or a performance. Those who don't do it might not realize or consider but it takes literally hours (takes me hours, anyway) to produce high quality work commensurate with a high Artistry skill level. That's time I'm spending IRL to make something for myself or another character to use or appreciate in the game.

I'm unfamiliar with basically every non-Artistry related skillset in the game, but I doubt many skills require the same level of OOC commitment. I personally think for that reason it's sort of a special skill.

However, I'm not against seeing the skill split up. I think that artist characters who are interested in pursuing multiple paths will still do so, and seem all the more interesting for it.

As for it seeming weird, I do think it's weird when new characters roll onto the scene and say 'Hey, I'm looking for art stuff to do, I do it all.' I tend to think of that as a newbie player type issue rather than an art issue, though. I also think that these things sort themselves out as a dedicated artist character gets good at certain things and finds what they prefer.

As a professional artisan in real life, I personally work with multiple mediums. I know a few actors that I would be willing to hire in collaboration should they ever choose to take a break from the stage. I simply believe splitting Artistry into multiple skills would be closer to unrealistic than realistic. (I've actually wondered why firearms are divided up into multiple categories, but I am not an expert in real maybe the knowledge acquired from handgun use can't really transfer to rifles)

I rest in the camp of role play over coded systems. It allows for a freer feel, and it reduces the workload on the administration. Even if another player may be taking a step over their character's limits, it should be the responsibility of the community/buyer to make the judgement call.

Do you really want your tailor to make a bust of you? It really depends on their product right? I guess they'll have to show you some of their sculpting work before you commission them, right?

Should it be decided that a coded divide be setup, I believe making specializations would be a bit more adequate. I may not be a minimalist/practitioner of 'ma' or a veteran at hand dyeing, but when I tried them for the first time, I would venture to say the learning curve was significantly shorter due to my previous years of experience with other mediums.

Since it was discussed at the Town Hall that this is definitely happening, how will it work? If someone wants to invest the UE, can they be good at multiple artistic disciplines?
Crooknose, I imagine it would work like the advantage and disadvantage system. Your tailoring skill is applied to the specialized area and the rest suffer a setback in relation to your current skill, much like a disadvantage would hinder certain areas for your character.
I would hope not. I hope it works more like the martial arts system, but allowing for more than one art by being able to allocate points into whatever subcategory/ies your character focuses on.

Maybe back in the day with fewer players this wasn't needed, but with so many people logging in now (hurray!) i think it really makes sense. It creates RP. Forces people to seek out appropriate vendors and even forces players to really concentrate on their character and not just white wash all of their skills when its convenient.

I hope this leads to more character run specialty shops. Open up kiosks in the malls, maybe even in the markets. Owners/Lessees can hire new talent or sell artists stuff in their shops. Maybe even temporary shops like popups? People can take a gamble and lease a temp space to show off their hot new shit or instead of sitting at a bar doling out tattoos one can have a space to work. Hopefully draw some attention, expand their RP and their character's presence. If the code were there we could do this now, i know, but with specialties stuff like this gets concentrated, the competition becomes real instead of a free for all...or a none for all as the case may be. I also hope it brings the playerbase in line and forces them to spend a little on their character's style. One of the taglines of this game is Style over Substance right?

I can't wait to see where this goes.

So. How will this work with skillsofts? I'm not sure how martial arts skillsofts work in this regard. But like, is an "artistry" skillsoft just going to be all forms of art, since it's not a natural talent it's a chip which presumably contains all essential sub-categories?