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Tips on gauging your performance
How good is my character? How should I RP this?

It seems we have a lot of musicians and performers and artists out there so I wanted to write something up to help you all gauge your abilities as it seems there is some confusion. Though this was written up with performers and artists in mind it can apply to all kinds of things by simply selecting an appropriate skill and stat.

First:

Read up on 'help stats' and 'help skills'. In those help files we provide you with very vague means of gauging your abilities based on this table:

SCORE --- ABILITY

U T S R --- Bad

Q P O N --- Below Average

M L K J --- Above Average

I H G F --- Good

E D C B A --- Really Good

Second:

You need to remember that most everything you do in the game should draw on a skill and one or more stats. Generally speaking your results should be closer to the LOWER of the two.

Example. I have P level INT and D level Artistry and I want to write a song. It's probably gonna be below average. Average on a good day. It won't be good or really good.

Example. I have C level charisma and O level Artistry. When I perform it will likely be Above Average but not Good or Really good.

Example: I have R level INT and K level Artistry and write a poem. It should be Bad or Below average. Nothing Above average, Good or Really Good.

Example: I have C level CHA and NO Artistry. My performance should be Below Average at best. Probably Bad just as often.

It's not a perfect science but if you pick the attribute and skill that makes the most sense and use the lower or slightly above the lower if the other is much better, you should have a good handle on what your end product should look like

Third:

Aside from staff YOU are the only one who knows your stats and skills so it is on YOU to try and ensure the performance or creation reflects your stats and skills. That is why I wrote this up to help you gauge what your results should kind of look like. Sometimes this means you have to intentionally mess up or dumb it down or help guide the crowd if they are making you out to be better than you are.

Fourth:

As a rule, once you are in the average band or above in INT or CHA, I'm not going to chase after you about INT or CHA RP unless its way over the top or you have no skills to support your stats. Happy to let the coded systems sort out the truly smart from the average. There are more of these than you think.

However, if you chose for your PC to have below average or bad charisma, I will probably pounce on you if you aren't playing them as below average or bad. If you want to have a weakness in an area that does not enjoy as much coded support as things like combat stats/skills, I encourage you to embrace it and RP it.

When it comes to your artistic creations and performances, however, please DO limit yourself based on the stats that seem appropriate. If your CHA is at M and you have Artistry at E, you should generally be performing at an average level more often than not.

Finally:

I hope this all makes sense and helps you gauge your RP. If not, let me know and I'll try and answer questions.

One of the other things I include is like supplemental skills. Like, for performing, Artistry can make you look good doing it, but if you're doing something highly acrobatic, don't discount strength and agi, and maybe some form of martial art or dodge for crazier shit. Like tumbling or crowd surfing Should consider if you're PHYSICALLY capable of doing something, doesn't mean you'll look all that good doing it.
Great explanation and definitely needed. Thanks Mobius.

I agree with most of Rhea's comments. Not so sure about the crowd surfing part - that's more beholden to the other PC's being willing to hold you up. I've seen flat out drunk people crowd surf with no problem.

Thanks! This is a helpful guideline.
This is really cool! But... sometimes stats aren't really clear.

I know I've been dead wrong before. Any suggestions on what to do if say you are trying to play to a skill and have not idea what it goes off? Looking for suggestions not a stat to skill guide.

Take your best guess?

@BlazingCoconut

Find someone who is successful in whatever you're trying to do and ask them. If there is no such person, try the closest NPC to it, they should give you a decent idea.

Honestly I always wish skills had different short descriptions for each level, as an example, Cyberpunk 2020 uses skill levels and they tell you (in a brief example) on what you should expect from having such a high skill level.

EG: https://i.gyazo.com/3262fb64ff10d08c5abf7445550b6af5.png

https://i.gyazo.com/3a198146f255981fc8cc290930f8740d.png

@Sly

That's always good... but, I'll give a perfect example.

When I started I had a player mentor give me some very good info on a skill. You should do this and you'll be great. So I did that. Over the course of time, I realized that they were likely wrong.

So the problem is that my perception of which stat mattered then affects my RP. It's why I'd love some kind of coded perform command. Just let me run it against a skill and it can tell you how you are going to do. I don't have to worry about whether my IC knowledge is right or not.

My ability to perform should not rely on that if we're worried about RP :)

You are given all the tools you need.

There's a range for stats and letter grading in general for the game.

Mobius here has generally given you an example for most situations.

And in general. I think the advice here can be summed up as...

If you are doing a performance or piece of art, look at your stats, and play to that, not the ideal of your character, the reality of it.

One of the things that irritates me, is fairly well known artists giving out paintings and characters realizing that painting was worth less or nearly less than the canvas it was on. Meaning ICly, it looked bad... But it was written in a way that was actually really good, and it kinda got me stuck in a loop where I didn't know how to interpret it for a bit.

@Rhea

Not really complaining, but you are only given half of what you need.

I know my skill and the level.

I know my stats and their levels.

I do not know which stats work with with skills... other than a guess. It's not really a big deal, but could be pretty easily solved without revealing that info.

@CookieJarvis Have you ever tried @stats --defined ? Its a bit like that.
@rhea I know when I'm doing performance type stuff, it's helpful to differentiate charisma from artistry when looking at your stat pairing. Ex. IRL in something like jazz ensemble or out at venues where you're watching local mathrock bands, a lot of times these people have Astounding musical ability, but Utterly Absent charisma.

In terms of stat pairing for something like that, it helps me to roleplay them as two entities instead of an average (but how you portray each reaches the average, if that makes sense). To stay on theme, if you were a mathrocker with A artistry and U charisma, you could rp a mind-blowing mastery of your instrument along with non-existent stage presence. Like standing still in front of the mic, feet together and never bouncing, not verbally engaging with the crowd. (Though some people IRL do that latter to great effect. Tom Araya (Slayer) and Alison Mosshart (The Kills).

I guess this isn't the answer for all Art/Cha related rp, but I thought this might be useful to someone at least in stage rp.

@blazingcoconut

BIG FUCKING CAPITALIZED DISCLAIMER, THESE ARE EXAMPLES OF HOW TO THINK ABOUT SKILLS AND NATURAL ASSUMPTIONS THAT YOU CAN MAKE. THEY ARE NOT IC DEPICTIONS OF SKILLS! NOR ARE THEY ACCURATE. THEY ARE JUST A DEMONSTRATION OF A THOUGHT PROCESS YOU CAN USE TO THINK ABOUT SKILLS LOGICALLY. IF THEY ARE ACCURATE I DO NOT KNOW!

Think about skills logically. A lot of it will follow.

I'm going to go through a couple thought processes here, they may or may not be red herrings, or entirely inaccurate. You can assume a lot just from what the skill is.

Pistols are a gun, that means I need to see well to fire them accurately. They probably test perception. They also fit in my hands, and use my hands, I don't need to be particularly fast to use them. So if AGI is tested it's probably going to be more Coordination than speed. I need to know where to shoot, so maybe it looks a little bit at Int for Knowledge as well. And pistols need to be wheeled around a lot, so they probably test speed more than something like rifles, if they test it at all.

Melee weapons rely a lot on heft, they are strength heavy then, and maybe, they need a bit of Awareness, to notice their guard falling or gaps in it. They'd also need speed to get around the guard. But not a lot of coordination, these are real rough things. Maybe a touch of int for Knowledge as well to know where the best places to strike are.

Go ahead and go through every skill fresh after reading every stat's substats. And you'll probably be able to put together descriptions like that. They may be entirely innacurate, they may miss certain aspects. But they can provide a starting point.

Artistry is very broad, but it probably requires charisma in general to understand how to present something to someone else, as well as intelligence in general to understand the formula's and broad knowledge in specific. Specific applications may require other stats. But in general artistry is probably going to rely on those two stats in the predominant.

That's my general thoughts on artistry, I may be wrong, I may be right. But a lot of this games fun is finding out if your thoughts are right or wrong. And you do that through trial and error as well as RPing with people with more experience.

I just want to say this post is excellent and should be memorialized in some kind of help file, maybe 'help performance-play.' The only thing I might encourage adding is a more formal statement about what stats should come into play. It -sounds- like:

Writing -> Major: Artistry, Intelligence. Minor: Charisma

Performance -> Major: Artistry, Charisma. Minor: Agility

But maybe that breakdown should be done a little differently.

A few points...

We are not going to obsess over everything being perfect. When trying to gauge things just look at the things that seem to make sense in your mind. If I send you an xhelp asking about why you performed as well as you did and you give me a generally well thought out answer, it's fine. At most I might make suggestions on other factors to think of.

Don't over complicate it unless it's fun for you. Just pick a skill and a stat or two and use them. Just stick with the things that seem most key.

A note on charisma though... I get it that in the real world beauty is in they eye of the beholder and you can be an ugly rude stiff guy who plays awesome guitar. But this is a game and the people who made it decided that charisma is objective. So please don't tell me that your guy with P level charisma is wining the crowd through pure technical skill. If he's impressing people and making them enjoy themselves, give him charisma. You can be charismatic in many different ways.

Last, keep in mind that you might need to use emote/pose/spoof to COUNTER the PC crowd and their emotes/poses/spoofs. They don't know that you might suck so as you perform and you see people acting like you are Motzart and Madonna's love child, use your tools to adjust the overall performance.

Thanks!

Like put the answer above this and the original post together in a helpfile would be awesome. As long as GMs don't care that I'm trying and maybe not RPing because I lack the knowledge to know, then it's all cool!

Appreciate all the work.

I'd like to bring up the often ironically overlooked OUTLOOK should also play a part in your art, imo.
How does one go about roughsizing with penalties and bonuses? For example, if a character has a penalty to art, how should that effect their performances etc?

Judging from the name of the penalty, "Serenity by Jan", I've thought about it just manifesting in the occasional tone-deafness or missing the mark with certain things in an otherwise decent performance.