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Responsible @nakeds
And general description writing advice

So lately I've come across something a lot... Descriptions of people without a good appearance descriptor in their short desc(Attractive, gorgeous, pretty,) describing themselves with a lot of adjectives like gorgeous, stunning, etc...

I want to be clear, about something, I'm not criticizing their writing here, the writing is fine, but I want to talk about themelyness in this... So you have a system that tells you when you are attractive. You can have fun being unattractive... You can even throw in unattractive features and still end up being called cute... I know I have.

Anyway, so what I'm getting at is, how themely is it, if everyone who steps through the gates a baka, is a descriptiedly attractive baka. With stunning amber eyes, that stare soulfully reflecting the rooms light. Gentle sloping brows, and perfect ears. A perfect nose, and a mouth that has lips to die for.

It's really, really, really not. Themely that is. When you come into withmore, and especially if you dump a stat enough during character gen enough to get called ugly by the parser, you shouldn't go counter to that adjective... Revel in being ugly. I know characters who do this well.

So now, how do you make a believable ugly character? It's easy, think of the conditions your character grew up in? Right, a lot of us have fucked up histories... Now think of the consequences alright, now research what those consequences do to the body to make it ugly... Alright... So say you're malnourished in your backstory... Describe that properly. Don't just say you're skinny. Say something like,

"She looks harrowed by hunger, her clouded green eyes hollow looking and dead eyed, her bottle blonde hair lacking luster and showing roots, her skin loosely clinging to the flesh on her stomach, even as it bulges gently, with patches of her skin showing darkness. Her legs bow outwards and she stands on the sides of her feet. Her wrists are bulging and her hands look vaguely skeletal coming off of them."

Boom, instantly she looks unhealthy, ugly and a bit sympathetic. And it's also something you can adjust over time. Say you decide to raise your stats related to appearance, start taking care of yourself eating more, filling out, getting your rickets treated, that's all stuff that makes for good personal RP.

How about a dude now who looks average, and not ugly. This ones a bit more fun, because you can start including more positive adjectives, just stay away from pure positives here. Think about Joe Baka here, a Joe Baka has a couple exceptional traits, but nothing amazing and he has a few ugly traits but nothing excessive

"Tall, at 6'4", he's mousey curly brown haired and has small blue eyes, brows raised almost constantly as if he's got a shocked expression on his face. With largish lips that seem to pout just slightly. And ears that seem a bit large for his head, with drooping lobes. He has a bushy beard that looks scratchy and travels down towards his neck, and a pencil thin mustache on his upper lip, that gets longer at the ends."

I'm going through my nakeds tonight, and removing any overly positive adjectives. What do you guys think? Is this something that should be looked at by more of the player base, maybe a small guide included in help description about the stat system applying an appearance score? Or am I just being a pedant?

My practice is usually go neutral and let the reader and your charisma stat make all the subjective decisions. Go for features, body shape and health. Include some striking, memorable features that just about everyone will have (eye color's a good example) but leave off any descriptors about how 'beautiful,' 'handsome,' etc. they might be. I'll agree too on not being afraid to go less than ideal or even flat unattractive.
It is entirely meta if you describe yourself as attractive, stunning, beautiful and such in your @nakeds without having the adjective in your shortdesc - you should tell the player and if they don't fix it, xhelp.

Same goes for every other thing. Having muscles when your strength is low, graceful movement with low agility, speaking about biology and science stuff with low intelligence. All are meta.

How am I supposed to ERP properly if my character isn't a perfectly chiseled god/goddess (that can also fight)??? REEEE!

Yeah, you're absolutely right. It's important to be considerate of the setting as well as charisma scores and other circumstances. Its a shame that 90% of immies come out looking like supermodels.

And good roleplayers take this into consideration! If you want your character to be popular, don't be drop dead gorgeous (unless your charisma fits of course), focus on being interesting.

I think there is a certain amount of wiggle room, as different people are attactive (unattractive) in different ways. But as a rule of thumb you probably shouldn't look like a supermodel without high Charisma, yeah. Especially when I've seen people with straight up 'ugly' in their shortdesc and their description implies otherwise.
I like to try and balance it into something 'neutral'. People can be pretty or ugly, but most of the time IRL, people will have different opinions (and tastes) on what is attractive and what isn't. There has been times in the past in certain cultures of society where being overweight was attractive due to it meaning you're rich.

Hence, I try to be neutral about how I describe my character's appearance. Whether my character is 'ugly' or 'gorgeous', I try to elaborate on the characteristics and features of my character's appearance. A man with a big nose can still be attractive, et cetera. I try to describe them in a way that makes you imagine their facial structure, etc. Using words like screams 'ugly' or 'model', I try to avoid and instead let the 'charisma' and the judgement of other characters define how my character is seen. I've had some people call my character pretty many times, even if I've just described her features in a neutral way, whether some parts are small, big, thin, broad, etc.

Makes it easier that way, and people can judge based on THEIR tastes, if they think you look good or not. Especially when your main focus isn't charisma.

I'm in the same mindset as most of the posters here. Make your RP (and your descriptions) match your stats. I think I've even heard a few GMs and experienced players say 'play to your stats'.

IMHO, we don't need to go to GMs for every thing. We can (and should) police ourselves. We're all adults and on that same token, we can (and should) take constructive criticism from our fellow players. So, if you see a PC that maybe says they're Aphrodite or Zeus but their descriptor maybe is more Plain Jane or Drop Dead Fred, pull them aside and politely tell them. Sometimes, it's just not understanding the CHA stat if they are a new player. This doesn't have to be done rudely. Nor should anyone take it that well. I've had PCs help me this way when my descriptions weren't quite on par with my stats and it was always done with improvement in mind, not accusatory or malicious intent.

As for clothing, yeah. Some of the clothes out there are not properly written. But, you can address that through helping by reviewing clothing through the @review-cloth ability. And, also RP that as your PC gets more attractive/more confident, they wear more 'attractive/revealing' clothing or, to make them feel more attractive/confident, they were nicer clothing. Use it to your advantage!

While I am a huge proponent of playing to your stats, please keep in mind that many stats can mean a few different things. Charisma is a matter of appearance, hygiene and likability. Intelligence is knowledge, technical aptitude and wit. So there isn't a single, perfect way to play a any one of these at any level.

For example, I have had characters that were in good shape but of average charisma end up looking athletic though not striking, have reasonablish hygiene but have terrible people skills and talk with his mouth full all the time. I have had characters of various intelligence levels be slow thinkers but well read or the reverse.

So do keep an open mind. Descriptions and @nakeds and your RP should reflect your stats. but it is not purely black and white in many cases.

I talked to the other senior staff and we are considering a %attractiveness substitution. Something you can include in your @nakeds that will be automatically highlighted. It would scale with your stats similar to your shortdesc. Still contemplating how it would work. But if you read someone's desc and SEXY wasn't highlighted you would know it was the player deciding that and not the charisma stat. If it was highlighted you would know it was legit.


I think that's a cool idea. Probably you should be able to choose from a stat-appropriate menu for your %attractiveness adjective, though, similar to @shortdesc.
I am of similar mind to @Grey0, that Charisma can manifest in different ways: through physical appearance or a striking, captivating personality. Someone can be handsome, but with a withdrawn personality.

I think the only real issue people who use it as a dump-stat (their short-desc says ugly or hideous) and it doesn't come across in their description or RP at all. I can probably count on my hand the number of times this has happened to my personally though, so I don't know if it's worth taking GM time to address.

Probably far easier to police it through players and xhelp, really, other than using even more pronouns.
Slither, I love your idea! I wanna trust people to play fair with descs when it comes to attractiveness, but... nah. People line-step. I would make it a % thing.
A bit late to the party here, but this issue has existed probably for as long as the game is old and 90% of the time is the new players (1 year or less) that are doing it.

I honestly don't like snitching on other players for this kind of thing, unless the description says they are dragons or dogs or robots or something really odd (it has happened before). Instead I just suggest to them in a friendly manner that they should probably re-do their @nakeds and description and why.

Granted, most of these new players take my advice as criticism (and nobody likes criticism) and ignore my friendly suggestion. Basically they go with 'This is my character and I can do whatever I want, until and admin steps in'.

For me this is an abuse of the game, in fact a few years back I used to have a character of which almost all my XP points where invested into CHA and seeing how other characters who had invested ZERO in it got the same reactions from other players made me feel so frustrated that I ended up 'retiring' said character because I felt it wasn't fair and I was being robbed essentially.

I've moved on since then, but I would hate for other players to feel the same way I did and don't be mistaken, if your character is power gaming their appearance ICly then I won't play along and might even point out how ordinary or ugly they really are for the rest of the world to see.

Charisma can be turned ON and OFF by PCs, that's RP for sure. But Appearance is something that is visible on everyone eyes, unless you are purposely hiding it somehow and STYLE is one of the pillars of the theme, so this is important.

The way the game works as of now, being charismatic and not looking good to certain degree is not really possible (in most cases) and for good reason, so that people don't overtly power game with this.

So yeah, I agree that this is definitely an issue and it needs to be solved somehow.

Maybe if you are charming you get a 'magnetic' @voice property and if you are pretty something on the @nakeds like the style of a coded tattoo message?

Fucking love your response on this issue ErgoProxy and yeah, I just kept seeing it... Probably to do with gameplay and interacting a lot with Immy's. And felt it needed to be brought up.

But I do agree, maybe, while adding this %pretty appearance description to @nakeds, add a %charm vocal description to the @voice, to allow players to indicate a level of persuasiveness to their voices.

I was thinking about this some today, and I am reminded of what happened in another game I used to play.

I will go so far as to say that this is a huge problem in every MUD/MOO that I have ever played because people want to be remarkable. The problem stems from tying appearance to CHA. I can think of a lot of real world examples were very charismatic people were not very attractive.

How this other game dealt with it was to divorce the two so that you could dump all your points into attractiveness if you wanted, but that was at the sacrifice of other things. (I am not advocating this, but it is -a- solution)

The real problem isn't a code one though. Its us, and it isn't just on the people who describe their characters in generally positive terms. It is on the rest of us who just let it happen. I am probably the worst at this. I'll look at a character maybe once or twice but every time I see someone I don't do a look, mostly because some y'all take 100 words when 10 would do. So I'll do a quick skim to check for large details, race, hair color, eye color, etc. and move on to actually reading your poses.

Then again I am pretty sure I once described a pair of lips as: His lips are red.

I think the mechanics work fine and people just need to police themselves better.
I agree with Vera.

I think part of the problem with that - and it goes for descriptions saying 's/he has catlike grace and agility' as well - is that many people just don't know the scale of the stats system and where they actually stand on it and how 'attractive' compares to 'good-looking' for example.

This isn't quite to the topic of the OP but it does deal with the theme of responsible @nakeds:

People with no @nakeds yet. Very frustrating when asked to identify someone IC who is up to no good and basically having to say 'idk lol' and go off of their three word short-desc. Of course, their short-desc can also reasonably describe thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people IC so that doesn't really work.

I am in agreement with @Vera though. People just need to police themselves and we can offer helpful advice where necessary. if there is an extreme case that seems like it warrants abuse, then I think xhelp is an okay solution.

This is a good topic, and also an age old one. I think that it is important given the PVP nature of this place to have accurate descs. I haven't played a PVP based text game in, literally, decades.

Where I previously played, descs were bad. The MU* wasn't as heavily coded as Sindome, so all PVP required admin interaction and special code to support dice rolls. But it got to the point where admins had to enforce rules like "unless the armor is in your desc, your character isn't wearing it". Towards the end, some people were going to OOC jail until they fixed their descs. It was most prevalent with the female characters, who were always described as lithe, dainty, (insert typical, male-centric adjective to describe 'sexy' here)… yet behind the scenes had loads of Strength and Body, plus all sorts of 'obvious' stat-boosting cyberware.

In an environment where literally anyone could be a threat, you as a player, have to be able to believe that you are getting accurate information from the world around you. You have to be able to make the kind of split second, fight or flight decisions that your character would make. And without good descs, it is hard to evaluate the threat level.

DiamondNine has a great point -- with the scale so obscure, it's hard to know what is responsible. I remember being chastized for having a desc that was too attractive when my shortdesc was lithe (a word which slim and attractive) and my Charisma was attractive.

Being lithe and attractive may in fact be ugly in some internal scale, but without us knowing that, how do we follow the rules?

Lithe in Sindome just means average height and thinner than usual.

If you are outright ugly, the game will tell you so. It will also tell you if you are better looking than the average person. Until then, assume you're someone who doesn't stand out as particularly attractive. Doesn't mean you're ugly, just that you don't have that va va voom. Maybe your hair sucks. Maybe you wear clothes that don't show off your figure. Use it.

This is a great discussion.

@ErgoProxy: Agree completely.

Vera's super right that people need to police themselves better; it's not like the tools to be honest about your stats aren't all readily available, and that shortdesc should be keeping people honest...but I also agree with Supermarket that it typically doesn't. As DiamondNine and Pavane point out, most new players just have no clue what kind of scale they're working on and what they think is reasonable is not reasonable to people with a better sense of the UE curve.

@Slither: That honestly sounds really cool.

A low tech solution might also be just to write a helpfile (help attractiveness-level or something) and then force people to read it. That would give something hard and fast that a player could then use on xgame or in local OOC as a way of saying to an offending player that they might not be in step with the rules.

One of the chargen rooms has a note about your description (I haven't been through chargen in a very long time so pardon me if I misremember something), but I remember finding it confusing as a new player because I don't think it really goes into or explains @nakeds all that much, just the short blurb that appears BEFORE them when you look at something.

Either adding that or expanding on it if it already exists would probably help solve some of the problem and build a more responsible playerbase, rather than adding more load on the mechanics/system.

I honestly think that this is best served by educating and assisting each other. As much as we can. And I honestly think that charisma is actually one of the nicer stats to police as we have an ICly viewable shortdesc that goes with it (good luck policing all those foolish criminal masterminds).

Just pass along friendly advice when you see questionable descriptions or nakeds. Make sure you aren't coming off as bossy and just offer your opinion and concern. If they don't respond to that, politely let staff know that character X might be describing themselves as more attractive then they should.

My experience with staff in the past has generally been positive in matters like this. A few questions, clear limits and some helpful suggestions. By letting staff know there might be a problem, you aren't snitching on the character in question to get them in trouble. You are helping them get the help they need so they can learn and better contribute to the game.

On the flip side, police yourself. Set an example. Don't describe yourself as hot stuff if you don't have a shortdesc that suggests you can get away with it. If you are foolish, don't be a criminal mastermind. If you have ordinary strength, don't describe yourself as muscled up. Don't tell people what they think in your descriptions and avoid putting things in that couldn't know just by looking at you as you stand there.

On the flip-side have your character care about the shortdesc you get from high charisma. One of my characters would not even consider hooking up with another unless they had such a shortdesc. Maybe charge them less. Or charge them more. Make it matter when you RP with them.

I like all the discussion here.

I just wanted to add my little pet peve I notice around, mostly in the newcomers to the game. However, I could be way off base.

I notice that in some characters @nakeds, they have actions or verbs involved. For example (made up, but have seen very similar descriptions in many @nakeds or @describe).

XXX's eyes are alert and watch their surroundings with a timid demeanor while scanning the area with contempt.

I feel @nakeds should be applicable in -any- state a character is in. Under normal conditions, unconscious, in combat, chilling safely at home, on the run from a predator, haiving sex, etc. Describe the @nakeds appropriately, and use RP to introduce how your character is or feeling or doing at that moment to the environment. @tp and @lp offer great assistance to this as well.

How would that character be watching their surroundings with a timid demeanor and scanning the area when they just got knocked the fuck out. Or, if they are chilling safely at their pad, why would they be scanning the area with a timid demeanor?

To me, it just doesn't make sense....

As for the responsible @nakeds, I agree with a lot of other posts by players here. With the charisma stat issue aside. I tend to prefer not using many adjectives to describe body features. Beauty is subjective, and in the eye of the beholder. A person could be described very well without using adjectives, and still convey beauty or the opposite. This lends to having another character determine if you are beautiful to them or not. You aren't telling or forcing them to think your character is hot. (With the the system set adjectives aside). People find many different things attractive or gross. What is a major turn on for one person, could be a total turn off for another. Let the other characters decide whether you are a goddess or an ugly ass fucker, based on what you describe.

I hope this makes sense and lends to the discussion in a positive way.



Bumping this thread, because it merits a revisit.

It's easy to shout out the mantra 'Play to your stats!' without it really meaning anything, or if it goes whooooooosh right over players heads (both new and old!)

I just wanted to remind people of the following: Basically, if your character doesn't have any form of a adjective modifier, such as ugly, dashing, gorgeous, attractive, etc. then your character should be rather unremarkable looking. It's power-gamey to describe your character's @nakeds as being something that their actual sheet doesn't represent. It's also a bit of a trope to have a character that's described as stunningly handsome, but then giving them a jagged facial scar or a broken tooth or something to 'mediate' their stats. It's pretty overplayed, and really, I feel that we as a community can be more creative than this.

Beauty is subjective, but remember, it doesn't start and stop at the face/hair nude. If you have an average modifier character and an amazingly beautiful character, and you put bags over their heads, you should be able to easily tell them apart from one another. Bad skin, acne, blemishes, birthmarks, scars, etc. Get creative and put some grit on your toon!

Why's it matter?

Well, for starters, making your character not one of the unwashed, malnourished and downtrodden masses means that you're devaluing characters that have spent days, weeks or MONTHS of time training their charisma. There are ways that those characters can 'flex' on you codedly, but a lot of the appeal of CHA as a visible stat for other characters is that we're prompted to shape our RP interactions around those things. So the next time you see average joebaka in the bar, don't feel bad at saying hey, you're not bad looking as far as totally average dime-a-dozen chums go. Quantify and qualify your statements, because there are characters out there that are (codedly) mindblowingly gorgeous and handsome!

Finally: Regarding Tattoos. As far as I'm aware, you're still totally able to craft a wonderful backstory for your character and bring life and lore from outside the dome into the dome in the form of scars, burns, tattoos, etc. However, since tattooing is both a job AND codedly supported as such with tools and requiring skill-checks, you really should be looking to get these replaced or re-done and/or touched up codedly by hiring other players, having them bring their tools and slap ink that can't simply be changed willy-nilly on your character. It drives RP, it drives the economy, and it's a great way to make your character stand out!

Agreed. I've seen a lot of people trying to circumvent this by desc'ing their chars as cute or a model or attractive in some other way outside their CHA modifiers. It's an easy pitfall to stumble into when doing the mental gymnastics of describing yourself, so take heed and also report anyone who might be doing this themselves.

The same goes for positions that would require a higher than average CHA. I've noticed an uptick in joys, strippers, and also even 'charming' bartenders and other positions where people are skating by with no CHA modifiers and thus (presumably) low CHA in general.

Simply put, if you want the benefits of a high CHA, then invest in CHA.

I had a few thoughts that might fuel some discussion.

On what HolyChrome said, I mostly disagree. There are plenty of bars. Some shitty, some seedy, some upper class, etc. What qualities a bartender needs is entirely up to whoever hires them. Same applies to joys. You can absolutely be a successful joy without a CHA mod. In fact, I'd be surprised if /most/ joys had high CHA, because if they did, they could probably snatch a better job using their looks or persuasiveness. Prostitutes in general are not models, in both real life and fiction. Sure, there can also be stunningly beautiful joys, but those should be more rare and I probably wouldn't even lump them in with your run of the mill joy. I would agree with you on strippers, but in my admittedly quite limited knowledge of the role and how it works, there's already coded mechanics to reward CHA investment in that role.

Goes without saying, you still shouldn't use conventionally attractive descriptors in your @nakeds if you lack the CHA. On that, I think everyone agrees.

And regarding Talon, I think the reason people 'cheat' tattoos is that there is no difference between an @naked and tattoo. Of course, we'd want people to overlook that and go out, create jobs and RP but it is my opinion that all game mechanics should compliment or encourage RP. Flash clothes have mechanical and visual cues to tell us they're really good. Higher tier/more expensive gear and items often have better effects and abilities. But with tattoos, you're literally paying for nothing. The RP could be done entirely without the actual coded items and commands, which means the mechanic is not aiding the RP at all. Which means the only reason people are realistically going to get a tattoo is if they specifically want 'tattoo shop' RP or whatever, which is less than ideal.

There are already a few different things that make your @nakeds stand out codedly. Tattoos should be no different. Would you expect people to go out to a car shop, RP looking at cars, talking over the features, discussing financials, all that, if at the end, there was no actual car, it was all just pretend? No, because at that point you don't need the game, you can just freeform RP.

I just go with physical descriptors of shape and such. Whether or not someone finds a squared or angular jaw, high or round cheekbones, or whatever-shaped face attractive is personal opinion, atop the general 'this person is ugly as sin/pretty attractive, actually' mechanics.
There is coded functionality to tattoos. You cannot remove them just by doing an @naked me is "the original naked, without the tattoo."

Which means people can RP forcing tattoos on you that you cannot take off with a simple wave of your hand. Or people can forcibly modify that tattoo you love to something to humiliate you. Or any other number of actions.


I don't understand your point about tattoos not being different from a naked. They are absolutely different. One is indelible, the other is not.

You don't need to put cheating in quotes. If you have ink on your character that you change whenever you feel like, and you're not actually codedly seeing a character to accomplish that, then yeah, I'm pretty sure that literally is circumvention of game code and is against the rules.

Tattooists have been asking for colored tattoos for a long time now, this would be the easiest way to solve the issue of people cheesing their @nakeds.

I don't understand your example. The car exists. It's an item, it has a coded skill that goes with it.

A GM recently made an interesting point on (the option of) losing one's pre-dome tattoos upon their first cloning.

Help pages state coded tattoos use a special ink that GeneTek replicates on your clone. Arguably your pre-dome tattoos could be anything from tribal markings to jailhouse ink - rendering you a fresh canvas upon death. At that point you could get the ink redone, or try something else entirely.


The example you mentioned before about forced tattoos/tattoo alteration is pretty niche. People aren't going to get that tattoos because they think that type of RP might happen. And for clarification, I agree that people should go to a tattoo artist if they want tattoos, but I'm saying I understand why they don't. I myself play a character that would likely have a lot of tattoos, but doesn't actually have any. For a variety of reasons.

It spams @nakeds which are already very difficult to format in a legible manner. There is no indication of how talented the artist is or how expensive it was (mechanically). It feels 'cheap', a player in most circumstances has no way of knowing if it's a 'real' tattoo or not. And then there's the whole artistry thing being 5 million things that ends up making it so that there are very few dedicated tattoo artists and I don't want to encourage the 'tailor, singer, tattoo artist, sculptor' meme.

The car example was hypothetical, if the car didn't exist. Because the tattoo, aside from that technical difference, doesn't exist. A better example is maybe make-up. I can guarantee you if make-up wasn't highlighted and colored, it would be used much, much less and people would cheat it just like they do tattoos.

It's really common to ask an artist to 'touch up' your character's ink after immigrating, which is to say turning your initial @nakeds' ink into actual coded tattoos, I know I do this a lot for basically nothing as long as the other player has the actual prose prepared.

Charisma is often misunderstood. It's not just how 'pretty' you are, it's everything to do with your personality and how your character interacts with other characters.

Characters in general have way less charisma than they ought to a lot of the time.


In the same sense you shouldn't be desc'ing your art/tailoring higher than your skill, you shouldn't be reaping the benefits of high CHA without CHA. Sure there's plenty of examples of ugly hookers/bartenders, but if you're going to go reaping the rewards of being a renowned hot joy or stripper, or you're schmoozing it up for mega-tips at a bar, you -need- to start investing UE into CHA.

Simple as that.

Agreed, HolyChrome.

But if you're reaping the rewards of being a renowned hot x, that's more on the other players, who create that renown, than you. How often do you see people give shit to the immy bartender or badmouth a stripper's performance? Rarely, in my case. But yes, people should also downplay their RP according to their stats, big yes on that one.

My point is, it's much more interesting to have a bar hire a bad bartender or stripper or bouncer, and RP accordingly than it is to just bar those jobs for people with enough of x stat or skill.


Unlike other stats, INT/CHA are a -ceiling- for RP. You can have the highest of both, but your actually writing skills and OOC charm and intelligence are limiters there. If you -do- start accruing that reputation, as much as if you start coming up with some smart schemes, you need to start raising the appropriate stats.


The RP could be done entirely without the actual coded items and commands, which means the mechanic is not aiding the RP at all. Which means the only reason people are realistically going to get a tattoo is if they specifically want 'tattoo shop' RP or whatever, which is less than ideal.

Some of us suck at writing intricate tattoos and gorgeous @nakeds. Tattoo artists and biosculpting are legit jobs for folks to earn chy to glow-up other characters, especially those who have invested in charisma. 😁