sticky definitions

Random Encounters :: April 2004 Archive
Doyce links a discussion about those vicious mad lonerz we love in fiction, like Mad Max, Batman, and Other such …

One of the forum comments then is that the ‘Big Softy’ characteristic of these Dark Loners is really about ‘accepting offers’ from group play rather than ‘blocking’ (these are improv terms, when you throw a ‘block’ at a fellow improvisation actor, you kill the momentum or ‘offer’ that they have tossed you. “My god, there’s a tarantula on your back!” “Bullshit!”)
Of course, to me, it is a matter of ‘sticky’ but we are talking about the similar things.
Call it “Big Softy” or just “Caring”… what a lot of RPers miss is the interpretation that regardless of mission, genre, or Archetype, your character Needs to find a way to Care about what is going to happen. (At least a little ‘slice of caring’.)
Being ultra-cool mad loner guy who refuses to ‘break face’ is nifty radical for you, but being the same character who secretly gives the group’s “green kid PC” bubble-gum to chew is better.
Characters must find quirks that ‘stick’ them together, not pull them apart.
In that sense, talking about ‘blocking’ and ‘offers’ has some judgment connotations I’d rather just skip. For one thing, ‘sticky’ also works with negative moves. One PC can be critical or deliberately unhelpful of another PC’s schtick or niche and still be ‘sticky’ about it, in effect, throwing spotlight at the other PC by highlighting the ‘dislike’ in a way that makes the other guy shine.
Commenting in-game about the fact that another PC’s niche just annoys your PC can be good theater and good stick if it is obvious that there is nothing personal going on.
“Must you always have your nose in a book?”
“Oh, for pete’s sake, leave the monkey home for once.”
“Jeez, you must have stayed up all night doing Trump sketches, you look like hell. Have some coffee.”
“If you were any more aloof, we could keep butter in your mouth, my dear.”
“Stop flexing those muscles handsome, you’re ruining my concentration.”



  1. I’d be careful with negative sticky. I’ve got a couple of characters in games I play who have what would like to be negatively sticky schticks, and I’m finding more and more often that the schtick just grates. A schtick that drives people away is inherently unsticky.

  2. Heh.
    What does it say about me that when you list Mad Max, Batman, and Other such … the next name I add to the list is the Punisher? *snark*

  3. I agree that there is a *lot* of finesse needed in applying sticky to the ‘negative spin’ but it is an aspect I hadn’t talked about before.
    Here again is a trust issue. Apparently negative in-game comments: are they negative and making others look important or is it meta-negative to the game?
    Now if the PC has a ‘negative schtick’ (as opposed to negative reactions to other’s) I think this is even more difficult to handle well. For instance, if one Player decides his character ‘smells bad’ or ‘drinks blood at breakfast’ I could well ask the Player if they are sending a sticky signal with their schtick–or just weirding folks out.

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