Writing Good Rumours

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Mika

Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:22 pm

Rumours don't have to be scandalous or biting in order to generate RP, and they don't necessarily need to be huge events: gossip is just how news gets around in a small town.

I'm going to quickly go over the process for adding rumours and replying to them, and what makes a constructive rumour vs. a rumour that shuts down RP.

Adding a rumour:

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Rumor   : Mika's been asking around about her sticker collection, apparently it went missing and she thinks someone stole it.
Subject : Mika
Circles : Immortals
Source  : The grizzly bear that lives in Mika's warehouse
Rumor: Straightforward, the body of the rumour. It doesn't need to be your PC saying it, and it will be emitted at random by 'gossip' vnpcs in rooms.

Subject: The subject of the rumour - it can be people or guilds. The more the merrier, in my opinion, that way people can tell at a glance if they're interested in purchasing the rumour.

Circles: What circles the rumours are running in. Is it a scandal amongst the nobility? Is it grumpy Vavardi freemen complaining because Class Relations are so low?

Source: Who started this rumour?
- While you can use an NPC as a source, NPC-source rumours should be factual rather than opinion (the grizzly bear witnessed that Mika had been looking for her sticker collection, vs. something like "I'm a bear and I really hate Mika's anarchist politics.") A cnote and log are required where you're framing someone or starting a scandal about someone else as a vNPC.

Replying to a rumour:

It can be hard to know whether or not to use a quash or a promote, but generally, if you're adding to the rumour you will always use a promote. Quashes are generally not speculation, or opinions - even disagreeing ones, and especially not if your reply is offended or scandalized! They are your PC using their influence to get people to stop talking about a rumour.

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rumor promote 12 I thought I saw Elzenn running around with it.
This is a straightforward promote because it adds more information to the rumour.

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rumor promote 12 Mika's always losing things! It's probably lost in that dumb bear suit of hers.
rumor quash 12 What? I saw Mika with her sticker collection yesterday.
The first is a promote because the gossiper's intent is to keep the discussion going about what an airhead I am, while the second is a quash; the disagreement implies the rumour is baseless.

Some other tips:

Don't forget that rumours can be investigated! We can see who is posting rumours, and it is acceptable to RPA an investigation into a rumour's source. For example, an inquisitor may call Order RPA to investigate into rumours of a mage acting out in public.

A good rumour promote/quash will always seek to better the RP around it. "This is boring," or "nobody cares," are poor rumour replies. Again, rumours can just be current events, as day-to-day as a new menu at a tavern. Rumours need to be IC and thematic as they'd be given by the PCs and NPCs of the world - no player opinions, nothing overly modern.

Remember to check which "circles" a rumour is running in before replying! If a rumour is running in the Thieves, replies should not be about how awful thieves are and how they should just turn themselves into the Reeves, for example. Similarly, a rumour running in the Charali circles should not be about what savages they are, even if this is a perfectly thematic thing to talk about.

It's also good to double-check your rumour is relevant to the original topic and its replies - if something unrelated is important enough to go in a rumour reply, it could certainly be its own rumour. This also ensures when people overhear snippets in taverns and purchase the rumours, they're actually getting the information they paid for.

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Jules
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:25 pm

Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:47 am

What counts as a 'good rumor' or a 'good rumor reply' is a matter of opinion, but what I really like about this guide is that it clarifies the point of "circles," which I never fully understood until now.
-- player of Jules and others

Applesauce
Posts: 290
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:13 pm

Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:39 pm

Another +1 for circles explanation.

I never did really understand the point of circles until this thread - I mean, I know it's "what group(s) are talking about this" but it seemed pretty much ignorable after that. I do like the idea of being used to frame the conversation. Not every reply needs to be supportive but it should be representative of the actual people talking about it... OR start your own rumor amongst different circles.

I think there's a "try to stick to one rumor per topic" policy or preference, but given this use of circles it seems like it should be fine for, say, nobles to be talking about someone negatively and thieves to be talking about them positively, in entirely different conversations.

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Kinaed
Posts: 1822
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:54 pm
Discord Handle: ParaVox3#7579

Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:37 am

Yes, it is fine for the same rumor to appear in different circles with different takes.

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