Occasionally, I receive IC messages (HELP MESSENGER) that include some form of written note or letter in the “Message” field. Normally, if it’s just a simple one-liner or something brief, I’ll go ahead and roll with it, but sometimes, I’ll receive notes that are several sentences long or include important information, signatures, etc. When that happens, I often respond with a message of my own to say that the note was lost or misplaced in transit. Players don’t always understand why I do this, and I don’t like having to defend my IC actions in tells, so today, I’m dedicating a brief post to the subject of messengers, notes, and paper trails.
There are few reasons why I advocate the use of coded paper objects when sending missives via messenger:
- When you send letter that isn’t written on a coded piece of paper, you’re denying other players the chance to interact with a proper paper trail. Coded pieces of paper can be stolen, copied, given away, lost, displayed to others, and kept in ledgers. You’re denying the recipient an object to use in their RP and forcing them to write their own or to “pretend” they have it. It’s poor form, in my book, and inconsiderate to force your RP partners to write down your messages for you.
- We have coded paper in game which can be bought, foraged, AND crafted. Crafted by characters trying to make a living by selling paper products. It costs about the same amount to send a messenger with a piece of paper attached as it does to send one without, so there’s really no excuse.
- It’s just more fun, exciting, and intriguing to receive a slip of paper in your inventory through a messenger. You get the thrill of typing “read paper” instead of receiving a bit of instant one-off text.
So the next time you decide to whip up a messenger with a so-called “note,” ask yourself these questions:
Am I sending sensitive information? If I send my note without a coded paper object, could I be denying the person on the other end a chance to further RP with it?
If the answer to either of these questions is yes, consider either sending your message as a verbal one (murmured or whispered through a trusted source, perhaps) or just find yourself some paper and deliver a coded note. It’s not for you to decide whether the person on the other end remembers to burn it after reading. After all, the risk is part of what makes sharing important details or revelations so exciting!