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omniscient: knowing everything (all-seeing, all-knowing)

I get it. Sometimes it happens and it's not intended. Sometimes it's based on information in the characters profile that has yet to be addressed in RP. Sometimes it's from conversations had in ooc.

I know sometimes any one can mix what's been said\done and hasn't been with in the rp. Sometimes it's a reaction to a thought a character had. Completely understandable to slip up sometimes.

Then there are the other times.

Really all I want to know is how do you guys feel about omniscient moments in RP?

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A little slip up every now and then is no big deal. Heck, I am sure I have accidentally done it.

As for the other times...

Automatically being able to read my character's thoughts every single post (when the other character was not supposed to be mind reader) grew frustrating. That RP didn't last long.

When it's way too blatant (and without any OOC agreement about it) I think it can sour a story.
It's good to avoid them when not justified. Sometimes you're writing waaay too late and it happens, but as long as it's an accident and it can be quickly discussed and resolved OOC that's fine. When it happens too often, though, or it isn't easy to talk about with the person, I tend to take that as a bit of a red flag of other possible IC/OOC separation issues which sink a game real quick.

On the other hand, dealing with telepaths, emotion-readers, aura-readers, divinities, ultra-powerful AIs, government agents with a file and psych profile of the other character, or Sherlock Holmes level hyper-observers it can make for a fun slightly spooky or cool moment if done right, but that takes mutual OOC understanding of what you're dealing with and is kinda its own thing from what the question here is.
Eternal_Dream Topic Starter

Avitrathephoenix wrote:
On the other hand, dealing with telepaths, emotion-readers, aura-readers, divinities, ultra-powerful AIs, government agents with a file and psych profile of the other character, or Sherlock Holmes level hyper-observers it can make for a fun slightly spooky or cool moment if done right, but that takes mutual OOC understanding of why


I can see those exceptions, but also there are other ways. And as you said talking in ooc definitely would help keep things fair and acceptable. With out talking in ooc it can feel like the character's privacy is being invaded.

But there are other ways to handle characters like that too.

Example: I have a psychic character but the way I go about her 'readings' is that I word it so that my partners response post tells me what information she can get if anything.
Assuming we're sticking to character stuff, unless there's a reason for it, it's kind of annoying, but I usually won't really fuss about it unless it keeps happening or it causes a change that could have a major (especially undesirable) impact on things. Even when there is a reason, I tend to prefer when the other person asks for what they'd get instead of assumes what they'd have access to. When I'm aware of things like extra-sensory abilities or other things that either could either passively get more info or seem likely to be used in a situation, I tend to pretty openly share extra details that that other character might have access to, though, often along with an estimate of how noticeable I think things might be so that player can determine how much of what's provided their character gets from that. Otherwise, my narration can swing pretty wildly between how much info is shared and how clear it's made. (For clarity, I basically mean how I balance show vs. tell; and being someone who can need the "tell" a little more at times, I try to similarly adjust to better suit others.)

When it comes to narration, however, a degree of omniscience is almost necessary (though the brunt of this falls on the expressor rather than the interpreter). There are definitely times when it can be beneficial for a character to be basically a black box; only that which can be outwardly detected being mentioned, with nothing about the character's thoughts, reasoning, etc. It's a lot easier for other players to understand and connect with what's going on when some of that internal stuff is being conveyed somehow, though. I know I'm definitely a lot more engaged if I have some idea of what the other characters are thinking or feeling. That said, it can also be overdone in ways that can make it kind of awkward or distracting (but personally, I'd typically prefer that over not having enough).

I think a degree of metagaming is inescapable, but it should at least be kept within reason. :)
Eternal_Dream Topic Starter

Zelphyr wrote:
Assuming we're sticking to character stuff, unless there's a reason for it, it's kind of annoying, but I usually won't really fuss about it unless it keeps happening or it causes a change that could have a major (especially undesirable) impact on things. Even when there is a reason, I tend to prefer when the other person asks for what they'd get instead of assumes what they'd have access to. When I'm aware of things like extra-sensory abilities or other things that either could either passively get more info or seem likely to be used in a situation, I tend to pretty openly share extra details that that other character might have access to, though, often along with an estimate of how noticeable I think things might be so that player can determine how much of what's provided their character gets from that. Otherwise, my narration can swing pretty wildly between how much info is shared and how clear it's made. (For clarity, I basically mean how I balance show vs. tell; and being someone who can need the "tell" a little more at times, I try to similarly adjust to better suit others.)

When it comes to narration, however, a degree of omniscience is almost necessary (though the brunt of this falls on the expressor rather than the interpreter). There are definitely times when it can be beneficial for a character to be basically a black box; only that which can be outwardly detected being mentioned, with nothing about the character's thoughts, reasoning, etc. It's a lot easier for other players to understand and connect with what's going on when some of that internal stuff is being conveyed somehow, though. I know I'm definitely a lot more engaged if I have some idea of what the other characters are thinking or feeling. That said, it can also be overdone in ways that can make it kind of awkward or distracting (but personally, I'd typically prefer that over not having enough).

I think a degree of metagaming is inescapable, but it should at least be kept within reason. :)

you make some good points.

I think portraying thoughts is important to development and aids in other ways. But sometimes when characters react to thoughts or counteracts plans made in ooc (through a feeling, instinct, or what ever reasoning was used), sometimes it gets to the point that it hinders the direction or the intent. I'm probably not explaining right though.

Like if a character intends to do something or feels a type of way and the other tries to resolve the unspoken action or issue before it makes sense.

Though I still know that it is easy to slip up and I don't really mind when it isn't too frequently. When happens too much it's hard to get into things when it almost seems thwarted.
EndPhase wrote:
I'm probably not explaining right though.

Oh no, I think you were plenty clear! Sorry, the second chunk was mostly just my tendency to blather and over-explain things. ^^;
Juls wrote:
A little slip up every now and then is no big deal. Heck, I am sure I have accidentally done it.

As for the other times...

Automatically being able to read my character's thoughts every single post (when the other character was not supposed to be mind reader) grew frustrating. That RP didn't last long.

When it's way too blatant (and without any OOC agreement about it) I think it can sour a story.

I was going to comment about this but Juls said it basically the same way I would. I tend to base the individual RP as just that, with only what can be known based on the interactions. Just because something is in a character profile or is said in an RP as an internal mind thought does not mean the other character automatically knows about it. usually the other writer uses what is presented as a guide to sense how my character is behaving and is used in an indirect manner. I don't know if that made any sense.
Dawnia wrote:
usually the other writer uses what is presented as a guide to sense how my character is behaving and is used in an indirect manner. I don't know if that made any sense.

Makes plenty sense, assuming I'm interpreting things right. :)

Someone who feels some particular way is likely to use body language, intonation, or other cues that people tend to pick up on without even realizing it. Even when there are plenty such things we're aware of, it can be difficult to present them effectively in writing, and we have to count on the other person understanding what we're describing and interpreting it correctly if we do try to exclusively write it out.

I've played with someone with a character who was supposed to have a supernatural ability to detect communicative cues, though he still had to rely on natural intuition to understand what those cues actually meant. How I'd accommodate that ability varied a bit with circumstances, but frequently it was much easier and more clear to just say some likely interpretations rather that trying to detail out every little piece of what the character might be picking up. It was helpful, too, that I knew I could trust the player to dismiss things that he didn't think his character would have actually picked up on; and for my part, to help with that (and to better avoid taking any "control" of his character), I'd communicate if I figured something might be more difficult to notice or read correctly, or would mention conditions I figured would need to be met for it to be noticed or read correctly.

(Well, technically, a "correct" reading was not always an accurate reading, and vice versa. One example was a character of mine who didn't know about the guy's ability, but who has a pretty good understanding of presenting herself in certain ways, and managed to really, really confuse the guy. In another example, I was using a character who has developed an excellent awareness of a wide range of subtle signs because he has to mimic them intentionally, and the other character got really uncomfortable when mine somewhat obliviously decided to stop maintaining the incredibly subtle external signs of having a pulse or breathing.)
What comes to my mind instantly with this topic is something I tend to do from time to time when I think it could fit the vibe and tone of the story or just be suitable in the current scene. And that is this kind of judging-commenting view of omniscience which explains some things on a meta level, but doesn't have any impact on what actually happens.

I mostly use it specifically when my character knows less than I do. I'm not sure if it's actually helpful or not, I don't know if people appreciated the somewhat comical touch of it or were rather disturbed by that. The main reason is that when I read a post that is dropping pretty obvious hints at for example body language, some underlying tones or anything of the like that I myself recognize because of profiles or plotting etc but my character has 1) no idea at all and doesn't even know and 2) if it's a character who won't notice these subtle things out of their character and it would be ooc to suddenly develop this understanding.

Which is my way to try and balance staying true to character but also not dismissing anything in the last reply. Like I try to tell the player in some way that I do know what happens, I didn't just read past it or am trying to only do my own thing, and at the same time stating somehow that the character is still clueless to figure out if they just need more obvious hints or maybe it's even an interesting cause for misunderstandings or even later shocking revelation things.

Could be like
"If M/C would be able to read Y/Cs thoughts, oh boy would she fall from grace. How could she have not noticed this all along? The reason why Y/C was always nervous and jittery in situations like this. It would all make sense suddenly, and of course M/C would think twice before acting like she always had before. But alas, not only was she not able to read Y/Cs thoughts but sadly also still clueless to whatever Y/C had tried to tell her between the lines."
Just as a random example.

I don't know if some of you did anything like that before as well or if it would be a thing to make you highly uncomfortable, but it just came to my mind, so I thought I'd share this ^^
Sin-fonie wrote:
Could be like
"If M/C would be able to read Y/Cs thoughts, oh boy would she fall from grace. How could she have not noticed this all along? The reason why Y/C was always nervous and jittery in situations like this. It would all make sense suddenly, and of course M/C would think twice before acting like she always had before. But alas, not only was she not able to read Y/Cs thoughts but sadly also still clueless to whatever Y/C had tried to tell her between the lines."
Just as a random example.

I don't know if some of you did anything like that before as well or if it would be a thing to make you highly uncomfortable, but it just came to my mind, so I thought I'd share this ^^

I've done that once in awhile, usually only if the other person has already given me reason to believe it'd be received well (such as having already done it themselves), at least when it's going to be as overt as the example you gave. XD Usually if I'm trying to achieve something like this, I'll aim for something a lot more subtle, like "X had their back turned to Y when the thing happened." Just a quick little statement that leaves the 4th wall a bit more intact.

I don't dislike the more blatant approach, but I do tend to find it jarring. ^^; Sometimes it works excellently with the mood of the RP or at least the moment, though, and as with most things, it becomes less jarring when I get more used to it.
Eternal_Dream Topic Starter

I get that with the mind reading type characters....its with the rest that really just feels out of place. Example: if the other person's character, because of a thought you posted for y/c but did not have y/c state and said person's character proceeds to respond as though it was spoken aloud or addressed.

Or say you ask about the moment and get a response. Well my character wouldn't want that to happen or wouldn't want them to feel that way and would try to help or do something about it. Even when you remind them it's a thought.

I just find it weird when a character picks up on everything from a character no matter what or how it is. Or when you have other characters pass along info (out side of rp post) to cover said knowledge or awareness. I even wonder when their are moments where another character comes in and has too much second hand knowledge of another character because they were told by another. Because that brings up the question, how much would really be told. Do they tell this person everything? No exceptions? At all? And would that person who was given information really tell others what they learned with out consideration? Too much awareness is well...just too much awareness.

IDK maybe it's just me over thinking.

I like to have each post play off each other, but when omniscience comes into play it makes it so difficult. Or if an idea is mention in ooc and the person perfectly sets their character up for the situation instead of letting it come up organically. I apparently missed a cue for giving me the opening for an idea I had but for me it felt like a tangent from the current situation and didn't fit so I didn't use it.

I know it will happen sometimes I think my issue comes when it happens all the time. Sometimes let the person fail, or have a bad experience or what ever it is instead of must fix this now can't let it happen. It feels like overwriting your rp partners intention sometimes. (rarely I mean but sometimes) And now i think i'm going in circles lol.


everyone has made some really good points though. A certain level of omniscience will occur because we are writing it, we talk ooc, we plot/plan and that's understandable. And It's okay to speak on it. I do know sometimes people do struggle keeping what they know and what their character knows separate.

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