Use of disguises/hidden names

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malcolm_mountainslayer
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Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by malcolm_mountainslayer » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:24 pm

I would like feedback on an opinion.

Important part:
It is my opinion that players should use their intended public/property owning alias/identity as their created character name not necessarily their real name (both if that are same-ish)

If a character has a secret hidden name that is never ever spoken; it might as well not exist, the common alias they tell everyone from the banker (who acceprs your transfers) to the messengers to the property people would register you by your created name, which should therefor resemble your public name.
End of important part.

I for the most part just leave the disguise drama alone, but even lots of none disguised PCs will pull off "this the name everyone calls me by and i never spoken my actaul real name". Like why make it more difficult for people to not metagame? Rather than remembering everyone actual literal words when they tell me their name, i just keep track "this person has told me their name but this person has not" not hells way am i remembering your custom name in a virtual reality i play on the side. I just keep track if i should know your name or not and that's enoigh for me. If you want to be some disguise master, I also just let you becuase i don't have the ooc skils/time for that.

That may sound selfish of me, but if you really expect every player to "get on your level of secret name tracking" in the entirety of your career, that's going to be a ridiculous/unrealisitic expectation. I am actaully like to be a real good sport sbout metagsming names and all, in fact, I felt bad and profusely apologized the time i yelled someone's real name they never disguised, they just used a diff name ic than above their head (couple years ago). I don't want to metagame, but certain behaviors/strategies set people up for failure to be a good sport.

Ok deep breathe before you all go counter rant me.

This isn't the fake name people faults either; we have a long tradition of your character name being your actaul name with no titles etc. I want to say "axe that" but the problem is people might have some ridiculous public name aliases and rhe immersion of ridiculous character names would be bad. But if people were constantly disguised with ridiculous aliases, does the immersion change? I am really thinking we could tweak character name creation rules here so that there is proper harmony with property owning/public name and then you can just rp your secret names in secret.

-XXX-
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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by -XXX- » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:42 pm

This sounds more like something that should have been reported to the DMs rather than posted for feedback to the community.

malcolm_mountainslayer
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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by malcolm_mountainslayer » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:50 pm

-XXX- wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:42 pm
This sounds more like something that should have been reported to the DMs rather than posted for feedback to the community.
I have no incident to report.

Do you have any constructive criticism on the first two paragraphs? I think I have a good idea to change things for the better. I can delete other parts of my post of it's too personal.

*edit* i have not been logged in for weeks if you think i have any personal stake in any recent situation.

The Impregnable Derp
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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by The Impregnable Derp » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:10 am

I use disguises and have lied ICly and given false names when asked. Why? Well ICly it is just the clever thing to do if you do not want a bunch of attention. Lying is also a big part of my character's faith (they are evil after all) and they will probably respond to anything you ask them with a mixture of truth and lies to try and confuse you. OOCly I do not want groups of epic characters scrying my location and sending gank squads after me every time I am trying to level, which is something that definitely happens to foolish evil characters who go around trying to make a name for themselves before they have the muscle to back it up.

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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by malcolm_mountainslayer » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:40 am

The Impregnable Derp wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:10 am
I use disguises and have lied ICly and given false names when asked. Why? Well ICly it is just the clever thing to do if you do not want a bunch of attention. Lying is also a big part of my character's faith (they are evil after all) and they will probably respond to anything you ask them with a mixture of truth and lies to try and confuse you. OOCly I do not want groups of epic characters scrying my location and sending gank squads after me every time I am trying to level, which is something that definitely happens to foolish evil characters who go around trying to make a name for themselves before they have the muscle to back it up.
I think lying for extended periods is Obvously fine (especially if you are wantrd) i just mean in scenarios where someone false name is pragmatically their real name. Right at character creation alll the way to when someone accidentally says their name or the player didnt know property ownership is IC info.

You have a good counter point about scrying. Should all Just use alternate names and new meta is no one scry anyone? I think we have a disguise system for pretending to be someone else if we want a face to villanry more early on. I don't think giving fake name always regardless of disguise pedantry (though respectable pedantry). Higj lvl people constantly using scry to hunt doen some low/mid lvl character sounds like someone that might 'accidentally' just metagame your name anyways. Like there play ethic is already questionable and that is potentially a issue on it's own that might need dealing with.

But you pose a good question:

Should we without disguises be allowed to always for our whole career give a fake name and is said fake name truly fake anymore just for scry protection? If this generates better rp should just all have fake names and rp cut off scrying? Should we develop criterion other than a name for scrying? Like meet undisguised face to face and then punish gsnk squads more? (You should report those incidents)



(sounds like your case is in your favour and not mind for argument sake though I'm not sure how permanent your fake name was)

-XXX-
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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by -XXX- » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:02 am

malcolm_mountainslayer wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:50 pm
-XXX- wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:42 pm
This sounds more like something that should have been reported to the DMs rather than posted for feedback to the community.
I have no incident to report.

Do you have any constructive criticism on the first two paragraphs? I think I have a good idea to change things for the better. I can delete other parts of my post of it's too personal.

*edit* i have not been logged in for weeks if you think i have any personal stake in any recent situation.
My personal opinion on the matter is that using -disguise to assume a character's true identity is an abuse of the mechanic.
I think that it's an exploit aiming to throw off players who successfully break disguises while dodging -scry, speedies and exile - nobody is supposed to ever learn anything useful when -disguise is abused this way, regardless of whether they successfully break it or not, and that's precisely why the players who do this are doing it.

They think that they're being clever, I say it's an exploit. We're supposed to roleplay our character sheet - the sheet in this case clearly states what the character's real identity is.
But that's just my opinion. You might want to get feedback from the DMs regarding this as it's their call.


EDIT: using disguise to assume a character's real identity is in violation of the Rules and Boundaries regarding disguises as stated on the Arelith wiki page - "If your character is not, in any way, trying to disguise, then you should not use -disguise"
This could be further narrowed down to:
- Use Sparingly
- Forbidden: Any situation where your character is not attempting to actually disguise.


EXAMPLE:
Player creating and playing the character Jake who later disguises and temporarily assumes the identity of "Bob" for the purposes of infiltration and spying seems like an intended use of the -disguise mechanic

Player creating the character Jake, immediately -disguising them as "Bob", always appearing as "Bob" and insisting both IC and OOC that their real identity is "Bob" looks like a textbook abuse of the -disguise mechanic (as they are not in fact trying to disguise themselves - they're merely trying to replace their mechanical name with a permanent moniker).
Note that in this case the idea is to NEVER reveal that the character's real mechanical name is Jake, making sure that other characters have no way of learning it EVER, so the clear intent is evading any IG mechanic that uses the character's real name as stated in their character sheet - scry, exile, speedies, assasinate, etc.




On an unrelated note regarding lease signs - it's been explicitly stated that these provide open legitimate IG information.
That means if you see Jake pretending to be "Bob" standing next to their shop stall that has a sign reading "Jake's shop" on it, your character is in their right to assume that the merchant is in fact Jake pretending to be "Bob".
If Jake wanted to conceal their identity while assuming the guise of "Bob", they should have never claimed the property in the first place.
Last edited by -XXX- on Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

The Impregnable Derp
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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by The Impregnable Derp » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:22 pm

I still think descriptions should be mandatory on an RP server, and that breaking a disguise should let you see this description. With god-saves and cover, anyone who really invests in Bluff or Perform will be able to fool most people at least briefly regardless of how high their Spot skill is. Of course, enforcing this could be a logistical nightmare, even if it's mechanically forced, how many existing characters are there with blank, vague, or irrelevant descriptions? The DM's would likely have to go around constantly checking descriptions to make sure they didn't see something like:
Height: FOIG
Weight: FOIG
Eye Color: FOIG
Hair Color: FOIG
Distinguishing Marks: FOIG

-XXX-
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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by -XXX- » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:36 pm

The Impregnable Derp wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:22 pm
I still think descriptions should be mandatory on an RP server
Irrelevant - this topic focuses on what is, as is, and whether it's being used properly.

malcolm_mountainslayer
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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by malcolm_mountainslayer » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:43 pm

-XXX- wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:02 am
malcolm_mountainslayer wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:50 pm
-XXX- wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:42 pm
This sounds more like something that should have been reported to the DMs rather than posted for feedback to the community.
I have no incident to report.

Do you have any constructive criticism on the first two paragraphs? I think I have a good idea to change things for the better. I can delete other parts of my post of it's too personal.

*edit* i have not been logged in for weeks if you think i have any personal stake in any recent situation.
My personal opinion on the matter is that using -disguise to assume a character's true identity is an abuse of the mechanic.
I think that it's an exploit aiming to throw off players who successfully break disguises while dodging -scry, speedies and exile - nobody is supposed to ever learn anything useful when -disguise is abused this way, regardless of whether they successfully break it or not, and that's precisely why the players who do this are doing it.

They think that they're being clever, I say it's an exploit. We're supposed to roleplay our character sheet - the sheet in this case clearly states what the character's real identity is.
But that's just my opinion. You might want to get feedback from the DMs regarding this as it's their call.


EDIT: using disguise to assume a character's real identity is in violation of the Rules and Boundaries regarding disguises as stated on the Arelith wiki page - "If your character is not, in any way, trying to disguise, then you should not use -disguise"
This could be further narrowed down to:
- Use Sparingly
- Forbidden: Any situation where your character is not attempting to actually disguise.


EXAMPLE:
Player creating and playing the character Jake who later disguises and temporarily assumes the identity of "Bob" for the purposes of infiltration and spying seems like an intended use of the -disguise mechanic

Player creating the character Jake, immediately -disguising them as "Bob", always appearing as "Bob" and insisting both IC and OOC that their real identity is "Bob" looks like a textbook abuse of the -disguise mechanic (as they are not in fact trying to disguise themselves - they're merely trying to replace their mechanical name with a permanent moniker).
Note that in this case the idea is to NEVER reveal that the character's real mechanical name is Jake, making sure that other characters have no way of learning it EVER, so the clear intent is evading any IG mechanic that uses the character's real name as stated in their character sheet - scry, exile, speedies, assasinate, etc.




On an unrelated note regarding lease signs - it's been explicitly stated that these provide open legitimate IG information.
That means if you see Jake pretending to be "Bob" standing next to their shop stall that has a sign reading "Jake's shop" on it, your character is in their right to assume that the merchant is in fact Jake pretending to be "Bob".
If Jake wanted to conceal their identity while assuming the guise of "Bob", they should have never claimed the property in the first place.
So I like everything you said, but I am not sure what it has to do with my idea and I do not know if you are misunderstanding me or other way around.

I am not advocating disguising for real identity.

I am advocating our character sheet name should be our character's publicly shared RP non-disguised name so we don't have issues like "well why would i sign the document for the property on a name i never even used."

Like if i run away from a war and adapt a new name in a new country to avoid the baggage. All my legal documents etc Would all be in that new name. If i am using that new name from square/day 1 of a new character and never my original "secret name" then I might as well use the "the new not real name' as my actaul real name on the character sheet to created consistency/coherency with public appearance, property owning, etc. So far disguises have not been mentioned.

If a player without even disguising always uses a different name that does not resemble their character sheet at all; it just makes it harder on other players to not accidentally "metagame their name" by accident as a player might just remember "undisguised character x shared their name" and someone will eventually mess up.

My proposal for fixing this altering/modifying the character creation name rules so one's character sheet contains the most commonly used undisguised name given out to the public.

This idea could be broadened impact your "jake is perma disguising as Bob as their real identity" issue but the issue at it's heart does not necessarily involve disguises at all.

What you may want is "whatever the most consistently used public identity is should be their character sheet name."

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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by malcolm_mountainslayer » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:49 pm

The Impregnable Derp wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:22 pm
I still think descriptions should be mandatory on an RP server, and that breaking a disguise should let you see this description. With god-saves and cover, anyone who really invests in Bluff or Perform will be able to fool most people at least briefly regardless of how high their Spot skill is. Of course, enforcing this could be a logistical nightmare, even if it's mechanically forced, how many existing characters are there with blank, vague, or irrelevant descriptions? The DM's would likely have to go around constantly checking descriptions to make sure they didn't see something like:
Height: FOIG
Weight: FOIG
Eye Color: FOIG
Hair Color: FOIG
Distinguishing Marks: FOIG
Honestly, I might write down those things as a courtesy to others, but I dont think in these values and and don't/won't even remember what these are for my own characters let alone others' (i am more of an in-person actor than a reader/writer and a huge fan of WYSIWYG instead of lengthy descriptions) so I am not sure this is the ultimate solution.

*edit*

If the description game also becomes the standard, would requirements scrying someone change too if we all just perma lied about our name? I mean the description thing is really not the main bearing on my topic: should a secret real name be a character sheet name?

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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by -XXX- » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:07 pm

The -disguise mechanic offers a tool for a character to temporarily assume a secret identity when they want to go under cover for the purposes of spying, infiltration and subterfuge. This assumes such characters would want to keep a low profile while doing so.
Signing documents and claiming property is NOT keeping a low profile.
malcolm_mountainslayer wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:43 pm
I am advocating our character sheet name should be our character's publicly shared RP non-disguised name so we don't have issues like "well why would i sign the document for the property on a name i never even used."
To answer this clearly: characters don't sign documents with their newly assumed pseudonym while under -disguise because they are not supposed to be signing any documents while they are trying to be disguised.

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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by Baron Saturday » Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:17 pm

XXX, I'm pretty sure that you and malcolm are in agreement here: Disguises should generally be for temporary use, not for permanently changing your name. You're both saying that if you're gonna make Jake and the immediately and permanently disguise as Bob, just name your character Bob.

I agree as well, for many of the reasons you've both stated.
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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by In Sorrow We Trust » Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:30 pm

If it hasn't been said already, keep in mind a scry command will also accept a disguised name. Simply using a disguise on its own is not sufficient protection.
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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by AskRyze » Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:10 pm

I recently had a discussion with Avalon Soul about this, or a similar issue.

Image
Image

Hope that helps.

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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by malcolm_mountainslayer » Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:10 pm

In Sorrow We Trust wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:30 pm
If it hasn't been said already, keep in mind a scry command will also accept a disguised name. Simply using a disguise on its own is not sufficient protection.
So if a fake disguise name is sufficient for a scry then if I never disguise, but always lie about my name, should that consistent lie name work for a scry? This is why I'm thinking character creation name rules could use a little tweaking for players that wish to have a pseudoname as their non disguise name their whole career.

Like we have the ye ol "put your actaul name, ot titles, etc but feel free to to and call yourself whatever and let the rp happen". Maybe it should be in a different direction: "put down whatever you most call yourself, what your tax papers would say when you sign stuff like properties."

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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by malcolm_mountainslayer » Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:13 pm

AskRyze wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:10 pm
I recently had a discussion with Avalon Soul about this, or a similar issue.

Image
Image

Hope that helps.
This is super insightful/helpful and is literally on point of what I am trying to discuss.

I think if character name creation rules reflected it (maybe they were already changed and I making a fool of myself); that would even be better.

*edit*

To be clear, I am not against situation lying about one's name without disguising. It is the while "i never even told anyone my real name ever" i was concerned about and this made it clears up that niche scenario beautifully.

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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by IanPatron » Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:55 pm

Honestly I think players have a right to disguise their true names permanently. In the realm of Forgotten Realms, true names have power. This is especially true for players of rogues, tricksters, and shadowy figures.

I have a character that goes by a pseudonym at all times, so if someone were to find out his true name, it would mean absolutely nothing. Chances are if they happened upon his true name while investigating owned property and such, they might not even be able to connect his true name with his pseudonym name.

Especially in this game, where people can metagame such stuff, the disguise mechanic on Arelith is a most refreshing idea. Not to mention the "fully covered" lack of description, should anyone bypass the disguise.

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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by Duchess Says » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:17 pm

Playing a very long term disguise and hiding your +real+ name really ought to be okay. If the +real+ name is meaningless however I don't see much point. Just for the sake of making this conceit interesting you ought to allow some ramifications if this +real+ name is discovered. Like if someone finds out your +real+ name you have to kill them to cover it up and shed all trace of the former identity (taking up a new alter ego entirely). You could even consciously leave occasional clues so this would be something that could actually happen.

That's just one example not what everyone must do but you get the point I hope. If you're doing this don't just permanently conceal your +real+ name with no intention of telling anyone. Play the long con and make some story of it.

edit: I am not speaking of the concept of "true name", only "real" identity a disguise is obscuring
Last edited by Duchess Says on Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

-XXX-
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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by -XXX- » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:04 pm

Let's not mix True Names into this.

The concept of True Names in D&D is something uniquely distinct that is in no way related to the -disguise mechanic whatsoever.

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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by Nitro » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:23 pm

I really don't think Duchess meant "True Name" rather true name as in a characters real mechanical name given that's what the context of their reply was about.

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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by malcolm_mountainslayer » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:22 am

Yeah, we are not discussing true names in a metaphysical.

We are discussing "should created character name be parent given name even if you never go by that name and would never buy property with that name too."

The answer according to the the apparent conversation with a DM earlier would seem to be "no". Our character creation name should be the one we tell everyone when not actively disguising; it has become our new default name. Much like how the immortals in the show "protector" would change names over centuries to the point that they even treated it like their real name among each other.

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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by Nitro » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:00 am

What about a person who doesn't reveal their real name, but also doesn't stick to any one disguise? Actively using different disguises to, y'know, obfuscate their identity and play different roles.

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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by -XXX- » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:48 am

Nitro wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:00 am
What about a person who doesn't reveal their real name, but also doesn't stick to any one disguise? Actively using different disguises to, y'know, obfuscate their identity and play different roles.
I think that such character might struggle connecting with other characters in any meaningful way. Additionally, such character wouldn't be able to own property or join factions. I suppose that this might be as close to the Arelith single player experience as it can get.

Personally, I consider the downsides of doing this to be much greater than any possible advantage gained by it.
Eventually hiding the character's real identity in such way only to dodge all of the aforementioned mechanics would have become pointless, as there's a very strong possibility that nobody would have had any real interest in learning it and using those mechanics against them at that point in the first place.
A character needs consistent identity for them not to be continually overlooked and disregarded by other characters / players.

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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by Eira » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:24 pm

There has been at least one well known character that had a bunch of different aliases, and then actually settled down in one enough to get an actual proper name change to that alias

Giving a false name while being undisguised is alright for a once off I'd think, as an unplanned thing. But it shouldn't be frequent. (And honestly if I do that, I just do -disguise [that name] as soon as it's said)
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Re: Use of disguises/hidden names

Post by Arienette » Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:04 pm

-XXX- wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:48 am
Nitro wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:00 am
What about a person who doesn't reveal their real name, but also doesn't stick to any one disguise? Actively using different disguises to, y'know, obfuscate their identity and play different roles.
I think that such character might struggle connecting with other characters in any meaningful way. Additionally, such character wouldn't be able to own property or join factions. I suppose that this might be as close to the Arelith single player experience as it can get.

Personally, I consider the downsides of doing this to be much greater than any possible advantage gained by it.
Eventually hiding the character's real identity in such way only to dodge all of the aforementioned mechanics would have become pointless, as there's a very strong possibility that nobody would have had any real interest in learning it and using those mechanics against them at that point in the first place.
A character needs consistent identity for them not to be continually overlooked and disregarded by other characters / players.
This is my biggest problem with the current disguise meta.

It often seems that my character is just interacting with a lot of masked, helmeted, nameless, faceless shadowy figures. Nobody stands out, nobody worth remembering. I honestly think it’s becoming excessive, but that might just be me.

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