Roleplaying, powerposing

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Powerposing is something you want to avoid doing. A powerpose is a pose which either forces or implies a particular reaction from another character without getting their player's consent. For example, this would be considered a powerpose:

> Sxinon swings his foot in a high arc, and hits Tsoami on the side of the head, knocking him to the ground.

It's a powerpose because it's always possible, in this example, that Tsoami would duck, or that he would block the kick, or something else besides being knocked down. The correct way to pose this action would be like this:

> Sxinon swings his foot in a high arc, aiming for the side of Tsoami's head, intending to knock him to the ground.

Here is another example of powerposing. This might be Tsoami's responding pose after Sxinon posed attempting to kick him:

> Tsoami ducks the kick, and sweeps his leg forward, taking out Sxinon's supporting leg and knocking him down.

Although given the situation (Sxinon standing on one leg while kicking with the other), it seems obvious that a foot-sweep would cause him to fall over, it is still a powerpose for Tsoami's player to make that assumption. The correct pose for this action would be like this:

> Tsoami ducks the kick, and sweeps his leg forward, trying to take out Sxinon's supporting leg and knock him down.

It is also considered powerposing if you don't give other players a chance to react to what your character is doing. For example, this would be a powerpose:

> Sxinon's leg is caught and he goes over, but he quickly rolls to his feet again. He then steps back, levels his blaster, and fires several shots at Tsoami. Then he drops the blaster, pulls out a combat knife, and attacks.

What this type of powerpose does is, rather than forcing an action, it forces *in*action on the other character. They aren't going to just stand around while all these things are happening, after all. A more reasonable pose would be this:

> Sxinon's leg is caught and he goes over, but he quickly rolls to his feet again, drawing his blaster.

So far, we've covered one way to avoid powerposing: only posing your own character's actions, and making sure actions in a single pose are kept brief enough for other characters to react. Another way to avoid powerposing is to work out with the other players what the results of an intended action should be. This allows you to include the reactions of the other characters without it being a powerpose. An example might look like this:

> Tsoami pages to Sxinon: Hey, you should know that I have a device in my pocket that allows me to cause blasters to explode when fired. If you're going to use your blaster, I'm going to use that device.

> Sxinon pages to Tsoami: The admins actually let you have that? Well, alright then. Go ahead and pose my blaster exploding in your next pose.

> Tsoami pages to Sxinon: How much damage can I say it causes?

> Sxinon pages to Tsoami: Well, I'm wearing my battle gauntlets, so I don't think it'd hurt me, but it might ruin one of the gauntlets.

After that, the scene would continue, with Tsoami posing using his device, and Sxinon's blaster exploding, with the agreed-upon level of damage.

The last thing we want to cover under this topic isn't powerposing technically, but it falls into the same category: roleplaying your character having possessions and abilities that are unrealistic. In the example above, the device that causes blasters to explode is an example: even if such a device existed, it's unlikely that any random character would be carrying one around. Any such devices would have to be agreed to by a game admin before they could be used in roleplay. Similarly, exceptional abilities, such as telepathy (in a race that is not normally telepathic), would have to be cleared by an admin.

Even when all these abilities and devices have been agreed to, it is up to the player to consider whether it's realistic the character would have them whenever they needed them, and were ready to use them. For example, my character may own a veritable arsenal of weapons for use in combat, but unless he carries them all around with him everywhere he goes, if he were to randomly encounter an enemy, chances are he wouldn't have any particular weapon with him, and he should be roleplayed as such.

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