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Descriptions Wanted 1.0

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  • ArmaliArmali Member, Secret Squirrel Posts: 1,255 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    @Jiraishin
    What's general policy on using parenthesis in this sort of writing?

    For example:

    He had red hair, parted to the left, that was long and curly.
    vs.
    He had red hair (parted to the left) that was long and curly.
  • DupreDupre M.Member Posts: 288 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited February 2
    You absolutely do not use parentheses for adding a minor, closely related details. Parentheses are meant to break up the flow of a sentence and draw attention to an aside, comment, or explanation that isn't directly related to the content of that sentence

    He had red hair, parted to the left, that was long and curly.
    He had red hair (Sartan dyed it with the blood of His enemies) that was long and curly.
    He had red hair (does it smell like blood to you?) that was long and curly.

    IMO there are few instances where a description can use parentheses without sounding douchey or dumb
    https://www.achaea.com/banner/caiges.jpg
  • JiraishinJiraishin trapped in a thawing block of iceMember Posts: 2,018 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Armali said:
    @Jiraishin
    What's general policy on using parenthesis in this sort of writing?

    For example:

    He had red hair, parted to the left, that was long and curly.
    vs.
    He had red hair (parted to the left) that was long and curly.
    Don't use them.
    ________________________
    The soul of Ashmond says, "Always with the sniping."
  • CaelanCaelan Member Posts: 1,860 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited February 3
    Dupre said:
    You absolutely do not use parentheses for adding a minor, closely related details. Parentheses are meant to break up (the flow of) a sentence and draw attention (to an aside), ((comment), or explanation) that isn't directly related to the content (of that sentence)
    Use them liberally is the only rule.  Go big or go home.

  • VenmaraVenmara Member Posts: 19 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    Pyori said:
    Pyori and Elisella are both xoran (formerly human). Amunet's a human (I think?), as is Keorin. Shirszae's an atavian. Jemisha's a troll... To be honest, lately I've seen a lot more non-sirens than sirens. Not just in Ashtan... Though it doesn't stop them having the figure of a siren >.>
    Keorin's an atavian too, I think it just does not get mentioned much... And I have a sneaky feeling I'm the Troll Kraetos spoke to.
    I have noticed there being not a great deal of Trolls, female or otherwise (I can name Jemisha and Morn for certain, but nobody beyond)

    But I agree with the point, it's just him. Especially given the number of Rajamalan and Atavian I see in Cyrene.
    UrokShirszae
  • KlendathuKlendathu Eye of the StormMember Posts: 3,178 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    ... is a siren and has ( . )( . ) ? @Caelan

    Tharos, the Announcer of Delos shouts, "It's near the end of the egghunt and I still haven't figured out how to pronounce Clean-dat-hoo."
    CaelanVender
  • FinchyFinchy Member Posts: 142 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited February 4
    Venmara said:

    But I agree with the point, it's just him. Especially given the number of Rajamalan and Atavian I see in Cyrene.
    Hey I was Atavian entirely for land-tax evasion purposes, then I fell for the Humanity meme because I didn't think wings and rigging was a good combo. 
    EDIT: Seriously I hate walking in the wilderness now. 

  • JiraishinJiraishin trapped in a thawing block of iceMember Posts: 2,018 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Jir before the masked ball:

    He is a mhun of average height. Lean of frame, he moves with swift economy, his manner guarded and his grey eyes constantly assessing his surroundings. Short-cropped dark hair frames a thin, bronze-skinned face: his features, though surprisingly youthful, are lined by hardship and bitter experience. His lips are scarred in several places by a sharp edge, and a thin blade scar traces down one cheekbone.


    Jir during the masked ball:

    He is a mhun of average height, with bronze skin and short-cropped dark hair. Lean of frame, he moves with swift economy, his manner guarded and his grey eyes constantly assessing his surroundings from behind the impassive countenance of an eerily mirrored mask.

    Jir after the masked ball:

    He is a mhun of average height, bronze-skinned and lean. He moves with swift economy, his manner guarded and his grey eyes constantly assessing his surroundings; his short-cropped, dark hair frames a thin, surprisingly youthful face, its features lined by hardship and bitter experience rather than age. His lips are scarred in several places by a sharp edge, and a thin blade scar traces down one cheekbone.
    Is the before or after version better?
    ________________________
    The soul of Ashmond says, "Always with the sniping."
    Finchy
  • FinchyFinchy Member Posts: 142 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited March 22
    Jiraishin said:
    Jir before the masked ball:

    He is a mhun of average height. Lean of frame, he moves with swift economy, his manner guarded and his grey eyes constantly assessing his surroundings. Short-cropped dark hair frames a thin, bronze-skinned face: his features, though surprisingly youthful, are lined by hardship and bitter experience. His lips are scarred in several places by a sharp edge, and a thin blade scar traces down one cheekbone.


    Jir during the masked ball:

    He is a mhun of average height, with bronze skin and short-cropped dark hair. Lean of frame, he moves with swift economy, his manner guarded and his grey eyes constantly assessing his surroundings from behind the impassive countenance of an eerily mirrored mask.

    Jir after the masked ball:

    He is a mhun of average height, bronze-skinned and lean. He moves with swift economy, his manner guarded and his grey eyes constantly assessing his surroundings; his short-cropped, dark hair frames a thin, surprisingly youthful face, its features lined by hardship and bitter experience rather than age. His lips are scarred in several places by a sharp edge, and a thin blade scar traces down one cheekbone.
    Is the before or after version better?
    Hold on is this for that CIJ masquerade thing. DID THOSE ASSHOLES GIVE FINCHY A FAKE CANCELLATION? 

    I like "Swift economy" almost as much as I like temporary changes to descriptions that reflect a current piece of clothing or recent incident. I prefer after. 


  • IliraIlira Member Posts: 12
    Does a dainty build explicitly denote a small stature? I'd assume a character to be pretty short if that were in their description, but I have received varied feedback thus far.
    Remember when you were young?
    You shone like the sun.
    Shine on, you crazy diamond.
  • JiraishinJiraishin trapped in a thawing block of iceMember Posts: 2,018 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Ilira said:
    Does a dainty build explicitly denote a small stature? I'd assume a character to be pretty short if that were in their description, but I have received varied feedback thus far.
    Not necessarily, but most people would assume so. They could just be fine-boned and of average height, but most people would visualize them as small.
    ________________________
    The soul of Ashmond says, "Always with the sniping."
    Ilira
  • MyrleMyrle Member Posts: 1
    edited May 11
    Hello!

    Is this okay for description?

    She is a lizard-like xoran. Slim, delicate, her frame is more height than breadth or depth. Scaly from crown to pads, the stretched hexagons are swampy green and matte in texture. The distinct seams between each scale are black, polished, and are more visually striking between smaller joints like knuckles, jaw, and toes. This contrasting darkness matches her piercing eyes. Reaching farther than her limbs, her long tail seems to be one of the few truly trained portions of her structure. Whip-like if startled, or swaying just above the ground idle, the limb acts as another form of expression.

    Thank you!
  • StefanaStefana Member Posts: 54 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I know I may be opening myself up to some very anti-Cyrene and/or anti-Siren commentary here, but maybe in amid that I can get some honest (gentle?) feedback. I recently updated Stefana’s description figuring that the bouncy-bubbly verbage was a little out of place with everything she and all of Cyrene have gone through lately, so here it is!

    She is a beautiful siren of slender build and masterful posture, with tenuous yet wiry limbs that move fluidly and belie her middling stature. She carries herself with a graceful discipline, but the animation that once livened her step has been eroded by the stress evident in her rigid bearing. A flaxen mane cascades bountifully to her rib cage in soft curls streaked by the sun and tousled by salty winds, the feathered tendrils that frame her heart-shaped face aglow with notes of gold and honey. The vivid turquoise of her wide, expressive eyes is eclipsed at times by a dusky veil of lashes cast frequently downward, lids heavy with fatigue. Her once-ivory skin is burnished by a warm bronze that betrays time spent on the sun-scorched seas, though its youthful radiance eludes the mars and creases typically wrought by exposure. The corners of her full lips seem tugged perpetually upward into an increasingly reluctant smile, revealing pearl-white teeth in perfect alignment and opposing the severity of her wearied gaze. Serene azure warpaint is artfully brushed over her cheek to form the image of a proud dragon.

    I am pretty happy with how I describe most of her features if I go through sentence-by-sentence, but my concern is it may be a little choppy? I dunno, what do the description police think?
    image
  • JiraishinJiraishin trapped in a thawing block of iceMember Posts: 2,018 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Gimme some time to have my morning caffeine and I'll get back to you. It's really not a bad description though, just a couple words I'd tweak. 
    ________________________
    The soul of Ashmond says, "Always with the sniping."
    Stefana
  • JiraishinJiraishin trapped in a thawing block of iceMember Posts: 2,018 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Stefana said:

    She is a beautiful siren of slender build and masterful posture, with tenuous yet wiry limbs that move fluidly and belie her middling stature. She carries herself with a graceful discipline, but the animation that once livened her step has been eroded by the stress evident in her rigid bearing. A flaxen mane cascades bountifully to her rib cage in soft curls streaked by the sun and tousled by salty winds, the feathered tendrils that frame her heart-shaped face aglow with notes of gold and honey. The vivid turquoise of her wide, expressive eyes is eclipsed at times by a dusky veil of lashes cast frequently downward, lids heavy with fatigue. Her once-ivory skin is burnished by a warm bronze that betrays time spent on the sun-scorched seas, though its youthful radiance eludes the mars and creases typically wrought by exposure. The corners of her full lips seem tugged perpetually upward into an increasingly reluctant smile, revealing pearl-white teeth in perfect alignment and opposing the severity of her wearied gaze. Serene azure warpaint is artfully brushed over her cheek to form the image of a proud dragon.

    "tenuous yet wiry limbs that move fluidly and belie her middling stature"-- Tenuous is a weird word to use in this context, stick with wiry. Saying that they 'move fluidly' makes me think that she's swimming all the time, but that's more of a style nitpick. Also, nothing about that description of her limbs has anything that would belie a middling stature.

    2. "The vivid turquoise of her wide, expressive eyes is eclipsed at times by a dusky veil of lashes cast frequently downward, lids heavy with fatigue" Restructure this so it doesn't read like the lashes have lids.

    3. "Her once-ivory skin is burnished by a warm bronze that betrays time spent on the sun-scorched seas, though its youthful radiance eludes the mars and creases typically wrought by exposure." 'Eludes' is the wrong word here. I'd actually suggest tightening that to "though it lacks the mars and creases typical of exposure" and cutting out the whole youthful radiance bit.

    4. "The corners of her full lips seem tugged perpetually upward into an increasingly reluctant smile, revealing pearl-white teeth in perfect alignment and opposing the severity of her wearied gaze" I really kind of doubt she's wearing a -permanent- smile. That's kind of creepy if so.


    ________________________
    The soul of Ashmond says, "Always with the sniping."
  • StefanaStefana Member Posts: 54 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Thanks @Jiraishin for all the input! The parts you picked out are for the most part ones I was unsure about already (except I like the word elude but I will defer to you and tighten it up hehe).

    About the stature-belying limbs I was trying to get at them being long without actually adding “long” because I had so many words in that sentence already, but if I am nixing tenuous maybe I will swap it out for long so it makes more sense?

    And I know she is not smiling 100% of the time lol, but she tries to a lot so I figured when people are LOOKing at her there is a good chance they’d see her smile so I should describe it? How would you suggest I handle that? I thought using “seem” was a passable way around it but clearly it’s still seeming like a creepy Chuckie doll-esque permasmile, so I need a better solution :lol:
    image
  • StefanaStefana Member Posts: 54 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Okay here is what I have now. Better?

    She is a beautiful siren of slender build and masterful posture, with long, wiry limbs that belie her middling stature. She carries herself with a graceful discipline, but the animation that once livened her step has been eroded by the stress evident in her rigid bearing. A flaxen mane cascades bountifully to her rib cage in soft curls streaked by the sun and tousled by salty winds, the feathered tendrils that frame her heart-shaped face aglow with notes of gold and honey. Heavy lids bear down with fatigue on her wide, expressive eyes, vivid turquoise irises eclipsed at times by a dusky veil of lashes cast frequently downward. Her once-ivory skin is burnished by a warm bronze that betrays time spent on the sun-scorched seas, though it lacks the mars and creases typically wrought by exposure. The corners of her full lips are often tugged upward into a smile that seems reluctant under scrutiny, revealing pearl-white teeth in perfect alignment and opposing the severity of her wearied gaze. Serene azure warpaint is artfully brushed over her cheek to form the image of a proud dragon.

    image
  • AntoniusAntonius Member Posts: 4,895 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    "She carries herself with a graceful discipline, but the animation that once livened her step has been eroded by the stress evident in her rigid bearing."

    I am almost certainly guilty of doing the same thing in descriptions I've written (possibly even in my current desc!), but I don't see how somebody who has never met your character before would be able to tell what they used to be like from looking at them.
  • StefanaStefana Member Posts: 54 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    You are totally right @Antonius, I figure I can get away with the once-ivory skin because you can usually tell if someone’s skintone is naturally dark or if it’s a tan, but with that line I noticed it didn’t really make sense but kind of just went, “well... whatever it’s fine” :lol: In her pre-blackwave desc I had something about her animation and joviality tempering the rigidity of her bearing, so I wanted to change it to reflect the hardship wearing her down. But you are right that if someone is seeing her for the first time, they won’t know how she used to be, so I’ll have to brainstorm a better way of phrasing it that doesn’t assume the onlooker’s prior knowledge of her demeanour. Thank you for bringing that up!
    image
  • StefanaStefana Member Posts: 54 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished

    Okay, here we go again:

    She is a beautiful siren of slender build and masterful posture, with long, wiry limbs that belie her middling stature. She carries herself with a graceful discipline, but the stress evident in her rigid bearing erodes the fluidity of her movements, her elegant gait restrained by stiffness in her shoulders and hips. A flaxen mane cascades bountifully to her rib cage in soft curls streaked by the sun and tousled by salty winds, the feathered tendrils that frame her heart-shaped face aglow with notes of gold and honey. Heavy lids bear down with fatigue on her wide, expressive eyes, vivid turquoise irises eclipsed at times by a dusky veil of lashes cast frequently downward. Her once-ivory skin is burnished by a warm bronze that betrays time spent on the sun-scorched seas, though it lacks the mars and creases typically wrought by exposure. The corners of her full lips are often tugged upward into a smile that seems reluctant under scrutiny, revealing pearl-white teeth in perfect alignment and opposing the severity of her wearied gaze. Serene azure warpaint is artfully brushed over her cheek to form the image of a proud dragon.

    I put "fluid" back in there as a little treat for @Jiraishin :P I mean air is technically a fluid too, not just water, but if it makes people think of swimming that is okay! Moving underwater is all graceful and flowy which is how I picture Stefana's movements under normal circumstances, so there is definitely worse imagery than swimming I could be evoking. :lol:

    image
  • AegothAegoth Member Posts: 2,751 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Stefana being fluid makes sense anyway, since holocaust liquifies people. Five stars
    StefanaShirszae
  • KresslackKresslack Florida, United StatesMember Posts: 6,239 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited June 4
    I try to update my description as large amounts of time pass to reflect gradual aging and things that have happened. Even though adventurers in Achaea tend to age gracefully, I like there being indications of the life lived.

    Here is what I currently have, tweaked from what it has been for a while. If there are any thoughts as to something that could be changed to make it better or more memorable, please let me know. I'm not great with the rules of writing, so I'm sure there might be some things I overlooked or don't see grammatically that would appreciate being able to correct as well. This is always the description my forum avatar was commission on a long time ago (which I'm still trying to dig through and find the original).


    He is a mhun standing around six feet and two inches, burly and barrel-chested with a scowl as he chews languidly on the stump of a cigar. Coarse, sun-faded hair falls past his shoulders, bearing only streaks of it's former black. Hazel eyes of subtly shifting greys and greens peer out from under a furrowed brow, narrowed to a hawkish visage. Draping down to his chest is a long, thick beard of grey and black decorated sparsely with small plaits and painted wooden beads. Sun burnished skin, tough as leather, is adorned with a skein of faded tattoos of nautical symbols and scenes, broken intermittently by the occasional scar. The passing years of a life spent at sea have left their tell-tale signs in the wrinkles that have set into the skin, the predominantly grey hair, and the development of a firm pot belly. Despite this there remains a glint of something mysterious in his eyes and his frame appears to retain a youthful vigour. On the inside of his right forearm can be seen the blanche brand of a crude escarbuncle within a border of thorns, starkly contrasted against his tanned skin, while further the letter 'P' has been tattooed on his wrist in black ink.



    Cailin
  • StefanaStefana Member Posts: 54 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    @Kresslack I really like it! Love all the seafarer descriptions in Cyrene! <3

     Coarse, sun-faded hair falls past his shoulders, bearing only streaks of it's former black.

    Should be "bearing only streaks of its former black". Really common mistake. Makes my eye twitch every time.

    Sun burnished skin, tough as leather, is adorned with a skein of faded tattoos of nautical symbols and scenes, broken intermittently by the occasional scar.

    I would make this less passive by starting with "A skein of faded tattoos of nautical symbols and scenes adorn" and then rearrange the rest to make it fit.

    Despite this there remains a glint of something mysterious in his eyes and his frame appears to retain a youthful vigour. 

    Needs a comma after "Despite this,"

    On the inside of his right forearm can be seen the blanche brand of a crude escarbuncle within a border of thorns, starkly contrasted against his tanned skin, while further the letter 'P' has been tattooed on his wrist in black ink.

    I think this phrasing is a little rambly and I would suggest at a minimum you replace "while further" with "beneath which", and consider restructuring the sentence or separating it into two: one about the scar and one about the tattoo.

    image
    Kresslack
  • KresslackKresslack Florida, United StatesMember Posts: 6,239 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Thank you @Stefana!  I'll spend some time working on those changes with those recommendations.


  • TasusTasus Member Posts: 107 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished

    He is a stout dwarf and stands with an obdurate stance, his body barrel chested and muscled despite

    his short stature.  Emerald eyes stare out from beneath a heavy brow that are hidden beneath bangs 

    the colour of raging fire. A strong, square jaw is covered  by a beard that matches his hair.  His 

    eyebrows stand out from his face, freshly waxed to maintain their glorious stature, drawing 

    attention to his eyes.  His arms are covered in hashmark scars all the  way from shoulder to wrist, 

    with twin serpents tattooed down them. Large, calloused hands end with nails that seem to constantly 

    have a thin layer of dirt beneath them. His legs, while short, boast a heavy musculature, and his 

    feet lend you to believe that he will have trouble finding boots with their large size. Standing in 

    stark contrast to the otherwise unmarred flesh on his neck, a seven spoked escarbuncle has been 

    branded on the left side, just below his beard.

  • ZyxisZyxis Member Posts: 1
    I haven't played a MUD in years and decided to dip my toe into Achaea.  As such, I've not dealt with any sort of descriptions in just as long. Its one thing to describe yourself for a Tabletop session but I want something nice for a game that is based on text obviously.  So I guess any input would be helpful.

    He is a human. He stands an unremarkable 5 feet 9 inches tall. His slightly tanned olive complexion is only further highlighted by the medium length black hair that frames his squarish face. His wide-set green eyes seem to emphasize his hawkish nose and and thin lips. His wiry build would never be confused for muscular but it does exemplify the effects of years of simple farm work. Those same years of work are evident in his callused hands that are covered in various incidental scars that come from working with your hands.
     

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