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The Complete Guide to IC Communications

by Xerakon

 

This guide was written with the purpose of seeing a new player through all the various ways that they can communicate ICly with their fellow characters.

 

Before You Open Your Mouth…

Let’s talk about how you appear to the galaxy. Unless other characters have your greet or dub (‘HELP GREET‘, ‘HELP DUB‘), they will only be able to differentiate you from any other character by your race, gender, the “sound” of your voice, and your tone. For those interested in not being known, you can conceal yourself with covering armor or by using the Smuggling disguise skill. However, for this guide, we will focus on the basics of how your character traditionally comes across to the galaxy. As a side note, some of the screen shots below will have character names blanked out.

 

A screenshot of the 'TEXTCOLOR' command.

Textcolor: You Sound…. Cyan

So, we’ll start by covering how to change the “sound” (or textcolor) of your character’s voice. Entering the ‘TEXTCOLOR’ command will show you what colors are available for your character. By selecting one, your character will now use that textcolor on all IC communications until/unless you change it again. This helps to differentiate your character from other unknown characters on the mud!

 

A screenshot demonstrating the differences between something said sadly and the same thing said angrily.

Tones: U Mad Bro?

The second way to differentiate your character is through their ‘TONE’ of voice. There are nearly 300 different tones your character can use on LotJ, and you can use them as a default tone that your character might always take, or change them after every time you speak to reflect how they would say what they are about to say! The ‘TONE LIST’ command will show you what tones are available.

 

A screenshot of two mobs unable to communicate with each other because of a language barrier.

Language: Beeska Chata Wnow Kong Bantha Poodoo!

Basic is the primary language for the galaxy. If you are not speaking basic, what you are saying will sound garbled to everyone else. While you may have another language that you speak by default, it is recommended that you immediately find a way to learn to understand and speak Basic. This can be done by ‘LANG LEARN BASIC’ at a language instructor or by ‘RESEARCH BASIC’ at a library. Once learned, you can ‘SPEAK BASIC’ by default. Some races (like the Wookiees) have special allowances where they cannot speak Basic (but can understand it). There are also races such as the Hutts that can speak Basic, but are encouraged ICly not to due to their racial preferences. For these races, it is highly recommended that your character purchases a translation droid from an engineering company. There also may be political shifts throughout the galaxy on if Humans and Basic are the best, and your character may be viewed as second-class if they cannot speak Basic. These are just a few things to keep in mind. Now that you know how your character will sound to others, let’s go over how to communicate with them!

 

A screenshot demonstrating the 'SAY' command.

Say What?

‘SAY’ is your most basic method of in-room communication. Think of it as talking to your friend standing next to you. Everyone in the same room as you will hear it, but only they will hear it, unless there is a microphone or holotransmitter active in the room – which we will cover later in this guide. While the traditional ‘SAY (MESSAGE)’ is similar to speaking to a room full of people, you may also specifically address who you are speaking to by adding an identifier in with ‘SAYTO (NAME) (MESSAGE)’.

 

A screenshot of a being yelling.

Stop Yelling At Me!

Yelling is an extension of say that can be heard multiple rooms away from you, depending on the ambience of the room. Your ‘YELL’ statement can be heard clearly for a short range away from where you are. At medium range, characters will only see “You hear someone yelling nearby.” At longer range, they can hear nothing. This is typically a good way to get someone’s attention from a room or two away. Think of your boss yelling at you to get into their office, and you have the right idea! For more information and to see how specific those ranges are, you can reference ‘HELP YELL’ and ‘HELP AMBIENCE’.

 

A screenshot demonstrating the 'WHISPER' command.

Lemme Whisper In Your Ear…

For the most private of conversations, you can ‘WHISPER’ with someone. Whispering requires you to be in the same room as another character, and to be approached to that character. Other characters in the room can see that you are whispering, but not what is said.

 

A screenshot demonstrating the power of the 'EMOTE' command with various tokens.

Emotes: What Does It Look Like I’m Doing?!

Emotes are powerful on LotJ. They represent your character doing something during a conversation, and traditionally are used to include detailed roleplay. Additionally, LotJ has implemented a token system that will make names, objects, and ships appear fluidly in the emote. It even takes your textcolor into consideration when others see your finished product! See the above screenshot for how using all the tokens together can produce a detailed emote. ‘HELP EMOTE’ also gives more specific instructions on how to properly use the ‘EMOTE’ command.

 

A screenshot of the 'SOCIALS' list.

Socials: Because I’m Lazy!

When you don’t have the time (or willpower) to flesh out a great emote, your character always has the option to use a pre-coded social! Socials are commands with generic emotes for commonly-used social actions. For example, instead of entering ‘EMOTE nods.’, all that a player needs to do is use the ‘NOD’ command, and it will do the work for you. With the ‘SOCIALS’ command, you are able to see a list of every social action that LotJ has created for your common use.

 

A screenshot demonstrating how an 'ACTION' appears in your 'SCORE'.

Actions: Mirror, Mirror On The Wall…

When a character enters a room with your character, they will be able to see a brief line of information about what your character is doing. The long description for a player character would be something like “A very strong, good looking tan Human Male is standing here.” However, certain socials or commands can change your long description. For example, if you sit, it will change to “A very strong, good looking tan Human Male is sitting here.” There is also a way for players to change their long description by using the ‘ACTION’ command. If you enter ‘ACTION is idly tapping his fingers on a desk.’, your long description would change to “A very strong, good looking tan Human Male is idly tapping his fingers on a desk.” This will continue until you perform a social, command, or a new action that overrides it. You can stop doing an action by entering ‘STOP’. You can also see what your character’s current action is by looking in your ‘SCORE’. For more information, check out ‘HELP ACTION’.

 

A screenshot demonstrating 'TUNE', 'SETENCRYPTION', and 'TALK'.

Comlinks: LotJ’s Smart Phones

Many forms of communication require a comlink and – depending on your comlink’s settings – can be heard by different audiences. Think of your comlink like your cell phone. If you do not have a cell phone, you are disconnected from the world. Without your comlink, you cannot hear talk, clantalk, broadcasts, or microphone output. You carry it around with you everywhere, you have multiple text conversations carrying on at any given time, and you can use it almost anywhere. While most of your conversations involve the entire world – including people that you don’t know, you have the ability to give secret channels to your friend or friends. By using ‘TUNE’ on your comlink, you can change the channel up to any 4 digit number. Using ‘TUNE (COMLINK) 867’ will set your comlink to channel 867. Only people that have a comlink tuned to channel 867 (plus a few exceptions noted below) can hear this channel. So, if your friends know your channel number, they can talk to you there with a little bit of privacy. More than that, you can place up to a 5 digit encrypted password on a channel to make it a little bit more secure via SETENCRYPTION. Entering ‘SETENCRYPTION (COMLINK) 5309’ will then take your comlink and further protect it from snooping. Your friends would then need to know that you can be contacted on channel 867, encryption 5309. It is very common for characters to walk around with multiple comlinks to manage all their private channels, as well as listen in on all of the public ones at the same time.

 

A screenshot of the 'TAPDATA' skill.

Slicers, Thieves, and Looters – Oh My!

New characters must be very aware of the fact that their channels – even encryptions – can be compromised through a variety of different ways. Slicers have skills that allow them to listen in on conversations being held over any channel on a planet that they are operating on. With a bit of time and specialized equipment, they can even break your encryption! There is also the opportunity for thieves to steal your comlink from your inventory and copy down your channel and encryption from it. If they’re sly enough, they might even slip it back into your inventory so that you never knew it was compromised! You also may come across a situation where one of the friends on your channel has been killed and their comlink was looted from their corpse, giving the victor a chance to listen in on your conversation. Something else to consider is that depending on your room’s ambience, people standing in the same room can see you talking on a comlink, or even hear exactly what you are saying! Read ‘HELP AMBIENCE‘ for more information. With that warning and some general comlink information, let’s move into comlink usage.

 

A screenshot of public CommNet chatter.

Talk To Me, Baby

‘TALK’ is the most common way of communicating with the galaxy at large.  Channel 0 (default on all new comlinks) is widely considered to be the Public channel. Almost everyone will have a comlink that is kept tuned to channel 0 to hear what is going on. Think of it as having a group message session with everyone on Earth. Whatever you say is going to be heard by everyone – which can have its own set of consequences, as they can use that information as IC motivation against your character later. So be careful about what you say! Tuning your comlink to different channels and/or setting special encryptions on your comlink narrows your audience down. Many clans have different channels that are specifically for them. For example, if you wish to contact an engineering corporation, you would tune your comlink to that corporation’s channel to speak solely to their representative. However, other customers can also monitor those channels, as they are somewhat public. Encrypted channels are typically used by groups of people that want to hold private conversations. Attempting to listen in to an encrypted channel provides unintelligible garble such as you might hear when trying to listen to a language that you do not know.

 

A screenshot of a 'CLAN' message.

Clantalk: Watercooler Talk

When a character joins a clan, they are automatically given access to their clan’s private ‘CLANTALK’ network. A clan network is essentially an unhackable talk channel that only other clan members can access. In addition to the normal information on a talk channel, you will also be able to see a clan member’s division and rank. As with talk, clantalk requires a comlink to send and receive across.

 

A screenshot of a broadcast.

Broadcast: The President Has An Important Announcement

Players with certain skills (Diplomacy – Broadcast, Slicer – Networkhack) can broadcast to the galaxy at large from certain specialized rooms on a planet. Typically, these will take the form of a visual and verbal message, and are almost always sent by a representative of a government or corporation. It is always a good idea to pay attention to any broadcasts that occur throughout the day, as they may affect your character or your roleplay in some form or fashion! A small tip to note here is that the planet that the message is being broadcast from will always display on the broadcast. Official planetary representatives will simply display the planet’s name. Broadcasts that are sent from beings that do not official represent the populace contain (Private Signal) behind the planet.

 

A screenshot of the recent GNI 'NEWS' list.

News: Tonight on GNI at 9…

Very important events are recorded and displayed by the news feature (which is considered IC knowledge). While these may be previous governmental broadcasts, important information, a peek at an event that may happen, or the precursor to something much, much bigger, it is important to always pay attention to the news. The ‘NEWS’ command will update you on what has occurred over the past few weeks. ‘NEWS ALL’ will also expand that tell your character everything that has happened this timeline. An important point that you need to know about the news is that it is filtered by the Immortal staff – so it is reliable information to go off. If it is in the news, you may consider that it is true and has factually happened. While the news command itself does not require a comlink, the official news agency (Galactic News Incorporated – GNI) will sometimes send out reports or information on the comlink network. You do not have to be tuned to any certain channel – if you have your comlink, you will receive it. These are important, as not only do they report on interesting situations across the galaxy, but they may also spit out specialized news as an event is beginning.

 

A screenshot of a microphone hidden on the ground.

Talk In The Microphone

Microphones may be found around the galaxy and put into use by sly operators. These devices can be individually tuned to a certain channel (no encryption) that only the operator knows about, and will then need to tune a personal comlink to receive the microphone’s signal. Microphones will pick up anything that is said in the room that the microphone is in – as long as the operator is on the same planet as the microphone – even if the microphone is concealed on the floor or hidden inside of a bag in some character’s inventory! Unlike the comlink network, the operator will not be able to see textcolor or tone – but they will be able to pick up the words that are said in the same room as the microphone, so be wary and always check yourself for bugs…

 

A screenshot demonstrating how to activate a holo-transmitter.

Holoprojectors: Down To The Recreation Deck!

Holoprojectors are specialized communications that can be found in certain locations throughout the galaxy. With a holoprojector, you can project an image of yourself to anywhere else that a character has a holoprojector and is tuned to the same holo-channel that you are using! Once on the same channel and broadcasting, you can use ‘SAY’ and ‘EMOTE’ (with tokens) as you would normally with someone in a room, and whoever is on the other end of the holoprojector can see all of this and interact in return. This is typically used by corporations and governments for private meetings, but there are a few publicly available holoprojectors for personal use. Governments have used them publicly in the past as well to broadcast trials and even ‘public’ executions from within the safety of their compound. Next up, we will dive into written messages.

 

A screenshot demonstrating how to write on a datapad using 'DATAMEM'.

Datapad: Got A Stylus Handy?

Datapads are like the comlink in the notion that many skills require them. These devices can be heavily specialized, but at their most basic level they are designed to record notes. Using the ‘DATAMEM’ system (‘HELP DATMEM’) while holding your datapad, your character can list all the notes that on their datapad. You also can write, copy, transmit, and eject notes from your datapad. ‘HELP DATAMEM_GUIDE’ covers these topics in-depth already, so we will skip them here. However, knowing how to write and eject a message is crucial to written communication.

 

A screenshot of a sample mail.

Mail: Send Me A Postcard

Post offices are littered across the galaxy, designed with the purpose of receiving personal messages with privacy in mind. Once you master the note/datapad system (‘HELP DATAMEM‘), you can send mail to other characters. Do this by addressing your note to the character name, and then uploading it with ‘MAIL POST’ at a post office. You may read any mail that you have received with ‘MAIL LIST’.

A screenshot of CommNet chatter with an anonymous mailbox reference.

If you also have roleplay going on in which you would rather not give your name as a mail recipient, but still want to receive private messages anonymously, you can register for a mailbox. Go to the planet of your choice and enter ‘MAILBOX OPEN’ at the post office. This will give you a numbered box like a P.O. Box that you may give out to people. They can then contact your mailbox by addressing their note such as ‘@12345’. Make sure and read up on ‘HELP DATAMEM‘, ‘HELP MAIL‘, and ‘HELP MAILBOX‘ for more information.

 

A screenshot of a note on the public bulletin board.

But Was It On The Bulletin Board?

Bulletin boards are another way to post and receive written communication. There are essentially two types: Public and Clan boards. Public boards are objects in major rooms or intersections upon every planet in the galaxy. Anyone can post a note to a public board, but they typically are used by governments or corporations to post laws and advertisements. However, you will sometimes have anonymous citizens that wish to bring to light the illicit activities of government officials or the like. Check your public boards often so that your character is not caught unawares due to a major player-created policy change. Each clan has their own private bulletin board within their clan headquarters. These are used to pass along information within the clan that does not need to be known by the outside galaxy. Check this often as well if you are in a clan!

 

A screenshot of how to utilize a drone.

Drone: Special Delivery!

Similar to sending mail, characters are also able to write a note with their datapad and then send it to another character in real time via a drone. Using the Leadership skill ‘CALL MESSAGE DRONE’, a drone will come to you after a short time. Your character can then give the drone the note addressed to another character, and the drone will take it straight away across the galaxy. After a few minutes, the recipient will receive the drone and the message. Drones can also act as a courier, as they can handle a small number of items. However, drones cannot deliver to someone aboard a starship or someone that is offline. Read ‘HELP DRONE‘ for more information. The next three methods will pertain to ship-board communications.

 

A screenshot demonstrating how to use a ship's 'INTERCOM' command.

Intercom: This Is The Captain Speaking

If there are other characters aboard your ship, you can speak back and forth with them by using the ‘INTERCOM’ system.

 

A screenshot of the 'RADIO' command in use.

Radio: Calling All Cars, Calling All Cars…

You can send out a radio broadcast to all of the other ships in your local system. Typing ‘PROXIMITY’ while you are flying your ship will tell you all the other ships in the system. If you are comfortable with who will be seeing your message, you may use the ‘RADIO’ command. Radio does not convey tone or textcolor.

 

A screenshot demonstrating how to 'HAIL' another spaceship.

Hail, Warriors!

While on a ship, you may hail other ships within the system for a more private message than radio. Keep in mind, however, that anyone within the bridge of your ship and the ship you are hailing can hear whatever is sent between you.

 

 

There are a few other methods of IC communication that can occur by Force-users, but those are rather advanced and are covered in another guide. Now that you know how to communicate with other characters ICly, put that knowledge to use and enjoy all the intrigue that Legends of the Jedi offers! Please visit the other guides on LotJ’s website for more assistance in getting started.

 

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Author Xerakon
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