Actors are the characters who populate the storyworld and perform all the action by interacting with each other. Each Actor has Background information, consisting of a short textual exposition and a picture.
The Personality Profile
The Personality Profile is the set of values that keep track of each Actor's emotional and physical state, as well as quantify his behavioral tendencies as compared to other Actors. It is divided into State Traits, Moods and Core Traits.
Actor Core Traits
An Actor's Core Traits indicate his behavioral tendencies. Each Core Trait is a bipolar scale ranging from -1 to 1. A value of 1 for a given Trait indicates that the Actor has a very strong tendency towards a behavior, while a value of -1 indicates a strong tendency to avoid it. A value of 0 indicates that the Actor has an average tendency to engage in the behavior in question. Like all numerical Traits, Core Traits are BNumbers. As a result, their values can only approach -1 and 1, never reach them. The extreme examples given here are approximations used to simplify the discussion.
You can add your own Core Traits to the Personality Profile to suit the needs of your particular Storyworld. However, the Personality Profile always contains these three Traits:
This Trait represents the Actor's propensity to converse with others. A value of 1 indicates a chatterbox who tells everybody everything, and a value of -1 represents the ultimate in taciturnity. 0 is the average, and denotes an Actor who keeps his mouth shut when he doesn't have anything interesting to say, but not when he does.
This Trait represents the ease with which an Actor's Moods get excited. An Actor with maximum Cool_Volatile will be consumed with anger at the slightest provocation, or fearfully run for cover when an alarm clock goes off. If he finds loose change in a vending machine, he will proclaim it the most joyful day of his life, and if he sees a dead squirrel on the roadside, he will be sad enough to break down in tears. This Actor can get sexually aroused by looking at a relatively attractive pair of bricks, while a spec of dust in his partner's hair might prove a disgusting turn-off. An Actor with -1 Cool_Volatile never has mood swings: he is a stoic whose Moods always remain locked at zero. An Actor with 0 for this Attribute is just your average guy - laughs at parties, cries at funerals, and carries on with his life. This Trait also determines an Actor's propensity to move around from Stage to Stage.
The only Core Trait that is not a BNumber, Male is a Boolean that indicates the Actor's Gender. This Trait can't be changed while the storyworld is being played.
Hidden Core Traits
Some Core Traits, such as Male, are self-evident when looking at an Actor. It's unlikely that any two Actors could disagree about the gender of a third. On the other hand, Traits such as Quiet_Chatty or Cool_Volatile are open to interpretation. Two Actors could easily form two different impressions of a third's Cool_Volatile, depending on their own biases and on the circumstances in which they meet that Actor.
When you add a Trait to the personality profile, you decide whether it should be hidden or self-evident. For each hidden Trait, each Actor has two associated Traits: Weight and Accordance.
An Actor's Weight Traits are BNumbers that determine that Actor's idea of a "desirable" personality - the kind of personality he hopes to find in others, as well as in himself. Each Weight Trait corresponds to a Core Trait, and determines how much the Actor values that Trait. For example, a value of 1 for Cool_VolatileWeight means that it is very important for this Actor to be perceived as Volatile, and he values other Actors highly if he perceives them as Volatile. A value of -1 means that it is very important for the Actor to be perceived as Cool, and he values other Actors highly if he perceives them as Cool. A value of 0 indicates the Actor wishes to be perceived as neither excessively Cool nor excessively Volatile, and values other Actors if he perceives them as neither excessively Cool not excessively Volatile.
An Actor's Accordance Traits are BNumbers that determine the Actor's biases in perceiving other Actors. Each Accordance Trait corresponds to a Core Trait, and determines whether the Actor tends to over-perceive or under-perceive that Trait in others. For example, an Actor with AccordCool_Volatile of 1 would perceive the Buddha as Volatile. An Actor with AccordCool_Volatile of -1 would perceive a bad-tempered five-year-old as Cool. An Actor with AccordCool_Volatile of 0 would have no bias in assessing another's Cool_Volatile.
Actor State Traits
Actor State Traits are book-keeping devices used to track an Actor's situation. They do not represent the Actor's personality or his emotional state, but rather his objective circumstances. They are:
A Boolean. If "false", the Actor is not in the story - he or she is invisible to other Actors, can't be assigned to a WordSocket, can't perform Plans and can't witness Events.
A Boolean. "True" means that the Actor is alive but unable to perform Plans or Travel, and does not witness Events. He or she just lies there like a character in a computer game.
A Boolean. If "true," the Actor will not leave the Stage he's currently in under any circumstances.
Keeps track of the Stage where the Actor currently resides. This Trait is updated automatically, and you can't set it manually. When the Actor is not present in any Stage, for example when traveling, this Trait is set to "Nowhere."
An Actor's SpyingOn determines whether he is Spying on anyone. When set to Fate, it means the Actor is not Spying. If you set an Actor's SpyingOn to any other Actor, the former will start Spying on the latter until you change his SpyingOn back to Fate.
A Spy follows his target everywhere if able, but is considered not to be in any Stage for the purpose of satisfying Audience Definitions. The player isn't informed of the Spy's presence when they are in the same Stage. A Spy will not follow his target if either of them is inactive or unconscious, or if the Spy's DontMoveMe is set to "true."
Represents the future Storyminute at which the Actor will finish whatever it is he's doing. You can't touch this value manually, which is why it doesn't appear in the Actor Editor. It is set automatically when the Actor performs a Sentence, according to the TimeToExecute of that Sentence's Verb. An Actor whose OccupiedUntil is set to some future Storyminute can't perform any Sentences and can't travel until that Storyminute arrives. An Actor whose OccupiedUntil Storyminute has arrived is no longer Occupied and returns to normal activity.
Mood Traits are BNumbers and represent an Actor's current emotional state. Moods are self-evident values. Each Storyminute, each Actor's Moods relax towards zero at a rate of %1 of their current value. There are four Moods in the Personality Profile:
An Actor with 1 Disgusted_Aroused is "turned on" - he will try to seduce his partner and will readily cooperate with seduction. An Actor with 0 Disgusted_Aroused can probably be seduced into having sex, but won't usually initiate it. An Actor with -1 Disgusted_Aroused will not usually engage in any sexual activity.
An Actor with 1 Sad_Happy is singing in the rain. An Actor with -1 is raining down tears. An Actor with 0 Sad_Happy is looking on indifferently.
An Actor with 1 Fearful_Angry is looking for a fight. One with -1 Fearful_Angry is scrambling to avoid it. An Actor with 0 Fearful_Angry is just minding his own business.
An Actor with 1 Tired_Energetic is supercharged; An Actor with -1 is exhausted. An Actor with 0 is active but not hyper.
Fate is a special Actor who appears in every storyworld. She serves a dual purpose. First of all, Fate is the Storytronic way of representing a non-Actor. For example, when an Actor isn't Spying on anyone, his SpyingOn State Trait is set to Fate.
Fate's other purpose is to perform special actions that move the story along. She is the only Actor who performs Sentences with System Verbs such as Alarms and Plotpoints. Additionally, you can have her perform Sentences the same way you do other Actors. ate is treated like a normal Actor, except in these respects:
- Fate is everywhere at once - she witnesses Events in every Stage and can perform Plans in all Stages simultaneously.
- Fate knows everything that happens in the storyworld, even Sentences that have the MentalState, UnderTheHood or CheekByJowl Audience Definitions.
- Fate is invisible - the other Actors ignore her, and do not have Perceived Traits towards her.
- Fate is outside the normal Actor-to-Actor interactions. She automatically fails to assume any and all Roles, unless their AssumeRoleIf Script reads "ForceFateToReact." Also, she can't be assigned to any WordSocket except the Subject WordSocket of Sentences she herself performs.
- Fate doesn't have a personality profile.
- Fate is the only Actor who can perform the Alarm and Plotpoint System Verbs, as well as "once upon a time."
You must designate one Actor in your Storyworld as its Protagonist. This Actor is the player's "avatar" in the storyworld. The Protagonist is treated like a normal Actor, except in these respects:
- When the Protagonist assumes a Role during the ReactionCycle, the player selects which Option to use for her reaction Plan.
- The player selects which Word to assign to each WordSocket in said Plan (the Word must be Acceptable).
- When the Protagonist witnesses an Event during the Action Cycle, that Event is displayed to the player.
- The player "sees" the storyworld through the Protagonist's eyes at all times. He sees the Stage where the Protagonist is, and the Actors and Props in that Stage, as well as the Sentences being performed in that Stage, if any.
- The player can access a list of all Actors, Props and Stages which the Protagonist is familiar with, and view their background information.
- The player can access a list of all the Events the Protagonist has witnessed.