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Alright, you will have to bear with me here. It’s not easy to explain the nature of active/passive roles in Sburb because it’s not something that is easy to grasp in the first place. Shit is subtle. Shit is driving straight into abstract territory. The foot is on the pedal, sirens are blazing and shit is not pulling any stop until the landscape is picasso.

Now the thing is, most entry-level FAQs skip over the metaphor bukkake of the active/passive stuff because they suck. Instead, these FAQs use a few key sentences to summarize it. Some of these generalizations are really popular so you probably heard them before; the blabbermouths about sburb mechanics are all over that stuff.

These overviews are usually stuff like active roles benefit themselves while passive roles benefit others. Or maybe it's active roles do things directly while passive roles do things indirectly. Sometimes it's active roles order their aspect while passive roles invite their aspect to do stuff. In the worst case of simplification, it's active roles have attack magic while passive roles have defensive magic.

Now, I'm not a clever person but even I can point out that the logic is way off the chart here. These explanations are all, like, totally different things. It's fricking disorienting for new players. It looks like everybody disagrees on what is active/passive and it gives you the sneaking suspicion that nobody actually understands it.

Now this is where the active/passive feature is crowned as king of the mindfucks. All of these summaries are true at the same time. That's because they are all part of a single, vague concept that lies underneath all of these simple things. So basically it means you have to look at the big picture, except the big picture is blurry as fuck. Like when people take pictures of a UFO and it looks exactly like a fricking hat, that kind of blurry picture.

The active/passive distinction is like being introverted/extroverted but not really, it's like being selfish/supportive but not really, it's like being straightforward or sneaky but not really, it's like attack or defensive magic in a RPG but not really, it's like deciding/accepting stuff but not really and it's like having more outbursts of emotions versus not freaking out but not really. It's a little of all of those things at the same time. All these concepts have been stitched together by a mad scientist, zapped with a lightning bolt and turned into one unholy frankenstein monster. And that frankenstein monster is completely doped at a rave party in picasso country.

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Ok so, the reason why FAQs don't bother to explain the active/passive stuff because it's too fricking abstract. They figure that it's something people should pick up by themselves and they leave it as that. That's not how I roll. Nah, I'm obv some kind of master at this FAQ thing so I decided that I'm gonna blahblah about the whole active/passive shebang until you too can have a rave party in picasso country.

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Alright so whenever people try to explain the active/passive thing, people make the joke that it's some kind of bible for whoring yourself at a personality cult. It's another stupid Sburb FAQ meme, but I'll allow it because it's pretty much spot on. Which means I'm gonna start writing here my whore bible on how to be active or passive. I hope you like words between brackets.

If I had to begin somewhere, I'd say that the active/passive spectrum is a matter of [point of view]. But not like you usally think, it's not about a point of view for [opinions]. It's about a point of view for [feelings]. The thing is like, you don't act in a way that is active or passive. You have to think in a way that is active or passive, you have to feel in a way that is active or passive. It's hella subtle but don't worry about it, I'm a pro at explaining subtle things.

You see, you can explain pretty much anything with [bike stunts].

If you have an active role then it roughly translates to [listen to your mad hunger]. If you have a passive role, it means you have to [think like a total bro]. Active thinking is when you trash up some mad stunts because the feelings came to you and you don't even care that nobody is looking while you flip out because the stunts inside you just can't be denied. Passive thinking is when you burst out you come across a crowd and you're like dude I totally need to crank up the mood and you start ninja'ing with your bike all over the place like some kinda mountain goat and basically it's like you're constantly high-fiving the crowd that is mirin' your BMX'S uncannybrutal antigravity.

Ok, future me is doing that dick-ish thing again where he's leaving invisible notes between paragraphs. APPARENTLY the bike stunts explanation isn't working out. Let me try again:

The active/passive distinction is like, okay, it's like when you enter a room and you pick up a change in the mood.

I mean, it's totally relative. Everything has an active/passive value but you can't take a single action and judge if it is active/passive by itself. It doesn't work like that. It's like forming an opinion about something after only hearing one side of the issue, that would be freaking unconscionable man. Nah, what you need to do is, you have to take two things, then you put them together and then you feel the active/passive difference between them. For example it goes somewhat like this:

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K, I got bored and started veering into bike stunts again but whatever.

I think this gives you an idea of what I'm talking about. This list can go on forever and it will just turn into a metaphor bukkake. You want me to continue? Alright. Attacking is active while defending is passive. Saying no is active while saying yes is passive. Reading a book from the start is active while starting from the the last chapter is passive. Looking down a well is active while staring at the sky is passive. Ok no, I got a good one. If you are doing a jigsaw puzzle, if you first look at a piece and then look at the puzzle to see if it fits, that's active. If you first look at the puzzle and then look at the piece to see if it fits, that is passive.

I wasn't kidding about the metaphor bukkake. It can only get worse. There used to be a 12075931 pages thread called "ACTIVE OR PASSIVE- YOU DECIDE" on the old transamphibian forum. It was another one of those stupid forum game, one where people compare two colorfully metaphorical things and you have to guess which one is active or passive. It quickly turned into a sick dump of active/passive allegorical smut.

Now it's pretty pointless to try to remember by heart all this nonsense examples of active/passive things. The important part is that you learn to recognize which is which, right on the spot. You need to think in an active/passive manner that befits your role. You need to feel the active/passive thingies whenever you decide to do stuff.

This is the part where everything turns into a whore bible at an astonishing speed.

The deal is, active players have to think and feel in a way that is centered around them. They have to cut off all influences from the outside world that isn't information. They see, they hear and they decide by themselves. They don't care if people agree with them, they care about if it would make them happier if they agreed with people. They don't think things through for other people, they do things for their own benefits. They swear by their own values, they don't dilly-dally with indirect nonsense and they don't answer to their aspect because their aspect answer to them. Being active is being angry at yourself instead of being angry at other people. Being active is when you climb a mountain and you don't tell anyone about it because you don't need to, you only did it for yourself

On the other side of the spectrum, passive players have to externalize the way they feel about things. They project their thinking pattern on their surroundings and they feel the world around them. Like a radar or something. They discover stuff about themselves by looking at other people as if they were mirrors, to see their own reflection. They hold every points of views - except for a personal opinion, because they don't need something dumb like that. They don't ask themselves [what do I want] but [what should I want] and then they get shit done. Being passive is, like, it's the same kind of "group" feeling that comes out of people, town and cities. Being passive is when you climb a tower and look far away and you go like "dude, this world is mine and nobody will mess up with it".

Then it just gets more complicated. Active thinking is when you don't feel any urge to defend your decisions because you don't debate your feelings. Passive thinking is when you don't need to defend your decisions because you know they're the best you could manage. And there's some crap about feelings and intensity and bringing balance. Like, when you are conflicted, active thinking is when you add more non-conflicted feelings and passive thinking is when you remove conflicted feelings.

Ok so, the whore bible is p-much pornographic at this point and I have to stop because I'm afraid I'll get dragged in a pseudo-intellectual gangbang.

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Alright so this active/passive stuff is all pretty stupid but there's two big reasons for why you want to care about all that jazz.

For a start, thinking in the right active/passive manner will net you a partial roleplay bonus to your stats. Having success at achieving your goals is always a good thing, right. But really, the most important reason to pay attention is because your active/passive thinking has a huge impact on aspect mechanics. It doesn't exactly define how your aspect works but more like, it defines what you have to feel in order for your aspect to manifest itself.

Most importantly, when you aren't feeling the right thing, your aspect does jack shit.

You can try to use abilities but they'll just fizzle and glitch out, like trying to grasp smoke. Your aspect just won't answer back your calls, even if you leave a billion angry voice messages. It will leave you hanging because your aspect is summoned when [feel in the right direction].

So basically it means that you have self-induce a mindfuck just to get the attention of your vague game magic shit. The whole thing is like some particularly ethnic mating ritual; you have to dress up your feelings with feathers and beads and then you dance this way and that way so that your aspect snaps its fingers and is like "oh yeah, I'm totally in the mood to do stuff".

It's unbelievably perverse. That's why you need a whore bible. So you know how to get dirty.

Now that you know what's up, let's put some of that active/passive stuff in context.

Let's say that you have an active role and that you are in the middle of a strife along with a buddy. You can use your aspect to buff your friend or you can use your aspect all for yourself. What will you do? The easiest resolution is to be like [I need to get PERSONAL], to get fired up, to want to get things done, which means you'll probably buff yourself with your aspect and take things in your hands. It's the right action that befits your feelings that activate your aspect. Hence why active players have the likelihood of using their aspect to tool up themselves.

You could see that as having game powers that allows you to attack stuff, like RPG offensive magic. However that's just scratching the surface of sburb mechanics. It's also pretty misleading. This generalization can become your undoing because you don't truly have the power to arm yourself with your aspect. At least, not always.

For example, let's say that your friend is about to get smacked by a boss underling and you're like [oh shit, I'd hate to be that spot]. So what you do is, you throw yourself in the front of the guy and you try to manifest your aspect in order to attack the underling. That's nice and everything but shit will not work. It won't work because it's not fricking active to be stressed and worried as if you were in someone else's place. If you stop feeling actively, your aspect will stop being a bro. It doesn't matter if the nature of your action was technically to attack something. So if you just assume that you wield offensive magic because your role is active, you'll never understand why your shit bugs out half of the time.

Now, if you weren't a total sboob like in the example above, you would decide to grind up the boss underling that is attacking your friend while being like [that guy sucks, this is how you're supposed to fight]. That's right, your aspect will empower you to save the guy if it's because you want to rub it in his face later. Or deliver the line "WHO'S YOUR DENIZEN". Or just feel generally smug about it. Your motivation and feelings are lot more active, in this case.

This twisted sburb mechanic will leads to all kind of uncanny conversations that would make no sense to a non-Sburb Player. For example, if a Player A is active and tries to protect a Player B from an underling but then fails at blocking the attack, causing Player A to be pushed back into Player B's face, they would end up saying something like this:

▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▓ ▓▒▒ ▒▒▓ ▓▒▒ ▒▒▓ ▓▒▒ Player A: Oh crap. ▒▒▓ ▓▒▒ Player B: dude what are you doing ▒▒▓ ▓▒▒ Player B: you failed at tanking that blow for me ▒▒▓ ▓▒▒ Player B: can't you try to be more selfish geez ▒▒▓ ▓▒▒ Player A: This is not easy for me. ▒▒▓ ▓▒▒ Player B: your elbow hit me in the nose dude ▒▒▓ ▓▒▒ Player B: can you please stop caring about me ▒▒▓ ▓▒▒ Player B: how hard can that be ▒▒▓ ▓▒▒ Player A: MAYBE I would stop being distracted by what you think if you would stop WHINING. ▒▒▓ ▓▒▒ ▒▒▓ ▓▒▒ ▒▒▓ ▓▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓

Apparently it wasn't enough to be assigned a small planet filled with puzzles, you have to play sudoku with your feelings too.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@********************************************@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@* Learning how to be active or passive *@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@********************************************@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Well there's no easy way to learn more about active/passive stuff. If you lust for a buffet of erotic allegories about what is active or passive, I know there's a backup floating somewhere of the active-or-passive thread from the transamphibian forum. You can give it a look if you want. It's a good way to waste several hours of your life without noticing it.

But really, you shouldn't sweat too much over it. The orgiastic abstract talk can only get you so far, you have to figure the rest of the road by yourself. I know that reading about active/passive stuff feels like reading broodfester tongues at first, you just need to keep the general idea in mind and keep on trucking. Once you get yourself wet with your sburb immersion, things will start to fall into places. You sorta develop a knack for grasping which action feels more active or passive to you. So don't worry too much about everything at once.

I mean, you can't really FAQ the active/passive stuff. It expresses itself differently for everyone. The only real path to progress is to turn yourself inside out, poke your feelings and check when it gets a spark of reaction out of your aspect. It's a personal journey of the heart and all that cliché bullshit. It can help if you have a friend who can molest your psyche with tentacular therapy, but not by much. The most important things you will learn about yourself are things that nobody will tell you.

So I guess I'm invalidating the purpose of my own FAQ chapter here but whatever. I'm just trying you to warn you in advance about the kind of stuff you should expect. Maybe the stuff I'm writing will somewhat help you step on the right grill. IDK. Sorry bro, I can't really drive you all the way to the rave party in picasso country. But I can sorta give you the directions in case you need to doublecheck them when you get lost.