Sha'ahm'ni- Sard Hand Language

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Sha'ahm'ni- Sard Hand Language

Post by Erica » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:15 pm

We have our basic emotions/gestures laid out, but I think people have already found that some are going to be used less and some common expressions aren't covered that should be in there.

There was also the question raised about whether it is appropriate for smiling to be something that is seen as a non-vulgar display of emotion.

So what do you think? What do we need to add? Should we modify any of them? What about smiling? I'd like to keep the number of gestures to a reasonable number, so no more than double what we have currently. Personally I think we need a gesture for Excitement, which could be a modified nervous or happy, and Amusement.

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Re: Sha'ahm'ni- Sard Hand Language

Post by Varanus » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:32 pm

For amusement, I suggest starting with the Happy gesture, but move your hand in and out like you are patting your side/stomach. The magnitude dependent on how funny something is. Something that is side-slappingly funny is very funny indeed.

I think something for interest/attention would be useful. "I'm listening attentively." Perhaps palm up, fingers slightly down and toward the speaker, as if to say "I'm receiving what you are saying." Another option might be a two-finger point towards the focus of interest. That's a little easier to hold.
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Re: Sha'ahm'ni- Sard Hand Language

Post by gordanit » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:26 pm

I used low to mid happy hand as a smiling equivalent and did it a lot, but polite smiling isn't an emotional display so allowing it might make sense. On the third hand I kind of like the effect of "resting Sard face" on people interacting with it.
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Re: Sha'ahm'ni- Sard Hand Language

Post by Maggie » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:38 pm

One suggestion I heard that sounded interesting was if being an "emotionless Sard" was more of a generational or cultural thing. For example as an idea, very conservative or traditional Sard stick to the hand language and find emoting vulgar, whereas perhaps younger, more liberal, or city-based Sard have long since acclimated to the melting pot and emote freely, perhaps even exaggerate at times in a way that is seen as stylish as many adopted customs often are. That way, if a player struggles with or simply doesn't enjoy the "resting Sard face" or the performance restrictions on playing the race, they can emote more freely and style themselves as on the other side of that cultural divide, whereas those who enjoy the sign language and the challenge of not emoting can really lean into it. Just a thought.

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Re: Sha'ahm'ni- Sard Hand Language

Post by gordanit » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:56 pm

TradSards vs hip young emotive Sards is pretty canonical, I think.

I meant to second the idea of "interested in something." It's something I can't quite think of how to improvise from the existing ones.

Obviously it's too complicated, but this wheel of emotions gives an idea of what sorts of things exist.

https://images.app.goo.gl/vVqUkyDRYNHCAoLf7

I could imagine taking a page from this and Sards who really wanted to express themselves dual wielding -- "drop everything for double happy!" or "I'm so mad I'm going to sheath my weapon to express anger and disgust."
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Re: Sha'ahm'ni- Sard Hand Language

Post by Varanus » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:07 pm

On the wheel, the two axes we are missing are interest/anticipation/vigilance (which is already proposed) and admiration/trust/acceptance. Everything else is matters of degree.

Admiration/trust/acceptance could be a signal for "agreement". There's some overlap with attention (I'm paying attention to you vs I'm listening and in agreement), and maybe it's handled by the human non-verbal signal of nodding, but it could also have its own sign. We do have affection but agreement/support is a bit different.
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Re: Sha'ahm'ni- Sard Hand Language

Post by Jairephix » Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:35 pm

Disclaimer: not playing a Sard

I know sometimes in ASL, individuals sometimes make up signs to express a certain things that isn't in a wider vernacular. (For example, a few folks I know who use ASL when overstimmed and non-verbal came up with "losing spoons" as a sign to explain what happened)

It would make sense that families or certain groups have inside motions to represent something that may not be a wider use thing. This also then gives the Outpost Sard a specific dialect, which then makes sense if Sard from outside the Outpost don't know it.
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Re: Sha'ahm'ni- Sard Hand Language

Post by spaige » Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:58 am

I used flashing the "happy" sign a few times in succession (from relaxed hand to spread fingers) as a laughter/amusement sign during the playtest.

There was a discussion of sha'ahm'ni sarcasm - my suggestion was gesturing 'stiff', by analogy with the flatter tone of voice used to signal sarcasm in speech.

I found myself wanting a sign to indicate "I'm under stress/preoccupied" distinct from anger or fear - possibly relatedly, I found the nervous & fear signs redundant (though nervous is my favorite of the two ever since Marek sailed it up past eye level like a little rocket ship after the Augur deal.) If one of those got repurposed to a generic "I'm stressed out" sign, I wouldn't mind.

I think some development of slang amongst the Outpost Promise Sard is realistic, and players extending shamni inevitable, but I also think backporting a reasonable set of extensions (simple, popularly-used) to the sha'ahm'ni documentation so that new Sard players aren't totally adrift will do a lot for versimilitude.

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Re: Sha'ahm'ni- Sard Hand Language

Post by Varanus » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:07 pm

Afraid as the flat palm, woah, back up, feels very natural to me. Whatever the sign is for afraid, it needs to be almost instinctive, since a LARP is a game played with real fear.... :)

There are some implied gestures. Holding an object says either "I'm busy" or "this is no time for emotion". To spin off of that, picking something up and putting it down repeatedly says "my hands aren't really full, but I've got something better to do."
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Re: Sha'ahm'ni- Sard Hand Language

Post by JBerner » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:41 am

Super sorry for the delay on this! Hi folks, I’m Jess, I wrote most of the Sha’mni signals we have.

I’ll start this by saying that you all have more of an edge on this than I do - I couldn’t make it to the playtest, so you all have more of an opinion on how these signs work in real time than I do. If you all tell me that my view of things doesn’t match the gameplay, I am fine being overruled on anything that I am putting in this reply, as long as we can come to a general consensus.

I thunk sarcasm should be a variant on the signals we already use - it’s a tone change more than a separate emotion, and saying you’re sarcastically happy or sarcastically scared makes sense to me. The first idea that I came up with is over dramatically sticking out your thumb while signing whatever the emotion you’re altering. This doesn’t work so well for happy, since the thumb naturally spreads out with the rest of the fingers, but would something like that work?

Smiling/laughing - on a simplistic scale, smiling is happy. I don’t feel the need to do a separate signal for smiling; a polite smile that means nothing isn’t an emotion, and a genuine smile can be a happy signal. I like the idea of pulsing the fingers in the happy sign for laughter - it feels more natural to me than the “side-slapping” idea, as much as the visual pun makes me happy. As with everything, doing a laughter sign higher up can signify laughing harder, so I think that works fairly well.

Interest/attentiveness - I think nodding is still something that is ok to do - it indicates neutral attentiveness in a way that doesn’t connect with emotions, so I don’t get the feeling that it’s something that would be frowned upon. I’m having trouble thinking of a simple sign for “please tell me more, I’m interested” that could either be held for a decent amount of time or easy to flash quickly - I’ll keep thinking on it, but please throw ideas my way if you have them. The two-finger point feels like the easiest way to do this, currently.

Admiration/trust - this feels different than acceptance or interest in a discussion. Part of me feels like this should be something more like earnestness - the wording is what shows the admiration or trust, the signal adds the tone of voice that shows that you mean it. If that makes sense to anyone else, I can start brainstorming a sign for that, or whatever idea you guys can throw at me.

Fear/nervousness/stress - in my mind, apprehension and fearful terror are different things, not necessarily two ends of the same spectrum. If in practicality this wasn’t how things were used, I’m fine with adjusting one to general stress, if that’s what folks would like.


Again, sorry for the delayed reply, please let me know what you think!

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