Has anyone made references IC to OOC things, or noticed anyone else doing it? I’m thinking naming/theming groups or characters, or just generally in IC conversation. (I’ve seen a few that I was unsure of, a highguard group I saw, I forget the actual name, had a name that sounded a fair bit like The Sons of Horus, might just be a coincidence, I’m not sure.)
Also, would making subtle hints to OOC things whilst IC be considered an annoyance or an entertaining challenge to the staying-in-character ability of players?
Suns of Couros is the Highguard group you’re thinking of. Different consonant. Dunno if the group noticed that, I know a lot of them are familiar with 40K but so am I and I didn’t notice it.
On the actual topic: I would… strongly encourage you not to do things as an entertaining challenge to people’s ability to stay IC. I (and a lot of other people) go to LARP events to inhabit a character and react as my character would, and seeing things that I have a reaction to that Malachai or Percival or whoever wouldn’t is usually more annoyingly jarring than funny. I do have the occasional sly one in conversation with people I know, but that’s always semi-accidental, a one-off comment and never done in moments of High Drama; doing it in a group name or background would be too risky IMO. I’d be more grumpy than amused if I was having a Dramatic Scene in which my Dawnish character ran around trying to find out who last saw someone who might be dead and was sent to talk to a Questing Knight order called the Knights of Cydonia, because the “hohoho that’s a Muse song” would kick me right out of the (extremely fun!) character-feelings of “argharghargh.”
That said, it’s possible to take inspiration from things, as long as you tweak them around enough. One of my characters at my local system was named Justin du Mesne, a modification of Justin du Mourne, a character from the Dresden Files - but I changed it enough, and the character was different enough, that it didn’t cause any problems I know of. If you’re taking inspiration from somewhere, my advice would be to tweak far enough that nobody’s going to notice it without you telling them; that’s still a really useful tool in building a character or group IMO.
I’ll also add my opinion to “references” rather than “names”.
Names are a thing you are stuck with even when the humour/cleverness that inspired them has started to get a bit stale.
However, I will confess that when trying to describe the language of the Sumaah Republic to a citizen, I talked about once having met a “Summah Chef” whose language was all “hurdy-gurdy-burdy-with-the-chicken”. Making a veiled Muppets reference was not my greatest roleplay moment, but it did convey that the Sumaah Republic uses Swedish as its phys rep (and we had a laugh).
Also, there’s a fantastic hidden reference within the name of one of the Pledge’s editorial team.
This will always be a topic where mileage varies, but the general principle of consideration for people who just want to play the game without being jarred out of it.
I’m usually dead against such references.
But there was one very serious conversation along the lines of:
-“And of course, there’s the news.”
-“The news that everybody has heard.”
-“Have they, indeed.”
-“The avian news. Have you not been informed?”
-“Indeed I have: I’m given to understand that nearly everybody has been so informed.”
-“I am told that said avian is, in fact, linguistic in nature?”
At about which point poise was lost.
Someone’s certainly not trying hard enough.
There is a House Martell in Dawn, I believe…
I think you’ll find the vast majority of players have no real problem with IC references of OOC stuff, sometimes it is in fact unavoidable or accidental, would you believe. However, its best left to your own group or any of the taverns, which are by their very nature places to relax and unwind a bit.
I think it would be a bit shit if someone walked in the senate and started quoting, wholesale, something from a popular series. Funny, perhaps, but not really roleplaying. There are some great and unique moments to be had in roleplaying and every ‘real world’ reference detracts from those that can only arise from these events.
That said, there is also a very good band that plays songs from popular movies/television themes in the main IC pub. Hard not to think of Dances with Wolves while Promentory is playing across the whole of Anvil.
I suppose in summary, references are all in how you do them. Some players are a bit touchy about them, most are more than happy to have a laugh. It would be wise to consider your context. A referential gag in the middle of a tense argument would sully a unique moment for everyone. Getting a few laughs over a mead horn and some rusty tankards is, on the other hand, the done thing! We are here for the fun of it, after all.
As one of the Suns of Couros I can assure you that any similarity was/is unintentional. We chose Haros as our chapter base so the Couros river formed part of our name. The sun element was meant as a gender neutral signifier.
Now you have pointed it out, it did give me a laugh though .
As to your original question the odd OOC reference, so long a it not too laboured and fairly discreet, isn’t a game spoiler, at least for me. Others may differ