Courtesy of Illithias, messed up night elf warrior chick extraordinaire and author of whiteboard strategies, an RP conundrum post.
(Everyone bug Illi until he gets his blog set up. I’m told he has a domain already! The Riders are fast approaching the “bloggingest guild” status, and we needs MORE!)
You come up with a brilliant idea. It’s emotional, it’s evocative, it suits your character well. It’s brilliant. You want to write it – it’ll be fun to write. However, there’s a slight catch. It, by necessity, requires the involvement and assistance of another PC. And they’re merely there to facilititate a story in which goes really bad for them. What is the etiquette surrounding God-Modding in mature, involved RP social groups?
In other words, how can you approach someone with “Hi, I had an awesome idea for a story, but it kinda involves my character totally WTFPWNing your character in some way, method, or fashion – you cool with this? Wanna help?”
Eeegh. Nobody ever asks easy questions!
Anyway – this is something that has to be handled very delicately, obviously, since you don’t want to end up making any enemies out of your friends. It’s also something you’ll want to deal with largely OOC for awhile, and get the actual scenario set up.
However, I don’t think it’s in any way impossible to pull off.
Before you involve another PC, you probably want to make sure that it’s absolutely necessary for that particular person to be the target of the WTFPWN. It can sometimes be better to create another PC specifically for abusing them, even if that particular PC is played entirely by someone else. That way you don’t screw with the current group interactions in-character, but your own character still gets to have her moment of epic win.
Second thing you want to do is consider how to broach this with the other person in question. Obviously, it should be out of character, and with a dose of humility that says you realize that you’re asking to let your character be big amazing and awesome, at the expense of another character. You might be surprised that they’re willing to work with you on something, simply because getting roflstomped can be a good method of character development, if you do it right.
They also may have ideas about how to come to a similar moment of catharsis for your character, without necessarily involving as much WTFPWN as originally invisioned. One of the amazing things about group RP is that you have other people to bounce ideas off of (more than once, another person’s input has bailed me out of a sticky writing situation). Having two characters in a relatively close-knit group go after each other, either physically or verbally, can create a lot of conflict, so again, tread carefully, and make sure everyone is on the same page! You’ve all heard me harp about communication before, so this shouldn’t be too surprising.
Anyway – once you get the actual scenario set up, I’d recommend you have an active OOC conversation going as well as what’s happening IC, or if you’re going to run the scene through writing, that you run posts past each other before you actually do them. No surprises! And don’t be surprised if other people get involved. In fact, be prepared for it, and possibly have people warned in advance (OOC) that something is going to go down. Otherwise you could end up with three very burly paladins in between you and your target, and have to awkwardly try to get around the situation!
And finally, no matter what happens or how you end up approaching it, if the other character says no – the answer is no. “Stealing” a character to use as a passerby in your RP is usually OK within a close knit group, but anything major and you want the OK from the player behind the character.
This is a sticky situation, but one that can provide a lot of development for multiple characters (or just a chance to go on an Epic Tirade). Ideally, at the end, you find a way for everyone to meet their goals without anyone feeling tramped upon.
PS: As a side note from this particular question, Illi is offering his character up as a scapegoat in similar RP situations, as a way to keep her in check (as she’s something of a slightly demented, rage-suffering, bezerker most of the time). I’ll try to post an update once a little more of that particular experiment goes through, or maybe I’ll even get a guest post out of it!
PPS: THIS STORY WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE LETTERS C, P, AND BY THE NUMBER ILLI WANTED TO PWN YOU IN THE FASE LOLOLOLOL (I’m quoting here, fyi)
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