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Power, Title, and Privilege in a Role Playing Community

This topic has 13 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 4 months, 1 week ago by Iniro Valencia.

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    • #42489

      Posted by Joseph Gambit on September 20, 2010 at 3:55pm in Role Playing Discussion

      What is the nature of power? What makes one character stronger than another? What gives some characters the ability to exert authority over others, or to assume titles that place them in positions of power?

      Right now there is a system of respect which has been implemented on the site to accommodate this. Basically, each character has exactly as much power as anyone else will admit he or she does.

      Battles fought in the narrative paragraph style are give and take events, and nobody ever has to accept damage if they don’t want to. However failure to accept logical damage will lead to being ignored by other players.

      Titles are assumed by anyone who wants them; however they are only confirmed by the authority of mob rule. Someone can come into the community claiming to be the “King of all Vampires” but if none of the pre-existing vampire members accepts them as “King” their authority will be limited to themselves.

      I would like to start a discussion about the nature of power on this site and in our community. Where does it come from? How does one achieve it? Is there a process, or is it simply random? I appreciate your thoughts and feedback on this matter.

    • #42490

      Reply by Kent Wolfe on September 20, 2010 at 4:37pm In my opinion, power seems to come from three “locations,” for a lack fo better words. One, the character’s background. Two, instances where the character gains a new power via storyline. Three, how the role player him/herself views their character’s strength. I think power seems to be amplified whenever a character seems to be in a stressful situation, at least that’s how I view it.

      Titles seem to be mocked if they seem to be in use already by another prior person. It makes me think “If Character A has X Title, and Character B also has X Title, then Character A is stronger than Character B, if the general public already accepts Character A with the title.” Titles just seem like “the easy way” to get power. When I started, I didn’t care about getting a title. But now, he’s got a title that I didn’t expect getting when I started in late January.

      Power doesn’t also seem to be based on strength, but as well as defences, such as some person having an immunity with elements, metals, attacks, and others, or having some ability to evade or take less damage from attacks.

      I seem to find that in rare occasions that power is achieved randomly, or at least randomly planned. I never planned that Kent would recieve fire control powers, but I would accept them. It could be how someone is randomly chosen in the audience to volunteer from a group of raised hands, except here in RolePages, it could be whomever is available at the current time.

      That’s what I think about power.

    • #42491

      Reply by Raelin Wolvarian Stryder on September 22, 2010 at 12:05am Well, I can agree to the part where you’re talking about titles. They seem to be handed out on the first-come, first-serve basis and anyone else who claims to have these powers or titles is a “copycat”. It’s unfair, but it’s difficult to try and cast a hundred people for the same parts.

      The problem around here is that when someone comes on claiming to be someone that’s already around here, some of the more incorporated roleplayers make fun of them for deciding that.

      Truth be told, I think it’s horrible to have people play actual god characters UNLESS the characters are not involved in regular chat interactions and are used for main story arcs ONLY. I mean, who is any of the older players to make god characters and then ridicule the newbs for it?

      The power around here, in my opinion, should be based on how logically the power is used, how the person writes or explains the power, how they take and give things during fights. You can be a super powerful character if you’re not on often, are aiding in a storyline OR you acquired these powers by means other than yourself. For example, you start out as a human with the ability to grow plants.. but one of the god characters give you the power to grow five hundred feet, then the main storyline gives you the power to shoot lasers out of your eyes. Obviously, this makes you more powerful, but you were given the power based on respect for your writing, your thought out character or just because you’re likeable.

      Might have babbled a bit.. but powers are a very hard subject around here.

    • #42492

      Reply by zWz Wyld zWz on September 22, 2010 at 8:22pm As a God Character I am not on all the time.. I hope that when I am on its to either add something to the story or in some cases, I could be just seeing what others are doing and saying to get ideas for tweaking or fixing bumps (we all know they happen). I Really have no problem with a person being a God Player Character instead of the occasional God near NPC if they can answer Who What Where and Why. My particular character happens to have a Canonical backing to point to which describes him and his powers and motivations. Someone coming in saying I am the most totally invincible god in the universe with no disadvantages… then tell me how? explain to me why you are that way… make me believe in you.

      As for regular player characters… Power… is through the perceived charisma and presence that the character manifests, not a title they have. If the player has had the character portrayed with a strong personality they will be perceived as such… Your choice of words and actions are an indication of who you are. A person that just constantly wants to spare and fight will not be taken in the same light as someone that can engage in meaningful dialog, that can turn a phrase, that will get involved in all the little backstories and subplots In the same vain a person that never interacts with the main storyline, or consistently wants to be ooc, comes in for the ‘hot chix’ well nuff said bout that.

    • #42493

      Reply by D’loki on September 23, 2010 at 7:25pm Regarding titles: If someone comes in claiming to be Queen of All Werewolves, I’m going to laugh my ass off. I’m also not going to accept anybody claiming to be the child of a god until it’s clear the story is well thought out. Echo, daughter of Hera, came in with a rich backstory. Lestat Bloodmoon, I love ya but a vampire child of an Aphrodite and Ares? With no history, no explanation? I don’t buy it. You’re a good character and a good player, but you need to rewrite your history and dump the poorly-played gods as parents.

      Regarding gods: We have several experienced roleplayers who had pre-existing god characters or had such figures in their backstories, including Wyrm, Asmodelius and Echo. Other experienced players took on related characters such as Wyld, Weaver and Hades. I expect – demand, even – that if somebody decides to play Kali or Thoth or another of the Greek gods, that character be played consistently with mythology AND have a good reason to be among the tavern patrons. Buddha isn’t going to start coming to a tavern on Hellifyno just for the company.

      Regarding powers: Keep them reasonable, and use them reasonably, or you’re going to get smacked for poor roleplay or god-moding.

    • #42494

      Reply by Raelin Wolvarian Stryder on September 23, 2010 at 7:55pm There’s also a problem that when gods are running around, they’re no longer viewed as anything more than characters with a lot of power. If someone comes on with the god character of, say, Amun-Ra or Thoth or even Dianna, there’s also a lot of problems with the characters that are here. Little ones, but inconsistencies. What if a patron worships one of these gods and they walk into the tavern all the time? Or if a character is one of the god’s favored fighters or wizards? Even if these certain gods have had to be NPC’d before by the players already around here, the players are using a storyline that a new god wouldn’t have any knowledge of and the god would have been given a personality.

      We’ve witnessed this problem many times before in chat. Someone walks in as Aphrodite, there were storylines with this goddess previously but this person has no idea about it. They can’t possibly know. Instead of private messaging this new person, newb, bunny or not, they often get mocked for stuff they don’t know about or understand. But really, who are the older players to play gods that run around when the newbs can’t? Just because some of the older players roleplay better, have more experience and know older storylines? How fair is that?

      A character that comes in saying they’re Lord of all Elves IS a problem. The biggest problem is that they need a modified title. If someone said they are Lord of the Elves residing in so and so land, that gives them a title without ruffling feathers. How would anyone feel if someone came in proclaiming they’re the king of all of your people? You would have to modify your character, bow and scrape or treat them as your char would their leader. It’s unfair for someone to come in with that much power to pre-existing characters and demand respect.

      There are some good systems we have in place, for instance, what Elexin does with newer vampires. He invites them into a system set up for newer vampires, teaches them the rules and gives them a bit of a story to help everyone get involved. True, there are some problems with it. Laws that his vampire group makes up that new characters don’t follow either because they don’t want to or are ignorant about them. After all, why should they follow laws that they had no part in creating?

    • #42495

      Reply by Dýrfinna on March 11, 2011 at 9:22am What about a character with premonition? How does one introduce that into this? Cause I can understand that I cant just start shooting out things that are going to happen. Its rude and I couldnt expect anyone to go along with it.

      So Im just curious.

    • #42496

      Reply by Dýrfinna on March 14, 2011 at 12:57am Theres also the over all plot! The great bambino of Rolepages baseball field. Someone with a “future seeing” character cant just throw out that Oh so and so is going to die or Such and such is going to happen. Si?

      So who would one talk to? Is it possible? Or is there no room for the britches of an oracle in the community?

      I feel like Im talkin to myself at this point. Rambling like a crazy person. But I hope this rant doesnt annoy anyone…perhaps my character can be more than just a creepy deaf-tone girl with a large bat. Perhaps not.

    • #42497

      Reply by Narrator on March 14, 2011 at 4:34pm Precognition is not impossible in a multi person storytelling environment any more than character death is. The same rules apply to both and you have to plan it out ahead of time.

      If your character predicts that a certain character is going to die, and you don’t talk it out OOC with that player ahead of time, then your character is going to be a false prophet when they don’t in fact die. But if you work something out with someone ahead of time, your character can predict their death, and then later when it happens, she will be proven to be a true prophet.

      This can apply to the overall story arc as well as minor stories, except that with the larger story you will ned to contact the DM’s who drive it forward. In such a case your character’s precognitive powers would have to have a purpose to the forward momentum of that story.

      As an idea inspired by this, I suggest that players start checking the comments section of their profiles, as some characters may start having dreams with premonitions and signs of the future in them.

      Dýrfinna if you are interested in having your character take on precognitive powers please contact one of the DM’s to see if there is a way that you can be integrated into the story. Thank you.

    • #42498

      Reply by Dýrfinna on March 15, 2011 at 11:55am Sweet! I mean…how enlightening. Youve helped me bunches. I shall take all this into consideration and make sure its done right. Thank you!

    • #42499

      Reply by Nina Noir on April 10, 2011 at 6:18pm I”ve been reading opinions all over and I do have some ideas.. even ones that can help Dyrfinna.. so… I’ll be skipping off to DM’s and her too.

    • #42500

      Reply by Shim Darkwing(Malice) on April 29, 2012 at 8:47pm I believe people over use power on some of the newer players who
      Come in not knowing anyone.
      but the older players have groups already formed.
      making themselves unnaproachable.
      causing the newbs tocreate overpowering characters to gain respect
      but instead its angering some of the older rpers.
      like me originally i only spoke to people of my chracters clan but so many op characters were approaching me in pms cause they felt unwelcome in chat or on missions.
      but I was constantly appproached by newer rpers aproaching with an o.p character

    • #42501

      Reply by D’loki on November 18, 2012 at 9:23pm Zora, sometimes when my character *could* intervene in a situation – whether to help or to hurt – I will PM one of the characters and ask if it’s okay to participate. I’ve had people PM me to ask if they can attack me. I’ve PMd to ask people if I can put them to sleep. Sometimes this is a good way to prevent IC conflicts, and it may really help you since you’re a fairly new character.

    • #52453

      For the Title bit i know for a time we had 100s of demon kings and queens but there was an established Demon king canon to the Site lore.

      The easy fix for that was the whole multiverse  so more then one hell ect ect Of course this type of thing does not always work for ever situation but at helps a little.
      The issue is noobs claim a title then try to flaunt it about and kinda forget the basic logic of “not your kingdom/homeland your authority is nill here” And get upset and too be honest almost EVERY king and queen is played as the snobby type that demands respect from the “peasants”  so they come off as annoying anyways.

      As for power..for me personally i do agree many noobs jump on the Gods train to try and catch up and give them any power known to the imagination but have no real idea how to play such a character because being a noob they dont know the RP basics in general.
      For me  its hit or miss sometimes as some noobs will learn but many get very pissed if you correct them or try to help.
      Red sun is a huge example of this…just the tons of OOC  of them just yelling at each other half the time because they dislike something.
      Again nothing wrong with playing a god. It is the freedom of RP after all though personally for me id like to build up a character to that point.

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