Reasons Why I’m Not Missing LRP #6

Reasons Why I’m Not Missing LRP #6… People Problems and Playground Politics

OK, here we are on the penultimate entry of this week’s worth of reasons why I’m not missing LRP this year. This one’s possibly far more personal to me than a generic reason. So is tomorrow’s. But I’m pretty sure that other people will ‘get’ what I’m talking about with these following examples. There are specific examples as well, but depending on how ranty I get, I may or may not get to them.

This may be slightly cathartic, as well. I make no apologies. This particular entry contains a lot of the real personal heart behind my decision to walk away from the hobby this year.

1) You can’t ‘win’ LRP. Well, not as such. Your character staying alive is generally the only real ‘win’ condition. People get so outrageously precious about their characters that they start cheating. Yes, that’s right. They cheat. They conveniently ignore the fact that they have three hits per location and have just taken their twelfth hit to their unarmoured  head. Why, guys? Yeah, it means you have to roll down in the mud and (hopefully) wait for a healer to get to you. And if a healer doesn’t get to you, you get up off the floor, dust yourself down and go create a new character. Things you should not do when your character dies include (but aren’t limited to):-

– throw a paddy, get physically abusive in an OOC capacity or generally throw objects around like some sort of toddler.
– argue with the person who killed you that they had carefully planned it for months ahead of time when in fact this was not the case.
– immediately create the brother/sister/cousin/son/random friend of your previous character and ‘investigate’ how they died.

Your character died. Get over it. Don’t spend the next ten years bemoaning it. OK, moving on before I start really getting grumpy.

2) Share the Love.  Plot hoovers, I’m talking to you. Just don’t do it. You have no real concept how much you ruin the game for other people with your selfishness.

For those of you who don’t know what a plot hoover is… it’s specifically someone who sucks up all the game world and/or faction plot points and generally refuses to share it with anybody else. This hoarding of the fun makes them Somehow More Special than everyone else. Other players can periodically be heard to say ‘there’s no plot/there’s nothing going on/I’m bored’ or words to that effect. Everyone knows who the plot hoovers are and yet I’ve sat by and watched people deliberately overlook maybe ten players sitting outside a tent looking for something to do just so they can go straight to the Usual Suspects.

Also, Players! If you actually refuse to interact with plot even when it’s (literally in some cases) thrown directly at you, then do NOT start bleating that there’s no plot. Do not ever do this. Nobody would do this, would they?

Hah.

3) Show a little gratitude, eh? Players. You have a plot team. You have a command team. Outside of this is the greater world of the game team. They work hard to provide plot for you to play along with. They work hard and they don’t get paid for doing it. Most of them have full time jobs and families. All of them invest a lot of time and effort to bring you a game to actually interact with. So if it’s not to your personal taste, instead of bitching about it loudly, or complaining that You Could Have Written It Better (frequently to the face of the person who has written the plot), why not have a rational, adult conversation with your plot team and say ‘could we look at doing something like… [insert thing here]’. Even better, offer to help.

Don’t be so ungrateful.

4) RTFM. Or, in this case, Read the Fucking Rules. Understand what the ‘Tracking’ skill does and does not allow you to do. Learn what ‘Sniff’ will and will not tell you. This applies to refs every bit as much as players, by the way. Learn your bloody spell vocals instead of going ‘humuna… humuna… humuna… MAGIC MISSILE!’ Oh, and tear your spell cards in half instead of stuffing them in your pocket to use again later, you cheating bastard. Don’t think the refs don’t see you doing this, because believe you me… they do.

5) OOC is Not IC. And IC is Not OOC. Just because you learn something OOC (for example, that your mate Bob’s character was murdered on the path and left in the bushes), do not immediately apply this knowledge IC. YOUR CHARACTER HASN’T FOUND OUT THE FACTS, YOU HAVE. See also: cheating. Also, don’t start bitching on that ‘they did it on purpose so they could get all the power’.

The other way around… just because Bob the Troll was rude and abrasive to you IC, does not mean that Bob the player is the same. Don’t treat them as if they are. They might be rude and abrasive OOC as well of course, but that is something you should find out… not presume.

Crikey, I’m getting majorly ranty. Sorry about this.

6) Stop Backstabbing People. If you have a problem with someone at LRP, for whatever reason, then have the decency to address the issue with them directly. Having an issue is not some sort of pyramid selling thing. Don’t complain about it to two other people so that they can then go and tell two other people each and so on until through the marvel of LRP Chinese Whispers, the original issue is blown massively out of proportion and cannot ever be resolved to people’s satisfaction.

This is going on and on a bit and I’m sorry that it’s so shouty and decidedly not light-hearted. But… people asked me for the reasons I walked away. Sometimes that means that they might not hear what they expected. Or maybe it is what they expected. Perhaps if there are LRP players who are guilty of any or all of the above (and I don’t say there are, just that there might be) who read it might see it for the ludicrous behaviour it is. Somehow, I don’t think they will though.

Above all else, remember the key thing we learned during yesterday’s lesson.

IT’S A GAME.

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2 thoughts on “Reasons Why I’m Not Missing LRP #6

  1. The vast majority of this has got me cheering along with passion. I am pleased to say that it is some time since I have been close by to any of this. I have seen plenty of it over the years, though, and I can quite understand how over exposure could make taking a year out the right thing to do. It can particularly frustrating, IMHO, when those who roleplay in a creative way and help build a great atmosphere for everyone also cheat, sometimes blatantly. I think that this can often be put down to an unwillingness to surrender control of a character’s destiny. When one loves a character, it can be difficult to die alone in a ditch when a lot of one’s plans remain unattempted. No excuse whatsoever, of course.

    Perhaps my one point of disagreement would be on point 2, and I suspect that we are closer there than I realise. I do not think that any player has any obligation to share plot. Any information that a player receives is theirs to be used as they wish. If you don’t trust someone, you don’t have to give them information. if you believe that the value of information you have may be diluted if widely shared, then you have no obligation to share it. Ensuring that players have a fun game to play and that there is plenty to do is a ref’s responsibility, and I speak as someone who was blue in the face with frustration for years at the lack of what I (from my highly privileged perspective) considered to be complete lack of basic self-interest in sharing information. Refs can do a lot to spread information widely. They can make it basically impossible for particular plot points to be hoarded because they have the power to tell large numbers of players something outright if they think necessary. I say again that I know first hand how hard it can be in practice to keep the wheels oiled, but I still say that whilst players are free to share information with those less well informed if they wish, there is no OOC obligation. I am perfectly prepared to accept that this is not what you meant, and if I have misunderstood, I can only apologise. I hope you know how much I respect you.

    Where we are absolutely as one on this issue is on the matter of keeping information close for OOC reasons. I have nothing but contempt for this. Where a significant threat clearly requires all hands on deck and quick about it, for example, only the OOC ego can be served by keeping the magnitude and nature of the threat secret from warriors in one’s own camp standing within easy shouting range. This is a practice that beggars belief. I only wish that the consequences of this behaviour struck the perpetrators more often than the innocent bystanders.

    In any case, whilst I have dwelt on one point, I applaud the whole. This is the voice of reason.

  2. Hi, Ed! Nice to see you here!

    What I’m really getting at with the plot hoarders is those people who could make the game a damn sight more interesting and fun for the shyer, newer players who don’t know where to start. From what I’ve seen (and I acknowledge that there are people who DON’T do this) a lot of the plot hoovers seem to be ‘in it to win it’.

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