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 How far is too far ?

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Join date : 2011-10-12
Age : 32
Location : Saint-Sauvant, France

PostSubject: How far is too far ?   Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:51 am

Quoted from : How far is too far (FERP)

The title of this thread is a question that has plagued me ever since my first days as a Roleplayer. It's a question I've wanted to ask in several other roleplay communities but have always shied away from it due to not wanting to offend people or make it seem like I was calling anyone out. Here I figure we've got a more mature crowd and people will take this for what it is, an iquiry, a probing of the collective mind.

I suppose I should explain the question as you, the reader, are likely curious as to what I'm talking about. I'm referring to freedom of character background and influence they have in the Lore of the game. What I mean by this is, where do you specifically draw the line between reasonable and going too far? I'll give a few extreme examples of 'too far' in my book.

Example #1 - World of Warcraft

One of my characters in World of Warcraft once interacted with a woman who, in character, said she was Arthas' sister. For those of you who don't know the World of Warcraft Lore, Arthas is the name of the Prince of the Human Lands who would later become the Lich King, the evil and all powerful entity that single-handedly waged war upon the world with his legion of undead. Not to mention that Arthas' entire family was outlined in the Lore and she was not named. Of course, she explained that she was actually a 'secret sister' or a bastard brought forth due to the indescresions of the King of the Humans.

Why is this going too far? It gives the character way too much power and influence over the Lore and Game World. As the sister of Arthas and thus daughter of the King of the Humans she has nearly unlimited amount of power in the Human lands. All she has to do is drop her name and people should bow to her whim. She's a bastard? So what? Arthas, heir to the throne, is effectively dead and gone. Due to the line of succession either the throne is up for grabs or it defaults to her.



Example #2 - City of Villains

There were a lot of people who pushed boundries in City of Heroes, but none more than this woman. Her character was the daughter of Statesman and Ghost Widow.

Why is this going too far? There's a number of reasons. The primary violation of my own personal Code of Conduct is the fact that in making her parents be Statesman and Ghost Widow she has directed the actions, feelings, and history of two of the most iconic NPCs of the game. For those unfamiliar, Statesman is City of Heroes' Superman. He basically founded Paragon City (where City of Heroes takes place) and is the hero that every hero aspires to be. Conversely, Ghost Widow is the sadistic right hand woman of Lord Recluse, Statesman's rival, resident supervillain, and tyrant of the Rogue Isles (where City of Villains takes place). I'll not go into the others simply to save space.



You can probably get a good feel for my outline here of what I consider 'going too far'. It has some pretty simple bullet point steps:

Do not tie your character to characters/NPCs that are not yours without consent (ie. Very Important Persons, game NPCs).
Do not make your character directly responsible for specific and well known events in the Game World's history (ie. The SHIVA Virus, The Vista Faction, et cetera).
Do not give your character significant influence over clearly defined places and/or things in the Game World (ie. New Flagstaff, The White Crow, the Techs, et cetera).
Do not give your character authority that you cannot enforce (ie. Mayor of Dieseltown, Commander of 1200 Soldiers, et cetera).
Do not cross Game Worlds (ie. Warhammer 40k in Tabula Rasa, Vampire: the Masquarade in City of Heroes, et cetera).
Do not directly contradict the established Lore.

Now you now my personal guidelines. I don't enforce them upon others, although sometimes I do wince when I see people playing against them. I typically do not judge people by playing what interests them although there have been times in my past to where I had to step up OOCly and say "This breaks my immersion too much. I'm sorry, but I can't play with your character".

What are your guidelines? How far is too far for you?

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