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 How Not To God-Mod

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

PostSubject: How Not To God-Mod   Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:57 am

Quoted from : How Not To God-Mod: Some tips on avoiding Rp's big no-no (FERP)

God-modding... the bain of all RP. Many a good scene has been frustrated, many a new player has been castigated, and even a few 100 post threads have been started by the evil that is god-modding.

So, dear reader, this thread is meant to help Role-Players, both old and new, avoid RP's 1st deadly sin. As such, I really hope some other people with vast gobs of RP experience will help expand this, to add additional insights and inspiration.

What is God-modding?

Perhaps the first thing to clarify is that we are not referring here to players coming into a scene and RPing "I am God. Bow to me." I have yet to meet anyone demented enough to attempt to RP a god, at least in a science-fiction genre game. The term 'god-moddng' refers to RPing actions dictate what happens to another player. On the surface of it, all of us would say, "Well, of course, I would NEVER do that." Unfortunately, for many new players, it may be hard to realize that a seemingly innocuous action has forced some other player into an untenable position.

Lets look at an example.

Dude and Guy are RPing. Dude's kind of new to this, but he's having fun and getting into it. Dude and Guy happen to be from opposing sides in our story, so, tensions quickly arise. As this occurs, Dude concludes that his character should shoot at Guy. So he writes and emote.

Dude: /emote pulls gun and shoots Guy in the face.

Now, for those already savvy to RPing, this seems like a ridiculously obvious faux paus that hardly needs explaining. But, I think for new RP'rs we ought to break down what happened.

First, on the surface of it, this statement seems like a straighforward enough action. If we were writing a novel, its exactly the kind of line we would use to describe the action, though perhaps with a little more flare (Dude snarls, whips out his glock and pops a round through Guys temple.) The problem is, we're not writing a story. As RP'rs, we are improvising a dramatic scene collaboratively.

Clearly, in the example above, Guy is left without a choice, story-wise, except to react to being shot in the face. Dude's emote has left Guy without options like attempting to dodge, or disarm his opponent, or pull his own gun faster. This is god-modding. To Dude, it seems innocent enough (well as innocent as shooting someone in the face can be), but to Guy, it means instant frustration.

So... How should Dude have emoted? An appropriate emote might have read

Dude: /emote whips out his Glock and attempts to put an extra hole in Guy's face.

I emphasize attempts because this phrasing of the action allows room for Guy to react. However, now it is up to Guy to not god-mod a reaction, like

Guy: /emote dodges bullet.

Is that fair either? Guy could emote

Guy: /emote attempts to dodge bullet.

But now how do we decide which way the exchange went? If both players feel like their toons are competent fighters, are either of them going to be willing to decide 'Hey, what the heck, I'll let my guy lose this battle'? If neither player decides to do this, we have reached an impasse.

There are of course a number of ways to handle this dilemna, and it is up to the players to arrange. They could agree, through tells, to simply go back and forth in text, and then agree to a draw. They could agree to use a /roll to see who wins the fight, or even to see who wins each move. They could agree to 'flag-up' and use the game's combat system to decide.

The key here, is that the two must somehow agree on the course of action to take, otherwise our improvised storytelling is going to cease to be collaborative, and the parties will end up being combative OUT of character as well.

So, you've been god-modded...

Lets back up for a moment, to our first example, where Dude god-modded. How should Guy react? This is also a tricky subject, and depends entirely on Guy's attitude and style. Maybe he just decides to roll with it, and let it play out. But that just invites Dude to continue god-modding. Guy might get lucky, and Dude only slips that once, but, somewhere down the line Dude is gonna make that mistake again with someone who DOES get pissed, and now there's a problem.

Personally, I don't think I could dictate THE way to handle this situation. All I can give is an opinion.

My first point is that I would start by assuming that Dude made an innocent RP-noob mistake, and simply needs to be... mmm... corrected. I would try an immediate PM, asking Dude whether he realized he just god-modded, and then try to explain that RP doesn't work that way. Assuming that Dude is competent/humble enough to grasp his mistake, you could then proceed to agree on one of the methods above for resolving the conflict, and continue RPing. If Dude is... challenged, or belligerent, then you need to decide to break of the RP, and possibly put Dude on ignore.

So, clearly, my examples are very rough ones, intended as a beginners guide to avoiding an all too common problem. Hopefully this will be helpful to someone, and, again, I encourage anyone else to chime in with other examples, or approaches to dealing with god-modders.

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