Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Delicate Art

This has been on my mind for a bit. Role playing requires a bit of delicacy to actually pull off. It's not like writing a novel or any other form of art that requires one mind or hand. It is collaborative. Like making movies or putting on a stage show. It requires a certain amount of harmony of it's participants or at least a GM who is enough of an Alpha Wolf to make clear what will be accepted in his/her game and what will be met with teeth on throat.

What I don't understand is, how many people don't seem to understand how delicate it actually is. Every day on some new horror story turns up about some jack-ass at a tabletop game who abrogates the social contract. On more than one occasion, I've been treated to the sight of some personal argument between players bringing an entire larp to a screeching halt. Larps are even more prone to delicacy due to their size and the increased likelihood of Byzantine sexual politics.

The unfortunate bit is, I don't really have a solution to these problems. It's SO easy to wreck a night of fun for everyone just because you've got some kind of burr under your saddle. It's so painfully,ridiculously easy to ruin a Tabletop game or larp, that I often wonder why do it at all. And really the only thing that will stop that sort of behavior is to occasionally step on another persons windpipe and say. "Look. I think you're a decent person and all, but you're behavior leaves a lot to be desired. It needs to stop right now and I EXPECT it to stop right now. Nothing against you personally but leave that shit outside when you come into my game. Capisce?"

As I say, Larps are particularly prone to this sort of shit. Out of Character politics can wreck a game faster than any gaffe on the ST's part. Hell there have been times when the OOC politics were so bad that it was causing me to feel a nameless sinking dread and real nausea. Why go to a game that makes you ill?

Honestly, when a Larp is hitting on all of it's cylinders, It's a thing of beauty. But when personal shit starts to gum up the works, people start leaving in droves and not just because they've chosen up sides.

Sono Finito.


At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Acid Reign said...

.....And sometimes, it's the referee that breaks the magick. I was a participant once in an AD&D tournament where the scenario was that the party had to descend down into a mile-deep vertical-cliff valley, negotiating treacherous footing, hostile monsters, and occasional heavy crossbow bolts where the shooter was JUST out of range of return fire, across the gorge.

.....We decided to just jump together off the cliff, and cast "feather fall" ten feet above the floor of the valley, thus circumventing 90% of the scenario. The ref had a screaming, hair-pulling fit! It went to the judges, which resulted in more endless arguing, etc., and then we were informed that while they couldn't disallow it based on the description of the spell, we were out of time, which touched off round two of the "screamies."

.....By that time, I was sick to my stomach and only stuck around long enough the memorize the names on the requisite badges, and make sure I never wasted my time trying one of their games...


At 7:25 PM, Blogger kinesys said...

Ugh. Asshole.
Control freak too.

Larps eventually break people of being control freaks. either that or the angry mob comes after them.


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