Wednesday, April 21, 2010

You have to give up...

"You have to give up. You have to realize that someday you will die. Until you know that, you are USELESS."
-T. Durden

Lately i've been doing chat games and playing in larps. Mostly keeping my hand out of the storytelling side of things. I keep rolling along and there are times when i feel the itch, but lately i am just enjoying being a player.

Recently, an old character of mine was slain on a chat game. He was ambushed, incapacitated, and diablerized. I had to admit that the player who attacked me had a good plan. And it was even in character for him to do so. He was, up until the point of the attack trying to talk me out of clashing with the current prince, and hoping that i would see reason.

Did I get irked or plan horrifying vengeance on everyone involved. No.
The only point of serious stress during the whole debacle for me was right at the point where this whole thing went down, things went crazy at work and didn't stop until my character was dead. I was ready to pull the firehose off the wall and go to work on the servers as a result of that ill-timed bullshit. But did I have malice in my heart for the player or the GM?

As most of you know already, I tend to take a broad view of character mortality. A character being slain allows me to make something new and try a new thing out. Also, I'm okay with a character dying if I can go out in some huge dramatic manner that affects the whole rest of the game.

But also it's because I feel it is in my best interests to show grace in defeat as well as in triumph. As long as my character dying doesn't involve cheating, I am perfectly okay with having a character go shuffling off this mortal coil. Don't misunderstand, I'm not going to make it EASY for you. You're going to have to work for it, sweat for it, probably even bleed for it. I don't lay down for nobody.
But if you did it right, I'll look at it as a learning experience, shake your hand, and go do something new.

The fact is, a lot of people forget that in a game like a larp or chat game where the bulk of your problems are going to be caused by other players, that you are going to be thrown up against players who are smarter or more capable than you. Sooner or later, no matter how smart you THINK you are, you're going to run into someone smarter and maybe they'll take it into their head to wax you as a result. Sometimes, that's a compliment. You were smart and dangerous enough that they felt they needed to get rid of you first!

It's a puny souled individual that whines and cries when his plans are upset and his character dies. You show even less class if you are furious and there wasn't a bit of cheating going on. (On the other hand, if there WAS cheating...Cry havoc and lets slip the dogs of war.) Learn to suck it up. Find a way to ally with the guy who stopped you cold in your next incarnation. Better to have that guy inside the tent pissing out, rather than outside the tent pissing in.

Sooner or later your character is going to die. Accept that basic fact. Better to die with your boots on, than like some cowering punk bitch. In fact, once you understand this basic fact of Game Life, then you can actually start thinking of the sorts of situations where your character might give up his life heroically.

In fact, there are some characters that seem to have a sort of death wish built into them, and yet, actual death seems to flee from them. Can't explain that one. I don't know why that is.

All i'm really trying to say is, stop playing your character like he's going to live forever. He isn't. If that doesn't make you pay attention to the consequences of your character's actions, nothing will.

Sono finito.


At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Everett said...

Same could be said for the "toys" players use to define their characters - anything from the world's biggest server farm to that holy avenger +5.

Not that I'm saying one can't play a toy-driven character ("Where does he get those wonderful toys?" -Joker), but Batman didn't quit playing and go home to sulk when the bat-plane got shot down.

"You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis." -Tyler Durden

At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Acid Reign said...

.....I've kind of gone to player-only mode myself. I do understand! You show up with your dice and only have to worry about your character and that character's interests. It makes RPGs fun again, to be sure!

.....My sympathies on getting diablerized. That's big-hearted to acknowledge the other player's ingenuity, but no doubt painful anyway.

.....I was in a somewhat similar situation the past weekend, and facing certain doom in a vampire game. My neonate ex-cop Brujah was faced with either backing down to a Garou emissary in Elysium, or getting shredded. A scared mortal "typhoid Mary" had "accidentally" poisoned the Prince, and was trying to run. My character pulled out a .45 and halted the suspect. The Garou objected, and threatened to make me eat that gun.

.....For me, it was more important to stay true to my character, than to survive. I refused Garou demands. I expected to be destroyed, but the lead Garou actually decided to try to wrestle for the gun. Yeah, four points of extra strength in Crinos form are impressive. They don't match three automatic successes from Potence, though. I kept possession of the gun, AND had a couple of extra actions to hose the Garou attacker with Presence 2. He went yip-yip-yiping off into the night...

.....As a player in a dramatic system, I saw it as a win-win situation. Either I died in epic fashion opposing the Garou in a Kindred stronghold, or I successfully faced them down. I think my neonate character has a rep, now. Lots of self-interested Primogen and sheriff-types were too scared to act during this scene...


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