Monday, December 20, 2010

The Players Dilema

 As roleplayers, most of us have heard the mantra of "In character does not equal out of character". This mantra is usually brandished to remind us all that what happens to our characters is generally ((With some rare exceptions of really bad games)) not directed at us, personally.

 This also holds true with the Players Dilema. Likely we've all been there. The characters are facing some sort of possibly dire, definitely facinating situation, and a couple of options arise. In the case of one of my own characters, nearly getting levitated away by an unknown force to parts unknown.

 In character, my character in no way, shape, or form, wanted to find out who thought that particular spell would be fun and entertaining at that time, and didn't really care -that- much about where he might end up had he let go of what he was clinging to. After all, he's managed to make all kinds of interesting enemy's with interesting magical powers and a mentally scaring sense of creativity. ((He's good at that. The man has an uncanny knack for really pissing off evil-aligned-necromancers. And those are just the enemies he remembers.))

 The player dilemma part comes in because while my character REALLY didn't want to know, I, as a player, REALLY REALLY DID. Sometimes as players we just really want something off the walls and potentially even godawful to happen to our characters, just to see what happens. This is a bit different, I think, than the player who seems to exist specifically to beat their character so bloody that you start wondering if there's an Abuse-shelter-wayhouse for characters, since most of us just occasionally want to say "Oh hell, let's see what happens."

 In character, there's lots of hurt feelings and possibly just hurt, but sometimes it leads rp in really interesting directions and leads to angles of character development we might not otherwise get to witness. The dilema is that this is hard to 'make' happen without really breaking character, and sometimes that's where the GM comes in.

 GMing is a really tough job and there is no way anyone will argue me out of beleiving that. It's incredibly difficult to weave a story just for yourself, but to write for a handful of other people with different goals and personalities? Trying to make sure everyone is happy and involved can be downright maddening, and then you've got the nagging fear "What if they hate me. Do they hate the game? Do they think I'm a horrible GM? Am I being too mean? Too soft?"

 It's a hard middle ground to find, but with a little practice you can learn to read your players, digital or otherwise, and pick up on the nuances between what they feel in character and what they feel out of character, and remember. You're the only one who can fix the players dilema!

 Into each game a little rain must fall!

No comments:

Post a Comment