Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Learn 2 RP: Godmoding

The term comes from "god mode" which is found in a lot of today's video games where you can put in a code and make yourself invincible. A person found godmoding would make their character super powerful and / or omniscient.

Definition:In writing or role-playing, a godmod is a character who has too few weaknesses or whose strength is considered overpowered. (source: rphaven.org)

They tend to be spotlight hogs, wanting to be the center of attention. Their characters have powers that are undefeatable, they’re immune to any attack or the dominate the storyline. They will also react to any text that they should not necessarily know about, a character thinking for example. Basically, in any role-play encounter you attempt with them, they will make their character better, brighter and the most important to the plot.

I happen to have a lot of real life experience with godmoding from when I was younger. My little sister was constantly controlling play when we tried to play Barbie together. She would often tell me what my Barbie should say or do so we could play the way she wanted. As a result, I would frequently take my Barbies and leave to go play by myself with her following closely behind saying "no no you can do whatever you want! Come back!". A godmoder is someone who is not very fun to role-play with. You do not want to be one!

Example of Godmoding

Keste: *Keste switches to panther form and sneaks up behind Desdarii, ready to pounce*

Desdarii: *Desdarii casts a large magical shield of impenetration on herself to foil the kitty’s plan. She then turns and transforms Keste into a sheep to stop him from further trouble.*Ha! Ha! You cannot sneak up on me!

It should be fairly obvious why this is bad but lets go over what specific points made this an example of Godmoding. First, Desdarii completely ignores the fact that Keste was sneaking. She may have heard him, it certainly is possible but she doesn't even acknowledge Keste's stealth. She just knew he was coming. Next Desdarii casts a ridiculous magical shield that is obviously to stop any and all attacks on her person. Keste's element of surprise plus his plan of pouncing Desdarii are completely shot. But Desdarii doesn't stop there and turns Keste into a sheep. He's now no longer even himself.

Keste could carry on with his story with clever role-play if he wanted to by playing off Desdarii's barriers with solutions of his own. However, it is unlikely he will continue to role-play with Desdarii if every time he tries to interact with her, she takes over the story and ends it with herself being victorious.

Example of Good Role-Play

Keste: *Keste switches to panther form and sneaks up behind Desdarii, ready to pounce*

Desdarii: *Desdarii continues reading her novel, unaware of what is about to befall her*

In this example, Desdarii acknowledges that Keste is sneaking and acts as if he isn't there. Desdarii is playing along with the story and allowing Keste to continue with his plot.

Another Example of Good Role-Play

Keste: *Keste switches to panther form and sneaks up behind Desdarii, ready to pounce*

Desdarii: *Desdarii hears Keste padding softly behind her and turns to looks at him*

In this example, Desdarii prevents the sneak attack by hearing him sneak up behind her but she hasn't necessarily stopped Keste's story. Desdarii is lending her part in the dialog and allows Keste to play off her actions. She hasn't made it so Keste cannot still get the better of her but Desdarii is not lying down to allow herself to be pounced.

What is very important to learn here

  • You are only in control of your own character.
  • Your character needs flaws. You should not be undefeatable.
  • You should not always be in the spotlight or the star of the show.

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