Game Venting

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Game Venting

Post by TimPendragon » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:48 am

After three long years searching for an interesting play-by-email or play-by-web/forum game to join, I recently found two such games (one of each). I applied for one, didn't hear back for a few days, so I applied for the other, got in, started writing, then heard back from the other one (the GM had been on vacation). So I ended up joining both. I've been really excited, happy to be writing again. When I'm having trouble working on my own stories, it's good to have an outlet like this where I can still write a character, be descriptive and imaginative, but don't have to get bogged down in every detail of planning out a novel. My detail-oriented nature tends to get in the way of my own creativity, which is highly frustrating.

Anyhow, one of the sims has been around a few years, Leto Colony. It's a part of Obsidian Fleet, and I tend to shy away from sims belonging to big groups like that, because fleet politics tends to ruin the gaming experience after a while. OF had huge issues a few years ago, and both of their sims I had been in ended up going independent. But things seem to have settled down in the larger fleet, so I started talking with Leto's GM (who was on one of my old sims though we didn't really know each other), and he assures me that he keeps his game far away from fleet politics. So far, so good. Great group of writers -- and I mean some of the best I've ever seen in my simming life -- really interesting setting, and plenty of ideas on how to involve my character in the main storyline and any number of subplots. That's where I'm playing my Bajoran archaeologist. After posting once, when my character was still en route to the planet, I had half a dozen people who wanted to set up joint posts and subplots... My dance card is getting rather fully over there, and it's fun.

The other sim is also in Obsidian Fleet. The USS Majestic, just getting relaunched, so there aren't a whole lot of crew. At the time I applied, it was just the captain, the counselor and me, playing a diplomat. It's a primarily diplomatic mission-oriented ship, so that appealed to me, and meant I could use one of my old characters. The Captain's a decent writer, the counselor is great and just got made XO. Then there's the security chief... and that's where the problem comes in.

This player is in his mid-20s, but I've seen ten-year-olds that write better. He's playing the security chief, who's a total "black ops gun-bunny ninja munchkin lone wolf" type character (of course), yet his character states that he hasn't read the mission logs, doesn't know why Starfleet's assigned him there, and doesn't understand why he can't beam down and shoot things. He also asks, in and out of character, "what is diplomacy? what does an ambassador do?" Yet he writes in his character bio that his guy's father was an ambassador.

He asks if I want to do a joint post with him, so we start working on one. I write a few paragraphs, give him plenty of stuff to work off of, he ignores what I wrote and gives me a one sentence reply that makes no sense. I rewrite a little, and try again. Rinse, repeat, bang head on desk. I politely suggest that he think about "what a security chief would already know" and he tells me not to tell him how to write his character. Great. So if he's going to play his character as a flaming idiot, I'm going to have to respond based on that. Which ticks him off even more. In his character's meeting with the counselor, he tried to order her to read his mind so they could get it over with, and when she said she wouldn't because it would be a breach of regulations, etiquette and ethics, he said "I don't care about regulations, what do ethics have to do with it, and what do you mean by 'etiquette'?"


The XO/counselor player apparently knows this guy and doesn't think he'll stick around long, which would be a good thing, because I'm afraid that if I try to write with him again, I'll end up committing seppuku.
...the wisdom to discover the right, the will to choose it, and the strength to make it endure...

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Re: Game Venting

Post by collierctr » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:13 pm

Ahh, Tim... your post brings back so many memories of days of old... I swear I must have run into that Security Chief type in at least 2 or 3 games a dozen years ago but I suspect that anyone who role played more than a year has run into his brothers if not first cousins.

Some of these guys should just be playing FPS games, maybe. I don't know. What do I know? I don't know...

I think it's got to be really hard to make role-playing work well these days. Back before I had a HD-DVR, back before I had many other things occupying my time, back when I had hours each week to role play and found people who had similar interests, similar enough writing ability or the ability to fake it, and more importantly, similar senses of humor, that role-playing was fun, and we could scare off fairly painlessly and quickly the wayward security chiefs we couldn't rehabilitate. But as time wore on, life events and circumstances commanded all of our times to varying degrees at inappropriate times, and places that had been alive, active and interesting, became stagnant and dull, and the whole role-playing endeavor, for me, became drudgery, an effort that finally was not worth making.

Yeah, from the joint poster who adds 1 line to the joint poster who doesn't have a clue what to do or what you'd do, to the one who thinks "as long as it's cool to me it should be cool to you"...I applaud you for having the energy to stay with it.

(Didn't there used to be websites that featured horrid examples of fan fiction and role play?)

An additional thought - I suppose it could be a bit of character development for a character to have had a parent who was an ambassador yet so distant that the character has no clue what his parent actually did... but I'm guessing that's too sophisticated for that security chief?

Good luck and take some comfort that worst case scenario is things are as good as they're gonna get in that game! ;)

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