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Roleplay Limits from the Sim/Group owner perspective


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This has probably been discussed many times, but it would be nice to get the current opinions on the subject.

When does limitation of powers and abilities cross the line from being for the good of the group & sim in to being a stifling effect on character creation and development? I know it's obvious to most when a character has been developed specifically to "always win" in any situation, AKA the powergamer mega-munchkin, but I'm more interested in what people have to say about the gray areas where it's starting to cross the lines of what is acceptable for their sim / group, and balancing options to help prevent these issues from happening.

I'm not a fan of overly complicated character sheets for avatars, preferring moderation and a self policing community. Where it becomes complicated for me is my sim/group being anime/hentai themed means there is a very wide range of possible character types that could be used. Fantasy, Science Fiction, Furry, Occult/Horror, Traditional, the list is open ended, and I don't want to be restrictive as to what members want to create, but I also want to make sure that one person's creativity doesn't infringe or restrict the ability of another to have an enjoyable time.

So... What do you think?

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Its a hard question to answer for at the end of the day the sim/group owner has all the power and say. But if they abuse it too much they risk driving people away and killing their group or sim. Finding that balance of power and rules and limits is every complicated and not easy if you wish to keep an active community/group/sim and keep as many participants as happy as possible.

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This is a difficult question because how you phrase and plan your rules has a huge impact on the type of players you get / nurture in your sim. I love to give people as much freedom as possible but it's easy for one or two people to take that freedom and bash others over the head with it til it's not fun for anyone. 

On the flip side if you have rules too strict and complex you tend to attract folks looking for that structure who might be more prone to rules lawyering and self policing can enter bullying territory if not watched carefully. 

I've found that my balance between the two is rules that take no more than 5 minutes to read, but are direct enough to get the point across. This isn't exactly perfect but it's close enough for my tastes. Usually I find it's best to directly spell out some goals with the rules in them such as what kind of group you are / your rule policing style. 

The other thing I always try to avoid doing is reactionary or too specific rules. You see sims sometimes add onto their rules when they come across behavour they don't like, and while that's not a bad thing it's important to make sure you don't end up with a diary of all roleplay that's ever irked you and instead look at the source of the issue. If someone is a constant attention seeking whining victim, always in danger and in need of a hero to save them, don't ban all roleplay where someone is captured by a big evil monster for instance, ban spotlight hogging. Another example might be pregnancy in RP. Rather than have a whole document with rules on pregnancy, maybe just make it something you need to get approval for and only approve folks you know won't be obnoxious about it. 

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In some instances I do feel as the sim owner there can be some rules that are carved in stone, with no wiggle room at all. As an example, I think it's fine for a sim owner to state, "No firearms allowed for anyone to wear as decorations unless they are officially on the sim police force" if the theme of the sim does not normally involve firearms for the general public, or "No avatars larger than 3 meters in any direction" due to ceiling/space limitations. One thing that makes me chuckle a bit is when players come up with extremely obscure and convoluted explanations as to why they can go well outside generally accepted standards and reasonable limitations... which is where it gets a bit sticky, what people consider to be generally accepted and reasonable. Not every vampire is a daywalker, and your buff musclebound mercenary would be crushed like a bug trying to carry that 1,000 pound mini-gun and 50,000 rounds of ammo.

I guess part of my issue is I've seen too many times where the rules lawyers try to game the system to where they are basically indestructible by taking completely irrelevant disadvantages to offset their power build. So when do you draw the line very subjective line in the sand, throw down the red flag and just say, "That isn't going to work, try again"? I try to look at it from the perspective of, is this something that will negatively affect the sim & group, or is this just someone trying to be overly creative and needs a bit of guidance?

I realize some people dearly love working out all the minutiae to the Nth degree, which is fine. Some people thrive with having their details all mapped out, others seem to enjoy letting things develop as time progresses.

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  • 1 month later...

For myself I don't like many rules for RP this includes to lore type RP communities where the lore is hard for me to understand in a sense where I roleplay normally as. Hybrid (Incubus Demon with Vampirism) and many RP Supernatural urban sims are strict on only one creature based character. If there are too many rules to understand in the sense of combat hud based RP I will not join in. I don't like to do combat RP i rather just avoid combat RP because I am more driven in certain scenes like "Dark Alley or just an average man walking into a bar and maybe hooking up for one night or two with a woman and it turns into more of a relationship type RP story." It also depends if i can keep up with the lore and its not like crazy in powers in what types of creatures have in supernatural RP.

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