Skip to main content

Forums » RP Discussion » My Character is the Ultimate... What, Really?!?

Perhaps because I come from a background of AD&D and also I've had partners online that come from a tradition of "you start as a weak nobody and you learn, advance and grow into your power", that I am often left shaking my head at people who seem to think their characters are the biggest baddest "badass" (a term I've come to despise).

My characters start out as having to learn and grow into their skill as I RP them and thinking through their actions where acting stupid or reckless very much has consequences. Some of my characters I have RPed for a number of years as well as leveled them IG if they come from a MMORPG. I don't believe in Godmodding and being OPed. There will always be someone higher up and tougher. I've learned that through PvP and RP-PvP. I prefer dice roll when possible and strongly believe in consent with freeform.

So I am curious how do people go about claiming that their character is the ultimate warrior, hero, god/goddess, all powerful, etc. Seeing OPed characters or players I suspect of godmodding turns me off of even considering Rping with them. Yes, I'm very much for a certain level of realism in RP even with fantasy and Horror/Supernatural RP.

How well does claiming your character is the best, strongest, toughest, smartest, most powerful, etc. work for you in RP that should give everyone a chance to shine?
My stomach and (to a lesser degree) head are a little weird right now, so here's to hoping I can actually still make as much sense as I... think I still can? ^^;

I can kinda see multiple things going on here. If your focus is on either venting or asking about people who feel like their character just has to be the best and the strongest and far beyond everyone else and whatnot... yeah, I get ya. Playing with someone who's a jerk about stuff like that is never fun. I'm sure it still stems from the same desire to step out of reality and play out a fun fantasy for a bit, and I can definitely understand how, for many people, that fantasy may revolve around, well... having the power to just do things without everything feeling like some hopeless struggle; but if they forget the inherently social nature of RP, then yeah, problems are going to happen. There are also folks who just don't yet understand want it means to be collaboratively telling a story, or how many characters that may work wonderfully in books, video games, movies, etc, don't really work well in RP for various reasons. I've still got a number of characters that are difficult to play outside of very specific circumstances, and some remain difficult to engage with even then, and I've just been too stubborn to drop them entirely yet.

There's a lot of other reasons why someone might not start at the beginning, though.

It might just be an established character with a lot of history who's only new to the game at hand. Some (probably most) folks sort of "reset" there characters for every new game. Some folks maintain a running story, where outside of specified AUs, every game becomes part of that character's ongoing canon. Some folks do a little bit of a mix. Point being, some characters aren't at the beginning because they really have just already had a lot of other adventures.

Some folks want to play a character that only makes sense as an established character. Even if the character is new and hasn't been played yet, the stories some folks want to pursue just don't really work or make sense if the character is a fresh, new face who's just getting started. Someone might want to play some sort of veteran of war or adventuring to something, to have a story about what happens after. Someone might want to play a generally older character who, even if they didn't get much of some specific type of experience, still would be well beyond where they were in their younger years. Someone might have a character with little practical experience, but who still underwent training (or just surviving) that would naturally be likely to set them ahead of others in certain aspects. Someone might want to pay out a situation that requires a character to already have a high rank, and who should have all the experience and skills to make it reasonable for them to have gotten that rank in the first place - and they don't want to have to play through months or even years of establishing that before they can tell the story they actually had any interest in (especially if they'd have to do that every time they want to try that story with another player).

Some people want a story about about handling some unexpected and wildly strong power, not a story about steadily obtaining power. Will the power corrupt them? Destroy them? Can they learn to control it? Will others see them as dangerous, heroic, or maybe even start forming a cult around them? How is the character going to handle all of these concerns?

Sometimes, it's just that the character is meant for a setting where these crazy skills/powers/etc are just... more the standard. It might still make them special even within the setting, but the character was created to play with others are also exceptional - even if the player might have forgotten that at some point, whether they have too much fun with the character to have been thinking about it when some new game got them excited, or because they forgot that other players have different ideas about what a "normal" level or power should look like, etc.

Those are the big points I can recall offhand. Of course, in every case, it's still necessary to be communicating with your fellow players, to make sure you're all in agreement about expectations and things, what sorts of plots you're hoping to get, etc. And I'm among those who basically always forgets how to actually do that right... so I'll know there's gotta be more we should discuss, but I just can't remember what. Or there will be something I actually thought we were on the same page about, but turns out nope, something was definitely lost in translation. ^^; But that's just more reason why it's also important to keep talking with your partners OOC, specifically making sure to check in about how you all are feeling about how the RP is going. (And I am absolutely terrible at that...)

Because... yeah. If one person is hogging all the glory/drama/spotlight in general... it's probably not very fun for anyone else, and good chance not really being fun for that person, either (which could very well just be creating a vicious cycle, even).
Falyn Topic Starter

I hope you are feeling alright and thank-you for your answers Zelphyr. I understand that my post may have come off as harsh and I admit some level of frustration on my part. I have had godmodding occur to me in the past, although thankfully not on RPR, in part because I have become extremely cautious as to who I RP with but I also noticed that many here seem responsible enough to state what they are specifically looking for.

I admit that I do not reset my characters but move them along a linear path. Even characters that may be placed on hiatus for a time will have a written story where they focus on their career path or some such.

I agree clear commication is very much key and important for people who RP together to be on the same page and try to make sure the RP going on is enjoyable for everyone envolved as much as possible. :)
Hi Falyn,

Personally, I am very much put off by the nature of “my character starts at the beginning with low stats” RP with characters in RPs involving stats. It feels like a huge waste of time to me to RP out all that character development, because for me, the story at the time will not be particularly interesting, as I generally enjoy plots with well played powerful characters, whether they are mine or someone else’s.

In my view, levelling up a character is something that occurs in computer games.

When I want to RP with people, I do it in 1x1 settings and usually RP out a specific plot. I don’t generally do group RPs, and it’s easy for two characters to shine and for the rest of the chars to be supporting ones, so both players can have their fun. I think that plays a major role in what I do being enjoyable for all participants, because with more than one other person taking part, it could be problematic.

Some of my characters are demi-gods or very powerful. I like roleplaying persons in power. They will certainly have their own issues and deficiencies.

Another thing to consider is that when you are in a fantasy kingdom with a small population, being the ultimate whatever-kind-of-thing may not be such a big achievement. It can easily be a matter of sticking with your thing when it was disadvantageous to do so for others. Or being weird enough in your worldview that you were literally the only person to pursue your thing in the past 50 years. So it’s not like I consider my characters to be extra special, and usually they are pretty niche. Which gives space to other characters to be also the best in whatever, or to be more well-rounded and as such more successful, etc. etc.

I would also not link being overpowered with godmodding. They are two different things.

Finally, to reply concretely about how being all-powerful worked for my character (I don’t have the best ultimate heroes etc. but I did RP someone all-powerful in a given setting at the time) - she had serious motivation issues. Being all-powerful was not working out well for her as a character, as it was boring for her, but it was fun for me to RP it out. My partners got room for their characters to do major things because mine just couldn’t be bothered altering them, or influencing them. And obviously we could always discuss things OOCly as desired.
Falyn Topic Starter

Hello Alecia,

Leveling up a character is not restricted to video games, it is how most if not all table-top role-play is done. It is the role-play back ground I come from. Most of my characters, even new ones always have certain skills and abilities when they are created. I admit that I enjoy group dynamics as well as 1X1 RP, but have never seen the interest in RPing God-like beings or all powerful ones. Even my characters that are classified as immortal can and have died, though the state of death might not be permanent, the state of dying and feeling pain is the same as any mortal as well as the emotions and trauma that should come with it.

I prefer for my characters to use their intelligence and reasoning skills as finding a way out of challenging situations instead of constantly relying on magical of supernatural powers. I enjoy them learning new skills, finding out the lore and even try to learn the language of the world and races they come into contact with. They will usually take a stance and join an alliance. Destruction or conquering is very low to non-existent on the list of what my characters wish to achieve.

No, god-like powers are not the same as godmodding, but in my experience, especially with new players coming in to group RP, a high number of them expect to hold the same positions as other established characters or have the same or higher power level, which does not typically work well unless clear consent and communication is given by other players and the GM.

As you stated, very powerful and godlike characters my translate better in 1X1 RP with a consenting partner that enjoys that dynamic.
Absolutely, levelling a character is not restricted to video games, but I really refuse to do in anywhere else, and I hate the initial “can’t do anything right” phase even in the video games.

I think that a lot of the principles that people like to follow make sense in the context of a newbie RPer joining an established group, or a bunch of newbie RPers starting a group RP. It ensures that one person will not spoil a long-time effort of others, or that the whole thing won’t fall apart soon after starting. But I feel it might, too often, be seen as some hard and fast rule, rather than a safety mechanism or tool meant for a specific purpose, or even just a preference. I think this might be because all too many RPers who put a lot of work into a setting and a story get it disrupted or destroyed by people who RP the way you have described. And I get that that can even be traumatizing, and it causes a person to be extremely wary of similar things in the future.

But there is a valid use for powerful characters, and characters who are the best at something from the beginning of being created.

My most frequent inspiration for RP can be some book or movie where I wonder “Wow, how would this interaction play out with a bit different characters, or under a bit different setting.” So I don’t really do “adventure” types of RPs, or competitive RPs, and simultaneously it doesn’t make sense for me to start with “lvl1” characters in such a case.

I appreciate your stating that
Quote:
No, god-like powers are not the same as godmodding, but in my experience, especially with new players coming in to group RP, a high number of them expect to hold the same positions as other established characters or have the same or higher power level, which does not typically work well unless clear consent and communication is given by other players and the GM.

Which to me suggests that you see it as a useful heuristic, and that you acknowledge that exceptions can be made.

I guess I just wish there wasn’t such a negative emotional response to powerful characters in general. I really enjoy RPing with them, especially if someone else is playing the powerful character part, and I suspect that even people who would play them really well can sometimes feel a certain stigma, or reluctance, and end up refraining.
Falyn Topic Starter

Alecia wrote:
I guess I just wish there wasn’t such a negative emotional response to powerful characters in general. I really enjoy RPing with them, especially if someone else is playing the powerful character part, and I suspect that even people who would play them really well can sometimes feel a certain stigma, or reluctance, and end up refraining.

I really appreciate your input and I believe that you knowing what you enjoy clarifies your stance on why you and others enjoy RPing powerful characters in general. I have known, still know and RP with people who play powerful characters very well. Again, as you and Zelphyr mentioned it comes down to very clear communication of expectations and consent of all involved in the RP. I honestly hope more people come forward and help dispel stigmas and misunderstanding that comes with playing very powerful characters and how they can, and should be RPed. :)
Based on the way you've framed this, the issue is really a player problem. There are so many people that don't get the concept of roleplaying, unfortunately. How do I deal with this? I tend to try to explain what they are missing and provide examples and give them a chance to improve. Some people just don't get it. I've found it isn't worth wasting time and energy on hopeless cases. I move on. That may mean dropping them from the game, leaving the game in question, or talking to the other members of the group on how to handle it. I've long held the belief that bad players ruin great games. If you look at my profile, I am very detailed about who I will and will not work with. Mostly I try to do one-on-one games, particularly here and I avoid groups. I basically interview people before I start writing with them and do it on a trial basis and try to make my expectations clear upfront. If things are not working out, I'm open and honest with them and I'm not afraid to tell someone that I just don't feel we're a good fit for one another.
Falyn wrote:
I really appreciate your input and I believe that you knowing what you enjoy clarifies your stance on why you and others enjoy RPing powerful characters in general. I have known, still know and RP with people who play powerful characters very well. Again, as you and Zelphyr mentioned it comes down to very clear communication of expectations and consent of all involved in the RP. I honestly hope more people come forward and help dispel stigmas and misunderstanding that comes with playing very powerful characters and how they can, and should be RPed. :)

Thank you :) I appreciate that and I certainly agree that it would be great if there was more constructive discussion on how powerful characters can and should be RPed.
It may seem all justified in your games that you have designed regarding only two writers who have agreed upon the actions and behavior in position of the scene, but with regards to a group, there needs to be an understanding, a compromise as to how powerful an interloper in that game should be.
I for one have the "You're in a world that has a different tone of magic, don't think you're as powerful here as you were in your own realm," rule in regards to my group and new members.
I know some of my characters are influential because they have been developed for nearly thirty years in RL and are only appointed that bearing to the world they exist in. Yet they still have their boundaries, and Achilles heel but refrain from the 'I am the ultimate' for a good reason, they are not the ultimate.
The position of GM means you make the game fair to all, giving everyone involved a chance to evolve their character and actually gain from the game and enjoy the experience.
If I was to portray any of my Aesi in another writer's game, they would be more negotiating to the rules of that group and respect other player's characters to acquire a fun playthrough and not be transferred as the ultimate doom bringer taking away the joy and goals from others.
Falyn Topic Starter

AgentMilkshake wrote:
Based on the way you've framed this, the issue is really a player problem. There are so many people that don't get the concept of roleplaying, unfortunately. How do I deal with this? I tend to try to explain what they are missing and provide examples and give them a chance to improve. Some people just don't get it. I've found it isn't worth wasting time and energy on hopeless cases. I move on. That may mean dropping them from the game, leaving the game in question, or talking to the other members of the group on how to handle it. I've long held the belief that bad players ruin great games. If you look at my profile, I am very detailed about who I will and will not work with. Mostly I try to do one-on-one games, particularly here and I avoid groups. I basically interview people before I start writing with them and do it on a trial basis and try to make my expectations clear upfront. If things are not working out, I'm open and honest with them and I'm not afraid to tell someone that I just don't feel we're a good fit for one another.

I have found most of my 1X1 partners through group role-play because I take the time to observe. I see how they treat me and others IC and OOC. I have come to know myself as a role-player and communicate my boundaries very clearly. If you cheek any of my character profiles you will see my playlist style on all my characters as well as a profile for my RP style and expectations here: https://www.rprepository.com/character-site/1450123
Falyn Topic Starter

WinterBlackDraoi wrote:
It may seem all justified in your games that you have designed regarding only two writers who have agreed upon the actions and behavior post scene, but with regards to a group, there needs to be an understanding, a compromise as to how powerful an interloper in that game should be.
I for one have the "You're in a world that has a different tone of magic, don't think you're as powerful here as you were in your own realm," rule in regards to my group and new members.
I know some of my characters are influential because they have been developed for nearly thirty years in RL and are only appointed that bearing to the world they exist in. Yet they still have their boundaries, and Achilles heel but refrain from the 'I am the ultimate' for a good reason, they are not the ultimate.
The position of GM means you make the game fair to all, giving everyone involved a chance to evolve their character and actually gain from the game and enjoy the experience.
If I was to portray any of my Aesi in another writer's game, they would be more negotiating to the rules of that group and respect other player's characters to acquire a fun playthrough and not be transferred as the ultimate doom bringer taking away the joy and goals from others.

Having been a part of WinterBlackDraoi's group The Glass Green for nearly six months now, I can saw that it has been one of the best group RP experiences I have had and I appreciate the way he has set up the boundaries and rules of his game to make it fair and enjoyable for all players who are able to function within his game and his world.

You are on: Forums » RP Discussion » My Character is the Ultimate... What, Really?!?

Moderators: MadRatBird, Keke, Cass, Auberon, Dragonfire, Heimdall, Ben, Darth_Angelus