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Forums » Help » How to Handle Varying Power Levels?


There's another question I had about how to write out profiles. This time, it's about power balance.

Since some of the OCs I run are gods, their default power level in their own setting is a bit... bonkers? Since it can get a bit cosmic horror-y without explicit player consent of full expression. Even though my own focus for this tends to be more about how their perceptions vastly differ from most other peeps.

One solution I've tried over the years is looking at what powers my characters have by subject, then reduce the scope or potency of that power for a roleplay. While this does work for game systems that codify such, it's a lot harder to scale the powers back for freeform RPs.

Also, I haven't tried explicitly flagging scenarios that require a severe power imbalance yet. While it would reduce the headaches of porting, that would also limit potential player pool too. So a bit of a catch 22.

Has anyone else had a similar situation with needing to scale down OP characters for playing with others (and subsequent burnout)? If so, what solutions've you devised for this?

To me, this sounds like something you're best discussing with the other player(s), since some RPs do have "broken" characters in them anyway. If you're unsure if your character would work for a group, maybe shoot the group founder or one of their mods a DM and ask?

It's difficult to tailor a character to suit every situation regardless if they're OP. That OP characters tend to be flagged as a "no" more often doesn't really mean the OOC conversation about player expectations and comfort levels changes a whole lot. Freeform RPs rely on OOC communication a lot, because they often don't have rules or guidelines the way TTRPGs do.

Does this help you at all?
ShadowKyogre Topic Starter

I think it does, yeah. Part of the reason I got discouraged a lot in the past was taking the time to explain was inversely related with how long people stuck around.

Would some of the below help for facilitating better OoC comms on the situation? (instead of incurring burnout from remaking the same characters over and over again)
  • (Aardbei's suggestion) Actively reaching out to a group I want to check out with something like, "Hey X situation is cool, but I don't have eligible characters for it due to $(insert trouble competency). How can I adjust this character to fit in the play group?"
  • Helping potential partners who want to play create new characters that'd fit for the current RP.
  • Flagging situations for expected characters' competencies. That way that can help a potential partner pre filter their own character list or go, "Hey, this scenario looks cool, but my character is too OP/UP for this. Can we chat a bit on how to altverse my character to fit the scenario?"
  • Ask another player what their limits of being OP is. For instance, my own limit with OPness has to do with social prowress, not so much physical/mental/magical prowress. Main reason being those RPs revolve around their social aspects. Thus checking out which things are considered OP from a person's perspective would help find matching partners better?

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