Monday, November 17, 2008

When Kids RP: A Cautionary Tale

Lately, Freaklin Gout, a friend of List Bitch, has been having some problems with a character in the rpg she is in. This Gary Stu is in the form of a child, played by a child and he's making things difficult for those around him:

Well, some time has passed and [name omitted] is no more. *pours one out on the ground* Sad, isn't it? Not really. Stuart's away from Ainne and in a new RP and he's doing well. He's got a girlfriend, a job, a horse, an apartment, and a moonshine business on the side. He's also got a new last name: LaRoche.

This new RP is pretty good. The admins are fairly vigilant about not allowing Mary Sues or Gary Stus to join, and they monitor for power playing and god modding. Unfortunately, even a good admin can stumble, and I believe they've done so by allowing a 13 year old to join the RP. That's right. A motherfucking 13 year old.

I guess I should state that this is technically a Harry Potter RP. We have no canons -- all original characters. The only thing really HPish about it is that we've borrowed the magic and the set-up from the books. It takes place in a small town in Ireland that eschews cars as being too modern. Everyone travels by horse. It's also set in 1969. It's fairly adult as far as RPs go, despite the HP angle.

This kid has only been around for a week and already he's fucking up the RP. First, he might be able to string words together but not in a way that makes any sense. His set ups are all wrong. The physicality of where he is and what he looks like is ludicrous. He tends to over-react to things, painting his scenes in broad strokes that leave those who RP with him confused.

Second, it's disconcerting and even embarrassing to me, as an adult, to be RPing with a 13 year old. I joined this RP for certain maturity levels. Stuart's a lusty guy and he makes references to sex all the time. I don't want to be censoring myself because I'm worried about a little kid reading my threads. On this RP the sex threads are locked away so only the people who write them can read them, but we all still make lacivious references. It makes me more than a little uncomfortable for Stuart to be talking about nailing his girlfriend, knowing that this kid is reading it.

I'm not the only one who feels this way. I was talking via PM last night with another new member about it. She has her own RP and she said that she doesn't allow anyone under 18 to join for the exact reasons I stated above.

I think I know why the admin allowed this kid to join. The admin was a creative writing major in college. I'm guessing she's thinking that we, as more mature and seasoned writers, should mentor him and bring him along to foster his creative writing bent. And I totally get that. That's awfully nice and altruistic. But I didn't join the RP to teach the children how to write. I joined to write stories about love and lust and murder and jealousy.

Anyway, I've talked enough. Here's Chandler's bio: (with comments from Cadence)

Character Bio
CHANDLER T--- is a timid, lusty, and confused fifteen year old boy. He was born and raised (not exactly raised, but…) in C---, and has never seen the rest of the country, let alone been out of Europe. He is of tall stature, with short arms and huge legs. (Like a T-Rex?) He is intrigued by women, and has to be pried away from many girls he meets. Often he is ashamed of himself, and is always trying to change himself for the better. He believes in an 'alter plane' of his own creation, not unlike another Earth, only glorified and fitted to all of his demands. Chandler dreams of bringing wealth and glory to his friends, as well as creating humility and suffering for his foes. (He likes to imagine he is God. That's shocking.) He is dangerous, for although slow to anger, and even slower to provoke, he does not forget grudges at all, and will hold them against others until mended. (Like I trust this guy to be just with his anger or his grudges. I imagine he believes he is righteous but only at his whims. The author will play his characater as though he's wise and above petty problems and he's there to teach others. Newsflash! No one came to this rpg for the gospel of Chandler.)

His dress is somewhat ragged, for he has had no true need for fancy clothing.. He enjoys expression through clothing, and uses color to convey emotions, his favorite being green and yellow. He also enjoys music storytelling, and the rest of traditional 'bardic' traits. He brings up magic through the beauty of his saxophone, a rich brown tenor, and one of the few things he had demanded from his parents. His magic is weak, and is only able to lull people into the beauty of his music. Chandler, however, does not believe he uses magic. (I HATE these characters who come from money but are too noble to use it. Double blah on that. Second, he just God Modded/Powerplayed. He is telling us how people will be reacting to his music.)

His mother has hinted of to be a full a powerful witch, but does not mention it much. The word 'squib' has been tossed around in her presence, and after learning what that was at school, Chandler began to see more and more of his mothers failed magic; poor cleaning, burnt fod, and more of the like. If she was a great witch, well, all he could think of was the fact that his mother must have gotten weaker and weaker as she accumulated wealth and became less dependent on magic. His chubby, red faced father, however, states that he is wizard, and a powerful one a that. He often fixes the simple mistakes that his wife creates, then boasts about his talents to Chandler. He has never actually seen his father use magic the "Big Magic", like conjuring spirits and the like, but tales of his father's powers are known in certain circles. Chandler has, however, seen his father speak with images of animals, a form of magic called scrying. (I am lost by this bit and not just because the spelling and grammer is shit. Since this rpg is based on Harry Potter, no where in those books do witches and wizards ever lose their powers. There are squibs born without powers at all. But for those with magic, it doesn't go away. His mother shouldn't be learning to live like a muggle because she lost her magic. If she's a squib, she would have had to live like a muggle all her life and I imagine she would have adapted. I am so confused here.)

Chandler also lives most of his free time on the streets, away from his dull home. He begs for money, and often receives it (mostly from the school-girls), rather than ask his parents for an allowance.. He pops in from time to time at Pigglewiggle's and carries out small tasks, such as taking out the garbage, then slips away without pay. When asked about this, he simply shrugs and mumbles various answers. (So the girls pay him to go away. I would too. And isn't it just so noble that he's humble enough to take out the garbage for strangers even though he has piles of cash at home. I don't see any of this as being honourable but if he has money, don't beg for it! Give it away. THAT would be upstanding. Don't loiter around the store 'helping' people. That's just creepy.)

Chandler is misunderstood, misplaced, and underestimated for one of his size. He is scrawny, but magnificently strong. He is a beggar, but unusually smart (again, I mean smart as in the 'bardic education'). He is poorly clad, and yet his family is well off. He has never stepped away from C---, and wishes to travel all the lands. Chandler has one main task, though, and will do almost anything to create his perfect world, starting with his hometown. (So he's a little of everything. Grrrrr! And again he is working on this perfect world garbage. If he's starting on his hometown, the residents better get ready to get his assy philosphy shoveled at them like horse shit. It will be thick.)

Bloodline: Mixed-Blood (I would have asked for an explanation of this. It sounds like he's a pureblood. Being a squib doesn't make you a muggle. You're just a witch with no powers. I can only imagine that "mixed" means T-Rex DNA.)

Boggart: Chandler's Boggart is an image of himself as the most powerful magician in the land. (Oh dear! God forbid he is the most awesome guy ever anywhere. That would suck if he were better than anyone else. Oh, wait...)

Appearance: (no pictures to be posted in this section. BE BRIEF)
Chandler is, as most "abandoned" boys of his age, lanky and slender, with a rigid, tense look about him. His face is covered with smalls red pimples, completely covering his cheeks, and sprouting from his nose. He has a crooked smile, and he constantly receives money as the people of C--- pass by, for he is one of the most pitiful, yet pretty (despite his acne) beggars to grace the cobblestones of the city. His arms are unusually short, giving a midget like appearance to his features. His chest looks quite modest, but he possesses natural muscle, toned by the wearing tasks of a homeless man. His legs make up for his arms, and are thick, obviously muscled, and well toned. He posses a pair of ragged loafers, of which he stole prom his pompous father, and a small argyle cap, also from his dad. (I think this physical description is that of the author. The stuff with the arms and the legs is so hard for me to picture and not common for someone "pretty." Usually Gary Studs will have a disfigurement that makes them more handsome and mysterious. I'm not judging this author's looks but I am saying there is an underlying sympathy and knowledge for someone with this condition. Grrrrr! Self insert!)

Personality: (What are your characters strengths, weaknesses, motivations, hobbies? Who is important to them? What do they hope for? )
Chandler is motivated by love. He has fallen for many school-girls, and does his best to look his best, bringing many ladies to his corner in the street (after school, he tends to stay out until cufew). (He's turning tricks.) He is constantly trying to play into someone's emotions, winning them over to his side of things. Persistence (or confidence, depending on the task) is another one of his main characteristics. (He can also take someone back in time to prove he is right. Or righteous.) He is often pensive, and does not deal with the rambunctious crowd of boys his age. He instead prefers to draw out fantasies of his own world in his mind, and often daydreams about the wonderful times he spends there. He is a dreamer, and believes he can change the world (after, of course, he leaves C--- for his own life abroad), despite his financial restrictions. He wants to spend his life changing this world to create his own. (Financial restrictions????? Bullcrap. Bull. Crap. He's a wealthy, little bastard. And his music is all special. Why doesn't he just Pied Piper his little ass out of town?)

He also loves to party, and hang with the more... controlled boys and girls. As long as there is music, Chandler will probably be there. (And if there are nachos, Chandler with probably eat them.)

History: What has made them who they are today?(Make this brief)
Chandler has been neglected not by his parents, but his parents' friends. (Huh? An elaboration of what the hell this means would be nice.) Although not exactly caring, his parents have tried their best to put food on the table, even though they did not particularly mind him much when he was home. Chandler has simply not been subject to love and caring, creating a somewhat confused boy who doesn't exactly know right from wrong. Therefore, he is mixed up sometimes, not exactly sure what will bring what next; not sure who to trust or believe. (Wouldn't it be easier if vampires just killed them?) He attended grade school diligently, then slowly dropped intreset as he progressed to gifted level programs. (HAW! He's gifted. So gifted he doesn't need to give a crap anymore. We've seen that before.) He has had a natural thirst for learning, but more of the bardic ways, such as singing, performing, and adventuring. He still attends school, but wastes his days writing about his new world or composing music for his saxophone. (So he's working on his own bible and hymns. Figures.)

Optional Other Info you would like to include( no pictures):
As a sum up, Chandler is a misplaced person, who does not entirely enjoy the world as the way it is (aside from the women). (He wants to fondle breasts with his tiny hands. That's his world all summed up.)

He has met magical creatures, although unknowingly. Some he has chatted with openly, and others he has spied from a distance. (And he took out the garbage for some of them.)

Eventually, Chandler himself would like to create an Irish Bardic Legue, connecting all new age bards, and storytellers, to one another. (And thus he shall spread his gospel throughout the land as each bard tells the story of how awesome the one called Chandler was. They shall sing songs of his wonderment and his skillz with the ladies. Then they shall create the Irish Bardic Society and IBS shall bind them all.)

I agree with Freaklin Gout. Chandler is a stumble on the part of the admin. He's not very deep and he is very Gary Stu-ish. He has a lot to learn about rpgs that admin ought to take charge of Stus themselves rather than letting him loose on the members. Freaklin has shown me some instances where his character has been difficult to role play with. His story changes to suit his needs which is pretty much what his "new world" shit is all about. So far it looks like Jurassic Park only scarier.

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