Annoying RP Behavior
Certain common behaviors that really bother other players.
Informal List of Annoying Behaviors
These are people who are idle for long time-periods (sometimes as much as 15 to 20 minutes) who then spout out six or seven lines of a giant pose that is filled with information that can't be used ICly (such as what they are thinking about or how they feel or what they remember).
Long poses are harmless; if someone likes to pose giant poses and can do so in the RP then that's fine. The pose should contain information that the rest of the room can use in play. However, the harm from true ultra-posing is...
- they use the "length and quality" of their poses as proof that they're "good" RPers
- they complain to others who "pose faster" for going "out of turn"
- they stop RP for long time periods
- they attack with vigor players who refer to what they shouldn't know even though it was just in their pose
In fact, the players who do this are often excellent writers, and their poses sometimes are even good for advancing a story-line. Their style is perfect for play by mail games, or playing over message-boards, including our Redwall MU message boards.
These are people who refuse to get involved. They are called under-posers because when they do decide to say something, it's often pointlessly short and doesn't advance the event at all.
Here's a common under-poser style at work:
... much RP ...
UnderPoser :watches quietly.
... much more RP, someone refers to UnderPoser, trying to involve them ...
This is similar to a lurker; a polite lurker flips their status to OOC or AFK and thus is properly ignored.
An underposer typically later claims the RP is dull and that nothing happens. Worse, since people (good players) attempt to involve them and are rebuffed, it causes a loss of enjoyment to the people who are playing.
The Donkey (Pick me, pick me!)
These are the people who burst into a room where others are playing and demand that everyone stop and play the idea they have right now.
This is typified by someone rushing into Redwall Abbey's Great Hall and screaming, "I've been attacked by vermin and I'm bleeding!" and then expecting everyone there (who were having a birthday party for instance) to immediately stop what they are doing and help the person, etc. etc.
Now, in RL, such would be reasonable. You're bleeding and arrive at a place known for helping. But, in the MU, it's simply rude to walk into a place where people are role-playing and try to take over the scene. Worse than rude, it's likely to backlash, and have the Donkey get mocked and avoided in the future.
So, what should be done if someone wants to RP a medical crisis? Go into the room and politely ask (via RP or whisper to someone in the room) if they can join in with a medical emergency. The answer might be, "Sure, please!" or it might be, "Not right now, this is an event scheduled for a few days on the MOTD" or it might be anything else.
Donkeys are typically new and don't know better...though I've seen a lot of "experienced" players who attempt to grab the RP immediately who are basically donkeys too.
These are people who use room-page constantly chatting about anything and everything instead of using it to assist in the coordination of RP.
They think because room-page is an OOC tool, it's OK to keep talking all the time. They have missed a basic point. Room-page is not a chat channel (we have chat and page for that) it's instead a public coordination channel. It avoids "OOC poses" to coordinate.
You'll always recognize the Superlative. They are the best at everything. Any attempt to hit them with a sword is foiled. They can dodge any number of arrows, even if those arrows are shot at them from behind at night while they are sleeping chained to a tree.
Obviously, most players don't want their characters to come to harm (good players know that characters need to struggle to have plot, but that's a different essay). But, a superlative goes beyond that. They are simply good at everything. If you wonder what spices are best used for cooking crayfish, they know because they know everything. If you then ask them to set a bone, they can do it.
In movies, James Bond is a superlative. Bond can do anything. In Brian Jacques' books, there are very few. Even Martin wasn't able to win battles without loss of lives (including those most dear to him).
One can argue that the Redwall Champion would be a superlative, but I'd have to point out that the Champion has humility and is obedient to the Order of Redwall Abbey. So even "a great warrior" doesn't make sense as a superlative.
When you RP with someone that is simply perfect at everything and impossible to bring harm to, you're RPing not with a character but with a cheap cardboard cut-out. They basically prevent RP from happening by being able to solve anything right away every time and if they can't, they whine OOCly that it's not right that they can't because their character should ICly be able to.
Dealing with Annoying Players
Many annoying players think they are playing properly. They may be playing the way that their friends do, for instance. When six UltraPosers all get together and play, they don't mind that over the course of three hours only 18 poses total are made. None of the six consider the others annoying.
The problems occur when the different styles cross. This doesn't happen among close groups of friends; this happens in public areas. And this makes sense; when customs are different, there are clashes.
And it's not always the annoying players with the problem. For instance, if you walk into a private area to find four Magpies chatting wildly, and you don't like it, that's too bad. In private areas, the rules of the game are enforced (such as the G rating) but there's no requirement that people "make you happy" or "not offend you." So, if you find that you have entered someone else's area and don't like what's there ... leave.
In pulic areas (including rooms in canon regions) it's expected that people will gather from different groups of friends and meet other players. This is where the bothersome five players above cause so much grief.
This is especially bad when Guest players are present. A guest is not expected to be comfortable on the MU at all, and doesn't need to be spammed by magpies while the room is ICly dead because four UltraPosers are writing manuscripts for their next pose. And a donkey who bursts into an RP where new people are starting to become friends and kills the mood has caused a great deal more harm to that potential friendship than any short-term RP likely to emerge from "yet another disaster".
For those players who want action, here's a hint: where there is a superlative, there is no point in role-play. This can make even the Dirt Road a boring place rapidly.
To all these cases in public places, try to page the persons privately who are causign problems and let them know that they're disturbing things. If they get upset (and they might, I've been verbally attacked because I've asked people to not spam the room-page for instance) then don't hesitate to remind them that the MU's public areas are shared so they can play with those styles in their private areas. If they won't stop interrupting RP...
Each canon area has someone responsible, and you can always talk to a room owner. The consulting staff (+staff in the MU) can be asked as well to get involved. If it truly turns ugly, send a page-mail to Otter (page #mail otter=your message here) and indicate the time, date, location, and who was involved and ask that the logs be checked.
Just because someone ends up unhappy doesn't mean a rule was broken! But, when players are refusing to "play nicely" it likely means that someone is going to need to improve, and in that tends to drag me (Otter) into it.
Play so that everyone gets the spotlight, make suggestions private and praise public, and don't impede RP. It's not hard to have fun on a MUCK if you remember that each person there, not just you, expects to have fun too!
- Authored by Otter