Snowflakes and Exceptions?

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Oor
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Snowflakes and Exceptions?

Postby Oor » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:50 am

So we all know that exceptions exist in the books - indeed in many ways, in almost all fictions, it is the "exceptions" to the rules that make the story. But we also know that "exceptions" can turn into snowflakes very easily, and I'm sure we've all had bad experiences with them - as well as bad experiences with people incapable of kicking their OOC ego out of the way and engaging with exceptions even when they're played well. Same old, same old failure at separating IC/OOC from people who say it's"impossible" issues, right?

But to take something that was said in another thread (and not derail that thread any further):

Tantus wrote:Yeah! There are those High Slaves who reportedly manipulate and host meetings for their owners. But to myself, this is as interesting as the next guy who comes along claiming to be a Great Warrior who's felled cities by himself. It's all bullshit. I'm not interested in how people want to be perceived, I want to see what they're capable of. I want to see what they've done and then I'll say, 'You, motherfucker are someone I can work with. Put on your rape-face and let's go subjugate some fucking cities.'


How do we feel about "exceptional characters" in role play? Is it the case that a character with a grand backstory or IC position is an automatic precluder to an interesting character, in SL Gor's connected multitude of sims?

I suspect my perspective might be different because I have stepped outside of SL Gor RP, and plenty, to the point that (until lately) it really hasn't been more than an occasional scene or sojourn for me in a good few years (and I'm pretty sure my time in connected "SL Gor" sims has already ended). There's just something very cool about seeing the king out and about in GoT RP and having to navigate all the obstacles and expectations that come with that. There's something awesome about meeting a legendary fighter or a renowned superstar as you go about your business. And of course playing those characters, taking on the responsibility that they invest to ensure that other people's stories are given a nudge with every interaction (and often even in their absence) is fun, too.

I tend, when I'm rerolling, to swing from famous/well known to not, while switching up personalities. So an infamous chaotic evil character will likely be followed by an unknown lawful good character, followed by an infamous chaotic neutral, and so on. So my experience has spanned being the "exception" and being the "rule" in equal measure.

By far, the "exception" has been the more difficult to play, in my experience. My very first attempt at a high slave was several years ago in Ar, when an (ostensibly good - in fact, downright snobbish) role player IM'd me to inform me that it wasn't "fair" to play a high slave, since there were other people who had been playing slaves for longer than me and were OOCly pissed. Which earned her a laugh, and I carried on doing my thang. And of course, almost without exception, every guy wants to be THAT ONE MAN who can resist the high passion slave's wiley charms and manipulation. And why not? If I get to be an exception, so do they, right? There are millions of NPC men to fall at my high slave's feet - and to be disinterested in the lowly pot girl alt that everyone and their dog seems to want to fuck.

But in the end, I do think that having "notable characters" with representative and intermingled histories, having a hierarchy of book-plausible characters to be at odds with each other, creating factions with those characters and other players can conflict, rise and fall, and the consequences of those rises and falls (up to and including the permanent death or banishment of characters) are brought to bear in future role play - where there is a coherent timeline and lore - just creates a more interesting RP environment in which to play.

In the end, I like the presence of notable/exceptional characters and the effect that has on the environment (when everyone's on the same, collaborative page), but in real-time RP terms, well-played exceptional characters and well-played rule characters can both be as interesting as each other.

How about you lot? Do we like exceptions portrayed in the books, or should they be relegated to the trash heap - high slaves, secret slut free women, bla bla bla. Or should everyone can play the "rule"?
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Re: Snowflakes and Exceptions?

Postby Qingwen » Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:57 pm

I'll take a crack at this, as I also come from a non-Gor RP background (fantasy - I played a witch and a demon-imp for several years before I tried Gor).

It's not the snowflakeyness of the character. I've roleplayed happily with demi-god dragonkindred 1000 year old neko warrior princesses. The real issue is characters who simply have no flaws, who cannot ever possibly lose in anything they set their paws to (and complain in IMs if you happen by some fluke to thwart them). Now I can live with all the rest, if played with some weaknesses (fear of mortals, bad memory, hairballs.. whatever) that make for plausible roleplay and give other players something to work with, and something for that character themselves to strive for.

So play whatever you find fun, just play it in a balanced way. The Gor snowflake characters are comparatively not that far fetched in the greater world of RP.
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Re: Snowflakes and Exceptions?

Postby Tamar Luminos » Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:15 pm

I think it has a lot to do with a couple of variables, myself- the roleplay ability of the person playing the special character, and the balance of the sim. If the roleplayer is good enough to make the character fun to roleplay with, with interesting foibles and exploitable flaws, it's great!

If, instead they play an invincible character no one can affect, that has no flaws and never loses- bleh. It's a problem. If they play something that's totally implausible to the setting or that breaks the setting, it's a problem.

Likewise, balance- if everyone plays a slutty FW, it makes the slave role less relevant. If everyone plays a gay warrior, it eliminates the male dominant/female submissive sexual element of the setting. If all of men on a sim play disliking slaves or finding them tedious, ditto. If everyone plays a high slave, it skews things to slavery losing it's sting. Etc. etc. etc. Special characters are fine if they're played well- and if they don't overwhelm the sim and skew it to break the setting.
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Re: Snowflakes and Exceptions?

Postby serene mistwood » Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:37 pm

Exceptions in SL Gor should be just that. Exceptional. Unusual. Atypical.

The problem I have with this topic, is actually, those perceived exceptional characters are not really .. well.. exceptional in the main. Unfortunately the exceptional doesn't equate necessarily to creativity in SL Gor. Except perhaps in the creators own minds.

They may have spent 545 hours on their backstory and gained (or bought) a self-important IC position for their character, but the reality of the RP is often, as in the words of Tantus, bullshit. It's not exceptional, it's the same old hoary merry-go-round of what COULD be an exceptional character being routine and customary. The manipulative High Slave is now well established. Low Caste with the Second and Third Knowledge is customary. Everyone is on friendly first name terms with the Ubar. FW secret sluts have never been so secret.

I'm infinitely more impressed with folk whom create an interesting and intriguing character who conforms to the Gorean norms, which, during scenes and RP moving forward, it becomes apparent they have a vast knowledge of the genre in which they are RP'ing. I'm always happy when I find that. A sense of Gorean Identity. That is what make's an exceptional character whether there is a similar or precedent in the books - or not. I don't care.

Because someone who knows the books, it's opportunities, it's vast lore and it's actual almost unconstrained possibilities will always attract me more to RP than the folk who *think* they have exceptional characters. Perhaps they were exceptions, or at least rare - 5 years ago. Now, not so much.
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Re: Snowflakes and Exceptions?

Postby Anarch Allegiere » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:42 pm

Yup, sims who simply recruit everyone that shows up and wants to join instead of checking and approving character backgrounds will have every slave being a high-slave prancing around in gold jewelry, from the baker to the Ubar's slave and all the men being the unbeatable epitome of a perfect Gorean Warrior whose intelligence even makes learned scribes look like airheads.

Reason why we limit recruitment for exceptional and feature characters on Illyros. *squirts advertisement spam everywhere*
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Re: Snowflakes and Exceptions?

Postby Oor » Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:00 pm

Anarch Allegiere wrote:Reason why we limit recruitment for exceptional and feature characters on Illyros. *squirts advertisement spam everywhere*


Chill out, Danika!
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Re: Snowflakes and Exceptions?

Postby Anarch Allegiere » Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:19 pm

Oor wrote:
Anarch Allegiere wrote:Reason why we limit recruitment for exceptional and feature characters on Illyros. *squirts advertisement spam everywhere*


Chill out, Danika!


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Re: Snowflakes and Exceptions?

Postby FeorieFrimon » Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:50 pm

Oor wrote:
How about you lot? Do we like exceptions portrayed in the books, or should they be relegated to the trash heap - high slaves, secret slut free women, bla bla bla. Or should everyone can play the "rule"?


I think in SL Gor, sometimes to exception, the 'unique snowflake' is the normal person or the random slave. Everyone wants to be special and unique, and if everyone is special, then no one is.

When I first started playing Feorie, she was uber special. She was a sterile free woman with mismatched eyes and bah blah blah. Over the years, I've tried to play down and even alter a lot of that because everyone is so different and no one is just...normal. That's part of the reason I stripped all of that in my Isle of Illyros character: normal labor style slave, normal eyes, normal everything. She's not some super uber sex pot...she's just a chick that's enslaved, owned by a random NPC, doin' laundry for a copper bit.

I like to let the rp make her exceptional. Her awkwardness is amusing. She watched other slaves and tries to mimic them in her down time. Maybe someone will see her, and go "I think I can turn her in to something else', or they just like the fact that she can make a mean stew and normal works for them.

My husband is RPing with someone who's portraying an -excellent- 'normal labor slave'. When he got her, she had down played the character to be very 'average', but her emotes are sublime. Over time, she's been dressed up, added responsibilities in the house hold, etc. She's become exceptional through RP.
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Re: Snowflakes and Exceptions?

Postby Oor » Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:06 pm

FeorieFrimon wrote:When I first started playing Feorie, she was uber special. She was a sterile free woman with mismatched eyes and bah blah blah.


My first "Oor" was just... omg. Cringe.

IIRC she was a Barbarian BORN ON A SUPER SECRET ISLAND WHERE ASSASSINS WERE BRED FROM KIDNAPPED HOMELESS PEOPLE, AND SHE WAS TAKEN TO GOR BECAUSE SHE WAS ALL STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN ROVING AROUND THE WORLD KILLING RICH AND POWERFUL MEN. And then she was free>slave>free>slave>free>slave etc etc.

Cringe. In my defense, I was about 16 (literally more than half a lifetime ago!) when I started writing her and created that backstory, I kinda got caught up in SL Gor's ridiculous PLAY THE SAME CHARACTER FOREVEEEER bullshit, and she's been dead a very long time now!

I think what I'm actually reading in this thread is that people don't really have an issue with "exceptional" characters, so much as they have an issue with people writing backstories they cannot live up to, not portraying any flaws, and being untouchable and exclusive. Which, to me, are issues regardless of how "special" the character is. Exceptional characters just tend to be more visible when they derp out, I guess?
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Re: Snowflakes and Exceptions?

Postby Lacey » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:36 am

I don't like deaf and mute slaves. I do not like deaf slaves. I do not like mute slaves. Why is everyone deaf in Gor or mute? Stop it! Oh! Also, I dislike whenever people use the excuse that the rules say no veils and so no one on the sim is wearing veils. Veils are great. That is about all that is irritating on this subject for me. Unless the exception becomes something way out of the spectrum of Gor.
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