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Teapot Salty
2014-07-02, 09:35 PM
Hey guys. I've always had the idea of playing myself. (2nd level human fighter and/or monk btw) And I'm wondering what your opinion on the thing is? It would certainly ease roleplaying if my character would do what I do, but it might not be as fun, or it might be more fun. Anyone have any experience playing themselves? Thanks, and as always, go nuts.

OverdrivePrime
2014-07-02, 10:00 PM
Yay, as hard as I can yay!

I'm a long time Immortal: The Invisible War player where the whole point of the game is that it's you and your friends with funky powers.

Our group thrives on self-insertion, and most of my favorite characters over the last 20 years are ways to explore different themes within myself. It's fun - try it. Just remember to put a hard line between game you and real you from the point the game starts.

GPuzzle
2014-07-02, 10:16 PM
Yay. Yay all the way.

I don't know, it just feels great to play yourself in a zombie apocalypse RPG. You get sad when you die, but what the hell, we all get sad when a character of ours dies.

Besides, we get a map of the city when we play it like that. It's pretty awesome.

Mark Hall
2014-07-02, 10:19 PM
Yan.

A lot depends on the setting and how invested you're going to get in the character. It can be fun to play an expy of yourself, or simply a break... but it can also lead some folks to get heavily invested in that character, and have issues when they're rendered irrelevant... someone else consistently outshines them, their build doesn't turn out as good as they hoped, fed to wild badgers, etc. You know, usual game stuff.

Cyrion
2014-07-02, 10:28 PM
In most games, I'm not sure RealMe would be all that useful in an adventuring setting; it's not often that a character with epic-level juggling stats is called for.

However, I often take aspects of my personality and push them to the point of interesting or follow them to logically odd places, and then I make that one of the driving forces for my character. I did that for one of the circus characters I perform as and ended up with Renfield. I waffle between whether that's cool or disturbing... :smalleek:

zinycor
2014-07-02, 11:08 PM
NAY, definately nay

your character is only that, your character, that lets you free to be stupid if you want to play a stupid character. Or evil if you want. If your character is a reflection of yourself, you would try very hard for him to live up to your standards. If your character who is just your character fails, that's fine, that's funny. If you fail it isn't.

having said that, you can certainly give your character some of your traits, that way you will relate to him much more. But the distinction must be there.

EDIT: One time i played a character like it was me... it was the most boring thing ever. I was just too worried on taking the most logical decision that i didn't have fun. Didn't roleplay either, since the character was solely based on me, it wasn't really relatable to the setting presented. when the character died however... man... that was maybe the best moment on that table, finnally being able to play a pirate ******* who was an arrogant idiot was a great thing after playing a character who i worried would look stupid or not cool.

Dimers
2014-07-02, 11:39 PM
Generally nay. It's a gimmick -- possibly cute a time or two, but

it gets old quickly
you'd better be playing with people you trust
it limits the ways in which you can make a good story
people really don't know themselves very well
I like RPGs because I want to try things that are not me


Among games I'm familiar with, the one exception I'd still make today is for Wraith, an ooooooold and unsupported White Wolf game. If I had people to play with who I could trust to hold my heart in their hands, I'd play myself or something very close. It's about the Jungian "shadow", the part of the psyche that you don't want to admit to having but have to deal with anyway. I could explore my own brain's catacombs and end war against the lich-king dwelling there -- perhaps even forge an alliance -- if I were to play myself in a good game of Wraith.

Anderlith
2014-07-02, 11:44 PM
It's fun to play yourself in WoD, though you have to always be brutally honest with yourself. Would you really charge in there & possibly get killed or would you more likely slowly back up & hide & come at this another way? Could you truly live with yourself if you killed someone/something? etc.

BWR
2014-07-02, 11:51 PM
It depends on how true to yourself you need to be. Some people, like me, would do piss poorly as any sort of protagonist in any story. Too lazy, too cowardly, too unskilled; whatever.
If you can stretch 'you' into more fantasy - the one you wish you were rather than the one you are - it can be quite fun.

Teapot Salty
2014-07-03, 12:05 AM
Playing the idealized version of yourself of course, although, regardless, it's a chance to test your mettle right? Kinda, sorta.

Earthwalker
2014-07-03, 03:20 AM
A friend of mine tried this. He made a character in a RPG based on himself. He then tried to work out what he liked to do, turns out he liked role playing, so his RPG character made a version of himself in an RPG, then tried to work out what he liked to do, turns out he liked role playing so his RPG character made a version of himself in an RPG....


Its terrible he is 48,281 itterations down and I sees no sign of it stopping. :smallsmile:

SimonMoon6
2014-07-03, 09:26 AM
The most successful campaigns I've run have been games where the players played themselves. Of all the many games (throughout many different game systems) that I've run over the last few decades, the games that my players have looked back most fondly on have been games where they played themselves.

Now, I'm not sure how much of those games' success is due to the players playing themselves and how much is due to other factors (like the fact that these were free-wheeling sandbox multi-genre game settings). But it certainly can lead to great success.

Talya
2014-07-03, 09:39 AM
I tend to play people I wish I could be for a while, as opposed to the person I am. I play the person I am in real life, and she's pretty fun to play, but when I game, i want to be somebody else.

Frozen_Feet
2014-07-03, 09:59 AM
Yay.

Everyone should play as themselves a time or two. Step one in learning how to imagine what other people would do in an imaginary situation, is imagining what you yourself would do in an imaginary situation. Many of the supposed negatives, like getting too invested in a character, are actually easier to learn out of once you've done this. Because if you can take bad things or insults thrown at a yourself, having bad things or insults thrown at a character who's one or more steps removed won't feel half as bad.

The idea that you, as a character, aren't or wouldn't be interesting is somewhat biased. You yourself are probably a terrible judge of that, since by default you usually know yourself better than most. So before you take that as an incentive to not play as yourself, consider your audience: how well do they know you? How well do you know them? Fictional scenarios through roleplaying can reveal stuff out of people that you'd never think to ask. It may also reveal things you consider dull and plain might not be so to many other people. To me, drinking coffee, swimming and playing soccer are normal aspect of my life. It was mind-boggling to learn a long-time acquitance had not done any of the three.

Finally, not all games are about the characters. Some of them are about the crazy stuff that's happening.

elliott20
2014-07-03, 10:13 AM
I'm boring as hell, so nay for myself.

But it can be an interesting exercise, I suppose.

valadil
2014-07-03, 10:33 AM
I did it in a one shot. It was interesting but I'm not sure I'd do it again. The premise was that it was a one shot where everyone played themselves to introduce a new system before starting a campaign.

The first problem is the obvious one. How accurately do you play yourself? When robots busted down the wall of the local ice cream shop, my character sprung into action instead of soiling himself and hiding under the table. From that point on I was playing heroic fantasy me, which was an entirely different character. I think the rest of the table came to the same conclusion. Since we diverged from ourselves so quickly, it didn't feel like we were playing the game we signed up to play and that was a bit of a let down.

The problem we didn't expect was balance. The GM premade our characters and gave us equal points. Egos were bruised when we found out who he thought was the smartest. Egos were also confused when the least intelligent (in-game) was the strongest character, because she had extra points left over. If I had to play this sort of thing again, I'd either let players model themselves on character sheets or not impose balance. It's a one shot, who cares how fair it is? Also, if it's a demo I'd like to see what characters do at different power levels, even if I'm the one playing Bilbo.

prufock
2014-07-03, 10:59 AM
I've done this twice. I'll give you a fairly brief rundown on the details, good and bad.

I ran a superhero game with Mutants and Masterminds 3e rules that was meant to go to 11 sessions (1 day each) but player initiative sped up the timeline to 9 sessions. Designed to answer the age-old question "what would you do if you had superpowers?" the players built themselves as PL 2, and I then randomly assigned thematic power suites up to PL 6 with 90 additional points. We had an undead summoner, a technophile slowly turning into a machine, a brainiac super-learner, an animal shapeshifter, and a sort of mystic with 7 alternate forms based on the 7 chakras.

The players were among 11 people at a party that blacked out and woke up with superpowers. There was an overall campaign story, but it was a very sandboxy game where the players had lots of control over the story. Session 1 began with them all waking up and slowly discovering some of their abilities throughout the day (the discovery of which would continue each session until all their powers were revealed). Through the first few sessions, the technophile and brainiac used their powers to get wealthy, but got on the wrong side of some major players in the process. They got into a rumble with some gang members, and restrained a fellow superhuman (NPC) who was out of control. So far, they are a morally grey, violent, selfish group, but keeping themselves in check.

Things started to get out of hand when the necromancer decided "death is not the end!" and decided murder was a morally ambiguous act. He killed a guy just to avenge some ghost, got a visit by the police whom he also killed, and was basically one of "America's Most Wanted." From there the whole thing devolved into gang wars, murder sprees, and general mayhem. All the PCs except the mystic get in on the act and rationalize it in various ways.

That's when the PVP began. It all culminated with the villains attempting to increase their power by replicating the way they got them in the first place (which they had discovered by this point) and the mystic banding with NPCs to try and stop them. In the end, they ALL got a power-up, along with a whole bunch of non-powered NPCs that were on the mystic's team.

Cue another black-out, and when they wake up they try to settle their differences with words. Many joined in this agreement, which created a sort of supervillain cold war; the mystic and a few others simply left.

And that's how it ended. Too much PVP starting around the campaign halfway mark, and players as "themselves" end up completely criminal. I think the worst of it was that everyone seemed to have fun except the mystic (who was enjoying it until it got into PVP). If she had turned criminal as well, the game would have been smoother, but I guess she wouldn't be playing it true to "herself."
In this one I was a player. Standard 3.5 D&D, we all start as level 1 experts with 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8 ability scores in whatever order we assign ourselves. As we progress, our ability scores increase more rapidly than normal and we can choose whatever classes we want after first level.

We start in the modern world but are magically transported to a D&D setting. After some in-character confusion, we realize what is going on, are astonished, and begin to ask around if anyone knows anything. No one does, except one epic NPC, but we can't get to him yet. So we need to adventure.

It started off pretty standard adventure-wise; the main difference was the roleplaying, since we were us. We eliminated some kobold bandits, took an investigation mission from a guild, etc. I eventually was going warlock/binder/anima mage with bloodlines to pump up my soul binding; one player was a barbarian; the third was a cleric.

We ran afoul of some vampires, and the cleric (voluntarily) was embraced. In-character, this creeped me out. The vamp was doing all sorts of nefarious things, but kept it mostly behind our backs. I decided, though, that the real guy was gone, and this was just an evil husk. Still, we tried to adventure together. We collected magic item sets, each keyed to one of us. I accidentally got the one intended for the vamp, and it made me turn evil. It also made us fight over the item. Eventually I was relieved of it, but the barbarian also got her hands on it, at a somewhat pivotal moment.

See, we had been drugged by a gypsy, whom the barbarian swiftly killed, grabbing the nearest weapon - the evil sword. The vampire was sucking on his neck, disgusting me (who went to draw my binding seal), but attracting the attention of some nearby vampire hunters. The barbarian, now with the evil sword, kills the gypsy's horses, animates them, and uses them to run me up a tree, laughing at me. The vampire, meanwhile, is fighting three vampire hunters on his own, and losing badly. I blast the horses, and jump back to the ground to complete drawing my seal, but it is too late; the vampire (who refused to run) got dropped to 0, turned to mist, and floated away to his master's house, not having a coffin of his own.

From there, it was PVP again, and the cleric had it in for us, but was biding his time. I destroyed the sword, he got pissed and destroyed my items, but we settled down to work together. From there the game went okay for a while, but it eventually just died off.

The cleric/vampire was the same player as the necromancer from the Normals story.

So there you have it. More PVP, mainly because of alignment discrepancies.
It might work better if you don't have one player that considers his real self borderline evil.

Eric Tolle
2014-07-03, 11:00 AM
Trust me, a GM isn't going to want to deal with me as a character. I'd be constantly in-character questioning the assumptions of the scenario.

Also, I'm vehemently opposed to the rpg character lifestyle, or in going out and being heroic. If I did, instead of playing rpgs, I'd be out worKing for Blackwater or something.

Angelalex242
2014-07-04, 10:36 AM
I've often played 'my best self'. Sometimes known as 'the man I wish to be.'

This is usually a noble Paladin who goes forth writing wrongs just because he can. A reflection of the young boy who played Mario and Zelda one time too many and got so used to saving princesses it became second nature.

But ya know, every time I play that Paladin, I wonder if I should instead be trying to right wrongs in the real world by getting into politics, or at least interest groups.

janusmaxwell
2014-07-04, 01:32 PM
There's too much that can go wrong with playing yourself, mostly from the perspective of if you have a big ego, or if you have a self-deprecating sense of humor.

If you make a character for yourself and you're lowest stat ANYWHERE is a 15+ and you're not trying to joke around, you should not be allowed to play as yourself. Or at the very least you need to run your character past a few friends of yours who you can trust to call you out on your bull****.

Example: I played a Post-apoc zombie campaign and everybody playing was playing as though it was us in the city we were playing in. Stats for me: were Str 15 (I'm 6'5" and I have deceptive reserves of raw strength, but ain't got **** for long athletics like running) Con 13 cause I don't get sick as often as other folks but I still catch flu's when they sweep through the neighbor hood. Dex 16 cause I've got good aim from occasions where I've shot bows and guns, and I have a talent/enjoyment from putting stuff together like from IKEA or similar things. INT 17 cause my memory can go to levels of "Holy ----!" at times and I can come up with good ideas and plans pretty quickly. Wis 10 cause my common sense qualifies as "Timmy fell down the well" at times, and my CHA is a flat 8 because I can't talk to people at ALL IRL.

If you have a realistic view of yourself and can stay in good humor about it, rather than playing yourself as a Mary Sue/Marty Stu who can dual-wield katana's, I say god speed and good luck.

Jormengand
2014-07-04, 01:52 PM
I wouldn't in 3.5, nor in several other systems, because I'd be way too min-max'y - INT is definitely either 17 (3.5) or either 18 or 19 (PF), my WIS is sky-high too, my DEX is decent and everything else is terrible. I guess I'd be, like, a factotum or something?

In some of my own systems (AIE or Paragon) I might try it, because they're a lot less I-Hit-It-With-My-Axe than 3.5 usually is and I might actually be a viable character.

But it's a good thought experiment.

Juntao112
2014-07-04, 02:21 PM
I can imagine playing as yourself would be very fun in certain games, such as a zombie apocalypse or Lovecraftian horror game.

Lorsa
2014-07-04, 02:28 PM
I think playing yourself is actually the hardest thing you can do. It requires high amounts of introspection skill. And let's not even get my started on how you would build the character...

I'll have to go with nay, it seems too much that can go wrong with very little benefit.

Jay R
2014-07-04, 02:46 PM
A potential problem is the Dunning-Kruger effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect). Superior people are more aware of their limitations, and tend to underestimate their own abilities, while people with lesser skills tend to not see their own limitations as well, and over-rate themselves.

I played a game once in which the DM designed our characters to be ourselves. I discovered how incredibly fun it is to play "myself" as designed by somebody whose opinion of me is unfairly high.

Eonas
2014-07-05, 01:52 AM
I played a game once in which the DM designed our characters to be ourselves. I discovered how incredibly fun it is to play "myself" as designed by somebody whose opinion of me is unfairly high.

Well, he wasn't about to make your character an idiot/*******, was he?

Alex12
2014-07-05, 09:56 AM
I wouldn't play myself. Granted, all my characters are reflections of myself, and aspects of myself, but that's not me. I like to think I'm pretty smart and decently strong, and I definitely am quite well-read, but using D&D stats and terminology and being honest with myself, I'm no higher than a 14 in anything, and probably below 10 in at least one, maybe two or even three stats
Admittedly, I'm of the opinion that, at least using D&D 3.5 or PF rules (the rules I'm most familiar with), most modern American humans (and inhabitants of other first-world countries) would be best modeled as low-level Experts, with some Warriors, Aristocrats, and Commoners. The ratio is almost certainly different in, say, Somalia, but I'd be surprised if there were more than a few people in the world worthy of PC class levels.

Kalmageddon
2014-07-05, 11:55 AM
I personally wouldn't do it. It makes the game much more personal than it's meant to be.
Plus, if I were to roleplay myself in the typical D&D game I would have to bring to the table my own personal moral code, which starts with "never kill if you can avoid it in any way", and we all know how annoying those characters are to the average party.

Azel
2014-07-05, 12:01 PM
There's too much that can go wrong with playing yourself, mostly from the perspective of if you have a big ego, or if you have a self-deprecating sense of humor.

If you make a character for yourself and you're lowest stat ANYWHERE is a 15+ and you're not trying to joke around, you should not be allowed to play as yourself. Or at the very least you need to run your character past a few friends of yours who you can trust to call you out on your bull****.

Example: I played a Post-apoc zombie campaign and everybody playing was playing as though it was us in the city we were playing in. Stats for me: were Str 15 (I'm 6'5" and I have deceptive reserves of raw strength, but ain't got **** for long athletics like running) Con 13 cause I don't get sick as often as other folks but I still catch flu's when they sweep through the neighbor hood. Dex 16 cause I've got good aim from occasions where I've shot bows and guns, and I have a talent/enjoyment from putting stuff together like from IKEA or similar things. INT 17 cause my memory can go to levels of "Holy ----!" at times and I can come up with good ideas and plans pretty quickly. Wis 10 cause my common sense qualifies as "Timmy fell down the well" at times, and my CHA is a flat 8 because I can't talk to people at ALL IRL.

If you have a realistic view of yourself and can stay in good humor about it, rather than playing yourself as a Mary Sue/Marty Stu who can dual-wield katana's, I say god speed and good luck.

Well, I'd say that you have a very high opinion of yourself there.

For your INT to be above a 13, you would have to be a genuine genius.
As a Phd student in physics, which is stereotypically associated with being smart, I'd say my INT is about a 13 MAYBE 14 at a push.
A strength of 15 would place you as strong as a nationally ranked powerlifter. I lift, and am stronger than my non lifting peers, but my strenght is probably a 12, a 13 at a push if I am feeling big of ego.
If you watch game of thrones and are aware of the huge Icelandic guy who played the mountain....well I'd say he'd be a strength 17/18, to put it in perspective. You say you are 6" 5 which is pretty damm tall, but unless you go to the gym or have a physical job a STR 15 is pretty damm huge.

CON also related to how far you can run, so with a CON of 13 you should be able to run a half marathon......

CHA of 8 implies you are unpleasant, having a hard time talking to people would merit a 10, maybe a 9 if you wanted to be harsh on yourself.

Most peoples stats would not be above or below 11/9 really, perhaps with a 12 or 13 and maybe a 14 for the truly gifted.

Now I should say that I by no means intend to specifically say that you are s##t , but that if someone thinks that they have any 14+, or more than one 14+, they are probably delusional.

Playing yourself with realistic stats would suck, as ~99% of the population has stats not found in an adventuring game.

tensai_oni
2014-07-05, 12:09 PM
A potential problem is the Dunning-Kruger effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect). Superior people are more aware of their limitations, and tend to underestimate their own abilities, while people with lesser skills tend to not see their own limitations as well, and over-rate themselves.


The Dunning-Kruger effect for RPGs: 99% of players think they have significantly above average intelligence, while dumping stats they don't care much about.

Then there's the problem of lack of good benchmarks. Some people go "I am smarter than all my friends, I must have 18 int" or "I wash regularly and don't make people vomit as I pass by, I must have 15 cha". And then there are people who go "phd means 13 int" or "a marathon runner means 12-13 con". Like Azel above for example.

Jormengand
2014-07-05, 03:58 PM
Well, I'd say that you have a very high opinion of yourself there.

For your INT to be above a 13, you would have to be a genuine genius.
You'd have to be more intelligent than 74% of the population, which isn't that much when you consider it - If you have 4 people in a room, the expected number of people with 13 or more intelligence is 1. You also have to ask what population you're comparing your intelligence to - the world on average is probably stupider than most of the people you meet, or even the


As a Phd student in physics, which is stereotypically associated with being smart, I'd say my INT is about a 13 MAYBE 14 at a push.
PhD students should probably be smarter than more than 83% of people, at a guess. I'd rank you higher - hells, my IQ puts me in the top 1% of people (grabbing me a nice 17 right off the bat) but the idea of succeeding at a PhD is daunting to say the least.

A strength of 15 would place you as strong as a nationally ranked powerlifter. I lift, and am stronger than my non lifting peers, but my strenght is probably a 12, a 13 at a push if I am feeling big of ego.
Strength 15 does drop you above over 90% of people in the world, but there are lots of people in the world who are... not very strong, to say the least.


If you watch game of thrones and are aware of the huge Icelandic guy who played the mountain....well I'd say he'd be a strength 17/18, to put it in perspective. You say you are 6" 5 which is pretty damm tall, but unless you go to the gym or have a physical job a STR 15 is pretty damm huge.
If you think he'd be strength 18, then you're saying he's stronger than over 99.5% of people. That one I'm not sure I believe either!



CON also related to how far you can run, so with a CON of 13 you should be able to run a half marathon......
Is a quarter of humanity capable of doing that? Also, it's possible he has 13 constitution and no feats which help him run long distances, and some people who are capable of running marathons but not taking hits might have those feats.


CHA of 8 implies you are unpleasant, having a hard time talking to people would merit a 10, maybe a 9 if you wanted to be harsh on yourself.
A quarter of people have CHA 8 or below. Fewer than a quarter of people are actually unpleasant.


Most peoples stats would not be above or below 11/9 really, perhaps with a 12 or 13 and maybe a 14 for the truly gifted.
You only actually have a little over a 1 in 3 chance of rolling any of those three numbers!


Now I should say that I by no means intend to specifically say that you are s##t , but that if someone thinks that they have any 14+, or more than one 14+, they are probably delusional.
P(at least 1 14+)=1-0.837^6=0.66 which is most people.
P(at least 2 14+s)=1-0.837^6-6C1*0.837^5*0.162=0.26 which is a good quarter of the population.

Incidentally, P (Nothing but 14+s)=0.162^6=0.000018, so anyone who thinks they have that is, yes, probably delusional.



Playing yourself with realistic stats would suck, as ~99% of the population has stats not found in an adventuring game.
I dunno. I just rolled 6 lots of 3d6 and got 15/14/10/10/9/7, which would make for an excellent gritty character.



The reason for statements like "Anyone who thinks they have a 14+ is delusional" is an intrinsic misunderstanding of how normal people actually function in D&D. The Alexandrian's Calibrating Your Expectations shows us that, if you assume real people are 3d6 array and Epic 5th, D&D makes a surprising amount of sense. Modelling real people on the probability distribution of the 3d6 array (If you're in the top 1%, you have a 17, and so forth) therefore gets fairly gritty, realistic characters if done right.

There's also the question of how one does it right. Obviously, things like the mentioned Dunning-Kruger effect will have a say, as well as actual game balance. Of course, we could hand out point buys and tell people to model themselves on that (this has problems, though - I'm apparently a 24 point buy (8/12/8/17/14/8) and Janus reckons he's a 38 (15/13/16/17/10/8 - which for the record is, for all I've had to say, very unlikely overall even if none of the stats are on their own particularly unlikely).

Alternatively, you could rank your stats in order and roll for them, but the probability of getting anything like your actual stats is then unlikely (the expected result of 3d6 is the nonelite array, which is why random NPCs have, you got it, the nonelite array) - I'd probably end up with something more like 9/11/8/13/12/10, which makes me look too strong, not perceptive enough, not autistic enough and nowhere near as intelligent as I am. Even the stats I rolled as an example would end up being 9/10/7/15/14/10, which is a little better but not great.

You could, of course, make your players choose from a list of arrays - maybe 17/11/10/9/8/7, 15/13/11/10/9/8, and so forth - these aren't great, but they let you create a character who isn't too powerful, or too unrealistic, but allows for a range of different hypothetical PB values without actually making you OP.

Or, you could play something other than D&D 3.5, but that's hypothetical here. :smalltongue:

Jay R
2014-07-05, 07:57 PM
Back in a very early edition of The Dragon, there was an article on how to measure your own stats. Much of it was nonsense. Strength was based on chin-ups, which jockeys can do more easily than defensive linemen, for instance.

The only one I remember exactly was the calculation for Wisdom. Your Wisdom was defined as 20 minus the number of hours per week you spend on D&D.

At the time, that gave me a Wisdom score of roughly -5 to -10.

Alex12
2014-07-05, 09:53 PM
The only one I remember exactly was the calculation for Wisdom. Your Wisdom was defined as 20 minus the number of hours per week you spend on D&D.


Hah. I like that.

Strength is probably the easiest stat to stat out for yourself, though. There's a table regarding carrying capacity and everything.
In fact, looking at it, I can confidently say that my own Strength score is between 11 and 12, because my carrying capacity actually does come up on a regular basis for my job (I'm a vet tech, and I regularly need to lift and maneuver dogs). At about 120 pounds (maybe a touch over), I can't do much more than stagger around.

AWC
2014-07-06, 03:28 AM
It depends on how true to yourself you need to be. Some people, like me, would do piss poorly as any sort of protagonist in any story. Too lazy, too cowardly, too unskilled; whatever.
If you can stretch 'you' into more fantasy - the one you wish you were rather than the one you are - it can be quite fun.

Took the words right out of my brain!

Jay R
2014-07-06, 10:47 AM
Yup. If a bunch of D&D players created characters who accurately portrayed themselves, the party would sit down and play D&D.

Teapot Salty
2014-07-06, 11:01 AM
Yup. If a bunch of D&D players created characters who accurately portrayed themselves, the party would sit down and play D&D.

"The party is in a tavern"
"what's the newest edition of d&d that's out"
"Umm, 4th I guess"
"Not in the mood for 4th right now, let's play 3.5"
"You are playing 3.5"
"No, in character."

Alex12
2014-07-06, 11:38 AM
"The party is in a tavern"
"what's the newest edition of d&d that's out"
"Umm, 4th I guess"
"Not in the mood for 4th right now, let's play 3.5"
"You are playing 3.5"
"No, in character."

Relevant to the discussion (http://xkcd.com/244/)

valadil
2014-07-06, 03:27 PM
Strength 15 does drop you above over 90% of people in the world, but there are lots of people in the world who are... not very strong, to say the least.

If you think he'd be strength 18, then you're saying he's stronger than over 99.5% of people. That one I'm not sure I believe either!


Most people aren't very strong. I've become somewhat of a gym rat in my old age. I'd wager that fewer than 10% of people who enter the gym ever touch the bench press. I'd also wager that fewer than 10% of the people who ever touch the bench press ever use more weight than they started with. By those made up numbers, if you can bench more today than you did yesterday, you're in the top 1% of gym goers! Personally, I think the percentages are even lower than my wager. And I don't think everyone in the world has a gym membership.

Does this mean I think I have an 18 strength? Not really. I think D&D is a poor model for weightlifting. I actually think GURPS does it better. So much of it is technique that it can't help but be a skill rather than a stat. I think I've got a modest base strength and a lot of points in weight lifting with some skill focus bench press or something. But since D&D doesn't model that, instead you have to go with a high stat.

Re: Hafthor Julius Bjornson. That guy's strength is as high as the GM allows. Last I heard he was ranked 3rd in the world for strongman contests.

Coidzor
2014-07-06, 09:58 PM
I am in a Dresden Files game, based on the [Fate] system.

Defining Aspects for myself was a bitch and a half, especially with fictionalizing my life to fit being a werebear. Either the aspects were far too boring and mundane or they ended up in conflict with one another, which, IIRC, is verboten.

"Crippling Depression" is not a very dramatically appropriate Trouble, at least if one wants one's character to actually participate and be able to smash face or run from monsters as circumstances dictate.

And "Falls in love at the drop of a hat" and "Afraid of love/to approach women" would conflict with one another when it comes to attempts to compel and be illegal. And also be fairly boring, judging from the senses of humor that seem to be present in my group. Also, rarely topical when it comes to monsters that want to eat us.

In a system with less existential self reflection and/or analysis required it can work to an extent, of course, more easily. Tho most play themselves to a certain extent, especially when we do something stupid to be gloriously hilarious and/or annoyinging.

Jay R
2014-07-07, 12:55 AM
The biggest problem in playing yourself is that the characteristics don't act like real-world equivalents.

In my adult years, my strength has probably gone from about 10 to about 14, and is now back down to about 11. Strength is not an inherent quantity that only goes up every fourth level and when you reach certain age categories; it's based on how much exercise you've gotten in the last few months.

Jeff the Green
2014-07-07, 08:20 AM
Nay. I am a boring character and putting me in life-and-death situations does not make me more interesting; it only makes me more likely to hide under the bed.

Frozen_Feet
2014-07-07, 08:33 AM
Yup. If a bunch of D&D players created characters who accurately portrayed themselves, the party would sit down and play D&D.

And then there are us Twilight players, who only pretend to shoot people and drive tanks on paper because we aren't allowed to do it in the army anymore. :smalltongue:

Sith_Happens
2014-07-08, 12:02 AM
I've never done it myself, but whether I would definitely depends on the setting, premise, and whether I'm supposed to be playing myself-as-in-real-life or myself-as-I-think-I-would-be-if-I-had-grown-up-in-the-setting. Transplant the former of those two into a fantasy setting, for instance, and my one and only priority will be introducing as much of modern science as possible to the place while staying as far away from any sort of life-threatening situation as possible.

Aasimar
2014-07-08, 05:45 AM
I play specifically to not be myself.

I suppose some people might enjoy it. But it doesn't seem like a whole group of people would.

Jay R
2014-07-08, 08:02 AM
I've never done it myself, but whether I would definitely depends on the setting, premise, and whether I'm supposed to be playing myself-as-in-real-life or myself-as-I-think-I-would-be-if-I-had-grown-up-in-the-setting. Transplant the former of those two into a fantasy setting, for instance, and my one and only priority will be introducing as much of modern science as possible to the place while staying as far away from any sort of life-threatening situation as possible.

Exactly. If I played myself in a fantasy setting, I'd follow the classic example and look for a pair of ruby slippers to send me back home.

TheCountAlucard
2014-07-08, 08:06 AM
If you were really looking to the classics, wouldn't you go with silver slippers, Jay?

Jay R
2014-07-08, 09:10 AM
If you were really looking to the classics, wouldn't you go with silver slippers, Jay?

I considered it, but decided that communication with my audience was more important for making a joke work. Everybody knows about MGM's ruby slippers. Fewer people know about L. Frank Baum's silver slippers.

[And if I were really looking to the classics, I'd be trying to get home from the moon (and later, the sun) like Cyrano de Bergerac, from the inferno (or heaven or purgatory) like Dante, or even trying to get back from Hades, like Persephone, or back from the Labyrinth, like Theseus. But I chose the one most people would instantly recognize.]

OverdrivePrime
2014-07-08, 02:58 PM
I play specifically to not be myself.

I suppose some people might enjoy it. But it doesn't seem like a whole group of people would.My group of 6-12 (depending on the year) played a 7-year-long campaign with three DMs with us all playing as ourselves. It was pretty amazing, and now about 8 years later I've got a critical mass of players asking me to reboot the campaign.

I roleplay not just for escapism, but to get a better understanding of myself. I'm lucky enough to have some pretty high rolls in my stat array, so I can kindle the essence of myself in just about every system I try (except Paranoia. Noooo thank you.)

That's essentially how I get to know a new game system: make myself as a low-level character, see how it feels, try to squeak out a little more accuracy, and then try to squeak out a little more effectiveness.

Kalmageddon
2014-07-09, 11:34 AM
[And if I were really looking to the classics, I'd be trying to get home [...] from the inferno (or heaven or purgatory) like Dante]

Dante wasn't trying to find his way out, he was being given a tour. Well, originally he was trying to find his way out of the dark forest, the trip through hell, purgatory and heaven just happened to be the only way out. :smalltongue:

Sorry for the nitpick...

Eonas
2014-07-09, 07:23 PM
Back on topic: I had a slightly unpleasant thought about self-insert characters. Obviously, if I'm playing myself, then as I roleplay, I'm still being me, only in a fictional skin, in fictional circumstances in a fictional world. But the essence of 'me' is still there. That means that what I do in the fictional world is presumably what I would also do in similar circumstances in this one. No problem, right?

Except, roleplaying games, like most fiction, are like reality++. The issues are similar, except magnified (lots of people deal with usurpers in some form or another during their lives, but Hamlet had his own uncle kill his dad for an entire kingdom - we're not talking minor corporate backstabbing here). There's no hiding from your true nature when big things are involved: if you're a greedy bastard, you might still let somebody else have a larger slice of cake than you, but you definitely won't let somebody else have a larger slice of a company's profits unless you can't help it.

So, given that my self-insert is still basically me in a roleplaying game, if my self-insert trips somebody else so he can escape the zombies, what does that say about me as a person?


On a related issue, self-inserts don't always necessarily have the same relationship as their players do IRL. Two best friends could have self-inserts that are rivals due to circumstances in the fictional world. How does that work? It's one thing to say "keep the game and real worlds separate", but I fail to see how that really works here: if my self-insert stabs your self-insert, then clearly what's being communicated (unintentionally, of course) is that if our real-life circumstances were similar to the ones we just roleplayed, I'd stab you. Because unlike regular roleplaying, I'm just being me.

As an extreme example, what if my self-insert and my sister's self-insert are romantically infolved? We're effectively playing make-believe at being in love with each other. This would be horribly awkward during the game session, obviously, but I'm having difficulty imagining any situation where this would not have an adverse effect on our relationship IRL later.

AMFV
2014-07-09, 08:29 PM
I don't know, I'd say I always play myself or some aspect of me. All of my characters are reflections of me, although some of them are profoundly different, I tend to play characters that come from aspects of my personality. It's just what I find fun to roleplay. I can't see any issues with this.

valadil
2014-07-09, 09:00 PM
I haven't re-read, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I've noticed a pattern in this thread. Campaigns with a play yourself premise have gone well. Players randomly deciding to play themselves in an otherwise normal campaign have not. Any counterexamples?

zinycor
2014-07-09, 09:08 PM
I haven't re-read, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I've noticed a pattern in this thread. Campaigns with a play yourself premise have gone well. Players randomly deciding to play themselves in an otherwise normal campaign have not. Any counterexamples?

It sure seems that way

Eonas
2014-07-09, 09:08 PM
I don't know, I'd say I always play myself or some aspect of me. All of my characters are reflections of me, although some of them are profoundly different, I tend to play characters that come from aspects of my personality. It's just what I find fun to roleplay. I can't see any issues with this.

That's not playing yourself, though. That's completely normal: everybody's characters are fundamentally projections of themselves, mixed-and-matched combinations of aspects of their own personality, whether or not they realize it. The only thing we know is ourselves, so it couldn't be any other way. However, that's not the same as actually roleplaying yourself, which is a practice that in my eyes would almost inevitably lead to issues.

AMFV
2014-07-09, 10:53 PM
That's not playing yourself, though. That's completely normal: everybody's characters are fundamentally projections of themselves, mixed-and-matched combinations of aspects of their own personality, whether or not they realize it. The only thing we know is ourselves, so it couldn't be any other way. However, that's not the same as actually roleplaying yourself, which is a practice that in my eyes would almost inevitably lead to issues.

My point is that it's all a matter of degree... All of my characters are in essence simulations of myself, some more accurate, others less so. Make the simulation more like me does not make it any less a character.

Furthermore I disagree with the notion that all characters are representative of aspects of people's personality. For some people roleplaying is escapist, they play who they would like to be, not who they are. For me I like to play who I am. While one could argue that there is that philosophical link, still me acting like Robert Downey Jr. (as I perceive he would act) is while filtered through my perceptions, fundamentally still unlike me, it isn't my personality (while again there is some bleed through) it should be minimal if that is my goal.

Batou1976
2014-07-09, 11:01 PM
Hey guys. I've always had the idea of playing myself. (2nd level human fighter and/or monk btw) And I'm wondering what your opinion on the thing is? It would certainly ease roleplaying if my character would do what I do, but it might not be as fun, or it might be more fun. Anyone have any experience playing themselves? Thanks, and as always, go nuts.

Put another "yea" on the board. Most every PC I've ever played has something of myself in them, to greater or lesser degrees, even the three or so females (I play female chars in video games more often than I do in PnP games).

I also don't entirely agree that every PC one makes necessarily must have some element/facet of the player's "spirit" in them. I have played a few PCs that weren't anything like me, and I had them do things in various situations that were not at all what I'd do. For example, I would never trip someone just so I could get away from zombies. :smalltongue:

zinycor
2014-07-10, 01:57 PM
Put another "yea" on the board. Most every PC I've ever played has something of myself in them, to greater or lesser degrees, even the three or so females (I play female chars in video games more often than I do in PnP games).

I also don't entirely agree that every PC one makes necessarily must have some element/facet of the player's "spirit" in them. I have played a few PCs that weren't anything like me, and I had them do things in various situations that were not at all what I'd do. For example, I would never trip someone just so I could get away from zombies. :smalltongue:

i do think that every character has some sort of element/facet of the player in them (Even some facet of the GM) after all, the character will act on how you view that a character like that would act. Example:

If I am playing a paladin, my paladin will in how i think a noble paladin should act, which doesn't have to match what other players may do with their paladin under the same circumstances. Or if i play en evil character, that character will act on how i think an evil character will do.

I mean that, you can't really know how a real person would act under certain circumstances, or what are his motivations for doing so, you only can suppose it based on your judgements and your view of the world.

Eonas
2014-07-10, 02:26 PM
My point is that it's all a matter of degree... All of my characters are in essence simulations of myself, some more accurate, others less so. Make the simulation more like me does not make it any less a character.

Furthermore I disagree with the notion that all characters are representative of aspects of people's personality. For some people roleplaying is escapist, they play who they would like to be, not who they are. For me I like to play who I am. While one could argue that there is that philosophical link, still me acting like Robert Downey Jr. (as I perceive he would act) is while filtered through my perceptions, fundamentally still unlike me, it isn't my personality (while again there is some bleed through) it should be minimal if that is my goal.

Indeed, projection into a character is all a matter of degree. Playing 'yourself', an outright self-insert, however, just happens to be a degree of 100%.

The perfect 'you' is still comprised of various elements that make up your personality (again, whether or not you're aware of them). If the perfect me is very kind and thoughtful, and if I play him as such, that means that somewhere in me there is that kindness and thoughtfulness (albeit perhaps to a lesser degree, or buried under layers of less praiseworthy traits).
And my understanding of Robert Downey Jr. is fundamentally derived from my understanding of myself. When he (for instance) smiles at a compliment, I empathize with him because somewhere in me lies the ability to feel flattered, and the impulse to smile when flattered. This is, of course, an oversimplification of what I'm trying to communicate, but really, the basic principle isn't all that complicated.


Put another "yea" on the board. Most every PC I've ever played has something of myself in them, to greater or lesser degrees, even the three or so females (I play female chars in video games more often than I do in PnP games).

I also don't entirely agree that every PC one makes necessarily must have some element/facet of the player's "spirit" in them. I have played a few PCs that weren't anything like me, and I had them do things in various situations that were not at all what I'd do. For example, I would never trip someone just so I could get away from zombies. :smalltongue:

You're confusing 'you' and 'aspects of you'. If you play a character exactly how you'd behave in real life (which is I think what the OP was asking about), that's 'you'. If you don't, then you're roleplaying rearranged aspects of you. The former is self-insertion, and problematic for all the reasons I mentioned above; the latter is regular roleplaying, which is what we all do (and, I think, what you seem to be doing).

Synar
2014-07-11, 04:22 PM
Well, I believe there is a difference between playing a characters with some of your traits or aspects of your personality, playing a character with your personality (and maybe beliefs and opinions), playing an idealized version of yourself, and playing yourself, and there is a bit too much confusion here.

And for the caracs: it is false to assume that most irl people have intelligence between 9 and 13, but just like it is false to assume they intelligence is higher or lower, because irl, people do not have scores. Ability scores are silly. Silly, silly, silly. Mental ability scores are especially silly, but he physical ones get hey portion of the silly cake too. They cover far too much different things, cover things they should not and don't cover things they should, overlap far too much, interact strangely, are oversimplified, and are simply in fact a silly game abstraction.
So the main thing you should not do when playing yourself in a game is being too serious or giving too much importance about ability scores, because they are, well, silly.




Silly, silly, silly.


To Eonas: Self insert or not, why in the nine hells would your character have a romantic relationship with your sister character? Self insert or not, that can be disturbing, and if it is, don't do it? I mean, you certainly can play yourself without hitting on your sister, right?

Gemini Lupus
2014-07-11, 06:22 PM
I'm for playing yourself in a more modern setting, but in general, unless it's your first time roleplaying, I prefer you play a character. Of course there's always an aspect of yourself in every character you play, but that's different than playing yourself.

Eonas
2014-07-11, 09:02 PM
Well, I believe there is a difference between playing a characters with some of your traits or aspects of your personality, playing a character with your personality (and maybe beliefs and opinions), playing an idealized version of yourself, and playing yourself, and there is a bit too much confusion here.

Well, I'm equating playing a character with your personality/beliefs/opinions with actually playing yourself, for the sake of this discussion. They both lead to exactly the same issues.

Playing an idealized version of yourself, a flawless angelic paragon of yourself, that doesn't lead to issues but is generally boring/crappy roleplaying. Interesting characters are flawed, and if one isn't, he/she teeters precariously near to being a Mary Sue. But whatever, I guess, if that's the sort of thing that floats your boat.

And as I've explained, playing a character with some aspects of your personality is just regular roleplaying.


To Eonas: Self insert or not, why in the nine hells would your character have a romantic relationship with your sister character? Self insert or not, that can be disturbing, and if it is, don't do it? I mean, you certainly can play yourself without hitting on your sister, right?

It was, as I said, an extreme example, designed to illustrate my point. The statements that "roleplaying a romantic relationship with your sister is disturbing" and "you could not roleplay a romantic relationship with your sister's character" are irrelevant to my argument (the latter for multiple reasons).

And in a normal game (where both of them play characters very distinct from themselves), I could see somebody roleplaying a relationship with his/her sibling's character, particularly online. Why? Because they wouldn't be hitting on each other, because of the player-character disconnect. Are many players capable of that level of disconnect? Perhaps not, but certainly, it's not uncommon to have friends' characters hitting on each other, friends who would probably find the idea of a romantic relationship with each other slightly (or very) creepy. So for that reason and a thousand others, there clearly is a disconnect between player and character for mature roleplayers. My problem with actually playing yourself, is that this disconnect becomes dangerously thin. Do I really have to explain all the issues that this can potentially cause?

Sith_Happens
2014-07-12, 03:48 AM
I just had either the best or worst idea ever: Playing each other as RPG characters.

Jormengand
2014-07-12, 06:20 AM
I just had either the best or worst idea ever: Playing each other as RPG characters.

Ahh, god. That would be hilarious.

Jay R
2014-07-12, 09:43 AM
I just had either the best or worst idea ever: Playing each other as RPG characters.

... because players don't argue with each other enough.

Teapot Salty
2014-07-12, 11:31 AM
I just had either the best or worst idea ever: Playing each other as RPG characters.

Prepare to have your ego bruised.

Jay R
2014-07-12, 11:59 AM
So, given that my self-insert is still basically me in a roleplaying game, if my self-insert trips somebody else so he can escape the zombies, what does that say about me as a person?

It means that you would trip somebody else so you can escape from zombies, of course. If you wouldn't do that, then don't do that in the game. That's the point of a self-insert.

One of the attractions of this kind of game is the ability to turn and risk dying to the zombies to protect my loved ones, without actually, you know, risking dying. That's a feature, not a bug.

Playing yourself doesn't mean playing somebody completely different who happens to resemble you; it means playing yourself. If Elan plays the game, he should play Elan, not Nale.


On a related issue, self-inserts don't always necessarily have the same relationship as their players do IRL. Two best friends could have self-inserts that are rivals due to circumstances in the fictional world. How does that work?

The same way it works when best friends are rivals in the real world, of course.


It's one thing to say "keep the game and real worlds separate", but I fail to see how that really works here:

It doesn't. The exercise of playing yourself is different from normal role-playing. Self-insertion is a deliberate attempt to not keep them completely separate. If that doesn't appeal to you, then don't play this kind of game.


if my self-insert stabs your self-insert, then clearly what's being communicated (unintentionally, of course) is that if our real-life circumstances were similar to the ones we just roleplayed, I'd stab you. Because unlike regular roleplaying, I'm just being me.

Yes, that's exactly what it means. So if you wouldn't really stab me, don't role-play stabbing me.


As an extreme example, what if my self-insert and my sister's self-insert are romantically infolved?

Then you're not playing yourself, of course. In any form you ask it, the question "How do I deal with playing myself as somebody who isn't myself?" has the same answer. Play yourself as yourself.

Note that for this to occur, you and your sister would be playing the characters, so you would be role-playing the relationship with your actual sister. If you don't think that's appropriate, then don't do it.

For an example of two of your scenarios (best friend as rival and being in love with your sister) watch the original Star Wars trilogy.

valadil
2014-07-12, 07:26 PM
It means that you would trip somebody else so you can escape from zombies, of course. If you wouldn't do that, then don't do that in the game. That's the point of a self-insert.



Doing that accurately requires some serious introspection that I don't think most of us have. It's easy to say your self insert character behaves the way you want or expect yourself to act, but when push comes to shove things probably won't really work out that way.

Jay R
2014-07-13, 08:24 AM
Doing that accurately requires some serious introspection that I don't think most of us have. It's easy to say your self insert character behaves the way you want or expect yourself to act, but when push comes to shove things probably won't really work out that way.

Agreed. My characters, including the self-insert I once played, routinely behave with far more courage, morality, and self-sacrifice than I suspect that I would do in the same situation. That's what makes this a worthy exercise.

Eonas
2014-07-13, 09:46 PM
It means that you would trip somebody else so you can escape from zombies, of course. If you wouldn't do that, then don't do that in the game. That's the point of a self-insert.

One of the attractions of this kind of game is the ability to turn and risk dying to the zombies to protect my loved ones, without actually, you know, risking dying. That's a feature, not a bug.

Playing yourself doesn't mean playing somebody completely different who happens to resemble you; it means playing yourself. If Elan plays the game, he should play Elan, not Nale.

Yes, that's exactly what it means. So if you wouldn't really stab me, don't role-play stabbing me.
I agree, of course, but you've got the issue backwards. The issue is that I would do this in the real world, I would do this ingame. I'm revealing something really unpleasant about my psyche that would normally stay hidden-ish. I can't speak for you all, but if I personally learned that one of my friends would be willing to kill somebody else in order to save his own skin, I'd view my friend in a more negative light from them on. I'd still be friends with him, of course, but I can't see how the revelation could possibly do any good for our relationship.


The same way it works when best friends are rivals in the real world, of course.
No, because the friends' characters aren't necessarily friends ingame. So the dynamic between the characters would probably be completely different than it would between two best-friend-rivals: far more competitive, possibly murderous.
Either way, that's never a pleasant place to be with a friend. Why put yourselves through the experience?


Then you're not playing yourself, of course. In any form you ask it, the question "How do I deal with playing myself as somebody who isn't myself?" has the same answer. Play yourself as yourself.

Note that for this to occur, you and your sister would be playing the characters, so you would be role-playing the relationship with your actual sister. If you don't think that's appropriate, then don't do it.
No, hang on. You can play yourself in a different body, in a different situation (otherwise, the characters would all be relatively incompetent nerds without any special powers... probably roleplaying together in the fictional world as well). I can act exactly like myself, and my sister can act exactly like herself, but that doesn't mean we have to be ourselves in our bodies, and siblings. My self-insert might be a wizard, for instance, and she might be a warrior-princess, and neither have to be related. Hence, the relationship between self-insert and self-insert isn't incest and very plausible in the game world, but IRL, the act of roleplaying that relationship out is creepy as hell.


For an example of two of your scenarios (best friend as rival and being in love with your sister) watch the original Star Wars trilogy.
This isn't relevant to the discussion, but neither relationship, incidentally, was at all healthy for anybody involved.


It doesn't. The exercise of playing yourself is different from normal role-playing. Self-insertion is a deliberate attempt to not keep them completely separate. If that doesn't appeal to you, then don't play this kind of game.
You're entirely right - self-insertion is indeed a deliberate attempt to not separate player and character. However, it's not a matter of whether or not self-insertion 'appeals' to me. It's a matter of 'this is a suicidally bad idea, period'.


I just spent about two hours browsing through RPG horror stories. What struck me was that almost every anecdote (whether unpleasant, hair-wrenchingly awful, or outright terrifying) was fundamentally tied to one or more players having a too-thin disconnect between himself and his character. If your group's crazy enough to throw away that thin line entirely, then I'm going to pre-emptively say: "I told you so."

zinycor
2014-07-13, 10:53 PM
Agreed. My characters, including the self-insert I once played, routinely behave with far more courage, morality, and self-sacrifice than I suspect that I would do in the same situation. That's what makes this a worthy exercise.

So you see yourself as a better person that you actually think you are?

Jay R
2014-07-14, 07:26 AM
So you see yourself as a better person that you actually think you are?

Not quite - I want to be a better person than I think I actually am.


I agree, of course, but you've got the issue backwards. The issue is that I would do this in the real world, I would do this ingame.

You're right; I never looked at it in that direction. I hope I would not do that in real life. I certainly would not do it in a game. What fun would there be in pretending to do something I find shameful? I role-play to be a great hero and save the world.

I certainly agree with you that playing a self-insert who trips his friend to escape is an actively bad thing. But for exactly the same reasons, playing a self-insert who defends his friends is an actively good thing.


I'm revealing something really unpleasant about my psyche that would normally stay hidden-ish. I can't speak for you all, but if I personally learned that one of my friends would be willing to kill somebody else in order to save his own skin, I'd view my friend in a more negative light from them on. I'd still be friends with him, of course, but I can't see how the revelation could possibly do any good for our relationship.

Agreed. But the response is the same one I gave earlier. Don't play like that. All you've done is demonstrate why.

And for the record, I probably would see a role-player in a negative light if he did that, self-insert or not. In my last game, my player jumped off a flying mount to engage a Frost Giant. I had no choice; it was the only way to save another PC. I've had other PCs do similar things to help mine.

And it's not something really unpleasant about your psyche. It's merely something as yet undeveloped about your psyche today. You have every opportunity in this world to grow into the kind of person you want to be. And a good tool for starting to do so is to role-play it. So I recommend that you start playing characters who would risk their lives to save others. It's more fun, more heroic - and might be more valuable in the long run.


No, because the friends' characters aren't necessarily friends ingame.

Again, I never looked at it that way. A party is a team. Of course they should be friends. I routinely save other party members' lives; they routinely save mine. That's what it means to be a party.

My character is going to sleep tonight with a bag of 10,000 gold pieces. He had certainly better be able to trust the others around him. A person who would trip him to escape would also probably murder him in his sleep.


So the dynamic between the characters would probably be completely different than it would between two best-friend-rivals: far more competitive, possibly murderous.
Either way, that's never a pleasant place to be with a friend. Why put yourselves through the experience?

Agreed, but this argument has nothing to do with self-insert, and applies equally to any role-playing game. Why put yourself through the experience of playing a possibly murderous relationship with one of your friends?


No, hang on. You can play yourself in a different body, in a different situation (otherwise, the characters would all be relatively incompetent nerds without any special powers... probably roleplaying together in the fictional world as well).

Well, not necessarily. I was in a recent game with a Navy pilot. My current game has one lawyer, one calligrapher / medieval legal scholar, one top-level SCA fighter, one top-level archer, a 58-year-old fencer who won a small tourney last week, and a one-time Philmont Ranger who now has a Ph.D. in Operations Research).


I can act exactly like myself, and my sister can act exactly like herself, but that doesn't mean we have to be ourselves in our bodies, and siblings. My self-insert might be a wizard, for instance, and she might be a warrior-princess, and neither have to be related. Hence, the relationship between self-insert and self-insert isn't incest and very plausible in the game world, but IRL, the act of roleplaying that relationship out is creepy as hell.

Again, this argument has nothing to do with a self-insert, and in fact, hinges on it being an incomplete self-insert.

The simple solution is to be siblings, or at least to not role-play a romance with somebody that you believe it would be unhealthy to role-play a romance with.

The creepiness doesn't come from the self-insert; it comes from role-playing a romantic relationship with another player that you aren't romantically attached to. It would be just as creepy to play out the relationship with two characters who are unlike you. In a recent game, my character had a romantic relationship with another PC, but the player was my wife.

The moral isn't, "Don't play a self-insert." It's "Don't be creepy."


You're entirely right - self-insertion is indeed a deliberate attempt to not separate player and character. However, it's not a matter of whether or not self-insertion 'appeals' to me. It's a matter of 'this is a suicidally bad idea, period'.

You haven't shown that. You've merely shown that doing it poorly is a bad idea. Playing yourself, and betraying your friends and being creepy with your sister, is a bad idea. But playing anybody else while betraying your friends and being creepy with your sister is an equally bad idea.

Playing yourself, and being as heroic and noble as possible, is a great idea, and possibly good practice for the real world.

Someday, you or I might be in a position to save a life. When that moment comes, it would be good to be ready to do so.


I just spent about two hours browsing through RPG horror stories. What struck me was that almost every anecdote (whether unpleasant, hair-wrenchingly awful, or outright terrifying) was fundamentally tied to one or more players having a too-thin disconnect between himself and his character. If your group's crazy enough to throw away that thin line entirely, then I'm going to pre-emptively say: "I told you so."

I've done it in the past, with no ill effects. With no real-world effects at all, except a desire to become a little better than I am.

The problems you suggest are not based on a self-insert, and are all directly a result of the fact that any PC is an extension of yourself, and all character decisions are decisions you make. They're your decisions; make good ones.

You're going to identify with your character in any case. Play him as somebody you can be proud to identify with.

Nothing you've suggested is a problem, self-insert or not, if you choose to play the good guy, and not do anything creepy.

Eonas
2014-07-14, 01:53 PM
Interesting points, but because I don't have the time to really write an in-depth response, I'm just going to get to what I think was the core of your arguments.

Playing a character (notyourself) with an intense (rivalrous, romantic, or otherwise) relationship to another player's character is also fine in any group mature enough to distinguish player and character. Two of my favorite characters were despicable little creatures who began acting hostile to several other PCs right out of the gate. OOC, however, we were fine - there wasn't anything awkward about the roleplay. Why? Because though any of your characters is an aspect of yourself, we're multifaceted human beings, and the good generally drowns out the bad. I'm happy to say I don't act anything like those characters.

Actors, incidentally, 'roleplay' out relationships with other characters. It's true that they don't get to create the character or decide what they say, but their characters are still infused with themselves, just like PCs are infused with the players. Actors whose characters are in rivalrous/romantic/whatever relationships with others still get along fine with the other actors, for the same reasons that roleplaying out a relationship with a character is just fine. There's a line between actor/player and character.


What I'm basically saying here is what I've been saying all along: there's a distinction between player and character which makes roleplaying work. Roleplaying rivalry/enmity with your friends' characters, or even romance with your sister's, that doesn't necessarily have to be uncomfortable or unpleasant (not if you're mature enough roleplayers). Because all we're doing is describing some guy stabbing some other guy, or some guy making out with some other girl. When a writer writes out a relationship between two of his characters, he's not romancing himself or arguing with himself. Because the characters aren't him. If the characters were him, if they were self-inserts (regardless of what body/situation his psyche happened to be in), now that would be creepy as hell. It's the same with roleplaying.

It doesn't matter if you decide not to have your self-insert not be in an uncomfortable relationship with any other self-inserts. Sooner or later, there's inevitably going to be conflict, there's going to be drama and issues - and because scenarios in roleplaying games are more intense than in real life, the drama will be equally intense. This drama is awesome in a normal game, pure narrative gold! It's what drives games like Apocalypse World, WoD, Paranoia, and most Narrativist systems. But, again, take away the player-character divide, and interparty conflict turns into interplayer conflict. Not pretty.

Honestly, I'm not sure how I can make my point any clearer.

ddude987
2014-07-14, 03:16 PM
Yay... in a way

I tend to enjoy making characters that contain a set of traits/personality of myself but amplified such that it makes the whole character. As to playing myself completely... well... most DMs don't allow immortal cephalopods in their campaigns :smallwink:

Jay R
2014-07-14, 09:54 PM
Honestly, I'm not sure how I can make my point any clearer.

It's perfectly clear. It's just wrong.

Several people has posted that they had great games this way. That proves that your point that "there's inevitably going to be conflict" and " interparty conflict turns into interplayer conflict" are proven wrong, not by theory, but by actual experience.

OverdrivePrime said that "Our group thrives on self-insertion." Later, he added, "It was pretty amazing, and now about 8 years later I've got a critical mass of players asking me to reboot the campaign."

GPuzzle said, "I don't know, it just feels great to play yourself in a zombie apocalypse RPG."

Anderlith said, "It's fun to play yourself in WoD."

SimonMoon6 wrote, "The most successful campaigns I've run have been games where the players played themselves."

Frozen_Feet wrote, "Everyone should play as themselves a time or two."

I had a great time the one time I did it.

But despite all that experience, Eonas tells us that:

However, it's not a matter of whether or not self-insertion 'appeals' to me. It's a matter of 'this is a suicidally bad idea, period'.

False. Absolutely proven false by the experience of people here on this board.

I have conceded to your point that it can be done badly. Will you concede to my point that it can also be done well, or are we arguing between my position of "It can be good or bad depending on how it's played" and your position that "It's always bad to do something Eonas disagrees with"?

Eonas
2014-07-14, 11:14 PM
It's not a matter of 'my opinion'. I'm not trying to say "it's always bad to do something I disagree with". Don't straw-man me. I've given what I think is pretty airtight reasoning based upon very reasonable premises; nobody's brought up any counterpoints that held water; if the premises are true and the logical steps are valid, we're forced to conclude that the conclusion is also true; therefore, what I'm saying is true. Logic.

Given the number of people here that have displayed basic confusions about the nature of self-insertion, making comments that are variations on "yeah, playing yourself is fun, I always play characters that contain some aspect of me", I'm inclined to view the comments you've quoted with a little less credulity than I might otherwise. But sure, I guess it's possible to play a self-insert and not run into issues.

However, as already established, to make this work you would need to avoid any relationships with any other self-inserts that could be at all problematic (the easiest way to do this would be by simply roleplaying out your pre-existing relationship), avoid most interparty drama (because otherwise, by the very nature of the activity, that's practically already interplayer drama, which is always unpleasant and often harmful), and are we having fun yet? I'm a hardcore Gamist, but even to me the paradigm of a frictionless party, where the players don't actually roleplay anybody except themselves (who they get to be 24/7 anyway), that seems unbelievably dull. If you wanted to do that, why not go and play World of Warcraft or something similar? All of the competent roleplayers I know thrive on conflict, on exploring inter-character relationships, on getting into another person's psyche, on... basic storytelling.

To each his own, I suppose. If you really want to play a frictionless game where everybody roleplays exactly the same relationships they already have in real life and nobody makes any attempt at stepping outside of his/her own psyche, then the more power to you. Meanwhile, I'll be over here, having fun weaving meaningful-ish (or at least fairly interesting) stories with my friends.

Anderlith
2014-07-14, 11:44 PM
Okay. Firstly I think you'd need to set some ground rules.

If you are playing yourself then you are playing YOU. Maybe add some superpowers, or the ability to cast magic, maybe you're a vampire/werewolf/mighty-morphin'-power-ranger. But you would be playing YOURSELF that somehow was born/stumbled upon powers. Or maybe you don't have powers but are still playing YOURSELF. This is easiest to do in modern era games then say D&D, but even then it's do-able.

If you are playing a character that acts like you, walks like you, talks like you, but ISN'T blood related to your sister then you are NOT playing YOURSELF. You are playing a character that shares a whole lot of traits that are similar to YOURSELF but if your character was born to different parents than your sister's character then one of you is NOT playing YOURSELF.

Again I want to say. If you are playing say... a Barbarian Wild Elf, that was raised in the arctic tundra, but he talks like you, acts like you would & would share your own personality quirks & habits it is still not you. (Barring the existence of Wild Elf Barbarians raised in the arctic tundra that have somehow stumbled upon the internet :smallbiggrin: )

In order to play yourself you must have been born human (or human adjacent) on Earth & raised at least somewhat on Earth, OR in situations that replicate your upbringing. Perhaps you are in an alternate would where you & your friends & family live in a fantasy world, all relations & friendships are replicated to fit the fantasy world as best they can. If your brother is an dwarf, then you better be an dwarf too or you're NOT playing YOURSELF.

Btw, I once played in a Zombie Apocalypse game using TOP SECRET as a system... & my friends left me to die passed out in a burning goddamn house after I saved their asses. YES it was frustrating as hell when it happened, but I got over it, & if the Zombie Apocalypse ever does happen I am sure as hell not trusting them to protect me. :P

If you want to play yourself play games that are in the modern era. World of Darkness, Mutants & Masterminds, All Flesh Must Be Eaten, TOP SECRET, D20 Modern, Dresden Files (FATE), etc.

zinycor
2014-07-15, 01:25 AM
Not quite - I want to be a better person than I think I actually am.



You're right; I never looked at it in that direction. I hope I would not do that in real life. I certainly would not do it in a game. What fun would there be in pretending to do something I find shameful? I role-play to be a great hero and save the world.

I certainly agree with you that playing a self-insert who trips his friend to escape is an actively bad thing. But for exactly the same reasons, playing a self-insert who defends his friends is an actively good thing.



Agreed. But the response is the same one I gave earlier. Don't play like that. All you've done is demonstrate why.

And for the record, I probably would see a role-player in a negative light if he did that, self-insert or not. In my last game, my player jumped off a flying mount to engage a Frost Giant. I had no choice; it was the only way to save another PC. I've had other PCs do similar things to help mine.

And it's not something really unpleasant about your psyche. It's merely something as yet undeveloped about your psyche today. You have every opportunity in this world to grow into the kind of person you want to be. And a good tool for starting to do so is to role-play it. So I recommend that you start playing characters who would risk their lives to save others. It's more fun, more heroic - and might be more valuable in the long run.



Again, I never looked at it that way. A party is a team. Of course they should be friends. I routinely save other party members' lives; they routinely save mine. That's what it means to be a party.

My character is going to sleep tonight with a bag of 10,000 gold pieces. He had certainly better be able to trust the others around him. A person who would trip him to escape would also probably murder him in his sleep.



Agreed, but this argument has nothing to do with self-insert, and applies equally to any role-playing game. Why put yourself through the experience of playing a possibly murderous relationship with one of your friends?



Well, not necessarily. I was in a recent game with a Navy pilot. My current game has one lawyer, one calligrapher / medieval legal scholar, one top-level SCA fighter, one top-level archer, a 58-year-old fencer who won a small tourney last week, and a one-time Philmont Ranger who now has a Ph.D. in Operations Research).



Again, this argument has nothing to do with a self-insert, and in fact, hinges on it being an incomplete self-insert.

The simple solution is to be siblings, or at least to not role-play a romance with somebody that you believe it would be unhealthy to role-play a romance with.

The creepiness doesn't come from the self-insert; it comes from role-playing a romantic relationship with another player that you aren't romantically attached to. It would be just as creepy to play out the relationship with two characters who are unlike you. In a recent game, my character had a romantic relationship with another PC, but the player was my wife.

The moral isn't, "Don't play a self-insert." It's "Don't be creepy."



You haven't shown that. You've merely shown that doing it poorly is a bad idea. Playing yourself, and betraying your friends and being creepy with your sister, is a bad idea. But playing anybody else while betraying your friends and being creepy with your sister is an equally bad idea.

Playing yourself, and being as heroic and noble as possible, is a great idea, and possibly good practice for the real world.

Someday, you or I might be in a position to save a life. When that moment comes, it would be good to be ready to do so.



I've done it in the past, with no ill effects. With no real-world effects at all, except a desire to become a little better than I am.

The problems you suggest are not based on a self-insert, and are all directly a result of the fact that any PC is an extension of yourself, and all character decisions are decisions you make. They're your decisions; make good ones.

You're going to identify with your character in any case. Play him as somebody you can be proud to identify with.

Nothing you've suggested is a problem, self-insert or not, if you choose to play the good guy, and not do anything creepy.

But i don't play roleplaying games to be a hero, the only times i have done that i have been bored out of my mind, it's enough with being good in real life. I play roleplaying games to feel like a badass and be a prick to the NPC that i want to humilliate. Now, if i were to play myself there would be 2 exts for me: actually play like it's myself on the situation, in such a case it would be really boring, cause i would probably let others handle the problems and only worry about getting out of there as safe as i can with my friends.... not really a badass nor a hero, nor an anti-hero... OR, play it as a version of myself more similar to the characters i like to play... BUT, this has the problem that if people think that this is the way i am, they are going to think I am an *******, and i don't want people to think that am an *******, just that i like to play characters that are *******s!! xDD

If you want to think of yourself as a better person and all, that's allright, but not everyone feels the same.

Coidzor
2014-07-15, 01:34 AM
If you are playing a character that acts like you, walks like you, talks like you, but ISN'T blood related to your sister then you are NOT playing YOURSELF. You are playing a character that shares a whole lot of traits that are similar to YOURSELF but if your character was born to different parents than your sister's character then one of you is NOT playing YOURSELF.

That's needlessly specific and doesn't really improve things by adding such a requirement, either.


I agree, of course, but you've got the issue backwards. The issue is that I would do this in the real world, I would do this ingame. I'm revealing something really unpleasant about my psyche that would normally stay hidden-ish. I can't speak for you all, but if I personally learned that one of my friends would be willing to kill somebody else in order to save his own skin, I'd view my friend in a more negative light from them on. I'd still be friends with him, of course, but I can't see how the revelation could possibly do any good for our relationship.

That's silly. You're playing a game and yet also expecting everything to be 100% serious? And have said that you and your friends are real roleplayers anyway and should have a basic awareness of the game-reality divide.

So you learn that someone would fight to protect themselves in a life-or-death battle because seizing up would be boring and lead to the game ending in a TPK. @_@


No, because the friends' characters aren't necessarily friends ingame. So the dynamic between the characters would probably be completely different than it would between two best-friend-rivals: far more competitive, possibly murderous.
Either way, that's never a pleasant place to be with a friend. Why put yourselves through the experience?

<_< Because if you want to roleplay best friend rivals with your friend you talk to them and then you do it. Because it's a game and humans aren't robots unable to do anything but act out predetermined behaviors in response to stimuli.


No, hang on. You can play yourself in a different body, in a different situation (otherwise, the characters would all be relatively incompetent nerds without any special powers... probably roleplaying together in the fictional world as well). I can act exactly like myself, and my sister can act exactly like herself, but that doesn't mean we have to be ourselves in our bodies, and siblings. My self-insert might be a wizard, for instance, and she might be a warrior-princess, and neither have to be related. Hence, the relationship between self-insert and self-insert isn't incest and very plausible in the game world, but IRL, the act of roleplaying that relationship out is creepy as hell.

Well, yeah, because you'd have to want to roleplay that out with your sister in the first place to do it. Which sorta conflicts with your earlier point about not being able to roleplay out a situation you wanted to roleplay out with your best friend because you couldn't communicate with them to work it out. @_@


You're entirely right - self-insertion is indeed a deliberate attempt to not separate player and character. However, it's not a matter of whether or not self-insertion 'appeals' to me. It's a matter of 'this is a suicidally bad idea, period'.

Eh. I haven't committed suicide over having my werebear Coidzor get into a fight with Slenderman yet. :smalltongue:


I just spent about two hours browsing through RPG horror stories. What struck me was that almost every anecdote (whether unpleasant, hair-wrenchingly awful, or outright terrifying) was fundamentally tied to one or more players having a too-thin disconnect between himself and his character. If your group's crazy enough to throw away that thin line entirely, then I'm going to pre-emptively say: "I told you so."

That's mostly just a personal problem, really.

Nilehus
2014-07-15, 01:40 AM
I just had either the best or worst idea ever: Playing each other as RPG characters.

... I finally found a game that'll end friendships and relationships faster than Mario Party!

As to playing yourself, though... I cannot think of any way that would end well. Most every character you try to roleplay as will probably have some traits in common with you to give you a connection to that character, and that's good! It adds depth and humanity to the character. The character actually being you, though, seems like it'd make it a lot easier to take things very personal.

Coidzor
2014-07-15, 01:45 AM
I just had either the best or worst idea ever: Playing each other as RPG characters.

Hah. Combine it with a drinking game and you've got a fun party game. :smalltongue:

Nilehus
2014-07-15, 01:48 AM
Hah. Combine it with a drinking game and you've got a fun party game. :smalltongue:

I would just be waiting for "Hey, can I play a character with all 3's?"

FidgetySquirrel
2014-07-15, 01:59 AM
I would just be waiting for "Hey, can I play a character with all 3's?" I'd prefer if you played a halfling with 'less than 10s, thank you.:smalltongue:

On topic: I'm of the belief that all of my PCs have some part of myself in them, whether I know it or not. As for actually playing myself, it feels like it would take some of the fun out of in-character decision-making. Not to mention, it's much easier to psycho-analyze a fictitious character whose entire perspective, including sub-conscious, is known to you.

I feel like I'd end up with a Flanderized version of myself, who lives up to my greatest aspirations of who I'd like to be, but it wouldn't truly be me. For all that, I can create a character who is destined to be leaps and bounds more interesting than I am, because I made the character that way.

Eonas
2014-07-15, 02:43 AM
That's silly. You're playing a game and yet also expecting everything to be 100% serious? And have said that you and your friends are real roleplayers anyway and should have a basic awareness of the game-reality divide.
Huh? When have I said or even implied that I expect everything to be 100% serious? Of course I don't expect people to be 100% serious - the points I'm making apply to basically any system or playstyle (with, perhaps, the exception of outright slapstick comedy).
And when have I said that I'm a 'real roleplayer', whatever that means? I've expressed my tastes about what I want in an RPG. Feel free to misconstrue that into whatever you like.


So you learn that someone would fight to protect themselves in a life-or-death battle because seizing up would be boring and lead to the game ending in a TPK. @_@
You miss my point, I'm not entirely sure how that comment was supposed to be relevant, anyway - perhaps I'm tired. You learn that the player would trip over their best friend to save themselves from the zombies (or whatever - we all have our own uniquely dark and psychotic parts of our psyche). An unpleasant revelation, to say the least.


<_< Because if you want to roleplay best friend rivals with your friend you talk to them and then you do it. Because it's a game and humans aren't robots unable to do anything but act out predetermined behaviors in response to stimuli.
... I don't understand how this relates to anything I've said. What I'm saying is that if you choose to roleplay out a rivalrous relationship with your friend's character, that's fine, unless both your characters are 'yourselves'. Then, there's a dangerously thin line between what your characters are doing to themselves and what you're pretending to do to yourselves. Surely this is pretty clear?


Well, yeah, because you'd have to want to roleplay that out with your sister in the first place to do it. Which sorta conflicts with your earlier point about not being able to roleplay out a situation you wanted to roleplay out with your best friend because you couldn't communicate with them to work it out. @_@
I made a point about what!? I've reread this paragraph about six or seven times, and I still don't even have a clue what you think I'm on about. You're so far afield of what I was communicating, that I'm actually left speechless.


Eh. I haven't committed suicide over having my werebear Coidzor get into a fight with Slenderman yet. :smalltongue:
Entertaining, but needless to say, irrelevant.


That's mostly just a personal problem, really.
No, it's actually not. When you break down that player-character divide, you wind up with exactly the same situation as the players in these anecdotes, the same toxic chemical soup just waiting to explode into messy gamer drama.



... I finally found a game that'll end friendships and relationships faster than Mario Party!

As to playing yourself, though... I cannot think of any way that would end well. Most every character you try to roleplay as will probably have some traits in common with you to give you a connection to that character, and that's good! It adds depth and humanity to the character. The character actually being you, though, seems like it'd make it a lot easier to take things very personal.
Haha, and precisely.
Listen to Nilehus, guys: he said basically what I'm trying to say, but he said it better than me.

Coidzor
2014-07-15, 04:08 AM
Huh? When have I said or even implied that I expect everything to be 100% serious?

Your entire premise of "oh noes, people will find out about dark secrets" hinges upon that and people not being able to distinguish between the game and reality. :smallconfused:


Of course I don't expect people to be 100% serious - the points I'm making apply to basically any system or playstyle (with, perhaps, the exception of outright slapstick comedy).
And when have I said that I'm a 'real roleplayer', whatever that means? I've expressed my tastes about what I want in an RPG. Feel free to misconstrue that into whatever you like.

When you were talking about how you and your friends would be having proper roleplaying fun in contrast to anyone who would ever do this for any reason in any context.


To each his own, I suppose. If you really want to play a frictionless game where everybody roleplays exactly the same relationships they already have in real life and nobody makes any attempt at stepping outside of his/her own psyche, then the more power to you. Meanwhile, I'll be over here, having fun weaving meaningful-ish (or at least fairly interesting) stories with my friends.


You miss my point, I'm not entirely sure how that comment was supposed to be relevant, anyway - perhaps I'm tired. You learn that the player would trip over their best friend to save themselves from the zombies (or whatever - we all have our own uniquely dark and psychotic parts of our psyche). An unpleasant revelation, to say the least.

It's a zombie game. And you think it's an actual dark revelation to go "I trip Kyle and scarper?" :smallconfused: I mean, I suppose if it was a move that didn't actually give you a benefit, like throwing someone to the zombies when escaping them was as effortless as walking at a moderate pace away from them... But with most groups I'd tend to see that more being viewed as so over-the-top that they couldn't take it seriously as a reflection of and indictment of the character of the person doing it.

Aside from disruptive player tendencies, anyway.


... I don't understand how this relates to anything I've said. What I'm saying is that if you choose to roleplay out a rivalrous relationship with your friend's character, that's fine, unless both your characters are 'yourselves'. Then, there's a dangerously thin line between what your characters are doing to themselves and what you're pretending to do to yourselves. Surely this is pretty clear?

Adding in the "Playing yourself" angle doesn't change the fact that if you want to try something convoluted in game with another player then you still have to communicate with them. No dangerously thin line necessary. And, hell, some friends **** talk each other for shiggles, man, sometimes even at the gaming table.


I made a point about what!? I've reread this paragraph about six or seven times, and I still don't even have a clue what you think I'm on about. You're so far afield of what I was communicating, that I'm actually left speechless.

You go on about how you having a sordid love affair in-game with your sister playing non-related characters would be creepy because of the OOC connotations not long after you had gone on in a different hypothetical about how playing yourselves would make it impossible to play out a friendly rivalry without things going south because the characters themselves aren't friends despite the players playing themselves and wanting to play out a friendly rivalry with one another and communicating with one another in order to bring about what they want to happen in game.

So you both say "oh, yeah, one can coordinate with someone to have a love affair that squicks out everyone else because of the incestuous undertones" and "you can never coordinate with another player because you're playing yourself."

I figured I should point out the contradiction in your premises, since you can't really have it both ways, either your position needs to be that players can coordinate despite playing themselves or that players playing themselves means they cannot coordinate with other players OOC.

I don't see why you'd want to take on the extra burden of arguing the further point of the latter position, but that's just me.


Entertaining, but needless to say, irrelevant.

Eh, it's a more complex world that we live in than one where it's just "playing a You in games makes the game self-destruct and is bad." Which is good, because worlds of harsh absolutes would tend to get boring.



That's mostly just a personal problem, really.
No, it's actually not. When you break down that player-character divide, you wind up with exactly the same situation as the players in these anecdotes, the same toxic chemical soup just waiting to explode into messy gamer drama.

No, you need the right kind of base personalities and a less than salubrious general game on top of just playing as one's self to get to true drama.

Jay R
2014-07-15, 08:08 AM
It's not a matter of 'my opinion'. I'm not trying to say "it's always bad to do something I disagree with". Don't straw-man me.

I didn't intend to, and apologize. I was responding to your statement, "However, it's not a matter of whether or not self-insertion 'appeals' to me. It's a matter of 'this is a suicidally bad idea, period'."

This seemed to me when I first read it, and still seems to me, to say that it's always bad to do this thing. If that was not your intent, then I apologize for responding to it that way, and look forward to your re-write and clarification.


I've given what I think is pretty airtight reasoning based upon very reasonable premises; nobody's brought up any counterpoints that held water; if the premises are true and the logical steps are valid, we're forced to conclude that the conclusion is also true; therefore, what I'm saying is true. Logic.

Your premises do not become true, nor your reasoning airtight, simply because you think so. The counterpoints we have brought up include multiple people running self-insert campaigns without causing the "interplayer drama, which is always unpleasant and often harmful" which you claim it must produce.


Given the number of people here that have displayed basic confusions about the nature of self-insertion, making comments that are variations on "yeah, playing yourself is fun, I always play characters that contain some aspect of me", ...

If you had gone back and looked at the people I quoted, you'd have seen that I skipped those people, and only quoted folks who actually played self-insertion.

In this case your "reasonable premises" turn out to be simply false - a mistake based on not actually checking, but merely guessing.


...I'm inclined to view the comments you've quoted with a little less credulity than I might otherwise.

"... view [them] with less credulity"? You didn't view them at all, or you'd know that you have mischaracterized them.


But sure, I guess it's possible to play a self-insert and not run into issues.

Oh good. He concedes that what many of us have done is possible.


However, as already established, to make this work you would need to avoid any relationships with any other self-inserts that could be at all problematic (the easiest way to do this would be by simply roleplaying out your pre-existing relationship), avoid most interparty drama (because otherwise, by the very nature of the activity, that's practically already interplayer drama, which is always unpleasant and often harmful),

"always unpleasant and often harmful"? If I had such a cynical view of humanity, I might agree with your conclusions. But this particular "very reasonable premise" is merely a sneer at the entire world. I admit that there are many people who can't handle conflict, but I tend to avoid playing with them.

And I do not remember anybody suggesting avoiding any relationships that could be at all problematic, or avoiding most intra-party drama. Has anybody suggested avoiding anything except murderous treachery and sexual creepiness?

In this case your "pretty airtight reasoning based upon very reasonable premises" turns out to be assuming that "most intra-party drama" falls into the two categories of murderous treachery and sexual creepiness. I've played games with other kinds of drama.

Note: in this case, I have misquoted Eonas. He wrote "interparty drama". But in context, he appears to mean "intra-party drama", i.e. drama within the party, not between two parties. If he actually meant two separate parties, then he wrote it correctly, and I have misconstrued his meaning.


and are we having fun yet? I'm a hardcore Gamist, but even to me the paradigm of a frictionless party, where the players don't actually roleplay anybody except themselves (who they get to be 24/7 anyway), that seems unbelievably dull.

Got it. The games I and others have enjoyed must have been "frictionless", and "unbelievably dull".

I thought you didn't like strawman arguments?

Nobody has said anything that can be fairly and accurately characterized as a frictionless party. In fact, this particular subthread began with you asking, "Two best friends could have self-inserts that are rivals due to circumstances in the fictional world. How does that work?" I replied that, "The same way it works when best friends are rivals in the real world, of course." Claiming that means a frictionless party is simply untrue.


If you wanted to do that, why not go and play World of Warcraft or something similar? All of the competent roleplayers I know thrive on conflict, on exploring inter-character relationships, on getting into another person's psyche, on... basic storytelling.

To each his own, I suppose. If you really want to play a frictionless game where everybody roleplays exactly the same relationships they already have in real life and nobody makes any attempt at stepping outside of his/her own psyche, then the more power to you. Meanwhile, I'll be over here, having fun weaving meaningful-ish (or at least fairly interesting) stories with my friends.

Nobody has said anything that can be fairly and accurately characterized as a frictionless party. I have specifically said that a rivalry within the party works OK.

There are other possible relationships between me and a friend other than "exactly the same relationships [we] already have in real life" and murderous treachery in the form of tripping him to escape zombies. There are other relationships I can role-play with my sister other than "exactly the same relationship" and sexual creepiness.

In this case your "pretty airtight reasoning based upon very reasonable premises" turns out to be ignoring 99% of possible relationships.

I won't role-play a murderous intent towards the rest of the party (as required to trip somebody in the face of the enemy) nor will I role-play a romance with somebody other than my wife. But in fact, there are frictions and intra-party drama that are neither traitorous nor creepy. There really are. and until you are prepared to accept that idea, you will mistakenly act as if a party that is neither treacherous nor sexually creepy must be frictionless.

In the one game I played as a self-insert, the party included rivals with two different political goals, and I eventually had the other one arrested and returned to England. There were no problems then or later from this. If your "pretty airtight reasoning based upon very reasonable premises" proved that this is impossible, then either your reasoning is wrong, or your premises false.

And by the way, was it your intent to imply that those of us who disagree with you aren't "competent gamers", don't "thrive on conflict, on exploring inter-character relationships, on getting into another person's psyche, on... basic storytelling." Did you mean to say that we aren't having fun and don't play meaningful-ish games?

If you intended to imply these things, then your "pretty airtight reasoning based upon very reasonable premises" is merely an argumentum ad hominem, recognized as a fallacy since at least the time of Aristotle.

If not, then you need to re-write, since your meaning did not get through.

OverdrivePrime
2014-07-15, 10:01 AM
As to playing yourself, though... I cannot think of any way that would end well. Most every character you try to roleplay as will probably have some traits in common with you to give you a connection to that character, and that's good! It adds depth and humanity to the character. The character actually being you, though, seems like it'd make it a lot easier to take things very personal.

Listen to Nilehus, guys: he said basically what I'm trying to say, but he said it better than me.
I'll agree that it can be tricky to do, and you might have to navigate some minefields of neuroses and areas of high sensitivity.

In my best example - the 7 year, 6-12 person Immortal: the Invisible War (first edition) (http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/8257/roleplaying-games/rpgnet-reviews-immortal-the-invisible-war) campaign, we played ourselves exactly. We were all about 18-20, so it was a pretty interesting time in life to translate ourselves into a game structure. There was some 60-odd questionnaire we each filled out before starting so that the Narrator had some good hooks for background information and dreams.

After that, we were given the character creation system and the original five of created characters in a group."How are you at carpentry?"
"I spend a summer framing houses, and I can build simple cabinetry"
"Okay, sounds like a 2 in carpentry."

"Can you lift more or less weight than other adults?"
"Oh, way more."
"Like, body-builder more? You're a bit skinny for a body builder."
"Alright, probably just a little more, my height helps a lot."
"Okay, great. Put a 3 in strength for now." Group creation helps keep everyone more honest, thanks to the magical power of social dynamics.

After we all had our characters written up, the narrator walked us through a pretty normal day in the life, with little hints of something odd going on. Shortly after, our characters each started to 'wake up' to realize that there's something different about them, and after the course of 3-4 hours of game time. We had a great narrator, and so we all got into the game pretty hard.

Essentially the idea of the game is that you're YOU. Like really you, but as you come into your powers (originally a Highlander-style healing power and some funky awareness), you also come to realize that you're not alone in your head. You're carrying some of your past lives, and some of them aren't always content to stay in the past. I had Sir Percivale and Perseus the Greek hero as my past lives. Others had some funkier ones, like the archangel Raziel, Long-wei the dragon, or Bagheera the panther. These past lives can teach you about your powers, or new skills (hello swordsmanship!), but are also a liability, because the right situation can cause them to try to control your actions ("You realize that the lady in front of you looks a lot like Morgan Le Fay. And then you realize it's not your realization. It's Percivale's memory. And he's trying to take control of your body so he can attack her! Roll for fugue!")

As the game stretched on, we passed through several years in real-time with our characters becoming increasingly involved in Immortal politics as they gained in power and rose in visibility. But in the early stages of the game, we had to figure out a lot of ground rules to make sure that it was a good experience for everyone.

Like Nilehus says, it was easy to take things personally, particularly when we started playing. One of my friends, Jerry, is a brilliant computer engineer, but also prone to seemingly-arbitrary and petty actions. In-game it can feel like he's playing chaotic stupid. Jerry caused us a LOT of trouble in-game, and usually wound up hamstringing my character's efforts in particular. He and I had words, but then sorted it out. It was him being him... appropriately acted with his new powers. And he came to understand that my character would react with me being me, and we'd keep our differences to the game... with the slight thankfulness that neither of us had the ability to enter dreams or use telekinesis.

One of the bigger issues for me was that because we were playing ourselves, in a game that looked very much like the real world, I came in with the same baggage. I had a girlfriend that everyone (http://www.reactiongifs.us/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/everyone.gif) hated, but they were too polite to tell me in real life. In game, however, their characters would occasionally tell my character what a liability and burden she was. The Narrator, who really couldn't stand her, eventually had her kidnapped by my in-game enemies. Over the course of five games, I tracked them down and fought my way to rescue her, and found that she had been experimented on. I played through, but had some pretty fierce words with the Narrator after game. When I calmed down, I told him I couldn't handle that level of immersion, and he needed to back off on the personal attachments. He suggested that in-game, it was obvious that she was the easy way to get to me, and so we agreed that my character would invest some effort into getting her to a safe place in the capital city of my group. It took a fair amount of emotional maturity to get through that episode, but after that we just let IRL loved-ones exist on the fringes of the game. No targeting player's IRL relationships unless the player specifically introduces that plot element.

I would definitely not recommend full-immersion roleplaying for kids or most teenagers. At 19 years old my group and I were barely mature enough to handle it, at least when we started. It's a high-reward activity, but can be high-risk as well. Now, with years of practice, my group and I are expert immersion players and switching between in-game and real-world is a reflex. What happens in game, stays in game, with the help of a few guidelines:


Tread lightly on real-world traumatic events. Back off entirely if indicated by the player.
What happens in game gets left in game - no real-world repercussions or you're out of the game.
Don't mess with real-world relationships unless everyone involved have expressed interest in that.
Be realistic. Playing toward your ideal self is great, but make that a journey of self-development.

Eonas
2014-07-15, 10:57 AM
Your entire premise of "oh noes, people will find out about dark secrets" hinges upon that and people not being able to distinguish between the game and reality. :smallconfused:
No, it doesn't, and the thin line between game and reality in self-insert is entirely the point of what I was talking about.


When you were talking about how you and your friends would be having proper roleplaying fun in contrast to anyone who would ever do this for any reason in any context.
I explicitly said 'to each his own'. Not sure how you managed to misinterpret that.


It's a zombie game. And you think it's an actual dark revelation to go "I trip Kyle and scarper?" :smallconfused: I mean, I suppose if it was a move that didn't actually give you a benefit, like throwing someone to the zombies when escaping them was as effortless as walking at a moderate pace away from them... But with most groups I'd tend to see that more being viewed as so over-the-top that they couldn't take it seriously as a reflection of and indictment of the character of the person doing it.

Aside from disruptive player tendencies, anyway.
If you making an action isn't a reflection of your personality, then you're not actually playing yourself. Basic cause-effect relationship.


Adding in the "Playing yourself" angle doesn't change the fact that if you want to try something convoluted in game with another player then you still have to communicate with them. No dangerously thin line necessary. And, hell, some friends **** talk each other for shiggles, man, sometimes even at the gaming table.
Nothing to do with 'convoluted', communication might alleviate the problem (though I can't see how) but not eliminate it, and it's got nothing to do with ****-talking each other.


You go on about how you having a sordid love affair in-game with your sister playing non-related characters would be creepy because of the OOC connotations not long after you had gone on in a different hypothetical about how playing yourselves would make it impossible to play out a friendly rivalry without things going south because the characters themselves aren't friends despite the players playing themselves and wanting to play out a friendly rivalry with one another and communicating with one another in order to bring about what they want to happen in game.

So you both say "oh, yeah, one can coordinate with someone to have a love affair that squicks out everyone else because of the incestuous undertones" and "you can never coordinate with another player because you're playing yourself."

I figured I should point out the contradiction in your premises, since you can't really have it both ways, either your position needs to be that players can coordinate despite playing themselves or that players playing themselves means they cannot coordinate with other players OOC.

I don't see why you'd want to take on the extra burden of arguing the further point of the latter position, but that's just me.
No, I hadn't. Nothing to do with communication. And the second paragraph is a gross misrepresentation of what I've been communicating.
Also, it's good practice to use commas or periods to break up long sentences like your first paragraph. Friendly tip.


Eh, it's a more complex world that we live in than one where it's just "playing a You in games makes the game self-destruct and is bad." Which is good, because worlds of harsh absolutes would tend to get boring.
Eh, it's sometimes a pretty simple world that we live in. I push a mousetrap and it goes 'snap' on my finger. Of course, people are more complex and less predictable than mousetraps, but you're still walking through a minefield that nobody's gotta go through.


No, you need the right kind of base personalities and a less than salubrious general game on top of just playing as one's self to get to true drama.
I don't see how.


I didn't intend to, and apologize. I was responding to your statement, "However, it's not a matter of whether or not self-insertion 'appeals' to me. It's a matter of 'this is a suicidally bad idea, period'."

This seemed to me when I first read it, and still seems to me, to say that it's always bad to do this thing. If that was not your intent, then I apologize for responding to it that way, and look forward to your re-write and clarification.
I overstated/overgeneralized my case. I retract that statement and replace it with "it's a bad/risky idea to roleplay yourselves, when you're roleplaying awkward (rivalrous/romantic/etc) relationships with other players, or winding up with significant interparty conflict".


Your premises do not become true, nor your reasoning airtight, simply because you think so. The counterpoints we have brought up include multiple people running self-insert campaigns without causing the "interplayer drama, which is always unpleasant and often harmful" which you claim it must produce.
Sorry, I didn't mean counterpoint. Refutation. I try to avoid the word 'refutation' in most situations because it sounds argumentative, but in this one it really was the correct term. Bringing up a counterargument isn't a refutation. "If A, then B" "But C!" isn't a refutation. "If A, then B" "But not A!" is. Your "multiple people running self-insert campaigns without causing interplayer drama" falls under the category of the former.


If you had gone back and looked at the people I quoted, you'd have seen that I skipped those people, and only quoted folks who actually played self-insertion.

In this case your "reasonable premises" turn out to be simply false - a mistake based on not actually checking, but merely guessing.

"... view [them] with less credulity"? You didn't view them at all, or you'd know that you have mischaracterized them.
Indeed I hadn't. I plead guilty. You're quoting a throwaway paragraph that in retrospect, I shouldn't have known better than to include. Senseless ad-hominem. Bad Eonas, bad.
My reasonable premises weren't based upon these people, though. My reasonable premises were that roleplaying a character with your personality/beliefs erodes the line between you and your character, that conflict between gamers can often be unpleasant or harmful to a relationship. From the first premise, it follows that there's a dangerously thin line between a relationship or conflict between 'player's personality' characters and the players themselves. This can be unpleasant or harmful to their relationships.


Oh good. He concedes that what many of us have done is possible.
Well, I qualified my original opinion. But yes. Do you take issue with this on any level?
If I'm in a discussion with Jay R, I expect him to refer to me in second-person. Otherwise, it sounds like I'm talking to you guys, the audience. Hi, audience! But Jay R doesn't expect me to talk to you; he expects me to talk to him.


"always unpleasant and often harmful"? If I had such a cynical view of humanity, I might agree with your conclusions. But this particular "very reasonable premise" is merely a sneer at the entire world. I admit that there are many people who can't handle conflict, but I tend to avoid playing with them.

And I do not remember anybody suggesting avoiding any relationships that could be at all problematic, or avoiding most intra-party drama. Has anybody suggested avoiding anything except murderous treachery and sexual creepiness?

In this case your "pretty airtight reasoning based upon very reasonable premises" turns out to be assuming that "most intra-party drama" falls into the two categories of murderous treachery and sexual creepiness. I've played games with other kinds of drama.

Note: in this case, I have misquoted Eonas. He wrote "interparty drama". But in context, he appears to mean "intra-party drama", i.e. drama within the party, not between two parties. If he actually meant two separate parties, then he wrote it correctly, and I have misconstrued his meaning.
Well, if you don't consider conflict (whether it's "why did you give Tharquaad that health potion instead of me?" or "follow my lead or I'll smash you to bits") between people unpleasant, then I suppose it wouldn't be unpleasant. In that case, go nuts. But I think I speak for most of us when I say that though I find conflict in a fictional situation narratively interesting, I don't enjoy it when it actually happens to me.
Well, not really. I was just giving those two examples. You'd have to avoid potentially problematic relationships ingame (including sexual creepiness) and most types of significant conflict.
Eonas meant intraparty drama, yes. He thanks Jay R for the correction.


Got it. The games I and others have enjoyed must have been "frictionless", and "unbelievably dull".

I thought you didn't like strawman arguments?

Nobody has said anything that can be fairly and accurately characterized as a frictionless party. In fact, this particular subthread began with you asking, "Two best friends could have self-inserts that are rivals due to circumstances in the fictional world. How does that work?" I replied that, "The same way it works when best friends are rivals in the real world, of course." Claiming that means a frictionless party is simply untrue.
That's not a strawman argument. A strawman is a methodology of argumentation: you misrepresent the opponent's argument and then refute that. What I've done is draw conclusions from plausible premises (see below), conclusions which do make assumptions about your 'successful games'.
Well, the character with my personality doesn't have to be best friends with the character with my friend's personality. If he is, then whatever. You roleplay that - if you have the maturity to handle these kinds of situations IRL I assume you have the maturity to handle it ingame. What I was talking about is if my character is just an enemy, not necessarily friends.


Nobody has said anything that can be fairly and accurately characterized as a frictionless party. I have specifically said that a rivalry within the party works OK.

There are other possible relationships between me and a friend other than "exactly the same relationships [we] already have in real life" and murderous treachery in the form of tripping him to escape zombies. There are other relationships I can role-play with my sister other than "exactly the same relationship" and sexual creepiness.

In this case your "pretty airtight reasoning based upon very reasonable premises" turns out to be ignoring 99% of possible relationships.

I won't role-play a murderous intent towards the rest of the party (as required to trip somebody in the face of the enemy) nor will I role-play a romance with somebody other than my wife. But in fact, there are frictions and intra-party drama that are neither traitorous nor creepy. There really are. and until you are prepared to accept that idea, you will mistakenly act as if a party that is neither treacherous nor sexually creepy must be frictionless.

In the one game I played as a self-insert, the party included rivals with two different political goals, and I eventually had the other one arrested and returned to England. There were no problems then or later from this. If your "pretty airtight reasoning based upon very reasonable premises" proved that this is impossible, then either your reasoning is wrong, or your premises false.

And by the way, was it your intent to imply that those of us who disagree with you aren't "competent gamers", don't "thrive on conflict, on exploring inter-character relationships, on getting into another person's psyche, on... basic storytelling." Did you mean to say that we aren't having fun and don't play meaningful-ish games?

If you intended to imply these things, then your "pretty airtight reasoning based upon very reasonable premises" is merely an argumentum ad hominem, recognized as a fallacy since at least the time of Aristotle.

If not, then you need to re-write, since your meaning did not get through.
Like I said, I'm not just talking about just these two situations, but conflict and uncomfortable (I've tried to think of a more precise word, but no dice - hopefully 'uncomfortable' makes sense to you) relationships in general.
I did imply that competent gamers do thrive on conflict et al. I didn't imply that those that disagree with me are incompetent gamers. It wasn't an ad hominem - believe me, I hate those things with a burning fiery passion.
Would you mind, by the way, giving further details on your game? Who played it, what happened, what type of incidents occurred, etc? I'm genuinely curious.

What you're bringing up is obviously very circumstantial evidence, but reasonable. The circumstantial evidence about thin player-character distinctions leading to a bazillion different types of horror stories is also very reasonable. I do see your point, though. It's not a black and white thing.

Okay, let me rewrite what I was trying to say and temper my case so that it'll hopefully satisfy all involved (including myself).
[b]Roleplaying a character who is psychologically identical (or nearly identical) to you leads to an uncomfortably thin distinction between you and your character. You could make a game like this playable by anesthetizing all relationships or interplayer conflicts in the game. If you do decide to take the plunge and play a character identical to yours in personality/beliefs/etc, you're treading on a minefield of gamer drama.

Satisfactory?

(Also, I didn't really go back to edit this post, because I'm a busy guy and don't have the time to spend two hours writing something like this. If I miss something, then sue me.)

Jay R
2014-07-15, 03:54 PM
I would definitely not recommend full-immersion roleplaying for kids or most teenagers. At 19 years old my group and I were barely mature enough to handle it, at least when we started. It's a high-reward activity, but can be high-risk as well. Now, with years of practice, my group and I are expert immersion players and switching between in-game and real-world is a reflex.

That makes a great deal of sense. When I did it, we were all in our thirties. That might make a big difference.


Would you mind, by the way, giving further details on your game? Who played it, what happened, what type of incidents occurred, etc? I'm genuinely curious.

I’ll reply to the rest of your post later, when I have enough time to give it the answer it deserves, but this is a fair question, and won’t take too long.

The game was GURPS. It was set in the mid-1580s. I played an English baron, because the GM knew me as a baron in the SCA. He gave me a very high IQ (I have a Ph.D. and seven patents), average health, and above average DX and ST. (I think he over-estimated these.) He also made me an excellent fighter with a rapier, because I’m an SCA fencer of some reputation, but I think he went overboard. The diplomatic skills he gave me seemed about right (which probably means that they were a little high.)

The scenario involved trying to make peace with a Persian Prince. I don’t remember the details, but it was probably Abbas I, while his father was still the ruler. My character was of course in the Church of England (and I was a Protestant at the time). The GM was a professor of Middle Eastern history, and was testing our ability to thread our way through various moral tests – often using religious conflicts.

When I met the prince, a drunken English noble was arguing with him at dinner, and waving a knife with a piece of pork on it around him. I knew if he touched the prince with the pork it would provoke a diplomatic scandal, so I tried to talk him down. He only got more belligerent, and insulted me. Perfect. I shoved the Englishman back away from the prince, knocked the fork away, and challenged him for insulting my honor. The next morning I fought a duel (rare in England at the time, but not unheard of), and won.

This led to my becoming Queen Elizabeth’s ambassador, and traveling to Persia with the prince, with a retinue that included two other PCs. We were set on by brigands, whom we defeated and captured. The Prince insisted on Islamic justice, and set them all up on great sharp poles, so they would slowly sink down and die over many excruciating hours. Neither I nor my character were willing to accept torture, but I also could neither offend the prince nor countermand his orders. So I waited in silence until the brigands had been set on their posts to begin their long, torturous, agonizing death.

Then I asked the prince if his law and his honor were satisfied. He said that they were. I replied, “They have attacked a Persian prince, and Persian law and honor require the punishment you have meted out. But they have also dishonored Queen Elizabeth by attacking Her ambassador. I claim the right to regain my honor with my rapier, as you saw me do in London.” And I went down the line and stabbed each one in the heart, ending their suffering. This was my solution to the moral dilemma of not being willing, as ambassador or as myself, to accept torture.

Near the end of the last day we played, I discovered that one of the PCs in my retinue was also a secret Catholic, and was starting Catholic churches in Persia illegally. This was both against Persian law and directly opposed to my mission there, and I couldn’t let it stand. The first I heard that he had any mission other than the diplomatic one I was on was when the prince’s soldiers caught him in a clandestine church. So I had him arrested for endangering my mission from the Queen, broke his sword over my knee, and immediately shipped him back to England for trial – before the Prince could get hold of him. The player and I had no problem over that, then or later.

All in all a fun game, with real intra-party drama that caused nobody any personal problems.