Warning About Toxic Roleplayers is a Community Service

A Toxic Roleplayer is a player that employs various methods of emotional abuse to get what they want out of their roleplay partner(s) at the expense of that person’s happiness, including but not limited to a hell of a lot of guilt-tripping, isolation of their victim from other roleplay, jealousy over other roleplay, and making the victim feel like they are imagining the toxic behaviour.  In order to get a better understanding of what I’m talking about here, I strongly suggest reading the Emotional Abuse in Roleplay compilation by Sahnin on Tumblr.  She’s far, far better at explaining this and just how easily it can make you feel like you’re the problem than I am — even though I have been a victim of emotional abuse, I just don’t have the capacity for a decent explanation.

I have dealt with and watched others deal with several Toxic Roleplayers over my time in various RP communities.  Every single one of them was an emotional abuser — that’s why they’re toxic — and resulted in my friends and myself dealing with a lot of stress.  In the case of one abuser, her victims are still dealing with the aftermath of her abuse.  Victims of emotional abuse can suffer from anxiety, depression, various physical ailments (including chronic headaches), low self-esteem, and even more serious issues, most of which require treatment — some of which, like medication and therapy, are expensive.

I bring this up because, this week, defenders of one of these Toxic Roleplayers accused those that warn about her of “being mean”.  They wanted this person’s victims to “get over it” and “grow up” — despite, you know, the fact that these people suffered abuse.  This was not a roleplay issue, it was a player issue.  These people wanted her victims to stay silent.

I would go so far as to say these defenders are guilty of abuse themselves, or at least are supportive of abusive behaviour.

There is absolutely no reason for victims of a Toxic Roleplayer to stay silent about what they went through and dealt with.  Warning others about this sort of roleplayer is a community service because it can and will save some people from stress, anxiety, depression, and other issues that most people just don’t like dealing with.  Telling people about what you went through with this person and what behaviours to watch out for can prepare other people so that they can decide whether or not to engage, and if they do decide to engage, they can be ready to get the hell out when things start to get bad.

If nobody had warned me how much trouble a particular roleplayer was, I may have gotten sucked into the same trap as everyone else.  I’m already suffering from depression and chronic headaches — further stress would make my already iffy physical health even iffier, and at least one or two people can attest to my inability to deal with me even imagining that I’ve hurt somebody I care about.

If you have dealt with a Toxic Roleplayer, or if you know of one, it is of the utmost importance that you pass on your knowledge.  By warning others of this sort of person you help protect your community from a force that can tear it apart by setting members against one another, victims against those that doubt them, friends against friends.  The Toxic Roleplayer often insists that they are not the problem, that everyone else is what’s wrong, they’re the real victim, but as you start asking questions and making mention of your own tale you’ll find that you aren’t the only one.

So, yes.  Warn people.  You’re doing everyone a favour — and if the defenders of a Toxic Roleplayer accuse you of being mean?  Forget them.  You, your mental health, and the mental health of those you come across in your time within your community are far, far more important than the feelings of an abuser.

Resources:

Sahnin @ Tumblr’s articles:

 

Drama Llama-Spotting in World of Warcraft Roleplay

drama llama In World of Warcraft roleplay, there’s a lot of drama.  Tons of drama.  It’s just like any other roleplay medium, whether we roleplayers want to admit it or not (it seems non-WoW roleplayers want to think that this style is worse for drama than any others – wrong!).  It can be hard to separate fact from fiction, especially when friends and people we generally think are a-okay and cool are involved.  Especially when people we’ve never had issues with are involved.  At what point do you begin to accept that maybe, just maybe, that roleplayer that you like, or that has the occasional twinge of Something You Just Can’t Put Your Finger On, really is a Drama Llama?

Complaint Volume as a Measure of Drama

A serial Drama Llama or problem player will usually leave a swath of destruction in their wake.  Chances are, they’ve been involved in issues between themselves and other players, raised a ruckus on other sites, or done something, somewhere, to cause discomfort and terribleness.  The more complaints about a player or group of players that exist, the more likely that this person is a Problem.

However.

You knew there was a “but”.

This is not always reliable.  Some may find that a player’s reputation among one specific social group is actually the fault of that group, and doesn’t reflect the way that player actually is — say, one member of a social group gets a bug up their arse about a person, then suddenly the entire group hates them.  Yes, this happens.  Yes, we all thought we abandoned that line of thinking after leaving school.  No, we didn’t.  It does happen, even and especially in World of Warcraft roleplay, and it’s just as irritating there as it is in the outside world.

If, however, you have multiple complaints from different social groups, people unrelated to these social groups and, hell, maybe even different forums, chat channels, and/or game servers … then you could be dealing with a serial Llama.

Screenshots and Chat Logs

elephant wow add-on

Elephant records your chats for you.

In World of Warcraft, there are add-ons like Elephant that record chat channels and let you save or keep logs of what’s said in various channels.  This sort of add-on is great for keeping track of stuff that happens in roleplay, whispers, and chat channels — though WoW Instant Messenger is probably better for the whispers portion.  Some folks choose to take screenshots of everything, from conversations to Twitter DMs, to LJ PMs, and any form of communication with people that they think they might wind up having issues with.

Images can be tampered and edited, however, spotting such edits is fairly simple.  Does something look wonky and not uniform?  Does it look pixelated in places that it probably shouldn’t?  Is the communication style of any of the involved people different than what you’re familiar with?

Again, if different unrelated people have screenshots and chat logs, it’s safe to bet that they’re not lying.  The more thorough the record of Llama behaviour, the better, and it’s often better to be safe than sorry.

That Feeling in Your Gut

If you’re familiar with Llama behaviour (assuming you aren’t one yourself, oho), then you’re probably familiar with that little feeling that starts to creep in when you find yourself facing the potential of more Drama.  It’s that slight dread, where you think that the behaviour you’re witnessing isn’t entirely good, but you don’t want to say anything or cause any trouble, so you don’t speak up.  It might just be you, right?  You might just be misinterpreting something~!

You might not be misinterpreting, either, and if you aren’t sure — ask.  Ask me, ask someone that you know, ask for clarification on whatever’s happened with your roleplay partner, ask a community like bad_rpers_suck on livejournal.  Get an outside opinion.  Maybe someone else has seen the behaviour and can tell you whether or not it’s time to pack up your toys and go home.

The Llama Revealed!

How do you deal if a player has proven to be a Llama, but hasn’t actually reared their head as such to you — yet?  How do you pry yourself from a Llama’s grasp?

That’s a set of posts for another day.  ;)

Dear Guild Leaders: Don’t Ignore Your Members’ Concerns

A new individual joined a roleplaying guild.  Existing members of said guild, who knew this roleplayer and had a history with them, expressed concern and offered proof of the individual’s ill fit with the guild to the leader.  Instead of taking and considering this information, the guild leader refused it, so the concerned individuals then said, “Alright, but we are not going to RP with this person, we are going to have to ignore them, but we will be polite.”

What did the guild leader do?

a. Change their tune and ask to see the information that made the concerned react this way.
b. Accept this, with the understanding that they would have to quietly deal with whatever fall-out would occur.
c. Chide the concerned individuals for causing drama and give them the boot.

If you answered anything but ‘c’, you are wrong.

This is not nearly the correct way to deal with this situation.

Once the potential problem member is accepted, you have two options:  You can take a look at the evidence, then wait and see what happens and if the person actually does show their ass … or you can take a look at the evidence and if it does worry you, you can tell them they are not a good fit and it’s time to go.  That is what the Harbingers wound up doing with the Ranger who gave a friend and, eventually, myself, some problems last year — the leadership took the evidence of their final blow-up in channel and decided it was time for them to go.  You absolutely do not ignore your members’ concerns because that is a douche move.

When anybody essentially says “I cannot deal with this person and will have to stay away from them”, the correct response is not the one that makes that person into the bad guy.  If one of your members, or several, have to ignore or stay away from another person within the guild, chances are there is an issue that needs to somehow be addressed.

There is no easy way to do this.  If you accept the need to ignore the problem individual and that individual then turns around and throws a fit upon finding out that they are being ignored, you will need to step in.  You will need to be firm.  You will need to express the importance of keeping such personal issues between those involved and keeping the drama away from everyone else, and you will need to state, quite plainly, that they are to leave those people alone.

Or, you can avoid the problem entirely by admitting that a mistake was made in admitting the individual into the guild, that you have found that they are not a good fit, and then send them packing.  Can this create other problems?  Of course.  If the problem player has a reputation in the outside world, however, the chances of this coming back to bite you are extremely low.

Punishing people for trying to protect themselves from shit hitting the fan, however, is not cool.

I definitely will not be involving myself with the guild in question when I am able to get back onto my account because I simply cannot support a leader that can’t see the danger in what they are doing.

Why Roleplayers Never Forget

Roleplayers have a very long memory for drama.

We aren’t the only ones; I’m fairly certain everyone remembers events that stand out in their minds, good and bad, and that more people have a memory for drama than would care to admit.  My dramatic memory extends to the beginning of my time on Thorium Brotherhood – I may not be able to remember how our characters met, but I can remember all the ridiculous crap that has happened to me before and since.

Why is this the case?  Why do we so vividly remember this crap that made our blood boil back in the day?  Why is it that we can recall some of the most heinous crimes other roleplayers perpetuated against us, but other events are so damned hard to recall?

It’s because we’re storytellers.

Just like reporters on the local news, we’ve discovered that stories that showcase the worst of roleplay are far more interesting than those that make things out to be completely reasonable and wonderful.  We are, at our core, lovers of the train wreck and for each and every one we stand there in awe of the carnage that’s going on before us.

I know it’s hard to admit.  It’s hard to admit that you feel a slight thrill whenever you see something going on (in someone else’s roleplay or out of character life, that is) that’s so utterly ridiculous that it is almost a dark comedy.  It’s hard to admit that you secretly enjoy the call-outs of the people that think you’re the worst person to ever walk the server because you know they’re wrong and that the problem is them, not you.  It’s hard to admit that you love seeing those posts on dear_gnome that call out bad roleplay, or that talk about the silly things other people have done (raiding drama stories, anyone?) in-game.

We don’t forget these things because they remind us of why we’re careful, or why we don’t do certain plots anymore, or why we don’t roleplay with certain people.  They remind us why certain behaviours are troublesome, and they provide us with tales to regale the younger roleplayers with, or they serve as explainations for those roleplayers who just cannot understand why you’re cringing at the way that other person is behaving toward them.  You can say, come here, dear, and let me tell you of that one time when someone acted the exact same way and what it lead to.

Maybe, just maybe, your drama can save someone else from drama.

The above is why I collect, share, and remember tales of my own drama.  I figure that if I can help prevent just one person from going through the same sorts of drama that I’ve dealt with, then maybe the crap I’ve gone through wasn’t so bad after all.  This isn’t to say that my personal issues are because of internet drama – some of them are, but I know that my stories are far, far more tame than what some have gone through, and other peoples’ stories started like some of mine.  The difference between my tame stories and those of people who wound up with a hell of a lot more baggage?  There isn’t much.  Given an extra few days, I may have wound up in the same boat (or ship).

It isn’t that we’re jerks or that we like to look for reasons to suffer, it’s that we’re storytellers and we collect these tales as little reminders, or as entertainment.  In most cases, those events that were so horribly annoying at the time they played out aren’t quite so bad when we look back.

Events as the Night Elf getting angry at Matojo for declaring his love to her Troll lover over Booty Bay, all in jest, because it took attention away from her for fifteen minutes (that same Troll whose player has caused me many, many late nights because I just don’t want to sign off Skype, not yet, okay), or the stories I’ve already told here. Those stories, which were so bloody irritating when they took place, now sit in my personal history as “oh man do you remember when” moments that I can share with the friends who aren’t completely sick of hearing about them.  Of course, that example was most likely more troublesome for the Troll’s player – I honestly don’t know.  If he told me, I forgot, but asking him again just gives me an excuse to make him talk about something.  >_>

What about you?  Do you have stories, roleplay-related or otherwise, that you fall back on and frequently share because of reasons like the above?  Why are they so memorable for you?

WtmN: Mama Bear and the Kid That Would Not Let Go

Once upon a time, there were two young women who were friends in WoW.  One of the women had a regular roleplay partner who was a younger male and who lived in a town near both of them, which freaked out the other woman a bit, but doesn’t actually factor into this story.  The young man desperately tried to script every roleplay encounter between himself and our heroine, which she refused, and when it became clear that the young man was creepily obsessed with the friend, the heroine was called upon to step in.  She banished the young man to lands unknown and never heard from him again.

This is closer to the reality than every other story.

I met another Canadian roleplayer ages ago, who played a female Troll and who was an absolute sweetheart and a talented artist.  I enjoyed our roleplay, I enjoyed the little plots that were being attempted, and I got absorbed into the goings-on between her character and her mate, who was a massive Troll with a bit of an unusual story and description.

There were several roleplay plots that he wanted to do that she expressed concern over, like one where he wanted to be a Fel Troll, and that I wound up talking him out of.  He got it into his head that he wanted his character to be the son of my main character, Matojo, and that is when things really started to get odd.

He had a very solid idea of how things would go and what would happen, and if things didn’t go that way he was very upset about it.  I had to really stretch things to even fit him into Matojo’s background (the character was twenty-nine years old, so Matojo would have been thirteen, which is fine for trolls but the whole thing was really bizarre), and then he wanted a very specific meeting, a very specific set of interactions – and I just couldn’t do that.

“I can’t script how Matojo’s going to react,” I told him.  “He has his own views, his own ideas, and he might not react the way you want him to because that’s how he is.”

This … didn’t sit well with the other fellow, and resulted in him getting angry that I wasn’t willing to do things his way, that I was impossible to roleplay with.

In between these interactions, he also expressed an infatuation with my friend that made me go to her and say, “What gives?”  She was married, which he knew, and this pissed him off but he still seemed to think he had a chance with her – and she wasn’t sure how to deal with him.  I knew something had to be said when, when asking for clarification on whether he realized his character had the relationship with my friend and not him, he waffled on the answer.

I put on my stompy boots and said, “If you can’t understand the difference between what goes on in-character and what goes on out-of-character, and if you continue to insist that roleplay should be done YOUR way and no other, I really want nothing to do with you.  Leave me alone.”

I had permission to tell him off on behalf of my friend, too, which I did.

I never heard from him again until I rolled on Wyrmrest Accord, when he saw me in Sen’jin village and flipped the hell out.  How dare I roll on “his” server (when I had no idea he was there)!  He was still dealing with the “ghosts” of his past on Thorium Brotherhood, why did I have to come back, too!?

He was in touch with my friend at this time and blamed her for me showing up, which shocked her after the “heartfelt” apologies he had given her when they ran into each other again on that server, and she locked him out of her life again.

The only time an in-character relationship may reflect an out-of-character situation is when a couple or some friends have characters that are involved with each other.  Some couples may choose to have their characters in relationships with each other because they aren’t comfortable roleplaying intimate relationships without their spouse, and that’s fine.

Assuming that your roleplay partner is totally into you because they roleplay your character’s spouse/partner is… not cool, though.  Seriously.

WtmN: Mama Bear and the Dissatisfied Spouse Player

[ Unlike the last bout, this one doesn’t really have a firm timeline - it happened so long ago that only bits and pieces are still fresh in my mind, so I’ve put it back together as best I can. People that remember the whole thing better than I do are more than welcome to comment without naming names! ]

Once upon a time, there was a young Troll rogue who fell in love with a young Troll shaman. It was a whirlwind romance full of danger that lead to a really quick marriage and immediately resulted in a child. Between the marriage and the birth of the child, there was all sorts of stuff happening – even a case or two of amnesia! – and the rogue had to walk the path of a mage when one of the bouts of danger left him physically unfit for hand-to-hand combat.

One day, the rogue-turned-mage and his mate drifted apart, and he took his father and together they had many happy adventures.

The story is not quite so simple as that, of course, as none of my stories ever are. I knew a player, back in my early days on Thorium Brotherhood (before I understood the patterns of behaviour that I understand today) who was highly respected in the community on Alliance side. She lead a guild (several over the course of years), had lots of roleplay going on, all of that, but seemed to have a hard time getting started on Horde-side.

I supported her as best as I could. She would complain to me on a regular basis that nobody read her stories, or seemed to like her roleplay, and I would tell her that wasn’t true and I would try to pick her up after these bouts of self-pity. I greatly respected her and thought she was a really good writer and roleplayer! I felt extremely lucky to be considered somebody she wanted to roleplay with!

She liked my rogue, a young Troll who had borrowed the name Torrington after an accident left him without the memory of his real name. As time went on he would gradually recall bits and pieces of his background. He was a nervous fellow who was terrible with women and not very good at sneaking.

The other player had a shaman who was young, inexperienced, “pretty”, and terrible with men. It was love between these characters fairly early on and I enjoyed playing their awkward meetings and misunderstandings, and I even had fun with some of the plots that this player came up with. Some were a tad odd, that was for sure! I was too inexperienced to really care at the time, so I just went along with it.

In the back of my mind I kept noting that every plot was about her characters, that was where the spotlight had to go, and this didn’t strike me as obvious until a plot where her Night Elf rogue’s Troll form (used for safely visiting her Troll lover) was taken over by Hakkar, or something, and targeted the rogue’s girlfriend. I do not recall the details, but I did have Torrington suffer some consequences for what was going on, too.

I think it was around this time, or not long after it, that the Night Elf went back to Alliance-side, for the most part. Her Moonglade home – where she and the Troll were staying – was attacked (blown up for reasons I forget) and the Troll was terribly injured as a result. Now, great roleplay could have stemmed from this as the Troll’s crew (he was a pirate), along with his daughter (one of my characters), went in for the kill for revenge against whoever planted the bomb; instead, the Night Elf’s sister (played by the problem player) whisked the now-amnesiac Night Elf away and shoo’d the Horde folk who had an injured friend and father – a man who might not have awakened from unconsciousness – away saying that the whole thing was going to be dealt with by her.

Hey, little Kezeyah risked her life to get to Moonglade to see her dad, she should’ve had some opportunity to do something! Alas.

By then, Torrington had married his sweetheart and she became pregnant on their first night together. I had agreed to them having kids, but thought it odd that it was so quick – oh well! It’s roleplay! What does it matter?

The player had a child of her own, and because of this and knowing that she had a busy real-life schedule, I would frequently tell her that I was open to roleplay, she just had to let me know when she was free. I wasn’t going to bother her too much because her real life is far more important. Naturally, the roleplay started dwindling, and when it did occur it was a lot of cuddling between Torrington and his pregnant wife, with occasional bouts of him assuring her that she was a good (person/healer/mother/insert other role here) or trying to convince her to stay with the Harbingers of War (she left and re-joined the guild at least three times in the time I knew her).

During one of this player’s bouts of dissatisfaction with World of Warcraft – during which they left for a short time – I asked if, since she was leaving as far as I knew, my character and hers could go their separate ways. This was agreed to. When she came back, the character felt bad enough about leaving that he begged to have her back and the character agreed! This, however, put me back into the rut I was in with the character to begin with, due to the really stagnant relationship.

I was still very open to roleplay with this person, but again, she had real life responsibilities and since I did not know her schedule, it was up to her to let me know. I did not want to be one of those players that was a huge pain in the arse over getting roleplay.

I would find out that this wasn’t good enough in a very unusual way.

Someone prodded me one day and linked me to her OOC livejournal. They said, “You might want to see this,” and I looked. What did I see? Public, unlocked complaining about how I never played my character, how he was an alt, and how her roleplay was stagnating.

I posted, letting her know that I had no idea she felt this way, why didn’t she tell me? We could work something out! I had PM’d her over the community forum, even, and…

In the end, I decided to walk away.

I came to a realization in my communication with this player: She was bad news.

The blame and responsibility for the OOC issues were placed upon me, in her mind, from what her PM told me. Her roleplay attempted to put her character(s) in the spotlight at all times and that didn’t sit well with me. Amnesia was used as a plot device more often than I can count. On top of that, the relationship between my character and hers felt very much like wish fulfillment fantasy from her end.

She deleted her character’s livejournal account not long after I opted to walk away, and then set her sights on a friend of mine since I did not give much fodder for drama. I do not remember the entire story from his side, so if he’d like to do a guest post sometime, I’d welcome that!

I learned a set of valuable lessons from this player:

1. Communicate. Even if something seems like a small issue (my dissatisfaction with the relationship, her dissatisfaction with the amount of roleplay she was getting), if it bothers you, bring it up. It saves a lot of trouble.

2. Plots that make the action all about one person tend to be kind of boring unless the plot is well-orchestrated.

3. Amnesia does not work the way most roleplayers think it does, and if one must use it, use it sparingly.

4. Only get two characters involved in a relationship if you trust the other player.

To my knowledge, she still plays on Thorium Brotherhood as a hyperactive-and-overly-”adorable”-when-convenient-and-mature-when-that’s-convenient Tauren hunter that’s loved and adored by her guild (and doesn’t tend to interact outside it).

The Troll pirate and I still roleplay together on occasion, and we’re also very, very close.

The pirate crew is scattered about but still partially in contact, as far as I know, and the other friends I have that were involved with this Troll roleplayer have also – for the most part – run far, far away from her. Wherever she went, she left a lot of irritated roleplayers in her wake.

~Fin~

WtmN: Mama Bear Teaches In-Character Consequences

[ This is one post in a series of several where I talk about old and not-so-old drama. Why "Mama Bear"? Apparently I am one. Who knows. This post will be long and contains screenshots. The subject of this post is denoted in various shades of green, and names are blocked out where I deem it appropriate. If you're in this post and you want your name blocked out, please e-mail me and I'll do just that! Some screenshots have been trimmed, others contain bits that are duplicate - sorry!

I do not speak to, engage with or otherwise give the time of day to the bad RPer highlighted here and I do not intend to any time soon. ]

Once upon a time, there was a young Orc Rogue who had a very distinct idea of personal honour and Things One Does Not Do. She decided to attend a tavern one night, and lo!, she discovered activity that she Did Not Like: a Sin’dorei ranger was tossing flares at a Goblin rogue, for reasons she did not see, hear or understand, and she called the man out on his juvenile behaviour.

With a laugh, the man decided to challenge her to combat, and he walked away. The Orc, vexed and insulted, also left – fully intending to come back and answer that challenge when she was strong enough to do so. She put up flyers all over the capital cities and asked around until, one day, she happened upon an old Orc sneak who agreed – after some finagling and word play – to train her. It was tough work! Far tougher than any training she had ever gone through before – but she progressed and became quite good at what she wanted to do, and reached a point where she would be able to safely meet the Elf in a one-on-one fight. Even if she didn’t win, she’d at least feel like she had given it her all – and that was what mattered.

It certainly sounds like an interesting story, doesn’t it? A young woman is shoved into a situation where she must better herself, and she does! The next step in the story should be that the woman faces her “tormentor” and answers the challenge that was given, with a loss resulting in further character development… or a win causing her to walk away, triumphant and content that her hard work was worthwhile.

It is not that simple, though.

First, let’s drop the storytime trappings. Yes, in-character, Thomi the Orc Rogue called out a Blood Elf Hunter on his shenanigans and he challenged her to a fight, then walked away, giving her time to bugger off and do her own thing. Was he serious? She had no idea, but, being an Orc, it did not matter because Orcs take such things very seriously. A challenge to combat is a challenge to her honour, and turning down such a challenge would be very bad for an Orc!

The Hunter himself was known, OOCly, for being the type to pick on low-level characters. He would not accept duels with at-level characters (after all, he would probably lose) and tended to respond to such things with typical Elven snobbery IC. This is all well and good, but leads to the start of the actual Drama Portion of this tale.

Not long after the duel was declared, I decided that I would not be leveling this character from six to 85 – I had an unused level 81 rogue that I could race-change into Thomi the Orc Rogue and be within the Ranger’s range far quicker. I did just that, with the intent of roleplaying the training period as if the character was going from a typical inexperienced whelp to a somewhat decent rogue. It was a tad sneaky of me, I admit, but I felt it fair – it gave me the opportunity for some interesting roleplay and it would make the Ranger have to deal with a character of similar strength to his own.

This, however, was not to be.

When the Ranger realized that Thomi was no longer well below him in levels, I received the following series of whispers as I was leveling on Mount Hyjal:

I was not going to back down out of character, and I was not going to allow him to back down that way, either – I was determined that this would be handled in-character and in no other manner.

Hindsight is 20/20.

As soon as the conversation ended, I added the character to my friends list and found…

… that, as I had thought, he was in the same zone as I was.

The Ranger was known for hunting characters down and forcing in-character interaction. I knew this. I had seen it. So, I high-tailed it to the underwater Hell and continued leveling there. He did not follow me that time and I knew it would not be the last time I’d hear from him.

Some time later, at level 84, I asked in the shared OOC channel if he was planning to attend the tavern that week. The following conversation ensued:

I was vaguely amused, but did not intend to drop it. The following tavern night, I parked my rogue at the tavern well before it opened and logged on again when the crowd had filled in. This was Thomi’s chance to prove herself! Regardless of the outcome, it would prove to be interesting.

She went out and attempted to engage with the Ranger:

Nothing – at least, not directly to Thomi or to myself.

Not even a “fuck you”. Before Thomi left, she declared the Ranger a coward to the crowd at the tavern, and vowed that she would not trust one of his kind ever again – not that she trusted elves beforehand, anyway.

For many months after this, Ranger’s player made a good show of being fairly bitey at me on several public and private occasions. I cannot say it wasn’t deserved – I did, after all, post the original incarnation of this post with the screenshots that I had here, and my characters did not bow down and worship Ranger’s character like they should have! It was a terrible crime.

I went through several personal things during this time that are still ongoing, all relating to my mental health, my family, etc., so I may have been meaner than I needed to be. In general, I reacted to what was said, and my characters continued to be themselves – contrary to the belief of many people in the community.

Hey, just because I’m not fond of someone doesn’t mean my characters are all suddenly going to dislike them – but when that character is repeatedly a dick, they will react accordingly.

Fast-forward a bit. At some point, Thomi referred to the Ranger as a coward at the tavern, and one of his friends approached her. The friend’s conversation with Thomi is logged below:

It seemed that there would be some manner of progress! This was something I did not expect.

A week or two later, Thomi showed up to the tavern to follow up – and, lo and behold, the friend of the Ranger got his attention and the little group walked away from the tavern to do what needed to be done – duel! Below is the lead-up conversation and what happened immediately after:

I decided to thank the participants in the OOC channel after:

Oh. Right, then. Fair enough!

That marked the end of that particular Drama – but not the issues with Ranger’s player.

The lesson I had hoped that they would take away was this: if your character does something, expect the consequences to happen in roleplay, not out of character.

I am a firm believer in the idea of in-character actions leading to in-character consequences. I realize that some OOC communication is required in many aspects of roleplay, however, the majority of the dealing should occur in-character except in circumstances where the in-character situation causes the player(s) involved a great deal of mental and emotional trauma.

I did not see that in this situation. I saw a player throwing a tantrum because they were not getting what they wanted, which was for their character to look like a complete bad-ass. I do not operate that way.

The player still thinks I am the equivalent to the devil, or something, and has their friends convinced that I am the biggest bully ever, but I fully expect that sort of thing. Shit happens and nothing of value was lost – I mean, this is the player that guilt-tripped the hell out of a friend of mine and has pulled a lot of utter crap before, so I was not entirely surprised when this storm blew up.

As far as Thomi is concerned, however, the entire thing is over and she does not have to deal with the Ranger ever again.

~Fin~

Welcome to my Nightmare

In my time as a WoW roleplayer, I have had a lot of roleplay drama.

After five, nearly six years in any medium, everyone is going to have drama. Some would say that the common denominator being me should hint at the problem being, well, me, except for the fact that the people I have dealt with were… confirmed to be unreasonable even by people outside my circle. That in itself says everything that one ought to know!

Over the next several weeks, I will be sharing my stories – this also means re-posting one relatively recent story, of course – with varying levels of detail as I remember it. For some of them, the private messages and such no longer exist, and for others, I didn’t have the presence of mind to actually take screenshots and keep records like I do now.

Even with as much drama as I have faced over the years, I still adore World of Warcraft roleplay and would recommend it to anybody that plays the game. Yeah, there are going to be ridiculous sorts, and yeah, there will always, always be people we disagree with – but that should never, ever interfere with the fun aspects.

The list of stories here will serve as a reminder to myself and a harbinger of things to come:

  • WtmN: Mama Bear and the Dissatisfied Spouse-Player
    • Wherein Matojo finds out that somebody is dissatisfied with a character’s status as alt, and then all hell breaks loose.
  • WtmN: Mama Bear and the Kid That Would Not Let Go
    • A fellow gets a tad too attached to a friend, while wanting to script all the roleplay that goes on between him and our heroine.
  • WtmN: Mama Bear Teaches In-Character Consequences
    • An orc is challenged to armed combat! Or so she thinks. Out-of-character hijinx ensue.
  • WtmN: Mama Bear and the Angry Druid
    • A friend breaks an imagined code in order to help his wife in-game, and another player snaps for reasons ridiculous.

Stay tuned until next time, readers!