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Author Topic: PVP and You  (Read 15369 times)

The Man in the Mist

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PVP and You
« on: August 07, 2018, 12:10:49 am »
There is often a lot of controversy around PvP, and for good reason- to be successful usually requires some expertise when it comes to the mechanical aspect of the game, which is hard to manage for some people, (I myself am quite terrible at establishing mechanical power,) and therefore when it does happen, it feels bitter and unfulfilling to the uninitiated.

I stress that this is an entirely natural response.

That said, I must submit that this response, while natural, comes from a skewed perspective on just what a game like this is.

We are telling a story, collectively, and that is as far as it goes. This means that the narrative is told collectively. You can try to make your character the hero of the story, or the villain, or something else entirely, but when you're telling a story with dozens of other people, sometimes the story does not unfold the way you hoped. Sometimes bad things happen, and it changes your personal story. This, at it's heart is necessary for an immersive collective roleplaying experience.

When you find that bitter PvP loss, your initial response, (that entirely natural feeling that we all get,) does not come from a perspective complimentary to what I described above. It comes from a different perspective, a perspective we all have starting out on a game like this. I like to call it the “Win Mentality.”

The Win Mentality, at it's essence, is the belief that bad things should not happen to your character. Of course, nobody will state it quite so brazenly, and will be quick to say that they don't care about winning- they just don't want the bad things that cause the feeling of losing to happen.

Which is the same thing, really, if you think about it.

Now, shift instead to what I call the “Storytelling Mentality.” This mentality is one where you recognize that you are not the main character in this collective story we are telling. You are simply a character interacting with other characters, and so is everyone else. These interactions are entirely dependent on the nature of your character and the natures of the characters he or she comes in contact with. They can range an entire gamut of descriptors, because human interaction is pretty elaborate, but it also includes hostile interaction. This runs the risk of Bad Things Happening.

Think about your favorite books, tv shows, movies. The characters in these stories usually have Bad Things Happening to them, don't they? You'll also notice that usually this results in a better story.

Would Game of Thrones be so good if the Bad Things Happening stopped happening?

What if the Bad Things Happening weren't happening in the Harry Potter series?

What story would there be, do you think?

Is it the sort of story you'd like to be a part of?

If the answer is no, then congratulations, you've taken the first step out of the “Win Mentality.” All that remains is to develop the OOC grace necessary to roll with the punches as they come. Recognize that what you're feeling is what everyone feels in regards to their own character, and that in order for the story to progress, it needs to be a collaborative effort, because that's what we're all doing. Collaborating a story together.

As always, if you feel that the PvP in question was brought about by anything other than in-character purpose, then you can and should notify the DM team in a respectful and calm manner.
“All of the people in the whole world, I mean everybody — no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds... Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe." - Neil Gaiman