IC. Two letters. Just two. Yet what trouble they can cause. At least OOC has three and can be excused slightly as it’s 33% bigger.
Those who were eagle-eyed might have noticed a Corvus status update Sunday morning (my time). It felt — to me — the point at which IC died on CHAOS.
Oddly I was being melodramatic. I do that.
A lot.
But I hold my hands up to the fact and quickly took my emotional response down. But one very kind writer allowed me to vent and it got me to settle down somewhat. But even with the benefit of a calmer and cooler head, some of the things that bothered me then still trouble me. And I’ll preface the remainder of this rambling with the obligatory health warning that this is not about right or wrong. I am not suggesting anyone is doing anything untoward or inaccurate or in any way underhand. I’m just going to say it how it feels to me. How sometimes — despite my recent blogs about allowing everyone else to be their own person and me being as accommodating as humanly possible — you have to be a little selfish. Or at least be true to yourself and let others know how they make you feel. Because if they don’t…they’ll carry on. And you’ll possibly think it’s out of spite, when in fact they will be oblivious — as you didn’t explain yourself clearly. If at all.
So…(I say that a lot I notice. Note to self, find an alternative).
So…(just not now…later).
So…what am I actually getting at? Like a lot of my ramblings, it is multifaceted but interconnected regardless. Firstly it is about people telling me how to RP Corvus.
Any writer can speak to me at any time about *why* Corvus did something. To understand what she was thinking, her motivations…stuff like that. Anyone who knows me is aware that *why* is core to my writing (and I’ll return to this later). I think that after 6,000 plus posts, I know Corvus better than anyone. Sure, she’s developed in that time and will act differently now to when she started out as a Youngling, but some things are constant and others evolve. That’s what being a character is all about.
I don’t mind debates about what a Jedi might do in a given circumstance. There is no cookie cutter for Jedi IMHO. Corvus is different to Nubica. Obi-Wan is different to Yoda. So a debate about what a Jedi might do in a given situation is interesting and I’ll happily participate.
But is not the same as TELLING me what Corvus WILL do in a given situation and giving evidence from a movie where Kit Fisto did X or Mace Windu did Y. Corvus is Corvus. If a writer wants Corvus to act in a given way to enable their thread to progress in a way they want they have two choices:
1. Tell me up front they want me to act in a given way — I can then choose to accept or not
2. Allow me to RP Corvus as I see fit — and they accept how the thread develops
As you can probably tell, this upset me — and to be fair is not a one-off. The lesson learned? I could ask every writer up front if they have any specific needs from the thread. It feels clunky but would avoid future problems. I’ve had to leave one thread because it wasn’t going the way one of the other writers wanted it to. Now the outcome is entirely unscripted and not what the writer wanted — and in some ways wrecks the story-line for future threads that have already been written. Am I being blamed? You betcha! Is it my fault? My thought process is simple. Did I act entirely IC? Absolutely. Did I act like every given Jedi would? No. Because Corvus is not every Jedi…she’s Corvus. Paint me in a corner and don’t be surprised if I stand there.
And before anyone suggests the benefit of edits — I even suggested removing some of the paint. But the option was not taken up.
Which leads me to my second point. IC means ALL decisions to me. Yes, we all need to fudge them from time to time to fit a story, or to help someone out. Yet to me (and I’ll name no names or point a finger at anyone — given the old saying that three point back at me) too often OOC motivations steam-roller IC actions and decisions.
This could be a grudge against a character, writer or Faction. It could be a desire to have fun and as simple an OOC driver as it sounds, when IC goes out of the window, it completely confuses me. We spend weeks and weeks doing our best to build a direction of travel then it gets destroyed by someone’s desire to have fun and not understand it will have IC consequences.
Now I’m dangerously close to saying that I’m right and they’re wrong. Not what I’m saying, honestly. But surely, just as it would be wrong (and impossible) for me to impose a draconian IC regime on CHAOS, isn’t it unfair for those that believe in the integrity of IC to have to ignore it to suit OOC reasons? Which all sounds highly emotive — but is written from my perspective of course. What I'm saying is that a balance isn't such a bad thing, is it?
Which brings me back to a previous blog and a personal statement. Despite despairing about Invasions some while ago and deciding not to participate any more, I relented and even joined one as an Ally. But the old poodoo reared its head and fortunately there hasn’t been one for a while, so I’ve been able to stick my head in the sand.
But the Roche event (and Lujo too) meant I had to make a decision. It’s a stance I’ve not taken lightly, but it’s necessary for my own happiness. In part driven by the OOC poodoo. I can put up with a lot. But when it spills onto Skype drama? I draw the line.
It’s in part driven by a recent understanding that my characters are way under-powered compared to others of the same rank (or even ranks below). I do my best to RP a character. Strengths and weaknesses. Corvus is a good example. She knows a bit about a lot. But up against a master of duels, magic, Abilities and mental prowess? She’d last thirty seconds at best. She’s arguably a Master of Soresu. She can use Force Valor. She can use basic Abilities. The average Knight would sweep her away once they switched the fight from purely sabers.
Take Nubica. A Knight that is an expert with a saber but little else to show. Take Maja. An expert in Sith Sorcery but precious little else. All are based loosely on actual SW characters, with a skill-set to match. One that allowed them to survive a lot of books and a few movies. But how long would they last with their Abilities on CHAOS? I wonder?
It’s in part driven by the use of toys. I’m not going to repeat the debate, but IC it is almost impossible to avoid their effects. IC I do not have access to the Factory and their list of weaknesses. IC I do not know what properties any ring, armour or necklace has. IC I would have no idea that simply touching my character would knock them unconscious. I RP PC v PC. Many (if not the majority) SEEM to RP writer v writer. Not the same from my perspective. I act as Corvus (or Timoris or Nubica). What would they do given what’s presented to them. I do not think — OOC — how could my character overcome the obstacle thrown at them.
Am I saying my style is right? Again — absolutely not. We’re simply different. It would be absurd of me to suggest they need to change to my way. And as I’m not comfortable playing it any other way, I have to be honest with myself and my fellow writers.
There is a loser in this. A very real loser. My Factions. The GM of TJO not participating. A Sith Lord and Voice of the Dark Lord not participating. Not helping *my* Factions. In a very real sense, I’m denying a part of my own pleasure. I am choosing not to engage in duels. Which I used to love. And it bothers me not to help really does.
It’s in part driven by the rule (or I suppose lack of rule) that says an Invasion is an open thread between Factions. You cannot deny any writer engaging your character. It was made abundantly clear in my last Invasion. It is courtesy not to, but not forbidden. Yes, I once sucked it up. I remember agreeing a 1v1 and it ending up being I think four or five Masters and a Knight against me alone. I think I enjoyed it at the time. But not now. These days it feels less like fun (where both sides and the story are the winner) and more like a competition (where one side loses, and the winner crows a little too loudly for comfort).
So…my final IC is to say that Corvus — and every character I portray acts predominantly IC. Except when it comes to Invasions. Sadly, my OOC voice has to take precedent. I can’t reconcile an IC reason not to participate. To date I have participated in every Invasion eligible. Every single one.
This is not a cry for help. Nor a request to change anything. Maybe it’s a plea for people to understand where I’m coming from. To understand my perspective. Not to accommodate me necessarily, just to appreciate who I am and how I tick.
But above all, I need to remember…