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 So I brought this up brief in the Pet Peeve section but wanted to elaborate on it more and see if anyone else had ever encountered it because frankly this is my first experience with it and I'm totally shocked that any writer would think that this normal.

The issue was this, people who change their characters history (as they see fit) in a way that completely contradicts everything they've previously been writing. I have no issue with 'surprises' like oh you thought you were a single fun-loving bachelor oh shit, your ex actually had your kid and you just found out. That's fun or w/e but these were blatant contradictions totally changing the character's history I find that extremely annoying and confusing. Especially when it messes up what's already happened between other characters on the board. 

In this case it's two staff members making these blatant contradictory changes together and then blind siding other members/characters by suddenly changing up their character history/adding things to their pasts that they previous stated in thread/site canon that they didn't have expecting other member’s characters to be aware of what’s going on.

It’s like they’re trying to use a plot twist tool and doing it all wrong it’s like …

The Right Way: Chance was raised as only child, his entire life and personality has been defined by this fact. He never knew his father, and his mother never really talked about it, so it was just the two of them. Years later, he runs into a man who he eventually realizes is his half-brother. He is shocked by this revelation and those in his life begin to find out only as he starts to come to terms with it.

The Wrong Way: Chance has talked again and again about never having any siblings or a father, just him and his mom against the world until she died. It’s his entire life he’s just on his own now, it defines his character. He tells everyone in his life (and in threads) he has no siblings, no father, and that his mom’s dead. Two weeks later, Chance is hanging out with his miraculous brother at thanksgiving dinner with their happily married parents and then is getting angry at other characters for not knowing about these people in his life.

They’re doing it the wrong way.


As if that wasn’t annoying enough in this situation they are ‘in character’ are berating my character for not knowing these things about them when the  character would have no way of knowing. It’s like they’re expecting you to metagame which is another shock. How are they supposed to know if they weren’t there or if they weren’t told, or if they were previously told the opposite?

RP is supposed to be fun but I also write as a career so I take my story building/character development very seriously. I treat every forum/board as if it’s a novel and my character is on a journey within this world. I would never blatantly contradict anything in their past because it’s convenient or I felt like it because I have too much respect for my fellow writers and their efforts.  It’s not fun to suddenly have everything you worked toward just tossed out as if it’s nothing.  

I think of like... imagine reading Harry Potter, knowing the whole time Harry Potter's parents are dead. Last book starts with Harry's parents sending him off to school with no mention of the fact that they had been dead, written as if they're been there the whole time but we're all supposed to pretend like this is normal/canon

I’m just curious to hear others experiences/thoughts on this.

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I've sort of had an issue like that before. In this one game a player kept wanting to change up their character to be the best for any situation. (For context everything took place in one thread so all the character sheets were PMed to me and I posted them in the first post. This way no one could just randomly edit things in. And if they tried using things that weren't listed in the post then they'd get told to edit them out or their post would be ignored.) As a result they kept messaging me with these changes, from the main weapon they were using to special powers they had. I don't recall at this point whether I outright told them no more changes or whether I just made them wait so changes only took effect in the chapter breaks. 

 

In another game said player kept trying to inject things into the world that simply didn't make sense. They wanted to add magic, kingdoms and Arthurian legend into a futuristic universe based on advanced technology. I eventually told them that they could have it... sort of. They were within their right to think it existed, but that was the extent I would allow. (So their character believed they were from a far off kingdom with magic... ) 

 

But that's the closest I've really some to this issue you're describing.

 

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Aaaaages ago I was on this massive forum. The clique of that forum at the time were massive trend setters (they were actually quality writers before they got into purple prose.) One of those players? They had a character where every month they had a new character concept or idea for this one character. So they would completely change him up, drop a bunch of plots and alter how their character interacted with others. It was like they dropped the character every month and came up with a new character....but they forgot to actually make a new character.

 

That's the only time I've come across it though! The staff never really dealt with because then the Great Drama of Year happened. 🤓

 

If it were to happen to me now I'll call them out on it because you're right. Character's doing a 180 is not fun and to be berated for not keeping up with the times (even IC) is less fun.

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@Crossroads Demon, moving your thread to General Chat & Discussions since it seems it fits in better there. :)

 

I can understand your frustrations with what is happening. I don't think it's that big of a deal though, in the sense that it should be fairly easy to solve. (Emotionally and storywise, if it's causing distress then it's a big deal and I'm not trying to downplay the meaning of the feeling there.) The players probably aren't doing this to intentionally upset anyone and fixing the problem should be as simple as talking to them- what you've said here is very reasonable and would likely go a long way if you brought it up to them.

 

I can't say that this has ever happened to me before, but then again I also don't read character histories or anything like that. There have been slightly similar incidents where people try to retcon something in their favor or back out of a corner they put themselves in, in which case I step in and tell them it's time to face the music because it's not fair to do that sort of thing.

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I'd understand it if they were doing a flashback plot - I've done that a couple of times with my characters and posted at the beginning the time frame it's in. My question though, it OOC, are you comfortable with these admins? I ask because it is a form of gaslighting, even if it's ic gaslighting. If there are other problems on the board, I'd think twice about staying there.

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Whenever I have a plot change for a character that might muddy things a bit, I always ask the head administrator. My last spent an entire night pondering the layout which me and a fellow player concocted.  She approved, though the fact that the canon I portrayed stemmed from a five minute scene may have factored.

 

Nonetheless, I think the two staff members should go about telling those affected by your observations--privately and/or publicly, their choice.  The very trend has been seen more commonly by me since 2010.  I don't understand why younger generations and my fellow millennials act the spur-of-the-moment way they do.

 

Try approaching them with humble and polite concern.  Regardless of the annoyance, one should be the better man or woman.  Like government, higher authorities protect laity and punish troublemakers.  They are supposed to do that, if nothing else.  Staff teams should get it.  Move on if you're shunned.

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@Gothams Reckoning actually their history has none of this information they wrote a 'bare minimum point form' sort of history so the contradictions are happening in the story itself. Where they have blatantly saying/thinking something in one thread (or several) and then you come on in the morning and they've suddenly done something that contradicts that entirely. In this first example, they were terminally single, never married, super bachelor never considered having a family, to me waking up one morning to find their character's wife on the board.

 

It would be wonderful and dramatic if he had thought to himself the whole time about this family but TOLD her he didn't have one. Perfect, then he's a lying jerk and I can work with that but that's not how they played it and now they expect her to know he had a family despite never being told that and trying to throw out their own past.

 

This is only one of many problems there honestly but that was frustrating enough when they expect you to just adapt everything your character came to know to fit their change. This is what really frustrates me. I think it's a common problem because since it's been happening other members have been sort of ...dwindling. They also are killing off characters left right and centre GOT style with no warnings or explanations so members who are gone for a few days even are coming back to find their threads irrelevant because those characters no longer exist. 

 

I see the common question has been whether or not I've considered talking with them and to be honest the second it first happened I did ask what was up. Not maliciously or to cause trouble I sort of asked in a joking way to be honest. They ignored the question entirely and never gave me an answer would just start changing their thoughts in thread to insert this new development even contradicting earlier posts in that same thread. 

 

I have considered leaving but unfortunately, I'm the type of member who doesn't like to just leave anywhere even when I'm unhappy. I feel a responsibility when I join a board but I am considering eventually killing off the one character this seems to be affecting most which is sad. 

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When I was involved with an RP on kik, one member did this until he was banned. He was very young, 12 I believe, and wanted his character to have the most horrific backstory imaginable. The problem was, this horror story changed at every telling. And he told the story constantly. Even going so far as to create mini rp "memory missions" involving his past. Since moving to telegram, and increasing our vetting process, I haven't had any character/sona problems.

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I've never dealt with this issue, thank goodness, but thanks for the ideas about how to handle it just in case!

 

The closest I've come is someone 'maturing' their character to be almost just like mine within one post. In this instance, imitation is NOT the sincerest form of flattery. (I'm guessing they were young?)

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  • 3 weeks later...

If I were you, I would just talk to them about it. I'm a firm believer that communication can solve almost any issue you're having. And that a lack of it is what caused most of the problem in the first place. But clearly no one has said anything to this person, so they think that what they're doing is fine and acceptable even when it isn't. They haven't heard otherwise so they'll keep doing it, too.

 

That said, you may just be taking this all a bit more seriously than they are. I'm like you in the sense that I take all my rp-ing super seriously. I treat it more like a job than just a hobby. But you also have to realize that not everyone comes into these games with the same mindset. Some people are wishy-washy and nonchalant about these things. And if that's how they want to play, then you just need to step back and maybe choose not to write with them anymore. If you're uncomfortable with the thread you're in and the other player's behavior, it's ok to back out of it altogether. You can continue with it, but you're probably not going to get anywhere conductive to your character's growth. So you need to make the decision if this player and their character are worth your time and frustration. If not, cut them loose and move on. Aside from talking to them about what makes you uncomfortable, there's nothing else you can do, really.

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