Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Original Games with Canon Characters


Recommended Posts

I started RPing on a Marvel site and didn't look at any other game sites for several years but eventually I looked around and joined another site, an original game. But I always thought it was weird and stifling to the flow of the game that the admins had a half-dozen or so canon characters. They had setup a game narrative/script of two rival criminal bosses trying to control the city.

 

I was there about two years and during that time we rarely had anyone playing either boss. We had about 3 or so characters on each side as lieutenants to the bosses but no one directing us. And for some reason none of the three admins stepped in to play either of the bosses. It was frustrating playing a henchman with no leader calling the shots.

 

And yet, through that whole 2 years the admins kept trying to push the script of two rival bosses fighting for control of the city, which never really gelled.

 

My question, it seemed to me that the admins should've scrapped the site narrative they had in mind after it was clear that we'd never have two people consistently playing those roles and should've focused on the characters we had. In an original game, is this iron-fisted grip on a set story usual?

 

In a fandom, some characters and storylines are a given, such as in an X-Men game having a Scott Summers, Jean Grey, and prof. X and fighting against Magneto with his different ideology. But in an original game, how scripted is too scripted? Is it common for admins to be that set on the story they want as the tentpole for their site? Which sites tend to survive more: scripted or more freeform ones?     

Link to post
Share on other sites

Any game, if the admin aren't making sure the plot focuses on the active characters, they're dropping the ball. If they want two bitter rivals at each other's throat, then they should either make sure players want to play those roles, or run them theirselves.

 

My game, I set up a framework for my plots, primarily what my npcs are doing that'll affect my crew, then explore what happens when the players' characters interact with those npcs & events.

  • I read this! 2

Emperor468x60.png.b7bb87f952ee0dcc7a97150c6258c8f9.png

Captain Amelia Waterhouse, Commanding Officer

=/\= Join =/\= Roster & Openings =/\= Rules =/\= Chat =/\=

"It is human nature to yearn to be what we were never intended for. It is singular, but it is so." -Mark Twain

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that canons are important, to keep continuity, but I also think that if the admin don't want to play them themselves and no one wants to adopt them, they should be willing to compromise. Maybe a player is interested in having their character move into that role? Something plotting and fun and can involve more players. 

 

Canons are important, but it's even more important for the admin team to be flexible. 

  • I read this! 1
  • Love 1

October-2017.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

But are canon characters, especially in original / non-fandom games, necessary? In an original game, where there's no set published story that everyone is expecting and the plot could go in any direction, what's the function/purpose of canon characters?

 

If the canon characters were created to add a bit of color to the setting and so that a player could simply pick one up without creating a character of their own. Does that count as canon if there's no set scripted plot associated with the character?  It seems that the term Stock Character, might be more accurate.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 An original setting without some kind of characters guiding things is pretty much a sandbox. And some people like playing in sandboxes! The only limit is your imagination! I don't like sandboxes. I'm the kind of person who needs to know where the boundaries are so I can feel comfortable playing within them. Canons provide those boundaries and framework for the site. Like the site is a road, and canons are the lines that keep people from driving into one another.

 

Mixing metaphors \o/

 

It is RIDICULOUSLY infuriating, though, when an important canon position is empty. On a werewolf site I was on years ago, a couple packs were without Alphas, which meant NO ONE COULD JOIN PACKS. In a game where no werewolves were allowed to be packless. Sounds like you're in kind of the same spot. You should try and talk to your admins. Even if the leaders stay NPC's, they should be BEHAVING AS LEADER NPC'S. Staff should take it on themselves to hand down orders from them or whatnot. Or they should fill those positions themselves.

  • I read this! 2
  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds like a really frustrating situation, but I think that canons in an original site can be very important. But if your site has little interest in actually playing those canons...I agree that they should probably be scrapped (or killed off or something) to take things in a new direction with the characters and plots that you do have. Nobody likes a stale story with characters nobody is invested in...or even playing. The admins on your site could've done a lot of different things to work with what they had, but they chose not to. Which is disheartening.

 

But seeing this kind of behavior on original sites isn't uncommon. A lot of times you'll run into story writers that are very set in how things are supposed to work and won't budge on their ideas of story. Which isn't inherently a bad thing if you're writing your own book or something, but in collaborative storytelling it can be a real hassle for everyone else. When a site opens, it's shiny and new and you've placed the stones for how you want your site to go, but you also have to be willing to roll with the punches. Let the story develop on its own and don't hold it in a vice while you force it to go a way that nobody wants to take it. If the canons you laid out aren't taking with the community you've built, maybe it's time to think of some new ones. Right?

 

But canons can be important in an original setting. They give people a kind of feel for the site and lay the foundations of a story that are then at the players' disposal to explore and create. They also open up certain roles within organizations and groups in the setting that you might not be aware of and set the norm for what's accepted IC. I like playing in a sort of guided setting like this - like @Kittenmitten said, sandboxes aren't for me! I like structure, I like roles I can creatively fill and I don't always like coming up with wholly "original" characters where I'm unsure of where they fit in society. If a site doesn't have canons, I like to fill wanted ads! I like to have plots at my immediate disposal. Building from the ground up isn't always my cup of tea. So canons are great for me. But if there's a canon role integral to the plot that isn't being filled, they should be NPC'd or filled by a staff member if possible. Otherwise you can't move the plot forward, and that sucks for everyone.

  • I read this! 2

translunary.gif.5374a61b67b4df1af4bb898e0c039553.gif

a dark, urban fantasy;

inspired by sailor moon

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Admin

Premades is what I call them as technically canon is an established fandom! I prefer that they have figure heads until someone takes the role and the original is written out of the story. Else wise there is little that can go forward with whatever plot the staff originally had in mind most likely.

 

I'd offer to take the character out with yours in some IC thread.

  • I read this! 3
  • Agree 1

adtest3.png

engineeringad.jpg

0_mainsignature.jpg

image.png

Profile set made by @jordan of Dark Motives

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

On my Dark Fantasy site, I have a section that's entirely "profiles" for important NPCs who are, well, extremely important to the Board's Lore, setup, or current major plots. They're all adoptable, however until such a time that a Member says "Oh hey I'd like to take Soandso as a character", I as the Admin am required to NPC them as necessary. If the admins aren't willing to NPC overt-ly important/necessary characters, then they need to write those unwanted characters OUT of the plot asap.

  • I read this! 2
  • Agree 1

 

OnyxSiggy1.jpg.c76f2c1acc64a865bdf5164f4c085020.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think having an established "canon" isn't a bad thing for an original site because it allows members to see a bit of the structure within groups if there are any, and it might give ideas for them to plot. The issue is if that canon is completely inflexible to things happening in-game. Personally I like to join a site where things can actually change and my characters have a chance of completely shifting the existing landscape. If I know that even if I play for two years the game will look roughly the same with just some minor changes in cast, that doesn't really interest me. Canon should be there as an option for people to adopt or refer to as a supporting cast, but if players are able to find ways to take down those characters, take up their positions, etc then it seems silly to not allow that at all.

  • I read this! 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Guidelines and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.