OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers


All-powerful characters are boring

I found this comic recently which expresses perfectly why all-powerful characters are boring:


God Man saves the day by lifting an eyebrow. Dull, dull, dull.

No struggle, no strife, no drama, no story. All-powerful characters finish the plot far too quickly. In roleplaying games where you want to involve other characters to weave an interesting story, this is a no-no. Have you encountered a player like this in your game? Tell us in the comments below how you dealt with them.

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  • Alex

    “All-powerful characters finish the plot far too quickly.” — I’ve seen that occur when new people don’t realise instant solutions are not always the objective. Sometimes I reckon they’re just enthusiastic, and trying to be helpful. A little word, and a bit of experience, and they soon seem to realise!
    The other type, the actually obnoxious “want to be the best” type is worse fo’ sho’. I’ve seen them realise too, though, with a couple of gentle words and reminders. Once they click what they’re doing, if they’re reasonable people, in my experience they normally shape up. If they’re not reasonable people or willing to compromise for the sake of others, you probably don’t want them in your game anyway and they’ll likely end up Sueing themselves outta town one way or another.

    I guess the trick is noticing/taking notice if people suggest it, and putting a stop to it before you get completely out of control haha!

    Our new comedy/tongue-in-cheek/mock/parody game (ToD) turns Mary Sue on its head a bit – we’re Mary Sue(ish) types on purpose (well, villainous versions)… Most people in the world are… But it is deliberate, and we’re very aware of it, and everyone in the world is in fact so inept and cr*p, that it pretty much counteracts it anyway!
    It pokes fun at their own self-importance and (ahem) “skills”. Also the villains are the heroes. It’s a lot of fun, actually!
    But it is a particularly self-aware and peculiar type of game – for normal games, that type of bratting about is a big no no if you don’t want to get on other players’ nerves!

    • Alex

      PS. ^ ‘Case you didn’t notice (as if) – I’ve been drinking coffee ^ :p

  • Tiberius

    I’ve had quite a few of this in my games. I had one quite recently, an email later he’s stopped. But can only an email prevent this? I know there will be more in the future. BTW, I planned on doing something like this for a new Fahrvergnügen and Giddlysmooch story, but I’ve been too lazy so I’m glad someone addressed this!

    • I think an email is fine if that’s all it takes to make someone learn how to be a better storyteller & roleplayer. In the future perhaps send new members to see this page!

  • Louie

    Sometimes the gamer may not know that they are guilty of such an offense. In my early days of PBeM’s I was guilty of the same until I was made aware of it by a friend who told me. God moding is an issue that I am always concerned about. I like strong and powerful characters, but there is a line that has to be watched.

    • Absoljtrly , so hopefully we can all be helpful and point it out to people when we spot it!