OngoingWorlds blog

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


Is godmodding all that bad?

GodmoddingI’m hoping to get a discussion going in the comments here. What are your opinions about godmodding?

I’ve seen games fall apart, and arguments caused because of a player godmodding (if you don’t know what godmodding is, see here). But I’ve also seen plenty of people realise their mistakes and learn from it, making them a better roleplayer and a better storyteller afterwards. After all, it’s boring when a character gets what they want straight away, it’s more fun to make them fail a few times first right? (I wrote an article about that here).

Godmodding can get lumped in with metagaming, and also Mary Sues, and the differences are sometimes too subtle to even mention (maybe write your opinions in the comments below). A while ago Crymsyn wrote an article for us titled “Metagaming is good” (read it here) which argued that as writers we need to know where the story’s going to make it better, and that we have to sacrifice a bit of realism for a cohesive story.

Anyway, I know metagaming is not equal to godmodding, but just thought it was worth mentioning. Maybe godmodding has an upside too? Have you ever had to do a bit of godmodding to get your character out of a sticky situation? Or to perhaps keep the story flowing?

Discuss in the comments and let us know if you’ve been guilty of godmodding in the past, or how you’ve dealt with godmodders in your game.

  • Darianthehuman

    Off of the top of my head, I can see a few situations where God Modding could be of a benefit towards the game. For example, a fast paced combat module can feel rather choppy in play by post writing. Controlling other characters actions, reflexes, and responses in one post can add that extra fire that really brings it to life. As long as the writer is careful and considerate of how the other characters would act, and portrays their abilities properly, I don’t see much of a problem with this. The trouble is, when a person is able to write like that, they are usually experienced and have a love for the game, meaning they will do what they can to make it run smoothly. Most “God Modders” are either new and don’t realize they are doing it, or they are simply trolling.

  • crimsyn

    I think when we’re talking about “Godmodding,” we need to distinguish a little bit what we’re talking about.

    Are we talking about simply controlling another character’s actions and responses?

    If so, that depends on a few things. There was a thread on Open role-Playing a while back (, and it sounds to me like it has some pros and cons, but is a perfectly valid way of playing. Personally, I find that having each person only control one thing in a scene (their character) can end up with some really choppy writing, and a little bit of give and take can help smooth that out. But part of that also has to do with the written and unwritten rules and expectations of the community — some people are okay with people writing their characters completely, others will be offended if you correct and obvious typo.

    Or are we talking about being a ridiculously powerful SHS/Mary Sue type characters?

    I think here, it gets a little tricky and again goes back to written and unwritten rules and expectations. Generally, the characters that we roleplay are primary protagonists who have a tendency to be badasses in some way. As badasses, it stands to reason that they can do awesome stuff, beat the odds, pull off cool moves, not be stopped by mooks, etc. Badasses are often good for the story because they do stuff, usually awesome stuff, and move the story forward rather than just sitting around waiting for it to unfold around them.

    Now, there is a line between being a badass and being a god-modding SHS Mary Sue, but where that line is depends on the cultural norms of the community that you are a part of, and sometimes one person’s badass is another person’s Mary Sue and vice versa.

  • Celticlady

    God Modding can be very annoying in games if used to often like Crimsyn said though depending on who does it, it may help the game. However all characters must have some kind of weakness,