OngoingWorlds blog

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


Dealing with powerful roleplay characters

Judge Dredd riding a dinosair riding a shark

Dealing with overly-powerful characters can ruin your day more than having “who let the dogs out” stuck in your head.

Arguments have ensued, games have been closed, all because someone plays a character who is waaaay too powerful, and it ruins everyone else’s fun. Maybe the character is a wreck-everything action hero, or maybe they’re just too clever for their age (I think this makes them a Mary Sue character).

We’ve written advice about this sort of situation, have a look through the links below:

Maybe subtly show these articles to the person who’s responsible for the overly-powerful character, and see if they realise their mistakes. Often people don’t know how disruptive they’re being, and just need a bit of gently advice.

Top image is Robocop riding a dinosaur riding a fire-breathing shark (of course it is!). By Tiger1313 on DeviantArt.


  • Starlight Bloodhound

    True that having or being a god modder does ruin a game, sometimes it can make it more social, in a sense. 1 big bad guy may take 6-12 heroes just to make a dent, but this encourages the heroes to work together, thus improving social relations and also partially making the storyline more advanced.

    • Having a bad guy that’s totally overpowered makes a lot of sense to me actually, because like you said it means the characters have to work together or be a bit ingenious to defeat him.

  • Jaxx

    The main downside to a super beef villain is dealing with the Heroes who feel they need to have God like powers to compensate. Its amazing how many characters I have to reject till they are severely dialed down. Sometimes I even get characters that have nothing to do with a story line, because they just want to crush their enemies in one blow. So I believe the godlike characters should be used by the MODs to help keep the story from getting out of hand as long as they don’t abuse it.

    • Do you think people create characters without knowing the world first? I know this is scommon problem but I don’t know how to solve it without just encouraging new members to read some of the story first, and hand-holding them through the character creation process

      • Jaxx

        I am fairly certain most of the writers do not read the instructions or do not fully understand them. More than likely it is “Selective” reading. Here is an example for you: I had a series of God modders on a few of my games and when I presented them with the posted “Mary Sue” articles on OW referring to the matter they still could not grasp the concept. Some truly believed they did nothing wrong which is ironic since they fit the Mary Sue definition to a T. Some players actually had get a verbal scolding in order to even get a clue. More than likely it is an age/experience issue and only time will fix it. As for reading up on the last few posts before joining the game I see a lack of effort on the new gamers since I get spammed with “What is everyone doing and what should I do?” When I tell them to read some of the prior posts I get the same email again. I literally have to submit a summery for them or they act like a deer in headlights. I understand missing a small part of the story but there is a lack of effort when it comes to doing research or posting more than 2-3 sentences from many of the younger gamers. As for a solution that does not effect the attendance of the gamers I can only suggest patience and time. Sorry if I sound negative but as a Sub Teacher in school I see too much apathy from the students as they get closer to 18. Kids have gotten soft since they pulled out dodge-ball.