Mary Sue characters have been around long before there was a term to describe them. The original mention of the term Mary Sue came from a Star Trek fanfiction story called “A Trekkies Tale”. This story was a parody of other fanfiction stories written by hardcore Trekkies who insert a new character into the Star Trek universe and make them the bigger hero of the story than the original main characters.
God Modders can ruin a roleplaying experience for all other players, read my other article about godmodders here. But they’re most frustrating for the GM of a game, as they are the ones who have made the decision to totally ban these offenders, or help mould them into a decent player. The latter taking a lot more effort, and risking annoying every other member in the process.
For this article I’ve been helped out by several roleplaying veterans! Here are 12 tips for dealing with a God Modder:
Often God Modders use characters that are “too perfect”
God Modders have been a burden of text based roleplaying games for a long time, and they can really annoy other members who like to develop their story gradually at a decent pace, only for the story to be taken on an unusual sidetrack or finished prematurely and undramatically. In this article we’ll explain what god modding is, why it’s annoying, and some possible solutions to stop these members from ruining everyone else’s enjoyment.
So what does God Modding mean in play by post games?
In play by post games there usually aren’t usually about statistics and experience points like more traditional tabletop roleplaying is, play by post games usually have more in common with collaborative storytelling. Each character is portrayed through paragraphs of description alone, and therefore the strength, skills and abilities of the character are open to interpretation through the storytelling, and not a number on a stat sheet.
So you’ve got a PBEM game, and you’re recruiting for new members. You accept members based on the character biographies they’ve provided to you, but how do you know that these players are going to be any good in your game? Well, you can’t really tell until you see them post.
A Mary-Sue character is a stereotype of RPG games and fanfiction
There is a stereotype character called a Mary-Sue. This is normally a female character who is so perfect that she’s annoying. She resembles all the many character stereotypes all rolled into one. A Mary-sue character is normally a player’s first character, when they don’t realise that they are creating such a stereotype.
Mary-Sue’s aren’t always female, as male characters can have all of these stereotypes too, as well as some more of their own. A male Mary-Sue is sometimes called a Marty-Stu.
The name Mary-Sue comes from a short Star Trek fanfiction story, written as a parody of fanfiction.
Look at the points below to see if you have any Mary-Sue stereotypes in your own game. Maybe your character is one and you didn’t even realise! Take each of these points with a pinch of salt, some of the points mentioned actually make good character traits on their own. But a typical Mary-Sue will use them all.
1. The character is named after the player, this could include their nickname, first name, last name or all of their names.
2. The character’s name is a noun or word that isn’t normally a name. (Angel, Moon, Chaos etc) This could also be a name of historical/mythical significance that doesn’t relate in any way to the character or the setting of your game.