OngoingWorlds blog

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


5 ways to describe a Mary Sue (according to Fallfest attendees)

Fallfest was a few days ago, which is a chat bringing all different types of online roleplayers together. In a chat titled Mary Sue – Model Citizen or Menace to Society? by Sal Taybrim, people were asked to define what a Mary Sue character is. Read More


Down with the term ‘Mary Sue’!

This article was written for us by Marian Brock Andersen.

dawn with the name mary sue

So it’s a pet peeve of mine, the whole Mary Sue / Gary Stue classifications that people throw around like its some horrible disease.

“Did you see the game.. yeah… totally they got the Mary Sue.”

We see it all the time, no “Mary Sue / Gary Stue” allowed, splashed all over everything, but what does it really mean to the Moderator or the other players? Read More


Just because your character is a strong female doesn’t make them a Mary Sue

Michonne from Walking Dead

We use the term Mary Sue a lot in roleplaying. That’s because it can be a huge problem with one character trying to hog the limelight more than others. A Mary Sue typically is too “perfect”. They’re either unrealistically skilled for their age, or just freakishly talented at exactly whatever needs to be done to solve the current plot. Read More


Is the term “Mary Sue” sexist & belittling?

Peggy carter is a strong female character, but that doesn't make her a mary sue
There’s an ongoing debate about the term Mary Sue, and what it means in the literary world. In roleplaying, we know that Mary Sue characters can ruin a game for others, but in a novel surely it’s okay for a protagonist to hog the limelight and display all the characteristics of a typical Mary Sue, right? Read More


Heroes & villains – Omnicompetent characters

This was originally posted by Steven Savage on his blog, but has allowed me to republish it here as I think it’s useful for roleplayers! This is part of Steven’s Way With Worlds series of articles. 

Eddie Morra from Limitless

When we create heroes or villains, indeed main characters, in many cases we’re dealing with highly competent people. Read More


Does Everybody Need A Character?

Army peeps

It’s not about the diversity. It’s because JIM DOESN’T KNOW WHEN TO STOP CREATING CHARACTERS!

The title may seem misleading, like “does every member need a character?” Well… yes they do, if not what’s the point of being in the game? But this is about something I’ve actually done before and I’m still a culprit for sometimes in game development. What I’m talking about is creating a character for everyone [not members] that seems to get involved in the story. Like creating one for a guy that will only be used once in a while or once, period. Doing this can lead to a giant list of characters you created that end up either forgotten or just deleted. Read More


How to create believable characters – use the 2:1 rule for flaws vs awesome

Doctor who saying I'm brilliant

I found an article that gave some simple advice on creating characters recently (you can see the article here). Most of the points are to prevent you from creating Marty Stu or Gary Stu characters. One of the great points was that you should use a 2:1 rule: Read More


What does Batman have in common with Mary Sue characters? More than you think!

This article was written by Jenn Lyons, and originally published on the blog ‘Rewriting Mary Sues’, I’m republishing it here with permission because I thought it was relevent to roleplayers. 

Batman is a Gary Stu (Mary Sue)

I hate Mary Sues.

It’s not, however, for the reason that you might think. We’ve all encountered Mary Sue characters — a product of fan fiction (typically an author insert) who can do everything, fix all problems, knows everything and knows exactly how to solve any given mystery. Read More


You can’t just assume everyone likes your character

Nancy the Mary Sue

Nothing lands a roleplayer in hot water faster than when they write another character’s actions incorrectly. And by actions I include, personality and emotions. Especially personality and emotions.  Read More


If I toss you out an airlock, yes, you will die. Alternate Ideas for Dealing with Mary Sues and Godmodders

This post was written by Andrew Facemire who runs the USS Excalibur RP. 


Recently, like earlier this week, while reading some of the great work David has been doing with role playing here at OngoingWorlds, I was reminded of my own dealings with various godmoders and Mary Sues over the years. Read More