Thursday, 24 October 2013

An ST did it and ran away

Prompted by a recent IC discussion on choices, in which it appeared that the other person had a vastly different conception of what actual choices another person's character had had available to them, I was forced to consider something.

I was told that character x (played by player X) had been tricked into joining a Legacy. This is in Mage: The Awakening, in which joining a Legacy involves reshaping your very soul to enable you to perform certain magical feats as though they were mundane voluntary or even autonomic functions of your own mind and body. Thus, the idea of being flat out tricked into doing it boggles the mind rather.

But I now have a quandary. Is the issue here that a) x is lying, b) X is lying, c) X is misinformed, or d) an ST did it and ran away?

Now, x might be lying; so might X. Or, X might have believed that he had no choice while the ST thought he was choosing. Alternatively, and I have seen this before, the ST may have presented it as a matter of no choice. Sometimes, in larger LARP games, the ST will present a player with the do or die shitty choice of becoming a villain or, well, dying a horrible pointless death, perform a loaded bait and switch, or simply present membership in the antagonistic group as a fait accompli.

The problem is that this always sucks, moreso if the ST bends the rules to do it, and if I, as player Y, start pushing that there had to have been a choice, it's just going to make it more miserable for them.

I understand why this gets done, and it's never from malice. It adds drama to the game for certain; it just tends to do it at the extreme expense of a particular player or group of players.