magicaddict: (Brett)
[personal profile] magicaddict
...almost exactly three years, on and off, and about four months directly. I posted some IC stuff after this year's 24hr not long after it, but every time I subsequently hear about it OOC, and I hear the same arguments repeated in different voices by different people, it drives me down further. One decision that has pretty much ruined the character, based on years and years of prior negativity.

Gerrard didn't kick off on the pirate king. Apparently, everyone was waiting for him to do so, and would have jumped right in behind him.

You'll forgive me if I (and therefore he, as Gerrard and I are so similar in some aspects that I find my IC/OOC bleed almost impossible to control when playing him) found this conclusion hard to come to at the time. He'd just had his stuff nicked (NPCs), fenced in front of him (Varog), raucous songs made up about his failures that had driven me OOC over the edge and made me hide in my tent because it triggered my memories of being bullied to the point of attempting suicide when at school (Interfector), and Defenders who should have been at least on the same page giving him abuse to his face while laughing at him (Varog). I was utterly emotionally crushed, completely and totally lacking in any form of confidence in my own ability, really hacked off at the way the characters were behaving, and wanting nothing more than to go home and forget the game ever existed.

On top of that, everyone appeared to conveniently forget that there was a god who had unequivocally proven itself capable of sinking any boat that put to sea without its consent, and continually raising and re-raising the same monsters and sea creatures until we ran out of healing, overcasting and stats until we were all TPKd and the system could reset. Don't tell me 'that wasn't possible', or 'there is no way it would have happened'. If the GMs hadn't realised that this was the exact environment they had created, that was piss-poor planning on their part.

Yet, apparently everyone was behind him.

Of course they were - laughing their heads off like they had been all fucking weekend. When Varog insisted Gerrard paid him for his own shield, I felt like I'd just been punched in the gut. I had no idea where to turn, and not a clue how to react, as the one immediate thought I had was to punch Nick in the face and scream at him that that was my OOC property and to take his fucking hands off it. That wasn't appropriate, because he hadn't stolen it OOC. That was all I could think, however, and it left me feeling that I had no place within these players, let alone within the characters. I couldn't process what to do, so I used a bit of gut reaction I learnt from dealing with bullies at school and had Gerrard tell Varog to go fuck himself. When I found he'd sold it, I nearly went to my car and cried.

So, stood there on the Sunday morning with the massed players around you, Hobson's own choice sitting right in front of you, how many of you would have kicked off on the pirate king?

That's right - all of you would. Because, as we know, the IC consequences that should occur as a logical conclusion of actions taken by PCs almost never happen. We could have kicked off on them, killed them to a pirate, flipped Davy Jones off, jumped in our boats and sailed away, and we'd have gotten away with it. Why? Because the chances of the logical conclusion of that action actually coming to pass was functionally zero. Who wants a TPK? Who is willing to be the first GM in recent times to account for a mass slaughter? Who is willing to put up with the shitstorm that happens when the players lose?

I'm not either. I know that's weakness on my part, and I think it is on yours as well.

It doesn't even happen on an individual basis. Do you have any idea how much characters have to have pissed Gerrard off for him to give them a negative write-up? It goes against everything in his creed to not try to back his people and promote them as much as he can. Both Varog and G'Mord got reported for breaking Kingdom law, which, as anyone who knows the law knows, doesn't stop being valid because you leave Kingdom borders - Kingdom citizens must follow Kingdom law where it does not directly contravene the law of the sovereign nation where they are. International waters are not a sovereign kingdom. Thus, Kingdom law applies to Kingdom citizens. What happened to them? Sod all. Was there any form of investigation using independent investigators? Don't be silly. Was there ever the slightest chance of anything happening to them? Not on your fucking nelly. Will they get away with doing exactly the same thing again, because the number of those actually keeping score on these things is so pitifully low, and anyone citing it is (at very best) chided in an off-hand manner for being boring and stepping on other people's fun?

You bet your ass.

So now his reputation is shot, over a single decision. The what-ifs from that day claw at my mind when I go to sleep at night, and have kept me awake and seethingly angry on more than one occasion (most recently last night). What if the shield hadn't been stolen? What if Varog had simply given it back? What if Gerrard had seen the funny side and they'd ended it with laughs? What if Varog had realised his joke wasn't working and left it there? What if the sea shanty competition hadn't turned the character I have put years of effort into making the very best I can out of into an utter laughing stock, that had me packing up my bag to go home until I lost the will even to do that, and Emma had to find me lying on it in the darkness, unable to even bring myself to move?

We'll never know. Because none of those came to pass, and all of the opposites did, and it left him (and me - see above) wallowing in the same festering pile of manure that was his reputation after Vitality Park, during which what he feared would happen at the 24hr (he would kick off and no-one would follow him) actually did happen. Not once, but twice. First was the dragon, which it was clearly in the script that we were supposed to fight, and yet half the party stood off, refusing to involve themselves in the action because they thought it was a bad idea. Second, with the beholder, in which the same people not only stood off, but one (Gish) got as far as loudly screaming in Gerrard's face that what he was doing was wrong (not that he thought it was wrong, but that it was wrong). Maybe Gish hadn't noticed that those two creatures could fly, there was no stopping them leaving the island (the wards were non-existent), and the mainland full of juicy civilians was just over there. Maybe he didn't care. Maybe he hadn't thought. Didn't matter. I finished that game, went away, and cried. My emotional state was non-existent in the aftermath of the weekend, and the memory of it stayed with me strongly enough that it beat me round the head with paralysing ferocity as the moment to jump in on the pirate king almost three years later came, sat there, seemed to wait for me to make my mind up, then wandered on past somewhat confusedly, wondering why I hadn't taken it.

My confidence was destroyed in ways that can all too easily be laughed off as 'just IC - it's not important. Don't worry about it.' The only social circle I have is LARP, so my notion of social self-worth lives and dies with my characters. Time-In happens IC. Time-In is, apparently, the important bit of playing a character. So, if it shoots his reputation IC, Time-In is the important bit, and that's IC, it looks pretty fucking important from here.

I haven't arrived at a LARP without a sense of foreboding since the 24hr. I haven't finished a game without wanting to simply get off home and be away from those I am supposed to be socialising with. I haven't been animated in the car on the way home. I haven't been happy in the evening. I've been trepidatious about showing up each and every week, all through the week, that decision not to kick off on the pirate king beating me around the face every time I close my eyes. I can't get motivated to play a new character. I don't want to do downtime. I definitely don't want to run games. I want to sit at home, away from LARP, and not have anything to do with it. But I can't, because if I don't, I won't get out of the house, and in spite of it all, I continue to search in vain for the buzz I see everyone else getting. I crave their validation of what I have created, and I get destroyed when I don't get it.

If it were entirely my fault I didn't, I wouldn't feel so hard done by, but quite a few of my decisions for Gerrard have been based on sound logic, and because they happen to be appear conservative (don't kick off on the pirate king, because his god can snap its fingers and kill us all), unpopular (attack the dragon before it flies to the mainland and destroys the civilianry), constraining (search the bag of the guy transporting illegal drugs to the mainland), or unnecessary for someone's sensibilities (attack the beholder before it flies to the mainland and destroys the civilianry), they have led to him being viewed the way he is now, because we all know, the only people who are listened to in reports are those who complain, and reputations that can take years to build up to something approaching respectability can be obliterated in the space of a moment's hesitation at the wrong time (which is actually the right time, but assumed to be the wrong time because no-one's actually examined it beyond the absolutely cursory).

My perception of the injustice is very realistic from the point of view of art imitating life. I get fucked in the ear for making decisions that aren't popular to those around me. Where are the ear fuckings for those who make decisions that aren't popular to me? Even when I specify the date, time and nature of the transgression and cite the relevant fucking law?

It will be over soon - Gerrard will be in the mid-nineties by the end of the 36hr. If he is played again, it will be very sporadic. Others might have to go find some other figure in authority to laugh at to get their kicks. Regardless of what happens on that game, though, the memories of my highest-ranking, most-played, most-human, least-robotic, most-developed, most changed, and most strategically and tactically sound character will be a list of memories of failure, self-doubt and self-loathing, and other character's distrust, dislike, ridicule, abuse, indifference, pointed fingers and bitten off laughs...and the sight of the pirate king through the flames quietly playing around my mace (yes, he'd got as far as getting Elvin to power him up for the attack) as I stood there, rooted to the spot, unable to bring myself to make him step forward.

Fuck LARP. Fuck it so much.


magicaddict: (Default)
Doug Millington-Smith

June 2017

1112 1314151617

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 20th, 2017 11:04 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios