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Old 04-11-2012, 11:25 AM
Xewe Xewe is offline
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Power Plays

Good afternoon everyone, wanted to talk to you a moment about power plays and what people's options are when they get caught up in power plays.

First what is a power play? I'm not talking about those risky actions people do to establish power, but instead those actions people do that basically say "I win, you loose, now you deal with it."

I will give a specific example real quick. Recently Watchman White was ordered to confiscate some stuff from people that used them in the outer Bailey. Xewe had one of these things, and White insisted that he she give it to him. He used threats and intimidation, and when those didn't work he blew his duck call and soon White was joined by others including Major Priam and Dame Wilena.

Further intimidation was used, and Xewe ended up giving the item to White, and I've really not heard anything sense even though I was told OOCly that I should get the item back soon or be compensated for it in some way considering it did cost me Storypoints.

Why is this a power play and not just valid RP? First let's consider options:

1) White was blocking the door so Xewe couldn't just leave without a fight. If I had just left (because hey I could type real quick of open door and then south) I would have been power playing.

2) If Xewe wanted out of the room with this object she had two options: talk her way out of the room with it or fight her way out of the room. White is a skilled fighter though and had this been anyone less skilled than Xewe, fighting likely wouldn't even be an option. Even for Xewe it really wasn't that good of an option but it was an option. With people less skilled than Xewe, White has the ability to power play pretty much anyone by nudging it to a fight and then judge destroying them in the fight.

3) I tried the talking route, but that was quickly degrading to a fight, so I figure, I'll go the fight route because hey at least that might be fun even if I loose. But as soon as I try to get it to go to the fight route he blew his duckcall and soon we had the others there. So time to reassess the situation.

4) Ok again, options are to talk or to fight. But if we go the fight route realistically four against one when that one only has a dagger is a no go, so I was power played out of the fighting option. If I fight I will loose and I will then loose the item as well as anything else they decide to take off my dead body. Ok so time to go with the talking option.

5) So I try the talking option, and try to figure out what's going on, but Major Priam being the rank he is and Xewe being the rank she is decides to pull the rank card. I'm higher rank than you and you are lower rank than me. You will do what I say and I don't have to explain myself.

So let's look at my options here: I can't discuss the matter because the rank card has been played. I can't fight because I will loose. It's not a matter anymore of I might loose. So the only real option now is to give up the item and hope that I get it back soon instead of fighting, loosing and not getting the item back at all.

I did thank everyone for the RP at the time, but I've been seriously power played here. If I ever get the item back is purely based on if Major Priam feels like giving the item back, or if I can convince the right people that have power over Major Priam to leverage that power. But because Xewe doesn't have those kind of contacts anymore (I can't even get her on to see Sir Launfal to talk to him directly about her old status as a page let alone get her on to talk about how the Watch effectively mugged her), I'm pretty much out of options here.

I know people say the game is built off of conflict, but taking someone into a private location and then removing all their options for actions isn't really conflict, that's power playing.

But wait! I hear what some of you are saying right now: Every action has consequences, and using that item publicly had the consequence that it was taken from you. But I don't by that answer in this regard because there has been no indication ICly that I would have the item taken from me even if I wasn't breaking any laws while using it.

Higher ups effectively decided: We don't want you having it, so you can't have it.

So seriously what are my options right now? I could write to Priam and be all like "May I have my thing back now?" but that's still leaving it in his power to decide yes or no. I could as I mentioned try to convince other higher ups to help me out, but again I'm in the situation of if the higher ups decide that Xewe can't have it anymore then seriously I can't have it anymore.

I could try perhaps paging Priam and seeing if he's willing to work something out OOCly where some RP happens and even I don't get the item back at least some RP happens, and I suppose I could also file an assist to get Story Guide assistance here but I'm curious what the player base has to say.

If you were put into a similar situation what would you do? What would you have done?
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  #2  
Old 04-11-2012, 11:36 AM
Xewe Xewe is offline
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Just a quick comment here to anyone that reads this...

This isn't me being angry at Priam or White for power playing me, as individually I'm not sure either of them did. I just think that the situation I was put in was a power play and I'm angry at the situation.

I'm not saying that the way to make me happy with this situation is that Priam give my thing back. But I'm saying that I'm unhappy and I want to know how I the player can handle this situation....


Honestly I will be unhappy until I get my thing back, but that's beside the point, there is a difference between productive unhappy and unproductive unhappy. I want to move from unproductive unhappy to productive. I want Xewe to be creating RP, not me being so angry that I have a bad taste in my mouth to even sign on.
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  #3  
Old 04-11-2012, 11:48 AM
Jonen Jonen is offline
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First, sucks that you lost your item. That always smarts. Jonen has taken his fair share of licks and I can sympathize when your character is on the losing end of an encounter. However, a few points.

First, I would contest your definition of being powerplayed. Sure you didn't have a lot of options, but as I see it a powerplay is when a reaction is forced on you ("Jonen brutally impales your eye with his sword" "Jonen disgusts you with his breath" etc). Your options (fight and lose, try to flee and lose, fast talk) were not particularly attractive, but White didn't force you into choosing one.

Second, as has been mentioned ad nauseam, losing promotes character growth. Sure it sucks losing a shiny, but how does -Xewe- feel about this loss? Angry? Frustrated? Betrayed? Do those feelings get taken out on other targets, like deputies or loved ones?

Third, while the @assist is an amazing tool, don't lose sight of IC options. Can a powerful sponsor speak on Xewe's behalf? Can a shady character intervene to steal the item back? Can a trade be made? Priam is a character in particular with very public and specific IC goals that can be used as an initial negotiating point to possibly return the item.

Above all, don't lose heart. In the end the opportunities outweigh the challenges.
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:58 AM
Xewe Xewe is offline
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But that's my point really Jonen. I normally know that Priam is the kind of player to work with other players, but he did pull the rank card on Xewe and closed everything down for discussion. You might consider that someone power emoting to be power playing and you are right, but people using any sort of power that you can't combat in any sort of way is a power play.

For instance, I know that the sorcerers have a spell that can mute people. One could in theory follow you around and cast the spell on you repeatedly so you can't talk. As soon as the spell wears off they just recast it. That's a rather retarded example as you could say go punch the magic user in the face, but that won't actually stop them from using magic (as the punch to the face only does anything if they decide it does).

As for Sponsor no Xewe really doesn't have a good one right now. As I say, I can't even get on during good times to have Xewe talk with Launfal.
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  #5  
Old 04-11-2012, 12:12 PM
Jonen Jonen is offline
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Eh, I still have to contest your definition of power play. You can't stop Priam directly in this particular encounter... but making every encounter winnable cheapens his power while cheapening the conflict. Maybe bad rumors start coming out about Priam. Maybe he loses a deputy in a dark corridor. Maybe a friend Xewe recruits at court starts whispering to Boreas that the Inquisition is a failure. Just because Priam can't be beaten by a bum rush doesn't mean he can't be beaten. And that's assuming you want to beat Priam instead of win his favor or co-opt his power.

Again, not trying to diminish how much it sucks to lose. I just don't want you to think that this has to be the end of the story. The rest is up to your persistence and cunning.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:26 PM
Peraine Peraine is offline
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I'm in agreement with Jonen, and I too, know that it sucks to lose an item (maybe). However, unless it's been burnt up or destroyed, you now have many avenues opened up to you if you choose to take up a single goal:

Get the damned item back, at whatever cost.

But pursue it wholly IC.

Even if you don't get it back, or it is destroyed in the process (in that case, if it cost a lot of SP's, maybe ask for a reimbursement of SP cost?), you will generate a lot of plots. However, this is the kind of thing that you should be in for the long haul-- it might take a few days, or a few years. But if you keep that overriding goal in mind, and work toward it (again, by any means necessary), whether you actually get it back or not becomes beside the point.

The most important thing to keep in mind, whatever happens, is: it is the journey and not the destination-- the destination just gives you something to reach for-- and that nothing is impossible. Even if something becomes 'impossible' to achieve one way, you can try something else.
  #7  
Old 04-11-2012, 12:33 PM
Gabs Gabs is offline
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What you call powerplay, I call roleplay opportunities. It's not like they just restrained Xewe out of the blue and dragged her to the dungeons. You had ample opportunities to choose what to do. Just because the options were limited does not mean it was forced.

If I go and walk in the UB, for example, and get into a dead-end and the whole lot of the rebels are there, if I want to get out of there alive, my options might be limited to talk or fight too. How I get out of that situation, and in what state is still going to be the results of the actions my character (and by extension me as the player) take.

If I jump into the pile with my weapons and start brawling, I might be lucky and escape, but I might get pretty bruised up in the process. I might also find myself vastly overpowered and killed.

I can try to negociate my way out. Or refuse to cooperate at all.

If on the other hand I just walk in and Lucus and co just started stabbing me with their weapons again and again for no reason, THAT would be powerplay, and the solution would be to file an assist and let a Guide look over the matter.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:51 PM
Dolph Dolph is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabs View Post
If on the other hand I just walk in and Lucus and co just started stabbing me with their weapons again and again for no reason, THAT would be powerplay, and the solution would be to file an assist and let a Guide look over the matter.
Good LORD!

When you make a point you make a point (pun intended)
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  #9  
Old 04-11-2012, 01:46 PM
Gabs Gabs is offline
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Of course. I'm awesome that way. Because I have boobs.
  #10  
Old 04-11-2012, 04:02 PM
Xewe Xewe is offline
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People have offered some great suggestions here such as try to contact Priam IC and see if you can do some sort of favor for him to get your thing back, or turn towards crime to steal your thing back.

But one of the bad suggestions I've heard is "Don't take it OOC" the reason I feel this is a bad suggestion is that a player that's frustrated enough that they are having problems keeping their cool oocly, should take a step back... perhaps vent a bit and then try to reproach the problem. I am not saying that they should try to complain oocly until people bow to their will.

However as things stand now there are a few people involved in the RP:
1) Priam
2) White
3) Wilena
4) The other person that showed up when White blew his duckcall... can't remember who. And I lost my logs.
5) Of course Xewe

Now ultimately the Power rests in Priam's hands here, and the Challenge rests in my hands.

As the one with the challenge it is my responsibility to do what I can to reach my goal. But Priam as the one with the Power also has a responsibility to the RP. Otherwise he could just cross his arms, stubbornly say no and I'm just SOL. Sure I could have Xewe attempt to discredit him or all sorts of other things if he's just stubbornly saying no, but that's not really interesting RP.

RP without the appearance of being able to succeed isn't fun RP. It's Priam's responsibility as the one with the power to help facilitation RP by helping provide that chance of success. This might be done ICly by Priam contacting Xewe and saying "I have given consideration to if you should get your thing back and based off of your behavior I can not in good conscious give it back to you without you first doing X Y Z" or it could be simply by Priam saying OOCly, hey just want you to know that Priam isn't going to give it back to you unless you take the first step, but there are things he's willing to do.

As I am right now though, I've been told oocly 'you should get it back' by Priam, but that was the day of the event. I've not heard anything sense. It just seems to me that the ball is in his court to roll it back to Xewe in some way to say "Now what are you going to do"
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:13 PM
Keyana Keyana is offline
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Of course. I'm awesome that way. Because I have boobs.
Mine are bigger.
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Lady Avaria asks you in Northern, "Why is that, most conversations seem to diverge into discussions of large slabs of meat when you are around, Key?"
> OOC -- Leodegrance says, "I love Keyana. She should be her own adverb.
She likes sports, beer, cars, swearing, fighting and sex. She is crude, rude, often hygienically challenged and cheerfully ignorant and aggressive. In short, she is a young woman with the personality of a frat boy. She is the Ladette. (tvtroupes website)

  #12  
Old 04-11-2012, 04:16 PM
Gabs Gabs is offline
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Only ICly. IRL, I beat you.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:31 PM
Blodwen Blodwen is offline
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You might have asked the players before being so upset. The item(s) in question are not lost permanently to the Character.

Ta-dum! And fixed.

And I have huge tracts of land.

Win.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:37 PM
Keyana Keyana is offline
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IRL, I beat you.


Not by that much though but annnnyway <_<
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Lady Avaria asks you in Northern, "Why is that, most conversations seem to diverge into discussions of large slabs of meat when you are around, Key?"
> OOC -- Leodegrance says, "I love Keyana. She should be her own adverb.
She likes sports, beer, cars, swearing, fighting and sex. She is crude, rude, often hygienically challenged and cheerfully ignorant and aggressive. In short, she is a young woman with the personality of a frat boy. She is the Ladette. (tvtroupes website)

  #15  
Old 04-11-2012, 05:24 PM
Gabs Gabs is offline
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Quote:
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And I have huge tracts of land.
You win one free internet.
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