[MUD-Dev] Re: Marian's Tailor vs. Psychopaths

Michael.Willey at abnamro.com Michael.Willey at abnamro.com
Mon Oct 5 13:24:07 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

ApplePiMan wrote:
>At 10/2/98 2:29 PM Benjamin D. Wiechel (strycher@
>toast.net) altered the fabric of reality by uttering:
>>I suppose within this grouping of people, there are
>>the people like me that perhaps enjoy role playing a
>>character that is truly mean and vile, just to be a
>>bit different than their reality.  I personally enjoy
>>the opportunity to act out the life of the defined
>>"sociopath", as it creates an interesting flavor to
>>the mud, and it also causes a reaction in people.
>>Each person reacts differently to my behaviour, and
>>it is interesting to see each of them.  There's also
>>the side effect that one can give with one hand and
>>take with the other -- this time I might give you
>>equipment, next time I might take your life.
>Ah, but there's a big difference in playing the role
>of a sociopath and what the people this thread is
>dealing with are doing. By definition, role-playing
>the sociopath places you in the position of having to
>be aware of the virtual society and how you fit (or
>don't fit) in with it.
>Or let me put it this way: I tend to be a consummate
>role-player, but if I were role-playing a sociopath
>I would carefully play the role so that I would be
>*seen* as a sociopath without damaging my fellow
>players in quite the same way, or certainly to the
>same degree, a 'real' sociopath would -- at least
>without a player's OOC consent beforehand to help me
>play out a scene that would further my reputation as
>a sociopath.
>The very fact that I *have* to be aware of other
>characters' reactions to properly role-play a
>sociopath makes me more sensitive to those players
>than those who aren't playing a role but acting
>And, yes, I would contend anyone who isn't role-
>playing a sociopath pretty closely to the way I
>outlined above isn't role-playing a sociopath
>but acting sociopathically.

I agree with you here - There is a world of difference
in intent between a person honestly roleplaying a
sociopath and a person actually becoming a virtual
sociopath, even if many of their actions would be
similar.  The roleplayer's intent is to further the
game for everyone by providing a challenging villain.
The virtual sociopath's goal is to hurt people in any
way possible.  The wildly different goals will show
up in play as the virtual sociopath doesn't restrict
his harassment to one area.  He'll PK/PS where possible,
flame and make personal attacks both IC and OOC,
and use multiple characters to further his harassment.
In extreme cases he'll continue the harassment
via email, Usenet, and other net venues.

I can claim familiarity with the perspective of the
villainous roleplayer - As a GM in FTF games, one
of my strong suits is creating and playing memorable
villains.  Without these foils, the game wouldn't
be nearly as enjoyable.  But if they were mere mindless
brutes, that wouldn't be fun either.

Is this possibly the counter-dilemma to Marian's
Tailor?  Can we remove the virtual sociopath
element from our games without also removing the
ability to have villains?

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