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4. Godmoding (aka - Please Don't Do This)

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The Maker

Staff member
"Godmoding" is a blanket term for a range of behaviors that are generally frowned upon in collaborative RP settings. The term derives from the ‘God Mode’ in computer & console games, which can give the player invincibility, unlimited ammo, or other boosts. While God Mode can be an entertaining change of pace for single players, it is usually forbidden in multiplayer and player vs player games.

In text based collaborative RP, godmoding falls into 4 main categories: Godmodding, Powerplaying, Metagaming & Retconning. With one exception that will be discussed, godmoding of any kind is not acceptable at Thedas: Timelines.

The website Forumroleplay.com has an extensive discussion of the various types of godmoding, but here is a short description of each:

Godmodding generally occurs during character creation, with the player giving their character skills and characteristics far beyond what would be typical for their age or background, such as an 18 year old farmer’s son with no military experience possessing all tiers of the Champion specialty or an apostate who is a city elf being able to read ancient Tevene. It can also take the form of characters with no flaws or weaknesses, sometimes called Mary Sues or Gary Stu’s.

Godmodding can be avoided by giving thought to realistic skills and personality during character creation, and understanding that flaws and weaknesses help make a character well rounded and believable. The moderators will help guide players away from godmodding during the character creation process.

Powerplaying occurs when a player takes an action that affects another player’s character or assumes an action from another player’s character that has not taken place.

For example:

“Nate lashed out with his fist, knocking Ferren off his feet.”

Unless Nate’s player has received permission from Ferren’s player beforehand, the results of his action should not be described. A more appropriate approach would be:

“Nate lashed out with his fist, aiming for Ferren’s nose.”

It would then fall to Ferren’s player to decide what the result would be. No player character may take any action that affects another player’s character without the consent of that player. That may sound restrictive, but it is intended to encourage communication between players and ensure a fair and fun playing experience for all.

Metagaming refers to the use of OOC knowledge in IC actions, thoughts or behavior. Many players will have a great deal of knowledge regarding DA lore, but their characters would not know everything that they know. For example, the nature of the Joining and how a Grey Warden kills an Archdemon are closely guarded secrets in the Order, so a Denerim guard would not be expected to know about them. Similarly, a player is a nurse in RL, but plays a character in the city guard who has only basic first aid skills listed in their profile and background. Them aiding a severely wounded comrade by jury-rigging a blood transfusion would be metagaming.

Metagaming is easy to fall into, but can be avoided by keeping in mind what your character would be expected to know and basing all of your actions and responses in a thread on the information and cues provided IC by your thread partners.

Retconning is the act of rescinding an IC occurrence or pretending as if it did not happen, such as two characters having a fight in a thread that ends with them both wounded and angry with each other, but having a thread set only hours later that has them both uninjured and the best of friends, with no explanation given for the change.

Retconning is the only type of godmoding for which exceptions may be made, but always requires the permission of the moderators:
  1. A player engages in an action that would be expected to have IC consequences, such as an apostate casting a fireball at a guard in the middle of the Denerim market and running away. This would be expected to result in templars actively seeking that mage. If the moderators notice that something like this has taken place, on the first occurrence, they will contact the player and offer the choice to either retcon the post with an action that would not draw the consequences or RP out the consequences. If this becomes a repeated occurrence for a player, however, the choice of retconning will not be offered and the player will be required to accept the IC consequences.
  2. Occasionally, RP can get carried away and lead into an aftermath that none of the players involved wanted. An example could be the fight mentioned earlier, which might be severe enough to end the friendship if the characters reacted IC-ly. In that case, if all players involved are in agreement, they may request that the moderating team allow them to redo the thread to reach a conclusion that will allow the characters to remain friends (or whatever outcome is sought). Permission is not guaranteed, and if other RP has already been influenced by the thread in question, such as the friends’ other friends reacting to news of the fight and taking sides in other threads, may not be granted. Clear communication during the threading process can go a long way toward preventing such situations.

These types of roleplaying mistakes are frequently made by inexperienced players, so if you fall into this category, please don’t worry! The moderating team will let you know when you have made a mistake and work with you to correct it. Our goal is always to allow players to have fun with their RP.
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