I like a good revolution. Sing the song of angry men. Raise arms, hold ideals and cling at opportunity. Pursue the light without compromising for the shadows you cast. (Yadi yada) However, a good time for revolution can often be the worst time for your meta game world to have one.
It depends on the world you play in but if your going to shake the box I do put ooc onus on your to think about the wider ooc consequences. I fully appreciate this is awful. I mean who wants to think about who will drive the tent to site if you kill your group leader for making a poor decision on the battle field?
So am I asking you to temper ic actions with ooc concerns? I guess I am in certain situations. Before you go nova I’d ask you to consider the following
- Does the person or group you’re targeting do something for the gameworld ooc? (Ie drive a tent down, hold a position in the gaming establishment such as a directed played character, go to a daily meeting)
- Will you taking this action necessitate them not doing that job? (Will they drive the tent down even if they’re not in the group? Can they do the meeting ooc and let politics happen in game?)
- Is this something you’re able and willing to do? (Can you drive the tent down if relationships sour? Will the game world let you hold that position? Will they let you attend the meeting?)
- Is this something you can live without? (Forget the tent! We don’t need that directed player character)
- Does the absence of this person ooc affect others? (Will certain people not come back? Will the in game construct they ran cease to exist without them (Group/Guild/Faction/Nation))
- How long will this decision matter for? (Has your game been going for 30 years or does it re-set every year?)
The answers will differ. I NPC for a system where the leadership is player based and I am more a touchstone for players. So long as I aggressively re-roll nice characters then my death is not a worry. In that system when our tent doesn’t come we’re nomadic and nice enough other people invite us inside when the weather sours so very little ooc thought comes into any of our groups ic action – we just don’t have those ties.
Meanwhile, in another system, our leader is also our ooc representative to the company who we LARP with. Without him we would need someone endorsed by that company to continue the meta construct that is our faction. Getting a person is easier said than done. Once I was on the verge of a coup (all ic reasoning) but was dissuaded by this very point. I compromised my roleplay so that the safe harbor of our faction could survive. Yes, this did make some of my rp feel forced. I did feel some bitterness towards the end of my character about this as well.
I wouldn’t do it differently though. We’re over a year on now. I am happily playing another character based in the same faction. There are lots of people who would have fallen by the wayside in other factions that are getting the new player support they need with us. I could not say if my actions would have improved this. The rest of the event probably would have been really exciting. Would we still have been a faction by the end of the year? Unlikely.
But wait – I thought you hate compromising roleplay!? Believe me, I do! Find a less extreme way to solve the same issue. Get smart – can you sideways promote that char out of the position you need them gone from but keep them smiling? Can you persuade them to give up the power and pass it on? Can you marry them to divide the power? Can you ooc make any progress towards the things you don’t have yet but you need? In short, can you achieve what you want without any destruction to the ooc construct of the game?
Also, remember, in a lot of game worlds this will not matter. Where leadership is 100% player then you don’t have to worry about your game world imploding. If you job up the Thane her husband might leave the group as well as their cooking pot but this is a lot more survivable than a faction down the drain.
So, my dear little upstarts, remember this! Revolt responsibly. That does not mean never revolt – it means weigh up the cost and then work out if your able and willing to pay it.