How to deal with players modding themselves?

Discussion in 'Management' started by KieranMobius, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. KieranMobius

    KieranMobius Fresh Blood

    I'm not sure if any of you have had this problem in games, but a few of my players are modding themselves (giving themselves stuff, saying that a npc said this or did that). I have my own way of dealing with such matters (mostly by turning around their self-mod and causing them problems then giving them a reprimand).

    Was wondering if any of you have had this problem and how you dealt with it.
  2. Not super sure exactly what you mean since it sounds like our games function pretty differently (our players are allowed to "give themselves stuff" and dictate their own NPCs' actions at will), but if players RP out things that are not allowed (unrealistic, powerplay, etc) they're warned and asked to edit the offending passages.
  3. Meushell

    Meushell Resident Game Owner

    Like @Kiriska, I'm not sure what you mean. I've never heard the idea of moding yourself. From your description though, I think it's just the term I'm not used to. I've heard of godmoding, but not doing it to yourself.

    It depends on what they are doing exactly. If it's very minor, I may roll my eyes a bit, but I won't do anything about it. That's with stuff that, perhaps silly, maybe a bit unrealistic, but it's not really an issue.

    Going a bit higher than that, I may allow it, but give them a warning. This is stuff that may not really be an issue in itself, but I don't want it to get any higher than this.

    Stuff beyond that, I ask them to change it.

    It really depends on the situation, what they did, and honestly, it depends on the player. I mean, Player 1 and Player 2 can do very similar things, but if Player 1 is doing it to keep the story going, that's a different issue than Player 2 doing it to make his character look by player, I really mean, the motive behind what he or she is doing.
  4. Calico

    Calico Newcomer

    Like the others whom have responded, it's difficult for me to determine what you're indicating, but my guess is that you're having your players giving themselves unfair / unjust advantages via npcs which throw the game off-balance?

    For example, a shop npc giving a "discount" on an item that should be much more expensive, or possibly a player having written themselves in a special pet that gives them some sort of advantage in combat?

    If it's something that's obviously game-breaking, those players need to be warned that they cannot take so many liberties with the game. However, if you also look at your game, you might also find that you allow too much "open-worldness" in some areas, which leads players to make up their own things.

    It all depends on how much control you want over the game itself: If you want absolute control as the "gm" and you want people to only be able to do or have certain things in certain places, you have to put those restrictions in place, in the open, for people to know. You can never assume that people will "play fair" because to some people, fairness is a sliding scale of what works best for them at the time. ;)
    Meushell likes this.
  5. Kitsufox
    Caffeine Fix

    Kitsufox Resident Game Owner

    CoSC is a Warrior Cats game. Individual players run their own NPCs (usually family members, if they're alive at all, while they're hoping for an adopter). Staff only has to get involved when things like godmodding and powerplaying come up, or players want to give their characters powers we don't permit (which usually gets nipped in character creation, so we're typically not troubled by that).

    When staff does have to get involved, it's normally just ask them to change it. We've never had so serious an issue that we've gotten to the point where we've had to do more than wrist-slap a few times before they get it. If I was to have to go further, it would be putting the player on "Probation" in which they simply loose freedom to create new characters until they sort out their issues. If they flat out refused to improve, it would eventually get them ejected from the game... But as I said, the mild respond is the worst we've ever had to do there.
    Meushell likes this.
  6. I guess it does depend on how you run your game. If you have gamemasters or narrator-like moderators who write actions for NPCs and who control the environment around the character, then you need to state the rules very clearly in your documentation.

    In our game it is expected that people write for NPCs and even for them to create an introduce temporary or permanent/recurring NPCs that they can interact with. Members can write a whole scene by themselves using various characters as needed. So our game is run as the complete opposite of a 'moderated' game. We write it as a collaborative story, where each player has a lot of freedom to add to the world and the story.

    I would make sure my rules and documentation reflect exactly what is allowed and what is not. I would also send a pm to players who go off on their own to write stuff, and explain they need to have a moderator play the NPCs. If they do not like it, just point them to games where they can write their own stuff for NPCs :P There are plenty of those too.
    Elena, Meushell and Kitsufox like this.
  7. Helixagon

    Helixagon Resident Game Owner

    You need to start, as others have said, by making the rules clear from the get-go. If they break the rules once, kindly explain that they're not allowed to do that and point them to rules, edit posts if necessary. If they ignore it blatantly, you need to be firm. Unfortunately, there are some people who will always want to do things their own way - they need to make their own RPGs if that's how they prefer to do things. There's nothing that irritates me more than divas who think they can join someone else's site and then complain about the way things are run, when it was clear from the beginning how things are done. There's a middle ground of being understanding and taking things into account, but it has to be mutual. Some people simply refuse to take that middle ground, and it's honestly better to let them go rather than stress out trying to accommodate for them.
  8. VirusZero

    VirusZero Resident Game Owner

    For controlling the NPCs, I personally don't mind people controlling NPCs that I create for the most part. (Provided NPCs I've made aren't controlled in a very pants-on-head-stupid way.) Though there are some NPCs which I will openly state up front that they're not for use.
    But I think in most games it's a good idea to check before using just to make sure it's ok.

    As for gaining new powers, this depends on the individual roleplay. Since some roleplays do let players acquire new powers on their own (though admins/roleplay operators here often reserve the right to reject or require rewrites for any power at a moment's notice, even if it was previously accepted.)
    In those cases, if a player is giving themselves new powers pretty often or powers that are absurdly strong then it may be time for the admin to step in.

    Though in a lot of roleplays I've run, I don't allow players to just randomly acquire new powers. (Most of the time, any new power they want has to be run by me first. Usually because we have limits on the number of powers we can have. So they often have to remove an old power to make room for a new one.) So if they are in a thread and suddenly they start throwing fireballs when they didn't have that power before, they're likely to be asked how they're doing that.

    If there is a logical explanation (like they've got a wind character hit a gas main and then have them ignite the gas and pushing that with their wind powers) then no problems and props to them.

    But if they just acquired a new power? Well then I require them to edit the post to remove instances of them using that power. Then I remind them that if they want to gain another power they have to ask first. Just dropping a new power is not acceptable.
    If they refuse to edit their post... I will. And in the process I will also revert their application to pending and revoke posting rights until changes are made. Because when I state an edit needs to be made to fit within the story/universe... that's not a suggestion.
    Elena likes this.
  9. Catskillz

    Catskillz Newcomer

    *head-desk* I've dealt a lot with this in gameplay, and it always sucks when you have to reprimand someone on the matter.

    Having learned my lesson, I do my best to make it clear in the rules that God-Modding covers such things as this. If you have a vague "no godmodding" rule, you can use that as an umbrella to approach them privately, as well. You are the Mod, you're in charge. If they can't explain why they aren't modding themselves, then it's a clear indication that they're in the wrong and you can point that out to them (gently, of course).
  10. Elena

    Elena Resident Game Owner

    I think it is normal for people to write NPCs - they are encouraged to. And everything which makes for good storytelling is welcome. If anything is wrong for the setting, I would ask for a post change.
    Catskillz likes this.
  11. BobbyB

    BobbyB Resident Game Owner

    Hm, I can't say I've really had this problem, mostly cause I generally allow people to help control NPC's.
    However, if people do something I specifically told them not to do, I usually PM them, explaining my problem with their actions and ask them to change it and why. If they do it again then, it's a public mention and a bite in the ass. After that, I ask them to leave the game.

    It's my game, my rules. Years of RP experience have taught me to include clear rules beforehand like "NPC's are controlled by the GM", or if that's not the case, "Unless stated otherwise IC/OOC, NPC's may be controlled by the player"

    While it can be tempting to just let them have their actions bite their ass immediately on the first go... To me it comes off as petty and passive-aggressive. It's very possible people didn't realize at first what they did. Of course, after you've told them, it's a different case but we're all human. We make mistakes.
    Elena likes this.
  12. YethorianDravinas

    YethorianDravinas Newcomer Game Owner

    I've had issues with players God-modding to the point their characters had unfair advantages in battle or even in a training session. When it comes to things like that then I will reprimand, yes other than that I don't really mind players controlling NPC's as long as it does not get out of hand to where they achieve godly powers or something. If you really want to stop that from happening as the others have said you need to make it clear in the rules that it is not going to be tolerated or even pull them off to the side if you do have a "No God-mod" rule. I've pulled plenty of people aside and told them what I thought and how I thought their actions were affecting the gameplay that was going on.
  13. ShadowedSin

    ShadowedSin Newcomer Game Owner

    I haven't had any serious God Modders on my site in years. My fellow co-admin and I often joke about something who in a post modified the setting by saying the "bridge was out". I was like "what bridge?" in response to that post and even after that the guy was just kind of hard to understand.

    I've had the exact opposite problem in games with people refusing to make their own NPCs or to even move them around. It's no one's job in a forum unless stated otherwise.
    Elena likes this.