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Powerful PC Characters
And the purposes behind them

A conversation happened on OOC-Chat which I think is both important and informative. I've got a log of some of it here. The discussion is about powerful player characters, admin alts, why some players become powerful with their characters, how in part, to accomplish this, examples, and also a discussion of the positives and negatives of all this.

I think everyone should read this. I also would like the conversation to continue here. Thanks to everyone that took part in the convo.

It started when Cerberus asked if a character like Anderson should be made into an NPC because they were too powerful.

Cookie Monster: Power vacuums are interesting.

Someone: Yea, it was something about when a character reaches a certain point, I assume years down the road, it's time for a CP exit. I assumed that was some glorious death filled with awesome.

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: Could be a lot of things.

Cookie Monster: There's a lot of ways to exit stage left without dying, especially in this genre.

UndeadWereLuck: Not always a death. Some are NPC'd. Some are given stories out of the dome, such as being transferred, etc.

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: In my opinion becoming a NPC is one of those.

Rogare: I mean that as creating a void, but also the player focusing on filling another void.

Someone: Ahh I see.

Staff Cerberus: If the player were to take on another role beyond Anderson, would you prefer he stay out of a combat role, and focus more on adding flavor and not taking advantage of other PCs?

Someone has left the channel.

Some Nerd: Yes.

Staff Cerberus: Why?

SomeoneGold: What's wrong with him as he is?

Doughboy: whats the difference anymore /s

Some Nerd: Wait, that for someone elses question, sorry.

Someone: Were people like, uh, whats his name. The Samurai guy in the mix. Was he a real player?

Bogrin: I would like more political high-level roles. I feel like it is a potentially neglected aspect, and it lets someone's RP shine more than skill.

UndeadWereLuck: Yes. I think the player of Anderson, if not focused on combat and instead another skill (cough cough SK cyberware maybe?) would help expand that skill set more

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: No, I think it doesn't matter what they play next.

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: They made a lot of plot with anderson, whoever they play next will do the same I am sure.

UndeadWereLuck: He did a great job at expanding alot relating to topside and new combat

Bogrin: These are politically charged times in Withmore, could be a good time for politics RP.

UndeadWereLuck: And if they transferred that skill to another skillset, it would help other players who necessarily are not combat oriented

Doughboy: it'd be kinda boring from their perspective if they played the exact same archetype they did as anderson

Doughboy: even if they were like, a mix-equivalent

Some Nerd: Give him the honor of going to Sto'vo'kor.

Bogrin: My question is, how can we put it effort like Anderson? How can we all be the best role-players possible?

Droid Trap: Don't stay in an apartment all day.

Staff Johnny Channel 5: don't just sit at the bar.

Hale Satan: Anderson is absolutely part of the 1%, both in the character's social status and the level of things they have access to. There is a gulf between him and other fiscally successful PCs. Sliding him into an NPC role where he can still be present in the game for the purposes of WJF RP makes sense.

Flaming Goose: The player should play what they want. Combat role or not.

UndeadWereLuck: I have RP'd with Andersons character I believe starting a bit after he joined the game on the same character. He helped expand alot relating to corpsec, judge stuff, and various other things

Grey0: If the player wants a new character they should play whatever they want. I wouldn't want them to be forced to move on though unless they die like other character. Should they move on In fine with Anderson staying on as an NPC or making an exit.

The Director has left the channel.

Hale Satan: If the player wants to dive into another combat character, they should go hog wild, imo.

Bruh nods.

Bruh says, "Anderson v2"

Hale Satan: Not Anderson 2.0.

UndeadWereLuck: That is against the @rules

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): I'm interested in hearing about the public perception of Anderson. I've heard a lot of you say 'the way it seems from my point of view' right after saying it seems like he has gotten a lot without a lot of effort. I appreciate that you all seem to understand that stuff happens in the background without your character being aware of it. However, I want to know if this perception on your part effects your play or if you think it effects others.

Bruh says, "Anderson once severely effected my char. In a good way, tho"

Doughboy: will say

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Is a character like Anderson a net positive for the game ICly? A net negative ICly? A net postivie OOCly? A net negative OOCly?

Doughboy: a little surprised they were still around when i came back to play

tetsuo: Anderson has always just been positive imo.

Bogrin: It all comes down to if there will be others in positions of authority. I like having a feeling of player meritocracy, like player government and such, but that doesn't really exist in Sindome.

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: I believe they were certainly an IC positive.

Flaming Goose: Definitely positive.

tetsuo: He got my char into minor bullshit sometimes, which pissed me off IC; but made me laugh like a fucking maniac OOC.

Doughboy: positive if even just so we can see what it's like to get that high up

tetsuo: Love that char. And what doughboy said, yeah.

UndeadWereLuck: I know the player has put in work, with his various corporate enterprises, saving and investing money, using influence to get him places. I think he is a net positive ICly, overall, but without more people at his level of fiscal ability, even if not power, at the same time he is around, it makes it OOCly hard to not feel cheated, if that makes sense

Hale Satan: It depends on if he's being used as an example of what's attainable ICly.

Calivion says, "I got a fair amount of RP from Anderson so I would say a Net Positive. "

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Does anyone feel like characters like Anderson stifle RP? or prevent it?

tetsuo: No.

Doughboy: they're a judge, thats their job

Bogrin: I feel like they have the capability to, I am not sure if he did though.

Doughboy laughs.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Characters with connections like Anderson has, and access like Anderson has, can often be seen as omnipotent. Is that a bad thing? A good thing?

Rogare: I've felt a little bit like there's been some major conflict, then Anderson got involved and it was ended abruptly. But that's without being directly involved.

Doughboy: that's maybe more of a mixed bag of a question.

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: I think it's only a bad thing if the Player feels omnipotent.

Hale Satan: It can be both good and bad.

tetsuo: It's a good thing, because it tells people to get out there and make powerful connections.

Bruh says, "There'S always that one powerful asshole who you just can't touch. ANd it'S good to have that"

Cookie Monster: Seemingly omnipotent power brokers is themely.

UndeadWereLuck: I think that maybe a character or NPC like Anderson should be available in the future to help show other characters that side of the game, even if briefly. It seems unobtainable because the way Anderson is portrayed, it makes it hard to figure out an example of how to achieve that through RP.

Hale Satan: The thing is, making him an NPC wouldn't change that.

Hale Satan: He'd still be the powerful asshole who oversees the Judges.

Bogrin: Well, it makes sense that someone like that would be practically omnipotent. It is okay to me, but I think it is unfair if he is the only person ever to be able to be powerful.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Rogare, powerful characters getting involved in a conflict often lead to it being resolved through force of will, or just plain force.

Bogrin: I think it would be better to have a robust system capable of handling different levels of power, such as having room for those "upper-level" characters.

UndeadWereLuck: Bogrin, hes not the only person, if past experience tells me correctly. He is just the first in a while to show it publically.

Staff Cerberus: It's important to note that there are countless NPCs and PCs with equal capability in the form of UE.

Staff Cerberus: No one is unkillable.

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: I don't think it was UE that made Anderson appear untouchable or all powerful.

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: It was his personality and the positions he ended up holding.

Grey0: I just wish I knew how much of his influence, connections and resources was gained by engaging other PCs ve engaging NPCs. I know we treat them the same wbut I never felt I was able to engage NPCs as effectively as PCs and wonder if I should try harder. If so much of his influence was vis NPC interaction I only wonder what others have to do to get such a level of engagement from NPCs. In all, however, I never felt he was a problem and I never felt anything unfair was going on.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Anyone can attain high levels of power, but you also have to be OOCly trusted to obtain things like high level WJF roles. That's because it takes a long time, and lots of training, and you have to prove you can ICly and OOCly handle it. And that you're going to stick around. The GMs aren't interested in spending months training characters for a role that they up and leave because they get bored, or quit.

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: Which is a reasonable way to become "untouchable" IMO.

Staff Cerberus: Also, if a position makes someone feel untouchable, is it because there will be consequences for trying to touch them or do you feel they're just rendered invincible period?

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: Because of consequences.

Hale Satan: Little bit of both.

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: There were plenty of times Anderson was standing around in public alone.

Staff Cerberus: Okay, do you think that's a negative? That the jobs you can obtain form consequences for other people?

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: And could easily have been taken out.

SomeoneGold: Lol.

Cookie Monster: Consequences are only good for the game.

UndeadWereLuck: I feel NPC's are consiered invincible. Example, gangers not popping out of the vats to perm, along with other NPC's. I get its a coding thing, but it makes it seem nearly impossible to perm some major influencers for power.

Hale Satan: Nnnno, not saying consequences are bad.

Staff Cerberus: We don't just delete NPCs, no.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): The best way to attain higher levels of power via a job or something, is to create RP for others. Anderson is very good at that. He creates RP for others. He is a focal point. If you are a focal point of RP, you're going to be involved in a lot of stuff, have access to more stuff, meet more people, earn more favors, accomplish more thigns.

Droid Trap: I thought NPCs were randomized.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): NPCs can be permed.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): But it's not something we do lightly

Staff Cerberus: It creates a lot of work, but yes it can happen.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Because it has very large effects.

UndeadWereLuck: I know. You mentioned people feeling invincible. There are some NPC's I feel should have died along time ago due to various things ICly, but could not be handled effectively because of very light reasoning. Might just have been bad RP, but still.

Staff Cerberus: It has to be something that is well deserving.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Like, what if someone just spent a year building a relationship and favors with that NPC

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): It would be sort of a dick mvoe to remove them from the game

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): It's also an undertaking to replace that character, their history, create a new personality, introduce that personality, train the GMs how to puppet them

Droid Trap: Well, I thought PCs and NPCs were supposed to be treated equally, PC can easily spend a year building a relationship and favors with another PC.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): That's right, they can. And how often do PCs get permed by NPCs?

Droid Trap: ...depends.

Staff Cerberus: Never.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Should every NPC start perming every PC that deserves it?

Droid Trap: Never? Huh.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Never is a slight exageration.

Staff Cerberus: GMs are told to never perm a player.

Staff Cerberus: Thats a recent thing

UndeadWereLuck: I have been permed by NPC's in the past. Granted, there was reason for it, but still.

Staff Cerberus: Well, wait a second, there's an implied intent here.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Getting permed by gangers your first week in the game doesn't count.

UndeadWereLuck: Not that.

Staff Cerberus: Never will an NPC PERM you out of their own desire, If you run into their fist, it's entirely a different thing, that's suicide by NPC

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): *nods*

UndeadWereLuck: Was RP. And I loved the RP. But I was permed by them

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Did you ask to be permed?

UndeadWereLuck: No.

Staff Cerberus: Did you put yourself in a position with no clone to be permed?

Someone: Suicide by gangers! Hah!

Cookie Monster: So has the line of discussion veered to 'Anderson is so powerful, he might as well be an NPC.' ?

Bogrin: It seems like the general curiosity by the staff is if it is okay for players to wield immense power?

UndeadWereLuck: No clone, yes, but not by choice. This is years ago at this point, but yes. Regardless, back to the topic at hand.

Staff Cerberus: If we deem a PC to be trustworthy of steering RP with positions of influence, do you trust judgement in picking those players?

Staff Cerberus: I think thats the real question

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Like Cerb said, NPCs aren't going to set out with intentions to perm you unless you've really gone off the rails and we feel it would be incredibly unthemely to not act. More than likely you're getting banished or cryos.

Staff Cerberus: our judgement*

tetsuo: I put 100% trust into staff judgement.

Grey0: I do.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): When I was Head GM, I routinely ran plots from Seven, my alt.

Bogrin: Well, personally I trust the staff because of their judgement in other areas, and I would hope that their judgement remains sound for that too.

tetsuo: If a PC is granted an immense amount of power and a position which makes him/her nearly intouchable; I'm sure staff has reasons for it.

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: I very much do Cerberus.

tetsuo: And I'm sure they'll step in if the power is misused.

Calivion says, "I would trust staff to chose trustworthy, or well established characters, and with the player's consent, turn them into NPCs."

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): The issue we've had in the past is that there was a perception problem. People complain that PCs are untouchable. That the GMs are favoring them.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): In reality, we put people we trust to create RP in positions to be what amounts to Player GMs.

Cookie Monster: Unfortunately, I think the accusations of favoritism are always going to be there, because people who invest the most time in the game plus understand the theme and the mechanics of the game the most are more likely to be staff/have good relationships with staff.

UndeadWereLuck: If a player is trusted, yes. I do think that if one person is being trusted, that there should be a balance with another player to help keep things more...equal. Even if thats at a lower step. While some of my decisions have not been the best IC, there are scenarios where I feel various characters acted in a similar manner to another character, who advanced very quickly by NPC help (in a job, etc) while my PC did not.

Droid Trap: Nobody's untouchable.

UndeadWereLuck: But that may all be in my mind. I trust the GM staff and build staff to make the best decisions for the player base, regardless of my feelings on certain scenarios.

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: I also don't think Anderson seemed more untouchable than many other trusted PCs who hold positions of power in red.

Staff Cerberus: That issue has only been compounded by the fact that Anderson is indeed my character. He was my character before I became a staff member, and has been until 4 days ago when I rendered him unable to participate in combat, and made him into an NPC due to the perception that some players may believe that his existence is too tainted to continue being him.

Droid Trap: Max stealth and rifle, sneak. Aim sniper rifle. Boom.

tetsuo: oh shit

Someone: I feel like people keep saying nobody is untochable. In my experience in various RP games, If somebody is not untochable...they wouod have been touched by now eh?

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: I think that complaint is BS, people take issue with anderson because of a perception of you that IMO is shallow.

Staff Cerberus: I have indeed played my alt in a way that has been a resource for my GMing in the absence of other PCs available to fill high level topside roles. He's been moved into positions that require a lot of GM oversight, and since I've been playing him has lowered the need for GMing resources to be spent on the WJF.

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: You may be harsh on occasion and sometimes offend people, but I can't imagine you ever using your position as a staff member to cheat or harm the game that you love.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): So, it's easy to say that this is about Cerberus penchant for being an asshole sometimes.

Staff Cerberus: My perception has been that if players trust me to GM for them they trust me to temper my use of my own character.

Cookie Monster nods.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): But I encountered the same exact thing when I was Head GM and played Seven.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): And everyone knows I'm like, super nice.

tetsuo: i most def trust cerb to play anderson

Droid Trap: Same.

SomeoneGold [to Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither)]: Even in that wig.

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: Do you think you encountered it because of you OOC or because of how violent your character was?

Cookie Monster: It's no secret that cerb can be a bit uh acerbic, but I don't think he should give away his char just because of some baseless accusations

Bogrin: At that point though, it sort of is just like an NPC anyway, however one that is always puppeted.

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: Because the Anderson thing reads to me as very much OOC issues.

Staff Cerberus: Does knowing that Anderson is played like an NPC even though he was a PC at the time, ease concerns that he may have been unfairly given opportunity when the opportunities were provided to create RP for other players?

Staff Mephisto: I don't see it as a problem of cerb ever being an asshole personally

Cookie Monster: Although I can see some conflict of interest issues

Bogrin: I mean, it comes down to opinion. There are people that will like the RP created, and there will be people that don't like it. It is just a question of if it is "fair" that the particular RP was likely created by someone with more advantages than another.

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: I think we have to trust that the most senior GM's are above CoI in most situations because they are -going- to face that.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): What's the conflict of interest?

Cookie Monster: Well, there would be no CoI if they didn't have alts. But it's unfair to ask them not to play the game.

Judge Not-Boba-Fett: And I think Anderson is a prime example of doing things the right way, using your Alt to facilitate RP because there wasn't a way to avoid him being involved to some level.

Cookie Monster: Playing an alt as a resource for GMing is a possible conflict right there.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Why?

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): I want to hear your reasoning.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): I've been playing my alt as a resource for GMing for 11 years.

Cookie Monster: I'm not saying there is any actual conflicts, but that there will always be accusations of it.

Grey0: Can a GM puppet an NPC for his Alt? Or do they have to wait until another GM is up for it?

Cookie Monster: Personally, I don't think there is any.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): They cannot. There is a BGBB post of Admin rules on the forums

Staff Cerberus: No they cannot puppet for their alts

Staff Cerberus: It's in our admin rules which i believe is accessible from the membership FAQ

UndeadWereLuck: I felt sometimes when Anderon's character was helping facilitate RP (which I don't fault, I loved it) he advanced/moved around in ways that I have not seen offered to any other character in my near 5 years in this game. Some may have been warranted, yes, through RP, but others seemed...near omnipotent.

Staff Cerberus: Yes, they were not offered to other PCs due to the need for greater trust to occupy some of those positions.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): What we are talking about is admin being willing to give up some of their agency as players in order to create more RP for everyone else, in exchange for being able to do that, not by puppeting NPCs, but by playing their own characters.

Bogrin: My question to the staff, and this is not an accusation, but if you OOCly very much disliked someone, would you be able to RP your power character being good friends with them, or helping them advance their career, etc.

Staff Cerberus: I do it all the time.

Staff Cerberus: Even players that accuse me of wrong doing, I never stop progressing their RP with puppets and plottery if they just focus on playing the game.

Staff Meme Queen Caffeine: Compartmentalization, subjectivity/objectivity, and the discussion of it as staff are cornerstones of the backend.

UndeadWereLuck: Oh, you have advanced a certain place in X job, here is the head of Y job coming to offer the position. Even if it wasn't a high position, it just seemed unfair because there was never opportunities (even just the same job at another corp for a slight raise) offered to anyone else, or similar things.

Grey0: That's what I though. I see no conflict then. Sure, beng a GM means they might know the controls of the game better than most but I guess many players will also gain that level of familiarity in time. And I doubt that other GMs are making non-Alt PCs wait so tey can give the Alt prority. I see no conflict here.

UndeadWereLuck: Im not hating on Anderson. In fact, I love what he help expand in this game and its helped shape my character over the years. But just thinking of things that may be a bit odd given the character.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Alts are rarely puppeted for.

Staff Cerberus: It's important to note that some positions and a lot of them are topside, require a lot of trust from staff to the player to occupy and the people vying for those roles don't always have the staff's trust.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): I dont' think anyone has puppeted for me in like 2 years.

Staff Cerberus: I killed Seven 2 yrs ago.

Staff Cerberus: With a puppet.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Oh that's true.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): that was the last time I got any RP from these lazy ass GMs

Doughboy: rip

Bogrin: Are the staff capable of trusting someone who they do not like? Not an accusation, more of a question of the exact meaning of trust.

Staff Cerberus: It depends how they conduct themselves.

Staff Cerberus: If we don't like them for a reason that impacts trustfulnesss, how could we?

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Trust is about showing up, obeying the rules, and keeping others best interests in your head when you're executing plots.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): Just because you -can- do something, doesn't mean you should. I stopped snapping necks after combat like 8 years ago.

Staff Meme Queen Caffeine: I've seen some great RPers who just don't understand theme.

Staff Cerberus: As many of you know we banned a staff member permanently for a breach of our trust last year. We take it very seriously.

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): It wasn't creating RP for my character to do that.

Grey0: If they do not receive puppets then how do Alts convince NPC leaders of companies to give them awesome jobs?

Staff Mr. Cooperative Competition (Slither): It's not that they don't get puppets. It's that you players are prioitized.

since I experienced that aftermath. Thank you :) "

Droid Trap: Awwww.

I absolutely agree with GMs using their alts to advance RP. I disagree with Cerb giving up his character, because I always felt that the GI position almost NEEDS to be a Staff member, and Cerb was good at playing it. The game needs the WJF to have someone like Anderson, and Cerb played it extremely well.

You're always going to need power positions, and staff have a lot of oversight in how they handle interactions and positions like that, so I'm comfortable having their alts fill that role.

Remember that time we were all voting for best characters in several categories before Town Hall, and Cerb @shouted for people to stop voting for Anderson because he was winning a good chunk of them? There's a lot of levels to that.

I'm heartbroken that Anderson isn't a PC anymore. As someone who used to be very much against it, I love having legends like him and Seven and Frijol around and doing things. I've brushed with a few, and for me, being involved with those characters is a rush. I love having legends around and interacting with the world, it feels very cyberpunk to me that there are certain people who you don't fuck with, and if you do, be ready for a roller coaster. I love it when a powerful PC walks in a room, and even through text, you can -feel- the eyes turning towards them. All this being said, in Anderson's case, I think he sort of ran out of things to do. He hit the top. Maybe it was indeed time for him to step above the spotlight. I'll definitely miss his being an active presence in the game, though, as someone to fear, to look up to, and as an access point to the higher tiers of topside life.

Remember that time we were all voting for best characters in several categories before Town Hall, and Cerb @shouted for people to stop voting for Anderson because he was winning a good chunk of them? There's a lot of levels to that.

I'm heartbroken that Anderson isn't a PC anymore. As someone who used to be very much against it, I love having legends like him and Seven and Frijol around and doing things. I've brushed with a few, and for me, being involved with those characters is a rush. I love having legends around and interacting with the world, it feels very cyberpunk to me that there are certain people who you don't fuck with, and if you do, be ready for a roller coaster. I love it when a powerful PC walks in a room, and even through text, you can -feel- the eyes turning towards them. All this being said, in Anderson's case, I think he sort of ran out of things to do. He hit the top. Maybe it was indeed time for him to step above the spotlight. I'll definitely miss his being an active presence in the game, though, as someone to fear, to look up to, and as an access point to the higher tiers of topside life.

Characters like Anderson are super necessary in my opinion.

Without getting into details, when my character was a new immy Anderson was held up as an example of everything that she could potentially achieve. He was like a benchmark for her. Not only has all my infrequent RP with him been super tense for me because of the kind of aura of authority surrounding him, but my character and a character close to mine have probably spent hours discussing Anderson and how we could try to become as successful as him, trying to unpack how he rose so high, ICly.

As Trickyhottrev says, interacting with legendary characters is a rush for the rest of us. When Anderson walked into a room, the room stopped.

To the point of "should GM characters not rise to power to avoid the appearance of favoritism", I really hate that notion. If someone doesn't trust the GMs to be playing not only fairly but for everyone's benefit, enjoyment and interest, then why play?

Anyway, my point is that while it's amazing how thoughtful and attuned to the playerbase the GMs are, I hope you won't let the negativity of a few ruin your -own- playing experience. Given all you contribute, you deserve to be having fun more than anyone.

After reading through all this conversation and the comments following it, I feel the need to share my thoughts. Personally, I'm a fairly new player, having left the game once and returning to play a new character who's been up since February. While I obviously know less than the veterans out there, I believe that being not emotionally tied to any of the big names makes me a bit more objective. Finally, I would like to make sure that everything written below is taken as my personal thoughts and opinion and is by no means meant to upset or insult, even if I suspect it will stir people a little.

First of all, early in the discussion, from the replies of the staff I got to understand that the characters in the game are divided in three major categories: PCs, GM alts, and NPCs, each being treated in a different way. Even PCs end up being divided in trusted and non-trusted, but I brought this up to talk a little about the NPCs. I understand the hustle of an NPC having to be replaced and how many things would need to be changed if one was to die permanently. But as players we are asked to handle NPCs as if they were other PCs, therefor I don't see why there needs to be such great thought before one is allowed to be permed. If a player was to be permed, there wouldn't be any kind of great consideration before that is allowed to happen, so why should that be any different for NPCs? After all, following through a kill and heading to the vats to perm a character is no mean feat, and is something dangerous in and of itself. It means there's a fair amount of planning and coordination behind it so it wouldn't be just a random killing. And even if it was random, realistically, how often do badass people die in the most random of situations? War veterans surviving the war to come home and die in a random convenient store robbery, or a car accident. As anticlimactic and unfair as that might seem... it happens.

Now as for the GM alts, there are a few things that make me feel weird. For one, even to a person as new as I am, it was obvious that Anderson was none other than Cerberus, even if it was just because of the position. And I take no issue with that. In fact, I understand why it would make sense for the head GM to be the highest IC authority. However, the mere thought that this is a GM's character changes the player's mindset towards them. I can already hear the cries of outrage, but this is the truth of it. Now, I do respect what the admins do. It's a tremendous amount of work and the game would be impossible without them. However, I still feel that for them to be in the game as players creates a conflict of interest. Why? Because who doesn't want their character, the character that they have spent so many hours designing and playing, that they created with so much love and care, to move forward. And while they do, of course, have the best of intentions, the playing field is not even.

For one, the mechanics of the game are completely unknown to all players just to keep us from minmaxing. My opinion on that is irrelevant, I understand why it was done and I'm fine with it. However, I doubt GMs are just as oblivious about how mechanics work. At the very least they can take a sneak peak in other player stats and builds, compare it to their performance and work out the data, so the amount of info they have available and what they can use to mechanically craft their own character into something much more efficient is disproportionate to what the rest of us have.

Second, every time I log into the game, I'm greeted by this message: "Discussing the in character world with other players via Out of Character communication methods (Skype, IM, Facebook, etc) is strictly against the rules, even if you don't plan to act on the information you give or receive. Intent is irrelevant when dealing with natural human instinct to defend oneself from harm, this applies to roleplay as well. Sharing IC info is unfair. It has disastrous effects on the game. [...]" It's well known that GMs see everything. They don't always read everything but they have the ability to. How is this any different than a friend telling me about an IC conversation that my character wasn't present to listen to? And yes, I do trust that they are the rulers of the game and that they are keeping things fair, but this brings the "untouchable" part into perspective. Because I highly doubt that if a group of PCs is planning to kill a GM alt, and said GM is there to read the whole conversation, they'll have their character willingly act unaware and step into a trap, or that they would be unprepared. As the rules state, it has nothing to do with intent, it's the instinct of self-preservation, and I don't think that GMs are any less human than we are. They used to be players after all, and to a degree, they still are.

Those comments are only meant to be food for thought. Once again, I mean no disrespect for the admins or how the game is run. I've spent an astonishing amount of time playing games, especially the tabletop kind, with dice and papers and a group of people sitting for hours in the same room, and I know that a GM can, and will in some cases, “cheat”. When you have someone who has all the information, sees the bigger picture, and rolls their dice behind a screen, there's always the opportunity, and is often done to save the plot. For that reason however, GMs normally don't play characters of their own in their campaigns (and to my experience, whenever they do, it's a disaster...). The other term used for a game master is "Story Teller" and that for me is the most accurate one. Someone who progresses the story and makes the world feel alive is what the game actually needs. There will always be characters with incredible stats that players will look at with awe, but when those characters are actually played by a GM as a player character it will always feel unfair to some. If I was to make a suggestion, GMs could take the role of corporations, organisations or other entities, making the world alive but not sticking with one character. That will not only make everything more lively, but also prevent any kind of power creep from occurring. Not to mention it will also make the whole NPC dying and being replaced part far easier. At least in theory.

Finally, I'll make a brief mention to player trust. I haven't reached a level of familiarity with the game to know exactly what it means to be a trusted player. However, I did came to realize that the most influential characters in the game are in some way closely related to some GM alt, so that made me raise an eyebrow every now and again. Personally, I'm a guy with a normally very busy schedule, who turned to Sindome when the blues hit him, and I have sunk more hours in the game than I dare to admit. We all spend a good chunk of our lives in this digital world. Some have been doing it for years, while others are newer to the experience, but we are all people, spending time of our life in a game, and that time is equally valuable for all of us. It's minutes, hours and days that we're never going to get back. What I'm trying to say is that the time of each player should be viewed as equally important and players should be given equal opportunities. Those who have been playing for years are obviously going to have access to higher paying jobs, or positions of power, or have more powerful connections. That's how life works. But that should be a matter of the character's story and progress, not the OOC like or dislike there is for a certain player. For example, the new character of a highly acclaimed player, should have the same opportunities and treatment with one starting the game today. I hope that makes sense.

I know this is how the game has been played for years, and this might not be the place for all of my comments, however, I wanted to put them there for anyone who's interested in giving it some thought. I wrote them down because I like the game and I want to see it thrive. My apologies for rambling, and thank you very much for reading through all of this.

@Demetrius: I hear you, and I hope this doesn't come off as condescending:

While staff alts may sometimes appear to have some kind of big edge over the player base, in my experience any resource or knowledge advantage winds up being leveraged to create RP for players in a way that is more immersive, alive, and player driven than puppeted NPCs are able to do. It's probably also more fun for the staffer that way.

If Anderson or whoever appears to have a big goal they are leveraging their assets towards, it is likely that this is being done because of player RP in order to give involved players access to the resources (or allies or opponents) that they need for their plots in an organic manner.

When you see some big influential powerhouse out in the world and notice that they have an IC clique, instead of worrying about favoritism or wondering who's staff and who isn't, try making friends or enemies with them. Their job is to give you fun, and there is oversight in place to make sure they do it fairly.

I think the fact that all this talk of Sindome's powerful character(s) is revolving around one particular PC is telling.

Nobody here, myself included, seems to mind the idea of powerful characters. Powerful characters are themely and allow for players to continue reaching ever higher with their characters, providing a never-ending motivation to improve (generating rp, therefore fun) and creating plots via ongoing character progression. Powerful characters also have the potential to reach out and alter the rp of MANY players beyond themselves, also a good thing.

The issue here seems to be one of balance. If a character is so powerful they cannot be opposed on equal terms by any character(s) in game, then the balance is broken. Every unstoppable force should at some point meet an immovable mountain. Ying needs Yang. Players WANT to see the untouchable titans clashing overhead like gods in a thunderstorm. To take advantage of the crossfire and pick a side or work both of them in the hopes it might take them a little closer to BEING them.

What it seems like to me, is that the game needs MORE powerful characters, not fewer. If it's an issue that the current powerful character(s) are gm alts, try to find an unaffiliated player/players who is/are worthy and let them rise. Of course... This gives way to a plethora of other issues. I understand it is by no means a simple situation but it might go a way to challenging perception issues and creating more awesome rp.

Plz don't hate me... First forum post.

I had thought that Anderson was an NPC, just puppeted at need by the GMs. My character doesn't interact with Anderson, which would explain that. I have no issues with him becoming an NPC in fact, because I'd think him to be a useful GM tool for plots and such.

As for GM alts becoming powerful, why not? They're bringing useful and entertaining RP to everyone around them. My character sees powerful characters and wants to emulate them, so I'm getting RP by trying to develop into that sort of character. As long as the GM play guidelines are being followed, I'm all for it. I would say that Anderson is past the level of what I'd understood a player can reach, though.

I'm not in favor of voting for what Cerberus should play next. If he wants to play a female PR rep who's the ultimate socialite with contacts everywhere topside, and has all the paydata to sell, go for it. If someone who is working to become the ultimate mixer crimelord, go for it. WCS corpse toter who's an assassin on the side? Sounds good to me, as long as that's what -he- wants to play.

@FunTimes

I like your point. I think the issue that many are seeing is the fact that a player was not contended, even just from a theme point of view. I get sometimes there is no point in giving specific RP to a GM Alt because of resources. That is fine. But even if there was just some SIC chatter about how Anderson's overarching power was being contested by a CEO or something, maybe over a simple matter, it would have been easier to swallow in the long run because it shows that he wasn't just President of SD in terms of players, only that he was powerful in his jurisdiction (Just an idea for the future).

I do like the battles of the SD powerful characters, because usually that drags followers, factions, etc into the fray and makes for truly epic levels of RP leading up to the clashes. And this was partially the case for Anderson, just not on the obvious levels of other legends I have met IC. A suggestion for the future for this position is to maybe start the ball rolling for lower down PC's on a challenge/problem for said alt, a one sided conflict instead of both. Anderson was Grand Inquisitor. For the sake of my example, lets say...the Irish Mob (don't think they are IC, but if they are this is all made up) has a set of judges on their pay roll. One of their PC members is applying to become a judge, and while in training, the Inquisitor starts sniffing about. The PC and his various IC followers and friends are now tasked by the Mob to make sure that the Inquisitor doesn't catch any of the corrupt judges by any means necessary. It gives the GI a way to do his job (even if just mentioned by NPC's), it gives players RP that goes against the seemingly untouchable GI in a way that satisfies both parties (most likely) and it provides that odd position of GI a context in the world on -why- it is needed, because criminal elements are invading the law and that affects corporate interest, etc etc.

Sorry for the long post, but I love the old characters, no matter how much I hate some of them ICly, because they are the lifeblood of this game. Regardless of possible extra knowledge, min-maxing, whatever else people blame them of being capable off, players can 75% of the time be blamed of the same things after they have been playing a couple of years. I want issues like this to not have to occur in the future because of public outcry, but because of a natural progression or end of a character.

I would like to speak to one of the comments mentioned earlier about Staff knowing stats better than players. I am a Builder, not a GM, so take this only as my perspective, not all the GMs, but I have NO idea how the stats work, the GMs that do tend to be the ones who played long enough to figure it out then became GMs. The reason a GM alt may have good stats is that they were a player first, and they learned how to do that. Being staff side doesn't inherently mean you have any idea how to be "good" at Sindome mechanics.

@Vera: No worries at all! I see your point. I voiced my concern because no matter how you see it, I still see the difference in power levels. You can feel it without even knowing all that much about the game. I think Dawnshot makes a really good point saying that those bigger than life figures would be even more beneficial if they were to influence people who are not just around their level but those lower down the scale as well.

@Blinder: As I said in the original post, the knowledge about mechanics doesn't necessarily come from the source code. I mean no offense, but being a builder and knowing not how stats synergize with skills are a bit hard to believe. Unless you're building things that have nothing to do with player abilities, don't play the game and never bothered to figure it out. Also, a GM has access to every player's stats. Personally, just out of curiosity, I'd probably take a look at how the most impressive fighters out there spend their skills. That in and of itself is a luxury players don't have. No matter how we see it, information is power.

Cerberus should be allowed to play whoever he wants to play. In fact, I'd love to see him play a combat oriented character again, who instead is a Mixer. If he desires that role, it would provide a different type of roleplay to what Anderson had. Also, supposedly, he knows how to make waves. Red has way too many cliquey types. It could benefit from a third party coming in and shifting tides of power, making people change sides etc.

Anderson was very strong even as a new character, I still remember an encounter I had with him when he as a character was practically new. Having not roleplayed with him since that long ago, I can't comment on how the character affects the game. From what I've observed though, he is Seven Ecks' equal (No disrespect to Seven, as he has much much more tales/experiences/status) because of stats. That in my opinion is a good thing, because no one bothers touching those characters half the time, yet they are able to contribute SO much. When Anderson communicates on SIC, everyone shits their pants for their PC's. That is good. I would say him being in the WJF is the best move Cerberus could have made for the game regarding his character. Sure Cerberus butts heads with players and even me, but he and all the other staff work so hard on Sindome. What I'm saying is, we know Cerberus will not abuse his position in the WJF, and who else would fill that spot if Anderson was to die? Just another Admin's PC, as we know there are set ways things happen on Sindome.

Let Anderson remain in power if that is what Cerberus wants. He played hard to get to where he did, regardless of his position being GM only atainable. From the IC news released, he would'nt be much of a threat to some of the PC's anymore, yet also unkillable, practically because he is a ----NPC--- of highest Judge status. It saves our admins trouble of having to recreate someone like him down the line, who knows how else it benefits them having him as a trusted player/admin in that position. Possibly the one other judges answer to etc. ?

I'm kind of rambling now and probably missed a few things I wanted to say, but to summarize I feel Anderson just benefits the staff + IC world more if he was made a NPC instead of just being added to lore and disposed of.

Also I already said this in the beginning but I would like to see Cerberus bring some of his roleplay down to the Mix this time around if he is considering a new character. The Topsiders have had their turn!

@SmexyCucumber

There is plenty going on in the Mix, you just have to find it. Plenty goes on behind the scenes. Power struggles, plans, assassinations, thefts, that most players don't get to see anything about because they A) are not included/ignorant because of IC status or place or B) They are purposefully kept outta the loop. I had trouble with this in the past, but once you see parts of that other side, it makes the wait/seemingly dead moments sometimes on a sector worth it.

I would like more higher end Topside stuff, through players, etc, to help flesh out that aspect because in the time that I've been here, Topside has become a fairly new place to want to play. Yes, there were topsiders when I started nearly 5 years ago, but the mix -dominated- and there were maybe 5-6 regular topside players. Now that balance has shifted, and there is actual topside RP being fostered and I love it. While I'm not saying a GM should play an alt to be a topside powerhouse, I do feel that there are some players on the path to becoming wonderful topside powers that will help expand the game both from an RP standpoint and from a standpoint of helping to show players that higher end goals are obtainable if you are trustworthy OOCly (no meta, etc) and have the drive and patience to achieve them.

I always thought it was weird that Anderson was always under the gun for being some kind of god-mode character. There's at least a couple of characters, who I at least am pretty sure are just old players and not staff, who are a lot more terrifying than Anderson. That's not even including the people in power or positions of power who play messy enough that it's dangerous to even be around them. Anderson did stuff clean and handled his own domain. It's a fault of the players that nobody rose to one of many positions that could fight him on that, and the ones who are in such a position likely had a vested interest in playing around what Anderson made happen rather than trying to destroy him. Corporate life isn't about utter, public facing destruction. That's anarchy, punk, what the Mix cares about. And that doesn't mean it's the Mix's job to blow up the king of police. They have bigger, more personal issues to deal with.

I have reasons to dislike how Cerberus carries himself as a personality, as someone else brought up in this ooc log, but I still trust his judgement as a GM. As someone who has gotten plenty of resources without direct (any?) GM intervention and run out of reasons to even invest them back on themselves, I can't imagine being in a position like Anderson and still somehow think "this game is fun if I crush all competition and pile stuff up for myself" because there's only so many dumb toys you can buy before it starts to feel hollow if you're not putting people against each other for your own entertainment.

Demitrius has made some valid points as to why mistrust of GM alt characters exists. Whether or not you and I agree with them there WILL be players who do find these thoughts flit through their heads and, however hard they try to have faith in the staff, niggling doubts will damage the perception of the fairness of gm-alt character positions, activities and power, particularly when those characters are amongst the most powerful in game. I am going to move on from this now because I believe:

"Should players trust staff alts?"

is a separate and largely irrelevant question to the initial question which is:

"Should a character like Anderson should be made into an NPC because they were too powerful?"

which applies to any and all characters, not just GM alts.

I have already stated my stance on this question and my answer is no. Player characters should not be relegated to NPC's when they become "too powerful". Instead a balance of power needs to be achieved by elevating a few other WORTHY PC's to a position of equal power from which they can oppose the existing powerful characters. Further details can be found in my initial post.

If we take my conclusion to be the truth and we need to balance power by making a few more powerful characters rather than relegating powerful characters to NPChood (and yes, I know it is only a point of view and therefore open to challenging), this raises another question which is:

"Why are there few/no player characters in positions which can/do oppose characters like Anderson?"

Unlike urgentsurgeon (whom I largely agreed with, with the exception of this particular note) I find it hard to believe that "It's a fault of the players that nobody rose to one of many positions that could fight him". With the sheer size of the playerbase alone it seems improbable that there is no-one presently playing SD with sufficient talent and determination to reach the highest heights the game has to offer. Frankly some of you seem to be geniuses and I am always surprised to see characters stagnating despite fierce efforts to progress themselves and those around them.

Not sure if this has been said yet, but GM alts aren't powerful because they're GMs. Alts are powerful because most GMs are really good players, and that's why they're GMs.

Not sure if this has been said yet, but GM alts aren't powerful because they're GMs. Alts are powerful because most GMs are really good players, and that's why they're GMs.

I don't want to say this in a way that's dismissive of anyone's concerns, especially because we've had some really well thought out articulations of real fears that people have, but I'd just like to lay out a few more thoughts:

1.

In many ways, this whole argument (Can a player be too powerful? Do GM alts have an advantage?) is predicated on the idea that success in the game is measured by 'player power'. How do we define that? Something like a combination of stats, position and influence, right? Through this prism, the point of the game is to become as powerful as possible, hopefully rising to the top of whatever organization your character is part of, with wealth and power along the way. That's a reasonable goal to have, because it closely mirrors most people's goals in real life.

With a player focused on that, we can see pretty easily how fears develop. This game is a very slow burn when it comes to comprehension and understanding of what's happening and why. That's the whole point of FOIC, is to gradually acclimate you from an IC perspective. For a player who is already focused on power and winning in what we might call the conventional sense, I can picture suspicions starting to rise as the months pass and they fail to achieve what they want as quickly as they want it.

This is, like, a -feature- of the game, though. I remember reading in some other thread the advice that the quickest way to lose a player is to give them what they want. Your character won't necessarily get what they want, even with hard work and tons of RL time invested on your part. They'll end up in bad situations, and suffer setbacks. The players who achieve more (as far as I have observed) are the ones who take their horrible fate in stride, RP it, and keep pushing forward. (Also, if you need a pep talk from Sylvester Stallone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_Vg4uyYwEk).

Anyway, to return to my point, I can picture those players becoming suspicious of more powerful characters as setback after setback stymie them. After all, powerful characters often have an overwhelmingly outsized advantage over weaker ones in this game. If my character said a defiant word to Anderson he could shoot her dead in the street and no one would bat an eye. The fear that powerful, influential characters can hold you back or have ascended to levels you'll never achieve is no doubt demoralizing.

The thing is, I imagine that most of the people who have these fears are nowhere close to being at the UE cap. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong. To use Demetrius as an example, he mentioned starting up again in February. That's four months of playing. I don't see a reason--and this isn't to criticize you, Demetrius, I'm just trying to offer my insight respectfully--but I don't see a reason why someone under the UE cap, let alone well under it, should be concerned about power disparity at the top ranges, except from a sense of existential angst about the future of their characters. And I think this existential angst about the future develops from the present, from the fact that a player might not feel they are progressing fast enough right here and now.

In other words, I think concerns about GM alts and powerful characters boil down to fear and anxiety about how your character is performing and what you've accomplished in the present. And, again, respectfully, isn't that essentially a feeling of entitlement? If there are max UE characters who think that a character like Anderson is detrimental to their fun, or that GM alts have more power than they should, then maybe they have more of a reliable viewpoint, having played their characters all that way. But again, and I hate to oversimplify, but I think that most suspicion of GMs is essentially derived from you wanting your character to have more than they do, here and now.

2.

If that's the issue, then let's also consider that in several posts in this thread, there's an implicit assumption that, just like many players, the GM alts goal is to gain as much power, prestige and influence as possible, and that because they are GMs this is an easy feat for them.

I find it unlikely that a GM alts main goal is the accumulation of power. I mean, maybe I'm naive, but I associate what GMs do with what I see certain players do in terms of creating plots for other players. If you interact with a character like this, you'll start to think that the power they might gain is a byproduct of the RP they manage to create, not the end goal in itself.

If you read Slither's other thread about Being Successful in Sindome, it's pretty clear that part of rising to more authority in the game has less to do with stats and everything to do with being an engine of RP for other players. That's what makes the game interesting. The suspicion that GMs are like dragons sitting on treasure hoards and scaring people away doesn't scan for me. The idea that they're there to create an experience, a cyberpunk experience, and drive home the theme of the game in exciting, captivating ways, that does scan for me.

Anyway, I'm being preachy, right? I don't mean to dismiss anyone's feelings.

The TL;DR: consider that generalized feelings of character ennui or dissatisfaction at progression might be causing suspicion/distrust of GMs/alts; consider that not every player or GM has the same reason for playing and that, more likely than not, GMs are the people most excited about creating fun for other players. Amassing IC power is more likely a byproduct of this than an end-goal.

I understand why you used me as an example and I'm not offended. Still, I hold to my previous opinion though. For one, I don't see why the UE cap should even be relevant. I might be reading this wrong (and frankly I've had a really bad day which is affecting my temper so I apologize if I'm reading too much into this) but if you're saying that for a character to even consider looking at the game and the way it works with a bit of critique they need to have been around for two and a half years is a little extreme in my humble opinion. Yes, the game is a slow burn and I certainly don't expect to make a difference in my first week for example, but it's still a game. I came to roleplay and enjoy myself not to make a lifelong commitment.

At any rate, the main point was about the tools, information, and resources that are available to a player (in our case a GM) and potentially give them an edge over others. Tools and information that are restricted and even flat out bannable for other people to have. Again, I don't accuse the GMs for abusing their position, but try to point out that it makes me, and possibly others as well, skeptical. While I agree that a GM's main goal is to create RP and plot and all that, I am pretty sure that most if not all of those characters pursue their own agenda as well. They used to be players like you and me after all. And even if we say that they don't use that power for their own benefit it's extremely easy to use it to play favorites. Example: a very dear friend of your character's gets kidnapped. You have the power to not only hear the conversation that leads to the planning of the kidnapping, but also you can easily spot the kidnapper with the victim, no matter when they are, and even have the Judges find them or intercept them before they manage to escape, without even your character getting involved. Would you let that - very precious - friend of yours get killed? Again, I'm not pointing fingers, I don't say that they do, and I really respect the amount of restraint they have probably put to avoid such temptations, but how does it make you feel? The main point was having a level playing field, nothing more.

As a player I work hard to build a social network for my character that contains powerful and influential characters will support and protect my character and get them benefits. That's not favoritism, that's how the game is played. Those are IC assets in the same way that guns and armor are IC assets.

Anyone could put themselves in a position where a character like Anderson would go to bat for them by putting their RP toward getting into their inner circle. If my character and Anderson became best friends and Anderson shot anyone that looked at her funny, that wouldn't be OOC favoritism, that would be the IC consequences of our RP.

And I should add that if a given character and powerful staff alt X are friends, that doesn't make that player and staffer friends in an OOC capacity. Staff are trusted to make that distinction, and it would probably be pretty obvious if they weren't doing so.

Example: a very dear friend of your character's gets kidnapped. You have the power to not only hear the conversation that leads to the planning of the kidnapping, but also you can easily spot the kidnapper with the victim, no matter when they are, and even have the Judges find them or intercept them before they manage to escape, without even your character getting involved. Would you let that - very precious - friend of yours get killed?

I think this scenario itself suggests a pretty hazy view of the game's theme and the role of GMs.

On a side note (that's totally unrelated): The point of posts on the board is to discuss ideas. Yes, the validity/accurateness of the players who post them can be slightly relevant, but they are still players and their opinions should be valued, instead of dismissed. Four months in the game isn't that little. So, please don't start picking on seniority or perspective of game. After all, isn't this what a board is for? To share opinions?

With that being said, I've been playing this game for more than 2 years. Not the best RPer on the field, but opinions should always matter (in my opinion).

So, the question asked is:

Should there be powerful characters in the game? Short answer: Yes, definitely.

Powerful characters pose as something we can look up to, strive to be and maybe, even as a tool to use. Or, perhaps a role model for your character. Or, a motive for who he/she is.

They definitely cause a lot of RP and when your character encounters them? Whew! Maybe even not directly, but by their actions, you can in for some wild RP! So, in short, yes there should definitely be powerful characters in game. However, I agree with FunTimes, there shouldn't be just a powerful character, but rather, characters.

Just like any other character, I think a character cannot be completely invincible and untouchable. So what can be their achilles' heel? Rivals and other powerful characters. These can not only balance out some of the power, but also provide more RP chances. If my characters hates Powerful Character A, they can use/befriend/blackmail/manipulate etc. Power Character B to clash with A. This way, neither powerful characters are invincible and are able to be knocked down.

On a semi-related side note:

In my opinion, a powerful character is not high UE count and high stats. UE doesn't mean power. Not at all. It supports power, just like how connections, reputation and positions support power. Thus, while characters might be able to kill a powerful character, it'd be basically suicide, considering the forces and consequences that would follow as the result of the powerful character's influence/power. At the moment, there seems to be nobody else with this much influence.

Since, we kind of shifted topics to the question, "Should GM alts be powerful?", I'll touch on it briefly. It's not the main topic, so I'll just state my opinion briefly. I agree with Demetrius on a few of his points, which brings up valid statements. Because GMs see everything, they have the ability to help us, characters, with our plots and to create a fun time for us, which I appreciate greatly. I definitely trust that GMs will not take the advantage of the information they find about what others know or is going to do to their alts. However, like staff has mentioned numerous times, it is human instinct to survive. GMs are as human as us. Whether it is on purpose or not, they might use some of the information they have to help themselves survive. Not for their characters to thrive, but to survive. Of course, I'm not blaming them, because it is most probably an accident, but can still be an issue. That's just my little opinion.

But, to sum up my main point:

There should be powerful characters. However, these characters should not be untouchable. I agree with FunTimes that their should be more than one powerful character clashing against each other. It would also be more fun for the players, themselves as RP is created.

There's a lot of different max ue characters who have graced Sindome. At best, you get someone who gives back to the game by fostering RP really moving things forward for the community ICly and OOCly. At worst, you get someone who is self-interested and malevolent causing the community to digress along with creating the kind of work GM's could do without.

By nature, a GM PC is purely constructive but also effectively gimped into following a set of rules. This of course is by design due to the inherent power and visibility they have on both side of the fence.

I'd really like to steer this conversation away from Anderson though. Personally, I find the WJF RP one of the hardest and most isolating roles in the game - if pulled off correctly. Anderson was not an exception to this. He did a splendid job and spent a considerable amount of time not acting to his full extent as expected of a GM PC.

That said, these things that everyone wants from a GM PC are the things all PC's should aspire too. Give back. There is nothing more enjoyable than watching minuscule actions develop into a plot or taking a situation and using it to push another PC into expanding there RP.

You talk about power and quantifying it. The game is about having fun. If you have a PC that survives long enough to qualify as powerful. Its on you to make the game a better place.

That said, UE is not what makes these PC's powerful. RP is.

Like others have said, the game needs powerful people like this.

Anderson's not the only one that walks into a room and stops the convo. Seven Ecks comes to mind, as does a couple other Mixer gangers who's names I'll omit in case they're not outed/claimed GM alts. A lot of the time I'll notice when a more junior PC Judge comes into the room, conversation dies down a bit and the mood changes, even if it doesn't stop completely. People notice it.

The game NEEDS characters like this, it gives a badass feeling to scene, and draws more and more people in. You see a SIC saying Seven Ecks is at the Drome, people are gonna head for the Drome. When Anderson showed up to a KMB party, instant SIC convos and hushed whispers at the tables at KMB.

Anderson was totally touchable and killable, just no one ever tried. I saw him alone and in the open on multiple occasions, he could have easily been taken down by even a small, coordinated effort. The only thing making him untouchable was people's fear of him(which is totally themely for a Judge/GI that high up, you're untouchable until you're not eh?)

I appreciate all the posts on this topic! A lot of you have weighed in here. Those of you that are somewhat new to the game, your opinions are valuable and help keep us from entering an echo chamber.

I think some of the concerns that were raised about GMs having access to information that players don't-- being able to check stats--seeing what is said in private-- that does come down to trust. And openness.

GM alts typically adopt a 'play to lose' style. That isn't to say we actively try to lose, but we aren't trying to 'win'. At least not in the typical sense. We're trying to create RP. GM alts also have much more restrictive rules about what they can do, how they can do it, and when they need to be kept in the dark about plots.

GMs don't check the notes about their own characters, and are expected to recuse themselves from situations where there characters might be even somewhat involved, and have other additional rules placed upon them (see the Admin Rules thread) that normal players don't have to think about. There is a lot of oversight. A GMs actions are transparent to other GMs, noted, logged, and monitored. Every admin literally live in a panopticon.

Over time, we also learn to compartmentalize and to let go of some of our player agency. I remember a few times with Seven where I got IC info while GMing about people looking to ambush him or attack him or rip him off. I didn't think 'well this will be easy to avoid' instead, I thought, and I remember this so clearly....

'I think Seven would have recognized that this was a trap even if I hadn't gotten the IC info from the GM side-- but I can't be sure of that.' And then I walked him into the trap, because, I couldn't be 100% sure.

That might seem like a small sacrifice but to me, it was sacrificing a piece of my agency as a player, for the betterment of the game. I've seen just about every GM ever, put in a similar situation. We do our best to ignore our characters, but sometimes you see something, and it takes away your ability to react ICly. You've got to err on the side of caution and act like you know nothing, just in case.

This is why I always implore everyone to trust us. It's impossible to have fun on Sindome without trusting the GMs. I'm so glad that so many of you do, and that even you folks that have some issues with the way things work, are willing to step up and discuss it all with us.

<3

-- S

While most of you vex me OOCly (feeling is probably mutual), I did think Anderson was very well played and would like to thank Cerb for the rare bit of interaction I got with him, even if it was negative for my PC. I will now resume occassionally checking posts every month or so and lurking.

Thank you Slither for giving us a platform in which to debate it. Raising matters this potentially emotive is something that is difficult for a player to do, particularly with case studies without seeming accusative or risking a breach of IC/OOC protocall.

I'd also like to thank all other posters on both sides for remaining largely respectful of one anothers opinions and would like to see more such debates take place in the forums going forwards.

I am surprised to find that Cerberus himself has not posted in this. Given that so much of this is centred on one of his characters I know at least I would like to hear his thoughts on the matter and why it is he has decided to relegate a character he runs to NPChood. I don't doubt he has been paying attention to the progression of this from behind the scenes and discussing it with other staff. Equally I can entirely understand and respect it if he would prefer to remain detached from the debate.

Giving up a character with that much time and emotional energy invested is no small feat, and so whatever your reasoning Cerberus, I applaud you.