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Old 04-23-2006, 02:21 PM   #21
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Shane is on a distinguished road
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Game Title: "A**hole"
Full Name: Reegan Jones
Age: 25
Fame: Jack diddly s***. Maybe later...
Apparent Age: 25ish

Some of you may recognize the format. This character was ever so popular, but the secret is that you have to be playing a game where a significant portion of the player base is looking for a jerk.

Jerks should, in my opinion, also be open to being beaten up, abused, and generally humiliated from time to time. People love to rp taking down someone who desperately deserves it! Because of the necessity of getting beaten down in order to raise the popularity of a jerk, though, it is very difficult to play one on a MUD as opposed to a MUSH, because you invariably lose stats or levels or something for losing a fight in a MUD, thus making the jerk remain low level, thus making him or her less of a "jerk" and more of a "punk".
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Old 04-23-2006, 10:40 PM   #22
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I'm not sure I've ever deliberately set out to play "The Jerk", but I've played a character that had absolutely no filters. (This was a big deviation for me since I tend to play diplomatic, ultra political characters.) She would outright say if she thought someone was smelly or stupid, and so, she was labeled a jerk. This didn't stay in character for very long. One of the conflicts that occurred immediately went out of character with someone claiming that I was harassing her.

I think it's very hard for "The Jerk" to exist for very long on any gaming environment because people seek a rememdy for having to deal with that kind of behavior.
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Old 04-24-2006, 09:16 AM   #23
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Well, the trend in "RPI's" these days is to build this grand wall of separation between ic and ooc.  In the MUSH community however, in situations where rp is allowed to go past the acceptable and on into the macabre or outright strange, a concept has developed called "consent based rp".  There are flags for varying degrees of "consent", and then, for things that have to do with violence, murder, rape and so forth, you have to have explicit ooc consent which can be withdrawn at any time.  I know things hardly have to go that far to play a "Jerk", but the point is, a little ooc interaction beforehand to see what someone is willing or wanting to do goes a long way towards stifling trouble down the road.

You'd think this would cause a lot of troubles with people wasting their time with rp's that someone suddenly pulls out of, and I can't say that I haven't seen that happen, but usually it is not a problem.  After a while you will tend to have a group of people whose rp you enjoy.  In this particular case, ooc and ic separation therefore hinders rather than helps immersion, because if people have a hard time communicating ooc, they have a hard time determining whether or not the person they are rp'ing with is the sort of person they would enjoy getting that deep into something to do with conflict.

Long story short, in a MUD setting where the difference in a couple of levels is like the difference between Mohammad Ali and Joe the Fat Tavernkeeper as often as not, playing a jerk becomes almost by definition an exercise in either abusing someone, or being abused by someone who is more powerful than the "Jerk", and since it is becoming the trend to flatly accuse people of cheating if they communicate their wishes ooc'ly, there seems to be little room for people to work these sorts of situations out so that they are comfortable with one another and willing to put their hard won character's levels on the line in exchange for the rp experience.

I have yet to see that resolved in a MUD to my satisfaction.  The whole concept behind mudding tends to be building the characters power to the point where he can stand toe to toe with a dragon if need be.  There is simply no way to do that on the one hand and keep characters vulnerable enough to one another for conflict oriented rp to truly flourish in the sense that it can on a MUSH, where the entire thrust of the game is the story.  Bad guys abound on larger MUSH's, including all sorts of flavors of the "Jerk", and they are quite popular when played by a decent writer.

Are MUSH's outside the scope of this web site?  It's just occured to me that there are none that I know of on the lists.

I hope I'm not going entirely off topic here!  

Anyhow, I suspect a situation where skills raise and money can buy a lot of armor, but that basic hp stats don't change much and there are social situations where it is considered taboo to wear your +28 Platemail of Dragonslaying, would tend to be the types of thing that would have to happen to level the playing field on MUD's and make it to where high level characters acting like Jerks doesn't come across as some form of ooc harassment and still maintain that holy and inviolable wall of separation, but even that would depend on a lot of pruning of the player base, eliminating anyone who would whine about someone being mean.

It's... a project.
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:17 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by (Shane @ April 24 2006,10:16)
Are MUSH's outside the scope of this web site?  It's just occured to me that there are none that I know of on the lists.
As I only run MUSHes...and my MUSHes are listed on TMS...yes, they're in the scope of TMS!
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:22 PM   #25
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While I don't think the Jerk is overplayed, as Threshold said, it is a fun identity for those who wish to do as little roleplaying as possible and just be OOC jerks.

Having said that, I have played jerks... I think.

Is it counted as a jerk when you're only a jerk to a very particular portion of the population? For example I'm often a jerk to half-elves (who on the whole are disliked in the mud I play). I'll verbally abuse them, give them bad advice, try to rip them off, when they're fighting I'll place bets against them, not be helpful to them. That sort of thing. I just be as much of a jerk as possible. Except only to half-elves. To other people (unless they're friendly with half-elves) I'll be pretty nice. And my character is accepted for the most part. By only being a jerk to a minority, I can gang up against them with the other PCs.

As for someone whose a jerk to everyone. Well you can't be a jerk to everyone or else you end up being a jerk to an authority position, which is a death sentence. I have seen someone who came very close to being a jerk to everyone, although he was careful with extremely powerful authority figures, but he actually wasn't a bad guy once you got to know him. You just had to get past his outer layer. Someone whose playing a jerk to everyone will end up being a fairly two-dimensional character. I don't think that's what you'd want.

I don't tend to play the jerk myself. I tend to gravitate more to people who are selfish and will do ANYTHING to ANYONE to get ahead.

As for OOC repercussions. Well if you ALWAYS play a jerk then it will eventually get out and people will start to make judgments on you, the player (and IMO they're probably justified in doing so as well ). But for the most part, most people don't know who the players are behind the characters in the game I play, so there isn't that much OOC anger.
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:41 AM   #26
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Re: The Jerk

Forgive me, TMS, for thread necromancy, but I want to post in the RP threads!

I find the topic interesting since, somehow, all of my currently active characters fall into the jerk category. I think I handle it quite well, really. Biggest thing I do is try and create a wall of supporters in character, as well as create defenses against those ever so annoying hero types. One jerk uses mostly legal defenses (as in, specific laws and lawyers), the other jerk uses a large sword for intimidation.

With the first jerk I even got someone who was more than enthusiastic to play an assistant, which meant someone who was okay with the jerk, and was a jerk herself. (I swear she has to have more fun with it than even I have, since she gets to go out, be semi-intimidating, and use as a defense, "I know jerk one." to get people to back off.) This has made playing the character much easier, since it means at least someone supports him.

On the OOC level? I'd say don't make jerks your first character. Spend your first character being nice and making the IC (and by extension OOC) connections. When you make the jerk, speak up as a player. Be polite. Make it clear you as a player are not a jerk. Reason I say this is, like it or not: Jerk characters seem to have a strong positive correlation with jerk players. Whether this is true isn't the point, it's that many people perceive this to be true.

It can be done, but you need a minor PR campaign to go with it in my experience.
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:46 PM   #27
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Re: The Jerk

I've played a jerk. It was difficult because I'm not much of a jerk myself, and because you're not always sure if the other players are OOCly offended when you're being a jerk to their characters. I know for a fact that they sometimes are, I experienced that first hand, and it's a very unpleasant feeling to have another player confronting you because your character was mean to theirs.
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