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RP - Power Play

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RP - Power Play

Post  Hisao on Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:20 am


Own role-play knowledge collected over the years.


  • Definition
  • Character building mistakes
  • Fail to adapt
  • How to spot/avoid powerplay
  • Implications


Powerplay, sometimes abbreviated as 'PP', is a way of breaking the role-play rules by overpowering or through the use of overpowered characters. Therefore the term overpowering, which is abbreviated 'OP', is used in the same context. When people are powerplaying, they will often not realize this themselves. After all, a role-player would not purposefully make their character OP.

Character building mistakes:

A character often just 'is' overpowered. The mistake lies somewhere within creating it, or within the building it up that has been done throughout the creator's RP career. The latter one is especially the case if the character comes up in more than just one storyline, or if the player has been using it for a rather long while. The most common examples of character building mistakes that cause it to be OP, are the following:

  • the player lists character skills that are out of reach because of for instance race (ex. a werewolf can't have white magic) or background (ex. a farmer doesn't have epic sword fighting skills).

  • the player has a hybrid character that has few or none of the weaknesses of the separate races, and/or took over (almost) all of strengths and skills of the separate races.

  • the player's character has out-of-canon skills/traits: it goes against the RP group/environment's limits (ex. a Naruto character will always have to use chakra; a vampire in a True Blood RP group will not sparkle).

  • the player cannot list their character's abilities/skills, all of its sub-abilities/sub-skills and what expertise they have in them: 'all skills' is the most extreme form of this type of powerplay, but even 'elemental magic' or 'martial arts' have to be elaborated more.

Fail to adapt:

This form of powerplay is similar to the out-of-canon example above. The concept of fail-to-adapt however deals with a legit character, that has not been adapted to the specific situation we find it in. Unless the character has been made especially for that storyline/group, the space that you enter to RP will have certain restrictions, so-called 'situational restrictions'. Examples: forgetting to limit superhuman speed in a realistic melee fight; using necromancy in a human kingdom; moving through teleportation in a vampire RP.

How to spot or avoid powerplay:

Whether you're reading this thread because you think someone else is powerplaying, or you just questioned if your character is legit, there are some clear indications that will cross out a lot of doubts already. When someone meets one of the descriptions above, you can already be sure they are powerplaying. In the case of character-building, a good preparation (looking up species info, ...) can avoid a lot of trouble. Exchanging biographies before the start of a fight is also a good idea, since you can read up before the start or in between the posts.


Most powerplay comes forth from errors in character building. However, this doesn't mean a player's character should stop existing right away. It just means the creator will have to change that aspect or those aspects of the character that make(s) them overpowered, in order to continue using them in RP. As soon as one has been pointed out their mistake, the OP character must not be played (by anyone) until it has been made legit.

Being caught on powerplay also has retrospective effects. As for death matches and RP sessions in which a kill or permanent damage of the other character occurred, the creator of the other character must be informed, and both parties must verify if at least one neutral judge had been present. Only if not, the fight will be declared void and must be redone, according to the normal rules. In the case of normal RP sessions, as well as spars, there will be no retroactive implications.

Posts : 199
Join date : 2011-05-28
Age : 25
Location : Belgium

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