Welcome to ARTS: Crash Course Lesson one!
Today we'll be talking about that one character no one wants to play with and how to avoid becoming that character yourself. Most people have created one of these characters in their time as a roleplayer, and it's nothing to feel bad about, but it is something we can learn and improve from.
So what is a Mary Sue?
A Mary Sue, or Gary Stu for masculine characters, is someone or something that is too perfect for reality. It lacks flaws that would occur in a normal human being, or in this case, a functioning Nation. Let's look at some examples:
Example 1: Nations at war
Bob runs the nation of Billyville. When Billyville is attacked by Joeshmoeland, Billyville suddenly and inexplicably has the ability to shoot down every single plane Joeshmoeland sent. Frustrated by the decimation of their forces, Joeshmoeland sends a covert team of operatives after Bob. But wait! Billyville also has the best secret service around and immediately completely destroy the special forces group without any resistance at all! Joeshmoeland decides not to give up and ignore Bob at this point, but instead to send a team of nuclear submarines to erase Billyville from the map. Of course, Billyville has sonar that stretches out past a range where nuclear weapons could be deployed from and easily sink the submarines without setting off the warheads, and also take all the crew as prisoners! Joeshmoeland quits the RP as it's not fun for him anymore.
Example 2: Nations at peace
Joeshmoeland is having trouble providing enough resources to Tiber City, who needs them to support a new governmental regime after a recent hostile takeover. Being a good guy, Billyville steps in and offers up twice as many resources as Joeschmoeland at half the cost, despite being a four times the populace of Joeschmoeland inside the same area of land. Billyville has an unlimited pool of resources to give away, they can just keep making up more to give out, right? But anyway, Joeschmoeland stops doing the RP because Tiber City decided they didn't need his help anymore and Billyville kept taking all the trade opportunities with their limitless resources.
Example 3: Characters
Bob is engaged in hand to hand combat with Joe. Joe is a muscular character with a background in martial arts, while Bob is an ex-military guy who hasn't served in ten years and has put on some extra mass. Joe keeps attempting to land hits, but Bob blocks all of them. Oh, and did we mention he's wearing armor? And he also has a padded wall behind him. Bob also can hit Joe hard enough to send him flying across the room and not just stumbling back. Joe, trying to keep it civil, tries to pin Bob to the floor by rushing him. Bob completely dodges the attack and is able to move fast enough to jump on top of Joe! Joe quits the RP as he's not getting to do anything but get beat up.
Do you see how in all three scenarios have a nation or a character be so powerful and undefeated that others become frustrated? It is easy to fall into a mindset where you need to one up the next nation over, but this isn't always true. Part of creating a good character is making it so that can lose and you have to spend time rebuilding and asking others for help. In a later lesson, we'll be covering when to when or lose and how we decide that.
Today's lesson's assignment that can be completed for 0.05 card bank is two parts. Telegram answers to me for credit.
1.) Pick an example from above and describe one way Bob could have done things differently to avoid being a Mary Sue.
2.) As Bob/Billyville, respond to the following in at least two sentences.
"Joeschmoeland sends Head Diplomat Moe to Billyville to talk about what happened to their submarines.
Moe walks into the Billyville capital building, noting the differences in architecture from what he was used to seeing. He asks the receptionist what floor to go to and is directed to the third floor. He offers to shake hands with the other people in the room before sitting down and pulling out an official-looking binder.
"Now, ladies and gentlemen, We of Joeschmoeland appreciate you taking the time to talk to us about our missing submarines. We believe they were on a training mission near your border when they went dark, and debris patterns would indicate they were destroyed. I'm not here to make any accusations, I just want to know what happened."