Traveling the Multiverse

Aka Ironyca Stood in the Fire – gaming blog

“Can RP Dominant Guilds create RP Laws, Rules and Restrictions as they please?”

This question was asked in a thread on the Argent Dawn forums called RP Elitism“, amongst a line of other questions dealing with roleplaying.

Do you know what you would answer to this question?

Here’s the first and simple reply to the original post:

If folk agree to abide them, then sure.

A few people answered in line of this, but I think they meant in an in-character sense. If you fx make a police-esque guild, of course you can make laws and roleplay by them. As long as you don’t force it upon others, even other roleplayers, if they do not wish to participate. On the roleplay server Argent Dawn, we have a good example of this kind of guild named The Stormwind City Watch. They have composed the Book of Laws (which can be found on their homepage), and they clearly state in the introduction that If you do not approve of the laws and are charged with a crime by a watchman, please whisper the watchman and we will not bother you (ever) again. We only wish to enhance the roleplay atmosphere of Stormwind, not to harass anyone. Hey! Thats great!

Question remains though – was that the intended enterpretation from the original poster, seeing as the headline read “Rp Elitism”?

I’ll take the liberty to say no, and showcase a few different responses. In my opinion they reply to what could be some guilds, whom through the means of domination or just general respect from other players, have gained enough power to define the boundaries of roleplay. (I’ve done an article dealing with elitism –  What does it really mean to be an Elitist in WoW?, where roleplay elitism is addressed)

If a guild has earnt the respect of the community through their deeds then I dont see why not.

Can being a figurehead in the RP community give you enough authority to make laws? Or would it be a case of reverse causality, where constructing the laws as a RP guild, is exactly what makes you dominant?

If the majority of the community accepts these (RP Laws, Rules and Restrictions red.), then sure. Might makes right, aka, be enough to enforce a “rule” and have the backup of the majority and the minority will be forced to abide or decay.
Just like in the real world.

Notice the quote included the word “enforce”. I’m glad he brough that up:

Law is a system of rules, usually enforced through the set of institutions(Wikipedia)

Enforcing it means there has to be some sort of consequence to not abiding. How would you punish a “criminal” roleplayer, who broke your laws/rules?

If we on the other hand draw a distinction between Laws and Norms, there’s some point to this. Let me back my point up by quoting this poster:

No they can not (create RP Laws, Rules and Restrictions as they please red.), it only can apply to their own guild/comminity and not for the whole of Argent Dawn.

A guild is like a contract, and that contract can easily include certain standards for how Rp is conducted. Other Rp guilds, let alone a whole server, doesn’t neccesarily agree to the laws of one particular guild, no matter how “dominant” nor respected they might be. Also, as a guildmaster, you are in a position where you can enforce your rules. Kicking the deal-breaker is an obvious one.

Server wide you can’t really enforce the so called laws by kicking other players off the server, your enforcing tools are rather slim – except!

I always seek the best quality RP, and I shuun away those I don’t believe live up to them, my standards are my secret, so you better just perform!

– You can socially exclude them! You can choose not to Rp with them again and generally avoid them, like the poster from the RP Elitism thread does. You might even share your less than impressed thoughts about them, and their popularity may go down. This is the negative consequence of norms, and the active enforcing of these norms from other players.

I’m stating this distinction because I believe it’s important to be aware of the difference. No one can force their roleplay laws/rules/restrictions on you, unless you signed their roleplay rule contract when you joined their guild, or just freely choose to roleplay by their in-character laws, as The Stormwind City Watch exemplifies.

You can play the game and roleplay as you like (within the Blizzard policies of course), although being aware of the roleplay norms that may exist on your realm, will help your approach to other roleplayers in a positive way.

And remember, norms are not universal nor necessarily permanent, they can always be up for negotiation!

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This entry was posted on February 1, 2010 by in Opinion and Discussion and tagged , , , , , .

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