The Deadly Sins of Desolation RP

After RolePlaying Desolation for years now, I've finally reached my limit of the crap that is thrown my way during a Combat RP Session.

Don't get me wrong... the players of Desolation can sit peacefully in a bar, sip on a Nuka Cola while reading a pre-holocaust nudie magazine with their buddies hanging out nearby, socializing and talking about the latest gossip. They can RP social interaction very well... a lot better than most MUDs I've ever played.

But, introduce the aspect of roleplaying a situation where guns are drawn, knives are clutched, and innocent bystanders hide because they know some serious violence is going to take place... all of that intelligent, witty banter and common logic that the players displayed suddenly vanishes, and they act as if the world doesn't have the Laws of Physics any more. The "realism" is reduced to people jumping all over the place, dodging bullets, attacking important areas of the body, and absorbing damage as if a knife gash across the face is something you can just rub in, like sun-tan lotion.

I call these acts the Deadly Sins of Role-Play... things that have ultimately driven me to take a break from interacting with the other people and their characters, and go back to simply building areas and making items, mobs, and the occassional armor. They're considered Sins because when they're commited, they can cause other players have the same reaction I did when they felt like everybody acted as if they were in an action movie.

I sometimes want to pull out a megaphone and yell out: "HEY! LET'S GET JOHN WOO IN HERE, AND MAKE A BOX-OFFICE SMASH OUTTA THIS SHIT!!!"


Thou Shalt Not "No Sell" An Attack

They shrug off damage. They have this attitude that unless you're being fired at by a minigun, rocket launcher, blown up by land-mines, or being gunned down by an entire hispanic firing-squad (a la Zorro), they can shrug off bullet wounds, take a stab to the gut, get hit in the temple with a crowbar, or get their ribs stomped on by a super mutant get back up because "they have strong armor!"

They don't seem to realize that any firearm is potentially DEADLY... taking a puncture/bludgeoning wound to a vital organ (i.e. stabbed in the stomach, punched in the kidneys, etc.) will cause internal damage... and that for some reason anything smaller than a .50-caliber round fired from a Barret M82A1 "Light Fifty" anti-personnel sniper rifle is unable to pierce their armor.

Thou Shalt Not Expect to Kill

That they make too many lethal attacks. Unless you hear the other guy say in OOC: "Go ahead and kill this character. I'm sick of him... blah blah", you shouldn't trigger a burst from an assault rifle towards anybody's head, chest, stomach, or spine. This is common sense, folks. Players could be out shopping for bullets, and somebody rubs them the wrong way. Suddenly, Player-A is trying to smash Player-B's skull in with a sledgehammer while Player-B is attempting to fire an M79 40mm grenade launcher at his opponent's face. Even if it's just a simple barfight, the players here end up draining a clip from a Desert Eagle into one another's liver and spleen, and suddenly don't expect the other guy to die from it.

For example, Stryker acted SHOCKED when his dual DE .44 attack tore through Maynard's insides like a fat bitch rushing the stage at an N'Sync concert... because he actually expected Maynard to dodge out of the way from a cloud of incoming bullets, or that his flimsy recon-armor would hold out on such an onslaught. I mean, if you want to tap the clips dry into someone's chest, buy a .22 or a .38... a weapon caliber that you know for a fact most kevlars can readilly protect against, leaving your foe stunned on the floor clutching a broken rib as he tries to catch his breath...or just aim for the shoulder or the arm if you don't want to end the life of somebody's character. Not every shot has to be with the intent to kill.

Let No Corrupt Communication Proceed Out of Your Mouth

They argue and bitch about taking damage. When you suddenly remind them of the laws of physics, that a chunk of metal going 600+ feet-per-second colliding with human flesh will actually cause immense pain, or that the twelve-inch serrated blade of a combat knife finding its way between your shoulder-blades often immobilzes you, they like to make the lamest excuses.

Patsy: "Well, after getting shot in the shoulder, my adrenaline kicked in, so I could push myself harder so that I could keep fighting!"

Devil: "Well, how are you still using that arm to punch me if it got hit by a 12-gauge load of flechette from a double-barreled semi-automatic combat shotgun?"

Patsy: "...uhh... I got Combat Armor."

Gunshot wounds often make the body go into shock long before you get that over-used "adrenaline rush" going... plus, flechette rounds are a menace because they can find their way through the weaving of most kevlar meshes in flak jackets or bullet-proof vests, and would most likely turn the arm into a bloody inside-out meat stump if used at close range...

Or, in hand-to-hand, they suddenly assume that your character is a big hulking slow brute with Down's Syndrome, while they assume the role of Jackie Chan. They dodge every attack you make, then counter it with their own, and expect YOU to hit the canvas mat first. Nevermind if you RP the role of a wiry Super Mutant brawling expert who's seen more fights than a French whore on payday, and who's killed more people in underground boxing matches than Mike Tyson with Tourette's Syndrome... to them, you're still just a slow, hulking idiot, that moves in perpetual slow-motion, while they're Bruce Lee on amphetamines. Each side will continue to fight, devaluing the other guy's attacks because each side honestly believes that their character is the superior brawler. They will continue to scrap, refusing to lose, and defying any aspect of reality until one of the contestants has to get off the computer. Sometimes a fight can last for two hours straight, until the one who has to get off first loses, or the match ends in a draw. It's pathetic.

Thou Shalt Not Experience 'Bullet Time'

This is what I call "The Matrix Factor". Somehow in this MUD, whenever a bullet leaves the chamber it slows down to the point where you can tackle your friend out of the way, dodge the bullet yourself, roll to cover behind a large rock, and light up a cigarette before it even soars off into the horizon. At least, that's what the players act like. Whenever confronted by a horde of hostile gang members that begin spraying a room with Uzi's, the potential victim will spring to his or her heels, leaping and dodging the bullets with amazing cat-like grace, all the while returning fire as they do their ballet steps through a killing zone. People also believe that if a friend of theirs is being fired at, they can dive in at the last second and tackle them out of the way, rescuing their sorry ass from the clutches of death.

Yeah. Right. Somehow, somebody laden with body armor, an assault rifle, a few dozen clips, and a field backpack is capable of running over and knocking their companion over from a bullet that's on its way. It's the same as saying: "Oh, let's just ignore the fact that a nine-millimeter moves at several hundred feet per second, so I can nudge Tom here out of the way... (scoot scoot)..."

Thou Shalt Bear False Witness Against Thy Armor

Kevlar Vest + Verra-Carbon Pants does NOT = Power Armor

This is one of the funniest Sins one can encounter... and one of the most annoying. It seems that once combat initiates, the fighters' Armor Class goes up about sixty points or so. If their armor includes the words: "kevlar", "Combat", or "reinforced", it somehow becomes nigh-impenetrable, and can withstand anything between shotgun blasts to a kick in the groin.

One hilarious example of this was when Lucus was shot repeatedly by "Felix The Cat", the assassin. He didn't dodge the bullets like Keanu Reeves dressed up like a member of the Trenchcoat Mafia, nor did one of his friends swan-dive from ten yards away to tackle him out of the bullets' path... however, his (heh heh heh...), get this, bone & leather armor blocked several rounds of nine-millimeter to the torso.

No, really. He really used that one.

C'mon... stop laughing.

Ok... yeah, I know it's funny. So, as I was saying, people severely overrate their armor's worth. I've seen people receive wicked knee-cap shots, and try to roleplay that the armor plates in their reinforced pants deflected the shot. Or that their kevlar helmet stopped a 7.62mm round at close range. It's one thing to get shot in the chest with a sawed-off and get knocked on your ass by the buckshot hitting you in the ribs, withstand a nasty stab due to your kevlar vest, or be able to take a solid blow to the noggin from a crowbar because of your combat helmet, but a majority of the damage "blocked by armor" is in most cases horrifically unrealistic. Unless your character is wearing a full-body suit of ServoTech Mark-VII Power Armor, there's always a chance of a bullet sneaking its way past your "second skin", or a knife blade carving a path through the weaker parts between the plating.

And just because you've got armor on doesn't mean there's no impact. If somebody golf-club swings a sledgehammer into your Combat Armor's chestpiece, it still has a helluva lot of force behind it, and will more than likely break a rib or two. It doesn't matter if there's a big pillow duct-taped to you for added cushioning... there's still momentum, impact, and
inertia behind whatever's hitting you. I get very tired of watching people simply stand there without any sort of feedback from an attack because they believe their gear could absorb the blow. Sure, that crowbar to the side of your kevlar helmet might not crack your skull open, but it'll still send your head jerking to the side, you know?


To wrap this up, these sins and taboos have been tainting the quality of many RP-Log Submissions and character interaction alike. Why would you want to RP a fight or read the log of an encounter with somebody if you knew was going to try to shoot you in the face, dodge a grenade blast, take scrapnel to the kneecaps, and still expect to win?

I wouldn't either.