My Guy Syndrome
My Guy Syndrome
"Man, this war is just not fun anymore."
"I know, it's such a drag!"
"Well, why not do something different? Your character is the ruler, after all!"
"Yeah, but she would never give up until Evilstan is totally destroyed! She hates them!"
If you find yourself in a situation that looks something like this, then you are falling victim to My Guy Syndrome.
In short, My Guy Syndrome is the belief that staying true to your character's feelings and beliefs is more important than other people's fun—and, in some cases, than your own. It can manifest in a variety of ways, but it always ends up hurting the game. Persisting in such cases is considered to be a violation of the Social Contract, and especially of the Government Rules if you are a government member, particularly a Ruler.
How To Recognize My Guy Syndrome
It can be very hard to recognize issues like this in the moment, because "playing your character" is generally the right thing to do in a roleplaying atmosphere. Indeed, the line is a fine one, and sometimes what seems like My Guy Syndrome to one person may be completely reasonable RP to another. However, by following these steps, you can generally at least get a feel for whether your character's actions fall into this trap or not.
1. Take a Step Back
This can be the hardest part. Take a few minutes away from BattleMaster, away from your characters, and try to emphasize in yourself the mindset that they are characters in a story, wholly created by you, not independent people with their own thoughts and feelings.
2. Are You Having Fun?
Analyze your own state of mind a bit. Are you enjoying the situation? Is it something that makes you excited to come back to BattleMaster, or something that makes you feel like the game is a chore?
3. Are They Having Fun?
If you can reasonably do so, actually ask other players out-of-character—either through in-game OOC messages, on the forum, Discord, or some other out-of-game communication method—if they're having fun with the situation at hand. Please try to include players outside your realm, if the situation is one that involves other realms at all (especially if it's about war). If not, try to consider the situation from their point of view. Is what you are doing something that's going to make their time in the game less fun? Are they likely to see the game as frustrating and a chore to get through because of it?
If either you or those around you are not having fun with the situation, then it's probably a case of My Guy Syndrome.
What To Do About My Guy Syndrome
If you're finding that the situation does fall into this category, the simplest answer is, "Well, change the situation!" Of course, that's not always trivial.
If you were doing this because it's what your character would do, you probably don't want to just have your character up and change overnight for no reason, and that's perfectly OK! There's a wide variety of methods for changing a character's mind that don't have to involve a complete break with character. Below are just a few examples.
One of the most straightforward methods is to have your character experience a sudden moment of clarity where they realize that what they're doing is wrong, or is hurting the people around them, or that the people they hate are also human beings who deserve forgiveness, or whatever will actually help turn the situation around. Depending on the character, this can take the form of a vision, a message from their Gods, or just slipping in the bath, hitting their head, and waking up with a new understanding.
A more extreme method is to have your character become possessed by some other entity, either briefly or for a longer period. This can introduce a new RP conflict for the character, which can be fun, but can also feel very contrived if handled without gravity. Depending on the overall RP atmosphere in your character's realm, that may or may not be a problem.
If it's important to you that your character's change of heart be something that came about more naturally over time, but you still want to make the change happen very soon, you can achieve both ends by writing up roleplay dated to months ago showing the beginnings of internal struggle over the issue, progressing through the intervening time and culminating in a decision in the present to show the outward sign of it by changing the situation.
What To Do If Someone Else Has It
If you see someone else falling victim to My Guy Syndrome, the first thing to do, if you feel comfortable doing so, is to bring it up with them OOC. If they do not accept that the situation qualifies as My Guy Syndrome, and other players nearby cannot help to resolve the conflict, then it is perfectly acceptable to report to the Titans. If you do so, please make clear why you feel that the situation qualifies as My Guy Syndrome and why the other player disagrees.