Author Topic: Can graphic violence or sex in Role Plays become unacceptable in BM?  (Read 767 times)

Qureshima1

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Hi, Just today I came across a roleplay in BM that I found crossed the line into disturbing and distasteful. I've played BM since 2008 at least and I was never so revolted by a roleplay. This one contained a description of brutality during a brutal takeover that was of a quasi sexual nature. I didn't like it and I think BM should have a rule banning this sort of stuff. I will copy the offending  roleplay below outlining the worsrt bit in blue color. I've deleted the name of the character who sent it because I don't want this to be abut the player, I just want to know if others find this roleplay equally disturbing and think it should be banned like I do. I haven't seen a BM rule that bans this sort of thing:

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Roleplay from [Name Removed] (2 hours, 7 minutes ago)
Message sent to everyone in the region Oligarch (46 recipients)

Brutalized

The day had started once again. Smoke rose from a thousand different places all across the huge city of Oligarch. Perhaps half from actual hearths but the rest were borne from malice. Riding through the winding streets [Name Removed]'s face was covered with a bordeaux scarf. The fabric coming from the good people Gadlock, swamp linnen. A haze of smoke escaped a crumpled building. Slithering past some exposed support beams and engulfing a section of the street. Not quite obscuring the view entirely but certainly cladding passers by in a gauzelike cloak that stung the eyes and beckoned forth tears.

The same could be said for the soldiers that strode through the main boulevard. People were being dragged from their homes, their bodies bruised as angry hands forced them to comply. Strung up along the buildings where roof ornaments where being used as makeshift gallows. Long reed canes used as whips that cut their flesh and left a patchwork of red lines on their raw skin. Asher eyed it as he passed by, not saying a word. A young woman, someone's daughter, was dragged across the streets from her family home. An older man, presumably her father, begged the soldiers to spare her. His balding head a little chubby but only because life had been good to him in the past. His wife clutching the doorframe she stood in. Nails burrowing deep. Falling to his knees, the father wept as his voice broke into a besieging screech. One of the soldiers got annoyed and turned around. Deftly fishing a dagger from its sheath and grasping it firmly in his hand. Before the balding father knew what had happened he was reaching for his throat and gurgled a few more words. His hands tried furiously but could only make a defunct dam and blood gushed through the gaps. Despite the fact that his life was literally slipping through his fingers, he never took his eyes off his daughter.

She had been dragged to the center of the street and now the soldiers had formed a ring around her. Each taking turns in ripping clothing from her fair body. Pushing her around and each time she was shoved into the arms of yet another malicious man, more hands groped her, did her pain, beat her, felt nails scratch her body and eventually, when lust turned to frustration in the soldiers, they beat her again. This time with vigor. They wanted to brutalize her but those orders hadn't been given. As the fair maiden fell to the ground, her body only nominally clad, the skin on her knees broke with the impact. Army boots, the kind that were reinforced and armored, found her body and kicked her without remorse. One particular fat soldier, his mouth frothing as his beady little eyes roved over her exposed body, viciously kicked her in the mouth. The entire tip of his boot vanishing in the action. The corners of her mouth ripped, blood exploded from where her front teeth used to be and what came next from her mouth was a quiet, anguished noise that could not be described with words.

Not waiting for what would come next, [Name Removed] looked away and urged his mount on.

JeVondair

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While I share your distaste (for brutality in general), the RP in question is a valid, realistic depiction of random acts of violence under a brutal takeover, the opposite of a friendly one.  Battlemaster is a medieval simulator, and they called it the 'Dark Ages' for a reason. I'm actually really glad that the writer chose to explore this gritty view further. Dark as it was, it was practically 'nice' compared to other things that can be done in this game that were historically perpetrated both IG and IRL
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Blint

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I am in the realm that this RP took place, and as was discussed among several players OOC, I have no issue with what was Roleplayed.

There are clear statements in the Takeover activity messages as well as other horrible things that we as players can have our noble characters do.

For the takeover activity messages one clearly states

Takeover Activity   (12 minutes ago)
message to everyone in Oligarch
Soldiers of [NAME REMOVED] have been patrolling the streets and attacking peasants critical of the regime change.
The locals now fear Sirion somewhat more. There is a little bit less sympathy for Sirion now.


Additionally think about the actions that a Judge can take, i.e. Torture a noble to get information about messages that have been sent/received. As a player whose had characters tortured as well as characters who have done the torturing, I find it enjoyable and challenging to RP these events. As was stated before in game, I think there is a clear line between creative liberty about game mechanics and violence and brutality that is over the top and obscene for the sake of being over the top and obscene. In my experience I have only ever ran into a player that breached that line and went into the realm of over the top brutality (against one of my characters without my consent which is a whole other issue) for the sake of proving a point that the character had more power over mine.

It was also cited in game that BM is a medieval simulator, and that era in time was called the "dark ages" for a reason. It was not uncommon for a noble to see a commoner/peasant and decide that he or she would be the nobles pleasure for the evening.. I am not saying that it's okay to go around and in brutal and explicit detail describe a rape, or a sexual encounter between two consenting nobles to the point of it becoming pornographic, but semi-ambiguously describing a Brutal Takeover of a region is not something I feel should be denied to players.   
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Qureshima1

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Thanks for the replies so far.

Just to clarify, I have no problem with torture or violence in the game. thats part of the game. what I object to is the graphic detail. There's a fine  line between simple description and gory detail. I think the line has been crossed here. And even if you think it hasn'tbeen crossed, its certainly possible thatt an even more graphic post could cross the line.  In that case, shouldn't there be BM guidelines regulating this kind of post?

Wimpie

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Just my 2 cents. While I encourage Roleplay, very much so, we do have younger kids playing this game as well. I would be prudent in going too much into details about things like this. But in my view, nothing happened against the rules here.

There is a system in place for determining if a post is vulgar or not, by clicking the 'vulgarity' link. 5 randomly chosen characters will receive the message and can judge if it is vulgar or fitting for a noble. It should be taken into account that it was marked a roleplay, of course.
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Blint

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I don't believe "official" Guidelines need to be established, I think if we start to establish what is "okay" to RP we start down a path where we severely limit players in what they can and can't RP. I personally find realms far more fun when there is active RP going on. I think if we start to establish rules around what can and can't be put into a RP then we start to dump sand and dirt on the fire and passion for RPing that some players have.

I don't at all agree with your opinion that the cited RP was over the line and graphic. It was, I think, ambiguous to the point that a child (Someone say under the age of 10 or 11) wouldn't really get/understand what was implied to have happened next.. I.e. the rape and/or murder of the peasant.

I hope I don't come off as condescending here, but I think if the RP was truly graphic and over the top, more people would have stepped forward and said something, myself included. I am not advocating for allowing players to brutally and graphically describe rape in game, but I don't think players should be limited by official guidelines around what is acceptable or not.

I am of the mind that if someone crosses the "line" then they will be reprimanded and action can be taken accordingly. (No idea what that would be). I think it was mentioned before, but if you find that a player or players are continually RPing things that you would rather not see, the ignore feature is there for that purpose..
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Bronnen

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I don't see anything wrong at all with that kind of graphic description. I've seen far worse in the past (domitius family) and far more implausible ones (also domitius)

Zakky

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I think the guide lines are clear. As long as you don't involve someone else's character without permission, you can RP your character however you want. Also, RP actions are known. Random acts of violence is just that. How you define those acts are up to RPers. You also have options to ignore others RPs as well. If you don't like that RP, you can simply ignore like it has never happened around your character. Don't have to react to all the RPs.

Chenier

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While it is generally best to self-moderate and avoid starting depravity contests, I do also think that repulsive roleplays are in many ways beneficial.

The game hints at a lot of brutality, some explicitely sexual in nature (looting), but it's all numbers in the background with but a brief mention, and it's easy to forget what our characters are actually doing in the simulated game world. Repulsive RPs help remind everyone how repulsive the game mechanics should be treated as.

The text in question describes a "random act of violence" pretty accurately, in my opinion. This is the kind of thing that the marshal is ordering you to do. Would you have even thought twice about doing hostile takeover options were it not for this roleplay?

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I think the rule about playing as if playing with friends at the dinner table applies here, if someone (or in this case three someones) say they don't like that sort of RP, don't do that sort of RP around them in the future. Not only are there young players, but players who suffered sexual violence who would rather not read that sort of stuff in a game where they came to relax and have fun.

Nosferatus

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Not only are there young players, but players who suffered sexual violence who would rather not read that sort of stuff in a game where they came to relax and have fun.

Then they shouldn't have picked battle master, but instead monopoly or colonists of catan for example.
If you want to stay away from violence like that, then don't play violent games called 'battlemaster'.
Or find some boring realm where nobody ever role plays and everybody thinks brutal TO's are cuddle contests.

I am heavily opposed to any kind of censor here yet i understand the problems with some kind of rp's(not this one that much, seen and wrote much worse...).
The solution shouldn't be discussed here however but in game.
Your character can also be against violence, react in game and rescue or help the victim for example, or go after the guilty ones.

This rp is giving colour to the game and thats what the game needs.
Your possible reaction to it in game could do even more to get things going.
Both that RP and your reaction are what BM need's, just make sure it's all kept in game.

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Currently playing the Polytus Family in: Gotland, Madina, Astrum, Outer Tilog

Gabanus family

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Nosferatus, I think you're being a bit harsh here in your response, at least in the tone in which you wrote it.

I do understand the concerns if roleplaying becomes too distastefull and remains to be so. I've seen RP'ing where it seemed someone was just living out a rape fantasy or some sick [email protected]#$ that had me disgusted years ago and also understand that the line for someone to be disgusted about something is different for everyone. This makes this discussion a bit difficult, as some find this RP to be over the top already, while others view this as acceptable and quite a realistic (not over the top) description of what is happening.

As said, the primary rule is that you can't RP someone else' char without their permission, but that is about the only solid rule that we've got.

Making solid guidelines on these matters would become impossible as everyone has different standards and if a compromise is reached you'll find those who think it's too harsh and those who think it's not harsh enough and both will be unhappy.

As a side-note, I do hope that when you ignore a character you also ignore their roleplays? So if you think someone is over the top for you, you can ignore him entirely?
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Chenier

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Yes, you can mute someone in-game. That covers all of their messages. Or just *not read* their RPs (or RPs in general). I mean, that kind of thing only finds itself in RPs, and RPs pretty much never have important information for strictly game mechanics day to day things. You can also stop reading an RP the moment you start disliking it, nothing's forcing you to read the whole thing.

The world isn't a safe space. On the whole, I find the BM community to have been a mature one with these topics, without devolving to wanton depravity for the sake of it while also not devolving to puritan sanitizing.

The subject has come up a few times over the years. It's always the same: Yea, sometimes a few people go into sensitive places, but it doesn't get abused enough to be considered to really be of bad faith.

RPs is a form of literary art. And good art is one that makes you feel things. Not always good things.

And this one, in particular, doesn't really have any particularly depraved elements. He didn't go and write a 50000 word comprehensive description of a gratuitous rape. It was merely a brief passage of wanton violence that, in the end, fairly accurately describes what the game mechanics being used could imply. If you don't want to see this kind of thing, then have your characters petition for hostile takeovers to be banned. Because there's no way to nicely brutalize people into submission.

Anaris

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I think the rule about playing as if playing with friends at the dinner table applies here, if someone (or in this case three someones) say they don't like that sort of RP, don't do that sort of RP around them in the future. Not only are there young players, but players who suffered sexual violence who would rather not read that sort of stuff in a game where they came to relax and have fun.

This is the correct answer here.
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Gabanus family

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Don't get me wrong Chenier, I personally find nothing wrong with this RP and I've probably written worse with either Aeneas or Goriad II, but it does not hurt to be empathetic to those who do take offense, not that you haven't been. I'm not saying we should change things because of it, but still.

And if they can be ignored and otherwise not read, I believe that that is sufficient to counter a RP you don't quite like.
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