How often do you, as a roleplayer, find yourself writing with or playing with a Mary Sue/Gary Stew character? In my years on play by post forums I have come across a fair few and I try and avoid RPing with them where possible. However, let’s not get a Mary Sue used in fiction mixed up with the type we see roleplayers make. The type of Sue in a film is a necessary game changer and often the crux of the story, it’s the type of character designed for this medium.
So what is a Mary Sue in Roleplay Land? Well, it is the kind of character that is so perfect it is very annoying. They are more often than not a self insert – where the player makes themselves with vital “improvements” and because of this the creator is emotionally linked to the character, so if your character offends their character then they take it as if you offended them. Often the character is the best looking, the smartest, the best at everything, the most popular, yadda yadda yadda. Beware of them searching for romances because they can become obsessed to the point of stalking you OOCly if you are unfortunate enough to have had your character hook up with this Sue, and always they need to upstage every other character in the group. If they are a mage then they cast all the biggest baddest spells all the time. If they are a minstrel then they play the best songs for the Kings of the all the Realms and no one is better than they!
So, you can see why is it so hard writing with them? They make it impossible to reply to half the time and the rest of the time you are forced out of character for your own goddamned characters just to get through the thread/game! And you ask yourself why did you sully yourself in this way? Why would you allow this? From my own experience, I’ve been desperate to just end RPing with them without the drama that comes with it, but sometimes even this is not enough. Even if you do write mind numbing posts just to finish off the thread/story/game and then you don’t write with them again they can still kick up a stink… The player is the Sue.
My advice to those of you lumbered with these players is this – always stay IC – don’t have your character forced down a path you do not want to go. Do not accept Sue behaviour and stop the game if need be to moderate this person and keep their character under control. If you write in the world where this type of Sue character is allowed then avoid them – they will spoil your experience of the game so do not kid yourself, you want to have fun and having these players in your game is no fun.
Go forth and re-read your own character sheets now because you’ll be paranoid you made a Sue! Haha! Worry not, many of us have Sue characters sheets but we are not Sue players – we do not demand IC that everyone else bow down before the awesome that is only our wonderful, perfect character.
Flaws ftw, right? Right?!!!