Mary Sue Policy
Created by Captain Phoenix Lalor on Sun May 27th, 2018 @ 8:13pm
Written by Morgan Jackson for her Simulation: Rivendell, ME - http://rivendellmerpg.pbworks.com/Mary Sue (.n)- (Classic definition) Someone who defines her self as the most beautiful, most powerful, most intelligent, most loved in every way, and is more or less perfect yet somehow manages to be perfectly modest so everyone loves her and she would do no wrong. This type of character is the type that does nothing more than attribute to her own qualities and make posts centered around them and herself.
WHY WE DON'T ALLOW MARY SUES:
HOW WE HANDLE MARY SUES:Typically, it's easy to spot a Mary Sue by the profile. If this occurs, we will give a person two chances to re-do their profile. If they fail to make an acceptable profile then they cannot play. If you somehow managed to get by without being questioned but still Mary Sue your characters in your posts, you will be warned on a first offense and then kicked on the next. This is not meant to be mean, but it's the only way to keep this RPG active and fair to everyone. We have seen too many good RPGs fail because of Mary Sue. It will not happen here. Also, look out Marty Stu. If you can't figure out who he is, then ask.
TYPES OF MARY SUES:Aside from the "classic" form of Mary Sue, several other varieties exist. All are equally repugnant. Below are descriptions of Mary in her various incarnations. Keep in mind that while characters with flaws and interesting, well-developed histories and personalities will undoubtedly resemble these descriptions to a limited extent, what makes a Mary a Mary is her absolute specialness and uniqueness in regard to whatever trait is being described... in other words her "most-ness."
1. Classic Mary SueThis is the first characterization brought to mind when we think of Mary Sue. This character is often the most beautiful/handsome, funniest, friendliest, smartest, most athletic, wealthiest, most psychically/magically gifted, most beloved, strongest, most heroic, most virtuous, sexiest, and best dressed character in the entire game. Classic Mary Sue has no faults, and she makes no mistakes. She can do anything (even if she's never attempted it before) and end up doing it better than anyone else. She has a host of abilities that are very unlikely for someone with her experience or place in life. She often comes into very superior abilities in the middle of the game, with no preamble and often even surprised by them herself. She is extremely insightful and often has trouble distinguishing between character and player knowledge.
2. Tragic Mary SueThis Mary Sue is subtler, and is the pitfall of some writers who, in a genuine attempt to avoid the Classic Mary Sue, have heaped way too many tragedies onto their characters (she is referred to in some circles as the "Anti-Sue"). The Tragic Mary Sue is viewed as a pity-beggar, an attention-getter. She usually comes from a very terrible and lamentable existence--usually as a slave, an abused servant, a prostitute, or some other lifestyle most of us couldn’t imagine being in. At every turn of her life, she has met with one ill fortune after another--from torture, rape, poverty, becoming an orphan, having the only person who ever loved her murdered... you get the idea. Sometimes this Mary is hideously ugly or strangely deformed. Other times, if the author just can't seem to actually let go of the compulsion to be classic, Tragic Mary Sue will still be, underneath all her dirt and heartbreak, very beautiful, if only the right person would reach out to her. This Mary Sue begs for pity. She is designed to tug on the heartstrings of the other characters so that they will approach her, work really hard to pull her out of her jaded, reclusive existence, and elevate her to a higher status. She fulfills the need of her creators to have other people “save” them and make them feel loved.
3. Belligerent Mary SueJust like all great warrior princesses, the Belligerent Mary Sue is tougher that anyone else, she has unmatched (and often unexplained)fighting skills, and she has an extreme "won’t take crap from anyone," attitude. She can immediately defeat any adversary single handedly. She's often well muscled and athletic, but even if she is petite, she can still inexplicably beat the crap out of any other character; she never loses any in-game encounter she is a part of. She has a tough exterior, she flaunts authority, she doesn’t make friends easily, and she doesn’t care about anyone, knowing that she can only depend on herself. Other characters must really, really work hard to befriend her. This Mary Sue is the epitome of overly done independence. She is our need to lash out against social convention and the ties that bind us.
4. Slutty Mary SueLike her Classic cousin, this Mary Sue has a wide range of superior skills, but they are specific to the ability to attract the opposite sex. Her physical description exudes sensuality, and she is never without her ample bosom, full and pouting lips, entrancing catlike eyes and long lashes, red mane of tousled curls, or voluptuous figure and hip-swaying walk. This Mary Sue can seduce any man, she gets anything she wants just by flirting, and all other woman generally hate her. Her morals are very loose, and she may skirt the border of being considered an "evil" character. This Mary Sue attempts to attract the attention of every male character in the game, and her player is often very disappointed if she doesn’t.
5. Copy Cat Mary SueCopy Cat Mary is most easily spotted in fandom games, especially by those who know the fandom very well. She is basically the description, history, personality, and destiny of one of the well-known cannon characters, only with a different name and some minor adjustments. She’s also usually related to an already famous character in a way that would be impossible, based on the canon material. In Harry Potter games, she might be Harry’s long lost twin sister who also bears a scar on her forehead from the night Voldemort killed their parents. In Star Wars, she’s Luke and Leia’s younger sibling who was hidden away from the Emperor and trained on a remote planet by one of the last Jedi Masters, destined to lead the Rebellion after Darth Vader killed his mentor. Duplicating a Cannon Character or closely relating your character to one is often viewed, at best, as unimaginative, and at worst, as an attempt to make your character more important than she would be if relying on her own merit.
6. Transplant Mary SueTransplant Mary is similar to Copy Cat Mary in that she is some modification of a well-known canon character from a particular fandom. The difference is that the character is passed off as an original character in either an original game she has no business being in or in a non-crossover, canon game of a completely different fandom. For example, some players attempt to use "Buffy Summers" from the BTVS fandom in anything from Star Trek to Twilight games. While some legitimately original characters might be inspired by a favorite canon character, Transplants have several characteristics that are very obviously taken straight from the canon character. Most commonly, these characterstics include: Name, Physical Description, Personality, Background (often modified to fit the game), Occupation, Family Members, and Celebrity "Play By" Image. One or two similarities, alone, does not mark a character as a Transplant Sue, but in combination, several of these "borrowed" traits can be very obvious to someone familiar with the canon character. A sub-species of the Transplant Mary is the Transplant Celebrity Mary Sue, for whom many traits are clearly based on those of a popular celebrity or are a hodge-podge of television and movie characters the celebrity has portrayed.
7. Inside Mary SueSome Mary Sues are "inside jobs," meaning a player (usually the game's owner) creates a new Race or Species for use as PCs and gives a detailed description, including all of the things the race can do and all of the things they definitely cannot. Then, the creator turns around and immediately introduces a new character of that race who happens to be the exception to the rules. The logical progression is that the creator is not satisfied by any of the currently existing races and, therefore, needs the added specialness of his/her character being an entirely new species. Because they created the species, they're now presented with the danger that a new player will create a new character of the same species, thus, reducing the original character's specialness. The solution is for the creator to "build in" a rule for the species that, as it happens, doesn't apply to their character for some strange and rare reason (and which would be unlikely to have occurred to other subsequent characters created from the same species). This preserves the character's "uniqueness" no matter how many new characters are created of the same species. The character is now special because it is of a previously non-existent species (and the only member of that species upon entrance into the game) and because it is, remarkably, also an exception to its own species' characteristics. This two-fold specialness actually makes it a Double-Layered Mary Sue--it's a Mary Sue with a fail-safe, backup system.
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