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A formal complaint against one "heavy RP" group that discriminates against Redsiders.


Buffy Barritt
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I want to lodge a formal complaint of discrimination against one self-described "heavy RP" group that invited me to apply for membership yesterday.  For the sake of fairness, I will not name names here.  When a moderator contacts me, I will relay the names to him.

 

The representative for this group was advertising for new recruits in the LFG channel.  When I spoke with him he said the group doesn't normally advertise in open channels.  I soon learned why.

 

I was invited to join their Discord server and apply for membership.  Which I did, answering a long list of questions and and posting the replies directly on Discord.  The next day, the rep posted the following rejection notice in a Discord dm:

 

The primary decline is due to associations with groups, and therefore people, that have openly been malicious to not just us but numerous people in the RP community here on Homecoming.
Those groups are [redacted] and [redacted]... [the latter group] specifically had someone join our group years ago for the sole purpose to fabricate drama, which failed mind you, but the most damning was taking information, screenshots, and stuff like that from our discord to do whatever it is they planned on doing. Not just in game or IC things, but everything. Many of us have played together for years, since live. We have pictures of our kids, sometimes personal information that we, as more than gaming friends, share with one another. We have not, and will not, interact or engage with people associated with those groups again. Ever. And we're not alone in that sentiment as far as the community is concerned.

 

Here the rep describes wrongs committed *years ago* *by someone other than me,* citing them as reasons for rejecting me today. I was with each of those groups less than two months, and I quit along with most of their members when it became clear what the leaders were doing. The rep could have asked, and I would have provided proof that I fought back and then quit. I was as every bit as much the victim as his friends and his kids. Search my other postings to this forum if you'd like to see some of that evidence for yourself.

 

But the rep did not ask. Instead he pressed the big lazy CANCEL button that's on everyone's desk these days. He chose to discriminate against me because I am a former Redsider.

 

Thank you for the time you went through submitting one and it's unfortunate we'll be declining. But many of us simply do not trust former members of those 2 specific groups just because of the actual, non-gaming based problems they have caused.

 

Word associations that come to mind: unfair, unjust, unthinking, un-American. By the rep's own admission, his operating principle is guilt by association. He demonstrates clear bias against former Redsiders.

 

I do not know or assume that you engaged in such activity but we're not willing to risk that.

 

He was also unwilling to risk discussion. He booted me from the Discord server and gave me no chance to stand up for myself.

 

Is this the kind of behavior Homecoming wants in its roleplaying community?  I was a friendly person who is also highly qualified, and rather than engage me on my merits he kicked me in the teeth.

 

Any group that recruits openly in General or LFG while carrying around this much baggage should be subject to counseling by the Homecoming team. We need an open, honest dialogue about the importance of treating everyone fairly and without bias. To discriminate against someone just because he joined a VG at some point in the past is insane.

 

I hate to admit it, but after years of participating in the Homecoming roleplay community the overall experience remains largely negative.  This group and its representative are only the latest examples.

 

But I have not lost hope. I believe it can be better.

Edited by Buffy Barritt
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I'm going to be a little harsh here...

 

No one is required to roleplay with anyone else. Especially not someone they aren't comfortable dealing with. Full stop.

 

It doesn't really matter *WHY* they aren't comfortable with you. The reason doesn't need to be "fair" or justified or even rational.  They don't even have to give you a reason. Because it's not all about you. You don't get to tell other players who they let into their group.

 

Just chalk it up to not fitting in with that particular group and move on. 

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OP, I'm not sure that you are going to get any satisfaction, here - an RP group rejected your application for "reasons" that you do not agree with and/or claim are fabricated.  This is not the purview of the devs to address, and even if it was, you would do so via a support ticket to a GM or moderator.

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Honestly, based on your post I'm not sure I would want to RP with you either.

 

There are no set of hard rules, beyond what's listed in terms of codes of conduct, friend. You don't get to pick and choose and then complain when others do the same.

 

Take the L and move on and find others that are more like-minded. Maybe, if you do that long enough you can create a reputation such that the group you're complaining about rethinks their position.

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You're probably right biostem.  But here's the thing: if our community as a whole just lacks a sense of human decency - if the community is toxic all the time and abuse and harassment are the norms - then the only thing left to do is give up on organized RP and leave.  You can go anywhere and be mistreated, you don't have to log in for that.

 

Society is where we *all* make the rules, not just the worst people among us.  So there's a duty to push back.  Similarly the mods have a duty to make this a fun experience for everyone, to the extent they can.  I cannot be the only person who has had 10/10 rotten experiences with RP groups.  I mean, that's incomprehensible.

 

So if you've got a group that is actively griefing people, like the one that drove the group I complained about into such a frenzy, the mods can do something about that.  And we can petition them to act, too, in extreme cases.  They did it three years ago.  I watched that VG leader quit and leave the server, right before I quit the group myself.  I stuck around just to be kind - he had COVID at the time and everyone was bailing.

 

What's weird for me is that individual RPers on here can still be cool and fun and friendly.  And my characters are popular and get plenty of positive comments, as does my RP.  Just not in RP *groups*, which have been uniformly standoffish or hostile.  It's the group dynamic that never fails to turn against me and often right at the beginning.  I don't get that.  Did everyone just turn into jackals at some point?

 

I guess the first thing I'm looking for is some agreement that yeah, the group rejecting me was needlessly harsh and out of bounds.  Savaging someone you invited to apply for membership is pointless and weird.  Blaming them for events that transpired three years ago and before they even joined the VGs in question is weirder still.  Being unreasonably butthurt and letting those emotions walk all over the application process so you don't even *see* the applicant anymore is the weirdest of all.  That's why their membership has fallen to 31 and they now feel the need to recruit in open chat.  They are probably insular and nearly impossible to join.

 

Anyway.  I'm just trying to find some way to stay in the Homecoming RP community and not give up.  I love group RP, but I no longer see a way forward to it.

 

I'll try a ticket next, thanks for the suggestion.  The last time I had an issue, they actually picked up on it in the forums.

Edited by Buffy Barritt
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Just something to consider... If every single group you've run into is problematic, the "problem" may not be completely with them.

 

Given your reaction to this recent rejection, and what you seem to classify as abuse and harassment on these players' part, you could also be reading a lot more hostility into the situation than is really there. Past experiences can color your perceptions and expectations in ways that may make misreading another person's intentions way too easy.

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9 hours ago, Buffy Barritt said:

I want to lodge a formal complaint of discrimination against one self-described "heavy RP" group that invited me to apply for membership yesterday.  For the sake of fairness, I will not name names here.  When a moderator contacts me, I will relay the names to him.

 

Guess what?

If you wanted to be fair, you could have placed a Support Ticket.

If you want to be more aggressive about it, you can PM a GM.

If want to hang out your dirty laundry for everyone to see, post it in the forums.

... and ... this is nothing that the Homecoming team is going to do anything about.

 

You can get kicked from a team, league, or supergroup and the DEVs aren't going to do anything about it.

Why do you think an RPG group would be any different?

 

By posting this here, It looks like your goal is drama more than anything else.

 

You are dealing with a private RPG group. 

There are no official Homecoming RPG groups. There isn't even an "official" Homecoming RPG server.

 

They are trying to find other people to game with, but they are very protective of what they already have.

It seems that they were kind enough to communicating with you about why they did not want to let you join before showing you the door.

 

You left the same RPG groups that they don't want to be involved with because you didn't like their behavior.

How can you blame them for wanting to avoid those people that you found toxic?

 

I tell you what.

To me, you seem to be pretty toxic, self righteous, and full of hubris.

Perhaps you would do best to start your own RPG group. Some people like the drama.

 

 

 

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If someone posts a reply quoting me and I don't reply, they are most probably on ignore.

Some of them even know that I have them on ignore.

But that won't stop some of them from bullying and harassing people, because some of them love to do it.

It's who they are. There is a group of them that have banded together to do it. They think that it is acceptable.

Ignore is a tool to improve your gaming experience. Don't feel bad about using it.

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An informal response to a formal complaint against one heavy role play group that discriminates against Redsiders:

 

I'm sorry but the Justice League does not offer admission to past or present members of the Legion of Doom.  Please contact the Avengers or even better, the X-Men.  I hear those mutants accept just about anyone.

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58 minutes ago, Bionic_Flea said:

I'm sorry but the Justice League does not offer admission to past or present members of the Legion of Doom.

JUSTL_33_15blog_5408de77092174.23609095.

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If someone posts a reply quoting me and I don't reply, they are most probably on ignore.

Some of them even know that I have them on ignore.

But that won't stop some of them from bullying and harassing people, because some of them love to do it.

It's who they are. There is a group of them that have banded together to do it. They think that it is acceptable.

Ignore is a tool to improve your gaming experience. Don't feel bad about using it.

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14 hours ago, Buffy Barritt said:

I was a friendly person who is also highly qualified

Ok but how? This is RP not a job or literally anything that matters. 
 

These “Heavy RPSG” types have qualifications now? Isn’t that…you know, taking it WAY too seriously?

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I'm really just kinda tired of being negative, so instead, I'll try being a little more like the opposite. Heard that leads to more of a fun time.

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53 minutes ago, Seed22 said:

Ok but how? This is RP not a job or literally anything that matters. 
 

These “Heavy RPSG” types have qualifications now? Isn’t that…you know, taking it WAY too seriously?

It certainly feels that way, but it's not totally unheard of in the RP world for some RP groups to take applications for members.

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  • Game Master

Hey all

While I appreciate the need to vent (as well as not naming names), issues that one feels requires GM attention or intervention should be submitted via the Support link at the top of the forum (or in the little do-dad in the upper right corner if you're on mobile). If any members of the mentioned group, or their friends, see this thread (or one like it), things will probably go downhill quickly, so I'll be closing this up.

EDIT: I MEANT to close this thread, but, guess i forgot to hit the button. Oops =/ Still, since everyone is being mature and polite -for the most part- I'll keep it open a bit longer.

Edited by GM Impervium
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GM Impervium
Homecoming FAQ; Need a hand? File a Support Ticket! Want to lend a hand? Apply to be a GM!

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21 minutes ago, TygerDarkstorm said:

It certainly feels that way, but it's not totally unheard of in the RP world for some RP groups to take applications for members.

Somewhere I have a multipage application for a TTRPG campaign from the 80s.  It didn't ask why you left a turtle on it's back, but it should have by that point.

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2 hours ago, lemming said:

Somewhere I have a multipage application for a TTRPG campaign from the 80s.  It didn't ask why you left a turtle on it's back, but it should have by that point.

 

Yeah... They're not unheard of. One tabletop Ars Magica group I considered joining out here in the Real World did that, too. I found it a little odd, but in the end it wasn't strange enough to make me do more than raise an eyebrow. I ended up being invited to join a different game before I ever got around to filling the silly thing out. 😝

 

Here on Homecoming? I've only been involved with one group that tried anything like that, and it was very short-lived. The SG was supposed to follow a fairly specific theme, and the "application" was designed to reenforce that point. It seemed a little nit-picky to me, but I'm a Dirty Casual when it comes to City RP so... Different standards and all that.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Coyotedancer said:

 

Yeah... They're not unheard of. One tabletop Ars Magica group I considered joining out here in the Real World did that, too. I found it a little odd, but in the end it wasn't strange enough to make me do more than raise an eyebrow. I ended up being invited to join a different game before I ever got around to filling the silly thing out. 😝

 

Here on Homecoming? I've only been involved with one group that tried anything like that, and it was very short-lived. The SG was supposed to follow a fairly specific theme, and the "application" was designed to reenforce that point. It seemed a little nit-picky to me, but I'm a Dirty Casual when it comes to City RP so... Different standards and all that. 

Yea, mine was for a Champions game.  iirc, they played one session.   Here on CoX, I'm Light RP at best.

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On 9/28/2022 at 12:20 AM, Buffy Barritt said:

You're probably right biostem.  But here's the thing: if our community as a whole just lacks a sense of human decency - if the community is toxic all the time and abuse and harassment are the norms - then the only thing left to do is give up on organized RP and leave.  You can go anywhere and be mistreated, you don't have to log in for that.

Where are you coming to this conclusion from?  From 1 bad interaction with a particular SG?  Don't you think it's a little  soon to be jumping the gun?  Look at your post objectively - imagine you were running a SG and someone came and posted what you did - seems a lot like a "woe is me" kind of post.  Go through the proper channels, plead your case, present your evidence, and move on...

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8 hours ago, Buffy Barritt said:

Quite all right Impervium, I've learned something valuable here.  I won't be pursuing a ticket.  Thanks for letting us talk it out.

 

Just my take on things.

 

1. Unless an group of players is doing something against the policies of HC, the likelihood of any action being taken against them is unlikely.

 

2.  Classy RP groups in this game or else where do not blanketedly turn down others because of previous membership in some other group.  Classy ones also do not tend to put on exclusionary airs either.

 

3.  However, classy rper's also do not resort to making a forum thread which is just one sliver of a step away from a naming and shaming thread, especially if there is true grievances to be had per point 1 I made.  

 

To me, this is just 2 wrongs dont make a right.   Find other rp groups in game or make your own where you can exemplify the Role Playing Classiness that you wish to be involved in and thrive.   

 

And for the record, I must begrudgingly agree with Krimson. (darn it)

 

Good luck to you.

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I should put my cards on the table before commenting: I run a closed-recruitment RP supergroup (I'll leave descriptors like "heavy RP" or "mature RP" more to people who differentiate such things from "baseline" RP) for years, albeit not the one in the OP, and we do have an interview process, or as I often call it, the "vibe check."

With that out in the open, in my experience a formal interview, meet-and-greet, "session zero" or other onboarding process can be crucial to getting people in a roleplay group aligned on anything heavier or more directed than Pocket D Pickup RP.  It's not that we're going down a list of "tick these boxes to be an objectively high-quality roleplayer;" it's more that roleplayers are by their nature a community of high-drama individuals who are poorly socialized by the lack of nuance inherent to text communication.  That includes the people in the guild already, and making sure that someone is going to mesh with the existing IC and OOC culture of the established group saves both sides a lot of grief in the long run.

 

To use my own guild as an object example: the surface purpose of the interview is to make sure that the character concept fits our in-text gimmick of "Praetorian supes after the fall of Praetoria, with a polemical slant."  But that, in and of itself, is just a vibe check.  If a player rolls into Session Zero with an Arachnos Bane Spider, or a Primal-born superhero with no Praetorian theming elements, that tells us a lot about how much the player is willing to engage with a theme or make room for others in their roleplay (to wit: they won't).  If the player reacts to our list of commonsense rules in any way other than acquiescence, say, by feeling out the boundaries ("Okay, you say don't post porn in the Discord, but could you define porn?"), that's another failure of the vibe check even though they technically "agreed" with the rules.  It's all about mitigating the potential of harm to everyone.

 

And unfortunately, that does include feeling out for if the player isn't doing anything wrong, but could be a flashpoint of conflict anyway.  They could, for instance, over the course of the interview, evince outspoken beliefs or associations which we know would provoke hostility from existing supergroup members, irrespective of the "objective" justice of those beliefs and the (inapplicable, but frequently cited) First Amendment of the United States.  The character could have some element that gives us worries about meshing with the group; say, an element of their bio draws on canon characters or orgs in a way that directly or indirectly invalidates other players' characters*.  If they hail from a group that has a gnarly history with our members, that's also a factor... as in the OP's example, and even in specific cases like the OP's example where the reality is something nuanced and complicated.  This is because roleplayers on the internet don't do nuanced and complicated, by-and-large.  They're tribes, cliques, enclaves of precariously-balanced social loyalties, like every human social group up to and including these forums.  My job as admin is to make sure that my tribe stays on-target and avoids drama, and sometimes when working with unknown quantities I'm going to be ruthless.

 

(Most typically, this manifests as being the only-child son/daughter/sole inheritor of some canon NPC that other characters in the guild draw from, although typically we broach this topic directly with an appeal to scale back or clarify rather than going "REJECTED!")

 

For what it's worth, I'm sorry for what you went through, OP, and I think the specific phrasing that you link in your post, assuming that it's a direct transcript, was out-of-line.  Lines like "we're not alone in the community" and "actual, non-gaming problems" are themselves hyperbole, high-drama, and bait, and those folks conducted themselves poorly, imagining the sins you could be guilty of and then externalizing them onto you.  But I think that you should consider this rejection to ultimately be a service to both their supergroup and you: the risk that you would be the subject of aggression from roleplayers with a viscerally-negative reaction to your history was well-articulated, and now you don't have to go through a firestorm of incendiary nerd drama.

 

My purpose in commenting wasn't to refute OP's experience, specifically, because it seems like it was an ugly situation with inappropriate aspersions about the player's intents.  But rather, I wanted to push back against the idea that "interviews" or "Session(s) Zero" constitute elitist bullying by default.  I think that the HC Discord and HC Forums are example enough on the kind of explosive drama that can erupt from non-curated "big tent" roleplayer spaces, and why some players might be very careful when adding to a small group of known quantities.

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On 9/28/2022 at 12:20 AM, Buffy Barritt said:

Society is where we *all* make the rules

That is in fact incorrect.  Society is where a set group of individuals establish a set of rules or "societal norms" and others agree to follow them, or at a minimum follow most of them and then, over the course of time small numbers of individuals speak up and make or force changes, generally minor that build up over time.  But most members of a society never contribute, no less make any rules, because humans are as a whole lazy which is how tyrants or morons come to power even when we say how is that possible.  Those that defy those norms are generally ostracized and shamed.

 

And remember societal norms are not about right or wrong, they are about what that specific society defines as right or wrong.  The societal norm of the United Sates once said slavery was fine, once said women didn't rate a say in things.  That changed in American society yet there are other societies whose norm still says these things.  If the game is a society then there are most definitely norms and they are most definitely not defined by everyone.  More importantly it is a game so the societal norms outside of the game may not play inside the game.

 

Now are there certain core values that transcend societal norms?  Of course.  But those also tend to show up in all societal norms.  Don't kill people for no reason.  Try to be nice.  Protect the weak.  Drink more Ovaltine.  Beyond that, its fair game really.  Just think about the words in the American lexicon that were considered socially acceptable not a decade ago that will now see you excoriated for saying.  The societal norm shifts.  There is an old saying that says just because you don't like it doesn't mean its wrong.

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In the end, why would you want to be a part of that group if this occurred? If they are that fragile in rl just imagine how fragile they will be with rp situations that don't go their way. I am not for holding one accountable for what OTHERS have done, but I am also for people deciding what and who they want to interact with. I don't think this would have set me off in the least, in fact, I would have walked away wiping the sweat from my brow because I just dodged a major problem. Of course I am only commenting from your side, and there is always two sides. You were vetted, but seriously, maybe you should have walked away first. 

Don't be as fragile. If you want good rp, go lead. You don't have to follow. Some people rp to create, some rp to escape. Go create. When you create, remember to respect others, and not hold them accountable for something they had nothing to do with...such as vetting you wrongly. 🙂 

Peace! 

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