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Salish bin Achmed: an in game problem


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#1 Balgin

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 09:40 PM

Well now I never thought I would be posting in this forum but here I go. I have a problem with a Pathfinder campaign I'm playing in in that I don't want to play my character any more. I don't think it's the racism that's doing it for me but the prejudice.

When we started new characters I decided to create an arabian character by the name of Salish bin Achmed. I personaly enjoy the vast variety of peoples and cultures that exist in our world and fancied playing a character of a different ethnic origin to spice things up and keep things interesting.

And right away it started. "What's that? Salad? Yeah that's his name." And from then on I have had to endure 2-3 racist insults from the players every hour we've played (both in character and out of character). None of the insults or slurs have been anything serious on their own but the constant barrage is a touch disturbing. It's also spoiling my fun a bit. I can imagine many of us would stop enjoying a character if they were subjected to a constant barrage of abuse by the rest of the group. What irks me even more is that another party member is a generic "eastern european" character and he's getting no racist attacks whatsoever (save for the occassional in joke).

Anyway, I don't think it's the racist insults that are spoiling my fun. I'm very aware of them and consider them to be unfair and childish. It's the constant hasstle I'm getting from the players over every moral decision I make. Salish is a devout pilgrim. He takes his ethical outlook very seriously. He is also, however, young and foolish. He lacks that wisdom that age may grant him. I am being constantly called up on everything that he does. Challenged, and accused of not playing the character properly. "He wouldn't do that!" I remind people that he comes from a different culture with different values and they just don't seem to want to know.

Now I've played paladins before. When I do, I tend to play them as very thoughtful, responsible and serious. Salish is somewhat more hotheaded and zealous. The group are not accepting his behaviour and paladinic mostly because that's not how I've played the class in the past. However the ammount of grief I'm being given over every questionable action is way more than I'd normaly get (and I've played with these guys for about 18 years and they haven't been this picky before). It could be a byproduct of the in game racism or maybe someone's just stirring up trouble (two particular somebodies, but that's another matter).

So anyway, the character isn't fun to play any more. To top it all off the party have captured an illegal business and are planning on making a proffit for it. Salish has no interest in partaking of ill goten gains and, having completed his pilgrimage, has little reason to remain in the area (bar some unresolved business). The only real reason I could see for keeping him around is that he's the closest thing the party's got to a healer, which I'm sure will come up the minute I mention withdrawing him. Plus our resident powergamer's ditching a character to make a new one this week and changing two at once seems a little awkward. I'm unlikely to get a chance to discuss this issue with the rest of the group before the next session and I don't want to hold up play and spoil everyone's evening discussing the issue for too long.

Basicaly my character isn't fun to play anymore because the other players won't let me play him. Any suggestions?
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#2 Telemergion

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 02:28 AM

Well, as you've said, it's not optimal, however I think the simplest solution is to switch him out for something more enjoyable and possibly more palatable to your group. I mean, I'm a self-acknowledged altaholic capable with creating a character I desperately want to play and then creating at least one more before the game even starts, so maybe my advice is peppered with a little bias, but if you're not enjoying the character I see no reason to keep playing something that isn't fun. For all the work and thought we put into this hobby, it's still a game.

Now, there are of course other options such as talking it over with your group. Maybe you'll get a positive response, maybe not, and so on. Having seen you around the boards, however, I know you're a pretty smart guy and you're aware of these options and are in a much better position to judge your group's reaction than I am.

My other favourite option for retiring a character would likely only increase your problems, as it's to go bat-shit insane and have the character drive himself out for whatever reason. In this case it'd be the crazy arab acting up, which would only lead to more of the comments you're having issues with.

So if you take anything from this rambling reply (my apologies because I'm really sleepy) it's that a man of questionable experience and wisdom suggests you write your guy out as faithfully to the character you created as you can, and then come back with a wisecracking jerk of a character and give those guys a taste of their own medicine.
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#3 salvagebar

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 06:57 PM

I think your group is being as rude as hell, and I wouldn't put up with their nonsense for another second. I tend to make assumptions about how people will react, so I ask you NOT to do that, even though you have known these guys for years. Pull them aside, confront them, and gently bring up the topic and say you've had enough. If they are understanding, then you can deal with the in-game conflicts over the illegality of the party's actions within the story, and that is that - problem solved.

You are asking for simple courtesy, and that is your right. The jokes have gone on long enough, and if they try to turn it around on you and say it is your problem, and "We're just kidding", let them know that the time window has closed on the humor. If they have moral problems with the Islamic ethos of your character, or if they feel your character's zealous nature doesn't fit with the tone of the campaign (which sounds like it is more "Benny Hill" and freewheeling, like Hal's RoleMaster game), then they should bring it up at the table and discuss it like adults, not beat you down verbally, second-guessing your decisions and dropping snide insults every few minutes.
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#4 James

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 09:19 AM

Dude, sounds like you brought a no-nonsense character to a nonsense game.

Two options I see;

1. Retire him. His pilgrimmage is over, he has no reason to remain with the group. This is a bit unfair, as you do not get to play the character you want, the way you want. If they are short a healer, tough shit.

2. Find a group that is playing the type of game you want to play. This may be easier said than done, depending on your gaming environment.

In the end, you are playing (or attempting to) a more serious character in a game where the rest are set on playing a more chaotic and free-wheeling game with lots of humor and inside jokes.
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#5 popper

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 09:22 PM

To me it seems as though you only have a few viable options to take with your character.

1. Retire the character by having his final statement on the game being the reporting of the illicit business to the proper authorities. While this option sucks a bit because you've set your character up as an opponent for the group's future activities; from the outside looking in, it appears to be the natural progression for a lawful good character that has become derided by his increasingly amoral companions.

2. Just have the character walk away from what can only be deemed an unacceptable situation both metaphysically and emotionally for him. The continuous racial slurring can only be counterproductive to the character's social involvement in the group and assuredly will lead a hot-headed character to eventually commit a crime of passion against his compatriots . . . which leads to my preferred option.

3. Sew each of his companions into their beds as they sleep. Cover the floor in coal dust. Then beat each of them 100 times with a broomstick for each in-game racial slur as penance for their insults. Light the dust as you leave.

Maybe the revenge option is just a decidedly southern reaction to the situation . . .
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#6 Balgin

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 08:21 AM

Now that my computer is finaly working again (it was out of comission for about two days) I can let you all know that the situation has been resolved for good or ill.

On teusday's session everyone arrived late at staggered intervals so I ended up having the conversation four times (and by the third time it was a running joke). It was - however, well recieved, and taken seriously by all parties. Since another player was also considering retiring his character to add in a new one I began making a new one while waiting for the last few players to turn up.

I stuck with Salish to play it out 'till either a good point came for him to leave or it became evident that he wouldn't have to.

We then unfortunately entered a fight and brave Salish bin Achmed suffered a 23 point critical when he only had 8 hit points left. So I got to finish making a new character anyway. It would've been nice if he'd survived a few mores essions as the "is that offenssive? Better not say that, it might offend him. Is that racist?" running gags throughout the sesion would've hopefuly died out by the next session. But now I'll never know.
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#7 popper

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:17 AM

I stuck with Salish to play it out 'till either a good point came for him to leave or it became evident that he wouldn't have to.

We then unfortunately entered a fight and brave Salish bin Achmed suffered a 23 point critical when he only had 8 hit points left. So I got to finish making a new character anyway


What? You didn’t kill any of them yourself in a fit of righteous indignation fit for a Hindu at a BBQ! I’m simply outraged that not one person was beaten to death with a broom handle. I mean . . . it just isn’t right by any standard ;)
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#8 Telemergion

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:45 AM

The Fates are fickle like that
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#9 salvagebar

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 06:23 PM

...On teusday's session everyone arrived late at staggered intervals so I ended up having the conversation four times (and by the third time it was a running joke). It was - however, well recieved, and taken seriously by all parties. Since another player was also considering retiring his character to add in a new one I began making a new one while waiting for the last few players to turn up....

I stuck with Salish to play it out 'till either a good point came for him to leave or it became evident that he wouldn't have to.


I am happy that you brought it up, and that the group was able to discuss he issue. Even though the character death made it moot, it establishes an atmosphere where people can keep issues from interfering in the game.
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