Alts and PrPs
I want your input on something.
So I have been running a story on a MU*; it's multisphere (i.e. it will entail separate scenes which affect/crossover more than one sphere) and its premise was approved by staff beforehand.
Now, after running the first scene in one sphere, which went pretty well and we all enjoyed ourselves, I set up a second one for another sphere. I got paged when I put the +event up by some of the players in the first scene and asked if it was okay for them to participate with their other alts in the second sphere. Since participation has been pretty low in general I said I'd allow it.
I've been approached since (by players, not staff) being told this wasn't right, and that there is a conflict of interest in allowing alts to cross between spheres for the same +event.
From my point of view I can see a problem - the idea of this plot was to provide a thematic backdrop for interaction between players from different backgrounds, and obviously there's less traction for it if many alts are involved; Bob and Joe are destined to never meet if they're played by the same person. But in my defense no alts are taking the place of someone who's not involved; even now we haven't hit the pre-determined maximum number of players for the scene.
But anyway, what do you think?
People need to get their heads on straight about conflicts (because there is none at the moment), but you have to be careful to keep the matters in both scenes separate from one another, so that players do not inadvertently create their own conflicts.
If the PCs in the first scene and the PCs in the second scene cross paths, then the players are creating their conflict, not you. But you need to make it clear -- if this is a possibility -- that there may be an alt-conflict down the road.
If it's designed for sphere interaction as you say, and not competitive between spheres, I don't see any conflict of interest in there.
@Lotherio Keep in mind what I intend and what happens are separate things. PrPs (rightfully) have a life of their own, especially when NPCs try to get things done in their favor.
My main concern is if there are ethical issues here inherent to alts being crossed. Frankly if I had enough players to work with I'd have asked alts to step aside, but populating the +event was a factor.
My consideration would be whether the alts act mainly to pass on info to their spheres, and how heavily they are likely to slant that information towards their interests within that sphere.
So even if the player is very aware of the issues, if they play a very opinionated or manipulative character, they are likely a risk to the conflict of interests concern.
I don't see any conflict of interest involved. Now if Bob and Joe's player transfers info between the two of them then yes that is an issue but on him/her more than you as the runner.
If that doesn't take place and no one uses an alt to somehow benefit their other alt in the course of play then I see no issue with it. Now it might require some hoop jumping in storytelling to make sure Joe and Bob don't end up in the same place when it might make sense for them to through purely IC means but I don't see the situation in general as a problematic one.
I think its fine as long as players don't cross streams. If they do, then maybe make it clear that they will have to make a choice about which alt gets to go to further events and which one has to stay home and wash their hair.
@Arkandel As long as they're not benefiting each other in any tangible way, but rather just enjoying a story from different angles (this is just a prp, folks!), I don't see the problem as long as their paths don't cross.
If they're not taking anything from anyone, and they're not enriching their characters in any way, where's the conflict of interest?
In my experience a lot of people who can't be bothered to have fun, still want to squint at those who do.
For the record we ran the scene... 8 people there, it ran pretty smoothly I think. No alt-related issues so far that I've noticed, either.
Now let's see if people take the initiative and go out to roleplay about it across sphere boundaries. :)