Many times, I've heard players say they'd like to be able to see behind the scenes of Armageddon. That they'd like to be able to find out what the whole story is.
This will be a chance to see one small part of the world, that you probably haven't seen before. I'm going to tell you about a quest, some of the motivations behind it, and the actions that transpired. Why am I going to do this?
Because some people were talking on isca, and spread some OOC info. I could continue the quest even with people knowing what they've heard there, but it just won't be that much fun for anyone involved, myself included. Those players spreading OOC info effectively killed the quest.
I hope that you take the time to read this, and that the next time that you are in a situation where you might feel like telling someone something that happened In Character, that you will think about how you may be ruining someone else's fun.
There was a dwarf, a defiler, named Freil. He used his magick to put people to sleep and rob them, while he slowly grew in power. For over 5 months his attacks in Tuluk and Allanak had people hunting for the sorcerer, although none knew what he looked like. Freil had his own motivations for his actions, most of which was to extend his life, as the old dwarf was nearing the end of his days. I would give you his whole life history, but this post will be too lengthy already.
Finally, Freil got overly greedy, and set upon a group of 4 Jkarr who were outside of the city. One was able to see the invisible dwarf, and Freil fled, angry that after several years of robberies, his description was now going to get out. He tried to talk the Jkarr into saying that he'd killed Freil, in exchange for money and help, but the Jkarr refused. At this point, probably 15 or more players were involved in the quest, either hunting Freil, or having been targets of his.
It is at this point, that the first player who engaged in the OOC talk that ultimitely ruined the quest, became involved. PC1 walked widely through the streets of Tuluk, asking people if they wished to go "hunting defilers", and one of Freil's spies heard him, and reported it to the dwarf. PC1 was ambushed on the road, and his backpack stolen while he slept a magickal sleep. Several more encounters between the two took place, Freil managing to stay a step ahead of PC1. Freil again, tried to bribe PC1 into telling others Freil was dead, but PC1 refused, and boasted of killing other sorcerers, and what he'd do to Freil. At this point, Freil grew so angry at PC1, that he dedicated his focus to ruining PC1's life.
Freil, in searching to extend his life, developed a new magick. He gained the ability to create an image of PC1, though the cost was great. It would only last for a short time, but Freil was able to control the fake-PC1 while his body lay dormant, for periods up to an hour or two.
Several times, the fake PC1 went forth, insulting friends, and causing trouble. Freil's goal was to eventually make things so bad for PC1, that his own friends would kill him.
Freil also never gave PC1 rest, and several times tried to drag PC1 away from his friends, put him to sleep, then defile the land until he could create the fake-PC1, and send him back in.
It was soon after this, that PC1 and PC2, out hunting for Freil, were attacked by undead from an entirely different source. PC2 sent out a message to a third person (PC3), telling him that they were probably going to die, and to pass on some final words to a loved one of his if they didn't make it out.
They made it out, although PC 3 was not around at the time to know it. PC1 and PC2 went on to have several very high-profile adventures over the next few real life days. PC1 and PC2 though, went out exploring some more, and managed to get themselves killed. No one knew where they had gone, or that they were dead.
I, as an immortal, knew they had died. However, Freil had no way of knowing, and so he continued using the fake-PC1 to set the character up. I was very gratified to see the puzzled reactions of some of PC1's friends as he told them he'd struck an agreement with the defiler, but that they couldn't talk about it until he said it was safe (so that they wouldn't mention it again to the real PC1).
I planned to continue like this, and saw many possibilities for if Freil and the fake-PC. I guesstimate that over 20 characters had been involved in the quest to this point, and if I played the fake-PC well, I could probably involve a lot of players in the game.
Until... I log in, and hear people talking about how both of these characters are dead. PC3, who had been told the two were dying, had heard OOC that they'd died. Because of this, he never bothered to ask around to see if they were still alive. He instead just started telling people they were dead. If the players of the 2 dead PC's had not spread the word on ISCA they had died, PC3, who heard of the other adventures these 2 had had after their close call, would have inquired as to the timing, and found out they had been seen for IC weeks after he'd received the contact. Indeed, soon after their death, the fake-PC1 showed up and was seen by at least 10 players.
Well, now that everyone knows they are really dead, it really does make it hard me to run the quest. Those people who were directly interacting with the fake-PC1, would have had a lot of fun, I think, as they gradually figured out their friend wasn't what they thought he was. But now they know he is really dead, even OOCly, they were robbed of the chance to figure it all out on their own by the OOC actions of all 3 players.
That is why I'm posting this. That is why I'm taking the time to tell you the whole story. When you talk OOC, you are screwing over your fellow players. Even seemingly insignificant things like this, hurt the game, and ruin other people's fun.
The next time you find yourself in a situation where you want to tell a friend something that happened on the mud, please remember this story. We all love Armageddon, and it is natural to want to talk about it. But maybe you can reminesce about a character who is long dead instead, and save that new tale for somewhere down the road.