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so it seems this comm hasn't been too active...

Posted by aforceofjustice on 2010.11.11 at 13:18
Changing that is a go.

Hello, guys. I'm new to Death Note fandom (I never knew a community like this existed in RP, let alone for L), and just started playing L around a month ago.

So far I've apped him into two different games, and surprisingly the one I was initially drawn to ended up not being a very good match for him. The game was very srs bsns, which I enjoy, and was also home to a number of wonderful, wonderful players. Looking at it from the outside, not having played L before this, I thought it was what I was looking for. The funny thing is when I actually got around to playing L there, it felt like I was doing everything wrong. My playing was awkward, sort of all over the place, not at all like I felt L was supposed to be.

And then, through playing in a dressing room setting, I found a wonderful Light player who I clicked with very well. Long story short, I ended up apping into that Light's game as well (which also had a number of canon mates for L to play with) and the opposite happened: everything I had L do, I felt I was spot on. The funny thing is, looking at the game premise, if I had looked at this game without previously threading with that Light, I wouldn't have given it another thought. It isn't nearly as srs bsns as I like and the central plot didn't seem too engaging to me. And yet, I ended up dropping from the first game and continue to play in the second, where L has continued to do well.

So I suppose my question is, are there any settings you think your L wouldn't do well in?

For mine, it's more of a survival type game, where he is absolutely alone and has no means of defense. I suppose I put a lot of stock into the relationship L has with Watari, who he's had about since he was eight (if we're going by AN, which I tend to do) to take care of his every whim. L is very much a spoiled child, and while he is very much a serious character who deals with serious matters, my experience with him in a setting that threatens his life in a very physical way just wasn't working out. If you ask me, L is sheltered in the sense that while he deals with life and death matters as a career, very rarely does he have anything to fear. To deal with situations in which he feels fear, L runs and he runs very far. He hides in his little hidey hole with Watari feeding him cake and a computer screen between him and those he's working with. So in the game I had him in, which was very fear-based, L didn't do well.

Aaaand enough tl;dr. Thoughts?


beyond 「LABB」
methodicals at 2010-11-11 23:46 (UTC) (Link)
Actually, I don't think L runs or hides out of fear, and it says exactly that in Another Note:

In other words, if someone was planning to commit a crime, they could greatly increase their chances of getting away with it by simply killing L before they began. That was why L hid is identity. Not because he was shy, or because he never left the house. To ensure his own safety. For a detective of L's ability, self-preservation and the preservation of world peace were one and the same, and it would not be correct to describe his actions as cowardly or self-centered.

-- p. 069

I'll be honest and say before I read that, I played L as fear-based, too.

Also, as someone who played L previously and only plays Beyond Birthday now, I think having what essentially equals the other half of a canon relationship can give you a definite anchor in a game. L's canon anchor is Kira -- solving this one particular murder is his primary goal and he appears solely to do this (in Another Note, his primary appearance is still for the sole purpose of solving a murder case, and emphasis throughout the whole book is still on Kira). As B, I find it simultaneously easier and more difficult to play with an L in a game -- L being around gives him a defined canon purpose and a goal I can work with, rather than just throwing someone whose entire existence depends on a particular plotline into a game without that plot.

L's a really difficult character to understand, but at the same time he's really easy in that he actually explains himself in canon. He is childish, but I don't think he's incapable of taking care of himself or afraid of going outside: he's fine at the university when he's tracking Light, playing tennis and waiting around for him, not to mention visiting Chief Yagami in the hospital. Watari isn't around for either of these events; rather, he's assisting L's investigation of Kira by doing things L doesn't have time (or energy, going by Another Note) to do.
L Lawliet
aforceofjustice at 2010-11-12 03:12 (UTC) (Link)
I suppose I'm merely saying L (at least, my L) is uncomfortable with fear, especially living in a fear-based environment without a sort of safe haven, a part of which is Watari and the support he provides L. Watari isn't everything, of course, but I've always seen their relationship and bond as very strong, and Watari is where L finds the comfort and support he needs to go out and do what he needs to do. Even though L's not the most emotional person, he's still human and therefore has emotional needs and that's why I put the emphasis on Watari. Just having someone there who accepts him and doesn't judge and understands that L's going to do what he's going to do is tantamount, especially to the beginning of L (as an alias, aka the detective, not as much the person).

Also, keep in mind that Another Note is written by Mello, therefore that's Mello's interpretation of L. And since we all know Mello idolizes L (not to mention, only had two encounters with him, one where he was behind a laptop and one where he told Mello those three stories), I'm not sure how reliable Another Note is when it comes to that sort of speculation on Mello's part.

At the same time, I can also see where this holds water, and I do believe that is the biggest reason L hides his identity. But I don't think it's the only one. L himself has to be comfortable not getting to deal with people in person (and conversely, to also be able to face people even when he's spent quite a bit of time away from them) in order for such a set up to work, or else L wouldn't handle things the way he does.

And don't get me wrong, it's not as though L can't act independently from Watari -- he very much can, and he very much has, as you've pointed out. L and Watari are at a point in their relationship (and have been for quite a while at the point where we meet them for the first time, I'm inclined to believe) where their bond is strong enough, they trust the other to be able to handle things without them and recognize the value of doing things separately because one) it's probably not a very healthy nor supportive relationship if one of them constantly needs to be in the other's presence, so they spend time apart and two) things just get done faster that way.

L doesn't live his life in fear, and he doesn't plan to. Therefore, why playing L living in fear is difficult for me, because it's not who he is and I recognize that now.

Also, yes, I'm very grateful to have Light as a canon anchor. There was a Light at the first game I played in, but he'd gone through a lot of growth in-game (not to mention was amnesia!Light and not a fully-realized Kira), so therefore was harder to play off of. Still a brilliant Light, he just wasn't right for my L at the time.
quarter_english at 2010-11-12 01:16 (UTC) (Link)


I wrote up a reply to this earlier that was all "my personal reason for liking XYZ" -- but I've thought of a different way to phrase it that might be more helpful or interesting to others. So, here's Reply Mark 2.

(Disclaimer: YMMV and probably will; the "you" in the rest of this is meant to refer to L players in general, rather than you personally.)

rpindex has categories in which to classify games, so I'm going to steal those! I realize this answers more than your setting question, but for me, the mechanical aspects of games are intrinsic to how playable they are or aren't, more so than how the setting does or doesn't stress the character.

Journal or Community--This isn't a dealbreaker for me, but I prefer community simply because I'd rather not have to keep up with friends add/drop. Also, because L is such a detail-oriented character, it's helpful to always have access to old threads (which you don't necessarily have in a journal-format game). You may need to remember a specific exchange that L had with v1 of a character, for interaction with v2, and if the v1 player has recycled the journal, you're probably out of luck.

Genre--Nothing too fluffy or cutesy for me (although there may be light fantasy or comedy that might be entertaining to play in). I like a survival setting, but L has to avoid as many physical fights as he can. He's smart enough to know that he's not strong enough to fight his way out; his best chance of survival, escape, and revenge is through his wits, and he needs to at least try to stay in good enough shape to use them. It's good if there's an identifiable villain in the setting who he can focus on. I think horror is particularly good for him, but it depends on how it's handled (for example, callousness is one of his outstanding traits, so guilt-based psychological horror only goes so far with him).

Communicator--This is a huge issue. I know that some players like communicator-heavy games. I don't, for several reasons, but I keep apping communicator-games because they're what's widely available. The downsides are: having to keep track of every public thread that might interest L can get tiring after a while, and being able to easily function without leaving his dwelling place can give him a reason to isolate himself in a way that isn't good for CR--more on that later. Apart from that, I feel that his paranoia about security should make him pickier about how he uses the communicator than many other characters would be (I rarely use video; text seems best for him in most situations, but EVERYONE ELSE will want to use voice, and it gets tedious changing the comment subject lines back and forth). For personal reasons, I find games that are 1=1 (real-time), and primarily set on a network, very stressful and difficult.

(Players who like communicator-heavy games tend to like the "just like canon" aspect, but no setting is just like canon: in most games, L doesn't have his canon resources to draw on, in terms of money and clout. The majority of other characters in any game are going to be indiscreet on the network and unwary about face-to-face meetings, so trying to keep L to his canon role can be a fast track to feeling uninvolved in a game.)

Doubles--Can also be rough, although games that allow them seem to be relatively rare these days. I've found that if Near and L are both being played in a game that heavily uses a message network (rather than logs), there's a good chance that the players will trip over each other, since their reactions to events will probably be similar. That means that L and Near will often independently make identical network posts. I think the reason is that Near is intended as a replacement for "the L role" in terms of DN canon; they were never meant to be around at the same time. If you're in a game with doubles and a network, it can exacerbate this issue and other issues like it (I've seen the same thing happen with dual Mellos tripping over each other).

quarter_english at 2010-11-12 01:17 (UTC) (Link)


Privacy and age restrictions--Irrelevant to me.
Size--Not completely irrelevant. Large and fast-moving in real time can be hard to play unless you are L, between doing your own threads and watching the network. On the other hand, a big game offers a lot of opportunities for cross-canon CR.

Setting--As closed as possible. If L could leave, he would. If L is in a city, and someone is around who he can get to run his errands for him (this is often Mello), he just might have them doing it, depending on how much he feels he can trust that person. The best thing for me is to put L in a situation where most of his interaction is face-to-face by necessity, and where he has to leave his dwelling place (room, apartment, whatever) for basic necessities like food. About that room: whether or not a game forces a roommate on L can have a deep effect on your experience as a player.

Style--I don't like to include extensive action tags in network posts; it feels like cheating to me. The other character isn't getting information in a text post apart from what appears on their screen, so I'm hesitant to include, [He's lying.] or similar in a tag. (This is entirely a matter of personal preference, and I don't want to attach a value judgment to other players' decisions on the matter.) However, for L, it's sometimes necessary to add that kind of emote, if for no other reason than so that stalkers don't assume your L really meant That One Insipid Thing He Said. Prose logs can be more labor-intensive, but I prefer the face-to-face interaction, the fact that the narrative style feels more natural to me as a writer, and finally, the minor concern of not having to mess with extensive HTML tags for formatting.

Theme--My preference is too dependent on other factors.

Type--Plot > Premise (partly because DN is heavily plot-driven). Crack events can be valuable in terms of figuring out how you will handle events in "more serious" games, though. Certain kinds of events come up in almost every game at one point or another.

TL;DR--I do indeed like fear-based survival/horror games, depending on other factors (they have to be well-run and well-balanced). For me, the ideal game is community-style, emphasizes face-to-face communication, has a strong mystery thread in its premise, and has a well-developed, well-documented setting. If a game's mechanics mean that there is a lot of public network traffic, it can become stressful for an L player. Even taking people's different tastes into account, there are just some games where it will be hard to play him, overall.
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