Roleplay: The quest for one's self.

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Roleplay: The quest for one's self.

Postby DrkKaiser » Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:35 pm

Now normally I wouldn't even bother with something like this, but I feel it has the potential for feedback which would help a lot of individuals with this, if not only one such as I.

Roleplay. At one point or another we've all done it. Be it anywhere from the simple amicable silliness which can ensue, to those sessions where you wonder how the rating system fell straight into the gutter.

Be it for fun, boredom, the desire for interaction, or even a good story, we all have participated in this timeless tradition, and most at some point or another had likely enjoyed how they were able to make something so fun between two or more people. But at what point does roleplay seem to falter in it's joy, and begin to become nothing more than a tiring medium in which it is now beginning to feel like an obligation more so than an act of enjoyment?

I used to roleplay consistently; Be it on here back in the day (Dark Blood Castle, if I recall) and on various other places. Heck, my first roleplay was one way back in the AOL chat room days, where I'd while away the hours in D&D-like taverns, appreciating the livelihood and stories that could unfold before my very eyes.
However, at some point the sparkle and sheen started to fade, and the chrome began to peel from my mental image of roleplaying. I'm not sure when, but even these days when I seek a wonderful storyline and interactions, it is more often than not that I would rather pull up a book to read for days on end instead of those who would care to create one alongside me.

Now, I'll be honest: I used to role play purely for the story, the development of characters, and the joy of having a story to create and unfold between two or more individuals. There never was any planning and the characters would develop before our eyes. Now, I find that the only purpose of roleplay is for those who wish to type in shorthand, half-arsed paragraphs, and the ever-redundant inquiries for gutter roleplay which turns a rated PG-13 roleplay involving blood and cursing into something you'd find at a brothel. The abject cynicism that has grown on me has made it almost utterly impossible to even partake of those roleplays in which used to be my one desire: Story and character development.

D&D soon took it's place, and books when D&D would not suffice. Occasionally an mmorpg would crop up, giving me temporary joy of having a new and fabulous race to explore. But the roleplays have stopped. Is it for the better? Or perhaps for the worse? I for one am uncertain. To this, I ask you, members of M-com :

"To you, what is it that makes role playing so unique and special that you still enjoy it? And to those of you who are like me and moved on; What caused you to stop? Likewise, what is it you seek in a role play?"

Please, lend me your minds in this matter.
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Re: Roleplay: The quest for one's self.

Postby macrokat » Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:20 pm

Well, you covered the most important parts really.

The parts I enjoy are creating a character and watching them develop as a story, or even the world around them unfolds. Creating something is always fun and I think in the right circumstances, far more fulfilling than any game or mmo could be because, its YOURS. Its not some character you used following some arbitrary guidelines set forth by a game company. Your rp character is yours and yours completely. Everything about them is unique to you and you aren't limited in what you can do with them. The only limit is your own imagination.

I have created soo many new characters and story ideas since coming here and joining others in roleplaying. Some of which I'd never even USED in actual roleplays, but the ideas that were sparked between character discussions, or possible tangents made me think, wow, now this would be cool too...

Its the possibilities I think, if you had to summarize it in one word. The possibilities of what can take place in a roleplay are incredible and only limited by those actually playing in said roleplay.


On that point, what is the biggest problem with roleplays? The players themselves.

You need the RIGHT group. I've met many great roleplayers here and I consider them friends. We share ideas and have no problem talking outside of roleplaying contexts.

Assembling the RIGHT group of roleplayers is... difficult... to say the least. You need certain things, creativity is a must. You need variety to keep things edgy. If everyone's too similar then there's less likelihood of conflict or challenge and a story without conflict is rather boring. But, you do also need some common bond to keep everyone going and working towards the end actually WANTING to complete the story you started.

Some of the best roleplaying partners i've found are the creative ones who really challenge you. They come up with ideas that are completely outside the box, things you never would have thought of which, in return, force you to get that much more creative in your own actions. I've found quite a few people like that through this board and have thoroughly enjoyed the rps I've player with them because of that.


Right, I was supposed to be talking about problems and went back to the positive again... the biggest problems are characters or character players who aren't really that creative, more reactionary in nature. In some settings this is fine. Every story has background characters whose purpose is to react to the primary situation. But in a small rp session, if you're doing your best to be creative and all the other person is doing is reacting to said creativity, but not actually inputting anything new. Well that's a quick way to kill it. Because at that point, you're doing all the work! You might as well just be writing the story on your own anyway...

So who you're playing with is definitely a huge factor in whether or not you'll actually enjoy the rp. Sometimes finding the right person or group can be difficult and that challenge alone, not thinking you'll be able to find people who can fit into or share the idea you want to create can dissuade you from even starting.
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Re: Roleplay: The quest for one's self.

Postby zukezorin » Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:32 pm

I agree with the emphasis on the people you play with. Creativity, ingenuity, a sense of story and of balance are definite benefits, and I'll say it...a firm grasp of the English language. Puctuation, grammar, sentence structure and flow can add tremendously to a role-play and, when lacking, take away equally as much.

Creating characters is definitely fun, and something I enjoy and eagerly do, but it is not the biggest pleasure for me in role-play. Watching where the characters go is what I most enjoy, especially when the answers are surprising. Characters are built much like machines, containing all the necessary components like motivation, personality, preferences, and physical form. Usually you can predict fairly well how that character will develop and interact given certain circumstances, but there is nothing more thrilling than when a character you made defies your expectations and goes off in a new direction. It's experimentation with literary characters!

But as for why role-playing has faded as a priority? Personally, lack of time. I'm much busier now than I was several years ago when I first started, and finding the justification for participating becomes a lot harder, especially if any of the above-mentioned traits are lacking in participants.
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Re: Roleplay: The quest for one's self.

Postby FoxChess » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:38 am

Maybe this is me, but for me what I like seeing in RPs is seeing what people do with a scenario, or where they go with it. I've used the same scenario dozens of times on dozens of people, a few more than once, and I enjoy seeing the different interpretations, the different characters, the different methods of playing, the different reactions, and so on. It's fascinating, in a way.

Plus, it's fun.
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Re: Roleplay: The quest for one's self.

Postby El_Dustino » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:01 am

Well, like MacroKat, my favourite part of RPs is usually creating the character, world, and story, and developing it all as it goes, and seeing where I go. Sometimes I ended up going in completely different directions than I expected, but it was really neat to see. And when I was young and first getting used to the Internet, it was really something else to watch my ideas come to life. Again, like Macro summed it up, it was all the possibilities that I suddenly felt that I had. I feel that Roleplaying also really fueled my creativity, and helped me learn to work well with others.

Speaking of others, I loved watching my ideas blend with other people's ideas, or other people's blending with each other's, and just seeing how a whole new world could form from just a few people. Just watching how things would play out with different settings, ideas, and characters was neat. Well, looks like these points have already been covered.

The main reason I stopped RPing was from a lack of time, just like Zuke. My life became kind of busy, as well as a bit stress filled, so I just gradually slowed down, and eventually left public RPs. I also somehow became self conscious, and felt that I was not really good enough to join most new RPs, which is probably a silly thought. :/ I spent to much time worrying over RPing than actually doing it, so I suppose that drew me out as well. I'd love to get back into it, but I just need to find or make the time.

This is a nice topic, either way. :3
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Re: Roleplay: The quest for one's self.

Postby Killosk » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:56 am

Like DrkKaiser, I started RPing when I was about 12 years old, in MSN chat rooms that were your usual fantasy-themed shlock with no quality control. I then "graduated" to FurryMUCK, where I've been for nearly a decade despite originally lying about being 18. Even though I'm basically done with the furry fandom and its parade of failures and incompetence, I still occasionally find myself logging onto the MUCK and playing around with others.

I think the difference between the two of us, however, is our aim. Whereas you seem to enjoy the character and plot development, I take a much more relaxed stance. My entire reason for RPing is to have fun. That's why I do it. Everything else is icing on the cake that is entertaining myself for some length of time. Occasionally, it doesn't work. Someone may ruin my night, or I just get flustered trying to juggle between many different distractions. But I'll still come back for the fun, whether I'm actually invested in a scene or just helplessly giggling, and I think that relaxed and laid back attitude I take towards it is a definite factor.

So, for DrkKaiser, I guess that's all I can recommend: Find a good group (seriously, check out the Giants' Club), and relax a bit. Trying to craft a story, setting, or meaningful characters is all well and good and kind of necessary, but you also have to understand that RPing is a group effort. This means that not everyone has the same vision as you, and I can see how that would cause you to get frustrated or cynical. But unless you can get everyone involved to have the same vision as you, and the same dreams and aspirations, you're going to have to compromise.
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Re: Roleplay: The quest for one's self.

Postby Trixxus » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:21 am

What I like is kinda a complicated question, because there isn't really a logical reason for it. It's just "stuff I like because it's fun"; I can't actually explain it in a way that ties in to the laws of physics or the concept of truth. Why I keep doing it is a much easier question to answer: It's the same reason you bother to meet new people. Sure, you've done it before, but... it's not like anyone just stops and thinks "Ok, I've done this whole meeting-people thing a few times now, so now I'll be a recluse for the rest of my life, because I can't get anything more from it."
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Re: Roleplay: The quest for one's self.

Postby zekoalives » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:26 am

I've participated in RPs before, but... time, life, and other things have actually kept me from a lot of things... RPs included. I used to have fun with it, but as with a lot of things, it's just fallen out of favor for other things that are more important.

To be honest, I started RPing here possibly a few months, maybe years back. It was a nice experience, but I guess I'm just not as good at it as others are. I still enjoyed the time, nonetheless. But what really excites me is the art that usually comes out of them. People can get really creative with the RP characters, and, if there happens to be an artist in the mix, the characters come to life in a different way, too.

Then again, RPing is kind of a mixed bag of character and plot developement, fun, and sometimes even can start arguements. Most of the time, my focus was on the plot and the characters, but I tried to keep things interesting.
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Re: Roleplay: The quest for one's self.

Postby DrkKaiser » Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:36 pm

Okay, seriously...how in the nine HELLS did this get through?
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Re: Roleplay: The quest for one's self.

Postby Rattus » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:12 am

I do it for masturbatory material. Don't get me wrong, quality matters greatly, and I tend to find a handful of longterm partners and experiment with characterization and story, but the core is still the same. Not into questin' or fightin' at least not in a tabletop or online setting.
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