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A developer's musings on game development and writing.

7 August, 2019

Different types of RP in MMOs
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:52 PM

One issue with RP in MMOs is that there are a lot of different types of RP. As someone what RP they like and you’ll get multiple answers!

So, let’s sort through some types of RP common in games as a foundation for discussing this later.


You might see something like this in someone’s bio in FFXIV. This defines the type of RP they are interested in. This stands for: Mature, Dark, Erotic. You might also see someone say “All RP”. As a side note, the bio or “Search Info” in FFXIV tends to be very limited in space. Japanese is a much more dense language than English, so abbreviations are pretty common, especially on RP servers.

“Mature” is bit tricky to define. For some people, this means including “mature” themes like drinking, violence, adult themes and the like. For others, this means “sexy but not quite explicit RP”. In general it’s best to err on the side of caution here and get clarification.

“Dark” is another pretty broad category. This includes themes like abuse, slavery, harm, vampirism, even death in some cases. Again, need to talk it over with someone before you gleefully chop off their head. But sometimes people take their darkness a bit too far. Someone who might want to RP some themes of abusive relationships might not be all that interested in detailed descriptions of blood drinking.

“Erotic” is… uh… exactly what it sounds like. In the old days we called this “cybering.” It may surprise you to find out this is really popular with people in the game. People will often create level 1 characters and hang around common areas looking to score an ERP partner. Some people do it out in the open (although often in private messages like tells or party chat), while others will hide away. There’s a stereotype that if you’re RPing in a private chambers that you’re ERPing.

Other styles of RP

There are a few other styles that people generally tend to define as what they ant.

“Adventure” RP is basically something like an old school D&D adventure. Fight monsters, loot treasures, trick bosses, all that sort of stuff. Even though the game theoretically offers a lot of adventure in the story and the dungeons, some people want more. Some people even have people write up character sheets, or define a few characteristics for an adventure to give people specializations.

“Slice of Life” is similar to the genre defined in other media. It’s basically taking a look at the everyday life of characters. This might be mundane RP as a a merchant selling items to others, or it could be more interesting RP of a catperson living in a polyamorous tribe group and looking at the day-to-day of that.

“Relationship” RP is basically RP focusing on the relationship between (usually) two characters in a relationship. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a romantic relationship; it could represent a master/student relationship, or even parent/child. This is assumed to be a recurrent RP situation, where everyone commits to the long term. Of course, some people get rather into the relationship RP, even to the point they feel despondent if they aren’t in a relationship with the character.

There are even more than this, but this is the main points, I think.

What’s your experience with RP? Any other types worth mentioning?

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