Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

14 August, 2019

Open thread: What RP means to you
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 11:57 PM

I’ve fallen ill with a sore throat, so I’m going to be more brief for this post. But I’m not totally ignoring my duties as a blogger during Blaugust! I’m hoping for a little participation from you all here to help fill in.

So, let’s talk a bit about what RP means to you on a personal level.

For me, the strength of RP comes down to one element: creativity. Probably not surprising that I enjoy a creative endeavour given I do game design as a career, right? But I think this speaks to a lot of people who get involved in RP: the desire to make something new and interesting.

Personally, I love the opportunity to create something and share it with others, and that’s the very nature of RP since it’s collaborative. And then you get to experience someone else’s creativity and weave it back into your own is amazing. It’s this collaborative back and forth that makes RP a lot fun. It’s different than writing a story where you have a high degree of control over the story; you never know how the other person is going to react. Maybe you think it’s going to be a cute scene full of emotional confessions.. only for it to turn into something darker that redefines the relationship between the characters.

And I think this creativity serves another purpose; as I said, I’m a game designer, which is a field that’s incredibly difficult to break into. You can study in school, get an internship, even land a great entry-level job at a stable company. But all that can come crashing down even if you don’t fail somewhere along the way. But RP gives you the opportunity to stretch that creativity in a way that you may not be able to as a career. Someone can practice writing, getting feedback, in an RP environment.

You can also see this in tabletop RPGs. Many groups have house rules, or even develop their own homebrew systems, settings, mechanics, and so forth. I’ve never been part of a group who played the game exactly as described in the books in any traditional tabletop RPG. Usually the GM has to have an extra heaping of creativity to lead others as well!

So, what about you? What do you like about RP? Is there something besides the creative angle in particular?

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  1. I like being able to act like a child. I don’t do formal rp but I often play in character and I like to play small races or animal races and play them as though they are children. Mrs Bhagpuss and I have multiple characters that are loosely related, usually cousins or more distant realtionships. They generally act and talk as though they are between six and sixteen years old and bicker and compete sand tease each other, while remaining loyal and committed. Mrs Bhagpuss also plays some characters who are fully adult and they have to fit in with the theme.

    We don’t overplay this, it’s just background, but it’s the default mode we always fall into in any MMORPG we play together. I generally don’t let it slip over into groups or guilds but there I do, whenever possible, try to talk roughly in racial character, the way everyone used to do in EQ back in the day. I’m not interested in rp storytelling at all. Most people I’ve encountered doing it publicly in MMOs over the years really aren’t very good at it. It’s a bit like open mic night and you know what that can be like. In character play, though, is something many people can do effectively and if done regularly personality and backstory develops organincally.

    Comment by Bhagpuss — 15 August, 2019 @ 12:36 AM

  2. I’ve never really been into the RP scene but I do like to ensure that my characters in the various MMOs that I play, have a name that “suits them”. I’m always particular about how my alts look and I guess the name is the first step towards a back story for them. Not that I’d write any of that down or anything. On some level, perhaps I see my various characters as fictional entities.

    Comment by Roger Edwards — 15 August, 2019 @ 7:29 AM

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