Interaction (knowing your players, knowing yourself, knowing your fellow RPers)

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Interaction (knowing your players, knowing yourself, knowing your fellow RPers)

Post by Artorius on Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:20 pm

Here is a scenario- you respond to an interest check in the casual section and nothing is out of the ordinary. The GM asks you a few questions to make sure you're the kind of player they're looking for, then the process repeats a few times while other people show interest. Finally, an OOC starts up! In no time at all, character sheets are posted an you're in the middle of writing your first IC post. Things are going great. A week goes by, a month; the RP is dead. Did your relationship with the other players affect your leaving? Their leaving? The RP's state?

Is communication, on a personal level, and getting to know people a legitimate, enjoyable, NECESSARY part of RPing? I'd like to see your thoughts on the subject. Whether you communicate by PM, forum posts, OOC posts, IM, or otherwise not at all, I'd like to see everyone's opinion on the subject.

(This thread was inspired by "Finishing a Roleplay")
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Re: Interaction (knowing your players, knowing yourself, knowing your fellow RPers)

Post by Guilty Carrion on Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:31 pm

Alright, I'll toss in my two cents.

I believe communication, discussion and general conversation is an essential part of an RP these days. I find a prime example is Mass Effect: On The Edge. It blazes along, we post frequently, and most days, there's a conversation about it occurring in the Chatroom. We toss ideas, scheme and generally just enjoy kicking around. It, in my opinion, keeps us all enjoying it, and allows the RP to flourish where others might flounder.
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Re: Interaction (knowing your players, knowing yourself, knowing your fellow RPers)

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:26 am

I'll toss in a concept: Personal Investment.
The more time, effort, creativity, and experience you've put in and gotten back from an ongoing project, the more likely you are to perpetuate it.

If you're friends with your fellow players, you've gotten to know them, you don't want to let them down. You're more likely to put in more effort and, thus, more likely to perpetuate the project.

So if personal investment is what keeps players in the project, then the sources for personal investment are Project Interest and Player Interest.
If you like what you're writing about, you're more likely to pour your all into it.
If you like the people you're with, you'll acquire a drive to stay regular.

You've invested in the project, you've invested in the people, and the more that's true, the more you stand to lose by your leaving or the role-play dying.

So yes, communication is elemental to the life of a RP.
Social interaction, involvement. It's the building of bonds. The stronger those bonds, the harder it is to break them by dropping the RP. ^_^
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Re: Interaction (knowing your players, knowing yourself, knowing your fellow RPers)

Post by Artorius on Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:50 am

Great responses, you guys! Responses I fully agree with. I believe getting to know people is essential to RPing with them. Without a doubt, making friends, and then RPing with those friends, makes the RP experience all the more enjoyable. Also important to note I think is getting to know them on a personal level. Sure, RP chat and RP related conversation are great for introductory purposes and discussion, but I think getting to actually know the people behind the characters, that's what makes all the difference.
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Re: Interaction (knowing your players, knowing yourself, knowing your fellow RPers)

Post by Sy23 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:40 am

Artorius, my guess is you weren't expecting anyone to actually post and say that OOC communication with your fellow players was a bad thing! However, I think opinions might differ as to how much is necessary, and just how vital it is.

If one represents the amount of OOC involvement as a scale, I'd have to put myself right at the high end! I confess I love discussing the characters and plot, making in-jokes about the RP, arguing about motivations and IC actions - for me it's as much fun as the RP itself.

I should mention that I follow the philosophy of J R R Tolkien concerning the "willing suspension of disbelief" - when I watch a TV show, I pretend it's real, even if I know it's really actors in a studio! If I read a book, I'm likely to focus on the characters as if they are real, rather than think about the craftsmanship involved. Even in pro-wrestling, which these days actually admits it's scripted, I still pretend the wrestlers really mean it when they hate each other. To do anything else cheapens the experience of watching it.

I suppose it's a deliberate, right-brain inspired naivety, but it works.

Similarly, I love OOC discussions, which enable me to indulge in two levels of pretense. The first is that the characters are real - we can work out anything that isn't right without having to wreck the RP with misunderstanding. When I am in a RP, I want to believe it's actually happening, at least while I read the posts and respond. So if character X is in a particular place and, simultaneously, at the other end of town it wrecks the realism and I can never recover it. So thank the gods for OOC so it can be sorted out.

The second "deliberate illusion" is the level of art of RP. Now, not to knock our art, but it's a fact that even the very best of RPs get read only by a few people, sometimes only the actual contributors. By having an OOC, it fosters an idea of the game being a legit story, that can be discussed as if it were a novel or a movie. This, of course, is ridiculous arrogance on my part, for my RP writing should stand or fall by its own merits, but somehow I feel that I'm showing the RP more respect by taking it "seriously" enough to discuss it as an art form.

However - and here's the rub - I've met a number of RPers and GMs that think OOC should be kept to a bare minimum. For them, time spent joking and horsing in OOC is time that could have been spent on the game itself. They feel that knowing the real people behind the characters makes said characters less realistic... Now, I see this point, as it tallies with what I said above. I want that elf to be Galadriel, not Cate Blanchette! So I do have to admit, there's a trade off there, and I can't help wishing that someone with opposite views to mine had responded (or will respond) to this thread making that point.


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Re: Interaction (knowing your players, knowing yourself, knowing your fellow RPers)

Post by Tartra on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:19 pm

I didn't see this the first time around! :O

I know for a fact that no one can ever agree on how much talking is needed at the start of an RP. As it goes on, everyone figures it out and finds their footing, but especially in a group setting, you've got three or four people with wildly different ideas of how much people should be talking and how much initiative each person should be taking. Someone going on nonstop about how great things are gonna be is usually a universal sign that the game's on; someone posting infrequent updates might only get picked up as continued interest by one or two people. Everyone else might think, 'Wow, they're taking forever to say anything. I guess the game's over. Bye.' And more often than not, that 'bye' is implied - because they think everyone else is implying it - and then the people who weren't talking but hadn't really left get frustrated and that's the start of the breakdown.

That's one way it happens. The other is the infamous 'WHO'S STARTING GUYS LOL' shenanigans. I've seen several group RPs begin by having one person spark the interest, another make an OOC thread, and then another start the roleplay itself. It's fine if you can make that work, but you've got the immense amount of delays between each step (specifically why I loathe OOC threads and pre-planning) and unless everyone knows that's the plan (or can decide really early on that that's the plan) the confusion gets to the people who expect a certain amount of order (including those who do but don't want to seem pushy or >your adjective here< by asking). That applies to post ordering, too. When there's no at least basic effort to put everyone on the same page, things start breaking down.

The third and final big thing I've noticed in any time of RP is OOC-induced over-planning. I've seen some fantastic ideas start in the interest checks, move to the OOC thread and flourish, and then die the minute the RP tries to actually start because, 'Hahaha, I'm not going over all of that again! Are you nuts? We already did it outside the game.' There's a lot less commitment to be made when a person feels like they already know what's coming, and since everyone's so open to planning OOC, any new developments just get popped out into the planning threads and never actually get worked in. By that point, there's so many ideas for what's going to happen later that it takes far too long to get to them all, and then people get bored and wander away...

Personally, I don't want to get to know my partner at the start of things. I especially don't want to discuss my plans at any point during the RP at all. I think it's enjoyable when talking happens and I can be poked into thinking it's a legitimate part of RPing, but as for necessary? No way. My mind's on the RP. When I can shake off the honeymoon effect of it, I'll strike up a chat, but not until then. And that's worked for me so far, but I've made a mention every now and again that I stay away from group RPs. On a 1x1 basis, it works. The other person usually gets the hint that that's what I'm up to. With a group? Someone might get the hint, but if everyone else is talking, they may just assume I'm not interested and that's the start of the end right there. For my convenience, stick to the game until we get at least twenty posts through. If you're gone before then, sorry, you were probably a great person, but I needed you for a story and you failed to deliver.

With that said, group RPs need OOC more than anything - even if the OOC is just there to say there is no OOC. Someone needs to say, 'Hey, I don't talk that much, but the game's still on, I'll let you know when the first post is up.' Some people really enjoy not having to constantly remind everyone that they're still involved and some people are gonna freak the hell out, but everything is gonna find a way to fall apart if they're not on the same page. The GM needs to put everyone on the same page. After that, it's up to whoever signed on.
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