Don't do that!

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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:22 pm

[eviljerkface](it's "gist," by the way, not "jist" *smiles innocently*)[/eviljerkface]
-----------------

Right! *points to Inerio's genius* That's the other thing! Quality control! Nod
It's very important to make sure the characters being made are (A.) Keeping with the setting, and (B.) Keeping with the leader's standards for literacy.
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Weiss on Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:38 pm

Character Profiles: Character profiles have a lot of obvious uses, and quite frankly, I don't like taking part in RPs where they aren't employed. No matter how good a player claims to be, I like to be able to see for myself whether or not their actions, abilities, personality, etc. are consistent with what they've outlined in their character profile. I agree that things like History/Background and other information that has absolutely no bearing on the roleplay's storyline are completely unnecessary, but things like physical appearance and skills/abilities are an absolute necessity, in my opinion.

Physical appearance is useful because I would much rather read a person's profile to get the gist of what they look like than wade through three paragraphs detailing their appearance in the actual RP. It's one thing when you have a skilled writer who can subtly work his character's physical traits into a post, but if you ask me, people who write paragraphs about what their character looks like as a complete stand alone block of text in an RP post are far more annoying than profiles.

Skills/abilities is pretty much an absolute necessity. Without establishing beforehand what the other participants' characters can do, and having a permanent reference, people will often decide to sporadically grant their character a new ability when it's convenient to do so. If your character can fly, and that's supposed to be their only ability, suddenly granting them inhuman strength because you didn't want to get crushed by that three-ton boulder is godmoding.

Other fields, like history, personality, family, etc.? Those seem like things that should come out when it's relevant in the roleplay. Even the character name, for that matter, isn't something I feel should be included in the profile if not for the fact that it would seem strange without one. After all, I could walk up to you on the street and tell you my name is Rick de la Hoya; and you might be skeptical, but for all you know, it's the truth. At the very least, my first name might very well be Rick. So in an RP, your character can either be someone who would willingly give out his name, because he sees no reason not to, or he could be someone who constantly uses false aliases for whatever reason.

Personality is sort of the same. It's very hard to give a character a definite personality. Even cheerful people get sad. Nice people get angry. No one adheres 100% to an absolute personality profile all of the time. Personality is something you should develop for your character as the RP goes along. For instance, I was once in an RP where my character was a Paladin who had recently lost a dear friend (anyone who's seen my Caligo profile sheet might notice that Dais is based on this Paladin), and he was suffering and questioning much of the things he'd believed in up until that point. Normally, he was a friend of justice, very accepting of people and willing to lend his hand whenever it was asked of him. Because he was in such pain, however, he wasn't feeling so very helpful, and when another character approached him, he was actually quite blunt and unkind. The player of said character proceeded to berate me for not playing my character in adherence to the original character profile I'd created, but really, it would be completely inhuman for a person to constantly feel, act and think the same way for his entire life, 24/7/365. The way your personality is described at any given time is completely subjective.

Character Images: I like using character images, because no matter how well I describe a character, I always get the feeling people aren't visualizing them the same way I do. Because of this, I will sometimes spend hours looking for a character image, and sometimes I even have to settle for a "close enough". However, when I submit a written description of my character, I always write the description first, and then find a character image to match that description. If it's necessary, I sometimes alter images to suit my needs. For instance, the image used in my signature to represent my online persona/character Weiss is the same image used in my Caligo profile. I changed the hair to black and the eyes to gray because that's what was written in my character's profile. Another example is the sheets I made for a battle suit I intended to use for an RP recently: [x][x] The original image was a black and white picture of that suit's basic outline, so I colored it in, threw on some effects and tried to make it look like a functional item.

I also have no problem using anime character images, so long as they aren't the pointy-chinned type with hair that would require a full bottle of gel. If the character looks moderately realistic and suits my needs, I use it. The simple fact is that anime is a very popular artistic style, and there's a wide variety of existing characters. It's simply much easier to find an anime image that suits your needs than it is to find a picture in another style that's even relatively close.
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Inerio on Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:44 pm

In my land special is speshal and gist is jist. : | I'll spell serious when I feel that the situation calls for it.

I agree with Weiss on the image thing. I think it's okay, so long as there's a description(however small) with it. It's something I've been doing recently since I've taken a fancy to drawing things on my own as of late.

. . . But Weiss. . . Your siggy is a pointy chinned type with hair that requires a full bottle of gel and maybe some teasing as well. . . And some hairspray. Sorry, visualizing the method he's using. Unless the sig doesn't count.
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Weiss on Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:49 pm

The image of the character is from the side, so the chin appears more pointed than it would be from a face-front shot. As you should be able to note, the chin is actually rounded and appears to follow the proper anatomy of a person facing at that angle. So no, his chin isn't the pointy type.

Furthermore, I don't see how his hair would require any gel or anything of the sort. Unless you're referring specifically to the fact that you can see the separation between specific locks of hair, it falls in a natural enough way for someone who has hair as thick as his clearly is. If you think that type of hair is unnatural, you've clearly never taken a look at a Japanese male model. Japanese tend to have much thicker hair than Westerners, and depending on how the hair is cut, it can quite naturally appear unnatural compared to our thin, stringy hair. Edited for examples: [x][x][x]
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:54 pm

Wow, you've really covered all the bases there. Clap
when I submit a written description of my character, I always write the description first, and then find a character image to match that description. If it's necessary, I sometimes alter images to suit my needs.
I do that as well. These two were modified. (I have more, but you get the idea.)
https://redcdn.net/ihimizer/img45/3903/morgonmokoruoq2.jpg
https://redcdn.net/ihimizer/img78/5415/shanahq6.jpg
Definitely make the character first, and then find something to match. And then make it match better by modifying it. ^^

And oh wow, manga hair is real... Shocked Sweet! xD


Last edited by Kalon Ordona II on Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Sighlent on Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:55 pm

Weiss wrote:Personality is sort of the same. It's very hard to give a character a definite personality. Even cheerful people get sad. Nice people get angry. No one adheres 100% to an absolute personality profile all of the time. Personality is something you should develop for your character as the RP goes along. For instance, I was once in an RP where my character was a Paladin who had recently lost a dear friend (anyone who's seen my Caligo profile sheet might notice that Dais is based on this Paladin), and he was suffering and questioning much of the things he'd believed in up until that point. Normally, he was a friend of justice, very accepting of people and willing to lend his hand whenever it was asked of him. Because he was in such pain, however, he wasn't feeling so very helpful, and when another character approached him, he was actually quite blunt and unkind. The player of said character proceeded to berate me for not playing my character in adherence to the original character profile I'd created, but really, it would be completely inhuman for a person to constantly feel, act and think the same way for his entire life, 24/7/365. The way your personality is described at any given time is completely subjective.


I couldn't have put it better myself. I hate when people say that's out of character whenever EVERYONE including in RL has personality flaws, and on occasion act 'out of character'. Just as you said, personalities are subjective. I personally do that so much in RL that my personality is probably about as whacked as the idea of a beehive in someone's skirt. So yeah... Stabby
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Inerio on Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:55 pm

No, no, trust me. I've styled hair like that before. It requires layers. Then, to get the body that he has you need to tease each layer indivdually and add hair spray. I had something similar to it when I was younger. By the end of the ordeal you're arms probably be sore. Then, to get it to flip out you'd probably need a hair straighter and gel.

Not to mention, if that was a photo, he'd be wearing makeup. Not alot, man makeup. . . . Don't ask me how I know this. I have lots of hobbies. >> I almost want to get a friend to pose as this guy now, just to get the method perfect.
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Weiss on Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:04 pm

Putting the method of cutting it aside, I'm not seeing how you would need a bottle of gel and all this other stuff you're talking about to get your hair brushed back. If you have thick hair, it would naturally appear thick, as well, so your logic eludes me. Hell, I have hair longer than the guy in my signature, and it's relatively thick for a Westerner. It doesn't puff out as much as his, but again, it also isn't nearly as thick as his hair. I really don't think it's that unnatural...

And he wouldn't have to be wearing make-up. Again, Japanese sometimes have naturally beautiful skin. Japanese males and females who have a very light complexion are considered the most beautiful in J-Pop culture, and while a lot of them do wear make-up to get the "perfect" look, not all of them need it. Not to mention the point is moot, since you're not going to find very many character images where the artist intentionally draws in physical flaws for the sake of realism unless it truly adds to the character in some significant way. Edited for example again: [x] No makeup, fair complexion, Japanese.

@Sighlent: Um... beehive in a skirt... Yes, that certainly does strike me as a very whacked idea. ~_~
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Inerio on Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:10 pm

Dude, we can argue this till the cows come home. But when it comes down to it I'm the one who spends more time sitting in hair and makeup. Or standing in hair and makeup, it varies.

You know what I dislike? Anachronisms in roleplays. Unless the GM states that its steampunk or something of the like I dislike anachronisms. If you're doing something in the Victorian era its your duty as a writer to look up was does and does not exist that time period. Its like putting LCD televisions and ipods in the eighties.
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Sighlent on Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:19 pm

I hate emo/goths who hate the world because they're lives suck and they think they're the only one's who've got it rough. I see so many of those these days that it's not even funny. Character's who are obsessed with 'Cirque du Freak' and 'Anita Blake' and act like complete asshats because 'they're supposed to be unapproachable.' Come on, seriously? The reason why people probably label your character's as unapproachable is because they don't want to deal with them. Simple as that.
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Weiss on Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:21 pm

Inerio, you're probably going to hate me by the time we're done here, but you know, LCDs have existed since the 1970s.

Still, I agree on the point. Putting technology in a time period where it doesn't belong is quite bothersome, but that restriction isn't so heavy in fantasy roleplays. It's hard to know how technology might have evolved differently given the use of magic and empowered items, so it can be very interesting to see what people come up with, and how they explain it.
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by vitamin_kitten on Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:07 pm

I agree that profiles are useful as reference; I write them for all of my characters in my stories. But I think the profiles should be used as a reference for the creator of those characters. Even though our characters might not know what we know OOC, it still kills a good portion of the fun, I think, especially if a person's backstory is there. Like I said, I prefer to meet characters the same way my own characters are meeting them. I don't wanna know what they look like until I see them written, I don't wanna know their history until I'm told, things like that. Small profiles I don't have much of an issue with, such as a character's name, age, and possibly one other scrap of information depending on the type of RP, but I don't think it's a good way to develop a character's personality, especially when most people are using their characters for the first time and first-time characters are hardly well-developed enough to have a good backstory that makes sense (that hasn't been thought on for weeks), and I don't think it's fair of OP's to require people to come up with that much information on a brand new character.

As for pictures, I have no problem with originally created ones that are obviously of that character; it's just that most aren't, and those are the ones that bother me. It's like "This is Bob Smith and he's an android" and I'm just like "Uh .... no .... that's Ryuk from DeathNote and he's a shinigami :/".
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Bird of Hermes on Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:16 pm

My newest pet peeve or "don't do that" is when someone seems to play the same character in every role-play that the person is in.
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Guest on Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:21 pm

Well, I know someone has already mentioned bad grammar and the like, but I can suffer through it if the writing at least mimics and seems to attempt to flow well and the length is good. I'm a lengthy writer and so as long as there is enough there for me to work with, I'm happy. But when you mix poor grammar and poor spelling and an addled mind all in one, it makes for some pretty incomprehensible posts. I do not like having to spend time and effort "translating" what I think the person means. And I have a lot of sympathy for people who have not finished grammar in school or do not understand the rules, but it's torture for me to write with a person like that, nonetheless.

Another thing I do not like is when I'm enjoying a roleplay and writing with someone and getting really into the story and characters and they vanish. Without warning. They just log out one day and never come back without saying anything about it beforehand. I hate that, because it's the not knowing factor and it drives you crazy. Not to mention it makes me very sad to see the story gather dust and not know a reason why. I mean, it's just writing online and it's not like they owe me anything, but still.

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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Guest on Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:35 am

Reading through the thread I totally agree with some pet peeves and some not. I'll state three that really bothers me:

- Inns have a tendency to have more dark corners than should be possible. Is it a hexagon shape or what? And how can all of them be dark? Do they have no hearth or even fire burning somewhere? Or the worst I've seen once: a dark corner close to the hearth....????

- Godmoding or Gary Sue...I don't know. But I'll tell you about the worst I've ever seen. (We all practically ignored the guy in the thread until he went away.) He was a dwarf, who knew rune magic and was an awesome fighter. Already there it's a little too much. Then I decided since he was a dwarf he'd suddenly get covered with snow in a gust (I was the GM and there was loads of snow where we were). Then the guy proclaims that that is impossible since he is 6 feet tall... I don't know about you, but dwarves are short. And then suddenly he knows elvish, elven magic and from nowhere he had straw for my horse! The dwarf had no horse of his own, instead in his limitless pocket he carried straw and oats for a horse. He killed a demon wolf in one attack (no feints or anything) and proceeded to kill a demon tiger in the same post.
I don't like godmoding. >_<

- One last pet peeve. It's when someone posts and they directly conflicts one/several things said in previous posts. I can't even take small ones. It irritates me to no end. Small things I can excuse, but when it's bigger ones...I can't.

I realize I've used a lot of ellipses in this post. I don't usually do that. If someone did that in a role-play I'd probably be irritated too. Razz

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Re: Don't do that!

Post by thecolorisred on Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:08 pm

Miss Dagger wrote:
- Inns have a tendency to have more dark corners than should be possible. Is it a hexagon shape or what? And how can all of them be dark? Do they have no hearth or even fire burning somewhere? Or the worst I've seen once: a dark corner close to the hearth....????

- One last pet peeve. It's when someone posts and they directly conflicts one/several things said in previous posts. I can't even take small ones. It irritates me to no end. Small things I can excuse, but when it's bigger ones...I can't.

I nearly spat out my milk tea when I read your first pet peeve. It's true, most RP characters want to be all "dark and mysterious" (emo too) so they hide in dark corners. Which is odd considering they're not cockroaches or vampires. I loved the "dark corner close to the hearth." Classic.

I was also laughing quite heartily for your second point. It was an amusing tale. c:

For your third point, while I don't get as irritated as I should be, I do politely ask if the poster could edit his work (since I usually do 1x1 RPs, this is easy for me to do) - but if I'm in a group, I just ignore the post. Ignorance is bliss in this case - as long as it's not the entire group against you.

As for my own pet peeve, I'm not sure if this was already mentioned but I'll say it anyway. I dislike it if RPers are close-minded. How so? Well, back in my old RP forum - there was this girl who kept on trying to find other people to RP with her - problem was she only offered Buffy or Harry Potter RPs - which technically isn't bad, till you find out she can only control Buffy, Harry Potter, or Draco Malfoy. Period. And to top it off, her plots were stuff you could grab out of a poorly written fanfiction.

Another experience with close-mindedness is a 17-year old girl I tried roleplaying with. She only had one character - "Ever Harmony" (I will not comment on the name - I'll leave you to judge that) who was described to be "a beautiful woman who doesn't know her true beauty" and was technically Kirsten Stewart (she pointed to her display picture when I asked her to describe how "beautiful" her character was - not that I have anything against Kirsten Stewart).

I decided to ignore (silly move on my part) her poorly constructed CS and decided to move on with the RP. I had a nice plot constructed for the two of us, and decided to give it a whirl. I informed her that I would be doing flashbacks in the RP to which she replied, "Oh, if ever you're doing a flashback - please write ((FLASHBACK)) so that I'll know it's a flashback alright?" I somehow did a head desk before proceeding to type the ((FLASHBACK)). It was a horrible experience - I typed a nice decent post, and the silly girl never replied, which brings me to my next pet peeve.

RPers, I know the truth will hurt me, but please tell me if you're not anymore interested in RPing with me. I get irritated having to wait for something that will never come. It's alright even if I have to wait for a month - as long as you inform me ahead of time OR if I ask you, "Are you still interested in our RP?" - you would still bother REPLYING to my messages. This was one of the reasons why I quit my last forum. I really make enough effort in telling my RP partners when I'll be able to post, and I do feel guilty if I don't make the deadline (hey, I even PM them telling them I'm sorry if I post late). Point is, I wish other RPers would do the same. A lot of them end up avoiding me in MSN or not responding to my message. I mean, I would understand if one person dropped out of a group RP - but a 1x1 RP?! Hello, we're TWO PEOPLE. If you don't respond, how am I supposed to continue the story!? At least give me a head's up so I won't spend my nights planning what will happen next!

Last point, (boy - am I full of bitterness tonight) I don't like it when RPers use their disabilities to explain why they're power playing. I once had a friend who was dyslexic and joined our Alice in Wonderland RP. He posted short, and was really poor on spelling and punctuation. While I secretly felt that dyslexia can be overcome (I have seen dyslexic people type up wonderful posts - it's possible), I dislike it when people use it as a reason to not improve on their posts. For one, this guy was actually controlling other members' characters into his post - which has NOTHING to do with his disability - and yet he uses it as an excuse. How exactly does dyslexia = power playing? Perhaps if someone can help me understand this connection, then I will personally edit this post. I know this person was going for the "pity" factor, but I just couldn't buy it. Hopefully someone will enlighten me on this issue.

....

Ah, I think I let a lot of steam out. Thank heaven for this thread. It pleases me greatly. Dance
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by MoiraofWords on Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:47 pm

See, for dyslexia, the letters are rearranged. So when he thought he was typing in HIS character's names, he was actually writing the other people's character's names-- No, I'm just playing. I can't conjure a real justification for that behavior (as much as I tried to think of one).

My main pet peeve is people skimming, thus resulting in Miss Dagger's 3rd issue. Just read the post. There can be no problems if most everything isn't poorly worded.

Sure, every now and then they screw up, and don't read enough which pisses me off. But I tap them to point it out, and it works. But first it makes me aggravated.

But I feel the main issue is not reading it in depth, and thus missing things. And that is inexcusable for a text based format role play.
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Guest on Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:37 am

Moira - Are you saying people are skimming the posts instead of reading them...? Then why are they text role-playing? If that is the problem then I'm seriously confused as to why they role-play. Small mistakes are easy to do. You place one person in a different part of the room for example (which most of the time isn't a big deal, although irritating). I've only a few times really seen big mistakes from role-players and they have generally been from already bad role-plays (aka those that god-mode and power-play).

Red - It was so not funny role-playing with that guy, but I have an excellent example at god-modding... And it's kinda funny now afterwards.
Dark corners are amusing. The place I role-played at before was set up that practically all role-plays started in a small inn in a small village. An inn were adventurers stayed on their way somewhere else. Anyway, that inn, man it had to have more corners than a hexagon...and all of them dark.

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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Silvan Arrow on Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:42 pm

Oh boy, a sounding board for RP-related woes XP

Let's see, most of my pet peeves are pretty minor and related to things that tick me off when reading/writing fanfiction. I'm a grammar Nazi, and, while I won't bash someone for bad grammar/punctuation/capitalization, reading it still makes me cry inside. I mean, you can catch most obvious errors just by simple proofreading. I echo the previous sentiments about Mary Sues, Gary Stues, and emo characters. Cheesy Mary Sue names, like Sapphire or Rainbow, make me die a little inside.

I also agree with people who don't like when RPers disappear without warning. I joined a very promising RP a few months ago with a great cast of writers. The beginning started off great, everyone was posting quickly and keeping the momentum going, and then one person just...vanished. The person's extended absence basically killed the momentum, and we haven't picked it up since. It was such a waste, too, as I could see this RP going a long way and had such a great start. If I ever GM a role-play, I'll make it a requirement for people to let me know if they'll be gone for a long time or if they've just lost interest. I wouldn't bite their heads off or anything; it would be for the benefit of the other writers so that they don't wait and agonize over when/if the RP will even continue. I hate seeing people put so much work into making meaningful contributions to a RP only to see it go to waste when it dies.
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Guest on Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:04 am

I totally agree with you on the leaving without warning thing, Silvan. I mean, sometimes it's still pretty hard when someone notifies you before they leave for an extended period of time, especially when they are an integral part of the story and a really great writer. But the sudden disappearance without saying anything is even worse. Makes me feel like a lost puppy to continue to check every few weeks to see if they've logged in recently, or if the roleplay has had any posts added suddenly out of the blue.

When it's a combined project like what we do here, it's effort and time invested. Like a work of art you make with other people, every part of it blending together and becoming just as much a part of you as it is for them. To watch it die without a reason is very disheartening, and I find I always hope that someday it will be taken up again and regain the life the story once had. Maybe I'm a bit too dramatic about it, but it's how I personally feel.

I think I would ask that as a common courtesy as well, when running a game; just to give a heads up if you're going to be gone for a couple of days or more, so we can expect it and plan for it. Even when they leave permanently, it's not a matter of pride or disliking that person for their life becoming more intense or losing interest. There's no shame in daily stress or the loss of a muse. But it is unacceptable to just vacate the spot and force the rest of us to halt the story because we don't know if they'll be back and don't want to replace them if they do suddenly show up again just as unexpectedly as when they left.

Question: Would it be rude to just decide after a certain period of time to open their spot up again? I don't mean for the new person joining to use their character or anything; but do you think there is an acceptable waiting period before you just give up and decide to continue the story?

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Re: Don't do that!

Post by The Thing Under The Sink on Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:18 am

My one biggest pet peeve ever is people describing their character exactly once in a single full roleplay post, and then never mentioning any of the details ever again. So, six pages full of posts later, you're left scrabbling desperately for what the hell the character looks like.

This is especially inconvenient in games that don't have character sheets, or where the character sheet is kept secret.
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Kingmaker on Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:29 pm

I guess I'd have to say mine is cookie-cutter characters.

You know. The ideallist lone-wolf swordsman who has a soft spot for the white mage.

Or, you know, the tough girl that just HAS to prove she's better than the guys.

Or the villain that does things just for the evulz. Anytime a character is EXACTLY like every other pro/antagonist, I get highly annoyed. On another forum, one of my most successful roleplays was run into the ground by a character who was a female version of Dante.

In a steampunk universe, she still managed to say her character had guns. I calmly explained to her that guns in this setting, were much like flintlock pistols. She then told me how her character was "half demon so she was smart enough to make her guns her own self (sic)". So yes, apparently she thought she could bend the laws of the land by stating her character was smart.

I let it go, because I was a bloody idiot, and thought, "Hey, what can one character do? Ruin a roleplay?" Long story short? Yes, yes it can. Everyone that I discussed the RP with got very, very pissed at her, and eventually I stopped updating it because her character (despite various warnings) was being quite godmoddish in very, VERY unacceptable ways.

Grrrrrrrr. So, yes. Noobs with cookie-cutter characters and cheap excuses on how to bend the rigid laws of a set RP annoy me. To the point of mental illness.
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Crazy Hobo on Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:27 am

Haha, King, I know exactly who you are talking about. I really wished that RP could have continued. It was really fun. You may want to relaunch it here.

Anyway, my one pet peeve that I don't think has been mentioned is when people can't seem to pick a tense and stick with it. I mean, I personally hate present tense, but there are people I know who seem to have the knack to pull it off, even though I still don't enjoy it. It's when idiotic writers don't have the mental capacity to stick with past or present in the same paragraph, and don't seem to get that it is a the mark of a horrid writer.

I'm actually referring to the same person as Kingmaker did in his post. I dropped about three roleplays I was interested in just because I could in no way stand her writing "style" or her unbelievably childish choice in characters. The roleplay Kingmaker made was one that I tried to stick with even with her presence, and she really did ruin it with her frontal lobotomized way of writing and thinking she was all that and a bag of chips. It severely pissed me off.

EDIT: I just remembered that this girl also used lol in her posts, in very serious roleplays!
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Tartra on Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:21 pm

Well, I figure I might as well join in with this.

I've been roleplaying for a long while (started on Neopets, actually (ESCAPE WHILE YOU CAN)), and over time, the length of my introductory posts exploded. I've had to cut down a six page post to four pages several times in several other roleplays, but I always feel as though the first one should really count. My pet peeve is when someone looks at that first post, clearly reads it and references certain points that were in the post, and somehow manages to whip up three paragraphs to follow my thirty-something. I get that I'm the one trying to set the stage and all 'you're' doing is writing up a character to fit in it, but it really sucks when you look at this mammoth you stuck up and see an ant crawling up its ass saying 'TIS IS MY POST LOL'.

As something that hadn't been mentioned, I don't like blatant romance roleplays when it's not the main plot. If you're doing something with, for example, werewolves versus vampires (ESCAPE) and your character's a werewolf whose enemies wiped out his/her family (ESCAPE NOW, IT"S A HORRIBLE PLOT) and you've established that your wolf's only out for revenge, the magic string of 'm/f, m/m, f/f' does not suddenly wipe that away the second you see your partner's charrie. The focus is on the plot unless the plot is romance, and if you're doing that, you know perfectly well what you're getting into.

And I guess the only other thing I can really say is keeping post length in line with a realistic time length. Twenty paragraphs of what's happening on that battle-field may be beautiful, but unless you're describing the war from start to finish, you're doing too much at once or you're hogging the fight.
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Guest on Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:27 am

I agree with Weiss. Also, positions are almost never traditionally awarded on pure merit, but usually on connections and perceived identity as well. My case in point would be the arguments over nepotism in high business, or the idea of deserving a position one is in when it can be awarded on sheer ability to be born to the right parents. Incompetent or insane royalty anyone?

I also agree that character sheets are only a basic check for organization, but even as such, nearly worthless. I believe the best writers demonstrate their skills. For instance, I have only two complaints from GMs who for some reason insisted on the format when I wrote a two page story in their world fulfilling most of the requirements anyway. I was, "an elitist smartass" for being creative. The other was simply a control freak, and neither ended well. I would argue for more of an introductory thread as a character check, but I am too lazy. Easy formats are easy to write without much thought.

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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Tartra on Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:55 am

I think I finally understand my beef with character sheets. Not full-on biographies, which are written after the fact and explain parts of the character that either tricky or impossible to realistically ask, or reference sheets, which list general facts that are there to keep track of what's been said or will quickly be revealed, but introductory, fully developed, one hundred percent set in stone histories. I hate them. They leave nothing to the imagination and spoil all the mystery by running through exactly what Sir Wlyzx of the Moon is doing on Earth, who wronged him, how he tracked them down... Things that would naturally come up if it turned out to be important. I understand if you want to make sure everyone knows how interesting your character is and how much depth they have, but I'm not slogging through a wall of text when I don't even have a reason to care about your character's life yet. Hold off and keep it to yourself. Sometimes, for the sake of the RP, sideplots have to be abandoned or postponed.

I also don't like pre-planned RPs. I never understood the point of listing every single step in advance. An overall goal? Usually necessary. A general agreement on where to meet? For sure, but I think the purpose of OOC communication - and especially in some of the OOC threads here - has been hijacked from 'let me make sure I've got this right' to 'let me know what you're about to do so I can prepare for it'. Occasionally, that question needs to be asked, and should be when it's an important effect on another character, but it goes back to that lack of mystery thing. I want to be surprised, not prepared, otherwise I'd write this damn thing alone.
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:43 pm

That can be a fundamental problem of RP's in general; not all participants are equally as creative. So you get the people who come up with stuff, and then the people who play off the stuff, and if you're lucky you'll have a majority of people who do both. For GM's, the balance between moving the story forward and writing the part of the story you're on has always been the tricky part, as far as I've seen.

I'm actually working on an experimental role-play structure to use whenever I have a free RP slot open in my self-imposed limit. ^_^ It's a concept designed to keep the finish line in sight, as it were. The idea is that each player has only a limited number of posts in which to fit the story, adding up to a limited number of posts for the entire role-play. Depending on the consensus, people could have, say, 15% for introduction, 40% rising action, 30% for the climax and final battles/conflicts, and the remaining 10% to end. *shrug* Something like that. For a 250-post RP (9 FOG pages), you might have 40 posts dedicated to the introduction of all the characters, how they meet, and how the story gets going, 100 posts for the story to pick up speed and move toward the climax, another 80 posts for the revelations and major conflicts and resolutions, and the remaining 30 for farewells, epilogue, and ending. Something like that.
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:47 pm

I think there are a lot of very good points in this entire thread, and there are some points that just seem horrifically nit-picky and unimportant. I'm not saying which is which in my mind because I don't want to anger anyone or start an argument or anything. They're all just opinions anyway.

Kalon, due to the fact that the vast majority of role plays never see their endings let alone their rising action sequences, it's really hard to judge how many posts will be contribute to whichever "section" of the events is being discussed. There are way too many factors that can hijack that system.

Plus, a system like that can really make a person feel like their creativity is being stifled. However, if you do ever implement this system, I would absolutely love to hear if it works. If it's successful, it could be a great new system to use in the future for a lot of people. =3

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Re: Don't do that!

Post by xraineyesx on Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:07 am

Kalon, your plan sounds more like a cooperative effort to write a story rather than a roleplay (I know, that doesn't make much sense, but... >.< ugh, I hope you understand what I mean. Well, here, let me say it like this: if you have it that far planned it, it's like outlining a novel almost, whereas a roleplay the twists and turns and the length aren't predictable, you know? Not that I don't think it's an interesting idea. In fact, I'm quite intrigued by it.)

Anyway, I have to agree with Kathryn: some of these points are valid; some of them are just nit-picky and really shouldn't determine whether you join a roleplay or not, like CSs. Yes, they often suck, and I, too, prefer short and simple, just a skin-and-bones, hold the gravy, version, but I like to have my own personal CS that I don't show everyone. That way I can reference my character for myself when I'm writing, you know?

Grammar, obviously, is a huge pet peeve to me in a roleplay. How hard is it to proofread? In a forum like FOG where the posts don't get mass produced, you can take the time to read it over, spell-check, etc., which thankfully is generally the case here.

And of course, who doesn't hate the Mary Sues, Gary Stus, and the all-powerful all-beings?
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Re: Don't do that!

Post by Silvan Arrow on Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:26 pm

I can see the pros and cons of writing detailed character sheets. On one hand, I like having them because they force me to sit down and actually take the time to come up with a background and personality so that I have a solid foundation when I actually start writing. I'm thinking back to my character sheet for Eri in Viemera. I spent forever on that character sheet trying to come up with a convincing background and balancing her personality and powers, and it made the actual writing process much easier. Granted, she has developed a lot since then, especially in personality, but having that character sheet gives me a valuable reference so I don't lose sight of my original vision for the character.

This probably isn't as much of an issue on FoG, but I've seen role-plays on another site where the character sheets were bare bones with barely any detail, and the posts suffered for it. In bigger role-play communities, I think having detailed character sheets give writers a chance to show their abilities as proof, for lack of a better term, that they actually know what they're doing. But I can also see the merit of just giving the bare minimum and allowing the character to develop as the story progresses. Honestly, I think it just comes down to personal preference and what works best for each person.
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Re: Don't do that!

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