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Peredhil

Online Role-Playing Styles

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In a Greenroom Out Of Character (OOC) thread, Rune made a distinction between the two styles in the main story thread.

I'll repeat what she said here:

by Rune on March 19, 2003
There are 2 different types of RPGs ive noticed.

There is the novel version:
Where the thread is opened with a general plot and then each post controls the set of characters and introduces new chars as needed. Each post tends to start a general situation or setting and then ends it, leaving it open for the next person to develop the story as they see fit. There is no intended ending to a novel RPG.

Example: Fawn was unsure where to go so she decided to travel to Forestwood, the city on the northermost edge of the moutain region. While headed there she ran into Fable who was washing his clothes in a small stream. She greeted him and they conversed with one another for hours before he agreed to join her on her quest.

Then there is turn based:
Where you introduce your char and interact with others, but a DM (dungon master) sort of controls the general time line and plot developments and each person is left to control themselves and interact with one another. The DM has a beginning and an ending in mind, but leaves the middle up to the players mainly except for general advancement in the storyline to reach the end.

Example:
Fawn posted
"Fawn was unsure where to go so she decided to travel to Forestwood, the city on the northermost edge of the moutain region. While headed there she ran into Fable who was washing his clothes in a small stream.

"Hail, Fable!" she exclaimed, "What are you up to?"

(At this point she ends her posts and waits for Fable to respond. Or another player could interject and surprise the 2 by jumping out of the bushes and adding some dialogue. Its open ended.)

Fable posted
"Fawn! long time no see. I am just doing my laundry and then plan to head back to the town for some supplies. After that who knows what trouble I might get into." he grinned. "Where are you headed?"


Do you think that there are other categories suitable for online RP? If so, post them here, with an example.

I'm thinking it might be useful for our Conservatory play, if the person who starts the thread posts in the description what type of style under which it will be played.

An example of the Novel style might be Darkness Rising from the Pen Library, in which Yui Temae, Zool and I cowrote a short story without anyone playing Game Master.

Another example from the Library of playing without a Game Master(GM), but according to a set of fixed Rules is Cerulean's Masquerade.

The Conservatory itself has examples of Turn-Based Game Mastered (or to use the old term, Dungeon Master (DM)) play.

Are there other style categories that deserve a title of their own?
Would all you Role Players want to use style categories to guide your thread participants?
Anyone?
...
...
Bueller?
...
...
Bueller?
:P

Edited by Tanuchan
broken link

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-blinkedy- then there's the sort of action based thing with the little *'s or whatever. [i like -'s and ='s better.] Or would that fit into the turn thing? I dunno...it depends on the role player ^_^

 

/this message has officially been completely pointless/

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by Autumn Sun

then there's the sort of action based thing with the little *'s or whatever. [i like -'s and ='s better.]

Do you think you could explain this a bit more, with an example?

 

I haven't a clue to what you are referring. :(

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k...*Pip blinks* "Yeah." *she looks at Pered and grins* "You know, like this?" *she tilts her head* "Or if you want me to get really in depth...." *she trails off* "If I can think of a good sample post, I'll tell you." *Pip nods and wanders out*

Edited by autumn_sun

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Hmmm.

 

HOW you decide to RP, whether you put actions in italics or put *actions in stars* isn't really what I'm groping toward.

 

Does the thread have a GM who plays everyone except the Player Characters? (PCs)

 

Does the thread have rules that provide a guideline for everyone to free-form play? For example, in this thread, no magical weapons allowed, only magical powers.

 

Is the thread turn-based, where everyone plays their own character (and NonPlayer Character (NPC) henchmen), or is it event driven, where a writer can write an entire scene involving everyone's characters to push the plot forward?

 

Is the thread limited in the number of writers/characters who can participate?

 

Is there OOC interaction and planning, or is each post absolute, and everyone must build from where the last poster left the plot and characters?

 

Is there...

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-laughs- okeedokee...lesse.Um...usually the way I rp, it's not limited [though it always ends up being 3-4 people i already know or one-on-one --;] and the plots are made up as we go along...all freelance basically...no rules [well, besides the whole keep it G my character is so NOT doing romance with you] type thing...did that help at all? try asking Merry [smallscale_mind_games] or Elwen. Or even try Scott. They'd explain it better than meeeee.

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I actually think there is a third style that combines the two that Rune described. I'll use "Hostel Fox" as an example. That thread merges all three styles (random chance, novel and turn based).

 

Hostel Fox sprang up from some random care free no direction rp posts between a few friends. Then I got an idea for a plotline regarding Salinye that I really wanted to run. So then the main underlying plot of the thread shifted to a a bit of a turn based rp with people following my lead a little bit. (sort of the dm for that specific plot. It has a definate beginning and ending.) However, I also tend to favor novel type rp where each poster controls the storyline and char's to a certain extent each time they post. In response the characters sort of have to roll with the punches as they control the storylines when they post. This is also flowing through Hostel Fox.

 

Now this usually brings up several intertwining subplots that are Novel. However, usually all the subplots are heading towards the same end as the main underlying plot. Does that make any sense at all? I hope so!

 

I guess it's a combo thread. I think novel and turn based storylines can coexist very nicely if done right. :0) The ooc threads in the greenroom really help to keep everyone on the same page. I highly suggest every serious rp start one. :0)

 

That's just my two cents. :0)

 

~Salinye :butterfly:

Edited by Salinye

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Going through the Minstrel Hall, I found this old post on Freestyle Role Playing which lends itself to this topic.

The context, in short, is that freestyle RPing at Archmage's Universal Bulletin Board's Conservatory has been dying out. The Freestyle threads were great vehicles for encouraging beginning RP writers.

Edited by Tanuchan
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Ermm, that link doesn't seem to be working... ;)

 

I've only GMed two Interactive Writing stories (RPGs), but I've used the turn-bases system for both. After my first foray into the world of GMing, I learned that in order to make the story easier for everyone to just flow with, I had to make my objectives very clear to the players (this is for my RPT called the Elirian Quest - link in sig). This I do by using a few different means, the first of which are chapter outlines. These have a permanent place in my first OOC Intro post for easy access by the players. They include quick snippets that must happen in that chapter, so that players can still write whatever the want as long as they include, say, that an artefact they're looking for won't be found where they expect it. That and some healthy OOC posting seems to have made my current RPT work without too many hitches, though I am fairly new at this, so I understand some of you might find these methods weird.

 

The other thing - and I think this is really the main one - is behind the scenes work with the seperate players. For instance, in my RPT, the players each find a ring at some stage. With the ring comes a riddle. Basically, I decide who gets the ring, then PM the player with the information they need about the ring, like what it does, as well as the riddle that comes with it. The player then gets the choice of when to show the others what the ring can do, since that player is the only one that part of the riddle is explained to. This way I'm not the only one giving out information when I post. Everyone (well, all the main character players) can be involved, and they can all contribute something different. Most of the players don't see any of the behind the scenes stuff, and so all they get is all this great info in everyone else's posts that have really good continuity with the storyline and are written very well. :) Then they get the same chance as well and feel like they're really part of something bigger... Well, at least I hope they do. :rolleyes:

 

I worry about being too controlling, though my players have only good things to say about my thread. I find I have to controlling to an extent to keep the story rolling and the plot developing, as players sometimes flag and don't post for a while, etc. I'm not sure if my methods are all that different from anything already mentioned here, but I thought I'd include this here, just in case I'd been original, lol. :P Do any of you do this or think these are good ways to RP? :unsure:

 

I hope reviving dead threads isn't too frowned upon in here, but I would honestly value the discussion, since I don't really get it elsewhere. There seem to be a good number of RP writers in here - share your wisdom with me, please! :)

 

Elvina

Edited by Elvina

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(Elvina, if you're referring to Peredhil's link on his last post, it's in an area that's accessible just for Initiates and higher :) - sorry for that.)

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Do any of you do this or think these are good ways to RP? :unsure:

Well, to me it sounds like you spend a lot of time and effort to keep your RP threads going and that you are genuinely concerned about getting it right - that's already a lot in my books. ^_^ As long as all the relevant "rules" are mentioned beforehand and the players know what they are signing in to, I don't think you are being too restrictive.

 

Personally I've sometimes felt somewhat at loss with what my character can do and what he can't in a RP thread, especially if I'm using my *ahem* quite powerful main character. Those chapter outlines that'd give me framework within with to plan my actions sound like a good thing to me. I remember a time when I killed off an opposing warrior who was supposed to live until the next encounter, giving my GM some retconning to do. ;)

 

I've had some experience with strict control in both tabletop RPG and live-action roleplaying games and my opinnion is that it shifts the responsibility for the quality of the game more towards the GM. If you have an excellent story to tell and you are confident in it, tightening the leash of the players can result in a better roleplaying experience for all involved. Great players will be great even with the tighter confines and nevertheless create rich stories with their characters, slightly less great players have their job made easier, they'll have more direction and clearer goals and thus the quality of their participation can get better. The price is not getting surprised by the player actions as much, more work and heavier personal responsibility for the GM. I'm sure these lessons I've learned can be applied to written roleplaying as well.

 

I personally haven't been a GM to a planned written RP but I hope that's the sort of ideas you were looking for. ^_^

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Ah, thanks, Tanuchan. I thought the link was just old or something. :)

 

I've had some experience with strict control in both tabletop RPG and live-action roleplaying games and my opinnion is that it shifts the responsibility for the quality of the game more towards the GM. If you have an excellent story to tell and you are confident in it, tightening the leash of the players can result in a better roleplaying experience for all involved. Great players will be great even with the tighter confines and nevertheless create rich stories with their characters, slightly less great players have their job made easier, they'll have more direction and clearer goals and thus the quality of their participation can get better. The price is not getting surprised by the player actions as much, more work and heavier personal responsibility for the GM. I'm sure these lessons I've learned can be applied to written roleplaying as well.

Yeah, that's exactly what I mean - good players can still be good and write richly, while newer players will have a clearer idea on what to write if they have none. As for surprise, I'd have to ask my players, but I really htink they are fairly surprised a lot of the time, because I only work with each of them personally when they get their ring. They're the only ones who know what it does, so when the others find out, it's a surprise. That's what I meant by not simply shoving all the info into the OOC... "Right people, now such-and-such is going to get the next ring. The riddle will be 'blah', and the first part of that means 'blah'." Boring. :sleeping: They actual ringbearer is the only one I actually tell, then everyone else finds it out in that person's post.

 

When I first started my thread I had to cajole each player into supplying a reason their characters had chosen to come on the Elirian Quest. Someone said I was being controlling, but I don't think so at all. To me, that's kind of a vital question, lol. As the story moved on, I believe that clarity has helped the players in thinking up their own subplots and finding opportunities for character-development. I wonder where the point is when a GM is too controlling, and when the confines are healthy for the story. I can't imagine playing in a game where anyone can do simply anything and whisk everyone off somewhere for any reason... I've never seen that happen, but from some of the stories I hear... :ermm:

 

For those of you who've actually played such a game - what is a 'freer' RPG like? Do you like it better when your GM obviously puts a lot of thought and planning into a game and keeps it on track but still gives you plenty of room to work within those confines... or do you prefer to just get an overall idea of what they story's about and pretty much wing it with very few confines?

 

From a purely literarily-challenging POV, does it force you to put more thought into your posts and character development etc. when there are tighter confines?

 

Lol, sorry for all the questions. :blush: I'm just trying to know more about this sort of thing from people who have more experience with interactive writing than me. :blush: :blush:

 

Elvina

Edited by Elvina

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First of all, the first stupid question has yet to be invented, and those that are most wrong are the ones not asked ;)

 

I’ve only been writing since somewhere January, but absolutely love RP writing, so am not too professional, but have read a lot about it by now.

 

I’ve always wondered until which point something is RP and when it turns into a co-written story. I think that the more you go towards planning everything you go more towards a co-written story. Then again this is all a bit of a grey area probably.

 

As Zadown said it seems to me you’re very active in keeping your RP alive and going forward, and to me this is the main role of a GM. :)

 

I’ve written with tighter rules and totally free RP, I like both and I think that no matter if there are lots of rules or none, good writing has mostly to do with how you develop your characters and how the readers can identify and live along with them. And these things can be developed with or without rules.

 

Both have their advantages, and disadvantages. Lots of planning probably ends up with a tighter plot and a well thought out storyline. On the other hand I’ve had some pretty nice surprises when there was no pre-set plan, and I’ve felt challenged a couple of times already by those unexpected twists.

 

Aaaand…I’m babbling ;)

 

In short, writing to me has to be something fun and enjoyable, and rules or no rules is probably a very personal thing ^_^

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Thanks, Sweetcherrie. That was helpful. :) I think any RPG could be considered co-written, simply because of their nature. I think I might get annoyed if I participated in an RPG that wasn't very well thought out. ;) I did participate in one for a little while before the GM had to quit with was a comedic thread, where nothing was terribly serious and there had to be an orange in every scene... that was hilarious and fun to write and basically had no rules (except for that fruit thing). We did have a basic, far-off goal, but it was very relaxed so that we could just have fun with it. I'm not sure how that would work for a more serious fantasy or sci-fi thread, though.

 

Come to think of it, has anyone here done any sci-fi RP writing? :)

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