Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Roleplay, some more thoughts

Hey Everyone,

My alt Ezra had the honor of showing some new folks around Deadwood a few nights ago. I had met several of these folks when playing in other sims. I think they had a good time, but they were a bit skittish on one issue.

The people I toured were para's. Now most of you know what I mean here, but to avoid any confusion, para equals paragrapher. In Deadwood, most of us post one sentence, sometimes two. Paragraphers are just that, they normally post a paragraph at a time going into great detail about what they are doing, thinking, etc. They were afraid that their style of rping would be frowned on and/or, they would be shunned. I don't believe that any of the regulars in Deadwood would be so rude.

Is one preferable or better than the other? In my humble opinion, No. It is personal preference. I use one line posting for several reasons. First, thats the way I was taught when I first started rping. Two, while I can type, i am far from being the fastest out there.
Paras give a lot of detail about what is happening in their post. The problem that comes in is if the person is a slow typist, you have people standing around for a minute or more while someone posts. While in a sim that has primarily paras, this is not a huge problem as the regulars expect some time to elapse between posts. In a sim that is primarily one liners, people will continue their conversations and the para can find themselves falling behind in the conversation, unless they are very fast typists.

So why am I expounding at length on this? I believe that when someone comes into your sim and they are using a different style of rp, you should try to include them in whats going on. I have played in sims where para's are the majority. I have found that I make longer posts in that environment, because that is the expectation. The reverse is likely true for paras who come into sims where one liners are dominant. They will shorten their posts, perhaps still longer than most folks, but is that a bad thing?


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  2. I agree Blackjack, I think you can combine both styles--the paragraph form and our style, which I have dubbed "Real-time Interactive" rp. As I said in my post about roleplaying styles, when they are trying to work together, practitioners of the two styles have to make some adjustments, but it can be done.

    It's too bad that the folks you were showing around felt like they might be shunned in a place like Deadwood. I don't recall anyone ever really giving a paragrapher a hard time, though there were some occasions when a person went really overboard on their emoting--like five or six paragraphs without a break--and some of the regular players responded with parody, launching into multi-paragraph navel gazing of their own. But the issue wasn't the style as much as it was the extent to which the person doing the longer emote just completely disengaged themselves from the scene that was developing. They in effect chose to isolate themselves from the story that was around them, and which they could have easily interconnected their story into. Instead they tried to impose their story over everything else that was going on, rather than integrating it into the work of the ensemble.

    So the bottom line is, yeah, you can integrate the two styles--and integrate multiple stories into the larger narrative framework--but you have to want to try to make it work.

  3. Dio, you said it all right there. You do have to try. BTW, I like the name for our style of rp. Real Time Interactive. Very cool.

  4. With the para folks, I think the response of others has to do more with how inclusive the content is.

    Yes, I'm one of those guilty of doing a parody - and that wasn't the length of the para's content - it had to do with the content being nothing anyone could respond to -- it was several paragraphs of someone's thoughts and memories that made it impossible for anyone else to respond other than to wonder why the character was standing there staring off silently into the distance.

    Role play to me is an ensemble work. We have some paras in DW now (Mah comes to mind) who write excellent pieces that include and pull others in, inviting them into dialog.

    We've had some one and two liners who have taken away from the role play, focusing the attention on themselves.

    And the para writers who, excellent though their writing might be, are writing stuff that shuts out others or closes down a rp scene.

    I'll parody them to try to get a point across or to amuse the rest of us as we sit around watching our rp disappear.

    There's room for all kinds of typists as long as they remember (at least in DW) it's largely an improv ensemble kinda roleplay