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Heroic Sociopath

On RPing

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by , 26th May 2012 at 03:45 AM (455 Views)
I've been RPing here for 3 years, and almost 13,000 posts. I've been in more RPs than I can count. Maybe more than is healthy. I dunno if I'm particularly skilled at RPing. I do know that I have experience. I've been meaning to do this for a long time: Write down my observations of the district here, and some of my interpretations of 'em. I don't intend to make anyone change how they do stuff; I don't even know if the way I do things is any good. I just want to inform people of what I've seen and tell 'em what I think it means. In other words, consider the following...

It's hard to predict how long an RP will last. Common sense would dictate that a GM with more experience would have RPs that last longer, and thus more likely to finish, correct? This is not the case. Sure, you get experienced GMs hosting RPs that last in excess of 500 pages, and newbies having ones that fall flat. But just as often, those same GMs have ones that barely last five pages. And I have borne witness to a young RPer who started an RP within a couple months of joining that lasted over a thousand pages. It would seem that GM experience is not a deciding factor. But, then, what is?

In my years here, I have observed that there are many. But one of the most important seems to be the relationships between each character. Now, I don't mean just romantic, although those do count. I mean any kind, whether it be a friendship, or even a dislike, so long as the characters feel something about each other.

This may seem odd. How do the relationships between characters in an RP make it last longer? The answer lies in emotional torque.

Emotional torque is a term writers use to describe how a work makes people feel, and to what degree. One could say the main reason people enjoy art, whether it's a painting like The Scream, a video game like Earthbound, or a TV show like The Office, is because it makes us feel. The Scream fills us with suspense and shock at it's ghastly subject. And The Office makes us both cringe and laugh at the antics of Dwight Schrute. And one of the main reasons Earthbound has such a following seems to be that it's so full of feeling. A work is successful when it provides emotional torque, when we develop feelings for it and it's subjects.

What does this mean for RPs? In an RP, most of the emotion comes from the characters, and their interactions. When we make our characters feel for other characters, we are forced to see our characters as more than just constructs built to manipulate the world within the RP. Through their actions towards other characters in the game world, we see them as beings, with emotions and feelings and hearts and souls. And we are also forced to see the characters created by other players in the same way. We begin to care about them. And when we care about the characters in a story, we care about the story. And when you care about a story, when it makes you feel, that's when it's successful.

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  1. Agent Gryphon's Avatar
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    Some of my first (Not included the one in 06, or 05 which was a long time, I am talking about 2010-Present when I came back here for the RP) have actually made it to the end, maybe not gone over 100 or 500 pages, but they still finished. They end up with only two or three players left but since they weren't Academies I could make them work properly. (I believe The Rescue Mission, and either The Twilight Prince or another apocalyptic world that had it taken over, managed to make it to the end). And there are those that never even made it off the ground, which really sucks but I am not sure why this is the case.

    It's a good question, some of my SU's never get off the ground or hardly enough SU's, some like your not so serious and recent RP seemed to have gotten more people in 24 hours then I did (Which made me question exactly what was going on here, no offense it's just when you write a SU with a long introduction that helps explain the RP, and then a trollish (I presume?) and very short RP looks like it got off the ground.

    Although there is one, that has stood against many, many RPs and I think you know what it is (Oh wait, are you in it?) Trebloome Academy of course, even if it's dying Sovereign still revives it in some way, for someone who's always busy or other things going on, he is loyal to the RP (And I think it's his only one). Due to this going on since 2010, and being in it since the beginning from Part I to part III, I have connected with those characters that were in the beginning.

    It's like the story I have written, it's not a RP but see, it's a story I written since early 2007, but that's when it existed on paper or rather Word. It has been a sort of fantasy world in my head since 1998 *And I am 24 in two weeks...), there are characters that get killed off that wasn't around for very long, but then I killed a character that has actually been there since 2006/07, she has been in the fantasy world and then entered the paper text, Tanya however only recently have I killed her off, with a suicide and it was very heartbreaking, it felt like losing someone I really knew (It didn't help someone I just met killed themselves a week later, which what brought that storyline on)/

    Sorry for the long post, but I totally get what you mean, I have killed dozens characters off, who were only there for a year aleast, one was a infant at a month year old (Hard to write, but I wanted to write a gripping and heartbreaking storyline), yet the one with the suicide was the hardest, since she was a long term running character, it's like I really knew her. I written her fears, her pain and love, her feelings, her strengths and the world of her as an FBI Agent, her story wasn't finished, she still had a lot to be explored and see (But that's life, that's how suicide ends, hell that's death, even if your storylines aren't tied up or there's still history to go through.. It could still happen to them, which now I think makes her death even more tragic).

    RIP Agent Tanya Ferguson, 1976-2012, came into existence 2006-2012 (It might have been 06). That's how connected I felt with that character. Plus suicide really affects me, I know people who have committed it or people who know people who did it. One of my own cousins tried it as well.
  2. Heroic Sociopath's Avatar
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    Hey, don't worry about it. Comments sections for blogs are, from what I can tell, mostly for other users to relate their experiences. Anyway, I understand. When I kill my own characters, it makes me feel too. Although it's more a sadistic glee :)

    Anyway, I think mine got a lot of people quickly because it's easy to make sign-ups for it. Mine took about a minute.

    Also, perhaps you could feature "the yugioh" as a special guest star?
    Updated 27th May 2012 at 12:41 AM by Heroic Sociopath
  3. Mako's Avatar
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    I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on the section.

    After all, I'm here to try and make it better.
  4. Heroic Sociopath's Avatar
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    I am working on II right now, although I might wait until the effects of the pot of coffee I drank previously to stop melting my brain until I finish it.
  5. Mako's Avatar
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    ah very good.

    gotta love caffeine.


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