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 Why I love and am so proud of our RPers

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PostSubject: Why I love and am so proud of our RPers   Why I love and am so proud of our RPers Icon_minitimeThu Apr 02, 2009 7:10 am

My thoughts on making RP work in an MMO setting has been borrowed by an MMORPG.com blogger, OddjobXL, in his blog "The Roleplayer's Redoubt". It spawned out of a larger conversation between Oddjob and a former guildmate from my brief stint in AoC as to the nature of RP in tabletop vs MMO gaming.

I'm proud to have this little piece out there for the public - not because it's a terribly awesome piece of writing (in fact I'm rather certain it isn't!). Rather, it's because I think it's important for MMO RP to be defended at every opportunity as more than just playing within a setting, but as a platform, a common ground, and a springboard for a greater story that transcends its MMO "genre".

Plus, I get to give (rather anonymous, since it's under my WoW name of Caoiliann) shout-outs to my guilds both old and new, because I am really proud of what goes on here now and what has gone on before. I suppose I can't deny it: I love you guys, and I love what we do.


Last edited by Chantilly on Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Why I love and am so proud of our RPers   Why I love and am so proud of our RPers Icon_minitimeThu Apr 02, 2009 7:13 am

The article can be found here: The Roleplayer's Redoubt - Roleplay in Action: Caoiliann's Way

Quote :
I can't deny that RP within the MMO game world is limiting, in that you can only use and do what's available within the game mechanics. However, I think it's a disservice to act as if our imaginations turn off the minute we turn the game on. The MMO isn't everything and letting it replace authorship as to what is possible or feasible based on in-game limitations is a mistake. It doesn't have to be that way, though.

The way my people and I have always run our game RP is with two somewhat concurrent pieces of the same overarching story going on at once, some on forums and some in-game. Things that are better left to walls of text full of description and action happen on the message boards; the complex conversations and interactions happen in-game. The two parts work in tandem to form the plot and a consistent game world.

They're not always synced up perfectly, but when you have a good group that knows at least the general direction of the resolution of the yet-unwritten parts, it's never been difficult to forge ahead or drop behind the forum's main plot, or to just go on tangential side plots that involve a smaller subset of the actors.

I think that this requires a great deal more coordination than anything that a DM would run, of course. In your setup, the DM sets all the pieces up and then lets the actors go wild exploring it, which has a certain amount of appeal. In our game-related setup, you're sharing authorship with at least one, and usually many, other people for the overarching storyline, where only a point A and point B are established common places for each section to begin and resolve. It's a lot more work for everyone involved, but I have to say that it has been exceptionally rewarding and fun despite its challenges.

It's definitely not the type of setup for a control freak. The ringleader of this three-ring-circus (usually me) can't truly exercise any more control than painted lines on the highway: there are strongly suggested boundaries, and good places to be passing on the left than others, and here's the desired speed limit.

But from there, the control goes back to the rest of the actors, and it's up to them to draw that map from A to B as a collective. I can't control the pace and can't keep them inside the lines. I'm not the DM, just the name on the back of the historical archive of stories.

There is definitely risk involved in that. I have to trust them the same way they trust me to make it work, and we have to be willing to make mistakes sometimes and make allowances for that. We've all retconned a little every now and again or sacrificed what we thought would be the MOST AWESOME IDEA EVAR for our own character for the greater good of the plot.

I'm not sure it could work for every group of RPers - it takes a high level of honesty, trust, and a strong belief in the value of the people in your group, and more than one or two bad apples who are too "me" centered can make it difficult if they're not evicted or successfully written out. We definitely saw those kinds of attitudes aplenty in AoC, which is why things struggled to function. However, in CdIO (and in the "reformed" HC) this has very rarely, if ever, been a serious problem.

It's an art, not a science, and it is far from perfect. I don't think it's ever run perfectly. But the outcome has always been wonderfully, completely rewarding, and it gives everyone a sense of ownership and pride that sticks with us.

That's not to say anything about whether tabletop or DM-run RP is good or bad, but it is honestly my defense about how herding RP cats in my limited MMO world can and does work with the right group of creative, generous people.
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PostSubject: Re: Why I love and am so proud of our RPers   Why I love and am so proud of our RPers Icon_minitimeTue Mar 16, 2010 1:19 pm

I do not play PotBS any more but I still lurk here. Nice work, Chantilly.

(I don't play primarily because my connection is slow. so I am very limited in what I can do.)

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Namo Larkin
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Namo Larkin

Number of posts : 355
Age : 66
Localisation : Tampa (New York)
Registration date : 2008-01-11

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Locations: Cayo, Tampa
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Why I love and am so proud of our RPers Empty
PostSubject: Re: Why I love and am so proud of our RPers   Why I love and am so proud of our RPers Icon_minitimeThu Mar 18, 2010 6:27 am

Well Captain Regis it is good to hear your still alive. After all the Spainish fights we have had at your operations in Belle Isl and NO I had feared the worst. Keep your head down and fair winds to you sir.

Captain Namo Larkin


(Good to see your still lurking around)

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Namo Larkin
Ship - Auberean
Normal Tour - M-F 8-10-East S-S off and on.
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