Biggest RP Killers

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Brovo, Aug 14, 2015.

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  1. I'm still writing more guides. (Seriously, that Stats & Traits guide is coming up soon.) In the meantime, I'm curious what everyone thinks kills RP's most often. From the highest level to the lowest, from 1x1's to massive group role plays, from the most experienced to the least experienced GM's and players. What do you think kills RP's most often? Try to think of three things.

    As a secondary (but entirely unnecessary) curiosity, what is the longest RP you have managed to keep going on Iwaku? Outside of Iwaku is irrelevant for me, since I'm trying to figure out the local demographic. :ferret:
    • Not posting.
    • Lack of communication.
    • Uncommitted Game Masters. Especially when they expect their plays to be incredibly devote despite their own lack of efforts. Many of whom leave the roleplay within a few weeks of starting it. I understand interests change and things happen, but if the foreseeable future holds events which are likely to make you too busy to GM you should probably delay starting it or employ a good co-GM. As for a lack of interest - sit on the idea for a while. Obviously this one is group specific. And I might just be incredibly unlucky in having it happen to me a lot.
    I haven't joined a great deal of roleplays on Iwaku yet. However, I would say either one which lasted ~2.5 Months with maintained activity throughout or ~5 months at a posting rate to make molasses jealous. The latter also took a hiatus for a while.

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  2. In my experience, it boils down to lack of interest.

    The two primary things are lack of player interest and lack of GM interest.

    Lack of player interest usually just manifests itself as really slow posting speeds, sometimes lackluster or clearly rushed/hurried posts. It can be fixed with some GM prodding, some hijacking to move the story along, or with the addition of some new plot candies for players to get excited about. Unfortunately though, if some players don't get along in the RP, that's almost guaranteed to result in loss of interest.

    Lack of GM interest manifests itself in a lot of different ways. Lack of posting, lack of keeping the players updated, failure to steer the story, failure to progress the story even if people don't post, failure to harass players to get their asses in gear to actually post... lots of things. I'm barely even touching the tip of the iceberg.

    I firmly believe that a good GM can keep their game alive even if the players lose interest. As long as the story is interesting enough that they can cycle in new players to replace ones who've left, a good GM makes a huge difference in the longevity of a roleplay.
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    • Lack of initiative. To live shit needs to happen, if nobody makes shit happen, there is no RP.
    • Lack of direct goals. Sort of goes hand in hand with the above, but If there's no goals, dicking around only works so long.
    • Lack of communication. Goes without saying.

    Does the Library count? If so, 10 months and running on Iwaku. Three years and nine months since it's inception off-site.

    If not, I ran a game that lasted for 6 months before dying on Iwaku.
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  3. 1.) Waiting loops.

    Helpful graphic (open)

    There are pros and cons to having lenient posting rules and avoiding a strict turn order. Personally, I think the pros outweigh the cons, but only when a lenient system like that is done right, with a GM that's capable of watching the whole thing and making sure everyone knows who's waiting on who. Otherwise, a group can easily come to a halt because everyone thinks they're supposed to wait for a response from someone else, resulting in no one posting at all. It can really kill a game's momentum, and, while a GM can get it moving again with a bit of prodding, it can be difficult to reclaim the speed that the RP had before the slump. And, when things move too slowly, players are more likely to lose interest and, well, yeah.

    2.) Waiting too long for one person to post. I've seen plenty of RP's, typically the ones with strict turn orders, where one person is taking a while to post, and so everyone has to wait for them -- even people who weren't even interacting with their character and so have no reason to wait for a response from them. It can bring the RP down to a cripplingly slow rate, especially if the person you were waiting for turns out to be a silent drop-out. And, when things get really slow, other players are more likely to get bored with things and lose interest, so, yeah... This is one of the reasons why I avoid strict turn orders. Even if you have a set wait time before you plan to move on without someone, your characters aren't usually all in the same place, and so, there's no reason for everyone to wait that X amount of time before either you get a post from them or you give up on waiting. Without strict turn orders, I feel like an RP can move at a much more natural pace that keeps people's creativity flowing. But, of course, you have to be careful with a more lenient system, for reasons mentioned above...

    3.) Lack of direction. It is insane how many RP's fall apart so quickly just because the GM didn't give the players anything to do, especially early on when the players are only just introducing their characters and making a few light-hearted first interactions, leading to a lingering sense of " what?" when they run out of small talk. There needs to be something the players are supposed to be doing -- and not just a long-term goal but a near goal. If your characters are already doing something interesting, then that's fine -- let the story progress where it naturally will. But if your characters have nothing to do? Give them something. An enemy, an objective -- anything, just so long as there's some sort of direction. Otherwise, your players will get bored, and lose interest, because the lack of anything to do made all their inspiration quickly fade away.

    And, in all these cases, I've noticed that the drop-outs that happen as a result almost seem to be a sort of chain reaction. Because, if one player drops out due to just them losing interest, or for personal reasons, but you still have a sizable team of dedicated players, then it's pretty easy to carry on without them. But when you have one of these big problems rapidly stagnating your RP and causing boredom all across the board? Well then, you'll have one player who'll drop out, and then you might have a few more who drop out shortly after that as activity becomes even harder to work through as the GM attempts to work around said drop-out, and then you have more and more players seeing what's happening and deciding to jump ship as it seems to not be worth it anymore, and... yeah. I chose the three reasons I did not just because they can quickly halt an RP's flow, but because that stagnation can lead to a lot of people dropping out at once if the GM doesn't act quickly, thus making them rather difficult to recover from if you're too slow to react.

    Strictly speaking, Welcome Back to the Guild, which has been running (on Iwaku) since late December of 2014. I'm not sure if it counts, though, since I migrated it here from the Guild (on which it had been running since long before that), and it wasn't even a reboot or anything -- we just picked up exactly where we left off. The entire player-base is from the Guild, too, and not a single new player has joined since we migrated.

    In terms of RP's that started on Iwaku, Fandomstuck: Fandom Square, which has been running since January 2015.
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  4. Slow starts.

    Ive learned to forgo a certain level of realism in favor of getting a story started. I know that made some of you cringe, and I totally get it, but honestly most of the role-plays I have been in died off because there was just so little of interest going on that nobody really had motivation to put a post together. Inactivity is not a cause; it is a symptom.
  5. Going to leave a +1 here.


    This is the chain-quitting instigator number one. It pushes the responsibility for progression onto one person, so everyone can be "It's not my fault I was waiting for X!" And drop before getting invested.

    In medias res is great for this. Skip the introduction tavern scene and throw everyone into the action from post one.
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  6. On iwaku? PRolly Darkened Skies that died not long ago. Outside of Iwaku I have actually managed to run a decent amount of rp's to some length. Here I have yet to properly manage my time and pacing.

    There are a few issues that bug my rp's that I can honestly point to killing them at one point.

    Threat/Event Stacking; If you heap to much on the players at once, this is purely a pacing issue. If you do not let players enough time to breathe or react properly to one thing, It can be overwhelming. It can also dishearten players who wants to properly let their character develop. With everything, balance is always important. This is what killed a lot of my projects.

    Floundering starts: When you start a rp without a point of relavance or a mission or any other common goal for the players to immediately zero in on. I don't personally seem to have this problem to much anymore, but back in the day I tried to start things very open ended. It never worked out.

    Lack of GM interaction: I am guilty of this myself, hence why I am keen to point it out. GM activity in OOC cannot be overstated. ALot of players are engaged in several RP's at once, and will subconsciously prioritize those that they see more activity in. That is just how things go.
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  7. Since I don't have much experience with group roleplays I'll just answer for 1x1's.

    • Mismatched partners. Sometimes you can get an rp that is really good but you just can't get into your partners writing, which eventually might kill it. (This happened a lot to me in my early roleplay days when I didn't have many requirements for what I wanted from my partners and didn't think about checking if we had the same style or not since I myself was developing my style, so we ended up just having way too different styles and the rp died.)
    • Starting out without a well thought out plot. At times it can be nice to start out without much of a plot and just see where it goes, but if you do that with the wrong partner it can easily lead to the rp dying. Personally I think it's good to start these kind of rps with people you have roleplayed with before so that you know about each others strengths and weaknesses and how well both of you are on improvising and throwing in stuff.
    • Lack of communication. I know other people have pointed this one out, but it is important to communicate. My most successful roleplays have been with people I have actively talked with about the plot or felt that I could contact at any time to ask what they wanted to do next or if they approve of this next step.
    • Real life. Yep, real life is a big rp killer. Most of my long term roleplays didn't die because we got bored, but because real life got in the way and my partner had to leave the site for a longer period, then when they got back they couldn't get into character anymore because of the long hiatus.
    It all depends on how you look at it. I have two roleplays that went on for quite long, but one of them died for a few months, was revived and alive for a few months, died for a few months was revived, etc. And that kept going for quite some time. Does the inactive months also count? xD

    My two longest were Simply never simple (Active between December 18 2011 - July 9 2013, 1 year 6 months and 3 weeks) and I'll never be a part of your world (Active (with periods of death) between Dec 4 2011 - July 23 2013, 1 year 7 months 2 weeks and 5 days)
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  8. I solely 1x1, but the largest killers for me are a) lack of interest from the beginning, b) choosing a partner that is not at your writing level and of the same preferences as you are.
  9. Pretty much what everyone else mentioned. Uncomitted players or GM, passive players who are endlessly waiting for something to happen, lack of communication, goals, etc...

    I also add in; when two people take over the whole role play with their romance. It happened to me several times as a 'younger' role player that romance caused the whole story to stray off and that members, like me, were left behind in a sea of posts where they were kissing and cuddling, and what not.

    The longest role play that I organised, and is still going, has been two months. The longest role play I have been in at Iwaku, and also still going, is one year and a half. The role play itself is actually three years old, but you didn't care about sites other than Iwaku.
  10. As mentioned above 'waiting loops' that go 'When will this guy post when will that guy post'.

    Roleplayers that lose interest actually killed one of my buddy's good Roleplays a little while before we could touch the first plot point. They quit one by one, in a row, claiming it was 'boring'. Well, of course it was boring. A good plot point needs some buildup.

    Roleplayers that don't really have much... Roleplaying common sense. Really, it killed RPs on other sites and it's here on Iwaku. Said roleplayer isn't harming my roleplay... yet. But she has infecteded it.

    You know, to counter this, GMs need to be a little more assertive. Eliminating players, setting time limits, and as a last resort - rebuilding the RP from scratch. With these steps, the RP will be halted from death.
  11. What kills it for me is when I'm trying a one on one and the other person tries to control aspects of my character or control their actions.

    That's a big no. As soon as someone tries to influence my character in any way like that, I am done. I usually don't even bother replying after that. : /
  12. Since I joined about a week or two ago I haven't been in a RP once. Every time I find something really interesting to jump into the GM has seemed to just lose interest and the whole RP just suddenly dies. Quite the frustrating problem...
  13. @Everyone's RP Killing Reasons:

    All the things people listed above I agree with.
    But for me personally the biggest influence is always community.

    I've seen RP's that had everything going for it, but then someone got busy and dropped it because it had no personal repercussions.
    I've seen RP's that were struggling to breathe like crazy, but have stayed alive because the players actually knew each other and wanted not only to make a story with their friends, but not have to let their friends down.

    This is why when player in-fighting happens you need to get on that shit pronto! There's nothing worse than your group of players learning to dislike one another, the second that happens your RP becomes a ticking time bomb before they decide the RP simply isn't worth the hassle anymore.
    My answer here is the exact same as Kaga's.
  14. Can only speak for onexone rps but lack of communication is a huge one from people just not talking to each other voicing ideas and concerns to someone brushing off their partners cause they just want to get to the parts they want. I have had someone respond to me with 'blahblahblahblah lets go already' when I paused and rp to discuss having a hard time following what they were planning since they were jumping all over the place in a confusing matter.

    Longest rp on here I can't answer since I've yet to rp with anyone on here yet, probably because I'm only looking for one thing and probably got into it way too late to catch a lot of people interested in the fandom.
  15. Unable to show your emotions using a keyboard.

    Having a roleplay search that is far too cluttered or far too simple.
    Ibara no Joō threw 6-faced die for: Total: 5 $dice $dice
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