Is it roleplaying or is it story telling?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Shade_XY, Apr 30, 2015.

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  1. I've never played Dungeons and Dragons board games before. I've only role-played in writing in websites similar to iwaku. At first, I only read people role-play. It seemed interesting, so I created an account and joined one. It was fun the first post, then it turned ugly because one of the roleplayer isn't kind with his words and he told me to leave, told me I wasn't cut out for roleplaying. But I paid no attention to him and continued on. As most role-play does, the role-play died. I joined other roleplays and became GM for lots of roleplays ever since.

    But I'm here to complain about this so called roleplaying. I thought roleplaying was supposed to be about you acting as your character. In Dungeons and Dragons, the Dungeon Master plays as the NPC and the environment. There are calculations of how much damage you do or how much damage you take. In writing roleplays, that would be difficult to do. But I don't see why the dungeon master can't still determine the outcome of player's detailed actions. In most roleplay I see today, the roleplayers determine their own character's fate. They determine the outcome of their character's actions and they determine whether other player's actions to their character would land or not. In most roleplay I see today, the players act as the their character and the NPC. The one roleplayer writes what happens without other players or dungeon masters to effect his act and chances of success. To me, that is no longer roleplaying but more to story writing or story telling.

    And so, I created roleplays stating that I will be the dungeon master to control the environment and determine if their character's actions would succeed or fail. People joined, but then they wrote their own outcome of their character's actions. When I rewrote the outcome for their character, they complained. They enforced that their actions must succeed. And then there are these players who insist on controlling the NPC, giving them godly items for a penny when I clearly said that I will play as the NPC.

    In my opinion, most roleplay now isn't actually roleplay but are story telling of how great their character is. I long for a real roleplay. But it seems today, it is difficult to come by and it is difficult to create as well.
    #1 Shade_XY, Apr 30, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2015
  2. Well, that is just how it is. Players like freedom and acting out their characters, but things can go a little insane at times. Now, I'm now expert, but I normally try to weather through the crap the others throw at me. Sometimes it works out, other times not. Just gotta stick with a roleplay and if it doesn't peak your interest anymore you could pull out and wait for a bit. Also, NPCs are meant to be controlled to a certain extent in certain roleplays.

    Just have to weather through that crap and if ya lose interest then simply wait for a bit to see if it is still worth it.

    I hope this information helps out, Insha'Allah.
  3. Let me first respond to this;
    Just because you're in a style of roleplay where you (mostly) decide what your character's fate is, doesn't mean you're automatically turning them into a Mary Sue. Characters are still more than capable of having flaws and functioning realistically within this style of RP. If you've encountered people that do create Mary Sues then, well, that's a different problem entirely.

    But yeah, this is just another style of RP. The way I see it, you're still roleplaying (in the purest sense of the word) because you're still stepping into a character's shoes and thinking about what they would do in a given situation. Perhaps it's because I don't come from a tabletop background and still have minimal tabletop experience today, but, when I RP, I'm thinking less about the objective and more about what's going on in my character's head, and what that motivates them to do. It isn't entirely about combat situations and trying to make myself successful at certain tasks, it's just what I want to do with my character and where it feels like they would go.

    Additionally, I feel like there are plenty of times in this style of RP when a GM does have to step in to declare how effective a player's actions may-or-may-not have been -- it's just that it doesn't always require dice rolls, and usually just doesn't come up as often. Players don't always need a GM to tell them what happens in their own side plots, but would still need the GM to tell them how effective they were at fighting the giant NPC dragon that they're all facing. It depends a lot on the situation that all the characters are in, and just the GM's style.

    But, even in an RP when the players can act very autonomously and have a high level of control over what their characters can do and where their side-plots go, I'd still call that roleplaying, because they're still acting through a character and making actions based off of what that character would do. And, like I said before, autonomy doesn't mean that players will all wind up with perfect characters that no one can land a scratch on. Plenty of RPers are better at making characters than that. And if they aren't then, well, the RPing style isn't to blame -- it's the players and their too-perfect characters.
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  4. I don't think you really understand how play by post roleplaying works. It's not table top roleplaying.

    Just because you aren't rolling dice doesn't mean you aren't playing a character, aka playing a role, aka roleplaying. Storytelling is essential for play by post to work. GMs are still essential.
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  5. Storytelling(1) and role-playing(2) go hand in hand. Even in a role playing game(3) which is defined as "a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting." Ergo, all role plays by nature involve story telling. What you may be looking for is the fine balancing act of literature versus mechanics, a decision which each GM in a PbPRP (Play-by-Post Role Play) environment has to make for themselves. Keep in mind that PbPRP is more broad overall than its tabletop counterparts, you'll find a lot more people who profess to be writers in PbPRP than you will in tabletop. I have the easiest answer why, too, which might offend some folks.

    Literature is easier than mechanics. Significantly easier. Because when you create a mechanical system, you have to use a set of numbers (ex: stats/traits/modifiers), randomized elements (ex: dice), and then conform the entire world to that set of mechanics. Compare and contrast that to "my magical girl fires laz0rs out of her mouth, because she's the chosen one." It becomes very clear why most PbPRP role players prefer to associate with the writing elements of role playing rather than the gaming elements which modern role playing traditionally associates itself with. Some mechanical elements are still clearly present (ex: everyone takes turns via post, in group role plays you still have a GM who orchestrates the world & NPC elements, et cetera), but, there isn't any universal set of mechanical rules within PbPRP. Unlike Tabletop, where before you can even really begin, you need to decide if you'll be using Pathfinder, or D&D, or WoD, or so on.

    I make role plays that incorporate mechanics, traits, and so on, in a rather simple manner. These types of role plays do exist, they just aren't common. Probably due to the swarms and droves people who would rather call themselves writers who "create art", rather than participants in a silly hobby. :ferret:

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  6. That does depend on the roleplay thought. For example; Dungeons and Dragons. The NPC is solely controlled by the NPC. You can act as your character and interact with the NPC. You can even try and steal or rob the NPC, though the chances of your character succeeding in his actions will not be entirely up to you. But in an roleplay where you play both your created character as well as the NPC, the fates will be entirely up to you. I personally like to interact with other players acting as the NPC, wondering what will happen. Others may like to write their own fates without other players to effect them. As I said, it depends on a person's interest.
  7. Well that depends. I started RPing in tabletop (Dungeons and Dragons and World of darkness) and there were NPC's we were allowed to move and not all actions required mechanics and dice, especially if it got in the way of good storytelling. I had several GMs in my tabletop groups that would let you describe your way through things and if you did it well enough and it enhanced the story it went as you described. Mind you, it wasn't every action or situation, because chance is part of the fun, but it was an option because in the end we were after a good story. You can allow that level of freedom in forum RP. If you get a good group of players who are after the overall story you'll find that letting loose the reins isn't such a bad thing in the end.

    So I am a little confused, have you or haven't you played D&D? Because if you are basing your argument on assumptions about a thing you haven't done I would suggest you try to find your way to a table and see. There are lots of organized play groups (D&D and Pathfinder/Paizo have some) that are open and meet at local gaming stores and there are online table-top RPs to join.
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  8. Writing what is going on in your character's head is one style of roleplaying that I like. Doing what you think your character would do is considered roleplaying in my book.

    What I am complaining about is the fact that most roleplayers today do more than acting as their character. In my opinion, they are acting as gods who decides what their character will get in their journey and decides what kind of injuries their character is going to get. Yes, it is considered roleplaying, but not roleplaying as your character, but roleplaying as the fates. Just my opinion though. An individual can choose however style of roleplaying that they want. But whether a person likes or dislikes their style of roleplaying is a different matter.

    Edit: @Dervish . But when you join a roleplay that stated your action will be determined solely by the GM, then don't try to change the rules.
    #8 Shade_XY, Apr 30, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2015
  9. Oh, you're arguing about players refusing to take any sort of risks with their characters, who have absolute control over them and refuse to allow anyone else to touch them, even the GM... Yeah, those kinds of people irritate me too. There's no risk there, no excitement, just a series of going through preplanned motions like an automaton.

    Well, I went ahead and did something about that. I went and made my own role plays. With my own rules. It's what I encourage others to do as well. :ferret:
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  10. Sure, and I wouldn't. GM's rule is law. I wouldn't try to change somebody's game or not abide by their rules, and I'd expect the same courtesy to be shown by people joining my games.

    I figured you were talking about forum roleplaying in general. I was kind of scratching my head for a minute there.

    As for people deciding the results of what happens in scenes, it really depends on the players. Usually, I let people resolve battles and what not, but I make it clear that I'm trusting people to take it seriously and that their characters aren't invincible and unstoppable. I don't usually have problems with people power playing or god modding, but if I do, I have no problem describing how their character got jacked up by an NPC.
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  11. No, I haven't actually played the tabletop DnD, but I guessed that the players doesn't actually decide whether their character get injured or died themselves, yes? My point here is the players deciding their own fate in writing type roleplays.

    Maybe I will join an online tabletop roleplays. First, I need to find one. Can you direct me to one, please :D
  12. Poke around here, they have online and local events listed (I'm told under the Grand lodge link). Dungeons and Dragons has a something just like it but my sweetie is involved in this organization. I hope you find yourself some fun.
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  13. It's neither. Those players don't deserve to be called roleplayers or story tellers. Don't give story tellers a bad name by lumping those people in with us.
  14. Try being less specific when you're talking about your problems in roleplaying. The people in that roleplay do read the General Forum every so often.

    Edit: We're not even on the third page of that RP and you've done nothing but try to force characters who awoke with literally NO MEMORY to move forward along one path or the other. You stated specifically it's about 'character development', yet we barely got two posts in each before it was 'k lets go'.

    @Roose Hurro , @Kaddoc ? Can I get ya'lls thoughts on this as well since we're in this together?
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  15. The next RP you GM clearly state in the rules that whether a character's hit lands or not is up to the GM. Honestly the rules in a RP can be whatever you, as the GM, decides them to be. So if you don't want characters being able to auto-hit or assume control over NPCs state it in the rules, then warn / kick people who rub against the grain.

    Thinking of this topic reminds me of the last RP I tried to GM. Made a universe where magic was supposed to be feared and rare, and a Player character kept having his character walk around on the air, fly, was a teenage smartass, the perfect picture of a angsty teen... nevermind, i'm going on a tangent.

    The point is, I also hate it when players assume too much control over the story and leave nothing for the GM to decide. Thankfully that's an issue I don't have to worry about since I found out a while ago I'm too much of a control freak with my own stories to be a GM.
  16. For anyone who's curious what @Shade_XY is talking about; please feel free to check out the OOC Thread here and the In Character Thread here.

    To me there's been a whole lot of confusion and flopping around when it comes to organization and execution. But that's just me.
  17. lol @Windsong , that is just one of the many roleplay I created. But anyone can browse it if they want.
  18. We are fahhmily~ XDDD I went through this kind of situation as well many times.
  19. You can stop spamming now. :ferret:
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  20. XD alright, darling. ^^
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