Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Shounen Senpai, Mar 13, 2016.


I repeat... What kills a roleplay?

  1. Deteriorating interest in the RP

    9 vote(s)
  2. RPers becoming inactive (due to work/school)

    9 vote(s)
  3. GMs giving up control in the RP

    0 vote(s)
  1. In my 50+ years of experience as a roleplayer, I have been seeing many good roleplays slowly wither after a set period of time (like a month). Obviously it's because we don't see any more proactive replies in the IC nor the OOC threads. And as I know, you guys are also experiencing this.

    It's really refreshing to see replies from our RP partners since they all have hardworked content to send back to you. It's as if we were engrossed into the world where our characters are living.

    Unfortunately, good things don't always last.

    When you realize that no one is replying after a long while, it is apparent that the roleplay is withering at this point. It's either they have become busy or they had lost interest. Or perhaps some other unnecessary reason arose.

    Of course, it would be hypocritical of me to say that I do not eventually leave roleplays that I am participating in. Cuz studies and work, am I right? XD

    It's obvious that all roleplays (especially group RPs) eventually turn to this, which means that we are all dealing with this eventuality. How do you deal with this, as fellow roleplayers? Do you just accept the fact that the roleplays you are in eventually weaken? If not, what do you do to keep it strong for as long as possible?

    If you are reading at this point, congrats! You get a honorary cookie from the feral plot bunnies association! C:
  2. A lot of roleplay discussions in General Chat lately.
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  3. it being based on anime.
  4. Why can't I vote for all three? D: Cuz it really is all three of them.

    As a GM, I can say that the first two of these things definitely happen to all RP's. They are inevitable, and they are a big reason why RP's die. However, a lot of the time, it's the GM who allows these things to become problems in the first place. I've seen so many RP's die just because the GM didn't know how to fix these problems and just let the RP fall apart. >_>

    Being a good GM means reacting to problems such as members dropping out. It also means setting up the RP in a way that prevents players from dropping out like this in the first place. Make it interesting, give them things to do, don't let things stagnate. And if someone drops out? Fix it. Don't leave things frozen. Find a way to remove that character from the picture and keep it going.

    Drop-outs are inevitable and you shouldn't fight them if they happen. Getting on your knees and begging a player to stay isn't going to do anything -- because you haven't fixed the inherent problem that this person either doesn't have time for your RP or isn't feeling inspired for it. In fact, they'll probably leave again later -- and this time, they might be even more silent about it and ignore you when you try to reach out to them. Deal with drop-outs in stride. It's your job as a GM to roll with these problems and find a way to make the RP work in spite of them.

    And, you know, it's super helpful if you know how to avoid letting the RP stagnate, so that a bunch of players don't all get bored at once -- because that leads to a chain reaction of drop-outs that can cause the entire RP to collapse all at once if you don't take action real quick to keep some people around.

    I could go on forever about all the things a GM should do to keep an RP alive, but those are the basics for you. XD

    Edit: Also note that a lot of it has to do with the RP's structure. If your RP is set up in a way that a single player dropping out leaves countless other things stuck, then it isn't a good way to run an RP. I've run quite a few RP's where just the concept of it could not easily allow for dropouts, and I quickly learned what a problem that could be. Thinking about what your RP is about is important, but too many GM's seem to just look at it from the perspective of what makes an interesting story, and I would say that really shouldn't be a high priority. A high priority should be seeing which plots work mechanically. I've run a number of RP's where I knew that part of the RP's structure was a problem, but I couldn't change it because that would change the fundamental concept of the RP. And then, when those problems caused it to fall apart... I knew that I couldn't run an RP in that way anymore, and that, if I ever wanted to reboot the idea, I would need to make some serious changes so that things could go smoothly. It's part of the reason why I reject a lot of RP ideas just because I don't see how they can work mechanically.

    And there's a ton I can say about this topic alone, as well, but... yeah, that's the basics. XD
    #4 Kagayours, Mar 13, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
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  5. Being a GM myself, It happens a lot not because I do not know what to do, because people say they will join and don't even make a cs you tag them over and over and over and pm them. when they have a main character you have to get them moving. However I am a person who doesn't tolerate to long of a absence no explanation. so I will open it up but the interest goes down because my other rpers were already to start, it's why I don't tag certain people anymore, because it does bug me.
  6. Well, that seems to be more of a problem with getting RP's off the ground than preventing them from dying once they've already started. I suppose that's more of a problem about finding players, which is a whole other thing. :/

    Also, I for one advise GM's not to stress out too much about people who say they'll join and then won't. Because if they haven't joined the IC yet, then they aren't holding anything up! The main focus should be the people who are already in the RP. If you have enough of them, then just focus on keeping them in the RP. I'm not saying it's bad to be welcoming of new players, but, if people expressed interest and then never joined? Oh well -- that's disappointing, sure, but they aren't holding anything up. Best just to let them go at that stage (besides, it sort of weeds out the people who probably would've been early drop-outs anyway -- thus saving you the headache of dealing with their absence after they've gotten themselves involved in the IC).
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  7. People are bound to lose interest. It's why I don't often GM anything unless I've got an idea I like, and I do try to keep it moving. But it doesn't always work out-- people just won't always want to play along.

    I'll admit, if an rp I'm in starts involving, uh, lower quality writers, I tend to be more willing to drop out. Makes my sound like an asshole, I know, but I just prefer partners on my level. It makes it so much more enjoyable.
    #7 Dipper, Mar 13, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  8. Most of what I was going to say has already been said, but I do see several RPs that die almost immediately because the very first post isn't open or inspiring in any way. I think a good RP should start with something to react to. A major event that brings the characters together, something that requires immediate action on the part of the players, a question that demands immediate investigation, something. I'm always really disappointed when an RP I was looking forward to opens with a random character doing something in isolation, with no clues as to what the rest of the players should be doing. Maybe it's just my reactive nature as a roleplayer, but I think a GM's absolute first priority should be giving the other players something to do, not participating as if they were another player themselves. (Not to say they can't do that as well, it should just come second.)
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  9. I think the later two are a symptom of the former.

    People leave RP's because of a lack of interest.
    Even if busy, if the group all cares for the RP they can usually work together to slow it down to where everyone can keep up.

    So unless if the player is super-packed IRL, or you're in one of those "We need to end by X time!" style RP's, being busy isn't really a reason to drop out. It's a reason to post less likely, but not leave.
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  10. ^ You're completely right. I've seen plenty of RP's stagnate right at the beginning just because all the intros -- not just the GM's but all the intros -- involved characters off in isolation, not interacting with anyone else. RP's need interaction. You want to get some actual interaction going as soon as possible. You shouldn't need to write 3-4 posts before you actually interact with anyone. It's no wonder that RP's die right at the beginning if everyone's wandering around, lost, because no one's interacting with anyone. >_>

    It isn't even a matter of making things engaging, it's just about having something to do. A GM doesn't need to open up every roleplay with a major event that brings people together or a big thing they need to investigate, it just has to be something that allows people to interact.

    Hell, a GM could even start a thread with what I call an "open intro", an intro post that doesn't directly interact with anyone but still invites others to interact with them. I could start a thread with an open intro post and then say "hey, my character is in X location, and you guys can send your characters in that direction if you want". So long as there are a good number of players actually taking you up on those sorts of invitations, this works fine. Characters will gather into small groups and you'll have actual interactions going. In this way, a few open intro posts are ok -- but it just can't be everyone doing open intros, especially if they really aren't open and instead just leave the character off in some other location without anyone being able to easily interact with them. Getting some actual interactions going is the #1 priority for getting an RP started, because interaction is the most important thing that keeps an RP alive. Being interesting and engaging is a close second -- because if your players aren't engaged, then they're likely to get bored and leave, and then you won't have that interaction anymore -- but, if you can't make something exciting happen right off the bat, then you should at least get some characters interacting. You can throw something exciting into the mix once you at least have a stable activity flow going.
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  11. I really appreciate the replies in here. Also, apologies for the person who had to move my thread to here. I forgot that there was a Roleplay Discussion. x'D
  12. One thing I've seen in a few RPs that works kind of well is starting the RP sometime after all the characters met. It cuts down on the initial meet and greet which has a nasty habit of dooming RPs from time to time and gets the plot moving right away. It also gives you a fun little "fill in the blank" exercise of making stuff up that had already occured, but wasn't roleplayed.
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  13. ^ Aye, that's a good strategy, but I think the big thing is actually giving the players to do something rather than later. Sometimes, depending on the RP's premise, players can have a lot of fun with the meet-and-greet bit and take it someplace interesting on their own. It's when this doesn't happen and when the RP becomes very bland that the intro segments of the RP can turn into a slog, because the problem still comes down to the players getting bored and not knowing what to do next when their characters run out of idle chit-chat. Starting the RP after the characters have met is a good way to go if the GM plans to jump right into the plot of the RP, or some other exciting thing to do. Otherwise? You run the risk of seeing the exact same problems as if the characters didn't know each other -- characters meet, make small talk, run out of small talk, get bored.

    So yeah, basically any method for getting the characters into something interesting sooner rather than later is a pretty good way to get your RP past the toughest point and get you on the road to a fairly stable and long-lasting RP.
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  14. I've always liked it when the GM cuts the starting introductions short to force the plot along. Like, after everyone's met up, but before everyone runs out of things to say. That way there's still a lot left unsaid that can be explored throughout the RP, extending its lifetime.
  15. Aye. It's always good to move things along before things get stale. Characters running out of things to say during the intro stages is definitely a thing to avoid. XD I was just saying that allowing intros to unfold on their own can go some interesting places, depending on the RP. Characters getting into fights is a good example.

    It's the reason why, when starting an RP, I don't often worry so much about starting "the plot" as much as I just make sure every character has something to do. If characters are already doing something interesting then I'll leave them to it, but if they aren't, then I give them something to do.
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